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If we were to throw in the towel ...


tomh009
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... well, really, it's not our decision, in the end it'll be Geoff Molson making the call, and no one else. But, supposing he does that, and writes off this season to re(build|tool|set|cover|cline). What should he do?

 

Personally, I don't think we need a Detroit/Buffalo/Arizona-level scorched-earth strategy. But, in this case, we would sell some of our players for picks and prospects, with the goal of being a (bubble team|solid playoff team|Stanley Cup contender) again in X years. How deep should we cut our current core? What would that make our timeline? And, if so, who should be in the core that we want to keep? That last question will really depend on the strategy: a mid-term reset will look very different from a five-year rebuild.

 

So, I would personally assume that Molson would choose another reset, with the goal of being a playoff team in 2-3 years, and maybe a Cup contender on 5 or 6. So, who would we build this team around:

 

Goal: Price is 34, so he'd be 36 or 37 by the time we are back in the playoffs, and older than that before we get serious about the Cup. That seems pretty risky, but would someone else really take his contract off our hands? And who else would we count on? Montembeault? I'm not confident about Primeau yet, although he may end up being the one. Otherwise, maybe we need to trade for someone. At his current contract, I would hang on to Allen for the time being, to be sure.

 

Defence: Weber is effectively gone, and Petry and Chiarot could be attractive to other teams. But that leaves us with Edmundson (OK!), Savard (less OK), Romanov (hopefully) and then possibilities like Guhle, Norlinder, Brook, Niku, Harris and Struble. It'd be a radical youth cut, but maybe this could work. It would certainly be a much more mobile D corps than we have now. And with Petry and Chiarot off the books, there would be room to sign someone.

 

Centre: We don't have much here to give up: Suzuki is a no-brainer, and Dvorak is only 25. But then what? Evans may or may not be a 3C, maybe more likely a 4C. Mysak and Poehling are two prospect options, but neither is a sure thing. Would we need to trade for a C prospect? Neither Paquette or Perreault is young, but unfortunately they don't have much trade value, either. Could Brooks grow into a 3C or 4C?

 

Wing: We don't really have any young wingers on the roster apart from Caufield: Drouin and Lehkonen are both 26 (and the latter will still be an RFA next summer). I'll assume that we'd keep all three, as well as Hoffman and Toffoli, who should age reasonably well and don't have super-long contracts. Anderson is 27 and signed for the long term, I assume he should be a keeper, too, which would take us to six wingers, plus prospects like Ylonen, Tuch and ... wait ... our prospect pipeline for wingers looks a bit empty. I do expect Gallagher would be on the trading block, as probably would Armia, though arguable one could keep Armia and trade Lehkonen.

 

What would you do? Reset or rebuild? And with which players?

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36 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

... well, really, it's not our decision, in the end it'll be Geoff Molson making the call, and no one else. But, supposing he does that, and writes off this season to re(build|tool|set|cover|cline). What should he do?

 

Personally, I don't think we need a Detroit/Buffalo/Arizona-level scorched-earth strategy. But, in this case, we would sell some of our players for picks and prospects, with the goal of being a (bubble team|solid playoff team|Stanley Cup contender) again in X years. How deep should we cut our current core? What would that make our timeline? And, if so, who should be in the core that we want to keep? That last question will really depend on the strategy: a mid-term reset will look very different from a five-year rebuild.

 

So, I would personally assume that Molson would choose another reset, with the goal of being a playoff team in 2-3 years, and maybe a Cup contender on 5 or 6. So, who would we build this team around:

 

Goal: Price is 34, so he'd be 36 or 37 by the time we are back in the playoffs, and older than that before we get serious about the Cup. That seems pretty risky, but would someone else really take his contract off our hands? And who else would we count on? Montembeault? I'm not confident about Primeau yet, although he may end up being the one. Otherwise, maybe we need to trade for someone. At his current contract, I would hang on to Allen for the time being, to be sure.

 

Defence: Weber is effectively gone, and Petry and Chiarot could be attractive to other teams. But that leaves us with Edmundson (OK!), Savard (less OK), Romanov (hopefully) and then possibilities like Guhle, Norlinder, Brook, Niku, Harris and Struble. It'd be a radical youth cut, but maybe this could work. It would certainly be a much more mobile D corps than we have now. And with Petry and Chiarot off the books, there would be room to sign someone.

 

Centre: We don't have much here to give up: Suzuki is a no-brainer, and Dvorak is only 25. But then what? Evans may or may not be a 3C, maybe more likely a 4C. Mysak and Poehling are two prospect options, but neither is a sure thing. Would we need to trade for a C prospect? Neither Paquette or Perreault is young, but unfortunately they don't have much trade value, either. Could Brooks grow into a 3C or 4C?

