Eller agrees to four-year, $14-million deal with Habs

The Canadiens and forward Lars Eller have avoided salary arbitration.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin announced on Thursday afternoon that the club has agreed to terms with Eller on a new four-year contract. The deal is worth $14 million and avoids a salary arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday. Eller will earn $2.5 million in each of the first two seasons of the deal and $4.5 million in each of the last two years.

On Wednesday, the Canadiens submitted a $1.65-million one-year offer to the arbitrator while Eller was looking for $3.1 million. Eller earned $1.5 million last season when he posted 12-14-26 totals in 77 regular-season games and had 5-8-13 totals in 17 playoff games.

“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long-term agreement with Lars Eller,” Bergevin said in a statement. “He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink. Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come.”

Tweeted Eller after the signing was announced: “Very happy to be a part of the Montreal Canadiens for 4 more years!”

During a conference call later in the afternoon from the Toronto airport, where he was waiting for a flight home to Denmark, Eller said: “First of all, I’m very happy to be a Canadien for the next four years. This is the place I want to be. Four years was a term that both sides had been working on for quite some time.”

Eller was asked about the added pressure that will come from his new contract.

“A lot of times your salary and your expectations and pressure goes hand-in-hand and I’ve seen that here in Montreal,” he said. “But I put a lot of pressure on myself, too. I think it also speaks to how much the organization believes in me and has faith in me. It’s really nice to know that they’re behind me and they’ve shown me that faith and now it’s up to me to go out and play the best hockey I can.”

When asked what part of his game he needs to improve most in the future, Eller said: “I think the No. 1 thing for me is consistency. I know when I’m on top of my game there’s not much I want to change. I want to improve every area, but most of all consistency. And I still think there’s something to gain in my offensive part of the game and that’s probably where I can improve the most, but I need to improve every area of my game.”

P.K. Subban, the Canadiens’ remaining restricted free agent, has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

Habs’ salary-cap chart, capgeek.com

Eller gets four-year, $14-million deal, by Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan

Four years for Eller, canadiens.com

Price says his knee ‘feels pretty good,’ Stu on Sports blog

Bozon on comeback trail, canadiens.com

Gorges still in shock after trade from Habs, Stu on Sports blog

 

840 Comments

  1. on2ndthought says:

    @UCE Re: IQ
    Normand,
    I actually think the opposite, that trying to feather a pass while the goalie is off-balance (or shooting right at a set goalie when there’s a 50:50 chance to feather a pass) is exactly what hockey IQ is about.

    I don’t think Eller has a bad IQ, I really just think he makes things happen so fast that the correct decisions are not actually made. His defensive prowess (never mind the -15; I like stats, but there is always more to the story) is a sign he can think out there especially without the puck. We’ve all seen what he can do in close with the puck. I think his biggest challenge is to transition from the demon crossing the line in control of the puck to the artist dangling and shooting from angles the goalie cannot foresee or react to.

    The player dragging to the bench while opponents are creating scoring chances doesn’t lack IQ, he lacks effort and commitment, two things Lars has in spades.

    Vision is a whole different kettle of fish, the ability to see things on the ice as they are happening and to accurately predict what will develop over the next few seconds. It really can’t be taught and coaches often don’t know how to deal with it, because you can’t fit it into a ‘system’.

    Luis Suarez’s blackest moment was a product of vision. He saw the exposed shoulder and realized that if he could create a backward slapping motion from the defender, he could fall, clutch his face, and be awarded a penalty kick. It almost worked to perfection except the defended pulled his swat and Suarez looked a fool clutching his face; but it was close. Now this is obviously a low IQ, high vision play; but mostly they tend to correlate pretty well.

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, I don’t think I chose the best examples. I think I was going off the couple of posters who said that Michaël Bournival has low hockey IQ, whereas he has that in spades, what he lacks is a good shot. He’s not great on offence, but he is a smart hockey player. And yeah, Sergei, despite saying he didn’t realize he was in the midst of an odd-man rush, showed more of a lack of effort and dedication than hockey IQ.

  2. Mavid ® says:

    74

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  3. on2ndthought says:

    Ronn (and by extension Habfan17):

    I was going to use similar wording (static) while describing our PP below. There is dynamism on the back end, as PK and Marky switch lanes or pile up in an I-formation; but the front end is static. DD on the half board, Max Pax looking for a seam and Gally battling in front (on top of) the keeper.

    I think DD COULD shoot more, but high IQ players don’t like to end an odd man situation with a gift the goalie can see, and while Gally is in front of the goalie, he is not blinding him (except with his smile). So we’re left trying to make something out of not very much. If Patches was willing to do the screening, we’d really have something (Gallagher also has a gem of a quick release shot), but that would be playing against type.

    “a cannonading drive”

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    Three putative candidates for the assistant coach job in Montréal can be eliminated, according to this article in La Presse.

    http://www.lapresse.ca/sports/hockey/201407/24/01-4786330-un-adjoint-quebecois-chez-le-ch-les-portes-se-ferment.php

    Pascal Vincent made it clear that he’s happy in Winnipeg and hasn’t talked to anyone about any other job. He says he wants to honour his contract with the Jets. The writer points out that it would be hard for him anyway to leave the organization for a lateral move, rather than a promotion.

    Éric Veilleux, the head coach of the Drakkar de Baie-Comeau, who was at the prospect development camp as an invited coach, and played for Michel Therrien as a Laval Titan, just signed a contract to be the assistant coach of the Norfolk Admirals. He says he spoke at camp with Michel Therrien about his future plans, but it sounds like it was more of a mentor, professional development conversation rather than an official interview, which would have been with Marc Bergevin anyway.

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/buzzing-the-net/drakkar-coach-veilleux-moves-norfolk-125451280.html

    The other invited coach at the prospect camp, Mario Ducharme, head coach of the Halifax Moosehead, explained to the writer that he hasn’t had any contact with the Canadiens for the assistant coach job.

    The article reminds readers that Michel Therrien stated at the June draft that he wanted an “experienced coach” to replace Gerard Gallant, one who’d be close to the players.

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      An easy cut to the chase.

      Assistant coaches – especially under contract, do not make lateral moves to other organizations.

      The Habs will not fill their assistant post with a Junior coach that has no NHL experience.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Ronn, why the tone?

        Stéphane Waite made a lateral move. It’s not unheard of.

        This is a good article in that it deals with three names that were batted around on social media as potential replacements, and explains why they won’t be the ones to fill the assistant coach’s job. Yes, for some of the reasons that you mention, which didn’t prevent their names from being batted around in the first place.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          uce

          There is no tone – negative or any other.
          I don’t know why you would think that?

          Stephane Waite’s contract was over in Chicago.
          As a matter of fact, I had hoped that GMMB would hire Waite and stated that on HIO during the Hawks Cup run in 2013.
          —————-
          Maritime Ronn says: June 5, 2013 at 7:03 am.

          My $2 bet for next goalie coach is Sherbrooke Quebec born Stephane Waite currently the goalie coach with the Chicago Black Hawks.
          Waite has been in Chicago since 2004, and Bergevin knows him well from his 2005-2012 time there.

