Armstrong’s Habs career ends, while Brière’s begins

While Colby Armstrong’s brief career as a Canadien came to an end, Daniel Brière’s was just starting as he put on his No. 48 Habs jersey for the first time Saturday morning and went for a skate at the team’s Brossard practice facility. He also posed for photos and spoke with some youngsters playing in a summer three-on-three league (including brothers Theo and Jacob Haley in photo above).

Brière also had his three sons with him and they toured the Habs’ locker room.

“I grew up a Canadiens fan so pulling on that jersey for the first time today was special,” Brière said.

“Today was my first time in the dressing room. I’ve seen the Bell Centre a lot but it’s nice to see it from the good side.”

At the same time, Armstrong was in an SUV driving back to his Saskatoon home, expecting to arrive sometime Saturday.

“I’m in a Lexus SUV loaded to the nuts with three dogs in here,” Armstrong told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs with a laugh while describing his journey.

“Three tiny little golden-doodles, about 25 pounds a pop. They’re good passengers, for now. I made them a little area in the back, a little dog pound. That’s where I want them to stay, but they keep trying to shnizzle up onto my lap.

“I’m having none of that. I keep backhanding them into the back seat,” he joked. “It’s an ongoing battle. I figure by the time I get to Saskatoon, I’ll need physio for my right arm and shoulder.”

The 30-year-old veteran played only 37 games with the Canadiens last lockout-shortened season, missing 10 with a knee injury suffered April 1 at home vs. Carolina. The Habs chose not to retain the plugger whom they had paid $1 million as a 2012 free agent, arriving with 439 NHL games played over seven seasons for Pittsburgh, Atlanta then Toronto.

With limited interest in his services expressed on the NHL’s open market, a call from the Växjö Lakers of the Swedish elite league grew from an intriguing possibility to become a one-year contract. Armstrong will leave Saskatoon, his off-season home, for training camp on Aug. 18.

“The Canadiens were my childhood team,” Armstrong, a native of Lloydminster, Sask., told Stubbs while reflecting on his brief Habs career. “Just being part of that organization — looking around in the room at the plaques with guys’ names on the wall.

“Even though it was a shortened season, knowing that my name will be on the plaque of last season’s team, to be part of the history? I couldn’t have imagined that when I was a kid.

“My enduring memory is just being on the ice on that rink with the fans. It’s a feeling like none other in any city. The support and passion you can actually feel from the Montreal crowd was an honestly awesome experience.”

(Photo courtesy of Haley family)

Sweden is next stop on Armstrong’s hockey journey, by Dave Stubbs

Briere takes first strides in Habs uniform,

Photo gallery of Briere’s first day in Montreal as a Hab,




  1. JTT says:

    57-days to the start of 2013-2014 to see what’s what with our Habs.
    Toronto @ Montreal who’s gonna draw 1st blood?

  2. Bill says:

    So for the upcoming World Juniors, whom do the Habs have as current hopefuls?

    Canada – Fucale, Hudon?
    USA – Vail, McCarron?
    Finland – Lehkonen?
    Sweden – Collberg, de la Rose?
    Slovakia – Reway?
    Czech –
    Russia –
    Switzerland –

    Who am I missing? I can’t see Hudon making Canada, or Vail or McCarron making Team USA, other than that, I think they all will go.

    Be interesting to see how Fucale does this year.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Mark C says:

      Can’t see Hudon making the team? He had last years team made until he got hurt, I think he’s a lock this year. I see Vail and McCarron as better than 50/50 shots.

    • HabFab says:

      Hudon was on the Team last year but got injured. Vail and McCarron I’m not sure about. Team USA is weak offensively so it is hard to say. If those two guys score some points they make it.

  3. HabFab says:

    Finland defeats Team USA Blue 6-5. Vail had no stats for the USA and some kid named Artturi Lekhonen scored 3G + 1A for Finland. Why couldn’t we have drafted him? TT is a loser no doubt, fire the bum!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He’s probably a big dude as well.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I think everyone knew the kid is a scorer. The issue with him is the 2 concussions he had playing against men this past year. TT is not the only good scouting director in the league. There was a legitimate reason Lehknonen was available in the bottom of the second round. TT saw a player available that if he stays healthy, will be a steal pick. We will see if he stays healthy this upcoming season. Given the amount of similar type players the Habs have, I would have drafted more size. The GM can’t, correctly, tell fans he can’t get size (because no one trades their size and free agents are overpriced) THEN continue to draft small players. Fans have a reason to be critical in this case.

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

  4. frontenac1 says:

    @chanchilla. If I drank at only the cheapest Saloons, I wouldn’t be as Classy as as I am now . Its not always about the Bucks amigo. Saludos!

  5. petefleet says:

    There’s been a lot of talk about signing Briere and not signing Ryder and how that will impact the Habs goal scoring numbers. One journalist actually said the Habs had a hard time scoring goals last year (?) Depending on how you look at it, I don’t think there will be a significant impact + or -. Ryder was on pace last year to provide the Habs with 30 goals if he played a complete 82 game season, Briere 14.5 for Philly. That difference of 15 goals can easily be made up this year. First some projected outputs based on last years #s.
    Max 28
    Pleks 24
    Markov 17
    Eller 14
    DD 17
    Gally 28
    Chucky 15
    Gionta 24
    Bourque 21
    Prust 9
    Subban 21/22

    I think we can all agree that trying to project numbers is like trying to win the lottery but there is still some reasonable expectations that can be had based on last year.
    Max is moving into his prime and it’s not unreasonable to assume his numbers will hit mid 30′s.
    Pleks is right where he’s almost always been mid 20s
    Markov will not score 17 this year but 10 or 12 is likely
    Eller is on the upswing and 20-25 from him could happen
    DD is not a trigger man so 15-20 for him will be really nice
    Gally is looking at 40+ really soon, maybe this year
    Chucky should be able to contribute 25-30 with his talent and skill
    Gionta is not declining even with his recent injuries and 25 goals is reasonable
    Bourque is finding his way in a Habs uniform and 25-30 is not out of reach.
    Prust should be good for 10-15 depending on his assignments

    So what does Briere have to do? Just score 15-20 goals because if the kids pick up where they left off, the vets continue being productive, and someone steps up out of the blue, the Habs will be in a good place for goal production this year. Easy huh?

    I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

    ***Go Habs Go***

    • Harditya says:

      Good post petefleet, though I highly doubt everyone will reach their expected goal scoring plateau. For every player that has a breakout year there is one that has a horrible one. Injuries take their toll too. Highly doubt Gallagher will hit 40 next season, 25-30 is more reasonable, but with his work ethic and determination I wouldn’t be surprised if he does hit that mark, perhaps a few years down the road.

  6. New says:

    I think they’ll miss Armstrong. He isn’t the most gifted player but he wanted to play for Montreal. That takes a team a long way, having players who want to be there. It’s sort of like that Nilan video on TV now. For some guys playing on a certain team means something, for others it is just a pay check for which they have to say certain things, go certain places, wave the company flag.

    • JTT says:

      not when parros gets going. hope they didn’t bring him in for a bench warmer. we need a tough guy who can take care of business everytime he’s out there and when he’s needed that will make Montreal forget Armstrong.

  7. Sportfan says:

    Whats a good place in Montreal to get decently priced track pants.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  8. HabFab says:

    Team Canada WJ’s are practicing in Montreal before heading to Lake Placid. Their first practice was today;

    Gord Miller

    First practice for the Cdn Jr hopefuls is a Brent Sutter classic: battle/rebound drills, fight for the front of the net. #oldtimehockey

  9. HabFanSince72 says:

    Some counterfacts for your Sunday afternoon.

    Our weak defence gave up fewer shots than every other team in the East except NJ, for whom defence is a religion.

    Our stupidly misused #1 defenceman won the Norris Trophy at age 23.

    • SmartDog says:

      Hear hear! Bully!

      I think that with the shortened (and for us, strange) season, people saw what they wanted to see. A team that played well most games – well past what people expected. And a team that had odd losses during the last 10 games. The recency effect of memory makes these hard not to dwell on.

      I think we’ll have abetter sense of this team by about Christmas.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • The_Truth says:

      I agree, the defence was pretty darn good for the first part of the year. What was that first period streak they had going, allowing 5-7 shots for a good stretch?

      The wheels fell off, when teams figured them out and the system started to show cracks. To say the defense was solely responsible for Price’s poor numbers down the stretch and playoffs is wishful thinking. Price was just not good and there is no candy-coating it. He could barely string together 2 straight above average games, his technique was all over the place, and routinely let in bad goals.

      Teams like Toronto and Columbus had significantly worse defenses and you saw Bobrovky’s and Reimer’s numbers.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      For the first counterfact, it is hard to assess team D in a shortened season.

      Agree on counterfact 2…Diaz, instead of PK, on the ice in the final minute of games this past season was ridiculous. MT almost cost him the Norris with his playing time.

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

    • twilighthours says:

      Giving up few shots is not necessarily indicative of a great d.

      1) preventing shots is a 5 man job

      2) it’s easy to prevent shots when your forwards always have the puck

  10. Habsrule76 says:

    Ok Ok, i’m new here so be gentle. Just a random thought after a couple too many Hogtown Ale’s on a dock, but…..why don’t we deal Price to Vancouver for Luongo and a top prospect….maybe the guy they picked up this year from New Jersey’s pick….thoughts?

    The Price is RIGHT!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Welcome aboard.
      Exactly how many ales? Cuz I think you may have forgotten posting the exact same suggestion about 6 hours ago! Or was that someone else?

      1976 or player 76?


    • Ed says:

      we just brought in a new and improved goalie coach, so you should expect Price to be given at least 2 or 3 more seasons.

    • The_Truth says:

      Luongo has an edge on Price right now if you would want a goaltender for 1 year, but it makes no sense to trade Price for him, long term. Luongo has 9 years left at 5.3 million and is 34 years old. It just is crazy to want to take that on and it’s not like Luongo is a 34 year old Patrick Roy or Marty Brodeur.

      Price’s cap hit isn’t good either at 6.5 million for 5 more years, but he has youth on his side and is far from hitting his ceiling. Luongo is not going to get any better and probably is on the decline. There could be a time when trading Price is an option the team would want to look in to, but not now, and no way for Luongo and that contract.

    • punkster says:

      Really cheap attempt to shill your product…but if you’re really a Hab fan then welcome.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  11. Ed says:

    we should also consider that Markov can not be expected to play the minutes he logged last year. Therrien over used him, plain and simple.

    So Subban should play more minutes, especially on the PK unit, unless Therrien decides to be stubborn and stupid again.

    But who gets the Markov minutes if Emelin is out? Answer: we have no one to step in, therefore, Markov could be asked to play big minutes again.

    Is Markov even capable of handling big minutes without breaking down?

    so many unanswered questions on defence.

  12. BJ says:

    My two cents worth on Briere. I’m always reluctant to share “source” info here as its frequently dismissed as BS. But here it is in anycase. Briere wanted very much to play here but the final decision
    was not his, it was the one he ended up divorcing. My source is a friend ex NHL player. He told me that he was pressured by his ex to sign in Philly. So hopefully this might help some who are not favorable to his signing here to cut him some slack and see what he brings to the team.

  13. HabFab says:

    Exhibition Hockey today in Lake Placid for WJ Teams. Sweden and USA White team 2-2 after two. In the third, Sweden out shooting US 16-7. Three Hab prospects playing with De La Rose picking up the only point, an assist.

  14. frontenac1 says:

    The Viking is up to 220? Nice! Hope he’s eating raw meat and channeling his ancestor”s Nasty. Saludos!

