Bourque has surgery, out for a while


Scratch Rene Bourque as the left winger on the Canadiens second line … at least for a while.
Bourque suffered an abdominal injury during off-season training.
He underwent surgery on Wednesday and is out for up to three months.
And it could be longer before we see the player who had back-to-back 27-goal seasons in Calgary, because abdominal injuries are tough.
Ask Ryan White.

So who skates on LW with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta?

Colby Armstrong?

Travis Moen?

Or HIO’s pick for training camp sleeper: MichaΓ«l Bournival.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin issued a medical update today concerning the status of forward Rene Bourque.

Bourque successfully underwent surgery to repair an abdominal wall tear and will be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks. The surgery was performed earlier today in Montreal.

Rene Bourque suffered the injury during his off-season training in preparation for the 2012-13 season.


  1. HabsRepresente says:

    I am very adamant about Montreal offering a contract to LW free agent Huselius, could be a one year contract but if he stays healthy could score 60+ points and would look good on a line with Pleks and Gio

    – Follow me on Twitter @JaggerHope91 !

  2. habs11s says:

    great video about the lockout


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

  3. Chris says:

    Time and time again, we hear the refrain that Lars Eller should only play centre, that he can’t play left wing. Using the wonderful stats collected by Michael Fleming at the University of New Brunswick, you can actually take a look at what lines played in every game of each season.

    So let’s hold this “Eller is lost at left wing” mantra up to scrutiny. In 2010-11, his first full season with the Habs, Eller played 77 games. Of those 77 games, Eller played 17 games at right wing (games 1, 12, 34 and 44-57) and only 4 games at left wing.

    Last season, his second with Montreal, Eller played 79 games. Of those games, he played 9 games at right wing (games 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 73, 74, 75, and 76) and only 7 games at left wing (games 3, 4, 5, 17, 60, 62 and 63), spending the rest of his time as a third or fourth line centre, with occasional gusts to top-6 minutes.

    I find it somewhat amazing that so many people are so absolutely sure that Eller is “lost” at left wing when he has only played a grand total of 11 games (of his 156 games total) at that position and never more than three games in a row at that.

    It is possible to say that Eller is lost at right wing, the position that he has played in 26 games over those two seasons, including a 14 game run in 2010-11. He simply didn’t look comfortable there, but let’s not forget that that was also his off-wing.

    Erik Cole loves playing his off wing, but most left-handed shots are more comfortable and natural on the left side. I think that a little patience with idea of converting Eller to a left winger would not be remiss. The Habs are four deep in top-9 centremen (Desharnais, Plekanec, Gomez and Eller), but only one deep in top-9 left wingers (Pacioretty). Converting Eller seems like a no-brainer, especially when you factor in that Galchenyuk will be pushing hard in the 2013-14 for the third line centre position (at the very least!).

    Moving centres to the wing is very common. If the team thinks that Eller is perhaps a solution at left wing, put him there and work with him on his positioning. He’s a smart guy…he can handle it and become a strong player at that position. The problem for kids like Eller is when you yank them back and forth through the lineup. They can’t find a rhythm and they can’t get comfortable in a role.

    On a related note, I would also argue that Montreal fans need to be more patient…we want to be like the Red Wings during their dynasty, but we don’t want to be patient like the Red Wings.

    Valtteri Filppula is a great example. Filppula is now 28 years old and is coming off his best NHL season (23 goals, 66 points, +18 rating). Note that this was also a season where the Red Wings moved him up to play left wing after years of using him as a third line centre.

    But at 22 years old, Filppula had 10 goals and 17 points in 73 games while playing an average of 11:15 per night. Then came four straight seasons of 10-19 goals and 35-40 points while playing mostly as a third-line centre behind Datsyuk and Zetterberg. It didn’t hurt his development at all, as he was still getting 16-18 minutes per night, and it improved his two-way game as he was often called upon heavily at even strength to fill in for Datsyuk and Zetterberg who logged such heavy minutes killing penalties and on the power play.

    Contrast that to Eller. At 21 years old, Eller had 7 goals and 17 points in an average of 11:08 of playing time. At 22, Eller had 16 goals and 28 points in 15:18 of ice time. This season, I would not at all be surprised to see him at 15-20 goals and 40 points, and I wouldn’t see that as a failure either.

    But I have seen so many posts this summer (and even been convinced the odd time, until I analyzed it a little more) saying that Eller has to get top-6 minutes this year or we’re going to ruin his development.

    I think this thinking is flawed. The team can easily get Eller 17-18 minutes per night, even as a third line centre. All it takes is cutting back the ice time of Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais by a minute each, a move that would pay the added dividend of keeping two smaller guys a bit fresher throughout the season.

    EDIT: Bah! just finished it, and see a new post was made. Moving to the new page.

    • shiram says:

      I agree that Eller should get some ES and PP/PK time off of Plekanec and DD, especially Plekanec who was facing just too many tough minutes in most games.
      The reason why posters are apprehensive about Eller on the wing is that he was sold as the big center the Habs have coveted for quite some time.
      Would you rather have Eller or DD as a left winger?

      • Chris says:

        Honestly, I would rather have Eller as a left winger.

        The “big” centre thing is so overblown on Hockey Inside/Out. Montreal’s centres aren’t second-rate because they are small, they are second-rate because they simply don’t have the same talent as the elite guys. It is as simple as that.

        The centre needs to be smart positionally and should be a strong skater as they will be playing deeper in the defensive zone but still have to get up into the play on the counter-attack.

        The wingers are more often the guys that need to fight for position along the boards and in front of the net. You don’t see Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux or Nicklas Backstrom mucking it up all that often: they are usually trying to stay mobile and keep all their passing options open at all times. Size helps when you’re powering in for a goal, but it really isn’t the rate-limiting trait for an NHL centre.

        Besides, Galchenyuk has size and he and Desharnais and Plekanec would make a formidable top-3 centres. Eller is sadly the odd guy out. Montreal needs goal scorers, and we’ve seen that size can really help the wingers get to the net in the form of Cole and Pacioretty. Guys like Cammalleri and Gionta had to rely on their speed to get open or settle for playing on the periphery to get their shooting lanes. Eller can be another big winger, while Desharnais just gives the team another winger that would be a vulnerability in the defensive zone battles along the boards.

  4. Kooch7800 says:

    Labor day weekend….let the good times roll.

    Have a good long weekend guys.

    It is really getting down to crunch time with the NHL. Basically 2 weeks to go

    • habstrinifan says:

      Same to you Kooch7800.

    • Bripro says:

      Fridays….my favorite day of the week.
      Poker, as always, with good friends.
      Unfortunately, none of my HIO friends are there, but that will change some day. I wish you all a great day, and a great weekend.
      May the Gods of good weather, good health and good Karma shine on you.
      And if not, well suck it up. It can only get better.
      Unless there’s a lock-out and no NFL….
      But that’s for a future discussion.

      And one last hockey comment before my work resumes.
      Stop talking about a Plek trade. I doubt it will happen.
      Too many see his value, but think by trading him we’ll receive greater value.
      As if the GMs of the league will let themselves be suckered in.
      It’s not happening. So let’s appreciate our versatile centreman.

  5. Habfan17 says:

    There are some very knowledgable fans on here, which is why I like to come here and read what has been posted. That is why I am baffled when some fans press to move players from their natural positions and put them where they don’t fit. I have read how Bourque was an underachiever, but let’s look closer at his situation. He came into a complete mess and then was asked to play out of position. It was as a right wing that Bourques scored 27 goals, twice.

    Martin experimented with Eller on the wing and he did not do well. On top of that is wingers play better when he is at his natural position of centre. Why move him again?

    The right thing to do when you have an overabundance of one product is to sell it off and replece it with a product you are missing. In this case make a trade. Montreal now has many better right wing prospects and realistically will not have room for them all. They have just drafted another high end right wing in Collberg. It is time to move a couple of right wingers for a 2nd line left wing and/or a physical defenceman. You have to give something good to get something good, so Kristo, Pulashaj, maybe even Gionta. It seems no one wants to move Plekanec, but then you have Desharnais, Eller, Galchenyuk, LeBlanc, White, Nokelainen, Bournival, and a few other prospects that will be knocking on the door soon. LeBlanc can play right wing, but again, the Habs already have Gallagher,Holland, Quailer, Avtsin, and Collberg.

    All this so say, leave Cole and Bourque on the right side, allow Gallagher and some other prospects to fight over the 3rd and 4th line right wing spot with Blunden. Trade some players, Kristo, Pulashaj, Weber, Nash for a left wing. If you have to, trade Pleks and or Gionta to get that elusive power left wing for the 2nd line.

    Having The following lines should give the Habs balanced scoring.
    Pacman, DD, Cole
    ?, Eller, Bourque
    Prust, Leblanc, Gionta/Gallagher
    Moen, White, Blunden


    • habstrinifan says:

      Good Morning HabFan17

      I am one of those who advocated ‘an out of position’ move. I did so becasue I really dont know as much as I thought I did. In my zeal to push for one of the young guys (and real rookie) being added to our 2012-2013, I saw Bourque’s injury as an opportunity to push for my Gallagher. Honestly, I did make a cursory ‘google’ to check Gallagher’s shooting side ( I knew he played right wing) and believe it or not at least two sites had him “shoots left” so I quickly took that and ran for it. I am still not sure if those sites were ‘completely wrong’, but the reputable sites (TSN etc) have him as a R shooter)… so my bad.

      I thought of Bournival, my other candidate, but I just dont think I want to interfere with his ‘mental’ development as a hybrid checking-scoring centre now. I firmly believe that he, Bournival, will excel for the HABS in that role. I see Gallagher more as a straight scorer than Bournival.

      Basically I really hope that we insert at least ONE real rookie into our line-up this season, better yet two..Gallagher and Tinordi. I remember the 80’s when we excelled in bringing up guys like Richer and Lemieux and I think Subban’s insertion into the line-up in the playoffs against Washington did wonders for the team and Subban.

      And I do not want to see the likes of Palushaj or Geoffrion be used as stop-gaps ,non productive and in the long run self-defeating measures. I am absolutely fed up with that sort of conservative thinking.

      Your main solution, I, 100 percent, agree with. Use all the ‘assets’ ( I call them ‘bodies’) we have in certain positions and and get something good. I also agree with the type of players you are recommending we consider giving up and the type we consider acquiring.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Good morning Habstrinifan,
        It is only my opinion and in some cases, asking and having a player switch positions is justified and okay. I just don’t believe it should be the norm on a team. I also don’t believe in moving a player up and down the lines when they have a tough game. That is what pushed LeClair out of Montreal. It ruined his confidence and it was LeClair that said so in an interview I saw.

        I am with you. I woud love to see at least one prospect crack the lineup and inject some more offence and enthusiasm into the lineup.

