Jacques Demers Plays Habs GM, Pick Dream team

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At RDS this past week, former coach Jacques Demers pronounced his thoughts on how he'd handle the Canadiens 10 free agents and the manner in which he would reconfigure the club's composition for next season.

Demers listed the players he would resign and why, who he would trade away, and which players he would acquire via trades and free agency in trying to rebuild the team. The choices somewhat mirror a small fraction of popular opinion, in that it resembles some of what is being said about individual players and the team as a whole by fans, media, and consensus onlookers.

Here are his ideas, translated from the RDS post, followed by what I think of each.

Unrestricted free agents

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Saku Koivu:

Koivu a beaucoup donné au Canadien et il aura 35 ans en novembre. Cependant, en raison de sa maladie et des blessures, c’est un peu comme s’il avait le corps d’un athlète de 45 ans. Il n’a jamais triché en ce qui concerne ses performances sur la patinoire et il mérite d’être apprécié ailleurs. À mon avis, ce serait la meilleure chose pour lui d’aller jouer ailleurs.

Koivu has given an awful lot to the Canadiens and he'll be 35 in November. Because of health concerns and injuries, it is as though he has the body of a 45 year old athlete. He's never shortchanged the Canadiens with his effort on the ice and he deserves to be appreciated elsewhere. In my thinking, it might be best for him to leave the scene.

Demers fails to note that this so called 45 year old athlete finished second in playoff scoring and hit Zdeno Chara in the first round more often than a slew of less courageous bodies. Still viewed by too many for what he is not as a player, rather than for all that he is, I still believe Koivu is a keeper for two more seasons. It is true that he tends to max out after giving it his all after 16 to 18 minutes, but a better supported Koivu would offer a generous upside on his usually consistent output. The two week tease of him productively centering Kovalev and Tanguay begs for further investigation. The bottom line in going forward with Koivu, depends largely upon the club bringing in a center capable of assuming a larger role than either Plekanec or Lang were able to provide this past season. The former's regression, and the latter's mid season injury, placed undue focus on Koivu, highlighting once more, for cynical viewers, that too much is being asked of him. His shortcomings should not be confused with the failures of others. On a whole other matter, having a European captain play his entire career in Montreal and retire a Canadien has unspoken dividends against several arguments concerning playing in the city for this organization. The respectful thing to do would be to allow Koivu to determine his own fate by putting his asking price on the table. If it were to be a fair demand, sign him. If otherwise, allow the long standing captain of the team a window of opportunity between now and July 1 to say a proper "so long" to Montreal on his terms. Koivu deserves the most dignified of partings, should that be his choice. It would be no less than heartbreaking to see him in any other jersey than that of the CH, playing out the string.

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Alex Kovalev:

Je n’hésite pas, j’accorde un nouveau contrat à Kovalev. Il demeure un joueur important et c’est difficile de dénicher des joueurs de talent. De plus, il appartient à la catégorie des joueurs qui semblent heureux à Montréal sans oublier qu’il est apprécié du public. J’admets qu’il aura besoin d’un entraîneur qui pourra s’asseoir avec lui pour bien le comprendre. Malgré ses 36 ans, Kovalev est encore en pleine forme et il peut aider le Canadien sur la patinoire. Par contre, je n’ai pas établi de montant maximal à lui offrir. Selon moi, Kovalev doit terminer sa carrière à Montréal.

I wouldn't hesitate to offer Kovalev a new contract. He remains an important player and it is not easy to acquire players of his talent. He also happens to fall into the category of players who seem happy in Montreal and he is appreciated by fans. I admit he needs to have a coach he can sit down and have a meeting of minds with. Despite his 36 years, he's in top shape and he can still help the Canadiens. I'm not sure what he's worth in contract terms, but if it was left to me, Kovalev would retire a Canadien.

I agree with every sentence of Demers' assessment on Kovalev. The Canadiens have no other star of Kovalev's magnitude, capable of capturing the fans' imagination and passion. Kovalev's abilities also polarize the opposition and without him in the lineup, teams would focus squarely on Andrei Markov's game to shut the Canadiens offense down. Kovalev can, and will, always have that enigmatic flipside that frustrates the hell out of defensive purists and fans of risk free hockey, but his flippant tendencies are offset by a trunkload of gamebreaking skills that keep opponants on their heels. Kovalev personifies hope when he's on his game, like no player in Montreal since the days of Guy Lafleur. Not being able to single out an equally assertive cannon on the club tells me the team needs Kovalev for at least two more seasons.

