Profs give Therrien passing grade

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Morton Weinfeld and Avi Goldberg – who teach sociology at McGill University and Vanier College, respectively – are avid Canadiens fans.
This does not set them apart from the gen pop in Montreal.
But Weinfeld and Goldberg have applied their academic training to a preliminary assessment of how Michel Therrien may fare as coach of the Canadiens.
Their paper, reproduced here with the professors’ permission, is titled:

Pondering the Permutations of Therrien 2.0.

With As The Habs World Turns set to break for the offseason, fans and pundits have expressed polarized responses to rookie GM/Director Marc Bergevin’s cliffhanger decision to hire Michel Therrien to coach the Canadiens.  While some are willing to give Therrien a chance, others expect his second stint to be no better than his first.  To provide a dispassionate perspective as the free agent frenzy continues on the slow fade to summer, we used a “moneypuck” inspired approach to assess the coach’s potential.

This past season, over-achieving coaches like Dave Tippett (Phoenix), Barry Trotz (Nashville), and Kevin Dineen (Florida) got the most out of their players and brought teams not considered to be outstanding on paper to the playoffs.  By contrast, an under-achieving coach like Terry Murray (LA) presided over a team that failed to live up to its potential, and was replaced by Darryl Sutter whose success requires no chronicling for championship-starved followers of the bleu, blanc, et rouge.  Like all fans, we wonder where Therrien will fall in relation to these trends.

Successful over-achieving coaches must motivate their players, as individuals and as a team, prepare strategies for the season (systems and lines), and develop tactics suited to the specific challenges offered by each opponent.  Fighting off the visceral temptation to join the doubters, we pondered over how we could use our sociological expertise to make a fair and systematic prediction about how Therrien will stack up the second time around.

Effective strategic and tactical preparation is premised upon making realistic assessments of a team’s talent.  When Therrien used his opening press conference to evaluate his new players, we decided to use some statistical data to test his claims.  Among other possibilities, overly generous or naïve remarks by the coach could be seen as indicating poor talent assessment skills.  They would also provide credibility to the fear that a pathway had been cleared towards a redux of Therrien 1.0.

Therrien identified the first line (Desharnais, Cole, Pacioretty), the goalie (Carey Price), the young defenseman (PK Subban), and the second line centre (Tomas Plekanec) as highly talented core players with whom he was ready to work to ensure that the 15th place finish would be an aberration.  We compared statistics of these players with equivalent players from the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs this past season, focusing specifically on the final four.  To our surprise, the results yield promise for Therrien 2.0.

All statistics in our analysis were taken from Nhl.com.  To put together data on first and second lines, we located records of game-day team lineups from this year’s playoffs and compared them with records of team lineups from the second half of the regular season.  Considering factors like injuries during the season and line rotation adjustments for match-ups, we assembled first and second line combinations for each team in our sample that we considered to be representative of what the teams used, or intended to use, for the 2011-2012 NHL season.

Compared to the playoff teams, only five team’s first lines (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Jose, Boston, and LA) scored more points than the Habs first trio during the regular season.  Twelve of the sixteen playoff teams did NOT rely on placing their top three point getters on their first line as the Habs did this past season.  Though Therrien got this one right, the numbers also confirm the widely held view that the relative strength of the Habs first line masked an overall lack of offensive depth.

Carey Price tied for 12th out of all goalies in regular season wins.  Among the highest winning goalies, Price tied for 13th in save percentage.  Goalies from three final four playoff teams (Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith, and Henrik Lundqvist) finished in the top five in both regular season wins and save percentage.  As Therrien suggested recently, there is room for improvement.  The numbers also suggest that many pundits and fans are right to believe that Price has the potential to be an elite goalie.

Compared to the top regular season scoring defensemen on playoff teams, Subban tied for 14th.  This solid if less than spectacular result is put into perspective by noting that six out of the playoff teams (including LA and New Jersey) had their top scoring defensemen finish out of the top10 in regular season points for defensemen.  In comparison with the top scoring defensemen on playoff teams, Subban’s +/- rating of 9 during the regular season put him in 8th place.  This is the highest result for a non-playoff team’s defenseman in this category.  The numbers suggest that Subban clearly has the potential to be an anchor on the Habs back end.

Finally, compared to second line centres on playoff teams, Plekanec finished 6th in points during the regular season.  Of the final four playoff teams, only New Jersey’s second line centre (Patrick Elias) scored more points. On the other hand, Plekanec ranked last in +/- compared to playoff team second line centres.  While the numbers show that Therrien has work to do to help Plekanec realize his offensive AND defensive potential, this depends both on the player having an effective supporting cast and on improved team defense.

The numbers show Therrien’s talent assessment skills to be quite sound.  But, and interpreting the meaning of the numbers differently, in systematically confirming that Therrien demonstrated good judgment in his decision to parrot the conventional wisdom on the team’s strengths, we have still left a tough question about last year’s Habs unanswered:  Did a 15th place team with a solid core of players reveal a coaching regime that had no clue or did it reek of other deficiencies that not even a Toe Bake, Scotty Bowman, or Jacques Lemaire could overcome on his own?

Regardless of how one interprets the numbers, what can anyone fairly predict at this time about whether Therrien can take this core, develop it and the other players, and get them to over-achieve?

A sociologist would argue that there are many variables that determine coaching success, but no scholarly training is needed to safely predict that Therrien cannot act alone.  All loyal fans of a team with a painful recent history of poor trades and ineptitude in retaining or developing its homegrown talent know that Bergevin and his impressive-on-paper team have a key role to play.  So, as barbecue season heats up, we hope that this exercise reminds all fans, and especially the coach’s doubters, that it is at least as important to pray that Bergevin can channel an inner Kenny Holland (or Dean Lombardi!) as it is to agonize over whether it’s within the realm of possibility that Therrien’s hiatus has given him what he needs to channel an inner Darryl Sutter.

1,002 Comments

  1. KevinT says:

    Hey all, Read here a lot and learn a ton from you guys…can’t say I’m nearly as “with it” as all of you. But one thing that keeps nagging at me is what the suggestions are for Gomez. Suggestions range from buy out, all the way to “let him play, he’s not as bad as everyone thinks”.

    Truth is, he isn’t performing, but one can make the argument that his coaches haven’t got the best out if him in the last few seasons (at least the argument can be made). So, the question is: How is Scott Gomez of MOST value to us?

    I don’t see many of you talking trade. I think that is our best chance at severing ties with him. Find a team who is still far from the cap floor with an almost complete roster. He represents a 7.3 million cap hit, and will cost 5.5 mil this this and 4.5 mil next year. This, to me, represents an excellent opportunity to use Scott Gomez as a package deal to a team in need.

    Phoenix? great option but might be difficult given ownership issues. Doan may not sign with them, Langkow is still unsigned, they are hurting to try to get to the cap floor.

    Nashville? In my opinion, this could be an excellent option. Offer him up for simply a draft pick (so Nash doesn’t lose any more space) OR, a crazier suggestion would be Gomez, Pleks, and Y. Webber for S. Weber (since he’s an RFA).

    I think this would be a wise use of Gomez’s situation…much better than a buy out, hamilton assignment, europe, etc.

    Please don’t slam my ideas too hard!!!

  2. HardHabits says:

    I am having a hard time wondering where all this pessimism is coming from.

