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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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2 hours ago, Commandant said:

Without depth, the elite talent doesn't make a difference.

 

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)

5 years? Bit broad. Teams fade out of contention and turn it around almost over night these days. I answered thinking about two years. I’m sure most did. A top tier FA away on O. And a mid tier on D. Or vice-versa. 

Edited by dreegking
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7 hours ago, dreegking said:

5 years? Bit broad. Teams fade out of contention and turn it around almost over night these days. 

 

It may seem that way this playoff, but I don't think we should assume that this year is the norm. Usually you win a Cup after having been a high-end team for a while. This has been true of every Cup champ in recent memory, save perhaps the LA Kings of 2012 and the Anaheim Ducks of '07. So, yes; five years is a reasonable time-frame, especially given that the Price era will be winding down at that point.

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The Hawks had one playoff appearance prior to winning in 2010.  So I'd add them in as a team that wasn't a "high end team for a while" before winning the cup. 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Commandant said:

The Hawks had one playoff appearance prior to winning in 2010.  So I'd add them in as a team that wasn't a "high end team for a while" before winning the cup. 

 

 

 

Well, they did go to the Conference Finals the previous year. And the Hawks went on to be a top team for years thereafter; they didn't turn on a dime and then have a two-year window. But OK, OK. It happens. I'm just saying it's not the norm, not the default position, that's all. Usually you win the Cup as part of a wider story of being a heavy-duty team for more than a year or two.

 

I think Habs fans have developed a bad habit of thinking in terms of a miracle run rather than in terms of building a team that contends over a number of seasons. Part of this is the Patrick Roy myth - the myth that the 1993 and 1986 teams came out of nowhere and caught lightning in a bottle. '86 comes closest to the 'miracle' label, but in fact, the Habs were pretty much contenders on a year-in, year-out basis from about 1986 to 1994. What happened in 1993 was that everything fell into place for a team that was already a contender and had been, in various permutations, for some time. In other words, the '93 team was pretty close to the typical pattern that I'm talking about.

 

This 'miracle run' logic also tends to let management off the hook, because as long as such fans can look at the Habs and imagine a scenario whereby the miracle run happens, they tend to be reasonably happy. Once you start thinking in terms of a team that is a high-end contender over multiple seasons, the bar rises, and management tends to look a lot worse.

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Disclaimer...

Obviously you have to take a wait and see attitude with what im about to say.

 

If Cayden Primeau dominates the AHL, how is there a future for him in Montreal?  Suppose he play in Laval next year and looks like a star.  By 20/21 he could need nhl time as backup to continue his development.  By 21/22, the could be another goalie controversy.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  In the back of my mind I see him as a high end prospect, but goalies aren't worth anything in hockey for some reason.  

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38 minutes ago, BCHabnut said:

Disclaimer...

Obviously you have to take a wait and see attitude with what im about to say.

 

If Cayden Primeau dominates the AHL, how is there a future for him in Montreal?  Suppose he play in Laval next year and looks like a star.  By 20/21 he could need nhl time as backup to continue his development.  By 21/22, the could be another goalie controversy.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  In the back of my mind I see him as a high end prospect, but goalies aren't worth anything in hockey for some reason.  

 

If Primeau ends up being a really good goalie and requests a trade to be a starter, it is true that the Habs will likely not get his high end value back in a trade. 

 

But they will get more than the 7th round pick used to draft him, so that trade would still be a win.

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5 hours ago, BCHabnut said:

Disclaimer...

Obviously you have to take a wait and see attitude with what im about to say.

 

If Cayden Primeau dominates the AHL, how is there a future for him in Montreal?  Suppose he play in Laval next year and looks like a star.  By 20/21 he could need nhl time as backup to continue his development.  By 21/22, the could be another goalie controversy.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  In the back of my mind I see him as a high end prospect, but goalies aren't worth anything in hockey for some reason.  

