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Your Thoughts on solving our centermen issues

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Old
05-21-2009, 05:33 PM
  #101
Maxpac
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Or we could readily argue it was the other way around.

This year is the first year Staal is truly productive offensively -- a career year for him, in fact. Since it's not backed with any kind of historical information (and he has been rather inconsistent year-to-year to this point), for all we know he could go right back to his previous year's level next year, go on like this, or improve.

He's gonna be great in five years, sure, but that doesn't say much about what he'll be like next year.



"Packages" are all well and nice and help with matchups, sure, but I'm more interested in results. If Plekanec gets better results than Staal (as he did last year), then Staal's size, defensive awareness, and overall package are secondary to the fact that Plekanec is a better hockey player. "Overall packages" are what you use to get results, but results (ie. helping the team win hockey games) is what's most important.



It depends on if Plekanec goes back to being 07-08 Pleky or stays 08-09 Pleky. If he goes back to the former and you replace 07-08 Pleky with 08-09 Staal, well, you have in fact become weaker.

At any rate, regardless of the Plekanec comparison, Staal as #1 center means the Habs' center line is weaker than it was this year because the Habs this year had at least two centers (Koivu and Lang) who did better than Staal. Unless, of course, Staal breaks out in a big way next year, but I don't think you can plan for this to happen on such a such timeframe for such a young player.

Acquiring Staal is a long-term move, not a next-year-we're-better move.
Son of a ****, ok let's make this clear one last time, Thomas Plekanec is not in Jordan Staal's league, in fact, he couldn't even hold his jockstrap, as overall hockey players. You're comparing a 26 year old center who got carried on a line with 2 1st line players, including the comeback of the player, to a 20 year player who plays with Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke. How the heck can you even think about Staal having a fluke year at his age right now? He had 29 goals as an 18 year old player in a defensive role! He's playing behind the 2 best centers in the league, leaving him no one to produce with. Put him in Plekanec's spot NEXT YEAR and he has 70 points minimum. He's already a better center then anything we got or will have in the system, and brings everything we lack.

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Old
05-21-2009, 05:35 PM
  #102
Ozymandias
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That's fine if that's the plan and you don't trade way over value for Staal. But the proposal was for Staal to center Montreal's top line next year as a way to solve our center depth issues, and I believe it's nigh-impossible to not badly overpay a player as hyped-up as Staal is.
Well, I look at it differently, what I would actually do is try to sign Lang and Koivu for the next two seasons or so, and let Staal gradually take over.

We have enough wingers, if we keep Tanguay, I don't see any problems when it comes to that. Defense is a short term preoccupation right now, but probably won't be in a few years.

To me, if we land Staal, we'll be more set to face the future which is highly uncertain at the moment as far as centermen goes for the Habs.

This would also help the transition of getting Maxwell on the big club.

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05-21-2009, 05:39 PM
  #103
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Weber is not a rare commodity for the Habs, as we have Subban and Korneev who are both small, right handed and offensively minded, so we need to get rid of at least one of them before we have two or three small guys on the right side on defense.
The Habs may be loaded with D prospects, but Weber is a near-NHL-ready puck-moving defenseman. This may not be such a rare commodity for Montreal, but league-wide, puck-moving D-men, especially on the right hand side, are not in such deep supply that you can casually throw them into deals to "get rid of them".

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And then the two first picks... well I just guessed, it might cost less, but if its what it takes, I wouldn't mind.
I'd cut off a first from that offer, I think. Mostly because I evaluate Plekanec on his total body of work and not just his worst season, and I don't evaluate Staal on just his best season.

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There aren't many centermen with Staal's untapped potential, besides the ones who have proven their potential yet would cost much more.
AFAIK Jokinen didn't go for as much as you propose for either time he was traded, and Jokinen is a big first-line centerman who's scored 40 goals before.

This is my point: Staal will cost more to trade for than he is worth.

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05-21-2009, 05:45 PM
  #104
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anybody who says Maxwell is the answer is out to lunch. He hasn't shown he can be a reliable top line center so I say we look to the outside to add talent up the middle.

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05-21-2009, 05:51 PM
  #105
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Son of a ****, ok let's make this clear one last time, Thomas Plekanec is not in Jordan Staal's league, in fact, he couldn't even hold his jockstrap, as overall hockey players.
See what I mean when I say Jordan Staal is overhyped?

