Andrei Markov takes break from contract talks to get married in Russia

Andrei Markov didn’t sign a new contract on Friday, but he was a busy man.

The Canadiens’ unrestricted free-agent defenceman got married to Sonya Sonechka in Russia and posed for a photo with former teammates Alexei Emelin and P.K. Subban, who are both now with the Nashville Predators.

In an Instagram post, Subban said his former teammate had been “one of the most influential people” in his career.

“Today we celebrate life and love… not a power play goal!” Subban added. “I love you Marky, and couldn’t be happier to be here for your special day!”

Markov and Sonechka have a one-year-old daughter, Vasilisa. Markov’s ex-wife, Natalia Streckova, died from ovarian cancer last year. Markov and Streckova had twin boys together, Andrei and Mark. After Streckova died, Markov brought the 5-year-old boys from Russia to live with him and Sonechka in Montreal.


Markov, who has been representing himself without an agent in contract talks, has been reported to be looking for a two-year deal worth US$12 million. The 38-year-old defenceman posted 6-30-36 totals last season and was plus-18 while averaging 21:50 of ice time. Only Shea Weber (25:03) and Jeff Petry (22:06) averaged more ice time on the Canadiens than Markov, who will turn 39 on Dec. 20.


  1. I love this discussion, makes Carey Price even more incredible than he already is. I won’t list his awards, there’s a 500 word cap/post 😛

    Shane Oliver
    What Carey Price thinks of your Opinion on his contract.

  2. 2008-2026 Montreal Canadiens, 1 Hall of Fame Member (Carey Price) played in a 30-30 plus team league and behind some of the Canadiens least offensive teams of all time. No that’s not impressive at all 🙄

    Shane Oliver
    What Carey Price thinks of your Opinion on his contract.

  3. berc says:

    Most of the forward lineup is composed of LWs! An entire team of left thumbs–er, Left Wings. So much discussion about which LW to put at C, at RW. Crazy imbalance in the lineup at the moment, regardless of the hypothetical ability of the many LWs to play C or RW.

    I appreciate #Krob ‘s nuanced discussion of face-offs but this still doth not a center of Galchenyuk make imho. He seemed much more confused as a center than as a winger. Kind of like his motherboard was beginning to fail. Maybe there will be an experiment with Drouin or Hudon at C. Maybe Plekanec gets promoted, rather than demoted. Maybe Danault grows further into #1C instead of #2C. Heck, maybe even Pacioretty should be tried at #1C! He is 48.3% on faceoffs over last 5 years, and it’s not like he’s so great along the boards. Sure, he’s a sniper. But let the other, younger, guys dig around in the corners and use Pacioretty’s experience to set up plays. Drouin-Pacioretty-Galchenyuk? Not much crazier than some of the other proposed combinations. A true scoring line consisting 100% of left thumbs, er, Left Wings.

  4. on2ndthought says:

    new position (OC); new thread

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Lindy Ruff joins Rangers as Asst. Coach, while Pierre Turgeon joins the Kings as Asst. Coach.

    More and more we are seeing the big name former Head Coaches taking Asst. Coach roles.

    Edit: Interesting that the Kings are making Turgeon their offensive co-ordinator.

    • Forum Dog says:

      That is interesting. When we were having a discussion a few days ago about the Habs tending to not employ former highly skilled player in management or coaching roles (except for Muller), Turgeon came to mind. Didn’t realize he was still in the game….

  6. ProHabs says:

    Who is this young whippersnapper Caroline Benoit that slammed the door shut on the summit

  7. sakuknows says:

    Got the sense that though they played relatively well last year, the group of guys really weren’t a cohesive, bonded group.

    You had the Russians, a couple other Cliques (n8 and friends), then everyone else.

    A component of that will always exist. But I hope the new additions and those kept from last season grow and develop a I’ll go through a wall for my mates type bond.

    Who though, will be the glue?

  8. mfDx says:

    Crazy thought.
    Could the certainty of Markov downgrading Guy (gars d’chez nous) Lapointe to third on this storied franchise’s list of top scoring defencemen have any bearing on managements will to resign him?

    Sent Via Vulcan mind-meld

    • habcertain says:

      Yes that is crazy

    • B says:

      Some suggested that Gainey turfed Koivu so he wouldn’t break Beliveau’s record as the Canadiens’ longest serving captain.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Forum Dog says:

        Interesting. Never heard that before. Two great leaders of very different stature, time and team success. Koivu deserved to remain a Hab, and his replacement at centre was a huge part of Gainey’s downfall. If at all true, it would reflect poorly on a man who always conducted himself with a great degree of integrity and love for the game (and franchise).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I was one that wondered if that was the case. Not specifically Gainey, but the organization as a whole and Gainey be it in agreement or not made the final call.

        • johnnylarue says:

          I remember this being discussed in hush tones in the French language media at the time, too. There was something sacrilegious about Saku–aka the Man Who Wouldn’t Say “Merci”–eclipsing Beliveau in the All Time ranks.

          Thankfully, he had slowed down enough for the move to be justified from a hockey perspective, so no need to face any potentially unpleasant truths…

  9. habs001 says:

    If we wanted entertainment and high scoring games this is the line up the Habs should go with…This line up would make CJ get grey hair.

    MaxPac Danault Gallagher

    Lehks Galchenyuk Drouin

    Hemsky Plecks Byron

    Shaw Hudon Sherbek

  10. habs001 says:

    Habs face off stats are not that bad on a % basis vs the rest of the league. The problem for the Habs is that in most cases the other teams top face off guy is better than the Habs top guy…This is why Habs lose so many PP,PK and key zone draws…

    • on2ndthought says:

      Plek is above average, but seems to lose regularly to the best.

    • johnnylarue says:

      I’ve also noticed that other (read: better) teams have more effective set plays to deal with lost faceoffs, often causing us to lose possession immediately after winning a draw.

      I’ll be curious to see how these little details evolve under CJ.

  11. marvin20 says:

    @ian Cobb
    What a pass the buck BS email. If she really cared about your efforts and hard work, she should have taken some time to understand the issues you are experiencing. Than atempt to help you solve the problems.

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Caroline Benoit | Club de hockey Canadien
    Today at 1:37 PM

    Ian Cobb

    Message body

    Hello Ian,
    Sorry to hear this year’s Habs Summit got cancelled due to complications.
    We recognize the hard work you have put in this event in the past years and we thank you for everything you’ve done for the Foundation !
    Looking forward to working with you again possibly in the future.

    All the best,
    Caroline Benoit
    Coordonnatrice, collecte de fonds et évènements, Fondation des Canadiens pour l’enfance
    Coordinator, Fundraising and Events, Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
    Club de hockey Canadien, Inc.

  13. Habnormal says:

    I predict Galchenyuk will easily lead the team In scoring this year (points).

  14. New says:

    Story in Lapresse about wee David and what it meant to him to play NHL and with Habs. The bond that forms between a few players and why. A little more truthful than most of the PR stuff.

    Some funny stuff, remembering how Crosby did when they met in the first NHL game. Impressions. Well worth the read for those with the time.

    For those who can’t be bothered, please don’t bother.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure if it has been posted here, but Price’s contract details are now out there, and it is fairly front loaded and very heavily paid in signing bonuses.

    Season Salary Signing Bonus (incl. in salary)
    2018-2019 $15,000,000 $13,000,000
    2019-2020 $15,000,000 $13,000,000
    2020-2021 $9,750,000 $8,750,000
    2021-2022 $13,000,000 $11,000,000
    2022-2023 $7,750,000 $6,750,000
    2023-2024 $8,500,000 $6,500,000
    2024-2025 $7,500,000 $5,500,000
    2025-2026 $7,500,000 $5,500,000

    • bwoar says:

      Seems like he’ll be quite well paid going into the next lockout / CBA negotiation. (2020, right?) Then there’s a that big dip the year no one’s gonna play, then back to a nice payday, then it levels out.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yup, in light of Escrow, how Gary refused the players Olympics without extending current CBA, another stoppage will soon be upon us.

