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2021-22 State of the Habs


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4 hours ago, habsisme said:

almost everyone on this team looks bad. IF there's a personal reason to move him, I guess you move him. But his age, at his salary and position. I don't see any reason to move him

I would rather keep him as it helps strengthen the center position but my worry is that he resents being in Montreal. He has not said it or anything just his lack of any emotion, maybe like I said it is his personality or whatever (I hope that is it) hence the reason I think a conversation needs to happen. We need to find out where he stands and what long term options we have if he doesn't want to be here.

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https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/hickey-on-hockey-cleaning-up-canadiens-mess-a-tall-task-for-gorton

It's interesting to speculate whether former GM Marc Bergevin had a master plan to handle the team's looming cap crisis he left behind.

When legendary comedian Stan Laurel would become embroiled in a sticky situation, his partner Oliver Hardy would say: “This is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”

Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ newly hired executive vice-president of hockey operations, knows that feeling because he has inherited a fine mess from Marc Bergevin.

 

Gorton met the media for the first time on Friday and, while he said he’s still getting up to speed on how best to turn around the Canadiens, there are signs that the team is heading for a major rebuild. That will involve bringing in fresh talent through the draft and development, and clearing out the dead wood.

The Canadiens haven’t done a stellar job of developing their young talent. Some of the problems stem from a tendency to bring players along slowly, although it could be argued that the problems start with the draft. Many of the team’s first-round flops during the past decade haven’t fared much better in other organizations.

The way things are going this season, the Canadiens will probably have a top-10 pick for the fourth time in the past decade, but for it be successful they have to get the right player and hold on to him.

The Canadiens appeared to have the right player in Alex Galchenyuk, but lifestyle issues got in the way and he’s now a minimum-wage depth player for the Arizona Coyotes, the second-worst team in the NHL.

Mikhail Sergachev was the right player, but he didn’t get a chance before he was traded to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin.

And you could argue that Brady Tkachuk would have been a better pick when the Canadiens opted for Jesperi Kotkaniemi, but the Carolina Hurricanes saw value in the Finn and lured him away with a US$6.1-million offer sheet. The Canadiens received a first-round draft pick from Carolina as compensation, but they traded that away for Christian Dvorak, who has one of those contracts Gorton will probably try to unload.

Gorton conceded that the salary cap is one impediment to a rebuild. The Canadiens have 14 players with contracts that extend for at least three seasons and some of those fall into the bad contract category, deals that are unlikely to attract attention on the open market.

The situation gets even tighter next season, when Nick Suzuki starts earning US$7.875 million. According to Cap Friendly, the Canadiens have committed more than US$84 million — that’s $3 million over the cap — to 13 players and that means Gorton and the general manager to be named will have to shed some contracts.

It’s interesting to speculate whether Bergevin had a master plan to handle the cap crisis. Or maybe he knew he wasn’t going to be around and the fine mess he left behind is Bergy’s Revenge.

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10 hours ago, campabee82 said:

You missed Dvorak - IMO we would have to talk to him as from the outside he looks like a player that just simply does not want to be here. Not sure if it is just his play style or something else but he looks like he just lacks energy like he is just going through the motions. He didn't have much of a choice coming to Montreal since he had no trade protection. He doesn't really celebrate after scoring and doesn't really engage with others on the bench. Again this could all just be a personality thing in which case we keep him but if he doesn't want to be here we should trade him that's why a conversation needs to be had with him.

Not sure anyone has a reason to celebrate,  unless it's your first NHL goal. This team doesn't have anything to look forward to, unless it's a trade outta here.

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10 hours ago, claremont said:

Just a quick revisit on the GM candidate- The talking heads Engels, Stu Cowan and others all mention Briere, Darche, Martin Lapointe, Luongo and fail to mention Martin Madden Jr - do they have inside knowledge that he’s signing with Anaheim or are they totally uninformed? 

From what I 've read, Madden is sort of an introvert,  so, the main job for the new GM, is public appearance,  in which case, not really in his wheelhouse. Might explain,  why we've never really heard much about him before. 

