Just in time for the finals

As I was saying, just before the dastardly Gary Bettman/Paul Devorski/Michael Leighton conspiracy crashed Habs Inside/Out for longer than Ryan O’Byrne’s ToI in the playoffs …

It’s great to be back.

Did I miss anything?

Pat Hickey has a splendid analysis of all the tough decisions Pierre Gauthier faces in the off-season, eg. Price or Halak, Tomas Plekanec, the Brothers K, a humane way to euthanize MAB.

It will be a lively summer, and – technology permitting – HIO will keep fans up on what’s goin’ down.

And because I love hockey and can’t face the thought of resuming my day job, there will live game blogging of the Stanley Cup final, beginning tomorrow night.

It should be a dandy: Jonathan Toews vs. Mike Richards, Chris Pronger vs. Dustin Byfuglien, all those nice Chicagoans vs. the creepozoids in Philly.

I want the Blackhawks to win. But factoring in experience, grit and the Hossa Curse, the prediction is:

Flyers in seven

•  •  •

How much is Jaro worth?

La Presse has a story that suggests $4.4 million.

*  *  *  

Last edition of L’attaque à 5 tonight.

I won’t miss Jean Perron.

I will miss Jean Pagé, Marc de Foy, Tony Marinaro and – most of all – the incomparably foxy Evelyne Audet.


  1. Slovak says:

    Halak is a long term quality – his performance is going up slowly but constantly – he is no hot hand wonder – Olympics and playoffs were just first outcomes of that process. 

    And NO I would not let him go even if it means to wait for another year to make further changes – I would go for the next season with the same team.

    HALAK WILL SIGN IT FOR 3 MIL. media speculations are far from reality. Jaro knows he must prove himself…

  2. Xtrahabsfan says:

    To all those Fans that don’t think Halak is worth $4.4 mil…..YOUR BRAINS ARE MUSH! lol…..It’s such an unreal thing to say this about  Halak that IT’S NOT WORTHY OF A RE-TORT!    No ,I think the K bro’s, Plecs,Price,Hammer ,Spacek and Metro are pretty much GONE and will be replaced with size and heart….I do want to thank the latter for their time though ……

  3. andrewberkshire says:

    You bemoan Plekanec and Marleau’s failures in the playoffs yet request Kovalchuk? I’m sorry Mike but I don’t follow. Kovalchuk is the biggest choker out there.

  4. Slovak says:

    I don’t judge him, I just see the reality, I don’t want to live in memories or hopes I want to see real progress in real time and you? Halak is a long term quality – he improves slowly but constantly, what can you say about Price? Yeah I know what:

    “We all hope his potential will breakthrough one day”

    Come on

  5. Bouleau noir says:

    You cant compete for the Cup if your team has scoring depth issues…. look at Chicago and the Flyers or just look at a perenial Cup contender like Detroit….. no scoring depth issues with those clubs and yet all have good no name goalies doing the job for them.

    Having a good goaly is crucial and having good scoring depth in your team is just as crucial….. to have both makes you a legetimate Cup contender.




  6. HabFanSince72 says:

    Also if the Flyers win Marian Hossa becomes the biggest loser of all time.

  7. joeybarrie says:

    I think you do not understand the Cap.

    You must understand if we sign Halak for what he will get on the market, we will not be able to sign Pleks. I would rather have a first round draft pick from a team that might give us a top ten pick, than give Halak 4.5 million dollars and have him be another Tim Thomas.

    Ryder got 4 millon dollars……..33 points….

    Everyone wanted to give Tanguay 5 million… 37 points….

    Komisarek 4.5 million dollars

    Kovalev wanted 5 million dollars…. 49 points.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  8. Slovak says:

    I think Jaro can sign it for 3 millions. But even if he wants more I would try to do my best to keep him. Even if it means we have the same team for next year. I think this team will be better next year – they have experiences they know each other more and series with Flyers will be different next year if there will be some. 

    My priority in order to win the cup would be – do everything to keep Halak – I think he will sign for 3 millions if coach and management will show they really want him – no more stupid sit and play game, even if it means trading Price, Plekanec will go down with its price – sign him – if not trade him for another forward and try to bring some forward for Price.

    Wait another year and make another upgrade. Do not over-calculate in order to fast success which will never come…

  9. joeybarrie says:

    You know, here in Montreal 24 Stanley Cups have taught us some things. One of them is you don’t think you good until you win the 4th game in the playoffs. The other is do not judge a player, especially a goalie by the age of 22.

    Tony Esposito only started in the NHL when he was 25-26.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  10. MikeL says:

    Oh I agree, but I just wouldn’t expect 20 goals or 2nd line minutes out of him in Montreal, which I think was your original point. Basically, he’s decent but nothing special.

  11. Slovak says:

    I ma so disappointed with some of you. You seem like you just love to do your math calculations, your Price let’s all hope calculations, money calculations, crap talk calculations, blindness calculations, calculations, calculations, calculations

    In this decade how many calculations you already did? How many scorers there were in montreal? How many different players did you have? What happened? Why these calculations did never lead to something more than another calculations?

    WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP – Protect what is long term quality – Halak improved in long term – can’t you see it or are you so blinded with Price – if yes – I would be happy for Halak to leave as soon as possible because if there are people around coach thinking like some of you MONTREAL IS A LOST CASE

  12. Bouleau noir says:

    As long as we keep Plek we are still 2 men short for top 6 scoring duties….. Pouliot should be fine but Andree has to be replace this summer….. to have minimum scoring respectability we are one man short.

    We need someone with the same age than Pouliot with already top 6 credential in the league….. someone costing us bellow 2 thousand dollards….. Halak or Price have enough valu to trigger such a trade.

  13. MikeL says:

    San Jose has been a Cup favorite for YEARS, and they have yet to get any further than our underdog Habs this season. There may be a few reasons, but Marleau is a big one.

    As for Kovalchuk, I somewhat agree. That being said, he is one of the best players in the league. It wouldn’t be like Kovalev puck hogging and only scoring 65 points. Kovalchuk can score 50 goals.

  14. joeybarrie says:

    By signing Halak to 4.4 million, we will not be able to buy any other players. We will end up with the exact same team, and we did not win the cup this year. We need to move forward. To move forward we cannot give a hot hand goalie 4.4 million dollars, when he can end up being mediocre with a few flashes of brilliance. If we wanted that, we would have stuck with Theodore. I am not saying Halak is mediocre, I am saying one post season is not enough to bet the future. Look at Boston. They had to lose Kessel cause they overpaid Thomas after one good season and it turns out it might have been luck.

    I want to win the Cup next season. Am I the only one who remembers scoring 2 goals against Philly. It doesn;t matter how GREAT your goalie is if you can’t score.

    Our real priorities are finding 2 players to play the top 2 lines. AK, and SK have got to go, and Pouliot has not shown he is top 2 line material yet.

    We have 2 very good assets in our goalie’s and we need to use them properly. Giving Halak 4.4 million will give us 6-8 million to sign 8 players INCLUDING PLEKANEC. So we need to sign or replace POULIOT, MOORE, LAPIERRE, PYATT, SK, METRO, PRICE and MARA with 1.5-3.5 million dollars??????????????????????

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  15. ed lopaz says:

    marleau had 8 goals and 13 points in 14 playoff games this year.

    i cant stand kovalchuk.

    he plays like hes in pee wee AA – trying to do everything himself.

    if i was his teammate i would resent his playing style.

    he is NOT a good fit for a team that prides itself on team play.

  16. Slovak says:

    For sure I would not start with considering to trade goalie who fits this team so perfectly that together they can finally compete for the cup… isn’t that what you have been waiting for? There are other possibilities how to get some scorers and even if MOntreal should wait another year I would not trade HALAK – one of the most important parts of this team… this thinking is WRONG – that is why you just wait and hope for so many years… 

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Depends on what the asking price is of course. Brouwer’s still pretty young and had some family issues (very ill father) this year that would have obviously distracted him fro the NHL. 22 goals at his age isn’t bad and he generally doesn’t get Top-6 time because of the talent class on his team, I think he could be a strong addition provided he’s not too costly.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  18. Slovak says:

    Halak’s performance is going up maybe slowly but constantly… What does that tell you?