    Gomez is an elite centre who just got misused by Jacques Martin. Kaberle is a point producing PP specialist. C’mon people. Where’s all the Go Habs go!!! Rah Rah Rah?

  3. K-hab25 says:

    When last season started Plekanec had our two most proven wingers, Cammy and Gionta and they all struggled. Now I know that’s Cammy and Gionta’s fault according to many here, but I don’t see it that way. Plekanec is not a playmaker. He doesn’t make players around him better. He played with 2 shoot first wingers, both of whom have scored 30 goals in this league. The idea that just based on playing with 2 other shoot first wingers is going to instanly make him a point per game player is a bit of hyperbole. He’s had one season of 70 points and that came playing with 84 point Kovy, a real playmaker. I like Plekanec, he does alot of things well, but this idea that dropping DD, a playmaker, for Plekanec, a shoot first guy, is going to some how improve him from a 55 point guy, into an 82 point guy, is ridiculous. Let alone the idea that Pacioretty and Cole will improve, by taking away there playmaking center, for a shoot first one.

  4. Chris says:

    On Bobby Ryan: Why would the Ducks trade Ryan? Is is possible that this is just a whole lot of smoke being blown by media sources that need trade rumours to generate traffic?

    I think there was talk about trading Ryan last year for defensive help when the Ducks thought they could salvage their season, but they did not pull the trigger.

    Now, there is almost no incentive to trade him. They have over $23 M in cap space with most of their stars signed. They have signed a pair of decent defencemen (Souray and Allen) to help out their beleaguered defence corps. They could be in the market for other guys.

    Selanne hasn’t signed on yet, but it sounds like he’ll be back for one more year but he’s getting closer and closer to retirement. Once he goes, Ryan’s value to the Ducks will be that much bigger, because Selanne’s scoring will be difficult to replace. Reports indicate that Selanne will return for another season unless he suffers an injury during the off-season training. But at 42, the Ducks can’t count of Teemu forever.

    If Ryan came to Montreal, the starting point would be Subban. And if you’re not willing to trade Subban, then I think you should pretty much forget about Ryan, who is signed for another three seasons. He’s not a looming unrestricted free agent with a correspondingly stunted value. He is one of the top 3 or 4 young power forwards in the NHL.

    • Cal says:

      Why would the Ducks trade Ryan?

      They wouldn’t, but it’s amusing to speculate, yes?

    • toinz says:

      “I take things personally,” Ryan said. “Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately. Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I’m the piece going the other way.

      “I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don’t care. Move me … because it’s just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re going to be the guy moved.”

      Thats a good reason to speculate he is on the block.

      • shiram says:

        Not sure that attitude would do well in Montreal.

      • Chris says:

        I’m sure he’s on the block, just as pretty much every NHL player is on the block. But I don’t think the Ducks are desperate to move him, even after those comments. If they were really smart, they would can Bob Murray and let the new GM assure Ryan that he’s wanted. :)

        • toinz says:

          Analysts are paid to speculate. These days, it seems reporters are paid to speculate as well.

          You can’t really blame them for speculating about a player who practically asked to be traded though.

    • steve17 says:

      Sorry Chris, he may be in the top 15 power forwards, but not top 4. How did you come up with that rating? He has been insulated with Perry and Getzlaf. Penner and Rene Bourque looked great early in and look at them now! Subban has the potential to be in the top 10 of all defence if he matures and could well challenge for the Norris one day. Ryan is good but not that good.

      Habfan17

      • toinz says:

        Steve, Rene Bourque is 30 and has less goals and points than Bobby Ryan, who is 25, despite having played 100 more games in the NHL.

        Ditto for Dustin Penner. 4 years older, 100 more games in the NHL, same stats.

        Ryan is in a different category for a reason. That’s why GMs will have to offer much much much more.

        • steve17 says:

          toinz, yes but the point is when they were younger, everyone was saying about them and to your point, look where they are now!

          Habfan17

          • steve17 says:

            toinz – sorry, something happend, what I had wirtten was that when they were younger, a lot of people thought the same thing of them that they do of Ryan now, and look at where they are today. They strated out with a bang and have fizzled. Too many people, GM’s included sign players based on one or two good years. Montreal did it with Theodore for one, He had that one good year and then they gave him $5 million a year I believe and he was never as good again.

            Habfan17

      • Chris says:

        In my defence, I did say “young power forwards” and not simply power forwards. Power forwards typically hit their stride at 23 or 24 years old and ramp up from there. At 25, Ryan’s best years should still be in front of him.

        At the same age as Ryan is now, Bourque had 23 career goals. Penner had 57 career goals. Neither guy had topped 30 goals in a season, although Penner was close in two seasons. Ryan has 136 career goals and has scored 30 goals or more in four straight seasons.

        Instead of comparing Ryan to Penner or Bourque, I think it would be more apt to compare him to James Neal or, better yet, Jeff Carter.

        Neal was from the same draft as Ryan but has 20 fewer goals over his career despite some pretty esteemed linemates (Evgeni Malkin, Brad Richards) of his own.

        Jeff Carter, who was drafted two years earlier, had 145 goals at the same point in his career, having topped the 30 goal mark twice. Like Ryan, Carter also had some pretty good castmates in Philadelphia (Richards, Briere, Gagne, Pronger, Timonen, Carle) to help him get his goals.

        When Carter was traded, he landed Jakub Voracek (a very promising young power forward himself that had already posted two 45+ point seasons by age 21), the 8th overall pick in the draft and a third round pick. When he was traded to Los Angeles later that season, he landed Jack Johnson (a young defenceman that people could argue has as much potential as P.K. Subban) and a conditional first round pick.

        I don’t think Ryan’s value is too far off that of Carter given his contract status and production.

        • steve17 says:

          Great points and examples. Still playing in Anaheim is much different from playing in Montreal and so is having Getlaf, Perry and Selanne. As good as he is and in his prime, he still isn’t worth that many players and high picks. Giving away that much to get one piece, would be moving the team backwards.

          Habfan17

          • Chris says:

            I don’t dispute that at all. I am not in favour of going after Ryan because the price would just be too high.

            With three years left on his deal, he will pull in a pretty return for the Ducks if he is dealt. And Montreal simply doesn’t have enough depth right now to throw some away. Maybe in 2-3 years when we know how many of our prospects will actually end up in the NHL.

  5. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Ryan, drafted second overall, has not turned out to be a Malkin calibre player. Much the same as with Nash, who Columbus should have traded a few years ago to get full value, Anaheim wants way more than the player is worth. But of course, if you can wait, there is always someone willing to pay.

    Here is hoping that Bergevin is as savvy as he seems.

    • steve17 says:

      Stuck_in_To – Finally, a voice of reason! Ryan would look good as the 2nd line left wing in Montreal, but not if Anaheim expects a haul of players that would be given up for a true elite forward like Ovechkin. Pitts didn’t get that much for Staal and it can be argued that Staal over all is a better player than Ryan and centres are worth more.

      Habfan17

  6. neumann103 says:

    So just to summarize all the trade talk.

    1. Tomas Plekanec must be traded for a less versatile, slightly younger player who generates a few more goals and and somewhat fewer assists playing with much better linemates. Even in trade scenarios where Plekanec is the best player in the deal, this must be sweetened with the inclusion of other roster players or prospects.