          Word out is that Waite did a good job with Niemi, and had a lot to do with a great rebound season by Corey Crawford.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Howz about Head of Amateur Scouting, Chainsaw Churla? If nothing else, he could tune up Claude Julien.

    • HabFab says:

      Mathieu Darche

    • habstrinifan says:

      Lucien Deblois!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “Protest Rogers blackout of Habs game…sign at:

      https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-habs-blackout-rds.

  5. Maritime Ronn says:

    If anyone is interested in the Canadian Open – and have access to The Golf Channel, Graham DeLeat is on the 2nd hole 2 shots off the lead

  6. Un Canadien errant says:

    Martin St-Pierre has signed with Zagreb of the KHL.

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/st-pierre-opte-pour-la-khl-1.1324022

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Your last 2 posts are HIO ‘old news’, and I’m surprised you bothered to post that.

      As an HIO vet, you probably/should know that any remotely related Habs news is posted within seconds – sliced and diced within 15 minutes – then right or wrong decided within 30 minutes.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Ronn, play nice.

        The Bokondji Imama story was linked to because I only heard of it through CJ, as a ‘more than strong rumour’. It’s now (at least for me) confirmed by RDS and le Journal de Montréal, and tweeted out by the Olympiques. Hadn’t seen any links or confirmation on this thread yet.

        As far as Martin St-Pierre, we knew he wouldn’t be back with the Bulldogs, that was obvious even before the season ended. And I’d read that he was headed to Europe, but the article I linked to has the specifics, plus some background on his decision. He appears to no longer see the NHL as a realistic goal, and he now intends to produce in the KHL, to earn a bigger contract with one of the major teams there. He’s going to Zagreb to impress the KHL.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          uce

          You are a respected poster and interesting read for the most part.

          I was “Playing nice,” and just mentioning that old news on HIO is exactly that – Old News.
          You should not take offense to that…or feel slighted, challenged, or anywhere close to fragile concerning the content or truth of the post.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Ronn, one of the great attractions of HIO is the tone of civility and respect that is used for the most part. I choose to exchange with most posters who are courteous. When someone is curt and dismissive I tend to avoid them.

            This week you took the time to tell Chris he was “completely wrong”, or words to that effect, instead of choosing a more polite, form, like “I disagree”, or “the facts show that”… It struck me as unnecessarily adversarial, thought of commenting, but decided not to.

            You’ve in the past been abrupt when replying to my posts, notably on the subject of Nathan Beaulieu’s assault conviction. I’ve overlooked it, but I did notice.

            So when you take the time to upbraid me on posting etiquette on HIO, it’s doesn’t roll off my back.

            If I post something that’s of no interest to you, you can easily skip over it.

            I look for certain avatars, yours included, and read the posts, until I realize it’s not a subject that interests me, and then move on. If it’s Chris and he’s going on about soccer, I use the trusty Page Up or Page Down buttons.

            So when I said “Play nice”, it’s with this in the back of my mind. If you want to talk, I’m more than willing, I look forward to reading your posts, and I won’t qualify it like you do for mine. But if you’re going to take the time to belittle my posts or contributions, I’ll just stay on my side of the fence.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Thank you for taking the time to respond.

            Everyone sometimes has their ‘moments’ – including yourself, yet most just choose to forget and move on.
            This is a hockey web site, and not real life.

            As for your call out of Chris and myself – we have had wonderful exchanges, and great, interesting, and funny heated times – once when Chris mentioned I should get my head out of my ar*se.
            I laughed…perhaps and most likely you would not, but we still carry on and exchange.

            As mentioned, I enjoy your posts for the most part, yet I do not believe anyone elected you as the HIO Conscience or Gatekeeper – a roll you appear to have assumed with poster call outs of grammar, spelling, and even sayings such as “Bad Faith” ….somehow seeing a responsibility or need to educate the HIO participants.

            Your opinions are strong and well thought out – as are so MANY others, yet yours is just 1 more opinion amongst many – no more or less important than any other.
            Do you believe that?
            As you mention, we all have choices as to what we wish to read or skip or engage….

          • habcertain says:

            You two guys are hilarious.

        • Ron says:

          Normand, the Rookie camp ran from July 7th to 11th and the lad was at the now finished camp. This was not only linked on here before, during and after camp. You must have been on vacation. :D

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Not really. On Friday, it was tweeted out by the Olympiques that Bokondji Imama has been invited to the rookie camp, held in September, immediately prior to the ‘main’ training camp.

            The prospect development camp was the one that was held earlier this month.

            The RDS article might have cleared up this confusion, in that it does mention that he must have impressed the brain trust at the prospect camp, since he got another invite, this one to the rookie camp.

            Le rendement de Bokondji Imama au dernier camp de développement du Canadien a visiblement plu aux éclaireurs de l’organisation puisqu’il a été invité au camp des recrues.

            Sometimes I poke fun at myself, and others will participate, about my persnickety rules of grammar. I’ve called myself a supercilious stickler on one occasion, and HabitantinSurrey included that in his signature for a while.

            In this specific case, earlier this week, we had a discussion on the difference between the prospect development camp, which is held in July, the rookie camp, which is for all the draftees and AHL’ers and a few invites and is held in early September, and the main camp, the training camp, for the NHL players along with the stronger players from the rookie camp, which follows immediately.

            This is why it’s important to keep our definitions straight, to keep speaking the same language.

          • Ron says:

            Right you are Normand. They did use the “rookie” when describing the developement camp as I guess most were rookies. The main camp in September should be a good one. Hope the kid impresses further.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            We’ll have to be careful and refer to them as the prospect, rookie, and training camp respectively, else we step into this beartrap again.

            And yeah, I’ve never seen the kid play, but I’m developing a fan crush.

  7. Un Canadien errant says:

    I guess it’s official, RDS says Bokondhi Imama will be at the rookie camp.

    http://www.rds.ca/hockey/canadiens/imama-au-camp-des-recrues-1.1324079

    Great news, I kind of like the kid’s story, and his potential to improve, since he’s not even 18 yet.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2014/07/canadiens-to-sign-bokondji-imama-as-pre.html

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    One point which has been raised before by others is that ‘hockey IQ’ and ‘offensive vision’ are two different things. Lars Eller sometimes get slammed for a low hockey IQ, and that’s flat wrong. He’s a smart player, doesn’t make bad mistakes usually, just that he’s not a Pierre Turgeon with the puck. I’ve critiqued his play a few times, how he’ll get the puck near the net and start stickhandling it towards the board, away from the net, exactly where the defenders want him to go with the puck.

    Last season we all agree that he was out of sorts. And I admit he did take a lot of ‘dumb’ penalties. As always, I’ll give him a mulligan though, he was coming off that Erik Gryba mugging from the previous spring, recovering from a concussion. He certainly seemed to be coming around during the playoffs.

    So let’s distinguish between the two. When Lars has an open shooting lane with the goalie teetering on one leg pad, and chooses to try to pass through a thicket of sticks and skates, that’s a poor choice of play, that’s not great offensive vision, but it doesn’t mean Lars has poor hockey IQ.