    And Price? Mmmmmm HOPE HOPE HOPE Come on let’s all hope he will be great one day – no matter he is up and down.

    In 2008 how many games Halak played? How do you know he was better? They did not let him play even when he showed, he could be better than Price.


  19. MikeL says:

    Sharp – yes.

    Brouwer – His numbers are greatly enhanced because he plays on the Hawks. He’s just an average player. 3rd liner at best. Of course, I’d take Brouwer if it didn’t cost much, but I wouldn’t put him near Sharp’s class, and wouldn’t break the bank on him.

  20. Slovak says:



  21. Bouleau noir says:

    Its not about Halak….. its about the team making the playoffs next season and its about team management in the here and now while always keeping the futur in mind….. its about keeping our team competitive in a salarial constrained environment.

    We barely made the playoffs last season, we have an issue with scoring goals ( 25th overall ) and have no scorers in the pipeline ready to help before 3 years….. how would you fixe that ?

    Its hard to fixe if we dont use our players as assets for trades and the only assets we have that could fetch a young top 6 forwards in return are Price and Halak.


  22. Slovak says:

    With this thinking – how many years are you waiting for the cup or even being in the 3rd round of playoffs? TELL ME HOW MANY? This is ridiculous, who told you Halak wants over 4 millions? But this clearly demonstrated why Montreal struggles… calculations calculations calculations instead of making real priorities…

  23. MikeL says:

    Purely a guess, but I can see Price traded to San Jose in the summer. My guess is Ryan Clowe + in return.

    I want Dominic Moore back. He was incredible in the playoffs, and is the perfect third line centre. Lapierre and Pyatt on his wings gave teams fits.

    Plekanec once again had an average playoff. I wanted him gone after last season, then he changed my mind with a great year, but once again I wouldn’t mind him gone. Problem is, the replacements are non existent. Not a chance Patrick Marleau comes here, and even if he did, he has the same problem as Pleks. No-show-in-crunch-time-itis.

    If I’m Pierre Gathiuer, I do whatever it takes to lure Kovalchuk to Montreal. I sign him, and then do whatever it takes to get under the cap. Impossible? Nothing is impossible. Ask Halak.

  24. Slovak says:

    Plekanec is a Czech player and Halak is from Slovakia – we were Czechoslovakia some time ago – Our media are hungry for informations about Halak and they are asking everyone – we got reporter for NHL doing interviews – it was just these few question. I don’t know what is so strange on it…here si the original link… check it out…


  25. habfan01 says:

    Did I read right somewhere that we have a 4th round pick from the Flyers that goes up to a third rounder if they win the cup? Is it worth rooting for them over this? not sure.

  26. SeriousFan09 says:

    We’re still short two reliable scoring forwards, right now we have a pair of duos (Gomez/Gionta, Cammy/Pleks) that need a 3rd man each to really be effective and that will require some cap space as I don’t really see a scoring talent on the farm that can reliably play with them. I think the Ks need to be moved for picks so the Canadiens can trade with the Blackhawks this summer for either Sharp or Brouwer.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  27. SlovakHab says:

    Slovak media isn’t interested in Montreal Canadiens or any other specific team. They are only interested in Slovak players in the NHL.

    Hence, if they have a chance to ask (and there in no language barrier with Plekanec who’s Czech), they will ask as much as possible.

    I actually find it very easy to believe.

  28. Slovak says:

    Jaro has his own brain… he decides not his agent… 

  29. imafogdevil says:

    If we trade the kostitsysns and get rid of the dead weight that Hickey has mentioned, then why cant we afford Moore and Plekanec? If we bring up those players from the Bulldogs tht are ready, we should be ok again next year, assuming that Pouliot and Moen bring a better two way game.

  30. joeybarrie says:

    I find it hard to believe that Pleks would give an interview on Halak. This makes no sense.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  31. HardHabits says:

    that’s a very good pro Halak argument

    unfortunately other teams know that too

    imagine Halak on a much better team than the Habs, what chances do you think they’d have

    the Habs are in deep with this one, I admire your optimism though


  32. Slovak says:

    Halak does not want to leave – that is just bullshit. I saw no signs of it, even when he speaks for our media…

    But on the other side he wants to be the starter and he wants to be treated good – but who does not want it? 

    And tell me one thing, how you can even consider trading Halak? I just don’t get it. For how many years did montreal try to go at least this far into the playoff??? Now you know you got the right core of players and you consider to trade one of the most important parts?


    MONEY CAN’T BUY YOU A CUP – If it does you did not wait this long… come on wake up MOntreal

    I don’t want Halak to leave Montreal and he does not want to leave either, DO YOU?

  33. longtimehabsfan says:

    If Hickey is correct in his assessment [Pleks to test the market; not enough money for Moore; and not enough money to bring in an impact UFA] then the Habs are primed to take a step backward next year.  There isn’t enough depth in the organization to make up for the losses of Pleks and Moore.  Keeping both Halak and Price will not work.  46 million committed to just 14 players is a major problem.  We’ll have to pick up several diamonds in the rough for 1 million dollar contracts.  Good luck PG.

  34. Chris says:

    Because Boston fans did the same thing with Tim Thomas.  And Vancouver fans thought highly of Luongo before the last couple of playoff flameouts.

    A goalie can win a round or two, but hasn’t carried a crummy team to a Stanley Cup in quite a while.  On the other hand, a decent goalie holding the fort behind a good to great team CAN win a Stanley Cup, as Niemi and Leighton are going to show us this year.

    I love Halak…he’s one of my favourite players in the NHL.  But I just don’t believe that the drop-off from one goalie to the next in most cities is all that big.  The talent pool at the goaltender position is seeing the same kind of parity as the league is seeing amongst its teams as a whole.

  35. 24 Cups says:

    Please Note: I wrote this on Tuesday but couldn’t submit it due to the site being down.  For what it’s worth.


    Pierre Gauthier will have little time to dwell on the great Hab playoff run this spring. Major decisions have to be made in the next few weeks that will have long term implications for the team. Here is a ‘to do list’ of the most important choices that Gauthier will face in the upcoming off season.

    1. Try and sign unrestricted free agent, Tomas Plekanec. Having overpaid for one Hab centre, Montreal can ill afford to repeat the same mistake. How much upside does Pleks have left and what amount of long term cap space can the Habs afford? There are bound to be other suitors and the truth of the matter is that the Habs have no other options right now in the system. There are a few small offensive prospects in Hamilton but it will take a few years for them to develop enough to handle 2nd line duties.

    2. Make a decision on how the Habs handle the K brothers’ future with the team. AK46 is signed for next year and SK74 is a RFA with little leverage. In theory, they are going nowhere and will be back with the team. However, the real question is do the Habs want them back? Or better yet, do the Kostitsyn brothers want to come back? Historically, Montreal has been unable to develop young quality forwards and there is very little down on the farm in terms of taking the K brothers’ spots. Where will the offense come from and who will be able to help fill out the top two lines? All of this of course is counterbalanced by the notion that these two guys need to go so that the Habs can finish the house cleaning that Bob Gainey started last summer.

    3. Figure out which goaltender Montreal will trade in the upcoming year. In a perfect world, many Hab fans would say that the team should stay put and keep both (not to mention that they are both RFAs this summer). Cap considerations and the need to upgrade at other positions pretty well dictates that one goalie must go next year. It may not happen this summer but it’s a reality that the team must face in the near future. Hab fans tend to overestimate what their players will bring in a trade so it should be interesting to see what the market will bare. One thing is for use. Gauthier should not be trading a young goalie for prospects, draft picks or over the hill veterans. He needs to try and secure a young Dman or forward who has the same upside as Halak or Price. That may be easier said than done.

    4. Deal with Andrei Markov’s upcoming free agency before it begins to take on a life of it’s own. Most fans assumed that Montreal would re-sign Markov with the extra coin coming from Roman Hamrlik’s departed salary (after 2011). Unfortunately, Markov’s serious injury may derail that signing until later in the 2010-11 season. Some fans might even suggest that it would be best to not bring Markov back after next year and allow Subban to grow into that role. Gauthier needs to make a decision at some point in time and then bring closure to the uncertainty.

