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IN THE HEARTS OF MEN

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Not sure how any of us doesn't wish Radulov was still on our team. He was hands down Dallas best player this season and a monster in the playoffs as well as ours 3 seasons ago... Losing those 2 players + sergachev and replacing with Alzner and drouin was a monumental setback. Radulov especially would be an absolute beast with us. Id like to see Drouin coasting with radulov on his line. Guy would bite his ear off...

The cost of not having him on the team was definitively the playoffs this year at least.

 

As for markov,  i do believe his time has past from 3 seasons ago when he again was arguably our best defender (ahead of Weber). I stand firm though that taking him on  as depth defenceman would not hurt us. Markov on our bottom pair or #7 is a no brainer. Allowing Brook, Fleury and Juulsen one more year for development and bringing them up on merit rather necessity would be ideal. ALZNER IN NO WAY is better then him even at 40. The same guys/ fans who called his demise since 2010 would eat crow in 2019. The problem would be CJ using Markov in a higher role, impeding the development of Mete or taking minutes away from a 24 year old kulak who showed alot of promise. That's what I would not like.

 

Again for me, it was Karlsson/ Panarin or nobody.

 

I would not doubt Poehling pushes Domi out to the wing but due to Domi's success there LY it could make it a hard choice. I dont doubt Poehling will pay instant dividends and Kotkaniemi will be much tougher to play against next year as well

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As I say, I accept the view that the Habs now have a good development system and quality prospects in place. The problem is that that is a long way from being a Cup contender, and, as we know from bitter experience, having well-regarded prospects does not in any way guarantee elite status. So when it comes to our young talent, my view is: I'll believe that they are the core of a future contender when I see it, not before. Meanwhile, MB's body of work to date does not provide any grounds for confidence that he knows how to take good raw materials and turn them into a Cup contender. He inherited a strong nucleus in 2013 and turned into a big pile of liquid, dribbling, noisome crap. So what I know is this:

 

1. the Habs have some fine young players/prospects (albeit none that seem to be top-tier all-star calibre, like an Elias Pettersson, say);

2. the Habs' two best players, the franchise pillars, are 32 and 34 respectively, and one of them has already arguably shown signs of decline;

3. the Habs GM has a track record of failure.

 

The optimism is understandable but excessive IMHO.

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6 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

As I say, I accept the view that the Habs now have a good development system and quality prospects in place. The problem is that that is a long way from being a Cup contender, and, as we know from bitter experience, having well-regarded prospects does not in any way guarantee elite status. So when it comes to our young talent, my view is: I'll believe that they are the core of a future contender when I see it, not before. Meanwhile, MB's body of work to date does not provide any grounds for confidence that he knows how to take good raw materials and turn them into a Cup contender. He inherited a strong nucleus in 2013 and turned into a big pile of liquid, dribbling, noisome crap. So what I know is this:

 

1. the Habs have some fine young players/prospects (albeit none that seem to be top-tier all-star calibre, like an Elias Pettersson, say);

2. the Habs' two best players, the franchise pillars, are 32 and 34 respectively, and one of them has already arguably shown signs of decline;

3. the Habs GM has a track record of failure.

 

The optimism is understandable but excessive IMHO.

Agreed.

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A few things I will say. 

 

1) GMs, coaches, players... they all develop with experience.  The fact that Bergevin made mistakes earlier in his career does not mean that he is destined to repeat those mistakes. 

 

2) Yes Price and Weber are in their 30s.  Chara is still a top 4 defenceman and an effective part of a team that was one win away from a Stanley Cup just this past year, in his 40s.  Goalies, especially elite ones, have always traditionally aged well.  If the rest of the team is young and grows into a contender, there is no reason those two can't still be core parts of that contender even if they are no longer the clear two best players (as hopefully Kotkaniemi takes the role of best player, and one of Romanov/Brook takes the role of #1 defenceman) 

 

3) based on the two way metrics with Kotkaniemi, he is at that top-tier all-star calibre of prospect.  It will just be more Patrice Bergeron/Anze Kopitar 75-80 point guy with Selke defence as well, then it will be Pettersson at 90-100 points.  Which one is more valuable is up for debate.  The defensive metrics at 18 were elite level, while he still showed he can contribute offence, doing all of this as the youngest player in the NHL. 

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9 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

1. the Habs have some fine young players/prospects (albeit none that seem to be top-tier all-star calibre, like an Elias Pettersson, say);

2. the Habs' two best players, the franchise pillars, are 32 and 34 respectively, and one of them has already arguably shown signs of decline;

3. the Habs GM has a track record of failure.

 

I agree with your first two points. But while Bergevin undeniably made mistakes early in his tenure, his last two-three years have been strong, so I would be loth to characterize him as a "failure".

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40 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

 

I agree with your first two points. But while Bergevin undeniably made mistakes early in his tenure, his last two-three years have been strong, so I would be loth to characterize him as a "failure".