    2. 29 is old if you are a Hab player but 28 is young if play for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    3. A 20 year old with a cap hit of $1.4 million and averaging a bit over .7 ppg in two seasons should be part of a trade for a 28 year old who averages a bit under .8 ppg at a cap hit of $8.4M. A GM in a market like Carolina would be foolish to take him off the table in trade talks. Who wouldn’t want to trade 8 years of prime years and $7M a year in cap space for < 0.1 ppg?

    Seriously there are lots of teams with lots of room for improvement, but players like Nash and Ryan are not magic. The Habs trading Plekanec or Hurricanes trading Skinner for returns like that make no sense.

    I mean if somebody wanted to suggest trading Plekanec for Skinner, that might be something that either side would consider. I wouldn't make that deal but at least it is plausible in the context of relative needs, roles, salary, and age with Carolina trying to make a run in the next 2-3 years and the Habs at least a couple of years behind that.

    "Et le but!"

    • Dr.Rex says:

      IF Plekanec is traded then a top 2 center must be coming back……End of discussion.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I think many people would jump at the chance to get Skinner for Pleks… and I think Carolina would be on the losing end of it.

    • toinz says:

      That 20 year old’s cap hit will be much higher than 1.4 million next season. Expect it to hit 4-5 million.

      Skinner for Nash one for one is a no brainer.

      I havent seen anybody yet call Plekanec old at 29. You’re creating a straw man with that argument.

      Bobby Ryan is the trade equivalent of (if not slightly better than) Max Pacioretty.

      If an NHL GM called asking about Max Pacioretty, and all I had for him was a 2-way 2nd line center with questionable playoff history and spare parts, I would politely decline.

      • shiram says:

        Considering his defensive assignment, I don’t think 29 points in 47 playoffs game is all that bad.
        People have been calling Plekanec old, I’ve seen the posts too and found them ridiculous.

      • neumann103 says:

        No one has called Plekanec old? Seriously?

        Now for actual straw man arguments, lets take up that awesome playoff performance record of Bobby Ryan and Rick Nash under consideration

        “Et le but!”

        • toinz says:

          Plekanec himself admits his playoff performance hasn’t been up to his standards.

          What I meant when I said strawman is nobody is calling Plekanec old while saying how young a 28-year old player is.

          As for Nash, he is a point per game player at the int’l level, when his linemates are of a higher calibre.

          As for Ryan’s playoff record, I think 25 is a bit early to judge overall, but 11 points in 19 games isn’t awful considering 13 of the games were played 3 years ago at age 22.

    • steve17 says:

      Not sure who has called Pleks as old. In my case, he is the ,most valuable forward asset in a trade and with Eller, DD, and now Galchenyuk, Pleks is the one that has reached his potential so you know what you are giving up. I would not want to trade the others and lose on the potential upside they have. There are teams that want a 2nd line centre that is a defensive specialist that kills penalties. Montreal could use a 2nd line left wing, which they may have drafted this year, but that will not be known and they won’t be ready for likely 2 seasons. Even getting a top prospect that is older and close to being ready from a team that has a dreath of left wings on the team and in their system would be good. Like Montreal has at right wing. Lot’s of depth with prospects.

      Habfan17

      • boing007 says:

        Who, on the Habs, besides Plekanec is -a 2nd line centre that is a defensive specialist that kills penalties-? Names, please.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  7. Timo says:

    Habs signed St. Denis. Old news?

  8. Dr.Rex says:

    This is obvioulsy wishful thinking but here are my “possible” destinations for our excess waste.

    Gomez – Hamilton, Zurich, Galatassary, Guadalajara

    Kaberle – Chi, Nash, Det, Ham, Zagreb

    Bourque – Chi, Flor, NJ, Det

    Weber – Edm, Cal, NYI, CBJ, Car

    • shootdapuck says:

      Waste collections?

      You forgot Diaz!

      =================================================
      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

    • boing007 says:

      And who will be get back in return?

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • shootdapuck says:

        Not who but what: a roster spot!

        =================================================
        The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

        “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
        “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
        ” I have a pet peeve”

  9. The_Franchise31 says:

    I wouldn’t even trade plecanek straight up for bobby

  10. Dr.Rex says:

    Thoughts regarding Bobby Ryan proposals:
    1) Montreal is not an ideal trade partner for the ducks. They would want younger established young players like Patches, Eller, Subban. Not happening
    2) Many here undervalue Plekanec not just on offensive talent but also on overall abilities. HE had 50 points despite playing with AHlers last season (More then Getzlaf)…….There are 30 GM’s that know his value including MB. HE would not be included.
    3) The only way this deal gets done is if Eller, Gorges and a top prospect is shipped to Anaheim for Ryan and a defencemen. Still not benefiting either team. NO reason to continue negotiations for MB and Murray.

    Whats next on the trade options?

    • Chris says:

      1) Anaheim wants to contend for a Stanley Cup while they still have Selanne. That would be the **ONLY** reason they would even remotely consider trading Ryan, who is only 25 himself. So I don’t think they necessarily want established young players, but they would want equal value. And on the Canadiens’ roster, equal value is hard to come by.

      2) Many here overvalue Plekanec as well. Plekanec is a nice two-way centreman, but he’s not a star. His point totals are up and down, indicating consistency issues. In three of the past four seasons, Plekanec has had 57 points or less. As an offensive centre, I would argue that Plekanec is very over-rated given the ice time he receives.

      3) I would say that a deal between Montreal and Anaheim starts and ends with Subban. If we’re not willing to deal Subban, they’re not willing to deal Ryan.

      And I’m not willing to deal Subban for Ryan.

      • Cal says:

        Considering many of those minutes are on the PK, your argument needs tweaking.

        • Chris says:

          This past season, when he lost the first-wave PP and first-line centreman role to Desharnais, Plekanec still ranked #30 in the NHL in even-strength ice time and 16th in power-play ice time amongst centres.

          Tomas Plekanec, offensively, is basically equivalent to Stephen Weiss or Mikhail Grabovski. Good players, but not guys you would build an offence around if you intend to be a strong contender for the Stanley Cup.

          I do think that Plekanec is a strong two-way player, perhaps one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL. Plekanec, for me, is equivalent to Patrice Bergeron but with much weaker faceoff skills.

          I like Bergeron a lot, and he is obviously tremendously effective when surrounded with a super-strong supporting cast. But I wouldn’t consider him a strong offensive centre either.

      • habsfan0 says:

        Trading Subban for ANYBODY would be a mistake of Patrick Roy proportions,IMHO.

  11. pher pher says:

    Canadiens sign Frédéric St-Denis to a one-year contract.
    DETAILS -> http://goha.bs/NE1MwK

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Trading for Bobby Ryan seems to be the topic of the day.

    Most HI/O trades are heavily favoured toward the Habs. In fact, over the years they are basically not worth discussing because most of us are Hab Homers.

    Right now, many trade proposals are Pleks plus all the spare parts and prospects we don’t want for a blue chip player such as Ryan.

    How about trying this. Let’s try and look at it from the Anaheim perspective. What would you, as the Duck GM, want from Montreal for Ryan? What’s a truly fair deal.

    If that’s not possible due to your Hab allegiance, then maybe look at being Anaheim and how they might make a fair trade with another team. Say Boston, Detroit, Washington or the Rangers.

    Personally, I think the team is set. There may be another small piece added later this summer (for depth purposes) but we’ll have to wait until October to really see if any moves are made. First and foremost being the Gomez contract.

