Published On: Mon, Jul 7th, 2014

Habs Report Card So Far in the Off Season Trades, Free Agency, & Draft by Jamie Gilcig

P._K._SubbanCFN – PK Subban is the focus for Habs fans right now.   Does GM Marc Bergevin sign him up full term?   Does he want to?  Does PK want to?   Right now we know that #76 has filed for arbitration that can take him up to UFA status.  It’s Montreal’s call.

That’s not the best of conditions.  It certainly lacks that Kumba ya love in feeling.   Spinning through hockey site after hockey site either the Habs don’t really love PK or he’s about to be their next captain?

Were there issues with Michel Therrien?   If so signing him up for four years is not an endorsement for Subban.

Frankly PK’s biggest mistake would be for hijacking the team for a max dollar contract.  That puts a lot of extra pressure on a player can lead to a lot of extra grief for a few extra shekels.

Eight years at $7.5m would make a statement.  It would earn a C too I think.   Trying to max out at $10M or having another acrimonious contract negotiation just isn’t ….productive.   And right now Montreal could get the moon for PK if they wanted to trade him; especially in this market; especially to a team like Philly, or LA, or SJ, or Chicago, and if Detroit had anything to trade, them too.

The draft.   Um, not sure I’m a huge fan of the Habs results.

1st round pick Nikita Scherbak.   6’2 175 pound 18 year old.   Typical sorta light winger.  Put up 28 goals and 50 assists in his first year in the WHL in his first year of North American hockey.   Doesn’t seem to have a huge top end and is Russian.

I really like the Habs third rounder; Bergy actually traded up to get Brett Lernout, giving up the 73 and 117 picks which is pretty huge.    Lernout is big and mean.  I like that in my d men.   He’s also Manitoba kid; kinda looks like a Hanson brother without the glasses.  He’s already 6’4 and 205 pounds!

He put up 22 points +7 and 103 PIMs with Swift Current.   Definitely a project; and definitely a skill set the Habs will need down the road.

From a free agent signing point the Habs moved forward in some ways.   Josh Gorges was dumped rather badly and cheaply; but his salary equaled the two d men Montreal signed.   Mike Weaver impressed Habs fans in his stint with the club at the end of the season and the rental turned into a keeper at $1.75; add in Tom Gilbert for $2.8 and Montreal is ahead.

Signing Markov was a no brainer.  Yes, the term might be a year longer; but again Markov is a lifer for the Habs.

Brian Gionta was not resigned by Montreal.  Writers talk about intangibles; but at the end of the day was Gionta worth the $4.25 that Buffalo gave him?   I’m sure Montreal could have resigned him for less; but again in this cap age you have to be smart and balanced.

Montreal picked up veteran face off man and pk expert Manny Malhotra for a value contract of only $850K.  That 59.4 face off mark may come in mighty handy next year in the play offs.

Signing 22 year old Jiri Sekac is a lottery ticket.   Montreal’s biggest need other than a true #1 centre is to fill out its forward corps.   Sekac had a break out year for him in the KHL  scoring 28 points in 47 games, but what probably excited scouts was his 17 goals in 21 play off games.   He could be a sleeper or he could be what most lottery tickets become.  For the Habs it was an easy risk.

According to Capgeek.com Montreal currently sits at $53, 848, 333 which leaves them plenty of room even with the eventual signing of Subban.  They have 21 players locked up with plenty of parts still to trade if they wish to.

Vinny Lecavlier really must not want to play for Montreal?  Philly seems desperate to move him and even in his less than Vinny stature at the old age of 33 would be a good fit for Montreal; at least for the next year or two.   The trade of Briere for PA Parenteau and a 5th was house cleaning.

Montreal’s roster really does still seem to be a work in progress.  There don’t seem to be too many hard lines written yet.  There is also the question about Carey Price and how the loss of his homey Josh Gorges will play?

Questions:   What happens with Subban?

Will Montreal make a move for a #1 Centre?

Will Montreal be able to trade for a top six winger this off season?

What happens with Budaj and Tokarski?

Is the Lars Eller era over?  Is he the limpish regular season Eller or the manly Play off Eller?

Markov, Emelin, Tinordi, Bealieau, are the Habs left handed D men.

Subban, Weaver, Gilbert are the right along with Greg Pateryn.

Not a bad mix depending on how you put them together.

Report Card to Date

Draft   C

Free Agency B+

Trades  C+

Over All B-

What do you think Hab fans?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. Mario says:

    I think we need grit and size both up front and on the back end. We have the talent for sure, however even the badger play of Gallagher ( which is so awesome to watch) cannot sustain through a complete playoff season. I’m sorry to see Josh go, I think he is Great in a Habs uniform, although he wasn’t his best in the post season.

    The power play hurt us, and needs to improve.

    Love the Habs, Cant wait for next season

  2. Greg says:

    Sekac scored 1 goal in 21 playoff games not 17 goals…

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