Liveblog: Canadiens lose shootout but get a well-deserved point

And maybe more.
After battling to 2-2 in regulation, the Canadiens and Caps played through a scoreless overtime period.
On to the shootout.

Hendricks: Goal. He’s 5-for-6

Desharnais: Save

Ovechkin: Save

Pacioretty: Miss

Semin: Goal


  1. Mondou6 says:

    lol…Yup, no penalty there. Hilarious.

    I’m surprised the refs didn’t disallow the goal because our player was hooked down into the net.

  2. mrhabby says:

    Markov not showing the explosive burst of yester year.

  3. Kimberly2u says:

    We scored?

  4. tote-road says:

    Hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history will recall a time when we had a productive powerplay.

  5. 69HABS says:

    I do not want Boofalo to make the playoffs. Will be horrible to attend games there next season!

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Pleckanec of new doesn’t score there.

  7. L Elle says:

    3 and 2/3 torture sessions left.

  8. habsfan0 says:

    With a week left in the season, has anyone figured out what the Habs’ magic number is to clinch 2nd worse overall record in NHL?

  9. Mondou6 says:

    I hope Tranna is ahead of us by 2 points going into the last game of the season, and we beat them in OT.

  10. mrhabby says:

    Laffs ahead…have not won a home game since early Feb…..last winter.

  11. twilighthours says:

    Markov with another kaberle-esque pinch. He’s been brutal since returning.

  12. L Elle says:

    I truly feel badly for our team. Somebody needs to slip PG a lamb chop. 😉

  13. HardHabits says:

    Yeah. The Habs make the play-offs next season. This is obviously a team that is close and have been just unlucky. They are just a summer make over away from contending.


    • ffenliv says:

      I know a lot of Habs fans who have made fun of Leafs fans over the years for thinking a strong finish would mean a strong start.

      Following that line, I don’t believe a crappy, out-of-the-playoffs-and-hard-to-care finish means a crappy start to the next season.

      It rests ENTIRELY on what they can do in the offseason.

      It’s not out of the question that the entire Detroit starting lineup signs $1,000,000 contracts to play for the Habs.

    • mrhabby says:


    • Bill says:

      They have been unlucky. And I do think a healthy Habs team next year would make the playoffs: say middle-of-the-pack in injuries and they’re 6-8.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  14. Mondou6 says:

    The Caps banners in their rafters are like a kindergarten soccer tournament, where every player gets a trophy for attending.

  15. mrhabby says:

    Karlson great player.

    Iam almost immune to see the other team in the Habs end so much.

  16. Propwash says:

    I feel bad for Price and Budaj.

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  17. Clay says:

    Sad to say, but I can’t say I’m disappointed with this game so far…

    ☞ Wow, that’s a nice lookin’ pair of Crocs!” Said no one ever.☜

  18. Kimberly2u says:

    Gonna be a bad game tonight

  19. twilighthours says:

    I love DD as much as everyone else, but can we stop with the comparisons to st Louis? Marty would have broken away there and turned it into a goal, DD just doesn’t have the wheels.

  20. jedimyrmidon says:

    Freaking linesman in the way.

  21. piter says:

    Washington is good for American viewers during the playoffs. If you were wondering why the Refs are letting them away with murder. It’s all about the mighty buck.

  22. theox_8 says:

    dd just outmuscled completely, good determination on his end though

  23. Mark C says:

    The only thing sucking worse than the Habs are the refs.

  24. HardHabits says:

    Ca sent la Coupe!!

  25. Propwash says:

    Gonna be a painful night methinks, Habs will be insanely lucky if they’re down by 1 by the end of the period.

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  26. Mondou6 says:

    Nattering nabobs of negativity?

    Is Boone quoting…Spiro Agnew? Or was that Nixon?

    Either way, I think it’s time for this season to be over.

  27. JIMVINNY says:

    I have to wonder if these idiots can’t see red or something, because they’re ignoring everything the caps do.

