Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole…………

Jerry

The Montreal Canadiens were dealt a crushing blow last Thursday, as news was made public that Shea Weber would be missing the next 5-6 months due to knee, and ankle surgeries.  While it sucks to see one of the games greats go down injured, I am more than thrilled with the damage it does to the Montreal Canadiens.  I would like to think that this injury would make the Habs a lock to draft number 1 overall next year.   With Shea Weber in the lineup they still had a very good chance to finish with the number 1 pick, but this news should seal the deal.

Another year, and another disaster of an off-season for the Bleu Blanc en Rouge.  Slowly but surely, they tore down a Stanley Cup contending team.  It all started in 2016, when rumblings of P.K. Subban being shopped around a bit.  Of course this news was immediately shut down by General Manager Marc Bergevin.  How could they ever trade the face of the franchise?  The man who helped bring the Habs back into contention, the same man who donated over $10 million dollars to build a new Children’s Hospital in Montreal. That didn’t stop Marc Bergevin from executing one of the worst trades of all time.

The first domino in the Habs demise.  This isn’t a terrible trade in terms of value.  Subban and Weber are pretty much even on the ice.  Subban has a slight edge, as he is a better overall skater than Weber.  The issue here is age.  P.K. is currently only 29, and around 27 at the time of this trade.  Weber is now 32, and was 30 at the time of the trade.  Subban has a $9 million dollar cap hit until 2022, and Weber has a $7.8 million dollar cap hit until 2026.  Give me the contract that expires in 2022, and give me the younger player.  It is the fact that he was the face of the Montreal Canadiens.  He was the face of hockey’s most famous (horrid, vile, disgusting, putrid) franchise.  How could you possibly trade this guy?

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The Weber for Subban trade is such a head-scratcher.  There was absolutely no need for this trade, because if it works out, it is a lateral move at best.  It hasn’t worked out at all for Weber, who only played in 26 regular season games in 2018.  He will miss a significant portion of 2018-19 as well.  To this day, nobody can pinpoint a specific reason as to why P.K. Subban was traded from Montreal.

Just a few weeks later that same offseason, the Habs decided they wanted to make themselves even worse.

Andrew Shaw had spent five seasons as a member of the otherworldly Chicago Blackhawks.  He was a valuable piece to the puzzle for Joel Quenneville, as Shaw brought toughness, attitude, and secondary scoring.  He was a shithead on the ice, but he showed he could pot a few goals at timely occasions.

Andrew Shaw

Not horrible numbers for a guy who was seen more as an agitator/pest, but Montreal went way over the top trading not one, but two second round picks for him.  To make matters worse, shortly after this trade:

Marc Bergevin decided to reward Andrew Shaw with a 6 year, $15 million dollar extension just minutes after the trade.  Andrew Shaw is a valuable player, he is one of those guys that is needed on almost every NHL team.  The dude can hit, is willing to fight when needed, and scores goals.  All of that said, a six year contract at $3.9 million dollars per season is just asinine.  This contract is still hurting the Habitants to this day, as there has been a slow decline in production for Shaw.   Fewer games played, and lower point totals.  With there being 4 years left on his deal, Shaw is virtually immovable.

Andrew Shaw 2

All was somewhat forgiven in 2016-17, as the Habs still managed to make the postseason.  Hell, they won the Atlantic Division, finishing with 103 points.  Mostly riding Carey Price, and they were bounced in six games by the New York Rangers.  Despite the horrendous Subban trade, the Habs were still a playoff team, and had recently hired a one-time Stanley Cup winning Head Coach in Claude Julien.

LOL CLODE

The Montreal Canadiens then decided to dig themselves an even deeper hole.  Despite 103 points and winning the Atlantic Division, it was obvious the Habs needed Center Depth.  What did Marc Bergevin do?  Well, he traded for a winger of course! He’s French-Canadian at least!

Just another brutal trade from Marc Bergevin.  Jonathan Drouin is a solid goal scorer, but he is not a natural center.  Despite what the Canadiens tell you, he’s a left-winger.  He signed a Six Year contract extension just minutes after the deal was completed.  Turns out, Drouin really kind of sucks out of his natural position.  In 2016-17 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Drouin had a career year.  In 73 games, he finished with 21 goals, 32 assists, for 53 total points.  This year?  Drouin’s productivity dropped, as he accumulated 13 goals, 33 assists, and 46 points.  This drop is somewhat significant, as he managed to play four more games in 2018, playing in 77 total contests.

