Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NHL Free Agent Frenzy: Willey's Wish List

Hello ARM Chair GM's.

The 2013 NHL Draft is now behind us, Compliance buyouts have pretty much all been made and the window for Unrestricted Free Agency is upon us.

Are you as excited as I am?

I love Free Agent Frenzy more than anyone.  

It's the time of year where my NHL13 game sees and endless amount of trades.  I mean , I must have changed my roster 20 or more times this week alone.

Before I tell you what my current wish list entails, let just give you a quick recap of what our current roster looks like for the star of the 2013-14 season.



Are you thinking what I am thinking about the above?

Blarg !!!!!!

I see the above roster and can't help but think that this club is going to have some major issues.

Our defense is aging and slow, and there is a serious lack of depth up front with the departure of Ryder, Armstrong, Halpern and Nokalienen. And I am not even going to start with the omnipresent lacks size in the top 6 and on D alike.

I know that we are just a couple years away from seeing the likes of Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulioeu, Dalton Thrower, Charles Hudon, Sebastien Collberg, etc.... but the fact is that these guys are not quite ready and we are in need of some help.

So with that said, here is my wishlist.


The way I see it, we have room for at least two players up front but for arguments sake I will name three.

First: Ryane Clowe.

I know that there is this perception that he is over the hill and injury prone. I do however find it odd to have this negative connotation towards the guy and then see these very same nay sayers praise and applaud the suggested signing of Nathan Horton.

Yes Clowe may have lost a step when it comes from getting from the corners to the front of the net but he is still extremely effective along the boards, is more than willing to stand in front of the net and will without a doubt stick up for any and all teammates.
For a team like the Habs that will see the departure of character locker room guys like Armstrong, and Halpern, his arrival will be very well received.

Contract: I would love to see him sign for a Three year $12 million contract however to ensure his services, the Habs would have to offer that 4th year.

Second: Eric Nystrom

If you do not absolutely love this guy, then you cannot possibly be a fan of hockey.

Although listed as a LWer, Nystrom is more than accustomed to playing center. He is a gritty, hard nosed, effective penalty killer who excels in the faceoff circle, and like Clowe will defend teammates whenever called upon.

Contract: Look for Nystrom to sign a three year $4.5 million contract.

Third: Daniel Cleary

There is no denying that Daniel Cleary is on the down swing of his career. He is only 34 years old, but as the adage says, he is an old 34. Cleary’s production has declined over the past few years but he remains a very reliable third line left winger capable of playing on the PK and providing leadership in the locker room.

And if the 2013 NHL playoffs proved anything, he is still an effective offensive player willing to go to the dirty areas of the ice.

With a surplus of talent on the horizon and with a lack of LW depth, Cleary may just be the perfect stop gap on a short 2 year contract until the reinforcements arrive.

Contract: A two year deal worth $1.8 million per season


With seven players already under contract for the coming season on one way contracts and arguably two to three players no more than a year away, the Habs should be looking for a real stop gap on a short term solution.

There are definitely a list of appealing names out there like Rob Scuderi, Douglas Murray, etc.. however the big name players will be looking at three + year contracts which is not something Montreal should be looking at.

The Habs need a cheap contract on the verge of expiring.

As such look for them to offer a one year deal to one of the following:

First: Steve Montador.

The oft-injured defensemen formerly from the Chicago Blackhawks is a dependable #5-6 Dman. There have been rumours of Bergevin’s interest in him ever since his arrival as GM of the Montreal Canadiens. Adding him now only seems like a 

Contract: One year at $1.9 million 

Second: Mike Komisarek

Ok. Let me pause here for a second. Get the laughs out. Commence the ridicule and get back on you chair because I am sure you fell off laughing.

I am sure I am going to be called every name under the sun but call it a hunch, a guess or straight out blind faith, but I really believe that Komisarek can play a regular shift with this team assuming that he is expected to play limited minutes on a bottom pairing.

I am a firm believer that certain players can only perform in certain situations and there is no way of denying the fact that Komisarek was horrible while in Toronto.

It’s happened to guys like Dnaiel Cleary, Bates Battaglia, Erik Cole and so many many more. To be honest this entire situation reminds me a lot of when Stephane Quintal decided to jump ship after some good years in Montreal and headed to the NYR. It didn’t work at all and Quintal was soon shipped back to the 514.

