Boivin tells it like it is


Photo by Robert J. Galbraith/The Gazette

In  conversation with Dave Stubbs, the Canadiens’ soon-to-be-former president tackles the language issue.
“What really upsets me,” Boivin told Stubbs,  “is when people don’t accept or believe that we put significant effort into doing much more than any other team to try to get francophone players.”

Boivin also said:

“There’s one general manager in the league this year who speaks French and he’s in Montreal. If Pierre Gauthier gets hit by a bus, what does (team owner) Geoff Molson do? Every other team says: ‘There are 29 others out there, how many contracts are up?’ Thirty assistant GMs might be prepared to step up, like a Steve Yzerman (in Tampa), and then there’s 30 AHL managers.

“So they have a pool of 90, (even if) not all are good or are available. We have a pool of three, four, five maybe? Sometimes none? It’s the same thing with coaches. And that’s a huge disadvantage when human capital is your most important asset.”

Stubbs’ Boivin feature

Pat Hickey on Yemelin signing

Markov next?

• Hey, “Seguin” is a French name.  A star is born in Boston

What Coach’s Corner is doing to Canada’s image

Bulldogs on the brink


  1. FlyingFrenchie says:

    What really upsets me is when the management doesn’t listen to the fans.

  2. Jdub1985 says:

    I hear Jacques Parizeau is available to GM.

  3. Jdub1985 says:

    “What really upsets me, is when people don’t accept or believe that we put significant effort into doing much more than any other team to try to get francophone players.”


    He’s joking right?

    • Brinkley says:

      Reportedly, the Habs did try to sign some UFAs – Vinny L. and Briere, (maybe others?) – but they bypassed some real good francaphone (as well as non-francaphone) talent in the NHL Draft!

  4. dickastley says:

    NEWSFLASH : Internet comment board largely dominated by anglophones agrees! No knowledge of french is needed to be the head of Montreal’s hockey franchise!

    God, this is sad to read.

    • Brinkley says:

      I’d say speaking french would be an assett.

      But I think the object of the playing the sport of hockey is to win the game…not the language contest!

  5. Josh says:

    It angers me knowing the Habs go with the french speaking candidate before the actual best candidate for the job. Just think of how much this terrible decision making has hurt the Habs over the last 15 or so years now that hockey is more of a world-wide sport.

  6. FuzE_gus says:

    I hope the lesson for Montreal is that they are no different than any of the other 29 teams. In this super competitive sport it takes good “Hockey” decisions to win championships not “Political” decisions. Find me one radical Francophone Habs fan who would take never winning a Cup over always having a Francophone GM and I will show you someone who is not a fan of the Montreal Canadiens!

    With Regards from FuzE_gus

  7. FuzE_gus says:

    Kind of Ironic then that 3 of the 4 coaches left in this year’s playoffs are Francophones formally from the Habs system…

    With Regards from FuzE_gus

    • Brinkley says:

      FuzE_gus…..intersting observation.

      I think the perceived “Reality” is that over varying times all these coaches (Boucher’s situation is different in that he did not coach in Montral) were deemed expendable because in true “Reality” management didn’t give them nearly enough hockey talent to win with (French, English or European). These same coaches – given adequate talent by their current GMs can get their respective teams to the final-4!

      I think the true “Reality” is that Mr. Boivin has hired GMs that have been unable to provide their coaches with the player talent required to compete at the highest levels!

      I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Boivin feels a need for excuses in oredr to justify his team’s lack of hockey accomplishments during his tenure as Team president?

      just my view of things…I coud be wrong!

  8. Brinkley says:

    I’m somewhat confused by JD_’s comments – not saying his view is wrong – a bit confusing to me.

    JD_ states that……” In the event you are completely misunderstandin’ his comments ……… Boivin says a political reality exists IN THE FRONT OFFICE. The team’s general manager and coach should be bilingual……..which means the Habs ‘are severely competitively disadvantaged’… This political reality is not Boivin’s and he’s not the one makin’ the assertion this is the way things should be.”


    I could understand where this perceived ‘Political Reality’ could come from public sentiment – maybe the media – maybe even an authentic political party.

    How could the alleged Political Reality exist in the Habs front office without Boivin being part of that political mindset(?) – considering he is the team president.

    Except for Geoff Molson, all others answer to Boivin – not vice versa.

    As far as the TEAM’s front office CULTURE, Boivin should either be setting the tone or agreeing with it. As team president you (should) hire people to work under you who have similar general views as yours..why would you hire subordinates who have vastly opposing views of how things should be?

    Boivin has no control over fans, media or political parties – but his own front office?

    Forgive my ignorance, but I’m confused.

  9. Graceland says:

    Toe Blake won 8 cups in 12 years, and by the way he was a francophone from northen Ontario. His father changed his surname from Blais to Blake. Please don’t scewer your data with nonsense starting from a date that suits your arguement. How did you like Jean Perron’s rookie Stanley Cup in 86?

  10. punkster says:

    Regarding the Boivin article, I think JD_’s comment at 12:01 pm today should be required reading for all. Why? Because it’s evident many didn’t actually read or understand the original article.

    I swear, people complain about a French/English issue yet can’t comprehend the written word, in either language. The failure of an education system in North America I suppose.

    And FYI my Greek salad dinner was of my own making 🙂

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  11. Brinkley says:

    Scotty Bowman is (or at least was) fluent in French and of course English.

    Sam Pollock….I don’t know.

    But I agree with most comments – apparently to Boivin – language skills trumped hockey coaching/hockey management skills….no wonder this team has been spinning it’s wheels for the past 19 seasons!

    What blows my mind is the lack of french player talent (QUANTITY and more important QUALITY) in the Habs organization for the past 15+ years or so.

    I’d bet that if the Habs won the Cup with no french players or management they will still fill the Bell Centre.

    Geoff Moslon – can’t wait till you take over!

    And…as Melvin Udall would say….What if this is…as good as it gets?

  12. Caper says:

    The more I read of Boivin’s comments , the more I become p-o’d. We have a pool of 3, 4 or 5 for GM and same for coaches. Good riddance. The world is a smaller place and he thinks the opposite.

  13. Caper says:

    After Scotty Bowman left as coach in 1979, most of the Habs head coaches have been rookie francophones with some success. It seems like Montreal has become the breeding ground for good head coaches. This of course is confirmed with 3 of the 4 coaches remaining in the playoffs having been head coaches of Montreal or that of our top farm team.

    Pierre Boivin’s attitude that the head coach of Montreal must speak french is not misguided, however there is no reason why an anglophone could not be hired with the requirement that he learn to speak french. The Montreal Canadiens are the most storied franchise in hockey and one of the most storied in the sporting world period. I find it hard to believe that Mike BabcocK (he went to McGill maybe he speaks french) and Dan Bylsma would have no interest in coming to Montreal should they be available. While I do not know Pierre Boivin, he really does annoy me with his attitude about the neccesity to hire someone who can speak french for the head Coach and GM job. Montreal should have hire the best talent should that talent not know the language. There is nothing wrong with developing talent, however it should be very rare that an individual be hired for his first coaching job with the Habs. I am aware that Perron won a Cup , Burns had great success, however there have been more failures with the likes of Mario Tremblay, Alain Vignault, Michel Therrien and Claude Julien. Yes most of these latter named coaches have become successful, however after using Montreal as a springboard. There are exceptions as in the case of Guy Boucher and quite possibly Kirk Muller, however I hope after Jacques Martin leaves the position, speculation of the next coach comes not only from candidates in the Q with the likes of Pascal Vincent. I’d much rather see the repatriation of Guy Boucher or if not possible, the best candidate available regardless if they speak french or not. For this reason I am glad to see Boivin leave and hope that Geoff Molson is more opened minded on this subject.

  14. jimmy shaker says:

    Boivin says the coach and gm of the habs should be bilingual, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage compared to the other teams in the league who have a much wider base to draw their coach’s/brass etc. Here’s a bright idea…….are the habs more concerned about winning cups or keeping the media and pressure of the francophone history in tact. How much french did scotty speak? If it’s club policy to pigeon hole themseleves into a corner by only going after bilingual brass, and therefore not going after the best possible candidate then the mediocrity will continue to exist becasue of these poor objectives the club is dwelling upon. This is so nausiating this stance! What a joke!


  15. LA Loyalist says:

    Je me propose a compromise on the language issue:

    The next coach can be from anywhere, as long as he swears like a courier du bois, salting his words as necessary with expressions downloaded from the Catholic Church.

    There, was that so difficult?

  16. OneTimer says:

    Good on Boivin, seems like a good guy. Best of luck to him in his future endeavours.

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Fadl (sp?) is on next for those in GTA or online streaming of the fan590.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  18. Mike Boone says:

    Someone emailed me to say this photo makes Boivin look like he’s smoking a joint.

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger
    Gazette City columnist

  19. Everlasting1 says:

    Don Cherry’s long tenure can be attributed to the role he plays as CBC’s unofficial political figure-head, military supporter, and dictator of morality/conduct. After all, the network is a government branch run by the powers that be.

    No offence to anyone studying/pursuing a career in politics and/or the ‘science’ related, but you’re the biggest of tools in the smallest of boxes 😛

    ” That the Sons of God saw the daughters of man, that they were fair and took them wives all of which they chose.” – Genesis 6:2

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

    • punkster says:

      When one employs the phrase “the powers that be” in an argument or explanation it’s very much like the effect of Godwin’s rule on the conversation. Small tools for small fools I suppose.

      I’m having a Greek salad for dinner.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • Everlasting1 says:

        With or without the feta?

        ” That the Sons of God saw the daughters of man, that they were fair and took them wives all of which they chose.” – Genesis 6:2

        “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

      • LA Loyalist says:

        in a cafe on Dupont? With Depanneur wine? I’m so jealous.

    • RCAF425 says:

      Re: Don Cherry being a politico on CBC, that is pure rubbish. He is one of the few traditional Conservatives on that trash network our mostly Conservative tax dollars pay for. While I do not like his Toronto and Boston favoritism, as a serving military officer, I welcome all the support we can get. Just because he likes a different hockey teamthn me does not mean anything really. He is a favorite when he visits us and he is respectful when one of us pays the ultimate price. I am sorry that annoys some of you or takes you away from whatever better things you have to listen to, but while I am an ardent Hab fan, my country is my most important team.

      With respect to language issues and the running of the Canadiens, I say it should not matter one bit. I could care less what my bosses speak as long as we succeed at our tasks and get the job done correctly at all times. As a francophone, I am not better suited for my job just because of my language, but I am responsible to my organization and in the case of a hockey team, everyone in management is responsible to the players, the fans, the employees and yes, the shareholders. With that being a general business practice, while being bilingual has it’s uses, this French Canadian does not care what language or nationality any member of this team speaks or is, as long as they give it their all and are genuine in their attempts to win more championships for our Canadiens. Per Ardua Ad Astra.

  20. The_Franchise31 says:

    i dont care if the gm/coach speaks only spainish, if hes good at his job then hire him. get him a translater. and why put any extra effort in to finding frano players. if they fit wut we need and are willing to sign then do it but dont go out of your way and over pay a player thats not gonna fit in just cuz he speaks french. you could put a whole team together of french speaking players and it wouldnt be a very good team

  21. baruch says:

    Francophone-only era of Habs (TM) coaches
    Jacques Demers, 1992–95
    Mario Tremblay, 1995–97
    Alain Vigneault, 1997–00
    Michel Therrien, 2000–03
    Claude Julien, 2003–06
    Bob Gainey, 2006 (January–May) (interim)
    Guy Carbonneau, 2006–09
    Bob Gainey, 2009 (March–June) (interim)[28]
    Jacques Martin, 2009–present

    Stanley Cups = 1/19seasons = 5.3% success rate

    ‘non-descriminatory’ era of Habs(TM) coaches 1909-1992
    Stanley Cups = 24/83 seasons = 28.9% success rate

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Wrong on many counts.

      1. The presence of Bob Gainey on your list suggests that what is at play here is not ethnic discrimination but a requirement that the head coach speak French.

