Vinny, Vinny, Vinny!!!!……enough already!!!!!
Yes, I’m just as guilty as the main stream media for pushing the Lecavalier hype button these days by posting soooooo many “Vinny” related articles (I hope I haven’t dulled your sense of interest or readership!!).
With that being said, All Habs has always stated that it will keep Canadiens fan well informed about everything related to their team and in this case, we have to maintain that pledge to our readership with the Lecavalier rumours (I’m actually thinking of installing a Vinny update box in our sidebar…..just joking Rocky, don’t panic!!!).
As much as I admire Vincent Lecavalier’s talents, the Canadiens truly don’t need to upgrade an already talented group of forwards who are aren’t having any problems scoring goals these days (the Habs are currnetly ranked 8th in the NHL with 136 goals or 3.02 per game).
Yes, Lecavalier would add more size down the middle and would give the Canadiens a game breaker type of superstar that they haven’t had since Guy Lafleur, but at what cost to the current roster.
There are so many rumoured player names being thrown around these days that it’s hard to get a true grasp of what is pure nonsense and what has some validity to it.
For argument’s sake, let’s assume the most commonly heard rumour of sending Gorges, Plekanec, Higgins, Subban and a first round pick to Tampa for Vinny is on line with what is being asked by Brian Lawton (if Markov or Komisarek are part of the package, then Gainey probably ends the conversation right there!). This is a huge price to pay for one player even if the Lightning were to throw another player into the mix (ie- Paul Ranger).
Granted, Lecavalier is a serious upgrade over Tomas Plekanec while Christopher Higgins is a very valuable two way player, but his spot on the roster could be filled by Matt D’Agostini or Max Pacioretty who have shown they are capable of playing in the NHL.
My main concern is dealing away a player like Josh Gorges who has shown remarkable improvement over the past two seasons and certainly hasn’t looked out of place playing along side Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik in the top four pairings.
P.K. Subban is yet another reason to balk at making this type of trade. His potential is still untapped, but his play at the 2009 WJC was impressive enough to be hesitant about moving him. Subban’s talent ceiling is probably higher than Trevor Timmins or the Canadiens organization had expected when they drafted him in the second round of the 2007 NHL draft.
It sounds crazy that I have basically narrowed the trade down to Gorges and Subban for Lecavalier but it goes much deeper than that.
The Canadiens need to upgrade their top four defense before they start adding more offense to their roster. Adding an impact type defenseman similar to a Jay Bouwmeester or to a lesser degree, Tomas Kaberle would only solidify their chances to go further into the playoffs and possibly win a Stanley Cup.
What would it take to get a Bouwmester or a Kaberle?
Pierre McGuire stated that he thought it would have to involve three elements to get a defenseman of Jay Bouwmester’s caliber out of Florida: a top roster player (Higgins or Pleckanec?), one blue chip prospect (McDonagh or Subban?) and a first round pick.
Granted, it’s still a high price to pay for an UFA player (Bouwmester) who, in all likelihood, is as good as gone at season’s end. Gainey definitely has the available assets/depth to pull the trigger on this type of trade.
It would cost about the same for a slightly lesser two way defenseman like Kaberle who still has another $8.5 million left on his current contract over the next two years, certainly a deterrent with Gainey still needing to sign Mike Komisarek.
The addition of a top four defenseman would also have a positive trickle down affect on the third pairing where Josh Gorges would be a serious upgrade on Patrice Brisebois playing along side Francis Bouillon. They had great chemistry when they were paired together last season.
In the end, I was extremely glad to hear Bob Gainey state he was concerned that his blueline wasn’t deep enough to deal with potential injury problems. He also mentioned that the defense corp was an area where the organization would like to improve on the depth charts.
Sounds like a great general manager has made some smart evaluations of his team’s needs. Here’s hoping he can pull the trigger on a trade to improve the roster, something he has been hesitant to do over the past few seasons.
I tend to agree that this Vinny-mania is way out of hand. As one analyst correctly said, assuming the $85 million mistake from the Lightning is already enormous compensation to them. It should not require an abundance of talent from the Canadiens going the other way. Let another GM sacrifice the future of his franchise.
I happen to take the opposite view to Habster regarding Pleks and Higgins. Tomas Plekanec and Chris Higgins are hugely underrated and will be missed if they are traded. Josh Gorges is a wonderful Cinderella-type story but is ideally suited for the third defense pairing. As such, he can be easily replaced.
You should be aware that while we talk of sending Gorges and Subban as part of a package for Lecavalier, word from the Lightning is that they want Markov or Komisarek to be included. For me, that’s a non-starter.
PK Subban is an unknown asset at this time, but as Habster mentioned, his value has increased. He is a passionate, and offensively gifted. PK played well at times during the WJC but was also a huge liability to his team trying to complete low percentage but potentially spectacular plays. It is unclear whether responsibility will be tied to maturity for Subban. At present, he has neither.
Subban would be an ideal fit with the Leafs as part of a package for Kaberle. PK’s charisma elevates his value beyond his hockey skills. He would become a poster boy for the franchise. The Toronto media has already done several features on PK and his father, who is active in the community.
The stumbling block for me with a Kaberle trade is Brian Burke. I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of a Burke transaction. Say what you will, he is a shrewd GM, and usually ‘wins’ trades.
I have written for a year now about my admiration for the play of Jay Bouwmeester. I would love to see him in a Canadiens uniform. JB would solidify this team far more than Lecavalier, partly because it would require less to acquire him. No question that it would still take a substantial package especially if he is willing to commit beyond this season. But word from Florida recently is that the Panthers are leaning to re-signing him. This is almost solely due to the superb work of head coach Pete DeBoer, who is an early candidate for the Jack Adams award.
If Bouwmeester moves, the Canadiens will face heavy competition to acquire him. Expect Brian Burke to be involved.
Bob Gainey may go in a completely different direction and for that he has two choices. Given the amount of defensive talent in the system, Gainey may fill the gap with a rental player like Scott Niedermayer. The other option is to bring in a lesser known offense defenseman like Ville Koistinen. We know that the Predators are always looking to reduce their payroll and they have already been through a salary arbitration process with Koistinen last year.
I agree with Habster that Gainey’s priority should be a defenseman for the 2nd pairing. Let’s hope that he can Gainey can make a move in that direction by March 4th without giving up too much in return.