Now that we’ve reached the yearly Christmas break hiatus, it’s an appropriate time to look at the Montreal Canadiens situation and wonder why things have turned out so badly for a team that was supposed to battle for a least a playoff spot in 2011-12. Following their worst performance of the season yesterday night in Winnipeg, a 4-0 loss, the Canadiens are now mired in a season-long five consecutive losses, their longest since Jacques Martin became the team’s head coach in October 2009.
The club looks bored, hapless and flat, especially since Jacques Martin’s firing that occurred last Saturday only a few hours before the team lost 5-3 against the New Jersey Devils. Martin’s assistant, Randy Cunneyworth, took over as the team’s interim head coach without much success so far. Under Cunneyworth, the Habs have scored a mere 6 goals in 4 games (1.5 GPG average) while allowing a dismal 17 goals (4.25 GAG average). Some veterans, such as Michael Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec and Hal Gill, look lost and disinterested on the ice and don’t want to work hard and give their 100% on every shift for the newly appointed head coach.
Several moves made by general manager Pierre Gauthier and previous GM Bob Gainey have proven to be costly financially and unproductive on the ice (for example Scott Gomez and Andrei Markov).
Let’s have a look at what the Habs’ line-up could look like if it was only filled with former players. Below you will find a list of all players who played for the Canadiens since the 2004-05 lock-out, whether they were traded or let go via free agency by the organization.
Your roster must include 2 goalies, 6 defensemen and 12 forwards, and fit under the NHL salary cap of $64.3MM.
Jaroslav Halak – 6 wins ($3.75M)
Jose Theodore – 13 wins ($1.5M)
Alex Auld – 1 win ($1M)
James Wisniewski – 16 points ($5.5MM)
Mark Streit – 18 points ($4.1MM)
Mike Komisarek – 4 points ($4.5MM)
Francois Beauchemin – 11 points ($3.8MM)
Roman Hamrlik – 2 points ($ 3.5MM)
Ryan O’Byrne – 5 points ($1.8M)
Sheldon Souray – 15 points ($1.65M)
Francis Bouillon – 4 points ($1.35M)
Ryan McDonagh – 14 points (1.3M)
Marc-Andre Bergeron – 22 points ($1M)
Jeff Woywitka – 5 points ($650,000)
Mike Ribeiro – 24 points ($5MM)
Alex Tanguay – 22 ponts ($3.5MM)
Michael Ryder – 21 points ($3.5MM)
Mikhail Grabovski -15 points ($2.9MM)
Sergei Kostitsyn – 15 points ($2.5MM)
Saku Koivu – 15 points ($2.5MM)
Chris Higgins – 22 points ($1.9M)
Benoit Pouliot – 8 points ($1.1M)
Dominic Moore – 11 points ($1.1M)
Maxim Lapierre – 9 points ($1M)
Tom Kostopoulos – 7 points ($916,667)
Jeff Halpern – 9 points ($825,000)
Kyle Chipchura – 4 points ($550,000)
Tom Pyatt – 4 points ($525,000)
My potential roster:
Total cap hit: $47.85MM
So who do you got? Which former player(s) would you really want back in Montreal?
Fred is a freelance sports writer and translator, as well as a Montreal Canadiens blogger on http://thehockeywriters.com and a baseball columnist on http://www.dobberbaseball.com/. Fred also joined HabsAddict.com in time for the 2011-12 season.