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You're comparing a 26 year old center who got carried on a line with 2 1st line players, including the comeback of the player
I think we've been over why this hasn't happened and how, in fact, if any single player was doing any carrying, it was Plekanec.

Kovalev's super year was mostly on the power play. At even-strength, he was pretty much bang on where he was this year.

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How the heck can you even think about Staal having a fluke year at his age right now? He had 29 goals as an 18 year old player in a defensive role!
Shooting percentage. It's a very rare player who shoots 22% his entire career. It's typical of fluke goal-scoring season to have an inordinately high shooting percentage, only to revert back to norm next year. Jason Blake's 40 goal season being a textbook example.

Heck, Staal had never even scored 29 goals in junior.

Predictably, Staal hasn't shot this high a percentage ever since (and had a fluke down year last year, if anything) and probably never will. He may very well hit 30 someday but it will most likely be using the old-fashioned Ovechkin method -- he'll get to shoot more.

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Put him in Plekanec's spot NEXT YEAR and he has 70 points minimum.
He's given no indication whatsoever that this could happen on such short a term, so I don't see what you base this on except hype. He'd need to get a lot more productive on the PP to hit 70 anyway, and that usually comes with age.

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He's already a better center then anything we got or will have in the system, and brings everything we lack.
He's not as good as, at least, Koivu and Lang now. This may change in the future, and he might develop into a first-line center down the line, but right now, he is not.

This post is a prime example of why I would approach a Staal trade with extreme caution. His upside is great, but his immediate impact is severely overrated.

And I shudder at the idea trading the farm for a 21-year old on whom will be placed unreasonable expectations that he won't meet and the firestorm that will result in a town like Montreal.

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05-21-2009, 05:53 PM
  #106
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The Habs may be loaded with D prospects, but Weber is a near-NHL-ready puck-moving defenseman. This may not be such a rare commodity for Montreal, but league-wide, puck-moving D-men, especially on the right hand side, are not in such deep supply that you can casually throw them into deals to "get rid of them".
Well, that'S not really what I meant, it has to do with the fact that we will have to chose between Subban and Weber, and then if Korneev comes over someday, its double the *trouble*, not in a bad sense, but we can't develop all three of them, even two of them, at the same time. So at one point, we WILL have to trade either one of Subban or Weber (who are two players I really look forward of seeing play).

Also, I don't mean to casually throw Weber in a deal, I just happen to think that's the incentive needed for Pittsburg to let Staal go our way.



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I'd cut off a first from that offer, I think. Mostly because I evaluate Plekanec on his total body of work and not just his worst season, and I don't evaluate Staal on just his best season.
Fair enough. It might still pull it off. We might have to add some youngling with lesser value like D'Agostini.


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AFAIK Jokinen didn't go for as much as you propose for either time he was traded, and Jokinen is a big first-line centerman who's scored 40 goals before.
Well, Jokinen is a different beast altogether. I think his huge reputation (as an ass) has to do with the low cost of his trades.

Although, Plekanec, Weber and a 1st looks a lot like the last Jokinen trade... Lombardi, Prust and a 1st...

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This is my point: Staal will cost more to trade for than he is worth.
But my own point is that I don't mind overpaying some to get him. And we're not talking about the overpayment of the century when we are arguing about adding or substracting ONE first pick, on this, I hope you agree.

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05-21-2009, 05:54 PM
  #107
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Well, I look at it differently, what I would actually do is try to sign Lang and Koivu for the next two seasons or so, and let Staal gradually take over.
That's a fine plan so long as you don't overpay for Staal, aren't bothered by the fact that he won't play for four million's worth for a couple of years, can fit this within your cap space, and don't expect Staal to be a #1 center for a while.

I'm down with it except that I don't believe it's possible to get Staal with merely a small overpayment.

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05-21-2009, 05:58 PM
  #108
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anybody who says Maxwell is the answer is out to lunch. He hasn't shown he can be a reliable top line center so I say we look to the outside to add talent up the middle.
WTF???

I will trust Timmins before I trust Mr. Higgins-isnt-in-the-habs-plans-anymore...