    Now, Sergei Kostitsyn giving up on a backcheck and going to the bench for a change while the other team is on an odd-man rush, that’s poor hockey IQ.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i_7s45q7wc

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  9. Maritime Ronn says:

    @ Phil
    hey phil

    All excellent points in response to 2ndthought re the Habs PP.

    Perhaps you may agree, yet there is no denying that 51 has a high hockey IQ, and very high level of vision and anticipation – aspects of the game a coach cannot teach.

    When watching the Habs PP last year, Habfan 17 had some great observations:
    ” …The power play needs to be less static. The system had the players stuck in what I call a table hockey slot and there wasn’t nearly enough movement or creativity.”

    More often than not, 51 was parked/stationary on the side boards, and used as a tee-up man for either PK or Markov, or looking (always) for Max.

    Was that by design?
    Was he told, ” Stay there” by Gallant?
    Did that thwart creativity – of which he has proven he has, or is he just NOT made for an elite Power Play?

    One thing that no one could criticize 51 about is his courage – especially for a little guy.
    That was confirmed last year when he went ‘nose to chest’ with Phaneuf where the Pylon Dion looked uncomfortable with the challenge….

    This is a difficult one to decipher.
    Several mention 51 can’t shoot, or he has an awful shot, yet I remember the goal he scored in OT last year against Nashville – the shot was an absolute Laser!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZzwlx1yNwk

    Can the 1st Unit PP mix be better?
    Absolutely – 19th place is not a good spot to be.
    Should that be by design, or by outright talent and skill where size/net presence may be a factor by a center?

    • Phil C says:

      Hi Ronn,

      Thanks for the response. With my gun pointed firmly at my foot, I was getting killed down there! You make a good point that the problem could be coaching. I guess we’ll see with the new coach.

      I really like DD 5-on-5 as I said before, his transition game is deadly due to his quick acceration and ability to know where his teammates are and move the puck quickly.

      I agree, he can shoot, he just doesn’t do it enough, especially on the PP. Maybe that is the fix. But when you have a guy like Plekanec on the bench who has proven in the past he can produce, why stick with DD? Average is not good enough with Subban and Markov on the point.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Phil

        The PP definitely needs a new look with perhaps some new strategy/players – 19th place isn’t good enough – and as you noted, especially with PK and Markov on the points.

        I always saw 51 as a Center that can hold the fort/transition ($3.5M) before the next wave comes along…He’s done a good job at that.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Re DD’s shot, at least he shoots better than Gomez! I was flabbergasted at how bad Gomez’s shot was

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Ah yes, the Gomez knuckleball. What a futterer that was.

        I think David needs to work on his shot some more, and it can improve. I hope that’s part of his summer workout program, when on the ice, that he practices his shot and learns to trust it more. There’s a book on him that he’s always looking for Max, he can surprise some goalies if he looks them off and then snipes.

        Mathieu Schneider at first had a popgun, but over his career he developed a very good shot.

    • JohnInTruro says:

      Notice how half of them are Kostitsyn and Moen with him? That was a line, and man Kostitsyn played like a high end draft pick in a lot of those highlights.

  10. Hobie says:

    You heard it here first. Marc Bergevin signs PK Subban and with the leftover cap space he then signs Paul Bisonnette. BizNasty is going to be a Hab baby!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Paul Bissonnette Verified account ‏@BizNasty2
      Need a butler @Eller_89?

    • frontenac1 says:

      God, I hope not Hobie. He got smoked by Real Fighters over the last two seasons. 12 fights and 2 wins. Rosehill and Paluso both beat him last season. I think he got beat up too much by Mirasty early in his Career.

      • on2ndthought says:

        We don’t need him to beat Lucic/Orr/Scott, just to fight them so Prust/Weiss/(Moen)/(Tiny) don’t have to. You are right though, he is a light heavyweight and we’d do better with a true big lad.

        “a cannonading drive”

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        If you got points for fighting, I would agree with you. BizNasty has an excellent sense of humour and would fit perfectly as the 13-14th forward who hardly plays. It is impossible to find an enforcer who can play now so MB will have to settle for something less.

    • Phil C says:

      One of the league’s most popular players on twitter and the world’s craziest hockey market seems like a formula for a complete sh!tshow on the side. Too big of a distraction for what he brings, although it would be entertaining for a while!

    • adamkennelly says:

      man I hope not…not even sure if its better than nothing – he’s not intimidating at all – if we are going to bother – which I hope we do – need a top guy. Peluso, Rosehill, Gadzic – but they will all cost more than nothing.

      • Phil C says:

        These guys come available on occasion if you are looking for one. Gadzic was on waivers last year, so you have to think Dallas would have taken almost anything rather than put him on waivers where they lost him for nothing. Rosehill cleared waivers in 2012, was a UFA in 2013, then the Flyers got him for Zolnierczyk, a 4th liner at best.

        What about Kassian? He is still a UFA.

      • CH Marshall says:

        Gadzic would be great. Tough customer

  11. Phil C says:

    @On2ndthought

    While DD is an offensive wizard 5-on-5, his PP production has been very poor for the last two years. He only had 15 PPP last year which would put him 35th in the league among centres, which means our 1st wave guy is producing less than many 2nd wave guys. Even Plekanec had 10 points in half the icetime. DDs numbers are not good enough for the first wave IMO. With Subban and Markov on the point, the Habs should always be among the best PPs in the league but they were not, so something has to change and I think it’s the centre, especially when you have a player like Galchenyuk who can pass as well as DD but who also has a laserbeam for a shot.

    Not sure why DD struggles on the PP but is suspect it is because one of his best offensive weapons is his deadly transition game which is not a factor on the PP. I also think it is because he simply does not shoot enough, making him easier to defend on the PP.

    • B says:

      Good Morning. Desharnais had 212:29 PP TOI, Plekanec had 157:35 which is not half. Neither had a career year on the PP, but Desharnais (.070) actually averaged more points per minute on the PP than Plekanec (.063). For that matter, he also averaged more than Subban (.06) and Markov (.059). I think the PP as a whole had some issues last season, not just Desharnais.

      FWIW, Desharnais also ranked 35th among centers in PP TOI.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Phil C says:

        Good point on Plekanec, I think I looked at Gionta’s line in error. However it is harder to score on the 2nd wave usually. Regardless, the point stands that 15 PPP is not great. In 2010 when the Habs had the 2nd best PP, Plekenac had 24 points in 216 minutes, or .11 points per minute.

        Who would you have on your first wave? And what PP issues do you refer to?

        • B says:

          I wish I had the answers, but I’m not that bright. FWIW, I would like to see more of Galchenyuk on the PP next season. The PP issues I referred to were not scoring enough. Sorry if that’s too vague or simple.

          edit: You are right that DD’s PP production was not great last season. He was one of the more productive guys on a weak Hab’s PP last season, but league wise it was more on the average side of things. Certainly not great.

