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Halifax, NS • Canada • 24 Years Old • Male
With most of the big guns of the free agency class spoken for nearly two weeks in to the frenzy, the Habs are left still looking to add a few goals to next year’s opening night roster. What started out as a relatively weak UFA class has been watered down considerably but a few interesting options still remain for the Canadiens. Let’s take a look at the top 5 offensive options available via the free agent route that could fit in the Habs lineup next season.

5. Kyle Wellwood
The former Leaf, Canuck, Shark and now Jet has produced offense in the past when given the opportunity, though he was never a huge goal scorer. His slick hands and playmaking ability make Wellwood an intriguing option on the open market for anyone looking to add a scorer to their lineup. Kyle scored career highs in goals and points last year with Winnipeg when he scored 18 goals and finished with 47 points.

4. Andrei Kostitsyn
Kostitsyn was shipped out of Montreal to Nashville at last February’s trade deadline during the Habs disastrous season. Andrei has a tremendous amount of skill but fans of the Canadiens grew tired of his inconsistent play. He did score 20 goals in 3 out of his 4 full seasons in the bleu blanc et rouge and developed plenty of chemistry on a line with Lars Eller and Travis Moen before being dealt last year.

3. Petr Sykora
Sykora returned to the NHL with the Devils last season after a brief retirement and a short stint playing in Europe. He picked up right where he left off and scored 20 goals for the 11th time in his career. The well traveled veteran will be 36 years old in November and won’t approach his career highs of 35 goals and 81 points but he could fit in well on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta as a stopgap for a year while youngsters like Alex Galchenyuk, Louis Leblanc and Brandon Gallagher develop before playing in the Habs top six.

2. Alex Semin
If Semin was from anywhere but Russia he would have signed a deal for a minimum of 7 years and boatloads of money shortly after free agency opened on July 1st. However, being Russian, his defensive shortcomings have been magnified and many teams have been scared off. On a positive note, Semin is one of the most talented players in the NHL. He has averaged over 30 goals since coming to the NHL full time in 2006 and has a skill set surpassed by very few players in the world. He would cost more than any of the other remaining options but with career highs of 40 goals and 84 points reached as recently as 2010, the payoff could be enormous.

1. Shane Doan
Doan has long been thought to never even consider leaving the Coyotes, but with the ownership issues seemingly going to last forever it appears he is open to the idea of moving on. With the Habs searching for more leadership, grit, veteran savvy and scoring, Doan fits the profile perfectly as he brings it all. Doan can play any forward position, kills penalties, is a beast on the powerplay and scores 20 goals every year. Doan would be an absolutely perfect fit in the Habs top six and if he decides to move on from the desert, the cousin of Carey Price will hopefully consider moving to Montreal.
Filed Under:   montreal   Canadiens   Habs  
July 12, 2012 10:06 AM ET | Delete
Nice...thanks. I never thought about Sykora as an option but I be believe you may have something there. Anywho...Go Habs Go!!
July 12, 2012 11:34 AM ET | Delete
i would sign Kostitsyn. Give him another chance and see what he can bring next season. I'm sure he would actually give it his all next season because he must be tired of getting shipped around, and plus he already has plenty of chemistry and friendship with Plekanec. i think he'd get his act together and start playing serious.
July 12, 2012 11:45 AM ET | Delete
Kostitsyn may be a better option than most think. When given a chance to thrive (under Carbonneau) he scored goals, but under Martin he was mostly used as a checking line winger and still scored a few goals. If he was put on a Plekanec-Gionta line for a full season 20 goals would be his minimum output. Plus he hits, back checks and can play a good defensive game.
July 12, 2012 11:47 AM ET | Delete
Sykora would be a good fit on a short term deal. He played with Gionta for a short time in New Jersey and could work quite well. Another guy sitting on the open market quite capable of scoring 20 goals
July 12, 2012 1:09 PM ET | Delete
If we could sign Semin to a 1 year deal for perhaps an 6 million dollar cap hit I'd be happy. He'd score 20-25 goals most likely playing with Gio and Plekanec, then Gomez would go to Hamilton and Bourque would be shipped out of town. Someone would take him.
July 12, 2012 10:11 PM ET | Delete
Hey, I see your points, however, AK-been there done that no thanks. Sykora is too old, he`ll re-sign with the Devs most prob.Semin would be good if he would be team player not just a me me guy.Wellwood is a big no thanks.Shane Doan would be excellent, although unless the Habs give him term (4 years, which is too long IMO, or big bucks, over 5 mil is too much) he most probably won`t be coming here.
July 12, 2012 10:42 PM ET | Delete
Searching for UFA's in mid July is always going to lead to question marks, that is why no one has signed them yet. Hiwever, they also all have potential upside. Yeah I don't really see Wellwood working wonders here but if given the opportunity is 20 goals and 50 points that far out of reach even for him? This team is starved for offence right now and these guys have to be considered
July 15, 2012 4:01 PM ET | Delete
Doan in Montreal would be amazing to see but as Habberfied stated " unless the Habs give him term (4 years, which is too long IMO, or big bucks, over 5 mil is too much) he most probably won`t be coming here. " I think signing Kostityn to a 1 year would be reasonable considering he is known for being a 20 goal scorer when it comes to playing in Montreal however he can be inconsistent so a 1 year would be able to prove himself as a consistent player.
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