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2021-22 State of the Habs


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59 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

I think this just something to ride out this year and try to solve for next year.

Really? I think I can find that exact same quote you made in 2019!

This francise is in trouble. The owner is hiding in the basement of the Molson Brewery, the GM has not been seen for three weeks now and the coach is.........not sure what he is!!!!

Everyone is talking about how well we played in the first period and outshot the Knights 21-1. Let's be honest Vegas was in La-La land in the first 20 min. When their COACH talked to them between periods they arrived in the second period with a new game plan. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in our room between periods. If I was Carey I would be taking my sweet time to return to this mess as everyone figures he is going to be the guy that walks on water to save this lost bunch of individuals. He does not need the pressure and stress that he will have to face especially with the play of the defence to date. Petry is trying but he looked really bad on the go ahead goal last night. The rest of them have no idea what the hell they are doing when on the ice! The next two games are LA & Calgary. That should end with 12 losses in 15 games. The only thing that will force any changes are for the fans to stay away from the rink. The booing does not work as Molson cannot hear that in the basement of the Brewery.:5155:

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3 hours ago, electron58 said:

The Habs play the Coyotes on January 17th in case anyone was wondering when the worst hockey game of all time is going to be played.

:4224:

1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

I'll repeat this, but this team is not as bad as their record. The offence will come over time. We're seeing Suzuki playing well, we've seen Anderson play well, we're seeing Toffoli and Petry and Hoffman generating more. We'll get Drouin back. And on top of that, getting Price and Edmundson back will give us a boost too. That said, this team will not be a playoff team without addressing two holes: 2C and two guys in the top 4 D.

On the first count, this is why I jumped on the Drouin to center bandwagon and why I thought this was worth Ducharme trying it. We have scoring depth at wing even without Drouin but we have poor depth at center. Dvorak has shown himself to be more of a 3C and Evans/Perreault are really 4th line players at present. So if Drouin can take over that 2C role, it puts the other guys into the right seats. Drouin is our best puck carrier through the neutral zone and he is a good puck distributor, so in this regard, it makes sense. The question will remain whether he can take care of his own zone and still produce offensively knowing he's got to do more defensively. It didn't work out a few years ago, but he's a more mature player now, so I think it's our best option.

As for the D, it seems like a no-brainer to reunite Ed-Petry once JE is back. I wanted to try Chiarot-Petry to see if that would be the best spot to hide Chiarot and have Petry elevate him. But instead, we're seeing Chiarot simply weigh Petry down, just as he's weighed down other guys he's played with. Savard has likewise been a tire fire on the second pairing. Romanov has finally looked better the past two games, but he's benefiting from being on the third pairing with easier match-ups. To try and slide him up the line-up right now might be detrimental to his development. He's been okay with either Kulak or Wideman as his partner, but I'd worry about trying to put him back with Savard or Chiarot again. So ultimately, I just don't see where we put Chiarot and Savard in the line-up and I think we'd be better off trading them both. Chiarot in particular is the one pending UFA of note that we have who we'd benefit from dealing for futures. But I don't see a quick fix to the D, I think this just something to ride out this year and try to solve for next year.

Yeah I agree. I mean this season is clearly lost. I really hope we get the #1 pick. I don't know how we're going to find the D we need. It's almost as hard as finding a C, to find #1 pairing defensman. And then we still have a looming problem in goal and Primeau doesn't look like the answer

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A look at the bottom of the overall NHL standings this afternoon!

28.     Seattle       12       4     7     1     9       .375

29.     Ottawa       11       3     7      1    7       .318

30.  Montreal        13      3    10     0    6       .231

31.  Chicago        12       1      9     2    4       .167

32.   Arizona        12       1     10    1    3       .125

Habs in good company.  I know.  It's still early. Chicago & Arizona can still pass us.

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2 hours ago, richard464 said:

Really? I think I can find that exact same quote you made in 2019!

This francise is in trouble. The owner is hiding in the basement of the Molson Brewery, the GM has not been seen for three weeks now and the coach is.........not sure what he is!!!!

