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01-23-2013, 03:55 PM
Kriss E
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Originally Posted by IWalkThroughWalls View Post
Obviously, no player will come out with a clear statement against PK. You just don't do that in team sports, and especially in Montreal! We're not watching some reality show here.

I think it's very legitimate that some posters come to the conclusion that PK might not be really liked in the dressing room by some of his teammates. There are enough incidents and allusions to believe that it's a possibility. Clearly not the absolute proof you ask for, but enough to suggest that it might be something we have to take into consideration when talking about his contract.

Still, that doesn't mean they, and that's also my point of view, want PK out or dislike him. It means that it might be risky to give him a long term contract and that it could explain why the negotiations are complex.

Obviously, it's possible that it has nothing to do with it and that it's just about the money. But there is no evidence of that neither. With all respect, until you can prove it's only money related, I don't see why you refuse to take into consideration other hypothesis.

Let's try to really look at PK, and let's go as far back as his junior years.
So, here's a kid drafted #43 overall, and right from the draft, he appears to be a breath of fresh air. So much enthusiasm, so much charisma, his personality is evident right from his draft interview. To make things better, he's a Habs fan from his childhood.
In his junior years, his progression is remarkable. A very interesting thing is, looking at the POs, he seems to really enjoy and step up during that time of the season.
In his last year there, he makes it to the first all-star team.
During that span, on the International side, in his first presence on team Canada, he makes it as 7th Dman, but still got to play 7games. He earned himself a Gold Medal.
In his 2nd time around, he makes it again but this time has a much more prominent role. He scored 9pts with a +12 rating, earning himself another Gold Medal again.

Reports of PK are nothing but positive. People are starting to recognize PK as a special player that should have definitely went in the first round, if not top 15.

The following year, he is assigned to the AHL. His play is, again, nothing short of amazing. He makes the All rookie Team. In February, he gets called up. The next day, he earns his first NHL point. He is sent back down in the AHL back where he keeps dominating.
At the end of the year, he ends up with 18G 53Pts in 77GP. He earned himself the President's award, given to the AHL player recognized for outstanding accomplishments.

He is called up to join the Habs during the POs. In his first two games, he is given a more limited role, not to be thrown to the wolves right off the bat. Unfortunately, in his 3rd game and Game 1 of the Pens series, Markov gets injured. PK is asked to take on a much bigger role. He starts playing over 20min a game. At the end of it, he finishes as the 2nd Dman for min/gp, despite only playing a little over 10min in his first two games (Remove those two games and he's pretty much tied with Gorges for the most minutes per game). Not only does he get tough match ups for a rookie, and does well, finishing as a +2, but he also gathers 9pts in 14 games.
Needless to say, PK is now the talk of the town. His performance was very impressive for such a young and inexperienced player.

Next season comes around and he makes the NHL. Not surprisingly, there is some NHL adaptation to consider, but still, he is very good. Used as a top 3Dman, by mid December, he becomes a top pairing guy. He also makes the Rookie All-Star team.
He is becoming the Habs best young player little by little. At this point, people are saying PK should have easily been a top 5 pick in his draft year.
Around the league however, he is gaining a reputation of a pest. He talks a lot of trash, and for some people, it's too much to handle. So they criticize away. But PK is not your usual pest. He is also a very good player, so he gets people off their games by his trash talking, and they become so focused on getting back at him that they eventually take penalties because even if they try to catch him off guard, PK is very tough to catch up to thanks to his superb skating, but he is also a very smart player in knowing when a check is coming and how to absorb it well.
Playoffs come around, and again, he is very solid. He is also showing some ''clinch'' skills as he scores in the final two minutes while trailing by a goal in game 7 forcing an OT.

In his sophomore year, he struggles a little more out of the gate. This is Mtl, so when they see one of our coaches (some of the worst coaching I've ever seen btw) is seen giving PK an earful after a turnover leading up to a goal, so thanks to our fabulous media and fanbase, it slowly turns into a ''PK doesn't listen'' idea. To make matters worse (not sure if it was before or after. I believe after.), PK eventually gets scratched. It is a very controversial scratch as PK was the most used Dman. Just the game before the scratch, he was used 23:28. The team responded with a 0-4 loss.
In his first game back, he gets 1g 1a and is used about a minute more than his previous game. Support of the scratch wasn't unanimous. He is a kid that will take risks and you need to live with them because most of the time, you'll be happy he took them.
His game keeps improving, finishes the year with about the same amount of points as his rookie year, facing the toughest opponents, as the #1 Dman of the Habs.

Over his entire career, the kid has never, NEVER, had an off ice issue.
Some question his maturity (I know, I know, a 21-22yo not completely mature yet, it's nut I tell you!), but his commitment to the game is undeniable. His work ethic during practices is so intense that even his teammates get into scuffles. He practices like he plays, intense and trash talking, so some of the guys on the receiving end get pissed off. But, again, this is Mtl where controversy is #1 priority in news reporting, so it's overblown.

The lockout happens with Bergevin unable to re-sign PK. We are told not to worry, and nobody actually does because everyone knows PK is our most promising youngster (Price aside if you still consider him a youngster). Everybody feels PK will be signed once the new CBA is finalized. During the lockout, PK makes no negative comments about it, he simply states that he feels bad for the fans but it's part of the game and hopefully it'll get resolved soon so everybody can get back to hockey.
His off season training is tough as always.

CBA is finally signed, but Bergevin, again, is unable to sign his young star player.
From there, all kinds of rumors are blurred out. From PK wanting close to 56M/8 (doughty contract) to Bergevin offering 5.5M over 2years.

On one hand, we have a player, that's never been controversial, no off ice issue, excellent work ethic and great off ice training, one of the most promising young Dmen of this league, that has never shown a sign of being greedy or selfish (will defend teammates at every opportunity, and be the first to cheer them on for a goal.). Is always competitive and intense.
On the other, we have a brand new GM, a rookie, who's trying to establish a new reputation in the league as a hard negotiator. He wants to set a precedent for future negotiations.

The most recent rumor comes from Bob Mac, arguably the most credible source for stories out there. What is apparently being offered is a 2y 5.5M.
If we look back at how PK has performed, then, no doubt, this is a joke offer.
Yet, some people will prefer to side with a rookie GM. Despite having absolutely no idea of how good he is at evaluating talent and associating a price tag to it.
Meanwhile, PK's undeniably impressive growth of development over the past years, starting from his OHL days, is simply ignored (believing this kid should just take 2.75M for 2years is absolutely ignoring his performance over the years and development, not to mention potential, because if he's worth so little, then 99% of NHL players don't deserve what they are getting).

You can chose to believe Bobby Mac's words or not, but if that's indeed the offer, then Bergevin is seriously trying to make an example out of his young star player. A strategy I deplore. The reason why is that I think GMs need to have visions and sign players at a cheaper price earlier. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, is there more chances that PK will regress within the next two years and not be worth longer term deal or that his progression will continue as it has and he'll likely be worth more cash in two years. To me, it's obviously the 2nd part, so ink him now, while you can get him for cheaper.

Something that isn't mentioned as well, is that if this ends poorly, and PK is traded only to sign a longer term deal, Bergevin might feel like he's set himself a good reputation as a tough negotiator but other agents will likely view it as ''Don't sign, he'll just trade us and we'll get our well deserved money''.

I could live with a bridge contract, perhaps give a 3rd year, but Bergevin absolutely has to almost double the money. It makes no sense at all to give so little and yet ask so much of a player.

Last edited by Kriss E: 01-23-2013 at 04:28 PM.
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