In Toronto he was expected to be a physical and dominant force. He was expected to drop the gloves, hit like a truck and be opposing out there on the ice. Problem is that Komisarek although good with the body is not a fighter or opposing figure. Let him play behind the likes of Moen, White, Prust, Nystrom, Clowe, et al… and we’ll see another effective Komisarek.

Contract: One year at $1.5 million.

I know that you are going to disagree with me.  Let me have it.


You are insane.. You think Tinordi's not starting? But he can play in the Playoffs? Galchy will be 2nd line winger. And Also Hes been Working like a beast on Faceoffs.
We need a First line Centre Bubs. Daniel Cleary? Too small. If you havent noticed we are upping size. Mike Komy? Are you serious?! Guys and AHL player now, Hes riddled with injuries, Doesnt play hard at all anymore. Way to slow. Cant Move horrible first pass. Being A Part of this franchise I'm glady Galchy showed me this. Your way off on our prospects "distance from the league" Get a grip bud.

I don't see Montreal going after anyone on the blue line.

I would love to see Weiss in the bleu, blanc, rouge

First of all Tinordi is ready....No NO way Kamisarek he has done nothing from the time he came to NHL except taking stupid penalties at the wrong times...The rest not bad choices!!!

I wouldn't touch Komi with a ten foot pole, but I would take Gill back. As far as ur theory on short term deals to fill the gap till the young guy's can bring it yes and no. Moen and Blunden shouldn't be in the line-up(unless they plan on playing head and shoulders above their play last year) and then how bout Gionta? Will he even be ready to go and if so where is he going to be at 70% 80% of his former self? There is a lot of holes imo but some of the forward's u mentioned make sense for sure. On a healthy line-up I would like to see Chucky at centre Pac's to the left and Gionta, after that it's all pretty sketchy as far as scoring and talent goes. The only reason Gally & Desharnis have done what they have is because of balls to the wall hard work, throw Prust out with them would help, but after time injury's will catch up with that kind of play. Plec's is a second line centre at best(on some teams he would be 3rd)but with Bourque and maybe Eller with him would add some much needed size to help him out. White and two young fellas, who show that their work ethic is NHL ready sittin on the 4th. At least we would have 3 lines that have talent and skill plus some size and then the kid line trying to prove them selfs

We are seasons away of becoming what we need to be in this division, need size and grit, and more 1st round picks, plus it would be nice to see price win a playoff round, that hasn't happened since 2007. The Montreal Canadiens are a team that has a few pieces playing up in the bigs, but the rest remain in the Ahl.
It will take some time before they are ready, so until then we must wait. I believe that if we land a ufa the impact it will have is merely to fill a hole but not to build on it. I believe MB knows this , and with his corner pieces of price, pk, Gallagher, galchenyuk, tinordi, Eller, and a few others, his vision from being competitive to a contender is far away.

Cammellari, bring Ryder back, Clarkson would be good. Ferrence, sorry but need halpren for a full season

Trade plekanac, gionta while you still can. One is doesn't show up in the playoffs, the other has the injury bug, I like gionta but to get value move him now, captain or not. Sorry

forget komisarek.i love ference,he is meaner and way better then komi, and maybe clowe.

Where's Emelin in your roster ????? Come on.....

I like your Clowe signing but nothing suggest he deserves 4 mill a year. I would give him 2.5- 3.5 mill for 3 years. Anymore then that I think you will regret. The rest of the guys on your list I would leave alone.

Iginla would be helpful for about 4 mill a year for three years. He could play on 2nd line moving gionta or bourque down. He still creates space and Mtl has cap space.

Talk is cap goes back up to 70 mill next year which gives them room to sign Subban and Eller and Emelin next year. (markov and gionta salary gone.)

Hendricks would be nice 4th line centre. Not sure if they could afford him if they got the other guys I mentioned.

I think Tinordi will be in the line up before Drewski considering he played ahead of him in the playoffs.
Also I give Leblanc a chance to crack lineup in the bottom 6 this year or be pkged in trade.
I believe trades could help.
Might need to pkg some players with a couple of prospects.

Desharnais for Edler

Ideal lineup
bourque-pleck-iginla (4)

gionta could move up and down line-up. A lot of possibilities with that talent.

