Welcome to the third edition of the #AskEE Montreal Canadiens Mailbag, from which I got questions to answer a quote from Mikhail Sergachev, Ryan Poehlings place in the depth map, Alexander Romanovs place this season / next, playoffs / play-in -Scenarios versus draft lottery positioning, Tomas Tatar and Max Domi and unfinished trades with the Colorado Avalanche.
If your question remains unanswered, you know that I still greatly appreciate your participation, and encourage you to try again at the next rate that will appear shortly on sportsnet.ca.
What do you think of the idea of a Sergachev offer sheet? Realistic?. The next question was how much would be willing to give up for him. A higher end of $ 4,227,438 to $ 6,341,152 would be difficult for TBL to achieve with the IMO.
– Stephen Morris (@S_Morris_) May 19, 2020
Wow. This is a question from the start, which is an extremely compelling scenario for a number of reasons – not least because Canadians have been looking for a defender of Mikhail Sergachev's profile since trading with Mikhail Sergachev on Tampa Bay Lightning for Jonathan Drouin in 2017.
But I think if Tampa Sergachev could jail for $ 4.2 to 6.4 million (as you suggest by fulfilling this offer) they would do it right away. The 21-year-old left, who moved in ninth from the Canadiens in 2016, really got his money this season and tends to become a legitimate number 2 on an elite team.
Admittedly, the elite team he’s currently with has provided over $ 76 million for just 15 players next season and will need him, breakout center Anthony Cirelli, and the defender at the top right, Erik Cernak, sign a contract. Since the upper limit of the upper limit is unlikely to exceed the current $ 81.5 million threshold in 2020-21, the Lightning need to do some serious math gymnastics exercises to meet the requirements.
Even though Julien Brisebois, General Manager of Lightning, is a well-known genius in the cap management department and even if he has done an extraordinary job of getting players to accept less than they are worth (see here You, Brayden Point) He has to sign a contract or two to make everything fit. And it only complicates the fact that some of the players he might see as a trading candidate have non-trading clauses.
A single compliance buyout granted to all teams helps, but even if one is granted, Brisebois would also have to deliver one of Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, or Tyler Johnson to release the money for Cirelli, Sergachev and Cernak.
Hence your question …
If Canadians really wanted Sergachev, they would have to make an offer in a higher range – something close to $ 8 million – and be willing to forego a first, second one. and choose third round to do it. I don't see that.
But I would think the Canadians will snoop around, whoever the flash may be, to make room for Sergachev and her other restricted free agents.
Someone else asked if the Canadians were able to ward off a Joel Armia-style raid by using their cap room to help a team like Lightning, and I think they are well positioned to do just that to do. Such a move may not make her a high-profile defender like Sergachev, but he could very well make her one of the strikers above.
Is Ryan Poehling part of the puzzle at the center of long-term plans for the Habs? Or do you see it more as a deep grinder on the wing? #Habs
– Josh Rubin (@jprterp) May 19, 2020
This is a good question to which the Canadians do not necessarily need an immediate answer.
The fact that Poehling proved that he can play wings in the second half of the season – which was anything but a matter of course when he was completely out of place there from November 5 to 12 – opened up a faster way for him, NHL to become regular. His 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame and hockey sense help him play wings and when he's ready to bring a physical dimension that will help too.
The reality is that there is currently more depth in the middle and Poehling's versatility is an advantage. If he turns out to be an effective winger, he might be the best fit there in the long run.
But if a space opens in the middle, there is no reason why Poehling cannot fill it sufficiently due to all his experience in the game center.
The only thing that should matter to Canadians is that the 21-year-old continues on his way to becoming an effective NHL player. If he does that, he will help them no matter what position he plays.
Hello Eric, I hope you and your family are doing well. If the season started regularly in October, which way do you think Habs will take with regard to Romanov? AHL first or directly to the NHL? Thank you.
– Garrett (@GarrettHabs) May 19, 2020
Hello Garrett. My family and I are doing very well. Thank you for asking.
