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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Posts posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. Any proposal which expects to get back a top-6 FW or top-4 D-man for an aggregation of bottom-6/bottom-pairing pieces is simply not realistic. Unless the other GM is named Milbury or Houle, spare parts don't bring back core players, no matter how many spare parts you throw onto the pile.

  2. 5 minutes ago, tomh009 said:


    A competent (or even a semi-competent) NHL GM will surely not sign players just because they are available. I would expect the GM/AGM team to work continuously with the coach(ing team) in order to assess needs and fit, even if the GM will make the final decisions on UFA signings, trades and drafting.


    You'd think. And that's what's giving me a lingering concern about this...I don't see over-investing in RW as a wise play in a cap system. But if Toffoli can play up to his established standards while being used at LW then this is a terrific signing.


    So, best case? Toffoli plays LW, is effective, all is well. 


    Worst case, the Habs have a revolving door of unhappy RW being experimented with on the left side, even as the fans start chewing tinfoil over Drouin's inconsistency.


    This is the same GM who acquired Drouin to be a #1C, so there is ground for doubt as to whether his reading of positional fit is all that impeccable. 


  3. On 10/17/2020 at 8:03 AM, tomh009 said:


    There is much, MUCH excitement in Pori about seeing Kotkaniemi return, even if only for a few months.






    That'll be great for the kid's confidence. Nice 👍

    On 10/17/2020 at 5:15 AM, PMAC said:

    Actually, I would have liked Thornton on the Canadiens at that price, but I’m still holding out hope for a veteran center of less reputation that can still skater. 


    Agree. The Habs will be acquiring a veteran C sooner or later. It just depends on whether they will do so before, or after, the need for one has become glaringly apparent on the ice.


    On 10/17/2020 at 5:57 AM, DON said:

    The oldest forward currently is Byron at 31 and with longer term deals they are handing out, dont know if they would want to add him or a Kovalchuk?

    Not a centre, but would you like to see Kovalchuk back at $700,000?


    Given uncertainty about whether Toffoli can play LW, that might not be a terrible idea. A C is a higher priority in my book  though.

  4. 13 minutes ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:


    What roster hole were you thinking of specifically and who was available to address it keeping in mind cap limitations. 


    General weakness down the left side.


    I don't know which UFA would fit, but signing guys just because is not the way to go. 

  5. 29 minutes ago, dlbalr said:


    July 23rd is the start of the Olympics so the finish date to the playoffs needs to be the 22nd (assuming the Olympics are held).  The draft and free agency could always be delayed into August when the Olympics end.


    Boy, this raises awkward questions, such as: what is the shortest acceptable NHL season? Given how long the playoffs are, we can't possibly be looking at a very long season given those constraints. (The other option is to shorten the playoffs, either via fewer teams or shorter series, but I doubt they'll countenance that).

  6. I don't have the link, unfortunately, but I remember reading an analysis which showed that Domi at C is much more effective/productive than Domi at W. Of course, that may have been written after his 72-point outlier season. In fact, apart from that one season, he has not been exceptionally productive, period: a 50-point guy with defensive holes.

  7. Yeah, well...if we hired Toffoli to play RW then the move doesn't make a ton of sense. Basically this team with Toffoli at RW is like a Cup champ all the way down the right side of the lineup (including D) and a last-overall team down the left side (including D). We might be icing the most structurally lopsided roster in the league. And if I'm an opposition coach, I tell my guys 'play the whole game on the left side of the ice.'


    I'm a bit concerned that MB got a good deal from his buddy Brisson and just went for it, rather than strategically addressing a roster hole. We'll see what Julien makes of this.

  8. The problem with Drouin is just that you can't count on him to deliver at any given time.


    Assuming Toffoli can play LW, and all goes well, then I think we will all gradually become less frustrated with Drouin, because he will no longer really a core player. Rather, he will be what he should be, i.e., a supplementary piece who can pitch in when the stars and planets all align just right and his precious self feels good.


    The trade was terrible.

  9. 2 minutes ago, hab29RETIRED said:

    100% agree.  How many GM’s get 8 years to figure out how to do the job, when the team was progressively getting worse?


    Well, the good news is that - after years of ignoring problems, or conspicuously failing to address them even as he busily "solves" non-problems, he has FINALLY stepped up with a high-impact off-season that clearly leaves the team significantly improved. Better late than never.

  10. 35 minutes ago, Commandant said:


    You say that as if it is only reflective of the Habs and not the change in the NHL in general. 

    Cause we have the blackhawks win 3 cups in the last decade and people are calling that a dynasty and now they are rebuilding and should be shit next year. 


    No team is able to put up a player with 6, 7, 8 cups in his career any more.




