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About BigTed3

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  1. Giant PASS for me. Not to mention that rumor creators like Eklund tend to over-inflate the Habs interest in any player who has a French name... Pageau doesn't solve any of our issues.
  2. FWIW, Michel Bergeron in his column for TVA Sports suggests that the Habs should trade Price and Weber this season. He says it's time for both to go, that both are getting older, and that both have expressed interest in wanting to win a Cup before they're too old, which isn't going to happen here. He suggests Price would waive his NMC to go to the right spot and states that Colorado (a potential Cup favorite outside of goaltending) or Vancouver (an up and coming team close to where Price is from) could be leading destinations for the goalie. Another suggestion on social media has been Pittsburgh, to reunite him with Team Canada teammate Sidney Crosby.
  3. Which I think is also a fair option. I don't have any interest in taking on a bad contract like Vlasic nor in acquiring an over-priced rental. But if you can make a hockey trade to get a guy like Fowler or Werenski or Ghost, then yes, those types of deals could make sense. And yes, if MB can make a legitimate add, then yes, you absolutely look at keeping your core intact and trying to make a run this year and next. I'm willing to lose a guy like Petry or Tatar for nothing IF we're a top 5-6 team in the league and we have a real shot at a Cup. Like we've both said, I think MB also needs to find another scorer although it's a lesser need with Drouin eventually coming back and even Caufield maybe being eligible to join us for a playoff push. Would I trade any one of those 3 guys if the return was just a 2nd round pick and mid-level prospect? Nope. Because you could probably wait til deadline day next year and get a 1st rounder for each of Petry and Tatar at a minimum. But if you get a chance to make a hockey trade that makes you younger and potentially better in the future, then you consider it, especially if you're not able to do what is discussed above and find the extra 2 guys you need to put you in contention right away. Like I said, either commit to winning with your core now or else commit to winning in the future, but you can't be caught in no man's land and have no plan other than to just ride these guys to the fringe of the playoffs and then potentially lose some of them for nothing while watching other ones get older and less effective.
  4. Thanks for the clarification ChiLla. I'll reiterate what I said before: I'm not against keeping veterans. I'm not against keeping Weber, Petry, and Price, and I think they're 3 of our most valuable players right now. But I AM absolutely against keeping veterans when your GM isn't giving you the tools to win a Cup during the time when those veterans have value. I've gone over this before but Petry is going to be a UFA in two years. He's going to be a UFA in a year when we have a lot of other free agents and in a year where we'll have to make decisions about which 3 defencemen to protect in an expansion draft. Are we protecting Petry and giving him a decently-sized contract in a year when he's going to turn 34? My guess is that he's going to want a contract that's at least 3-4 years in duration, and someone somewhere will give that to him. Maybe he'll want to go and play in Detroit. Maybe he'll want to play for a team with a better chance at winning. Who knows. I just really don't see him still being here in 2021-22, whether it's via free agency, expansion draft loss, or a trade beforehand. For me, re-signing the likes of Kotkaniemi, Mete, Domi, Suzuki, Gallagher, and Danault are going to be higher priorities to spend our money on than a 34-year old Petry (or Tatar for that matter). So again, it's not to say you have to trade Petry and Weber today. But if your plan as a GM is to wait it out for these young kids and your upcoming drat picks, it just reasons that Petry isn't going to be here when those kids mature. So why not get something of value for him now? It doesn't have to be a tank move. It doesn't mean we hate Petry (in fact he's one of my favorite Habs). But it's a good business decision IMO to make a move. The other point I'll make is that the reliance on younger players now is much more necessary than it was in the 1970's with Henri Richard or even the early 2000's. The cap has changed everything. You cannot just keep veterans around on big contracts any more. You can maybe afford to have 1-2 mulligans like Alzner and still be competitive, but this is not the pre-cap era where the Habs can just flex financial muscle and relegate two D men in their mid-30's to lesser roles because they can just offer 10M to a UFA to replace them. The other thing that has changed is the speed of the game. The game is so much faster than it was in the 70's, 80's, or 90's, just because of how much bigger and fitter the players are. It's faster than the trap era of the 90's and 2000's as well. So this is not a league where older players can rely on being smart or being good shooters and live by that. If you can't skate and keep up, you can't play. I'll go back through the list I gave before of recent Habs who have just hit a wall... Markov, Plekanec, Hamrlik, Kaberle, etc. These are guys who went from being top 6 forwards/top 4 D men to being fairly obsolete within a couple of years. Yes, there will be Chelios' or Lidstroms' or so on who can hang around and play well late into their careers, but those players are largely the exception. For the most part, age can catch up to you all of a sudden, and we need to make decisions before that happens. Otherwise, you get nothing in a trade return.
