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I read that Carolina might be shopping Haydn Fleury for a top 9 forward. That’s sounds interesting to me...

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Fleury seems like he'd be a very nice pickup...might need a 3rd team involved though as I'm not sure Carolina is taking MB's calls.

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10 hours ago, Windoe said:

Fleury seems like he'd be a very nice pickup...might need a 3rd team involved though as I'm not sure Carolina is taking MB's calls.

I think if your a GM in the NHL you have to take calls from anyone including those you are not happy with. However that being said DW will probably ask for more from MB than he would any other GM.

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Or Carolina is happy because MB did them a favour in getting aho locked up at a decent price

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3 hours ago, Dexx83 said:

Or Carolina is happy because MB did them a favour in getting aho locked up at a decent price

I agree......I thought that whole deal was a set-up anyway

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22 hours ago, Windoe said:

Fleury seems like he'd be a very nice pickup...might need a 3rd team involved though as I'm not sure Carolina is taking MB's calls.

As interesting as this would be there is another better cheaper option in Chicago. Gustaffson has been a healthy scratch a couple of times this year and he is having a down year playing on the third pairing. He could possible be had for say Kulak + Evans + 3rd or 4th round pick. Last year he had 60 points if we got him and he only got 30 that's still a win IMO. Then maybe you see what it would cost for Tafolli, Hall or whatever top 6 winger you want to push all in or you move Domi to the wing and keep Poehling as the third line left wing and line up

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher 

Domi-Kotkaniemi-Drouin

Poehling-Suzuki-Lehkonen

Cousins-Thompson-Armia

Byron, Weal

Gustaffson-Weber

Mete-Petry 

Chiarot-Fleury

Juulsen

Price

Kinkaid

Waive or trade both Folin and Reilly

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2 hours ago, HARBORSPORT said:

I agree......I thought that whole deal was a set-up anyway

Yeah my mistake I'm sure DW and MB are pals.  Maybe DW can do us a favour sometime.

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4 hours ago, campabee82 said:

As interesting as this would be there is another better cheaper option in Chicago. Gustaffson has been a healthy scratch a couple of times this year and he is having a down year playing on the third pairing. He could possible be had for say Kulak + Evans + 3rd or 4th round pick. Last year he had 60 points if we got him and he only got 30 that's still a win IMO. Then maybe you see what it would cost for Tafolli, Hall or whatever top 6 winger you want to push all in or you move Domi to the wing and keep Poehling as the third line left wing and line up

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher 

Domi-Kotkaniemi-Drouin

Poehling-Suzuki-Lehkonen

Cousins-Thompson-Armia

Byron, Weal

Gustaffson-Weber

Mete-Petry 

Chiarot-Fleury

Juulsen

Price

Kinkaid

Waive or trade both Folin and Reilly

Domi has proven he is a good center. At this point there is no way Kotkaniemi and Suzuki are ahead of Domi and don't know if either will ever be. It's not like the Hawks have the depth that Nashville or some others have on defense. There must be reasons that Gustaffson isn't playing as much. Points are great but if he isn't a great "defenseman" than I'd pass. If had for cheap you never know maybe could become a Petry but I wouldn't give up a lot.

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5 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

Domi has proven he is a good center. At this point there is no way Kotkaniemi and Suzuki are ahead of Domi and don't know if either will ever be. It's not like the Hawks have the depth that Nashville or some others have on defense. There must be reasons that Gustaffson isn't playing as much. Points are great but if he isn't a great "defenseman" than I'd pass. If had for cheap you never know maybe could become a Petry but I wouldn't give up a lot.

I'd agree with your sentiment on Domi... he's proven he can be a top 2 center and he's been better than any guy we've tried since Koivu and Plekanec. Given how hard it's been for us to nail down the center position, it's hard to believe we should mess with it. The counter-point to that argument is ceiling: Domi's a bit older than Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and he's probably in his prime right now, whereas the kids haven't reached theirs yet. If you believe that the kids will end up being better centers than Domi, then I think you want to develop them as centers... meaning they need to get experience playing with decent wingers in offensive roles and they need to play down the middle. You don't learn to be a good center by being a winger the whole time, the way the Habs managed to botch up Galchenyuk. Again, I'll come back to players like Malkin and McDavid and so on not really being stellar defensive players or great at draws but they were given the chance to excel at center doing what they do best in other facets of the game.

So yeah, the Habs have a logjam of talent at center right now. None of it outside of Domi is really developed, so I agree with keeping Domi down the middle at present, but at the same time, the Habs need to commit to one of their younger guys there too... my choice would be Kotkaniemi. At the same time, the Habs don't have enough talented wingers for three lines right now, so when you see a need to reward Domi and a need to develop JK as a top 6, the guy who has to be given lesser wingers is Danault. I get that his line has played really well, but he's neither as talented as Domi nor with as much offensive creativity/skill/ceiling as the youngsters. He's the guy who really should be your 3rd line center, and to boot, he's played excellent hockey with Lehkonen in the past. So personally, I'd love to see them use Domi and JK as their top two centers and give them some combination of Tatar, Drouin, Gallagher, and Suzuki to work with as the top 6 wingers. Put your most skilled players in skill roles. It would leave us Lehkonen with Danault and maybe Armia as your 3rd line and some combination of Byron, Poehling, Thompson, and Cousins to fill out your 4th, with the 5th Weal as a spare.

