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#35 Dustin Tokarski 2014-2015


ColRouleBleu

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Played really well in the playoffs,will be our go to guy one day or net us a very good trade,don't want to see him as back up,not fair to him ,he is better than that.

GO HABS GO ALL THE WAY

There's a reasonable chance he isn't even a backup ... lots of goalies have streaks where they get hot.

I suspect someone will give him a chance as an NHL backup given he's had success at every level and seems to do well under pressure, but we have to be careful not to put too much emphasis on one good series.

For the record, I probably would keep him around and see if there's any interest in Budaj.

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I think its hard to say right now that Dustin will be a go to guy. I dont think he'll be an elite goalie or anything but, like I just posed in the MB thread, I do think Tokarski's value will likely increase over the next 2 years while we have him. I think he could he become a 1a goalie in the NHL. A Reimer, Pavelec type. We may be able to get a bigger return on him if we want a couple years. Therefore, I definitely am in favor of keeping him at least for now. Worst case, I think we're looking at a solid backup.

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Given his ability to play well over a series of games he is likely the inside favourite as a back up. Budaj could not handle consecutive games and is another year older. If we cannot find a place for Tokarski down the road he should be an excellent player to trade as Furcale develops. I would like to see Price get a little more rest this year and Tokarski may be the guy who can make that happen. I am sure they will wait until the end of training camp to make sure he has a good camp, but think Budaj may be gone by opening night. Which is too bad because I think he has done excellent for us.

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I think it was all said and done when Tokarski took Price's place in the playoffs. If the Habs had faith in Budaj he would have played instead of Tokarski.

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I wouldn't be so sure that it's Budaj who's leaving. When your starting goalie is someone like Price you don't need your backup to be able to play a bunch of consecutive games. In fact the more important skill is probably being able to come in and perform after not having played for a few weeks, something that Tokarski's never really had to do and that Budaj has proven to be great at over the last two years. Budaj's probably not the guy you'd want for a playoff run, but the job up for grabs here is backup goaltender and he's proven to be very good at that.

On an unrelated note, I don't think we're ever going to see any kind of return at all for either goalie. It's all well and good to talk about trading Tokarski in a few years when his value is higher, but the truth of it is a goalie never had much trade value. There are just too many others available for the same few spots, and most times any trades that do happen involve another goalie coming the other way. I mean even the high-end blue chip young guys don't go for much - look at Jonathan Bernier (Scrivens, Frattin). The only real value I can remember anyone getting for a goalie is a 9th overall pick for Corey Schneider, but that was an outlier situation and he had already proven himself ready to be a #1 in the NHL. Tokarski is not going to be able to do the same behind Carey Price.

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I wouldn't be so sure that it's Budaj who's leaving. When your starting goalie is someone like Price you don't need your backup to be able to play a bunch of consecutive games. In fact the more important skill is probably being able to come in and perform after not having played for a few weeks, something that Tokarski's never really had to do and that Budaj has proven to be great at over the last two years. Budaj's probably not the guy you'd want for a playoff run, but the job up for grabs here is backup goaltender and he's proven to be very good at that.

On an unrelated note, I don't think we're ever going to see any kind of return at all for either goalie. It's all well and good to talk about trading Tokarski in a few years when his value is higher, but the truth of it is a goalie never had much trade value. There are just too many others available for the same few spots, and most times any trades that do happen involve another goalie coming the other way. I mean even the high-end blue chip young guys don't go for much - look at Jonathan Bernier (Scrivens, Frattin). The only real value I can remember anyone getting for a goalie is a 9th overall pick for Corey Schneider, but that was an outlier situation and he had already proven himself ready to be a #1 in the NHL. Tokarski is not going to be able to do the same behind Carey Price.

Very sensible analysis. Totally agree. I don't see much value for a backup goalie nor do i see much opportunity to increase either's worth behind Price. As you mention,,,Budaj has the ability to come in and play well after long stints on the bench and Tok's has shown he can play decent during a short span of time like he did in the playoffs.

What we need to remember is that there wasn't much of a book on Tok's, because of his limited experience in the NHL. Once teams get to know him better, there is no guarantee they won't be able to exploit any weaknesses. We've seen enough one month wonders in the NHL not to anoint a young goalie the next Plante.