  28. theox_8 says:

    wow I didn’t know that the montreal canadiens junior b team suited up tonight.

  29. ffenliv says:

    That was one of, if not the worst display of defensive ‘skill’ I’ve ever witnessed.

  30. Kimberly2u says:

    I think the top line is tired of carrying the team

  31. JIMVINNY says:

    F*cking Ovy. Gets so grumpy when someone has the audacity to actually hit him back. And there’s no way the ref is going to call a penalty on him…

  32. jedimyrmidon says:

    Okay, how about this: can the Habs score at least one even-strength goal against the Caps this year? That would be nice. Take it slow. Next year they can aim for a PP goal or even 2 even strength goals.

  33. Kimberly2u says:

    I hope we keep Staubitz…he actually tries to score not like the sweedish meatball

  34. habsfan0 says:

    1-0 Laffs.

  35. ont fan says: one talking about the Scotty Bowman interview on CBC.

  36. piter says:

    Cole didn’t look too interested in back-checking on that goal.

  37. habsfan0 says:

    Lights out for earth hour @8:30.

    Lights out on Habs season next Saturday.

  38. JIMVINNY says:

    against Philly last week, with montreal on a PP, bryz actually covered the puck outside the trapezoid. why wasn’t that called, but Budaj gets called for playing a puck that was damn near the line?

  39. kempie says:

    Wow. This appears to be a CampoliFest™.

  40. L Elle says:

    What?????? No softie comments.

    I’m confused. 😉

  41. jedimyrmidon says:

    Yeah, Habs are going to lose… Perreault keeps scoring against the Habs.

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    The amount of quality chances the Habs surrender is amazing. Would love to see that stat and time spent in our own zone. It all starts with the blueline and the rebuild should start there.

  43. twilighthours says:

    I have a feeling this is going to be a drubbing

  44. ffenliv says:

    So I get in a bit late, and go to to turn on their live feed. Just after the commercials finish loading, the first thing I hear is a goal horn.

    I see this game is off to a tank-tastic start!

  45. Kimberly2u says:

    Wonder if we get a goal tonight?

  46. Un Canadien errant says:

    Great montage at the start of Hockey Night in Canada using Blue Rodeo’s “Trust Yourself”. We slag HNIC lots because of their Toronto-centric bent and their refusal to move on from geriatrics like Bob Cole and Don Cherry, but they do some things very well, and the openings are usually really good.

    Happy anniversary to Blue Rodeo, 20 years of great music from these guys, a true national treasure.

    Now let’s switch over to RDS….

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    • twilighthours says:

      Hnic: probably the worst personalities and talking heads, but still the best pre game and in-game production.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’ll say it again: get rid of Don Cherry, and hire Brent Butt, Peter Kelamis and Norm MacDonald to rap on hockey during the first break, these guys would absolutely kill in the ratings. They’d be the event that Don Cherry used to be.

        Keep Ron MacLean, he’s useful when not having to prop up Don Cherry. Elliote Friedman stays as well.

        Get rid of Mike Milbury and P.J. Stock.

        Get some outsiders, some cranky hockey columnists instead of ‘insiders’ who are corrupted by the league and can’t see the forest from the trees.

        Problem solved.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        • neumann103 says:

          Ten years ago, maybe even five, I would have agreed out of course that the CBC was still just better at this than anyone else. But TSN has vastly improved. Even the NBC game isn’t bad.

          Agree on Norm McDonald although I don’t think he would take the gig and it would probably be perceived as Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football 2.0.

          Can’t agree on Brent Butt and don’t know who Peter Kelamis is.

          Ron Mclean is lame and must go. Yes he seems like a nice guy and is very very proficient at the mechanics of broadcasting, but THE PUNS MUST STOP!!!!

          It almost goes without saying that Stock and Milbury are garbage. It is almost as though the intent is to just hire peopel who are guaranteed to say something stupid and generate controversy.

