Canadiens make moves

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Petteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford have been acquired from Phoenix for Brock Trotter and a seventh-round draft choice.

And Michael Blunden has been recalled from Hamilton, with Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj heading back to the AHL.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager, Pierre Gauthier, announced today the acquisition
of forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenseman Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes, in return for forward Brock Trotter and a 7th-round draft pick in 2012.

Nokelainen will join the Canadiens in Montreal, while Stafford will report to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Forward Michael Blunden has been recalled from the Bulldogs, while forwards Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj have been assigned to Hamilton.

Nokelainen, 25, registered one assist in five games with the Coyotes this season. He recorded three shots on goal, five hits and one blocked shot. The 6’01’’, 202 lbs centreman averaged 10 minutes, 58 seconds of ice time per game. In 194 NHLcareer games, Nokelainen has tallied 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists), with the New York Islanders, the Boston Bruins, the  Anaheim Ducks and the Coyotes.

A native of Imatra, Finland, Nokelainen was drafted in the first round, 16th overall by the Islanders at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

In six games this season with the AHL Portland Pirates, Stafford, 31, collected four points (1 goal, 3 assists). In seven NHL career games with the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and Coyotes, the 6’01’’, 207 lbs defenseman tallied two assists.

A native of Los Angeles, Stafford joined the Coyotes as a free agent on July 3, 2010. In 562 career games in the AHL, he has registered 317 points (83 goals, 234 assists) and served 452 penalty minutes.

Trotter played five games with the Bulldogs this season and registered seven points (2 goals, 5 assists). One of his goals was tallied on the powerplay. He served four penalty minutes and collected 10 shots on goal. Trotter played two games in career with the Canadiens in the NHL.
In five games with the Bulldogs this season Blunden collected three assists.

The 24-year old right winger maintained a +1 plus/minus differential and recorded three shots on goal. He suited up in 51 career regular season games in the NHL with Chicago and Columbus, registering four points (2-2-4). A native of Toronto, Blunden was drafted in the second round, 43rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired from the Blue Jackets on July 7, 2011 in
return for Ryan Russell.

Engqvist suited up in seven games with the Canadiens this season. The 23-year old centreman maintained a +1 plus/minus differential, recorded one shot on goal, three hits and four blocked shots, while averaging 6:55 of ice time per game. Hailing from Stockholm, Engqvist signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on July 13, 2009.

Palushaj played four games with the Canadiens this season. The 22-year old right winger recorded two shots on goal and four hits, while averaging 5:47 of ice time per game. A native of Livonia, Wisconsin, Palushaj was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in return for Matt D’Agostini.

Jacques Martin had hinted  hinted at a personnel move.

•  •  •

Does the name Garrett Stafford ring a bell?

The only guys on the ice after the team meeting: Jaro Spacek and Carey Price, who is at the top of the circle and roofing every shot.

Get him on the PP.

•  •  •

Peter Budaj may finally get a start – possibly against Florida Monday night, definitely in one of the games this week.

Martin said the Canadiens were doing some good things but had to tighten up certain areas, notably protecting a lead and improved special teams play.

Martin also recalled that his first season behind the Canadiens’ bench began with a 2-5 record for four points – which is where they’re at today.

The coach got off a good line. When Patrick V. Hickey pointed out the alacrity with which Dion Phaneuf reacted to Brian Gionta’s contact with James Reimer, Martin said: “It’s tough for me to ask Raphael Diaz to pick up David Steckel and throw him around.”

AUDIO of Jacques Martin

• Sporting News says Martin is in jeopardy, according to “two sources”. Tony Marinaro and who else?

• The Canadiens should have hired Herman Cain to speak at their meeting:

657 Comments

  1. podbay says:

    A meaningless trade, unless Trotter suddenly blossoms into the player the Habs thought he wouldn’t. This won’t surprise me if it happens. Meanwhile, we get two average players, neither of whom can score. How is this an improvement? It isn’t. It’s stalling. My fear: Habs will finish near the bottom of the league, draft high and get a great player, and then send him to the minors for 3-4 years like the do with anyone else they draft. And I agree with the others who have said letting Guy Boucher leave was yet another in a series of now legendary blunders and terrible management decisions by the owners and head office of the Montreal Canadiens.

  2. habsgod says:

    serious fan i was wondering if you could help me out a little! i was debating with some idiot leafsfans about our prospect pool versus theirs and they claim that hockey futures has them listed above us! why is this posible? when burke and co can’t draft worth lick! they don’t have a beaulieu,leblanc, subban,pacioretty and others in their system that they have actaully drafted! sure they have gardiner and colborne who were ducks and bruins picks not leafs picks! i think personally they are talking out of they’re asses! can you help me out on this and shed some light on this for me !

    thanks serious!
    habsgod(john in regina sask)

  3. timothy13 says:

    So the Habs will play for their coach but they just won’t win for their coach. There is no reason to blame the players because it appears to be the system both executed on the ice and management. As some players age and the young ones do not properly develop it all comes down to making a move. This where that becomes complicated; new game plans, but better trades, new scouting of players, draft choices, decisions on when to put in the back-up goaltender because Price is not @ his best nor is the D. Another cause for concern is the team taking too many penalties…………………………………….they get scored on without proper D in place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. bender69 says:

    any so called coach who blames his goalie for a loss to the media-3 powerpay goals-1 scored by his own player and one goal that should not have counted-hit the screen -is an idiot

  5. cmurray11 says:

    Long time reader first time writer HEEEEEYYY OOOHHHH! But now to get to buisness. Letting Guy Boucher get away to Tampa in my opinion was one of the worst things the Habs could have done. He was a proven winner in the AHL and is exactly what I think the habs need right now. A fairly young, energetic, intelligent coach. There’s no passion in Jacques face right now, and without Muller back there, it’s looking dull to say the least.
    We just need that one spark. I’m not worried… Yet… GO HABS GO!
    ____________________
    It’s all a game of inches,
    and who wants them more

  6. petefleet says:

    THis trade will have little to no effect on the overall defensive struggles this team is facing right now.

