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10 hours ago, maas_art said:

yeah but if you're talking about guys of that caliber then you have to look at our signings of guys like Hamrlik, Radulov, Gionta, Cammaleri, etc.  Even guys like Semin, Briere, and Alzner - while they didnt work out - were considered to be top 5 or 10 most high profile UFA signings in their respective years.

The original argument was that high end or high profile players dont sign with us - or sign with us at a lesser rate than other teams - but its untrue.

UFAs tend to go where they have the best chance to win (which unless we can really sell ourselves) is not us.  The money is usually pretty close everywhere anyway.  Sure you may have to pay higher taxes on Montreal but you also can make oodles of money racing a horse on TV or having a crazy burger named after you. Not many markets in the US can boast even close to the type of endorsement opportunities you can get in Montreal or Toronto for a star UFA player. 

Agreed, and the tax issue is a bit overblown. I remember we used to complain about players "wanting to play in California", which (while difficult to do apples-apples comparison due to different tax systems with different deductions and sales taxes and such) has a top marginal rate only a few percent below Quebec's. If it was all about income taxes then all the big money free agents would be flocking to Florida, Tampa, Dallas, and Vegas - none of which we think of as great destinations.

The interesting thing is I hear "UFAs don't want to come here" from fans of numerous other teams as well and I suspect it's just that in a 31 team league it's easy to feel shunned - but those aren't very good odds for the few legitimate big names.

And ironically, most big-name (relatively speaking) UFA deals in the cap world (especially since the last lockout) have looked terrible in hindsight, so even if UFAs are shunning Montreal, is that a blessing in disguise?

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1 hour ago, Regis22 said:

Byron not happy with the effort

http://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/game-day-notebook-canadiens-paul-byron-frustrated-with-teams-effort

Paul, the team isn't very good . This is what grit and character get you

 

Too little too late. Those comments should have been made at pre-playoffs time.

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19 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

Agreed, and the tax issue is a bit overblown. I remember we used to complain about players "wanting to play in California", which (while difficult to do apples-apples comparison due to different tax systems with different deductions and sales taxes and such) has a top marginal rate only a few percent below Quebec's. If it was all about income taxes then all the big money free agents would be flocking to Florida, Tampa, Dallas, and Vegas - none of which we think of as great destinations.

The interesting thing is I hear "UFAs don't want to come here" from fans of numerous other teams as well and I suspect it's just that in a 31 team league it's easy to feel shunned - but those aren't very good odds for the few legitimate big names.

And ironically, most big-name (relatively speaking) UFA deals in the cap world (especially since the last lockout) have looked terrible in hindsight, so even if UFAs are shunning Montreal, is that a blessing in disguise?

I don't think the tax thing is overblown. It's real. You need only look at Radulov as an example of a player who reportedly got the same offer from two places, one being a city where he had success and loved living and the other being a significantly lower-tax location. Now we don't know the true back-story to negotiations, the hurt feelings, the order or timing of the offers, and so on. But taxes probably played a role in it.

We also don't know if even when we sign a UFA or re-sign one of our players whether taxes comes into the negotiations. Say for example Carey's agent was negotiating his new deal and feels like he could get a 9M offer from somewhere else but tells MB that it'd have to be 10.5M here to make up for the lost taxes. Or say Alzner told MB, yeah I'm interested in coming here, but your offer is going to have to be 10% above the other guy's offer to make this work and Marc says okay. We might now see the effect explicitly but it might be affecting what we have to pay. And I don't remember if it was Gainey or Andre Savard or Serge Savard, but one of them has done an interview where they stated there were players who told them they would not come to Quebec on account of language and taxes.

So it's absolutely a factor. That said, there are probably other players who want to play here because of the fans and the history and the deep pockets for spending to the cap or because of certain teammates. There are other factors that go into the decisions besides just taxes, but the bottom line is that it's a factor that can partly or completely negate a player's interest in coming here. And with the unfair salary cap, there's simply no way for a team to overcome the difference in taxes by offering more money to everyone to equalize payment. That must be resolved in the next CBA if Geoff Molson wants to put us on a fair platform.