          –Go Habs Go!–

      • HardHabits says:

        You know that if you’re going to make a rebuttal to an argument here, facts and proof won’t do. It has to be an invective laden and emotional diatribe if you wish to contribute. ;-)

        • on2ndthought says:

          no way, you’re wrong, you’re probably a Leaf/Bruin fan/troll

          “a cannonading drive”

        • Phil C says:

          Stats and facts/proof are two different things, don’t go to the dark side on me. ;-)

        • B says:

          Some folks are very passionate about hockey and can get carried away on occasion (I’m not pointing a finger at anyone in particular here). There is nothing wrong with being passionate about hockey. The vast majority of the time that passion is expressed well here without descending into what I consider inappropriate behaviour for this forum.

          I also think it is very rare that folks deliberately post inaccuracies here. I do believe that some misinformation does exist and gets perpetuated / accepted as true without it’s validity being ascertained. Again, I think this is typically an oversight rather than being a deliberate or malicious thing.

          I did see your smiley HH, I am just throwing out some general thoughts here. Sorry for rambling.

          –Go Habs Go!–

          • HardHabits says:

            It’s the week-end and it’s summer. I had to put the smiley because sarcasm or dry humour doesn’t always convey in the context of a forum reply. It’s like when JB started to post serious stuff it sent many of us for a loop. Many of us have a fondness for Bugs for pretty much the same reason.

            In reality I was complimenting you on a nice reply. People slamming DD for his PP production without looking at everybody else’s contribution generally has them putting the PP all on DD’s shoulders, which as your data shows, is not the case. The Power Play as a unit last season was weak.

            Going beyond stats, my belief, as it has been since the time that is memorable, the problem lies with the lack of the cannon on the blue line. Subban is not that cannon. I am talking the pantheon of blue line blasters who carried the torch until it got doused; Souray-Streit-M-A.Bergeron-Wisniewski.

            I think rather than leaning on one super blaster, the Habs should move to blue line cannon by committee. If the Habs have 4 D men that can shoot and (and that is a very significant and) pass (by that I mean make plays) the PP should improve.

            I am pretty sure a statistical analysis can be made to prove my argument. that during the periods that the Habs had any of those 4 D-men I mentioned, their PP was among the best in the league.

          • Phil C says:

            Subban led the league in PPP for defensemen two years ago and was 3rd in the league among all skaters. I seriously doubt he is the problem, not to mention having an accurate bomb of a shot. Markov has a decade-long track record as an elite QB. If there is a personnel issue on the PP, it’s up front.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Phil, I’m glad B found those stats, but think we can all agree that our PP was not effective last year after the first couple of months. Assuming the personnel is the same (subtract Gio add PAP), the fix will have to be internal.

      At the start of the year our PP was devastating with Markov and PK trading blasts from the point. PKs around the league (a bit confusing with the PK) started to take away the point shot, and our PP never made a successful adjustment. They must have tried. I do remember DD twisting around with the puck at the right side half board, not really challenged but unable to find a credible threat.
      I don’t know the fix. Suggest to DD that he shoot more in that situation? Ask Gally to release from the front of the net and seek a shooting position? Get Markov to try to back door even more (heaping some defensive responsibility on MaxPax)?

      I still think that DD is part of the first line solution to the PP, at least until Chucky learns center at the NHL level, which neither MT nor MB seem to be pushing.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • Phil C says:

        I seem to remember that DD was not being used in the first couple months on the first wave due to his slump. Once he broke out of his slump after 18 games , they started playing him again on the 1st wave and the PP went from being among the best to very average.

        I agree that Galchenyuk has not shown he is ready for centre yet, but playing centre on the PP is different then 5-on-5 where you have serious defensive responsibilities. On the PP, it is all offense which suits his present skillset. I really like DD on the 1st line 5-on-5 and see no reason to change it anytime soon.

        I think one of the remedies for the opponent taking away the point shot is to have one of the forwards come off the half wall and shoot like Kovalev used to do, or set up for the one-timer in the circle like Stamkos or Cammalleri do if the defending forward gets to high and opens up a passing lane. Having a centre like Galchenyuk or Plekanec on the first wave who can also shoot gives the PP more weapons. I’m not a DD basher, I just think the team has better options at centre for the PP.

  12. on2ndthought says:

    Don’t know if this has been posted, but it speaks to the persuasiveness and strategic foresight of our GMMB (it’s also pretty funny)

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/why-marc-bergevin-is-the-court-jester-of-nhl-gms/

    “a cannonading drive”

  13. Phil C says:

    @CJ

    Eller had a nice playoffs, and I agree that it is important. But many players have an amazing playoffs and then disappear, like John Druce, Fernando Pisani, or even Steve Penney. Any player can get hot for a short time, it doesn’t neccesarily mean he is the second coming of Mark Messier.

    Eller had a shooting percentage of over 20% in the playoffs, likely not sustainable. He averaged less than 2 shots a game in the playoffs which is not a formula for offensive production longterm. His linemate Bourque was also playing out of his mind.

    Lastly, I would consider roles. How would Eller produce if he was given Plekanec’s icetime and matchups and vice versa? Impossible question to answer but as an example, many thought Staal would break out once he was no longer stuck behind Crosby and Malkin and it hasn’t happened yet. Success on the third line does not always carry forward when put in a top six role.

    Bottom line, despite a nice playoff run, Eller knows himself that he needs to be more consistent offensively, do the things that generate offense more often. Let’s hope he can use this playoff run as a confidence booster for a break out year. But I don’t like the idea of handing him a top six role when I don’t think he’s earned it yet. Eller looks like the centre we have been missing for years with his size and speed, but I really like the fact that the Habs are making Eller show them first.

    • on2ndthought says:

      again, points are important, but not the only thing. Eller had a good playoff because he was hard to play against with his speed and size chasing down the puck all over the ice surface and because, once he got control of the puck, there was no mistaking his intent. We’ve seen this in flashes from him before and recognize it as his ‘upside’.

      Personally, I think he can develop more. Once his hockey IQ (which is often disparaged here) catches up to his on ice speed, he will be more of a threat offensively.

      The guy everyone wants to compare Elkler to, DD, does this by literally slowing down on the ice, while maintaining shifty control of the puck, and looking around (Briere also had that ability). Crosby is great because he can do the processing at high speed. What Eller’s ceiling is is an unknown. What MB has done is to ensure he reaches that ceiling with the Habs.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • Phil C says:

        Good points, comparing Eller to DD is futile because they were given different roles. I love Eller on the third line and the two-way play he brings, so I don’t see the urgency to promote him,especially given how Therrien splits the ES icetime evenly.

    • JF says:

      I like it too. No player on the team is given anything. Everything – ice time, role, confidence of the coaching staff – has to be earned.

  14. Habfan17 says:

    For those who weren’t aware, Brady Vail was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes development camp. You need to scroll down the attached article to find the post.

    http://allhabs.net/all-habs-headlines-brisebois-mccarron-bozon-prust-price/

    Habfan17

  15. Maritime Ronn says:

    @Habfan17

    Good morning

    I believe there is a myth out there about who the Habs 1st-2nd-3rd lines are.

    It really should be broken down into ‘Even Strength” minutes played, then Power Play privileged minutes.