  15. HabFab says:

    Dave Stubbs

    Thought Lars Eller was in good shape heading into last season? He’s added 7 pounds of muscle this summer, up to a chiseled 220.

  16. on2ndthought says:

    These millionaire athletes started out as hockey fans, usually in a hockey mad house in a hockey mad town. They played the game, and most were obviously the best in their town in a generation. It became apparent they had a shot at the big time, and everything changed. It IS a business, mostly because you and I are willing to shell out money in order to keep it big.

    Chris Nilan grew up a Boston fan. Once he put on the CH that all changed, Boston became the enemy. Even in Boston as a Bruin late in his career, he stayed loyal in his heart to the bleu, blanc, rouge.

    Danny B grew up a Habs fan. His loyalty to his craft resided first in Buffalo, then in Philadelphia, but we may never know where his heart is. He has said the right words about Les Glorieux, and I am not in any position to judge how much of the little boy passion for his first team still resides inside him. Some financial decisions have side benefits unrelated to the intellectual decision. Briere is claiming this is one of those decisions. I’m happy for him, and hopeful he will play as well for us as against us (as Eric Cole did in his first year, anyways).

    “a cannonading drive”

  17. H.Upmann says:

    Season hasn’t started yet, so I’m still a Briere fan. I hope we see some angry montrealer attitude from him and see him light up our opponents. Can you imagine him, Galchenyuk and MaxPac on one line? Or with Pleks? I’m feeling optimistic…

    On another note about concussions- just visited my friend in hospital for second time last night. It’s been a week since he bashed his head without helmet on the pavement, falling from his bike. I always had some assumption that concussions only happened to athletes…. poor guy’s brain is so messed right now. Certain areas will never grow new cells, let alone where the doctors had to operate. He has no short term memory. It’s almost like talking to an empty person. Anyways, NHL really should be cracking down on head-related injuries.

    hab a great weekend!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Sorry about your friend, HUP. Best wishes to him.
      Unfortunately it’s not in the league’s best financial interests to crack down on concussions. In their world view:
      a) head-shots and horrific brain injuries increase profile, viewership and profits
      b) a strenuous crack-down would likely be interpreted as an admission that previous policies were inadequate, thereby potentially opening the expensive flood-gates of litigation.
      Best wishes to all players, and all people, and especially to your friend who are suffering from concussion.

      • H.Upmann says:

        Thanks. I get your point regarding NHL and profiting from this kind of blood sport. It’s unfortunate that all it takes is one blow to the head and your life can change just like that.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          You will have seen me throw out that extreme opinion of the NHL regularly. I’m always waiting for someone to dismantle the point and show how it’s just outrageous and unfounded.

          No one ever does.

          Either they consider it too extreme to bother challenging, or else everyone already agrees. Sadly.

    • HabFab says:

      Hopefully things work out in the long run.

  18. Ian Cobb says:


    Hi guys. I hope you are all doing fine. I had a guest the past few days. Shane (sholli) and his two kids stopped by on their way to PEI. Shane is a NY Met fan and always wanted to see a Met game and to visit Citi Field. We met up in Poughkeepsie NY. Unfortunately my son Chris (Chrisadiens) could not get the night off from work as his boss was on vacation and could not go with us but he did get to have a quick visit before he had to go to work. I drove Shane his daughter Megan and son Matt to NY City to catch a Mets game. Shane was so happy and the kids were excited to see the “Big City”. Me? I was just pleased as punch to be with my friend from Manitoba. The first picture represents the smile on his face when we arrived at Citi Field. Shane was just ear to ear smiles and kept saying, “I can’t believe we’re here”.

    As we entered Citi Field there is a Rotunda where a memorial to Jackie Robinson is. The second picture is me and Shane standing in front the the number made famous by Jackie Robinson, I share with Shane and his kids my story of meeting Jackie Robinson in Montreal.

    The game itself was a pretty entertaining ball game with the Mets winning on a walk off home run in the 11th inning. We drove back to Poughkeepsie after the game with wonderful memories and tired smiles all around.

    In the morning we met up again for a farewell breakfast/brunch. Chrisadiens was able to join us and again we had a great visit talking about the upcoming summit and of summit past. AThe third picture memorializes that event.

    What a wonderful family and what a blessing it was for Chris and I to spend some time with them and to finally meet “face to face” with another one of our HIO friends.

    Frank and Andrew, I know you won’t be able to attend this years summit but perhaps on another trip Chris and I make we can meet up. I look forward very much to meeting you both.
    Ian and Brian we look forward to meeting you in October and sharing stories of the Habs and family and life as well.

    Have a great day all and we’ll talk soon.

    CHeers, your friend


  19. AliHaba says:

    Well I’ve been reading comments all summer long and now that it’s a short six weeks until training camps open and my excitement for Habs’ hockey begins to rise again, I felt the need to offer my opinion on one subject.
    There have been many posts about Bergevin’s seemingly lack of improvement since last season. I like to view things from a different perspective. Surely Briere is an improvement over Ryder and the addition of Parros certainly helps in the toughness department and will take a lot of pressure away from Prust.
    However, the biggest improvements will come from within. The young players; especially Galchenyuk, Gallagher, and Tinordi will be that much more mature and acclimated to the NHL rigors. Others such as Beaulieu, Pateryn, Dumont, Leblanc, and Bournival could possibly make significant contributions. And all this besides the continued development of our young stars Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Emelin, Eller, and yes, even Desharnais who will assume the leadership mantle even more.
    This is a team with so much potential. We should not let a one month slip in performance colour our enthusiasm for this team. And there are lots more young players in the pipeline. We should be optimistic for the future for sure.

    • HockeyGuy123 says:

      One of the challenges for the forwards was to set up the fighters with the right weight class. Enter Parros. Having Parros now forces heavy weights and middle weights to match up with the right weight class. Prust, White, Moen all become more effective as middleweights.
      Typically a team needs 6 20 goal scorers to aspire for the cup. Montreal has 9 that can potentially put up 20 goals on a 82 game schedule.
      Bad up front is that the Habs at center have trouble winning faceoffs. Eller improved but Plekanic is the only reliable face off guy in top 9. Dumont and White have been above average in their short career so far which is promising. Still need improvement from Eller and Galynchuk. Do not expect much from Desharnais on faceoffs.
      Defence for mobility good with Subban, Markov, Diaz. Size is the issue. Once Emelin went down the weakness of size and toughness on defence was exposed. Subban and Emelin were man handled often with legal hits which the Parros addition will help. Still need Size. Tinordi potentially helps but he is not in his man body yet. Pateryn replacing a Bouillon within a year would help. Lack of size on defence is the problem right now.
      On Hockeysfuture the Habs have 25 players rated 7+ which is tops in the league so finally the depth is starting to be built up and growth from within is possible.
      Eller gained 14 lbs over the last summer and had a break out. Pacioritty gained 10 lbs of muscle the year before and another 10 the year after. Coincidentally he also had a break out after gaining the muscle. Subban went from a player barely 200 lbs to 214 lbs and won the Norris. Interesting parallel to the young guys growing into their bodies.
      I think Habs are poised to start trading veterans when the young guys are ready to replace them.
      Minors balanced with size and skill now. Player development is the main focus. Personally happy with this trend from growth from within.

  20. frontenac1 says:

    @uce. Jeeze amigo! “V.Lance Worthington III”? Sounds like one of those rich,preppy brats. Hope you got to kick his arse at some point.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Actually no, he used to run with a bunch of snobby jocks, like that Reggie Mantle prig, and sometimes they had this lummox Moose Mason with them, so I steered clear of that crowd.

      Don’t worry though, I got even with those guys when we beat them at the Greek Games, and we got to take over their house.

  21. commandant says:

    Today we look at the Buffalo Sabres Prospects

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  22. Bill says:

    There is so much negative focus here on the Habs’ forwards. The forwards are not the problem. In fact they are not a problem. Everyone in the top nine is capable of scoring, and of playing good minutes.

    The defence, on the other hand, is weak and has been weak. Subban and Markov are excellent players. After that it is thin, and weak on the right side. Not a lot of skill or size.

    There’s got to be a way to clear some cap space and sign one of the dmen left over in the UFA pool. If that doesn’t happen, the penalty kill will continue to be bad, and Price will be exposed to too many in-close chances.

    • Ed says:

      you forgot to mention that we only have 3 d-men who can play the power play, as well. Subban, Markov and Diaz.

      we HAD 4 million in Cap space, but we dumped it into signing another small forward.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Agreed, Bill and Ed. And Ed, as I think you said earlier, MB is surely on to this and is currently biding his time. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY that’s correct and he is successful. Worth bearing in mind, however, is that we won’t be able to get without giving.

        (I, too, believed this summer’s priority was defense rather than signing someone like Briere. My defense of Briere arises from acknowledging that “we are where we are” (with apologies: contemptible phrase used by the Irish government).

    • Mark C says:

      Which UFA Dmen do you like?

      • Ed says:

        where would you rank the Habs defence, Mark,?

        How about Ron Hainsey, is he signed?

        Big man, has some toughness in him, has some offence in him, would cost around 4.5 million.

        Ferrence would have worked and he cost Edmonton 3.25 average million per.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          But Ference is a puke — glad someone else took him before MB read your post!

          • Ed says:

            I had Briere in my “puke” list before we signed him. Can’t stand the little prick. I forgive but I never forget.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ha! we all have a puke list.

            Top of mine is Marchand: where do he and Briere find themselves on your puke-spectrum? And is Briere a puke for the way he plays or for not previously signing in Montreal and if the latter why haven’t you gamely answered my post about that?

            On forgiving and forgetting: once a player’s on my puke list I never want to see him in a Habs jersey, no matter what he brings.

          • Ed says:

            Briere was always pumped against us. He scored often and would fist pump his celebration for the fans and TV broadcast. I never liked him, I never cheered for him, I cheered against him, I always hated him.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Me too!
            I prefer the French-Canadian players who apologise to Montreal when they score against us or get shut-outs against us!
            [I would put in a little smiley yellow-face thing except I never use them]

        • Mark C says:

          Average, with high future upside once Tinordi and Beaulieu make the top-6 full time and/or when a good long-term player is added.

          I don’t find Hainsey to be that tough and his offensive game is in a free fall. Sure, he’s better than guys in Montreal’s top-6, but I don’t see the wisdom in paying him $4.5M, as he could very easily be a bottom pair type player within a year or two.

          You’re joking about Ference right? Crap on DD’s contract all the time yet are willing to give the same deal to a 34 year old, second pair trending towards bottom pair type.

          I agree, improving the D is very important but they need to add the right player, not spend four years on Andrew Ference types.

      • Bill says:

        Hainsey I like best. Not physical but big enough to clear the crease, good skills, can play a lot of minutes and special teams. He shoots left, which is not ideal, but I don’t see any good right-shot options out there.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

      • JUST ME says:

        Ron Hainsey`s head does not get through the locker room door. All his ex teammates were half joking about that . He wants to be seen and considered as a superstar and did so even when he was a rookie. I do not think that this is the ideal attitude for the kind of team we have.

    • Lil Snapper says:

      I can’t believe Murray is un-signed, hope we can get him

  23. HabFanSince72 says:

    Re: Ed’s proposal re: instigator, I already proposed an even better punishment a few weeks ago.

    A fighting major has to be served on the ice.

    If you get a 5 min fighting major you have to play the next 5 minutes. Without a break.

    Simple and effective.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Did I reply to your idea the first time? Hope so! I remember loving it.

      Perhaps New Rule Sunday hasn’t quite taken off like Rant Friday did (it’s probably inherently harder to create than to complain). That notwithstanding, here’s my New Rule proposal (and I cheated by sending it to Bettman for approval which he readily gave):

      Concussions should have the same value on the scoreboard as goals.