    • mfDx says:

      Can someone quickly explain to neophytes how this salary breakdown differs from the “cap hit”, and which numbers arec more relevant to the GM’s grand plan?

      Sent Via Vulcan mind-meld

      • B says:

        The cap hit is the most important part, there is only a fixed amount of cap space available each season ($75M for the 17/18 season). How the salary is allotted has no impact on the actual cap hit per season over the contract. Front loading the contract (paying more in the earlier years) means the player gets their money faster. Adding signing bonuses means the player gets the bonus part faster each year (on July 1st I believe instead of spread out over the season like the regular part of the salary). The signing bonus part is also typically paid regardless of whether the season is lost in whole or in part due to a lockout or strike (since the player gets the bonus in July and the strike / lockout typically occurs later in the season than that). I hope this helps.

        –Go Habs Go!–

      • berc says:

        Cap hit=(total nhl salary+total nhl bonuses over term of contract)/number of years of contract. Time spent on LTIR (injury reserve) counts toward salary but not towards cap hit. Time spent in minor leagues is paid at either major league salary (one-way contract) or minor league salary (two-way contract) and does not count towards cap.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    A few folks opined here that perhaps the Olympics were a big part in Kovalchuks decision to stay 1 more season in the KHL. Appears that was indeed the case.

  17. on2ndthought says:

    From way below; and in the category of flogging a dead horse:

    Andrew Berkshire @AndrewBerkshire
    I give up. Habs fans are painfully stupid. If you think trading a top 4 defenseman for another team’s 14th forward is smart, you’re not.

    This was his response to the Diaz/Weise trade 🙂

  18. arcosenate says:

    Thankfully the wedding planner for Markov does not plan the Bell Centre celebrations.

  19. Cheech says:

    Well ,me thinks this could be the softest groups of forwards the Habs have grouped in quite awhile….lots of injuries this year for sure…hope the prospects are ready….

    • sakuknows says:

      Though I agree we are sofffffffffffffffff, especially up front, we are only about half a decade or so out from the Gomez, Gio, and Cammy era. How freaking bad was that.

      Gainey/Goats still give me the shivers. Sigh.

    • Rad says:

      The more things change, the more they remain the same with these Habs — cream puffs for decades. Even the D is soft. Weber for example, takes care of himself, but at 6’4″, 232, he needs to hit more than he does. Needs to be more of a leader in that regard. Maybe The Claude will determine that McCarron, Martinsen, and De La Rose need to get plenty of ice time this year.

      • Loop_G says:

        Weber needs to be more of a leader?? Only on this site would one the league’s best leaders of the last 25 years be bashed for his leadership skills.

        • Rad says:

          He has not led in the physicality department, something that is clearly required on a small Habs team that gets pushed around. Your statement about him being “one of the league’s best leaders of the last 25 years” is ludicrous. Exaggerate much? There have been hundreds of great leaders during that time. Every team at any one time has at least 5 good leaders.

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    2017 HIO FAN SUMMIT as we know it, is CANCELLED this year!!

    I regret to inform everyone that I am not able to put this event on this year. There are just to many price increases, road blocks etc. as I deal for game tickets, hotel accommodation for rates on rooms, banquet hall, etc.
    I have notified Stu Cowan and Mary McGill this morning of my decision.

    It was suggested we just pick a game to attend and we all meet up for dinner at Hurley’s Irish Pub or some other place. We might want to go to Ottawa for a Hab Ottawa game or even go to Nashville for a game!
    It has been a wonderful 11yrs with great people. Sure hope someone can put us all together somewhere again. A very sad day for me!
    Enjoy your summer and I hope we share a cold one someday again.
    Love to all of you,
    Ian Cobb

    • Forum Dog says:

      Ian – I never attended one of these, although they always sounded like an absolute blast. Even though we’ve never met, I’ve had tremendous respect for your efforts, whether in connection with the summit or Captain Alex.

      Props to you and everyone who participated. Keeping it going for 11 years is no small feat. I tip my hat.

    • Walmyr says:

      Hey Mr. Cobb,

      Sad news indeed,
      I never had the chance to attend any of the previous HIO Fan Summit (and it would be impossible to travel to Canada this year too). But from all the frenzy and funny stories that I know from the past events I only can imagine how great are these summits.

      So, I just want to salute you (and all the hard workers who helped you along those years)!

      You rock!

      And I hope to have the chance to meet some of you guys in the future…and of course, to watch a couple of Canadiens game with you too…

    • Don Birnam says:

      I just sent you an email Ian.
      Thanks for all the hard work you put in every year.
      See you in Belleville for a Laval Rockets game this season my friend.
      Cheers,Saludos and Slainte Amigo!

      Viva Timo Libre!

    • johnnylarue says:

      What a drag! Sign of the times.

    • Habfan17 says:

      This is very disappointing news Ian. Thank you for all your efforts over the years putting these events together.


    • The Gumper says:

      That’s a real shame Ian. Although I have never attended it sure seemed like a good time was had by all.
      For what it’s worth, I think you were treated very shabbily despite all of the good work you have done for both the Club and the Children’s Hospital…

    • on2ndthought says:

      Ian. Thanks for the previous summits, they have been a highlight every year.

      Whatever you organize re: a game and Hurley’s; I am in! I also have room to billet (though way out on the North Shore).

      I’m in on Ottawa, maybe on Vegas, and interested but doubtful on Nashville.

      Have a great summer!

    • Dust says:

      Ian, I think in the past I read that you live in Belleville. If this is correct I was there this past weekend for my sons Ball hockey tournament. First time there. Nice place

    • New says:

      Hey Ian. You did so much good work on this over the years, and everybody appreciates it, even us non-attendees.

      Thanks for letting us in on some of the emails. It gives us context.

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Thanks for those videos, O2T.

      Love Jack Han’s stuff. The Gazette should put him on the payroll pronto. It’s crazy that this type of analysis is not considered sports journalism by most outlets.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  21. on2ndthought says:

    Travis Yost thinks Brandon Pirri is a good acquisition:

    I remember somebody here wanted us to grab him. He plays center, but pretty sure he was shoved to wing on other teams. Worth a flyer, or mud in the water?

    • Loop_G says:

      Worth a shot if we ditch Martinson or someone. We have enough bits and pieces though and need to give DLR and Hudon some time to see what’s there/not there.

  22. on2ndthought says:

    @krob, Phil, Mike, berc

    Good discussion last night on rookies versus fringe vets. It is not supposed to be easy to make the NHL. Franchises have to carefully balance the need to develop players with the need to win hockey games.

    If Holland would be marginally better than DLR for one year, then marginally worse for the next 5; who do you expose to waivers?

    • The_Rocket_Returns says:

      Holland in a heartbeat.

      If the difference between a Holland and a DLR is the difference between making the playoffs or not, then the team has problems anyways.

      If the difference between them is the difference between fourth and fifth place, who cares. Seeding isn’t that important.

      Developing young, cost-controlled impact players is the one consistent theme of every good team.

      … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Holland exposed, of those 2. Not even close.

    • on2ndthought says:

      Thanks for the answers. I like that there is one on each side, as I feel conflicted myself. [EDIT: I see you actually agree on waiving Holland]

      Another consideration going into these types of decisions is: does the GM think or know that player x will be claimed while player y will clear waivers.

      I think MB is as tuned in as any GM, but I don’t think he was happy to lose Barberio and Condon last year for nothing.

    • berc says:

      Will surprise favorably this season:
      Holland (expectations are pretty low, so it won’t take much)
      Will disappoint:
      Rookies who might play a game or a few with Habs and who have future potential:

      • The_Rocket_Returns says:

        I think Hemsky will be better than people think … he’s still got wheels and has done very well at 5-on-5 the last few years despite middling linemates and a defensive role.