        I think Gallagher and possibly Galchenyuk have the best chances. Maybe Beaulieu on defence. I would wager that as a 3rd line pairing, Pateryn has a better chance of making it. He is solid and brings grit and size. Since he is older and more mature, he may have a shot at the 5th or 6th spot.

        It was fun to watch the rookies play sich a big role in the playoffs when Lemieux and others came in and stepped up. It does prove that rookies can come in and play well and also play big roles.


      • twilighthours says:

        Trini, forget reading about Gallagher and just watch him. He’s a right shooter:

    • SmartDog says:

      Great post!

      I agree 100%. What bugs me is that it’s not just the fans, the coaches and GMs seem to think it’s okay too. Just take a guy who’s expert in one role, and put him in another position – no problem. If I were a GM, I would have my assistants watch for players like that, under-performers on a team who are just being used wrong. They get traded for cheap.

      The Habs have a serious PROBLEM. They have too many RW and not enough LW. I’ve stated this over and over, and until MB does something about it, I’ll still wonder if he’s the guy we should’ve hired.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thanks for the support! I do think that MB did address the elft side this draft. Timmins did well to draft Bozon and Hudon. I also think from the reports that I have read on Nystrom, that Timmins may have found a real sleeper. He has added 3 strong prospects to the left side. The jury is till out on Geoffrion.

        Even though it is a high price in my opinion, I would trade Plekanecs, Kristo and Weber to Anaheim for Ryan and a 2nd round pick in the next draft. Plekanec is in the top 12 of 2nd line two way centres and kristo is highly rated. Weber with a new start should be a 4th or 5th defenceman who can also play the power play.

        The lines would be
        Patches, DD, Cole
        Ryan, Eller, Gionta
        Prust, Leblanc/Galchenyuk, Bourque
        Moen, White/Nokelainen, Blunden

        A good balance of size, speed, grit, and talent.


        • Trisomy 21 says:

          I don’t think that’s a high price for ryan. It’s almost a straight up pleks for ryan trade. Kristo might wait to become a ufa (even if he doesn’t I can’t see him being an impact player) and weber has to earn the role of 6th dman on the Habs. Who knows where he stands in Anaheim.

          • Cal says:

            That’s a lot too much for someone who underachieved with Getzlaf and Perry. Besides, this isn’t NHL 13. Anaheim would never. And stop trying to trade Pleks, you guys.

    • shiram says:

      Good post, but you fail to mention the player whom, to me, suffered the most from playing not his natural position, that player being Yannick Weber, and he’s also in a position where the Habs have some depth and could make a move.
      As for centers, I’d scratch Leblanc and White, I doubt they play center position in the NHL, Nokia is a stop-gap measure on a 1 year deal. Moving Pleks makes sense as he is bound to bring the best return, but he’s also the best center we have right now, I’m biased on this, Pleks is my favorite forward on the Habs, so I’d like to see him retire as a Habs and I think he’s got the skills for it to work.

    • Bripro says:

      Where do you plan on playing Pleks?
      Because he’s not going anywhere. Not this year, at least.

      • shiram says:

        He traded him for “?”.
        In a later post “?” became Bobby Ryan.

        • Bripro says:

          I saw that, but like I said, I seriously doubt Pleks is going anywhere this year. So what is the strategy now? I’m just intrigued to find out how he would play them.

          • shiram says:

            I don’t see Pleks being moved either, maybe at trade deadline, but Eller would have to have had a great year and DD would have to at least repeat his production from last year and the team clearly out of the playoffs.
            Even with that said, Pleks is still definitely a top 30 center in the NHL, and being a product of the Habs development, I hope they keep him around for a long time. He is also a great example and mentor for all those young guys we have at the position.

    • Cal says:

      I see a lot of you guys are high on another small winger in Gallagher. He is years away, if he ever makes it. Even if he goes to the dirty areas, he’s going to need a lot more speed to not get run over by the big D all over the NHL these days.
      There’s room in top 6 for maybe 1 smaller player. Right now, Gallagher isn’t the guy, Gionta is. DD, as well. That’s two: 1 too many.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    A shout out to Mike Boone as he begins his retirement this weekend. He has been the heart and soul of HI/O since it’s inception. Just like Carey Price is now the face of the Hab franchise, Mike Boone has been the face of Habs Inside/Out.

    The thing I like most about the headmaster is the fact that he is a real journalist. Mike is a legitimate newspaper man who has earned his stripes over the years as a city and sports beat writer. I guess you could call him old school – a badge he would probably wear with honour.

    I mention this because today’s media world is dominated by the internet. Now instant access makes everyone a critic, an authority on matters large and small. There are no filters, as much of what is written is characterized by mindless drivel. As Jay Stone points out, it may take years to sort out the voices that matter from the endless noise that is dominated by the lowest common denominator.

    Mike Boone is a voice that always rings true. We, the fans on HI/O, should all be thankful that he has signed on to do a part-time gig that will center around Hab games (Game Blog plus About Last Night). I look forward to his insight, wit and heartfelt comments.

    All the best my fine friend,


  7. habstrinifan says:

    Bet you didnt know that Tasmania has an Anti-Discrimination Office!

    It seems even in Tasmania, there is only so much devilry allowed.

  8. Psycho29 says:

    With all the talk about the 40th anniversary of the Blue Bird Cafe fire, I realized that its also the 40th anniversary of the 7-3 USSR win over Team Canada in Montreal. That all happened the same weekend in 1972.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup indeed it is Psycho, Bill White the dman from Team Canada has a nephew Gord whom I know (he is a fireman here in Burlington) and Bill’s wife didn’t feel like going to the reunion so Gord just left earlier this week with his Uncle to go to Russia to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the series. He left the itenerary at the local sports bar for us to see, wow what a week they have planned in Russia.

      I was too young to remember details of those games, I only remember my entire family huddled around the TV watching those games. I do seem to remember my brother yelling at Bobby Clarke after his tomohawk chop on Kharlomov.

      Amazing how that hockey series still resonates both here in Canada and in Russia.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Can we say “The ’72 Summit Series” was the greatest event in Canadian sports history?

      Gerald, now that I know you are a youngster, I can join you in the uber rich and fond memories of that quintessential event. Shout out to Mr. Woloshyn, my physics teacher who had the TV on for all the games in Soviet segment. Bobby Clarke sure did resort to dirty play. J.P. Parise (Zac’s dad/uncle?) looked goofy swinging his stick at on-ice officials, thankfully at a safe distance. Bruce Hood was a participant but the most famous official was the unbelievable Victor Dombrovsky. Esposito’s speech, and pratfall. Henderson’s climactic goal, set up by Yvan Cournoyer. The rescue of Alan Ponzi Eagleson, Canadian equipment guy doing an “Andrew Ference” to the Moscow crowd.

      Nixon made a momentus summit trip to Beijing in 1972, and met with Chairman Mao Tze-Tong. Mao gave him and America a gift of two Panda Bears.

      Right now, America needs more Panda Bears.

      These white and black creatures are very gentle.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • habstrinifan says:

        I like the complex subtlety of your metaphorical reference in the lines “Right now, America needs more Panda Bears..These white and black creatures are very gentle”.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I should never have revealed that i was just a tyke during 72, old enough to know something was going on, but too young to remember any details.

        Yah, being the youngest of 6 kids and 3 of those older siblings were brothers who were sports nuts also, I was constantly reminded of the details of that series, and how they would rib me that i missed out on Canada’s greatest sporting moment. Funny thing is, I became the ultimate sports junkie in the house and now tell them about details they don’t know (since I have watched the series over and over in the years following).

        I met Clarke at the NHL Awards night afterparty (Gretzky’s upstairs), I asked him about that slash, he looked at me and said I barely touched him with a wry grin on his face. This was at the time he was about to trade Lindros, so we chatted a bit about Eric and he was pretty candid about he felt towards Eric. All the while Snider was sitting there with us, but was preoccupied by some young blonde bimbo on his arm.

        Was an interesting evening.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Another fascinating anecdote. Keep ’em comin, L’il Tyke!

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • frontenac1 says:

          Hola Amigos!1972; First year at Dawson College. Was stoned out of my gourd for most of it. It”s all pretty hazy but I think I had a good Time.

          • Bripro says:

            Ah…those were the days.
            Dawson in ’76 in pretty much the same state.
            DJ’d on Dawson radio, and not much else.

            As far as events of that era, I prefer the New Year’s Eve game between the Habs and the Red Army.
            That game was lights out the best performance by a Habs team I’ve ever seen.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I haven’t yet come to grips with my true feelings about that series. Maybe I wasn’t Canadian enough to be patriotic enough yet! All I know is I hate Alan Eagelson… yes hate. But then I like Cournoyer… he to me was the Mario Lemieux of that series in decorum.

      Just my take. Apologies to everyone who is offended by my adulterated patriotism at the time.

  9. commandant says:

    I did manage to get a few hours outside the office and thus, Top Shelf Prospects is back with a look at the Washington Capitals.

    The Capitals feature a strong, strong contender for the #1 prospect ranking in my final ranks.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  10. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    Mitt Romney is about as sincere as a cardboard cutout, I have never seen a so blatantly manufactured individual.

    He is loyal only to whichever puppet master he chooses to whorre himself to.

    He is most certainly not ever going to be president of the United States of America.

    Romney, the Tea Party, those loons in congress, Ted Nugent, and that rat Hank Williams jr., this is most certianly not your father’s Republican party!

    • AceMagnum says:

      Throw ’em all in a blender and hit ‘puree’


      THE KINGS ARE KINGS!! 2012

    • habsfan0 says:

      Romney & Ryan will give McGovern & Shriver a run for the money as to most lopsided losers.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        If Romney wins, America will lose a lot. It would start with respect from most of the Western nations who give higher priority to charity and beneficence. Assisting the disadvantaged will always be more noble than giving tax rebates to the wealthy. Their numerous “carpetbaggers” believe that as “Capitalism’s” aristocrats their noblesse oblige will solve all problems and quite likely will be cast prominent roles in “Les Miserables, Part Deux.”

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      And this is different from other politicians how?

      • Clay says:

        Most politicians are merely corrupt. This Tea Party clan is downright crazy. That’s how they differ. The American Taliban is what they are, and people should be scared of them.

        ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • Clay says:

      Well said.

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

    • Marc10 says:

      He’s the Feudal Lords’ candidate of choice…

      He most certainly has the funding and the voter suppression brigade to get what he wants. And then it’s another 4 to 8 years of out of control stupidity. With a partisan Congress… He could do some real damage. Watch this space. I don’t think the USA’s hit the bottom of the barrel yet.

  11. DorvalTony says:

    Bournival looked very confidant in limited action last camp.

    “Hi, this is P.J. Stock for Depends.”

