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#51 David Desharnais 2012-2013


ColRouleBleu
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Well, this is a bit of a surprise. The cap hit isn't terrible, but locking us into four more years of DD is a bit odd, given Eller's emergence and Galchenyuk obviously projected to be a top-six center at some point. Not a horrible contract, not a great one either TBH.

If I had to guess, I'd say the org projects Galchenyuk as the no. 1 center within 3-4 years, at which point Tomas, who'll be in his mid-30s by then, would drop down into the third-line two-way center role. So I guess DD at second-line center gives us offensive stability in the top six? I dunno, it just seems weird to throw term at a small perimeter forward who needs sheltering and stud linemates just to be a 60-point-pace player. And it means that one of Gally or Eller will have to move to the wing.

The thing is, with a top prospect like Gally, I think 3-4 years is pretty much worst-case other than him being a total bust. Until he started wearing down, he was already putting up points like a decent #2 guy. My guess is by the end of next season he'll be looking like the de facto #1 guy, when you consider he's 18 and missed almost all of last season, it's clear we have someone who isn't going to be developing at Eller's pace. Even if Gally is only performing as a #2 center by the end of next season, that still leaves an issue: only one of DD or Plekanec can play in the #1 spot.

If / when that happens, it's very unclear what we do: Plekanec will likely still deserve top-six slotting and I can't imagine we trade him. DD on the third line (as an offensive depth line, not a checking line) may be okay if we have enough depth on the wing (like this year when healthy), but most likely he'll be stuck with our 5th and 6th best wingers (or worse with injuries) and not do much of anything.

Note that I haven't even mentioned Eller, I'm just assuming he'll be converted to wing permanently at some point.

Perhaps this was the sort of "draft the best player available" sort of move. We have no idea what will happen with development of guys, injury troubles, sudden drops in production, etc. so MB saw a chance to get him locked up to a reasonable contract (I think someone like Grabovski is probably a good comparison and he got a significantly richer deal), and figured we can deal with the issue later by trading someone (including possibly DD himself), converting someone to wing, etc. I think we will need DD for at least next season while letting Gally mature, and the longer term may have gotten us a better deal financially.

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Am I the only one that doesn't like this signing?

I don't like the term and I don't like what it says about his role on the team. This deal means MB thinks DD is a top 6-9 guy he can roll with for 4 more years. I have a problem with that. I don't understand the thought process. He's not a guy that's going to exceed what he did last season, he's a 60 point scorer when surrounded by the 2 best big wingers the Habs have had in 20 years. The only pair to score 30 each in a season. I don't see how you can expect him to produce at this level moving forward particularly since that means Eller will not get a chance at a top 6 slot nor Galchenyuk or they certainly will not get the best wingers since DD needs them to have any value. I just don't understand the length or timing of the deal.

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Am I the only one that doesn't like this signing?

I don't like the term and I don't like what it says about his role on the team. This deal means MB thinks DD is a top 6-9 guy he can roll with for 4 more years. I have a problem with that. I don't understand the thought process. He's not a guy that's going to exceed what he did last season, he's a 60 point scorer when surrounded by the 2 best big wingers the Habs have had in 20 years. The only pair to score 30 each in a season. I don't see how you can expect him to produce at this level moving forward particularly since that means Eller will not get a chance at a top 6 slot nor Galchenyuk or they certainly will not get the best wingers since DD needs them to have any value. I just don't understand the length or timing of the deal.

As a contract, it's not bad at all. DD is worth that much for most NHL teams (maybe a bit less IMO).

But for the Habs... yeah I agree. It's a bit questionable. We have too many centers that have a better potential than him.

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Thing is, it's not a terrible contract. It gives us flexibility in the short term so that we don't have to rush Galchenyuk, and it allows us to use Eller in a variety of roles (on the wing, top-six or top-nine, etc.) situationally. If we decide it's time to trade him, the cap hit isn't going to scare other teams off. I envision Bergevin trading Desharnais in the second or third year of the contract, when the term has dwindled a bit and a team in need of some secondary scoring punch might be interested in his services.

The one thing about this contract: it's weird to lock up a guy who's not necessarily essential to a four-year deal but insist that your star d-man only sign a two-year deal...

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Thing is, it's not a terrible contract. It gives us flexibility in the short term so that we don't have to rush Galchenyuk, and it allows us to use Eller in a variety of roles (on the wing, top-six or top-nine, etc.) situationally. If we decide it's time to trade him, the cap hit isn't going to scare other teams off. I envision Bergevin trading Desharnais in the second or third year of the contract, when the term has dwindled a bit and a team in need of some secondary scoring punch might be interested in his services.

