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Leblanc: Should he stay or should he go (now)?


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Couple questions for you guys to discuss in anticipation of writing an article on the subject that may feature some of your answers:

1) Do you believe Habs decision to cut Leblanc was warranted? Why or why not?

2) Would you trade Leblanc if you were the Habs, or remain patient with his development? Why?

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I think Leblanc was going to start in Hamilton anyways, coming off a poor season. Maybe they just never considered him as having a chance to start with the big club, so they sent him down early so that he'll know where he stands (and avoid any media speculation).

I wouldn't trade him yet, because I anticipate a bounce-back from him. He has a good head and work-ethic, and maybe he'll adjust to a defensive role. As it is, he's not worth much anyways.

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I don't think he should have been cut in the first round of cuts, but I don't think it matters much either. He would have been cut in the second round of cuts and gone to Hamilton no matter what.

I think the organization is challenging him here, sending a message that he really needs to impress in Hamilton.

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By Leblanc's most recent poor season vs his seemingly direct competition Thomas's good AHL season and limited roster spots, the cut was warranted and maybe is also to serve as potential motivation.

The Habs do not have any glaring holes in the roster, cept top 4 defense depth, so I would wait and see how Louis does in Hamilton this year.

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1. I don't think the cut was warranted, he got one game, played decent with Stone Hands Moen, and White, then was sent packing. He drew a penalty on Lucic, and did well overall. I think this is to send a message to him, i'm not sure why, which brings me to the second question...

2. I would trade Louis Leblanc in a heartbeat. The expectations of him are not realistic. If his name was Larry Lyons, he would already be labeled a bust, and be barely thought of, except in passing, like David Fisher or Kyle Chipchura. He reminds me of Jordan Caron on the Bruins, high expectations, but it's not there. If he were in a good draft, he might have been picked in the late second round. His development has been screwed up, from going to college then junior, then pro, then Hamilton, etc. Get rid of him while you can get a 2nd round pick, or use him as a throw in in a deal.

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Personally, I have no problem with LL's main squeeze articulating what he had probably told her himself. Fer chrissakes, this isn't the Soviet Union under Stalin; I hate this "cone of silence/party line" B.S.. The kid was cut in fairly brutal fashion - if he (and his loved ones) are not pissed off, then something's wrong with them.

If this demotion sends a message, it's this: that you were a first-round pick cuts absolutely no ice with us, and doesn't even win you the courtesy of surviving the first round of cuts just for the sake of form. Was this a message he needed to hear? Perhaps...if he showed up out of shape or something.

Given that he suffered a grave injury last year and that the path of player development is often bumpy, I don't see the need to be in a rush to move Leblanc. My hope is that we're becoming an organization committed to getting the best out of its young talent even if their progression goes through disappointing or erratic stretches. But I am kind of disappointed, inasmuch as I liked him when he played for us a couple of years ago; he seemed like a smart player with the potential to be a very solid "glue guy" type on the third or maybe second line. Obviously that's not in the cards for the foreseeable future.

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I remember when Max Pacioretty made waves with a radio interview about not being happy with how he was used by the organization and how he was in the AHL. I remember everyone saying then that he was a bust and wouldn't make it in the NHL.

Not saying Louis Leblanc will be as good, just that the same overreaction is occuring here.

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Given that he suffered a grave injury last year and that the path of player development is often bumpy, I don't see the need to be in a rush to move Leblanc. My hope is that we're becoming an organization committed to getting the best out of its young talent even if their progression goes through disappointing or erratic stretches. But I am kind of disappointed, inasmuch as I liked him when he played for us a couple of years ago; he seemed like a smart player with the potential to be a very solid "glue guy" type on the third or maybe second line. Obviously that's not in the cards for the foreseeable future.

He seemed like he could be a slower and less skilled Pleks. That's not our biggest need right now, but it's still a valuable player.

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I think the disappointment is that Leblanc is going to be bottom six, but not a gritty one, I think the best comparison is either a Marcel Goc, Torrey Mitchell or Danny Paille.

pretty obscure threesome?

I wouldn't read a lot into being cut, and I still think he might be a good 3rd or 2nd liner down the road. Supposedly the 14 cuts were already set prior to the Bruin game, in which Leblanc looked very good.

Maybe Dudley or one of brain trust thinks that Leblanc was rushed into NHL 2 years ago and simply wants him to learn more with lots of icetime, in a top 6 role in Hamilton?

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Guest Stogey24

There must be something going on behind the curtains. It's tough on a kid getting cut like that. Not the way to treat a first round pick, that is clearly having confidence issues.

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The fact the decision was made *before* he played the game should indicate to everyone that perhaps the Habs aren't so high on him. I suspect we'll hear more and more rumours of him being involved in a trade as the days progress.

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He seemed like he could be a slower and less skilled Pleks. That's not our biggest need right now, but it's still a valuable player.

An excellent description of the player I thought he'd become. But Colin may well be right, that he's no longer in the plans,

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He's not getting any younger. Ideally, when guy gets dogged out like that, you're running a game on them. (I have to do this a lot because I'm a sales manager). You want him to have a "screw you" attitude and stand on your desk telling you what he can do. ("Get mad you sons a bitches get mad! " What movie for a plus 1?) A guy who goes home and cries to his gf, who blows up Therrien and Bergevon on Twitter isn't that guy. He's going to be dealt.

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He's not getting any younger. Ideally, when guy gets dogged out like that, you're running a game on them. (I have to do this a lot because I'm a sales manager). You want him to have a "screw you" attitude and stand on your desk telling you what he can do. ("Get mad you sons a bitches get mad! " What movie for a plus 1?) A guy who goes home and cries to his gf, who blows up Therrien and Bergevon on Twitter isn't that guy. He's going to be dealt.

Glengarry Glenross. I see your point, but I didn't see any reports of LeBlanc twittering just his gf. If he wants to blow off steam to the gf who could blame him? I think (hope, pray) management will wait to see how he reacts in Hamilton instead of trading him now for a used jock and a small bag of pucks. The quick trade is a tendency of previous management that MB has shown no signs of emulating, thank what ever deity turns your crank.

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An excellent description of the player I thought he'd become. But Colin may well be right, that he's no longer in the plans,

Hopefully he'll get a chance to establish his worth this year in the AHL. If not, we have plenty of other smallish two-way forward prospects. I have higher hopes for Bournival and Hudon.

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Glengarry Glenross. I see your point, but I didn't see any reports of LeBlanc twittering just his gf. If he wants to blow off steam to the gf who could blame him? I think (hope, pray) management will wait to see how he reacts in Hamilton instead of trading him now for a used jock and a small bag of pucks. The quick trade is a tendency of previous management that MB has shown no signs of emulating, thank what ever deity turns your crank.

Totally agree. First of all, there's no way a player should in any way be punished or blamed for something his partner tweets! - that's completely ridiculous. Second, if the tweet mirrored Leblanc's own sentiments, I see nothing inappropriate about them; he is pissed off and should be pissed off, and part of that includes anger at management, which is normal. I agree that publicly expressing those sentiments would be a mistake, but let's remember that he did not do this.

Third, and most importantly, it is questionable whether the new regime can adequately have assessed Leblanc's true potential given that his 2012-13 season was ravaged by an injury that is notoriously hard to recover from. He went from 22 points in 31 AHL games PLUS 40 serviceable NHL games, to a dismal 18 points in 62 games with the Dogs last year. That's not at all a normal drop, and is surely best explained with reference to that high ankle injury.

The only reasons I can see for giving up on him at this stage are these:

1. Somehow the ankle sprain has permanently destroyed his speed, leaving him damaged goods. I'm no medical doctor, but this is surely implausible - ?

2. He has responded badly to the adversity: not working hard enough on rehab and conditioning, for instance; or whining and sulking and giving up rather than putting his head down and working through the problems.

I'm skeptical about (1) and dubious about (2) unless his attitude has been just cataclysmically bad. So if the new regime has indeed given up on Leblanc there is reason to worry that they are being premature.

I've really had enough with throwing away quality youth because they were immature (Ribeiro, Grabovski, Sergei Kostitysn, Hainsey...the list goes on). While there does come a point where you can legitimately get rid of a player for these reasons, I doubt that point is at age 22. I'd like us to become an organization that mentors young men and works supportively with them to turn them into winners instead of jettisoning them the first time they face adversity or make mistakes. So the whole "dump Leblanc" scenario is slightly worrisome.

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Guest Stogey24

Totally agree. First of all, there's no way a player should in any way be punished or blamed for something his partner tweets! - that's completely ridiculous. Second, if the tweet mirrored Leblanc's own sentiments, I see nothing inappropriate about them; he is pissed off and should be pissed off, and part of that includes anger at management, which is normal. I agree that publicly expressing those sentiments would be a mistake, but let's remember that he did not do this.

Third, and most importantly, it is questionable whether the new regime can adequately have assessed Leblanc's true potential given that his 2012-13 season was ravaged by an injury that is notoriously hard to recover from. He went from 22 points in 31 AHL games PLUS 40 serviceable NHL games, to a dismal 18 points in 62 games with the Dogs last year. That's not at all a normal drop, and is surely best explained with reference to that high ankle injury.

