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What would you do if you were the GM?


REV-G
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Since there are going to be a few key dates and periods of time coming up, like the trade deadline, unsigned prospect window (Jordan Harris etc), draft day and free agency, I thought that while we're waiting for some of those dates to arrive, it might be interesting to see what we think should be done by our new GM and Jeff Gorton. What would you do if you were the GM of the Montreal Canadiens right now?

 

Here's my take on what needs to be done.  I think because we do have some good young players we can begin to build with them.  

To me this is what I would do if I were the GM.

 

Hopefully get Shane Wright this year and another first round pick, by trading Ben Chiarot, and draft some very good prospects

Overall I would not want to be good next year so that I am in the running to draft either Connor Bedard or Matvei Michkov. 

I would trade some veterans now that I need to move for the team or the players sake and I would accumulate draft picks for the 2023 draft.

I would have to be creative to move some of the existing difficult contracts. 

Any trades should bring back good young prospects or draft picks.

 

I would plan to be at the bottom of the league for the 2022-2023 season and begin to show improvement only starting in the 2023-2024 season.

I would let the players and fans know the plan so everyone understands the next few years will be a rebuilding time for the future. 

 

1. Keep the young core of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alex Romanov, Jake Evans, Ryan Poehling and begin to develop and bring along Kaiden Kuhle, Jordan

   Harris and other young players like them and hopefully add the #1 or 2 pick this year and next. 

2. I would keep some veterans like Josh Anderson, T. Toffoli (?) A. Lehknonen, J. Edmundson, Jeff Petry.

3. I would talk with Carey Price to see what he wants to do but I would trade B. Gallagher. I really like him but I think he'd be better off somewhere else.  

4. I would prioritize finding (either drafting or trading for) a young highly regarded goaltending prospect to bring along over the next 2-3 years.

 

I would work very hard on our player development personnel and how we are developing our prospects.

I do not know how to do it or what's needed, just that it needs improving a lot.

I would put great emphasis on improving how and who we draft. We have had way too many 1st round busts. That has to change. 

 

I would greatly improve the whole analytics department and how we use them .

 

Coaching: Listening to people who are more on the inside I get the impression the players are no longer responding to D. Ducharme. 

                 Plus we've all heard that a GM likes to bring in his own coach, so I think the writing is on the wall. A new head coach will be brought in whose strength  

                 is working with young players, a modern coach. So likely not an Alain Vigneault but a current young assistant somewhere or a QMJHL type of coach. 

                 Regarding the assistants, I like Luke Richardson a lot as long as he is really good at working with young defenceman. The rest will likely change.

 

So that would be my plan. Obviously there are positions in the entire organization that will need to be evaluated and changes made. 

I personally really like the changes they have made so far. 

 

Firing MB and Trevor Timmons. It was time.

Hiring Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes and Chantal Machabee

 

I think it's a good start but it's only the very beginning. What would you do? 

 

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1 hour ago, REV-G said:

... Overall I would not want to be good next year so that I am in the running to draft either Connor Bedard or Matvei Michkov ... I would plan to be at the bottom of the league for the 2022-2023 season and begin to show improvement only starting in the 2023-2024 season.

I would let the players and fans know the plan so everyone understands the next few years will be a rebuilding time for the future ...

Agreed, but I like the way you phrased it initially ... the latter reference to "at the bottom of the league" could be taken too literally as where we are now.

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1 hour ago, REV-G said:

... I would let the players and fans know the plan so everyone understands the next few years will be a rebuilding time for the future. 

 

1. Keep the young core of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Alex Romanov, Jake Evans, Ryan Poehling and begin to develop and bring along Kaiden Kuhle, Jordan Harris and other young players like them and hopefully add the #1 or 2 pick this year and next. 

2. I would keep some veterans like Josh Anderson, T. Toffoli (?) A. Lehknonen, J. Edmundson, Jeff Petry.

3. I would talk with Carey Price to see what he wants to do but I would trade B. Gallagher. I really like him but I think he'd be better off somewhere else.  

4. I would prioritize finding (either drafting or trading for) a young highly regarded goaltending prospect to bring along over the next 2-3 years ...