    ******************************************
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    ***Habs Forever***

  7. MasterHab says:

    I can assess this trade using only these words:

    deck-chairs

    re-arranging

    Titanic.

  8. homerbowen says:

    It’s time for both Gauthier and Martin to go.

    As much as I like Muller we all know that will be unacceptable to the RDS boys. We need someone with a bit of a “hothead”….geez what about Patrick Roy?

    As for GM, perhaps another passionate person, albeit unpopular with many Hab fans (McGuire).

    It’s a tough game please move the pacifists out and get some intensity and grit.

  9. caladin says:

    So let me get this right.
    Pulashij should have been on a top line instead of…. Well obviously Moen.
    Hmmmmm. Trivia question:
    How many Habs have more goals than Moen this year?
    So sad the amount of mindless venom spewed here. I wonder what effect it has on the team?
    I wonder what effect it would have on a hotheaded rookie coach?
    Make great copy though, wouldn’t it.

    • Chris says:

      Right…the same Travis Moen that has scored 24 goals over the past 319 games over 4 seasons.

      Or the guy that peaked at 10 goals in his final season in the WHL.

      Palushaj actually has some talent. Moen has a hot streak going right now, but I’ll be a bit surprised if he tops 10 goals this season.

  10. cuzzie says:

    For those who loved the EXPOS!

    Keep the flame burning!
     
     
     
     
    The Happy Wanderer
     
     
    I love to go a-wandering,
    Along the mountain track,
    And as I go, I love to sing,
    My knapsack on my back.
    Chorus:
    Val-deri,Val-dera,
    Val-deri,
    Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
    Val-deri,Val-dera.
    My knapsack on my back.

    I love to wander by the stream
    That dances in the sun,
    So joyously it calls to me,
    “Come! Join my happy song!”

    I wave my hat to all I meet,
    And they wave back to me,
    And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
    From ev’ry green wood tree.

    High overhead, the skylarks wing,
    They never rest at home
    But just like me, they love to sing,
    As o’er the world we roam.

    Oh, may I go a-wandering
    Until the day I die!
    Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
    Beneath God’s clear blue sky!

     

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  11. Marc10 says:

    Blair Betts Mark 2. Bet PG is sorry he didn’t resign Halpern or landed Steckel…

    Hopefully that fixes one problem. Now all we need is a PP, a first line center, a 4th line with spark, effort for 60 mins and we’re there!

  12. oshawahabsfan says:

    With Nokelainen, they’ve gained a right-handed centre who can win draws, which is much needed. Also someone who is used on the PK successfully. The team has to stop using our top offensive players on PK duty, it burns them out, not to mention puts them out of sync with their linemates. Darche, Moen, Blunden, Nokelainen, these are the guys who should be on the PK. The time to use Pleks, Cammy etc is near the end of a PK where the chance for a quick transition to offence is there. Starting a PK with Pleks all game is ridiculous

  13. Bill says:

    Doubtless this has been said many times, but I’m gonna chime in that this the very definition of a lateral move, and it does very little to help the team. I’ll also be charitable and say that the trade has nothing to do with the losing streak, and is probably just about trying to find Brock Trotter a good home while adding depth to the fourth-line centre position.

    I don’t get the whole Palushaj thing, btw. Here’s an average-sized guy who put up some good offense in the AHL: so the Habs call him up and tell him to be a 3r/4th line grinder with minimal playing time. He can’t do that job, predictably generates little offense in that role, and so is sent back down. Why do you call up an apple and demote him for not being a good orange? This is EXACTLY what Pacioretty meant when he said he’d rather stay in Hamilton unless Montreal called him up to play the role he should play, and he was RIGHT.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • ProHabs says:

      Yup, MaxPac should be the GM of this team.

    • oshawahabsfan says:

      Agreed Bill, you don’t bring up scorers and ask them to be grinders. This has been the case too many times with our AHL prospects. Surely the teams staff has their own “player projections” in which they look down the road to what kind of player this or that guy will be. When a player is projected to have offensive upside you don’t stick him on the fourth line and expect him to change his style of play in a week

      • Bill says:

        It has to be demoralizing. You lose a scorer, bring up a Palushaj and give him a shot in that role. Need a grinder? Call up a grinder! If I’m an offensive player on the Bulldogs, I’m thinking I’m never going to get a fair shake: Trotter must be relieved to be going to Phoenix, and I hope it goes well for him.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

      • showey47 says:

        Agreed,you can’t expect guys who play top 6 minutes with top 6 players in the minors to come up and doing anything playing with 4th liners and no ice time.

  14. Stev.R says:

    “Fuck JM, why don’t we have a better 4th, get your act together”

    *We trade for a new 4th line center and call up Blunden; both upgrades over the Palushaj and Engvist on the 4th line*

    “Fuck your stupid JM. How is that going to help us score goals. What were you thinking. And why did you keep throwing too many players on the ice last night. Your so dumb”

    *JM explains that one of the TMM penalties happened after PP and a forward jumped on when Plekanec came off and he wasn’t supposed to, and on the other Cole jumped on when he wasn’t supposed to*

    “Fuck you JM, answering the question we’re all fucking raging about in a rational logical way. How could you throw Cole under the bus like that?”

    *Its not really throwing him under the bus but acknowledging what happened*

    “Shut your fucking mouth JM. You’re the reason we have lost this many games this season and we’ll never win one again for the rest of the year. Even though it’s only 7 games, we have been decimated by injuries, and our young players have had to take on more responsibility than we would’ve liked them to, and some of our top players aren’t really contributing yet… Its all you and your systems fucking fault.”

    *Well, if you watched the game last night you’ll notice that nobody was playing anything close to JMs system, and we would have been better off if we had*

    “Hey fuck off JM, I don’t care how shitty or unpositionally the players decide to play. Its all your fault. I’m going to go complain some more, even though complaining provides absolutely nothing and is probably the number one factor in why players don’t want to play in MTL and why they have a tough time playing here when they do sign with us. In fact I call myself a fan but really I never support the team at all, and spend more time hating them.”