 

Wing: We don't really have any young wingers on the roster apart from Caufield: Drouin and Lehkonen are both 26 (and the latter will still be an RFA next summer). I'll assume that we'd keep all three, as well as Hoffman and Toffoli, who should age reasonably well and don't have super-long contracts. Anderson is 27 and signed for the long term, I assume he should be a keeper, too, which would take us to six wingers, plus prospects like Ylonen, Tuch and ... wait ... our prospect pipeline for wingers looks a bit empty. I do expect Gallagher would be on the trading block, as probably would Armia, though arguable one could keep Armia and trade Lehkonen.

 

What would you do? Reset or rebuild? And with which players?

depends on how you define rebuild and reset. In my mind a reset means two years of pain of no playoffs, before becoming a bubble team for a year or two, and a legit contender after that.


Rebuild is 3 or more years of definitely being out of the playoffs, and hoping like hell you get the right pieces.

 

I think if Price doesn’t want to move, or if you can’t find a taker for Price (highly unlikely being able to move him without major salary retention - especially given Seattle could taken him for free), you reset.  

If Price is willing to move, and you can get someone to offer significant amount of high quality prospects, and picks, by retaining salary, you rebuild. Frankly, I think the beat thing for Price is to restart somewhere else with a chance to win.

 

I also think regardless of the situation with Price, you need at least a two year reset with no expectations of playoffs, and hope you have lottery picks to draft an elite centre and dman.

 

Either way, at a minimum, I think we need to try and move Gallagher, Chiarot, and Hoffman at the deadline. You also love one Lekhonan, and Armia. I’d also  try moving Byron for picks by retaining significant salary.l - not for the cap space, but for picks or prospects, from a team that sees him as good add fir a playoff run.  


If it’s a rebuild you move others. Petry is the difficult decision. Not sure if he is falling if a cliff like Plekanac type decline, or just in a funk (don’t know if it’s just a slump, issue with coaching, finals hangover, not fully back to health). If it’s a rebuild you move him. If it’s a reset, you need him. 


if it’s a rebuild, you also move Drouin, Taffoli, and Anderson over the next couple of deadlines - depending when you can get the highest return. it’s a fine balance, you need to make sure young players have good role models, but you can’t be making stupid Sheldon Souray type of signings to accelerate the process afterwards.
 

 

 

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Looking at whom the Habs may keep and who may be available to trade

 

Keepers:

======

Core forwards: Suzuki, Caufield, Drouin, Dvorak, Anderson
4th liners to keep: Lehkonen, Evans, Brooks

Minute-eating Ds: Edmundson, Savard

Prospects at D : Romanov, Niku,

 

We are stuck with: Price/Allen

 

Trade for picks or prospects:

=====================

Hoffman, Gallagher, Toffoli, Armia, Byron

Petry, Chiarot, Kulak , Wideman

 

Out of those players, the Habs may get:

one late 1st round pick,

3 to 4 2nd round picks

and maybe 2-3 prospects

 

... But no franchise changing assets. So, I think that the goal should be to load on picks more than prospects and to rebuild

 

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It will never happen under Bergevin.  When has Bergevin ever tried  for a better lottery pick when he's teams were out of the playoffs? Never he's ego won't allow him to give up on his team's.  He just use's the same old excuses every year

 

I will not make a trade just to make a trade 

 

I will not make a panic trade 

 

Injuries are out of my control 

 

Players don't play up to there potential 

 

It's all between their ears 

 

I did my job it's up to the players 

 

I believe in this team and believe this is a playoff team 

 

 

Did I miss anything????  It's kept him employed for 8 years. 

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39 minutes ago, hab29RETIRED said:

... I think if Price doesn’t want to move, or if you can’t find a taker for Price (highly unlikely being able to move him without major salary retention - especially given Seattle could taken him for free), you reset.  

If Price is willing to move, and you can get someone to offer significant amount of high quality prospects, and picks, by retaining salary, you rebuild. Frankly, I think the beat thing for Price is to restart somewhere else with a chance to win ...

Best chance (albeit very slim) of a Price trade (likley with either salary retention or a bad contract coming back as part of the deal) may be for Carey to be healthy and play brilliantly as he carries Canada to the GOLD ... then perhaps a star player who played with him (or got stoned by him) pressures their GM to get him.

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3 hours ago, GHT120 said:

Best chance (albeit very slim) of a Price trade (likley with either salary retention or a bad contract coming back as part of the deal) may be for Carey to be healthy and play brilliantly as he carries Canada to the GOLD ... then perhaps a star player who played with him (or got stoned by him) pressures their GM to get him.

