Latest on the Canadiens – January 21, 2012.

Are the Montreal Canadiens in sell mode? Could Andrei Kostitsyn be among those on the way out? Read on for the latest.

RDS.CA: Mario Tremblay reports Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is in “sell” mode, saying Scott Gomez, Hal Gill and Petteri Nokelainen won’t be back next season, while it’s questionable if Travis Moen, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche return. “Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, David Desharnais and PK Subban will not go anywhere. The club is stuck with Tomas Kaberle,” writes Tremblay, who also believes Lars Eller and Brian Gionta could be trade material. Tremblay writes Gauthier should try to add more depth at center and on defense. He also believes it’s too early to wonder if Gauthier will return as GM next season or not.

TORONTO SUN: Chris Stevenson reports Gauthier and adviser Bob Gainey “have fanned out over the Midwest and the West Coast of the U.S., and have been seen at games over the past few days leading to speculation the Habs are getting ready to make a deal. It is a foregone conclusion veteran defenceman Hal Gill will be dealt and likely wingers Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn, as well.”

Kostitsyn hopes to remain a Hab.

LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports Canadiens winger Andrei Kostitsyn said he’d be willing to accept less than market value to re-sign with the Canadiens. Kostitsyn is eligible for UFA status this summer. He’s earning $3.25 million for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kostitsyn would likely have to accept less than that to remain with the Canadiens, but it remains to be seen if he fits into their plans. I think it would be a mistake to trade Eller, who has good scoring skills but needs to be given the opportunity to display them consistently with the right linemates. Gill would certainly be of interest to teams seeking a defenseman with playoff experience, while Kostitsyn perhaps might be of interest to the Nashville Predators, who are in the market for a top six forward, and where his brother Sergei now plays. Forget about making the playoffs and becoming first round road kill. It’s time to rebuild. The fact, however, that Gauthier will be the one engineering these moves suggests he might not be replaced this summer, which probably won’t sit well with Habs fans.


  1. Who in their right mind would take on Gomez’s contract?

  2. The fact that Kostitsyn would apparently sign with the Habs when they aren’t a contender, for less then market value, means something. Unless there’s a behind the scene trade and resign in July deal, I would sign him, and not trade him (unless it’s an offer you can’t refuse of course). Anywho

    Scott Gomez – Buyout, nobody will take him. Forget about the salary (try), he can even play at the NHL level anymore.

    Hal Gill – Did the job, just getting old now, thanks for the service.

    Petteri Nokelainen – Who?

    Travis Moen – If Ryan White does come back, should be a younger comparable, get a pick for Travis.

    Mathieu Darche – Nice guy, and hard worker, but doesn’t belong in the NHL

    Lars Eller – He might need a change of scenery as I think the Halak trade just weighs on him. If he’s part of a trade to bring in a big center or pp help on D, I’m ok with it.

    Gionta – Dudes injured.. maybe trade him in the off season?

    PK – I would also put him in here (you see that givaway last night??? Good lord…) Again, same thing as Eller as in if we need to use him to get that elusive big center.. so be it.

    All that being said, I don’t think PG has the full reigns to do what he wants here. How you rebuild is obviously key to the ‘next’ Montreal team, and if PG isn’t envisioned to be a part of that, then why would they let him go ahead with it without a hand on his shoulder.

  3. (dammit, you need an edit button in here Spec, Gomez CAN’T play at the NHL level anymore)

  4. Dear Monsieur Geoff Molson: Pierre Gaultier et une moron. S’il vous plait, le fire his sorry ass maintenant. Le personne qui builde le crappy team should not le re-build le crappy team. Ca ne make no sense.

  5. LOL GusMacDuff… spoken like a Maritimer.

  6. I can see PK getting traded, and maybe Kostitsyn.

    It makes a lot of sense for Nashville and Montreal to become trade partners, if not just this season but in the offseason as well.

    I watched the game last night. The Budaj stretch pass to Cole and Patches (Pacioretty) was the kind of play that Montreal had gotten away from this season that made them so dang deadly. But without Hamrlik, with an aging Gill, they couldn’t play zone pressure, collapsing D-style anymore.

    I think Gauthier should be removed, like Shiac-man says, and get in a GM (Jacques Martin lol) to tinker with the team. After all, Martin has GM exp (Florida) and understands the players and the team.

