Why wouldn’t Pierre Gauthier want Jaromir Jagr for $2 Million Dollars for One Year? Hab Notes – May 13, 2011

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.

Choose Cornwall


  1. Gauthier would be a pretty stupid gm not to pick up on this offer if it is true that jagr would play with the Habs for 2m… I like it sign the papers before a 5m offer comes his way

  2. Carey Price was a great goalie this year. Why do you think he should be traded and what do you think the Habs would get in exchange?

  3. you best be joking about price. carey will be the best player on the legendary montreal canadiens for the next 15 years. he’ll be remembered in books as the wonderful carey price who lead the habs to numerous stanley cups and he’ll be the bobby orr of goaltenders. carey is a keeper. a real keeper.

  4. Author

    Jerry it depends on what they want and what’s available on the market. Which teams have the biggest need for a goalie the furthest away. I still think they lost on opportunity to make a deal with Los Angeles as LA has the assets and especially the want for a top flight goalie. One of LA’s goalies, a Wayne Simmonds, and a 1st I have a hunch would not be out of the possible conversation. Again, it all has to do with contract today.

    Montreal got great value out of Carey this year and most likely next year, but what happens after that? Is Carey worth big $$ and can Montreal support a big $$ contract from the goalie position?

  5. Like i have allways said Carey Price is the next Patrick Roy.Keep him if you want Lord Stanley.But deal him if its all about MONEY

  6. My goodness…where do I begin? This is just about the most misinformed and skewered article I’ve ever read on anything to do with the Habs, stuff written by ten year olds included. You say you watched hockey for 40 years? I’d call you out on that! I doubt anyone watching that long could be this stupid. The mentions you make of the salary cap situation the team is in are not reality based. The team will not be keeping Roman Hamrlik or Brent Sopel. The bigger question, untouched here, regards James Wisniewski. They have signed one young defensemen and are in negotiations with another. The issue on the Habs defense is that too players are over 35 and injuries decimated the backline. Jagr is not a solution to solve or better the offense. Competition in the KHL and the World Championships is no method of gauging the prospects of a soon to be 40 year-old. If Jagr were to play alongside Plekanec, the top six trickle-down would bump Pacioretty off the top two lines. As for Kostitsyn, the Canadiens will sign him, if only to retain his rights. Teams don’t cut 20 goal scorers loose simply because they are RFA’s. Trade Carey? You got to be delusional! What then I might ask, would be the Habs solution in goal? Sign an overaged, expensive free agent? This is a Godawful article, and you truly have no business writting about hockey. I challenge you to reveal your true name, and not hide behind some anonymous “Admin” pseudonym.

  7. Author

    Jamie Gilcig – Editor of the Cornwall Free News and former Video Statistician for the Montreal Canadiens. Mr. Pacioretty would not be bumped anywhere as he currently is slated to be with Gomez and Gionta.

    As for some of your other claims….well that’s the fun about hockey. Opinions are what they are….thanks for reading and posting on The Cornwall Free News.

  8. Are you sure admin……….?

  9. Author

    ….lol @ Stan….

  10. Jamie – I don’t always agree with you about the Habs and Carey Price but your articles provide fresh and thoughtful ideas about my favourite team. Keep it up.

  11. if not Pacioretty then the only other option is Kostitsyn as Gomez, Gionta, Plekanec, and Cammalleri will not be moved to the 3rd line. The only role Jagr will want is 2nd line scoring with a good playmaker either at center or on the other wing. The only role Jagr will be offered (on almost any team) is 3rd line leadership role with PP time (with a couple teams that are weak up front offering him a 2nd line role).

    As for Price, trade him and then what? be stuck in the basement because they don’t have any goaltending? All I can say is: Bolts, Leafs, Nucks (before Luongo), Devils, Sens, Islanders (doesn’t matter how talented the goaltender is if he can’t play), Kings, Hawks, Oilers, Avs, etc. Every team wants a good goalie, few have one, you don’t get rid of him once you have one. You sign him to a long NTC contract and hope for a home team discount. Look at the leafs, traded away the wrong goalie (Rask instead of Pogge) and because of it are now scrounging for goalies anywhere they can Europe (Gustavsson, Rynnas, Owuya), college (Scrivens), trades (Giguere, Gerber, Toskala, Raycroft), and the draft (Reimer). Look at the Bolts, Two great cup runs in the last decade, surrounded by time in the basement, and both came from acquiring a proven, albeit aging, goaltender for the season.

    I’d go on tearing your arguments to shreds, but I think I’ve wasted enough time, so I shall bid you adieu.

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