Are Canadiens fans losing faith?

Fans
At Thursday practice in Brossard, there were as many players as onlookers.
Dave Stubbs writes about the first hints of fan disaffection with their 13th-place Montreal Canadiens

More crucial games loom

Fixing the PP

Will Hal Gill be moved?

Gauthier is a ramblin’ man

Sabres also sinking

Trade deadline chatter

And just because we can’t get enough of it, the Bruins-bashing video:

534 Comments

  1. Jonson says:

    anybody wonder why we are doing to so bad and continue to play bad??
    on paper i think most of us know this is a good team. its not by luck they have been pretty successful the last 2 years despite all the injuries.
    its the freaking media’s fault. i have never seen anything like it. its always been intense in montreal but i feel that this year they are taking this to a whole new level.
    they actually believe that they should be the ones running this organization.
    i have never seen such negative feedback time and time again. are they cheering for these guys to win or to lose?
    it seems that they perfer when they lose. its not about hockey anymore its just a business for them and they are ruining it for all the other fans.
    would it hurt to be a supportive??? other than toronto its the only other team that gets assualted by the media over and over again.
    You think its easy playing here? sure if you are winning but when time gets tough everybody hates on them. La Presse is a F***ing joke, RDS is a joke , AND BOONE YOU ARE A JOKE.

    i feel bad for anybody who plays here. you wonder why no french player wants to play here? its YOU THE MEDIA. the media have so soul, no heart, no compassion.

    you mentally abuse these kids over and over. its getting worse and worse. now TSN has started with the bs.

    ITS hard to be a fan these days. not because they are losing. thats bound to happen with the media in montreal.

    i just hope these kids are mentally stable enough to play here.

    ps. if i was PG i would not allow the media access to the dressing rooms. if they want to be A$$holes then you cant talk to our players.

  2. JohnBellyful says:

    The Habs are testing my faith as a fan. I will not abandon them but I reserve the right to be critical. It’s just another way of saying, ‘I love you.”
    However, I am conflicted. Do I wear the sweater I won at the Summit (with Price’s name on the back) to the Leafs-Habs game tomorrow night or do I go incognito to avoid the ridicule of Leaf fans (which, I grant you, might be amusing to hear them try to string three grunts together)?
    To be honest, my fear is that I might be mistaken for the real deal 45 minutes before the game starts and get worn out signing autographs.

    • GrimJim says:

      The true measure of a man is not when he does what is right when it is easy but when he does what is right when it is hard…

      Let your autograph hand grow weary, my friend.

    • Wear the Jersey!!!

      CAREY CAREY CAREY

      Leafs right now are worse than the Habs. They were first in the division and are now dropping farther every week.

      Who knows, maybe in three or four weeks, they’ll be fighting the Habs for 3 worst overall. :)

      GO HABS GO

      CAREY CAREY CAREY

      Shane Oliver
      http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
      Custom Sports Figures
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      hockey@sholi2000.com
      Ph- 204 724 8418

    • HardHabits says:

      I say wear the jersey. No shame in admitting the Habs are struggling. Just change the name on the back to Yakupov or Grigorenko and if people bug you just turn your shoulders half way around.

  3. G-Man says:

    For all those thinking Holmgren for the Flyers is a genius:

    Bryzgalov 2011-12 Salary$10,000,000 Signing Bonus $5,000,000 Cap hit until 2020 $5,666,667

    This is why I don’t want any long term contracts for ANY goalies. They are insane.

    • coutNY says:

      “They are insane”
      Do mean the goalies or the length and amounts of the contracts? When speaking of Bryzgalov as an example could mean all of the above… ;)

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Not thinking that He’s a genius, but I think I’ll reserve judgement ’till later. Sounds crazy…but…let’s see, Philadelphia’s spending to the cap limit…3rd best record in Eastern conference…27-14-4…Let’s compare this “genius” to our “genius”…habs spending to the cap limit…13th in the Eastern conference…Hmm, methinks I’ll take their genius over our Goat just the same…better not to throw too many stones while living in a glass split level.

  4. montreal ace says:

    As a kid when the season ended, it seemed like forever before training camp opened. In todays game if your team does not make it, there is still hockey news and things to be done. I find a season now like a cycle, in that a new one starts very fast, so the feelings of loss go away quickly. I much prefer the way I feel now about hockey and it being a cycle, as I used to take losing seasons pretty hard.

    • savethepuck says:

      Without a new CBA, the cycle may hit a big bump in the road next season. A Habs fan may have to chew on a crappy season for longer than usual after this one.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  5. Cardiac says:

    In the spirit of Stubbs’ article, I ask you the following questions:

    1. Have you ever attended a Habs practice? If so how many times?
    2. Do you know any season ticket holders? If so, have they been trying to sell their tickets more often this season than previous seasons?
    3. Would you rather pay big bucks to see a great team or cheap tickets/beer to watch an underperforming team.

    I think these are valid questions and should seriously be considered by Molson during the off season.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

  6. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    This is a response to HardHabits’ assertion that selling has worked for Philadelphia and Ottawa recently.

    First of all, I agree that we should sell at the deadline. However, there is quite a bit of luck involved in order to make it work and create a quick turnaround. In the case of Philly, they turned Forsberg into a a huge haul. They got Upshall, Parent, a1st and a 3rd. This allowed them to secure the number 2 overall pick. They flipped Nashville’s 1st back to them for Timmonen and Hartnell.

    Basically, they fleeced Nashville and took advantage of their precarious financial situation in order to add a PP QB, a top 6 d-man, a depth forward and a gritty top-6 power forward, along with a 3rd round pick. There’s your turnaround. Unfortunately, we don’t have a Forsberg to sell.

    In Ottawa, they certainly re-tooled, but it doesn’t seem like their success this year has much to do with the re-tool. Zibanejad isn’t there yet. Neither is the 1st-pick they got from the Fisher deal. They didn’t sign any impact players with the cap space they cleared up in those trades. The biggest impact player they acquired who is there now is the goalie Anderson, and he has been okay, I guess.

    Their turnaround seems more due to the breakout of Karlsson and the coaching change, which has allowed a team that had major talent on it and was underachieving to play to their potential.

    I want the Habs to retool as well, but a quick turnaround will probably depend more on the coaching change than what we acquire at the deadline, because we don’t have any really BIG pieces that we can part with right now except for AK.

    • Chris says:

      Don’t have to look too far for the Senators’ turnaround.

      Without Spezza last season: 3-12-2
      With Spezza last season: 29-28-6

      Throw in that Alfredsson was playing at a very low level due to a back injury that eventually shut him down for the season in early January and you’ve removed the Senators two big guns. With both guys back and playing closer to their current peak form, the Senators are a much stronger team, especially when you factor in the much improved goaltending of Anderson over that provided by Brian Elliott last year.

    • Sal says:

      Good analysis Jan. I have a close friend from Ottawa, and we both agree that the coaching change in Ottawa was crucial to their success this year. He’s got the veterans going, and, he’s got their younger talent positioned in a way that takes best advantage of their skills and enthusiam. Plus, Anderson is consistent, with obvious exceptions. The Habs don’t have the same level of veteran talent on the team to act as role models, so I think they need a more complete rebuild. A young team will at least give the effort on a nightly basis, since they are more motivated to prove they belong. Lets face it, Ron Wilson didn’t all of a sudden become a capable coach again. He has a lot of motivated youngsters with potential and, some guys who are having break out seasons. Mind you, they are the same old Leafs when it comes to keeping the puck out of their net. Bottom line is, that their one line is keeping them afloat. Something he has to address now if they want to stay in contention for a playoff spot.

      Best case senario is, if the Habs miss, so too do the Leafs, and, we still come out ahead, with a better draft position.

      Sal from the Hammer

    • Phil C says:

      Anderson was the big change for Ottawa. They started playing well immediately last year as soon as they traded for him. Their goaltending was horrendous at the start of last year.

      But I would not dismiss everything Ottawa did last year as not having an impact yet. They let their young guys gain some important NHL experience while also giving management a chance to assess the value of their prospects. Guys like Greening, Smith, and Condra are contributing this year as a result, IMO. They had a better idea where Lee and Weircoch were in their development. All the assets they stockpiled last year meant that they could afford to make a deal for Turris.

      Montreal could benefit from letting the kids play. In particular, both Eller and Emelin would really benefit from being given more ice-time and more responsibility when the Habs become sellers. I could see Emelin assuming a top-four role next year with extra playing time which would REALLY help the re-build.

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    If indeed it turns out that we don’t make the playoffs this year, I hope that at least the remainder of this year will clarify the Markov situation. While the Gomez scenario has to be dealt with, to me the greatest concern for this team is establishing if this player is coming back and how productive he will be upon his return. I truly hope he is able to play for 2 months and really test the knee to see what is going on with it.

    And as a follow-up I don’t want Dr. Nick from the Simpsons doing the checkup on it after he plays giving advice to PG. Let Dr. Andrews in Birmingham give that, afterall I am sure it is the Habs that have been paying his bills lately with Markov’s last surgery and Gorges last season.

  8. MacHabFan says:

    Things must get worse before they get better.

    Bring on the better.

  9. keepthefaith says:

    My name says it all, but if we get Derek Roy I quit the Habs.

    • smiler2729 says:

      I like Derek Roy but he’s not a number one center and I wouldn’t trade much for him cuz he’s definitely not elite, he’s Buffalo’s version of Tomas Plekanec with less speed

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam

  10. LA Loyalist says:

    Don’t know what you guys think about Dreger on TSN, but he is positing that at least 6 teams are looking for a top 6 forward. Deduct us, and that’s 5. Question – a) does that change your opinion on the Cammi trade?

    and b) what forward do we have that would bring the best return? (assuming we sweeten the pot – we’re not getting Bobby Ryan straight up for AK) (and assuming we keep Max, Cole and Bourque.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Actually in his report he has 8 teams looking but cautions that 2 more including the Habs are also looking for this.

    • habsnyc says:

      Cammalleri might have brought a better return if more GM’s knew he was available. I say might, because I really do not know.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Timo says:

      I am not sure why everyone is so hell bent on keeping Max Pac. I understand everyone has lots of sympathy for him after what happened last year, but as nice guy as he is, he hasn’t been setting the world on fire. He is also not very physical. Again, be it a result of last years hit or not, he hasn’t been great. I would be ok taking a leap and trading Max for another power forward or a stud Dman.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He plays great with Cole and he is on pace for approximately 60 points this year and around 30 goals….yeah he sucks

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Timo, I have had some reservations about MaxPac this year, but the position of PowerForward seems to be the slowest of all to develop. In in two – three more years if he isn’t really developing then fine, but this is really the finish of his rookie year this year.

        I was living in B.C. when the Canucks gave up on Cam Neely after 3 seasons for Barry Pederson, and I remember how great Leclair became after we traded him away.

        Power Forwards are so tough to come by, we need extreme patience with this position, my opinion only.

        I do understand your reservation.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree they are hard to develop but really, what more do you expect of a 23 year old in his FIRST full season. he is second in scoring only 1 point behind Eric Cole and we are raving about Cole’s play….

      • SmartDog says:

        6-foot 2-inch 23-year-old power forward on pace for 25 goals and 60 points. Stinging our cap for 1.6 million this year and next. Yeah, totally, getcha… what’s to like? (In Stewie’s voice now… Totally. Getcha. Totally.)

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • smiler2729 says:

        So is Max Pacioretty your newest pet peeve?

        What exactly is a “stud Dman”?

        ___________________________________
        Jack Edwards is a clam

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Just out of curiosity, Timo, is there any player you actually like on the Canadiens? Or is that still TBD?
        (Not that there’s anything wrong with not liking anyone on the roster or in management, as long as you like …something. I dunno, how the H fits inside the C? I like that, too. :))

    • Boomer says:

      I’d be suprised if Ak signs with us next year, trade him, moen could have a bit of value aswell, and every team in the playoffs needs a solid veteran dman and great penalty killer (Gill). sell sell sell

      Boom baby!

  11. Sal says:

    This management team scares the crap out of me! If they do anything other than trade deadwood, we all know who they are, to aquire draft picks, and, or, prospects, they should be run out of town by an angry mob!

    Count me in, I’ll drive from the Hammer, no problem!!

    Sal from the Hammer

  12. keepthefaith says:

    Anyone that doesn’t see Subbans talent must be just like Pipes. An Idiot.

    • habsnyc says:

      with that level of talent should come greater on ice discipline. i don’t mean the cheap stuff, i mean being out of position or pinching. partly he is overplayed, but partly he tries to do too much and gets caught in the wrong place. he can mature. he is talented.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      PK does have talent…he also has the ability to make you lose games very quickly

  13. PrimeTime says:

    I won’t argue anyone’s thoughts of the organization but I will say that the Media, not the organization has created the “circus”. There was a time when the days news events was reported and people who listened or read drew their own conclusions and formed opinions. Today news gets old fast and there are more Media “opinions” then ever before which people tend to agree or disagree. These opinions snowball and need to be controlled. This is where the Habs lack talent to do so. That is what this team needs in their front office. Perception is not reality!

    • SmartDog says:

      Could not believe how much TSN was doing backflips to sound so PC and hype up the fight the other night at the same time. They kept saying we don’t condone fighting but this is inevitable, this is the way it has to be, we expect this, etc. etc. They were drooling all over the place. The host and at least one panelist had to hold a phone book in front of their pants and apparently change their underwear during a commercial break. TSN is a freakin’ joke. The only one I like is Bob McKenzie and one reason is that he spends half his time reading his texts… so obviously he knows it’s a joke too.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Perception absolutely is reality.

      Is it always truth? Of course not. The entire industry of marketing, advertising and PR is predicated on the clever manipulation of perception. And it works. Anyone who denies this in any arena of life is in trouble.

      Watch the Kurosawa film about a murder (the name escapes me) told from 3 different points of view. Each narrator seems credible based on the evidence presented.

      Habs have done a very bad job for many years now of managing team disasters, going back to the Roy debacle and probably before that. Another area in which we need to re-tool.

  14. SmartDog says:

    SIMPLE QUESTION:

    Do you trust PG to make good trades or not?

    PS: Unrelated – can someone explain why Markov is not on LTR?

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • shiram says:

      Markov is on the injury reserve.

    • habsnyc says:

      PG lacks hockey sense. He started the season with a team that only had 15-16 NHL level players on the roster. Based on his inability to evaluate his own roster, how could he possibly evaluate talent not under his control?

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • montreal ace says:

      SmartDog the way I see it Markov will not be replaced this year, so the Habs have not asked for extra cap. The not replacing Markov means the Habs will save his salary because, he will be paid by the insurance company. My simple take on this, is that all the salaries of those who have been out for a considerable amount of time, will be reimbursed and the team will in a way make money. I have also alluded to this a few times, but i have not had feed back.

      • SmartDog says:

        Wow. So it’s a money-maker NOT to replace him. Whether that’s true or not, this is my read on the team and on Molson. The guy wants to make money. Winning is good sure… but making money (to him) is first order. So burying Gomez (for example) is something he won’t do.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • smiler2729 says:

      No.

      PS: He is on IR but I don’t know why he isn’t Long Term, again maybe cuz a goat is running the team.

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam

    • savethepuck says:

      I’ve never read the CBA but I always thought LTIR meant the player would definitely not play the remainder of the season. As far as I know, they haven’t decided that yet. Only when the player is “out for the season”, does the team get the Cap relief. But there’s a good chance I may be wrong.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • powdered toastmann says:

      nope…although, I don’t mind the Bourque/Cammy trade.

  15. Marc10 says:

    Here’s a question…

    Would you prefer to tank or to get Ryan Getzlaf?
    And if you go for Getzlaf, are you willing to trade Subbidoo and Eller for him?

    • LA Loyalist says:

      They wouldn’t want Subban because they have Fowler and Visnovsky, both of whom are young and have comparable upsides. What Ducks need is a Craig ludwig/Rick Green type on D, and to replace Koivu and Selanne within a year or two.

      I think Pleks and Eller for Getzlaf would work for both teams. Ducks would want Gorges from us, but that had better not happen. And we may have to sweeten the pot more than that.

      But Getzlaf here? Hell yeah. I would open champagne.

    • J_P says:

      I dont like this “tank” term. I think you have to go out and compete every night regardless of the roster, but that doesnt mean that management has to go out and jeopordize the future by trading for short-term fixes. Just kind of let the chips fall where they do and see what happens.

