Posts Tagged ‘NHL

22
Jun
16

Should the Habs Draft Julien Gauthier?

After not making the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens showed they were missing size and skill at the forward position. With too many grinders or diminutive forwards they lack a towering presence who can win the battles to the net and most importantly finish. The Montreal Canadiens have not had a 50 goal scorer in 27 seasons since Stephane Richer. A player that General Manager Marc Bergevin seriously needs to take a look at is 6’4″ Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec native Julien Gauthier. Having scored 79 goals in his last two seasons for Val D’or of the Quebec league, Julien is the package. He is a natural goal scorer. A tough large forward who will drop his gloves regularly to fight to motivate and fire up his team. He is not afraid to go to the net and stay there.

Julien possesses tremendous hockey vision, great skating abilities and skill. His speed and size with his tremendous puck handling skills would fill a void behind Max Pacioretty for wingers with size and raw goal scoring prowess for the Montreal Canadiens. Having been selected to Team Canada Junior teams in a supporting role in the past, Gauthier also possesses leadership and drive that will go along way in his pro hockey career. The Habs have lacked the toughness it needs to make the playoffs and go further in the absence of such type of players as Julien Gauthier. Don’t get me wrong, Gallagher, Desharnais and Galhenyuk are good players but just are not strong enough to battle top playoff contenders. Many of the top Quebec players in the NHL for opposite teams up their game when in front of the hometown crowd. This trend has to stop and the only way of doing so is by bringing them to play for the Montreal Canadiens. With Vincent Lecavalier retiring recently along with a generation of homegrown talent superstars, a new generation is rising of Quebec hockey players and Julien Gauthier is one of them. A perfect fit for the Montreal Canadiens at the upcoming draft in Buffalo, NY.

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15
Jun
16

Should The Habs Sign David Perron?

With the Montreal Canadiens struggling offensively yet again this season, and the fact that developing draft players often takes years of patience, trading often means giving up good players in return, it only becomes a matter of time that GM Marc Bergevin needs to look for help free agency. With recent trade busts, it’s becoming obvious that the Montreal Canadiens Management has a lot of difficulty trading. Their inability to sacrifice decent players to get better players, sign skilled talent or even chase bargains has made their talent base decrease substantially to their current declining state. When will Bergevin start to realize that the Hab’s is offensive chemistry lacking? Watching the disconnect in the passing between team mates as well as relying too much on one player for each line to get points on the scoreboard are costing the Habs easy points in the standings. One player that comes to mind is a local Sherbooke native David Perron. David Perron has been a journeyman in the NHL who was traded just before the Pittsburgh Penguins made their Stanley Cup run. In all fairness the whole team including Sidney Crosby  was playing poorly until the team fired the coach but they fired him after Perron’s departure.

A gritty play maker and goal scorer who had some great years with St Louis and Edmonton has a style of playing that could really gel with Habs players such as Pacioretty, Desharnais and company. He can hit and fight too. He is still only 28 years old and decent size at 6’0″ in height (taller than Gallagher, Desharnais, Plekanec and Byron) has some skill that could really ignite the Montreal’s offence. David Perron is a fantastic playmaker who could create many better quality offensive opportunities than the team is creating currently on the power play and even strength. He isn’t afraid to drive to the net. David Perron also thrives on playing in front of the home town fans in Montreal. Without a mix of Quebec players, too much pressure is put on the few remaining Francophones that exist in the system right now. The Habs would not have to give much up for such a player and probably not have to offer too much money to sign him. Imagine the passing chemistry if Bergevin grabbed him and the improved power play as well as a hometown player who can play the old school style of Montreal Canadiens hockey (not the dump and chase that they have now regressed to). The last time the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1993 they had a team stacked with local Quebec talent and now have regressed to the fewest hometown players in Franchise history. This is a no brainer and would be a great boost for the Habs if Bergevin woke up and brought David Perron to the team where he belongs.

12
Jun
15

Should Habs Sign Francois Beauchemin?

