Rabid Habs

5 Key Moves For Habs

GM Marc Bergevin

So we’re a week away from the start of the Stanley Cup finals, with two game 7’s on the horizon with probably the best 4 teams in the NHL this season. Each team left made key moves in the offseason or trade deadline to get their team to the top whether it was adding that all important depth at the center position (Kesler) or adding veteran leadership and stabilizing defensemen (Stralman, Boyle, Garrison, Morrow & Coburn). The Rangers put all their eggs in one basket for Yandle and the Hawks… Well they’re just the Hawks and are the closest thing you’ll see to a modern day NHL dynasty – win or lose this year.

Which leads you to think: What are the key moves the Habs should make and how to get them done to be considered a contender and have a chance at a championship? Plekanec, Tinordi, Fucale, a 1st & 2nd round pick to Pittsburgh for Evgeni Malkin. Like everyone else, yes I have a Playstation and this trade goes through and Habs are an instant contender. Unfortunatley this is real life and if any GM accepted this trade, well let’s just say he’d have a lot of time to play Playstation shortly after. Building a team isn’t easy and you see it every year. GM’s are always looking to get better and here are a few guys I think Marc Bergevin should go after with certain circumstances:

 Carl Soderberg

2014-2015 season —> 82 gp-13 goals-31 assists-44pts

He was the second highest scoring centermen on the Bruins this past season behind Patrice Bergeron. If the Habs can’t come to terms with hometown boy Torrey Mitchell, I believe Soderberg would be an excellent fit and coming in at 6’3″ and 198 pounds surely doesn’t hurt as the Habs could always use some extra size. Sure he’s lined himself up for a raise in pay, but picking him up at 2-3 million a year would be a solid addition and at 29 years old, he still has 5-6 good years ahead of him.

Justin Williams

2014-2015 season —> 81gp-18 goals-23 assists-41pts

Ah… Mr. Clutch, Mr. game 7, Mr. Conn Symthe winner, Mr. 3-time Stanley Cup Champion. Who wouldn’t want him? Oh yeah! I forgot he has made 3 million + per season for the last 4 years. He’s 33 years old and has gone on record saying he wants to continue playing somewhere he has a chance of winning. If in some crazy way the Kings decide to cut him loose, how good would he look in the Bleu,Blanc,Rouge? He’d be a great mentor to the young guys on the team and would solidify our top 6 wingers. He’d have to take a significant pay cut to go to Montreal, but they are a team on the rise and I think Montreal will be an attractive destination for a lot of players the next few seasons. How does a Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Williams line make you feel? That’s right I’ve forced Galchenyuk to center.

OK let’s be honest! For the second consecutive year, Marc Bergevin has looked like a genius with deadline moves he’s made. This one particularly on defense. The acquisition of Jeff Petry didn’t really catch anyone by surprise seeing as it was no secret Bergevin was looking for help on the back end. It’s what he managed to do to finish out the season and the first two rounds of the playoffs that makes you question if he’ll be back. He averaged about 20 minutes per  game, replaced an aging Andrei Markov as the number 2 dman on the team, shown he has some offensive flare and isn’t afraid to hit and block shots. Lastly he brought a 3rd right handed shot on D for the Habs. He said at the end of the season that he would consider Montreal as he loves the team, city and thinks there is a real chance of winning there. Then again we all saw what Lebron James has done and if Petry wants to go home then he’s gonna go home to Detroit. If he wants to break the bank as a few defensemen do every year, it clearly won’t be in Montreal. Which leads me to take a look at…

Christian Erhoff

2014-2015 season —> 49 gp-3 goals-11 assists-14 pts

This past season is probably one Christian Erhoff would want to forget. Actually let me rephrase that… the last few is probably a better assessment. In 2011, he thought he had secured his future becoming a very rich man signing a 10yr, $40 million deal. He was eventually bought out 3 years later and is now looking for a chance to redeem himself after a disappointing stint in Pittsburgh. He would probably come cheap.

Jakub Silfverberg

Trading Silfverberg to the Ducks for Bobby Ryan could turn out to be one the Sens will regret for years to come. 13 goals, 26 assists for a career high 39 points for Silfverberg in 81 games played versus 18 goals, 36 assists, 54 points in 78 games. At first glance it seems Ottawa came straight out winners with the only difference being Ryan is a plus 5 and Silfverberg is a plus 15. It just proves he’s a better all around player and at 24 years old still has plenty of time to grow and improve. Oh yeah and he made $850,000 last season and if Bergevin sent him the “dreaded” offer sheet, he probably could sign him for $2.5M to $3.5M per season compared to Ryan’s $5 million + salary. I would just love to see the Habs stick it to the Sens on this one especially if or when they meet in the post season again.

Another option I believe that should be considered is Johnny Oduya. He would be a great pick up, but I have to believe the Hawks will do everything in their power to retain him.

One of the most pressing issues is fixing the powerplay and it’s unfortunate Michel Therrien and Guy Boucher in no way could co-exsist – as it would probably be an instant fix, but we all know it will never happen and Boucher is probably New Jersey bound as their next head coach.

The biggest move the Habs could make is go out and make a blockbuster deal to acquire that big centerman they desperately need, but unless you’re playing NHL 15 on your gaming console right now it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon.

Article by Thomas Harvey