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Old
05-25-2009, 11:35 AM
  #151
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Originally Posted by CanadienErrant View Post
The Habs have Plekanec, not Staal. And I don't see how they could get him. When was the last time a trade within a Conference (abd between two contending teams) involved potential young star players ? Thre is nothing that the Habs have that Pittsburg would need and want.

Why not Getzlaf... ? It is about as realistic...

The Habs need to draft one when yhey have the opportunity to do so, They missed the boat in 2003 badly.
Getzlaf is Anaheim's main guy and one of the best players int he world right now. yes there is a difference between the two. We do have something that Pittsburgh would want, secondary scoring. Saying that the Habs have nothing that they would want is ridiculous and laughable. You don't think they would love Akost beside Crosby? Higgins is useless? People don't know what they have until they lose it but even then, I'm guessing you probably wouldn't even notice.

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05-25-2009, 12:22 PM
  #152
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The Habs need to draft one when yhey have the opportunity to do so, They missed the boat in 2003 badly.
We've talked about that a whole lot already. I've talked about it and was pissed off about it for quite a while. That was 2003. We should move on at one point.

Besides, 2003 was not the only year when we could have done something about it. People will probably real soon stop talking about Giroux and start concentrating on Berglund a little more. So if 2003 was a key draft, and it was, chances are we would have had the chance to do it in 2005 (Kopitar), 2006 (Berglund) and even 2008 with Grachev who I think will be a great player. So 2003 was key, but there are candidates in all the other years. So if we are interested in getting some, we can. It's just a matter of what are Timmins priorities.


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Old
05-25-2009, 12:52 PM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
You said the same thing about Bobby Ryan.
Ryan did surprise me, to be honest. I expected him to be good but not this good this early. Let's see if he actually keeps this up before we bombard him a superstar, however. (His shooting percentage is a mite high, though not Staal level. I wouldn't be surprised to see a slightly lower goal-scoring pace next year.)

Yes, I hate to evaluate anyone based on the results of one season.

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And no, nobody is going to value him the same way they value Eric Staal.
Have you read this thread at all? People are already predicting him to be a 70-point guy if not a PPG player. That's practically Eric Staal territory.

I just hope hockey people treat him like the promising player he is, not the elite center he's not.

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So were the last three straight Hart winners.
I'm not saying that you won't get good players by drafting first, just that you need to do it multiple years, otherwise you run a very real risk of coming up with Hamrlik instead of Thornton and building your team against a fine, but not great, player.

And notice I'm not even getting into Alexandre Daigle.

As a team-building strategy, suck-and-draft is a multiyear strategy if it is to be successful. Some drafts just don't have that elite star guy at the top -- whereas some drafts have two or three. Consequently, trading for one high pick is a 50-50 proposition unless you have an absolute can't-miss prospect (and the price will go up accordingly).

Even then, it's often a huge gamble. Consider: Montreal had a deal on the table for Kovalchuk at one point. If they had accepted that deal, Montreal would be a considerably worse team right now. Just saying.

Drafting high works. But it's a percentage game, so you need multiple high pick or a close-to-generational talent for it to be effective. Otherwise, you're just as likely to end up with Hamrlik or Stefan or Legwand.

Trading for a high pick is usually a massive gamble. And do you honestly think Montreal is realistically willing to accept three to five years of last-place finishes? Frankly, given the way attendance and profits dropped during the dog years of mediocre Hab teams of the nineties, I wonder if the team's survival might not have been imperiled.

Trading for elite prospects I can get behind, but those guys are generally overvalued when they're not being outright overrated. But at least with a couple years you have a better idea what you're getting.

Basically, I think the slow improvement approach is a perfectly valid way to build a team, at least equal to the suck-and-draft approach, and think blowing up the team like they do in junior is unnecessary. Of course, since the Habs have nobody signed for next year and having their well-documented problems attracting UFAs, this may prove to be a moot point -- the terrible fans and media in Montreal may end up forcing their team to the basement, not-so-ironically...

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Old
05-25-2009, 02:43 PM
  #154
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Ryan did surprise me, to be honest. I expected him to be good but not this good this early. Let's see if he actually keeps this up before we bombard him a superstar, however. (His shooting percentage is a mite high, though not Staal level. I wouldn't be surprised to see a slightly lower goal-scoring pace next year.)

Yes, I hate to evaluate anyone based on the results of one season.
He's not a superstar. But again, there's no way that we could land this guy now. Once he produces, he's untouchable. We probably could've had him two years ago if we'd had offered up Souray and Koivu though.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Have you read this thread at all? People are already predicting him to be a 70-point guy if not a PPG player. That's practically Eric Staal territory.

I just hope hockey people treat him like the promising player he is, not the elite center he's not.
Eric Staal is a former 50 goal/100 point scorer who will probably make the Canadian team. He could easily hit 90-100 points again and nobody would be surprised.

Jordan Staal hitting 70 points is not in the same league. At this point, I don't think anyone expects that he'll be as good as his bro. Not yet anyway. If anything, his slow start has probably brought his value lower than it probably should be.

He has the potential to be great down the road though.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I'm not saying that you won't get good players by drafting first, just that you need to do it multiple years, otherwise you run a very real risk of coming up with Hamrlik instead of Thornton and building your team against a fine, but not great, player.

And notice I'm not even getting into Alexandre Daigle.
I already mentioned Hamrlyk. That's pretty much what you can expect out of a 1st overall guy. And yes, we SHOULD have tanked mulitple years. Other teams do this, we don't. That's why we don't have superstars.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
As a team-building strategy, suck-and-draft is a multiyear strategy if it is to be successful. Some drafts just don't have that elite star guy at the top -- whereas some drafts have two or three. Consequently, trading for one high pick is a 50-50 proposition unless you have an absolute can't-miss prospect (and the price will go up accordingly).
Unfortunately, we didn't do what we should have years ago and now we're in the situation that we're in. Look at that thread I posted from two years ago. Back then I advocated dealing Koivu and Souray while they still had value. I said we should go after younger players with potential and Bobby Ryan probably could've been had. Instead people freaked out and said I was crazy.

And now we have no offensive superstar to speak of. The only guy with serious superstar potential is Price.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Even then, it's often a huge gamble. Consider: Montreal had a deal on the table for Kovalchuk at one point. If they had accepted that deal, Montreal would be a considerably worse team right now. Just saying.
Who knows what was on the table man? Its all speculation. Bottom line is that we don't draft high enough and we don't deal for prospects. The end result is that we don't get superstars.
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Drafting high works. But it's a percentage game, so you need multiple high pick or a close-to-generational talent for it to be effective. Otherwise, you're just as likely to end up with Hamrlik or Stefan or Legwand.
Of course. That's why when you rebuild, you do it right. That's what Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington have done. In the past it was Detroit, Quebec/Colorado and New Jersey that did it. That's how you build winning teams.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Trading for a high pick is usually a massive gamble. And do you honestly think Montreal is realistically willing to accept three to five years of last-place finishes? Frankly, given the way attendance and profits dropped during the dog years of mediocre Hab teams of the nineties, I wonder if the team's survival might not have been imperiled.
We accepted a bunch of 8th and 9th place finishes so what the heck is the difference?

Unfortunately, our problem is that the time for this has past. We missed the boat on the rebuild and should've done it a few years ago. Now, we have to build on what we have.

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Trading for elite prospects I can get behind, but those guys are generally overvalued when they're not being outright overrated. But at least with a couple years you have a better idea what you're getting.
Right... if you wait for them to produce there's less risk... and by that time they're UNATTAINABLE. The only time you can get these guys is BEFORE they produce. That's the whole point. Why do you think I suggested getting Bobby Ryan two years ago? We sure as heck can't get him now.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Basically, I think the slow improvement approach is a perfectly valid way to build a team, at least equal to the suck-and-draft approach, and think blowing up the team like they do in junior is unnecessary. Of course, since the Habs have nobody signed for next year and having their well-documented problems attracting UFAs, this may prove to be a moot point -- the terrible fans and media in Montreal may end up forcing their team to the basement, not-so-ironically...
Dude, at some point you have to face the fact that we don't have the players that other teams do. I think we've got some very good prospects to work with and I think we've got a good base of players to work from but we NEED to get an offensive superstar for the future. We're a young team and I don't see that player out there.

I love our goaltending going forward.
I like McD, Subban, Weber, Emelin and O'Byrne. That's a solid blueline.

Our forwards?
I like the Kosti bros, Lapierre, MaxPac & Latendresse... pretty decent forwards but there's nobody there who's going to scare other teams. In the coming years we'll have to be better than Crosby, Malkin and Staal. We'll have to be better than OV, Backstrom and Alzner. We'll have to beat out teams like Chicago with Toews, Kane Barker and Skille. And now look at TB with Stamkos, Hedman and whoever else they get for Vinny. They're probably going to continue to develop around top picks as well. Most of those players are going to be stars if they aren't already.

We've got great depth but we don't have the elite players that other clubs have coming up. Most other teams have at least one player that they can hang their hat on offensively. We don't. And as a result we're probably going to have to go after some guy with a big contract who's best days are behind him. It makes absolutely no sense to build your team that way but its probably what we're going to be forced to do.

And look around these threads... the fans are impatient and so starving for a name, they'd rather go after Vinny than Anze Kopitar. They don't understand that you should trade for what a player WILL do for you not what he HAS ALREADY done somewhere else.

All of this could've been avoided if we had just rebuilt properly instead. If it weren't for a fluky once in a lifetime lottery (that only occured because of the strike) we'd have NO legit superstar potential players. Right now Price is the only one.


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05-25-2009, 03:55 PM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
He's not a superstar. But again, there's no way that we could land this guy now. Once he produces, he's untouchable. We probably could've had him two years ago if we'd had offered up Souray and Koivu though.
I don't think that deal ever was there and I don't think Anaheim had any chance of fitting that under the cap even if they had been interested (which seems extremely doubtful). And that trade would certainly have hurt the Canadiens last year. But we might not want to re-hash this again.

Ryan is a second overall pick though, we'll see where he fits in the draft-high logic.

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Eric Staal is a former 50 goal/100 point scorer who will probably make the Canadian team. He could easily hit 90-100 points again and nobody would be surprised.
He's had a career high of 100 points. We should be only slightly less surprised of Staal hitting 100 again as if Kovalev hit 95 again. Staal's more consistent about getting 75-80 though, not saying he's comparable to Kovalev, but 100 is a career season and there's a very real possibility he never hits that again. It is not a regular occurence.

(He also has never scored 50 goals, which strikes me as a prerequisite for being called a "50-goal scorer". )

Staal is a 75-85 point center. I strongly believe that players should be evaluated based on their general production and not on a single season's work, because up and down seasons happen. That makes it hard to evaluate players with very little NHL body of work, but the reality is that that guy who scored 100 points might be Eric Staal or he might be Joe Juneau.

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If anything, his slow start has probably brought his value lower than it probably should be.
His slow start? What slow start? I never cease hearing about that 29-goal season.

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He has the potential to be great down the road though.
No doubt, key word being down the road. I'm all for a Staal acquisition if it can be made on semi-reasonable terms. I just don't think that's possible due to Staal being overhyped.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
I already mentioned Hamrlyk. That's pretty much what you can expect out of a 1st overall guy. And yes, we SHOULD have tanked mulitple years. Other teams do this, we don't. That's why we don't have superstars.
Is Detroit still living off their last batch of first-rounders or something?

