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2019-20 State Of The Habs


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56 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Will pull this back to the question of what MB did to improve the team in the off-season... again, his three major moves (if any of them can even be considered major) were to tradr Shaw and replace him with Suzuki in the line-up, let Benn walk and replace him with Chiarot, and swap in Kinkaid for Niemi. How are we doing with those moves?

- The obvious no-brainer failure is that Kinkaid has bombed and is already in the minors. He's the Mark Streit of this year. Or the Tomas Plekanec of this year. It seems that every year there's a player MB gambles on that works out terribly. In Kinkaid's case, he put up a GAA of 4.24 and Sv% of .875, which as hard as it was to outdo Niemi's mediocrity of last year, are both inferior to the 3.78 and .887 that Niemi put up in 2018-19.

- As for Suzuki and Chiarot, maybe slight upgrades. Suzuki has certainly shown he could be very good for a long while and it was without a doubt the right time to dump Shaw before health concerns hit, but Suzuki has put up 14 points in 29 games whereas Shaw played really well last year too and put up 47 in 63 games. Chiarot offensively has 10 points in 29 games, which is ahead of where Benn finished, with 22 points in 81 games. Combine the two players' offensive production together though and Suzuki/Chiarot are putting up an average of 0.41 points per game, whereas Shaw/Benn last year gave us 0.48 points per game, so it's also a drop-off. Harder to measure the 4 players' respective defensive outputs and I'd argue Chiarot has been a better possession player and better skater, but his performance on the PK has been abysmal and worse than what Benn gave us, so again, maybe a bit of a wash.

All that to say that if we're judging MB's body of work in the off-season, if anything it looks like he gave Julien an inferior roster than the one we had last year. Sure, we can argue about players progressing but for every Mete or Drouin that looks a bit better, you have a Kotkaniemi or Domi or Byron who is worse than last year. You can't look at this roster and believe they were going to be significantly better than last year, and on top of that, teams like Buffalo and Ottawa and Florida all took some steps forward in the off-season, meaning our division got tougher.

Well Nick Suziki is as good or better then Shaw already. Add to the fact we got a second and third round pick for shaw. I would say that makes us better. 

Benn is 32 and has 5assists  points this season , corsi for is 43.8% with relative corsi of -8.5, Chariot is corsi is 56.4% and a relative corsi of +3.1 huge difference and all that while playing against the best lines on the other teams. Add in in 3 goals and 7 assists, This  Could not be a more obvious upgrade. 

And you do expect your young players to get better, KK Droiun Domi Mete Julsen Fleury. 

Our problem is teh veteran players we expected to be good game in and game out Price and Petry and Weber

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Will pull this back to the question of what MB did to improve the team in the off-season... again, his three major moves (if any of them can even be considered major) were to tradr Shaw and replace him with Suzuki in the line-up, let Benn walk and replace him with Chiarot, and swap in Kinkaid for Niemi. How are we doing with those moves?

- The obvious no-brainer failure is that Kinkaid has bombed and is already in the minors. He's the Mark Streit of this year. Or the Tomas Plekanec of this year. It seems that every year there's a player MB gambles on that works out terribly. In Kinkaid's case, he put up a GAA of 4.24 and Sv% of .875, which as hard as it was to outdo Niemi's mediocrity of last year, are both inferior to the 3.78 and .887 that Niemi put up in 2018-19.

- As for Suzuki and Chiarot, maybe slight upgrades. Suzuki has certainly shown he could be very good for a long while and it was without a doubt the right time to dump Shaw before health concerns hit, but Suzuki has put up 14 points in 29 games whereas Shaw played really well last year too and put up 47 in 63 games. Chiarot offensively has 10 points in 29 games, which is ahead of where Benn finished, with 22 points in 81 games. Combine the two players' offensive production together though and Suzuki/Chiarot are putting up an average of 0.41 points per game, whereas Shaw/Benn last year gave us 0.48 points per game, so it's also a drop-off. Harder to measure the 4 players' respective defensive outputs and I'd argue Chiarot has been a better possession player and better skater, but his performance on the PK has been abysmal and worse than what Benn gave us, so again, maybe a bit of a wash.

All that to say that if we're judging MB's body of work in the off-season, if anything it looks like he gave Julien an inferior roster than the one we had last year. Sure, we can argue about players progressing but for every Mete or Drouin that looks a bit better, you have a Kotkaniemi or Domi or Byron who is worse than last year. You can't look at this roster and believe they were going to be significantly better than last year, and on top of that, teams like Buffalo and Ottawa and Florida all took some steps forward in the off-season, meaning our division got tougher.

Shaw has not played since Nov. 30th. Apparantly he's in concussion protocol.  

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2 hours ago, caperns61 said:

Well Nick Suziki is as good or better then Shaw already. Add to the fact we got a second and third round pick for shaw. I would say that makes us better. 

Benn is 32 and has 5assists  points this season , corsi for is 43.8% with relative corsi of -8.5, Chariot is corsi is 56.4% and a relative corsi of +3.1 huge difference and all that while playing against the best lines on the other teams. Add in in 3 goals and 7 assists, This  Could not be a more obvious upgrade. 

And you do expect your young players to get better, KK Droiun Domi Mete Julsen Fleury. 

