Montreal Canadiens Roster 2011-2012

About a week ago, when many of us were finally able to discus our lament over the Habs ousting from the Stanley Cup Playoffs; there were a select few who were already looking forward to the off-season.

Despite the fact that the team was unable to get out of the first round this year … a far cry from where they ended in the post-season last year … there is plenty that the Canadiens franchise has to be thankful for (as I wrote here).

But there are plenty of questions that face Pierre Gauthier in the coming days. With many RFA’s and UFA’s on the list to deal with, there’s no doubt he has his hands full. Some of those contracts are highly controversial due to past injuries, as well as past performances.

So, on an evening last week, while engaged in such a conversation with a plethora of “experts”, I decided that it would be interesting to put out a challange to some of my closer followers.

Three concurred, one declined, and at the end of the day – we had a GM Challenge.

So I want to say “Thank You” to Ash (@guccipucciprada), Kyle (@kyleroussel), and Mimi (@habschick66), for having the guts to put their money where their mouth is – and participate.

Here were the Rules of the Game:

  1. You MUST stay within the annual Cap Space
  2. You can NOT deal existing contracts (ie fantasy trades)
  3. You MUST live by the RFA Rules
  4. Current BUYOUTS must be respected
  5. Bonuses Set at $1M (undisclosed)
  6. Laraque Buyout is still on the books @ $0.5M
  7. Cap amount is set at $61.5M

Pretty plain and simple right? Well as every respondant found out – playing GM isn’t as easy as spouting off ones wishes on Twitter. So here’s the outcome …

Mimi Kavis:

I appreciate the opportunity to play GM and capologist, but I implore you: never again!
I have a headache now that I blame on you (and perhaps the 4 cognacs I drank to finalize this roster and get through this ordeal, but I digress). 😉
The numbers work for this season, and my calculations for the 2012-13 season seem to add up leaving enough cap space to re-sign Price, PK and Patches.
If they don’t, blame the booze. I know I will.
Attached you will find my masterpiece of amateur capology, which may turn out to be nothing but crapology after somebody sober does the math.
First Line:
  • Plekanec ($5M)
  • Laich ($3.75M)
  • Cammalleri ($6M)
Second Line:
  • Gomez ($7.357M)
  • Pacioretty ($1.2M)
  • Gionta ($5M)
Third Line:
  • Eller ($1.271M)
  • Kostitsyn ($3.65M)
  • Larose ($2.5M)
Fourth Line:
  • Desharnais ($0.7M)
  • Moen ($1.5M)
  • White ($0.892M)
Defensive Pairings:
  • Subban ($0.875M) and Markov ($5.5M)
  • Gorges ($1.75M) and Gill ($2.0M)
  • Weber ($1.0M) and Spacek ($3.83M)
Press Box:
  • Darche ($0.75M) Pyatt ($0.55M) and Mara ($0.80M)
  • Price ($2.75M)
  • Auld ($1.0M)

Notes: Markov w/ 2yr deal. Kostitsyn w/ 1yr. Laich 3yrs. Larose 2yr. This finishes the roster at $61.125M

Kyle Rousell: This is why I always write about how little us fans appreciate the complexity of putting together a NHL team. Every fan thinks this and that and how easy it is! Well, guess what? It ain’t. We should have every fan do this little exercise.
First Line:
  • Plekanec ($5M)
  • Cammalleri ($6M)
  • Pacioretty ($1.25M)
Second Line:
  • Gomez ($7.357M)
  • Gionta ($5M)
  • Laich ($3.85M)
Third Line:
  • Eller ($1.27M)
  • Kostitsyn ($3.75M)
  • Moen ($1.5M)
Fourth Line:
  • Desharnais ($0.6M)
  • Halpern ($0.75M)
  • White ($0.85M)
Defensive Pairings:
  • Gorges ($3.25M) and Markov ($5.5M)
  • Subban ($0.875M) and Gill ($2.2M)
  • Weber ($1.0M) and Spacek ($3.83M)
Press Box: Darche ($0.75M), Pyatt ($0.6M), and Mara ($0.75M)
  • Price ($2.75M)
  • “Who Cares” ($1.0M)

Notes: The reason I keep Kostitsyn in the end, is because he’s RFA and likely to accept a 1-year deal, whereas the above guys are UFA and would need to be signed to several years. With a 1-year deal I maintain flexibility for next year when Price, Subban and Pacioretty will need new deals.