    • Bill says:

      Weren’t playing JM’s “The System”? Let’s see …
      *Forecheck was cautious and timid – check!
      *Above average number of bench minors – check!
      *Don’t crosscheck guy who runs your goalie – check?
      *Get a one-goal lead and hang for dear life – check!
      * Career minor-leaguer on power-play – check!
      *Juggle lines like a fiend – check!
      *Total lack of aggression in any zone – check!

      Looked pretty familiar to me …

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • Stev.R says:

        Those aren’t systems. Systems are like 1-2-2 forecheck, and I didn’t see any forecheck, not even one player. Our defensive system forces the other team to the outside along the boards and we definitely weren’t doing that either. We’re also a team that likes to have puck possession in the offensive zone and set up our plays; last night we rushed our shots and didn’t set anything up.

  15. Slightly Habnormal says:

    One thing I have always hated about the Habs organization is their need to change the way players play. Subban was successful the way he played his whole career. All of a sudden he’s with Montreal and “Sorry..we play defensively here.” “Don’t bring the puck into the offensive zone..we dump and chase”

    It just seems to me they are trying to put square pegs in round holes..If you want a grinder you trade for a grinder…you don’t trade for a speedy winger and try and make him INTO a grinder. If you want a stay at home defenceman..don’t pickup a skilled puck handler and expect him to change.

    ————————————-
    The more you know the less the better!

  16. Feraco says:

    Correction – NHL! (for Phoenix)

  17. Feraco says:

    And Trotter will be playing in the AHL.

  18. Feraco says:

    This screams desperation.

  19. I wonder what line combinations will be used for Flordia game tomorrow night? It just might be like going to a Restaurant and seeing all different kinds of combinations plates you can choose from. I guess that’s how JM gets his recipes of line juggling until he fines the right combinations for 4 lines. Dinner for all is JM ways of planning nothing that will go to plan. Waiter says What plan?

  20. kempie says:

    I’d be okay with Jacques Demers for a few months. Anybody know what Jean Perron is doing?

  21. HardHabits says:

    Here is what the Habs need:

    – Bona fide #1 centre
    – Two scoring lines
    – 1 defensive forward unit capable of nullifying either of the opponent’s top scoring lines
    – 1 crash and bang energy line
    – A back end that is both punishing and puck moving with a few booming shots from the blue-line for added value
    – World class goal-tending
    – Good coaching

    This is what the Habs have:

    – Gomez
    – Musical lines
    – A defensive unit (Plex’ line) as their top line
    – No crash and bang whatsoever anywhere
    – The Back end is loaded with soft and small defense men who have a habit of moving the puck to the opponent
    – Price has potential
    – Gainey as interim coach again

    IMO the Habs should bring in Lemaire, Robinson and Roy and dump BG, PG and JM.

  22. Q: So why trade Trotter?

    A: Louis Leblanc is expected to be ready on Thursday (per Derek Wills). In all likelihood the Habs want to give him sufficient ice time and accelerate him to the NHL level. Given Leblanc’s track record at all previous levels, it seems like the right choice.

    ___________________________________________

    Eyes on The Prize! and on Twitter

  23. ProHabs says:

    This new guys face looks like Sergie Kostitsyns. Jacques won’t like that at all.

  24. Da Hema says:

    Petteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford!

    Michael Bluden!!

    Well, plan the parade folks!!!

    Maybe the Habs’s marketing department will put on a ceremony for these stiffs….

    • Habifax says:

      Or just make them carry the flags around the ice before the puck drop.

    • dallyd31 says:

      use your noggin. Noelainin is here to win draws (he’s 57 percent this year) and play fourth line….Blunden is here to bolster the fourth line as well. People have been complaining that our fourth line sucks and it just got upgraded.
      What’s the issue

      • Da Hema says:

        Because the fourth-line is the least of the Canadiens’ problems at this point. If you think the addition of these players will do anything to alter the current on-ice play of this team, you must be suffering from a Saturday-night hangover.

        • Chuck says:

          Upgrading you faceoff skill has HUGE upside. It means that you don’t spend 30 seconds of a 45-second shoft trying to get the puck back from the other team.

  25. HabsFanMTL says:

    actually after youtubing Nikkoleinen , he does like to check players hard and will drop the gloves …..and as far as Blunden i’ve watched about 6 of his fighting clips and he lost all of them , he’s more like a kostopolus who will put on big hits and drop the gloves and lose lol…….but at least we have guys who aren’t afraid of laying on the big hits and dropping the gloves…….not saying i';m happy with this trade but at least Moen won’t have to be the only guy to do that job considering he is our sniper now LOL

  26. Mick says:

    What happened to that team that dominated Buffalo?
    Can they be that good or was that a _____________ game .

  27. higginrs says:

    Leaked Transcript from today’s meeting:

    JM: “Let’s gets this meeting started, I have a few things on my notepad that we need to go over. Everybody ready?”

    Cole: (raising hand) “One question –

    JM: “I’m sorry, did you guys hear something? Alright, first point I have written here, where should we do this year’s Christmas party? Any ideas? I was thinking the Keg or even something nice like Subway. What do you guys think?”

    Gionta: “Jacques, last night was embarrassing. Shouldn’t we be on the ice working on our passing?”

    JM: “Ah, see, now that’s why this guy’s the captain, everybody! I like the way you think, problem is, we can’t work on that today because our in-house passing specialist, Mr. Gomez, is resting. He called me this morning to say – uh his words were – “I’m feeling a little better, boss, (cough, cough), my cold’s almost gone.”

    Pleks: “Jacques, what’s the plan for the power play?”

    JM: (picking the crut from his ear) “Ya, ok, let’s ah see – Darche, you gotta any ideas?”

    Darche: “Um, with all due respect, I was thinking it’d be a good time to give some other players a try. Maybe, Co -”

    JM: (interrupting) “Great idea, Darche. You’re the man! Everybody high-five Darche! We’re gonna give Nokelainen a shot in place of, uh, hmmm, let’s see – Subban.”

    Subban: “What the!!l

    JM: “Another thing we got here on my pad – we’ll get back to the Christmas party later – is what do you guys think about a free Starbucks card for the the next guy who scores a winning goal? I thought giving you guys some incentive might put some fire in your belly to win!”