        … Koivu to Zednik to Kovalev …

  23. rhino514 says:

    I actually think that in the long run the habs will lose (possibly lose big) on the Sergachev deal but I completely understand why they felt they had to make the trade.
    I also think that the first pairing Dman should take precedence over the centre they need. The thing is, those first pairing puck moving Dmen are hardly ever available. I would wait until that dman becomes availabe even if it means waiting until the trade deadline. After all, the only thing that matters, as is often pointed out, is the playoffs. The habs have enough good players t make the payoffs, barring serious injuries, even with this hole in the lineup. If the right deal comes along during the summer (I hope) fine, if not, they should start the season as is.
    Regarding Markov, I´m ok either way; if they don´t re-sign him they will have a ton of cap space leverage, on the other hand if they do re-sign him they will still have more than 4-5 million in cap space to start the season. The team is clearly better with him on it but they have to avoid overpaying, they really need the cap space this year and next.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Like you, I was a bit lukewarm on the Drouin trade. On one hand, it has the potential to add a burgeoning young star to the offence, and a francophone one at that. At 22 years old and just starting to develop his ‘man-strength’, Drouin could legitimately approach a PPG if he plays with the top players and gets tonnes of PP time. He is a very good playmaker as well, which they seriously lack in the top-six. Then there is the merchandising angle, a not insignificant thing for a team that recently traded away it’s most marketable player.

      On the other hand, the trade of both Sergachev and Beaulieu has absolutely decimated their LD futures. Beaulieu was/is probably going to top out as a 3-4, but Sergachev is almost definitely going to play on an NHL top-pairing, and likely within the next 1-2 years. He is big, strong, mobile, a good passer and even has some dangle. A prototypical #1 if everything pans out. He was a big price to pay.

      It will all depend on how Drouin handles the move to MTL. If he continues to grow and turns into the 30 goal/80 point guy some think he can be, MTL will come out of the deal fine. The cost is high, but they will have got the player they so desperately needed. If Drouin gets stuck in the 50-60 point range and starts to feel the heavy MTL pressure, it will probably start to look a bit more lop-sided.

      Of course, it also depends on Sergachev, but I have little concern about him. He almost make MTL last year, was pretty dominant in his age 19 junior season (winning a Mem Cup and putting up 4 points in 4 tournament games), and is heading to a good situation in Tampa, where he will have an opportunity to learn and develop alongside defensive vets like Coburn, Girardi and/or Stralman. And he’ll have Hedman there to take off any early pressure. When you look at the Bolts d-corps, they could potentially go:

      Hedman – Stralman
      Sergachev – Girardi
      Koekkok – Coburn

      That’s a pretty good mix of youth and vets, skill and defense.

      • rhino514 says:

        “If Drouin gets stuck in the 50-60 point range and starts to feel the heavy MTL pressure, it will probably start to look a bit more lop-sided.”

        For whatever reason, perhaps the defence-first mentality on the team, it´s pretty much impossible for a player get more than 65 points in montreal. I do fear he will top out at around the sixty point mark -and that´s if he doesn´t melt under the immense spotlight.

        Sergachev, I see him becoming an impact player in his third year, maybe being great in his fourth year. I think it´s a bit like the Subban-Weber trade, where the habs may not “lose” during the first 3 years – but a bit better for the habs, they may “win” the first 3 years.
        Add to that the new Price and Pacioretty contracts and the organization has about a 2 year window to get real good at developping and integrating prospects.
        It can be done but the organization has to trust their kids more (i.e. Hudon). What is worrisome is that Julien is much more of a veteran´s coach than Therrien was (MT got lambasted around here but look how long it took Julien to demote Galchenyuk and bench Beaulieu).

        • Forum Dog says:

          Agreed. I am not a huge Julien fan, but think (hope) that he is a better communicator than MT was. And you are bang-on when it comes to integrating prospects. It is fairly common knowledge that you have to have guys performing on ELC’s, or at least in the first 5 years, in order to field a competitive team in the salary cap world. There isn’t a lot of room for 3rd and 4th liners who make more than $1M. MB has had a habit of bringing in guys like Weise, Byron, Shaw, Flynn and several others rather than live with the mistakes of the prospects. In some senses this is smart, but at some point you have to integrate those guys, or they die on the vine.

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    This season the amount of salary which can be buried away from Cap by sending player to AHL is $1,025,000.

    Therefore if Peter Holland, Ales Hemsky, Andreas Martinsen, or Joe Morrow were to be sent to AHL there is zero cap damage/hit to the Habs.

  25. B says:

    “expect the unexpected” = “I’m not going to tip my hand by telling you what to expect”

    –Go Habs Go!–

  26. Psycho29 says:

    Not sure if it was posted earlier, but the bridesmaids at Markov’s wedding were in Habs sweaters at the reception:

  27. on2ndthought says:

    “Expect the unexpected”: Montreal Canadiens acquire Jonathan Drouin from Tampa Bay Lightning June 15, 2017 1:16 PM EDT
    Last Updated June 16, 2017 8:17 AM EDT

    “You expect the unexpected,” Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said. The Associated Press Posted: Jun 12, 2017 3:56 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 12, 2017 3:56 PM ET

    “Unless you expect the unexpected, you will not find it, for it is hidden and thickly tangled, especially during the NHL off-season.” Heraclitus of Ephesus c. 535 BC – 475 BC

    • Huey says:

      pleks and mitchell have to go let patchs chucky drouin 1st line 2nd line lek danualt gally 3rd line byron shaw hemsky 4th line hudon jdlr mac let the young guys play we will need them

  28. Habnormal says:

    @Loop, I must say, some pretty good counter-points. I agree that not all things “must” happen but the bulk of them need to in order for this team to be any better than last season, which was my original premise. MB is purportedly, in his own words, always trying to make the team better. I see a significant downgrade on D based on what’s on paper right now, today. IF Davidson performs, IF Benn has good year, IF Alzner is an improvement on Emelin, IF someone like Jerabek can play top line minutes with Weber and/ or control the PP, we are in good shape. But that’s an aweful lot of IFs and we have not even started to talk about the forwards or chemistry that takes time to develop and sometimes never does. That was the point I was trying to make. When the most storied franchise in the history of hockey bows out in th first round (again) after a dreadful season the year before and the manager says “expect the unexpected ” I am waiting, like most, for something big, something concrete, something more than a lot of IFs

    • Loop_G says:

      I see questions, as you mention, we don’t really know. We have replaced Rad’s offence but we need more scoring than last year. This team might be better than last year, and it might fall flat. The points raised are all key points but there are a number of high-potential but unproven players on this team that could go either way. If Hudon’s performance is similar to Leks last year, or if DLR steps in and plays like it looks like he could in the last half of the AHL season, if Jarabek plays well etc etc. I see a very interesting season ahead. I still think we need to add Jagr and Markov, and get rid of Mitchell (not because anything is wrong with him, just to give the kids a chance) but either way it will be fun to watch.

      • berc says:

        I am with you, loop. Jagr much better addition than Hemsky. Sign Markov and Jagr, and we have a good team. I don’t care about letting JDLR and McCarron play (or Martinsen, either). I don’t think that either is ever going beyond 4th line, and they may both play most of their careers in AHL. Hudon is another story, but he will get his chance. Alzner an upgrade on Emelin without question, and Jerabek potentially better than N8 or at least a replacement. But Markov will really be missed if he is not re-signed (only to 1 year!). And bring in Jagr! This team needs him.

  29. Habnormal says:

    @Cal, as I recall, he made his “expect the unexpected” speech AFTER the Drouin deal. In other words, something big was going to happen that did not simply mean replacing Radulov and trading our top draft pick

    • Habfan17 says:

      Could be the unexpected was signing Galchenyuk when everyone thought he was going to be traded. It could also be that signing Galchenyuk was done to be able tio get more for him in a trade.

