Assault charges withdrawn against former Hab Damphousse

(File photo)
Assault charges laid more than two years ago against former Canadiens’ captain Vincent Damphousse were withdrawn Tuesday in Quebec Court.

Damphousse, 45, was acquitted as a result.

The prosecution re-evaluated all of its evidence and decided to withdraw the charges, Crown prosecutor Sylvie Dulude told the court.

Damphousse had pleaded not guilty in 2011 to six charges alleging he assaulted his estranged wife Allana Henderson at different times between Jan. 1, 2008 and March 29, 2011.

Henderson was also charged in April 2011 with assaulting Damphousse. She faces charges alleging she stole a briefcase from Damphousse as well as assault with a weapon while driving a vehicle. She also pleaded not guilty.

The two charges against Henderson are still pending.  (The two cases are separate.) A trial date for Henderson’s case was set on Tuesday for January 2015.

Damphousse, who appears as a panelist on the popular sports talk show L’antichambre on RDS, declined to speak to journalists following his acquittal after he left the Montreal court room.

Damphousse played 18 seasons in the NHL. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round — 6th overall — of the 1986 NHL draft. Damphousse spent five seasons with the Leafs before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers where he played for one season. He was with the Habs for seven seasons starting in 1992-93 when he put up 97 points and was part of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup victory. His final season in the NHL was in 2003-04 with the San Jose Sharks.

 

288 Comments

  1. Luke says:

    Not sure if this has been posted already, but in Friedman’s recent 30 thoughts column (are they still columns?) he discusses moving intot he top five of the draft. Mentioning the Flames offered Colorade the 6th, 22nd, 28th for the 1st. It was no dice.

    Certainly, not the same quality as DD, Weber and Calgary’s 2nd rounder, but something to keep in mind when pondering trade options.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/06/price-is-steep-to-improve-position-in-nhl-draft.html

  2. Maritime Ron says:

    Re the Corban Knight Kristo thingy

    There was is no mention of Kristo on Knight’s Twitter.
    If there was, it was erased.

    It came from a Calgary based Sportsnet guy:

    Roger Millions
    @RogMillions
    Knight adds that Danny Kristo his UND teammate could surprise next Sunday in Newark.

    What’s the surprise? Who knows. Maybe he wants to show off a pair of winter wool socks his gramdma made him in case he gets the desire to go for a walk in the snow…

  3. Chris says:

    The one that perhaps got away…

    The Anaheim Ducks signed Galchenyuk’s Sarnia linemate and centre, Charles Sarault, back in March.

    Way back in September, Sarault had been extended an invitation to come to the Habs rookie camp. Sarault is not an elite skater, and that could limit his potential as an NHL player, but he is smart, a good passer and was rated as one of the top defensive forwards in the OHL by coaches and GM’s this past season.

    I could easily see him becoming another Matt Moulson, an unheralded guy that might bounce around a bit but who could ultimately become a solid NHL player. Moulson is a very good skater, which is a big advantage on Sarault, to be fair.

    • B says:

      Sarault seems a lot like Patrick Holland.

      How about his younger Sting team mate, Reid Boucher? He scored 62 goals this season (the next closest guy in the CHL scored 50). Montreal could have selected Boucher instead of Didier, but time will tell if the big Dman was the better choice or not.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  4. Maritime Ron says:

    Let the rumors begin
    Tim Panaccio
    ” 2 NHL sources tell CSN Flyers & ANA talking of Bobby Ryan. Among scenarios being discussed: Coburn, 11th pick for Ryan…

  5. Luke says:

    Re: The “Kristo could surprise in Newark” comment.

    Has anyone considered that this may be personal tweet amongst a social circle and not hockey/habs related.

    Maybe they are having a golf tournament… or going showshoeing or boozing or something along the likes.

    He signed, so talk of him not wanting to play in Montreal is odd, since if that was the case all he had to do was not sign.

    • bwoar says:

      Pretty much what I was getting at. G-d do we ever need some hockey news to put under our teeth.

      “thoroughbred”

    • krob1000 says:

      every bit a possibility…timing odd though…draft day, on day he himself gets traded,etc, former linemates….a lot of coincidences there but definitely possible…what else do we talk about right now though? the Buins are leading again in the Cup Finals…anyone want to talk aobut that?me neither.

      • Luke says:

        Thre the lack of conversation topics leaves us a bit dry…

        We could talk about which fourth liner MB is going to sign that will:

        a) be the death of this once great franchise.
        -or-
        b) score 40 goals, win 40 fights and hoist the Cup as the first Captain of the Habs to make league minimum.

        • nunacanadien says:

          MB is just one more lame duck GM beholding to the management by committee which Molson has no control over….once more we watch this mighty dynasty of a team roll over for their owners based in Toronto….Coors America wants the habs to suck.

    • Chris says:

      It wasn’t a tweet by Knight. It was a comment from an interview that was tweeted by Roger Millions, a Sportsnet beat reporter for the Calgary Flames.

      But I would still take it with a huge grain of salt, as Millions has not elaborated thus far.

  6. krob1000 says:

    Marian Hossa…34 yrs old…contract will still be going by the time the new Star Wars trilogy is done or close to…any chance he is a buyout possbility? likely not but who knows anymore…I can’t help but wonder if they would explore a buyout/trade scenario…win /win…they acquire assets, save future headaches, perhaps acquire someone able to step right in….maybe an American winger!! lol…sorry..this KRisto thing is making the hamster spin the wheel a little to much.

    • bwoar says:

      I wouldn’t read too much into the comment; maybe the young fellow is gonna propose to his girl?

      “thoroughbred”

    • Chris says:

      I think that you are reading too much into the Kristo thing.

      Hossa is not coming to Montreal. He has a NTC, and he’s made it pretty clear throughout his career that he isn’t really interested in Montreal, who have courted him heavily on at least a couple of occasions.

      If Kristo is in play, it is for Calgary’s 6th overall pick which they have been shopping. Something like Beaulieu, Kristo and a 1st or 2nd round draft pick might be the start of a conversation with Calgary if Montreal was really hoping to move up in the draft. I think it still takes more than that, but Calgary makes the most sense for Montreal as they have a desperate need of NHL ready prospects, and draft picks this year won’t be ready for two-three years.

      Montreal doesn’t really need Kristo if they have Gallagher and Collberg in the system, and Beaulieu’s legal troubles are the type of thing that can sour a team on a prospect enough that they are willing to include an unquestioned blue-chipper in a deal to try to get an impact forward.

      I actually don’t think Kristo is going anywhere, though. The “Newark surprise” could just as likely be something completely silly.

      • krob1000 says:

        That was just crazy talk I know re Hossa to Montreal…bored…I bet they would listent o offers though….but like I said in another post…the timing of that Corbin comment, the draft, the day he himself gets moved, former linemates,Calggary with an abundance of picks, Montreal with a lot of winger prospects of similar stature,etc,etc,…..makes it more intriguing.

      • mrhabby says:

        silly yes.

        • krob1000 says:

          Not that silly really…happens in other sports all of the time…basketball, baseball and football are all notorious for trades leaking out days before they are formally announced. Hockey seems to hold everything secret …at least publicly but we do not know what they tell the players and when as I am sure all circumstances are different..also you must consider the other side of the coin…what if it is the player telling the team they don;t want to play there?

          • Chris says:

            Then why sign a contract two months before you could walk away to any team in the NHL as an unrestricted free agent? That one doesn’t hold a lot of water for me.

  7. The Dude says:

    So Boston once again has shown us the way to the Cup and with two different Goaltenders.And their old Veterans are some of their best players and I hope by now we all have figured out that a team of Small to average sized talented athletes ,who only play the perimeter, are mostly soft and can’t fight DON’T WORK!

    • Phil C says:

      There is lots to learn from Boston, besides size and toughness. They have a balanced attack with three lines instead of two, so losing Horton doesn’t hurt them as much as Chicago losing Hossa as Boston can just slide a guy like Seguin up and not miss a beat. They have a very very solid top four defense, including a perrenial Norris trophy candidate in Chara who can play 30 minutes a night. I thought they were missing an offensive d-man, but Krug has come in to complement their d nicely. They are very deep at centre, so they can endure injuries down the middle.

