Tag:Stephane Robidas
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 5:08 pm
 

What would all-Quebec team look like for Habs?

By Brian Stubits

Go back a few weeks when Randy Cunneyworth's "hiring" in Montreal was all the rage. Literally, rage. It led to organized protests against the Canadiens organization, not just Cunneyworth (although that was the impetus).

Those who didn't support Cunneyworth's hiring because he doesn't speak French were upset not only with the Cunneyworth promotion, but what they called the entire Anglicization of the Montreal Canadiens, Quebec's only team since the Nordiques became the Avalanche.

The list of complaints went beyond the coach not speaking French, however. Here is what the Canadian Press reported about the protests.

Protesters also complained the music played at the Bell Centre is in English, that announcements are in both languages and that the team has few francophone players.

I laughed when I first saw that. Would the people of Quebec rather have a team of Francophones that stink than a team of Anglophones that wins (of course they have neither right now)?

So that got me to thinking: What would an all French-speaking, Quebec-born team look like? I wanted to take a look and see how good of a team I could put together, keeping salary cap restraints in mind. (Hey folks, it's the All-Star break, just having some fun here.) Consider this my own All-Star fantasy draft.

Let's just get right to it, shall we?

Head coach

Alain Vigneault is the guy. The Quebec City native has actually tried coaching the Canadiens before, making the playoffs only once from 1997-2001. He was fired midseason in the 2000-01 campaign. But he's found success since moving on to Vancouver, winning the Jack Adams once and coming in as a finalist in 2011 (he was also a finalist in 2000 with the Habs). A return trip to Montreal will hopefully go better this time.

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury, Jean-Sebastien Giguere get the nod here. Now this is a position where I have a lot of choices. Fleury I think is a pretty clear starter based partly on his age, but for the second spot there are a lot of veterans: Giguere, Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore, Martin Biron, Mathieu Garon and Jonathan Bernier. They can stop pucks in Quebec, that's pretty clear.

In terms of salary, Fleury takes up $5 million, Giguere only $1.25. So $6.25 million in goal is a decent price to pay, but not bad.

Robidas has spent time in Montreal already. (Getty Images)

Defensemen

I'm going with (in no particular pairing order) Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Francois Beauchemin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Stephane Robidas and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Letang leads the scoring punch while Bergeron, Beauchemin and to an extent Vlasic adding some more points. Defensively, Vlasic and Beauchemin highlight a pretty good two-way corps. But if anybody goes down, it gets thin after that.

As a whole, the defensemen don't cost that much. Beauchemin ($3.8 million), Letang ($3.5 million), Robidas ($3.3 million), Vlasic ($3.1 million), Bergeron ($1 million) and Gragnani (550,000) come in at a total of $15.25 million.

Center

Now this is a group of guys I like: Patrice Bergeron, Danny Briere, David Desharnais and Maxime Talbot. You'll notice one pretty big omission here and that's Vincent Lecavalier, but that $10 million per year is too big of a burden, I don't know how the Lightning do it. But I still have two guys who can score, arguably the best defensive center in the game, a young and promising player in Desharnais and a solid worker in Talbot.

Naturally this is costing me some cash here. Briere ($6.5 million) is costly, then add Bergeron ($5 million) before getting a little reprieve with Talbot ($1.75 million) and Desharnais ($850,000). In total, they take up $14.1 million.

Right wing

OK, I take it back about center. This is where my team is really loaded. Check out this lineup of Martin St. Louis, Jason Pominville, P.A. Parenteau and Alex Burrows. That's some serious scoring ability on the wing. I didn't have room for Maxim Lapierre or Pascal Dupuis at this position, but more on them later.

As you'd expect, this is the most expensive per-player corps on the team. St. Louis commands a cool $5.625 million, Pominville takes $5.3 million, Burrows costs $2 million and Parenteau a very reasonable $1.25 million. Total bill: $14.175 million.

Left wing

Here we have an Achilles' heel. The lineup we could toss out is Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Alex Tanguay, David Perron and Guillaume Latendresse, but that's an awfully risky group of players. Each of Bouchard, Perron and Latendresse have dealt with concussions while Tanguay has been suffering with a neck strain. So to add a little stability, I'm going to convert Dupuis to the left side and leave out Bouchard -- more expensive than Latendresse.

The good news is this group doesn't cost a whole lot. Tanguay ($3.5 million), Latendresse ($2.5 million), Perron ($2.15 million) and Dupuis ($1.5 million) run up a bill of $9.65 million.

Scratches

Since he didn't make the list at right wing, Lapierre is going to serve as our daily scratch. But really he's likely going to be playing a lot at left wing with the injury potential. What he also gives is a physical presence. He's at least not averse to dropping the gloves, having five fights this season for Vancouver. Maybe we could try and talk Georges Laraque to coming back and serving the enforcer role, but undoubtedly sitting in press row most nights.

Lapierre comes in at an even $1 million.

Overall

The total salary for this team checks in at $60.425 million, giving our GM (we'll just keep Pierre Gauthier) a little room to maneuver or sign maybe another defenseman that would likely sit in the press box most nights.

Moreover, the top prospect in the system would have to be Jonathan Huberdeau, the player who went third overall to Florida in the last NHL Draft. He's likely to be in the NHL next season and right now projects to be a center but he can also play on the wing, so he could help out with the weaker left side.

