Monday, June 28, 2010

Habs Trade Up in the 2010 Entry Draft...Way Up.

by Willey

As is the case every year, going into the draft my hopes were high but the reality of the situation is that a fantastic playoff run left us with the 27th overall pick.

The worst 1st round position this organization has ever had.

But when all was said and done Pierre Gauthier and the Montreal Canadiens left Los Angeles with arguably the best prospect this organization has had since Carey Price.

In a gutsy move Gauthier agreed to part with both our 1st and 2nd round picks in exchange for the 22nd overall and a late 4th rounder in what was otherwise considered a very deep draft.

With the thoughts and distaste of many still fresh in our mouths with the Jaroslav Halak trade, the consensus on forum boards and water cooler chatter everywhere seemed to echo that once again we are simply giving up too much.

The continuous frustration of a team giving up valuable 1st and 2nd round picks when there is an obvious depletion of organizational depth, knowing all so well that these are quite simply crucial.

But when all was said and done, and despite being absolutely against the hiring of Gauthier as GM after witnessing his debacle in both Ottawa and Anaheim, I stood there applauding.

What Gauthier accomplished was what many had hoped Bob Gainey would do; pro-actively find the player you want and do everything in your power to get him in your organization.

It is my personal philosophy to approach every draft with a very simple mindset. Do your homework, make the decision you think is best but ultimately make sure that at least 1 of the players you have chosen actually makes it to the NHL as an impact player.

Sure the organization could have waited until the 27th spot and further use their second round pick for whomever they deemed the best at each of those spots.

Ultimately at the end of the day we would have seen ourselves with 2-3 or perhaps even 4 decent possibilities of making it to the NHL.  But Gauthier rolled the dice and gave up quantity and went for quality with the acquisition of the still growing 6’5 inch, 210 lbs beast of a defensemen, Jarrod Tinordi.

Still likely at least 2-3 years away from potentially earning a spot on the blue line, Tinordi possess’ all the attributes this team requires.  He is big, mean, tough, has a great skating stride, is a natural leader and best of all not only was he the best player on the board when the 22nd overall selection was to be made but he fulfilled an organizational need.

When 3 of your top 4 current Dmen and when the all of your top rated blueline prospects in your organization are 6’0 or smaller, Tinordi stands out as a promising light or should I say……. towering presence.

Time will tell whether he possess’ not only the physical attributes but the mental aspects that are needed to fully develop and become a regular at the NHL level.
However, his bloodline screams capable, his leadership dictates proficient, and his physical prowess shouts watch out Northeast Division…I am coming, and I plan on leaving my mark.

A mark which is only possible because of Pierre Gauthier and his pro-active pursuit.

Willey was the shinning light among the wicked growing up as the lone Habs fan in Toronto. Pray to Holy Ghosts of the old forum and all shall be answered I was told, and just like that my family was transferred back to Montreal and away from the damned. Olé Olé Olé.


Exactly how I felt about the draft!
And it was nice to pick up Morgan Ellis to boot.

To be honest I know very little of Morgan Ellis. I know he's a kid with decent size with some offensive flare but have not personally seen him play as of yet.

Once it gets to the 4th round and on there is not much which sets these kids apart. Most never become anything of substance in the NHL but occasionally we find that diamond in the rough. Maybe Ellis becomes just that.

Personally though once it gets this deep in the draft I wish management would give a chance to more homegrown kids or guys from the Q. I mean a kid like Tye McGinn who posses' much of the attributes this team lacks was chosen 2 spots after Ellis.

I know the amount of players coming from the Q was limited but thats the direction I would have gone with my later picks.

Nice piece, Willey and I agree.

Ellis will be more of a depth player and you're right in that after the first round or so, it's pretty much a crap shoot.

That being said, the Habs have tended to have better luck with late round picks than first rounders over the last 10 years, so maybe they know what they're doing in that department.

As for Tinordi, this kid is going to be special and should be anchoring the Habs d-line in the next three years or so.


Kamal..I've taken the stance that our drafting is fine as it is, it's the development of these picks which is lacking.

For some reason when a player is drafted there is this impression that these kids are left on their own to determine the right path. Teams like Pittsburgh shelter their stars and develop them both on and off the ice.

We need personnel to teach these kids right on how to be successful in all aspects in life not just based on their pay cheques.

Well said, sir!

And THAT has been the biggest failing of this organization for years.

You notice how, in Pittsburgh, Crosby LIVED with Lemieux (until last summer). I mean talk about well insulating a player.

So what do the Habs do with Price, the heir apparent to their goaltending throne? They gave him a lot of money and let him do whatever he wants.

He, and a large section of the Habs team (Higgins, Komisarek, the brothers K) went off the rails that year and the Habs have been struggling to get Carey back to point, since then.

Given how smart a hockey man Gainey is, I find it surprising that he didn't make any efforts to insulate his assets. That is a basic tennant of ANY business.

If you have assets that are important to you, you have to protect them.

Anyway, they seem like the maybe learned their lesson with Subban in keeping him in the minors until the playoffs (save for a brief stint before the Olympics).

Hopefully they will continue to do so with the rest of their prospects.

What to do with Price? That is the sticky question. My thoughts on this will not be popular whatsoever but here goes.

José Theodore.

Yes thats right, I'd bring him back. Theodore knows what it is like to be a young almost playboy like goaltender playing in the Montreal pressure cooker.

He knows what it is like to carry a team on his shoulders and have the fans chanting his name but then just like that have the entire city turn against him.

He played brilliantly when he was here, won the Hart and Vezina and then faced some enormous stumbling blocks.....hmmmmm sound familiar?

Theo is now a veteran who did wonders to the likes of Varlamov and Neuvirth in their development and at the same time went on to win something like 33 games.

If the price is right....say $2 million or less then Theo is the guy I would target. Who better to develop and mold then a guy who went through it.

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