Our problem is teh veteran players we expected to be good game in and game out Price and Petry and Weber

A few comments on what you posted:

1. I'm not arguing that we lost the Shaw trade. I would make that trade any day, simply because Shaw's health and concussion history are worrisome. He was always one hit away from retirement. That said, I think you're grossly underestimating how well Shaw played for us last year. He put up 47 points in 65 games. Extrapolated over 82 games, that would have been a 59-point season. Shaw also did a great job making the Drouin-Domi combo work, and Domi has not looked as good this year without Shaw. Furthermore, no matter how much we can like the way Suzuki has played, he hasn't put up the same point-per-game totals that Shaw put up last year. Yes, I think Suzuki will be more valuable as an asset going forward than Shaw, but that's not the point of my comments. I was pointing out that the roster THIS year is simply not as good as the roster last year. Forget projections of how players will do in the future. Right now, we're getting Suzuki as a rookie and there's a learning curve. All I'm saying is that Shaw last year gave us a bigger offensive contribution than Suzuki this year to date. Bergevin hasn't replaced that production.

2. Likewise, not saying I would have kept Benn over Chiarot (albeit we could argue about value for the contracts they received). For the same money and term, I would take Chiarot over Benn. But again, my point was that the offensive production that Shaw + Benn gave us last year was greater than the offensive production of Suzuki + Chiarot so far. I also stated that Chiarot has been better than Benn in a number of areas, but his PK work has been suspect. Is he an upgrade? Sure, I'm not disagreeing with that. Is he worth the contract he was given? Not sure about that yet, although I'll say he's played much better the past two weeks. Did he address the need we had for a puck-moving top pairing LHD? Nope. And again, the major point was just that Bergevin hasn't made the overall roster any better. The offensive production of the two major acquisitions for position players is inferior in aggregate to the two players we sent out to bring them in, and on top of that, the team is worse defensively than we were last season too.

3. Likewise, we can talk about how we expect younger players to get better, but that's hypothetical. I'm not talking about what potential a player has. Yes, Caufield could end up being a 50-goal scorer in the NHL. Suzuki could put up 75 points one day. Kotkaniemi could be a #1 center. But they're not actively those things now. You're addressing a different question than the issue I raised. One can be more optimistic about the future prospects of the team and still believe that the roster this year is inferior to the one last year. I talked about this before the season started and asked the question about what Bergevin had really done to improve his roster, and the first 30 games have only reinforced the notion for me that he's done nothing. As we speak today, Kotkaniemi has regressed compared to last year. Juulsen has persistent headache issues and may never become an NHL regular. Drouin had picked up his overall game, but others have played less well than last year, a problem I also spoke about before the start of the season. Last year, you had Domi, Danault, Gallagher, Petry, and Tatar all giving us career years or near-about. So honest question, but did anyone think Domi was LIKELY to significantly out-perform what he did last year? He put up 72 points last year, so to make a significant leap forward to improve the overall quality of the roster, I'd argue we'd have to be asking him to have put up 80 points or more this year. Possible? Yes. Likely? No. More likely to see his numbers drop off a bit, especially when you look at his career numbers and when you consider he lost his spark-plug in Shaw. Could Gallagher-Danault-Tatar re-create their production? Sure. Will they significantly outdo what they did last year in terms of production? It's doubtful. We also had relatively decent health last year, with Weber missing some games but all of Domi, Drouin, Gallagher, Tatar, Danault, Petry, Price, Mete, Kotkaniemi, Lehkonen, etc. remaining largely healthy the entire year. When I look at our roster this year, it's hard to find a guy who will put up 20 points more than last year... yes, there will be some variation and improvements here and there (Armia, Lehkonen, Mete, and Drouin maybe) but there will also be regression elsewhere and I don't see a young guy who's suddenly picking up the roster and adding wins to our team more than what we would have gotten from last year's Shaw. Bottom line for me is that the roster isn't any better. I think it's worse, maybe it's the same, but you can't tell me Bergevin made this team any better than last year when we missed the playoffs.

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4 hours ago, caperns61 said:

 

And you do expect your young players to get better, KK Droiun Domi Mete Julsen Fleury. 

 

I dont think MB did anything significant to improve the team compared to last year

I read some where that last year there were 8 or so players who had career years.

Expectations are too high for this year

Domi had a career year last year . As T said " He put up 72 points last year "

Julsen - has yet to crack the nHL

Fleury - this is his 1 st year . There is nothing to judge him on

Mete - scored zero goals the past 2 years. The fact that he's scored this year is  a +

KK - sophomore slump

Drouin - looks like he was better

 

 

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7 hours ago, Regis22 said:

I dont think MB did anything significant to improve the team compared to last year

I read some where that last year there were 8 or so players who had career years.

Expectations are too high for this year

Domi had a career year last year . As T said " He put up 72 points last year "

Julsen - has yet to crack the nHL

Fleury - this is his 1 st year . There is nothing to judge him on

Mete - scored zero goals the past 2 years. The fact that he's scored this year is  a +

KK - sophomore slump

Drouin - looks like he was better

Your right when you look at this team today. We could have probably signed Deuchene if you wanted to throw 10 million at him or Gardiner who people wanted if you through 6 million at him.  I hear people talking about Ghost is Philly...Both brutally bad defensively...MUch like Galchenyk if there not producingoffensively at a high rate they are useless to a team, ask Toronto or Carolina, or Philly this season with GHost ..no thank you

notsigning big ticket free agents, I believe make this team better. We have a boat load of prospects, yes I know until they do something in the NHL it means nothing.

Domi did have a carreer year, but he was also only 23 so do you go out and now pay Duechene 10million because at 23 years old you dont think domi will be as good or better at 24 ..This is not a kid that came out of know where, He was dominant at the world juniors, he was really good as a rookie, he was a point per game his last 20 or 30 games the year before we got him...you hope and assume he will be as good or better

Julsen was becoming a fixture on the blueline and was playing quite well at a young age until the the injury.

