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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Everything posted by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

  1. Definitely a solid performance by Hughes. His French is imperfect and idiosyncratic at times, a classic case of a guy who learned his French on the fly and in the streets, but he’s both comfortable and more than fluet (which is more than ّI can say these days, anyway). Being a West Island Anglo myself originally, I LOVE the fact that West Island Anglos are now called upon to save the Habs.✊ I like the vision of a fast, creative, possession team. Wisely, though, he didn’t promise this - merely laid it out as his ideal scenario. He brings the calm demeanour of Serge Savard, the analytical temperament of Pierre Gauthier, and the bald head of Pierre Macguire - all in one sleek package. Put him between the requisite goofy-looking hockey guys in Gorton and Molson, you’ve got a promising braintrust.
  2. The Clydesdales experiment was a complete aberration in today’s league. I mean - it worked, being the backbone (with Price) of a Cup Finalist. It also yielded diminishing returns as the playoffs ground on, and we gradually suffered more and more from the lack of an offensive push from the back end. It is also a model designed for the playoffs, but not necessarily a model that gets you into the playoffs during a regular 82-game season. Pretty sure that Gorton will proceed like a normal modern GM and try to get a balance of puck-movers and stay-at-home guys on the back end.
  3. How is the French media taking this decision, anyway? It's a nice test of whether the requirement (in their minds) is that the GM be French-speaking, OR that he actually be a quebecois de souche - which is an even dumber requirement than the language one.
  4. Not surprised at all. Gorton is tight with Hughes; this was always the likeliest outcome. I saw Mike Gillis, former agent, do excellent work in Van until the aftermath of the 2011 run got him off track, so I have no problem at all with an agent as GM. And we should remember that Gorton is probably the de facto GM anyway. Once the shortlist was announced, I saw it was not going to be the non-traditional choice (e.g., a Euro GM, or a woman) I’d vaguely been pulling for, so any disappointment in that was settled a few days ago for me. So, good news. I’m just happy the decision is made and now actual hockey decisions can actually start getting made.
  5. Putting it another way, I doubt any of the names on that list will become “all stars,” other than Caufield (fingers crossed) and possibly Suzuki. The Habs’ prospect pool seems to be a bunch of Grade B and B-minus players, i.e., guys who will make the NHL but not light it up, particularly.
  6. A point in his favour for sure. Something about Briere rubs me the wrong way, but that’s just a gut feeling, not a considered assessment, obviously.
  7. No prospect expert I, but I seriously doubt that any of those guys project to be elite.
  8. I didn’t see the play in question, but yeah, the idea that you automatically have to drop the mitts after laying out a guy with a clean check is dumb.
  9. Having referees’ calls subject to review arguably makes “fixing” less likely. If you’re trying to rig an outcome and there’s no review, all you need to do is to get to the ref, whereas now there are multiple parties involved. Besides, NHL rule-calling (on the ice and supplemental discipline) has always had massive biases. It has always been based, for example, on personal preferences regarding players; some players are “good guys” who “play the right way” and follow “The Code” and therefore get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to calls and supplemental discipline: Weber, Chara. Other players are “punks” and “weasels” and “uppity” who therefore get the shaft: Alex Burrows, please step forward, or Subban and Gally early in their careers. (And Patches, who was a bit of a hotshot when he first started scoring, “deserved” to be nearly crippled for life by Good Guy Chara). This isn’t even a secret. A while ago, ref Ron MacLean hosted an intermission segment on whether Connor McDavid was being fairly treated by the refs. And his main point was to show a clip of McDavid talking nice and friendly to the ref between plays, explaining that “this is how you do it, Connor.” In other words, kiss the refs’ asses and you get calls. Challenge them or be uppity and it’s open season for your opponents to do interfere and carve you into mincemeat. The normalization of favouritism and bias - basic injustice, in other words - seems to apply to teams as well. Some teams get a reputation as being “dirty” for stickwork, or “mouthy” to the refs, or otherwise being in heinous violation of The Code. E.g., the Canucks in the 2011 Finals, as opposed to those Good Old Boys, the Boston Bruins. I have little doubt that an owner who gets on the wrong side of the ownership old boys’ club will find review and supplemental discipline decisions starting to fall on the side of their opponents. This is the NHL way: nepotism, bias, and ass-kissing.
  10. Petry has been an absolute catastrophe this season. This is very frustrating, because if he were even 3/4 or 2/3 of the guy he’s normally been, he could probably command a king’s random at the deadline. But his decline has been so massive and disastrous that I fear no team will be giving up major assets in order to take back 3 more years of at 6.5 mil per, for an offensive defenceman who is currently on a pace to core 6 points over 82 games. 🤮 Typical Habs luck that he couldn’t just slowly decline but had to go right off a cliff in a ‘tank year.’
