A Cup for the Q

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Photo by Mike Cassese/Reuters

Another potential francophone superstar who won’t be wearing bleu-blanc-rouge:
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Sea Dogs win the Memorial Cup

Red Fisher on the Stanley Cup finalists

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Julien, Vigneault are former teammates

Bruins owner is a happy guy

Now it’s Vancouver Pizza

Kovy won’t be re-signed

262 Comments

  1. Canadiens_25 says:

    TomNickle
    Since you’re trolling now, I’ll indulge you. Ken Dryden won cups with half of his team, if not more being French Canadian. But let’s not allow facts to get in the way of personal opinion. Keep going.

    In 2001-02, the Canadiens had more than half a roster of French Canadian players and how well did they do? They had an amazing 87 points in the regular season.

  2. SeriousFan09 says:

    The Scouting Report has released their Top 100 for the Draft.

    http://www.thescoutingreport.org/tsr-2011-top-100-skaters-125/

    In “Range” for the Habs by their predictions (and on my list)

    LD Nathan Beaulieu: 6’3″, 191 pounds. Leading defencemen for the Saint John Sea Dogs, projected with a very refined overall game and has size to back himself up. Issue according to TSR is he has no overly dominant aspect to his game, does everything well but nothing spectacularly.

    LW/C JT Miller: 6’1″, 198 pounds. Leading scorer on the US Under-18 Gold Medal Squad, Skill set to be a reliable two-way centremen or winger, plays hard on both sides of the puck, good puck skills but some concerns about his hockey sense. Either bound for North Dakota, or may opt to join the OHL Plymouth Whalers.

    LW/RW Nicklas Jensen: 6’03″, 186 pounds. Considered by TSR to be a “Boom or Bust” Type, dynamic speed and puck handling abilities, issue surrounding him is finding consistency, but his goals this year were some of the best in the entire CHL and he can turn something into nothing given an opportunity.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      On Beaulieu, as a character reference of sorts, his father was the GM for the Sea Dogs. That had to have been immense pressure to practice and play under.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        As futher support for the impeccability of young Mr. Beaulieu’s character I present the fact that he was born in the province of Ontario.

        * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

        • Duracell3 says:

          …wow.

        • TomNickle says:

          Oh my goodness how clever. You were able to bring up a prior conversation, or debate rather that has nothing to do with this thread from earlier today in which I was supporting the Montreal Canadiens focusing on acquiring French Canadian talent and added it to your sarcastic reply to my comment that Nathan Beaulieu displays excellent character in having excelled on a team where his father was GM and coach. Jeepers you must have been proud of yourself after having submitted that comment. Good for you. Wow, what a wit you have. You’re one sharp cookie aren’t ya.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            I appreciate the complements and I am quite proud of my sharp wit, but your observation that this thread and the prior conversation/debate you mentioned are unrelated should have been your first clue that this comment and the prior conversation/debate you mentioned are unrelated.
            One popular opinion on these threads is that European, Quebecois and QMJHL hockey players are inferior to OHL, WHL, and US high school players in terms of “character”. I believe that to be a ridiculous and unfounded belief, but it exists nonetheless. I noted Nathan Beaulieu’s place of birth because, to some, that is an effective argument in support of his “character”.

            * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • TomNickle says:

      Matthew Puempel surprises me on that list quite a bit being #12. At 190 pounds and being his age, he’s very physically mature and could easily have inflated numbers due to his ability to outmuscle the majority of defenders in the OHL. Not much room for growth with his frame and where he is currently at. Curious placement I think. Ditto for Boone Jenner.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Puempel’s up and down depends who you ask, I believe he had hip surgery so that sent his draft ranking spinning. Power forward type and the fact that he can finish his scoring chances makes him attractive, can’t teach goal scoring so if he’s got the hands and the size it’s easy to go Top 15 in the draft.

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

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          Your comment is the first I’ve read regarding Puempel as a power forward type. Everything I’ve read about him up until now as stated that he is a natural scorer with skating issues, not unlike what we heard about Jeef Skinner.

          I would be happy if the Habs grab any one of McNeil, Oleksiak, Puempel, Saad, Schiefele or Armia. I also would be happy to see them trade up for Zibanejad or Couturier.

          Hopefully, one of those players gets drafted by the Habs. I feel like we should be able to get a pretty good player this year.

          • issie74 says:

            I can’t believe this rampant idea of trading up.Just look at where John Taveres was drafted,then look at P.K Subban.I think P.K. got the best of that deal.Just take the best player available.

    • TomNickle says:

      Logan Shaw in the third round from Cape Breton could be a possibility given the desire to bring chemistry to the roster.

      6’3, 190, 46 points in 68 games this season.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      For the 3rd/4th rounds:

      RW Logan Shaw: 6’03″, 190 pounds. Big frame but an unpolished game on the ice, has a fair scoring intstinct and the ability to get things done. Raw and a risky project, but with the talent thinning out, might as well try a sized project player. Plays with D Morgan Ellis on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

      RW Josh Leivo: 6’2″, 185 pounds. Struggled in the first half of the season, then went PPG in the 2nd half and was a leading forward for his team in the post-season. Good anticipation and can play the PK as well, fair hockey sense as well.

      RW Matej Stransky: 6’02″, 195 pounds. Well-adjusted to the NA game after only 1 year in the WHL, tough to move off the puck and he has notable skill, question has been consistency but with his size/talent, it’s a good risk-reward in the late round and he showed up in the playoffs, with the Saskatoon Blades seeing an exodus next season, he’ll also have the opportunity for more TOI.

      RD Justin Sefton: 6’03″, 201 pounds. Nasty defencemen to play against and makes you pay on every shift you play against him. Needs work on skating/acceleration and O upside is mimimal, but if you want a bastard, he’s your guy.

      LW Zac Larraza: 6’02″, 198 pounds. Skates well and plays a simple, effective game. Plays both ends of the ice and is strong along the boards. Good powerful stride but a project forward, but with his commitment to University of Denver he’ll have time to grow his abilities and a team can allow him to.

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

    • ProHabs says:

      Let’s go with Jensen then. We need a big forward more than a defenceman. And Jensen over Miller. I find that players that play US hockey don’t have enough fisticuff experience when they hit the NHL. I want someone who can drop the mitts against the Bruins.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Jensen isn’t exactly going to be doing the fisticuff thing either if he makes the NHL. The fighting thing is more essential for Ds or PF types, which is why most were pleased when Jarred Tinordi opted to play in London rather than at Notre Dame.

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

        • ProHabs says:

          Oh, thanks for all of this information Serious. Then lets draft that bastard Sefton.

        • ProHabs says:

          What about Oleksiak. What we need to realize is that the Habs are going to be playing idiots like Lucic, Horton and Marchant for the next 10 plus years as they are all relatively young. He has the size to go against Lucic for the next 10 years.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Oleksiak scans too close to Tinordi in terms of similarities for him to be a favourite of mine, he has more potential as a two-way player but it really requires that he fulfill that, or we’ve just grabbed two giant defensive Ds in the 1st round over two years with no O upside.

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

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      All I read was a list with a strong bias against players from the LHJMQ.

      “Jurco is relatively comparable to Oshawa Generals forward Nicklas Jensen”, yet Nicklas Jensen is rated # 21 an Tomas Jurco is rated #38. The article also describes Jurco as “a fairly good finisher”. That’s an understatement of his ability.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Jurco is up and down sir, some people aren’t sold on his ability to play a complete game or take those puck skills and be closer to Datsyuk in terms of applying that talent game to game or he’ll be more like Kovalev, expecting his talent to just carry him along.

        I’ve seen Tyler Biggs rated at 77th by one scout because he’s convinced the guy is no more than a tougher version of Travis Moen. It’s just a scout’s perspective.

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

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          The Tomas Jurco “disappearing act” is a myth dependent on the presupposition that a skilled hockey player who plays in the LHJMQ “must” have deficit of character that makes him inferior to the “gritty” players of the OHL, WHL, and basically any high school with a hockey team in the United States. You can link ten like reports about Tomas Jurco, or any other LHJMQ hockey player and prove your opinion to be popular, but that opinion is still false. That you takes such pride sir, in your own prejudice is saddening.

          * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Don’t recall voicing a prejudice against the Q myself but OK…

            The Q isn’t being persecuted and their skill players are not being unfairly critiqued. Scouts will pull talent from wherever they can find it, that’s fact. The prejudice against Francophone players died some time ago, this percieved “Bias” against the QMJHL is a myth. If there were elite players available in the Q, they’d get drafted and no one would bat an eye. Even if they weren’t drafted, teams would happily sign highly talented players as undrafted free agents. It’s not the scouting community’s fault the Q fell behind with the rest of Canada on youth hockey development. If the talent was there, it would be drafted.