In the end, it's actually a much better team than I thought it could be. It might be a little lacking in the physical department, but the team has a lot of ingredients: It has some big-time scorers (seriously, a top two lines of Tanguay-Bergeron-St. Louis and Perron-Briere-Pominville isn't bad at all), it has some agitators (I'm looking at you, Burrows and Lapierre), is good defensively and I think it's solid in net.

And don't forget, everybody speaks French!

More from Eye on Hockey

Yes there were protesters in Montreal
Quebec group unhappy with Cunneyworth hire
Owner: Bilingual coach is important

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Alex Goligoski signs 4-year extension with Stars

By: Adam Gretz

The Dallas Stars locked up what they consider to be one of their franchise players on Monday morning by signing defenseman Alex Goligoski to a four-year contract extension that will pay him $18.4 million, which comes down to an annual salary cap hit of $4.6 million.

Said general manager Joe Nieuwendyk, “Alex Goligoski is one of our core players and we are very pleased to get him under contract during the prime of his career. Alex is a character person and one of the anchors of our blue-line. He’s a big part of our hockey club.”

The 26-year-old defenseman was acquired by the Stars last season in the deal that sent forward James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh. Neal has since turned into one of the NHL's top goal-scorers for the Penguins, while it was a trade that saw both teams deal from a position of strength to fill a position of weakness. Since arriving in Dallas Goligoski has been one of the Stars' top defenseman.

He's missed some time this season due to injury, but has been their power play quarterback and logs more minutes per game than any other player on the team. It's certaily not a cheap contract for the Stars, but that seems to be the going rate for defensemen that can skate, produce offensively and play a ton of minutes every night, as Goligoski can.

In 59 games since the trade he's scored 10 goals to go with 20 assists for Dallas.

Had he and the team not come to an agreement on a new deal before July 1 he would have been eligible to become a restricted free agent. Now that he's signed for the next four years, the Stars have three of their top defenseman -- Goligoski, Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley -- all signed for at least the next three seasons and taking up just a little more than $11 million in salary cap space.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Injury watch: Goligoski, Visnovsky out

By: Adam Gretz

A pair of Pacific Division teams suffered a some rather large injuries on Friday night that will certainly test their depth on the blue line. The Dallas Stars will be without Alex Goligoski for a month due to a broken thumb, while Anaheim's Lubomir Visnovsky will be sidelined for a similar length of time due to a busted finger.

Goligoski suffered his injury on Friday night during his return trip to Pittsburgh, against the team that traded him last season in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, after playing just six minutes during a 3-1 loss. Following the game Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he expected Goligoski to be out for an extended period of time, while the defenseman's hand was heavily taped.

In 15 games this season Goligoski has scored two goals to go with four assists, and it's a big loss for a Dallas team that allows a significant number of shots on a nightly basis. His 21 minutes per game is the fourth highest average on the team, trailing only Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley and Sheldon Souray.

Meanwhile, the Ducks announced on Saturday that Visnovsky is expected to miss four weeks after he was struck by a puck late in the third period of their 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Visnovsky had a career year for Anaheim last season, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring with 68 points. So far this season he's scored just one goal to go with three assists in 16 games.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle recently told Eric Stephens of the OC Register that he thinks Visnovsky is taking too many chances and needs to let the game come to him. Unfortunately, he's going to have to wait a few weeks before he has a chance to do that.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 27, 2011 10:21 am
 

Daily Skate: Modano still undecided

By: Adam Gretz

MODANO STILL ON THE FENCE Mike Modano spent the 2010-11 season playing with his hometown team, the Detroit Red Wings, scoring four goals in 40 games. The 41-year-old forward has yet to make a decision as to whether or not he wants to keep going for another season or call it a career, and he talked about that decision with Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas. Modano also talked about his ideas for a post-hockey career, including possible roles as a TV analyst and his desire to work for the Dallas Stars front office. For his career Modano has scored 561 goals, almost all of them coming with the Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars organization.

GONCHAR LOOKS TO REBOUND After signing a large contract on the first day of free agency last summer veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar had some struggles in his debut season with the Ottawa Senators, recording 27 points (7 goals, 20 assists) in 67 games. He's looking to improve on those numbers this season, and according to Wayne Scanlan, the Senators are going to need him and the other veterans on the team to step up this season.


MOREAU TALKS ABOUT JOINING Kings Veteran forward Ethan Moreau passed a physical this week and officially joined the Los Angeles Kings, and Rich Hammond had an opportunity to sit down and speak with the newest member of the club about his role for the upcoming season. Said Moreau, via Hammond, “I want to come to camp and prove that I’m where I was a few years ago. Throughout my career, I’ve been a top player on the third line. I’ve been an elite penalty-killer. I play defensively, I play physical, I play tough. I just can’t wait to get back, just to show my teammates that I’m not just here for leadership. I’m not just here to be a piece of the roster. I want to re-establish myself and score goals and play tough and do what I’ve always done. I don’t feel like my play has gone down. I’ve just had some unlucky injuries." Check out the rest of the interview over at LA Kings Insider.



ROBIDAS EXCITED ABOUT OFFSEASON MOVES Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is looking forward to the upcoming season after a busy offseason by the front office that included the addition of seven veteran free agents. The Stars missed the playoffs by just two points last season, and the veteran defenseman wants to get the team back to that level. He recently spoke with Mark Stepneski of ESPNDallas about the new additions and the upcoming season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com