The only reasons I can see for giving up on him at this stage are these:

1. Somehow the ankle sprain has permanently destroyed his speed, leaving him damaged goods. I'm no medical doctor, but this is surely implausible - ?

2. He has responded badly to the adversity: not working hard enough on rehab and conditioning, for instance; or whining and sulking and giving up rather than putting his head down and working through the problems.

I'm skeptical about (1) and dubious about (2) unless his attitude has been just cataclysmically bad. So if the new regime has indeed given up on Leblanc there is reason to worry that they are being premature.

I've really had enough with throwing away quality youth because they were immature (Ribeiro, Grabovski, Sergei Kostitysn, Hainsey...the list goes on). While there does come a point where you can legitimately get rid of a player for these reasons, I doubt that point is at age 22. I'd like us to become an organization that mentors young men and works supportively with them to turn them into winners instead of jettisoning them the first time they face adversity or make mistakes. So the whole "dump Leblanc" scenario is slightly worrisome.

Those are all good points. In all honesty though; I think him being cut early may be a bit of foreshadowing of things to come.
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It's a new world. In the early 70s I'm sure Lafleur got home to his girlfriend, got drunk and bitched about how he was being used as a rookie and sophomore and nobody would know or hear unless they lived next door. Today, people think after the fingers move and make things public that shouldn't be. I don't blame either and if the team does, it's probably too old school to work in today's information age.

This isn't Sergei Kostitsyn whining in a Belarussian newspaper. Leblanc didn't goto the press. He went to his girlfriend. We all talk about the negatives of our work to our friends and loved ones. Only today the whole world can see it if you're not careful. I doubt he predicted her to go on Twitter and she did delete it.

Some of this stuff is getting really close to "Control your girlfriend" kind of talk which is asinine.

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Totally agree. First of all, there's no way a player should in any way be punished or blamed for something his partner tweets! - that's completely ridiculous. Second, if the tweet mirrored Leblanc's own sentiments, I see nothing inappropriate about them; he is pissed off and should be pissed off, and part of that includes anger at management, which is normal. I agree that publicly expressing those sentiments would be a mistake, but let's remember that he did not do this.

Third, and most importantly, it is questionable whether the new regime can adequately have assessed Leblanc's true potential given that his 2012-13 season was ravaged by an injury that is notoriously hard to recover from. He went from 22 points in 31 AHL games PLUS 40 serviceable NHL games, to a dismal 18 points in 62 games with the Dogs last year. That's not at all a normal drop, and is surely best explained with reference to that high ankle injury.

The only reasons I can see for giving up on him at this stage are these:

1. Somehow the ankle sprain has permanently destroyed his speed, leaving him damaged goods. I'm no medical doctor, but this is surely implausible - ?

2. He has responded badly to the adversity: not working hard enough on rehab and conditioning, for instance; or whining and sulking and giving up rather than putting his head down and working through the problems.

I'm skeptical about (1) and dubious about (2) unless his attitude has been just cataclysmically bad. So if the new regime has indeed given up on Leblanc there is reason to worry that they are being premature.

I've really had enough with throwing away quality youth because they were immature (Ribeiro, Grabovski, Sergei Kostitysn, Hainsey...the list goes on). While there does come a point where you can legitimately get rid of a player for these reasons, I doubt that point is at age 22. I'd like us to become an organization that mentors young men and works supportively with them to turn them into winners instead of jettisoning them the first time they face adversity or make mistakes. So the whole "dump Leblanc" scenario is slightly worrisome.

I agree, however your last paragraph I don't agree with. The Chipchuras, Higgins, Sergai, Ribeiro, etc are no big losses at all and smart moves to jettison. Ribeiro and Grabovski may have skill but don't miss them, doubt Bergevin actively went after in free agent market and the only big loss was of course McDonaugh who wasn't a wash out and was simply a misjudgment of Gomez's worth.

Leblanc should do well this fall and be fine, but the Habs do have similar type players in the system, so he does have his work cut out to make the roster.

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Leblanc should do well this fall and be fine, but the Habs do have similar type players in the system, so he does have his work cut out to make the roster.

Leblanc's advantage is actually he converted to the wing. People keep thinking he's still a center. We don't have a lot of two way wingers with his skill on both sides. There's Dumont and Bournival fighting for a potential fourth line center spot but if a guy like Moen or Prust goes down and we need to call up a winger, Leblanc is in a good position for that spot.

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