I don’t want to go too far in to examining the recent trade involving Halak to the Blues, rather I’m curious as to what it means to the ‘big picture’ for Gauthier and company.
Notice to Internet Explorer Users
If we take a look, it seems that the Canadiens have a young hockey team.
Below is a list of players that played for the Habs this past season, and I am assuming they are the players projected to challenge for spots the next one. This is done with the assumption that Gauthier will choose to use their younger players to fill the line-up, rather than re-sign some older guys like Metropolit and Darche. At least he said something to that degree in his presser the other day.
I also should note that I am in the minority feeling that Andrei Kostitsyn will be a very big part of the Habs next season. He fits the exact need for a top line winger to play on the Gomez line. I’m not so sure he stays past next season though.
So, here is the list of young players that made appearances last season with the Habs (plus Lars Eller), and will be trying to earn a spot come training camp. Starred off are the players that will definitely be in the line-up, their current age is in brackets:
Benoit Pouliot (23) *
Brock Trotter (22)
Max Lapierre (25) *
Ryan White (22)
Ben Maxwell (22)
Tom Pyatt (23) *
Max Pacioretty (21)
David Desharnais (23)
Lars Eller (21)
Greg Stewart (24)
Sergei Kostitsyn (23)
PK Subban (21) *
Yannick Weber (21)
Mathieu Carle (22)
Shawn Belle (25)
That could make for a younger Habs team next year. It could look something like this.
A. Kostitsyn Gomez Gionta
Cammalleri Eller Trotter
Pouliot Lapierre Moen
White Maxwell Pyatt
There’s a large portion of the fanbase wanting to move either Hamrlik or Spacek, if that is possible (If) then a roster spot would be O’Byrne’s to lose to one of the younger guys listed. Making the D-core much younger even with O'Byrne in there. There is also the possibilty that Cedrick Desjardins (24) backs up Price (22) next season in goal.
If the RFA’s (Lapierre, Pouliot, Trotter, Carle, Pyatt) are resigned for 900k each and these players are on the roster, the total cap is 50.856 million before contracts for goaltenders are considered and retaining Plekanec if that happens. That seems very manageable. Lapierre may get a few extra bucks as he’s arbitration eligible.
If Plekanec leaves through free agency, I would suspect PG would be looking for a second line winger on July 1st or via trade, which would move Brock Trotter down the depth chart. I think he'll crack the line-up somewhere though.
This week’s trade was the first real chance to see Pierre Gauthier’s vision for this team. It appears he’s looking towards the future and not last spring.
There is an issue with the form blow that will make it appear that nothing happens when you click the post message button below. To see your message, after you click the post message button, refresh this page. Sorry for the troubles, we hope to have it fixed soon.