What it means

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If Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier signs Alexei Yemelin, its is safe to assume that Andrei Markov will be back.

Arpon Basu lays out the reasoning and Marc Antoine Godin agrees.

The team will not welcome Yemelin to Montreal by discarding an iconic Russian defenceman – albeit one who’s 32 and rehabbing a knee that’s older. During the two years Jacques Martin has coached the Canadiens, Markov has played only 52 regular-season and eight playoff games.

Re-signing Markov means the Canadiens would let James Wisniewski walk as a UFA who played himself into a contract – in the $4 million to $5 million range – the team can’t afford.

And a healthy Markov is a much better defenceman than Wiz.

If Gauthier signs Don Meehan’s Russian clients, the Canadiens would have Markov, Emelin, P.K. Subban and Jaro Spacek under contract for the upcoming season.

Add Josh Gorges and probably Hal Gill.

Bye-bye, Roman Hamrlik.

Yannick Weber as a versatile number 7 and, ladies and gentlemen, that’s your 2011-’12 D.

Photo by Mike Carlson/Reuters

J.T. weighs in on Jaromir Jagr, who scored a hat trick at the World Championships as the Czech Republic knocked out the U.S. on Wednesday. Tomas Plekanec had a goal and two assists.

• Hamilton Spectator feature on Randy Cunneyworth

580 Comments

  1. HabsFan2 says:

    Zep Rocks

    ———————————————-
    I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

  2. HabsFan2 says:

    Test

    ———————————————-

    I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

  3. RetroMikey says:

    I wish we would sign Hamrlik some way, Gauthier is going to make a big mistake letting him go than keeping Spacek and his contract.
    Hamrlik is a way better DMan than a Spacek.
    Too bad about Wiz, I liked the guy and we need toughness on the D, not soft DMen.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • 24moreCups says:

      It’s not like their choosing Spacek over Hamr, we’re stuck with Spacek’s contract for another season and I doubt we’ll be able to get rid of him because I’m sure no other team wants him for his contract.

  4. HabFanSince72 says:

    So after the NHL used Winnipeg as a threat to extort money out of Glendale, now they are doing the same for the Thrashers. Leak a few rumours about a move to Winnipeg, deny them but unconvincingly, and voila – either some local businessman buys the Thrashers or Atlanta city council ponies up the money.

    Bunch of dicks.

    • The Cat says:

      Well said!

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Da Hema says:

      Bettman sets the (stunningly low) standard for the NHL’s conduct and decisions. The guy just cannot go one month without somehow sticking it up Canadians’ asses. I feel for the fans of Winnipeg and Quebec City who deserve so much better. Is calling for a bounty on Bettman stepping over the line here?

  5. RJB says:

    Lots of talk of Detroit moving to the east if the Thrashers move to the Peg. Would love to see more Habs-Red Wings games.

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Having the Wings in the East would be great. Teams like Boston/Philly need to play more skilled team to be exposed as the thugs they are. Currently only a couple of high skilled teams in the east, will only help create better hockey and competition. All for it.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  6. Marc10 says:

    The Wiz in Boston would be a good fit, but that would mean Savard would not come back I imagine… Seems like that’s going to be the case anyway. What a shame. Softer equipment and a League/PA that looks after players should have saved him, but hey… they couldn’t be bothered…

    That’s pretty much the final, ain’t it? Sharks vs Nucks. Whoever wins that should beat the East pretty easily.

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

  7. HardHabits says:

    After reading the posts today I must say that I have learned a lot. The Habs are actually Stanley Cup contenders. They are gritty and tough and not small at all. In fact they would be an offensive juggernaut if they could just get a few more lucky bounces and if the refs would stop screwing them over. I apologize for not thinking the Habs have been the best drafting team in the NHL. Not only that but they make the best trades, have the best GM, the best coach and don’t need to have any French Canadians on the team or in management either. Silly me. I guess I don’t know a thing about hockey. Thank you all for enlightening me. I so much happier now that I know that if it wasn’t for the injuries to Markov, Gorges and Pacioretty we’d be planning the parade now. Thanks for setting me straight.

    The best thing is that when the Habs get that 1 goal lead I know they will protect it. Especially when Gomez is out there. I mean how many other teams have two #1 centres.

    It’s not important to have size in sports. In fact muscles don’t matter either. All that’s necessary is for a player to put the CH on their chest and they instantaneously become Superman.

