Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by BigTed3

  1. I'm agreed about Armia being more valuable than Lehkonen right now, but Lehkonen is way more valuable than Byron. Byron was horrid last year. He had one of the lowest Corsi's and expected goals rates on the team. Lehkonen was well ahead of him in both those categories. To boot, Lehkonen's performance on the PK was much better too. Lehkonen was 3rd on the team among forwards in terms of expected goals against per ice time, behind only Toffoli and Evans. Byron was less effective on the PK. In the post-season, he was #1 among forwards on the team for expected goals rate. What is Lehkonen strong at? Very smart positionally. Strong stick work. Great on the forecheck. Decent puck control skills. He has poor finish around the net, but he's reasonably good in most other areas of the game. The Habs had a low PDO with Lehkonen on the ice, largely driven by a low shooting percentage. But they do dominate possession with him on and he holds his own in the bottom 6.
  2. Right, the contract suggests that Lehkonen is kind of betting on himself to increase his value, but I wonder how much he will be able to do that. Lehkonen's value has always been in a shutdown role, and the playoffs are really where that type of player sees his value rise. So I find it hard to believe Lehkonen's value will grow coming off a long playoff run where he got to play on the what might have been the coach's top line responsibility-wise with Danault and Gallagher, where he scored a huge memorable goal, and where he also flourished playing on a lower energy line with Byron and Evans. That's about as good as it gets for me for this player. Going forward, we've seen how many wingers are now sitting ahead of Lehkonen on the depth chart: Hoffman, Gallagher, Caufield, Anderson, Toffoli, Drouin, and probably Armia. It doesn't seem probable that Lehkonen will be getting bigger minutes or better linemates or any PP time. So not sure what he would be betting on. I think the money per year is about right for a 3rd-4th line winger, just surprised he's not locked in for 3 years when Byron and Armia got those deals.
  3. Evander Kane's estranged wife has accused him of betting on NHL games, including those he was playing in. NHL has announced they will investigate this.
  4. Still an RFA after this year too. A bit surprised he would agree to that type of a deal. It would be surprising to see his value any higher after one more year and I would have thought he'd want a longer deal or else a deal that took him to UFA status. So a good deal for MB here.
  5. Eichel's agents tonight released a new statement saying that after agreeing to the surgery Eichel wanted, the Sabres doctors then took it back and are again refusing to let Eichel undergo the procedure. The agents say that even if Eichel were to go for the surgery now he would be able to play at the start of the season and that the Sabres are responsible for preventing Eichel from being able to do that. Essentially it sounds like they're publicly requesting a trade. We know there are other teams out there looking for a 1C. Vegas is maybe #1 among them. Anaheim has also rumored to be interested. Minnesota and the Rangers have apparently backed out. But Mtl is maybe the only team that has been rumored to have formally submitted an offer, so we know we have interest. Really feel like MB has to get back on the phone and find a way to make this deal.
  6. But let's face the truth: if we were to have traded Byron, he would have had negative value in a deal. We would have had to throw in a pick or retain salary for someone to take him. So in essence, his going on LTIR means we dump his salary cap without having to give up assets. Bad for Byron, but perhaps a better solution for us than trying to dump his contract. And as I said, Perreault IMO is a slight upgrade on Byron, so we're getting him and saving 2.5M in Byron's place.