Firstly, NOBODY ever said Maxwell is the answer. So far as I can tell, I'm the only one who mentioned Maxwell, and it was in a secondary role to Staal in a transition period with Koivu and Lang.

Secondly, Maxwell is in HIS ROOKIE SEASON IN THE AHL. He's friggin 20-21 years old. YOU'RE out to lunch if you think you can predict what Maxwell will look like after some development.

Give your head a shake. Did you watch Maxwell only in the few games he had with the Habs? Because your pseudo-knowledge about him seems pretty thin.

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05-21-2009, 06:12 PM
  #109
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That's a fine plan so long as you don't overpay for Staal, aren't bothered by the fact that he won't play for four million's worth for a couple of years, can fit this within your cap space, and don't expect Staal to be a #1 center for a while.

I'm down with it except that I don't believe it's possible to get Staal with merely a small overpayment.
well, anyway it all depends on what Pittsburg actually asks. For me, if they'd hypothetically agree to what I proposed before, I would do it. If they'd ask much more than that, then I would forget about it.

As for Staal earning 4 million for the next four seasons, I don't really mind when Pleks will probably be doing about just a mil less pretty soon... so for ONE mil more, for a guy who produced 49 points on a third line with pee-shooters, I'm quite okay with that as his production will probably go up if you put him with guys like Higgins, AKostitsyn, Latendresse or MaxPac.

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05-21-2009, 06:17 PM
  #110
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WTF???

I will trust Timmins before I trust Mr. Higgins-isnt-in-the-habs-plans-anymore...

Firstly, NOBODY ever said Maxwell is the answer. So far as I can tell, I'm the only one who mentioned Maxwell, and it was in a secondary role to Staal in a transition period with Koivu and Lang.

Secondly, Maxwell is in HIS ROOKIE SEASON IN THE AHL. He's friggin 20-21 years old. YOU'RE out to lunch if you think you can predict what Maxwell will look like after some development.

Give your head a shake. Did you watch Maxwell only in the few games he had with the Habs? Because your pseudo-knowledge about him seems pretty thin.
Agreed with you, Ben Maxwell will be very good me think. Probably our next 2nd line center... But that doesn't solve the main problem, which means the need of a 1st line center with size and skill...

I also agree with the Higgins being out of this team's plan, but that's just me hey

In summary, this organization needs to draft better. This june, draft all the centers possible. There will ben plenty when the Habs will pick in the first round.

The guy that I really want: Peter Holland !! Followed by Jacob Josefson, Louis Leblanc, Chris Kreider, Scott Glennie and Landon Ferraro.



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05-21-2009, 06:48 PM
  #111
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That's a fine plan so long as you don't overpay for Staal, aren't bothered by the fact that he won't play for four million's worth for a couple of years, can fit this within your cap space, and don't expect Staal to be a #1 center for a while.

I'm down with it except that I don't believe it's possible to get Staal with merely a small overpayment.
4M dollar is rather cheap for a #1 center. I don't think Staal will be a big top line center, or at least I'm not convinced yet.
But he will without a doubt be a great #2 center, and at 4M that's not bad at all.

I wouldn't be too quick to say he won't be worth his pay for at least another couple of years.
I think he'll be a productive 2nd liner starting next year, especially if he's paired with better wingers.

There's no reason to think Plekanec can do it but not him. I think both are similar players in terms of skills, with Staal having a slight edge. Add to that his size/age and that makes him a lot more interesting than Plek.

I don't think Pittsburgh will let him go anyways. I think it's gonna be between Crosby and Malkin but we all know the ''Kid'' isn't going anywhere.
So, IMO Malkin is the most likely to be moved. Either that or they'll continue with their big 3 centers and bring in cheap average at best wingers.

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Old
05-21-2009, 07:01 PM
  #112
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I think we've been over why this hasn't happened and how, in fact, if any single player was doing any carrying, it was Plekanec.
On that statement alone, you need therapy. Right now we'll leave it at that...

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Kovalev's super year was mostly on the power play. At even-strength, he was pretty much bang on where he was this year.
Kovalev was the best player in the league on the pp last year, guess who had the luxury of centering him? BTW, it's not because he had a lot of point on the pp that he wasn't effective 5 on 5, especially last season.

