Latest Canadiens and Islanders News – September 8, 2011.

Could the Canadiens use their extra cap space soon to further bolster their roster? Are Bryan McCabe and Steve Staios set to accept training camp invitations from the Islanders? 

CTV MONTREAL: Arpon Basu noted Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier has “a shade under $4 million” in available cap space, and wondered if Gauthier will invest that money before the season opens to further bolster the Habs roster. Basu noted John Madden, Mike Grier and Mike Modano could provide an extra dose of leadership, Brad Winchester a more physical presence, while available defensemen Bryan McCabe, Chris Campoli, and Anton Stralman could be useful additions if injuries were to hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible Gauthier could look toward the slim pickings in the UFA market for additional depth, but it appears more likely he’s going to evaluate his current roster in training camp before making any decisions to add a veteran or two.

Josh Rimer, NHL Home Ice on SiriusXM Radio, recently “tweeted” he’d heard a report claiming Bryan McCabe was about to accept a training camp invitation from the Islanders. Rimer later “tweeted” he’d spoken with Steve Staios, who was also mentioned in the report, and Staios denied he was going to the Islanders, which made Rimer question the validity of the McCabe report.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen where McCabe and Staios end up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re in uniform with new teams by the start of the upcoming season, as teams evaluate their respective bluelines during training camp.


  1. Gauthier will definitely evaluate his team before making any signings througt the handful of available free agents. If there is to be a need that can be filled per trading with another team, I think Gauthier could move before training camp resumes.

    Penalty Killing is in my opinion the only need Gauthier will need to answer before season starts. Either Martin decides to uses precious minutes from Plekanec to center the first PK unit , or Gauthier adds a centerman that can specifically log in the time to leverage Plekanec role to a first line center.

    Martin has the option to evaluate Endqvist for that role and , or assign Ryan White to center for PK time. White use to be play at center in the Juniors and could provide the much needed size at this position.

    Time will tell….

  2. I agree, Enqvist will get his chance, better to use that cap space during the course of the season for injury replacements and playoff reinforcements. Montreal has 7 forwards who can play top-six, no point spending big money on 3rd and 4th liners. If money is spent anywhere, it will likely be on defense, but again, only if the younger players show that they need more seasoning in the AHL, or the injury bug hits.

  3. I usually like Arpon’s ideas, but I’m happy to see Gauthier leave this pool of free agents alone. They remain free agents for a reason. I agree with HabsFan. Gauthier will check out the lay of the land in training camp, and if he makes a move, it will probably be a trade.

  4. Habs need a good third centerman. Pleckanec and Gomez combined, won 49% of their face-offs. I would of liked if Gauthier would of signed Eric Belanger, he is good in the face-off circle.He played in all 82 games for Phoenix last year, and won 55% of his face-offs. Desharnais will be good, but I think it’s too much to ask of him, to pick up the slack from Pleckanec & Gomez. I think Madden would be a good pick-up for the Habs.

  5. Didn’t Belanger sign with the oil?

  6. I’m sure Montreal could pick up Kyle Wellwood at a reasonable price – he’s a center and has grit. Montreal could pick-up Grier, but I’m sure his speed and skills have declined further than last year – and he was god awfully slow. Love his leadership, but it’s time for him to go into coaching. Trent Hunter is still available and he is good on the PK, can score goals, has grit and leadership. Another one that could be reasonably priced.

  7. I would’ve like Belanger or Konopka , unfortunately PG was hibernating in the States during free agency. Or he looked at their profiles and said …” What these guys are 6 ft???? cannot take them” ,,:p.

    I would say injury replacement and keeping the space available in primordial.
    a) NEW CBA looming
    b) Price and PK will require big fat raises if they continue to progress into star players.

  8. Any news on Steve Bernier?

    • When there is, I’ll post it.

  9. I would have liked Talbot or Belanger. Any of them would have fit perfectly into our PK but oh well. We’ll see how things pan out in training camp.

  10. Wellwood, grit ?!?