      2. Why do you refer to 1992 as the “Francophone era? You actually need to go back to 1955 and include:

      Pat Burns: Montrealer and fluent French speaker.
      Jean Perron
      Jacques Lemaire
      Bob Berry: Montrealer – not sure if he spoke French
      Claude Ruel
      Bernie Geofrrion
      Scotty Bowman: Montrealer and fluent French speaker.
      Al McNeil
      Toe Blake: Franco-Ontarian and fluent French speaker.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      in case you stopped watching once habs were out, Vigneault and Julien are both in the quarter finals, along with Boucher. That’s 3 of 4 coaches with Montreal pedigrees.

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    The owner of Basha Restaurant is going to be on the Fan590 later today with Bobcat. (Boone’s buddy in T.O. – great host )

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  23. habs365 says:

    If you wanna fill in for PG and improve the team—Here’s two lists.

    strong forwards: Cammalleri

    Weak forwards: Gomez

    Example: The strong forwards put up 254 points
    The weak forwards put up 165 points
    not hard to figure out where improvements are needed, and some want kostitsyn gone. seen those movies before, don’t bite the hand that feeds ya……

    • christophor says:

      There are multiple ways that your idea here is ridiculous.

      The difference between the weak and strong forwards is point production? Switch Pouliot, Halpern, or Darche with Desh and what point totals do you have? Switch Gomez for Desh and the disparity is greater and so, on your standard, you should really switch them.

      Why else are the forwards below weak and those above strong? 4th liners like White need to be swapped out because they don’t put up the points of a 1st or second liner like Gio or AK? I need more reasons for why he’s on that list.

      And “don’t bite the hand that feeds ya”? As in, you’re giving me vital information that is central to my well being (analagous to food for my body) and so I shouldn’t react negatively to you? Right.

      Ridiculous and happily delusional all at once.

  24. Habitoba says:

    All this talk about Ak and BP…. imagine both of them on a 3rd line with Eller. If that line starts picking up steam… All of them are 6′ or more (though some bulk would help) or even with DD.

    • christophor says:

      I’ve had dreams of this combo for 2 weeks now.
      They’re pleasant dreams. What a third line!

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I like this idea if BP is back next year. It would require us picking up a top 6 forward (Laich or Jagr) to keep those three on the 3rd line together… but I think we are all hoping for that new impact forward.

      edit: it would also require BP stepping his game way up to earn a permanent spot on any 3rd line under JM.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I’m in favour of giving Pouliot another season with some conditions. The first one is that, after a year and half in Montreal management hasn’t already accurately concluded that Pouliot will never be anything more than he already is. The second condition is that Jacques Martin sees Benoit Pouliot’s personal success or failure as his own personal success/failure. I thinks it’s possible that JM would turn BP into a better player out of necessity if he didn’t have a crutch like Tom Pyatt to lean on. Keep in mind that my whole post is just speculation about things I couldn’t possibly know without being a coach/scout/manager for the team. I’m just throwing things out there.

      Edit: …throwing things out there because I would Desperately like to see Pouliot turn mean over the summer and learn to play defence and score 30 goals for us next season.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

      • Habitoban says:

        I’ve mentioned this before but I guess it bears repeting, as far as “mean” is concerned, Pouliot is 3rd in team hits, and never shied away from dropping the gloves.

        Some time his exhuberance has come to the eye of the officals, and then JM pulls that little envelopy thing from his inside breast pocket….and you know the rest.

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          Now that you say that I can think of a few times he’s dropped the gloves. He got into it with somebody (Horcoff maybe?) at the end of the game in Edmonton and I can think of a few other times, and he does throw the body. I’m not sure why I get the impression that he’s not “mean”. It could be the totally wrong impression, but I think there’s something different about the way Pouliot goes into a scrum than, say a guy like Max Lapierre. Even Cammalleri gives me the impression that he’d hurt somebody if the ref wasn’t looking. Maybe Pouliot’s just afraid to take penalties.

          * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

          • Habitoban says:

            Probably because he doesn’t seem to work the boards with his body and feet that much — seems more inclined to lay back a bit and fish/dig with the stick.

            As far as fisticuffs, there was also the one-punch KO of Krecji.

  25. sims says:

    don cherry is on during intermission. Change the channel. (do the same for stock and milbury too)

  26. HardHabits says:

    Boivin played the language card because that is his excuse for the Habs being mediocre during his tenure.

  27. CHsam says:

    I’m glad that two grad students went and published something about Cherry, even if some readers have a problem with how they did it.

    I’ve said this on HIO before, the more Cherry I watch, the more I come away with the impression that he has a weird obsession about his OWN masculinity.. There is more talk about military and pictures of tanks than there is actual intelligible talk about hockey. For myself anyway, he seems to conflate militaristic-heroism / patriotic nationalism with a lot of talk about the “old way” or “right way” of how things should be in hockey culture. Granted he has a few good points here and there about touch-icing etc etc, but overall it’s such a sad farce to watch now. I really can’t believe tax money keeps this clown going. But hey, it’s the CBC that keeps this guy going, not me.

  28. Ron in Ottawa says:

    As long as the habs continue to play the language political game, they will not win the cup. Surely the Molsons must know that they will fill the Bell Centre every night with a winning team, no matter what language the coach and gm speak. Yes the guys on RDS would constantly whine about that kind of arrangment but if the Molsons are serious about bringing the cup back to Montreal they have to look into the largest talent pool for all their positions.

    • Propwash says:

      It’s the politicians and some media sources that would have a conniption.

    • New says:

      I think the man is being fairly honest about having to cater to a vocal group. I don’t think the current owners are any more concerned with a Cup than the brewery or Gillett were. They want a firm ROI (no not Patrick, a return on investment) and to flip the thing when the time is ripe. That is why you can be an irritating or contemptible person at the game or in the press, and still have your money welcomed next time the doors open.

      A Cup is incidental to the bank this team generates.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Well, if we want Quebec born players to want to play here, we’ve made a good start by electing a national government that hopefully will cut taxes.

      If the provincial government would cut taxes and create an equitable tax environment, that would really help.

      And the city, too. There was a study 10 years ago or so that said Habs paid more City taxes than ALL THE OTHER TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE COMBINED.

      Some players may not want the pressure of playing here, and the taxes are a convenient excuse. Or maybe they just want to maximize net dollars during a probably short playing career.

      Just throwing a little reality out there.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Unfortunately the Tories only plan to cut taxes for corporations.

        • RCAF425 says:

          Great bring on the political insults because all you Liberal Habs fans are smarter than us Conservative Habs fans. Geez, do you guys understand that the Montreal Canadiens are in fact a Corporation and without such successful corporations literally generating the capital that creates jobs and therefore people who pay taxes, you would get almost nothing from that government you slam so readily? Keep the focus on hockey as I enjoy reading the hockey analysis, but enough with the politically infused comments! Such comments only divide us from a Montreal team that we are united in supporting. Oh, lay off Cherry’s support of those of us in uniform and just bow your head for a few seconds to remember the troops as only he seems to do. While i dislike his obvious hate against the Canadiens, i am glad he takes the time during one of the most watched segments in Canada to remind us all about the troops. FYI, one of the Habs most prominent former owners, Senator Molson was a very successful RCAF fighter pilot with the first RCAF squadron overseas during the Battle of Britain so he would certainly welcome Mr. Cherry honouring his brothers and sisters in arms. Go Habs Go!

      • OneTimer says:

        A pro-Harper guy moves from Quebec to California…o the irony!

        (stay out there, why don’t you ;))

  29. slamtherimtim says:

    was this the guy who hired reggie houle and trembly ,

  30. Dintrox says:

    Re: Don Cherry They have counted the times certain words or phrases were used. I’m sure if you examined 2010-2011 segments you would see Cherry mentioned PK Subban several times. Without context you might infer that he was a fan of PK’s. by just counting words or phrases you could get a very misleading picture of Grapes. Not a fan of Mr. Cherry but the methodology used has some problems.

  31. SmartDog says:

    Berkshire’s clever quips aside, Pennywize has a point about how useless that Cherry article/study is. (Former PHD research hard-ass speaking here….)

    It appears that part 1 of the study HAS ONLY been to analyze Cherry’s word usage which comes to the shocking conclusion that Cherry talks about the military a lot and uses words like “war” and “fighting”. Wow. The second part of the study (I think it hasn’t been done….??) is going to measure that influence. And I can tell you that would be MUCH harder to establish as there is not easy way to measure that. If you look at those who watch Cherry versus those who don’t you’re splitting people into groups that are different by much more than watching HNIC. If you expose people to his words in the lab versus something else, and then test different views of Canada there will certainly be some influence but does it last for more than 20 minutes in the lab?

    Anyway, the bottom line is that the study doesn’t have much to say about actual influence but the journalist is implying with the way the article is written that Cherry DOES HAVE this big influence but that influence has NOT even been measured and certainly not established yet.

    Imagine if they studied Cherry’s clothing choices and concluded he wears some crazy-ass wild colours more often than he wears something dark or flat. What a shocker! Now… on the other hand… if you could show that Canadians are all starting to dress like clowns because of it… that would be worth some attention. I don’t see that happening.

    PS: I love the new article edit box. Much faster. Nice work.

    • christophor says:

      It seems the study to follow these introductory comments will be the one that will carry any substance. But I think political science is generally bogus anyway, so who’m I kidding?

  32. Mike D says:

    The debate: AK46 vs. BP57

    As is usually the case on HIO, the opinions on these two players and what the team should do with them this summer since they are both RFA’s, varies greatly. In general, the majority opinion seems to be that we qualify AK46, but let BP walk. I admit that I somewhat agreed with that, but decided to look at the stats to get a more factual opinion…..and what I found surprised me.

    These stats are from TSN and are for the 2010-2011 season. I calculated both players point production/minutes played and here
    are the results:

    AK46: 0.034977 points/minute played. Salary: 3.250mil
    BP57: 0.032926 points/minute played. Salary: 1.375mil

    Are you as surprised as I was?? Point production was almost identical, but AK makes almost 2mil more than BP and is a couple years younger. Considering AK also got a lot more PP time than Benny did, it kinda raises some question marks, no?

    Even with the facts staring right at me, I still can’t help but automatically revert to my previous method of thining that AK is better/worth more than BP, but the facts say otherwise.

    What do you guys think? What do you think PG should do with these two players?

    – Honestly yours

    • TomNickle says:

      Andrei Kostitsyn’s defensive game is miles ahead of Pouliot’s. Pouliot has a ton of upside, I don’t know that I would cast him away but not being included in pre-game warmups very likely means he made a pest of himself in the locker room.

      • SmartDog says:

        Pouliot is a crazy riddle.
        Trade them both to Tampa or Atlanta or another team that understands motivation and watch them blossom. Maybe we could get Moore back.

        • TomNickle says:

          Motivation can’t help Pouliot stand up and avoid stupid penalties.

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          I feel like the kind of “motivation” BP needs doesn’t come from a coaching staff, it comes from within.

          We can hold out hope he’ll mature in that way, or just say F it, and let him walk.

          Should be interesting to see what PG does with him.

        • Habitoban says:

          I don’t believe that management has been fair to Benny. If he is a “work in progress” treat him like one. Subban gets a mentor (Gill). Yemelin will get a mentor (likely Markov). Benny had Drache for a while and then JM busted up the productive PHD line.

          If Benny is having balance problems it’s not his responsbibility to bring in some outside help to correct the problem. Book time for him with a skating consultant. If that happened I don’t think it was reported.

          He was an offensive player who they tried to chnage into more of a defensive player. I think he made some strides in that part of his development.

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      I’d keep AK, at least for the qualifying year. His physical upside is just too valuable.

      Benny? Time for us to accept what the Wild already did.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      nice research… 2 things come to mind though

      1) AK is miles ahead of BP in every category you can’t measure with points (skating, defensive play, physical play, etc)

      2) There is no guarantee BP would continue to produce at that rate of points/minute played, if he got AK 46 type minutes against top lines… in fact I’m almost sure it would decline sharply if he was playing against other teams top lines regularily. (I know AK didn’t play every night on the top line, but he spent loads more time there then BP has)

      I’m actually not surprised, that his points/minute is that high… he did have some very productive strecthes with DD with not many minutes/game.