 

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Here's Brian Wilde saying what many of us have been saying all season: that Benn, Alzner, and Schlemko are not good enough to play in the NHL. That JJ Daigneault is useless as a coach and should have been fired long ago. And that Lefebvre is here for no reason, and an example of Bergevin not doing his job by not firing him. This one is worth the read, to see an NHL beat writer lay into the Habs with the truth:

https://recrutes.ca/mcleans-pub-call-of-the-wilde-a-sotu-moment/

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

Here's Brian Wilde saying what many of us have been saying all season: that Benn, Alzner, and Schlemko are not good enough to play in the NHL. That JJ Daigneault is useless as a coach and should have been fired long ago. And that Lefebvre is here for no reason, and an example of Bergevin not doing his job by not firing him. This one is worth the read, to see an NHL beat writer lay into the Habs with the truth:

https://recrutes.ca/mcleans-pub-call-of-the-wilde-a-sotu-moment/

He sure lays it all on the line, and he is just saying what all of us have been thinking.

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9 hours ago, kinot-2 said:

He sure lays it all on the line, and he is just saying what all of us have been thinking.

Absolutely. Man of us here have been preaching this all year and preaching the JJ and SL parts for several years. But it's nice to see some of the mainstream media realize how awful a job Bergevin has done and how many things he's screwed up and actually say it. Too much of the media has given MB a free ride for too long, so this is refreshing.

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18 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I don't think the tax thing is overblown. It's real. You need only look at Radulov as an example of a player who reportedly got the same offer from two places, one being a city where he had success and loved living and the other being a significantly lower-tax location. Now we don't know the true back-story to negotiations, the hurt feelings, the order or timing of the offers, and so on. But taxes probably played a role in it.

We also don't know if even when we sign a UFA or re-sign one of our players whether taxes comes into the negotiations. Say for example Carey's agent was negotiating his new deal and feels like he could get a 9M offer from somewhere else but tells MB that it'd have to be 10.5M here to make up for the lost taxes. Or say Alzner told MB, yeah I'm interested in coming here, but your offer is going to have to be 10% above the other guy's offer to make this work and Marc says okay. We might now see the effect explicitly but it might be affecting what we have to pay. And I don't remember if it was Gainey or Andre Savard or Serge Savard, but one of them has done an interview where they stated there were players who told them they would not come to Quebec on account of language and taxes.

So it's absolutely a factor. That said, there are probably other players who want to play here because of the fans and the history and the deep pockets for spending to the cap or because of certain teammates. There are other factors that go into the decisions besides just taxes, but the bottom line is that it's a factor that can partly or completely negate a player's interest in coming here. And with the unfair salary cap, there's simply no way for a team to overcome the difference in taxes by offering more money to everyone to equalize payment. That must be resolved in the next CBA if Geoff Molson wants to put us on a fair platform.

 

Sure in the case of Dallas vs Montreal, there's actually a tangible difference. But there's nearly the same difference for a player comparing Dallas with San Jose, Los Angeles, or Anaheim, so we're hardly alone. And in your example, it's not a simple matter of "somewhere else", Carey would have to make a case that he could get a 9M offer from one of four teams in a US state with no income tax to get the full benefit.  And that doesn't include the opportunities for endorsements, partnerships, etc. 

I do agree it's a factor, just likely a relatively small one. I was previously a proponent of accounting for income taxes with the salary cap, but the more I  think about it, the more impractical I realize it is to try and make the cap "fair": What taxes do you account for - eg. how do sales property, and investment taxes come into the picture? What about different deductions, credits, etc per jurisdiction? What assumptions do we make that impact taxes like charitable contributions, mortgage loan amount, investments in the stock market, etc that will vary by player? And why only taxes - should we account for higher housing costs (where Vancouver, Toronto, and New York will all get much more benefit than Montreal)?  Do we need to give a benefit to Detroit and Winnipeg because they aren't considered as "nice" of cities as Montreal? And do we need to give a benefit to southern teams due to less exposure and opportunity for endorsement deals?  And if we're aiming for fairness, do we need to increase revenue sharing so every team is capable of taking advantage of the new "fair" cap? 

I get wanting a workaround for an issue that works against Montreal, but going with a non-fixed salary cap just seems to be opening a huge can of worms since now other teams will want help with their problems (we do have some revenue sharing mostly because the players pushed for it, but even that isn't enough for fairness - there are still teams who can't afford to spend to the cap).  It's not a dissimilar situation to the tax code itself - in trying to make it fair you soon end up with thousands of pages of complexity that no one other than accountants likes.

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1 hour ago, Graeme-1 said:

Sure in the case of Dallas vs Montreal, there's actually a tangible difference. But there's nearly the same difference for a player comparing Dallas with San Jose, Los Angeles, or Anaheim, so we're hardly alone. And in your example, it's not a simple matter of "somewhere else", Carey would have to make a case that he could get a 9M offer from one of four teams in a US state with no income tax to get the full benefit.  And that doesn't include the opportunities for endorsements, partnerships, etc. 

I do agree it's a factor, just likely a relatively small one. I was previously a proponent of accounting for income taxes with the salary cap, but the more I  think about it, the more impractical I realize it is to try and make the cap "fair": What taxes do you account for - eg. how do sales property, and investment taxes come into the picture? What about different deductions, credits, etc per jurisdiction? What assumptions do we make that impact taxes like charitable contributions, mortgage loan amount, investments in the stock market, etc that will vary by player? And why only taxes - should we account for higher housing costs (where Vancouver, Toronto, and New York will all get much more benefit than Montreal)?  Do we need to give a benefit to Detroit and Winnipeg because they aren't considered as "nice" of cities as Montreal? And do we need to give a benefit to southern teams due to less exposure and opportunity for endorsement deals?  And if we're aiming for fairness, do we need to increase revenue sharing so every team is capable of taking advantage of the new "fair" cap? 

I get wanting a workaround for an issue that works against Montreal, but going with a non-fixed salary cap just seems to be opening a huge can of worms since now other teams will want help with their problems (we do have some revenue sharing mostly because the players pushed for it, but even that isn't enough for fairness - there are still teams who can't afford to spend to the cap).  It's not a dissimilar situation to the tax code itself - in trying to make it fair you soon end up with thousands of pages of complexity that no one other than accountants likes.

The taxes are a factor yes. That said so many refer to the southern areas as places a player wouldn't want to be, really? In interviews not only do players say the actually love the climates but most actually like that once they leave the rink they and their families are left alone. They can have a normal life outside the rink without the media and yes the FANS not being all over them where ever they go and being scrutinized for everything they do. Going to major areas that have several other major sports makes life much easier for them and their families.

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8 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

The taxes are a factor yes. That said so many refer to the southern areas as places a player wouldn't want to be, really? In interviews not only do players say the actually love the climates but most actually like that once they leave the rink they and their families are left alone. They can have a normal life outside the rink without the media and yes the FANS not being all over them where ever they go and being scrutinized for everything they do. Going to major areas that have several other major sports makes life much easier for them and their families.

We like to talk in absolutes, but I think it comes down to that no two players are the same. Some will love the attention, others just want to be left alone. Some will like the temperature in the desert (at least during winter) others will miss the water. Some want every last cent they can get, others are more concerned with winning. Add in that it's simply not practical for all players to gravitate to a small number of teams along with players re-signing with their own team and you get talent spread out pretty evenly throughout the league.

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12 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

We like to talk in absolutes, but I think it comes down to that no two players are the same. Some will love the attention, others just want to be left alone. Some will like the temperature in the desert (at least during winter) others will miss the water. Some want every last cent they can get, others are more concerned with winning. Add in that it's simply not practical for all players to gravitate to a small number of teams along with players re-signing with their own team and you get talent spread out pretty evenly throughout the league.

Montreal does have the St. Lawrence river and connecting lakes , but most of the " warm" weather climates are close to either coast actually oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Basically only Arizona and Vegas are dessert climates. It's not just the players themselves the attention effects their families also which can be a big factor. Happy Wife , happy life!

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21 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

The taxes are a factor yes. That said so many refer to the southern areas as places a player wouldn't want to be, really? In interviews not only do players say the actually love the climates but most actually like that once they leave the rink they and their families are left alone. They can have a normal life outside the rink without the media and yes the FANS not being all over them where ever they go and being scrutinized for everything they do. Going to major areas that have several other major sports makes life much easier for them and their families.

Agreed, climate is definitely a factor when players choose a team to gravitate to. Along with lower taxes.

