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Ok so what is the true state of the Habs? this has been a very bad year no doubt about it and we have some huge holes in our lineup, but there is some good stuff going on too. we are still quite strong in the nets Price has been off his game but he will probably rebound to at least a very strong goalie and i really like Lindgren. the D has been horrible this year but Mete and Julesson look good and Webber it seems was hurt in the first game of the year so the way he played this year is easier to understand one or two good pickups should at least give us a servicable defence. as for forwards we are pretty rich on the wings our #1 issue is up the middle Danault makes a great #3 center in my opinion which leaves us with the #1 and #2 center positions as our main concerns. if MB has some magic inside scoop on how to sign JT we will be in pretty good shape as i feel we could probably get a servicable player to play #2 center. Our third and fourth lines are overflowing with parts the can be moved in and out of the lineup to match with whoever we are playing, the one big issue we have is a GM and management team that seem to either be too timid to pull the trigger on deals or are to pigheaded to change directions with the plans they have in place. personally i would sell off our assets and start over with the good core of young players we have now and picks and prospects we could pickup but perhaps three key signings of the right players in the right positions could make us quite good. the sad thing is the missed chances with the core we did have.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Supposedly, the Habs and Panthers had discussions about Pacioretty, but the rumor is that the Habs wanted a roster player or their best center prospect (Borgstrom) and apparently the Panthers still believe they can make the playoffs and were only interested in trading picks and/or B level prospects. So by all accounts, the discussions never got that far, and when Bergevin found out he couldn't get a Robert Thomas or a Borgstrom right then and there, he decided he would wait until the draft to make a hockey trade with Pacioretty... if that's the case, then it makes sense. My gut feeling is that MB is going to end up making a trade for a center already in the NHL, like an RNH or Eriksson-Ek rather than get us a top-tier center prospect, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a deal like Pacioretty for RNH + Nurse + a 2nd, or something to that effect. We'd be better served getting a Vilardi or Thomas or Steel or Borgstrom, but I guess that depends on whether anyone's willing to sell. Barring that, I wonder if we see MB trade Pacioretty for a mid-1st round pick and try to go after a center with a second choice in the 1st round. There aren't really any centers worthy of a top 5-8 pick, so unless our choice falls down the pecking order, it doesn't make sense to reach there and it doesn't make sense to trade down and pass up a top-tier D man or winger just for positional need. So I think if you end up picking 4th or 5th for example, you take the Tkachuk or Boqvist or Bouchard or whoever and work from there. But maybe Pacman for the 12th overall or 14th overall pick as one of the pieces in a trade nets you a future center (for example, Pacioretty to the Isles for Beauvillier and the 14th overall pick, which you use on a center...).

As for the others, I guess the saving grace is that Plekanec, Morrow, and Jerabek were going to be free agents, whereas Benn, Schlemko, Alzner, Byron, and Shaw can be dealt in the summer. I think Benn, Byron, and Shaw have value on the trade market, so again, in those cases, you can justify holding on and trying to make a better hockey deal later on. We know Winnipeg was in on Shaw, we know Chicago would consider repatriating him, and maybe next year is a better time for them. So maybe there are deals to be won later on for those three, and barring that, you can still argue they're of value here, so long as they're in the right roles and depending on the direction the team takes... but as for Schlemko, there is zero reason why we should have refused any offer sent to us. He is of no value, and he is still signed for another couple of years, so he's someone you want to get off the books. I guess we'll see where the Habs end up picking in the draft and what deals they're able to swing before July 1st. If we can get good trade value for the likes of Pacioretty, Weber, Price, Gallagher, Shaw, Byron, or Benn, etc. and if we end up with a top 3-5 pick or if JT announces he's leaving New York and considers the Habs one of his top 2-3 choices, that's a very different scenario than if we go into July 1st with the same roster we have now and are sitting on the 10th overall pick. I just wish MB was more proactive instead of letting things sit in a game of chance.

Totally agree.  Not moving Patches is not a problem to me because it sounds like the deal wasnt there.   Not moving Shaw or Byron maybe too - although youd have to think a team wanting some secondary scoring for either may have given up more now than they would in the summer.

