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

Habs Prospect Development Strategy


DA_Champion

Recommended Posts

I've been meaning to write about this for a while.

It seems to me that there is no consistent, underlying framework in how the Habs elevate prospects from one level to the other and eventually to the NHL.

1) Maybe this will change in future years, but it seems to be that the bottom-D pairings and bottom-6 winger positions are clogged up with marginal veterans making ~1.5 million. I count:

Francis Bouillon

Patrice Brisebois

Mathieu Dandeneault

Tom Kostopoulos

Glen Metropolit

In recent years we also had Mike Johnson, Brian Smolinski, Steve Begin; more guys can be added if one goes further back.

If we're going to go with 3 offensive line and 1 energy line (which I think will be the norm in the cap era, where having 2 elite scoring lines is impossible), there should be some spots for the rookies to advance. This year in particular, the guys listed above are taking spots that could go to Kyle Chipchura, Gregory Stewart, Mathieu Carle, and Shawn Belle. Perhaps they would be less good than those guys listed but I doubt it, the loss would be a little less skill one year, the gain would be a lot more youthful energy, proper player development, and savings of about 2-3 million in cap space which could be used to upgrade the first line and more than make up for even the worst case scenario of lost effectiveness from the marginal positions.

One might believe this was an accident, but the acquisition of Glen Metropolit I think shows Gainey believes in the importance of having the best 4th line and 3rd D pairing in the NHL (which we probably don't have) as being greater than the importance of saving cap space and developing young players. Bouillon, Brisebois. Two defensemen leaving past their due date. It will be a tragedy of Gainey either resigns them both or brings in 2 veteran 35 year old mediocre D-men for medium term, 1.7 million a year contracts. I am worried he will sooner do this than give the opportunity to Belle, Carle, or Weber.

I'll note that we might need to remove some guys from Hamilton to make room there for McDonagh, Fischer and Subban, I'm not sure about that point, but I'm sure they should all be in Hamilton next year. In particular I'm sure Fischer should be signed this summer, because if we wait one more year he might pull a Blake Wheeler on us.

On that note, if Gainey doesn't try and sign Fischer this summer he is as big a fool as the man who let defensemen Hainsey, Sourray, Streit and soon maybe Komisarek go for nothing, incremented by +1. Signing Markov to 4 years 23 million and trading Craig Rivet for Gorges+Pacioretty are the only times he made the right decision.

2) The reverse is true for goaltending. I think for goaltending the backup should be an experienced but mediocre veteran for 1.5 million. Hindsight is of course 20/20, but the best would have been to keep Carey Price in hamilton last year, play Halak, trade Huet at the deadline with a veteran backup behind him. Price may have more potential than Halak, but Halak is 2 years older, has been consistently effective, and the rush in development was probably bad for Price.

3) Some prospects get rushed. I'm not sure what happened with Latendresse, Price, Pacioretty and whoever else I'm forgetting. In the early 2000s when the Habs had greater needs they had the wisdom to take their time on Plekanec, Higgins and Komisarek. Now all three of these guys have been rushed, maybe it will work out maybe not. I think it would have been better if each had played a full season in Hamilton.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. If prospects are better than these journeyman they will beat them out for a spot.

2. Price was great for most of his career hes just had one bad stretch, thats not enough to say he wasn't developed properly.

3. If some prospects break through or are needed theyll make the team, if not they won't.

So if I understand, you believe a prospect should make the team if he's regarded as a better player at that moment in time, without taking into account whether Hamilton or Montreal is the current optimal development strategy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if I understand, you believe a prospect should make the team if he's regarded as a better player at that moment in time, without taking into account whether Hamilton or Montreal is the current optimal development strategy.

Depends what you mean by that, I don't take a 5 game stretch in which a player scored 4 points a deem he will be a.8 PPG player over 82 games, but if I think he will be a better player over 82 games on the big club than an existing option he will make the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends what you mean by that, I don't take a 5 game stretch in which a player scored 4 points a deem he will be a.8 PPG player over 82 games, but if I think he will be a better player over 82 games on the big club than an existing option he will make the team.

The (temporarily?) inferior prospect has the following advantages:

- lower cap hit

- potential to be superior at some later time, i.e. by the end of the year and into the playoffs, or the following year.

- can be shuttled to and fro from Hamilton if things don't work out.