  24. Was saving this for another day this month, but then realized the man was born on this day in 1921..


    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  25. Habfan17 says:

    @ Dunboyne Mike – In case you missed this below

    Morning DM,

    I read your reply about Red Storey and Robin Burns.

    I used to play in an adult league at Concordia University Monday nights. The game before ours was made up of the Pro Reps from the hockey manufacturers, including Robin Burns. The ref was in fact Red.

    One night, I worked late, picked up a snack, bag of chips, snickers and a gatorade and I was sitting in the stands watching them play.
    Red went to talk with someone on the bench while the play was going on and Robin Burns scored. There was a debate on whether the play was offside. Red did not see it with his back turned, so he looked up at me, and asked me if it was offside or not. All these guys were looking at me, Burns included. It was off side, which I said, Burns, who himself was always joking on the ice, gave me a friendly glare. He had a very heavy shot too!

    After the game, Red came over and started to chat with me, then gave me the gears about my terrible pre-game snack…lol


  26. JTT says:

    The Habs are building for the future. go with what we have. leave Luongo and whom ever in Vancouver. Luongo is not gonna do any better than Price just a waste of money save the money for a young kid or two out of training camp should they make it. no more wasting money on other teams cast offs.

    stick with the program. like buying junk vehicles. you’ll never have players that’s reliable always spending money.

    • Bogie Man says:

      I disagree that Luongo is a cast away. He is uncuffed by a too big of contract which is not his fault and he is still a very good quality goalie with loads of experience. He needs a need team and coach. He is motiviated to play better. Now should we take over this existing contract, absolutely not! But negotiate better terms with Vancouver and pick up a quality D along with Luongo I say hell yes. Sorry Price was mediocre at best last year and again I am not a Price hater here but we are still waiting for this 26 year old goalie to “break out” and I am still left wondering if this is going to happen.

      • JTT says:

        Bogie man when the Habs put a team together that can break out their 26 year old Goalie will break out. no Luongo. haven’t won anything in Vancouver won’t win anything in Montreal.

      • formerly known as the hc says:

        Contracts under the present CBA cannot be renegotiated. Although it would be correct in saying that Mtl probably could not win a Cup with Ptrice as he is right now, it would be overly simplistic, uninformed and just plain silly to think that Price is the reason why Mtl is not a contender.

        • mksness says:

          well, you know price has no defence in front of him. no offence in front of him and had a loser goalie coach……… don’t forget that 7 years ago he won gold at the world juniors……

          once we build a great team around him you’ll see how good he looks….

  27. Un Canadien errant says:

    “I don’t think they have any value at all.”
    “Statistics are like a lamp post to a drunk: Useful for support but not for illumination,” Burke said. “Statistics are going to tell you something. Where you take that data and where you take that research and apply it and add it to the other data sources you have — that’s where you’ll be successful. If you look at statistics and point to a column and say, ‘We’re drafting this guy’ — have fun. I hope you’re in my division.”
    “Numbers are overrated a lot of the time … It’s an eyeball business … You’ve still got to watch guys … No one’s ever won a title with Moneyball.”

    Brian Burke, quoted in the Toronto Star, at the 2013 MIT Sloan Conference.


    Contrary to the 2012 draft, which as a Canadiens fan I thoroughly enjoyed, I had major qualms and a minor meltdown during the June draft. I felt the Canadiens bypassed certain players in favour of others ill-advisedly, and that the mission to gather a squadron of prospects with size to improve our mix on the farm was botched. Some people tried to reason that Michael McCarron, Connor Crisp and Jakob de la Rose were three players with size, and that you can’t just draft for size, and we went back and forth, but I never really felt better about it, was kind of sour.

    Until now. I came across a piece on “That’s Offside!” blog, linked below, and it allowed me to not feel so bad about what I thought was a wasted opportunity.

    The main thesis is simple: defensive defencemen in junior, those who specialize in shotblocking and positional play and so on, don’t tend to turn into successful NHL defencemen. Rather, CHL defencemen who have talent and contribute offensively are those who can assume a defensive role in a higher-level league. As the author puts it:

    My hypothesis was that to be a regular NHL defenseman, you probably had to be an outstanding player in the CHL at both ends of the ice. Consequently, guys drafted for their “defensive abilities” but couldn’t score would make up the vast majority of early-round draft busts, at least when it came to defenders.

    To prove this thesis, the author compares the scoring proficiency of CHL defencemen during their draft year versus the number of NHL games they’ve played. To keep his numbers manageable, he uses only defencemen drafted in the first three rounds. To be able to truly evaluate success, he uses the 1999-2008 draft classes, since those more recent classes haven’t fully gone through the system yet.

    The evidence is clear to see when shown on a graph. Those defencemen who didn’t pile up points in junior tend to wash out, while those who did have a greater likelihood of having an NHL career. While this doesn’t seem like rocket science, it addresses his pet peeve of analysts over-hyping ‘heart and soul’ junior-age players:

    One of the things that drives me off-the-wall crazy about Hockey Canada at the junior level is the fetishization of stuff as nebulous as “heart” and “grit” and “toughness.” Consequently, we get guys on our international junior teams who, when they appear to exhibit some of these intangible qualities, are lauded for their on-ice defensive abilities. Take, for example, Scott Harrington. A Penguins 2nd round pick in 2011, he was named the captain of the OHL champion London Knights this past season (leadership!), was a finalist for OHL defenseman of the year (defense!), and was guaranteed a spot on Canada’s World Junior Championship team’s blueline because he was there before because he blocked shots (heart!). Corey Pronman lists him as one of Pittsburgh’s top-10 prospects, saying that his upside is a 3rd or 4th NHL defenseman due to being a “high-end thinker” with stellar defensive ability.
    And yet he’ll more than likely be out of NHL hockey by the time he’s 25, doomed to a career bouncing around the minor leagues and Europe, mostly because he’s not a very good hockey player, relatively speaking.

    I will resist the urge to quote too much of the article, but here are a couple more passages:

    Based on historical data, a CHL defenseman taken early in the draft with fewer than 0.6 Pts/GP in his draft year, like Scott Harrington or Dylan McIlrath or Colten Teubert, only has about a 1 in 10 chance of even making the NHL as a full-time player. Going back to Harrington, only 3 players in the last 15 years have scored at a lower rate in their draft years and established themselves as NHL regulars: Mark Fistric, Tyler Myers, and Shea Weber. However, Fistric was never a big scorer and finds himself dangerously close to falling out of “NHL regular” status, while Weber and Myers grew into elite 19-year old scorers in their draft +2 seasons. Weber had 0.75 Pts/GP with Kelowna, and Myers put up an impressive 48 points in the NHL. Harrington still finds himself under 0.40 Pts/GP in his draft +2 season, which means he’s tracking to be just like the other 91 guys who haven’t ever made the show full-time.

    And the money shot:

    Just based on the stuff that was outlined above, you can say with a fair degree of certainty that Zadorov, Morin, Heatherington, Diaby and Kanzig all will not be long-term impact NHL players (coincidentally, all of these guys are 6’5 or taller, with the exception of 6’3 Dillon Heatherington) unless someone gets really, really lucky. It just goes to show the love affair that scouts have with nice bodies

    Which for me is a big relief, because I was hoping that we’d have a shot at Samuel Morin, who was actually long gone by the time our pick came up, but also that we’d have a crack at Jonathan-Ismaël Diaby, who we bypassed. I also had a minor man-crush on Mason Geertsen, another tough defensive defenceman, who wasn’t rated in the Top 90 for this draft but who does fit the ‘heart and soul defensive defenceman who doesn’t put up points’ to a ‘t’, and was sorry we’d not snagged him either.

    I’m mostly better now. This demonstration of the low likelihood that any of these three gentlemen make any impact in the NHL has quelled a lot of the drafter’s remorse I felt.

    One caveat: I have a feeling, which I’ve stated often, that the goalposts are being moved, that the game is being refereed at such a ‘reckless disregard’ level that crashers and bangers and crosscheckers become de facto impact players. Note the ‘impact’ 6’4″ Sens defenceman Eric Gryba had in last year’s first round of the playoffs.

    So, is there a way to factor in player size? How about if we just consider players 6’2″ and above and/or 210 lbs and above, put the data in the machine, crank the handle, and see what comes out? Do the low-scoring defencemen who reach a critical size threshold start to overcome their lack of talent, and are they given every chance to succeed, given icetime in the minors out of proportion to their skill, so that their odds of making it to the NHL and having a career is higher than a peer with similar lack of scoring success who is of more modest size?

    Of course, we’d have to compare this discrepancy in results for low-scoring defencemen of different size, if it exists, to that which endures for the general population, at all positions, since the game is already tilted toward bigger players, toward Colton Orr and Greg Campbell, and away from Martin St. Louis and David Desharnais.

    So if we find there is a statistically significant greater likelihood of a bigger player making it, then we have to allow that Nikita Zadorov and Samuel Morin have the cherished size that modern coaches and GM’s love, and they’ll coddle and develop the hell out of these guys. And if they can’t pass or shoot but can stand in front of the net and be a cross-checking menace to life and teeth, then they’ll have long, rewarding, bloody careers in Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell’s NHL.

    Another consideration is the uptick in production, or at least quality of play, in the second half of the season noted by scouts in the case of Samuel Morin and Nikita Zadorov. For 18-year-olds just coming out of a growth spurt that took them to their extreme size, it’s understandable that they’re just barely getting their limbs coordinated and back in control. Maybe the statistical model should account for this, and weigh more heavily the games later in the season, as these outsized players get more used to their new bodies. Not that it was related to his size, but the Canadiens took a risk on Darren Dietz two summers ago in the fifth round specifically because his game came together later in the season, and he was given more responsibility and opportunities. Mr. Morin and Mr. Zadorov, and Mr. Diaby to a lesser extent, were all described in writeups as improving throughout the season, and being markedly better at the end than at the beginning.

    That may be close to a truism and an explanation for their rapid rise in the draft rankings, but it’s still a valid observation in terms of if I use the “That’s Offside” method to make a drafting decision on a young defenceman, and my scouts really like a player but he falls under the magic threshold, maybe I look at the second-half of the season data, and see what’s going on there.

    But getting back to Brian Burke’s remarks on statistics, and making use of analytics to build your team and draft prospects, this simple exercise shows us that there is actually a lot of value in looking at past data to find trends. As I wrote more than a year ago:

    1) Analytics: If this isn’t already being done, it should be. Like shown in Moneyball, there are market inefficiencies that should be exploited. Mr. Gauthier admitted at the last Draft that once you get to the third round, you’re picking through players that other teams didn’t want. Let’s figure out which players historically have the highest chance of being an important contributor (US College, Europe, early or late birthdays, freakishly big (Byfuglien) or small (St-Louis), injured during draft year, etc.)

    So there are relatively easy indicators to which prospects have a greater chance of contributing to a team’s future than others, despite Mr. Burke’s bluster. I’m sure there are more that teams have stumbled upon, and that they may explain some crazy reaches or picks that make us scratch our heads. And, that if some teams have some mathematical models that they believe are valid, that they won’t be running around telling the other teams or reporters, that they’ll guard their putative competitive advantage. As Billy Beane did not, and found that every other team quickly adopted his GWARP and WHOOsH and RARV and other newfangled metrics to evaluating baseball talent, and thus had lost his edge as a small-market team trying to find undervalued players.

    So maybe Brian Burke is just blowing smoke, or at least he’s doing so more strategically than usual, and is trying to throw everyone off the scent.

