With the new salary structure in place, Patrice Brisebois’ salary was just too much of a price to pay. The much maligned veteran blueliner parted ways with the Habs, the only club he has ever suited up for in the league, by way of the Habs choosing to not exercise his option. However, don’t rule out the possibility of him returning to his hometown club.
He has been picked apart so often over the past few seasons that it’s almost not worth mentioning. On the other hand, there have been times where he has shone very brightly.
Brisebois is an excellent puck mover (whether he moves that puck to the right team is debatable sometimes), and a very solid veteran player to have on the backend, especially on a team that will probably feature two young defenceman in the opening day lineup in Mike Komisarek and Ron Hainsey.
Since it was the Habs choosing not to exercise his option, not a buyout, we appear to have the option of bringing him back onto the squad. Had we simply bought him out, I believe the new CBA would not have allowed us to resign a bought out player.
While there are so many people on the open market who could slide into Montreal and probably make a positive impact, Brisebois is a guy that more than likely wants to play here. His welcome was a little warmer as the season wore on last time around, due to his play greatly improving.
He could fit well to the right of Ron Hainsey on the third pairing, if the position was open. During one of Hainsey’s brief stints with the Habs in the previous years, he played quite well with the 34-year-old Breezer. While the two could potentially leave a lot to be desired defensively some nights, do not underestimate the power of a calming, Cup-winning, career 79-goal scorer in Brisebois.
When all is said in done, it appears that this could be the very end for Brisebois in a Habs uniform. While Bob Gainey has mentioned that he will look at the Unrestricted Free Agent market, he did not rule out the possibility of his most elderly defenceman returning. Count it as unlikely, sure, but when it comes to Brisebois, he’s a name worth keeping in the back of your head. Who knows if he’ll pop back up in a weeks time.
Gainey also announced that the team has declined their option on AHL C Gavin Morgan. Morgan played 76 games with the Bulldogs last season, notching 10 goals, with 23 assists, 147 PIMS, and a -4 rating as the team’s checking centre.