    • Shackles says:

      + 1

      Scotty Gomez superfan

    • mike3131 says:

      We are currently not making the playoffs if the team is “set”. I doubt MB will allow that and I believe he still has several moves to make such as finding a short-term d-man and a 2nd line LW.

      https://twitter.com/#!/mikelang35

    • shiram says:

      I also have alot of doubts about the Habs making big trades, maybe some small prospects/rookies/role players will be moved, but that’s about it.

    • toinz says:

      A fair comparison for Habs fans playing the Bobby Ryan trade game would be: Would you accept this offer in exchange for Max Pacioretty?

      Then if the answer is still yes, keep in mind that Ryan is, while 18 months older than MaxPac, he has had 4 seasons that resemble the one Pacioretty just put up for Montreal.

      • mark-ID says:

        I get the feeling Anaheim doesn’t value Ryan like we do Pacioretty, there must be a reason, no?

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

        • toinz says:

          Ryan is worth more!

          He has put up 4 seasons similar to what Pacioretty did last year.

          Not to say that Pacioretty wont replicate that down the road. It still means that you will have to pony up to get a guy as good as Ryan.

          If I am the Wild, I offer Dany Heatley and see if a trade can be worked out with him as a starting point.

      • mike3131 says:

        If they offered Getzlaf for Max Pacioretty it would be considerable.

        https://twitter.com/#!/mikelang35

    • Cal says:

      I wouldn’t do this, but for Bobby Ryan.
      Pleks and Beaulieu +2013 1st round and 2nd round pick.
      There, it is my turn to be vilified. ;)

      • steve17 says:

        That is way too much for Ryan, he is not Crosby. He scores goals, he does not make players better, he does not lift his team, he works well within the framework in Anaheim. Don’t forget, he has Getlaf, Perry and Selanne with him to take the pressure off and deflect some of the focus of the other teams. Playing in Montreal would be totally different than playing for the Ducks.

        Habfan17

        • toinz says:

          That’s actually the most reasonable offer for Ryan that has been posted on the site so far.

        • Cal says:

          Actually, steve, it’s market value. Remember what I wrote: “I wouldn’t do this, but…”

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            Nothing’s “market value” until someone pays that price on the open market.

          • steve17 says:

            Sorry, but I will agree to disagree! Ryan is not worth what amounts to 2 first round picks a 2nd and one the the best 2nd line centres. Pleks, Kristo and Weber is more than fair.

            Habfan17

          • steve17 says:

            to Sean Bonjovi – I agree! It was the kind of thinking that over values other teams players that have the Leafs in so much trouble. The Leafs would be mucc further ahead with Hamilton, Seguin and Knight, not to mention Rask! Kessel can score 60 goals a year, he will never lead the leafs anywhere.

            Habfan17

          • steve17 says:

            I know you said you wouldn’t do it, neither would any competant GM since it is too much! Think the Oilers and Dustin Penner. I respect your opinion, but just like a lot of posters over value the Habs players, I think this is way too much. When LeCavalier was in his prime, then maybe for him.

            Habfan17

          • steve17 says:

            Cal – Think back a few years to Bourque, he had a solid year with Chicago, had size and some speed and scored, fast forward to now! With what we know of Bourque for the last 3 seasons, would you trade him for those same players?

            Habfan17

    • If I were Anaheim, I’d be looking for something in the neighborhood of Plekanex, a decent prospect and a 1st or 2nd. If I were Montreal, I’d reject that in a heartbeat — but some other team might not…

    • steve17 says:

      I think Pleks, Kristo and Weber for Ryan and a 3rd round pick would be fair for both sides

      Habfan17

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      And I think some folks criminally undervalue the Habs’ prospects. I would not trade Pleks + 1 of Tinordi or Beaulieu + a high 2013 pick for Ryan. Some may say that prospects may never develop to their full potential, but I’m pretty confident in saying their development so far is very encouraging and I would not want to give away another McDonagh in addition to Pleks AND a high pick for a player who is very good, but not worth selling the farm for at this point.

      • steve17 says:

        Well said! Take Ryan away from Getlaf, Perry and Selanne and what would he do. He hasn’t lifted his team or made anyone better. He scores goals, period. He would fit well, but not for a bat load of prospects and players. He is not Nash, allthough Nash is not worth what Howson is “forced” to demand.

        Habfan17

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Are you saying other teams don’t want Gomez, a seventh rounder and a bag of pucks in exchange for a top six forward?

    • K-hab25 says:

      I’d say something similar to what PIT got for Jordan Stall. Stall is a center so he’s worth a tad more, but I’d say that’s a good starting point. Plekanec, 1st round pick and Beulieau or Tinordi. To rich for my blood, which is why I was saying Subban for Ryan straight up, but the HIO commentariat shot it down. Subby Doo is to popular for something like that, but I feel that’s a more equal trade, than giving up 3 assets.

  13. sanman_11 says:

    Seems like a lot of people are anxious for the HABS to ‘do something’. I for one think with the return of Markov and Gionta that’s equivelent to two signings, then add the actual signings and there has been quite a bit of change from last year. I also think we need to provide opportunites for younger players to play. Add to the fact that noone has a clue what the new CBA will bring so why go nuts? But I guess some people think Boston and LA were built overnight…

    I’m a HABS fan not a Leaf blower.

  14. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    There is no way that Gomez will spend a full season with the big club, he is just not worthy at this point.

    He will be given a shot at training camp, but if he does not turn himself around, then one way or another he will be gone.

    And then we will all be singing this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwoM5fLITfk

  15. toinz says:

    Commandant, I can’t respond to you in that part of the thread anymore so I will make a new post.

    Even though he played with Ruutu and Jokinen last year instead of with Eric Staal, I dont see Skinner’s ceiling higher than Zach Parise in terms of offensive talents. I do not watch the Carolina Hurricanes play enough to judge Skinner’s talents as a 2 way forward to judge. I watched enough the playoffs to form an opinion of Zach Parise on both sides of the puck.

    Rick Nash plays in the hockey equivalent of purgatory, a perennial crappy team who doesnt get better.

    Even with a 7-8 year age difference, I do not hesitate if its Skinner + 1st round pick + replaceable parts for Rick Nash.

    With Skinner’s numbers he has 1 low cap-hit year left before making around 4-5 million as an RFA. Nash is a bigger, better player signed for 6 years at 7.8 million on the cap.

    You have to give good players to get good players.

    If Howson doesnt get a player as good as Skinner in return for Rick Nash, he simply shouldn’t trade Nash.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      It’s kinda funny that Carolina was seriously interested in acquiring elite players like Nash, but guys like Faulk and Skinner were off limits. Okay… not much to offer after that since they’re keeping the Stalls. Talk about only wanting to deal away spare parts.

  16. shiram says:

    Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that the club has signed forward Ruslan Fedotenko and defenseman Bruno Gervais to contracts today.

    Maybe old news?

  17. Kfourn says:

    I’m for a deal involving Pleks for Ryan, but I’m a little worried about his UFA status in a couple of years.

    Something like:

    To ANA:

    Plekanec
    Leblanc
    3rd round pick 2012

    To MTL:

    Ryan
    Lydman

    Edit: @JohnLuTSNMtl: #Habs Bergevin says youngsters like Brendan Gallagher and Louis Leblanc will be given chances in camp to earn a top 6 forward spot.

    • fastfreddy says:

      If Ryan is that good, he’ll be worth it.

