As we await for the official announcement of Jordan Harris signing his first professional contract with the Montreal Canadiens, I felt like there wasn’t enough new information to warrant an article. At least, nothing that can’t be reported in a tweet or on social media. You see, we’re not into creating click baits here on Cheering The Logo. We prefer offering you articles of substance, so that you don’t feel like you, as a reader, are being taken advantage of by clicking on links leaving you on your appetite.
Keep or Toss
So in this one, we decided that after trade deadline, it was a good time to look at the work that’s left in front of the Canadiens. There is still some major salary left for next year and a lot of it will have to be taken off the books by the time the puck drops on a new season next Fall.
For that to happen, players with term on their contracts will have to be moved. Without further ado, here is the list of players on the current Habs’ roster and what I think the future holds, in my opinion of course, for each and every one of them. Yours may look different and that’s perfectly okay. Notice that this is only based on the NHL roster. Lots of quality players in the minors and prospects from everywhere else.
So based on that, I build around, at forward:
- Anderson: One of a kind, difficult to find that kind of package anywhere
- Caufield: He found his game under St-Louis.
- Evans: Serviceable third or fourth line center, cost efficient, some untapped potential.
- Pezzetta: You need that kind of energy in your line-up.
- Pitlick, R: He’s still considered a rookie in this league. The new Paul Byron.
- Suzuki: The team’s number one center, future captain no doubt.
I play it by ear, depending on trades and UFAs, for the following forwards:
- Dvorak: Finding centers, particularly those who win you faceoffs, isn’t that easy. But with suitable replacement, he could be dealt… particularly his $4.45 million contract.
- Hoffman: He’s better than what the media wanted us to believe, particularly defensively. Again, depending on assets in a trade and/or cap saving…
- Pitlick, T: He’s the perfect fourth liner who can step up on your middle-six from time to time. But he’s expandable.
- Poehling: He was starting to show good things, but the concussions are starting to take their toll. Don’t be surprised if he’s packaged in a bigger deal.
Armia, Byron, Drouin and Gallagher should be sacrificed to cut salary. Cutting those four would save the team about $19 million. The Canadiens have over $79 million invested in 14 players next season, way too much. Granted, that includes Weber’s $7.86 million.
On defense, it’s a total revamp. I build around:
Joel Edmundson ($3.5M) is a maybe, perhaps even as team captain? I’d like to see Lagesson in action before making a decision.
Savard ($3.5M cap hit) is a third pairing who can fill in on the top-4 from time to time. Too pricey for his role. Get rid of Weber’s contract, he won’t play again. Petry ($6.25M cap hit) wants to go and it won’t be a minute too soon when he’s traded. Clague is too high risk for little reward, and not good defensively.
In goal, you DO NOT trade Jake Allen until you know what the future holds with Carey Price. If Price is healthy want wants to stay in Montreal (he has a NMC), then maybe to get a younger backup who has the potential to be a 1B but only then.
If Price wants to leave Montreal or if he can’t play, you keep Allen and find a 1B as I don’t see Montembeault being it, and Primeau needs another year in the AHL. One thing you don’t do: you don’t trade both Allen and Price.
As you can see, this trade deadline was just one small stepping stone towards revamping this line-up. While he did well in the moves that he’s made, Kent Hughes didn’t do as much as perhaps most people thought that he would. This simply leaves more important work for him to do in the summer.
Let’s just hope that he finds the right dancing partners by then, as there’s a lot of salary needing to be shedded and major holes to file with the potential departures.
Focus On The Draft – Different Approaches by Bob Trask