    Cammy: “Speaking of scoring, coach, what about hitting the ice now for some shooting drills?”

    JM: (staring a long time at his notepad)

    Cammy: “Coach?”

    JM: (still staring at notepad)

    Cunneyworth: “(Cough) No practice today, boys. Coach wants you to rest up for Florida.”

    Cole: “Coach, you good with people doing a bit of ice time anyway today?”

    JM: “If you did your research, Cole, you’d see that every athlete benefits from recovery time. I’m thinking you may need a bit more of that. What’d you have for ice time last night? 11 minutes or something like that? Sounds pretty steep. Maybe you and Gomez should talk about the importance of resting on-ice and off-ice.”

    (Everyone a little stunned and silent)

    JM: “Ok, last point on my notepad: crashing the net. I have a short clip here of how those Leafs crashed our net last night and, really, this is how we gotta do it.”

    (Plays video of Price getting run over last night)

    JM: “See, like that.” (Smiles and flaps his ears) “Ok, everybody, go home and have a nap. Look forward to next game with ya.”

  28. Matt. says:

    What’s the point of this trade? why are the Canadiens trading draft picks for a centre who has who played in Finland last year….

    David Shoalts tweeted:
    Since Petteri Nokelainen, Habs’ latest saviour, drafted 16th overall in ’04, he’s had major knee surgery, traded 4 times, bought out once.

    Staffard is not an NHL defenseman…
    Again, why are the Canadiens trading NHL draft picks for career AHLer’s. Its one thing if the guys have potential to improve…
    Whatever, like this team can get any worse.

    • Habifax says:

      this is a move to take heat off the management/coach. it means nothing else. reminds me of the houle days as gm.

    • Stev.R says:

      Whats wrong with this trade? Gives us an upgrade on our 4th line center and we gave up basically nothing. We also got another depth dman in case somebody else gets hurt. In my eyes all we did was get better. Maybe only fractionally better, but we didn’t get worse.

      • Habifax says:

        we traded one AHL center to replace another AHL center (Enquivst). We traded a draft pick and a player who showed promise and improvement in the preseason. Added a AHL dman. How does trading a propect and draft pick for 2 journeymen improve an NHL team. In the long run Phoenix wins this one. In the short term does not really help the Habs. Maybe the dogs.

  29. Edmaster says:

    Wow, I really didn’t think the team would take action so quickly in trying to resolve their problems. This move will go a long way in making us a much better team. Not!!!!

    Expos, please come home.

    • cuzzie says:

      That avatar of yours is not fair. My Precious! My Precious!

      Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • smiler2729 says:

      Gawd, I miss the Expos, this week was the 30th anniversary of blue freakin’ Monday… sniff sniff

      ___________________________________________________________
      “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

      • Habifax says:

        low point for sure. why rodgers. why????

        • smiler2729 says:

          Rodgers?

          Steve ROGERS. Johnny RODGERS. Get yer Montreal ’70s sports heroes right, dude.

          _______________________________________________________
          “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

      • cuzzie says:

        And you have to frikken bring it up. Nos Amoreux!

        Just kidding. I remember well and still want to pin needles into a Fanning Doll.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

    • Habifax says:

      Loved the Expos! Always will. MLB will never be the same for me.

      • sprague cleghorn says:

        Have not watched an MLB game since August ’94. And I was once the kinda guy who went to spring training.

        • cuzzie says:

          “94” we were cocky but we walked the walk. Too bad.

          Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • Habifax says:

          I was the type who would read the boxscores, pools and everything. now I find it long and boring. the jays don’t do a thing for me either.

          • cuzzie says:

            The Rays are going end up in MTL. It’s a feeling Iv’e had and I believe it will happen. There is something going on.

            Stay Thirsty My Friends!

          • Slightly Habnormal says:

            I still get goosebumps every time I hear “The Happy Wanderer”

            “VALDERIIIIII..VALDERAAAAA….!”

            ————————————-
            The more you know the less the better!

          • cuzzie says:

            I love to go wandering
            Along the mountain track
            And as I go, I love to sing
            My knapsack on my back

            Val deri Val dera

            Sing my friends!
            Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • slapshot777 says:

          Same here, once the Expos left MLB, I did as well. Could give a rats a$$ about anything baseball related. Baseball could be only onmly sports on and I would rather watch re-runs of Gillingans Island.

          To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

        • Edmaster says:

          Nice to hear there are are still passionate Expo fans out there. I went to the last game in Montreal. It was pretty sad, not only because they only announced that it would be the last game that very day, but also because of the actual game itself. Big loss to Florida and nothing really special said or done by the organization to say good-bye to the fans. I remember using my binoculars and catching a close up of Tim Raines in the dugout. He alsmost looked like he was crying. The only way we will see a Team back here is if a Billionaire wants one here, and certainly not because the city or Province wants it. I will continue to hope for two things. One, that a billionaire comes along or, two, that I become a Billionaire myself and bring home the Expos.

          Expos, please come home.

          • smiler2729 says:

            I had a vinyl cutter and made myself a bumper sticker back then that read MONTREAL EXPOS 1994 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS…

            But since I went to Maine every freakin’ summer since I was knee high, I always was a big Red Sox fan since the mid ’70s, what the hell, eh, there were two leagues and what were the chances of an Expos-Red Sox World Series….

            In true Expos tradition, the Red Sox keep breakin’ my heart too

            ___________________________________________________________
            “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

    • CanadienBoy says:

      So Gomez is done for up to 4 week i said he should retired ,the guy at 31 is finish just like Dury ,small guys can not take the punishment for that long ,thank Sather

  30. Propwash says:

    The team is no worse off as before. Like we were gonna get a no. 1 center for Trotter.

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™

    • Habifax says:

      Agreed. But to me the main purpose of a trade is to improve your team. not move sideways. I would not even consider this a shake up move.

      • Propwash says:

        I think it was more for Hamilton than anything else.

        _____________________
        Dooooooooooooooomed!™

        • Habifax says:

          I don’t follow the dogs but a trade to impact the habs would be welcomed by me.