  5. There are many different ways to win a Cup, I think we've seen that over the years. Obviously, we have different views on how to best build this team, and I'm not saying one is better than the other. In my view though, I don't like the idea of holding onto older players just for the idea that they provide leadership or as mentors. That's why you need to have good coaches and I don't see why a Kirk Muller or Claude Julien or Joel Bouchard can't be the ones to provide the knowledge and experience. I don't know that you need a 36- or 40-year old to do that. I agree that you can't have a team full of rookies and 2nd-year players, just as you can't have a team of all bruisers or all small guys or so on. With the current group, we're not close to winning a Cup unless we add another 2 key players. I think most people agree on that. Sure, a team could always make a surprise run, but it's just not likely. Look at the standings right now and even as they sit, if you were going to place a bet on which team wins the Cup for the same return on your money, my guess is that most people would be betting on teams like the Caps, Bruins, Sharks, or Knights. Maybe even Tampa. I don't think anyone's betting on the Habs, Sabres, or Coyotes despite where they may be. Why? Because those other teams are not just flashes in the pan, they've shown some sustained ability to be in the upper echelon of the league recently. So short of our jumping into that echelon, my philosophy is that you extract the value you have from your players before it's gone. I'll give you some hypotheticals about say, Weber. Let's say Colorado wants to go all in this year and offers us Bowen Byram and a 1st rounder to trade for Weber. Would you do it? I would. Yes, Weber is a sure thing now and he's a player who could be the difference for Colorado to win a Cup. But Byram has the potential to be a #1 defenceman for 10 years. It's really really hard to find those types of players in their prime unless you happen to be able to draft them. Ditto for #1 centers, which is why it took us years and a really bad season to acquire Kotkaniemi and dealing our captain and one of our best players in Pacioretty to acquire Suzuki. Look at Quinn Hughes. Look at Cale Makar. Look at Heiskanen. Look at Werenski. Look at Provorov or McEvoy. These are all relatively young defencemen who are playing key roles on their respective teams. I'd trade Weber straight up for any one of those players and I doubt the other teams' GM's would make those trades. Sometimes the only way to grab one of those players is to get in on the ground floor and Byram has been rumored to be a guy Colorado might part with for a Taylor Hall or for another player who puts them over the top this season. Or what if Calgary offered us Dougie Hamilton? He's younger and he's probably a better all-around defenceman than Weber right now, although he's not considered to be a team leader or a rah rah guy. Personally I'd take the on-ice product over the grit or the character, in addition to getting younger. Sending Weber to Calgary for Hamilton wouldn't be tanking in my view. Dealing Weber for Byram and a 1st yes might make you worse this year, but maybe Byram does what Makar or Hughes or so on have done and becomes an impact player in year one next season and you're not necessarily tanking then either. Another hypothetical... Toronto's D is still a bit of a mess so say they come calling and offer you Nylander for Petry and Chicago's 2nd rounder. Would you do it? You get younger, you extend your Cup window, but you leave a hole on your current roster that might take two years to patch by the time Brook or Fleury or Juulsen step in to be able to be top 4 players. I wouldn't call that tanking either. But these are the types of trades that could help you get younger and probably better in the long run. I'm not against Weber or Petry being on the team, and if they got traded and cut and re-signed with us for 1-2M a year like Marleau did with San Jose, I would take each back in an instant. But to me, there's a difference between building a team like we're drafting All-Star game rosters and asking who's helping us for one game or one season now and having vision to build a sustained winner long-term. Sure, Chara is still a Bruin, but if you ask me, he's a pretty bad hockey player right now. He gets beat frequently, he's not fast, and he's largely overrated right now based on reputation. Markov with us in his final years was still a contributor on the PP but he wasn't a 20-minute a night player and he struggled defensively. If someone asked me if I would give up Markov's last two seasons with us in exchange for getting a couple of good young players, I would easily have done it. We can't go back, but we have the opportunity to do so with Weber and Petry before it's too late now.