The only thing we have going for us is the once proud feeling to have the privilege to wear the CH and to play for the Montreal Canadiens. In our case however, that reputation is being eroded and ruined by an incompetent GM and an Owner who has no hockey sense.

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16 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

We like to talk in absolutes, but I think it comes down to that no two players are the same. Some will love the attention, others just want to be left alone. Some will like the temperature in the desert (at least during winter) others will miss the water. Some want every last cent they can get, others are more concerned with winning. Add in that it's simply not practical for all players to gravitate to a small number of teams along with players re-signing with their own team and you get talent spread out pretty evenly throughout the league.

Exactly.  Over the past 15+ years we've had just as many high profile UFA as any other team, in fact, if you're looking at the 'big names' we probably did better than most.  Lots of other teams have had a "big year" but usually htat has to do with massive overspending.  Detroit and Pittsburgh are two of the teams who have attracted the best UFAs in the Bettman era and both did so by offering a good chance at a cup much more so than taxes, history, location, weather etc. 

But, like you said, I think it really comes down to the individual player. There are plenty who would love to play in montreal and plenty that would not.   The problem isnt our inability to sign big names its our issue with evaluating talent.   We had a black hole at RW for ages and Jaromir Jagr practically took out a newspaper ad saying he would love to play in Montreal and MB wouldnt even call him. 

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5 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

Montreal does have the St. Lawrence river and connecting lakes , but most of the " warm" weather climates are close to either coast actually oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Basically only Arizona and Vegas are dessert climates. It's not just the players themselves the attention effects their families also which can be a big factor. Happy Wife , happy life!

I just meant it as one example. Sure, Florida has decent weather in the winter and nice ocean views, they also get hurricanes.

I haven't been to all the southern hockey cities, but I have visited LA, Anaheim, and Phoenix - all were nice for a couple weeks in the winter, but I found Montreal to be a nicer city overall (granted, language would be a concern if I was considering moving there).

 

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5 hours ago, Habs=stanleycup said:

Agreed, climate is definitely a factor when players choose a team to gravitate to. Along with lower taxes.

The only thing we have going for us is the once proud feeling to have the privilege to wear the CH and to play for the Montreal Canadiens. In our case however, that reputation is being eroded and ruined by an incompetent GM and an Owner who has no hockey sense.

Montreal is also a very nice city. I think this is sort of a case of "grass is always greener" - lots of cities have things going for them but they all have their issues as well.

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I think most hockey players are used to winter conditions, so I'm less convinced that "climate" plays a huge role in decision-making. I think some players will enjoy nicer weather but I think it's a less important factor for most players than money, chances of winning, chances of getting ice time, teammates/coaches, etc.

Taxes on the other hand, are to me, a much bigger factor in their process. These guys have a limited amount of time to make their money and they make big salaries for that short period of time. So even a 5% difference in income tax can mean a difference of millions of dollars. There are definitely going to be guys who put other factors above income, but I think it sways a fair number of players. We're looking at Tavares here. So many experts believe JT will hit a 14-15M salary per year on a 7-year deal.

So here's the difference in income tax... in Montreal, he would pay about 8M in tax on 15M. In Florida or Texas, he would pay 5.9M. In New York, 7.1M... so over the course of 7 years, that's about 15M in net income that Tavares would be leaving on the table to join the Habs instead of the Lightning, Stars, or Panthers. If he stayed in New York with the Isles or Rangers, he'd be leaving over 6M on the table. Because of the hard cap, the Habs can't offer him more than the roughly 15M maximum, so there is zero way for them to be able to match the offers from TB or Dallas or Florida in terms of net income. Now maybe Tavares still picks the Isles or Rangers or Blackhawks or Leafs or Habs despite the difference in taxes, but the point is that those teams then have to offer something more in other areas to make it worth his while. The higher taxed areas are at an inherit disadvantage. Take out the hard cap and make it a luxury tax instead for example, and Montreal can say okay, we know taxes are higher here, so we'll give you 16M a year to make up for it. Molson's got enough money to afford it and if his team's successful enough in its business decisions, he'll make that money back.

