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The case for a 1-year surgical tank for the Habs

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08-03-2012, 12:46 PM
  #501
DAChampion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
That's a chain of ifs, as though Bergevin has a clear path. But your options remind me of adding one extension cord to another to another. No successful team has counted on unproven prospects to go with so few obvious keepers as the Habs have now. Chicago added veterans such as Hossa, Sharp, Versteeg, etc. So did Pittsburgh and Boston and LA with their rosters. In addition, your suggestion to trade Gionta, with his age, salary, and physical problems, won't make other GMs lick their lips. Bourque? You expect him to fetch a first or second rounder? The Flames were so glad to get rid of him that they ceded a second rounder and a prospect in the deal as well as taking on Cammalleri's more expensive contract. It would be prudent of Bergevin to look for veterans (but younger than Doan) who would be an immediate fit. Oh, but I seem to have forgotten that the veterans I have in mind are precisely the type you would trade to amplify your tank.
Every single strategy is a chain of ifs. Every strategy.

Even the strategy of clawing in to 8th place with an OT loss on the last game of the season and then wining the cup because "anything can happen in the playoffs" requires a chain of ifs.

That's why you need contingencies, you need to look at the big picture and you need probability estimates.

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08-03-2012, 12:54 PM
  #502
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Every single strategy is a chain of ifs. Every strategy.

Even the strategy of clawing in to 8th place with an OT loss on the last game of the season and then wining the cup because "anything can happen in the playoffs" requires a chain of ifs.

That's why you need contingencies, you need to look at the big picture and you need probability estimates.
You're not answering my objections. Nor are you acknowledging the role of veterans obtained in trades or as free agents that enabled Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, and LA to win the Cup. Your strategy is like investing most of your portfolio in speculative stocks.

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08-03-2012, 12:54 PM
  #503
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There's a lot of interesting stuff in this thread! But, the way I see things, it's a hypothetical argument, with Habs management already having moved in a different direction.

If the idea was to "surgically tank," the bottom end of the lineup should have been filled with two kinds of players:

- young (say, under 27), talented but flawed discards from other teams, given a one year audition to see if a change of scenery can make them into assets going forward

- veterans signed to one year contracts, to be traded for futures at the deadline

Instead, Bergevin signed Prust and Moen to 4 year contracts. At 28 and 30 years old, they will be expected to perform in 2012-13. If the plan is anything other than to win games, we're just playing them to get old.

As it is, the Habs' possible deadline chips if they are out of contention are Budaj, Bouillon, Armstrong and Nokelainen, none of which are close to 2nd round pick material, IMO.

Sloppy surgery, if that was the intention.

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08-03-2012, 12:57 PM
  #504
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Every single strategy is a chain of ifs. Every strategy.

Even the strategy of clawing in to 8th place with an OT loss on the last game of the season and then wining the cup because "anything can happen in the playoffs" requires a chain of ifs.

That's why you need contingencies, you need to look at the big picture and you need probability estimates.
Thing is, if we finish 8th next season or, in fact, if we finish 9th or 10th even we'll be much closer to the ''next step'' (which is being a top5 team in the conference) than if we tank the season and trade players. Teams usually don't go from 27th place to 1st place&stanley cup. Usually they go from bad to average to good. If we tank every time we doubt we can make it then we'll never succeed.

In one or two years, as an 8th place bubble team, we will add Galchenyuk, Leblanc&Gallagher should both be ready as well and replace production lost from Gionta&other veterans aging or leaving. With a playoff team it will be easier to acquire free agents and our assets will have more value if we want to trade.

''Tanking'' is good for teams without a future or with young players too young to have an impact. Calgary for instance should tank, they prospects are bare and veterans too old. Edmonton's continued tanking is justified because their young players&prospects are not seasoned enough and the rest of the team is pitiful.