As for Gustafsson, I don't know enough about him to comment, but I will say with Petry that many people thought we stole him at the time of the trade... he was a strong player by advanced analytics in Edmonton and most stats people thought he was being held back by bad coaching and a bad system. Those thoughts turned out to be true. I'm not sure the situation is the same with Gustafsson. If you look at players who are criminally underrated but with good possession metrics, our own Brett Kulak falls in that category... the guy is 10th in the entire league in Corsi for defencemen, while Petry himself is 17th. Other guys who could be a steal via trade: Shea Theodore doesn't seem to be overly appreciated in Vegas for what he brings. Jared Spurgeon in Minnesota. Brenden Dillon in SJ. Travis Sanheim and Shayne Gostisbehere in Philly are also probably both underrated in that regard. Brett Pesce in Carolina, and Haydn Fleury, whose name was mentioned here recently. PK Subban, for what it's worth, is probably now vastly underrated with people saying he's washed up and done. He's one of only 4 players on NJ with positive possession stats, and his Corsi relative is 21st in the league among D men. Not to say the above players are what Bergevin should be targeting, as some of those guys are right-handed, some are a bit older than what would fit here with the plan, but those are players who could probably be good trade value if we were looking to make a deal. Theodore in particular has got a lot of the makings of another Petry, as a solid, offensively-capable player with good possession metrics who just doesn't seem to be valued by his current club. Vegas is up against the cap, so they can't take back much salary and their forward group is already strong, so I'd guess they'd want a similar-caliber LHD back in a trade and we don't really have that to offer. But I wonder if something along the lines of Mete, Poehling, and a 1st round pick (top 10 protected) would be enticing for them...

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I'd agree with your sentiment on Domi... he's proven he can be a top 2 center and he's been better than any guy we've tried since Koivu and Plekanec. Given how hard it's been for us to nail down the center position, it's hard to believe we should mess with it. The counter-point to that argument is ceiling: Domi's a bit older than Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and he's probably in his prime right now, whereas the kids haven't reached theirs yet. If you believe that the kids will end up being better centers than Domi, then I think you want to develop them as centers... meaning they need to get experience playing with decent wingers in offensive roles and they need to play down the middle. You don't learn to be a good center by being a winger the whole time, the way the Habs managed to botch up Galchenyuk. Again, I'll come back to players like Malkin and McDavid and so on not really being stellar defensive players or great at draws but they were given the chance to excel at center doing what they do best in other facets of the game.

So yeah, the Habs have a logjam of talent at center right now. None of it outside of Domi is really developed, so I agree with keeping Domi down the middle at present, but at the same time, the Habs need to commit to one of their younger guys there too... my choice would be Kotkaniemi. At the same time, the Habs don't have enough talented wingers for three lines right now, so when you see a need to reward Domi and a need to develop JK as a top 6, the guy who has to be given lesser wingers is Danault. I get that his line has played really well, but he's neither as talented as Domi nor with as much offensive creativity/skill/ceiling as the youngsters. He's the guy who really should be your 3rd line center, and to boot, he's played excellent hockey with Lehkonen in the past. So personally, I'd love to see them use Domi and JK as their top two centers and give them some combination of Tatar, Drouin, Gallagher, and Suzuki to work with as the top 6 wingers. Put your most skilled players in skill roles. It would leave us Lehkonen with Danault and maybe Armia as your 3rd line and some combination of Byron, Poehling, Thompson, and Cousins to fill out your 4th, with the 5th Weal as a spare.

As for Gustafsson, I don't know enough about him to comment, but I will say with Petry that many people thought we stole him at the time of the trade... he was a strong player by advanced analytics in Edmonton and most stats people thought he was being held back by bad coaching and a bad system. Those thoughts turned out to be true. I'm not sure the situation is the same with Gustafsson. If you look at players who are criminally underrated but with good possession metrics, our own Brett Kulak falls in that category... the guy is 10th in the entire league in Corsi for defencemen, while Petry himself is 17th. Other guys who could be a steal via trade: Shea Theodore doesn't seem to be overly appreciated in Vegas for what he brings. Jared Spurgeon in Minnesota. Brenden Dillon in SJ. Travis Sanheim and Shayne Gostisbehere in Philly are also probably both underrated in that regard. Brett Pesce in Carolina, and Haydn Fleury, whose name was mentioned here recently. PK Subban, for what it's worth, is probably now vastly underrated with people saying he's washed up and done. He's one of only 4 players on NJ with positive possession stats, and his Corsi relative is 21st in the league among D men. Not to say the above players are what Bergevin should be targeting, as some of those guys are right-handed, some are a bit older than what would fit here with the plan, but those are players who could probably be good trade value if we were looking to make a deal. Theodore in particular has got a lot of the makings of another Petry, as a solid, offensively-capable player with good possession metrics who just doesn't seem to be valued by his current club. Vegas is up against the cap, so they can't take back much salary and their forward group is already strong, so I'd guess they'd want a similar-caliber LHD back in a trade and we don't really have that to offer. But I wonder if something along the lines of Mete, Poehling, and a 1st round pick (top 10 protected) would be enticing for them...

I don't disagree on JK and Suzuki and hopefully Poehling being our future. The above post I was commenting to though had JK and Suzuki now ahead of Domi and I don't know if either will be anyway. I also don't think rushing young players into the most difficult position especially in the Montreal market. Domi also has the personality for the big market. Suzuki I think does also JK I'm not sure of yet, I think he needs time to become confident and comfortable, he's still only 19! He should be here a long time we don't need to push him. Domi is very creative and actually Suzuki may have a higher ceiling than JK. I see down the road JK being more of a Toews type center which is great. Either way the two you mentioned were Malkin and McDavid and I think most would agree from what we've seen so far JK or Suzuki actually aren't in that category. I like JK and Suzuki both but McDavid and Malkin are world class both in their prime top 1-3 in the league. Though I have to say at this time I would take Draisital over McDavid because he has great skill and kills penalties and has a better overall game.

