It would be nice if we could look at the existing Habs lineup and go through it and examine and say, yes, that’s it, should be good. But there seems to be no sense yet in doing this, because this might not be the final team. Bob Gainey has hinted that an impact player may still be in the works, which means a trade is possible. And to get an impact player, it generally means a bundle of players would be on the move. Which means players like Tomas Plekanec, Ryan O’Byrne and the Kostitsyn’s better start (a) having a brilliant training camp, and (b) suck up to Bob a bit more.
So the lineup we see today could change in the near future.
It also seems that as impressive as young defenceman PK Subban has looked in rookie camp and before, he still won’t hit the big time. Not yet anyway. Hopefully the young fellow realizes there is no rush for Habs brass to bring him up – that there’s still fine tuning to be done, things to be worked on, and a slight maturing yet to develop.
Teams are usually in no hurry to bring up fresh-faced defencemen. They must bide their time. Terry Harper told me that he was called up to the Canadiens after being captain of the Regina Pats, and quickly learned what the press box looked like. He said he’d spend five games or so up top in the box, then be given a train ticket to Hull-Ottawa or Quebec where he’d continue to hone his craft, then called up later only to spend another five games or so in the press box before it was time to get back on another train. Or he’d watch the Habs from the box on Saturday night, then play for the Montreal Royals on Sunday. He did this for two full years before finally cracking the big team lineup.
Of course Subban may see action sooner if someone doesn’t perform to expectations and change is needed, and it would be interesting to see how how he looks. But all we can do now is wait for him to notch a minor pro year on his belt and then come out strong when he’s ready.
And of course, there’s always the thought that he could be part of a package Gainey puts together to land a big fish, which would be fodder for armchair critics for years to come.
Only time will tell when it comes to PK Subban’s NHL career, but it looks good. Looks good, indeed. As long as he’s wearing a Canadiens uniform.
Montreal’s 2009-2010 team looks like this so far. As you can see, there’s a few too many, so either being traded or sent down are the only two options for a couple of these guys.
Up front – Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, the Kostitsyn brothers, Guillaume Latendresse, Maxim Lapierre, Travis Moen, Glen Metropolit, Georges Laraque, Matt D’Agostini, Greg Stewart, and Kyle Chipchura.
On the blueline – Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik, Jaroslav Spacek, Paul Mara, Josh Gorges, Hal Gill, Ryan O’Byrne, and Yannick Weber. (And insert PK Subban just for fun.)
And last but not least – Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak