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Habs Offseason Moves


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The fun thing about Gill is precisely that his skills are SO limited, yet he manages to do a number of useful things through sheer wing-span and bulk. He's sort of this gargantuan galoot on the blueline. That tickles me. His leadership is also uncontestable.

Having said that, no question that he's something of a specialist that needs to be used correctly. And it's true that we should be grooming OB to replace him (his contract's up next year, right?). Enjoy Gill for what he is, then look to the future.

It is funny how people punish individuals for what they are not.

Gill was crucified in Toronto because they gave him too much money and tried to make him a top 4 defenseman.

To this day every Leaf fan mocks him. After about 10 games with the Habs I wondered why they hated him so much

(well, not really. Scapegoating goes hand in hand with a guy who looks awkward and is prone to major brainfarts).

I am on board with everything about Gill. As long as he is not miscast he is a valuable player, and if he is miscast it's

not his fault.

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It is funny how people punish individuals for what they are not.

Gill was crucified in Toronto because they gave him too much money and tried to make him a top 4 defenseman.

To this day every Leaf fan mocks him. After about 10 games with the Habs I wondered why they hated him so much

(well, not really. Scapegoating goes hand in hand with a guy who looks awkward and is prone to major brainfarts).

I am on board with everything about Gill. As long as he is not miscast he is a valuable player, and if he is miscast it's

not his fault.

Not that I don't like the guy. It's more that I'm a bit dissapointed that we cannot notch better than Gill, a guy who could do the same with more mobility and especially more physical play. I must admit that there's not much vets with his cap hit though...

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Not that I don't like the guy. It's more that I'm a bit dissapointed that we cannot notch better than Gill, a guy who could do the same with more mobility and especially more physical play. I must admit that there's not much vets with his cap hit though...

I felt the same thing about Breezer when he came back. As a top 4 pair he was a disaster, but as a 6 I was happy with him.

If you look over the rosters of every team in the NHL there is likely a guy in the bottom pairing who has the tendency to

have brain farts and make stupid mistakes. At least ours is a dominant penalty killer.

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Having said that, no question that he's something of a specialist that needs to be used correctly. And it's true that we should be grooming OB to replace him (his contract's up next year, right?). Enjoy Gill for what he is, then look to the future.

OB is past the grooming stage... he's 26. it's really all up to him to sieze an opportunity now.

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If Jm gives Ob the chances MAB had last season, I expect a good season from OB, but who knows, JM just doesn't like him... maybe OB stole Martins purse or something. :)

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OB is past the grooming stage... he's 26. it's really all up to him to sieze an opportunity now.

Defencemen, especially huge defencemen, take a good while to develop. The goal for OB this season is to do what he looked to be on the verge of doing last season before his injury, i.e., becoming a guaranteed regular and establishing himself as a solid bottom-pairing D-man who can reliably rub guys out. I agree that he absolutely cannot afford any regression, but he'll still have ups and downs and patience would still be my watchword with a guy with his size. We could really use a properly-developed Ryan O'Byrne back there if you ask me, and I'd hope that the fans will not get all 'now or never!!' on his ass (but they will, unless their hatred of Price distracts them for a while).

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My bet is Picard gets chances ahead of O'Byrne, because it's Markov that is out of the lineup and they'll need a guy for the PP. Picard will be this year's MAB.

I fear that you're right, but with PK, Hamr and Spacek the PP units should be fine without putting Picard in that role.

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Defencemen, especially huge defencemen, take a good while to develop. The goal for OB this season is to do what he looked to be on the verge of doing last season before his injury, i.e., becoming a guaranteed regular and establishing himself as a solid bottom-pairing D-man who can reliably rub guys out. I agree that he absolutely cannot afford any regression, but he'll still have ups and downs and patience would still be my watchword with a guy with his size. We could really use a properly-developed Ryan O'Byrne back there if you ask me, and I'd hope that the fans will not get all 'now or never!!' on his ass (but they will, unless their hatred of Price distracts them for a while).

If he's still not 'developed' at the end of a season in which he's making $1.4m, how can you possibly continue to justify 'patience'?

If we're comparing him to Hal Gill, Gill had 5 years of NHL experience and was a top 4 d-man at O'Byrne's age. He played 24:13 a night in 2001-02 for the Boston Bruins, who finished 1st in the Eastern Conference that year. Granted, it was a different era with more 'liberal' defending, but even back then Gill was considered slow.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/gillha01.html

Let's compare O'Byrne to Craig Rivet. Rivet made the NHL full time at age 23 (more or less, I think he had injuries back then that lowered his GP total). At age 24, he only averaged 14:20 a game. At age 25, he jumped to 19 minutes, a figure he'd hover around for most of his career as a 4/5 d-man. He jumped from 19 minutes a night to over 20 at age 27. I suppose based on this, we can assume some level of growth still from O'Byrne, but I guess you have to figure out just what exactly that kind of player is worth.

Quite frankly, the only d-man comparable I can immediately think of that peaked well beyond age 26 was Franky Bouillon, who had the aid of a coach who really believed in him (Julien) and the change in rules of the lockout. And I think we can safely say that Bouillon and O'Byrne are quite different. :)

Maybe a Matt Walker type?

