Celebrating Fergy on 75th anniversary of his birth

screen-capture-1

Canadiens hardrock John Ferguson (right) in classic 1960s dressing-r00m shot with his friend and captain, the great Jean Béliveau.
Mac Juster, Montreal Star files

Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of late Canadiens policeman John Ferguson, who died on July 14, 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

If you saw Fergy play, consider yourself fortunate. If you didn’t, do yourself a favour and dig into him a little. He was a tremendous presence on the Canadiens teams of the 1960s, the winner of five Stanley Cups in seven playoff seasons with the Habs.

Today, here’s a tribute I wrote to Fergy that was published on July 16, 2007, two days after his death. He’ll never be forgotten.

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

Four decades ago, because of John Ferguson, I was sent to bed without supper and docked a week’s allowance.

And while I long ago forgave the Canadiens’ hardrock winger whom we sadly lost to cancer on Saturday at age 68, I’m not so sure about my sister.

Fergy was one of my childhood heroes; nothing unusual about that for a Montreal schoolboy in the mid-1960s who thought the Stanley Cup was loaned autumn through spring by the Canadiens to the National Hockey League.

I knew nothing about the chemistry of my favourite team, that a successful club was the sum of its many different role-playing parts. Or that a forward need not fill the net to pull his weight.

But I did know two things:

That John Bowie Ferguson’s real middle name surely was Mayhem, and often I was treated to plenty of it before bedtime at the end of the second period on Saturday night;

And that nobody in the NHL could close the penalty-box door with quite the gusto of Fergy, who earned 1,214 minutes in the sin-bin while scoring scored 145 goals and winning five championships during eight seasons in Montreal.

So it was that I was demonstrating Fergy’s gate-slamming technique on our refrigerator door, encouraged by my sister.

“I’m sure he closes it harder than that,” she urged a gullible kid brother with each subsequent, jar-rattling slam.

I had the force just about right after maybe a dozen tries when I pulled the handle for what would be the final time, the entire steel rack on the inside of the door crashing at our feet – bottled milk and juice smashing among the surrendered nuts and bolts of the Westinghouse.

After the mop came the misconduct.

I related this story to Fergy a few years ago, and he laughed heartily.

“You were putting your whole body behind it, right?” he scolded. “I always did it with just a flick of my wrist.”

During his rambunctious NHL career from 1963-71, Fergy would lumber onto the ice with the potential to change the complexion of the game in a single shift, or portion thereof. His battles with Toronto’s Eddie Shack, Boston’s Ted Green, Chicago’s Eric Nesterenko and the Rangers’ Reggie Fleming were things of beauty, in a politically incorrect way, and seldom did they fail to turn the tide for the Canadiens on the nights they needed a kickstart.

No one knew this better than Canadiens icon Jean Béliveau, Fergy’s captain and his first NHL centreman. In My Life In Hockey, Béliveau calls Ferguson “the most formidable player of the decade and possibly in the Canadiens’ history. …

“For us,” Le Gros Bill writes, “Fergy’s greatest contribution was his spirit. He was the consummate team man and probably intimidated as many of us in the dressing room as he did opponents on the ice. You wouldn’t dare give less than your best if you wore the same shirt as John Ferguson.”

Fergy waited a leisurely 12 seconds to cement his reputation in the NHL, lined up with Béliveau and Bernie Geoffrion in the Canadiens’ season-opener in Boston on Oct. 8, 1963. A dozen seconds in, signed for a princely $125 per game, he pounced on the Bruins’ Ted Green for his first of two fighting majors that night.

He also scored twice and had an assist in a 4-4 tie.

Legend are the stories of Fergy leaving a full plate in a restaurant when an opponent walked in, or skipping golf tournaments or hockey schools that included players other than Canadiens.

His intensity consumed him, his blood boiling when that of others merely simmered.

Not that he didn’t have some fun with it.

“I’d skate past the Toronto bench and yell, ‘C’mon, Punch (coach Imlach), send your next (fighter) out. Gimme the best you got,’ ” Fergy said a few years ago, discussing the fierce Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry of the time.

“I’d go into the Toronto Stock Exchange and look down at the traders on the floor and get ’em going. They’d see me, a Canadien, giving it to ’em from upstairs and they’d get really worked up, booing and hooting at me. Every time we played there, I’d go to the stock exchange and get the boys going. You know … just for fun.”

In his pugilistic prime, Ferguson even entertained the idea of boxing three rounds against Canadian heavyweight legend George Chuvalo, a plan quickly shot down by Canadiens GM Sam Pollock. Imagine those two noses in one boxing ring.

In Dick Irvin’s book The Habs, Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers recalls Fergy, a fellow horseman, uttering not a syllable to him during the season, even if Ferguson had bent his self-imposed no-fraternization rule and they’d had a summer sip at the racetrack.
In March 1971, Triple Crown favourite Hoist The Flag broke his leg in a workout, a topic of brief conversation in Cheevers’s goal crease that night.

“I saw Fergy coming in for the rebound off the backboards,” Cheevers told Irvin. “I know there’s going to be a hit, a collision, so I’ve got to prepare for it. I’m saying that I’m finally going to lay this guy out for a change, right on his keister.

“So I turned quickly, I go right at him, and suddenly he yells, ‘Cheesy!’ I stopped and he says, ‘Hoist The Flag broke his leg this morning!’ Which he did. I said, ‘What?’ but he kept right on coming and laid me out flatter than a pancake.

“That was the only time he ever talked to me in his whole career. He told me about Hoist The Flag breaking his leg.”

And now, another great Canadien is gone too soon.

Today, tales of Fergy are being related far and wide by his huge circle of friends and even the foes who long ago buried the hatchet from hockey wars waged in a very different time.
I’ll think of him, too, as I gently close my fridge door.

Below: John Ferguson in a playful moment in the summer of 2003, after learning that his son had been named GM of Fergy’s arch-rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Gazette readers were irate, cursing us out and accusing us of sacrilegiously having Photoshopped a Leafs jersey onto him. We hadn’t.

fergy-hio

234 Comments

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  2. Loop_Garoo says:

    So what’s going on!? I thought this was supposed to be the first day of Rookie Camp. I need in depth analysis of each players body fat percentage in relation to their height, and how this is going to effect their offensive zone touches in the first half of the third period! I need grammatical analysis of all their interviews and how this is going to effect team chemistry in 2014. I STILL don’t even know the pattern that Pateryn uses to lace his skates or the order in which Tokarsky straps on his pads. I must say I am very disappointed with the way this year is starting.

    Greg

  3. frontenac1 says:

    I hate that Olé sh#t! Keep it in Soccer. Along with shoot outs and players faking injuries.

