Let me first start by asking, does anyone see this team as a competitor anymore? I sure don’t, they have talented players, but I do not believe they can compete with the top teams unless Price pulls off Fleury playoff numbers (before the finals).
So say it with me …… REBUILD. FULL REBUILD, NOT RETOOL. REBUILD.
I see this as a year to trade for some huge assets, and Montreal has valuable players that could make a rebuild way faster than people think.
Lets start this off with; did the Drouin experiment work at center? No. But luckily in 2012, you drafted a center who has consistently put up 40+ points playing limited minutes and even had a 30 goal season. You know, his name is Galchenyuk. And its time for a coach to actually give him an opportunity to grow in this roll.
Step 1: So onto what I think the team should do this offseason, first off, were trading el-capitano Max Pacioretty, and I believe trading him to the Columbus Blue Jackets is the way to go. Columbus was on fire this year with the addition of scoring winger Panarin, so adding another 30 goal scorer will help this team push themselves over the top. They are currently in a win now mode with a bunch of rookies on entry level contracts, and having Pacioretty on the final year of his contract at an unbelievable price makes it easy for them to bring him in and then decide at the end of the year if they want to keep him. But what’s going back Montreals way? I see this being a draft day deal, so what Montreal would be getting in return is young defencemen Ryan Murray who is currently an RFA playing a limited role under Tortorella, and a 2018 2nd round pick.
Step 2: Say goodbye to Weber who has not been here long. The Islanders have 3 offseason tasks; Resign Tavares, get a goalie and lastly a top pairing defencemen. And guess what, Weber is just that! But what will it take to get this deal done? Well their will be some large contracts being sent back Montreals way, first being Casey Cizikas, second being Johnny Boychuck, who has been having some injury problems these past few seasons, but is still a reliable defencemen when healthy. But here are the two major assets Montreal is gaining. Dal Colle & Ho-Sang will be added to the trade. But Montreal must add in the 2nd round pick in 2019. This free’s up some cap space for the Islanders to open up their cheque book further to Tavares as well.
Step 3: The words no Canadiens fan wants to hear. Au revoir Carey Price. This man has carried Montreal for so long, its time he moves on to an up and coming team where he can have a chance to win. Personally I see great things coming out of Carolina. I also see great assets coming out of Carolina. They have 5 unbelievable defencemen on their current roster all under the age of 26, BUT we are not going after any of them. First, Montreal with the absence of Price will need a starting goalie.. hello Scott Darling. He underperformed last year, but I believe there is still some greatness in him, plus there is still Lindgren waiting to take over. Now the two major assets Montreal would be receiving in return as well, Jake Bean and Haydn Fleury. Both have huge potential in the NHL and will not see much time behind Slavin, Faulk, Pesce, Hanifin and TVR.
Step 4: Free agency. Montreal will be a young team so why not give some more young players a chance. Hello former first overall Nail Yakupov! Reunite with Galchenyuk? Yes please. We will also need a player or two at center who is capable of relieving the pressure off the young players while they develop. And you can count out free agents Joe Thornton, Paul Statsny & Bozak who will not be going to a non-contender, but how about adding Vermette & Fillpula. Both are capable of playing 12- 15 minutes a game in defensive positions.
So Canadiens fans how does this work for your rebuild?
Montreal: Ryan Murray, Dal Colle, Ho-Sang, Fleury, Bean, Darling, Boychuck, Citzikas, 2nd round pick 2018, Yakupov, Vermette, Fillpula
Columbus: Max Pacioretty
Islanders: Shea Weber & 2nd round pick 2019
Hurricanes: Carey Price
WHAT DO YOU THINK?