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Plus/Minus – Grading the Montreal Canadiens Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 20 2011 @ 11:01 am In Montreal Canadiens | 1 Comment

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Montreal Canadiens
2010-11: 96 points, #6 in Eastern Conference

GOALIES

Returning: Carey Price

Arrivals: Peter Budaj
Departures: Alex Auld

Grade: 0

No change for the Montreal Candiens in goal. People can argue until they are in blue in the face whether Auld is better than Budaj, but the fact remains that Carey Price will likely start 70 games anyway.

DEFENSE

Returning: PK Subban, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Jaroslav Spacek, Yannick Weber

Arrivals: Andrei Markov (return from injury), Alexei Yemelin
Departures: James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik, Brent Sopel, Paul Mara

Grade: -1

Despite a -1 rating, I expect the Habs defense to be just as good next year, but that’s certainly no guarantee. The team is essentially replacing Wiz with an injury prone Markov and are going with youth in Yemelin over veteran Roman Hamrlik. On paper, that’s a slight downgrade, but in the long run it may even be an upgrade depending on how Yemelin develops and Markov’s health.

FORWARDS

Returning: Brian Gionta, Andrei Kostitsyn, Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Travis Moen, Lars Eller, David Desharnais, Ryan White, Mathieu Darche

Arrivals: Erik Cole
Departures: Benoit Pouliot, Jeff Halpern, Tom Pyatt

Grade: +2

A Cole for Pouliot swap is a significant upgrade to Montreal’s top 2 lines. Cole will definitely bring more stability and more scoring to the lineup than Pouliot did. The Canadiens will also add another depth forward to replace Halpern/Pyatt on the fourth line and PK.

OVERALL RATING: +1
2011-12 prediction: #5-#7 in Eastern Conference

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