Everyone is talking about how well we played in the first period and outshot the Knights 21-1. Let's be honest Vegas was in La-La land in the first 20 min. When their COACH talked to them between periods they arrived in the second period with a new game plan. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in our room between periods. If I was Carey I would be taking my sweet time to return to this mess as everyone figures he is going to be the guy that walks on water to save this lost bunch of individuals. He does not need the pressure and stress that he will have to face especially with the play of the defence to date. Petry is trying but he looked really bad on the go ahead goal last night. The rest of them have no idea what the hell they are doing when on the ice! The next two games are LA & Calgary. That should end with 12 losses in 15 games. The only thing that will force any changes are for the fans to stay away from the rink. The booing does not work as Molson cannot hear that in the basement of the Brewery.:5155:

Sure, I've probably said that before, but that doesn't mean they actually did anything about it. I said a couple of years ago that they should have offersheeted Werenski instead of Aho, but they didn't. This past off-season there were plenty of D men available that they didn't end up going after. Conor Timmins was available. Vince Dunn was available. Jake Bean was available. Haydn Fleury was available. They could have chosen to give Dougie Hamilton a big offer instead of signing David Savard and Mike Hoffman. There were guys out there who could have helped them into a better position than they are. That's why part of the plan needed to be and should be getting a new GM who has a different perspective on how to build a defence. So now we'll see whether the Habs recognize the problem with their defence and correct it.

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On 11/5/2021 at 12:44 PM, habsisme said:

I think Romanov should be in the AHL right now with Caufield

Lol ….so last year we were complaining that AR and CC weren’t inserted into the lineup for the playoffs , the team was ruining them etc etc . This year thry should be in the minors ….lol 

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2 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

Lol ….so last year we were complaining that AR and CC weren’t inserted into the lineup for the playoffs , the team was ruining them etc etc . This year thry should be in the minors ….lol 

yeah, but they were playing well last year. This year not so much. For sure if they dominate AHL (Caufield will I suspect) you call them up after a little while and give them the ice time they've earned. I don't know if it's drafting or development but we did rush KK and Chucky. One was a bust and the other seems to be heading to solid but mediocre territory. Maybe we should be a little more patient

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Yeah I mean if you look at Draisaitl: He had 9pts in his first 37 games when he was sent back to AHL. Then he went from 51-77-70 to what he is now: first player since Mario Lemieux to reach 20pts with less than 10 games. I dont say that Caufield is in the same league but a little more AHL experience wont kill him. It also makes sure that NHL games arent seen as nobrainer.  Of course as a fan I want to see the exciting players but it can be frustrating for a young player when nothing works. 

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Problem with this team right now is the vets. Petry looks like the most overrated player in the league right now. Same for Gallagher, time they started earning those big salaries. And Allen well if he played any further back in his net he would be behind it. One good game out of every four doesn’t cut it. Personally I would of went with McNiven as a backup and believe he would of ended up playing most of the games. Time to clean house on the coaches. MB is good to go or stay at this point it doesn’t matter. 

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6 minutes ago, tony5775 said:

Problem with this team right now is the vets. Petry looks like the most overrated player in the league right now. Same for Gallagher, time they started earning those big salaries. And Allen well if he played any further back in his net he would be behind it. One good game out of every four doesn’t cut it. Personally I would of went with McNiven as a backup and believe he would of ended up playing most of the games. Time to clean house on the coaches. MB is good to go or stay at this point it doesn’t matter. 

This is the problem that many foresaw: the team has a youth movement with guys like Suzuki, CC, JK (when he was still here), Romanov and the many prospects we have coming up... so was it the wisest move to resign Gallagher and Petry - and, pay them for what they've done for us, not what they are likely to do... or would it have been smarter to move them for guys who will be hitting their stride the same time our other young players are?  We're in no man's land now... and it feels like the ship is not only sinking but rudderless and without a captain too. 

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https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2021/11/7/22767699/cedric-paquette-isnt-answer-to-any-of-habs-current-questions-fourth-line-discipline-poehling-dauphin

 

Cédric Paquette isn’t the answer to any of the Habs’ current questions

It’s one thing to not put up points, but it’s another to actively have a hand in costing your team games.

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I’m pretty much at a loss for words at this point… What happened last night? I watched the 1st period, the game looked pretty much in hand. Up 2-0, shots 20-1 or something like that. Switched it off to watch True Detective, next thing I know my phone is lit up with the worst kind of game updates. Lol what the heck is going on?

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2 hours ago, Regis22 said:

https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2021/11/7/22767699/cedric-paquette-isnt-answer-to-any-of-habs-current-questions-fourth-line-discipline-poehling-dauphin

 

Cédric Paquette isn’t the answer to any of the Habs’ current questions

It’s one thing to not put up points, but it’s another to actively have a hand in costing your team games.