    5. Free up some cap space in order to handle the new inflated contracts that will be given out to present roster players. Up until the Markov injury, all fingers pointed to Roman Hamrlik as the odd man out. It won’t be an easy move to unload Hamrlik’s contract and there would be little in return (if anything). Another question has to be whether or not the Habs feel they can start the beginning of the year without both Markov and Hamrlik. As well, are there truly any solid candidates down on the farm who can jump in and take the Hammer’s place?

    6. Name a captain who will not only lead the team but also be a long term candidate to stay with the franchise. It’s time for the Habs to get over the Koivu years and move on. At the same time, we don’t want to return to the days of revolving captains which haunted us back in the ‘90s. I strongly believe that the player chosen should be in a position to hold the “C” on a long term basis. There is also the question of whether or not the players should decide or have the move left up to management. Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri are obvious choices. Some posters even favour Josh Gorges who would take on a ‘Mike Keane’ like captaincy. Is Andrei Markov still in the picture? Does he even want to take on that role? Hal Gill had a heroic playoff run but realistically may only last a few more years in the NHL so he’s out. It’s not so much who should be captain but more a case of when that person should be chosen. I believe it should happen before training camp begins.

    7. Prepare for the 2010 entry draft. The Habs will be selecting near the bottom of the pack but here are a few names to realistically consider. I am only listing names of players that have been rated to go near the bottom third of the first round. It appears that there will be more Dmen than centres (near the end of the 1sr round) so that’s a reality that we might just have to face.

    Jarred Tinordi (D), Dylan McIlrath (D), Brock Nelson (C), Jon Merrill (D), Martin Marincin (D) and Kirill Kabanov (just kidding).

    There are other moves that have to be made such as re-signing young RFAs and some UFAs such as Dominic Moore. However, most of those decisions should fall into place as the summer unfolds. The real issues might just be the ones that ultimately decide how well the Habs do in the next few years.

  36. Chris says:

    Cap concerns.  They have a lot of money dedicated to a few key positions.  Cammalleri/Gomez/Gionta are one of the highest paid forward trios in the NHL.  Markov/Hamrlik are one of the highest paid defenceman duos. 

    Unless they can free up some cap space, which I am sure Gauthier is exploring, the Habs have to be a bit smart with their money if they want to both re-sign key players like Plekanec (or his replacement) and Halak (or his replacement) while also upgrading a team that, while it put together a nice run, still has some important vulnerabilities that got exposed by the Flyers.

    Chicago (Niemi), Philadelphia (Leighton/Boucher), Boston (Rask), Ottawa (Elliott) and Colorado (Anderson) all demonstrated that there are good goalies that can cheaply do the job floating around in the minors or as back-ups if Halak and his agent ask for a lot of dough.

  37. ed lopaz says:

    because without halak we were going nowhere, and with halak this team is capable of beating any team.



  38. HardHabits says:

    By my estimation you’re in fantasy land.

    Look. I’ll admit I’m pessimistic. I see teams who tank nab top picks and rebuild themselves. I see the days of a team building via astute late picks, player development and timely trades alone being a thing of the past. Too many teams (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington) were awful for years and others bad enough over the long haul to start building good young teams (Pheonix, LA Kings, Colorado) and even though they don’t necessarily have the tradition of winning or the veteran leadership that was developed from within but they do have the most dynamic young talent. Who’s to say what elements make up the winning combo, but having a few high draft picks that came in a bulk sum of a few years makes for a certain foundation to build on. Whether the Habs can add the remaining parts to the core group of <expensive> speedy but small forwards garnered via free-agency and “the trade” will have to be seen over the next 4 years.

    As to the immediate future, I would love to see Halak signed for under 4 million/year for 2 years and Price for 2 million/year over 4 years. It aint gonna happen but if it did then I might just think that there are hockey gods and that they smile upon the Habs, because for the life of me I can’t fathom any of that as being realistic.

    I do believe that there might be some hesitancy as we’ve seen many teams get burned with big money contracts for goalies (Huet, DiPietro) and that there are few, and I mean a very small percentage of goalies that play great for the whole stretch of their long careers (Hasek, Roy and Brodeur for example). Maybe that’s the whole list for the modern era. My point with all that is that maybe teams are hesitant to offer goalies huge somes of cash. HA!!

    Which brings us to Walsh, Halak’s agent, who will try to get the most money for Halak because that’s how he gets paid. He’s an astute manager too. His tweet although over the top did raise Halak’s profile in the sense that it kicked the can and even for a brief moment put an under the microscope spotlight on Jaro. To Halak’s credit he rose to the occasion in both the Olympics and the NHL playoffs.

    If the Habs manage to sign both Price and Halak, as a Habs fan I’d be happy, surprised, but definitely happy.


  39. joeybarrie says:

    I have NEVER seen the Canadiens give a player who has played 1 season with us at 24 a 4.5 million dollar contract.

    Andrei K did just as well as Saku Koivu in his contract season and he only got 3.25. Thank God…

    We gave Alexei Kovalev 4.5 million dollars…

    I mean, what is this nonsense. Pleks will get 4.5 million. Not Halak. INSANE.

    ALEXANDER SEMIN got 4.5 million, you think Halak is more valuable than Semin?

    Not taking anything away from Halak. He did great this year. But a hot hand for 2 playoff series doesn’t show you very much in the long run. If that was the case Pleks would have already got 4.5 million and we would have Mark Streit. I mean even he doesn’t make 4.5 million and he has had 3 seasons of 50+ points.

    Leighton pulled a Halak, do you think anyone is going to go out and give him 4.5 million?

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  40. Slovak says:

    Tomas Plekanec did an
    interview for slovak paper about Halak:

    Prvý zápas v NHL odchytal Jaroslav Halák proti
    Columbusu 18. 2. 2007. Spomínal, že najmä vďaka vám a Radkovi Bonkovi vôbec
    nebol nervózny. Ako ste ho privítali v prvom tíme? 

    V prvom rade sme si z neho uťahovali, aby sme trochu
    odľahčili situáciu. Vraveli sme mu, aby sa nebál, že aj Tomáš Vokoun dostal v
    prvom zápase jeho kariéry v Montreale štyri “fiky”, potom ho vymenili
    a aký je z neho teraz brankár. Skôr sme sa snažili Jara rozhodiť, aby príliš
    nemyslel na to, že chytá prvý zápas za Montreal a bol v pohode. Napokon podal
    výborný výkon (Montreal vyhral 3:2).

    The first game in NHL Jaro performed against Columbus
    18.2. 2007. You said that thanks to you and Radek Bonk he was not nervous. How
    did you welcomed him in first team?

    In the first case we joked with him, we wanted to take
    off the pressure from him a little. We said to him that Tomas Vokoun lost his
    first game in NHL – he got 4 goals and than he got traded and look and him
    now… We tried to get into his mind – so that he does not think about that
    this is his first game in NHL. He did a great job in that first game and we won

    Čím sa Halák ľudsky i hráčsky odlišuje od ostatných
    brankárov, ktorých ste zažili v Montreale?

    Z brankárskeho hľadiska to príliš nedokážem posúdiť.
    Povahovo je dosť tichý, veľa toho nenahovorí. Prvé dva-tri roky sa veľmi utápal
    v tom, že Carey Price bol jasná jednotka nech sa dialo, čo sa dialo. Zle to
    znášal. Až v tejto sezóne sa prvýkrát začal sústrediť iba na seba a zdá sa, že
    mu to viac než prospelo.

    How is Jaro different as a player and as a person from
    other goaltenders that you experienced?

    Well, from goaltending view I can not tell. As a
    person he is quiet, he does not speak too much. First 2-3 years in Montreal he
    was depressed that Carey Price was the starter at any conditions, no matter
    what happened. He was really depressed. It was only in this season that he
    started to concentrate only on himself and his game for the first time and that
    helped him a lot as you can saw.

    Je v kabíne Montrealu niekto ešte väčší introvert ako
    slovenský brankár?

