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Old
07-04-2011, 11:23 AM
  #1
angry pirate
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The Canadiens Offensive Prospect Fallacy

Iíve on more than one occasion read on here how the Canadiens lack top 6 star prospects. While I wonít disagree that we do not have a Hall, Seguin, Nugent-Hopkins, canít miss labeled player, we do have offensive prospects in the system. Propects more than capable of at the very minimum, second line production. Iíve also seen an increasing sediment that by not drafting star potential forwards, Habs management is taking the offense towards disastrous territory. In actuality they are maintaining a healthy balance between the real top six vs the potential top six, while also maintaining out depth elsewhere. I believe everyone can agree it takes more than two lines to be a championship contender.

The real top six: Arguably consisting of Gionta (3 more years), Gomez (3 more years), Cammalleri (3 more years), Plekanec (5 more years), Cole (4 more years), and Pacioretty (2 more years RFA). Theoretically the Habs are three full seasons away from making any major changes to our top 6. three is the Habs magic number. Itís in three seasons that they potentially lose three players for nothing in return. Itís for the 2014 season that management will need to have replacements not only in the system, but ready to step into the role.

The potential top 6 (draft year in brackets): Iíve represented our top 6 HF based prospects and left Eller and Desharnais as prospects since they havenít reached the Canadiens top 6 yet. prospects Lars Eller (2007), David Desharnais (undrafted; 2004), Danny Kristo (2008), Louis Leblanc (2009), Aaron Palushaj (2007), Alexander Avtsin (2009). Are any of these guys top end talent, maybe not, but they all have at least the potential to reach 2nd line status.

Using the first two rounds of the 2005 and 2006 drafts, and by basing making the top 6 as having a ppg percentage of .5 and playing at least 50 games. It takes draftees an average of just a touch over 3 seasons to develop (3.125) with the majority falling into the 4 seasons range. Adding in the remaining 5 rounds of each draft changes the average only slightly to 3.3 while the mode remains at same at 4. Itís worth nothing that out of both drafts, only 5 players from rounds 3-7 met the critera for qualification. On a positive note for the Habs, 2 of 5 were their draft choices. (Sergei Kostisyn and Matt DíAgostini).

What this means for the Canadiens is that going into the 2014 season, when the top 6 is going to be halved with the contracts of Cammalleri, Gionta, and Gomez expiring, management will only need 3 of the top 6 propects to develop at the usual pace in order to compensate completely in house, free agent free. Also, ignoring the possibility of a sudden surprise emergence of one of the lower ranked prospects.

To add perspective, we also free up 18.3 Million in cap space going into the 2014 season. We could potentially look like:

Pacioretty Plekanec (1st tier Free Agent)
(Developed) Eller/Desharnais Erik Cole

That would be 66% of our top 6 developed by the Habs. A number exactly the same as this years champion Bruins. Again, without making an assumption that there is no sudden "star" emergence from one of our current prospects.

To wrap it all up nicely, we didnít draft star potential forwards because we donít need one yet. We have the majority of our top 6 locked in until 2014. By seasons end we should have a pretty good idea on the 2007 and 2008 classes (Palushaj, Eller, and Kristo.) Only 2 players from the 2004 draft took 6 seasons to make my criteria and one (Callahan) missed by only 1 pt and 2pts before making it. Only 1 player from the 05 draft took 5 years (DíAgostini). If Eller and Palushaj donít emerge this season as top six caliber players, and none of our lower ranked prospects take big steps forward, than look towards the 2012 draft for Habs brass to target forwards in the early rounds.

The goal for drafting canít be to replace players and prospects they currently have, itís to have players ready for when they leave. The Habs need to build an entire team, not just two lines.

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07-04-2011, 11:57 AM
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Sumoki Dachiba
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Nice post, both thoughtful and well laid out.

I do however worry about the fact that one of those expiring contracts in 2014 is Cammalleri, our best goal scorer and a true top 3 player. Of our top 6 forward prospects only Avstin and Kristo look like possible replacements and this is in the unlikely case that one of them reaches their absolute peak potential.
A top 3 sniper, especially one that can produce in the post season, is a valuable asset and one that might prove difficult to replace. That is the type of player I'd like to see Timmins and co. target over the next few years (BPA etc. still in play of course).