Fleury is progressing well 

You are right about Mete not scoring but i could argue with you it was only a matter of time he was creating chances with his speed just a bit of puck luck, dont forget he is only 21 

this season he is 7th in points for the same draft year, he is 5 in goals the same draft year for defenseman...this season 

KK maybe sophmore slump, i think the kid is still growing and his legs have not truly caught up with his body yet :) I still thnk he is going to be an elite two way centerman in this league in a couple of years..

Droiun forget the points, he looks like he was willing to pay the price this year and that has really helped him.

Yes in a cap era you have to look at the kids in your organization and hope they continue growing...

Do you think we would be better if we signed Gardiner at 6 million and Deuchene at 10 million because that is what it would have cost to get them now your 9 million over the cap, so what players do you get rid of??? 

Danualt 3 milion, or Domi at 3 milliom, Armia 2.8, Chariot 3.5....

 

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42 minutes ago, caperns61 said:

 

Your right when you look at this team today. We could have probably signed Deuchene if you wanted to throw 10 million at him or Gardiner who people wanted if you through 6 million at him.  I hear people talking about Ghost is Philly...Both brutally bad defensively...MUch like Galchenyk if there not producingoffensively at a high rate they are useless to a team, ask Toronto or Carolina, or Philly this season with GHost ..no thank you

notsigning big ticket free agents, I believe make this team better. We have a boat load of prospects, yes I know until they do something in the NHL it means nothing.

Domi did have a carreer year, but he was also only 23 so do you go out and now pay Duechene 10million because at 23 years old you dont think domi will be as good or better at 24 ..This is not a kid that came out of know where, He was dominant at the world juniors, he was really good as a rookie, he was a point per game his last 20 or 30 games the year before we got him...you hope and assume he will be as good or better

Julsen was becoming a fixture on the blueline and was playing quite well at a young age until the the injury.

Fleury is progressing well 

You are right about Mete not scoring but i could argue with you it was only a matter of time he was creating chances with his speed just a bit of puck luck, dont forget he is only 21 

this season he is 7th in points for the same draft year, he is 5 in goals the same draft year for defenseman...this season 

KK maybe sophmore slump, i think the kid is still growing and his legs have not truly caught up with his body yet :) I still thnk he is going to be an elite two way centerman in this league in a couple of years..

Droiun forget the points, he looks like he was willing to pay the price this year and that has really helped him.

Yes in a cap era you have to look at the kids in your organization and hope they continue growing...

Do you think we would be better if we signed Gardiner at 6 million and Deuchene at 10 million because that is what it would have cost to get them now your 9 million over the cap, so what players do you get rid of??? 

Danualt 3 milion, or Domi at 3 milliom, Armia 2.8, Chariot 3.5....

 

I agree with this post a lot. We have a good core going forward. Yes of course we hope and count on prospects developing and being good. We very often hear the "tank' BS and the "blow it up start over". In either of those situations you are 100 % counting actually gambling hoping on a high draft pick to be a savior or a collection of unknown futures to be great. We actually have a nice balance of youth and veterans at this time. As with most teams we have a couple of areas we hope either the young players will help out in or we can maybe land some help. I definitely don't agree with just doing something for the sake of doing it. I'm glad we didn't go after Gardiner to hard. I also don't want Ghost, offense only especially for a defenseman is a bad idea. I believe if we keep playing like we've been playing since the Boston game better defensively we'll be okay. We will get Drouin and Mete back along with Byron and JK. Historically Price has played better from December on and with Primeau he should be able to get a little more rest moving forward. We have the cap space and if we look like we're in the hunt for a spot maybe we'll be able to make a trade after January or before the trade deadline. Maybe Romanov will come over late in the season and possibly Caufield. So as above stated do you over pay and maybe when the young guys need raises then be strapped or do you trade your prospects because they haven't excelled at the NHL level quite yet? Or do you believe in them and let them develop with time and experience.

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I agree with the sentiments that MB really did nothing to improve this team over last year - however I do believe that may have been a very difficult task. The one exception is that Chiarot is an upgrade over Benn IMO. 
He got burnt with Alzner and gave a piece of the farm in a large contract to appointed savior Drouin vs Sergachev. We all saw what happened in Laffville when they brought in high priced Phaneuf and anointed him as Captain so I think it’s a credit to MB that they avoided Duchesne and Gardner (although Tavares was one of the rare players with a body of work and leadership) 

So practically speaking maybe our expectations were too high and we needed patience to wait for more youth to jump up (especially Poehling and his 4 goals which ignited our fuse) - MB did fail in getting a poor backup vs Niemi in Kinkaid - I thought he would take a chance on Lindgren while waiting for Primeau 

as fans we have a right to criticize but that is the easiest path - MB may have done a couple of things right 

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This team is really hard to figure out, when they play the system even with all the guy's who are out we can win one or two guy's fumble and we are done! most teams are in this boat these days but it seems we shoot ourselves in the skate quite a bit. some of what MB does turns out to be really quite good but when he misses the mark it is a real tire fire! Chiarot is getting a lot of recognition around the league right now as a revelation but really we are so soft on the left side that the coach has to ride him pretty hard to compete. i still think CJ relies too much on some of the depth forwards i don't really like Cousins or Weal all that much but i understand we are down a few good players right now. i will be very interested to see how we play as players come back into the fold.

