Weekly Habs thoughts

There’s been lots of Habs news lately, most of which I haven’t had a chance to write about until now.

The Habs trade up to draft Jarred Tinordi 22nd overall

I like this move on several fronts. The Habs need to get bigger, not so much on defence though, but it never hurts to have a monster back there. Tinordi is 6’6, about 205 pounds, and probably still filling out. Plus, pretty much every mock draft had Tinordi going to Buffalo with the 23rd pick. Since the Sabres already have a good young mean defence (led by rookie of the year Tyler Myers), the Sabres would have been unbeatable for years, especially against the small Habs forwards. (For the record, the Sabres ended up choosing a defencemen with their pick anyways, but I’m glad they didn’t get this monster.)

No draft day trades

There’s never an end to rumours, no matter how crazy they may be. One that I heard a few hours before the draft began went like this: Montreal giving up Sergei Kostitsyn, Scott Gomez, and either our 27th or second round pick, Chicago ends up with Kostitsyn, and we end up with Joe Thornton. This deal didn’t make sense, because there’s no reason why San Jose would give up Thornton to get Gomez, unless they were getting a player from Chicago like Patrick Sharp. And Chicago is involved, but the original rumour had them giving up nothing. It’s great for Montreal, but that’s about it.

But it was a little disappointing that there were no trades yesterday.

Habs make offers

Earlier this week, the Habs made qualifying offers to some of their free agents, including Sergei Kostitsyn. I think the Habs management thinks there is some value in him for a potential trade, because I can’t see Kostitsyn being a productive member of the Habs organization.

But they didn’t make an offer to Benoit Pouliot, which surprised me. He played well when he was first traded, and faltered down the stretch. He played well in the first round against Washington, getting scoring opportunities. When he didn’t score, he eventually found time on the third and fourth line. But he didn’t complain. He just continued to play hard.

Pouliot is pretty young, and I think he’s deserving of another opportunity. More so than Sergei Kostitsyn.

Plekanec signs

Habs leading point-getter Tomas Plekanec signed a six-year $30 million deal. This was a mistake for several reasons, and Habs fans are going to hate this contract in a year’s time.

I wrote this about Pleks a month ago.

1) Plekanec is a streaky player. His season point totals since the lockout goes like this: 29, 47, 69, 39, and 70. Is that worth $5 million a year for six years? No, it’s not.

2) He was only 49 per cent faceoff winning percentage in the regular season (key faceoff guy, but loses the majority of his draws). That number plummeted to 47.1% in the playoffs. Not good for a #1 centre.

3) He’s not a great shootout guy. Only one for six in 2009-2010 and two for 13 in his career. Heck, Pierre Dagenais has two shootout goals for the Habs, and he only played 32 games in the shootout era. Winning shootouts gets you playoff spots, and a guy wanting a lot of money needs to be able to come through in the clutch.

4) And none of that includes his brutal playoffs.

When you look at other players that finished with around 70 points this season, this is what you get: Eric Staal, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Vincent Lecavallier. Yes, they all make more than $6 million, but for them, 70 points is a down year, not a career high.

In actuality, Plekanec should be making around what Derek Roy (69 points), Nik Antropov (67 points) and Alexandre Burrows (67 points) make: between $2 and $4 million a year.

I still believe this to be true. I compare it almost to Mikhail Grabovski  in Toronto. He played well a couple of seasons ago as the #1 centre, because he got tons of playing time and the fact there was no one else to do the job.

The same thing is happening with Pleks in Montreal. He’s putting up points because he’s the best option they have. But on how many teams would he be the top-line centre? Five?

The other problem has to do with Plekanec’s numbers decreasing when Mike Cammalleri got injured. I understand about team chemistry, but if you’re going to be the team’s number one centre, you need to make other people better, not vice versa.


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