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2020-21 If I Were GM


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3 hours ago, maas_art said:

He absolutely should.   The idea that this team will contend again next year is pretty unlikely but im not sure if MB sees that.     CC, Suzuki, JK, Romanov will be here (and good) for a long time while players like Anderson, Toffoli, etc will still be here for a while.  Weber, Price, Chiarot, Edmundson, Petry - not so much.   Lets get the roster a little closer to the same age & move them while they are still valuable assets. 

I was pretty heavy into the category of thinking we don’t stand a chance at making the playoffs next year, but now I’m not so sure. I still think it will be tough, but I think we’ve grown a lot as a team over this past season. We’re going to have a little cap space to play with, with the departures of Tatar and Drouin. We’ll likely loose one of Chiarot or Edmundson in the ED. As long as re-signing Danault doesn’t break the bank ($4.5 seems reasonable for a defensive C), we should have enough space to fit in at least one more quality puzzle piece, 2 if we cut costs elsewhere. Depending on who we manage to add, it could be a huge boost. But for me, the most interesting part is the progression of Suzuki, and even more so, Caufield. If those two have the season I think their capable of, that could be a big time game changer!

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On 6/30/2021 at 10:35 PM, claremont said:

 

Analysis suggests offering long term to players at the age of 28-29 does not bode well for team value. I don't like Danault at any term beyond 5 years. If he can get 7-8 years like an RNH - adios amigo, as I think we can backfill what looks like a 2C/3C role with a trade as we likely overpay in F/A based on this year's crop. I admire Danault's contributions - It's just the business value / cap decision for me. We went 6 years on heart and soul Gallagher and 6 years on Anderson to identify a core, and both those players play a physical style susceptible to injuries. I'm not convinced Danault should be part of that 6 year core.  

Agreed. 4 to 5 years is enough. 

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39 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

I was pretty heavy into the category of thinking we don’t stand a chance at making the playoffs next year, but now I’m not so sure. I still think it will be tough, but I think we’ve grown a lot as a team over this past season. We’re going to have a little cap space to play with, with the departures of Tatar and Drouin. We’ll likely loose one of Chiarot or Edmundson in the ED. As long as re-signing Danault doesn’t break the bank ($4.5 seems reasonable for a defensive C), we should have enough space to fit in at least one more quality puzzle piece, 2 if we cut costs elsewhere. Depending on who we manage to add, it could be a huge boost. But for me, the most interesting part is the progression of Suzuki, and even more so, Caufield. If those two have the season I think their capable of, that could be a big time game changer!

How many Stanley cup finalists with the vast majority of their team returning, gave missed the playoffs the next year? 

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5 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

I don’t know the stats off the top of my head. Probably not often, but I’m sure it’s happened 

That makes two

of us. But I don’t see it happening. This is a Stanley Cup finalist team. Try to remember that. An ascended team. And a team with an AHL affiliate that dominated. 

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12 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Some big decisions upcoming for MB.

  • Corey Perry UFA. Does Bergevin try to bring him back?
  • Joel Armia UFA. Is he worth brining back? How much money would he even want?
  • Phillip Danault UFA. Does he get re-signed or does he test the UFA market?
  • Tomas Tatar UFA. I assume he's not coming back, but stranger things have happened.
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi RFA. I think we'll see a two year bridge-deal here.
  • Arturri Lehkonen RFA. Arbitration eligible. I think he's back next season!
  • Jonathan Drouin situation. Is Drouin a Hab next season?
  • Who gets protected in the expansion draft?
  • Our D still needs improvement. Will the solution be internal or external?

- Perry... I would consider bringing him back, but the price has to be right. Despite the fact he performed above expectations, he was really an asset because he was a bargain. If we had signed him to a 2.5M contract, we'd be talking more about him being like a Byron and not being worth his cap hit. At the end of the day, he's a 4th liner, and if you're paying Weber and Price what you're paying them and upping what you're giving Gallagher and Petry, then you need to be able to have 4th liners who are making 1M or less to compensate. So one year, max 1M for me or I'd let him walk.

- Armia... I think we should bring him back. He was a monster in the post-season and he actually still looks like he's getting better with time. I'm not sure he's peaked yet. Perry and Staal without Armia were bad, and he was really the guy who made that line click. On top of that, we still have a lot of small forwards and he's a good complement to what we have. I'd be fine with up to 3 years at 3 per season but I think we can keep him for less (maybe AAV 2.75M).

