H_T_L

2019-20 State Of The Habs

387 posts in this topic

43 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Capfriendly actually has a tax calculator feature that allows you to input a player's salary and signing bonus and figure out roughly what they would make playing for any team. Take a player you want to sing to an 8M contract, for example. In Montreal, their net take-home pay would be 3.75M. In California, it's not a heck of a big difference... 3.84M per year. But in places like Vegas, Florida, Nashville, and Dallas, it's a full million dollars less in net income per season. So a player signing an 8M AAV, 7-year deal would be giving up 7M over the course of that deal. That's basically a full season's salary (two full seasons' salary if you go by the net pay essentially). Given guys hold out sometimes for a difference of 500k or a million a year on a contract, you would think they recognize the difference in net income. Furthermore, this is based on the current exchange rate. Because all players are paid in US dollars, there's the added risk/benefit of playing in Canada and getting taxed in Canadian dollars, with an added uncertainty built into your income. So if you play in LA or SJ, you might get taxed at an almost-as-high rate but if you play in Montreal, you get that rate too AND if the value of the American dollar happens to drop, your tax rate just went up again... it can work both ways, but most people want some amount of cost certainty and to not have to worry about their income fluctuating depending on the relative value of currencies.

If a player were to sign the same contract but have 7M awarded as an annual signing bonus and only 1M as the base salary, then the discrepancy goes up even more too. So the difference in annual salary on that deal here vs. in Vegas or Nashville for example would then be over 1.1M per season (or 8M over the course of a 7-year contract). I just don't see these differences as being marginal and in an all-other-things-being-equal scenario, a player is going to go to the place where the net income is higher. That means that cities like Montreal have to convince players to play for less take-home money in bad weather with a relentless media because the positives (hockey city, great atmosphere at games, commitment to winning, owner with deep pockets, whatever else they can think of...) outweigh those negatives. Not all players will put money first, but it's nevertheless an uphill battle.

As for revenue sharing, I don't recall the exact numbers, but it's something like 8-12 teams make up 90% of the league's revenue and basically fund the entire league. To my knowledge, it's teams like Mtl, Tor, Van, Edm, Chi, Bos, NYR, LA, Phi, Det, and Was that bring in all the money, with the majority of the other teams running minimal profits or losses and relying heavily on revenue sharing to bump up their net lines. What does that mean? It means that teams that lost money, like the Panthers, Coyotes, Islanders, Jackets, Canes, etc. can't generate revenue on their own. They sell tickets and concessions and corporate boxes for lower prices, so fans there benefit from it. Meanwhile, cities like Toronto, Montreal, and New York City raise prices astronomically because consumers continue to purchase tickets and so on. The more these cities make, the more money the owners in those cities make, but also, the more money the poor-income teams make too. So there'z zero incentive for the bad markets to actually fix their own revenue problems. Fans like us are basically paying for hockey to exist in crappy markets, and fans down in those markets are getting cheaper prices as a result. End product is that we get the old scroogie on this yet again.

Bettman is a weasel and he knows all of the above. He plays both sides for money, exploiting fans and doing what he can to show he was able to produce hockey franchises in non-hockey cities. But it's all a facade, because those teams are being heavily propped up by a few strong markets. This league could easily be 20 teams and would probably be stronger for it, but it's not in the NHLPA's interest to do that nor does Bettman care to make the game better or the fans happier.

 

 

You want to fix the tax bracket start by fixing the players salary. 

1. Set a max salary based on the teams revenue not league. Sort of like how they do in the NBA. So set max term at 5 years and max salary at say 12% of the cap pro rated for the tax bracket so all deals work out to the same or close money.

2. Allow revenue sharing but with penalties. So if your cap relies 80% on other teams revenues then you lose 5 Mil of the cap. Make it so that teams actually want to fix their teams.

3. Stronger market teams can use profits to go over the cap but must pay a luxury tax of 5% of whatever they are over to the PA. But can only go over once every 3 years.

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7 minutes ago, campabee82 said:

You want to fix the tax bracket start by fixing the players salary. 

1. Set a max salary based on the teams revenue not league. Sort of like how they do in the NBA. So set max term at 5 years and max salary at say 12% of the cap pro rated for the tax bracket so all deals work out to the same or close money.

2. Allow revenue sharing but with penalties. So if your cap relies 80% on other teams revenues then you lose 5 Mil of the cap. Make it so that teams actually want to fix their teams.

3. Stronger market teams can use profits to go over the cap but must pay a luxury tax of 5% of whatever they are over to the PA. But can only go over once every 3 years.

