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For those that think the Habs are a bad drafting team.

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Old
05-21-2011, 01:52 PM
  #26
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by whitespy View Post
For fun, here's Nashville's draft history, for first picks only, in the last 10 years.


Austin Watson
Ryan Ellis
Collin Wilson
Jonathon Blum
Blake Goeffrion
Ryan Parent
Alexandre Radulof
Ryan Sutter
Scottie Upshall
Dan Hamhuis
Scott Hartnell
Your point being? Nashville has been good at the draft. But Hartnell, Upshall and Suter were all in the top 10. Parent's a complete bust and Wilson, Blum and Geoffirion are more upside than actual player at this point. We could next look at the many teams that have done worse than Montreal relative to draft position in the first round. Minesota, Columbus, Florida, Pheonix and New York come to mind immediately. I could find you more if you want. Habs have been middle of the pack in the first round considering where they have been in a position to pick.

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:12 PM
  #27
White Spy
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Your point being? Nashville has been good at the draft. But Hartnell, Upshall and Suter were all in the top 10. Parent's a complete bust and Wilson, Blum and Geoffirion are more upside than actual player at this point. We could next look at the many teams that have done worse than Montreal relative to draft position in the first round. Minesota, Columbus, Florida, Pheonix and New York come to mind immediately. I could find you more if you want. Habs have been middle of the pack in the first round considering where they have been in a position to pick.
And what's your point? We've had 3 top ten picks in the last 10 years too, plus a 12th and 13th. And please don't talk about their 2 busts, because we have many first round busts. Our first round drafting speaks for itself, please save us te trouble of arguing.

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:13 PM
  #28
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It looks to me like Gainey replaced a lot of the homegrown RFA talent with overpriced UFA talent without making the roster significantly better.

We also didn't develop talent very well under his tenure considering the amount of prospects who struggled under the coaches he hired (Latendresse, SK, Robidas, Grab, etc) and had puzzling career paths (Ribeiro, Higgins). People will pull out the cliches how every team has talent that develop elsewhere, which is not even true, but how many teams have so many develop elsewhere ? You can fault all these players but when there are so many... you know the saying where there's smoke there's fire.

With the amount of talent that was drafted over the past 15 years, you'd expect the team to be at least better than the roster that was posted in the OP. Conclusion ? We didn't move forward much, if at all, under Gainey's tenure. If anything, we are slightly behind what you'd expect from a GM who got that much help from the draft.

I still can't believe the people who say Gainey single handedly turned this franchise around. Very average results as far as I'm concerned.

The best thing Gainey did was booting the medias from the plane and firing some of the media leaks. He had some very good early years when he didn't pull too many big moves and traded for Kovalev. It went downhill from there unfortunately.

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:37 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by whitespy View Post
And what's your point? We've had 3 top ten picks in the last 10 years too, plus a 12th and 13th. And please don't talk about their 2 busts, because we have many first round busts. Our first round drafting speaks for itself, please save us te trouble of arguing.
There has been one bust. Fischer. Everyone else became at least a servicible NHL player. Others may have disapointed you, but that doesn't make them a bust. Even Chipchura is a decent bottom sixer at this point.

I agreed that Nashville's record is better, but just because some teams are better doesn't make the Habs bad. As I said, there are much worse first round teams than Montreal. An average first round record with stellar results in the later rounds makes Montreal a good drafting team, full stop.

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05-21-2011, 02:42 PM
  #30
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Name me a team that has drafted more than 4-5 "big stars". The only one that comes to mind that wasn't last place 3-4 years is Detroit.
Personally I think that Detroit is an amazing organization, but I do find that people exaggerate a little bit when it comes to their drafting. I mean come on... 5th and 6th round superstars (Datsyuk and Zetterberg)??? It's a crap shoot that far into the draft, and more luck than anything.

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05-21-2011, 02:48 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by E = CH² View Post
It looks to me like Gainey replaced a lot of the homegrown RFA talent with overpriced UFA talent without making the roster significantly better.

We also didn't develop talent very well under his tenure considering the amount of prospects who struggled under the coaches he hired (Latendresse, SK, Robidas, Grab, etc) and had puzzling career paths (Ribeiro, Higgins). People will pull out the cliches how every team has talent that develop elsewhere, which is not even true, but how many teams have so many develop elsewhere ? You can fault all these players but when there are so many... you know the saying where there's smoke there's fire.

