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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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25 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

Anybody been keeping up with the Hawks this year? I keep reading that MB has been scouting their games. One name I’d be interested in is Keith. He doesn’t look to be having his best season so far, and is definitely getting up there in age. But would make for a reasonable short term answer for our top LD? For the next couple of seasons at least. Not sure how much he has left on his contract, but I believe the $$$ aren’t outrageous. Really depends on how he has actually been playing, despite the disappointing numbers. Is it a “him” problem, or a “Hawks” problem? Because as a whole they seem to be in a bit of a tailspin...

Ive tossed around the idea of Keith a few times.  He and Weber have been amazing together at some international competitions.  But that contract is just too bug for my liking.  If it was just 1 or 2 years id be all over it (I think in 2 years we're going to be fine on LD) but he still has 3 1/2 years to go & to me thats a lot to take on for an older player. 

3 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I keep hearing rumblings of MTL being in the talk to acquire Taylor Hall, not sure what it would take although we do have a ton of draft picks this year.  I am on the fence with this as ever team Hall has played for has been a disaster.  Whats everyone else think??

I worry about acquiring Hall. I do think he'd be excellent and i think he's had nothing to do with the bad teams around him (he's an elite complimentary scorer but he cant carry a team like Crosby or McDavid).  But i think the devils would want a LOT and i think it could hurt us to acquire him.  Unless MB pulls a Vanek 2.0 at the deadline, id say its unlikely it would be in our interest to spend what it would cost to acquire Taylor Hall. 

 

3 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

i wonder if the Devils would like to take a good solid stay at home defenceman like say Karl Alzner for Subban.........imagine if we got him back! our right side would be insane! LOL!

When i heard we got Weber I was ecstatic... until i hear it was for PK. Had we been able to have both I would have loved the trade.  Its grown on me for sure, although as others have mentioned, I have a hard time believing PK wont bounce back. 

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3 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I keep hearing rumblings of MTL being in the talk to acquire Taylor Hall, not sure what it would take although we do have a ton of draft picks this year.  I am on the fence with this as ever team Hall has played for has been a disaster.  Whats everyone else think??

 So many factors in acquiring a guy like pending UFA Hall . New Jersey might be inclined to trade him this year for assets because next year will command big bucks that Jersey might not want to give him . Then again there are probably teams he wouldn't go to . If a trade for him was made during the season with a team like say Montreal it would have to be with a verbal agreement as to salary and term for the future and an immediate contract , otherwise why give up the assets ? it would make sense as well that Hall would want to test the free agent waters for the big pay-off .  He's experiencing a somewhat down period in his career and has been injured for stretches  . My guess is either  he will command more money and term than he's worth ( see Gardiner ) or  Bergevin won't give up a top of the line prospect ( like Caulfield or Suzuki and a roster player plus a high pick  ) . The fact is Hall isn't on the top of the elite pile but he's a power forward who averages almost a point a game for his career ….something we don't have . My feeling is new Jersey tries to keep him because he's a big part of the team and they have the  cap space . Whether Hall stays is anyone's  guess.  

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2 minutes ago, HabsAlways said:

IN 24gp he has 1g11a and is a +/- of 0.    His 12pts is a multiplayer tie for 19th in AHL.

I did see the stats line was just not sure how well he was playing in non stats categories as i havent seen many AHL games this year.  On paper, he's a very interesting prospect.  22 years old. He's a little small but i think he's a pretty good skater.  Will be interesting to see if he earns Julien's trust. 

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13 minutes ago, maas_art said:

I did see the stats line was just not sure how well he was playing in non stats categories as i havent seen many AHL games this year.  On paper, he's a very interesting prospect.  22 years old. He's a little small but i think he's a pretty good skater.  Will be interesting to see if he earns Julien's trust. 

Offensively, pretty well .. he's tired for team lead in assists ... I liked what I saw in the preseason and saw some clips of him in recent Laval games ... he's a good skater, so should be similar to Mete

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57 minutes ago, arpem-can said:

 So many factors in acquiring a guy like pending UFA Hall . New Jersey might be inclined to trade him this year for assets because next year will command big bucks that Jersey might not want to give him . Then again there are probably teams he wouldn't go to . If a trade for him was made during the season with a team like say Montreal it would have to be with a verbal agreement as to salary and term for the future and an immediate contract , otherwise why give up the assets ? it would make sense as well that Hall would want to test the free agent waters for the big pay-off .  He's experiencing a somewhat down period in his career and has been injured for stretches  . My guess is either  he will command more money and term than he's worth ( see Gardiner ) or  Bergevin won't give up a top of the line prospect ( like Caulfield or Suzuki and a roster player plus a high pick  ) . The fact is Hall isn't on the top of the elite pile but he's a power forward who averages almost a point a game for his career ….something we don't have . My feeling is new Jersey tries to keep him because he's a big part of the team and they have the  cap space . Whether Hall stays is anyone's  guess.  