Ash: As far as I can see, this is good to go. We still suck at the FO’s but the rest of the team is hopefully better….. I still vote for sending Gomez to the minors and getting Brad Richards… I’d also love to get Dustin Brown.
Ah, wishful thinking.
First Line:
  • Plekanec ($5.0M)
  • Cammalleri ($6.0M)
  • Laich ($3.0M)
Second Line:
  • Gionta ($5.0M)
  • Gomez ($7.3M)
  • Pacioretty ($2.0M)
Third Line:
  • Darche ($0.6M)
  • Eller ($1.2M)
  • Leino  ($1.5M)
Fourth Line:
  • White ($1.0M)
  • Halpern ($0.6M)
  • Desharnais ($1.0M)
Defensive Parings:
  • Shea Weber ($6.0M) and Wizniewski ($4.5M)
  • Subban ($0.8M) and Gill ($1.5M)
  • Gorges ($3.0M) and Spacek ($3.8M)
Press Box:  Moen ($1.5M)
  • Price ($2.75M)
  • Turco ($1.0M)
So there you have it! Three SOLID answers to the Habs roster for 2011-2012. I have to say that reading through them, I was impressed with a few significant stand outs!
Firstly – Brooks Laich seems to be a wanted man here in Montreal. Secondly – one of our submitters was happy to let Markov walk, while the other two signed him in multi-year contracts for significant money. That same person felt that Wisniewski has a long term home here in Montreal.
I was also surprised to see that David Desharnais made the cut on all 3 rosters, and Brent Sopel took a walk. Mara, and his beard, were more than welcome to stay.
Finally – I was thrilled to see that all three people considered Darche more than worthy of another contract! Personally – I’d give him a raise for next year.
In respect to the length of this post – I’ll leave my roster and it’s thoughts for another post. But I do promise that I WILL weigh in on the issue. Not so sure that I’ll be so generous with Markov – but I don’t think I can leave him out!
That’s a touchy subject and one of the main reasons that we embarked on this experiment to begin with!
In conclusion – I will say this.
It became apparent to all of those who participated, that it’s not as easy as being a Sunday Morning GM. In the post lock-out world of the NHL, managing a team is not as simple as just doing what one wants. There are rules that have to be adhered to – and the Cap Space makes it difficult to manouver many contracts.
I hope you enjoyed this challenge as much as the participants did. I hope you’re willing to throw your two cents into the ring in the comment section below. But more than anything else – I hope I don’t have to do something like this again for a very long time!
Please ensure that you visit the Blogs of my distinguished panelists. And hit the follow button on Twitter as well. If straight hockey talk is your thing – you’ll be glad that you did! You’ll find each person in the following locations …


About Iain Carnegie (@emann_222 on Twitter)

I have followed the Montreal Canadiens for over twenty years, even while living in the heart of Toronto. I spent 5 years in the mecca of hockey, moving to the Plateau region of Montreal in the summer of 2009, I've been writing extensively on the Habs franchise at Bleed Blue Blanc Rouge BBBR has now moved to it's new home here at WordPress, , where content continues to matter.
This entry was posted in 2011 - 2012 NHL Season, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, NHL Cap, NHL Events, Roster Challenge, Trade Talk, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Montreal Canadiens Roster 2011-2012

  1. Kind of surprised to see that Sopel is “taking” a walk in this little experiment.
    He’s worth the money in my opinion and did a great job as far as I’m concerned.
    It was pretty cool that everyone wanted Laich though..
    Montreal as a whole has some work to do.
    I’ve followed hockey for about 17 years now, and it baffles me that people still think that Gomez is worth close to 8 mill.
    He wasn’t worth it in New York with the Rangers, and in my opinion, isn’t worth that now.
    Subban needs a raise when the time comes. Probably a Mill or two more.
    Darche needs to stay, Desharnais and Weber as well.
    However, Markov needs to go. He’s an injury plagued Defencemen that has played a decent season in years.

    This is all coming from a Leafs fan.
    Grilled Cheese with Ketchup for life.

