16 February 2009

What to Do With All Those Free Agents

I don't have much on the brain politics-wise this past week, as I'm fully consumed with the downward spiral of my beloved Habs. There have been two hideous losses, an equally hideous win, and a loss last night that--were I still in BC--would have me on the receiving end of much mockery from pals. A lot of talk lately has surrounded the impending free agents in Montreal and whether that status is affecting their play. Difficult to say for sure, but if I were Mr. Gainey, this is what I'd be looking at doing this off-season...of course, a trade or two in the interim would throw all of this completely out of whack, but it may even be welcomed in one or two cases. Here we go...

Alex Tanguay - definitely make a pitch to re-sign him; he was playing quite well before the injury and deserves another go 'round. May have to take a bit of a pay cut but offset that with a decent term.
Saku Koivu - I can't see Saku retiring, and the idea of him elsewhere doesn't sit right. Definitely bring him back.
Alex Kovalev - don't let the door hit you on the way out . . . or, a one-year contract since he's got that one good year, one terrible year mojo?
Robert Lang - this all depends on how well he recovers from that devastating injury. Lang was excellent for us, and if he can come back 100% I say give him a nice one-year deal.
Francis Bouillon - good solid D-man, but not part of the future.
Tom Kostopoulos - gotta admire Tom the Bomb's heart and grit. If the rest of the team had half the sandpaper as TK, we'd be in much better shape.
Mike Komisarek - he's playing himself out of a couple extra million bucks per season, but definitely should be top priority this off-season as far as re-signing personnel.
Steve Begin - a good heart and grit guy, but not part of the future.
Patrice Brisebois - he's been among the most solid guys back there lately, but I think he'll likely retire and join the ranks of the ambassadors.
Mathieu Dandenault - a pleasant surprise since he returned, Dandy's still got the wheels and hands, but would re-signing him take away a roster spot from a deserving up-and-comer? Or would it be used to challenge said up-and-comer?

Christopher Higgins - he'll be re-signed and continue to be the subject of every Montreal-related trade rumour for years to come. I really like Higgins, lots of great upside and a great attitude and emerging leader.
Tomas Plekanec - much like the Komisaurus, he's playing his way out of a few extra bucks...but unless he gets his game in gear he may be allowed to walk.
Guillaume Latendresse - in just his third year, Gui! has blossomed after finding the right combination with Max Lapierre. The two play very well together. Lats will be back and continue to be the whipping boy and scapegoat for countless Habs fans that have never played the game.
Kyle Chipchura - I like Chips, but he's been overtaken on the organization's depth chart (Lapierre) and hasn't been able to make the most of the opportunities he's been given. They haven't been shining opportunities, but my guess is that he'll be allowed to walk.
Matt D'Agostini - breakout rookie campaign for D'Ags. The production has slowed down a bit since the initial call-up, but he works hard down low, competes, and doesn't do any of the floating that has become common among some players.

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