I am most upset we didnt move Benn or Schlemko or Alzner although lets be honest, who wanted them?  Maybe Benn but if the offer was a 7th rounder or something he's worth more as our reserve defensman. 

With Vailev, Reilly, Juulsen and Lernout we should be fine in the bottom 2 dman department.  Mete-Petry form a strong 2nd pair.  So there's really no need to keep the Benns and Schlemkos of the world.   I think we may be stuck with Alzner - and honestly as a 3rd pairing, top PK guy he's probably fine.  Yeah he's a huge cost for that usage but we should have 2 - 3 guys on the blueline on ECLs so so be it.   We really need to find a way to get a good PM defensman next to Weber though. 

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46 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Ok so what is the true state of the Habs? this has been a very bad year no doubt about it and we have some huge holes in our lineup, but there is some good stuff going on too. we are still quite strong in the nets Price has been off his game but he will probably rebound to at least a very strong goalie and i really like Lindgren. the D has been horrible this year but Mete and Julesson look good and Webber it seems was hurt in the first game of the year so the way he played this year is easier to understand one or two good pickups should at least give us a servicable defence. as for forwards we are pretty rich on the wings our #1 issue is up the middle Danault makes a great #3 center in my opinion which leaves us with the #1 and #2 center positions as our main concerns. if MB has some magic inside scoop on how to sign JT we will be in pretty good shape as i feel we could probably get a servicable player to play #2 center. Our third and fourth lines are overflowing with parts the can be moved in and out of the lineup to match with whoever we are playing, the one big issue we have is a GM and management team that seem to either be too timid to pull the trigger on deals or are to pigheaded to change directions with the plans they have in place. personally i would sell off our assets and start over with the good core of young players we have now and picks and prospects we could pickup but perhaps three key signings of the right players in the right positions could make us quite good. the sad thing is the missed chances with the core we did have.

Id agree with that but the problem is that most of those holes cant be filled by free agency.   John Tavares would be the obvious option of course but I suspect at least a handful of teams will offer max $$ and term to him.  So it will really come down to whether he wants to sign with us or not - if he even makes it to UFA. 

Other than that though, the pickins will be slim.  Carlson is a top pairing dman but he's a righty like Weber and Petry.  We could conceivably sign him - but only if we're willing to trade off Weber first.  Dont know if MB will do that and even still it leaves us with that hole at #1LD.    After that its mostly 2nd-3rd line players and #4-6 dmen.   We're totally set on that...   

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I know the kid is only 19, but he'll have a full year under his belt going into next season,,, and he did look decent beside a crippled Weber in the early going. Could he be the answer (Mete)? If we can't find that elusive partner on the first pairing in the summer, then the other alternative would be to find that #4 guy to play with Petry. An easier task IMO

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1 hour ago, H_T_L said:

I know the kid is only 19, but he'll have a full year under his belt going into next season,,, and he did look decent beside a crippled Weber in the early going. Could he be the answer (Mete)? If we can't find that elusive partner on the first pairing in the summer, then the other alternative would be to find that #4 guy to play with Petry. An easier task IMO

Im not convinced Mete is a true #1.   #3 or 4 - absolutely.   Maybe if we still had Subban then Mete-Subban would work but it would take an absolutely elite #1 for him to be the right fit on our first pairing imho.    Weber is still a very good player but he's not elite on his own any more.  If we luck out & win the Dahlin sweepstakes then I could see Dahlin-Weber being a very effective first pair for many years but we are going to need a #1LHD to start carrying weber, not the other way around.  mete is probably a few years away from that (if ever) even though i do think he's a terrific young talent. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Im not convinced Mete is a true #1.   #3 or 4 - absolutely.   Maybe if we still had Subban then Mete-Subban would work but it would take an absolutely elite #1 for him to be the right fit on our first pairing imho.    Weber is still a very good player but he's not elite on his own any more.  If we luck out & win the Dahlin sweepstakes then I could see Dahlin-Weber being a very effective first pair for many years but we are going to need a #1LHD to start carrying weber, not the other way around.  mete is probably a few years away from that (if ever) even though i do think he's a terrific young talent. 

I think perhaps we are being too fussy with our thoughts on Dmen Pit has done well with an average Dcorps for years because they had a great forward group and fair goaltending. if we could get our offence up to par with a couple of decent puck moving Dmen ''Mete could very well be one of them we will have to wait and see'' we could do ok. i don't think we need superstar Dmen just good ones for now. i like what i am seeing in tonight's game so far.