Actually thinking about it point 1. Should be 12% of the cap for a max salary 

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

You want to fix the tax bracket start by fixing the players salary. 

1. Set a max salary based on the teams revenue not league. Sort of like how they do in the NBA. So set max term at 5 years and max salary at say 12% of the cap pro rated for the tax bracket so all deals work out to the same or close money.

2. Allow revenue sharing but with penalties. So if your cap relies 80% on other teams revenues then you lose 5 Mil of the cap. Make it so that teams actually want to fix their teams.

3. Stronger market teams can use profits to go over the cap but must pay a luxury tax of 5% of whatever they are over to the PA. But can only go over once every 3 years.

I forgot 4.

4. Get rid of RFA status and offer sheets. Everyone becomes a UFA and can sign anywhere. 

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The problem with all these ideas to "fix" the salary cap and let teams spend more to account for taxes and blah blah blah have a central problem in that they assume the salary cap was intended to create parity or competitive balance or something. It says it right in the name, it's designed to cap salaries and link salaries to revenues. The owners don't want a soft cap or else we'd already have one because there'd be absolutely no reason for the players to oppose a soft cap or any tax equalization cap space or whatever.

Another thing is that we can't assume that multi millionaire pro athletes being paid millions of dollars just pay a percentage of their salary in taxes like us common plebs. They don't, they have all kinds of ways to write things off and set up their taxes in beneficial ways. They also pay the local tax rate on every road game so even players in Tampa don't get "tax free" salary, they pay state/provincial tax for every game not played in Florida, Dallas, or Nashville.

I dunno, overall I just think it's sour grapes for Canadiens fans to complain about this stuff a week after our GM tried to poach another team's franchise player with an offer sheet designed to screw up their budget because the Canadiens can drop 21M in signing bonuses like it's nothing. The Habs are one of three franchises in this sport where money is truly no object (along with the Leafs and Rangers) and the fact we're the only one with nothing to show for it besides maybe Joel Armia is pretty disappointing. 

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I don't think it's sour grapes to be discussing how the league is setup to support teams that can't make money off the back of teams that do make money. If there are ten-ish teams propping up a league, then those teams deserve a level playing field when it comes to player salaries. At the very least there should be some restriction on teams that can't turn a profit, yet keep spending close to the cap on player salaries.

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14 hours ago, Noob616 said:

The problem with all these ideas to "fix" the salary cap and let teams spend more to account for taxes and blah blah blah have a central problem in that they assume the salary cap was intended to create parity or competitive balance or something. It says it right in the name, it's designed to cap salaries and link salaries to revenues. The owners don't want a soft cap or else we'd already have one because there'd be absolutely no reason for the players to oppose a soft cap or any tax equalization cap space or whatever.

Another thing is that we can't assume that multi millionaire pro athletes being paid millions of dollars just pay a percentage of their salary in taxes like us common plebs. They don't, they have all kinds of ways to write things off and set up their taxes in beneficial ways. They also pay the local tax rate on every road game so even players in Tampa don't get "tax free" salary, they pay state/provincial tax for every game not played in Florida, Dallas, or Nashville.

I dunno, overall I just think it's sour grapes for Canadiens fans to complain about this stuff a week after our GM tried to poach another team's franchise player with an offer sheet designed to screw up their budget because the Canadiens can drop 21M in signing bonuses like it's nothing. The Habs are one of three franchises in this sport where money is truly no object (along with the Leafs and Rangers) and the fact we're the only one with nothing to show for it besides maybe Joel Armia is pretty disappointing. 

Totally agree. 

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16 hours ago, Noob616 said:

The problem with all these ideas to "fix" the salary cap and let teams spend more to account for taxes and blah blah blah have a central problem in that they assume the salary cap was intended to create parity or competitive balance or something. It says it right in the name, it's designed to cap salaries and link salaries to revenues. The owners don't want a soft cap or else we'd already have one because there'd be absolutely no reason for the players to oppose a soft cap or any tax equalization cap space or whatever.

Another thing is that we can't assume that multi millionaire pro athletes being paid millions of dollars just pay a percentage of their salary in taxes like us common plebs. They don't, they have all kinds of ways to write things off and set up their taxes in beneficial ways. They also pay the local tax rate on every road game so even players in Tampa don't get "tax free" salary, they pay state/provincial tax for every game not played in Florida, Dallas, or Nashville.

I dunno, overall I just think it's sour grapes for Canadiens fans to complain about this stuff a week after our GM tried to poach another team's franchise player with an offer sheet designed to screw up their budget because the Canadiens can drop 21M in signing bonuses like it's nothing. The Habs are one of three franchises in this sport where money is truly no object (along with the Leafs and Rangers) and the fact we're the only one with nothing to show for it besides maybe Joel Armia is pretty disappointing. 