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Shooting percentage. It's a very rare player who shoots 22% his entire career. It's typical of fluke goal-scoring season to have an inordinately high shooting percentage, only to revert back to norm next year. Jason Blake's 40 goal season being a textbook example.

Heck, Staal had never even scored 29 goals in junior.

Predictably, Staal hasn't shot this high a percentage ever since (and had a fluke down year last year, if anything) and probably never will. He may very well hit 30 someday but it will most likely be using the old-fashioned Ovechkin method -- he'll get to shoot more.
That one i'll give it to you, but hey, 30 goals on 300 shots is still 30 goals, as long as he gets the points his total shots doesn't really matter, especially when you consider that to have that many shots you need to be in control of the puck. You wanna know why he never had 29 goals in juniors? He quit the league to turn pro at 17. If he would of completed his 4 years like Carter or Getzlaf, believe me 29 goals wouldn't of been a lot.

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He's given no indication whatsoever that this could happen on such short a term, so I don't see what you base this on except hype. He'd need to get a lot more productive on the PP to hit 70 anyway, and that usually comes with age.
No indication? I'l say it again, he just came out of a 49 point season playing with Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke in a defensive role behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, at only 20 years of age. Try really hard to grasp that comment.


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He's not as good as, at least, Koivu and Lang now. This may change in the future, and he might develop into a first-line center down the line, but right now, he is not.

This post is a prime example of why I would approach a Staal trade with extreme caution. His upside is great, but his immediate impact is severely overrated.

And I shudder at the idea trading the farm for a 21-year old on whom will be placed unreasonable expectations that he won't meet and the firestorm that will result in a town like Montreal.
His immediate impact is a 6'4 center with great 2-way play, excellent on the face offs, hard to knock off the board, very intelligent player and close to to explode offensively, that's his impact.

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05-21-2009, 08:16 PM
  #113
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Well, I for one prioritize the long-term, as I'm sure Whitesnake does, we might have our differences but I'm sure he agrees with me on this.
I knew there was hope after all.....

Totally agree to say the least. That way, I'll stop (or I'll cool down...) on my obsession of drafting a big centerman.

But unless we can pull a miracle, I don't see why NEXT YEAR needs to be our goal when you can build for long term while your long term might not be that far away. I really don't see how we'll be solely be able to see his real potential as far as in 5 years. Used properly, given an appropriate role and players with him, he'll be able to get significant numbers pretty soon.

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05-21-2009, 08:22 PM
  #114
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WTF???

I will trust Timmins before I trust Mr. Higgins-isnt-in-the-habs-plans-anymore...

Firstly, NOBODY ever said Maxwell is the answer. So far as I can tell, I'm the only one who mentioned Maxwell, and it was in a secondary role to Staal in a transition period with Koivu and Lang.

Secondly, Maxwell is in HIS ROOKIE SEASON IN THE AHL. He's friggin 20-21 years old. YOU'RE out to lunch if you think you can predict what Maxwell will look like after some development.

Give your head a shake. Did you watch Maxwell only in the few games he had with the Habs? Because your pseudo-knowledge about him seems pretty thin.
Geez something is wrong here 'cause I again agree with you.

People should realize that Maxwell was pretty unlucky in the past years and often was hurt. And despite all of that, it was an absolutely impressive rookie season in the AHL. Okay he wasn't stellar in his first stint. But since when, again, is it about who impresses first wins? Why does people keep saying that? Surely Maxwell needs to be stronger. That can be fixed. But his overall hockey sense is there. His upside is still there and he obviously hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

I've been wrong a thousand times before, but I have a whole lot of confidence in Maxwell. Will he be the answer and the saviour? No and that's fine like that. Enough of those saviours who are suppose to do everything by themselves. He'll fit right in in a system that he'll learn and be fine like that. Like a rookie who'll learn but who is still a damn good hockey player.

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05-21-2009, 08:33 PM
  #115
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Geez something is wrong here 'cause I again agree with you.

