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Posts posted by Wamsley01

  1. I don't see it as much of a gamble though. The worst case scenario just isn't that bad. So the Canadiens will have a bottom pairing d-man for 4.25M for a couple of years. The trade only looks risky if you stress about the cap implications two years from now.

    You know who stresses about the salary cap? LOSERS.

    You know who wins the Stanley Cup? Not losers.

    That is my motto from now on. Despite all the frenzy over every signing and trade re: players getting overpaid and handcuffing us, I challenge people to name a single player we really wanted to keep that we had to let go of because we couldn't afford him at his market value. There were some (Komisarek, Streit, Wisniewski) that we wanted to keep but that wanted more money than we (almost everyone here) thought they were worth. Some of those decisions might have even been mistakes. There was Halak, who we traded because it wasn't sensible to pay him that much to be our back up (and other reasons). But there was never a case of a core player that we just had to get rid of so that we could keep our other core players.

    It happened to other teams (Boston trading Kessel, Philly making all sorts of changes, maybe Buffalo and Ottawa) but only in extreme cases where teams carried several stars earning big money combined with albatross contracts, and their trades generally resulted in good returns consisting of high draft picks and blue chip prospects. By the time Montreal's up-and-coming stars get their market value, these contracts will be coming off the books or easier to move. There's just no sense in stressing over contracts when we have no idea what's going to happen over the next two years. Gauthier will make good trades, bad trades, big contracts will leave, big contracts will come, small contracts will leave, small contracts will go, the team will play well, they'll play poorly, individual players will play well, play poorly... The top teams think about the short term without making any obvious sacrifices to their long term plans (e.g. trading Pacioretty for Jagr).

    Besides... Kaberle is coming off a 47 point season. It's too early to say he'll never be the player he once was. He's not like Gomez or Theodore, for who it's been several seasons now. He was a top pairing D last season! And currently on a hot streak.

    BTH. A beacon in the darkness.

  2. Weber has indeed been hit and miss his whole NHL career. To some degree, this is normal for young players...but at some point, the player needs to step up and sieze his opportunities (c.f. O'Byrne, who appeared to lose confidence every time anything failed to go his way). Weber's never particularly given me the impression of a player who can be trusted to step up like that, his reluctance to unleash that shot convincingly and on a regular basis being symptomatic of this. But the absence of Markov, Campoli and Spacek could represent the best (last?) chance he will ever get to truly convince management and grab a regular spot by the throat. And he certainly delivered last night.

    For an example of a young guy who *does* thus far appear to have the moxy to seize his chance, look at Diaz. That's two games from him where he shows a willingness to take risks and make plays and move the puck like crazy, while battling - determinedly, albeit not always successfully - in his end. It'd be great to see him, Weber, and Emelin all forcing Spacek off the regular rotation.

    As for defensive lapses, what we need above all is a D-man who can alarm the opposition on the PP and move the puck. I'll take the occasional bobble in the defensive zone from a player who can deliver this. Both Diaz and Weber are our best bets in this regard at the moment.

    Weber just turned 23 years old. At 23 years old Mark Streit was struggling to stick in the minors. He played 58 games between the AHL/ECHL and IHL. He registered 21 points. Weber had 11 points in 41 NHL games as a 22 year old.

    I don't understand why this would be Weber's last chance in managements eyes, he is 9 months older than PK Subban, a superstar in everybody's eyes, a superstar who didn't make the league until last September.

    PK Subban played one season in Hamilton. He played 77 games and scored 53 points.

    Yanick Weber has averaged 49 points in his two AHL seasons.

    I am not suggesting that Weber is Subban, but he has been pretty damn productive at the OHL level and at the AHL level and is still very young.

    Mark Streit was a disaster in his first season defensively. He struggled to maintain a starting defensive role and was used as a forward for the majority of his time in Montreal. Mark Streit was 28 when he joined the Canadiens. After the Habs let him go, all I heard was what a mistake it was, how the Habs haven't adequately replaced him etc. yet Weber is down to his last chances 5 years younger than Streit with a better resume?

    Tomas Plekanec at 23 had two pro games under his belt. Everbody has high hopes for Desharnais' future growth, he is 25 years old. Diaz will be 26 in 3 months.

    It is inconsistent logic to afford some players opportunities for growth and cut off others at younger ages and stages of development. It is inconsistent based on pre-conceived notions or unrealistic expectations.

    Weber should be allowed growing pains like any other player regardless of whether the Habs are struggling because of injuries. He should be allowed to grow into a Streit level player and be treated with patience. Diaz is more polished because he is 3 years older, let's rejoin this conversation in 2014/15. Short term thinking can lead to long term mistakes.

  3. The last 40 minutes of that game reminded me of the Winter "Classic" against Calgary last year. The team looked totally, completely out of it. Not even interested in coming back, perhaps because they don't believe they can come back. The similarity may owe something to the seemingly brutal ice conditions. Still, they'd better find their intensity and fast before the city of Montreal turns on them.

