by Louis Moustakas
While the Canadiens roster seems pretty much set for the coming season, given the departures of Tom Pyatt, Jeff Halpern and Benoit Pouliot as well as the questionable health of Lars Eller, there is good reason to believe that management will look to add a bottom-six forward by the start of the campaign. Namely, it is believed that the squad should focus on acquiring someone with size, veteran saavy and defensive acumen. While the following players do not meet all of the aforementioned requirements, here are two names for your humble consideration: Chris Drury and Trent Hunter.
Drury’s goal and point totals have dropped every season since his arrival in the Big Apple, posting only 32 points two years ago. In 2010-2011, the American veteran suffered an injury shortened season that limited him to only 24 games and five points. Bought out this summer, his tenure in New York arguably did not meet the team’s expectations.
No doubt, Drury’s stock is in decline. However, he remains an intelligent player who can help on the penalty kill, provide extra scoring and, if need be, fill in on the top-6. In addition, he won an impressive 56.7% of his draws last season, which would have easily led the Canadiens in that category. Come playoff time, one also suspects his 89 post-season points and reputation for clutch scoring would be most welcome.
Hunter was sent to the Devils in exchange from Brian Rolston and was rapidly bought out by his new team, hence making him an unrestricted free agent. He too is coming off an injury plagued season that saw him dress for only 17 contests. Unlike Drury, he is not recognized for his defensive talents and is seldom trusted on the penalty kill. Nonetheless, Hunter remains a decent complimentary scorer, averaging around 15 goals and 35 points per year over his six previous NHL seasons. On top of his decent scoring ability, the Albertan winger brings a certain element of physicality and size to his game. At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, he would easily rank amongst the bigger forwards on the team and he is more than willing to use his frame to his advantage. Over his tenure on Long Island he regularly finished on the top-3 in hits.
In the end, either player could potentially bring much welcomed complimentary scoring. Chris Drury also brings championship experience, a veteran presence and defensive talents. Trent Hunter offers size and grit. Regardless, both help address current needs on the Canadiens roster.
Do you think Chris Drury or Trent Hunter would be good fits on the Habs? Who would you add to fill the bottom-six?
Louis is an editor at HabsWorld.net and has been writing about Canadiens and NHL hockey since 2009. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
by Louis Moustakas