The one thing about this contract: it's weird to lock up a guy who's not necessarily essential to a four-year deal but insist that your star d-man only sign a two-year deal...

It's very reasonable value but I was just surprised by the timing is all. When I read before bed that he signed and it would be announced the next day I was actually pretty worried about what the dollars would be, I know usually players who sign in season are signing big deals. Not a lot of 26 year olds are going to sign a 2 year, 3 million dollar deal in March. This was actually pretty close to the low end of what I was expecting. I was worried it would be in the low 4's. I know the production is down on a PPG level this year but I've actually preferred Desharnais' game, more goals, looks even better down low with the puck, we all know the limitations but there's value here. It's also a nice story so on a personal level it's nice to see him get the contract. I feel like I would have preferred 3 years but it's a minor nitpick, it's a movable contract.

Thought of the Subban thing too. Obviously Subban on a 4 year deal would have been worst case scenario for us but I'm still perplexed by the logic on the Subban thing. If it was, we just don't do big 2nd contracts as a rule regardless of situation, I think that's stupid and self-defeating, similar to the Gainey policy of not negotiating in season. Every situation should be treated differently. If they didn't trust Subban or think he was as good based on their lack of knowledge with him I can understand the logic but they very clearly miscalculated. If the logic was signing Subban to a 6-8 year deal makes him a UFA at 29-31 and we'd rather do 2+8 and control him for 10 years despite the fact it will cost more, I can probably accept that although I'd classify it as slightly risky and it's probably not an instance I'd gamble.

If there really is a hard rule against long term 2nd deals, this kind of flies in the face of it. I understand this isn't DD's 2nd deal but he has 157 NHL games and PK had 160 NHL games this summer when he was looking for his deal. Subban had proven more in his time than Desharnais has. Now, I understand Desharnais has more AHL experience and he's closer to UFA so those are factors but if the thought was it's risky to sign a lesser proven player to a big deal, the logic is flawed IMO. The sad reality is, other teams are doing those contracts so that's setting the market. If we want to compete, it's what we'll eventually have to do. If Galchenyuk puts up 75 points next year and 90 points in year 3, I won't feel comfortable having him hold out so we can sign him for 2 years instead of 8.

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Thing is, it's not a terrible contract. It gives us flexibility in the short term so that we don't have to rush Galchenyuk, and it allows us to use Eller in a variety of roles (on the wing, top-six or top-nine, etc.) situationally. If we decide it's time to trade him, the cap hit isn't going to scare other teams off. I envision Bergevin trading Desharnais in the second or third year of the contract, when the term has dwindled a bit and a team in need of some secondary scoring punch might be interested in his services.

The one thing about this contract: it's weird to lock up a guy who's not necessarily essential to a four-year deal but insist that your star d-man only sign a two-year deal...

I instantly thought of Subban. One of my buddies brought up an excellent point: the holdout might have been the catalyst PK needed to come out and prove people wrong. He was humbled by the process and might be eager to prove his worth. I've been saying for months that PK is our best defenseman and will be for the future but we are now entering an impending game of high stakes poker that could have been avoided had the brass locked him up. His counterpoint was PK is probably playing up to his potential now because he feels the need to prove himself and seek the big contract in 2 years.

I just don't see the hurry to sign DD in season. I honestly don't see him being built for the playoffs or the road. He has zero pp points on the road this year and gets tons of minutes. I don't see the need to rush this deal and the term of it. He has not played in a playoff game in his current role, wouldn't you want to see his true value in those games before giving out a long term deal?

Furthermore, we have depth and potential at the position. As I said, this deal means we either have to surround DD with our best 2 wingers for the next 4 years or find a way to trade him in 2 years. Somebody compared his deal to Grabovski but my gut is thinking Matthew Lombardi at this point. I hope I am wrong but I really don't like the way this deal includes DD in our top 6 core moving forward.

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Furthermore, we have depth and potential at the position. As I said, this deal means we either have to surround DD with our best 2 wingers for the next 4 years or find a way to trade him in 2 years. Somebody compared his deal to Grabovski but my gut is thinking Matthew Lombardi at this point. I hope I am wrong but I really don't like the way this deal includes DD in our top 6 core moving forward.