          After an incredibly amateurish start to his career, Elliotte Friedman has surprised me with how good he is now. He stays.

          And for God’s sake buy the rights to the theme back.

          “Et le but!”

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            To be precise, they would have a 1st period intermission gig, not a regular commentor role like Dennis Miller had. Although I really liked Dennis Miller on the MNF broadcast, I had no problem with that.

            And I agree that the HNIC theme belongs on Saturday night telecasts only, not on Wednesdays on TSN. That’s jarring and overkill, especially since they overplay it on SportsCentre and stuff.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Funny just as they finsihed the song I had switched to RDS as well.

  47. Adidess says:

    Man, I’m pumped for this game. NOT!

    The league should allow teams to end the season early, this is excruciating …

    Plus we need another loss 🙂

  48. Kimberly2u says:

    Go Habs go

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    Gary Galley doing the CBC feed tonight, reason enough for me to watch in a language I don’t understand well.

  50. Bill says:

    @ Un Canadien Errant – Reposted Mammoth Response to Mammoth Post

    I remember learning that job interviews are highly unreliable. Another interesting point is that employers tend to evaluate the people they hire more highly than those they don’t, even after a rejected candidate goes on to greater success with another organization: “confirmation bias” and “belief perseverance”. I think this nicely explains why Brian Burke still has a job, and why Scott Gomez continued to get big ice-time long after he stopped being useful.

    The language issue comes up whenever it is perceived that the Habs have made a choice for anything other than hockey-related reasons: I remain unconvinced after all these years that Jacques Martin was the best coaching choice the Habs could have made when they hired him. But I cannot prove that. And it MUST be noted that there were many who chirped about the hirings of Julien and Vigneault being strictly political: the success of both of those coaches proves they were wrong. I think it also proves the value of experience, but that’s another debate.

    On the other hand, when the Habs hire a clearly superior Francophone talent, I don’t hear a lot of complaints. Remember when every Habs fan from coast to coast was clamoring for the Habs to hire Guy Boucher? Likewise, plenty of fans right now – the same ones who sometimes complain about the language thing – are dying to see Patrick Roy as the next head coach. So it’s not a cut-and-dried anti-French thing, either.

    To your main point, I agree that right now there are no candidates who are clearly superior to Bergevin, Loiselle, or Brisebois. Jim Nill and Dave Nonis have good resumés as well, but nothing to rank them ahead of the aforementioned trio. So I don’t expect to hear much complaining – certainly not from anyone serious – when one of them is selected as GM.

    My own preference is for Bergevin, but that is only based on his stature and role within a very well-run organization, as well as his professional hockey experience as a player. I, like the rest of us for the most part, have nothing else to go on.

    My feeling is that Brisebois has the inside track, however. He has experience with the Habs but isn’t really tainted by association with the Gainey regime because he left it. Loiselle has good credentials, but he works for a terrible organization; not his fault, sure, but it doesn’t help his candidacy.

    I’d be happy with any one of them. Also with Nill or Nonis.

    McGuire clearly does not have the credentials, experience, or track record of the rest of the field. He’s a media guy with media friends who are pumping him up: as such he’s a media candidate. Some say, “Hey Scotty Bowman said on the radio that McGuire would be a good choice.” They’re friends. If you asked me on the radio if I thought MY friend would be good for a job he really wants I’d probably say he’d be good too. But I wouldn’t hire him for it. And neither did Scotty.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • twilighthours says:

      Very few of us fan-types have any idea why one candidate might be better than another. We can try to dissect playoff performances or calder cup wins or draft history, but how much of those things can be placed at the feet of any one player remains a mystery. Is brisebois the best candidate? I have absolutely no credibility on this issue.

      All I can hope for is that the people who interview with Molson come in with a clear plan and a willingness to do what it takes to execute it.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, interviews aren’t as revealing as we like to think. Everyone likes to think that they’re good judges of character, but study after study shows that this isn’t the case.