  12. HabFab says:

    Some stats from the Stat guy. Eller was most successful in dekes of the forwards and PK was the top for the defenseman. Notice how successful Kaberle was on the pass, PK not so much.

  13. HabFab says:

    Day 3 of the BioSteel Camp, Gally and Nail get to practice and play with the big boys;

    • Mark C says:

      A few observations:

      Day 1 – Kaberle makes Jordan Subban look like a timbit.

      Day 2 – Players lie about their weight, but PK looks like a legit 220. He is rock solid.

  14. Rad says:

    I think Louis Leblanc is ahead of Bournival on the depth chart. Louie Louia may even make the big club as the 12th or 13th forward right out of a shortened training camp, while Bournival and Gallagher probably start the year in Hamilton. I also think that Bergevin has to be shopping for a top-6 forward in trade now that Rene Phlegmatic Bourque is on the shelf. (And to give credit where credit is due, “phlegmatic” is Mike Boone’s descriptor from last season, when he used that adjective in writing about the under-performing Bourque.)

    • chanchilla says:

      I don’t understand why the posters on this board are insistent on having louis leblanc sit in the press box all year, or play on the fourth line, instead of getting top line minutes in hamiltion. It seriously baffles my mind.

      • commandant says:

        Agreed, if Louis can’t make at least the 3rd line he shouldn’t be in Montreal. Same goes for Gallagher, Bournival, Holland, etc…..

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          Definitely. Top end prospects shouldnt toil on the 4th or the pressbox.

          But with the Bourque delay, it seems one of the kids will get to fill the spot. Unless they think one of Armstrong or Gomez can be effective on the 2nd.

          EDIT: I was also looking forward to seeing Bourque possibly play on Eller’s right, just to get him back to his natural position.

  15. I talked to Jonathan Huberdeau the other day in Montreal. I told him that before the 2012 draft I was campaigning for the Habs to trade their 3rd pick overall in 2012 straight up for him. He told me I am lucky the Habs didn’t take my advice because in his opinion Galchenyuk is a better player than he is!
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
    Twitter: @teliopost

  16. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    Michael Bournival: what a GREAT prospect, a exellent two-way forward. I think that with Borque on the IR for the foreseeable future, Bournival has a shot at a Habs roster spot, it is simple: move Eller to wing on the second line, and insert Bournival as the third line center. (if there is a season at all)

    He was awesome in the memorial cup, great on faceoffs, great on special teams. I don’t think that he will be a top six NHL forward at any point, but put me down as saying that he just might be an elite third line center.

    • commandant says:

      I think he’ll be a damn good third line centre. I’m not convinced he’s ready yet though. Needs some AHL time.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

        Hopfully he will go to Hamilton one Borque returns.

        what I was saying is that of all our prospects, he has the best chance of making the big team this season.

        • commandant says:

          I don’t know about that. I think Gallagher and Leblanc are both closer to being NHL ready.

          I say “closer” because I think all of them should be in the AHL (at least to start the season).

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

            I agree that they should all be in the AHL for the start of the season, but if I HAD to pick one to start with the big club, it would be Bournival, Gallagher needs to show what he’s got in the AHL to prove that he can withstand the pro game, and Leblanc could use top six AHL minutes and added muscle to his frame.

          • commandant says:

            While those guys have things to show… Bournival hasn’t shown me he’s any more ready.

            In fact, Gallagher and Bournival were on the same team at the World Juniors and Gallagher looked like the far better player there. Gallagher was also far better in Habs training camp.

            The only advantage I see for Bournival over those two is that he’s shown he can play Centre and Left Wing, while they are basically Right Wings (Leblanc is no more an NHL centre than Chris Higgins was).

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Est Ontario fan: Bournival will be a great NHLer I have no doubt. The kid has skill and heart and most importantly strong work ethic.
      I watched him in the Memorial Cup and was thoroughly impressed. I was also very impressed with Morgan Ellis or as i call him “Josh Gorges the 2nd”.

      I am not as stoked about Jarred Tinordi. I find him very slow and generally a poor skater who also has poor puck handling skills. At best I project him to be another Hall Gill. At worst another Ryan O’byrne. He has a LONG way to go still before he will be NHL ready.
      The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
      Twitter: @teliopost

      • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

        You are dead wrong re Tinordi, you basically described the Tinordi of 2010-11, he has greatly improved his game and is alredy a better skater then Gill.

        he is also much more physical then Gill, and will continue to improve, he will probably need a full season in Hamilton, but I have said it before and I will say it again: I think we have another Derian Hatcher on our hands.

    • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

      Except that Eller has never looked good on the wing. Bournival played well in the Memorial Cup, which is junior hockey. Highly unlikely that he is ready for NHL minutes. I like what Montreal has coming up in the years to come, but I’m afraid that this year might be a bit thin BUT we haven’t seen MB’s ability to trade yet. I wonder if he will wait to see what he has in training camp/pre-season, and then make a trade to improve the team. Either way, I think we’re a couple years away from being a serious threat to make a run in the playoffs. But when all these young guys make it…

    • Habfan17 says:

      I don’t know why so many people want to keep moving Eller. Martin’s experimentation has proven that Eller is a centre not a winger. If we want this kid to develop, leave him where he is. If we have too many players at a certain position, trade them for a player who naturally plays the position the Habs are looking to fill.

      Take Bourque for another example. He scored 27 goals twice as a right wing, his natural position. Don’t you think it was hard enough coming to a new team, especially one with so much turmoil. Why move him to the other side?


  17. habsfan0 says:

    For any Buffalo Bills fans out there, Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson is in hospital in “good condition”.

  18. stevieray says:

    Eberle …6 years for 36 mil !..good for him .. I like the kid

  19. habsfan0 says:

    Toe Blake once said: “Predictions are for gypsies”.

    Well, since I’m a gypsy, here are my predictions:

    1)No NHL season.
    2) NFL season delayed due to player strike in support of locked out refs.
    3) PQ Majority government.
    4) World ends on Dec. 21,2012 as per Mayan calendar. Coincidentally, NHL & NHLPA reach agreement on new CBA the day before.

    Have a nice day, folks.

  20. Bripro says:

    As a completely unrelated sports side note, Canada’s new tennis sensation Raonic is now leading 2-0 in sets. Mathieu, his opponent can’t back up far enough to handle his serve… the boards are in the way.
    He asked if he could stand on a barge on the Hudson river and the judge refused his request.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Awesome! Maybe you could post game-by-game updates while TSN shows Serena Williams play some Spanish woman.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:


    • JF says:

      Raonic is serving well, but the rest of his game leaves something to be desired. His return game is not even average. I can’t figure out why he always stands so far behind the baseline on his opponent’s second serve. He ought to be much closer so he could attack the second serve. I think Mathieu has won about 75% of his second serve points; if it weren’t for Raonic’s serve, Mathieu would win the match easily. Raonic probably needs at least another year of work before his return game is anything like good enough to really do battle with the top players.

      • Chris says:

        That serve of Raonic’s is such a weapon that he could pull off a major in the same fashion as Goran Ivanisevic or Richard Krajicek.

        But he does have a lot of raw tools. He is quite athletic for a man of his size, with some decent speed. But he does need some work if he’s going to compete with the likes of Djokovic, Murray, del Potro and Nadal moving forwards (Federer is nearing the end of the line).

        It looks like a nice era for men’s tennis. Along with 21 year old Raonic, you’ve got Kei Nishikori (22), Juan Martin del Potro (23), Marin Cilic (23) and then the two weird players, Bernard Tomic (19) and Alexandr Dolgopolov (23), who drive opponents crazy with their playing styles. Should be interesting to see which of those guys can join Murray, Nadal and Djokovic in the top 5 once Federer starts fading a bit.

  21. commandant says:

    If Desharnais scores even 50 points again. He’s a 3 million dollar player. Probably more.

    Grabovski got 5.5 and has never scored 60 points.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • HabFab says:

      Off subject, but do you another project lined up for your web site?

      • commandant says:

        I still have four Top Shelf Prospects reports to do. (Washington, Winnipeg, Top 30 Teams, Top 30 or 50 Players, havent decided yet).

        My Real Job has been hell this past week. I’ve been working 14 hour days M, T, W…. I think I’ll get a little break tonight and get out the Capitals tomorrow).

        My next project is that I’ve managed to get in touch with a 17 year old OHLer currently projected as high as an early 2nd round draft pick in 2013. I plan to do a series with him… The year in the life of an NHL draft prospect. We’ll be announcing who it is soon.

        I am looking for a more regular project though as that will probably be 1 article a month at max. I was hoping for a look at NHL training camp news, but that doesn’t look like it will happen.

        Max needs to continue on projected 2014 Olympic Teams (Team USA is up next).

        We’ve got a Fantasy Hockey column launching as soon as we know if there will be a season with another new writer, in Paul.

        We’ve brought on two NBA writers and one of them is doing a similar concept to Top Shelf Prospects with Boom or Bust NBA.

        We’ve also got NFL, NCAA Football, MLB, MMA, in full swing, and have added some great bloggers lately in those sports.

        We’ve got an absolute HUGE name in the world of tailgating for those who like that. Doc “the Gridiron Chef” Dockeray, host of Tailgate Radio has set up a partnership with our site. We’ll be interviewing him once a week. He’s a huge name in Tailgating. He was the official chef of the College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Hired by the NFL as the official Head Chef of the Superbowl Tailgate party. He used to be on the payroll of the Dallas Cowboys, and was a free agent this summer, signed away by the New Orleans Saints. He’s taken Tailgate Radio from podcast, to Celestial Radio syndication, and now has been picked up by SiriusXM to launch an entire station of “Tailgate Radio” which is coming soon. We’ll have some of our football writers as regular guests.

        So we’ve got some good stuff going.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Timo says:

      Gomez is an 8 mil dollar player.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What a bad dream that won’t go away.

      • HabFab says:

        I see that I shouldn’t play golf with you… from a guy that has played 3 Charity Texas Scrambles plus 11 holes in the last 6 years .

        • HabinBurlington says:

          LOL, i got a lucky shot, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it. As long as you enjoy beer on the course we are good to play my friend.

          • Bripro says:

            Hey I have an idea.
            If the weather holds out, and Butthead won’t get his head out of his butt for the current CBA, maybe we can all go golfing instead!

          • HabFab says:

            Messed up right shoulder and muscle in upper arm in a car accident 5 plus years ago.. Can’t seem to hit more then 150-160 yards plus coupled with the pain just don’t make sense anymore. Still accurate, so have some use with my short game, for a team.

          • Bripro says:

            Then we have one of two options. We could play a skins game, and you could be our short-game go-to guy, or you could use the LAUNCHER!!!

      • Bripro says:

        But yep…. Bettman keeps pushing the desert team.
        Yessiree, he sure knows what he’s doing!

