"What Gainey would offer in return is anyone's guess, but my take is that such a move would not test team chemistry. The prospects not going anywhere, anytime soon are Max Pacioretty, Yannick Weber, and Ryan McDonagh. Matt D' Agostini's name will come up, as will goalie Jaroslav Halak." Robert L Nov 2008
Looking familiar? A few months removed we are from this post from our beloved blogger, and I ponder does any of it stand true today? Obviously we are missing McDonagh, in a rare and bizarre twist of fate that Gainey believed necessary for the good of 09 Habs. We are all waiting to pass judgement on this move.
Halak is my biggest concern out of this group. He's a solid goaltender who will not forever feed off the left over minutes from a not yet proven superstar. And after the time spent on the bench during the 07 and 08 playoffs, there needs to be some re-adjustment to current practices. The reality is, when the day comes to re-sign Halak, and he's wondering about playing time, I do not believe this talented Czech goaltender will be accepting of "we'll see". This is the year to part ways with the idea that Price is going to play 60 games and fair a winning percentage of 700 and have two goalies fresh enough so that when the play offs start they can manage a win with either one. If Price is going again to have the lions share of time, he needs to pony up. I think the fair thing, and I know my idealist character does not fit well in the world of business or roster making, but fair in the sense of getting the best out of what we have, I think a 3 to 1 ratio for games would be a good way to go... at least to begin the season with. Should Halak out perform Price, so be it, he then gets the 2 to 1 in his favor. These guys have years to perfect their talent, but in the mean time should we be the ones to sit and watch while one of them gets ruined? And the idea of getting rid of him and watching him play the starring role on some other team sickens me as much as it did after I watched Vokoun play in Fredricton and then get shipped to Nashville for nothing. He wold have eased us out of the Thibault/Theodore/Hacket eras. But I digress. Here's to the Habs doing what is right to get us into Cup Contention in 09/10!!
As for what will happen for Pacioretty, I am confident he will far outplay Guillaume. I'm sorry but think La-tenderness is passe... so too is O'Byrne. La-tenderness has shown some flare and ability and a consistent bettering of stats for his first number of years. Give the guy credit where it is due. But what kinda role is he supposed to be playing here in Montreal? He's lean and big, but rarely gets the tough goals. He can skate but doesn't on a consistent basis. And if he's paired with other bangers... his o stats are going to go down the tube. We cannot play him on the top two lines because of who else we have, and we lose part of him when he's buried in the 3rd and 4th. So what exactly do we do with him?? Yes he's a francophone and will do well in the eyes of the media (take a look at the guys on La Presse, or Demers, or the crew on TQS.. he's loved and adored by them). But francophone or not..its time to put up the stats he's being asked to contribute, or... sadly move on.
And the young D... all I have to say about them is... IN DUE TIME.... we'll get to see them when the time is right. Looking forward to Subban's enthuiasm for the game... and can't wait for his canon to be released on the PP.
Lets hope for the entertainment value none of these guys disappear in trades. I feel with all of the changes, keeping some things together for another little while will be important.