Archive for June, 2012

22
Jun
12

Habs 2012 NHL Draft and the Past

With the NHL draft at hand in Pittsburgh tonight, it’s been 19 years since the Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup (the year Patrick Roy won the Conn Smyth for playoff MVP) as well as 10 years since a Habs player has won the Hart MVP and Vezina Trophies (Jose Theodore),  40 years since the Calder Rookie Trophy (Ken Dryden), 34 years since the Art Ross Top League Scorer (Guy Lafleur),  23 years since the Norris Defencman trophy (Chris Chelios), 20 years since the Selke Trophy for top defensive-forward (Guy Carbonneau) and lastly 22 years since a member of the team has scored 50 goals (Stephan Richer).

What’s going on with the Montreal Canadiens? With the exception of recently Max Pacioretty winning the Bill Masterton trophy, their more important trophy showcase has been empty for years now?  It all comes back to the NHL draft. They have made some really big mistakes in the draft over the past few decades (and thus missing out on high-calibre and award winning players) specifically the following:

– In 2006, the Canadiens selected USHS player David Fischer (D) with their 1st round 22nd overall pick passing up Claude Giroux (R) later chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the round.

– In 2005, the Canadiens selected  Guillaume Latendresse (R) with their 2nd round 45th overall pick passing up Kris Letang (D) later chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

– In 2004, the Canadiens selected WHL player Kyle Chipchura (C) with their 1st round 18th overall pick passing up Mike Green (D) later chosen by the Washington Capitals in the round.

– In 2003 the Habs picked Andrei Kostitsyn with their 1st round 10th selection instead of League MVP Corey Perry selected later in the round

– In 2002, the Canadiens selected Tomas Linhart (D) of the Czech Republic with their 2nd round 45th overall pick passing up Duncan Keith (D) later chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks in the round.

– In 1998, the Canadiens selected Gord Dwyer (LW) with their 6th round 152nd overall pick passing up Russian great Pavel Datsyuk (C) later chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the round.

– In 1990, the Canadiens selected Turner Stevenson with their 1st round 12th overall pick passing up Martin Brodeur (G) later chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the round.

– In 1989, the Canadiens selected Pierre Sevigny with their 3rd round 51st overall pick passing up on Nicklas Lidstrom later chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the round.

– a player by the name of Luc Robitaille was drafted in the 9th round 171st overall in 1984 by the Los Angeles Kings as the Montreal Canadiens had wider eyes set on no name American born Brad McCaughey.

– In 1980, the Montreal Canadiens, with access to the first pick overall in the first round of the draft decided to go with Doug Wickenheiser instead of the talented player from Pointe Gatineau, Quebec named Denis Savard.

– In 1977, the Montreal Canadiens decided to draft Toronto native Mark Napier as their 10th overall pick in the first round instead of taking Montreal native Mike Bossy who was selected in as the 15th pick of the 1st round by the New York Islanders.

Now it is much easier to understand why the Montreal Canadiens are so far from their winning ways. Poor scouting and ultimately drafting. With Trevor Timmins still at the helm of the Habs drafting/scouting system, how can things change?

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11
Jun
12

Should Habs go After PA Parenteau?

With free agency weeks away from commencing, the Habs have many needs they must fill from last year’s disastrous last place finish in the Eastern Conference. With a bunch of up and coming prospects at the center position (Leblanc, Bournival, Eller, Fortier, etc.) a talented playmaking winger would really help them boost their offensive numbers. They had such a forward in Alex Tanguay some years ago but Bob Gainey decided to pre-maturely release him after giving up so much for Tanguay and going for Camalleri instead. But how about Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau from the NY Islanders? Quietly in his third season, he has really put up decent numbers on a lowly Islanders squad.

Imagine that? A Quebec native son to perhaps one day play alongside Louis Leblanc or Michael Bournival? Anyone watching Louis Leblanc carefully last year could see he was a talented player put on the wing who played with not so talented forwards on his line. Often enough he made nice passes or was in position to score but his linemates goofed up the play. Signing Parenteau would be the quickest return on any investment for Habs GM Marc Bergevin. Everybody on his line would put up Tavares like numbers. Parenteau is a natural playmaker. Gionta, Gomez and Plekanec have shown that there are limits to their play with the Habs, but Parenteau is looking like he is about to explode over the next few seasons. Signing Parenteau for the Habs is truly a “no-brainer” decision.