        BTW, I had your trivia question, for all three.
        But that’s because my memory banks still work well for that era, just not well for anything after university.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The minute that team is moved, Jerry Moyes and perhaps Balsillie file their lawsuit against the League. Remember, Moyes was not allowed to move the team in order to recoup his money or some of it. The NHL is very afraid of that lawsuit, because that could open door for owners moving their teams whenever any financial difficulty, ie. Devils, Islanders, etc…..

          • Bripro says:

            This is true. The NHL’s insurance policy. But at the time, the NHL sued Moyes saying that he secretly tried to sell the team to Balsille without NHL approval for the purpose of moving it.
            It wasn’t the move that was considered a violation but rather that it was done in secrecy.
            I think that just hit Butthead’s ego in the wrong place.

    • AK_PK_Usay says:

      Why can’t the league remove phoenix all together… and have the players sent to the weakest teams with cap space… And instead of throwing money in phoenix, pay half those players salary for a year as an incentive…

      Less teams, more talent, and Phoenix is just a black whole from a financial perspective…

      Is anyone as worried as I am about the qc elections… If PQ wins, more stupid laws, more business exodus and english departures for US and Ontario (and the west…) leaving Montreal ever poorer.

  22. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    Eberle – 6 years, 36 million. Wish he was ours.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      That certainly sets the benchmark for PK.

      Subban is one year older, with more NHL games played, and in my opinion a better player.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • chilli says:

      The only thing I get from your post is that you’ve never seen Eberle play. I’d take PK straight up for him yesterday.


  23. AceMagnum says:

    Stupid curse of number 17!!



  24. AK_PK_Usay says:

    So some of you think DD is worth 3+ mil a year? while playing with our 2 best wingers?

    LMAO, DD should be traded while his so ridiculously overvalued. I said the same exact thing about komisarek…

    And for anyone that doesnt think PK is our no 1 D for now and foreseeable future… you guys are either racist or have poor hockey sense. (or, love mediocrity, lets not forget qc is famous for that)

    • shiram says:

      If DD puts up another 60 points season, 3 millions is definitely not out of order. Long term, I do think it would be best to see if he could play wing or else see what’s on the table for a trade for him.

    • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

      At some point the Habs have to do something about the situation at centre – can’t keep Eller on 3rd line and having him at wing makes him less effective, DD & Pleks are not very big, Galchenyuk will be in them mix in the near future. If DD looks good this year, you have to consider moving either him or Pleks. I like DD, but Pleks is more valuable to the team.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      You are right that 3 million is too much, based on one season. Let’s see what happens this season.

      Sure he had the two best wingers, but from what I saw, he made his wingers look fantastic on a number of occasions last year. Much of the credit should be given to DD for his effort and level of play last year.

      My only critique of DD is how easily he is pushed off the puck when he isn’t moving (and his FO%). Too bad he wasn’t 6 inches taller and 40lbs heavier, he would be a machine (assuming this does not affect his speed or skill)

      But ya, another year like last year and I would be in favour of the $3 million contract.

      • ebourcier says:

        How is DD not worth 3 mil? he would have to shit the bed to not get 3 mill….. Top line Center…. Bourque is getting 3.3 for heven sakes! kaberle at 4.5!! id give a guy like DD who guts it out every night 3 in a heartbeat…. but i am affraid that if he has a 50-60 pt season he will be up in the 4.5-6 territory. which may then be an overpayment.


    • bwoar says:

      I’m not racist, and I’m pretty confident about my hockey sense. Let me say that PK is the #1 D by default right now, having no one better, and not for any other reason. He may well earn it this coming year, but the mantle was placed on him at need, not because he was ready.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think the question which was posed was given the recent contract given to Turris would that be a fair comparison for DD. I think the consensus was DD needed another productive season and Turris probably has a higher upside.
      As far as your statement about PK, you could have made your point without throwing out such a wild statement. BTW, I happen to agree with the point that PK is the teams #1 dman. I just disagree in the manner you chose to voice it.


    • Phil C says:

      DD needs wingers who can finish to be successful, no question. But a player like Cole needs a centre who can get him the puck when he is streaking down the right wing. A player like Pacioretty needs a centre who can find him in the offensive zone so he can use his quick shot. DD’s hockey IQ is off the charts, so to attribute his success to his linemates would be a gross overstatement.

      I don’t think it is a coincidence that Cole had his most productive season ever playing with DD. He scored 9 more goals with DD than he did playing with Staal in Carolina, and they were only put together as a line in December. If DD is so overvalued, how did Cole manage to do this? That line certainly must have faced the toughest opposition all season because Montreal only had one line who could score last year.

      If DD plays with Pacioretty and Cole again all season and gets 1st line PP minutes, he could be a PPG player this season. after that, $3M/yr will seem like a bargain.

      The only problem with DD is he could be a half-step faster and he has trouble in his own end defending against big centres. I would like to see an experiment with DD on the wing to solve the hole at LW in the top six. He could still work his magic in the offensive zone, but have an easier assignment defensively.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He will be after next year… you will see.

      How is DD overvalued exactly….? He had a career year as he has been increasing since he came into the league…all three players had a great year but DD is over valued why cause he is 5 foot 7? Do you discriminate based on height?

      Cole used to play with Eric Staal and didn’t put up those kind of numbers….

      PK is number one on a team with SHIT d currently. I am not racist I am a hockey fan. He will be a top pairing D man but isn’t ready for that job yet and it showed last year. He was on a Top D pairing on a last placed team and made a lot of mistakes. He needs to learn to pick his spots big time and that will come from experience.

      DD may not work at centre in the future as we have a few coming in but don’t doubt his talent. He has exceeded at EVERY level he has played at including the NHL

    • HammerHab says:

      racist? really? the fact that you would go there is ridiculous. so anybody with hockey sense who doesn’t think PK is capable of becoming a #1 d-man is racist?


      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  25. Lafrich says:

    This whole Owners vs Players malarchy is so irritating. The parties at blame are those who pay those outrageous prices to go to the games. How do you think the salaries get paid? When fans stop going to games, they will have to lower prices, and then these two groups of greedy SOBs will get what they deserve. The ONLY resolution is to penalize them by NOT GOING TO THE GAMES!!

  26. Un Canadien errant says:

    How did Gary Bettman get his job you ask? I think we all must know that he used to work with David Stern at the NBA, and at the time it was the hot, sexy league, with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, they could do no wrong. The NHL owners thought they’d capture some of the magic by hiring Mr. Stern’s right hand man.

    Now I have no doubt that Mr. Bettman was a basketball fan growing up, and was passionate about that game. He tells the story about how he used to go to Knicks games with his buddies from school instead of doing homework, and they’d hold court sitting in the rafters. Now where this breaks down is that he is quick to point out that he was ‘also’ a Rangers fan, but that rings hollow. He doesn’t know hockey and its history and the beauty and artistry of the game. As the smoking gun, I put to you the instance when he described the St. Louis Blues as a member of the ‘Original 12’, a clunker of a phrase that no one has ever used and showed that he’s not versed in the language and culture of the sport.

    Is he successful as a Commissioner? I don’t think history will be kind when looking back at his reign. He presided over a period of lackluster spectacle, a dumbing-down of the sport while other sports were exploding and trying to make their game more fan-friendly. We see the NFL opening up the passing game by changing its rules to favour it over defence. They also put in rules to protect the quarterback, the stars of the game who fans tune in to watch, despite the whining of defensive players, who should know that Brett Favre and Tom Brady are the guys who got them their fat paycheques, not defensive ends and linebackers. The NBA has the illegal defence rule, the shot clock, they even went so far as to loosen the rules for travelling. Rugby increased the value of the try from four ponts to five, and put in rules and interpretations that increased player safety, punished players who commit dirty plays, even if they weren’t caught by the referee, and ensured that the team that is attacking with the ball gets to keep the ball when play breaks down, instead of it ending up with the defending team.

    What does the NHL do? It looks into whether it should allow holding in some instances, with Brian Burke’s ‘bear hug’ concept. It allows the Bruins to out-thug the opposition, with hapless referees acting as impotent on-ice spectators. It says in its own rulebook that light slashing is not slashing, so you know, go ahead and slash Steve Stamkos, it’s all good. Colin Campbell, a textbook case of conflict of interest, convicted by his own leaked emails, is somehow still in charge of things, when he shouldn’t be running an AHL hotdog cart. His solution to the ‘diving’ epidemic is to go on a wishy-washy PR campaign, instead of being very clear that it constitutes a blight on the game, is a form of cheating that will not be tolerated, and that divers caught in the act on video will be suspended, regardless of whether the on-ice officials catch them or not. That would end the practice right there. Instead, the poltroon that even Bob Probert outsmarted and derided is re-launching the once-failed public shaming campaign.

    There is a clear lack of vision in the NHL, which is buffeted by events and crises and lumbers from one disaster to another, instead of having strong leadership and charting a course for the league and the sport that would reap everyone (owners, players, spectators) great rewards. Gary Bettman is a bean counter and number-cruncher and a redoubtable adversary in negotiations, no doubt, but he’s not equipped to be in charge of a professional sport that he doesn’t love and understand, and is played by men who do not respect him.

    As far as the revenues growing under his watch, you have to assume that a trained monkey would have done just as well. A lot of the growth of revenues stems from the appreciation of the Canadian dollar, so that seven Canadian teams now bring in money to league coffers instead of needing equalization payments, even when the arenas were full, when the dollar was worth $0.65 US.

    Another reason revenue is increasing is the rising tide that floats all pro sports league boats, namely the explosion of social media, which has driven the hype to heights unequaled in the age of newspapers and broadcast television. Add in the introduction of the PVR, live sports programming has become the only guaranteed ‘must see’ content on TV. We can all put off watching ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Wire’ and ‘The Shield’ until later now, as I did, and dang it if those series aren’t awesome, and they lose nothing of their impact if you’re a couple years late to the party. Sports on the other hand must be consumed live, they get stale very quickly, and a convergence of factors have made them even more important in society than before.

    NHL hockey is still a minor sport in the broad North American picture, but its small slice of the pie keeps getting bigger as the pie itself inflates to previously unthinkable levels. Gary Bettman has had no hand in this. He didn’t invent Wayne Gretzky. In fact, what he has done is stifled Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Two players who should have been all-time greats are headed for lesser-star status, more Pierre Turgeon than Mario Lemieux. Instead of letting these guys shine, as David Stern did with his Mega-Stars, Gary Bettman through ignorance and inaction has allowed some of his most treasured assets to be tarnished, diminished. He wears that. That’s his fault. There will be apologists who’ll blame the GM’s and refs who make and enforce the rules, to which I say: Exactly. He’s the boss, and he’s letting the Colin Campbells, the former goons and pluggers take care of the minor detail of the game, the actual product he’s in charge of growing and selling. He’s ultimately responsible. The throttling of hockey is happening on his watch. He’s the one killing the golden goose.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Very well written. I can’t stand Bettman, yet I know the owners hired him and gave him a contract extension.

