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This is a great signing. It's exactly what I've been saying the Habs needed to do for a while: identify a player or two that you see as your core from a young age and lock them up through their prime years. We have him for 9 more years, right through his best hockey and then we have the option of walking away in his early 30's before he falls off a cliff (if indeed he does). Sure, 7.8M is an overpayment for the next year or two, but you have him signed for UFA years for half the contract. If you had bridged him for 2-3 years and played him as your 1C for that period, he almost certainly continues on the progression arc he's shown us so far and that means that instead of paying him 7.8M until he's 31, we'd be paying him 10M+ per year through age 33 or 34. Maybe Suzuki flops, but you can say that about any player. I'd much rather have an established young player and take a chance on prime years than signing a 28 or 29 year-old through age 35 at 7-8M AAV. IMO, this is one of the best signings MB has made in his time here.

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1 minute ago, BigTed3 said:

This is a great signing. It's exactly what I've been saying the Habs needed to do for a while: identify a player or two that you see as your core from a young age and lock them up through their prime years. We have him for 9 more years, right through his best hockey and then we have the option of walking away in his early 30's before he falls off a cliff (if indeed he does). Sure, 7.8M is an overpayment for the next year or two, but you have him signed for UFA years for half the contract. If you had bridged him for 2-3 years and played him as your 1C for that period, he almost certainly continues on the progression arc he's shown us so far and that means that instead of paying him 7.8M until he's 31, we'd be paying him 10M+ per year through age 33 or 34. Maybe Suzuki flops, but you can say that about any player. I'd much rather have an established young player and take a chance on prime years than signing a 28 or 29 year-old through age 35 at 7-8M AAV. IMO, this is one of the best signings MB has made in his time here.

yeah if there is anyone to take a chance on its Suzuki, Hopefully we have a similar signing for Caufield next year

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25 minutes ago, habsisme said:

yeah if there is anyone to take a chance on its Suzuki, Hopefully we have a similar signing for Caufield next year

I said the same thing, we finally have some real good core young talent here do not lose it by screwing around, pay them what they will be worth and we can build a good core that we can afford. in my mind this was the biggest mistakes MB made in the begining with Subban even Price he could have tried to work something out sooner with them kept the cost a bit more in line with what he needed to spend and still had money to get other players.

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8 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

I said the same thing, we finally have some real good core young talent here do not lose it by screwing around, pay them what they will be worth and we can build a good core that we can afford. in my mind this was the biggest mistakes MB made in the begining with Subban even Price he could have tried to work something out sooner with them kept the cost a bit more in line with what he needed to spend and still had money to get other players.

it takes two though, these days players sometime prefer the bridge deal. We're lucky Suzuki was open to it. Hopefully Caufield will be as well

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10 hours ago, 26NCounting said:

I think this is a fantastic signing, I don't mind the term or the financials pretty standard contract IMO for a #1 center

Exactly.  Gonna be a great #1 center.  Trajectory is up. Smart player and wants to be here. Captain material. Clutch player. Weber's contract set the standard. Shouldn't see any future contracts higher than this. So yes. Great signing.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/22/2021 at 9:28 PM, maas_art said:

Slick Nick is one of the guys im least worried about. Same with Caufield.  There will be an adjustment period to be sure but I think they'll both start getting the points soon enough. 

Yeah, not too worried about Suzuki's early season start. I'm sure he'll come around soon. I still expect 50-60 points for him on the year.

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26 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Yeah, not too worried about Suzuki's early season start. I'm sure he'll come around soon. I still expect 50-60 points for him on the year.

Agree.  Its a slump. Its just crappy its happening at the beginning of the season, all at once, but a couple of multipoint games & he'll be back to close to a PPG. I assume there will be adjustments. 

Im not in love with gallagher/hoffman as his linemates but i also think he's capable of playing with pretty much any of our wingers so Im not too worried. 