      Bergevin could have meant anything and could just have been messing with us to have a laugh.


    • Cal says:

      Checking back, he said this during the presser announcing that trade. I stand corrected.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        and again at the draft.

        When asked by Friedman if Bergevin might have anything else going on at the draft, which continues on Saturday, the GM said: “Well, GMs right now, there’s 31 of us who have all been shopping. So like I said, expect the unexpected.”

  30. Mavid says:

    I am pretty sure if you can type his name Timo he is not banned. Maybe he just took the summer off..hopefully to come up with some new negative material..the other stuff was kinda old

    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  31. Mavid says:


    º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    Weed Wacker – and Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  32. Habnormal says:

    Great expectations? Not. MB said to expect the unexpected. It simply has not happened. I have deduced that he aimed at something post-Drouin. Something big that probably involved Galchenyuk and perhaps Colorado but it didn’t pan out. So instead, he signed Galchenyuk.

    The only unexpected thing is for Lehkonen to become the Habs new star. He’s my dark horse. I am expecting MaxPac to not even hit 30 goals this upcoming season because no Rads to open things up for him while he floats. I’m expecting Pleks to be lousy offensively even though it’s a contract year. I don’t expect anywhere near 20 from Byron. Of course, I don’t expect the D to be great offensively at all. In fact, amongst the weakest in the NHL (they have been near the top in the past few years). Hemsky? See Semin. Same gunk. Hudon? I have no clue but again, if he was truly as promising as some here think, I would think they would have given him a shot in the playoffs. So Carr, DLR, McCarron and Hudon, assuming they play more than 40 games, in also not expecting more than single digit goals from any of them.

    I’m expecting big things only from Gallagher Galchenyuk and Lekhonen but that’s it. I am hopeful but don’t think Drouin will score much more than 20.

    That all spells a year worse than last. A borderline playoff team. Not too gritty and not overly talented and overall not very fast.

    I hope I’m wrong, I’m just being realistic. Too many things need to go right in order for this team to even equal the 2017 season( it would be too optimistic to imagine they can be better or get further into playoffs without a lot of luck). Most (not all of these things need to happen):

    1. Max has to maintain his regular season form without Radulov. It’s a forgone conclusion that he will disappear in the playoffs.
    2. Pleks has to somehow play way better than he has in the past 2 seasons being 2 years older and playing for a contract. As a 1C or 2C, there is no room for error.
    3. Davidson, who could not even crack the Oilers line-up, has to suddenly become a starter
    4. Benn needs to be as good or better than Emelin over 82 games
    5. Alzner must be amongst the best shut down defenders in the NHL
    6. Weber cannot digress at all
    7. Markov has to sign or they need a replacement from their new D to quarterback the PP. not Petry. Someone new.
    8. Petry needs to earn his salary and play like he did in his first 20 games as a Hab.
    9. Byron has to somehow duplicate last season’s production
    10. Gallagher has to be better than last year and stay healthy.
    11. Galchenyuk and really the whole team can’t get seriously injured and miss substantial time
    12. Drouin has to equal or surpass Radulov’s production
    13. Someone like Shaw has to make up for the loss of Radulov and his grit
    14. One of McCarron or DLR must advance to the next step of being a reliable NHL centreman
    15. Danault must maintain his form from last season.

    I simply do not see the majority of these things happening. I would love to be proven wrong.

    The unexpected I hope is yet to come because right now, I’m expecting a fringe playoff team at best. And a boring one at that.

    • Le Revenant says:

      “MB said to expect the unexpected. It simply has not happened.”

      The unexpected has not happened? Were you expecting big moves, surprising trades, major free agent signings? And instead, we got a relatively sedate post-draft to July 1-and-beyond period from Marc Bergevin and his team?

      So it’s disappointing that what you saw coming, what you kind of hoped for, didn’t happen?

      And therefore, can we say that the unexpected in fact did occur?

      Personally, I can’t take another year of a trite meme, when HIO takes a figure of speech tossed off as an aside, and takes/twists it literally and works itself into a high frenzy because, what the heck, there’s no foxhole in hockey, because, like, there would be a hole in the ice, and, y’know, that would be dangerous and all.

      Marc Bergevin told you that he wasn’t going to tell you what his plans were. That’s all that was. And he kept his word.

    • Habfan17 says:

      You need to add:
      16. Wildcard, Jerabek. Could he be the player to replace Markov on the PP and play beside Weber. There is a reason Bergevin signed him. Other defencemen have come over from the KHL and had an impact. Emelin was one, and more recently, Zaitsev. He had 36 points his first season, on a team with a lot of rookies up front. 12 of those points came on the PP.

      So, although I don’t see the Habs as much improved, I do see a glimmer of optimism. Yes, so far Markov is out. He may be working hard in Florida, but that does not mean he will not still be slower on the ice and that his PP production will not continue to decline.

      The nostalgic Habs Fan in me would like to see him back for a year so he can play his 1000 game in a Habs jersey. The “want another Stanley Cup” Hab fan, says, that there comes a time when a player should move on.

      At 2 years, $12 million dollars, I say move on. If Markov would take one year at $5 million, then maybe. With all the players MB has signed on defence though, I would rather see what they bring at camp. They may be better as a group than I expect.

      I suppose 2 years, total $8 million would not hurt too much if he does regress too much. In the end, Bergevin will do whatever he feels works and it sure seems he puts a lot of emphasis on loyalty over common sense too often.


    • Habsbill24 says:

      And of course the “floating” Max never before scored 30 goals until Radulov arrived. Hasn’t been in the top 5 in goals scored over the last 5 or 6 years. It was all due to Radulov.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Two things I would like to see from Max. 1) not taking the first 10 to 15 games to get going. I think he could be a point a game player. 2) Produce in the play offs. He has to find a way to get going from game one and put points on the board.


      • frankie2 says:

        Hi Bill…….did the floating Max score 39 goals 2 years ago without Rads?……..we will miss him, surely, but glad MB didn’t buckle and overpay him at $6M/5 years……..

    • Cal says:

      Acquiring Drouin was, to me, unexpected.
      Acquiring Schlemko and Alzner? Expected.
      Jerabek? Unexpected.
      Beaulieu for nothing, really? expected.
      Galchenyuk not traded yet? Unexpected.
      Price’s crazy contract? Expected.
      I expect Byron and Lehkonen’s production to drop a little. Byron, because this last season pretty much everything for him went right. Lehkonen because he’s gone from an unknown factor to being an almost 20 goal scorer in his first season.
      Unless Hudon can make up for the scoring that Radulov brought, the Habs will score less. The big unknown is whether or not the D can get the goals against down to between 185-190.

      The overemphasis on defensive play will make it tough to compete against the elite teams.
      I expect a team that competes for 2nd or 3rd in the division and flames out in the first or second round.

    • Loop_G says:

      1- Being how Patches season with Rads was pretty much average for the last 4, I don’t think we need to worry about his production falling off.
      2- Pleks won’t take a huge step forward in offense, we don’t need him to though it would be nice. I do think he’ll get a few more points but we can’t expect him to get back to 5 years ago.
      3 – Davidson played some great hockey in Edmonton and more than anything, injuries have held him back. He has potential to be more, but we only need him to be a solid #5 or #6.
      4 – Benn is not replacing Emelin. Alzner is and he is a far better player so we are ahead in that aspect. Benn just needs to be the same guy he was in the regular season last year.
      5 – Alzner is a very good D, that is all he needs to be.
      6- No reason to think he will.
      7-11 Can be said for any of 15 players on every team, every year so not an issue.
      12 – He outscored Rads last year, same number of points for a young player who is growing vs an old one who isn’t.
      13 – Shaw was here last year, will play the same role and won’t replace anyone.
      14 – Hopefully one of them will, more likely DLR on the 4th line but if not there are other options such as Mitchell who can play the same role.
      15 – Danault is young and still getting better, a great pickup and solid player.
      In the end there is nothing that “must” happen. There are always things that don’t go well and things that do. Someone will have a great year, someone won’t, but all that matters is that they win more than they lose. The most important one is that someone must play Markov’s role if Markov does not return, though he likely will.