Desharnais isn't as good as Grabvoski. Look at the kinds of matchups Grabovski gets 5 on 5. They basically use him as their Plekanec except Carlyle has been even more extreme this year.

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Desharnais isn't as good as Grabvoski. Look at the kinds of matchups Grabovski gets 5 on 5. They basically use him as their Plekanec except Carlyle has been even more extreme this year.

Yeah, if we are going to compare players, Grabovski has about the same role as Plekanec does. Except Plekanec is better.

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Having David signed to a reasonable contract at this time does make him tradeable at this year's deadline... no? I'm not saying that is what we should expect, however it could explain the timing in one way.

It would be a slick move by Bergevin if Desharnais signing was the key to a trade.

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Having David signed to a reasonable contract at this time does make him tradeable at this year's deadline... no? I'm not saying that is what we should expect, however it could explain the timing in one way.

It would be a slick move by Bergevin if Desharnais signing was the key to a trade.

That might not be the best idea though. Doesn't look fantastic if we're signing a guy and then trading him a month later.

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That might not be the best idea though. Doesn't look fantastic if we're signing a guy and then trading him a month later.

See the 2005 Senators for an example that blew up in Brian Murray's face. He got Hossa signed to a three-year deal, then immediately traded him for Heatley, but apparently Chara was so upset at how Hossa (a good friend of his) was treated that it played a factor in him signing with the Bruins instead of the Senators.

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See the 2005 Senators for an example that blew up in Brian Murray's face. He got Hossa signed to a three-year deal, then immediately traded him for Heatley, but apparently Chara was so upset at how Hossa (a good friend of his) was treated that it played a factor in him signing with the Bruins instead of the Senators.

I was too young when that happened so I don't remember any of that happening, but that's a good example. It's just bad optics and it's not a good idea for a franchise that already has a multitude of factors that make UFA's not want to sign here. However, I wouldn't be averse to trading DD next season if Galchenyuk is ready for top 6 duty. Watching Galchenyuk play, it's hard to believe that he won't be ready to take DD's role by the end of next season.

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Having David signed to a reasonable contract at this time does make him tradeable at this year's deadline... no? I'm not saying that is what we should expect, however it could explain the timing in one way.

It would be a slick move by Bergevin if Desharnais signing was the key to a trade.

The Habs are on record saying they want to increase the French-Canadian content on the team not decrease it. I can't see this signing leading to a trade for that reason.

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Isn't the difference between PK and DD that DD would be a UFA in two years? Bergevin would have signed Subban to 8 years if after year 2 he could be a UFA.

DD was willing to take less money per year for the next 4 years.

No one's going to say that DD will become a super-star over these next 4 years, but you can argue that PK may break out and become that all-star we're all expecting him to become.

Same thing for Gorges and Markov. Markov had 2 surgeries on the same knee and PG didn't even bat an eyelash, giving him his 5.75 mil. But Josh got a one year deal and his injury wasn't as bad as markies, until Josh was able to prove he could still play at the same level after his injury.

very different when dealing with stars and non-stars.

In the end, the 2 year deal is better for Subban long term. Judging by what other elite dmen are getting, Subban was probably asking for about 5 mil over the next 5-7 years. Once his 2 year contract is up, he'll be able to demand more. At the end of the day it's in Subban's best interest (long term) to take the shorter deal.

With the way's he's been playing and for his age, it's going to cost MB/GM a pretty penny once his contract is up.

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The one thing about this contract: it's weird to lock up a guy who's not necessarily essential to a four-year deal but insist that your star d-man only sign a two-year deal..

Not when you think of UFA age though. Had we given Subban the 5 year deal he was apparently looking for, he would have become a UFA right in his prime at 28: not good. If we extend him by 7 years after this contract we get 4 more prime years out of him (the only other way to have achieved this would have been a 9+ year mega-deal before the lockout, which I was against). With DD, he becomes a UFA at 30, but do we really care?

Additionally, in the short term Subban would have cost us more on a longer-term deal, while DD likely gave us a discount by giving him a bit more term than than we may have wanted.

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I instantly thought of Subban. One of my buddies brought up an excellent point: the holdout might have been the catalyst PK needed to come out and prove people wrong. He was humbled by the process and might be eager to prove his worth. I've been saying for months that PK is our best defenseman and will be for the future but we are now entering an impending game of high stakes poker that could have been avoided had the brass locked him up. His counterpoint was PK is probably playing up to his potential now because he feels the need to prove himself and seek the big contract in 2 years.

