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2021-22 State of the Habs


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On 8/21/2021 at 9:33 AM, bampy said:

You can say what you want about the rookies and what you hope and wish for, but in your mind, you know they need a #1 center and a #1 defenceman.  Bergevin was too cheap in not going all in on Hamilton which would have solved the D problem, instead of throwing a few darts at the board.  Also, he should have gone in with the Rangers and Sabres and gotten Zibanejad for Kot and a 1st and 3rd draft pick  to the Sabres while the Rangers throw a 2nd in for Eichel.  Bingo, both problems solved.  I love Suzuki, but at this point in his career, you don't just put him there and hope he succeeds because you want him to!.  The money would have worked out to with Weber, Byron, Drouin.

I kind of see it more as you draft Zuke to play the position he comes in and does great so you keep going expecting that he will continue to develop. I am not worried about him at all, KK on the other hand could go either way fact is we have to know now so we can make what move we need to down that road. On D we did all of last year with Webber hurt so we know what that looks like I will agree we could use a #1 Dman but when it comes to center I am fine with starting with the guys we have and seeing what they can do. In a cap world we can't have it all and we also never know who really wants to come here or not.

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This will eventually be awful. No matter what they say "one small" will lead to jerseys like foreign teams. May as well be NASCAR. Once they get that sponsor ship money it will grow. It was bad enough the boards covered then the ice , buildings names now are just advertising. All this extra money you would think ticket prices could be lowered............HA HA HA!!!. I love hockey but hat this turn in the future Molson Canadiens , Cesare's Wings and down the line. And so it begins ...........it will never end, all about the $ 

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Habs finished 18th, in the NHL Power Rankings: Teams with the best 5-year window. Probably sounds about right. Still haven't addressed that puck moving first or second D. Who knows which CP will show up? Who knows how the young centers hold up? One more month..........

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4 hours ago, electron58 said:

Habs finished 18th, in the NHL Power Rankings: Teams with the best 5-year window. Probably sounds about right. Still haven't addressed that puck moving first or second D. Who knows which CP will show up? Who knows how the young centers hold up? One more month..........

Funny how they beat a lot of super teams though........experts and rankings have no clue. until we play the games and see how things shape up on the ice it is all just B.S.

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5 hours ago, electron58 said:

Habs finished 18th, in the NHL Power Rankings: Teams with the best 5-year window. Probably sounds about right. Still haven't addressed that puck moving first or second D. Who knows which CP will show up? Who knows how the young centers hold up? One more month..........

About what I would expect. We have a lot of uncertainty on this team. There are some good, young players, but... There's also so, so many question marks.

  • What Carey Price are we going to get next season?
  • Can Kotkaniemi take a step forward in his development?
  • What will Caulfield's first full-season look like?
  • How badly will we feel the loss of Shea Weber?
  • Does Petry have what it takes to lead the D?
  • With the loss of Danault, how good/bad will our centers be this season?
  • Are there any prospects that might surprise us and make the team out of camp?
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2 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

About what I would expect. We have a lot of uncertainty on this team. There are some good, young players, but... There's also so, so many question marks.

  • What Carey Price are we going to get next season?
  • Can Kotkaniemi take a step forward in his development?
  • What will Caulfield's first full-season look like?
  • How badly will we feel the loss of Shea Weber?
  • Does Petry have what it takes to lead the D?
  • With the loss of Danault, how good/bad will our centers be this season?
  • Are there any prospects that might surprise us and make the team out of camp?

I think a lot of fans forget a lot of things

1. Price is still Price, no matter what version shows up he is still better than half the starting goalies in the league

2. KK just turned 21 and elevates his game significantly in the playoffs. He also hasn't been consistently given top 6 wingers at any point over the last 3 years.

3. Caufield could start in the AHL, it's not a given that he makes the team out of camp. We already have too many wingers and he is waiver exempt.

4. Weber hasn't been consistently healthy since being traded for, sure he elevated his play in the playoffs but outside of that he has been injured more than healthy.

5. Whenever Weber has been injured Petry has filled the void nicely already there is no reason to think this will change.

6. Danault has never contributed enough offensively and defensively KK, Zuke and Evans held their own against the top talent of the Leafs, Jets and Knights and everyone faltered against the Lightening including Danault.

7. Any of Poehling, Norlinder, Yelonen and Guhle IMO could surprise enough to get on the opening night roster

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4 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

Funny how they beat a lot of super teams though........experts and rankings have no clue. until we play the games and see how things shape up on the ice it is all just B.S.

Someone needs to start keeping statistics on the pundits and experts so we as fans can rank them. 

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1 hour ago, habs1952 said:

Someone needs to start keeping statistics on the pundits and experts so we as fans can rank them. 

I know! so much BS and hot air out there! we have a pretty good team no real superstars at the top of their games but a lot of very good players. superstars did not help a lot of the teams we played in the playoffs other than Tampa who cheated the cap to have more than most!

 

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On 8/24/2021 at 9:10 AM, jennifer_rocket said:

About what I would expect. We have a lot of uncertainty on this team. There are some good, young players, but... There's also so, so many question marks.