            I’m not some lone voice in the crowd dumping on Jurco because he’s from the Q. I’m voicing what I’ve read is that they believe Jurco has fantastic puck skills and could be a game-breaker, but they don’t like his production on a powerhouse Saint John team or believe he’ll play a complete game.

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

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            I believe your statement, “”their skill players are not being unfairly critiqued” to be false. That you’d repeat these opinions once suggests you are, at best blind to the prejudice that I believe they are based on. That you’d repeat them repeatedly forces me to draw the conclusion that you share this prejudice. If you’re so inclined you can take comfort in the fact your opinions are very popular. People like Mike Milbury and Don Cherry are just two of a great many people who believe all skilled Quebec-leaguers are soft and lazy.

            I believe this to be true:
            If Nicklas Jensen played for the Saint John Sea Dogs and Tomas Jurco for the Oshawa Generals, their draft rankings (#21&#38 by thescoutingreport.org) would be reversed.

            Tomas Jurco played 4 games on national television in the last 10 days. An objective observation and assessment of his performance in those games should lead you to question the scouting reports you’ve read, and by extension every scouting report written by the same organisation.

            * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs start Development Camp next week, June 5-9. Invitees include Danny Kristo, Brendan Gallagher, newly-signed Joonas Nattinen, Alex Avtsin, Michael Bournival, Gabriel Dumont, Aaron Palushaj and Alain Berger according to @MAGodin on Twitter, but Alexei Yemelin, Rafael Diaz are not on board for it interestingly enough and Louis Leblanc is rehabbing from shoulder surgery.

    It should be noted, the Habs held two development camps last year.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      Access to the full list?

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Not out yet, just repeating what I’ve read so far.

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

        • TomNickle says:

          I’m interested to see if Morgan Ellis and Greg Pateryn get invites. Both only have one year left at their respective levels and based on talent evaluations that I’ve seen, and some individual analysis of course, wouldn’t be out of place in Hamilton this coming season. Ellis would probably be more likely however. I’m sure losing the National Championship game will mean that Pateryn has a bitter taste in his mouth and probably feels that he has unfinished business at Michigan.

          There may not be room for either one in Hamilton this year however.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            Everyone attached to the Habs organization generally gets a development camp invite, but last year MTL split it up into two camps I guess so they could have more 1-on-1 time with each player and have easier evaluations.

            Ellis can’t leave the CHL though, rules dictate he MUST play 4 years in the league, Pateryn could leave but I suspect he’s taking his 4th year (Which I completely respect, he’s almost got his degree and if pro hockey doesn’t work out, it’s a nice thing to have) and he’s mentioned as much to the press to my recollection. Hamilton I don’t think is getting a huge influx, but 12-13 will be a different story with Kristo, Gallagher, Bournival, Pateryn and potentially John Westin and with a big leap forward, Mac Bennett.

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

          • TomNickle says:

            Under what rule does Morgan Ellis have to stay in the CHL if he’s signed to a pro contract?

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            All players drafted into the CHL that are from Canada are required to play hockey in the CHL for four years before they can move to the AHL (I just think of it is as the Under-20 Rule). Ellis can move up to play the NHL, but not the AHL if he signs a pro deal. I know, it’s a ridiculously stupid rule that scouts have lambasted, but it exists b/c the CHL is a business and they want to hang on to their good players as long as possible, instead of seeing them head off to the AHL early. Once Ellis’s season is up next year, he could sign a Pro Tryout deal and join HAM for the playoffs like Dumont did last year, than sign his pro deal after that.

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

          • TomNickle says:

            I thought Ellis was 20 now. But he just turned 19 in April. Thought he was an over age draft pick and that return rules wouldn’t apply. Like that he could sign a pro deal, play for the big club in camp and go to Hamilton on assignment to start the year.

    • habstrinifan says:

      SF09 if you can please follow Palushaj and Gallagher closely. And give chances of Plaushaj being on nxt yr’s team and how Gallagher is looking.

      I hope Gallagher turns out to be a Doug Riseborough or Ryan Walter type for the habs.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Palushaj and Gallagher are two of my most highly-favoured prospects, I always have an eye out. Palushaj I think will play a bit more in the AHL this year, but may be called up later in the season to fill a role. I think with good strength training this offseason he’s in, has the compete level and skating but lacks some muscle.

        Gallagher’s my dark horse pick (strictly due to his size), I think he’s going to be a successor to Cammalleri or Gionta down the line, he has an excellent compete level, he doesn’t take being pushed around and he doesn’t even blink when he drives for the net. Twin 40-goal seasons in the WHL and by the end of next year barring injury or setbacks, he may play for the 2012 WJC Team for Canada AND set the all-time scoring record on his WHL Vancouver Giants.

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

    • otter649 says:

      Maybe Yemelin & Diaz are not invited since they are older 25 years old + ?

    • kempie says:

      Those names make me smile.

  4. ed lopaz says:

    terrible news:

    “Kid” Carter is dying.

    Former Expos catcher Gary Carter’s brain tumour inoperable

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Former+Expos+catcher+Gary+Carter+brain+tumour+inoperable/4854018/story.html#ixzz1Nt9PNg2B

    saw his whole career – including the early days in right field because he couldn’t beat out Barry Foote for the Expos catcher’s spot.

    Wow. that seems like yesterday.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  5. Marc10 says:

    I think the Habs do good job of stockpiling the talent. Price and Subban are All Stars. Eller and Max Pac are turning into very good players. Leblanc, Bournival, Yemelin are all solid assets in the system.

    Where they miss the boat is in flipping RFAs and UFAs at the deadline. Souray, Komisarek, Koivu come to mind. If you’re not going to win the Cup, you should flip those assets for draft picks. Who knows when the next Halak or Subban will come along…

    • ProHabs says:

      Agreed Mark. The team, aside from the Rivet deal, have done a terrible job in this respect. The most obvious example was the centenial year. There were 10 guys up for free agency that alot of teams could have used at the deadline. The team could have still made the playoffs but traded some of the players for 1st or 2nd round picks. Gainey should have realized there was no hope for that team by the time March hit. Over the last couple of years, guys like Moen, Hamerlik, etc. could have been dealt at deadline time.

    • doug19 says:

      I agree about the RFAs and UFAs frustrating to get nothing, but
      to be fair perhaps little was offered and these players are not in great demand today!

    • Sharks9 says:

      Yea that’s true, although for the past several years we’ve always been on that bubble of making the playoffs or not so it’s always a tough decision on whether to try and get talent for a Cup run or trade away talent for draft picks. Tough decision for the GM and either way people will disagree with choices he makes.

      25 before 14

    • Neutral says:

      a real good comment and You’re right Mark, can’t hang on to those guys knowing you don’t have a team to win a cup. they could have gotten some pretty good draft picks in return.

    • TomNickle says:

      I suspect that it’s done on purpose with the goal of peaking the interest of players on other teams. Some may find this a bit far fetched but many players appreciate not having to worry about being dealt on short notice at a trade deadline. When they speak with their agents and tell them they want security, not being moved must be a topic of discussion, and considering Montreal rarely trades veterans mid-season, I’d say agents would suggest Montreal as a destination if the main goal for the player is not having to worry about uprooting their family during the league year.

    • showey47 says:

      How do you flip 10 or 11 ufa’s at the trade deadline when we were in 4th place in the conference at the time when we had koivu and komisarek? I highly doubt any general manager would do that. I would have traded souray though,at that point we were on the outside looking in and ended up missing the playoffs.

      • Marc10 says:

        Well hindsight is 20/20… With the blank canvas potential of the Koivu-Komi era, there was the real potential for off loading many UFAs for picks, Komisarek first among them (when at the time he was perceived as a blue chipper, borderline all star…)

        It’s a tough call and you need to sell it to ownership. You’re going to take a hit on a potential playoff drive to get a return on assets. Give Timmins twice as many kicks at the can and he might hit a few more home runs. And you’ll need to plan for that when you sign players. There’s a point where as an organisation you have to make a decision – sign them long term because you believe they will be a missing piece to the Cup or get something in return while you still can.

        BG was pretty poor at the latter and that’s obviously where the Habs can improve. I think they did that with O’Byrne. They were caught out when they ended up needing help on D, but IMO they bagged a real winner with Bournival. There are some scenarios you just can’t plan for.

        Hopefully we’ll get to the point where the organisation has kids stepping in as older players are hitting RFA. I guess that’d be the sweet spot where you can choose to offload one or the other. Yannick Weber might be one of those guys this year if Diaz comes in and eats his lunch. We’ll see…

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

        Go PK Go!

  6. JohnBellyful says:

    All this draft talk — some would say daft talk — has me thinking about the Habs’ future. We have to put a stop to endless debates over how far should the Canadiens go to accommodate its rabid French-Canadian fans and sports writers. And the only way to do it is to give into their demands. Draft only francophone players. For five straight years. And if the team hasn’t won Cup by then, start tweaking the roster. Add a non-francophone player the sixth year and see if that bumps the Habs a few points in the standings. Keep ‘seasoning’ the roster with a player or two from the ‘outside’ until the right mix is achieved and a recipe for winning is arrived at.
    Even if it takes 20 years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned following the Canadiens, it’s patience.