He should be cut. He isn't providing anything to our team and as said there, he's actively hurting us with bad penalties. For a 4th line center, he's been bad at faceoffs, bad at penalty killing, and provides zero offence. So what role does he play exactly? Any decision other than sending him to the minors suggests they're simply afraid to cut a Francophone player. But again, look at Paquette, Perreault, Savard, and Montembeault and tell me which of them is helping the team and can't be replaced by a league-average player? I'd say Perreault has been passably average and the other three have been below average and actively hurt us. They're far from the only ones on the team to be playing poorly but it's clear that MB reached significantly to sign all of them and you have to wonder if they weren't French whether they would have been offered contracts here.

So now ask yourself why there aren't a ton of good Quebec-born players on the Habs? Is it because the Habs aren't going after them? Far from it. There are 48 players born in Quebec currently active in the NHL. And that number includes Paquette, Perreault, Belzile, Drouin, Montembeault, and Savard. It also includes 3 players who have played for the Habs before in Danault, Deslauriers, and Scandella. Some of the rest are well past prime (Brassard, Vlasic, Bernier) or have yet to be useful NHL players (W. Carrier, A. Carrier, Gauthier, Benoit, Groulx, etc.).

How many guys out there are either top 6 forwards or top-pairing D men under 30 or blue chip youngsters who we should actually have interest in acquiring to build around? Well I'd count Jonathan Huberdeau, Anthony Mantha, Thomas Chabot, Anthony Beauvillier, Samuel Girard, Maxime Comtois, Joe Veleno, Alexis Lafreniere, and Hendrix Lapierre. That's 9 players of interest across the entire league who don't play here. I've personally advocated for trading for Huberdeau many years ago and Beauvillier a couple of years ago, but both are established enough now that they're trade values are likely higher than they're worth. We also had the opportunity to draft Sam Girard and passed it up. But the solution to not having those players was never to sign a bunch of fringe NHLers, or at least it shouldn't have been.

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9 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

He should be cut. He isn't providing anything to our team and as said there, he's actively hurting us with bad penalties. For a 4th line center, he's been bad at faceoffs, bad at penalty killing, and provides zero offence. So what role does he play exactly? Any decision other than sending him to the minors suggests they're simply afraid to cut a Francophone player. But again, look at Paquette, Perreault, Savard, and Montembeault and tell me which of them is helping the team and can't be replaced by a league-average player? I'd say Perreault has been passably average and the other three have been below average and actively hurt us. They're far from the only ones on the team to be playing poorly but it's clear that MB reached significantly to sign all of them and you have to wonder if they weren't French whether they would have been offered contracts here.

So now ask yourself why there aren't a ton of good Quebec-born players on the Habs? Is it because the Habs aren't going after them? Far from it. There are 48 players born in Quebec currently active in the NHL. And that number includes Paquette, Perreault, Belzile, Drouin, Montembeault, and Savard. It also includes 3 players who have played for the Habs before in Danault, Deslauriers, and Scandella. Some of the rest are well past prime (Brassard, Vlasic, Bernier) or have yet to be useful NHL players (W. Carrier, A. Carrier, Gauthier, Benoit, Groulx, etc.).

How many guys out there are either top 6 forwards or top-pairing D men under 30 or blue chip youngsters who we should actually have interest in acquiring to build around? Well I'd count Jonathan Huberdeau, Anthony Mantha, Thomas Chabot, Anthony Beauvillier, Samuel Girard, Maxime Comtois, Joe Veleno, Alexis Lafreniere, and Hendrix Lapierre. That's 9 players of interest across the entire league who don't play here. I've personally advocated for trading for Huberdeau many years ago and Beauvillier a couple of years ago, but both are established enough now that they're trade values are likely higher than they're worth. We also had the opportunity to draft Sam Girard and passed it up. But the solution to not having those players was never to sign a bunch of fringe NHLers, or at least it shouldn't have been.

Right on the money and again, it all boils down to talent and Bergevin's ineptitude in properly assessing it. He has a pretty long track record of signing average, below-average, and fringe players to dubious contracts while playing hardball with talented/skilled players, either low-balling them on bridge deals or taking a hard stance with take-it-or-leave-it offers. The team is playing poorly and just goes through the motions because it's lacking talent at key positions, i.e. on D and down the middle. We thought we had the center issue fixed but that's clearly no longer the case, and our issues on the left D side go way back to the season when lost Markov plus virtually every other LHD on the active roster and replaced them with an underwhelming blend of mediocrity.

