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What will it take to make Habs a better club?


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I'd like to see MT go. I know a lot of people on here don't think the coach is that important but I think we've had the success we've had despite of him. Which is why you don't see him nominated for the Jack Adams, it's also why the Pens won the Cup after they fired him. I think this team is close, but we need a system change. The biggest loss for us this year was Gerard Gallant. I think if we still had him we would have flown through the first two rounds.

It's a big gamble but I think MB should fire MT and get in on the Babcock sweeps, the risk there is if we don't get him, then we HAVE to find a francophone coach because I believe Babcock is the only Anglo that the franco minority would accept.

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I'd like to see MT go. I know a lot of people on here don't think the coach is that important but I think we've had the success we've had despite of him. Which is why you don't see him nominated for the Jack Adams, it's also why the Pens won the Cup after they fired him. I think this team is close, but we need a system change. The biggest loss for us this year was Gerard Gallant. I think if we still had him we would have flown through the first two rounds.

It's a big gamble but I think MB should fire MT and get in on the Babcock sweeps, the risk there is if we don't get him, then we HAVE to find a francophone coach because I believe Babcock is the only Anglo that the franco minority would accept.

Habs accomplished what they accomplished in spite of him. When you point to regular season success its carey price that stands tall....not the coach. Can him. Yes, it made the pens a better team when they showed him the door.

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Parenteau must go.

Eller must go. He's no longer a prospect. He's a 27 year old who hasn't ever done anything remotely useful.

I think I'm done with Prust, too.

Emelin might be too expensive for what he provides. I like him, but we're paying more for him than I want.

If Markov doesn't have a no trade clause, it might be time to move him, while he has value. He's going downhill. No fault of his own, age does that to us all.

Gilbert is cheap and reliable, I don't get the hate. You can't have all Subbans and Petrys. That said, he's also easily replaceable. Just know you're not going to get better at that cost. Gilbert's replacement will simply be Gilbert 2.0.

Galchenyuk has to start producing now. If he's our first line center of the future, he needs a 60+ point year. Immediately. The plus side - his lack of production will make re-signing him cheaper this year.

Nathan Beaulieu has to prove he's ready for the NHL. He's had enough time now, if he's an "offensive" defenseman, let's see some offense out of him. Right now, Emelin is better at Beaulieu's job, and Emelin's the opposite of an offensive defenseman.

DD and Pleks give us what we need from them, worth more than the salary we pay them. There is no reason to dump them. If they hold value in a trade, then they'd of course be available, but we don't get rid of them just because they aren't the best first line centermen in hockey. They're not ELITE, but they are GOOD. You can't have a team filled only with elite players.

Pateryn and Tinordi need to stay with the team next year. I'm not sure DLR does.

Players we have no business messing with and should not entertain ideas of moving:

Pacioretty

Subban

Gallagher

Price

Weise (I'll say it again - best 4th line player under 2 million dollars salary in the league.)

While anyone else is fair market, that doesn't mean we should be rushing to get rid of a bunch of them. This is a good team, with strong chemistry and great performance. What we need is to enhance them, not blow them up and rebuild.

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Parenteau must go.

Eller must go. He's no longer a prospect. He's a 27 year old who hasn't ever done anything remotely useful.

I think I'm done with Prust, too.

Emelin might be too expensive for what he provides. I like him, but we're paying more for him than I want.

If Markov doesn't have a no trade clause, it might be time to move him, while he has value. He's going downhill. No fault of his own, age does that to us all.

Gilbert is cheap and reliable, I don't get the hate. You can't have all Subbans and Petrys. That said, he's also easily replaceable. Just know you're not going to get better at that cost. Gilbert's replacement will simply be Gilbert 2.0.

Galchenyuk has to start producing now. If he's our first line center of the future, he needs a 60+ point year. Immediately. The plus side - his lack of production will make re-signing him cheaper this year.

Nathan Beaulieu has to prove he's ready for the NHL. He's had enough time now, if he's an "offensive" defenseman, let's see some offense out of him. Right now, Emelin is better at Beaulieu's job, and Emelin's the opposite of an offensive defenseman.

DD and Pleks give us what we need from them, worth more than the salary we pay them. There is no reason to dump them. If they hold value in a trade, then they'd of course be available, but we don't get rid of them just because they aren't the best first line centermen in hockey. They're not ELITE, but they are GOOD. You can't have a team filled only with elite players.