Look at Radulov, who by all accounts had the same offers from Montreal and Dallas, but saves almost a million per season in net income by going to Texas. Radulov doesn't know if he'll get another contract when this one is done, so if he's saving up for his retirement, he's making the smart decision for his family by moving. We know he loved Montreal the city and that he loved his teammates and was loved by them. So those factors just didn't make up for the money lost. Now that won't happen to all players, but it is a factor that is simply out of our control. All teams can build a winning organization and acquire players who are great teammates and hire a good coach. All teams can market themselves and build up a fanbase (look at Nashville and Vegas as great examples of this). But teams cannot change the tax situation they live in, and that's what makes the hard cap unfair.

So I'll leave everyone with this... forget the millions. You live in whatever city you live in now and you get two job offers... one from a city in Quebec (for thos ewho live in Montreal, let's assume this is a different city from your hometown) to make 10% less than your current salary and one from a city in Florida to make 5% more than you're currently making. That's essentially the decision Tavares is going to make if he's leaving the Isles and deciding between us and one of those other teams. So maybe he loves Canada. Maybe he doesn't care about the weather. Maybe he would love to play with Carey and Shea and Max or some combination thereof. But oh, another thing... these are the last 7 working years of your career. This is your earning potential. Are you leaving the money on the table? Money is definitely not everything. But for some people, it's just a very difficult thing to turn down, when you think about what you can do with that money for your family. This is not a player deciding between staying put in his hometown or going elsewhere. We're asking JT to pack up and move here. And so while there are rumors he's interested in the Habs, you have to ask why, especially when you put things in the context of comparable salaries.

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3 hours ago, habs1952 said:

^^^^Anyone who pays 53% income tax needs to find a new financial advisor.

 

4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I think most hockey players are used to winter conditions, so I'm less convinced that "climate" plays a huge role in decision-making. I think some players will enjoy nicer weather but I think it's a less important factor for most players than money, chances of winning, chances of getting ice time, teammates/coaches, etc.

Taxes on the other hand, are to me, a much bigger factor in their process. These guys have a limited amount of time to make their money and they make big salaries for that short period of time. So even a 5% difference in income tax can mean a difference of millions of dollars. There are definitely going to be guys who put other factors above income, but I think it sways a fair number of players. We're looking at Tavares here. So many experts believe JT will hit a 14-15M salary per year on a 7-year deal.

So here's the difference in income tax... in Montreal, he would pay about 8M in tax on 15M. In Florida or Texas, he would pay 5.9M. In New York, 7.1M... so over the course of 7 years, that's about 15M in net income that Tavares would be leaving on the table to join the Habs instead of the Lightning, Stars, or Panthers. If he stayed in New York with the Isles or Rangers, he'd be leaving over 6M on the table. Because of the hard cap, the Habs can't offer him more than the roughly 15M maximum, so there is zero way for them to be able to match the offers from TB or Dallas or Florida in terms of net income. Now maybe Tavares still picks the Isles or Rangers or Blackhawks or Leafs or Habs despite the difference in taxes, but the point is that those teams then have to offer something more in other areas to make it worth his while. The higher taxed areas are at an inherit disadvantage. Take out the hard cap and make it a luxury tax instead for example, and Montreal can say okay, we know taxes are higher here, so we'll give you 16M a year to make up for it. Molson's got enough money to afford it and if his team's successful enough in its business decisions, he'll make that money back.

Look at Radulov, who by all accounts had the same offers from Montreal and Dallas, but saves almost a million per season in net income by going to Texas. Radulov doesn't know if he'll get another contract when this one is done, so if he's saving up for his retirement, he's making the smart decision for his family by moving. We know he loved Montreal the city and that he loved his teammates and was loved by them. So those factors just didn't make up for the money lost. Now that won't happen to all players, but it is a factor that is simply out of our control. All teams can build a winning organization and acquire players who are great teammates and hire a good coach. All teams can market themselves and build up a fanbase (look at Nashville and Vegas as great examples of this). But teams cannot change the tax situation they live in, and that's what makes the hard cap unfair.

