Avalanche makes it official with Roy

The Colorado Avalanche made it official on Tuesday afternoon, introducing Patrick Roy as their new head coach and vice-president of hockey operations during a news conference in Denver.

“Here I am today, back in Denver, ready to embark on a new challenge that I am really looking forward to,” Roy told reporters.

“Now more than ever is the time to realize another dream and become a coach at the NHL level.”

He added: “The Avalanche is special to me. If there was an organization I would want to work with, it’s this one.”

Roy will team up with former teammate Joe Sakic, another Hall of Famer, to try and rebuild the Avalanche, who finished last in the Western Conference this season and have missed the playoffs for three straight years. Sakic was recently promoted to executive vice-president of hockey operations. The Avalanche has the No. 1 pick at next month’s entry draft.

 ”Joe and I had an opportunity to be part of something in the past,” Roy said. “I think we’re going to be part of something special in the future.”

Roy won four Stanley Cup during his Hall of Fame goaltending career: two with Colorado and two with the Canadiens. He spent the last eight years as coach and part owner of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Avs officially introduce Roy, montrealgazette.com

Roy’s goals with Avs all about winning Stanley Cup, by Denver Post

Avalanche knows all about Roy’s extraordinary intensity, by Denver Post

Roy facing several challenges with Avalanche, NHL.com

Hartley believes Roy will be a success with Avalanche, NHL.com

Bonne chance, Patrick, by Pat Hickey

Roy brings his coaching talent – and his temper – to Colorado, by Stu Cowan

Former Habs teammates, coaches speak about Roy, by Stu Cowan

636 Comments

  1. JohnBellyful says:

    @ Bill: re: protesters showing disrespect at Morgentaler’s funeral:

    “Hopefully none. A funeral is no place for that. I would say the same about anyone’s funeral. Even Stalin. It’s just not right.

    Stalin? Really?
    Hitler?
    Mussolini?
    I’m not comparing Morgentaler to any of those gentlemen, that’s not the point of this comment. It’s just that if ever someone deserved to be disrespected, spat upon, desecrated, when leaving this earth, Stalin would be one of the poster boys. I wonder how many of his millions of victims received a decent burial. There was nothing right about their deaths.
    (Sorry about the sidetrack from matters of a far lesser import – which I initiated by making reference below to Morgentaler’s death.
    I thought it was History Inside/Out for a minute there.)

  2. commandant says:

    Possible Rangers coaches

    Ruff
    Vigneault
    Messier

    anyone else

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

  3. Maritime Ron says:

    Torts Possible Landing Spots:

    Vancouver?
    I don’t believe the Vancouver media or fans are ready for a Torts character…and neither are Henrik and Daniel that run the show over there…

    Dallas?
    Possibly, as the Stars currently rank below High School Football in Texas eyeball attention
    I kid you not.
    The State of Texas high schools are the hotbed sites of NCAA football recruiting and have incredible Stadiums for High School football
    Alamo Stadium in San Antonio holds 23,000.
    Memorial Stadium in Mesquite, Texas. holds 20,000.
    Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas. 19.300
    Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas:18,000

    Tampa?
    Of course the natural landing spot for Torts – unless Yzerman is intimidated by him… a very unimpressive GM so far, unless anyone can prove otherwise.

    Vinnie and Marty have Cup memories of 2004, and is there a better place to live and make a living? ( No State Tax from income…)
    If you win the Cup and say, “I’m going to Disneyland (World)” it’s only an hour away.

    Golf 12 months of the year.

    Want to live on the Gulf Coast with your boat docked by your home?
    Clearwater is 20 miles away.
    You want to live in a personal fav of mine place such as Sarisota/Longboat Key/Siesta Key?
    Only an hour away, and that is somewhat equivalent to the time I spent on my last visit to Montreal clearing the Champlain Bridge.

    As for Vinnie Lecavalier coming to Montreal, his contract status is NMC-No Movement Clause, without his approval.

    Does anyone believe he wants to leave Tampa-a place he has lived for the past 15 years since he was 18 years old and a 12 year old partner/wife and 2 children?

    Vinnie has made over $80M gross to date, with another $45 M guaranteed regardless of performance…

    Do we really need a Vinnie?…and he would never come?
    Nope.

    • Cardiac says:

      Vinny is a fraction of the player he used to be and I wouldn’t take him for a fraction of his cap hit.

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

  4. Psycho29 says:

    CJAD reporting that the Canucks have requested permission from the Leafs to interview Marlies’ coach Dallas Eakins for their head coaching job.

  5. Habitoba says:

    Anybody else happy Gomez isn’t going any further in the playoffs?
    Anybody else sad the rest of the Sharks aren’t?

    • commandant says:

      If people watched the series (and the last 3-4 years of playoffs) they’ll see that Joe Thornton’s playoff choker reputation is undeserved at this point in his career. He was the best skater for either team IMO.

      Not enough support for him though.

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

      • Habitoba says:

        You’re right. He shut the critic in me up

      • Cardiac says:

        Might have been the best skater, but he had 4 points in 7 games. Galiardi had 2, Burns with 1. And that line had only three shots on goal…

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

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      Yes I was rooting for the Kings for that reason alone.

  6. Sportfan says:

    Rangers weren’t responding to Tortilla anymore so its time for a change

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  7. Strummer says:

    Torts isn’t the first coach who couldn’t get a bunch of overpaid prima-donna’s on Broadway to play to their potential.

    He won’t be the last.

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

  8. HabFab says:

    Someone was asking earlier about news from the Combine. Here is the NHL.com Blog;
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/blog.htm?id=1706&navid=nhl:topheads

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks Frank. Interesting to notice the difference in the “who’s getting drafted first poll” between these two sites.

      Seth Jones, D, Portland: 42.61%
      Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax: 24.39%
      Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax: 18.12%
      Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara: 14.87%

      • 24 Cups says:

        Is Jones a better choice than MacKinnon? Who knows. But Colorado has a decent group of young forwards with little on the back end. They need a building block on the D.

        Life could be difficult for Hab fans having to watch MacKinnon and Drouin play in Florida for the next decade.

        • commandant says:

          What is Colorado’s group of forwards really

          Duchene, Landeskog… okay I buy those two.

          Stastny? 27 years old, UFA in 2014.

          O’Reilly? RFA in 2014 assuming the Avs qualify him at $6.5 million or he goes UFA.

          So I really don’t believe their forward core is set either. They have needs at both spots IMO.

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

  9. Luke says:

    Enjoy the game tonight folks!

  10. Alex_425 says:

    Soccer friendly, England vs. Republic of Ireland, just heard a lot of fans sing Ole Ole.

    Thought you’d want to know.

    But I’m no expert….

    • Peter Young says:

      Irish fans, with the game drawn, 1-1. This chant signifies a succession of passes resulting in prolonged possession of the ball, just as in bullfighting, where it originated, it signifies a bullfighter’s passes with the cape. It has nothing to do with the score, with whether one team or another is ahead.

  11. Marc10 says:

    Ah Torts! We’ll miss those easy shutouts on Saturday nights…

    Now go and annoy the guys at TSN…

  12. Steeltown Hab says:

    Just a quick Mock Draft I through up on HockeyBuzz

    http://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?user_id=114427&post_id=14871

    Let me know what you think.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

    • Fransaskois says:

      Pretty good, don’t agree with all of it though.

      Lazar’s stock has really improved (~14), Gauthier and Mantha’s seem to have fallen (~20). Wouldn’t be surprised to see a team that values size reach for Morin (~20) or Mccaron (~24) either. I see Zykov ahead of Domi. Morrisey and Mccoshen might be in the discussion as well.

      I am a huge fan of De La Rose. I know some people question his upside but his skating (one of the tops in the draft IMO), physicality, frame and quality hockey sense all point towards a good player. Needs to put all of his physical tools together though. I’ve also heard good things about his work ethic and leadership abilities. Plays with the character and grit that Bergevin is looking for and that Timmins covets. We took a couple of Swedes last year, I’d love to see us do it again.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        He was so noticeable everytime he was on the ice at the WJC, forechecks like a beast, I’d love to have him too.

        ———————————

        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • commandant says:

        I don’t mind De la Rose, but I think he’ll be available at 34 and wouldn’t use pick 25 on him.

        I want someone with real offensive upside at 25, especially out of this draft with so many forwards, and I don’t see that upside in LaRose. He’s the safe guy.

        Just IMO.

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

        • Fransaskois says:

          I have a feeling he’ll be gone. I see a lot of good things in his game, a safer pick who needs to put his tools together. I’d rather take the gamble later on with guys like Klimchuk, Lehkonen, Duclair, Carrier, Dauphin etc. if Erne, Burakovsky, Zykov or Rychel don’t fall to us. So much chance involved, I’d love to get him at #34 but could live with it if he was our 1st rounder.

  13. habfaninyyc says:

    I’d love to see CBC fire PJ Stock, and have Tortorella replace him, be good for laughs!

  14. Sportfan says:

    AHAHA BYE BYE TORTS, jeez I wonder who the Rangers will higher, or where Torts will go next :P Imagine if it was Vancouver?

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  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Ahhh and the latest on Ford continues to prove his innocence….

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/05/29/rob_ford_former_staffers_email_telephone_records_ordered_destroyed_sources.html

    Nothing to see here, move along. :)

    • Chuck says:

      This just gets more entertaining by the day!

      __________________________________________________
      Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

      • Strummer says:

        Email messages can’t be destroyed.
        Just because they have been deleted doesn’t make them irretrievable. They’re sitting on a server somewhere.
        That’s how Martha Stewart was convicted.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am not a Ford fan by any stretch and think he is a complete tool BUT something about this video isn’t adding up. Why all of a sudden is the video vanished? The money was raised to buy it and now it is gone?

      I am starting to doubt there was a real video and it was a doctored version. Anyone with decent skills can do it a dr’d video and showing it on a so called phone would make it look even more real. The star and ford have never got a long.

      Ford hasn’t handled this properly at all and he should just do a drug test if he didn’t do it to prove his innocents.

      Either way he needs to be removed from office ASAP.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I was having dinner with friends last night, and the topic came up.

        1) One of the guys in the picture that’s been circulated from that night is now deceased.

        2) Jian Gomeshi had the guy from Gawker on his show, and there was no doubt in his mind about what he saw.

