HabsWorld.net -- 

The Habs had a successful final week before the
deadline, thanks to some excellent goaltending.  The Bulldogs had a bad
week, largely because of poor goaltending.  As is the tradition, we have
the annual trade ratings on top of the weekly grades.  Also, part 2 of
looking around the league for some under the radar players, plus final thoughts
on Montreal’s situation heading into the deadline, in the Recap.


8 to 10:
Highly probable that the player is going to be on the move

5 to 7:
Player may very well be available, but likely not being actively shopped
unless it’s the "right deal."

to 4:
Would be a surprise to see him go, but stranger things have happened.

1 to 2:
Injured players, NTC’s, or something else that makes it extremely
unlikely to see a move


Jaroslav Halak:

His recent play as of late will undoubtedly raise his trade value, but with
Price’s struggles, I imagine the Habs will want to hold on to him and ride out
the hot streak.

Carey Price:

Sure he’s slumping, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the
organization that doesn’t say he’s no longer a part of the future.


Mike Komisarek:

His recent play and pending UFA status likely has his trade status as the most
available as ever.  He might be a necessary piece in a deal or two, but
otherwise I sense him staying put.

Josh Gorges:

A good young defender with a good contract, something sellers will covet in a
potential trade.  With the youngsters in the pipeline, he could be deemed

Patrice Brisebois:

He wants to play Game #1,000 in Montreal and finish his career as a Hab. 
Unless absolutely necessary, I don’t see Gainey denying him the opportunity. 

Roman Hamrlik:

Because of his contract, the Habs may look to see if there’s a market for him,
but given his recent play, there won’t be much of one  There’s also a
partial NTC to be concerned with. 

Francis Bouillon:

If healthy, he’d be at or near the top on the d-man list, but I can’t see a team
waiving a physical and waiting for him to be healthy – unless it’s a straight
salary throw-in.

Mathieu Schneider:

The contract would make him hard to trade and with the way he’s playing, why
would they want to move him? 

Andrei Markov:

If the Lecavalier rumours happen to be true (I
doubt it), then this would be a little higher.  Failing that, he’s sticking


Mathieu Dandenault:
The only reason he may stay put is that the Habs can’t find a taker that
doesn’t insist on sending a similar salary back.

Kyle Chipchura:
You could make a case that he
hasn’t had a fair chance in the organization.  Regardless, his play hasn’t
forced the Habs to play him.  As a recent 1st rounder, he could still be a
piece to a larger deal.

Chris Higgins:
With Tanguay/Latendresse set to
return soon and the youngsters doing well, his spot in the lineup is far from
secure.  He’s young enough that he’d have some value to rebuilding teams.

Alexei Kovalev:
His recent performance notwithstanding, it’s hard to think the Habs are
content with his up and down play.  If they decide to make a swap of impact
players, his name’s at the top of the list. 

Tomas Plekanec:
Like Halak, his hot stretch has improved his trade stock.  In a deal
for an upgrade at C, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go. 

Matt D’Agostini:
This may come as a surprise
to some, but with the depth (current and future) on the wings and the fact he
didn’t have much of a future on the team before the season started, management
may deem him expendable in the right situation. 

Andrei Kostitsyn:
His enigmatic play this
season has shown signs of brilliance and others that make you wonder how he was
a 1st rounder.  With multiple years left after this, there may be some
value to other teams. 

Georges Laraque:
The Habs probably won’t shop
him much, but if someone wants to take on his contract – they’ll be inclined to
listen.  Note that Laraque also has a partial NTC, so even if a deal was
agreed upon, it’s far from a guarantee. 

Glen Metropolit:
The Habs saw something in him
when they claimed him, but if he had to go to satisfy cap requirements, I don’t
think they’d hesitate much. 
Gregory Stewart:
Given that Carbonneau really
seems to like this youngster and that he’s the lowest paid player on the team,
it’s hard to picture him moving.

Maxim Lapierre:
The shutdown/energy C that every playoff team needs.  Last I checked,
the Habs were aiming for a playoff spot, so why move that type of player?

