Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Habs in tough as Prust hits the shelf

Now this sounds familiar: the Canadiens are suffering a barrage of injuries. Last week we learned Davis Drewiske would be gone 6 months, Max Pacioretty 3 weeks, and now Brandon Prust is out a month with a shoulder injury. Add to that George Parros, Alex Emelin, Doug Murray, and a clearly banged up Josh Gorges, not to mention a concussed Daniel Briere, and you get...a regular season in Montreal.

What is it about the Habs that attracts the injury bug? Sure, you can cite their small roster, but keep in mind many of their so called "big" players (ie Pacioretty, Parros, Murray, etc.) are the ones injured. What's a GM to do? 

For the time being, Marc Bergevin doesn't need to panic. He's helpd build the deepest farm system the Habs have had since the early Bob Gainey years, and I suspect many of the youngsters will be able to step up, fill more ice time, and bridge the gap.

However, should Bergevin look for help, two names that jump out and are still available are Simon Gagne and Guillaume Latendresse - both locals by coincidence, but two of the only remaining top 3 line free agents. Gagne, at 33, seems much older than his age as he broke into the NHL at such a young age. He seems like a realistic option, as we know his agent and the Habs did have talks in early September, and he'd add immediate speed and goal scoring skill to a team that needs to shore up their top six. Latendresse is currently playing in Europe, but he's a former 30 goal scorer who's trying to prove injuries don't have the better of him, and he is only 26 (amazing, isn't it? Both Gagne and Latendresse could be 40 based on the press they've had over the years...but they really aren't that old).

Are there options through the trade market? Sure. But I see no reason, 8 games in, for Bergevin to go that route. If he can add without giving up assets, do it. However, I for one hope he stands pat and sees what the kids can do.

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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com