    The Habs will be able to build their team via free agency too. No need to trade for picks or draft high. And all those teams that won Cups after having horrible seasons and drafting high are not really champions but imposters. They cheated. Not like the Habs who have so much dignity and honour.

    So in 20 years from now when our kids are debating why the Habs haven’t won a Cup since ’93 we can tell them we’re in the 6th 5 year plan.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      Hyperbole much?

      Nobody’s saying the Habs are perfect and can’t be improved. Nobody’s saying we are Stanley Cup contenders and should be in with the elite of the league yet.

      All I am saying is that we are closer than you and others on this site would lead us to believe. We have several good KEY pieces in place and are building towards becoming one of the elite teams.

      When people say things like “San Jose and Detroit are in another league”, it makes it seem like the Habs are the Islanders or something. In fact, some on this site would have you believe the Islanders are in a better position to win a Stanley Cup than the Habs because they have Tavares and guys with size, and will be drafting really high again, etc.

      The fact is, the Habs are a very good team that plays TOGETHER when it counts the most. They are improving the talent on the team and are getting younger. They have shown that they can play very good hockey against the elite teams in the league.

      I’m not saying we should win the Cup or that we are as good as Detroit or San Jose, but in a series, anything can happen.

      I am happy that the Habs finally have some continuity and stability in their organization and that they finally seem to be building some kind of an identity (a team with speed and skill that plays smart two-way hockey). This is a big improvement over the dark ages of the mid-to-late-90s and early 2000s.

      Why not just enjoy it. Only one team gets to win their last game of the season. Winning the Cup is hard. Going through all of this and sticking with the team will only make it sweeter when we do win.

      • HardHabits says:

        So you admit that the Habs are not in the elite. Good. First admission. You even say they are not SC contenders. OMG!!! You troll!!!! ;)

        Closer to what? The middle of the pack?

        The Islanders are a bottom feeding team. They will get better picks than the Habs that’s for sure. Are they closer to a Cup? Who knows? One thing is for sure, I’d rather Tavares then Eller or Pacioretty and those are two of my untouchables.

        They are getting younger, which is good, but they need to build their prospect pool further. As it stands thankfully they had some depth on the farm because the club had it’s own wing at the Jewish General. So we are supposed to be satisfied because they play very well against elite clubs. It doesn’t mean squat if the team finishes 24th in goals for.

        In a series, anything can happen. History has shown us that top 5 teams win the Cup. So that anything usually means a quick exit or late heart-ache if not in the top 5 (This season there were 4 points between 2nd and 8th so it’s top 8 this year).

        I am happier than I was now that there seems to be some kind of idea that a team is better built via the draft as opposed to free agency in Habs management. We’ll see if the pattern continues and true progress is achieved. Definitely an improvement over the 90’s and early 21st century.

        It’s a fan forum. You people make it sound like I have nothing good to say. A few days ago I said all it would take is 30 more goals for the team to be elite. However, I do worry that JM will try instead to lower the goals against rather than go for more offence so I criticize it. I am not a fan of watching my team play rope-a-dope game in and game out.

        IMO more needs to be done. The team needs a grittier bottom six, a true #1 centre, they need to work on more offence, the need size on the top lines. They need a more solid physical defence corps. They need to be able win regardless of who’s in nets during the regular season too. Don’t tell me we’re close. The Habs are middle of the pack. That’s not good enough to win the Cup and that is the goal. Not platitudes. Habs are a middle tier team. Again.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      HH – no need to be Sigmund Freud to understand your size obsession.

  8. JD_ says:

    Meh. Too bad.

    Was hopin’ to see the Wings pull off the erstwhile impossible.

  9. otter649 says:

    San Jose used a first round draft pick to choose Logan Couture which they got in a trade when they sent Vesa Tokskla to Toronto when John Ferguson was Toronto GM – Now Ferguson works for the Sharks…….

    • Bryan says:

      Actually, to clarify:

      SJ got Toronto’s 1st and 2nd round picks, which they then traded to St. Louis to move up to pick Couture 7th overall.

      Fun fact: The two players St. Louis picked with those? Eller and Palushaj.

      Thanks Leafs!

      _______________________________

      The Habs are making me slightly less bi-polar.

  10. CHsam says:

    Ummmm….. That was a SICK. gOAL.

  11. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Man Datsuk is just sick. I’d trade my left testicle to have him on the Habs.