    • I like your style my friend. And in reality – for a Leafs fan – you seem to know your hockey (lol).

      I have a tendancy to agree with you on most points. There is no doubt that Darche has proven his worth – and needs a “Thank You” raise in appreciation. And despite the yapping I heard about Desharnais after he got the call up from Hamilton – he’s clearly shown that his size does not matter – especially in a bottom 6 position. Weber also spoke volumes to me this year. He’s a great defenseman out of his own zone. Good speed, and that’s what the Habs organization is all about.

      I have mixed feelings about Markov. I don’t think personally that he should be signed anywhere near 5.5M! He should realistically accept a conditional 1 year deal. But we all know that he won’t do that. I’d take 3.5 (Dream) at 2 years because he’s just coming into his prime. If he’s still got it physically – the payoff is worth it!

      As far as Gomez is concerned – we all know he’s not worth $7.5M, but it’s too late to discuss that. It’s a contract that we’re stuck with – end of story. I will say this though. We do need him on this team. His leadership is indispensable (ask Lars Eller), and he has some serious skills that make this team tick. On that point – I’ll never back down!

      Thanks for taking the time to read Alex – and even more-so for taking the time to leave your thoughts.

      One thing that we will ALWAYS agree on – Grilled Cheese requires Ketchup!!!

  2. Shawn says:

    I’d like to see wiz return but it seems like if markov re-signs, then it’s bye bye wiz. Also, laich would be a nice pickup, and I saw Gomez on those rosters way too much, but it’s understood as it will likely be impossible to move him

    • A lot of things depend on what the franchise feels Markov is worth. Not to mention what his agent will let him sign for at the minimum level. I personally would dump Mara and Sopel in the hopes that some way we could re-align Wisniewski with a diminished Markov contract ….

      All of that however – is seriously wishful thinking!

      In all of it – Markov is the “missing link” …. and so it goes on!

  3. GucciPucciPrada says:

    Just an FYI, we weren’t allowed to trade or get rid of Gomez. We all tried. Panthers even called me crying for Moen/Spatch/Gomez…. Iain said no 😦

  4. cokeaddict says:

    This is why I could never do this. Outside of MTL players and a few noticeable famous (and infamous) NHL-ers, I know no one. Who’s this Laich dude? =P

    LET WIZ LEAVE?!?! NOOOOO!!! =( *sigh* I’m so glad I don’t have to make the tough choices.

    At least we all agreed Darche should get to stay. ^_^

    GO HABS GO!!

    • It’s not so easy being GM … especially with the team that we’re sitting on. As far as Brooks goes … I thought you Laiched him! (Terrible Pun).

      The defensive unit is the toughest in actuality. Hard to talk about keeping Wisniewski if Markov gets re-signed for a substantial dollar amount. As I’m sure you noticed, the only person that kept him, dropped Markov. The business of hockey isn’t as much fun as the sport itself.

      Yes ma’am – Darche gets the nod from everyone, as he should. I don’t know that I agree on everyone’s salary assesment for him, but he definitely needs to remain on the roster! Of that – I have no doubts.

      It will be fun to see where the Habs front office takes the team over the next couple of months. It’ll be even more interesting to see if any of our “GM’s” had a clue compared to reality – myself included!

      Always great to see and read your thoughts here in the BBBR comments! You’re much appreciated as an avid reader, supporter, and advertiser of the site 😉

      • cokeaddict says:

        I support cuz there’s good content here…but don’t let that go to your head. 😉

        I’ve seen many tweets/posts saying “Keep the Wiz but not at te expense of losing Markov.” And I agree…but Wiz is just…*sigh* I like watching him play. And he’s such a trooper! Oh well…just gonna wait and see where the chips fall.

  5. ErieCanadien says:

    Interesting blog post and great job by all. Personally the Markov situation is stressing me out!! If he stays healthy he is an All-Star…I would hate to see him go only to dominate somewhere else. On the other hand, he has been very fragile the last couple seasons…can we expect him to stay healthy now? I love what Wiz brought to this team and would love to see him signed.

    • It’s perplexing, eh Randy?

