Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Unsigned

Mike Boone has a nice little post talking about the unsigned free agents who played last season with the Habs.

The Big Names
Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider.
There is no doubt that these players were top tier players in the last 5 years. They are not a hot commodity now, because of age, injury, and price.

Is Montreal the place where players go to die? You arrive in Montreal a respected hockey commodity, and leave as a forgotten husk -- torn down by pressures of a brutal and unfair media, a rabid fanbase, and the faces of hockey greats constantly frowning on you.

"Only 2 goals in today's loss Monsieur Tanguay? My spirit cannot rest with such a lack-luster performance..."
"I am sorry Monsieur Richard. But I cannot do it alone..."
"I find your lack of faith... disturbing..."

It is of course hog-wash. It might be true that players under perform here, and then thrive elsewhere; driving down their value while here, and then making Habs fans lament the loss of such a wonderful talent. We traded LeClair and Desjardins for Recchi, then Recchi for... I don't even remember... a memoriable keychain?

I liked having Tanguay and Schneider on my team. I dunno if I liked them more than Komisarek and Koivu (Higgins was ma boy, he is seriously missed.) But Gainey has spent his money, and is looking to build Jaques Martin a team (not the HabsTwit.) So they are gone. Where do they go?

Tanguay will get picked up by a team wanting to make a splash right before the season starts. He's costly, but good enough to bolster some excitement for a GM with no headlines. Maybe St Louis? Dallas? Something like that.

Schneider and Lang, well, old journeyman. Lang has already been to Washington and Pittsburgh. New York Rangers need a centerman, so maybe he'll end up there. He has to be signed to a team that wants to give the impression of being a contender -- like NYR or Habs. I can't see him in Leaf-land, as Burke has a new game plan that involves.. defenceman only or something.

Schneider proved in Atlanta he can't carry a team's defense; he has to be a part of a bigger picture. He still has Stanley Cup experience and is great on the powerplay - but its a tall order to give this guy top minutes. I dunno where he fits; and maybe he should take a massive pay cut to be part of something; but I dunno what. I'm blinded; I think the best place for him is Montreal. But I always felt that way.

As for Brisebois, he's is probably done. Bouillion should fit in nicely as a late summer signing to round out a team needing some energetic defense. Any team could use him. Except Toronto, who has enough already. Dandenault -- what happened? No reason for this guy to be sent packing to the AHL, but who would take him as either a D or a 4th liner? Dang, hard luck.

Good luck to all of them; you all played well for my Habs, and I feel lucky to have been able to watch you.

1 comment:

  1. You know I really wouldn't doubt that where Lang gets a job... he'll be pretty consistent.

    I was very (pleasantly) surprised with his play last year until his injury.... really became one of my favorite players in the lineup.

    On Schneider.... I'd say he'll find a taker. Maybe only for a year. I liked Schneider wearing the uniform again.

    Tanguay will certainly end up somewhere. I kind of didn't know what to think of Tanguay when the reports came out that he wouldn't play in the playoffs. I had the impression that he was a bit soft.

    Out of all of them, I think I'd offer Lang a deal... unless Gainey has something else up his sleeve.

    But I do wish them all luck!