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12 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

This team is really hard to figure out, when they play the system even with all the guy's who are out we can win one or two guy's fumble and we are done! most teams are in this boat these days but it seems we shoot ourselves in the skate quite a bit. some of what MB does turns out to be really quite good but when he misses the mark it is a real tire fire! Chiarot is getting a lot of recognition around the league right now as a revelation but really we are so soft on the left side that the coach has to ride him pretty hard to compete. i still think CJ relies too much on some of the depth forwards i don't really like Cousins or Weal all that much but i understand we are down a few good players right now. i will be very interested to see how we play as players come back into the fold.

  last nights win over the Rangers was a textbook road game ..the one goal they got was a bad hop leading to a break away ...so what I'm interested is in seeing how this team can gel through these roster  injuries and if they can play consistently like last night with role players like Thompson getting the game winner (assisted by Cousins) we'll be better for it ...I sense this is a team that will play for each other.... nobody is grossly over-paid so it's basically the same boat for everyone  

 

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5 hours ago, caperns61 said:

 

Your right when you look at this team today. We could have probably signed Deuchene if you wanted to throw 10 million at him or Gardiner who people wanted if you through 6 million at him.  I hear people talking about Ghost is Philly...Both brutally bad defensively...MUch like Galchenyk if there not producingoffensively at a high rate they are useless to a team, ask Toronto or Carolina, or Philly this season with GHost ..no thank you

notsigning big ticket free agents, I believe make this team better. We have a boat load of prospects, yes I know until they do something in the NHL it means nothing.

Domi did have a carreer year, but he was also only 23 so do you go out and now pay Duechene 10million because at 23 years old you dont think domi will be as good or better at 24 ..This is not a kid that came out of know where, He was dominant at the world juniors, he was really good as a rookie, he was a point per game his last 20 or 30 games the year before we got him...you hope and assume he will be as good or better

Julsen was becoming a fixture on the blueline and was playing quite well at a young age until the the injury.

Fleury is progressing well 

You are right about Mete not scoring but i could argue with you it was only a matter of time he was creating chances with his speed just a bit of puck luck, dont forget he is only 21 

this season he is 7th in points for the same draft year, he is 5 in goals the same draft year for defenseman...this season 

KK maybe sophmore slump, i think the kid is still growing and his legs have not truly caught up with his body yet :) I still thnk he is going to be an elite two way centerman in this league in a couple of years..

Droiun forget the points, he looks like he was willing to pay the price this year and that has really helped him.

Yes in a cap era you have to look at the kids in your organization and hope they continue growing...

Do you think we would be better if we signed Gardiner at 6 million and Deuchene at 10 million because that is what it would have cost to get them now your 9 million over the cap, so what players do you get rid of??? 

Danualt 3 milion, or Domi at 3 milliom, Armia 2.8, Chariot 3.5....

 

You're not wrong in your general thought process. By that, I mean that I agree with you that spending big money on a UFA or trading prospects for veterans often times comes back to bite you. And yes, we have a number of good prospects who are getting close to making an impact in the NHL. But while I think it's a reasonable plan to build through the draft, I'll come back to the question of what direction Marc Bergevin is trying to take the team. If you pretend to step into Bergevin's shoes for a second, I'd ask you to give me your best answer to this question: "Marc, when do you foresee this team being a top 5 team in the league and being a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup?"

When I look at this team right now, we're not a legit contender this season. We may not even be a playoff team, because we were a fringe team last year and we're certainly not any better this year... no major upgrades to the roster, worse PK, worse team defence, equally terrible back-up goalie signed, worse injury situation already after a year of relatively good health in 18-19, etc. We have a number of factors going against us, even if there are also some positives. Are we a contender next year without a major UFA signing or trade? Also not sure about that. There's a lot of hope that Romanov might come over here next year, but I remember people also talking about how great it would be if we could convince Emelin to come over and that wasn't a major game-changer. Yes, Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Fleury have a year more experience and maybe Poehling steps in somewhere, but then Weber and Petry and Price are also a year further past prime. So what exactly makes us a legit contender next year if we're not one this year?

And if we're not a top 5 team in the league by next year, I've posted about how we have a key group of players hitting UFA status in 2021... Gallagher, Danault, Tatar, Armia, and Petry will all be unrestricted. JK and Lehkonen will be RFA's that year too and want raises. Domi and Mete are also RFA after this season and will be due for increases in their salaries as well. In fact, when you look at which players the Habs have signed to NHL contracts past the 2021 summer, the list is pretty short... Drouin, Byron, Suzuki, Weber, Kulak, Chiarot, Alzner, and Price. Hardly a great core group to build around when you consider Weber will be 36, Price 34, and a few of the others maybe not still here if they don't pick up their play (Byron, Kulak, Alzner...). All that to say that we're not going to be going into 2021-22 with the same core group and yes, I'm fine with building around Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Brook and Primeau and Poehling and maybe Romanov or Ylonen or so on. But do we think those guys are going to be ready to lead us to a Cup in 2021? 2022? When?

I'll come back to what I've been saying the entire time, which is that MB needs to make a decision one way or the other. If he stays pat with his current roster, we maybe finish in the 12th to 20th rank in the league and maybe we squeak into the playoffs and try to make a longshot run or maybe we just miss and end up in the worst seat in the house with neither a playoff appearance nor a quality draft spot. And then without doing anything to the roster to improve it, we likely sit in that same predicament the year after as well, a middle-of-the-pack team with no real aspiration for a Cup. That's no man's land in the NHL.