In case you haven't noticed, I really like the Detroit model of team-building. Of course, they got a few home runs out of lower draft picks (whether by design or luck) but they're not a team that tanks their way to success.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Back then I advocated dealing Koivu and Souray while they still had value. I said we should go after younger players with potential and Bobby Ryan probably could've been had. Instead people freaked out and said I was crazy.
Two years later my opinion hasn't changed. This isn't junior where blowing up teams for three years is commonplace and expected. You rebuild by tanking when you're essentially forced to, not before.

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Who knows what was on the table man? Its all speculation.
Actually IIRC the particulars are known now -- Markov, Garon, and the two firsts the Habs had that year that netted Komisarek and Perezhogin. There may have been more players involved, my memory is fuzzy, but I'm fairly certain of that bunch. Atlanta asked for Theodore instead of Garon, which was the sticking point.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Of course. That's why when you rebuild, you do it right. That's what Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington have done. In the past it was Detroit, Quebec/Colorado and New Jersey that did it. That's how you build winning teams.
Of course, you may also end up being the Islanders, the Blue Jackets, or the Thrashers. What you won't get is Detroit.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Our forwards?
See, much as I'd like to have that scoring star, I'm not entirely convinced that it's entirely necessary in the cap era. The scoring-by-comittee model from Montreal last year and Boston this year did reasonably well in the regular season and were sunk in the playoffs for other reasons. Anaheim had Getzlaf and co., but remember that that was in his rookie season. They were led offensively by Selanne and Andy McDonald -- again, with Selanne's age, not all that heavy on the superstar content.

Detroit operates on this model too, really, it's just that their guys are all better than most -- which is what makes them so effective, they have the top scorers and they have the depth, even if their top guys aren't Crosby/Malkin/AO.

It's sure as heck of a lot more fun to have that dominant forward, and it is certainly a valid way to build a team. I'm just not sure it's 100% necessary. I think quality D and scoring depth are probably more important.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
All of this could've been avoided if we had just rebuilt properly instead. If it weren't for a fluky once in a lifetime lottery (that only occured because of the strike) we'd have NO legit superstar potential players. Right now Price is the only one.
This isn't junior. You can't blow teams up that casually. Tanking for first round picks isn't necessarily the "proper" way to rebuild a NHL franchise.

But let's follow your logic to its logical conclusion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you argue that trading for an established superstar is going to be fruitless and keep the Habs living in that purgatory where they don't win and don't get draft picks. Not improving past the level of bubble team seems to be entirely pointless. Attempting to contend for the Cup is impossible without those superstars which (and I believe this is the crux of your argument) you can only get by drafting high.

So, the Habs are wasting their time trading for older stars, and they're wasting their time trying the slow-and-steady improvement approach.

From there, why wouldn't you advocate tanking next year? After all, the only way this franchise can be successful is by drafting high multiple years. Why not blow it up now, instead of trying to patch up again like you've accused the Habs to do? By your logic we'd only need to blow up the team later since a proper rebuild is inevitable if the team is to go anywhere. You could trade for prospects or picks, but it's going to cost you that depth that you need to surround the stars with to be effective, and it's likely to result in low finishes anyway.

So why not blow it up now? Sign nobody, let all the UFAs go, go to war with Latendresse-Plekanec-AKost as the top line, trade Markov for a high first pick, trade several prospects for Tavares or something. That ought to get you a suitably terrible finish, a lot of wailing in 110%, and another high draft pick to build from. It'll take 5 years for the team to recover from it and the new owners might find that they don't make the same profits, but that'd definitely get you those all-important draft picks. It's the only way to build a team and it's inevitable we need to go through it if we ever want to win anything. So why not do it now?

How does your logic not lead directly to wanting to blow up the team now and suck for the next five years? Given your reasoning, I don't understand why you wouldn't advocate this. Or do you?

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05-25-2009, 05:37 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Dude, at some point you have to face the fact that we don't have the players that other teams do. I think we've got some very good prospects to work with and I think we've got a good base of players to work from but we NEED to get an offensive superstar for the future. We're a young team and I don't see that player out there.

I love our goaltending going forward.
I like McD, Subban, Weber, Emelin and O'Byrne. That's a solid blueline.

Our forwards?
I like the Kosti bros, Lapierre, MaxPac & Latendresse... pretty decent forwards but there's nobody there who's going to scare other teams. In the coming years we'll have to be better than Crosby, Malkin and Staal. We'll have to be better than OV, Backstrom and Alzner. We'll have to beat out teams like Chicago with Toews, Kane Barker and Skille. And now look at TB with Stamkos, Hedman and whoever else they get for Vinny. They're probably going to continue to develop around top picks as well. Most of those players are going to be stars if they aren't already.

We've got great depth but we don't have the elite players that other clubs have coming up. Most other teams have at least one player that they can hang their hat on offensively. We don't. And as a result we're probably going to have to go after some guy with a big contract who's best days are behind him. It makes absolutely no sense to build your team that way but its probably what we're going to be forced to do.

And look around these threads... the fans are impatient and so starving for a name, they'd rather go after Vinny than Anze Kopitar. They don't understand that you should trade for what a player WILL do for you not what he HAS ALREADY done somewhere else.

All of this could've been avoided if we had just rebuilt properly instead. If it weren't for a fluky once in a lifetime lottery (that only occured because of the strike) we'd have NO legit superstar potential players. Right now Price is the only one.

I absolutely agree with you that the "rebuild" we've seen since gainey took over has not yielded adequate results, though I don't know that it's apparent because we don't have a "superstar" caliber player, or that had we acquired one, we'd be anywhere deeper in the playoffs than we now are.

I think the problem lies more in the fact that the team hasn't been building a specific/consistent identity. Part of that is made painfully evident in that we still don't have a coach in place (nor have we had one under Gainey that has lasted more than 2 seasons).

Success is difficult in any pro sports league, and operating under a cap makes it even more difficult. The one thing that successful franchises do is build a culture/identity that defines them, and that is used as a template to follow at all levels of organizational asset management (be it hiring management/scouts/coaches/trainers or drafting/signing/trading players).

It won't guarantee success in any given year, but over the long run, it creates an environment of continuity that makes it much easier for things to "go right" and to allow a team to get on the kind of momentum run that is the single biggest factor in winning a championship.

I look at the young components of our team, and I think we have MORE than enough skill/depth/talent to be a yearly contender. The problem lies in the collection of veteran players we have (don't have), and not so much in that they aren't the caliber of Crosby or Malkin, but in that as a group, of the vet guys we had last year, none were really strong leaders and I'd argue that they didn't complement each other particularly well (even though the Tanguay-Koivu-Kovalev line did catch fire for a brief spell... albeit mostly against non-playoff teams playing out the season and fresh off of trading away some of their veteran talent).

To me, a young group of Pleks, Higgins, Kost, Lapierre, Lats (with D'ago, Kost jr, Max Pac waiting in the wings) up front, and Gorges, O'byrne, Weber (with Subban, Carle, McD, Fischer, Emelin?, Valentenko? behind them) on the back end, is EXACTLY the kind of young and relatively cheap talent that could easily be the perfect complement to a veteran core on a cup winning team.

the problem is that we had 24.15 Million locked up in Koivu/Kovalev/Lang/Tanguay/Hamrlik

more than 1/3 of the cap spent on 5 players, none of which has ever been able to "carry" a team or currently regarded as a truly elite player (kovalev being the exception, though his consistent inconsistency speaks for itself).

All of those contracts came from current management, and imo, that's way too much money poorly spent. We often worry about having one or two terrible contracts, but is having a bunch of players on "bad" deals any better? Even if one argues that none of those 5 deals are "bad", I think it's at least fair to say that none of those players played up to that level this past season, even if excusing injury (lang was on pace for almost exactly what he put up last year, when he was largely regarded as overpaid at 4M$).

i know the counter argument is that Gainey "tried" to land better star players, but couldn't, so had to settle or trade for lesser players... but imo that's were the direction went wrong. If you can't get the quality players you want, you focus instead on bringing in high character type players ("lunch pail" guys as they say), and make sure that at the very least the young players you are grooming for the future benefit from the influence and guidance that work ethic type guys.

Hamrlik was brought in in part to play the mentor role that he had some success with in Calgary, but part of the reason they didn't resign him is that they recognized that he wasn't worth the kind of $/term he was looking for... debatable now, but in two years and 11M$, I doubt anyone will deny it.


In any case, I do think a team can build a contender without necessarily suffering through the type of season that a top 5 pick requires, but to do so demands good drafting (which we seem to have), excellent internal player development (which I'd say we lack) and excellent asset management (which we do very poorly at).

Until those 3 areas are running among the best in the league, consistently over a 3-5 year period, we won't see the kind of team we are all yearning for.
Even then, a cup may not come immediately or even at all, but at least we will be in the discussion year in year out... at this point that would be a welcome change!

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05-25-2009, 05:46 PM
  #157
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Go all in for Vinny until draft day... if TB is too idiotic to take our great offer, move our intention to Marleau. They need change in SJ and I'm sure Marleau would be available... the only problem would be his NTC, but lots of guys with NTC got traded anyway.

Forget about J. Staal, he's not a 1st line center yet and trading for him would mean rebuilding again...

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05-25-2009, 06:39 PM
  #158
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I don't think that deal ever was there and I don't think Anaheim had any chance of fitting that under the cap even if they had been interested (which seems extremely doubtful). And that trade would certainly have hurt the Canadiens last year. But we might not want to re-hash this again.

Ryan is a second overall pick though, we'll see where he fits in the draft-high logic.
Whether the deal was available or not, those are the kinds of trades the folks here don't want to make... until ten years later when that guy is a producer ie. Lecavalier.

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He's had a career high of 100 points. We should be only slightly less surprised of Staal hitting 100 again as if Kovalev hit 95 again. Staal's more consistent about getting 75-80 though, not saying he's comparable to Kovalev, but 100 is a career season and there's a very real possibility he never hits that again. It is not a regular occurence.

(He also has never scored 50 goals, which strikes me as a prerequisite for being called a "50-goal scorer". )

Staal is a 75-85 point center. I strongly believe that players should be evaluated based on their general production and not on a single season's work, because up and down seasons happen. That makes it hard to evaluate players with very little NHL body of work, but the reality is that that guy who scored 100 points might be Eric Staal or he might be Joe Juneau.

His slow start? What slow start? I never cease hearing about that 29-goal season.

No doubt, key word being down the road. I'm all for a Staal acquisition if it can be made on semi-reasonable terms. I just don't think that's possible due to Staal being overhyped.
As I said, I see Staal as a point per game two way center at least. I doubt he'll achieve that in Pittsburgh though. We'll see how his career develops.


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Is Detroit still living off their last batch of first-rounders or something?
You don't think Datsyuk and Zetterberg learned something from that dynasty that they built? You don't think it made it easier to attract free agents? How do you think they got so good in the first place man? They spent years bottom feeding in the 80s more than any other team.

We did the same thing in the 70s btw only Pollock was smart enough to trade for top picks instead of tanking (something I've advocated here for years.) Then we did the same thing and rode that dynasty for another decade. Our younger guys learned from the dynasty players like Gainey and Robinson. You don't think say... Guy Carbonneau was better for it?