  4. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Sabres just went from one of the best jerseys to one of the worst:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/buffalo-sabres-reveal-perhaps-nhl-worst-jersey-pass-165440118–nhl.html

    Since when is “urine-yellow” a good colour for jerseys? Ugh…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  5. HFL says:

    Lars Eller is going to have a break out season this year. He looked amazing last year. He looked big, hungry, and confident. His two way play looked amazing, and its probably gonna get better. And I have a feeling MT is gonna give him lots of ice time. Fearless prediction, Lars is a point per game player this season! Get excited him and 27 will be 1 and 2 down the middle for many years to come!

    • krob1000 says:

      He has some serious potential…but noone in Montrel is going to have a stellar season production wise I would assuem given the wealth of offense. There will be limited icetime and everyone must by into a score by committe concept for the team to be successful. The team has 3 lines of “top six” forwards. Many points these days come on the pp and there is only so much ice to go around on the pp and the second unit is at a huge diusadvantage normally.

      • HFL says:

        im confident lars will be getting second line minutes. Yes u are right. they do have a lot of balance in their top nine. However, If u look at last season, lars was on the third line, and dd was on the second, and the discrepancy in ice time was quite substantial. SO if they are to reverse rolls, then i am sure Lars will be receiving marginally more ice time then last season. And it is possible he could be a first unit pp, if his production is high enough.

    • Sportfan says:

      Don’t forget he’s also added a tone of weight!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  6. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    What happened the last time the Flames brought in an ex-GM as an special executive? LOL…Uncle Feaster’s going to learn: “what goes around, comes around”…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  7. B says:

    “… Free agent veteran Brenden Morrow is talking to the Carolina Hurricanes about potentially attending the club’s training camp, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Morrow, 34, is still weighing his options as a number of teams have expressed interest in his services.”

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/09/04/nhl-notes-claude-giroux-says-hell-be-ready-for-flyers-opener

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • krob1000 says:

      Carolina is the team I am worried about luring Morrow…..the Muller connection is a big one ahving been in Dallas together, Mulelr and Carbo being tight,etc. If he does not go to Carolina I expect him to come to the Canadiens camp.

    • Sportfan says:

      Aww would have loved seeing him as a Hab :( Maybe we can sigh Mason Raymond to a 1 year 1 million dollar deal :P

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      There is no room for Morrow on the Habs presently. If they got rid of Moen on the other hand…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

      • DLHABSNUT65 says:

        But if Gionta and Parros aren’t ready to go……

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          I think Gionta is ready. As for Parros, it does not matter as he will not be a regular. Morrow is the type of veteran player that has to be a regular (like Moen). If not, it could be disruptive to the team.

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  8. Sportfan says:

    Calgary has made sure they wont make the playoffs for a long time :P

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  9. Habfan10912 says:

    Was at the grocery store this morning and a young man with two small children noticed my Hab hat and commented that he was a Ranger fan. We then made small talk about missing the game and went our separate ways. A short time later I hear one of his sons, probably age 4 or 5 yelling, Let’s Go Rangers! I wanted to drop the gloves but I figured that would be a big no no having an old man beating on a young child so I did the next best things.
    I started singing Ole ole ole song, drowning out the little rug rats Ranger cheer.
    My wife? She went and sat in the car.

  10. Mattyleg says:

    My favourite Burkie line was his “I don’t believe in building through the draft” cracker at the Draft Lottery.

    He sat there with a face like a bulldog that’s just pissed on a nettle the whole time, and after he said that, everyone just sort of sat there in awkward silence wondering if he was planning on just pulling star players out of his butt.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Not to add politics into this but Burke always reminded me of Donald Rumsfeld, Their arrogance impacted their decision making.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      My favourite is when they picked Morgan Rielly 5th overall last year and said – with a dead serious face, something to the effect of – this was the guy we we had targeted and would have picked him first overall.

  11. adamkennelly says:

    wow – is Brian Burke ever a loud mouthed tool…he says- I will not be the spokesperson for this team..Jay Feaster is the GM..blah, blah, blah…seriously – STFU and go away…useless.

  12. Hobie Hansen says:

    Brian Burke’s body of work is pretty good. Winning the cup with the Ducks, building a good Canucks team that made it to the finals and building a playoff team in Toronto.

    But man, listening to his press conference in Calgary puts me in a bad mood. Hearing his voice is as depressing as hearing a press conference regarding the Phoenix Coyotes or the NHL Lockout.

  13. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    In response to Phil C’s comment below about a 6 team NHL and the amount of talent that would be on every team:
    If there was only an original 6 again what members of the current Habs would be good enough to make the pro level ?
    I would say PK,Chucky,Plex. Possibly Max and Price.

  14. B says:

    I seem to recall reading that Cammalleri was interested in signing with Toronto back in 2009, but Burke had no interest in him so he ended up in Montreal. The two are now together in Calgary, I wonder how long that will be for?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  15. Bripro says:

    From Bruce Arthur ‏@bruce_arthur
    Ken King announces Brian Burke as President of Hockey Operations … Brian Burke, and poor Jay Feaster is just sitting there.

    Wasn’t Burke supposed to be involved with Rugby?
    Is Burke looking to add size to the Flames? Will they have to wear skates?

  16. shiram says:

    Down goes Brown on Douglas Murray :

    “Douglas Murray – Is really annoyed at this turtle that keeps wandering around on his property and is going to do something about it as soon as he can figure out how to catch up to it.”

    http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2013/09/nhl-vs-animals.html

  17. Timo says:

    @Front – here is Prust holding his own against your buddy Trevor Gillis. Pretty good for Prust, I’d say.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CN1BC4trpk

  18. Sportfan says:

    So on TSN Kadri said Leafs nerd Mark Masters that he understands the situation, but he still wants more money… He’s such a loser.
    I heard on the radio yesterday that J LO is going back to that Idol show for 17 million dollars, she said in an interview its not about the money…. If it wasn’t about the money then don’t take that much money then, same for Kadri if you want to play in the NHL do it and sugh a smaller deal.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think there is any need to be calling Kadri a loser. He has representation whom are supposed to be providing guidance to him and handling the negotiations. Perhaps Kadri’s real issue is representation and a bit of immaturity.

      Don’t forget training camp hasn’t started, this is still a typical negotiation. A non Hab fan could have said similar things about PK during last years contract negotiation. The big difference is that Don Meehan is a pro.

      Lets not stoop to lowest levels in our observations of other players.

      • Phil C says:

        The Kadri situation is partly caused by a dysfunctional system that was created by the league and the NHLPA. ELC are clearly defined with limitations in place, UFA’s salaries are determined by the market limited by the cap, RFAs with arbitration rights have a clear and fair process to determine a salary. But RFAs without arbitration rights create this messy process. The only leverage the player has is to hold out, which is not good for either side.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I think that the biggest issue here is that Kadri is speaking to the media at all.
        He’s got to keep his mouth shut and disappear until it’s over, à la PK.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          Calling Mckenzie Bobo was quite childish, even if it was just on Twitter. People have to realize it might be the internet, but it’s media platform and stuff on there gets reported all the time.