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Doesn't DT have to clear waivers this yr to get sent down to Hamilton ?

Yep. Whichever goalie we don't choose, we're probably going to lose to another team one way or another.

I'm not against keeping Tokarski, by the way, and I'd be happy with whoever they decide to keep (especially if they can actually get something in a trade for the other goalie). I'm just not sure that it's going to be Tokarski over Budaj just because he's younger or had a good playoff run.

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I dont look at Tokarski's playoff run as the reason I think management will keep him. My reasoning is because they gave him the chance to go on that playoff run. Clearly management didn't see Budaj as capable of back stopping us through those games where Carey went down. They went to the younger, less experienced Tokarski. Budaj has done a great job coming in after spending weeks at a time on the bench, yes. But we also need a goalie who can perform over longer stretches when Price goes down.

I too will be happy with either goalie behind Price. Both are likely to be very good backups regardless of where they play next season. We're faced with making the decision between the proven vet who does his job to a tee, and the higher ceiling youngster who could be a little bit of a risk. Backups are fairly easy to find, so in this scenario.. Im fine with taking the risk.

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It appears at this point in time the odds on favourite to get the backup role to Price is DT. Anything can happen in training camp and pre-season (Price re-aggravating his recent lower body injury, god forbid). At least having DT and Budaj (and MacDonald) around will provide depth in the goaltending department at the beginning of the year (training camp, pre-season, opening day roster submission deadline)should anyone get hurt. I would be surprised if a move of either of them would happen before then...

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Manatee, completely agree with your post above. That said, there would be several advantages to keeping Tokarski:

1. He's younger and he's cheaper, which means you get a couple 100k to play with at another roster spot.

2. He's signed for two years while Budaj is signed for one more. Two years is probably about right before we look at bringing Fucale into the back-up role, so he makes sense as a bridge timing-wise.

3. People think of DT as starter material but the truth is that he's never played more than 57 games in a season. So while he's never been a true back-up, he has time-shared quite a bit in his career. Agreed that Budaj fits the definition of a good spot starter better, but I don't think DT is completely foreign to the idea.

4. In addition to being a good spot started, a back-up ideally should be able to fill the role of starter for 15-20 games if your #1 goes down with a serious injury. While the ability to come off the bench is important, the truth is that going 10-6 or 7-9 isn't the end of the world. But if Carey goes down, the season could be lost in 15-20 games. Budaj hasn't been very successful when asked to start strings of games, so perhaps DT could do better, as he did in the playoffs.

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Manatee, completely agree with your post above. That said, there would be several advantages to keeping Tokarski:

1. He's younger and he's cheaper, which means you get a couple 100k to play with at another roster spot.

2. He's signed for two years while Budaj is signed for one more. Two years is probably about right before we look at bringing Fucale into the back-up role, so he makes sense as a bridge timing-wise.

3. People think of DT as starter material but the truth is that he's never played more than 57 games in a season. So while he's never been a true back-up, he has time-shared quite a bit in his career. Agreed that Budaj fits the definition of a good spot starter better, but I don't think DT is completely foreign to the idea.

4. In addition to being a good spot started, a back-up ideally should be able to fill the role of starter for 15-20 games if your #1 goes down with a serious injury. While the ability to come off the bench is important, the truth is that going 10-6 or 7-9 isn't the end of the world. But if Carey goes down, the season could be lost in 15-20 games. Budaj hasn't been very successful when asked to start strings of games, so perhaps DT could do better, as he did in the playoffs.

1. Cheaper is a factor, but he's also less proven in the specific role. I know you mention he's never been a full time starter really so he's used to stretches without games but we could be talking about relatively extreme stretches, 15-20 games between games when Carey is rolling. Also there's the fact that everyone seems to love Budaj and all the reports are he goes the extra mile (staying late so guys can keep shooting on him ect). I don't usually care about that kind of stuff, but it is relatively important for a guy who will play 12-19 games if all goes well.

