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With the trade deadline almost here, it’s time
to look at some of the players that may be in play for the Habs.  This
week, 20 players have been ranked, including some that haven’t been mentioned by
anyone yet.  We’ll also have the weekly grades, plus the regular Bulldogs
coverage, including part 2 of their trade notes, in this special Recap edition.

& Grades

Last week, we evaluated the likelihood of each
Hab to be dealt, this week, we look at some of the players that they may be
looking at (and this time, we’re not just talking the depth players.)  Note
that each of the following players are independent of each other and not based
on the acquisition of someone else.  The rating system is the same as last
week: (1 being low chance of being acquired, 5 being very high.)  The regular grades will appear after
this, but just in summary form, no comments this week.


The cream of the crop, names we’ve all seen
and heard about.

Alex Tanguay (CGY):  3.0  He would
give the team 2 quality scoring lines, and the Flames aren’t looking for as much
in return as Sundin or Hossa (granted, they’re better), so this may appeal to

Marian Hossa (ATL):  2.0  The
interest is there on both sides, but are the Habs willing to part with the
roster player(s) to do it?  Judging by Gainey’s comments this week, I’m
skeptical about it.

Mats Sundin (TOR):  2.0  I think
the Habs may be on Sundin’s list of teams he would consider going to, but do the
Habs want to supply a division rival with the exact thing they’re looking for
(picks and prospects?)

Brad Richards (TB):  1.5  With
players like Higgins, Komisarek, and Plekanec all due for significant raises
soon, there may not be enough money to go around if they get Richards.  And
would he even waive his no-trade to come?

Olli Jokinen (FLA):  1.5  Florida
apparently wants players, not picks and prospects, which will likely see the
Habs drop out fairly quickly.


Not the front line players, but still would
be something of an upgrade.

Jarret Stoll (EDM):  2.5 
He’s not unrestricted at year’s end like most on this list, that’s something
that will interest many.  But, is he the impact player to take this team

Sergei Fedorov (CBJ):  2.0 
Apparently, there’s been interest in the past, and he has the veteran experience
all young teams covet.  Problem is though, will he actually be healthy
enough to help a team?

Miroslav Satan (NYI):  2.0  Has
quite a bit of playoff experience, and may be rejuvenated with a change of
scenery (if he waives his NTC), or is he just past his prime?  This number
will go up if the Isles declare themselves to be sellers.

Adam Foote (CBJ):  2.0  No one
ever seems to talk about the team possibly adding help on the back end, but if
they decide this is a priority, this is probably where Gainey and company will
look first.

Vaclav Prospal (TB):  1.5  If
Carbonneau and Gainey both want players who won’t disrupt the room, this may not
be the way to go, and that’s not even bringing up that incident with Brisebois
years ago (a lot of people still remember that.)


Role players that fill a void with the
lineup in its current form.

Jeff Halpern (DAL): 
  The Habs went after him before, I
think they’ll definitely look to go after him again.  Are the Stars, a team
looking to make a run, looking to move him though?

Yanic Perreault (CHI):  2.0 
Familiarity will make it easier for him to fit in over a newcomer, but faceoffs
aside, can he still play a regular shift?

Bobby Holik (ATL):  2.0  Lots of
experience in the postseason, but bringing in this contract will make it hard
for someone off the A-List to come in.

Dmitri Kalinin (BUF):  2.0
 He’s fallen out of favour with Buffalo, but possesses some
desirable characteristics that could upgrade the back end for the Habs.

Ladislav Nagy (LA):  1.5  He’s
having a bad season, but someone will take a chance on him.  The Habs have
the prospect depth to spare one for him, but I think this is a last second deal
rather than plan ‘A’.


Names that really haven’t been discussed
much, but may very well be in play.

Mark Recchi (ATL): 
  The Habs reportedly attempted to
claim him off re-entry waivers, so they definitely like him.  He’s shown he
can still produce, and Atlanta may be more willing to move this rent-a-player
than Hossa.

Radim Vrbata (PHX):  2.0  Having a
career season (could very well hit 30 goals), and Phoenix appears headed for the
golf course in April again.  The Coyotes are reportedly talking extension
with him, so his name may be off the market shortly.

Mike Cammalleri (LA):  1.5  This
would be more of a long(er) term move for the Habs.  They’ve had interest
in the past, but he has been banged up this year.

Bryan Berard (NYI):  1.5  The 2nd
PP unit is lacking a big weapon from the point, Berard could fit that bill. 
With the lineup in its current form though, is there a spot for him in the
lineup though?

Barret Jackman (STL):  1.5  The
Blues have been having problems re-upping the pending UFA and may look to move
him for something rather than nothing.  If it gets to that point though,
there will be a lot of other teams looking to pick him up as well.

There are many other players that could have been discussed on each list, but
with the unlikelihood of them being picked up, it wouldn’t make sense to put
them in (ie: Campbell, Boyle.)