  11. I remember earlier this season, there was general agreement that we would never catch Arizona for worst overall. 🙄 I mean, good for the tank, but as a Habs fan I cannot possibly take satisfaction in this disgrace. Similarly, letting Marchand score 3? Kill me now.
  12. Come on, man…it’s gotta be “Pitlicks Lick Pitts” 😇
  13. 😆 There is no way that Chiarot is a $0.8. That seems like a pretty egregious result.
  14. Always happy to add a man named "Pitlick" to the organization. This will be the best chance he ever has to establish himself as an NHLer, that's for sure.
  15. True, but once he was sent down, he should have stayed down.
  16. The top two lines look OK...after that it's quite the dog's breakfast I dunno, I have a weird feeling the Habs are going to start getting some wins. The rest, completely redefined ultra-low expectations meaning players have nothing to lose, other teams knowing we utterly blow chunks and consequently not being particularly engaged when playing us - to my mind, it's the kind of recipe that can see a team get some Ws in spite of itself.
  17. Romanov seems to be one of those guys who just brims with passion and enthusiasm for the game. 👍
  18. I doubt there is anyone out there who would disagree that CC should have been left in Laval to develop properly. Yes, he would have been called up as injuries decimated the roster, but there’s a big difference between positioning a young player as an AHL learner who gets call-up stints as part of his development process, and positioning him as an NHLer who gets sent down as a last resort. It could still work out just fine. Ray Ferraro has spoken about how he was brought up by Hartford and did nothing for, like, 40 games…and then suddenly started putting it all together. So he was able to be thrown in while under-cooked and come out the other side as a fully-realized offensive producer. Some guys comes through this unscathed. And then there’s the Galys of the world.
  19. Yeah, yesterday I proposed that that could be the real measure of a bad contract - whether you can trade the player without having to provide additional inducements. If you can, then arguably it’s market value, not truly a bad contract. I think that definition has some good mileage to it.
  20. The 2021 team was full value, but at root it was the triumphant last hurrah of an aging core (Price, Weber, Petry - and I’d include Gally on that list, if he had not stunk out then joint by his standard for most of the playoffs).
  21. The Byron contract was folly. If we’re tallying up contract misses, we should also include the Weber deal - a cataclysmically bad contract which we were very lucky to get out from under, via the horrible expediency of Weber’s injuries. Yet MB seemed just happy as a clam to add that disastrous contract to the mix. That was in order to get out from another bad contract he maneuvered himself into by stupidly hard balling Subban on the bridge deal. One thing about Bergevin is that he seems not to have taken the problem of player aging very seriously. Guys like Gallagher and Byron, he seems to have felt would be awesome into their mid-30s. Weber would be Jim Dandy until age 42, in Bergevin World. Petry would last forever. So would Pleks, for whose inevitable aging out he made no provision of any kind. I know very few teams have such pipelines. That’s why, as a general rule, I’m understanding of why the Habs signed guys like Gally and Price to those deals. You need to have the surplus of elite talent that TB has to be prepared to play hardball with your best players. The Habs’ talent pipeline was a disaster throughout Bergevin’s reign and still has zero elite talent in it other than Caufield. Colour me unimpressed.
  22. You can take the Yzerman approach when you have stellar prospects coming up or other elite players on the roster. The Lightning had shown they could have huge success even when Stamkos was injured. They had a top-5 offensive player in Kucherov. The Habs were in a position where Price was the franchise. They had no choice but to pay up. Zero. Gallagher they could at least have traded away without destroying all hope of being competitive within the foreseeable future. I think 90% of teams would have signed him to the deal we did, however. In an ideal world, we would have a great talent pipeline such that we can allow guys like Gally - who are admirable, but not franchise players - to be dealt away when they get too expensive. But as we know, under Bergevin the talent pipeline was a complete farce, so that really was not an option. If you take that approach in the absence of an elite talent pipeline or a surfeit of talent on your roster, all you are doing is dooming yourself to never, ever having any chance to win.
  23. Price: you don't get superstars for "less money or less term." We were always destined to sign him to a colossal, ultra long-term deal with a NMC. No point in saying "well, the Lundquist deal was a mistake, so you're not getting that, buddy." That was a more than reasonable comparable from the player's perspective. No reason on earth why Price should have settled for less than he got. Same with Gally. This was a deal that he would have received as a UFA. It's another case where there was simply no reason for the player to settle for anything less. What you're really decrying is that these players didn't take a "hometown discount." That's right, they didn't. No reason at all why they should have done. On the others, I think you have a stronger case - although how much stronger varies by player.
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