    Very true. However, the Habs have been overwhelmingly mediocre for almost three decades. We had a legitimate contender for maybe two of the years since 1996. That's what has driven me crazy...I have no expectation of multiple Cups, but I do have an expectation that the team builds a bona-fide, high-end contender that has a real shot over a number of years. The Houle rebuild was a catastrophe of historic proportions. The Gainey rebuild was merely a failure. So that's 15 years of haplessness right there. The second Gainey rebuild gave us a Cinderella run in 2010 and resulted in the only team that could be considered the Real Thing, the 2014/15 group. That's well short of a "sustained run" of excellence. Other franchises can do it, there is no excuse for the Habs being semi-garbage for a quarter-century.

  11. 2 minutes ago, xXx..CK..xXx said:

    Great Deal. 

    I don’t mean to sound harsh, but to those who are saying the deal is too long, well jeez, looks like we’re not allowed to have Habs lifers around  here anymore. 

    Gallagher can retire a Hab for all I care.


    It's not that so much as the concern that his body will break down long before the deal expires, given how he plays.


    But I'm not really complaining. Gally is not a superstar or anything, but he is a special player - universally admired and hated by opponents at the same time, and practically the Platonic Form of what you want in a player: reliably productive, always drives the net, always screens, always fearless, always aggravating, always the hardest-working man in show business. I remember when he first came up, being unable to believe how satisying his game was. None of this Drouin 'how is his state of mind tonight?' bullcrap. He is one of the most admirable players the Habs have had over, oh, the past three decades or so.

    • Upvote 1

  12. Danault is absolutely indispensable, because without him our C position would revert to being disastrous. Bad enough that we have only one experienced C; subtracting him would give us exactly zero.


    Gallagher would leave a huge void, so the return on him would have to be considerable. Interestingly, sports radio in Van is aflame with Gallagher speculation...so obviously some folks, at least, think it's conceivable that he moves.

  13. 17 hours ago, Link67 said:


    I agree with your point, and it is true, but you do also underline my concern, the ugly questions that need to be asked, because that scenario means someone is almost certainly going to be, performing below their inflated salary. Whether by a dip in their play resulting in a demotion that then doesn't provide them the opportunity for redemption, or by default by not having the opportunity to make good on their cap hit due to a bottom 6 role.


    This signing ticks some positive boxes, another hard nosed player with a 200 foot game, a winger capable of 20 goals, and obviously forward depth. However I have learned to be weary of the cautionary tales from around the league when teams start plugging 3.5 million+ dollar guys on their bottom lines. From Hanzal in Dallas, and Sutter in Vancouver to Bonino in Nashville. These guys who carve themselves a path doing certain things in certain roles, don't just keep doing said things in lesser roles. Everyone of those cautionary tales, and the ones in between, became an issue either because they were unable to perform the same, in a lesser role than they had previous, which is natural, or their cap hit becomes too much for a roster to bear from a bottom 6 position.


    I'm torn by what I do, and don't want to see happen at the same time, and that is this...


    Drouin has a bangin' year a long side Suzuki and Anderson, Tatar has a usual, productive year a long side Danault and Gally, Toffoli has a dozen goals and 35 point season on an effective, but 3rd line none the less, with KK and Lehkonen/Armia. Now he can't make good on his cap hit, he can't be the 20 goal guy that everyone expected when we signed him, and the BS starts, and we all know the BS i'm talking about. This also pushes a guy like Armia into a potential 4th line position, he is an established 3rd line player for us with upside, who can ferry up to the top 6 when it is required, he is also in a no win, can't succeed position, at that point. It's fine and dandy to rally for forward depth, but at what cost when you start having large chunks of Salary cap percentages sitting in your bottom 6, and half those players are in frustrating positions where they are expected/want to perform to a certain standard, and don't have the opportunity to do so.






    The difference between us appears to be that you expect Drouin to be an impact player.


    As for me, I agree that that could conceivably happen, but I think a realistic assessment of Drouin has to be that he is what he is at this point: an erratic, unreliable #6 FW who goes through streaks where he looks like a top-3 FW. A smart organization, faced with this reality, will not waste time "hoping he lives up to his cap hit." Rather it will do what the Habs did an sign an anti-Drouin: a reliable, tough-nosed, 200-foot top-6 FW to give the coach someone who can be counted on in that slot. So I am not in the least bit bothered by the thought that Toffoli makes Drouin redundant. Frankly, if we could ship out Drouin tomorrow to address other needs, I'd do it in a split second. I've had my fill of the Galchenyuks and Kostitsyns and Drouins of the world.

    • Upvote 2

  14. 27 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

    I do think we'd want Toffoli, Anderson, Gallagher and Armia all on the top three lines. And that likely means Toffoli playing on the left wing.