    In terms of Even Strength minutes, it’s almost surprising as to how Plex-51-Eller spend almost equal time on the ice.

    Even Strength Minutes per Game Season/Playoffs:
    Plekanec…: 14:53/15:34
    Desharnais: 14:22/15:15
    Eller……….: 13:26/14:43

    Where changes very definitely need to be made is how the PP minutes are given out.

    Last year, the Habs PP finished 19th during the season, and was not very good in the playoffs…. and had it not been for the outstanding Subban contribution, it most likely would have been 25-30.

    The changes needed up front are obvious – especially on the 1st Unit.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning MR,

      Nice to hear from you! I was thinking the same thing earlier this week while looking at the potential roster. It is more like the Habs have 3, 2nd lines. Thanks for adding in the stats.

      The power play needs to be less static. The system had the players stuck in what I call a table hockey slot and there wasn’t nearly enough movement or creativity. I hope whoever is brought in as the next assistant coach changes that up. I think Gilbert and Parenteau will help. Galchenyuk should be ready to play a more prominent PP role too!

      Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        With the added maturity and experience, it would be nice to see Eller-Galchenyuk-Gallagher (Max) given a shot at the 1st Unit….but there would be a lot of egos and pecking order politics (entitlement) to deal with if that ever happened.

        • Phil C says:

          My first wave would be Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Parenteau, then Bourque-Plekanec-Gallagher. I haven’t seen anything from Eller yet to suggest he is better offensively than Plekanec.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            hi phil
            That would be fine also, but that 2nd unit may be missing some “hands.”

          • CJ says:

            Except during the playoffs when it matters most….. Eller had 13 points (2nd on the team) and was plus 6. Pleks had 9 points and was minus 7.

            Very small sample size, but I heavily weight playoff performance.

            Just my two cents….

          • Phil C says:

            With that first group, hopefully they second group never gets on. ;-)

            Beaulieu and Gilbert should really help the second pairing.

          • on2ndthought says:

            yep, just as long as we don’t give our best creative playmaker, best vision, best passer a chance on the PP. he gets knocked off the puck too easily and can’t win fights along the boards

            “a cannonading drive”

    • savethepuck says:

      I think the relatively close TOI between these 3 centers proves the Habs have a top 9 not a top 6. There is always so much discussion on who is going to be in the top 6 ( i.e. when P.A was traded for there was a lot of discussion whether he’d be in top 6 ). The main reason the Habs have a top 9 not a top 6 IMO is because our highest paid forward is making 5 Mil which allows the team to pay more to other forwards. A team like Chi with Toews and Kane, or Pitt with Crosby and Malkin do not have the CAP space to pay for 3 Mil- 4 Mil ” 3rd liners”. I like the balance we have at the forward position.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  16. Cal says:

    Only 1 thing left for MB to complete before this site shuts down for a couple weeks. Let’s hope it’s done and is a good deal for both sides.
    One thing that stands out for me is that during MB’s tenure thus far, only Chicago management has been poached for talent- Lapointe and Waite- but no players. I would have thought a player or two would have been moved to the Habs, but not a one.
    Here is MBs trade history: http://www.nhltradetracker.com/user/trade_list_by_GM/Marc_Bergevin/17
    The two impact players he’s traded for, imo, are Tokarski and Vanek (despite his bs playoffs).
    14 deals in 2 seasons, but most have been minor trades. MB is sticking to his draft and build plan. And that’s a very good thing.

    • JF says:

      Two things. The new Assistant coach is likely a vital piece of the puzzle. Whoever is chosen will have to be able to “mediate” between Therrien and the players – i.e., get Therrien’s message across to them in a way they can accept – and hopefully also be able to do more with the powerplay than Gallant did. A couple of days ago, someone mentioned Joel Bouchard as a possible candidate. I like this idea. Bouchard is passionate about hockey, intelligent, extremely articulate, approachable, and has some coaching experience.

      • Cal says:

        I think this idea that the Assistant coach is the buffer between MT and the players is way overblown. All assistant coaches speak to the players while they are on the bench if they’ve seen errors they want to fix or a good positioning play they want to see repeated.
        MT 2.0 is a more mature version of his former mercurial self. He is a better coach than he was, yet he isn’t perfect. Many point to his lack of adjustments in game, but complain about his line juggling. Many complain about how their favourite player is being “mistreated” by MT. Yet, the Habs just had a 100 pt season and went to the semis.

        I like the idea of Joel Bouchard, too, but I believe he is preparing for a career in management (he is pres and gm of the Armada in the Q). Still, the lure of climbing the ladder in Montreal may prove to be irresistible.

        • JF says:

          The idea may be a bit overblown, but there must always be players whom a coach (MT or anyone else) will rub the wrong way or not be able to get the best out of. The Assistant coach can help here. But I agree that Therrien has learned and matured a lot since his first go-round as Habs coach. He also learned from our disastrous series against Ottawa last year and no doubt also from this year’s playoffs.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            My two cents would be that it is a little bit overblown on HIO, in terms that we think it’s a special circumstance in Montréal. In fact, that’s generally the structure for every NHL team. The Head Coach is the boss, and the assistants often will be the conduits, the go-betweens.

            We’ve seen this before in Montréal, when Scotty Bowman had Piton (Claude Ruel), and eventually Lappy (Jacques Laperriere) served as the assistant for many Canadiens coaches.

            It’s the same situation as in a medium-sized workplace. There will be a manager who runs the show and is sometimes frazzled and relatively unapproachable, but she or he will have two or three supervisors or foremen who smooth out the day-to-day, help out when a worker has a problem with his schedule or paycheque or some such minor issue. The classic view of such a workplace is that if you never see the inside of the manager’s office you’re doing fine.

            My buddy was a (and I’ll admit that I’m a little fuzzy on the technical points here) Lieutenant in the Canadian Forces, right out of college and officer training, and landed a crusty Master Sergeant as his right-hand man. He told me over beers that the guy was hilarious, he could curse out a recruit seven different ways in both languages, and they were afraid of him. Meanwhile my friend was easygoing and really empathetic. And it caused him a bit of problems, since the recruits were coming to him for help with problems, sometimes about the sergeant, and it should have been the other way around.

            So yeah the assistant role is important in Montréal, and maybe slightly more for a Michel Therrien than a Alain Vigneault, but that’s the case everywhere in the NHL. When it was discussed over the years if Alain Vigneault should be fired by the Canucks, and potential replacements were being discussed, it was always mentioned that the current assistants couldn’t really take over, since they’d gotten close to the players, smoothed out the bumps in the road created by Alain Vigneault’s decisions sometimes, even with the latter known for being a relative soft touch.

            And as far as Joël Bouchard, he’s got a lot of strength, aptitudes and smarts as far as I can tell, but I’m not sure if this specific role is the right one for him, since the Canadiens need someone to take care of the forwards, and he was an NHL defenceman. But I posted a few days ago about him when discussing Patrice Brisebois, and I think he’s a great candidate for advancement to the NHL.

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2014/07/will-patrice-brisebois-coach-in-lhjmq.html

            ———————————————————————–
            It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Cal

      Weise had a nice impact.

