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2021-22 State of the Habs


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55 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

but at this point in his career we could say we might be better off with the Cap savings as a team rather then hoping for the all world goaltender he has been in the past. 

If they are going to have all this cap savings on Price, Weber , Drouin, Danault then they better use it wisely to replace the players that they lost 

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24 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

If they are going to have all this cap savings on Price, Weber , Drouin, Danault then they better use it wisely to replace the players that they lost 

Mostly true but I could also see taking on 1 dead or overpriced contract from a team in another conference in exchange for some significant draft choice additions for next year's draft. Picking at spot 20 or below doesn't keep the odds of the pipeline future strong. 

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46 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

If they are going to have all this cap savings on Price, Weber , Drouin, Danault then they better use it wisely to replace the players that they lost 

I would agree if the plan is to still contend for the Cup. We got along fine without JD and a banged up Weber, Petry and Gally,, not to mention a benched Tatar,, and for the most part Romanov. Shouldn't be much of a stretch to make us competitive again next season,,,, especially if we don't get the brutal schedule we endured in the last month or so. If we're planning on a mini rebuild for a year or 2,,, then by all means use that space to pick up assets and not sit on it like we did a couple years ago. As one of the richer teams in this League we need to take advantage of using our FULL CAP.

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Have said this many times before, but the team should have dealt Weber and Price 3 years ago when they had the chance. I think we easily could have had some top picks and a couple of top prospects like Jake Bean or Conor Timmins or Bowen Byram or Evan Bouchard or Noah Dobson or Oliver Wahlstrom or so on if we had done so. Opportunity missed. I'm also not thrilled about the contract we gave Gallagher and he's the next guy who's going to start wearing down and being a question mark for his contract. You need to keep a few vets, so we need him for now, but the idea for a GM is to get ahead of the curve and move guys out before they lose their value or demand big long-term contracts that go into their mid 30's.

Right now, the nucleus of the team is young. The best players in the playoffs were Suzuki, Caufield, Kotkaniemi, Toffoli early until he got hurt, Evans until he got hurt, Lehkonen, Armia, Edmundson, Petry... most of these guys will still be here a few years if we so choose. Add Anderson, Romanov, Poehling, Ylonen... I think there are enough quality player left here. And who knows, maybe Weber is back after a few months.

I'm not so pessimistic about this turnover because I largely feel like the vets have not been carrying us anyways. Danault was a defensive stalwart in the playoffs, but he produced little to no offence and he was crap in the regular season. Maybe Evans takes his spot and isn't as good defensively right away but I think he'll out-produce what Danault gave us too. Maybe we sign a Krejci to a short-term deal.

Tatar was written out of the plans too, as was Drouin, and if the latter doesn't get chosen in the ED, we should be able to bring something back as a return for him.

Weber and Price have reputations that out-performed their actual play, other than Price's playoff heroics. In the regular season, Price's numbers were fringe starter, never mind top 20 goalie in the league. And Weber was overmatched and taken advantage of for his lack of speed plenty of times. I really don't think these guys were carrying us on the ice.

Yes, we will need to find new leadership in the locker room, but many are pegging Suzuki as a potential captain down the line. He's clearly a big game player. Petry, Toffoli, Gallagher, Lehkonen, Armia, Byron, Perry, etc. can carry weight in the meantime. Really, the biggest hole that needs to be filled is what has been there for years: the defence. Only now the right side needs work and not just the left side. The left side will have great relief coming in 2 years. But we could use a Hamilton, a Seth Jones, a Werenski, a Dumba, a Bean, a Dunn, or someone else to be able to take on big minutes now and provide more jump-start from the back. Those holes are fixable via free agency or trade. It remains to be seen what MB can do, but if you remove Danault, Tatar, Weber, and at least one of Drouin or Price from next year's cap, there will be plenty of space to spend on a Hamilton and a Saad or so on.

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5 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Have said this many times before, but the team should have dealt Weber and Price 3 years ago when they had the chance. I think we easily could have had some top picks and a couple of top prospects like Jake Bean or Conor Timmins or Bowen Byram or Evan Bouchard or Noah Dobson or Oliver Wahlstrom or so on if we had done so. Opportunity missed. I'm also not thrilled about the contract we gave Gallagher and he's the next guy who's going to start wearing down and being a question mark for his contract. You need to keep a few vets, so we need him for now, but the idea for a GM is to get ahead of the curve and move guys out before they lose their value or demand big long-term contracts that go into their mid 30's.