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45 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

I don't disagree on JK and Suzuki and hopefully Poehling being our future. The above post I was commenting to though had JK and Suzuki now ahead of Domi and I don't know if either will be anyway. I also don't think rushing young players into the most difficult position especially in the Montreal market. Domi also has the personality for the big market. Suzuki I think does also JK I'm not sure of yet, I think he needs time to become confident and comfortable, he's still only 19! He should be here a long time we don't need to push him. Domi is very creative and actually Suzuki may have a higher ceiling than JK. I see down the road JK being more of a Toews type center which is great. Either way the two you mentioned were Malkin and McDavid and I think most would agree from what we've seen so far JK or Suzuki actually aren't in that category. I like JK and Suzuki both but McDavid and Malkin are world class both in their prime top 1-3 in the league. Though I have to say at this time I would take Draisital over McDavid because he has great skill and kills penalties and has a better overall game.

Again, don't disagree with anything you said. I think we both believe Domi is the best top 6 center we have right now, and I agree with you that I wouldn't move him out of that role. Simply adding that I can see the point behind moving JK or Suzuki into a 2nd line center role right away as well, at least in terms of linemates and zone starts. JK played really well with Drouin and Armia to start the year, and then when he had a couple of off games, the line was broken up. I'm not bumping him up over Domi right now, just saying that if we want the kid to blossom into a true top 6 center, we need to give him the opportunity and help to do so. He'll never become elite if he's forced to play with Lehkonen and Byron and Armia every game. JK has a decent shot, but he's a brilliant passer and he needs to play with guys who can score and be creative enough to see what he's going to do. In the past season and a bit, we've seen it happen a number of times that JK made a great pass and his winger just wasn't anticipating it would happen. Danault has played really well, but he's not a top line center and the ceiling isn't the same as with those other 3 guys, so why not go

Tatar-Domi-Gallagher

Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Suzuki

Lehkonen-Danault-Armia

You can still give ice time and tough match-ups to the Danault line but it allows you to have two potent offensive lines and give the younger guys favorable zone starts and match-ups (mainly at home), etc. My point about Malkin and McDavid wasn't that JK and Suzuki were in that class, just that other teams have taken a different philosophy than the Habs in terms of developing young centers. You look at Toews, like you alluded to, or McDavid or Malkin or go down the line to Barkov, Scheifele, Barzal, Pettersson, Eichel, Monahan, Point, etc. These are guys who were promising prospects who were allowed to come into the league and play center for better or for worse. Let's remember that Galchenyuk was a top 3 pick and the best center in his class at the time of the draft. Kotkaniemi was a top 3 pick and the best center in his draft class. We can't be so afraid to think we have to shelter them until they're 25, then proclaim they never developed as centers. In today's NHL, forwards peak in the 20-24 age range and you need young players as part of your core who are on cap-controlled entry-level or bridge contracts. So you really do need to be able to take a leap of faith in terms of entrusting a few youngsters to do the job.

 

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I'd agree with your sentiment on Domi... he's proven he can be a top 2 center and he's been better than any guy we've tried since Koivu and Plekanec. Given how hard it's been for us to nail down the center position, it's hard to believe we should mess with it. The counter-point to that argument is ceiling: Domi's a bit older than Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and he's probably in his prime right now, whereas the kids haven't reached theirs yet. If you believe that the kids will end up being better centers than Domi, then I think you want to develop them as centers... meaning they need to get experience playing with decent wingers in offensive roles and they need to play down the middle. You don't learn to be a good center by being a winger the whole time, the way the Habs managed to botch up Galchenyuk. Again, I'll come back to players like Malkin and McDavid and so on not really being stellar defensive players or great at draws but they were given the chance to excel at center doing what they do best in other facets of the game.

So yeah, the Habs have a logjam of talent at center right now. None of it outside of Domi is really developed, so I agree with keeping Domi down the middle at present, but at the same time, the Habs need to commit to one of their younger guys there too... my choice would be Kotkaniemi. At the same time, the Habs don't have enough talented wingers for three lines right now, so when you see a need to reward Domi and a need to develop JK as a top 6, the guy who has to be given lesser wingers is Danault. I get that his line has played really well, but he's neither as talented as Domi nor with as much offensive creativity/skill/ceiling as the youngsters. He's the guy who really should be your 3rd line center, and to boot, he's played excellent hockey with Lehkonen in the past. So personally, I'd love to see them use Domi and JK as their top two centers and give them some combination of Tatar, Drouin, Gallagher, and Suzuki to work with as the top 6 wingers. Put your most skilled players in skill roles. It would leave us Lehkonen with Danault and maybe Armia as your 3rd line and some combination of Byron, Poehling, Thompson, and Cousins to fill out your 4th, with the 5th Weal as a spare.

As for Gustafsson, I don't know enough about him to comment, but I will say with Petry that many people thought we stole him at the time of the trade... he was a strong player by advanced analytics in Edmonton and most stats people thought he was being held back by bad coaching and a bad system. Those thoughts turned out to be true. I'm not sure the situation is the same with Gustafsson. If you look at players who are criminally underrated but with good possession metrics, our own Brett Kulak falls in that category... the guy is 10th in the entire league in Corsi for defencemen, while Petry himself is 17th. Other guys who could be a steal via trade: Shea Theodore doesn't seem to be overly appreciated in Vegas for what he brings. Jared Spurgeon in Minnesota. Brenden Dillon in SJ. Travis Sanheim and Shayne Gostisbehere in Philly are also probably both underrated in that regard. Brett Pesce in Carolina, and Haydn Fleury, whose name was mentioned here recently. PK Subban, for what it's worth, is probably now vastly underrated with people saying he's washed up and done. He's one of only 4 players on NJ with positive possession stats, and his Corsi relative is 21st in the league among D men. Not to say the above players are what Bergevin should be targeting, as some of those guys are right-handed, some are a bit older than what would fit here with the plan, but those are players who could probably be good trade value if we were looking to make a deal. Theodore in particular has got a lot of the makings of another Petry, as a solid, offensively-capable player with good possession metrics who just doesn't seem to be valued by his current club. Vegas is up against the cap, so they can't take back much salary and their forward group is already strong, so I'd guess they'd want a similar-caliber LHD back in a trade and we don't really have that to offer. But I wonder if something along the lines of Mete, Poehling, and a 1st round pick (top 10 protected) would be enticing for them...

