montreal canadiens hockey – habs blog RSS

We should be a month into the season….

  • … and sitting comfortably in first place by now.

    Ok that is a stretch. Still, it burns to think of how much of this season is being squandered needlessly for the second time in 8 years. Absurdity does not even begin to describe what this situation is when you consider all of the things that were said following the last lockout.

    “The game will be better”. “The system was broken”.

    What a line we were sold. 8 years later and things are so bad that the two sides can’t even agree to meet. How do you all feel about this because if I’m honest, its beginning to piss me off to the point that I’m becoming one of those people making threats about ignoring NHL hockey altogether when it comes back. There is other hockey to watch. There is football, basketball, football (the euro kind) and baseball offseason to occupy our time. There is no guarantee that we all come crawling back once the rich and the super rich have divided up the pie that the fans have baked for them.

    Speaking of other hockey: we’re 7 games into the AHL season and there are some interesting stories shaping up.

    Robert Myer is having himself a dandy start to the season. Through 5 games he has a .923 save percentage, and has a couple 30+ save games to his credit. If he can have a good season this year he could provide some key organizational depth at goaltender, which doesn’t seem important while Carey Price is healthy – but you never know.

    Through 7 games the names that are leading this team are exactly the ones you want to hear with this young squad: Aaron Palushaj, Patrick Holland, Brendan Gallagher, Louis Leblanc, Blake Geoffrion, Michael Blunden, Michael Bournival. The forwards are scoring by committee right now, which is a good thing when you consider that all of those names figure to play a role on the Canadiens at some point in the near future.

    Through 7 games, the guys struggling a little are Jared Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu. This is to be expected of course, given that defenders are often at a severe disadvantage when they move up a level. They go from defending 17, 18, 19 year olds to grown men and tend to adjust more slowly than their offensive counterparts. Tinordi is a – 5  while Beaulieu has no points through seven games while putting up a +3. Again, neither one has been bad – but are going through the natural struggles that come from moving up a level of competition. Tinordi in particular has shown how great the difference in his game can be once he is used to the pace.

    Overall, 8 points through 7 games is a good haul for a young team that is largely still finding its way to the AHL game. It is very good to see all of the young forwards have made an impact early on, particularly guys like Holland and Bournival. While Habs fans wait for Galchenyuk, we shouldn’t forget that there is some pretty good organizational depth getting ready for the NHL this season. In a few years time we’ll be seeing a squad with Price, Pacioretty and Subban bolstered by Gallagher, Leblanc, Bournival, Holland, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Palushaj, Geoffrion and Blunden. There is a lot to like in that group.

  1. #1 Senet1 says:
    November 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Hey Mats our Hamilton kids are adjusting well to the Pro league and as you say the defence will take a little longer to adjust than the forwards. One thing that I was looking for was LeBlanc scoring but I understand he has not been playing much, I guess he has been injured. Also Morgan Ellis seems to be struggling too, not sure if he is injured as well. Nash seems to be playing well and I would not be surprised if he isn’t our 7th Dman when we get rid of Kaberla and Weber. The only thing I am concerned about is his aggressiveness, is he that clean of a hitter or is he just a big D-man who plays good with the puck but not physical?? I have not seen him play but I am really concerned in this area.

  2. #2 Senet1 says:
    November 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Well I am not as tead off as I thought I would be, I am not a union supporter however, in this case I have to support the players rather than the owners. To me the owner’s put us through this lockout 8 years ago and ended up getting exactly what they wanted and now they say it is not working and we want more money. Secondly, the players seem to have two solid issues that the owners up until now do not want to address. 1. A contract is a contract and should be honoured. 2. The second issue was to have the rich teams support the weaker teams by sharing revenue. 3. The third issue which is a sub issue from #1 the escrow payments where players end up playing players seems absurd. If I have to miss hockey so that the players win these argruments then so be it. I hate this as much as most hockey fans but what is right is right.
    Now the players have agreed to the 50-50 split and it seems like their process would be something similar to a soft cap until the revenues get to the point where they are capable of the 50-50 split. I am not sure this is necessary because a 50-50 split can be reached with a soft cap of $55,000,000. There are 8 teams at the bottom who are already there. There are many slightly above 60M that could get there in one to two years. So in stead of a hard cap make the cap a soft cap for two years until all theams can ge there. If not the the teams who cannot get there pay a penalty for being over the cap. Now I expect that soft cap would evently climb to above 60M which in two years at 5% growth would be $60M. This is doable for almost all teams those that are currently at or near the $70M cap hit have two years to get to the $55M or more probably $60M. That is how I see it anyway.

