Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is this Timmins' home run?

It had better be, because it cost the Canadiens a pretty big price to move up five spots and grab hulking American defenceman Jarred Tinordi with the 22nd pick in the NHL Draft on Friday.

Clearly, Trevor Timmins felt strongly enough about Tinordi to convince Pierre Gauthier to surrender the team's second round pick at #57 to the Phoenix Coyotes to move up and grab him. In return, the Canadiens also received the 113th pick in the draft.

If Tinordi turns out to be a top-four defenceman in the NHL, the trade will most definitely be worth it because there didn't appear to be much of a chance that he would survive all the way to Montreal's original pick at #27. The Sabres took another defenceman, Mark Pysyk, right after Montreal, and it appears as though the Canucks were prepared to scuttle their deal to acquire Keith Ballard from Florida if Tinordi were still on the board at #25.

But for now, I wonder if it was really worth it to use a second round pick to move up and grab Tinordi, especially with so many other players that appear to suit the Canadiens needs still on the board. Had they stayed at #27, the Habs could have chosen hulking centres Tyler Pitlick or Brock Nelson, or could have taken a chance on John MacFarland, or even taken the speedy California kid Emerson Etem.

It's hard to say if the Canadiens made the right move or not because I've never seen any of these people play, and from the sounds of it Tinordi is a very tantalizing prospect. Already 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, he was captain of the US under-18 team that won the world championships this season and it appears he can skate pretty well for a giant.

The timing may also be just about right on this one.

Hal Gill is likely entering his final season in Montreal, ditto Roman Hamrlik and perhaps even Andrei Markov. Jaroslav Spacek has two years left on his untradeable contract. That's two thirds of the Montreal defence corps which may be turning over in the next two years, which is at least how long it will take Tinordi to make the NHL. In fact, seeing him in Montreal in three or four years is probably way more likely.

By then, the Canadiens may have P.K. Subban, Ryan O'Byrne, Yannick Weber and Mathieu Carle playing in the top-6. Having Tinordi coming down the pipes will probably be pretty comforting by then.

But now the Canadiens will not pick again until the fourth round, and that 57th overall pick could have been used to shore up the depth of Montreal's farm system, which is starting to thin out after years of being considered one of the deepest in the NHL.

Here are some links to read more on Tinordi from, TSN, Hockey's Future and Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief in USA Today (it's about two thirds of the way down the page).

Now the focus shifts to Gauthier playing the trade market Saturday. Benoit Pouliot was the only Canadiens restricted free agent not to receive a qualifying offer from the team, a baffling move unless Pouliot is on the verge of being traded. In fact, even then it's baffling, but it does show some degree of reticence on the part of Gauthier to have Pouliot around. 

Then there's Sergei Kostitsyn, who spouted off again on the Canadiens to a Belarusian newspaper. He slammed the team for trading away Jaroslav Halak, slammed Carey Price, slammed Jacques Martin. The guy just never learns.

Gauthier says Pouliot will likely receive his qualifying offer by Monday's deadline, but if that's the case, why wait? And as far as Kostitsyn goes, I think if Gauthier is unable to trade him he'll go to the KHL.

Seeing as Gauthier won't have much to do for a lot of the day Saturday, maybe he can work on resolving these two nagging issues.


Andy J Smith illustration said...

Is Pouliot enough for a 2nd round pick? Is a 2nd round pick enough for him? Is it POSSIBLE to get ANYTHING for Sergei Kostitsyn?

Chad G. said...

Maybe the Habs could package Pouliot and SK for Edmonton's second rounder and draft Tyler Pitlick. Or is that too much to give up for a second rounder? It would be great if Gauthier could get two second rounders for both Pouliot and SK, but I'm probably dreaming in Technicolor.

pmk said...

One thing is clear - pg is not shy of making moves to get the player he wants.
what about ak and sk for cogliano and a pick?

Dann said...

Not to mention Mac Bennett should be ready for prime time as well.

I personally am not too much of a Cogliano fan.

Olivier said...

I don't see the incentive for Gauthier to trade SKost. He has no value on the market and, on a QO contract, is *guaranteed* to give more than 100 cent on the dollar *if* he plays in the NHL next year.

The difference with Pouliot is that he actually has trade value, so I guess he could be headed somewhere, but again I doubt it. He is cheap and having some tough minutes winger crowd him out of the top-6 would be a chance for him to establish his game. Playing with Gomez means he is up against the Pronger and Chara of the league night in night out and he ain't ready for that.