  7. HabsFTW- agree with you on most points except Eller, Subban, Moen, Gionta.
    My theory with Subban is that he’s a sophomore D man thrust into a top 2 role when he should be developing in a 3-4 role. He’s 22 years old and not even close to where his potential is going to take him. England on wrote a interesting article about him being viewed as “selfish”, but how it could be a locker room divide amongst the vets and newbies.
    Moen is cheap and does dirty work, needs to stay.
    Eller is a center with size and looks like a bigger version of Pleks with a higher skill upside, plus he’s cheap so he stays.
    Gionta is hurt, not going anywhere for at least a year.
    I disagree about Kaberle being stuck with the Canadiens. He’s on a almost .50 points a game clip this season and everyone knows Montreal can’t score so I think a GM out there would take the “change of scenery” approach with him, plus his contract isn’t THAT ridiculous.
    Campoli has to go
    Then comes draft day, IF the Canadiens get that blue chip center/winger I’ve been pining for the last week or two on this website then that make Pleks expendable at the next trade deadline. Eller can do Pleks job next year, IMO.
    Fail for Forsberg!

  8. I agree, don’t get rid of Eller. He needs to be given a chance to play with playmakers/goalscorers, not shut down/4th line guys. Same for Kostitsyn. Look at David Desharnais… he is flourishing with Cole and Pacioretty. I don’t think he’d last too long in league as a shut down/checking/4th line centre. For too long the Habs have placed players in the wrong situations and expected things to work. Expect Eller to check/shut down, expect Moen/Darche to become a goal scorer! Doesn’t work. All really good players, in their respective roles. Max Pacioretty had it right a couple of years ago when he was in Hamilton… He stated he didn’t want to be called up to play on the 4th line, he wasn’t a 3rd/4th line player. If injuries dictate the situation, call up a player or two to fill the role, not necessarily the player. I realize you don’t have a proven NHL caliber goalscorer playing in the minors, but if a goalscorer get injured/suspended, call up a goalscorer from Hamilton, don’t put a checking player in his place. A player who is used to getting 8 – 10 minutes of ice time and suddenly is expected to play 20 plus minutes and score as well? Doesn’t work… at least not for the Habs.

    Hopefully the offseason will see improvements, a high draft pick will hopefully help! A new GM maybe, new coach maybe… definitely some new players!

  9. if Pierre Gaultier is on the U.S. West Coast scouting maybe Geoff Molson should take the opportunity to interview replacements while he is out of town… then hire one of them before the Habs make another retarded trade… maybe then the Canadiens will be able to make the right moves at the deadline and summer to fix this disaster for next season… it just makes better hockey sense to let a new GM make the moves than inherit whatever additional damage Gaultier will possibly create.

  10. I think Moen shoud stay and ak46 unless the Habs get a great offer or he wants too much cash (say more than 2,5/year ???). Keep Eller!!!! no way they trade him. Pleks could be trade worthy IF a great offer comes up. The trade would have to be borderline stupid for the other team, but with so many looking for a top 6 guy or a number 2 center, it might happen. Kaberle and Gomez I see as being buyouts in the summer. Gill, Campoli and weber get traded.

  11. I think Desharnais would last plenty long in the league on most teams out there. I consider Cole to be flourishing with Patches and Desharnais. Cole is a digger to get them the puck, Desharnais a budding playmaker and Pacioretty a budding goal-scorer.

    Last year I did extensive stats studies on player and came up with a coefficient to determine their worth this season. I had Desharnais at 1.07 (first line) and Pacioretty at 1.09, and they were the two highest rated forwards on the team.

    This year, Desharnais is at 1.03 (2nd line quality offensively) and Pacioretty at 1.08 (1st line), but Desharnais is also sporting a +9 on a losing team, which accounts for a lot.

  12. You can also be certain the Leblanc will be staying with the big club next year. And, for the love of God, bring in a experienced, knowledgeable GM and coach. No more rookie coaches!!!!!!!! Heck, bring Guy back! Being Muller back! Just no newbies now. Especially if there’s a partial rebuild about to happen. Need someone whos been there done that to run the show.