  12. Gindan69 says:

    Too bad we can’t sign wiz. It’s doable if it was a 1 year deal, but not happening long term because Subban and price will be getting substantial bumps next year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Boston. They won’t resign that bust kaberle and they need a pp qb desperately. I also see the laffs, lightning and rangers making serious bids.

  13. longbow says:

    @ HardHabits. You asked somewhere down below to name one small team that won the Cup.
    Answer: Detroit,more than once.On 1 or 2 occasions they had the smallest team in the NHL. No enforcer either.And they play “Le System”

    Einstein’s definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

    • HardHabits says:

      Detroit is not small. The have one player under 5’11”, Rafalski.

      • TomNickle says:

        You can’t seriously think the difference between championship teams and non-championship teams is two players under 5’11. My goodness.

        • HardHabits says:

          If you read my arguments it’s not just size but grit as well. Spacek and Hamrlik are not small but neither are they tough. And they’re both old. There’s a lack of size and grit on the team. I will not forget what happened February 9th.

          The Habs have a reputation for being small and soft now. Pundits say, whether correct or not, that the way to beat the Habs is get physical with them. I believe for the most part that they are right.

          Look. I hate goon hockey. I’ve always hated Bobby Clarke. I stopped watching the Summit Series in 72 after Bobby Clarke broke Valery Kharlamov’s ankle. I was disgusted when the Flyers beat the Bruins in 74. I sat through the fog bowl in 75. Nothing pleased me more than watching Robinson pound Schultz in 76 though. Justice was served. IMO if Robinson doesn’t take out Schultz the Habs don’t sweep and maybe lose that series. Those are hockey facts as I see them.

          What was the Habs response after the beantown beatdown? What was the response after the Cara hit?

          I watch the play-offs regardless who plays. One thing is deep down inside, and it is my perception, that I have little confidence that our current line-up has what it takes to win the Cup. We need bigger forwards, we need more grit, we need more offence. That and a few top draft picks. :p

      • TomNickle says:

        Bertuzzi and Cleary are hurt, they must not be taller than 5’11.

      • longbow says:

        I’m talking about previous cup victories,not this season. One of there recent cup victories was with the leagues smallest team and without an enforcer. Anyways,it isn’t always about the size of the dog in the fight.Last season(09 – 10) the Habs averaged 1/2 inch shorter but 6lbs heavier than the Bruins but no-one doubted who was tougher regardless of the outcome of the games they played against each other.It’s the fight in the dog. Toughest person I ever knew was 5′-4″ and have seen him take down guys 6′-4″ and seen other big guys back away from him.

        Einstein’s definition of insanity – “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

        • HardHabits says:

          I am 5’5″ and 145 lbs and I am sure you wouldn’t want to mess with me either. :)

          I am also, well in my younger days was, a very good athlete. I’ve played football and hockey. I have been in street fights. I have won. I have lost. I have been in many a mosh pit in my day too.

          I am a player you want to pick on your team as I am competitive and gritty. However I wouldn’t build a team with me. I’ve always used my bigger team-mates to run picks or block for me. I know my limitations as a smaller person so I am speaking from experience.

          I have always liked smaller players; Marty St. Louis, Thereon Fleury, Mats Naslund, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer, etc but I wouldn’t build a team with all my favourite shorties though.

          IMO a team of Chara’s would destroy a team of Giontas in a hockey game.

  14. Jonson says:

    I HOPE you are wrong about WEBER. That guy belongs in the top six. no doubt about it. He is part of the special young core playing for the habs. its important that all the youngs guys are in it together. trade spacek, dont sign gill as long as weber plays. man is he gonna be good. He has excelled in the ahl and has ALOT of confidence going in to next year. GOTTA PLAY HIM

    peace out

  15. HardHabits says:

    Zetterberg just made up for his error. Why can’t Gomez do moves like that?

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Because Gomez sucks. Fourth line center earning first line money. Zetterburg is what you`re supposed to get for the kind of money Gomez gets.

  16. ari says:

    wis for 4 mil,pg must be crazy not to sign him.is nice replacement for hammer.almost the same salary.we got spacek for power play which he did not do much.i never get why we have the obligation to stick with our mistakes.and looks like we do another mistake with emelin.the guy had no desire to play in nhl.
    unfortunately i am sure next year around this time we gonna talk about all these things again.the only difference will be only 2 more years of gomez contract.

