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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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21 minutes ago, claremont said:

I’m in your campaign too except I seriously doubt we will ever be able to trade Weber. We cannot keep losing with the same core supplemented by some B-C level plugs. Your key point is finding some ELITE pieces, which IMO has better odds thru draft and develop vs free agency. I would be happy if we got a good deal for Tatar as a minimum and overjoyed if the same happened for Petry (despite I’m a fan of his play and contributions)  - it is hard to see good players depart but Business decisions have to be made. 

I think teams will want to see Weber back from his injury without issues skating. If he does that, I think he will still have value.

The point is that we're not a contender now and we're not a contender next year. Once you accept that, then the plan becomes clear. I'll come back to the Pacioretty trade, and it's a deal we made giving up our best forward at the time for a cast-off, a draft pick, and one blue-chip prospect. That prospect has become one of our best 2-3 forwards in his first season, and he's the closest thing we have right now to a long-term 1st line player. You want to find other elite-level talent, you need to deal good assets before they lose value in exchange for guys with higher-end potential but who aren't there yet. Go get a Bouchard or a Byram or a Wahlstrom or a Borgstrom or Jake Bean or so on. You can't wait til Petry is a UFA 6 weeks later and you can't wait til Weber is 37 and hobbling around as a 3rd-pairing player to make those trades. If we had traded Markov and Plekanec earlier in their careers in Pacioretty-type deals, we'd certainly be better off now than we are. If we'd developed Beaulieu and Tinordi better instead of playing them behind Murray and Bouillon, we'd be better off. I get people have their blinders on and think we can be a Cup contender with this core, but it's just not happening, so make the moves you need to make to give your chance of being a contender in the future rather than being an also-ran long-term.

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   Sometimes I have a hard time viewing Tatar as a cast-off .Vegas gave up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd to pry this perennial 20 + scorer  from Detroit .That in itself is a fairly hefty price for a throw away . The only reason he gets categorized in that way is that Vegas couldn't " fit " him in their line-up for 20 games otherwise he's proven to be somebody who gives 100% and from all accounts is a great teammate . Tatar just turned 29 in Dec and as of now is the best point producer on the team and doesn't get hurt . If the idea is to get younger everyone would agree that a team has to have a smattering ( at the very least ) of veteran presence . He's proven to be a more than adequate replacement for Pacioretty in the goals and points area it just so happened that Bergevin wrangled a gem in Suzuki in that trade . I'm not convinced that Tatar is the guy who should be going at trade deadline . There are other "regulars " who don't play consistent hockey for consideration . He looks like he'll continue for at least another 3 or 4 years at this pace so maybe , just maybe he should be the one to stay .

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1 hour ago, arpem-can said:

   Sometimes I have a hard time viewing Tatar as a cast-off .Vegas gave up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd to pry this perennial 20 + scorer  from Detroit .That in itself is a fairly hefty price for a throw away . The only reason he gets categorized in that way is that Vegas couldn't " fit " him in their line-up for 20 games otherwise he's proven to be somebody who gives 100% and from all accounts is a great teammate . Tatar just turned 29 in Dec and as of now is the best point producer on the team and doesn't get hurt . If the idea is to get younger everyone would agree that a team has to have a smattering ( at the very least ) of veteran presence . He's proven to be a more than adequate replacement for Pacioretty in the goals and points area it just so happened that Bergevin wrangled a gem in Suzuki in that trade . I'm not convinced that Tatar is the guy who should be going at trade deadline . There are other "regulars " who don't play consistent hockey for consideration . He looks like he'll continue for at least another 3 or 4 years at this pace so maybe , just maybe he should be the one to stay .

I would agree that it doesn't necessarily need to be Tatar that goes. However, you need to consider a couple of factors:

1. What is the relative trade value of players like Tatar, Drouin, Domi, and Gallagher. If you can get a 1st and a top prospect for Tatar and someone's only willing to trade you a 2nd rounder and a B level prospect for one of the other guys, for example, then maybe it makes sense to trade the guy who's value is highest. Sell high, buy low. No point in selling a guy like Drouin or Weber or Byron right now when their value is low.