Honestly this wasn't a dig at Domi, I have come to like Domi and hope the the Habs extend him. He is on pace this year for 55-65 points while not as good as last season it's still a great pace. My point is more that while Domi is a great center now we need to start playing the guys that are to be the future centers at center to properly develop them as playing them on the wing does not help them learn to play center at the NHL level just ask Galchenyuk how that works out. Also while Domi has more skill than Danault, Danault is miles ahead defensively and in the face off dot making him the ideal 3rd centre. We should be playing our best 6 forwards in the top 6 positions. Suzuki was also drafted to be a center and has played well at center when given the chance this year. 

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4 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Honestly this wasn't a dig at Domi, I have come to like Domi and hope the the Habs extend him. He is on pace this year for 55-65 points while not as good as last season it's still a great pace. My point is more that while Domi is a great center now we need to start playing the guys that are to be the future centers at center to properly develop them as playing them on the wing does not help them learn to play center at the NHL level just ask Galchenyuk how that works out. Also while Domi has more skill than Danault, Danault is miles ahead defensively and in the face off dot making him the ideal 3rd centre. We should be playing our best 6 forwards in the top 6 positions. Suzuki was also drafted to be a center and has played well at center when given the chance this year. 

And I agree with this as well... like I said, I think you need to give a shot to your younger centers to develop as skilled centers, not as 4th line wingers or 3rd line centers playing with the likes of Lehkonen or Byron. I just wouldn't make that choice at Domi's expense at present, I would do it at Danault's expense. Danault has shown he can be a decent 2nd line center or a great 3rd line center. I don't see him as a #1 pivot, the way Julien is using him, and I see less benefit to giving Danault the best wingers every night than I do seeing those wingers allocated to Domi or Kotkaniemi (or Suzuki).

In Suzuki's case, he was drafted as a center out of junior, but you also need to put that in the context that he wasn't drafted by the Habs nor was it clear the Habs saw him as a center. I think they don't know what position he's best-suited for. But you look down the roster and you see Domi, Kotkaniemi, Danault, Suzuki, and Poehling and it's pretty easy to see not all of them can be centers on our team. Barring a trade, Danault is not being moved to the wing. He's too valuable as a two-way guy who can take big match-ups. And while I could see one of the young guys filling a 4th line center role in the short term, it's not a long-term spot for them and in any case, Thompson has been really good in that role already. So really, you need to choose two of Domi, JK, NS, and RP to play center now. I don't think you want to go into games with two of JK, NS, and RP as your top centers, and Domi is clearly the best top 6 center of that group right now, so there's an advantage at least for this season to keep him there. Maybe next season is a different story, but for today, Domi stays as a top 6 center in my books. And thus the decision on the last spot comes down to three guys... Poehling is a bit behind the other two in terms of development, so he probably gets the least consideration. And I'd choose JK over NS primarily because I think he fills a bigger need... he's got more size than Suzuki and he's stronger on the puck and when you look at a top 9 that already features Drouin, Domi, Gallagher, Byron, Lehkonen, etc. I don't know how I'd feel about cramming another lighter player like Suzuki down the middle. There will be nights where you need to match one of your top centers against the likes of Malkin, Thornton, Giroux, Couturier, Barkov, Monahan, etc. and I don't know that we want to be limiting our top 6 options to Domi or Suzuki... I'd rather have one bigger player as a choice there.

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5 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

Honestly this wasn't a dig at Domi, I have come to like Domi and hope the the Habs extend him. He is on pace this year for 55-65 points while not as good as last season it's still a great pace. My point is more that while Domi is a great center now we need to start playing the guys that are to be the future centers at center to properly develop them as playing them on the wing does not help them learn to play center at the NHL level just ask Galchenyuk how that works out. Also while Domi has more skill than Danault, Danault is miles ahead defensively and in the face off dot making him the ideal 3rd centre. We should be playing our best 6 forwards in the top 6 positions. Suzuki was also drafted to be a center and has played well at center when given the chance this year. 

Just because a player is drafted to play at a certain position doesn't mean that is where they actually are best suited for. Junior and other leagues are far different than the NHL. If Chucky was truly to be a center than that is what he would be with Arizona or Pitts. Also there have been several players that have been changed to different positions and excelled. Either way even if they are going to be centers which they probably will be along with Poehling that doesn't mean they should be played in that position in front of Domi. He has earned his spot and he could still surpass last year still or maybe not. It still doesn't mean that either Suzuki JK or even Poehling will surpass what Domi has already done. No different than fans opinions of Drouin now vs last year. This year Drouin is trying to play smarter and better defensively and as long as his work ethic is good even if he doesn't put the same # of points up he'll be fine and fans will be okay. Chucky just never came to the reality to do that. He had natural offensive talent and if had put the work into the defensive side of his game he may of become a center here or for another team. Unless you are a McDavid or top tier talent you need to be willing to do both. Datszuk started on the wing because Detroit had Yzerman and Federov and Dats turned out to be one of the best buy working with and learning from the others. Damphoose started on the wing for years.