2. I think 2 years for Fucale is a very aggressive projection. He's not really dominating at any level (SV% wise) yet and it would only give him 1 year in Hamilton before a call up. Very few goalies come up that fast. I'd guess he's upwards of 4 years away. 1 more in major junior, 1 in Hamilton probably platooning or playing a small majority of the games before going 2 full years of a heavy workload. He's more likely to be on the Cory Schneider type of development plan than the Carey Price one. Especially because games will be hard to come by while Carey is healthy for a little while yet.

3. I understand he's likely not foreign to the idea but 1 game in 15 or so can be very difficult, it's a skill we know Budaj possesses and one we're relatively unsure about Tokarski.

4. This is the thing, I don't honestly believe that either are very good goalies. I don't really have an opinion on Tokarski's ability to play longer stretches if Carey were to go down because I haven't seen much. Yes he started 5 playoff games and was pretty solid but you're talking about W-L record and he was 2-3 and while I think he was pretty good, especially given the circumstances, he's also kind of ugly to watch and gives up some ugly goals because of his lack of size.

I definitely think either would workout about the same right now, just from watching the 2 play. Budaj has his positives and Tokarski his but I'm actually probably inclined to just role with what we know at this point. I don't view Tokarski as any kind of prospect really, he's already 25 for this upcoming season.

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I don't really mind either decision. I would probably prefer Tokarski because Bergevin has proven to be very shrewd with the cap and he'd be a bit cheaper, but I don't think it really matters all that much. I think the legend of Tokarski in the playoffs is getting a bit overblown, it was a great story but he really wasn't spectacular. He had a couple good games but some ugly goals too (St. Louis goal in overtime comes to mind), and he's undersized for today's game.

I just don't really see it mattering. Tokarski isn't ever going to be better than Price, and best return we'll realistically get is a 2nd rounder or something. If Price goes down with an injury I would imagine we'd see a move being made to bring in someone else, I just have a hard time imagining Bergevin is prepared to use a year of Subban and Pacioretty's primes on Tokarski.

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WOW I'm surprised that so many people think of them as equals.

Tokarski might end up being a really good goalie. We already know what Budaj is and he let us down when Price was out. If DT plays well early in the season we might get a really good return for him. This kid came in cold in the Eastern Final and played really well! No one is going to pay a high price for him just yet but give him a chance and that could easily change... what's the upside with Budaj? And even in the now, why is Budaj better again? Why didn't we start him against the Rangers?

Also, we need to stop playing Price so much. I'd like to see him start playing closer to 50 games. It's two years in a row that he's injured in the playoffs and he always seems to slump near the end of the year, its obvious he needs a little more rest... I wan't a back up who can/will play 25-30 games. I think that's the best thing you can do for Price

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Starting Price 50 games is not really an option, I can't really think of one elite goalie who sits for 32 games a season. That's pretty close to a platoon. The absolute low end for a healthy Price is probably 60 games and even then, he was probably slightly over rested this past season because of the Olympics. As for him being hurt the last 2 playoffs, both were incidents of him being fallen on or into, he could have played 25 games in those regular seasons and got hurt.

As for him slumping towards the end of the year, that really only happened in 2013 and it was more for the final 2.5 months than it was the end of the year. Last year he was fantastic towards the end of the year and obviously into the playoffs.

Onto why Budaj is better, I don't know that anyone said he was better, just that Tokarski is a non prospect so whatever decision they make is fine with me. I've never actually seen him backup on a full time basis so I'm not sure how he responds to 1 game out of every 15 or so when Carey gets on one of those stretches. I don't think they believed in Budaj for multiple games because of how he struggled towards the end of Carey's Olympic injury. It's a fair assessment, go with an unknown instead of something you know to be mediocre but it's generally a different role to be a full on backup.

As for Tokarski's upside, this is the thing. Don't think there's much, if any, there. He's undersized, despite his playing reasonably well in the ECF he gave up a handful of weak "small goalie" goals. He's already (about to turn) 25 with 235 AHL games and a relatively average SV% over a stretch that large in the AHL.

Either way, it's not a huge concern. It's backup to one of the best goalies in the world. So ideally 20 games at most and just not hurt us. Budaj is proven in that role, Tokarski is younger and cheaper. I honestly don't care which, I think over the long run if Carey went down we'd be absolutely screwed either way.