    • A. Berke says:

      JB, even if we have to wait another 20 years that’ll make a total of 38 years between cups, I’d say better than most other teams, heck the broons have gone dry for 38 already, of course we won’t mention the laffs.
      However and unfortunately, this another 20 year time frame is certainly pushing my life expectancy to see the next one. LOL

      On the other hand, some of the francophone media as well as some of the commentariat may stop whining after that wait (or will they?)

      Cheers

      Ali B.
      PS: I always enjoy your astute and tongue in cheek satire, pls keep it up.

  7. aemarchand11 says:

    French, English, Japenese, German, Danish, Nigerian, Iranian.. Dont care, if they can play hockey at the elite level and better the team then Draft them first.

    Montreal should just be happy they have a team with the richest history and most championships. They have been blessed with a multitude of talent over the years. The french culture that surrounds the team will always be there with the fans, and our dedication will always be there. We just want the best team on the ice, but have to realize its not always black/white.

    “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man.” – Charlie Sheen.

  8. JohnBellyful says:

    Can’t seem to enjoy a private drink at the bar anymore these days. Invariably, some guy plunks himself down beside me and begins badgering me about who’s going to win the Cup.
    “C’mon, JB, give it to me straight, you know your stuff, who’s the better team?”
    Nice guy that I am I usually give them the benefit of my weeks of accumulated wisdom:
    “Okay, buddy, here’s the way I see it. Vancouver has depth, a superior offence, a solid defence and good enough goaltending to win it all.
    That’s my take on the Canucks.
    “As for handicapping the Bruins, I’d start at the knees.”

    Great, here comes another guy itchin’ to pick my brain. I used to enjoy these spur-of-the-moment chats but they’re beginning to wear on me. I’m going to have to quit using my photo as an avatar.

  9. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Since “francophone hockey players” is a popular theme today it should be noted that this Sea Dogs team had Nathan Beaulieu who moved to NB from Ontario when he was 13 years old, plus 2 Europeans, one guy each from of Ont., Alberta, and PEI, three players from Nova Scotia, and six from New Brunswick (two of whom are Neo-Brunswickois).

    * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  10. olegpetrov says:

    Grabovski is currently ahead of Sedin in the play of the year showdown on TSN.ca. Gotta vote him out. Can’t have a Leaf being in the play of the year finals…it’s bad enough the Bruins are in the Cup finals.

    Habs fan…Nuff said

  11. sidhu says:

    A very lively discussion today! One point, some commenters have pointed out that drafting Gilbert Brule because he’s a homeboy would have been disastrous. Brule is not a homeboy:

    The French-Canadian sound of “Gilbert Brule” raises the question of whether he was named after Quebec-born superstars like Gilbert Perreault or Rod Gilbert. But no, it’s just his dad’s heritage. “I don’t speak any French, but I’ve got these names, so people think I’m French,” Brule said with a grin.

  12. kempie says:

    Wow, Francophone Inside Out today. Congrats to the Sea Dogs but let’s not get all crazy.

  13. Chuck says:

    Wow.

    It seems like forever and a day since I posted, but it had nothing to do with me being curled up in the fetal position while listening to the Bruins fans at work crow about their team.

    Instead, we were awaiting the birth or our first child, who I’m glad to report was born Saturday night at 8:36pm: a healthy baby girl weighing in at 8 1/2 pounds. We couldn’t be happier.

    She was quite content after her birth, especially considering her recent adventure. And merely minutes old, she made my the proudest of fathers; while holding her for the first time, I told her, “You’ve arrived in time for us to watch the Stanley Cup final together.”

    Her nurse said, “Who’s ended up playing the Canucks?”

    I replied, “The Bruins” and as if on cue, our little screamed like a banshee.

    She’ll be a great little Hab fan. :)

  14. rogieshan says:

    Who’s to say Gauthier isn’t thinking about trading up in the draft so he can select either Huberdeau or Couturier? Colorado (2nd), Islanders (5th), and the Senators (6th) already have a franchise player and number one centre (Duchene, Tavares, Spezza). The Habs could conceivably package a deal with any one of them for a coveted francophone star. What about possibly a sign-and-trade involving either the Wiz or Markov? Remember the Sens doing just that with Hossa ending up in Atlanta for Heatley. Just hypotheically speaking…

    • HardHabits says:

      Some people think the Habs should trade down. That’s where all the best picks are apparently.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We have two and only two players that would be of interest to a team that is in a position to pick Couturier or Huberdeau: Price and Subban.

      • TomNickle says:

        Cammalleri would probably peak some interest.

        • Mike D says:

          That would have to be a very specific scenario. A team would have to be in dire need of a skilled winger (sniper-type) and have the cap space and funding to take him on. I could see Pitts wanting a player like him, but they don’t have the cap space. I like Cammy though and wouldn’t mind if he stayed with the Habs one bit.

          - Honestly yours

      • rogieshan says:

        Colorado needs a big-time goalie. Florida could use a flashy player.

        Just saying…

      • Mike D says:

        The point of picking the top-rated guys is to have young players who will likely be excellent for a long time. Isn’t that EXACTLY what we have with Price and Subban?

        - Honestly yours

        • rogieshan says:

          The Erik Johnson-for-Chris Stewart trade this season turned some heads and showed that many GMs today are not afraid to think outside the traditional box. Young, star players today can achieve UFA before they even reach the age of 25, so maximizing and turning over assets are critical to a GM’s job.

          I love Price and Subban, but are any players in the NHL untouchable anymore?

          • ed lopaz says:

            yes they are – and Price and Subban and Max Pac are right at the top of
            the “untouchable” list.

            3 of the very best athletes to play for the Habs in a very, very long time.

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • Mike D says:

            There’s a fundamental difference in trading a young NHLer who’s already proven thay can succeed in the NHL for another, and on trading a young established NHLer for a draft pick. Johnson for Stewart was the former, what HFS72 was talking about was the latter.

            Don’t forget, there was a player drafted ahead of the Sedins at 1st overall and Patrick Stefan didn’t amount to squat. Sure it’s possible Price or Subban could falter, but there’s better indication they will succeed based on proof than there is with any draft pick.

            “Are any players in the NHL untouchable anymore?” I think the Gretzky trade proved there never was. And yes, I realize he was traded because Pocklngton needed money, but the fact remains. Price and Subban are as close to being untouchable as can be.

            - Honestly yours

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    I don’t really think Montreal has any obligation to bring in French players or even French coaches! If the best man for the job is French, then so be it, hire him.

    If the best man for the job, player or coach, doesn’t speak French, it’s pretty stupid if he is overlooked for that reason.

    Currently, the Habs have speed, skill and good goaltending. Many people believe that all this team is missing is some grit and size to better compete with the rest of the teams in the league. If that size and grit comes from the QMJHL or a French speaking player, that’s great!

    Historically, the players in the OHL and WHL have played a more physical game and players from those leagues have developed into power forward types more frequently. So if a player like that is overlooked in order to take a player because he’s from the QMJHL and speaks French is completely ridiculous!

    I think Gauthier and Gainey before him have done a pretty good job selecting the best players available without language being an issue, except on a rare occasion.

    • TomNickle says:

      Is your last comment a reference to Louis Leblanc? If so, I’d like to point out that he fell to the Canadiens at 18.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I was more speaking of Martin getting the job as coach. I actually like Martin a lot but every coach has to speak French in Montreal so we pass over a lot of great coaches as well…

        • TomNickle says:

          Sure we do, but when you get a coach who has 500 wins it would be rare that a better candidate is out there. If Mike Babcock were to become available tomorrow I might not like Martin as much though.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Like I said I like Martin, I liked Carbonneau and even Therrien wasn’t bad. But were all 3 of those men the best coaches available in the world at the time they were hired or did they move to the front of the line cuz they are French?

          • TomNickle says:

            I would argue that Martin was the best available. That Carbonneau was groomed for the job and not the best available but an investment was made in him and that Therrien was absolutely not the best man for the job. Hiring the best man available in even one of three searches is a pretty good record. Especially when you compare that to other teams around the league.

        • HabitantQuebec says:

          Hey Hobie Hansen, you are missing the hole point! Its not just about “languages” – its about conserving and nuturing some unique culture in North America. Hockey is where it started. May i remind you that the less Quebecers on the team the less succes? In the glory days the majority were Quebecers. Look at this years Best 4 hockey teams – the 3 have Quebec coaches and some of the Best players are Quebecers! Are you sure you are not a racist?

          • Clay says:

            What a ridiculous comment. To accuse a person of being ‘racist’ because he wants his team to be the best it can be regardless of ethnicity is, well, racist. It’s you who wants your own people there at any cost. I think you might want to look up what racism actually means before you go spouting off.

