Monday, 2 June 2014

Monday Mornings with Mitchy

Sure, you're a little disappointed that the post season run for the Montreal Canadiens is done. But if you look at the big picture, the team progressed considerably from last season and the future is bright.

Heading into the offseason, question marks loom surrounding an extensive group of veteran players. And the locker cleanups offered us no clear answer to what the future holds.

Brian Gionta is headed for free agency. For someone who has spent the last five years in Montreal, and is the team captain, I wouldn't be surprised for him to resign at a discount. Sure, options exist for him to head to Buffalo or back to New Jersey. But for a competitor like Gionta, does playing in one of those two cities at this point in time make sense...? Probably not. If you can get him for 3 million or less, bring him back.

Andrei Markov's future will be tough to predict. He has spent his entire career in Montreal and loves the city. What's more important to him? The comfort and stability of a long term deal or the comfort of staying in the market where he knows he can continue to have a great amount of success. Whatever the case, if the Canadiens lose this guy, he's irreplaceable. Nobody on the current roster or on the farm or in free agency can replace this player.

Thomas Vanek... SEEYAH! The final meeting with the media provided us with a brief glance into the world of Vanek. What a vicious cycle it must of been in the post season. "I'm not playing well because I'm not playing with the top line, and I'm not playing with the top line because I'm not playing well." And around, and around we go. As skilled as Vanek is, you don't win with guys like him. Marc Bergevin has preached "character," and Michel Therrien has preached "Team Concept," Vanek provides neither.

Peter Budaj is a great teammate... That's good and all, but this is the NHL. Who gives you a better chance to win. At this point after the playoff run, clearly Dustin Tokarski gives you a better chance to win in the games where Carey Price needs a night off. Bye bye, Budaj.

Dale Weise and Mike Weaver were tremendous acquisitions for the Habs. Talk about character guys who can fill a roll and have an impact on a contending team. It will be easy to bring back Weise, but will Weaver's post season play as a member of the Habs drive up his value? Either way, I'd take both on my team any day.

Francis Bouillon is still capable of playing in the NHL. But for the Habs, with Greg Patteryn, Jared Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu salivating for NHL ice time, you simply can't bring Bouillon back.

Douglas Murray can no longer play in the NHL.

On a side note, of Gionta isn't brought back, I fully expect the next captain of the Canadiens to be Daniel Briere. And that has nothing to do with politics. His pull, the amount of respect he garners and with his overall track record I think he'd win a vote amongst his teammates for the honor.

Everyone I speak to says "Kings in four."

I say, are you crazy?!

By no means do I expect the underdog Rangers to beat the favored Kings in the cup final. But to think it will be easy, is ridiculous. New York deserves full credit for what they've accomplished. A team with leaders like Martin St Louis and Brad Richards, a Norris Trophy Calibre defender in Ryan Mcdonagh and one of the best goalies in the league with Henrik Lundqvist will NOT be swept. But when it comes to elimination games, hard to bet against the LA Kings.


Show me the money!!: Thomas Vanek
Mr Game Seven: Justin Williams
Elevation: Patrick Kane
The ball's in my court: Andre Markov

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