Pollock understood the value of the draft. That's why he traded for prospects that turned out to be Lafleur, Dryden and Robinson. He dealt proven players for unproven players because he knew they'd produce. The only guy who wouldn't go for it was Bill Torrey. Pollock tried to get Dennis Potvin but the Islanders wouldn't budge and Potvin went on to lead the Islanders to four straight cups. Imagine if we had gotten him instead.
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In case you haven't noticed, I really like the Detroit model of team-building. Of course, they got a few home runs out of lower draft picks (whether by design or luck) but they're not a team that tanks their way to success.
How old are you dude? Do you remember the 'Dead thing' days? I showed you it in the other thread, they were bottomfeeders for years:

They had 5 top ten picks in seven years including 3 top five picks and a number one. They also had two 11th overall picks in that span. They leveraged those picks in trades and managed to pull Yzerman out of it. Colorado, Pittsburgh and NJ did the same thing. So did the Islanders and Canadiens.

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Two years later my opinion hasn't changed. This isn't junior where blowing up teams for three years is commonplace and expected. You rebuild by tanking when you're essentially forced to, not before.
We had nothing to lose except 8th or 9th place.

Whew... good thing we didn't tank. Imagine if we hadn't of made 8th place all those seasons.

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Actually IIRC the particulars are known now -- Markov, Garon, and the two firsts the Habs had that year that netted Komisarek and Perezhogin. There may have been more players involved, my memory is fuzzy, but I'm fairly certain of that bunch. Atlanta asked for Theodore instead of Garon, which was the sticking point.

Of course, you may also end up being the Islanders, the Blue Jackets, or the Thrashers. What you won't get is Detroit.
The Thrashers rebuild was sabotaged by Heatley's crash and you're selling snake oil if you think the Islanders were a rebuild. They're a classic example of why rebuilding works and why you shouldn't trade away picks and prospects. They basically dealt away an All-Star team of prospects: Luongo, Bertuzzi, McCabe, Palffy, Spezza, Chara, Redden
so what in the world are you talking about? If they had actually kept those guys they would've been winning cups for years.

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See, much as I'd like to have that scoring star, I'm not entirely convinced that it's entirely necessary in the cap era. The scoring-by-comittee model from Montreal last year and Boston this year did reasonably well in the regular season and were sunk in the playoffs for other reasons. Anaheim had Getzlaf and co., but remember that that was in his rookie season. They were led offensively by Selanne and Andy McDonald -- again, with Selanne's age, not all that heavy on the superstar content.

Detroit operates on this model too, really, it's just that their guys are all better than most -- which is what makes them so effective, they have the top scorers and they have the depth, even if their top guys aren't Crosby/Malkin/AO.

It's sure as heck of a lot more fun to have that dominant forward, and it is certainly a valid way to build a team. I'm just not sure it's 100% necessary. I think quality D and scoring depth are probably more important.
Superstars win cups. They always have. No, it isn't an absolute but they help tremendously. The best way to get superstars? Draft high.

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This isn't junior. You can't blow teams up that casually. Tanking for first round picks isn't necessarily the "proper" way to rebuild a NHL franchise.
You already said this.

And no, we don't have to 'blow it up' we can do what others have done and TRADE for top picks. No, we won't be able to get a Crosby type prospect but there are others out there that we could get. Only, we don't do this kind of stuff because we've always been shooting for 8th place.

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But let's follow your logic to its logical conclusion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you argue that trading for an established superstar is going to be fruitless and keep the Habs living in that purgatory where they don't win and don't get draft picks. Not improving past the level of bubble team seems to be entirely pointless. Attempting to contend for the Cup is impossible without those superstars which (and I believe this is the crux of your argument) you can only get by drafting high.

So, the Habs are wasting their time trading for older stars, and they're wasting their time trying the slow-and-steady improvement approach.

From there, why wouldn't you advocate tanking next year? After all, the only way this franchise can be successful is by drafting high multiple years. Why not blow it up now, instead of trying to patch up again like you've accused the Habs to do? By your logic we'd only need to blow up the team later since a proper rebuild is inevitable if the team is to go anywhere. You could trade for prospects or picks, but it's going to cost you that depth that you need to surround the stars with to be effective, and it's likely to result in low finishes anyway.

So why not blow it up now? Sign nobody, let all the UFAs go, go to war with Latendresse-Plekanec-AKost as the top line, trade Markov for a high first pick, trade several prospects for Tavares or something. That ought to get you a suitably terrible finish, a lot of wailing in 110%, and another high draft pick to build from. It'll take 5 years for the team to recover from it and the new owners might find that they don't make the same profits, but that'd definitely get you those all-important draft picks. It's the only way to build a team and it's inevitable we need to go through it if we ever want to win anything. So why not do it now?

How does your logic not lead directly to wanting to blow up the team now and suck for the next five years? Given your reasoning, I don't understand why you wouldn't advocate this. Or do you?
The time for tanking has past us by. Unfortunately we're probably beyond that now.

So what do I think we should do?

We have a lot of good but not great prospects, esp on the blueline. We should leverage some of that depth to get a good prospect at center. We can do this by looking at draft picks or prospects. I trust our scouting group as they've shown that they can get the most out of our picks, I'm sure they can help us to leverage which players to go after out there.

Can we get say... Tavares? Probably not. But maybe we could get a top five pick and go after somebody like Schenn (a big center with good hands.) THOSE are the kinds of moves we should be looking at.

In the meantime we can limp along with Koivu and Pleks at center this year and go out and get another Robert Lang type guy. Meanwhile our younger guys are good enough to start eating up some icetime. Give more time to guys like Maxpac, Lats, Weber and O'Byrne. And get rid of Brisebois... why in the world he on the team last season I'll never know.

We might not win the cup next year but we should be able to make the playoffs.


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05-25-2009, 06:49 PM
  #159
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Why's everyone still panicking about our centermen issues, we got Mikael-frekkin-Johansson! Atleast now I can sleep easy knowing the big UFA names are going to be lining up at the Bell Center come July 1st.

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05-25-2009, 08:50 PM
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How old are you dude? Do you remember the 'Dead thing' days? I showed you it in the other thread, they were bottomfeeders for years:

They had 5 top ten picks in seven years including 3 top five picks and a number one. They also had two 11th overall picks in that span. They leveraged those picks in trades and managed to pull Yzerman out of it. Colorado, Pittsburgh and NJ did the same thing.
I'll give you Colorado and Pittsburgh as typical suck and draft models for *success*. I, too remember the Dead Wings but for all of the bad finishes, they drafted Yzerman #4 overall in 1983, they drafted a mild bust in Joe Murphy #1 in 1986 and Keith Primeau #3 in 1990. They were good to great after that and aside from Yzerman, the cup winning team in 1996-97 gained almost zip from the years of suckitude. (excepting Shanahan, acquired from the Whalers for Primeau + Coffey + 1st).

The cup winner was built around Yzerman and the Euros,Fedorov, Kozlov, Lidstrom, Larionov,etc, none of whom were acquired with high picks.

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05-25-2009, 10:15 PM
  #161
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It occurs to me how far off-topic we are now, but here goes...

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You don't think Datsyuk and Zetterberg learned something from that dynasty that they built? You don't think it made it easier to attract free agents? How do you think they got so good in the first place man? They spent years bottom feeding in the 80s more than any other team.
So why didn't it work in Montreal? They were good for a while, you know, one would think that would have made it easier to attract free agents and teach the kids how to win after those wins in the seventies, the eighties, and even the nineties.

Guy Carbonneau learned from Bob Gainey... but why did it stop working after that?

This is getting a bit philosophical, here.

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How old are you dude? Do you remember the 'Dead thing' days? I showed you it in the other thread, they were bottomfeeders for years:
That has been a while, though, and their current teams certainly aren't built around their high draft picks.

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Whew... good thing we didn't tank. Imagine if we hadn't of made 8th place all those seasons.
With the financial trouble the team was in around the time Molson sold them... there might not have been a team in Montreal then.

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so what in the world are you talking about? If they had actually kept those guys they would've been winning cups for years.
The Islanders I'll give you due to Mad Mike, but trading Heatley for Hossa was hardly a massive downgrade and the Blue Jackets also haven't materialized into a contender yet.

So it's certainly no sure thing and I do not believe it's some sort of necessary gamble that has to be taken.

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And no, we don't have to 'blow it up' we can do what others have done and TRADE for top picks. No, we won't be able to get a Crosby type prospect but there are others out there that we could get. Only, we don't do this kind of stuff because we've always been shooting for 8th place.
But then you tear up your depth. You create a team that will tank not by design, but because it's built like Tampa Bay -- all kinds of top-end talent and nothing else. So effectively, trading for top picks will result in a tanking strategy anyway -- unless you do it only once in a while, but then you don't exactly build a stable of superstars.

I could see trading some depth for one high draft pick or prospect being worth doing, if your scouting staff is very high on the guy. Do it too much, however, and you'll forcibly suck-and-draft.

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The time for tanking has past us by. Unfortunately we're probably beyond that now.
Why? Your argument is that we're practically wasting time and effort at this point because it's all but necessary to get multiple high picks to be any good -- emphasis on 'multiple'. So let's blow it up! Any effort we spend patching without going to a full rebuild is wasted effort anyway -- it's just going to delay the rebuild and result in mediocre draft picks.

Just taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion. Why trade for a top pick when we could just tank next year and get one while keeping our depth?

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We have a lot of good but not great prospects, esp on the blueline. We should leverage some of that depth to get a good prospect at center. We can do this by looking at draft picks or prospects. I trust our scouting group as they've shown that they can get the most out of our picks, I'm sure they can help us to leverage which players to go after out there.
...and oh, look, we're back on topic -- trade for a high pick and draft a center.

I could see that being helpful. It's a gamble and it won't precisely give you a stable of superstars, but it'll hopefully give you that star center when he develops... in five years. In the meantime, hopefully you have enough depth that you don't suck too badly and create a losing culture.

It's a very long-term move. I'm not sure the Habs are at the stage where they need to think "we'll be good five years in the future, and next year be damned", though, so I wouldn't support doing this more than once unless they don't lose too much depth.

The Habs are only one year removed from finishing first in the conference and were a pretty dominant team for a year and a half, so the foundation would appear to be good. They also have unprecedented cap flexibility in a year where the cap is going down -- something that has never happened in NHL history.

It's a real shame that the Habs can't sign UFAs -- they are uniquely positioned to take advantadge of the market this year.

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05-26-2009, 10:38 AM
  #162
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It occurs to me how far off-topic we are now, but here goes...

So why didn't it work in Montreal? They were good for a while, you know, one would think that would have made it easier to attract free agents and teach the kids how to win after those wins in the seventies, the eighties, and even the nineties.

Guy Carbonneau learned from Bob Gainey... but why did it stop working after that?

This is getting a bit philosophical, here.

That has been a while, though, and their current teams certainly aren't built around their high draft picks.
It DID work, but only for so long. We managed to get two more cups out of it.

Problem is that we got away from the drafting high philosophy that had made us so successful though. You can only rest on your laurels so long, you have to replenish your talent. Once Lidstrom goes, Detroit will find this out too.

And don't get me wrong, Detroit has done an incredible job of finding talent. But a lot of it has to do with the dynasty they built in the 80s. There's no way that they're going to be able to keep finding homeruns in the late rounds. Even Ken Holland has said that he got incredibly lucky with his players. If it was a repeatable philosophy, everyone would do it. Its not, you can't expect to be drafting low and pulling out superstars.

I think we have some of the best scouting in the league, we've managed to pull out some great talent in the late rounds... imagine how much better we could do if we gave those guys top picks to work with.

When you stop drafting high, sooner or later it catches up to you as it has with us.
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With the financial trouble the team was in around the time Molson sold them... there might not have been a team in Montreal then.
Sure... meanwhile Bettman is fighting tooth and nail for Phoenix. You think the league would've let Montreal go?