Grades for Week #21
Forwards WG SA   Defence WG SA
Kovalev 9 7.88 Hamrlik 7.5 7.3
Ryder 8 6.74 Bouillon 7.5 7
Begin 8 7.2 Gorges 7 7.07
Koivu 7.5 7.26 Markov 6.5 7.43
Plekanec 7.5 7.71 Komisarek 6.5 7.55
A. Kostitsyn 7.5 7.38 O’Byrne 6 6.67
Streit 7.5 7.07  
Higgins 7 7.55 Goalies WG SA
Kostopoulos 7 6.74 Huet 6.5 7.55
Smolinski 6.5 6.88 Price 6 7.5
S. Kostitsyn 6.5 7.18  
Lapierre 6.5 6.71 Team totals 7.00  7.18
Dandenault 6 7  
Latendresse 6 6.74        

 The Dog

For the second straight week, it
was the Mikhail Grabovski show, as he is sending a message to GM’s around the


Games 54-57 of the season.

February 19
2 3


Hamilton 1 2 1 4 2/5 43
Iowa 0 0 2 2 0/8 36

Attendance:  1,725
3 Stars:
  1) Grabovski – HAM  2) D’Agostini – HAM  3) Sertich-

February 20
2 3


Hamilton 1 2 2 5 2/10 26
Quad City 0 1 0 1 1/8 26

Attendance:  2,524
3 Stars:
  1) Grabovski – HAM  2) Locke – HAM  3) Ramholt- QCY

February 23
2 3 OT


Houston 0 0 1 1 2 0/7 37
Hamilton 0 1 0 0 1 0/9 28

Attendance:  5,483
3 Stars:
  1) Ward – HOU  2) Halak – HAM  3) Clutterbuck – HOU

February 24
2 3


Hamilton 2 0 1 3 1/4 28
Toronto 1 0 0 1 0/2 15

Attendance:  8,120
3 Stars:
  1) Milroy – HAM  2) Foster – TOR  3) Chipchura


The Bulldogs now have a clear cut #1, as it was Jaroslav Halak all the way this


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
4 Marvin Degon 4 1 1 E 12 9
6 Conrad Martin 4 0 0 +4 2 4
7 Eric Manlow 4 1 1 +1 5 0
12 Jean-Phillipe Cote 4 0 1 +1 4 4
15 Daniel Corso 4 0 2 E 4 4
16 Greg Stewart 3 1 0 +1 5 2
17 Kyle Chipchura 4 1 3 +3 8 9
18 Brett Engelhardt 3 0 2 +1 5 6
19 Duncan Milroy 4 2 2 +2 5 2
21 Jonathan Ferland 4 0 0 E 13 0
22 Matt D’Agostini 4 3 0 E 24 4
27 Janne Lahti 2 0 0 -1 1 0
31 Mikhail Grabovski 4 3 5 E 11 4
32 Ajay Baines 4 0 1 +1 10 2
34 Mathieu Biron 4 1 1 +3 6 4
55 Andrew Archer 4 0 0 +2 1 4
72 Mathieu Carle 4 0 1 -2 4 2
84 Corey Locke 4 0 4 -1 5 2


30 Jaroslav Halak 243 114 108 6

Season Leaders: 

Goals:  Locke (20)
  Locke (28)
  Locke (48)
  Milroy (+14)
  Stewart (112)


February 27:  Grand Rapids vs Hamilton
February 29:  Iowa vs Hamilton
March 1:  Hershey vs Hamilton
March 2:  Syracuse vs Hamilton

Trade Talk

Last week, we covered 5 of the more prominent
Bulldogs and their chances of being moved.  This week, we look at 5 more

#17 – Kyle Chipchura:  3.0  The
most coveted Bulldog, he may be the final piece in a move to pick up the impact
player the Habs covet so dearly.

#22 – Matt D’Agostini:  2.0  He’s
struggled in his sophomore season, but still has upside, and like Chipchura,
could be a key prospect going away in a deal.

#72 – Mathieu Carle:  1.5 
The 2nd rounder is progressing nicely, but I’m skeptical that he could be
substituted in for some of the team’s other quality defensive prospects.

#31 – Jaroslav Halak:  1.5 
With both Price and Huet struggling in net currently, he may not be entirely out
of Montreal’s picture for this season, which may take him off the market

#12 – Jean-Phillipe Cote:  1.5 
As bad as he has been at times this season, the back end is the weakness for
Hamilton, and who in their right mind would want him anyways?


And now, for the part you may or may not have
been waiting for, it’s prediction time.  Of the A-List guys, I wouldn’t be
too surprised if Hossa is not dealt, nor Jokinen, as the asking price may be too
high for the buyers.  I think off of this list, Tanguay has the best chance
of being moved to Montreal, although that’s far from a guarantee.  If Hossa
stays, I think the interest in Recchi will go up from the Habs in a lesser deal. 
If it looks like Gainey will be able to add 2 players, don’t be surprised if a
player like Dandenault or Begin gets flipped for either a prospect or draft
pick, just to leave some wiggle room under the cap.

One thing is for sure though, regardless of whether I’m right or wrong on these
guesses (and the latter has happened a lot lately), the trade deadline will help
put Montreal back on the map – either they’ll land the big fish, or at the very
worst, show other teams and players in the league that they mean business, which
may come into play down the road.

Next week, we’ll have the annual deadline recap, breaking down all of the
deals; we’ll return to the regular recaps in 2 weeks time.