It seems that Montreal has been tripped up in the free-agent chase early on, with the chase of Mats Sundin. What happens if Sundin continues to take his time?
(1) Alexi Yashin - A big step down from Sundin, but a player with a lot to prove and a desire to return to the NHL. He and Kovalev could be an interesting fit, BUT only if he's willing to swallow some pride and take an incentive laden contract for 1 year. *Added Note: For those who claim he's a prima donna who would upset team chemistry, you have to consider a few things: (A) in 2006 the press and a bunch of fans were saying the same thing about Kovalev in Montreal and wanted him traded for more consistant talent. The coaching staff found a way to make it work last year and might get similar results from Yashin.(B) Yashin wants back in the NHL enough to go cap in hand to Garth Snow a year after they bought him out.
(2) An offer sheet on Vermette. There are more than a few teams considering this option, a team like Montreal that isn't looking at a lottery pick next year may well take the gamble for a relatively young player with lots of upside. (Of course Ottawa knows his potential too, and he may be re-signed by the time you read this. Fear of losing a top pick might stop a team like Toronto or Buffalo from bidding.)
(3) Jagr - No way you say? Perhaps, but the Habs and Rangers play plenty and it may appeal to Jaromir as a chance to show some people...at least enough to get his legal people looking into options. He wasn't on the radar earlier, because of the commitment to Sundin, but that offer may soon run out. **NOTE: Jagr IF he wants to, could get out of the contract with the Russian team. Heck he could probably buy the team, if he doesn't already have a back-door built in before the season starts. It is a longshot, but possible.
(4) No new big addition - The Habs really don't need to go big on a forward, their farm system is deep enough to promote from within and give a little more responsibility to some of the young guns. The cash saved might make for a better trade-deadline acquisition.