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The Islanders I'll give you due to Mad Mike, but trading Heatley for Hossa was hardly a massive downgrade and the Blue Jackets also haven't materialized into a contender yet.

So it's certainly no sure thing and I do not believe it's some sort of necessary gamble that has to be taken.
Atlanta's rebuild was derailed the moment Heatley stepped into that car. Too bad too because they might've been able to do something. As for the Bluejackets, I'd say we have better scouting than they do. And hey, at least they have a superstar capable of putting up 50 goals (Nash) unlike us.

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But then you tear up your depth. You create a team that will tank not by design, but because it's built like Tampa Bay -- all kinds of top-end talent and nothing else. So effectively, trading for top picks will result in a tanking strategy anyway -- unless you do it only once in a while, but then you don't exactly build a stable of superstars.

I could see trading some depth for one high draft pick or prospect being worth doing, if your scouting staff is very high on the guy. Do it too much, however, and you'll forcibly suck-and-draft.
Who says we have to do it 'too much'? Gainey has held onto almost every pick we've drafted. We've got a lot to trade with.

Unfortunately, what we should've done is dealt Koivu and Souray when we had the chance. Now we have to deal some of our prospects and picks if we want to move up in the draft because we don't have any vets other than Markov worth trading for as most of our guys are unsigned.

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Why? Your argument is that we're practically wasting time and effort at this point because it's all but necessary to get multiple high picks to be any good -- emphasis on 'multiple'. So let's blow it up! Any effort we spend patching without going to a full rebuild is wasted effort anyway -- it's just going to delay the rebuild and result in mediocre draft picks.

Just taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion. Why trade for a top pick when we could just tank next year and get one while keeping our depth?
If we don't re-sign Komisarek and Kovalev that just might happen anyway.

I expect that we will re-sign those guys though. And we'll wind up competing for a playoff spot. Some of our players (esp Kostitsyn) are going to need some kind of veteran presence now to develop properly. Hopefully we can get a Robert Lang type guy.

That doesn't mean that we can't deal from our excess (blueline prospects and maybe our 1st round pick) for a weakness (top pick center).

Unfortunately what's more likely to happen is that we'll go after Vinny. Vinny's a great player but his contract sucks and he's on the downside of his career. He'll be well into his decline just as our young prospects (Lats, Maxpac, Price & McD) come into their prime. It completely mitigates the trade.

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...and oh, look, we're back on topic -- trade for a high pick and draft a center.

I could see that being helpful. It's a gamble and it won't precisely give you a stable of superstars, but it'll hopefully give you that star center when he develops... in five years. In the meantime, hopefully you have enough depth that you don't suck too badly and create a losing culture.

It's a very long-term move. I'm not sure the Habs are at the stage where they need to think "we'll be good five years in the future, and next year be damned", though, so I wouldn't support doing this more than once unless they don't lose too much depth.

The Habs are only one year removed from finishing first in the conference and were a pretty dominant team for a year and a half, so the foundation would appear to be good. They also have unprecedented cap flexibility in a year where the cap is going down -- something that has never happened in NHL history.

It's a real shame that the Habs can't sign UFAs -- they are uniquely positioned to take advantadge of the market this year.
Unfortunately though, even if we could sign a UFA there isn't much out there to put us over the top.

Its time for us to do what we haven't in the past though and get some top picks. Use it as a center. Yes, it will take a couple of years for that guy to develop but at least in two years we won't be here having the same discussion again.

In the meantime I'm sure we can pickup a Robert Lang type band-aid solution. As long as we re-sign Kovalev and Komisarek we'll be in decent shape for next year. In the meantime we'll at least have a potential player we can build around coming up.

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05-26-2009, 10:44 AM
  #163
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I'll give you Colorado and Pittsburgh as typical suck and draft models for *success*. I, too remember the Dead Wings but for all of the bad finishes, they drafted Yzerman #4 overall in 1983, they drafted a mild bust in Joe Murphy #1 in 1986 and Keith Primeau #3 in 1990. They were good to great after that and aside from Yzerman, the cup winning team in 1996-97 gained almost zip from the years of suckitude. (excepting Shanahan, acquired from the Whalers for Primeau + Coffey + 1st).

The cup winner was built around Yzerman and the Euros,Fedorov, Kozlov, Lidstrom, Larionov,etc, none of whom were acquired with high picks.
Yzerman is the kind of guy you can build a team around. If you get enough high picks some are going to pan out. And again, you can leverage them for other players like Shanahan. Yzerman is Lafleur like and Shanahan would be our best offensive player since Lafleur. Detroit got two HOF players out of it. That's the kind of talent that wins cups for you. We did the same thing with Lafleur and Shutt, they were the two top five picks that we had going for us in the 70s. Once you add a superstar, your odds at winning the cup are improved greatly. If you have multiple superstars its just that much better. Its not a guarantee of course (Ottawa is proof of that) but at least you're giving yourself the best chance of winning.

Also, the Wings don't get Shanahan without Murphy. They leveraged Murphy for Carson for Coffey and then dealt him along with Primeau to get Shanahan. So basically its two top five picks to get Shanahan. Those picks weren't wasted.

Also, once you have that kind of talent, its also easier to attract FAs. Guys want to be on a winner and when your top center is Koivu, they probably aren't going to come here.


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05-26-2009, 11:20 AM
  #164
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Sure... meanwhile Bettman is fighting tooth and nail for Phoenix. You think the league would've let Montreal go?
Errr. It's Gary Bettman. To the best of my knowledge, Montreal is not a Sun Belt American city. Bettman didn't precisely fight tooth and nail to retain Quebec City in roughly that timeframe, did he?

Seriously, I could see the NHL making an effort to keep Montreal in the fold due to the history, but as it was it was already a big problem to find any buyer at all when the Habs went for sale. Different situation now, of course, with the team profitable and, yes, actually having potential.

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Atlanta's rebuild was derailed the moment Heatley stepped into that car.
Not to diminish the impact of the event, but swapping him for Hossa was hardly a downgrade. Something else derailed that team, probably bad GMing -- and the plain fact that drafting low is not any safer or better than the slow build.

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Too bad too because they might've been able to do something. As for the Bluejackets, I'd say we have better scouting than they do. And hey, at least they have a superstar capable of putting up 50 goals (Nash) unlike us.
But that's not winning them any playoff games yet. The Jackets may not have scouting that's as good, but they have high picks and it's just not that hard to make good selection with top three picks -- usually there's a consensus two or three best players in any draft.

It just goes to show that sucking and drafting, in and of itself, is not a winning strategy. It must be combined with other elements to be successful. It's a valid team-building approach, just not the key point you make it out to be.

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Unfortunately, what we should've done is dealt Koivu and Souray when we had the chance.
Nevermind the impact of doing that on team makeup, the key problem is that they would never have fetched you a prospect of the type you think of. You're predicating this part of your argument on a highly speculative deal that almost certainly wasn't there.

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Now we have to deal some of our prospects and picks if we want to move up in the draft because we don't have any vets other than Markov worth trading for as most of our guys are unsigned.
I'm actually intrigued to see what ends up being done with all that cap space. As I pointed out earlier, it's a fairly unique situation to have so much open space in a lowered cap year.

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That doesn't mean that we can't deal from our excess (blueline prospects and maybe our 1st round pick) for a weakness (top pick center).
I could see that working. But a "top pick center" not named Tavares is still a five-years-in-the-future move.

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Unfortunately what's more likely to happen is that we'll go after Vinny.
I wouldn't worry. That's always been a pipe dream, trading Vinny is not really in Tampa's best interests, and if he's traded he's likely going to go somewhere else, especially out West.

And I'm not even sure the Habs brass is interested anymore.

Still, he'd be the kind of player that attracts UFAs. It'd be nice to see what he and Tanguay could do together on a line.

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Unfortunately though, even if we could sign a UFA there isn't much out there to put us over the top.
It wouldn't surprise me to see the Habs use their excess cap space to pick up a very good but overpaid player and use the favor of taking on a bad contract as a way to sweeten the deal in a prospect trade. Then the Habs end up with a piece for the immediate future and a piece for the longer-term, perhaps something they can turn into that big center they have their eye on.

Every team is going to end up overpaying some guys, you just have not to spend too much money in overpayment. Montreal is very lean right now, with only Hamrlik falling into the "fat contract" entry (Markov's contract is considerably lower than his market value).

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In the meantime I'm sure we can pickup a Robert Lang type band-aid solution. As long as we re-sign Kovalev and Komisarek we'll be in decent shape for next year. In the meantime we'll at least have a potential player we can build around coming up.
I think the key re-signings are Tanguay (younger and more effective than Kovalev) and Komisarek, myself. That said, I'd still make a big push to re-sign Kovalev because I think the key to building the team next year should be to shoot for a top-rate PP (built around Kovy, Markov, and a suitable point shooter picked off the UFA market) and then improve the 5-on-5 game until it's well above average (and Tanguay is a premier 5-on-5 player).

Hmm, maybe I should post my plan-for-the-next year somewhere. Seems to be all the rage. It'd require more research hunting down those underrated ES players I think the Habs should pursue than I have time to do, though...

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05-26-2009, 11:39 AM
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Errr. It's Gary Bettman. To the best of my knowledge, Montreal is not a Sun Belt American city. Bettman didn't precisely fight tooth and nail to retain Quebec City in roughly that timeframe, did he?

Seriously, I could see the NHL making an effort to keep Montreal in the fold due to the history, but as it was it was already a big problem to find any buyer at all when the Habs went for sale. Different situation now, of course, with the team profitable and, yes, actually having potential.
Dude, the day Montreal leaves the NHL is the day the NHL folds. And this is way off topic not to mention ludicrous to talk about. Although, you're right, Bettman and ludicrous kind of go together.

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Not to diminish the impact of the event, but swapping him for Hossa was hardly a downgrade. Something else derailed that team, probably bad GMing -- and the plain fact that drafting low is not any safer or better than the slow build.

But that's not winning them any playoff games yet. The Jackets may not have scouting that's as good, but they have high picks and it's just not that hard to make good selection with top three picks -- usually there's a consensus two or three best players in any draft.

It just goes to show that sucking and drafting, in and of itself, is not a winning strategy. It must be combined with other elements to be successful. It's a valid team-building approach, just not the key point you make it out to be.
It IS a winning strategy, always has been. Almost all of the winners in the past prove this. And Pittsburgh will probably prove this again in the future as well as possibly Washington and Chicago.

You're problem is that you seem to be arguing for guarantees.

I am not saying that if you bottomfeed you WILL win the cup. I'm saying that if you bottomfeed you maximize your chances to win the cup. There are 30 teams in the league, even if say 8 of them suck and draft high, not all of them are going to win. Its just that those 8 probably have a better chance than most of winning the cup. The vast majority of cup winners built by bottomfeeders and were led by a top pick. Its not always the case but its usually the case.

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Nevermind the impact of doing that on team makeup, the key problem is that they would never have fetched you a prospect of the type you think of. You're predicating this part of your argument on a highly speculative deal that almost certainly wasn't there.

I'm actually intrigued to see what ends up being done with all that cap space. As I pointed out earlier, it's a fairly unique situation to have so much open space in a lowered cap year.
We dealt Craig Rivet for Max Pac the same year we could've dealt Souray. Yes, I think we could've gotten Ryan but if we couldn't we could've dealt him for picks and prospects.

Also, the point here is that most folks here would NOT have done this even if you were given the chance. I WOULD have.

