Is Montreal Canadiens’ Tomas “Turtleneck” Plekanec on the go? There are credible arguments to suggest that he may well be. He is a confirmed defensive middle in a league where several exist. He nonetheless has some pace and offensive upside. He is the type of depth, complementary participant groups need to earn a Stanley Cup. This can make him a practical applicant for a shutdown purpose on any group hoping to make an extended operate in this year’s playoffs.
For Bergevin, the calculations are slightly various. Desperate to hold his task, there are at the very least a few motives to offer Plekanec. To start with, Tomas will turn into a 35-calendar year-previous UFA at the finish of the year. This usually means he is the “textbook definition of a rental” for a Cup contending group this calendar year. Second, even though he is highly-priced, Bergevin has an embarrassing amount of money of cap place this calendar year. He can effortlessly take up significantly of Plekanec’s prorated $6-million salary.
Third, even though no a single in the organization is admitting it, this group is in whole reset manner. This is apparently a little something a lot less than a rebuild and a little something a lot more than a retool. Nonetheless outlined, this usually means the strategy ought to be to get rid of older gamers for picks and, where achievable, prospective clients. It usually means dropping experience, even when those gamers nonetheless have worth. But what if Bergevin could do the two? That is, what if he could trade Plekanec now and re-indicator him when he will become a UFA at the finish of the year?
The Situation for Plekanec
The Canadiens chosen Tomas Plekanec in the 3rd spherical (71st all round) at the 2001 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. 17 yrs later on, Plekanec is absolutely not the same participant who introduced six seasons of 20-additionally aims and six of 50-additionally points to Montreal. He has had a superior job, though, and nonetheless has worth, especially on a group that is a mess at middle. He is nonetheless offensively capable and defensively audio.
In a job spanning approximately 1000 game titles, Plekanec has 231 aims and 370 helps for 601 points. This calendar year, he has scored 5 aims and fifteen helps in 53 game titles. That he has carried out so on a Canadiens group that is offensively challenged is even a lot more amazing. As Eric Engels points out:
…he’s managed that offense with out actively playing on both of the team’s ability-participate in units, with out beginning a lot less than 67 p.c of his shifts in the defensive zone, and he’s managed to do it with out dishonest on his nightly obligations of having to face the opposition’s very best forwards.
The major consideration in any assessment ought to be Plekanec’s defensive talent set. When the league is shifting towards a aim on offense, there is a nonetheless purpose for a trustworthy defensive middle. This calendar year, Plekanec has won 51.9 percent of his faceoffs and has performed a vital purpose as element of Montreal’s best penalty-killing device. Offering up a exceptional asset for a lower second spherical pick may well make feeling. When Rory Boylan thinks Plekanec may well be moved, he observes a little something that could complicate a trade.
Examining the defensive-centre industry is tricky mainly because for the most element, there are so several available. When there are all kinds of scoring wingers to be had that are shaping a buyer’s industry for that talent, you can count the selection of defensive facilities on a single hand.
Move Now and Re-indicator in July
Even if the Canadiens go Plekanec this thirty day period, he could return up coming calendar year to participate in his 1000th recreation in a Habs jersey. Nostalgia aside, the very best case circumstance in this article would be to trade Plekanec for a decent second spherical pick and then re-indicator him to a a single-calendar year offer in July. If you are a supporter who thinks treating veteran gamers like rubbish is not a superior glance (Privet Andrei!), welcoming Tomas back again to Montreal in July would just sense correct.
Of study course, this usually means rolling the dice. Investing a participant with ties to the city and worth to the organization could suggest stating goodbye to previous turtleneck without end. Nonetheless, not shifting him now would be a mistake. As Engels recently instructed: “Bergevin ought to be fired he doesn’t trade Plekanec.” When most admirers concur with the 1st element of that statement, no matter if Plekanec is traded or not, this is a exceptional opportunity for a earn-earn. As Stu Cowan noted, when questioned if he desires to finish his job in Montreal, Plekanec claimed: “I’d really like to. Definitely.”
Offering a veteran participant a likelihood to earn a Cup and then signing this participant to a a single calendar year agreement up coming calendar year would be a stylish go. It would also be wise. This is precisely what admirers of the Canadiens have come to count on from Bergevin. Am I correct? (Sarcasm warn)
At last, here’s a tip for Tomas’ new teammates. Really don’t ask him about the turtleneck.