People should realize that Maxwell was pretty unlucky in the past years and often was hurt. And despite all of that, it was an absolutely impressive rookie season in the AHL. Okay he wasn't stellar in his first stint. But since when, again, is it about who impresses first wins? Why does people keep saying that? Surely Maxwell needs to be stronger. That can be fixed. But his overall hockey sense is there. His upside is still there and he obviously hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

I've been wrong a thousand times before, but I have a whole lot of confidence in Maxwell. Will he be the answer and the saviour? No and that's fine like that. Enough of those saviours who are suppose to do everything by themselves. He'll fit right in in a system that he'll learn and be fine like that. Like a rookie who'll learn but who is still a damn good hockey player.
I hope you're right, I'd feel better if I'd seen something during his brief stint, but he was pretty lukewarm. I'll chalk it up to circumstance though. I agree that a bigger body at C would help stabilize things. I suspect his numbers may not exceed Plekanec's by much, but the trickle down effect on matchups would help the other C's.

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05-21-2009, 08:45 PM
  #116
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I hope you're right, I'd feel better if I'd seen something during his brief stint, but he was pretty lukewarm. I'll chalk it up to circumstance though. I agree that a bigger body at C would help stabilize things. I suspect his numbers may not exceed Plekanec's by much, but the trickle down effect on matchups would help the other C's.
I can't see that Maxwell as the go-to centre on the Habs team of the future. I see his upside much like Koivu's, needing a complimenting number one centre to take the pressure off.

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05-21-2009, 09:00 PM
  #117
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On that statement alone, you need therapy. Right now we'll leave it at that...
If nothing else, he was actually the most productive of the three at even-strength.

Kovalev was actually the worst.

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Kovalev was the best player in the league on the pp last year, guess who had the luxury of centering him?
Pleky, although he didn't benefit as much as you seem to think. Plekanec got most of his points at even-strength, led the Habs in the category, in fact. His PP numbers were less impressive.

In short -- Kovy built a PPG mostly season on the PP, Plekanec built himself a career season mostly at even-strength. The two weren't exactly hindrances to each other, but it's not true that one carried the other either.

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BTW, it's not because he had a lot of point on the pp that he wasn't effective 5 on 5, especially last season.
He was effective. As much as he is this year. Last year, though, Plekanec was more effective 5-on-5.

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That one i'll give it to you, but hey, 30 goals on 300 shots is still 30 goals, as long as he gets the points his total shots doesn't really matter, especially when you consider that to have that many shots you need to be in control of the puck.
I would agree, except that when predicting trends, a season with an unusually high is a big warning flag. It almost invariably goes back to normal the next year, which is why I call it a "fluke" season.

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You wanna know why he never had 29 goals in juniors? He quit the league to turn pro at 17. If he would of completed his 4 years like Carter or Getzlaf, believe me 29 goals wouldn't of been a lot.
Oh sure, but he went from 28 in junior to 29 in the NHL the next year. The caliber of play is just not the same so that represents a huge leap in production year-over-year. Combined with the high shooting percentage, it wasn't hard to see it was an outlier and he was due for a correction.

And the correction did happen, to the point that Staal had a fluke low year the next year.

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No indication? I'l say it again, he just came out of a 49 point season playing with Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke in a defensive role behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin, at only 20 years of age. Try really hard to grasp that comment.
That tells me he's a highly effective third-line center, not that he's ready to carry the load on a top line. Try really hard to grasp that comment.

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His immediate impact is a 6'4 center with great 2-way play, excellent on the face offs, hard to knock off the board, very intelligent player and close to to explode offensively, that's his impact.
So a great third-line center and probably a capable second-line center, which is certainly a great achievement at his age. But not a guy who can be the top center on a contending team, and not a guy who'd be the top center on the Habs of 08-09. At least, not yet.

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05-21-2009, 09:41 PM
  #118
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I can't see that Maxwell as the go-to centre on the Habs team of the future. I see his upside much like Koivu's, needing a complimenting number one centre to take the pressure off.
Which is exactly where I see him. A pretty good #2. But compare to people who already traded him 'cause he had a tough 5 games in the NHL, I guess a good #2 ain't that bad after all. I would like to see him be stronger though.

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05-21-2009, 09:59 PM
  #119
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Which is exactly where I see him. A pretty good #2. But compare to people who already traded him 'cause he had a tough 5 games in the NHL, I guess a good #2 ain't that bad after all. I would like to see him be stronger though.
I just wish I had a good shift or two that stuck in my mind, to carry my optimism. I trust you though, I feel better already.

