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What Direction Should the New GM Take?


DA_Champion

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This thread is complementary to the "who should be the new GM" thread but is not the same. I will open by arguing what I think is the optimal "5-year" plan for the team (I think it's really a 3-year plan) moving forward.

*********

I perceive the Habs to be a team with good assets and severe liabilities, but liabilities that will not be around for long. I think the best strategy for the Habs is to forego the race for 8th place in the 2012-2013 season and let the chips fall where they may. Fundamentally, I don't see this team ever winning a Stanley Cup with Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, etc. as the youth movement. I think it can only win with those players being the veterans leading a new youth core. Thus, I think treating 2013 as an investment/rebuilding year would maximize the probability of winning cups in the period 2015-2020, which is our window.

Arguments:

1) 2012-2013 sees a huge influx of talent into Hamilton. Holland, Gallagher, Kristo?, Pateryn, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, will all be going to Hamilton. It will be time for players like Avtsin, Nattinen, etc to prove they are viable North American players. I thus think next season's developments in Hamilton are actually critical to the medium-term health of the franchise as a whole, and thus I suggest leaving those players in Hamilton, and picking up a couple veterans and enforcers to help out. Keep Henry for sure. I would leave Leblanc in Hamilton the whole year to play 20 minutes a night on the 1st line, as Pacioretty did, rather than 7 minutes a night on the 4th line.

2) We have all of our draft picks this year and next, and a few extra ones I believe. Thus, if we allow next year's Hamilton class to develop properly, and conserve our draft picks, we can go from having one of the weakest farm systems in the NHL (due to double-G trading away every 2nd rounder sincce Kristo) to having one of the strongest. We're likely to get a 3rd overall and 33rd overall this year.

3) The 2012 UFA class is weak. If we can get Suter or Semin to sign with us on a long-term contract at a reasonable cap hit, that changes everything and turns us into genuine contenders for the division lead, but I don't think we will. I think we should offer those two players contracts, but when they say no, we shouldn't just move down the list and offer some mediocrity a contract that is almost as good. We should just pack our bags and conserve the cap space for next year. In general this should be the strategy every year. It should be preferable to go in the season with a bad player then a mediocre player on a long-term contract.

4) The 2013 UFA class looks to be one of the strongest ever, and thus we will be in a position to cash in if we have a lot of cap space available. Crosby, Elias, Perry, Getzlaf, Hainsey, Lupul, Regehr, Staal, Horton, etc will be going UFA, if they so choose. I don't expect them to all go UFA, but if a few of them do, and in all probability a few will, we'll be in a position to cash in, but only if we have cap space.

5) I would ask the coach to give pampered minutes too Gomez, Bourque, and Kaberle this year. Pad their stats, and then trade them at the deadline for whatever we can get. At this point, even Gomez has a tradeable contract (if he recovers to being a 50 point player), and the 2013 draft is supposed to be one of the strongest ever. If we collect draft picks next year, we can set up a long-term contender.

I think this necessitates converting Gomez to winger, as we don't want the priority mentioned above to contradict the priority of Eller's development.

*************

This strategy comes with the downside that it minimizes the possibility of making the playoffs in 2013. I see it as leading to a ~12th place in 2013, an 8th place finish in 2014, and then a stanley cup contender in the period 2015-2020 once the investments into the farm system start rolling in. A veteran core of Subban, Price, Eller, Pacioretty, Plekanec would then be leading a youth core of (Forsberg?), Beaulieu, Leblanc, Ellis, etc. This strategy leverages our organizational strength: drafting and development.

To those who say this team should aim for 8th place next year, I say great if we can land Suter or Semin, but otherwise I don't see it happening. We were 15th next year... there's a HUGE difference between where we are now and being an 8th place team, never mind being a genuine contender. I think it could happen if we had a very health year (unlikely), and if Eller makes huge strides in his development, but even then we'll be a bubble team.

If we want to take the next step, we need an investment year. I think once we make that next step, we'll be able to maintain it for a long time as Detroit has, as our drafting is extremely strong, and we won't need to trade away picks to make 8th place.