      I’m not advocating anything here, just throwing out my observations on your post.

    • shiram says:

      That is an interesting fact, but it’s only one facet out of the many that makes a hockey player.
      I think it shows the upside that Pouliot can bring, but it does not show his total play, the way he skates, his penalties etc…
      I’d say I’d like to keep BP, that he can improve and be a worthwhile player, but he has gotten some chances, and did not capitalize on them. You have to wonder if you would rather have another player in critical playoffs game, or have BP.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I keep AK, I still think this guy of all our players gets hurt the most with JM’s Magic 8Ball line combo maker. Even when a good fit is found for him, it is changed soon after. Also would like the team to find a good doctor/chemist that gets his meds right. It really seems like he is out of it for period and a half to start many games. He has a penchant for big goals and that shot of his is incredible when tapped into properly.

      BP, is the enigma of enigma’s. Clearly he has talent, perhaps the most on the team – size, hands, strength, and Dick Van Dyke like falling abilities. I suspect the damage is done between him and JM. If we had the wiggle room, would take 1 more year flyer, but I am afraid this guy just won’t do it here. The fact he also couldn’t do it in Minnesota with far less pressure speaks volumes.

      Yes the stats did surprise me a bit.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • Habitoban says:

        I think you’re right about Benny and JM. Maybe it was an Ottawa Valley Hatfield versus the McCoys thing. Or maybe it was just that Pouliot didn’t respond well to JM’s tough love.

        Pouliot’s number were surprisingly good in most categories given the way he was used. 6th in scoring among forwards, 3rd in hits, lots of takeways and very few giveaways. He also played with an edge and was very willing to drop the gloves and acquitted himself quite nicely. Too bad his play was obscured by those ” Dick Van Dyke like falling abilities” (classic!)

        He is an offensive player who needs offensive minutes to hone his game. As I’ve said before, Max recognized that, and made it clear that he wasn’t coming back to the big club to play 3rd and 4th line minutes. Even with 3rd line minutes, Benny has shown that he can produce with some players with creativity (DD; Halpern), or are able to create some space (Darche, White). Let him play his game and let him make some mistakes.

        Hate to lose him.

    • christophor says:

      Qualify Pouliot, tell him he’s starting on the 3rd line next year, and hook him up with a power skating trainer this summer (and maybe a psychologist).
      Take it or leave it, Benny.
      You don’t throw away a guy who has the potential to be great, not when he’s a dirt cheap RFA. Even when he’s playing poorly (wrt his potential), he’s a great 3rd liner. Would you rather have Pouliot or Moen beside Eller/DD on that line? Same salary.
      Edit: and as for his defensive skills, he’s made a lot of headway there this year. He takes dumb penalties, but refs call him so closely it’s borderline ridiculous (him and PK).

    • Habs-royalty says:

      Would like to see this calculation for AK46 vs. Gionta or vs. Cammi.

      Points per minutes doesnt tell the whole story. As you said Points p Powerplay minutes , but also P.p. Minutes against top defenders, P.p.Minutes in important games at important times.

      The question if we should play a third liner > 3 million remains though, hope AK somehow succeeds in the Top 6.

    • MTLForever says:

      I do like Benoit Pouliot. I know he makes mistakes and has had this attitude about him but a lot of the tools are there. The PHD line was great and working well. If you can keep him for cheap, why not? Yeah I know those penalties are stuck in our minds but I know we all got pretty excited when he scored that laser against Detroit or when he did the Forsberg move against the Penguins.

      He needs help with skating, that’s a known fact. So why not get him that? He is most likely just as frustrated as we are, if not more.

    • Habitoba says:

      My question to this is would Benoit’s play/point production improve if he had AK’s ice time?

  33. punkster says:

    This should be required reading for membership renewal on HI/O.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  34. Penneywize says:

    RE: The Coach’s Corner Article:

    The only thing that we should take home from this is that it was a ‘study’ put together by two PhD STUDENTS who obviously have far too much time on their hands. Even worse, they are in poli sci, which isn’t much of a science to begin with, and one must ask how exactly a politicial scientist is equipped to study the effect of Don Cherry on a “country’s image”?

    Reading the article, it appears that the process involved 1) watching lots of Don Cherry clips and 2) drawing conclusions. Well, congratulations you bigshot phd students, anyone could have done that. Why such an unenlightening article would get play in the national media is beyond me.

  35. SmartDog says:

    1. Assuming the same contract (1 mil) do you resign Auld or not?
    2. If Markov wants 5.5 million (per year) for two years, do you resign him?
    3. Is Weber good trade bait or a valuable young D you want to keep?
    4. Who would you rather have on the team on a 1-year deal: AK46 or Jagr?
    5. At $1 million each (a raise from last year), do you try to resign any of: Pyatt, Halpern, Darche.
    6. BONUS BLUE SKY QUESTION: If you could, who would you rather have coaching the Habs next year: Martin, Muller, or Boucher.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      1) yes
      2) yes
      3) I like his offensive upside, but wasn’t overly impressive defensively. So when you consider the recent addition of Diaz & Yemelin, I guess I’d say he is moveable for the right offer.
      4) wow, that’s a doozy… if it’s only 1 year, I’d have to say Jagr.
      5) I’d let at least one of them walk, if not 2…. but I’d say the Habs will re-sign Pyatt & Darche, and let Halpern walk.
      6) haha…. Boucher for sure.

    • shiram says:

      Heh SmartDog’s numbered question, have been missing them or has it been a while since you’ve done them??
      1. He did good for us this year, and seems like a good match with Price, so yea.
      2. Cheaper contract? Yes please.
      3. Unless a teams comes aound with an offer you can’t resist, I’d keep him. His value is likely to go up.
      4. Uh that’s not a very fair comparison. I’ll go with AK, just because he would likely fit in better with the team than Jagr would.
      5.No, I’d like to keep some of those, but not for a million.
      6.Heh Boucher I think, he’s more fun to watch, and now has some NHL coaching experience.

    • Mike D says:

      I’ve missed these – thanks for bringing them back!

      1. Yes unless you can find a cheaper replacement who’ll do as good of a job and still mesh with Carey well.
      2. Yes
      3. Both
      4. AK
      5. Darche
      6. %@$#&^*(!!!!!!!

      – Honestly yours

      • SmartDog says:

        Good answer to #3. And #6. It seems likely we’re going to end up with most people’s 3rd choice for coach. I am impressed with what Martin has done to keep this team together in the face of injuries. But I mourned Boucher’s leaving (as you might recall) and said he’d be awesome (as he’s turning out to be) and I think Muller is a big part of JM’s success. I hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised if the team struggled this year even with a better (healthier) line-up. I think Martin is the anti-motivator and these younger players need a motivator.

        “It bothers me…there are old coaches in the league today that don’t know how to deal with these young personalities.” – Mike Peca on JM handling of PKS

    • TomNickle says:

      1. No, too many good, cheap goalies on the market this year, one can be had at almost half of the price.
      2. No, too much for a player who has only played a half season in the last two.
      3. I’m okay with keeping him and developing him or trading him(depending on what other GM’s think of him of course).
      4. AK46
      5. Darche for $1 million, nobody else.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      1) Yes
      2) Yes
      3) Trade Weber for someone tougher
      4) AK46 – Jagr is a joke
      5) keep Darche and let the other two go
      6) Martin for sure. If Martin had Lecalliver, Stamkos and St. Louis he’d win the cup.

    • SmartDog says:

      My own thoughts:
      1. Yes. Auld was a successful back-up, he seems to be a good mentor, and is big like Price so plays similarly. If not Auld, only Ramo would be a better decision.
      2. Yes. Reluctantly, but yes. Markov is just too good (and hopefully still is).
      3. Keep. Unless a really good trade comes along, keep Weber for
      another year to see what he becomes.
      4. Jagr. It’s a gamble but playing with Pleks I’d bet he can still do serious damage for 1 year.
      5. Keep Halpern & Darche.
      6. Boucher. To all those who said “wait til he has NHL experience”. Well he has. And he’s getting more experience this year than Martin.

    • MTLForever says:

      1. yes, he knew his role and didnt complain about it.
      2. yes, because when he is healthy he is one of the best in the league
      3. i think he could be used as trade bait later on
      4. depending on the money id take both but ak46 prob is better for locker room
      5. i like all of them. pyatt is good for the PK and really comes alive in playoffs, halpern…you know what youre getting: great defense, solid on the PK, can score and solid on faceoffs and darche, youre getting everything out of him on each shift
      6. muller

    • Gerry H says:

      1. Yes. He managed a pretty damn good standard of play for a guy who spent 70+ games as a spectator.
      2. Absolutely. The tendon cut was a fluke. The second ACL on its own is not enough to give up on an allround DMan of this calibre.
      3. Yes to both, with a bias toward keeping him. Offensive skills are there and there is every reason to hope he’ll keep developing defensively. It comes down to price. If someone offers spectacular value for him, Ithey should take it. Otherwise, resign at roughy current money.
      4. AK for sure. Chemistry is there and upside, to boot. Jagr could upset the room and would leave the Habs with nothing after one year.
      5. None of the above, but only because I don’t think any of them would fetch that on the open market, begging the question: why would the Habs offer that much?
      6. Clearly, Boucher is The Man right now.

    • RGM says:

      1. Sure, why not. It’s not like he’ll play more than 15 games.
      2. I’d bite that bullet.
      3. Both. I’m pretty indifferent about him.
      4. Jagr.
      5. No – they’re all guys that can be signed for less than that.

      Bonus – this Boucher chap seems an upstart ready to tip some apple carts.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      1. Yes
      2. Yes
      3. Keep Weber
      4. Andrei
      5. None of those guys are worth $1,000,000
      6. Martin

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  36. Hobie Hansen says:

    I was reading the comments below and as usual, with good reason, the same argument carries on today.
    I would have to agree it is FACT that Montreal needs more size and toughness on their top six, bottom six and defense.
    One larger scoring forward, one tough SOB checker and a nasty defender.
    We’re all good after that I’m totally happy with the team.
    We have a chance without any additions but would have a real good chance with the additions mentioned.
    My opinion.

  37. mrhabby says:

    Boivin lol…

    what a crock all this talk about french speaking coachs and GM’s…blah, blah blah…. That kind of talk drives me mad even though its a reality.
    I would like to see Geoff Molson change that but highly unlikely.

  38. HH is full out trolling today. I’m honestly wondering if he’s paid by HIO to get the comments going on here every day. It would explain the wildly fluctuating opinions based on almost nothing.

  39. shiram says:

    Just a little change of subject here…
    Mathieu Darche was successfully operated at the abdomen, and recovery time is expected to be between 4 and 6 weeks.

    His contract is up come 1st of July as well.

    • Mike D says:

      He’s a keeper. Plays with tons of heart and truly loves being a Hab. Pretty good prooduction too for a guy making league minimum.

      – Honestly yours

      • shiram says:

        I’d think so too, I think he brings alot to the team, and he might just satisfy those clamoring for french speaking players too.

        It’s interesting to wonder if he remains in the team’s plan, as with every player that can leave you have options on free agency and in house replacements. But it’s hard to figure anyone that could take his spot and fit in so well, and most likely on a very reasonable salary too.

  40. habs365 says:

    The Habs have a lot of good 2nd and 3rd line players. they won’t win you a cup. those type of players will get you to the playoffs for maybe a round or two that’s it. if you wanna go all the way you gotta have a Crosby,Malkin, Lecavalier,St.Louis, Kane etc, someone that can get you the big goal when you need it also a supporting cast around you……

  41. habs365 says:

    Habs problem and has been for a number of years, not enough offence and too many fragile players they’re out most of the year, very little in Hamilton thay can replace them with so they bring in half ass players to plug the hole’s like someone mentioned to make the playoffs—bring in some tough guys and more offence and this team will be back to winning cups again…..

    • shiram says:

      Yup Laraque really helped to bring us that 25th cup.

      • HardHabits says:

        I love how people misconstrue other’s arguments. The Habs need toughness spread out over the team. As it stands they have softness spread out.

        • TomNickle says:

          Well it’s a fact that Laraque was brought in to protect the skilled players. So he’s not really misconstruing anything.