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07-04-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by angry pirate View Post
Iíve on more than one occasion read on here how the Canadiens lack top 6 star prospects. While I wonít disagree that we do not have a Hall, Seguin, Nugent-Hopkins, canít miss labeled player, we do have offensive prospects in the system. Propects more than capable of at the very minimum, second line production. Iíve also seen an increasing sediment that by not drafting star potential forwards, Habs management is taking the offense towards disastrous territory. In actuality they are maintaining a healthy balance between the real top six vs the potential top six, while also maintaining out depth elsewhere. I believe everyone can agree it takes more than two lines to be a championship contender.

The real top six: Arguably consisting of Gionta (3 more years), Gomez (3 more years), Cammalleri (3 more years), Plekanec (5 more years), Cole (4 more years), and Pacioretty (2 more years RFA). Theoretically the Habs are three full seasons away from making any major changes to our top 6. three is the Habs magic number. Itís in three seasons that they potentially lose three players for nothing in return. Itís for the 2014 season that management will need to have replacements not only in the system, but ready to step into the role.
I was just thinking about this. And assuming Eller is ready to take over for Gomez in a year, doesn't look bad at all. While we might not have a true #1 line, those are 2 legit scoring lines...

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07-04-2011, 12:03 PM
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Management can't figure out having a 'superstar' forward the fans can rally around, is worth the money, gamble it will return. You can fill your team with decent players all you want, but this isn't Phoenix or some average market.

So while you are correct we have a decent core, its pathetic the brass can't deliver that 'one' player that this hockey team deserves. Enough mediocrity, give the market the superstar forward they have been begging for.

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07-04-2011, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Habs View Post
Management can't figure out having a 'superstar' forward the fans can rally around, is worth the money, gamble it will return. You can fill your team with decent players all you want, but this isn't Phoenix or some average market.

So while you are correct we have a decent core, its pathetic the brass can't deliver that 'one' player that this hockey team deserves. Enough mediocrity, give the market the superstar forward they have been begging for.
We have 2 potential superstars in Price and Subban.

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07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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You also have to consider how fast kids are maturing and stepping into the NHL these days. It's possible the Habs haven't even drafted who their future at forward yet.

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07-04-2011, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hogtownhabsfan View Post
We have 2 potential superstars in Price and Subban.
Which is why I said 'forward'.

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07-04-2011, 12:23 PM
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I agree with the main post. We should'nt ''panic'' about our fowards future since the emergence of our current foward has yet to happen. I still think that there's alot of things that can happen in the next 2-3 years such as trades. Either by trading 1 of our older UFA fowards such as Cammy or Cole or even a Dman. If our D develops the way it supposes to we'll prolly have the chips to trade a 1 to possibly get something good in return. So yeh, I'm pretty confident going foward in the next 2-3 years

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07-04-2011, 12:36 PM
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If our D develops the way it supposes to we'll prolly have the chips to trade a 1 to possibly get something good in return.
I think this has to be the hope. The Habs now have a great crop of young talent on D.

I do think there is a deficiency young of talent at forward. There are some two way players who don't project to be scorers (Leblanc, Bournival, Dumont, Nattinen), some players with offensive talent who may be longshots to make it (Gallagher, Avtsyn), and some players who are quickly running out of time to show something more than they have (Palushaj, Kristo). IMO this is less than most organizations have to show at the forward position.

3 years goes fast, from a development point of view. If you don't have forwards in the system who project as Cammalleri and Gionta level players (IMO we don't, unless Gallagher continues to surpass expectations), whoever gets drafted in 2012 will almost certainly not be ready for top line duties in 2013-14. At that point, you're looking at either making those D for forward trades, or signing more UFA's.

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07-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Habs View Post
Management can't figure out having a 'superstar' forward the fans can rally around, is worth the money, gamble it will return. You can fill your team with decent players all you want, but this isn't Phoenix or some average market.

So while you are correct we have a decent core, its pathetic the brass can't deliver that 'one' player that this hockey team deserves. Enough mediocrity, give the market the superstar forward they have been begging for.
Teams don't generally 'choose' not to have a superstar forward. By defintion they are rather hard to come by.

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07-04-2011, 12:44 PM
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Teams don't generally 'choose' not to have a superstar forward. By defintion they are rather hard to come by.
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron

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07-04-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Sumoki Dachiba View Post
Nice post, both thoughtful and well laid out.