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Guest Regis2

3) The 2012 UFA class is weak. If we can get Suter or Semin to sign with us on a long-term contract at a reasonable cap hit, that changes everything and turns us into genuine contenders for the division lead, but I don't think we will.

.

lol........Long term and reasonable cap hat ...lol

This is the nHL , it would never happen

And even if the Habs get one of them I don't think it turns them into genuine contenders for the division lead

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This thread is complementary to the "who should be the new GM" thread but is not the same. I will open by arguing what I think is the optimal "5-year" plan for the team (I think it's really a 3-year plan) moving forward.

*********

I perceive the Habs to be a team with good assets and severe liabilities, but liabilities that will not be around for long. I think the best strategy for the Habs is to forego the race for 8th place in the 2012-2013 season and let the chips fall where they may. Fundamentally, I don't see this team ever winning a Stanley Cup with Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, etc. as the youth movement. I think it can only win with those players being the veterans leading a new youth core. Thus, I think treating 2013 as an investment/rebuilding year would maximize the probability of winning cups in the period 2015-2020, which is our window.

Arguments:

1) 2012-2013 sees a huge influx of talent into Hamilton. Holland, Gallagher, Kristo?, Pateryn, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, will all be going to Hamilton. It will be time for players like Avtsin, Nattinen, etc to prove they are viable North American players. I thus think next season's developments in Hamilton are actually critical to the medium-term health of the franchise as a whole, and thus I suggest leaving those players in Hamilton, and picking up a couple veterans and enforcers to help out. Keep Henry for sure. I would leave Leblanc in Hamilton the whole year to play 20 minutes a night on the 1st line, as Pacioretty did, rather than 7 minutes a night on the 4th line.

2) We have all of our draft picks this year and next, and a few extra ones I believe. Thus, if we allow next year's Hamilton class to develop properly, and conserve our draft picks, we can go from having one of the weakest farm systems in the NHL (due to double-G trading away every 2nd rounder sincce Kristo) to having one of the strongest. We're likely to get a 3rd overall and 33rd overall this year.

3) The 2012 UFA class is weak. If we can get Suter or Semin to sign with us on a long-term contract at a reasonable cap hit, that changes everything and turns us into genuine contenders for the division lead, but I don't think we will. I think we should offer those two players contracts, but when they say no, we shouldn't just move down the list and offer some mediocrity a contract that is almost as good. We should just pack our bags and conserve the cap space for next year. In general this should be the strategy every year. It should be preferable to go in the season with a bad player then a mediocre player on a long-term contract.

4) The 2013 UFA class looks to be one of the strongest ever, and thus we will be in a position to cash in if we have a lot of cap space available. Crosby, Elias, Perry, Getzlaf, Hainsey, Lupul, Regehr, Staal, Horton, etc will be going UFA, if they so choose. I don't expect them to all go UFA, but if a few of them do, and in all probability a few will, we'll be in a position to cash in, but only if we have cap space.

5) I would ask the coach to give pampered minutes too Gomez, Bourque, and Kaberle this year. Pad their stats, and then trade them at the deadline for whatever we can get. At this point, even Gomez has a tradeable contract (if he recovers to being a 50 point player), and the 2013 draft is supposed to be one of the strongest ever. If we collect draft picks next year, we can set up a long-term contender.

I think this necessitates converting Gomez to winger, as we don't want the priority mentioned above to contradict the priority of Eller's development.

*************

This strategy comes with the downside that it minimizes the possibility of making the playoffs in 2013. I see it as leading to a ~12th place in 2013, an 8th place finish in 2014, and then a stanley cup contender in the period 2015-2020 once the investments into the farm system start rolling in. A veteran core of Subban, Price, Eller, Pacioretty, Plekanec would then be leading a youth core of (Forsberg?), Beaulieu, Leblanc, Ellis, etc. This strategy leverages our organizational strength: drafting and development.

To those who say this team should aim for 8th place next year, I say great if we can land Suter or Semin, but otherwise I don't see it happening. We were 15th next year... there's a HUGE difference between where we are now and being an 8th place team, never mind being a genuine contender. I think it could happen if we had a very health year (unlikely), and if Eller makes huge strides in his development, but even then we'll be a bubble team.

