Back to the bargaining table on Monday

Donaldweb

After talk last week about a possible two-week break in NHL labour negotiations, the two sides have decided to return to the bargaining table on Monday.

There was some positive movement on the weekend to set up another face-to-face meeting between the league and the NHLPA. The 64-day lockout has already claimed 327 regular-season games and players missed their third pay day of the season Thursday.

The 2004-05 season was cancelled in February during a lockout. A lockout in 1995 ended in January, leading to a 48-game schedule.

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138 Comments

  1. gloing12 says:

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  2. Morenz7 says:

    Friedman’s thought no. 12:
    “Two years ago, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford explained his belief that you cannot truly judge a defenceman until he turns 24. Rutherford says it’s the hardest pro position to learn. While in special cases some become early superstars, you can find a diamond in the rough by waiting a little.”

    He cites this in reference to TJ Brodie, but makes me think of Tinordi and Ellis, whom I saw live in the blowout loss to the Marlies on Saturday (also Beaulieu, who appears to be getting pressbox treatment; can anyone shed light?). There really is a ton of promise there, but I’d be leery of pushing any of them into an NHL lineup in the next 12 months. Pateryn—older but injured—might be the most NHL-ready of all of them.

    Not sure the same can be said for the forward corps. Gallagher’s a spark plug, but in general the Dogs have an awful time creating offence. Bournival was surprisingly non-evident on Saturday, after a great performance the day before. Quailer is big, but his skating needs a LOT of work. Palushaj does not stand out among AHLers. Nor does Blunden. With more ambition and puck sense (and some Belorusian), Avtsin would be a larger Kostitsyn brother. That’s not a compliment.

    One game granted. But I’ve watched several on TVA too. There definitely remains an organizational need for talent up front. Galchenyuk might be the big, playmaking centre we crave. But he’s only a start.

    EDIT: I see now Beaulieu had a minor injury; they sure could have used him when they got behind Saturday..

  3. Mike D says:

    Gary Bettman interview with the Winnipeg Free Press:

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/bettmans-take-179909441.html

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Cal says:

      The King of Rhetoric speaks! And not rhetorically, either. Decent interview, with the touchy questions easily side-stepped.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Interesting eh Cal, in that interview its almost like Bettman knows he can’t be a complete smarmy SOB as he is getting trashed in the media. He indeed almost answers like a normal human being, almost.

        • Cal says:

          What I don’t get is that Fehr is getting away with all his bs (like the labour boards fiasco) and no one says boo about it.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think Fehr is starting to catch some heat as well, but not nearly to the extent of Bettman. Granted Bettman has worked for the NHL for a long time all the while developing his reputation on his own. He hasn’t needed any help from anyone in creating his own image.

  4. Hey HIO, long time no talk. Was looking forward to seeing some of you fine folks at the summit this year but I guess that wasn’t in the cards. Thought I’d pop in and tell you guys that we’ve added two correspondents from Hamilton to cover Bulldogs games if you’re interested in that, and we also have a contest going where you can with a free Habs t-shirt of your choice if you tell us how you came to be a Habs fan. Link here: http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2012/11/15/3649920/fandom-how-it-all-begins

    Now I know what some of you are thinking, “I hate that Berkshire guy, why would I give your site hits?” Well my friend, it’s quite simple. The money for that shirt is coming out of my wallet. How funny would it be if your story gets drawn and I have to mail you a shirt that you force me to buy? That’s pretty good incentive, I’d wager.

    Also I miss guys like ooder and twocents and cantankerous Mr. Kerley. I even miss Timo a little.

    ______________________________
    https://twitter.com/AndrewBerkshire

  5. bwoar says:

    One comment on Galchenyuk, and it’s not based on anything in particular, just a hunch, I guess:

    Were he to be brought up for 9 games, I see him having a similar effect as Mark Scheifele did for the Jets. To wit, he looked very good in preseason, and earned his tryout. I thought he played well for a rookie, but once veteran NHLers got up to speed after a few games, he was overmatched, though IMO still better than other Jets in the lineup. Cue the demented reaction of Jets fans calling the kid a bust, that the org made a huge error taking him over Couturier (still a point of contention, frankly), etc. etc. Now he’s shooting the lights out in Barrie and all of the sudden he’s back to being a blue chipper.