Defence to start year
Edler- Markov
Gorges- Subban
Tinordi- Boullion
Drewski and Diaz (in to give Boullion nights off)

When Emelin returns
Edler- Subban
Markov- Emelin
Gorges- tinordi

I would be happy with this and I believe it would not be difficult to accomplish.

Anon where is Emelin? The answer is the recovery room. He'll be missing for 2+ months next year. And I think we've already seen what happens when he is not there.

Couple of things here. Clowe is not going to sign for that money. He'll get $4illion plus in likely 5-6 other markets. Question is do we step up now?

And Desharnais for Edler? Seriously? Let me ask you a question. Would you trade Gorges for Gerbe? My guess is no, which is the answer we'd get when Gillis hangs up the phone.

Can't see Weiss here at all. With DD,Pleks, Eller, Gally we are already stock piled down the middle.

Cammalleri and Clarkson are both $6 million players which we won't be able to fit in the cap unless Bergevin unloads some of the core players.

Ryder never wanted to come back to MTL and will definitely not resign.

Insane Perhaps but the Habs have no prospects ready for the jump. Tinordi is likely the closest but the other reason he was here was because of his size.

He still chases the puck in the defensive zone, is still kaosong body strength to contain bigger forwards, is still caught of of position on many plays. He's gonna be a good one, but he's not ready to be a regular yet. He may be forced to this season but he's not ready.

Apart from tinordi then who is ready? Beaulieu, Nygren, Pateryn? And who among forward? Hamilton had no scoring last season and all of sudden we're going to see a 180 with that? No way.

Habs are on the rise, we just need 1 more year and then we'll see Markov, Bouillon, and yes possibly Komisarek off the books and Tinordo and Beaulieu ready to folllthe void.

I simplified the desharnais deal for Edler. These were the key players. As I mentioned just before that you would have to add prospects. Maybe throw in Diaz. They are looking to drop salary. I would be surprised if clowe gets more then 3.5 in this market. Third line forward. I guess we will see.

Vancouver just lost Ballard and so if Edler is dealt they will need someone capable of top pairing minutes. Only one that makes sense on the Habs that fits that bill would be Gorges back to home province.

I have been hearing alot of talk of Markov to Edmonton however. Specifically Moen and Markov.

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D Garnet Exelby, D Andrew Ference, D Steve Eminger, D Matt Gilroy, D Douglas Murray, D Ryan O'Byrne.

These are some of the FA D I would extend offers too. And not generous offers, either. Mostly physical, stay at home types. Gilroy and Eminger are Rangers, who tend utilize solid all-around, no star D corps.

I listed in my article about the Habs needs and their odds of solving them via FA, that I did not feel they needed to add a defender as a priority and I still feel that way.

Markov, Subban, Gorges, Diaz, Drewiske, Bouillon, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn and injured Emelin is plenty of depth and while some argue that the youngsters aren't ready, we're not asking them to log top-line minutes.

I would move gorges and desharnais for edler. Desharnais is replaceable from within the organization. Take the cap room available and saved to put towards bigger wingers.

What are hearing may come back from Edmonton for Markov and Moen? Not sure I would move Markov at this point without a top four D man coming back to the organization.

Although there is depth on the blueline it is not exactly a powerhouse blueline to start with. Gorges play slipped last year, Markov is slowing down, Diaz has obvious defensive liabilities, boullion is a 6or 7 that should get 10- 12 minutes a game. Mtl could use some top four depth on the blueline

I am also seeing Briere linked to Mtl alot. Hope this is just rumors. If not I think he is simply a replacement for Gionta and Mtl should be looking to move Gionta if Briere is coming. Again MTl should be saving cap space in that scenario.

I was actually laughing more at the Cleary suggestion than the Komisarek suggestion. Both are awful choices though. The other picks are ok, but I can't see MB giving Clowe a 4 year deal like that. I believe Tinordi is ready and I also think that we will see the current roster to begin the pre season. This roster isn't great but it doesn't call for a desperate signing. The problem will be staying healthy. Look at your proposed second line. I could see any one of those guys sitting out for 3 months at any given point during the season. Also, nobody is giving up what we need for Desharnais, so kill that talk immediately.

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