With the amount of talent that was drafted over the past 15 years, you'd expect the team to be at least better than the roster that was posted in the OP. Conclusion ? We didn't move forward much, if at all, under Gainey's tenure. If anything, we are slightly behind what you'd expect from a GM who got that much help from the draft.

I still can't believe the people who say Gainey single handedly turned this franchise around. Very average results as far as I'm concerned.

The best thing Gainey did was booting the medias from the plane and firing some of the media leaks. He had some very good early years when he didn't pull too many big moves and traded for Kovalev. It went downhill from there unfortunately.
I don't entirely disagree with you, but the team is much better than when Gainey picked it up. Look at this roster:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000452003.html

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:48 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Habs Man View Post
Personally I think that Detroit is an amazing organization, but I do find that people exaggerate a little bit when it comes to their drafting. I mean come on... 5th and 6th round superstars (Datsyuk and Zetterberg)??? It's a crap shoot that far into the draft, and more luck than anything.
Lidstrom and Franzen in the 3rd round, Holmstrom in the 10th. They have great scouts in Sweden and do a very good job at development. Really patient. It's not a fluke.

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:51 PM
  #33
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Anyone still bent out of shape because we didn't move up in the 2007 draft to snag Angelo Esposito, and therefore had to settle for Max Pacioretty?


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Old
05-21-2011, 03:00 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
Lidstrom and Franzen in the 3rd round, Holmstrom in the 10th. They have great scouts in Sweden and do a very good job at development. Really patient. It's not a fluke.
3rd round is one thing... That late in the draft is pretty rare though.

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05-21-2011, 03:02 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Habs Man View Post
3rd round is one thing... That late in the draft is pretty rare though.
Oh I agree. But I think Zetterberg is just a good find as opposed to luck. Maybe Datsyuk was luck, but my post was to show how well they do in Sweden.

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Old
05-21-2011, 03:27 PM
  #36
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Still doesn't make up for this

88: Eric Charron
89: Lindsay Vallis
90: Turner Stevenson
91: Brent Bilodeau
92: David Wilkie
93: Saaaaaakuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!
94: Brad Brown
95: Terry Ryan
96: Matt Higgins
97: Jason Ward
98: Eric Chouinard
99:
Now that is terrible... yeah, like Niko999 said, at least we're learning how to pick in the 1st... outside that, unlike the whiners who says we're bad at drafting, we still iced alot more NHLers than every other team (except 1 I think) since Timmins is with us, and if he ever manages to make good 1st round picks consistently, now wouldn't that be something ?

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Old
05-21-2011, 03:27 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by WeeBey View Post
I don't entirely disagree with you, but the team is much better than when Gainey picked it up. Look at this roster:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000452003.html
That roster is missing Plekanec, Higgins, Komisarek, Ryder, Souray. All talent that was there before Gainey joined.

When Gainey joined here was the real state of the team :

Players who were ready for NHL action :

Bulis-Koivu-Zednik
-Ribeiro-Ryder
buncha scrubs

Markov-Rivet
Souray-Brisebois
Bouillon-Komisarek

Theo
Garon


Prospects/young players waiting in the wings :

Beauchemin, Hainsey, Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin
and
AK/Lapierre/O'Byrne/Halak (Drafted the summer Gainey joined. I think it's safe to say he doesn't bear responsibility for those picks whether positive or negative)

We were well on our way to get a lot better. Gainey had the good fortune to step in at just the right time. Sure the roster we have right now is better, you'd hope so after years of development and more drafting. I don't how much Gainey is really responsible for there though. Timmins was already hired, and things were looking up. The dark years were already behind us at that point. You're looking at a roster that was on its way to get a lot better real fast with/without Gainey. Not like I'm saying anything outlandish I hope.

EDIT:

Hell, proof is in the first post in this thread. If Gainey had done nothing but retain players we drafted, we'd be better off right now. We'd be stronger in the middle, and our D would be better too. And with a quick look I'd say that team would have some cap room left to make big positive changes. Now, granted, that's not entirely fair to say that but just goes to show that Gainey got on the bus when it was already on its way to somewhere better.


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Old
05-21-2011, 03:44 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by whitespy View Post
For fun, here's Nashville's draft history, for first picks only, in the last 10 years.


Austin Watson
Ryan Ellis
Collin Wilson
Jonathon Blum
Blake Goeffrion
Ryan Parent
Alexandre Radulof
Ryan Sutter
Scottie Upshall
Dan Hamhuis
Scott Hartnell
Wow that's a pretty impressive list.