  13. I agree with pretty much everything here except, I’m not sure why travis moen would be so sure to be dealt as that is exactly the type of player the habs need more of in their bottom 6. Also, I don’t see why you would trade eller, he’s doing just fine and I think he could take over as a full time second line centre soon. Teade plekanec instead who has a higher value as he is a more established player, and try and get either a first line centre or some sort of big time scoring help.

  14. I have to say, I think Plekanec can fetch a good return, and it might be time for him to go. Next year’s centers: Desharnais (stick him with two big wingers again, Pacioretty and Cole), Eller (don’t trade him just yet), Gomez (like it or not, you’re stuck with him – no one would take that contract, and a buyout would handicap the team for four years, not just two), and Leblanc (who, along with Gallagher, might be the top forward prospects the Habs have right now). Sure, it doesn’t look pretty, but those four would be good enough for a rebuilding team.

    Trade Plekanec for high picks and prospects, and they’ll likely develop by the time Gomez’s contract expires. The first year that Gomez is off the books will be the first year of the rebuilt team.

    Of course, if the Canadiens can manage to wrangle a Staal or a Getzlaf, trade anyone on the roster. Heck, trade the whole roster. The whole point of rebuilding is to have your best player rebuilt around – and the Habs don’t have that caliber of player.

  15. Cole-DD-Patches… awesome second line.

    AK-Eller-Bourque.. great third line.

    The 4th line we can make up cheaply or from the farm… White, Blunden, and pick up Gustaud or comparable.

    Our problem is we don’t have a first line. Leblanc may be ready next year if he has two great linemates. It’s time to trade Pleks (clearly unhappy), Moen (who has priced himself too high with an awesome season), and Gill, Campoli, Nokelainen, Gionta, Weber and Kaberle, and try to find ourselves a top line.

    As for defence, if Markov had been well, Subban would have been the 3-4 guy, and would have done just fine. If he is back next year…

    St. Denis

  16. Lyle,

    If you were GM of the Habs, what would you want from the Ducks for Travis Moen at this point?

    Personally, I would love if we can get him into our 4th line (now that the Blake-Bonino-Cogliano line is firmly entrenched as our 3rd line) for the playoff run.

    Would a trade of JF Jacques + 5th round pick suffice?

  17. Jacques + 5th…. that would be a no

  18. While I agree with you all who would want to keep Moen as I do like the guy, my thought is he should have decent trade value to a contender (gritty, physical, scores here and there, cup ring, UFA).

    We’ve got Ryan White coming back. Ya he’s rougher around the edges, but he’s bringing the same game Moen does, and if we are going to go into some kind of rebuilding mode.. we need to start getting some picks/prospects.

  19. If I were Habs GM, I’d have no interest in Jacques, and I’d want more than a fifth rounder for Moen.

  20. If your the owner of a team that will begin the re-building, then that means everybody must go. That includes Pierre Dumbass Gauthier ! Who cares if we dont get a french GM, they havent really been helping us anyways, Gainey did absolutely nothing, and Gauthier, well has only made things alot worse then they already were. Point being if the canadiens want to win, they need to get size upfront, dont go getting anymore of these little guys, like gomez or gionta, even desharnais. They need players that can fight for the puck around the boards, and with the size they need to establish an aggresive for-check.

  21. Just curious, but how long is Gionta out for with his bicep surgery? Sounds like a longer term injury, but not sure. Would be a nice addition to the Preds if healthy. :)

  22. Why would Mtl trade Subban? He is only in his 2nd full NHL season, is he not? Young defensemen take longer to develop than forwards.
    Teams should be taking the time to let these young guys develop and have the patience to teach them and deal with the errors they will make.

  23. in the article, Tremblay mentions 6 players not going anywhere…one omission, where is Price on that list??

  24. Hire Julien Brisbois from Tampa Bay as the GM and hire Patrick Roy as the Coach of this team. Please!

  25. I don’t think Cole is untouchable, I’ve actually mused about an interesting (more hilarious) inter-division deal that would never happen, but fun to think on.