    Ako som už vravel, asi nie je. Máme v kabíne pár veľmi
    tichých hráčov, ale Jaro je asi ich líder.

    Is there in Montreal someone even a bigger introvert
    than slovakian goaltender? 

    As I said, I think not. We have in there some
    introverts but Jaro is their leader – leader of all introvert players in

    Kedy prejavuje najväčšie emócie?

    Po postupe do 2. a do 3. kola play-off som ho videl
    prejaviť sa viac, než u neho býva zvykom. A samozrejme zaslúžene.

    Did he show some emotions?

    After we came trhough 2 and 3rd. round I saw him
    showing some more emotions than he normally does but he deserved it all the

    Ako v posledných dňoch znášal zvýšenú pozornosť a

    Určite ho teší, čo sa mu podarilo, ale sám dobre vie,
    že najmä tu v Montreale sa sláva a pozornosť mení zo dňa na deň. Horšie znáša časté
    rozhovory s novinármi, ale niet sa im čo čudovať po tom, čo predvádzal v tejto

    How does he deal with higher popularity these days?

    Well he is very happy with what he achieved, but he
    knows very well that especially here in Montreal glory and popularity changes
    from day to day. He does not like interviews but there is no wonder they want
    to speak with him after what he achieved.

    Ako zvykne tráviť čas na cestách? Hrá karty, alebo
    skôr počítačové hry?

    Jaro je jednoznačne fanúšikom playstation. Aj keby sme
    cestovali autobusom iba dve minúty, vždy si vytiahne svoje PSP a hrá na ňom
    futbal alebo niečo iné. Jednoducho v autobusoch či v lietadle vždy fičí na

    How does he spend his time on roads? Does he play
    cards or computer games?

    Jaro is big fan of playstation. Even if we travel by
    bus even 2 minutes, he plays his PSP – soccer or something else. Simply he
    always play his PSP in bus or airplane.


  41. The Teacher says:

    As per TSN


    the salary cap will likely rise by roughly $2 million for next season.

    WOW, that gives us a bit more wiggle room.

    My personal opinion is that Halak wants to leave.

  42. joeybarrie says:

    It’s not that it’s not valued… But how in God’s name can you give a young player like Halak a salary close to Gionta’s, Patrick Sharp, T. Zajac, Jeff Carter, and higher than Stamkos????????

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  43. ed lopaz says:

    every expert I’ve heard – including the one sighted by Boone in La Presse – agree that halak is worth about 4 million.

    halak will sign with the habs.

    not the first time I’ve seen the canadiens – not exactly.

    been a fan since for more than 30 years. you??

  44. joeybarrie says:

    Is this the first time you have seen the Montreal Canadiens? Are you new to this team? You think they will pay 4 million for Halak?

    The problem is that 20 or so team in the NHL are going to try to get Halak or Price. We cannot afford to keep 2 great goalies, especially when Halak is so hot. Cause chances are he will cool down a la Price.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  45. ed lopaz says:

    I’d like to know how many of you guys who are ready to let Halak walk away actually went to a playoff game at the bell center???

    because if you were there, you would know instantly how crazy you are?

    the bell center fans – the one’s who actually pay to see hockey – are flat out crazy about Halak.

    those fans know how Halak turned around the entire season.

    we were done – not even making the playoffs without him.

    he singlehandedly defeated Washington and then Pittsburgh.

    ya – price has talent.

    But halak got sizzling hot during the toughest stretch.

    One of the great playoff performances in canadiens history.

    think that’s not valued by the habs brass?????

    Halak is back next season for 4.5 million per.

    He will sign BEFORE arbitration – because the habs will be handing hin the #1 spot.

    price will get about 15 games next season – Halak the rest.

    Price still needs another 2 seasons of development, then he will be ready to blossom.

  46. joeybarrie says:

    It’s astounding that there are still fans on this site who actually believe that we have seen anything close to how great Price will be. Halak either for that matter. Make no mistake about it, all we have seen from Halak is a few great games and a good year. If you make a 10 year decision on that you will get LeCavalier at 7.7 million dollars until he is 39…

    Halak is a better player to trade. Hopefully we can get a 1st rounder and more. Make a package to get something great. Neither goalie has proved anything long term. So why would we want to tie ourselves down long term when we don’t know anything yet???

    Halak deserves to get as much as he can, and that wont be in Montreal. There are teams that will likely take that chance, but with our goalies in Hamilton and Price on the bench, I hope we aren’t stupid enough to risk it. If Halak want to prove he is long term, he should sign for fairly cheap and prove himself. The reward will come then. But if someone wants to pay him 4 million, I wouldn’t want to stop him. He deserves better. But I feel like it would be a Thomas or Ryder move…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  47. Wamsley01 says:

    Because next season has nothing to do with 2010, just like 2009 had nothing to do with 2008 when Price was better than Halak. Using your mindset, you would have come to the conclusion that Phil Kessel was a better player than Steven Stamkos and anybody who didn’t see it was an idiot.

    It is far from a guarantee that Halak will be better than Price in 2011 or 2012.

  48. joeybarrie says:

    4.4 million for HALAK???????

    I don’t know if he is worth it YET….

    If he wants out of Montreal, then he should go. He has shown how great a goalie he is, and how great of an attitude he has. He has earned the right to go where he likes. But 4.4 million is crazy for a goalie that had 1 good year and a few great games. Look at Boston with Tim Thomas… 5 million a season after he did very well ONE YEAR. Now Tukka Rask is the next god… Between Thomas, Ryder, and Sturm they are wasting 13.5 million dollars. I will be sad to see him leave, and all that potential go, but in the end Price is a very good goalie too, and we have the benefit of both.

    The smart move is to either trade Halak or wait to see how much he can get and hopefully get a first round draft pick…  I don’t know if you can tell me a 1st round draft pick is worse off than paying him 4.4 million just to have him play normal like he did vs Philly. Plus losing Price I think is a mistake. But in the end I hope we get the most possible for either.

    Plus when we dump AK, and SK, and maybe trade Hamr we will be looking good. We can replace Hamr with a good younger defenseman. Like UFA Henrik Tallinder. 6’3 and has done very well for Buffalo this season.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  49. Wamsley01 says:

    Unfortunately your speculation is no more relevant than the speculation offered at the Globe. 

    Also, Price does not have any bonuses next season. They were on his entry level contract and he didn’t meet 7 of the 9 in 2010, so his actual 2010 salary was closer to 1M than 2.2. Meaning his price tag for 2011 will likely be only 1.5M at most with a modest raise.

    Nobody can talk in absolutes when it comes to either goaltender unless you are Pierre Gauthier. Just because you don’t like what they had to say, doesn’t make them wrong.

  50. Bill says:

    It is astounding that there are still fans on this site who actually believe that Price is better than Halak. What do you need to be shown? Without Halak the Habs were out in five in the first round, and that’s the best case scenario.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  51. ed lopaz says:

     If he gets the kind of money other #1 goalies around the NHL are receiving, the Habs would probably be reluctant to pay it out. 

    why would the Habs be unwilling to pay Halak as a #1 goalie?



  52. Chris says:

    Me either.  When Antti Niemi and Michael Leighton are the starting goalies in the Stanley Cup Finals (and I’d be willing to be that nobody on Planet Earth had THAT matchup called back in September!), it is really hard to see any point in over-paying any goaltender in today’s NHL.

  53. Chris says:

    Depends on the arbitrator.  If he gets the kind of money other #1 goalies around the NHL are receiving, the Habs would probably be reluctant to pay it out.  They would then have to walk away from the ruling, thereby making Halak an unrestricted free agent, or trade his rights to someone else.

    If he gets a crummy decision, he demands a trade and hopes the team doesn’t see the worth in keeping a relatively cheap but decidedly unhappy goalie in town.  Lots of ifs.

    Of course, he also has the threat of being willing to go to Europe…that doesn’t really solve anything for him, short of getting money.