  33. berc says:

    Reading rules on waiver exemption
    it seems that JDLR, who first signed at 19, should be exempt from waivers for 4 years from original signing or 160 NHL games played, whichever comes first. De La Rose will be below these totals for the entire season, so it seems to me that the info on CapFriendly is not accurate with respect to JDLR. Hudon, who also signed at 19, has already passed the 4-year limit, but it is unclear whether he would ever be used in the NHL at Center. He is listed in most places as LW. How much has he played at C? If in fact JDLR is not subject to waivers, then this changes the calculus and we may see more of Holland, at least in the early stages of the season.

    • berc says:

      I figured out why JDLR is not exempt: He played more than 10 games as a 19-year-old, so the waiver exemption period was reduced to 3 years following signing. But I don’t understand why McCarron is exempt. He signed as an 18-year-old and played as a 19-year-old, so shouldn’t the waiver exemption period be reduced from 5 to 3 years?

  34. Cal says:

    Once upon a quirky Sunday,
    Traversing upon the trottoir,
    Comes a call from an older lady.
    “Know anything ’bout birds?”

    Curious and quick,
    I crossed to the lawn
    and what did I see?
    ‘Twas a queer chick
    as in odd-looking
    with a body quite thick
    and great big feet.
    Yet it looked quite sick
    so to Le Nichoir
    this wild bird lickety split.
    Alas! ‘Tis domestic,
    this queer game bird,
    a coturnix quail,
    young and seed-eating,
    But we have a cat,
    sly and bird eating.

    Anyone want a bird?

    • krob1000 says:

      thanks….that was a fun watch…very candid and honest…some good tidbits about Nate, Lernout and Scherbak all being late bdays and having to go to AHL instead of back to junior for extra year, also mentioned how they tried to move up in 2nd round to take either Comtois or Lauzon, Reway getting better hoping to have him at camp this year, also seemed fairly interested in Jake Evans who was off most peoples radar at this point.

  35. RightNyder says:

    I notice they’ve stopped posting BK’s stuff for we at HI/O to chat about:

    “Price is one of the greatest goalies in hockey, but he has played ten seasons for the Canadiens and won precisely nothing.”

    “So it’s the status quo at best and that isn’t good at all.”

    • Le Revenant says:

      Look, let’s not bait them.

      There was a true groundswell of condemnation on Brendan Kelly’s tripe, how poorly written his articles were, and how unoriginal his takes were to any member of HIO.

      When, with no public admission of guilt from the powers that be or announcement of their change of course, they stopped giving that half-wit his own thread every week, I accepted it as the victory it was. Having Brendan Kelly’s banal musings as a topic to discuss, for us, is like having a seven-year-old lead a discussion on why lying is bad.

      So let’s take yes for an answer, and let that sleeping dog lie.

  36. krob1000 says:

    serious question:
    Are we all in denial or is Peter Holland our 4th line center?
    I forget about him until I go look at salary cap….650k for next two years. Is it possible that NONE of Hudon/DLR/Mac get that gig?

    Habs have 13 guys on one way deals up front


    not as fun as our lineup but probably the reality unless a kid forces way onto team?

    • Mike D says:

      Holland is Laval-bound unless we need him to cover a few injuries. Hudon and JDLR both have to clear waivers so they will both be with the big club. MB’s not going to risk giving them away for nothing. They may see some pressbox duty, but they’ll be with the Habs.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • krob1000 says:

        Hudon is on two way contract…does that mean anything or would he still have to clear waivers?

        • Mike D says:

          Hudon is two-way this year, one way next year. Same with Holland. Both have 2 year deals.
          JDLR is one way. His is a one year deal.

          All three would have to clear waivers. Two-way and one-way just means salary. A two-way contract gets paid less in the AHL than in the NHL. One-way contracts get paid the same in either league.

          I think the reason MB signed guys like Holland and Froese and Taormina was to make Laval more competitive and give them some more “veteran leadership” from existing pros. He wants the kids to have some better players and be competitive in the AHL, and now that they’re in Laval (basically Montreal) he is probably under some pressure to have them be more successful.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • krob1000 says:

            Of the young guys though DLR, Hudon and Mcccarron are the ones you do not want to lose IMO …then there is Carr

            I ma kind of curious if Taormina gets a shot….I know he is a 30yr old career AHLer but the game is changing the last years….not sure if he still has the legs but given his offensive acumen have to wonder if he get a last shot from the Habs…..worst case scenario he makes ahl team much better as you say…..that is the likely intent but perhaps with a Habs D full of steady eddys now he could be given a chance?

            Was happy to see his name as a free agent…I literally posted about him the night or two nights before after reading Bruins picking up AHL leading scorer

          • Mike D says:

            McCarron is not waiver eligible until next year so we can bring him up and send him down as we need without worry.

            Carr, Hudon, JDLR, Holland, Froese, etc. can all be claimed off waivers so we need to be more careful with those guys.

            As for Taormina, I can’t see him getting a shot with the Habs unless we lose a lot of guys to injury. Even without Markov we have 7 NHL D if you include Morrow). If he re-signs then we’ll have 8.

            Don’t really want to make a prediction since I have no clue what MB intends to do, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him package a few of our good waiver-eligible prospects to get one better prospect. Something like Davidson+Carr+JDLR (or Hudon) for Mantha or something along those lines.

            – Honestly yours
            Twitter: @de_benny

        • krob1000 says:

          just found this……..MB gave them all one way money and yes, you are correct they are waiver eligible but after losing Condon and Barberio he is using Habs wealth to at least attempt to protect them….

    • Mike D says:

      To add to my above post….

      The reason MB gave them one-way contracts is to make it less attractive for budget-oriented clubs to pay a possible AHLer that much money.

      As for the lines, I see them like this:


      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • krob1000 says:

        that is more like I have been thinking but I am afraid of Danault at no 1 c again…..Chcuky did well with Patch and Gally at C.I like Plkes with those two but I would prefer Pleks with Drouin and Hemsky….asset management wise it works too (elevate Pleks value in case the season is a bust and keep Danault’s down as he is RFA… point in giving him stats that will earn him a contract that is not fitting as at some point he has to be put back down lineup…when that is depends on Chcuky, Drouin or trade))

      • berc says:

        This seems realistic, given what we’ve seen in past. Krob–yes, my assertion that neither Galchenyuk nor Drouin belongs at C is based on their face-off records. Sure, these can improve over time. But not to the extent necessary to make a significant difference. When your line gets more offensive-zone starts and you’re below 45% on faceoffs, by definition you’re losing the puck in the offensive zone too much of the time. And this really matters if your line is being paired against other teams’ top lines. Btw, what is the link to the plus/minus by line? I am interested in looking at that.

        Re. Holland, he has played last 3 full seasons in NHL, but it seems he has struggled defensively, at least based on the plus-minus. The fact that he accepted a two-way contract for this year indicates that there may be an expectation on his part that he plays in AHL this year. It seems that JDLR will be ahead of him in the depth chart at C.

        • krob1000 says:

          I have gone down the faceoff road with Malhotra before….while goals do happen off faceoffs they are pretty rare….pp, pk faceoffs,….those are more important but still not significant enough for me to matter….if someone is elite and 60 percentish and can play in those situations great, or if someone is really awful. But another factor in all this is the quality of the faceoff stat itself, faceoffs are often won by wingers, some are bad drops, some wins are not clean wins, etc

          Also, losing a faceoff in the offensive zone can be viewed as a forechecking opportunity…at worst it is a sump in with your best player on the ice, you already have all 5 players in the zone…this is not the same as an offensvie turnover of the dangerous variety where you are caught in transition…..and have people moving in wrong direction or jumping into play….both teams are set and prepared for different scenarios…but at end of day you still have your best players on the ice in other end…

          if a player takes 1000 faceoffs and lets assume 500 are offensive zone for Chucky….and he wins 45 percent…then he is losing 25 more than average in offensive zone. How many of those 25 will the opposition cleanly leave zone when under that duress ?