      Perhaps the real problem is that not enough owners of the NHL Teams are passionate about hockey. I think you and I would agree that Geoff Molson has a passion for hockey and he is now trying to use that passion to change this team for the better. We know for a fact that the Teachers Pension Fund had no passion for hockey but rather are an invenstment firm whose sole purpose is to increase ROI. How many true passionate hockey people are owning NHL teams, I would say Pegula in Buffalo is passionate, the same for Leonsis in Washington. I think the Wpg ownership has some passion, maybe that Pharmacist in Ottawa as well. Now I am starting to have to think, okay maybe the pharamicist in Edmonton, perhaps the Vancouver ownership but are they Hockey passionate or just passionate about being an owner.

      Anyways, I agree Bettman has zero passion for the game and this is a huge flaw, but perhaps the people hiring him are really to blame.

      • mrhabby says:

        hmmmm…what about Mario L, Illitch to name a few more..your leaving some out.

        • nunacanadien says:

          The Teachers Pension Fund gave us better players than what we got after they habs were sold to Molson. What have we got since then? Only replacements for injuries which don’t pan out but which cost us years and years of expensive cap space and don’t give the gm any room to manoever.

          Molson is no different that way, his board of owners for both Molson and the American Parent of Molson, Coors in Toronto, which also has investments in the habs perpetuate the corporate apathy towards hockey.

          Which is why Hal Gill mentioned he actually tried to speak to Gauthier and Molson but got only a cold shoulder. While Bergevin may be a bit more approachable, it is questionable as to whether the owners would be affected by this.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Is that why that Leaf team didn’t make the playoffs while the Habs did, or does that not fit the theory you wish to espouse.

            Aha, you also use the term “us” when talking about the Teacher Pension Plan. So perhaps just change your gravatar to a Leaf Bud, so you match what you like.

            Thanks Nuna!

          • mrhabby says:

            sounds like your not even giving MB a chance but i get the frustration..the days of corporate rule are here to stay well after we are no longer around. were going to find out very quickly what the new mngmt team can do for the long suffering habs fans.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I wasn’t trying to leave any out, thanks for pointing out two other good examples.

          Obviously there are some good ones, I am trying to get my head around why this group of owners continue to keep Gary Bettman employed is all.

          • mrhabby says:

            i know i will be slammed but he has not done that bad of a job….his mandate is to grow the game and has done an okay job not great but okay and not easily for all the reasons we talk about. he missed the boat on violence and some other things but if teams are making a profit and the networth of the franchises increases then they support him…blah. blah, blah.

            i know he is still a dork regardless.

    • mrhabby says:

      I guess if hockey is such minor sport in the good old usa then NBC should not have thrown money at that (if memory serves me right) that 10 year deal. I know its small change compared to MLB/NFL but money is money. Don’t get me wrong as iam not much of a supporter of Bettman and he has missed the boat on some of the issues you have mentioned. he is just doing his job that the owners are paying him to do. Hockey still has room to grow down there.

    • frontenac1 says:

      You hit the nail on the head UCE! Bettman just does not understand the game of hockey and what it means to people who have watched it all their lives or played it or coached it. He just doesn’t get the Speed,Beauty and yes ,Violence of the game. He is as you pointed out a basketball fan from New York. And a smarmy little gunsel.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Un C. What a great post. You’ve captured the history of Bettmans tenure perfectly in my opinion. I love reading your post and this ones at the top of the lust. Thanks!


    • habsnyc says:

      Grassroots hockey is the strongest it has ever been in the US. USA hockey is producing some of the best players in the world. Minnesota is a hot destination for the best free agents. LA, Tampa, Carolina, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Anaheim and Detroit are the recent Cup winners.

      During Bettman’s tenure hockey has stopped being the exclusive product of Canadian or North East US dynasties and become impactful across the entire continent. Only a handful of teams won Cups over a 20 year period prior to Bettman. The league could not continue that way. US fans were not going to root for teams of displaced Canadians. The league has changed dramatically to become more meaningful to a wider scope of people. The sport has changed to where high school and college hockey are relevent in several US states. The number of US born stars is at an all time high.

      The on ice product is diluted. There are structural issues with bigger, faster players with better equipment playing in smaller rinks. Smaller ball parks and bigger players led to more home runs in baseball. The same factors lead to less scoring in hockey. I do not see that as Bettman’s fault. He cannot make rinks bigger or players smaller. He cannot make ticket prices less expensive.

      Hockey is more relevent today in the US than at any point in its history. Bettman presides over the league during this renaissance. Montreal and Toronto fans have sour grapes because no home grown star has signed a huge contract with either team in decades. Do not confuse the neverending incompetence of Canada’s teams with the state of hockey in general.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        You must be one proud American.

        I see no reason to be “happy” that American cities are winning the Stanley Cup by virtue of them being based in the US or that “different” teams (read: American teams in need of revitalization) have been winning recently. And the fact is, while the States are developing good hockey players, all teams that have won Stanley Cups are still mostly populated by “displaced Canadians” who played starring roles.

        Your reference to the need for hockey to become more meaningful can be translated as becoming more meaningful to Americans, which is a rather arrogant point of view since Canadian and other European countries seem to think hockey is relevant: what that translates to is the mentality that franchises like the Coyotes in the desert somehow “deserve” to win – or people should root for their success – because it would promote hockey… in the US.

        • habsnyc says:

          I am not American. Four of the past five Conn Smythe winners are Russian or American. The tide shifted.

          The value creation for hockey is in the US. The US under 18 program is the best in the world. The US already has better goaltenders than Canada and in 10 years, will have more stars in the league than Canada. That is good for the NHL. No one said that the Coyotes deserve to win. The point of view is not arrogant, it is obvious. For hockey to grow it needs to become more popular in the US. Your logic is unsound.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        That’s a generally unfocused response that fails to address the points I raised. You say hockey is more popular in the States, I say it would be much more than that if we had a knowledgeable commissioner who was truly interested and able to ‘grow the game’. A good chef knows that his restaurant will be successful if the food is good and people come back for more, and tell their friends, not by nickel and diming his wait staff or trying to save money by buying canned instead of fresh ingredients. Gary Bettman is not a passionate chef. He’s not a chef. He doesn’t know what good food is. All he can read is the current accounts ledger.

        Hockey wasted a generation’s time. It should have carried the magic and excitement of the Gretzky and Lemieux years by pitching the game to new fans, by ensuring that the sport was about skill and artistry and dekes and tic-tac-toe goals. Instead we get a game that’s all about mugging and scrumming and cycling the puck and crowding the front of the net in hopes of a deflection. No wonder a new immigrant to Dallas will choose to watch the Mavericks instead of the Stars. How Gary Bettman fails to see that is his own fault. It’s a big failure as a Commissioner.

        You say that he can’t legislate smaller players, but he can legislate bigger rinks. Every new arena that is built should have an Olympic ice surface, until in twenty years time most of the teams played on these. A great opportunity has been lost, starting with the Calgary Saddledome which was retrofitted after the 1988 Olympics to shrink the size back to NHL dimensions. What should have happened is that the Saddledome remained as is, and every subsequent arena built or renovated be to Olympic size. Again, a generation has been lost. Gary Bettman has no vision, no leadership, he allows the former muckers and grinders who populate the NHL’s corridors of power to set the agenda, because he doesn’t know any better, and probably doesn’t care. He doesn’t know hockey, so he has no frame of reference.

        You say that hockey is now relevant and ‘impactful’, a new doublespeak buzzword that means little, but if I catch your meaning, you think that hockey is more important than it once was in the USA. I’ll argue the opposite, by the fact that it is the only major sport to not be shown on ESPN. It’s shut out of the most important sports channel in the States, and because ESPN doesn’t show it, it doesn’t get much air time on SportsCentre, so few casual fans get caught up in the excitement. It’s only brought up on their roundtable shows such as PTI in instances of goonery or buffoonery, never for amazing goals or player achievements. ESPN, understandably, hypes Monday Night Football, and other games its channels will broadcast, instead of driving viewers to NBC’s new sports channel.

        That association is uncomfortable, to say the least. The owner of NBC just happens to be the owner of the Philadelphia Flyers Ed Snider. Which interests does Mr. Snider have when both parties entered negotiations? Another concern is that the NHL is hitching its wagon to the star of a new network, instead of writing its own ticket like the NFL is able to do.

        So you can boost Gary Bettman all you want, but if you want to convince others try to bring up examples that actually point to his influence and leadership, not gains that occur organically due to the appeal of the game and the general appetite the public has for sports in general.

        • habsnyc says:

          Franchises are worth more now than before he was in the league. Players earn more now than before he was in the league. The whining about Bettman is pretty much limited to Canadian fans whose hegemony over the game has declined. You lack perspective.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Again, you’re ignoring my argument that the rising tide that floats all pro sports boats and the soar in value of the Canadian dollar have way more to do with the appreciation in value of of NHL franchises and increase in salaries than anything Gary Bettman has done. I put it to you that a trained monkey wouldn’t have done any worse in his stead. I don’t lack perspective. You lack an understanding about how to discuss this issue.

            My analysis has nothing to do with being a Canadian, it has to do with being an aware hockey fan.

    • Bripro says:

      Great read Norm, although next time, try and write it later so that I can use it as “bed-time reading” instead of taking up a large chunk of my afternoon work-schedule. πŸ˜‰
      I’m kidding. I shouldn’t be blogging in the first place.
      I agree totally that Butthead and his Manhattan office cronies don’t bleed hockey.
      When you mentioned his skipping school to go watch a basketball game, I got a visual of his sitting on someone’s shoulders.
      But I digress.
      Nuna mentions Geoff Molson’s lack of quality players. I would remind him that this was the team he inherited and he played a smart patient game in assessing what he had, and what should be done. There’s no question that this year, giving MB the mandate to restructure the team’s managerial side, he’s showing his passion and where he wants the team to be. That is hockey passion.
      And Hal Gil (if memory serves) didn’t mention GM when saying the Martin or Gauthier were not approachable.
      Habsync talks about grass-roots hockey.
      I’ve watched at least 11 Stanley cup parades, and I remember when St Louis, Minnesota et al came on board, and those states groomed players who reflected grass-roots hockey.
      Grass-roots hockey doesn’t exist in California or Florida or Texas. Sure, the Kings have been around a long time, but most of the players are, or were, Canadian.
      And saying that Canadian teams have been incompetent is a gross mis-representation of the facts.
      Much has to do with a change in philosophy of the players.
      Most have agents. Years ago, most didn’t.
      They’re better educated on the financial end of things; something which didn’t exist in the past.
      They target tax-relief regions, and that has nothing to do with the teams and everything to do with political jurisdictions. But remember that a large portion of the players are Canadian, and if all things were equal, I’m convinced that elite players like Doan would jump at the chance to play in Canada rather than Phoenix.
      Butthead doesn’t get it. And those who stand behind him do it for one reason…the almighty dollar.
      If their idea of promoting the game is having a fancy laser beam behind the puck, marketing that as a priority rather than addressing the ever-mounting instances of concussions and turning a blind eye, then indeed, they haven’t got a clue.