  8. krob1000 says:

    I am still trying to figure out Corbin Knights Kristo comment? did he just spill the beans on Kristo perhpas not wanting to play in Montreal and asking for a trade and thereby reducing his trade value? or is he just stirring the pot and ribbing a friend? that is a bizarre thing to publicly state like that is it not?The Habs locked Kristo up I thought so unless Kristo is already involved in a trade that can’t be announced (could it be to a team still playing..ie Hawks…Bickell rights allegedly coveted,etc,etc?). I don’t understand the nature of this comment but if we play consipiracy theory…which is pretty well all we do on here that is a possibiility I guess….weird timing and weird comment.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      What was the comment?

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • krob1000 says:

        He said on twitter apparently that “Kristo could surprise this sunday” apparently…but he is already signed so what else can it mean?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Said that Kristo could surprise in Newark

        Maybe he knows something about a trade between Montreal and Calgary. Have to believe GM’s/agents involved have told him he needs to learn how to keep his trap shut.

        • krob1000 says:

          Or it could mean that KRisto also knows there is a trade pending somewhere that can’t be announced is what I am getting at…that would mean two destinations and one is ot a trade possibility. Calgary is interesting and I can see that too I guess…reuniting them, Calgary with all of those picks,etc… bizarre thing to say though…but if Calgary why say it? why not trade now? you can still trade picks at this point right?

          • Chris says:

            It’s sort of taboo to draw attention away from the Stanley Cup finals, for one, and teams will be negotiating to try and get the best possible deals.

            But given that there is no announcement, there is no way that Bergevin or Feaster would have said anything to Kristo or Knight so trade speculation is ultimately just flights of fancy by we fans.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Help me out Burly it is early. Why would it mean Calgary? Isn’t Newark in Jersey

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Where the Draft is this year, thus big trades etc… announced usually on draft day.

        • krob1000 says:

          I guess it could be dependent upon whether or not a player the Habs covet is available at one of Calagary’s positions which could explain the waiting until the draft …still odd though

          • florida habs says:

            maybe he knows he will be re-united with Kristo in Montreal or maybe he’s talking about a double date with 2 hotties in Newark.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t think so, I think he is having a bit of fun and yanking our chains. What could he know? I doubt MB leaks his plans so they can be tweeted. Why would he sign Kristo?

      Habfan17

  9. florida habs says:

    maybe if they let it be known that Jones isn’t their man, teams in the 2-4 slots will trade up to ensure they get Jones, if in fact one of those teams want him.

  10. adamkennelly says:

    why is Sakic yapping about who the Avs are not going to pick? I understand providing false information if you are not holding the #1 pick but since there is nothing anyone can do which would affect his selection – why bother?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Inexperience! Maybe he is telling Florida and Tampa if they want to make a splash and pick first, they can make an offer. Sakic could have done this quietly though and if he is okay with either MacKinnon or Drouin, then if he could get an extra pick or player, why not.

      Habfan17

      • Cal says:

        He said the organization was “leaning” towards taking a forward. What’s the big deal? People bitch over too many GMs not saying anything and now the bitching starts over a question he was replying to?

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Perhaps he’s just throwing it out there for the other 29 teams saying the 1st pick is for sale at the right price/package.

      Do you believe, or does Patrick Roy give you the impression that has the patience to wait several years before contending?
      The Avs are brutal on D, and a Seth Jones would not have an impact for several years.
      Choosing MacKinnon would give them options to move another young forward.
      It will be interesting to see what packages are available.

    • krob1000 says:

      He is likely letting it be known to the teams in the vicinity that he would be willing to trade down…..also letting it be known to others in case they can swing a three way trade to get into the mix as well.

    • Luke says:

      Drama.

      All the world’s a stage…

  11. Mattyleg says:

    Day 2 of Summer Holiday after working like an insane person for 7 days/week for two months:

    Inexplicable sensation of impending doom.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  12. commandant says:

    #67 is one of the guys who has really fallen hard in the second half.

    Ryan Kujawinski of Kingston.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/06/19/ryan-kujawinski-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-67/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  13. Habfan17 says:

    I do see Tinordi paired with Subban and if Tinordi develops as hoped, they would be the first pair. I think that MB should trade to get another first round pick and get Ristolainen, he is what is missing a mean big right handed defenceman and he has been playing against men for two seasons now. Trade Gorges, Diaz and Holland. Beaulieu and Ristolainen as the 2nd pair in a couple of years behind Tinrodi and Subban, the Dietz and Thrower or Pateryn. Bigger, tougher and balanced. If they had to, throw in DD.
    If the Habs want an established right handed mean defenceman t would cost a ton and then there would be the high contract. By trading to get Ristolainen, they have what they lack, an easy cap hit for a few years and they would have more coin to shop for a couple of UFA’s to fill holes for a couple of seasons.

    Habfan17

  14. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos. Beautiful sunny day with a cool north wind in Eastern Ontario. A little bass fishing and then some cold pints at the Saloon. Only a couple of weeks until the Draft and Free Agency. Oh yeah,Go Hawks! Saludos!

  15. Mavid says:

    110 days till regular season ( give or take a day or two..) less of course if you count pre season

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Another good game for the Jays last night, suddenly the pitching staff is looking quite impressive, but how else would you describe it when you can throw Dickey, Johnson and Wang out on the mound!

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    Looking at the Canadiens CapGeek page (http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=2), I noticed that Max Pacioretty doesn’t have a No Trade Clause, which I thought was odd, as every player of note on the Canadiens seems to have one. Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, René Bourque, Travis Moen, Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges all have NTC’s, full or otherwise.

    Scott Gomez, Erik Cole and Mike Cammalleri had them as well. They seemed to be the cost of doing business, if the Canadiens wanted to attract frontline unrestricted free agents. The previous administration doled them out like candy, evidently.

    The Nouveau Régime’s first contract on a roster player was for Travis Moen, shortly before the start of free agency. Travis did get some no-trade protection, but since then, not one contract signed by Marc Bergevin has one: Brandon Prust, Colby Armstrong, Francis Bouillon, Carey Price, Lars Eller, Raphaël Diaz, Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, David Desharnais. None carry a NTC.

    I think it was Pierre Gauthier who, while discussing that subject, explained that these carried a monetary value, and that if a player insisted on one, then the monetary amount of their deal would drop correspondingly during negotiations. In practice, we didn’t really see that.

    The Canadiens free agents from the 2009 summer all seemed to receive very generous offers, more than they could have expected elsewhere. Mike Cammalleri was famously rebuffed by the Leafs, who thought he was too small, before being showered with millions by Bob Gainey. Brian Gionta, conflicted by the amount and term offered by Mr. Gainey, but wanting to stay in New Jersey, spoke in confidence with Lou Lamoriello about what he should do, to which apparently the Devils’ GM responded by laughing and urging him to take the offer while it was there.

    Based on these supposedly non-apocryphal anecdotes, we can see that the Canadiens were offering at the top end of what the market did, and tacked on a NTC for good measure. Which did nothing to enhance the tradability of some assets in the fold. The Mike Cammalleri deal, which might have brought in a greater haul had he been shopped around, might be explained by the fact that Calgary was one of the few destinations he would waive his veto for. There was no market to speak of, because of the NTC.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-canadiens-should-have-gotten-more.html

    So the new administration seems to have given in to Travis Moen at the eleventh hour, before he reached UFA status on July 1, but since then they’ve managed to avoid doing so. For fans who think that players are too pampered nowadays, and have little or no external motivation to perform, this should provide some level of comfort.

    It’s laudable that Mr. Bergevin managed to sign Brandon Prust without the NTC, which previously had been the figurative ‘free oil changes’ or ‘bottomless coffee cup’ of the sales pitch, thrown in without much resistance, as part of the package deal.

    Also, when detractors of Carey Price correctly point out that he has no internal competition for his job, and therefore has little incentive to ‘push himself’, the lack of trade protection may ultimately deliver this effect. The thought of Winnipeg or Edmonton might be enough to spur him to work harder, if that had been an issue before.

    • Sam Boni says:

      Mornin’ Norm. You made me look things up in the dictionary again…thanks!
      Dun should note that you’re another one posting at 5 am, from a place that can be alluded to as “Canada’s Botany Bay for Conservatives.”