    To Montreal: D Sergei Gonchar, F Jakob Silfverberg, mid round pick
    To Ottawa: D Tomas Kaberle, F Erick Cole

    I think the deal makes sense as the Habs are nowhere near being a playoff team and need the youth. The Sens absorb $3.5 in salary (which they then shed to letting Kuba go at end of season), get a younger but pretty near same player as Gonchar and a sizable top 6 forward who is around long term. Habs shed 3.5 in space, get a d-man who will be off their books a year faster and can reload by getting some more youth into their system. The Habs signed him for free so it turns out to be a great investment for them.

  26. So what would you have in mind for Travis Moen from the Ducks?

  27. Lyle,

    What would you feel would be a fair trade for Travis Moen from the Ducks?

  28. Moen and Gill are the most marketable for teams looking to beef up for the playoffs ( both rentals )
    Face the facts Habs fans Mtl is in big trouble & it will be a while before they have a contending team.
    Pacioretty, Cole , Desharnais, Plekanec , Bourque , Eller will stay , Leblanc will move up.
    Gomez is not tradeable, Kostitsyn needs to move on , Gionta could be traded but 5 mil is a hefty contract.
    The back end is where they are really weak, they have too many 5/6 depth defencemen. Re-signing Markov was a huge risk that stuck them. Kaberle was a panic move, he’ll be difficult to trade, while I like Gorges he is a not a top 4 d-man. PK has skill but his antics are gonna wear thin with the organization sooner or later ( he could fetch good return though ). Price is a top notch goalie , if he had better D in front of him he’d play better.
    Fire Gauthier , bring in Scotty Bowman on an interim basis to consult with Gainey until a new GM is named in the spring. Or contact Jarmo Kekalanien to come in and help sort out this mess.

  29. Gomez should be shipped to Hamilton, buying him out leaves the Habs stuck with him on their cap. Gill & Campoli are defintely on the way, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kostitsyn got dealt. Budaj should also be shipped off and get a reliable backup.

  30. I got tired of reading the something over and over again so I just skipped to the bottom. If you’ve already said this sorry. I do not agree with any of you that are saying keep moen, gionta, kostistyn or plekanec. IMO moen is the type of player most teams looking to contend for the cup would be looking for and isn’t someone you keep to build your team around, this is a rebuild in Montreal not a let’s get rid of 3 players and add that big forward and top d man (which is oh so easy) and we’re good. Moen is the guy you add at the deadline. Gionta is one of your best players yes, but he is also the guy that would bring back a decent return. He is a proven play off performer and with teams looking for those top 6 forwards I think he could be one of those players. Kostistyn has been around to long to expect keep around for another 3+ years. He has never really been a consistent player and if someone offers something decent in return take it. Lastly plekanec, this is another guy who could be your best return, he has shown he can score and be a very skilled forward. If memory serves me correctly he has played very well on the pk before. He is another guy who I just don’t see around in the 3+ years it would take to become that playoff team. I know getting rid of a lot of these players means you wont be very competitive but who cares. The point is to get what you can and be younger. I like what Florida did last year with how many draft picks they got. Even if they don’t end up playing that is a lot of depth you can use to get those big centers or #1 d men. Anyways you do have some young guys that you can buld around I just don’t see appoint in keeping the others. And as far as Gomez goes bury him in the minors don’t buy him out, he only has 2 years left, get that contract off the books ASAP.

  31. I think they need to target only french speaking players . Too much english in the room.

  32. Like most habs fans you guys over value their players and mis-judge others GMs willingness to take on some of their less than desirables. Gill has performed in the past in the playoffs but is getting older and slower. Kostitsyn has to be one of the most inconsistant players in the league as he disappears for games on end. Plekanec can be good but is smallish and also disappears for long stretches. Gomez, well enough said already.
    Montreal is just to damn small to be effective in the playoffs. Sure they did all right in the past but they have become even smaller since then. Getting rid of Moen and Eller just doesn’t make any sense. Eller is developing finally and Moen is one of only two or three guys who really know how to bang and crash. Subban is having a pretty crappy year but then again he probably isn’t and won’t be as good as habs fans wish, however trading a guy with some promise doesn’t make much sense unless you get back equal value, which is hard to guage this year with PK. Can’t stand the guy personally. I don’t think anyone is going to take Kaberle either with his fading skills and 1.5% shooting accuracy. Bet Rutherford was jumping up and down with glee when he got rid of that contract. I do believe habs fans you are in for a few very lean years. To bad Price wins a few games for you because if your goaltending was as bad as the rest of your team you would be in line for guys like Yakupov and whoever is number one next year.

