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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

POLL: How do you feel about the future?

Optimism, pessimism, or skepticism: rate the Habs' future!  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. 2018-19 is over. Thinking about a five-year window, what's your feeling about where the Habs are headed?

    • They will win the Cup within five years. Book it.
      1
    • They are firmly on the path becoming top-tier contenders
      19
    • They will evolve into a competitive playoff team with an outside chance of winning if everything goes just right (much like they were from 2007-2015)
      17
    • They'll likely be a bubble team going forward
      1
    • They'll regress next season with no clear path to success beyond that
      2
    • Other (explain!)
      0


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39 minutes ago, xXx..CK..xXx said:

Choosing that the Habs will evolve into a competitive team is the safe, as well as somewhat pessimistic choice, but the Habs should certainly have a contending team within these 5 years. How many years it lasts is another question as it is extremely difficult in the modern NHL. There is still an architect that needs to put us over the top, and our off seasons generally seem to be our weakness. 

 

I'd love to be more optimistic, however there are teams that didn't exist the last time the Habs won the Cup that have either won the Cup, or been to the finals. I've been down the unicorn and rainbow path of optimism with this team before.

 

Your last statement is what I believe causes all of the concern amongst most Habs fans. Offseasons can not be our weakness if we hope to improve. It'd be nice if the UFA market for the Habs wasn't signing reclamation projects that end up getting released before November every year.

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4 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

What is the path, though? Developing young players - ? That's fine, I agree. But if your young players are, as a whole, not strikingly better than other organizations', then there is no particular reason to think you're 'firmly on the path to becoming contenders.' Our most elite talents are still, as far as I can see, an aging Weber and the admirable but not-eternal Carey Price, and there seems to be no reason  to believe that anyone in the system stands to have a career on the level of either of those guys. A crop of good-not-great players likely translates into a good-not-great team. For this reason, I believe that the realistic choice on this poll is 'competitive playoff team with an outside chance.'

 

There were only a limited number of options on the poll, and I do believe this is the right path: develop young talent, and only wade into the UFA pool once your young players are ready. Maybe that's not "firmly" but I believe the path is correct, that's why it was the best option to me.

 

On this topic, this is the closing of Arpon Basu's article on cap space in this morning's The Athletic:

 

Quote

You know why the Canadiens were the Canadiens in the 1970s? Because they made shrewd trades for good draft picks, they drafted well, they developed those good draft picks and then, in some cases, traded them while their value was still high to get more good players instead of waiting one year too long.

 

Basically, those Canadiens were the Canadiens because they were smart.

 

So maybe it is actually time for these Canadiens to act like they are the Canadiens once again, but not in terms of flexing their financial muscle. They should strive to match their greatness of the past in terms of being smart.

 

They have already paved that path. They just need to stay the course.

 

Committing  $10M/y to a long-term UFA contract will give us headaches once the young guys get past the entry-level contracts. In general, I think it's better not to sign a stupid-large UFA contract. Unless maybe Karlsson ...

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3 hours ago, huzer said:

Explicitly counting on the development of prospects to elevate the team into elite status does not seem wise.

 

In the salary cap era NHL, spending your way to the Stanley Cup really doesn't work. Even in baseball, the Yankees have a hard time doing it. And if the Habs had spent $15M/y for two elite UFAs last summer, we still would not be a Stanley Cup contender (although we surely would be in the playoffs).

 

Development of prospects, judicious trading -- and, at the right time, when the young talent has gained some maturity, some key UFA additions -- seems wise to me. But it will require patience ...

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53 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

 

In the salary cap era NHL, spending your way to the Stanley Cup really doesn't work. Even in baseball, the Yankees have a hard time doing it. And if the Habs had spent $15M/y for two elite UFAs last summer, we still would not be a Stanley Cup contender (although we surely would be in the playoffs).

 

Development of prospects, judicious trading -- and, at the right time, when the young talent has gained some maturity, some key UFA additions -- seems wise to me. But it will require patience ...

 

I’m not talking about building your team via UFA as the Rangers used to try and do. I’m talking about supplementing your roster vis trade/UFA. Even TB roster is about half homegrown/half acquired. Last years UFA crop wasn’t the greatest after Tavares. There were a few goalies that were out there, but the Habs were pretty content after Niemi was competent as a backup. I’m not concerned that last year the Habs didn’t sign anyone. This year, as of right now, there are a few bigger fish out there than there were last year.

 

My initial points are still valid, being do we trust this regime to develop players (in year 7, take a look at the 12-15 draft years, those picks for the most part, haven’t panned out), do we trust them to make competent trades (year 7, seems to be ok), and do we trust them with UFAs (meh). Contracts seems to be a weak point (Plex extension, Alzner, Desharnais extension). Personnel (held on to Therrien/Lefebvre way too long) also doesn’t seem like a strength either, maybe last summer will tilt that more towards the positive, but it took 6 years.

