boonie - (steven cooper)Member since October 19, 2011
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- Comment on Gionta, Gorges headed to Sabres; Habs sign Malhotra, Weaver and others (2014-07-01 21:17:01)
Today wasn't about young versus old; or cheap versus expensive. It was about building on the team's strengths and paring weaknesses. MB signed Markov to a three year deal at the top end of what UFAs we're paid today. MB also jettisoned aged guys. We signed vets like MM, picked up PAP, traded or let walk believed leaders like Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta. We have a strong core. MB is augmenting it with players that fill roles now. He's not overpaying or signing extended deals. It's a great day to be a Habs fan.
- Comment on Defenceman Lernout, forward Audette among Habs’ six draft picks (2014-06-29 00:49:59)
Please, somebody... anybody, direct me to some new places to read fresh thoughts (other than HIO). TSN and SportsNet run similar pabulum. All trades are fine. All new coaching hires are smart and good with kids. Established writers and sources stick to the script and do little digging. The advanced stats crowd use numerology to debunk old-school thinking. Although, most of the authors get lazy and use fancy charts, circumstantial arguments, circular logic and marginal statistical differences to make sweeping points. A recent one (sorry, can’t remember the source), made an almost comical, stat A + stat B + stat C implies D. Then skipped the data that expressly refuted implication D. The story droned on for several more pages before wrapping up with some grandiose albeit completely erroneous point. Frankly, it’s getting repetitive. Worse, it’s hard to find independent thinking. I found this little gem on something called CanucksArmy, courtesy of an article on Sporting News. http://canucksarmy.com/2014/6/26/sham-sharron-takes-over-all-30-draft-tables They programmed a bot to automate simplistic draft strategies using only CSS rankings. The bot beat about half the NHL teams from 2000 to 2010. If you don’t have time to check it out here are two things that might interest you. 1. Timmins beat the Bot. 2. The bot rarely beat teams that drafted low in rounds. I suppose that 1-2 punch bodes well for us as we advance to the league’s upper echelon and continue to pick toward the bottom of every round.
- Comment on Habs select Russian forward Scherbak with first-round pick (2014-06-28 10:10:10)
The first thing I thought of when we drafted Scherbak was Stalag 17. Otto Preminger played the ube-nasty Stalag head named Oberst von Scherbach. Sorry, I know it’s not relevant but I loved that movie and couldn’t shake the connection.
- Comment on Habs select Russian forward Scherbak with first-round pick (2014-06-28 10:08:01)
Groupthink. The more GMs talk, the more it happens. They’ve been talking a lot recently. So independent thinking goes by the boards. The results aren’t pretty. Recent poster boys include Jimmy Rutherford, Trevor Linden and Ron Hextall. Fortunately, Our GM MB is not on the list. And, for that, we should be happy. He beats enough to his own drummer that we don’t fall into head-scratching groupthink-induced decisions. Yet, he remains close enough to the NHL GM gravitational constant that he knows how to benefit from it. I’ll cite Vanek and our playoff run as a Exhibit A. I pity fans in Pittsburgh and Toronto and Vancouver and Philadelphia — more than usual; and, for a new bunch of reasons. They’re doomed. They’ve fallen into groupthink. A few years back, the Nucks made the final; and lost. NHL Groupthink told them to shed everyone not named Sedin. Because, hey, that must be the problem. Proven players, coaches and front office guys out disastrous results in. Old Groupthink be damned. They step up to modern conformity. Hand the reins former player to run the WHOLE show. Because, hey, a former player must know how to run a multi-billion dollar enterprise with virtually no training. Shanny runs the Leafs; Holmgren runs the Flyers. Lowe runs the Oilers. Those franchises are killing it. Let’s follow their lead. Trevor hires his buddy to be his new rookie GM. That rookie GM, hires a 57-year old rookie coach. I’m sure Willie Desjardins is a nice guy. His resume is solid. No NHL team wanted Willie before this off-season. Now, EVERY team wants him. Yes, this will work out well. Following the Vancouver model, the Pens replace everyone not named Syd and Gino. In comes Rutherford. Because, hey, his last largely horrendous decade in Carolina must have been a mirage. Bylsma gone (yes, we knew this was coming). He botches his own hiring process. Hextall returns to Philly and pulls off the confounding trade FOR Umberger. Yikes. Rutherford takes his queue trading Neal goes for lesser players with similar salaries. Neal is a 26-year old, 40-goal guy with a cap-friendly contract. Would we move Patches for Eller and Bourque? Hmmm.... Could we have moved Eller and Bourque for Neal...? I’m getting off topic. And, thankfully, Garth Snow is the exception that proves the rule. He trades up to get Josh Ho Sang. Snow is so out of Groupthink that his random decisions might be occasionally brilliant. At least, he guts to deviate from Groupthink.