          On PP winning those helps for sure…as the time is a factor on the pp…but the only really important faceoffs for me are shorthanded ones and that is a defensive specialist anyway…those wins you can dump out with no fear of icing

    • Phil C says:

      I heard Rick Dudley talk about team philosophy on this shortly after he was hired. He said they will always start training camp with a full roster of pros instead of planning for rookie to take a spot. It’s much easier to dump a player via trade or waivers when a rookie plays his way onto the team than to find out that a rookie is not ready or didn’t come to camp prepared and now you are scrambling to fill a hole in the roster before the puck even drops. Also creates competition.

      But I would hate to lose a guy like Hudon just because a guy like Holland is more seasoned.

  37. kalevine says:

    I like both Mr Bellyful and the Registered Nurse. Better than most of their critics….Is that wrong?

  38. Caesar says:

    Is Timo really banned ? That’s ridiculous. I guess we should get used to the speech police because its everywhere. Any idea thats not part if the narrative is wrong and banned or shouted down. Im getting pretty sick of this stuff. No exchange of ideas or dialog anymore too bad the Gazoo used to actually be a source of information and knowledge

    • PK says:

      Hey Timo, if you are lurking, come back dude.

      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

      – Nostradamus, 1552

  39. 25soonenough says:

    The weak link in our top six other than down the middle? I think the weak links are Shaw, Gallagher. RW a bit of a weakness production wise, unless, Gallagher has a complete reversion to his pre-injury trajectory.

    My wish for our 9M in cash is a move for Huberdeau, who plays left wing but Lehk can switch to RW. What it would take I’m not sure.

  40. Goldenchild says:

    My non fake news sources tell me there is a 68% chance that MB brings Johnny Tavares to Montreal this year. Shhhhhhhh……keep this on the low down. Tell your Mother but no one else as everyone’s Mother can be trusted. With $9 Million reasons and trade bait, anything is possible. Even my Mom agrees. But, more importantly, what does YOUR Mom think (I am not interested in your opinion, just your Mom’s).

    Goldenchild out

    • PK says:

      Not all mothers can be trusted, they are human after all.

      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

      “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

      – Nostradamus, 1552

      • Goldenchild says:

        98% of all Mothers are trusted 100% of the time. Mother Teresa, for example, was trusted by all. Back to the story. Mother’s know best.

  41. Lord Stanley of Surrey says:

    And then there is ‘the Ovechkin way’ to celebrate his wedding vows…

    FREE TIMO!!! …Michael (Timo) had his negative tongue-in-cheek shtick in HIO, but He never was profane and should never have been banned from HIO. If there is any discretion and fair-mindness within the powers that be behind the scenes of HIO, TIMO’s ban should be rescinded immediately. Thank you.

  42. Le Revenant says:

    RN, poking salutary holes in Bellyfull’s stuffy facade is my life’s work. You stick to your smilies and winkies and diaper jokes, and let the adults handle this. We’ll have this poltroon cut down to size soon enough.

    And then we’ll get to work on LittleLordStanleyinSurrey…

  43. Luke says:

    Happy Sunday!
    I hope you all are enjoying your family, friends or pub as you see fit.

    Summer’s fleeting, so make sure you take some time to not worry about how crappy or great the Habs are!

  44. ProHabs says:

    Is HIO allowed to do what they are doing to Timo under the Canadian charter of rights.

  45. Lord Stanley of Surrey says:

    I’m a pathetically nostalgic sucker. I associate everything I buy or possess as ‘signposts’ of a Life well or misspent.

    Whatever it is, or was, I can not ‘throw away’, is kept, and inevitably languishes in a corner or a box or a cupboard in My Home.

    This given was well-reminded when I decided to sell My Place after 14 years of residing in the same place, and moving at the end of June.

    Gawd!, there was ‘stuff’ I found I was surprised I ever owned! But once I looked back and recalled ‘the moment’ and ‘the why?’, I still am compelled to go through emotional hoops before coming to rational conclusions I should let ‘this’ or ‘that’ go –to Big Brothers, a neighbour, or simply ‘junked’ if it’s value to Life and survival has long frittered beyond redemption, or whatever it is is simply taking up too much space.

    Similar instinctive nostalgic inclinations I feel for Our Team and Our Players when a Doug Harvey, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, PK Subban, Serge Savard, an Andrei Markov, or any iconic member of The Family is ultimately deemed in-excess, or no longer of value.

    Funny, re the Habs, I remember the surprise trade for Frank Mahovlich back in the day. Though We received Him from the Red Wings, worse He was formerly an ex-Turdranna MuppleWeed. Almost as bad We gave-up MICKEY REDMOND among the 3 Habs traded for Mahovlich. Mickey was then a favourite of mine, sort of a MOAR version of present-day Paul Byron.

    I remember being upset digesting the trade at the time, –yet it took only a single game seeing Frank in the bleu-blanc-et-rouge to help Me ‘get over it’.

    I can’t see Bergevin giving Markov 2 years at $6 million. Maybe one year at $6 million if I have had a dozen too many 8% Colt 45s.

    Lucky I’m not Our GM, or We would still have Robinson, Lapointe and Savard under contract.

    FREE TIMO!!! …Michael (Timo) had his negative tongue-in-cheek shtick in HIO, but He never was profane and should never have been banned from HIO. If there is any discretion and fair-mindness within the powers that be behind the scenes of HIO, TIMO’s ban should be rescinded immediately. Thank you.

    • RightNyder says:

      LOL. Robinson, Lapointe and Savard might still be better than our bottom three.

      And no one can tell me 65-year-old Guy Lafleur wouldn’t product more on the power play than DD did.

  46. RightNyder says:

    Karl Alzner, per 82 game averages: 2.6 goals, 13.6 assists, 20:12 TOI.

    But he’ll get 40 points and play 25 minutes per game alongside Weber.


    • johnnylarue says:

      I think you forgot the decimal in “8.2 game averages”.

      • RightNyder says:

        I still say getting the right partner for Weber is more important than a 1C.

        We’ll definitely trot out a bunch of serviceable NHL d-men. And when a Schlemko or a Benn or a Davidson or an Alzner has a good game, which they will, the Pollys will soak through their tripled-up Depends and point out how smart MB is. Jerabek will get a power-play point and the collective grunts of delight will match that of Bellyful when someone feels bad and pats him on the head for one of his side-splitting masterpieces.

        But then, over 82 games, they’ll be the same replacement-level puds they always were. And our forwards will work harder than they have to in order to score goals.

        And we’ll be right there in the same place, wheels spinning aimlessly.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          I will grant you have a following, and not all of them carry pitchforks. Some prefer a torch.
          And while I have reason enough to join them in their pursuit, I find the reward at the end too modest to warrant the effort.

  47. krob1000 says:

    damn it…this UNB data is kind of unsettling…..because using the simplest of metrics plus/minus (and I did a little digging on the guy who did it….freaking genius…literally genius, computer science prof)
    but his findings confirmed what common sense told many of us all along

    splitting Weber and Markov was ideal and I still have no idea why they did not stick with it… also would have augmented and demonstrated Nate B value…and made him a Hamonic like asset IMO

    best two d duos were

    the skater with the star with complimentary skillsets…..