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On 10/26/2021 at 11:11 AM, maas_art said:

Agree.  Its a slump. Its just crappy its happening at the beginning of the season, all at once, but a couple of multipoint games & he'll be back to close to a PPG. I assume there will be adjustments. 

Im not in love with gallagher/hoffman as his linemates but i also think he's capable of playing with pretty much any of our wingers so Im not too worried. 

Hoffman and Suzuki should be fine, Hoffman has a great release and Suzuki is a great playmaker.   Gallagher's play style however doesn't supplement NS's.   And Gallagher ... well, think we may regret having extended him.

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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

Hoffman and Suzuki should be fine, Hoffman has a great release and Suzuki is a great playmaker.   Gallagher's play style however doesn't supplement NS's.   And Gallagher ... well, think we may regret having extended him.

Yeah its not so much that I dont think Hoffman would be good with nick, I just think on this roster you want to give Nick 18,19 - 20 minutes a night. That means his left wing would ideally be Toffoli or Drouin, Hoffman is our 3rd best LW imho but i can live with him there.  That said, Suzuki passes left more as  RH centre so if there's anyone who could benefit for one time passes from Suzuki, its probably Hoffman. 

At RW you ideally want your best RW which, if its not CC already, soon will be.  So you're right, Hoffman - Suzuki - CC would be fine too but i still think i prefer some variation of Toffoli, Drouin, Anderson and CC as my top 2 line wingers. 

The Gallagher extension was a mistake at the time & will become more so in the future. I love Gally, i really do.  Dude leaves everything on the ice but hes on what his 10th season? Some really heavy mileage on that body & he's already had some serious injury issues.  $6.5m isnt the worst contract ever but 5 more years...not ideal.  He's already behind Anderson & probably Caufield on our depth chart. If we think with our brain & not our heart, we'd be in better shape now if we had let Gallagher walk & kept (and slightly overpaid) Danault tbh. 




 

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

The Gallagher extension was a mistake at the time & will become more so in the future. I love Gally, i really do.  Dude leaves everything on the ice but hes on what his 10th season? Some really heavy mileage on that body & he's already had some serious injury issues.  $6.5m isnt the worst contract ever but 5 more years...not ideal.  He's already behind Anderson & probably Caufield on our depth chart. If we think with our brain & not our heart, we'd be in better shape now if we had let Gallagher walk & kept (and slightly overpaid) Danault tbh. 




 

Yeah, the money isn't the issues its the term for a player whose playing style is going to seriously eat into his longevity.    He's already showing signs of severe wear and tear.

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2 hours ago, maas_art said:

Yeah its not so much that I dont think Hoffman would be good with nick, I just think on this roster you want to give Nick 18,19 - 20 minutes a night. That means his left wing would ideally be Toffoli or Drouin, Hoffman is our 3rd best LW imho but i can live with him there.  That said, Suzuki passes left more as  RH centre so if there's anyone who could benefit for one time passes from Suzuki, its probably Hoffman. 

At RW you ideally want your best RW which, if its not CC already, soon will be.  So you're right, Hoffman - Suzuki - CC would be fine too but i still think i prefer some variation of Toffoli, Drouin, Anderson and CC as my top 2 line wingers. 

The Gallagher extension was a mistake at the time & will become more so in the future. I love Gally, i really do.  Dude leaves everything on the ice but hes on what his 10th season? Some really heavy mileage on that body & he's already had some serious injury issues.  $6.5m isnt the worst contract ever but 5 more years...not ideal.  He's already behind Anderson & probably Caufield on our depth chart. If we think with our brain & not our heart, we'd be in better shape now if we had let Gallagher walk & kept (and slightly overpaid) Danault tbh.
 