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Clague was a prospect I really liked coming out of junior. Strong skater and puck mover in the minors. Has struggled a bit at the NHL level but had a decent season last year and has been playing better in recent games for LA. Many think he could break out and become a true top 4 D man at some point, so he's worth the risk. Last year he had strong relative possession numbers. This year, not as good, but to put that in perspective, he's been paired almost exclusively with either Alex Edler or Olli Maatta, and both those guys have been horrid possession players for several years. I'd love to see if Clague could do well next to a guy like Petry. They could easily stabilize each other.

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On 12/3/2021 at 10:26 AM, habsisme said:

I don't like that we dont have a GM until after Chrstmas. Does that mean no moves until then also? We're almost begging for Chiarot to get injured.

I wouldn't move Drouin cause he's young enough, speaks french, shoots left (which is a rarity on our team). I'd move Toffoli, he's still putting up points despite the shitty team. With his contract, I think we could really get something for him as well. 

Considering we just pulled a guy off of waivers, I assume that means we can still make moves with Gorton at the helm. 

On 12/3/2021 at 10:29 AM, jennifer_rocket said:

Toffoli would definitely be an interesting trade piece. He doesn't have any NTC or NMC clauses either. Very affordable salary.

Id actually like to keep Toffoli but obviously if the return was right (top line prospect or top pair prospect) then id be down for it. 

 

On 12/3/2021 at 10:36 AM, Regis22 said:

No but you can play Montembeault or Primeau more   

Injured players can stay injured longer ( Byron , Price, Perreault now Petry ) or for the rest of the season

Yeah that was my point. I feel like right now if a guy goes to the coaches & says "hey i have this hangnail" they say "Right! put this guy on the LTIR!"  lol  We now have only 1 defensman in Laval that's on a montreal contract. lol. 

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12 hours ago, Regis22 said:

https://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/hockey-inside-out/hickey-on-hockey-cleaning-up-canadiens-mess-a-tall-task-for-gorton

Gorton met the media for the first time on Friday and, while he said he’s still getting up to speed on how best to turn around the Canadiens, there are signs that the team is heading for a major rebuild. That will involve bringing in fresh talent through the draft and development, and clearing out the dead wood.

Gorton conceded that the salary cap is one impediment to a rebuild. The Canadiens have 14 players with contracts that extend for at least three seasons and some of those fall into the bad contract category, deals that are unlikely to attract attention on the open market.

The situation gets even tighter next season, when Nick Suzuki starts earning US$7.875 million. According to Cap Friendly, the Canadiens have committed more than US$84 million — that’s $3 million over the cap — to 13 players and that means Gorton and the general manager to be named will have to shed some contracts.

It’s interesting to speculate whether Bergevin had a master plan to handle the cap crisis. Or maybe he knew he wasn’t going to be around and the fine mess he left behind is Bergy’s Revenge.

This is an overblown sensationalism article by Hickey when you consider the following;

1) included in the # of players and the 84.9M cap # is Shea Weber's contract - ok so he hasn't officially retired but it is very likely Weber's $$7.9M cap comes off the books and reduces the cap # to $77M. It is unlikely that Weber plays for the $3M cash value of his contract next year given the injury history he has. Not many hockey players his age, come back from a full sabbatical year off of hockey, regardless of how well he trains / treats his body etc.

2) The cap # will likely go up to $82.5M - thus safe to say the habs have $5.5M of room to upgrade Romanov as a bridge from $900K.  (perhaps $2M), Find 2 other defencemen at low values (Norlinder, Guhle, Jordan Harris, Clague) to go with a youth movement, so that's, say $1.8M. We have 12 committed forwards under contract not including Lehkonen. Find a couple of entry level forwards - Ylonen etc. to fill out the lineup, and / or bridge Lehkonen. 