        3) My friend is convinced that all that’s happened is the Fords outbid Gawker.

        Now, as HiB’s link shows, all that’s left for these guys is to clean up the trail they left and they’ll be home free.

        Toronto folk, do you miss Mel Lastman?

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Lastman looks like an angel in comparison.

          The whole thing is insane

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • commandant says:

          One of the guys in the picture is dead?

          Sorry, but shady crack dealers get murdered all the time… the inference here is a little strong given that.

          2) So the guy from Gawker, a New York Gossip columnist, is familiar enough with the Mayor of Toronto that he can positively identify him in a video tape shown to him on a cell phone, with no attempt to see if its doctored or a look a like?

          I find that hard to believe.

          Look I think Ford is a tool, but lets see the tape here before we pass judgment.

          Crack addicts are usually not 1) Fat, 2) Rich, and 3) Capable of holding down a job, never mind a position like Mayor of Toronto.

          Tell me he’s on cocaine, or marijuana and I might believe it, but Crack is outrageous.

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

          • johnnylarue says:

            I’d say the exact source of his madness is largely a moot point: we’re talking about the mayor of Canada’s largest city getting caught putting magnets with his name on them on random cars in a parking lot.

            Just sayin’…! ;)

          • Stuck_in_To. says:

            I doubt most people really believe Ford is a crack addict. That is not really the point. The point is, whether or not he is in a video smoking crack, what is he doing in a place with crack dealers under his arms who are so into “something” that they are dead a few weeks later?

            This is the mayor who will not allocate funds for “hug a thug” programs but rather put any funds into more policing (the same policy that Chicago and L.A. will tell you does not work!).

            Ford will tell you that he cannot be responsible for whom he has his picture taken with but this is not a random photo op at a public event.

            Everybody is so hung up on him being a crackhead they don’t seem to care if he is just hanging with crack dealers.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            commandant, I was just rattling off some of the highlights of the discussion during our meal. You would have been a welcome participant. Allow me these responses to yours.

            1) The shady operator now being deceased was brought up as a delicious plot point. No one is saying the Fords had anything to do with it. That logical leap was left up to everyone’s imagination. Meanwhile, all of us made mental notes for our screenplay…

            2) For me, the additional info from the Gawker hack actually adds credibility. I didn’t know before if the video was a grainy, unfocused, jumpy mess that could be of any fat guy sucking on a popsicle, but he calmly asserts that it’s quite clear that Mr. Ford is on it doing what the video purports to show, and that moves me along the skepticism scale a bit. Granted, I would be a whole lot more confident if it was Tom Brokaw or Peter Mansbridge who was saying this, but it does add some credibility.

            Further to this, apparently video can’t be doctored like a picture can be photoshopped, not without a lot of money and resources that would be out of the reach of these rascals who have the video.

            3) Finally, the story is not that Rob Ford is a crack addict, it’s that there is some evidence that a video of him smoking crack exists. The alarmist Time magazine cover story from the eighties has been debunked now, just because you smoke crack once doesn’t mean you’re irrevocably an addict. The issue also isn’t really about whether he smoked crack once, that would have been forgivable, as others are pointing out, if he took the right steps to make amends. The story is really about the existence of the video, and Mr. Ford’s bizarre behaviour since. Instead of dealing with the news head on, he issues a mealy-mouthed series of denials. Instead of being categorical, he stalls, while his staff abandon ship, the video people go missing, and the story inflates ever more.

      • D Mex says:

        Doctored or otherwise, it is reported that Ford was informed of the possible whereabouts of the alleged video, and may have taken steps to secure it or neutralize it.

        I keep coming back to what it must have been like to have Rob and Doug roaming neighbourhood streets and school yards as kids. Seems possible at least some childhood acquaintances must have been horrified to see them run for office, more so when they were elected.

        I really do hope they are Leafs fans … ;-)

        ALWAYS Habs -
        D Mex

    • Psycho29 says:

      Here’s my nephew the comedian with his take:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CW1G12SHhQ

    • johnnylarue says:

      Endlessly entertaining.

      The delicious irony in all of this is that it’s very likely Ford would have been forgiven (at least by those who didn’t already hate him) if he’d just come clean and admitted that he has a substance abuse problem, etc. That in itself would have robbed the video of its power and largely satisfied the media hordes.

      The way the Ford brothers have handled this is just comical.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Rob Ford is innocent of these allegations.
      I am as certain of that as I am that Carey Price is an elite goalie who will eventually lead the Habs to the Stanley Cup.

  16. Un Canadien errant says:

    How Mickey Mouse is Sportsnet? Apparently their Hockey Central Twitter account has been hacked for five days before they figured it out.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/05/29/one-of-canadas-top-hockey-companies-is-on-day-5-of-being-unintentionally-hilarious-online/

    Please note, this is not safe for viewing at work.

    I’ll ask again though, are we sure that we want CBC to lose Hockey Night in Canada so these clowns can get their simian paws on it?

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You sure they didn’t just give Kypreos the wrong Cell phone one day?

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Their website is a trainwreck as well. Sportsnet carried every Memorial Cup game, as you surely know, and it was a headache trying to access up-to-date information via their site.

      Someone in their marketing department should begin tweaking his/her resume (but be sure to gloss over the Sportsnet portion).

      ————-
      Daily recommendations for May 29
      Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
      Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

    • Sportfan says:

      Aside the baseball coverage and the fact they have Junior hockey, Sportsnet is garbage in my mind.

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  17. Sportfan says:

    Lol The Kings are exactly what Philly was trying to be big tough with scoring and goal tending and they have Richards and Carter :P

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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  18. Sportfan says:

    Wow the past 5 winners of the Cup or the last 5 teams in the playoffs go figure.

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • Chuck says:

      Parity schmarity.

      __________________________________________________
      Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

  19. Sportfan says:

    SO if the Red Wings SOME HOW beat the Hawks I don’t think they can take out the Kings what do you guys think?

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    • Cal says:

      Kings are about to run out of gas. Take Chicago, who will beat the Wings tonight 4-1. (If this ends up being right, I’m buying some 6/49s!)

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I disagree. Quick is playing amazing. I think the kings are going to the final this year.

        Quick being the reason why.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Sportfan says:

          LA vs. Pittsburgh would be a dream come true for the NHL

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          • Kooch7800 says:

            The Pens have enough offense that they could beat them. The big question is how many pens will be a 100% after playing Boston and then facing a team like LA who is even more physical

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Luke says:

            I was hoping for a Pens/Ducks finals if only for the inevitable:

            “Pens are Mightier” headlines.

            ‘course, we could see a lot of “Pens envy”

            waka waka

        • Cal says:

          Quick hasn’t faced a team that shoots high through traffic. He stays very low and is vulnerable if his forwards and D don’t block the shot.

          Frankly, if I was shooting and players wanted to stand in front of it, I’d be breaking ankles.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            San Jose has very good offense, I think you are selling Quick a bit short. They (San Jose) had no issues thumping Van city and doing it quickly in 4 games.

            I stand by it I think Quick will be the main reason why LA goes to the cup. Chicago hasn’t looked that great against Detroit and if was to pick Crawford or Quick it would be an easy decision.

            Time will tell

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Lafrich says:

            Cal, your post reeks of Pricebotism. Let me guess, Price would do just as good as Quick if he were in the Kings net, with all these guys blocking shots, against teams that shoot low. Hahaha.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      All that matters is that the Bruins lose, the sooner and more ignominiously the better.

  20. Hockey Bob says:

    I don’t give a damn about the Avalanche or that egomaniac Roy who quit on the habs. I came looking for some hab news.

  21. mrhabby says:

    Is Torts on his way to TSN, Sportsnet , CBC, NBC..

  22. Un Canadien errant says:

    Hey guys, after dealing with the unsigned draftees, and the soon-to-be free agents in earlier submissions, I tried to post my thoughts on what the Hamilton Bulldogs roster will look like next season. Unfortunately, HIO will not allow me to, even a truncated version. I wonder what I’ve done to anger the HIO Mods?

    If you’re interested, follow the link below.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-2013-14-hamilton-bulldogs.html

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Nice blog. Thanks for posting.

      I am not too keen on our forward prospects coming up. We really seem to be lacking sniping power. Last year the dogs were the AHL worst in offense and next year I don’t see it getting much better.

      On D we have so many prospects and not all will pan out or make it but I see some of them as assets that could be traded for some forwards

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Fransaskois says:

        I have a feeling our offence was so terrible because of the coaching and lack of veteran presence on the team. I’m still happy with the prospects we have in Hamilton. It may be a while yet but, Hudon, Collberg, Bozon and Kristo can all bring that offence that’s so desperately needed.

        • BrianSkrudland says:

          I find Bozon to be a particularly intriguing prospect. He could prove to be a real find. I stand to be corrected, but from what I’ve read he doesn’t sound like a player that gets his nose too dirty, while those same accounts suggest he has a knack for scoring goals.

          If coaches in the Habs system can convert him to being a responsible two-way player that will go to the dirty zones while on offense, we could have stolen a sniper in the draft.

          ————-
          Daily recommendations for May 29
          Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
          Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Yeah, a guy with decent size and offensive skill, but not a bruiser. I saw him play once last season, he was all over the ice and played PP and PK, it was good to see, but it was after the early-season offensive explosion, once he’d tailed off. I hope he can have an even better year this season, and sustain his play all the way through.

      • Habfan17 says:

        We need to remember, most of the players were first year pros and had to make that adjustment. then the coaching staff was also new and they had to teach the system to the players.

        I think cudos have to go out to the coaches and development team for the advancement the players made. They were a much better team near the end of the season and they were competative in most games. When Pateryn, Beaulieu and Tindordi came up to the Habs, they did pretty well.

        I think next season will be different. Don’t forget, Colberg and Bozon were not in Hamilton and Hudon was only there on a try out contract for evaluation at the end of the season.

        Habfan17

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The reason I made this post was to figure out what next season looked like, and yeah, I’m kind of surprised at how few forwards we’re left with, after guys like Alain Berger, Alex Avtsin flamed out and Aaron Palushaj and Blake Geoffrion moved on. So maybe we’ll see some trades.