- Danault is a tough one. He's a key piece here and you just like being able to throw him out there and not have to worry about what the match-up is. That said, his value is going to fall over time. We're going to want to put Suzuki and JK and maybe even Evans or Poehling out there more and more and that's going to limit Danault's ability to contribute. To boot, Danault likely gets older and slower over the duration of this next contract and I do think our other centers would be able to fill the void over time. There would be growing pains without him next year, but I think we might be better off using that cap money elsewhere down the line. I would offer 4 years at 5.2M a season and not much more than that.

- Tatar is as good as gone. He clearly isn't valued here, which is bizarre, because his numbers and consistency were much better than some who were valued.

- Kotkaniemi is a guy I'd try to sign long-term. I think you could sign him now to 7 years at 5.5M a season. If you bridge him at 2.75-3.5M for the next two seasons, you probably end up paying 8M a year after that. I've said this about other guys before, but I think an organization needs to take a risk on younger guys before they prove themselves. Take a gamble and have faith that the guy you drafted 3rd overall is going to pan out. He's already way better than most guys his age, he's got a ton of experience in the playoffs for a 21 year-old and he's getting better with time.

- Lehkonen was great value in the post-season. He's a 3rd/4th line player but he has value in this league and GM's will drool over this type of player. I think 2-3 years at 2.75M and then let him have his free agency thereafter.

- Drouin is an unknown because his status has little to do with hockey. I think he has value as a player and fills a niche that can help us. We don't have a lot of great puck carriers on our team. That said, I don't know if Montreal is the right hockey market for him if he's not dealing well with the stress of playing. My gut is that he's traded before he comes back to play here, though I would protect him in the ED and think he brings you more value back via trade than you get by losing him in the ED.

 

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1 hour ago, habs1952 said:

As a GM, if Tampa calls looking to make a deal because of their cap issues, do you listen or do you hang up the phone?

Lol listen. 
Not a lot of players on that team that I wouldn’t be interested in adding under the right circumstances 

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50 minutes ago, tony5775 said:

See Tarasenko wants out of St Louis. If he can pass a physical. A Drouin swap might be good for both teams. 

Drouin? Might not even play hockey again. Such a mystery. He’s not trade worthy. Zero chance. 

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I think we know a few moves that Bergevin will definitely make before training camp. If Danault goes, he's definitely going to sign a veteran center for the bottom six. Someone to force competition from Evans and Poehling in camp. He's definitely going to look for another Karl Alzner, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson type player to acquire. He does it every damn season. Who is it gonna be this year? Marc Staal, Ryan Murray, Jason Demers, Erik Gudbranson?

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Go after Ovechkin or Tarasenko? :4224:

But seriously, he should target Jamie Oleksiak, Alec Martinez, Brandon Saad and Zach Hyman.  Secure a real no. 1 LHD to partner Weber as priority. Then strengthen the LW.

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4 hours ago, PuckPundit said:

But seriously, he should target Jamie Oleksiak, Alec Martinez, Brandon Saad and Zach Hyman.  Secure a real no. 1 LHD to partner Weber as priority. Then strengthen the LW.

I think we already have Oleksiak type of D men and zach Hyman  is rumors  say  looking for $5+ million - pass .

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It might be the most interesting off-season for Montreal in many, many seasons.

I see Kotkaniemi getting a 2 year bridge deal worth around $2-2.5 million per season. I see Lehkonen receiving a small raise on his last annual salary. Maybe something like $2.5-3 million on a 1-2 year deal. I don't think Danault will be back. I could see Bergevin trying to sign someone like Paul Stastny or Travis Zajac on the cheap. Not sure if either will be available, though. Perhaps someone like Erik Haula is more realistic. Provide some competition for the young centers heading into next season.

My biggest concern is what scrub of a defenceman is Bergevin gonna sign this year. I cannot see us getting Dougie Hamilton, but there are some other interesting names out there. I just hope we don't see, like, a 3-4 year offer for David Savard.

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43 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

It might be the most interesting off-season for Montreal in many, many seasons.