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I could see that working. But a "top pick center" not named Tavares is still a five-years-in-the-future move.
Maybe so. But the longer we wait to do this the longer it will take for us to draft superstars. Why not start doing it now? Maxpac was traded for two years ago and he'll probably crack the lineup this year. And we'd be dealing away some of our prospects who aren't ready this year anyway.

And it doesn't have to be a draft pick. We can go after prospects who are already developing.

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I wouldn't worry. That's always been a pipe dream, trading Vinny is not really in Tampa's best interests, and if he's traded he's likely going to go somewhere else, especially out West.

And I'm not even sure the Habs brass is interested anymore.

Still, he'd be the kind of player that attracts UFAs. It'd be nice to see what he and Tanguay could do together on a line.
I think he and Tanguay & Vinny would work very well together. There is an outside shot that he could bring us a cup in the short term but with the team we have now it probably wouldn't happen. That's why I'd rather see us go for younger players.

I'm all for going after vets when I think we are favourites but its not the case right now.
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It wouldn't surprise me to see the Habs use their excess cap space to pick up a very good but overpaid player and use the favor of taking on a bad contract as a way to sweeten the deal in a prospect trade. Then the Habs end up with a piece for the immediate future and a piece for the longer-term, perhaps something they can turn into that big center they have their eye on.

Every team is going to end up overpaying some guys, you just have not to spend too much money in overpayment. Montreal is very lean right now, with only Hamrlik falling into the "fat contract" entry (Markov's contract is considerably lower than his market value).
I don't even mind overpaying in the short term. What I don't like is being tied to a player like Briere or Vinny who is overpaid for a long, long time. We don't need that kind of pain here.

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I think the key re-signings are Tanguay (younger and more effective than Kovalev) and Komisarek, myself. That said, I'd still make a big push to re-sign Kovalev because I think the key to building the team next year should be to shoot for a top-rate PP (built around Kovy, Markov, and a suitable point shooter picked off the UFA market) and then improve the 5-on-5 game until it's well above average (and Tanguay is a premier 5-on-5 player).

Hmm, maybe I should post my plan-for-the-next year somewhere. Seems to be all the rage. It'd require more research hunting down those underrated ES players I think the Habs should pursue than I have time to do, though...
Kovalev and Tanguay are completely opposite players. Tanguay is a playmaker who I would like to see paired with Kosti (unfortunately both are LW.) Kovalev is our only game breaker. If we lose him, I'm not sure how we'll replace him because I don't know who else is available out there.

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05-26-2009, 12:18 PM
  #166
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Dude, the day Montreal leaves the NHL is the day the NHL folds. And this is way off topic not to mention ludicrous to talk about. Although, you're right, Bettman and ludicrous kind of go together.
Frankly I'm hyperbolating and I don't see the NHL allowing its eldest franchise to go away. But there was a very real possibility that an owner could not be found -- and for the Habs to become managed by the League would not have been good.

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It IS a winning strategy, always has been.
It is not, however, the ONLY winning strategy -- and especially since the rules of the game have been so thoroughly changed by the salary cap.

You can accumulate superstars, but unless you have a ridiculous stroke of good luck like the Penguins and attract multiple generational stars, you're not going to create a perennial winner before you're forced to break your team up due to salary constraints. Even the Pens are going to run into trouble in the next few years.

Looking at the past is useful but things need to be kept into perspective. The various expansions have changed the landscape, as has the increasing parity of the league. I think that the way to build successful teams going forward is going to be with depth, and the top end talent, while still important, won't be as vital. More to the point, it will be (heck, is) much more important to have top talent on D rather than at forward.

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You're problem is that you seem to be arguing for guarantees.
My point is that it's not the only way to build a team. My point is that it's neither are sure thing nor the only valid approach. You argue from the point of view that it's essentially the only good way to build a team. I'm pointing out that not only is it not a necessity, it's also not as good as you make it sound.

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We dealt Craig Rivet for Max Pac the same year we could've dealt Souray. Yes, I think we could've gotten Ryan but if we couldn't we could've dealt him for picks and prospects.
Burke wasn't going to deal Ryan, certainly not for Souray and Koivu, even if he could have somehow fit them in his salary cap. That deal is a complete pipe dream.

It would also have torn the Habs apart and turned them into anything from a lower-end bubble team to a bottomfeeder, but by your logic that would've been a good thing, right?

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And it doesn't have to be a draft pick. We can go after prospects who are already developing.
Like who? Please, no more "Souray and Koivu for Ryan" fantasies. Who do you see being available and suitable?

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I think he and Tanguay & Vinny would work very well together. There is an outside shot that he could bring us a cup in the short term but with the team we have now it probably wouldn't happen. That's why I'd rather see us go for younger players.
I think the last half-season has caused the talents that the Habs have on their roster to become seriously underrated. It's gotten quite silly how people evaluate the potential future performance of the players on their last season -- and often, only half of that.

For example, Higgins is much more likely to be a 25-30 goal scorer than a 10-15 goal scorer going forward. He's done the former more than he's done the latter. Yet a lot of people seem to think he's turned into suck.

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Kovalev and Tanguay are completely opposite players. Tanguay is a playmaker who I would like to see paired with Kosti (unfortunately both are LW.) Kovalev is our only game breaker. If we lose him, I'm not sure how we'll replace him because I don't know who else is available out there.
This touches up on why you put so much more importance on drafting that superstar than I do. Much as I think gamebreakers are fun to watch and will win you games, I think players like Tanguay will help your team more in the long term. Kovalev might be able to turn a game around in a short time because of his gamebreaking abilities, but players like Tanguay make it so that you don't need to turn games around so much because you steadily win more. I frankly think gamebreakers are less important than the foundation guys. You probably want players of each type to handle all situations, but between the two, I'd pick Tanguay first -- he's younger, he's more productive, he's better defensively, he's a much better even-strength player, he's more consistent... he'll win you more games. And I have a Kovalev jersey in my dresser.

I like to compare Tanguay to Markov at forward. Not as impactful because good D have so much more impact than good F, but the comparison in style and skills is pretty decent.

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05-26-2009, 01:45 PM
  #167
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Frankly I'm hyperbolating and I don't see the NHL allowing its eldest franchise to go away. But there was a very real possibility that an owner could not be found -- and for the Habs to become managed by the League would not have been good.

It is not, however, the ONLY winning strategy -- and especially since the rules of the game have been so thoroughly changed by the salary cap.

You can accumulate superstars, but unless you have a ridiculous stroke of good luck like the Penguins and attract multiple generational stars, you're not going to create a perennial winner before you're forced to break your team up due to salary constraints. Even the Pens are going to run into trouble in the next few years.

Looking at the past is useful but things need to be kept into perspective. The various expansions have changed the landscape, as has the increasing parity of the league. I think that the way to build successful teams going forward is going to be with depth, and the top end talent, while still important, won't be as vital. More to the point, it will be (heck, is) much more important to have top talent on D rather than at forward.
Its the best strategy.

As for being 'lucky' its not luck when you're getting that many top picks. It IS luck when you draft a HOF player in the 3rd round. Ken Holland himself has said this.

Drafting high allows your scouts to get the player they WANT to get. They don't have to wait and settle for lesser players. Sometimes if you're lucky, he'll fall to you anyway (Gainey has claimed that was the case with McD) but usually you just miss out.

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My point is that it's not the only way to build a team. My point is that it's neither are sure thing nor the only valid approach. You argue from the point of view that it's essentially the only good way to build a team. I'm pointing out that not only is it not a necessity, it's also not as good as you make it sound.
Its the best way to win a cup. Its been shown time and again to work. And seriously, look at us... we're building through the draft anyway. Why not just go for higher ranked players and build with them instead? If you're going to rebuild, do it right.

All we had to lose was 8th place.

Now we have to get a superstar somehow. I don't see why we don't just deal for picks and wait it out. Most of our team is young anyway. It might be past the time where we can tank but at least we can still do this.
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Burke wasn't going to deal Ryan, certainly not for Souray and Koivu, even if he could have somehow fit them in his salary cap. That deal is a complete pipe dream.
I don't think so. But again, its moot. The point is that you wouldn't have made the deal even if it was available.
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It would also have torn the Habs apart and turned them into anything from a lower-end bubble team to a bottomfeeder, but by your logic that would've been a good thing, right?
We lost Souray for nothing anyway and Koivu is well past his prime. We could've easily replaced him with a guy like Robert Lang.

It would've been worth it for sure. Yes.

Because we didn't win anything anyway and going forward we'd have a bonafide guy to build the offense around.
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Like who? Please, no more "Souray and Koivu for Ryan" fantasies. Who do you see being available and suitable?
There's always guys available.

Personally, I look at the draft and I'd go after a pick. Luke Schenn might be attainable at the 5th spot. I'd swap out our 1st rounder and look to see who might be willing to trade with us. We've got a ton of players/prospects we can trade. Those kinds of trades get made every year, we just aren't a part of it.

Because we don't LOOK for it. We don't even try to go this route.
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I think the last half-season has caused the talents that the Habs have on their roster to become seriously underrated. It's gotten quite silly how people evaluate the potential future performance of the players on their last season -- and often, only half of that.

For example, Higgins is much more likely to be a 25-30 goal scorer than a 10-15 goal scorer going forward. He's done the former more than he's done the latter. Yet a lot of people seem to think he's turned into suck.
That's the fan in you talking. I know its hard for you to look at our guys objectively but we really don't have that star who's going to lead our offense for us.

Higgins is a good solid player. I don't see him as a guy who's a first liner though. I thought he might've been able to do it but he's 26 years old. If he was going to be a 1st liner, he'd have made it by now. Unlike some other players, he's been given every opportunity to be one.

At least you're not bashing the team senselessly the way Natey and caseofcups do.
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This touches up on why you put so much more importance on drafting that superstar than I do. Much as I think gamebreakers are fun to watch and will win you games, I think players like Tanguay will help your team more in the long term. Kovalev might be able to turn a game around in a short time because of his gamebreaking abilities, but players like Tanguay make it so that you don't need to turn games around so much because you steadily win more. I frankly think gamebreakers are less important than the foundation guys. You probably want players of each type to handle all situations, but between the two, I'd pick Tanguay first -- he's younger, he's more productive, he's better defensively, he's a much better even-strength player, he's more consistent... he'll win you more games. And I have a Kovalev jersey in my dresser.

I like to compare Tanguay to Markov at forward. Not as impactful because good D have so much more impact than good F, but the comparison in style and skills is pretty decent.
You're overrating Tanguay so much, I don't even know what to say to you. We've had that conversation though. He's not nearly as good as you think he is. He's a borderline 1st line player on most teams. He's soft, doesn't do the dirty work and he's not really a great scorer either. He's a solid playmaker and a smart player who pays attention to defense. He's good but not great. If he's our best offensive player over the next few years, we're in really big trouble.