 

I’m hopeful that the 17/18 drafts turn out better with a new development team in place. After a few years of general failure, I’m not ready to completely say the Habs have righted the ship. They’ve missed in 3 of the last 4 years. The AHL team has missed 7 of 8 years. 

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Yes ... the "right" UFA would be OK. Is that UFA available this year, with a reasonable contract, and willing to come to Montreal? That remains to be seen. If we can't get the right UFA, then I think it's better to leave cap space -- and maybe try to get another deal like the Armia/Mason one. Or wait another year, as our prospects mature (by 2020-2021, we should hopefully have not only Kotkaniemi but also Poehling, Suzuki and Romanov in the line-up).

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41 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

Yes ... the "right" UFA would be OK. I

https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2020/caphit/all/defense/ufa/desc/1/left

 

Here are LH UFA d-men...not good when Benn/Gardiner are couple of best available...so an established top 4 LH d-man, which is easily the biggest need, simply aint coming via free agency.

An established LH d-man or quality d-prospect is gonna cost and wont be cheap or painless. Poehling may be a good trading chip after U-20 MVP and huge debut?

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2 hours ago, DON said:

https://www.capfriendly.com/browse/free-agents/2020/caphit/all/defense/ufa/desc/1/left

 

Here are LH UFA d-men...not good when Benn/Gardiner are couple of best available...so an established top 4 LH d-man, which is easily the biggest need, simply aint coming via free agency.

An established LH d-man or quality d-prospect is gonna cost and wont be cheap or painless. Poehling may be a good trading chip after U-20 MVP and huge debut?

 

 

Seeing the leafs with gardiner and without him.  I absolutely would give him 7mill a year.  He is way better than the toronto media says. Its larry murphy all over again.

 

That said given his media experience i could see him wanting a southern us market instead of montreal.

 

There isnt much at ufa after him though.  Maybe edler but the term would have to be short 

 

Of course there is karlsson.  I dont care that hes right handed.  Dmen lose about 5% effectiveness on their wrong side (and most of that is defensively not offensively)

 

Ill take a top pair of 95% of karlsson beside Weber.

 

Then Mete and Petry

 

Kulak and Juulsen

 

Resign Folin as the #7

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1 hour ago, Commandant said:

Seeing the leafs with gardiner and without him.  I absolutely would give him 7mill a year.  He is way better than the toronto media says. Its larry murphy all over again.

(...)

Of course there is karlsson.  I dont care that hes right handed.  Dmen lose about 5% effectiveness on their wrong side (and most of that is defensively not offensively)

 

$7M for Gardiner, or $9M for Karlsson? And we would probably need to sign for 5+ years, right?

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1 hour ago, tomh009 said:

$7M for Gardiner, or $9M for Karlsson? And we would probably need to sign for 5+ years, right?

 

 

For Gardiner, it'll probably be 5 or 6 years.  Karlsson will easily be in the double digits for 7 years.

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3 hours ago, Commandant said:

 

 

Seeing the leafs with gardiner and without him.  I absolutely would give him 7mill a year.  He is way better than the toronto media says. Its larry murphy all over again.

 

 

I hope you are referencing the Toronto media and not their credentials when comparing hall of famer Larry Murphy and pretty good defenseman Jake Gardiner 

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2 hours ago, illWill said:

 

I hope you are referencing the Toronto media and not their credentials when comparing hall of famer Larry Murphy and pretty good defenseman Jake Gardiner 


I'm referencing the Toronto media running Larry Murphy out of town as a player who couldn't play defence in the NHL, and then watching him win 2 cups as a top 4 defenceman and key contributor to the Detroit Red Wings.  They have spent the season running Gardiner down for his defensive game and while he's not perfect and does make mistakes, overall he does far more to create offence for the Leafs and to help them defensively, then the mistakes he makes.
 

That said... Jake Gardiner right now, at age 28... and Larry Murphy at age 36 when the Toronto Media ran him out of town are probably pretty comparable.  While Murphy had something to still give Detroit even at 36 (and would play til age 40), he was on the downslope, while Gardiner is in his prime. 

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6 hours ago, tomh009 said:

 

$7M for Gardiner, or $9M for Karlsson? And we would probably need to sign for 5+ years, right?

Given  Karlsson’s injury history I would prefer Gardiner. Weakening TO’s already suspect defense would be a bonus 

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Posted (edited)

Let's not overthink this. Karlsson is a beast. Sign him. He will make the entire team better. The other UFAs I'd be fine with, but can ultimately take or leave. He is a franchise defenceman - a classic case of a UFA that only a fool talks himself out of signing.

