Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kovalev spin out

It seems Alex Kovalev had a "little" accident yesterday. He lost control of the mayor of Grande Riviere's motorcycle on a trip to visit a fan there. He, of course, flew there in his own plane.

There are two sides to this story:

1) Kovalev rode a motorcycle, fell off and could have been injured. What a fool...

2) Kovalev went out of his way to visit a fan in a relatively remote part of Quebec in his holiday season.

Now that we are all relieved he is not hurt and won't affect our line combinations just as we finally worked them out, can we at least recognise that on this occasion Kovalev has gone out of his way to do something for at least one fan (although the mayor sounds like he may be the new biggest fan...)

I for one wouldn't expect any player in the spotlight for the whole year to spend his quiet time roaming the province where everyone knows his name. I haven't heard of the other Habs doing this (though I'm sure several do). Kovalev is not from Quebec and could be spending his time pretty much anywhere else, but he's in Gaspe visiting Habs (and admittedly Kovalev) fans.

I think this story shows a side of the player we don't often hear about. The Kovalev who coasts on the ice (because he can coast faster than most skate) does care about the Habs and their fans.

Credit where credit's due!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Boone, Souray and Pollock

Mike Boone, Sheldon Souray and the late Sam Pollock. Three names that probably have never been in the same sentence, and probably never shoud be again.

Yesterday in his online (eeeee)mail (what does that mean??), Mike Boone asked what Mr. Pollock would have done differently from Mr. Gainey on the Sheldon Souray dossier. Hi assessment:

After making a cool, unsentimental assessment of Souray's value, Pollock would have traded him, on or before the Feb. 27 deadline, for prospects and/or draft choices.

He goes on to say that this is because:

Pollock – who played three-dimensional chess and thought five moves ahead – would have known that he couldn't re-sign Souray for a number with which the team could live.

If Mr. Pollock would have been five moves ahead, why Mr. Boone do you insist on playing right into the checkmate?

Trading a player at the trade deadline is neither worthwhile nor clever. it is what every current GM does, and only that. A GM who is five steps ahead of his rivals would have traded Souray years before Mike Boone thought it was a good idea.

First off, consider who the Habs could have traded with at the deadline.

The first condition is a team that is going to make the playoffs (why would any other team bother trading for a three-week rental?). So eliminate Washington, Philly, Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, LA and Edmonton. Gone with them are all the best draft picks - probably for the next few years too.

Next, the Canadiens would not be trading to an Eastern rival who they could potentially pip for the playoffs. So eliminate Florida, Boston, Toronto, Islanders, Rangers, Tampa, Carolina and Atlanta (based on the teams at that point).

Divisional rivals aren't usually trading partners, especially with decent prospects and draft picks going one way, so eliminate Buffalo and Ottawa.

So that now leaves us with New Jersey and Pittsburgh in the East. It leaves us with the 9 teams in realistic contention in the west.

However, next, we should eliminate teams that already have a PP quarterback (with equivalent offensive or superior defensive skills). This probably takes Detroit, Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado and Nashville out of the equation.

We're down to New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Vancouver, Dallas and San Jose. Take out Minnesota, since they probably aren't keen on the -28 burden, maybe even NJ for that matter.

So who are we going to trade with out of Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Dallas and San Jose?

San Jose you say? But they want Rivet...

Pittsburgh? They would rather keep their youngsters for a future run thanks...

Vancouver and Dallas? I'm not exactly marvelled at their prospects.

So, I've made a lengthy point there I think. I don't thik a trade was on at the deadline. Not without San Jose. Good draft picks also come from non-playoff teams, not deadline dealers. If we want those plum picks that Trader Sam would be trading for, then we'll need to get a bit braver. Trade Chris Higgins? Trade Mike Komisarek? Trade a Kostitsyn?

