Budaj gets Wednesday start vs. Red Wings (with video)

budes

From Slovakia with love: Peter Budaj, back from the Olympics, starts Wednesday at the Bell Centre vs the Detroit Red Wings.
Getty Images

The Canadiens took another step Tuesday toward returning to their post-Olympic season, practising at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard for Wednesday’s game vs. the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Goaltender Peter Budaj will get the start in goal for the Habs, Olympic hero Carey Price having been given the day off on Tuesday. Price should take part in the team’s morning skate Wednesday, but Budaj gets the starting assignment, according to head coach Michel Therrien.

Also missing from practice Tuesday was Team Canada defenceman P.K. Subban, also entitled to a day away per the NHL’s CBA. Brandon Prust (upper-body) skated after the Brossard practice, while Michaël Bournival (concussion-like symptoms) skated before the 11 am practice.

Look for Alex Galchenyuk and Travis Moen both to be in the Canadiens’ lineup vs the Red Wings, uncustomarily in a battle for a playoff berth.

“I would like to congratulate Hockey Canada for their gold medals in the men’s and the women’s tournament, as well,” Therrien said in his post-practice news briefing. “That was really impressive. I really liked the way both teams played.

“I would like to congratulate the management staff, the coaches and especially the players on both teams. I was watching the games and I was really proud to be Canadian.”

Therrien won’t have to look far to find some of that management on Wednesday; Team Canada head coach Mike Babcock will be behind the Red Wings bench.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at practice:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Briere-Plekanec-Gionta
Galchenyuk-Eller-Bourque
Moen-White-Weise
Parros

Markov-Emelin
Bouillon-Gorges
Murray-Tinordi

After Wednesday’s game, the Canadiens travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins Thursday (7 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). The Toronto Maple Leafs will visit the Bell Centre Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Let the games begin for Canadiens, by Pat Hickey

Practice notebook, Canadiens.com

Markov says Russians aren’t looking for excuses, by Dave Stubbs

Best time for Canadiens to trade Markov is now, The Hockey News

TradeCentre Reports, TSN.ca

Maple Leafs back in training-camp mode, montrealgazette.com

472 Comments

  1. Habcouver says:

    I already miss the Montreal 4 Carolina 1 stat.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  2. Paz says:

    If you want to make some money tonight, take the teams who defend well, and bet the “under”.

    There will be a lot press conferences sounding like this,

    “Well, it might take a few days to find our groove…our scoring touch was off…we played well defensively though, so thats encouraging”

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Morning tout les peoples!

    I love this time of year; it’s when we weed out the real rumours from those nasty fake rumours; it’s when we hear pundits say everything that comes to their mind and cover absolutely every base out of fear of being (once again) completely and utterly wrong; it’s when big big deals are done which strenghten teams’ AHL affiliates; and it’s when the Xboxers come out of the woodwork with their insane deals.

    I love this time of year…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. Storm Man says:

    Ok new topic what do you see for tonight’s game?

  5. Ali says:

    Re: the Shea Weber discussion below…Elliotte Friedman has on a couple of occasions said if the Pred’s move him, look at the Oilers for a destination. Nashville’s depth on defense + his salary makes him the guy to move. They’d likely want an offensive forward back, likely Eberle and this year’s 1st rounder, although I’m sure they might send something else to slightly even things out.

    I would not want to compete with that package.

  6. adamkennelly says:

    did we trade Markov yet?

  7. CJ says:

    Word around Ottawa is that if Montreal can beat Detroit tonight and the Sens best the Wings tomorrow, Ottawa is going to be a major player at the deadline. They have a number of young assets that they are willing to move to land two or three impact players.

    Keep in mind, this is now year 7 for Bryan Murray as GM. Thus far, the franchise has one playoff series win during his tenure. Murray’s extension is for two more years, then an additional two years in the front office. He wants to win now. I got a real sense during the Ottawa Business Journal meeting on Monday that the Sens are willing to put their chips on the table and gamble at the deadline.

    I watch enough Ottawa games to know that they are capable of beating any team in the league, but are also capable of being run out of the arena. I am sure that they also want to win so that they can improve their chances of retaining Bobby Ryan, a star scorer (but no Olympian – sorry, had to throw that in) who they paid dearly for this past summer.

    It will be an interesting week leading up to the deadline.

    • Paz says:

      Man, Bobby Ryan would be perfect for the Habs. Patience be damned.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      “they are capable of beating any team in the league, but are also capable of being run out of the arena.”

      True of every team from Florida to Chicago.

      • CJ says:

        Ottawa has beaten St. Louis twice. Once at home and once on the road. Not many teams can boast of that accomplishment. Of course, like Montreal, they have losses against the Flames and Oilers. On the contrary they beat the Penguins 5-0….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Is the jekyl and Hyde personality you describe more a result of their goaltending?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I had assumed that Ottawa would build on last year, but sometimes things seem to need to go backward before they can go forward again.

      Murray’s first number of years involved the disintegration of a very good team and misfortunes with Heatly and injuries, so I am willing to say that he is not exactly in year 7 of a rebuild.

      Still, he has shown that he is willing to make bold moves — both Ryan and Turris come to mind — so it will be interesting to see what goes down.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Have to wonder how much the loss of Alfie from that dressing room has hurt. No doubt he was their leader. I am not sure Spezza can remotely replace that kind of leadership. More ammunition I believe on why moving Markov has more affect on the team than just his minutes.

        • CJ says:

          The loss of Alfie left a major hole that has not been filled. I don’t think its a fair comparison with Markov, but I am not in the Habs dressing room and couldn’t say for sure. Alfie was the face of the franchise and was the father figure of many of the young Swedes, especially Karlsson, Zibby and Lehner.

          When the Sens played the Wings on the road earlier this year, Karlsson stayed at Alfie’s house. I have never heard of that happending before. When Detroit was in town, Alfie stayed with Karlsson. Again, if this is a common occurence, it is new to me.

          I don’t see that when I think of Markov, who appers to be more withdrawn, but again, I am not in a position to say definitively.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      CJ

      Bryan Murray is also 71 years old, so there may also be a bit more sense or urgency there

      • CJ says:

        I sense it. He has all but said it. There was an energy at the meeting on Monday. It seemed like I was sitting with a few cats who just ate the canary. For the first time, in forever, Melnyk is authorizing Murray to work without restrictions. If they can get a couple wins before the deadline, I think they will be very aggressive.

        Ottawa will never have an easy time attracting free agents. If the Senators want a player, they need to either draft or trade for him.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Don’t forget the big new TSN local broadcast rights deal Ottawa just signed, that was somewhat of a windfall for that organization.

          • CJ says:

            Amazingly, they will still lose money. This is why they are pushing so hard for a casino. The Senators do not have the brand power of Montreal or Toronto. They are still the third most popular team in their area. They are too close to Montreal to gain significant market share. Their tickets are the third cheapest in the entire NHL and their revenue dollars are being generated in Canadian funds, which have depreciated against the American dollar.

    • ont fan says:

      Heard him yesterday saying he is willing to stand pat. Will never give up a first for a rental either.