The piece’s the Canadiens gave up?  Well, Mikhail Sergachev finished 2018 looking like a future top pairing Defenseman.  While, he wasn’t one of the three finalists for the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year), Sergachev dazzled much like Boston’s Charlie McAvoy.

When it was all said and done, Montreal was left without any lethal weapons on offense, a slow aging defense, and a good goalie.  Sweet!  Not mentioned earlier, but after their 2017 first round exit, Montreal let longtime defensive stalwart, Andrei Markov walk to the KHL after 16 seasons in Montreal.  They also failed to re-sign troubled forward, Alex Radulov after his stellar 2017 season.  While he only played 1 season in Montreal, he was by far their most lethal scoring winger.

To top it off, to start off the 2018 Off-Season,  Montreal traded away its best Center!

Good lord, what an abortion of a trade.  Alex Galchenyuk was drafted 3rd overall in the 2012 NHL Draft by Montreal.  Throughout his time there, Chucky was always scrutinized by the organization, and fans alike.  He was a very talented player, with potential to become the Habs Number 1 Center.  Problem with that is, the Canadiens refused to play him at Center.  He was forced to play on the wing for Michel Therrien, and Claude Julien.  After posting 30 goals, 26 assists, and 56 points in 2015-2016, he has not been the same.

The Habs decided to trade him for yet another winger in Max Domi.  Domi was picked 12th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.  After posting 18 goals, 34 assists, and 52 points in his rookie year, Domi hasn’t surpassed 9 goals in either of the past two seasons.  Domi scored 9 goals in 2017-18, 4 of which were empty netters.  The most Center desperate team traded it’s best Center option, for a winger who can’t score more than 9 goals.  Ole indeed.

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Now it’s all about acquiring picks and prospects for whatever they might have of value.  Look for Max Pacioretty to be traded in the near future.  Patches will be a UFA by the end of the season, and the Habs will either be re-signing him or trading him by the trade deadline.

This second point is unlikely, but I will try and make it work.  I would think if the Habs are going to trade away Patches to rebuild, Carey Price would be on the block.  Now, another huge misstep made by Marc Bergevin was the contract extension he handed to Price.  Last Off-Season saw Price sign an 8 year, $84 million dollar contract extension.  That is good for $10.5 million dollars a year.  YIKES.  Carey Price is a great goalie, but no goalie is worth that kind of money.  Ever.

So, let us all bask in, and enjoy the demise of Les Habitants.  I am not satisfied with how bad they are.  I need more.  I need the Canadiens to lose so much, they are relocated.  Fuck this sorry fan-base, team, and everything that goes into it. You all SUCK, and you have been one of the worst teams in the NHL since 1993.   Enjoy being the laughingstock of the NHL for the foreseeable future, because I sure will.

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Ole Ole Ole….

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The John Tavares Decision.

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July 1st came and went in the NHL, and it was quite an eventful week or so leading up with John Tavares exploring the open market.  The Bruins made their pitch to the prized Center, but he decided to go home to Toronto.  Good for him getting to live a childhood dream.  Counting down the days until the Toronto Media fakes a daily trip to hot dog cart, like they did with Phil Kessel.  The Leafs haven’t won a cup since the fucking 60’s, yet they have the most obnoxious fans, and media coverage.  The Bruins have 2-3 beat writers covering the team, Toronto has around 15.  There is an extreme amount of pressure from the fans, and media up there.  It almost never works out, and I cannot wait for the stories, and or turmoil that come with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As for the Isles, I really feel for those fans.  They haven’t had much to cheer about since the clock struck 1990.  I wouldn’t say they were the worst team in the NHL from 1990-2018, but they are right up there.  I understand the fans anger and frustration with John.  I would be fuming if a player like that left the Bruins, especially after John repeatedly reinforced his love for the Island, and the Organization with the media.  This seems to be a huge source of anger for the Islander fans.  “HE SAID HE LOVED IT HERE,  HE WAS LYING!!!!!!!!”.  No shit morons, he’s not going to say “We’re a fucking joke, Garth Snow is incompetent, Charles Wang moved us off the Island, in 2019 we’ll play games in Brooklyn and Long Island.  I want to leave here I hate it”.  The anger shouldn’t be directed at John, he gave 9 seasons to a joke of a franchise.   You forced Corey Conacher on his line for 15 games in 2014:

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AHL MVP Cory Conacher

John Tavares earned $16 million dollars from the Colorado Avalanche for career Journeyman,  P.A. Parenteau.  In 2010-11 Parenteau was brought onto Long Island after only playing 27 total NHL games in nearly 7 full seasons.