I'd flip your point around a little bit because I agree with your thinking that you want your best sharpshooter on Suzuki's left, hence why I've been arguing last year and this year that this is where Caufield should be. Caufield's track record at Wisconsin shows he scored more goals from the left side of the ice than the right, despite being a "RW." I think that's legitimately where you want him to be. So I'd be putting Caufield there, which addresses the desire to have a shooter there like Hoffman but also addresses the preference to have it be a guy who you don't mind being on the ice the same minutes as Suzuki. The 3rd player on that line would ideally be someone who can keep up with those two speed-wise but can also score and provide some size, since neither Nick or Cole are overly physical. I think you could make an argument for Armia there, but in the context of putting forth a player who you wouldn't mind getting big offensive minutes, it likely makes more sense to play Anderson in that role. So if it were my choice, I'd actually play it as Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson.

As for other lines, Drouin historically has played better with a winger on the opposite side who provides size and does the dirty work to get the puck. He too has done well with Anderson and Armia opposite him. That said, despite his smaller stature, Gallagher is also a player who goes to the net, takes hits, gets the puck, and can score too. So I'd almost wonder about Gallagher playing opposite Drouin and giving him more offence than Armia provides. FWIW, I completely agree with you about the Gallagher contract being a bad one... I said it when it was signed, but we really paid him based on what he's done for us and the fact we underpaid him on his last deal. But this new one is going to look bad by the end of it. That said, he's still one of our top 6 players for now, so I'd try to keep him going offensively. Where I'm a bit lost is what to do at center, and this is where losing Kotkaniemi hurts because he's frankly the guy I would have put between those two. Dvorak is easily the next best center on the roster now and there's a drop-off after him, so you could go Drouin-Dvorak-Gallagher, but then that leaves very little below that. Having seen the poor center play we've gotten so far this year, I'm almost inclined at this point to agree with those who suggested we give Drouin another shot at center. He's said he'd be interested in it and I'll come back now to what I've said about guys like Eller, Galchenyuk, and Kotkaniemi in the past: if your season already seems to be heading down the drain and if you don't have a lot standing in the way of these skilled guys, why not give them a shot at a top 6 center role and at least find out what they can do. Drouin is clearly our best puck carrier through the neutral zone and maybe he's matured a bit in terms of his defensive responsibility, which was the big knock on him the first time around at center. Make that move, and it allows you to move up one of Toffoli or Hoffman to the LW and slide Dvorak into more of a two-way role. So in summary, we could end up with something like

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Toffoli-Drouin-Gallagher

Hoffman-Dvorak-Armia

Perreault-Evans-Lehkonen

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5 hours ago, HabsAlways said:

Hoffman and Suzuki should be fine, Hoffman has a great release and Suzuki is a great playmaker.   Gallagher's play style however doesn't supplement NS's.   And Gallagher ... well, think we may regret having extended him.

Agreed.  Gallagher hasn't been productive for a very long time, including the recent playoff run.  I know he is the heart & soul, but I would have traded him, when his value was high.  I don't think it will ever get as high again, and that contract will be a burden, unless he goes on LTIR. (and you can never predict that)

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I'd flip your point around a little bit because I agree with your thinking that you want your best sharpshooter on Suzuki's left, hence why I've been arguing last year and this year that this is where Caufield should be. Caufield's track record at Wisconsin shows he scored more goals from the left side of the ice than the right, despite being a "RW." I think that's legitimately where you want him to be. So I'd be putting Caufield there, which addresses the desire to have a shooter there like Hoffman but also addresses the preference to have it be a guy who you don't mind being on the ice the same minutes as Suzuki. The 3rd player on that line would ideally be someone who can keep up with those two speed-wise but can also score and provide some size, since neither Nick or Cole are overly physical. I think you could make an argument for Armia there, but in the context of putting forth a player who you wouldn't mind getting big offensive minutes, it likely makes more sense to play Anderson in that role. So if it were my choice, I'd actually play it as Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson.