The Habs however are neither - we have a good core of young players and they are poised to play their best hockey in the next 5 years and our prospect group is deep and strong enough. We can ill afford to blow this window of opportunity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roulin
Instead, Bergevin signed Prust and Moen to 4 year contracts. At 28 and 30 years old, they will be expected to perform in 2012-13. If the plan is anything other than to win games, we're just playing them to get old.

As it is, the Habs' possible deadline chips if they are out of contention are Budaj, Bouillon, Armstrong and Nokelainen, none of which are close to 2nd round pick material, IMO.

Sloppy surgery, if that was the intention.
Good point as well. Nothing shows ''surgical tanking'' is Bergevin's intention. He brought depth and solidified the bottom 6 (a major weakness last year). A good way to lose games is to have weak depth or rely on unproven prospect callups to cover injuries (we did that to brutal effect last year) and have a weak bottom 6 (which we also had last year. a soft, useless bottom 6 that brought neither energy nor chippiness, grit or even defensive ability). With Prust and Armstrong the 3rd and 4th line will be far more dynamic and threatening and this can have a surprising effect on the team.


Last edited by FlyingKostitsyn: 08-03-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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08-03-2012, 01:00 PM
  #505
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
There's a lot of interesting stuff in this thread! But, the way I see things, it's a hypothetical argument, with Habs management already having moved in a different direction.

If the idea was to "surgically tank," the bottom end of the lineup should have been filled with two kinds of players:

- young (say, under 27), talented but flawed discards from other teams, given a one year audition to see if a change of scenery can make them into assets going forward

- veterans signed to one year contracts, to be traded for futures at the deadline

Instead, Bergevin signed Prust and Moen to 4 year contracts. At 28 and 30 years old, they will be expected to perform in 2012-13. If the plan is anything other than to win games, we're just playing them to get old.

As it is, the Habs' possible deadline chips if they are out of contention are Budaj, Bouillon, Armstrong and Nokelainen, none of which are 2nd round pick material, IMO.

Sloppy surgery, if that was the intention.
Nor would adding Gionta, Gomez, Moen, Weber, Geoffrion, Bourque, and Kaberle make a world of difference. The surgical tanking strategy is sorely lacking in specifics. The OP held back a little when in an earlier post I mentioned players such as Plekanec, Gorges, and Markov. In other words, surgical tanking is trading oats that's passed through the horse for fresh oats.

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08-03-2012, 01:03 PM
  #506
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Originally Posted by CGG View Post
I beg your pardon? Have you heard of Andrei Markov? Yeah, he's on the roster. Didn't play but 10 games last year. That's an improvement already, not to mention having Kaberle on the roster as well. (It's a little known fact that our PP was 50% better in games that Kaberle played than in games where he didn't play).

Have you heard of PK Subban? Yeah. 14 PP goals over the past 2 years including one year where he lead the league in that stat even though he was a rookie. Stop looking for a triggerman, we have one. We just need someone who can pass him the puck, and that guy is named Andrei Markov.

Question - who (amongst defensemen) in the league has more PP goals over the past 2 seasons than PK Subban?

Answer - Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara. That's it.
We already had Kaberle and Subban last year.

The improvement this upcoming year will merely be the marginal productivity of having Markov over Kaberle. We're not adding "Markov", we're adding the difference between Kaberle and Markov. They play a similar style, so one will be on the 1st pairing and one will close out the PP on the 2nd pairing.

Meanwhile, our PK will decline next year due to the loss of Gill, and our ES will decline due to the loss of AK47 and Cammalleri.

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08-03-2012, 01:05 PM
  #507
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
You're not answering my objections. Nor are you acknowledging the role of veterans obtained in trades or as free agents that enabled Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, and LA to win the Cup. Your strategy is like investing most of your portfolio in speculative stocks.
I explicitly wrote to trade veterans.

That gives you the cap space you need to bring players like Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, and LA did.

Without cap space you're not bringing in anybody.

