The Montréal Québeçois
June 21, 2012, by Le Professeur
Le Professeur, esteemed member of my Montreal Affiliates Panel, offers a lecture today – HDS
The Montréal Québeçois
par Le Professeur
As the 2012 NHL approaches, we will inevitably hear someone in the land of poutine and putains insisting that the Habs draft a Québécois.1 with the third pick overall.2 These people complain that there is not enough local talent on the Habs and that everyone in the organization should be able to communicate in French3. With this in mind, I have studied the NHL rosters for the 2011-12 season and I have come up with a possible team for the Habs for 2012-13 that would consist entirely of French speaking Québécois players4. In developing the roster, I have used the following rules:
All Québécois players who are currently with the organization will remain with the organization. This includes David Desharnais, Mathieu Darche, Louis Leblanc, Fréderic St-Denis and prospects Michael Bournival, Gabriel Dumont and Philippe Lefebvre.
I’m assuming that all Québécois players would be available assuming that they do not have a limited trade clause or a no trade clause.
Francophone players from outside of Quebec such as Claude Giroux – PHI and Patrice Cormier – WPG are not included (see footnote 1) but Francis Bouillon – NSH and Jason Pominville – BUF are included because they grew up in Quebec and are francophone.
Anglophone players from Quebec such as Corey Crawford – CHI and Torrey Mitchell – SJ are not included (again, see footnote 1).
When choosing players for the team, I realize that some players have limited trade clauses or no-trade clauses. However, I will only assume that this is the case for certain veteran players like Patrice Bergeron – BOS, Simon Gagne – LA, Daniel Briere – PHI, Vincent Lecavalier – TB and Martin St-Louis – TB, which is why they are not included in the 2012-13 roster.
While Martin Brodeur may be the best Québécois goalie in the NHL today, he is near retirement and would likely want to finish his career in New Jersey.
Certain players were traded from the Habs as they were no longer wanted and would likely not be wanted a second time. This includes Alex Tanguay – CAL, Mike Ribeiro – DAL, Jose Theodore – FLA, Guillaume Latendresse – MIN. However, players such as Stephane Robidas – DAL, Francis Bouillon – NSH and Maxime Lapierre – VAN would be reacquired as they would fill a need on the team.
Incredible as it may seem, there were only seven Québécois defensemen on NHL rosters during the 2011-12 season. All of these players will be on the Habs 2012-13.
Certain players have large contracts which are expensive or too risky. These include Antoine Vermette – PHX and Pierre-Marc Bouchard – MIN.
Some of the players are restricted or unrestricted free agents. Therefore, I have estimate their salaries for the 2012-13 season.
No distinction is made between forward and left wing/centre/right wing.
1Not to be mistaken with French Canadian as French-speaking people from outside of Quebec are not pure laine (translation: pure wool, which I guess means a French Canadian is impure wool, which is still better than being “an henglish pig wit no brains”).
2 sentence As per NHL.com, Francis Beauvillier is the highest-ranked Québécois player. He is ranked 56th among North American skaters. Add in the European skaters and the North American/European goalies and Beauvillier may not be picked until the fourth round of the draft (picks 91-120). Nevertheless, someone in Habland will insist that the third pick be used to pick a sheep – I mean, a pure wool.
3 Has anyone else noticed that Brian Gionta probably speaks less French than Saku and yet nobody is complaining?
4Disclosure: This type of analysis should only be carried out by someone who is being paid to do this or by someone who is not contributing anything to society and has nothing better to do with his time.
Based on these assumptions, here is the roster for the 2012-13 Montreal Canadiens and each player’s salary (cap hit, not cash paid):
Roberto Luongo (5.3M)
Martin Biron (1.0M)
Kristopher Letang (3.5M) François Beauchemin (3.5M)
Stephane Robidas (3.3M) Francis Bouillon (2.0M)
Marc-André Bergeron (1.0M) Bruno Gervais (2.0M)
Jason Demers (1.3M) Fréderic St-Denis (0.8M)
Derick Brassard (3.2M) Jason Pominville (5.3M) David Perron (3.0M)
Alex Burrows (2.0M) Maxime Lapierre (1.0M) P-A Parenteau (3.0M)
Max Talbot (1.8M) Pascal Dupuis (1.5M) Sean Couturier (1.4M)
David Desharnais (0.9M) Mathieu Darche (0.8M) Louis Leblanc (1.2M)
Michael Bournival (0.8M) Philippe Lefebvre (0.8M) Gabriel Dumont (0.8M)
Total salary cap hit = 50.8M, which is likely on the low side as many salaries are estimates.
Based on my analysis, my observations versus the current Habs roster are as follows:
Assuming Carey Price signs with the Habs, his contract will likely have a shorter term than Luongo`s. Therefore, the Habs are better off with Price than Luongo.
Kristopher Letang is the only top four defenseman on this roster. The current Habs roster is much more talented.
I think that the forwards match up evenly with the current Habs roster. However, the current Habs roster does not include the pick that will be mad in the 2012 NHL draft.
Based on the above, my conclusion is that a team consisting purely of Québécois players would likely not be as strong as the 2011-12 version of the Habs, a team that finished last in its conference.