            __________________________
            The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

    • Landof10000lakesHab says:

      Agreed.

    • Neutral says:

      Forget about language, best coach best players is the route to take.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Best man for the job? So why do we have Gauthier and JM both since fired from various clubs. C’mon.. Yzerman was available, you saying Gauthier better than him? Pshhaaww..

    • habsfan0 says:

      How come the Habs don’t hire a Klingon speaking coach? What is wrong with this organization anyways?

  16. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    You know where the habs would be if the management focused on francophone talent? We’d have Gilbert Brule instead of Price. And we’d have some yappy Lappy clone instead of PK. Ya sounds like a great plan.

  17. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Lots of great debate today. Are the Habs Mgmt working hard enough to bring French Canadian players in, do they draft enough players from the Q, and should they be?

    From a trade perspective, it certainly does not appear that the star French Canadian players in the NHL have a desire to play for the Canadians (Briere, Lecavlier, St Louis), although they and others, (Brodeur) do love to put a beating on our beloved Habs whenever possible in front of Montreal fans. It is both understandable and sad at the same time as Montreal is a pressure cooker for NHL players – more so if your French Canadian.

    With the 1st round of the NHL draft over the past several years, Hab scouting / Mgmt have targeted who they feel is the best player available. For each conversation that points out Habs Mgmt missing out on a 1st round Q player such as Claude Giroux, or as far back as Simon Gagne (Habs selected Q players in 1st two rounds), one needs to remember that we could have ended up with 1st round picks such as Gilbert Brule (Carey Price) or Angelo Esposito (McDonagh / Pacioretty).

    The Habs have drafted a number of players that have played in the Q with later rounds, and several of these players are active in the Habs system today. Carle, Fortier, Dumont, and Ellis come to mind.

    Habs Mgmt have current free agent Q signees (Desharnais,Lefebvre, Masse, St.Denis) and have acquired future top 9 forward M. Bournival in a trade this past year.

    Keep in mind that Louis Leblanc looks to be a solid 1st round draft pick and had a solid year with the Montreal Junior.

    Agreed that there are players from the Q that would have made for great recent draft picks … Bergeron in 2003, Letang in 2005, Giroux / Marchand in 2006, and Perron in 2007 to name a few.

    However all 30 teams have missed out on some amazing talent over the past several years regardless of where they came from. Duncan Keith 54th in 2002, Shea Weber 49th and Dustin Byfuglien 245th in 2003, Mark Streit 262nd in 2004, Lucic 50th in 2006, and PK Subban 43rd in 2007. I don’t imagine the pro Q fan-base would be overly uptight seeing Shea Weber or Duncan Keith in a Habs uni versus A Picard, MAB, or M Carle. I also believe that all Hab fans (Q first or otherwise) would have an entirely different outlook on the team (size / toughness) if Milan Lucic had been selected in 2006 over Ben Maxwell / M Carle.

    I am a transplanted French Acadian, proud of my heritage, and would prefer to see Habs Mgmt seek the best overall talent available in each and every case, be it a player from the USA, Finland, small town Quebec, or Mars.

    I also believe that Habs scouting and Mgmt has done a decent job of bringing Q players where possible, and certainly in drafting players overall.

    One other comment.
    From a issie74 post earlier today “ teams who make the playoffs every year have to work harder at picking from middle of the pack”. True – Hockey’s Future has our Habs 15th overall in Organizational strength, which appears correct from a prospect standpoint, but does not include the amazing young talent (Price, PK, Pax, Eller, White, etc..) that has graduated to the Habs roster.

    Thoughts?

    • G-Man says:

      Never diss MAB! :)

      The Habs have done pretty well, but posters here want a Cup every year and a team filled with gritty 50 goal scorers and 10 feet tall dmen. Oh, and a goalie with a 0.00 GAA. Other than that, they seem to be a happy lot.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Acadien eh? The Moncton Wildcats have a set of twins named Alex and Allain Saulnier if you want Acadiens. They didn’t get drafted last year, so they’ll be free agents if they don’t go this year (is that right?). They’re 5’10″ and I’d rate their skills somewhere between the Sedin sisters and the Roberge brothers.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • aemarchand11 says:

      Brad Marchand is more english than french. His dad is Acadian from Cape Breton, but I’m very happy they didnt sign him. The Ego and attitude are no what the CH are all about.

      “I have a different constitution. I have a different brain; I have a different heart; I got tiger blood, man.” – Charlie Sheen.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      If the Habs could get Huberdeau somehow without chopping off their arm in terms of organizational strength, I’d be for it because of his ceiling and his notable compete level. But I don’t think that can happen, so I’ll be examining the later rounds for potential draft selections.

      Keep an eye out for Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the late rounds Habs may select him, he was a key player on the Gatineau Olympiques, who made the Q Finals this season.

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

  18. Neutral says:

    Language don’t win stanley cups, it’s about talent and sacrifice, they go together one without the other you’ll never be a winner.
    washington was a great example. finished 1st in the eastern conference all kinds of talent didn’t want to sacrifice in the playoffs result no stanley cup.

  19. Sean Bonjovi says:

    About the Saint John Sea Dogs: DeSerres played better than I expected, and Zach Phillips played his best game of the tournament in the final. Enough about that.

    What about this Andrei Markov fella? Wasn’t he supposed to be signed by now? Shouldn’t more people be in a panic over this? ;)

    * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • TomNickle says:

      Negotiations were scheduled to start in June. So they aren’t putting it off.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        That’s not what I heard. I heard PG + Don Meehan straight to work right after the world hockey championships.

        * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

      • adam76 says:

        When you’ve won 6 Omha Championships and 1 OHF Championship you can say those kinds of things to me.

        • TomNickle says:

          Hi Adam

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          LOL…. Tom should make that his signature.

          • TomNickle says:

            Why?

          • TomNickle says:

            If you make a comment about a person’s knowledge with no idea about their personal life or actual amount of knowledge or experience they have or don’t have. You may insult someone who has worked for almost two decades in a career in sport. Someone who along the way worked incredibly hard and earned championships to get where they’re at and are proud of their accomplishments. So yes, if you’d like to say I know nothing about hockey, when I know, based on my experience(and not in Peewee hockey) that I have knowledge on player evaluation and more specifically hockey operations, I am going to get insulted. When you call me shit for brains, I’m going to be insulted. Regardless of how immature you’re being. When you tell me to go look things up, especially when what you’re telling me to look up is theory, you’re acting immature. And yes, I decided to throw accomplishments in your face in the hope that you would realize that you’re speaking out of turn in your assumption. I was never looking for fight. I formed an opinion based on a very important issue to all Hab fans whether they be pro or con on the argument.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            wow Tom… yeah, no one in this thread insulted you, especially me, yet you once again feel the need to write your big rant about your knowledge and credentials.

            I think you are missing the point. I usually like your threads, and tend to agree with you more then others, but today has been one of those days where you’ve come across as one of those guys who needs to constantly tell everyone how smart they are, and the tone has been much more condescending than usual.

            Anyone who has a brain in here can tell you know what you are talking about, and have valid points. But you should know that as soon as you start making statements like the one above, about your previous minor hockey championships, you’re going to take a heat for it. Welcome to the internet.

            Just keep writing your intelligent posts(they make for good reading) and don’t get into a pi$$ing match with other posters about your hockey IQ and credentials… it actually takes away from your credibility, because people question whther or not you are being honest about those credentials.

            Keep up the good posts.

          • TomNickle says:

            Halifax, getting called shit for brains is an insult. Being told you’re a dumbass kid is an insult.

            It wasn’t a big rant. I was simply making the point that insults based on assumptions are an immature behaviour when you consider the lack of knowledge that you have about somebody you’re having a conversation with.

            As for condescending tone. Like you said, this is the internet. And context is what you make of it as a reader. So you’re opinion on whether or not my opinion is condescending is going to differ from others. In other words, I wasn’t being condescending, but if you feel I was, then I guess I was.

    • issie74 says:

      I am concerned with no word on the Markov signing.

  20. shiram says:

    You know it thought it was pretty neat that Boston Pizza did the little stunt they did with Montreal, but to have them do the same thing again with Vancouver… heh I never ate Boston Pizza and I don’t think I will.

  21. TomNickle says:

    I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the French Canadian player acquisition debate for a couple of weeks now. And here’s my conclusion for anyone interested.

    1. This team should emphasize drafting, signing and acquiring French Canadian players due to the cultural significance of the team. I’ve always held this belief but prior to this morning I wouldn’t have gone to the lengths to ensure that strategy is followed that I would as of today.

    2. From a public relations standpoint. To have drafted a French Canadian player who fails is better than drafting a player from another area of heritage who enjoys a mediocre career. That is to say that drafting a Louis Leblanc who fails in his pursuit of a successful NHL career is better than drafting a Mike Komisarek who is not French Canadian and is at best a depth player in the eyes of the media and French Canadian fans or other fans who want a strong contingent of French Canadians on the Habs roster.