I just don't see the hurry to sign DD in season. I honestly don't see him being built for the playoffs or the road. He has zero pp points on the road this year and gets tons of minutes. I don't see the need to rush this deal and the term of it. He has not played in a playoff game in his current role, wouldn't you want to see his true value in those games before giving out a long term deal?

Furthermore, we have depth and potential at the position. As I said, this deal means we either have to surround DD with our best 2 wingers for the next 4 years or find a way to trade him in 2 years. Somebody compared his deal to Grabovski but my gut is thinking Matthew Lombardi at this point. I hope I am wrong but I really don't like the way this deal includes DD in our top 6 core moving forward.

It's funny, I wondered the same thing... Why this rush deal?

We honestly don't know what went on behind closed doors. I really thought it was going to be closer to 4 mil/season. It's highly possible that Mb started the negociations expecting to be in negociation for months and DD decided to jump at the first offer or came to a compromise with the 2nd offer.

PK's negociations is a little trickier since they're dealing with a younger player, who's ceiling is much higher. DD is much closer to his prime than PK, so it's easier to argue that what we're seeing now from DD, is pretty much what we'll get 3 years down the road(give or take 10-15 points/season).

It took several months to negociate Price's contract, but all our grinders/role players were pretty much all done in one day (exaggeration but you get my point). It's much easier negociating a contract with a guy like DD. Really, you think someone would give him an offer sheet?

I'm sure when Pk was still negociating his contract at the beginning of the season, MB's phone was ringing off the hook concerning PK and the posssibility he may be available.

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That might not be the best idea though. Doesn't look fantastic if we're signing a guy and then trading him a month later.

See the 2005 Senators for an example that blew up in Brian Murray's face. He got Hossa signed to a three-year deal, then immediately traded him for Heatley, but apparently Chara was so upset at how Hossa (a good friend of his) was treated that it played a factor in him signing with the Bruins instead of the Senators.

The Habs are on record saying they want to increase the French-Canadian content on the team not decrease it. I can't see this signing leading to a trade for that reason.

Good/Bad... however you look at it the option still remains. And in the end all will be quickly forgotten if the team is improved by acquiring a player of greater value in the overall scheme of things. That player could even be a French Canadian as well... time will tell.

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I personally love the way DD plays and I'm really happy that he'll be a Hab for 4 more years. I also believe that Pacman wouldn't be the same player without him. As well, DD is very popular in the dressing room from what I've heard.

+1. Very reasonable cap hit considering we're buying up 3 UFA years all in his physical prime. There's no risk on the term, a very moveable contract, a well liked guy who happens to be the favourite centerman to play with of our best offensive forward. Insulates and gives us depth down the middle.

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  • 1 month later...

I know hes a fan favorite but is anybody else extremely annoyed that he's going to be taking ice-time away from Eller and Galchenyuk for the rest of the season especially on the PP, and possibly the next 4 years because he has to play in a top 6 role to be semi effective. Really wish Bergevin gave him a shorter deal, last year was a flash in the pan playing with two big wingers having career years.

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I like DD, and he's having a bit of an off year, but he didn't get from junior to the habs by luck and knowing the right people, he has talent. Patches has slowed down, people were even complaining about Gio recently. I'm kinda happy we don't REALLY have a #1 line, it gives us an option to roll three scoring lines and mix up the players. If one line is better or worse we can reduce or increase ice time, now the real question is.....why hasn't MT reduced his and make him earn more? If we're lucky DD is saving it for the PO's,lol

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Probably regressing to his real level as a forward, but whatever, we've got him for four more years, so we have to make the best of it.

Probably regressing a little. He has been in a cold streak lately though. His production is tied pretty tightly to Patches. When Max isn't scoring his production takes a noze dive as well. And the main reason Patches isn't scoring is still mostly bad luck IMHO; he's still getting nice shot volume from good areas.

Even in his current 'bad year' he's still on pace for 50 points which is probably at worst close to fair value for his contract. I don't think it will become an albatross, even though I see him quite probably losing his place on the team before it's done.

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Probably regressing to his real level as a forward, but whatever, we've got him for four more years, so we have to make the best of it.

He's not untreadable imho. Its pretty clear that if you put him in a 2nd line position, with a couple of big, decent wingers, he'll get you points. There will be some takers out there, should we decide to move him. For now I wouldnt expect it (never great to sign a guy long term for what is a home-town discount & then ship him off) plus I think he still has some use to us right now - but I would not be surprised at all to see years 3 & 4 of this contract with a different team.

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