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01-01-2004, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by G Man 77
I get that you wouldn't want to "risk it all" on Lecavalier... but then again you pretty say the guys I mentionned aren't worth very much, so how much would we really be losing in my proposed trade?
Doesn't sound like we'd be "risking it all"... that would be the case if we'd be trading the likes of Komisarek, Souray, Higgins, Kastitsyn, Markov, Theo... which I didn't include in the deal.
There's a difference between Montreal players' trade value and their worth to the team. I feel Zednik and Koivu are worth a lot to Montreal but wouldn't be worth as much on the trade market.

Originally Posted by G Man 77
My thinking is that we do have some potential first line wingers in Higgins, Perezhogin, and Kastitsyn... hell even Balej maybe.
But I think we need some BIG center to play with some of these small to fair sized players.

That's why I'd focus more on getting a big center... than top line wingers, until these kids get their shot anyway which should be very soon (in the next 1-2 years).
I would agree that those three players have first line potential, but I wouldn't bank on it. I wouldn't make changes thinking there's three prospects that will likely turn out to be first liners in the future.

I also don't see the obsession with big centers. It's strength, intensity and grit down the middle that the team needs. Koivu's a clutch performer and a warrior, and one of the few players drafted and developed in Montreal. I don't see him being dealt, as there's little reason to move him. He brings so much to a team on a consistent basis.

If one wants to deal him because he's oft-injured--which is the only legitimate reason for wanting to move him in my opinion--then they need to keep in mind that every other team realizes he's oft-injured and that will effect his market value.

If I'm Montreal, I'm looking to add a strong two-way center that can be matched up against opposition's top lines and generate some chances. Peca, Holik, Madden, Handzus, Primeau, Brind'Amour -- those are the style of players I'm talking about. I think if a player like that was added, you'd notice significant differences in both Koivu and Ribeiro's offensive output, and wouldn't see a need in obtaining a first line center with size.

Originally Posted by G Man 77
To say he's in a rut right now is a major understatement.

He's sulking because he's being used out of position, or so I've read, and because he was prevented from playing for his country last year... instead was sent to Hamilton for the playoffs where he was so disinterested he was benched for a few games.

Then he comes back up this year, again does nothing, goes back down and can't even stand out there either.

It's not a rut, it's a freefall.

I know he's young, could wake up one day and decide to play like he cares... but I don't want any part of a guy I have to try and convince to play hard.
Well, some of that is speculation on what's going on in his mind, and isn't overly valid IMO.

I share your thoughts on not wanting any part of a player that doesn't work hard on a consistent basis, but I'd disagree when it comes to young players. Often times people forget that the most important attribute a prospect needs to develop is the proper mentality. A maturation process, in other words.

There's a lot of pressure to become an NHL player when you're a highly touted prospect. There's a lot to learn in the process; from fitness to nutrition, and riding the buses the amount of time that they do combined with a different culture. Different prospects respond to all of this differently.

I'm not trying to make excuses for the guy, but this is a characteristic of virtually any person: face a new environment, change your routine to a strict one with regards to eating, working out and your work, and you'll take time to adjust. It's normal for young people in any profession to take time to adjust when facing such changes, yet people expect hockey players to be different.

Even if a young player wants to work hard on every play and has the right mentality, developing the work ethic to get it done is a process. It's not always natural, and seemingly more difficult for larger players to grow into their bodies.

This is a main reason why I feel Montreal has less patience with youngsters than other organizations and fans in other cities. People in Montreal don't necessarily expect nice offensive production from youngsters, but they do expect youngsters to work hard all the time. That's a characteristic that takes time to hone just as much as any other attribute; it doesn't mean said player lacks character or the ability to be an NHLer in the long-term. Many, many young players take a lot of time to develop the proper work ethic in order to be successful, and it usually takes 2-3 years. Heck, we're seeing it right now with Ribeiro and we're still seeing some of it with Markov.

There's my little rant for today. :p

Originally Posted by G Man 77
That's my big problem with him, although I want him gone so we can get bigger and stop relying on an always injured captain... the very fact he's always injured makes him just about value-less.
(which is why we were stuck discussing dealing him for Peca apparently)
Personally, I think Koivu's injury history is overstated. If you take out the year that he tore up his knee, he's averaged roughly 66-70 games a season.

I would be willing to bet my left leg that Koivu will not be traded any time soon. It wouldn't make sense on any front, and would contradict what Gainey's direction seems to be.

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