Almost Not Small

Marc Bergevin says the the team is too small. Tomas Plekanec says it isn’t.

I’ll settle this.

They’re too small. But almost not.

There are only two small guys on the Habs – Brian Gionta and David Desharnais, both standing at 5’7. They’re the two who make the team seem small. Without them, the subject wouldn’t even come up.

Francis Bouillon is small on paper, 5’8, but by all accounts is stronger than strong, so he doesn’t count. He’s probably stronger than three-quarters of the guys in the league who stand a foot taller.

Brendan Gallagher is 5’9, but we know what he’s like. There aren’t many around the league, tall or not, that I’d rather have. He’s big. The size chart just doesn’t say so.

Tomas Plekanec isn’t big, and he isn’t small. He’s 5’11. Guys like Pleks are perfect. Speedy and talented and not shrimps. They don’t count when you say a team is big or small. Sidney Crosby is the same height as Plekanec.

This isn’t the smurfs anymore. Gomez is gone, Cammalleri too. There were just too many smaller guys all bunched together once upon a time. But that was then. Rene Bourque, a good-sized power forward at 6’2, helped change the dynamics when he and Cammalleri switched cities.

Guys like Prust and Max and Tinordi and Eller and others are miles from being small. Even young Alex Galchenyuk is 6-1.

It’s a bigger team now. And fast and slick and talented. Fire-wagon hockey. Beautiful.

It’s just the two little guys, that’s all. In warmups, the team looks small because of these two. It’s like the wee guy in Buffalo – Nathan Gerbe at 5’5. That’s too small. Everything’s out of whack when you see a little bugger like that skating around.

We don’t need to be huge. I prefer a slightly smaller and swift skating variety, like we have now. Just a couple of tweaks, nothing serious, and maybe people will stop saying the team is too small. Cause they’re not. Two guys are causing an optical illusion.

Plekanec and the GM are both right. The team is small and it’s not. A slight change, and all’s right with the world.



7 thoughts on “Almost Not Small”

  1. Hang on to Armsotrong and take a run at David Clarkson, Ryan O’Byrne, and the oft-injured Stephen Weiss. Character, grit, and and upgrades.

  2. Mike, for me, O’Byrne stills makes the odd mistake, as we saw in the Leafs series. So I’m not sure about him, although he’s big and has been around for awhile now. But on second thought, he might fit in nicely and you might have something there. Clarkson and Weiss I totally agree.

  3. Danno, what are your thoughts on trying to move these two. No way? Or maybe one? or keep both?

  4. Dennis, my thoughts are that one or both may be moved if the return improves the team. Neither have been playing with the same kind of character young Brendan Gallagher displays every game. Gallagher always gives 100% on every shift. Why can’t Brian and David? But now with Gionta’s injury and Desharnais’ lacklustre performance (did he even get a shot on net?) it’s doubtful anyone would offer a decent return for either of them as their value has dropped significantly.

    Here is the salary chart from

    Gionta will be entering his final year next season of his $5M contract. Desharnais however still has four seasons at $3.5M. All this talk about Tomas Kaberle being the next amnesty buyout is far from certain. In his end-of-season press conference Marc Bergevin himself would not confirm he was buying out Kaberle and did not rule out any other options.

    For example, is Max Pacioretty really worth $4.5M a year until 2019? Then there’s Josh Gorges at $3.9M and yes, Carey Price at $6.5M until 2017-18. If a change of scenery is what Price wants maybe it would be best for everyone involved to move him too. But would we be losing him just as he starts playing lights-out in nets? That would be awful.

    Then there’s Travis Moen who failed to impress both in the regular season and the playoffs. Is this guy really worth $1.8M?

    As you can see, there are plenty of things to look at – not only Gionta and Desharnais.

    Marc Bergevin is in the running for NHL GM of the year. There is no doubt he has made some excellent moves to get the club back on track. But time will tell if some of his other key decisions, e.g. Desharnais and Moen, were the best ones going forward.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  5. Dennis, my comment about Desharnais not getting a shot on net is in reference to the playoffs and should read “lacklustre playoff performance”

  6. Thanks Danno. The guys you mentioned are excellent examples. The one I have the most faith in and would want to keep would be Max. He had an off-year, but pure power forwards with good hands are a rarity, and I think he has what it takes. I’m sticking by Max, but the others, like Gorges and Moen, not so much. Bergevin made a good point by pointing out that Price is still young as far as goalkeepers go, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the best is still to come with him. But Kaberle, Desharnais, Moen, Gorges, Gionta – I just don’t know if they can help the team much more. Although Gorges is such a great shot blocker, I’d be sad to see that missing from our play.
    Max has to step it up. I’m focused on hoping that happen. We need him.

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