  1. I would keep Evans but not certain I see him as part of "the core" ... not certain about Poehling either ... I see "core" players as top 6 forwards, top 4 defencemen and starting goalies.
  2. I think Lehkonen is likely to be an expensive luxury if he wants any sort of term ... Anderson and Toffoli may be the Habs' best assets in terms of return in a trade ... so for me "keeping them" depends entirely on whether a significant return can be had ... but I certainly would keep them otherwise.
  3. Agreed with regards to Price ... Gallagher may be as much or even more of a challenge to trade as Price
  4. Agree with the need ... I have no particular faith in Primeau being anything special ... before investing any significant assets in acquiriung someone they need to carefully and thoroughly examine Dichow and Dobes to see if either, or both, fits that bill.
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10 minutes ago, GHT120 said:

Agree with the need ... I have no particular faith in Primeau being anything special ... before investing any significant assets in acquiriung someone they need to carefully and thoroughly examine Dichow and Dobes to see if either, or both, fits that bill.

 

It's way too early to make any conclusive read on those two though.  Dobes is two years away from really showing if this is just a good season or a sign that he's a legitimate prospect.  Dichow hasn't been tested at a top level or even close to one yet so there's no real read that can be made.  One could turn into a legitimate NHL prospect but if you wait to find out about those two and they don't pan out, that next goalie in the system that gets drafted in 2024 or 2025 is probably five years away at that point which is way too far away.  I don't know enough about this draft class to know if it's a good goalie year or not but to me, this is a year where they should be giving some consideration to a higher-rated netminder.  It's very hard to be in a spot where a team has too many good prospect goalies to the point where they could shy away from picking one for a couple of years and the Habs aren't anywhere near that position.  They have some intriguing and promising wild cards but those alone can't form the foundation of that position.

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I would try to trade all our big contracts, but that will take some time for the players to rehabilitate their value. I could see this roster having a bounce back year next season with better performances from Price, Petry, Gallagher, Caufield etc, and I expect the new regime will take that opportunity to unload the vets for a real return rather than deluding ourselves that we're a contender like Bergy might have done. It won't be easy to move our big deals, however, and we'll have to take bad contracts back if we want top assets. So we should be prepared for mediocrity for 3-5 years, after which we hopefully have the type of young core that can contend down the road.  

 

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Just now, dlbalr said:

 

It's way too early to make any conclusive read on those two though.  Dobes is two years away from really showing if this is just a good season or a sign that he's a legitimate prospect.  Dichow hasn't been tested at a top level or even close to one yet so there's no real read that can be made.  One could turn into a legitimate NHL prospect but if you wait to find out about those two and they don't pan out, that next goalie in the system that gets drafted in 2024 or 2025 is probably five years away at that point which is way too far away.  I don't know enough about this draft class to know if it's a good goalie year or not but to me, this is a year where they should be giving some consideration to a higher-rated netminder.  It's very hard to be in a spot where a team has too many good prospect goalies to the point where they could shy away from picking one for a couple of years and the Habs aren't anywhere near that position.  They have some intriguing and promising wild cards but those alone can't form the foundation of that position.

would you consider Montembault a prospect? and what is his potential compared to Primeau?

 

It seems to me that once he stops pulling himself out of position (he is overly active/"athletic") he may become a decent NHL goalie

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30 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

would you consider Montembault a prospect? and what is his potential compared to Primeau?

 

It seems to me that once he stops pulling himself out of position (he is overly active/"athletic") he may become a decent NHL goalie

 

I actually just put the finishing touches on the Prospect Ranking piece that has Montembeault on there since he narrowly qualified at the beginning of the season but realistically, I don't think of him as a prospect.  Without giving anything of consequence from the article away, I'm not bullish on his NHL upside as that overly active characteristic of his game has been there going back to his days in junior.  Half a dozen goalie coaches have worked with him and they couldn't get him to improve at all in that regard and at 25, I don't think it's going to suddenly happen.  He can play like a #2 goalie at times but there have been plenty more where he has played like a #4.  Until he proves he can play like a #2 with some real consistency, he's an organizational filler goalie in my books.  I'd bring him back to partner with Primeau in Laval next year though since McNiven will almost certainly be moving on and I don't think he's a real risk to lose on waivers as there aren't teams looking at how he has done this season and are thinking to themselves that he's an upgrade on whatever they have.

 

Primeau still has NHL upside to me - he may have a 1B ceiling but if he can clean up some of the same elements that Montembeault has, he has a good shot at making it.  And with him being three years younger than Montembeault, he has a lot of time to work on that still.