Personally I'm not in for the draft pick trade. For one things it's now a lottery, so forget Backstromesque moves, Pittsburgh wins the lotteries either way. Plus, I'd rather trade for known quantities and keep known quantities. Players, the best ones, now plug away until their 40s. Get a star at 28 for a number of picks as far as I am concerned, and take his last 12 years...

Are these the heirs to Sam Pollock?

The list of NHL general managers with Pollockesque acumen would include Brian Burke, Ken Holland, Lou Lamoriello, Glen Sather, Darcy Regier, Ray Shero, Doug Wilson, Dave Nonis, Doug Risebrough, Jacques Martin, Dean Lombardi and the new kid on the block, Paul Holmgren.

I'm afraid not.

As much as it pains me to say it, the only GM taking the risks necessary to even be remotely associated with our greatest GM is Kevin Lowe. Lowe unloaded his most popular player for 3 propects. He traded his captain in a deal for Pitkanen (who was touted to be the next big thing once before). He quietly signed Mathieu Garon (who we all still like, right?). He signed Souray. Then he went for the players he wanted, everyone else be damned.

Bob Gainey beware. Don't trade with Kevin Lowe, he's no Frank Selke Jr...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Habs famous numbers

A lot of Habs history coming to the surface these days as members of the 50s, 60s and 70s dynasties pass on.

I don't know much about Trader Sam Pollock, but I have of course read the "Lions in Winter" book, which gave me a pretty good idea of how shrewd a GM he was. He certainly played by his own rules and didn't let convention stand in the way of making a championship team. That Guy Lafleur story is legendary, of course. Not to be overlooked are his choices of coaches, his ability to keep the right players together (coax them from their desire to retire), and his eye for talent in the early days of thee draft. Rest in peace Mr. Pollock. Our thoughts go out to your family and friends.

Dave Stubbs and the guys at have had Habs history on the mind
lately too, even getting into when Plekanec changed his number. Big news in Montreal! Following that bombshell they published a list of all the numbers ever donned by Habs over the years. it made for an interesting read, and got me thinking about lots things number-related.

Firstly, it's crazy how many Hall of Famers wore the same numbers. Secondly, even though we've lost all those numbers to retirement, with a few more to go soon, there are plenty left – many not under any threat at all.

The other thing I noticed was number 13.

It hasn't been used on the Habs since 1922 (even though I briefly convinced myself they must be wrong about Vladimir Vujtek's number). Perhaps this fact is not that surprising, given the number's notoriety and inherent unluckiness. Obviously the Canadiens banned the use of the number, the same way the builders of many high-rises have done (come on, I'm not taking an apartment on the 14th floor, I'm not stupid).

I do remember Selanne wearing 13, and it didn't seem to do him any harm that year...

This led me to another question: which other numbers should be banned?

I have a couple of ideas as to how the banished number list should be established:

1) Any bad years for the Canadiens franchise should be banned.
This would include, among other possibilities:

67 – Though a good year for Montreal as a city and for baseball here, it was the missing year in another 5-year run. Some other team won...

94 – Missed the playoffs after the Cup, and Youppi, our new mascot, was shafted hard.

All numbers from 96-98 – The Montreal Forum is closed. No hockey and Nicholas Cage films a movie there (ugh).

2) Numbers that just aren't working for players This would include, among other possibilities:

53 – Racicot, Fitzpatrick and Sylvain Blouin. Do I need to explain?

54 – Traverse

59 – Jarventie

95 – Berezin, Olivier Michaud

I do have some reservations about these numbers being banned though, as Patrick Roy did pretty well for himself with what was up till his time a pretty mediocre number. Though number 33 with Riley and Sevigny would never have been up for complete banning.

In addition to these numbers, I also think 66 should be taken out of circulation in honour of the greatest offensive player to come from Montreal, and in my opinion, anywhere. It would be silly to see someone who couldn't wear 66 with the same presence and flair as Mario did.