  17. HardHabits says:

    People say size doesn’t matter in hockey. OK. Name me one small team that won the Stanley Cup.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Montreal Maroons, 1926, 13 of their 15 skaters were under six feet. Three were 5’6″, four were 5’8″. Nels Stewart, their leading scorer by a long shot, was a giant at 6’1″.
      :)

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Montreal Canadiens 1977 – greatest team of all time. Only two forwards over 5’11” (Bob Gainey and Guy Lafleur).

      • HardHabits says:

        Different era. Don’t forget there was no instigator rule back then.

        Plus they had more forwards over 5’11″: Yvon Lambert, Mario Tremblay, and Pete Mahovlich. Only one player was 5’7” (Cournoyer) the rest were 5’11 (most of those players are in HOF too).

        They also had the big three; Robinson 6’3″ 220 lbs, Savard 6’3″ 210 lbs and Lapointe 6’0″ 185 lbs and Bouchard, Chartraw and Nyrop to round out the back end. Not a small team to say the least.

        5’11” players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Plekanec are great to have but a team cannot be too over-all small. Maybe if we went to Olympic sized ice surfaces.

        BTW Henri Richard and Yvan Cournoyer are two of my favourite players, both 5’7” (I also know the pocket rocket retired in ’73)

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      1989 Calgary Flames.

      Mullen 5’10”
      Gilmour 5’11”
      Fleury 5’6″
      Vernon 5’9″
      Lanny 6’0″
      McCrimmon 5’10”
      Suter 6’0″

    • gregg says:

      hi HH, while i rarely ever post, i visit this site daily and am pretty familiar with many of the frequent posters, such as yourself. yours have always been posts that i read, because while i don’t necessarily agree with your opinion, i enjoy reading opposing views of passionate, rational hockey fans.
      however lately, you seem to be going a bit overboard, you are diluting your quality arguments with post after post of “too small, too soft, too defensive, …”. the message is getting stale and predictable, and overly simplified. basically your post are becoming run of the mill, and avoidable, which is a shame.
      to be clear, your opinion is valid and certainly worth debating, i just worry that your message is becoming comparable to some of the lesser and more avoidable posters.
      anywho, take it for what its worth.

      • HardHabits says:

        LOL. Thanks for the props. I like to drone on I guess. At least I haven’t mentioned tanking for a while. ;-)

        Today I am just yanking people’s chains with my repetitiveness. I enjoy the debate.

        The Habs. Too small, too soft, too defensive. I love it!!!!

        That’ll be my new sig!!!

  18. Mikey_39 says:

    Weren’t Carey Price and PK invited to play for team Canada? And if so why were they not playing?

  19. habs365 says:

    everyone seems to be concerned with defense–goaltending and defense was the best thing going for the Habs–up front is the problem and if they don’t fix it they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs next year other teams are catching up while we’re standing pat….

    • Steven says:

      Isn’t that what we all said last year? Everyone else is getting better and we’re standing pat?

      On that note, I also think we need more offence, but I think PG has some kind of plan brewing.

  20. HardHabits says:

    Watching San Jose/Detroit and it seems like those teams are in another league altogether than the Habs.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Martin’s “The System™” is built for teams like San Jose and Detroit ;)

    • Jonson says:

      are y9u blind? montreal plays like that quite a bit. there were times this year where montreal dominated. montreal is a serious contender as long as they stay healthy. i mean when you have Price PK Pleks eller weber DD MaxPac Gionta AK White Pyatt georges markov and now Yemelin i mean all the pieces are in place. DOnt be surprised if montreal goes the distance next year.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      Hmmm…guess you don’t remember these games:

      http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2010020380

      http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2010020419

      Anyone who watched the Detroit game knows the Habs played VERY well in that game and couldn’t catch a break from the refs. Game was close until the end and Detroit got an empty-netter.

      Didn’t seem like they were “in another league” to me. We also beat the team that has been waiting for the winner of Detroit-San Jose twice this year, including once by shutout.

      If the Habs are healthy, they can beat anyone. Enough with all the nonsense.

      • HardHabits says:

        Play-off hockey and regular season are two different animals. Keep dreaming the dream though.

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          Hahaha…wow…so when we win, it doesn’t count, but when we lose, we crap on the team.

          You’re right though, playoffs are different from the regular season. That’s why the Habs made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last year when nobody gave them a chance, and that’s why they pushed a Bruins team that could make it to the Finals this year to the brink in a 7-game series that went to OT, without their best defenseman, best shutdown d-man and best power forward at that.