          • HardHabits says:

            He said, “some tough guys and more offence” not an enforcer.

          • TomNickle says:

            Laraque wasn’t tough when the team signed him? They didn’t have enough offense the year the won the East?

          • HardHabits says:

            That Habs team and this team are two completely different animals. Apples and oranges really.

            We all probably universally agree now that bringing BGL was a bad move although we probably all thought it was an awesome move at the time.

            It still doesn’t respond to what he said. Players with grit and physicality. Not a goon.

          • habs365 says:

            TomNickle: Since you’re so smart. Do you know how embarassing it is to watch your team get pumbled by another team that’s why we need some toughness so as it doesn’t happen again also a couple more scoring forwards. as for Laraque a waste of money. they brought him in when he was past his time, he didn’t want to fight anymore turned into a nice guy and ran with the money and don’t say the coaching staff was holding him back. some young tough guys came on the scene and he didn’t want to be embarassed….end of story

            Oh by the way, HardHabits: Thanks for trying to sit this guy straight, at least you know Hockey.

          • TomNickle says:

            If we had sent Wisniewski to fight Bergeron, Moen to fight Seguin and Pouliot to fight Seidenberg, and our Habs pummeled the Bruins, would the Bruins be too soft?

        • shiram says:

          Hey I am guilty of a cheap and easy answer on that one, and not really countering the arguments put forward, I’ll admit that.
          But so often I have been on the other side of such answers, it felt funny to give one out.

          But the argument that the team is soft or lacks tough players I’m not so sure about, or that adding a couple of tough guys would have helped us this season, or PO.

          We have issues with scoring, for sure, and to me that should be the focus of management, not getting goons who can barely play.

          And the team is changing, it did last season, and it continues to do all the time, and I like most of the change I see. Eller, MaxPac, Subban and Desharnais have all developped greatly this year, and they bring alot to the team, you have to like that.

          Hamilton is weak because all their key players have been called up as well.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Sigh. The idea of Laraque was correct. The timing was bad. You put a broken part on your car, it doesn’t mean you still don’t need the part.

        That’s called logic. Beats lazy sarcasm every time.

  42. JD_ says:

    Great read on Boivin. Not completely surprised he was so candid about the duelin’ pressures on the language front – he’s always been a straight shooter, even to the point of surprisin’ you with how much he’s prepared to share – but just the same.

    In the event you are completely misunderstandin’ his comments – and it seems to be a relatively widespread phenomenon – this is the key passage from the article, “…Boivin says a political reality exists in the front office. The team’s general manager and coach should be bilingual, he says, which means the Habs ‘are severely competitively disadvantaged’…”

    If you think Boivin personally supports the notion the GM and coach should be bilingual, then you’ve either accidentally or wilfully ignored the first part of that comment. He is sayin’ the fact the GM and coach should be bilingual is the political reality that exists in the front office.

    This political reality is not Boivin’s and he’s not the one makin’ the assertion this is the way things should be. He doesn’t actually really tell you what he thinks about it, he just wants you to understand how things are. This political reality has surrounded this team since its inaugural season over 100 years ago and its influence has ebbed and flowed since that time, and the team president is expected to work within that envelope.

    You might even call it handcuffs.

    And, yes, it is a competitive disadvantage. No need to get emotional about it or find the exceptions that prove the rule; it’s simple math. Relative to 29 other teams, the bilingual requirement shrinks the pool of prospective candidates for the jobs. This isn’t an excuse; it’s just a statement regardin’ the very straightforward reality of runnin’ the team.

    And, for the record, anyone with the ability to speak french is likely considered. Even Bowman could speak french, kinda.

    I don’t care for any of it. I’d prefer if jobs were filled purely based on professional merit. But, as I said to a friend the other day, I long ago accepted the notion that the Habs org is always gonna have this albatross around its neck, primarily because it’s never gonna change and gettin’ caught up in that reality is not goin’ to enhance my enjoyment of the game.

    If you still don’t quite catch the gist of all of it, ask yourself this question: Do you sincerely believe Geoff Molson is goin’ to ignore the political reality that exists in the front office?

    To be sure, the question isn’t whether or not you think he should, – a ton of people on here, includin’ me, would want that – it is specifically whether or not you think he will?

    I’ll tell you my answer: An unequivocal no. Not a chance.

    So, if this notion really irks you, may as well jump on Molson’s back right now, cause you’re eventually goin’ to.

    • TomNickle says:

      I have a hard time believing that the hands off American owner mandated Francophone management to Boivin. Just my opinion though.

      • JD_ says:

        The owner doesn’t mandate anythin’ on that front. The owner accepts it as part of the purchase price. As Boivin says, and his words are carefully chosen, this is a political reality. When a biz type invokes politics, he or she is generally makin’ reference to market inefficiencies.

        If anythin’, a hands-off American owner is twice as likely to avoid upsettin’ the delicate constituency that is the Habs and its varied base of stakeholders.

        For a guy like Gillett, it’s just smart business.

        • TomNickle says:

          For an owner who had at least two professional sports franchises I would be inclined to think that winning and making money from playoff wins would be his primary priority. But hey, maybe you’re right. Maybe he just threw his arms in the air and said don’t hire people who are limited to english.

          • JD_ says:

            Gillett’s investment premise was not a few years of positive cash flow, his home run was goin’ to be based on capitalizin’ an infinite number of future cash flows via the eventual sale of the company.

            And it was a home run of epic proportions.

            Upsettin’ the franchise’s delicate constituencies would not have helped make that possible.

          • TomNickle says:

            So you’re saying that an owner who would have upset half of a dozen members of the media and fans in the 5 digit range, maybe, would have lowered the re-sale value on the Canadiens franchise. Wow. All I have to say to that again is that he acquired his sports franchises out of passion, to win the ultimate goal in each sport.

          • punkster says:

            Tom, please, you’re smarter than that. With Gillett, as with any owner, it’s business first and foremost. He may certainly have loved the team and would have liked a Cup win. Above the resale value of the franchise? No.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • HardHabits says:

            That’s what happens when you owe 19% interest on a few 100 million dollars.

          • JD_ says:

            Gillett’s an investor, first and foremost, and sports is his medium. There are a ton of guys who do the same thing.

            More importantly, there is nothin’ to be gained by belittlin’ the impact of upendin’ a century-long political reality. Let’s keep the discussion on an even keel. It would not have lowered the resale value, it would, however, have likely hindered his ability to maximize his return.

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m sorry but I believe that Boivin opened his mouth about this political influence to save his own ass over not calling a hall of famer back. Just my opinion though.

          • JD_ says:

            Boivin was talkin’ about this issue from day one. In fact, he was discussin’ it before he even showed up for his first day of work.

          • TomNickle says:

            And that isn’t just him planting the seed for an excuse down the road? Please. Gainey was hired, Muller was hired, Pearn was hired.

          • JD_ says:

            Gainey speaks French. I don’t know Muller’s nor Pearn’s grasp of the language, but neither is the head coach.

            Plantin’ the seed for an excuse down the road?

            Ok. Think we’re pretty much done here.


          • TomNickle says:

            Cammalleri, Gionta, Gomez, Spacek, Gill. Yep, some good home grown Quebecers right there. Clearly there is a mandate to target French Canadians. Like when Simon Gagne’s agent called Gauthier to seek a trade and Gauthier said no thanks.

          • JD_ says:

            There is a player mandate. Doesn’t mean just anybody regardless of talent or askin’ price.

            But, when it comes to GMs and head coaches, there is very little wiggle room.

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you’re basically tryin’ to assert Boivin’s just plain lyin’. That all of the language considerations that surround the org, which he is outright acknowledgin’ and which most everyone accepts is a reality, is purely his fabrication because he’s tryin’ to cover up somethin’.

            Am I really expected to debate this point? Is this one not as done as dinner?

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t think that he is lying. But I think that he’s making it seem to be a more strict mandate than what it is, both in terms of player and management acquisition. This team has targeted the best available players for a very long time. Hossa, BRIERE, LECAVALIER, Morrow, Cammalleri, Gionta, Pronger. In Bob Gainey, the team hired a man who had a fair amount of French in him. I believe that it’s a mistake if the team took Rick Dudley and Dale Tallon off of their list of GM candidates due to language barriers. And I would say the same for Dave Tippet and Marc Crawford with the Jacques Martin hire. But I don’t believe they did that. Gauthier was hired, by Gainey to be his assistant and made the determination long afterward that he was the right man to succeed him. He hired Martin because of his history in playing against Martin coached teams that had been partially assembled by Pierre Gauthier. The best piece of evidence that I can provide is Louis Leblanc’s drafting. He was falling on draft boards and the team didn’t move up to acquire him. They let him fall to them. If there was a serious mandate to target French Canadians the team would have traded up around 5 spots to get him that season. Because everyone who wanted a French Canadian to be drafted I’m sure had no fingernails left with each passing pick leading up to the Leblanc selection.

          • JD_ says:

            The GM and head coach will always be able to communicate in French. If the org is fortunate, they will find French-speakin’ players who fit the bill.

            While I don’t agree with the practice, this means that certain candidates for GM or head coach will not be considered. I don’t expect any of this to change under Molson.

    • HabsFan2 says:

      Great post, JD.

      This is one of the reasons a lot of people in Montreal would love to see the ‘diques back in business. It would alleviate some of that political reality in the Canadiens front office. As the shift would now be on the ‘diques to provide the ‘all-Quebecois’ team some (not all) desire.

      Like you, I want a team that only focuses on winning. Too bad that can’t be the Habs main focus.

      I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

      • gregg says:

        actually i wonder if the nordiques coming back would have the reverse effect, and would force the habs to go even more french, to avoid losing their french fanbase.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Hey! Great news! Guy Boucher in Hamilton is bilingue — oh crap!

    • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

      Personally, I completely support the desire/need for a bilingual GM & coach. When you are operating in a market of 6 million francophones (versus somewhere between 1/2 million and 1 million anglos), the representative voices of your franchise need to be able to be understood by your target clientele. This notion that language shouldn’t matter tends to come from those who live in places where it doesn’t matter… because it is always english.

      I remember Dec. 31, 1975

      • JD_ says:

        Or, possibly, the notion also arises among those who are born and raised Quebecers, who continue to live and prosper here, and who recognize there are far more options available to the organization other than simply a strict adherence to an unwritten policy, one that a well-respected former representative voice of the franchise has just openly acknowledged shrinks the hirin’ pool for two key roles.

        Before generalizin’ about the source of the notion, you might ask yourself what percentage of the unilingually french fan base would prefer the team abandon the practice.

        We could always hold a referendum on the issue. It’s what we do.

  43. bwoar says:

    Any chance that Hall Gill is asked to become the new Asst. Coach for the departed Kirk Muller?

  44. HardHabits says:

    The Habs’ major disadvantage is that they are only about making the play-offs and not about winning the Cup.

    As long as the Habs feed fans the illusion that once you make the play-offs anything can happen, the Bell Centre will sell out, merchandise will be sold, the coffers will fill.

    • TomNickle says:

      Totally speculative on your part. You have no clue what the motives of management are. They don’t want to waste 5 seasons like the Blackhawks and Penguins. They’re confident in their abilities in scouting both at the amateur and professional levels and feel that they have a team of coaches in place who can develop that talent. But it’s far more logical to assume that they don’t want to win isn’t it? Don’t worry, rhetorical.

      • HardHabits says:

        The Habs would rather waste 7 seasons, maybe more. Isn’t that how long it’s been since Gainey took over? Aren’t we heading into year 3 of the 2nd 5 year plan? At least the Pens and Hawks won the Cup. The Habs?

        The Habs are not Cup contenders next season either. Not unless Gomez gets, 20 goals, 40 assists, wins more than 50% of his face-offs, is in the top 20 in face-offs taken and is in the plus of the +/- ledger. That might put the Habs in a top 10 spot. They also need to stay away from injuries and the penalty box. No easy task when the team’s top forwards are the smallest in the league.

        I don’t buy the we’re close argument. The Habs are middle of the pack.

        The only good thing I can say about the Habs is that they are inching their way to contention and they might reach it in 2-3 years from now.