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • commandant says:

      I think Anaheim is saying no to that offer.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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    • toinz says:

      Fair question.

      Woul you trade Plekanec, Leblanc and a 3rd rounder for Max Pacioretty and Toni Lydman? (if you are anaheim?)

      I sure wouldn’t.

      Ryan is as valuable if not worth slightly more than Pacioretty.

      These Plekanec + spare parts for Bobby Ryan trades are hilarious.

    • fastfreddy says:

      Habs may not need to trade if one or two of the young guns shine!

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Ok. I will walk you through this. Plecs is a good, 2-way, 2nd line center.
      Saku Koivu, at this point in his career, is a good 2-way 2nd line center with proven leadership ability. He has a new contract, with a raise. He’s the #2 Center and special teams guy. Why would they trade for Plecs? Now of course Koivu will retire, so they would want someone younger and cheaper to bring along behind Koivu, which isn’t Pleks either. It makes no sense.

      Aside from us not having the horses to trade without giving up some of our kids (which we are, I assume collectively against) you have to think about the fit with other teams. Ducks needs on D are similar to ours, the only Habs that would interest them are Gorges, Markov, Tinordi and Beaulieu. And Ducks having just signed Souray (risk of that is another topic) that need has diminished.

      I would like Bobby Ryan as much as any of you guys, but strangely, the market for small, soft overpaid players has diminished.

      We are not going to get out of this overnight and we need to be patient for another year or two and carefully accumulate assets before we can get a shooter like Bobby Ryan – unless we create a huge hole elsewhere or we can scam someone like Glenn Sather scammed us.

      As for Kane from Chicago, their needs and ours could line up a little better, but the point remains. It’s not who we want to dump, it’s who the other teams need and we are not going to get a Kane or Bobby Ryan without paying the market price.

      • habs_moleman says:

        I’d hardly call Plekanec soft. He’s 8th amongst centermen in time on ice per game, plays some of the toughest competition in the entire Northeast Division, and still manages to put up over 50 points with over 24 different line combinations in one season.

        Soft? Overpaid? Please, most teams would give a lot for Pleks

        • LA Loyalist says:

          My Bad, Mole person. I didn’t mean Pleks was soft and overpaid at all, I meant our team in general last year. Pleks is one of the few guys I’d keep unless the deal is over the moon. My point was Ducks don’t need him because they have Saku, and we don’t have the depth to trade with Ducks without giving up kids.

          • habs_moleman says:

            Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page! I agree with your assessment

    • durocher says:

      Instead of Leblanc, give Kristo, and instead of a 3rd, give a 2nd (we have two 2nd round picks in 2013). They can keep Lydman. I’d be comfortable with that deal.

      I’d sign Arnott to take Pleks’s spot, and consider signing or trading Bourque and Diaz for a defenseman to round out our blueline corps.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      Word is that they want a roster player, a blue chip prospect and a first round draft pick for Ryan. I’m sorry but a 30 goal scorer is not worth that much.

    • steve17 says:

      I would say Pleks, Kristo and Weber for Ryan and a 3rd round pick

      Habfan17

  18. Soolz says:

    Although this may be a pipe dream I’ll throw it out there to bounce around the noodles of the other Hab followers… Now that Suter and Carle are off the market.. along with the like of Garrisson and such.. Wouldn’t you think this would be an opportunity to find a trading partner with Detroit? They’ve lost Lidstrom… Stuart is gone and they missed out on the better available D out there.. How about they take Kaberle off our hands… Maybe he’s packaged with Weber for a prospect and pick…or bag of pucks??

    • pmaraw says:

      how the mighty have fallen, i like it.

    • fastfreddy says:

      If the Habs can swing a deal involving Ryan and Pleks, I say do it . There’s your top 6 filled out.
      DD-Cole-Pac
      Ryan-Eller-Gionta

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

    • If we deal Kaberle, who’s better than him that can take his place on the 3rd pairing and 2nd PP pairing?

      As I see it now, without Kaberle or Weber our D looks something like this — mighty thin….

      Markov-Subban
      Gorges-Emelin
      Bouillon-Diaz
      St-Denis

      Say Markov’s knee gives out a third time. Bouillon’s aging and he and Gorges bring no offence, Diaz and Emelin don’t yet show the secondary offensive skills that we’re hoping will develop, Weber’s not good enough for a regular shift at this point, and Subban is the only real offensive threat.

      We need Kaberle — or we need to package him with something else to get a better offensive D-man who’s defensively responsible.

      • pmaraw says:

        I dunno, i think i’d rather see weber out there over kaberle, or diaz over kaberle, or even stubbs over kaberle… wait. scratch that, but ya, almost anyone over kaberle.

        • Luke says:

          Yah those 40points a season defensemen are really a bother…

          • pmaraw says:

            you’re rounding 31 up to 40? interesting, how about i round -18 down to -20? of those 31 points, 3 were goals… either way, you can look at the numbers all day, how many of the 28 assists were 2nd assists on the powerplay, my guess is at least half. kaberle is a liability on the ice, hes not physical, he’s not good, his primary ability is picking up the puck when the opponents ice it on the penalty kill. put a friggin dog on skates and he could do it also.

      • 123456 says:

        as much as i like to join the crowd and rag on kab’s – he does have a purpose and it’s to get PP points. he may get paid too much for what he brings but he does have something that most other habs dmen do not have (offense).

        i’d keep kabs for now and trade him mid season of the habs are not gong anyplace and markov and subban are healthy.

        even if the habs appear to be a lock for the playoffs (yea i saw the poll results) kab’s is a guy i would consider trading at the deadline to pick up a D-prospect and a pick. (rivet for georges worked out well)

        • pmaraw says:

          so, we got this guy, and he’s basically only good at passing the puck when we have more people on the ice. i think almost every player in the league has that trait. he’s a better player on the powerplay, but he doesnt make a powerplay any better.

          • 123456 says:

            didn;t he improve the PP? he had a terrible season in caroline but for his career he has been a good player and had put up points – i realize he is on his downside and i do cringe while he is on the ice – but until diaz or weber steps up and can play good minutes on the PP kab’s has a place on the team

          • pmaraw says:

            i dont think so, weren’t we number 2 on the pp 2 years ago? I dont think it’s improved with the addition of kaberle last year.

      • steve17 says:

        I think a couple of prospects might surprise us all. Pateryn is one of them. If Nash is healthy, he could surprise too. There are stilla couple of ufa’s that would give the Habs more grit too. Letting Kaberle go would not hurt.

        Habfan17

    • toinz says:

      Detroit has Ian White who can pretty much do what Kaberle does. They need someone who can play defence. They need that defenceman badly too.

    • Shackles says:

      I don’t think the Wings would be willing to part with the caliber of player we’d want and I think the price would be too high. They’d be looking for something a little more substantial than Kaberle & Weber.
      The Little Ceasar crew isn’t as gullible as the Islander management team.

      Scotty Gomez superfan

      • pmaraw says:

        what kind of crazy ass price are you looking to get for kaberle? I’d trade him for a bathtub.

        • Soolz says:

          Exactly! I said a pick or a prospect! We can afford losing him easily. I would rather see St. Denis playing in his place.

          • Shackles says:

            I’m saying they would only take Kaberle if in return we take some washed up donkey off their hands. Kaberle’s point production is worth more than a donkey.

            Scotty Gomez superfan

          • pmaraw says:

            i’ll take the donkey, at least it’ll work hard and break its back for you.