  • What Carey Price are we going to get next season?          
  • Can Kotkaniemi take a step forward in his development? 
  • What will Caulfield's first full-season look like?                  
  • How badly will we feel the loss of Shea Weber?               
  • Does Petry have what it takes to lead the D?                    
  • With the loss of Danault, how good/bad will our centers be this season? 
  • Are there any prospects that might surprise us and make the team out of camp? 

For sure. I've included my thoughts in bold.

  • What Carey Price are we going to get next season?            Haven't been able to count on him during the season, in a while.
  • Can Kotkaniemi take a step forward in his development?     I hope so.  Maybe with regular & better line mates for a full season?
  • What will Caulfield's first full-season look like?                      I think he is the real deal! They won't make the same mistake, and not play him!
  • How badly will we feel the loss of Shea Weber?   Not too badly.  Hasn't been the same for 2 seasons now. David Savard will replace what Weber was.
  • Does Petry have what it takes to lead the D?                        Definitely does, if they go with 6 D.  Not if they go with 4 D, like the playoffs.
  • With the loss of Danault, how good/bad will our centers be this season?   I don't think Danault will be missed, although, it would have been nice to have him.
  • Are there any prospects that might surprise us and make the team out of camp?   Poehling, Ylonen & Norlinder come to mind.
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Personally I actually think Weber being out and the addition of Caufield will help Price more than anything and he will have a great year.  First off Savard is way more mobile than Weber, being more mobile makes him a better defender this should help Price.  Secondly Cauefield will put the puck in the net, more goals a game will take some of the pressure off Price where he feels he will not have to be perfect every game .

Also having a full season of Allen behind him knowing what he can bring to the table to play some games and alleviate some of the pressure will help Price as well.

 

Lets face it he is no the Price of 5 yrs ago but he is still one of the best in the game

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8 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

Personally I actually think Weber being out and the addition of Caufield will help Price more than anything and he will have a great year.  First off Savard is way more mobile than Weber, being more mobile makes him a better defender this should help Price.  Secondly, Caufield will put the puck in the net, more goals a game will take some of the pressure off Price where he feels he will not have to be perfect every game .

Also having a full season of Allen behind him knowing what he can bring to the table to play some games and alleviate some of the pressure will help Price as well.

 

Lets face it he is no the Price of 5 yrs ago but he is still one of the best in the game

Good analysis.  I'm hoping that it does work out that way. Although it didn't last year,(regular season)  maybe we can attribute it to CP's injury?

He was lights out, for most of the playoffs.  So, he does have the ability still.

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37 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

I would say JD back at center is a real possibility if MB lets KK go and can't find a trading partner for a replacement. Plan C obviously.

even if he does, when ijuries inevitably happen Drouin will probably be play C at some point this season

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18 hours ago, habsisme said:

even if he does, when ijuries inevitably happen Drouin will probably be play C at some point this season

We actually have quite a few guys who can / have played centre so im not sure who the next "go to" guy would be.  Drouin, Byron, Hoffman, Perrault.. im just not sure if any are better there full time than they are on the wing...

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3 hours ago, maas_art said:

We actually have quite a few guys who can / have played centre so im not sure who the next "go to" guy would be.  Drouin, Byron, Hoffman, Perrault.. im just not sure if any are better there full time than they are on the wing...

I really feel like a move is in the works, I am kind of into it as I did not see us doing well with KK as the 2nd center he just seems to be stalled out I may be wrong perhaps he will take a big jump with the Canes behind all those other young centers.....

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3 hours ago, ramcharger440 said:

I really feel like a move is in the works, I am kind of into it as I did not see us doing well with KK as the 2nd center he just seems to be stalled out I may be wrong perhaps he will take a big jump with the Canes behind all those other young centers.....

I think he would have a huge uphill climb here thats for sure. As i said in another thread, if the fans were hard on him at $.9m  imagine how they will be when he's making $6.1m. 

I think its more an more likely MB doesnt match but i guess you never know. 

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https://thehockeywriters.com/canadiens-should-extend-suzuki-avoid-offer-sheets/

Canadiens Should Extend Suzuki Now to Avoid Potential Offer Sheets

September 2, 2021 by Blain Potvin
With the backdrop of the Carolina Hurricanes revenge one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet on Jesperi Kotkaniemi, the importance of Nick Suzuki to the Montreal Canadiens grows. In his two NHL seasons, he has established himself as the Habs’ top-line center and a legitimate top-six center in the league.

From his first season starting as a fourth-line right winger, to now, when he finished the playoffs, helping lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup Final playing on the top line, matched up against top-six opponents. He led all forwards in time on ice at 19:11, putting up seven goals and 16 points in 22 games, leading the team in both offensive categories all while starting in the defensive zone 50.6% of the time. Proving, that head coach Dominique Ducharme trusted him in all situations.