 

It's a tough tough contract to move. Seattle could have had him for nothing and passed. If you have to take a bad contract back (depending on the length) then it may not be worth it. Hopefully Carey can get healthy as we are likely stuck with him which is not a terrible thing if he can get back to playoff form. 

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The really painful thing is that, even after 4 years of suckage + last season, our prospect pool still does not appear to be very good. One potentially elite FW (Caufield) and no potentially elite defencemen as far as I can gather. No elite G either, even though we’ve had 10 years to draft one.

 

I was afraid of this, back when the “retool” started. But at least we made the Finals within the Weber/Price window, which is more than I expected - although it wasn’t achieved through the prospect pool like all the Panglossians predicted back in 2017, but rather through aggressive trading/UFA moves.

 

To my mind, if we’re sellers at the deadline, the aim needs to be to try to get back 1-2 impact prospects. (Our draft record seems to be mostly shit, so where is the sense in expecting the draft to suddenly save us after a decade?). Not an easy trick. MB did it when he dealt Patches, but whether you can do the same with anyone on this roster is a good question.

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21 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

The really painful thing is that, even after 4 years of suckage + last season, our prospect pool still does not appear to be very good. One potentially elite FW (Caufield) and no potentially elite defencemen as far as I can gather. No elite G either, even though we’ve had 10 years to draft one.

 

I was afraid of this, back when the “retool” started. But at least we made the Finals within the Weber/Price window, which is more than I expected - although it wasn’t achieved through the prospect pool like all the Panglossians predicted back in 2017, but rather through aggressive trading/UFA moves.

 

To my mind, if we’re sellers at the deadline, the aim needs to be to try to get back 1-2 impact prospects. (Our draft record seems to be mostly shit, so where is the sense in expecting the draft to suddenly save us after a decade?). Not an easy trick. MB did it when he dealt Patches, but whether you can do the same with anyone on this roster is a good question.

 

Panglossians??  I had to look that one up. I guess my vocabulary is not as extensive as I thought it was. LOL 

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4 hours ago, Habsfan89 said:

It will never happen under Bergevin.  When has Bergevin ever tried  for a better lottery pick when he's teams were out of the playoffs? Never he's ego won't allow him to give up on his team's.  He just use's the same old excuses every year

 

He made seller's moves in 2016 (Weise/Fleischmann for Danault/2nd), 2018 (Plekanec trade), and 2020 (Scandella trade after getting him from Buffalo plus Kovalchuk and Thompson).  Those weren't made to try to make a playoff run - though in 2020 they wound up getting there anyway with the expanded postseason.

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4 hours ago, Habsfan89 said:

It will never happen under Bergevin.  When has Bergevin ever tried  for a better lottery pick when he's teams were out of the playoffs? Never he's ego won't allow him to give up on his team's.  He just use's the same old excuses every year

It's not up to Bergevin. The decision to rebuild/retool/reset will 100% be Molson, regardless of who the GM is.

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5 hours ago, hab29RETIRED said:

depends on how you define rebuild and reset. In my mind a reset means two years of pain of no playoffs, before becoming a bubble team for a year or two, and a legit contender after that. Rebuild is 3 or more years of definitely being out of the playoffs, and hoping like hell you get the right pieces.

(...)

Either way, at a minimum, I think we need to try and move Gallagher, Chiarot, and Hoffman at the deadline. You also love one Lekhonan, and Armia. I’d also  try moving Byron for picks by retaining significant salary.l - not for the cap space, but for picks or prospects, from a team that sees him as good add fir a playoff run.  


If it’s a rebuild you move others. Petry is the difficult decision. Not sure if he is falling if a cliff like Plekanac type decline, or just in a funk (don’t know if it’s just a slump, issue with coaching, finals hangover, not fully back to health). If it’s a rebuild you move him. If it’s a reset, you need him.

Whether it's a reset or a rebuild, I think Petry has to be on the block. Even if he picks up his game now, he'll be 34 in a month's time, and 36+ by the time this team would be ready for serious playoff action. The odds are that he would have significant trade value at the deadline, unless he really has fallen off the cliff.

 

As for Hoffman, yeah, there is a point in selling, in that he is producing now and has value. He might still be producing, Perry-like, once the reset is over, but the age says that we should have him on the block as well.

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5 hours ago, hab29RETIRED said:

depends on how you define rebuild and reset. In my mind a reset means two years of pain of no playoffs, before becoming a bubble team for a year or two, and a legit contender after that.