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1 hour ago, Dalhabs said:

Eliteprospects have rumor on Dichow going to Frölunda of the SHL. That would be a great chance for him.

***IF*** he actually gets to play

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24 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

what do you know about Frölunda to say that?

 

Goalies usually don't go from playing in the Allsvenskan to starting in the SHL, especially on one of the better teams in the league.  It's one thing for him to get a promotion but for someone who has hardly played, he needs to play.  Him going there and being a backup would be a bad thing from a development perspective with how little he has played overall since being drafted.

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2 hours ago, dlbalr said:

 

Goalies usually don't go from playing in the Allsvenskan to starting in the SHL, especially on one of the better teams in the league.  It's one thing for him to get a promotion but for someone who has hardly played, he needs to play.  Him going there and being a backup would be a bad thing from a development perspective with how little he has played overall since being drafted.

@Dalhabs was saying that it would be a great opportunity for Dichow, I usually take his word on stuff in the SHL

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51 minutes ago, alfredoh2009 said:

@Dalhabs was saying that it would be a great opportunity for Dichow, I usually take his word on stuff in the SHL

You give me too much trust here...  Id listen alot more to what Brian says. 

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I have an irrational liking for Montembeault - I think because I saw Jacob Markstrom come into Van as a tall, rangy goalie with similar failings in his game and watched him blossom into a stud in his late 20s - but I don’t pretend to be a goalie expert. Brian’s appraisal is surely realistic.

 

The classic rebuild scenario is a 5-year “plan.” That is, you want to contend by year five. That, to me, makes perfect sense: aim to be a heavy-duty elite team as Suzuki enters his prime years. I am a little worried about taking Slick Nick as a cornerstone piece based on his production this year, but I’ll choose to be optimistic and say that this is all part of the learning process for him. 

 

All vets are on the market as far as I am concerned. But personally I anticipate Price retiring a Hab.

 

Petry, as I’ve said in another thread, is probably best moved next year, in the hope that he can have some sort of bounce back that will make him tradeable.

 

Edmundson, I keep. His value now will be low anyway. You just have to hope his game does not regress after a lost year.

 

Chiarot, trade.

 

All other D are on the block except Romanov, who I conceive as growing into a quality second-pairing guy on a good team.

 

Other than Caufield and Suzuki, all forwards are tradeable (although it would make little sense for us to trade lower-tier guys like Evans or Poehling). Gallagher, I definitely move. That contract will definitely be a problem as the rebuild moves into “contending” mode - let some other franchise deal with it.  You need to keep some players, though, so some veterans will be retained, e.g., Josh Anderson.

 

In terms of return, the ideal is a “Patches-for-Suzuki” scenario, where we get back blue-chip prospects rather than picks. I recognize that will not always be possible, but if we can land even one stud prospect in the sell-off, that will make a big difference to the future. Since none of the guys we’re sending back are in MaxPac’s league, I imagine that second-tier prospects and fairly high picks are a more likely outcome. 

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If he can get healthy, Allen might well be on the block, too. We're not going to be contending in the next few years, and he has a team-friendly contract, so I expect he would have some trade value (subject to the health, as noted).

 

But there is also the nagging worry about Price's recovery, three attempts at rehab now. If he can't return ...

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Does anyone think that with all that Price has gone thru this year, especially the personal issue that saw him check into the players assistance program, and the direction the team is going, rebuilt or reset, that he's contemplating retiring?

 

Just a feeling, but somehow I am wondering if he's had enough. I presume he's made enough money to take care of his family for the rest of his life so I wonder if he's still interested in playing in a situation where there's little chance of winning. Personally I don't think he will want to stay in this situation. 

 

So maybe it's retire or try to move somewhere else. I think because his return is taking so long that I've begun wondering if there's more to it, like he's deciding if he really wants to keep doing all this.  

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After getting 3 wins from a ring, i kinda think he would love to win one, with someone, before retiring. Is the only gap in his HofF resume.

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1 hour ago, REV-G said:

... I presume he's made enough money to take care of his family for the rest of his life so I wonder if he's still interested in playing in a situation where there's little chance of winning ... So maybe it's retire or try to move somewhere else ...

 

1 hour ago, DON said:

After getting 3 wins from a ring, i kinda think he would love to win one, with someone, before retiring. Is the only gap in his HofF resume.