      Personally, if all it took to get Getzlaf is Eller and Subban, I think I would make that deal. However, I dont think that is all anaheim would want if they would even trade Getzlaf at all, and Cap-wise I dont think the deal works.

      I would rather trade them a package of Plekanec, diaz/weber, Leblanc, and a first round pick.

  16. otter649 says:

    Since Bourque had to fight for his concussion hit on a Washington player – I wonder if Pacs is going to drop the mitts with Letang or another Pens player…….

  17. citizenSanto says:

    var theTeam = Mtl Canadiens;
    var tank = sell all assets to ensure failure;

    if ( theTeam < theBruins ) {
    blame management;
    tank;
    gleefully deride fans of theTeam;
    } else if ( theTeam < theLeafs ) {
    blame management for lack of truculence;
    tank;
    gleefully deride fans of theTeam;
    } else if ( theTeam <= theBlueJackets ) {
    praise management;
    tank;
    pat self on back;
    } else {
    jump on bandwagon;
    take credit;
    pat self on back;
    }

    —————————————
    Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
    — Augustine of Hippo

  18. LL says:

    The thing about faith is, it can’t be separated from your core beliefs just for Hockey.

    Even though things look bleak for the team, I have faith it’s happening for a good reason, and so accept the reality without getting down. (corny eh?)

    One bad season could result in several excellent seasons.

  19. savethepuck says:

    So according to RDS Budaj starts tonight and White practiced with the team today. Just thought I’d mention something about 2 of our players instead of telling everyone who we should get rid of.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  20. mjames says:

    I think Dave Stubbs nailed it in his column today. The fans are not that disenchanted with the team or players as you can see and hear the excitement when the team does well. If there is a sense of apathy or disengagement it is due to the gross mismanagement by senior management including Molson, Gauthier and Gainey. The fans are concerned that current management will continue to steer this team on path to mediocrity. If you want to restore a sense of hope Mr. Molson then you should revamp my senior management with quality people.

    mjames

  21. RobertAlanFord says:

    I have total faith in the car just not the driver.

    Just sayin’……..

  22. J_P says:

    Im not losing faith because of the habs record. Every franchise goes through a point in time where they arent competitive. It happens, and people should get used to it, because this is what the salary cap was supposed to bring: Parity. Sometimes, getting worse is part of getting better.

    I am losing faith in this organization because of the circus-like manner in which it carries itself. The habs have been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year, and it does not look encouraging for the future. The handling of pearn, the handling of martin, the fighting amongst the players, the way they handled the cammalleri situation. You think that doesnt affect the players?

    If this organization wants to improve, and wants to be perennial contenders, they need to change the way they do business off the ice. Geoff Molson took over as president prior to the season. I have no problem with him taking a full season to assess the situation, but after the season is done, its time for him to take action. Its time for him to look at this organization as a whole, and restore its winning culture.

  23. HabsFan1111 says:

    Dealing with failure is one of the most important aspects of sports (and life for that matter…). The team will either pick itself up and give it their all for the remainder of the year, or go through the motions and look towards next season.

    Personally, all I hope for is that the team gives its all. What more could you really ask for? I don’t expect a Cup this year, or any other year, if you’re going to go out, at least go out with a bang. The only way I will give up on this team is if they give up on themselves.

    GHG

  24. Mattyleg says:

    In other news, a Facebook fried wrote this as her status update:
    “What we think – we become.” – Buddha

    I don’t know her well enough to respond that in over 30 years I’ve never ONCE become a hot naked chick.

    Nor that it’s ‘The’ Buddha.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. Dr.Rex says:

    The only trade involving Derek Roy that would make sense would be to include Plekanec and that is not something I am willing to accept. ONly way Pleks should be moved is for a legitimate big #1 center or a franchise defencemen.

    • PrimeTime says:

      You really think that a “buyer” is going to give up a #1 C or a Franchise D before the trade deadline?? Maybe a future potential #1 C or 1-4 D but not one currently on their roster.

  26. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Realistic expectations are one thing….
    Ridiculous outcomes are another…

  27. stevieray says:

    Dissapointed ould be a better term than losing faith . Either many players either over achieved last year or many are under achieving this year .
    PK/Price perplex me though ..certainly a step back for them this year .
    And what can be said about our PP ….
    The Markov carnival is also irratating …
    So if Price recives a offer sheet and we don’t match …do we get draft picks in return ?? not that I want him to leave but …

  28. krob1000 says:

    Since there is a hockey game happening soon and given Bourque answered the bell on his hit…does MaxPAc have to tonight?? I don’t think his was the same kind of dirty and he was pretty apologetic but one must wonder….the Pens could also just give him a few dirty whacks in the back of the legs…and then laugh at our pp attempts.

    • LL says:

      I don’t think so, as Bourques’ elbow was deemed a “cheap shot”.

      MaxP was more a “hockey play” gone wrong.

      But laughing at our PP probably hurts more. ;)

  29. PrimeTime says:

    Other than the cool Jon Stewart video, anything interesting here today….news, updates?? Or same ol’ crap that the “regulars” spew here everyday with their expertise and vast knowledge of “all NHL”.
    *cough*

  30. Mattyleg says:

    Crap.
    I just made myself sad looking at those “History Will Be Made” videos about Cammy and Lappy.
    Crap.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  31. Stev.R says:

    Although I’m pretty sure trade deadline day will come and go with little to no action, that article on what teams are looking for is interesting. You think we could get Zach Phillips from Minn for Kostitsyn? Marcel Noebels from Phili for Gill?

  32. MiltonHab says:

    Stop the panic ! Trading your future ( Eller, Price, PK, Emelin etc) is not the answer. Deal your deadwood Gill, Darche, Campoli, Kaberle, for picks and retool in the summer. Potentially with White, Markov and Gio returning healthy next year will make a huge difference.

    • Stev.R says:

      Gill and Campoli will probably be gone. At least I would think so. If Gill returns it will be because next season we will need to sign a veteran shutdown defenseman and maybe management will feel he’s can still do that.

      Darche if he’s back will be used sparingly. He fills the 4th line role and is cheap, and if there is nothing better of FA we will keep him.

      Kaberle ain’t going anywhere. Next season 4 of our top 6 defensemen will be in their third season or less so we need as much veteran leadership as we can get on our back end. People are still freaking out over his 4.25m/year cap hit and it’s totally ridiculous. First of all that isn’t very much. Second, he’s scoring at .5 ppg since he joined the Habs. And thirdly, since most of our D is still on entry level deals, we can easily afford him.

  33. BLACK ICE says:

    My Montreal Canadiens will go on a 8 game winning streak. You heard it here first!

  34. realplumpcherry says:

    Trading a young player like PK would be a tragedy. This is his second year in the NHL on a slumping team and he’s trying his best to get them ignited again. Yes this leads to countless mistakes but as he gains experience not only will he be a great player but also a great leader on the team. Too often does this franchise pull the cord on it’s youth. This season is over. The coach knows that no matter what he does he’s finished at the end of the season. Let’s not go and ruin next season by trading one of our better prospects for an overpaid underachiever.

  35. Sharks9 says:

    Here’s a wonderful trade proposal for the Habs I read today.

    Derek Roy for Moen + Emelin + Beaulieu/LeBlanc

    25 before 14

  36. MacHabFan says:

    We were spoiled in the first 100 years by 24 cups. The torch was held high – and the bar was set high.

    There are more teams and more competition for the skilled players.

    I maintain high hope, but have realistic expectations.

    Go Habs!

    p.s. I still say “Keep 11. Trade 11.”

  37. shiram says:

    Ryan O’byrne scored in his own goal last night.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWjCiG-O3nw

  38. remi_10069 says:

    Here is my view of what PG should do.

    1) Trade PK. He’s a problem player and you never win with someone like that. Check the last Cup winners and point out one similar player on those teams. Won’t find one

    2) Get rid of Weber and Diaz. They are tiny and crap and they are a big part of the reason why our PP sucks. No solid back end kills the confidence of everyone on the ice.

    3) Get rid of Darche. Give him a coaching job but you can’t win with someone like him on the ice. He’s a smart player and tries very hard but he’s just not NHL caliber

    4) Trade Plek. He’s done his time. Watch him on the pp, totally useless, can’t hit the net. He needs a new team and we need a new player.

    pipes

    • durocher says:

      I definitely agree with 2 and 3, and I wouldn’t strongly object to 4.