  6. Going to agree to disagree with you on how good that trio will be in 3-5 years. In 5 years, Weber will be 39 and Price will be 37. Players who perform well at those ages are the exception to the rule and both Weber and Price are already not the players they were 5 years ago. Weber's having a good year offensively, absolutely, but he's struggled defensively and he's lost a step skating. Price has been inconsistent. I look at the history of players like Plekanec, Gomez, Hamrlik, Markov, Kaberle, etc. all having seen dramatic drops in their quality of play in their early 30's and I wonder why Petry and Weber would be the exception. My guess is that in 2-3 years, Weber could still be an effective PP player and still have a hard shot, but I don't know that his legs will hold up. He might also just retire in the next few years with his take-home salary dropping off. Petry reminds me a lot of Hamrlik, grossly underrated but does a lot of the little things well, but his game depends a lot more on being able to skate well with the puck. That's the type of thing that drops off. And like I said, are we really going to pay Petry in 2 years when we have other priorities to re-sign? Price could be as good in 3 years as he is today, but is today's Price enough? Is it worth it to pay a guy 10M a season for a .900 save percentage or even a .910 save percentage. Price has to be at least at .920 if not .930 to be worth his contract, and he isn't anywhere close to that right now. As for the other teams, sure they kept some of their core players around, but these are also teams that haven't missed the playoffs in 4 out of the last 5 seasons. It's much easier to stay the course when the course is going well. And like I said, I'm not against keeping our veterans for the next two years, I just think that if we do that, we need to commit to them instead of leaving them without any quality down the left side of the defence. Vegas hasn't been afraid to give up picks and prospects to go and get Pacioretty and Stone and so on. They weren't afraid to try and target Karlsson or to sign a player like Stastny. San Jose went and traded for Brent Burns. They went and traded for Erik Karlsson. They went and traded for Evander Kane. They let Marleau walk when his value wasn't there any more. They let Pavelski walk this past year. They let Niemi go. They've given up prospects and picks, yes, but they've also committed to going for it now rather than waiting for Thornton and Vlasic and so on to retire. Boston let Tim Thomas go when it was time, they dumped Eriksson and Lucic when it was time. And they've brought in guys to hep their core. Ditto Washington, who kept Ovi and Holtby and Backstrom but who went out and got the likes of Eller and Oshie and Shattenkirk briefly. They also weren't afraid to add to fill the holes they had. Tampa has moved on from Lecavalier and St. Louis and Richards when they had to and they've added McDonagh and Shattenkirk and so on when they needed it. Yes those teams have drafted well but they've supplemented those cores with trades when they needed to. Like I said, I'm fine with staying the course and building through the draft, but I don't think the nucleus of younger drafted guys will be ready in the next year or two and I don't think the likes of Weber, Petry, Byron, Price, etc. will be as valuable to us in 3-5 years as the players we could get back for them in trades. If MB wants to go for it now, then do it and put yourself in the same class as the Caps or Knights or Sharks or so on.
