I was actually gonna post a music review today, but then got distracted watching the non-action of the NHL Trade Deadline bonanza. A few shuffles and no blockbuster trades left me pretty disappointed. The only move the Habs made was getting rid of AK-46. I guess management had no intention of re-signing him so I guess a couple of picks looked better than a kick in the pants come June. Also, it may mean that the Habs have an intention of playing Geoffrion next year since that 5th round 2013 pick that we got back from Nashville was conditional on how many games Geoffrion plays.

Fun Fact: In the 2003 Entry Draft (often considered to be the best draft of all time), instead of Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Patrice Bergeron or Shea Weber we got a 2nd Round Draft Pick in 2012 and a 5th Round Draft Pick that was ours a week ago. Good job Montreal scouting staff. What else did we get that year? Max Lapierre and Ryan O’Byrne. Good job indeed.

Despite the mild optimism for the post-season that I expressed a week and a half ago, the team is now sitting in 15th. I think we can all safely say that’s where we’d like to end the season. We’re not about to close a 10 point gap in 20 games guys. I know, missing the playoffs stings, but it’s time to start looking at the draft, the off-season and the 2012-2013 team.

If we stay in the basement we’re looking at a bottom 5 finish. That means we’d officially be in the “Yakupov” Lottery. What would our odds be?

30th: 48.2 %
29th: 18.8 %
28th: 14.2 %
27th: 10.7 %
26th: 8.1 %

I think Columbus has a lock on 30th, but a 15-20% chance of picking first overall isn’t too bad at all. If not Yakupov, like I mentioned last week, we could maybe land the all elusive “big Center” in the form of Girogrenko or Glachenyuk. If either of those guys is NHL ready it could be a nice draft indeed.

What About a Gomez Buyout?

I really hope this happens, if we buy out Gomez this is what happens to his cap hit:

2012/2013: 3.5 million
2013/2014: 4.5 million (buyouts are weird)
2014/2015: 1.67 million
2016/2017: 1.67 million

The organization would actually pay him 6.67 million instead of the 10 he’d be getting if he stayed on the roster. My name isn’t Molson but saving 3.33 million dollars for a dud like Gomez might sound appealing after his second consecutive no-show season.

How much money would we have to spend to re-sign players and hopefully add a few new faces? Assuming the cap goes up 3 to 4 million dollars, next year’s cap will be about 68 million dollars. We already have Plekanec, Gionta, Cole, Patches, Bourque, DD, Leblanc, Markov, Kaberle, Gorges, Weber, and Budaj under contract. Those guys come up to about 40 million. That leaves 28 million dollars in cap for signings.

I think that Price, Subban, Eller and a variety of assorted lower salaried players (guys like White, Palushaj, Gallagher, Diaz, Emelin, a few free agents, etc) will probably end up costing around 15-16 million dollars, that still leaves an impressive 12-13 million dollars to go after a big-shot UFA.

So Who’s UFA Next Year?

Honestly, there’s not a lot of solid players coming up this year in the UFA pool. Basically, the only big time stars up for grabs are Alexander Semin and Zach Parise. I think the Devils will re-sign Parise, but I’m not too sure the Capitals can afford Semin next year.  If he asks for even a million dollar raise he’s basically out of reach for the Caps. Add to that the love affair this town has with Russian players and I think it’d be a pretty nice match.

If not, we can save that cash for later. Desharnais and Patches will both be expecting raises next year, and there’s a couple big names in the UFA list for 2013.

Crosby? Jordan Staal? Getzlaf? Corey Perry? Lupul? That’s just a few. I might be dreaming when I see that “UFA” next to Crosby, but one way or the other it looks a lot better than this year’s UFAs. It might just be worth it to sit on our stack of cash and see what comes our way.

A Guy Can Dream

If everything falls into place just right, can you imagine this team next year? With the playoffs a fading dream I will console myself with this slim possibility of a 2012-2013 Montreal Canadiens squad:

Yakupov-Pleks-Semin
Patches-DD-Cole
Bourque-Eller-Gio
White/Moen-Leblanc-Gallagher/Palushaj/Enquist

Markov-Gorges
PK-Emelin
Kaberle-Diaz
Weber

Price/Budaj

Like I said, a guy can dream. I’ve already picked out my spot for the parade; I told my boss I would need the day off.

Thanks to Scott for the amazing image of our hometown heroes.

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