    And as GM, I would use the following strategy to ensure that this mandate is carried out.

    1. Trade down in the draft.
    I as a GM would operate contrary to the opinion of the masses and trade down for my French Canadian players instead of trading up. For example, many people are in favour of the Habs trading up for Jonathan Huberdeau in this coming draft. Instead, I would trade down, acquire a late 1st rounder and possibly a 2nd rounder for my 1st and select Phillip Danault. I would do this in as many rounds of as many drafts as possible. Acquiring more picks and using those complimentary picks on the best player available gives me my strong French Canadian talent pool and my best player available talent pool while strengthening my chances of landing elite players by having more prospects in the system than normal.

    2. When I’ve decided that current prospects or roster players are no longer a part of my plan. I would focus on acquiring French Canadian talent. For example, this summer, in search of a top 6 forward I would dangle Pouliot and a prospect for a French Canadian player. Perhaps an Alex Burrows, David Perron or similar players who have underachieved.

    3. I would target veteran free agent French Canadians. These guys are more likely to be able to deal with the pressure of playing in the Montreal market than rookies or young players. Guys with families. Simon Gagne is a good example.

    I feel that using a strategy that doesn’t sacrifice picks or a large number of prospects leaves your organization in a strong position moving forward while addressing the mandate of adding French Canadians to the roster.

    • G-Man says:

      You’re talking too much sense. Someone has to object. :)

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I would love to see more French Canadian players on board, but our record hasn’t been so good lately. There’s Laps, Lats, and Pou who have been pretty ordinary. Then there are the FAs, like Lecavalier and Briere, who avoid Montreal like the plague. I think when it comes to a flip of the coin between two supposedly equal players, I’d definitely go with the francophone, but otherwise, I don’t think I’m with you on this.

      – formerly notbigbird –

      • TomNickle says:

        And what specifically is it that makes Latendresse less likely to succeed in Montreal than Peter Kalus, Scott Jackson, Jeff Frazee, Taylor Chorney, Tyler Plante and Brenden Mikkelson. All of whom were selected ahead of Latendresse in the 2nd round of the ’05 draft?

        And for every Briere, there’s a Gagne, who does want to play in Montreal.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          I don’t know. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the French thing hasn’t been going well lately. As I said, I’m all for more French players but not necessarily for going out of our way to get them.

          – formerly notbigbird –

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m not saying I would mortgage the future for French Canadian talent. Quite the opposite. I would afford myself the luxury of pursuing French Canadian talent by acquiring more draft picks.

        • Mike D says:

          Gagne is a very talented player, but unlike our current roster and their injury problems – where we can still HOPE they don’t get injured – with Gagne, you KNOW he’s getting injured. Plus he doesn’t help out the size/grit issue (which is not as much of an issue for me than it is for many on this site).

          Like I said, Gegne’s very talented, but he’s not someone we should target unless the price is extremely attractive or he’s willing to give Mtl. a hometown discount.

          - Honestly yours

      • Mike D says:

        Bird, your last sentence was perfect. The only thing I would maybe add is that the player wouldn’t necessarily have to be francophone. An anglophone from Quebec would also suffice as it still adds the “hometown-ness” aspect (especially if they can speak french).

        I know for some, it’s not enough that a peson be from Quebec but anglo (Luogo), or conversely, be french but not from Quebec (Puoliot). They need to have franco-quebecois to be satisfied, but those people have an entirely different agenda (whether they realize it or not) and mentally are stuck in the 1940′s and 50′s even more so than those who place any importance on a french/Quebec contingent.

        - Honestly yours

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Gm’s follow a certain strategy when drafting. You take the best player available at the moment. There’s a reason they do that. Look it up.

      • TomNickle says:

        When you’ve won 6 Omha Championships and 1 OHF Championship you can say those kinds of things to me.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        Hey Mr. Know-it-all-Nickle, Gm’s trade up or down when there is a certain player that fits a specific need. Like a team needs a centerman, so they move down to get one. Otherwise they take the best player available. Get a clue. You’re not a GM, you’re a dumbass kid who posts his blathering garbage 24/7 on H I/O.

      • TomNickle says:

        Well. Based on your evaluation of teams trading up and down to fill a need. I think you might want to rethink your know it all analysis of how teams draft. If you think I’m a dumbass kid, you’re wrong, but you can think however you like.

    • RGM says:

      “The team may face a choice – to win, or to be French-Canadian?” — Ken Dryden, The Game, 1983

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • TomNickle says:

        Funny words from Dryden when you consider how many players on his Cup teams were French Canadian.

        • _Habsoloutly_ says:

          Ya, what does Dryden know eh? He certainly doesn’t have your expansive knowledge of the game right Tom? Go back to coaching your atom b team.

          • TomNickle says:

            Since you’re trolling now, I’ll indulge you. Ken Dryden won cups with half of his team, if not more being French Canadian. But let’s not allow facts to get in the way of personal opinion. Keep going.

        • RGM says:

          The last vestiges of a bygone era. It was much easier when there were only 12 teams in the NHL for the Canadiens to pick the cream of the crop in the backyard talent pool. But by the time Dryden retired and the NHL absorbed the WHA, all of a sudden there were 21 teams. Now, obviously, we’re up to 30. The good old days where the Habs could protect their home turf are long gone. There are presently 61 Quebec-born NHL players. 11 are goalies. Few are viable long-term NHL’ers at this stage, as that list includes Steve Begin, Bruno Gervais, Alexandre Giroux, J.F. Jacques, and others of that ilk.
          There may be a bright future on the horizon, as there are many exciting young Quebec-born players coming up through the junior ranks. But even then, less than 15% of the NHL’s players will likely be from la belle province. For the Habs to choose that route at the exclusion of other options, when many better players will exist, would be folly of the highest order.

          During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

          • TomNickle says:

            Your point is exactly why I feel that the team should focus on acquiring these players. When the game was published there were 21 NHL teams. Not exactly the needle in the haystack situation it’s made out to be today. Drafting a French Canadian in the right spot at the proper value is no more of a hindrance than drafting a “Power forward”.

          • RGM says:

            In other words, it’s not going to happen. Heh.

            I can definitely understand the identity politics that come part and parcel when talking about the Canadiens. While I don’t think it is essential that the Canadiens look down that path, I think that it would be a neat return to the mythology of the Flying Frenchmen, but that’s as far as it goes. If somehow a guy projected in the top-5 is available when the Canadiens step up to the podium, I want them to take him instead of a Q guy that’s ranked 25th but is the top-ranked Q guy in the draft.

            Now, get us a Quebec-born power forward…and maybe we’re talking! LOL

            During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

          • TomNickle says:

            I agree with what you’re saying. And I’m not in favour of foregoing a sure thing for a French Canadian that might work out. But when you get into the 15-25 range in draft picks. I don’t see the harm in trading down to acquire more picks and a player of comparable growth potential and skill set. So if you can do both and acquire a French Canadian player. I feel it’s a win. Because you’ve drafted the kind of player you’re looking for while satisfying your obligation to the community.

          • Mike D says:

            There isn’t an obligation to the french community. Just a made-up one that some choose to believe and others choose to impose on our franchise. Good french players will still make the NHL and have every opportunity to succeed as players from other backgrounds or geographical locations.

            - Honestly yours

      • issie74 says:

        He was refering to the draft … where top players who were french no longer were the property of the Montreal Canadians.

        Denis Potvin,spoke to that very subject on the NHL channel,if the draft had not been changed with expansion,Potvin,Lemieux,Robert,Martin & Perrault,all would have been Montreal Canadians.

        Robert,Martin & Perreault were the French Connection line.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      French french french. Whatever. Keep damn language out of the sport/business. Heritage? Most of the superstars that played Montreal Canadiens were ENGLISH fella, where have you been? It’s the french language that is ruining this team, starting with the coach, then PG and then Boivin! If this organization had brains, we’d have had Yzerman as GM and Boucher as a coach. But nooooooo, can’t do that. Heck we wont even call Yzerman when he was free. No no, we need a french person in there so they can continue to F up this franchise and make sure we never see a cup again!

      • TomNickle says:

        Actually, I don’t coach a Peewee team. If you’re going to make me fodder for you conversations with others please state facts only. And for the record. I was merely explaining how I would personally handle the objective of acquiring French Canadian talent. If you’re so short fused that you can’t have debate or even so much as conversation without acting like an immature brat. I would suggest starting a blog and hiring a good lawyer to protect you from the lawsuits that would surely follow.

        • _Habsoloutly_ says:

          Hey stupid, you started it all by calling me an A-hole because you disagreed with my opinion. So take a look in the mirror you hypocrite.

        • TomNickle says:

          You said that I needed to go look up how teams draft and launched into a tirade about your opinions and put me down consistently. I’m sorry, but you were acting like an ahole so you got called one.