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Alex Tanguay:

Il n’y a aucun doute, je garde les services d’Alex Tanguay. S’il n’avait pas été blessé, il aurait connu une saison autour de 70 points. Tanguay a démontré qu’il peut être excellent avec un centre de premier plan sur le premier trio et personne ne peut contredire le fait que cette équipe a besoin d’offensive.

Without any doubt, I'd resign Tanguay. Had he not been hurt this past season, he would have had close to a 70 point season. Tanguay demonstrated that what he could accomplish with a strong center on the top line, and no one can contradict that the team is in need of offence.

Tanguay lifted a no - trade clause to enable a trade to the Canadiens - who passed up a first rounder to get him. Not retaining him after one season, at 29 years old, would be just plain dumb. In his injury shortened stint with the Habs, Tanguay revealed that he has the capacity to make those around him better players. On the downside, Tanguay also showed a certain fragility - in a Pierre Turgeon, Tin Man, kinda way. He's not a player to count on when the going gets tough, but he is a talented enough player to help bring a team to a point where such things matter.

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Robert Lang :

Unfortunately, Lang's interesting season ended on a sad note with a serious injury that could further compromise his play. It cannot be overlooked than Lang will be 39 in December. In pointing out that he earned every dollar of his contract, it must be said that the Canadiens have to be forward looking and spend their money wiser in order to improve.


Malheureusement, Lang a terminé sa saison intéressante sur une note décevante avec une grave blessure et il pourrait avoir des séquelles. Il ne faut pas oublier que Lang aura 39 ans en décembre. Je tiens à préciser qu’il a mérité tout l’argent que le Canadien lui a donné cette saison. Il s’est avéré un bon joueur pour le Canadien, mais il faut aller de l’avant et garder des fonds pour s’améliorer.

Going forward with Lang - as Demers points out - is not ideal, for several reasons. As Lang seemed to enjoy his time in Montreal, he remains a plan B option, depending on what the team does in regards to Koivu and Plekanec. His, is not an option to be dismissed until other scenarios are sorted out. The Canadiens should maintain an interested level of cvommunication with him up until certain pieces fall into place.

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Tom Kostopoulos :

No one doubts his heart and determiniation. However, the Canadiens want to progress and it is possible to upgrade here with a player of a similar style. I wouldn't want to part with him, but the Canadiens need to be stronger on the right wing where a larger physical presence is needed. He wouldn't be let go for lack of effort. He can play on my team anytime.

Personne ne peut douter du cœur et de la détermination de ce joueur. Cependant, le CH cherche à progresser et c’est possible de dénicher un joueur avec un style semblable. Je ne veux pas le laisser partir, mais le Canadien doit s’améliorer à l’aile droite afin d'avoir plus de robustesse et des joueurs plus imposants. Je ne le laisse pas quitter en raison d’un manque de détermination. J’ajoute qu’il peut jouer sur mon équipe n’importe quand.

Demers is dead on here. However one regards a player like Kostopoulos - and I love his hustle, determination, and leadership traits - the bottom line is his affordability versus effort ratio. A dozen teams in the NHL could make good use of his skills at his asking price, and it would be bad management for the Canadiens to pass on such a distinct asset in tough economic times. Sign him - at little risk - as he is a very tradable commodity down the line should a player surpass him on the depth chart.

Restricted free agents

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Tomas Plekanec:

J’accorderais un nouveau contrat à Plekanec, mais je préparerais une possible transaction l’impliquant. Je ne peux tout simplement pas le laisser aller sans obtenir quelque chose en retour. Plekanec représente le style de joueur qui peut intéresser des équipes à travers la LNH.

I'd offer Plekanec a new contract, but I would also look into trading him, as he simply can't be let go with no return. Plekanec represents the type of player that would interest many NHL teams.

I like parts of Plekanec's game, but what it misses is now loud and clear. I agree with Demers' take all the way, and I'd add that the Canadiens could be duped if they were to depend on a rebound season from him. Montreal should be able to resign him near the $2 million per season mark or less - and they should - but going forward with him in their plans is akin to planning for deja vu disappointment.

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Christopher Higgins :

Même s’il a connu une saison en dents de scie, je tiens à ce que Higgins reste avec le Canadien. Je suis convaincu qu’il y a quelque chose d’intéressant à faire avec Higgins en lui confiant un rôle spécifique. Je ne suis pas certain qu’il pourra devenir un marqueur de 30 buts, mais je considère qu’il peut aider le CH dans plusieurs facettes.