      By the way, hats off to you for pointing out just how marketable my man, Tom Brady really is. That must’ve irked Burley, just a little bit….

      • habsnyc says:

        You can download the stats from USA Hockey’s website to see how much more popular hockey is becoming as a youth sport and how solid the US under 18 program is. There is hockey in Texas and California. Hockey in New England, Minnesota and Wisconsin is now on par with or better than the hockey in Quebec or Ontario.

        Many Canadian teams are poorly run and do not make the playoffs. It has little to do with the tax code and much to do with poor management.

        Bettman presided over a seachange in franchise valuations which occurred simultaneous with increased interest in hockey in the US at the grass roots level, more Stanley Cup wins by American franchises in less traditional hockey markets and free agent interest in US teams with strong fan bases.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Garbo says:

      Disagree completely.

      Bettman tripled hockey revenues in a matter of years and the sport is more popular in the US, and thus overall, than it ever has been.

      Despite no Canadian team having won in almost two decades, the sport is also more popular now in Canada than it ever has been, with most teams posting multiple year runs of sell out crowds, and tickets routinely selling for triple their face value aftermarket because of the intense desire to see a live game.

      I don’t like Bettman either, but I’m willing to admit it’s because I’m biased and want to see more Canadian teams and won’t try and blame it on a perceived incompetence.

      It is undeniable that he has certainly done alot for the develop of the game throughout his tenure.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It’s hard to have a discussion when you address a point that I addressed and ignore my take completely. You bring up the increased revenue as evidence that Mr. Bettman is doing a good job. I allowed that revenues grew on his watch. Here is what I said:

        “As far as the revenues growing under his watch, you have to assume that a trained monkey would have done just as well.”

        I then brought up two separate reasons why I think the growth in revenues had little to do with his stewardship. If you think my reasons are invalid, or that there are other factors at play that reflect well on him, please bring them up and discuss them.

        The fact that hockey is popular in Canada also has nothing to do with Gary Bettman in my opinion, although I don’t discuss that specifically. Again, the general appetite for sports counts for a lot of the growth. If anything, Mr. Bettman’s incompetence when it comes to providing fans with a spectacular and highly-watchable product is probably a detractor to the game’s success in Canada. If hockey was still about artistry and skill and mythic champions were being presented to the public instead of being sidelined by injury and cross-checked into oblivion, the game would sell even more in Canada.

        I assume you read the first paragraph, chose to disagree with my disparaging position on Mr. Bettman, and then discontinued reading but commented anyway?

    • habsfan0 says:

      I wonder if Bettman played basketball in his youth as well. Although, at 4’8″ one would think he would have had some difficulty excelling at it.

  27. BrianSkrudland says:

    While bored at work, I got to thinking about my favourite Habs players – players that I have watched while having a true appreciation of the game, not just as a young boy through the eyes of my Dad.

    My line-up of favourites aren’t necessarily world-beaters, but I liked what they brought to the ice most nights. Here is my line-up (with exact forward positions not necessarily being a big issue):

    1st Team Forwards: Kirk Muller – Saku Koivu – Brian Skrudland
    1st Team Defencemen: Chris Chelios – Andrei Markov
    Starting Goaler: Patrick Roy

    2nd Team Forwards: Shayne Corson – Tomas Plekanec – Ryan Walter
    2nd Team Defencemen: Gorges – Souray
    Back-up Goaler: Halak

    Honourable mentions to: Bobby Smith, Carey Price, Jeff Hackett

    Who makes your list?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Going just by my favourites that I watched, (doesn’t mean my team would great).

      Guy Lafleur, Guy Carboneau, Bob Gainey
      Larry Robinson, Andrei Markov
      Patrick Roy

      Kirk Muller, Steve Shutt, Doug Jarvis
      Serge Savard, Chris Chelios
      Carey Price

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        Your group has more offensive punch than mine, I’d say.

        Wouldn’t it be great to be a GM with an unlimited payroll and resources?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I loved Skrudland, Keane and McPhee and almost put McPhee on my 2nd team. I also loved Chris Nilan.

          Yah, Sam Pollock was a great GM at a great time to be a GM.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Here’s my two cents.
        Lafleur, Lemaire, Gainey
        Robinson. Sevard

        Schutt, Henri Richard, Cournoyer
        LaPointe Markov


        • RD says:

          I shudder to think of the numbers Roy would have put up with Robinson and Savard in front of him in their primes…

        • BrianSkrudland says:

          My Father raves endlessly about Robinson and Gainey. While I have the faintest of memories of both as players, age was not on my side when they were in Habs jerseys.

          Having bumped into Robinson at a golf course in Prescott, Ontario a couple of years back; I found myself asking him questions about my second favourite team (thanks to Kirk Muller) the Devils.

          Seemed like a very nice man, but with the mitts on him, not a guy you’d want to tangle with.

    • Lafrich says:

      1st Team Forwards: Lafleur – Naslund – Richer
      1st Team Defencemen: Lapointe – Robinson
      Starting Goaler: Patrick Roy

      2nd Team Forwards: Muller – Damphousse – Koivu
      2nd Team Defencemen: Engblom – Desjardins
      Back-up Goaler: Bunny Larocque

    • piper says:

      Lafleur – P. Mahovlich – Nilan
      Robinson – Savard

      Lemaire – Muller – Kordic
      Bouchard – Lapointe

  28. frontenac1 says:

    So HNIC is out with their schedule for 2012/13 and the Habs top the list with 29 games vs 25 for Leafs. Ha! Take that Hogtown! Oh wait, there might not be a season……Damn,screwed again!

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay boys and girls Sports Trivia time, NO GOOGLING! This may be simple to some but I needed a couple of guesses to get it right the other night.

    Who is the first NHL PLayer to get 100 or more points in an NHL Regular Season?

  30. HardHabits says:

    Andrei Kostitsyn :: 1 year :: 2.5 million

    • Bripro says:

      Truth or fiction?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Was truth about my drive Bri, I wish it was more consistent, the fairway also had downhill slope, but you had to bang it way out to catch the slope which i was fortunate enough to do so.

        • Bripro says:

          I believe you my friend.
          That is indeed a beastly hit.
          We also play sunday mornings.
          T-off is usually around 6-6:15 and there’s anywhere between 12-16 players.
          My bro-in-law (a scratch golfer) who is also the pro where we play, and my nephew (also a scratch golfers) have now won the father-son intersectionals the last 3 years running.
          And my nephew hits a mother of a ball, and is hard-pressed to consistently pass 300. His father averages about 280.
          I average about 265, but that’s in calculating my 20 best games.
          Because if we take a lifetime average, my average drives are around 110 yards. πŸ˜‰

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Scratch golfer, that is very very impressive. That is great, yah, I by no means average 300 yard drives. I did however, just buy brand new driver and put a real nice custom extra stiff shaft on the club and lengthened it by almost 2 inches. Getting used to it, but my drives off the tee are much much longer now.

    • shiram says:

      Sounds like a bargain to me.

  31. bwoar says:

    If this hasn’t already been posted, a great article from 2011 wherein Bill Guerin comments on the NBA’s then-looming labour dispute and what he learned from his role as an uber-unionist during the last NHL lockout. I’d classify this as required reading on the subject.

    “It is not worth it to any of them to burn games or to burn an entire year. Burning a year was ridiculous,” Guerin said. “It wasn’t worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out…. Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this.”

  32. shiram says:

    Kyle Turris got 5 years at 3.5millions, would that be a good deal/basis for DD next season?
    Turris was on pace for about 48-49 points, no shorthanded time and second wave PP time.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Seems to be a good comparable, Shiram but I’m not sure I’d have given Turris five years.


      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would add to that however, that Turris was a Top 5 pick, so there is that perceived thought of pedigree talent for having been drafted so high. Turris also has good size at his position therefore giving him a higher upside.

  33. rated_R says:

    If there’s a lock-out, I will have to invest my free time in NHL 13 and look forward to “developing” our prospects in the AHL and bring them up and win the cup with the big club! Oh and getting rid of gomez and Kaberle =)

  34. HabinBurlington says:

    If you read this story on John Carlson in Washington, you could substitute PK and Montreal for Carlson and Washington and the story is identical.

    More proof that the delay in contract has nothing to do with Montreal wanting to get rid of PK.

    • Bripro says:

      Hey Gerry. Did you really nail the ball over 300 yards?
      I’ve done that once that I can remember.
      It was a short par 4, 362 yards, and I put it 10-15 feet from the green.
      It was one of those rare perfect shots with a 8 degree where you don’t feel the ball.
      I’ve never been able to do it again….not for lack of trying.
      Hitting two fairways over though? I’ve done that a few times.

      Good for you. You’re a beast! πŸ˜‰

  35. Un Canadien errant says:

    I know we got a sour taste left over from RenΓ© Bourque half-season with the Canadiens, but again, the boy is a 6’2″ 220 lbs winger who can score goals. Those guys are valuable. Try the video link below to possibly experience a frameshift.

    • shiram says:

      Highlights videos are fun to watch and can showcase one’s skills, but it’s not a good way to evaluate a player, AK46’s highlight video show him scoring, deking and hitting all the time!
      Bourque can likely turn it around, given the chance to do so but I don’t see it happening on a 2-way line with big defensive responsibilities.

  36. Cal says:

    This is the penultimate day of Boone’s constant presence on this site. I am sure many of us will miss his humour and his writing panache here and in The Gazoo.

    The best part of your life is just ahead, Mike. Enjoy and live the hell out of them, man!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I hope in his new lifestyle he finds time to enrich our HI/O life with his usual skillsets. All the Best Boonie!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Hear hear!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Norm, I hope you don’t mind, but my avatar should soon be switching to an NFL oriented picture. In light of no good hockey news on the horizon I too will show my anticipation of the new NFL season. Good Luck to your Chargers this year as well my friend.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I think I’m predicting a 7-9 season for Les Chargeurs this season. The offensive line has gone from a source of strength and stability to one of worry and headaches. You don’t lose two Pro Bowlers on the left side and replace them with undrafted free agents, as we’re trying to do, and keep on ticking. Philip Rivers will be running for his life this season, and he runs about as well as Bernie Kosar. Robert Meachem isn’t half the WR Vincent Jackson is, and Ryan Mathews missed a lot of pre-season with a broken collarbone, we’ll have a sputtering offence. The defence should be improved, but then from all this we have to subtract the influence of the Master Waffler Norv Turner, the guy who can’t read a clock and misplaces his challenge flag when he needs it most.