        • Habfan4lfe says:

          Short fuse, not here. Keep the language and forcing french players into the lineup out of it. It’s language that is killing this team. Read my post again and absorb what I am saying before you think people are flinging mud at you. Do you not comprehend the fact that we could have had Yzerman and Boucher? You know as well as me we didn’t give him the time of day because he isn’t french. Yzerman said it himself, he would have welcomed a job in Montreal but he never even got a call. That’s just absolutely asinine but a perfect reason why we are what we are.

        • TomNickle says:

          I never thought or said you were flinging mud at me. I read and respect your argument. As for agreeing with it. I can’t as of yet because the team hasn’t sacrificed winning in favour of being French Canadian to this point.

      • G-Man says:

        Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer, Bernard Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, George Vezina (ya, the one they named the trophy after), Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, +++. Keep revising history.

    • habstrinifan says:

      With afew tweaks I like the trading down aspect. Probably not needing to be sai but I will anyways… I would have a group ( and not exclusively french) of scouts dedicated to a heck of due diligence on the entire field of french canadien juniors.

      Why not entirely French… because that person(s) could be professionally objective to the nth degree.. with a mandate to identify the best French players without being emotionally involved.

      • TomNickle says:

        I agree on your evaluation aspect. In fact, I would make it a point to hire scouts who had no vested interest in which players got rave reviews. That’s the goal regardless of language though.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I agree but you gotta be a scout with a lot of gonads to say go against the consensus ‘rave review’ pick at the position and recommend a dark horse.

          Yu would be way way out on a limb… alone.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      So, you don’t want to win the cup?

      • TomNickle says:

        The whole point is that this team is more than just a franchise seeking a 25th Stanley Cup.

        • geo_habsgo says:

          Listen, I’m really not against the team having some French Canadian talent, in fact, I like seeing it. But at the same time, I think that this team is also more than a team that needs to be defined by its French heritage. The team already does a lot in terms of giving French players extra looks through its combine camps and such. Some years we have a lot of French players and other times there are slim pickings.

          I just don’t think the concept of building the team through French prospects is a realistic one if you also want this team to be a competitive one for years to come. However, if you want to look at the team more symbolically then it would make sense, but scratch out winning.

          • TomNickle says:

            Thats not the case at all. If you read my original post again I commented that I would put as much emphasis on drafting the best player available as I would draft French Canadian players. But as a point, I would acquire as many picks as possible to ensure that I had the wiggle room to add French Canadian players when I felt it was appropriate. I wouldn’t pass on a Zack Phillips so that I could move down and draft a Phillip Danault unless I felt they were at the same level, or more appropriately, will be at the same level in five years. I was not so simply explaining how I would handle acquiring more French Canadian talent. And I don’t think that acquiring more draft picks is a bad way to run hockey operations regardless of the cultural significance of any team. The Blackhawks were built under that mandate, as were the Red Wings and Penguins.

          • geo_habsgo says:

            I don’t know why but its not letting reply directly to you, Tom. If that is the case then I guess I would be more inclined to agree with you. However, I don’t think we have the elite scouting that Detroit has enjoyed for so many years. Look at how many diamond in the rough players they have drafted in the last 10 years. It is a little insane. Montreal has not had such luck in the drafts and I think it is partially to do with poor scouting. But I do agree that more picks only increases your chances of finding that diamond in the rough.

        • Mike D says:

          If it is, it shouldn’t be. Not if it actually wants to win a 25th and subsequent Stanley Cups.

          - Honestly yours

    • Le Jadester says:

      I like this approach of yours Mr. Nickle.

      I’m surprised the goat and co. aren’t all over this ?

      WHat do you think the new President’s take would be on such a strategy ? Especially from an owners perspective ?

      Habs, OLE !

      • TomNickle says:

        He probably wouldn’t like it or employ it to be honest. It isn’t a strategy or mandate that agrees with a team looking for superstars. Not a plan that makes individuals marketable, but the team. On the other hand, PK Subban was a second round pick.

    • TommyB says:

      An interesting train of thought. And one that might become absolutely necessary if the Habs are to compete public relations-wise, should there be another NHL team in the province of Quebec in the near future.

    • Mike D says:

      Wow Tom. Typically I find myself agreeing with what you write, but on this occassion I find myself completely disagreeing. IMO, you are a knowledgeable guy when it comes to hockey and I place value in your opinions (I typically agree, or sometimes see that you agreed with something I wrote). Old Bald Bird said it best: if two players are seemingly equal and one happens to be franco or from Quebec, then sure pick that one. Otherwise, just pick the best player available or the one that best addresses an organizational need.

      I’ve seen The Rocket numerous times (I own the DVD) and understand the cultural and historical significance of what took place even though it was decades before I was born. I’m also from Montreal (though not a franco) so I appreciate the culture. Thing is, this isn’t the 40′s-50′s anymore. A french player who’s good enough will be drafted in the place they would be drafted if they were anglo, american, european, etc. French Canadiens like Lecavalier, St. Louis, and Briere are among the highest paid players in the NHL.

      I also understand that to a lot of Habs fans, it’s more than just the hockey and a large part of why they are fans is because of the language/culture thing. To me, that doesn’t make them true fans – quite the opposite actually. My motto is cheer for the logo on the front of the jersey and not the name on the back. THAT is a TRUE fan.

      I also read your responses to the replies your post got and fully realize that you are not advocating only getting francos, or passing on superior players to get francos, or mortgaging the future for franco players, etc. But to me, the NHL is too competitive of a league and thanks to the salary cap, has too much parity to place ANY importance on anything besides building the best team you can. Everything else needs to be ignored. Any team that allows language, culture, or politics to enter into their strategy even one iota is handicapping themselves and will not succeed – it all takes away from the true goal, and that is winning.

      The Montreal Canadiens, thanks to the very talented franco players of decades gone by, did something special besides winning all those cups. They had a tremendous cultural impact on the world of hockey and how it sees franco players. But that was then and this is now. The landscape has completely changed. Not having a strong french contingent, or a french superstar on the team does not change or in any way minimize what Maurice and other talented players of his ilk did back then. Some people (not saying you) want to keep fighting a battle that doesn’t even exist anymore and that’s just sad. This is a professional hockey club – not a political vehicle.

      That being said, b!tches like Briere and Vinny should be absolutely freakin ashamed of themselves for snubbing the Habs. Them and/or their parents grew up idolizing players like the Richards, Beliveau, Plante, and other french players who wore the CH proudly and forced the changes that allowed them not to be discriminated against. For them to turn their noses up at playing for this team is completely disgraceful, and the french legends would turn in their graves if they knew what they fought for would have resulted in this.

      - Honestly yours

  22. habs-hampton says:

    Wow, Shiram, I guess I’m not the only one.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Two sporting events happened over the weekend which the HAB’ coaches and HABS fans should pay attention to.

    One is TAMPA’S LOSS to the Bruins. While I am still of the opinion that it was stupid for the HABS organization to let Boucher go and that he will indeed be a superstar coach in the NHL, it must be brought up that once again he was ‘outcoached’ in a pivotal game seven as he was in the AHL last year. And on both occasions he essentially made the opposition team’s job easier by playing a timid 3rd period of hockey in the AHL and an entire game (but last 7 minutes) this Friday. I totally agree with the remarks of John Brophy on team990 and also those of Dennis Potvin, whom Brophy quoted.

    JM should take heed as, hopefully, Boucher will if he is to fulfill the promise of a stellar career. Denis Potvin is a smart intelligent tough skilled practitioner of the game and knows of what he speaks.

    The second sporting event was the Barcelona football (soccer) game. What we saw was a team of superbly skilled and gifted players combining their individual talents to create a mesmerizing and entertaining game. No being ‘afraid to lose’ passivity. We saw a young coach who allowed the genius of his players to supercede the thoroughness of any system he would have imposed.

    I am not a JM fan. But I do think that if he and his coaching staff sat down and analyze both events and take lessons from them, they can develop a more aggressive style of play which demands more of the mental and physical skillsets of it players and which does not determine their best players to be those who best ‘thwart the play’ but rather those who best ‘force the play’. Then I think JM will overcome his doleful legacy and be one of the BEST coaches in the league. If he can add art-deco to the structural integrity at which he is excellent then he will produce a masterfully architectured team.

    GO HABS GO!

    • G-Man says:

      I think JM’s system is too passive and not physical enough. OTher than that, not giving up 3 on 2s all night long is a good thing.
      Comparing the talent Boucher had this season with JM’s 1st season, Boucher only did 2 games better. He has to get more out of his players at the right time. With St.Louis getting long in the tooth and relying on a 41 year-old goalie, it will be tough for TB to match what they did this season.

      • TomNickle says:

        Especially when Stamkos is earning $7 million annually and Hedman is around $5 million annually. It’s going to be tough sledding in the future when they don’t have the cap room to add a Roloson, Gagne and Brewer to their lineup.