Pateryn and Tinordi need to stay with the team next year. I'm not sure DLR does.

Players we have no business messing with and should not entertain ideas of moving:

Pacioretty

Subban

Gallagher

Price

Weise (I'll say it again - best 4th line player under 2 million dollars salary in the league.)

While anyone else is fair market, that doesn't mean we should be rushing to get rid of a bunch of them. This is a good team, with strong chemistry and great performance. What we need is to enhance them, not blow them up and rebuild.

Lots of good thoughts here. Some random responses:

I don't get the hate for Gilbert either. He's there to eat minutes and he generally does this OK. He's not a player worth getting aggravated about, nor one to embrace; he's a short-term, reasonably useful mercenary, worth his salary and no more.

Beaulieu has already proven himself to be NHL ready, but he's still in 'learning the NHL game' mode. I would expect him to start adding a little more offence next season, but I wouldn't pencil him in for a 40-point season or anything.

Your views on the C situation are interesting. First, I wouldn't 'get rid' of Eller, just because any UFA replacement will probably cost nearly as much or more. And I seriously doubt Galchenyuk is suddenly going to become a 60-point C (!). Just because we need it to happen, doesn't mean it can or will.

I also think that Plekanec is one of the few veteran pieces we have that we might be able to leverage in order to acquire an upgrade at FW (whether it be moving Pleks to get a still-developing young FW, or as part of some package to get stop-gap, big-name C from a capped-out team). But we can only do that if we think Eller is capable of becoming the team's go-to shutdown C. Is he? Ya got me. I'd like to hear what people think about that, actually; not this obviously ridiculous fan-boy idea that Eller is a potential top-2 C, but rather whether he can eat those brutal defensive minutes in Plekanec's absence.

DeLaRose will be on the team next year for sure. Clearly MT thinks highly of him. Pateryn has the inside track too. Don't be shocked if Tinordi ends up being shipped out as part of a package for an upgrade at FW.

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Let's take trading Plekanec as an example. I'm going to use the most favorable possible scenario.

Let's say Steve Yzerman was afflicted by a sudden, tragic case of rejeanhoulio, and traded us Tyler Johnson for Tomas Plekanec, straight up. Tyler Johnson's 29 goals and 72 points makes him a top 15 offensive star in the NHL this year. This is what sucks, however:

That's only a 3 goal, 9 assist boost for the team. (Actually, it's probably less of a difference than that. 60 points in Montreal might be harder to get than 72 in Tampa). We were the team with the least offense going into the playoffs this year? We'd still be that team if you make this trade. (I'm not saying we shouldn't make it, but that's not the point.) We can't improve what's wrong with this team by replacing our good players with better ones. We have to get better players in place of a few of the 3rd and 4th line grinders we currently have cluttering our roster. Yes, they are good for 3rd or 4th line grinders, but we have about a dozen of them!

The hard part improving this team is we need to add a Tyler Johnson caliber of player without giving up any of our top 6 forwards.

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Thanks for sharing, that was a great article. A first person "hot take" after a series loss is tough to pull off without crossing the line into histrionics or self-loathing.

There is a unique brand of desperation that surrounds the Habs fanbase, but I can't say I won't be back next year, like the people who stand in line for the next Avengers or Fast and Furious movie.

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Let's take trading Plekanec as an example. I'm going to use the most favorable possible scenario.

Let's say Steve Yzerman was afflicted by a sudden, tragic case of rejeanhoulio, and traded us Tyler Johnson for Tomas Plekanec, straight up. Tyler Johnson's 29 goals and 72 points makes him a top 15 offensive star in the NHL this year. This is what sucks, however:

That's only a 3 goal, 9 assist boost for the team. (Actually, it's probably less of a difference than that. 60 points in Montreal might be harder to get than 72 in Tampa). We were the team with the least offense going into the playoffs this year? We'd still be that team if you make this trade. (I'm not saying we shouldn't make it, but that's not the point.) We can't improve what's wrong with this team by replacing our good players with better ones. We have to get better players in place of a few of the 3rd and 4th line grinders we currently have cluttering our roster. Yes, they are good for 3rd or 4th line grinders, but we have about a dozen of them!

The hard part improving this team is we need to add a Tyler Johnson caliber of player without giving up any of our top 6 forwards.