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05-21-2009, 10:16 PM
  #120
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Trade for Evgeni Malkin... Higgins, A. Kostitsyn, Weber, Gorges, plus a top pick or a top prospect (not Subban) would get it done.
Wow.

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05-22-2009, 01:17 AM
  #121
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Which is exactly where I see him. A pretty good #2. But compare to people who already traded him 'cause he had a tough 5 games in the NHL, I guess a good #2 ain't that bad after all. I would like to see him be stronger though.
If we can get a strong second line center with Maxwell and that Lapierre can be a strong 3rd line center then its at the very least few problems that are solved. Plekanek is not necessarily the best option as a first line center but I would be willing to give him a chance to bounce back.

All we need is a very good trade for the next 2-3 years.

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05-22-2009, 04:12 AM
  #122
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Forsberg, he's UFA

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05-22-2009, 08:58 AM
  #123
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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I like Staal a lot because he plays a fundamentally sound game, can be counted on in different situations, just a style of player that I like. Going forward, his #'s will be hard to evaluate as he'll play on a team that will be winger poor, due to the $ invested at C.
Staal would be much better somewhere else for sure. He's completely buried in that lineup. Its an embarrassment of riches when you have a kid like that who's going to be your 3rd line center.

He doesn't get near the icetime or PP time that he would someplace else.

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05-22-2009, 09:00 AM
  #124
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Last year Staal was terrible and Plekanec was great. This year, the roles are reversed. Only, Pleks was better last year than Staal is this year and Pleks was better this year than Staal was last year. So taking a bit of a longer view than what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, it's clear Plekanec would still be ahead.

Pleks had an off-year, but his career performance is still above Staal's at this point. He'd still likely be ahead on the depth chart. Down the road it may no longer be the case -- it may in fact not be the case next year if Pleky doesn't bounce back and Staal doesn't slip, but I'm fairly certain Plekanec will bounce back and Plekanec's best is currently better than Staal's best.

I stand by my statement: if Staal is a team's #1 center next year, that team has depth issues at center. He can probably be a decent enough #2 at this point, but in Montreal he'd need to beat Plekanec out and that's far from a foregone conclusion. He can help with size issues, but he's not a first-liner yet.

Heck, even with Plekanec's off year, Staal would have been third on this year's Habs roster, behind Koivu and Lang.
Pleks is 6 years older than Staal is and Staal is already outproducing him. He's bigger, stronger and goes into the corners rather than hanging on the perimeter. Its a silly comparison.

Doesn't matter though because the Pens will never deal him to us. Staal would more than likely head out west.
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Well to me it isn't.

Because firstly, Staal replaces Pleks (who I like very much, and I would feel lousy about it, but its for the better, IMO), then, Weber is not a rare commodity for the Habs, as we have Subban and Korneev who are both small, right handed and offensively minded, so we need to get rid of at least one of them before we have two or three small guys on the right side on defense.

And then the two first picks... well I just guessed, it might cost less, but if its what it takes, I wouldn't mind.

There aren't many centermen with Staal's untapped potential, besides the ones who have proven their potential yet would cost much more.

Staal has all the necessary tools to make a first line center and we need to get bigger there, so to me, its a move forward, as we will have a big center capable of producing and to boot he is still very young and would grow with all the other young players we have.
Exactly.

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Old
05-22-2009, 09:04 AM
  #125
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Geez something is wrong here 'cause I again agree with you.

People should realize that Maxwell was pretty unlucky in the past years and often was hurt. And despite all of that, it was an absolutely impressive rookie season in the AHL. Okay he wasn't stellar in his first stint. But since when, again, is it about who impresses first wins? Why does people keep saying that? Surely Maxwell needs to be stronger. That can be fixed. But his overall hockey sense is there. His upside is still there and he obviously hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

I've been wrong a thousand times before, but I have a whole lot of confidence in Maxwell. Will he be the answer and the saviour? No and that's fine like that. Enough of those saviours who are suppose to do everything by themselves. He'll fit right in in a system that he'll learn and be fine like that. Like a rookie who'll learn but who is still a damn good hockey player.
Haven't seen anything of this kid. Is he really that good? Does he have number one center potential?

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