  19. ProHabs says:

    Have any of you guys run into Louis Leblanc this summer. He better be spending the summer in the gym putting on lots of muscle and some weight. He was too weak last year and easily pushed off the puck. Hopefully we don’t regret not taking the much bigger Kreider with that pick.

    • shiram says:

      Leblanc was hurt last summer and could not do a proper off season workout, I’m sure he’ll have improved his strenght and agility once the season starts.

    • commandant says:

      Leblanc spent all last summer rehabbing his shoulder surgery which prevented putting on weight. I’m sure this won’t be a problem this year.

      I wouldn’t be too worried about 7 points in 18 games Chris Kreider, guy was treated as a superstar last playoffs, and I still don’t know why.

      Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good young player. But he’s not what people were claiming.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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      • ProHabs says:

        7 points in 18 playoff games is not bad numbers for a rookie commandant. The intensity is high and everyone is giving all they got. I just think he might have been a better fit on our team considering Leblanc has the same build as Palusjah, Kristo, Bournival, et al.

        • commandant says:

          I’m not saying its bad. I’m just saying he’s been anointed by many as better than Leblanc, and as one of the best prospects outside the NHL, and Pierre has gushed about him over and over.

          The guy is good, but he’s not on the pedestal he’s been placed on.

          Many (not you) but many I’ve read have said this is as bad as us passing on Giroux, and really its not even comparable.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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        • boing007 says:

          Size isn’t everything. How about skill?

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        B-b-but Kreider is on the RANGERS where everyone is to be gushed about!

  20. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    It’s tempting to trade Plekanec to get Ryan, but in the end I think if we lose Plekanec we have no chance of making the playoffs next year – he does too much for the team: provides decent offence (even without wingers), great defensive coverage, penalty kill, etc. He may not be dynamic offensively, but he’s a very good all around centre, and I don’t think we would realize exactly how much he does for the team until we lose him. I don’t see anyone in the organization that could pick up what we would lose if we traded him. I’d love to have Ryan, but I would try to move Desharnais and sweeten the pot in other ways (prospects and draft picks). Move Eller up the line, and it leaves a spot for Galchenyuk if he’s ready (3rd line centre) or you can pick up a 3rd line centre in another trade.

    • commandant says:

      I agree on what Plekanec does for this team, but do we just want to make the playoffs or win the cup?

      In most trade scenarios I’d keep Plekanec, but in getting Bobby Ryan, a young, dynamic power forward, this is one where I’d give him up because I think it does more for this team in the long run.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        Fair enough. But I think we suffer for the next 2-3 years without Pleks because we have no one to replace what he brings to the table as an overall package. Plus, if you put him between Cole and Pacioretty he gets 80+ points. I’d love to have Ryan, but not if Pleks is in the mix. Just how important is he – Anaheim doesn’t do this deal if he’s not part of it.

    • derfab says:

      Agree about his value. He would have had a career year had he been given Cole and Pacs. Habs decided to develope DD, a reasonable decision in that he has potential, and Pleks paid because his wingers couldn’t score. The guy has offensive skills but needs someone over 6 feet tall who hasn’t just stepped out of a strip club. His wingers, the captain included, stunk last year.

      • Bill says:

        And Plekanec didn’t have a bad year. He had almost as many points as DD, and his +/- reflects the tough assignments he drew + bad linemates.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • If it were Plekanec for Ryan straight up, I’d do the deal happily. But Plekanec would just be the starting point of a package that would likely include something like a solid prospect and a first.

      Ryan’s a really good player, but between his rumoured attitude issues and his so-so point totals with amazing linemates (57, 61 and 71 points in the last three years), he’s not so insanely much better than Plekanec (70, 57, 52, generally with so-so linemates) that I’d throw in significant picks and prospects. Besides, who centres your 2nd-line PK — White?

      If Ryan can be had for Pleks, Weber and a 4th, say, pull the trigger. But much more than that I just don’t think it’s a fit for Montreal.

      • Stuck_in_To. says:

        I like your thinking … this is when you hope your team has a shrewd GM with steel cojones because a headcase American winger is just not worth gambling on at any price. Bob Barker for the win!

    • habsnyc says:

      Won’t Prust be taking Plekanec’s penalty killing minutes this year?

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • boing007 says:

      That’s because Plekanec is the only player on the Habs who can do all those things at the moment. Who are you going to replace him with?

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  21. derfab says:

    Can Mike Commodore still play? I remember the guy as tough and enthusiastic. Is there an off-ice issue? Detroit pick, cut loose to seek out more playing time and…? I still see our D as a bit soft and he could be a cheap signing, no?

  22. shiram says:

    For those wondering about Nash.

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger
    Carolina Hurricanes are no longer persuing Rick Nash. Cost way too high. CBJ believed to be after Jeff Skinner. Non-starter.

    • toinz says:

      Correct me if I am wrong.

      Nash is a better player than Skinner yes?

      How is Howson asking for Skinner an automatic no?

      Reminds me of some of the trades we see posted here sometimes.

      Nash will not be traded for spare parts.

      • mark-ID says:

        Just like how Pacioretty would be a non starter for Montreal. Some prospects who are years younger and are cheaper will be deal breakers if asked for.

        Overall Nash is better then both Pacioretty and Skinner yes….but in the long run..there is no saying. Pacioretty definately could become the same type as player as Nash, if not better.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

        • toinz says:

          Jeff Skinner is 5’11 and had a worse season than PA Parenteau last year playing with Eric Staal. A lack of Erik Cole might be a reason for a drop-off in production. (I am gonne leave the old comment up because deleting it now wouldnt be fair. Skinner played with Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen, who I still contend are better than whoever nash has in Columbus)

          Rick Nash is 6 foot 4, only 28 (same age as Parise) and will give you 30 goals a season even if he is playing with…wait a minute, who the hell does Rick Nash play with in Columbus…

          The hiccup in the trade might have been the extras Columbus wanted on top of Skinner, but who are we kidding here. Nash is MUCH better than Skinner.

          Staal Staal Nash would be terrifying to play against IMO, considering the smallest guy on the line is 6 foot 4 Eric Staal…

          • mark-ID says:

            In 82 games Nash had 30 goals and 29 assists.

            Jeff Skinner in 64 games had 20 goals and 24 assists. Also Skinner and Stall are both centers…they weren’t linemates for the most part.

            In 80 games Parenteau has 18 goals and 49 assists playing with two 30 goal scorers.

            Skinner clearly missed the most games of the three. I agree his size is less favourable than Nash’s…..but the skill is undeniable for that age. Given the 18 less games he had than Nash……his goal count could have been around the same as Nash….not to mention probable getting more assists.

            “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

          • mark-ID says:

            What are your thoughts if CBJ wanted Pacioretty + for Nash?

            “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

          • commandant says:

            Have you even watched Skinner? Ever?

            He was not playing with Eric Staal. So based on the fact you said “Jeff Skinner is 5’11 and had a worse season than PA Parenteau last year playing with Eric Staal.”

            I’m gonna take your analysis with a huge grain of salt, as I don’t even know how often you watch the kid play.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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          • commandant says:

            Rick Nash… huge cap hit…. 1 season in his career above 70 points.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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      • Hard4Habs says:

        Why compare apples to oranges? Skinner has more value than Nash IMO. Just considering the age factor, the fact Skinner plays at center and his immense potential. Skinner is probably the best skater in the NHL and his potential is unlimited.