    EDIT: dlbar, your observations are pertinent as always. Good call on DD. I'm not among the JM haters, but I agree that his usage of Cole has been decidedly odd - you'd think he'd want to give the veteran addition all sorts of opportunities to put his stamp on things instead of parcelling him out like a delicacy.

    This is the same team that in their last meaningful game overcame a 2-0 game seven deficit, then a 3-2 deficit with 2 minutes to go. How could they possibly be so mentally fragile that they don't believe in themselves after 20 regular season minutes?

    It is one game. Last season they lost the opener to the Leafs and played an inferior game.

    This team bounced back through everything all season last season, one loss and we are doubting again?

    You are going to give yourself an ulcer.

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  4. Our forwards have not gotten any smaller in the offseason and did not get 'easily pushed around' last season. Players such as Pleks, Cammy, Gio, Cole and Patches can all be expected to ramp up the intensity once they stop playing shinny. You're absolutely right about the back end, though. I really hope I'm wrong, but I've said consistently that we absolutely should not have let Hamrlik walk. I was even one of those few who said we should have at least made a meaningful effort to keep Wiz. People on this board instead argued that Yemelin and Diaz were the answers. I fear they may be on the wrong end of the argument - but like I say, I hope not.

    All of this nonsense will go away the second the Habs win a regular season game.

    This is the lineup that finished Game 7 against the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins.








    Here is the lineup that will likely start this season








    Add Eller, Markov, White, Diaz at some point during the season and you are telling me that is not a better team?

    When did a 37 year old Roman Hamrlik become a make or break player? How does a team that banged with the "rough and tough" Boston Bruins for 7 games all of sudden become less tough with the addition of two power forwards in Pacioretty and Cole? A physical defenseman in Yemelin and the return of the under appreciated Gorges. Kostitsyn/Desharnais/Eller/Darche now get matched up against 3rd line opponents nightly, not the top units.

    This team is better than the 2011 edition even with injuries.

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  5. I can't stop thinking of Campoli's gaffe in Game 7 that lost Chicago the series. Nevertheless, he's a good stop-gap until Markov is back, he's pretty cheap and will be useful when Spaceman needs a break.

    I don't know if you can judge a player based on one play especially considering some of the ridiculous brain cramps Beaulieu has made this pre-season. He is another puck moving defenseman in the fold and adds depth. I am not going to worry about the sky falling just yet.

  6. I realize that you cant judge a team by their preseason play, but they need to come into the season ready.

    Either you believe it, or you don't. This is a 50/50 statement.

    The Bruins were 1-3-1 in last years pre-season. They gave up 3 goals per game and averaged barely two per.

    They started the seaosn 6-2 and gave up 11 goals in 8 games, the same amount they gave up in the 5 game pre-season.

    AND, they won the Stanley Cup.

    The Vancouver Canucks had a 3-5 pre-season record and gave up 27 goals in 8 games. They won the presidents trophy

    and made it to game seven of the Stanley Cup final.

    The Leafs finished the pre-season in first place in the East through September 2010. In 2009 the leading goal scorer in the pre-season

    was Viktor Stalberg. In 2009 the Leafs beat Philly, Pittsburgh, Detroit twice.

    These games mean NOTHING. There is no proof that teams carry momentum from the pre-season into the regular season.

    Carey Price has played 120 minutes in 5 games. Subban has played two games. Markov has played none. Palushaj has played most of them.

    When they start to count, I will begin to get concerned.

  7. I'm trying to figure out what kind of trade value Turris has. I'm stumped. More than Eller, and if so, by how much? Weber plus Palsuhaj? Kostitsyn?

    It is a stumper, isn't it? If we'd traded Halak for Turris I don't think anyone, either Phoenix or Habs fans, would have fallen on the floor in shock at the iniquity of the deal. If we'd traded Halak PLUS [high pick, or decent prospect like Weber, etc.] for Turris, then I think Habs fans likely would have been indignant at the perceived rip-off. So maybe his value isn't, or shouldn't, be all that much higher than what Eller's value turned out actually to be.

    OK - but then what does that mean? There's no 'Halak' equivalent in play and MaxPac/Subban are presumably not touchable in this context. So we must be looking at a package...Weber +, as you say. The "+" might be a high pick (2nd rounder?) or a useful veteran the Habs don't expect to keep long-term (Kostitsyn, maybe even Gomez, if Phoenix is a cap-floor team; but once Gomez comes in you're probably looking at a multi-player deal on both sides). What I think, given the investment Phoenix has in Turris, is that any deal will involve something we don't want to give up. It won't be Desharnais + a 4th rounder, even if that represents 'fair value' in some objective sense.

    You guys are rocketing up his value in relation to Toronto's "evaluation' of what the return would be.

    Damien Cocks implied the Leafs could get him for Tyler Bozak. Meh. No way the Coyotes toss him away for that.