I'd agree with you on the point that the cap wasn't created to create parity in chasing free agents, it was intended to limit salaries to prevent wealthier teams from spending like the New York Yankees and also like you said to safeguard owners from the inflation generated from competition.

I would disagree with you on some of the rest. You are correct that players do pay taxes in the jurisdictions in which they play games. HOWEVER, players based in Canada don't get taxed on games in the US and players based in the US don't get taxed on games in Canada. So a player for the Panthers will never pay 53+% tax on a game played in Montreal. Furthermore, many states give tax breaks to people who work outside their own state and pay higher taxes on a part of their income, as we see with athletes, so many of these players recoup some of that added out-of-state tax anyways.

Can you make some of the money back through endorsement deals and effective wealth management? Sure. But you can avoid taxes and do those types of things in Nashvlle and Vegas too, not just Montreal and New York. So not sure that makes a huge difference. Plenty of players have publicly stated that they chose contracts an cities in large part due to the tax burden differences. Radulov leaving for Dallas was a prime example. There was a study a few years ago looking at the effects of tax differences on NHL players, and it found that taxes do matter do players and that 57% of free agents who switched teams opted to go to a team with a lower tax rate while only 43% moved to a team with the same or higher taxes. So yes, I'm agreed that it's not the be-all and end-all of every player's decision, but there is no doubt that it is a factor.

Then you look at what that tax factor means. Using a salary cap of 81.5M, it effectively means that a team like Montreal is playing with 10M less in take-home pay than the teams in Florida, Nashville, Dallas, and Vegas. Just imagine taxes were the same everywhere for a second and 5 teams were allowed to have 10M more in cap space than other teams. I think people would cry foul. Just because that number is hidden in tax calculations and just because it's a difficult problem to solve in real life, doesn't mean it isn't playing a role. Take the 10M and imagine any team being able to add a player like Aho or Marner or Point or Werenski or so on without having to scramble to find cap space. Imagine Toronto didn't have to give up their 1st round pick just to be able to dump Marleau. 10M in effective cap space changes a heck of a lot.

I don't think this is sour grapes in the least, this is economics and most players get advised on this by their agents. I'd be surprised if there was a player who wasn't told what his take-home pay was if he signed for X amount of money in Dallas vs X amount of money in San Jose. Maybe in some cases, it changes where that player would sign. In others, we may not be able to even measure the impact but it might mean Player A only agrees to sign in a higher-tax jurisdiction if they match the tax difference in salary lost (again, that's what Radulov asked Bergevin to do). And maybe Bergevin still gets a player like that but then ends up with 10% less cap space to sign other guys. I don't see this as being trivial in the least.

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With the Armia and Lehkonen signings, we now have just shy of $5m of cap space.  We should be able to bury some more (maybe $2-3m) in the minors (Alzner, Weise and possibly Peca) but we may also look to trade away a contract or maybe someone gets plucked off of waivers.   Obviously you can only dump up to just over a $1m of a contract's cap hit in the minors - plus there are roster limits on the amount of veterans in the AHL.  So its not a lock, but i think its probably safe to say we have around $6-7m to play with.  Even if a guy like Suzuki or Hudon makes the team its likely not a big deal because the offset of their small salary vs. waiving/burying a player should be a net gain. 

Its a decent flexibility because it means we can potentially absorb more salary (assuming its for 2 years or less) in a trade. We can send a cheaper player(s) and even possibly receive a bad contract if it increases our chance at acquiring a top pairing dman.  We could also still be in on Gardiner if he will take 2 years or less although im not sure MB is actually trying to go that route any more. 

Can MB do it?  Is he even trying to?  Time will tell. 

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5 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Can you make some of the money back through endorsement deals and effective wealth management? Sure. But you can avoid taxes and do those types of things in Nashvlle and Vegas too, not just Montreal and New York. So not sure that makes a huge difference.

You can't really do the same thing in Nashville or Vegas because there's no way to go below 0% income tax. There's no creative accounting Mark Stone can do to get the state of Nevada to pay him more money, while a good accountant could greatly reduce the amount Ontario would charge him and narrow the gap. Here's an article from Forbes about Stone and the "tax jackpot" he hit signing in Vegas. It works out to a whopping $71,250 a year. It's not nothing but we're talking about a league where guys negotiate contracts to line up with their jersey numbers. 71k is basically a rounding error or an extra day or two on LTIR.  