Brian Wilde had a great column a few weeks ago when he said Marc Bergevin has won a lot of trades he's made but despite that, he's failed to address the holes on the roster and he's failed to build a winner. Wilde stated that maybe just maybe Bergevin needs to accept knowingly losing a trade in order to fix his roster. Make a trade where you give up a good prospect like Brook or Romanov or Poehling or so on but do so knowing you're getting a top pairing LHD who can play for you for the next 5 years. Make a trade where you give up a 1st rounder this year or next to fill that hole. Yes, we all know the trade may hurt, but we can't just sit here and leave that hole as is and waste the last productive years of Price, Weber, and Petry's careers either. Don't want to make that kind of trade? Fine, I'm good with that too. But then deal away your Weber's, Petry's, Price's, and Byron's... get something of value for them before it's too late. It doesn't mean it has to be a classic re-build or that we're dealing them away strictly for unproven prospects. Trade Weber and go and get an NHL defenceman who is younger but already top 4. Trade Price and find a 19-23 year-old sniper or so on. Make this team ready to be a top 5 team in 2021 or 2023 or whatever the plan is but let that be the plan: to be a top 5 team at some point, rather than just be satisfied with being a top 20 team for longer. Bergevin's plan right now gets us nowhere close to a Cup.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

You're not wrong in your general thought process. By that, I mean that I agree with you that spending big money on a UFA or trading prospects for veterans often times comes back to bite you. And yes, we have a number of good prospects who are getting close to making an impact in the NHL. But while I think it's a reasonable plan to build through the draft, I'll come back to the question of what direction Marc Bergevin is trying to take the team. If you pretend to step into Bergevin's shoes for a second, I'd ask you to give me your best answer to this question: "Marc, when do you foresee this team being a top 5 team in the league and being a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup?"

When I look at this team right now, we're not a legit contender this season. We may not even be a playoff team, because we were a fringe team last year and we're certainly not any better this year... no major upgrades to the roster, worse PK, worse team defence, equally terrible back-up goalie signed, worse injury situation already after a year of relatively good health in 18-19, etc. We have a number of factors going against us, even if there are also some positives. Are we a contender next year without a major UFA signing or trade? Also not sure about that. There's a lot of hope that Romanov might come over here next year, but I remember people also talking about how great it would be if we could convince Emelin to come over and that wasn't a major game-changer. Yes, Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Fleury have a year more experience and maybe Poehling steps in somewhere, but then Weber and Petry and Price are also a year further past prime. So what exactly makes us a legit contender next year if we're not one this year?

And if we're not a top 5 team in the league by next year, I've posted about how we have a key group of players hitting UFA status in 2021... Gallagher, Danault, Tatar, Armia, and Petry will all be unrestricted. JK and Lehkonen will be RFA's that year too and want raises. Domi and Mete are also RFA after this season and will be due for increases in their salaries as well. In fact, when you look at which players the Habs have signed to NHL contracts past the 2021 summer, the list is pretty short... Drouin, Byron, Suzuki, Weber, Kulak, Chiarot, Alzner, and Price. Hardly a great core group to build around when you consider Weber will be 36, Price 34, and a few of the others maybe not still here if they don't pick up their play (Byron, Kulak, Alzner...). All that to say that we're not going to be going into 2021-22 with the same core group and yes, I'm fine with building around Suzuki and Kotkaniemi and Brook and Primeau and Poehling and maybe Romanov or Ylonen or so on. But do we think those guys are going to be ready to lead us to a Cup in 2021? 2022? When?

I'll come back to what I've been saying the entire time, which is that MB needs to make a decision one way or the other. If he stays pat with his current roster, we maybe finish in the 12th to 20th rank in the league and maybe we squeak into the playoffs and try to make a longshot run or maybe we just miss and end up in the worst seat in the house with neither a playoff appearance nor a quality draft spot. And then without doing anything to the roster to improve it, we likely sit in that same predicament the year after as well, a middle-of-the-pack team with no real aspiration for a Cup. That's no man's land in the NHL.

Brian Wilde had a great column a few weeks ago when he said Marc Bergevin has won a lot of trades he's made but despite that, he's failed to address the holes on the roster and he's failed to build a winner. Wilde stated that maybe just maybe Bergevin needs to accept knowingly losing a trade in order to fix his roster. Make a trade where you give up a good prospect like Brook or Romanov or Poehling or so on but do so knowing you're getting a top pairing LHD who can play for you for the next 5 years. Make a trade where you give up a 1st rounder this year or next to fill that hole. Yes, we all know the trade may hurt, but we can't just sit here and leave that hole as is and waste the last productive years of Price, Weber, and Petry's careers either. Don't want to make that kind of trade? Fine, I'm good with that too. But then deal away your Weber's, Petry's, Price's, and Byron's... get something of value for them before it's too late. It doesn't mean it has to be a classic re-build or that we're dealing them away strictly for unproven prospects. Trade Weber and go and get an NHL defenceman who is younger but already top 4. Trade Price and find a 19-23 year-old sniper or so on. Make this team ready to be a top 5 team in 2021 or 2023 or whatever the plan is but let that be the plan: to be a top 5 team at some point, rather than just be satisfied with being a top 20 team for longer. Bergevin's plan right now gets us nowhere close to a Cup.

I could not disagree more, i do think he has a plan, 11 draft picks in 2018, 10 draft picks in 2019, and 13 draft picks in 2020, over 25 picks since 2017 will have been the 4th round or higher. He is building the team through the draft. He is building a foundation so there is a constant flow of talent through the system. DO i think he always makes the right choice hell no.I was furious over the Subban trade, but it was no where near as bad as I or anyone else made it out to be. Once i got rid of the blinders i kind of like it now. Mind you I would still like to have Subban but i would not trade Weber for him :). I did not like the Droiun for Sergachev trade and cannot understand why he made it. Only Bergevin and his scouts can tell you that. 

It would be great to have a crystal ball and say we are going to be a top 5 team in 1 year or 2 years or 3 years. But thats not the case. I dont think thats the case for any team, I like the fact he is not selling the farm. I like the fact he is not telling his players they are not good enough now, you may as well give up and we will trade you to contenders. I dont care that Weber, Petry and Price are aging maybe they will just be what we need this year or next year or the year after to get us over the top. I believe in having mentors for the young kids. Its not hurting us to have them.

