Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Sopel fits well in Montreal

The Brent Sopel acquisition may have cost more than people expected, but Sopel is exactly what the Montreal Canadiens need. A tough, hard-nosed defenseman with a Stanley Cup on his resumé, Sopel instantly makes the Montreal PK better. He’s an older, slower version of Josh Gorges, but he’s also got more offensive upside.

Many people overlook the fact that Sopel has a decent shot and can make a first pass. Understandable, as Sopel is a defensive specialist and rarely gets much of a chance to show his offensive game, but it’s there. That’s also going to be a welcome addition to a Montreal defensive corps that is incredibly banged up. Perhaps even more than Vancouver’s, and that is a feat in and of itself.

Where does Sopel fit? I’d like to see him line up with Yannick Weber. That is, if Weber is a Hab after the deadline, which I am starting to think he won’t be.

Pierre Gauthier clearly believes his team can win. He’s added great team guys in Paul Mara and Sopel. Will he now look to beef up at forward? If Dustin Penner is available, I’d like to see Gauthier put together a package and finally land that big forward the Habs have needed since, oh, 1993 or so. If that, or a similar traded, happens, I foresee Weber being part of the group going the other way. Why? Teams know PK Subban is unavailable. Weber, with his shot and responsible game, is a young, cheap defenceman who can help anchor a core. And young, talented defenceman are something all teams crave, and something the Edmonton Oilers need.

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SYF's avatar

Exactly what the Habs needed on the back end.  Excellent deal.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 02/25/11 at 05:45 PM 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.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com