    • John Q Public says:

      Round and round we go.
      Last year the owners locked out the players for more MONEY.
      This year a player tries to get more MONEY.
      It’s always about the MONEY.

      Now if we didn’t have MONEY the world might be a better place but this site is about HOCKEY.

      DD, Diaz and fill in the blank for Vanek.
      We need the CUP now not in 5 years.

  19. B says:

    I miss the old tournament the Hab’s rookies used to play in at “the Bob” in Hull. For years now, the Hab’s rookies have just had the camp in Montreal with no games against other team’s rookies.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  20. frontenac1 says:

    Here”s what happened when Nesterenko laid the lumber on Fergy.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZnTwmabOxA

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I remember both Ferguson/Nesterenko “fights”. Big Nester didn’t do too well in either. On the ice, John Ferguson was a beast. Milan Lucic is the modern version but I’d take Fergie any day.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    So given all the Kadri talk, I was curious to know who his agent is. Turns out it is Brian MacDonald (was an Asst. GM with the Avalanche)of Siskinds Sports Mgmt. I go to their website to see the exhaustive list of other clients represented and I see one other player, “the” Matt Hackett of the Minnesota Wild.

    Perhaps this agent is desperate to get a big deal, as he needs Kadri to score a big contract in order to attract other talent.

    http://www.siskindssportsmanagement.com/clients/nhl

  22. B says:

    45 Canadian players currently in the KHL. Not sure yet about this season, but last season there were 22 Russians playing in the NHL. Kovalchuk and Kovalev won’t be back in the NHL this season.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  23. Haberoooo13 says:

    Per the lovely Chantal Machabée, currently on the ice together:
    Price-Budaj-Gorges-Galchenyuk-Moen-Prust-Pacioretty-Diaz-White-Bouillon-Bunden-Leblanc-Gionta-Eller-Dumont-Bourque-Parros-et Desharnais

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  24. krob1000 says:

    The best part about this Canadiens team these days?
    I don’t know who my favourite player is anymore…and neither do my kids…there are too many exciting and good palyers to choose from.
    We all flip flop between PK, Galchenyuk, Eller, Pleks, Gallagher, Price and sometimes Prust…funny thing is this list doesn’t een include teams best goalscorer in Patches, markov, Emelin, newly acquired Briere,etc,etc…..this team is a lot better than people on here believe IMO….I am still expefcting very big things if Price can hold his end of the deal.

    • Sportfan says:

      I have that exact same problem, I have no idea which Hab is actually my favorite. I like most of this team which is great! I like Prust a lot as well as PK, Carey, Gally, Chucky Etc.

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Haberoooo13 says:

      I totally agree. I think my favorite because of what he has gone through is Eller:
      #1 Having to deal with being traded for Halak
      #2 Struggling for icetime under JM
      #3 Struggling for icetime under RC
      #4 Struggling for icetime (at first) under MT
      #5 Not getting the quality PP time he should
      #6 Still producing decent numbers considering
      #7 He’s great in interviews
      #8 Great nickname L’Harceleur
      #9 I like Great Danes
      #10 He’s a Hab!

      Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

  25. JUST ME says:

    Ever since the John Ferguson era most team have been looking for a player like him and still are ! That says it all . Yes it was a different era but back then cheap shot went unpunished until he got to play and hockey was forever different. Not always pretty but at least the players had to face the music.

    If the rumor is true that Burke will be hired in Calgary it does confirm thet the Flames are still dreaming about coming back to the Ferguson era but also that…they really don`t have a clue !

    • Cal says:

      Back then the cheap shot was taken care of by the guy receiving it. Many of today’s players are wussies in comparison, what with their helmets and visors and armored pads.

    • Phil C says:

      In a six team league, you have to be good hockey player to make it, I doubt teams could afford to carry one-dimensional players (ie goons). Imagine the lineups if the NHL contracted to 6 teams?

  26. Mavid says:

    10 days to go!! From the lovely Mattawamkeag Wilderness Campground in Maine were you can park your 5th wheel in the wilderness yet still have full hookup, and wifi to use at the office..love it going to spend an extra day here

    Weed Wacker Gramda Smurf

  27. Timo says:

    Flames call 10 am conf re Burke. To me this spells the end of Jay Feaster in Calgary. Very few here will be upset.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s what Damien Cox wrote, that it would be hard for Brian Burke to co-exist with Jay Feaster and Ken King. We haven’t heard anything about those two being let go, but maybe Brian Burke will set up shop, and be the Sword of Damocles down the hall, the GM-in-waiting, the immediate Plan B for when Jay Feaster feasters another contract or offer sheet or draft pick.

  28. Timo says:

    I firmly believe that with Michael Therrien’s Personal Development Program Kadri can become a very good NHLer.

    • krob1000 says:

      Ahh Timo….Yo should know it takes a community to raise a child…he will first need to walk hand in hand with Bob, have his ego boosted with PG calling him Mr. at every opportunity and have Kirk Muller slapping his ass and telling himto “$&*#ing hustle, c’mon men”. With all of these great personal developers contributing he could then be a great player!

  29. Old Bald Bird says:

    There is much chatter about the need for Tinordi and Beaulieu to spend another year in Hamilton. While I understand that, I think one of them, presumably Tinordi, should get a lot of time with the Habs this year. I presume that neither of them would appreciate spending three years in Hamilton, so we should expect them both with the big team next year. It probably wouldn’t be wise to bring two rookies up at the same time next year, so I think at least one of the two should get quite a bit of time this year.

    Thoughts?

    • krob1000 says:

      Assuming both are deemed NHl ready….I think it will be Tinordi who gets the call if a defensive dman goes down and Beaulieu if a pp dman goes down. Another factor could be right vs left dman and yet another could be whether or not they want to send a message to Beaulieu for his off ice incident.
      I personally think either of them could step in and easily handle a bottom pairing role right now….the fact MB has acquired the depth is a bonus . They have a luxury and another year of development and pressure reduced environment to grow is something I can only view as a positive…but they will both see NHL time this year I assume.
      Should either force their way onto the club that is another story but I would have to believe for that to happen they would have to walk in and be top 4 capable skill wise to compensate for the learning curve to get 3rd pairing ice.

    • Cal says:

      I am glad neither will be rushed. Both of them playing monster minutes in Hamilton will only make them better.
      This season’s end will tell us a lot. Markov and Diaz’s contracts expire. What will management do?

