Monday, June 23, 2008

Montreal Making An Early Splash

Since it is still June, it is far too early to make serious predictions about next year, but one team that is looking good is the Montreal Canadiens. Last season, Montreal won the East Conference. Since then, they have already been working on improving their roster. They acquired Alex Tanguay from Calgary along with a fifth round pick (which was used on Russian played Maxim Trunov) in exchange for their first round pick (used on Greg Nemisz from the OHL) and a second round pick next year. This is a relatively cheap price for a player as good as Tanguay. Montreal gave up nobody on their roster and added a legitimate scoring threat. They have also obtained permission to talk to Mats Sundin of the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to the July 1st date when free agency begins. Should Montreal manage to sign Sundin (a big if) they would have to be considered the favorite to win the Eastern Conference next season. Even without Sundin, they are clearly among the favorites (and possibly the favorite).

Pittsburgh (the East Champion in the playoffs) will have a hard time keeping their roster together given salary cap concerns. It looks clear that Marian Hossa will leave via free agency. This opens the door for another team to have a good chance to be the power in the east and Montreal seems to be barging through that door.

Of course, since free agency has not yet begun, it is hard to make any definitive predictions. Teams may look very different come the start of the season, than they do right now. One thing is clear. Montreal is gearing up to be an eastern power and might make a strong run this year.

Carey Price will also continue to improve, most likely.
I hope you're right about that Mojo...I still worry that he may have been "Besterised"

I've said for years that Sundin was a perfect fit for the Habs and, I'd love to see him in the uni (trade the highly overated Koivu for a bag of hockey pucks).
Also, I'm thrilled about the acquisition of Alex Tanguay, now, if only they can acquire a top flight defenseman, we just might have a team that can go past the first round.
>trade the highly overated Koivu for a bag of hockey pucks<

I really don't get this. Why would anyone ever advocate trading an asset for minimal return? Trade him if you like, but get as much as you can for him.
Well, Peter, this is kind of my way of saying i can't stand Koivu (I have thought him a bad choice since the day he was drafted by Montreal, he is by far my least fave Hab :D haha)
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