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Hockey Guru / Grand manitou

Hockey Guru / Grand manitou (6/6)



  1. Norman Flynn of RDS (who does some of their prospect and minor league reporting) says Kaiden Guhle is "a lot like Hal Gill but with a bit more offensive flair" and here's hoping he's way off. If Guhle is anything like Hal Gill, we're in trouble. Not sure Gill would be able to keep up in today's NHL and he was certainly no better than a 3rd pairing defensive defenceman.
  2. Well Romanov came right over from the KHL, so he didn't really pass through our development system. Cale Fleury played half a season here but isn't a bona fide NHLer yet. Sergachev and Mete both made the NHL right out of junior. So the last D man in my view to become an NHL regular having been drafted by the Habs and having graduated through our AHL team was Nate Beaulieu. Before that, it was PK Subban, albeit Subban played one season in the AHL.
  3. It's going to be tough for Ylonen regardless. If you're not vaccinated, you can't cross the border to play essentially, so he'd be ineligible for maybe 30 games this year anyways.
  4. Anthony Marcotte reporting that Josh Brook suffered a lower body injury and underwent surgery and could miss several months of action. If true, a huge blow to his career development when there was an opening on the right side of the D.
  5. well there are supposedly only 15 players in the entire NHL, so hopefully we don't have more than 1. Lamoriello today announced the Isles wouldn't let anyone play if they weren't vaccinated and Carolina has already announced their team is at 100% vaccinated.
  6. He's really the prospect I thought had the best chance of being a real sleeper with top 6-9 potential. It's too bad that he feels that way, hopefully someone can educate him on the merits of vaccination. I don't see how they can keep him on the NHL roster if he forgoes vaccine though. Ryan Poehling is an American and a vocal Republican supporter, which sets him up as being more likely to be against vaccines than a lot of the other players on the team, so it's at least nice to hear that he seems to be vaccinated. The NHL announced they only ave 15 player league-wide who are not vaccinated (I don't know if that means contracts and includes prospects like Ylonen who are not expected to make the NHL team or if it refers strictly to players who played in the NHL already last year) and many teams are fully vaccinated, so there isn't really a reason to risk everything by keeping Ylonen around the others if he chooses not to get the vaccine.
  7. I think they view it as Petry, Savard, Chiarot, Edmundson, although I don't think the order of 2 through 4 matters much. They clearly see those guys as their top 4 and they gave the 3 gritty guys matching contracts. After that, I think the team views it as open competition and no other player ha a job locked up. I think they see Kulak, Ouellet, and Wideman as spare parts that can fill roles if needed, and they can return any of Romanov, Norlinder, or Guhle to other clubs without waivers. I'd agree with your order for the next three guys up (Romanov then Kulak then Wideman), but I think the team will leave the door open to Norlinder or Guhle making the club. The one thing that may cause them hesitation is the Kotkaniemi situation, where they just publicly stated they regret not having sent him back to Europe for an extra year. But there are spots there to be had and the upside is that if they go with Romanov AND a rookie they likely won't play them together, which means they'll split up Chiarot and Savard.
  8. But then the next question is "why would Kotkaniemi not want to play for the Habs?"... if you believe the Finnish newspapers, they claimed Kotkaniemi was peeved that Suzuki and Caufield were given bigger roles while he was continually being benched and pressboxed and getting the linemate shuffle. On the one hand, Suzuki certainly shined and Caufield played well in a limited timeframe, but on the other hand, you can argue Kotkaniemi was one of your best players in the bubble last year and he started the year playing well next to Drouin and Armia. But that line was broken up to try and get other players going at JK's expense, so I can kind of see where he's coming from with that. Down the stretch, he wasn't playing his best, but who was playing even worse by far was Eric Staal (who was supposedly on top of that playing hurt) and yet to start the post-season Kotkaniemi is in the pressbox and Staal is not. Then Kotkaniemi comes back and scores a huge goal for us. Sheldon Keefe says his insertion in the line-up really changed the momentum in the series and was one of the key factors leading to the Habs comeback series win. But as the playoffs go on, Kotkaniemi is victim to being removed from the line-up yet again, while other players stay in despite struggles and injuries. Anderson was no better than Kotkaniemi. Toffoli's play dropped off considerably after he was hurt. Staal had some big games but also had some stinkers. Danault and Gallagher produced little to nothing offensively. So I can understand Kotkaniemi seeing others not pay the price and wonder what he has to do. Then to boot, remember they did the same thing to his best friend on the team, Victor Mete, and then traded him away. So I'd maybe turn that question around and ask, if the Habs don't continually overplay veterans and French-Quebecers and gritty role players and fail to give them the same treatment that they spare for younger skill guys, does Kotkaniemi feel more welcome here? Does he stay for a more reasonable deal knowing he has a legit shot at being the 2C this season? On paper, JK had to feel pretty good about his odds of beating out Poehling, Evans, and Paquette for the 2C spot, so he didn't leave and sign with a team with more center depth (where he's supposedly going to play LW) to improve his situation. He did it because he seemed to think he wouldn't be given a fair crack at keeping that 2C role. The Habs have a history of punishing young players for small mistakes and not being patient with them. We've seen it with Galchenyuk, Subban, Pacioretty, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn, Andrighetto, O'Byrne, Romanov, and others too. Make a mistake, and YANK, you're on the bench. The Habs would do well to use more carrot and less stick and try to coach these guys to learn from their mistakes. Might have spared them this fiasco.