      We’re agreed that we’ll have plenty of qualified candidates with or without the language requirement, so no point in the tempest in the teapot over it.

      I would feel very comfortable with Julien BriseBois in charge, but I’m very encouraged by all the other candidates who have been mentioned. It’s great that we have all this talent to choose from. We can now think about putting together a good front office team. I would like to see Vincent Damphousse take a post as an assistant GM to whoever ends up getting hired. If he gets the job, I’m cool with that too, I trust Mr. Molson and Mr. Savard to make the right choice. There’s no Réjean Houle in this bunch.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • twilighthours says:

        It always bothered me that Gauthier was hired without ever looking around for better candidates. Blame that one on gainey, I guess.

        Still love bob though

  51. L Elle says:

    If our team didn’t make the playoffs 7 years in a row, it would be like that last scene in the original “Planet of the Apes.”

    Already, for the first time, jerseys are 50% off. I have never seen this, unless a player has just been traded.

  52. habstrinifan says:

    Does anyone mind if I watch basketball instead?
    by Mike Boone 6:30 PM

    You have to fulfil the terms of your contract Boone. Who do you think you are? That guy who was a GM in Ottawa then begged of because of family reasons and ended up in Anaheim weeks later.

    What’s his name again?

  53. JIMVINNY says:

    For anyone saying Jim Nill should be considered for GM, too bad. He has a non-compete clause, and Detroit won’t allow anyone to talk to him.

  54. SPATS says:

    Mr Boone and any others with tire needs, when I lived in Chateuaguay in the late 90’s there was a tire shop in the industrial park called Union Tire, don’t know if it’s still there, but the owner didn’t mince his words and always gave me and my golf buds a great deal. Now that I’m in Victoria, I only change my tires every 10 years!

    JM for GM, Carbo for coach (might as well get something for what you’re paying em Geoff)


  55. Kimberly2u says:

    I predict another loss unless they actually show up to play

  56. L Elle says:

    I feel like LarZ, tired of losing.

    Go Habs Go? No?

  57. I am not trying to get less posts on Mr. Boone’s live blog, but it would be awesome if we all participated in the Earth hour tonight – from 8:30 to 9:30 turn off the computer, the TV and most (if not) all of the lights.

    Go here for more information:

  58. Strummer says:

    Ryan White has the flu.

    Chris Neil has 13 goals.

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  59. I LUV IT.

    • Strummer says:

      They showed a guy at the Leaf game Thursday who had a Leaf jersey with #67 and in the name area above “StillWaiting”

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  60. HardHabits says:

    The Habs average since 1994 (when the Conference format was introduced) is 16th over-all.

    The Habs average over the past 10 years is also 16th over-all and that includes a top 3 finish. Suffice it to say that after this season the average will be worse.

    The Habs have had one top 10 finish since 1994.

    Since 1994 every team that won the Cup was top 5 except three, and they were in the top 10.

  61. Strummer says:

    According to SN Hockey Central Grabovski has 3 goals in 13 games and is -9 since signing his 5 yr deal for $27.5 million.

    Well done Burke-hole!

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Also according to John Shannon Montreal should have never fired JM and he would have had them in the playoff fight today. He interestingly enough has never mentioned JM as a candidate to coach any other team in the NHL. John Shannon is Mr. Magoo. I have heard far too much of him the past few years to care about anything he says. Sorry for the rant, because the point you made about Grabo is true….

  62. Propwash says:

    Gofer it Boone, I’m grilling some burgers at the moment.

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  63. alwayssunny says:

    Coach Cunneyworth said we will have to play at least “as good” as we did last night. I love his no-nonsense approach but I don’t think it is fair to expect a performance like that in back to back games.

  64. 69HABS says:

    We need a backup goaltender that can play 25 games & maintain at least a .500 record.