          • Stev.R says:

            We got a new 4th line center. Was it not last night where everyone was clamoring for a new 4th line? Fucking fans need to make up their minds. Now we will have Nokelainen and Blunden on the 4th line. An upgrade over Palushaj and Engvist.

  31. twilighthours says:

    Regarding this trade: trotter was never going to the show with the habs, and any warm body is better than engqvist, so I guess this trade is a win. It wont fix this mess though.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Finally, a comment from the Sane Faction.

      Everybody wants size and grit, and now that it’s offered they turn up their nose at it.

      Oh, I forgot, we wanted to trade Yannick Weber, Andreas Engqvist and Peter Budaj for Scott Hartnell and a second-rounder.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  32. Habifax says:

    This GM is reminding a lot of another GM the Habs had. That one was terrible and made moves just for the sake of making moves to take the heat off from media and fans. That was Reggie Houle, who was IMHO one of the worst (Grundman) GM’s in my Habs History.

    As far as the coach goes can anyone tell me who is the first PP unit on this team or the second PP unit? Or the first PK unit? There is no consistency at all anywhere on this team. No wonder there are so many too many men penalties. The players do not know who is playing with who from line to line. Good coaches have set units and tweek them as needed. JM throws darts at a wall to plan this next set of players. How can a guy like Cole fit in when there is no line structure to fit into.

    Bottom line this move does zip. This team is going nowhere. The only time this team has great success is because of ‘stand on your head’ type of goaltending. That is not happening now. And here comes Booty. Look out now. The rest of this month looks bad. I hope it turns out better than it looks but I have little faith with what I have seen out the last dozen games.

    Sorry for the rant but I had to get it off the chest.
    Have a great day all!!!!!

    • twilighthours says:

      agreed. Martin blamed Cole for one of the too-many-men, but how can anybody but Martin be to blame with the lack of consistent line combos? I’m surprised anyone on the bench knows what’s going on – it sure looks like a mess from the other side of the tv.

      • Habifax says:

        when a coach starts blaming a player for anything in the media to me it is a sign that the coach has to go or is on his way out. At least should be.

      • cuzzie says:

        How can any coach go out and name a player for an error. The players should speak out and start calling out all of JM’s mistakes.

        Stay Thirsty My Friends!

        • Habifax says:

          agreed! for a coach to publicly call out a guy only serves one purpose to take heat off the coach. Nothing constructive ever comes out of this. Cole has been in the doghouse from day one so this contact will be a bad signing as long as JM is coach.

          • sprague cleghorn says:

            Even Don Cherry has had the class to never name the Bruin who jumped on the ice in Game 7 of the ’79 semi-final that cost the Bruins the Cup and Cherry his job.

  33. dhenry1234 says:

    Does anyone have knowledge on Campoli’s injury? I don’t even know what’s wrong with him. How much longer will he be out?

  34. Chuck says:

    I’m waiting for the announcement that Nokelainen has been flipped for Crosby.

    Seriously, though, this signals that Eller is going to be getting more ice time, and that the team then needs someone to play 3rd/4th line minutes at centre.

    Of course, this could also mean that Gomez might be out of the lineup for a while.

  35. twilighthours says:

    There is so much that could be written about this horrible mess (and, strangely, so little too).

    I’d just like to add that if you’re still one of those people who thinks the Habs’ awful preseason has nothing to do with this awful start, then it is time to wake up and open your eyes.

  36. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Again:

    3rd in Shots Against/Game
    25th in Goals Against/Game

    Darche on the PP instead of Cole is not the problem.
    Injuries to Markov, Spacek, and Campoli are.

    • OneTimer says:

      I agree. our D is weak, injured and depleted but lo and behold, our forwards are actually scoring this year. we’d have a pretty solid team if our defensive corps was healthy.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I never thought I’d say this…I wish Spacek was in the lineup right now.

      Spacek is 3rd in line behind Markov and Campoili though. And being behind Campoli isn’t saying much.

    • RGM says:

      Pittsburgh is without Crosby and Malkin, and played their last two games without Kris Letang, their #1 D-Man. They won both of those games by a combined 8-2 margin. Their record in this young season is 6-2-2 and they have 30 goals for in their 10 games. At some point we have to stop using these “ohhh we’re without key players” excuses. Other teams are missing MUCH BETTER PLAYERS than we are and still finding ways to win hockey games. Yes being without our #1, #4, and #7 defencemen is truly unfortunate for our squad, but we have been using this meme about being down key players for far too long now for it to carry water anymore.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Issue is also is that PIT has a much better coach than we do.

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

        • slapshot777 says:

          Guys whining for the coach to be fired will never happen at least till after Christmas, because like I have said a thousand times before. The coach has to be bilingual or you can forget about it. So putting a new coach in place is not as easy has everyone makes it out to be.

          Name three coaches that are bilingual who could come in a be a good coach for the Habs. (not Therrien). Now name three coaches that could come in and do a good job for the Habs with language not being an issue. I bet on the first question your going to have to think for a while.

          To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • twilighthours says:

        They are coached by Dan bylsma, a real NHL head coach.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Sorry, didn’t mean to make it seem like I was making excuses – my point was that all this talk about Darche on the PP isn’t the issue, it’s the D in complete shambles.

        The point I was trying to make earlier was that these numbers are unlikely to remain the same. That there’s a certain amount of bad luck in our record.

        • RGM says:

          Fair enough. There are those who rely heavily on this one. It carried some water back in April when we were recently down Markov & Gorges. Well, Gorges is back but there’s still no Markov and it’s been pretty much the last two years that we’ve been without him now. When he returns it will be almost like bringing in a new UFA, really.

          And yeah I do agree that some bounces haven’t gone our way. The whole deal with the puck clearly hitting the netting last night before the 4th Leafs goals is one such example. Should never have happened. But a good team, which I would like to think our Habs are, find ways to overcome the little obstacles and emerge victorious. Our squad, so far it seems, has been finding ways to lose games.