5 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Then you look at what that tax factor means. Using a salary cap of 81.5M, it effectively means that a team like Montreal is playing with 10M less in take-home pay than the teams in Florida, Nashville, Dallas, and Vegas. Just imagine taxes were the same everywhere for a second and 5 teams were allowed to have 10M more in cap space than other teams. I think people would cry foul. Just because that number is hidden in tax calculations and just because it's a difficult problem to solve in real life, doesn't mean it isn't playing a role. Take the 10M and imagine any team being able to add a player like Aho or Marner or Point or Werenski or so on without having to scramble to find cap space. Imagine Toronto didn't have to give up their 1st round pick just to be able to dump Marleau. 10M in effective cap space changes a heck of a lot.

IMO that gap is just really exaggerated and only makes sense if we're purely multiplying out AAV by highest income tax rate. In terms of the real world scenarios the gap is nowhere near that large, and big money teams like Montreal can also pay every player in up front signing bonuses which allows them to invest it earlier and further narrow the gap. With the Stone example it's a 71k gap between the highest tax jurisdiction in the league and zero state taxes, that works out to a 0.74% difference. If we want to further complicate things they're playing in Canada and being paid in USD which comes with its own set of advantages for overall cost of living. I can certainly agree that it makes an impact but saying Montreal is playing with a 10M lower cap is just a real stretch to me and doesn't seem to be supported by the actual contracts guys are signing.

I think Tampa and Nashville's unique COL and quality of life + team culture/contending status get conflated with "no tax discounts" (and I wouldn't even say those teams have a ton of "discount" contracts that weren't betting on a player who improved like Gallagher at 3.75). Vegas had to pay Stone 9.5, Stastny  6.5, and Pacioretty 7. Dallas just paid Pavelski 3x7M, and pay Benn 9.5 and Seguin 9.85. To me that Seguin number is basically proportional with 11M for Tavares in terms of the quality of player. Florida is paying Bobrovsky Carey Price money, and so on. Even Duchene, 8M only feels like a "discount" because we assumed he'd make insane money compared to Kevin Hayes, but compared to Tavares at 11M I wouldn't call 8M for a substantially inferior player a discount. I guess the argument would be that Montreal would have to pay those guys even more money but again, Tavares signing for 11M (and Bobrovsky making Carey Price money despite the Florida tax/weather advantages) kinda go against that idea IMO. 

 

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9 hours ago, Noob616 said:

You can't really do the same thing in Nashville or Vegas because there's no way to go below 0% income tax. There's no creative accounting Mark Stone can do to get the state of Nevada to pay him more money, while a good accountant could greatly reduce the amount Ontario would charge him and narrow the gap. Here's an article from Forbes about Stone and the "tax jackpot" he hit signing in Vegas. It works out to a whopping $71,250 a year. It's not nothing but we're talking about a league where guys negotiate contracts to line up with their jersey numbers. 71k is basically a rounding error or an extra day or two on LTIR.  

IMO that gap is just really exaggerated and only makes sense if we're purely multiplying out AAV by highest income tax rate. In terms of the real world scenarios the gap is nowhere near that large, and big money teams like Montreal can also pay every player in up front signing bonuses which allows them to invest it earlier and further narrow the gap. With the Stone example it's a 71k gap between the highest tax jurisdiction in the league and zero state taxes, that works out to a 0.74% difference. If we want to further complicate things they're playing in Canada and being paid in USD which comes with its own set of advantages for overall cost of living. I can certainly agree that it makes an impact but saying Montreal is playing with a 10M lower cap is just a real stretch to me and doesn't seem to be supported by the actual contracts guys are signing.

I think Tampa and Nashville's unique COL and quality of life + team culture/contending status get conflated with "no tax discounts" (and I wouldn't even say those teams have a ton of "discount" contracts that weren't betting on a player who improved like Gallagher at 3.75). Vegas had to pay Stone 9.5, Stastny  6.5, and Pacioretty 7. Dallas just paid Pavelski 3x7M, and pay Benn 9.5 and Seguin 9.85. To me that Seguin number is basically proportional with 11M for Tavares in terms of the quality of player. Florida is paying Bobrovsky Carey Price money, and so on. Even Duchene, 8M only feels like a "discount" because we assumed he'd make insane money compared to Kevin Hayes, but compared to Tavares at 11M I wouldn't call 8M for a substantially inferior player a discount. I guess the argument would be that Montreal would have to pay those guys even more money but again, Tavares signing for 11M (and Bobrovsky making Carey Price money despite the Florida tax/weather advantages) kinda go against that idea IMO.