    No goaltender in “Today’s” NHL can play 70+ games and make it to 2nd or 3rd round nevermind the Cup final.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Give this team 2-3 more NHL defencemen some more NHL forwards and centers and Budaj can play more games. I don’t think the quality of our backup goalie is large issue. THe problem was the team was in a must win game situation after the 1st week of the season, and no matter who our coach was when they looked down the bench Carey Price gave them a better chance at that must win.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Yep, the back up goalie position is the least if concerns. This team is a mess but there are some players to build around. I am looking forward to the off season. Golf for Gerald. Fishing for Jim.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Haha, you know I really need to give fishing another chance, I think it would be cheaper than my golfing habit. I hope the fish bite and the weather is good for you this summer James!

  65. martincurran55 says:

    Looks like we are going to be picking in the 3 or 4 spot at the draft. Do we go with a defensemen or forward? Dumba and Murray are supposed to be great players. Yakupov is going 1st overall. So we have Galchenyuk, Forsberg and Grigorenko as forwards to choose from. Apparently, it is Yakupov, then the rest of the draft class drops off. Is it a mediocre draft class or is he just that good. Who do we take?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I raised an eyebrow the other night when Craig Button basically stated Forsberg was a much better center than Grigorenko and that’s who he’d select if he had second pick.

      Button said that Forsberg is definitely number 1 center material and is much more physical than Grigorenko.

      Now is Button’s word gold or just one of many opinions, I don`t know?

      • martincurran55 says:

        Button is a tool. He has Ryan Murray ranked # 10. If I’m picking # 2 I’m taking Grigorenko. Galchenyuk has also apparently healed really well from his surgery. Before this year started, it was apparently him and Yakupov who were battling for the top spot at the draft. So he could also be an interesting pick.

      • croozer says:

        Does anybody have the inside scoop on these guys?
        I’m sure they’re all talented but what about character?
        We haer a lot about stats but that’s just part of it.
        Do they take care of business in their own end?
        Do they actually fight for their space and the puck or are they useless unless they’re playing with the “right” people that can “feed” them?
        Do they make themselves useful when they’re NOT scoring?
        How about leadership?
        Are they the kind of guys that just spit out broken teeth and take their regular shift?
        Habs can NOT get this wrong!
        I’m sure anyone they pick will have a lot to learn and that’s OK but they can NOT draft any kind of super-talented-when-he feels-like-it headcase.
        If Timmons is still making the call I sure hope he’s trolling for every scrap of info on these guys.

        OK – I admit it – I’m nervous.

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    So what happens when the two largest cable media companies in the country own your pro franchise? Things are censored.

    I mentioned earlier that a friend of mine went to the Leaf vs. Flyer game the other night and planned on showing his frustration by throwing his Leaf Jersey on the ice during the game as a sign of disgust.

    This might get long but I feel the story needs explanation. My friend owns one of the most successful sports bars in Canada. His volume sales are in the top 5-10 bars in Canada year in and year out. While his heart is with the Blackhawks, he is a huge Leafs fan. (few people know about his love for the Hawks, as he is an outspoken supporter of the Leafs) He has had season tickets for the Leafs for over 20 years but finally a couple years back he said enough was enough.

    So at the last Leaf home game he had tickets in a box (provided by a company that may or may not have an interest in the Habs) and decided he had enough. His bar business suffers every year the Leafs don’t make the playoffs and he is pissed off.

    So at this game he made up signs involving TSN in large letters, with approx. 7 mins. left in the game he left his box and walked down to the Platinum section and stood against the glass after he threw his jersey on the ice, with the sign explaining he had enough of the Leafs failures. Not only did the TV coverage not show any of this, but he was shortly thereafter escorted out of the ACC and was told he was now banned from the ACC for 1 year. ( I do seem to recall a similar ban he and I received, but we were attending a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game, but I digress)..