    And maybe, just maybe, Trevor Timmins knew what he was doing on June 30 at the draft table. I’m flexible enough to allow that it’s possible…

    • JTT says:

      Dunboyne it was all about money. do you honestly think these guys play for anything other than money. you’d better ask yourself some?????????????’s

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        It’s a side-issue to my (utterly amazing) post, JTT, but I will respectfully disagree with you and argue that everybody — hockey players, business executives, commercial drivers, librarians, EVERYBODY — considers other factors in addition to money. I would bet that you have yourself. Yes, they are millionaires, yes they look greedy when there are industrial issues in the NHL, and yes their work is “play” in our imaginations. But to assert they play for nothing “other than money” is a massive generalisation that I don’t think you could ever substantiate. Test case: however much Crosby earns in the NHL, he could probably earn more in the KHL. Why doesn’t he go to the KHL? The answer, I would suggest, is because money is not the only factor.

        If we set aside your generalisation and look specifically at Briere, I have no real argument with you: for him it’s just his next career move. Whether or not the city of Montreal and the Habs have a special place in his heart is, I said, irrelevant. My point, which perhaps I didn’t express very clearly, is that there’s no reason to turn whatever pleasant things Briere says about Montreal into a stick to beat him with.

    • on2ndthought says:

      nice read, thanks!

      “a cannonading drive”

    • AndyF says:

      I don’t think the “quadrant” analysis would have swayed you anywhere near as much if the author used 0.4 or 0.5 ppg to subdivide the graph. The use of 0.6 ppg as a threshold was his selection, to make the graph seem more meaningful.

      I’m not disputing the hypothesis that the author is making. I’m just disputing the supporting graphs.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I don’t think the 0.6 ppg line was drawn beforehand, as part of his thesis, and proven right by the data. That’s not how that worked. Instead, he took all the data, put it on his scatter plot, and looked at the result. As he explains, low on the x-axis, at the 0% level, is where the careers of the low-scoring CHL defencemen go to die. But as you go further afield on the x-axis, looky here, right around the .6 mark is where instead of mostly all being clustered at the bottom, the d-men start to space out, some playing a few games, some playing a lot. So he establishes the 0.6 mark as a benchmark below which a player has historically a 1 in 10 chance of making the NHL, which is pretty low for a player taken in the top 3 rounds.

        If you look at his two subsequent posts, he answers a lot of questions on his methods, and they’re just as interesting to read.

    • HabFab says:

      Interesting read, good find!

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      No time to read the original, UCE, and therefore grateful for your Readers’ Digest version and the direct application to the Habs.

      I wonder is there a kind of parallel in college basketball scouting? When they look at high-school players, especially under-16, aren’t they looking almost exclusively at talent, athleticism and potential, and not at prospective guards or forwards, given the player may not have yet reached their full size? Similarly, in hockey, why make a role-specific examination of dmen (ie defensive or offensive) when the most important factor is talent?

      One thing I didn’t quite follow is how this brought relief to you regarding McCarron.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Missing out on, or rather, sidestepping Messrs. Diaby and Geertsen, specifically, were a big part of my dissatisfaction with this draft. Unrequited man crushes. That sting has now been largely allayed.

        I still think that adding Messrs. Lehknonen, Andrighetto and Reway to our already healthy stockpile of smaller skilled forwards, in this current Age of Truculence and Lunacy, was unwise, and a wasted opportunity.

        Specific to Mike McCarron, I never really objected to the pick, was surprised with it at first, but was receptive to the arguments from others that we could view it as essentially the same as grabbing him with the #36 pick and Mr. Fucale with the #25 pick.

        So I never had a problem with the 1st round pick. And this analysis doesn’t make me feel better about that, it didn’t need to. It makes me feel better about losing out on two defencemen who I thought were very likely to make it to the NHL in this current size arms race, when in fact that data shows they’re quite unlikely to do so.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Also, I don’t like Burke but I like that quote! Especially the lamp-post simile. However, the very fact that a lamp-post can provide to someone in a certain condition the very thing they need actually illustrates that you can never dismiss the potential value of statistics.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “It just goes to show the love affair that scouts have with nice bodies”

      So did Michelangelo and he did alright.

  28. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Why I’m not complaining about the Briere signing:

    He’s an upgrade on Ryder. Yeah, yeah out-of-my-seat and air-punching whenever One-Trick-Pony Ryder (Cammalleri-echo) put the puck in the net. But given the choice, I want my team to have players capable of doing more than one thing. Phil summed it up well below:

    “He plays the type of heads-up, smart, puck moving, and sniping hockey that I love to watch.”

    That, I humbly suggest, is an immediate upgrade on Ryder.

    Phil’s PPG in the playoffs stats are also worth noting. Ryder shouldn’t shoulder the entire blame for his lack of scoring vs Ottawa, but he sure got nowhere close to PPG!

    And can I ask those here holding grudges about Briere choosing Philly rather than Montreal when he left Buffalo: what exactly makes you feel that he was dissing or spurning Montreal? Or are you extrapolating?…. Admit it if you need to!

    Was it not simply the case that it was the best career move for him at the time, involving reasons and factors concerning which none of us has any knowledge?! Could I suggest to you, dear and respected fellow posters, that to take umbrage this way creates opportunities for accusations of emotional and/or parochial thinking? What percentage of NHL players end up with the team nearest their home-town? How many players go with their allegiance to the home-team as opposed to various financial and geographical opportunities, the chance to play for certain coaches or certain players, the chance to join a team that looks like it might compete in the playoffs? Come on! These are essential factors when the majority of players make these decisions, and Briere’s career is no different. Philly was right then, Montreal is right now.

    Furthermore, as long as he delivers something of what he is being brought in to do, stuff he says about being happy to play for his favourite childhood team is actually irrelevant, whatever good copy it generates and even though I for one am happy to take it at face value until I read in his memoirs 20 years from now that he grew up a Bruins or Kings fan. If this goes according to MB’s plan, and Briere contributes well to our offense and to the development of our younger players, and still has an extra gear for the playoffs, then what we got for the money and term agreed will look like genius compared to some of the immense and expensive gambles taken on other signings around the league (as JF points out).

    For those still bitchin and not entirely won over by my insightful and compelling post, how many points does he need to score by Christmas to win you over? Go on! Put a figure on it!

    • chanchilla says:

      he’s also tougher than ryder will ever be in spite of the size difference.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Morning DM,

      I read your reply about Red Storey and Robin Burns.

      I used to play in an adult league at Concordia University Monday nights. The game before ours was made up of the Pro Reps from the hockey manufacturers, including Robin Burns. The ref was in fact Red.

      One night, I worked late, picked up a snack, bag of chips, snickers and a gatorade and I was sitting in the stands watching them play.
      Red went to talk with someone on the bench while the play was going on and Robin Burns scored. There was a debate on whether the play was offside. Red did not see it with his back turned, so he looked up at me, and asked me if it was offside or not. All these guys were looking at me, Burns included. It was off side, which I said, Burns, who himself was always joking on the ice, gave me a friendly glare. He had a very heavy shot too!

      After the game, Red came over and started to chat with me, then gave me the gears about my terrible pre-game snack…lol


      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Excellent! Nice “story”.
        (I have been there with those looks, pressed into running the sideline in an inter-collegiate rugby game an having to call back the game-winning try because the scorer stepped out of bounds at mid-field).
        And an old guy lectures a young guy on his crappy lunch! Brill!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Sorry Dunboyne, but he turned down a better offer from the Canadiens years ago, to sign a lesser offer from the Philthadelphia Flayers. To now try to snow us about the great honour of wearing the bleu-blanc-rouge is futile, when the chips were down before, he crapped out.

      Guys like Francis Bouillon and Mathieu Darche and Colby Armstrong, I believe them when they say that wearing le tricolore is a great honour and a childhood dream. Their actions don’t contradict their words.

      As I posted lower down on this thread: “Admitted, it sounds pretty hollow. Like my prom date, who told me she actually wanted to go with me all along. A week after she’d cancelled and went with V. Lance Worthington III instead.”

      So how many goals do I need from Daniel Brière to soften my stance? I don’t think he can change my mind, but I’d need close to twenty from him before the Olympic break for me to think this is an agreeable arrangement, and we’re getting full value for a smaller point-getting forward on a team that had other needs. If he at least holds up his end of the bargain, and ends the season with 25 g 70 p or thereabouts, we got a fair deal, he’s doing what we’re paying for. Kind of like my eventual, actual date for the prom.

      • on2ndthought says:

        You are entitled to your opinion, but you need to look at taxes, dollar value and terms. The front-end of the Philly contract made Briere the highest paid player in the NHL 2007-2008. Are you sure our offer was better? He spoke contemporaneously of wishing for relative anonymity. His kids were young and living in NJ. We all (hopefully) change with age and he has decided to accept an offer from the Habs, but make no mistake; he knows he is moving to the spotlight and seems to relish it now. Hopefully this is a decision that will make everyone except other NHL GMs happy.

        “a cannonading drive”

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Look, all the family and anonymity and taxes and other pragmatic concerns are all reasons to not come here, I admit that, he went with Philadephia for practical reasons. That’s fine, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get that. That’s water under the bridge.

          But don’t come around now and tell me about the honour and the cherished dream, because you weren’t willing to make it happen back then, and chose our mortal enemies for mercantile reasons. You could have made the dream a reality then, you didn’t.

          Thought experiment. Vincent Lecavalier plays out four years of his five-year contract with the Flyers, he’s surprisingly effective all things considered, but for the final year roster considerations force them to move him, and the Canadiens have a hole in the lineup he can fill and the cap space to accommodate him. A trade is made, everyone’s happy, and at the press conference he goes on a long-winded paen to the glory of les Glorieux and le chandail and le hometown de chez nous, and the honour and meaningfulness of wearing le bleu-blanc-rouge. Do we buy it? Or do we remember that he could have pulled the trigger and been here, but decided to wear that orange abomination of a horror of a jersey instead? And decide to not drink the Kool-Aid?

          ***EDIT: The kids living in New Jersey angle is a new development, which didn’t exist at the time of the Philly contract. It’s only a consideration now that he’s divorced and needs to stay close to Philly to have some chance to see them. Before that, he had a family unit that was eminently transportable, to Montréal or otherwise.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Ok, loud and clear, UCE!

            ANd thanks for sharing the prom story, btw!

            Now, in your next post, please compose the press statement Briere SHOULD have issued concerning his signing with Montreal!

            (in whichever official language, you maddeningly fluent polyglot)

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            That sounds like a job for John Bellyfull, or Sean McIndoe.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Hmm…. evasive?
            If he shouldn’t have said, “I always dreamed of playing here” or whatever, what can/should a French-Canadian player say to the press when he signs with Montreal? No matter the veracity or otherwise of the statement, if he doesn’t say he always dreamed of playing here he will surely be lambasted by media and fans.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        UCE, we both know that whatever players say about their new team is 95-100% pure PR.

        So, if we set that aside and go back to 2007, what are the known facts of his choice?

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          No proof, but the common wisdom is that he turned down a more lucrative offer to sign with Philadelphia. Which again is his right. But don’t come around now and tell us about what an honour it is to be here, clearly at worst the second-best choice for you.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            I suppose I’m pushing you on this because I know you and I get similarly heated about other things (dirty play and the cynicism of league policy, for example), but on Briere one of us is heated and the other not!

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Heated? Do I sound heated? Pshaw!

            I just hate it when someone micturates on my leg and tells me it’s raining.

            On this issue, I have a well-formed opinion and am not bashful in sharing it.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            “not bashful”

            [Je deteste quand on se pisse sur ma jambe en me disant que ce n’est que de la pluie. Please, how close is this? I am immensely jealous]

    • Phil C says:

      Agree Mike, he’s a significant upgrade on Ryder. They are both snipers, but Briere is a much better play-maker. I think we like the same type of hockey.