        And I agree about the physical aspect of the team. When this team hits, they look as elite as anybody in the East and most in the West.

    • Le Jadester says:

      JM and Guardiola ?
      I can really appreciate your comment on this as I am a huge fan of the current Barca team along with anyone who loves sport. I wish the Habs could do something like that again (even though they did it from 74-79). Barca IMO is the best team ever assembled, ina any sport and Saturday’s match just proved it again.

      But JM has no business being mentioned in the same sentence with Pep. In fact, JM wouldn’t be able to even remotely comprehend Pep’s system, even with assistants explaining it to him.

      But yes I do agree with you.

      Habs, OLE !

    • issie74 says:

      Patrick Roy said Boucher didn’t do a lot for the Q with his defensive style of play and Dennis Potvin called it “dumming down talent”with ten minutes to go and down 1-0 with all the offensive talent they have as a team…they continued to play defense.
      It was mind-boggling.

  24. habs-hampton says:

    I’m frustrated with this new site (even though its not new anymore). Ever since the “improvements”, some of my posts do not post. Are there moderators deleting them? You spend time on a well thought-out post and it goes nowhere. Lately I’ve been writing them in Word and then copying and pasting them, so I don’t lose them. When I see it didn’t post, I try it again and then it says “duplicate post”, but its not on the site anywhere.

    Anyone else see this happening?

    • HabsFan2 says:

      I can no longer post with my original account. No matter what I post, it never shows up.

      I too have written to Stu Cowan and have received no reply.

      ———————————————-
      R.I.P. – K.C. – Jan.28, 1993 – May 19, 2011

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      It probably has something to do with the spam filters. I don’t know if you noticed but all those spam posts have stopped. They have some software running to catch them, and I think it is catching regular posts as well.

      • shiram says:

        That makes sense, but it seems to be a very aggressive filter, as even if I try to post a single line post, it will sometimes not be posted.
        Just a note from the webmasters or something would be appreciated.
        Hell I completed their surveys, they should answer my questions too! ;)

      • Mike D says:

        This is EXACTLY what’s happening. One of my posts got flagged as spam last week (obviously it wasn’t) and I wasn’t able to post for a couple days.

        Send an email to Eric Tobon: etobon@postmedia.com to have the issue fixed. I emailed Mike Boone directly and he copied me in on his forward to Mr. Tobon.

        Hopefully I don’t upset anyone by putting that out there.

        BTW Boone, in case you didn’t see it the other day, thanks for your help.

        - Honestly yours

    • Mike D says:

      Yes – this is most certainly happening, read my reply to Habsoloutly above.

      - Honestly yours

  25. shiram says:

    Posts not posting, this has been going for a few weeks now, and it seems to be getting worst.
    I know it happened to others as well.
    You type out your post, be it a new one or a comment, you push the Submit Comment button, the pages loads back up and your comment is nowhere to be seen.
    I have sent an email about this and gotten no answer either, and I sent it to Stu Cowan as I found no other contact.
    Can someone share some light on this situation?

    • HardHabits says:

      I have used backspace to grab the comment and then tried to copy and and paste it back but when I do it will say comment already posted.

      To be able to comment what I do is click on the Home button then go back to the comment section where I intended to post and then make sure to type something slightly different like add a space or add an exclamation mark or something.

      • shiram says:

        Yea I’ve done the back button thing as well, and I usually copy what I post before hitting the submit button, in fear of losing what I posted.
        I also did the change a letter/space/word thing, and it only works sometimes.

  26. shiram says:

    Update on Max Pac :
    TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    Quick Max Pacioretty update. Fully recovered from all injuries, could play now if there were games to play. Working out, feeling great.

  27. shiram says:

    Max Pac uodate, courtesy of one Bob Mckenzie

    TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    Quick Max Pacioretty update. Fully recovered from all injuries, could play now if there were games to play. Working out, feeling great.

  28. Habs64 says:

    From Saint John here:

    Awesome win for the Sea Dogs – was honking the horn uptown last night after watching the game at a local establishment and heading to the parade tomorrow. I have seen a lot of games since their inception in 05 and amazing they won so quickly. Gallant is a great coach – likely headed to Tampa with Stevie Y at some point.

    Great team from De Serres out with Beaulieu and Despres, Phillips, Huberdeau, Jurco, Galiev, Kirkpatrick and Mike Thomas!

    8 or 9 players rated in top 150 of draft so hope the Habs draft one!

    Go Nucks beat the hated Bruins!!

    • habs-hampton says:

      I think Beaulieu is within reach for the Habs in the 1st round. No offense to Despres, Phillips, Huberdeau and company, but I think in 5 years, Beaulieu will be the best NHLer of the bunch.

    • TomNickle says:

      I have to get something off my chest about the Sea Dogs. And hopefully you can put me in my place about this player specifically. Kirkpatrick. I found that he is one of the most over-hyped players in the CHL. All I read of him are rave reviews. And he appears to be nothing more than a glorified forechecker. A third liner at best playing with skilled players to add the physical element and strong puck possession skills because of his strength. I saw the Sea Dogs play a little more than a dozen games this year. So I’m no expert on the kid. And I would like to point out that I was hoping for the Sea Dogs to win the tournament based on their collection of talent, specifically young talent, and I love the way they play the game and the way the team was built. I think this player though, is highly overrated. He may be a coach’s dream in terms of being a swiss army knife, but man his skills leave a lot to be desired. Though you wouldn’t know it by listening to the media through the Mem. Cup.

      Anyway, congrats on the win. Hope the young players on that team like Beaulieu, Phillips and Huberdeau are back next year so you get another run.

      Cheers.

  29. TomNickle says:

    I’ve had enough of this team icing a roster full of guys who are 5’11 200 lbs.

    Come on, for us to be a contender we need these guys to be 6’0 and 205 lbs.

    All joking aside, we do need another winger who, like Pacioretty, can add a physical element in addition to providing scoring. But I hope that someday the people here who go on and on about us needing players with specific measures in terms of height and girth realize how stupid their argument is. If they really think that a collection of 5 or so players not being an inch taller or five pounds heavier is the difference between where this team is at and a realistic run at the Stanley Cup, they have mental health issues.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      funny and true

      I completely agree that we need to add some size up front, but the common theme on here, that there is some magic line in height or weight that we need to be over, seems like video game talk.

      remember, before everyone posts a big rant about how small we are, we are all in agreement that the team needs to get bigger, but we are just laughing at the idea that there is a specific height or weight that leads to championships.

    • punkster says:

      Oh Tom, now you’re just trying to be too logical. You know that doesn’t work here. Size, size, size. Grit, grit, grit.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • Propwash says:

        Or NAG, NAG, NAG for short.

      • HardHabits says:

        Of course, because saying people have mental health issues is the height of logic and reasoning. I mean why debate the issue when the person making the argument can be labelled as a stark raving lunatic, ceritified by Dr. McKnickle no less.

        But it is nice to see you, HalifaxHabs, TomKnickle, and G-Man give each other a nice collective Internet hug.

    • G-Man says:

      The LMAO post of the day.

      I hope they make a play for Laich.

      • issie74 says:

        G – Man

        You have been reading my thoughts,he would look nice on a line with White and Moen, what do you think. Crash and bang a goal here and there.

        • G-Man says:

          Yup- he would provide that extra physical play the Habs lack up front. He has a nose for the net despite not being a big scorer. He is in the goalie’s face as pucks go by.

  30. newbrunswick troy says:

    ya hoo…go new brunswick, we finaly won something other than the distinction of being canada,s poorest province!!!and also the Sea Dogs had a few Fredericton kids lead them there…wow Fredericton will someday finaly have an nhl player in zack phillips..we have not produced an nhl player since ..Buster Harvey or Danny Grant or Willy O,rea !!!

  31. punkster says:

    How long before we get the first serious, heart-felt post from someone demanding the Habs sign Kovy?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • TomNickle says:

      They’ve never stopped. We never should have let him go. We should’ve traded for him when Ottawa was shopping him and now we should move heaven and earth to get him back. I mean, lazy, slow, skilled but uninterested players are always the missing piece. See Kaberle.

    • twocents says:

      Cue the rabbit.

    • shiram says:

      I would not be so surprised if he just retires. They guy has made plenty of good money, he won a cup already, he is nearing 40, and he had only 34 points last season.

      Who would want to sign him, except maybe people being a bit too sentimental?

  32. jljudges54 says:

    Pierre should do everything in his powers to try to trade to get Huberdeau. Seeing him play live, he might be one of the missing pieces Montreal might need

    CH 1909

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      What’s up Nick in Halifax, I am also Nick in Halifax, lol.

      I agree, but reality is, we’d have to move into the top 5 to get him, which would require moving up at least 15 spots… can’t see it happening without PK & Price being part of the deal.

      I’d have to say no deal, if it came down to Price or Suban going.