    Should we come back to a shortened NHL season I hope that Galchenyuk isn’t brought into the picture at all. Not even for 9 games. The pressure to live up to fan expectation (tempered as it may be for some) and the pressure on the org to show they drafted the right guy, is something we should avoid. He would undoubtably show us flashes of what he can do, and sure, there’s a possibility he would stick, and yes, I firmly believe he’d fill a roster spot better then half our forwards. But I don’t want to see him brought up simply because he’s a better option than Colby Armstrong or Travis Moen. I hope the Habs brass are watching Scheifele’s progression carefully with Galchenyuk’s path to the NHL in mind.

      • commandant says:

        I have to disagree.

        While its entirely possible that he won’t perform well in the 9 game tryout, its also possible he would perform extremely well.

        I’d rather give him the chance, and if he can’t cut it send him back to Junior. If he can succeed at this level than keep him up.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 9 game tryout. No kid is going to be hurt by it, especially one as confident and hardworking as Alex Galchenyuk. Even if he doesn’t succeed, knowing the level of competition he will face will be invaluable for 2013-14.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Mike D says:

      That’s one way to look at it and a reasonable suggestion, bwoar. Something else to consider though, is what are the potential positives and negatives for AG from a developmental standpoint – regardless of how good/bad fan reaction might be based on his performance during a call-up?

      Player development is the most important issue here, and fan perception of either the player, or the team for drafting him at such a favourable position should be a VERY distant second – a proverbial blip on the radar. If Habs brass feel it would be a good way for AG to test himself against the greatest competition, give him some true NHL exposure/experience, wet his appetite to make the big show and further develop his skills, show him what his biggest weaknesses are, etc. then it’s a good move to bring him up for a stint.

      I’m not saying it’s good or bad to bring him up, just pointing out that what’s best for AG’s development is really the only thing that should be considered. Thankfully, better hockey minds than me are making that decision.

      - Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The Scheifele pick is interesting to watch Bwoar, especially considering it was kind of made by Ducky (Hawerchuk for nonWinnipeg folk) as he recomended him to the Jets.

      Your comparison is a fair one. Thankfully MB has lots of good advisors now in the organization whom he can bounce the ideas off of.

      End of day, I suspect the 9 game tryout may be inevitable, but I am with you in not wanting to see him in the NHL this season.

      Never mind the adjustment to NHL, with his knee injury, missed full season etc… I just think a full year in Junior is what he needs. The team is going nowhere this year, no need to rush him.

      I hope the Jet fans are patient with Scheifele, I think he is going to turn out well.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I was all for the 9 game until I read your post. Now I am not so sure. I particularly like your argument about him filling a spot simply because he’s a better option than Moen.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    A good read from Philly reporter Frank Seravalli, very good analysis of the battle between Fehr and Bettman.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20121119_Drowning_in_the_NHL_lockout.html

    I especially like his description of the two, when he says the King of Rhetoric has met his Prince.

    • Mustang says:

      Burl, that article is a very interesting way of looking at this situation. I get the feeling that we will know within the next couple of days whether or not there will be a NHL season this year. The end of November is not that far away so I think that the next step will be cancelling the entire season if they cannot reach an agreement very soon.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    OK Bettman and Fehr. I get it! You proved your point. My life now has no ardour. There will be no urgency to hurry up and shovel the snow so I can come in and watch the game with a healthily elevated heart rate. The last few days of HIO postings have been brilliant.

    But they have only served to reinforce my fear of facing the pending perils of Winter without the the conflagrant emotion of a HABS game warming me through the episodes of post nasal drip. I cant go down into my basement and turn my trusted 13″ inch on. My caftan lies crumpled on my basement couch.

    Even my beautiful black pigmented skin turns a pasty complexion, much like John Bellyful’s, when I try to descend into my winter retreat. John wears that hueless hue pridefully well, asserting it as affirmation of his heridty with Mark Twain. My knees buckle and uncontrollable tremors take hold of my entire body.

    So I give up Gary and Donald! You win! I am nothing without hockey… without HABS hockey. Please sign on the dotted line.

    And drop the FR$%#$&* PUCK ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    The latest offering from Elliote Friedman (20 thoughts instead of the normal 30).
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2012/11/30-thoughts-season-of-growing-discontent.html

    • Bripro says:

      20 thoughts? Hockey-shortened season (if any) translates into short stories instead of novels?