    • RightNyder says:

      “Pfffft. Get as many 15-point guys as you can. It’ll all work out.”
      — MB

      “I told you Beaulieu was Bobby Orr.”
      — Steveren0

      “I ate paste again.”
      — Bellyful

      • krob1000 says:

        I like Stevereno’s posts!!! I am wondering now if this is where he gets his numbers….while we all know plus minus and every other stat in hockey is inaccurate I think the plus minus one to me still does the most when done in line combos/pairings form……to me this at least linking more of the factors (players) to one another… is an individual sport for the most part and hockey nerds tried to mimic it statistically…but it doesn’t work.

        Hockey is everchanging….BUT….it has to be acknowledged that how different players interact with one another is important as when comparing hockey to baseball or trying to quantify it…you have to think IMo of the hwole unit as the player (if it were ball)…..the team is acting as one big unit (thr group on the ice)…so to me it is very logical to think combos are of the utmost importance and although I only coach minor hockey and play in beer leagues…..I have found this to be sooooo true…..who you play with who and who youa re matching up against is vital…it is one unit vs another ….like pitcher vs batter…..but soooo hard to quantify….

        I think when it comes down to it…this is probably (don’t laugh at Stevereno because I agree with the idea!!!lol) an analkysis like this is more accurate than any individual one in a team sport….


  48. krob1000 says:

    kovalchuk has signed with SKA and is definitely staying in KHL

  49. ProHabs says:

    2 people that I refuse to read their articles. Brendon Kelly and Andrew Berkshire.

  50. krob1000 says:

    looks like the Habs used this to make up their top two playoff lines?
    Danault between Patch and Rad was plus 8 while Chcuky was in the minus when playing with those two…..but it appears Chcuky was just fine at center using plus minus when NOT playing with BOTH of those guys.
    He was plus 6 with Patch and Gally, in the plus or even with every other combo….this passes eye test as well. Danault is defensive enough to play those two together (Rad/Patch)…..while Chucky struggled at C with two forwards so offensive….but…he did well with one of those guys.
    I thought Habs should have split Markov and Weber and also thought they should have split Patch/Rad……since the team never had a dominant top line that would really work (Danault hindered it in sense….while the line was in the plus it limited them offensively and clearly Chcuky could not handle the burden of center with BOTH of them based on these numbers anyway.

  51. berc says:

    Good article on sportsnet about Galchenyuk vs Drouin at Center. Neither is a very appealing option.
    No question that as a Center, Plekanec is still the best Hab. I would not put either Galchenyuk or Drouin at Center. Assuming that there isn’t a free-agent signing of #1C or a trade, I would make Plekanec the #1C and alternate Galchenyuk and Drouin at RW and LW. Plekanec would enhance the two-way play of both Drouin and Galchenyuk, and I think that this would be the best combination given the available players. Having said this, I think there will be one more move on O before the Fall.

    spares: Martinsen/DeLaRose/Carr
    These would be 4 lines that could score and wouldn’t be too vulnerable in their own end. It would be ok to have very defensive-minded D–this offense alone is capable of scoring 3 goals per game, if it stays healthy. But this would require everyone playing to his potential and no busts.

    • krob1000 says:

      Chucky did just fine at center when not with BOTH RAD/Patch…..see above post…..he was even or plus with every other combo….did not do well with both of those two together…Danault did…but when both wingers were all in on offense Chcuky suffered at C.

      Danault was minus 4 with Patch/Gally…likely didn’t add enough offensively to compensate for his offense….whereas Patch/Rad generated offense and his steady d play held them together….again based on strict plus minus…but it appears it is only a myth based on that one line that Chcuky could not play C….

    • krob1000 says:

      based on those numbers from that site and I may go

      Patch-Chucky-Gally and put Pleks with Doruin/Hemsky, then have LEhk-Danault-Shaw and then have a fourth with Byron as the anchor to help two kids

    • krob1000 says:

      why is neither an appealing option? because of faceoffs?

    • on2ndthought says:

      Our old buddy Andrew ‘everything of value about hockey is found on graphs based on spreadsheets’ Berkshire. I prefer Galchenyuks own comment, “we have a great coach who will decide where (we) play”.

  52. RightNyder says:

    So who thinks Markov will be back?

    And when he is back, does that mean all the Pollys who now seem pleased that MB has moved on from the old buzzard will suddenly find him Norris Trophy-worthy again?

    • tophab says:

      markov was better than weber last year ppg .58–.54, so if weber is worth 7.8mil markov must be worth at least 8mil.(give his 6mil).

      • Loop_G says:

        Points are one of the contributions a player makes to a team. To say that Markov at this point is better than Weber is just silly. I love Markov, one of may fav all time players and an under-appreciated player for most of his career, but he in not better than Weber.

    • johnnylarue says:

      Stop trying to get a rise out of the nice people, vile troll! Go back to your VHS-lined “spank chamber” and let us celebrate the anticipated return of our not-yet-overpaid, not-quite-awesome-but-close, rather old second-best-by-default defenceman!

    • on2ndthought says:

      Markov is suffering under the NHL’s ageism. Bergevin is right to not succumb to sentimentality, and Markov is right to value his own proffered services. I think they are stuck. I still hope he can be signed for $3.5M, and play 50 games while grooming Jerabek.

      I worry that we missed the boat on offering Marky a place in player development (instead of Franky Boo), but I’m hoping an ambassadorial role is in the cards.

    • berc says:

      Markov was very effective last year in many ways–defensively as well as offensively. I thought that he was washed up at the end of the previous season, and he really surprised this past year. His positioning was almost always spot-on, good stick, etc. Relatively few times when opposing players ran circles around him–unlike Emelin, who often seemed to be standing still or in the wrong place at critical moments. He would still be a huge asset to this team, and the team will be better–possibly significantly better–if he re-signs. But not for two years. If he insists on two years, then MB should walk. Future too uncertain, one of the new Left D might step up and prove himself to be a worthy heir to Markov (Morrow or Jerabek), and cap likely too tight in ’18-’19.

  53. Caesar says:

    Discontinuing the app is a $ decision no advertising revenue fir the Gazette do why invest any time or effort into it

  54. on2ndthought says:

    Some cool stat work by UNB; someone there is a Habs fan.

  55. habs-hampton says:

    Re: lack of scoring. I feel that Lekhonen will score high 20’s this season; if not 30 goals. I also expect Gallagher to rebound with 20 and expect byron to drop to the teens.

    • Loop_G says:

      I love Leks, have a hard time seeing him scoring 30 though, closer to 25. I would love to see Byron score 20 the next two years so he can get paid for real when he hits FA status. I do think we can expect a few more goals from AG27, Gally, and hoping for a strong campaign from Hudon as well.

  56. PK says:

    I agree that the HIO app has been a much better way of frequently accessing the site, especially during the day.

    How about updating it and bringing it back, Stu?

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    NEWS!!!.. 2017 HIO Fan SUMMIT weekend in Mtl. Oct. 28th game and meet and greet at the hotel banquet hall Fri. Oct.27th with special quests.. I will announce the price per game seat tomorrow, Monday 10th. Send your Money Orders right away for the amount of tickets that you want. With your self addressed (CND)stamped envelop, to send your tickets to you. We have only a very short window to get them before they go on sale to the general public.
    USA and Canadian members might want to use Currier service to me, to be on time.
    Ian Cobb, 63 Village Dr. Belleville Ontario, Canada, K8P 4K2

    • Mr.Meeseeks says:

      Hey Ian. My name is Rick and my (small) group is very interested. I have been on HIO for years but rarely post. Can you advise what hotel the summit is at and how rooms will be booked? Thanks for arranging everything and we are looking forward to it.


      • Ian Cobb says:

        RICK.! How many people in your group.? I will be signing a discounted room contract with the hotel in a couple days. It will be announced very soon. Everything is in walking distance. Itinerary in good time after I get ticket price confirmation from the Bell Center confirmed tomorrow!

        • Mr.Meeseeks says:

          Sounds great Ian!! As I said, our group is small…probably two or three couples. A good question came up below about e-transfers. Is that doable? Or do you prefer money orders? Looking forward to the event. My wife and I were there for the final home game in April and although we lost, the atmosphere was unreal.