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Im not convinced Mete is a true #1.   #3 or 4 - absolutely.   Maybe if we still had Subban then Mete-Subban would work but it would take an absolutely elite #1 for him to be the right fit on our first pairing imho.    Weber is still a very good player but he's not elite on his own any more.  If we luck out & win the Dahlin sweepstakes then I could see Dahlin-Weber being a very effective first pair for many years but we are going to need a #1LHD to start carrying weber, not the other way around.  mete is probably a few years away from that (if ever) even though i do think he's a terrific young talent. 

I don't think Mete is a #1 either. I see him as a bit of a Ryan Ellis or Torey Krug, but you need to have the Subban-Josi or McAvoy-Carlo-etc. to play ahead of them. He's a solid 2nd pairing guy, but he's not elite enough to be a true #1. I think he and Petry are a dynamite 2nd pairing, and I'd keep them together. I'm really happy with the possibility of Juulsen starting next year on the 3rd pairing and maybe growing into taking over the Petry role within a couple of years. But the first pairing remains a huge problem. Weber is not capable of driving that pairing by himself, and unless we land a Dahlin or someone else via trade, it's going to be tough sledding. As soon as you slot an Alzner or Schlemko into that spot next to Weber, it makes everyone else have to step up further to compensate, and then you get people in the wrong chairs.

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As far as buyouts go, you could buy out Schlemko after this season and it would cost you cap hits of 858k, 908k, 608k, and 608k over the next four years. That's actualluy feasible, if you really aren't able to trade him. It sounds like other teams may have at least inquired about him though, so with two years on his deal, I really believe we could trade him. We just have to be willing to accept a bad return on the trade (6th or 7th round pick), and I think you do that just to clear him out.

With Alzner, the buyout is harder to swallow, but he's also harder to trade. He's got the 4 years left on his contract, his actual salary is 6M for the next two years, and he's got a 7-team no-trade clause. For a buyout, the cap hit in year one is actually cost neutral, but in year two and well as years 5-8, we'd be hit with a 1.3M cap hit. In year 3, it would be a hefty 4.4M hit though and in year 5 it's 2.4M. That said, the buyout may be easier to justify than keeping Alzner around at 4.6M. If we turn to a rookie making 800k a year, we're essentially saving money in the first 4 years and then losing a little bit on the cap in years 5-8... I'd be inclined to say it's still worth it.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

As far as buyouts go, you could buy out Schlemko after this season and it would cost you cap hits of 858k, 908k, 608k, and 608k over the next four years. That's actualluy feasible, if you really aren't able to trade him. It sounds like other teams may have at least inquired about him though, so with two years on his deal, I really believe we could trade him. We just have to be willing to accept a bad return on the trade (6th or 7th round pick), and I think you do that just to clear him out.

With Alzner, the buyout is harder to swallow, but he's also harder to trade. He's got the 4 years left on his contract, his actual salary is 6M for the next two years, and he's got a 7-team no-trade clause. For a buyout, the cap hit in year one is actually cost neutral, but in year two and well as years 5-8, we'd be hit with a 1.3M cap hit. In year 3, it would be a hefty 4.4M hit though and in year 5 it's 2.4M. That said, the buyout may be easier to justify than keeping Alzner around at 4.6M. If we turn to a rookie making 800k a year, we're essentially saving money in the first 4 years and then losing a little bit on the cap in years 5-8... I'd be inclined to say it's still worth it.

Yeah, if i look at the guys we could/should move on from:

- Benn would be the easiest to trade but the one id most like to keep ahold of. I think you could get a 3rd rounder or mid-level prospect for him. 

- Schlemko I believe is tradable. I dont think you'll get alot for him but with guys like Juulsen, Reilly, Valiev, and Lernout I think the roster spot is more important. A 7th rounder or AHLer is fine.

- Alzner is the real trick.  I dont think he's as bad as he's shown. I think he has looked better in the last month (admittedly I havent watched all the games) but he's clearly waaaay overpaid.  That said, we could easily have 3+ dmen on ELC next year so paying him #3-4 money to play #5-6 d isnt going to kill our cap.  I  dont know if you'd find any takers and i think as long as you manage him (sheltered 5-on-5 assignments, PK) I think he's still possibly useful. 

