Friday, June 27, 2008

Habs UFA Preview

UFA day "falls" on a Tuesday next week. Lame connection I know, but lame excuses to post hot chicks is what we're all about.

With less than a week to go before moving day in Quebec, and the first day of unrestricted free agency, HFH takes a look at the Habs needs and which UFA's are available to fill them. Then our favorite part: we judge them based on whether their addition would be money (in the Jon Favreau/Vince Vaughn sense of the term) or a disease - say, like an STD acquired in a wild road trip to one of Montreal's many gentleman's clubs (STD!)

Number 1 Centre

Mats Sundin - Without re-hashing the old "is Koivu a true number one centre" debate, the fact is that the Habs have exclusive negotiations rights with Sundin, and if he signed with the Habs he's be their No.1 centre.
$$$! Mats puts the Habs over the top in their Centennial Year.
Simply put, Montreal's entire UFA strategy hinges on Mats. If he signs, that won't leave the Habs with much room to sign any other UFA's except to fill specific holes.

Third Line Centre
Assuming Mats does not sign and the Habs don't re-up with Slowinski, they'll be in the market for a 3rd line centre (unless they give the job to Chips). If not:

Bobby Holik - A big, shut down centre - but would have to take a HEE-Yuge paycut. Not likely in this weak market.
STD! probably after visiting Cleopatra's with Vancouver sometime in November. Bobby's going to ask for more cash that Bob is willing to give him. Probably a good thing, because otherwise it could see a Radek Bonk-like outcome here.

Mike Peca - a little on the small side, but if used in the right way (i.e. less that 15 minutes of ice time) he can still be effective. In other words, his days as a Leaf didn't completely ruin him.

$$$! Big upgrade from Slowinski.

Veteran backup/depth goalie
J-S Aubin - so-so career, will likely sign a two-way contract, won't demand big bucks. Plus he's a Quebecer.

$$$! He's probably let his career NHL ambitions die, so what more could the Habs ask for than a depth goaltender who's a little dead inside?

Patrick Lalime - Not likely, primarily because I question whether he has the stones to play in hockey-mad Montreal.
STD! Bob likes stones. Won't even be in the NHL next year.

Jocelyn Thibault - Don't laugh, he could be this year's Breezer. Not so sure he's ready to accept the possibility of being sent to the AHL, though.
STD! I've compared him to Breezer. 'Nuff said.

Fourth/Fifth Defenceman
Assuming they can't afford Marc Streit at $3M a year, the Habs will only sign a d-man from outside the organization for a much lower number. So there are no Wade Redden's on this list:

Jaroslav Modry - puck mover, effective if not overused and only made $1.2M last year.
STD! picked up from someone dirty eastern European hooker on the streets of Pardubice. Would probably prefer Europe over another NHL stop to finish off his career. Plus he reminds me of Janne Niniimaa.

Patrice Brisebois - just accept it.
$$$! which is ok, as long as he's carrying Rhino's jock all season.

Owen Nolan - Saw him play on Calgary this year, and he played physical, was a leader and even scored some timely goals. He'd be a great addition, especially to a team without a true pugilist. I doubt there'd be any reason to come here, though.
$$$! Love this nasty Irishman!

Sean Avery - Yeah, right. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.
STD! cause you know he's already full of 'em.

MONDAY: we look at who Bob may chase if Mats doesn't sign.


bob said...

I would go for Doug Weight before Holik and Peca as third line center.

There is so many backup goalie available, I woudn't be surprised if one of them offered Bob money to take him with the Habs.

Please God deliver us from Breezer. John-Micheal Liles is worth a phone call.

Wildcards, Avery's best friend, mother Tucker is looking for a job. Just kidding, enough ex-leafs being named around Montreal.

HabsFan29 said...

I don't know who the HFH are, but damn they write funny and intelligent posts

Doogie said...

I would go for Doug Weight before Holik and Peca as third line center.

And I would call you insane. Mike Peca is still a solid checking centre (and, somewhat frighteningly, Columbus's third-leading scorer; the fourth-best scorer was Jason Freaking Chimera, who needed 16 more games to score 3 fewer points). Doug Weight looked done to me, at both ends of the ice, in every game he played not against Edmonton.

Anonymous said...

If Mats is a no then Jarret Stoll would be my pick. He's not UFA/RFA but is apparently on the block. He had a poor season last year but has shown promise and is still young.

His signing addresses:

- True 3rd line center
- Wicked shot from the point for the #1 PP
- Winning face-offs


You can swap Tang and AK but then Tang and Koivu would spend the whole shift with a "No you go ahead and shoot", "Oh no I must insist that you take the shot" riff going.

If Stoll could be had for something like a second rounder and a mid-level prospect then I would be all over that.

Gainey would still have 3-6M in cap room for a trade deadline deal or to pay our RFA's next year.

Anonymous said...

Well ... Stoll to LA. Scratch that one.