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • The Dude says:

      We all know what happened when Jaro Halak was pushing Price.., Carey crumbled like cookies! What Price is going through as a rich young man with entitlement issues is gonna cost all of us and the ONLY way to really fix this is to wake him up by shopping him around for all to see. Baseball would be a good off season Sport for Carey and he says he’s not ,but he should be watching the play-off performances of Crawford, Quick ,Rask and Lundquist. A Dominatrix would help him more than a new Goalie coach….whens he getting married ? :)

      • habs_54321 says:

        i find it weird that carey refuses to watch any playoff games i remember last year he said the same thing (i dont watch any games other than the ones i play) i think he should be watching his elite goalie peers in the highest level of competition it could inspire him and get him to creatively tweek his technique.

  18. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Meanwhile, there’s still a little hockey left to play.

    Can I reprise yesterday’s suggestion (from Maritime Ron?) that the Hawks have no chance unless they return to dump-and-chase? Carrying it over the blue-line just isn’t happening, hence no scoring. With the dump, they get to bang the D instead of being at the receiving end. Don’t the Hawks have enough size to engage that way?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I really wonder how much the final is a product of attrition. Looks to me like Toews is playing hurt and Hossa wasn’t able to even play last game.

      Nothing against the Bruins (well you know what I mean) they are playing well, but their team appears to have stood up to the physical challenges of NHL playoffs better than the Hawks.

      I hope I am wrong and the Hawks can get back in this series.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Gmorning Burly

        Back in 2011 when they won the Cup, the Bruins guys were the first to admit that they were lucky concerning multiple major injuries vs. the expected normal nicks and bruises.
        Injuries are big and we’ll only find out when it’s all over.
        An example was last year after Philly lost in the Conference semi finals, 7 players that played needed surgery for all kinds of different stuff

    • Cal says:

      Sorry, no replays. ;)
      Hawks need to play smarter and make the Gooins slow D skate a lot and get hit a lot. Perhaps, to save the Cup and Camelot, the Hawks need a hero- Launcelot?

  19. Lafleurguy says:

    Colorado, as everyone knows is picking first. Could that have been influenced by Greg Sherman trading away last year’s 1st and another year’s 2nd to obtain Semyon Varlamov from Washington? Washington used that 1st to get promising Filip Forsberg. (Washington moved Forsberg to Nashville for Martin Erat and Michael Latta). Two other top five draft-order teams did not have a first round pick last year, viz. Nashville and Carolina. Having two first round picks last year did not deter both Tampa Bay and Buffalo from dropping in the standings in the recently completed 48 game season. Lightning chose Slater Koekkoek (11th,D) and Andrei Vasilevski (19th, goalie!). Buffalo chose Mikhail Grigorenko (12th, C), and Zemgus Girgensons (14th, C). By virtue of improving their team with three consecutive first overall picks, Edmonton has dropped all the way to 7th in this year’s draft.

    I’m going to go and check if my bud Sam Boni will resurface.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Chris says:

      Koekkoek and Vasilievski could very well launch the Lightning in 3-4 years. Both were very good picks, in my opinion.

      What people forget is that the guys drafted this year are not going to make an impact for 2-3 years, and more likely 3-5 years.

      Top-5 picks have the best chance of making an impact. And even there, it is often not as big as people sometimes like to believe. Taylor Hall only just broke out to point-per-game status in his third season. Tyler Seguin is still struggling with consistency.

      From the 2009 draft, the top 4 guys (Tavares, Hedman, Duchene, E. Kane) have pretty much established themselves now but some of the lower picks are only just now getting into the league. Ekman-Larsson and Kadri had their breakthrough performances this season, while Brayden Schenn is still working up to his talent level slowly.

      None of this year’s guys are can’t miss players, a la Stamkos or Crosby, to become impact players in their first year. This is a deep draft, but there is no guaranteed superstar. Instead, it is a draft packed with a lot of good to great players but it will probably take 5 years or so to figure out who achieved that potential.

      • Sam Boni says:

        Absolutely love the data and analyses you post, Chris.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

      • krob1000 says:

        That is why it was so surprising that Galchenyuk produced right away…albeit he had three separate stints (he was hot, then ice cold, then heated up again). The fact he did step ina nd produce right away is on par with wat the more elite players tend to do …factor in the time off, the rehab,etc and his impact puts on pace (very early…like sayinga guy is on pace for 162 homers after he hits on the first game)…but I think people as much as they like Galchenyuk don;t really appreciate how good of a player the Habs got…..he should have been number 1 many believe.

        • Chris says:

          I agree. Galchenyuk had a very good season.

          The only quibble I have is that I think too many people under-rate how good Nail Yakupov was this past season. 17 goals and 31 points in 14:33 of ice time is very good production given that Yakupov is significantly smaller than Galchenyuk and has to adjust more to playing against bigger, faster players in the NHL.

          I fully expect Yakupov is going to be a 40-50 goal scorer in the NHL by his 3rd NHL season. That kid is a fantastic sniper, and Montreal could have been just as happy had he fallen into their laps as they are with Galchenyuk, who I actually think might end up as a winger long-term.

          I think Nugent-Hopkins will bounce back from his sophomore slump, and if they put Hall and Yakupov on his wings next season that line is going to produce a ton of points.

          • krob1000 says:

            I don’t discount Yakupov…but a center is usually more valuable in the end. Galchenyuk should have the ability to make his linemantes far better…Yakupov will be an elite sniper for sure. I am thinking something like a Gaborik. Not sure if he has Bure ability…maybe..but Gaborik as good as he is with his 40-50 goal paces…give me the 90 point center who can turn two 15 goal guys into 30 goal guys and play against top competition and play a two way game. That is of course if Galchenyuk proves to be that…at this stage it is all potential but Yakupov was as ready as can be…Galchenyuk missed a year, Yak got better minutes (I am guessing) and was in a pressureless environment as they are in total rebuild. When you consider all of the smaller factors collectively you have to think Galchenyuk out performed him this season …or at least I do. I think you take the center personally but not knocking Yakupov…I think he is a gem…I really don’t see that duo being a step back from Mackinnon/Drouin/Barkov….will be close anyway.

          • Chris says:

            I think Yakupov was better than any of the guys that are in this year’s draft. He’s bordering on Stamkos territory with his skating and shooting ability.

            Galchenyuk has to first prove that he IS a centre. He dominated as a winger in the OHL, and his best production in the NHL came as a winger.

            People point to Tyler Seguin as an example of a guy that played the wing for a year, but Seguin is actually still playing the wing now that he is in his third season. His defensive shortcomings and faceoff woes have made him expendable as the Bruins prefer Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley to him.

            Seguin took 303 faceoffs in his rookie season, took 106 last season and his 45 in 48 games this past season trends to less than 80 this season. He will probably move to centre in 2 or 3 years, but they have no need of him to be there with Bergeron and Krejci excelling in those roles on the top-6.

            In Montreal, Plekanec is an ideal second line centre. Galchenyuk is fighting Eller and Desharnais for the other centre positions, and he’s the only one of the three that has shown he can excel as a winger. That makes me inclined to believe he could end up there for another couple of years.

  20. Maritime Ron says:

    It looks like it’s going to be a wild 7-11 days starting anywhere from June 24th-28th:

    – 48 hours after the last Cup final game – and that could be anywhere from June 24th-28th, that is when the Compliance or regular buyout period begins until July 4th.
    Who will get tossed into the UFA pool?

    – June 30th Draft Day. This one could see both a lot of movement and trades as this is the first time that teams can retain up to 50% of Salary/ Cap Hit in a trade.
    There may also be movement of pending 2014 UFAs (Jordan Staal last year) if teams feel they can’t sign the player or if cap issues are a concern.

    – Official Free Agency signings start July 5th this year, yet for the first time, teams can meet the pending UFAs up to 5 days prior to the date. There shouldn’t be any secrets and the higher profile players will probably sign on that day and not freeze up the market for the rest.

    – The RFA situation could also become interesting with potential holdouts or Arbitration requests. We’ll see if anyone presents an Offer Sheet this year.

