Once a week I will be doing a blog titled “5 thoughts” in which I will give my perspective on 5 happenings within the Habs organization or even the NHL in general. It will be a more direct take on the subject and for each I will try to avoid rambling so you, the reader, will gather exactly what I am trying to sell.
I have not decided if this weekly blog will be set for a certain day of the week or just when I see fit. Either way, expect them to come.
Here is “5 thoughts” number one:
1. I was in the middle of a twitter debate on why it would be bad for the Habs to sign Andrei Markov to anything north of 4.5M when Andrei inked a 3 year, 5.75M extension a couple days ago.
My argument stated that the Habs have a plethora of NHL talent and prospects in need of NHL action on the left-side of the defence. Acknowledging Markov is the Habs best D on that side I wanted nothing more for him to re-sign but for a Price of a 3-5 Dman.
I do not hate the Markov signing but I believe Habs brass put too much money into him and are making it harder to afford real needs on right-side D and top-six wing.
I believe without Markov the D-core could have taken a step back but with that big-money signing they didn’t really help themselves moving forward. The team is still over packed with LHD and in the same situation as these last playoffs. Here’s to hoping Markov doesn’t regress.
2. Speaking about the imbalance on the backend Mike Weaver may not be back for another season with the Canadiens and that doesn’t help at all. Marc Bergevin targeted Weaver because he is a right-handed depth D that the team needed and Weaver did excellent in that role. Now we are hearing the two sides are not close in contract negotiations.
With Bergevin re-signing Davis Drewiski and Francis Boullion last season I was one that expected Weaver to get re-upped as soon as the season ended and it seems like that may not even happen at all now.
I am sure that Bergy knows what he is doing and let us hope he has something planned to fill the whole on RD.
3. In fact I really believe Bergevin knows what he is doing. Somewhere inside of me I think that the Weaver news broke after Bergy talked to a UFA RHD yesterday or has a trade lined up to acquire the right player for these Habs.
Two years in a row he has been a finalist for GM of the year and completely turned his teams attitude and culture around from day one. In my eyes Bergevin should have received the GM of the year award this year for his excellence over the last two seasons. Not to knock Ducks GM and award winner Bob Murray but Bergy did much more over the course of the season and truly needs to be recognized for his work.
He is confident in his decisions and there is nothing more comforting than that.
4. P.K. Subban was another player who didn’t get his just desserts at the NHL awards.
First Subban didn’t win the EA Sports cover vote to be on the cover of NHL 15 and while that sucks I guess it isn’t the end of the world.
But did any of you see that Subban finished 14th in Norris voting with 1 third place vote and 1 fifth place vote?
First let me say I would have given my vote to Duncan Keith and therefore I am happy with the outcome but this reality is somewhat of a joke. It goes to show you that A) The voters probably don’t know what they are actually voting for –which we know to be true– or B) The ones who do know who they are voting for decided to throw Subban out of the list because he won last season.
Subban was on the ice for 116 GF this season which was good for third in the league only behind Karlsson’s 122 and Keiths 126. Subbans 116 On-Ice GF was 54% of his teams total goals this season which was tops among all D in the league. Subban also started only 46% of his zone starts in the offensive zone compared to Karlsson’s 55.4% and Keiths 56% which further proves P.K.’s ability to create offense from the defensive zone.
Offense isn’t everything, right?
Subbans On-Ice goals against was 84. His +32 was third next to Matt Niskanen’s +61 and Keiths +40 –and if you are wondering Karlsson was only + 5 with 117 GA. Other finalists Chara (97-72=+25) and Weber (109-101=+8) were also respectable but less productive than Subban.
Subban’s 28.8% QoC (quality of competition) was also give or take within .7% from all finalists.
In the end Subban didn’t receive the Norris this year and that is completely fair but the fact of the matter is he should have been a top 5 finalist again because he is a top 5 D in this league, offensively and defensively.
5. Draft day is tomorrow and I am starting to like the idea of Josh Ho-Sang being drafted to the Habs. He is a RH RW which is my idea of a perfect pick and he is more skilled than my first choice David Pastrnak.
Ho-Sang has fallen out of the top 30 because there are questions around his attitude and if he can play within a team structure. I think if any GM can straighten up Ho-Sang it would be Bergevin. If there is anyone to teach him how to deal with the constant questioning it is Subban.
If he is picked and doesn’t work out, well that sucks. But the talent is worth the gamble and for all we know he could be like Claude Giroux an be one of the top players taken from his draft much later than he should have been.