Back in 1998, one of the deepest draft years for the Montreal Canadiens in recent history, an up and coming Laval QMJHL defencemen was picked in the 3rd round 75th overall by the Habs. Later given up by the same team that drafted him, Francois Beauchemin went on to greatness by winning a Stanley Cup for Anaheim and positioning himself as a leader of the team. With the free agency deadline approaching Francois Beauchemin is a UFA on an Anaheim team with alot of up and coming talent. Should the Montreal Canadiens sign the 35 year old rugged defenceman and make a legitimate run for the Stanely Cup? Francois still has good years left in him and would give the Habs that extra push they seem to lack when Subban and Markov cannot solve opposing teams offense by themselves. With Jeff Petry signed surprisingly for a huge contract, perhaps moving Tom Gilbert or Alexei Emelin would add some cap space. Beauchemin would bring 1 more championship caliber defenceman to a team that has lost it’s way in the post season. The veteran leadership and work ethic would help younger players on the team develop. A reasonable 3 year contract for $10.5-12 would probably be enough to lure the Sorel Quebec native defenceman home to play. A late starter in the NHL he has the potenital to play like former Hab Chris Chelios much longer than most expect. The Habs made a big mistake letting him go years ago but can completely corrrect that by bringing Beauchemin back who is completely familiar with the Canadiens system since he was a direct product of it’s development. The Montreal Canadiens need more hometown players to give the team an edge in the playoffs next season. Should the Habs Sign Francois Beauchemin?

10
Jun
15

Should The Montreal Canadiens Draft Anthony Richard?

With the Montreal Canadiens offence struggling throughout the recent regular season and post season playoff drive offence becomes a priority to improve during the off season. It’s been many years since the Canadiens had a 50 goal scorer (Stephane Richer back in the 1989-1990 season) as well as a top 10 league scorer. Regarded as one of the deepest drafts in a generation this year offers many teams the chance to select high quality players that normally would be first round picks in previous years in the lower rounds. First and foremost the Montreal Canadiens have no 2nd and 4th round picks due
to recent trades which could come back to haunt them.

Within the QMJHL ranks there lies a Quebec native player for Val-d’Or by the name of Anthony Richard. It’s been a lifetime since a player with that last name dawned a Montreal Canadiens jersey. Anthony has a similar frame to that of one time great Maurice Richard (both height and weight wise). Anyone following him this past season will notice a repeating pattern of big games where he scored hat tricks for his team. Although the draft combine measures strength and endurance (all things that can easily be taught to a prospect) skill is the main ability that cannot be taught. With Charlie Hudon and Jeremy Gregoire definitely highly skilled future Quebec prospects for the Habs that have high potential to make the big club, Anthony Richard inevitably has Montreal Canadiens history written all over him in his style and skill. Although he is rated to go 126th in the overall draft, Marc Bergevin and his management must draft this player as he could be the steal of the draft. Scoring 43 goals and 91 points as well as 22 points in 17 games in the post season, this natural goal scorer of a player is much needed for the Habs to complement their current playmaking forwards who are limited in scoring potential. The Habs will need to trade some existing players to regain draft picks or they could miss out like they have in recent years on homegrown talent. Watching the Stanley Cup finals and noticing players like Antoine Vermette and Cedrick Paquette whom were both passed up by the Montreal Canadiens in prior drafts you realize why the Habs are extending their golf season right now and not in the thick of the action. If Anthony Richard is not drafted by the Montreal Canadiens it would be a crime.

10
Feb
15

Should Habs Trade Lars Eller?

The Montreal Canadiens are approaching the March trade deadline in an enviable spot in the standings but still need a boost to make a legitimate run for the playoffs. Centre Lars Eller has been very streaky over the length of his career. Limited offensively and noted for coughing up the puck at the most in opportune time, is it time the Habs trade Lars Eller? Although he is a two way forward, he is neither brilliant offensively nor defensively. For the amount of playing time Eller gets from head coach Therrien, his numbers are rather disappointing. He tends to float a lot during games and although will have a couple of big games in terms of production, then disappear for long stretches at a time. Perhaps sending Eller and a prospect or draft pick to Arizona for Antoine Vermette or to Philadelphia in a similar package for Vincent Lecavalier might be a better move for Habs GM Marc Bergevin to improve the strength of the Habs forward lines and make a serious run for the Stanley Cup? Let’s face it, Lars Eller is not a power forward and it’s time the Montreal Canadiens take this player (who has never scored more than 30 points in a season) and is a combined minus 19 in his last 2 seasons and send him elsewhere.