  21. Lafleurguy says:

    Vincent Damphousse is a celebrity but it’s too bad his personal dilemma had to run as a headline on HIO. It would have been better presented as a secondary story via a link.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  22. Maritime Ron says:

    Interesting little Draft development in Patrickland

    “…After a week of internal meetings, Avalanche brass came to a conclusion: Seth Jones WON’T be their pick. Instead, it could be any one of three forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or Alexander Barkov.

    “IF we do pick first, we’re leaning more toward one of those three forwards,” Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told The Denver Post.

    http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_23489308/avalanche-pass-seth-jones-take-forward-joe-sakic

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Kind of wished we’d had “tanked” one more season. Those are four beauts, eh?

      • Strummer says:

        LOL- We can’t even tank the right way!

        ______________________________________________________
        “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

      • krob1000 says:

        I think Galchenyuk would be inthe discussion for number 1 if he were eigible in this years draft too though. He was the best palyer in last years draft in many peoples opinion. HE showed last year his hockey IQ, vision, stick skills, passing,etc are already elite. If he kept his shot down 6 inches he would have added 5-10 goals……I have never seen a guy miss over the net as much as him…not sure what it was bit the nets are the same height so it may jsut be alittle nerve, may be trying tobe too precise and giving goalies too much credit …but hemissed the top left corner a good 25 times on absolute laser shots……he willl become a guy who can score as well as dish…he is every bit the potential player those guys are.

    • Ed says:

      as we were discussing here a few weeks back, Roy has a very good feel for the kind of player Mackinnon will be.
      the 3 zone, work his tail off (on and off the ice), totally loyal to the coach and the team Mackinnon, is preferable to Roy over Jones, who did not impress at the Memorial Cup.
      landing Mackinnon frees up the Avalanche to deal either Stastny or O’reilly, and that trade can easily land them a young, top 4 d-man.

      Jones looks a lot like Jay Boumeester to me, as I’ve said previously. A great young talent who will have a 15 year NHL career, but I don’t think he will have the same impact as Mackinnon long term.
      Even Jones’ physical conditioning at the Combine was very disappointing. At the weigh in, he looked like a young man who is not engaged in his off-ice training nearly enough. I know Mackinnon works very hard in the gym, and off-ice training is a huge factor in determining which young players develop well.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Those are great insights, Ed, most valuable for some of us too far away to be able to follow anything other than the NHL.

        With athletes (in any sport) like Jones, would you say they can go one of two ways? 1) the lack of application indicates a poor attitude – AVOID; or 2) talent currently affords him the luxury of cruising, but when he hits the NHL, with talent equalised and a demanding coach, there is much blossom-potential.

        What scouts are paid to discern, yes?

        • Ed says:

          all things being equal, I think you can learn more about a hockey players’ character in the gym than on the ice.

          Subban trains twice a day in the gym during the off season.

          Galchenyuk is known as a “gym rat”.

          Gallagher’s father is a strength and conditioning coach in the WHL. A big reason why Gallagher is already an NHL player at 5’8 and 21 years old.

          • Chris says:

            Brendan Gaunce is one of the biggest rink rats around. So was Adam Payerl. Both were good OHL players that will struggle to have meaningful NHL careers.

            For every gym rat that makes the NHL and does well, there are about 50 that flame out.

            I read far more into their on-ice work ethic than their gym work ethic. MacKinnon is a ferocious worker on the ice, and that will do him well in the NHL.

            But when I look at other phenoms in recent years, work ethic was often a slam against them. I mentioned a conversation I had with a defenceman that played against Stamkos throughout junior hockey, from Pee Wee on up. He said that Stamkos was absolutely lazy throughout his minor hockey and junior hockey careers. There were of course flashes, enough to convince scouts that he could work when it was needed. But largely, he went through the motions to get to the NHL without getting hurt.

            Mario Lemieux was infamous for his horrible diet and conditioning, being pretty much a chain smoker in junior. Drew Doughty was prone to massive weight swings during his time here in Guelph, not really applying himself to the gym until his last season in the OHL.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            How times have changed. Guy Lafleur and Gilbert Perreault used to have a smoke between periods. Beers after practise was the norm. Training camps were a place where players got into shape after putting on beer pounds over the summer.
            Combines? The only time that word was ever used was,” how much tomato juice do I combine with beer at 8:00AM?”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Man I love this site.
            When it’s good it’s fantastic.
            Cheers

      • Chris says:

        It is not at all uncommon for young players to not be dedicated to off-ice training while junior players. These kids have very busy lives: they play hockey, they go to school, they have to keep up with their friends and family, etc.

        Nathan McKinnon lives at home, is a hard worker and what you see is what you get. He probably won’t bulk up a whole lot over his current frame.

        Seth Jones is living with billets, far away from his own friends and family. He is 6’4″, meaning that filling out his frame will take a lot longer. Jones has more of a potential ceiling in terms of his strength and conditioning.

        Off-ice training is, in my opinion, very over-rated. Every year we see guys that just rock the combine and then never make the NHL. One of the laziest OHL players in recent years was John Mcfarland. He tried for exceptional player status at 15, was considered a potential phenom at 16 and then saw his results get worse and worse due to a horrible work ethic.

        Yet at the combine, he was sitting there with stellar results in every department.

        MacKinnon will be a very good player, but I don’t see him as an elite offensive force in the NHL. I think he’s going to be a very good two-way centre, perhaps in the mold of Patrice Bergeron. I’m just not quite as sold as everybody else because of the ridiculous talent level he had on his wings (Frk and Drouin).

        Jones could very well be another Jay Bouwmeester, although I think he’s a bit more offensively inclined than Bouwmeester, whose laid-back personality kept him from reaching his full potential.

        I’m not convinced that either guy is going to have the long-term impact that many here seem to believe they will.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      What’s with you guys and Twilight, all up at 5 this morning? You need to leave the worrying about drafting, trading and making the playoffs next season to the professionals and get your beauty sleep!

  23. SlovakHab says:

    So who and where is that right-handed defenceman that is big, bad, can shoot, hit, fight, won’t make mistakes in his end and is up for grabs?

  24. thehabsfan29 says:

    Was thinking about the whole letang situation and thought to myself. 7 Mil per season for letang is insane. I would give him 5.5 at most. I Can easily see the pens trading him though.

    I Think the only way the habs could land him (if we were to go for him) is if we include collberg and/or thrower into the deal.

    Maybe 1st,2nd, Thrower or/& Collberg for him
    (pens traded staal for a decent prospect,1st and suter) And the pens have pretty solid D Prospects that should crack their lineup soon.

    Would he be worth it?

    I also think Bergevin should really try and see the asking price for Erik Johnson from the Avs. I think he would be a perfect fit for the habs

    Thoughts?

    • Timo says:

      Don’t know… Letang is soff. While he would be a good replacement for Markov of old, the price would probably too steep. I’d rather Habs landed a tough mofo or two to bash skulls in front of the net.

      • vegas says:

        I’m with you , big mofo righthanded D

      • thehabsfan29 says:

        +1

        I would rather MB maybe make a package to land O’Brien (Or Wilson) & Johnson from the avs then overspend on letang

        If we can get letang for cheap then I would go for it (I Would do Thrower,1st,2nd for letang & that’s if the pens would accept) but only if he signs for 5.5 Mil At most.

      • Habbergasted says:

        I agree, I would rather have Subban over Letang, and I dont see Montreal being able to juggle both those contracts.

      • twilighthours says:

        Letang is not soft.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Twi! Are you my side of the Pond, posting at 5.40am?!

          Or did you get up for a sandwich?

          Agree that Letang is not soft. However, since we have a star offensive Dman already, and maybe 1-2 in the pipeline, shouldn’t the priority be the crease-clearing, stay-home guy (whom yes, 29 other teams are chasing)?

          I would prefer spending Letang money on TWO unexciting but large/hostile Dmen.

          • twilighthours says:

            Atlantic time + 2 year old = up early!

            I’d pay 14m to Subban and Letang in a heartbeat. You wouldn’t even need a 5-6 defenseman.

            But I agree, a big oaf would be good.

            Just taking umbrage with the notion that not a big hitter means “soft.”

      • nunacanadien says:

        Isn’t that what Montreal’s all about? Being soft and laden with washed up veterans? Letang would be a natural fit.