    My point is simple, had this happened at any other arena with ownership not owning the TV coverage, it most likely makes the news. Nothing was said or shown of it. My friend sent me the picture he got from somebody showing him against the glass with his poster as the ACC employee shovel’s up his jersey. I will try find a way to get this picture accessible to a link that I can post.

    But I guess my frustration is that we also have TSN/BCE owning part of our franchise, I do hate that.

    No wonder Brian Burke still is gainfully employed with the Leafs despite the abject failure that he has been. My point is probably lost as I rambled far too much, but felt like sharing the story.

    • martincurran55 says:

      As bad as the habs have been, they have been playing hard (Except for last night). The Leafs are obviously trying to tank (Along with the Oilers). I think this is disgraceful. I think we should have a better lottery to prevent the bottom 5 from tanking. Maybe have a lottery where the bottom 14 can win. I hate the leafs, but I have been cheering them on lately hoping they will get some points and out of the bottom 5. I think it is utterly disgraceful what the Leafs and Oilers have been doing the past few games.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It might be the same principle as when cameras are averted and the director cuts away to another shot when a streaker jumps on the field. They are thinking they don’t want to encourage that kind of behaviour.

      I hate the fact that greedy oligopolistic corporations like Bell and Rogers own hockey. It’s my game, not their cash cow. If they want to make money, let them screw customers with the government’s blessing like they’ve been doing for decades, instead of messing with hockey.

      It’s mind-boggling that they’ve been allowed to partner on this deal. Those two should be in competition with each other to offer customers the lowest price possible, that’s the whole basis of free enterprise, but we’re so used to being taken that we’ve given up, no one’s lifted an eyebrow on it. They’re getting into bed with each other, in plain view, and there’s no outrage, no intervention. Shameful.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Normand, an interesting sidebar to the story was that while my friend had planned to do this before attending the game, after he did this a complete stranger to him who was sitting in the “platinum” section saw him do this and peeled off his jersey and threw it on the ice as well.

        To me what is interesting, is that TSN and Rogers were more than happy to show the infamous Waffle thrower at the ACC just last year. I have no love lost for the Leafs, but I do empathize for the fans of this franchise. They do love hockey, and they are an important franchise in this league, and due to a huge corporate love in between the season ticket holders and the ownership, the frustration of the common fan is completely lost.

  67. Hamayoune says:

    Since the Habs are eliminated, let me predict the 4 teams that have a chance in winning the cup this year:

    -Pittsburgh, St-Louis, Nashville and Ottawa

    And don’t go wild on me on having Ottawa in there! I think they have a dynamic mix of veterans and rookies. They somewhat remind of the Habs team two years ago but an inch better.

    On an unrelated note, I am running for President for my program at University of Waterloo. So I made 2 campaign videos and the links are below. Let me know what I can improve!

    video 1:

    video 2:


  68. Ian Cobb says:

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    Read more here:

  69. rhino514 says:

    there seems to be no shortage of candidates for general manager.
    Finding a coach, one who will be respected by the players while getting the most out of them, and speaking some french to boot, will be the challenge. Roy isn´t the guy. I still stand by my belief that Jacques Martin fulfilled these conditions. But people didn´t want anymore “boring” hockey. Well, you all got your wish.
    It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Cunneyworth is gone. Too bad, I was warming up to the guy. He´ll probably go on to become a good coach elsewhere.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      So far I see no indication that Cunneyworth will be a good coach one day. What is there to like about him? As for the new coach: The Canucks will lose in the first or the second round and voilà…

    • munch17 says:

      My problem with JM wasn’t his boring game or style but rather his tendency to punish certain players , especially young ones.Some guys would make a mistake and no consequences ( e.g.Darche) and others would be nailed to the bench ( e.g. AK74 , Eller , O’byrne to name a few).

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The NHL has shown its true colours and they have said you have to protect your own players, they have zero interest in doing so. JM had zero interest in having his players protect each other.

  70. Ian Cobb says:

    MIKE!!— Is Diaz a healthy scratch?? Or is he still hurt?