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5 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

And I agree with this as well... like I said, I think you need to give a shot to your younger centers to develop as skilled centers, not as 4th line wingers or 3rd line centers playing with the likes of Lehkonen or Byron. I just wouldn't make that choice at Domi's expense at present, I would do it at Danault's expense. Danault has shown he can be a decent 2nd line center or a great 3rd line center. I don't see him as a #1 pivot, the way Julien is using him, and I see less benefit to giving Danault the best wingers every night than I do seeing those wingers allocated to Domi or Kotkaniemi (or Suzuki).

In Suzuki's case, he was drafted as a center out of junior, but you also need to put that in the context that he wasn't drafted by the Habs nor was it clear the Habs saw him as a center. I think they don't know what position he's best-suited for. But you look down the roster and you see Domi, Kotkaniemi, Danault, Suzuki, and Poehling and it's pretty easy to see not all of them can be centers on our team. Barring a trade, Danault is not being moved to the wing. He's too valuable as a two-way guy who can take big match-ups. And while I could see one of the young guys filling a 4th line center role in the short term, it's not a long-term spot for them and in any case, Thompson has been really good in that role already. So really, you need to choose two of Domi, JK, NS, and RP to play center now. I don't think you want to go into games with two of JK, NS, and RP as your top centers, and Domi is clearly the best top 6 center of that group right now, so there's an advantage at least for this season to keep him there. Maybe next season is a different story, but for today, Domi stays as a top 6 center in my books. And thus the decision on the last spot comes down to three guys... Poehling is a bit behind the other two in terms of development, so he probably gets the least consideration. And I'd choose JK over NS primarily because I think he fills a bigger need... he's got more size than Suzuki and he's stronger on the puck and when you look at a top 9 that already features Drouin, Domi, Gallagher, Byron, Lehkonen, etc. I don't know how I'd feel about cramming another lighter player like Suzuki down the middle. There will be nights where you need to match one of your top centers against the likes of Malkin, Thornton, Giroux, Couturier, Barkov, Monahan, etc. and I don't know that we want to be limiting our top 6 options to Domi or Suzuki... I'd rather have one bigger player as a choice there.

I agree though I wouldn't 100 % say Poehling isn't there yet as he hasn't been given as much of a shot yet. I agree with size also and even though JK gained weight this off season he still gets knocked down and off the puck a lot in the corners and along the boards. I think he needs to work on his strength there and also I think he needs to use his skills and be quicker in those areas to not get pinned or in a battle situation. He's still only 19 but he actually doesn't have a big frame. He's tall skinny more like Toews than a "big" center. That is where given the chance I see Poehling as a player that can win those battles and be strong on the puck. It doesn't mean he has to be center immediately but I would like him to stay in the line up and play wing depending on the match up. I think Poehling and Suzuki could both stay up and alternate at center depending on the teams and match ups we have.  

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31 minutes ago, CaptWelly said:

I agree though I wouldn't 100 % say Poehling isn't there yet as he hasn't been given as much of a shot yet. I agree with size also and even though JK gained weight this off season he still gets knocked down and off the puck a lot in the corners and along the boards. I think he needs to work on his strength there and also I think he needs to use his skills and be quicker in those areas to not get pinned or in a battle situation. He's still only 19 but he actually doesn't have a big frame. He's tall skinny more like Toews than a "big" center. That is where given the chance I see Poehling as a player that can win those battles and be strong on the puck. It doesn't mean he has to be center immediately but I would like him to stay in the line up and play wing depending on the match up. I think Poehling and Suzuki could both stay up and alternate at center depending on the teams and match ups we have.  

I think people have far too much hope for Poehling's offensive talents.    Scouting reports consistently pegged him as a big 2way center, leaning on the defensive side.    Between Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Poehling we have 3 center prospects ... Suzuki and Kotkaniemi have the ceiling to be 1st or 2nd line offensive players and Poehling has the ceiling to be the 2way anchor on a 2nd or 3rd line.    Poehling, despite his hat trick debut, is never going to light up the score sheet the way Suzuki/Kotkaniemi have the potential to do consistently.    

Throw Domi in the mix and it gets interesting ... I think 2-3 years down the line what you could see is

Domi -Kotkaniemi - Suzuki/Caufield

Drouin - Poehling - Suzuki/Gallagher/Caufield

Lehkonen/Tatar - Danault - Gallagher/Caufield

 

That's assuming we resign Gallagher and Danault, which seems likely.    Suzuki is showing he can play RW, and I think long term Domi is better suited to be a winger despite his current success at C.    If all three of JK, Suzuki, RP develop nicely then the above solves the log jam.   Thats three lines that could all produce and play responsibly.

If we don't resign Gallagher, then Armia gets throw in there on 2nd or 3rd.

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I completely disagree about domi, as I posted in the if I were gm thread. Both Suzuki and kotkoneimi are more or less on par with domi’s face off %

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4 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I agree though I wouldn't 100 % say Poehling isn't there yet as he hasn't been given as much of a shot yet. I agree with size also and even though JK gained weight this off season he still gets knocked down and off the puck a lot in the corners and along the boards. I think he needs to work on his strength there and also I think he needs to use his skills and be quicker in those areas to not get pinned or in a battle situation. He's still only 19 but he actually doesn't have a big frame. He's tall skinny more like Toews than a "big" center. That is where given the chance I see Poehling as a player that can win those battles and be strong on the puck. It doesn't mean he has to be center immediately but I would like him to stay in the line up and play wing depending on the match up. I think Poehling and Suzuki could both stay up and alternate at center depending on the teams and match ups we have.  