This assumes we are unable to trade any other contracts of buyouts - Byron in the lineup, Edmundson still here. So my conclusion is that it's not an absolute mess as Hickey wants to flout it, but it's a moderate issue much like many other teams trying to shed some cap. Gorton has the analytics and the know how to correct a few ambiguities

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47 minutes ago, claremont said:

This is an overblown sensationalism article by Hickey when you consider the following;

1) included in the # of players and the 84.9M cap # is Shea Weber's contract - ok so he hasn't officially retired but it is very likely Weber's $$7.9M cap comes off the books and reduces the cap # to $77M. It is unlikely that Weber plays for the $3M cash value of his contract next year given the injury history he has. Not many hockey players his age, come back from a full sabbatical year off of hockey, regardless of how well he trains / treats his body etc.

2) The cap # will likely go up to $82.5M - thus safe to say the habs have $5.5M of room to upgrade Romanov as a bridge from $900K.  (perhaps $2M), Find 2 other defencemen at low values (Norlinder, Guhle, Jordan Harris, Clague) to go with a youth movement, so that's, say $1.8M. We have 12 committed forwards under contract not including Lehkonen. Find a couple of entry level forwards - Ylonen etc. to fill out the lineup, and / or bridge Lehkonen. 

This assumes we are unable to trade any other contracts of buyouts - Byron in the lineup, Edmundson still here. So my conclusion is that it's not an absolute mess as Hickey wants to flout it, but it's a moderate issue much like many other teams trying to shed some cap. Gorton has the analytics and the know how to correct a few ambiguities

I used to like Hickey but he is slipping! 

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1 hour ago, claremont said:

1) included in the # of players and the 84.9M cap # is Shea Weber's contract - ok so he hasn't officially retired but it is very likely Weber's $$7.9M cap comes off the books and reduces the cap # to $77M. It is unlikely that Weber plays for the $3M cash value of his contract next year given the injury history he has. Not many hockey players his age, come back from a full sabbatical year off of hockey, regardless of how well he trains / treats his body etc.

I agree with all of your sentiments although i will just add that I know for a fact the money isnt an issue, he'd play for $1 - he WANTS to come back - more than anything (even though many in his family may not share that opinion) but the chances of him doing so are very very very slim.  So i agree that there's likely a 99% chance his money comes off the books. 

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Savard has been awful again tonight. Looked like he pushed a Nashville player into Allen on the 3rd goal. He was on for a 2.5 minute shift when the 2nd goal went in. Tons of mistakes, out of position, too slow... remember when the Habs figured we needed to give Alzner a chance and that we were still better off with him in the line-up than paying him for a buyout? Savard is Alzner 2.0 (if you don't count all of MB's other botched defenceman decisions between them). I'd rather bury Savard in the minors and bring up a minimum-wage guy than keep Savard in the lineup. With Clague and Edmundson both coming soon, there's no reason for Savard.

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58 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Savard has been awful again tonight. Looked like he pushed a Nashville player into Allen on the 3rd goal. He was on for a 2.5 minute shift when the 2nd goal went in. Tons of mistakes, out of position, too slow... remember when the Habs figured we needed to give Alzner a chance and that we were still better off with him in the line-up than paying him for a buyout? Savard is Alzner 2.0 (if you don't count all of MB's other botched defenceman decisions between them). I'd rather bury Savard in the minors and bring up a minimum-wage guy than keep Savard in the lineup. With Clague and Edmundson both coming soon, there's no reason for Savard.

We have to dump him somewhere and retain salary, to the minors, or buyout -  he just doesn’t fit 

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So one asks what happened in Nashville.

What happened in Nashville was the team had an opportunity to serve up decisiveness pleasantly Canadian to the Russian who is coming to square the team away. Well that's what happened to my mind anyway. 

So If I were coach I would certainly hang back on calling out Hoffman for the penalties he took. Got to start somewhere.