Do you think St Louis was considered a top 5 team to win the cup? Who do you think are the top 5 teams to win the cup this season. Do you think the leafs are a top 5 team? They should be with the talent they have, should they not? They were 34 points better than us in 2017/18, they were 4 points better then us in 2018/19, we are currently 2 points better then them in 2019/20. The Oilers 2 of possibly the best forwards in all of hockey missed the playoffs the last two season. How many years have they been tanking? it appears they are doing much better this year, but are they? What happens to that team if Draistal and MCdavid go in a lenthy slump? Tampa the best team in the NHL last season, got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round and seem to be struggling this year. Teams are closer then ever and more then ever making the playoffs do give you a chance at winning a cup. Tanking does not. 

Almost every team in the NHL has holes, at what cost do you pay to fix one hole and create another. And will it even make you better?

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6 hours ago, claremont said:

I agree with the sentiments that MB really did nothing to improve this team over last year - however I do believe that may have been a very difficult task. The one exception is that Chiarot is an upgrade over Benn IMO. 
He got burnt with Alzner and gave a piece of the farm in a large contract to appointed savior Drouin vs Sergachev. We all saw what happened in Laffville when they brought in high priced Phaneuf and anointed him as Captain so I think it’s a credit to MB that they avoided Duchesne and Gardner (although Tavares was one of the rare players with a body of work and leadership) 

So practically speaking maybe our expectations were too high and we needed patience to wait for more youth to jump up (especially Poehling and his 4 goals which ignited our fuse) - MB did fail in getting a poor backup vs Niemi in Kinkaid - I thought he would take a chance on Lindgren while waiting for Primeau 

as fans we have a right to criticize but that is the easiest path - MB may have done a couple of things right 

I'm agreeing on the point that adding significant impact players could have been a very difficult task . And one which we will never know . The one consistent thing Bergevin has done is not sell the farm . Those criticizing the Sergachev for Drouin have to look at their ages and the fact fans at the time were screaming for more goal production . Also the thing about Shaw's production not being replaced is a faulty argument ...you could just as easily say it has been replaced by Suzuki because Shaw's production is down this year . Suzuki .5 ppg and Shaw .38 ppg . The worrisome concern about Shaw's concussion problems are at this moment keeping him out of Chicago's line-up . Last year was arguably Shaw's best as a pro point-wise and Bergy in letting him go at the right time  got a 2nd and 3rd rounder and $3.9 mill in cap space . It has yet to be determined what Bergy will do with that room . it's easy as you said to criticize MB and he's had plenty of heat over the Alzner signing ...that will be rectified next year in all likelihood with  less of a buy-out penalty . What GM hasn't made a bad acquisition at some point ? With all the injuries right now Bergevin's  supporting cast are getting a good look-see and evaluation ( including a very young Primeau ) . I think the team will be stronger for this as the season progresses .

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1 hour ago, kinot-2 said:

Who's coming up? 

No idea. TSN reported it. Either it's to give him some game time between Habs games or they figure somebody on the injury list is close to coming back. That or they'll call up somebody else.

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21 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

No idea. TSN reported it. Either it's to give him some game time between Habs games or they figure somebody on the injury list is close to coming back. That or they'll call up somebody else.

I checked the stats of the Rocket, and there's not much down there.

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3 hours ago, caperns61 said:

I could not disagree more, i do think he has a plan, 11 draft picks in 2018, 10 draft picks in 2019, and 13 draft picks in 2020, over 25 picks since 2017 will have been the 4th round or higher. He is building the team through the draft. He is building a foundation so there is a constant flow of talent through the system. DO i think he always makes the right choice hell no.I was furious over the Subban trade, but it was no where near as bad as I or anyone else made it out to be. Once i got rid of the blinders i kind of like it now. Mind you I would still like to have Subban but i would not trade Weber for him :). I did not like the Droiun for Sergachev trade and cannot understand why he made it. Only Bergevin and his scouts can tell you that. 

It would be great to have a crystal ball and say we are going to be a top 5 team in 1 year or 2 years or 3 years. But thats not the case. I dont think thats the case for any team, I like the fact he is not selling the farm. I like the fact he is not telling his players they are not good enough now, you may as well give up and we will trade you to contenders. I dont care that Weber, Petry and Price are aging maybe they will just be what we need this year or next year or the year after to get us over the top. I believe in having mentors for the young kids. Its not hurting us to have them.

Do you think St Louis was considered a top 5 team to win the cup? Who do you think are the top 5 teams to win the cup this season. Do you think the leafs are a top 5 team? They should be with the talent they have, should they not? They were 34 points better than us in 2017/18, they were 4 points better then us in 2018/19, we are currently 2 points better then them in 2019/20. The Oilers 2 of possibly the best forwards in all of hockey missed the playoffs the last two season. How many years have they been tanking? it appears they are doing much better this year, but are they? What happens to that team if Draistal and MCdavid go in a lenthy slump? Tampa the best team in the NHL last season, got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round and seem to be struggling this year. Teams are closer then ever and more then ever making the playoffs do give you a chance at winning a cup. Tanking does not. 

Almost every team in the NHL has holes, at what cost do you pay to fix one hole and create another. And will it even make you better?