 

3 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

I think people have far too much hope for Poehling's offensive talents.    Scouting reports consistently pegged him as a big 2way center, leaning on the defensive side.    Between Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Poehling we have 3 center prospects ... Suzuki and Kotkaniemi have the ceiling to be 1st or 2nd line offensive players and Poehling has the ceiling to be the 2way anchor on a 2nd or 3rd line.    Poehling, despite his hat trick debut, is never going to light up the score sheet the way Suzuki/Kotkaniemi have the potential to do consistently.   

I'd like to see Poehling stay in the line-up if he's up with the big club too. No sense in his being in the press box. IMO, a good comparable for Poehling at this stage in his career might be Lars Eller... bigger frame, solid on the puck, decent shot, smart player, but maybe lacking a little bit of the finesse around the net and an okay skater but not the fastest. He has a shot at being a #2 or #3 center, but I agree with HabsAlways that his ceiling isn't as high as that of JK or NS.

As for Kotkaniemi, yes, he's not solid on his feet yet but he's shown he's willing to hit and we have to remember that he's the youngest of the three despite making the team last year. And to boot, he was on the younger end for a 2018 draft pick too, so he's got a bit more time to grow into his frame. At the end of the day, you can have a player like Gallagher or Suzuki or Byron and have them battle hard and have a good center of gravity, but if they run into a 6'4" 220lb player, the laws of physics say it's going to be harder for them to win strength battles for pucks or knock them off a loose puck battle or win position in front of the net or so on. Doesn't mean it can't be done, but it's harder. Poehling is definitely the most physically-developed of the three players and already looks like one of the strongest players on the Habs physically, but he doesn't have the high-end skillset of the other two thus far. Either way, we're making a choice. I just think Kotkaniemi has the highest end ceiling as a player who could combine the skill of a Suzuki and the size of a Poehling into one guy long-term.

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On 2019-11-10 at 0:37 AM, Windoe said:

 

Fleury seems like he'd be a very nice pickup...might need a 3rd team involved though as I'm not sure Carolina is taking MB's calls.

 

 

23 hours ago, Dexx83 said:

 

Or Carolina is happy because MB did them a favour in getting aho locked up at a decent price

 

 

20 hours ago, HARBORSPORT said:

I agree......I thought that whole deal was a set-up anyway

It does seem like both teams came out winners. Carolina gets Aho under contract, likely a better contract than they would have been able to negotiate for themselves. MB on the other hand, uses the whole circus as a distraction, alleviating some of the pressure for him to waste big money on over priced players. It could have been just a coincidence that it worked out well for both, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that they were in cahoots the whole time.

As for Fleury, I don’t know if Lehks or Byron could get it done. Jullsen maybe, but I read that they were specifically looking for a top 9 forward. Not sure, but we could definitely afford to loose an LW at this point.   

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4 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

I think people have far too much hope for Poehling's offensive talents.    Scouting reports consistently pegged him as a big 2way center, leaning on the defensive side.    Between Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Poehling we have 3 center prospects ... Suzuki and Kotkaniemi have the ceiling to be 1st or 2nd line offensive players and Poehling has the ceiling to be the 2way anchor on a 2nd or 3rd line.    Poehling, despite his hat trick debut, is never going to light up the score sheet the way Suzuki/Kotkaniemi have the potential to do consistently.    

Throw Domi in the mix and it gets interesting ... I think 2-3 years down the line what you could see is

Domi -Kotkaniemi - Suzuki/Caufield

Drouin - Poehling - Suzuki/Gallagher/Caufield

Lehkonen/Tatar - Danault - Gallagher/Caufield

 

That's assuming we resign Gallagher and Danault, which seems likely.    Suzuki is showing he can play RW, and I think long term Domi is better suited to be a winger despite his current success at C.    If all three of JK, Suzuki, RP develop nicely then the above solves the log jam.   Thats three lines that could all produce and play responsibly.

If we don't resign Gallagher, then Armia gets throw in there on 2nd or 3rd.

Actually it was at the end of his draft year that JK moved up and I don't think anyone at the time going into the draft thought he'd go at #3. He actually only did because Montreal was so short on center depth. He was actually predicted to be more of a two way center good on both sides of the puck (normal for Finish player development) . I don't remember any of the poling having him as a high end offensive talent. As Hab's fans we all want that of course. I still say he'll end up like a Toews which is great but not a McCinnon or McDavid Crosby type. He'll definitely be a 1st or 2nd line center depending on the team he is on. With Montreal he definitely  could become a #1 but it'll probably be a 1a,1b type of situation with two really strong #2's acting in those roles. I do see Poehling as a solid #2 strong on the puck solid all around center with a good offensive side also. He might not have the high end type of talent but I see him being better in the corners and the slot and battling in front in tight. You can develop skill and work on skills but you can't teach size. As much as the game has speed up, when the grind of the season comes along and the playoffs happen (St. Louis, Boston, Washington all have physical aspects to their game) you still need size along with skill (and will =Domi , Gallagher) to win. I see no reason to move JK off of center but I can see Pehling and Suzuki both moving center/wing depending on the teams we're playing. A lot of teams have made it work with centers playing different roles to keep all in the line up. Also with PP & PK'S they can all get plenty of time. Tampa currently moves Stamko's to the wing a lot how much has Draisital (a kid) been playing with McDavid instead of full time center. As long as they get ice time and are playing with the big club they're developing. Also JK's had flashes but he's also been off some to (he's 19) let's have him get more time before throwing him up the line up to quickly. He'll show when he's about to take the next step he just isn't quite their yet.