 

Life would be boring if we agreed all the time. Agree with point one but I do hope/believe Kotkaniemi will be a top tier player.  Not worried about Price at 32, lots of examples (ie. Brodeur, Luongo) of top tier goalies who played at a high level late into their thirties. I get the criticism of Bergevin but I think he has been a far better GM the last couple years. He has taken a longer term approach by trying to develop from within. Chasing high priced free agents usually does not turn out well and Montreal doesn't seem to be a preferred choice anyway for whatever reason (taxes, language, media scrutiny) so developing your own seems to be a better choice.  

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2 hours ago, tomh009 said:

 

I agree with your first two points. But while Bergevin undeniably made mistakes early in his tenure, his last two-three years have been strong, so I would be loth to characterize him as a "failure".

 

His 2018 off-season was first-rate.

 

His 2017 off-season was a disaster.

 

So I'm not sure how we get "2-3 strong years" out of one good year.

 

2 hours ago, Commandant said:

A few things I will say. 

 

1) GMs, coaches, players... they all develop with experience.  The fact that Bergevin made mistakes earlier in his career does not mean that he is destined to repeat those mistakes. 

 

2) Yes Price and Weber are in their 30s.  Chara is still a top 4 defenceman and an effective part of a team that was one win away from a Stanley Cup just this past year, in his 40s.  Goalies, especially elite ones, have always traditionally aged well.  If the rest of the team is young and grows into a contender, there is no reason those two can't still be core parts of that contender even if they are no longer the clear two best players (as hopefully Kotkaniemi takes the role of best player, and one of Romanov/Brook takes the role of #1 defenceman) 

 

3) based on the two way metrics with Kotkaniemi, he is at that top-tier all-star calibre of prospect.  It will just be more Patrice Bergeron/Anze Kopitar 75-80 point guy with Selke defence as well, then it will be Pettersson at 90-100 points.  Which one is more valuable is up for debate.  The defensive metrics at 18 were elite level, while he still showed he can contribute offence, doing all of this as the youngest player in the NHL. 

 

Yes, it's possible Bergevin has learned from his mistakes and is now poised to have an excellent second act as GM. That'd be good. I always allow for the possibility of people learning and growing. But it's also a hope rooted in sheer faith. His body of work does not inspire grounds for optimism. His history suggests a GM who is excessively cautious, unable to make the big, bold move that elevates the team to the next level; and also one whose petty ego gets in the way of sound decision-making.

 

Chara is a freak. I have no doubt Weber will still be playing in 2-3 years; what I doubt is that he will still be a top-pairing defenceman. I agree that Price is likely to be a top goalie for a while yet, notwithstanding the lingering worry about his injury history.

 

Koko, maybe. You could be right. We'll see. I've had 25 years (!) of this kind of "wait until so-and-so comes up/develops/etc." and have yet to see the Habs become clear-cut top-end contenders. Hell, even when we did manage to develop really elite, stud players (Koivu, Price, Subban) we still could not assemble a single damned top-end contending club. Not even once.

 

Missouri is the "Show Me State." After eight years of being jerked around by the Bergevin mediocrity machine, and a quarter-century of being jerked around by the Habs hype machine, I'm the "Show Me Fan." It'll take more than one lively season in which the team missed the playoffs to make me pick up my pom-poms again.

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Excessively cautious?  Unwilling to make bold moves?  There are many things to criticize but a guy who traded subban for weber, traded pacioretty, gave the price contract, traded galchenyuk for domi, sergachev for drouin, etc... doesnt suggest a guy overly cautious and unwilling to make a bold move to me. Then there is the alzner deal, trying to pay lucic a lot, bringing radulov back from russia, the aho offersheet. Being bold isnt and has never been the issue.

 

Weber is also a freak.  Im not sure he'll be a number 1 dman, i agree there, but a top 4? I think he will.

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15 minutes ago, Commandant said:

Excessively cautious?  Unwilling to make bold moves?  There are many things to criticize but a guy who traded subban for weber, traded pacioretty, gave the price contract, traded galchenyuk for domi, sergachev for drouin, etc... doesnt suggest a guy overly cautious and unwilling to make a bold move to me. Then there is the alzner deal, trying to pay lucic a lot, bringing radulov back from russia, the aho offersheet. Being bold isnt and has never been the issue.

 

Weber is also a freak.  Im not sure he'll be a number 1 dman, i agree there, but a top 4? I think he will.