  7. Just to clarify though, I'm not advocating for tanking. I'm saying Bergevin needs to make a decision about whether we're going for it now or not. And if we're not, I see more value in the return we could get by trading the likes of Weber, Petry, or Price than keeping those players while we wait for the draft picks you mentioned to turn into NHL players of value. A 2019 or 2020 2nd round pick, while nice to have acquired, does nothing to help Price or Weber win a Cup this year or next and conversely, Price or Weber are unlikely to be key contributors to our winning a Cup in 3-5 years when those picks mature. I have absolutely no problem with building through the draft, and that's what I would probably do as a GM in the NHL. I just don't like the idea of being half-committed to that approach. Yes, Weber and Petry and Price are going to give you better results in the standings this year, but we're not even sure if this team is good enough to be in the playoffs, never mind make a run through the playoffs to win a Cup. Forget the draft pick for this year, why not just get younger via trades? Why not flip Weber while his value is high and get 2-3 assets who could be good now AND still be valuable for another 5 years? Why not trade Petry before he becomes a UFA in his mid-30's in two years and get a player back who is 5-8 years younger? I agree, maybe the guys you bring in won't be as good right away, but they'll be better able to complement the core you have with Suzuki, JK, Poehling, Brook, Mete, Fleury, Primeau, etc. down the road. I agree with you that if you sneak into the playoffs, you have a chance at the Cup. But the odds of the Habs winning a Cup this year are probably under 2%. So what's better for us, having a 2% chance at a Cup for the next 5 years or having a 0% chance this year, a 1% chance next year, and an 8-10% chance for the 3 years after that? Teams like Boston and Tampa and San Jose and Washington and now Vegas have put themselves in the perennial contender category the past few years. Even if they don't win, they've given themselves a chance. If we want to do that, we either come up with a plan to build our assets to hit prime in a specific window in a couple of years OR we say we're going for it now... maybe Weber and Price and Petry and Gallagher and Tatar and Drouin and Danault are a good enough core to win now IF you give them the support they need. We need a top pairing LHD and we need a sniper. So if you're MB go and find those two players and be prepared to give up some prospects or picks to do it. Imagine if this team had traded a 1st rounder, Joni Ikonen, and Josh Brook, for example, to get a Zach Werenski... does the trade hurt you down the line? Maybe. But you go out and you get a guy who can step in to fill your biggest hole right away and a guy who could be here for another 5 years or more... I'm not advocating trading high picks or top prospects for a rental, I'm saying look for a hockey trade that puts you in a position to win now if you plan on keeping your older core players. The worst thing that could happen would be to just let these guys sit here on a mediocre team and then have them leave for nothing like Radulov did or like Tavares left the Isles or so on. Look at how fast Colorado turned things around after trading Duchene. No one was saying they tanked. No one made them trade away all their good players. But they took the elements they had through the draft and they added other young elements like Sam Girard and Bowen Byram that can help them in the near and long-term future. Look a the Rangers, who traded aging assets and then went out and signed Panarin and are building back up quickly as well. Look at Ottawa, who mismanaged a lot but still turned Mark Stone into assets and are ahead of where people thought they might be. Doesn't have to be a horrible re-build, but I want to see MB commit to something... either find us a LHD or else make us younger to extend the window to win.
  8. You're not wrong in your general thought process. By that, I mean that I agree with you that spending big money on a UFA or trading prospects for veterans often times comes back to bite you. And yes, we have a number of good prospects who are getting close to making an impact in the NHL. But while I think it's a reasonable plan to build through the draft, I'll come back to the question of what direction Marc Bergevin is trying to take the team. If you pretend to step into Bergevin's shoes for a second, I'd ask you to give me your best answer to this question: "Marc, when do you foresee this team being a top 5 team in the league and being a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup?" When I look at this team right now, we're not a legit contender this season. We may not even be a playoff team, because we were a fringe team last year and we're certainly not any better this year... no major upgrades to the roster, worse PK, worse team defence, equally terrible back-up goalie signed, worse injury situation already after a year of relatively good health in 18-19, etc. We have a number of factors going against us, even if there are also some positives. Are we a contender next year without a major UFA signing or trade? Also not sure about that. There's a lot of hope that Romanov might come over here next year, but I remember people also talking about how great it would be if we could convince Emelin to come over and that wasn't a major game-changer. Yes, Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Fleury have a year more experience and maybe Poehling steps in somewhere, but then Weber and Petry and Price are also a