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Old
05-21-2011, 03:44 PM
  #39
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by E = CH² View Post
That roster is missing Plekanec, Higgins, Komisarek, Ryder, Souray. All talent that was there before Gainey joined.

When Gainey joined here was the real state of the team :

Players who were ready for NHL action :

Bulis-Koivu-Zednik
-Ribeiro-Ryder
buncha scrubs

Markov-Rivet
Souray-Brisebois
Bouillon-Komisarek

Theo
Garon


Prospects/young players waiting in the wings :

Beauchemin, Hainsey, Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin
and
AK/Lapierre/O'Byrne/Halak (Drafted the summer Gainey joined. I think it's safe to say he doesn't bear responsibility for those picks whether positive or negative)

We were well on our way to get a lot better. Gainey had the good fortune to step in at just the right time. Sure the roster we have right now is better, you'd hope so after years of development and more drafting. I don't how much Gainey is really responsible for there though. Timmins was already hired, and things were looking up. The dark years were already behind us at that point. You're looking at a roster that was on its way to get a lot better real fast with/without Gainey. Not like I'm saying anything outlandish I hope.

EDIT:

Hell, proof is in the first post in this thread. If Gainey had done nothing but retain players we drafted, we'd be better off right now. We'd be stronger in the middle, and our D would be better too. And with a quick look I'd say that team would have some cap room left to make big positive changes. Now, granted, that's not entirely fair to say that but just goes to show that Gainey got on the bus when it was already on its way to somewhere better.
Savard was pretty good with drafting but didn't do much otherwise. On the whole Gainey was a better GM. Gainey did benefit from a strong prospect pool and probably more importantly, a much better finacial situation which made the Habs rise from a 15-20 team than would be lucky to make the playoffs into a 10-15 team that would make the playoffs regularly.

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Old
05-21-2011, 04:33 PM
  #40
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That roster is missing Plekanec, Higgins, Komisarek, Ryder, Souray. All talent that was there before Gainey joined.
Komisarek is on that list. I don't know why Souray's not there. Plekanec, Higgins and Ryder all made their debuts the next season. This list is the last full season before Gainey took over.

Quote:
We were well on our way to get a lot better. Gainey had the good fortune to step in at just the right time. Sure the roster we have right now is better, you'd hope so after years of development and more drafting. I don't how much Gainey is really responsible for there though. Timmins was already hired, and things were looking up. The dark years were already behind us at that point. You're looking at a roster that was on its way to get a lot better real fast with/without Gainey. Not like I'm saying anything outlandish I hope.
No, I don't think you're saying anything outlandish, but I don't feel like Gainey gets as much credit as he deserves. He did draft the two players that will undoubtedly be the corner stones of this franchise, one of them he snagged in the second round. Other than the Ribeiro trade, I can't think of any truly, nauseatingly bad moves he's made (unless there really is no truth to Gomez attracting Cam and Gionta) and I honestly believe he did the best he could with free agency.

Quote:
Hell, proof is in the first post in this thread. If Gainey had done nothing but retain players we drafted, we'd be better off right now. We'd be stronger in the middle, and our D would be better too. And with a quick look I'd say that team would have some cap room left to make big positive changes. Now, granted, that's not entirely fair to say that but just goes to show that Gainey got on the bus when it was already on its way to somewhere better.
I don't think that the original list would be a real reflection of where this team was headed. The Montreal media/distractions/whatever proved to be too much for some of these guys and just because they're playing well elsewhere doesn't mean they'd be playing the same level here. Gainey went out and got guys who could play under that pressure instead.

Again, I don't entirely disagree, but I think Gainey has made some positive changes to this team. I think his impact is overstated by some, but also underrated by others.

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Old
05-21-2011, 05:08 PM
  #41
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Still doesn't make up for this

88: Eric Charron
89: Lindsay Vallis
90: Turner Stevenson
91: Brent Bilodeau
92: David Wilkie
93: Saaaaaakuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!
94: Brad Brown
95: Terry Ryan
96: Matt Higgins
97: Jason Ward
98: Eric Chouinard
99:
Leafs fan coming in peace.

You want to talk about 1st round failures?

96: None
97: None
98: Nik Antropov
99: Luca Cereda
00: Brad Boyes
01: Carlo Colaiacovo
02: Alex Steen
03: None
04: None
05: Tukka Rask
06: Jiri Tlusty
07: None
08: Luke Schenn
09: Nazem Kadri
10: None

Since '95, we've had 6 years with no 1st round pick, Cereda never played an NHL game, Rask never played a game for the Leafs, and 5 others have been traded. Only Schenn is still an impact player on our roster (though hopefully Kadri will be as well next season).

