BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA
PITTSBURGH -- There will be a familiar face behind the Montreal Canadiens bench.
The Habs have called a news conference for today where they're expected to name Jacques Martin as their head coach.
League sources say Martin has stepped down from his post as GM of the Florida Panthers because of the financial instability of the club and the possibility they may be sold.
Martin will be a solid choice for the Habs. He will bring stability and could help get the club back to respectability.
Is this the right move for the Habs? Can Martin turn around this team? Have your say in our forum.
Habs to hire Martin
Martin is an experienced bilingual coach in Gainey's own mold. He's coached and GM'd the Panthers overseeing some of the decent draft picks in the latter years such as Horton and Frolik.
Now comes revamping the coaching staff and readying to deal with the free agents and the draft.
I'm pretty glad to see that Rollie the goalie coach is gone - maybe they'll hire someone who will be able to work with talent...
From the cheap seats, I'd like to see:
Martin laying down the law from the start, and taking no crap. 100% or you sit.
and A DEFENCEMAN COACH...
Goalies: Price and Halak in an open competition. Defence: Markov, Georges, Hamrlik, O'Byrne; Sign Boullion, and Schnieder, and let Komisarek go as well as the rest.
( Boullion and Schneider shouldn't cost much - If that was the best Komisarek can do in the last 2 years, he sadly isn't worth spending 5,6 million a year on.)
Keep Webber up, and give PK Subban a decent shot, and make an offer for Francois Beauchemin who was on the Hab's farm early in his career.
As for the forwards... Between Koivu who has heart - but not much else left at this point in his career, and Kovalev who has loads of talent but seems to turn it on when he feels like - I'd sign Kovalev; and only on 2 conditions 1- He sign for the same money or less, and 2- he commits to bringing his lunchpail every night - as he did this year when Koivu was injured.
Sign Tanguay and Lang if he's in top shape after his achillies injury, and sign Antropov if possible (big center and net presence)
Sign Kostopulous as he was one of the few that could be counted on game in and game out. Make an offer on
Zherdev RFA 24 years old of the Rangers -
with a strong driven coach and the other Russians he could shine... and the Rangers are close to the cap.
If it all fell together, the lines would look like this...
1-Antropov Kovalev-C Zherdev
Latendresse Hamrlik Georges
3-Lang-A Kostitsyn Kostitsyn
4-Metropolit, Higgins, Kostopoulos
X D'Agostini,Pacioretty, Plekanec
X O'Byrne Webber Subban? Carle?
New tighter positional system,
Young defence, Offensive passers,
From The Cheap Seats..., 2009-06-01 16:53:08
Gary O., 2009-06-01 14:11:09
In my opinion respectability was lost long before the Habs exit at the hands of the Bruins.
It began in my mind watching the lack of focus and growth at the Trade Deadline for the second year in a row.
While other teams got better, and tougher and more experienced, GM Bob decided it was best to hold out for the Golden handshake.
Which in my mind wouldn't have moved this team any further this season.
It was obvious to me early on in the season that this team from a front office perspective had no desire to be competitive, and now has left the Hab fans to question themselves.
In my opinion...Montreal needs a lot more stability from the front office to the ice.
If Bob can't prove himself any better, he should join Guy.
Koivu needs to go, and we need a player to build the club around.
Eliminate the lack of heart with hard working grinders and things will turn around.
Todd, 2009-06-01 12:27:55
The Habs are a team that has to execute on the Gainey game plan to succeed, kind of like they did last year. But all that skating and checking gets tiresome after a while and the players start to tune it out. Thus this year, and it didn't help that Price had the classic case of sophomore jinx. Next year he will be much better IF he's handled properly. And that means in part realizing he is only 21 and you can't leave him in on bad nights like he is a veteran, hear me Bob? He would be better off stewing from the bench than losing his confidence and letting in bad goal after bad goal.
I think Kovalev's agent must be spreading that Russian rumour about a $7.5M contract, because he'll never get that. Spend that money on a Gaborik or whoever shows up more frequently (when healthy).
My plan would be
- go after a marquee player
- keep Price!
- keep Halak but if he doesn't want to backup, trade for a solid veteran who does
- keep Komisarek, Markov, Lapierre, Hamrlik, Gorges, Tanguay, Weber, Pacioretty, and Lang if healthy.
- keep Kovalev and Koivu only if they take a pay cut
- make Komisarek captain
- light a fire under the Kostitsyns or send them off to the KHL. They have too much talent to underproduce this much
- this is a make or break year for guys like Latendresse, Plekanec. They have to show strides forward.
As for Laraque, that's up to Gainey. If he uses Laracque effectively like he did for two periods in game one against Boston, he can change the game. But Gainey gave up the plan in period three and Boston creamed Montreal from then on. In a physical game he can put pressure on the other team's stars and take it off Montreal stars, but he's got to play and NOT take dumb penalties.
Rick W., 2009-05-29 15:04:42
The Bruins laid a beating on the Habs. It was not close. For a Habs fan - this hurts.
With Markov, Schneider, and Boullion out, that was half of the starting 6. You never get far with half you're defense corps.
Price was OK, and did not deserve the Boos he got. He's 21! Clueless and classless fans. -And just because they pay the ticket does not give anyone the right to act without class.
We were also hurt when Plekanec and Kostytsin were on the ice as they did very little.
When I look back at the team this year and I think of who stood out - I'm hard pressed to come up with a name other than Robert Lang and Andrei Markov and Alex Tanguay. And all 3 were lost to injury for extended periods.
Halak, Kostopoulos and after Latendresse "found himself" - were pretty good.
As for the captain and the wanna be captain - well they were nowhere to be found at times, and at other times spectacular.
The rest, pretty much sucked most of the year, and don't even mention Goerge Laraque to me...
So now there's 12 free agents, Gainey and Gillet don't know whether they're coming or going, and there's also the matter of who will coach the team next year.
In a year that was so hyped that most Habs fans couldn't see through the smoke until the big bad Black and Gold Bear wiped them out, we have all this
unfinshed stuff to look forward to.
The good news is that Weber looks pretty good,
We've got PK Subban, Pacioretty, and some more guys in Hamilton that can come up.
We'll probably lose a few free agents and hopefully draft well, and we're probably looking at a couple of years down the road to get good again.
Enjoy the playoffs!!!
Andy V., 2009-04-27 19:29:55
Well, now the leafs have someone to caddy for.
Steve, 2009-04-24 16:10:36