Thursday, June 28, 2012

Habs News, Darche Out, Wideman, Krueger and More

Mathieu Darche - Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins
Good morning Hab fans!

We tend to focus a lot on Montreal's need to obtain help in the scoring department, but it is also worth noting that the team's bottom-six will need a serious makeover this summer.

As you probably know by now, Mathieu Darche is set to become an unrestricted free agent and will not be returning with the Canadiens. It appears that management offered him a lesser, two-way deal which he in turn refused.

Along with his departure, it is worth remembering that Andreas Engqvist made his way to the KHL and that Michael Blunden as well as Petteri Nokelainen were not tendered qualifying offers. Adding the late season trade of Andrei Kostitsyn and the potential departure of UFA Travis Moen, Marc Bergevin finds himself with many holes to plug in the team's forward lines.

So, my question to you is this: Who would you like to see acquired to fill a bottom-six role on the Habs?

Habs News

HabsAddict - Patrice Brisebois and the Habs Player Development

HabsAddict - Montreal Canadiens Top Priorities Part 3: Max Pacioretty

HabsWorld - 2012 UFA Preview: Defencemen

La Presse - Canadien: un oeil sur Larry Robinson?

La Presse - Darche et Campoli au sein du comité de négociations

RDS - «J'espérais vraiment revenir» -Darche

TSN - Darche turns down Canadiens offer; headed for free agency

Hockey News

ESPN - Wideman deal means Flames aren't rebuilding

ESPN - Quick contract talks progressing

Sports Illustrated - NHLPA a pushover no more, gears up for CBA talks

The Hockey News - Ken Campbell: Expect more active, organized NHLPA

The Hockey News - Ryan Kennedy: Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones top 2013 draft class

TSN - Flames acquire D Wideman; sign him to five-year contract

TSN - Numbers Game: Flames trade for, then sign, Wideman

Louis' Note: Is there anyone, save for Jay Feaster, who thinks this a good move? That's what I thought.

TSN - McKenzie: Oilers convinced Krueger will bring change

TSN - Oilers introduce Krueger as new head coach

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)


Not sure by what you mean holes, i see none?


More like who is 13th forward Louis?

Which of these 7 gets to sit? Palushaj maybe?

@Anon: Right now, there is no guarantee that Moen or Staubitz will be back.

Eller, Leblanc and White are locks but Palushaj is a player I could very easily see being moved as part of a deal.

What Montreal needs more of in their bottom-6 is size.

If you bring back Moen and Staubitz, for example, I wouldn't hesitate to grab Latendresse on the open market.

He is a better player than he was when he left Montreal, and he could fit in nicely with Eller and Leblanc on the third line.


I echo what Kamal says above. Moen and Staubitz are UFAs and are hardly locks to return.

Palushaj and Geoffrion could just as easily find their way to the AHL. In fact, I'm not entirely sold on Palushaj as an NHLer.

Then, should dead-weight Bourque be moved — here is hoping — that is another forward spot to fill.

Personally, I am keen on the idea of Latendresse's return. His size and scoring would like great next to Eller and amply replace the departed AK46.

Also, let's keep in mind, a genuine fourth line centre is also needed. Last year, the attempted trio of Blair Betts (injured), Petteri Nokelainen and Andreas Engqvist was less than stellar.

*Would look great (not like)... oops.


I cannot believe the support that Darche was getting.

250 games and a grand total of 30 goals. His best season was a 12 goal campaign and we are praising him like he's the second coming of Jesus.

Ok so he is a nice guy, great family man but he is a 4th line to possibly 13th forward on a team who gives every every yet struggles.

Darche is a 4th line guy who had 79 hits last season in 61 games. I say thanks for the service but you are easily replaceable for someone who can actually bring an element that we need.

I mean why are we not showing any love for Michael Blunden? Blunden scored 4 points in less than half a season compared to Darche's 12.

Blunden played 9 minutes a game compared to Darche's 12 minutes and yet despite less ice time and games played Blunden still had 104 hits in 39 games.

Am I sad to see Blunden but by that same token I would much rather have him on this team than Darche.

Would love to see Moen back and instead of Staubitz bring in George Parros.
Brandon Prust & Paul Gaustad would be a great additions to our bottom 6.

Unfortunately I think all the guys I want will get plenty of offers and Mtl will not likely be their first choice so we may again have to overpay.
I would prefer to see Leblanc dominate in the AHL this year.


Spares: Parros & Geoffrion or Palushaj

I'm a francophone, 100% Quebecer and I can safely say I won't miss Darche. I don't even know why we kept him, except maybe for his leadership. Maybe Marc Bergevin can find him a desk job? hehe

I'd like George Parros on the 4th line. Give Staubitz his 4% and hire him instead. Lee Stempniak also maybe? He's the strong and steady type. On the LW there's Jean-Francois Jacques, begging to be signed.

loveeeeeeeeeeeeee the gaustad /white/prust line !! exactly what mtl needs, and maybe a "steve ott" in the top 9 !!


A great line but we would be looking at almost a $7 million 4th line which is way too much. WOuld love the 3 but Gaustad is more of a #3 center.

For me you have to build a $3-4 million 4th line with guys like White, Asham, Jacques, Konopka, Staubitz, etc...


I agree about Blunden. I realize his kind come a dime a dozen, but between his hitting prowess and youth, he seemed like a worthy 12-13 forward.

@All / Bryan

In a previous comment, I mentioned how the fourth line C stunk last year. To me, the perfect fit would be a Zenon Konopka (who, Bryan, you name above). Excellent in the faceoff dot, physical and able to fight. Not a bad mix, no?


Just don't understand this love-in with Darche. He was a borderline NHL player. He's gone...big deal.

Konopka is one of those guys I've wanted here for the past 2 years simply because of that faceoff ability. He's one of the best in the league and it is a face twe have issues with.

Gaustad does the same but we're talking about $700k vs $3 million perhaps?

To me White has to be a Winger then we need a guy like Konopka down the middle and then ideally a guy like Moen or Prust on the wing. If not one of those guys then just a hard nosed, in your face hard forechecking type of guy.

Maybe the answer is Schultz out of Hamilton?

What about Hudler for Plecky and Brian I like that line

I think with Eller as our other Center costing us around 1.5M we could afford Gaustad at 3M. We need a big C that can win provide some secondary scoring, win face-offs and play tough. Konopka is a bad penalty machine. Yes, he can fight and win face-offs but there's a reason why he gets moved around a lot....
Why not have 2 balanced bottom lines?
I think we can find a 3-4M veteran 2nd line winger from the UFA list. Someone like Huselius or Parenteau.
There always a chance that Galchenyuk is kept and he plays the wing to start.
All this can only play out if Gomez & Kaberle are off the books.


I don't think Parenteau is worth $3-4 million that he'll receive. I mean 18 goals for $4 million is way more than what I want to pay. Personally I'd rather struggle giving a kid like Gallagher or Geoffrion a chance then bring him in. Maybe just me though.

As for Konopka, yes he does take bad penalties but all goons do that. People want o bring back Staubitz but Konopka is just as good as fighter but at least has that extra element of faceoffs. Personally Staubitz would be low on my list because he is so unidimensional.

Gaustad would be great but wth such a limited UFA group he is going to get absolute top dollar. These are the situations we have to avoid IMO


I agree Parenteau is not worth that money but he has 120 pts over the last 2 season. As a UFA, I think he will get at least 3M. There just aren't many 60 pt wingers out there. UFAs will always get overpaid because they don't cost you any assets.
Now that we signed Nokalainen I think Konopka and Gaustad are out.
I would go hard after Parros, he would be very handy in the Gaaaaden.

@ HH

I will be honest. I was on that Parenteau bandwagon but primarily because even though I am an Anglo, I want to see a Francophone star here. But to be honest again, I would rather see Latendresse here than Parenteau and I think he'd be cheaper.

As for Nokaleinen, I don;t think he will have any impact on who we sign on the 4th line. Way I see it, he is a 13th-14th forward anyway so he is making near the league minimum and ads depth.

With that said we need major toughness to protect our small and younger players. Subban is abused, Plekanec is pushed around, what happens if we get Galchenyuk up here as well.

If this was me making the team I would add some real tough players. I would add a guy like Sheldon Brookbank as our 7th Dman. Play him when there are injuries and when we need to get some serious toughness in that line-up.

I desperately want us to add Prust but am afraid of the price tag. Am also hoping that Moen stick around and then a guy like a Staubitz/Parros/Jacques/Konopka type of guy.

Let's walk into Boston with Moen, White, Prust, Brookbank and a real fighter like a Parros in our corner. We'll be pushed around a hell of alot less.

Plus best thing about this is that Moen, White, Prust don't hurt you with big minutes.

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