- Comment on (AUDIO) Habs sign Markov to three-year contract; Burns named to Hall of Fame (2014-06-23 20:06:42)
Two wrongs make a right. The MT extension was too much. But it’s just money. The Markov deal is too much. But it’s just money. The most important thing a GM can do is develop a plan and follow it. Bergy’s plan is becoming more clear with each move. He could have moved Markov, Gionta and Plecs for futures at the deadline. He didn’t. He held them, traded secondary asset for a proven scorer. Vanek scored in bunches down the stretch. With Max and DD, they formed arguably our best line in decades. More important – he sent a BIG message. Win NOW! The team bought into the “future is now” plan. We could have brought in a teacher coach. He extended Therrien. We could have let young, talented D men replace Markov. They would have developed and we could have been even better a couple of years from now. But for GMMB, two years from now is not now. He is playing for today. Markov for 2 years at $5m-ish would have been nice. Who cares? If he plays great for three years, wonderful. If he doesn’t, Molson eats some contract. It’s not our money and it doesn’t hugely impact our ability to make moves. If Therrien doesn’t become one of the longest-tenured coaches in the league during this contact, it’s Molson’s money. Yawn. MB picked a win-now coach. His win-now coach wants veteran win-now players. The plan is win-now. If it fizzles next year – or the year after – ok, change plans. For now, that’s the plan. As fans, we have to view all moves in that context. Expect to see Gionta resigned – Bergy said so. Don’t expect to see key pieces of this team leave. Price is the here and now. PK is now and future. Max is a big-time NHL scorer, NOW. We saw glimpses of Eller and Bourque in the playoffs. If they don’t play to that level, Bergy will move them for now players nearer the deadline. Bergy signed UFA Briere for modest fourth line minutes. He didn’t give that time to developing players. He made the NOW move. P.S. Burns more than deserved the HHOF. Too bad he wasn’t here to see it. I hope he's enjoying it.
- Comment on Markov looking for three-year, $18-million deal: report (2014-06-16 19:28:18)
Big news week. We extend MT, trade LL and open negotiations with AM. The MT stuff is really about the amount of severance he gets when (not likely if) he’s fired before the end of his term. It’s Molson’s money and it doesn’t impact our cap, so I don’t really care. I just wonder why GMs keep signing coaches to long renewals. I mean would MT really have balked with a two year deal? After leaving Montreal in 2003, he didn’t get another gig until 2005. After leaving the Pens, he didn’t get coach until he arrived here for the beginning of the 2012 season. MT has 2 years on this go ‘round with the Habs. Only >>four<< current head coaches have served 6 years with the same team. Babcock (2005), Julien (2007), Quenneville (2008) and McLellan (2008). Their winning percentages are: .654, .637, .655, and .654. All but McLellan have won Cups. McLellan got a strong endorsement from him GM this season, showing his position was tenuous. MT has a .627 in the past two seasons. LL - meh. I never saw him as anything we needed. MB got what he could. Give LL a new chance. The Markov situation is really about our past run. I’ll explain. I believe a team will pay him $18-ish for 3 years. He fills a need somewhere, even at that price. Although not here. The interesting part is could we have moved him for a first rounder or something other meaningful asset at the trade deadline? If so, we could have retained Collberg and a second and turned Marky into longer-term value. Those moves may have caused us to trade other players at the deadline - say, Gionta. We would have stocked the cupboard. Instead, we enjoyed a spot in the ECF and a win over the Bs. A little earlier, some folks here mused about Chicago and LA. They may change parts of the team in the next little while, but their core (Toews, Kane, Kopitar, Doughty, ...) are young fixtures. The talent, chemistry and consistency allow them to stay near the top. Certainly, our core includes young talent. Price and Subban are all-world. Gallagher and Patches are a notch below that. But, how much did Markov, Gionta (and others unlikely to return or play at the same level) impact our playoff run? It’s hard to justify resigning Markov and Gionta at or near what the top of the market will pay. On the other hand, it’s going to be tough to replace their minutes and contribution with equal talent, determination and character. Yeah, it’s been a fun week.