        • TomNickle says:

          Gomez has to do those specific things you mentioned for this team to have a chance? Are you kidding me? Step back for a second and think about how narrow minded that opinion is. We have four skilled centremen on our roster. Four. Interchangeable parts HH. Price is the only man on this team who can decide the success and failure of it.

          To your point about the Pens and Hawks. Management types who’ve served for decades are usually the proud type. They don’t admire organizations who lose for decades on end on purpose and hope that they have special players fall into their laps. For every Chicago or Pittsburgh there’s a Columbus and Atlanta.

          • HardHabits says:

            Yes Gomez. He’s the supposed impact centre. His cap hit is crippling the Habs ability to sign an elite forward. Next season is all on his shoulders.

            And for every Detroit, there’s a Montreal.

          • TomNickle says:

            You know what the pathetic thing is about you? You aren’t even forming opinions anymore. You have no justification for your argument, they’re just drivel. You just compared a team that is seen among the league’s elite to our team in a disparaging way. Why, because they haven’t won you your precious cup in the last 18 years? Boo hoo. Get a grip on reality. 32 teams, 18 years. This franchise has won it’s share and then some. You’re speaking like a selfish little brat. You don’t have to worry about relocation, about whether your owner can pay his executives and players. The team hasn’t won a cup in 18 years but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. And your opinion that this team isn’t interested in winning is preposterous. They keep their first round picks, they sign expensive free agents. They don’t trade away their franchise players. They put an emphasis on leadership and have acquired several players with Stanley Cup Rings in an effort to get their team to that level. With those facts in mind I personally think it’s time you shove your Tony242 we’re only interested in one round’s worth of playoff revenue where the sun don’t shine. You’re ignoring all but one of the facts about this organization so that you can come in here every day and throw your little pity party while at the same time doing your best to annoy. You can call me naive, you can say I’m looking at the team through Rose coloured glasses. But it’s you who is wrong. I regularly voice my concern that our defensemen don’t play a nasty enough brand of hockey for this team to win a Cup. I regularly point out that this team needs another offensive threat to play on the right wing in the top six and I’ve been adamant that you have to give up a lot in a trade to get players who are missing pieces, and am on the fence depending on which trade is proposed or bounced around here on HIO.

            I look at the team objectively for better or for worse. I don’t form my opinions based on a desire to chalk failure up to a group of money hungry executives who don’t want to win. If you look at your opinion objectively, you would see that their salaries are set in stone save for the bonuses they receive for winning the Cup. Truth be told, Pierre Gauthier, Jacques Martin and Geoff Molson have the most to gain by winning the Stanley Cup. They’ll all be bronzed outside of the Bell Centre and leave powerful legacies. But you’d rather sit in a corner and cry and bitch that they aren’t trying to bring you your precious Cup.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            HH, there was one elite forward in last year’s free agency. Kovalchuk and were you ready to give him 15 years? I think not. There is one this year, Brad Richards who’s already said he’s got no interest in a Fishbowl hockey market. Let’s flip to 2012, no elite player unless you’re angling to make an offer sheet on an RFA that would cost MTL at least 3 1st-round picks in compensation. 2013, I don’t think we’re getting Sid the Kid, or Getzlaf or Perry, Iggy is going towards his twilight more than anything by than as well. We can always take a run at Malkin in 2014 since Gomez’s contract will be up then though, although that’s probably a wasted effort as well and I just don’t think Pavel Datsyuk is going to leave DET that year. And Mike Cammalleri will be a young, better playoff performer than anyone else there in that age/salary bracket for the rest of the group listed.

            – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
            SF09 on Twitter

          • HardHabits says:

            Dude you need to get a grip. Who’s whining here. Certainly not me. I am only telling it like it is.

            Not only do you not respond to my arguments but rather you attack me personally. Typical ad HIOminem attack.

            When the Habs build a team that finishes in the top 5 for consecutive years then I’ll say the Habs are trying. Until then they are going through the motions.

          • TomNickle says:

            Telling it like it is, is Don Cherry’s signature phrase. Good for you. Oh, and if you go back and read HH you’ll see that I pointed out organization philosophies that prove your just get to the playoffs point to be bogus. Comments like the Habs would like to waste 7 years, that they’re only interested in playoff revenue and complaining about Gomez is whining. Saying he needs to be a 60 point centreman and win 50% of his faceoffs for this team to be a contender is hilarious though, I’ll give you that.

          • HardHabits says:

            @SF09: If not one elite forward than 2 very good players. 7.4 million can get two very serviceable forwards.

            It goes back to my contention that the best place to nab these players is high in the draft.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            Tom, man, how can you STILL be an apologist for the human boat anchor Scott Gomez?

            We are handcuffed until he is gone. He is untradeable (which proves what we all know), makes his wingers jobs harder as everyone knows he’s not going to shoot, takes stupid offensive zone penalties – yeah he can skate – in circles. I’m sorry, maybe he was a stud in New Jersey, but that was a long time ago.

            If there was no cap, fine, we would just have to suffer with him, but with the cap we can’t get a real #1 center until he is gone. That puts us at least 2 years out from being a contender even if all else goes well.

            Is it Bob’s fault the guy cashed the cheque and didn’t show up? Mostly I blame Gomez himself, the guy is freaking shameless, but Bob should have known better than to handcuff himself. That’s why Bob is Bob. Luckily his legacy and what he has given the Habs is so huge that Gomez will in the big picture be a lousy footnote, but right now it hurts everyone.

          • TomNickle says:

            LA Loyalist, my opinion of Scott Gomez’s play doesn’t factor into this discussion. He doesn’t need to score 60 points and win 50% of his faceoffs for this team to contend for a Stanley Cup. I would actually argue that at this point his services are no longer needed. His play doesn’t determine this team’s success. It isn’t that important quite frankly. This team was successful without him on board this year.

        • J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

          The Gomez contract is, of course, one mighty stinky albatross. And the Eller shoulder surgery pretty much guarantees that SG will be with us, at least until after Xmas. But I fully believe PG will look to move him before the All-Star break. He’ll have to. There are some expensive contracts looming in 2012.

          In the meantime, who knows, perhaps he can contribute until then. If only he could figure out what to do once he hits the opposition blue line. Lol.

          But I am less pessimistic about the season ahead. Barring more major injuries (surely we’ve paid the hockey gods back by now for our centennial hubris!), we’ll have a solid D and great goaltending (if they don’t burn him out completely). BUT PG MUST find a productive 3rd line forward (to replace Pouliot) capable of stepping up to the top lines when needed. And we desperately need a hard-hitting, punish-their-D, forecheck-them-into-errors 4th line. Something we’ve needed for years. White is a good start. Now get a couple more.

          By the dawn of 2012, I suspect Eller will be healthy and ready to step up to 2nd line duties, and DD will make a terrific 3rd line centre (paired with Darche, whom I really hope they resign). Then, its bye-bye Scotty.

          I remember Dec. 31, 1975

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      Great life of being a die hard Habs fan. Awesome! At least they don’t charge as much as Leaf tickets charge.

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      so basically what you’re saying is, the Habs so-called mediocrity, is the fault of the fans who do not share your point of view, and act as you do. (assuming you do not buy merchandise and tickets, thus filling the Habs coffers)

      just checking

      • HardHabits says:

        You should learn to read.

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          I can read, here’s what you wrote:

          “As long as the Habs feed fans the illusion that once you make the play-offs anything can happen, the Bell Centre will sell out, merchandise will be sold, the coffers will fill.”

          obviously, since you are so enlightened, you don’t count yourself in the group of fans that feed this illusion… so you are, in fact, saying that Habs fans that don’t share your opinion(the ones who do feed the illusion), are the cause of the Habs woes.

          you should learn not to be so condescending and arrogant about your opinions.

    • Mark C says:

      Besides being wild speculation on your part, if the team’s goal were just to make the playoffs for money, then why would the team only care about a few home playoff games instead of ten or more? The team spends to the cap, and over it this year, given the injury replacements. Costs are being maximized so why wouldn’t the team want to maximize ROI?

      I don’t get how all they care about is making money, yet they aren’t smart enough to realize that more playoffs games = more money.

      • HardHabits says:

        Do I need to draw a little picture for you. Making the play-offs is the illusion. It’s not about the few paltry home games. It’s about keeping the dream alive, I mean the fantasy, and in so doing fans continue buying merchandise.

        If fans knew the truth, which is that a team needs to be elite in the league to have a real chance at winning the Cup they’d realize that they are being duped. Maybe they’d stop selling out games. I am not sure. If that happened though, maybe management would realize that conning people is no longer working.

        Until then, it’ll be more of the same old, same old. Fight for a play-off spot. Early exit. Rinse. Repeat.

        • Mark C says:

          No, you don’t need to draw a picture for me. However, your point makes little sense. Forget merchandise for a moment, Boone noted once that Montreal clears $2M every home playoff game, that’s $16M-$32M in revenue, that isn’t shared by the league, like merchandise (I think), compared to the $4M-$6M made in a round one loss. Back to merchandise, each playoff round win increases merchandise sales tremendously.

          If all they care about is making money, then why don’t they care about making the most money? The only way your point really holds is if the team is not maximizing their costs, say only spending $50M on players.

    • Propwash says:

      Just to inform you, the team only gets a cut off of the merch and seats sold, the rest goes to the NHL.

    • RGM says:

      “The Habs’ major disadvantage is that they are only about making the play-offs and not about winning the Cup”

      So that’s why management regularly speaks about its objective every year being to win the Stanley Cup, right? Your comment makes perfect sense now!

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  45. Graceland says:

    Hum! Funny how nobody ever mentions that the Toronto Maple Leaves management, including the GM and coach MUST speak English. You can easily guess what team has the 24 cups, and the one that has 11 (not 13 like they claim).

  46. Chris79 says:

    As much as i Love Montreal… I love it even more when it’s envied by worthless stereotypes presuming what Montreal *may.. be.*… A french city…? Nope.. half of it anyways…lol. Startin from the Main…lol. Anyways, i always said if we had and English Broadcast on the Habs we would get more Respect from Worthless stereotypes like everyones friend Don Cherry, He wouldn’t rant so much on the Habs because there would be an english person that would answer back…. in this case… no one does..

  47. Habitoban says:

    Gainey went out and learned french because he saw his future in Montreal and recognized that out of respect for the city and the province french is necessary. Moore and Crosby (I believe this is teh case) also worked on their french, or at least their french hockey talk (“frockey?”) when they were playing in francophone areas.

    I’m betting that this season Cammy starts answering some questions in french. just a hunch.

    • TomNickle says:

      Moore was bilingual prior to being acquired by the Canadiens. I can name hundreds of members of this organization who didn’t learn french but remained fan favourites. The most recent example would be a Toronto native, PK Subban. Our associate coach Kirk Muller is fairly popular as well.

  48. Timo says:

    Right, Pierre… cause god forbid a GM doesn’t speak french. Forget being a good GM and knowing hockey… language that’s where it’s at. Hopefully whoever replaces you doesn’t have that complex.

    • J_P says:


      Hire the best candidate available, and if they can’t speak french, hire an interpreter to follow them around everywhere.

      Appeasing the francophone community should never come at the expense of winning.

      • bel33 says:

        Exactly… full-time interpreter… who can even teach them some small phrases in French.. ala Cammy’s doing.

        It should be winning… not about the interviews afterwards….

        Note for all: I am a French Canadian… just living in TO… so I GET the language situation.

        Cheers all.

  49. joeybarrie says:

    In response to Tony below….
    YOUR LOST. This team went 7 game and lost in overtime to Boston who is 3 games away from the finals…
    We went to the Conf finals last season, and not that long ago we were #1 in the East. We are NOT FAR… But to say were not even close???? Ridiculous. We were playing this season with half an AHL team and we still did pretty decent.
    Euro Smurfs????? Gainey signed Gionta, Gomez, Moen, Gill, Cammalleri… Are any of these guys from Europe.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • Timo says:

      He is right on one count – we are not close. And we won’t be as long as focus remain on language and not hockey.

      • shiram says:

        I think we are closer than you are willing to accept, but the language issue is just the team throwing sticks into it’s own wheels.