      *********************************************
      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  9. AliHaba says:

    Tim Bozon 24 games 36 points +19
    Alex Galchenyuk 22 35 +7
    Olivier Archambault 24 26 -1
    Charles Hudon 18 25 +10
    Brady Vail 23 25 -1
    Erik Nystrom 24 21 +3
    Magnus Nygren 23 15 +6
    Danny Kristo 8 12 E
    Darren Dietz 21 12 -10
    Sebastian Collberg 32 12 +6
    Mac Bennett 11 10 E
    Mark MacMillan 10 9 E
    Daniel Pribyl 11 6 +5
    Dalton Thrower 13 6 +3upper body
    John Westin 22 3 -9
    Josiah Didier 10 1 E
    Colin Sullivan 10 0 E

  10. Bripro says:

    Good morning to all.
    I took some time away from the site (mostly business reasons).
    Part of it had to do with the mundane and repetition of having no hockey to celebrate.
    And early last week, following a not-so-favourable tirade on this site, I thought “that’s it, I’ve had enough of this B.S.”.
    But last night, scanning over the various comments and going through withdrawals, I realized that I have more in common with my fellow posters than with my beloved wife, who’s not much of a TV sports person. Ski slopes? No problem. Sit down to watch it? Forget it!
    Early in the week, I had noticed that Cal and Burly were commenting that no matter how much we try to stay away in protest, the true fan always returns.
    So I have to admit it. I’m a hockey addict. This might not be the type of addiction that requires the isolation unit of a hospital, but I still need therapy.
    And you guys are my kind of therapists.
    So my little tantrum is over, the negotiations are back on, and if nothing is resolved soon, Bettman and company had better hope that this mentally-deficient fan doesn’t take a trip to New York.
    Ah, it’s good to vent….

    Speaking of which….. AC is probably pondering retirement, and the Argos in the Grey Cup? Really????

    *********************************************
    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • Cal says:

      Nice to see you back, Bri. Rant away! ;)

      Real drag that Bratton didn’t make that catch, but I have to give a lot of credit to the defender that deflected the ball.

      • Bripro says:

        Hey Cal. I read in this morning’s Gazette, poor Bratton’s response. He’s one of the good guys… you know… doesn’t brag or boast. And apparently he was in tears.
        And you’re right, that ball came in blaring, and was juuuuuust tipped.
        And I feel with AC retiring (my gut feeling), the Als’ dynasty is over for a while.

        *********************************************
        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      LOL, glad to have you back Bri! So were you sleeping on the couch all weekend as a result of your behaviour? Just kidding, hope business is better for you buddy.

      CHeers, don’t worry many of us need therapy!

      • Bripro says:

        If you can imagine a visual of a man in fetal position with thumb-in-mouth, then …. you’re bang on Gerry. :)
        Some aspects of business are picking up very nicely, and others (like my Brampton customer) really suck!
        I hope yours is doing well also my friend.

        *********************************************
        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • habstrinifan says:

      This too shall pass and we will again be on that high of seeing a puck go into the opposition’s net. Welcome back among the faithful.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning fellow hockey addict. There are many good people here, yourself included but I’d hesitate to call any of us therapist. Well maybe JB and perhaps Nuna. :)

      ———————————–

      • Bripro says:

        If I need to seek out therapy from either of them, then I’m definitely in trouble. ;)
        How are you doing Jim? Life back to normal yet?
        I hope you’ve regained control of your remote, and are back to BBQing pork chops!
        Cheers!

        *********************************************
        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

        • Habfan10912 says:

          All good here Bri. Burnt the last of the limbs and bought a new generator. Never again. Hope all is well with you and yours my friend.

          ———————————–

          • Bripro says:

            Everything is good here too, buddy.
            My wife is burrowing through the want adds, having left her previous employer.
            And my grandson is getting bigger by the minute. I have him with a nice Habs hat on. That image will be my next avatar, which I refuse to put up now (under protest). His dad, the Bs’ fan, is mortified, which makes it all the more pleasurable. ;)

            *********************************************
            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  11. Ozmodiar says:

    The NHL’s proposed 2 week moratorium was met with harsh criticism from players who flooded the airwaves denouncing the move, followed by a request from the PA to meet this week.

    I think Bettman et al. got the reaction they were looking for. :)

    I’m confident a deal will get done. Well, I’m off to get the winter tires put on the tank wagon…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Sounds like you may need winter chains if indeed it is a “Tank Wagon”, too bad studded winter tires have been banned in most places.