      • krob1000 says:

        Even if they play 3 years in Hmailton it must be rememberd that D is the hardest position to adapt to and there will eb some grwoing pains regardless. There is only one place that has the fastest, best and most skilled forwards attacking and tsting…and the is the NHL itself. Having depth to suround them is often a blessing ….Pk was fortunate in that he made his mistakes early on in an environment where little was expected and he overchieved. He assumed monster minutes right away…but we saw the growing pains and he happened to have the character and skill to overcome those challenges> Other palyers are different…..if not for the stellar character of both Gallagher and Galchenyuk I doubt there is the slightest chance neither makes it last year. Both are students of the game with strong hockey backgrounds and are noted for their unflappale demeanours…..this allowed them to grow into roles relatively seamlessly but there were nights where they had minutes reduced even due to blown defensive assignments and hesitation on backchecks,etc.
        The way from the puck game is so hard to teach…I have a group of 13 year olds who I am trying to teach that being 60 ft away from the play does not mean you are playing any slower or working any less than the others….just being a an option, getting in a lane, hustling back thrug the middle,etc,etc are fundamental necessities on competitive teams. One lazy player creates time and space for a savvy offensive player…..this often why some guys are “game players”…they take advantage of mistakes or laziness.
        Do yourselves a huge favour and watch Marian Hossa or Pavel Datsyuk away from the puck…..tehy can pay a whole whift away from the puck and will often have outworked every player on the ice….they are unbelivealbe. Pleks is th Habs version of this and Eller when playing center does this very well…..I hope Glach and he watch a ton of video on Hossa and learn how to play this role as a winger as well as when they are playing center.

      • JohninTruro says:

        Cal, they definitely should play another year in the Hammer getting top minutes and learning to compete at the pro level. This will be nothing but good for their development and with the resigning of Drewiske and signing of Murray this is exactly what Bergevin wants, along with depth. Depth has been our nightmare on D for a long time. These two are best served to spend a year in the Hammer learning how to be winners there, leaders there, and turn that team around. They need to help the likes of Dietz, Nygren, etc as well with their switch to the AHL. They will be better served by this, and will gain confidence in the AHL which will make them better call-ups. Beaulieu stepped his game up huge in the second half down there, let’s see if he can continue that and prove he is too dominant for that league, like PK did.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      There is no rush…especially if they are going to play the wrong side up here. Gorges, a well-paid vet, should be moved over to the right side to leave place for these guys to come up this year.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Timo says:

      I think it will happen regardless for one or both of them. Aside from Murray and Subban (who will doubtfully will be an even bigger target this year) Habs are soff on D and injuries will pile up (who knows when Emelin will be back and HOW he will be). Both rookies will see ice time with the Habs this season. That’s not to mention that Bergevin may actually come to his senses and deal Gorges and Diaz somewhere.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I agree Timo. The kids will get their chance to play this year. It is also a cramped schedule because of the Olympics so that spells more injuries.

        I can’t wait till we have Emelin, Murray and Subban all in the line up. There will be a lot more hits in the second half of the season

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • JohninTruro says:

        Timo, I think for once a lot of teams would like to have the depth we have in our 8 D currently considered to be up with the team, and the quality of prospects we have at our disposal to call up. We need to keep the depth or we will falter again like last year at the end, and in the playoffs. Yes, some of our guys are soft, and may get hurt. Gorges has played a ton of games, bouillion, murray, subban, guys who are not often hurt back on D. I don’t think our D should be considered soft anymore with Murray added. You need guys like Diaz and Markov to have a successful D. Didn’t we score the most points from the D last year than any other team?

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    I don’t listen to sports talk, except by accident. Life is too short.

    But this twitter exchange between McKenzie and Kadri is interesting:

    http://o.canada.com/2013/09/04/toronto-maple-leafs-nazem-kadri-and-tsns-bob-mckenzie-have-mini-twitter-tiff/

    (not least for the slew of tweets from sanctimonious nobodies below – hockey fans are nothing if not resentful of the players they supposedly support).

    It seems McKenzie’s “source” for Kadri’s demands can be one of four:

    1. Leafs Management.
    2. Kadri or his agent (not likely, obviously)
    3. An illegal phone tap (let’s discount this one)
    4. He made it up.

    So it’s #1 or #4. Let’s go with #1.

    (Let’s leave aside that these negotiations should be confidential.)

    By stating Kadri’s demands, and further implying that they are unreasonable, he is essentially doing Leaf Mgmt’s bidding. Turning the fans against the player – but in a cowardly way (“my sources tell me …”) – to pressure him into accepting their deal. The implication is “Kadri’s a punk who thinks he’s Jon Tavares”. But he never actually says it.

    This is how these media blowhards keep their jobs of course.

    And then other media blowhards tell us that the first media blowhard is “well respected”.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      None of this is news to you is it?

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The problem with “twitter reporting” is that a lot of what is “reported” is stuff taken out of context. Is Kadri only willing to accept a Tavares-type contract? Don’t believe so. Did his agents ask for a Tavares-type contract? Of course or they would not be doing their jobs.

      If I was Kadri, I wouldn’t be jumping on Bobby Mac (who is just doing his job). I would ask BM who in the Leafs organization is leaking info from a supposedly private negotiation. I would then state that I will refrain from making public statements while negotiations are taking place because it is not professional. Kadri could have easily flipped this back onto the Leafs but showed his immaturity instead.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • mrhabby says:

      i think kadri should just be quiet and also get off twitter and let his agent deal with MLSE. this does not put the player in a good light…not that i care.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Number 2 is the answer.

      Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 24m
      Think toughest part for Kadri is all his teammates mocking him on daily basis for his contract demands. He told everyone what he wanted.

      So it is not hard to see why his demands are making the rounds with the media, he can’t keep his mouth shut.

  31. Strummer says:

    Fergie scored a lot of points for a player who was acknowledged as the toughest and most feared enforcer of his era.

    His secret?

    Opponents were so fearful of him that they gave him a lot of room.
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  32. Bash says:

    Speaking of enforcers…

    I just pictured our push back against the Leafs one day in early December:

    Prust White (Tanarsky) Parros
    Murray Tinordi

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • junyab says:

      Tinordi’s big, but he’s not an enforcer. He’s been public about this misconception.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      The Leaf games last season probably had the biggest effect on the movement for the Habs to get bigger. Watching incidents like Gallagher getting beat up by Kotska was unacceptable…especially on home ice.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “Prust White (Tanarsky) Parros, Murray Tinordi ”

      Are you picturing the puck in our net, the red light flashing?

      • Bash says:

        Of course… I want them out there against the other team’s #1 offensive threats.

        Wait! Maybe we could play them against the other team’s fourth line?

        Truth is, aside from Parros (or Tanarsky, this group could hold its own defensively for a shift or two.