        I posted earlier how Yannick Weber might be swapped for a longshot physical forward with size, I think that’s even more likely now, we need help at LW.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I remember when the Habs drafted Avtsin, he said all the right things, wanted to be like Ovechkin, seemed to have the size and skill. I hope Pribyl will get signed and work out

          Habfan17

    • Cal says:

      Good post. FREE UCE, MODS!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So I don’t disagree with your blog Normand, but that is also the reason why the Habs are a few years away from competing. Simply not enough top end depth in the system. As Ottawa was able to make call up after call up to save their season, we could not and can not.

      This is why MB couldn’t trade any significant picks at deadline for a rental.

      • Habfan17 says:

        There definitely needs to be more high end depth and the type of players that fit in with the NHL today, not back in 2005.

        Habfan17

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Yeah, we’ll take the best player available, but when in the later rounds we get to clusters of picks graded somewhat the same, that’s where I think we’ll see a couple more LW prospect with size and character get chosen, along with a goalie. These will mix in nicely with the forwards we currently have on the farm.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Agreed HiB. We still lack the organizational depth to compete/trade with. We need to stockpile assets before we can swap some at the deadline for a Cup run. I commend the Canadiens management team for resisting the urge at the past deadline to go after short-term gains.

        I know for this draft, some are wondering if we can bundle some picks to move up, for a ‘surefire prospect’, but I think that’s not where we’re at. We need prospects in all areas, we need depth, let’s take as many shots at the dart board as we can, and then develop them, coach the heck out of them.

  23. Un Canadien errant says:

    Okay, after dealing with the Canadiens’ unsigned players whose rights were about to expire, and then the players who were about to become free agents, we have a better idea of what the roster(s) will be next season.

    Let’s deal with what the Hamilton Bulldogs roster will look like for the most part at training camp, making educated guesses along the way. We did this last season, and it helped frame the discussion.

    The team will once again be a young but talented team, and should benefit from the trial-by-fire season they just endured. The main goal for next season’s squad should again be one of development rather than competitiveness, to get the youngsters some experience and continue their progression, but it should aspire to take a step forward in the standings, and learn how to win. Another season of crushing losses can damage the psyche of such young players, it’s important that they see improvement in their game and their team. Finishing dead last again won’t do, the team has to realistically challenge for a playoff spot, the battle will do them some good.

    To achieve this, while the heavier workload should still be borne by the Morgan Ellises and the Michaël Bournivals, it may be wise to add a few quality veteran AHL’ers to the team so they can impart some experience and steadiness. These vets may not necessarily be the most talented players, or the ones we’ll want on the ice during crucial faceoffs, but they’ll calm the waters on the bench and in the dressing room just with their presence. In effect, I envision their use being a ‘reverse Galchenyuk’: whereas young Alex was sheltered by Coach Therrien this season, in terms of the quantity of minutes he received, as well as the situations he was placed in, these Bulldog vets would pull their weight but step aside during key faceoffs, special teams, end of game situations, etc. The kids would get the lion’s share of minutes, their apprenticeship would enter its second phase, but they’d have someone to lean on.

    In nets, we’re set with Dustin Tokarski to be the starter. His backup will probably be Robert Mayer, depending on his state of mind or whether the long arm of the law will collar and drag him back to Biel, Switzerland. Robert Condon and Peter Delmas will compete for a spot, but will likely end up in Wheeling. It’s doubtful a draftee muddles this picture, unless it’s an overager from Europe or some such scenario.

    On defence, I expect that both Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, despite making a good account of themselves when called up to Montréal this season, will at least start the season in Hamilton. It’s important to remember Marc Bergevin’s statement that you rarely regret leaving a player in the minors too long, but often regret bringing them up too soon. This will affect Jarred Tinordi more, in that there is a hole on the roster and a crying need for a physical defensive-minded player on the blueline with the Grand Club, especially with Alexei Emelin being injured and unavailable until Christmas. It would appear that Jarred could slot in there nicely, except that it would be unfair to ask him to fill this role while his apprenticeship is not near complete. Better to let him continue logging heavy minutes in Hamilton, and sign some plugs for the Canadiens as short-term solutions, even at the cost of a few losses. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

    Add to these guys incumbents Greg Pateryn and Morgan Ellis, joined by newcomers Darren Dietz and Magnus Nygren, and that’s a packed d-corps, with not a lot of room or icetime for anyone else. Because of this, I strongly suspect that Dalton Thrower will be asked to make amends for his poor season in Saskatoon with an overager season with the Vancouver Giants. He needs to put things together. Also, Mac Bennett stays at Michigan for another season, if there was any doubt. He didn’t have a dominant season in the NCAA, he might benefit from another at that level anyway. Expect Antoine Corbin to be pushed down to Wheeling.

    So with six young, inexperienced defencemen, we can see how a tough veteran or two will help out. I don’t know if Frédéric St-Denis fits that bill, while he’s smart and has skills, he lacks the size to ‘protect’ his younger charges. In any case, he may not even want the job, preferring to go to an organization with a better opportunity for him to crack the big league roster. We wish him well.

    At forward, there is no infusion of talent expected from the recent draftees. Daniel Prybil might join the team, but it’s a remote possibility at this point, he’s not even signed yet, and the clock is winding down in his case. Dustin Walsh might be offered an AHL contract, he has some size and skill, but based on his production at Dartmouth it’s doubtful he’s a likely prospect. Sebastian Collberg will be playing with Frolunda for at least one more season.

    So we’re going to have to make do with the guys currently on the roster. Danny Kristo was, at long last, brought into the fold late in the season, so that’s an upgrade of scoring talent, he’ll join the current crop of forwards. We can expect that Michael Blunden and Gabriel Dumont, who were called up late in the season, will at least start in Hamilton as well.

    Based on what we know, we can assume that Blake Geoffrion will retire, which is unfortunate since he’d started last season very well, showing leadership and playing strong hockey on a line with Louis Leblanc. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

    Stopgaps like Phillippe Lefebvre and Joey Tenute don’t bring our organization any benefits, and should be phased out in favour of depth and experience. We can have a longshot or two to make it at forward in Hamilton, not five or six.

    Since there isn’t an overabundance of prospects at forward, there is a good opportunity to add the AHL veteran players we discussed earlier. The thing is, these veterans are prized by AHL teams, they’re in demand, so it’s easier said than done to acquire them, but that’s where the Canadiens’ financial resources can be brought to bear. While other teams run their minor leagues on a shoestring, we can spend more in this area than they can, and can attract some minor leaguers with a good offer that others can’t or won’t match.

    As far as coaching goes, Sylvain Lefebvre took some hits for some of his decisions by observers who followed the Bulldogs, and lost assistant coach Ron Wilson along the way for nebulous reasons. He needs veteran help, a trusty coach who’s seen it rain, and can help with the offence and powerplay. Whether that means Clément Jodoin heads back to Hamilton or not, it’s clear that another assistant beside Donald Dufresne is needed.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  24. Un Canadien errant says:

    Okay, after dealing with the Canadiens’ unsigned players whose rights were about to expire, and then the players who were about to become free agents, we have a better idea of what the roster(s) will be next season.

    Let’s deal with what the Hamilton Bulldogs roster will look like for the most part at training camp, making educated guesses along the way. We did this last season, and it helped frame the discussion.

    The team will once again be a young but talented team, and should benefit from the trial-by-fire season they just endured. The main goal for next season’s squad should again be one of development rather than competitiveness, to get the youngsters some experience and continue their progression, but it should aspire to take a step forward in the standings, and learn how to win. Another season of crushing losses can damage the psyche of such young players, it’s important that they see improvement in their game and their team. Finishing dead last again won’t do, the team has to realistically challenge for a playoff spot, the battle will do them some good.

    To achieve this, while the heavier workload should still be borne by the Morgan Ellises and the Michaël Bournivals, it may be wise to add a few quality veteran AHL’ers to the team so they can impart some experience and steadiness. These vets may not necessarily be the most talented players, or the ones we’ll want on the ice during crucial faceoffs, but they’ll calm the waters on the bench and in the dressing room just with their presence. In effect, I envision their use being a ‘reverse Galchenyuk’: whereas young Alex was sheltered by Coach Therrien this season, in terms of the quantity of minutes he received, as well as the situations he was placed in, these Bulldog vets would pull their weight but step aside during key faceoffs, special teams, end of game situations, etc. The kids would get the lion’s share of minutes, their apprenticeship would enter its second phase, but they’d have someone to lean on.

    In nets, we’re set with Dustin Tokarski to be the starter. His backup will probably be Robert Mayer, depending on his state of mind or whether the long arm of the law will collar and drag him back to Biel, Switzerland. Robert Condon and Peter Delmas will compete for a spot, but will likely end up in Wheeling. It’s doubtful a draftee muddles this picture, unless it’s an overager from Europe or some such scenario.

    On defence, I expect that both Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, despite making a good account of themselves when called up to Montréal this season, will at least start the season in Hamilton. It’s important to remember Marc Bergevin’s statement that you rarely regret leaving a player in the minors too long, but often regret bringing them up too soon. This will affect Jarred Tinordi more, in that there is a hole on the roster and a crying need for a physical defensive-minded player on the blueline with the Grand Club, especially with Alexei Emelin being injured and unavailable until Christmas. It would appear that Jarred could slot in there nicely, except that it would be unfair to ask him to fill this role while his apprenticeship is not near complete. Better to let him continue logging heavy minutes in Hamilton, and sign some plugs for the Canadiens as short-term solutions, even at the cost of a few losses. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

    Add to these guys incumbents Greg Pateryn and Morgan Ellis, joined by newcomers Darren Dietz and Magnus Nygren, and that’s a packed d-corps, with not a lot of room or icetime for anyone else. Because of this, I strongly suspect that Dalton Thrower will be asked to make amends for his poor season in Saskatoon with an overager season with the Vancouver Giants. He needs to put things together. Also, Mac Bennett stays at Michigan for another season, if there was any doubt. He didn’t have a dominant season in the NCAA, he might benefit from another at that level anyway. Expect Antoine Corbin to be pushed down to Wheeling.

    So with six young, inexperienced defencemen, we can see how a tough veteran or two will help out. I don’t know if Frédéric St-Denis fits that bill, while he’s smart and has skills, he lacks the size to ‘protect’ his younger charges. In any case, he may not even want the job, preferring to go to an organization with a better opportunity for him to crack the big league roster. We wish him well.