      I don’t mind that Briere chose Philly over the Habs a few years ago. That just means he is a pro hockey player first who wanted a chance to win the Cup rather than follow a childhood dream. Montreal was a bit of a gong show that year.

      If Briere scores 20 and 50 points, he’s earned his contract. I could see him get 25 and 60 easily if he is healthy.

  29. petefleet says:

    There’s been a lot of talk about signing Briere and not signing Ryder and how that will impact the Habs goal scoring numbers. One journalist actually said the Habs had a hard time scoring goals last year (?) Depending on how you look at it, I don’t think there will be a significant impact + or -. Ryder was on pace last year to provide the Habs with 30 goals if he played a complete 82 game season, Briere 14.5 for Philly. That difference of 15 goals can easily be made up this year. First some projected outputs based on last years #s.
    Max 28
    Pleks 24
    Markov 17
    Eller 14
    DD 17
    Gally 28
    Chucky 15
    Gionta 24
    Bourque 21
    Prust 9
    Subban 21/22

    I think we can all agree that trying to project numbers is like trying to win the lottery but there is still some reasonable expectations that can be had based on last year.
    Max is moving into his prime and it’s not unreasonable to assume his numbers will hit mid 30’s.
    Pleks is right where he’s almost always been mid 20s
    Markov will not score 17 this year but 10 or 12 is likely
    Eller is on the upswing and 20-25 from him could happen
    DD is not a trigger man so 15-20 for him will be really nice
    Gally is looking at 40+ really soon, maybe this year
    Chucky should be able to contribute 25-30 with his talent and skill
    Gionta is not declining even with his recent injuries and 25 goals is reasonable
    Bourque is finding his way in a Habs uniform and 25-30 is not out of reach.
    Prust should be good for 10-15 depending on his assignments

    So what does Briere have to do? Just score 15-20 goals because if the kids pick up where they left off, the vets continue being productive, and someone steps up out of the blue, the Habs will be in a good place for goal production this year. Easy huh?

    That is all. I’m starting to get excited. I’m already planning my 2 trips to MTL this year to see at least 2 maybe 3 beat downs in the Bell Centre. Go Habs Go.

    I haven’t been wrong in a long time…..not feeling like today is the day.

    ***Go Habs Go***

  30. Ed says:

    hey Mark,

    1st we should consider do you think we would better off spending 4 million on defence or spending 4 million on another small forward??

    2nd, if you agree that would balance the lineup in a better way, then it is up to the GM of an NHL franchise to GET IT DONE.

    The good GM’s are solving their team’s problems, and since April 6th we have had a serious problem on defence go unsolved.

    • on2ndthought says:

      We have 3 kids who have shown they can play a regular NHL shift and not look bad, one of them is a giant with a deliberate mean strek. There is something Timmins and MB see in Drewiske, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of him until Emelin returns. I think D is our depth position (Weber couldn’t crack our line-up and slots into top 4 with Van) edit: top 6, got carried away 😉

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Mark C says:

      I think this hypothetical discussion is pointless unless some names can be given. We need to be able to compare player X to the current internal options to be able to determine what if any improvement would be made.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    Briere could surprise us. He is a good sniper. I just hope he’s still got it. Parros is a respectable Enforcer with a career win average of 49%. Not intimidating,but not an embarrassment in a Tilt either.He will stick up for his mates. Both good signings IMO.Saludos!

  32. on2ndthought says:

    I won’t be surprised to see DD and Briere together. Something like:

    Against ‘tough’ teams DD drops or sits, Eller moves up. Before Gio is back, Prust might bump up, Parros take a regular (?) shift, or a kid gets a shot. Briere can set up Patches or snipe for DD.

    “a cannonading drive”

  33. Bogie Man says:

    I know the habs are rumoured to be discussing a trade with Vancouver. I am curious if anyone thinks that trading Price and Markov for Luongo and d like Cam Barker makes sense at all? The Nucks goalie coach has a history with Price and a fairly positive one it appears and of course Price is from BC. I know Luongo has been struggling as of late but still a very good qulaity tender and with the right team and coaching he has alot more left in him to contribute. Luongo is unhappy in Vancouver and the team has been looking to move him, they maybe be motiviated to throw in a big defenceman like Barker to sweeten the pot… Interesting?

    • JF says:

      Luongo is still a very good goaltender, but Cam Barker seems to be a bust, so I wouldn’t do that. If we’re out of the playoff hunt by the deadline, we could get value for Markov.

      • Bogie Man says:

        Yea I was using Barker as an example. We need a defenceman and I am sure this will not come without us giving up one of quality. How about Edler? I would personally would consider Luongo especially now where it appears he has alot to prove.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Unless something has changed, I believe Barker is still an unrestricted free agant. If Luongo only had 2, maybe 3 more years on his contract, it may be a good move. I think Price alone would get Luongo and a defenceman since he is already a top goalie and will probably get better and Luongo is 34.


    • on2ndthought says:

      Not one bit. We have a chance that Markov is a one team retiree (say two more years at $4M). Let Price have his best years with us. Lou is great, but fragile. Barker is UFA, and not great defensively.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Bogie Man says:

      I just think Vancouver is motivated and therefore may throw in a player of tremenous quality. Maybe we do not send them Markov but a forward such as Bourque or Deharnais. I think though that Luongo coming our way now makes sense where we have a couple of possible great goalies coming up through the system such as Fucale that would benefit by Luongos experience and skill. This is not a rumour, just me thinking out loud.

    • on2ndthought says:

      We might get Edler, but it would cost us one or two prospects, say Bealieu and Leblanc for Edler and Higgins. I’m not trying to trade Gionta (like many are) but he would be a nice piece for Vancouver, as they are desperate for secondary scoring. He is currently hurt, and would be a gamble, but Gillis is a gambler.

      “a cannonading drive”

      • Bogie Man says:

        Hmm interesting.. Edler, Higgins and Luongo for Gionta, Prospect (Name?) and Price. I am a fan of Luongo and not a Price hater. I think this change will benefit both teams/ goalies.

        Maybe I am under valuing Price?

    • harpman says:

      I do not think Luongo could handle the media pressure in Montreal.

      • Bogie Man says:

        I think you are wrong there, you look at how is handling the situation in Vancouver. This is 10 time worse than what he would face in Montreal. Proof is in the pudding my friend!

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Happy Sunday all. Interesting read on the Hab defensive depth or lack thereof.
    Aren’t there times when you have to allow the youth an opportunity to grow into NHL players? Couldn’t Bergevin be thinking that he needs to allow players such as Tinordi, Beaulieu, and Pateryn to gain experience and grow into NHL players and he needs to save spots/roles for these players to fill?
    Drewskie? At first I thought Bergevin had first hand knowledge of him but since he saw very little action last season I am now kind of meh with him.
    CHeers everyone!

    • Cal says:

      Hey, Jim. Development is for the AHL. Especially for Dmen. Many who are rushed up too soon, a la Weber, end up never growing into a role as a pro and end up just being a plug-in when injuries strike. Allowing Pateryn, Beaulieu and Tinordi the time to get better before getting their feet too wet in the NHL is a good thing. PK is the rare exception to the rule, and he proved it this season with a Norris. Robinson came up to the big team as a 23 year old and was ready. Let’s give the young D time.

  35. Phil C says:

    I guess I am in the minority in liking the Briere signing. I like it because he can flat-out score and create things offensively. It is often mentioned that he is a career PPG player in the playoffs. To appreciate how difficult this is, here is a list of all the active players who are PPG playoff players: Crosby, Malkin, Giroux, St. Louis, Ovechkin, and Briere. That’s all of them. The other 5 make twice what Briere makes. The guy can score, and the last time I checked, winning in hockey is determined by who scores more.

    He is also a good PP guy. The Habs relied too much on Subban and Markov last year. By the end of the season, Subban had no room. If the Habs can develop a legit scoring threat down low, it will create space for Subban and Markov to work their magic. Briere is perfect for this.

    I think whenever you can add a guy who can score like Briere for nothing, you do it, then sort out the problem of having too many small scoring types. I still think the GM has one more trade up his sleeve, he is just waiting until all the RFAs are signed and the cap picture rounds into shape for all the teams. There will be teams looking to move a defensemen sometime between now and the end of training camp.

    Its worth mentioning that his buyout was more of a cap casualty rather than a player they no longer wanted. It only cost the Flyers $3.75M total to get $6.5M in cap space for two years because Briere’s contract was front-end loaded. It was a no-brainer move for the Flyers to free up a lot of cap space.

    As for his age, St. Louis just won the Art Ross at two years older than Briere, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think he could have a couple of seasons left in him. His concussions are a concern, but they were not the devastating knocked-out cold ones, they were more like Gallagher’s where he got his bell rung. I think players are just more aware now.

    Until Habs fans see this guy in action, no one will give him the benefit of the doubt and I understand that. But Habs fans appreciate good hockey, that’s why they loved Kovalev even though he took nights off; they appreciated what he could do when he decided to play. I think the same thing will happen when we see Briere play. He plays the type of heads-up, smart, puck moving, and sniping hockey that I love to watch.

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      In the “ifs” game, I like the Briere signing a lot.

      I am expecting scary things from the weak D and a soap opera in nets, but if he stays healthy, I expect Briere to be a positive. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the ice.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Phil, I’m with you and Charlie as well. Not a huge amount of risk with this signing and the potential upside is worth a shot. Maybe the exuberance of PK and Gallagher will rub off a bit and energize him?

    • JF says:

      Good post. I also was happy with the Brière signing, especially when I compared his contract to those given to players like Lecavalier, Clowe, and Clarkson. I think the teams involved in those signings will regret them in a couple of years.

    • on2ndthought says:

      I wasn’t thrilled with the signing, but I love having DB on our side instead of against us. Will we be able to give him the time, space, and a sniper to best utilize his skillset? That’s why I think having Patches on his left wing would be good. DD could center against ‘softer’ teams, and Eller against ‘grittier’ opponents.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Cal says:

      Hated the signing of Briere. On an already small on the top 9 team? With a D as soft as marshmellows when Emelin is out of the lineup? Considering, too, that the Habs are playing in a very physical division with Ottawa, Toronto and Boston, how does this signing make sense?
      Let’s not forget the compressed Olympic year schedule. This season has all the makings of a gong show.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      ” The guy can score, and the last time I checked, winning in hockey is determined by who scores more. ”

      Not the average height of all the players on the team?

    • Bill says:

      “The guy can score, and the last time I checked, winning in hockey is determined by who scores more.”

      I learned on HIO that it’s the team with the most goons that wins, which is why Toronto has won the Cup for three straight years.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  36. habstrinifan says:

    Is Sergio Garcia ever going to recover from the fallout of the public relations disaster that he himself created.

    WOW! This guy’s game is hurtling out of control it seems.

  37. gmur says:

    What may be cause for concern is how the injuries to Emelin and Eller impact their play moving forward. Will Emelin hesitate to hit in the middle of the ice? If his hit numbers decline as a result of his knee injury, we will have lost the only real heavy hitter we have. Will Eller hesitate to pick up passes in the middle of the ice? It seems to me an important part of his game is picking up speed exactly where he was nailed by Gryba and having a step on opposing d-men heading toward the offensive zone. It will be interesting to see how they recover.

    It strikes me that Eller was ripe to mature during the playoff series against Ottawa and seemed to be hitting his stride last season. I found that he was always in the mix. It’s similar to the timing on the Pacioretty hit by Chara. At the time, Pacioretty was becoming a very effective player; fast, aggressive, etc. When he returned, it took him some time to regain his game. And while he was the team’s leading scorer last season, in the playoffs, when things got rough, he was MIA. Forget the lack of points, hits etc; I just didn’t notice him at all. He just wasn’t effective in any aspect of the game.