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Old
05-21-2011, 05:27 PM
  #42
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Leafs fan coming in peace.

You want to talk about 1st round failures?

96: None
97: None
98: Nik Antropov
99: Luca Cereda
00: Brad Boyes
01: Carlo Colaiacovo
02: Alex Steen
03: None
04: None
05: Tukka Rask
06: Jiri Tlusty
07: None
08: Luke Schenn
09: Nazem Kadri
10: None

Since '95, we've had 6 years with no 1st round pick, Cereda never played an NHL game, Rask never played a game for the Leafs, and 5 others have been traded. Only Schenn is still an impact player on our roster (though hopefully Kadri will be as well next season).
The Leafs first round failure to me seams to be not having picks in the first round, rather than being pecularily bad at it. Since 2000 only Tlusty would qualify as a truely bad pick. Of course every player picked from 2000-05 was also part of a bad trade as well. Toronto has an undeserved reputation as a bad drafting franchise. At the draft they're fine, its the trading of picks and young players that's done them in.

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Old
05-21-2011, 05:42 PM
  #43
Melvin Udall
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At least the habs got a top 6 forward out of it. New York, Long Island and Edmonton ended up with basically nothing because their 1st rounders were busts. San Jose only got Michalek who isn't as good as Kostitsyn off the 6th pick. Pittsburg wasted the first overall on a non-elite goalie. Columbus used 4th overall on Zherdev. Horton, who isn't all that great of a player, went 3rd. Washington only got Fehr and Atlanta only got Coburn from 8th overall, who they ended up trading for a UFA. Tampa Bay, Detroit and Toronto got nothing from not having the picks to do so. Ottawa drafted late and only got Eaves.

Habs fans need to quit their moaning about the 2003 draft. It wasn't great for Montreal, but half the league had it worse.
AK46 - top-6 on the HABS and arguably on 2/3 or so of the NHL teams - not a top-6 forward on a true Cup contender (IMHO).

I'd take Horton (just about 1-point per game in playoffs) over AK46 in a heart beat!

If you are content with comparing the Habs with (mostly) the bottom half of the league.....you are likely content with the Habs making the playoffs - along with 15 other teams.

If that works for you...great.

I won't be satisfied until they win the Cup, and I think it's safe to say that AK46 won't be leading the Habs to a Cup title anytime soon.

Looking at all the CUP winners tells me that drafting well - on a consistant basis - not just occasionally - is the key to at least competing for the Cup!



What if this is.... as good as it gets?


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Old
05-21-2011, 06:10 PM
  #44
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Leafs fan coming in peace.

You want to talk about 1st round failures?

96: None
97: None
98: Nik Antropov
99: Luca Cereda
00: Brad Boyes
01: Carlo Colaiacovo
02: Alex Steen
03: None
04: None
05: Tukka Rask
06: Jiri Tlusty
07: None
08: Luke Schenn
09: Nazem Kadri
10: None

Since '95, we've had 6 years with no 1st round pick, Cereda never played an NHL game, Rask never played a game for the Leafs, and 5 others have been traded. Only Schenn is still an impact player on our roster (though hopefully Kadri will be as well next season).

I believe Burke will turn the Leafs into a contender and I doubt that he will require 18+ years to do it!


What if this is....as good a sit gets?

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Old
05-21-2011, 06:12 PM
  #45
Talks to Goalposts
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If you are content with comparing the Habs with (mostly) the bottom half of the league.....you are likely content with the Habs making the playoffs - along with 15 other teams.

If that works for you...great.

I won't be satisfied until they win the Cup.

Looking at all the CUP winners tells me that drafting well - on a consistant basis - not just occasionally - is the key to at least competing for the Cup!



What if this is.... as good as it gets?
Its a 30 team league. Almost all of them are trying to be competitive and even the very best run (Detroit) aren't good at everything. This isn't about whether the Habs are the "very bestest drafting team in the universe" but how they measure up to the other franchises which are trying just as hard as they are. That record shows that they are well above average at the drafting table, meaning that it is an organizational strength, not a weakness like some people make out. There's a difference between rational assessments of an organization and being a blithe idiot that demands the very best regardless of how realistic that is. All I'm claiming is that the Habs are very strong in the later rounds and middleling in the first adding up to being a relatively good drafting organization.