I understand the necessity of signing Quebec-born players, it's a requirement to some degree, but there's no point in adding French-speaking plugs and spare parts just for the sake of it and reach some sort of quota/contingent. The goal should be to acquire legitimately talented players from the area if there's a chance, that's what hometown fans actually want to see, but like you said the talent pool is quite small to begin with.

Either way, Bergevin isn't proactive enough to build a contender long-term. We learned that trades are hard, yet other teams somehow manage to acquire top line centers and top 4 dmen. Our answer is drafting as many centers or LHDs as we can in a single draft year, hoping one of them pans out years down the road. By then we'll have other needs, like RHDs or a starting goalie for example. That's just not much of a strategy and player development hasn't exactly been stellar.

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3 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Right on the money and again, it all boils down to talent and Bergevin's ineptitude in properly assessing it. He has a pretty long track record of signing average, below-average, and fringe players to dubious contracts while playing hardball with talented/skilled players, either low-balling them on bridge deals or taking a hard stance with take-it-or-leave-it offers. The team is playing poorly and just goes through the motions because it's lacking talent at key positions, i.e. on D and down the middle. We thought we had the center issue fixed but that's clearly no longer the case, and our issues on the left D side go way back to the season when lost Markov plus virtually every other LHD on the active roster and replaced them with an underwhelming blend of mediocrity.

I understand the necessity of signing Quebec-born players, it's a requirement to some degree, but there's no point in adding French-speaking plugs and spare parts just for the sake of it and reach some sort of quota/contingent. The goal should be to acquire legitimately talented players from the area if there's a chance, that's what hometown fans actually want to see, but like you said the talent pool is quite small to begin with.

Either way, Bergevin isn't proactive enough to build a contender long-term. We learned that trades are hard, yet other teams somehow manage to acquire top line centers and top 4 dmen. Our answer is drafting as many centers or LHDs as we can in a single draft year, hoping one of them pans out years down the road. By then we'll have other needs, like RHDs or a starting goalie for example. That's just not much of a strategy and player development hasn't exactly been stellar.

I'll add to this that the solution at LHD several years ago also wasn't keeping Markov/Emelin/Beaulieu. The former was well past prime and unable to play a top 4 role. The latter two were depth defenceman. The problem MB ran into was that he didn't have a contingency plan to replace players who had aged or were traded. Markov was well into his 30s and had gone through several important injuries. It was fairly easy to see that even though he was helping the PP, he was being overwhelmed at ES and that help was needed. The organization made a great move in drafting Sergachev and getting a guy who could have taken over, but then they dealt him for Drouin. As we've discussed, in isolation that's not necessarily a bad move, but in the big picture of things, you traded away your only heir apparent at top 4 LHD. Following that, MB tried to patch that side of his D up with the likes of Streit (whom he claimed would replaced Markov) and Alzner (whom we told would be the top-pairing LHD and partner Weber) and Schlemko and Benn. In essence, it would be as if MB led an army into war and provided his soldiers with only shields. Sure, they help you to defend yourself, but at some point, if you're not producing any counter-attack, the enemy is going to barrage and overcome you.

So as you said, we went out of our way to draft for need and go after centers and LHD and now we have a wealth of LHD prospects. But our RHD looks now like our LHD looked 4 years ago. You have an ageing Jeff Petry heading towards the same spot as Markov was in and then you have a bunch of depth players who aren't playing up to snuff. Meanwhile at center, you lost your high-end potential player in Kotkaniemi and replaced him with a middle 6 depth guy in Dvorak and not much else. Evans is bottom 6. Perreault is bottom 6 and hasn't played center in forever. Paquette isn't an NHLer. Poehling isn't ready and looks like a depth player even if he makes the NHL. There's Mysak and Kapanen and Kidney (and I like Kapanen as a prospect sure) but they're all longshots to be regular NHLers never mind top 6 players. There's no imminent solution in house.

All in all, I'm certainly not against drafting more centers and D men than wingers. Those positions are more important and have higher stock in trades. So that in itself is not a bad strategy. But as discussed, there also needs to be a plan in place for succession here. You can't trade away Sergachev and have no other plan for LHD for years. You can't feel like Juulsen and Fleury are busts and have no plan in place to replace them. You can't let Kotkaniemi walk and have no idea where your next top 6 center prospect is coming from. And meanwhile MB is stockpiling scoring wingers. And while those players have value, it's hard to figure out why you go and spend so much money on the least important spots in the line-up without addressing real needs. As I've said, I would have rather seen him overpay for Dougie Hamilton or offersheet Zach Werenski than dish out that money to Gallagher, Hoffman, Toffoli, Armia, etc. In a salary cap world, there isn't a need to have all those players with no one to feed them the puck.