I do however worry about the fact that one of those expiring contracts in 2014 is Cammalleri, our best goal scorer and a true top 3 player. Of our top 6 forward prospects only Avstin and Kristo look like possible replacements and this is in the unlikely case that one of them reaches their absolute peak potential.
A top 3 sniper, especially one that can produce in the post season, is a valuable asset and one that might prove difficult to replace. That is the type of player I'd like to see Timmins and co. target over the next few years (BPA etc. still in play of course).
Or, you know, we could, like, RE-SIGN Cammalleri, like we did Markov!

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07-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron
And none of those constituted choosing not to have a superstar forward.

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07-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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The potential top 6 (draft year in brackets): Iíve represented our top 6 HF based prospects and left Eller and Desharnais as prospects since they havenít reached the Canadiens top 6 yet. prospects Lars Eller (2007), David Desharnais (undrafted; 2004), Danny Kristo (2008), Louis Leblanc (2009), Aaron Palushaj (2007), Alexander Avtsin (2009). Are any of these guys top end talent, maybe not, but they all have at least the potential to reach 2nd line status.

To wrap it all up nicely, we didnít draft star potential forwards because we donít need one yet. We have the majority of our top 6 locked in until 2014. By seasons end we should have a pretty good idea on the 2007 and 2008 classes (Palushaj, Eller, and Kristo.) Only 2 players from the 2004 draft took 6 seasons to make my criteria and one (Callahan) missed by only 1 pt and 2pts before making it. Only 1 player from the 05 draft took 5 years (DíAgostini). If Eller and Palushaj donít emerge this season as top six caliber players, and none of our lower ranked prospects take big steps forward, than look towards the 2012 draft for Habs brass to target forwards in the early rounds.

The goal for drafting canít be to replace players and prospects they currently have, itís to have players ready for when they leave. The Habs need to build an entire team, not just two lines.
Interesting post. I would agree that the goal for drafting can't be to replace players and prospects they currently have, although I would also say that I know from time to time teams will draft to replace player/prospects they currently have in terms of drafting for need.

It will be interesting to see what we get from guys like Pacioretty, Desharnais and Eller, who all seem to have the skills to become good NHLers in time. If Pacioretty can repeat the short term success he had with us last year, it would seem to be a safe bet that Eller at worst will be a solid hard working forward, and Desharnais just finds ways to put points on the board in any league. So right there they have some good looking young talent, granted there's going to be question marks but if they produce like many think they can the Habs should be in decent shape assuming they can get some help here or there.

Additional prospects like Leblanc, Kristo, Bournival, Palushaj, Gallagher, Avtsin, etc.... it would be great if two or three turned out to be solid NHLers in a couple years. I think highly of Kristo and Leblanc, will be shocked if they don't turn into at least decent NHLers but I expect them to both be very good. Granted it's hard to say until we see them at the pro level. I know that many were not happy with the season Kristo had, but really it was more a case of him being in a slump the 1st half of the season. He had 5 pts in the first 17 games, the next 17 games which includes returning from a 2 month absence due to the foot injury in the middle of the playoffs and then the frozen four toury against the NCAA's best teams where he had 23 pts in those 17 games. For Kristo he was never really playing badly, he just couldn't buy a goal. I think that after the good freshman year he had he was keyed on more in his 2nd year and it forced him to overthink things as it seemed like his shots were getting blocked way more then usual or he was shooting wide a lot in prime scoring areas.

Kristo is being named as an early favorite to be among the top 10 players in the NCAA next year by INCH mag (college hockey mag). In addition he improved on his weaker areas like his defensive zone play and using his teammates better. It's going to be interesting to see what he does this year now that he'll be an upperclassman and likely his last in the NCAA, he could be a nice addition to Hamilton in time for the playoffs if North Dakota doesn't repeat last years successful run to the Final Fours.

I'm suprised at how down many people seem to be on Leblanc's offensive skills. Personally I think he's a lot more skilled then some thing but for me the real test is seeing them in the AHL and how their game translates. It sucks that he had to have major shoulder injury but hopefully he can put on some pounds and has a big year in Hamilton.