  7. So this offsets one roster spot at LW. Still a glut of wingers though.
  8. The Habs have always been infatuated with guys who don't fit the roles they've been given... stick it out with Desharnais as the 1C, stick it out with Gomez as a 1C, stick it out with Danault as a 1C, stick it out with Weber as a PP QB, stick it out with an aging Markov as a 1st pairing D man, stick it out with Alzner, Schlemko, Murray, Bouillon, Merrill, etc., plug a Travis Moen or a Mike Blunden onto the top line. They have an extensive history of using small sample sizes to make decisions or judging a player's worth based on how he would have done if he had played in the NHL in the 1990's. The modern game requires speed and skill and a guy like Gustafsson, who was deficient in many other areas, actually turned out to be a much better PP QB than either Weber or Petry. We sorely miss a QB like Markov or even Subban or Streit or Schneider or Desjardins. Weber was never as good in that role as any of them, and I don't even know if I love Petry in that role that much either. Petry is a great possession defenceman. He's fantastic at moving the puck up ice while maintaining possession and passing on the rush, but O-zone set plays haven't been his forte either. The team as a whole is just a really poorly-coached, poorly-performing team when it's set up in the O zone. The one exception was the Armia-Staal-Perry line, which for whatever reason, rocked that aspect of the game. What are we missing? I think we need a more mobile puck distributor with better vision at the blue line, as you said. I think we also need more dangerous sharpshooters down low. Caufield is one. Hoffman should be another. Before CC, we didn't have a player with as dangerous a shot since we got rid of Galchenyuk. Hopefully CC's experience means he's not afraid to be a trigger man going forward. Within the organization, addressing the first issue is much harder. Norlinder is really the only player who looks to be an upgrade on Petry. I'm skeptical of Wideman because KHL success has never translated all that well to the NHL. It's a different game and you look at guys like Kovalchuk and Jagr at older ages who haven't been able to bring that success back to the NHL or a Nigel Dawes or a Dadonov or so on. Guys who are stars over there don't always do well here (Radulov maybe being one exception, although he's also one of the few guys who left the NHL the first time more because of off-ice issues than because he couldn't play here skill-wise). I see Wideman as being more likely to be like a Chris Campoli or a Gustafsson more than a guy we can count on reliably and frankly, if we're running a top 4 that includes all of Ed, Chiarot, and Savard, we're not going to be able to have a 3rd pairing that we hide on the bench for 82 games. I still believe MB makes a move to get better at D or C or both.
  9. So there are actually stats for this. Last year, the Habs in the regular season iced the puck 232 times, 17th highest in the league (so almost smack in the middle although only a few icings behind the 6 teams in front of them). They re-iced it 42 times after an initial icing, 9th-worst in the league. They allowed a goal 10 times off the icing calls, which was 21st in the league.So all in the all, they were really an average team insofar as icing the puck goes and allowing goals off of icings. That said, I 100% agree with you on the puck-moving D man, because even though they didn't always ice the puck, they also weren't very good at breakout passes. The other area they aren't very good is set offence. When other teams iced against us, we were 8th worst in the league at capitalizing on this and scoring goals from the O zone. Our offence in the O zone was putrid at ES and putrid on the PP. Really in need of a better PP quarterback and we went back to Weber in this role far too often when he wasn't good there.
  10. Always interesting to look back at past drafts and see what kind of "success" various picks yield. The 2017 draft is becoming mature, as most of these kids are now 22 and we're starting to see where the hits and misses are. So here's a summary by round of how many NHLers were produced to date. I'll define a regular NHLer as someone who already has more than 100 games played in the league and a guy with a chance who has 10 games or more already: - Picks 1-10: 7 regular NHLers, all 10 with 10+ games - Picks 11-20: 3 NHLers, all 10 with 10+ games - Picks 21-31: 4 NHLers, 9 of 11 with 10+ games - Round 2: 1 NHLer, 14 of 31 with 10+ games - Round 3: 0 NHLers, 2 of 31 with 10+ games (Cale Fleury leads with 41) - Round 4: 0 NHLers, 5 of 31 with 10+ games - Rounds 5-7: 0 NHLers, 2 of 93 with 10+ games Obviously this will still evolve, but you can see how thus far there are only 15 guys who have played 100 games and that 14 of those came from Round 1. Of the 52 players with at least 10 games, 29 came from Round 1 and 14 from Round 2, with only 9 from the rest of the draft. Montreal, for what it's worth, drafted two of the 52 players with at least 10 games (Poehling and Fleury) and traded for another (Suzuki). Now let's move back a draft