I see Kotkaniemi getting a 2 year bridge deal worth around $2-2.5 million per season. I see Lehkonen receiving a small raise on his last annual salary. Maybe something like $2.5-3 million on a 1-2 year deal. I don't think Danault will be back. I could see Bergevin trying to sign someone like Paul Stastny or Travis Zajac on the cheap. Not sure if either will be available, though. Perhaps someone like Erik Haula is more realistic. Provide some competition for the young centers heading into next season.

My biggest concern is what scrub of a defenceman is Bergevin gonna sign this year. I cannot see us getting Dougie Hamilton, but there are some other interesting names out there. I just hope we don't see, like, a 3-4 year offer for David Savard.

You have to think, with us going to the finals, MB wont be passive either. 

I would not be surprised at all to see us make a huge splash like a package including JK for Eichel or something.    The other thing to note is that several beat writers said that Merrill was plan C --  MB was really targetting a quality RHD to play behind Petry & Weber.    Its going to be interesting to see what this offseason brings.

We have guys like Poehling and Ylonen and Norlinder and Guhle who all could be ready next year, not to mention a matured Suzuki, a full year of CC etc...  

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2 hours ago, habby67 said:

We need a legit PP QB....

 

We do and we don’t. It certainly wouldn’t hurt, but Caufield did a pretty good job of QBing the unit from the half wall. If we can nab a gem I’m all for it, but if a deal can’t be made, either through trade or FA, I’m sure Gus could be retained at pennies on the dollar. And a combination of Gus and Caufield might be enough to at least get us somewhere around the league average, and that would be a significant improvement 

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30 minutes ago, MALMACIAN_CRUNCH said:

We do and we don’t. It certainly wouldn’t hurt, but Caufield did a pretty good job of QBing the unit from the half wall. If we can nab a gem I’m all for it, but if a deal can’t be made, either through trade or FA, I’m sure Gus could be retained at pennies on the dollar. And a combination of Gus and Caufield might be enough to at least get us somewhere around the league average, and that would be a significant improvement 

Agree.   Suzuki, Caufield - and maybe even guys like Norlinder (if he makes the team next year) or someone else. There's choices.

I do wonder if they would consider re-signing gus. Its probably too late to try to get him to play defense but the dude has all-world offensive vision. If they could somehow get him playing better away from the puck he'd be a monster player. He's got a 60 point season under his belt and is a career average 40 point defensman!  Unfortunately he probably accounts for as many goals going the other way but if you could work on him just becoming average defensively... you never know. 

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51 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Agree.   Suzuki, Caufield - and maybe even guys like Norlinder (if he makes the team next year) or someone else. There's choices.

I do wonder if they would consider re-signing gus. Its probably too late to try to get him to play defense but the dude has all-world offensive vision. If they could somehow get him playing better away from the puck he'd be a monster player. He's got a 60 point season under his belt and is a career average 40 point defensman!  Unfortunately he probably accounts for as many goals going the other way but if you could work on him just becoming average defensively... you never know. 

Gus’ definitely not a long term solution, but if used strategically, could make for a decent “fill in” for now. I really wish we would have dealt for Keith at the deadline instead of Gus and Meril (would probably still be playing right now if we did), Keith also would make for a nice short term solution, but it sounds like he’s got his sights set on Edmonton. Dunn is still an interesting option. I believe it was Mas who mentioned the idea of a blockbuster involving Dunn and Terasenko. Not sure we have the assets to swing a deal like that though

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We learned quite a bit from today's end-of-season pressers:

- Petry with broken finger, Weber with torn thumb ligament, Toffoli with pulled groin, Gallagher hurt... all conjectured during the playoffs but now out there.

- Bergevin says he would like Danault back. Danault saying his refusal to sign last September was largely because he thought Suzuki and JK would steal his minutes but that he sees a niche for himself as a two-way center and sees that a good team needs three good centers. So that seems to be less of an obstacle. Now a question of whether he accepts a reasonable deal. MB has already put it out there that he'd like to keep him so at this point, I think MB either protects him for the ED or trades him beforehand. I don't know that he'll expose him, even as a UFA, having already stated he wants him back.

- MB also says Drouin is doing well but that his future is up in the air. Suggests that he doesn't know if Drouin will play next year or ever play for the Habs again. As I wrote yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised if he's traded and that he isn't a fit for the pressure of playing in Montreal.