2. You have to know what Tatar wants on his next contract. If he wants 4 years at 5.75M, that's very different than if he wants 7 years at 7.5M. If you're paying a guy that money from age 30-37, those types of contracts rarely work out. He won't be tradeable on that deal, and you'll be stuck with an older player. So then the question doesn't become Tatar vs. no Tatar, it becomes a question of one more year of Tatar vs.8 more years of Tatar on a  big contract vs. the value of a 1st and top prospect as trade return if you deal him now. In my view, this team isn't winning a year, so the value of one more year of Tatar is negligible in the big picture of things. If he wants 7 more years on his next deal, he likely isn't worth it either, and I'd rather have the trade return. And the trade return at this trade deadline is almost invariably more than the trade return with only one year left on his deal. You look at Radulov, and he's been good for Dallas the past two years, but his play has dropped off a bit this year. If he had been signed for 6-7 years, the last couple of years on that type of deal might hurt you. Maybe, maybe not, but it's a big gamble. Sure, Tatar might be good for another 3-4 years, but if he wants 7 more after next season, it's a risk I wouldn't take. He's not elite enough to take that type of a gamble.

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41 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

I would agree that it doesn't necessarily need to be Tatar that goes. However, you need to consider a couple of factors:

1. What is the relative trade value of players like Tatar, Drouin, Domi, and Gallagher. If you can get a 1st and a top prospect for Tatar and someone's only willing to trade you a 2nd rounder and a B level prospect for one of the other guys, for example, then maybe it makes sense to trade the guy who's value is highest. Sell high, buy low. No point in selling a guy like Drouin or Weber or Byron right now when their value is low.

2. You have to know what Tatar wants on his next contract. If he wants 4 years at 5.75M, that's very different than if he wants 7 years at 7.5M. If you're paying a guy that money from age 30-37, those types of contracts rarely work out. He won't be tradeable on that deal, and you'll be stuck with an older player. So then the question doesn't become Tatar vs. no Tatar, it becomes a question of one more year of Tatar vs.8 more years of Tatar on a  big contract vs. the value of a 1st and top prospect as trade return if you deal him now. In my view, this team isn't winning a year, so the value of one more year of Tatar is negligible in the big picture of things. If he wants 7 more years on his next deal, he likely isn't worth it either, and I'd rather have the trade return. And the trade return at this trade deadline is almost invariably more than the trade return with only one year left on his deal. You look at Radulov, and he's been good for Dallas the past two years, but his play has dropped off a bit this year. If he had been signed for 6-7 years, the last couple of years on that type of deal might hurt you. Maybe, maybe not, but it's a big gamble. Sure, Tatar might be good for another 3-4 years, but if he wants 7 more after next season, it's a risk I wouldn't take. He's not elite enough to take that type of a gamble.

 I hear you on this . However  a top prospect in return doesn't guarantee production down the road . The NHL is filled with guys who looked like shoo-ins for decent NHL careers and ended up being just average or below . Plus a lot of this speculation is without the knowledge of there being  possible extension talks . If Bergevin  were to engage in conversation involving a 3 year extension at around 6 million it would be with the mind of keeping a productive player till he was 33 or 34 and still marketable within that time -frame . If Tatar was looking for a 6 or 7 yr deal then I would say let him go to the highest bidder .Tatar is a fitness freak as well so I don't necessarily see him slowing down if at all . He's talented but not elite talent . I think he likes it in Montreal but then again he might very well go the UFA route for the big pay-off. Another point about the 6 million figure is it's only 1.2 mill more than he's getting now . I just wonder if the team hasn't already  pursued this line of contract conversation .Guaranteed 20 goal scorers don't exactly grow on trees . Basically to help drag Montreal out of this 27 year funk we need the generational type player that we haven't had since Lafleur and he wasn't even our natural pick that year . We've never been bad enough in all this time for a 1st over-all...….. just two 3rds and a 5th .

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1 hour ago, arpem-can said:

 I hear you on this . However  a top prospect in return doesn't guarantee production down the road . The NHL is filled with guys who looked like shoo-ins for decent NHL careers and ended up being just average or below . Plus a lot of this speculation is without the knowledge of there being  possible extension talks . If Bergevin  were to engage in conversation involving a 3 year extension at around 6 million it would be with the mind of keeping a productive player till he was 33 or 34 and still marketable within that time -frame . If Tatar was looking for a 6 or 7 yr deal then I would say let him go to the highest bidder .Tatar is a fitness freak as well so I don't necessarily see him slowing down if at all . He's talented but not elite talent . I think he likes it in Montreal but then again he might very well go the UFA route for the big pay-off. Another point about the 6 million figure is it's only 1.2 mill more than he's getting now . I just wonder if the team hasn't already  pursued this line of contract conversation .Guaranteed 20 goal scorers don't exactly grow on trees . Basically to help drag Montreal out of this 27 year funk we need the generational type player that we haven't had since Lafleur and he wasn't even our natural pick that year . We've never been bad enough in all this time for a 1st over-all...….. just two 3rds and a 5th .

The thing is ...