Well, you're overlooking the fact that Johnson would represent a massive offensive improvement over Plekanec at playoff time. I think that's how we have to see things. After all, our 'regular season' offence was good enough to be an elite team.

But that said, your overall point is excellent. It is, in fact, extremely hard to see a way whereby the Habs can significantly pump up the top-6 FW unit without seriously damaging themselves in other areas. E.g., we might be able to pluck a legitimate, potential top-6 FW for Beaulieu. Problem is, Beaulieu is irreplaceable within the system. He has to replace Markov within 1-2 years.

The failure of Galchenyuk to emerge as a bona-fide star leaves a gigantic hole in the entire rebuild plan as far as I can see. And Eller's mediocrity is a lesser, but similar, structural flaw. Those guys were supposed to become the top-6 additions we needed. No dice.

As hard as it is to believe, Price, PK, and Patches are 27, 26, and 26 respectively. The window is now open. It will start closing in maybe 4-5 years. Bergevin will probably not be able to draft his way out of this structural problem within that window. He has to solve the problem, pretty much starting NOW.

Will Bergy go out and somehow get

-an older vet with some gas left in the tank (not Thornton, but someone in that category) as a stop-gap;

-an unproven, high-ceiling young kid traded for a quality veteran asset like Pleks (think Pleks as part of a Yakupov deal, something like that);

-a long-shot kid like Zack Kassian;

-some as-yet-unforeseeable UFA?

Or will he just blow up the specialty-teams coaching staff and cross his fingers that an effective PP unit can make up the difference, contenting himself with hitting singles and doubles rather than HR in terms of player acquisition. Justin Williams, Frolik, even St Louis could conceivable be useful additions at RW, for instance.

Based on Zoot Suit's modus operandi up to this point, the last of these options - tinkering just enough to push us over the hump - is probably the most likely.

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As usual, The Cucumber hit's it out of the park. I'm curious though. Do you put any stock in the theory that MT is to blame for Galchenyuk's troubles? Usage? Attention to defensive responsibilities? Heard on local radio today that some vets in the mid 80's went to coaching and said let Stephane Richer do his thing. They'd live with the consequences.

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As usual, The Cucumber hit's it out of the park. I'm curious though. Do you put any stock in the theory that MT is to blame for Galchenyuk's troubles? Usage? Attention to defensive responsibilities? Heard on local radio today that some vets in the mid 80's went to coaching and said let Stephane Richer do his thing. They'd live with the consequences.

If we missed the playoffs by a point after forcing Galchenyuk to play top line center, and in that time he puts up only 40 points with a -23 and drags down Pacioretty to just 29 goals himself, would you be fine living with the consequences?

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Pacioretty XXXXXX Gallagher

Galchenyuk Plekanec XXXXXX

De la Rose Eller Smith-Pelly

Prust Mitchell Weise

XXXXXX Flynn

Markov Subban

Beaulieu Petry

Tinordi Gilbert

Pateryn

Desharnais, Parenteau & Emelin on the block.

Bournival, Thomas, Dumont, Tangradi & Ellis as expendable RFAs.

Fucale & most prospects available save McCarron, Hudon & Scherbak.

Andrighetto, Lehkonen & Reway possiblities

This off season is very promising.

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Sign Belesky and Petry in the off season. 2.5 mill bridge for galchenyuk. Tell him if he wants big cake like Pk perform like Pk. Sign Beaulieu to 1 mill deal. He hasn't earned more. Go out and find a PP coach. I don't care if they are first, but please God at least get them into mid league country.

My luck they sign Belesky and his development stops. I have like him this season and playoff though

The difference next year could be made internally still. Chuck is only 20 years old. If he picks up his socks and Beaulieu continues developing that's a huge boost.

You also have to think that PAP will not repeat his horrible season. I think it could be wise to hang onto him. 10 more points from each of Galchenyuk PAP and Beaulieu is not an unreasonable thought. Maybe an extra 15 to 20 goals between them? Especially with our new PP coach.

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If we missed the playoffs by a point after forcing Galchenyuk to play top line center, and in that time he puts up only 40 points with a -23 and drags down Pacioretty to just 29 goals himself, would you be fine living with the consequences?

So basically you think he is a no talent hack? Who can't learn? Personally I think they should give him a shot a real shot. For a month of so no improvement move him back to the wing. That is what the 82 games is for.