          ———————–
          GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  37. Cohen Chatter says:

    Does owner Geoff Molson, now also the team president, have any input into the lousy job GM Pierre Gauthier is doing. So he trades minor leaguer Brock Trotter, who mark my words will become an instant scorer for Phoenix, for another six foot plus player who won’t go into the corners or drop his glove.Gauthier and coach Jacques Martin are the boring dynamic duo, filling their roster with players who put us to sleep. And they bring up Michael Blunden from Hamilton, six two and also a guy with no significant toughness. This was Burlington, Vermont resident Pierre Gauthier’s chance to make a statement and bring up a tough guy like Ian Schultz or Andrew Comboy. But he and Martin would rather watch their players get smacked around or be forced to see a top defenceman like Josh Gorges drop the gloves to defend a teammate. For the first time in my life I actually watch games and hope the Habs lose, just because I want to see Gauthier and Martin gone!!!!

    • slapshot777 says:

      Who do you think PG was going to get for Trotter on the Phoenix roster? Stop and think. I’m not saying that this is the best PG could have done, but all we traded away was a minor leaguer and a late pick for two players. Sometimes achange is scenery is good for players involved.

      Trotter was never going to play for the Habs anyway. If he did we would be all complaining about another small player in the lineup.
      If Trotter gets that call in Phoenix good for him. We called for bigger players, will this guy Petteri Nokelainen and Blunden are both over 6′ and over 200 lbs. So here is your wish.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  38. The Kid says:

    Drew Stafford!!! That’s aweso- oh… oh wait, nevermind.

  39. Mavid says:

    i am going to vacume and then maybe bake some bread, like all good women should…perhaps i will do it it shorts…kinda nipply out today though..

    second place is just the first loser

  40. Jim Edson says:

    The short comings of this team were apparent in pre-season but that was ok cuz it didn’t count, in the first week of the season but that was ok cuz the team hadn’t developed any of the oft touted “chemistry” so now after two losses to the LAFFS and being second last in the league what is the newest rationalisation?

    How long until those still wearing their rose coloured glasses start classifying losses as “good losses or bad losses” just like JM?

    ———————————————————————-
    …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

    Who am I: Barak Obama or Gary Bettman.

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    I thought it wouldn’t be too long until Blunden was called up, probably in anticipation of playing the Bruins. He’s not a big fighter, hopefully a little tougher than Darche and Enqvist, but he looked decent on the forecheck, in the defensive zone and he seems to throw his weight around on occasion.

    Hopefully Blunden and this new guy, Nokelainen, can do a decent job on the 4th line. Normally I’d say put Moen with them but since he’s our best forward at the moment, I’m probably thinking Darche.

    I would have also called Henry up from Hamilton for our game against Boston later in the week. There’s no way he’s worse than Diaz in his own end and he could come in handy when Lucic starts slapping Price and Subban around, instead of watching like Gill or Diaz or pretty much anybody on our defense would…

    • Duracell3 says:

      Watched Nokelainen a lot in 09-10 when he played with the Ducks. He was nowhere close to being an NHL level player. Apparently he played in the WC last year (and won), and it’s about time we had another Fin, so whatever, not like we gave up anything for him.

  42. HardHabits says:

    So long good times
    Hello bad times
    We have skid right down to last

    No hurray times
    Cloudy gray times
    The good times they have passed

    Crappy days are here again
    The skies above fall down again
    So let’s sing ole, drink beer again
    Crappy days are here again

  43. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Silver Linings/Cause of Optimism:

    Montreal’s 32.9 Shots For Per Game ranks 6th in the league
    Montreal’s 26 Shots Against Per Game ranks 3rd in the league

    It’s unlikely that a team that shoots that much will remain 17th in Goals Per Game and 25th in Goals Against Per Game

    You want to know why Montreal is struggling? It’s not that Darche is on the PP – it’s that last point (3rd in Shots Against, 25th in Goals Against). Injuries have completely thrown our D corps out of whack.

  44. Hickory Duff says:

    I guess management decided to stir the soup a bit, hoping to get something going.

    I think the main problem with this team is the defense (not goalie). We have problems holding leads, and I’ve never seen so many missed assignments out there. Opposing players in front of the net, with no D near them. Emelin, Diaz, and Weber are doing the best they can, they really are. But they’re in over their heads. Last night, Diaz was trying to move the puck out of his zone with Grabovski and another Leafs player in two passing lanes, and Diaz really looked like he had no idea where to pass it.

    We need Spacek and Campoli back, I’m afraid to say. They aren’t the best out there, but they have experience, and that’s what we’re missing.

    (First post BTW, love the site)

    • ProHabs says:

      And don’t forget Gorges icing the puck for no reason against the Sabres and then yesterday setting Kessels goal up for him on a silver platter

    • slapshot777 says:

      One of the biggest problems I have seen with the Habs defense so far this season is they hang on to the puck way to long and try and skate ot of the zone with it only to lose it and give the opposing team a good scoring chance.

      Gorges was guilty last night of losing the puck. They hold on until its too late then they panic and make bad passes, or try the impossible pass and my favorite one is where they have a guy 10 feet away and they rifle a pss to him hoping that he can hang on to it.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  45. tony d says:

    and this trade will help us how? Somebody please enlighten me. At the end of the day it’s new faces but same ol’ shizz.

  46. JayBee says:

    Lapierre, Boyd, Halpern, Metropolit, Moore…and now Nokalinen.

    I really really really hate this management. Words can’t express how much I hate them. Simply incompetent.

    All Gauthier does is make lateral moves. He is the worst GM in the league. Look up his track record, he makes nothing but lateral, low key moves. Please rid us of this management team…please.

  47. Jim Edson says:

    ” Trotter, the 24 year old who has just recently returned from a year in the KHL has started off pretty strongly in the AHL. He led the Bulldog’s with 7 points in 5 games. The diminutive forward probably won’t amount to much but he sadly might be the best player in the deal.”

    An assessment of the trade from the desert!

    Whoopeee!

    ———————————————————————-
    …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

    Who am I: Barak Obama or Gary Bettman.

  48. Goderichab says:

    You can change the deck, but if you have the same dealer, don’t expect your hand to be better!