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16 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

Actually it was at the end of his draft year that JK moved up and I don't think anyone at the time going into the draft thought he'd go at #3. He actually only did because Montreal was so short on center depth. He was actually predicted to be more of a two way center good on both sides of the puck (normal for Finish player development) . I don't remember any of the poling having him as a high end offensive talent. 

https://www.milehighhockey.com/2018/4/30/17298918/2018-nhl-draft-prospect-profile-jesperi-kotkaniemi-scouting-report

Comparing Kotkaniemi to Mikko Rantanen might seem lazy, but it makes a lot of sense. In his draft year, Rantanen played 56 games in SM-Liiga while scoring 9 goals and adding 19 assists. This past season, Kotkaniemi had 10 goals and 19 assists over 57 games in the same league. The difference between the two is that Kotkaniemi is doing it a full season before Rantanen. As a late birth date in the draft class, Kotkaniemi

The Finnish player is a goal-scorer, a playmaker, a powerplay quarterback and a penalty killer. We say all the time that players can perform in “all situations”, but that is particularly true about Kotkaniemi. When it comes to scoring goals, his quick release is his greatest attribute. Not unlike Auston Matthews, he has the ability to carry the puck into unlikely scoring areas, and then beat the unsuspecting goalie with a quick wrist shot.

https://www.nhl.com/news/jesperi-kotkaniemi-2018-nhl-draft/c-299077392

Kotkaniemi could be top-five pick at 2018 NHL Draft

17-year-old center impressed in Finland, draws comparisons to Kopitar

 

Of all the players we've drafted in the last 30 years, the eye test for me says Kotkaniemi has one of the highest hockey IQ's and visions on the ice that we've had in decades.   If he can put it all together I think not only will he be a dominant center in the league, he'll be one of the top 20 centers.

I'm also highly impressed with Suzuki's offensive awareness and defensive responsibility.    He's like JK I think will be a top point getter in this league.

Poehling on the other hand ... I think he'll be a good two way center, leaning on the defensive side ... but I've not seen anything yet from him to get me overly excited.   He's a bigger version of Phil Danault really but there are times where his hockey decisions seem off.    

JK/Suzuki are the type of player you build your offense around.   Guys like Poehling play key roles, but are interchangeable.

 

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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

https://www.milehighhockey.com/2018/4/30/17298918/2018-nhl-draft-prospect-profile-jesperi-kotkaniemi-scouting-report

Comparing Kotkaniemi to Mikko Rantanen might seem lazy, but it makes a lot of sense. In his draft year, Rantanen played 56 games in SM-Liiga while scoring 9 goals and adding 19 assists. This past season, Kotkaniemi had 10 goals and 19 assists over 57 games in the same league. The difference between the two is that Kotkaniemi is doing it a full season before Rantanen. As a late birth date in the draft class, Kotkaniemi

The Finnish player is a goal-scorer, a playmaker, a powerplay quarterback and a penalty killer. We say all the time that players can perform in “all situations”, but that is particularly true about Kotkaniemi. When it comes to scoring goals, his quick release is his greatest attribute. Not unlike Auston Matthews, he has the ability to carry the puck into unlikely scoring areas, and then beat the unsuspecting goalie with a quick wrist shot.

https://www.nhl.com/news/jesperi-kotkaniemi-2018-nhl-draft/c-299077392

Kotkaniemi could be top-five pick at 2018 NHL Draft

17-year-old center impressed in Finland, draws comparisons to Kopitar

 

Of all the players we've drafted in the last 30 years, the eye test for me says Kotkaniemi has one of the highest hockey IQ's and visions on the ice that we've had in decades.   If he can put it all together I think not only will he be a dominant center in the league, he'll be one of the top 20 centers.

I'm also highly impressed with Suzuki's offensive awareness and defensive responsibility.    He's like JK I think will be a top point getter in this league.

Poehling on the other hand ... I think he'll be a good two way center, leaning on the defensive side ... but I've not seen anything yet from him to get me overly excited.   He's a bigger version of Phil Danault really but there are times where his hockey decisions seem off.    

JK/Suzuki are the type of player you build your offense around.   Guys like Poehling play key roles, but are interchangeable.

 

If JK ends up a top 20 center that will be great , but depending on the team you are on a top 20 center may be a #1 on the 10-20 teams but still a #1or2 on the top teams. Another had posted using Malkin and McDavid . Kopitar is basically the same comparison I used when using Toews . Kopitat, Bergereon same style,all great two way  centers that any team would love. But they aren't Mcinnon, McDavid, Crosby, ect. class. I also hope all 3 will be great. I would like to see more from JK. He has had flashes and he has looked ordinary at times also. He's only 19 which I've stated every time so I think we all should be patient. I agree with what was posted that CJ said about bringing them along and using depending on the night and situations. I actually think Suzuki may have a higher offensive ceiling hard to tell it's still very early on. I do think though that Poehling has a chance to be a really strong #2 center also with an offensive upside. I could see his goals being more like Gallaghers which all still count the same. 25-30 dirty goals look exact the same as 25-30 highlight goals on the score sheet. I think some may under estimate what he can bring also if utilized properly. That said he has time also they are all very young and just learning the NHL. I hope when JK comes back he looks better than before his reported injury.