  8. Storm Man says:

    I like Murray after that CH24 when he told that Tampa player ” shut it or I’m going to beat you” lol

  9. piter says:

    I figure they will come to an agreement and sign Markov to an extension. It’ll be 2 years @ around 5-5.25 M/season. The only way I would keep him would be to sign him for just 1 year.

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      i agree. 1 yr 5 mill. he wants any more id ship him out. hes still good but nearing average.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I would do the 2 year deal. I think it would be great to have Markov around for the young D coming up to look up to and try to emulate parts of his game.
      After 2 years, if he’s still good, you sign him for a year. There’s the 3 years he wanted, but at a price he deserves in the 3rd.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  10. Chris says:

    For the record, I do not think that Douglas Murray is the worst defenceman in the NHL. He hasn’t even been the worst defenceman on the Montreal Canadiens this season…that dubious title belongs to Alexei Emelin. I say this with a heavy heart because I had been pumping Emelin’s tires for a few years before he came over based on his performances in international hockey.

    But coming back from the knee injury, he has been pretty bad. Inconsistent, poor reads, terrible decisions. He is hitting less, and his defensive game has gone south.

    He’s picked up his game of late, so let’s hope he can sustain it through the end of the season, as he is an important piece of the puzzle. And I think he will bounce back stronger next year with a year of playing time on his reconstructed knee.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree Chris. Murray has his uses and if used properly is very effective. He is similar to a Hall Gil with a much meaner skill set and net clearing capability.

      Emelin I think has shocked everyone with his poor play. I really hope it was the missing training camp and being out so long. I really think he will come back to form but it may be next season

      “Lets Go Canada”

    • Phil C says:

      I agree Chris, that’s a tough injury to come back from, it probably takes at least a year to get back to full strength. In the NHL you can’t give up any advantage without it being noticeable. I thought both Gorges and Markov look better as time progressed so let’s hope the same happens for Emelin.

      I also thought he played more physically on the left, but the Habs seem intent on keeping him on the right.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He didn’t look out of place on Russia, in fact was getting a great deal of key time for them. I think the reality is that coming back in the middle of the season off that horrific injury, he was almost doomed for failure.

        I think he will bounce back fine. The timing for when Markov finally came back was much better. He got to go to the KHL during the lockout and then start back up with the NHL’ers at the same time as the rest of them.

    • Sportfan says:

      I agree as well Chris and I think Murray has been better than Emelin and Bouillion

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

    • Paz says:

      There was a time when anyone who played next to Markov immediately benefitted from the partnership.

      That is no longer the case.

      For example, Markov would go out of his way to play the tough dump ins against an aggressive forecheck. But now he looks more and more to Emelin to take those plays, as he did to Subban earlier.

      People who don’t see how Markov’s skating, his pivoting, his bursts, his play along the boards, have all regressed, are simply not watching.

      People who look only at his offensive stats are ignoring his defensive zone play, which is not bad, but certainly not the Markov pre surgeries.

      Bergevin sees it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Have you actually read people here say that Markov has not lost a step, that his pivots are just as strong, that his bursts of speed are still the same as they used to be?

        I would consider myself one of the people whom defends Markov as one of our top two defencemen and arguably one of our most important players. I would never be so stupid as to say those comments. What many have said in defence of Markov, is that he is still one of the most intelligent Dmen in the league, his passing is still superior to most, his knees while not as good have proven to be pretty good as he hasn’t missed a game in a long long time. Of course he is slower, etc….But I also think the step he lost, the speed he lost, is what it is and isn’t going to get any worse over the next few years. That change in his physical abilities is a result of what his knees have been through, and he is still a very effective player. Nobody is pretending he is the Markov of 6 years ago.

        Markov is what he is, the second best defenceman on the Montreal Canadiens.

        And Bergevin sees that as well.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        He’s still a very important player and plays lots of minutes and key minutes at that.
        In 2 years, someone should be ready to take that time away from him, but right now, that’s not the case.
        He’s actually never been a great skater. His biggest plus is his vision of the game and his passing and those things will likely still be good for a while.
        I say 2 year contract, 6 per.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • monmick says:

      Speaking of Emelin, I wonder how trading Markov would affect his game? Something else to take into account…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  11. Luke says:

    Good Morning, Folks!

    Happy that the break is over, and we get some Habs action tonight!

    I must say that this momentum killing disruption to the schedule forced upon us by the Olympics that was of no benefit to the league was a heck of a lot more pleasant than the lockouts Ed Snider prefers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think had we not had a condensed schedule last year due to the greed of both sides and all those missed games, the break of the Olympics would have been far less noticed this season.

    • Paz says:

      I don’t know why Ed Snyder always gets singled out here.

      Maybe we should all look in the mirror and blame or own owner first.

      • Luke says:

        Because Ed is actually dumb enough to say it in public.

        “I hate them. It’s ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Snider said. “I don’t care if it is in Philadelphia, I wouldn’t want to break up the league. I think it’s ridiculous to take three weeks off…in the middle of the season. How can anybody be happy breaking up the season? No other league does it, why should we? There’s no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything, I can only see negatives.”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Funny how true his statement is about other leagues not breaking up their season, given how many work stoppages in the NHL over the past while due to strikes/lockouts.

          • Luke says:

            Its so funny to me that he’d say anything like this when he is part of a group that just chose to shut the league down.

            To quote noted NHL insider Cosmo Kramer: “It bottles the mind!”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I heard a debate on sports talk radio suggesting the NHL and NHLPA lobby the IOC to move hockey to the summer games. I know its a winter sport but that certainly would mitigate the impact on the owners and players. Interesting thought, eh?

      • Cal says:

        Why not. The ice can’t be as bad as it was in Sochi, or even if it is, so what?
        The games will still be snooze fests.

      • Luke says:

        Not really. Love to see someone explain to explain to Rio (or whomever gets the next summer games open for bid) that they have to build one or two 10,000 seat arenas with ice plants to host the games.

        Soccer is the world’s most boring popular sport. If they can suspend league play to hold FA Cups, Euro qualifiers and the like with out doing irreperable harm to their leagues. If the NHL can cancel portions of, or entire seasons, and come back as strong, if not stronger, than they should be able to survive this.

        Truthfully, it’s simply posturing.

        Probably for the rights to show & promote Olympic moments that featuring NHL stars. Think of watching TSN’s top 10 “NHL at the Olympic” or “International Hokcey” moments. Think of the photo of Crosby scoring a goal in Vancouver. Not the footage… but the photo… ‘cuz TSN or the NHL isn’t allowed to run video of it.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I’ve said it before, it is just about money. The NHL is going to try and get the IOC to essentially pay the NHL for bringing its players to the Olympics. The IOC hasn’t done this for any other sport, it will be an interesting and long negotiation. The players like the Olympics, it is the owners whom are now against it, unless of course they make money off of it. Thus the whole concept of a World Cup, that is simply going to be a cash grab under the umbrella of trying to say it replaces the Olympics.

          • Luke says:

            Yep. Yup & uh-huh.

            The NHL is more crucial to the success of the winter games than the NBA is to the success of the summer games, this gives the NHL the leverage.

  12. boing007 says:

    More picks and prospects. This is one helluva marathon poker game. How about some players who can help the team now? A little razzle dazzle trading from MB would be nice.