If Gionta, Kaberle, and Bourque can be taken off the roster then we can make noise in future UFA signings.

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08-03-2012, 01:08 PM
  #508
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Boston signed Chara and Savard as UFA.
Philadelphia traded a first round selection for two upcoming UFA. Thats surely not rebuild-like.
Ottawa (last year) could have traded Gonchar, Alfredsson or/and Spezza.
Minnesota is/was a perennial bubble team, too.

I dont want to emulate them. Im not talking about what i want.

If you cant understand that no one wants to take that road in the current situation league-wise, (which is quite different from the one of ten years ago, by the way), well, im afraid that im just not clear enough.

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08-03-2012, 01:12 PM
  #509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
There's a lot of interesting stuff in this thread! But, the way I see things, it's a hypothetical argument, with Habs management already having moved in a different direction.

If the idea was to "surgically tank," the bottom end of the lineup should have been filled with two kinds of players:

- young (say, under 27), talented but flawed discards from other teams, given a one year audition to see if a change of scenery can make them into assets going forward

- veterans signed to one year contracts, to be traded for futures at the deadline

Instead, Bergevin signed Prust and Moen to 4 year contracts. At 28 and 30 years old, they will be expected to perform in 2012-13. If the plan is anything other than to win games, we're just playing them to get old.

As it is, the Habs' possible deadline chips if they are out of contention are Budaj, Bouillon, Armstrong and Nokelainen, none of which are close to 2nd round pick material, IMO.

Sloppy surgery, if that was the intention.
I would have definitely signed Moen this offseason, and considered Prust. You need those kinds of players if you're going for a surgical rebuild. They stabilize the bottom 2 lines so they can be productive learning environments -- see the effect Moen had on Eller. They also provide playoff character for the final 3 seasons of the contract.

You don't want a 3rd line of Leblanc-Palushaj-Geoffrion, because lines like that only play 3 minutes a game, make a lot of mistakes, and don't improve. You need veteran stabilizers on the line for the kids to improve.

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08-03-2012, 01:21 PM
  #510
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
I would have definitely signed Moen this offseason, and considered Prust. You need those kinds of players if you're going for a surgical rebuild. They stabilize the bottom 2 lines so they can be productive learning environments -- see the effect Moen had on Eller. They also provide playoff character for the final 3 seasons of the contract.

You don't want a 3rd line of Leblanc-Palushaj-Geoffrion, because lines like that only play 3 minutes a game, make a lot of mistakes, and don't improve. You need veteran stabilizers on the line for the kids to improve.
More like you need veteran stabilizers on the line for it to be a good line. You want good lines in order to win.

Right now there shouldn't be many rookies on the team. Nobody new on defense and possibly a spot for one of Leblanc, Gallagher or Galchenyuk so your theory doesn't make much sense there. At most we'll see a few call-ups.

Another thing : Therrien was signed on a short term deal. You think he wants to risk his career by overseeing a team crash and burn? He's going to coach to win as well and I'm sure Bergevin agrees. Theres no worse place to coach a tanking team than Montreal - teams that pick top5 are always pathetic displays but here its a pathetic display with millions watching and the spotlight on your face.

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08-03-2012, 01:30 PM
  #511
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Meanwhile, our PK will decline next year due to the loss of Gill, and our ES will decline due to the loss of AK47 and Cammalleri.
Lol AK47?

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08-03-2012, 01:32 PM
  #512
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
I would have definitely signed Moen this offseason, and considered Prust. You need those kinds of players if you're going for a surgical rebuild. They stabilize the bottom 2 lines so they can be productive learning environments -- see the effect Moen had on Eller. They also provide playoff character for the final 3 seasons of the contract.

You don't want a 3rd line of Leblanc-Palushaj-Geoffrion, because lines like that only play 3 minutes a game, make a lot of mistakes, and don't improve. You need veteran stabilizers on the line for the kids to improve.
When would you see the Habs contending? I don't think it's a given that Prust and Moen maintain their current level of performance over the next 4 seasons. Losing a half step means the world to that level of player.