As for other lines, Drouin historically has played better with a winger on the opposite side who provides size and does the dirty work to get the puck. He too has done well with Anderson and Armia opposite him. That said, despite his smaller stature, Gallagher is also a player who goes to the net, takes hits, gets the puck, and can score too. So I'd almost wonder about Gallagher playing opposite Drouin and giving him more offence than Armia provides. FWIW, I completely agree with you about the Gallagher contract being a bad one... I said it when it was signed, but we really paid him based on what he's done for us and the fact we underpaid him on his last deal. But this new one is going to look bad by the end of it. That said, he's still one of our top 6 players for now, so I'd try to keep him going offensively. Where I'm a bit lost is what to do at center, and this is where losing Kotkaniemi hurts because he's frankly the guy I would have put between those two. Dvorak is easily the next best center on the roster now and there's a drop-off after him, so you could go Drouin-Dvorak-Gallagher, but then that leaves very little below that. Having seen the poor center play we've gotten so far this year, I'm almost inclined at this point to agree with those who suggested we give Drouin another shot at center. He's said he'd be interested in it and I'll come back now to what I've said about guys like Eller, Galchenyuk, and Kotkaniemi in the past: if your season already seems to be heading down the drain and if you don't have a lot standing in the way of these skilled guys, why not give them a shot at a top 6 center role and at least find out what they can do. Drouin is clearly our best puck carrier through the neutral zone and maybe he's matured a bit in terms of his defensive responsibility, which was the big knock on him the first time around at center. Make that move, and it allows you to move up one of Toffoli or Hoffman to the LW and slide Dvorak into more of a two-way role. So in summary, we could end up with something like

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Toffoli-Drouin-Gallagher

Hoffman-Dvorak-Armia

Perreault-Evans-Lehkonen

I actually really like the idea of putting Drouin at centre.  Im not sure about the combination of wingers (on paper yours are fine but who knows if they would actually work - nothing seems to be right now) but what i would agree with is that Suzuki - Drouin - Dvorak - Evans is a lot better looking than Suzuki-Dvorak-Evans-Pacquette/whomever.   

It would allow Dvorak and Evans to push down to 3rd and 4th where they would both be very very good imho. 

1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

This might work, except Drouin didn't seem to pan out at C his first year here

The thing is, there were stretches he looked excellent at centre.  He fell apart as the season went on but i think there was a stretch of about 30-35 games that year with him at centre where he was riding a point per game.  He's a better all-round player right now & seems to be in a better mindset so who knows. Maybe its worth another shot. We can convert Byron or Perreault or whomever we want to centre but Drouin is the only one who has a chance at being an effective centre in the top 6. 

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On 10/30/2021 at 8:48 AM, ramcharger440 said:

Looking better as the season rolls on I think he is finding his groove, now he just has to score!

 

8 points in 11 games now, lets hope he's found his groove.

Its funny i was just thinking the other day how we sort of lucked in to him because, despite MB saying lately that Nick was the guy they were always targeting, there are some pretty reliable sources that said we were offering Patches for Cody Glass.  Vegas felt Glass was untouchable & offered Nick + 2nd (Tatar was always the salary offset/throw in).


Glass meanwhile was traded this summer for Nolan Patrick. 

This is not to take anything away from MB, this is still one of his best trades but it could have worked out quite differently if Vegas hadnt been so high on Glass at the time... 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

8 points in 11 games now, lets hope he's found his groove.

Its funny i was just thinking the other day how we sort of lucked in to him because, despite MB saying lately that Nick was the guy they were always targeting, there are some pretty reliable sources that said we were offering Patches for Cody Glass.  Vegas felt Glass was untouchable & offered Nick + 2nd (Tatar was always the salary offset/throw in).


Glass meanwhile was traded this summer for Nolan Patrick. 

This is not to take anything away from MB, this is still one of his best trades but it could have worked out quite differently if Vegas hadnt been so high on Glass at the time... 

Definitely a little luck. But I think everyone would have preferred Glass over Suzuki and a 2nd at the time

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

8 points in 11 games now, lets hope he's found his groove.

Its funny i was just thinking the other day how we sort of lucked in to him because, despite MB saying lately that Nick was the guy they were always targeting, there are some pretty reliable sources that said we were offering Patches for Cody Glass.  Vegas felt Glass was untouchable & offered Nick + 2nd (Tatar was always the salary offset/throw in).