    • The_Truth says:

      How is 7 million insane for Letang? That is definitely market price for him. He is One of the top, if not the top offensive defensman in the game and is a huge plus player the last 3 years. He is a norris finalist and easily could have won it if he wasn’t injured. Letang is a great talent and one of the top Dmen in the league. He deserves and will get 7 million per season next year.

      To think the Pens would trade him for a late 1st, a 2nd and a 2nd or 3rd tier prospect is not being realistic at all. It’s the same as trading Subban for the same return.

    • twilighthours says:

      So letang at $7mil is insane, yet you want to trade for him?

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Would make a deal for him in a heartbeat, although I don’t think the one you propose would get it done. Beaulieu or Dietz in place of Thrower might cinch it. I liken Letang to Scott Niedermayer and Eric Karlsson: terrific skater, heady with the puck, superb PP quarterback and someone who gets the job done defensively through quickness and positioning. By the way, he skates backwards better than most do forwards.

  25. habs_54321 says:

    apparently briere is getting bought out after all and bryzgalov is not getting bought out, gotta say im really suprised about briere being bought out he only has 2 years left on his deal which he is paid 3 million and then 2 million, the cap is 6.5 but a team like nj who has cap space but needs to penny pinch should jump all over him (he’s being paid less than DD for crying out loud!!)

    • The_Truth says:

      Briere had a no trade and wasn’t willing to waive it. Hard to imagine there would be many suiters for him, who weren’t bottom teams.

      I’m sure Holmgren would have liked to buy out Bryz, but it was too much money for the owner Snider to throw away.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I don’t actually remember, but wasn’t it clear when Briere left Buffalo that he simply did not wish to play in Montreal?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Maybe his agent will call the Penguins, His kids are in school and it seems he doesn’t want to move them.

      Habfan17

  26. Stevie.Ray says:

    Any possible buyouts the Habs should consider?

    Bryan Allen. Big body bottom pair defenseman that could be gotten for cheap.

    R.J. Umberger. Need a top 6 forward that can help out with scoring with Ryder not returning. Can play 3rd line if kids excel.

    Dany Heatley. Could really help the Habs in the scoring department.

    Martin Havlat. Risky but can still score to some degree.

    Niklas Hjarmalsson. Solid big depth d-man.

    Ville Leino.

    Anton Volchenkov. Big bruising depth defenseman.

    Brad Richards. If we went after him, and he excels, he could be a decent top line center to replace DD.

    Brooks Laich. Third line secondary scoring.

    • H.Upmann says:

      don’t forget Vinny Lecavalier! If Tampa buys him out, I wonder if there’s going to be discussions in upper management about luring him to Hab land.

      • Habbergasted says:

        Looks like Lecavalier to Montreal is going to be a big topic this off season. Again.

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        Sign Vinny for cheap.
        Trade DD for a 2nd/3rd line winger. Simmonds?

        Pac – Vinny – Gally11
        Gally27 – Pleks – Gio
        Bork – Eller – Simmonds
        Prust – White – Moen

        Sign Volchenkov

        Markov Subban
        Gorges Diaz
        Emelin Volchenkov
        Boullion Tinordi
        Beaulieu Drewiske

        • Habbergasted says:

          I like how you suggest to sign Lecavalier for “cheap” and immediately make him the number one center. Montreal would have to overpay for him just like anyone else they try to sign. The numbers Montreal would have to give him would compare to what he makes now.

          • Stevie.Ray says:

            I assume that players getting bought out will be willing to take a much lower contract to play where they want. They’ll be getting two pay cheques.

          • HammerHab says:

            What makes you think Vinny wants to play in Montreal? 100x the media presence as Tampa, far from his home, and 100x colder too!

            ———————————–

            It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

        • vegas says:

          and you think Flyers would trade Simmonds for DD???
          I’d add a 2nd and Diaz and still I think Flyers say no

        • The_Truth says:

          Simmonds is a very good power forward and only 24 years old. He is in the same class as Patches. Why would the Flyers trade him for DD? It’s like trading Patches for Tyler Ennis out of Buffalo.
          There is no way.

          Eller straight up for Simmonds would be a big NO as well. I don’t even think Pleks would get him.

        • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

          DD for Simmonds = the unemployment line for Holmgren.

    • Habbergasted says:

      Aside from -maybe- Allen, I wouldn’t want any of these additions, including the rollercoaster that is Heatley. When hes on he plays great, when hes off he drags down the team around him. No thanks.

    • Volchenkov and Laich — neither woudl be insanely expensive, and both would fill big gaps on our team.

      IMO, guys like Heatley and Richards are best drafted, rather than signed as UFAs — they just cost too darn much.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • habs_54321 says:

      id love to have umberger, i doubt he’d be bought out though columbus has cap space

    • Chris says:

      Why in the heavens is Hjalmarsson on this list? There was talk that he had surpassed Seabrook as the team’s best defensive defenceman this season.

      Chicago gains $2.2 M in cap space by amnesty buyout of Rostislav Olesz. If they buyout anybody else, my bet would be Steve Montador, who they waived back in March. He has two years at $2.75 M left (vs. 1 at $3.5 M for Hjalmarsson) and the Blackhawks clearly have no need of him.

      There is absolutely zero chance that Hjalmarsson is bought out this summer. If Stan Bowman can’t trade Hjalmarsson, he is incompetent. You keep him, and if you don’t think you can sign him then you deal him at the trade deadline next season for a premium.

    • Timo says:

      I am with Front on this one – get Volchenkov.

    • vegas says:

      Allen shoots and plays left
      no thanks
      Big, mean and right D and nothing else

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hey Stevie, nice post, and I like lots of those (but haven’t checked out the price list!).

      I would drop guys beginning with H, but very interested in Umberger (who is physical) and your last four. Volchenkov will presumably have many suitors, but he’s just what we need. Loved Richards in the 2004 playoffs, and would love to think he could find his second wind in Montreal (wasn’t he a fan growing up?) — but, he might be a spent force, or, just couldn’t play for Torts.

  27. habddiction says:

    hi,i’m new to the sight , i read it daily, enjoy all of you immensely,i even have my favorites, looking forward to a new season and participating regularly, i admire the passion and love of the game that emanates from most of the posts, and the camaraderie, there is nothing better than loving the same team and sharing the joys and at times heartaches together…. go habs go

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    I still say, the biggest lose to the Montreal organization was letting Doug Jarvis get away. He is a great teacher on how to develop center men who can win 75% of face offs.!!!

    • Chris says:

      Doug Jarvis coached Hamilton from 2003-2005, and then was an assistant coach from 2005-2009.

      From 2005 to 2009, here are how the Canadiens’ centres did at faceoffs:

      2005-06
      Saku Koivu – 53.8%
      Tomas Plekanec – 50.3%
      Mike Ribeiro – 44.7%
      Radek Bonk – 47.4%
      Steve Begin – 50.1 %

      2006-07
      Saku Koivu – 54.9%
      Radek Bonk – 49.8%
      Tomas Plekanec – 48.3%
      Maxim Lapierre – 45.2%

      2007-08
      Tomas Plekanec – 49.5%
      Saku Koivu – 52.3%
      Bryan Smolinski – 51.8%
      Maxim Lapierre – 49.2%
      Kyle Chipchura – 43.8%

      2008-09
      Tomas Plekanec – 50.6%
      Saku Koivu – 54.1%
      Maxim Lapierre – 53.2%
      Robert Lang – 48.8%
      Glen Metropolit – 46.5%
      Kyle Chipchura – 43.9%

      The only players that showed consistent improvement or excellence during Jarvis’ tenure were Koivu and Lapierre. Koivu was brutal on faceoffs early in his career, but seemed to start getting away with some heavy cheating as he became a veteran, allowing him to start excelling in that regard.

      Lapierre was developing into a nice checking line forward, but he couldn’t live up to the hype (a la Higgins) and was miscast, hastening his departure. I still maintain he was a perfect fourth line player (a la Paille) but was not quite mature enough for the third line when they move him up.

      Nobody wins 75% of their draws in the NHL. Since the 2004-05 lockout, only 7 players have even broke 60% on a season:

      Yanic Perreault (twice)
      Rod Brind’Amour
      Kris Draper
      Scott Nichol
      David Steckel
      Manny Malhotra
      Patrice Bergeron

      Yanic Perreault holds the highest total post-lockout, at 62.8% in 2006-07.