05
Feb
15

How can the Maple Leafs save their season?

The Toronto Maples Leafs have entered an unprecedented losing streak in this 2014-2015 season. They have missed the playoffs 8 out of their last 9 season seasons. Phil Kessel was the lone star representing the team in the all star game. In fact, they have not been competitive since Ken Dryden was last President of the team. But what can the Maple Leafs do to salvage their dignity and more importantly this season and the next couple of seasons thereafter? We can go through all the many mistakes they have made over the years to lead them up to this point or we can just list what they need to do now and going forward as below:

– End the nepotism bubble and get rid of all the scouts, management and so called self-proclaimed analytics expert and barely legal looking Kyle Dubas (don’t you need an advanced math degree to be an official analytics expert?)
– limit scouting to Canadian amateur leagues (WHL, OHL and QJMHL), maybe 1 for the USHL as well as 1 in Russia and 1 in Sweden
– stop rushing development of players from the minors to the NHL who are too young and not ready
– take the bottom 3 performing defencemen as well as bottom 6 performing forwards and ship them all out
– the bottom 2 lines (6 players) should be filled with two way or defensive players
– the bottom 3 defencemen should only be defensive defencemen
– put Frederik Gauthier in the Marlies and not in Rimouski of the Q
– get rid of James Reimer and call up Antoine Bibeau (who is showing alot of maturity in the Marlies) to back up Bernier in nets as well as only play Bernier 2 games in a row and the backup the 3rd game going forward
– get an experienced person to develop the prospects who really knows hockey (like Doug Gilmour or Guy Carbonneau)

Face it, the Maple Leafs are one dimensional. The entire team Management has built likes to be offensive and are not defensive minded. That is why with the new coach stressing defence, they can no longer win. They need to have a balanced team where all the players are not the same type on the team. By trading their underperforming players away, they can get some prospects and picks to help develop their future depth as well as claim some veteran leaders whose roles are limited on their current squads and can bring that two way forward presence needed or defensive minded approach. With every shake up in Management and coaching staff, the Leafs still manage to lose as they never ever learn from history to correct their past mistakes. Until they do so, they will never win. Listed above is the only way they can win again.

21
Feb
14

Should Marc Bergevin Grab Simon Despres and David Savard?

With the 2014 trade deadline coming, Marc Bergevin has a lot of decisions to make for the present and the future of the Montreal Canadiens. Two players whom the Montreal Canadiens really need right now are 6’4″ Laval, PQ native defenceman Simon Depres currently playing for the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as 6’2″ St Hyacinthe, PQ native defenceman David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both their size and skill as well as some decent NHL experience and numbers they’ve put up early in their careers would really be a big improvement in the future of the defensive core for the Montreal Canadiens. Depres would bring much needed size to the Habs and was a former teammate with current Habs prospect defenceman Nathan Beaulieau back in their Memorial Cup winning days St.John’s days in the Q. They dominated once before and can do it again for the Montreal Canadiens. With the last name Savard, any fans who remember the 70’s Habs defensive great would be silly to overlook this promising young defenceman from the Blue Jackets who was formerly the Quebec league defenceman of the year. Both players for their age, look really mature and good early on in their NHL careers. With former 1st round draft pick Depres in the AHL right now to make room for the Penguins roster of talent, the Habs could easily grab him if they exchanged their former 1st round pick hulking defensive prospect Jared Tinordi. This would be a no brainer as Depres would fit much better in the Habs organization. To get David Savard, the Habs could trade limited defenceman Josh Gorges. Face it, Gorges has heart and apparently good with the team mates in the dressing room but is not helping the Habs dominate on defence and with his salary and disastrous post season performance he is a liability. The Habs would need to deal a player or two with Gorges to make the salary exchange economically efficient for the Blue Jackets.

The Habs obviously are not a complete team nor a contender going into the playoffs but by trading players who have limited potential in the Habs organization for players who are unlimited in their potential GM Marc Bergevin could make a huge leap for the Habs to be much closer to a legitimate Stanley Cup run more than any of his predecessors not since Serge Savard (referenced above). Imagine, a defence lined with PK Subban, Markov, Yemelin, Beaulieau, Depres and Savard? There would be a lot of Stanley Cup championships returning to the city of Montreal with a defensive squad sporting names like those on their jerseys.