      • Cal says:

        D’oh! (Not enough coffee)

        • on2ndthought says:

          I don’t know, he traded away a pretty fine hockey name in Brendan Nash.

          As far as coaching goes, I admire the way PK and most players take the in-public management that happens in pro sports. I (sorta) remember myself as a 20 something, criticism cut hard. I think this is where having a strong family, leadership group (goodbye Gio and Josh), agent and sports psychologist team helps these youngsters out.

          “a cannonading drive”

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Steve.

      IMO, there’s no riddle in the middle. In year one and two Eller is being paid as a number three centre. His pay increase is equally representative of a projected rise in the cap ceiling and an elevated responsibility. Like it or loath it, if Pleks is still a part of the organization in 2-4 years, his role will become that of a third liner. IMO, he’s already knocking on that door.

      Lastly, I like the four year deal. Again, it’s just my opinion, but I never have an issue paying a player who performs in the postseason.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Good morning CJ!

        I like this contract too and agree that it is set up to reflect that Eller is expected to move up to the 2nd line. I think where the riddle comes in is if Galchenyuk proves he should be moved to center this season.
        In another post, Engels has Sekac at right wing with Pleks and Galchenyuk on the 2nd line. I am pretty sure that in an interview, Bergevin said he is a left wing and I don’t see Parenteau on the 3rd line as Engels suggests.

        Overall, the forward spots will be interesting to watch in camp! Positive changes are happening!

        Habfan17

  17. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Morning from Sunny Florida (it’s HOT here :/, don’t book your vacation in summer)

    Lets get Subby signed. That is my contribution for today…

    Enjoy your day everyone, headin out golfing.

  18. Maritime Ronn says:

    Looks like tough guy/semi-goon UFA Paul Bissonette is campaigning for a job with the Habs BY his tweet after Eller signed his new deal.

    Paul BissonnetteVerified account ‏@BizNasty2
    Need a butler @Eller_89?

    • CJ says:

      Jokes aside, I think the underlying shift is the fact that Montreal is fast becoming a very desirable destination for free agents bent on winning. Equally appealing is the fact that Toronto and Ottawa have fast become two of the least desirable locations in the league.

  19. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good morning

    With Eller taken care of, the spotlight is now on the final piece of the puzzle – that being Subban by next Friday, or hopefully before, thus avoiding huge controversy.

    One thing is sure – it will be intriguing, and finally give many answers as to the Habs commitment to Subban…AND Subban’s commitment to Montreal long term.

    While many take it as a given that the contract will be 7-8 years for $8M+ per year, there ‘could’ be a surprise on the way.

    GMMB has been very cautious in long term contracts in his 2 years on the job.
    The longest ones he has signed were both 6 year deals for Carey and Max, yet those deals were before the new 7-8 year max. term of the new CBA when 10-12-14 year deals were happening.
    Both those contracts were also signed a few years before UFA status.

    Then some unknown unknowns…
    Does the Meehan/Subban clan want long term and top NHL money, or would they prefer a shorter 4-5 year term when the Cap could reset to potentially a level of $95M-$100M?

    What IF the Meehan/Subban clan only want a short 2 year term to get PK to UFA status in 2016 where several other of the 29 other teams would most likely throw an offer of 7 years/$70M as the Cap could be at the +$80M range.

    As for the Habs, do they REALLY want to go 8 years with Subban and commit upwards of $70M?
    Or would they prefer a 4-5-6 year term?
    Do they really believe he is the guy…from coaching staff and up?

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    Hiya friends! Just checking in from Northern NY after a week of spoiling Grandkids and upsetting their parents. I love it.

    I heard from Irish Mike this week and he’s having a great time in France and asked me to pass on his regards to all his HIO friends.

    I’m glad that Eller got some term. As someone below mentioned it’s a nice confidence builder for the young player. Now we get PK signed and all will be well.

  21. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    Why have we not traded DD for someone who is MOARBIG yet?

    ————————————————————————–
    If you are crazy, you can be discharged from the army. But you have to apply for the discharge, and applying demonstrates that you are not crazy. As a result, you will not be discharged.

  22. punkster says:

    Superb day spent at the Open…got to watch about 1/2 of the field and enjoyed every minute…course in magnificent shape…Delaet and Furyk absolutely on fire. Inspiring!

    Release the Subbang!!!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Glad you had a great day. I’m always in awe of talented people whether it’s a Broadway Show, Musical performance or sports at its highest competition. Those of us who have attempted to play golf understand the skill needed to play at the professional level. They are just awesome!

  23. habsgod says:

    Can someone on here please tell me how i can get a hold of timo?

  24. Feraco says:

    Hey CJ! Big Daddy’s is now Prime Burger Bar (fisher) in which I am the chef! Still have the patio. Come by for a burger and ask for Michael. Your Burger is on me

  25. crane says:

    Subban 2 x 8=16
    6 x 10=60
    76 million,

  26. crane says:

    Mueller scores 30 you can buy a case of beer in my honor , and enjoy drinking it .The point of these potential great signing s is to dump D.D. at all costs.

  27. kevin says:

    Ok, will start fresh………CJ, when you’re on PEI would you like some oysters, or do you even like them?

    PEIKC

    • CJ says:

      Yes, I do enjoy oysters, mind you I don’t bite them so truth be told I only taste the condiment. Funny, I tell everyone I love seafood, yet when I eat shrimp, I dip them in cocktail sauce, or garlic butter. I dump my lobster into butter, same with crab.

      In any event, we are looking forward to visiting your beautiful island.

      • kevin says:

        If you would like a few, let me know, my daughter works for a local company, Cows Creamery, and she can get me some. that’s a place you have to take your family, go on one of the tours through the creamery, children friendly.

        PEIKC

        • CJ says:

          Wonderful. I will put it on the list. As for the oysters, I’ll let you know in the days ahead. Again, I sincerely appreciate the hospitality. Cheers, CJ

          • kevin says:

            no problem, I’ll ask if she can give you a free tour, she used to do them, but she might not be as theatrical but would be for the kids, I would think. When you get a chance, contact me at kc.montreal.cup@gmail.com at your convenience, and if you don’t have the time or inclination to meet and have a beer, no problem, you’re on vacation with your family.

            PEIKC

          • CJ says:

            Hi Kevin. Just sent you an email. Please let me know once you get it.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Oysters are great! I remember eating the Malpeques off Cavendish and washing them down with cold pints. It was pure heaven. Mrs Front and I used to go up to Ottawa also to Big Daddy”s Crab Shack on Elgin and pound em back too. A great drink is a Moby Dick. A fresh oyster in a shot of Muscovskya Vodka.

      • CJ says:

        Hard to imagine Front, but both Big Daddy’s in Ottawa (Elgin and Fisher) folded up shot. I always loved their food and patio. Of course, not quite as nice as Jack Astor’s, which was an absolute gem.

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    Fronts !
    I get a pop up as well, mattress ad. It covers the Eller picture on top after 5 seconds? What is up with that! I’m P O ED trying to figure out if it is at my end or the site.!!! Should I get in touch with the Gazette??? Anyone else getting pop ups??