Although he had an up and down season, I'd see to it that Higgins remains with the team. I'm convinced that Higgins has an interesting upside to offer if used in the proper specific role suitable for him. I'm not certain that he can become a 30 goal scorer, but he can be of great use to the Canadiens in several other facets.

I'd sign Higgins for four seasons at $2.3 million. He had an off year progression wise, due to injuries. As a top liner, he was three goal posts away from a 30 goal season during a healthy campaign one year ago. Assessing his worth based on an off year would be misleading. As a player who can bring energy and shots to the net from any of the top four lines, as well as being an energetic penalty killer, Higgins is the type of multi role player all successful teams need. Throw in his leadership and compassionate dedication to winning, and Higgins is a very viable forward option. Moving ahead, if he does plateau, there is plenty of interest in him around the league to make signing him at these terms a very logical move.

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Guillaume Latendresse:

Je n’hésite pas une seule seconde et j’offre une nouvelle entente à cet ailier qui a démontré une belle progression.

I wouldn't hesitate one second to offer a new contract to this forward who has continually progressed over three seasons.

Three seasons of consistant progression, size, a wicked wrist shot, and a crease presence, make bringing in Latendresse a no brainer for no brainers. Nevermind the shortcomings of his game and consider the complete package, and Latendresse is a long term keeper in the right role - especially as a local kid. As a RFA, would he agree to $10 million over five seasons?

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Gregory Stewart:

Ce joueur est plus imposant, plus jeune et plus fort que Kostopoulos qui n’a pas le physique pour accomplir son rôle. Est-ce que Stewart pourra remplir cette mission et remplacer habilement Kostopoulos? Ce sera à lui de le prouver.

A more imposing, younger, and stronger player than Kostopoulos, who does not have the physical tools to accomplish his role. Could he be a suitable replacement for Kostopoulos? It would be up to him to prove it.


Sorry Jacques, Younger - yes. Stronger - maybe. More imposing at this stage than Kostopoulos - not a chance! You can't accuse Stewart of lacking conviction, but if the Habs are counting on him being more than he already is, they are thinner than we fear they are. Offer Stewart the exact same minor pro two way contract that he has presently, and live with the risk. He is two seasons seasons away from dreaming of stealing Kostopoulos' role.

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Matt D’Agostini:

Il a été repêché par le Canadien c’est pourquoi je continuerais d’être patient avec lui. Je travaille avec lui afin de le développer.

As a player that was drafted by the Canadiens, I'd continue to show patience with him, and work to develop him into a more rounded player.


As Montreal retains his rights, they should unvariably retain those rights. It is too early to tell the player that D' Agostini will become, but as he has an obvious compass in his eye, and remains a twofold asset in the save or trade later category.

What to do with the 5 free agent defensemen?

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Mike Komisarek:

Selon moi, il ne signera pas avec le Canadien, mais si j’étais dans les souliers du directeur général du Canadien, je lui ferais une offre et je garderais ses services. Attention, il y a un prix à ne pas dépasser dans son cas. Il peut encore rendre de précieux services au Tricolore, mais tout dépend du montant. Je n’ai pas une somme spécifique en tête, mais je peux songer à 3,5 ou 4 millions par saison. Est-ce qu’il vaut plus de cinq millions par saison? Ça revient au Canadien de mesurer sa valeur. Est-ce que Cristobal Huet méritait 22,5 millions pour quatre saisons? Parfois, les équipes accordent des contrats beaucoup trop élevés comme celui de Wade Redden (32,8 millions pour quatre saisons).

I have a feeling he will not resign with Montreal, but if I were in the Canadiens GM's shoes, I would offer him a contract while being careful not to overpay. He can can be of great use to the team, at the right price. With having a specific renumeration in mind, I'm hoping that something between $3.5 and $4.0 million is a fit. Is Komisarek worth more than $5 million a year? It would be up to the Canadiens to assess that value. Was Cristobal Huet worth $22.5 over four seasons? Sometimes teams overpay, such as in the case where the Rangers gave Wade Redden $32.8 million for four seasons.