      • twilighthours says:

        Should his results with the bruins not count in the argument?

        • Chris says:

          Jarvis joined the Bruins just before the start of the 2010-11 season. Here’s how the Bruins centres fared the two years before Jarvis joined the team for the 2010-11 season:

          2008-09:
          Patrice Bergeron – 54.5%
          David Krejci – 50.3%
          Chris Kelly (Ottawa) – 47.4%
          Gregory Campbell (Florida) – 52.4%
          Rich Peverley (Atlanta) – 52.4%

          2009-10:
          Patrice Bergeron – 58.0%
          David Krejci – 50.7%
          Chris Kelly (Ottawa) – 45.6%
          Gregory Campbell (Florida) – 46.3%
          Rich Peverley (Atlanta) – 54.2%

          After Jarvis came into their life:

          2010-11
          Patrice Bergeron – 56.6%
          David Krejci – 48.7%
          Chris Kelly (Ottawa) – 50.1%
          Chris Kelly (Boston) – 53.7%
          Gregory Campbell – 51.7%
          Rich Peverley (Atlanta) – 55.5%
          Rich Peverley (Boston) 58.3%

          2011-12
          Patrice Bergeron – 59.3%
          David Krejci – 52.1%
          Chris Kelly – 51.8%
          Gregory Campbell – 50.7%
          Rich Peverley – 61.1%

          Jarvis has probably helped those guys in some respects, but the Bruins have almost certainly been rewarded with sticking with a group of veteran centres. Veterans are allowed to cheat more than younger players, and the Bruins’ faceoff reputation lets them get away with more than any team in the NHL. Other teams have complained about this for years now, particularly with Patrice Bergeron.

          In this playoffs, one of the big complaints has been the use of Tyler Seguin (48.9% on the 45 draws he took in 48 games) on big draws who goes in to intentionally get thrown out, allowing Chris Kelly to cheat as much as he wants because no linesman wants to give a penalty by throwing out the second centre.

          I’m not convinced that coaching has been responsible so much as that the Bruins centres are simply good at that particularly facet of the game. David Krejci might be the one notable exception, as he is still relatively young (27 years old) and took a noticeable jump in his faceoff performance this season. The other guys were already good at it, and are simply demonstrating the typical improvement of players that have been doing that job for years, a la Saku Koivu.

          • twilighthours says:

            Those numbers tell me a different story.

          • Chris says:

            If you look for a story, you will find it. The numbers are ambiguous enough that you can make a convincing case in either direction, depending on what you want to show.

            Which was sort of the point I was trying to make. Jarvis might or might not make a difference. He certainly didn’t with Montreal with perhaps the exception of Lapierre, and his first season in Boston saw the top two faceoff guys (Krejci and Bergeron) either regress or have no change. Kelly had already shown a massive improvement on his previous season while playing in Ottawa (5% jump), while Peverley has been showing consistent improvement his whole career, including before he got to Boston. So was it Jarvis’ effect or was it simply the typical improvement that one sees as guys gain experience?

            Ian’s claim was that Jarvis could make a substantial difference. There is almost no statistical evidence to support that claim. Any improvement due to Jarvis would be 1-2%, at most. And that is convoluted in with other factors.

  29. Sportfan says:

    Out of all the Canadian teams in the league, which team has the best chance to win the cup/break the drought in Canada? For fun put the teams in Order from 1-7!

    1 Vancouver
    2 Ottawa
    3 Montreal
    4 Edmonton
    5 Toronto
    6 Winnipeg
    7 Calgary

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  30. Stevie.Ray says:

    Corbin Knight says that his UND teammate Danny Kristo, could surprise next Sunday in Newark.

    I don’t even know what that could possibly mean.

  31. Stevie.Ray says:

    Holmgren has told Bryzgalov’s agent that Bryz will not be bought out. I assume that just means this summer.

  32. <----- MR. PERFECT says:

    Rumor has ROY picking Halifax Mooseheads Goalie KELLY in the 1st round. that should read Goalie Fucale ….

  33. habstrinifan says:

    My 30 thoughts!

    #1 Damphousse looks real angry in that picture.
    #2 Who is cuter between Mavid the gramma and the new little
    darling.
    #3 Quenville is getting real desperate.. He has the FBI digging up
    Michigan looking for HOSSA!
    #4 Actually Michigan is really trying to lay seige to Detroit.. the
    middle ages way..undermining so it caves in on itself.
    #5 More Americans trusted Bush #2 than they do Obama #1 now.
    #6 Once HABS have hired their goalie coach they should turn their
    attention to a face-off coach. I am sure one of the reasons Price
    Price has not reached his potential is because we lose too many
    face-offs in our zone.
    #7 Why is ‘lose’ pronounced ‘oooooooozzzzzzzzeeeeee’ but ‘rose’
    isnt?
    #8 What does it mean that P.K gushes over Molson and that other
    guy but not ‘you know who’ and that other guy’. Just asking!
    #9 If the Canadiens start next season with the followin top THREE
    lines: Lecavalier/DD/Pacioretty; Prust/Gally/Gally; and
    Bickell/Plekanec/Eller are we having a Summit during the
    Conference finals.
    #10 Would you play Tinordi/Subban as #1 pair in training camp pre-
    season next year.
    #11 If Bournival makes the team from camp or soon after would you
    all acknowledge my genius or do I have to keep coming up with
    these profound thinking marathons.
    #12 Who will win in a fight.. Chara or King Kong. I say the APE wins.
    See what I did there.. bet you didnt.
    #13 How do you keep an HIO poster glued to his computer?
    Promise them 30 thoughts.. and……..

  34. florida habs says:

    I agree that someone to push Price is a good thing, but it is not Bernier, he wants to land in a place where he is #1. that’s why he wants out of LA. any other suggestions?

    • Habfan17 says:

      Ray Emery. He can also be the tough guy!

      Habfan17

      • habstrinifan says:

        I wouldnt mind Emery.. but I kinda like and respect Budaj.

        • Habbergasted says:

          Budaj was given his chance to shine when he started OT after Price went down. He could even have provided the boys with a huge momentum shift in that series… but we know how that ended. I wouldn’t mind seeing Emery as our backup.

    • Chris says:

      Exactly. Dean Lombardi is trying to do well by Jonathan Bernier and give him an opportunity.

      This was the same thing that was done with Jaroslav Halak (Carey Price), Ilya Bryzgalov (Jean-Sebastien Giguere), Vesa Toskala (Evgeni Nabokov), Miikka Kiprusoff (Nabokov/Toskala), Dominik Hasek (Ed Belfour), Mike Smith (Marty Turco), etc. in recent years. All were guys playing behind players that their respective franchises had tabbed as their #1 and their respective GM’s gave the back-up a chance to thrive elsewhere.

      Bernier is being given that chance now. I can see the same situation with Malcolm Subban in about 5 years time unless the Bruins let Rask go. And we’re seeing the mess that was created in Vancouver by them not letting Schneider go elsewhere.

      Having two guys pushing for that #1 spot doesn’t often work in today’s NHL. I love goalie platoons (50/30 splits), but you need the second guy to not have #1 aspirations. This is what has made Johan Hedberg the league’s best #2 goalie for over a decade. He can play very well when needed, and he was always comfortable in his skin as a #2.

      • florida habs says:

        I agree Chris, it is ok to push but there needs to be a number 1/number 2 scenario, if your starter fails then you have someone to step up.

    • Timo says:

      We ship Price to LA for Bernier and Penner, keep Budaj and everyone’s happy.

  35. habstrinifan says:

    While I think the jury is still out on MB as a GM, I must say I understand Timo’s lack of confidence in what management has served up as ‘team construction’ in Mtl in the recent past, including 2013.

    Maybe we can get a hint of how resourceful MB and his staff will be by how they try to solve one of our very persistent and pressing problems of the past few years.

    Face-off competency.

    What have we done in the past. Well please correct me if I am wrong but we have gone out and obtained people like P Noke… and Halpern etc, who have questionable contributions in other areas of the games… for their supposed face-off skills.
    And what did we get in return.. mostly a bench player who has not played sufficient game minutes for his teammates to become sufficiently acquainted with his technique to take advantage of his presence.