to 2016: - Picks 1-10: 8 NHL regulars, all 10 with 10+ - Picks 11-20: 5 NHL regulars, all 10 with 10+ - Picks 21-30: 4 NHL regulars, 7 of 10 with 10+ - Round 2: 7 NHL regulars, 17 of 30 with 10+ - Round 3: 1 NHL regular, 5 with 10+ - Round 4: 1 NHL regular (Victor Mete with 199 games), 10 with 10+ - Round 5: 0 regulars, 2 with 10+ - Round 6: 1 regular, 3 with 10+ - Round 7: 0 regulars, 1 with 10+ Again, we see that of guys who have played 100+ games, 17 of 27 came from Round 1 and another 7 from Round 2. Of the 65 players with 10+ games, 27 came from round 1 and 17 more from round 2. The Habs had two (Sergachev and Mete) of the 27 guys who have played 100 games. All that to say what I've emphasized before: picks past the 2nd round don't matter that much. Yes, there are diamonds in the rough that you can find and having a lot of picks increases your chance of hitting one, but for the most part, the majority of NHL regulars come from Round 1 and to a lesser degree Round 2. An average NHL finds one, maybe two NHLers per draft, no more. So if you want to stock your cupboards, you need to find ways of drafting guys in the first two rounds and trading away lower round picks for established NHLers is likely valuable (ie if you can deal a 3rd rounder to get a 2nd pairing D man or a 3rd line winger, chances are that you wouldn't have drafted a guy to fill that role anyways). You can fill out your team via trades like this and via free agency but what is hard to find are the top-of-the-lineup elite players. This is why MB should have pushed harder to trade players like Price and Weber and Tatar and Danault and Gallagher before they hit free agency or fell off a cliff. If he could have recouped some 1st rounders or high-end prospects (like a Bowen Byram or Noah Dobson or Jake Bean or Oliver Wahlstrom) in the past, we'd be in a much better position now. Also why he shouldn't be afraid to trade a 3rd rounder for Vince Dunn or why he should be willing to part with a larger quantity of assets to get a Jack Eichel and acquire a player you can't just go out and find anywhere. You can replace a Drouin or a Byron or a Lehkonen or a Chiarot fairly easily. Almost impossible to find an Eichel.
  11. Krejci announces he is leaving the NHL to play at home in the Czech Republic. He had already said it was Bruins or nothing, but that option off the table and may cause Boston to bit on another center in his place.
  12. If we forget the politics of trying to squeeze Quebec-born players in and the coaches' preference to always have veterans in over rookies regardless of performance, I'd probably line up something like this: Caufield-Suzuki-Toffoli Drouin-Kotkaniemi-Armia Hoffman-Poehling-Anderson Lehkonen-Evans-Gallagher But it's hard to make these pieces fit. We have more quality offensive players at wing and not enough established skill at center to match them up. I didn't list lines here is a particular order, I think we'd be giving each of these lines good minutes in different roles, but the Evans line would be the "shutdown line" more than anything. The first two I have listed are really because I think they had established chemistry and Armia complements those other players well, even though he's likely our 4th-best RW offensively. Perreault IMO is an upgrade on Byron but not on the 8 wingers I have listed here. And Paquette isn't an upgrade on anyone unless he surprises me. He's an energy guy but not much more.
  13. Tarasenko's a skilled player but - he makes 2M more than Drouin - he's going to be 30 this year - he has an NTC - he hasn't played a full season in two years and missed that time because of serious injuries I think there's interest in him but GM's don't want to overspend. Heck Seattle could have drafted him or drafted and traded him and still no one chose to go that route. All teams wants Stl to retain part of his salary to take him on, whereas they don't need to do that with Drouin. So not meant to be a knock on Tarasenko but there are a few reasons why Drouin would be more attractive to GM's.
  14. I'm sure you found the same thing but I think it's become clear that we have too many wingers... your line-up doesn't even feature Byron and Lehkonen, so something has to give. We're not going to pay those guys to sit in the pressbox. I do like your lines although I'd consider moving Anderson around. I think Droun benefits from having an Anderson or Armia on the other wing to create space for him. Down the line-up, I'd personally rather see Poehling over Paquette, although I highly doubt the Habs view it that way. I also wouldn't mind seeing Ylonen get a shot at being on the roster and I think the team would still benefit from having Lehkonen in there somewhere for balance. Hard to fit everyone in right now. On D, I'm completely agreed with your top 4 and not pairing Chiarot and Savard together as the Habs likely will. I'd play Kulak over Wideman but otherwise don't have much to add. Our best hope is that Brook or Norlinder is able to make the squad and gives us another option. All of this points to the need for a trade to dispatch a winger or two and acquire help at C or D.