The Devils have let it be known that they want first-round draft picks and/or high-end prospects who are NHL ready. They are open to putting re-signing and/or playoff conditions on a deal.

Elliotte Friedman said on the NHL Network that teams are inquiring about Taylor Hall and that there are “serious talks” going on.

Friedman also mentioned that other Devils players are “out there,” with Miles Wood as one possibility.  

Before the season started, Hall said that the Stanley Cup was the biggest priority for him over almost everything else.

“I think that’s probably the highest priority,” Hall said. “Lifestyle-wise, I’m not married or anything. I don’t have kids. I’m not really at a point in my career where location matters to me, if I want to be on the West Coast or East Coast or anything like that. You can make any city great if you’re playing well and you’re winning there. So that’s basically my priority.”

On edit,,, SN tonight says they feel that Hall will go to the Avs before the deadline, "possibly" as a rental. 

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I stumbled on this:

 Maxim Sushinsky, Avangard’s president, has said to TASS that Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin never met up with Bob Hartley in Russia but that they did speak on the phone.

Prolly nothing. 

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It looks to me like the wild card spots are going to go to the Metropolitan and that Washington, NYI, Philly, Pittsburgh and Carolina are all going to be in the playoffs (yes I know only 1/3 of the season has been played). 

With Boston at the top of the Atlantic, that leaves 2 Atlantic spots for:
Florida
Tampa
Buffalo
Montreal
Toronto

I believe Tampa will get one of those Atlantic spots, leaving one spot for:
Florida
Buffalo
Montreal
Toronto

Its not looking good for Montreal.

But can you imagine if Toronto misses the playoffs?

A lot can happen in the last 2/3 of the season, but its looking like a dogfight to get that last spot or two, and I think we may just miss it again this year.

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15 hours ago, kinot-2 said:

The Devils have let it be known that they want first-round draft picks and/or high-end prospects who are NHL ready. They are open to putting re-signing and/or playoff conditions on a deal.

Elliotte Friedman said on the NHL Network that teams are inquiring about Taylor Hall and that there are “serious talks” going on.

Friedman also mentioned that other Devils players are “out there,” with Miles Wood as one possibility.  

Before the season started, Hall said that the Stanley Cup was the biggest priority for him over almost everything else.

“I think that’s probably the highest priority,” Hall said. “Lifestyle-wise, I’m not married or anything. I don’t have kids. I’m not really at a point in my career where location matters to me, if I want to be on the West Coast or East Coast or anything like that. You can make any city great if you’re playing well and you’re winning there. So that’s basically my priority.”

On edit,,, SN tonight says they feel that Hall will go to the Avs before the deadline, "possibly" as a rental. 

Taylor Hall on the Avalanche would be pretty exciting. The Avalanche are already really good. Hall could make them a real contender for the Cup.

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Conference and especially Division games moving forward will all be huge. The positive thing about it , is that it is definitely achievable. The other thing is when you are battling to make the playoffs , the team is already in "playoff mode". I would rather battle into the playoffs and go in winning than to have it wrapped up so far ahead of time that the team is coasting and possibly overconfident. (Hmmm Tampa 2019). I will say home ice is always nice though.

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3 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Taylor Hall on the Avalanche would be pretty exciting. The Avalanche are already really good. Hall could make them a real contender for the Cup.

If that happens you'd have to think they were in "win now" mode and id be pushing hard to try to pry a guy like Byram out of their organization. You could offer them a package like Byron + Petry who would both be of major help to them right now.  Would kill our season but I dont think we're likely to do much this year anyway.  Having a backend of Brook, Romanov, Byram, Fleury, Juulsen and Mete would be pretty exciting.

I could see them having interest in a guy like Weber too of course but I dont think MB will move him. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, maas_art said:

If that happens you'd have to think they were in "win now" mode and id be pushing hard to try to pry a guy like Byram out of their organization. You could offer them a package like Byron + Petry who would both be of major help to them right now.  Would kill our season but I dont think we're likely to do much this year anyway.  Having a backend of Brook, Romanov, Byram, Fleury, Juulsen and Mete would be pretty exciting.

I could see them having interest in a guy like Weber too of course but I dont think MB will move him.

I don't know, for Byram the discussion probably starts with Drouin if they want to win now. I don't think they're interested in Byron, maybe Petry but it's not really a huge need considering how Makar has been playing.

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2 hours ago, ChiLla said:

I don't know, for Byram the discussion probably starts with Drouin if they want to win now. I don't think they're interested in Byron, maybe Petry but it's not really a huge need considering how Makar has been playing.