    I spent the last hour or so reading about Bergeron and also Richards and their face-off battles. Both place a lot of emphasis on tricks of the trade which they are constantly honing and changing and which MUST BE part of the knowledge base of the other teammates on the ice. Meaning the other players watch how Bergeron (or Richard) lines up for the draw, where his hands are, his feet etc and ‘expect a certain result’ and are ready to react to properly ‘win possession’.
    Bergeron in particular stresses the ‘familiarity’ with his teammates have with his techniques. He alsp pays tribute to his Acadian-Bathurts-Titan coach from 2001-2003 (was it Paiement or Couturier) for instilling the ‘art’ of the face-off in him.

    We all see how important the face-off is from these playoffs. I think we can all agree now that there is no place for a ‘part time’ player to be your go to face-off guy. That you need a regular centre who takes regular shifts and who is integral to the team and familiar with his teammates as they are with them. In other words no more ‘parachuting’ some borderline player just for taking face-offs… while losing all the other skills of a ‘regular’.

    MB (and MT) need to identify some of our ‘core’ youth and do what was done with Bergeron… teach them how to take face-offs.

    From reading, I cannot tell who was specifically the coach who made Bergeron the face-off king. I suspect it was Paiement. But Coturier was also on the staff then. Maybe MB should put in a call. These are two Quebec league people so it will be a plus. Bring one of them on board and improve our team in this specific area for the long haul… and with a player who is a ‘frontline’ contributor to our team.

    Luckily Halpern and Noke.. are UFA’S.. so we arent stuck with them. Time to do what Timo is asking… identify your weakness and dont go junk-yard picking for a solution… put in the work and make one or two of your front line youth, capable face-off artists.

    Let’s see what MB does. The need is still there.
    Maybe he can impress Timo.

    In today’s hockey world you dont only build through the draft or smart trades/acquisitions. You have to develop for your team.

    • Mark C says:

      Maybe he can impress Timo. Haha. Nothing could impress that sad sack.

      Montreal went from 25th to 17th so apparently MT and MB are already making an improvement.

    • mrhabby says:

      Iam sure the core youth has been identified….and why not give these guys a chance at actually growing a team…shameful.

    • Habfan17 says:

      That is definitely been a big problem for a few years now, winning faceoffs and hitting the net with shots. If the Habs were better there then maybe the size would be less of an issue. I still say they need a couple of bigger sandpaper types though.

      Habfan17

    • <----- MR. PERFECT says:

      Because there were only 48 games that’s why they went from 25th to 17th

    • Habfan17 says:

      I think they need to use Galcheyuk at centre this year, on the 3rd line. The Habs don’t win faceoffs and he needs to develop those skills. he won’t do that on the wing. he will also learn how other centres cheat etc. very valuable when he is the #1 centre

      Habfan17

    • JUST ME says:

      There is only one way to stop doubting about the Habs management and that is wining the cup. Even then some will find a way to complain. Marc Bergevin has done a stellar job so far considering what he had in the organization.

      He will be remembered if only for him building back the farm team on the coaching side. I find it very unfair to judge him negatively after only one season and one great season. Just do not know what it takes for you to think positively.

      Anyone who wants to find something wrong will.

      Did you really expect Bergevin or anyone else to be able to fix everythinhg that was wrong with the team ?

      Did you expect the habs to perform as they did in year 1 with M.B. ?

      I thought so…

      • nunacanadien says:

        I see Coors America has managed to lobotmize all of us hab fans into thinking mediocre is great. Yes let’s keep signing those small, wimpy soft players, cause Emelin will make up for it with a few hits while the team sucks most of the game and season. Let’s watch as this bunch can skate fast in the first period and then sit back and watch the lead slip away. Mediocre Habs, yes, lobotomize us once more!

    • Chris says:

      I’m not sure you can teach face-offs. A lot of it comes from experience, but some of it is just innate. You’ve got to be strong, quick and have exceptional hand-eye coordination.

      Montreal has tried Guy Carbonneau, Doug Jarvis, Kirk Muller and Yannic Perreault as face-off consultants or coaches in the past, with little to no improvement seen from their influence. If those four guys couldn’t coach people at the skill, I’m not sure it is an easily coachable skill.

  36. frontenac1 says:

    Hey,the guys at Sportsnet and TSN think every player could end up in TO. Eventually they”ll get it right.

    • Habilis says:

      Sportsnet makes me dry-heave.

      You mean they took a break from their “The Blue Jays are the best team in history with a losing record” coverage?

      Color me shocked.

  37. PrimeTime says:

    @Oz
    “Reverse Engineering”. Luv it!!!

    @Maritime Ron
    Do you ever consistently watch other goalies play? If you think Price is not a #1 on a good team then you’re just following your own bias and own “reverse reasoning”. I’ll choose the opinions of NHL pros over a fans opinion any day !!!

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Yea, I have been watching Rask and Crawford this year and watched Quick this year and last. Watched Ward and Patrick….
      Here’s the bottom line, son.
      Perform!

  38. Ian Cobb says:

    I have finally lost my interest in the finals. Only thing left for me to cheer about was that Boston would loose big time. But that ain’t going to happen now! So this season is done for me.

    Now onto the start of the new season for us, and the Oct. HIO fan Summit!!
    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  39. Maritime Ron says:

    Kypreos reporting that the Jonathan Bernier landing spots could be Toronto/Philly and the Islanders are also in the mix…

    Here’s not wanting to start an HIO war :-) , yet what follows here has nothing to do with a lack of respect for ‘Price Potential’ or backup Budaj, yet it would have been interesting if Montreal would have been in the mix or actually acquired him.

    Yes, we all know and have been told on numerous occasions from several ‘experts’ that Carey has “All the Tools” and “Great Potential” and that he has excelled and has been a winner in every league he played in before the NHL.
    That is fact.

    We have also been told (sold) that if Carey had a better team in front of him, that he would excel….that he would be a Cup winner….yet perhaps the opposite is also true as Dominic Hasek led a hodge podge Sabres team to the Cup Final in 1999…

    From here, a brutal and most honest assessment of the Carey Price years:

    – Brought up too quickly
    – Halak mesmerizes and is traded
    – Was never challenged for #1.
    – Was always mollycoddled….

    Hate Boston as much as you wish, yet they had the audacity to choose goalie Malcom Subban with their 1st Round Draft pick last summer for multiple reasons – to never be held hostage by a goalie, and to make sure he knows there are CHALLENGES below him.

    We now have a goalie that has proven very little in the past 6 years – and yes he was good in that 2010/ 7 Game OT playoff loss to the eventual Cup winning Bruins…..yet in that Series, he also lost all 3 of the last 4 games that were decided by OT

    • florida habs says:

      what is your point re: Bernier? go for Bernier trade Price? does that makes us a better team, we will have to give up something good for Bernier.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Bernier is an RFA with no Arbitration rights, yet WANTS to be #1 and WANTS to play games and challenge for a #1 position.

        Perhaps Price actually NEEDS a challenge to get to the next level.
        Worst case is that Bernier will be an asset when the goalie glut is over this year and would still be trade-able.
        No downside anywhere, unless there is a lack of performance reality…

    • Mark C says:

      Really think an 18 year old goalie represents a challenge in the mind of an established NHL starter?

      I’m all for adding goalie depth, but struggle to think Rask felt anything let alone pressure from Subban.

      Also, aren’t the B’s about to be held hostage by Rask? Or are they letting Rask walk and going with Subban and a 27 year old backup with 21 games of NHL experience.

  40. Bob_Sacamano says:

    @bwoar: Sorry, now I see what you meant. I should have read your post more carefully. Anyway, I don´t think JG´s contract is a fiasco. It´s one million too much for sure but he is usually very reliable. I also think he´s not untradeable.

    With the Kings now not being in the position to resign Scuderi, I also hope MB tries to sign him.

  41. commandant says:

    Voynov, 6 years, 25 million (4.1667) in LA.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/06/18/kings-re-sign-slava-voynov-to-a-6-year-deal/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Ed says:

      I would not have given him 6 years. Based on what?

      1 and 1/2 NHL seasons?

      The 4+ million is not crazy high, but the term is nuts.