  71. Ian Cobb says:

    Montreal and Toronto battling for last place and 1st overall draft pick! And we play them in the last game of the season! What to do?

    No GM yet?

  72. JF says:

    Is anyone else still watching the games from start to finish? I have been dreading Habs games for about the last three months, but felt I had to agonize through them. Lately I’ve been watching the first period, by the end of which I can usually see that we have little chance of winning. If by a miracle we’re ahead or tied, I keep watching. But if we’re up a goal going into the third, I absolutely can’t watch the inevitable happen – the blown lead and shootout loss.It will be an utter relief to pull down the curtain on this disaster of a season.

  73. Un Canadien errant says:

    Reposted from earlier thread:

    As the Canadiens sift through a long list of potential candidates for their General Manager vacancy, there are a few trains of thought that can be seen in the fans.

    One is the repetitive, reflexive assertion that they should hire ‘the best man available regardless of language’, in the face of these candidates’ remarkable résumés and previous achievements. We find in the most likely candidates that two have shown the intellectual ability to obtain a law degree. A few are currently Assistant General Managers for other teams. A couple have intimate knowledge of the Collective Bargaining Agreement through their roles as NHLPA executives or as a player agent. All of them have shown talent and dedication by ascending the echelons of their profession, and at least some of the required qualifications and traits necessary to succeed as a GM.

    Somehow these candidates don’t satisfy the absolutists, who still feel that the team is hampering itself with an arbitrary and irrelevant language requirement, and that there are some clearly better candidates out there who will be shut out of the process because they are unilingual. When pressed to produce these budding Sam Pollocks and Bill Torreys lost in the wilderness, a few names are offered, but none that seem clearly more worthy of an interview than any of the names punted about, save for maybe Jim Nill.

    Conversely, this faction discounts as meaningless or worthless the candidates’ knowledge of the team’s history and local market and the ability to communicate with its fans.

    Another apparent misunderstanding is how the recruiting process is conducted, either generally or in the hockey world. Usually, a wide net is cast to review as many résumés and evaluate as many candidates as possible. Through various hurdles or benchmarks most are eliminated until a short list is drawn up, and these candidates get interviewed to evaluate their skills, personal abilities and potential fit within the organization. The interviewer or interview panel then may select a candidate, or maybe select a couple of finalists for another round of interviews if they are seen as being ‘neck and neck’, to allow for another opportunity to differentiate them.

    In the end the person that is hired is sometimes clearly the best candidate and best fit, but most often there are a few candidates who would be suitable and the decision is a judgment call. It’s not as if one candidate scores an 89 and everyone else is in the 60’s and 70’s, it’s never that objective or clear cut. You end up having one candidate who impresses with her energy and enthusiasm and original ideas, and another who shows great experience and judgment and an impressive track record, and have to choose between the two.

    If the choice was so obvious, if interviews were objective and categorical and not open to bias and error, there wouldn’t be any dismissals. People would be hired into jobs and perform well in that role until promoted or recruited somewhere else. This is obviously not the case. Candidates are misevaluated or end up underperforming all the time. The best you can do is find a group of candidates who fit the profile and meet all the basic requirements and most of the preferred requirements, and then do your best and hope you come up with the right choice.

    One of the more common errors, however, is to not winnow down your list and interview everyone. In these situations you end up with a lot of candidates that blend into a mishmash in the interview panel’s mind. Those that were interviewed earlier in the process tend to fade from memory. The very first candidates and the ones who met the panel more recently tend to stand out in the panel’s mind, at the expense of worthy but unlucky candidates scheduled in the long boring middle of the pack.

    I remember going over candidate selection methods in a university industrial psychology course, and learning that none of them are foolproof. Interestingly, the one which recruiters or executives tend to prize the most, the interview, is one of the least accurate selection methods based on the retention rate of hirees, yet is the one that is most relied on and is the one that executives swear by. Studies demonstrated that a process which relied exclusively on résumé review and background and reference checks was a more effective way to find the right candidate than one which included an interview process. Still, it is almost impossible to convince an employer to hire a candidate without meeting them first in an interview.