  29. Un Canadien errant says:

    You don’t come across a John Kord (ic) or a Donald Brashear as a UFA. If you want a real heavyweight, you have to draft him. If we sign this kid and have to wait a couple of years for him to develop, I’m fine with that. And we didn’t even spend the draft pick. Winning.

    ***Note: I tried to post this below but it kept getting zapped by the gremlins. Apparently John Nordic with ‘K’ not the ‘N’ is on the naughty list at HIO, along with John$on.

    • frontenac1 says:

      It’s the New Wave of enforcers amigo. They have to play the game. They have to be able to take a shift and know what is and more importantly was is Not expected of them. They have to fit into the Team concept and be coachable for different situations. I am so glad that Marc and his people get it and are pro actively dealing with it. Finally.

  30. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Plekanec > Eller >> DD.

  31. Un Canadien errant says:

    Oh, and I almost drove into the ditch today when I saw a truck driving by with commercial lettering on its side for this company:

    http://nunainnovations.com/

    Come to think of it, Nuna always has some very novel observations.

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • kevin says:

      A few years ago we drove to Montreal with out two youngest children and my youngest daughter is autistic. Well as most of you probably know, they take things literally and most often but not always miss the message. We gave hr a turn in the front seat and as I passed an ice truck with an igloo symbol on it I said tho her “look, that truck is selling igloos” Her response………”har har, very funny”

      PEIKC

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Normand,
      perfect to make a rink! Or wrap up Chara and set him in a lake!

  32. Un Canadien errant says:

    A new phrase is entering the HIO lexicon, and I want to weigh in before it goes off the rails. I’m speaking of course of the words “bad faith”. Bad faith doesn’t mean being wrong about something, it doesn’t even mean arguing from a dogmatic stance and stretching the truth beyond reason.

    A definition, from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/bad+faith :

    The fraudulent deception of another person; the intentional or malicious refusal to perform some duty or contractual obligation.

    To bargain in bad faith, which is the usual way we come across this term, doesn’t mean to bargain hard, or to do so in a manner that is inflexible. If a manager claims that he can’t give his employees a raise due to the economy, that it will ruin him, even though he very well knows that when the deal is struck he’ll probably agree to a cost-of-living increase and he can live with that, even that isn’t bad faith bargaining. It’s only bad faith if the party at the table has no interest in reaching a deal, but pretends to want to bargain. Other circumstances that verge on the criminal, like threats or spying or other practices, are definitely bad faith bargaining.

    http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/B/BadFaith.aspx

    So let’s not impute someone who takes a different position than ours on HIO with the accusation of bad faith. Those words already mean something. We can’t repurpose a phrase that already means something to suit our purposes. If we think someone is wrong, or obstinate, or short-sighted, let’s say that. Bad faith means something else entirely.

    Bad faith is already loaded with meaning. If that phrase was ever uttered in a bargaining session I participated, tempers flared immediately, someone would suggest a recess, and we’d retreat to our quarters. We’d reconvene later, and the person who’d said these words would apologize and explain that the stress and long hours were getting hard to take and emotions got the best of her/him, certainly no offence was intended, blah blah blah… But them’s were fighting words.

    So let’s retire that phrase maybe, it really doesn’t belong on HIO. It’s as if someone constantly used the word ‘rape’ while discussing common subjects we trash over, it would be inappropriate.

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  33. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! De Laet. Two behind at the Canadian Open. Anyone else getting a pop up ad of some guy doing the splits in hot pants? I wish I could do that. I can’t even cross my legs without puking.

    • kevin says:

      Not much of a golf fan, but the local radio was talking to the author of a book about Moe Norman, was an interesting listen, might get the book.

      PEIKC

    • CJ says:

      Hey Front!

      Great to see DaLaet play well. Hoping he can breakthrough this weekend. He has all the tools, he just needs to finish.

      On an aside, I’m hearing that Imama has been invited to the main camp in September. I can’t wait to see what type of team we ice against the Bruins on September 23rd.

      • kevin says:

        What’s the story on Imama? Tough guy?

        PEIKC

        • CJ says:

          Very young (still 17), but very tough. I’ve seen him live, twice, and he’s unafraid of anyone. He’s actually a very good skater, although his puck skills leave a lot to be desired. I’ve been itching for younger, hungrier fighters, so he could fill a role in the future. Mind you, he could also follow Ian Shultz, but I don’t see the same issues regarding conditioning. Like I said, the kid appears driven, and is willing to skate through a wall for the team.

          I don’t see a lot of risk in at least giving him a shot. Heck, if even for one game against the Bruins, he will make it interesting.

          • kevin says:

            What’s the risk, not a fan of the goonery, but I do like a detterant (how the fu@k do you spell that)? It would allow our players to play with confidence if we had someone like that. I like the fact he can skate, he can forecheck, at least.

            PEIKC

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            If he was signed, I’d want some very close attention paid to his development. Make him understand that he doesn’t need to scrap to draw attention anymore, now he needs to work on his hockey skills, play to his strengths. Learn to forecheck, hit, dig the puck out of the corner and come out with it. Screen the goalie and bang in rebounds. Fight but only when necessary. Don’t do it to let another kid make a name for himself. You’re already signed, you’re beyond that now.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            kevin, the only risk is the contract counts against our 50 contract limit. The good thing about draft picks is you can wait a couple of years to see if the kid pans out without immediately spending a contract on him, like we did with Dalton Thrower and Brady Vail. Ultimately, you always want to keep a couple spare slots in your back pocket for when a Jiri Sekac comes along.

            If we do sign Bokondji Imama, he’ll spend another couple of seasons in the LHJMQ, and his deal will ‘slide’ and not count against the cap, but eventually he’ll land in the AHL, and for three years his deal will soak up one of these precious contract slots.

            I can understand more clearly why the Canadiens didn’t sign Brady Vail, he didn’t really have a clear role if he panned out, one that couldn’t be played by a half-dozen other forwards in the system already, free agents, Jeff Halperns, …

            Mr. Imama however would have a very clearly defined role, and one which isn’t right now filled by anyone.

          • kevin says:

            There is no risk and if he can skate, as you said, he can become a somewhat useful asset other than the obvious, which we need until there is no need, if you get my drift.

            PEIKC

          • kevin says:

            Thank you Un Canadien errant, knew that but forgot the significance. I’m sure that with 50 players signed or counting against the 50, we can give up on one or trade one or two. I think he’s well worth the risk. There is actually no risk.

            PEIKC

          • kevin says:

            Hey CJ, do you like oysters?

            PEIKC

          • Habfan17 says:

            If he is treated the way Nilan was and given chance to develop more, so he is used for other than just his toughness, it would be good to give him the chance.

            Habfan17

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That would be great news. If the Habs’ brain trust is on board, I definitely am.

