All Habs Mailbag: Kristo, Subban, Schultz, Forsberg, Galchenyuk


Written by Robert Rice, 

TORONTO, ON — As part of a new continuing feature, I have decided to re-open the All Habs Mailbag to take in and answer questions about all things Montreal Canadiens. While I have in the past taken questions and answers on my Twitter feed about Habs prospects, sometimes 140 characters is not really enough for a good answer.  This way I thought I could expand the scope of my discussions into complete coverage about the Montreal Canadiens.

This feature will run on Wednesdays, answering the most popular or poignant questions about the Canadiens. If you have any questions about the Canadiens or the farm system, feel free to submit whatever is on your mind. I’d like to kick this feature off with a strong showing so please don’t be shy!

Submissions can be mailed directly to [email protected]

Three Guidelines for Submissions:

  • This is not for hate mail or complaints. If you have an issue with what you read on these pages, this is not the place to bring it up. The mailbag is for questions about the Canadiens.
  •  As long-time readers of All Habs know, we do not publish rumours.  Therefore I will not engage in discussion of the validity of rumours — frankly I consider them a waste of time anyway.  For every rumour that was close to accurate, there have been about a thousand duds.
  •  Nothing of essay-length please. There will be other people who will have questions and it is a bit unfair if I have to dedicate the Mailbag to answering one very large question or someone who’s asking five questions at once.
Let’s open the All Habs mailbag!


Think it’s a good possibility Danny Kristo signs a contract late and joins the Bulldogs for a playoff run?

It’s possible, provided Kristo still plans to sign with Montreal when his school term ends as we’ve seen speculation he may turn to free agency instead. Granted, I personally believe these issues may resolve with the Canadiens putting a more professional face on the front office to instill confidence from prospects with wider options.


1: Assuming they do not trade any picks, how early could you see Montreal going after Malcolm Subban? Would they take him with their first 2nd round pick, or maybe Nashville’s? Obviously he might get picked before then, but goalies are as unpredictable as Russians these days, so…

I do not personally believe that with Carey Price firmly established as the team’s No. 1 goaltender, Montreal will use a Top-60 pick on a goaltender even considering family connections. At present, Montreal has a notable dearth of scoring forwards in their system that needs to be addressed first. Also given the difficulty in projecting goaltenders, it’s not often popular to pick high if your team has no pressing issue.

2: Are there any Francophone goalies that you think they should try to select? Or perhaps any they could invite to their prospects camp and then sign?

There’s no one of particular note in this draft in my view. I know that Alex Dubeau, backup for the Shawinigan Cataractes has an invite to the Montreal camp but I have not read of anyone turning heads. Gabriel Girard from Shawinigan may be approached as well, or Saint John goaltender Mathieu Corbeil.


Where do you see Ian Schultz next year and beyond?

Schultz will likely still be trying to work his way up the depth chart in 2012-13. He has work to do in personal fitness, skating and puck skills before he can show he can be an asset to the Canadiens in a 4th-line role. He’s a capable fighter and made a big leap in statistics over his rookie year but he still has a lot of work to do.


Do you think Filip Forsberg or Alex Galchenyuk are NHL ready?

Not in my view. Forsberg was not overly productive in his past season in the Allsvenkan, the secondary professional league in Sweden. I would expect him to play at least another year in Sweden, unless he decided, or was persuaded by whoever takes him to adapt to a North American setting. In that scenario, a CHL team would select him in the Import Draft and he would play with them. He could potentially play as a 19-year old though. As per Galchenyuk, I think essentially missing the 2011-12 season is too much of a setback development-wise for Galchenyuk to be ready to handle NHL play. Like Forsberg though, I could see him playing the following year however and making a contribution.

*Don’t forget to send your questions to me here:  [email protected]  Watch for the All Habs Mailbag every Wednesday!


  1. Kristo is saying all the right stuff and it is said was a die-hard North Dakota-NCAA fan when growing up and not so much a NHL follower.
    So he is going back to finish scoolin, but more to try and win the Frozen Four, his version of Memorial Cup.
    Malcolm Subban is too highly rated to go to Habs.
    Some team with 2 1st round picks (Tampa, Caps, Buffalo) will likely take him. And Habs may just go after a Makarov (Blades goalie) or a similar project goalie, with 63rd/93rd pick. Or in best case scenario will sign North Dakota goalie who is coming to Hab summer camp again.

    Forsberg said at combine he will be play at home for one more year and already is property of a CHL team (if i remember correctly).
    Yakupov and Murray are the only top prospects who will be NHL bound next fall for sure.
    Galchenyuk was set back 1 year, Forsberg already happy and set to play 1 more year overseas and Dumba needs at least 1 more year in Junior.
    Grigorenko could be QMJHL,KHL or NHL who knows?

  2. I’m growing to like the Therrien choice as coach. I think he’s demonstrating a lot of heart. Because of our very demanding market, we have been forced to hire bilingual coaches before they were really ready. Those hirees ended up gaining the experience with the Habs & all their success somewhere else ie Julien, Vignault et al! So I believe this move will pay off. Keys to our success will be long term deals for Subban & Price. I would also like to see us get tougher by keeping Moen & Staubitz while getting rid of Gomez, Bourque, & Kaberle. I believe making these moves allows us to free up cap space for our key players & the ability to acquire some key free agents. The tough guys allow us to bring up the youger guys like Leblanc allowing them the space they need to develop. I know it will be tough, but I hope we can keep Weber. He’s a winner! Go Habs!

  3. Have to agree with Joe that Therrien is growing on me, the management staff, the supporting cast, the leadership group all lead me to believe that even with MT as coach we are looking at good & exciting times ahead.

    I feel the first quarter of the season will give us a good idea of how MT has improved, its definitely a wait and see but I’m cautiously optimistic.

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