I wonder if anyone had a little chat with Brisebois about the number 43 after he resigned. It's not really been a great number over the years. Brunet traded it in quickly, as did Cassels, and Brisebois ran the number out of town. I'm not sure his new choice of number (allegedly for Colorado reasons) is much better. The last sweater emblazoned with 71 didn't exactly leave a legacy of long success. We'll see if it lasts.

At least 71 has hope as it stands for beating the odds (or the Orrs). So Brisebois did well on that count.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Want to see the Belarussian line?

In the past, I used not to worry too much about the pre-season. But probably some time that conincided with the Canadiens learning how to draft, I began wanting to see games. As a blogger, pre-season games are the ultimate – the chance to see the young players of the future and judge them for yourself, and inevitably criticise some team selection decisions.

This year, Habs fans lucked out. Most of the Habs pre-season games are taking place in Montreal! 5 games in 11 days to get a decent preview of the 2007 Habs. posted the schedule yesterday:

Monday, Sept. 17: Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 18: Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 19: New York Islanders vs. Canadiens at Moncton, N.B., 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21: New York Islanders at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22: Ottawa Senators at Canadiens, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23: Boston Bruins vs. Canadiens at Halifax, N.S., 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 27: Boston Bruins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29: Canadiens at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m.

I'm hoping that we'll see a bit of Sergei Kostitsyn after his 2 stellar seasons in London. Wouldn't it be great if the made a line of the two Kostitsyns and Grabovski for a game (maybe the Pittsburgh one).

It should also be fun to watch Brisebois get outplayed by some players invited to camp from junior, Hamilton and from anywhere else.

Lastly, is any goalie gonna come out of this training camp looking good? Pittsburgh twice and Ottawa twice. not gonna do wonders for the stats, I shouldn't think. It looks like they designed a schedule where Carey Price would really have to earn his way onto the team.

Hey, maybe that's why they signed Breezer – to make sure Price faces enough shots in training camp to get a true picture of what he can do. Tricky that Bob Gainey...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Designing the Habs

Rumblings from the blogosphere include the need for the Habs to redesign their team, or at least tweak it to emulate the most recent Stanley Cup Champions, the Ducks.

This got me thinking. First about the obvious question:

Should we be trying to emulate the Ducks?

And, next:

If not, who should we be trying to model the team on?

Well, it's my opinion that we shouldn't be trying to model our team on the Ducks per se. I mean, the point on hard work is well taken, but big guys will be beaten if not supported by certain misters Niedermayr (S), Pronger and Giguere. It would be foolhardy to develop a team like the Ducks up front without being able to match what they have at the back. I think Philadelphia gives the best example of the big man experiment going horrendously wrong.

So, it's the right players (i.e., Niedermayr) in key positions that make the Cups flow? To answer my own question, Yes, that is the most important thing. Montreal in its history has already exploded the big-man game once when they unseeded the 1970s Broad Street Bullies and ushered in the era of offensive hockey. Obviously, it would be even harder to model a team on the 1976 Canadiens than on the 2007 Ducks in terms of pure talent and assets, but it does give an idea of what kind of players you need to make a perennial contender.

Of current teams with stats that we can compare to our current day Habs, which team provides the model for success then? I thought I would look at the Stanley Cup finalists from the past 5 years for some guidance:

Anaheim Ducks (2007/2003)

Goalie: Giguere – excelled in playoff run, depended on heavily
Main D: Niedermayr – top player in the finals, all playoffs
Main F: Committee – Andy McDonald scored 10 goals

Word to describe them: Tenacious

Ottawa Senators (2007)

Goalie: Emery
Main D: Redden
Main F: Alfredsson – best forward in the playoffs

Word to describe them: Explosive

Carolina Hurricanes (2006)

Goalie: Ward – key saves, supported by lots of goals
Main D: Committee – all solid, played well together
Main F: Brind'amour – outplayed all who matched up against him

Word to describe them: Cohesive

Edmonton Oilers (2006)

Goalie: Roloson
Main D: Pronger
Main F: Smyth

Word to describe them: Grinding

Tampa Bay Lightning (2004)