      • Duke_Rauol says:

        Not banned in North Ontario Burly, i have studds on my pick up and they work great!

        ——————————————————————-
        We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Nice, my first car was a VW Bug back in Wpg. when they were legal there. With the motor sitting on the back studded tires, it was impossible for me to get stuck.

          • Ron says:

            Mine too was a VW and since I’m in the seniors class the winter studded tires ( had to hand drill holes ) worked wonders with the ’59 model. Only problem was you needed one hand to operate the car and one hand to use an ice scrapper to keep the inside of the windshield cleaned off. No heaters in those babys. But loved the strap handels on the interior side posts, a teenager could come up with some great uses when in the back. Lol

    • 24 Cups says:

      As crazy as it sounds, I also feel that a deal might be in the works. Your point is well taken about both leaders feeling the heat.

      • Ron says:

        I’m not sure what kick started the PA but glad something or someone did. It won’t take long to see if it is in earnest or just Fehr fanning the fire with BS. Sure hope something constructive comes from it or our hopes might be toast and the year gets cancelled.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think you have a point that the moratorium imposed by the NHL was a strategy to weaken the resolve of the players. And it worked.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Argos in the 100th anniversary game right in their own backyard. And I’m off to see Neil Young tonight.

    Life doesn’t get much better than that.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Enjoy the concert, and enjoy the Grey Cup. My only hope in the Grey Cup is that I get good numbers on the multiple square boards which I have bought! :)

    • Duke_Rauol says:

      Where are u seeing Neil? i was at Massey Hall in 07 and it was one of the most amazing nights of my life! Have fun!

      ——————————————————————-
      We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

  13. rhino514 says:

    For those hoping the season is cancelled so we can reap more prospects, I think many underestimate how hard it is to produce a player like Cole or Gionta. At their age, there is always the chance this could be their last productive year. Even a Markov at 60%, with his veteran poise on the PP, will be very hard to replace.
    Despite a good draft, I think only Galchenyuk, and just possible Leblanc, if he stays healthy, could be full timers a year from now, and it is highly probably that they will not be impact players in their first full season.
    I maintain that the Canadiens of last season were a stacked team completely undone by injuries. The team is still quite talented at the moment; though perhaps slightly less so on paper with the loss of Cammalleri and without the Markov of old (did not appear to be doing all that well in Russia before the injury)
    There is so much parity in the league and so many things that can go right or wrong for a team, that it is simply impossible to predict future performance based on minor league prospects. Furthermore, despite some very interesting prospects in the system, the only guy whom one could say is “can´t miss” is Galchenyuk. I´d say there are good, but not really any GREAT,prospects in the system apart from this kid. there seems to be alot of excitement after one good draft; but it will take a few good drafts and years before the fruits are reaped.
    The time in the NHL to try to win is always NOW, really, unless the team has no talent at all.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think many people are hoping for a cancelled to reap more prospects, as people like 24cups have explained, our draft position is probably weakened by not playing.

      This team has some good core veterans as you point out, and we have a few young blue chips. But one more good draft position year would help. I am in no way endorsing a “Tank” movement, but rather feel the team will play to its current abilities and with our lack of depth at forward we will be battling to make the playoffs.

      My only fear if indeed we suddenly have a short season, is that Galchenyuk is not rushed. He indeed may be ready, but it must be clear that he is ready. This season in Junior is probably helping him a great deal, perhaps moreso if indeed he is traded to a competitive OHL club.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Gerald – In don’t want to beat this point to death but let’s say that there is a 50 game season this winter. Let’s also assume that the Habs bring Galchenyuk up to the big team. Does he play centre? Only if there are injuries. Does he get ample ice time? Does he knock Eller onto the wing? Does the team eat up a year of free agency by rushing a kid who gets limited minutes as well as press box time because the new coach is in a life and death struggle to make the playoffs?

        Posters make fun of bottom feeders who rush their young kids. Is Montreal going to fall into the same trap?

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Prediction: he’ll play 9 games on the wing, then head back to the O.

          • 24 Cups says:

            I realize that tends to be the norm but in a 50 games season one bad rough patch means yhou’re probably out of the picture. Why put the kid in that position?

