Then check every Thursday to read the answers to the most popular or poignant questions about the Habs. Keep in mind that we will discuss the entire Canadiens organization so questions about prospects and roster players are equally welcome!
Submissions can be mailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Guidelines for Submissions:
- This is not for hate mail or complaints. If you have an issue with what you read on these pages, this is not the place to bring it up. The mailbag is for questions about the Montreal Canadiens organization and the NHL.
- As long-time readers of All Habs know, we do not publish rumours. Therefore I will not engage in discussion of the validity of rumours — frankly I consider them a waste of time anyway. For every rumour that was close to accurate, there have been about a thousand duds.
- Nothing of essay-length please. There will be other people who will have questions and it is a bit unfair if I have to dedicate the Mailbag to answering one very large question or someone who’s asking five questions at once.
Let’s talk Mac Bennett. Trevor Timmins liked him enough to be a 3rd round pick and he’s having a great year. What can we expect in the next 2-3 years?
Mac Bennett has been a steady riser in the Canadiens organization since being selected, while not displaying any of the flash of a P.K. Subban, he has improved from season to season and is now a top player for the University of Michigan. While the NCAA route has been very good to Bennett in his development, he needs to take things further as he is now in quite a dogfight. With Nathan Beaulieu, Morgan Ellis and Dalton Thrower as notable two-way defencemen in the system, Bennett must distinguish himself against his competition and make a case to rise above at least one of them to make the NHL. Also when you consider the depth chart in Hamilton already being loaded with young defencemen, it may be hard for him to earn an AHL spot next year, or perhaps even the year after. Bennett is probably best off completing his NCAA career and education in case he finds himself unable to break though. He has progressed well, but he hasn’t displayed any true standout talents nor is he an overly large skater, standing at either 5’11” or 6’ depending upon whose height chart you trust.
How come players don’t have to share their revenues from commercials they make or endorsements?
I would say it’s likely a trade-off made between pro leagues and their athletes due to both sides commercializing their image for profit they don’t directly share. Sidney Crosby doesn’t earn any extra bonuses from Sidney Crosby jerseys, T-shirts, hats and so on that are licensed and sold by the NHL, even though he generates a disproportionate amount of revenue for the NHL in this way compared to the majority of his peers. Crosby will often also be the focus of commercial campaigns to promote the NHL, using his image to generate revenues that may not factor into Hockey-Related Revenue.
One might also consider that since the rich endorsement contracts offered out to star players is a relatively small group, so it isn’t considered a point worth spending a lot of time on in CBA negotiations, otherwise players might fire back and ask for directed contributions to their pay based on how much NHL merchandise that is attached to their name, arguing that is revenue they are directly generating and deserve extra consideration. It could be considered a trade-off or a complication.
One can say they’re only getting these endorsements because of their exposure in the NHL, but you can also argue they generate more profit for the NHL than their contracts pay out and it’s a bit of a balancing act.
When are the Habs back in action with the NHL?
I’d like to believe they get the deal done to save at least part of the season, but as November ticks on I am resigning myself more and more that a year will be lost and the Habs will not skate again until the 2013-14 NHL Season. After several days of long negotiations, everything appears to have cooled off again after another “Best Offer” from the NHL and a refusal to budge on terms the NHLPA would like to discuss. One might observe, as some did that the negotiations seemed to be going well until the increasingly notorious Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs became involved again. With Jacobs being a lockout hawk and seemingly leading enough like-minded owners, it’s hard to imagine a deal gets done with an equally intractable Donald Fehr and an NHLPA that holds a grudge from getting beaten in 2005.
I would believe that the NHLPA would be rather irate that they are being told they have to sacrifice again after giving up on nearly all points 7 years ago to help fix the league, only to be told their employers have broken the system again. It’s a very hard situation and it doesn’t benefit the Habs that much, with aging veterans like Brian Gionta, Erik Cole, Andrei Markov and even Tomas Plekanec having the calendar work against them as it tends to do with those in the 2nd half of their careers.
Why is the CBA is based on the revenues and not on the profit?
It’s probably a deal that was agreed on in interest of the numbers being straightforward. When you deal with profits versus revenues, parties involved may try to inflate an expenses line to try and hold on to more revenue and avoid reporting it as a net profit. On the other hand, the other parties could claim that there are losses being reported that aren’t really losses and it becomes a bitter battle between accountants and lawyers to determine such factors. It’s likely easier for all involved to keep the numbers at reported revenue, otherwise fights over financial disclosure and transparency could become much more difficult in what is already a very conflicted CBA negotiation.
Do you think the Habs players should just keep quiet or flood twitter with CBA comments?
At this point I don’t think the players are garnering that much sympathy from their public appeals on Twitter and it’s a bad forum to frame any complex discussions anyway. They’re likely better off letting the process work itself out, as they’re just antagonizing the NHL and encouraging a PR war, which again doesn’t do anything for the process of getting a deal done. The public as far as I can tell, is fed up with hearing from both sides and wants them to make a deal that puts the NHL back in action. They’re trying to get the best deal that they can and one can respect that, but with the current economy and the economic impact for many NHL employees and local businesses, it’s hard for most to care about these days. I’m sure there are a number of NHL players who could speak in a proper forum about their issues and we’d understand, but via Twitter, it’s difficult to make comprehensive explanations unless you make 12 tweets in a row.
What’s up with Dalton Thrower this year?
He’s not had a good start this year, especially compared to most of the prospects selected by the Canadiens in the 2012 Draft but it’s still a bit early. Thrower plays for the Saskatoon Blades, who have only played 19 of their 72 scheduled games this season so he has a long time to work his way back up. While a combination of injuries and a suspension have hardly been an ideal beginning, it’s worth noting that defencemen tend to have a longer development curve than forwards as well. It is disconcerting that he’s now twice-injured in such a short time, but since neither injury has been reported as serious it’s also part of playing hockey. I would give him to at least the half-season mark before becoming overly worried about his performance this season, it’s a long season and he still has a lot of time to rebound. Thrower also wouldn’t be the first player to have a bit of trouble in his post-draft season, but on the whole it should be appreciated that the Saskatoon Blades have struggled this season. Overall, Thrower is a 3-5 year project for the Canadiens in a generous estimate so what has happened in the last three months is not an appreciable red flag on his future I would say.
Category: Fan Focus