    And that’s what is worrying this year. Are we building a decent regular season team that will lay an egg in the playoffs? We have the same defence corps, minus Weber and Kaberle. At forward, we have gotten smaller. Exit Ryder (6 feet, 200 lbs), Armstrong (6 foot 3, 200) and Halpern (6 foot, 190), enter Parros (6 foot 5 222) and Brière (5-10, 178)… You have Parros, who plays 2-4 minutes per game, and Brière, a very small player up front who appears to be on the decline.

    It’s been said many times, but toughness comes from the team, not from a goon. Chicago have players who can drop the gloves, but they can also play a steady shift, keep up and even score a goal now and then. As a team, they are big, (check out the size of their players):

    fast, gritty and talented. Montreal is small, fast, somewhat gritty with middling talent. That combination doesn’t win playoff series… hopefully, that combination gets the team into the playoffs… and I think Montreal will struggle to make the playoffs this year.

  38. Mark C says:

    Does this mythical $4M defenseman that MB is being blamed for not acquiring have a name?

  39. Bash says:

    Before I jump in the pool….

    Pacioretty Eller Gallager
    Galchenyuk Plekanec Gionta
    Prust Desharnais Briere
    Bourque White Parros

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

    • CharlieHodgeFan says:

      Briere will start as a first line player, replacing Gallagher. That will give Gallagher more time to get his footing and develop, without as much pressure. Don’t forget, Gallagher’s and Desharnais’ numbers were similar last season, and if Gallagher falters, the HIOers and the general fans will be on him like mosquitoes at a ball park.

      Two things will never be forgiven on this forum: being francophone, and being short. Gallagher is covered on the first, but very vulnerable on the second. What we say about a player doesn’t matter, but. The fact the fantasy line makers keep putting Briere on the third line shouldn’t upset anyone, unless the coaching staff is reading you guys and decide the idea is cool. Why would you get a veteran if you didn’t want him to deflect pressure from the young lions?

      If Briere doesn’t get hurt, he’ll score 20-25. Gionta unhurt, 20. Gallagher unhurt – unpredictable but I hope in the same range or higher. The chances of all three being unhurt? That’s going to be a huge factor this season. I love watching Gallagher play, and he plays like every shift is a party. That could wear him down over a long season.

      Eller will be the second line centre, and Parros will be a contextual fill in, as will White. Bourque is not a fourth line player.

      Because the team isn’t big, there will be injuries and a lot of movement this year.

      Other than that, I like those suggestions!

      • Bash says:

        Thanks for your support 🙂

        Eller needs to play with guys who can score. At present he is our great hope as #1 centre.

        Galchenyuk and Pleks could be magic and Gionta will go to the net.

        Prust can give Davey and danny some room and some confidence as he did with the rookies last season. Playing him on the third gives him more ice time and distributes our limited toughness.

        Bourque? He starts on the fourth because he is simply not the best option anywhere else right now but is obviously the first guy to move up… he has some speed and size and with these two guys could cause some havoc.

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

  40. Ed says:

    couldn’t help but notice that the Balckhawks signed both Theo Pekham and Mike Kostka.

    write this down and hold me accountable to this:

    one of those 2 d-men will not only make the Blackhawks, but will contribute top 6 minutes.

    I just don’t understand why we fell in love with Drewiske as our depth defenceman.

    Bergevin was a bottom pairing defenceman for 20 years in the NHL and his handling of our depth on defence has been his biggest weakness so far.

    • habstrinifan says:

      This is a very reasonable questioning of MB’s work this summer. We are finally starting to see, here in HIO, some examination of the team going into next season.

    • Mark C says:

      Why is a career bottom pair player, whose team wouldn’t play him because he was out of shape, and a career AHLer who got benched after one playoff game due to complete ineffectiveness better than Drewiske?

      • Ed says:

        what is redeeming about Drewiske?

        At least Pekham has some size and toughness; he’s a “project”, but the upside is you get something unique out of him that we would need – nastiness.

        Kostka can play. I was impressed with him at the beginning of last season and I think he can bring that again.

        You might not agree, and I could care less about the Leafs – there’s a reason why the Hawks would sign him –

        maybe you should consider what makes the Hawks perennial Cup contenders?

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Too many damn rules.Get rid of the Instigator rule to start with. Saludos!

  42. Ian Cobb says:

    Please read the full Itinerary so I do not have to answer all your questions on e-mail one at a time. All charity donations gratefully accepted, (cash or gifts) bring to the Baton Rouge at 3pm Sat. We will be selling Raffle Tickets there as well, 1 for $20 or 3 for $40.

    Everyone is welcome to come to any of our events, just let me know so that I can make reservations for you please. Read the whole Itinerary below to know how our Charity Raffle works. We ask each person to bring a gift to the Baton Rouge and I will exchange it for a raffle ticket. In that way everyone gets a nice gift to go home with.

    151 HIO members attending this years HIO Fan Summit.

    I have ordered and paid for all our game and hall of fame tickets, now to organize the rest of the weekend.

    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Wear you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame and Bell Center Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000 to different children’s charities. This year we are supporting the Mtl. Canadiens Children Foundation.

    Then our wonderful Baton Rouge Restaurant pre game dinner.

    After dinner we walk across the street to the Bell Center and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Everything is walking distance, so park your car for the weekend.
    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  43. rhino514 says:

    I get the argument of spending 4 million a Dman instead of Briere, but the truth is, when you look at UFAs out there, who is out there who is worth that coin and a clear upgrade on the guys we have?
    I believe the habs have been very astute realizing that quality Dmen are the most valuable commodities of all, hence why they have drafted/acquired so many young D prospects in the past three years (Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn, Dietz, Bennett, etc…). The thing is we are still two, three years away from seeing the fruits of this labour fully in bloom.
    Think about it, what team is going to part with a bid dman who can play close to half a game, shut down opponents and contribute a bit offensively?
    This is why losing McDonagh hurts so much; this is why convincing Emelin to cross the pond was a great gift.
    If Tinordi establishes himself and Emelin comes back strong, our D isn´t bad…although it does lack the veteran leadership heading into the playoffs which guys like Gill, Spacek, and Hamrlik provided.

    • Ed says:

      last season, on April 6th, Emelin was injured.

      4 months later, we still lack depth on defence, the same lack of depth that cost us so dearly last season.

      Of course it’s never easy.

      But when a GM manages to find the right guy even when there aren’t many out there, isn’t he doing his job well?

      Anyone of us could have done nothing to add depth, and we’re not trained to be GM’s at the NHL level.

      • rhino514 says:

        Actually depth isn´t quite the problem. Bouillon is a great seventh Dman; a serviceable sixth dman, even , as of last season. Drewiske is a good eighth Dman, not a bad 7th Dman.
        The problem is the top six could use one more big, veteran type guy. But the team is in a tough situation because guys like Markov, and Gorges are immovable, for different reasons; one is the PP QB, the other´s contract is immoveable (plus he´s not bad, just not great, and does possess an intangible).The only guy who could be moved is Diaz, but there is a good chance he is about to be a real good puck-moving Dman, it´s a bit scary to give him up.
        Also added to this is the fact that there is a group of talented young Dmen knocking on the door after next season, heck Beaulieu could be knocking before season´s end. So anyone they do get would have to be:
        a) not just a big lug, but real good, so as to be a clear upgrade on someone like Diaz, for example and
        b) Probably short term, which makes the whole thing even more difficult.

        • JF says:

          Good points. As you say, it isn’t so much depth that we lack as size, at least in the short term. If some of our prospects develop as hoped, we should be OK, but for the moment there is a need that has not been addressed. But big, tough defencemen who can actually play and can be signed short term are not too thick on the ground.

          • rhino514 says:

            The fact is Emelin is only going to be out 25 games, maybe less; less than a third of a season.
            You don´t make a major move in that kind of situation, and what´s the use of making another Drewiske type move?

  44. habstrinifan says:

    I am now as depressed as the last day of the Ottawa series. None of the posts about the acquisition of Briere has encouraged me. And while it is wrong and stoooopid, even the pictures of Briere now add to my dismay. Wrong I know but it is what it is.

    And on top of it all, many posters have Briere playing on their 3rd line. Our biggest post season move was to get a 3rd line senior smurf? Talk about self-fulfilling forebodings …. even Briere thinks he is a smurf.

    omg MB.. what did you do?

  45. habstrinifan says:

    Good Sunday Morning. Here goes HabFanSince72.. my submission for a new rule.. actually a new player.

    The Shoot-out/Penalty-shot player.. shall be like the field goal kicker in Football.

    First we do a couple things:
    Enforce the rules very strictly re granting penalty shots.. call them more often.
    Eliminate the 5 on 5 shootout.. it’s your shootout guy aganst my shootout guy.

    The shootout guy may/may not play a regular position but must use a well regulated stick for the shootout… maybe no curves.
    The shootout guy cannot wear a helmet for the shootout.. imagine the fan appeal and the ‘beady eye’ legends possibilities.

    The shootout guy .. get this… can be a shootout girl. Bet you see women in the NHL within two years of the rule.

    The shotout guy can also be your backup-goalie.

    Only one shootout guy can be dressed and only that player can take penalty shots and contest the shootout.

    Imagine the possibilities eh.

    First of course is ‘girls in the NHL’ with no helmets WOW!
    Shootout specialist frenzy at trade deadline/crazy monies for shootout UFAS.
    Do teams use a first round pick on a shootout guy who reputedly never misses.
    The shootout guy can and will do any and all moves he wishes which are in keeping with common sense hockey skills.. and not worry about ’embarrassing’ the goalie etc….that’s his job.
    Imagine the songs and stardom potential for the shootout guy.
    Last but not least the shootout guy can do any pre-shootout or post-shootout warmup or celebratory schtick.. like baseball pitchers do.

    I think I have a winner boys and girls.

  46. Ed says:

    I think one of the key mistakes the Habs have made is relying on Frankie the Bull for another season. I was a big supporter in days gone by, and I’m really happy for Bouillon that he has had such a long NHL career – never a top 4 – but always contributing (very similar to the career Bergevin had, in fact, in many ways, including the fact that both grew up in the poorer parts of Montreal and “made it” big)

    But we keep going back to Bouillon because he plays for cheap dollars, he’s steady, and he is a veteran leader.

    Instead, we should have upgraded this spot in the lineup and spent Briere’s 4 million on another d-man.

    I think the team would be much better balanced with an extra 4 million on defence and 1 less small forward making that money.

    • neumann103 says:

      ^ THIS

      Nothing against Bouillon and Briere but they fill gaps that were not there. They jam up the lineupand thehabs would havebeen better spending the cap space on actual needs and giving the kids a chance .

      That being saidneither move isa hand tying disaster so Iwon’t gettoo worked upabout it

      “Et le but!”

    • JUST ME says:

      Bouillon has and will have a key role towards the future because he will teach the many kids from the farm team and even yes, P.K. the tricks of the trade .It`s probably his last active season but meanwhile the kids still need time and wisdom.

      You cannot make a mistake by hiring Bouillon. I think that it all depends on where you see the team at the end of the season. For me this is a transition season and at the end of it we will see many veterans going, others coming and youngters being added to an already promissing core.
      I agree with you that Bouillon and Bergevin are playing safe but in the habs situation it is wise to do so unless you really believe that the cup is within reach this season. I think Bergevin sees long term .

      • Ed says:

        shouldn’t we be able to ask Markov to teach the kids a few things?

