The "Balls or No Balls" thread
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07-21-2013, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: London Ont
Originally Posted by
After one year, Bergevin's become the preacher of slow rebuilds, solid draft picks, safe trades and cautious contracts. Blockbuster deals and "Free-Agent Frenzy"? No thanks, we're on a strict diet. Well… maybe just a little nibble of Prust and a mini Briere brioche, but not too much or too long or it goes straight to our hips.
Bergevin took a franchise that was stuffing its belly with fatty contracts and stop-gap 30-year-olds, and turned it into a prudent, cap-conscious, youth-obsessed team of calorie-counters. In a red-meat league, we've become the vegetarians. During the trade deadline, draft day and free agency, while so many teams were dealing like drunken sailors, Montreal was the designated driver.
So we've trimmed the fat and look ten years younger. But now that the Habs are looking healthier, are we in danger of being TOO conservative? Nobody wants to go back to the days when we got hustled for assets, draft picks and cash, but are we afraid to make the bold move that separates real contenders from merely good teams? Look at most other Cup-winners and you see a balance of caution and balls. LA built much of its core through great draft picks, but then made two major deals trading big assets for Carter and Richards. Boston has spent big money on Chara and thrown the dice big-time dealing assets to get Rask and Seguin, and now Eriksson. Even Chicago, with the best group of draftees in the league, purchased big UFA, Marian Hossa.
The question is: What's the best balance of caution and balls for the Habs? Right now, I see a lot of caution, little balls. Bergevin says he's building through the draft, yet he was unwilling to do what it took to trade up for a higher pick. He says we need size, but hasn't been willing (so far) to part with assets to fill that gap. Make no mistake -- I'm not talking about throwing stupid contracts at mid-tier players, I'm talking about targeting a high-end need and doing whatever it takes to get him. Our strong prospect pool doesn't include a Drouin, Kane or Toews, nor do we have a wealth of 1st-line talent soon to explode like Edmonton. Our core and upcoming youth are good, but not elite. If we want a Stanley Cup, we'll need to trade or purchase a superior game-changing player or two.
Maybe the prices have all been too high. Maybe key players are already in discussion. I'm patient for now. But I expect to start seeing some ballsy moves between September and next trade deadline. Package some roster players, spend some serious money, I don't care. At some point, Bergevin will have to stop saying, "Thanks, we're good!" or "I tried", and start saying, "What will it take?".
Loved it great read and hits the nail on the head.
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