PAP stats

Boom goes the dynamite.  These two seasons riding on JT’s hip was parlayed into a 4 year $16 million dollar contract with Colorado in 2013.  He lasted only 2 seasons out of the 4 he signed for, was traded to Montreal, and was bought out heading into the final year of his contract.  He’s bounced around team to team ever since, and he announced his retirement just a few weeks ago.

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If crappy/journeyman linemates weren’t enough, the Islanders don’t have a home.  In 2015 the Islanders left their long-time home, Nassau Coliseum for the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.  The arena was a complete, and utter dump at the time they left, but it was still a great arena.  The fans were fucking nuts when the Islanders were actually good.  But the team couldn’t get approval for a new Arena in Nassau.  As we know this move has sucked the life out of the Islanders, and their loyal fans.  The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn is a joke.

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To make matters worse, the Barclay’s Center kicked the Islanders out!  Leaving them homeless for the 2018-2019 season.  An agreement was eventually set where the Islanders would split games between Brooklyn and the (renovated?) Nassau Coliseum for the next THREE seasons.  What a joke.  An NHL franchise without a home arena.  Last I checked Air Canada Centre is the Leafs home, and will likely be the Leafs home for the foreseeable future.   These are just a few of the reasons why I believe Tavares left.  He’s played with many crappy players, and the organization overall is a mess.  Sure they hired Lou Lamorillo and Barry Trotz this off-season, but too little too late.  Shouldn’t have waited to make these types of moves until the last minute.  They had 9 seasons to hire a competent GM, coach, and have a stable fucking Arena.  Sooner or later enough is enough.  I just feel like Islanders fans are miss-directing their anger, this is 100% on the organization.

Look for the Islanders to probably suck again this year (They’d have a lot of work to do if Tavares stayed).  They have the rookie of the year winner in Mat Barzal.  This kid has all the skill in the world, and was a great compliment to John Tavares as their second line center.  Now he’ll have to be the guy.  A lot of pressure for the kid, and I hope it’s not too soon for him to take the leap.  While he won rookie of the year,  he largely was playing behind Tavares with and against worse competition.  Doesn’t make him any less nasty, but it is a factor.  John takes the best defenders, and forwards from the opposition night in night out.

There are a few decent pieces in the forward group from which to build on despite no JT.  Josh Bailey is coming off a career year in which he registered 71 points on 18 goals, and 53 assists.

Anders Lee is another Islander forward coming off a career year.  He registered 40 goals and 22 assists for 62 total points.  He had himself a fucking year, despite the team going down the crapper during the second half of the season.

These are the forwards they’ll have to build around.  Obviously, no one is going to replace JT right away, but these are the guys that I would build my team around.  It’ll take a miracle to find another Center in the ilk of John Tavares.  That would likely have to come through the NHL Draft.  Maybe Barzal fills the shoes, but it is a lot of pressure.  Part of me see’s the speedy, shifty, smaller Barzal as a perfect compliment to a big bruising two way center like Tavares.  I feel like Barzal is destined to be a really fucking good second line center.  Time will tell.

The NHL Draft, at least the beginning of it saw the Islanders “Win the draft”.  They had two first round selections (11 and 12).  They drafted Oliver Wahlstrom from the US National Development Program.  Bruins fans might actually remember this dude:

With the 12th pick they took Noah Dobson, a Defenseman from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  Don’t know too much about the kid, but everything I am reading sounds good.  He’s fairly tall at 6’3, is a good skater, and is productive at both ends of the ice.  Might need to put on some weight to deal with the NHL, as he is only 176 lbs.

It is going to be a long year for the Islanders, but I thought they would still suck with Tavares.  They have a poor Defense Corps (Boychuk, De Haan, Seidenberg LOL, Pelech, Pulock, Mayfield, Aho, Etc.)  Bunch of JAGS.  They have some solid puck movers in Pulock and De Haan, but De Haan has two feet out the door already.  Boychuk is being paid as a top pairing Defenseman, but he’s a number 3 Defenseman at best.  Their starting goalie, Jaroslav Halak, who is average at best, left the Islanders for Boston to be Tuukka Rask’s backup on July 1st.  A lot of holes to fill on this roster, and not enough time.  Lets hope the John Tavares decision doesn’t push this organization down a deeper, darker hole.  A team with such GORGEOUS uniforms, and colors cannot be this bad.

Pray for the Islanders.

