I know how it feels Habs fans, the feeling of your teams season ending much before you think it should. As a Leafs fan, making the playoffs alone would feel like a Stanley Cup win at this point.
However, the draft is a time you should all be excited about. The centennial season can be seen as nothing short of a failure, and the Habs know the best way to fix this is at the draft. For those unaware, this year's NHL draft is in Montreal on June 26th. I have every intention of being there...
We've all heard the Lecavalier to Montreal rumours, but this morning I got wind of something a little bigger.
You see, the Habs are in an interesting situation as far as the draft is concerned. While most teams are still cash-strapped, the Habs have so many UFA/RFA players that they will be able to bring in a big name or two at the draft without fear of going over the cap.
If the Habs land a player like Vinnie, they simply let Koivu, Kovalev, or both go. Two guys talked about going to Tampa are RFA's Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanek. Both are not seen as future parts of Montreal and will be traded if the opportunity presents itself.
As far as UFAs, aside from Koivu and Kovalev, there are a few other big names the Habs may losing. Komisarek is not likely to return to Montreal I've been told, while Schneider may return after he had such a good end of the year with the Habs.
So yes, we know the Habs are still trying to get Lecavalier, but thats not the only thing the Habs are looking to do.
Discussions I have heard today involve Colorado and their 3rd overall pick. Should a deal not happen to bring Lecavalier to Montreal, I am hearing Colorado and Montreal have held discussions to give Montreal the third overall pick. The deal would include Higgins, Montreal's pick (which I believe would be 15 or 16 overall), and a Montreal goalie? Halak? Price? I don't know, but one of them. There would one more player and one more draft pick going to Colorado, with possibly Colorado throwing in one smaller piece.
Montreal wants to make a splash at the draft simply to say "sorry" to their fans. This was a big year for the team, a year many thought was now or never. The Habs have every intention on telling their fans that never isn't an option, and that the Habs will be more competitive next year. The draft is their place to do that.