    • berc says:

      Can you receive funds via interac e-transfer? Then we could send the self-addressed stamped envelope later.

    • Pheebs888 says:

      Great job as always Ian! Can’t wait for October now!


  58. krob1000 says:

    This would be an ideal time to put Pleks back into a top 6 and pp role for this season. First of all he is one of the best options…at present he is teams best center but more importantly it would accomplish a few different things. One it would shore up a top 6 line and make it able to be played against anyone, secondly it would elevate his value and be an insurance policy should team falter and he be an asset at deadline. Another benefit to this would be Danault in a more suitable role and also with him being an RFA team right now is at risk of doing the opposite of cap managing. As is stands if team were to repeat last year it would be diminishing Pleks asset and increasing the cost to sing Danault again.

    I know I harp on Danault but I think he is a perfect 3rd line center and should be a staple in Habs lineup for years….but in a depth role. On one hand I like that they are trying to develop him into more…on the other hand I would rather that effort be invested in someone with a much higher ceiling. Unlike DD, Danault’s game is solid in virtually every aspect, his above average skills are mostly on the defensive side….

    Having clearly made it a priority to get more defensive on the back end and locking PRice up, I think this is an ideal time to try to develop either Chucky (if he is still around) or Drouin into a top center role (if one not obtained via trade). What is the point of investing so heavily into the back end if the purpose is not to free up something on the other end?

    No matter how I play around with Habs lineup I still find us wanting in the top 6 for some more jam….the subtraction of Rad and addition of Hemsky is almost fine offensively but is a severe hit in the grit dept which Rad added to the top size which was nice to see….he was relentless like Gally but bigger and stronger and his puck protection nd battle skills in small spaces and ability to buy time and find his linemates was elite…..that will be missed.

    • 25soonenough says:


      Shaw, DLR, McCarron, Holland (maybe, big maybe)

      See, this why Shaw keeps getting mentioned as a fourth liner. Hudon needs to play in the top nine. His skill is totally wasted on a checking line. Who is Shaw better than offensively in the top nine? Hemsky perhaps, Martinsen? I don’t know, Martinsen is pretty typical as a fourth liner.

      –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

      • krob1000 says:

        Hudon contract I believe is two way this year and one way next….I suspect he fills in if a top 9 goes down….but I think he is going to be seeing less time than either Mac or DLR if the Habs have it their way.

        • 25soonenough says:

          I hope not. I think we will lose Hudon if we don’t play him to his strengths. He is on a one-way which makes it less attractive for teams to grab him off waivers but he has the kind of skill teams would be willing to gamble on. I think Hudon on waivers means Hudon is gone for nothing and years of development down the drain.

          –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • 25soonenough says:

            I thought is was the opposite. Anyway, regardless. If he gets sent down again he might just ask for a trade. I just want the kid to play.

            –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

          • krob1000 says:

            I think they are planning on him taking over for Pleks….and IMO if he is a good soldier one more year (he will get his games this year with injuries,etc)….then I think they have him walk into a top 9 role instead of starting him on 4th….just my guess. I suspect DLR is the guy who has to start on 4th….and Hudon/Danault will likely be swapped around in 2/3 slots the year after this one if things go according to MB plan ….or so I think.

            People knocking MB drafting I think are missing what is objective appears to be….he seems to be wanting to make sure guys are ready to step in and developing in AHL….this is a model similar to the old Red Wings…and is a necessary evil a cap world and on a team that is usually vying for a playoff spot. Where the issue is though is when you have top end talent like Chucky….he is too good to play in AHL, but instead has IMo had his development stunted by losing confidence and playing all over the place (and alleged off ice issues aside). I think Nate was similar. If these guys has been on lousy teams in media friendly markets they probably thrive and develop under the radar sooner….or so I believe.

            Anways….I am fine with Hudon playing another year…timing works perfect

        • habstrinifan says:

          I read all your answers in this particular exchange. I am inclined to give some merit to your preference (and the HABS hope) that MAC will earn a spot. The size factor make that attractive.

          But I cannot see the wisdom of sticking with JDLR as a forward ahead of Hudon. JDLR has had a very long stint in the NHL and the best that can be said about his work is that he is imperceptible in the lineup… hence no huge risk.
          But JDLR brings nothing other than that to the great production nor contribution to a greater effectiveness in his line mates.

          Hudon has shown an ability to produce and to register an uptick in the play of his line mates in the AHL and in international tournaments.

          It is time to give him as long a look as jdlr has had.

          • krob1000 says:

            That is a myth about no production from DLR….his production is just fine …he is putting up similar numbers to Danault at that age. But on this roster he is size in middle, Mac does that but cannot kill penalties and would need sheltering while DLR is defensively ready. Mac has the grit but the skating is an issue…a big one….but he is young and I am sure that is his priority.
            Also, of the three only DLR is on a one way deal….while both Mac and Hudon have potential to be better if the stars align IMO DLR is an NHL player for sure….of the typical safe mode and possibly he rounds out his offense. He reminds me of Eller in that regard….will be an NHler.
            I think Hudon will too but his two way deal in combination with Pleks contract make me think they have a plan there.

          • berc says:

            Re. Krob’s comment–I don’t see one-way or two-way contracts having any bearing. The $ are a drop in the bucket, and this is more for the player than anything. Cannot possibly have any bearing on who plays up and who plays down. Unless there are a lot of injuries, one or two of Hudon, DeLaRose and Carr will be traded or lost on waivers this year. McCarron still not a proven NHLer and likely won’t see much big league time until one or two of the above are gone. Hemsky will probably be a bust, but let’s hope not. Lehkonen will be more effective the higher he goes in the lineup. Hudon not likely to start higher than 4th line and will have to produce in order to move up. DLR is kind of a non-entity. Not much offensive potential, modest defensive potential. Very unexciting player.

    • habs001 says:

      Plecks has lost his offensive game the last two years…He looked lost at the world hockey championships producing 0 points…Thru out his career Plecks scored 6-8 goals every year from odd angles and deflections(even more a couple of years ago)…last two years that type of goal luck has abandoned him..Do not mind trying him in the top 6 but he has to removed if after 25 games or so he has 2-3 goals..

      • krob1000 says:

        He was still taking those odd angled shots you speak of….he was just missing the top corners and small spaces he used to hit…he always found that little bit of room short side….but many of those were on pp when he was down low…back when Markov would creep down and goalie would get sucked in anticipating that and he would take advantage.

        HE missed his pp time and this is perhaps the one thing I do not like about pleks game as I do still like his paly away from puck…BUT….he does clearly play a different game when with better players…he can still pass….but he has become hoggish when playing with lesser players….you still see him moving the puck when he gets his sniffs with higher end players.

        He also normally scores 3 or 4 on that walk to middle and incognito half clapper back against the grain…don’t remember him connecting on those last year either

    • on2ndthought says:

      70% of the time he was on the ice, Byron was with Plek. 10% of that time was PK duty. Byron had a career year, doubling his production from any previous year.

      Their most common linemate? Gallagher, who had his worst year, along with Plekanec.

      Perhaps putting Plek with Byron and Hemsky in a middle six role could work. We still need a more solid top six / middle six player. It doesn’t look like Scherbak is ready yet, which is why I’ve been pumping up Stafford. Thrown into the mix of small and smallish players, he could be some insulation they require.

      However, for now it looks like Shaw is the guy. If Chuck or JD can play center:
      Lehk Danault Gally
      Byron Plek Shaw
      Hudon/Martinsen Hudon/Mitchell Mitchell/McCarron
      Hemsky / 4th 4th liner

      If Galchenyuk can’t play center, maybe Hudon enters the mix?

      Chuck Hudon Drouin
      Max Plek Gally
      Lehk Danault Hemsky
      Byron Mitchell/McCarron Shaw

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