LAVAL, QC. — While it has been a relatively quiet couple of weeks for the Montreal Canadiens, some of their prospects are playing in the World Junior Showcase that’s taking place in British Columbia. Visit ahl.report for complete coverage, including Amy Johnson’s exclusive interview with Habs prospect Ryan Poehling.
Here are my top 5 takes of the week:
- Max’s trade value – On Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes traded Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres in return for prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks. In a league that works with comparables, I would say that Skinner is comparable to Max Pacioretty. Both players are known for their ability to put the puck in the net. Looking at points per game in the NHL, Pacioretty has an advantage over Skinner at 0.72 vs 0.65. Their goals scored numbers are similar. With respect to contract status, both players are into their final year of their current agreement with no extension in place. Skinner is three years younger than Pacioretty but has had concussion issues. Don Waddell, Hurricanes GM, said that he was working on a trade for several months because he felt that he wasn’t getting value. If I was GM calling Marc Bergevin right now, I would use the Skinner trade as a comparable. I don’t think a prospect and three draft picks are a good value for Pacioretty. From a pure hockey perspective, it makes no sense to trade Pacioretty during the off-season, but has the relationship between the player and the organization been damaged to the point that a trade must be completed before training camp? We should know the answer soon.
- Fan confidence – On Thursday, The Athletic published the results of the third annual front office confidence rankings, with over 2,000 fans taking part in the survey. The Canadiens front office ranked 30th with only the Senators finishing below them. Is anyone surprised with this result? I’m not. Should the organization be concerned about the survey results? If Geoff Molson needed this survey to realize how the general fan base feels about his organization, he should find better people with which to surround himself. And I will even suggest that unless the Habs win the Stanley Cup, and even then I’m not certain, the ranking in this type of survey will be low for this team. Have Habs fans liked a head coach or General Manager since Jacques Demers and Serge Savard led the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 1993? In my opinion, Habs fans seem to like what other teams have more than their own.
- Domi-mania – I don’t know if this is a shared feeling, but I’m already getting tired of seeing Max Domi on the Canadiens website and social media. In the six weeks since he joined the team, we’ve seen Domi get picked up at the airport, put on the jersey for the first time, answer fan questions, share his musical tastes and we’re told that we will get to see a day-in-the-life shortly. This looks to me like an attempt by the team to have the fans forget about Galchenyuk. The best way for that to happen is by Domi scoring and helping his team win games. I’m hoping we get to see a lot of these moments on social media rather than the current content being pushed on us.
- McCarron unsigned – Michael McCarron and Kerby Rychel are the only players that haven’t been signed yet by the Canadiens. They are both restricted free agents, therefore no risk yet of the team losing them for nothing. It’s hard to assess how much the club values McCarron, but based on what I have seen, I don’t think that the team sees a NHL future in their 2013 1st round pick. Looking at the Canadiens roster as of right now, there doesn’t seem to be room for McCarron. For the first time in his career, if the team wants to send him to the AHL, he would need to clear waivers and the Habs will risk losing him to another team without getting anything in return. I wouldn’t be surprised if McCarron starts the regular season with another team.
- TVA blames Canadiens – TVA Group announced on Thursday that it lost $9.7 million in the second quarter. In their press release, TVA mentioned that the lack of playoffs for the Habs caused a decrease in advertising money for TVA Sports. As much as I agree that the team’s lack of success contributed, the TVA management needs to look at the product they put on their airwaves for Habs broadcasts. Many English speaking fans watch Habs game on RDS because of the quality of their broadcasts. On the other hand, a lot of French speaking fans tune to the English broadcast when the game is on TVA Sports. Louis Jean does an excellent job hosting the broadcast, but his supporting cast needs improvement.
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