- MB says he thanks Tatar if indeed Tuna isn't back, and he says he believes Tatar will want to test the market and move elsewhere. Doesn't sound like he's coming back. Best case scenario for us might be if Seattle thinks they can sign him and claims him in the ED to get early negotiating rights. They'd certainly be a fit for Tatar, who likely wants to go somewhere where he'll be a top 6 forward.

- Perry says he'd like to come back and that he'll be playing hockey next year, ideally with the Habs. There's not much downside to signing him ahead of the ED, he won't get chosen regardless

- Staal says he would consider playing again but that he needs to talk things over with his wife and that family comes first, so he may well be done. He says he had injuries to his back when he got here, then a pec muscle where he couldn't take faceoffs well, then a neck injury with numbness in his hand... come on. How was he still being chosen over Evans or Kotkaniemi? The guy was off for most of his time here outside of maybe 7-8 games early in the playoffs. Time to move on.

- Allen says he'd like to be back but realizes he could be picked in the ED.

 

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10 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

- MB says he thanks Tatar if indeed Tuna isn't back, and he says he believes Tatar will want to test the market and move elsewhere. Doesn't sound like he's coming back. Best case scenario for us might be if Seattle thinks they can sign him and claims him in the ED to get early negotiating rights. They'd certainly be a fit for Tatar, who likely wants to go somewhere where he'll be a top 6 forward

The Kraken get a few days to talk to UFAs before they make their selections right?  That would be awesome if they picked Tatar because then we (essentially) wouldnt be losing him for nothing, we'd be losing him as our ED pick. 

 

12 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

- Staal says he would consider playing again but that he needs to talk things over with his wife and that family comes first, so he may well be done. He says he had injuries to his back when he got here, then a pec muscle where he couldn't take faceoffs well, then a neck injury with numbness in his hand... come on. How was he still being chosen over Evans or Kotkaniemi? The guy was off for most of his time here outside of maybe 7-8 games early in the playoffs. Time to move on.

Yeah, ive always been a big Staal fan & its obvious the guy would do ANYTHING to win but he's spent. Even if he gets 100% healthy by training camp, the chance he doesnt get injured again is slim.  I think there are a lot of better options out there & thats not even taking into account that Poehling may well be ready to move up next year. 

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Lets assume two things will happen over the next few weeks:

-  MB wont do the foolish move of going 4-4-1 in the ED and instead will protect 2 more players (7-3-1) which means Chiarot is almost certainly exposed and id say at that point its 50/50 that he or Allen gets claimed. 

- Lets just assume its Chairot.  We've got a quality pair in Edmundson-Petry.   Weber needs a partner & ideally a puck mover. If you look at the crop of UFA there's not a ton of really promising players (sure, there's guys Martinez or Hjalmarsson who might provide an upgrade for a year or two, but they are not ideal solutions. The one name that stands out above everyone else is Dougie Hamilton.  He's an elite defensman - the kind of guy who never makes it to UFA usually.   The big problem of course is that he's a RHD.  But one thing we've seen recently is that Weber plays pretty decently on his off-side.  Could we consider signing Hamilton & playing him with Weber at LD?  

Weber-Hamilton
Edmundson-Petry


Is obviously a HUGE improvement because you're replacing the weakest member of our top 4 with the guy who would be the strongest. Its likely a pipe dream - Hamilton wont be cheap - but he's also a guy you could sign long term & not worry about.  He's shown he's a bit of an odd ball for a hockey player - he prefers going to museums and art galleries than paintball with his teammates, so maybe the "culture" of a great city like Montreal & Quebec in general is actually a selling factor for him.  Who knows.  

The next 3-4 weeks may define Marc Bergevin.  Does he build on our playoff run & make us stronger, or do we regress? 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

Lets assume two things will happen over the next few weeks:

-  MB wont do the foolish move of going 4-4-1 in the ED and instead will protect 2 more players (7-3-1) which means Chiarot is almost certainly exposed and id say at that point its 50/50 that he or Allen gets claimed. 

- Lets just assume its Chairot.  We've got a quality pair in Edmundson-Petry.   Weber needs a partner & ideally a puck mover. If you look at the crop of UFA there's not a ton of really promising players (sure, there's guys Martinez or Hjalmarsson who might provide an upgrade for a year or two, but they are not ideal solutions. The one name that stands out above everyone else is Dougie Hamilton.  He's an elite defensman - the kind of guy who never makes it to UFA usually.   The big problem of course is that he's a RHD.  But one thing we've seen recently is that Weber plays pretty decently on his off-side.  Could we consider signing Hamilton & playing him with Weber at LD?  

