Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Quick Habs hits on a Monday evening

Back from six days away and without internet access almost the entire time. A few quick things to catch up on:

- Pierre Gauthier made a great deal with Nashville. Getting two young players along with a 2nd, let alone a Geoffrion who could be motivated by the legacy of being the fourth generation to play in Montreal, was more than I felt the Canadiens would get for Hal Gill. Geoffrion has already played more games than most 2nd round picks do, and I suspect he’ll settle in for the next few years as a 3rd or 4th line winger. The 2nd is a great chip to have, and Slaney fits well in Hamilton. Haven’t said this in a while: well done, Mr. Gauthier.

- Who goes next? Clearly, Andrei Kostitsyn doesn’t fit Randy Cunneyworth’s “style” - but is Cunneyworth the coach next year? No. Kostitsyn is a perennial 20 goal scorer who, if coached and motivated by someone preaching to his talents, can score 30. He’s an enigma, but a very talented one, he hits (most people don’t realize that) and he cares. I say keep him, unless the offer knocks your socks off. Kostitsyn is far more valuable than a 2nd round pick, and he wants to play in Montreal. After this season, who knows how many players will feel that way. Lock him up long term.

- Travis Moen is garnering a lot of interest, despite injuries. Trade him? I’m not so sure. He’s a key cog in the defensive forward/PK wheel, a great leader, and a popular teammate. Perhaps deals him with a “wink, wink” agreement to sign him again in the summer (I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hal Gill brought back as a 7th defenceman, by the way). But if he has to go, he needs to garner at least a 2nd round pick. Remember, he’s not yet 30. We’re not talking burnt out veteran here. Moen is the grit the Canadiens need.

- Mathieu Darche clearly wants to stay in Montreal. He’s also playing his heart out and getting trade interest. If someone will deal a 3rd rounder for him, I say do it. My bet is that he’d re-sign with the Canadiens in the off-season.

- As for who the Habs should be going after - I won’t go there right now, except to say Jeff Carter, Rick Nash, etc. would look great in the Habs. However, I suspect the asking price would not be tenable.

- PK Subban is playing his best hockey of the year right now.

- The Canadiens need another string of 4 or 5 wins to even continue thinking playoffs. Every time they get close, they blow it. 4 points out is a lot better than 6 - and with a couple of tougher periods last week, that’s where they’d stand.

That’s all for now. Lots of post-trip things to take care of. Should be an interesting week in Montreal.

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The Hal Gill trade was definitely a success, but the question is can Gauthier keep this up. Thinking about the play-offs with this team is ridiculous. They need fundamental change. I am tired of hearing about how the Habs have to start thinking about a buyout for Gomez. Buyouts kill your salary cap for years after the player is gone. Don’t believe that? The Leafs still have Darcy Tucker on their salary cap for the next 3 years and he has retired! No, the solution is to bury Gomez in the Minors. It would really help promote a sense of accountability in the dressing room and that is exactly what these players need.

Posted by BlackXinu on 02/21/12 at 08:40 AM ET

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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.

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