Ok now that things have settled a bit on the home front (crossing fingers), I can finally catch up on the events circling the Montreal Canadiens over the weekend.
First up, the NHL Entry Draft. The Canadiens traded up fro 27 to 22 and picked up a mountain of a defenseman named Jarred Tinordi.
I must say I did find it uncomfortable watching Tinordi don a Canadiens jersey with the No. 10 on it. Someone also pointed out that Louis Leblanc donned the No. 9, to which I replied, No. That was 09.” :)
As noted by the TSN panel in the above video, it was a great acquisition by GM Pierre Gautier to get some youth in the Habs defensive ranks.
The chart below, courtesy of capgeek.com, paints a better picture of looking ahead on the team’s blueline. Of note: this does not include non-roster players and potential Restricted Free Agents (RFA) and Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA), such as Yannick Weber, Alex Henry, Paul Mara etc.
By the time that Tinordi could be ready to join the NHL, at the entry level, Andrei Markov may possibly be gone to free agency. We can anticipate that veterans Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek will be on the verge of retirement by the end of their contracts, and perhaps Hal Gill is still around for veteran presence. By then however we should see Josh Gorges and Ryan O’Byrne stepping up in their places, but making a bit more than what they currently make.
Now this is pure optimism, but If the cards fell into alignment in three years, it could be a solid and impressive group of six (Markov, Gill, Subban, O’ Byrne, Gorges, Tinordi).
The Canadiens also picked up Mark MacMillan (4th round, 113th overall), defenseman Morgan EIllis (117), and forwards Brendan Gallagher (147) and John Westin (207).
Sure they were deep in the draft, but as HIO’s Mike Boone noted on Saturday, you just never know.
“Those tempted to dismiss these kids as no-chancers might consider Andrei Markov, a sixth-round choice (162nd overall) by the Canadiens; Hal Gill, who was an eighth-round pick (207th overall) by the Bruins; Travis Moen, a fifth rounder (155th) for Calgary, Jaro Spacek, a fifth-round pick (117th) by Florida; Tom Pyatt, fourth round (107) by the Rangers, and Josh Gorges, who wasn't drafted at all.”
Maybe the most enthusiastic reaction from the lower-end group came from Ellis, who made the trip out to Los Angeles. "I was expecting to be drafted a little later, actually,” he said. “I know I still have a lot of work to do to make it to the NHL. But this is just amazing.”
Qualifying offers out, and two more signed: Pierre Gauthier was also busy sending out qualifying offers last week. Carey Price, Maxim Lapierre, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Tom Pyatt as well as Hamilton Bulldogs Mathieu Carle, David Desharnais, Cédrick Desjardins, Brock Trotter, Ryan Russell and James Wyman were all issued offers.
So far Pyatt has signed on for another season, at what may be a steal at $500,000 as per RDS, and the Canadiens also came to terms with potential RFA Benoit Pouliot for another year at $1.35 million. Both forwards will be eligible to become RFAs again at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Is this good-bye?: As per HIO, the Canadiens are not expected to offer contracts to Glen Metropolit, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Dominic Moore, allowing them to become UFAs on July 1. Of the three, I fear letting Moore test the waters could come back to bite the Canadiens.