    A nothing trade to pacify the complaints… You want this team to be better, get a new coach who can motivate and count to five.
    I agree the multiple line formations adds to confusion and too many men minors!

    Could there be a communications problem?

    Once you have a line formed give the guys a chance to get used to playing with each other before you start fiddling with it.

    I know, I know, the excuse is we want to shake up things….but Darche on the pk. Give me a break…You are either in lala land or you have no clue about the teams strengths and weaknesses.
    Tell me, 4 on 4 ,how does a guy get left alone in front of Price without any one covering?

    I’m sorry but you can add all the sugar and spice to the pot but maybe the chef is the problem!

    Wake up..Mr Molson, there is a limit to the fans tolerance and the players’ lack of faith in the coaches plans. They have to say what they do to the media otherwise they are pine juice for the next 20 games.

    But take a look at the bench during a game, do you see anyone with enthusiasm..???

    Sorry but I have never been one to blame the coach when the players are the ones executing the play, but in this instance, a major change of direction is needed.

    I remember the dynasties…

  49. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Interested to see what Blunden and Nokelainen bring to the 4th line.

    On a related note – I’m not sure why everyone is hammering Gauthier for not getting a 4th line Centre – he did. And a damn good one too in Betts. It’s just rotten luck that his injury was WAY worse than originally thought. He then went with the most obvious choice internally, didn’t really work out, so he’s just made another move. Hopefully it pans out.

    He did the same thing on D – it’s not his fault that 3 veteran D got injured before the season began (Markov) or in the 1st week of the season (Campoli and Spacek). Leaving us with a D corps that has 4 players with under 100 games of NHL experience (two with under 10 games!), and leaning heavily on an immobile veteran better suited to the PK and 3rd pairing duty and 1 coming off major knee surgery.

    We can all sit here and bemoan the fact that Hamrlik isn’t on the team anymore – but perhaps we should all go back and look at what was being said here in the summer when news broke that Gauthier offered Hamrlik a 1 yr deal.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Blair Betts… c’mon man! How embarrassing that you have to void a move because YOU DIDN’T DO your homework, Gauthier!

      Every move he makes blows up in his face.

      ___________________________________________________________
      “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        The facts are so overwhelmingly against you that I frankly cannot be bothered to enumerate them.

        • smiler2729 says:

          What facts??

          That Gauthier did his homework before claiming Betts??

          ___________________________________________________________
          “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            “Every move blows up in his face”

            Demonstrably false statement

          • RGM says:

            Doesn’t work that way slugger. Teams do not have access to other teams’ medical reports or players until after the waiver claim goes through. Thus, while it was known that Betts was a little dinged up, it wasn’t until after he became Habs property that the medical staff was able to fully evaluate him and see just how badly injured he truly was. At that point, and only at that point, could they make the recommendation that the waiver transfer be voided. And now you know.

            ———————–
            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Thanks for the back up RGM!

      • Jim Edson says:

        It’s nothing new Goatier has a long history of poor “do diligence” both as a GM and as a Pro Scout!

        Think back to Niinima for Ribero more damged good came to the Habs.

        ———————————————————————-
        …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

        Who am I: Barak Obama or Gary Bettman.

  50. cuzzie says:

    As I posted earlier this morning. Eller when asked after the game about the goalie change did not know the laffs had changed netminders. What the EFF is going on here?

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  51. avatar_58 says:

    I’m amused he feels replacing Engqvist and Palushaj will right the ship.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Palushaj, yeah, we got him for Matt D’Agostini… great trade eh

      ___________________________________________________________
      “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

  52. pat s says:

    here we go again with these micky mouse/irrelevant moves

    this team was s destroyed in 2003 when gainbey was hired–yes, we had a couple of good seasons but we were never a threat-this play nice pretty boy hockey does not work and never will

    some of you talk with two sides of your mouth–when they are winning they are great and when they are losing they are brutal–i don’t care if they win or lose, this team, philosophy is for the birds–

    get new management in here asap if you want something done–these trnsactions are so micky ouse that they are even worth reporting

  53. Boomer says:

    Hey guys, How’s it going
    First time poster, long time visitor to the site (great job btw)
    originally from out east but living out in Calgary but still a huge Habs fan. I was sad to see Brock traded i liked him, looking forward to seeing the new guys. Havent heard of Nokelainen before, hopefully he fits in. Anyone know if this guy is a good pick up?

    Have a good one guys ;)

    Boom baby!

    • smiler2729 says:

      Boomer, welcome to the bitchfest, buddy.

      Nokewhatever is a nothing just like Brock Trotter, a sideways move. Again, Habs fans elevate anybody drafted or signed by us to near-Lafleur status. If Trotter was so good, why isn’t he on the big club, I’ve been hearing about this guy now for 3 years, lunk him in with the David Fischers and Danny Kristos, hell, Terry Ryans and Lindsay Vallis too.

      Spew forth and feel better, Booms, we are an embarrassed angry bunch

      ___________________________________________________________
      “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

  54. smiler2729 says:

    Let’s call a spade a spade here.

    I get a lot of criticism cuz I don’t love Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitysn and Andrei Markov.

    Plekanec is a perimeter player, scared of going to the dirty areas and disappears when it matters most, he loses the most important faceoffs (Game 7 OT vs Boston, puhleez) and prefers to pass when he should shoot… yes he is a more than responsible defensive forward but THAT IS WHAT HE IS, a freakin’ 3rd line center with SOME offensive upside, he is NOT a top 6 forward as much as you all want him to be… and because of this homer love from la foule, he gets rewarded with a ridiculous contract that will BITE the Habs in the ass.

    AK46, dumb hockey player, ’nuff said. Again, rewarded with a contract he doesn’t deserve.

    Markov, geez, the accolades this guy gets, you’d think he was freakin’ Denis Potvin! So he moves the puck but is he Potvin, Larry Robinson or even a top 25 dman in today’s NHL – NO!!! The guy is an overpaid china doll and having missed about a million and a half of the last million games, he suddenly is being regarded as a ‘saviour’ when he comes back!