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Old
05-26-2009, 05:59 PM
  #168
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Well, I thought I'd chime in on one major thought I have been having about the centermen issues Montreal has. First off, generating a list, these are OUR centermen right now;

11 Koivu (50 pts 65 GP MTL-NHL) UFA
20 Lang (39 pts 50 GP MTL-NHL) UFA
40 Lapierre (28 pts 79 GP MTL-NHL)
15 Metropolit (17pts 76GP MTL-NHL)
20 Plekanec (39 pts 80 GP MTL-NHL) RFA
28 Chipchura (3 pts 13 GP MTL-NHL / 35 pts 51GP HAM-AHL) RFA
80 Maxwell (0pts 7GP MTL-NHL / 58 pts 73GP HAM-AHL)
-- Lehoux (60pts 80GP HAM-AHL) UFA
-- White (29 pts 80GP HAM-AHL)
-- Desharnais (58 pts 77GP HAM-AHL)
-- Aubin (12 pts 32 GP HAM-AHL) RFA
-- Trotter (49 pts 76 GP HAM-AHL)
-- Russell (39 pts, 79 GP HAM-AHL)
-- O.Latendresse (13 pts 20 GP HAM-AHL)
-- O. Fortier (35 pts 29GP QMJHL-CHL)
-- P. Johnson (7 pts 35 GP WCHA-NCAA)
-- M. Johanson (34 pts 49GP SEL-Eur)
-- D. Masse (110 pts 68GP QMJHL-CHL)

UFA
Koivu, Lang, Lehoux, O.Latendresse

-IMO habs sign 1 of 4. Options between Lang & Koivu.

RFA
Plekanec, Chipchura, Aubin
-On Plekanec, I'd consider him to be our primary Center asset, until one of the Lang/Koivu lands, then he becomes a tradeable asset for a true #1 center.
- Im excited that Chipchura will be definately given a chance IMO this season, due to the change in his status. (not waiver protected anymore)
-Aubin... Consider giving him a chance w/ Hamilton again. May have been eclipsed.

Signed
Lapierre, Metropolit, Maxwell, White, Desharnais, Trotter, Russell, Masse, Fortier, Johansen
-Lapierre is definately a returnee
-Metropolit should be given a spare role (Chips dev.) or traded.
-Maxwell & White should be entertaining call ups shuttling back & forth
-Desharnais, Trotter, Russell should be tightening their game in the AHL primarily
-Masse, Fortier, & Johansen to est. their roles for this team, & see if they can become effective pros.

Finally P. Johnson, we retain rights to, w/ out issuing a contract.

If we do so;

MTL
L1 - Chase one down!!! It's apparent this is a glaring need.
L2-Koivu/Lang/Plekanec
L3-Lapierre
L4- Chipchura
SP -Metropolit

Maxwell, Desharnais for top 2 line call ups, White, Trotter bottom 2 call ups.
Either way, we would be somehat comf. with our prospects.

To make a long story short, we NEED a primary center again! An undisputable #1 guy.

Maybe not entirely established, but they can be dangerous.

I'd like to think Bb should talk to Pittsburgh about their big 3 up the middle.

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05-27-2009, 02:02 AM
  #169
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Lapierre
Koivu
Chipchura
Metropolit

What centermen issues?

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05-27-2009, 07:06 AM
  #170
MathMan
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Its the best strategy.
Not necessarily, no. Montreal's strategy is valid and can work. Its odds of success are pretty much equivalent to sucking-and-drafting. But we're wasting time re-hashing this. It's become pretty obvious neither of us will budge and we're going in circles.

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That's the fan in you talking. I know its hard for you to look at our guys objectively but we really don't have that star who's going to lead our offense for us.
I'm just not convinced that that offensive "star" guy is entirely necessary in the modern game. Seems to have worked for Montreal last year and Boston this year -- they didn't advance far enough in the playoffs, but both were young and inexperienced teams and the playoffs are such a crapshoot these days you can't really draw conclusions from one run.

But I'm not too picky about that; it'd likely improve the team if we can acquire one without sacrificing depth, so I'm not adverse to trading for a high pick, or trading for or signing an established star.

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Higgins is a good solid player. I don't see him as a guy who's a first liner though. I thought he might've been able to do it but he's 26 years old. If he was going to be a 1st liner, he'd have made it by now. Unlike some other players, he's been given every opportunity to be one.
I never claimed Higgins was a first liner. I was simply arguing that he, like Plekanec, like Hamrlik, like most of the Habs, hadn't suddenly and permanently turned into suck because they had an off year.

This team had what everyone calls a terrible, awful, cursed kind of a year and was still a playoff team. If it hadn't been battered by circumstance, it would have been much better. Judging the team based on a single, tough year they had without considering the circumstances is neither fair, wise, or going to give you anything resembling an accurate picture.

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You're overrating Tanguay so much, I don't even know what to say to you. We've had that conversation though. He's not nearly as good as you think he is. He's a borderline 1st line player on most teams. He's soft, doesn't do the dirty work and he's not really a great scorer either. He's a solid playmaker and a smart player who pays attention to defense. He's good but not great. If he's our best offensive player over the next few years, we're in really big trouble.
You're underrating him terribly. I suspect because you're fascinated by style of play at the expense of effectiveness, like way too many people.

Tanguay is the Habs' most effective forward, which arguably also makes him the best. He's the team's best five-on-five player on a team that struggles mightily at even strength. He puts up points, makes his team score, keeps the other team from scoring, can eat up tough minutes against opposing top lines.

Tanguay is more of a first line player at this stage of his career than Kovalev.

Heck, you're even accusing him of not really being a scorer -- yet this year, he was the team's most productive goal-scorer!

As for being soft -- an accusation I don't entirely support, by the way -- that's irrelevant in my mind if the player is effective. Physicality is a tool, not an end. It's nice to have and can make a player better, but it's not a goal in and of itself. If a player is effective despite a lack of physicality, then that lack of physicality shouldn't be any more of an issue than for a player who succeeds in spite of, say, low foot speed.

No player is perfect, but it seems that players who aren't physical are subjected to a lot more criticism than considerably worse players who have bigger flaws elsewhere. Must be the Good Old Canadian Boy myth.

Look, an argument for ditching Tanguay is an argument for ditching Markov. Markov is like Tanguay -- not physical, positionally sound, a great passer, a great two-way player. I can even call him "soft".

Clearly, we can't go anywhere with Markov leading our defense. He has a lot of value, too. Let's trade him for a top prospect or a high pick.


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Old
05-27-2009, 09:56 AM
  #171
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Not necessarily, no. Montreal's strategy is valid and can work. Its odds of success are pretty much equivalent to sucking-and-drafting. But we're wasting time re-hashing this. It's become pretty obvious neither of us will budge and we're going in circles.
Yes, we can agree to disagree. But the fact is that the vast majority of cup winners have rebuilt through top picks.

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I'm just not convinced that that offensive "star" guy is entirely necessary in the modern game. Seems to have worked for Montreal last year and Boston this year -- they didn't advance far enough in the playoffs, but both were young and inexperienced teams and the playoffs are such a crapshoot these days you can't really draw conclusions from one run.

But I'm not too picky about that; it'd likely improve the team if we can acquire one without sacrificing depth, so I'm not adverse to trading for a high pick, or trading for or signing an established star.
"Entirely necessary?" No. But again, look at history. Its rare that there isn't at least one major offensive weapon on the cup winning team. The Devils and Canadiens of the 80s are two of very few clubs to do it. And most teams have multiple offensive superstars.

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I never claimed Higgins was a first liner. I was simply arguing that he, like Plekanec, like Hamrlik, like most of the Habs, hadn't suddenly and permanently turned into suck because they had an off year.
I don't think he sucks but he certainly hasn't progressed the way we had hoped. There was a time where many of us thought he had 1st line potential. Now? Not so much.

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This team had what everyone calls a terrible, awful, cursed kind of a year and was still a playoff team. If it hadn't been battered by circumstance, it would have been much better. Judging the team based on a single, tough year they had without considering the circumstances is neither fair, wise, or going to give you anything resembling an accurate picture.
I think we would've been better too but there were off ice issues that need to be addressed for sure.

Also, if we had a superstar he could've pulled us out of that tailspin. That's what superstars do. They're able to carry a team through the tough stretches. We don't have this guy and it puts a huge amount of pressure on guys who should be secondary scorers.

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You're underrating him terribly. I suspect because you're fascinated by style of play at the expense of effectiveness, like way too many people.
Dude, I never heard you talk about Tanguay before he came here. Then we sign him and all of a sudden he's one of the best wingers in the game? Come on man.

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Tanguay is the Habs' most effective forward, which arguably also makes him the best. He's the team's best five-on-five player on a team that struggles mightily at even strength. He puts up points, makes his team score, keeps the other team from scoring, can eat up tough minutes against opposing top lines.
Considering his competition, that's not saying much.
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Tanguay is more of a first line player at this stage of his career than Kovalev.
Again, its not saying much considering that Kovalev is 36 years old. And I don't think most people would share your opinion on this either.

Kovalev is definitely better suited to the first line on the team we have now because we don't have a prime scorer. Tanguay is not elite himself but he's good enough to play with elite guys. If we actually had an elite player I'd agree that Tanguay would be better on the 1st line because he'd get the puck to the elite player and let him do the work. He's a complimentary type guy who's nice to have but isn't going to lead us anywhere.

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Heck, you're even accusing him of not really being a scorer -- yet this year, he was the team's most productive goal-scorer!
Again, its not saying much.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
As for being soft -- an accusation I don't entirely support, by the way -- that's irrelevant in my mind if the player is effective. Physicality is a tool, not an end. It's nice to have and can make a player better, but it's not a goal in and of itself. If a player is effective despite a lack of physicality, then that lack of physicality shouldn't be any more of an issue than for a player who succeeds in spite of, say, low foot speed.
The guy's soft, always has been. Doesn't make him a bad player but he's not going to give you what other players do.
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No player is perfect, but it seems that players who aren't physical are subjected to a lot more criticism than considerably worse players who have bigger flaws elsewhere. Must be the Good Old Canadian Boy myth.
Please... If you want players who are going to win for you, you want guys who will pay the price. Its always been that way. Look at Detroit, they buy into the system and everyone including Datsyuk and Zetterberg do what it takes to win. Our guys don't do this consistently and it costs us.

Tanguay's never going to be a guy to go into the corners and pay the price in front of the net.
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Look, an argument for ditching Tanguay is an argument for ditching Markov. Markov is like Tanguay -- not physical, positionally sound, a great passer, a great two-way player. I can even call him "soft".
Markov is soft too. That's not a plus to his game either and its a real bad sign when your best players don't go into the corners the way other teams' stars do.

That doesn't mean we should ditch those players, just that we are lacking the physical star who's willing to pay the price to win. We really need a guy like that. That's why I suggested going after a player like Schenn.
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Clearly, we can't go anywhere with Markov leading our defense. He has a lot of value, too. Let's trade him for a top prospect or a high pick.
Markov is a great defenseman. But its not his defense that makes him great, its his offense. If he didn't put up the points he did he wouldn't be on the team. He's sound defensively but he gets pushed off the puck way too often. I know you don't want to hear this but he's not as good as you think he is either. He's a lot closer to Thomas Kaberle than he is to Nik Lidstrom.

Think about it, he's always among the top scorers on the blueline but he never gets a Norris nomination. Why? Because he's not as complete as some of the other guys out there. That's why we pair him with Komisarek, together they're great. Markov is awesome, nobody would deny this, but he needs to be paired with somebody to handle the physical aspects of the game or he won't be nearly as effective.

And again, you can bring Markov into this all you want but the bottom line is that Tanguay isn't near good enough to lead us anywhere and my point stands, if he's our best forward over the next few years we will not be winning the cup. Its as simple as that.

Again dude, I know you love the team and that's great and all but you aren't looking at these players with any kind of objectivity. We have a good base of young players to build from but we are sorely lacking a star (heck at this point I'd just settle for a legit first line center) and without one we won't get past Pittsburgh for a cup. Our only chance is if Kovalev turns around and has a season like he did two years ago because he's the only one capable of leading this team anywhere. That and Carey Price has to turn into Ken Dryden because other teams have the scoring that we don't.