 

- On tax avoidance... was saying that players in Vegas or Nashville could also go about finding accountants who could maximize wealth management, which could include things like early investment, tax deferrence, etc. They still pay federal tax, even if they don't pay state tax. My point is that you can't say a player in Montreal making 10M can get all the way down in taxes/fees to the same take-home a guy in Florida has just because of good wealth management. The guy in Florida or Vegas can also get a contract with a large up-front signing bonus and he can also make good investments to pile up interest, and he can also find ways to funnel money away so that income is deferred and he pays less federal tax too. And frankly, even if you find ways to avoid paying tax on some of your money, there is a zero percent chance even a great accountant can find ways to hide 8M or 10M in income.

I'm not a finance guy, but I believe Canada and the US have an agreement whereby American-based players don't pay tax on the games they play in Canada and vice versa (at least that's what I've read elsewhere). So I don't know if the article you cited from Forbes is correct in that assumption (it states that Stone pays Canadian taxes on 10 games played in Canada and I don't know that that's true). And likewise, one could say that if he is paying a jock tax on some of his other road games, then that negates the other statement that there is no state tax for his accountant to recoup for him... the article also deducts escrow from his salary like this is permanently being taken away from him, but the players get back a significant of this money if the NHL's revenues hold up as predicted. So without knowing all the background of financial issues, it seems to me like there are several flaws in the article...

As for the contracts you cited, again, I'm not arguing that every player will fight for a contract based on taxes, but we know there are players where this is true. We also need to account for the fact that contracts signed in different years probably aren't comparable because the cap keeps going up. And no agent/player is going to accept taking less money only on account of taxes alone, they're just going to force the high-tax jurisdictions to pony up more to make up for the differences. In Duchene's case, he supposedly took less money to go to Nashville, maybe in part because he just loves that city and maybe in part because he knows taxes are lower there. In Tavares' case, the overwhelming sentiment was that his camp agreed to less money in Toronto than he could have had elsewhere because he took a "hometown discount" and really wanted to play there, so maybe not the best example given that he's one of a few players who went and signed with his "hometown" team and thus clearly had factors other than money that motivated his decision. Like I said, I don't think taxes are the number one factor for all players, but I think they are a factor.

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Regarding the ongoing conversation around salary, the salary cap, taxes, etc. I want to say again, there's an important distinction between sources of income a player can make outside of the game (endorsements, investments, etc.) and sources of incomes directly from the league (salary, signing bonus, etc.). The league and the NHLPA have direct control over how sources of income within the game can be determined when negotiating the next CBA. I just believe this should be negotiated to give all 31 teams a fair playing field when it comes to compensating players. At that point, it's up the relative performances of the teams to determine who makes enough money from fans to pay player X. Revenue sharing should still be a thing, but teams that can't get their act together should not be able to go out and spend to the cap.

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With the Armia and Lehkonen signings I feel like Bergevin is probably finished. So, assuming some players will be demoted to Laval, my guess is that the following will be the final roster for 2019-20:

(there would be some additional cap hit remaining from the buyout of Steve Mason. And the demotions of Karl Alzner, Dale Weise, and Matthew Peca will not completely remove their cap hit from the NHL roster, although we will encounter savings to the tune of $3-4 million)

FORWARDS:

Jonathan Drouin ($5.500)

Tomas Tatar ($4.800)

Brendan Gallagher ($3.750)

Paul Byron ($3.400)

Max Domi ($3.150)

Phillip Danault ($3.083)

Joel Armia ($2.600)

Artturi Lehkonen ($2.400)

Jordan Weal ($1.400)

Nate Thompson ($1.000)

Nick Cousins ($1.000)

Jesperi Kotkaniemi ($0.925)

($33.008 million)

DEFENSE:

Shea Weber ($7.857)

Jeff Petry ($5.500)

Ben Chiarot ($3.500)

Brett Kulak ($1.850)

Mike Reilly ($1.500)

Christian Folin ($0.800)

Victor Mete ($0.748)

($21.755)

GOALTENDERS:

Carey Price ($10.500)

Keith Kincaid ($1.750)

($12.250)

Estimating the money we'd save from Alzer and co. and factoring in Mason's money, we're looking at around $73 million in total. That still leaves us around $8.5 million to wiggle around with. There's space left on that roster for two additional people. Perhaps Ryan Poehling? Perhaps Nick Suzuki? Perhaps Jake Evans?

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We know MB likes to run a press box, so count on a 23 man roster.

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7 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

We know MB likes to run a press box, so count on a 23 man roster.