    • ed lopaz says:

      guess it depends what you mean by “problem player” dude??

      if you mean:

      1) a 22 year old d-man who plays 25 minutes a night

      2) who plays top line against the very best the other team has to offer – every night

      3) who is one of the best skaters, stick handlers, and purely talented players on our roster

      ya – if you mean a “problem” like that – I would agree with you.

      PK is a “problem” player.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Check the last Cup winners and point out one similar player on those teams.

      You are seriously asking us to identify a troublemaker on the Boston Bruins (2010-2011)?


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • remi_10069 says:

        Nothing wrong with being a troublemaker but you have to back it up. All of the Bruins “pests” backup their actions. Even Lapierre is backing up his behavior lately. PK walks around like he’s the best thing on earth. It’s all about the tude.

        pipes

    • TomNickle says:

      Chicago won with Patrick Kane. The same Patrick Kane who never met a bottle of booze or blonde he didn’t like.

      Pittsburgh won the Cup in a year where there were reports every second day that Malkin wanted out because Crosby was the hero and franchise player.

      Boston has Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. Do I really need to get into what they’re like?

      • remi_10069 says:

        You’re missing my point. It’s not about having problems or being a pest, it’s about being a huge pussy with a massive attitude. This is hockey, not football. Winning hockey teams do not have guys like him. Nobody has provided a single example of one yet.

        pipes

        • ed lopaz says:

          PK tried to fight – he fought Marchand.

          PK is not a fighter – he is bad at it.

          Why do hockey players have to fight?

          Because that’s what the Bruins do??

          Because that’s what Don Scary, Mike “the shoe” Milbury, and PJ Schlock want hockey players to do.

          You say, hockey is NOT football.

          You are right.

          In the NFL, the toughest, biggest, meanest, and worst nightmare players NEVER HAVE TO FIGHT to prove that they can hit.

          PK is not a fighter – he is bad at it.

          so what?

          does that mean he has to skate around with a whimper, and no confidence?

          does that mean he has to keep his mouth shut and let the Bruins walk all over us?

          I like PK’s confidence and his shit talking attitude.

          I don’t need PK fighting so he can break a finger or fall and break an ankle like Taylor Hall.

          Let’s appreciate PK for the player that he is.

          get past this Bruins, CBC, B.S.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Ed, too be honest as a hockey fan and player I can’t stand how PK yipps at players all the time and turtles, dives. It is like that annoying kid who keeps poking you and when he gets popped in the mouth everyone is like fighting is wrong….

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Don’t forget Matt Cooke.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

        • remi_10069 says:

          Cooke is getting closer but he backed up his dirtyness and doesn’t have the tude. I am puzzled as to why people don’t see it. It would be a risky move for sure as he is a very good player and is young but I’m convinced you aren’t ever going to change his attitude and it doesn’t make for a good team.

          pipes

          • J_P says:

            Matt cooke backs up his attitude? Wow buddy, you just keep digging the whole deeper and deeper. I think you should cut your losses on this one lol

          • remi_10069 says:

            Anyone who likes Subban or defends his behaviour must be similar to him. Big mouth, no spine.

            pipes

    • nellis13 says:

      1. I like PK. He’s the most exciting player on the team. He brings a little Apollo Creed to an otherwise boorig team.
      2. We definitley have too much Swiss fondue on this team.
      3. Are you kidding, he drew 6 minutes of PM last game. He’s got mad skills.
      4. We could get a 1st round pick for Plecks and he’s not very physical. I think he’s great- still one of the best 2 way players in the league so it’s a tough call. Personally I would keep him because he would hard to replace.

  39. LA Loyalist says:

    Ok. This where we get busy.

    Let’s each buy a share in Molson’s. Then we become part of the ownership group. The ticker symbol is TPX.B, the company is Molson Coors and it trades on the TSX (trades in NY also under a different symbol). Stock price this week is in the $44 > $45 dollar range, about the cost of a chicken wings and a couple of beers at Cage au Sports.

    We each buy a share, go to the annual meeting wearing a jersey, and try to get a Habs fan on the board.

    This is how things get done. Who’s in?

    TPX.B Molson Coors on TSX

    • Ton says:

      lol even better why don’t you buy the team? Us poster can afford more than one share!

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I would buy the team, but I’m not that rich (yet).

        Also it is too good a synergy for Molson’s in terms of marketing (at least it was :-)) for them to sell.

        And with my kid on two teams at a time down here, I am already quite the investor in hockey. There’s a fun car sticker around town

        “Dad Carries No Cash – Kid Plays Travel Hockey”.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Loyalist – don’t worry about Molson.

      Molson is transitioning this team away from Gainey’s second 5 year plan.

      We picked up Emelin, Cole, and Bourque.

      Don’t you see a trend here?

      It takes time.

      This is not about Molson.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I hope you are right. I like Bourque, Cole and Emelin. 3 more like that and lose the bad contracts and we are ok.

        What I would like to see is some acknowledgement or statement of what the plan is, but I guess that will become self-evident in about a month when we see what PG has done at the deadline.

        As for my suggestion re the stock, it is a ploy to show that everyone is accountable, even Molson’s, and to empower us here at HIO a little, even if only in our imaginations.

        I used to have some shares in Big Rock, and excellent but small beer company in Calgary. I think they were like $5 a share back then. Every time I had one of their beers, I could think… “Hey! I’m working on funding my retirement!”

        Just trying to find something positive in this train wreck.

    • mdp2011 says:

      One major problem in your plan, Molson Inc do not own the Habs. Geoff Molson (the person) and a consortium own the Habs.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Yikes. Sorry guys, I blew that one. Didn’t know the ownership structure as I don’t really follow Canadian business news except if I have an equity situation or the dollar, of which I still hold some.

        That said, the idea of accountability all the way up the ladder remains, but I guess if the ownership is privately held, we are screwed. :-(

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        That isn’t even the biggest problem with his plan.

        The biggest problem is that only a crazy person would buy a share of a company in order disrupt the annual meeting.

        It’s unlikely that the CEO of Molson-Coors would say – ” hey bring this guy to the stage – let him have his say.”

        Very unlikely. (It might happen in a Mighty Ducks type movie though.)


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • 21272andme says:

      molson (the company) doesn’t own the canadiens.
      molson (the family) does [amongst others].

      in fact, molson (the family) bought molson (the company)’s stake in the transaction with gillette.

      so buying shares in molson (the company) gets you nothing. except a share in a pretty good company. you’d have more ownership rights in the habs by buying a share of bell.

    • smiler2729 says:

      I’m in. Let’s DO THIS

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards is a clam

  40. krob1000 says:

    Let’s say we sell at this deadline…what will change? And what is the realistic return on the players we sell? How long will the rebuild take?

    We might pick up a decent player, but we might not. This draft is supposedly “deep”, but there are question marks around a great number of the players.

    Chris,

    Here are the benefits to this season:

    1. Likely a 3-10th pick….you are right no sure thing but more likely to be an impact player than a 20th pick…and every other round pick moves up too. I think our scouting dept has done pretty well drafting where they did…I think they’ll do better with these slots.

    2. A reason to unload UFA’s for some picks……again nothing huge but picks are picks….yes, they take a while to grow but if we are where we should be next year adnd should have been this year they come in handy to bolster a playoff team..so their return CAN be had as soon as next year…or even at the draft.

    3.A legit reason to Ship Gomez out and also shift gears on the mentality and general makeup of the team….the NHL LIED….they did not eliminate the impact of size.dirty hits,etc and both MTL and BUFF are prime examples of teams that benefitted short term but the game went back to being what it was.

    4. Dd , ELLER, Emelin, Diaz, Patches, PK, etc…were all thrust into roles perhaps beyond them but nonetheless have gained valuable experience.

    5. We haven’t palyed hardly at all at even the cap floor…next year we will basically be adding Markov and Gionta to this team plus whatever else we do.

    6. LEblanc should be ready for a role next year on a lower line or at least be a capable fill in.

    7. PG and RC clearly have a vision of us being bigger and faster….they have managed to bring in some pretty legit power forwards…unfortunately our 7 million dollar center hasn’t been around all year and there isn’t enough distribution up the middle.

    8. I think we overpaid on Gorges but perhaps this leads to us paying less thanw e may have had to pay PK and/or Price had the season been better.

    9. We have a legit reason to do something with Gomez…which should free up enough space to add even more to the lineup in the way of a tough dman and another 3 or 4 million dollar winger or center….We have room to again have depth if we move Gomez.