  8. No question the Habs' D has sufficient depth to paper over the absence of Markov for a short span. But I begin from the proposition that raw rookies cannot be relied upon for anything more than temporary relief; and I'm surprised to read as wise an observer as Wamsley telling me to put my faith in guys like Emelin and Diaz who may not even last one season in the NHL.

    What the team had with Hamrlik, and perhaps no longer has without him, is the accomplished, minutes-eating veteran defensive depth that would allow the team to succeed without Markov for a sustained period of time. I may be wrong about this, of course. But when you subtract a defencemen who played 20+ minutes per night for us over the past four seasons, and replace him with completely raw rookies while crossing your fingers on a guy who has been collossally injury-prone, that should be cause for concern. Even WITH Markov we are relying on a bottom-pairing of Spacek and Weber. Take him out of the picture and you're depending on guys who have only a vague idea what the NHL/North American game entails.

    I also don't understand the breezy attitude to throwing away picks year after year to paper over holes that, year after year, go unaddressed. The same people shrugging off the Habs' bizarre annual procilivity for wasting 2nd-rounders would be the first to tell you that, in a cap world, you need to stockpile picks. Instead we bleed them, over and over, to 'quick fix' our blueline when this should be done off-season.

    All this being said, I hope that I'm wrong. If Markov stays reasonably healthy then these anxieties may turn out to be moot. That's kinda my problem, though: if, if, if... Too many things go wrong every year for this fingers-crossing to be a reassuring team-building strategy.

    Hamrlik didn't paper Markov's absence last season. If Subban had not raised his game and Gauthier had not brought in Wiz then the Habs would have likely struggled like they did without Markov in Hammers first three seasons.

    The difference between you and I is that I trust Gauthier. As for getting upset about a 2nd rounder I could care less. I just watched Burke rebuild his minor league system while missing picks all over the place. At a certain point there will be no roster spot for Kristo or Leblanc etc and they can be dealt for picks, if they do force their way on the roster the guys who they will replace can be dealt for picks to make up for the precious second rounder they deal.

    I got caught in linear thinking like this with the cap only to watch teams do all types of moves to get under it. It is constantly evolving and players who you view as stiffs today could have a Pacioretty like rise over 50 games.

  9. Well, when Markov skates out onto NHL ice for his first game back, will you be prepared to admit "you've been wrong?" Nah. I'll bet you're more likely to say, if and when he gets hurt again in some way, shape or form, that you were right all along.

    You're overstating your case and therefore making it into mush. The question isn't whether he'll play again. All medical reports we've gotten say he can and will. He says he can and will. The Habs say he can and will. The question is, rather, whether he will be damaged goods when he does return: less than the horse he used to be, prone to endless injuries, etc..

    You claim to base your apocalyptic prediction on some psychic knowledge of his inner state. I didn't know The Amazing Kreskin was registered on this board.

    All this being said, my problem isn't that we resigned him, it's that we didn't retain enough proven veteran talent on D to protect ourselves should Markov's pattern of injury continue. But nobody except me seems to mind the prospect of endlessly pissing away 2nd-round picks in desperate midseason efforts to paper over holes on the blueline.

    Like I said before, you are making these proclamations without ever seeing Emelin or Diaz play. I am less than concerned with prospects right now because the Habs have solid depth to go with a strong young NHL core. Not only are Emelin, Weber and Diaz strong young D prospects, but the Habs have Beaulieu, Nygren and Mac Bennett in the system.

    Diaz and Emelin are both 25, so their adjustment is going to be mental, not physical.

    So if Gauthier's mild gamble on Markov being ready for the opener requires them spending a 2nd round pick, big deal. The way Timmins regularly plucks NHL talent after the 2nd round the Habs can survive without next years 2nd round pick if it bridges a gap to Markov.

    Either way, I am more interested who is healthy in April than October. If the Habs enter the playoffs with Markov, Subban, Gorges, Gill, Spacek and a seasoned Emelin with guys like Weber and Diaz ready to play the Streit/Dandenault role I am more than happy.

    I also don't understand the worry about him "never being the same", like the thing that made Markov different was physical. Markov's strength are positioning, passing and intelligence. He is not in the PK, Chelios mold where when you remove the knees their game is hampered significantly because one of his strengths is removed.

    One thing that jumped out at me was that Markov was very vague and dodged plenty of questions today, that doesn't bode well for him starting the season.

  10. Media. Check the Gazette, Barpu (or whatever his name is), Engels, etc.

    Basu has written three articles on Gorges over the last week. The post wasn't directed at this board, but the fact that people are discussing

    a 4-6th defenseman at all and why we needed to get him signed for more than one year.

    Who cares. This team played great without Gorges and Markov and took the Stanley Cup Champions to Game 7 OT.

    I understand the value of individuals, but there aren't many players who aren't replaceable and Gorges is a good player, great character, but totally replaceable.

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