            Let’s assume all three centres are healthy. Pleks should be in great shape after playing in Europe. DD is the magic man and automatically gets slotted with MaxPac. Eller deserves a full shot at centre on the 3rd line. So where does Gally play for nine games? The wing? Over my dead body. This team has sucked big time at centre ever since the days of Damphousse. Gainey never addressed the problem so now is the time to do so.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I am in agreement Steve, and the nice thing is MB is in his first year. He should have the confidence and reasoning to know that this first season is not must win for him. He needs to act in the clubs future best interests.

            If PG were still around, he would be in the job saving mode and I suspect would rush Galchenyuk up, I am hopeful MB is not of that mindset.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            24 – yes, at wing.

            Playing 9 games on the wing doesn’t preclude him from being be a future centerman. See Malkin, Seguin.

            He’s currently playing on the wing for Sarnia, and you’re still alive and well… :)

      • Chris says:

        I think there is almost no chance that the Habs even think about bringing Galchenyuk up to the team this year.

        As much as he is tearing it up with Sarnia right now, let’s see how he does in January and February. The kid missed a year…playing 3 games a week will start to wear him down a little. If the NHL comes back this year, it will be with a hyper-condensed schedule that will undoubtedly lead to a lot of injuries and wear and tear on the players. Galchenyuk does not need that so that he can basically struggle to adapt to NHL speed and size while getting his game back to 100%.

        Let him dominate for a year in the OHL. I get a kick out of people who say he is too good for that league. Like every young player, Galchenyuk can work on a lot of other parts of his overall game.

        Since moving to the wing on Sarault’s line, he’s been on a tear (9 goals and 21 points in his last 11 games). Montreal needs a goal-scorer, and having Galchenyuk work on his shooting as a winger is not the worst thing that ever happened to him.

        He’ll almost certainly get dealt at over next couple of months to one of the strong contenders, and he’ll move back to his traditional center position. People just need to relax and let his development play itself out.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I respectfully disagree. The team was crap last year both on the ice and in the front office. There were some injuries to be sure, but they are light years from winning right NOW.

      With the exception of one year, this team has floundered in the middle of the pack in an endless effort to just make the post season. I’ve had enough of the Hail Mary passes each year.

      I appreciate what Gionta and Cole bring but they are not part of the nucleus of a Cup winning team. Markov’s status is still iffy as far as I’m concerned. The Habs still need to acquire more major building blocks. The rebuild continues.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        this ^^

        Looking ahead to the post-Cole era, I see an opening on the 1st line and top D pairing. Sure, someone might step up, but I think we need another top-flight prospect or two to be perennial contenders down the road.

      • rhino514 says:

        the rebuild can continue endlessly. The most you can guess at, making a more or less reasonable estimate, is that the team if everything is right with young players and veterans coming together, is that the team´s chance to win a Cup goes up to maybe 1 in 5 or 6 instead of the usual mathematical 1 in 30. So it is simply not worth it to “sacrifice years” and then some years to sign free agents or make aggressive trades to “go for the Cup”. the Cup is ALWAYS a longshot. So why rebuild? Especially in today´s day and age where a salary cap basically evens the playing field. The habs can buy extra pieces if they are short and no teams can outspend them. Why not just try to win every year?

        My point is that “rebuilding” the way teams used to do it is obsolete. Teams now can “rebuild”within one year because there is so much parity built in to the system (Salary cap plus a top notch prospect to boot if a team finishes low); which is this very definition not a rebuild. Any teams now, except for maybe 3 or 4 teams, have a chance to win every year. Results are simply too hard to predict to implement a strategy for rebuilding. IMHO a team should REASONABLY try to win every year, without doing anything extreme that really sacrifices their future, at the other end of the spectrum it should never “tank” and throw away the season hoping for some dream of the future. There should always be a balance. If the team is loaded, fine, you make maybe one or two minor moves at the deadline, but nothing drastic where you end up just renting a player and loses top end draft picks.

    • habstrinifan says:

      LeBlanc? Seems like a longer shot when compared to our other prospects.

      • Chris says:

        I think the context is important. Other prospects might be more promising, but none of them are ready to make the jump to the NHL this season.

        Gallagher, Kristo, Galchenyuk, etc. are all at least one year away. None of the recently drafted defencemen are ready to make the jump to the NHL for at least a year, if not two.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Hmmm really have no idea who to cheer for in Grey Cup.