Evaluating Komisarek after an injury plagued season requires some backtracking in regards to the causes for his misleading showing. All fans and onlookers witnessed more of the worst of him, in respect to his emergence in 2007-08, when compared to the best of him, offered one season prior. One season ago, Komisarek was among the most frequent hitters and shot blockers in the league. This past season, with injuries taken into consideration, he often looked as though he was a player attempting to do too much. When going beyond his abilities, he exposes his shortcomings. When he plays within his toolbox, he accentuates his positives to the point of dominance. Perhaps like his comrade Higgins, free agency may have forced him to push too hard in ways that compromised his basic game. Komisarek's presense, leadership, and grit aren't easily replaceable assets - especially at his age - but the questions beg for a sound monetary assessement in today's NHL market. The figure tagged to him reaches up to $6 miilion per season, but as an 11 point producer, the sum seems awful lofty. My take is that if Komisarek is worth as much, the Habs should gamble on the chance to land Florida's Jay Bowmeester for a bit more. In bargaining terms, couldn't the Canadiens get François Beauchemin from Anaheim to fullfill the same role for three million dollars per season less?

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Mathieu Schneider:

Schneider est âgé de 39 ans et le Canadien a la chance de miser sur un défenseur très prometteur en Yannick Weber qui pourrait devenir un autre Mark Streit. Il mérite donc une véritable chance de se faire valoir. Schneider est avant tout un spécialiste du jeu de puissance et Weber peut finir par chausser ses patins et il n’a que 20 ans.

Schneider is 39 years old and the Canadiens have Yannick Weber in their midst, a player who could soon fill Mark Streit's role. Weber deserves a fair shot. Schneider is above all else a powerplay specialist, and Weber at 20 can fill his shoes.


Asking the question, is to answer it. I like Schneider in a Brisebois type role at similar salary numbers, but going forward Weber is the solution. Schneider is all about PP upside. Defensively, it gets scary from there. Might as well give Weber the icetime, as the only conclusion to be drawn from Schneider's assessment involves conclusion. Weber is all about open end possibility.

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Francis Bouillon: 

Ça me brise le cœur de le laisser aller, c’est un athlète tellement courageux. Mais quand je regarde le portrait, Roman Hamrlik est encore sous contrat pour deux autres saisons. Je commence à craindre que Hamrlik occupe le poste de deuxième défenseur du côté gauche. Je n’ai pas le choix et je tente de m’améliorer à ce chapitre en mettant la main sur un meilleur défenseur gaucher numéro deux. Hamrlik serait un défenseur idéal sur la troisième paire à gauche. C’est la seule et unique raison pour laquelle je prends cette décision car j’aimerais garder Bouillon dans mon organisation, mais je dois respecter le contrat de Hamrlik.

It would break my heart to let him go, because he is such a courageous athlete. I'm looking at the big picture that includes Roman Hamrlik for two more seasons. It's worrying that Hamrlik is slotted as a second paired defenseman on the left side. I'd have no choice but to try to improve at that spot and try to get an upgrade at that position. Hamrlik would be ideal in that pairing on the third line. That's the one and only reason I'd mke that decision. I'd like to keep Bouillon on board, but I'd have to respect Hamrlik's contract.

 

Yes I like Frankie Boo too, because he gives his all every game. The bigger question is, who does he scare? He's workable as a fifth or sixth D - man on a playoff team, but is he a viable solution on a legitimate contender? As I believe we have seen the best that Bouillon has to offer, my answer is "No". Oxo Cube will have tons of clout on Anti Chambre in three years time. It's hard to follow Demer's logic here, as he seems to be saying two things as once in regard to Hamrlik, without a hell of a lot of clarity.

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Mathieu Dandenault: 

Grâce à sa polyvalence, Dandenault s’est gagné un poste avec une autre équipe. J’ignore cependant s’il pourra toucher un salaire de 1,75 million. Dandenault a démontré hors de tout doute qu’il peut encore aider une équipe de la LNH et le Canadien ne sait pas où l’utiliser. Je ne crois pas et qu’il pourrait jouer une saison complète à la ligne bleue si le CH veut absolument progresser. De plus, le Canadien devra absolument acquérir un gros défenseur s’il perd les services de Mike Komisarek.

Due to his polyvalence, Dandenault has earned himself a contract with another team. I wouldn't go on a limb and say he'll continue to earn $1.75 million. Dandeneault displayed without a doubt that he can still help out an NHL team, but the Canadiens cannot decide where he fits best. I don't believe that he can play a full season on defense for Montreal if they are concerned with progressing. In addition, the Canadiens may have to seek out another big defenseman if they are to lose Komisarek's services.