        “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  33. lakechamplain says:

    At long last some future Canadiens will be on the ice today! Could one of the knowledgable people here tell me what determined who got selected to the rookie camp compared to the prospect camp? Understanding that breaking the Habs lineup will be extremely difficult, were these guys chosen with the understanding that for almost all of them they are being assessed to determine what level they’ll play at this year and/or to figure out what their futures with the Habs might be? And maybe spot some diamonds in the rough? If I recall Gallagher and Galchenyuk made their case here last season.
    I noticed Collberg is not there; is he playing in Sweden this year or at Hamilton, where he got a few games in late last season? He, on the face of it, would seem to be a more immediate prospect for the bigs than some of the rookies now at Brossard.
    Finally, one of the guys on here did a fantastic scouting report on the prospect camp; hope he does the same over the next few days.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      All of Collberg, Jacob de la Rose, and Lehkonen are In Europe and have started playing fortheir respective teams

    • secretdragonfly says:

      My recollection may be incorrect but I seem to remember hearing that his Swedish club, Frolunda, would not release him from his contract for the upcoming season. Can anyone confirm or correct?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      -NCAA players like Mac Bennett can’t attend, it would void their amateur status.

      -Some of the European players are under contract with their team and won’t be attending, Sebastian Collberg among them.

      -Players with a certain amount of seniority/games played can’t attend (Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Louis Leblanc), they will be at the main camp.

      -A lot of those players are just there to battle for a spot on the Bulldogs. Some are on an AHL contract already, some on an invitation to camp, a couple on a pro-tryout contract with the Bulldogs.

  34. ooder says:

    hey quick question.. why is leblanc not at the rookie camp? thanks

  35. Maritime Ronn says:

    Little (no pun intended) update from David Desharnais

    “J’ai perdu un peu de poids pour être plus rapide”
    I lost some weight to be quicker.

    Where does that take him from last years 177lbs on a 5’7″ frame?

    Desharnais also admitted it was difficult to train last year because of the lockout and no specific date of return….Is he trying to say he wasn’t prepared, or was not in top shape?

    http://25stanley.com/david-desharnais-a-perdu-du-poids-pour-etre-plus-rapide.html

    • Chris says:

      The 177 pounds weight was never updated last season…that was the number from 2011-12. I suspect he was playing a bit heavier last season due to the lockout and the Habs’ historical propensity to tell every player to bulk up, regardless of whether it makes sense for that player’s style of play.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That’s the gist of the article, that he trained as he usually does this summer, but focused on other things rather than trying to add weight, as he did last season. I hope that’s the difference maker, that it’s enough to get him back to his 2011-12 level of performance, and he gives the team a productive season like that one.

    • krob1000 says:

      Just to be clear…on a 5’7″ frame….most health charts would have him listed as “overweight” or in some cases “obese” so he is fine at that weight. He is never going to be a power guy and in order to gain separation needs to be very savvy and shifty in the corners and initiate the contact…if he is on the defensive he will get knocked off. Koivu and Pleks are two absolutely amazing puck possession guys for not such big guys. I used to appreciate Gilmour for that too….he would hit before he was hit in tighter spaces to give himelf some separation…much like a post player in basketball….there are subtle contacts you can make on offense that create the separation needed.

  36. habitual says:

    Way to go, Dave. With Red’s retirement you are our conduit to the giants of the past. Well done as always.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is an interesting story of a young goalie from Finland who is trying to win a spot with the Leafs AHL team Marlies. Interesting how he is currently juggling his hockey career with his mandatory military service back in Finland. I do recognize this is a Leafs prospect, but a good read.

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/09/05/leafs-prospect-camp-gives-christopher-gibson-a-break-from-military-service/

  38. frontenac1 says:

    Got to admit,I liked Burkies blowhard rants,his messed up hair and tie. Good to hear he’s coming back out west.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    @ferg. Amen Amigo! Fergy was the First Enforcer that I remember watching when I was a lad. Those Fergy/Shack tilts were wonderful.

  40. Haberoooo13 says:

    The last few words in this report on TSN are as shocking as you’ll find:

    The Calgary Flames have called a news conference for Noon et/9am pt amid reports that former Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke is in discussions to join the team in an executive position. Burke, who arrived in Calgary on Wednesday night, would not comment on the discussions.

    Na Na Na Les Canadiens Les Canadiens

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      @DarrenDreger: Burke’s role in Calgary and exactly who he reports to will be interesting. As we know Burke prefers to call the shots.

    • junyab says:

      Pretty funny. At Burke’s first press conference in Toronto he said the Leafs were in a rebuilding stage…but his goal was for them to make the playoffs. I wonder how this one in Calgary will go.

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Had some pints yesterday with my Hawks and Leafs buddies. Hawks buddy thought the Crawford deal was too long,Leaf buddy hates Phaneuf and wants him traded. Me, I was just happy with my Habs and Pints.Saludos!

  42. 24 Cups says:

    Number 5 in the “Top 25 under 25″ series. These daily reviews of young Habs are a must read for every Montreal fan.

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/habs-top-25-under-25/2013/9/5/4640236/2013-habs-top-25-under-25-5-brendan-gallagher

  43. Un Canadien errant says:

    After Maurice Richard, and possibly a little more than Guy Lafleur, John Ferguson was my father’s favourite player.

    • Ferg says:

      I saw John Ferguson play too and for his style of play and name, he was one of my favourites. True team guy.

      So let’s not diminish Dave Stubbs’ great remembrance of a great Canadien by discussing some punk Leaf.

      If you want to talk Leafs, call Toronto radio

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Those English radio guys are the worst, they’re making up stuff just to get their name out there. No wonder the Leafs can’t keep their players, they all leave, Steckel, Grabo, Connolly…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ferg, UCe is the last guy who would ever diminish Stubb’s tribute to Fergie. As he mentioned, Fergie was one of his father’s favourite players. The way this website lays out new threads, discussions can only occur if they are posted on the most recent thread. While we are all Habs centric here, there is nothing wrong or ill intended in discussing the goings on with our opponents.

        I understand what you are getting it, but I don’t think anyone is dissing our beloved John Ferguson.

        CHeers Ferg (great handle by the way)

      • Strummer says:

        ?????

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

  44. Eddie says:

    Teams that have the talent and character of Beliveau and Ferguson are bound to win.

    Beliveau is easily my favorite Hab of all time, no one comes close.

    And Fergy? When you look up warrior in the dictionary.