 

Goalies don't develop as fast as skaters do in the AHL.  Even if he was to dominate the AHL next season (a very unlikely scenario in my opinion), they'd simply keep him down there for another year or two.  Goalies usually need two-to-three years at a minimum (most get four years of waiver exemption) so we're a long ways away from a goalie controversy.

 

They're probably going to limit his games played next season - he won't jump from the mid-30's to mid-50's, especially with McNiven still in the fold and the number of back-to-backs.  That in itself will give them a reason to have him for a second full year in Laval to up his games played and then in year three, they'll rationalize that 50+ AHL games is better than half of that or less in the NHL.  By then, Price is entering the back half of his contract which creates an opportunity for Primeau to ease into the NHL for a year or two.

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1 hour ago, dlbalr said:

By then, Price is entering the back half of his contract which creates an opportunity for Primeau to ease into the NHL for a year or two.

 

That would be 2022-23, Price would be 35 and in his fourth-last contract year. If (and it's a big if, given the unpredictability of goalie prospects) Primeau is as good as we hope, he might well be able to play 30-40 games as Price's workload is reduced. And he would surely see the opportunity to take over the #1 spot as Price's career winds down, so I think there is a good chance he would be happy to stay.

 

But there's a lot of speculation in that. First he needs to adjust to the AHL, and then we can see how well Primeau's and Price's career arcs can line up.

 

I do like that "CP" continuity, though! :D

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9 hours ago, BCHabnut said:

Disclaimer...

Obviously you have to take a wait and see attitude with what im about to say.

 

If Cayden Primeau dominates the AHL, how is there a future for him in Montreal?  Suppose he play in Laval next year and looks like a star.  By 20/21 he could need nhl time as backup to continue his development.  By 21/22, the could be another goalie controversy.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  In the back of my mind I see him as a high end prospect, but goalies aren't worth anything in hockey for some reason.  

 

Only 1 year in the AHL for a 20 year old goalie is very unusual.  Most top goalie prospects take 2-3 years in the AHL if they enter at age 20. 

Carey Price was one of the exceptions, but certainly not the normal course. 

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11 hours ago, Commandant said:

 

Only 1 year in the AHL for a 20 year old goalie is very unusual.  Most top goalie prospects take 2-3 years in the AHL if they enter at age 20. 

Carey Price was one of the exceptions, but certainly not the normal course. 

 

And don't forget that Price was (at least arguably) brought up too soon. After a promising start he almost crashed and burned in 2009 and 2010. The Habs were lucky that he managed to overcome that and to do so while remaining a Hab. 

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7 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

And don't forget that Price was (at least arguably) brought up too soon.

41 games 24-12-3 .920% as a NHL rookie, after winning AHL playoff MVP the spring before, after winning WHL & CHL goalie of year and after winning gold at world juniors.

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2 hours ago, DON said:

41 games 24-12-3 .920% as a NHL rookie, after winning AHL playoff MVP the spring before, after winning WHL & CHL goalie of year and after winning gold at world juniors.

 

Sure. I said he had a good start. But he really struggled for a year and a half and was almost driven out of town. Despite his stellar AHL work, more marinading would have probably avoided that very parlous period. 

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36 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Sure. I said he had a good start. But he really struggled for a year and a half and was almost driven out of town. Despite his stellar AHL work, more marinading would have probably avoided that very parlous period. 

 

People forget how bad Price looked after his rookie stardom. The Halak vs Price debate raged the summer prior to Jaro getting traded. Was it the centennial season that Gainey traded Huet and gave Price the entire weight of the team going into the playoffs?

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31 minutes ago, Trizzak said:

 

People forget how bad Price looked after his rookie stardom. The Halak vs Price debate raged the summer prior to Jaro getting traded. Was it the centennial season that Gainey traded Huet and gave Price the entire weight of the team going into the playoffs?

 

It was either that or '08. I remember thinking it was a bad move at the time. Not that Huet was some superstar, but Price needed to be (as Roy said) 'better supported.' If I remember right, they had him living in a bachelor pad in the Old Port as what, a 19 year old for Anahim Lake? They just threw him to the wolves. 

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