Right now, the nucleus of the team is young. The best players in the playoffs were Suzuki, Caufield, Kotkaniemi, Toffoli early until he got hurt, Evans until he got hurt, Lehkonen, Armia, Edmundson, Petry... most of these guys will still be here a few years if we so choose. Add Anderson, Romanov, Poehling, Ylonen... I think there are enough quality player left here. And who knows, maybe Weber is back after a few months.

I'm not so pessimistic about this turnover because I largely feel like the vets have not been carrying us anyways. Danault was a defensive stalwart in the playoffs, but he produced little to no offence and he was crap in the regular season. Maybe Evans takes his spot and isn't as good defensively right away but I think he'll out-produce what Danault gave us too. Maybe we sign a Krejci to a short-term deal.

Tatar was written out of the plans too, as was Drouin, and if the latter doesn't get chosen in the ED, we should be able to bring something back as a return for him.

Weber and Price have reputations that out-performed their actual play, other than Price's playoff heroics. In the regular season, Price's numbers were fringe starter, never mind top 20 goalie in the league. And Weber was overmatched and taken advantage of for his lack of speed plenty of times. I really don't think these guys were carrying us on the ice.

Yes, we will need to find new leadership in the locker room, but many are pegging Suzuki as a potential captain down the line. He's clearly a big game player. Petry, Toffoli, Gallagher, Lehkonen, Armia, Byron, Perry, etc. can carry weight in the meantime. Really, the biggest hole that needs to be filled is what has been there for years: the defence. Only now the right side needs work and not just the left side. The left side will have great relief coming in 2 years. But we could use a Hamilton, a Seth Jones, a Werenski, a Dumba, a Bean, a Dunn, or someone else to be able to take on big minutes now and provide more jump-start from the back. Those holes are fixable via free agency or trade. It remains to be seen what MB can do, but if you remove Danault, Tatar, Weber, and at least one of Drouin or Price from next year's cap, there will be plenty of space to spend on a Hamilton and a Saad or so on.

I don't think MB is going to be able to get Saad or Hamilton unless he grossly overpays. Most free agents don't want to play here. Even in the media, NO ONE is saying anything about the habs picking up big UFAs. I don't think that's Bergevin's fault though. Rich hockey players don't want to live under a microscope, have to deal with a foreign language and then pay more in taxes. Both Saad and Hamilton make SO much sense and we can afford them, I haven't heard a peep from the media about us being players

If, as I suspect, we can't get the top free agents, I'd at least like to take on a short-term bad contract for some picks, though I don't know who has bad expiring deals but I'm sure there are some out there 

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57 minutes ago, habsisme said:

I don't think MB is going to be able to get Saad or Hamilton unless he grossly overpays. Most free agents don't want to play here. Even in the media, NO ONE is saying anything about the habs picking up big UFAs. I don't think that's Bergevin's fault though. Rich hockey players don't want to live under a microscope, have to deal with a foreign language and then pay more in taxes. Both Saad and Hamilton make SO much sense and we can afford them, I haven't heard a peep from the media about us being players

If, as I suspect, we can't get the top free agents, I'd at least like to take on a short-term bad contract for some picks, though I don't know who has bad expiring deals but I'm sure there are some out there 

1.I don't think we'll be Hamilton's first choice and I've said that before. But I do think he should be ours. Don't have to give up assets and he's exactly what we need as a PMD who can run a PP. If we want to win his services, it'll be because we convince him he's a fit in our line-up, that we're a contender, and that we can pay more than anyone else. But hey, in a pandemic world, some owners aren't going to have the revenue and may want to spend below the cap to make up for recent losses.

2. No one's talked about us but in general, no one talks about the Habs as free agency landing spots. The media love to talk about Toronto and New York and Boston and LA and they usually leave us out. They know MB doesn't usually spend and they know we weren't projected to have a lot of cap space. But if you take Danault, Drouin, Weber, and Price off the board, suddenly we do. So it makes it a lot more feasible for us to suddenly outbid someone if we really want to. No one really talked about us landing Gionta or Cammalleri or Gill or Moen when it happened either, and everyone was kind of surprised that Gainey let Koivu and Kovalev walk. It's always possible something similar happens.