I agree about Leblanc and Geoffrion, might as well give them big minutes in Hamilton to start the season. Palushaj has had enough pro experience that I think this is his time to carve out a role in the NHL, if it's ever going to happen for him. Plus, his waiver eligibility has to be at least a small factor.

If you want veteran depth, Halpern and Fedotenko ended up signing 1 year deals. There is still quality available on the UFA market, and then there will be bargains on the waiver wire. These represent assets that can easily be traded for picks at the deadline, if the plan is to add talent going forward.

And then, when you see the window of opportunity opening, sign that year's Prust and Moen. (edit: or better ones... but I'm trying to think through the brain of a hypothetical tanking Bergevin)


Last edited by Roulin: 08-03-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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08-03-2012, 01:53 PM
  #513
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Originally Posted by FlyingKostitsyn View Post
More like you need veteran stabilizers on the line for it to be a good line. You want good lines in order to win.

Right now there shouldn't be many rookies on the team. Nobody new on defense and possibly a spot for one of Leblanc, Gallagher or Galchenyuk so your theory doesn't make much sense there. At most we'll see a few call-ups.

Another thing : Therrien was signed on a short term deal. You think he wants to risk his career by overseeing a team crash and burn? He's going to coach to win as well and I'm sure Bergevin agrees. Theres no worse place to coach a tanking team than Montreal - teams that pick top5 are always pathetic displays but here its a pathetic display with millions watching and the spotlight on your face.
There are no spots for rookies until the inevitable injuries happen. Don't worry, there will be plenty of call-ups this year. That's the tradition in Montreal.

Subban made the NHL when Markov was injured, and last year that allowed Emelin to play 1000 minutes.
Desharnais made the NHL when Gomez was injured.

I expect Therrien to give 100%.

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08-03-2012, 01:57 PM
  #514
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
When would you see the Habs contending? I don't think it's a given that Prust and Moen maintain their current level of performance over the next 4 seasons. Losing a half step means the world to that level of player.

I agree about Leblanc and Geoffrion, might as well give them big minutes in Hamilton to start the season. Palushaj has had enough pro experience that I think this is his time to carve out a role in the NHL, if it's ever going to happen for him. Plus, his waiver eligibility has to be at least a small factor.

If you want veteran depth, Halpern and Fedotenko ended up signing 1 year deals. There is still quality available on the UFA market, and then there will be bargains on the waiver wire. These represent assets that can easily be traded for picks at the deadline, if the plan is to add talent going forward.

And then, when you see the window of opportunity opening, sign that year's Prust and Moen. (edit: or better ones... but I'm trying to think through the brain of a hypothetical tanking Bergevin)
3 year plan:

2012-2013: surgical tank
2013-2014: transition, possibly 1st round playoff exit
2014-2015: compete for the cup.

We don't need Halperm, we already have Nokes.

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08-03-2012, 02:01 PM
  #515
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I beg your pardon? Have you heard of Andrei Markov? Yeah, he's on the roster. Didn't play but 10 games last year. That's an improvement already, not to mention having Kaberle on the roster as well. (It's a little known fact that our PP was 50% better in games that Kaberle played than in games where he didn't play).

Have you heard of PK Subban? Yeah. 14 PP goals over the past 2 years including one year where he lead the league in that stat even though he was a rookie. Stop looking for a triggerman, we have one. We just need someone who can pass him the puck, and that guy is named Andrei Markov.

Question - who (amongst defensemen) in the league has more PP goals over the past 2 seasons than PK Subban?

Answer - Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara. That's it.
And yet we still managed to finish last. And we're still (at best) a bubble team.

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08-03-2012, 02:01 PM
  #516
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
There are no spots for rookies until the inevitable injuries happen. Don't worry, there will be plenty of call-ups this year. That's the tradition in Montreal.

