Thursday, February 11, 2010

No Less, No Moore

As I wrote a few days ago, I'm willing to give Pierre Gauthier a chance to prove he can make the Canadiens a better team. We shouldn't judge him until he's got a post-cap body of work on which to base a judgement.

I have to confess though, I'm not crazy about the first official move of the Gauthier era. It's not Dominic Moore himself. He's a good faceoff man with great speed and a good work ethic. He'll be decent depth for a bottom-six that's been fairly ineffective most of the time this season. He's certainly an upgrade on the ineffective Ben Maxwell for the time being. He'll also be UFA when the year is over, so there are no worries about squeezing another body into the limited cap space available for next season. And, aside from having a somewhat inflated sense of his own worth, as evidenced by the contract demands that got him bounced from Toronto last year, there aren't any documented character issues with him.

The problem I have with the trade is the overpayment. A second-round pick next year, in what's projected to be a weak draft class, doesn't sound like much, especially when you look at how many second-rounders end up never making the NHL. The thing is, the value of a draft pick doesn't lie in the actual player it will become, but in its potential.

Remember that old game show, "Let's Make A Deal?" Contestants would be asked to trade the prize in their hands for a mystery prize behind Door Number Three. Most of the time, the player would ignore all common sense and go for the unknown. Even when the contestant had a washer and dryer already, and he KNEW the game didn't often give better rewards than that, he'd give up his appliances for the mystery prize. Half the time, he'd then end up with a pig in a tutu.

Draft picks are the Door Number Three of hockey. They're currency because of the unknown factor. As long as a team can dream about stealing a great prospect with that pick, they'll be willing to trade more for it. Bob Gainey got Robert Lang for a second, and he was willing to accept a second for Cristobal Huet. Both players were in a better class than Dominic Moore, and I think that second-round pick could have been used to acquire a better class of player again this time.

It may be that this move is only one of a series Gauthier is planning, and a later move may return that pick to the Canadiens. Until that happens though, I'm concerned about the possibility this GM doesn't recognize the real value of draft picks in the New NHL, especially for a team that needs to make the most of its picks if it ever hopes to improve.


James Parent said...

I really don't like this move. At all. Moore brings absolutely nothing this team needs. His only out of the ordinary skillset is the ability to win faceoffs in pressure situations (his majority of faceoffs taken this year are in the defensive zone) but that's hardly worth a 2nd round pick and another body taking space on the team.

I'd much rather we keep playing Pyatt/White/Maxwell/Desharnais than bring in some guy who's gonna be gone by the summer and who won't even really contribute to getting us in the playoffs/making a real playoff run. In fact, Moore has all of 4 playoff games experience, posting 0 points while being a -1. Impressive rental, Gauthier.

Also we need to consider that due to the Laraque situation, we can only carry 22 players max with the team, as BGL still takes up a roster spot.
So Moore's acquisition means one of the young guys gets sent down (Maxwell for now). I'm not sure it's in the best long-term interests of the team.

DB said...

Looking at the 2001 to 2005 drafts about 1 in 5 second round picks become NHL regulars who are all better than Moore. This includes a number of top-line players like Shea Weber, Cammalleri, P Bergeron, L Erickson, and D Keith.

That means that 20% of the time Gauthier has grossly overpaid for the rental of a 3rd line player. The other 80% of the time he has paid nothing to get little.

Conclusion - he paid too much.

dusty said...

I don't get it. Our second round pick may indeed be bupkis but Moore is a rental and we don't need a rental. This team is going nowhere so why dump a draft pick? Just finish out the season and work to improve it for next year not the next 20 games. Is the 4 million the Habs will get for being swept in the first round of the playoffs all that ownership wants? With that in mind, if the management is intent on getting into the playoffs why is Price starting tonight? Against the Caps the 4th goal he let it was a backbreaker. At 5-3 the Habs were in good shape then a super softy and a solid win is put in serious jeopardy. Pleks and SK74 got Price the win he all but threw away and for that he gets another start?

Anonymous said...

Ottawa got Cullen for more or less the same price we got Moore. The argument that the draft is less quality next year than this year is ridiculous in my opinion. The players that are supposed to be not as good and that will get drafter next year are 16 year-olds as of right now....
I can not get that trade. Did we just trade a second-round pick for a UFA with the talent of Lapierre or Metro?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with everyone's take on Moore. I think one thing this team has been lacking all season is a 3rd line center. Metropolit should be our 4th line center, and Lapierre has been a disaster. I've watched the team over the course of this year, and slowly but surely Martin has got everyone on the team buying into a much stronger work ethic...except for 2 guys. Laraques and Lapierre. We got rid of one already, and I see Moore as a replacement for Lapierre. Either Lapierre gets sent down to Hamilton for Guy to get him straigthened out, or send him packing. To me, he is by far the laziest guy on the team (watch him when he's close to puck in the corner...he'll reach but won't go after it).

One of the other things this team has been sorely missing is a premiere faceoff guy. Our only semi-reliable faceoff guy for big faceoffs is Plekanec, and you can't have him out there all the time. Plus I've seen him have nights where he can't lose a draw, then other nights where he couldn't win one to save his life. Having another guy who can win draws in huge, especially with all of the faceoffs that now take place in your own zone.

As someone said, we gave up a 20% chance of getting someone with the pick we dealt. I'm willing to take that chance for a guy who if he works out, could be our 3rd line center next season.

pierre said...

Moore is more J.T.

Moore has the speed and hustling we saw in Pyatt which is I think a better fit to our team while 3 of our top 6 guys are missing in action.

Moore is a perfect fit for our team' s needs when our top 6 guys will be back later and hopefully next season too...... Metropolit is waning down at 35 while Lapierre and Maxwell are not up to the third line center's task.

Gauthier got him because he wishes to see him with us next seasons..... doing so will give Boucher in Hamilton more time so as to developpe prospects into players they might have never become otherwise.

Getting Moore is a " building " move by Gauthier which also might very well helped us fight off our present predicament..... I like it.

dusty said...

Moore a building move? WTF

Anonymous said...

I guess Moore is the 3rd line center. So the GM is saying he has no 3rd line center, and that Moore for 20 games is worth a second. If he thinks he can sign Moore, then he is still saying Moore for 20 games is worth a second, and the Habs can't develop a center or otherwise get one.

To me that says he has no faith his scouting staff can find anything worth more than 20 games of NHL service within the say greater than ISS 20th or so pick.

Sure if there are more moves to right this ship quickly then great, change is a good thing. Selling off the future is how Boston ended up with a couple extra fine picks.

Gauthier didn't do wrong by acquiring Moore for 20 games. He just overpaid, way, way, overpaid for his temporary services. And that is what bothers people.