        Price is our elite goaltender, Subban and Markov (if re-signed) can both be elite defenceman.
        Patches was showing the powerforward he can be, and he said he already started adding muscle, and training to keep his speed up.
        Cammy is our elite sniper.
        That’s alot of the right pieces right there. Sure there are still some issues, but I guess I don’t see the team as grimly as you do.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs reached the top 5 over-all once since 1993 and then that #1 team got gutted after it imploded in the play-offs.

      The team that went to the Conf Finals did so on the back of spectacular goal-tending. That goalie has since been traded.

      The Habs are not close. They finished outside the top 10. They had a 2-0 lead in round 1, were up 3-1 in game 4, had 3 games go to OT (which they all lost). Yet they couldn’t close out the series.

      The Habs were spent losing it. Had they made it beyond Boston they would have withered any ways. They were beat battered and bruised.

      The team is missing crucial parts and is far away from contending. To be close a team needs to finish the regular season in the top 5 over-all. Those are the facts.

      The team needs physically imposing forwards and they need a #1 centre. A Tyler Seguin in the system wouldn’t hurt either.

      BTW the Bulldogs are facing elimination. So much for the farm.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        HH, the starting goaltender has played 30+ straight games, if anything blame the coach down there (who I think did a pretty solid job though) for not giving him a night off. We pulled off even more talent from the Dogs this year, leaving them ad hoc offensive unit when at least last year they still had their two top scorers in Desharnais and Trotter.

        I still say this team is closer than some think, but we haven’t actually seen this TEAM play for two seasons. Gorges, Markov, Patches would have finished that series in 5 games, or 6. Bruins won because our greybeard D couldn’t handle the series filling in for guys who were capable of taking big minutes.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

  50. PrimeTime says:

    Just once I would like to see Cherry in a sports panel discussion. He avoids having to discuss or argue hockey issues with other “experts”. Nearly every other modern televised sports game has a panel to discuss the game or related sport issues during half-time or intermissions. The Don & Ron show is a joke and I have no idea as to why people continue to watch it.

    Sam Pollock, Toe Blake, Scotty Bowman sure don’t sound like french names to me! What happened?? POLITICS!! The whiney victimized mentality of francophones will forever hold back the Habs and the City of Montreal as a whole. Great city but too many issues… visiting but don’t like doing business there and would not ever live there again. Once the world class city of Canada but then….”Je me Souvien” took over. Montreal is an island in more ways than one.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I think you lost yourself on one very big important fact. DON CHERRY IS NOT A HOCKEY EXPERT. He is a character on HNIC. Similar to Jimmy Fallon (formerly) on SNL.
      Also let’s remember. Gainey, Julien, MacNeil, Irvin, AND JACQUES MARTIN were not born in Quebec… We haven’t had a French Canadien Captain in over 10 years. Our former GM is from Ontario, our current Gm lives in Vermont and just recently we were owned by an American. Our Coaching staff is mostly from outside of Quebec… Pearn is from Alberta, Muller is from Kingston and I dont know where Groulx is from, but I bet its not Quebec…
      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

      • TomNickle says:

        I disagree Joey. Coaching in the NHL does make him a hockey expert. No question. His personal values and opinions and the platform he’s given to express them on a National broadcast are both disgusting to me. He is seen as an authority and expert on hockey and that’s not unjustified due to his credentials and success at the professional level. But a National broadcast allowing a hockey expert to express his opinions about War, Politics, Morals and the mold of what a hockey player should be made from is irresponsible. The free reign he’s afforded on that program is also irresponsible. At a time when concussions need to be taken seriously he mocks the processes the league has mandated. Children watching that show who idolize Cherry will feel that the quiet room is a joke because he feels it’s a joke. Children will see glory in not admitting to a health problem. That’s the travesty.

        I can tell you that the people who I know who like Cherry justify their admiration with the comment “he tells it like it is” most often. I shake my head in disgust when they say that. It’s sad that so many people soak up what he says and treat it like an absolute truth.

  51. Tony McLean says:

    What a steaming pile of it. On the same day they sign (Y)Emelin, right after they sign Diaz from Sitzerland, are dancing with fragile Markov from Russia and 39 year old Jaromir Jagr (who is not a bleuet)…laughable.

    Everyone knows the Euro fetish Gainey has. EuroSmurfs. And as long as Gainey and Gauthier are in charge this sad direction will continue. Small European ‘gentle’ low scoring trap Jacques Martin hockey with unproven playoff goaltending.

    Year 19 (or 32) of the rebuilding continues. We are not close. And we couldn’t do any worse with Quebecois. Give me Boucher hockey. French Canadian Firewagon Hockey.

    Props to “Canadiens South.” Away les boys!

    • HabsFan2 says:

      “Everyone knows the Euro fetish Gainey has.”

      Tell us, enlightened one. Where is the player you have as an avatar from. Quick, I think you know this one!!

      Then tell us where Carey Price is from, k.

      I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

      • pat s says:

        Tony Mclean–I completely agree with you about Gainey’s obsession with russian/euro players. 4 years ago I wrote messages on this site going at Gainey and very few agreed. I have never seen a person get a pass in Montreal by the media and fans like Gainey. I like Price but some posts I read in the past comparing Price to Roy is an insult to Roy and its unfair to Price. Roy was the best goalie on the planet and he was the best goalie ever to play in the NHL. Price needs to win some cups for him to be near that league.

        HabsFan2–whats the use of stating players. Gainey can do no wrong and now Gauthier can do no wrong and than when another GM comes he can do no wrong with you. I get it and I know the argument of supporting your team. Thats bs–get the job done, thats what I say. Are you kidding. The past 4 years we lost to Boston/Philly b/c our team plays that European bs play nice hockey whereby our players are scared to touch the puck with these teams. They don’t like it on the ice with these teams, that is why they disappear.

        We had Guy Boucher and we let him go. That is a bigger joke.

    • That unproven playoff goaltending is at the top of the stats page on

    • punkster says:

      I must say I underestimated you Tony.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Why don’t you get a date with Don Cherry? To the end of the 2nd round of the playoffs, arguably Russian Pavel Datsyuk, 5’11” was the leading man for the Conn Smythe.

      Diaz was signed for depth in HAM, Yemelin was acquired to put aggression and muscle on the back end and if signed, Jagr would give a PP scoring boost.

      And hasn’t Guy Boucher’s team been constantly outshot and had their 1-3-1 system described as ‘defensively stifling”? The difference is when a team packing Lecavalier, Stamkos and St. Louis counterpunchs, it’s more noticable.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • pat s says:

        SeriousFan09–you enjoying watching the habs play golf–why don’t you address the fact that we lost 4 years in a row to the flyers/bruins in the playoffs

        thats all you can do is refer to Don Cherry. He knows hockey a lot better than you let me tell you. Maybe the habs pay you a big salary for you to get personal all the time.

        Jagr–maybe we should get gretzky and lemieux, and for agression we should get shayne corson

  52. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    The Boivin article is great.

    The language issue is definitely a touchy subject. Boivin speaks of the Canadiens as “an institution”, and not just a team. That is the difference between us and the rest of the teams. We DO have a responsibility to the community because this team is a BIG part of Quebec and Montreal’s history.

    That being said, it can’t be the ONLY focus. I think it is important to have French speaking management and coaches, because it is harder for those people to get opportunities elsewhere in the league. If the Habs hadn’t hired Vigneault, Julien, Boucher and others over time, would they be where they are today? Possibly, but maybe not. The Habs have to develop this kind of talent. Fortunately, they have usually picked competent people who are also Freanch-speaking. There are notable exceptions (*cough*Jean Perron*cough*).

    Boivin hit the nail on the head with the player thing. We need one French star to take the pressure off the organization. Otherwise, they will have to plug in some other players to have some sort of representation.

    When the Canadiens win another cup, it will be that much more special because this team has stuck to its identity throughout history. The institution of the Canadiens is sacred. You can’t just change that and throw out 100 years of history.

    • Mike D says:

      Jan, I normally agree with your posts, but on this one we couldn’t be further apart. Havinh a responsibility to the city of Montreal, absolutely, having that responsibility be french-focused, absolutely not.

      You said, the french thing can’t be the only focus, but as far as I’m concerned, it can’t even be a misiscule part of the focus. If we happen to have people who are good, and just so happen to be french, then that’s just icing on the cake.

      Whatever the source(s) of the pressure applied to this team for not having a large enough french constituent should be copletely ignored. They will eventually go away. If not, they will continue to make fools out of themselves and embarrass their kind. This is a professional hockey team, not a political vehicle.

      If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind. The better french players in the league don’t want to play here. Don’t blame the team. Blame those spoiled players who are too chicken-sh!t to be the french star of the Habs. Anyone of us here (french or not) would give their left nut to be that guy to follow in the footsteps of the many great players that played here and are a part of the legacy.

      Everything the past great franco players (The Richards, Beliveau, Plante, Boom-Boom, etc.) built by proving what they did when others thought the french were second-class citizens, has subsequently been sh!t on by the likes of Lecavalier and Briere. They should be ashamed of themselves, and those who still clamour for either of those two based on their nationality should be even more ashamed cuz they look worse than Oliver asking for more Gruel.

      – Honestly yours

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        Mike, I don’t think we are as far apart as you think. I’m not saying that we need to let language dictate everything we do. I also don’t think management has done that. If there were NO competent French-speaking candidates for GM or coach, it would then be interesting to see if the Habs would hire some French schmoe with noe experience, just because he’s French. So far, we have been fortunate to have qualified candidates.

        You seem to recognize that their is a heritage that has been built by the greats, and that needs to be continued. I agree that Lecavalier and Briere should no longer be coveted, bacause they turned their backs on the opportunity to do something amazing. They don’t “get it”.

        However, the moment we don’t even stop to think about whether there are qualified French candidates or players, we cease to be the Canadiens and we become just like any other team, like the Blue Jackets or Thrashers.

        We have to keep the heritage of the Canadiens going, if possible. Right now, it still is.

        • Mike D says:

          For unqualified french schmoe’s, I’ll direct you to Rejean Houle and Mario Tremblay, who let the last great franco this team had in Roy get away (for peanuts).

          I’m not saying that we should stop considering french personnel – far from it. I’m saying that we shoud do whatever we can to obtain the best personnel possible and not factor language into the decision. If they happen to be french, great. If not, equally great.

          As for keeping the Canadiens heritage going and how the french factor into that, the population and culture of Montreal and Quebec do that by themselves. There is no need to extend it to the organization’s staff if it impedes progress.

          At the end of the day Jan, I consider you a valuable contributor to HIO and I love your posts, regardless of where you stand on the language issue.

          – Honestly yours

    • higginrs says:

      I could be really off in what I’m about to say, but here goes…

      1. There are a handful of Canadian players on the team, like Subban, Cammy and Price who would have taken some French in elementary school, jr. high, and at least two language credits in high school (most people stick with French). Where are those skills? Does EVERYBODY forget the French they learn in our English public schools? If so (and this generally seems to be the case when I speak with people who grew up in the public school system in Canada) I wonder what the point of doing language courses is if the retention level is so incredibly poor.

      2. Granted that the Habs are important to the history of Quebec and francophone Canadians, but just because players of one era were largely French and tended to play for clubs situated in Quebec, doesn’t mean the players always have to play for Quebec situated team(s). There are francophones all over the league now. A dispersal has occurred and now it’s time for francophones of Quebec to be proud of the fact that these players are all over the league.

      3. There’s no problem with hiring french speaking players or management, but if language overrides quality of key abilities to bring success to the organization, then there’s a problem.

  53. NightRyder says:

    I think, aside from a small but extremely vocal minority (led by a couple of braying media hounds), most Habs supporters just want to win. Sadly, it’s those exact braying idiots who think they are championing their culture who actually keep the top Francophone players from wanting to sign here.

    To me (and I assume most others), if the players are French, English, Russian, purple, green, blue… doesn’t matter. If we get a Francophone or two, great. Ditto coaches/GMs. If a guy shows any effort at all in learning French, he’ll be cut some slack.

    Given that three of the four coaches left in the playoffs have all been employed by the Habs and speak French, I highly doubt that we’re at any supreme disadvantage in that area.