    At forward, there is no infusion of talent expected from the recent draftees. Daniel Prybil might join the team, but it’s a remote possibility at this point, he’s not even signed yet, and the clock is winding down in his case. Dustin Walsh might be offered an AHL contract, he has some size and skill, but based on his production at Dartmouth it’s doubtful he’s a likely prospect. Sebastian Collberg will be playing with Frolunda for at least one more season.

    So we’re going to have to make do with the guys currently on the roster. Danny Kristo was, at long last, brought into the fold late in the season, so that’s an upgrade of scoring talent, he’ll join the current crop of forwards. We can expect that Michael Blunden and Gabriel Dumont, who were called up late in the season, will at least start in Hamilton as well.

    Based on what we know, we can assume that Blake Geoffrion will retire, which is unfortunate since he’d started last season very well, showing leadership and playing strong hockey on a line with Louis Leblanc. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

    Stopgaps like Phillippe Lefebvre and Joey Tenute don’t bring our organization any benefits, and should be phased out in favour of depth and experience. We can have a longshot or two to make it at forward in Hamilton, not five or six.

    Since there isn’t an overabundance of prospects at forward, there is a good opportunity to add the AHL veteran players we discussed earlier. The thing is, these veterans are prized by AHL teams, they’re in demand, so it’s easier said than done to acquire them, but that’s where the Canadiens’ financial resources can be brought to bear. While other teams run their minor leagues on a shoestring, we can spend more in this area than they can, and can attract some minor leaguers with a good offer that others can’t or won’t match.

    As far as coaching goes, Sylvain Lefebvre took some hits for some of his decisions by observers who followed the Bulldogs, and lost assistant coach Ron Wilson along the way for nebulous reasons. He needs veteran help, a trusty coach who’s seen it rain, and can help with the offence and powerplay. Whether that means Clément Jodoin heads back to Hamilton or not, it’s clear that another assistant beside Donald Dufresne is needed.

    So the roster would look like this:

    Forward:
    Holland-Leblanc-Kristo
    Bournival-Dumont-Quailer
    AHL Veteran-Naatinen-Blunden
    Hagel-AHL Veteran-Stortini

    Spare forward 1, spare forward 2

    Defence:
    Tinordi, Pateryn
    Beaulieu, Ellis
    Dietz, Nygren

    Spare AHL Veteran

    Goal:
    Tokarski,
    Mayer

    Notes:
    1) The forward aren’t matched up to indicate preferred line combinations. Some issues we have are that while we have three prospect RW’s and four C, there is not a single LW prospect in Hamilton. Since Michaël Bournival is a lefty, I put him on LW on the second line.

    2) I could have put Louis Leblanc on the wing, since that seems to be where he is projected to go, but he’s a right-handed shot and we needed left wings, so I left him at centre.

    3) I expect that some of Olivier Fortier, Alex Belzile, Stefan Chaput or Phillippe Lefebvre will be retained, but I don’t know enough about them to guess which one, and suspect they’re interchangeable in the grand scheme of things. Plunk any one or two of them in the slots assigned to ‘AHL Veteran’ or ‘Spare Forward’ if you want.

    4) Messrs. Stortini and Hagel remain, since we have room on this conjured roster and have already stated we need a little bit of veteran protection for our youngsters. If we can upgrade in that area, then obviously we do so.

    5) Aside from Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu, all our defencemen are right-handed shots. I’d noticed in previous drafts how many righty D’s we’d snapped up, and I know they’re relatively harder to find, but we now have a bit of an imbalance in that regard. I know that’s a hard thing to control, whenever you think you’re set an injury happens, so you can’t get too caught up in that, but we also have Dalton Thrower, Colin Sullivan and Josiah Didier in the organization as righties. That’s an advantage for leftie Mac Bennett in 2014, and another nail in the coffin for rightie Joe Stejskal in the present.

    ———————————————————————–

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  25. Timo says:

    Is Derick Brossard signed by the Rags or is he a UFA?

  26. D Mex says:

    CBC update on Brian Burke notes, among other things, that he went to the Ducks in a scouting capacity : http://cbc.sh/IoiHOqQ

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  27. habs11s says:

    IMHO Tort is a decent coach, but over the course of the season he lost his players’ support. Maybe he makes an appearance in Vancouver….

    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  28. kempie says:

    Just saw this on Twitter and thought I’d share. Look who likes pizza:

    https://twitter.com/SirPatStew/status/339786117530415104/photo/1/large

  29. Stevie.Ray says:

    Any news out of the draft combine?

  30. HammerHab says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Torts would be a fantastic replacement for Don Cherry? Too bad he’s American….it would never fly….

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  31. Habfan10912 says:

    Somewhere Sean Avery is smiling.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Never before have I felt so vindicated Jim! Just this morning I posted how I felt he was toast, not based on reporters but rather the fact Richards agent didn’t believe he would be bought out and the fact Lundqvist started to say little things like he can’t score goals for the team.

      If the Rangers get Ruff, they will be a much better team next year.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Guys
        After reading the Lundqvist and Richards quotes, it looks like Torts had a rebellion on his hands.

        Wondering of Lundqvist had a little silent chat with Sather and told him it’s either me or Torts – and if it’s Torts, I walk the UFA route next year. Very possible and likely.

        That Rangers club has way too much talent to play a ‘not to lose’ style. They need more of a MT style with all that back end talent

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Hey Ron. The Lundquist comments got a huge amount if press in the NY market. I think it sealed his fate.

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Hi Jim, sometimes things just run their course.
            Torts will emerge again.
            A Cup ring is attractive and does that…
            I can see him taking a step back – perhaps looking at his errors, and coming back better

  32. Cal says:

    How long for Sather?

  33. habs-fan-84 says:

    Tortorella is fired….I can only imagine the sigh of relief from the Rangers players.

  34. Maritime Ron says:

    Torts is fired!
    Really no choice

  35. deuce6 says:

    So, Roy goes to the Avs, eh? I also have heard he really likes Carey Price.hmmmmmm

    Just for sh!ts and giggles (discussion purposes) let’s make a deal…

    To COL: Price, Markov, and our 1st round pick
    To MTL: Duchene, Varlamov, and 1st overall pick

    Get it done, Bergy!!!

    ——————
    Brandon Prust doesn’t have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel….

  36. Propwash says:

    Looks like Torts got axed.

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  37. Timo says:

    Mods deleted the beaver thread. Bugger.

  38. Fransaskois says:

    I wasn’t around much when it happened but….

    It’s incredible how different this team would be if we had drafted Mikko Koivu at #7 instead of Mike Komisarek at #8. When you look back, you kind of wonder if it would have been worth moving up that one spot.

    Who knows… Mike Komisarek (#8), Perezhogin (#25) and Duncan Milroy (#37) may have gotten it done. It’s a deep draft but, if you’ve got a sure-fire, blue-chip prospect lined up, I think you’ve got to go for it. Edit: Be that at #20 or in the top-10.

    • Habfan17 says:

      How about in 95 when the Habs wanted Doan and settled for Terry Ryan in the 8th spot when Winnipeg took doan at 7, and then Dallas took Iginla at 11!

      Habfan17

      • Fransaskois says:

        No kidding. There are tonnes of what-ifs in the draft but having his brother in the organization, the fact that he filled a need at the time (not to mention now, who doesn’t need big centres?) and the rumours about the Habs’ interest in him….. it just made too much sense for them to draft him.

      • Timo says:

        Dems were the days.

    • Luke says:

      Yah, I suppose, But draft hindsight is always a fun game.
      While Koivu is a fine player, the Habs grabbed Pleks in the 3rd.
      M Koivu to me, is very comperable Plekanec. He is a solid player, decent offense, decent defense. He’s a bigger body than Pleks but isn’t overly physical.
      They’ve averaged about the same PPG throughout their careers. .67 for MK, .66 for TP.

      I remember that draft, like always, people raved about every pick. I, for one, was most excited to see Milroy. Everything I had heard and read about him was so positive… a can’t miss 2nd round steal.
      But, Buffalo got Roy and Pominville in the 22nd… so there’s the steal, I suppose. They, and Cammalleri, have the highest PPG average out of the draft at .75 ( for anyone not names Spezza or Kovalchuk).

    • Chris says:

      The Habs desperately wanted Mikko Koivu in that draft, and actually DID try to move up to get him. They were worried that Minnesota would take him, but nobody would deal with them. The Wild had been throwing up smokescreens that they wanted Komisarek, but they had Koivu in mind the whole time.

  39. Lafleurguy says:

    Gomez looked engaged last night and more effective than he did trying to play JM’s system. He did look like a smurf among all the upsized Kings. Carter and Penner on the ice together would have made the Flyers’ Legion of Doom look small. The Sharks were covered in every zone and even had to resort to high-risk passing in front of their own net just to clear their own zone. Easy to say Detroit’s chances are 50-50 when the series is 3-3 and Howard shut out the Hawks in one game. If the Wings pull it out then toss up between them and the Kings. If it’s Chicago, then I favor the Kings, ’cause it looks like there are ways to shut down that offence and also to frustrate Toews.

    Yesterday Marc 10 lambasted Detroit fans in attendance for abandoning their team when the score 4-2 in game six. Premature evacuation can be embarrassing when televised internationally.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • ebk says:

      To be fair, no one looked that effective playing JM’s outdated system. Still looks like the same Gomez to me, reminds me of Ron Flockhart when he was a Hab and to a lesser extent Russ Courtnall. End to End rushes, that either result in a lost puck in the corner or a blindly thrown pass to the other team.

      I agree with you on the Kings/Wings. Not the Hawks/Kings, I think this is the scare the Hawks needed to wake them up. They basically went through the season adversity free.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      There are athletes seemingly in their prime that just lose it. It has to be a mental issue of some kind. Perhap’s JM’s system did play a part but the lions share of the responsibility lies at Gomez. The lazy turnovers, the lack of effort on back checking is solely on him.
      It is now water under the bridge but in my working days if you put millions of dollars in my pocket I might come to work with less if an edge. The only thing I know is he was a disaster that probably cost the Gainey regime their job.

  40. commandant says:

    The three best players of all time for every team in the Northeast Division, including the Habs, of course.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/05/29/three-stars-all-time-greats-of-the-northeast-division/

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would take Salming, Sittler, Keon and Clark ahead of Sundin. Points may not support it, but heart and what they did for the team on the ice I feel was far superior.