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4 hours ago, ChiLla said:

Right on the money and again, it all boils down to talent and Bergevin's ineptitude in properly assessing it. He has a pretty long track record of signing average, below-average, and fringe players to dubious contracts while playing hardball with talented/skilled players, either low-balling them on bridge deals or taking a hard stance with take-it-or-leave-it offers. The team is playing poorly and just goes through the motions because it's lacking talent at key positions, i.e. on D and down the middle. We thought we had the center issue fixed but that's clearly no longer the case, and our issues on the left D side go way back to the season when lost Markov plus virtually every other LHD on the active roster and replaced them with an underwhelming blend of mediocrity.

I understand the necessity of signing Quebec-born players, it's a requirement to some degree, but there's no point in adding French-speaking plugs and spare parts just for the sake of it and reach some sort of quota/contingent. The goal should be to acquire legitimately talented players from the area if there's a chance, that's what hometown fans actually want to see, but like you said the talent pool is quite small to begin with.

Either way, Bergevin isn't proactive enough to build a contender long-term. We learned that trades are hard, yet other teams somehow manage to acquire top line centers and top 4 dmen. Our answer is drafting as many centers or LHDs as we can in a single draft year, hoping one of them pans out years down the road. By then we'll have other needs, like RHDs or a starting goalie for example. That's just not much of a strategy and player development hasn't exactly been stellar.

We need to be drafting BPA.  But these clowns always have a different agenda.

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2 hours ago, electron58 said:

We need to be drafting BPA.  But these clowns always have a different agenda.

This is exactly our problem and has been for years.  With the exception of CC our first round picks have been brutal at best.  We reach for a player to fill a position because our GM is to inept to sign a player to fill that position.  This team should have been torn down 2 years ago and rebuilt from the ground up

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1 hour ago, 26NCounting said:

This is exactly our problem and has been for years.  With the exception of CC our first round picks have been brutal at best.  We reach for a player to fill a position because our GM is to inept to sign a player to fill that position.  This team should have been torn down 2 years ago and rebuilt from the ground up

I'll disagree with this take.

- 2012: a large part of the discussion at the time was whether the Habs should take Galchenyuk, Forsberg, or Grigorenko. Some had Galchenyuk in contention for 1st overall pick until he was injured. I think the pick was a good one. Galchenyuk has been one of the more successful players from his draft class and his career seems to have been derailed by off-ice issues, but talent-wise, the pick was bang on. He was certainly a better pick than the two guys who went before him, and frankly it was just a bad draft class. The only guy from the entire draft class to outscore him up until now has been Forsberg, and Forsberg was passed on by 10 teams and then traded by the team that picked him, so it's not like anyone else did much better than the Habs there.

- 2013: I didn't like the McCarron pick when it was made, but they picked at 25 overall. Other than Shea Theodore getting chosen with the next pick, the best player chosen through the rest of round 1 and round 2 was probably Lehkonen. So again, easy to pick out the one guy they missed on in Theodore but there weren't really guys projected to go in the first two rounds who they missed. No one else really panned out there either.

- 2014: again they were picking late in the 1st at slot 26. They took Scherbak, who flopped. But look at the rest of the 1st and and 2nd rounds. The best player in those 30+ picks was Dvorak, whom we now have. There were no game-changers in there whereby if we had chosen them, our top 6 forward group or top-pairing D pair would be any better off than it is now.

- 2015: Juulsen was again a bust, but injuries played a role in that and in limited stints, he looked good enough to be an NHL defenceman. As in 2013, we missed one guy (Aho) who would have changed our top 6 and one guy (Carlo) who might be a legit top-pairing D man. Look at the rest of the 1st round and 2nd round otherwise and there are no game-changers there.

- 2016: Sergachev at 9 was a strong pick. If we had kept him, he'd be on our 1st pairing. The fact he's not has nothing to do with drafting.

- 2017: Poehling chosen at 25. See a pattern here? By the time the Habs were up, there was no one left of great value. The best-producing player the rest of the way was Drake Batherson, who was chosen at the end of Round 4 and has a grand total of 65 points in his career.