3. I wouldn't rule out certain UFA's coming here. Brandon Saad and Nik Hjalmarsson have a history with Bergevin in Chicago. Matt Perreault and David Savard are from here and I believe MB will push extra hard to find some French players to replace Danault and Drouin. And even though some will hate it here, other players cherish the spotlight and playing in a hockey city. Toffoli wanted to come here. Perry wanted to come here. Anderson chose to sign here long-term, as did Drouin and Petry and Gallagher. Lafreniere said before the draft that if he could choose a team it would have been the Habs. PL Dubois has said he would want to come and play here. There are guys who want to be here. I'd rather be us than Buffalo, Winnipeg, Columbus, Phoenix, etc. Sure, teams like Florida and Dallas and so on have the advantage of no taxes and better-liked climates, but there are guys who will want to be here for the city, the history of the club, the fans and enivronment, and so on too.

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From Sportsnet:

Price is owed an $11-million signing bonus on September of 2021, and he’ll make a minimum of $5.5 million up front for every remaining season under contract. His actual salary will be $13 million for next season and it will never dip below $7.5 million at any point. And though he has lifted his no-movement clause for the expansion draft, he will retain it if claimed by the Kraken (meaning they cannot claim him and then flip him to another team without his consent).

 

If all that — on top of what Price is making on the cap — isn’t a concern to Francis, he isn’t doing his job properly.

But even Bergevin has to know that some of that concern can be mitigated by several factors.

Start with this one: Of the 30 players the Kraken will choose, none of them will come with the pedigree or notoriety of Price, a former Hart-, Vezina- and Ted Lindsay-Award winner who also has an Olympic gold medal on his mantle. There will be some great players available to the franchise, but none who can serve as adequately as the face of it.

Price’s wife, Angela, is from Washington State, and the family spent its last off-season there. And Price, born in Anahim Lake, B.C., would certainly help convert more than a few Vancouverites into Kraken fans, expanding the team’s reach and its merchandise sales.

So, for Francis, this won’t be as much about the remaining $44.25 million Price is owed on his eight-year, $84-million contract as it will the 13 per cent of Seattle’s annual cap that will be devoured over each of the next four seasons. And yeah, it’s going to count for a significant chunk in that final year, too, even if the cap rises.

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3 hours ago, habs1952 said:

 

From Sportsnet:

Price is owed an $11-million signing bonus on September of 2021, and he’ll make a minimum of $5.5 million up front for every remaining season under contract. His actual salary will be $13 million for next season and it will never dip below $7.5 million at any point. And though he has lifted his no-movement clause for the expansion draft, he will retain it if claimed by the Kraken (meaning they cannot claim him and then flip him to another team without his consent).

 

If all that — on top of what Price is making on the cap — isn’t a concern to Francis, he isn’t doing his job properly.

But even Bergevin has to know that some of that concern can be mitigated by several factors.

Start with this one: Of the 30 players the Kraken will choose, none of them will come with the pedigree or notoriety of Price, a former Hart-, Vezina- and Ted Lindsay-Award winner who also has an Olympic gold medal on his mantle. There will be some great players available to the franchise, but none who can serve as adequately as the face of it.

Price’s wife, Angela, is from Washington State, and the family spent its last off-season there. And Price, born in Anahim Lake, B.C., would certainly help convert more than a few Vancouverites into Kraken fans, expanding the team’s reach and its merchandise sales.

So, for Francis, this won’t be as much about the remaining $44.25 million Price is owed on his eight-year, $84-million contract as it will the 13 per cent of Seattle’s annual cap that will be devoured over each of the next four seasons. And yeah, it’s going to count for a significant chunk in that final year, too, even if the cap rises.

Based on what some of the insiders are reporting, this may be right. But  if I'm Seattle and want to make a questionable hockey move for marketing reasons, why not take PK?  He doesn't quite have Price's pedigree, but he's a former Norris winner and is far better in interviews and other PR related things than Price. And most importantly, while he also has a bad contract, there's just one year left, at which point you can likely bring him back for cheap.

It's not a perfect tradeoff: the move still has to make some sense from a hockey perspective, and Price has at least shown glimpses of his past self recently, plus more likely for an aging goalie to have a bounce-back season than a dman. But I just feel like if you're going to make a bad hockey move for "face of the franchise" reasons, there are better options. Of course, if they think it's a good hockey move even with that contract, none of that matters and they'll take him regardless (so much of this hinges on if Seattle thinks Price is still a top goaltender in this league).