You don't build teams through UFA signings ... you compliment rosters with those.    The bulk of your roster should be through the draft and as such you get there by loading up on picks.    You mention Lafleur ... who we drafted, regardless of how we got that pick from the Seals ... the key point being is we GOT that pick through trades.   Currently this team is not going to be competitive in the next 2-3 years, so the question becomes is Tatar going to be a key element 4 years from now?   

He is currently 29 and needs a contract after next season when he's 30.    So what is he going to want?   If its a 3-5 year deal, then maybe its worth it ... if he wants a 7 year deal, maybe not.   Maybe between now and when he's UFA he declines, but we won't know that till next season.     What we DO know is he will be 33 by the time we're probably competitive ... so is 33 year old Tatar on a new contract worth more than a 1st round pick plus a top prospect (what he likely will be value at based on the Zucker trade).     I say, as much as I like Tatar, that his trade value is worth more to this team long term than his value at 33.

Sure that 1st round pick may be nothing, may not pan out ... but the gamble on a 1st round and young prospect is better than the gamble Tatar is still as productive at 33.

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55 minutes ago, HabsAlways said:

The thing is ...

You don't build teams through UFA signings ... you compliment rosters with those.    The bulk of your roster should be through the draft and as such you get there by loading up on picks.    You mention Lafleur ... who we drafted, regardless of how we got that pick from the Seals ... the key point being is we GOT that pick through trades.   Currently this team is not going to be competitive in the next 2-3 years, so the question becomes is Tatar going to be a key element 4 years from now?   

He is currently 29 and needs a contract after next season when he's 30.    So what is he going to want?   If its a 3-5 year deal, then maybe its worth it ... if he wants a 7 year deal, maybe not.   Maybe between now and when he's UFA he declines, but we won't know that till next season.     What we DO know is he will be 33 by the time we're probably competitive ... so is 33 year old Tatar on a new contract worth more than a 1st round pick plus a top prospect (what he likely will be value at based on the Zucker trade).     I say, as much as I like Tatar, that his trade value is worth more to this team long term than his value at 33.

Sure that 1st round pick may be nothing, may not pan out ... but the gamble on a 1st round and young prospect is better than the gamble Tatar is still as productive at 33.

you can't trade for a 1st overall anymore like a Lafleur in the early 70's ...and it's still a lottery now ...Trading a guy like Tatar will probably get you a late 1st rounder and an unproven prospect ...Tatar wouldn't be a " 33 yr old on a new contract " if he was extended at 29 ...I suggested extending him to that age where he would still be a tradeable asset at a deadline before his last year which would be at 33 not beyond .

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7 hours ago, arpem-can said:

 I hear you on this . However  a top prospect in return doesn't guarantee production down the road . The NHL is filled with guys who looked like shoo-ins for decent NHL careers and ended up being just average or below . Plus a lot of this speculation is without the knowledge of there being  possible extension talks . If Bergevin  were to engage in conversation involving a 3 year extension at around 6 million it would be with the mind of keeping a productive player till he was 33 or 34 and still marketable within that time -frame . If Tatar was looking for a 6 or 7 yr deal then I would say let him go to the highest bidder .Tatar is a fitness freak as well so I don't necessarily see him slowing down if at all . He's talented but not elite talent . I think he likes it in Montreal but then again he might very well go the UFA route for the big pay-off. Another point about the 6 million figure is it's only 1.2 mill more than he's getting now . I just wonder if the team hasn't already  pursued this line of contract conversation .Guaranteed 20 goal scorers don't exactly grow on trees . Basically to help drag Montreal out of this 27 year funk we need the generational type player that we haven't had since Lafleur and he wasn't even our natural pick that year . We've never been bad enough in all this time for a 1st over-all...….. just two 3rds and a 5th .

But that's my point: the Habs don't really have anyone with elite talent. We haven't in how long? I'd argue Subban was probably an elite talent as a defenceman and he won the Norris, so the league recognized that. Perhaps Pacioretty? Before that, maybe Kovalev. And before that, we're going back to guys like Turgeon, Recchi, Damphousse, and Bellows. And we got most of these guys via trade when they were already older. You don't see that as much in today's NHL, with a cap and where guys are hitting their prime at a younger age and older guys have trouble keeping up with the speed of the game.

So if you want elite talent and you want it to be cost-controlled, you need to draft these guys or acquire them before they become NHL regulars. It's too late to go after a Zach Werenski or a Robert Thomas or a Vince Dunn or a Martin Necas. Those were all guys we've talked about going after in past years before they hit the NHL, but now all teams including their own recognize their value. You aren't getting them at a discount any more, neither in terms of trade return nor in terms of contract.