    Gimme a break and let’s call it like it is – THIS TEAM BLOWS – SOFT & EMBARRASSING

    ___________________________________________________________
    “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

    • pat s says:

      aside from markov i think plekanac and AK go can play anywhere and i’d be happy–plekanec is the most overrated player in montreal

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Tomas Plekanec has 5 consecutive 20-goal seasons. Do you know how few centres in the National Hockey League can say they have that? He’s got 70 and 57 points in his last two seasons. Go look up the Top 30 scoring centres in the NHL for last season, and the year before that. Note how guys with those totals are in that listing.

      Back up your statement with facts. Tomas Plekanec matches up against Top-6 competition and he scores at the rate of a Top-6 centre in the National Hockey League. Andrei Kostitsyn is a 2nd/3rd line winger, sometimes inconsistent but when used in proper matchups, is capable of delivering impact in a game. He’s just not on the level of the 2003 All-Star class so he gets judged a bit harshly.

      Andrei Markov was a Top-10 defencemen in the NHL for the first 5 years of the post-lockout NHL. His points proved it, his TOI and the quality of the competition he played against proved it. He was the best PP quarterback in the Eastern Conference. When he comes back, he will be less than before but his intelligence and puckhandling will make him a valuable contributor and a great mentor to a young, inexperienced group of puck-moving defencemen. He won’t save the team, but he will make them better and make the prospect D better.

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

      • smiler2729 says:

        And the blindlove for Pleks and Markov continues… I rest my case.

        ___________________________________________________________
        “I wish we were WICKED AWESOME like the Broons and their chowdahhead fans and their backwards baseball caps”

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Blind Love? How about blind hate for guys who happen to have the ‘wrong’ birth certificate? He scores at the rate of a “Top-6″ Centre, he matches up against top lines on other teams and accords himself well very often. He shut down David Krejci, who ended up leading the entire playoffs of 2011 in scoring to 1 assist over 7 game while scoring 2G, 3A himself.

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

          • RGM says:

            Shhhh, Robert. You giving supporting reasoning of why Plekanec, Markov, and Kostitsyn are viable NHL players who deserve the kudos they receive is just more of that “blind love” which is not on the same par as smiler’s rational and well-reasoned statements he has provided without any supporting evidence in the case of the latter two players.

            ———————–
            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Well, if you don´t consider Pleks a first line center, fine. If you write “he is NOT a Top 6 forwards”, that´s just obvious bs. Same goes for the part about Markov and Kostitsyn is a decent second liner too. I don´t see blind love here but certainly blind hate when it comes to you.

        • Everlasting1 says:

          Pleks has always proved his worth, he’s a solid 2nd liner. And I doubt Subban will ever match Markov’s numbers, defensive instincts.

          ——————————————————————-
          When the Hebrew scouts investigate the Promised Land of Canaan and return to discourage the other Hebrews from entering it..”We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” [Numbers 13:33]

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

        • Trisomy 21 says:

          Blind? are you stupid? he just gave you stats. What do you want to hear if you don’t want to see people defend some of our best players? Sorry, but you’re wrong. Deal with it.

    • JayBee says:

      Pleks is a 3rd line center? HAHAHAHAHHHAHAHA

    • RGM says:

      Question – if the names were Thomas Powers, Andrew Constance, and Andrew Marks, would this nonsense string exist?

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      You’re maturity level is that of a teenager, whether you are one in actual terms of years is up for debate, but one does not need to be young to be immature.

      Your comments towards Robert are disrespectful to say the least, he provides excellent insight regarding our junior players and is respectful of others.

      You’re not the 1st troll he actually tries to reason with, sadly as with all trolls, results are the same.

      Now go back under your bridge.

  55. Say Ash says:

    So how come JM dislikes Cole so much? What started this, exactly? The little that I saw of him last night looked pretty friggin’ good to me.

    • kempie says:

      And, more importantly, how can Mr. Molson view the following:

      PG goes out and gets exactly the type of player the team needs and has been clamouring for for ages, slightly overpaying for the best fit available. JM’s response is basically “I don’t care for him”. 11 minutes last night? No PP time because you wouldn’t want to cut into Darche’s 5 on 3 minutes or Moen’s 16 minutes.

      Eller didn’t realize that there had been a goalie change? How does that happen with a professional hockey team? Nobody mentions to your second line centre that there has been a goalie change?

      If I was PG or GM, I’d be some POd about the Cole fiasco. I think that GM is entitled to answers to some very basic questions that I hope he asks.

  56. gumper says:

    Nokelainen – 58% on faceoffs this year in five games. Sure could have used that last night.

  57. Habster says:

    Here is the talent Analysis from hockey’s Future:
    Nokelainen’s ability to play two-way hockey can’t be stressed enough as that is what makes his game. He positions himself well to always be where he is needed, whether that is starting an odd man rush or wrestling in the corners of the offensive zone. Needless to say, he is a top choice to kill a penalty. However, his offensive skills are average all around. He does score quite a lot against his peers and his willingness to use the slapshot is a good sign of confidence, he may not have what it takes to match the numbers of the best defensive forwards in the game. The largest question mark is his speed, which is mediocre for a player of his quality, yet he still seems to improve. Nokelainen may not get a lot of press before draft day, but he looks to be favored by coaches over many other players.
    He’s very injury prone and has been with three different teams. Just what the habs need; another injury prone, journeyman player!!

  58. PrimeTime says:

    The problem with this team is LEADERSHIP. We have none with impact on the ice or behind the bench. The quicker to resolve is the latter. But the right leader isn’t the same old names being thrown around here today. It may take until the end of the year but what we need is an known and respected Coach with a winning record. Not going to find one currently in the NHL so the search must be in the CHL or Collegiate levels. An example of the Coach I would be targeting is a Dale Hunter in the OHL. In the meantime give Cunneyworth (or whoever the Assistant is) the interim title and put the pressure on the vets to step up, and let the younger players learn how to play with adversity……some tough love!

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I don’t think leadership is the problem as in the locker room there are plenty of leaders.
      Gio
      Gomez
      Cammy
      Gorges
      Markov(When he’s in town)
      Gil

  59. Propwash says:

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=597182

    _____________________
    Dooooooooooooooomed!™


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