Weber-Hamilton
Edmundson-Petry


Is obviously a HUGE improvement because you're replacing the weakest member of our top 4 with the guy who would be the strongest. Its likely a pipe dream - Hamilton wont be cheap - but he's also a guy you could sign long term & not worry about.  He's shown he's a bit of an odd ball for a hockey player - he prefers going to museums and art galleries than paintball with his teammates, so maybe the "culture" of a great city like Montreal & Quebec in general is actually a selling factor for him.  Who knows.  

The next 3-4 weeks may define Marc Bergevin.  Does he build on our playoff run & make us stronger, or do we regress? 

Dougie Hamilton is an enigma for me - not sure he's the character fit. Personally I would shed no tears if Chiarot were to be claimed given the overlap in his game with Edmundson. Given a $3.5M defense saving, I would like them to target Vince Dunn post-draft as he is almost a certainty for claim by Seattle from St. Louis, and he would provide strong LHD youth support while we wait on one or two of Norlinder, Harris, Struble and Guhle to develop. Problem is that there are a few other teams like Detroit that will covet some D, and they have cap room to take other dead contracts in any trade. Seattle will have a good block of likely acquired D that may not fit into their long term plans. Expansion draft crowd sourcing suggests Dunn, Dumba, Toews / Graves, Pesce/Bean all of which could be enticing for Montreal to approach Seattle on. I don't believe Seattle will obtain much in the forward pool unless they take some free agents. 

Totally agree that this expansion draft, free agency, but not so much on the NHL entry draft, will provide us with a sense of strength vs blah blah 

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3 hours ago, maas_art said:

Lets assume two things will happen over the next few weeks:

-  MB wont do the foolish move of going 4-4-1 in the ED and instead will protect 2 more players (7-3-1) which means Chiarot is almost certainly exposed and id say at that point its 50/50 that he or Allen gets claimed. 

- Lets just assume its Chairot.  We've got a quality pair in Edmundson-Petry.   Weber needs a partner & ideally a puck mover. If you look at the crop of UFA there's not a ton of really promising players (sure, there's guys Martinez or Hjalmarsson who might provide an upgrade for a year or two, but they are not ideal solutions. The one name that stands out above everyone else is Dougie Hamilton.  He's an elite defensman - the kind of guy who never makes it to UFA usually.   The big problem of course is that he's a RHD.  But one thing we've seen recently is that Weber plays pretty decently on his off-side.  Could we consider signing Hamilton & playing him with Weber at LD?  

Weber-Hamilton
Edmundson-Petry


Is obviously a HUGE improvement because you're replacing the weakest member of our top 4 with the guy who would be the strongest. Its likely a pipe dream - Hamilton wont be cheap - but he's also a guy you could sign long term & not worry about.  He's shown he's a bit of an odd ball for a hockey player - he prefers going to museums and art galleries than paintball with his teammates, so maybe the "culture" of a great city like Montreal & Quebec in general is actually a selling factor for him.  Who knows.  

The next 3-4 weeks may define Marc Bergevin.  Does he build on our playoff run & make us stronger, or do we regress? 

My personal hunch based on what Bergevin sees as valuable is that (barring a trade beforehand) he goes 4-4-1. It comes down to whether he wants to protect Chiarot or Drouin/Evans/Lehkonen. Personally, I see the forward group as being more valuable, but I think MB sees Chiarot as having greater value, despite his age and impending free agency. We also have very little coming in as replacements on D, so unless he has another move planned, I think that's his play. I disagree with it, but that's my guess on how Bergevin is thinking. Personally, I would make a move for a Dumba, a Dunn, or a Jake Bean from a team that can't protect everyone and maybe look at swinging them Drouin in the trade, since I don't think he'll be back and some of those teams have forward spots they can use to protect guys. Then I'd protect the new guy, Petry, and Edmundson. I don't think Weber gets taken.

Would love to have Hamilton too, but I don't think he's a MB type guy and I don't think he wants to play in a pressure cooker. He's a stay out of the spotlight type and Montreal ain't that.

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