If we want to take the next step, we need an investment year. I think once we make that next step, we'll be able to maintain it for a long time as Detroit has, as our drafting is extremely strong, and we won't need to trade away picks to make 8th place.

I agree with a lot of your philosophies:

1) Let young guys like LeBlanc play big minutes in Hamilton if their not getting 15+ minutes here

2) Don't sign and overpay mediocre UFAs for the heck of it if what we want isn't available

3) Don't burn futures for again assets

The only in my view I suppose is that I think we can do all these things and still compete for a playoff spot.

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I like this thread.

I'll try to keep it brief.

Year 1: Cut dead weight, Do not try to build Rome in one day.

I am skeptical about bringing a first rounder in to play on the second line in MONTREAL. This ain't Nashville or Anaheim. Veterans crumble under this light, at no point in the twitter/facebook/social media era has a young player jumped into the Habs lineup straight out of Junior successfully and NONE not even Jesus Price jumped directly into a top 6 saviour role for a last place team. Keep the rookie in the AHL a la PK for half a season minimum.

Send Gomez to the AHL early in the summer. Announce Desharnais, Plekanec and Eller as your top 3 centers, period.

Have a fixed plan for the structure of the forward and D corps long term in a broad sense: 1 bonafide top line, 1 do-it all line, 1 young guns line and 1 line of shift disturbers and 2 veteran character guys as spares.

2 minute eating All-Star calibre defenceman, 2 stay at home, 1 physical veteran and 2 all-around players with slight specialities (Pk or PP).

Price and Backup.

Aim for as high as this team can take you, while not sacrificing any young players or picks. Get everybody appropriate cups of coffee. If Leblanc can bulk up and steal a top 9 spot, great. If not, make him burn and earn his shot like Pax did. Trade Moen/Kaberle at the deadline for picks if anyone will take them.

Year 2:Hamilton invasion

Beaulieu, Leblanc, (Forsberg/Grigerenko/Galchenyuk), Tinordi should all be getting long hard looks in camp and 3/4 should make the team full-time.

Dump whichever veteran constricts a young player from slotting in to an appropriate slot, i.e. Don't keep Markov for example if Beaulieu is THAT good and able to be PK part 2.

Year 3: This is the year to go for a division title. Rookie contracts will be expiring, cap room will be available and which young players are contenders/pretenders should be clear by now.

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Guest habs1952

I like this thread.

I'll try to keep it brief.

Year 1: Cut dead weight, Do not try to build Rome in one day.

I am skeptical about bringing a first rounder in to play on the second line in MONTREAL. This ain't Nashville or Anaheim. Veterans crumble under this light, at no point in the twitter/facebook/social media era has a young player jumped into the Habs lineup straight out of Junior successfully and NONE not even Jesus Price jumped directly into a top 6 saviour role for a last place team. Keep the rookie in the AHL a la PK for half a season minimum.

Send Gomez to the AHL early in the summer. Announce Desharnais, Plekanec and Eller as your top 3 centers, period.

Have a fixed plan for the structure of the forward and D corps long term in a broad sense: 1 bonafide top line, 1 do-it all line, 1 young guns line and 1 line of shift disturbers and 2 veteran character guys as spares.

2 minute eating All-Star calibre defenceman, 2 stay at home, 1 physical veteran and 2 all-around players with slight specialities (Pk or PP).

Price and Backup.

Aim for as high as this team can take you, while not sacrificing any young players or picks. Get everybody appropriate cups of coffee. If Leblanc can bulk up and steal a top 9 spot, great. If not, make him burn and earn his shot like Pax did. Trade Moen/Kaberle at the deadline for picks if anyone will take them.

Year 2:Hamilton invasion

Beaulieu, Leblanc, (Forsberg/Grigerenko/Galchenyuk), Tinordi should all be getting long hard looks in camp and 3/4 should make the team full-time.

Dump whichever veteran constricts a young player from slotting in to an appropriate slot, i.e. Don't keep Markov for example if Beaulieu is THAT good and able to be PK part 2.

Year 3: This is the year to go for a division title. Rookie contracts will be expiring, cap room will be available and which young players are contenders/pretenders should be clear by now.

