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Old
11-09-2011, 07:56 PM
  #1
HCH
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Drafting Centers

Since 1988 the only centers we have drafted that have amounted to much were:

Craig Conroy - 1990
Darcy Tucker - 1993
Saku Koivu - 1993
Mike Ribeiro - 1998
Tomas Plekanec - 2001
Mikhail Grabovski - 2004

That is 6 centers in the past 23 years and the only one of that group that had any size at all was Conroy. Of course there are still a couple that have a chance to make an impact but none look particularly dominating.

Our inability to find quality centers in the draft coincides with our inability to ice a highly competitive team on a consistent basis. Is that a coincidence or is it a problem.



PS - I probably missed a couple so please feel free to add names to the list.

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Old
11-09-2011, 08:12 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCH View Post
Since 1988 the only centers we have drafted that have amounted to much were:

Craig Conroy - 1990
Darcy Tucker - 1993
Saku Koivu - 1993
Mike Ribeiro - 1998
Tomas Plekanec - 2001
Mikhail Grabovski - 2004

That is 6 centers in the past 23 years and the only one of that group that had any size at all was Conroy. Of course there are still a couple that have a chance to make an impact but none look particularly dominating.

Our inability to find quality centers in the draft coincides with our inability to ice a highly competitive team on a consistent basis. Is that a coincidence or is it a problem.



PS - I probably missed a couple so please feel free to add names to the list.
it is what it is. Who cares, this is just going to end up being another bashing management thread.

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11-09-2011, 08:20 PM
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Grigorenko is a nice attractive big center

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Old
11-09-2011, 08:21 PM
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HCH
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Originally Posted by Jmac1160 View Post
it is what it is. Who cares, this is just going to end up being another bashing management thread.
I was simply pointing out a shortcoming within the organization that has been with us through a variety of owner and general managers. Maybe it is something the team could focus on doing.

The point of a discussion forum is to discuss issues... and yes, I care that the Canadiens have been weak at center for a long time.

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Old
11-09-2011, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCH View Post
Since 1988 the only centers we have drafted that have amounted to much were:

Craig Conroy - 1990
Darcy Tucker - 1993
Saku Koivu - 1993
Mike Ribeiro - 1998
Tomas Plekanec - 2001
Mikhail Grabovski - 2004

That is 6 centers in the past 23 years and the only one of that group that had any size at all was Conroy. Of course there are still a couple that have a chance to make an impact but none look particularly dominating.

Our inability to find quality centers in the draft coincides with our inability to ice a highly competitive team on a consistent basis. Is that a coincidence or is it a problem.



PS - I probably missed a couple so please feel free to add names to the list.
Perhaps you should look at a representative sample of other teams to get an idea weather Montreal is comparatively good or bad by this measure. You're not giving me enough information to tell at this point. For example, know that Toronto's record is far worse, since they didn't draft Sundin. While Boston's would be far better (Thorton, Bergeron and Krejci of the top of my head). Edmonton has pretty much nothing between Doug Weight and the yet to be proven Gagner/RNH and Calgary has nothing while Colorado has gotten their hands on a boat load.

My impression at this point is that they've drafted and developed a very respectable number of top-six centers in this time frame but haven't gotten their hands on anyone better than a good 1a (say top 15-30 in the NHL). Which to be fair is a very rare thing to get a top 15 centerman outside of the very top of the draft.

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Old
11-09-2011, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
Perhaps you should look at a representative sample of other teams to get an idea weather Montreal is comparatively good or bad by this measure. You're not giving me enough information to tell at this point. For example, know that Toronto's record is far worse, since they didn't draft Sundin. While Boston's would be far better (Thorton, Bergeron and Krejci of the top of my head). Edmonton has pretty much nothing between Doug Weight and the yet to be proven Gagner/RNH and Calgary has nothing while Colorado has gotten their hands on a boat load.

My impression at this point is that they've drafted and developed a very respectable number of top-six centers in this time frame but haven't gotten their hands on anyone better than a good 1a (say top 15-30 in the NHL). Which to be fair is a very rare thing to get a top 15 centerman outside of the very top of the draft.
Good points... I will take a look.

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Old
11-09-2011, 09:09 PM
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Let's hope the habs do a better job of developing players and then hang on to them.