    10. I have to be optimistic….otherwise I will have no reason to watch the rest of the games because there is no way this year matters anymore

    I see nothing but optimism for next year….that could all change if PG makes some terrible moves but so far I like his trades

    I think this is plenty fo room for optimism…yes we are probably going to be a bottom 3-10th team…but with the parity in todays game that is 5 – 8 wins keeeping us from being a middle of thepack playoff team…I findit hard to believe we aren;t that much better next year

  41. 24 Cups says:

    Looking at MB’s photo for the day, it strikes me how much body language can communicate how a person is probably feeling.

    The young girl on the left (pink), has her hand on her head as if to say all is lost. The girl on the right (Hab jersey) has her fist clenched but there is still a look of hope on her face. As if to say, damn it, play harder. I know you can do it.

    What about the three adults in the back row? They are all probably watching Gomez as he crosses the other team’s blue line. Is he going to turtle left or right? Or maybe the Habs are on the PP. Or, they are wondering why they shelled out $200 bucks for a ticket to a game where the home team never scores.

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I would otherwise provide You with the direct link, but My Copy/Paste function has been MIA for awhile on My PC :(
    …if interested, go look and take a read of Marc Denis’ current column on rds.ca titled ‘Distractions’
    …I thought it provides some credible insight on potential Players’ morale issues during times of struggle like Our Team is coping with today
    …P.S.: if there is anyOne more tech-adept than I out in the HabFanatic Universe that knows how to recover the Copy/Paste function on the Windows Vista OS I would be inestimately grateful :) …System Restore not being an option because My System Restore points only are backable up to 6 or 7 days, and I believe the function must have been ‘lost’ before the furthest available restore point
    …is there an alternative ‘simple’ solution I am not aware of ?
    …thanks to anyOne that throws Me a life-preserver :)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  43. DLN-CH4Life says:

    How Do People STILL Think Gomez Is Tradable?
    maybe next year with his lower salary but still high cap hit.
    But Not this year, and I’ll be surprised to see him not finish that contract in Montreal.
    in My Opinion.
    We suck so bad right now, I don’t see him hurting us at all.
    I just don’t see why we didn’t recall Loui when Gionta went out again.
    blunden with Bourque and Plec is…. o.O
    Moen should be kept…and to a long and worthy contract.
    The guy knows hockey, pride and heart.
    Gill will be a seller i think come trade deadline.
    Rather it’s for a pick, prospect, player, only PG can decide that.
    I think Diaz and Emelin have found a spot on our roster.
    Looking at next year, or possible 8th seed playoff lineups.

    Patch-DD-Cole
    Moen-Eller-AK
    Bourque-Plec-Loui
    Blunden-Gomez-Noki (Darche)

    Georges- Marko…..who?
    Suban-Diaz
    Emelin-Kaberle. (webber)

    Gill goes to a cup contender.
    Campoli to who ever wants him.

    I hope to God the players don’t have the same mentality as us fans.
    ‘Next shift’ is all i hope they’re thinking about.

    We have a good team.
    And That 8th Spot BELONGS to US!!!!
    Always has in the past 10 years. lol
    Wish the NHL had Wild Cards. lol

    Go Habs GO!!!!!!

    -DLN

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Your loyalty is admirable.

      I think the odds of us making the playoffs are at 7% at the moment.

      That number will drop to about 5%, or lower, if we don’t win tonight and tomorrow night.

      I’ll grab a brew at the pub tonight and keep my eye on the Habs game but won’t even bother tomorrow if they don’t win tonight.

      We’ve got some of the right pieces and this team could be good if we Gomez and Markov were giving us $12 Mill worth of production.

      We will battle for 8th spot at best next year and start to improve the following season.

    • Ton says:

      people are forgetting Nash in Hamilton as a possible D. He had a serious injury this year but would likely have taken Diaz’s spot!

    • habsnyc says:

      Amazing this team is so bad after management got Campoli, Nokilainen, Kaberle and Bourque, fired an assistant and fired the coach. Imagine how bad it would have been without four trades and two firings. Or maybe the team would be just as bad and these moves were churn, not improvement.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  44. habsperspective says:

    Ill compare this, if Price gets his way with this next contract, he will cause further descension, in this team, even beyond the likes of a Gomez, or Camalleri, or Kaberle.

    Halak, wouldnt of. Halak, would of been better, for a team. Not a bunch of individuals, which is exactly what the f in problem is in Montreal, and surely will continue to be if not worsen. If Price gets a contract of a lifetime.

    It should be about team.

    Period!

    • Mattyleg says:

      I don’t see how Halak is more of a ‘team player’ than Price, in your mind.
      Price always talks about the team.

      (and it’s ‘would have’ and ‘wouldn’t have’. No disrespect. Just pointing it out!)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habsperspective says:

        Hes not about team, if he commands so much money.

        Disparity of salary within a team, that has as many individuals as this club does, is never good.

        Hes not worth more money then a Crosby, Stills, or Nash. And yet, hes looking for exactly that.

        Read between lines and recognize whats said for the media is usually the complete opposite of whats really going on.

        • Mattyleg says:

          No, I don’t think that how much a player earns has anything to do with his position on the concept of ‘team’.

          There is salary disparity in every team in the NHL. Would you be willing to pay a guy like Travis Moen the same amount as someone like Erik Cole? I don’t think so.

          We don’t know how much he’s looking for, to be honest, apart from media reports (ie rumours) which, as you say, are the exact opposite of what’s going on.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. billylove says:

    Losing faith? First signs of fan disaffection? Are you guys freaking serious!

  46. Habitoba says:

    (if this has been said already, sorry, I’m not up to speed with the 300+ comments so far)

    A bad season and bad trades/missed picks/and every possibly minute problem are blown up to ridiculous proportions. Not only that but it’s re-hashed day after day after day after day…. You want to know why people are disheartened? It’s because they’re dwelling on the bad, mulling it over until that dead horse they’ve been beating has turned to nothing but a pile of bones and dust and this site does nothing but enable that behavior. I’m starting to get sick of this site, or rather, the commentariat portion of it because it’s the same song and dance over and over again (not everybody is a negative Nelly but some of the more vocal ones are… the problem with generalizing).

    Enjoy the game, cheer unconditionally for your team and thank heaven that this is not a team that perennially does this bad in the standings like the Isles or Columbus.

    To try to change the attitude, I’m going to go and say that I like the Bourque trade. I enjoy that the Habs have an excellent penalty kill. I love watching Cole turn on the afterburners and blow past the opposition’s D along the wing. PK’s jubilant celebrations are fun to watch and his smile is infectious. DD is going to be great because he, like St. Louis, have a chip on their shoulder: were told they are too small for the NHL. They go out there and prove critics wrong. Us short guys always want to do better than expected and not be the liability. I love the passion Habs fans displays. I love how we have sites like this to fully get to know the team. i can’t find anything remotely close to this site for the Panthers or the Hurricanes. I very happy to see the Habs still trying to win the games. They’re not giving up and neither should we. I would obviously love to see them win more but my resolve is unshaken. The Montreal Canadiens are my favorite sports team in the world and a lousy season like this is not going change that.

    GO HABS GO!!!

  47. durocher says:

    I very much like and agree with a commenter’s suggestion below that we go after Dubinsky. He’s a heart and soul type guy, is gritty, is a solid two-way forward. He’d fit in nicely with the new core of forwards we are developing (Cole, Max Power, Bourque).

    I’d also add to the list of people we should target: Tangradi (a budding power forward who played with PK in the OHL) and Cormier (a feisty forward who was captain of the WJC team, and he has not committed any serious infractions since his horrible play on Tam in the Q).

    The Flyers are looking for help on defense. I’d send Gill for Marc-Andre Bourdon.

  48. Chris says:

    Regarding my faith in the team…

    There is so much hype and coverage surrounding professional sports these days that I often wonder if people actually can enjoy the teams they claim to follow. When every single move is analyzed 12 different ways, when every contract is studied using advanced statistics and cap hits and comparables and when every loss is laid at the feet of Players X and Y, I suspect that it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy the victories.

