Monday, March 02, 2009

Top 6 Defenceman?

Target Sydor

It's a funny thing when it comes to Habs bloggers and trades – everyone seems to adopt a pet project.

In the summer, Arpon Basu of The Daily Hab-It was hot on Lang for about a month before the trade eventually happened. In retrospect, his instincts were right. Though, in actual fact, he had Lang here for faceoff wins and occasional scoring – rather than faceoff losses and team scoring lead...

Enter the trade deadline, and everyone is staking their territory again. The dreamers talk of Lecavalier and Bouwmeester – I wonder if they remember the salary cap? Erik Cole was just what we needed for a few minutes last week. Robert L of Eyes On The Prize is asking for another D in the form of Niclas Havelid.

I happen to think that Robert is right about the need still being at defence (or at least in a defensive-minded player). I think he's even on the right track in looking for a not-too-flashy fit-into-4th/5th/6th spot guy at this point.

Given the recent addition of Schneider, is it necessary though?

Schneider is instantly a top 2 offensive D for us and a top 4 defensive one. Mike Komisarek seems to be doing less damage as number 5 again. But, look down the lineup and tell me you're comfortable with Brisebois/Dandenault/Janik/O'Byrne/Henry in a tight playoff game.

So I have decided to put a trade stake in the mud for all to criticise and mock after we don't make the deal. I don't choose Havelid – who it should be pointed out has mostly been a regular defenceman on some pretty awful teams over his career.

Buying a house

You know that old adage about buying real estate? Never buy the best house in the bad neighbourhood. Buy a lesser house on the top street. I feel the very same way about defencemen, you know. Location, location, location.

That's why I suggest Darryl Sydor to be parachuted in to bolster our defence corps for the final portion of the season (however long that may be). Here's why:

– He has won two Stanley Cups
– He has played in no less than 5 Stanley Cup finals, including last year's
– Won a Memorial Cup and a WJC
– His teams have only missed the playoffs once since 1996 (and you can't blame him for LA)
– He has been a key deadline addition before (for Tampa)
– He says things like this:
I just think that if you’re going to spend an hour a day in practice, you should do it right. Why go out there and waste time?

– People say this kind of stuff about him:
Unlike Mark Recchi, who openly chafed at his reserve role, Sydor refused to become a distraction, quietly doing some extra skating in order to keep ready.

– He is a respected leader
– He's not signed beyond this season
– He fits into our budget
– Gainey has used Sydor to build a champion before

Even if it weren't for anything I just listed above, the one thing that makes Sydor the target of choice is the fact he is a born winner. He frequently finds himself on teams that win (well after LA, anyway). From Junior, to 1993 to Dallas to Tampa to Pittsburgh to Team Canada. Winning follows him around in unexplained ways.

One simply cannot say the same about Niclas Havelid who has made the playoffs twice in 8 years, is rarely on a team that scored more goals than it allowed. Robert tells us he made the Stanley Cup finals. he doesn't note that Giguere's save percentage behind Havelid had to be .945 just to get there and lose.

Havelid is associated with losing. It's probably not his fault, but it's true. He has nothing to teach Josh Gorges. From the sounds of it, Darryl Sydor does:
Following Game 2, as several Penguins answered questions with dazed looks on their faces, unable to comprehend what was happening, Sydor sat down in a corner of the dressing room. Soon, the most respected player in the Penguins’ room, was joined by Brooks Orpik, Hal Gill, Ryan Whitney and Rob Scuderi. They wanted to hear what he had to say.

“We just talked about what was happening, why we were losing,” he said. “They wanted to know what it looked like out there.”

And they were listening. Intently. That’s why Therrien is turning to Sydor’s experience tonight. The hope is that the 15-year veteran will calm down the rattled Penguins.

Just an idea...

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