Tom Kostopoulos:
Similar to Lapierre, and
Carbonneau thought enough of him to give him the ‘A’ briefly.  I think he’s
in the plans beyond this year, so I think he’ll be staying put.

Saku Koivu:
It’s hard to think of a
scenario where the team will want to move him and he’ll want to waive his NTC.

Alex Tanguay:
He’s finally almost ready to
go and considering he’s missed half the season, it’ll be like an acquisition in

Guillaume Latendresse:
If healthy, I’d put this
number in Plekanec territory as his size/skill could intrigue some teams. 
But considering he’s still out a couple weeks, it’d be much harder to move him. 

Max Pacioretty:
Even in a deal for an elite
player, I don’t think the Habs have any intention of moving him. 

Robert Lang:
Out for the rest of the
regular season, there’s next to no point in even trying to move him.  The
fact that he could be back sometime in the postseason is even more reason
to hold on to him and hope for the best.


Just the quick version this week
because of the focus on the trade deadline.  The regular format will return
next week. 


Grade (Avg.)


Grade (Avg.)
Jaroslav Halak 9.25 (7.70) Matt D’Agostini 6.75 (7.13)
Tomas Plekanec 8.25 (7.04) Chris Higgins 6.75 (6.96)
Mathieu Schneider 7.75 (7.88) Andrei Kostitsyn 6.75 (7.20)
Alexei Kovalev 7.50 (6.80) Glen Metropolit 6.75 (6.75)
Andrei Markov 7.50 (7.43) Mathieu Dandenault 6.75 (7.00)
Tom Kostopoulos 7.25 (7.10) Kyle Chipchura 6.50 (6.92)
Greg Stewart 7.25 (7.13) Patrice Brisebois 6.50 (6.58)
Max Pacioretty 7.25 (7.28) Georges Laraque 6.50 (6.52)
Saku Koivu 7.00 (7.42) Mike Komisarek 6.00 (6.81)
Maxim Lapierre 7.00 (7.39) Roman Hamrlik 6.00 (7.09)
Josh Gorges 7.00 (7.13) Team averages 7.07 (7.10)

The Dog

Rather than covering the whole team in terms of trade ratings, let’s just
quickly cover some of the notables.

Mathieu Carle/Yannick Weber:  4 
Could be the key prospect that moves in an NHL upgrade deal.  With the
d-men in the system, it’s not unreasonable to think that one could go.  (It
should be noted that Carle is currently injured so his odds may be slightly

Sergei Kostitsyn:  4  The reported
attitude issues may have soiled his status with the Habs.  Considering he’s
still young with lots of potential, he’s one of the more marketable Bulldogs. 

Ryan O’Byrne:  3  Was much
better in his second stint with the Habs that may have some teams calling about
his availability.  Like Carle, he too is now injured.

Ben Maxwell:  3  The Habs
aren’t the only team encouraged by his strong pro debut this year.  If
Chipchura isn’t a marketable young C, he’s next on the list.

Marc Denis:  2  Goalies of his ilk
are floating around the market as it is, and the Bulldogs need some veteran


February 27
2 3


Rochester 0 1 3 4 1/3 28
Hamilton 0 1 0 1 0/4 24

Attendance:  4,489
3 Stars:
  1) Duco – ROC  2) Matthias – ROC  3) Caruso – ROC

February 28
2 3


Toronto 3 1 3 7 3/8 37
Hamilton 0 1 0 1 0/2 24

Attendance:  7,163
3 Stars:
  1) Williams – TOR  2) Hamilton – TOR  3) Stralman –

March 1
2 3


Hamilton 1 2 0 3 0/4 22
Lake Erie 1 0 0 1 0/4 41

Attendance: 3,529
3 Stars:
  1) Desjardins – HAM  2) Lehoux – HAM  3) Trotter – HAM