(The bolded part)Well played! :lol: :lol:

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Sign a Dman for 1-3 years from this list Wideman, Stuart, Oduya, Carle for somewhere in the 3.75-4.5 mil range.

Sign another veteran Dman 1 year only for 1mil

Making our D look like this

Subban, Georges, Markov, Signed player, Emelin, Diaz, St Denis, Veteran - So even in times of injury we have capable guys filling in.

Leave our forwards basically alone.

Line 1 Patches - DD - Cole

Line 2 Gionta - Plekanec - Either try to transition Eller to a winger or play Bourque here

Line 3 Leblanc time to play full time nhl third line bud - Either Eller or draftee - Either Bourque or Draftee

Line 4 Moen who can step in other line when injuries occur - White - Blunden - Staubitz whoever.

Expect Progression from PK, Patches, DD, Eller, Emelin, Leblanc Diaz and maybe St. Denis and I am optimistic so lets put Markov here because since return his skating still isn't up to par and Bourque to a small extent because lets face it since coming here he has not been playing very well.

Expect same level of play - Plekanec all around best player still! cant expect much more, Georges, Signed Dman, White, Moen, Blunden

some regression - Gionta slight regression from 2010-11 stats lets not count this year. Cole - lets be serious it was a career year so next probably cant be better.

When I look at this team and the 6th place team we iced in 2010-11 I honestly think this team could be better. I am not forgetting how bad this year went but the team didnt change that much from 2010-11.

Here are a few things that I think can happen

Eller will score 20 goals next year if given PP time

Leblanc can score 10-15 if given constant third line minutes

Patches and DD both improve point totals

Cole regresses but still scores 25-30 Goals

Healthy Gionta scores 20+

Bourque scores 18-25 will full season in Montreal

Draftee - 10-15 Goals, 25-35 points playing third line minutes with odd powerplay chance.

Plekanec in the 50-60 point range and still one of the best pk players in nhl

Subban increases point totals and is one of 10-15 best dmen in the league and decreases his "oh no" moments

Markov improves on play this year but doesn't get fully back to himself but can still easily play top 4 minutes and contribute on powerplay.

Price has another great season with better play in front of him his numbers look better across the board.

Other players make no significant positive or negative effect

oh Kaberle and Gomez get dumped however possible - Minors, trade, etc

I feel this is all very realistic and would more than enough to get a team to the playoffs. Not everyone has to have career years and i have shown regression for some which is bound to happen.

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There are some interesting thoughts here already.

I think a couple of things will dermine the direction more than others.

1) New coach. who can we get? what will he bring to the table? what sort of team should we build for him. A team that Marc Crawford can take to the cup may be entirely different than one Jacques Martin can (using these guys as examples, not suggesting them for the vacant slot).

2) Our draft pick. Depending upon where we draft (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) and who we pick, we may well end up with a player who is NHL ready. In fact, id argue that looking at that top 4 or 5 list, there's an extremely good chance we will indeed draft a guy who can play next year. Now, assuming he's a centre and he can slot into our top 2, what does that mean for Plekanec and/or DD. Will we convert one to the wing? Will we trade one?

3) What of the new CBA. Can we wipe Gomez' salary off the books? Would it be smart to do the same with Kaberle? or do we believe he still can be a top 4 dman? Will we go hard after 1 or 2 free agent signings (a la cole) or will we be content to add secondary players?

There are just so many variables that cannot fall into place until the other dominos have fallen. While its a long time until 'real' hockey begins again, I believe it will be a very interesting summer for Habs fans.

Unlike DA, I believe that this team could be 1 summer away from contending - assuming we make the right moves & have a little luck. After this past year of nothing but bad luck, I think its about time.

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While I don't think we're years off from being a strong team, I think we'll be hard-pressed to make the playoffs next year.

As has been mentioned, the UFA class is a bit thin, which means the market value of attractive guys like Semin and Suter are going to be even higher. Signing them to a reasonable/low-risk contract will likely be nigh-on impossible.