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On 12/4/2021 at 6:32 PM, BigTed3 said:

Savard has been awful again tonight. Looked like he pushed a Nashville player into Allen on the 3rd goal. He was on for a 2.5 minute shift when the 2nd goal went in. Tons of mistakes, out of position, too slow... remember when the Habs figured we needed to give Alzner a chance and that we were still better off with him in the line-up than paying him for a buyout? Savard is Alzner 2.0 (if you don't count all of MB's other botched defenceman decisions between them). I'd rather bury Savard in the minors and bring up a minimum-wage guy than keep Savard in the lineup. With Clague and Edmundson both coming soon, there's no reason for Savard.

Im most interested to see how Gorton handles guys like Savard and even overpriced forwards like Byron (although he doesnt actively hurt us and i suspect we're going to have a lot of cap space soon).

I must say i didnt think Savard would be this bad. I was sure he wouldnt be close to a replacement for Weber but I thought he'd be at least a decent #4.  Im not convinced he'd even be good on the 3rd pair with a stable partner. 

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5 hours ago, maas_art said:

Im most interested to see how Gorton handles guys like Savard and even overpriced forwards like Byron (although he doesnt actively hurt us and i suspect we're going to have a lot of cap space soon).

I must say i didnt think Savard would be this bad. I was sure he wouldnt be close to a replacement for Weber but I thought he'd be at least a decent #4.  Im not convinced he'd even be good on the 3rd pair with a stable partner. 

Yeah it is crazy how he can't even skate anymore! he just falls down makes every bad play a D man can make and he does not even hit much. we all knew he was slipping but wow this guy should just retire before he hurts himself our goalie!

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On 12/5/2021 at 4:49 AM, archey said:

I were coach I would certainly hang back on calling out Hoffman for the penalties he took. Got to start somewhere.

If you were coach, Archey, things would be much more interesting, thats for sure. I feel like the term "Bag Skate" would take on new meaning.... :4224:

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Just now, Regis22 said:

Good luck , dont make a mistake or youll get glued to the bench 

I do wonder if that will change now. I. know DD & Richardson & Co are still there but you can bet that if Gorton grabbed Clague because he likes what he brings, he may be calling DD if he doesnt play him or plays him too little. 

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21 minutes ago, maas_art said:

I do wonder if that will change now. I. know DD & Richardson & Co are still there but you can bet that if Gorton grabbed Clague because he likes what he brings, he may be calling DD if he doesnt play him or plays him too little. 

I get the feeling Gorton won't meddle too too much this season. I think he's really in the watch and evaluate mode right now. If he wanted to meddle, Ducharme would be gone already. You could argue he wants to see his own new/young players succeed, but you could also argue he understands the importance of showcasing guys like Chiarot, Kulak, or so on that he may want to trade at the deadline.

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11 hours ago, maas_art said:

Im most interested to see how Gorton handles guys like Savard and even overpriced forwards like Byron (although he doesnt actively hurt us and i suspect we're going to have a lot of cap space soon).

I must say i didnt think Savard would be this bad. I was sure he wouldnt be close to a replacement for Weber but I thought he'd be at least a decent #4.  Im not convinced he'd even be good on the 3rd pair with a stable partner. 

Yeah this. Byron is now the least of our problems. Yes, Savard is horrible.  I know he wasn't great, but he is actually a major liability out there. Talk about falling off a cliff, or, was he always this bad,  and nobody noticed?

 

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A look at the bottom of the overall NHL standings Dec. 07/2021, Only 4 days later.

25.  Chicago         24       9     13      2      20

26.   Seattle          25       9     14      2      20

27. Vancouver      26       9     15      2      20

28.  Buffalo           24       8      13     3      19

29.  N.Y.I.             20       5      10     5       15

30.    Ottawa         23       7     15     1       15

31.  Montreal       26       6      17    3       15

32.   Arizona         25       5     18      2      12

 

Buffalo dropping down to join the party. Islanders with 6 games in hand.  Habs now 14 points out of a wild card spot. Bruins have 5 games in hand. Red Wings & Penguins - the two wild card teams each have one game in hand. Gonna be hard to catch the Yotes.:(

Fight for the Wright!

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