    Richard R

  13. 24 Cups says:

    So Brian Burke has offered Mike Cammalleri a contract extension. Interesting. Lots of points to ponder on this move.

    • Paz says:

      I think people who follow hockey generally do not appreciate how difficult it is to score goals.

      There are thousands of pro level hockey players in this world but only a handful can score goals at the NHL level.

      If there was room for Kessel on Burke’s Leafs, he knows that not all of his players need to be big and tough. But the small ones better know how to score.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Listening to Cammalleri talk about it on TSN it didn’t sound like he was too excited by the contract. Back when Gainey signed Cammy, wasn’t the rumour that Cammalleri approached the Leafs but Burke had no interest, or at least not in near the same ballpark as the Habs offered?

      I thought once Burke arrived in Calgary, Cammalleri would be traded. Perhaps the contract offer is a token offer by BUrke, knowing he wouldn’t sign and still will be traded.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I think there could be a few reasons for this.
      1) pump up Cammy’s perceived value just before the trade deadline
      2) token gesture to the fans. We tried to sign him…
      3) Calgary know they have to meet the cap floor so they might as well go with someone they know
      4) try and sign him with the notion he’ll bring more in a trade somewhere down the road (Cammy and his agent are too smart to fall for this bs)

  14. SlimDiggity says:

    I agree with those saying 1st round picks from contenders are overvalued because they’re usually in the 20 to 30 range where prospects start to become longer term projects.

    I think trading for already-drafted players who are finishing up junior or showing progress in their first pro years is a better option because you’re dealing with known quantities (to an extent).

    With that being said, Markov and a 3rd to Tampa for Vladislav Namestnikov and a 2nd? :)

  15. Bash says:

    You have to trade something to get something. Nothing amazing here.

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  16. It’s interesting to read old threads and see how inaccurate most are in evaluating players or predicting trades, demotions, and promotions.

    It’s also funny to see that very few Habs have ever escaped being alternately praised and vilified, worshiped and damned, often within the same thread.

    So here’s my take on the Markov issue of the day…likely inaccurate and containing the required mix of ying and yang:

    I’m amazed that the Habs trade deadline talk centres around Markov, one of the best D in the league, and not around Murray, one of the worst.

    Madness!

    Welcome home to our Canadian Canadiens.

    Sooby and Pricey are GOLD!!!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The impact of trading Murray would be huge eh! We lose any grit we have on our defence and get back nothing. :)

    • Paz says:

      Think Pittsburgh will give us 2 second rounders for Murray?

      It’s worth a call.

    • Chris says:

      Apples and oranges. Those who want to deal Markov are looking to do so precisely because he is one of the best D in the league and might therefore command a kingly return in terms of picks and prospects.

      Given that the Habs haven’t really gone anywhere with him, and can’t honestly contend with the league powers with the current batch of players and prospects, I can see where they are coming from even if I disagree.

      The problem with the NHL right now is that being a good franchise is not a winning solution unless you get stupidly lucky (see Detroit with Zetterberg and Datsyuk). You need to be inept to stockpile enough elite talent to compete these days.

      This is why I am all in favour of keeping a hard salary cap but abolishing the draft. No more rewarding ineptitude. Let any team with smart management rebuild on the fly. I don’t want to watch Montreal play like crap for a year so that we can a shot at Connor McDavid.

      Unfortunately, I want even less to see a team like Buffalo play like crap for two years so that they can hypothetically land McDavid and Ekblad/Reinhart/Griffin. That is just a mockery of the league.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Your concept of abolishing the draft due to the Salary Cap is a very interesting one. In theory the talent will still get dispersed as players will still want the big contracts and with a cap only so many players can be loaded up on the “big teams”. It truly would be a reward system for those teams who manage it best and become a team, players “Want” to play for.

      • Cal says:

        **Ahem** Um, edit that word “inept” to “adept”.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Since they won’t do away with the draft, I would like to see them change the rules. A team can’t pick in the top 5 more than two years in a row. Since all the teams that don’t make the playoffs are in on the lottery, then if a team has drafted in the top 5 two years in a row, the best they could pick in year 3 would be 6th, year 4, 7th, etc. It still gives them an edge, but it eliminates the possibility of getting the first overall pick more than twice. That should be enough to help even the most inept teams

        Habfan17

      • Cal says:

        Having nothing but a “free agent” market would pretty much destroy the NHL in markets like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and, yes, Montreal.
        Which player would want to play in Montreal with its high taxes and language restrictions when you can play in Florida, Arizona and California? No one, that’s who.
        Buffalo and Minny may as well fold up their tents, too.
        The “free agent” concept simply would not work. Teams like the Habs would be forever stuck with the dregs of the league.

        I have always thought that Draft Day should be better regulated with things like, no #1 overall draft pick more than once every 30 seasons, so every team eventually gets one. I think the last time the Habs were #1 overall was when they fleeced the Seals for Lafleur, about 41 years ago.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I like the idea of only one number one pick every 30 years, or maybe soon to be 32 years. Then the lottery could be for picks starting at nimber 2, but I think that should be restricted to only 2 consecutive picks in the top 5, with the exception of your own first overall.

          It would also help the teams with marketing since they will all have a top player if they use the pick well.

          Do other pro leagues have a better balanced draft model?

          Habfan17

          • Chris says:

            All the North American leagues operate on the same model. With the exception of the KHL, European leagues do not have drafts as they are prohibited by EU labour laws after the Bosman Ruling.

          • Habfan17 says:

            @ Chris, Thank you!

            Habfan17

        • Chris says:

          And yet, despite this argument always being trotted out, it works reasonably well in NCAA sports for example. And that is despite the fact that the NCAA has guaranteed turnover, meaning that teams with superstars get to go back to the larder every 2-3 years.

          The free agency thing with a hard salary cap absolutely does work. Star players want term, and they want $$$. If you are Chicago, with Kane, Toews, Sharp, Hossa, Bickell, Seabrook and Keith eating so much of your salary cap, you have no realistic shot at Ekblad this summer or McDavid next summer. They would simply cost too much. Somebody like the Panthers or the Predators or the Flames could outbid you.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      My argument in regards to Markov is you cannot let him walk after this season and get nothing in return. If the organization feels he’s part of the Stanley Cup building process they extend him. If not, he’s too valuable an asset to let go for nothing.

  17. Chris says:

    Puck Daddy’s Ryan Lambert, who I don’t normally find interesting, raised some interesting points in his Olympic wrap-up.

    1) Media bias is real. We spent the whole tournament hearing that Sidney Crosby was struggling, that he isn’t a real leader, “Why Can’t Canada Find Players to Play with Crosby?”, etc.

    We also spent the whole tournament hearing about how clutch Jonathan Toews is, what a great leader he is, etc.

    Final tallies for the tournament:

    Jonathan Toews – 6 GP, 1 G, 3 PTS, +3
    Sidney Crosby – 6 GP, 1 G, 3 PTS, +4

    Neither guy scored until the final. Toews played much of the tournament with Patrick Marleau and Jeff Carter, while Crosby played the majority of the medal games with Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kunitz. Looking at those lines, you might expect Toews to have enjoyed the better snipers on his wings, while the Crosby line would be expected to be solid defensively. Crosby’s line DID spend pretty much the whole tournament in the opposing zone. They just couldn’t score.

