Bits And Pieces While The Good Ship Habs Is Stuck In Neutral

If you’ve been watching the Chicago Black Hawks at all, you’ve seen the exact kind of guy Montreal needs – Dustin Byfuglien (somehow pronounced Dustin Buflin).

This is a big power forward, 6’4″, 257 pounds, and there aren’t many of these types to go around. Imagine him in the Habs lineup doing his crashing and scoring to help out along side the Gionta’s and Gomez’s. Wow.

Byfuglien is tough and talented in the way John Ferguson was, or Cam Neely and Clark Gillies. He’s scored six goals in the last six games, and plays on the big Jonathan Toews line the way Gilles played with Mike Bossy and Brian Trottier, and Ferguson with Jean Beliveau. All in all, one of Chicago’s most important players to say the least.

I was hoping Travis Moen might fill this role a little more with the Habs, but I suppose he’s not quite big enough and doesn’t possess quite the skills of any of the above. Moen, even though he’s had a decent playoffs, will never be in the same league as these power forwards.

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My wife is in Russia for a month and is getting up at three in the morning to see the Habs on TV. She asked me a simple question, “Are the Flyers that great?” No, I answered. They’re just playing tougher right now. I also reassured her that the Canadiens aren’t finished. That only happens when the lovely-but-seriously-out-of-shape fat lady sings.

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I had a short conversation with one of North America’s leading autograph experts and he told me an interesting and very surprising piece of information. We were talking about knowing the difference between real and forged signatures, and he says he hates to say it but unfortunately, if a forgery is perfect, it’s not a forgery anymore.

Think about that for a second.

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These 40 or so idiots who were arrested for looting and trashing Montreal’s downtown after the Canadiens disposed of the Penguins – what happens to them? Do they get a substantial fine, or a criminal record, or jail time? Or does their mommy take away their dessert and they have to make their own bed for a month?

17 thoughts on “Bits And Pieces While The Good Ship Habs Is Stuck In Neutral”

  1. I once read that Bobby Orr hasn’t signed a card through the mail in about 15 years or more. It’s all secreterial, but it’s really hard to tell them apart.

    I have a blog post about suggestions for the Habs in the offseason (just waiting for the offseason to begin before publishing it), and I think Byfuglien could be available by trade this summer (that was one of my suggestions, actually). The Blackhawks are at the cap limit already for next season, and still need to sign Antti Niemi, John Madden, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Adam Burish, and about five other guys, or sign players to take their place. That means they’ll have to trade some pieces away. Campbell is almost untradeable because the cap hit is so high. Huet could be tradeable if someone is willing to take a chance, but the deeper Chicago gets, the higher the price to resign Niemi, so that’s almost a wash. Even if the Hawks trade a couple of big players, that doesn’t give them a lot of cap flexability. Just say Chicago does trade a couple of players and saves $10 million. Resign Niemi: $3.5 million, resign Madden and Burrish, about $3.5 million combined. That only leaves $3 million for the other seven guys.

    Seabrook and Byfuglien are free agents after next season, so the Hawks won’t be able to afford them. So they may be able to get a lot for them this season. The question is, do the Habs have anything the Hawks want?

    Maybe, just maybe, we could convince them to trade Campbell and Byfuglien for Markov and the Kostitsyns (with a draft pick or prospect thrown in). They save money (Markov is a free agent next summer, so they could use that money to resign Seabrook), and get speedy youth, and get rid of Campbell’s contract. We get a younger, more expensive and more skilled version of Markov, and the powerhouse we need. Could be a win-win.

  2. Tom, until I read your thoughts, I had no idea in the least that Byfuglien would be even a sniff at being available in the near-future. Man, you’ve given me hope and something to really think about. Really good thoughts about the Hawks signings and dollars and sense. It’s something I’m not good at at all but you sure are. That’s quite a trade situation – Markov and the brothers for Seabrook and Byfuglien. They might want Price too.