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Starting Price 50 games is not really an option, I can't really think of one elite goalie who sits for 32 games a season. That's pretty close to a platoon. The absolute low end for a healthy Price is probably 60 games and even then, he was probably slightly over rested this past season because of the Olympics. As for him being hurt the last 2 playoffs, both were incidents of him being fallen on or into, he could have played 25 games in those regular seasons and got hurt.

As for him slumping towards the end of the year, that really only happened in 2013 and it was more for the final 2.5 months than it was the end of the year. Last year he was fantastic towards the end of the year and obviously into the playoffs.

Onto why Budaj is better, I don't know that anyone said he was better, just that Tokarski is a non prospect so whatever decision they make is fine with me. I've never actually seen him backup on a full time basis so I'm not sure how he responds to 1 game out of every 15 or so when Carey gets on one of those stretches. I don't think they believed in Budaj for multiple games because of how he struggled towards the end of Carey's Olympic injury. It's a fair assessment, go with an unknown instead of something you know to be mediocre but it's generally a different role to be a full on backup.

As for Tokarski's upside, this is the thing. Don't think there's much, if any, there. He's undersized, despite his playing reasonably well in the ECF he gave up a handful of weak "small goalie" goals. He's already (about to turn) 25 with 235 AHL games and a relatively average SV% over a stretch that large in the AHL.

Either way, it's not a huge concern. It's backup to one of the best goalies in the world. So ideally 20 games at most and just not hurt us. Budaj is proven in that role, Tokarski is younger and cheaper. I honestly don't care which, I think over the long run if Carey went down we'd be absolutely screwed either way.

Maybe 50 is a little to low, but I would aim for 55 to 65 games. You say 60 should be the lower limit, well given my previous points I think 65 should be the higher limit. Its not a complaint on Price but I'd just rather save him for playoffs.

We agree on Budaj I guess but your assessment of DT is jumping the gun a little. Everything you said is true... except he played as good as Price did in the playoffs! If the team hadn't given up and been drained by beating Boston, DT could have easily won the series. He was replacing a top 5 Goalie and went against another top 5 goalie and looked like he fit right in! I'm not picking DT over Price, nor am I saying that DT is an All-star but calling him a non-prospect! I don't see what we have to lose by seeing what he has to offer. What you didn't mention is that he wins at every level and is know for staying calm in pressure situations (sound familiar?). I would trade DT for the right price but I'd be willing to lose Budaj to waivers. If we trade DT for spare parts, MB would have completely lost my confidence.

We are not going to get the future Lars Eller for Budaj as we did for Halak (who I believe is actually a bit smaller than DT), we might get that and more for DT if he continues to play as well as he did in the playoffs.

Here's my bottom line. Who would you trust to win 2/3 of the games if Carey went down for 8-10 games,,,,,,,Peter,,, or Dustin?

At this point I would certainly trust DT over Budaj, as the habs did in the playoffs. But I don't agree that that's the bottom line. I think you have to take potential into consideration. They are AT LEAST pretty much equal, at that point I'm going to go with the young player who could turn into something and has already shown flashes of that.

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It's not that I think what you're saying is totally wrong but Halak was 25 when we traded him to St Louis with a .930 career AHL SV%, coming off a season where he started the bulk of the games for Montreal, had a top 5 SV% in the NHL and had a great playoff run.

Tokarski is 25 now with 10 career NHL games and a .912 career AHL SV%. This is what I mean, it's a tough sell that we can spin him into anything near what Halak got us because he's not nearly as good or accomplished as Halak was at the same age. He played 5 solid playoff games, I just don't really see 5 games from any goalie as a selling point.

I think he's a nonprospect, his ceiling is probably a backup. He's quite old for what he's accomplished at the pro level. I don't know how much development we're going to see after over 250 pro games.

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It's not that I think what you're saying is totally wrong but Halak was 25 when we traded him to St Louis with a .930 career AHL SV%, coming off a season where he started the bulk of the games for Montreal, had a top 5 SV% in the NHL and had a great playoff run.

Tokarski is 25 now with 10 career NHL games and a .912 career AHL SV%. This is what I mean, it's a tough sell that we can spin him into anything near what Halak got us because he's not nearly as good or accomplished as Halak was at the same age. He played 5 solid playoff games, I just don't really see 5 games from any goalie as a selling point.

