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About Regis22

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  1. General manager Marc Bergevin is fond of saying you can never have enough defencemen, but the Canadiens currently don’t have enough defencemen to stock the NHL team and their minor-league franchises in Laval and Brampton. The Canadiens have 11 defencemen under contract and four of them have never played a single game in the NHL. Bergevin is shopping for a top-four defencemen, but over the past two weeks, the Canadiens have said goodbye to eight defencemen while adding only one — David Schlemko. The Canadiens traded prospect Mikhail Sergachev and Nathan Beaulieu and lost Alexei Emelin to Vegas in the expansion draft. Earlier this week, the Canadiens declined to make qualifying offers to Nikita Nesterov, Ryan Johnston, Dalton Thrower, Joel Hanley and Keegan Lowe. All five are now unrestricted free agents. The current roster includes only two proven top-four defenceman — Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. Andrei Markov is an unrestricted free agent who should be in the fold. He has made it clear he wants to stay in Montreal and the lone hangup may be the Canadiens’ reluctance to sign him for more than one season and his asking price of $6 million Jordie Benn, Brandon Davidson and Schlemko have been bottom-pair defencemen for most of their careers, although Benn played top-four minutes in the playoffs. The best bet to plug the hole in the top four appears to be Karl Alzner of the Washington Capitals. He has visited Montreal in the past week and told Jean-François Chaumont of Journal de Montréal that he’s interested in playing here. He had a $2.8 million cap hit last season and could be a reasonable acquisition. He’s a physical defenceman and that’s an area where Montreal needs help after losing Emelin but Alzner’s foot speed is suspect. Two possibilities among the other signed players are Brett Lernout, who didn’t look out of place in the three NHL games he played last season and Jakub Jerabek, a 26-year-old Czech who had 34 points in 59 games in the KHL last season. Rookies Simon Bourque and Noah Juulsen both need more seasoning. The Canadiens are also looking to bolster the offence and Martin Hanzal’s name is popping up again. That’s because he’s 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds and he’s a centre. As teams made their qualifying offers Monday, there were two players who weren’t tendered offers and either would be intriguing if Bergevin is in the mood for taking on another Russian reclamation project, a gamble which paid off with Alex Radulov and not so much with Alex Semin. Prospect No. 1 is right winger Nail Yakupov, who was cut loose by the St. Louis Blues. Edmonton made him the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, but his career has been on a slide since he scored 17 goals as a rookie. Yakupov had some chemistry with Alex Galchenyuk in their one full season with the Sarnia Sting and the hope would be that they could recapture that magic. Yakupov had three goals and six assists in 40 games with the Blues and, when he wasn’t a healthy scratch, he averaged fewer than 11 minutes a game. He needs confidence and playing time and, perhaps, more commitment to defence. Over 292 NHL games, he’s a minus-91. He made $2.5 million last season. The other candidate is Mikhail Grigorenko who, like Radulov, played junior hockey in Quebec City. Things might have gone better for him last season in Colorado if Patrick Roy hadn’t bailed, but he had 10 goals and 13 assists in 75 games. Grigorenko is attractive because he’s a big centre — 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds — and he won nearly 58 per cent of his faceoffs last season. His cap hit was $1.3 million
  2. By the way, Andrei Markov (seeking 2-year deal) is representing himself in talks with the Habs. No agent.
  3. The Alex Radulov camp has heard form 10-11 teams so far. Not planning site visits at this point; still want to keep Montreal in the mix, too
  4. What are the chances Radulov and Markov return to Montreal? How much could Alexander Radulov fetch on the open market and what are the chances he returns to Montreal? Craig Button discusses, and also weighs in on whether Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin would feel comfortable giving 38-year-old Andrei Markov a two-year deal.