Glass meanwhile was traded this summer for Nolan Patrick. 

This is not to take anything away from MB, this is still one of his best trades but it could have worked out quite differently if Vegas hadnt been so high on Glass at the time... 

 

11 minutes ago, habsisme said:

Definitely a little luck. But I think everyone would have preferred Glass over Suzuki and a 2nd at the time

Right. Keep in mind that Glass was bigger, deemed to have more potential, and had recently been a higher pick than Suzuki in the same draft. So it was clear Vegas valued him more and similarly, those reports existed about MB wanting him more. On top of that, Bergevin had also contacted other teams about trying to acquire a center prospect and had been rejected. I remember there being strong rumors linking Pacioretty to Florida given that he had family or a home there or something to that effect, and reportedly, MB was trying to get Henrik Borgstrom out of Florida and couldn't. He had also tried to get at Robert Thomas from St. Louis, Gabe Vilardi and Jonathan Anderson-Dolan from LA, and Sam Steel from Anaheim. In fact, I believe a trade to LA that included Anderson-Dolan was nearly finalized but nixed at the last second because Pacioretty wouldn't negotiate an extension with them prior to the deal. Don't know exactly what order Bergevin liked the prospects in, but it was clear Suzuki wasn't near the top of his list. In one interview he did right after the trade went through, he explicitly stated that he had been trying hard to acquire a young center as part of the deal but that other teams weren't willing to part with theirs, so this was "the best offer he could find." He clearly said it as if he was pleased with the trade but that it was a consolation prize and not the one he had targeted. He also stated several times afterwards that Pacioretty had demanded a trade the season before and as such, he was painted into a corner and that an extension wasn't an option (Pacioretty and Allen Walsh have denied this). Finally, when Suzuki arrived here, the organization made it clear they weren't sure he would be a center or a winger, perhaps after the mistake of announcing Drouin would be the 1C. So for what it's worth, the public appearance of everything said around the trade suggested MB didn't make this deal with the thought Suzuki would be a future top 6 center but was more a player who had upside and could potentially fill a hole here if things worked out. I'm by no means against trades like the one here and in fact I think those types of deals where you dump a guy nearing or past 30 who is set to make tons of money in exchange for multiple high-end prospects or picks is usually a good move. But I also won't credit MB for having Suzuki or Tatar as a target because it looks more like he backed into those players more than anything.

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17 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

 

Right. Keep in mind that Glass was bigger, deemed to have more potential, and had recently been a higher pick than Suzuki in the same draft. So it was clear Vegas valued him more and similarly, those reports existed about MB wanting him more. On top of that, Bergevin had also contacted other teams about trying to acquire a center prospect and had been rejected. I remember there being strong rumors linking Pacioretty to Florida given that he had family or a home there or something to that effect, and reportedly, MB was trying to get Henrik Borgstrom out of Florida and couldn't. He had also tried to get at Robert Thomas from St. Louis, Gabe Vilardi and Jonathan Anderson-Dolan from LA, and Sam Steel from Anaheim. In fact, I believe a trade to LA that included Anderson-Dolan was nearly finalized but nixed at the last second because Pacioretty wouldn't negotiate an extension with them prior to the deal. Don't know exactly what order Bergevin liked the prospects in, but it was clear Suzuki wasn't near the top of his list. In one interview he did right after the trade went through, he explicitly stated that he had been trying hard to acquire a young center as part of the deal but that other teams weren't willing to part with theirs, so this was "the best offer he could find." He clearly said it as if he was pleased with the trade but that it was a consolation prize and not the one he had targeted. He also stated several times afterwards that Pacioretty had demanded a trade the season before and as such, he was painted into a corner and that an extension wasn't an option (Pacioretty and Allen Walsh have denied this). Finally, when Suzuki arrived here, the organization made it clear they weren't sure he would be a center or a winger, perhaps after the mistake of announcing Drouin would be the 1C. So for what it's worth, the public appearance of everything said around the trade suggested MB didn't make this deal with the thought Suzuki would be a future top 6 center but was more a player who had upside and could potentially fill a hole here if things worked out. I'm by no means against trades like the one here and in fact I think those types of deals where you dump a guy nearing or past 30 who is set to make tons of money in exchange for multiple high-end prospects or picks is usually a good move. But I also won't credit MB for having Suzuki or Tatar as a target because it looks more like he backed into those players more than anything.