I think he's a nonprospect, his ceiling is probably a backup. He's quite old for what he's accomplished at the pro level. I don't know how much development we're going to see after over 250 pro games.

This. The other thing is that Halak won 2 series against teams we had no business beating. Yes, Cammaleri was on fire and yes we were playing a good 'collapse and trap' system but at the end of the day we were so overly outclassed by both the Pens and the Caps it was miracle Halak dragged us to the 3rd round. Not to take anything away from Tokarski, he played admirably, especially considering the layoff etc, but we are at least as good, if not better than the Rangers - we're very evenly matched teams - and we couldnt beat them with Tokarksi in nets. Thats perception, rightly or wrongly, and why he would most likely not fetch as much as Halak.

Like Roy, I really dont think we'll get a lot for him (or Budaj). your best hope would be that you did a package deal (perhaps with DD as the main piece) and either Tokarksi or Budaj 'sweetens the pot' so to speak, so that we can get the other team to throw in a prospect that hopefully pans out.

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I think we were outplayed and outscored by the Rangers (final game 1-0) and much of what happenned (the losing) in that series had nothing to do with Tokarski. But we did play him over Budaj and if our plan is to win in the playoffs then Bergevin and Therrien have made their choice. They did not trust Budaj to play a string of games in the playoffs. I do not see how they could make a decision to let him go over Budaj now. With this glut of goaltenders in the league it will be a big asset to have a tandem like Price and Tokarski if he can play a back up role.

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With this glut of goaltenders in the league it will be a big asset to have a tandem like Price and Tokarski if he can play a back up role.

The if is the real key. Budaj has shown he can...and a good backup - being able to go for weeks at a time with no games & then coming in & playing well - is something that surprisingly few guys out there can do.

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I'm not saying that Tokarski should be valued at the same level as Halak....not yet at least. He definitely still has more to prove, but I'm sure there are some teams that are paying attention now and if he does happen to play well this season, teams are going to be interested.

He is a little old, but that's not that uncommon for goalies; they often do take time to develop. This has also been his first real chance to prove himself, and he did! 4 months from now there's a 50% chance that DT's nickname will be "red light" I fully admit that... but you gotta think there's a significant chance that he can continue playing as well as he has and maybe get a return for us. Given that its the back up position, I'm willing to take the risk. It's a no brainier for me.

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I think we're addressing two separate questions here:

1. What trade value Tokarski has: on this, I think any return will be minimal, perhaps a mid-round draft pick, a prospect, or so on. We're not going to get a top-tier player, despite the potential he showed in the playoffs and the hype he got from the media. I think we can all agree that Halak had more value a few years ago when we traded him, but that being said, the return on Halak (a recent first round pick who has panned out quite nicely) was fairly decent, especially when you consider we had no room to play both Halak and Price. I would be ecstatic if we could rope another Eller-like prospect for Tokarski, but I think we'd be looking for a guy whose got a bit more of a question mark next to his name.

2. Whether we're better off trading Budaj or Tokarski: the fact is that neither guy is going to be a star and neither guy is going likely to get a shot at having a significant amount of playing time here. The question really comes down to whether you want a guy who has done well as a spot starter but who has faltered when asked to carry the load with Price injured or a guy who doesn't have the experience as an NHL back-up but who might be able to fill the starter's role a little better in the event of a Price injury. My argument for keeping DT would be three-fold:

- as mentioned above, the return on either guy is unlikely to be significant, so it doesn't factor into the equation too deeply unless we really get a team that's desperate to grab DT

- If Price stays healthy, I'm not sure we'll see a great difference in the point return in games that either Budaj or Tokarski play. If that guy plays 10-12 games, chances are he'll end up with a record very close to 0.500, one way or the other. So to me, it's more important that we have a guy who gives us the best chance to keep the season alive in the event Price goes down for 10-20 games. Last year, playing Budaj very nearly cost us in that situation, so I'd be more willing to give DT a shot in that role.

- Lastly, all other things being equal, Budaj makes more money than DT, so why not keep the cheaper player on a two-year deal?

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