Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lapierre Signing Very Positive

Reports have it that Bob Gainey has resigned Maxim Lapierre for another two years.

It's not the great news that a Kostitsyn signing would be, but it is nonetheless, a very good step for the Canadiens.

Lapierre, though not an offensive juggernaut waiting to explode, is many things to the Habs:

1) He is a big centre

Not so big, but he is 6'2" and 200+ pounds. As he matures into a player we will use more, his size will come in handy against teams that think we can be pushed around.

2) He is a committed student of the game

Like nearly every player drafted from the QMJHL, Maxim scored in junior. Not prolifically enough to be called a scorer, but he scored. Since forcing his way into the Canadiens plans, he has accepted many roles and shown he can thrive in each. A year after featuring on the top line for the Calder Cup-winning Bulldogs, he was a top performer for certain periods of the Canadiens playoff run – this time as a fourth-liner. Clearly he works hard, as his demotion, promotion and then sticking with the club attests to. I also think he listens to what Carbonneau and the staff are saying, which should help him to improve even more.

3) He can be a valuable agitator

Though he seems less able to get under the league's skin than originally thought, his ability to irritate Sidney Crosby alone is reason to keep him. If the Habs want to win Cups over the next 10-15 years, you can be sure Pittsburgh will have something to say.

4) He is a French Canadian to build around

Maxim Lapierre is a breath of fresh air. He is a French Canadian player drafted and developed by the Canadiens. Finding players like Max from Quebec would help to restore some of the French flavour of the team without having to resort to signing old washed up defencemen. Along with Guillaume Latendresse, if he breaks through his lethargy, he will be a good face for the franchise and a quality voice in the dressing for RDS to seek out.

So, all in all, good progress from Bob. Now let's get Andrei signed.

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