With so many injuries, the offence not
surprisingly dried up as just 2 players had multiple points this week.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
3 Ryan O’Byrne 2 0 0 E 3 4
4 Dan Jancevski 3 0 0 E 3 6
5 Alex Henry 3 0 1 -2 1 2
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 1 E 1 2
7 Yannick Weber 2 0 0 +1 4 2
8 Mark Van Guilder 3 0 1 -1 2 0
10 J.T. Wyman 3 0 0 -1 4 0
11 Steve Gainey 3 1 1 E 7 0
12 Andrew Conboy 1 0 0 E 1 2
18 Tyler Shelast 2 0 0 -3 2 0
19 Brock Trotter 3 1 1 +1 5 0
20 Ryan Russell 3 0 0 -2 3 0
24 T.J. Kemp 3 0 1 -1 6 4
28 Ryan White 3 0 0 -2 3 5
32 Frederic St. Denis 1 0 0 -3 0 0
36 David Desharnais 3 1 0 +1 1 0
43 Doug Janik 1 0 0 E 0 0
49 Ryan Flinn 3 0 0 -2 2 18
72 Mathieu Carle 1 0 0 -1 2 2
74 Sergei Kostitsyn 3 1 0 +2 10 10
85 Yanick Lehoux 3 1 1 E 5 2
91 Ben Maxwell 3 0 1 -2 5 0


# Player Record SV% GAA
30 Cedrick Desjardins 1-0-0 .921 2.72
38 Marc Denis 0-2-0 .837 6.04


Goals:  Glumac (21)
  Lehoux (33)
  Lehoux (50)
  Chipchura/Jancevski (+18)
  Stewart (170) (Active leader: Flinn – 118)

This Week:

March 3:  Hamilton vs Syracuse
March 6:  Toronto vs Hamilton
March 7:
  Syracuse vs Hamilton
March 8:
  Toronto vs Hamilton


With so many injuries to the
squad, I thought it’d be worthwhile noting who is injured at the moment:

Defence:  Shawn Belle, Mathieu Carle, Ryan O’Byrne
Forwards:  Mathieu Aubin, Thomas Beauregard (season), Mike Glumac,
Ryan Kinasewich, Olivier Latendresse (season), Tyler Shelast

trade options

Last week, forwards were the focus of potential
acquisitions.  This week, a listing of 5 under the radar goalies/defencemen
that may pique the Habs’ interest.  Considering the uncertainly with
the cap moving forward, all of the listed players are UFA’s at the end of the

Greg de Vries (Nashville) Cap hit: $2,500,000, UFA at season’s end
A reliable stay-at-home defenceman who would know his role with the team
(something that can’t be said for a current depth defender).  With 111
games of playoff experience, he’d be a steadying influence in the room.

Sean O’Donnell (Los Angeles) Cap hit: $1,250,000, UFA at season’s end
A physical defender on a team loaded at the back end in terms of quantity. 
He’s not the most mobile skater, but he’d bring some much needed rugged play to
the back end.

Steve Montador (Anaheim) Cap hit: $800,000, UFA at season’s end
Has resuscitated his offensive game over the past couple of seasons while
playing a physical game.  He’d be nothing more than a #5/6 guy, but would
upgrade that bottom pairing.

Martin Skoula (Minnesota) Cap hit: $1,800,000, UFA at season’s end
Has never been able to live up to his expectations after a strong start to his
career in Colorado. At 29, the mobile blueliner could help the PP and is young
enough that he could be retained without much issue. 

Mikael Tellqvist (Phoenix) Cap hit: $800,000, UFA at season’s end
In the event that one of Montreal’s goalies gets moved, he would be a cheap
short-term replacement which would allow Denis to stay with the Bulldogs.


With the deadline almost upon us, it’s time to
throw my two cents into the fray.  For those of you expecting a big deal,
you need to realize that similar salaries have to go back the other way – there
is very little space currently and some of that needs to be retained in case of
injuries.  It should also be noted that the Habs play on trade deadline day
– the team may look to make their moves early in order to ensure a full lineup
when they take on the Sabres.  My gut feeling tells me there’s going to be
2 small moves prior to the deadline – one will move Mathieu Dandenault out, and
the other will acquire what essentially be his replacement.  Could they
make a bigger deal?  Sure, but given the asking prices and the fact that
the Habs aren’t "one player away," it may be best to hold off rather than
wasting resources towards what’s looking like would be a failed run.

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