Agree here. MB has been the most active GM I believe over his tenure. Sure he’s never been able to land the big fish. (Not without trying) Can we honestly say he wuould be unable to land a n elite UFA if he was running Chicago or Tampa? He’s also been unwilling to get fleeced by a rival to get a guy he wants. Is that really a bad thing?  He’s also tried a lot of  low risk/High rewards UFA plays like the briere, semin etc. to try and strike Gold. But again that was usually after being unable to lure those big fishes. To say he had such a great core and was unable to do anything with it would essentially be the description of all 20 of 23 GM’s. Yes Price subban pacioretty and Markov was a highly competitive 4  players. But was it really? Compared to say the NYR team that knocked us out a couple rounds or the Tampa team? Or Crosby, Malkin, Letang and (fill in the blank). Although I do believe a badly timed injury to Price cost us a finals appearance in 2014.

 

At the end of the day MB’s criticism starts and ends with the PK Subban trade. I truly believe that. And I get it to. But MB is not a bad GM., not in the least.  Sure hes made mistakes drafting etc but every single GM has.

 

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MB has been an above average GM throughout his career. early on he was handcuffed by the trades of draft picks, but I believe that he thought he had a core good enough to copete for the cup and traded away more  draft picks to go for it. 

He failed, did a first reset getting Weber, Shaw and hitting a home run with Byron, failed to retain Radulov and Markov and was forced to do the current soft-reset instead of transitioning the draft picks into a new solid core.

I like how he has structured the contracts with lots of flexibility from now until the 2021 expansion draft.

I like how he is keeping to the plan in building through the draft, not trading away the future or handcuffing himself with another bad free agent signing like Alzner

 

I will reserve my judgement on his performance this summer, leading into the season  until the first week in October when teams will have to be under the cap. I think that by then the CH will have its top-4 LD and MB will have proven again that he is above average, but not infallible

 

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1 hour ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

At the end of the day MB’s criticism starts and ends with the PK Subban trade.

Wonder how much criticism he would get if Weber was dealt for two 2nd picks and depth players this summer?

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1 hour ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

Agree here. MB has been the most active GM I believe over his tenure. Sure he’s never been able to land the big fish. (Not without trying) Can we honestly say he wuould be unable to land an elite UFA if he was running Chicago or Tampa?

 

Right. Many UFAs are not keen on Montreal, whether because of taxes, media pressure, weather or the pervasive road construction. :)

 

But even if they were ... the reality is that the vast majority of big-name UFA signings end up being massive anchors a few years down the road. Yes, they might help you contend for the next couple of seasons, but payback is a b!tch, and they'll be sucking up cap space for a long time after that. It was my gut feel, and the recent analysis in the Athletic confirmed that this is really what happens.

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1 hour ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

Agree here. MB has been the most active GM I believe over his tenure. Sure he’s never been able to land the big fish. (Not without trying) Can we honestly say he wuould be unable to land a n elite UFA if he was running Chicago or Tampa? He’s also been unwilling to get fleeced by a rival to get a guy he wants. Is that really a bad thing?  He’s also tried a lot of  low risk/High rewards UFA plays like the briere, semin etc. to try and strike Gold. But again that was usually after being unable to lure those big fishes. To say he had such a great core and was unable to do anything with it would essentially be the description of all 20 of 23 GM’s. Yes Price subban pacioretty and Markov was a highly competitive 4  players. But was it really? Compared to say the NYR team that knocked us out a couple rounds or the Tampa team? Or Crosby, Malkin, Letang and (fill in the blank). Although I do believe a badly timed injury to Price cost us a finals appearance in 2014.

 

At the end of the day MB’s criticism starts and ends with the PK Subban trade. I truly believe that. And I get it to. But MB is not a bad GM., not in the least.  Sure hes made mistakes drafting etc but every single GM has.

 

The alzner  deal was a disaster 5 seconds after it was signed. Don't forget the Drouin trade.  MB has more bad moves than good, and has been unable to improve the team in the time he has been there. 

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I knew the comment about MB's timidity would invite derision. And it's true that it wasn't refined enough. Yet there does seem to be a weird risk-aversion in MB; it mostly has to do with money. Thus, he insisted on giving Subban a bridge deal, presumably because he felt Subban was a "risky" player. The result was that Subban had him by the balls three years later and squeezed a $9 million deal out of him. That could have been avoided easily had he not been so timid about committing to Subban in the first place. He also caused the team to crater in 2018 by timidly failing to re-sign Radulov and Markov. Those contracts were too "risky." And he failed to acquire a top-6 C when that was all the team really needed to elevate to the level of top-tier contender; and he is currently replicating this mistake (on a lesser scale) with LD. He held on to idiot Therrien long past his best-before date. He has done nothing to improve the team this year because "the price is too high." And so forth. These all seem to be related to a tendency toward caution.

 

As for his bold moves, Subban for Weber was really a "safe" move for an old-school guy like Bergevin. Weber is a reassuring type whereas Subban was busy pushing envelopes. Too scary. Sergachev-for-Drouin was a bad hockey trade and risky in on-ice terms, but it wasn't actually risky, because with Drouin being a francophone, fan support was guaranteed. Meanwhile, trading Patches was a no-brainer. Any GM would have done that. This doesn't mean it wasn't a great trade; it was. But that wouldn't be my example of bold risk-taking. Galy for Domi was a lateral move on paper, even if it worked out brilliantly. 