      • commandant says:

        Sundin always came to play for the Leafs in the playoffs, always. I think he deserves the spot. it wasn’t his fault that they kept giving him wingers like Jonas Hoglund, Sergei Berezin, Nick Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky.

        I’ve never seen a team always use their best wingers on the second line, and give their best centre (and a guy who was often top 10 in the NHL in points) such crap on his wings. Consistently this happened for like ten years. Yes other teams do it for a year or two, but Sundin never got the help.

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

        • Habfan17 says:

          Early in his career, Sundin was soft, then one day, I think he took one too many facewashes and had had enough, from that point on, he was much better. I would have taken him as a Hab in a heart beat

          Habfan17

        • Luke says:

          Sundin, was to me, the Leafs version of Beliveau. He was the class of their organization. Gave everything he had. Then they tried to flush him disgracefully and waged a media war against him (and of course the media was eager to join in).
          How dare he ask that his contract be honoured!

        • Chris says:

          Here’s a fun one.

          Hockey Reference includes an adjusted scoring list to factor in the scoring from different eras. It is obviously not perfect, but compare the career numbers of these guys:

          Guy Lafleur – 1126 GP, 480 G, 1161 PTS (Real: 1125 GP, 560 G, 1353 PTS)
          Mats Sundin – 1346 GP, 599 G, 1410 PTS (Real: 1346 GP, 564 G, 1349 PTS)
          Steve Yzerman – 1514 GP, 644 G, 1650 PTS (Real: 1514 GP, 692 G, 1755 PTS)

          That’s just factoring in the league-wide scoring trends, not quality of teammates where Sunding obviously got pummeled by the Toronto Maple Leafs throughout his career.

          • Luke says:

            Sundin’s wingers were the best checking unit he ever played against.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I’ll take Lafleur’s real stats over Sundins real stats any day, just as I would take the real Lafleur over the real Sundin any day.

          • Chris says:

            To be honest, I’d take Sundin over Lafleur. Lafleur had 6 outstanding NHL seasons playing with perhaps the best collection of talent ever assembled. Outside of that, he was actually an ordinary player.

            He was also a bit of a disturbing influence on the team, particularly later in his career, and routinely ruffled management and teammate feathers with some of his comments and his behaviour.

            Had Lafleur had the misfortune to come up in the era of 24/7 coverage of athletes and their idiocy, he would have had a very short Montreal Canadiens career.

            Different eras, different pressures. But both were excellent hockey players that you could build a team around.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Wow. I am surprised.

          • Chris says:

            It is a disagreement of opinion. If you want to wrap yourself in the flag and go Don Cherry on me, that is your prerogative. I don’t frankly care all that much.

            I think that if you give Guy Lafleur the equivalent of the supporting cast that Mats Sundin enjoyed, we’re not having this conversation. On the flip side, I have no idea if Sundin could have put up the numbers that Lafleur did because they were different players. Lafleur-Lemaire-Shutt was basically a perfect line, one where the sum exceeded the parts by a significant margin. And the parts were pretty freaking good.

            But if you’re going to try to argue with me that Lafleur would have dominated the NHL while playing on a line with Rejean Houle and Pierre Mondou, we’re just going to have to disagree. Lafleur played with two Hall of Fame forwards (Shutt and Lemaire) in front of perhaps the greatest trio of offensive defencemen ever assembled (Lapointe, Savard and Robinson).

            Mats Sundin’s spent the bulk of his career with wingers like Ponikarovsky, Antropov, Berezin, Thomas, and Tucker. There aren’t even All-Stars in that list, let alone Hall of Famers. He had one good defenceman in Kaberle, and McCabe wasn’t too bad. But the Big Three, they weren’t.

            Like I said, both are excellent hockey players that performed at the top of the game for years. My preference for Sundin is based solely on the fact that he was one of the classiest players in the NHL throughout his career and the fact that he was perhaps the best international hockey player in the world over his career when you factor in Olympics, World Cups and World Championships performances. Again, I apologize if you put no value on such things. I do.

            When Sundin was given the kind of quality linemates that his talent warranted, nobody in the world played at a higher level in his era. He was the equivalent of the 1980′s Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky (I shudder to think what Lemieux could have done had he been given better health).

            Guy Lafleur was never a classy individual, and that has always been something I put a huge premium on when it comes to professional athletes. Again, it is a personal thing and has nothing to do with Canadian vs. European.

            Note that I’m replying to the comment that you deleted, where you implied that my decision was solely due to Sundin being European and Lafleur being Canadian.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Not going Don Cherry, you have seen enough of my comments to know that is not my ilk. I deleted my comments, as I realized afterwards I overreacted or overstretched what I should have perhaps said.

            But I cannot possibly understand how Sundin can be deemed a better player than Lafleur. Simple as that for me and my opinion.

            Also Phil Kessel has done already what Sundin could never do in Toronto, be top 10 in points in the NHL two consecutive seasons. Tyler Bozak fits Sundins former linemates perfectly. SUndin just wasn’t that good.

            Played great for his country though.

        • Strummer says:

          Sundin was the reason we ended up with Gomez.
          If he had agred to come here when Gainey had his negotiating rights, we would not have had the cap space for Gomez and that trade doesn’t happen.

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

          • commandant says:

            The move was 1 year apart.

            If we acquired Sundin in the summer of 2008, he played 1 year and retired (as he did with the Canucks) we’d have still had the cap space for Gomez.

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

    • Chris says:

      Winnipeg/Phoenix – Thomas Steen deserves at least an honourable mention and I’m not sure how Randy Carlyle doesn’t get a star. :)

      San Jose – No Evgeni Nabokov, not even as an honourable mention? He was a heck of a lot more important than Friesen or Ricci.

      Dallas/Minnesota – No Brian Bellows?

      Chicago – Very gutsy leaving Mr. Goalie out of the three stars. Not sure that is justified. Hall is probably one of the 5 best goalies in history, if not even top 3. Just played in the wrong era for the wrong team.

      New Jersey – Um…you can’t leave Kirk Muller off your Honourable Mention list! He was the face of that franchise for a decade.

      Philadelphia – Brian Propp and Rick MacLeish are pretty glaring omissions, as both were considered elite at their position during their Philadelphia prime.

      Vancouver – No mention of Tony Tanti or Thomas Gradin? For me, those guys were synonymous with the Canucks (along with Smyl)

      Colorado/Quebec – Too Colorado heavy. Peter Stastny is one of the most under-rated players in history, and he certainly deserves to be higher on that list than Peter Forsberg. Stastny was the second highest scoring player of the 1980′s, behind only Wayne Gretzky. Yes, it was a high-scoring era, but Peter Stastny was the real deal.

      Good job, overall, and a fun read!

      • commandant says:

        Just on the Colorado one… the Stastny vs Roy was debated and debated and debated again…. ultimately we went with Roy.

        The HMs are in no particular order.

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

        • Chris says:

          Like I said, it was a great job. Was just lobbing out some more names that I felt were largely missing from the honourable mentions list.

          The only three where I looked at the stars and struggled was Chicago (Hall beats Savard, for me), Phoenix/Winnipeg (Carlyle over Numminen, although I LOVE Numminen and was happy to see him there) and Colorado (Stastny and Sakic are the faces of that franchise in my mind, not Patrick Roy. If you are going to leave Roy as an Avalanche, he’s got to be in the list somewhere, which means I leave Forsberg out).

          • commandant says:

            Roy got the Avalanche nod as we felt he needed to be on the list, but couldn’t bump the three Habs.

            Heck even if we bumped the three Habs it would have been for Plante or Harvey and not Roy.

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

      • ebk says:

        Peter Stastny was one of the better players to ever lace on a pair of skates. I find Michel Goulet gets little or no respect as well.

        • Chris says:

          I hated Michel Goulet as a kid, but he hwas a fantastic scorer.

          Peter Stastny ended up with 1239 points, despite not starting his career until age 24. When you factor in that a lot of guys from that era saw their peak years end around age 30 (as opposed to around age 35 now), losing those first 5-6 seasons probably cost him 450-600 career points.

          Another 600 points would have him sitting close to Gordie Howe for 3rd all-time in NHL scoring. His points per game total is fourth best among the top 100 all-time NHL scorers, trailing only those of Gretzky, Lemieux and Dionne).

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Great write-ups, as usual. Certainly not an enviable task to whittle the lists down to three selections, particularly when the Original Six squads are included.

      I find it particularly interesting how a player such as Adam Oates is unable earn a spot on the Honourable Mention lists for either St. Louis or Boston. I certainly understand that his tenure with those teams wasn’t particularly long – six years with Boston being his longest of the two stops.

      Oates had decent numbers while in Detroit and Washington. His Boston days were definitely solid, but I find his 115 points in 61 games during the 1990-91 season with the Blues to be very impressive.

      Plus, he was always incredible when I used him while playing NHL ’94 on my Super Nintendo. That’s gotta count for something.

      Again, great write-up. Thanks for sharing!

      ————-
      Daily recommendations for May 29
      Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
      Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Often GM’s are rated as successful based on winning a cup. I think the best GM in the league never to have won a cup is Bryan Murray. He essentially built the Anaheim team which won a cup under Brian Burke. He then went to Ottawa and has done an incredible job of restocking their depth and talent pool. He hasn’t won the cup as a GM but I think I would sooner have him as my GM than Burke.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Most definitely, and if you remember a couple of years ago, he traded a couple of players the fans considered “untouchable” I live in Ottawa and he took a lot of heat. It sure worked out for the Sens. When Murray did this, the Sens Team was very similar to the Habs team today.
      Habfan17

      • Chris says:

        Except that the players you are referring to are Chris Kelly, the third line checking centre, and Mike Fisher, their second line centre who had told the club that it would be great if he could move to Nashville due to his wife’s career.

        The guys you are advocating trading are Brian Gionta, the team’s captain, and Andrei Markov, the team’s fourth leading scorer, PP quarterback and second best defenceman.

        I’m fully on board with dealing Gionta at the trade deadline, as the Senators did with Fisher and Kelly. I would also deal Travis Moen and Tomas Plekanec for the right deals.

        I would definitely take offers for Markov at the trade deadline, but I don’t think you’d get fair value for him. Other guys can mentor, as you’ve said in other posts, but Markov’s mentorship of Subban was tremendously important this season, and I think he is a perfect guy to keep around to help mentor Beaulieu, who many are hoping will ultimately replace Markov.