    It would be great if the whole “Sid is hard to play with” crap would disappear, because he was no harder to play with than Toews or Getzlaf.

    2) The endless pontificating about Canada’s “Hockey DNA” was completely over the top. Canada won because they were the best team and had a stifling system, not because of some magical, intangible hockey quality that only Canadians possess.

    3) The Backstrom thing is sad. That should never have happened.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Some call it Media Bias, I just consider it the usual Media Drivel. They talk for the sake of talking, and try to create BS out of nothing to justify their existence. With the evolvement of so many 24 hour sports shows/stations etc…. they are so desperately trying to appear as though they know so much detail. No doubt they do have Bias, you are absolutely correct, it is more important now than ever to watch a game yourself and trust what you see with your own eyes.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Burl’, you can find bias in every discipline, in every profession, it’s not limited to the media.
        As for justifying their existence, I can think of any number of reasons and cite hundredfold of examples that attest to the valuable service they perform.
        Sure, there is drivel, as there is dross to be found in countless other occupations. But you will also find at the other end of the spectrum excellence in abundance, and to make a blanket condemnation of the work being done by ink-stained wretches and pixel-ated pundits does a disservice to those who are adept at their craft.
        If your assertion was meant to be directed at the sports media alone, I think the same argument can be made that your brush strokes were too broad in applying the tar.
        Imagine a world without media, and people’s interpretation and appreciation of events was limited to what an army of bloggers had to say. They have a role to play and a contribution to make, but their credibility would be every bit as suspect as what you say is the case with newspapers, radio stations and television networks, which do have to answer to their readers, listeners and viewers, whose numbers are reflected in sales and ratings.
        Beyond making a profit, they are obligated to do a job well in order to maintain public trust in what is being reported.
        To ignore that would be to jeopardize their existence.

    • krob1000 says:

      Agree re Crosby and Toews..both are great but the Crosby bashing has been going on since his rookie season…but for those of us who remember the same was done to Wayne and Mario as well….over time it goes away and their body of work speaks for itself.
      Re the Canadian DNA…I think it is simple…CANADA lives and breathes hockey. Kids are still in diapers and often dreaming of Stanley Cups. The pressure to win is immense and the great majority of Canada’s great athletes all aspire to be hockey players. In the US they are competing with Baseball, football, soccer and basketball….and a variety of other sports. There is something to be said though as Canada has pretty well always had the best team. The Russians for a while were close but they played together for years and the Canadian team was thrown together. The Russian also played a systemic game long before systems which helped as well. They had some of the best players in the world but as is always the case noone can match Canada’s depth. THis depth is what leads to the enormous pressures as everyone is constantly second guessing and Canada could probably field 4 of the top 10 teams in the world. It is not really debateable that Canada has always been the hockey power of the world.

      The Olympic format lends itself to upsets as do other short tournaments and the majority of the time Canada prevails. The gap has shrunk over time and other countries have started to get more of their better athletes to play hockey but really it comes down to that.

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    If I was Habs GM, for the right price, I would trade Markov, in fact for the right price, I would trade anyone on the roster but Price, Subban, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Beaulieu and for now Tinordi. Of course, Plekanec or Pacioretty would have to bring something special with youth, size and scoring ability.

    Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

    • Bald Canadensis says:

      For the right price, I’d trade anyone although I find it difficult to imagine whom that be be in some cases — like Price, for example.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        He is the “right Price”. However, the right price would also have to be an upgrade. There lies the rub in all trades unless you’re merely blowing a team up or saving money regardless of the outcome.

        Hockey isn’t everything … it’s the only thing … except for beer and guitars!

  19. Habs_101 says:

    Call me crazy… and I haven’t heard this from any sources.

    But reading rumor after rumor after rumor, it does appear that Nashville is listening to offers for him, with likely destinations (apparently) Philly and/or Edmonton (if they will part with 1st…unlikely).

    Given this information though, I really think the habs and preds would be good trading partners here… A package that includes;

    1st, Eller OR DD, Markov, and prospect (Collberg, Andrighetto) should really get Nashville thinking… this would be cap saving for them get them extra first round pick and boost offense, all while giving them Markov to replace PP loss of Weber… interesting thought I had anyways. Imagine the D…

    Georges – Weber
    Tinordi – Subban
    Emelin – Beaulieu
    Patyern

    It would also leave us about 13 million in cap space (assuming we let Gionta, murray, cube, parros walk) to replace Gionta and the center we would lose in the trade.

    GO HABS GO!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I think your package offer is much too short on top line quality as Weber could fetch much more, yet Nashville trading him for financial reasons would not be a huge surprise.

      Weber signed his contract before the new CBA and it was a matching of Philly’s Offer sheet.

      Although his Cap Hit is $7,857,143 until 2025-26 (no typo) the REAL dollars over the next several years, his actual payouts because of bonus are this:

      14-15: $13M
      15-16: $13M
      16-17: $8M
      17-18: $8M

      Since all except $1M is bonus, these payments must be paid lump sum on July 1st of each year.

      http://www.capgeek.com/player/1042

    • Chris says:

      No, that package would not even come close to getting Nashville thinking.

      A trade for Weber would require P.K. Subban plus assets. Weber is signed long-term, not a rental. He’s one of the top two defencemen in the world. He’s big, tough, physical, offensive, defensive, and a leader. Basically, he is the prototype around whom all other defencemen in the NHL are currently judged. You aren’t getting him for a 1st round pick, a 2nd/3rd line centre, a rental and a prospect. Maybe if he was a rental himself, but not with 5 years left on his deal.

      Non-starter.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nashville isn’t going to consider Markov as a key replacement as they would then lose him in the summer as he is a UFA. They will be looking for blue chip prospects, young proven talent and/or draft picks.

    • Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

      Not a chance. It would take Subban and Chucky to get Weber out of Nashville. They might listen to an offer of Subban, Gallagher and a prospect (Collberg or Andrighetto).

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      Ok. I will call you crazy. First of all, no market for DD, atleast in this context. Add to your list Tinordi and a couple more first rd picks. That might get their attention. Might.

    • Bald Canadensis says:

      Despite, the Subban+ opinions, I think they might listen to a straight swap. Are they going to get a single player back from anyone who is better than Subban, especially a D-man? Anyway, I wouldn’t trade Subban+, and I’m not even sure I would make the trade straight up, but I am probably in the minority on that.

  20. Paz says:

    I find it interesting that people who honestly believe we can not win a Cup this year or next, people who are satisfied that Bergevin should be patient and not be aggressive,

    are the SAME people who are “afraid” to trade Markov because the team will not be able to “replace” him??

    If you are willing to be patient you should be willing to trade Markov.

    Because trading Markov is a longer term move that makes it more likely we will have a stronger team 3, 4, 5 years from now.

    If you believe in Timmins and you believe in Bergevin than trading Markov might just be the best move, because good scouting and managing takes time to develop.

    And yet, people here find a way to rationalize keeping Markov and being patient.