  9. We might, but I don't think it's a given. He's been out of the NHL and he was signed to a low-salary contract where we can bury him in the minors without any concern for our salary cap. So you look at guys like Campoli, Gustafsson, etc. and he might just be an offensive option they have available but one where the coaches aren't a fan of his defensive play. I think he'll have to fight for a job, I don't think it's a given he's getting a starting spot. If they send Romanov down, it'll be for his development and Wideman will be a placeholder. If Romanov performs well at camp, I think he's ahead of Wideman on the depth chart.
  10. I actually wonder/think, if we had drafted Tkachuk instead, 1. He likely wouldn't have made the NHL right away. 2. If he did, we probably wouldn't have traded for Josh Anderson and being short at center, might have ended up hanging on to Max Domi at center. So the question is whether we'd be better off now with Tkachuk-Domi or Dvorak/Kotkaniemi-Anderson... I'd rather have the 2nd pairing.
  11. Not to say there weren't useful additions, but I guess what I meant was more that a lot of things kind of went wrong from the perspective of what you would have hoped for if you were MB... - We know MB made an offer to Danault and wanted to keep him. They've somewhat replaced him with Dvorak, which could actually be an upgrade when you consider offensive potential, age, and contract. But then that doesn't account for the loss of JK. A year ago, I don't think MB was planning on having Danault walk. - Speaking of JK, MB's hand was also forced here with the offersheet, which in turn probably forced him to pay more in the trade for Dvorak than he wanted to. The Habs apparently had interest in Dvorak for a while, so they could have easily acquired him before, and Bergevin admitted that being down Danault and Kotkaniemi, he felt more pressure to pull the trigger on that deal. - Weber is the backbone of MB's plan and I'm sure he was left scrambling to fill that void. Not to mention we were already starting with an inadequate D corps, so the deficiencies there were only multiplied, and frankly Savard doesn't address any of the needs. He's simply another Chiarot/Edmundson type player. - Drouin walking away last year was also likely not something the Habs had planned on accounting for going into last season. And it sounds like they still don't have full control over what's going on there. - It also sounds like they wanted Bouchard back and he chose to keep the organization in the dark and then leave without much heads up. - Hoffman is a good add, but he's really a replacement for Tatar, and this seems like a lateral move more than anything. It also wasn't the primary need to address, so I still think MB hasn't made us better at center or LHD and now he has a new hole at RHD. There's a real hope/need for some younger players to be ready and do more (CC, Poehling, Norlinder, Brook, Guhle, Suzuki, etc.) - Mailloux was an awful pick and while that was under MB's control, the backlash was not, and now the kid's been suspended for half a year at a key developmental stage. Not ideal either. So all in all, I think there were a lot of things that really didn't go according to MB's wishes, and I'm not sure he did enough to respond to those issues.
  12. I am actually not sure Romanov is a lock for anything. Some possibilities... 1. He can play both left or right, so he could be on either side. If Norlinder wins a spot, Romanov could be on the right like in the example I gave. 2. He's waiver-exempt, so he could also be returned to Laval. Maybe they think he needs time as a top-pairing D there to get more ice and special teams work. They could theoretically put Kulak, Wideman, Ouellet, and/or some combination of Brook/Norlinder ahead of him to start the year.
  13. Drouin back skating today at team facilities for the first time in months. Despite this, Big Georges Laraque stated that he knows what information David Ettedgui has and that "knowing what David knows, he wouldn't plan on Drouin being in the line-up to start the season either." So still completely unclear what is going on, but now multiple sources telling us to expect Drouin will not be with the Habs or not be ready for opening day. Has he asked for a trade? Is he still in therapy/rehab? Is he injured? Can't help but think this has been one of the worst off-seasons in Habs history... Weber, Danault, Tatar, Kotkaniemi, Fleury, Perry all gone. Byron out long-term. Drouin maybe not ready or back at all. Price not clearly ready to start the year either. Joel Bouchard leaving mysteriously as well. Sounds like there is some discontentment within the organization.
  14. We all saw the way Ducharme used his D men last year. Kulak outplayed Chiarot and a couple of others in the regular season but was moved in and out of the line-up while Chiarot was a fixture. In the playoffs, DD worked his top 4 to death and kept Romanov out of the line-up most nights, even though the youngster played well in his sparse appearances. He did the same with Kotkaniemi up front, which if you believe Finnish news, is the reason Kotkaniemi was more than happy to look for an offer elsewhere. So I have little faith Ducharme will skip out on playing his gritty veterans. Even though we can all see Chiarot and Savard are not a good pairing in terms of complementary skill sets, those are the two guys DD is most likely to feel comfortable with and want on the ice the most. I can see him giving 23-24 minutes each to Ed-Petry and Chiarot-Savard and then letting a pairing like Romanov-Wideman or Kulak-Romanov play 12 minutes. Interestingly, Rob Ramage did an interview today and a couple of things he said about the developing players: - He sees Norlinder as being a guy the player at rookie camp with the highest likelihood at being invited to the main camp and having a shot at making the Habs. He confirmed that if he didn't, he would go back to Frolunda and not play in the AHL. - He sees Ylonen as a player who will "get a few games with the Habs this year" indicating he likely won't start the year in the NHL but could be an early call-up. - He says the Habs wanted Harris signed but that the "CBA gives those types of players options" and that Harris is exercising his options. Says he would like to see him in Montreal in the future but it's out of the team's control. Sounds like the team might feel Harris doesn't want to sign here. All that to say that Norlinder +/- Brook making the team and playing well might be the only thing that saves the D corps from being weighed down by poorly-skilled defencemen. To be honest, I think the best we could do with our D would be Romanov-Petry Norlinder-Savard Edmundson-Brook Kulak and we all know that has a 0% chance of happening. I think the best we can hope for with what DD might consider is that he doesn't put Chiarot and Savard together and that we get something like Ed-Petry, Chiarot-Romanov, Norlinder-Savard.
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