          What does this team have to do to receive a modicum of respect from “fans” like you? We played some of our best hockey of the year against the top teams in the West. When we beat the Kings, Ryan Smyth said we were the most structured team he’s seen all year.

          This team is closer than a lot of you make it seem. We have a good team. Why not enjoy it a little bit?

  21. Cookies says:

    I really hope we keep The Wiz, even if it would require 4M.

  22. 4m3y2j says:

    To Pat S

    Nobody is trading Subban,do you know how many teams had him in their sights and PG said no.This is a home grown talent that we are not letting go of,also the relationship with Price is very strong and the are the cornerstones of this team.Do not even mention that idea again…

  23. LL says:

    Why must we assume that whoever replaces Muller will not do a better job than him?

    I liked Muller as a player and he’s also eye candy behind the bench, but jokes aside, change can be a very good thing, maybe just what the team needs.
    So much has been said about Boucher, but Cunneyworth is not chopped liver. Not everything PG does is his choice. If people want to leave for “better” opportunities, he has to let them.

    Before jumping off the Cartier, why not wait and see what the future holds. Next year, this time, our team will probably be getting ready for the ECF and we’ll still not be happy.

  24. Price07 says:

    First of all I would do all I could to trade away Spacek. With Markov being so fragile I would not let Wizniewski go! However, I don’t think its as crazy as Mr. Basu thinks that the habs keep Wizniewski and Markov.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      “I would not let Wizniewski go!”

      He’s a UFA, all we can do is make him an offer, just like 29 other teams can. It is up to him whether he wants to sign with Montreal. My guess is he’ll be looking for big money and someone like Burke will offer it to him. Burke does love his americans.

    • habs03 says:

      Wiz is more fragile than Markov, Wiz has had 3 major ACL/MCL injuries to the same knee. All this people say we need to keep Wiz over Markov because of Markov injuries need to get a clue. But in regards to keep both Markov, and Wiz, ya its possible but next year we won’t have any cap room for PK and Price’s new contacts.

  25. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Serious Question! Is Pascal Dupuis better than Travis Moen?

  26. CHsam says:

    Trade Gomez for Grabovski. Then dump Grabovski. lol

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If we change Gomez height and weight in our media guide, we can tell Burke that Gomez is the big centre he has been looking for the past 2 years.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • pat s says:

      we need to trade gomez and the only s through a packgage deal that involves pk subban

      trade gomez, pk subban, and moen to st. louis for pietrangelo, oishe, and perron or jansson

      we than can go get some quality ufa’s with the money we save on gomez’s salarys —

      yes, pk is traded but pietrangelo is just as good–we just need st’ louis to bite on this –i would estatic if they made this trade

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand your point in having to add something really attractive to the offer to get Gomez traded. But P.K. to me is the first cornerstone elite (norris trophy down the road) positional player we have drafted and groomed in over 10 years. I would not want to sacrifice that when in 1 more year Gomez contract becomes far more tradeable.

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

        • pat s says:

          wow, i thought i was going to get crucified for putting PK in a packgage deal–

          no doubt subban has all the talent in the world but i think its the calm before the storm. I just find him a selfish player, he plays for himself not the team, he is argumentative with the coaches, he takes way too many risks at the wrong time in a game, he is apathetic towards his mistakes, so I’ll take peitroangelo from the st. Louis before him any day of the week

          as far i’m concerned only price, and pacorietty should be the only 2 players that are not considered to trade

          maybe if a younger coach came in he can get PK to settle down but him and Martin are oil and water–they don’t mix–watch the headaches that come with subban next year

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        I don’t like that deal unless Dags is coming back. Maybe Dags instead of Perron, then we flip Oshie for Steve Begin, wherever he is now.

  27. arcosenate says:

    I’ll tell you what’s weird, watching Canada-Russia today I was thinking man the Russians put together a good team, all the superstars are there. Then it dawned on me, they’re there because there is not one Russian on the 4 teams left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I find that incredible, not one.

    • The Cat says:

      Datsyuk is russian.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • arcosenate says:

        lol, one.

        • The Cat says:

          If you discount the Red Wings, youll never find too many euro dominated teams in the final four, I think thats cause they dont usually buy into hockey systems. And teams that strictly adhere to a system tend to go deep. Its all about being on the same page.