  3. #3 Senet1 says:
    November 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    As far as hockey is concerned I do not believe that anyone who is a die hard hockey fan will stop watching the NHL once it is operational again. I know I will watch it because I will watch my habs play with the hope of seeing some progress in what we did this off season. However, I will not be upset if they do not make the playoffs again because I know that will give us another top draft pick which we need in order to have a solid future. So yes I am upset that I am not watching hockey right now but NO I would never be that mad that I would stop watching the NHL and my habs play the game.

  4. I wrote comments 4 and 5 but something happend when I copied them onto the blog. They now have been sitting waiting for moderation nwo for a week. I would like them deleted but it will not allow me to delete. Comment #5 is not what I wrote but when I copied it something else seemed to be copied instead. Whoever is responsible for the moderation I would appreciate that #5 be deleted.

    Thanks you.

  5. Run down of Negotiations to date.

    REVENUE SPLIT (*Resolved*) – split was 57% players, 43% owners in previous CBA
    NHL: 50% owners, 50% players
    UNION: 50% owners, 50% players

    MAKE-WHOLE PROVISION (Nearing resolution) – money committed from owners to players to offset losses caused by reset to 50-50 split; NHL’s highest offer had been $211 prior to this week
    NHL: $300 million
    UNION: “We have an agreement on what we call the transition payments, which came out of what the owners called the ‘Make-Whole’ proposal a number of weeks ago,” Don Fehr said Thursday. “We believe that issue is or should be resolved.” Union previously had wanted $393 million so presumably backed off that number.

    LENGTH OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (Nearing resolution) – last agreement was five years, plus two extra years players opted into, for seven total
    NHL: 10-year agreement, with a re-opener clause after Year Eight
    UNION: Eight-year agreement, with a player opt-out option after Year Six

    LENGTH OF PLAYER CONTRACTS (Still far apart, but closer) – previously unlimited
    NHL: Five years, but teams can re-sign own unrestricted free-agents for up to seven years
    UNION: Eight years

    CONTRACT VARIABILITY (Still apart, but nearing resolution) – refers to difference in player’s salary year-to-year; previously, year’s salary could decrease by no more than 50% of the lowest year’s salary in the contract’s first two years
    NHL: Maximum 5% annual variance from initial year’s salary
    UNION: For contracts seven years or longer, the lowest year salary must be at least 25% of the contract’s highest year salary. Also, Don Fehr: “We have made proposals for what we call a cap benefit recapture … if the player does not perform in any years of a contract that he’s otherwise fit to play, we re-compute what the cap benefit would (be) by averaging those years in, and then the club has that cap charge over the remaining years of the contract.”

    PLAYER PENSIONS (Tentatively resolved *)
    NHL: Content to address pensions once major issues of revenue and contracting rights are agreed upon.
    FEHR: “We believe and we hope we have an agreement on the pension plan for the players, which will be funded out of player money,” Don Fehr said. “We have an agreement on it. That’s a good thing.”

    COMPLIANCE ISSUES (Nowhere close) – refers to compliance buyouts (teams allowed to buy out one player contract without that money counting against the salary cap) and escrow limits (player contributions rise or decrease depending on whether league hits or misses estimated revenue each season)
    NHL: No compliance buyouts or escrow limits
    UNION: Proposed compliance buyouts and escrow limits

    Dec. 7 – Players react to NHL tactics in anger all over the league but many believe it’s all part of the NHL strategy to break their resolve and forge a divide between them and Fehr. They still think a season will occur.

Leave a Comment