Just to clarify though, I'm not advocating for tanking. I'm saying Bergevin needs to make a decision about whether we're going for it now or not. And if we're not, I see more value in the return we could get by trading the likes of Weber, Petry, or Price than keeping those players while we wait for the draft picks you mentioned to turn into NHL players of value. A 2019 or 2020 2nd round pick, while nice to have acquired, does nothing to help Price or Weber win a Cup this year or next and conversely, Price or Weber are unlikely to be key contributors to our winning a Cup in 3-5 years when those picks mature. I have absolutely no problem with building through the draft, and that's what I would probably do as a GM in the NHL. I just don't like the idea of being half-committed to that approach. Yes, Weber and Petry and Price are going to give you better results in the standings this year, but we're not even sure if this team is good enough to be in the playoffs, never mind make a run through the playoffs to win a Cup. Forget the draft pick for this year, why not just get younger via trades? Why not flip Weber while his value is high and get 2-3 assets who could be good now AND still be valuable for another 5 years? Why not trade Petry before he becomes a UFA in his mid-30's in two years and get a player back who is 5-8 years younger? I agree, maybe the guys you bring in won't be as good right away, but they'll be better able to complement the core you have with Suzuki, JK, Poehling, Brook, Mete, Fleury, Primeau, etc. down the road.

I agree with you that if you sneak into the playoffs, you have a chance at the Cup. But the odds of the Habs winning a Cup this year are probably under 2%. So what's better for us, having a 2% chance at a Cup for the next 5 years or having a 0% chance this year, a 1% chance next year, and an 8-10% chance for the 3 years after that? Teams like Boston and Tampa and San Jose and Washington and now Vegas have put themselves in the perennial contender category the past few years. Even if they don't win, they've given themselves a chance. If we want to do that, we either come up with a plan to build our assets to hit prime in a specific window in a couple of years OR we say we're going for it now... maybe Weber and Price and Petry and Gallagher and Tatar and Drouin and Danault are a good enough core to win now IF you give them the support they need. We need a top pairing LHD and we need a sniper. So if you're MB go and find those two players and be prepared to give up some prospects or picks to do it. Imagine if this team had traded a 1st rounder, Joni Ikonen, and Josh Brook, for example, to get a Zach Werenski... does the trade hurt you down the line? Maybe. But you go out and you get a guy who can step in to fill your biggest hole right away and a guy who could be here for another 5 years or more... I'm not advocating trading high picks or top prospects for a rental, I'm saying look for a hockey trade that puts you in a position to win now if you plan on keeping your older core players. The worst thing that could happen would be to just let these guys sit here on a mediocre team and then have them leave for nothing like Radulov did or like Tavares left the Isles or so on. Look at how fast Colorado turned things around after trading Duchene. No one was saying they tanked. No one made them trade away all their good players. But they took the elements they had through the draft and they added other young elements like Sam Girard and Bowen Byram that can help them in the near and long-term future. Look a the Rangers, who traded aging assets and then went out and signed Panarin and are building back up quickly as well. Look at Ottawa, who mismanaged a lot but still turned Mark Stone into assets and are ahead of where people thought they might be. Doesn't have to be a horrible re-build, but I want to see MB commit to something... either find us a LHD or else make us younger to extend the window to win.

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1 hour ago, kinot-2 said:

I checked the stats of the Rocket, and there's not much down there.

I wouldn't mind giving Alex Belzile  a look. He's a center and was a very late cut for us. He actually looked pretty good in preseason and he does have 7 goals and 14 points in Laval

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5 hours ago, caperns61 said:

I could not disagree more, i do think he has a plan, 11 draft picks in 2018, 10 draft picks in 2019, and 13 draft picks in 2020, over 25 picks since 2017 will have been the 4th round or higher. He is building the team through the draft. He is building a foundation so there is a constant flow of talent through the system. DO i think he always makes the right choice hell no.I was furious over the Subban trade, but it was no where near as bad as I or anyone else made it out to be. Once i got rid of the blinders i kind of like it now. Mind you I would still like to have Subban but i would not trade Weber for him :). I did not like the Droiun for Sergachev trade and cannot understand why he made it. Only Bergevin and his scouts can tell you that. 

It would be great to have a crystal ball and say we are going to be a top 5 team in 1 year or 2 years or 3 years. But thats not the case. I dont think thats the case for any team, I like the fact he is not selling the farm. I like the fact he is not telling his players they are not good enough now, you may as well give up and we will trade you to contenders. I dont care that Weber, Petry and Price are aging maybe they will just be what we need this year or next year or the year after to get us over the top. I believe in having mentors for the young kids. Its not hurting us to have them.

Do you think St Louis was considered a top 5 team to win the cup? Who do you think are the top 5 teams to win the cup this season. Do you think the leafs are a top 5 team? They should be with the talent they have, should they not? They were 34 points better than us in 2017/18, they were 4 points better then us in 2018/19, we are currently 2 points better then them in 2019/20. The Oilers 2 of possibly the best forwards in all of hockey missed the playoffs the last two season. How many years have they been tanking? it appears they are doing much better this year, but are they? What happens to that team if Draistal and MCdavid go in a lenthy slump? Tampa the best team in the NHL last season, got knocked out of the playoffs in the first round and seem to be struggling this year. Teams are closer then ever and more then ever making the playoffs do give you a chance at winning a cup. Tanking does not. 

Almost every team in the NHL has holes, at what cost do you pay to fix one hole and create another. And will it even make you better?

I agree with most of this. Bergy has put us in a good place and nothing is perfect. Our future looks good, I would like to know the internal dynamics that made it difficult to get the draft going sooner as I think it was one of his goals when he was hired but for what ever reason it has taken a few years to evolve. We are doing a much better jod with the draft and I believe teams need to build from within.

