Hab or Not?
It’s January 2022 and we are close to 2 years into the Max Domi experiment, he has been an inconsistent force on the ice. Easily able to transition from Center to Winger, he is capable of being dangerous if played correctly, and with respect to his preferences, that being said, it seems he hasn’t had the luck of the draw with coaches either. We’ll go into how we got to his trade-bait status and expand upon the next steps for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Max Domi was traded in October 2020 for Winger Josh Anderson due to the fact that he wasn’t a fit for the Habs, according to Bergevin. A source of contention was how inconsistent, he was considering his first year in the Habs organization as a Centerman, he drove the offense with 82 points his first year.
While he had played on the Wing in Arizona, the perplexing part of the fallout was Julien admitted to Domi being a better Center than Winger.
Over the last few games, we’ve noticed that Max isn’t skating as well on the wing as he was at center. What’s surprising is that he spent the majority of his career at wing. When he played center last year, he used his speed the right way. That’s why we decided to put him back at center.Claude Julien
By the second year in Montreal Domi had fallen off and ended up on the 4th Line.
What happened? With the Arizona Coyotes, he was a Calder Cup nominee and in Montreal, he had a great 1st year, but by the time Nick Suzuki was brought in, Domi’s position was less than stable, considering he had to contend for a spot with Kotkaniemi as well. Even with a stellar 44 point season, before being moved on he had a spat over the line changes with Julien, and Bergevin, blessed with Center depth decided to move Max.
By the time he arrived in Columbus, Tortorella was in his final year and he was far removed from the 1st round win in 2019, other than the 16 win streak, his claim to fame here in Columbus.
Jarmo had chosen to load up the Blue Jackets with offensive power, and it had been obvious there was a shift in priorities with the draft. Tortorella continued to bench and shift lines as he had and as time wore on, it seemed like he lost the room.
This isn’t the first time that we have seen Domi’s name come up in the rumor mill, as the Blue Jackets tried to move him during the offseason. However, they were unable to find a partner, and Domi’s $5.3 million cap hit for the entire season likely played a role in this. However, now that he’s officially a rental candidate, there should be plenty of suitors.
Domi spoke up about a lack of stability in deployments, so obviously moving from one coach to another with the same philosophy wasn’t going to work. Despite that, he produced a respectable 24 point season in 2020-2021, while not achieving his former realized potential in 2018-2019, where he put up 72 points. Playing in Columbus didn’t help, after the Laine benching, the Dubois request for a trade, it was obvious he wasn’t a fit for Tortorella’s style.
He has shown he’s perfectly capable of being an offensive threat, under Larsen’s system, but even then his production isn’t up to his last season in Montreal, which is troubling for someone who doesn’t back-check.
Jarmo gave up a 40+ point, two-way, power forward for a defensive liability who has struggled to find himself in 3 coaches’ systems recently. The Domi experiment, while being great in theory hasn’t looked great on paper, considering our struggling blue-line.
I was initially on board, but it seems more and more, we need Centers that play in both zones. We have Kevin Stenlund who has suffered under Tortorella’s regressive style. We could move Max Domi for a prospect and a pick and move Stenlund into the 2nd or 3rd line and give him another look, considering Larsen’s style is better offensively.
There is talk Max is on the trade block, along with the homegrown player, Jack Roslovic. Fans might love Max Domi, but we’re in a two to three-year rebuild and if we can acquire more picks and bring up someone like Stenlund from the Monsters, who hasn’t fully realized their potential, it will be a win.
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