Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mike Commodore Invited to Training Camp

Well friends, I’m back.  I would ask if you missed me but I think I already know the answer. 

Before I even begin to allow my thoughts to flow I find it necessary to apologize to you all. During the initial days of this lockout I told myself that I would have plenty of things to say and that my plan for a weekly blog would be met. 

Unfortunately this plan never came to fruition and after a couple of weeks, my heart was just not into it.  My hatred towards the process was all that I could muster and I found myself with general disinterest towards the league and players.

But all is well now. After spending 4 months longer than normal as a father and a husband I am about to re-embark, assuming that is even a word, on my faith to the NHL and my beloved Habs.

Here is hoping to at least a decade without bickering between the NHL and NHLPA and here is hoping to a prosperous league.

And so,

It has been a whirlwind 72 hours for me since the announcement that the NHL and the NHLPA has come to an agreement. 

Between my hundreds of Tweets on Twitter (@BryanWilley78),the re-activation of my RDS-HD, the organization of 3 Fantasy Pools, the clearing up of my PVR for game time and of course the dusting off of my Habs memorabilia which was painstakingly locked away; I have been a busy man. 

None the less, this process has been nothing but pleasant.  It is so refreshing to talk NHL hockey again but the pinnacle of my excitement was the announcement today that Mike Commodore will be invited to the Montreal Canadiens training camp.

Ok take a moment; I will wait for the laughter to seize before I proceed.

Seriously though, if you have been following me since I was first invited to you’ll likely recognize the fact that when it comes to hockey, I like my players rough and gritty. 

I obviously cheer for the stars like Tomas Plekanec,Vincent Damphousse or Andrei Markov but my favorite players have always been the likes of players like Scott Thornton or Ryan White.   

When it comes to Mike Commodore specifically, I admit that I have a soft spot for the guy. Sure much of it has to do with the fact that he and I have had some conversations on Twitter or perhaps it has to do with the images of him talking to the media in his torn up bathrobe, his lion main like hair flowing in the wind while on his Stanley Cup run with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

In all seriousness though, we need a guy like Commodore.

I know that Commodore is getting older.  I know that he has lost a step and as a result has bounced around with a few teams over the past few seasons. 

What differs in this situation is that in Montreal,Commodore would be nothing more than a depth d-man.  A player to call upon against physical teams or when the team is plagued with injuries.

A player who at 33 years of age can sit for six or seven games in a row without management having to worry about his development or playing time.

Furthermore, think about our roster for a second. 

Here are the eight defensemen penciled onto the roster for the balance of the 2013 season; Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges, Alexei Emelin, Raphael Diaz, Yannick Weber, Francis Boullion and Tomas Kaberle. 

Of these eight players, five of them are 6’0 or smaller and apart from Alexei Emelin and perhaps Gorges or Subban none of them have the size/strength to deny the opposition from the front of the net.

Our D-core is one dimensional.  They are small and offensive minded who struggle in the defensive zone and who lack the ability to contain the opposition one on one. 

Management took a big step which they decided that playing guys like Mathieu Darche or Tom Pyatt on the fourth line was not a productive game plan yet nothing has been done to alter the plan on defense.

It is time to get rid of our one-dimensional style of play and implement players of different abilities or skill sets and right now we need a veteran D-man with the ability to clear the net and drop the gloves.

This is one fan hoping that Mike Commodore is that guy.


Yup; Markov-Diaz-Yemelin-Weber-Kaberle-Subban-Gorges are not crease clearers, nor strike fear into anyone wacking away at Price. And Boullion is pretty fearless and i love his play, but he also is not going to keep any large forward at bay.
And with Tinordi, Thrower, Dietz and Ellis still a ways off from NHL, maybe a part time role for the big gingerman is not so humerous Bryan?

I have to agree with you.Since Komo left to go the leafs we haven't had any sandpaper on defense. And the opposition knows this very well.

When they finally decide to trade Yannick Weber for a draft pick, then we might use Commodore 64 as our 8th d-man

@anon1. That is what I am thinking. Any good team must have players of different abilities and roles. Our defense pretty much all fit the same mold. IMO this is a recipe for disaster. Commodore would be a much needed piece to the puzzle assuming he is there for a limited role with limited minutes.

@anon2We were the worst team at home last season with just 16 wines. Adding Gio and Markov will boost that much since Komisarek has left you are spot on. Wiz was arguably the toughest of the lot but he was only 5'11 and not worth the $6 million he is being paid.

@Fred the question is when. To be frank here I think Diaz has more value and might be the one sent packing. Do we really need Diaz knowing that we have a guy like ELlis about 1-2 years away? Within 2 years assuming we do not sign any UFA's, then we are going to see Gorges, Subban, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis and then a bunch of quesion marks in Dietz, Thrower, Bennett, etc...

Oohh? dont know about shipping Diaz off? Could be a super d-man for next decade?
Weber might only get a low pick, but he is redundant very expendable.
Neither Kaberle nor Markov are in long term plan, so i have no issue shopping either
And Gorges also is expendable, love his play and intangibles, but even Tinordi could easily replace him right now. I wouldnt want to see him go, but i think Diaz is a better fit with more defensive d-men on the farm.

With the number of injuries we have had on the back end having some depth in Hamilton is not a bad idea.
I would not trade anyone and create a good competition between Diaz, Weber, Emelin & Kaberle for ice time.
Not sure Commodore has enough foot speed for the NHL anymore. Trading Diaz could be a big mistake and there is no point in trading Weber for nothing. Some d-men take longer to develop and he may be one of them.
Might as well just keep 8 d-men on the roster for now.

No harm letting him try and earn a spot on the team. They'll know pretty early in camp if he has the speed to play at the NHL level, as we are a very fast team.

I'm all for trading Weber for positional depth/mid-round picks. Diaz could be a Mark Streit in the making. Kaberle can prove himself or get amnestied. Ditto Gomez.

In all honesty, I wouldn't mind another top 10 pick, or lottery chance at the top pick in this shortened season and find a top winger to pair with Galchenyuk for the future. My interest in hockey isn't what it was this season, so why not. But hey, if we make the playoffs I'd be happy too.

@anon Not sure Tinordi is capable of replacing anyone right now. Ok let me re-phrase, he's capable of replacing Weber, Diaz, kaberle but none of the other D-men. Tinordi is still learning the game and although he's improved drastically he still has a long ways to go.

Tinordi needs to add muscle and needs to elarn to stick to his side of the ice. Hamilton is caught way too often with both D-men on the side side of the net with the same opposing player. Can;t wait to see him with the club though.

totally see where you are coming. I just can;t stand the thought of Weber, Diaz, Kaberle, Markov....i mean talk about a soft d-core. I know we are going to need D depth. Last shortened lockout the Habs used 39 players in a 48 game schedule. Depth will be called upon. Just hope it is players of different skillsets

Can you imagine drafting Galchenyuk and MacKinnon in back to back years?
In all honesty I like Diaz. I'd like to see him stick. I just feel we'd get more from him and then apart from the 8 d-man on the roster we'd have guys like St-Denis already capable of filling the void with Tinordi, Ellis, Beaulieu really not that far away.

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