And AK would make the top 6 on the Canucks, Bruins. Two of the final four this year. The other two competitive while heavy on forwards and weak on the defensive side of the roster. Horton is better than Kostitsyn but my point was that he was the 2nd forward taken in possibly the best draft ever. That's a bigger disapointment to the Florida organization than AK at 10 was to the Habs.

Finally, how is Burke going to turn the Leafs into a contender, magic pixie dust and truclulance? In what bizarro world do you live in that you approve of Burke, who has spent to the cap while driving his team to the bottom of the league while getting Kessel instead of high draft picks and disapprove of Montreal, who were good enough at rebuilding on the fly to continue making the playoffs despite a roster overhall. The Habs are much closer to a cup than the Leafs, having just as good or better young talent and while having a core of solid verterans that the Leafs completely lack.


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Old
05-21-2011, 06:34 PM
  #46
Melvin Udall
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Its a 30 team league. Almost all of them are trying to be competitive and even the very best run (Detroit) aren't good at everything. This isn't about whether the Habs are the "very bestest drafting team in the universe" but how they measure up to the other franchises which are trying just as hard as they are. That record shows that they are well above average at the drafting table, meaning that it is an organizational strength, not a weakness like some people make out. There's a difference between rational assessments of an organization and being a blithe idiot that demands the very best regardless of how realistic that is. All I'm claiming is that the Habs are very strong in the later rounds and middleling in the first adding up to being a relatively good drafting organization.

And AK would make the top 6 on the Canucks, Bruins. Two of the final four this year. The other two competitive while heavy on forwards and weak on the defensive side of the roster. Horton is better than Kostitsyn but my point was that he was the 2nd forward taken in possibly the best draft ever. That's a bigger disapointment to the Florida organization than AK at 10 was to the Habs.

Not sure what criteria you use to suggest the Habs are well above average at the drafting table?

On sheer numbers alone one could argue that the HABS ar at least average at drafting.

The problem does not lie in the numbers of Habs draft choices to make it to the NHL- but the quality of player drafted.

In the summer of 2009 Gainey decided to rebuild the Habs roster core - he relied on (some) trades and a lot of FA signings - why(?) because the players they had drafetd were mainly 3rd & 4th line talents and 5th & 6th defensemen!

When Gainey arrived in 2003 he wanted to get a power forward and a big (and productive) centre...when he resigned they still had not filled either of those needs!




What if this is.....as good as it gets?

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Old
05-21-2011, 06:41 PM
  #47
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Komisarek is on that list. I don't know why Souray's not there. Plekanec, Higgins and Ryder all made their debuts the next season. This list is the last full season before Gainey took over.
That is indeed the full season before Gainey took over, but the players in the minors were there when Gainey took over. Not all of them were ready to contribute but they were there. It's not something that is to Gainey's credit or anything. No matter who was GM, Plekanec, Higgins and Ryder were gonna make the team in the near future.

As for Ryder, he made his debut the first year of Gainey's tenure and was a ROTY contender. He's not a Gainey product or anything. It's unfair to make a list that doesn't include Ryder amongst the player Gainey started with.

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Originally Posted by WeeBey View Post
No, I don't think you're saying anything outlandish, but I don't feel like Gainey gets as much credit as he deserves. He did draft the two players that will undoubtedly be the corner stones of this franchise, one of them he snagged in the second round. Other than the Ribeiro trade, I can't think of any truly, nauseatingly bad moves he's made (unless there really is no truth to Gomez attracting Cam and Gionta) and I honestly believe he did the best he could with free agency.
Eh, nearly everyone is giving him all credit for turning the team around. Not sure I can agree with you there.

Gainey did some nice things. He barred the medias from traveling with the habs, fired some leaks, hired Gauthier (although I don't even know if that really is a good thing) and had some decent moves with Kovalev, Huet+Bonk and Gorges+1st. Also some terrible moves in Ribeiro, Latendresse, Grab, Beauchemin, Gomez. Not signing Streit when he had the chance. Maybe they wash out if you wanna be positive.

But I take offense whenever people try to credit him with the habs turn around. That turn around was initiated before Gainey got on board. If Gainey had done a solid job, he would have done more than ride the wave.

Quote:
I don't think that the original list would be a real reflection of where this team was headed. The Montreal media/distractions/whatever proved to be too much for some of these guys and just because they're playing well elsewhere doesn't mean they'd be playing the same level here. Gainey went out and got guys who could play under that pressure instead.
Guys like Gomez ? Samsonov ?