    So will the league and PA actually make progress today?

    • Cal says:

      In a word: no.
      Sure, they’ll blah blah blah for a couple hours- the PA actually thinks they have the upper hand- then it’ll break up with the same old same old excuses.
      Geez, I just saved reams of paper for all the media.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Cal, i try to find some optimism as I still find it hard to believe either side can afford to miss a season. Have a good day bud.

      • JF says:

        I think they’ll make progress if the PA has something real to put on the table. By all accounts, the cash difference separating the two sides is a drop in the bucket compared to overall revenues. Both sides know this isn’t worth losing a season for; they also know that if an agreement isn’t reached now, it will only get harder a few weeks from now and the damage to the league will be greater and harder to repair.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Am I wrong to suggest the KHL is somewhat responsible for dragging this on. Can’t help but think that alternative has slowed pressure on the players. Now maybe the
          layers aren’t having so much fun there?
          ———————————–

        • Cal says:

          I just hope the PA doesn’t put a shiny turd on the table that the NHL will have no choice but to reject it outright. Fehr thinking he can get the owners to pay for a full season, for instance.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think we’ll know quick if anything of substance occurs today. The PA better present an offer that interest the league or they’ll be back talking about dental plans.
      Can’t help you with the Grey Cup. You’re on your own thete, bud.

      Good morning you two!

      ———————————–

  15. BJ says:

    I’ve only seen 4-5 Als games this year (living in Germany) including yesterdays. From what I’ve read and seen, it appears as if one thing the Als could improve on, are punt and kickoff returns, they often seem at a disadvantage with field position. I guess you can equate it with the PP in hockey (you have to score once in a while or brake one open on the returns for football). I would also like to see AC comeback for another season. As for the last ditch effort to Bratton, it looks as if it was ever so slightly touched as well as creating a momentary screen and that was enough to bounce off his chest. AC got it there but….
    I thought that the Argos played with more confidence and that was enough to get them to 100th Grey Cup.

    • JF says:

      Agree with you about punt and kickoff returns, but another big weakness is stopping the other team on second and long, especially when they’re pinned deep in their zone. More often than not, the Als allow them to march down the field instead of keeping them pinned and getting good field position. As for AC, I think he has anther year or two in him, and he’ll likely want it after the bitter note this year ended on.

  16. Cal says:

    Well, me Als have been killed by a football off the chest and it’s Monday. That’s a double-whammy. A little Genesis:
    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  17. Harditya says:

    Funny how the only time Galchenyuk isn’t in the line-up, Sarnia gets smoked 9-2.

  18. Haborama says:

    Saskatoon seems to be the most dysfunctional team in all of hockey, IDK if it’s the coach, Thrower, Siemens, or others who are the problem……………….

    • commandant says:

      I think Molleken lost the room when he stripped Siemens of the C and benched Thrower.

      Note that in the three games immediately following that, the Blades were spanked by something like a combined score of 20-3

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  19. commandant says:

    Hudon and Archambault keep rolling, 1g 1a for Hudon 1a for Archambault as Drummondville (Archambault) beats Chicoutimi (Hudon)

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • 24 Cups says:

      Too bad they are both undersized. One or two small guys up front is enough. MAYBE one small guy per line for the top three units. One smaller Dman, tops. Time for Montreal to turn the page in that regard.

  20. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …@HabFab

    …Frank, did You fall off Your couch like I did when Bratton dropped that ball ???

    • HabFab says:

      No I was standing trying to get open for the pass from AC…and then a lot of foul language as no one was around.
      I think it was a spiral which are hard to catch plus tipped up by the defender.

    • habsfan0 says:

      As badly as Calvillo & the Als played today,they were in a position to tie it and send the game to OT had Bratton not let the ball bounce off his chest. Even a subpar game for AC, and he still throws for over 300 yards.
      He still has a year or two left in him,IMHO.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I think He will return to make things right before retiring
      …that mother has too much pride to go out this way
      …it will not be until He retires that We understand what We had as a uniquely great QB
      …I knew and was a great Fan of Sam Etcheverry, …but Anthony is in-arguably on another planet

  21. Haborama says:

    hmmmm…………

    I wonder what the “incident” earlier in the year that got Thrower suspended was????

    I sure hope it wasn’t Kostitsyn esque or Corson lite……..