  15. People can say what they want, but Drouin played well for us the past two years. Much more involved, much more consistent effort. If people accept that he's a 2nd line winger who can put up 50-55 points and not an 80-point player, they'd see that he's actually doing a good job. All about expectations. In this case, I think a lot of GM's like what he brings and he's on a reasonable contract. They also know that with his issues, he might benefit from a change of scenery and playing in less of a pressure cooker. I do think there's a significant market for Drouin. I think he's a more attractive option than the older, more expensive Tarasenko. I could see teams like the Isles, Pens, Stars, Ducks, Canucks, Flames, Sens, Jets, Sharks, Jackets, Hawks, Wings, Devils, etc. all having interest.
  16. Used to play center but has been a winger in Winnipeg for several years.
  17. 23 roster spots. Can't send Kotkaniemi or Evans down to the minors any more this year. So let's count: - Suzuki, Caufield, Toffoli, Anderson, Gallagher, Kotkaniemi, Hoffman, Evans, Byron, Lehkonen, Armia, Paquette, Drouin, Perreault (14) - Chiarot, Edmundson, Petry, Romanov, Kulak, Wideman, Savard (7) - Price, Allen (2) So that's 23. It assumes Poehling and Ylonen go back to Laval and that Vejdemo ends up on waivers. With this group, Habs are at the cap but have the 7.8M of LTIR relief from Weber's contract to be able to deal with in order to sign Kotkaniemi and Lehkonen. So maybe we have 2-3M left over and we kind of still need to upgrade the defence. MB's also still looking to bring in a veteran center. I said before free agency that I expected him to tinker with the 4th line, tinker with his journeymen D, and bring in at least a couple of Quebecers. I saw potential targets as Perreault, Savard, and a 3rd/4th line depth center like Haula/Sutter/Cizikas. He's done all that, albeit he went with Paquette. But past that, I also said he might target a middle 6 LW like Saad (he went with Hoffman instead) and then try to use a trade to land a PMD unless he could get Hamilton (which he didn't). So far, MB has done all the tinkering. But his center depth is worse than last year and I just don't think he's comfortable going with Suzuki-JK-Evans as his top 3. He's proven he doesn't put a lot of trust in going with so many youngsters and at his press conference, he said as much (that JK as the 2C would be something he may be stuck with but that he would keep looking for an alternative). In other words, it didn't sound like JK was his Plan A. Even if he brings in a Bozak or a Stepan, then that's still yet another roster spot used and more salary cap hit. If he brings in a PMD (which he hasn't addressed yet) that's more of the same. I just feel like he's not done, that he's working the trade market, and that he feels his roster is good enough that he'll move more chips into the pile this year to improve it, especially with Carey getting older. And if he's adding still, something else has to go. I don't think he's going into the season with 10 top 9 forwards and with too many top 9 wingers but not enough skill on D and not enough experience at center. There have also been rumors he actually made Buffalo a formal trade offer for Eichel, so if he's ready to do that, he's ready to keep pushing it or look at other similar options. Where there's smoke there's fire. I think he's going to keep pushing for Eichel and if he doesn't get Eichel, I think he'll be moving to add a different skill center or a PMD. And I really don't think the organization is willing to be patient with Kotkaniemi. I think they're willing to trade him if they can get someone who's better more immediately.