    Rationalize all you want but 3 years from now we could have 1 or even 2 key players in our lineup and Markov will certainly be done, or very close to it.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Well said. I too find it odd. I mean, if Pitssburgh, who are missing Martin and letamg would offer Despres, or Despres and a pick, why not trade Markov? Despres would give the Habs youth and size and may even allow them to trade Gorges in the summer.

      I think it all depends on what Markov wants in terms of a contract and what teams offer Bergevin. If teams offer players that as you mentioned will be around for many years and help, then why not. especially if Markov is not willing to take the one year contract.
      Markov should have learned from the Subban talks!

      Habfan17

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Thee ya go Paz, now you’re thinking. :-).

      It’s crazy how some people are just so stubborn and loyal and want to hang onto these players that are approaching their best before dates and just hope everything works out in the end.

      What are the chances Montreal makes it all the way out of the Eastern Conference? And if the Habs did make it out of the East by some miracle they’d get slaughtered by a team like LA, SJ, Chi or STL.

      By trading Markov I bet we’d be about in the same position next year, a bit better than we are the following year and a lot better (like you said) three years from now!

    • Cal says:

      Read Maritime Ronn’s post below pertaining to the same subject.
      Draft picks, especially from contenders, are usually ones left at “the bottom of the barrel” so to speak. In other words, a player like MaCarron (sp?) who are long term projects- more like 4 and 5 years than your projected 3 years. And who’s to say they will be any good?

    • Phil C says:

      Be patient and trying to win now are not mutually exclusive. If the Habs stand pat at the deadline, they keep plenty of draft picks for the future. By not selling, they still give themselves a chance this year. A balanced approach instead of one extreme or the other. The value of rental players is not always good anyway, especially when you factor in the ridiculous cost. Pittsburgh gave up a lot last year at the deadline and it did little to help their cause. You are always risking disrupting the chemistry in the room with a rental.

      I think the Habs have as good of a chance of winning in the next 2-3 years as they do in the subsequent 2-3, that’s why you hold on to an elite defenseman like Markov. If things really go in the tank next year, then the fire sale can be on. Markov has at least 3 good years left in him, maybe more. It is almost impossible to replace a player like that through free agency.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Yes, and if Bergevin has already decided he will not be resigning any of the UFA’s, he should move them now rather than risk losing them for nothing. Something is better than nothing.

        As far as Markov goes, if he will absolutely not sign for the one year and holds firm to 3 years @ $6 million, I would move him too as long as the offer makes sense.

        Bergevin has already said ne is not looking for rentals and that he will use the build from within approach to build the nucleus and use trades and free agents to fill role positions.

        That leads to the slow but steady approach, which would include leveraging assets that aren’t in the plan, before they leave for nothing.

        Habfan17

        • Phil C says:

          “include leveraging assets that aren’t in the plan, before they leave for nothing.”

          He let Ryder walk for nothing last year. While I agree with you in principle , sometimes its unavoidable.

    • third generation haber says:

      Stop being logical! Next your going to tell us that we’re supposed to be putting together a contender, instead of holding onto all the pieces that make us a bubble team.

      j.p. murray

    • Bald Canadensis says:

      It’s a very good point, but there’s something to be said for maintaining a fairly good team and just making the playoffs for the sake of experience. I could see it going either way.

  21. Maritime Ronn says:

    Enjoyed listening to Vinnie Damphousse on Antichambre last night concerning the ‘dressing room’ effects of the Trade Deadline.

    Vinnie has played over 1500 NHL games for 4 different NHL teams and was Captain of the Habs, so what he says carries some weight.

    He mentioned that 24-48 hours, several guys get nervous and the room has a much higher than normal level of anxiety .
    He also stated sometimes guys want out, yet for the most part guys don’t want to be traded – especially during the season for both professional and personal/family disruption reasons.

    Then the Markov trade situation came up (and the panel’s for/against arguments mirrored those here at HIO)

    Apart from the contract-business side, Vinnie’s ‘hockey only’ take was that moving Markov for futures would hurt the room and team moral.

    His position was that all the guys are pros and want to win NOW…and how would management explain a Markov trade to guys like Price-Subban-Plex-Max-the 2 Gallys…in other words, the perception in the room would be that management has given up on the team this year.
    His final thoughts were that trade would not bode well for the team from March 5th and on.

    • Paz says:

      In other words the key players want to win now and believe they can win now.

      I agree with them.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Hey MR,

      I respect Vinnie too, but I would disagree. I think it would be more about the message from Bergevin and what they get. If Bergevin trades Markov, then holds a team meeting explaining why, and that he believes that the team can still compete this season, that it would not have that affect . I also believe that as much as players want to win now, they want to be able to have a chance to win every year and they already have formed an opinion as to what their real chances are this season.

      Here in Ottawa, ex players have said the opposite of what Vinnie said. They say it can give a team an edge since the players remaining are able to step up and play more. Players also want to play and be given a chance.

      Just my two cents!

      Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        hi 17

        All good points you present.
        I hear where you are coming from.

        An example would be Subban in the 2010 playoffs.
        Before those playoffs started, he had all of 2 NHL games under his belt.

        Here’s not saying that some combo of Beaulieu-Tinordi could replace Markov, yet stranger things have happened.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        If I had played in Ottawa I would want out as well, no wonder they said the opposite of Vinny!

        • Habfan17 says:

          These were retired players! One who was very interesting was Jason Strudwick who now covers the Oilers. Man did he beat them up!

          Habfan17

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I was just being tongue in cheek in comparing players who had played in Ottawa versus players who had played in Montreal.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It’s tough to argue with Damphousse. Man did I love that guy!

      I’m sure it would be tough a loss for the room and the team’s performance (maybe) seeing Markov leave but a smart GM like Bergevin (hopefully) is willing to take one step back to ultimately take two steps forward.

      If the Habs were to get a 1st rounder and a good prospect back, how could you not make that trade?

      They aren’t in a position to win more than a round (if that) in the playoffs so the win now mentality is wrong, unfortunately.

    • Phil C says:

      Thanks Ronn, a real world perspective. This is why the Habs will almost certainly not trade Markov this year. This “debate” is an academic exercise.

    • third generation haber says:

      I think MT has to bite the bullet and trade Markov. Of course the vets won’t like it, but keeping him will not help us to win a cup- we are NOt contenders.

      L.A., Boston, Pitt., San-Jose, Anaheim, ST. Louis, Chicago, Colorado; one of these teams will win the cup this year. These teams win puck battles, so they have possession, so they generate scoring chances, and; therefore, they score goals.

      We can’t score! 12th in the conf., 18th in the league, for goals scored! We will only make the playoffs if Price makes it so, likewise we will win a series or two if Price makes it so.

      So why do we need Markov??? To ensure that we continue to be mediocre moving forward??? If u really don’t want us to become cup-contenders, if u like treading water, than re-sign him.

      Markov could bring us a serious return! Not just picks, but a young goal scorer or goal scoring prospect. Other guys, the guys we don’t want, have very little value on the trade market.

      Plus, he’s 35! He’s had several knee surgeries and has lost a step. He is a PP specialist, which we greatly value because our “skilled forwards” can’t score. Markov is not strong defensively and is only going to decline.