Goalie: Khabibulin – played very well when called upon
Main D: Boyle – played well behind excellent forwards
Main F: Richards – played all roles, earning Conn Smythe

Word to describe them: Talent

Calgary Flames (2004)

Goalie: Kiprusoff – carried team into playoffs and to finals
Main D: Regehr
Main F: Iginla

Word to describe them: System

New Jersey Devils (2003)

Goalie: Brodeur – the best goalie of all time at his pinnacle
Main D: Niedermayr – the defender of his generation
Main F: Committee – solid group, Langenbrunner with 11 goals

Word to describe them: Brodeur

Anaheim Ducks (2003)

Goalie: Giguere – excelled in playoff run, depended on heavily
Main D: Carney
Main F: Kariya

Word to describe them: Hot goaltender

Detroit Red Wings (2002)

Goalie: Hasek – out to win his first
Main D: Lidstrom – top notch D, top notch offense
Main F: Yzerman – pure desire

Word to describe them: Dynasty

Carolina Hurricanes (2002)

Goalie: Irbe
Main D: Committee
Main F: Francis

Word to describe them: Lucky

Of the ten teams, and based on the players we actually have (and hope to have when we account for all the improvement in our prospects that we are hoping for), then I would say we are closest to emulating Carolina 2002, Mighty Ducks 2003, Calgary 2004 and Edmonton 2006. Of course, as we all know they were the losers, and although the Ducks went on to win, it was a team reshaped by the lockout and subsequent Niedermayr signing.

The Hurricanes were the same group, and I think they probably represent the best franchise for us to model ourselves on. We already have our potential Brind'amour in Koivu, who often outplays his direct opponents, especially in the playoffs. We have our Cam Wards coming up, or so we hope. And we have a defense that could, if they play together, match what the Hurricanes were able to achieve.

So, if I'm Guy Carbonneau, I would be reviewing tapes of the Carolina Hurricanes circa 2005/6. They had a cracking regular season and followed up with a Stanley Cup. What could be better. Well, maybe making the playoffs the next year...

The Hurricanes with a stud defenseman, who ironically they had and chose to trade to LA, would be a perennial contender. If Markov can do what we all know he is capable of, we could be the Hurricanes of 2008. Trading for Erik Cole would help too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Canadiens website

How about the new Canadiens website? It's nice.

Now we have Saku, Higgins and Markov as our three faces on the entry page. Pretty accurate, I'd say. If you asked for 3 players I would describe the current Habs with, it would most definitely be those three.

It did mean removing Kovalev and Huet, which made me think it must be the first time since the beginning of Habs websites that a goalie hasn't been featured up front. It's a bit harsh on ole Cristobal, mind you, as he was an all-star for 50 games worth of a season. Kovalev has fallen out of favour with the fans, so it's not really surprising he's gone. I don't think it really matters whether he is there or not. He's a three-game streak away from reinstatement as the Habs fan darling. A goal like he scored against the US in the WC for the Habs would go a long way in helping that too.

Speaking of the Habs website, an article they posted yesterday about the up and coming players got me thinking: is Corey Locke done for good?

The little man sure put on the jets for the Hamilton run, and his season wasn't exactly terrible either.

One big, obvious problem for Corey is that he will never be a third or fourth liner, so unless he can get onto one of the first two lines, he's stuck. Doesn't look good with Koivu and Plekanec already there, and the management likely in the search for someone bigger, not smaller, to fill in if anything.

His one chance would be if he played on the wing. Oh wait, he can. That's where he had all that success, riding shotgun on the Lapierre line. The guy can score and could be an asset. I've heard he needs an attitude shift, but maybe he's old enough now to give it one last good go at making it. I give him a decent chance at pulling it off and showing the folks at that he's no slouch.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Open letter to "Concerned Fan" on Brisebois

A recent post by "Concerned Fan" really got my back up today, and given how I've been ranting about just this recently, I thought I would write him/her a reply. (Note: The blog is very well-written and researched, it's just this specific open dismissal of a group of fans who don't agree that gets me going)

The post, really did reek of the blinded Habs fan approach that I have been banging on about with regard to old Brisebois:

Unfortunately, there's still the issue of the boo-birds, blinded by a past that's no longer relevant and only eager to impart their less-than-stellar knowledge through irritating boos at a player who should deserve only respect for his past contributions and for signing at such a reasonable fee. One has to seriously wonder what is going through the mind of a player even considering returning to such a hostile environment.