    And it’s not as if Gainey’s French was mellifluous.

    Quite frankly, this smacks of some feeble excuse-making from Boivin.

    • TomNickle says:

      I completely agree. How can Boivin say that this organization has a more limited prospect pool in all personnel areas due to the francophone mandate? Is that a justification for not returning Larry Robinson’s phone calls? Inexcusable. Even if you don’t want that guy, you pick up the damn phone and acknowledge one of the best defenseman in NHL history. And on that debate of whether or not we can find the best candidates among those who speak both english and french. I believe that the Team President should be the only executive required to speak french. That’s just my opinion, and it’s based on the fact that the President answers only to the owner and that he or she can speak for other management, like a GM.

  54. Marc10 says:

    I think Briere slapping everyone in the face here when he refused to sign did it. I know it did for me.

    Signing with the Flyers only made it worse. I don’t care if we get 20 odd guys from Pluto as long we win a cup.

    • Mike D says:

      Not to mention we reportedly offered him the exact same money as Philly did. I was more offended cuz he’s from Quebec, as opposed to being upset cuz he’s franco.

      – Honestly yours

      • habs365 says:

        Briere went to philly figuring he’d have a better chance at winning a cup—plus they have a lot of tough guys to protect him unlike the Habs—How is he doing so far.

        • Mike D says:

          This past season, pretty good. Last season, not so much. Both seasons weren’t as good as Pleks’ combined totals so I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

          – Honestly yours

  55. shiram says:

    Team 990 interview with Max Pacioretty with Tony Marianno
    Interesting stuff :

  56. Mike D says:

    Really enjoyed reading the Boivin interview articles the past two days – thanks Mr. Stubbs!

    I was simultaneously interested and upset with statements such as, “the general manager and coach should be bilingual”, and “we do more than any other team to try to get francophone players” as they reflect a mentality that doesn’t focus solely on winning or building the best team possible. Winning the Stanley Cup is very difficult to do and 29 other teams have that one single focused goal in mind, but not us. We have to divide our focus between winning and being “french enough”. Throw in the Quebec taxes and it’s no wonder why we have a difficult time attracting free agents without having to really overpay for them. In a cap world that alone can cripple a team’s chances. Throw in the language hurdle and we get handicapped even worse. Not to mention that many of the top french players the Habs have tried to acquire refused or didn’t want to come play here (Briere and Vinny for example)

    Look, I’m not trying to start a political debate here by bringing up the language issue, but it really bothers me. Why should the GM and coach be bilingual? Isn’t the “french media” bilingual? If not, shouldn’t they be since Montreal is mostly bilingual? Can’t they just ask their questions in english and translate the Q’s and A’s into french for the french publications and people? Shouldn’t we be trying to get the best people available (players and management) for our organization to build the best team possible and increase our chances of winning? I’m not nearly as hard on JM, PG, and BG as many other posters on here are, but if there’s better people available then that’s who I want running the team and if they can’t speak french, then c’est la vie (pun intended).

    I’m a Habs fan because I’m from Montreal – they’re my hometown team – and because my dad (and my mom along with my uncles and aunts) are Habs fans. I couldn’t care less about the nationality of the players. All I care about is that they win, they want to play here, they give it all they’ve got, and they understand the history and pride that comes with being a Hab. Frankly, if a so-called Habs fan somehow likes this team less or feels they can’t identify with them because of a lack of french personnel, then they are not a REAL fan to me.

    Sorry for the rant y’all, and no offense intended to the french folks here at HIO.

    – Honestly yours

      • Mike D says:

        There’s so much wrong in your post that all I can do is shake my head. I may not live in Montreal anymore, but I am from there.

        – Honestly yours

          • Mike D says:

            You said the french media isn’t bilingual . I have a hard time believing a member of the press/media working in Quebec wouldn’t speak passable english even if the media outlet who employs him/her only broadcasts or prints in french. It would completely limit who they can interview. Saku never spoke french and yet I’m quite certain various french media outlets conducted numerous interviews with him while he was here.

            Montreal IS largely bilingual. I agree that french is the preferred of the two languages – no doubt about it – but I get by just fine when I’m in town and my french is VERY limitted (and I mean VERY). I wish I could speak french, but I can’t. I still watch all the Habs games on RDS even when they’re being broadcast in english on other channels.

            You said my “not a real fan” comment doesn’t ring true. I call BS on that. A true fan cheers for the logo on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. Don’t pretend that’s an incorrect statement cuz you know it’s goddamn right. BTW, your attempt at drawing a comparable situation with the Leafs GM and speaking Swahili was laughable at best. Give your head a shake.

            – Honestly yours

          • HabsFan2 says:

            If you’re implying that Montreal is not a bilingual city. I suggest you call the PQ and the OLF immediately, since they are completely unaware of this fact. Just ask for Pierre Curzi.

            I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

        • gregg says:

          Whats wrong with his post?
          he`s pretty much bang on with everything.

          • Mike D says:

            Read my reply to G-man above.

            – Honestly yours

          • G-Man says:


          • Mike D says:

            @ G-Man:

            You are so out of touch and flat out wrong, it amazes me. Let me address you point-by-point.

            OF COURSE the interviewer addresses the audience in french after conducting an english interview….if it’s a french F$#K!N channel!!! You can’t have station staff flip-flopping between french and english randomly for no reason. Besides, that wasn’t even the original point being debated. Initially, I stated that the “french media” WERE actually bilingual. You then challenged me and said they were not (your exact words were “ummm, no”). Now, with your last post, you just contradicted YOURSELF and admitted the french media speak english too, and hence proved MY point which you tried to argue previously.

            Bilingual Montreal is NOT limited to downtown. Remember, I’m a hometown boy so you’re not fooling anyone here. When I visit, I spend time downtown and all over the island, up north in Laval, and also on the South Shore in St. Hub./Longueuil. I get by fine everywhere.

            Your last point really proves you’re out of touch. The way you describe yourself as a fan, is exactly what I meant by someone who is not a “real” fan. The fact that you think this is how most people become fans of a team is baffling, and honestly I can’t believe you would post/defend it on a public forum without knowing to feel embarrassed by its stupidity where so many could read it . Essentially, what you said is you’re only a Habs fan because of Jean Beliveau. What if Mr. Beliveau (who I love btw) had played for another team? I suppose you wouldn’t even be a Habs fan then. What if you chose to like Howe instead of Beliveau? I guess you’d be a Wings fan instead, eh. What if his name was spelled John Bellivo but he was the exact same person and player? Would you still have liked him, or the Habs? That’s the difference between a real fan and your type of fan. I understand liking some players more than others, but this is different. In your case, the whole genesis of you liking the Habs is based on one single player, not the team. The genesis of my liking the Habs is based on the team. IE, the logo on the front, not the name on the back = real fan.

            Sorry to all if I came off as harsh. Most of you know this is not typically my way (far from it). In this case, one’s point being based on either no logic, or backwards logic, really got to me.

            G-Man, sorry if I was rude, but please don’t bother replying to me. If you are unable to see the lack of logic in your posts/argument, or if you just want to defend them for the sake of defending them, then there is no point in continuing this debate.

            – Honestly yours

  57. cashbagg says:

    Absolutely ridiculous.

    Putting emphasis on what language players/coaches/GM’s can or can’t speak will doom this team.

    I’m no soccer expert, but I’m pretty sure a lot of the top European teams hire foreign managers all the time….who don’t speak Spanish, Dutch, Italian, French, etc…yet manage teams (to championships) in these countries.

    Euro 2004 – Greece got themselves a German manager, who I can assure you did not speak Greek. We all know how that ended for Greece.

    ENGLISH is the language of sports. As long as you can speak ENGLISH who cares what language the general population speaks.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Excellent analogy, it is a professional league, your goal is to be the best. I understand have Front Office speaking french, but from the GM down, should be wanting the best player period. It is a bonus when that best gm/coach/player is french.

      If Pouliot gets another contract, this will be the prime example of how this principle lets us down. He has done everything to earn him a one way ticket out of montreal. I so wish he had worked out, but it isn’t happening.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • Mike D says:

        I agree 100% with your idealogy (as you can see by the extremely long post I just finished). Regarding Poolio, I’ve got an interesting stat that took me by surprise and may surprise you and others as well. I’ll be posting it later today.

        – Honestly yours

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Cheers Mike, nice rant higher up the page. Nice teaser on the posting later in the day.

          Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

          • Mike D says:

            Thanks mate. It’s ready to go but I kinda want to wait until the language stuff dies down a bit (not that I’m helping my own cause).

            It’s not groundbreaking or anything, lol, but it def. took me by surprise and I’d like for it to get some views so as to get as many replies possible. It may change some people’s opinions/thinking.

            – Honestly yours

    • zerolegel says:

      obviously, that very same general population cares.

      • cashbagg says:

        If what your saying is true, it merely emphasizes the stereotype that Quebecois French are extremely insecure.

        An English GM has nothing to do with Quebecois culture. It will have no bearing on whether the next generation of Quebecois kids speak “American” or french when they grow up.

        So silly.

      • HabsFan2 says:

        A reply to Bertrand Raymond’s article on the topic du jour….

        by alexandrecontreras
        I never understood the controversy over the number of French players. What does that change the players speak English, Russian or Chinese? We want the team wins, that she speaks French! As chairman, CEO or coach, it seems to me you do your best to improve your team constantly, either by getting the best players you can. And for that, you get based on the statistics of the player, his health and his salary … not his mother tongue! The team play in a beautiful French-speaking province, but I do not see why it should influence the formation of the team. Each time a player is traded or that Quebec does not resign with the team, the media make a fuss “is allowed from another French player.” If the player leaves the team, there’s a reason behind it, and I am confident that the linguistic aspect has nothing to do with it. In my case, I would have no problem to see the Canadians win the Stanley Cup in Quebec without training.

        Some of the “general population” actually get it!

        I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

    • joeybarrie says:

      I don’t think it’s ridiculous. When was the last time The Italian National team had a foreign Manager? When was the last time they won a World Cup? Let’s look at the difference. Greece is not a soccer powerhouse. Brazil, Italy, England (not lately), Germany, etc are the big countries. In hockey Canada and Quebec are the roots. Its not like saying that an expansion team in Mexico City will only hire Spanish hockey managers…
      Also alot of players who come in can’t even speak alot of English. English is the language of North American Sports. Not the language of Sports. And that is slowly changing anyways. Lots of Europeans and Russians in our league.
      I don’t think the Club will ignore someone who isn’t French speaking, but if they have a qualified candidate, they will go in the direction of French. The team is still spelled the French way. Besides, there are PLENTY of coaches out there who speak french and have french heritage.
      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  58. 24 Cups says:

    The Habs spent 23.2M on defensemen last year (cap wise).

    Projected 2011-12 Cap Hits

    Markov – 5.75
    Spacek – 3.8 (Subban placeholder for 2012-13)
    Gorges – 3.0
    Gill or Hammer – 2.2
    Yemelin – 985,00
    Subban – 875,000
    Weber – 875000

    TOTAL = 17.5M (Diaz and Nash are the 7th & 8th Dmen in Hamilton who do not need waivers and may be ready to fill in after the new year) Dump Gill and Spacek after next year, give Subban his RFA raise, promote one of the two from Hamilton and bring in another UFA who has size and grit.

    This won’t happen, but the Habs could forget Gill/Hamrlik and sign the Wiz instead for an extra cost of 2.3M which brings the grand total to 19.8M. The only problem being that it would be another Hamrlik like contract that would have implications for years to come. The good news is that the Wiz is just 27, the bad news is he would be our 3rd Dman on the roster with major knee problems. With Spacek acting as a placeholder, our old, wornout defense would now all of a sudden have Markov (33) as it’s oldest player in the summer of 2012.

    I’m betting the Habs will go with Gill over the Wiz. I just hope it’s a one year deal. Personally, I’d take Hamrlik over Gill but it will be Martin’s call.

    • habitual says:

      Hammer over Gill? Provocation, Steve.

      I like that you see value in Hammer too – too many posters have unfairly trashed him.