So if you want a Jake Bean or Noah Dobson or so on and you want to find elite level talent, you have to gamble. You can't say let's see how Bean does for a year or two in the NHL and then go out and trade for him, because if he's showing signs of being elite, Carolina isn't going to want to trade him. But you might be able to go out and get him now and you might be able to trade Petry to the Canes for Bean and a 1st. That gives you two shots at finding an elite talent. You give up one sure thing now for two chances down the line. No one is trading you Rasmus Dahlin for Petry or a Brady Tkachuk for Tomas Tatar or so on. Those players have already shown they can be strong NHLers. Similarly, we wouldn't trade Nick Suzuki for a rental, even if we were a top 5 team in the league. But we might trade a Josh Brook or a Ylonen or a Caufield or a Primeau, someone who hasn't yet shown whether they will be a star or a bust or somewhere in between.

Look at the history of some of the moves the Habs have made in this vein from both perspectives:

- We gave up Craig Rivet for Josh Gorges and a 1st that turned out to be Pacioretty. At the time, the guy we gave up was the only sure thing in the deal, but he was getting older. We got a young unproven D man and we got a 1st that we ended up turning into an elite player. But at the time, it was a gamble.

- We traded Josef Balej and a 2nd rounder for Alexei Kovalev. Here, we gave up the highly-touted prospect and a draft choice and we ended up winning this one too, but it was always possible that Kovalev didn't pan out here and Balej became a star.

- Collberg and a 2nd for Tomas Vanek. Vanek didn't stay around here long, but he played really well in the time he was here, and Collberg, while highly touted at the time of the trade, ended up being a major bust.

- Sergachev and a conditional 2nd for Drouin... hard to tell who will win this trade still, but the reason we had to throw in a conditional 2nd was because Drouin had already shown he could play in the NHL, whereas Sergachev had not.

- Pacioretty for Tatar, Suzuki, and a 2nd rounder... again, we gave up the best player in the deal, but we got some futures with a chance of being just as good or better for a longer period of time.

These are just a few examples, but they show that when you make a trade, no one is giving you a better player straight up for a lesser, older player (unless you're Marc Bergevin inexplicably giving up Subban for Weber). One team usually gets the sure thing but an older or more expensive guy in exchange for someone younger or someone with unrealized potential, or else a collection of picks/prospects. To throw in an analogy, if you were talking about hunting ducks, no one would trade you two ducks for one duck. But someone might agree to trade you one duck for 3 bullets (or 3 chances at shooting other ducks)... maybe you miss all three shots and you end up giving up a duck for nothing, but maybe you kill three ducks with those bullets and you end up getting 3 when you would have otherwise have had just one. If Jake Bean or Evan Bouchard or Oliver Wahlstrom were established stars that were just as good as Petry or Tatar but younger and cheaper, there would be no reason for their teams to trade them. But if one can't be sure of how they'll fare, there's a reason for their teams to consider giving them up for a surer thing. That's the game Bergevin needs to play to find elite skill.

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I believe it's time to move on..MB should be replaced 8 years on the job and not a very good record for 8 years..Yes we have some young and up coming young players. Look at other clubs they went through times like we have but haven't been this bad over an 8 year span and they have went through a rebuild. Fans are not showing up to the games attendance is down. I say replace him before he starts to make more trades and puts the club in a longer rebuild then we have experienced..Just my two cents  but I'm a frustrated loyal fan...8 years and still not going to make the playoffs..

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after last night I think Scandella's trade value just went down ...my thinking is that at the most he would fetch is a 5th or 6th ...we're at the point of no return ...anybody who thinks there is still a chance for the play-offs is delusional ...we haven't consistently won on home ice all year and last night's game was exhibit  A...I actually like some of the role players on this team but the over-all chemistry/personnel needs a shake -up for sure 

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To put things in perspective, let's take a look at the Sens. The laughing stock of the league just a year or two ago with the Karlsson-Hoffman fiasco and the recorded Uber ride about how players laughed a their coaches and the massive giveaway for Duchene. But they recovered some of the assets they gave up by trading away players like Duchene and Hoffman and Dzingel and Stone and Karlsson.

So now suddenly they have some elite young players and prospects like Chabot, White, Brannstrom, and Tkachuk and they have two first-rounders that could both end up being top 5 picks. Can you imagine if the Sens were able to add Lafreniere AND one of Stutzle, Drysdale, or Byfield to their line-up? That team could easily end up being the next Penguins-type franchise...