- 2018: Kotkaniemi. See the story on Galchenyuk again. It's not a terrible pick and still too early to see how things will play out. He's a center (more value than a winger), he was young for his draft year (more potential to improve), and sharply rising among scouts' evaluations. Maybe the team reached for a center, but as I said, it's not unreasonable to value centers more highly when you finally get a shot to draft near the top of the draft. It's looking like overall, 2018 will end up being a weak draft and it just sucks that we ended up having our highest picks in the past ten years in drafts where the talent was weaker and where there weren't fantastic center options ranked at the top.

Past 2018, I think it's too early to say (even 2018 is a bit young to draw conclusions). But look at those 7 drafts. Four times, we were picking at 25 or 26 and there was really very little talent left on the board. Easy to cherry pick the one or two guys the rest of the way who panned out, but for the most part, the remaining players on the board are not game-changers. They aren't guys who make our top 6 better than it is now, nor fill the need for a top-pairing D man. The guys who we missed on (eg Aho, Theodore, Carlo) are few and far between and are guys many other teams chose not to draft either. It's easy to be revisionist now and say we knew all along those players would be the stars of the draft. Likewise, easy to look at 2012 now and criticize not choosing Forsberg, but we had pick 3 and we chose the guy who to date has the 2nd best production of the entire class. Sure, we could have done a touch better but we also could have done way worse. I don't consider Galchenyuk nor Kotkaniemi to be flops and Sergachev as I said was a great choice and was simply traded before he had an impact here.

So I'll come back to what I've said many times over and over: you want to build a team through the draft, you need to have top 5 picks (or top 10 at worst). You rarely find top 6 center or top-pairing D men when you're picking 25 or 26. There are plenty of things to criticize Bergevin for, but not finding star centers and D men in the draft with where he's been drafting isn't one of them. Where I'll say he went wrong in the draft is really how he's failed to use assets to generate picks. Why not trade Tatar a year or two ago and recoup a 1st if you were going to bench him for most of the post-season and you knew you weren't going to try to re-sign him? Why not deal Plekanec away a year or two before you did and get a 1st rounder instead of a 2nd? Why not trade Shea Weber when you had the chance for a 1st and a blue chip prospect? Ditto for Carey Price. Why not trade Pacioretty or Galchenyuk or Subban before trodding all over their value in the media and get a better return than you did? Why not trade Gallagher instead of re-signing him to a long overpayment of a contract? You want to maintain your success as an organization, you need to acquire guys and run them through their peak years and then get off the train before it derails. Yes, there are occasional players who will perform well into their mid-30s, but the majority of guys have trouble keeping up as they hit 30-33. We saw it with Plekanec, Hamrlik, Markov, Weber, Gomez, etc. Stop overpaying guys to play for you through their 30s, start converting those assets into high picks and top prospects while you can. Some of our best trades in the past 20 years were things like turning Rivet into Pacioretty, turning Pacioretty into Suzuki and Norlinder, turning Weise and Fleischmann into Danault and Romanov... there is a reason why the majority of UFA signings don't end up being worth their cap hits. A good organization might hang on to 2-3 key veterans into their 30s that they've built around but for the most part, you want to have guys for their 18-29 age range and then turn those 27-30 year-olds into longterm assets. You also need to have a dratf or two where you've finished poorly enough to get a top 5 pick or on the lottery or traded for another team's pick and had that work out for you to get their top 5 pick (as Ottawa did to SJ in the Karlsson deal, for example, or as Colorado did to Ottawa in the Duchene deal). Who won that Karlsson trade? Who won that Duchene deal? Hint: it wasn't the teams acquiring a 30 year-old star.

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10 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

I'll disagree with this take.

- 2012: a large part of the discussion at the time was whether the Habs should take Galchenyuk, Forsberg, or Grigorenko. Some had Galchenyuk in contention for 1st overall pick until he was injured. I think the pick was a good one. Galchenyuk has been one of the more successful players from his draft class and his career seems to have been derailed by off-ice issues, but talent-wise, the pick was bang on. He was certainly a better pick than the two guys who went before him, and frankly it was just a bad draft class. The only guy from the entire draft class to outscore him up until now has been Forsberg, and Forsberg was passed on by 10 teams and then traded by the team that picked him, so it's not like anyone else did much better than the Habs there.