    Interestingly, the most effective way to select a candidate is the realistic job preview, where a candidate or group of candidates are put in the workplace and perform the duties required of them, or as near as is possible, and are evaluated thus. The realistic job preview consistently proves to be the best selection method, in that the candidate can evaluate whether the job and workplace is the right environment for herself, the potential coworkers can offer feedback to the recruiters, and the recruiters can see how the candidates perform. Practically, this selection method is hard to use in most settings, as there are problems with allowing candidates to do ‘real work’. In some fields however, such as policing or the fire service or the military, cadet programs and ride-along programs serve this function and show great results.

    In our case, candidates such as Marc Bergevin, Claude Loiselle and Julien Brisebois are already on their realistic job previews, in that they are performing in an Assistant GM role and can be evaluated on how they are performing in as near a position as we can come up with. Francois Giguère actually performed in the GM role and has a track record. All that would remain in their case would be to evaluate their fit within the organization.

    Which brings us to another train of thought that is puzzling, which is that somehow Pierre McGuire is one of the candidates who deserves serious consideration for the position. While Mr. McGuire is an energetic broadcaster and a likable individual, he performed very poorly in an Assistant GM position with the Hartford Whalers, and has been out of the management ranks for more than a decade. If his résumé is reviewed against some of the other candidates that are bandied about, his shouldn’t even make it on the short list pile.
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    • munch17 says:

      Nice post.Why do you think that Vinny Damphousse is such a popular choice with French media. No experience and personal life is a bit problematic. I like the guy but you’d think he would want to get some managerial experience ( note Houle, Reggie).

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Vincent Damphousse is underestimated in some circles. His lack of experience in team management are an issue, his upcoming trial is another big one, but his strengths are his intelligence, the respect he carries throughout the league, and his experience with the CBA, which he knows intimately through his time as an executive on the NHLPA. If you are on the bargaining committee, you know the agreement through and through, as opposed to having a sense of it and having to look stuff up.

        Serge Savard stated that someone can have success as a GM without prior related experience, since he and Bobby Clarke stepped into the front office without ‘paying their dues’. Some analysts take this pronouncement as an indication that Mr. Damphousse is one of the leading candidates.

        Réjean Houle is still a GM choice which boggles the mind. My older sister worked at National Relations Publiques in the early eighties, and at the time once asked me who the heck he was. I told her the short story, and asked her why, and she explained that he was at their office and was very stiff and goofy and approached everyone with his arm extended, saying: “Réjean Houle, Brasserie Molson”, with awkward timing and making everyone uncomfortable. Even before he was made a GM, from his time as a player, and from that anecdote among other reasons, it was abundantly clear that he was a bit player, someone without panache, substance or promise. I blame Ronald Corey to this day for such a spectacular blunder.

        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    • gerrybell says:

      interesting post.

      one thing Pierre Maguire has that no other candidate has is experience with current players on a day to day basis. he knows first hand what guys come to play every night and which ones dont. he knows what players are respected and which ones arent. the list goes on. dont tell me the assistant GM of team knows anything more than what he is told or is chosen to be told.


  74. D Mex says:

    TO will lose again tonight with an unknown G between the pipes.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  75. Chris says:

    The Bourque elbow really tilted the balance of power…while the Capitals were struggling before Backstrom was hurt, I honestly believe they are safely in the playoffs if they have their point-per-game star centre for the whole season.

    That elbow might indirectly cost the Capitals’ ownership millions in playoff revenues.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      So did Lucic’s “hockey play” on Miller. Practically destroyed their season. Interesting that the Sabres and Caps are now battling it out for that final 8th spot.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Chris your quite right, but he is back tonight Right? What about Markov? did he tweeck his knee or will he play?

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