Cornwall ON – Well for me these play offs have not been that exciting. If I don’t see a Canadian team that I like excelling then it just gets kinda dull. I know. I know. But after 40+ years of watching hockey I get a bit jaded.
In the late 80′s some folks in the US started what was to become a craze and change professional sports when they invented Rotisserie Baseball.
Roti changed the way sports worked in that the cap system really made a lot of sense. Anyone that’s excelled at it can tell you that sometimes it’s not the player, but the contract of the player that can make or break a team.
Scott Gomez at $3M is a deal; with his current deal would require you to compensate a team if you could find one willing to take on his contract.
Also as a GM assets become huge. A stud with a fair contract is what wins you Stanley Cups. So it was bewildering that Hab GM Pierre Gauthier was said to have dismissed Jaromir Jagr’s apparent willingness to sign with the Habs for $2M even at his advanced age.
Montreal this year had a dilemma putting together two consistent top six lines. Gomez and Gionta without a good wing man don’t work so well because other teams know the deal. They can key on Gomez expecting the set up for Gionta. Only for a brief period this season with Max Pacioretty was flying did both Gomez and Gionta really start to click as Gomez had more options.
Hopefully Max is back 100% next year and that line flourishes.
Poor Tomas Plekanec on the other hand had issues. The team got off to a good start with Cammy and Mr. Kostitsyn on the wings, but injury to Cammallieri really showed the issue with that line. Step in Jaromir Jagr. Mr. Jagr scored 1.25 points per game in his professional career to date, but more importantly added 1.07 per game in the play offs. That’s not too shabby. There’s no asset to give up to acquire him and his $2M salary request is cap friendly.
The reason that boggles my mind is that there really is chemistry between the two country men and their skill sets really mesh well.
If Jagr is good to go for at least 60 regular season games with PP time you’re looking at 25-30 goals easy and that’s something that’s not a given all things considered.
Today’s GM’s really should read those old Rotisserie Baseball books and get a feel for how the game is changing in the cap age.
Montreal has some huge question marks this year. Andrei Kostitsyn. The man should be shooting more and notching 30-35 goals per year which he probably will do for another NHL team. I find with Russian players especially that they play better with people from their own system or background. Andrei doesn’t have that in Montreal. His inconsistent efforts also leave something to be desire, but the talent is there. He’s a RFA. His asset value is diminished unless Montreal signs him which I’m not so sure I’d really want to do?
Carey Price. If Carey repeats this year’s performance Pierre Gauthier is screwed. Totally screwed. He will not be in a leveraged position negotiation wise. I still think Carey will be a great goalie….for another NHL team. Right now his trade value is probably be higher than most hockey fans would imagine and he could probably bring in an amazing situation changing package. Does Gauthier have the cojones or brains to pull of such a deal? Well his history doesn’t present that.
On D the Habs are in a very very scary position. If Markov doesn’t want to do a home town discount the risk to reward ration isn’t in Montreal’s favor especially with Markov’s play off point ration. Known chiefly for his puck moving skills Mr. Markov’s numbers drop from .58 points per game to .30 in the play offs.
Hal Gill is a keeper at $1 to $1.5 per to play in the bottom pairing and help with some of the up and comers. Yannik Weber showed that he deserves a better shot at being a top 4 D man. Josh Gorges is again a dollar question, but also not a top tier top four D man.
Roman Hamrlik who I feel is more valuable and durable to this team sees his points numbers change minimally; from .47 to .37. While not a $5M man anymore surely Montreal will be able to find a way to have him stick with the team for at least 1 or 2 more seasons?
I like Brent Sopel, again it all coming down to dollars.
Picking up scoring talent isn’t easy. Pierre Gauthier has a chance to pick up an aging point getting machine with size and amazing hands without giving up an asset and at a cap friendly price. I can’t think of any reason not to kick some tires and see if Jagr has the juice and desire left to make some magic which I have a hunch he does for at least one or two years.
Jagr, Plekanec, and Cammy seem like an exciting ticket selling line to me. What do you think Hab fans? You can post your comments below.