- 2013: I didn't like the McCarron pick when it was made, but they picked at 25 overall. Other than Shea Theodore getting chosen with the next pick, the best player chosen through the rest of round 1 and round 2 was probably Lehkonen. So again, easy to pick out the one guy they missed on in Theodore but there weren't really guys projected to go in the first two rounds who they missed. No one else really panned out there either.

- 2014: again they were picking late in the 1st at slot 26. They took Scherbak, who flopped. But look at the rest of the 1st and and 2nd rounds. The best player in those 30+ picks was Dvorak, whom we now have. There were no game-changers in there whereby if we had chosen them, our top 6 forward group or top-pairing D pair would be any better off than it is now.

- 2015: Juulsen was again a bust, but injuries played a role in that and in limited stints, he looked good enough to be an NHL defenceman. As in 2013, we missed one guy (Aho) who would have changed our top 6 and one guy (Carlo) who might be a legit top-pairing D man. Look at the rest of the 1st round and 2nd round otherwise and there are no game-changers there.

- 2016: Sergachev at 9 was a strong pick. If we had kept him, he'd be on our 1st pairing. The fact he's not has nothing to do with drafting.

- 2017: Poehling chosen at 25. See a pattern here? By the time the Habs were up, there was no one left of great value. The best-producing player the rest of the way was Drake Batherson, who was chosen at the end of Round 4 and has a grand total of 65 points in his career.

- 2018: Kotkaniemi. See the story on Galchenyuk again. It's not a terrible pick and still too early to see how things will play out. He's a center (more value than a winger), he was young for his draft year (more potential to improve), and sharply rising among scouts' evaluations. Maybe the team reached for a center, but as I said, it's not unreasonable to value centers more highly when you finally get a shot to draft near the top of the draft. It's looking like overall, 2018 will end up being a weak draft and it just sucks that we ended up having our highest picks in the past ten years in drafts where the talent was weaker and where there weren't fantastic center options ranked at the top.

Past 2018, I think it's too early to say (even 2018 is a bit young to draw conclusions). But look at those 7 drafts. Four times, we were picking at 25 or 26 and there was really very little talent left on the board. Easy to cherry pick the one or two guys the rest of the way who panned out, but for the most part, the remaining players on the board are not game-changers. They aren't guys who make our top 6 better than it is now, nor fill the need for a top-pairing D man. The guys who we missed on (eg Aho, Theodore, Carlo) are few and far between and are guys many other teams chose not to draft either. It's easy to be revisionist now and say we knew all along those players would be the stars of the draft. Likewise, easy to look at 2012 now and criticize not choosing Forsberg, but we had pick 3 and we chose the guy who to date has the 2nd best production of the entire class. Sure, we could have done a touch better but we also could have done way worse. I don't consider Galchenyuk nor Kotkaniemi to be flops and Sergachev as I said was a great choice and was simply traded before he had an impact here.

So I'll come back to what I've said many times over and over: you want to build a team through the draft, you need to have top 5 picks (or top 10 at worst). You rarely find top 6 center or top-pairing D men when you're picking 25 or 26. There are plenty of things to criticize Bergevin for, but not finding star centers and D men in the draft with where he's been drafting isn't one of them. Where I'll say he went wrong in the draft is really how he's failed to use assets to generate picks. Why not trade Tatar a year or two ago and recoup a 1st if you were going to bench him for most of the post-season and you knew you weren't going to try to re-sign him? Why not deal Plekanec away a year or two before you did and get a 1st rounder instead of a 2nd? Why not trade Shea Weber when you had the chance for a 1st and a blue chip prospect? Ditto for Carey Price. Why not trade Pacioretty or Galchenyuk or Subban before trodding all over their value in the media and get a better return than you did? Why not trade Gallagher instead of re-signing him to a long overpayment of a contract? You want to maintain your success as an organization, you need to acquire guys and run them through their peak years and then get off the train before it derails. Yes, there are occasional players who will perform well into their mid-30s, but the majority of guys have trouble keeping up as they hit 30-33. We saw it with Plekanec, Hamrlik, Markov, Weber, Gomez, etc. Stop overpaying guys to play for you through their 30s, start converting those assets into high picks and top prospects while you can. Some of our best trades in the past 20 years were things like turning Rivet into Pacioretty, turning Pacioretty into Suzuki and Norlinder, turning Weise and Fleischmann into Danault and Romanov... there is a reason why the majority of UFA signings don't end up being worth their cap hits. A good organization might hang on to 2-3 key veterans into their 30s that they've built around but for the most part, you want to have guys for their 18-29 age range and then turn those 27-30 year-olds into longterm assets. You also need to have a dratf or two where you've finished poorly enough to get a top 5 pick or on the lottery or traded for another team's pick and had that work out for you to get their top 5 pick (as Ottawa did to SJ in the Karlsson deal, for example, or as Colorado did to Ottawa in the Duchene deal). Who won that Karlsson trade? Who won that Duchene deal? Hint: it wasn't the teams acquiring a 30 year-old star.

