With the Christmas break in effect for the NHL, I can’t help but think that in the crucial upcoming months of January and February, there a few things the Habs could use to really assert themselves as a good team in a mediocre conference. I know; technically it’s the time of year when you are supposed to think more about giving away…kind of like Scott Gomez with the puck in the neutral zone. But the Montreal Canadiens are merely 2 pieces away from really competing for the chance to lose to Detroit or Vancouver in the Stanley Cup finals.
The first thing the Habs could use is a top 4 defenseman to replace Andrei Markov. The Canadiens have done better than expected without the service of their #1 blueliner, but the time has come to think about moving on. Especially considering the fact that their powerplay is starting to struggle. He is better than 2011 UFAs Ed Jovanovski, Kevin Bieksa and Tomas Kaberle, but I would much rather have one of those players for a full season than half a season out of Andrei Markov. Any of Jovo, Bieksa and Kaberle would be a helpful addition for the club both in the short term and in the long run if they could be re-signed.
The second, but less pressing need for the Canadiens is a second line winger. There are 4 winger spots on the top 2 lines, and right now, the Habs have 5 candidates filling those positions. Cammalleri and Gionta will stay there, but then you have 2 inconsistent players in Kostitsyn and Pouliot and a young and unproven Max Pacioretty. To go up against a team like the Flyers, you need to have a lot of depth in your top 3 lines. My preferred acquisition is someone who I feel can help bring some depth, stability to the top 6 and who would be affordable. That player is Jamie Langenbrunner. Just imagine how good Montreal’s offense could be with a first line of Cammalleri-Plekanec-Langenbrunner; a second line of Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta and a third line of Pouliot-Eller-Kostitsyn.
Once I’m asking for things; here are 5 more items on my wish list:
To have HBO do a 24/7 Habs Show, just to see a Jacques Martin pregame motivational speech.
To have Sidney Crosby play a game for Montreal dressed as Lars Eller, just to see if the coach would notice.
To see some waffles thrown on the ice at the Bell Centre like they do in Toronto, because I feel bad that Andrei Kostitsyn is always the softest thing out there.
To see the PK Subban situation resolved. To quote Darren Pang, “the way the Habs are treating him right now isn’t white.”
To see Louis Leblanc perform at a high level at the World Juniors, which would mean a Trevor Timmins first round pick will have worked out twice in seven years; which is more than I can say for Kyle Wellwood.
Happy Holidays to all!
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.