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8 hours ago, Graeme-1 said:

Based on what some of the insiders are reporting, this may be right. But  if I'm Seattle and want to make a questionable hockey move for marketing reasons, why not take PK?  He doesn't quite have Price's pedigree, but he's a former Norris winner and is far better in interviews and other PR related things than Price. And most importantly, while he also has a bad contract, there's just one year left, at which point you can likely bring him back for cheap.

It's not a perfect tradeoff: the move still has to make some sense from a hockey perspective, and Price has at least shown glimpses of his past self recently, plus more likely for an aging goalie to have a bounce-back season than a dman. But I just feel like if you're going to make a bad hockey move for "face of the franchise" reasons, there are better options. Of course, if they think it's a good hockey move even with that contract, none of that matters and they'll take him regardless (so much of this hinges on if Seattle thinks Price is still a top goaltender in this league).

I believe he still has value as a defenseman. That said I highly doubt that Ron Francis would want PK as the face of the franchise. I believe he would much rather have a Price or someone similar. Also you don't want to start a new franchise with someone who true or not has the reputation of being questionable in the dressing room or "team" environment.  I just see Ron Francis as a no non since kind of GM as he was a player.

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13 hours ago, CaptWelly said:

I believe he still has value as a defenseman. That said I highly doubt that Ron Francis would want PK as the face of the franchise. I believe he would much rather have a Price or someone similar. Also you don't want to start a new franchise with someone who true or not has the reputation of being questionable in the dressing room or "team" environment.  I just see Ron Francis as a no non since kind of GM as he was a player.

All good points, even if the "marketing decision" might come from above Francis. I guess the argument for Price is he's a decent middle ground between a pure marketing decision and a pure hockey decision.

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27 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Drouin expected at training camp

weber not expected to play any further 

per Marc b 

 

2 minutes ago, Manatee-X said:

Interesting news about Drouin - makes you wonder why Seattle didn't pick him up if that's the case.

Yeah, very surprised.  But some of their moves were odd to be sure.


This is per TSN:
 

On Weber: 
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters Thursday that he is not expecting defenceman Shea Weber to play next season. Bergevin added that Weber's playing career might be over as multiple reports indicate he is dealing with knee, ankle and thumb injuries. Asked how bad Weber was injured during the postseason, Bergevin said he was amazed the defenceman was able to play. “I was amazed at how he played. He was one of our top players. I wasn’t aware (of the severity of Weber’s injuries)… Shea is a man of few words and isn’t the type to complain about the pain of his injuries.” “It’s hard for Shea. That’s all he knows. He’s a hockey player to his core… We had an emotional, deep conversation. It will be impossible to replace Shea Weber,"

 

 

On Price:
Bergevin said more tests are need but the team is currently only expecting him to need six-to-eight weeks to recover this off-season. "Nothing alarming at the moment. He played all the minutes in the playoffs and played very well. He had some bumps over the two months, but he's seeing doctors (in New York today). We're not expecting anything major, but we'll see once they look closely. Perhaps 6-8 weeks”, adding there’s a “small possibility it will be longer," Bergevin said.

 

On Drouin: 
Bergevin also told reporters that he expects forward Jonathan Drouin to be with the team to open training camp next season. "[Head coach Dominique Ducharme and I] met with [Drouin] on Tuesday. Jo feels great, he's focused and ready to go. Expect him to be in Montreal for the first day of camp," 

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4 hours ago, Manatee-X said:

Interesting news about Drouin - makes you wonder why Seattle didn't pick him up if that's the case.

I can think of 5.5 million reasons why the cheap Krakken opted for Cale Fleury vs Drouin (or for you theoreticals probably about 4.7 million reasons) 

I did one am happy to see JD back from a potential or even trade perspective 

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The news from the Habs just happens to come right after the ED... oh yeah, Price's injury isn't as bad as what was leaked. It's exactly what Stephane Waite said it was, a minor injury that requires a small surgery and a 1-2 month recovery and he should be back in shape. Ditto for Drouin, who suddenly looks like he'll be back. No doubt the Habs didn't want to say that until after the draft was over. If Seattle had known that, would they have taken him? Maybe not. They passed on a lot of talent because of cost. But Drouin is still young and has a lot of upside. I thought he would have been a target because of his upside, and if he never played again, they wouldn't have paid him anything. Still think he's more valuable as a gamble than Fleury as a sure-thing 3rd pairing D man. You can find a Fleury replacement as a cheap UFA. Harder to find a Drouin.