  54. Willy the bum says:

    Well, I have to say this is by far the best playoff season I’ve seen from the Habs since way back when they last had the Cup.  Even though they got as far but not enough, I still say it’s close enough.  Like I said before the regular season started that they are a new team and still got work to do, they proved to naysayers and we kept our mouths shut, thanks to them.

    I’ll miss the excitement but at least I got back to my regular life now and gotta pick up where I left.  It’s nice to see almost everybody getting so positive about our team and what they have accomplished.  Hopefully when the next season comes we’ll be cheering loudly and proud.

    Gotta enjoy our summer, and have fun.  I’m still keeping up here to check out the latest news though, but I hope to see most of the players back.  And I’m wearing my lucky blue Habs cap for the whole summer; not for once I will take it off… except if I have a hot date or something.  😛

    Take care posters and enjoy yours.

    To Boone: I’ll miss Evelyne Audet too… she is what I call a REAL chick!

  55. ed lopaz says:

    why would anyone take the “podcast” by the Globe as being anything but pure speculation.


    Halak does not want out. He loves the team. he loves the city. He loved his role on the team.

    He wants (and deserves) to be paid somehwere around 4 million.

    he also deserves the #1 goalie treatment next year – and he will get that as well.

    The Candiens know this and they will pony up.

    Price will get a 200,000 raise.

    Total package for 2 goalies 6 million (if Price hits his bonus money)

    If you can not pay 6 million for your goalies in today’s NHL, and get the quality goaltending that Halak AND Price give you, then you need to find another GM.

    probably 20 or more teams in the NHl would take our 2 goalies for 6 million in a freakin second.


  56. HardHabits says:

    I mean other teams might be willing to pony up that type of cash. LaPresse says Halak is worth 4.4 million. I am not sying they are rigt but they could be.

  57. Fansincebirth says:

    Yup, gotta go with the ‘Hawks in 5 or maybe 6 and it will make me smile…..

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  58. Fansincebirth says:

    I think it was mid way through the Caps series, I commented on here that Halak had priced his way out of Montreal…..

    “Without the strength of the past, the team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden

  59. Tis Himself says:

    I just can’t see paying up for a goaltender. Theo, Huet signed big deals and just faded after the ink dried. The Habs don’t really have that much cap space that they can overpay anyone. I think Pleks is gonna find that out shortly.

  60. forskis says:

    I am not sure how this is supposed to be a good thing from his standpoint:  the Halak-pushers say that he was mis-treated and never given a chance and now that he has, he is going to turn his back on the team?  I understand that the Halak-pushers will say that the team deserves this treatment, but he wanted to prove himself and now he has and now he (apparently) wants to bite the hand that feeds him?  Last time I checked, two negatives do not make a positive except in math.

    This makes no sense…he wanted to be the #1 and has become so…and he will get a very deserved raise from his 800k and all of a sudden he wants to bolt?  If he does, no one can blame Gainey nor Price nor anyone else, if a player wants to leave after getting what they want and deserve, it is on the player.

    “I am guilty of using elipses…”

  61. eyhp says:

    Getting another team to sign him to an RFA offer sheet it’s definitely a tactic.

  62. SeriousFan09 says:

    The issue is he’s an arbitration-eligible RFA and salary arbitration generally overvalues the player, NYR went to arbitration with Nikolai Zherdev last year, who’s got the consistency of AK46 and Zherdev was offered 4 million + on the arbitration award he then spurned to go play in the KHL.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  63. HardHabits says:

    Call me whatever for 4.5 million a year.

  64. Tis Himself says:

    Aside from arbitration, what exactly does it mean to play hardball as an RFA? Seems like he is still an indentured servant to me.

  65. HardHabits says:

    Good. Two 1sts and a 2nd for a 9th rounder. Excellent return.

  66. eyhp says:

    Good podcast from theglobeandmail, apparently Jaro wants out of Montreal and he and his agent are considering playing hardball in contract talks to get out of town:



  67. SeriousFan09 says:

    Disagree with Boone, Hawks in 5.

    The grit factor on Chicago isn’t exactly low-end and the playoff experience in Philly isn’t exactly legendary like the Red Wings they faced in last year’s Western Conference Final, only Pronger’s been to the Finals thus far. If the Bruins forced the Flyers and in Montreal’s one really good game against them, the Flyers went with 4 Ds, with the speed and ability of the top 3 lines of Chicago, Pronger and the Top-4 of the Flyers will be overworked quickly trying to contain them. Chicago’s D is younger and Niemi’s had tougher challenges than two offensively challenged squads in the last two rounds.

    That and I have to pull for Toews over Richards, it’s good versus evil.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  68. Puck Bard says:

    Agree with Boone. Flyers remind me of the 2006 Canes – not one of the best teams, but everything falling into place at right point. And size that wears you down. Hawks could be in for a rude surprise. 

    Philly in 6

  69. W35T5ID3 says:

    OK here’s how it is folks:

      Price or Halak?”Sigh”….Ultimately Halak wants out….So Price is the man.Price wont command as much either.He’ll get 925,000 for the next season whereas Halak will command upwards of 3.5 mil to 4 mil next season.So its gonna be the cheaper and maybe better alternative.Price.Which may in the long run prove to be a better decision as Price is the bigger and better future prospect for our long term goalie situation for les Canadiens.


  70. Bob_Sacamano says:

  71. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Okay, I’m thankful now. What a fun run! We got beat by a better team with a cast off goaltender who came back to bite us on the butt and that’s how it goes.

    Now. I can’t see signing Plekanecs unless it’s to trade him. Even though he did a little better, that’s two years in a row that he’s disappeared during our last playoff series. Complete the de-K-ing by ridding us of Kostitsyns, big and little.  Listen to offers for our goaltenders. Trade one of them only if we can ADD SOME SIZE AND GRIT with talent!

    Go Habs!

  72. secretdragonfly says:

    Whatever you guys paid for the new hardware, you should send the bill to my company -I’ve been more productive over the last 3 days than I have been since the start of the regular season.

  73. habsman-itoba says:

    Oh my goodness.  I can’t believe how much I missed HI/O!  Good to see it back!  I guess my productive work days will come to a screeching halt.

  74. JF says:

    Like everyone else, I’m extremely proud of our team for having accomplished far more than anyone thought they could.  It was a great run, filled with moments to remember.  But I’m still very disappointed, and I have to endorse Gionta’s and Gomez’s comments that, despite all the success, the plasyoff run was ultimately a failure.  We did not win the Stanley Cup or even give ourselves a chance to compete for it.   In the end, we squandered an opportunity.  In seventeen years, we haven’t been this near the Cup, and who knows how long it will be before we’re this near again, let alone before we actually win it.

    What disappoints me is our performance against the Flyers.  They’re a better team than we are, bigger, tougher, and with a more balanced attack, but I still think that series was winnable.  They outplayed us in every aspect of the game, from goaltending to defence to special teams.  But we could have been a lot better.  The key was getting to Michael Leighton, and in three of the five games we didn’t do that at all.  In those games we had no more than a handful of scoring opportunities, just about all our shots coming from the outside.  Game 3 was the only one in which we really made use of our speed, catching the Flyers flatfooted time after time, making them take penalties or turn over the puck, and creating many scoring opportunities.  It looked as though we had found our game and figured out how to get around the size issue.  But our speed was nowhere to be seen in Game 4, and in Game 5, although we looked much better, the shorthanded goal ultimately cost us.  Maybe there were just too many parts of our game that weren’t working.  The powerplay was MIA. at least partly owing to Markov’s absence,  Halak’s play was not up to the other-worldly level of the first two series, Plekanec was pretty well invisible, P.K. Subban looked at times like the rookie he is, and too many of our supposed goal-scorers were firing blanks.

    The lesson to be drawn from that series is probably the same as it was two years ago:  we need to add some size and toughness both on defence and up front.  I know Gauthier does not have much room to maneuver in terms of the salary cap, but he has to find a way to add another big defenceman, and he has to try and replace the Kostitsyns with a big winger who can score on a regular basis.  Sergei is as good as gone, and Andrei, while he has brief periods of brilliance, seems to spend a good part of each season in a somnambulant state.  He may have great potential, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever realize it in Montreal.  I think Pouliot should be signed for another year at roughly the same salary; if he doesn’t consistently show the talent he showed in his first couple of months, he can be traded.  As for Plekanec, he was good against both Washington and Pittsburgh (although in a defensive role in the latter case), but disappeared against Philly, much as he did two years ago.  If there were a better alternative, I think I would let him go; as it is, I’d probably re-sign him but at less than was thought earlier in the season.  If he decides to test free agency, he’s probably gone.