Maybe and maybe thats a route you go. I like drouin a lot but i think we have more options at FWD than LD.   Either way, if Im MB and i get a sniff any team is going "all in" I will do my very best to get some young blue chip prospects from them, even if it means a bad finish to this year (which is a transition year at best). 

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23 hours ago, maas_art said:

If it was just 1 or 2 years id be all over it (I think in 2 years we're going to be fine on LD) but he still has 3 1/2 years to go & to me thats a lot to take on for an older player. 

Yeah, I see what you mean. Two years would definitely be a more agreeable term (well, year and a half). But I don’t know, three and a half isn’t all that terrible either. It would just mean that by the end of next season, assuming he’s served his purpose and we’ve no more use for him, that just puts us in the same situation that we are in now with Alzner. Not that it’s an ideal position, but it’s not the end of the world either. If we really needed to, we could easily buy out Alzner. I believe we just haven’t because there is no urgent reason to do so. But supposing two years from now we are in a different situation, and we desperately need that cap space, o see no reason why we couldn’t just buy Keith out. And that’s if at 38/39 years of age, he doesn’t just retire.

But that is also assuming the worse of Keith. I admit my bias openly, I am a big fan. I also admit that I haven’t seen much at all of the Hawks this year. But as long as he can still skate, I’d love to see what he could do, and I don’t think three more years is unreasonable. Then again, if he’s legit out of gas, that’s a different story.

And lastly, maybe the “slightly longer than preferable” contract would serve to lower the cost in acquiring him. If means the difference between a 1st being involved in the trade and a 2nd, that’s something to consider 

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47 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

Yeah, I see what you mean. Two years would definitely be a more agreeable term (well, year and a half). But I don’t know, three and a half isn’t all that terrible either. It would just mean that by the end of next season, assuming he’s served his purpose and we’ve no more use for him, that just puts us in the same situation that we are in now with Alzner. Not that it’s an ideal position, but it’s not the end of the world either. If we really needed to, we could easily buy out Alzner. I believe we just haven’t because there is no urgent reason to do so. But supposing two years from now we are in a different situation, and we desperately need that cap space, o see no reason why we couldn’t just buy Keith out. And that’s if at 38/39 years of age, he doesn’t just retire.

But that is also assuming the worse of Keith. I admit my bias openly, I am a big fan. I also admit that I haven’t seen much at all of the Hawks this year. But as long as he can still skate, I’d love to see what he could do, and I don’t think three more years is unreasonable. Then again, if he’s legit out of gas, that’s a different story.

And lastly, maybe the “slightly longer than preferable” contract would serve to lower the cost in acquiring him. If means the difference between a 1st being involved in the trade and a 2nd, that’s something to consider 

All valid points. If we werent on the hook for Alzner id probably be more interested. I worry that if Keith's contract becomes a problem + Alzner  - plus even guys like Byron and Weber who could regress..  Its just a tough situation when you know that guys like Domi and JK and Suzuki etc will all need hefty raises. I know that some contracts will come off the books of course. Dunno. I think id still pass on Keith but like you, ive certainly considered it 

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The Habs have placed defenceman David Sklenicka on unconditional waivers for purpose of contract termination. He was recently demoted to the ECHL. In seven games with the AHL's Laval Rocket this season, Sklenicka had one goal and three points. 

He recorded three goals and nine points in 68 games with Laval last season. Sklenicka is the second-year of his two-yea, entry-level contract

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7 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

The Habs have placed defenceman David Sklenicka on unconditional waivers for purpose of contract termination. He was recently demoted to the ECHL. In seven games with the AHL's Laval Rocket this season, Sklenicka had one goal and three points. 

He recorded three goals and nine points in 68 games with Laval last season. Sklenicka is the second-year of his two-yea, entry-level contract

A casualty of our depth in the AHL.  He's clearly not an NHL player but shouldnt have trouble finding a home on another AHL team.  Wonder if MB tried to move him or they went the contract termination route so he could go back to Europe?

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32 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

The Habs have placed defenceman David Sklenicka on unconditional waivers for purpose of contract termination. He was recently demoted to the ECHL. In seven games with the AHL's Laval Rocket this season, Sklenicka had one goal and three points. 

He recorded three goals and nine points in 68 games with Laval last season. Sklenicka is the second-year of his two-yea, entry-level contract

Who? To quote the kinot collective - Don't care!