  45. Un Canadien errant says:

    Those English fans in Toronto are the reason the team sucks. They whine that there are no local English players on the team, and then when they get one they won’t leave him alone or give him one minute’s break. No wonder no English players will sign with the Leafs, they all want to play in the States and not be subjected to the crazy pressure from the English media.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      David Clarkson – Born Toronto, ON.
      Paul Ranger – Born Whitby, ON.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Ronn, I trust you realize our friend UCe is being somewhat facetious in his comments regarding T.O. and rather poking fun at what is constantly said by many regarding the situation in Montreal. If our buddy Norm would learn how to use emoticons, we wouldn’t have these issues! ;-)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Mark my words, those guys will bolt the first chance they get, just to get away from those English reporters who are just inventing stuff and causing controversy just to sell papers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hey Normand, not sure if you read the link I posted regarding Crisp, but in reading that article it sounds more like Sudbury went after Crisp to help their team, as opposed to Eerie getting rid of him. If indeed that is the case, it is good to hear teams wanting him on their team to help with offense and physicality, not just mitt dropping.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, he’s an interesting case, a kid who’ll draw our attention this season, kind of odd that he gets traded like this before the season began. I was eager to see him play with Connor McDavid. It certainly doesn’t strike me as a case of a team getting rid of someone.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Hey Burly, eerie otters scare the crap out of fish.
        Hey Normand, your “Animal Farm” approach to your post above is refreshing. And by the way the length of the post is your scenario of being lost for words (insert emoticon of your choice here (-> <-).

        "Where's the Beef?/What's the Beef?"

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Yeah, so I was trying to make the tongue-in-cheek point that when a controversial issue is raised or covered by François Gagnon or Réjean Tremblay, it’s the “French media”‘s fault. When a player gets booed at the New Forum, it’s “French fans”.

          Somehow when the vultures circle around Nazem Kadri (full disclosure: I’m loving it), it’s not the “English media”, it’s Bob McKenzie or Steve Simmons. Toronto fans are just that, Leaf fans, they’re not “English fans”. Weird dichotomy there.

  46. frontenac1 says:

    Re Kadri. I’ve heard he has good upside and he was jerked around by Leaf mgmt. All I saw was punk behavior,taking cheap shots and not backing it up. Did Carlyle make him that way and if so can the kid be de-programed?

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    If indeed Burke were to go to Calgary, as others have tweeted/said, the battle of Alberta would certainly become even more entertaining. Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke have a very colourful history.

    Damien Cox’s spin on it.
    http://thestar.blogs.com/thespin/2013/09/a-peculiar-fit-.html

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Wow. Good point. I’d missed that.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Headline:
          Leafs GM Brian Burke wanted to rent a barn to fight Kevin Lowe

          Burke went so far as to say he was ready to rent a barn to fight Lowe but commissioner Gary Bettman stepped in to stop it.

          “That’s not really how you challenge a guy to a fight,” Burke said “If you want to challenge a guy to a fight, you pick a place and time. So I called (Rangers GM) Glen Sather and said: ‘This guy went on radio to challenge me to a fight.’ I said, ‘I’m going to be in Lake Placid at the U.S. junior camp.’ I gave him three dates.
          I told him I would rent a barn.”

          “Dead serious. It got to the point Gary Bettman called me and said, ‘I heard you guys are thinking about having a fight, and if you do I’m going to suspend you both indefinitely.”

  48. Un Canadien errant says:

    It’s pretty clear that Nazem Kadri will never get a fair shake from the English media, he’s going to bolt because of those idiots, and the Leafs will never be able to sign free agents because of them.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      Who would have thought an Uber-talented, young 20-something, racial minority hockey player playing a big role for a team in a huge, hockey-obsessed Canadian market would get ripped on by the media without any merit and for no apparent reason.

      Remind you of anyone else?

      ——————————————————————–
      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
      @Hstands4Hockey

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      uce

      There will always be Tier II UFAs that want to be overpaid.
      They will always have a home in Toronto.

      The latest in the endless list, was Tim Connolly that they signed in the summer of 2011 for 2 years/$9.5M

      Good ole Timmy gave them 13 goals for his first season, then was buried in MarlieLand for last season,

      It’s still funny to notice how the Leafs are really tight to the Cap and have issues with Kadri/Franson, yet still carry $1,000,000 Cap hits for …Darcy Tucker and Colby Armstrong. Leafs will also incur another $500,000 of retained salary (Frattin-Scrivens) in the Bernier trade.

      http://www.capgeek.com/mapleleafs/

  49. Ian Cobb says:

    9 more sleeps before the 1st pre-season NHL game, that is taking place on the large ice surface in Belleville ON. It will be on CBC & RDS.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is a story from the local Sudbury paper discussing their excitement at getting Crisp from Eerie.

    http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/09/05/crisp-great-addition-to-wolves

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I like Crisp and I think he is going to develop into a decent player. Hopefully he will be with the bulldogs in the not so distant future and we can see for ourselves

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  51. Thurston says:

    I met John Ferguson a couple of times when he lived in the same town I did just outside of Windsor.
    One of the times that sticks out was when I saw him at a Canada Day celebration. The first thing I noticed was a giant cigar then I saw the man smoking it… Fergy.
    I also met him when writing an article for a local newspaper on a horse he owned. I knew a “John Ferguson” owned the horse and actually found his number in the local phone book. I asked if he had a photo of himself and the horse he could bring to the office, not thinking it was THE John Ferguson. A co-worker told me it was and it totally baffled me. Sure enough, Fergy strolled into the office, loaned me a photo, and was a super nice guy to boot.
    I won’t soon forget John Ferguson and my memories are all positive.

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    I had the privileged of having a brew with John Fergeson at a game in Moncton NB. when the Leafs farm team played out of that city. We had a chat about the difference between Mtl. and Toronto hockey philosophies.

    Belleville Bulls
    VIDEO: Bulls Assistant GM Barclay Branch weighs in on the weekend signings of Brody Morris and Justin Bean.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Pnd46hYts&feature=youtu.be

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  53. Maritime Ronn says:

    @Chris

    Re Kadr:
    He may or may not have been jerked around, but he did not help himself earlier on;
    ” Dallas Eakins, the former Marlies coach. “…His body fat today is probably in the bottom three to five guys in our whole camp. That’s unacceptable.”

    I don’t blame the Leafs for being overly cautious.
    While Kadri had a bunch of goals/points in the first 36 games, Kadri had 1 goal in his last 12 games and only 1 more in 7 games against the Bruins – that makes for 2 goals in his last 19 games…and he wants Tavares money?

    Re Price:
    Here’s wondering how new Coach Waite and Price will mesh. Waite is on record as wanting his goalies to play with more instinct and reaction vs. being 100% robotic…We may be in for an interesting first half season.

    Re Tinordi:
    A lot of CBA things to consider – 1 way contracts and waivers for all the others…then if Tinordi will only play 11-12 minutes on a 3rd pairing or press box duty on some nights, would he be better off playing +20 minutes in Hamilton to at least start the season?

    Tinordi’s Hamilton Salary is $67,500, while all the others would be paid their NHL salary IF they ever cleared waivers and played in Hamilton – Drewiske as 1 example at $625,000.

    When Emelin gets back (???), and if we don’t have multiple Dman injuries, depth Dmen with NHL experience are always in demand.
    Things will play themselves out…

    • Chris says:

      Percentage of body fat is an odd obsession. Some guys are going to have an easy time getting that number low, while others will never, ever get it low. Alexei Emelin comes to mind on Montreal…he’s got the prototypical endomorph body. He will never have a low body fat percentage.