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3 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I think perhaps we are being too fussy with our thoughts on Dmen Pit has done well with an average Dcorps for years because they had a great forward group and fair goaltending. if we could get our offence up to par with a couple of decent puck moving Dmen ''Mete could very well be one of them we will have to wait and see'' we could do ok. i don't think we need superstar Dmen just good ones for now. i like what i am seeing in tonight's game so far.

When you've got 2 of the 5 best centres on the planet for the last 10 years you can have some weak spots elsewhere ;)

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Stu Cowan said it best that our GM has acquired a Napoleonic complex. The Habs Management and Ownership has turned into a dictatorship with a total ignorance and contempt for the fan-base. Stanley Cup begone, it`s all about politics, grit, character and towing the party line. The state of the Habs is into a nosedive of epic proportions.

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We can think what we want about Patches but the frustrations this year have been rearing their ugly head. Look at what 67 has done without a decent center and all his 30 goal seasons. There is plenty of blame to go around.  We finally get a guy that be somewhat of a game breaker and helps with Patches and MB low balls him. I can't imagine what Price has been thinking and his frustrations have also been exposed a few times the past couple seasons. Is it any coincidence that our two leaders are having their worst season and all of this personnel upheaval has happened recently? I don't know how you can perform to the huge expectations when you have 5-6 seasons to bolster the lineup? All of the Habs misfortunes since 1980 have been management and coach related. The fan base deserves better. I could go on and on about the idiotic trades since 1980 but I should write a book about it. 

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18 hours ago, maas_art said:

When you've got 2 of the 5 best centres on the planet for the last 10 years you can have some weak spots elsewhere ;)

That is pretty much my point we have been so goalie and defence oriented and it has gotten us nowhere since our last cup. it is why i think a decent Dcorps is fine we don;t have to have superstars on the back end just good players would work as long as we can pick up what we need down the middle i really have no problem letting Price or Webber go to do that. imagine this team right now as it sits if we had a Crosby and a Malkin same D same everything less Price and Webber. we would be a lot better because our wingers would be getting the pucks and the opposing D would have to back up and take our forwards as more of a threat. imagine two guys like that up the middle with Patches Chucky Drouin and some of our other guys on the wings we would have some real firepower. that is why i feel if we could actually get a Tavares and perhaps another decent center things would look a lot different. imagine if we had kept Rads and add him to that mix!  

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Francois-David Rouleau of the Journal de Montreal went to meet some scalpers this week and the reporter states that the scalpers are stuck with hundreds of tickets and are losing thousands of dollars.

Those same scalpers confirmed that this is the worst season in the last 35 years and fans do not even want to come to the Bell Center with free tickets.

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38 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Francois-David Rouleau of the Journal de Montreal went to meet some scalpers this week and the reporter states that the scalpers are stuck with hundreds of tickets and are losing thousands of dollars.

Those same scalpers confirmed that this is the worst season in the last 35 years and fans do not even want to come to the Bell Center with free tickets.

Only Habs fans know how to truly turn on the pressure and force the issue. Thank goodness for that!

This Management and Owner have to go.

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47 minutes ago, kinot-2 said:

Francois-David Rouleau of the Journal de Montreal went to meet some scalpers this week and the reporter states that the scalpers are stuck with hundreds of tickets and are losing thousands of dollars.

Those same scalpers confirmed that this is the worst season in the last 35 years and fans do not even want to come to the Bell Center with free tickets.

That's good to hear. Hopefully there's a loss in revenue from the sale of merchandise, food, and drink at the Bell Centre. Speaking with your wallet is the only way to engage ownership in a conversation about change.

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1 hour ago, kinot-2 said:

Francois-David Rouleau of the Journal de Montreal went to meet some scalpers this week and the reporter states that the scalpers are stuck with hundreds of tickets and are losing thousands of dollars.

Those same scalpers confirmed that this is the worst season in the last 35 years and fans do not even want to come to the Bell Center with free tickets.

Meh...big deal.....who cares. They don't mind gouging you when buy tickets from them. I don't feel the least bit sorry for them.

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