 

As for the wider theme, I'd be more confident that 'we are firmly on the path' if I hadn't been here before, more than once.  Bob Gainey rebuilt the right way, by drafting and developing. He had a raft of young talent come along, and unlike the current crop, he actually had a truly elite franchise prospect in Price. And we still came nowhere close to the Cup. Then, after he blew all that up and papered over the mess with UFA signings and trades, we had a second young wave involving guys like Patches, Galy, Gally  and - once again - a truly elite young stud in Subban. That 'wave' got much closer but still fell short, thanks in part to MB having no idea what he was doing.

 

This is not even to mention the late Savard and Houle eras, when another wave of young talent (Koivu, Conroy, Tucker, Bure, etc.) was what everyone was excited about. What a bad joke those hopes were.

 

I just feel that I've seen this movie too often to buy in unequivocally this time. Boston and TB have a MUCH better history of drafting and development. Buffalo and TO have MUCH higher-end young talent. And that's just off the top of my head. Absent any particular reason to think the Habs will be better than their rivals in the foreseeable future, the most *realistic* outcome is #3 on this poll.

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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43 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

Let's not overthink this. Karlsson is a beast. Sign him. He will make the entire team better. The other UFAs I'd be fine with, but can ultimately take or leave. He is a franchise defenceman - a classic case of a UFA that only a fool talks himself out of signing.

 

As for the wider theme, I'd be more confident that 'we are firmly on the path' if I hadn't been here before, more than once.  Bob Gainey rebuilt the right way, by drafting and developing. He had a raft of young talent come along, and unlike the current crop, he actually had a truly elite franchise prospect in Price. And we still came nowhere close to the Cup. Then, after he blew all that up and papered over the mess with UFA signings and trades, we had a second young wave involving guys like Patches, Galy, Gally  and - once again - a truly elite young stud in Subban. That 'wave' got much closer but still fell short, thanks in part to MB having no idea what he was doing.

 

This is not even to mention the late Savard and Houle eras, when another wave of young talent (Koivu, Conroy, Tucker, Bure, etc.) was what everyone was excited about. What a bad joke those hopes were.

 

I just feel that I've seen this movie too often to buy in unequivocally this time. Boston and TB have a MUCH better history of drafting and development. Buffalo and TO have MUCH higher-end young talent. And that's just off the top of my head. Absent any particular reason to think the Habs will be better than their rivals in the foreseeable future, the most *realistic* outcome is #3 on this poll.

 

 

 

 

You seem to be on point, again I might add. Yeah, if you can get Karlsson, by all means. It is clear that this team needs more talent-- top end talent

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1 hour ago, BlueKross said:

You seem to be on point, again I might add. Yeah, if you can get Karlsson, by all means. It is clear that this team needs more talent-- top end talent

You got an extra $11m/yr? The Habs dont.

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36 minutes ago, DON said:

You got an extra $11m/yr? The Habs dont.

Sure they do

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35 minutes ago, DON said:

You got an extra $11m/yr? The Habs dont.

 

Of course they do. https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2018/12/8/18131444/montreal-canadiens-2019-20-salary-cap-hits-visualization-contract-situation-83-million-rfa-ufa-price

 

Sure, Karlsson may force some roster choices. Big f**king deal. He makes the team better. The end.

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4 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Of course they do. https://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2018/12/8/18131444/montreal-canadiens-2019-20-salary-cap-hits-visualization-contract-situation-83-million-rfa-ufa-price

 

Sure, Karlsson may force some roster choices. Big f**king deal. He makes the team better. The end.

Well, wouldnt want to shell out $11m for declining offensive guy with all of 3goals he scored this year...would you?

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41 minutes ago, DON said:

Well, wouldnt want to shell out $11m for declining offensive guy with all of 3goals he scored this year...would you?

 

On a "down" year, he's on pace for 70 point pro-rated over 82 games. I think we could use that, don't you? :rolleyes:

 

Don't give me this "3 goal" garbage as if playmaking doesn't count.

 

That said, I would definitely be scouting him heavily to make sure that his skills are undiminished before ponying up the big dough. Due diligence.

 

I don't know much about Karlsson's preferences, but Montreal might be attractive for him given his longstanding connection to Ottawa.

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

On a "down" year, he's on pace for 70 point pro-rated over 82 games. I think we could use that, don't you? :rolleyes:

 

Don't give me this "3 goal" garbage as if playmaking doesn't count.

 

That said, I would definitely be scouting him heavily to make sure that his skills are undiminished before ponying up the big dough. Due diligence.

 

I don't know much about Karlsson's preferences, but Montreal might be attractive for him given his longstanding connection to Ottawa.