      Trade him now, or we either get nothing in return or make the mistake of offering him a retirement contract.

      I love Markov, but this decision is a no-brainer for me. Let Beaulieu, Tinordi, Pateryn, or Drewiskie pick-up some of the slack and make a deal that will help this team long-term.

      j.p. murray

    • Bald Canadensis says:

      But, if for obvious reasons you don’t want to sign him for 3 years, but he won’t sign for less, what do you do? I mean if it comes down to keeping him for a few months and losing him for nothing or getting something viable back in return, you are in a tough spot.

  22. habsguru says:

    i’m sure others may have, but I neglected to voice a congradulations to the Habs (and other) staff that assisted Team Canada. I know at least one trainer and a PR rep from the Habs were involved, though after a 10 minute google wormhole I couldn’t deliver their names. none the less, congrats to them.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    As we approach trade deadline time, it appears Montreal has all their current draft picks. At present only one team has traded away its 1st round pick, that is the Ottawa Senators as part of the Bobby Ryan trade. Of note this is the draft when the New Jersey Devils finally have to relinquish their 1st round pick as a result of the contract to Kovalchuk which was determined to circumvent the cap. Has to sting a bit more giving that up, given he no longer plays for the team.

    Also of note, the Oilers at present don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_NHL_Entry_Draft

    • Habfan17 says:

      Yes, and McTavish wants to get a 2nd and / or 3rd round pick back. Maybe there is something to work out.

      Habfan17

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      A lot of 2nd round picks also gone:

      Edmonton to St. Louis
      LA and Minnesota both to Buffalo
      Pitt to San Jose (one of the Douglas Murray picks)
      Toronto to Anaheim
      Winnipeg to Minny

      In the 4th round, already 12 picks have changed hands.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      I think I have read that this year’s is not a strong draft. Who are the highly touted prospects?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Canadian top prospects are Bennett and Ekblad. A few of the top players are listed on the link I attached. I think our friend Commandant has a comprehensive look on his last word website.

      • Chris says:

        Ekblad is ridiculous…probably the best defenceman prospect since Pietrangelo, but I would put him above him at the same age.

        Ekblad featured strongly as a 17 year old at this year’s World Juniors. That is unheard of for a defenceman…think you have to go back to Jay Bouwmeester in 2001-02 to find a draft eligible defenceman that played a major role for Team Canada.

        There are some good players in this year’s draft. Not the same high-end talent, but some very good players. Here in Guelph, Robby Fabbri is tearing it up. He’s a little smaller than people might like, but the kid can fly, he goes into traffic. He has a great shot and good instincts on the ice.

        Sam Reinhart has somewhat inexplicably dropped…he and Ekblad were the consensus 1st overall picks last summer, and Reinhart has produced: 50 GP, 32 G, 90 PTS, +21 and 9 PIM for the Kootenay Ice. He also had a decent World Juniors (7 GP, 2 G, 5 PTS) as a 17 year old forward after playing very well in the U18 tournaments the year before. He’s an elite level NHL prospect.

        Nikolay Goldobin in Sarnia is an excellent player. I saw him a few times last year when Galchenyuk was on the team, and Goldobin frequently stole the show. Great offensive skills.

        I can’t comment too much on Leon Draisatl, but he’s getting a lot of buzz.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Will be interesting what impact the World Junior tournament has on Draisaitl draft stock, as he had a terrible tournament. Took some real bad penalties which led to some suspensions as i recall.

    • Cal says:

      Oilers want to dump Hemsky. I don’t think they’ll find a taker because they want too much for what he brings.

      • Phil C says:

        As a UFA, I’m sure they’ll take whatever is offered as I doubt they plan to resign him. It’s just like when the Habs tried to get a 1st rounder for AK46, but finally settled on a 2nd rounder as he deadline approached. I can’t imagine Edmonton holding on to Hemsky.

  24. Habfan10912 says:

    Good Everyone. Love the conversation around NHL rinks yesterday led by CJ. I must be getting old because I prefer the building with personality of yesteryear. The old Chicago Stadium with the time clock that you couldn’t read, or the deafening roar of the fans in the old “Aud” in Buffalo, and of course Dutchie, the bugle guy, and the organ at the Forum. Wonderful memories for sure.

    I’m also enjoying the debate on Markov although most of us have had to repeat our points a few times for lack of other relevant subjects. :)

    My only thought is if you have no commitment to sign Markov you HAVE to move him. Yes, he’s a wonderful player, one of my favorites, yes he plays huge minutes, yes he’ll be difficult to replace, all of those things and more. It’s a difficult decision that MB and his brain trust will have to make. We’ll know shortly where MB sits.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning 10912,

      I am like you, I prefer the old buildings and the names that were unique. I managed to get down to see a game in the old Boston Garden. My buddy and I planned on getting out to see all the old buildings, but sadly, he left this world too early. We only got to Maple Leaf Gardens and of course Boston. We saw Chicago play the Bruins March 7 1992 during the 75th anniversary of the NHL. They wore their retro jerseys and we were 8 rows up. It was awesome.
      Nothing beat the old forum!

      Habfan17

    • CJ says:

      Good morning Jim. Loved sharing my stories, but enjoyed everyone else’s so much more. I always consider it a treat to see a professional sporting event live. It is even better now being able to share it with children. Our best experiences have been baseball games, but in a few years I’m sure hockey games will move to the top of the list.

      Sadly, we won’t be able to afford going to as many games in Montreal as the prices continue to rise. I’ve scaled back from owning a pair of seats in Club Desjardins section 206, to sharing a pair in the reds. As the salary cap rises, ticket prices will continue to go up.

      The business side of sports….

      Have a great day everyone! It’s game day after all! Cheers, CJ

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hiya Jim

      Went to a game at Maple Leaf Gardens in the late 1970s.
      Just one word best described the atmosphere.
      Morgue.

  25. Cal says:

    Because I am lucky enough to have a ticket for Friday night’s concert at the Bell Centre and I am still a little po’d, This one’s for PK!

  26. Habsbill24 says:

    Thankfully the Olympic bore is over. Complete disruption to the NHL season and frankly not terribly interesting as the big ice offers up overly defensive games that are horrible to watch. Now e get to play Detroit in a key game with our star players jet lagged from games that don’t count. Great.

  27. jols says:

    Prust just had 3 weeks off to heal all the bumps and bruises. He comes back from the break injured? What happened to him? I love the guy, this team needs more warriors like him, but is he damaged goods now? It does us no good if that shoulder never heals.

  28. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If the Habs trade Markov the team will collapse…yeah right. Give me a break.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I am torn about Markov, on one hand would love to see him retire a Hab but realistically I don’t think the Habs will win in the next couple years. Is he valuable enough to someone else to get a decent building block for the future?

    • Marc10 says:

      The thing with Marky is he’s fantastic during the season. He firmly falls into the category of guys that bring you to the post season… But in the playoffs, he’s not a game changer and the team has proven it can win without him.

      As MB stated: You need guys to take you to the playoffs and then guys to help you win during the playoffs.

