Ok, ok back to the Habs. Some interesting final cuts made by Bob and company. I'm a bit surprised by some of them, given what I thought would play out. But my trust is in Bob -- despite any claims made by the title I've given this blog. I firmly believe that he is righting this ship, largely through the paper arts. He's gotten rid of most of the bloated salaries (Theo, Sammy) and bad locker room vibe (Dagenais, Ribeiro, etc) and has the farm stocked with lots of young talent to pull us through to a Cup win hopefully in the near future.
There's still one guy left whom you could argue fits into both the bloated-salary and bad-locker-room-vibe categories: Alex Kovalev. Gainey beat me to the punchline, but after writing the last post, I came to the same conclusion. Kovalev has got to start earning that $4.5M this year. Sure that's not superstar money these days, but it ain't chump change either. He's also got the "A" pinned to his chest now, so he'd better start leading in the clubhouse too.
I saw a game last year, where RDS had him mic'd up. He was non-stop yapping, esp to his linemates on the bench. I thought that could only be a good thing. He's a veteran, and he had some youngsters playing with him at times. Who wouldn't want to have some personal hockey tutoring by Alex Kovalev?
Except this dude has to prove the adage wrong, the one where "those who can't do, teach." Kovy's got to do it, all over the ice. 40 goals would sure be nice. If not, he might truly be the final cut.
As to the other roster news:
- Price is staying. Very interesting. Gainey apparently overruled Carbo on this one. Even more interesting. I thought Price would go to Hamilton, given Carbo's earlier statement on Price. So either Price will be sitting a lot, or will be playing more than the usual backup. I think the latter. I suspect Bob will try to move Huet and maybe Halak or Danis too.
- Lapierre isn't. I really liked what I saw from Lapierre last year. He mixes it up, getting opponents to take bad penalties, but plays good D too. But apparently that didn't show this preseason. I'm sure he'll be back.
- And neither is O'Byrne. I'm sure he'll be the first to be called up should the Habs defensive corps thin out from injury, illness or sheer ineffectiveness.
- Brisebois is #4. WTF? That's all I have to say. No, I have more. I thought for sure that his signing was all about depth on the right side, esp if O'Byrne (another righty) wasn't ready. But now he's slotted ahead of Streit, Dandenault, Bouillon and Gorges? I don't get it.