      • habstrinifan says:

        Forget the merits of Bouillon for now.

        I am in dispute with your satement that you cannot make a mistake cause the mistake had some redeeming gifts/assets.

        If you examine the perspective of Neumann and agree with them then it was a mistake regardless of the ‘side’ benefits. And as all mistakes do, it nullified your original work purpose and means you have to ‘start again’.

        Just as Armstrong’s signing was a mistake.

        That’s a significant contribution to failure.. not having done a ‘bad’ thing but having done a ‘wrong’ thing.

    • Phil C says:

      I also think the really need another defenseman, so I agree in principle, but who exactly could they have gotten for an extra 4 million on defense? The free agent market was thin.

      • Ed says:

        Phil, we can’t know what was available unfortunately. There was little available on the UFA market, so it would have to have been a trade.

        But what we do know is that Bergevin did not get it done.

  47. Kooch7800 says:

    I am with Timo on that briere needs to quit with the “the dream to play for the habs” bs. Does he think habs fans forgot about the snub to go to Philly. I would also bet there was not very many teams knocking on his door this time either and the habs had sucker written on their forehead this one.

    I would have rather kept Ryder than his clown. His numbers for the past few years were much better and he was cheaper.

    Something about briere in a habs jersey seems wrong.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Ed says:

      I think we were the only team to offer him 2 years. It was a pure business move on his part, and a public relations move on Bergevin’s part.

      If you take Briere’s age, his recent injuries, his size, the fact that we already have Gionta, Desharnais, Plekanec, as top 6, and the 4 million per year price tag, where is the logic to signing him??

      You take the same 4 million and you swing a deal for a d-man who can play 20+ minutes a night for that money – since you know Emelin is out and needs to be replaced, and you know Tinordi is still so young.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I am not overly fond of the guy, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Choices are not one dimensional, and in his mind there were possibly overriding factors the last time.

    • JUST ME says:

      I can`t ! I just can`t say that i agree with Timo…Darn let`s say that i am sick and delusionnal o.k. ? Briere should be quiet and prepare to prove himself cause i am not sure that every Habs fan are happy to see him in their favorite uniform. Montreal`s fan have a long memory and tend to hold grudges for small insignificant details and i am afraid that he may get some booooos at the Bell center if he does not deliver.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Admitted, it sounds pretty hollow. Like my prom date, who told me she actually wanted to go with me all along. A week after she’d cancelled and went with V. Lance Worthington III instead.

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    After the success of Rant Friday© we at HFS72 bring you New Rule Sunday©. NHL attendance increases have stalled. Expansion is a pipe dream. Hockey remains below Nascar and Competitive Hotdog Eating in 47 US States. What’s needed is some new rules to improve the game.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I propose a new position: Enforcer. Just like each team can have one goalie, who gets to wear pads, freeze the puck, and for some reason wear a baseball cap on the bench, this will be a new position with its own rules.

      1. One designated Enforcer per team per game.
      2. An Enforcer may only fight another team’s Enforcer.
      3. An Enforcer may not guide the puck into the opposing team’s net with any part of his stick.
      4. Whenever the Enforcer is on the ice, his team will be considered to be short-handed. His team may ice the puck without causing a stoppage in play. All goals shall count as short-handed goals for the purpose of official record keeping.

      • Ed says:

        Very clever, indeed.

        Here’s my proposal. Any major misconduct, 10 minutes in the box, requires the guilty party to sit out, AND, the opposing team gets to choose any other player to sit in the penalty box for an additional 10 minutes.

        So, a goon attacks someone. The goon goes to the box, PLUS, his team will lose their best player for an additional 10 minutes.

        It would take 1 goon penalty and then imagine his embarrassment when Crosby or Ovechkin or Toews is sitting next to him.

        The team would begin to resent the goon; the fans, the coach, GM, and owners would begin to think differently about having a goon on their team.

        One rule change could change the game. Taking a 10 minute misconduct would become so horrible, the goon would be booed out of town.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      A league policy rather than a rule: Referees are required to submit to post-game interviews and explain their calls and non-calls while watching video replays.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I suggested this some time ago: replace shootouts with punch outs. Players who are about to engage in fisticuffs are immediately escorted to the penalty box to serve their major, so as not to interrupt the flow of the game. Their names are put on the ‘dance card’ for a post-game bout, be it after regulation or overtime (yes, ties are allowed). This will keep fans in the seats for even the most boring of games. The fight will last until one combatant is beaten senseless, to satisfy the blood lust of the fans and to cull the herd of its most useless members.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I think they should stipulate that “finishing the check” must only occur after 3 seconds and a distance of at least 15′. We do need to clarify these things.

  49. rhino514 says:

    I am happy FOR NOW about the Cammalleri trade, because at the time i feared it would be a disaster. Since the trade was made, it has been good for the habs, not great, but good. Up to now, the team has gotten the best out of Bourque (when he has been healthy) which to me was a big question mark, and they desperately needed a tough forward. However, i believe this trade will be measured out in years.
    If Ramo becomes a top notch goalie, which he may, it´s not a good trade. If Bourque falters, or contunues to have concussion problems, it´s a bad trade.
    Fucale seems like a good pick, but let´s be honest, though Price has been inconsistent, he is PROBABLY going the be the team´s number one goalie for the next 9 or 10 years, so Fucale will never become a number one goalie in our organization; so his value will take the form of whatever he is traded for in say 4 or 5 years IF he pushes for a starting job.
    And Cammalleri remains one of the clutch playoff producers in the league. Having him on your team come playoff time is a huge plus. That´s tough to lose and not replace.

    Player i most wished would add on 10 pounds: Tie- Gorges, Louis Leblanc
    Player i most wish to have a comeback year: Price
    Ex-habs player most likely to surprise elsewhere: Weber
    Player we gave away for nothing: Pyatt (to add insult to injury regarding the worst trade of the new millenium)

    • Ed says:

      I agree about Weber that he could easily surprise. His offensive game is NHL already, he brings value to a power play as a dangerous shooter, and he just needs to play a regular shift for 30 or 40 games to regain his defensive game. I have always liked Weber

      • JF says:

        I liked Weber as well. The fact that he wasn’t given a chance last year can be seen as a failure on the part of the coaching staff; and the fact that we lost him for nothing is a failure on Bergevin’s part. I can see him becoming a good offensive defenceman on another team and a valuable contributor to their powerplay.

        • Ed says:

          and he reminds me of Stephane Robidas! who we drafted as an offensive d-man, and then could not fit into our lineup. 10 NHL seasons later, Robidas has had an excellent career.

        • twilighthours says:

          I don’t know if “failure on part of coaching staff” is accurate. Who would weber have bumped out? Maybe only Diaz, who stole his job. Maybe martin and cunny failed him as they never gave him an honest crack, but last year he was in tough for minutes.

          Sometimes, things just don’t work out for a player, and even though he deserves better, it’s no one’s fault.

          I remain hopeful that he gets a good shot this year and makes an NHL career for himself

          • JF says:

            He should have been given regular ice-time while Diaz was injured, which was at least half the season. That way we might have gotten something for him at the deadline.

  50. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Briere rings up only 90 comments so far, and Ryan White 3000+ …is there a message We the Great Unwashed of HIO’s Commentariat are making here ? 🙂

  51. Un Canadien errant says:

    Fascinating profile on a man who was Billy Beane before Billy Beane, and claims to have played a part in bringing Pedro Martinez to the Expos.

  52. SlovakHab says:

    I will actually really miss Colby Armstrong, as well as Jeff Halpern.
    Great all-round guys, added a lot to our 4th line depth.

    • Clay says:

      I agree – especially Halpern. Great 4th line player.

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  53. Bill says:

    … can’t stop playing Super Hexagon …

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  54. ClutchNGrab says:

    For the folks who understand French, Daniel Briere on 98.5. One interesting info, before taking a decision he asked Bergevin if the fact that his signing would add another small player would be a problem for the Habs.

  55. Sportfan says:

    You might also like “Tremblay and Roy still haven’t spoken,” OH REALLY….?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  56. Timo says:

    Briere should really stop that crap about always wanting to put on the Habs jersey. What a phony.

  57. Sportfan says:

    Poor Armdog lol, I have a question for people lol, I’m trying out for the Concordia baseball team. Went to the batting cages, to get a swing into things. What is the usual pitch speed in Canadian University ball? Anyone know?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • Timo says:

      It all depends… how much can you drink? The perceived speed is directly proportional to the amount of drink.

    • Bill says:

      That’s an interesting question and it’s hard to find data. My feeling is that Canadian University baseball is probably comparable to NCAA division three. So I’m thinking around 75 mph for an average speed?

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Chris says:

      My undergrad housemate played briefly in CIAU (now CIS) baseball. He was throwing mid-high 80’s pretty routinely and had ridiculous movement on his throws. Playing catch with him was downright scary. Other pitchers in the CIS can get up into the low 90’s.

      I would say that you would see some pretty hard throwers. The reason why they are in CIS is that they probably don’t quite have the control at those velocities that is needed to play higher level in the U.S.

  58. JTT says:

    Don’t know why they let ryder go unless it’s a money thing. can’t see Briere being any better. One good move was parros other than that same team as last year not sure how that will work out.

    Training camp looks like our only hope to improve.

  59. Chuck says:

    Habs will win their division this year. Book it.

  60. SmartDog says:

    The photo caption should read:

    “Daniel Briere was happy to find two people in the Bell Centre he’s taller than.”

    I can’t wait to see Briere next to Parros.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  61. HABSNFO says:

    WOW watching video of Briere walking around with his sons in Montreal. He looks smaller than I thought.

  62. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Slowest night this summer?

    This is fun — Habs and Bruins, April 8, 1971. Watch or watch one more time:

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Shocking, really. Only 2,666 views!
      What is wrong with the young generation? And the old generation!
      Any way a person can turn this into desktop wallpaper or screensaver?
      P.S. One of Le Gros Bil’s finer performances.
      I was in university when the game was played and without access to television coverage, so had to get updates from a Bruin fan listening to the game on radio in the same student residence. From the depths of despair to the peak of overjoy in a single evening.
      Actually, it was more a pique of overjoy, having a Bruin fan convey the terrible/great news.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I would have been sent to bed after the first period. My brother and I only saw full games when there was a babysitter and we either bribed or blackmailed her. Many’s the exciting 3rd period that was abandoned at high speed following the sound of a key in the front door! What college, doing what?

        Weird how what was the ONLY way hockey ever looked and was so familiar now looks kind of alien.
        Good night, JB. You take the first watch.

    • on2ndthought says:

      great stuff! That comeback ranks high. Nice roof by Lemaire, Gros Bill looks great, two sides to Orr’s game.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • habsfan55 says:

      I remember watching this game with mom & dad…what a happy time that was…thanks for the link mike

      habs fan but will cheer for any team that beats the leafs

    • habstrinifan says:

      WOW! Beautiful link Dunboyne Mike.. I thoroughly enjoyed. Orr looked spectacular. Thanks!

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Yeah I loved it too.
        Did you read any of the posts below the clip? Some seemed to be by Bruins fans blaming Boston’s capitulation that year on Orr’s slump.