    • commandant says:

      The coach said something to the effect of “Thrower has to learn that he can’t play by his own rules.”

      I think they were upset with him taking too many offensive chances and selfish penalties early in the year.

      I’m more concerned by the fact he is now out with the upper body injury, and that it might have been from a fight in practice.

      I have high hopes for Thrower, he’s got a ton of talent. Needs to grow up though (apparently).

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  22. frontenac1 says:

    Can the Ravens cover the spread tonight Amigos?

  23. KLear says:

    The NHLPA wanted to play chicken with Bettman by betting he would be forced to crumble before letting another season die. Bettman called their bluff with the 2 week ‘hoiliday’ in negotiations. The players and the Fehrs know that pretty much means a lost season and thus had to go back to the table and now they know – bring a compromise and a proposal or Bettman cancels the season.

    As for those who think he got the boots from Snider remember this:

    (1) He has likely been getting flak from the 5-6 profitable franchises for weeks now including the Molsons (2) he restructured the NHL executive so that a majority of teams are needed to pass a decision (or mutiny !) for days like this and (3) this is a man who was taken to court by the second mightiest team in the NHL, the New York Rangers, over TV rights and Bettman won.

    Do you really think Snider intimidates him ?

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      You haven’t constructed a very convincing argument in support of your opinion.

      • KLear says:

        What part of it do you think is incorrect ? I may be wrong about what Fehr’s ultimate strategy is, but I believe he thinks Bettman can’t afford to lose the season because the owners will disagree. As for the other 3 points, we know (1) is correct because owners have spoken out and been disciplined (2) is correct because Bettman is still here despite point 1, and it has been widely publicized of his manoeuvres with the board and (3) is correct because you can find it in the courts.

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    The latest from Larry Brooks, some interesting points he makes.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/union_we_won_decertify_hH7ONG9zE93owdlNyiostL

    • KLear says:

      Not a bad article but also a media report. And all media reports are (1) filtered and (2) 50% false (sorry Gazette but I gotta call ‘em as I see ‘em). There have been many, many media articles that have proposed the ‘obvious’ solution as a fix-all to the lock-out. Why has the NHL or the NHLPA not adopted them ? Because anyone who has ever had their business publicized by the media will know that its always more complicated than any media article ever oversimplifies it to be.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The part most intriguing to me is continued reports of Jacobs and the power he wields. I wonder if quietly behind the scenes other owners like Molson have had any talks about changing up the current makeup of the chairman and his committee.

        • KLear says:

          I agree – that part of the rumour/report is bothersome. But then again, other owners likely hated the Habs and Leafs in the 50′s and 60′s for the same reason.

    • HabFab says:

      Unfortunately it shows that the PA still feel they can win against a divided ownership group.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        Ira Pessarella says: “Commissioner Boychick is destroying the NHL, and Destroying hockey. If the owners are too stupid to see it they deserve to lose all this money, and if they can’t see that there is more than money on the line, they are stupider than can be believed.
        It is time for outside pressure to come in. Canada’s Parliament should strip the Stanley Cup from the NHL, and invite a collection of Canadian All Stars to play the KHL Champion in April for the Stanley Cup. But first, let’s thow that Commissioner Boychick out the window of his office, and see if when his head hits Sixth Avenue, it bounces like a basketball; if not, win some, lose some.”

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …has Hickey been assigned to Hamilton yet ?

    …from a ‘suffering’ HIO reader

  26. The Stig says:

    I’ve been beaten to it!!! Thanks.

  27. The Stig says:

    This is odd. It appears that Galchenyuk isn’t in the lineup for Sarnia tonight. I don’t suppose anyone’s got any info as to why this is?

  28. jols101 says:

    Galchenyuk out of the lineup with the Flu.

    Soo 4 Sarnia 0 after 1st period.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is what I could find on HF Boards, a little ways down a person posts who apparently works for the Blades.

    http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1283011

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    Looks like it won’t be Braley vs Braley Grey Cup after all.

  31. Haborama says:

    WHAT ON EARTH HAS THROWER GOT HIMSELF INTO NOW???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    How magnanimous of the two sides to give up their 2 week holiday in order to try and save the season. I am so impressed with both leaders for their incredible work ethic. We as hockey fans are very fortunate.

  33. otter649 says:

    The two sides may meet for a day or two & then it’s time for The American Thanksgiving so there will be another break in the talks…..


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