 

Dandenault represents another Brisebois type, seventh D man solution, at best. Given that he offers a workmanlike, professional attitude to a role that sees him as a pinch hitter in a forward / blueline role, I'd tender him a million per season salary for two seasons in that capacity. He may be offered slightly more elsewhere with less glory, but I'd run the risk. Dandenault's staying on won't make or break the Habs season.

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Patrice Brisebois :

Je prépare une retraite dans le plus grand respect pour ce vétéran défenseur et je songe sérieusement à lui confier un poste d’entraîneur des défenseurs si je suis l’entraîneur-chef de la formation montréalaise. Brisebois est rendu au point où il peut accomplir ce travail; il a atteint le plateau des 1000 matchs, il a remporté la coupe Stanley et il a vu un peu tout ce qui se fait dans la LNH. Je crois qu’il peut rendre de précieux services au Canadien dans cette fonction. Le seul regret qui me préoccupe c’est que je laisserais malheureusement partir trois Québécois en Bouillon, Dandenault et Brisebois.

I would respectfully prepare Brisebois for retirement and offer him a position coaching the team's blueline. Brisebois has reached a point where he is capable of accomplishing that task. After a 1000 games and a Stanley Cup, Brisebois has seen it all at the NHL level, and I believe he can render a precious service to the Canadiens in that role. My one regret here is that the team is letting go of three Quebec born players in Bouillon, Dandenault et Brisebois.

I'd offer Brisebois a barstool at a Habs alumni party, and nothing more. After 18 seasons in the league, a defenseman who cannot properly identify an oncoming shot block or a responsible pinch play opportunity, is hardly the former Hab I want coaching up and comers. Eric Desjardins, Craig Ludwig, and Larry Robinson, are all more affordable teachers, in that sense.

Marc Denis as Carey Price's backup?

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Marc Denis: 

Je ne doute pas une seule seconde que Denis mérite un autre contrat pour servir de police d’assurance. Je ne connais pas en détail le rendement qu’il a offert cette saison avec les Bulldogs. Bien sûr, le deuxième gardien du Canadien doit être capable de jouer et si Denis peut remplir ce mandat, c’est un vétéran idéal pour un gardien comme Carey Price. Présentement, Jaroslav Halak occupe ce poste, mais je ne sais pas s’il peut garder le sourire dans ce rôle. Je serais sans doute en mesure de l’inclure dans une transaction et je crois qu’il vaut plus que l’on pense sur le marché.

I do not doubt for a second that Denis has earned another contract with the Canadiens in a goaltending assurance policy position. I do not know in detail the assessment he offered in Hamilton this season. For certain, the backup goalie in Montreal will have to play a number of games and if Denis can fill that role, he'd be ideal alongside Carey Price. I'm not sure Jaroslav Halak is content to continue being a backup. I would include him in a trade, as I believe he has more market value than you think.

 

Demers speaks out of both sides of his mouth here, saying that without a doubt he'd re - up Denis and one sentence later admitting he knows little of what went on in Hamilton. He might not have encountered the article earlier this season regarding Denis, or else. he would certainly know that the Habs brass hardly consider Denis in future terms. The Bulldogs played a game at the Bell Centre this season, in front of the entirety of the Canadiens think tank, losing a game on soft goals in which Hamilton held the lead. His Habs fate was sealed, as after each weak goal, Gainey, Pierre Gauthier, Trevor Timmons and Julien Brisebois, all shook their heads at each other, in silent glances that said it all. Denis isn't even a viable Hamilton proposition, moving forward. Sorry, Jacques, but the goalie backing up Price needs to have seen NHL shots for a full season.

How the team looks presently, according to Demers' plans so far.

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Tanguay - ? – Kovalev
Kostitsyn – Plekanec - ?
Latendresse – Lapierre - ?
Higgins – Metropolit – Laraque

Markov – Komisarek
Hamrlik – Gorges
? – Weber

Subs : O’Byrne, S. Kostitsyn, Stewart

C’est le moment de vous dévoiler ma stratégie pour rebâtir le Canadien. Je regarde évidemment du côté des joueurs autonomes de premier plan, mais je mets tous mes effots à compléter à une transaction majeure pour acquérir les services de Vincent Lecavalier et Martin St. Louis. Bien sûr, le Lightning doit accepter ce projet. Je cède donc Tomas Plekanec, les frères Andrei Kostitsyn et Sergei Kostitsyn, Josh Gorges et Jaroslav Halak. Je me tourne ensuite du côté des joueurs autonomes et je repêche six joueurs importants : François Beauchemin, Ian Laperrière, Nik Antropov, Chris Neil ainsi que les défenseurs Niclas Havelid et Jordan Leopold.