  3. We would get Campbell, not Seabrook, in my scenerio. Chicago needs to unload that salary, so that might be why they would be more open to trading Bfuglien.

  4. Great theory about the trade, but Markov is damaged goods now until November, so I doubt it’s gonna happen. Too bad tho. And really, does any team in their right mind want SK? He hardly screams team player to me.

  5. Is it November for Markov, Tyg? Geez, for a short time we thought he might be back any day. And it was such a flukey way he fell. As for SK? Maybe down the road he’ll mature. There’s also those who believe Sergei is mishandled by JM. I don’t know. All I know is, he began his career as a Hab in fine fashion and it’s all kind of slipped away.

  6. i like the line of thought. …..markov is damaged and on the down side. what is his contract situation?……….. anyone give me a bag of pucks for the kostitsyns?……..

  7. I like Tom’s trade proposal. It has a lot of win-wins, but I’m a pessimist and fixate on the lose-loses.
    I worry that we can’t afford Campbell, we may not have Chicago’s cap problems, but we don’t have much space next year either. We’ll be much more flexible a year from now when Markov will be wanting a raise.
    Campbell is barely younger than Markov and I don’t think he’s as big an offensive threat, but he’s probably a better team leader.
    I would guess that Chicago would prefer a young, cheap and reliable defenceman like Gorges.

    I think there would be a lot of offers for Sergei, he’s young, cheap and shown glimpses of offence and of being a very good two-way player. He’s worth the risk that he can turn it around elsewhere. Andrei’s the bigger risk, much more expensive, primarily offence and runs hot and cold.

  8. What concerns me about next year is how do we get better? Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, are signed long term. Pleks may or may not be here but assume he signs, that’s 4 of our top 6. They are not likely to play much better than they did this year. That leaves the 2 remaining spots on those lines as the only way to improve them. Does Andrei finally arrive with consistency? Can Benny return to the form he showed so long ago? If not then we can’t improve our top 2 lines unless we can replace those 2 guys with better players and that costs money. On defense Markov, Gorges, Subban, O’Byrne are not bad but we still have Hammer, Spacek, and Gill who aren’t getting any younger and are they all signed beyond this year? We could use an upgrade or two in that group. The 3rd and 4th lines only complement the top 2 so while there are some good people in those spots and some good young prospects coming up I’m not sure how they make the team much better. In goal I would expect to see either Halak or Price step up and claim the starter’s role.

  9. Dennis, I like the attempt to get Byfuglien, he’s definitely a major step up from the Kostitsyns. John’s comment reminds me that we’re not committed to Plekanec yet. His rights should be worth a prospect or draft pick. Resigning Moore instead should save us enough cap space and he can handle the shutdown role.

  10. DJ – for me, aside from Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, and probably Plekanec, there’s no other scorers on the team and it should be addressed. A big scorer. And I stress the word “big.” On defence, Markov, Gorges and Subban, but O’Byrne definitely hasn’t blossomed a whole lot. I like his size but he doesn’t use it properly, and he’s a problem when handling the puck. You’re right, we need an upgrade there too. So a terrific forward and a terrific defenceman is what we need. I think Gill can go a few more years, and maybe even Spacek. But not Hamrlik.

  11. Chris. Byfug is a whole different thing than the brothers, that’s for sure. And I’d like to see Moore stay.

  12. Dennis, get on the phone and tell Dustin Byfuglien what a great addition he’ll be to your team. It’s the personal touches that matter, that a nice check for his crashing the crease and making space. Power forwards are the best. (Alright, goalies first and then power forwards.)

    Your wife is a devoted fan of the Canadiens and deserves to win a prize for her 3 a.m. game viewing.

    Put the Flyers in their place Habs! Do you think Gaston should turn to his romantic escapades to help the team win?

  13. Hi Diane,
    Gaston should return to his romantic escapades but there’s not a woman in the world, human or wood, that would go near him.
    When I’m owner, my inner staff, (you and others) will take Byfuglien out to a bar and wine and dine him. It’ll be an offer he can’t refuse.

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