I found it interesting that someone answered "Laval sure" to your question immediately and that you answered whichever you prefer. I think most of this feeling is based on a (rational) fear that Canadians will not adequately control Romanov's development and will give it too much too soon.
Without seeing Romanov play an NHL exhibition game, let alone a regular season or playoff game, it is quite difficult to project where exactly it will fit right away.
But I'm confident – based on what I've seen of him on other levels and what scouts and executives have told me about him – that at least he'll be able to start with Montreal's third pairing. And I would say that he would be able to do that in July (no matter October) when the 2019-20 NHL season resumes and the rules allow him to play.
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I understand Canadien's fans are quite concerned that this player will be over hyped and I know they are concerned that he will be rushed, but Romanov has two years of KHL experience and plays a pro style Game that gives him instant completion in the NHL.
Management believes that it is ready, believes that it is ready, and will have the chance to prove that it is ready.
I don't think the Canadians will hesitate to take Romanov to Laval if he doesn't pass this test.
But I don't expect him to fail. I expect it to pass with flying colors.
Do you think Domi and Tatar will be in the long run? #AskEE
– Justin Alarie (@ JA31_Big_Save) May 19, 2020
Simple question, not so simple answer: I am not quite sure what the long-term future will look like for both players.
The global pandemic has thrown so many more variables into the mix for outstanding free agents, regardless of whether their contracts expire this season or in the next off-season. If Domi (RFA in 2020) tended to a one-year contract before the COVID 19 success, it's hard to imagine that it's longer than that now. And Tatar (UFA in 2021) was on the way to securing the type of contract that would price him out of Montreal, but now one has to wonder if that kind of deal – a four or five year contract worth over 6 Million dollars a year – will be available to a player like him.
Tatar will be 30 years old by the end of his contract and it is practically inconceivable that the salary ceiling will increase by then.
I say the following: I like the chances that Domi and Tatar will be with the Canadiens during the 2020-21 season.
How do you think the Habs players will come back since they were on the lottery team at the time of the season break?
– Fake_CH_Facts (@Fake_CH_Facts) May 19, 2020
I have a feeling players would be happy to take a chance at a Stanley Cup – no matter how far-fetched they can win this season – if they could play in an expanded playoff format.
But if the idea is to just go back and play 11 meaningless games that are still on the regular season schedule, in my opinion the players don't have much of an appetite for it. Especially since it would mean sacrificing time that could be spent preparing for the next season, or possibly spending months outside the family.
I think Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault have made clear points on these issues. I think those were fair points too.
#Ask an idea of how motivated the players and staff at #habs are to be included in playoffs if they know that good performance will not only harm the team's position / future, and if they do win, many people believe that the winner has *** besides their championship
– Samuel Gerber (@ Gerbs76PK) May 19, 2020
If I understand that this is a similar question to the last one, I will keep this answer short.
I think management would prefer a lottery or at least a selection in the top 10 of the design.
The players will take over the playoffs over everything.
And if the Canadians manage to win the trophy as the 24th team in the NHL, there should be an asterisk next to it – and not because they had nothing to do with being in the playoffs, but because of it would be one of the most unlikely championship races in the history of sports.
What do you think did Bergevin really do in Colorado?
– Lori (@ lori10habs) May 20, 2020
I love that question, Lori.
Even though we took Avalanche GM Joe Sakic's word that Bergevin's longer stay in Denver in the run-up to the February 24 trading deadline was only about his daughter at Colorado University, I'm pretty sure Canadien's assistant GM Scott Mellanby (who was there too) has no children going to school in the state.
That means something was brewing there and it wasn't just the coffee in the young Bergevin's dormitory.
I can't say exactly what was specifically discussed – I tried and have tried since then, and nothing has come back to me except for the kind of speculation I could come up with. However, what I would say is that some seeds were probably planted and we could see something between these teams sometime this off-season. There are several scenarios that make them good trading partners.