    • SmartDog says:

      I agree he’s a smart GM.

      He’s also the GM most likely to be asked to be a villain in an Austin Powers move. He’s kind of twitchy and has a bit of a lisp…. I can hear him say ‘I’ll trade you Jason Shhpeezza for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!’

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

  42. 100HABS says:

    Glad to see this morning that Gomez was finally eliminated. For some unknown reason, it really bugged me to know he was still playing after the Habs were eliminated…

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    To those that want to sign Ray Emery, read the article from just after his surgery. Essentially as I also recall hearing him say in interviews, he didn’t care if the surgery was only for him to walk again, he wanted to play.

    He could very easily be done playing by next season by playing on his reconstructed hip.

    This is also why Chicago was able to get him relatively cheap, it was a gamble on the Hawks behalf that his hip would hold out.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=lebrun_pierre&id=5738598

    • Habfan17 says:

      Thanks for the link. I remember that, but it was 3 years ago. I agree he is still a risk, these days who isn;t…lol When I threw out the fun suggestion, you could insert any goalie who did pretty well. I was trying to generate some fun trade talk, like yours!

      Habfan17

    • Fransaskois says:

      He’d add a lot of size and toughness to the roster…. Would we rather Emery as our backup or Bordeleau as our 13th forward? Gotta get MOAR Bigger any way we can.

  44. habs_54321 says:

    logan couture looks eerily simular to sidney crosby

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, I find it funny that San Jose keeps drafting ex 67″s and having success and the Sens don’t so much. I’d love it if the Habs had taken him. I know Wilson is a 67′s alumni!

      Habfan17

  45. C-Sword says:

    So are you guys rooting for the Hawks or the Wings tonight? As a Kings fan, I want the Wings to win, so LA will have home ice advantage next round. Not to mention that some people were so quick to hand the cup to the Hawks, just because they finished 1st in the regular season, I love upsets lol.

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Personally, I would like to see the Wings advance, but my gut tells me the Hawks will pull it out tonight.

      Actually…change that…the Wings will get the job done with Dan Cleary potting the game winner. You can take that to the bank! Well, you can take it to the bank, but the cheque will likely bounce.

      ————-
      Daily recommendations for May 29
      Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
      Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

    • Todays - Topic says:

      Win or loose. I give the wings credit. They never quit. Actually I didn’t think they would beat Anaheim.

    • Habilis says:

      I’m rooting for the Wings, mostly because the Habs get one notch lower on the draft board if they win.

      Also because, as one poster put it a little while back (I think it was Bill), the Wings are a team full of crusty vets that still know how to win. Reminiscent of the great Habs teams at the end of their runs.

  46. Habfan17 says:

    Hypothetical scenario based on how the true cup contenders seem to be able to win with solid but not superstar goalies and that there are a few decent goalies available as UFA’s.

    Would you trade Gorges, Holland and Price to Edmonton for Gagner, Paajarvi, and Edmonton’s 2nd and 4th round picks then sign Emery?

    Habfan17

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Nope.
      Whoever gets the best player usually wins the trade, and I’d say this fits.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think Montreal should just play with 6 attackers, and skip the goalie. THe franchise will never find someone good enough to avoid constant crapping on anyhow, so lets just end the debate and stop dressing a goalie. :)

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        Could we at least turn the net backwards like in pick-up hockey when a team is without a goaler; requiring the opposition to bounce the puck into the net off of the boards in order to record a goal?

        ————-
        Daily recommendations for May 29
        Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
        Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

      • Habfan17 says:

        lol, I like that! I am not crapping on Price, just throwing out a thought. I think he has done very well considering he plays in the crazy Montreal Market, the expectations on him were sky high from the time he was drafted, and the team is no where near a true contender. Not to mention the Gauthier gong show!

        Habfan17

    • myron.selby says:

      So we trade what many hockey experts (not on HIO obviously) consider to be one of the elite goalies, a good defensive D (who admittedly had a subpar year) and a prospect for a smurf center (when we’re already overloaded at that position) and a winger who couldn’t crack the lineup on a regular basis on a non-playoff team and some chump change draft picks?

      Glad you’re not Montreal’s GM.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The trade Price catcalls are going to be beyond a feverish pitch here by August Myron.

      • Habfan17 says:

        @ myron.selby, read my post above and read the one you commented on more carefully! I was throwing out a scenario for fun. I never said I suggest the Habs do it. I was trying to generate a fun conversation and more possible trade options.

        Habfan17

        • myron.selby says:

          So to start a fun conversation you throw out a trade scenario that doesn’t make any sense? I suppose it is a “possible trade option”, but then I suppose another is trading Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Eller and Subban for Gomez. Are we having fun yet?

          I guess it just doesn’t seem like fun to me to throw out really bad random trade ideas. Probably just feeling cranky this morning, don’t mind me.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Who peed in your corn flakes this morning…lol? I was going to suggest they trade him for a package to Anaheim for Ryan but they don’t need a goalie!

            Habfan17

      • alfieturcotte says:

        I find it humorous that despite 6 years of statistics on Price, the “Price is an elite goaltender” discussion continues.

        Go back and take a closer look at his career and stats – nothing elite about them. Not even close.

        Any trade for Price would be a good one given his salary and term of contract as compared to performance.

        MB, recognize your mistake and go out and trade him before the market disappears on you a la Luongo……

        Ok Pricebots, floor is yours again to revise Price’s history.

        • Luke says:

          Stats are crazy things. Price and Quick both have similar regular season save % this year.

          Perhaps the teams they play for aren’t identical.

          • alfieturcotte says:

            Did you take a closer look at Quick’s playoff stats? Well, clearly you haven’t — .932; 1.94GAA. Now Price’s stats are .905; 2.90 GAA. Tell me, which goalie would you rather have in a playoff game? I’ll take Quick and his Conn Smythe Trophy (.946; 1.43GAA in 2012).

            You see, the complete picture of a goaltender is BOTH regular season and playoffs, with an emphasis on playoffs becuase after all, that’s what they all play for.

            Next.

          • Luke says:

            That’s why I mentioned directly his reg season stats.
            Same Sample size. But I think you missed my point…

            (This’ll get lost in the thread length anyways)

            Anyways, my point was not that Quick blows, but that Stats mislead.
            Quick and Price had very comperable regular seasons, statistically. However, I do not think many here would say they have comperable talent playing in front of them.
            Put a great team infront of Price (or any goalie) and you’ll see his numbers improve. Put a great goalie behind a crappy team and you’ll see his numbers drop.

            ‘is all.

  47. SteverenO says:

    Gomez watch;

    now that the sharks playoff run is over lets take a look at how Gomez contributed to their success.

    Gomez was dressed for 9 of the Sharks 11 games and played a total of 135 inutes, 111 at even strength and 23 minutes on the PP.

    WHile he was on the ice his team scored a total of 2 goals ( both at even strength) and he assisted on both of them. AT the same time the opponent only scored 2 goasl againstt the Sharks while Gomez was on the ice.

    All in all , he was a non factor, he didn;t help the team but also did not hurt the team.

    His numbers were roughly equivalent to Tommy Wingels and Andrew Desjardins.

    I still find it hard to believe that he was used on the PP at all, but after Thornton , Marleau ,Couture,Pavelski, and Boyle the Sharks didn’t have any other players that had any type of offensisve production whatsoever..

    Basically a team with 4 top 6 type forwards and one good offensive defenseman (Boyle). It is surprising that they made it to a second round game 7.

    Perhaps the goalie had a lot to do with it . In 11 playoff games they scored (and allowed) 14 even strength goals. Their PP contributed 11 goals and they allowed 8 while short handed.

    I like a good defensive battle as much as the next guy, but I think it’s become a little ridiculous when the goal scoring in professional ice hockey is as scarce as that of a soccer match.

    What’s next? Elimination of the blue line? Bigger nets?

    regards,

    Steve O.

  48. frontenac1 says:

    @chuck. No more loser points and an extra round of the playoffs? I like it.

    • Chuck says:

      Get Gary on the phone!

      __________________________________________________
      Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

  49. Maksimir says:

    Agree 100% on that he is more aggressive and forces the shooter into a quick move or decision…. I’d like to see Price get like that instead of just standing there and letting shots go over his glove or shoulder… but to be fair he is a positional goalie and when he is tracking the puck well, he makes a lot of saves.

  50. Todays - Topic says:

    Cream of the crop is Pittsburgh. Whether they win the cup or not. Remains to be seen.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I dunno about that? L.A. and Chicago are right there with them IMO.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hope Chicago wins tonight in order to see I think the 4 best rosters in the NHL duel it out for the Cup. I want Detroit to win to help our draft position.

        I think Chicago can bring better balanced scoring to the game against L.A. than San Jose did, also a younger faster team. Will be a great series if they meet.

        I think Pittsburgh only loses if Vokoun/Fleury sh*t the bed against Boston.

        Should be an excellent Cup Final.

        • Todays - Topic says:

          If it’s LA – Chicago. I’ll say Chicago in 7

          Pittsburgh 6-7 over Boston

          Than again I didn’t think Detroit should have beaten Anaheim.
          who knows. We all have our opinions.

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        As much as I’d like to see Detroit advance, I expect the Hawks to come out on top tonight. L.A. versus Chicago would be one heck of a series, I’d say.

        We’ve been treated to some impressive and entertaining hockey this round. It should only get better.

        ————-
        Daily recommendations for May 29
        Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
        Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

  51. Steeltown Hab says:

    Mock 1st round

    Colorado Nathan Mackinnon
    Florida Seth Jones
    Tampa Bay Jonathan Droiun
    Nashville Barkov
    Carolina Nichuskin
    Calgary Elias Lindholm
    Edmonton Darnell Nurse
    Buffalo Rasmus Ristolainen
    New Jersey Sean Monahan
    Dallas Hunter Shinkaruk
    Philadelphia Nikita Zadarov
    Phoenix Bo Horvat
    Winnipeg Anthony Mantha
    Columbus Fredrick Gauthier
    NY Islanders Max Domi
    Buffalo Vladymir Zykov
    Detroit Alexander Wennberg
    Ottawa Ryan Pulock
    Columbus Adam Erne
    San Jose Andre Burakowsky
    Toronto Curtis Lazar
    Calgary Zach Fucale
    Washington Robert Hagg
    Vancouver Kerby Rychel
    Montreal Jacob De La Rose
    Anaheim Josh Morrissey
    Columbus Ryan Hartman
    Dallas JT Compher
    Calgary Samuel Morin
    Chicago Shea Theodore

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  52. habstrinifan says:

    I would like to add my two-cents worth to the debate as to what sort of goals the HABS should set. It would be foolhardy to try and change the makeup of a team like our present HABS to next year’s Cup finalists. That’s impossible. Therefore there is no argument with building for what is described as ‘the future’.