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05-27-2009, 12:13 PM
  #172
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Yes, we can agree to disagree. But the fact is that the vast majority of cup winners have rebuilt through top picks.
Sure, but back when there were six clubs, it was pretty easy to get a top 5 pick.

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Also, if we had a superstar he could've pulled us out of that tailspin. That's what superstars do. They're able to carry a team through the tough stretches. We don't have this guy and it puts a huge amount of pressure on guys who should be secondary scorers.
If superstars could pull teams out of bad situations by themselves, then teams like Tampa and Ottawa and Atlanta wouldn't be out of the playoffs. But that's not what happens. Swap Kovalchuk for Andrei Kostitsyn on the Habs and they finish 6th, maybe 7th.

Superstars are part of the team. We need to stop this magical thinking that they define teams and can make a bad team good, because it's been proven time and time again that they don't. They make teams better because they are by definition extraordinarily good players, but we need to start treating them like upgrades and not like revolutions.

The only type of player who can have this much impact is a superstar defenseman, or maybe a goalie and all this discussion is about forwards.

Good teams win Cups. Good teams have good players. The best players are superstars. The reason Cup teams have superstars is not because a superstar gives his team some magical binary quality that makes them Cup-worthy whereas a team without one doesn't, it's that like any good player a superstar makes the overall team better.

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Dude, I never heard you talk about Tanguay before he came here. Then we sign him and all of a sudden he's one of the best wingers in the game? Come on man.
He's always been a quiet type of player, a lot like Markov. Like you, I hadn't heard too much about Tanguay except that vague "he's a good player" vibe. When he was traded to the Habs I did some research on him, particularly on some very good Flames blog, and was rather shocked by exactly how good a player the Habs were getting.

I think these are fairly typical, from a blogger who's done a lot of research of Tanguay (and notably debunked the idea that he rode the coattails of Sakic and Forsberg). Go ahead, they're pretty eye-opening:
http://battleofalberta.blogspot.com/...in-series.html
http://battleofalberta.blogspot.com/...-years-on.html

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Considering his competition, that's not saying much.
If it was a new thing for him I might consider that, but it's consistent with his previous results and it's also numbers that compare very well with other teams. Tanguay offered the Habs first-line production regardless of who he was matched with.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Again, its not saying much considering that Kovalev is 36 years old. And I don't think most people would share your opinion on this either.
Kovalev gets a lot of press because of his flashy style, but he's not as effective as his hype claims. Tanguay is exactly the opposite.

Kovalev is more of a first PP unit type player, but at even-strength he has the numbers of a (strong) second-line player. Tanguay has first-line numbers, and those are below his usual performance.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Kovalev is definitely better suited to the first line on the team we have now because we don't have a prime scorer. Tanguay is not elite himself but he's good enough to play with elite guys.
I'm sorry, but the facts and numbers do not support your allegation that Tanguay is not an elite player, and since you have strictly nothing to back it up except that you don't like his style, I'm going to call shenanigans.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Again, its not saying much.
His goal-scoring rate would have put him second on the Penguins. Right behind Sidney Crosby -- and ahead of Malkin. His point production would have him fourth -- and he's neither Crosby or Malkin nor played with him.

Tanguay's an elite 5-on-5 producer and has been for years. Last season was below average for him and he still put out amazing production. And given the difficulty of producing at 5-on-5 -- especially in the supposedly tough Western conference where he put up all those elite-level numbers -- one has to call into question the description of him as "soft". Maybe he's just smart.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Think about it, he's always among the top scorers on the blueline but he never gets a Norris nomination. Why? Because he's not as complete as some of the other guys out there.
That, or maybe he's not just as flashy.

I mean Dion Phaneuf was nominated for the Norris one year. Clearly actual defensive ability is secondary to scoring and highlight-reel hitting when determining who's the league best defenseman for Norris voter.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
That's why we pair him with Komisarek, together they're great. Markov is awesome, nobody would deny this, but he needs to be paired with somebody to handle the physical aspects of the game or he won't be nearly as effective.
Actually, the physical D-man like Komisarek is a bit of a dying breed. The transition game is so important these days that practically every team in the league is looking to add more "puck moving defensemen". Strength help, but positioning and passing skills are vital.

I really do wonder what would happen if Markov was paired with a defensively sound, positional puck-mover much like himself. I think that pairing would be dynamite -- better than the Komisarek pairing.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
And again, you can bring Markov into this all you want but the bottom line is that Tanguay isn't near good enough to lead us anywhere and my point stands, if he's our best forward over the next few years we will not be winning the cup. Its as simple as that.
There actually aren't all that many forwards who are better hockey players than Tanguay. Montreal, for example, doesn't have any. I'm all for acquiring one, but they're quite rare.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Again dude, I know you love the team and that's great and all but you aren't looking at these players with any kind of objectivity.
That's why I like confirming my impressions with numbers. They're a lot closer to facts than the subjective impressions of anyone. I also like to look beyond the recent past when evaluating player so I don't fall prey to the typical fannish knee-jerk reaction that causes people to want to ditch guys like Plekanec and Kostitsyn despite the fact that they were the team's offensive leaders last year.

If one of us is lacking objectivity in evaluating the Habs, frankly, it's you.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
We have a good base of young players to build from but we are sorely lacking a star (heck at this point I'd just settle for a legit first line center) and without one we won't get past Pittsburgh for a cup.
I think the key point for getting past Pittsburgh is getting the defense in order, not adding scoring. Montreal was second last year in scoring, and was 13th this year despite getting three different top scorers injured and having a terrible off year. Scoring has simply not been this team's problem.

I'm all for adding that first line center because it's a big need area in the depth chart and it certainly would help, but what's going to bring the Habs over the top is better D-men -- besides, IMO good puck-moving D-men drive offense more than star forwards.

Competent coaching would also help.

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05-27-2009, 03:37 PM
  #173
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Sure, but back when there were six clubs, it was pretty easy to get a top 5 pick.
Sorry dude, you need to do your homework. The modern day draft didn't start until 1970. For a couple of years in the late 60s, there was a draft but the Habs had the top pick from Quebec. We didn't get much out of it though...

Up until then players were usually signed long before the draft and that's why you didn't get to draft guys like Bobby Orr. It wasn't until 1970 that we saw the advent of the modern day draft. The Habs of course took full advantage of this and Pollock manipulated the system to get Lafleur. He was always dealing away vets for picks and prospects and its how he managed to assemble the powerhouse 1970s team.

The Habs, Islanders, Pens, Devils, Wings, Avalanche all built through high draft picks. The Oilers came out of the WHA and won with a player who would've been drafted first overall (Gretzky). I've told you about this before though, either you've forgotten or you've chosen to forget. The original six has nothing to do with anything here. The draft works, always has.

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If superstars could pull teams out of bad situations by themselves, then teams like Tampa and Ottawa and Atlanta wouldn't be out of the playoffs. But that's not what happens. Swap Kovalchuk for Andrei Kostitsyn on the Habs and they finish 6th, maybe 7th.

Superstars are part of the team. We need to stop this magical thinking that they define teams and can make a bad team good, because it's been proven time and time again that they don't. They make teams better because they are by definition extraordinarily good players, but we need to start treating them like upgrades and not like revolutions.
A superstar alone isn't going to win you anything. But I never said it did. Again, I'm not sure why you keep coming back to things that I agree with.

What I'm saying is that superstars give you a huge advantage over teams that don't have them. If you don't have a superstar its going to be awfully hard for you to win.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
The only type of player who can have this much impact is a superstar defenseman, or maybe a goalie and all this discussion is about forwards.
Forwards can win you cups too, Gretzky, Mario, Forsberg and Sakic proved this in the past and Crosby and Malkin are proving it now.

Its about balance. You need a minimum level in some areas in order to win. If you can't score then you'd better have good D and goaltending. If you're goaltending isn't great then you'd better have a great D and be able to score.

What do we have going forward that's better than any other team? We can't score like others do. Our D is okay and hopefully those guys will pan out. But we don't really have the guys who are going to lead the way offensively. We really need to improve here and if we land a great young player it will go a long way to improving our chances.
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Good teams win Cups. Good teams have good players. The best players are superstars. The reason Cup teams have superstars is not because a superstar gives his team some magical binary quality that makes them Cup-worthy whereas a team without one doesn't, it's that like any good player a superstar makes the overall team better.
Most cup winning teams have at least one superstar on their roster. Usually, its multiple superstars. Drafting high gives you the best odds to get those superstars. Its always been that way and it probably always will be.

Yes, there will always be clubs who manage to pull it off without top picks and there may even be teams that can win without superstars (I can't think of one... even Carolina had Eric Staal and they'd be the closest to qualifying) you need these guys to win.

Who do we have who qualifies? Maybe Price will be that guy. But I think we're going to need more than him to get past the Penguins in the coming decade.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
He's always been a quiet type of player, a lot like Markov. Like you, I hadn't heard too much about Tanguay except that vague "he's a good player" vibe. When he was traded to the Habs I did some research on him, particularly on some very good Flames blog, and was rather shocked by exactly how good a player the Habs were getting.

I think these are fairly typical, from a blogger who's done a lot of research of Tanguay (and notably debunked the idea that he rode the coattails of Sakic and Forsberg). Go ahead, they're pretty eye-opening:
http://battleofalberta.blogspot.com/...in-series.html
http://battleofalberta.blogspot.com/...-years-on.html

If it was a new thing for him I might consider that, but it's consistent with his previous results and it's also numbers that compare very well with other teams. Tanguay offered the Habs first-line production regardless of who he was matched with.
I'm not upset he's on our team, but he's not going to lead us anywhere.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Kovalev gets a lot of press because of his flashy style, but he's not as effective as his hype claims. Tanguay is exactly the opposite.

Kovalev is more of a first PP unit type player, but at even-strength he has the numbers of a (strong) second-line player. Tanguay has first-line numbers, and those are below his usual performance.
No doubt Kovalev is flashy but he puts the puck in the net and can do things by himself that few others can do. I think he's probably the most valuable player on our team right now other than Markov.


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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I'm sorry, but the facts and numbers do not support your allegation that Tanguay is not an elite player, and since you have strictly nothing to back it up except that you don't like his style, I'm going to call shenanigans.

His goal-scoring rate would have put him second on the Penguins. Right behind Sidney Crosby -- and ahead of Malkin. His point production would have him fourth -- and he's neither Crosby or Malkin nor played with him.

Tanguay's an elite 5-on-5 producer and has been for years. Last season was below average for him and he still put out amazing production. And given the difficulty of producing at 5-on-5 -- especially in the supposedly tough Western conference where he put up all those elite-level numbers -- one has to call into question the description of him as "soft". Maybe he's just smart.
Okay, do you think he'll make the Canadian Olympic team? Do you think he'll even be considered? Of course he won't. He's just not that good.

Go to any other team board and float the idea that he's an elite player. You'll get ripped to shreds. He's a good player for sure but you and I have different ideas of what 'elite' means if you're putting him in that category.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
That, or maybe he's not just as flashy.

I mean Dion Phaneuf was nominated for the Norris one year. Clearly actual defensive ability is secondary to scoring and highlight-reel hitting when determining who's the league best defenseman for Norris voter.

Actually, the physical D-man like Komisarek is a bit of a dying breed. The transition game is so important these days that practically every team in the league is looking to add more "puck moving defensemen". Strength help, but positioning and passing skills are vital.