The answer, of course, is that he loves Montreal and the Canadiens; always has and probably always will. No matter the fools swaying drunkenly from the rafters, Brisebois has always intimated that he was a Canadien at heart.

And if he signs, I'll be first in line to cheer and welcome him back.

- A Concerned Fan

Misconception #1: “there's still the issue of the boo-birds, blinded by a past that's no longer relevant”

Why is the past no longer relevant? I’m not clear at all on that. Has Brisebois improved since going to Colorado. I think you’ll find he didn’t. He was a healthy scratch on a number of occasions. Colorado fans on discussion boards expresss the same frustrations with Brisebois as Habs fans did. And, most of all, his current team opted to let him go.

His past is very relevant, both his past with us (only 4 years ago) and his most recent struggles with the Avs.

Misconception #2: “there's still the issue of the boo-birds, … only eager to impart their less-than-stellar knowledge through irritating boos”

I’m sorry, but this is nonsense. Concerned Fan just painted everyone who boos with the same brush. Many, if not the majority of fans, can give a very sane and rational answer as to why they boo. This kind of statement is akin to the “You’re either with us, or you’re against us…” rhetoric that comes out of Iraq/any war supporters when forced into a corner. It borders on the extremely ignorant itself, which puts the blogger close to the very group he was trying to characterise in the first place.

I’ve been to the Bell Centre on numerous occasions, and I can assure anyone who is wondering, that the boos are only heard when they are met by a silent majority. Leafs fans boos can be covered up by cheering. People up there boo lots of things – the anthem, Kovalev, Koivu, etc. – but if other people care enough, then it is cancelled out with cheers. Believe me when I say that by Brisebois’ last season, there were many booers and the rest were happy to let the boos get through.

Is booing helpful? Well now that’s a debate. It certainly gets the attention of the GM. I don’t think any of us bloggers could pretend our blogs would do any better…

Misconception #3: “a player who should deserve only respect for his past contributions an for signing at such a reasonable fee”

I think this has been addressed before by myself and Robert at <> Eyes on the Prize <>. It is absurd to think Brisebois deserves our unquestioned support for signing the only multi-hundred thousand dollar deal he was offered. He’s no saint, and he’s no fool either – taking a paycheque that will help his imminent retirement fund quite nicely.

Misconception #4: “One has to seriously wonder what is going through the mind of a player even considering returning to such a hostile environment.”

I often wonder what goes through the minds of people who choose to do jobs in very hostile environments. I don’t think playing hockey professionally for hundreds of thousands of dollars for a team that expects very little of you really falls into this category.

I think I have a pretty good idea of what might have gone through old Breezer’s mind: $700,000.00 vs. $0.00. Hmmm.

I may just have to drown myself to the point of drunken foolishness, if the next time I sit at the Bell Centre I have to sit for three hours to try and identify evidence of Brisebois’ innate talent for the outlet pass that I have been told about ad nauseum the past few days. At least then, I’d fit in with everyone else up there…

Monday, August 06, 2007

Habs fans have it all wrong on Brisebois

After a weekend without the internet, I come back to discover Patrice Brisebois is with the Canadiens again.

This is bad news. Very bad. And, in my opinion, most Habs fans are dead wrong, whether they agree with signing or not and especially in their (banished) memories of Breakwood.