year further past prime. So what exactly makes us a legit contender next year if we're not one this year? And if we're not a top 5 team in the league by next year, I've posted about how we have a key group of players hitting UFA status in 2021... Gallagher, Danault, Tatar, Armia, and Petry will all be unrestricted. JK and Lehkonen will be RFA's that year too and want raises. Domi and Mete are also RFA after this season and will be due for increases in their salaries as well. In fact, when you look at which players the Habs have signed to NHL contracts past the 2021 summer, the list is pretty short... Drouin, Byron, Suzuki, Weber, Kulak, Chiarot, Alzner, and Price. Hardly a great core group to build around when you consider Weber will be 36, Price 34, and a few of the others maybe not still here if they don't pick up their play (Byron, Kulak, Alzner...). All that to say that we're not going to be going into 2021-22 with the same core group and yes, I'm fine with building around Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Brook and Primeau and Poehling and maybe Romanov or Ylonen or so on. But do we think those guys are going to be ready to lead us to a Cup in 2021? 2022? When? I'll come back to what I've been saying the entire time, which is that MB needs to make a decision one way or the other. If he stays pat with his current roster, we maybe finish in the 12th to 20th rank in the league and maybe we squeak into the playoffs and try to make a longshot run or maybe we just miss and end up in the worst seat in the house with neither a playoff appearance nor a quality draft spot. And then without doing anything to the roster to improve it, we likely sit in that same predicament the year after as well, a middle-of-the-pack team with no real aspiration for a Cup. That's no man's land in the NHL. Brian Wilde had a great column a few weeks ago when he said Marc Bergevin has won a lot of trades he's made but despite that, he's failed to address the holes on the roster and he's failed to build a winner. Wilde stated that maybe just maybe Bergevin needs to accept knowingly losing a trade in order to fix his roster. Make a trade where you give up a good prospect like Brook or Romanov or Poehling or so on but do so knowing you're getting a top pairing LHD who can play for you for the next 5 years. Make a trade where you give up a 1st rounder this year or next to fill that hole. Yes, we all know the trade may hurt, but we can't just sit here and leave that hole as is and waste the last productive years of Price, Weber, and Petry's careers either. Don't want to make that kind of trade? Fine, I'm good with that too. But then deal away your Weber's, Petry's, Price's, and Byron's... get something of value for them before it's too late. It doesn't mean it has to be a classic re-build or that we're dealing them away strictly for unproven prospects. Trade Weber and go and get an NHL defenceman who is younger but already top 4. Trade Price and find a 19-23 year-old sniper or so on. Make this team ready to be a top 5 team in 2021 or 2023 or whatever the plan is but let that be the plan: to be a top 5 team at some point, rather than just be satisfied with being a top 20 team for longer. Bergevin's plan right now gets us nowhere close to a Cup.
  9. Yeah, hope he's okay but he was just not a guy we could safely keep on the roster. Big risk there.
  10. A few comments on what you posted: 1. I'm not arguing that we lost the Shaw trade. I would make that trade any day, simply because Shaw's health and concussion history are worrisome. He was always one hit away from retirement. That said, I think you're grossly underestimating how well Shaw played for us last year. He put up 47 points in 65 games. Extrapolated over 82 games, that would have been a 59-point season. Shaw also did a great job making the Drouin-Domi combo work, and Domi has not looked as good this year without Shaw. Furthermore, no matter how much we can like the way Suzuki has played, he hasn't put up the same point-per-game totals that Shaw put up last year. Yes, I think Suzuki will be more valuable as an asset going forward than Shaw, but that's not the point of my comments. I was pointing out that the roster THIS year is simply not as good as the roster last year. Forget projections of how players will do in the future. Right now, we're getting Suzuki as a rookie and there's a learning curve. All I'm saying is that Shaw last year gave us a bigger offensive contribution than Suzuki this year to date. Bergevin hasn't replaced that production. 2. Likewise, not saying I would have kept Benn over Chiarot (albeit we could argue about value for the contracts they received). For the same money and term, I would take Chiarot over Benn. But again, my point was that the offensive production that Shaw + Benn gave us last year was greater than the offensive production of Suzuki + Chiarot so far. I also stated that Chiarot has been better than Benn in a number of areas, but his PK work has been suspect. Is he an upgrade? Sure, I'm not disagreeing with that. Is he worth the contract he was given? Not sure about that yet, although I'll say he's played much better the past two weeks. Did he address the need we had for a puck-moving top pairing LHD? Nope. And again, the major point was just that Bergevin hasn't made the overall roster any better. The offensive production of the two major acquisitions for position players is inferior in aggregate to the two players we sent out to bring them in, and on top of that, the team is worse defensively than we were last season too. 3. Likewise, we can talk about how we expect younger