    A couple of moves could make the team better for next season, and if we can avoid injuries on the scale we suffered them this season, we should finish higher in the standings.  But unless we add some size, we’ll probably suffer the same fate in next year’s playoffs – be competitive against teams that rely heavily on offence while being somewhat vulnerable defensively,  but be unable to handle teams that are bigger and tougher.

  75. Anonymous says:

    “Hi my name is _______, I worked my ass of this season so everyone would really like me :) Can I please have a long term contract that is worth what I did for you this season?”

    ” Sure, does 7 1/2 million sound good for 11 years?”

    “I guess so”

    “You’re going to earn that money you are guaranteed to get right?”

    “Sure, why not, I know now that I am guaranteed that money I will give my best for the next 11 years and only get better”

    “Well, if both you and your agent say the same thing it must be true”

    “Oh, it is :WINK:, see you next year :WINK:”

    “….The fans are going to LOVE this deal I made, A hero GM is me”

  76. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back Boone, I missed you. And I know the flyers in 7 is a reverse jinx, right? 😉

  77. tony d says:

    man it was nuts the last few days without HIO…. Like a deprived addict, I needed my fix. Good to see you guys back on and the site up and running.


  78. habsfanmandy says:

    (weepy) Boone, we missed you and your wit!! And to start it off, what a reverse jinx. Because, of course, everyone on here is cheering for the Hawks! Right?

    Hawks in six.

    Bring the Cup home Boys (Next Year)! I Will Always Believe

  79. habs001 says:

    thr red bottom was not the one to push to delete timo……..


    the habs had a great run in the playoffs but a few things to consider…
    during the reg season most post were complaints about goaltending(i think there were less than 20 goals we got scored on that price or halak  were not blamed for ) and our d men.
    in my opinion these two things were the least of our problems. our main problem was lack of scoring as we finished around 23rd overall in the nhl. we averaged 2.6 goals a game.
    during the playoffs our goal scoring was at 2.4 goals a game despite 14 of our games vs 2 teams that were not too concerned about playing d….. going forward this team will have real problems scoring next year and that is why they may miss the playoffs.,,,,  moen,pyatt,lapps,white,maxwell,stewart,maxpac are 4-8 goals a season scorers….. moore and gomez 10-15 goals,,,metro will not be back and while his 16 goals probably will never be repeated it is 16 goals that has to be replaced…ak46 not back another 15 goals to be replaced and if we dont sign plecks that is another 25…gion and camm may score more next year if they dont get injured…pouliot did nothing in minnesota and was hot here for 30 games but in his last 32 games one goal…he cannot be counted on and  only we can hope…if you score 2-3 goals a game over 82 games you are not much more than a 500 team and you pad your points by picking up points in o/t or shutout. trades for ak46 and sk74 will only bring prospects,draft picks or their teams underachieving player. the way it looks now  we will be again life and death to make the playoffs….again if plecks is gone ..metro…ak46…where we get those lost 56 goals is a big question…and even if we get them from other sources  we are still way below average scoring team… 
  80. sisu says:

    Buy low / Sell high.  Gauthier should capitalize on Halak’s hot streak and trade him.  Of course, that’s not going to happen.  But it really, really should.

    The cap problem isn’t Laraque or the $3.25M on AK.  It’s the $18.4M spent on Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri.  They are three great forwards, but they just aren’t worth this much money. 

    With the dough spent on these three plus Hamrlik plus Halak’s contract, Gauthier is handcuffed.  The rest of the roster will suffer.  I doubt they make the playoffs in 2010-11.

  81. MikeMcLaren says:

    Classic.  The negativity has already started and Gauthier hasn’t done anything yet?


    As far as players being “worth the money” goes?  That’s almost folly to play with at this point.  Is Joe Thornton worth his money?  How about Roberto Luongo?  Alexander Semin?  Say what you want about Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri, but they STEPPED UP their games in the playoffs. 

    Seeing as they weren’t even being paid then, I think they were worth the money.


  82. joeybarrie says:

    We have to be realistic. Right now Halak can go for alot more than he might be worth. We have seen a nice run from him this season especially into the playoffs. However most people with common sense and no blind hatred for Price will agree that he is a very good goaltender, and will probably be GREAT. Right now we can potentially underpay Price. So I agree with your comment of trading Halak. He is very desirable, and will look very good alongside AK and SK, maybe even Hamr.

    I disagree with your 18.4 being spent on Gomez, Gio and Cammy as being way too much. While it is high, its very comparable or better to most teams, including Boston, Buffalo, Colorado, LA, and Ottawa. Try to remember if you take the whoe season plus the playoffs, and average it out to 82 games, you get 3 players with more than 62 points each. And Cammy has another 40 goal season.

    I think the worst statement here is not making the playoffs in 2010-11. If anything, we have shown that we were severly injured this season, and we all our players all year, we would have done much better.

    How can you say a 40 goal scorer isnt worth 6 million??? How much do you pay a 60 point player with a Stanley Cup, experience, and never takes a shift off? How much is Pominville, Carter, Richards, Huselius, Connely, Kessel or Havlat making???  ALL is Gionta’s salary range…. There is only 1 player that is over paid. That can be said about at least 1 player on almost every team in the NHL.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  83. puck face says:

    first order of business sign pleks , then trade him.

  84. TommyB says:

    Flyers in seven may be an attempt at the reverse jinx.  I also would like to see the Hawks win the Cup, if only for the original six sentiment.  Otherwise, if it ain’t Habs, it’s ****.  The Hawks seem to be the sentimental favorite, and really, who can get sentimental about the Flyers?  Mental, maybe, but sentimental…no chance.  But the Hawks will face a bit of a problem in that the crease area in front of the Flyers goaltender will be a little tougher to hang around in.  Ibuprofen, Byfocalen, or whatever he who goes by the name that sounds like Buffalen, is not going to find life very comfortable in his usual position.  The added rest while waiting for this final to start will benefit the Flyers at the start of the series, but Chicago will catch up pretty quick.  I also think some of Chicago’s young guns will find things a bit tougher in the corners and along the boards.  If any of those youngsters has an allergy to wood, they should be careful.  All in all, common sense dictates that the Hawks level of talent should prevail here, but I would caution that common sense has had little to do with these Stanley Cup playoffs to this point.  Go Hawks Go!  And please, can we have less camera wanderings up to the Chicago alumni area in the stands?  Let me remember the Golden Jet for what he was.

  85. HardHabits says:

    So the two teams competing for the final are two teams that built via the draft. Pittsburgh was last year’s winner and it’s only a matter of time until the Caps make the final. Edmonton and Boston wont be far behind.

    PG says the Habs are going to be a top 10 team next year. We’ll see.

    After watching Mike Richards this playoffs I still can’t get how the Habs picked AK46.

    I don’t share everyone’s optimism. In fact bowing out against the Flyers and scoring a total of 2 goals in the 4 games the Habs lost is a major cause for concern.

    I am so looking forward to seeing what moves are made this summer.

    Hopefully, the Kostitsyns are gone, hopefully Plex signs, hopefully the Habs get something good in return for either Halak and/or Price. It looks more and more like Halak will be too expensive for the Habs. Hopefully the Habs get a few great prospects in exchange for him. Hopefully Moore gets signed, hopefully Hammer is dealt or bought out, hopefully….

    I still can’t shake the notion that top draft picks are needed to build a winner. Hopefully PG and company can prove me wrong or better yet get some top draft picks, maybe develop the two they have (Pouliot and Price) into NHLers.


  86. Chris says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by built via the draft regarding Philadelphia.  Your mantra of late has been that Stanley Cup contenders can only be built with high draft picks.  Only James van Riemsdyk fits the bill in that regard for the Flyers, and the only other top 10 pick by the Flyers since 1993 was Joni Pitkanen, 4th overall in 2002, who was traded a few years ago.