    I will freely admit to the fact that I entered this season optimistic. I still didn’t think the Montreal Canadiens were quite there yet, but I was impressed with the improvement in forward depth and I was happy to see some of the younger kids getting a chance to shine. I was worried about the effect of losing Hamrlik, who never got enough credit here in Montreal for shouldering a heavy load on the blue line, and I was concerned about the continued drop-off in the level of Hal Gill and a sophomore slump by P.K. Subban, similar to those suffered by other hot-shot young defencemen such as Drew Doughty or Tyler Myers. The blue line was a concern.

    I didn’t expect the Habs to fare so poorly this season, and I think most honest observers would share that sentiment. But that is the nature of the beast. Other than San Jose, Detroit, Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Philadelphia and Boston, there are no teams that have perennially sat near the top of the standings. For a long-time, Montreal had a stranglehold on the best managers and coaches and reaped the successes. Now, other franchises discovered the best managers and coaches and get to enjoy their ride at the top for a while. It could not have been very fun to be a fan of most other NHL teams in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

    Anybody who pines for the “good old days” of the Montreal Canadiens should probably stop following hockey. You will never be content. That era, when a team could put together a collection of unparalleled stars and dominate the NHL in perpetuity, is over. There isn’t a single team in the NHL whose success comes even remotely close to the 1970’s Montreal Canadiens or 1980’s New York Islanders or Edmonton Oilers. And there likely never will be so long as the team has both an entry draft and a hard salary cap.

    I’m intending to spend the rest of the season enjoying the development of the young Habs players like Eller, Emelin, Diaz, Desharnais and Pacioretty while hoping that next season is a better one for the team. Sports are intended to be an entertaining outlet from the drudgery of everyday life. If it isn’t fun anymore, people should find something else that they do enjoy and come back next season when everybody starts with a fresh slate.

    I grew up cheering for the New Orleans Saints as a kid. I’ve seen how quickly one key acquisition (drafting Drew Brees) can turn around a franchise. Their previous struggles were not for a lack of trying…they just didn’t find the right guy.

    Montreal needs that one key acquisition (an elite scoring forward, in my opinion) to elevate them from perennial bubble team to legitimate Stanley Cup contender. The draft is one place to get such a player, but trades or free agency can work equally well.

    The only way I will despair is if the team stops trying to win. At that point, I will stop caring.

  49. OK you need a laugh? I thought this comment from the utube clip was Hilarious!

    As a boy, Lucic was so ugly his mother had to tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with him.

    I’m still smiling.

    Shock of the day (no not the -37°C weather). So I’m taking a break from three customs. I decide to see if the Jets released any tickets because the little fella wants to go to a game.

    There’s 8 pairs available and each one I click on is disappearing fast. But I got the last set for a whopping 396.00. Man sitting in Club Desjardins is cheaper, and you get food.

    True North has it made right now.

    What are the odds on Bobby Ryan coming to Montreal?

    Is Hall Gill going to Nashville?

    Why is Bob Gainey in St Louis?
    Based on what we’ve seen the last two weeks, odds are the Habs beat the Pens tonight…..I don’t know how they do it, but thems the Odds Baby! Very Odd Team

    CAREY CAREY CAREY

    GO HABS GO

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com Inc.
    Custom Sports Figures
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  50. Mavid says:

    So what your saying HH is that if we don’t think the same way as you were not very smart, childlike…I will cheer and support my team in the way I see fit, and nobody including you is going to tell me what I think or know just because its different from you, and people like you..I don’t have rose colored glasses, and I don’t know what is wrong with the team, but I will be a fan till the day I die, and always support THE TEAM..I honestly don’t know how some people on here can can themselves fans…cheer for someone else then…Ottawa always has room on their bandwagon and hell they are playing well…

  51. Timo says:

    Re Stubbs’ article – one can only hope that next season the apathy will translate into many unsold tickets in September. Maybe than apathetic Molson will take a hint.

  52. PureGuava says:

    Question,

    If Budaj stands on his head tonight, and Price stinks it up again tomorrow night – then what?

  53. BeachHabFan says:

    Once Gill and Gomez get shipped to Minny, Campoli sent to Dallas, and Moen traded to Nashville, the habs will be younger, have a lot of cap space and picks to use, and still be relatively competitive. I’ll hate losing Moen and be pissed that Kaberle is still here, but at least we’ll have a decent 7th d who’s a veteran. I’ll definitely feel less apathetic (and less pathetic, actually) once things get moving forward again. I just hope Gauthier doesn’t –ck it up (I also can’t wait till Gauthier reveals whatever he’s holding over Molson as leverage so he keeps his job – dirty photos, insider trading documents, illegitimate children. Must be a good one).

  54. Chris says:

    Regarding team-building…

    Within the context of my belief that the Montreal Canadiens have too passionate and dedicated a fan base to tank, I assert that mistakes have been and will continue to be made, as is the case for every NHL team whose results don’t match the expectations of its management team or fans. For example, were the much-maligned Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque acquisitions in summer 2008 good moves in retrospect? Probably not. But who could possibly know that the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens, loaded with all those young players that seemed to still be developing, were not on the cusp of something special after a season in which they were in the top-5 in scoring for the first time in over a decade? The additions in that off-season (Robert Lang, Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque) were all good acquisitions within the context that they were made. Lang gave the team a veteran center with size and skill, Tanguay had shown in Colorado that he could excel as a complimentary player and Laraque was acquired to fill the perceived need for toughness on the Habs roster. On paper, good moves. On the ice, things didn’t work out and the team was ultimately blown up after a humbling playoff loss.

    That we’re going through another hiccup this season is not particularly surprising. The team was rebuilt and, generally, met or exceeded expectations; a trip to the conference finals and a tough seven-game loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champions is not exactly a record to be ashamed of, except here in Montreal where fans have become spoiled on past successes that, in many cases, they never actually viewed for themselves.

    I don’t foresee a firesale because I think the list of playes that don’t fit into the team’s future plans (Gill, potentially Gomez, maybe Kostitsyn and Moen given their pending UFA status) is not particularly long. And while many are arguing that any assets should be traded for draft picks, I express caution…draft picks, especially those outside the top-5 overall, often take 2-3 years to develop and even longer to contribute in a meaningful way.

    It took P.K. Subban 3 full seasons to become a regular in the NHL. Max Pacioretty did not become a contributing regular until mid-way through last season. So if a team adopts a draft pick for player trade philosophy, that team runs the risk of prolonging the pain of treading water for a few seasons.

    I’d much rather see Gauthier targetting young NHL players for any players he intends to trade, as the Flyers did this past summer when they dealt Carter for Voracek (a very good young player!) and a pick (Couturier) or Richards for Simmonds and Schenn. Draft picks are less known quanitities and much further away from contributing than young, “known” players or prospects.

    Montreal does not have any assets that are going to land a top-10 overall pick, so I’d rather package players for players, if that is the decision.

    • Duracell3 says:

      Oh God I wish.

    • savethepuck says:

      “I express caution…draft picks, especially those outside the top-5 overall, often take 2-3 years to develop and even longer to contribute in a meaningful way.”

      Unfortunately, too many posters on here don’t understand this. you just have to go through the last 6 drafts to see when and if these players started to make a contribution to their teams. I too am very cautious about putting my faith in 17 and 18 year old undeveloped kids. The term “lottery pick” has 2 meanings as far as I’m concerned.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • 24 Cups says:

      Chris – It’s interesting that you mention 2008. The Habs were gearing up for a Cup run and decided to add some more talent. I was keen on Tanguay (he was fantastic on the PP with Kovy during our Summit visit that fall). I was one of the few who criticized the Laraque deal due to the fact he couldn’t play a position on a regular basis. I was also disappointed about the Lang signing as I wanted to go for a homerun trade (to quote NM49). I certainly was off base on that deal.

      Looking back, I was one for three. Do that in baseball on a regular basis and you eventually go the the HOF. On HI/O, it’s an extended stay with Chevy Chase’s brother in the movie, Christmas Vacation. “I’ve just got to go out and clean the sh—-.”

      Totally agree with your thoughts on deadline trades. Let’s roll the dice on a prospect rather than a pick (unless it’s a high end first rounder, not that any team in that position will be trading with us).