          I’ve delved a little deeper on this on my blog, posted a game recap after the three pre-season games so far, and I’ll do a season prediction before next weekend’s kickoff.

          I think your Steelers will have much the same issue with the offensive line unchanged? Too bad about DeCastro’s injury, karma will be chasing Big Ben all year. Mike Wallace should strain his groin anytime now too.

          Good job putting on a NFL avatar, all the red Canadiens avatars are not very useful, it’s hard to tell them all apart. They don’t really serve a purpose, we know we’re all Canadiens fans on here. That’s why I went with the Chargers logo. If I needed to, I’d use the CH on a Chargers site though.

          A cool thing though is that after CH logos or players, the most popular avatar is the Golden Retriever, which is awesome.

    • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

      Amen to that, Boone was a great influence when i first became a Canadiens fan, God bless his soul and may he have many good years ahead of him!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Cal, well said. I also wish Mike lots of birdie’s and big fish. Thanks for your efforts here and happy retirement.


  37. shiram says:

    On Tinordi fighting, I’d be satisfied if he could just out-muscle and wrestle down guys like Chara does all the time.
    Bourque’s injury : a chance for a young guy, a chance for Bergevin to show how astute a trader he is or a “chance” for one of our centers to play wing.

  38. alfieturcotte says:

    So Bourque is out for 3-4 months……a case of addition by subtraction.

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    FOr the Lidstrom fans out there, here is a different side of him, as he smashes a Volvo with a baseball bat.

  40. JF says:

    So the NHLPA is unimpressed with the League’s new offer, and feels it does not differ significantly from the first offer. I’m afraid the League will reject outright the players’ counter-offer, which could come as early as tomorrow, and we’ll be back facing the impasse. Bettman and the owners will claim they showed they were ready to make significant concessions and will blame the players; while the players will claim the League’s second offer doesn’t demand any smaller concessions from them than the first did. Positions will be hardened even more.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Just saw this article in The Star, two fans of the BlueJays in Calgary got in an argument over pitchers on the Jays staff, led to an altercation with one man dead. This is very very sad, how can people get so consumed by sports to have such reactions.–deadly-sports-argument-a-sign-of-the-times-kelly

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Stupidity knows no bounds I am afraid…

    • mrhabby says:

      drinking too much no doubt.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      This is all over the news here in Calgary.

      I am friends with the dead man cousin. Apparently the guy who was killed wasn’t even really involved in the fight. Here is his cousins account for what happened. Keep in mind, I haven’t really asked too many questions at this time… this is just what she told me in a brief conversation.

      An arguement broke out and then it escalated to a fight (outside the bar). The guy who died stepped in and broke up the fight (not sure what was said at this time). He was friends with one of the men in the arguement.

      Some time went by (about an hour) and next thing people knew someone ran up behind the guy who broke up the fight and struck him in the back of the head. He was still standing outside the bar at the time (not sure as to why or what was happening between the time of the initial fight and the fatal blow).

      Pretty stupid

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Oh no that is awful. Obviously the tragic loss is terrible, but I find the story even worse that someone trying to help in the matter is who ultimately pays the price for those idiots self control issues. My heart goes out to the victim, his family and his friends.

    • Newf_Habster says:

      Sadly, it ended up in a unnecessary tragedy like this because at least six of their pitchers have already blown apart their pitching arms this season. πŸ™

  42. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    just read the scouting report on Tinordi, woah baby! what a specimen he is!

    If we develop him wisely and carefully, he will be a total beast in the NHL in three years!

    I look forward to the upcoming Hamilton Bulldogs season.

    Although it grinds my gears when whoever wrote the scouting report lauded Tinordi’s toughness, and then proceeded to compare him to Hal Gill!

    Holy Oxymoron!

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He is tough but he tries to fight and doesn’t fair to well at it. I hope he keeps his gloves on next year and works on his game.

      • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

        He is not bad for someone who did not fight at all until two years ago

        Remember: Tinordi is not supposed to be an enforcer or a frequent fighter, rather he is projected as a physical shutdown defenseman, mind you fighting is a part of a physical defenseman’s game, but not a primary aspect. With experience and development he will get even better overall and that includes fighting.

        Here’s some comforting info for you: Jeff Bukeboom and Derian Hatcher, two players who played an almost exactly similar style to Tinordi were both punching bags when they started out in Junior and the NHL, after a few years they morphed into killing machines, I think the same will be true for big T.

        Trust me, three years of AHL/NHL experience and 30 pounds of muscle will do wonders for him.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          He is one of our top prospects for sure and I am sure he will get stronger. He just really tries to throw down all the time which he needs a lot of work in that department.

          He is a good skater, much better than Gill and Chara so he will be an elite D man in the future IMO if he keeps developing. Seeing him in the hammer this year should be interesting

          • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

            Did you see the Memorial Cup games?

            He can throw down just fine thank you very much, and will get even better with experience.

            He is already better in that aspect then Hatcher and Bukeboom were at this stage of their careers.

            * EDIT: Of his two fight losses this past OHL year, one came while he was playing hurt, and the other came against the best fighter in the CHL, in a fight that he really should not have gotten into. Trust me he will pick his spots more carefully in the AHL and send some very clear messages. as I stated above, many players of his type were not good fighters at all when they were 20 years old, but became much better as years went by. Fighting is not the primary aspect of a physical defenseman’s game so we don’t need to worry. In five years we will forget all about this conversation.

        • frontenac1 says:

          Amen Amigo! Can’t wait to see Tinordi develop.Would still like to see us pick up a Big Nasty D for a year or two until he is ready. Oh yeah, was talking to a friend in MTL who is a pretty savvy politcal junkie and he says the Anglos are starting to move to CAQ and if enough do that the PQ will lose.. Also the PQ is counting on a low turnout, So tell everyone to get out the vote. Good Luck !

  43. 24 CUPS, there is always new hockey news on!

    I posted a new video of Jarred Tinordi interviewing Nathan Beaulieu at the NHLPA prospects combine as well as news about how a Parti Quebecois victory will affect the Canadiens (hint: it will be bad for the Habs).
    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:

    • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

      If those PQ slime win the election, I don’t know what i’ll do!

      I can’t comprehend why the PQ even exists anymore, they have done nothing to help Quebec’s economy or standing, the only thing that they have accomplished is the alination of Canada from Quebec and vice versa!

      They have even failed at their primary goal (separation) not once, but twice!!

      in short PQ = FAILURE!!!!!

      • mrhabby says:

        charest looks exhausted and out of idea’s.

        not much to choose from after that.

      • Cal says:

        CAQ will win a minority, with Charest being the balance of power. I am very tired of Charest’s short-sighted answers to everything. Pollute more (frakking for oil). Sell asbestos to countries without regulations. Taking more and more of my salary through “user fees” while nothing improves and only gets worse. Have you driven around Montreal? It’s a frigging disaster! The only smooth roads were paved less than 3 months ago. Everything else is hell on the shocks of your car.
        It’s funny that the 3 things they should do well, Health, Education and Transportation, they have failed miserably at despite being in power for what, 12 years?

        • mrhabby says:

          I live in TO but frequent MTL as i have relatives and visit around 6 times a year. Your right the driving and infastructure are in a sad state of affairs.

  44. 24 Cups says:

    In light of the fact that there is no meaningful hockey news today….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yup, what a great showing those two put on. Hey Steve, I play with a bunch of guys (16 of us) every Sunday morning and we are thinking of making the trip to Newmarket to play Cardinal Golf Club, not sure when yet. If there is an opening would you be interested in joining me and the gang? I figure that can’t be too far from where you live.

  45. gohabsjoe says:

    Bournival won’t even make the team. He’s too small and he’s got no heart. Terrible.

  46. Habfan10912 says:

    Baseball in Montreal again someday?


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good for Cromartie for trying. I would love if indeed baseball could come back to Montreal. I am trying to be a Jays fan, but my heart is just not in it. Keeping my fingers crossed.

      Thanks for the link Jim.

    • Newf_Habster says:

      We need a rich people with wide recognition like Geoff Molson, Jean Contu or Pierre Peleandu so they can bring back baseball to Montreal.

    • Cal says:

      With a core of only 5000 fans, I really doubt it. Brochu killed them with that fire sale in 95. After that, it was a slow death punctuated by opening day crowds of 50,000 then back to the 5000 or less for every game afterwards. I don’t count $5 bleacher nights with $1 hot dogs, just like I don’t count those crowds for Florida Panthers games.

  47. Kooch7800 says:

    So Bourque should be healthy by the time the NHL starts in December…

  48. HabFab says:

    RickMoffat For #Habs fans asking, @MaxPacioretty67 won the chipping contest at his tourney, Eller the longball game at 338′!

    Patches event raised $84,000. For the golfers check out Ellers drive, the pictures of him talking to Prust or Armstrong when they were getting intro’s to the Habs facility showed a bigger Lars frame…at least 210.

  49. Danno says:

    My good friend Darth told me there was concern among the commentariat regarding my prolonged absence.

    Rest assured. Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  50. 24 Cups says:

    Montrealers embrace Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens returns to thunderous applause in a small town baseball comeback. These are the headlines I’m faced with this week. Not to mention all the non-stop fascination with Tiger Woods. Are these the types of heroes that our media obsessed society is offering up these days?

    I guess it’s no different than the entertainment field where the fans are bombarded with information on losers such as Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen.

    Are there any true heroes for our kids to look up to and idolize?

    • Cal says:

      Lucky I didn’t see Armstrong. The rotten eggs would have been launched! The man is a fraud and an outright liar.

      Children should not look beyond their families for heroes and idols. Most aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, anyways.
      Tiger (Growth Hormone) Woods and Roger (Steroids) Clements should dry up and blow away. Their “victories” are tainted by cheating. Their “accomplishments” are empty husks without any real meaning, save the maxim that cheaters always prosper.

      • mrhabby says:

        has lance armstrong failed any drug tests????

        • Chris says:

          Has Marion Jones? πŸ™‚

          • mrhabby says:

            jones admitted taking drugs..she buckled under the pressure and had a hubby who was a dealer in the roid business.

            its very murky when speaking of armstrong. i would like to see all the facts 1st.

          • Chris says:

            I am merely pointing out that Marion Jones never tested positive. It was only a mountain of circumstantial evidence that finally forced her to come clean.