      So if you look at Markov from that perspective, maybe you look to move him, but it will hurt you in trying to make the playoffs (especially this year where we have a Western roadtrip from hell…)

      Tough one. We’ll find out soon enough. The guys have three games to help MB make up his mind before the deadline looms, eh.

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        I would be surprised to see Markov settle for a 1 year contract as you can bet someone out there would probably give him 3 years. It is a tough one.

        • Marc10 says:

          For sure he gets 3… Probably 4 from the Flyers, eh!

          He’s the general on the blue line and during the regular season he’s full value. I totally get why the Habs would think twice about sinking that much coin or term into one player that’s been seriously injured and hasn’t dominated in the post season.

          That said, he’s our clear #2 Dman and would be next year if he resigned…

    • bwoar says:

      Ha. They would fold terribly. They don’t have the horses to pick up the slack.

    • Cal says:

      If Markov is gone, the talent level drop off after PK is akin to going off a cliff.
      Before you say “Beaulieu”, he’s still has milk behind the ears.

  29. doug19 says:

    What do John Tavares and Louis Leblanc have in common?
    They are both 23 and first round picks.

  30. naweed235 says:

    Assuming that Vanek is not signed by a team (where ever he’ll finish the season), how much money would you dish out to him if you were MB and really really interested in having him in your roster? Keep in mind that it was reported that he refused a deal similar to his last contract worth a little more than 7 yrs at $7M.
    Would you give him $8M for 8 years?

  31. SmartDog says:

    I was in the car on and off all day and had TSN on.
    They talked over and over about Markov and whether 1 year was the right thing to offer or 2 or 3.

    Not ONCE did someone say if we give him $6 million, that takes away money from someone else – like a forward that can score. And if we do that for 3 years… is that the right way to go.

    I love Markov. But at $6 million for a guy who while brilliant has lots a step already. Jeez, have we learned nothing? Gambles don’t tend to work out for the Habs. Trade him for value, build a future. Or BLOCK the future by keeping him and hope he doesn’t slow even more and stays healthy.

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

    • Mattyleg says:

      People were saying the same thing about him when he came back from his knee operations.

      Too risky. He’s finished. Knees never heal. Signing him is a guarantee that we won’t ever do well again. It’s a step backwards.

      Think about how wrong those people were, and ask yourself (everyone) if you were one of those people.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • piper says:

        Trade him now.

      • SmartDog says:

        To me it’s not just a gamble on Markov, it’s a gamble with cap space.
        And no matter whether people were wrong in the past, at some point that gamble’s not gonna be worth it.

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

        • Stevie.Ray says:

          6m for a top pairing going forward is not as outrageous as it once was. That said I think it’s in the Habs best long term interest to trade him if they can get something significant in return. However, it will hurt. Montreals D is a glaring weakness already, and without Markov… Well Subban can’t do everything. And once July 1st comes the best D on the market will be Markov and Timonen and they will easily get 6m. Beaulieu and Tinordi won’t be ready to replace Marky for at least another season.
          If we were to trade Markov then you would have to think a trade for Edler or Macdonald or somebody else that can take on big minutes would be necessary. Alas, I expect him to resign for probably two, perhaps three seasons and by the time that contract expires, he won’t fetch us a dang thing. The worst thing a GM can do is let an asset go for nothing.

  32. B says:

    Grégoire finishes the night with a goal and 3 assists. Hudon picks up an assist as well. Drakkar win 6-1.

    Nevins gets a goal (his 18th) and an assist but R-N loses to the Voltigeurs 4-3.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  33. doug19 says:

    Trade only to try and get good draft choices. Had need another elite forward. Forget the mercenaries they don’t give a crap!

  34. Timo says:

    One of RDS headlines says Price gets two games off. So does it mean Boods is starting tomorrow and thursday? That’s…. ballsy.

  35. Frank2468 says:

    I know I’m late with this but had things to do. I really hope after the performance Price had at the Olympics puts to bed any ideas that Price is not the guy and that puts to bed the Halak things as well. His numbers are very very impressive!!!!. Gold at the Junior level and Gold at the Olympics and the Calder Cup as well. It’s not his fault if the Habs decide to ice a team that sucks in front of him and puts language ahead of putting the best possible players on the ice. What I found really impressive is at international play his numbers are better then Roy and Brodeur and those guys are no slouches at the position.

    • CH Marshall says:

      Can’t remember if it was Sholi who posted it, but there was this blog piece by Price’s backup in junior who watched him backstop some crazy games, and Olaf Kolzig was saying something like ‘the kid’s only 17 and can already play in the NHL.. he’s gonna be something etc etc’ .

  36. GL says:

    I picked my two players for the Habs in a possible trade. Vanek and stastny you guys pick yours maybe MB will buy into it ….

    • Chris says:

      Mine would be Thomas Vanek or Matt Greene.

      The Habs desperately need another goal-scorer to go with Pacioretty and Gallagher. Vanek is a proven sniper, capable of 30 – 40 goals per season. Most importantly, he is a right-handed shot for the PP. Gionta had been getting a lot PP time because he could set up for one-timers on that side. Unfortunately, he just isn’t a top scorer anymore and that hurts the team’s power play, allowing opponents to key in on Subban as the only threat from that side of the ice.

      Vanek is willing to crash the net. The problem is that his style of play will likely take a toll on him in 4 or 5 years, and his lack of footspeed will become increasingly detrimental. But if you could somehow get him on a 4- or 5-year deal, I’d certainly try.

      • Timo says:

        And… Vanek never even played with the best center ever. So imagine that these 30-40 goals now have a potential of being 50-60 at least.

        • JohninTruro says:

          You gotta admit Timo, Desharnais has played well since his early season slump.

          • monmick says:

            I would not mind at all keeping DD and MaxPac together as long as it’s on a second line, not with BGally; AND under the condition that we have a legitimate first line…

            ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • Phil C says:

      I am expecting Bergevin to stand pat, no rental deals.

      The only possible deal I see would be to ship out an extra forward, although he could just as easily demote Bournival to keep as much depth as possible.

    • monmick says:

      Markov to Pitt for Engelland, Derrick Pouliot and a conditional 5th
      Pleks and Andrighetto and 2nd to Col for Stasny and McGuinn

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  37. thebonscott says:

    hope they move markov and gionta, no more geezers please

    C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

  38. GL says:

    Yakupov to the Habs. Not my cup of tea some Russians in general. If they don’t like certain things they bail or quit on ya. Yakupov strikes me as one of those. Just a matter of time in Edmonton. If the KHL showed him the right amount of money. He’d be gone ….

  39. Timo says:

    You know who is going to totally fly tomorrow? Max.

  40. Timo says:

    Dipsy, I “disappeared” to feed my kid supper and give her bath, read her bedtime stories and such. I hope that’s ok that I didn’t check with you first.

    But to answer your pointed question, which has been asked in various forms in the past, I will say the same thing I said to all the other variations of your questions. I have no clue and don’t care to provide any clarifications. I am not paid to make those decisions and choices. As someone who merely watches Habs on TV I have a luxury of criticizing, bitching, complaining and on occasion name calling Habs GM, coach and players and will continue to do so at my discretion.