      I’d love to see Wisniewski re-signed as well. His numbers were great after coming over from the “other” Island. But in reality, can the team afford both him and Markov. This is one of the main reasons why this challenge was put forth to begin with. The Markov Factor!

      I would hate to see Markov walk – especially after all the franchise has invested in him! But I also don’t know that what his agent feels is right for him – is right for the Habs. I’ve always personally felt that a 1 year conditional signing would be fair for both parties, however – that doesn’t seem to be the case inside the Markov camp.

      At the end of the day – it’s the most important issue to be resolved, regarding contracts, this off-season.

      • Kyle says:

        Yeah, we can forget about Markov taking a one-year deal. I’m sure Markov himself would admit that it’s the “right” thing, but that’s not necessarily what the “smart” thing for him is. If he goes down again, armed with a one-year deal, he’s toast. He is going to (rightfully) chase some security in the form of a 3 year deal. If he gets hurt again, his salary comes off the cap and the Canadiens can go fetch somebody else.

        On the other hand, if he were already 35 or older, you can bet the Canadiens would stick to their 1 year offer.

        Thanks for giving us the space to be a bit creative! What I think we’ll see this summer is that Gauthier doesn’t have all the cap space in the world to play fantasy GM. He will likely make a modest UFA signing (in the vein of a Laich) and then a depth player or two…after signing his own RFAs and Markov, Gill and Darche. So 2 months from now, when the Canadiens look very similar to the 10-11 team, let’s hope fans don’t freak out and call on Gauthier to do something. The reality is he’s saddled with that massive Gomez contract, and a few other hefty deals. He can’t go nuts, or he runs the risk of playing with fire when it comes to Price, Subban and Pacioretty.

      • You and I are on the same page my friend.

        I don’t want a multi year Markov deal in fairness to the team – but it’s inevitable. Add the point that if he goes down – we don’t pay. The concern lies in him becoming a “defensive Gomez”. What if we sign him at 3 years for 5M per year and he doesn’t get injured, but just can’t perform? That’s where the dice gets rolled. Personally I think it’s worth the risk – just NOT at that dollar value.

        Glad to see we agree on Gill and Darche as well. Gill is a veteran D Man that we need (regardless of Markov), and Darche needs a raise! But at the end of the day, contracts for Price and Subban and Pacioretty need to be placed solidly on the franchises’ horizon in order to make healthy decisions moving forward.

        Love your input Kyle – looking forward to more of it!!!

  6. Laura Kenney says:

    The intriguing summer of 2011. I think there will be a change or two – the d-corps has to get younger and faster – That is why Sopel will be elsewhere – it will be interesting to see who stays and who goes. Wiz. v Markov and Hammer v. Gill are certainly fodder for blogposts – I really think it will be Hammer v. Wiz. – which one would you pick – they are different types of d-men – it depends what direction PG is going to take.

    • Hmmm … Hammer v Wiz …

      Personally – I think that there is no contest with Hamrlik. I am pretty sure he’s seen his last days as a Hab. Sad since we bought and groomed him … but none-the-less … almost a certainty that he’s gone. So in the end – I still believe it comes down to the price of Markov. He will stipulate who we keep and who moves on.

      No doubt about one thing though – there is plenty of Fodder left for the Blogging World!

  7. Habschick says:

    Even though my head is still pounding from crunching numbers, I just wanted to thank you, Iain, for this challenge. It proved what I have been saying for years: as fans, we don’t appreciate the complexity of icing a NHL team in a salary cap world.

    As for Mara and his beard, I tried to sign only his beard but his agent said that they came as a package, so what choice did I have?

    And for the record, I tried to fit Markov and Wisniewski under the cap: easier said than done. That was the beginning of my headache!

    I must confess: I did call you Dr. Evil as I completed the 15th draft of my roster and clicked the “send” button. I’m feeling a little guilty about that, so please accept my apology.

    All joking aside, this was a fun challenge and I look forward to the next one. I can’t believe I just wrote that! 😉

    Great job, Mr. Carnegie, great job!

  8. Melissa says:


    This idea is awesome and I really wish I was able to participate! Oh well. I cannot wait to see the roster you come up with. I too am very happy Darche was wanted, he has so much heart and I love watching him play. I agree with you that Markov should stay but should not be given a huge contract or salary. Knee injuries are very hard to come back from, especially considereing he’s had multiple and he’s getting pretty old. I’d like to see him back next year and based on his return and health give him a contract extension and a bit more salary the following season, or trade him depending how it goes.