So I'll leave everyone with this... forget the millions. You live in whatever city you live in now and you get two job offers... one from a city in Quebec (for thos ewho live in Montreal, let's assume this is a different city from your hometown) to make 10% less than your current salary and one from a city in Florida to make 5% more than you're currently making. That's essentially the decision Tavares is going to make if he's leaving the Isles and deciding between us and one of those other teams. So maybe he loves Canada. Maybe he doesn't care about the weather. Maybe he would love to play with Carey and Shea and Max or some combination thereof. But oh, another thing... these are the last 7 working years of your career. This is your earning potential. Are you leaving the money on the table? Money is definitely not everything. But for some people, it's just a very difficult thing to turn down, when you think about what you can do with that money for your family. This is not a player deciding between staying put in his hometown or going elsewhere. We're asking JT to pack up and move here. And so while there are rumors he's interested in the Habs, you have to ask why, especially when you put things in the context of comparable salaries.

Not terribly important to the overall point, but unless I missed something, didn't Radulov say the Canadiens only offered him the same money after he already agreed with Dallas?

Anyways, looking at a single player making taking up 20% of the cap produces a big looking number, but when you consider the team as a whole; taxes aren't a factor for any player we trade for, pick up off waivers, on an ELC (likely), lower-level players desperate for a deal, etc, and is likely less of a factor for mid-tier players. It also doesn't consider potential for endorsements (this is how Toronto tried to sell Stamkos apparently) Endorsements aside, being disadvantaged a couple million compared to an average team isn't great (every dollar counts), it's just not the level of problem people make it out to be. Even comparing to teams with no income tax, you're looking at maybe a 6 million advantage: if used wisely that's a second line player - certainly helpful, but this isn't baseball where the highest payroll is almost 4x the lowest.

A luxury tax isn't happening, the hard cap is here to stay. But if the goal is fairness that would move in the wrong direction anyways: why should passionate fans in Winnipeg be punished for living in a smaller city? Why should fans with a cheap owner be punished? You could try to come up with some sort of "cost of living adjustment" to the cap to account for differences in taxes and other costs, but that just seems to be asking for trouble since coming up with fair values is basically impossible (our simple examples above even don't account for the fact income tax codes are multiple books long, not to even mention other taxes and costs).  You can pick an estimate, but a lot of owners who feel they're entitled to more will be upset.

NHL players leave money on the table surprisingly often (unlike a lot of other sports leagues), McDavid apparently reduced his contract by a million a year because he thought the original number would make him look bad.  The reason no player is making the maximum allowed under the cap isn't because GMs suddenly learned self control. Money may play a factor in Tavares not coming here, but that will be a far second to the fact the team is terrible and looks destined to be terrible for the next half decade.

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Claude Julien today said the team isn't good enough and that if the players aren't good enough, the team will get new ones that are good. He says this as if it's easy to be a GM and find good players, when we know from Bergevin that it's not and that trades are hard.

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At what point does Molson grow a pair and tell MB to clean up the farm team and his front office staff

http://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/stu-cowan-canadiens-torch-has-been-completely-doused-this-season

 This is a team in need of a major rebuild, heading into Tuesday’s game in 28th place in the overall NHL standings while ranking 30th in offence, 25th in defence, 30th in penalty-killing and 29th in faceoffs. 

Things aren’t any better on the farm with the Laval Rocket sitting in 29th place out of 30 teams in the overall AHL standings with a 24-38-9 record. In The Hockey News Top 100 Prospects list there are only three Canadiens: Ryan Poehling (No. 37), Nikita Scherbak (No. 63) and Noah Juulsen (No. 71). Scherbak and Juulsen are already with the team. 

Owner Geoff Molson has made it clear GM Marc Bergevin will keep his job and the Canadiens have 10 picks at this year’s draft, including five in the first two rounds. But drafting and player development haven’t been strong points for this team.

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Claude Julien today said the team isn't good enough and that if the players aren't good enough, the team will get new ones that are good. He says this as if it's easy to be a GM and find good players, when we know from Bergevin that it's not and that trades are hard.

He didnt get the memo: the answer is in the room. 

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Claude Julien today said the team isn't good enough and that if the players aren't good enough, the team will get new ones that are good. He says this as if it's easy to be a GM and find good players, when we know from Bergevin that it's not and that trades are hard.

Julien for GM? He wouldn't be my first choice, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

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42 minutes ago, maas_art said:

He didnt get the memo: the answer is in the room. 

No kidding, didn't we get Andrew Shaw because he just goes out and wins cups (or something like that)? Clearly needs better coaching to repeat that past achievement.

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