players to get better, but that's hypothetical. I'm not talking about what potential a player has. Yes, Caufield could end up being a 50-goal scorer in the NHL. Suzuki could put up 75 points one day. Kotkaniemi could be a #1 center. But they're not actively those things now. You're addressing a different question than the issue I raised. One can be more optimistic about the future prospects of the team and still believe that the roster this year is inferior to the one last year. I talked about this before the season started and asked the question about what Bergevin had really done to improve his roster, and the first 30 games have only reinforced the notion for me that he's done nothing. As we speak today, Kotkaniemi has regressed compared to last year. Juulsen has persistent headache issues and may never become an NHL regular. Drouin had picked up his overall game, but others have played less well than last year, a problem I also spoke about before the start of the season. Last year, you had Domi, Danault, Gallagher, Petry, and Tatar all giving us career years or near-about. So honest question, but did anyone think Domi was LIKELY to significantly out-perform what he did last year? He put up 72 points last year, so to make a significant leap forward to improve the overall quality of the roster, I'd argue we'd have to be asking him to have put up 80 points or more this year. Possible? Yes. Likely? No. More likely to see his numbers drop off a bit, especially when you look at his career numbers and when you consider he lost his spark-plug in Shaw. Could Gallagher-Danault-Tatar re-create their production? Sure. Will they significantly outdo what they did last year in terms of production? It's doubtful. We also had relatively decent health last year, with Weber missing some games but all of Domi, Drouin, Gallagher, Tatar, Danault, Petry, Price, Mete, Kotkaniemi, Lehkonen, etc. remaining largely healthy the entire year. When I look at our roster this year, it's hard to find a guy who will put up 20 points more than last year... yes, there will be some variation and improvements here and there (Armia, Lehkonen, Mete, and Drouin maybe) but there will also be regression elsewhere and I don't see a young guy who's suddenly picking up the roster and adding wins to our team more than what we would have gotten from last year's Shaw. Bottom line for me is that the roster isn't any better. I think it's worse, maybe it's the same, but you can't tell me Bergevin made this team any better than last year when we missed the playoffs.
  11. Will pull this back to the question of what MB did to improve the team in the off-season... again, his three major moves (if any of them can even be considered major) were to tradr Shaw and replace him with Suzuki in the line-up, let Benn walk and replace him with Chiarot, and swap in Kinkaid for Niemi. How are we doing with those moves? - The obvious no-brainer failure is that Kinkaid has bombed and is already in the minors. He's the Mark Streit of this year. Or the Tomas Plekanec of this year. It seems that every year there's a player MB gambles on that works out terribly. In Kinkaid's case, he put up a GAA of 4.24 and Sv% of .875, which as hard as it was to outdo Niemi's mediocrity of last year, are both inferior to the 3.78 and .887 that Niemi put up in 2018-19. - As for Suzuki and Chiarot, maybe slight upgrades. Suzuki has certainly shown he could be very good for a long while and it was without a doubt the right time to dump Shaw before health concerns hit, but Suzuki has put up 14 points in 29 games whereas Shaw played really well last year too and put up 47 in 63 games. Chiarot offensively has 10 points in 29 games, which is ahead of where Benn finished, with 22 points in 81 games. Combine the two players' offensive production together though and Suzuki/Chiarot are putting up an average of 0.41 points per game, whereas Shaw/Benn last year gave us 0.48 points per game, so it's also a drop-off. Harder to measure the 4 players' respective defensive outputs and I'd argue Chiarot has been a better possession player and better skater, but his performance on the PK has been abysmal and worse than what Benn gave us, so again, maybe a bit of a wash. All that to say that if we're judging MB's body of work in the off-season, if anything it looks like he gave Julien an inferior roster than the one we had last year. Sure, we can argue about players progressing but for every Mete or Drouin that looks a bit better, you have a Kotkaniemi or Domi or Byron who is worse than last year. You can't look at this roster and believe they were going to be significantly better than last year, and on top of that, teams like Buffalo and Ottawa and Florida all took some steps forward in the off-season, meaning our division got tougher.
  12. GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. Still no PP's and not the first time this has happened to us this year, despite several obvious NY penalties tonight. McDougall better be fired after this season because he is an awful ref.
  14. This Peter McDougall is a friggin joke as a ref. Made up calls all night. Bettman just prepping the next generation of crappy refs.
  15. I think Kotkaniemi has played well the last 3 games. Suzuki has been one of our best players the last two weeks. Fleury has been one of the least guilty D men. I don't see the youngest players as being the problem... if you look at which players have most under-performed since the Drouin/Byron injuries, your list would have to include Price, Petry, Gallagher, Danault, and Domi... not the rookies, but the better veterans on the squad.