  63. JohnBellyful says:

    Nothing against these two guys – okay, I have a big beef with Moen after last season, Gionta not so much – but I think we need to purge the pair of them from the team.
    If both are on the roster to start the season, there’s no way in Hades Montreal wins the Cup next year.
    But you take them off the team, the odds of the Canadiens capturing their 25th championship improve dramatically.
    I base this bold assertion on fact, of course.
    And that fact is: The last six – SIX! – Canadien teams to win a Cup had not a SINGLE player on the roster who had won it with another club prior to joining Montreal.
    I can’t explain why this is so – and, to be honest, someone might want to double-check that – but if in fact it’s a fact, it’s a fact MB might want to consider heading into September.
    If I were to conjecture, I would speculate it has to do with inserting players into a lineup who, having won a Cup and then received a lucrative offer to sign elsewhere, no longer possess the same burning desire that won them a ring. They would argue to the contrary from a genuine belief that they are giving their all – in Moen’s case, it would be self-delusion of the highest order – but the evidence is too overwhelming to ignore.
    MB, speaking man to manager, I beg you, do not give my postulate short shrift.
    Indeed, I would suggest you look at the Stanley Cup teams from the last 25 years and see if the same fact I have uncovered concerning the Canadiens holds true for them as well. (A quick glance at the Blackhawk roster doesn’t put the lie to it.)
    So, far from bringing a winning spirit to a new team, players from championship clubs add little to achieving the ultimate goal.
    Then again, Scuderi, as a King (2012), and Recchi, as a Bruin (2011), suggest the rule of thumb is that you can’t have more than one of their type on a team.
    But even if that rule makes sense for the NHL as a whole, it doesn’t seem to apply to the Canadiens. They can’t have any player with a championship pedigree earned elsewhere.
    So, MB, there you have it. Moen and Gionta have got to go.

    Apologies in advance for any errors made as a result of research conducted with a light touch or points put forward that mirror those already posted to this site.
    A man can only read so much – and I am supposed to be babysitting the grandson.

    • Bill says:

      Off the top of my head, Rob Ramage won the Cup with the Flames before the Habs … but I still want to believe your theory

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • JohnBellyful says:

        You are correct, sir. An oversight on my part.
        The theory still holds water, but not as much as before, unless it’s limited to saying no NHL team set on winning a championship should have on its roster more than one player who has won a Cup with another club.
        Bye-bye, Travis.

  64. B says:

    So who gets more goals and points next season, Daniel Briere or Ryan Clowe?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  65. DMAN says:

    It has probably already been discussed but I am just noticing so I will bring it up again.

    Cammalleri was traded for Bourque, Holland and FUCALE…..That was a good trade!

    • SmartDog says:

      Very good point.

      And this is why Bergevin is wise not to trade away picks. Picks build teams.
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • hansolo says:

      If we’re being technical, Cammalleri AND Ramo for those 3, no?

      • B says:

        It will be interesting to see how Ramo does in Calgary next season.

        Calgary also got a 2012 5th rounder in that trade that they used to select Rempart Dman Ryan Culkin.

        –Go Habs Go!–

      • Ed says:

        and I believe Ramo will play for the Flames this season, while Holland will likely never make the NHL and Fucale is several years away.

        the trade is a reasonably good one for both teams, I would say.

      • SmartDog says:

        As usual Han, you are right.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Back in June, while I was reading up on the potential draftees, and wishing Pierre Gauthier had extorted a 1st rounder for Mike Cammalleri and Karri Ramo, I posted that our end of the deal was looking less and less enticing. Remember that at the time, Jay Feaster wasn’t in explode and rebuild mode, he thought he was adding a complementary piece to Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester. He was thinking they’d be competitive, and the 2nd rounder would be a low one. I wish Mr. Gauthier had held an auction, instead of only dealing with the Flames, and held out for what Mr. Feaster would have thought would be a low-first round pick in 2013.

      • B says:

        What is your source for claiming that Gauthier only dealt with the Flames when trading Cammalleri? Was it simply LeBrun’s tweet:

        “One NHL GM when told of the trade, said he wished he knew Cammalleri was available. Would have made an offer.”

        That doesn’t seem to exclude every other GM in the league except Feaster. Could that anonymous GM have been a division rival of the Hab’s? I just find it hard to believe that no other GM was contacted or that Gauthier turned down a better offer. Do you have any more concrete evidence or are you just speculating (as you also seem to be doing about the Halak trade)? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with speculating, but you seem to be passing these off as facts. I must be missing something here.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          You’re quite right that I’m speculating, I don’t have proof beyond the well-known rumour that Pierre Gauthier only dealt with Flames when it came time to trade Mike Cammalleri. That rumour seems to be based only on that tweet, but was picked up and discussed as fact on a panel show between periods at some point. A piece of supporting evidence is that Pierre Gauthier was famously secretive, and operated the same way when it came time to trade Jaroslav Halak, when he only talked to the Blues about his services.

          Now I’m not saying it’s completely wrong that he did so, or unreasonable. Pierre Gauthier probably went into trade talks with his eyes open, with a team that may have already sent out a ‘feeler’, and with a rough idea of the right player he would want in return. By doing business like this, he was avoiding the rumour Tilt-a-Whirl that other organizations become, like Brian Lawton’s Lightning when it came time to trade Vincent Lecavalier, or Bobby Clarke’s Flyers during the Eric Lindros saga, or every Leaf régime. Mr. Gauthier kept things close to the vest and prevented leaks and controversy that way, and that may have some value in Montréal. As a fan who thought that Mike Cammalleri’s reputation as a playoff performer meant he should have reaped more in return though, I would have endured the Twitter storm to get a first-rounder and better prospects than Patrick Holland, with no disrespect to the latter since he seems like a great kid.

          • B says:

            Thanks for clearing that up. It’s an interesting theory, but it still seems over the top to me.

            –Go Habs Go!–

    • The_Truth says:

      I look at it, that Cammy was traded for Bourque, a 2nd, and Holland, by PG, and TT/MB came in and made a very good pick (Hopefully). But, you are not wrong.

  66. HFL says:

    in my original post about having three balanced lines in the last feed.
    All i am saying is that our team is not as bad as many think. We have 3 very balanced lines, and that is hard to contain, even if they are ‘small’. Also I think briere can have a bounce back season. He was injured at the beginning of last season, and it was a short season at that.Not to mention, philadelphia was absolutely brutal last season. Many players productions drop when the team is in a tail spin. Also Bourque is a beast. He skates hard, has a great shot and is a big body. DD, well like i said he was my exclsusion to my point. ALthough I wouldnt right him off, he is very capable of having a comeback season. Also has anyone been watching the Elelr kid!? the guy looked like a beast last season. Stripping pucks off opponents left right and center. taking the puck end to end with confidence and swag. Looked huge, and looked very strong. He needs some work on his accuracy and finish but his play making skills are there regardless. I can see this guy coming back this season with a vengeance. Way too excited 😀 Not to mention galchenyuck. The guy was on a roll at the end of the season. His gonna be getting more minutes and more oppurtunities on the powerplay. Man will he be fun to watch. Also with the briere acquisition our PP is looking mean.
    Briere pleks pacioretty
    Galchenyuck Eller bourque (these would be my lines)
    Subban Markov
    C’mon, that stacks up pretty well with most teams 1st and second units
    Hopefully price can play to his average potential and boys i think we are looking at a pretty fun season to watch! Cant wait for puck drop!

    • Ed says:

      Here’s the thing, our bigger guys like Eller, Galchenyuk and Pacioretty are skilled but not extremely tough by NHL standards, and definitely not nasty, so they can not be expected to “push back” against a big, aggressive defence like Ottawa played against us last playoffs. Bourque is too inconsistent with his physical game to be counted on as well. So our top 9 can score, but they can be out gooned quite easily.

      Then, on defence, we have almost no push back with Emelin out. Subban will try, but he’s too important to go to the box. What’s left, Tinordi, is still very young, and Bouillon is getting old in a hurry.

      Any team that plays the Habs needs to forecheck aggressively, hard and often against our defence, and we will be worn out
      by the 3rd period. Also, they can bang us around with their bigger defences and make us a pay a heavy price for going near the net or trying to recover loose pucks against the boards and the in the corners.

      In short, to use a football term, the Habs will be dominated in the “trenches”, and this is not a good formula for wins, and especially deadly in the playoffs.

      Does Bergevin know all of this and 10 times more than I should know? Absolutely.

      • HFL says:

        I completely agree with you Ed. I am in no way saying that we are a contender, or a strong all around team. My only point is that there is a lot to look forward to in this upcoming season. And although we do need to get bigger, I also believe we have a team that will be successful. Certainly not successful in terms of a deep run into the playoffs, but maybe as a team that will be exciting to watch, and will have a lot of players that can score and compete.

    • JUST ME says:

      Nice try HFL but any way you try to look at it you will aways have people here to complain about everything and anything. Aren`t we the best fans in the world ?

      They do have a well balanced team and on paper… Remains to see how it will evolve on an 82 games schedule . The thing is that for a transition team , it is quite nice. In a year from now we probably will have a totally different roster with many new youngsters and many new veterans also but from now to then, we can give it a try !

    • The_Truth says:

      I don’t think anyone thinks the Habs will be a bad team, but as you say, haven’t done anything to get to the next level of contender.

  67. SmartDog says:

    Two thoughts about Colby and Briere.

    BRIERE – Not my favorite signing. But there IS something good about getting this guy, who was (and maybe still is) a special player to sign and as a native son talk about how special it is to live the dream and put on a Habs jersey. The fact that he turned the team down before but is showing now that he wants to be hear is a good thing for other French-Canadian players and prospects to see. It’s a good move in the politics of player recruitment. So if Briere does decently well (20 goals, 45 pts) I’ll call this a decent signing. If he sucks though… well he sucks.

    COLBY – That picture of Colby with his dogs looks like a scrawny guy who doesn’t work out. I had the same impression of him in a t-shirt last fall. If he had gone to the gym and put on pounds of muscle he would’ve been more effective. He’s a good guy who relies on being a good guy too much. Great in the room blah blah, but where’s the drive? Letting him go was the right thing no question.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  68. thehabsfan29 says:

    I Think Ryan Whitney could be a a solid fit for the habs.
    He could come pretty cheap. He has the size and has put up solid numbers the past few seasons.

    Would also love to see Raymond come to the habs but I think he will ask for too much money.

    Brad Boyes could also be a Cheap Option. I Think he would be a upgrade over Moen

    • Steven says:

      If memory serves, Whitney was benched a few times this year on a weak Oilers D, so there’s that concern. I don’t know what the reason for that was, however. The guy puts up points, has size and is at least a bit nasty, so for the right price for a year I’d take the gamble.

      Not sure Raymond or Boyes could fit in the lineup at this point. Too many forwards.

  69. Timo says:

    Briere… ARGH!!! It has slight less expensive Scott Gomez written all over it.

  70. habs1992 says:

    Ill be honest I wont miss Colby at all. Wish him the best though

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  71. habstrinifan says:

    Does any of thesE people go home to a wife and family?
    Or maybe they disappear nightly back into one of Mtl’S potholes…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      These are jobs, like working for Revenue Canada or doing parking enforcement, where you get used to people constantly coming up with excuses and lies, so you grow a callus over your heart.

      As a society, isn’t it what we want that a single mom can get her child home quickly and safely from the hospital, at minimal cost? Absolutely. But sometimes the system is set up to not have a conscience or heart.

  72. neumann103 says:

    He is still getting $1M from the Leafs next year as part of the buyout? Glad to see him playing in a high level league to keep his skills sharp.

    Was never a big fan of his prior to joining the Habs but he was hilarious. He could still contribute on the 4th line and PK of an NHL team

    “Et le but!”

  73. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    I’ll always appreciate Colby for his roll in this:

  74. The Jackal says:

    Colby was a good guy for us. Super funny dude that will be missed.

    • Ncognito says:

      Yes – heard he was great in the room. Therrien was probably behind the Habs picking him up last year since he coached him in Pittsburg. Wish he was the same player from 5 years ago when he laced them up with the habs. The injuries took a toll on his playing style, and his playing style took a toll on his body.

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