          [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

          • Bill says:

            Lol, so for your point to be valid we simply have to “discount” the most successful team in the NHL of the past 15 years?

            Nice try.

            There are European players who play well in the playoffs, and European players who do not … and obviously the exact same could be said of Canadian and American players.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            What Bill said.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        quick as a cat your are!

        Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Pavel Datsyuk

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Pavel Datsyuk

  28. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs have given other teams permission to speak to Kirk Muller about a NHL head coaching job next season.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    I will be curious to watch what happens with the Wiz this summer. Numerous times he alluded or the media alluded to how much he enjoyed playing with a team in the playoffs and an excellent hockey market. I don’t say this thinking he will give us a discount, but he won’t necessarily sign the highest offer if it is a crap team or a bad market….

    We just need PG to win a lottery ticket and find a team willing to trade for Spacek now instead of waiting till trade deadline day.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  30. JohnBellyful says:

    Lots of excitement over Yemelin joining the team next season. Got to admit, I’ve also been bitten by the Alexei bug – a variant of the last infection that caused Hab fans to swoon, but this one’s in the back end.
    With Yemelin joining the team that clinches Markov re-signing, right? Yeah, okay, I’m buyin’ it.
    Along with a lot of other stuff that’s goin’ to move whatever’s in that glass closer to the brim. No more of this half-full, half-empty stuff (actually, how full do they fill the Stanley Cup with champagne?).

    So what do we have to look forward to for 2011-12, when compared to the regular season just completed? If we make the following assumptions:

    With Markov in the line-up for a full season and Yemelin on board – 4 more wins EASILY

    Pacioretty plays full season in same form before injury/assault/hockey play – 2 more wins

    Bounce-back year for Cammalleri, fewer penalty kills for Plekanek so he can devote more time to offence – 2 more wins

    Continued development of Subban, Desharnais, Eller – 1 more win

    Two of Scott Gomez’s seven goals were game-winners, about 30 per cent; so if he gets 10 goals – 1 more win

    Year Three of System – 1 more win

    That’s 11 more wins, folks, 55 in total. 110 points. Minimum.

    This summer can’t come and go fast enough.
    Glass half-full? My flagon’s spilled over.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      When I think of the games we MAILED IN last year, in po-dunk dumps like Columbus, Atlanta, Florida… and LEAFS that’s at least 10 points right there and I’d like to think that with Markov back some of our floaters will be held a bit more accountable.

      The most important adjustment we need to make is mental, we need to HATE TO LOSE to ANYONE.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        The unstated assumption is that the team will remain relatively healthy. I’ve got them down for 57 man-games lost. Unrealistic?
        No, not the first month, I mean the whole season. Yeah, the WHOLE season. Is that an issue?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The thing about the injuries to Gorges and Markov this year is it caused so much reliance on the veterans all season as we slowly added new dmen, and had to get them into “the system” I think that is a big reason for spacek and hamrlik looking so old by playoff time. Would have been different to have same guys injured but for 30-40 days at a time and we can live with that.

          The Maxpac was just the icing on the cake for the team to have to fight through yet another season ender to such a key guy.

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I would play Markov no more than 22 minutes a game at most next
            season, to lessen his exposure to injury, to keep him invigorated for the playoffs and to make the team realize it cannot place too great a reliance on his presence in the lineup, that he’s a great asset to have but don’t reduce his value through overwork.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          you’d think the law of averages would swing our way once in a while.

  31. G_77 says:

    Markov was staying all along, regardless of Emelin… that was a no-brainer, as was Gorges who is an RFA on top of it.
    And because we’re stuck with Spacek, that means we can’t afford Wisniewski… sadly.

    I also very much appreciate what Hamrlik has done, especially in Markov’s absence.. but the last 2 seasons he simply couldn’t keep up come playoff time.
    To me it was between him and Gill, and Gill is younger, and unlike Hamrlik has consistently upped his game in the playoffs… add his mentorship of Subban and the choice is an automatic for me.
    Gill is also cheaper, even after Hamrlik’s pay cut.

    My only concern was that were we letting most of our size/grit on the back end go (Hamrlik, Wiz, Sopel, Mara)… other than Gill & Subban, Markov/Gorges/Webber/Spacek is a pretty soft & small bunch.

    So that makes Emelin that much more interesting to us at this time, some young size/grit would be very much appreciated.