    Other than that, the Flyers have been built by:

    Shrewd Drafting:

    • Simon Gagne – 22nd overall
    • Mike Richards – 24th overall
    • Jeff Carter – 11th overall
    • Claude Giroux – 22nd overall
    • Oskars Bartulis – 91st overall
    • James van Riemsdyk – 2nd overall
    • Andreas Nodl – 39th overall

    Free Agents:

    • Daniel Briere
    • Arron Asham
    • Ian Laperriere
    • Darrol Powe
    • Lukas Krajicek
    • Brian Boucher


    • Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle acquired for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, 2 first round picks and a conditional pick
    • Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell acquired for 1st round pick
    • Matt Carle and 3rd round pick acquired for Steve Downie, Steve Eminger and 4th round pick
    • Daniel Carcillo acquired for Scottie Upshall and 2nd round pick
    • Braydon Coburn acquired for Alexei Zhitnik
    • Ville Leino acquired for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and 5th round pick
    • Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall, 1st round pick and 3rd round pick acquired for Peter Forsberg


    • Michael Leighton

    The key to me in all this isn’t so much building through high draft picks, as many often suggest here, but making the right choices with the picks you do get.  More importantly, you have to be willing to let players go when it looks like your season is in shambles, as opposed to letting half your team walk away for nothing in a summer house-cleaning. 

    If even draft picks or prospects had been obtained for some of the guys like Souray, Koivu, Kovalev, Komisarek, Tanguay, Kostopoulos, Bouillon, Dandenault or Streit, the Habs would very likely be in a very difficult situation.  I don’t envy the GM of the Habs making such emotional decisions in a hockey hotbed, but you have to give Holmgren credit:  he obtained his top-4 defencemen (and it is a VERY good top 4, at that) via trades.

  87. joeybarrie says:

    The Habs picked AK46 because unlike our fans, they don’t have the benefit of being able to see into the future when they choose a player. I mean how dumb is every team in the league to not have taken Halak in the first 8 rounds??????? How about not taking Cammy in the first round despite his two 40 goal seasons????  OR WHAT ABOUT LECLAIR being taken 33rd, and he had two 40+ and three 50+ goals seasons……….

    Hindsight is 20/20…  Remember how many people said SK was going to be great???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  88. ArmyFan says:

    Agreed on the need for GOOD draft picks, which are often (but not always) TOP draft picks.

    There are ways to get them, though, besides having a horrible team and finishing as a bottom feeder.  Look at Boston – they get to pick 2nd overall (either Hall or Seguin) this year by letting Kessel go to Toronto. This obviously involves a little luck – in this case the fact that it was a bottom-feeder that happened to be interested in the guy you were more or less already resigned to losing.

    The other way is to do some long-term analysis and planning, and try to forecast who might draw a high pick a couple of years down the road.  Look for a team that (a) is in desperate need of a proven veteran with remaining shelf-life, (b) is willing to part with a first-round pick or two to get him, and (critical) (c) looks like they’ll be basement dwellers for a couple of years.  Package up that veteran you just happen to have (and can spare), and voila.  It’s just that simple.  Well, not really….but that’s the idea.  It’s nothing new.

  89. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t new negativity. It’s been the same thing lots of people have been saying for a while, and has nothing to with Gauthier at this point.

  90. puck face says:

    agreed , people talk about the crazy salaries and the cap as if it was unique to montreal. watch ,  pleks is going to sign big somewhere and then put up a 45 point season. gomez , cammy , gio at least are capable of consistency and their salaries won’t look so bad after july 1st when a whole new bunch of undre acheivers and one dimensional “specialty” players are signed.

  91. HardHabits says:

    I don’t see any plans for a Stanley Cup Parade being made in Montreal this Summer. Invariably then this season has been a failure.

    I like Gomez, Cammy and Gionta. They and Plex played huge minutes for forwards. Nice core to build around, if the Habs can get it done quickly. How? I haven’t a clue since the Habs don’t want any top picks and dont know how to pick apart from their 1 in every 25 gems. Yes Plex, Halak, Markov and PK were great picks but every one of those there are many more squandered selections.

    The Habs are NOT in a good position. This season’s playoff run will only raise the bar higher. Does anyone think that next year we’ll be in the finals? If we don’t make the 3rd round it’s a step back.

    Nevertheless ’84 wasn’t so bad, ’86 was just around the corner.


  92. MikeMcLaren says:

    Which brings up another question – is Jaro Halak a modern-day Steve Penney?


  93. punkster says:

    If winning the Cup is the sole definition of success then the entire league is screwed. No, if you see this season as a failure then it is not only because of our lack of hardware and the end. So many other factors came in to play to make this season a “failure”; key player injuries, team inconsistency, failure of individual players, goaltending issues, spotty defence, sneaking into a playoff berth, the GM resignation, league officiating incompetence. I don’t list them as excuses. These are the failures. Remeber, we didn’t give this team a chance, not a hope in hell, of making an impact in the playoffs or even making the playoffs. Hell, they made it to the final 4 somehow. And in that regard the season was not a failure.


  94. HardHabits says:

    They don’t give medals for 4th place finishes. Not to mention the lousy pick.

    Winning the Cup is the sole definition of success in the NHL.

  95. punkster says:

    In your opinion maybe and likely in the opinion of many fans, granted. I would guess however than just as many fans would disagree. No doubt the team that wins the Cup can said to be a success on the ice but what of the team they beat, the teams in the semis, are they not successes to a degree as well? What if…Phoenix won the Cup this year? Success is hardly the achievment of a single goal. The NHL is not structured that way. That’s why the rich teams support the poor franchises, why the draft provides the worst team with the first pick, why there are 16 out of 30 teams in the playoffs, why they hand out the President’s Cup, why there’s a CAP, why there are regular season and playoff awards. Think about it, if the Cup was the only measure of success then there are clearly 29 failures every season. I would imagine most of those 29 would vehemently agrue that point.

    Sorry to go on like that. My view of what constitutes a success is not restricted to a single goal or Holy Grail. There are degrees.


  96. MikeMcLaren says:

    With Yzerman now the GM of the Lightning, the question we will hear a lot is:

    “Is Vinny washed up or does he have more in the tank?”


  97. eyhp says:

    Vinny is not washed up per se, just that his performance no longer justifies his monster contract.

  98. SeriousFan09 says:

    His contract of 7.7 million runs until he is 40, pass, if he’s having trouble being worth 7.7 per over the past couple years, who wants to bet that by 35, he’ll be even close to worth it? If Lecavalier is the answer, the question can only be ‘what is the most toxic long-term contract for a center in the NHL’.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  99. MikeMcLaren says:

    Is he an answer in lieu of Plekanec?

    You *could* clear space for him.  It’s possible.  In merchandise and marketing alone the actual salary the Molsons pay him would pay for itself in spades.  Cap-wise does it further handcuff the team though.

    Would Vinnik be interested in taking Hamrlik’s $5.5 million for one year to get rid of Lecavalier’s $7.7 hit for <gulp> 10 years?

    Interesting decisions indeed!


  100. joeybarrie says:

    Forget Vinnie, Take St. Louis for Hamr. He is better, and at a better price, plus he is a UFA next season so the LIGHTING  might be willing to give him up. They need better defence, they have one of the highest GA in the league.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  101. MikeMcLaren says:

    I don’t have a problem with that at ALL, but I am trying to move on a couple of things: 1) the constant bellyaching for a “big center” and 2) the rumors, true or not, that Yzerman’s just not all that down with Vinnie and that Vinnik probably doesn’t want to pay for him.


  102. Anonymous says:

    “Remember how many people said SK was going to be great???”

    It’s ok to say that, he was a late round pick. :)

  103. Bob_Sacamano says:

    Good points! Another one: Richards is obviously a lot more valuable, effective and reliable than AK46 but Richards does not have more talent.