Subban made the NHL when Markov was injured, and last year that allowed Emelin to play 1000 minutes.
Desharnais made the NHL when Gomez was injured.

I expect Therrien to give 100%.
Of course there will be injury callups at some point but I don't expect anything long term. Armstrong for instance I expect to get injured at some point and he will likely be replaced by Leblanc or Palushaj. I doubt we'll see Gallagher unless he really lights it up in the AHL. On defense however we probably won't see a call-up for more than a few games, we'd need 3 injuries for that (which can happen but not for an extended period). Maybe St-Denis gets called-up as a safety measure if we're down to 6 healthy defensemen but don't expect to see Beaulieu or Tinordi for more than an odd game or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy
And yet we still managed to finish last. And we're still (at best) a bubble team.
Markov didn't play. Kaberle had a terrible season by his standards and Subban was sophomore slumping hard starting the season. We had coaching crisis, a GM that managed the team like Stalin (trading a player during a game, what a gong show), no momentum or hope of the playoffs and injuries to many key players.

Its not about making excuses but rather analysing the season and fixing the problems. What CGG says is that we have the tools to have a working powerplay which I reiterate was our greatest weakness last year along with weak support cast which Bergevin fixed trough free agency. The gong-show is fixed as well, even if Therrien is an average coach at least there is stability now. We have a solid core of players unlike most bottom 5 team, including a star goaltender. I'm not saying thats a great team now but we can keep adding to it in the next years and turn that group into a contender if we keep upgrading it.


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08-03-2012, 02:07 PM
  #517
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Every single strategy is a chain of ifs. Every strategy.

Even the strategy of clawing in to 8th place with an OT loss on the last game of the season and then wining the cup because "anything can happen in the playoffs" requires a chain of ifs.

That's why you need contingencies, you need to look at the big picture and you need probability estimates.
Clawing into 8th place isn't a strategy, it's a result...

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08-03-2012, 02:09 PM
  #518
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Of course there will be injury callups at some point but I don't expect anything long term. Armstrong for instance I expect to get injured at some point and he will likely be replaced by Leblanc or Palushaj. I doubt we'll see Gallagher unless he really lights it up in the AHL. On defense however we probably won't see a call-up for more than a few games, we'd need 3 injuries for that (which can happen but not for an extended period). Maybe St-Denis gets called-up as a safety measure if we're down to 6 healthy defensemen but don't expect to see Beaulieu or Tinordi for more than an odd game or two.
On defense:

I hope that Beaulieu, Tinordi, Ellis, and Pateryn only get 2-5 games this year in Montreal. Let them see the big leagues to energize and motivate them and then send them back down to Hamilton so they can properly dominate and learn. Now is not their time. In psychology research, it's well established that learning is maximized when one is struggling is not too much. The AHL is perfect for those guys next year.

Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, and Fred St-Denis have their last chance this year. Kaberle should be traded at the first offer that is a 2nd rounder or better.

On offense:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole
Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta
Gomez-Eller-Moen
Prust-Noke-Armstrong
spares: White

That strategy would maximize the potential cumulative trade value of Cole, Gionta, Bourque, Gomez, and Armstrong. It is also good for Eller's development.

There are tons of spots on that forward corps for injury call-ups, unless I'm forgetting 3 or 4 spares.

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08-03-2012, 02:11 PM
  #519
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Boston signed Chara and Savard as UFA.
Savard is no longer with the team and apparently neither is Thomas.

Going forward though they've got Tyler Seguin and Rask plus whatever else they ripped the Leafs off for. They've got a great future there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Philadelphia traded a first round selection for two upcoming UFA. Thats surely not rebuild-like.
But dealing away Carter and Richards was.
Quote:
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Ottawa (last year) could have traded Gonchar, Alfredsson or/and Spezza.
And I think they would have. They dealt away Heately and probably would've done some more but they performed better than expected.
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Minnesota is/was a perennial bubble team, too.
They're not rebuilding. They just blew a bunch of cash on a bunch of FAs.
Quote:
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I dont want to emulate them. Im not talking about what i want.
They avoided rebuilding. They explicitly said that rebuilding doesn't make sense and then did the opposite.