I really do wonder what would happen if Markov was paired with a defensively sound, positional puck-mover much like himself. I think that pairing would be dynamite -- better than the Komisarek pairing.
Like I said, Markov is among the best offensive defenseman in the game. But you're kidding yourself if you think that he's as good defensively as others are. He's average defensively at best. He's got some good positioning but he gets muscled off the puck and he does make some harebrained moves occasionally too.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
There actually aren't all that many forwards who are better hockey players than Tanguay. Montreal, for example, doesn't have any. I'm all for acquiring one, but they're quite rare.
No they aren't. Almost every team out there has a better forward than Tanguay and many have more than one who's better. Heck, WE have a better forward than Tanguay.

The only playoff team in the East that might not qualify is the Rangers. They have Scott Gomez though and he's probably on par with what Tanguay brings. He just makes a lot more dough.

Florida, Toronto and the Islanders are the only teams I can think of in the East who don't have a forward as good as Tanguay and the Islanders are about to add Tavares so that won't last long either.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
That's why I like confirming my impressions with numbers. They're a lot closer to facts than the subjective impressions of anyone. I also like to look beyond the recent past when evaluating player so I don't fall prey to the typical fannish knee-jerk reaction that causes people to want to ditch guys like Plekanec and Kostitsyn despite the fact that they were the team's offensive leaders last year.

If one of us is lacking objectivity in evaluating the Habs, frankly, it's you.
Like I said, float the idea that he's elite on another fan board and see the reaction you get. That will give you an idea of what people objectively think about him.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I think the key point for getting past Pittsburgh is getting the defense in order, not adding scoring. Montreal was second last year in scoring, and was 13th this year despite getting three different top scorers injured and having a terrible off year. Scoring has simply not been this team's problem.
Scoring's always been our problem. When the team goes south its usually because we go into some kind of major offensive slump. Those slumps would be easier to overcome if we had a superstar. We don't so we're vulnerable to them.

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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
I'm all for adding that first line center because it's a big need area in the depth chart and it certainly would help, but what's going to bring the Habs over the top is better D-men -- besides, IMO good puck-moving D-men drive offense more than star forwards.
Again, you're looking through rose coloured glasses here. I agree that we have a good base to work with and I'm hopeful that guys like MaxPac pan out. But as it is we don't have that blue chip player that others can build around. We desperately need that player and until we address it we won't be able to win.

I'd just rather it be a younger player rather than a 30 year old.
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Competent coaching would also help.
No argument there.

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05-27-2009, 04:38 PM
  #174
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I absolutely agree with you that the "rebuild" we've seen since gainey took over has not yielded adequate results, though I don't know that it's apparent because we don't have a "superstar" caliber player, or that had we acquired one, we'd be anywhere deeper in the playoffs than we now are.

I think the problem lies more in the fact that the team hasn't been building a specific/consistent identity. Part of that is made painfully evident in that we still don't have a coach in place (nor have we had one under Gainey that has lasted more than 2 seasons).

Success is difficult in any pro sports league, and operating under a cap makes it even more difficult. The one thing that successful franchises do is build a culture/identity that defines them, and that is used as a template to follow at all levels of organizational asset management (be it hiring management/scouts/coaches/trainers or drafting/signing/trading players).

It won't guarantee success in any given year, but over the long run, it creates an environment of continuity that makes it much easier for things to "go right" and to allow a team to get on the kind of momentum run that is the single biggest factor in winning a championship.

I look at the young components of our team, and I think we have MORE than enough skill/depth/talent to be a yearly contender. The problem lies in the collection of veteran players we have (don't have), and not so much in that they aren't the caliber of Crosby or Malkin, but in that as a group, of the vet guys we had last year, none were really strong leaders and I'd argue that they didn't complement each other particularly well (even though the Tanguay-Koivu-Kovalev line did catch fire for a brief spell... albeit mostly against non-playoff teams playing out the season and fresh off of trading away some of their veteran talent).

To me, a young group of Pleks, Higgins, Kost, Lapierre, Lats (with D'ago, Kost jr, Max Pac waiting in the wings) up front, and Gorges, O'byrne, Weber (with Subban, Carle, McD, Fischer, Emelin?, Valentenko? behind them) on the back end, is EXACTLY the kind of young and relatively cheap talent that could easily be the perfect complement to a veteran core on a cup winning team.

the problem is that we had 24.15 Million locked up in Koivu/Kovalev/Lang/Tanguay/Hamrlik

more than 1/3 of the cap spent on 5 players, none of which has ever been able to "carry" a team or currently regarded as a truly elite player (kovalev being the exception, though his consistent inconsistency speaks for itself).

All of those contracts came from current management, and imo, that's way too much money poorly spent. We often worry about having one or two terrible contracts, but is having a bunch of players on "bad" deals any better? Even if one argues that none of those 5 deals are "bad", I think it's at least fair to say that none of those players played up to that level this past season, even if excusing injury (lang was on pace for almost exactly what he put up last year, when he was largely regarded as overpaid at 4M$).

i know the counter argument is that Gainey "tried" to land better star players, but couldn't, so had to settle or trade for lesser players... but imo that's were the direction went wrong. If you can't get the quality players you want, you focus instead on bringing in high character type players ("lunch pail" guys as they say), and make sure that at the very least the young players you are grooming for the future benefit from the influence and guidance that work ethic type guys.

Hamrlik was brought in in part to play the mentor role that he had some success with in Calgary, but part of the reason they didn't resign him is that they recognized that he wasn't worth the kind of $/term he was looking for... debatable now, but in two years and 11M$, I doubt anyone will deny it.


In any case, I do think a team can build a contender without necessarily suffering through the type of season that a top 5 pick requires, but to do so demands good drafting (which we seem to have), excellent internal player development (which I'd say we lack) and excellent asset management (which we do very poorly at).

Until those 3 areas are running among the best in the league, consistently over a 3-5 year period, we won't see the kind of team we are all yearning for.
Even then, a cup may not come immediately or even at all, but at least we will be in the discussion year in year out... at this point that would be a welcome change!
BTW, sorry I missed this.

I agree we've got a good core and I also agree that we can't go through the pain of a tanking now. Not with the young team that we already have.

Yes, we're missing those vets but there's not much we can do on that front at this point. What I'm advocating is that instead of tanking, we trade for top picks or prospects. We can continue developing our guys and hopefully add a FA as a band-aid solution for now. That should be good enough to keep us competitive until our younger guys develop. In the meantime we can go after some UFAs as a band-aid solution to tide us over.

I'd just like to have somebody to build the team around for the future. We've put it off for years and until we fix it we'll have the same problems.


Last edited by Lafleurs Guy: 05-27-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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05-27-2009, 05:04 PM
  #175
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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Sorry dude, you need to do your homework. The modern day draft didn't start until 1970.
Yes. I'm aware that the draft is a fairly recent addition though I didn't know the specific date. I was being facetious and pointing out that the conditions are changing. There wasn't a salary cap back in the eighties and most of the teams we see now we're built during the lockout. The models that were used to build teams before '04 may no longer be applicable in the same way, in much the same way that the introduction of the draft changed the way teams were built.

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What I'm saying is that superstars give you a huge advantage over teams that don't have them. If you don't have a superstar its going to be awfully hard for you to win.
Let me put my point another way. Your statement is missing an important qualifier: superstars give you a huge advantadge over other teams with everything else being equal. Otherwise teams like Tampa and Ottawa who have offensive superstar forwards (sometimes several) would dominate teams like Montreal and Boston that don't.

Montreal and Boston are built on the concept that you can beat teams with superstars if everything else isn't equal. It's a tack that's actually been fairly successful in the post-lockout world all things considered. With the salary cap, that approach may prove more successful with time especially if superstars keep getting massive contracts and second-tier players' pay is more closely related to their contribution.

A team like Montreal or Boston would be improved by adding an offensive superstar, of course, but there isn't a team in the league that wouldn't improve by replacing a player with a better player (unless there were major chemistry issues).

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Forwards can win you cups too, Gretzky, Mario, Forsberg and Sakic proved this in the past and Crosby and Malkin are proving it now.
Crosby and Malkin's team was not even a playoff team until Gonchar rejoined that team. "Defense wins championships" is also a cliche, but it's based in a good deal of truth.

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What do we have going forward that's better than any other team? We can't score like others do.
Sure we can. Two years ago the Habs were second in the league in offense, one measly goal out of first. Their no-superstar offense seems to have worked well enough then. This year Boston was second overall in goal-scoring. They had one player over PPG and nobody over 90 points.

Superstars can drive your scoring, but it's not the only way to drive offensive production.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Our D is okay and hopefully those guys will pan out.
Frankly I think the improvement has to happen there and I don't think it is so much a personnel problem. The guys we had in place this year ought to have been better than they were. Hamrlik and Komisarek both had off years and it hurt the offense and the entire system, but I wonder if the issue wasn't one of coaching rather than one of execution.

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Okay, do you think he'll make the Canadian Olympic team? Do you think he'll even be considered? Of course he won't. He's just not that good.
Canada has a lot of depth and there are a lot of elite players that aren't going to be on the Olympic team.

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Go to any other team board and float the idea that he's an elite player. You'll get ripped to shreds. He's a good player for sure but you and I have different ideas of what 'elite' means if you're putting him in that category.
How would you define an "elite" player then? And what definition could you have that makes Kovalev be closer to it than Tanguay?

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Like I said, Markov is among the best offensive defenseman in the game. But you're kidding yourself if you think that he's as good defensively as others are. He's average defensively at best.
Err, no, he's not. He can play effectively against the best players in the game and pulls the toughest minutes and comes out in the positive on a mediocre even-strength team. There's not enough D-men around the league who can do that to go around all teams. A guy who can play top-pairing minutes against the kind of forwards they throw out in the East and end up allowing as few goals against as he does is anything but average defensively.

Come on now. You're saying I'm going to get ripped to shreds because I call Tanguay elite and then you go and call Markov average. And that's "at best"?

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No they aren't. Almost every team out there has a better forward than Tanguay and many have more than one who's better. Heck, WE have a better forward than Tanguay.
No, we don't. We may have a forward who's nominally more talented, but we don't have anyone who's actually better on the ice.

Proof's in the pudding.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Like I said, float the idea that he's elite on another fan board and see the reaction you get. That will give you an idea of what people objectively think about him.
You mean, that will give me an idea of what people subjectively think about it.

For objective ideas I'll stick to facts and results. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Scoring's always been our problem. When the team goes south its usually because we go into some kind of major offensive slump. Those slumps would be easier to overcome if we had a superstar. We don't so we're vulnerable to them.
And what if the superstar goes into a slump?

This looks like magical thinking again. Superstars don't have magical qualities that fix a team's problems. They're just more productive and better players. Maybe generational talents on the level of Ovechkin can impact a team to that degree, but even there I have my doubts. They're important components on a team, not individual saviors.

Besides -- didn't the Habs' slump this year started when they started allowing too many goals against, rather when they stopped scoring? I mean, they finished 13th in scoring, which isn't where they wanted to be but isn't exactly embarassing, especially when their three most productive forwards ended up on the shelf for half the year.

I don't have the firm stats handy, but going from memory, their scoring was fairly consistent throughout the year but their defense took a drop in the charts down to near the basement. I also recall that they started the year strong so they'd have to drop pretty steeply to end up 21st in goals against. I'm pretty sure about this but I really hate not having the exact number. Does anyone have historical data on these stats for this season?

Scoring was clearly not an issue last year (the Habs were one goal out of first in scoring) and was not the main problem this year (I'd say that the 21st-ranked defense might be more of an issue than the 13th-ranked offense). It leads me to think that clamoring that an offensive superstar will fix what ails the Canadiens might be misidentifying the problem a bit...

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