  18. It almost has to happen at this point. We have way too many veteran forwards. I don't think they'll trade Suzuki, Caufield, or Toffoli. Gallagher has the NMC. They just re-signed Armia and they just added Paquette and Perreault. I think those last three are almost certainly penciled in as the 4th line. Evans is a center and likely doesn't have a ton of trade value. So by process of elimination, guys they could be considering trading would be Kotkaniemi (but only if a young, better center is coming back a la Eichel; you can't trade one of your few centers for a D man), Anderson (less likely given they just got him but not impossible), Lehkonen, Byron, or Drouin. Could be more than one of those guys. Of those three... - Byron has very little trade value, so he'd essentially be a salary dump akin to what Arizona has been accepting and we'd likely have to toss in a pick. But a team like Seattle might be persuaded. - Lehkonen has value but he's not bringing back a 2nd line center or top 3 D man. He could be traded to free up a roster spot (to bring back a prospect or pick) or he could be traded as part of a package. He's not signed yet and we're running low on cap space right now. - Drouin seems like the most obvious player to leave. Bigger salary, better potential, needs a fresh start. Lots of interest in him apparently. And the Habs have loaded up at left wing and loaded up on French Quebecers, so it allows MB to deal him with those voids taken care of beforehand. Again, it could be Drouin straight up for a D man or it could be Drouin + Kotkaniemi + whatever else to get Eichel or someone like that.
  19. Well you look at who is left... Krejci fits the bill the best (veteran center who can play in the middle 6 and provide some offence if JK falters) but he's already announced today that he'll only sign with the Bruins or no one. Tyler Bozak was a guy I thought they might target as a back-up option if Danault really walked and they couldn't find a trade partner. Wennberg is gone. Getzlaf is gone. Granlund is gone. Cizikas is another guy I thought they might have poked around but not much need after signing Paquette already. My next guess after that would be Derek Stepan.
  20. Options I think MB might have: 1. Trade a player like Chiarot or a mid-round draft pick for Vince Dunn. 2. Make an offer sheet to Rasmus Dahlin. 3. Make a play for a young D man who isn't established yet (Thomas Harley with Dallas, Victor Soderstrom with Ari, Cam York with Phi, etc.). 4. Hope that one of his own young guys takes a big leap and is ready (Norlinder, Brook, Guhle...). 5. Trade Drouin for D help.
  21. Had a list over the past year or two of young D men that I thought MB could have been able to target... in the past, I've had guys like Theodore, Byram, and Dobson on that list and I think the ship has sailed on all of them as they established themselves in the NHL. This year, I had players like Jake Bean, Vince Dunn, and Conor Timmins. All three of those guys have been claimed/traded and for nothing returns (one exposed in ED for free, one for a 2nd rounder, one as part of a package deal for a journeyman goalie). You want to find real top 4 D men instead of the bottom pairing muckers he keeps signing and you either have to draft them or develop them for the most part. We lucked out with Petry that Edmonton didn't know what they were doing (and the advanced stats predicted he'd be a steal) but given our LHD prospects are a bit further away and we have no one on the right, it would have been good to go after a guy just about ready to jump into the NHL or a guy under-appreciated by his team (like Dunn). Sad that we missed out on all these guys.
  22. Kuemper is a 31 year-old goalie making 4.5M on an expiring contract. He's on his 4th team, has a career .916 sv % and was at .907 last year. Jake Allen is a 30 year-old goalie making 2.875M with two years to go. He's played for two teams and has a career .912 sv % and he was at .907 last year as well. Pretty comparable performers. So if Colorado had come knocking, I'd have taken Timmins (who I've been saying would have been an available young RHD target for Bergevin) and the 1st and been okay running Primeau as the back-up as we re-build.
  23. I think we'd be giving up more. Buffalo has been asking for 4 assets for Eichel, albeit no one has done it so they may have to give in. They have an injured player on a big contract and he clearly wants out, so they don't have all the leverage in the world. It could be that JK + Drouin + our 1st gets it done.
  24. Kuemper traded from Phx to Col for a 1st rounder and Conor Timmins. Damn. Makes you wonder if they'd have given us that for Allen... or more for Price. Another opportunity missed IMO.
  25. I thought Norlinder was still playing in Europe next year despite his contract with us, but it sounds like MB hasn't ruled out his playing in the NHL (maybe he has a clause to get out of Europe if he sticks in the NHL?)... now HE could bring an element we don't have elsewhere. I also think Brook or Guhle could get a chance to surprise out of camp. I think they'll deal Kulak away, so there's an opening to make the roster over Wideman.
  • Create New...