2012: agree

2013: I remember thinking why not take Hartman if you wanted that type of player. It's not that they missed Shea Thedore, its that they don't even get the Hartman's of the world in the first found. 

2014: They also missed on Kempe

2015: again we keep not getting the few stars that are left but also we get almost nothing in return. The 2 picks following ours were Larson and Beauvillier, either would have helped this team but we got ZERO

The rest agree and maybe too early. 

I do agree that MB needs to value puck moving D more and need to get rid of guys a little earlier but I only caution that you can get into a bit of a perpetual rebuild too. I don't think you move on from a price or a gallagher. But should he have moved pleks and markov and petry before he did (if he ever did)? Yeah I think so. 

Right now unless I'm actually getting something significant, I'm not going to get rid of players just for the sake of doing it. But we could look at some of our older wingers and try to shop them at least. But why get rid of toffoli and hoffman when they could be the wingers of Wright next year? You gotta get something of value back because those are still good players. 

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14 minutes ago, habsisme said:

But why get rid of toffoli and hoffman when they could be the wingers of Wright next year? You gotta get something of value back because those are still good players. 

You definitely dont want to get rid of all of them - and i am never a proponent of trading for the sake of trading - but lets assume you get a guy like Wright or Lambert. So now you have one of them + Suzuki - you want them both playing big minutes.    You have Caufield, Drouin, Toffoli, Anderson, Gallagher, Hoffman, who are all ideally top 6 wingers.

Obviously injuries will happen but we do also have guys like Lehkonen, Armia, Byron who can all move up the lineup in a pinch and we do have some wing prospects like Ylonen who may be ready in a year or two.  So  I think you can safely move 1 or 2 of those wingers above if you are filing a hole (defense) that is more pressing.   This year should be looked at as a reset/wash.  I would be doing everything in my power to load up on quality prospects and 1st round picks for the remainder of the season.  So what if we move Chairot and Savard for prospects/picks and we have to play Ouellet or Belpedio?   Maybe you give Brook or Fairbrother some games.  Consider it a wash of a year and just let the guys play & lets really evaluate what we have.

Of course this would be a much better plan with a new GM who will (hopefully) make some big changes this summer. 

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5 minutes ago, maas_art said:

You definitely dont want to get rid of all of them - and i am never a proponent of trading for the sake of trading - but lets assume you get a guy like Wright or Lambert. So now you have one of them + Suzuki - you want them both playing big minutes.    You have Caufield, Drouin, Toffoli, Anderson, Gallagher, Hoffman, who are all ideally top 6 wingers.

Obviously injuries will happen but we do also have guys like Lehkonen, Armia, Byron who can all move up the lineup in a pinch and we do have some wing prospects like Ylonen who may be ready in a year or two.  So  I think you can safely move 1 or 2 of those wingers above if you are filing a hole (defense) that is more pressing.   This year should be looked at as a reset/wash.  I would be doing everything in my power to load up on quality prospects and 1st round picks for the remainder of the season.  So what if we move Chairot and Savard for prospects/picks and we have to play Ouellet or Belpedio?   Maybe you give Brook or Fairbrother some games.  Consider it a wash of a year and just let the guys play & lets really evaluate what we have.

Of course this would be a much better plan with a new GM who will (hopefully) make some big changes this summer. 

If we don't move Chiarot at the deadline for whatever we can get... well whoever is GM at the time needs to be fired. Savard I'm not sure we could move him but I absolutely would if I could. And yeah if we can get something good on D or C, for a winger or two, or first round draft picks especially in this years draft, I would do it

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1 hour ago, habsisme said:

If we don't move Chiarot at the deadline for whatever we can get... well whoever is GM at the time needs to be fired. Savard I'm not sure we could move him but I absolutely would if I could. And yeah if we can get something good on D or C, for a winger or two, or first round draft picks especially in this years draft, I would do it

Move him???? If MB is still GM he'll extend him 5 years. Shocked he hasn't done it yet.:rolleyes:

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