And now they're going on year 9....
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
If you cant understand that no one wants to take that road in the current situation league-wise, (which is quite different from the one of ten years ago, by the way), well, im afraid that im just not clear enough.
It's not that you aren't clear. It's that you don't understand what's being said.

Teams are going to do what they're going to do. I never said that every team wants to rebuild. Most don't. That's why it works.

I'm not saying we're going to do it either. I'm saying we SHOULD. Two different conversations.

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08-03-2012, 02:15 PM
  #520
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
On defense:

I hope that Beaulieu, Tinordi, Ellis, and Pateryn only get 2-5 games this year in Montreal. Let them see the big leagues to energize and motivate them and then send them back down to Hamilton so they can properly dominate and learn. Now is not their time. In psychology research, it's well established that learning is maximized when one is struggling is not too much. The AHL is perfect for those guys next year.

Yannick Weber, Raphael Diaz, and Fred St-Denis have their last chance this year. Kaberle should be traded at the first offer that is a 2nd rounder or better.

On offense:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole
Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta
Gomez-Eller-Moen
Prust-Noke-Armstrong
spares: White

That strategy would maximize the potential cumulative trade value of Cole, Gionta, Bourque, Gomez, and Armstrong. It is also good for Eller's development.

There are tons of spots on that forward corps for injury call-ups, unless I'm forgetting 3 or 4 spares.
Any lineup with White as the 13th forward is a bad lineup.

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08-03-2012, 02:24 PM
  #521
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Any lineup with White as the 13th forward is a bad lineup.
Ummm, he's in the lineup as the first spare. With that status he's guaranteed to play more than the 20 games he played last year. 60 is likely.

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08-03-2012, 02:39 PM
  #522
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Ummm, he's in the lineup as the first spare. With that status he's guaranteed to play more than the 20 games he played last year. 60 is likely.
It's sad that he had to get injured last year because and people forgot about his potential because he really could have shined in that atrocious bottom 6. It is what it is.

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08-03-2012, 02:44 PM
  #523
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Tankards, beware. Fans on other NHL sites (e.g., Toronto) are also getting impatient and want their teams to tank. If too many GMs adopt that strategy, there will be fewer buyers and the returns for veterans will be poorer. The Habs might end up with 3rd and 4th rounders instead of the anticipated 2nds. Trades of veterans for 1st rounders will be as rare as 6-leaf clovers.

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08-03-2012, 05:09 PM
  #524
SouthernHab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
3 year plan:

2012-2013: surgical tank
2013-2014: transition, possibly 1st round playoff exit
2014-2015: compete for the cup.

We don't need Halperm, we already have Nokes.
What if there are injuries during this time frame?

What if our tank draft picks are injured?

What if there are RFA's who decide to go elsewhere?

What if Therrien is fired in 2014 and we have a new coach?


This thread continues to be an exercise in futility because there is no certainty in hockey or any other sport. You ice your best team, hire the best coach who executes a successful strategy and then hope for the best outcome.

Anything else is an excuse to prolong a debate that has not much basis in reality because of the numerous variables involved in playing a physical game with real live human beings who are driven by emotion.

However, I am doing my best to keep this thread going toward the target of Part 2 for tanking. It will be a badge of honor for this board for the Montreal Canadiens to be known as the team with the tanking fanbase.

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Old
08-03-2012, 05:18 PM
  #525
DAChampion
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
You ice your best team, hire the best coach who executes a successful strategy and then hope for the best outcome.
The problem with that strategy is that it comes with no guarantees. A lot of teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs try that strategy and they still fail to improve.

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