I really don't think there are that many examples out there of d-men with O'Byrne's career arc to date that somehow became more than what they were at 25/26. This IS a make or break year for Ryan. If nothing else, his contract necessitates that. $1.4m for a 27 year old based on untapped potential? No thanks.

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If he's still not 'developed' at the end of a season in which he's making $1.4m, how can you possibly continue to justify 'patience'?

If we're comparing him to Hal Gill, Gill had 5 years of NHL experience and was a top 4 d-man at O'Byrne's age. He played 24:13 a night in 2001-02 for the Boston Bruins, who finished 1st in the Eastern Conference that year. Granted, it was a different era with more 'liberal' defending, but even back then Gill was considered slow.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/g/gillha01.html

Let's compare O'Byrne to Craig Rivet. Rivet made the NHL full time at age 23 (more or less, I think he had injuries back then that lowered his GP total). At age 24, he only averaged 14:20 a game. At age 25, he jumped to 19 minutes, a figure he'd hover around for most of his career as a 4/5 d-man. He jumped from 19 minutes a night to over 20 at age 27. I suppose based on this, we can assume some level of growth still from O'Byrne, but I guess you have to figure out just what exactly that kind of player is worth.

Quite frankly, the only d-man comparable I can immediately think of that peaked well beyond age 26 was Franky Bouillon, who had the aid of a coach who really believed in him (Julien) and the change in rules of the lockout. And I think we can safely say that Bouillon and O'Byrne are quite different. :)

Maybe a Matt Walker type?

I really don't think there are that many examples out there of d-men with O'Byrne's career arc to date that somehow became more than what they were at 25/26. This IS a make or break year for Ryan. If nothing else, his contract necessitates that. $1.4m for a 27 year old based on untapped potential? No thanks.

You make a good case. In fact I think we're actually saying the same thing, just with a different tone. We agree that OB needs to step up and establish himself - I'm just leery of the fanbase being unduly intolerant of the inevitable ups and downs on his part. Remember, he's been one of the designated fan whipping boys in the past, which (incidentally) I seriously doubt has helped his development. We do need to see an overall narrative of progress on his part this season, without getting too worked up if he struggles in game X or Y or even for stretches of the season. Unfortunately his salary, his non-francophone ethnicity and his 'lost season' two years ago practically guarantee that he will be singled out for systematic public humiliation the minute he does begin to struggle. And that's too bad. The most likely scenario, I'd speculate, is an up-and-down season followed by his departure from the Habs and likely solidification as a serviceable #5-6 defenceman in some more tolerant city...to be followed by attacks on Habs' management for 'letting this punishing physical defenceman get away.' :rolleyes:

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber
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Defencemen, especially huge defencemen, take a good while to develop. The goal for OB this season is to do what he looked to be on the verge of doing last season before his injury, i.e., becoming a guaranteed regular and establishing himself as a solid bottom-pairing D-man who can reliably rub guys out. I agree that he absolutely cannot afford any regression, but he'll still have ups and downs and patience would still be my watchword with a guy with his size. We could really use a properly-developed Ryan O'Byrne back there if you ask me, and I'd hope that the fans will not get all 'now or never!!' on his ass (but they will, unless their hatred of Price distracts them for a while).

>>and I'd hope that the fans will not get all 'now or never!!' on his ass (but they will, unless their hatred of Price distracts them for a while).<<

HAHAHAHA!! Soo true. And I really liked Walmsley's comment about hating players for what they are not. Poor Brisebois, a great Canadien; I liked the guy immensely. Great courage to put up with the boobirds. Gill was a 'monster' for us and won my skeptical respect a hundred times over.

Guys I had no time for included Ribeiro and Ryder and Samsonov. Ryder was just incompetent, one of the worst hockey players I've seen on the team who set us back a lot.

But my job is to be a good and dedicated supporter of the team and encourager of players and coaches, so we can all be the best we can be.

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You make a good case. In fact I think we're actually saying the same thing, just with a different tone. We agree that OB needs to step up and establish himself - I'm just leery of the fanbase being unduly intolerant of the inevitable ups and downs on his part. Remember, he's been one of the designated fan whipping boys in the past, which (incidentally) I seriously doubt has helped his development. We do need to see an overall narrative of progress on his part this season, without getting too worked up if he struggles in game X or Y or even for stretches of the season. Unfortunately his salary, his non-francophone ethnicity and his 'lost season' two years ago practically guarantee that he will be singled out for systematic public humiliation the minute he does begin to struggle. And that's too bad. The most likely scenario, I'd speculate, is an up-and-down season followed by his departure from the Habs and likely solidification as a serviceable #5-6 defenceman in some more tolerant city...to be followed by attacks on Habs' management for 'letting this punishing physical defenceman get away.' :rolleyes:

HAHAAHAHAHA! You are such a treat. HAHAHAHA!! Have we ever had a post defining what a fan is , what a fan should be? We're pretty good at ripping management and players from within our information -rich seats of privelege (also rolls eyes) , but how good are we at ripping into ourselves when 'we' are part of the problem.

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I fear that you're right, but with PK, Hamr and Spacek the PP units should be fine without putting Picard in that role.

having only Pk subban as a right shot dman worries me... OB hopefully will have some positive feedback from the team and fanbase and will get back to his expected progression trend-line (my fear is that this young man is slightly below par between the ears) but that's just me.

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