  33. No1DuckFan did you say for our playoff run? Lol

  34. I think you get Jacques Lemire as GM & Patrick Roy as Coach. Deal Gill,Kaberle,Darche,Moen,Gionta,Campoli,Weber,Pleks. I would trade Subban only if I could get Weber or Suter. Gomez to Hamilton. I would only want big tough & fast players. We have enough small forwards & defence no more pls. Get picks & young players for the guys we are moving out. Keep all the rest. of the players. The blame for this mess are Gainey & Gauthier. They should be gone ASAP. I am French & I don’t care who is the GM or Coach. I put two French guys to shut people up. I could careless if the Coach didnot speak French or English. I just want a Stanley Cup for the Montreal. The money we save sign good UFAS inthe summertime.

  35. Mtl needs Markov that’s it that’s all.
    He’s one of the league’s elite players.
    Of course trade Moen, Gill, Campoli, Nokeleinen(if you can) and get some pics for them or throw them into a big trade with Plekanec for a big goal scorer …like B.Ryan.
    Buy out Gomez and try to move Gionta.
    Draft well and hope the hell to stay healthy.
    Pacioretty- Desharnais- Cole
    Bourque- Eller- Kostitsyn
    UFA- Leblanc- UFA
    White- UFA- Blunden

    Markov- Emelin
    Gorges- Subban
    Diaz- Webber- St-Denis
    Don’t forget that Markov should play about 25 solid minutes a game and that will give a big boost to Price.
    Pray now…

  36. #9 , I kinda agree with where you are going but look at your proposed D . Mtl would be screwed if Markov is not 100% healthy and playing like he did 3 years ago ( and that is a stretch for a guy who has missed most of the last 3 seasons) Markov may come back and be decent but afce facts he has not really payed in the NHL for over 2 years and he ain’t getting any younger
    I don’t agree Plekanec & the players you mentioned would fetch a BRyan type player, they should use Plekanec him to obtain a top4 dman. I also think it is time to shed Kostitsyn, he has been up & coming for 5 years now.
    Good teams are built from the back end out, Mtl has a good goalie, now is the time they need to work on improving the defence. It is going to be a long winding road for the Habs

  37. I can’t believe some people are waiting for the return of Markov. Really, after multiple surgeries, little game action and 3 years older and this guy is gonna be a savior? To trade any of your players and get equal value puts way too much faith in Gauthier. Your gonna have to package a couple to get 1 player back and he isn’t gonna be a first liner. As far as signing UFAs, who would want to play there now? You’re gonna have to pay big and that’s what started this mess in the 1st place. Remember when the excuse for Gomez’ contract was that it allowed you to sign Cammy and Gionta. Where are they now? Gone and on the trade block. It seems even the most die hard Habs fan is finally coming around that Gauthier must go. Unfortunately, your owner doesn’t seem to mind the mediocrity that PG has created.

  38. Gomez to Lokomotiv, they need players to rebuild that team
    Kostitsyn + Weber for Clutterbuck and a 3rd rd. pick
    Gill for a 4th-5th rounder at best or mid-range prospect
    Darche, Blunden, Nokelainen are on their farewell tour of the NHL
    Hang onto: Price, Subban , Diaz, Emelin , Gorges, Pacioretty, Cole, Plekanec, Eller , Gionta for now, Bourque , White and Moen hang onto for now , Desharnais ? give em credit, he works hard !
    Send Markov with Gomez, shoot Gauthier for signing him instead of keeping Wisniewski .
    Need a bonafide # 1 center , a legit checking center for the 3rd line
    Why did we not take Colton Gillies off waivers last week, did we not realize that we’re not big enough to handle the Bostons and Phillys of the East ? He’s what we need, youth , big winger with size .
    Fire BG and PG, hire Jim Nill as GM , Pierre McGurie as chief scout , get Roy , Carbonneau to coach, and hang onto Cunneyworth in the system for the simple fact that he’s doing magic with duct tape to keep his team from blowing up through poor mismanagement , drafting , the media circus and redicule because he can’t spea french .