      Having seen Kadri in the OHL, he was always a little lazy on the ice but he knew what to do when he got the puck. That can’t be taught, nor does it have much to do with body fat. The Leafs needed, scoring, and Kadri has produced befitting his status. He’s not worth Tavares money, but I also doubt that is what he is expecting.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Chris
        The body fat thing was only highlighting how all of Eakins and Leafs management were unhappy (p*ssed) at their 1st round pick with a hefty ELC not showing up in shape.
        The young man certainly has some talent, yet I just don’t see the Leafs going long at this stage.
        Kadri is playing a very dangerous game.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          A good friend of mine who happens to be a Leaf fan (and actually quite a reasonable fan) is hoping the Leafs sign Franson and Morrow and let Kadri stew for the season.

          This will be an interesting negotiation to watch play out.

          • Maritime Ronn says:

            Hi Burli

            The template was set by Bergevin last year.
            Here’s thinking the Leafs won’t go over 2 years/$3M per year. They’ll let Kadri sit if he wishes.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Chris, body fat is a good indicator of physical fitness, and also how seriously an athlete is taking his conditioning and nutrition, how “professional” he is. In football, a nose tackle or offensive lineman can have a few extra pounds on, as long as they’re fit and strong and taking their lifting seriously, but that doesn’t fly for a cornerback or a slotback, and the same goes for hockey players. I can accept that an Alexei Emelin or Douglas Murray has a bit of pudge going on, those players’ games isn’t predicated on being the best skater on the ice, the weight will make him heavier and harder to move, as long as he’s strong and powerful and has cardiovascular fitness. But not a Brian Gionta or a Daniel Brière. Those guys need to be crazy quick and fast, and carrying an extra ten pounds will only slow them down. So for Nazem Kadri, the reason they were mad at him was that it showed he didn’t take his conditioning seriously, he’d pulled a Pat Falloon or Alfie Turcotte or Kyle Wellwood.

        Some people think William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry was just big and fat, but he was a tremendous athlete who carried a lot of weight. He was one of the first few NFL’ers who broke the 300 lbs barrier, but in his heyday at Clemson and with the Bears, he could still dunk a basketball. You could make the case that the extra weight didn’t harm him, it actually made him a better lineman. The same wouldn’t have been said for Willie Gault or Walter Payton.

        I have no doubt that Nazem Kadri was able to dominate in minor hockey and the OHL by just natural skill, but he needed to understand that that wouldn’t cut it in the NHL. To his credit, he figured it out and now his conditioning isn’t an issue, but when Dallas Eakins called him out on it, it was probably due to exasperation and having tried all other avenues.

        • Phil C says:

          I remember an interview with Jagr years ago after he came back from an injury. He was not being as productive as before the injury and he explained that he had put on a few pounds while recovering from the injury, and that was enough to slow him down, to not have that explosive first step to beat a defender. The competition is so good in the NHL, you can’t give up any edge to your opponent and still expect to compete.

          In Kadri’s case, I didn’t like how it was played out in the media. Was it really neccessary to humiliate the kid like that? Especially since he had improved his fitness that off-season working out with Gary Roberts, just not to the level they wanted. They made it sound like he spent the summer on the couch eating cheesy poofs.

          It will be interesting to see what will happen with Eakins in Edmonton this year if he pulls that crap on a veteran NHLer. Guy Boucher found out the hard way that what works in the AHL may not fly in the NHL.

    • junyab says:

      No one should compare any contract for any player to Tavares’. Tavares’ contract is probably the most out of whack contract in the league, and the Isles are extremely lucky that it got signed when it did.

  54. Phil C says:

    John Ferguson 6.00 — Weight 178
    Danny Briere 5.10 — Weight 181

    I guess times have changed a little, but I would take John Ferguson on my team in any era.

  55. Maritime Ronn says:

    Nilan tried, but there will only ever be one Fergy.

    Lost in all the fighting, tough guy, mayhem causing hype was that Fergy could actually play some very good hockey.
    The naysayers will say that was because of playing with Beliveau….but Fergy was not about ‘pretty’…as are some guys like today that can score such as Bickel or Lucic.

    ” Ferguson led all NHL rookies in scoring in his first season and finished as runner-up to Jacques Laperriere for Calder Trophy in 1963–64.
    Fergy also scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1969, during a season that saw him score a career-high 29 goals with a plus-30 rating.
    In 85 post-season games, he scored 20 goals and added 18 assists. He also earned two selections to the NHL All-Star Game.”

  56. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all! I’m glad our favorite newspaper caught much flack for their photoshopping of Fergie’s jersey. That’s just plain wrong to do that to such a loyal and fierce competitor.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Morning Jim, I remember when Ferguson was hired to run the Winnipeg Jets. I thought it would be a perfect fit, but then he drafted Jimmy Mann with his first round pick……ouch. And then he traded Dave Babych for Ray Neufeld, he was always searching for that player that possessed the skills which he himself played with. Just goes to show how tough it is to find those truly great power forwards.

      This is why I have no issue with the present day Habs spending some picks on big forwards, if one of them can work out it is like winning the lottery.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Not Photoshopped, he put that shirt on himself and achieved the desired publicity effect.

    • Mattyleg says:

      (they didn’t do it, as the caption says!)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  57. Chris says:

    Missed the party for the past couple of days, so some thoughts:

    Kadri on Bob McKenzie: I think thought his tweet was kind of funny. From the few rumblings I’ve heard, the players have far, far less respect for McKenzie than most fans think they do. Bobo is viewed as a league mouthpiece, and a Leafs management mouthpiece in particular.

    Kadri was jerked around by the Leafs more than any prospect since the way that the Senators handled Jason Spezza. That he might not be feeling a tremendous amount of loyalty to the franchise isn’t surprising, nor unreasonable.

    On Price criticisms: I get the feeling we’re in for a long training camp. For the record…Price has stated over and over he was not good last year. The coaching staff and the GM have both stated that they expect more from Price (while also saying they are confident he will give them more). The team fired his goaltending coach and brought in a guy that gets kudos for helping goaltenders develop their confidence.

    It isn’t outrageous for commenters to basically question what the team can expect from Price. That is in fact probably the most logical statement can make. Obviously, the over-the-top bashing gets old, but so do the inane defences.

    Price is indisputably a good goalie who has shown gusts to great and gusts to horrible. He needs to even out his level of play to good-great, because he has not been where the team needs him to be for the past 1.5 seasons.

    On Tinordi potentially playing in Hamilton: Tinordi showed his great potential in his short stint with the Habs last season, but he also showed that there is more work to be done. He looked very raw at times, and he was getting beat too often for a guy who is nothing more than a defensive stopper.