First of all, as Robert pointed out on Eyesontheprize, Brisebois is no saint for coming to Montreal on $700,000 a year. No one else signed him, did they? This was probably his best, if not his only offer to continue playing hockey. He missed a lot of games last year, partly due to injury, but was also a healthy scratch on non-playoff Colorado. $700,000 nis nothing to sneeze at – I know PhDs who start on 5% that salary, so let's not be ridiculous as we lay on the praise for good ole Patrice. He's not stupid, that's for certain. he'd have to be to turn down this offer.

Second of all, Brisebois was never just another Traverse or Laflamme (terrible on D), he was awful, got paid lots and couldn't understand where the disconnect was. He always acted like he had earned the $4 million a year (the highest contract for any Hab ever at the time).

But on top of everything, what always disgusted me most about him was his attitude. I saw it after every goal. There was never any acknowledgement of his own mistakes – just flinging his arms in the air, sometimes as if to blame others (and the goalie) for not covering his mistakes up. Commiting errors is forgiveable, but not if you don't learn from them.

Ask any manager in any business. Someone who doesn't learn from errors is someone who won't be around long. This is Brisebois. He was always to vain to bother improving, or trying to do less, or taking some responsibility. This more than anything is why I am disappointed in his return.

On top of it all, it makes this offseason look like a total mishmash. How can we have faith in management and their plan, when they talk about going with our star prospects but bring in tired old veterans.

As I said before, Brisebois is not even a good role model. I would never want any of the young players, whether it be Cote, O'Byrne or Valentenko to take on any of his traits – not even his vastly overrated outlet (I thought it was intercepted) pass.

A very dark weekend for the Habs – even if many of the fans try to cast some very very optimistic light onto the whole mess.

Time for the ironic cheers again...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why Gainey should be open to trading Carey Price

These being the dog days of summer (if you can call this weather over here summer), I have been spending more time reading blogs and discussion forums looking for Habs news. As I did, I noticed a couple of recurring themes:

1) Habs fans desperately want to trade for someone they can talk about (it would help if the player was also good as well as interesting or controversial); and

2) Habs fans are not willing to give up their prized assets (mostly Price, Higgins and Komisarek)

Like other fans, I too long for a player that would really become a star in Montreal. I'm not sure if Marleau could be, but maybe Lecavalier or Hossa could be. Who knows. Obviously speculating is 80% of the fun. However, I'm also not under the illusion that trading a combination of Dandenault, Bouillon, Ryder, Plekanec and Halak will fetch us anyone of the calibre we are looking for.

That is why I am beginning to think if our real desire is a star, one like Lecavalier (I'd like Iginla), then we have to bite the bullet and give up something another team actually wants or needs. So, below I present to you my rationale for trading Carey Price:

1) His value as of this moment is very high. You can argue that it might go higher, but you can not argue with the fact that he is currently looking the best he did since being drafted. If a GM rates him as highly as Habs fans, we should find himand make a trade with him. If we can get franchise player return (in the form of established star or stars) for him as a potential franchise player, then we're just as well off.

This point really encompasses all the others, and is the most important.

2) World Juniors success should not be extrapolated to NHL success. First of all, the WJC is 6 games long. Carey Price won 6 games! But, don't forget he won them playing for Canada, not Slovakia, not Germany, not Ukraine. Canada beat Sweden (2-0), USA (6-3), Germany (3-1), Slovakia (3-0), USA again (2-1 in SO), and Russia (4-2).

It's not unipressive, but consider Russia beat Czech Republic (3-2), Switzerland (6-0), Belarus (6-1), Finland (5-0) and Sweden (4-2) before losing to Canada.

So in those five games before the final Carey Price let in 5 goals with 2 shutouts, whereas the Russian goalie let in 5 goals with 2 shutouts. But who's talking about Semen Varlamov?