yeah I agree with that assessment. I think MB did everything the right way but in the end he got lucky. The decision he made and wasn't backed into was to trade Max for a young prospect center as opposed to trading hiim for various win now parts. But other than that the current took him where it took him and we ended up with Suzuki and re-emergence of Tatar. It can never be THIS good without some luck! lol I'm pretty sure that second was good prospect to! 

Suzuki is the bright light for our future, we have a 1A type center (good enough to win the cup if someone equally as good as him is you second line center) and we have him on what I think is a great contract, he's playing well

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37 minutes ago, habsisme said:

yeah I agree with that assessment. I think MB did everything the right way but in the end he got lucky. The decision he made and wasn't backed into was to trade Max for a young prospect center as opposed to trading hiim for various win now parts. But other than that the current took him where it took him and we ended up with Suzuki and re-emergence of Tatar. It can never be THIS good without some luck! lol I'm pretty sure that second was good prospect to! 

Suzuki is the bright light for our future, we have a 1A type center (good enough to win the cup if someone equally as good as him is you second line center) and we have him on what I think is a great contract, he's playing well

Yeah, where we got REALLY lucky was Tatar.  By all accounts he was completely a throw-in/salary offset.   There were rumours MB tried to flip him before he even played for us but we couldnt find the right partner.   The fact he went on to lead us in scoring is insane.

When you trade a guy like Patches for a young player like suzuki there's usually some slim years in the beginning while the vet does well & the rookie doesnt play but Tatar totally softened that blow (even outperforming Patches that first year) and also allowed us not to rush Suzuki to show we "got something" for our leading goal scorer. 

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4 hours ago, habsisme said:

yeah I agree with that assessment. I think MB did everything the right way but in the end he got lucky. The decision he made and wasn't backed into was to trade Max for a young prospect center as opposed to trading hiim for various win now parts. But other than that the current took him where it took him and we ended up with Suzuki and re-emergence of Tatar. It can never be THIS good without some luck! lol I'm pretty sure that second was good prospect to! 

Suzuki is the bright light for our future, we have a 1A type center (good enough to win the cup if someone equally as good as him is you second line center) and we have him on what I think is a great contract, he's playing well

 

3 hours ago, maas_art said:

Yeah, where we got REALLY lucky was Tatar.  By all accounts he was completely a throw-in/salary offset.   There were rumours MB tried to flip him before he even played for us but we couldnt find the right partner.   The fact he went on to lead us in scoring is insane.

When you trade a guy like Patches for a young player like suzuki there's usually some slim years in the beginning while the vet does well & the rookie doesnt play but Tatar totally softened that blow (even outperforming Patches that first year) and also allowed us not to rush Suzuki to show we "got something" for our leading goal scorer. 

And keep in mind that we also got the pick that turned into Pacioretty along with Gorges in exchange for Craig Rivet. So we turned one past-prime vet into a top young asset, kept him through his prime and then dealt him before his decline for another young asset. This in essence is what you need to keep doing to remain on top. This is why we should have dealt Weber and Price a couple of years ago and why we should have traded Gallagher instead of signing him to the long-term deal and so on. If we could have found a few prospects like Byram, Beauvillier, Wahlstrom, Bouchard, Dobson, etc. a couple of years ago, we'd have guys who would be useful young NHLers now instead of scrambling to fill our center and D positions with the likes of Paquette, Perreault, Savard, Chiarot, and Wideman.

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