John Tavares Meets With Bruins Brass in LA.

It’s been a while since we talked Bruins, even longer since we talked at all.  We are smack dab in the middle of the NHL Off-Season.  Last week started it all off with the NHL Entry Draft.  The Buffalo Sabres finally caught a damn break, and won the Draft Lottery.  They used the number 1 pick on Swedish Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

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I don’t want to focus on the NHL draft, but just know this kid is going to dominate.  He’s a top end Defenseman, who can play at an elite level in both ends.  It might take time to develop, but he will be amazing. Buffalo has a plethora of top-end young talent.   Eichel, Ristolainen, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, and now Dahlin.  Don’t forget Casey Mittlestadt another top end prospect.  Buffalo, headed in the right direction for eternity.

Now, to the real story here.  John Tavares, the Number 1 overall selection in the 2009 NHL draft is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1st.  For much of his time in Long Island and Brooklyn the Isles have sucked.  He’s only made the playoffs three times in 9 total seasons.  He’s only made it to the second round once, and his Isles were bounced in 5 games.  All of that doesn’t matter.  John Tavares is a fantastic hockey player.  He’s lived up to every bit of the number 1 overall tag. Johnny TStats speak from themselves.  4-time 30 goal scorer, scored 28 goals in the lockout shortened season, and even put up a solid 6g-5a-11pts in his only half decent run with the Islanders.  To go along with the goal scoring ability, John is not as good but in the same ballpark as Patrice Bergeron defensively, and in the Face-off Circle.  This is what Baseball weenies would call a five tool player.

2018 was yet another disastrous season on the Ice for the Islanders.  They failed to qualify for the postseason, General Manager Garth Snow stepped down, and Head Coach Doug Weight was axed.  Dusty fossil, Lou Lamorillo was hired as GM to replace Snow.  Lamorillo was the original GM of the New Jersey Devils, and most recently helped rebuild in Toronto (It was done for him by the time he got there).   Most recently, Barry Trotz was named the teams new Head Coach just a week after winning the cup with the Washington Capitals.

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Those hires are great for the fans as it gives them hope.  For me, Lamorillo didn’t do dick in Toronto (how hard is it to draft Auston Matthews?).  Most other pieces were in place for him, but he still had massive holes along the Blueline that he never filled.  For a playoff team, that d corps up in Toronto was just horrendous.  In New Jersey, Lamorillo built a juggernaut that competed for cups from the mid 90’s to mid 00’s.  After that?  Mediocrity.  Since 2003 the Devils have been mediocre at best.  They made a cup run in 2012, but lost in 5 games to the LA Kings.  From that point on, the Devils iced some of the most boring, untalented hockey teams I have ever seen.  Overall Lou will bring some stability to the Isles front office, and he certainly won’t be worse than Mike Millbury, or Garth Snow.  I just don’t know that Lou has his fastball anymore.   These two additions certainly would show Tavares that the Islanders mean business in turning this thing around, but that didn’t stop him from using this week to listen to a pitch from 5 teams.  I hadn’t been keeping tabs on it, as I just figured why on earth would he come to Boston?  The Bruins ownership are cheap pricks, they NEVER sign big money guys.

Sure enough, Monday Morning saw the Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leaves, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders all be listed as teams he would meet with in LA.  At first, I said, “No Cap room” WRONG.  Tavares will command probably the second highest per year salary in the NHL.  McDavid makes $12.5 million, and Tavares would command around $11.  The Bruins have $12 million free at this very moment, out they would be able to sign Tavares and NOT be forced into making any moves if they want to. This is unlikely, as they would definitely have to move on from a hefty contract like David Krejci, David Backes, or both. They have some young guns that will need to be re-signed after their rookie deals (McAvoy, Donato, BeBrusk, Heinen).

This a good sign for Bruins fans, even though Jimmy Murphy is a raging tool bag, a few other outlets have reported the same.

Now, do I think John Tavares will sign with the Boston Bruins? Probably not. John is likely just doing his due diligence while mulling the extension with the Islanders. But I do think if he were to leave Long Island, the Bruins have a damn good shot.  The Bruins have a perfect mix of veteran talent under contract for multiple seasons, and young up and coming pieces that should help the Bruins contend for many years.  You got Marchand locked up for 8 years at only $6 million per season, Pastrnak is locked up for 5 more years at $6.6 million, and Bergeron is locked in for 4 years at $6.8.  The key pieces would not have to be moved.  Sure some maneuvering would need to be done, but that is more than ok.

Now we wait.