    And besides Gainey’s attempt with Gionta/Gomez/Camallieri, I dont think HABS mangement has tried to ‘go for the cup’ per se. And no sensible person is asking MB to adopt such a narrow minded focus and adapt his team accordingly. It is an impossible task.

    However ‘building for the future’ does not exclude making significant acquisitions off the free agency market or parting with significant players off your roster. I think this concept is so important that I shall repeat it.

    Building for the future does not exclude making significant free agency pickups or parting with significant current and potential assets.

    And this is where the HABS have failed. And in fact, amost every layer of HABS Nation, has wrapped itself in this layer of comfortable timidity and embrace our ‘has beens’ and ‘over the hills’ and ‘unpredictables’ showing little of the temerity that other general managers and organizations have shown.

    In the last 15 or so years, Habs have not so much chosen their direction as they have been engulfed by their circumstances.

    Reading the posts during the very (and I repeat very) brief period when Ryder had some sort off success streak is evident of my point. Not only were there fans here (who admittedly can be excused for not knowing better) who wanted MB to grab his checkbook and inked this guy to a 4yr/$4m+ contract… but there were many so called experts among the media (who purportedly do know better) who was calling for MB to be more aggressive than Gainey and inked this guy mid season.

    Fortunately we were saved. How many other players did HABS either hang on too past their ‘best use by date’ or put too high a value on and therefore would not consummate any deals involving that player.
    Pause and think of the post, you the reader has made, calling it reckless to even consider parting with ‘on of your favourites’. And then pause again… and think if the idea is indeed as reckless as you fear.

    This year must be different. Regardless of the comprehensive plan in which MB frames his actions, he has to look at the evidence of the playoffs, the inconsistencies and under-performances of the shortened season, the nature of his HABS… and act boldly.

    I repeat!
    Building for the future does not exclude making significant free agency pickups or parting with significant current and potential assets.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I repeat, lumping the past 15 years of Habs mgmt is not fair to MB either, or even the current owner of the team.

      Judge Molson on what he has done since arriving. Took a little over a year, but decided to clean virtually the entire head office out. With that cleaning, came the same to all coaches.

      To slag MB/Molson for past misgivings is just futile in my opinion.

      I choose to judge MB for only what he can/will control. He is building for the future, and hopefully will be judicious in his future moves.

    • myron.selby says:

      On rare occasions , I think you can get value on the free agent market (I would argue that Prust falls into this category), but 19 times out of 20 you overpay. That is the nature of the beast, when you have 30 teams vying for the services of an individual you have put that player squarely in the driver’s seat. And generally you not only overpay, you give way too long a term.

      Trying to build a team that way is doomed to failure. Sure, pick up 1 or 2 players that way, but largely it should be stay away.

      I’d love to hear the names of the high profile free agents people think have delivered real value for the money and term they received.

    • SmartDog says:

      >Building for the future does not exclude making significant free >agency pickups or parting with significant current and potential assets.

      I agree with this statement. (And not to offend, but this is the only real point in your note.)

      But where Gainey and Gauthier failed is especially shocking because most of the moves they made were obviously grasping at straws. Trade for Gomez? Kaberle? These were such obviously bad moves that they were shocking. (And except for McDonagh (who they reportedly undervalued… another error in judgement) the approach of the previous regime was to try to ship out our trash and get a good return for it. Or sign high end but small free agents that other people were wary of paying big bucks to.)

      I guarantee we won’t see moves like that from Bergevin. I think MB does have the balls to trade away legitimate assets to get real worth back. In the next year – assuming he keeps DD who he seems wedded to – he pretty much has to ship either Pleks or Eller, and I’m sure he will. Both are valuable players and the return should be valuable as well. I’m sure he also has the sense to trade for size and toughness – things we need more of.

      In short, I agree with you and I think BG does as well. And I’m looking forward to that.

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

    • Maritime Ron says:

      You make some great points especially, ” Building for the future does not EXCLUDE making significant free agency pickups or parting with significant current and potential assets.”

      Perhaps it’s all about TIMING…and then making calculated gambles.

      Look at the Kings.
      Once they had a trusted, mostly drafted core, they went after Mike Richards and sacrificed Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and a 1st round pick for 2012.

      After that, they went after Jeff Carter and sacrificed a top Dman in Jack Johnson + a 1st Round Pick for this year.

      Now that’s bold!
      Trading 2 consecutive 1st rounders and some VERY good young talent

      The question becomes, how far away are we from that “Bold” era?
      From here, and if all works out, maybe 3-4 years away.

      • SmartDog says:

        Good point Ron. You need assets to trade for assets. We sure aren’t in the position the Kings were! And it doesn’t look like we’ll be there for a couple of years. But we’re ahead of the Gainey era, if not just because we have a couple fewer problems.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The key was it took them 5 years to build that roster and then tweaking began like you say.

      • Habfan17 says:

        hey Maritime, did you see the Heat I am taking for a post below suggesting it is time to trade Markov and Gionta and get something in return that can help long term. Since they won’t be here when the Habs are competative, why not move them when they still have value? I have been in a round about way, called mindless, and would be leaving the team rudderless, although there would still be plenty of experienced players to mentor the young guys and the key core all have at least 3 season under their belts. I guess moving diminsihing assets for something is wrong. It is better to hang on to them until they have no value and get nothing.

        Habfan17

        • Luke says:

          Wow, Cranky much when someone disagrees?

          • Habfan17 says:

            No not cranky, just blown away with how over the top critical and closed minded some people are. We all have opinions,

            Habfan17

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Habfan
            I’ll get back to you later on that one but I’m in your court- see Bryan Murray and how the Sens fans wanted a public square hanging only 2 years ago…

        • Fransaskois says:

          @ Habfan17, I noticed. People just don’t like looking at the big, long term picture.

          #2 Center. Plays a good two way game. Isn’t physical, face-offs aren’t a strong point, average offensive output, has had issues with our #1 defenceman in the past ;)

          Apparently this guy is untradeable. Perhaps a little too drastic a move for some people. In my opinion, any player that isn’t one of our young-elites is moveable so long as it helps the team.

          • Habfan17 says:

            @ Fransaskois, I agree, I mentioned trading Pleks before and had the same result, he has been the best player. I don’t disagree, but now the Habs have some better, younger players and they have need for a power left wing for the 2nd line. I try not to be clouded by personal feelings and look at it as building a successful business.

            Habfan17

    • Timo says:

      We were not saved from Desharnais however. The checkbook grabbing was lightning quick in this case.

  53. Chuck says:

    So there’s a very good chance that the last four winners of the Stanley Cup will be the final four teams in this year’s playoffs… so much for parity, Gary!

    Regular season standings are massaged in the favour of fake competitiveness with three-point games, but in the playoffs you either win, or you don’t. It’s a much better barometer of which teams really are the best in the league.

    I’d be happy to see the league ditch the fake competitiveness for more of the real thing. Instead of an 82-game regular season, shrink it to 75, and use the extra seven games to increase the playoffs to five rounds. That’s right, EVERYONE gets in. And ideally, with a 32-team league. That way, every game of the regular season is important to every team. Teams right down to last place in either division get to jockey for playoff position down to the final day of the regular season, and their fans get to enjoy meaningful games past December.

    And who knows? There might even be a first-round upset or two along the way.

    __________________________________________________
    Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

    • Cal says:

      I am finding the NHL playoffs more and more of a joke. Which other league changes or suspends the rules for their championship playoffs? All I am seeing everywhere on the ice is interference, trips and illegal checks that don’t even merit warnings (according to the on-ice officials). Until Campbell and the other goons are purged from the NHL front office, the league will remain the worst run league in all sports.

      • SmartDog says:

        League officiating has become a joke. It needs a huge shake-up. It won’t happen though as long as politics rules decision-making. And that’s not going away. Shanahan came in to change things, and started to. And then within weeks tucked his tail between his legs where it still lives. Shanahan is a tough cookie. So that shows how much opposition he hit. Real change won’t happen until Buttman leaves. Then a shake-up (and real reform) is possible. Until then – shoddy business as usual when it comes to officiating, discipline, and fairness.

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

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        Agreed, wholeheartedly, Cal.

        It truly is ridiculous that a fast and skilled team without an abundance of size can play under regular season rules and thrive, only to be ‘rewarded’ with an opportunity to participate in playoff games where seemingly anything goes.

        Building a team for both styles of play is no easy task for a GM and his scouting department. Damn, they’d be amazing jobs to have though! Where do I apply?

        ————-
        Daily recommendations for May 29
        Song of the Day: Little Green Bag (George Baker)
        Movie of the Day: Reservoir Dogs

    • myron.selby says:

      If anything, I’d say go the other way and limit the playoffs to 8 teams. Rather than making the regular season games matter, your idea would make them completely meaningless. Why bother competing at all if you make the playoffs regardless?

      • Chuck says:

        Because the higher you finish in the standings, the lesser the chance that you’ll face a team like the Penguins in the first round. It’s not whether or not you make the playoffs, it’s where your team is seeded that makes it interesting.

        __________________________________________________
        Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

    • Chris says:

      Yep. And of those four teams, let’s see.

      Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup and then lost in the 2nd round, the 1st round and the 1st round in the next three seasons.

      Chicago won the Stanley Cup and then lost in the first round in back-to-back seasons.

      Boston won the Stanley Cup and then lost in the first round, squandering a 3-0 series lead.

      I think an argument can be made for parity. Good teams will of course remain good teams. But the fact that we haven’t had a back-to-back Stanley Cup winning team since Detroit in 1997 and 1998 is pretty stark evidence that it is nearly impossible to build a dynasty such as the 1950′s Montreal Canadiens, 1960′s Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, 1970′s Montreal Canadiens, or 1980′s New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.

      The salary cap will help even things out even more. Chicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are all running with teams that are unsustainable due to the salary cap. Only Boston has a sustainable team, and they have not been a model of consistency when it comes to performance.