  55. ont fan says:

    Maybe it’s all about coaching? Mclean in Ottawa has changed the attitude in the dressing room. Hitchcock in St. Louis. These teams were a mess too.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      They were a mess, but methinks not as bad as this one.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      It’s almost always about coaching. Over the past three years the Habs have been a “small and offensively talented team built around speed” and “too small and cannot score”. The former oft used media description was used when they were winning and the latter when losing and most of this year, obviously. Same basic lineup at forward, same coach.
      I cannot help but wonder how this team would have responded if the Habs had replaced Martin before the season began and dealt with the Gomez situation. I think resolving those two issues would have gone a long way to changing the character of the team regardless of the roster.

  56. The Cat says:

    Cheer up habs fans, pretty soon the media will have the Nordiques to pounce on as well. Im going to bet it gets done for the next playing year.

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

    • G-Man says:

      Islanders and Coyotes are favourites to be on the move.
      Frankly, if organizations can’t take the heat, they can go outside and play on any of the great rinks in Montreal. ;)

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Quebec won’t be getting a team in the near future!
      They can’t even attract enough top quality personnel to Mtl. now, how many would want to bring their families to spend their days as second class citizens in an even more non tolerant of difference society.

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Only 9 games left to lose before we are done for the year! Will this one be 1 of them.?

    I think we win this one going away!

  58. Chris says:

    Regarding tanking…

    To those that suggest that the Habs tank for a few years to rebuild, I would argue that that is the ultimate insult to a fan base. When you ask fans to shell out hundreds of dollars per ticket to fill the largest arena in the NHL, your organization had better be doing all you can to ensure that the team is as competitive as possible each season. Consider:

    One of the “Original 6″ franchises and one of the most intimidating rinks for visiting teams in the 1990’s, the Chicago Blackhawks saw their average attendance fall as low as 12,727 (62.1% of capacity) as recently as 2006-07 as they were in the midst of their much-lauded “rebuild” that lasted a decade.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were bankrupt and saw their average attendance fall to a league-worst 11,877 in 2003-04. Rumours abounded of that franchise being sold and moved out of the market.

    The Washington Capitals fell as low as 13,905 in 2005-06, despite that being the debut season of one of the most talented and exciting players to emerge in a generation, Alexander Ovechkin.

    So many of the arguments surrounding the Montreal Canadiens describe the team as a fundamental part of the cultural fabric of the city of Montreal and province of Quebec. We talk of the class of the franchise and its history. How can those same people then turn around and ask those fans to support a team that is intentionally trying not to win games? Are we really suggesting that the Habs adopt such a self-destructive team-building philosophy that has been repeatedly shown to drive fans away?

    The Montreal Canadiens should not and can not tank. They have a die-hard fan base around the world that deserves far, far better than the most cynical ploy in professional sports. The Montreal Canadiens must make every effort to make the playoffs each year, because that is their job as executives, as coaches and as players.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Chris.

      Do you think Nashville would take AK46, Kristo, and a 2nd round

      for Ryan Suter??

      Do you think the Habs would do that type of deal??

      • habs03 says:

        Why trade for A.kost when he is going to be a UFA? Are they looking to make a push, if so, then why trade Suter. Plus they could get a LOT more for Suter. And I wouldn’t trade any assets for suter. Maybe try to sign him July 1st but that’s it.

      • rogieshan says:

        Unless you are confident Suter will sign an extension to stay in Montreal, this deal doesn’t work from the Habs perspective. You’re essentially giving Kristo and a 2nd rounder away for a two-month rental.

        Nashville would also need a D-man in included in return.

      • Chris says:

        I’d be a bit surprised. AK46 is a UFA himself. He doesn’t carry much value. Kristo is a decent prospect, but hardly a world-beater.

        I’d have to believe the Predators are going to get at least 1 (if not 2) first round picks or elite calibre prospects for a player as highly regarded as Ryan Suter. There are a lot of teams that could use an elite defenceman in the playoffs, so the market could heat up fast on him.

        I actually don’t know that Nashville will trade him. They need Suter and Weber to make the playoffs, and a playoff series or two for Nashville’s owners is a big thing. This is a team that usually loses money, so foregoing the chance to bank some playoff gate revenues is not necessarily a good financial decision.

        More likely, they ride both guys through the playoffs and, if necessary, trade the rights to one or both of them before the July 1 deadline for a 1st or 2nd round pick so that an interested team can get a jump on signing them.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I would think Nashville would be very confident they could sign AK46 before July 1.

          Andrei and his brother are very close.

          They were inseparable on the Habs.

          Andrei is not a tough guy to sign for anyone – 4 years, 4 million – and Nashville would be a place he would love to play.

          Kristo is nominated for the Hobey Baker award this year and is considered probably the best forward in the NCAA.

          Kristo is lightning fast and is an excellent prospect to not only make the NHL but actually produce as well.

          Both teams would need some “guidance” as to the players intentions for free agency.

          This is “unwritten” but comes with the territory of trading for UFA’s.

          Nashville needs more offence if they want to compete and I have read that they are really looking hard for a top 6 forward.

          Habs would have a top d-man to play next to Subban.

          • Chris says:

            I agree with your assessments, but I think that other teams can and will offer more for Suter than Montreal can. I think any deal there has to involve a 1st round pick, and Montreal can’t afford to give up their own pick.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Nice.
      In addition, I would like to add that a coach can’t tell a team not to try.
      These guys have far too much pride and self-respect to have that happen. Can you imagine?
      “Okay boys, just go out there and skate around. I don’t want to see any hard work.”
      “Okay coach!” (tapping sticks)
      “Hey! Cut that out!” (points at sticks) “That’s what I’m talking about!”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • savethepuck says:

      You are bang on Chris.
      I have absolutely no desire to watch a team that has folded up the tent. The Habs are a team that can afford to, and usually do, spend to the Cap limit. They owe it to their fans to put the best possible product on the ice.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • AndyF says:

      To those that suggest that the Habs tank for a few years to rebuild, I would argue that that is the ultimate insult to a fan base. When you ask fans to shell out hundreds of dollars per ticket to fill the largest arena in the NHL, your organization had better be doing all you can to ensure that the team is as competitive as possible each season.

      This is complete folly. You are essentially condemning the team to NEVER getting a top-8 draft pick, EVER again. It’s this kind of thinking that will have Bruins’ fans in 2033 yelling “1993” when the Habs play them.

      To deny the development cycle is to make it so any possible Cup win will be a complete fluke. Obviously, Habs managment shares your beer-sales-oriented views.

      http://andyfroncioni.com

      • Chris says:

        You could read it this way.

        But there are seasons where things don’t go well. And in those seasons, you end up with higher pick. You package a player, prospect or a pick or picks with that draft pick and you can move that pick even higher.

        Other teams have been creative in the past. Other teams will be creative in the future.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Who is saying to tank for a few years? The year is DONE. Trade for picks and make the best of this year’s draft. Pretending they can win this year is idiocy

      • Chris says:

        Fine, but what players are you going to trade.

        I’m down with trading Gill…he doesn’t have much left, and he would probably appreciate the chance to go on one more playoff run before his career ends. And I wouldn’t expect much more than a 3rd round pick…we want him gone because he is clearly done. I’m pretty sure NHL scouts recognize this too.

        Kostitsyn? Okay, let’s analyze that. He’s an inconsistent scoring forward with size but some questions about his work ethic. He has no particular track record in the playoffs, and he is a UFA at the end of the season. So what is the market? A 2nd round draft pick? If you are REALLY lucky, perhaps a 1st. If you get the 1st, then sure, I would do it. But I would not trade a guy we KNOW is a top-9 forward for the possibility of drafting an equivalent player in the 2nd round this summer.

        Travis Moen, impending UFA…again, what is the market? Perhaps a 2nd rounder, more likely a 3rd rounder.

        Campoli? I’d trade him in a heartbeat, but wouldn’t expect anything more than a 3rd rounder for him.

        Gomez? Not going anywhere with is cap hit and production.

        Gionta? Hurt…not going anywhere.

        Markov? Hurt…not going anywhere.

        You can try to blow up the team, but you need willing trade partners and you had better be getting good value back. Otherwise you are just blowing it up for the sake of it, and that is the recipe of a perennial cellar dweller.

        Now let’s look at the 2003 NHL draft: 38 players were drafted (including the supplementary picks allocated for lost players). Of those 38 players, 11 position players have played 200 NHL games or more and 2 goalies have played 75 NHL games or more.

        So in an exceptionally deep NHL draft, less than 35% of the 2nd round picks ever became everyday players in the NHL, and that includes NHL illuminaries B.J. Crombeen and Dan Fritsche.