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22 hours ago, maas_art said:

All valid points. If we werent on the hook for Alzner id probably be more interested. I worry that if Keith's contract becomes a problem + Alzner  - plus even guys like Byron and Weber who could regress..  Its just a tough situation when you know that guys like Domi and JK and Suzuki etc will all need hefty raises. I know that some contracts will come off the books of course. Dunno. I think id still pass on Keith but like you, ive certainly considered it 

Yeah, your probably right. It would certainly be a risk/reward type of situation. And the contacts are a concern. As you mentioned, some will for sure be coming off the books over the next few years. I would only be interested if A-there is confidence that he can perform at a legit level for at least the next two seasons. And B- it’s a good price (Juelson  and/or Hudon + a 2nd, or something along those lines)

I’ve also heard rumblings about another LD from Chicago (name eludes me atm). Might be interesting, but from what I’ve read he comes with his own reasons for concern. As well, I see Ghostebehere’s name has been floating around again. What concerns me about both of those players is the chance that we trade for/re-up them with a similarly large contract as Keith’s, but with more term, and for reasons unique to their own elements of risk/reward, we are stuck with the same cap management problems in 3 years.

Either way, i’d like to see us do something with our LD. And hopefully not waste a bunch of assets on a rental like Hall

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Will pull this back to the question of what MB did to improve the team in the off-season... again, his three major moves (if any of them can even be considered major) were to tradr Shaw and replace him with Suzuki in the line-up, let Benn walk and replace him with Chiarot, and swap in Kinkaid for Niemi. How are we doing with those moves?

- The obvious no-brainer failure is that Kinkaid has bombed and is already in the minors. He's the Mark Streit of this year. Or the Tomas Plekanec of this year. It seems that every year there's a player MB gambles on that works out terribly. In Kinkaid's case, he put up a GAA of 4.24 and Sv% of .875, which as hard as it was to outdo Niemi's mediocrity of last year, are both inferior to the 3.78 and .887 that Niemi put up in 2018-19.

- As for Suzuki and Chiarot, maybe slight upgrades. Suzuki has certainly shown he could be very good for a long while and it was without a doubt the right time to dump Shaw before health concerns hit, but Suzuki has put up 14 points in 29 games whereas Shaw played really well last year too and put up 47 in 63 games. Chiarot offensively has 10 points in 29 games, which is ahead of where Benn finished, with 22 points in 81 games. Combine the two players' offensive production together though and Suzuki/Chiarot are putting up an average of 0.41 points per game, whereas Shaw/Benn last year gave us 0.48 points per game, so it's also a drop-off. Harder to measure the 4 players' respective defensive outputs and I'd argue Chiarot has been a better possession player and better skater, but his performance on the PK has been abysmal and worse than what Benn gave us, so again, maybe a bit of a wash.

All that to say that if we're judging MB's body of work in the off-season, if anything it looks like he gave Julien an inferior roster than the one we had last year. Sure, we can argue about players progressing but for every Mete or Drouin that looks a bit better, you have a Kotkaniemi or Domi or Byron who is worse than last year. You can't look at this roster and believe they were going to be significantly better than last year, and on top of that, teams like Buffalo and Ottawa and Florida all took some steps forward in the off-season, meaning our division got tougher.

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57 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Will pull this back to the question of what MB did to improve the team in the off-season... again, his three major moves (if any of them can even be considered major) were to tradr Shaw and replace him with Suzuki in the line-up, let Benn walk and replace him with Chiarot, and swap in Kinkaid for Niemi. How are we doing with those moves?

- The obvious no-brainer failure is that Kinkaid has bombed and is already in the minors. He's the Mark Streit of this year. Or the Tomas Plekanec of this year. It seems that every year there's a player MB gambles on that works out terribly. In Kinkaid's case, he put up a GAA of 4.24 and Sv% of .875, which as hard as it was to outdo Niemi's mediocrity of last year, are both inferior to the 3.78 and .887 that Niemi put up in 2018-19.

- As for Suzuki and Chiarot, maybe slight upgrades. Suzuki has certainly shown he could be very good for a long while and it was without a doubt the right time to dump Shaw before health concerns hit, but Suzuki has put up 14 points in 29 games whereas Shaw played really well last year too and put up 47 in 63 games. Chiarot offensively has 10 points in 29 games, which is ahead of where Benn finished, with 22 points in 81 games. Combine the two players' offensive production together though and Suzuki/Chiarot are putting up an average of 0.41 points per game, whereas Shaw/Benn last year gave us 0.48 points per game, so it's also a drop-off. Harder to measure the 4 players' respective defensive outputs and I'd argue Chiarot has been a better possession player and better skater, but his performance on the PK has been abysmal and worse than what Benn gave us, so again, maybe a bit of a wash.

All that to say that if we're judging MB's body of work in the off-season, if anything it looks like he gave Julien an inferior roster than the one we had last year. Sure, we can argue about players progressing but for every Mete or Drouin that looks a bit better, you have a Kotkaniemi or Domi or Byron who is worse than last year. You can't look at this roster and believe they were going to be significantly better than last year, and on top of that, teams like Buffalo and Ottawa and Florida all took some steps forward in the off-season, meaning our division got tougher.

Technically its Cousins in for Shaw .... so a downgrade for sure.   

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