I think 2012-13 has to be about getting the future "core" of the team as much ice-time as possible. Surround them with some short-term veterans if we have any spots to fill; don't blow the bank or lock us in to something silly. With 2012-13 being a year where we will likely be very lucky to slip into the playoffs, there's no real point in dealing with the Gomez situation yet. I think we have to keep him in the lineup and hope we can find a way to turn things around with him and make him a positive contributor. I know people often discuss the thought of burying him, but I have my doubts that ownership wants to take the financial hit in such a case. Even though a few million is small in the grand scheme of things to them, it is still a few million.

As for a coach, I think we can look for a guy we can develop a bit. Maybe not a full-fledged rookie coach, but someone that doesn't NEED to be top-notch this season. Someone who can take the season to learn and grow, along with the players, then be stronger the year after. Who that mystery coach is is way beyond me at this point though as I don't know well enough about who is available.

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1) 2012-2013 sees a huge influx of talent into Hamilton. Holland, Gallagher, Kristo?, Pateryn, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, will all be going to Hamilton. It will be time for players like Avtsin, Nattinen, etc to prove they are viable North American players. I thus think next season's developments in Hamilton are actually critical to the medium-term health of the franchise as a whole, and thus I suggest leaving those players in Hamilton, and picking up a couple veterans and enforcers to help out. Keep Henry for sure. I would leave Leblanc in Hamilton the whole year to play 20 minutes a night on the 1st line, as Pacioretty did, rather than 7 minutes a night on the 4th line.

2) We have all of our draft picks this year and next, and a few extra ones I believe. Thus, if we allow next year's Hamilton class to develop properly, and conserve our draft picks, we can go from having one of the weakest farm systems in the NHL (due to double-G trading away every 2nd rounder sincce Kristo) to having one of the strongest. We're likely to get a 3rd overall and 33rd overall this year.

3) The 2012 UFA class is weak. If we can get Suter or Semin to sign with us on a long-term contract at a reasonable cap hit, that changes everything and turns us into genuine contenders for the division lead, but I don't think we will. I think we should offer those two players contracts, but when they say no, we shouldn't just move down the list and offer some mediocrity a contract that is almost as good. We should just pack our bags and conserve the cap space for next year. In general this should be the strategy every year. It should be preferable to go in the season with a bad player then a mediocre player on a long-term contract.

4) The 2013 UFA class looks to be one of the strongest ever, and thus we will be in a position to cash in if we have a lot of cap space available. Crosby, Elias, Perry, Getzlaf, Hainsey, Lupul, Regehr, Staal, Horton, etc will be going UFA, if they so choose. I don't expect them to all go UFA, but if a few of them do, and in all probability a few will, we'll be in a position to cash in, but only if we have cap space.

5) I would ask the coach to give pampered minutes too Gomez, Bourque, and Kaberle this year. Pad their stats, and then trade them at the deadline for whatever we can get. At this point, even Gomez has a tradeable contract (if he recovers to being a 50 point player), and the 2013 draft is supposed to be one of the strongest ever. If we collect draft picks next year, we can set up a long-term contender.

I think this necessitates converting Gomez to winger, as we don't want the priority mentioned above to contradict the priority of Eller's development.

  • I also prefer to have some of the younger players who received limited NHL exposure this season play big minutes in Hamilton next year. Namely, Louis Leblanc and Aaron Palushaj. Neither player will benefit largely from playing 5 - 10 minutes a game at the NHL level, IMO. Let them anchor a number 1 line in Hamilton and be called up to Montreal to replace injured TOP 6 forwards. Do not call them up in order to replace an injured bottom 6 player. However, I'd hope that someone like Blake Geoffrion can earn himself a bottom six position out of camp. He's already 24 years old. I don't really see him as becoming a top six player at this point.
  • Conserving draft choices over the next two seasons! Agreed. B)
  • I'm not really interested in Semin, but Suter would be a HUGE addition to Montreal. However, as some board members have already mentioned he's going to be very, very costly. I would expect him to be seeking long-term (minimum 6 or 7 seasons) and big $$$. If you remove Gomez from the books somehow, you may have enough money to sign Suter.
  • I feel like it's too far in advance to worry about who will or will not be an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
  • I'm a much bigger fan of attempting to deal Scott Gomez now (or demote him to Hamilton if necessary). I don't really think it's worth another shot in Montreal. He's already had several. Kaberle is a different story. I think he could easily become a tradeable asset again. I'd give him a shot again next year and see what he makes of it. Bourque I think is stick here for the immediate. I have no problem wiping the slate clean though. He had a terrible end of the year. Oh well. So did a lot of our players.