Chad G. said...

pmk -- I'd make that trade in a heartbeat, especially if the pick is EDM's 2nd rounder. I like Cogliano - a real gamer. As an alternative, a big right-shooting D like Tom Gilbert would be great if Gauthier could convince the Oilers to move him, although his contract might be a problem.

I have a feeling that SK and Pouliot will remain maddeningly inconsistent (at least in Montreal) for the remainder of their stay, and I do believe at least one team (EDM?) would be willing to take a chance on him given his youth and skill level, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so ready to dump the kid, give him an off-season to work and get his stamina up and a good training camp. He might turn a few heads (I know I'm reaching but lets give him a real chance)

Anonymous said...

For most of these picks with about only the elite at the very top, it will be 3 to 4 years from now before these 18 year olds can even make an impact in the NHL.

Derek Pipes said...

I really like the Tinordi pick. With Fisher and McDonaugh not being a factor for our club I believe we needed to shore up the defence.
Tinordi could be the perfect piece to put next to PK Subban.

rsty said...

i doubt that s.kostitsyn isn't as dumb as you make him out to be, arpon. with these comments he's made it even more impossible for montreal to keep him, and maybe even lowering his trade value in the process. he's clearly doing all he can to leave the team and isn't in it to learn any lessons. i'm sure he understands that it's wrong to talk like that to a foreign language news paper.

Anonymous said...

with Fischer and McDonaugh not being factors for any club, I certainly hope the Habs brass thought long and hard about this pick and they KNOW he is a future NHLer ... otherwise, there is strength in numbers, and, as so aptly blogged, they gave up some of those numbers ( a 2nd draft pick is where the Habs have traditionally picked up NHLers )

Anonymous said...

Ouch. We were a mediocre regular season team that used the hottest goaltending in recent memory to overcome incompetent coaching and overpaid, undersized forwards and a slow footed, ineffective defense. Our successful playoff strategy was "hey Jaro, stop about 50 shots and we'll pick a cheap one along the way."

Let's look at Dale Tallon's approach in Florida, who works under the "we will not be mediocre" mantra. He trades away detritus for a fresh start. He's got a young team, filled the organization with prospects (who knows if they'll work out, but he has the law of large numbers on his side), and has the cap room to pick up a key player for a playoff run.

Now let's look at M. Gauthier. He sticks with an outdated coach and makes a series of inconsistent trades to ensure continued mediocrity.

Start with coaching. Muller handles the PP and PK units where we ranked in the top 5. Martin handled the overall strategy where we were the worst team 5-on-5 and played a confounding approach of dump the puck in to the offensive zone and go for a line change. We saw consistent spark every time a player was called up from Hamilton until Martin re-programmed guys to be ineffective. We let Boucher walk. Keep Muller from a starring role and retain Martin because Halak won the right combination of half of his playoff games.

Move on to trades. Gauthier must not realize the NHL has a salary cap. He trades Halak without waiting for offers on the RESTRICTED free agent. Anything above $3.5 million and we get first and third round picks. If we didn't like that, we still had one week to trade his rights. If Halak doesn’t fetch $3.5 million, we get him relatively cheap. Instead, we get two prospects for him -- AND NO PICKS. The centerpiece is Lars Eller, a center with some potential. Most GMs would have traded for Eller, handed him the second line and traded the rights to negotiate with Plecs for a second rounder or a third rounder and mid-level prospect. Nope. M. Gauthier signs him to $5 million a year adding to a string of mediocre mutli-year players (Cammi, Gomez, Gionta) who will count against the cap for years to come. Then, he trades away a second round pick to move up in the draft to grab a big, slow defenseman.

An aggressive GM trades Halak for at least first and third rounders, trades Plecs' rights for a second, holds onto his second rounder, and promotes Boucher. More picks and a team with momentum. An average GM holds Halak, trades Plecs, makes Muller an Associate Head Coach. Our man undervalues our only asset - Halak. Re-ups for Plecs, gives away a second rounder and lets Boucher walk. Oh, and if you think he's look to tank the year and pick up a top-5 pick a la Washington, Pittsburgh, and Chicago - he got rid of half the scouting staff.

I can't wait for next season. This could a disaster.