In light of that, I find it hard to justify the macro of "who will in most likelyhood give me better results over 82 games?". I think the above 3 advantages are significant enough that one should be willing to take seemingly lesser prospects over 1.5 million dollar journeymen who are ready right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The (temporarily?) inferior prospect has the following advantages:

- lower cap hit

- potential to be superior at some later time, i.e. by the end of the year and into the playoffs, or the following year.

- can be shuttled to and fro from Hamilton if things don't work out.

In light of that, I find it hard to justify the macro of "who will in most likelyhood give me better results over 82 games?". I think the above 3 advantages are significant enough that one should be willing to take seemingly lesser prospects over 1.5 million dollar journeymen who are ready right now.

However the players you are refrring to (4th liners , 3rd pairing) are usually so inferior and usually have a low cap hit, that if a player can't beat them out for a spot, frankly I would be concerned about that same player's long term capabilities.

The context you speak of is important and should be brought into the equation, but the players you brought up were borderline NHL players and scrap heaps. If Kyle Chipchura (who I know you're high on) can't be better than Glen Metroplit for example, then frankly I would be concerned about Kyle's future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However the players you are refrring to (4th liners , 3rd pairing) are usually so inferior and usually have a low cap hit, that if a player can't beat them out for a spot, frankly I would be concerned about that same player's long term capabilities.

The context you speak of is important and should be brought into the equation, but the players you brought up were borderline NHL players and scrap heaps. If Kyle Chipchura (who I know you're high on) can't be better than Glen Metroplit for example, then frankly I would be concerned about Kyle's future.

In terms of depth right now, D'Agostini, Pacioretty, SKos74, Latendresse are all bottom 6 or worse forwards on the Habs right now (after Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins and Akos-pleks-kovalev), players on the bubble, sort of. I'm not really concerned with Sergei Kostitsyn's intrinsic future, though he wasn't able to beat out the likes of Tom Kostopoulos for a spot on our third line which is supposed to be a scoring line. Likewise Metropolit being ahead of Chipchura.

Likewise, when Ryan McDonagh, PK Subban, Yannick Weber and David Fischer enter the league each in their own year, I'd be surprised if they were anything better than struggling 3rd pairing D, and ideally I would hope we allow them to struggle on the 3rd pairing. We had 8 D at the start of the year, why was no risk taken on Shawn Belle? Because Francis Bouillon and Patrice Brisebois. Like I said above, I hope Gainey doesn't sign a pair of 35 year old mediocrities to replace them for 1.4 million a year 3 years a piece or something absurd like that. I would instead hope one of Carle or Belle gets a spot next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In terms of depth right now, D'Agostini, Pacioretty, SKos74, Latendresse are all bottom 6 or worse forwards on the Habs right now (after Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins and Akos-pleks-kovalev), players on the bubble, sort of. I'm not really concerned with Sergei Kostitsyn's intrinsic future, though he wasn't able to beat out the likes of Tom Kostopoulos for a spot on our third line which is supposed to be a scoring line. Likewise Metropolit being ahead of Chipchura.

Likewise, when Ryan McDonagh, PK Subban, Yannick Weber and David Fischer enter the league each in their own year, I'd be surprised if they were anything better than struggling 3rd pairing D, and ideally I would hope we allow them to struggle on the 3rd pairing. We had 8 D at the start of the year, why was no risk taken on Shawn Belle? Because Francis Bouillon and Patrice Brisebois. Like I said above, I hope Gainey doesn't sign a pair of 35 year old mediocrities to replace them for 1.4 million a year 3 years a piece or something absurd like that. I would instead hope one of Carle or Belle gets a spot next year.

I think you're confusing my theory on player development with the Habs. I don't condone how they handled Sergei and others because I felt they could contribute more than the alternative.

I will stick to my theory though, if Carle can't beat out a mediocre 35 year old for a spot, then I have to question Carle's ability, I understand your concerns about development and I of all people am always concerned about the long-term issues of a sports club, however the very fact is this team is not in a rebuilding mode where they just hand kids spots and work on development.

If they were rebuilding, then I could understand shifting the priorities, however if you want to win, put the players who can put the team in the best situation to win. Obviously if its a close call then hand it to the kid, and with top talent things change as well, but again we're talking about 4th liners and 3rd pairings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...