        Nobody is pretending that the team can win this year. But I don’t see the point in throwing away good assets (such as Kostitsyn or Moen) for a less than 35% chance of finding useful NHL players unless you are absolutely sure you can not re-sign those players yourself.

        • AndyF says:

          Nobody is pretending that the team can win this year. But I don’t see the point in throwing away good assets (such as Kostitsyn or Moen) for a less than 35% chance of finding useful NHL players unless you are absolutely sure you can not re-sign those players yourself.

          So, if not this year, then when *is* it a good time to trade assets for picks, Chris? When does a team make a definitive statement that it is, indeed, rebuilding through the draft? In Montreal, the answer is: never.

          You seem to have drunk the Habs upper management Kool-Aid.

          http://andyfroncioni.com

          • Chris says:

            Again, you missed my point.

            I’m not saying that you never trade assets. But trading them for 2nd round picks or lower is a losing cause. Better to include those assets in a package deal and get a known commodity in return if you can’t get a top-15 draft pick for them.

            After the top-15 (top-10 in many years) the chances of a player turning out drop dramatically to a coin toss or less.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I certainly don’t think that the Habs should intentionally tank like other teams in the past. However, I also think that they should prioritize keeping their draft picks over almost anything else since trading these away usually only result in temporary relief, but no real long term gain. In that sense, I would like to see the Habs perform a major retooling of the D by perhaps selling off some veterans like Gill and Campoli (might be a hard sell) who could be useful for a team making the playoffs. And so, that being said, I think it would be a mistake to blow up the team completely (i.e. get rid of many of the Habs’ best players) because of a bad season.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Pruning, on the other hand, recognizes that removing certain assets and in the process acquiring younger ones can be rejuvenating. It also demands unstinting efforts from players, certainly not complacency, in order to realize their full potential.
      At the same time, proponents of pruning recognize that it might not bear fruit immediately — ie, a playoff position — but will prove to be of great benefit in the long-term, much greater than would be achieved through a series of short-term fixes.
      Also, it shows great faith in the players who remain, that they’re seen to be capable to doing better things, when, in time, given a more solid supporting cast. They might not enjoy success as quickly as they and their fans would like but they stand to gain from the adversity they experience and the lesson learned, that nothing worth pursuing is easily attained.

      • Chris says:

        Pruning is what I do support. There are small moves that can and perhaps should be made.

        But I am not in favour of blowing up the roster because of a bad season.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          By small moves you mean any player who’s under six foot?
          As for blowing up the roster, it has a certain appeal, if only to be able to say: “It blowed real good!”

  59. Chris says:

    There is so much hype and coverage surrounding professional sports these days that I often wonder if people actually can enjoy the teams they follow. When every single move is analyzed 12 different ways, when every contract is studied using advanced statistics and cap hits and comparables and when every loss is laid at the feet of Players X and Y, I suspect that it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy the victories.

    I will freely admit to the fact that I entered this season optimistic. I still didn’t think the Montreal Canadiens were quite there yet, but I was impressed with the improvement in forward depth and I was happy to see some of the younger kids getting a chance to shine. I was worried about the effect of losing Hamrlik, who never got enough credit here in Montreal for shouldering a heavy load on the blue line, and I was concerned about the continued drop-off in the level of Hal Gill and a sophomore slump by P.K. Subban, similar to those suffered by other hot-shot young defencemen such as Drew Doughty or Tyler Myers. The blue line was a concern.

    I didn’t expect the Habs to fare so poorly this season, and I think most honest observers would share that sentiment. But that is the nature of the beast. Other than San Jose, Detroit, Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Philadelphia and Boston, there are no teams that perennially ride near the top of the standings. For a long-time, Montreal had a stranglehold on the best managers and coaches and reaped the successes. Now, other franchises discovered the best managers and coaches and get to enjoy their ride at the top for a while. It could not have been very fun to be a fan of most other NHL teams in the 1960’s or 1970’s! :)

    Anybody who pines for the “good old days” of the Montreal Canadiens should probably stop following hockey. That era, when a team could put together a collection of unparalleled stars and dominate the NHL in perpetuity, is over. There isn’t a single team in the NHL whose success comes even remotely close to the 1970’s Montreal Canadiens or 1980’s New York Islanders or Edmonton Oilers. And there likely never will be so long as the team has both an entry draft and a hard salary cap.

    When building teams, mistakes will be made, as is the case for every NHL team whose results don’t match the expectations of its management team or fans. For example, were the much-maligned Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque acquisitions good moves in retrospect? Probably not. But who could possibly know that the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens, loaded with all those young players that seemed to still be developing, were not on the cusp of something special after a season in which they were in the top-5 in scoring for the first time in over a decade? The additions in that off-season (Robert Lang, Alex Tanguay and Georges Laraque) were all good acquisitions within the context that they were made. Lang gave the team a veteran center with size and skill, Tanguay had shown in Colorado that he could excel as a complimentary player and Laraque was acquired to fill the perceived need for toughness on the Habs roster. On paper, good moves. On the ice, things didn’t work out and the team was ultimately blown up after a humbling playoff loss.

    That we’re going through another hiccup this season is not particularly surprising. The team was rebuilt and pretty much met expectations; a trip to the conference finals and a tough seven-game loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champions is not exactly a record to be ashamed of, except here in Montreal where fans have become spoiled on past successes that, in many cases, they never actually viewed for themselves.

    I’m intending to spend the rest of the season enjoying the development of the young Habs players like Eller, Emelin, Diaz, Desharnais and Pacioretty while hoping that next season is a better one for the team. Like many, I feel this season is almost certainly a lost cause and the team should strongly consider making some transactions that secure a return on current assets that don’t fit into the team’s future plans. That being said, I don’t foresee a firesale because I think the list of playes that don’t fit into the team’s future plans (Gill, potentially Gomez, maybe Kostitsyn and Moen given their pending UFA status) is not particularly long.

    Sports are intended to be an entertaining outlet from the drudgery of everyday life. If it isn’t fun anymore, people should find something else that they do enjoy and come back next season when everybody starts with a fresh slate.

  60. habs001 says:

    I still believe if we had mab on the pp this year we would have scored over 10 more goals..but somehow i think if our pp was as good as in many previous years the pp changes given to us would be reduced by the refs…

  61. rdiddy says:

    Here is why I should be the GM. LOL. just for fun

    -Moen would look great in Van city and could pull in a 3rd rounder
    -Trade Gill and AK to NYR for Dubinksy. He is under-producing and we have a history of taking bad contracts on from NYR.
    -Drop Gomer when the new CBA has a one-time no penalty buy-out this summer.
    -Move Campoli to Philly for a twix bar
    -Move Kaberle to NJ for a 3rd rounder (Tallinder is out for the year)

    -Sign Price to 5 year 6 mill contract
    -PK has had a down year so sign him for 2 or 3 years @3mill

    -Use top 5 pick on Yakupov, Forsberg or Grigorenko
    -Use second round pick on Vasilevski and third rounder on Tanner Pearson
    -Throw 6mill at Ryan Suter as UFA

    Next year:
    Top 5 pick-Pleks-Gio
    Cole-DD-MaxPac
    Bourque-Eller-Dubinsky
    whoever

    Markov-PK
    Suter – Gorges
    Emelin – Diaz

  62. habsnyc says:

    I judge PG on the standings, not on the deals he made. It is tough for me to view positively a GM spending to the cap whose team is closer to last place than to a playoff spot.

    Gomez is a sunk cost. The team does not need to eat his salary. They have to decide if they are willing to pay $2 million in addition to Gomez to get a decent third line center, $4 million for a second line center, $6 million for a first line center or $600k for a fourth line center. That is the math. The good news is that the team owes Gomez $2 million less in salary for next season and $3million less for 2013. They can put that money back to work.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      The money on Gomez can’t go back to work on salaries, the cap # stays the same throughout the contract, he just gets paid less. This is what makes him potentialy a good trade to lower spending teams that need to get to the cap-floor but don’t actually have to spend the dough

      • habsnyc says:

        the cap # stays the same, but the cap ceiling grows so for the same cash outlay next year, they can have more players.

        there is no team that needs gomez. go find someone who would trade for him.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  63. The Dude says:

    I can’t believe the Halak /Eller thang is still happening…so in hopes of making the broom stir the broth”heh heh” , If we could right now would you trade Eller back to St Lou for Halak?


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