Brian
Quote:
Originally Posted by HCH View Post
Since 1988 the only centers we have drafted that have amounted to much were:

Craig Conroy - 1990
Darcy Tucker - 1993
Saku Koivu - 1993
Mike Ribeiro - 1998
Tomas Plekanec - 2001
Mikhail Grabovski - 2004

That is 6 centers in the past 23 years and the only one of that group that had any size at all was Conroy. Of course there are still a couple that have a chance to make an impact but none look particularly dominating.

Our inability to find quality centers in the draft coincides with our inability to ice a highly competitive team on a consistent basis. Is that a coincidence or is it a problem.



PS - I probably missed a couple so please feel free to add names to the list.

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Old
11-09-2011, 09:16 PM
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Sumoki Dachiba
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Yes and if you go back to 1987 we picked up Andrew Cassels. Look from 1986 on back all the way to 1970, when the amateur draft as we know it began, and you won't find a single legit top 6 center drafted by the Habs (Carbo was amazing but not a big scorer). Knowing the team's track record from 1970-1986 I don't think Habs fans were too worried about drafting centers.

Now I understand that times have definitely changed since 1986, let alone 1970 but if we instead take a look at the 24 years between 1986 and now our drafting has yielded a legit top 6 center every 4 years (Cassels, Conroy, Koivu, Ribeiro, Plekanec and Grabovsky). No superstars, many would say not one of them is better than an 1A center. But if you look at that list I think everyone of those players was a top 30 center or close to it for at least one or more seasons (maybe not so much for Grabs but we'll see).

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Old
11-09-2011, 09:29 PM
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Good points... I will take a look.
Just going by memory I think you'll find that there are very few teams that have managed to more than one center significantly better than Koivu, Plekanec or Riberio and that most of those guys went at either the top of the draft or the insane 2003 year.

Basically for currently active players that Montreal legitimately had a chance to get we'd be talking about a handful of guys like Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Brad Richards, Giroux, Stasny and Kopitar.

So we're probably not looking at much outside of the mistake of taking Kostitsyn in 2003 which has been done to death already and probably doesn't make the top 5 of missed opportunities for teams on that day. After all teams did end up drafting players not particularly more valuable than AK in Zherdev, Michalek, Horton, Fleury (non-superstar goalies don't have that much value) ahead of Montreal and made huge errors like Hugh Jessimen, Marc-Andre Pouliot, Robert Nillson and Steve Bernier immediately after.

I think the evidence will show that most of the teams that have drafted and developed centers better than Montreal's have either drafted super high, (most of them), got lucky on a guy (Richards, Stasny etc.) on exploited an inefficiency no one else knew about and doesn't exist anymore (Detroit) or were the lucky teams that drafted well on the best draft year ever (Kesler, Getzalf, Carter, Richards etc.).

I also think its hard to believe that teams like LA and Anahiem have been truly any better at finding center talent than Montreal on the basis of hitting the jackpot with Getzalf or Kopitar when they haven't really brought on anyone else of significance in the past 20 years.

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Old
11-09-2011, 09:33 PM
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Detroit has drafted Hudler, Filppula, Keith Primeau and Petr Sykora since 1990. They have seemed to do fine.

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11-09-2011, 09:36 PM
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Detroit has drafted Hudler, Filppula, Keith Primeau and Petr Sykora since 1990. They have seemed to do fine.
You're not considering Datsyuk and Zetterberg centres...?

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Old
11-09-2011, 09:51 PM
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Detroit has drafted Hudler, Filppula, Keith Primeau and Petr Sykora since 1990. They have seemed to do fine.
Being the only ones to seriously scout Europe in the 90's is a pretty big advantage. And if you expect your team to have been a better organization than Detroit over the past two decades then 29 teams would disappoint you.

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11-09-2011, 10:05 PM
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Too bad we drafted Fisher over Giroux, it would have changed the course of the team.. What we lack is an elite center, they are rare and usually drafted very early.. I dont know for you guys but personally Ive no more fun watching the Habs, so part of me want a mediocre season to have a shot at Mikhail Grigorenko so we have a more exciting team to watch in the future..

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11-09-2011, 10:26 PM
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Too bad we drafted Fisher over Giroux, it would have changed the course of the team.. What we lack is an elite center, they are rare and usually drafted very early.. I dont know for you guys but personally Ive no more fun watching the Habs, so part of me want a mediocre season to have a shot at Mikhail Grigorenko so we have a more exciting team to watch in the future..
I doubt a mediocre season nets Montreal Grigorenko. They'd need an epically bad season to end up that low.

