Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tack another free agent on to the list

I remember the day of the press conference announcing Bob Gainey's decision to fire Claude Julien and bring in Guy Carbonneau, and The Gazette's Red Fisher was the first to ask a question. He cut right to the chase, asking Carbonneau how many years he got on his contract.

Carbonneau laughed at first, then answered that both sides mutually agreed not to divulge that information.

Though Fisher probably got his answer later that day, today he decides to share it with the rest of us that Carbonneau is entering the final season of his three-year deal as a lame duck Jack Adams award finalist.

So what gives here? What more does Carbonneau have to prove? If anything, he's only going to get better as a coach, and I find it somewhat deplorable that this wasn't taken care of over the summer. Carbonneau, of course, isn't worried about it. He says he's had some talks with Gainey and that it will be taken care of "sooner rather than later."

With all the work on Gainey's plate over the coming 10 months - some pesky thing about having over two thirds of your team heading to free agency next season - he would be wise to get Carbonneau's name on a new deal for at least the next three years before tackling all those other contracts.

In other news today, Mathieu Schneider has apparently cleared waivers and should be taking a u-turn on re-call waivers any day now. His re-call cap hit of just over $2.8 million is basically a steal, even if his legs aren't quite as quick as they used to be. He would slide in very nicely into the Habs top four, pairing with Andrei Markov on the top power play unit and alongside the steady Roman Hamrlik in even strength situations.

Alas, there's virtually no chance the Canadiens will be able to get him. Cap issues aside, Montreal is way down the list of teams who have priority on a waiver pick-up because the order is based on position in the standings. In this case, last year's final standings are used, which puts the Tampa Bay Lightning at the top. If I were a betting man, I would think Schneider won't get to the second team on the list.

Tampa has just over $2.5 million in available cap space, which is close enough that they could do some maneuvering to fit Schneider in. His veteran presence is sorely needed on a defence corps anchored by Andrej Meszaros (22), Matt Carle (24), Paul Ranger (24) and Shane O'Brien (25).

Having Schneider fall into their lap would truly be a gift, and I would be stunned if they didn't grab him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But Schneider's not a forward. Why would Tampa want to sign him???