      • bwoar says:

        Gorges makes this contract look like a steal – another 6 year fiasco.

        “thoroughbred”

        • Bob_Sacamano says:

          Are you kidding? He´s a much better player than Gorges can ever dream of. What do you think about Doughty btw? I´m just asking because Voynov was better than him this season…

          • bwoar says:

            Sorry, that wasn’t clear -it’s JG’s contract that’s a fiasco. Voynov is awesome, and I’d have done the same in LA’s shoes. I’ve been drafting him under the radar in the last couple season pools and finally the secret is out.

            “thoroughbred”

      • Bob_Sacamano says:

        How often have you seen him play? That´s a very good deal for both sides. In three or four years he might be a bargain. He already is by far the second best LA dman. A lot of teams pay their second best dman more money and few are as good as Voynov.

  42. Un Canadien errant says:

    Wow. Is it possible that Dustin Byfuglien weighed 300 lbs at the end of the season? That’s amazing.

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/bigger-byfuglien-in-no-shape-for-a-trade-210963161.html

    Too bad for the guy, if he can’t get this under control. And that’s the sad part, is that it is squarely within his control, it’s not like blowing your ACL, or what Josh Harding is going through. But obviously, there’s a big issue there, if it was easy for him to control his weight, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Big Buff had a difficult upbringing, growing up with an absentee father, some hardships, you just hope that he can find the right avenues for support and get his career back on track.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Ed says:

      I see this as a great opportunity. Maybe the 300 lbs reflects his unhappiness playing in Winnipeg. I love being Canadian but Winnipeg is not Montreal in any way, shape, or form.

      If I was Bergevin I would definitely inquire.

      Adding Buff would be HUGE!!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah, again Marc Bergevin might have some insights on this situation, with his time in the Chicago org when Big Buff was there. It might be a ‘buy low’ opportunity. A 6’5″ rightie D-man with a cannon might come in very handy for the Canadiens. At $5.2M, that’d be a very reasonable cap hit if he played to his potential.

    • bwoar says:

      This is another idiotic article by the lowest worm in sports “journalism”, Gary Lawless.

      1. Buff is not gonna be traded, but not because of his weight.
      2. If he were on the block, he’s not even close to being unmoveable.
      3. The idea that, “Byfuglien has become a problem. One that Cheveldayoff must solve before the Jets can take the next step” is so wrong that Lawless should be laughed off straight off the monkey-fightin’ block without mercy.

      He’s a one-of-a-kind player. Sure, he has his issues, but you’d have to be stupid to trade the guy because he’s heavy sometimes. He’s the best D on the team, for cryin’ out loud.

      Please, please – if anyone ever reads Lawless, just keep in mind he’s an butt-licking clown with nothing good to say about anyone, ever. In other words, the perfect sportswriter for Winnipeg. Take anything he says with a huge grain of salt and generally believe the opposite of anything he says about the team, the players, management, etc. That the Jets allow this fool to have any access to them speaks poorly of their media department.

      Bottom line: He wrote a column based on the “scoop” of an “accredited blogger”. On Eklund’s site. ‘Nuff said regarding his journalistic integrity.

      “thoroughbred”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Thanks for your take on Mr. Lawless. I came across the article on SI’s site, but didn’t have an opinion on the source, as I don’t follow the Jets closely. I accept your negative opinion of the guy and will take anything else I read from him with a grain of salt, but I wasn’t surprised that maybe Buff might want out of Winnipeg. We heard that commonly when the earlier incarnation of the Jets played there, and the same rumours have floated about Evander Kane.

  43. ClutchNGrab says:

    Was listening to Melnick in the afternoon.

    I don’t get Pierre McGuire, he just talked about how Boston got extraordinary players at key position:
    – Milan Lucic Power Forward
    – Zdeno Chara – Defence
    – Patrice Bergeron – Center
    – David Krejci – Center

    Then Melnick tell him, Chicago also has great players. McGuire answer “so does Pittsburgh”.

    What was his point excactly????

    When he keeps repeating his 7 player profile thing he keeps pointing at Chicago and Pittsburgh as models, now that Boston is up two one they are the greatest team on earth? I don’t get it.

    Actually I do, I just find it annoying that I keep listening to someone that gets me so worked up.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      His 7 player profile is a load of BS.

      He simply picks a good team and uses a little reverse engineering to suggest it was built with the 7 player profile in mind.

      Anyone can come up with this BS. Here’s Oz’s 10 player profile (also pure BS):

      – 2 center/wing duos to provide scoring in top 6 (total of 4)
      – 1 shut down center
      – 1 agitator
      – 1 shutdown d-man
      – 2 PMD
      – 1 Franchise Goalie

    • GrimJim says:

      “What’s his point exactly?”
      1) Self-aggrandizement. These teams are all great because they followed HIS plan
      2) Mercurial decision-making/Bandwagon jumping. Boston never got mentioned before, now they are in the finals so now they are shining examples of his plan
      3) Favouritism. His buddy Ray Shero helms Pittsburgh so he’ll always include Pitts.

  44. Sportfan says:

    So if and when the Habs needed to trade Plek when do you do it? Is it soon to get a better deal, or is it like Iginla when he’s oldeR?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • florida habs says:

      I think it depends on how Chucky will progress at center, personally if this kid is a center then we need to utilize him there next year to get the experience. That brings us to the DD / Pleks decision, Eller needs to accumulate top 2 line minutes next year, it is his time to find out if he has game. I think he does.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I think they need to use him there this year, on the 3rd line. The Habs don’t win faceoffs and he needs to develop those skills. he won’t do that on the wing. he will also learn how other centres cheat etc. very valuable whne he is the #1 centre

        Habfan17

  45. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Doc Emrick is Awful! I don’t care about whose dad used to sell hot dogs at the Union College home games and why that inspired that particular player to join his first hockey team. If I need to walk into the next room I want to know who has the puck and what they’re doing with it. Rod Black is a better play-by-play man than Doc Emrick because 60% of the time Doc Emrick does Not call the play. Emrick gets way too excited about minor plays, but I could live with that IF NBC made him the third colour commentator and hired a fourth guy to actually do the play-by-play.

  46. HabFab says:

    Danny Kristo’s center at ND (Corbin Knight) refused to sign with Florida and threatened to become a UFA. Deal worked out and he was traded to and signed by Calgary.

  47. The Dude says:

    Finally a Hab ‘X-Hab Damphousse’ wins a fight….what,to soon? ;)

  48. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld assesses the Depth at Center;
    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=3105

    • Habfan10912 says:

      If Eller continues to develop and Galchenyuk moves to Center, the outlook changes considerbly.

      • florida habs says:

        you mean for DD? he is not a 4th line type if Pleks is staying

        • Habfan10912 says:

          He may find a home on the third line. I suspect Pleks will be playing elsewhere when Galchenyuk is ready to assume the role of our top line center.

          • Habfan17 says:

            I would agree with that. Maybe something will happen at the trade deadline if Galchenyuk is going well. I hope they put him as the 3rd line centre though to start, Get him used to these crazy linesmen dropping the puck, or not! And to sharpen his face off skills. Prust, Gally and Gally for the 3rd line

            Habfan17

          • florida habs says:

            I would trade Pleks in a package deal if we could get a banger. Next year will determine if DD can play in this league, too bad he carries a heavy contract for his skill set if we need to trade him.

  49. ClutchNGrab says:

    Well, that was entertaining:

    http://youtu.be/u8GCH5qf9IY

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Unfortunately I can´t find it funny at the moment. Had these idiots only won that game. Then I could probably enjoy a Chicago – Pittsburgh final right now.

  50. Morenz7 says:

    Assault with a weapon while driving a vehicle?
    Is that like a drive-by shooting?

  51. jols101 says:

    When I first saw the new thread I thought the title was about charges being dismissed on Beaulieu. I was excited about that. Good for Vinny though.

  52. jols101 says:

    Logan Couture extended 5 years/6 million per year as per TSN.

  53. Maksimir says:

    Soooo… people around here still want to overpay for Bickell?

    • habstrinifan says:

      I say if Bickell has reduced his value by his ‘performance fall’ in the last two games.. then it may be a blessing in disguise.. Habs may be more in the picture then. I would still take the gamble.


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