After that we'll see what the Habs have. Can Palushaj be a full timer in the NHL? I think he can, hope to see him get stronger, I think he could play on the 3rd line in the NHL as he has some sandpaper to his game and he's good at setting plays up, wants the puck in big game situations as well.

Avtsin is an interesting case, he's got the size and has shown he's got some flash at times with his hands. Can't wait to see how much he can improve off last season as he was a disappointment for me as he was really raw in his play without the puck much like Kostitsyn was when he was a 19 year old in Hamilton I would say Kostitsyn was worse looking but showed better improvement as the season went on as Avtsin didn't get better as season wore on. Still if he can improve his play without the puck, he certainly has some interesting things to work with.

Gallagher I can't wait to see him in the AHL after next season. I have only seen him once in a full game, but the numbers he's put up a impressive and he seems willing to pay the price to make the play which should go a long way for his future imo.

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07-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron
All NHL teams passed on them at least one except for Giroux, Gagnť and Etem. However since when Etem is a superstar in the NHL? Gagnť is also hardly a superstar but he was a great player and could've been even better if it wasn't for his injuries. Giroux will be great though.

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07-04-2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron
Some players in the 2007 NHL entry draft picked ahead of Subban:

James Van Riemsdyk, Thomas Hickey, Sam Gagner, Zach Hamill, Keaton Ellerby, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ian Cole, Logan MacMillan, Angelo Esposito, Riley Nash, Jonathan Blum, etc

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2007e.html

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07-04-2011, 01:13 PM
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... some players who are quickly running out of time to show something more than they have (Palushaj, Kristo).
My gawd.

Kristo has another year at college first. Remember McDonagh? He had a mediocre 2nd and 3rd year in University, then suddenly a very good fourth year, and was in the NHL less than 12 months later.

I'm not saying Kristo is a sure thing. However, saying he is almost out of time is very, very premature. When did Cammalleri, who went the US college route, first become a top-6 forward? Wasn't it 25 years old?

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07-04-2011, 01:32 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Habs View Post
Management can't figure out having a 'superstar' forward the fans can rally around, is worth the money, gamble it will return. You can fill your team with decent players all you want, but this isn't Phoenix or some average market.

So while you are correct we have a decent core, its pathetic the brass can't deliver that 'one' player that this hockey team deserves. Enough mediocrity, give the market the superstar forward they have been begging for.
I wanted to address the "sexy" forward desire in my original post, but it was already long and quickly getting longer. Your correct in that it would be absolutely amazing to have a superstar forward, every teams fan base would want one. Closest we have is Cammy, and while I consider him an Upper tier 1st line player, he's a bit short of "superstar" status in my opinion.

But it's not pathetic of management to not have one. Superstars are not that easy to come by. We used our last truly high pick to take Price. Our D is ageing fast and going to be in need of replacement much quicker than our current crop of forwards. Gill and Spacek are going to need replacing before any of our top 6, and Markov is still a question mark until we see how he responds this season. Management isn't actively trying to keep us away from a superstar. They are trying to give us a team that is balanced and competitive at all positions. Hence our emphasis on D at the last few drafts.

And while 8 million may seem like a lot of cap space, we have to re-sign Subban, Yemelin, Eller and Price at the end of the season. So there is no room for a superstar signing there either.

Back to my outlook to 2014, UFA's at the moment include; Malkin, Heatley, Gaborik, Vanek, Thorton, Marleau, Datsyuk, Stastny, Sedin's, Pavelski. If we don't draft or develop one of our prospects by then, look for management to chase a superstar. We don't have the flexibility until 2014 to do it though.

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07-04-2011, 01:52 PM
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My gawd.

Kristo has another year at college first. Remember McDonagh? He had a mediocre 2nd and 3rd year in University, then suddenly a very good fourth year, and was in the NHL less than 12 months later.

I'm not saying Kristo is a sure thing. However, saying he is almost out of time is very, very premature. When did Cammalleri, who went the US college route, first become a top-6 forward? Wasn't it 25 years old?
Cammy had 4 development years. Drafted 2001 put up 55pts in 80 games in 2005-06. That said, he had 15 pts in 31 games in the 03-04 season. Probably safe to assume he would have been a top 6 forward 04/05 were it not for the lockout. 109 pts in 79 games in the AHL. Would put him at 23 if my math is good. Probably 22 if not for the lockout.