      I prefer Gill and the shot blocking defensive part of his game, and believe that with a healthy Marky (please!), and PK, we will have enough mobility in the back end.

      But the important part of your post is that you are the first to introduce the possibility of Gill not coming back. Most of us assume he will want to, and accept a one year deal. Assumptions both. I recall in his feature on TSN about the Habs that he said the past couple of years in February he has thought about hanging them up. We shall see …

  59. shiram says:

    Cherry well the best thing to do is not watch him, anyways it works for me.
    As for the Canadiens making great efforts to hire french speaking players/coach/staff, well I’m a native french Canadian living in Montreal, born and raised in a small town in Québec and I basically could care less about what the players and coach speak. The tv/radio/newspaper all have great reporters that can translate if it is needed. Get the best you can get, and with a winning team, the people will not complain as much.
    There are exceptions to that, but the team should not buckle because of some people with very loud opinions.

    Sure I’d like the team to have a french speaking Quebecois superstar, but there are not that many of them, and with the draft there’s no sure way to get them, or that they would want to come here later on in their carreer.

    • habitual says:

      Refreshing perspective. I’m an anglophone West Coast Habs fan, here’s my view.

      The history, politics and culture of the Habs are as much a part of the team as the Cups won. It is important to have a French speaking presence on the team.

      But from the other side of the country, I have to wonder, isn’t your perspective the dominant one? I’d say it is.

      Quebec just annihilated the Party Quebecois, even electing an anglophone MP from outside the riding who couldn’t say ‘bonjour.’

      I think that speaks volumes. If Les Boys win the Cup without a single francophone on the ice or upstairs, fans will be happy. I doubt most Quebecers care about politically motivated curmudgeons in the French media.

      • HabsFan2 says:

        “Quebec just annihilated the Party Quebecois”

        Not the PQ, the BQ.

        I have come home.” – Patrick Roy

    • HabinBurlington says:

      As a western boy now living in Ontario, I ask you Shiram, do you think you are in the norm or the exception. My father used to kid me and ask why I cheer for a french team. I said Dad, last time i checked Dryden, Mahovlich, Gainey, Robinson, aren’t french. (but my jersey had Lafleur on the back, lol) And more importantly they all wear a beautiful red and white jersey.

      My personal theory is that it is the media and a select few politicians who make the Habs mgmt. feel they must go french first on certain hirings.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

      • shiram says:

        Well I only know for sure about myself, and a few of my friends and familly, and most would agree with me, for a sports team, the focus should be about winning and getting the best players to achieve that.
        But I also know that some have the opposite idea, and the fact that so many great players come from such a small population kinda give them the idea that the team could win with only Quebec players.

        But to me that’s not a reality, as 29 other teams are competing for the best players, regardless of origins.
        So I really cannot say if I’m the norm, but I guess if it was the case, then the team would not feel such pressure to get those french speaking players/coach.

  60. habsfan0 says:

    If a professional sports organization places an emphasis other than finding the most qualified individual available for the position,regardless of the language that person speaks,the organization is a dysfunctional one and doomed to mediocrity at best,or failure at worse.

    The ironic part of this is,that if a poll was taken among its season ticket subscribers (or the general population,for that matter)asking if hiring the best individual for the job was more important than the ability to converse in a certain language, 90% of the respondents would probably concur.

    • this is true, however the %10 makes things uncomfortable for everyone involved

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “…finding the most qualified individual available for the position…”

      The ability to speak French is one of the job qualifications and no individual can be the most qualified if they don’t meet all qualifications.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  61. Sal says:

    Dogs have one more year in Hamilton, then they will be gone. LaSalle building an ideal rink, plus close to the Habs.

    Sal from the Hammer

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That would be the best thing for them. Even though I live close by and go to quite a few games each year, this team just isn’t gaining traction. Was no better when they were the affiliate for Edmonton.

      Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  62. coldness81 says:

    So what’s the deal with this Emelin dude. Is he really NHL ready? will he be given a roster spot no matter what?

    • Habitforming says:

      He was ready 2 years ago, but wouldn’t come over. At 24 years old, if he isn’t ready by now, he has missed the boat.

      • coldness81 says:

        you sound so sure he is nhl ready. i haven’t seen him play and from what a lot of people say about the KHL, it’s not the NHL.

        i guess it will be a project in the works. he also has a clause to go back to the KHL instead of hamilton too.

  63. Habitforming says:

    The Canadiens will not be a contender until they take the focus of finding francophone management/players/coaching for this team.

    Francophone doesn’t mean they are the best for the job in Montreal.

    Now let’s all watch and waive as another good coach walks away….. bye bye Kirk.

  64. coldness81 says:

    maybe they should just worry about having the best coach and not worry so much about what language he speaks…

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    It took them an entire school year to figure out Cherry talks about war and hockey equally! I am glad we have our best people on this case. Sounds like they should get a job at CBC as well and keep the gravy train going.

    Great Effort Boys, PG get to work this Summer!

  66. smiler2729 says:

    I used to love watching Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner back when he talked hockey and there was a genuine entertainment factor with he and Maclean.

    Maybe because of his wife Rose’s passing in ’99 but most likely because he’s becoming a grumpy old man, his segment has turned into what it is – Cherry spouting off on everything that bugs Cherry whether it be hockey or not.

    As for influencing Canada’s image, I think it has more to do with the general feeling amongst Canadians in a post-911 world that multiculturalism doesn’t work.

    Now I’m as proud of the military, police, fire and emergency service people as the next guy but HNIC and Coach’s Corner is where many of us go to forget about the realities of life and escape it for awhile.

    Cherry needs to keep talking hockey (and put his homerisms aside) to be watchable but the shark has been jumped…

    “If the Bruins played the Taliban, I’d root for the Taliban”

  67. HabsNG says:

    This is why the Habs will continue to be middle of the pack, or over achieving (lucky) at best. The attitude of french only GM’s, coaches, and players is no longer realistic or practical when it comes to winning. Some of the NHL’s best players are french, but I don’t see them lining up to take a home town discount. The french players show no loyality to Montreal so why do the Habs continue to do so? Disappointing!

    • Ton says:

      I agree in some way. I think you will now see Molson take control of that issue behind the scenes. In the old days Montreal was as french as ever and both cultures were able to pull the team through. Montreal has a advantage to that matter in the 60’s and when that stopped they had to pull strings to get Lafleur. You cannot do that every draft therefore the philosophy should be best player/coach first>and if they are french its a bonus!!

    • Sal says:

      Well said. Brier, LaCavialle, both had opportunity to play for the Habs. Can’t handle the heat…Eff both of them. Coaches and GMs are the easiest way, they can maintain a link to the Francophone past.

      Sal from the Hammer

  68. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Great 2 – 0 road trip PG.

    Diaz the #1 Swiss Dman & Emelin, a tough & talented KHL Dman who appears NHL ready..

    Nice start to the off-season.

    Markov, Gorges, and Weber to sign. PK and Spacek under contract. Diaz in Hamilton to start.

    Markov is a top 10 NHL Dman – Wiz is not – both cost big Cap $$ – Wiz is out.
    Hammer is an upgrade on Spacek, but Spacek is signed for one more year – Hammer out?.
    Mara and Picard were 7th D – thinking Diaz / Nash promoted as needed – Mara / Picard out.
    Sopel was a short term replacement for Gorges who will be signed – Sopel out.

    Many believe Gill will receive an offer from PG. I wonder if this would be the right move. Gill is not likely to move any quicker next season and with Gorges and Markov likely to be signed, the PK is covered. Subban should no longer require a mentor and Gill is not likely best fit mentor for Emelin (try Markov or Spacek). So does PG consider signing Gill another 1 – 2 seasons because he is a team leader? Not so sure that’s enough as Gionta and Gorges cover this need.

    Habs likely need to sign one more experienced Dman if Weber and Emelin are top 6 to start season.

    Back to Hammer who has indicated that he would accept a significant reduction in salary to remain on the Habs blueline. Would he accept half his prior salary on a one year deal, if so then a significant upgrade on Gill and a possible solution? Reminder to PG – keep the D cost at league avg (28% of overall Cap $ or $18M next season). Habs were 4th highest D % to Cap this season. In comparison, Leafs GM B Burke saw the folly in a +$23M D cap hit and significantly reduced Leafs D cost by years’ end.

    One other note in response to numerous recent posts. Please review Spacek’s contract status before casting him off the Habs roster for next season. Over 35 contract ensures 100% cap hit (no savings = no value) – top 4 contract with now 3rd pair skills – no chance of a trade – no possibility of being demoted to the Dogs – and no reason to go overseas. A remote possibility he gets hit by a beer truck over the summer, but not something Habs faithful should ever wish for. So please include him somewhere in your top 6D projections, as Spacek will certainly be on the Habs D in the fall and should be a solid contributor, albeit with a reduction in TOI.


    • higginrs says:

      Gill is more important than you’ve made him out to be, I think. He consistently holds the puck in the offensive zone, plays excellent positional defense, is a dominant penalty killer, and has great leadership ability. To say our younger players are done learning from him is rather premature.

      • nohockey2004 says:

        I agree that Gill should be re signed for 1 more year.
        From interviews of players, it seems they all want him back, he is too important in the room & in leadership.
        Let him get signed as the D – man coach for the following year, a la Jacques Laperriere.
        I don’t think its a coincidence that since he arrived in Mtl, Gill & who ever his D partner is are the top PK pair for the team.

      • Mark C says:

        Don’t know why Gill’s PK ability is so underrated around here. has a stat measures that amount of goals allowed 4-on-5, while player X is on the ice while factoring ice time. Gill had the fourth best number in the league last year. BTW, Subban had the best number.

    • Ton says:

      i saw spacek live in game 4, he ‘s lost a step or two and now is guessing at making the right play. He’s finished and cost us game 4 no doubt, he was minus 3 in that game

      • higginrs says:

        I have never felt Spacek was a good fit for our team because he always looks so uncomfortable out there. Rarely does he look truly confident and in control.

        What sealed the deal for me that he has to go is when he discussed the fight he had with Boychuck on Feb 9, 2011. He said something to the effect of his strategy in fights is to “turtle”. I don’t think he was trying to be funny and even if he was I think there is a lot of truth to that. Essentially, he lacks the fierceness required to battle in corners, confront opponents, and defend our net at all costs. He’s a wimp and he needs to go!

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      you are correct about that fact that Spacek will be here next year, whether we like it or not… but that certainly doesn’t mean he’ll be a “top 6 d-man”. Habs usually carry 7 or 8 defenseman on their roster, they only dress 6. So yeah, he’ll be on the team, but he may not be top 6 come playoff time.

      Hopefully we have 6 other d-men who are better than him.

    • Morenz7 says:

      One thought: a healthy Wiz is a whole lot better than Markie in the clinic. But you’re probably right. He’s likely gone.

  69. 24 Cups says:

    Who knows more about the game and has better contacts throughout the league? Try Elliot Friedman, one of the best reporters in all of hockey.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Freege’s columns and especially 30 Thoughts are a weekly MUST-READ for any hockey fan – BOOKMARK IT IMMEDIATELY!

      “If the Bruins played the Taliban, I’d root for the Taliban”

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Elliot Friedman is a clown.

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  70. adam76 says:

    Less then 3000 fans in Hamilton last night. This team needs to move, STAT. Embarrassing.

    • higginrs says:

      Dude, I agree, it’s very embarrassing.

      I think people in Hamilton are hurting for cash and have to make smart decisions with how they’re going to use the few bucks they have. Gas and groceries or one night out to see the Dogs. Which one should I choose?

      Where would the team be more successful?

    • Haligonian-Hab says:

      Bring the team back to Halifax as the NS Voyageurs again! The Mooseheads suck and still averaged over 5000 per game…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I don’ t think moving them is the answer. Toronto fans don’t even go see Marlie games. For some reason people think that because it is AHL that it isn’t great hockey which is wrong.

      The other issue is it is at Copps Coliseum. It holds 19,000 people and you will never get that consistently to an AHL game and even when you have around 5,000 people it feels really empty and there is no atmosphere

  71. The Cat says:

    I like to watch Don Cherry, but people got to stop giving him all this importance. Theres no way I can believe that he is that influential.

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

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