  104. Tis Himself says:

    I think the big problem for the Habs has been the number of first-round picks that didn’t pan out:


  105. HardHabits says:

    I completely agree, especially with the following:

    The key to me in all this isn’t so much building through high draft
    picks, as many often suggest here, but making the right choices with the
    picks you do get.  More importantly, you have to be willing to let
    players go when it looks like your season is in shambles, as opposed to
    letting half your team walk away for nothing in a summer

    This is the Habs biggest glaring defiency. Not knowing when to let go. I’d say let Halak go if the return can be huge in terms of prospects. Either that or Price. One of the two has to go if not both.

  106. joeybarrie says:

    GREAT POST. I can’t stand anymore build through the draft crap. Look at the Islanders, they have had 10+ top 10 draft picks in the last 15 years… They still haven’t done crap.

    You can’t tell me players like Green 29th overall, Laich in the 8th round, Patrick Sharp taken 95th overall and Keith Duncan taken 58 overall isnt at least 50% LUCK…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  107. HardHabits says:

    Looking at that list is just depressing.

  108. Tis Himself says:

    Isn’t it though! Looking at that data makes me think that even if they tanked Timmons and his gang would somehow screw it up!

  109. ArmyFan says:

    I agree it’s frustrating to watch free agents go for nothing in the summer.  But it’s a pretty tough decision to trade them at the deadline when you at least have a shot at making the playoffs.

    Just using Souray as an example, Mtl only missed the playoffs by 2 points that year (the whole Montreal/Toronto/NY Islanders circus that last Sat and Sun of the Reg season). So management has a choice – trade a key player (and Souray was at his zenith that year) and risk missing the playoffs, or keep him and risk having it not make a difference anyways (if you miss the playoffs or bow out early).

    Easy decision to make if you’re 12 points out of a playoff spot at the trade deadline. Not so easy if you’re still in the hunt.  In the last 10 years there’s only been one year (2001) when it was obvious (and I mean OBVIOUS) at the trade deadline that they would not make the playoffs.

  110. punkster says:


    Interesting. Apart from Koivu we didn’t get many gems right back to ’87 which turned out to be quite a good year. Oh, and Breezer in ’89.

    So did the Habs scouting and development system just continually fail to deliver since ’87? Is drafting a crap shoot? Did management not trade assets at the right time or execute the right trades? All of the above?


  111. Tis Himself says:

    I think that it’s a combination of a crap shoot, doing your homework and the fact that there is no way to accurately gauge how big a jump it is for many of these guys to play at the NHL level. AK is a perfect example. When the Habs were told that his medical condition would not affect his performance on the ice, they rightly thought that they were pulling a “Bobby Clarke” given his talent. Many astute hockey people believed that this pick would prove to be the coup of the 2003 draft. We all know how that worked out. The Habs have been burned several times by picking players that looked great on paper. The late Doug Wickenheiser certainly stands out. Guys like Chris Higgins, Kyle Chipchura and Ron Hainsey failed to make the grade for various reasons, while David Fischer may never even play a single game in the NHL.

  112. punkster says:

    That’s sort of the conclusion I’m coming to myself. You can have the best scouts, do all the right analysis up front, place your pick on a farm team with good development plans then pray your pick has the intelligence to stay out of trouble, work hard and take advantage of what could be a rewarding life. Or you can get a dud which seems to be the case everywhere, not just in Montreal. I imagine for every roster spot filled there are 100 other guys out there who for whatever reason just couldn’t cut it at some level or simply decided this wasn’t the life for them. Must be tough for them to watch games and see guys they played with getting paid millions to screw the pooch.


  113. Tis Himself says:

    The other problem is how many guys get a chance on the big team and then just disappear after a few weeks. Pouliot certainly comes to mind in that regard. The shame there is that he has so much of what this team needs vis-a-vis size and skill. If only Gionta, Cammaller or Plekanecs had his size.

  114. HardHabits says:

    This debate just doesn’t have the same insights now that Timo is gone.

  115. Chris says:

    No question…every time I look at that site, it pains me. 

    The number of first-round picks they’ve whiffed on is staggering, especially when you see guys drafted around them.  Statistically, it is hard to be unlucky year after year after year.  This makes me think that some weird criteria that the team’s scouting department adheres to is just killing them.

  116. Chris says:

    No question it is a tough decision to trade guys when you are sniffing around a playoff spot at the deadline.  Part of the issue there is the complete lack of depth the team has had, the vestigial effect of the terrible drafting in the 1990’s.  Montreal couldn’t afford to trade any of its players because the Habs had no organizational depth.

    The depth still isn’t quite there, but it is certainly a lot better, especially on defence.  Trading some picks occasionally might not be such a terrible idea…Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell would look awfully nice in Montreal, and their rights (both Hartnell and Timonen were UFA’s, I think) were obtained for the 23rd overall pick in a 2007 NHL draft that everybody knew was weak going in…why hold on to a draft pick in a crappy draft if you can get a head start on aggressively negotiating with some UFA’s that might help you? 

  117. HardHabits says:

    Kessel was still a 5th pick over-all. I’d love to see a Taylor Hall for Price. Even for Halak. Something tells me that PG and BG don’t see things that way.

    I think all teams see the value of keeping those top picks and developing them themselves. Fat chance trading a veteran for a #1 pick in today’s NHL.

  118. ArmyFan says:

    You’re right – you’re not going to get Edmonton or Boston to give their first round picks in this year’s draft. 

    But people – even smart people – are funny when the consequences are one or two years removed.  There are no guarantees, but if you try to forecast who will still be a bottom feeder one or two years from now, but are desperate to give their fans a reason to keep buying tickets, you might be able to pry a first-rounder away from them for a proven player (or even two).  There’s obviously a risk that pick won’t end up being as high as you’d like it to be, but without calculated risk comes no reward.

  119. ooder says:

    a Gomez joke would just be way to easy at this point lol

    but I agree with you.. Lecavalier’s contract is a joke, right up there with Wade Redden’s


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  120. SeriousFan09 says:

    Don’t like Gomez’s contract but hey, at least his is done in half the time.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  121. coachdoug says:

    Glad the site is back up…been missing HIO…

    Up in Philly this weekend for a tournament with our team…We were having pizza at a local joint when the owner spots my daughers Habs hat and shout out something about the Canadiens…I respond with a loud “Go Habs Go!” and he laughs and comes over and talks with us for a while…

    We play the junior Flyers tomorrow night so my son is fired up for some pay back…

    “GO HABS GO!”

  122. mrhabby says:

    and thats what i call a hardware problem…bettman where are you ya putz..glad ur back on line Boone, Stubbs.. i see the hawks in 6 just a hunch. can leighton deal with the pressure.

  123. StevieRay says:

    My take on this … Pleks or Halak didn’t perform in the Flyers series .. sure Halak got us thru the 1st 2 rounds but his below .900 save percent in the Flyers series…nuff said .. + they have the book on him .. go high !

    trade the both of them + the K brothers …

  124. Chorske says:

    Ugh. What nonsense.

    Yeah, sure the book on him was go high- FROM TWO FEET OUT. And they did it repeatedly, without any sort of resistance from a depleted and exhausted Canadiens D. Not sure how that is Halak’s fault.

    Amazing how quick some folks are to leap off the bandwagon, run around to the front, and shoot the horse that’s pulling it.

  125. Nina76 says:

    Hi Boone.So glad to have you back I sure missed habsinsideout, at one point I thought my comp was causing the problem, but I checked in every day to see if you were on then finally the notice came on that you were having technical problems………………Welcome back. Mised your comments.

  126. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Luv’s it Chorske….You tell em !

  127. G-Man says:

    Trade the K bros? Yes. The rest was bull$hit. Some will never be happy until the Habs win every game 10 -0 without allowing any shots.

  128. StevieRay says:

    Bandwagon ..??? Whtz u talkin bout !!!  RIP Gary Coleman

  129. Mr.Hazard says:

    LOL. Hossa Curse. I was just thinking about that the other day… CHI might have screwed themselves over.

    “We didn’t give up and we are not giving up.” – Jaroslav Halak

  130. DrA says:

    Everyone.  Who cares about Halak/Price and the rest.

    We need to save Evelyne!

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