  54. Luke says:

    From “Older Comments” Re: Gionta/playing hurt/trading him & Markov:

    Habfan17 says:
    May 29, 2013 at 10:06 am I suggest he be traded either way! Neither he or Markov will be around when Bergevin gets the Habs to where they can compete for the cup consistently. Why not get something for them now and let the young core take over and develop? Gorges too can go.

    Why keep these guys? Well the young core, which is primarily poeple with about 2 seasons or less of full time NHL employment need mentors. Teams that are exceptionally young rarely have sustained success.
    The LA Kings added players like Williams and Stoll and Scuderi.
    The Pens had Recchi and Guerin…
    The Oilers are now seeing that the lack of vets is an issue.

    Keeping Markov around is good for a couple reasons: (#1) He’s still good. (#2) he’s a great mentor to players like PK & Beaulieu. He can show Tinordi that position is more important than Physicality.
    Gionta is a perfect role model for Gallagher. He’s a cup winner…

    Yes, in a few years Gionta won’t be around, but in those years that he is, he’ll help the young core be ready to play for a cup when he’s not.

    You can have a powerful an engine as you want, but the rudder is the key.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Maybe keep Markov on a severely reduced salary after next season but IMO, Gionta is very expendable. Especially since we are too damn small with Desharnais, Gallagher and Gionta in the lineup at the same time.

      I think at their age, both Markov and Gionta, will miss the window where the Habs will start to be good and I’m sure there will be other veterans around at that time.

      Get what you can out of them next season but after that, I’d be happy if both were gone.

      It’s like Alfredson in Ottawa, if i were a Sens fan, I’d want him gone so the team can officially turn the page and develop a new identity.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thing is, their contracts are up at the end of next season and they will get nothing, unless they trade them at the deadline. that would work only if they are playing well and not hurt. The Habs have plenty oif rudders on their ship! Not all mentors need to be on the ice!

        Habfan17

      • frontenac1 says:

        Markov (with reduced ice time) is still one of the most dangerous D men in the league. You can”t easily replace his smarts. He was played way too much last season. Cut his ice time, bring in a couple of real D men to share the load and Markov is good for a few more years . Gio is a different story. Those two bicep injuries at his age could really be it for him. Who knows?Love the guy”s heart but, maybe playing with his brother in NJ before he retires might make more sense. Saludos!

    • Chris says:

      I don’t get it either.

      Markov was Montreal’s 2nd best defenceman last season behind Subban. He helped bring their power play back from the dead. He logged heavy minutes, which should realistically be scaled back to keep him more fresh.

      Yet people want to throw him away. Mindless.

      When Markov is cut loose, I’ll be making up a bingo list of the posters who were most adamant that he would go and we can lay money on which one of them is the first to whine about the lack of a PP quarterback to play with Subban. :)

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I will do the same when we watch the team after they trade Price.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Just look at what Calgary did, they kept hanging on to aging players and what did they get for them? The Habs are a team in transition. Sure Markov was the 2nd best d-man last season, but that does not mean he will hold up to 82 games next season or be as good. Pollock had the knack for trading players when their value was still pretty high.

        It is not mindless , it is leveraging diminishing assets while they still hold value and potentially sacrificing one season, to build a better team for the future.

        Habfan17

        • Chris says:

          Okay, so we point at Calgary for not leveraging diminishing assets, but completely ignore the elephant in the room, the fact that that team has completely sucked at drafting over the past decade.

          Seriously…look at the Calgary Flames draft record over the past 10 years and tell me that failing to trade their aging stars was the problem.

          Since 2002, the Calgary Flames have drafted eight players that have scored 100 games or more in the NHL in their careers: Mikael Backlund (24th overall, 2007), Keith Aulie (121st, 2007), Brandon Prust (70th, 2004), Dustin Boyd (98th, 2004), Adam Pardy (173rd, 2004), Dion Phaneuf (9th, 2003), Eric Nystrom (10th, 2002) and Matt Lombardi (90th, 2002).

          Contrast that with the teams still alive in this year’s playoffs:

          Chicago – 19 (Babchuk, Keith, Wisniewski, Burish, Porter, Byfuglien, Kukkonen, Crawford, Seabrook, Brouwer, Dowell, Bickell, Bolland, Barker, Hjalmarsson, Skille, Toews, Kane and Kruger)

          Detroit – 13 (Hudler, Fleischmann, Filppula, Meech, Ericsson, Quincey, Howard, Franzen, Helm, Abdelkader, Kindl, Matthias, Emmerton)

          Pittsburgh – 15 (Whitney, Chrstensen, Talbot, Moulson, Bissonnette, Carcillo, Fleury, Kennedy, Johnson, Goligoski, Malkin, Vitale, Letang, Crosby, Staal)

          Los Angeles – 14 (Grebeshkov, Rome, Brown, Boyle, Tambellini, Quick, Kopitar, Lewis, Martinez, Simmonds, Doughty, Voynov, Clifford, Schenn)

          Calgary has drafted low, and they’ve drafted high, yet they’ve done an awful job of finding good NHL players capable of helping sustain the momentum built by Iginla and Kiprusoff.

          Montreal is doing a good job of drafting. Over the same time period mentioned above, they have found 17 guys who have played 100 games in the NHL (Higgins, Kostitsyn, Lapierre, O’Byrne, Halak, Chipchura, Emelin, Grabovski, Streit, Kostitsyn, D’Agostini, Latendresse, Price, Weber, Subban, Pacioretty and McDonagh).

          I would argue it isn’t an unwillingness to trade older, established NHL players like Gionta and Markov that is the problem, but a general waste of younger talent that clearly don’t fit into the team’s plans. Look at the list above and trace what Montreal has to show for each guy today:

          Higgins – nothing
          A. Kostitsyn – 2nd round pick in 2013
          Lapierre – nothing
          O’Byrne – Michael Bournival
          Halak – Lars Eller
          Chipchura – Magnus Nygren
          Grabovski – Greg Pateryn
          Streit – nothing
          S. Kostitsyn – nothing
          D’Agostini – nothing
          Latendresse – nothing
          McDonagh – nothing

          So of the 17 guys I listed, only Emelin, Price, Subban and Pacioretty remain with the team, and Eller was added. Weber is on his way out, and there are hopes that Bournival might make it one day. The rest is ugly.

    • Habfan17 says:

      They would still have mentors and there are free agents that are younger and would bring attributes the Habs lack, and they could also mentor. Pleks, Boullion, Moen, they all can mentor, Not to mention the coaching staff, all ex players some of which played for the Habs. How many mentors does a team need?

      I know you need experience on a team. The young core has exerience, Patches, two full seasons and parts of 3 others, a world junior and a world championship. Eller, 3 seasons a world junior and 3 world championships, Subban, 3 seasons and 2 junior championships. Diaz and Emelin are both 26 and although only have 2 years in the NHl, they have played pro hockey for years in Europe. That also leaves Prust and Bourque.

      Seems to me that would leave the Habs plenty of mentors and experience. Not to mention the one or two free agents they may sign and what they may get for Gionta and Markov
      Habfan17

      • Chris says:

        Who do you get to replace Markov as the PP quarterback?

        That is one of the hardest roles in all of hockey to fill, and we’ve got one of the top 3 guys (if not the very best one) sitting here and you want to deal him away.

        Markov could easily have 4-5 years of hockey left in him. He loves Montreal. If he’s willing to take a pay-cut (not an unreasonable thought, as he signed for below market value on some of his previous contracts and was never a tough negotiation for the Habs) and sign for 1- or 2-year deals, I’d keep him around at least until we see if Beaulieu is going to work out.

        The return for Markov won’t be much. You could get a 1st rounder for him perhaps at the trade deadline next season, although there are no guarantees. And that 1st rounder is likely to be a low one given that the only teams that would look to add him would be teams loading up for the playoffs.

        Detroit did not deal their “diminishing assets” like Lidstrom or Holmstrom because those guys were still good hockey players. The same goes for Markov.

        I’m all for dumping guys that don’t really serve a role. I would trade Gionta at the deadline, because there isn’t room for all three of Gallagher, Desharnais and Gionta up front. Gionta is the best player of the three, but his injury issues, age and cap-hit don’t offset the difference between he and the other two.

        Markov is head-and-shoulders above everybody but Subban on the Habs blue line. Dumping him would be nothing short of an announcement that the Habs intend to fight for the right to draft Connor McDavid in 2015.

        • ebk says:

          you know, I’d be OK with that announcement.

          • Chris says:

            Just want people to realize what the loss of Markov would do to this team.

            And we’d still screw it up by whining that we can’t take another season of suckitude, and then trade some kids for some veteran on the wrong side of 30 and finish 10th in McDavid’s draft year.

            Montreal blew it by not sucking this year. I blame everybody. :)

          • Luke says:

            Letting Markov go would be very similar to when the Leafs let Murphy go.

  55. Mattyleg says:

    Hey guys, what’s all this about Latendresse tweeting “It seems official now, thanks to the fans,management,owner of the sens an a1 class organisation.”

    Is he being signed or cut loose?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  56. frontenac1 says:

    If Big Bird is moving on I hope its home to the Habs!

  57. Kooch7800 says:

    Well, I have been watching the LA’s playoff run and I must say That Quick is to me the best goalie in the NHL…wow he is good

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Luke says:

      What would be funny though is to read the posts and comments about him after he gave up game one singlehandedly to the Blues with the OT turn over & empty netter.

      (Good goalie though, no doubt).

      • Kooch7800 says:

        That was just a gaff….happens to all goalies who handle the puck well.

        Watching his run last year and now this year I am just blown away at how good he is. His lateral movement is unreal.

        He could be a big problem for Canada in the Olympics

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Mattyleg says:

          His lateral movement has to be good because he’s so often out of position, just like ToolTime Thomas.

          Sometimes it works for him, sometimes it doesn’t.

          The thing I do like about him is that he’s aggressive, and forces players to think fast, rather than let them come to him.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • GrosBill says:

        They were not that bad. Those who watched that game vs the Blues, myself included, saw that Quick was the main reason they were in it to begin with. I felt bad for him in OT, he was brilliant in that game.

  58. frontenac1 says:

    @luke. Lock out?

  59. Luke says:

    While it’s all fine and dandy to be talking hockey right now, I think you all might also like to know that we could be heading for a lock out!


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