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Montreal - Plan B?

Posted 11:00 PM ET | Comments 5
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.

Filed Under:   Vermette   Yashin   Jagr   Sundin   Montreal   Free Agents  
July 8, 2008 11:19 PM ET | Delete
(1) Hmm I don't see that happening(2) We can't, he's going to arbitration... What we can do is wait to see if he becomes a UFA, then sign him (same for PM Bouchard)(3) Nah, he wants to play in the KHL, and we don't need him(4) Exactly ! We will wait, waiting for Sundin. If he signs with us, great, if not, well we have a pretty nice team already !Martz
July 9, 2008 11:46 AM ET | Delete
Errrr... Jagr is signed in Russia for 2 years...how exactly would he sign with the Habs?Also, as much as I like Vermette, the Habs have too many players with similar characteristics to sacrifice the picks in my opinion.And finally, the Habs were a team built on chemistry last year. this year looks to be much of the same. Why risk bringing in a player like Yashin who is a known distraction to the locker room? His little upside is heavily outweighed by the potential negative impact. Don't we all remember Samsonov?
July 9, 2008 12:42 PM ET | Delete
I watched then in the playoff's, the core of this group is solid, i think bringing in a top line big name player i think would upset the core, the Leafs would love to have the mix of telent the Habs have. The additions thus far have helped the team, got a little tougher with Laraque thats all they needed
July 9, 2008 3:13 PM ET | Delete
If Sundin doesn't sign, I'm sure the Habs will go after Demitra and/or Shanahan instead.
July 9, 2008 4:16 PM ET | Delete
I think the Habs are fine like that... Maybe Sundin for only ONE year, thats it... We'll see at the deadline if we need someone...
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