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      With Hamrlik gone there’s room for Wizniewski. If you had to pick between the two id say its a no brainer. Ideally, they would keep Hamrlik and move Spacek. Unlikely that would happen but anything is possible in the off season.

  32. CHsam says:

    wow must be a full moon tonight or something. Go Wings

  33. The Cat says:

    I think its an abomination the way some people discard and disrespect hamrlik. Yeah he was tired near the end but only because he aint made of glass like some others. Hes been a real go to guy, hes the only old D-man Id keep if possible.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Mike Boone says:

      I agree. It’s scary to think where the team would have been without Hamrlik over the last two Markov-less seasons.

      Mike Boone
      Hockey Inside/Out blogger
      Gazette City columnist
      mboone@montrealgazette.com

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I always salute Hamrlik’s valiant service for the Habs, but he’s not getting younger and he’s worn down more quickly in the last two seasons. By round 2 of the 2010 playoffs, he was a liability, it was from March onwards this year.

      With Subban emerging (and him having absolutely no chemistry with Roman) and the acquisition of Yemelin, it’s time to move on though.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • neumann103 says:

      @The Cat
      Agreed I remember Free Agent day in 2007 and as soon as it was completely obvious Souray was looking elsewhere I said to myself (and posted) that what the Habs had to do was obvious: sign Roman Hamrlik for slightly too much money for slightly too long. The next guy on my list was Scott Hannan, and I think if you look at Hannan, Souray and Hamrlik’s production and remuneration over the last 4 years it is a no brainer that the Hammer wins. He was the best defenseman available at the time and the Habs needed to fill that hole.

      He has given honourable service and 2 years in a row totally stepped up when others went down. You look at how his plus minus went to hell. Why? He was playing a ton of minutes in all situations, not filling a role as 4th D.

      They paid a little more than I expected but not out of line. Not Scotty Gomez money. And even with Gomez I don’t blame him, I blame Glen Sather for an insane and untradeable contract and Gainey for making the impossible possible in trading for Gomez.

      Unlike 2 years earlier I was slack jawed when the Habs picked up Gomez, but both Gionta (understandable) and Cammy (?) said that the Gomez signing was a major factor in attracting them to the Habs.

      The Hammer appears to be willing to take a discount to stay. How much, I dunno, but the ONLY reason not to sign the Hammer for half what he is making today is the very real chance that the Habs will already have seven or more D under contract.

      “Et le but!”

  34. Everlasting1 says:

    Good to see Russia’s goalie, Konstantin Barulin (Blues prospect) steal a big win and having a great outing.
    Honorable mention for Canada’s dman Alex Pietrangelo finishing with 2G, 3A and a team leading +9.

    ——————————————————————-
    Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • TomNickle says:

      I think you meant to post that message at letsgoblues.com

      • Everlasting1 says:

        I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t.
        Also, Chris Stewart tallied 2G,2A and a +5 for Canada.
        Swede’s Patrik Berglund is tearing it up too.

        ——————————————————————-
        Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

        “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • saskhabfan says:

      So,what you are saying is that there is hope for a good goalie in the blues system after all?

  35. Bugs says:

    A) Over/under number of games played by leafs in 11-12 afore guaranteeing to anyone’ll listen that they are destined for playoff greatness: 4.5
    B) Over/under their number of games, same season, before which all promise and all hope is dashed by incompetence and sub-performance to the point where, ridiculously egg-faced again, they start making same guarantees for year after: 12.5
    Call’em.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • TomNickle says:

      Under to both, if they split their first two the Cup prophecies will begin, and when they’re 1-8-1 after their first ten all hope will be gone and Wilson will be on the hot seat.

    • JD_ says:

      A topic dear to my heart.

      (A) Under. Waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy under.

      (B) Through some bizarre quantum stochastic divergence innate to only the Loafs, and still largely unexplained by an otherwise uncarin’ scientific community, the team will be mathematically eliminated from the post-season by the sixth game of the season.

      Just wait ’til next year, though.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      a) Under. Why wait until next season even starts? Delusions are most fun when you have the time to savor them. Next year, they’re going all the way. After all, Burke is the greatest GM of all time, future Hall of Famer James Reimer is leagues better than AHL caliber Price and Brad Richards will be signed cheaply because he’ll want to play on a team that he knows will win the cup.

      b) Under. The future is bright in Toronto, after all they have up-and-coming stars like Tyler Seg… nevermind.


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