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22 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

The news from the Habs just happens to come right after the ED... oh yeah, Price's injury isn't as bad as what was leaked. It's exactly what Stephane Waite said it was, a minor injury that requires a small surgery and a 1-2 month recovery and he should be back in shape. Ditto for Drouin, who suddenly looks like he'll be back. No doubt the Habs didn't want to say that until after the draft was over. If Seattle had known that, would they have taken him? Maybe not. They passed on a lot of talent because of cost. But Drouin is still young and has a lot of upside. I thought he would have been a target because of his upside, and if he never played again, they wouldn't have paid him anything. Still think he's more valuable as a gamble than Fleury as a sure-thing 3rd pairing D man. You can find a Fleury replacement as a cheap UFA. Harder to find a Drouin.

yeah I don't think they were every taking Price, but I would have taken Drouin if I were them and knew he was going to be back. Glad he'll be back, it makes our line up look a lot better with a top 6 left shot left winger

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25 minutes ago, rkgoalie said:

hard pass on drouin, the guy is way to high maintenance , hope we trade him 

Part of me agrees with you but he has skill a lot of it too he would have been a big help on our PP in the finals. when he is on his game he is a very high end talent I hate when he takes nights off or hides from the heavy play but we need him to come back and play well even if it is so we can trade him as it was he was worthless.

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Stephane Waite, after being asked who would take over as captain from Weber, said everyone is talking about Gallagher and he likes him but he's not captain material. He said he's the guy who always shows up smiling and telling jokes, but he's not a leader and doesn't motivate others. He says that Petry is also an option but is too quiet. In sort, he says the best candidate on the squad would have been Perry, except that he's not signed and likely won't be there more than one season. He says teams don't pick captains to be captain for one season. So his choice would be Nick Suzuki, whom he sees as a leader on the ice who can blossom into a leader off the ice too.

FWIW, he would be my choice too. Lots of teams have turned the captaincy over to younger players (as we did with Koivu back in the day too) and Suzuki is a guy who plays well in big games, shows up with an effort consistently, and seems to be respected by teammates and officials (as opposed to Gallagher, who is seen as a pest and doesn't get any love from officials).

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Yeah, to be honest I really don't see a world where Gallagher is made captain.  Don't me wrong, I still like the guy and I'm glad he's on the team, but he doesn't strike me as a dressing room leader and (more importantly IMO) he's definitely not the guy we want talking to the refs.  I can see them going a year without a captain long before I see them giving it to Gally (especially since it's not a sure thing that Weber is out for good after this year). 

My guess is that they will run with three "A"s for now, and then give it to someone (Suzuki?) next year if Weber is indeed not coming back.

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8 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Stephane Waite, after being asked who would take over as captain from Weber, said everyone is talking about Gallagher and he likes him but he's not captain material. He said he's the guy who always shows up smiling and telling jokes, but he's not a leader and doesn't motivate others. He says that Petry is also an option but is too quiet. In sort, he says the best candidate on the squad would have been Perry, except that he's not signed and likely won't be there more than one season. He says teams don't pick captains to be captain for one season. So his choice would be Nick Suzuki, whom he sees as a leader on the ice who can blossom into a leader off the ice too.

FWIW, he would be my choice too. Lots of teams have turned the captaincy over to younger players (as we did with Koivu back in the day too) and Suzuki is a guy who plays well in big games, shows up with an effort consistently, and seems to be respected by teammates and officials (as opposed to Gallagher, who is seen as a pest and doesn't get any love from officials).

Anderson hands down, he is vocal, signed long term and plays hard (When not hurt lol)

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9 hours ago, Manatee-X said:

Yeah, to be honest I really don't see a world where Gallagher is made captain.  Don't me wrong, I still like the guy and I'm glad he's on the team, but he doesn't strike me as a dressing room leader and (more importantly IMO) he's definitely not the guy we want talking to the refs.  I can see them going a year without a captain long before I see them giving it to Gally (especially since it's not a sure thing that Weber is out for good after this year). 

My guess is that they will run with three "A"s for now, and then give it to someone (Suzuki?) next year if Weber is indeed not coming back.

^^ This and more out of respect for Weber rather than trying to immediately instill a captain or a replacement

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I agree, I don't think they'll actually name a new captain until Weber officially retires. But there's no way it should be Gallagher, he's too immature and as we said, he isn't respected by the refs. I'd rather Suzuki and if not Suzuki, I'd take Petry, Toffoli, Edmundson, Chiarot, or Byron over Gallagher... although not sure how long any of those guys will be around, whereas Suzuki is hopefully here a long time.

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