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2014/07/canadiens-to-sign-bokondji-imama-as-pre.html

      • frontenac1 says:

        I’ve been tracking that kid for about a year now. He is what I would call a pure, natural fighter. He is still very young and raw, BUT, if he is developed properly, could be an absolute beast. Good to hear he is being offered a good shot by the organization. The Future is looking good.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I wasn’t very interested at first, because he was being listed as 5’11″ and 190, something like that, what’s the point of a middleweight enforcer, we already had Whitey for that. But that must have been his first season in Gatineau, now that he’s 220 lbs, I’m all ears.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I get a pop up as well, mattress ad. It covers the Eller picture on top after 5 seconds? What is up with that! I’m P O ED trying to figure out if it is at my end or the site.!!! Should I get in touch with the Gazette???

    • kevin says:

      Darn, not used to where to respond yet.

      PEIKC

  34. B says:

    Reimer avoids his arbitration hearing Monday signing a 2 year $4.6M contract.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • kevin says:

      I notice as I logged in, they have a title: 15 th worst sports teams of all time and Kessell is the poster boy. I wonder if the Leafs got honourable mention. I can’t be bothered to check.

      PEIKC

  35. Un Canadien errant says:

    @ Habs_101:

    Gary Lawless and another talking head from Winnipeg have reported (been told by strategic leaks) the management’s view that Evander Kane’s value will only rise. They think he’ll be way more effective this season playing with a sophomore season Mark Scheifele, or Mathieu Perreault, instead of Olli Jokinen or Alex Burmistrov. So they’re not going to settle for a return like Vancouver got for Ryan Kesler, or the Sens got for Jason Spezza. Their player is a much better asset, and they feel his worth will rise during the season, as he clicks with young Mr. Scheifele and builds on the chemistry they had last year.

    Also, Winnipeg is in a special situation alright, in that if any time a player pipes up that he’s unhappy they deal him, they’ll never be able to hold a roster together. So they’re going to keep a pouty Evander Kane as an example that you can’t whine your way out of town. They’re drawing the figurative ‘line in the sand’.

    Sure, the Canadiens or New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning may move quickly to deal a malcontent, to excise a cancer-in-the-room. The Jets and the Oilers though, with the problems they have attracting free agents and making trades, they’re in a different situation. They have to hold firm, until they get an offer that knocks their socks off.

    ———————————————————————–
    It’s somewhere between a toothless attack and a vicious homage.–Paul Rudd

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • kevin says:

      The three western teams, not Vancouver, will always have trouble attracting star players and will have to build wisely through the draft. The best players in the league will want to to bigger markers and where the climate isn’t so harsh. Not that the Montreal climate can’t be harsh, but it’s a world class city.

      PEIKC

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        For some reason Calgary isn’t having as hard a time. They’ll still struggle, but they’re a notch above Edmonton and Winnipeg in terms of being a desirable destination.

        Maybe players make one visit to ‘Cowboys’, or hear about the Stampede, and that’s enough to make a young man want to find out more.

        http://www.cowboysnightclub.com/

        I’ve had some fun times in Calgary, so maybe I’m biased, but I think they’re slightly ahead of the Oilers and Jets in the race for players.

  36. crane says:

    Now that you destroyed Mueller on me, lets move on to Devin Setoguchi for a million, or sign both be knee deep in right wingers for nothing and pick best options.Next best player after Kane and Simmonds I guess.

    • HardHabits says:

      You took it like a champ. I commend you for your good sense, hopefully of humour, and applaud your tenacity in sticking to your guns. Yes you dropped Mueller but immediately picked up on Setoguchi.

      I just like to cut the crap and cut to the chase. Lots of cutting going on.

      As Norm (UCe) replied. Possibly Mueller’s concussion issues played a role and he is NHL ready.

      Knowing my luck for poking the hornet’s nest… somebody signs Mueller and he scores 30 goals.

      I think the Habs could use an extra top 6, however it could very well be that after signing Subban, MB is done for the summer. My impression is that they will see what they’ve got in the depth department and once the team plays half the season address the weaknesses (if any) and try to swing for a home run around the trade deadline. Of course if by then the “unthinkable” happens and the Habs are tanking, they’re sellers and they stock up on picks and prospects.

      I prefer (and I saw this coming once MB got into signing players) that the UFA signings are players to compliment the young core and not the other way around. Sign character players on the cheap and build from within. With assets on hand the Habs can then make trades if they identify a player to go after.

      Nobody on these boards knew who Sekac was prior to July 1st. However a few dozen teams knew.

      If Setoguchi is still unsigned there’s a reason. So let’s forget about the other teams passing on him. The Habs have a plan and Setoguchi doesn’t look to be part of it otherwise he’d already have been inked.

      I am pretty sure the priorities are signing Subban, hiring a new assistant coach and trainer, and prepping the training camps.

  37. on2ndthought says:

    So: Larry / DD

    OK DD gets O-zone faceoffs, usually against the other teams top defensive formation (or best players), sometimes tired (icings).

    Eller gets neutral and D-zone a lot, but not primarily against top forwards because that is Plecky’s role. So say against the middle lines of other teams.

    Of course I care how they perform; but the point to read here is: there is a reason for the coach making these decisions.

    It is not to ‘protect’ DD. It is not to reduce Larry’s offensive output. It is to give the team the best chance at winning.

    Some were wondering if MB couldn’t have saved some bucks in Eller’s contract. I’m sure, by the metric of arbitration, he could have. So the question is why didn’t he? The answer is he knows Eller is committed to taking on the role that helps a team win, and the message from the GM is: do that and we will take care of you.

    Since the coach chooses the roles, if you want to change your role, impress the coach. There are always injury situations, line juggling that you will get your chance.

    Those DeLaRose videos were impressive. Great energy on the fore and back check. PP and PK time in the WJC, blocking shots, taking runs. Not a lot of natural finish, and that may or may not come with development.

    “a cannonading drive”

    • B says:

      Good point. The coach considers the players he has and gives them the roles he thinks will best help the team win. There may have been ways to shuffle the lines to help improve one particular player’s stats, but I agree that the coach is more concerned with the overall team performance than with individual player’s stats. I think Therrien got pretty good team results overall with the roster he had to work with.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • krob1000 says:

        This point I will agree to understand although I still think it would have been better if different but I absolutely understand using Eller the way he is used….but I do not understand how people can try to say he has no offense because his best current use happens to be in more of a wo way role…that is the whole point of this. Then every time it spirals out of control because people try to convince me Eller has no offensive ability because he hasn’t put up DD numbers and Dd is a superstar and then I go on to point out their usage…and then it gets ugly…..

        • B says:

          Who thinks Desharnais “is a superstar”? I don’t recall ever reading that here and I certainly don’t think it’s true. I also don’t think that Eller has “no offense”. I do think that Desharnais has been more productive so far. I hear and understand all of your explanations as to why Eller is actually better offensively. There is some truth in them, but they are hard to quantify and I am not sure that they really nail it. I am not clever enough to accurately interpret the impact of advanced stats such as QofC, QofT and ZS% on measurable differences in production stats, although I do think they merit some consideration and can provide some basis of discussion. I guess in the end it comes down to more of a subjective opinion thing and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Sorry if my replies on this helped spiral anything out of control. Cheers!

          –Go Habs Go!–


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