Canada has won the WJC 12 other times in the past 25 years. A look at the winning goalies shows that WJC success doesn't mean NHL superstardom (although Theodore was the exception for about 6 years):

1982 – Mike Moffat (3-0-1, 1.75, 1 SO)
1985 – Craig Billington (3-0-2, 2.60, 1 SO)
1988 – Jimmy Waite (6-0-1, 2.29, 0 SO)
1990 – Stephane Fiset (5-1-1, 2.57, 0 SO)
1992 – Trevor Kidd (4-1-1, 2.25, 1 SO)
1993 – Manny Legace (6-0-0, 1.67, 1 SO)
1994 – Manny Fernandez (3-0-0, 3.33, 0 SO)
1995 – Dan Cloutier (3-0-0, 2.67, 0 SO)
1996 – Jose Theodore (4-0-0, 1.50, 0 SO)
1997 – Marc Denis (5-0-2, 1.86, 1 SO)
2005 – Jeff Glass (5-0-0, 1.40, 1 SO)
2006 – Justin Pogge (6-0-0, 1.00, 3 SO)

3) The Calder Cup while being a great achievement is not the barometer for great NHL goalies either. Facing AHL players is not the same as facing NHLers. Incidentally, the last 6 Butterfield trophy (Calder Cup MVP) winners have been goalies. Once again, the list doesn't exactly inspire, though they are a nice list of prospects: Pasi Nurminen, Johan Holmqvist, Wade Flaherty, Antero Nittymaki, Frederic Cassivi and Carey Price.

Even with all the talk about Price's achievements mirroring Roy's, it's interesting to note, Roy did not win that trophy – good ole Brian Skrudland did.

4) The age of goaltending might have passed.

In the 1990s and before the lockout, a lot of Stanley Cups went to the team with the best goalie: 1993 Roy, 1995 Brodeur, 1996 Roy, 1999 Belfour (nearly Hasek), 2000 Brodeur, 2001 Roy, 2002 Hasek, 2003 Brodeur.

The last couple of years have made forwards look useful again. Buffalo and Ottawa are thriving, and no one would argue Emery or Miller fit in the Roy and Brodeur's category. Edmonton made the final with a half decent goalie, so did Carolina. Giguere is good, obviously, but watching Anaheim made the fact that Pronger and Niedermayr being there help a lot.

Obviously if Carey Price is another Roy, Brodeur or Hasek, we'd still be in business. But, at this point that's all still speculation.

5) He's deemed untouchable. Letting a GM finangle him out of Gainey in a trade makes other GM feel great. He got an untouchable out of Montreal. Said GM, will probably pay more for the trouble as well – you only have to look at Kevin Lowe to see how some GMs overrate potential.

Trades are all about timing.

One day, Carey price gets you Vincent Lecavalier.

A bad training camp later, he'll fetch Milan Hejduk.

And, heaven forbid, a whole bad season, we're trading for a draft pick.

Take the example of Jose Theodore. Back in 2002, with goalie prospect Garon in the pipeline, I thought: Theodore for Iginla, how about it? Hart trophy winner for Hart trophy runner-up, Vezina trophy winner for Art Ross. I guess Calgary might not have gone for it, nor Montreal for that matter. But it didn't look crazy at the time. A few years later, you have to pay with draft picks to get someone to take Theodore of your hands.

We had the same opportunity with Ribeiro, who I thought topped out with 60 odd points. We traded him after a bad season instead.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I think Carey price looks pretty sure fire. I was as pleased as anyone about him winning the WJC and Calder Cup. But, one of the reasons I was pleased is that his value grew immensely. After a mediocre and a decent junior season, his value needed the boost.

I'd also be happy if we kept him. However, if the right offer comes up, I think Bob Gainey should listen and, indeed, take it. There's no room for being sentimental on a 10th place team. Sentimentality is for dynasties. The same thoughts of course apply for both Higgins and Komisarek. If someone sees more value in them than Gainey does, he should deal up. The one thing I do dread is trading one of these people for someone who is also overrated, what we need to get back is a known quantity, a star. Not a bigger gamble.

The possibility of trading a future goaltending great might be a dilemma, but it is a nice dilemma to have after the cupboard has been so bare the past few years.