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Good thread DA. However, I had serious Gainey flashbacks when you said "5 year plan" :lol:

To keep it brief, I feel that all the major components are in place. Our first line is set and is damn good, we just need some secondary scoring and we'll be competing again. I feel this season was a fluke, we're a much better team than this season indicates.

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Good thread DA. However, I had serious Gainey flashbacks when you said "5 year plan" :lol:

To keep it brief, I feel that all the major components are in place. Our first line is set and is damn good, we just need some secondary scoring and we'll be competing again. I feel this season was a fluke, we're a much better team than this season indicates.

I hope you're right, Greek. ;)

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I had the same impression as you when I read 5 year plan. Shudders :unsure:

I agree again GHC, this team isn't a top 3 team in the east (as is), but they are better than their record indicates. As you said a fluke. Just a series of bad moves, compounded with uncertainty surrounding the Markov situation (which is still up in the air, the marky we see now is that as good as he'll get or will there be more improvement after the summer?), the way PG treated the coaching staff and players was-imo-immature and a bit of a power trip on his part.

Seriously, firing an assistant before a game, trading a player during a game and when Halak came back, it just happened to coincide with Carey's Molson cup presentation. If people think all these things were coincidental, I have a hard time believing that.

We have several good components down, we have an elite tender-something some teams have been searching for, such as the caps, leafs, flyers, etc... An exciting young dman in Subban, who doesn't even look like the same kid who started the season. Some serious maturing and growth from subban this season.

DD, I really thought he was a one trick pony and was profiting from some good wingers. But I'm starting to believe this kid is the real deal. Patches did call him the best cnetre/playmaker in the AHL. We praise Pleks and he's on average a 60 point centre... We have a whole line who hit the 60 point mark on a one line team, that was lead by DD. Teams will be keeping a closer eye on them next season, but with some strong wingers for pleks, I can see another 60+ point season for the Pleks and DD lines-I'm kinda expecting to see them closer to the 70 point plateau.

This team has some serious holes, had a bad season, but i strongly believe they are better than their record indicates.

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Good thread DA. However, I had serious Gainey flashbacks when you said "5 year plan" :lol:

To keep it brief, I feel that all the major components are in place. Our first line is set and is damn good, we just need some secondary scoring and we'll be competing again. I feel this season was a fluke, we're a much better team than this season indicates.

Blueline is still a major issue, even if Markov can play for at least 60 games next year. IMO we need to sign one legit top-four guy to round out Subban, Gorges, and Markov, so Emelin can develop at the right pace and Kaberle isn't exposed.

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Blueline is still a major issue, even if Markov can play for at least 60 games next year. IMO we need to sign one legit top-four guy to round out Subban, Gorges, and Markov, so Emelin can develop at the right pace and Kaberle isn't exposed.

I agree and said something similar a few days ago. I'd like to see another veteran presence, something Kaberle and/or campoli can't fill. Just not sure what's available this summer who could fill that role for us.

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Lafleur says Roy better suited to GM than head coach for Habs

and for the record...totally disagree will my pal #10

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I had the same impression as you when I read 5 year plan. Shudders :unsure:

I agree again GHC, this team isn't a top 3 team in the east (as is), but they are better than their record indicates. As you said a fluke. Just a series of bad moves, compounded with uncertainty surrounding the Markov situation (which is still up in the air, the marky we see now is that as good as he'll get or will there be more improvement after the summer?), the way PG treated the coaching staff and players was-imo-immature and a bit of a power trip on his part.

Seriously, firing an assistant before a game, trading a player during a game and when Halak came back, it just happened to coincide with Carey's Molson cup presentation. If people think all these things were coincidental, I have a hard time believing that.

We have several good components down, we have an elite tender-something some teams have been searching for, such as the caps, leafs, flyers, etc... An exciting young dman in Subban, who doesn't even look like the same kid who started the season. Some serious maturing and growth from subban this season.