    Max Pacioretty went back to Hamilton and he was better for it. Andrei Markov played reasonably well in his first two seasons with Montreal, but the team did use him in Quebec as well. It was only at age 23 that he finally stuck with the Habs for good. It took Rob Scuderi 4 years (albeit 1 due to the lockout) to make the NHL as a regular after his 4 year NCAA career ended.

    Even if Tinordi starts in Hamilton this season, I have zero doubt that he will be back with the big club by the end of the season. And I think that is the best route for him. In Hamilton, he will get 25 minutes per night and he’ll get it in all situations. In Montreal, he will get spot-duty and 15 minutes per night.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Loved your take on McKenzie. I’ve often felt that he was one of the league shills.

      Price – I agree that he needs to be better as well. I’ll just add that we fans better hope that he is. I understand the Price hater’s emotion but it almost seems they take a certain amount of joy in his less than stellar play. If Price is not the answer, we’re in a ton of trouble.

      OK, I’m a bit sad. I just love big lanky defenseman and was so looking forward to seeing Tinordi on the big stage for 82 games. I thought he did himself proud in his stint last season and I was hoping he’d fit into the 6’th dman role. Oh well, patience may be the best way to proceed here. Still sad though.

  58. frontenac1 says:

    Now there was an Intimidating Enforcer. Rest in peace Fergy.

  59. Habs_4_ever says:

    24 Cups, your on a roll this morning.

    ————————
    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  60. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder what the implications are if Brian Gionta can’t start the season? The Habs aren’t saying much but it’s obviously a possibility. I hate posts about line combinations but this might be the time to do so.

    MaxPac/Pleks/Briere
    Galchenyuk/Eller/Gallagher
    Prust/DD/Bourque
    Moen/White/Dumont
    (Parros on the injury list and replaced by Nick Tarnasky as the spare forward?)

    • 24 Cups says:

      MaxPac/Pleks/Briere – It’s time to break up DD and MaxPac. Like it or not, Briere is here to replace Cole/Ryder. Why not give him the best chance to excel? This also gives you your automatic first PP unit.

      Galchenyuk/Eller/Gallagher – Do you want to make the playoffs? Then keep this unit together all year long and give them some PP time. The future is now.

      Prust/DD/Bourque – MT and MB aren’t going to drop DD to the 3rd line but I would. Prust and Bourque give him some good size, grit and protection. Desharnais can use his creativity and puck handling to help maintain their scoring skills at 3rd line status. BTW, this isn’t about putting down DD, it’s more about letting Eller loose so he can reach his full potential.

      Moen/White/Dumont – Sigh. This reminds me of gym class when two sides are picked and there are just three guys left in line. The potential is there to create some havoc and spark but it would also help if the team could get some great defensive zone starts, face-off wins and penalty kills from the 4th unit. White really needs to step up and finally prove he’s a legit NHLer. Moen needs to play with more reckless abandon. Leblanc needs to start modifying his game in order to challenge Dumont for the RW spot.

      What about Parros and Tarnasky? I imagine that’s MB’s response to the film, “Falling Down”. Paging Michael Douglas:)

      • Habfan10912 says:

        “Moen needs to play with more reckless abandon.”

        If he doesn’t he will be this years Kabrele and spend all his time in the press box.

      • JF says:

        Steve – I really like these lines, although if Gionta is ready to start the season, something will change. The problem is that we have one too many smallish guys. But that third line could be very dangerous. I’m almost willing to bet that DD will rebound this season and, with two imposing wingers, he could be very effective.

      • Phil C says:

        Last year with the shortened/compressed season, the Habs had very little time in the pre-season to build their lineup. They chose to stick with what they started with rather than make too many mid-season adjustments without the benefit of significant practice time.

        Based on his performance the year before, DD had earned his spot on the top line. The line of DD, Pacioretty, and Cole were the among the most productive lines in the NHL from January til the end of the 2012 season. The early success the Habs enjoyed gave the coaching staff no reason to juggle the lines. The Habs finished 5th in the league in scoring and DD’s linemate led the team in scoring, even if his personal production was below expectations.

        My biggest disappointment for DD last year was his lack of PP production. Another difference this year is that he has Eller nipping at his heels to take his place in the top six, which wasn’t the case last year. The team also has a full training camp to have a look at both players to see where they fit. As such, I am hoping they adjust the lines accordingly.

        In the end, I’m not sure it makes any difference who is on the 3rd line or 2nd line, Therrien tends to spread out the ES icetime evenly, so both Eller and DD will have ample opportunity to succeed. What will be telling is who they use on the PP units.

    • Chris says:

      The most recent thing I had seen on Gionta was a couple of weeks ago, but he had basically said he was 100% certain he’d be ready to go for the start of the season.

      • 24 Cups says:

        If so, that creates a logjam on RW with all three of them being under 5’9″ tall. I guess Bourque flips to the left side with Prust moving onto the 4th line.

        Bourque/DD/Gionta?

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I read yesterday that he said this recent procedure felt better then the one of a season ago. He pronounced himself ready to go.

  61. 24 Cups says:

    Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson gets a five-year, $20.5 million deal, one which will keep him under contract through the 2018-19 season. This is basically Josh Gorges money for the same type of player.

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    100% agreement bud! Still my favourite of all time!

  63. Garbo says:

    Agreed. Burke always builds solid teams… cancuks… ducks… leafs.

  64. commandant says:

    Feaster is the worst GM in the NHL, IMO…. Burke may not be great but he’s an upgrade.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    Feaster is living off the Tampa Cup win, one could argue that Dudley was more instrumental in that Cup win. It was Dudley who acquired St.Louis, Andreychuk and others who eventually helped win that Cup. Feaster showed up much like Burke did in Anaheim and reaped the spoils.

  66. krob1000 says:

    “Those Canadians…they have no skill, they don’t know how to play the Russian game. They seem stupid too…they keep skating around running into whoever has the puck..send them back where they came from”

  67. B says:

    They are only there for the money. It’s all about the money for those enigmatic Canadians :)

    –Go Habs Go!–

  68. Mattyleg says:

    Gagnon is fair, and I agreed with most of what he said about Cunneyworth.
    To say that he only attacked him because he was an Anglophone (not English, they live in England) is incorrect.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. Habfan10912 says:

    I had a huge weight advantage.

  70. SmartDog says:

    If he was taunting you he’s fair game.

    Though if he’s small of course you can’t hit him.
    But you could hang him in a tree or tie him to a telephone pole.

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  71. HabinBurlington says:

    Very funny, nice story Jim!

  72. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’m kind of down on Jim’s wife for not sticking up for him though. If it had been Nathan’s mom, she would have joined in, and two-on-oned the kid.

  73. Chris says:

    I do actually think Subban was treated better by the Habs than Kadri was by the Leafs. But both files were mishandled.

    Kadri had his character assassinated at every turn by Ron Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Brian Burke. It really makes you wonder why they bothered drafting him in the first place.


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