Rebuild is 3 or more years of definitely being out of the playoffs, and hoping like hell you get the right pieces.

 

I think if Price doesn’t want to move, or if you can’t find a taker for Price (highly unlikely being able to move him without major salary retention - especially given Seattle could taken him for free), you reset.  

If Price is willing to move, and you can get someone to offer significant amount of high quality prospects, and picks, by retaining salary, you rebuild. Frankly, I think the beat thing for Price is to restart somewhere else with a chance to win.

 

I also think regardless of the situation with Price, you need at least a two year reset with no expectations of playoffs, and hope you have lottery picks to draft an elite centre and dman.

 

Either way, at a minimum, I think we need to try and move Gallagher, Chiarot, and Hoffman at the deadline. You also love one Lekhonan, and Armia. I’d also  try moving Byron for picks by retaining significant salary.l - not for the cap space, but for picks or prospects, from a team that sees him as good add fir a playoff run.  


If it’s a rebuild you move others. Petry is the difficult decision. Not sure if he is falling if a cliff like Plekanac type decline, or just in a funk (don’t know if it’s just a slump, issue with coaching, finals hangover, not fully back to health). If it’s a rebuild you move him. If it’s a reset, you need him. 


if it’s a rebuild, you also move Drouin, Taffoli, and Anderson over the next couple of deadlines - depending when you can get the highest return. it’s a fine balance, you need to make sure young players have good role models, but you can’t be making stupid Sheldon Souray type of signings to accelerate the process afterwards.
 

 

 

 

Good post. Price isn’t going anyplace, so “reset” would be the likeliest outcome, based on your analysis. That is also consistent with the Habs’ longstanding organizational resistance to tanking.

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Doubt he signs up for more of the same

and I don’t think most fans would want him

 

I would like to see him do the rebuild because I think he would do a better job than most other alternatives 

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2 hours ago, alfredoh2009 said:

Doubt he signs up for more of the same

and I don’t think most fans would want him

 

I would like to see him do the rebuild because I think he would do a better job than most other alternatives 

 

It’s a good question. Right now, the team is terrible; it feels like last year’s success was a blip, a final and unexpected blaze of glory from an old core; and that the team has just returned to its previous trajectory, i.e., a half-decade of awfulness with no real hope in sight. I doubt very many fans will endorse Bergevin leading a rebuild under those circumstances.

 

More telling that the feelings of the moment, for me, is that Bergevin’s track record is not particularly impressive in terms of acquiring, retaining, and developing young talent. Where he has been most successful is, rather, in wheeling-and-dealing and, to a lesser degree, at the UFA table. That’s the profile of a guy who works best with an established roster, not the profile of a patient rebuilder. This may seem contradictory given that he comes out of a scouting background, but there it is. 

 

Therefore, I would not hire him to rebuild a team. Who the alternatives might be is another question. Roy and Macguire should be out of the question, that’s all I know.

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1 hour ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

This may seem contradictory given that he comes out of a scouting background, but there it is.

It's worth noting that he was a pro scout, never an amateur scout.

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3 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

It’s a good question. Right now, the team is terrible; it feels like last year’s success was a blip, a final and unexpected blaze of glory from an old core; and that the team has just returned to its previous trajectory, i.e., a half-decade of awfulness with no real hope in sight. I doubt very many fans will endorse Bergevin leading a rebuild under those circumstances.

 

More telling that the feelings of the moment, for me, is that Bergevin’s track record is not particularly impressive in terms of acquiring, retaining, and developing young talent. Where he has been most successful is, rather, in wheeling-and-dealing and, to a lesser degree, at the UFA table. That’s the profile of a guy who works best with an established roster, not the profile of a patient rebuilder. This may seem contradictory given that he comes out of a scouting background, but there it is. 

 

Therefore, I would not hire him to rebuild a team. Who the alternatives might be is another question. Roy and Macguire should be out of the question, that’s all I know.

I don’t want those two either, but it’s no secret I’ve wanted MB gone since 2013. How many 1st rounders that we drafted under MB are actual impact players after 10 years? 
 

the dumbest reason to keep someone around is, the stupid question of “well who else are we going to hire?” 
When MB came in he said he wanted to build through the draft. Well, he hasn’t even even been able to build a house of cards. He traded away his best pick for pennies on the dollar. How many first rounders that he drafted are in the lineup today?? Now that Caufield is down, I think it’s zilch.  How many are actually even still with the habs?This from a guy who is supposed to be “strong at drafting”. He’s more of a used car salesman looking for deal  - buying and selling mainly junk, and hoping to pick up some quality cheaply. the following snippet is about a team that is rebuilding the right way:

In Saturday's loss, the Wings' future really came through. Seider had an assist. Raymond had an assist, Joe Veleno had a goal and assist. Zadina had a goal and assist, Michael Rasmussen had an assist.