I'm kind of hoping it's just a couple of promotions from our prospect pool. Ryan Poehling should get a good long look, I think.

Maybe Matthew Peca will make the team... It's nice to know that Jake Evans or Nick Suzuki or, heck, even Cole Caufield could get a look, too.

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Just now, jennifer_rocket said:

I'm kind of hoping it's just a couple of promotions from our prospect pool. Ryan Poehling should get a good long look, I think.

Maybe Matthew Peca will make the team... It's nice to know that Jake Evans or Nick Suzuki or, heck, even Cole Caufield could get a look, too.

Yeah,,, at least there's no chance Dlo is in the mix.:lol:

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1 minute ago, H_T_L said:

Yeah,,, at least there's no chance Dlo is in the mix.:lol:

Maybe it will be Michael McCarron, if he gets a new contract.

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Just now, jennifer_rocket said:

Maybe it will be Michael McCarron, if he gets a new contract.

Or Hudon if we sign him and can't trade him.

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Just now, H_T_L said:

Or Hudon if we sign him and can't trade him.

I wonder if Bergevin just walks away from the arbitrator's ruling. :mellow:

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  • I have such a hate love relationship with MB
  • hate that he chose Patches over Subban in the rift 
  • love that he has his pulse on the temperature of the team by dumping lazy chucky and lazy patches 
  • love that he has energy guys like Domi, Gally, tatar, Mete, Kulak and leadership thru Weber Petry
  • Hate the stupid risks of swinging for the fences thru Alzner or other free agents - honestly the kinkaid signing surprised me wasn’t Lindgren ready for a chance?
  • love he gets occasional nuggets in pickups - Byron, Weal, Danualt, Armia 
  • im torn on the Drouin trade - yes we need scoring huge but gave up a lot for Drouin 
  • Hoping he takes risks on youth with moderate plugs via free agency - Jesper, Poehling, Suzuki, Romanow in a year, Brooks, Caufield in 2 years, Lehkonen- Juulsen is a tbd 
  • Stay the course on youth despite price and Weber not getting any younger 
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1 hour ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Estimating the money we'd save from Alzer and co. and factoring in Mason's money, we're looking at around $73 million in total. That still leaves us around $8.5 million to wiggle around with. There's space left on that roster for two additional people. Perhaps Ryan Poehling? Perhaps Nick Suzuki? Perhaps Jake Evans?

It will probably be a couple of millon lower than that simply because you cant bury everyone in the minors.  There's a limit on how many veterans you can have on your AHL team so i think at least a guy or two will be press-boxed (or hopefully picked up on waivers). 

Still, I think we safely have over $6m to play with.  That could mean MB circles back to Gardiner but it also means we have a lot more flexibility in a trade.  Perhaps we can get a top pairing LD for one or two lesser players if we take back a bad 1 year contract. There's options. 

 

I dont think MB is done. But i also wouldnt be shocked if this was opening night's roster either. 

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

On tax avoidance... was saying that players in Vegas or Nashville could also go about finding accountants who could maximize wealth management, which could include things like early investment, tax deferrence, etc. 

Yes but what I'm saying is that side (federal taxes, endorsements, wealth management etc is) irrelevant because it can happen anywhere. The difference talked about is always about state taxes and there's no way to go below 0% state tax. IMO the front-loading stuff is relevant because there are only three franchises in this sport where money is absolutely no object and they're the Leafs, Rangers, and Canadiens and those teams can do the front-loading over and over and over again for players up and down the lineup like it's nothing. That 13M signing bonus for Aho came out of Dundon's pocket when for Geoff Molson it's a rounding error on Bell Centre hot dog sales. 

Carolina can bite the bullet on Aho but they can't do it indefinitely and they probably won't do it for say...Martin Necas if he becomes "just" a solid 2C but not a franchise cornerstone like Aho. Nashville can give out some signing bonuses to Duchene but they can't do anything like the Tavares deal where he's paid over 30M in the first calendar year. Nashville also isn't even a cap team, they traded Subban to make "space" for Duchene but they still have 5M in cap space, they could have traded Craig Smith instead and kept both but the actual money is still a concern for the Preds. Even Bobrovsky who just got a big Florida contract, he's only getting his contract slightly front-loaded compared to Price who gets back to back $13M signing bonuses and $30M total in the first 2 years.
 