  5. Quick summary: Alzner tells Chaumont he's interested in signing with Habs, wants long term deal, talks with Caps essentially dead right now
  6. Heard Radulov isn't interested to stay in Montreal if he has to take anything under three years
  7. Like a lot of narratives surrounding the Montreal Canadiens, this one starts with last year’s P.K. Subban-Shea Weber blockbuster. General Manager Marc Bergevin signalled a focus on reliability in the defensive zone over anything else a rearguard might offer. His moves so far this off-season have only reinforced this ideology: shipping out the puck-moving-if-defensively-spotty Nathan Beaulieu for a third-rounder; leaving Nikita Nesterov to walk as an unrestricted free agent; allowing hard-hitting, giveaway-prone Alexei Emelin to be claimed in expansion. The pieces Bergevin has added in the last few months, including Jordie Benn and more recently Dave Schlemko — both around 30 years old and known for being steady and not very flashy — are very much defencemen in line with Bergevin’s increasingly apparent philosophy. In fact, they aren’t unlike the player Bergevin was himself over the course of his 20-year career. Low-scoring, team guys. Hard to play against. Reliable. Those qualities don’t necessarily jibe with the direction many teams are heading in today’s NHL. Generating offence from the back end pushed the Nashville Predators within a few wins of the Stanley Cup, as many a passerby in downtown Montreal is eager to proclaim. But the repeat champion Pittsburgh Penguins won the Cup without their best defenceman, Kris Letang. Pittsburgh had three pairings of virtual unknowns held together with a little scotch tape and a lot of hope. They were efficacious and not stupendous, and capable of doing what was necessary to support the superstars on the front lines. That’s not to say the Canadiens have stars of the calibre of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, and it’s no secret the Habs are still looking for help on the back end. But the moves made by Bergevin do indicate it’s something of a model the GM may be watching with interest. Rumours have linked the Tricolore to the New York Islanders and the Minnesota Wild, with scoring forward Alex Galchenyuk mentioned as the piece potentially going the other way. But Bergevin wants several assets in return for the 30-goal-scorer, and that’s not an unfair ask for a player who has only scratched the surface of his potential. But it’s not news that Montreal is lacking in the scoring department, and while Galchenyuk definitely has his flaws, he is a highly capable offensive contributor. The further addition of Jonathan Drouin gives the Canadiens a more potent top six, and the idea of Drouin and Galchenyuk working together on a power play is enough to make fans drool and opponents sweat. Having seen what other teams are offering, that duo may be proving too enticing to give up on, and the GM’s game plan regarding Galchenyuk may be changing. There’s no question that Bergevin isn’t finished playing the market, and he’s never been one to shy away from pulling the trigger on surprise deals big or small. Both defence and centre remain areas of need, but it’s not hard to envision a Montreal team built to be big and reliable on defence, led by skilled forwards capable of gaining the zone, and finishing when they get there. Carey Price is in negotiations for a new contract. The Canadiens bringing in defensive help to insulate him, while adding goal-scoring to take the team off his shoulders, has to seem like a pretty good sell.
  8. If the HAbs are trying to get rid of A G there is no way they would sign Yakupov .
  9. Where would Yakupov fit in Montreal ? He would not be in the top six and he is terrible defensively , a -91 career. I guss MB could sign him and hope he and ALex light it up
  10. because \he's a bust
  11. The opening day of free agency is on Saturday, however teams can speak with potential free agents leading up to that point about everything except contract terms. The news broke early today that free agent defenceman Karl Alzner will meet this week with the Montreal Canadiens management
  12. Why would Joe want to Monday Habs Headlines: Joe Thornton may consider Montreal as a potential landing spot
  13. good but not great . We've had these players for a while and get the same result every year . And every year we make different exsuces MAybe we over rate how good these players really are
  14. Only good element is Price Galchenyuk is gone and we still have no # 1 or # 2 Centres . The D is old , slow and not very mobile which will see the fast teams jump all over them
  15. you really think the Habs are in a " cup window " . This team , as it stands today might not make the playoffs