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Old
11-10-2011, 12:05 AM
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Agree
MTL mostly draft in the mid to low areas unless players full or magic happens we aren't likely to get a top center.Even though we have drafted centers which we have a lot of in the prospects pool they are mostly for Now 3rd line players

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11-10-2011, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
I doubt a mediocre season nets Montreal Grigorenko. They'd need an epically bad season to end up that low.
firesale if the playoffs are basically out of reach at the deadline.. doubtful but possible.. 1 injury away from missing the playoffs.. If Price go down, we are done.


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Old
11-10-2011, 12:46 AM
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you guys are forgetting the best center we've drafted in the last 15 years.....

andrei markov.

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Old
11-10-2011, 12:48 AM
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firesale at the blueline if the playoffs are basically out of reach at the deadline.. doubtful but possible.. 1 injury away from missing the playoffs.. If Price go down, we are done.
This supposes they are out of it at the deadline, which is pretty unlikely in of itself.

Even with Budaj in nets its very unlikely that Montreal is a bottom 5 team, unless they dismantle the team. Unless you mean get rid of Gorges and/Markov in addition to Spacek, Gill and Campoli, which would probably be very stupid in of itself considering the kind of overpayment required to replace those two adequately.

They've got much talent for that to be a serious proposition unless they are monstrously unlucky. And that supposes Price does go down long term with an injury, which is pretty unlikely, serious long term injuries are rare, especially for goalies.

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11-10-2011, 01:44 AM
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Detroit has drafted Hudler, Filppula, Keith Primeau and Petr Sykora since 1990. They have seemed to do fine.
Just FYI, but that's the wrong Sykora.

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11-10-2011, 02:16 AM
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Tucker can hardly be considered a center for his NHL career, but thats ok, you forgot the great Max Lap

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Old
11-10-2011, 03:24 AM
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The biggest disappointment in the last 15 years was Eric Chouinard, a big center with Québécois roots who was drafted in the first round. Another was Kyle Chipchura. If only the Habs could find a young Robert Lang in the draft! He isn't a superstar but he was one of the best the Habs have had in the 21st century.

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11-10-2011, 03:27 AM
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Frankly, I don't see why this is focused on centers as opposed to wingers.

Or more importantly: why this is an issue at all. The current scouting crew has done a great job at finding NHLers. It's been the development, inhouse assessment that's been questionable. And the club's inability to land superstars--which hasn't really been the scouts' fault, as they've drafted well given the draft positions, but most other clubs have managed to land a real star one way or another. But that concern seems to be diminished with the emergence of Subban and Price, and perhaps even Pacioretty.

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Old
11-10-2011, 03:38 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by NewHabsEra View Post
Too bad we drafted Fisher over Giroux, it would have changed the course of the team.. What we lack is an elite center, they are rare and usually drafted very early.. I dont know for you guys but personally Ive no more fun watching the Habs, so part of me want a mediocre season to have a shot at Mikhail Grigorenko so we have a more exciting team to watch in the future..
That was part of a chain of rotten first round draft choices going back to 1980, when Doug Wickenheiser was selected first overall. Even Sam Pollock had lost his touch by the late 1970s, which led to the Habs being eclipsed by the Islanders.

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11-10-2011, 01:47 PM
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Frankly, I don't see why this is focused on centers as opposed to wingers.

Or more importantly: why this is an issue at all.
One of the reasons I started the thread was that for the last five years everyone seemed to be concerned about the lack of size and production from our our centers.

When a team consistently struggles to make the playoffs year and year out, you begin to look at some of the reasons why. I thought this might be one of them.

Maybe it's less about the abilities of the scouting department and more about where the team places its emphasis when going to the draft table. For example, when you take Patrick Johnson with your last pick, there is very little chance that he will develop into that big strong center that is a rarity in the organization.

If there has been a consistent need in the organization why not do like we did with some our defensive picks (like Mark Streit) and pick a well-seasoned player who fits our needs.

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11-10-2011, 01:54 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
The biggest disappointment in the last 15 years was Eric Chouinard, a big center with Québécois roots who was drafted in the first round. Another was Kyle Chipchura. If only the Habs could find a young Robert Lang in the draft! He isn't a superstar but he was one of the best the Habs have had in the 21st century.
Yes, he was good. But he played all of what... 50 games?

Looking at that list you would wonder about why they haven't been able to hang on and develop these players.

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