Impact of the Offer Sheet

While it is clearly vengeance that led to this situation with Kotkaniemi, it also highlights the importance of what this offer sheet does. The offer sheet provides an example of what can happen to a team if they can’t convince their young restricted free agents (RFA) to sign extensions before the window opens to other franchises to negotiate with them and take away the ability to control the cap structure they deem appropriate for their own franchise.

The Kotkaniemi offer sheet also highlights the importance of locking up core players immediately. This revelation in Montreal provides Suzuki even more leverage in contract negotiations. Not only does it provide general manager Marc Bergevin added motivation to not allow his players exposure to negotiating with other teams, which could alter his cap structure plans if they decide to sign much higher salary deals or use the treat of signing as leverage, but Suzuki has become what the franchise has spent decades to find: a top-line center.

There are two options available to the Canadiens with Suzuki, a bridge deal or a long-term deal. Both have their merits, but what could they look like now with an offer sheet to be used as a comparable deal.

Bridge Deal

The Canadiens Bergevin have had a method to managing the salary cap by using the bridge deal model. Important core players such as PK Subban, Max Pacioretty, and Carey Price have all had these put into place prior to signing long term deals. While this has allowed management to ensure they haven’t overspent on young players that haven’t met their potential, it also provides less opportunity for them to lock up a potential top performer at a reasonable cap hit over the long term.

In Suzuki’s case, it is less likely he would want this option. Even with the Kotkaniemi deal as a comparable, it is still an outlier as it is clearly an overpayment designed for Carolina to poach him away, so it could be ignored in a negotiation in the short term.

However, if it were the path to be decided upon, it would not unreasonable to think that Suzuki’s agents could use New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal as a comparable in a bridge deal. They have had similar impacts to their teams at similar ages, they’ve also produced similar offensive numbers in their rookie and sophomore seasons. The $7 million cap hit over a three-year deal is also above the one-year deal that Kotkaniemi signed, so it does keep the order of importance in salary structure in line with that of their on-ice impacts. This would not be an unreasonable request on Suzuki’s part, and it is one that could open the Habs up to paying significantly more down the line if he is able to elevate his game as Barzal has in his third and fourth seasons.

Long Term Deal

For Canadiens management, it is more likely they would want this option now for multiple reasons. As mentioned above, a bridge deal is already likely to place a high cap hit onto their salary structure anyway. Yet the main reason Suzuki has proven himself as a capable two-way center who can produce offensively in a top-line role.

Suzuki is also more likely to want a long-term deal as well. With the uncertainty around the salary cap, labour stoppages, and even possible injuries; a guarantee of financial security could be his preference, if it meets his perceived value.

One comparable could be New Jersey Devils center, Nico Hischier’s seven-year, $7.25 million per season deal, which was 8.9% of the team’s cap at the time of signature. Both players were drafted in 2017, with Hischier being the top pick in that draft. Despite a setback this season due to some injuries, while they play a different style of game, he has established himself as the Devils’ top center. At the same age, Suzuki has done the same for the Canadiens

n Hischier’s first two seasons, he established himself as their top-line center, however, it was in a more sheltered method as he began his shifts in the offensive zone over 61% of the time, while Suzuki has slightly lower, yet similar, offensive zone starts stats. Point production projected over a full season was also similar at around 60 points in an 82 game schedule.

Another comparable that could be used is Sean Couturier’s eight-year, $7.75 million per season deal which was 9.39% of the team’s cap at the time of signature. While Couturier plays a slightly different style, the outcome is what the Canadiens and their fans expect from Suzuki, a top-line two-way center who can play a shutdown role but also provide offence.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ center had 41 points this season, the same as Suzuki, however, he did so in less games played while being relied upon heavily as the team’s top defensive center. Suzuki had Phillip Danault to rely on last season to help shoulder some of the defensive burden, something that will not be available now as Danault has signed with the Los Angeles Kings. Nevertheless, Suzuki has provided similar offensive numbers while playing in a top-line role as Couturier has. His agent can argue he can project to have a similar two-way impact in his prime years of play as Couturier has had.

The Best Decision

A long-term deal is the best choice for the Canadiens to extend Suzuki. But, what could this possibly look like for Suzuki in that long-term deal? He could ask for a full eight-year term, just as Couturier has. He could also ask for slightly more as he has been as productive as his comparables, while also being the main piece of a Stanley Cup Final team as well as having better playoff production to match his high-level performances. For his cap hit, due to his impact, importance to the team and the maturity of his game that reaches beyond his 22 years of age, he could ask for $8 million per season

Eight million isn’t out of reach for Suzuki in a long-term deal. It is higher than a possible bridge deal or the salaries of that of his comparables, but his playoff performances in even such a short time can be used to justify a slightly higher cap hit. What this also does is demonstrate to the player that management believes in him, and in choosing to buy some of his unrestricted free agency (UFA) years, it could protect against what could become a higher cap hit if he becomes a UFA after reaching his potential, making it harder to pay for a supporting cast such as Alexander Romanov, or Cole Caufield. A long-term deal, signed as soon as possible makes the most sense for the Canadiens to begin building around their top young center

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