    This continues to be my question with Toffoli. If he can play LW, it's huge for this team. If he can't, then we continue to have an unbalanced roster with a weak left side. God forbid the well-paid "experts" could shed any light on this crucial question.

  15. 8 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

    The one downside of choosing to sign Toffoli (instead of one of the other remaining UFA forwards) is that he's strictly a winger, so we did not get any additional experience at C. Centre will be down to Danault and the kids (Suzuki, Kotkaniemi and Evans). And hope for no injuries!


    Yep. The inexperience and lack of depth at C will bite us in the balls sooner or later. MB will need to make a further move to correct that, eventually.


    7 minutes ago, Habs Fan in Edmonton said:

    When you think about it, 4.25 million\year  for a guy who has averaged goals in the mid twenties, plays a 2 way game and we get him before his prime years expire (28-31), he will just be turning 32 when his contract expires and he has been pretty durable. It looks like a pretty good deal to me. 


    This seems to be a prototypical case of a mid-range UFA getting less than he would have made on the open market pre-Covid. I find nothing at all to complain about in this signing. My only concern is positional.


    Shocking that Van traded assets to acquire Toffoli at the deadline and then was not prepared to sign him to a deal along these lines. More tomfoolery in what is shaping up to be a disastrous off-season for Canuckleheads' GM Jim Benning.

  16. 6 minutes ago, Chris said:

    Its hard to be equally effective moving from one wing  the other  or LD / RD'


    It does make a big difference on in 3 zones 


    100%. It's very hard on D. Probably not so hard for FW, but still, I would appreciate it if any poster can shed any insight on Toffoli's merits as a LW specifically.


    5 minutes ago, Link67 said:

    Not a HUGE fan of this move, just from a roster position It is kind of awkward now to figure out where he can get an opportunity to be a 20 goal guy with wingers like Drouin/Tatar and Anderson/Gallagher in his way. He is going to have a hard time justifying his cap hit with production from a 3rd line position, which at this moment is where he looks like he slots in our depth chart.


    We'll see what other roster moves will take place to give a better idea of how this all fits come Jan. 1st, but on a healthy line up, he is going to be playing a long side Armia and whichever center is in the 3rd slot between Danault and KK. While that could prove useful, to have such a formidable top 9, it could also come with its issues having inflated cap hits on your 3rd line.


    I don't hate it, but i'm not thrilled about it.


    This frees us up not to rely on Drouin to be effective or productive. Since Drouin is a perpetual basket case, that is a major improvement to the structure of this team's roster.


    Worst-case scenario (barring injury), this creates a healthy competition for ice at LW. An area of weakness is now an area of strength.


  17. The interesting thing about this is that, with the Habs now out of cap room, it is clear that MB intends to roll the dice of three grossly inexperienced C. I still think that will turn into this group's Achilles' Heel, sooner or later. Certainly you're not going to make a deep run with only one seasoned C on your roster.


    Of course, nothing prevents a further deal being made down the line, nor a deadline pickup of the Uncle Nate variety. But as it stands right now, while I really like the team, that C issue is a concern.


    Nice to have a team that it's possible to be excited about...first time since Price went down in 2016.

  18. I love this signing - and I predicted all along that MB would try to bag Toffoli, LOL - based on how Toffoli stepped into Van's lineup and made an impact. He is a strong second-line W, physical, excellent two-way, can score. Good signing, reasonable ticket and term.


    My concern is positional. I thought Toffoli was a RW? I don't want guys playing out of position. Nor do I want guys who are hypothetically "multi-position" players who turn out to be way better at one of those positions.


    Anyway, assuming away the position problem, this really solidifies the new model Habs: we now have Anderson, Armia, Toffoli, Kotkaniemi, and Gallagher playing in-your-face hockey in our top nine. Add to that Weber, Chiarot, and Edmunson on the back end and we have legit size capable of playing quality minutes throughout the lineup. These are big guys who can play. This team has the potential to be a playoff nightmare. If they make the playoffs. And frankly, I think they now have the depth to do it.



  19. 26 minutes ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

    If I played in Edmonton NJ and Arizona in my 10 year career.... its a no brainer I would sign with Buffalo next when given a chance to choose my own destination. Why mess with success 


    A funny but sharp observation...this guy's career has been wasted on garbage organizations. 


    It will be interesting to see where his priorities lie if he is still highly sought-after when the league returns to normal (in, say, 2-3 years).


    The advantage of the Habs signing him might have lain in a Jeff Petry scenario - you acquire a guy who has spent his career with Mickey Mouse franchises, shock him with Montreal's gold-plated first-class operation and induce him to sign on longer-term because he can't believe how awesome it is to be riding in a Mercedes of an organization instead of a Corolla. Anyhow, moot point now.

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