 
 
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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

In Duchene's case, he supposedly took less money to go to Nashville, maybe in part because he just loves that city and maybe in part because he knows taxes are lower there. In Tavares' case, the overwhelming sentiment was that his camp agreed to less money in Toronto than he could have had elsewhere because he took a "hometown discount" and really wanted to play there, so maybe not the best example given that he's one of a few players who went and signed with his "hometown" team and thus clearly had factors other than money that motivated his decision. Like I said, I don't think taxes are the number one factor for all players, but I think they are a factor.

Exactly. Tavares left millions and a cushy San Jose lifestyle on the table to go to the Toronto pressure cooker because he wanted to go home and believed in what the Leafs were doing. Panarin just left a ton of money on the table to go to New York because he wants to play in a big market and presumably believes in the team when he could have gone to Florida and had the big coastal city with no taxes too. On balance the fact the Canadiens have unlimited money, no ownership issues, a great building, and by all accounts a nice lifestyle beyond the weather should more than make up for it. I think the questions should be directed at management and not taxes when in back to back offseasons the only other two franchises in this league with unlimited money and high taxes bagged elite free agents while we got Ben Chiarot and Nick Cousins. Historically this team hasn't struggled to attract UFAs, Alzner, Cammalleri, Gionta, Gill, Cole, Kovalev etc all signed here for market price, Pacioretty likely would have stayed for 7M, Petry stayed at market price, and Price basically got what's now the market value in the context of the Bobrovsky deal. 

I guess for me it's just annoying because the Habs are the 3rd richest franchise in hockey and I think that's a way bigger advantage than the Panthers not having state taxes. The Habs can afford to run their own European combine (and their own NA combine too) because if it produces one decent player (which last year was Romanov and I think this year was Nissen and Khisamutdinov) it's worth the upfront cost. They can afford to fire Therrien and pay him a total of $5M to sit at home and immediately bring in another coach for $5M a year, and employ an army of scouts. They could drop $7M like it's nothing to buyout Gomez. They paid 4M in cash to effectively buy Armia and a draft pick. They went out and paid Ducharme and Bouchard to join the team, paid for a Laval AHL team with a nice rink, are going to bankroll an ECHL franchise, etc. It's a be careful what you wish for thing because as much as the taxes annoy certain teams I'm sure smaller markets aren't thrilled that Tavares is getting half his money in the first two years and so on.

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^^ JR, on the make-up of the roster, as it stands, I think we'll see Poehling and one of Peca, Evans, Hudon, Suzuki, or McCarron make the team... and probably in that order in terms of how likely I think they are to happen. I really feel like they have Suzuki pegged to go to Laval unless he proves otherwise (which he might). On D, I'm agreed with the 7 guys you have listed being in the mix but Juulsen IMO is a near-lock to be there if he's healthy, and I wonder if Leskinen or Fleury will make a run at displacing Reilly or Folin out of the top 7-8.

That said, I don't think MB is done. He still has cap space, and he's sat on the extra money the past two years. I'd be surprised if it happens 3 years in a row. Remember that if MB adds someone, he also knocks a bit of extra money down to the AHL (around 1M for example if Reilly goes down). We'd also have to factor in the money going out if it's a trade, and in order, I think the three most likely guys to go to make room for a LHD via trade would be Drouin, Byron, and Tatar. In any of those cases, you're giving yourself a few million more to work with.

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40 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

^^ JR, on the make-up of the roster, as it stands, I think we'll see Poehling and one of Peca, Evans, Hudon, Suzuki, or McCarron make the team... and probably in that order in terms of how likely I think they are to happen. I really feel like they have Suzuki pegged to go to Laval unless he proves otherwise (which he might). On D, I'm agreed with the 7 guys you have listed being in the mix but Juulsen IMO is a near-lock to be there if he's healthy, and I wonder if Leskinen or Fleury will make a run at displacing Reilly or Folin out of the top 7-8.

That said, I don't think MB is done. He still has cap space, and he's sat on the extra money the past two years. I'd be surprised if it happens 3 years in a row. Remember that if MB adds someone, he also knocks a bit of extra money down to the AHL (around 1M for example if Reilly goes down). We'd also have to factor in the money going out if it's a trade, and in order, I think the three most likely guys to go to make room for a LHD via trade would be Drouin, Byron, and Tatar. In any of those cases, you're giving yourself a few million more to work with.

I think you're right about Noah Juulsen. I think he's either A] the first call-up when an injury hits, or B] with the club out of camp, possibly unseating someone like Folin from an opening night spot. Hopefully he's recovered from his eye problem!

I guess I'm a little jaded, but I don't expect Bergevin to accomplish anything else before the season begins. I'm sure he's out there searching to improve the team, but I'm doubtful anything gets done. Would love to see a number 1-2 LD here. Maybe it gets done... :mellow: I hope it does!