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Just to clarify though, I'm not advocating for tanking. I'm saying Bergevin needs to make a decision about whether we're going for it now or not. And if we're not, I see more value in the return we could get by trading the likes of Weber, Petry, or Price than keeping those players while we wait for the draft picks you mentioned to turn into NHL players of value. A 2019 or 2020 2nd round pick, while nice to have acquired, does nothing to help Price or Weber win a Cup this year or next and conversely, Price or Weber are unlikely to be key contributors to our winning a Cup in 3-5 years when those picks mature. I have absolutely no problem with building through the draft, and that's what I would probably do as a GM in the NHL. I just don't like the idea of being half-committed to that approach. Yes, Weber and Petry and Price are going to give you better results in the standings this year, but we're not even sure if this team is good enough to be in the playoffs, never mind make a run through the playoffs to win a Cup. Forget the draft pick for this year, why not just get younger via trades? Why not flip Weber while his value is high and get 2-3 assets who could be good now AND still be valuable for another 5 years? Why not trade Petry before he becomes a UFA in his mid-30's in two years and get a player back who is 5-8 years younger? I agree, maybe the guys you bring in won't be as good right away, but they'll be better able to complement the core you have with Suzuki, JK, Poehling, Brook, Mete, Fleury, Primeau, etc. down the road.

I agree with you that if you sneak into the playoffs, you have a chance at the Cup. But the odds of the Habs winning a Cup this year are probably under 2%. So what's better for us, having a 2% chance at a Cup for the next 5 years or having a 0% chance this year, a 1% chance next year, and an 8-10% chance for the 3 years after that? Teams like Boston and Tampa and San Jose and Washington and now Vegas have put themselves in the perennial contender category the past few years. Even if they don't win, they've given themselves a chance. If we want to do that, we either come up with a plan to build our assets to hit prime in a specific window in a couple of years OR we say we're going for it now... maybe Weber and Price and Petry and Gallagher and Tatar and Drouin and Danault are a good enough core to win now IF you give them the support they need. We need a top pairing LHD and we need a sniper. So if you're MB go and find those two players and be prepared to give up some prospects or picks to do it. Imagine if this team had traded a 1st rounder, Joni Ikonen, and Josh Brook, for example, to get a Zach Werenski... does the trade hurt you down the line? Maybe. But you go out and you get a guy who can step in to fill your biggest hole right away and a guy who could be here for another 5 years or more... I'm not advocating trading high picks or top prospects for a rental, I'm saying look for a hockey trade that puts you in a position to win now if you plan on keeping your older core players. The worst thing that could happen would be to just let these guys sit here on a mediocre team and then have them leave for nothing like Radulov did or like Tavares left the Isles or so on. Look at how fast Colorado turned things around after trading Duchene. No one was saying they tanked. No one made them trade away all their good players. But they took the elements they had through the draft and they added other young elements like Sam Girard and Bowen Byram that can help them in the near and long-term future. Look a the Rangers, who traded aging assets and then went out and signed Panarin and are building back up quickly as well. Look at Ottawa, who mismanaged a lot but still turned Mark Stone into assets and are ahead of where people thought they might be. Doesn't have to be a horrible re-build, but I want to see MB commit to something... either find us a LHD or else make us younger to extend the window to win.

All the teams you say are contenders Boston , Tampa, San Jose , Washington none have traded their core veteran players , these teams have built around them. Vegas is an exception. The others mentioned have given their draft picks time to develop and have kept most of their veterans whom you do need to help the kids along the way. Weber , Price , Petry I think will all contribute for at least 3 -5 years. The players we have Suzuki , JK, ect. should all be ready before 5 years from now. Also the teams that may want any of those 3 probably are only giving up futures because it would have to be a team that thought they were close enough. I actually think if we stay the course we will be better off. If we make the playoffs it's great learning experience. If not the kids will have another year in and be farther along. We definitely don't want to have the kids in the line up and not actually be trying to make the playoffs. I would rather instill a winning attitude now.  

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I see both sides of the argument of either going for it now or saving for the future. That said I will raise a few points

1. How many draft picks are enough to give you the best shot at winning the lottery? If we trade Weber, Price and Petry do you honestly think that will put us in the same category of suckiness as Detroit, L.A., Ottawa or New Jersey? I don't think so plus any team getting Weber Price and Petry would be a playoff team hoping to build their roster further therefore those first round picks are not lottery picks either. I think even trading all three of them your still looking at finishing in the 6-15 worst in the NHL which doesn't increase your lottery chances or the quality of pick in that range by much a 6th pick is just as likely to be a work in progress as a 15th which may make the NHL in 2 years. 

2. If we keep our vets and go for the playoffs and seek a trade for help at the deadline then that too is a risk cause now your having to decide which players or picks are expendable and which ones you should target. If we trade Byron, Mete and a 2nd in 2020 for say Sandhiem and he can't gel with this team then are we better off maybe in the longer term but what if Mete goes to Philly and really takes off and pushes Provorov down the lineup then you traded the better player plus for one who hasn't helped out much. 

3. We have had 21 draft picks in the last 2 seasons and 14 more this year. Now we have the assets and space to add a couple of players we should take advantage of it. IMO maybe you could get a Fowler for say Chicago's 2020 2nd round pick + Poehling + Mete. Then try and get Hall for say Byron + Hillis + Romanov + 2021 2nd or 1st and 3rd IF he resigns by June 30th. Would that not be worth it to line up.

Drouin-Domi-Suzuki

Hall-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Tatar-Danault-Lehkonen

Cousins-Thompson-Armia 

Fowler-Weber

Chiarot-Petry 

Kulak-Fleury

Price 

Primeau

That would not only put us in contention this year and the next 2 but also for 8-10 more after that by simple changes like subtracting Armia, moving Gallagher back a line and inserting Caufield beside KK. Then adding Brook for either Weber or Petry and swapping Price and Primeau's rolls. Not to mention what ever prospects we pick up in that time. I think with Romanov not committing to making a decision on coming over until the KHL season is over. You have to look at moving on from him. 

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