All recent first-round draft picks making an impact against a quality opponent.”

 

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1 hour ago, tomh009 said:

It's worth noting that he was a pro scout, never an amateur scout.

So why hasn’t he been able to pick up an impactful dman other than Weber and Petry in 10 years?  Weber was a lateral move, and is on our books for another 4 years? 5 years?  Subban has declined, but his contract is done. Both were instrumental in getting their team to the finals. 
Petry was a solid pickup and I loved that move, but since than it’s been depth dman, on a team starving for talent and mobility on the blue line. When he finally drafted one, he gave him up for pennies on the dollar.

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2 hours ago, hab29RETIRED said:

So why hasn’t he been able to pick up an impactful dman other than Weber and Petry in 10 years?  Weber was a lateral move, and is on our books for another 4 years? 5 years?  Subban has declined, but his contract is done. Both were instrumental in getting their team to the finals. 
Petry was a solid pickup and I loved that move, but since than it’s been depth dman, on a team starving for talent and mobility on the blue line. When he finally drafted one, he gave him up for pennies on the dollar.

Edmundson, in particular, and Chiarot were good trades in my opinion, and had a significant impact in last spring's playoff run.

 

In general, trading has been Bergevin's strength. But it doesn't mean that he will decide on the same priorities as we do here.

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3 hours ago, tomh009 said:

Edmundson, in particular, and Chiarot were good trades in my opinion, and had a significant impact in last spring's playoff run.

 

In general, trading has been Bergevin's strength. But it doesn't mean that he will decide on the same priorities as we do here.

I agree that Chiarot and Edmundson were both decent free agent signings ... especially for the "dog whistle" playoffs last spring/summer ... but in the 20/21 regular season Edmundson and Chiarot were part of the team/defence that was 18th worst in goals allowed ... and neither addresses the biggest weakness in the habs top 4 ... puck movement.

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2 hours ago, GHT120 said:

I agree that Chiarot and Edmundson were both decent free agent signings ... especially for the "dog whistle" playoffs last spring/summer ... but in the 20/21 regular season Edmundson and Chiarot were part of the team/defence that was 18th worst in goals allowed ... and neither addresses the biggest weakness in the habs top 4 ... puck movement.

18th worst so 14th best? :D  More seriously, if you look at the xGA/60, they ranked fifth-best overall last year. Fifth! But the goaltending didn't really come through last year: with an xGA of 1.95, we actually allowed 2.26/60, which ranked 13th (slightly different than the total GA ranking as this one is a rate per 60). In contrast, Detroit had an xGA rate of 2.26 but a GA rate of only 1.88.

 

As for top-four puck movers, yes, we haven't had any of those, as Bergevin and the various coaches have preferred the Clydesdale approach to D, for better or for worse. And that wasn't the question hab29 posed anyway ... he said no impact defenders apart from Petry.

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52 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

18th worst so 14th best? :D  More seriously, if you look at the xGA/60, they ranked fifth-best overall last year. Fifth! But the goaltending didn't really come through last year: with an xGA of 1.95, we actually allowed 2.26/60, which ranked 13th (slightly different than the total GA ranking as this one is a rate per 60). In contrast, Detroit had an xGA rate of 2.26 but a GA rate of only 1.88.

 

As for top-four puck movers, yes, we haven't had any of those, as Bergevin and the various coaches have preferred the Clydesdale approach to D, for better or for worse. And that wasn't the question hab29 posed anyway ... he said no impact defenders apart from Petry.

Should have said gave up the 18th most goals to avoid any confusion, or clever word manipulation 😉 😁

 As for  "x-whatever"  ...  I have never invested any time in learning advanced stats ... so no comment ... but I suppose
10165142947353.gif&ehk=%2ByHgkSkRS1FgymQ

 

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1 hour ago, GHT120 said:

Should have said gave up the 18th most goals to avoid any confusion, or clever word manipulation 😉 😁

 As for  "x-whatever"  ...  I have never invested any time in learning advanced stats ... so no comment ... but I suppose
10165142947353.gif&ehk=%2ByHgkSkRS1FgymQ

 

I'm no guru on advanced stats but xG should be measuring the scoring potential based on the scoring chances. Habs have tended to have lower GF than xGF as we have not had any snipers recently, so our shooting percentage is lower. But the xGA surprised me: basically we allowed 15% more goals than a typical goalie should have, given the same scoring chances. You may recall that both Price and Allen struggled for significant parts of last season ...

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