        • commandant says:

          Skinner scored nearly the same PPG as Nash last season. And don’t give me the linemates excuse as Skinner was not playing with Eric Staal, his linemates in Carolina were no better than Nash’s

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
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          • toinz says:

            I feel like I have entered the twilight zone here. I corrected my comment above about Skinner’s linemates.

            That being said, 28 year old 6 foot 4 Rick Nash is head and shoulders above 5 foot 11 20 year old Jeff Skinner.

            1 for 1 this is a no brainer.

            Skinner plus first round pick is also a no brainer.

            Staal Staal Nash would be one of the best lines in the NHL, if not the best line in the NHL, presuming Muller would construct the line that way.

      • The Jackal says:

        Well Skinner as a starter, it means they want Skinner plus other assets, such as a pick, prospects, or other good roster players.
        Skinner is a good player, may not be a Nash, but his cap hit is way lower and is a career ‘Cane so far, he is also yet to reach his full potential – you already know what Nash can do, so Carolina probably thinks Skinner will further develop into a better forward than he already is.

        I think CBJ is looking for a good roster player who will make a difference, a blue chip prospect, and a first round pick, or assets of the same quality, such as a combination of picks, players, or prospects.

      • mark-ID says:

        I almost think that if CBJ wanted Skinner….it would be straight up for Nash. Carolina could maybe throw in a first rounder or something…but Skinner has had to great seasons so far already….so to add a prospect plus picks would be way to much in my opinion.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • shiram says:

        Would be Skinner +, is my guess.

      • Stuck_in_To. says:

        Carolina does not want to trade Skinner while Columbus wants to trade Nash. End of story. The point of the trade is to increase value, not swap even-steven. When the guy dealing from the weaker position (Columbus) asks for one of your prime players, you say no. Skinner is a known quantity on the Canes. Nash is a plugin that might crash your whole system.

    • Nash is better than Skinner, sure, but Skinner is just 20 years old — 8 years younger than Nash, with a fantastic attitude and an absolute ton of potential. He also makes $900k this year to Nash’s $7M, and scored 31 goals as a 19-year-old. Sure he had only 20 in his sophomore year, but who doesn’t slump in his second year?

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    How long do we have to look at Therrien’s, “Gomez still here? I just threw up in my mouth.” picture?

  24. Kfourn says:

    This is what I mean when I say we need someone to get rid of the crease dwellers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WACa-W3C3U

    • habstrinifan says:

      Yeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssss!

      And in games 1 to 5.. that guy will get up and think these are the HABS and come back throwing.

      But he will be freaking shocked cause he wont be met by a Staubitz size or P.K but by a 6plus 220+ plus D who fights.

      In games 6 to 45 we gain huge respect.

      In games 46 to 82 we gain no less than 5th spot cause we called up Tinordi.. who’s established his credentials in AHL and is now packing major reputation… and we have also picked up that gritty kick-ass push back utility forward…. upgrade of Staubitz.

      Other grit guys like Subban; Emelin; White; Boullion; Armstrong..yep Armstrong contributing taking care of comparable size pests knowin these two big D’s have their backs. Offense is moving along at an avergae of 3 goals a game and Price has that look.

      Markov/Subban are premier PP guys aided by Kaberle, who may be gone by now for that gritty kick-ass forward.
      Emelin/Gorges are doing their thing.
      Weber is filling in every now and then as he awaits trade or just gets better.

      Diaz was used in package to get that gritty forward.

      Pleks never ever has to pretend to be a PP point guy .

      And me… well I am chiiling at our won-lost record being least 10 above the LEAFS.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I don’t think Tinordi is going step right in and drop the gloves with Lucic. If he does, he’s not going to easily beat the pulp out of him. Lucic is a beast.

        A couple years down the road when Tinordi’s 6’7″ body fills out and he’s 240lbs instead of 205lbs and he gains experience fighting men instead of teenagers, then he’ll be able to teach Lucic a lesson.

  25. jedimyrmidon says:

    Lots of posters saying we need D men who can get players out of Price’s crease. While that’s certainly an issue, I think the main issue is having a physical D man that is able to retrieve the puck along the boards!

    So many times last season, the Habs got pinned in their own zone, letting the other team cycle forever – that was painful to watch. Get someone who can break the cycle and win battles along the boards. Clearing people from the crease will then be less of an issue. I mean, the whole idea of clearing the crease automatically means there are at least 2 players in front screening Price.

  26. HardHabits says:

    First of all forget the play-offs for next season and possibly the season after that. The reality is that Go-nee and Gay-tee-ay screwed this franchise over for years.

    The needs are as follows:

    Bury Gomez next season. Might as well keep him for one more pathetic round of skate to the corner and dump the puck to no-one to create a scoring chance against. (Hey it’s another guaranteed high draft pick)

    Trade Kaberle first chance. Trade Markov first chance. Trade Gionta in the last year of his contract. Trade Plekanec around the same time before the deadline. Stock up on picks and prospects.

    Build around Price, Subban, Gorges, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Galchenyuk, Eller, Pacioretty, Leblanc, Bournival, Gallagher, (Kristo if possible) and whatever prospects can make it.

    That is 2 years of sucking for a chance at having an elite team in 3-5 years.

    I’d prefer the chance to be a powerhouse then perpetuate the same garbage that’s been going on since Roy was traded.

    • Bill says:

      Tanking again? Already??

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Andy and the habs says:

        Exactly, I was gonna the plan looks like today’s Oilers team, young with very little presence of veterans. It’s like boys trying to play man’s game. Also with a ticket to first over picks for the next 3 years. Although the last part looks good, the team is not as bad as HH is making it out to be.

      • FishOutOfWater says:

        fact is were possibly possibly a bubble team, with a very exciting upside if all is candy coated and everyone shoots rainbow pucks all season long.

        moving in the right direction (for once) just dont get your hopes up on any major major changes. just hope for the best

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        It looks like “We need to do get rid of Gomez” will be the “Konopka” of the 2012 summer season.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • SmartDog says:

        It’s never too late to plan for the future!

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • 24 Cups says:

      I hear you Dave but please keep in mind that you can’t build your hopes around 2nd tier prospects.

      Ellis, Bournival, Gallagher and Kristo are second tier. Chances of them making it are around 50/50.

      Beaulieu, Galchenyuk and to a lesser degree Tinordi are all blue chippers. The jury is still out on Leblanc but he’s been mishandled so I give him the benefit of the doubt.

      I’m fine with missing the playoffs next year. If that’s our fate then the reward will be another blue chipper.

      • krob1000 says:

        Kristo may not be a blue chipper but he is a sure thing IMO to be an everyday NHLer. He was in the top 20 in scoring in the NCAA and had a horible start, of those top 20 only a coule of forwards were younger than KRisto. Ellis and Bournival are bigger question marks to me but Kristo …I would be shocked if he is not in the NHL in 3 years.

    • savethepuck says:

      Way too much crapping on Gainey here. The years of Gainey were a lot better than the 6 or 7 years before Gainey got here. Those teams were horrible. I also doubt the Habs are going to tank for a couple of years because they don’t have to. They are not a small market team, they are a Cap ceiling team. What I do agree on is that I don’t want our top prospects going anywhere, I doubt MB will mortgage our future for a quick fix.