On pace for goal total of Benn...yippee. Your looking at Gomez 2.0 contract for 7 years at least (as per oracle dlbalr). Best years behind him, injuries catching up, simply cant skate through a whole team anymore.

He is an all-star and worth good money, but not what he will end up getting from SJ.

 

Pts the last 4 years; 82-71-62-45, I see a trend, don't you. Sorry, I just wouldn't break the bank for him and think best years behind him.

 

Why are you so angry? It isn't like he would sign here or Bergevin will go after him.

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If the extra cap we have been lumbering around for a couple years ends up being dumped on Karlsson, and we end up with a top pair of Karlsson and Weber, it would be well worth the wait, I would be grinning ear to ear for months, quite literally.

 

It would be like injecting steroids into this sorry excuse for a PP, it would take our speedy transition game to another level, it would be like adding a top 6 forward and a top 4 D in one fell swoop. Imo it is very unlikely, but if by some chance it were to manifest itself as reality, it would be nothing less than a home run, timid and cautionary actions  be damned, you don't get a shot at an Erik Karlsson every summer. There are very few, if any, who see and play the game the way he does, no single acquisition within our grasp could bolster our D and help our forwards the way he could. 

 

So forgive me if my stance is, if we have a chance in hell, you swing for the fences and try to get it done. Forget over thinking this, hesitating over his health, pondering his longevity, how he will do on his offside. There are some players that come around, you just have to throw caution to the wind and aggressively pursue, he is one of those players for many reasons. Our needs, going forward, to upgrade this roster align with what he brings to a roster, the pros and cons to this kind of signing would be like the stack of papers i signed when I bought my house vs the bill I got at Red Lobster the other night. I don't get the apprehension from anyone about going hard after Karlsson with our cap space, there could literally be no simpler, or worthwhile reason to use it in such a manner.

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13 hours ago, Link67 said:

If the extra cap we have been lumbering around for a couple years ends up being dumped on Karlsson, and we end up with a top pair of Karlsson and Weber, it would be well worth the wait, I would be grinning ear to ear for months, quite literally.

 

It would be like injecting steroids into this sorry excuse for a PP, it would take our speedy transition game to another level, it would be like adding a top 6 forward and a top 4 D in one fell swoop. Imo it is very unlikely, but if by some chance it were to manifest itself as reality, it would be nothing less than a home run, timid and cautionary actions  be damned, you don't get a shot at an Erik Karlsson every summer. There are very few, if any, who see and play the game the way he does, no single acquisition within our grasp could bolster our D and help our forwards the way he could. 

 

So forgive me if my stance is, if we have a chance in hell, you swing for the fences and try to get it done. Forget over thinking this, hesitating over his health, pondering his longevity, how he will do on his offside. There are some players that come around, you just have to throw caution to the wind and aggressively pursue, he is one of those players for many reasons. Our needs, going forward, to upgrade this roster align with what he brings to a roster, the pros and cons to this kind of signing would be like the stack of papers i signed when I bought my house vs the bill I got at Red Lobster the other night. I don't get the apprehension from anyone about going hard after Karlsson with our cap space, there could literally be no simpler, or worthwhile reason to use it in such a manner.

Well said!

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In Petry we are getting what Karlson would provide in his current "damaged goods" status.

 

There are better options for that cap space

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Well, have any of us carefully watched Karlsson? Or are just looking at numbers, i.e., mostly a dip in goal totals! One of the things with him is that he's gone through two very tumultuous seasons. Ottawa was a circus and he was in the centre ring, and then he's gone to a new club with all the adjustments that entails (including adapting to another alpha d-man in Burns, and a new conference). So his imputed 'decline' may be partly informed by this turmoil. 

 

The other point is that even with his decline in goal-scoring he is a 28-year-old 65-70 point defenceman. A 32-year old Petry is a 45 point defenceman. There is no comparison between the two assets.

 

Injuries are trickier to gauge. He had groin issues this season; what does that mean long term? Maybe nothing. Groin pulls often linger for a season. But that doesn't mean they will compromise a career. I dunno, I'm not a medical doctor.

 

I get the cap concerns, but people must really have faith in our talent pipeline to turn their noses up at a 70-point defenceman who will be 29 in September. The argument seems to be that we don't need elite talent to win a Cup. And remember that Weber will be 34 and has shown troubling signs of decline himself. Petry is great but he is going to be 33. After them the D is spare parts. This organization needs work on the back end and here people are pooh-poohing Karlsson. Seems weird to me.

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I would like to see Karlsson, but $11M is a big hit on our cap space, 7-8 years is a long time and the injuries are a significant risk. Gardiner might be a better choice to pursue.

 

And we don't even know whether Karlsson would want to come to Montreal ...

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