 

As for the claim that MB is an "above average" GM, this is religious belief rather than rational analysis. How can an "above average GM" have such a mediocre record after eight years? Ridiculous. He had one above-average offseason (summer 2018) and fans are trying to leverage that into overblown claims about how great he is. Even Reggie Houle made a good move now and then. Doesn't follow that he was "above average."

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3 hours ago, DON said:

Wonder how much criticism he would get if Weber was dealt for two 2nd picks and depth players this summer?

... to get the cap space to sign the top UFA centreman?

 

At least try to give the full story, Don.

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49 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

(...) he is currently replicating this mistake (on a lesser scale) with LD.

 

Which elite LD UFA should he have signed this summer? Gardiner is really the only option and everyone else is gun-shy about signing him, too.

 

A trade? Maybe yes (Gostisbehere, please ...), maybe no, but the summer is not over yet.

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We can argue what caused what, but as far as  can see the results constitute the pudding. Therefore to-date I give MB a failing grade. CC is right.

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17 minutes ago, BlueKross said:

We can argue what caused what, but as far as  can see the results constitute the pudding. Therefore to-date I give MB a failing grade. CC is right.

 

I have three downvotes on this page alone already, because I don't agree to consider Bergevin a failure. I expect I'll get at least one more for this post.

 

But to extend your proverb, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the new season has not started yet. So I am not yet willing to condemn Bergevin's performance for this summer.

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59 minutes ago, Trizzak said:

... to get the cap space to sign the top UFA centreman?

 

At least try to give the full story, Don.

Yup, when you are seen as overrated, overpaid,  not a core piece that can be simply dealt to clear cap room so can resign Josi and sign Duchene, that says it all doesn't it. 

I wonder what Habs would get if offered Weber up in trade?

 

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37 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

 

I have three downvotes on this page alone already, because I don't agree to consider Bergevin a failure. I expect I'll get at least one more for this post.

 

But to extend your proverb, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the new season has not started yet. So I am not yet willing to condemn Bergevin's performance for this summer.

I tend to think MB had some failed years, but my gut feeling is that he has learned and turned a page. He’s a pretty young GM and had to learn from those mistakes. 

 

Since resetting I feel he could be pretty good moving forward. Also if it makes you feel any better I disagree with people downvoting you if it’s simply over a difference of opinion. I definitely didn’t see anything worth a downvote myself, which I usually reserve for unwarranted snarkiness hahaha

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1 hour ago, DON said:

Yup, when you are seen as overrated, overpaid,  not a core piece that can be simply dealt to clear cap room so can resign Josi and sign Duchene, that says it all doesn't it. 

 

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1 hour ago, Meller93 said:

I tend to think MB had some failed years, but my gut feeling is that he has learned and turned a page. He’s a pretty young GM and had to learn from those mistakes. 

 

Since resetting I feel he could be pretty good moving forward. Also if it makes you feel any better I disagree with people downvoting you if it’s simply over a difference of opinion. I definitely didn’t see anything worth a downvote myself, which I usually reserve for unwarranted snarkiness hahaha

Im not a fan of disagreement downvotes either. I typically reserve them for transgressions like being overly sarcastic and such.

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2 hours ago, tomh009 said:

 

I have three downvotes on this page alone already, because I don't agree to consider Bergevin a failure. I expect I'll get at least one more for this post.

 

But to extend your proverb, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the new season has not started yet. So I am not yet willing to condemn Bergevin's performance for this summer.

 

Personally, I ignore downvotes. ;) It's a way for people to say "I disagree with this post." So what?

 

In terms of your metaphor, the issue is: what IS the "pudding" in question? Is it next year alone? So if the Habs make the playoffs and maybe win a round, MB is officially a good GM? Or, is the "pudding" eight years of mediocrity? I take the latter view. If I've been on a job for eight years and the overall results have been weak, it's fair to say I'm not very good at my job.

 

As for the theory that MB has learned from his mistakes and now embarking upon a much more impressive Second Act, yes. That is possible. But like I said before, it's rooted mostly in faith. The track record is mediocre. I'll need more actual evidence (and relatedly, actual success) before I shift my thinking on MB.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

As for the theory that MB has learned from his mistakes and now embarking upon a much more impressive Second Act, yes. That is possible. But like I said before, it's rooted mostly in faith. The track record is mediocre. I'll need more actual evidence (and relatedly, actual success) before I shift my thinking on MB.

 

For me, this is the pudding I'd like to check out.

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6 hours ago, tomh009 said:

 

For me, this is the pudding I'd like to check out.

Is that you Bill Cosby?:o

 

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