    Btw, nice pun with “I thought you Laiched him” ha ha. I laughed.

  9. GucciPucciPrada says:

    Just a quick note as to why I dropped Markov.
    Well the obvious, Shea Weber is a dream and he’s incredible, and I would take him over Markov any day of the year. But besides that. Markov’s injuries scare me. Yes. I know Wiz has the same ones, and it’s normal for hockey players, but Wiz is also 6ish years younger than Markov. If you want, Change Weber to Markov in my roster, and you got the same deal, but actually you gain a million.
    My biggest pet peeve with all these fake rosters (oh hfboards, on here, on any site) is how willing people are to pay AK 3.25+ for 3rd LINE DUTIES! That is driving me insane.
    You want to save money? Get rid of him and use 2 million there and you gain 1.25+.
    That 1.25+ can sign Emelin or Gorges, it helps.
    Anyways. just had to clarify. or attempt to.

    • mbouf says:

      You do actually mean Shea Weber from Nashville and not Yannick Weber, right? I just wanted to clarify… that means we have to actually ink Shea Weber. That would be SWEET! I’ve always liked him.

  10. marc says:

    Mike Cammalleri ($6.000m) / Tomas Plekanec ($5.000m) / Ales Hemsky ($4.100m)
    Max Pacioretty ($1.625m) / Tim Connolly ($5.000m) / Brian Gionta ($5.000m)
    Joshua Bailey ($2.725m) / Lars Eller ($1.270m) / Andrei Kostitsyn ($3.250m)
    Travis Moen ($1.500m) / Zenon Konopka ($0.750m) / Mathieu Darche ($0.700m)
    David Desharnais ($0.850m)

    Andrei Markov ($5.750m) / Anton Babchuk ($4.200m)
    Hal Gill ($2.250m) / P.K. Subban ($0.875m)
    Alexei Yemelin ($0.984m) / Josh Gorges ($2.600m)
    Jim Vandermeer ($1.800m)

    Carey Price ($2.750m) / Chris Osgood ($1.500m)

    BUYOUTS: Georges Laraque ($0.500m)

    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,980,033; BONUSES: $400,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $3,719,967

    • This just kinda makes me chuckle. One of the points to this exercise was to be realistic in the roster.

      Chris Osgood as a backup to Price for $500K more than Auld was paid? He’s also 38 years old and his numbers were poorer than Auld. PS – He’s retired.

      I’m also curious to know where you managed to bury Spacek and Gomez? The Gomez contract isn’t going anywhere so to think we can dump him and add in the likes of Connolly – who is highly injury prone – for $5M baffles me a bit. Spacek is also on his final year, and with his age playing a huge factor – no one would pick him up at that kind of money. I’m also lost as to why you wouldn’t want to sign Ryan White. Everyone complains that we never nuture our younger players through the system. This kid has some of the best raw talent we’ve seen in years. His hands, his speed, his size, and his edginess. We’ve been crying for this type of talent – so it needs to be kept, no?

      I was really happy to see that you dumped Pouliot though. You and I are in exactly the same mindset there. I guess now that we know he isn’t getting a qualifying offer, we can both smile! As much as I like Hemsky – I wouldn’t dole out the $4M for him. That was a road that many of us discussed at the trade deadline last year. For the money – no thanks. We should have gone after Brooks Laich, or Ville Leino. Leino would have been the ultimate steal for the $$$.

      Anyway Marc – very interesting take. I’m really glad that you came by, read the post and left your thoughts. Opinion is what BBBR is all about, and I’m glad you left yours for us all to enjoy. I hope you’ll be back in the near future to participate more!


  11. Frédérick says:

    what about Erik Cole ? no one see him but he is in habs now !

    • Erik Cole is a solid addition to the roster IMO. I think he brings size and skill to the Cammalleri/Plekanec line, and that he will open up some lanes for his line-mateds to get open to produce more points.

      Cole is also a heart and soul player that will bring incredible depth to “the room” as well. Very much looking forward to seeing him in the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge!

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