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

    • jon514 says:

      He doesn’t always dump the puck… sometimes he does that blind backwards pass to the center of the offensive zone… to create the rush play for whomever we’re playing against!

      “This Team is Less than the sum of it’s parts while Gomez is one of those parts.”

    • Ozmodiar says:

      When MB starts trimming the fat, he’ll replace it with players that will provide more bang for the buck. He’ll be active in the next couple of off-seasons.

      Pleks will stick around. MB will want Galchenyuk to play in more favorable match-ups to start his career. Just like DD this past season. Pleks will handle the tough assignments.

    • habstrinifan says:

      We are making the playoffs next year.

  27. HFX-HabFan says:

    In his conference call, Jagr said Montreal was his first choice, but the Habs weren’t interested.

    Translation: “I wanted to play in Montreal, but they wouldn’t go above $2.5mil, so I found another sucker out there in Nieuwendyk”

  28. kempie says:

    Can somebody explain for me how these signing bonuses don’t count against the cap? Minnesota handed out $60M in signing bonuses yesterday and it doesn’t count against the cap? Seems like circumvention to me. It seems like, with a big enough signing bonus, any team can attract just about any UFA without a monster cap hit. I must be missing something here.

  29. ed lopaz says:

    So what do you guys think of the following:

    Plekanec
    kristo
    Diaz
    2nd round pick in 2013 (we have 2 2nd rounders right now)

    we get:
    Bobby Ryan

    would you do it, knowing that Eller could play 2nd line center this year, and Galchenyuk will be ready next year – at the latest.

    I would do it.

    I think kristo and diaz could both become decent offensive players at the nhl level, but neither one will fit in that role for our team in the next 3-5 years.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Anaheim is going to want a top notch prospect as part of any package. That starts with at least one of Leblanc, Tinordi or Beaulieu. Guys like Diaz and Kristo are strictly add-ons to round out the deal.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I agree that kristo is an add-on, although he will possibly be the best forward in the NCAA next season – which means he’s a solid prospect.

        by the way, if you check out Hockey Futures, they have kristo and tinordi both at 7.5 C rating and beaulieu at 8.0 C, which is slightly ahead.

        So kristo is considered a very good prospect at forward.

        kristo might win the Hobey Baker this year as well, I know last year he was nominated.

        http://www.hockeysfuture.com/teams/montreal_canadiens/

        But your attitude concerning Diaz is what kills my deal!!

        have you read Chris’s posts about Diaz??

        Chris is quite the hockey guy, in my opinion, and he is very high on Diaz.

        I think you might be undervaluing Diaz, and its killing my trade value for him!!

        • 24 Cups says:

          LOL!

          There’s a chance that Kristo could be an UFA next summer so in a way that drops hsi value.

          THere are four high end wingers right now that teams will be persusing – Nash, Ryan, Doan and Semin.

          Nash – We’re not on his list. End of discussion.

          Ryan – He’s going to cost you some major assets and in three years will be a highly sought after UFA. Would he want to re-sign with Montreal? I seriously doubt it. He’ll return to his homeland to the highest bidder.

          Doan – +35 contract player who will want to sign with a Cup contender, not a rebuilding team like Montreal. The fact that Price is a second cousin is laughable.

          Semin – The ultimate enigma. Tons of talent but never cut it when it counted the most. Look at who he had as teammates in Washington. Montreal doesn’t have anything close to those guys. I’m just thankful that we don’t have the cap space to sign this guy for 7M a season for 7 years of term. You know what Semin means when translated into English? Yashin.

          • HFX-HabFan says:

            Yashin isn’t an English word

          • ed lopaz says:

            Agree on much of your post, except I’m not convinced that Bobby Ryan won’t play here.

            We have some excellent young talent here – and many good Americans

            even some of our best young prospects are American.

          • 24 Cups says:

            HFX – I should have added a happy face to show my sarcasm (and distain!).

        • 24 Cups says:

          Ed – Hockey Future’s rankings are dubious at best.

          I assume you’re joking about Diaz and Chris. I must have missed the original exchange.

          I don’t mind Diaz – he might even develop into a 2nd pairing Dman. A bit of offence to go with some decent positional play and hockey smarts. The downside being his lack of size or grit.

          Kristo has been blowing in the wind for awhile now. As I stated, he could walk and I’m sure Anaheim would not take another chance at losing a Schultz.

          Is Pleks and three second rounders enough to get Ryan? I doubt it. They would want a quality prospect in return to go along with Pleks.

          You also have to consider what other offers would be made by other teams.

          There’s talk that Columbus want players such as McDonagh, Kreider, Schenn and Couturier as part of any deal. I can’t see Anaheim being any different.

          • ed lopaz says:

            not joking about Chris and Diaz at all.

            Chris makes some excellent points about Diaz, and his arguments are very persuasive.

            have to run an errand, enjoy the day.

            try and think of a deal that would get us Bobby Ryan, please.

            when I get back I would like to make this deal a reality!!

        • FishOutOfWater says:

          srsly dood these ranking are suuuper out of date. players are listed who dont even exist in their systems anymore

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      Thats a lil overpayment imo. Plekanec for Ryan would be fair deal but Habs aren’t the only ones trying to acquire the power forward and I don’t think they’d value much about Kristo since they loss a player in the same league through free agency just recently.

      Ryan’s PtsPG is .78 and Plekanec’s is .64 and include that to Diaz’s .27 and it could possibly give the Ducks the better end of the deal.

      I wouldn’t trade Plekanec myself..

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Don’t we have three second rounders? Ours, Nashville’s, and Calgary’s?

      I would exchange Weber for Diaz. And include Morgan Ellis, but only if the Ducks give us a mid-round pick back as well.

    • Bill says:

      It’s a very fair trade and I’d probably do it. Diaz and Pleks would look good on that team, and Rya would look good on ours.

      One concern is that it’s a lot to give up for a guy who is two years away from being an extremely sought after UFA. I don’t see him in Montreal long term, not when the Rangers come to him with a 100 million dollar contract in two years. Risky trade that way.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Luke says:

      Wouldn’t get the deal done i’m afraid.

      Big, young tough 30goal power forwards don’t get traded for 2nd line centres and spare parts.

      The trade value people here place on Weber and Diaz is laughable.
      They fill out the 6th/7th dman role on a bottom feeder. They complain about how soft they are, how they don’t fit on a team that finished last in the East. Then magically, they are an important part of a mega deal…

      They are place holders and depth guys. Neither has really shown anything beyond being a serviceable journey man NHLer.

      Additionally, a big scoring winger is what Montreal has. Pacioretty, Cole, Bourque: 3 guys capable of scoring 25 – 30 goals and banging away. Gionta adds a 4th guy capable of 25 – 30.

      Ryan isn’t really necessary. What is necessary is a centre with size and skill. DD and TP are best suited to the 2nd line role. Maybe Galychenyuk or Eller evolves into that first line role in a few seasons, but the need for a top centre for next season is still the key.

    • wild flower says:

      I think that would likely be a bad trade given that Ryan makes more money and may not be as useful as Plekanec. Also, he is currently a malcontent ufa in two seasons while Plecanek is a happy Hab signed for three more seasons at a reasonable 5 million/per. Not to mention the value of Diaz and Kristo.

    • habstrinifan says:

      If someone offers me that trade I do it in a heartbeat.

    • boing007 says:

      How do you know if Kristo and Diaz will turn out well or not? Been to a fortune teller lately?

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.


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