            Lance Armstrong is also facing a mountain of circumstantial evidence, but most damning is the testimony and admission of doping by so many of his long-time teammates. And I am not talking about Landis and Hamilton here, the two that Armstrong has gone after for having “zero credibility”. Instead, it was testimony by his right-hand man George Hincapie that has likely sunk him. Like Armstrong, Hincapie has never tested positive despite racing in 17 Tour de Frances. Yet he finally buckled himself under the pressure and admitted to EPO doping for years and implicated Armstrong in that doping.

            Given the sheer number of Armstrong teammates that have now either admitted to doping (despite no positive tests) or been caught doping, the best one can say is that Armstrong was the leader of a team with a serious sytemic doping problem.

            The question is how much faith people really have in Armstrong that he, the guy that was obliterating all the dopers, was the only one on his own team that wasn’t doping.

            By saying “I’m tired of fighting this”, Armstrong has made an astute tactical gamble that makes sense if you think he is guilty. By giving up, the testimony that could be very damning might never come into court, as he’s already been deemed guilty by the USADA so there is no reason to bring all the witnesses to court.

            Armstrong can portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt and say that he never had a fair shake, but he manages to dodge the tarnishing of his career amongst his more casual fans who haven’t been following the details of this case and therefore don’t really know why he has pulled a complete 180 degree turn on his defence strategy.

        • Cal says:

          He and his team had proper masking techniques to hide their cheating. Why would everyone else on the US Postal team admit to cheating without “proof”? Armstrong is another Ben Johnson, the other “clean” athlete who would never admit his cheating.

        • Natrous says:

          YES – Tour de Suisse in 2001

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Don;t leave out our newest mother of fame, Snooki! Role models like this are hard to find.

    • Chris says:

      “Are there any true heroes for our kids to look up to and idolize?”

      Terry Fox Run, September 16th. There’s the hero of heroes.

      Clara Hughes, for all her work with Right to Play and in raising awareness of mental health issues here in Canada, to go along with being one of our most stellar Olympic athletes in history.

      Saku Koivu. Enough said.

      Max Pacioretty, who is stepping in to fill Koivu’s void very, very nicely.

      Johan Olav Koss, for using his sporting fame as one of the greatest speed skaters in history to launch Right to Play.

      Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who give tons of money and time to various charities while trying to minimize how much we hear about it, but instead of accolades they instead get saddled with “Sedin Sisters” and similarly trite monikers.

      Nicklas Lidstrom, who was as close to a model athlete as one could ever hope for.

      There are tons and tons and tons of heroes out there in the sporting world for our kids to look up to. We just need to spread the word a little better, instead of clicking on every article about some reprobate athlete doing bad things yet again.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Being a huge golf fanatic I would add Ernie Els to that list. He has practically built an entire hospital in the Florida area for children with Autism. He kept quiet for years what he and his wife were facing with their child being autistic. He was criticized by some golfers for his work ethic on rehabbing his knee (see Tiger) when all the while he was focusing his time and energy on his family and in developing a way that he could help with this important cause.

        Here is the link for his centre, Ernie and his wife alone are contributing $6million to this building, while trying to raise $30 million in total.

        • Chris says:

          Els is another great example.

          We could also add some athletes from the recent Olympics.

          My list would include Diane Matheson, who fought for her job at every level because everyone assumed she was too small and battled back from a knee injury in late 2011 to give her the chance to be a star for Canada in women’s soccer.

          I would also throw Oscar Pistorius into the list for showing that a double amputee can dream big. The sportsmanship demonstrated by Kirani James, the eventual winner, in running over to exchange bibs with Pistorius demonstrated for all to see how much the runners thought of Pistorius’ “advantage”…they were in awe to share the track with such an inspirational athlete.

      • JF says:

        Great post, Chris. I was about to refer 24Cups to your eloquent and compelling piece the other day about Terry Fox.

  51. rhino514 says:

    Seems to be some thought that Bournival is going to be a productivel NHL player. What is his upside? Can he pass by Leblanc? Can he play left wing, besides centre?

    • Chris says:

      Still early to tell how good he can be in the NHL.

      He reportedly can play all three forward positions, although centre and left wing are probably his natural ones.

      He’s almost certainly not ready this year, as we saw last season with a very similar player in Louis Leblanc.

  52. HabinBurlington says:

    Well summer is almost over and seems to me this site has lacked something throughout the hot months. So it must be said….


  53. habs33 says:

    Can someone bring me up to speed on how and why Bettman has a job? I’m serious? Who keeps him in power? Is it the owners who keep this bobble head puppet with no heart in power?

    The prospect of not starting ANOTHER NHL season over a few million dollars and a couple of percentage points disgusts me. The players want to play, the fans want to watch so my anger sides with the owners/Bettman.


    Follow me on Twitter:djamesross

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yeah, kind of comical that the guy is able to keep this position. Some believe he’s aligned or built relationships with some of the more influential owners, for example Jacobs of the Bruins, who may have been able to garner enough support for that ridiculous extension he was given last year.
      I hope that we can avoid a work stoppage this year but if there is one I don”t see how Bettman survives. Unless the owners bring the NHLPA to their knees in absolutely win these negotiations BIG time. Don”t see that happening though. What do they say, out of the time of crisis comes happy events?


      • commandant says:

        Bettman is little more than a talking head or puppet for the owner’s agenda.

        He does exactly what the Board of Governors wants him to do.

        Make no mistake… this lockout isn’t Bettman’s fault. He may be the public face of the owners, but he’s just doing their bidding.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • V says:

      As has been said before, Bettman has done a very good job at leading a significant increase in revenue and setting the league up for future growth. Almost everyone – including the players – is making a lot more money than they were before the last CBA.

      No one makes money when they don’t play – so everyone wants to play, owners, players and all those who make money off the game… including the people who host this site. Fans also want to see them play. But the current negotiations are a legitimate and necessary part of the process before they play.

      I think Bettman is doing a pretty good job on balance. If I were an owner, I’d be behind him. I’d also be willing to bet that Donald Fehr (and many players) thinks he’s doing a good job as well – Bettman has to advocate on behalf of the owners and so far he has done a good job in doing his part to keep negotiations balanced, the rhetoric is low and there appears to be some progress. Can’t ask for much more at this stage.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Good morning. V, with all due respect do you think the growth of revenues which you refer to would be any where near these levels without the strength of the Canadian dollar?
        If I were an owner I’d point out the millions of dollars that I had to throw towards Phoenix and now New Jersey. Before them there were Buffalo and Ottawa facing bankruptcy.
        Maybe Bettman gets too much credit for this so called growth?


        • Max_a_million says:

          Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and the increased value of the Canadian dollar has been huge yes.

          Also though the league is getting real money from NBC in the states these days, when ESPN was offering nothing previously.

          He gets a lot of scorn on here for having teams in the US sunbelt, as opposed to Canadian teams. If we think about this honestly though HNIC and TSN have more than enough Canadian teams to fill their TV coverage. The market is saturated. Yes it would be preferable to play games to packed houses of rabid fans, but if you can gain a foothold in NEW markets than you can make even more money. At this point Phoenix is more of a personal vendetta against Jim Basilie than a real business plan (although Glendale is footing the bill). Personally I would rather have a team in Quebec City, but business wise it makes a lot of sense to try and branch success out. Think about how basketball has been able to branch out to China, and what that has done for their league. Much more than adding another us team.

          • Cal says:

            The Canadian market is not saturated. 2 more teams can make it easily in Canada. Quebec City and Hamilton (or Markham) spring to mind.

            The “new markets” idea has only really worked in California. Not so much in Carolina, TBay and Sunrise. Phoenix has been a disaster for the entire league and should have been shut down 10 years ago.
            The Devils and the Islanders are overshadowed by the Rangers and shouldn’t be there, playing to mostly empty arenas. Hell, during the finals there were empty seats in New Jersey and that is just plain unacceptable.

          • Chris says:

            I always find it amazing that people think Hamilton can support a team. Let’s just say that I will believe it when I see it.

            Hamilton would rely hugely on corporate support from Toronto, London and Kitchener-Waterloo. Driving an hour to an hour and a half is a lot to expect of the business people that would be filling those corporate boxes any team needs to survive.

            I do think that Toronto could support another team, but Toronto is also one of the league’s two powerhouses in influence (along with MSG) due to the massive revenues they bring in. Any thoughts of putting another team in Toronto are going to lead to HUGE fights with the Maple Leafs ownership group, something I doubt Bettman wants to deal with.

            Quebec City has already failed once. Winnipeg and Ottawa, despite the fanaticism of Canadian hockey fans, are both teams right on the cusp of the break-even point. Winnipeg actually banked on revenue-sharing to help them make the bottom line, although they were pleasantly surprised this past season to not need it because of stronger than expected media and broadcast revenues.

            Quebec City is a small market, about par with Winnipeg. They have fewer corporate head offices than any other Canadian city vying for a team. They have a somewhat unstable political situation with a separatist party looking like a possibility to win the next provincial election, an event that has historically triggered apprehension in the business community.

            A Quebec City team would struggle to get the revenues to compete in the NHL. Fans would come out for the first few years, but would they come out when they see that their team can’t spend to the cap and, therefore, fights just to make the playoffs every year? I don’t think it is the automatic that everybody assumes.

        • V says:

          Have not heard the argument that the Canadian dollar has contributed to growth in revenues… not sure I see it and believe it would be marginal at best.

          I think the situations in Phoenix, New Jersey, etc. are part of a balancing act the league and union are trying to work through. It is in everyone’s interest to have as many viable teams as possible – higher overall revenues and audience reach which attracts TV revenue, increases the value of every franchise (especially the most established ones), creates more opportunities for marginal players to get into the action, union gets bigger, etc. It is enevitable that you are going to have some situations that don’t work nearly as well as others – there is inherent risk in the strategy (that is mostly borne by the owners by the way) but I certainly understand why he has expanded like he has (he actually only added 4 teams on his watch – the rest of the expansion was by others). There are going to be winners and losers – it’s part of the process.

          Those who pay out to the lower revenue teams understand why they are doing it, benefit from it in the long run – and would like to do as little as possible if they could. They would all like the benefit of a larger league (especially the union) without the costs associated with it – who wouldn’t – but they do it because in the end it could be a wise investment.

    • Cal says:

      In the owners’ eyes Butthead has grown the game. He takes all the abuse while they hide behind him in the background. He is pushing THEIR agenda, not his.
      When 4 or 5 teams out of 30 are not healthy and the rich teams are already paying the freight, the owners have decided to try to get the players (who have no financial risk, by the way) to shoulder more of that burden.
      Is it right or fair? I really don’t care. Both sides are greedy pigs. What other job pays at least 2.5mil US over 5 seasons?
      Beavis and Butthead can blab in front of the cameras all they want, with Beavis having “somber” players standing behind him (what a joke that is), but no real negotiating will begin until the 12th of September or the 13th. It’s how these pissing contests always go.

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