- Comment on HI/O Show: Habs will face more pressure next season (2014-06-09 17:45:36)
I think you mean "grossly mismanaged FOR MT". MT benefits from burning out Markov. He has no down side.
- Comment on HI/O Show: Habs will face more pressure next season (2014-06-09 17:41:09)
TSN’s off-season plan called for the Blue to upgrade their second line center and goaltending. There’s recent history. Gauthier traded for Eller and we peddled them Matt D’Agostini (in different deals). How about this... Plecs and Tokarski for a first? We keep saying Plecs is an ideal second center for an elite team. We have an abundance and need to move one to make room for Chucky. Tokarski is the ideal ‘tender for them. They didn’t like Halak/Elliot and picked up Miller. That was a bust. They are ready to promote Jake Allen. Toky can play big minutes on the farm. If Allen excels, they can move Elliot and let Tokarski backup in the NHL. If Allen and Elliot don’t inspire confidence, they can elevate Tokarski and give him a shot to steal a playoff game or two. Dustin has a two-way deal next year and a one-way the following on reasonable terms. Toky shined in the playoffs so there’s some luster. We have Budaj for next year and Fucale in the system. Now about our return... Both teams are pecking away at the next echelon. They finished higher in the regular season. We went deeper in the playoffs. So we may not be good trading partners in terms of personnel. They aren’t going to trade us Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester or Shattenkirk. We could use a prospect on the wing. A first rounder is easier. They pick 21st. It’s hard to believe Plecs alone would fetch a top 15 selection. Tokarski — while impressive — is unlikely to get more than a third rounder. Putting the two together, we get a solid first round pick.
- Comment on HI/O Show: Habs will face more pressure next season (2014-06-08 01:09:09)
You’re better than this. I normally love your posts, but this one reeks of sour grapes. 1. Carey said it was a hockey play/accident 2. NY has acquitted themselves well. They lost two OT games to the heavily favored Kings, playing both games in LA. In fact, the Rangers haven’t trailed in regulation. 3. From my vantage point, Kreider wasn’t touched tonight. He lost control at full speed and careened into the boards. The point being, if that can happen without being touched, then — when touched in the Montreal game — he reasonably lost control and ended up hitting Price. 4. If your conjecture that Kreider’s MO is to take goaltenders out, then why not fly into Quick and gain an advantage in this series? He didn’t. I don’t have a horse in this Cup Final, so I don’t care who wins. It’s good hockey and that’s enought for me. Your rant is off base. And, P to the S, I grew up on HNIC. Now that I live in the States, I get the absolutely awful NBC feed down here for playoff games. I long for the CBC Buttheads. HIO has some wonderfully astute fans that write here with passion —you are among the best. But the constant whining about HNIC is getting really old. If you can’t stand their commentary, turn it off. Or, better, try listening to the local feed for a Nashville/Columbus game. HNIC people (including PJ Stock) are a quantum leap beyond the know-nothing homers that drone endlessly about local stuff on most broadcasts. And, since it’s a little after 1am here and I have to be up in five hours, I’m going to bed. So, don’t take my lack of reply as not caring. I do care.
- Comment on HI/O Show: Habs will face more pressure next season (2014-06-08 00:14:31)
This ain’t going to happen, but consider this... Bylsma is a winner — regular season and a Cup. He won it all where Therrien did not. But, he’s American and doesn’t speak French. Bergevin talked about extending Therrien. He hasn’t yet. Is there even a remote possibility that Bergy could fire MT and hire Bylsma?