SPACEK – A 5.5 Million Dollar “Healthy Scratch”?

Nov 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Latest News

Eleven games into the season the watch-word remains “patience”. It’s an asset that Jacques Martin has in abundance. But, there are limits and, while he hasn’t reached the end of his rope with Scott Gomez and his line, he has run out of it at least temporarily, with defenceman Jaroslav Spacek.

If we are to go by today’s practice, and it generally is an excellent measurement, Spacek will take residency in the Columbus press box tomorrow night.

At this morning’s practice Spacek was relegated to the the fourth defensive pairing with Ryan O’Byrne. That indicates he’ll be joining O’Byrne as a healthy scratch. O’Byrne will be missing his 9th straight game. 

While pure statistics don’t  bear it out,  age seems to have caught up with Spacek. He’ll be 37 in February and is in the final year of a two year contract paying 5.5 million dollars a season.   Playing against the opposition’s top lines, Spacek is plus-2.  His giveaways seem to be a sore point with fans but he has only five, well behind Gorges, Subban and Gill.  He leads the Canadiens in takeaways with six and is second among the defencemen with thirteen shots on goal. 

So, Alexandre Picard will be part of a new-look setup on defence tomorrow night. He’ll play on Andrei Markov’s right. P.K. Subban will be paired with Roman Hamrlik. The Hal Gill/Josh Gorges duo remains intact.

For the fourth straight gameTravis Moen will start on the left side of the Gomez/Gionta line. Dustin Boyd, who had been a healthy scratch the last four games draws back in to the starting lineup replacing Tom Pyatt. He’ll play with Lars Eller and Maxim Lapierre.

Tomorrow night’s projected lineup

                     LW                                C                                RW

13-Michael Cammalleri 14-Tomas Plekanec      46-Andrei Kostitsyn

32-Travis Moen               11-Scott Gomez             21-Brian Gionta

17-Dustin Boyd               81-Lars Eller                  40-Maxim Lapierre

57-Benoit Pouliot           15-Jeff Halpern              57-Mathieu Darche

Defence                   Left                                     Right

                       79-Andrei Markov            45-Alexandre Picard

                       44-Roman Hamrlik          76-P.K. Subban

                       75-Hal Gill                         26-Josh Gorges

Goal                                 31-Carey Price

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2 Comments to “SPACEK – A 5.5 Million Dollar “Healthy Scratch”?”

  1. Topham says:

    Check your salary numbers again. Spacek is making less than $4 million a season.

  2. Thanks for the great article. I just happened onto your website from another link and am glad that I did. I miss my Habs coverage down here in SC. Hockey coverage in the great state of South Carolina isn’t quite up there in stature with high school football coverage sad to say.

    I’m wondering what the point was in yesterday’s practice in having Spacek on the fourth pairing. Was it a case of some psych games being used by Jacques Martin? I think the fact that Spacek is +2 while playing against our opponent’s top lines justifies his being in the line-up on a daily basis. The fact that he is making $5.5M is a moot point. We, or should I say Bob Gainey overpaid for his services. It is what it is. Spacek is a solid player and may have made a few mistakes however when the game is on the line I think I want him on the ice rather than some of our younger guys. His track record warrants it. I’m not trashing Picard here. I like him. I think he like another one of my guys (O’Byrne) deserve playing time. Unfortunately right now isn’t the time. I think they’ll both have their chances as we’re only 11 games into the season at this point. Injuries will happen as they always do.

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