Summer Skate: Montreal Canadiens

Max Pacioretty, right, appears to be on the rise for the Canadiens. Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Using the VUKOTA projection system of Hockey Prospectus, Insider is taking the temperature of key players on every NHL team, continuing with the Montreal Canadiens. For a detailed explanation of Prospectus' proprietary GVT value metric, read more here.

Summer Skate -- Montreal Canadiens

After a complete overhaul of the Habs' front office and the hiring of Marc Bergevin as new general manager, the hope is that there's nowhere else to go but up. But a series of bad choices by the past regime has left the cupboard bare outside of an excellent goaltender and a middle-of-the-pack top line.

Things aren't exactly looking good down the road, either. It will take years for the Habs to clear themselves of ugly contracts. Scott Gomez's $7.35 million cap hit until 2013-14, Brian Gionta's $5 million hit for the next two years, Tomas Kaberle's $4.25 million and Rene Bourque's $3.3 million until 2015-16 have the club pretty well handcuffed. But there's at least one young bright spot for the Habs.

Trending up: F Max Pacioretty
Last season: 10.5 GVT | VUKOTA projection: 12.2