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https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/what-the-puck-just-how-great-is-the-canadiens-prospects-pool

What the Puck: Just how great is the Canadiens' prospects pool?

The party line for uncritical Habs fans is that all is well because the Canadiens have so many stunning prospects. But do they?

Every time anyone dares to question Quebec’s Royal Family, aka the Montreal Canadiens, the rose-coloured-glasses set has one ready-made response. You say they have barely played in the playoffs for years. They say: ‘Yeah but look at all these great prospects’.

These same fans idolize Carey Price, so maybe they should take another look at what he recently told The Athletic’s Arpon Basu when discussing the Habs’ much-vaunted prospects pool.

“We’ve got a great future with our prospects,” Price said a couple of weeks back. “But when I think of it, I kind of think back over the course of my career and seeing so many players come and go. So it’s good to have depth in your system, but for me personally, being on the ice, it’s kind of irrelevant until I see somebody in the lineup, you know?”

Given all of the talk of this spectacular group of prospects coming down the pipeline, I figured the time was right to give a call to my old pal Simon Boisvert, a former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scout and a drafting analyst for francophone sports station 91.9 FM.

The first thing he said was that we shouldn’t expect to see any of these prospects in the lineup this coming season, with the exception of maybe Ryan Poehling. The other thing, which will come as news to so many of these uncritical Habs fans, is that there is no guarantee that all of these kids — Nick Suzuki, Alexander Romanov, Josh Brook and Cole Caufield — will turn out to be stars. Drafting is a high-risk business.

“We all know that most prospects don’t make it,” said Boisvert. “You pick seven guys and you’re crossing your fingers that two of them will make the NHL.”

Before you go medieval on us, understand that Boisvert is not saying Suzuki, Romanov, Brook and Caufield won’t make it. He’s just saying most prospects don’t. But the more quality prospects you have in the system, the better off a team is and the Canadiens have more now than they did a few years back.

“The fans are not used to this because the prospect cupboard for the Habs was bare for years,” continued Boisvert. “Now that they have a list, they get all excited. But other teams also have prospects. The Habs don’t play alone. It’s more a question of where do the Habs stand in relation to other teams when it comes to prospects. And I don’t necessarily see tons of major impact players on that list, for now. What they have are good complementary pieces, which is good. I look at guys like Nick Suzuki, Josh Brook, Alexander Romanov. They’re all guys who’re praised right now. But what is their ceiling? Are they second-liners? Are they third-liners?”

In other words, we’ll see. This is called objective analysis. This is called not automatically buying into the Canadiens’ spin. For one thing, you might well ask yourself why the cupboard was bare for so many years. I’ll answer that one. It’s bare because until maybe three years ago, Canadiens’ executive Trevor Timmins’ drafting was almost unbelievably terrible. Yes it’s good that the team appears to have turned its drafting around but how and when will this have an impact on the team on the ice in the NHL?

That’s what Price was talking about and, in fact, part of the bitterness of his comments is clearly related to the lack of high-quality draft picks during his first decade with the Canadiens. The other question is why Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and assistant general manager Timmins only began drafting intelligently in 2018, after six years on the job for Bergevin and more than double that for Timmins.

Last but not least, here’s la question qui tue. If you buy into the new Bergevin philosophy that began in the summer of ’18 – that the team needs to develop young talent via the draft — why is the team’s foundation still built around two thirtysomething vets, Price and Shea Weber? As Boisvert told me, if this was the plan, you should’ve traded P.K. Subban for picks not Weber and you never would’ve signed Price to an eight-year, $84-million deal.

The short version is that no other team goes around making the case that they’re great ’cause they have great prospects. They wait and see because it’s a crapshoot unless the players being drafted are named Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid or Jack Hughes. Let’s check back in four years and see how this all shakes out.

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^^ Thanks for posting that Regis22. I find that to be a refreshing take on the state of our prospect pool. Something that I think we can get really excited about, imaging players who have never played a NHL game as future superstars well before their time. Alexander Romanov comes to mind.

Carey's quote: “But when I think of it, I kind of think back over the course of my career and seeing so many players come and go. So it’s good to have depth in your system, but for me personally, being on the ice, it’s kind of irrelevant until I see somebody in the lineup, you know?”

That's real talk. We're all hoping these kids turn into phenomenal players... However, it seems unlikely. I think back on all the highly touted players to come and go, never able to establish themselves as NHL regulars and I wonder if this group of prospects will be any different.

I hate to admit it, but the Leafs, Marlies (AHL), and Growlers (ECHL) seem to have it figured out.

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