      • jljudges54 says:

        That is true don’t want to see Subbi or Price leave. I just don’t want to see him go to Toronto ( think they have 2nd pick) or Boston any other team I’m fine with.

        CH 1909

    • issie74 says:

      Nobody is going to give up their lottery pick.

  33. sidhu says:

    I would be pretty angry if the Bruins not only won the Cup, but picked a star from the Q with their first pick (9th overall) in this year’s draft.

    Boivin says the Habs try hard to get players from Quebec, but the evidence of that (i.e., our lineup) is pretty bare.

    • issie74 says:

      I think all teams take the best player available to them.The way the draft is set up the most promising young talent will go to teams who finish last.I think teams who make the playoffs every year have to work harder at picking from middle of the pack.

    • Sharks9 says:

      I say pick the best player, no matter where they’re from. What if we had passed up Price or Subban to try and get a french player? We need to get rid of this ridiculous idea that the Habs need mostly french players.

      25 before 14

      • Malreg says:

        Imagine where we would be right now if we had taken Gilbert Brule isntead of Carey Price(like many experts thought we should, including Pierre McGuire. Brule was taken 1 pick after Price), or Kevin Veilleux(taken 8 picks later) instead of PK?

    • twocents says:

      To judge that meaningfully you have to take a close look at each drafts. Draft order plays a huge role. Would you want the Habs picking an inferior prospect just because he’s form Quebec? I wouldn’t.

      After reading your comment, I looked closely at the last 6 or 7 drafts. In many cases the Habs took players who have either turned out, or who show better promise, than the next one or two homeboys chosen. You can’t compare to players chosen before the Habs had a choice, that pointless.

      For example in 2008 the Habs chose Kristo 62nd. The next 4 Quebecers chosen were Danick Paquette, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Mathieu Brodeur, and Marco Cousineau. Kristo is a way better prospect than all of them. Should the Habs have ignored that and picked a Quebecker?

      It’s a similar story in most of the years I checked. In 2009 they took the highest chosen homie and so far so good with his development. Sure you could argue Perron over Pacioretty, that’s fair, though not a slam dunk. Or certainly, Fischer over any number of players, with Giroux being the obvious one. Fischer was clearly a big mistake on many levels.

      But, would have wanted Alex Bourret, or even Vlasic, over Cary Price? They chose Lats over Mason Raymond, would you like a mulligan on that?

      2004 was a brutal year for Quebec born players. I’ll take Yemelin over Nick Fugere, the next local chosen. In fact, we now have the highest pea souper picked that year, Alexandre Picard.

      Even 2003, there are a few players I’d rather have than Andrei, and that includes Patrice Bergeron, but the next couple of Quebecers chosen were actually Steve Bernier and Marc-Antoine Pouliot. would you rather them?

      It’s far too easy and not very meaningful to oversimplify things.

    • G-Man says:

      They get them and trade them away for nothing. See Lapierre, Latendresse (okay, BP isn’t nothing, but lately the Incredible Falling Hockey Player™ isn’t much more than that).
      Or, they let them walk away as UFA.
      Not saying the Habs should be all French Canadian, but it would be nice to have some locals on the team with more talent than Darche (nothing against this hard working player, either).

      • TomNickle says:

        Lapierre was a mid round pick who really wasn’t a core player unfortunately. As for Latendresse, he was more interested in the mirror than he was at developing the speed and strength that are necessary to be a productive player at the NHL level and thumbed his nose at the organization for three years.

        I agree that the team should have a focus on drafting and developing French Canadian talent, and believe that it should be easier for them than anyone else, it being their backyard and all. But I do think that when they acquire these players that there is a mountain of extra effort needed in the evaluation process. They have to have a great handle on the players’ mentality. Like they did with Leblanc. They must be 100% certain that the player can handle the challenge of playing in the Montreal market with the added pressure of being the hometown hero.

        • issie74 says:

          That is very hard to do these young players can become very high on themselves very quickly,Carbonneau gave Latendresse every opportunity and it failed. It is not just the Habs who have this problem Chicago had it with Patrick Kane.

  34. Hobie Hansen says:

    Congratulations to the St. John Sea Dogs on winning the Memorial Cup. Good to see the team out of the QMJHL win it all.

    I spent a lot of time watching the Oshawa Generals and the OHL from 2002-06 a really grew an appreciation for junior hockey. I also lived out in Calgary and was astonished that the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL routinely sell out the Saddledome.

    Junior hockey and the young Canadian hockey players that play in it are the best all-around players in the world!
    So when somebody like myself complains that the Habs have signed another smallish European player, part of the reason is that there are so many talented Canadian players playing right here in our backyard. Kids who grew up in Canada that played in the CHL have already been exposed to the NHL style of play and have spent their entire lives watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    It can get a little frustrating as a fan of Canadian hockey who has spent lots of time in CHL arenas watching guys like Perry, Eager, Stewart, Horton, Tavares and Carter, to name a few, go on to compete for Stanley Cups while the Habs are made up Europeans and the Canadian players they have are lacking in size.

    So as much as I’m excited to see Yemelin play, when the guy says he’ll go home rather than except a demotion to Hamilton, you have to wonder where heart his is? Does he really want to win the Stanley Cup or is he more interested in being a movie star and knows that won’t happen in Hamilton…?

    I actually have no issue with European players! Plekanec is great and I’ve really enjoyed watching Hamrlik play solid hockey the last few years. However, I’d like Montreal’s lineup to have guys like Getzlaf, Perry or a Stall.

    We should be 70% to 85% North
    American (WITH SIZE) with a few talented Europeans penciled in.

    Price is great, Subban is awesome and I loved their pick in last year’s draft, Tinordi! Let’s hope it continues at this year’s draft!

  35. stevieray says:

    Big victory for the Q… and what about the Seadogs coach ..Gerald Gallant ..good ole east coast boy ….maybe he should be a NHL potential coach instead of what’s his name from St Mikes …Cameron can’t seem to win the big one !! Will love to hear Cherry’s take on this one !!
    As for the Cup finals … not really a fan off either team…but would like the Canucks to win ….the reasons are obvious !

  36. SeriousFan09 says:

    Huberdeau may be going 3rd so he’ll have to suffer the fate of many other unfortunate players, being a Florida Panther until he can get himself traded.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I was watching an interview on TSN with Horton and obviously he has had a coming out party playing in Boston as opposed to Florida. He said it was so much different playing in a hockey market.

      Makes you wonder what happened to Bowmester (sp?)

    • Nine1one says:

      Thats cruel SF09. I like the panthers jerseys, and they have a lot of young talent. They start winning people will show up at severly discounted prices lol

      Maybe its just cause i’m a south floridian

    • TomNickle says:

      When was the last time Dale Tallon drafted a French Canadian with a premium draft pick(top 3 rounds)?

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      Ah, in that case, the likelihood of him playing in front of a home crowd is pretty high…I continue to believe that Florida is the next team to move north of the 49th (and into the new Colisee built with public money)

      (not sure how happy I am about that now that I think about it…as a Habs fan that is!)

  37. Rob D says:

    I’d take Zack Phillips if he’s still there in the first round (very doubtful) Kid plays in all 3 zones, has great hands and has room to grow. But most of those guys on the SeaDogs are well known and will probably go fast.Huberdeau is that rare combo of first rate talent and fierce desire to excel.

    That was a heck of a game in the MCF last night. One of the best editions of the tourney in quite some time, IMO. Jr. A hockey..nothing like it.

  38. adam76 says:

    Congrats to the Seadogs! As someone who use to follow the Mooseheads – this win is bitter sweet. Six years from birth to championships – unreal.

  39. G-Man says:

    With 3 wins in the last 11 tourneys, the Q is looking like a decent league. However, the perception is that hardly any of the players in the Q match up to the OHL and WHL. The constant theme is a lack of defensive ability in the forwards and the terrible positioning of the Dmen who are almost always too SOMETHING to be good enough to be drafted. Of course, because of this perception, the goalies are carefully scrutinized and do get drafted.
    I wonder if the scouts being mainly from Western Canada and Ontario have something to do with this bigoted perception? Just askin’.
    Well done, Sea Dogs!

    • Tony McLean says:

      As Carbonneau and others have shown you can teach defense – whereas offensive gifts are natural. If the Canadiens aren’t smart enough to reincorporate a Quebec quotient into their DNA…grrr

      “Rebuilding since 1979.”

    • TomNickle says:

      In a word, yes. But it’s a little more complicated. The majority of organizations in the WHL and OHL seek the “North American” style of player. You know, the crash and bang, fighting type player. Scouts operate under a mandate that includes this style of play in their criteria. The USHL targets skilled players from Quebec and then focus on development with them, instead of turning them loose. One of the many reasons that I feel USA Hockey will be leaps and bounds ahead of Hockey Canada within ten years, maybe sooner.

  40. kempie says:

    No comments?

  41. TomNickle says:

    Know where I could get a spam filter?


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