Kristo is currently 21. Going into his 4th development year since his draft. In the 2005 draft, only 1 player put up a .5 ppg pace for the first time 5 seasons after being drafted. Would hardly write him off yet, but statistically speaking, most impact players are making their mark by year 4, second most is year 3. Very few after that.

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07-04-2011, 01:57 PM
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Can Palushaj be a full timer in the NHL? I think he can, hope to see him get stronger, I think he could play on the 3rd line in the NHL as he has some sandpaper to his game and he's good at setting plays up, wants the puck in big game situations as well.
I hope so! I've been pessimistic about Palushaj's ability to adapt to the NHL, but you are more familiar with the Bulldogs than I.

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Originally Posted by BaseballCoach View Post
My gawd.

Kristo has another year at college first. Remember McDonagh? He had a mediocre 2nd and 3rd year in University, then suddenly a very good fourth year, and was in the NHL less than 12 months later.

I'm not saying Kristo is a sure thing. However, saying he is almost out of time is very, very premature. When did Cammalleri, who went the US college route, first become a top-6 forward? Wasn't it 25 years old?
Cammalleri was a leading scorer on a great Michigan team from the age of 19. Kristo has yet to make an impact with North Dakota, heading into his 21 year old season. I think it's time to dominate, if it's ever going to happen for him.

I wouldn't use McDonagh as a comp. With defencemen in general, and especially shutdown defencemen, it's harder to gauge their progress. I think you can establish offensive ceilings for forwards earlier on in their development.

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07-04-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron
Lucic - not a superstar
Gagne - not a superstar anymore at least
Bergeron - was at a time a superstar but has been held back by injuries, still remains to be seen if he'll bounce back. I think he will and he brings more than just points anyways, but superstar? Not presently imo.

Fine we didn't pick Giroux. None of the guys above are superstars though aside from him and you can't always pick the Giroux or PK Subban.

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07-04-2011, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron

loooooool.

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07-04-2011, 02:22 PM
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Management can't figure out having a 'superstar' forward the fans can rally around, is worth the money, gamble it will return. You can fill your team with decent players all you want, but this isn't Phoenix or some average market.

So while you are correct we have a decent core, its pathetic the brass can't deliver that 'one' player that this hockey team deserves. Enough mediocrity, give the market the superstar forward they have been begging for.
Seriously? Number one: we have Price and Subban who were recently drafted. Are they not potential superstars? Number two: how the hell do you expect a team that drafts in the bottom 15 every year to deliver a superstar? Give me a break. The drafting this team has done is stupendous, with draft steals such as Subban, Halak, Streit, etc.

They don't deserve ignorant bashing because some fans want more and more superstars. We have two potential studs, how is that not enough for now? We draft by needs, not by "WE NEED A BIG NAME SUPERSTAR FORWARD HERO TALENT MAGICIAN OMG!"

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Originally Posted by habitue View Post
Right...

They took

Fischer over Giroux;
Maxwell over Lucic
Chouinard over Gagnť
Tinordi over Etem
Urquhart over Bergeron
Yea, and so did every other team who drafted before those picks too. It's so easy to look back on things and complain about it. EVERY SINGLE TEAM missed out on Subban, they most all be morons according to you. Sometimes you get lucky(Halak) and sometimes you don't(Fischer). It is the nature of drafting in sports.


Last edited by JohnLennon: 07-04-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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07-04-2011, 02:23 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
Lucic - not a superstar
Gagne - not a superstar anymore at least
Bergeron - was at a time a superstar but has been held back by injuries, still remains to be seen if he'll bounce back. I think he will and he brings more than just points anyways, but superstar? Not presently imo.

Fine we didn't pick Giroux. None of the guys above are superstars though aside from him and you can't always pick the Giroux or PK Subban.
The original point is terrible, but factoring in injuries on draft potential is equally disingenuous.

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07-04-2011, 02:46 PM
  #25
Agnostic
11 Stanley Cups
 
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Country: Canada
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Only one team in the 6 years since the lockout has won the Cup without having a top 5 offense (Ducks, #7). The Habs are 30 goals of production off the pace.

Replacing the 22nd offense in the league should not be all that difficult, getting it to the required level of effectiveness is. Gauthier should get on that dossier ASAP.

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