DD, I really thought he was a one trick pony and was profiting from some good wingers. But I'm starting to believe this kid is the real deal. Patches did call him the best cnetre/playmaker in the AHL. We praise Pleks and he's on average a 60 point centre... We have a whole line who hit the 60 point mark on a one line team, that was lead by DD. Teams will be keeping a closer eye on them next season, but with some strong wingers for pleks, I can see another 60+ point season for the Pleks and DD lines-I'm kinda expecting to see them closer to the 70 point plateau.

This team has some serious holes, had a bad season, but i strongly believe they are better than their record indicates.

I never wanted to argue with anyone on this forum about DD so I never posted my thoughts when people were ragging on him. I always felt the kid was for real and I'm extremely happy for him having the season he did. I always love cheering for the underdog. The only thing I would change about him, I'd like for him to be more selfish. He's passed up on a lot of legitimate scoring opportunities to pass the pass where we wound up not scoring at all.

Blueline is still a major issue, even if Markov can play for at least 60 games next year. IMO we need to sign one legit top-four guy to round out Subban, Gorges, and Markov, so Emelin can develop at the right pace and Kaberle isn't exposed.

I feel that Kaberle has gotten a bum deal so far. He was made to feel inferior by the coaching staff, not playing big minutes, not getting the respect he deserves for a veteran player. Before anyone attacks me, I'll be the first to say that he needs to step up his game. I'm sure with that he'll excel with a different coach.

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I never wanted to argue with anyone on this forum about DD so I never posted my thoughts when people were ragging on him. I always felt the kid was for real and I'm extremely happy for him having the season he did. I always love cheering for the underdog. The only thing I would change about him, I'd like for him to be more selfish. He's passed up on a lot of legitimate scoring opportunities to pass the pass where we wound up not scoring at all.

Can't speak for anyone else, but I never ragged on him. I had and still have concerns about his ability to produce like a first-line center in the long term. Let's face it: he's not the first guy to break into the league with a 60-point season and then fade. Everything that could go right for his line went right this year. The job is certainly his to lose. If he can maintain his numbers, particularly with a lower shooting percentage and more shots, through another season, he'll have made me a believer. Right now, I love what he's done, and I'm willing to see if he can do more, but I still have doubts.

I feel that Kaberle has gotten a bum deal so far. He was made to feel inferior by the coaching staff, not playing big minutes, not getting the respect he deserves for a veteran player. Before anyone attacks me, I'll be the first to say that he needs to step up his game. I'm sure with that he'll excel with a different coach.

I defended him for weeks after the trade, but whether or not RC mismanaged him (and Coach, you KNOW I'm not an RC supporter, so this isn't pro-coach bias), he's been awful defensively for pretty much the whole year, and his offensive game has been good but not great. It's hard, at this point in his career, not to think that he's become a third-pairing PP specialist. The problem is that we're paying $4.25 million for the next two years for a third-pairing PP specialist who likely won't even be on the first wave of the PP (Markov mans the left point, Subban the right).

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Can't speak for anyone else, but I never ragged on him. I had and still have concerns about his ability to produce like a first-line center in the long term. Let's face it: he's not the first guy to break into the league with a 60-point season and then fade. Everything that could go right for his line went right this year. The job is certainly his to lose. If he can maintain his numbers, particularly with a lower shooting percentage and more shots, through another season, he'll have made me a believer. Right now, I love what he's done, and I'm willing to see if he can do more, but I still have doubts.

I defended him for weeks after the trade, but whether or not RC mismanaged him (and Coach, you KNOW I'm not an RC supporter, so this isn't pro-coach bias), he's been awful defensively for pretty much the whole year, and his offensive game has been good but not great. It's hard, at this point in his career, not to think that he's become a third-pairing PP specialist. The problem is that we're paying $4.25 million for the next two years for a third-pairing PP specialist who likely won't even be on the first wave of the PP (Markov mans the left point, Subban the right).

I know, I'm trying to be optimistic with Kaberle. I just can't imagine that someone with his skill can play as horrible as he's played this year. I can only attribute that to low self confidence and that can be easily fixed with a coach that believes in him. If he plays the same way in the first 20 games of next season then I'd say he's a bust.

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