I think the pressure thing is an easy excuse for players not reaching their potential. Something people like to say in a fatalistic resigned way : "ahh it wouldn't have worked in Montreal anyway...". I don't think pressure/medias had anything to do with what happened with Higgins, Latendresse, Ribeiro, Grab and SK.

Quote:
Again, I don't entirely disagree, but I think Gainey has made some positive changes to this team. I think his impact is overstated by some, but also underrated by others.
Maybe I'm overly harsh, but maybe I'm only trying to balance things out with those who like to give him all the credit for the habs "turn around". I think it was more of a slight steering than a turn around, maybe we can agree on that.

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05-21-2011, 06:42 PM
  #48
Kimota
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Originally Posted by WeThreeKings View Post
The Habs are bad at drafting in the 1st round and bad at developing prospects.

At the very least, we're bad at disciplining prospects, teaching them, helping them mature and waiting for them to break out.
This organization never recovered losing Claude Ruel.

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05-21-2011, 06:43 PM
  #49
Lars The GOAT Eller
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Originally Posted by Melvin Udall View Post
Not sure what criteria you use to suggest the Habs are well above average at the drafting table?

On sheer numbers alone one could argue that the HABS ar at least average at drafting.

The problem does not lie in the numbers of Habs draft choices to make it to the NHL- but the quality of player drafted.

In the summer of 2009 Gainey decided to rebuild the Habs roster core - he relied on (some) trades and a lot of FA signings - why(?) because the players they had drafetd were mainly 3rd & 4th line talents and 5th & 6th defensemen!

When Gainey arrived in 2003 he wanted to get a power forward and a big (and productive) centre...when he resigned they still had not filled either of those needs!




What if this is.....as good as it gets?
Radek Bonk & Latendresse


But seriously, habs are good at drafting depth, We need to try a Jensen like pick.

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Old
05-21-2011, 07:09 PM
  #50
Talks to Goalposts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvin Udall View Post
Not sure what criteria you use to suggest the Habs are well above average at the drafting table?

On sheer numbers alone one could argue that the HABS ar at least average at drafting.

The problem does not lie in the numbers of Habs draft choices to make it to the NHL- but the quality of player drafted.

In the summer of 2009 Gainey decided to rebuild the Habs roster core - he relied on (some) trades and a lot of FA signings - why(?) because the players they had drafetd were mainly 3rd & 4th line talents and 5th & 6th defensemen!

When Gainey arrived in 2003 he wanted to get a power forward and a big (and productive) centre...when he resigned they still had not filled either of those needs!




What if this is.....as good as it gets?
Because sheer numbers of NHL players is a far better metric of actual skill than who ended up with the superstars. Out side of the very top of the draft where the best talent is, getting the very best is as much a matter of luck as it skill. There are only a few of those each year so chance plays a much larger role. Volume of actual NHL players is a better measurement because luck will play a much smaller role in the larger sample size. What makes a player good is the same if we're talking about a 3rd liner or a superstar, if the teams that got stars in draft were good rather than lucky they'd find their share of 2nd and 3rd liners at that point of the draft as well. Co-incidently Detroit is a good exampe of this, they found superstars in Datsyuk and Zetterberg late, but also found supporting players like Holmstrom, Franzen, Hudler, Flipula etc.

Also, its not like the Habs have only found bottom 6 forwards and bottom pairing defensemen. There's plenty of good talent on the list but it gets underrated because its slanted towards defense and goal rather than forward.

In goal:
Price, Vokoun, and Halak are all currently starting goaltenders, Price and Vokoun would qualify as elite at the position.

Defense:
Elite: Markov
Top 2: Subban (currently, may improve to elite) Streit, Robidas
Current, former or future top 4: Hainsey, Komisarek, McDonagh, Beachemin
At least NHL quality: O'Byrne, Weber, Emelin etc.

Forward:
Top 3: Plekanec and Riberio
Former, Current or Future top 6: A. Kostitsyn, S. Kostitsyn, Pacioretty (may become top 3 quality), Latendresse, Higgins, Ryder, Grabrovski, S. Koivu
Other NHL quality: White, Chipchura, D'Agostini

The top end isn't there for forwards, but that doesn't mean it isn't a list of worthy players. And deep teams often end up burying the shallow top-heavy ones with stars but no depth. Look at Anahiem this year, 4 brilliant forwards didn't get them anywhere against the much deeper Nashville squad.

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