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2 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

If JK ends up a top 20 center that will be great , but depending on the team you are on a top 20 center may be a #1 on the 10-20 teams but still a #1or2 on the top teams. Another had posted using Malkin and McDavid . Kopitar is basically the same comparison I used when using Toews . Kopitat, Bergereon same style,all great two way  centers that any team would love. But they aren't Mcinnon, McDavid, Crosby, ect. class. I also hope all 3 will be great. I would like to see more from JK. He has had flashes and he has looked ordinary at times also. He's only 19 which I've stated every time so I think we all should be patient. I agree with what was posted that CJ said about bringing them along and using depending on the night and situations. I actually think Suzuki may have a higher offensive ceiling hard to tell it's still very early on. I do think though that Poehling has a chance to be a really strong #2 center also with an offensive upside. I could see his goals being more like Gallaghers which all still count the same. 25-30 dirty goals look exact the same as 25-30 highlight goals on the score sheet. I think some may under estimate what he can bring also if utilized properly. That said he has time also they are all very young and just learning the NHL. I hope when JK comes back he looks better than before his reported injury.

Just want to clarify again, because you're misrepresenting what I said... I said that players like McDavid and Malkin were given the opportunity to play center even when they were young and not great at face-offs and having defensive issues. I never said JK or Suzuki were in the same class talent-wise. My point is only that many teams outside of the Habs feel comfortable using younger skilled centers as centers without the need to shift them to the wing to "learn the game" and "develop experience." As I said, most forwards now peak in their early 20's and you can only keep them under reasonable cost control for the first 4-5 years they're in the league. After that, they get these long, expensive contracts that make it a burden on your salary cap. In today's NHL, you absolutely need to have players that are part of your core that are young and cost-controlled. If we wait two years with our wave of UFA's coming, guaranteed Danault is going to cost 6M a year and Gallagher 7M+ and Tatar 5-6M and Petry 7M+ and then you have to re-up JK and Poehling and Mete and Domi on top of that in the coming years. You can't afford to give JK and Suzuki 2-3 years of playing wing or lower lines and then expect them to jump into being a 1C with high odds of success.

The way I see it right now, the Habs are not a contender for the Cup. They're a fringe playoff team. So this is not the case where you have Crosby and Malkin and you're asking about whether JK should be given top 6 center time over one of them. We have Domi and Danault and there's no reason why JK or Suzuki shouldn't be given the chance to get the more skilled wingers over Danault, for example. Give the kids experience, give them the best odds of success, and make sure they're ready to grow into the top 6 roles sooner rather than later. I think the Habs mismanaged Galchenyuk in this regard. I think they could have done better with Eller too. But instead they let those players languish behind the likes of Desharnais and it hurt us in the long run. Sure, maybe Galchenyuk wouldn't have panned out anyways, but he had success in the short stints he got as a 1C and in years where we were clearly out of the playoffs, we easily could have given him 30-40 games as a 1C instead of playing him as a 2nd line winger or 4th line center for stretches. We ended up degrading our own asset. If he flops in that role, he flops in that role, but at least you know. Like we've discussed, I think you make your choice... Suzuki or JK. You put that guy in a top 6 offensive center role and you give him two good wingers and favorable zone starts and you see what he can do. Either you find yourself a 1C that you'll be able to keep for 8 years or you move on to the next guy and you know what you know at that point. As good as Danault has been, we already know he's not a 1C, so why continue to use him as such. Short term gains with no long-term vision here IMO.

Interesting that Yvon Pedneault and JC Lajoie from the French media claim there's a rift between Julien and Bergevin right now because Claude thinks there's too many rookies in the line-up and thinks they're better served by playing in Laval than all being in Montreal, while MB supposedly wants the team to keep and play JK, Suzuki, Poehling, and Fleury... I get both views, but one is a coach with a win-now attitude and one is a vision for the longer-term, and personally I like the Bergevin viewpoint here.

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I know the development of players isn’t “rumours” but just to touch on previous posts, what player have the Habs “developed” in the last what two decades? Because all I see is them ruin skilled players in the way they develop. Galchenyuk, eller, kostytsin just to name a few. Players don’t develop when you destroy their confidence by punishing them for making mistakes and constantly moving them around the lineup with different players every game. Example fleury can make one mistake and get benched while Weber can make mistake after mistake and not miss a minute. At least a young player will learn from their mistakes and improve but players like Weber are already the player they are going to be. 

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On 11/12/2019 at 4:26 PM, Dexx83 said:

I know the development of players isn’t “rumours” but just to touch on previous posts, what player have the Habs “developed” in the last what two decades? Because all I see is them ruin skilled players in the way they develop. Galchenyuk, eller, kostytsin just to name a few. Players don’t develop when you destroy their confidence by punishing them for making mistakes and constantly moving them around the lineup with different players every game. Example fleury can make one mistake and get benched while Weber can make mistake after mistake and not miss a minute. At least a young player will learn from their mistakes and improve but players like Weber are already the player they are going to be. 

Devils Advocate 

Eller wasn't ruined, the fan base had a skewed expectation of him

Kostistyn brothers?  Andrei had success ... but like a lot of russian players didn't like playing in NHL

Galchenyuk?   Has all the tools but not the hockey IQ.    

Its very hard to ruin natural talent.    And some of these guys were traded young enough that if the issue was development, there was time to "fix" them with another team

Eller is exactly what I thought he'd be.   A good checking 3rd line C ... exactly the role he's playing with the Caps.   Galchenyuk is now on his 3rd team and still struggling ... not for a lack of natural talent, but the fact that he's just not a smart hockey player.   Its easy to look amazing in juniors when you have more physical talent than other plays.   At the NHL level it also takes vision and decision making.

I firmly believe a lot of the players that are perceived as being "ruined" ... the fanbase had too high of an expectation for.   The real problems isn't our development, though it plays a part, the real problem is drafting.   Who in their right mind drafts McCarron in first round when he was expected to go in the 3rd?  Our drafting has been questionable for years.

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