Conversely, out GM is stubborn and won't admit we can't win and would rather see guys lose all their value in front of him rather than trading for futures. Based on what returns we've seen for players so far at the deadline, he could easily flip Tatar, Petry, Kovalchuk, and maybe even Gallagher and end up with 1st's for all of them and blue chip prospects for the three guys signed into next year as well. Like I've said, imagine adding four 1st's, Bowen Byram, Evan Bouchard, and Oliver Wahlstrom, or something to that effect. Sure, you give up a lot on next year, but who cares. You aren't winning next year anyways. I've said all along that MB has no direction. He won't go all in now and he won't commit to building a champion in the future either. In the end, we see other franchises zoom by us. We'll spend the next 2 years being behind TB, Tor, and Bos, and we'll spend the 4 years after that being behind Ott, Buf, Fla, and Det.

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6 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

To put things in perspective, let's take a look at the Sens. The laughing stock of the league just a year or two ago with the Karlsson-Hoffman fiasco and the recorded Uber ride about how players laughed a their coaches and the massive giveaway for Duchene. But they recovered some of the assets they gave up by trading away players like Duchene and Hoffman and Dzingel and Stone and Karlsson.

So now suddenly they have some elite young players and prospects like Chabot, White, Brannstrom, and Tkachuk and they have two first-rounders that could both end up being top 5 picks. Can you imagine if the Sens were able to add Lafreniere AND one of Stutzle, Drysdale, or Byfield to their line-up? That team could easily end up being the next Penguins-type franchise...

Conversely, out GM is stubborn and won't admit we can't win and would rather see guys lose all their value in front of him rather than trading for futures. Based on what returns we've seen for players so far at the deadline, he could easily flip Tatar, Petry, Kovalchuk, and maybe even Gallagher and end up with 1st's for all of them and blue chip prospects for the three guys signed into next year as well. Like I've said, imagine adding four 1st's, Bowen Byram, Evan Bouchard, and Oliver Wahlstrom, or something to that effect. Sure, you give up a lot on next year, but who cares. You aren't winning next year anyways. I've said all along that MB has no direction. He won't go all in now and he won't commit to building a champion in the future either. In the end, we see other franchises zoom by us. We'll spend the next 2 years being behind TB, Tor, and Bos, and we'll spend the 4 years after that being behind Ott, Buf, Fla, and Det.

Good point, the tides can turn quickly indeed. Or look at the Rangers, who committed to the rebuild in public and so far have done a pretty decent job acquiring assets (with a lot of luck in the lottery but still). There's 1 week left, let's hope our GM realizes what needs to be done to improve the team going forward. We're currently #23 in the standings but all teams that are trailing us have games in hand. Realistically, I don't think we can finish lower than #26 or #27 and even that will be difficult, but the goal should be to improve our lottery odds and give the kids ample ice time. Let's trade our plugs and spare parts and then think long and hard about the Petry and Tatar situation. If the market is as crazy as it seems, this could be the time to get our hands on some really good prospects. This year's draft class is supposed to be rather deep, adding another 1st rounder so we have a Top 10 pick plus another Top 15-20 pick would be huge.

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On 2020-02-16 at 10:56 AM, arpem-can said:

after last night I think Scandella's trade value just went down ...my thinking is that at the most he would fetch is a 5th or 6th ...we're at the point of no return ...anybody who thinks there is still a chance for the play-offs is delusional ...we haven't consistently won on home ice all year and last night's game was exhibit  A...I actually like some of the role players on this team but the over-all chemistry/personnel needs a shake -up for sure 

   I'll admit being far off base on this one …..a 2nd and a conditional is awesome  when Bergevin  gave up way less to get him 

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Completely off topic but i thought I should mention:


Nick Suzuki  Year-to-date:  38 points,  Cap hit: $863,333

Matt Duchene   Year-to-date:  38 points,  Cap hit:  $8,000,000

(suzuki has played 6 more games)   Raise your hand if you're glad we dodged that bullet... although Domi - Duchene - Gallagher would have been fun to watch teams have conniption fits over. 

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39 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Completely off topic but i thought I should mention:


Nick Suzuki  Year-to-date:  38 points,  Cap hit: $863,333

Matt Duchene   Year-to-date:  38 points,  Cap hit:  $8,000,000

(suzuki has played 6 more games)   Raise your hand if you're glad we dodged that bullet... although Domi - Duchene - Gallagher would have been fun to watch teams have conniption fits over. 

How about the Jake Gardiner bullet ? ….58 games 3 goals 15 a for 18pts and a minus -21 ( closest guy to him on the club is -8 ) all for 3 more years @ 4 mill

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Not sure how anyone can look at this roster and believe they are a Cup contender next year. Even if they're healthy. Even if they find a LHD. This team is several pieces away and their best pieces are getting older. The only smart plan is to move Tatar and Petry now and to move Weber during the off-season.

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