Here is Demers' strategy for rebuilding the Canadiens. Obviously be looking at premier free agents first, but I would put all my effort into acquiring Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis. Of course, the Lightning would have to go along with it. I'd offer a package of Plekanec, the Kostitsyn brothers, Josh Gorges and Halak. Then I would focus on signing six important free agents: François Beauchemin, Ian Laperrière, Nik Antropov, Chris Neil ainsi que les défenseurs Niclas Havelid and Jordan Leopold.

Here then, would be the composition of Demers' retooled Canadiens team:

Tanguay – Lecavalier – Kovalev
D’Agostini – Antropov – St-Louis
Latendresse – Lapierre - Neil
Laraque – Metropolit – Laperrière

Markov – Komisarek
Hamrlik – Beauchemin
Havelid – Leopold

Subs : Weber, Stewart, O’Byrne

Je complète ce grand travail de reconstruction en embauchant Bob Hartley à titre d’entraîneur-chef. À mes yeux, il représente le candidat idéal. Et vous, quelles sont vos pistes de solution?

The final touch is hiring Bob Hartley as coach, who in my eyes is the ideal candidate for the job. What are your thoughts? 

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Okay, Jacques, since you asked.

First off, where did Chris Higgins disappear to? Demers hasn't traded him - perhaps he's just been forgotten!

Next, does Demers not know that Gainey has burned the bridge to a trade with Tampa by ranting out Bolts GM Lawton recently. I doubt Gainey is interested in repairing it.

Further on, why bring in both Lecavalier AND St. Louis, if the plan doesn't involve playing them together?

I mostly like the players Demers adds, with the exception of Antropov, who I only like 35 games out of 82. Beauchemin is a perfect 4th D man solution that I'm certain Gainey will investigate. Havelid is excellent third pairing depth at a high price. Leopold, I'm not as familiar with, but I have read good things about him. Watching him in playoff games with Calgary, didn't leave me with any particular impression good or bad.

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Neil and Laperrière are definite upgrades on Kostopoulos, but I'd rather Laperrière with Lapierre and Latendresse and Neil with Higgins and Metropolit. Neil, in my esteem is also an upgrade on Laraque, acts first and talks after the fact. Laraque just talks and talks. I'd ship Laraque back to Edmonton for Zack Stortini.

Demer's top line of Lecavalier, Tanguay and Kovalev looks like it would have all kinds of punch, but the trio of Antropov, St. Louis and D' Agostini seems dysfunctional and ill fitting. I'd much rather see Koivu, Higgins and Andrei Kostitsyn there instead.

If I were to offer a trade proposal to Tampa for Lecavalier, it would include Plekanec, Halak, Gorges, Sergei K and Laraque. I'd dangle David Fischer and the rights to Alexandre Perezhogin as further incentives, but nothing more. To replace Halak, I d' sign Mathieu Garon as Price's backup.

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The cap math for Demers' acquisitions versus his subtractions is not stated, but a quickie rundown makes it appear impossible. Supposing that next season's cap takes a slight drop to $55 million, the Canadiens currently have $32 million to spend. If you substract the salaries of the players Demers trades ( Andrei and Sergei K, Gorges, Halak, not counting a resigned Plekanec) it clears roughly $5.7 to $6 million. The team would then have $38 million to add the 13 players Demers brings on board.

With only the enumeration for Lecavalier ($7.8 M) and St. Louis ($4.0 M) assured, making the 13 contracts fit seems unlikely. Given that the Canadiens will be competing with other clubs for these players, it is anyone's guess where the salary numbers would come in. Fairly reasonable assumptions on the part of the returnees to the Canadiens organization would see pricetags as follows for Tanguay ($5.3 M), Kovalev ($4.5M), Komisarek ($4.5 M), Latendresse ($1.2 M), and Denis ($1.0 M). Add in slight raises in order to acquire Antropov ($2.1 M), Neil ($2.0 M), Laperrière ($1.2 M), Beauchemin ($2.5 M), Havelid ($3.0 M), and Leopold ($1.5 M), and the tally comes in at $40.6.

As for posting my own Habs dream team for 2009-10, it will come in time. I'm not in a rush!

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