Cap Friendly estimates his career earnings at $97,234,368 at the end of this season ... I agree he may well want a chance at a Cup and might well be willing to leave the habs to do so, especially if the team is actually in a longer term reset/rebuild/retool ... but given his contract it may be very difficult to move him elsewhere ... a hypothetical possibility that has never (to my recollection) been mentioned (or at least not recently) is mutual contract termination (like Plekanec) ... but I couldn't find anything about how that works if there is term remaining on the contract (anyone know?) ... termination might even preclude signing elsewhere ... ***if possible*** then a mutual termination would both allow Carey to move elsewhere and it would relieve the cap hit on the Habs .. expect the Habs would want Price to indicate (non-binding obviously) that he would look to move the Western Conference.

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Termination is pretty simple if both sides want to do it: the player is first placed on waivers, and they can then proceed to terminate. This is what the Jets did with Niki, allowing the Habs to sign him.

 

That said, I think the probability of Price wanting to do that is pretty low. In addition, the Habs would receive nothing at all in compensation.

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1 hour ago, REV-G said:

Does anyone think that with all that Price has gone thru this year, especially the personal issue that saw him check into the players assistance program, and the direction the team is going, rebuilt or reset, that he's contemplating retiring?

 

Just a feeling, but somehow I am wondering if he's had enough. I presume he's made enough money to take care of his family for the rest of his life so I wonder if he's still interested in playing in a situation where there's little chance of winning. Personally I don't think he will want to stay in this situation. 

 

So maybe it's retire or try to move somewhere else. I think because his return is taking so long that I've begun wondering if there's more to it, like he's deciding if he really wants to keep doing all this.  

 

Awfully hard to say, hmm, I think I'll forfeit a little over $31M in salary, regardless of how much he's already made. I'd say there's zero chance he's contemplating retirement.

 

As far as "What would GM Huzer do?" First course of action, get rid of all expiring contracts that I can possibly get rid of as they move into the deadline. Chiarot, Wideman, Kulak. Yeah, I'm sure the market is rather slim for Perrault, Paquette, and Dauphin. Lehkonen maybe. Might be a taker for Allen, probably not Byron since he hasn't played and still has the year left.

 

Quite honestly, there's so much to do, I don't know how I'd prioritize after that. Scouting, analytics, entry draft, coaching staff, contract management, offseason trades. I guess you don't take the GM gig if you want an easy ride.

 

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26 minutes ago, huzer said:

As far as "What would GM Huzer do?" First course of action, get rid of all expiring contracts that I can possibly get rid of as they move into the deadline.

All expiring ones? So we're left with Anderson, Armia, Caufield, Dvorak, Evans, Gallagher, Hoffman, Poehling, Suzuki and Toffoli up front, and Edmundson, Petry and Savard on D. Is this the core that GM Huzer would want to build around? Long-term contracts good, expiring ones bad?

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29 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

All expiring ones? So we're left with Anderson, Armia, Caufield, Dvorak, Evans, Gallagher, Hoffman, Poehling, Suzuki and Toffoli up front, and Edmundson, Petry and Savard on D. Is this the core that GM Huzer would want to build around? Long-term contracts good, expiring ones bad?

 

 

Seriously? This is your response? 🙄 Although looking at RFAs, Lehkonen, Romanov, Primeau, as far as NHL players that are RFA, are about the only ones worth resigning. So yeah, pretty much. UFA, they should trade them all. RFA, I didn't see any need to retain Pitlick, Clague, Niku, McNiven, Pezzetta, nor do I see them returning anything on trade. And I guess, looking at your list of players, I mean, yeah, that's about it, except I'd try and try some of those players, too. I also didn't specify what I'd do with long term contracts, although I did state:

 

1 hour ago, huzer said:

Quite honestly, there's so much to do, I don't know how I'd prioritize after that. Scouting, analytics, entry draft, coaching staff, contract management, offseason trades

 

I'd put "offseason trades" that I mentioned in the category that not all long term contracts are good.

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5 hours ago, tomh009 said:

Termination is pretty simple if both sides want to do it: the player is first placed on waivers, and they can then proceed to terminate. This is what the Jets did with Niki, allowing the Habs to sign him.

 

That said, I think the probability of Price wanting to do that is pretty low. In addition, the Habs would receive nothing at all in compensation.

the chances of him wanting to terminate our ZERO, given the dollars and term remaining - regardless of how much money he’s made.

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