Thursday, 24 May 2012

Canadiens need to add character free agents like Taylor Pyatt

Taylor Pyatt is a legitimate NHL’er who would contribute character and toughness to our lineup. He was a noble warrior in Vancouver, good contributor to the team. At the right price he would be a great addition to our club, we need a couple of players like that, and we have a few holes on our roster we need to fill.

Last year near the end, we could barely put a second line together, the third and fourth were not NHL lines. Re-signing Travis Moen, Mathieu Darche and adding a Taylor Pyatt would help hold the fort on the third and fourth line while we wait for our prospects to be ready. Adding a P.A. Parenteau and/or another forward with skill who can play on the powerplay would be ideal.
It would mean a better chance of seeing Louis Leblanc and Blake Geoffrion in Hamilton next season also, which they need to mature into the players they can become. I’m an advocate of letting kids play, but this only works when the farm team is brimming with guys who are ready to take the next step. We don’t have that situation, there’s kind of a three year gap in the supply pipeline. We don’t want to force Brendan Gallagher into a scoring role too soon, or force Aaron Palushaj to be the square peg in the round hole again.
In any case, these free agent signings, if done at the right price and term, are assets that can be flipped when the kids in Hamilton show they are ready and we need space on the roster.
The other option would be to ‘make do’ with what we have, which would mean wins would be hard to come by, and allow the team to slide in the rankings. While this would help our draft ranking for 2013, I don’t think we can run our organization that way, by accepting that we will lose. The pressure would be hard to resist as the losses mounted, and we’d be hard pressed to not rush up our prospects from Hamilton.
So in summation, Taylor Pyatt yes.


  1. You have got to be kidding me. Lead hands Pyatt? Noble warrier for the Canucks? Although a wonderful person by all accounts, Taylor's presence has never been notable on any team that he has played on. He's tall, and can skate quickly in a straight line. So in summation, Taylor Pyatt no.

  2. I see Skierguy didn't skate around the subject, but attacked it head on. I also see he barely skimmed over the points covered by the erudite author of this blogpost, and spent even less time on comprehension and supputation.

    I see points such as "legitimate NHL'er" and "numerous holes in the roster" and "character and toughness" and "At the right price" that were blithely ignored.

    I see also that the main point of the post isn't that Taylor Pyatt will compete with Max Pacioretty for icetime on the #1 line, but rather that he will hold the fort so that rookies in the AHL don't have to be rushed up to the NHL, in keeping with Marc Bergevin's maxim that you seldom regret leaving a young player in the minors too long, but rather the reverse, bringing them up too quickly.

    I believe the author isn't looking for a quick fix to compete for the Cup next season. He probably doesn't see it as a reasonable goal. He also probably wouldn't mind if the Canadiens didn't do very well and ended up with a relatively good draft position again in 2013, which promises a bumper crop.

    So Taylor Pyatt yes, for the right reasons. Not because he has golden hands. We'll take him, even with his clanky hands.

  3. Superfluous adjectives which were used by the erudite (yet palaverous) author to describe Taylor's prowess were not blithely ignored, I simply spoke to the heart of the matter. If the cake is stale and the icing merely palatable, there is no need to wax poetic about the chocolate sprinkles.

    I will add that the only illegitimate NHL'er i've ever heard about is former Whistler resident John Davy (of Maori Television fame), whose fraudulent resume included a non-existant past as a NHL referee.

    Back to Mr. Payatt- I didn't realize that you are content to build a team which may not do very well in order to end up with a relatively good draft position. In that case, Pyatt is your man. Interestingly, you aren't content to settle for mediocrity when it comes to the coaching position. To quote the author : "So let's not settle for good enough. Let's hire the guy who has the stuff, the winning fire, the potential to be the next great Canadiens"

    What's wrong with finishing that sentence with "left winger"? I simply don't see how Pyatt's average of 11 goals per season over 11 unremarkable seasons garners a yes in the author's black book of potential free agents.

  4. If you wanted to see some illegitimate NHL'ers, all you had to do was tune in a Canadiens game at the end of the season and look at their third and fourth lines. Or any Canuck from the 70's or 80's.

    The NHL, especially now in the salary cap system it has adopted, works on a supply and demand principle. The demand for Zach Parisé and Alex Semin and Ryan Suter will outstrip supply, and the salaries they will be offered will be astronomical. Teams run the risk of spending too much of their cap on too few players, and not having enough for their complementary players, and having an unbalanced team. So we must be judicious with our precious cap space instead of wasting it on Scott Gomez or twelve-year contracts for our goalies.

    If we consult the list of available free agents July 1, we see that there are precious few players who can haul a 28th place team out of mediocrity. The strategy I advocate is to plug holes with cost effective players without entering into massive six or eight-year contracts for 'star' players on the downslope of their careers. I'm looking out for the long-term future, as opposed to strictly next season. I'm interested in building an organization that will be solid and able to win on a consistent basis, as opposed to swinging for the fences each season and taking years to get out of a hole. As we are doing now.

    This philosophy works because we have a farm system that is chock full of good young players who will mature in a season or two (something which a Canuck fan may not be familiar with or even understand), and more on the way with lots of high draft picks in the next two drafts. So instead of getting caught into pricy veteran quicksand, I say let's build our roster with the understanding that the youngsters will graduate in 2013 and beyond.

    This philosophy doesn't apply for the coaching position. There is no young coach we have exclusive rights to who needs a couple seasons in the minors. There is no salary cap on coaches. So when it comes to the head coach, I say let's not plug a hole, let's swing for the fence on that one. If it doesn't work out, we can replace a coach at a moment's notice, compared to a veteran with a no-movement clause.