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Great read! Shared it on FB. Dude, Donny or Walter.. the great conundrum. Well done AW, you have a new fan.

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If we missed the playoffs by a point after forcing Galchenyuk to play top line center, and in that time he puts up only 40 points with a -23 and drags down Pacioretty to just 29 goals himself, would you be fine living with the consequences?

How did you come up with all that? The thinking in this scenario is that Galchenyuk will shine. That he's possibly being held back, in an effort to turn him into something he isn't. A chip it out off the boards, dump and chase type. Living with the consequences would be a shift to shift thing. Cover up for him if he uses his creativity, but turns over the puck.

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For what it's worth, I don't see any sign at all that MT is stifling Galy's creativity. In fact, I've said before that I think maybe The Genius has not been tough enough with Galchenyuk. Three years in, Galchenyuk is STILL trying to deke out the whole team every time he gets the puck. That should have been beaten out of him long ago.

I don't see why playing on the wing would hold him back either. W is much easier than C, by general agreement.

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For what it's worth, I don't see any sign at all that MT is stifling Galy's creativity. In fact, I've said before that I think maybe The Genius has not been tough enough with Galchenyuk. Three years in, Galchenyuk is STILL trying to deke out the whole team every time he gets the puck. That should have been beaten out of him long ago.

I don't see why playing on the wing would hold him back either. W is much easier than C, by general agreement.

I'm with you. Though Aaron Ward said today he can't imagine that Galchenyuk and Therrien see eye to eye at this point.

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Well, you're overlooking the fact that Johnson would represent a massive offensive improvement over Plekanec at playoff time. I think that's how we have to see things. After all, our 'regular season' offence was good enough to be an elite team.

I'm going to state an unpopular opinion, here.

While there are statistical outliers who perform well in the regular season and completely disappear in the playoffs, or who seem to have a higher gear for playoff time, I don't believe such a thing is all that common*. I generally believe that what you see in the regular season is what you should see in the playoffs. The apparent differences mostly occur because the regular season is very long, and streaky play tends to even out over the course of a season, while the playoffs are comparitively short, and it makes streaky play stand out and appear to be some kind of difference between playoff and regular season performance. I don't see anyone on the habs that significantly bucks that assumption.

What we need in the regular season, we also need in the playoffs.

*- in fact, if such players do exist, I have issues with them. If you're playing a sport at this level, there's no reason you shouldn't be giving your all every night. This isn't to be confused with streaky play. But if you've got a "higher gear" -- use it all year.

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Andrighetto, Lehkonen & Reway possiblities

Lehkonen is under contract in Sweden next year and isn't anywhere near ready to play in the NHL next season. Reway was in talks to sign a long-term deal in the Czech Republic not that long ago (nothing done yet) and has said he won't sign with Montreal until there's a top six spot for him. They're not going to give him that anytime soon, especially with the well-documented maturity issues. Neither of them are remote possibilities for the Montreal roster next season.

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If we missed the playoffs by a point after forcing Galchenyuk to play top line center, and in that time he puts up only 40 points with a -23 and drags down Pacioretty to just 29 goals himself, would you be fine living with the consequences?

LMAO !

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So basically you think he is a no talent hack? Who can't learn? Personally I think they should give him a shot a real shot. For a month of so no improvement move him back to the wing. That is what the 82 games is for.

Thats right.

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Let's take trading Plekanec as an example. I'm going to use the most favorable possible scenario.

Let's say Steve Yzerman was afflicted by a sudden, tragic case of rejeanhoulio, and traded us Tyler Johnson for Tomas Plekanec, straight up. Tyler Johnson's 29 goals and 72 points makes him a top 15 offensive star in the NHL this year. This is what sucks, however:

That's only a 3 goal, 9 assist boost for the team. (Actually, it's probably less of a difference than that. 60 points in Montreal might be harder to get than 72 in Tampa). We were the team with the least offense going into the playoffs this year? We'd still be that team if you make this trade. (I'm not saying we shouldn't make it, but that's not the point.) We can't improve what's wrong with this team by replacing our good players with better ones. We have to get better players in place of a few of the 3rd and 4th line grinders we currently have cluttering our roster. Yes, they are good for 3rd or 4th line grinders, but we have about a dozen of them!

The hard part improving this team is we need to add a Tyler Johnson caliber of player without giving up any of our top 6 forwards.

PLEKANIC FOR JOHNSON HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH !!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!!

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