One bloggers ideas...As one can plainly see the Habs Brass are interested in working on the team NOW. I say that with the idea that signing a coach who was already in a GM position in another organization must mean the team is Serious... no? One can assume that with this task out of the way the 2009 Habs will look different. Yes, we have a bunch of restricted and unrestricted players to look after, but, with having a coach like Martin, we can see .. or at least extrapolate what type of players we can forsee staying, going, and arriving.
At "In Lou we Trust"... the Devs fans do a sparkling job of looking into their crystal ball to see what a centre like Koivu could bring to them. I can't disagree with much of what they say... its rather a compliment actually... you should read this one. They also debate,... as we have for months, the merits of bringing in someone who will play roughly 16 mins a game, and show talents on the PK, face-off, and has good leadership and set up abilities. They believe they will lose out on Gionta. Koivu would be a good fit for their scheme. And they like all around players moreover one stand out. Koivu would be a good fit. Not that I will like Koivu to leave for any other team, however, if he'll be appreciated there.. I'm less not ok with it.
Mr. Lang... great scoring ability. Getting up there in age. Worth the risk after this achillies injury? Some believe yes. A Shanahan type player (good hands, plays in front of the net) is worth 3 floating youngsters. If his stats can be believed and if we expand them for the course of a full season you will all see what his numbers could be if healthy. As his age will scare off a good many teams, a 1 or 2 yr deal could be worked on for decent money. I wouldn't overpay him based on what he might do.
We've learned we cannot believe a word that comes from a Russian newpaper when it regards any hockey player. So with that in mind, I think that keeping Kovalev would be fine. I don't know if the team (players) will vote him in as captain, and I am not sure he would be a great motivator for a team (outside of his upswing moments, I doubt Kovalev says much in the locker room that gets his teammates riled up). He speaks through the shaft of his stick. A down turn in production this year wasn't a sign of Kovalev's motivation falling off the face of the earth, it definitely was a sign of a team going through something. Whether it was issues with coaches, or line mates, Kovy did not live up to the 80 point season he had a year ago. But looking at everyone but Lapierre and Markov... no one on the 08 team managed to do what they normally would or surpass their own stats. So, keep him, set him up with some good line mates (don't change the line-up every night.. think Kovy likes consistency) and we'll see things turn around.
Tanguay... 30 but able to skate with the young guns. And obviously can get close to a point per game. I don't know why people would be thinking about letting him go.
As for the D... I'd seriously listen to teams looking for stay at home D. We have a few.. although.. we need a few. Age is an issue for this group. I like Schneider's offensive upside.. so I'd hold on to him for a year or two. With new guys like Subban and Weber vying for a spot, a guy like Schneider could be a real teacher. Not as fast as he once was, still has the instinct and desire to be a contributor on both ends of the rink. Brisebois on the other hand should enjoy his 1000 games and move on. I'm not sure why he was brought back.. maybe because he was cheap? But its time to move on. Boullion would be on the cusp. I don't think I'd be looking at a long term deal, but 3 yrs I could be ok with. I know he has had injuries, but this spark plug gives 110 percent every night. And... heaven help me if I have to spend another year watching forwards zinging past Ryan O'Byrne. He's either got to bone up on the position over this summer and spend half the year in Hamilton (where is our Farm club going??).. or he should just be dropped or traded away. I don't care, I'm tired of all the prospect talk... put up or be taken out at this point for O'Byrne.
I omitted Mi-Ko as I really wish players would play for the opportunities they have.. not for the money they wished they did. I know little to nothing about Mi-Ko as a guy, but leaving the Habs at this stage of his career for more money would be an insult. He's had a rough year of it too, but, I'd suggest he'd take the 4 mill he's offered and play like Robinson this year.. really show everyone what Komisarek is capable of playing. If later he wants out.. request a trade.
Anyway... those are my few thoughts on the 09 Habs...