  41. habsfan0 says:

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow night’s pre-game ceremony where Olympic medal winners are honoured.
    It’s hard to argue with success and a 6-0 record while only giving up 3 goals in those 6 games is quite the achievement,but I’m still somewhat ticked off at Babcock for benching Subban.
    But an Olympic Gold Medal,in the final analysis,is all that matters.

  42. Plekasuares says:

    Pretty sure Murray eats Nails for breakfast…

  43. CJ says:

    Wow, Ryan Miller is doing Buffalo a major favor tonight. He keeps this level of play up, he is going to net a serious return, even as a UFA.

    Buffalo already has the inside track on Connor McDavid. They should be worse next year. Their only issue will be reaching the salary cap floor once they move out these assets.

    • Marc10 says:

      Perhaps Buffalo would like to repatriate Danny B if they need to stay above the floor. We could accommodate that request I’m sure.

      St Louis should get Miller. It won’t guarantee them a cup, but they’ll be a heck of a lot closer to the promised land with a stud goalie behind two Team Canada Dmen.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      But traded their first round pick but it was conditional. If it is a top ten pick then it is deferred to the next draft. So it appears they don’t have the inside track.

      Unless I’m thinking of it the other way around

  44. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Went around reading some trade “rumors”. I gotta say, its the best time of the season to talk about hockey. The trades, the values, the prospects and draft picks. Everyone is talking about them, the trade speculations, and trade proposals other “insiders” seem to say/write about.
    You don’t know if any of it if they have reliable sources, but one thing they have in common is they bring in some entertainment about hockey in general.
    So go on, post those trades you would make if you were a GM, there’s no better time to do it. There’s nothing else I can say that hasn’t been said, and thats just great!

    Win is a win, but I hope we win.

  45. jols says:

    We really don’t have cap issues anymore. Capgeek is awesome. You can build your team like a GM. I didn’t do anything drastic. I didn’t resign Gio, Murray or Bouillon.

    I gave Subban 8 million, Markov 6 million, Eller 3.5 million and White and Weisse 1 million each. All very generous.

    That gave us 13 forwards, 6 dmen(I demoted Drewiski and called up Beaulieu and Tinordi) plus Price and Budja.

    That left us with over 13.2 million in cap space to find a 7th dman and a replacement for Gio.

    BTW, that is with Moen, Bourque and Briere still in the lineup. All salaries that we could dump as well.

  46. GL says:

    I know two good players that could help the Habs if they are available and the Habs could afford them also depending on what they would have to give up. These two would be great for the next 5-7 years … Stastny a Montreal Born Kid and Vanek I think would be a great addition …. Just a thought.

    • CJ says:

      I’d love Statsny to replace DD.

      • Me too — I’d just worry about the cap hit. Gionta’s money will have to go to Subban, and Markov (I’d guess) will be re-signed, so unless we can deal Briere, it’ll be tough to take on much more salary and still make improvements via free agency.


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

        • CJ says:

          There will be some breathing room with the cap going up to $70.1 million. It could work. I wouldn’t trade for him now though. If he wants to come, sign him as a UFA in the summer. It would be conditional on moving DD, which I don’t think would be easy.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I thought Galchenyuk was going to replace DD.

        Statsny is going after 7 years at 7.5M a season. That’s too rich for what he brings. He’s good but not great.

    • Phil C says:

      I would love Vanek as well, he has a lot of talent even if he floats at times. But the asking price will be too high for the Habs. It will take at least a first and a prospect.

  47. B says:

    Grégoire with his 31st, 1st place Drakkar lead 2nd place Armada 1-0 in the 1st.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • I’ve really got high hopes for him!


      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

      • CJ says:

        He is much bigger and plays a more physical game then I realized. He goes to the net like a magnet. Very much like Galley, but bigger. Not sure if he will progress to the next level, but the kid, based on what I saw, if willing and able to work in the dirty areas.

      • B says:

        He’s looking pretty good right now for a late 6th rounder.

        –Go Habs Go!–

  48. Caesar says:

    Quick observation on all these trade day rumors etc. If the “indsiders” are so “inside” how come no one had Weiss for Diaz? Don’t tell me that was top secret somehow. How come I can not remember once where a trade was made that was rumored. Cammallerie? Gill and AK 46 were rumored to Nashville for about a year before they went.
    Anyway who still watches that circus

    • Ave!

      As for me, I check out the trade rumours purely for entertainment value — I don’t expect that they’ll happen, but it’s just fun to see what ideas are being kicked around.


      Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • frontenac1 says:

      Reading Trade Rumours here and other sites is like watching TMZ or entertainment tonight. I’d rather watch Porn. More satisfying. Except for the midget stuff.Thats frightening.

      • johnnylarue says:

        I’m slowly starting to piece together your vision of Hell, Front.

        So far, I’ve got it set in the Prohibition Era, in a bar that only serves milk. You’re being forcibly restrained by Youppi, and made to watch live midgets fornicating on the pool table. Behind them, on the television, the Leafs are celebrating a 4-0 sweep of the Habs in a Cup Final.

        How am I doing so far…?

      • CH Marshall says:

        I’m kinda getting used to the midget thang…

    • JUST ME says:

      I give no credit what so ever to trade rumors. They never end up being true and since the medias insist on protecting their sources it becomes a license to lie. But obviously most fans still fall for it and start the mill with the exact same names, the exact same nonsense trading garbages for superstars ,exactly like they did 6 months ago and will repeat in 6 months…

  49. monmick is Canadian says:

    Regarding the bat, it was Jim Lorentz of the Sabres who was responsible for the “bat trick”…

  50. habsfan0 says:

    I’ve always had a hunch that Nail Yakupov would end up as a Hab and play with his Sarnia teammate,Galchenyuk.
    I know he’s somewhat of a disappointment to Edmonton right now,being a -29,but he’s only 20 years old.
    I still think he’ll be in Montreal.
    Next week?

    • Plekasuares says:

      Thing is you have to give to get. For a unproven player Yakupov is a little risky. Could be a great trade, Could be a bad trade.

    • Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

      My recollection, habsfanO, is that whenever you have previously paraded that hunch of yours, it has generated sufficient talk on this site to make innocent bystanders believe that Yakupov reporting to Brossard was imminent!

      So is it all just Nail Envy or can you imagine some kind of plausible scenario?

      • Good question — maybe something like Gorges, Tinordi and a 1st? Too rich for my blood — or maybe I’m undervaluing Tinordi?


        Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

        • scarboro_habitant says:

          gorges, eller and a 2nd. i get the feeling that yak would bolt to russia if things ever got tough for him in montreal.

          • At that price, it would be tempting — but you’re right, high-risk.


            Devils coach Jacques Lemaire on the Daneyko-Kaminski feud – “Daneyko got mad when Kaminski said he was going to knock his teeth out. Dano has only two teeth left, so you can’t say that to Dano.”

    • Caesar says:

      He sure would look good in blue blanc rouge. I’m not sure we have someone to trade outside of Chucky Maxpac and PK though. Not sure I would want to trade any of those 3 for him. Maybe a few years from now if Fucale is ready we can trade him or Price but I hope Edmonton figures out their goal tending by then.

      If we could pull it off I think he would thrive here and we would have a great 1-2 punch and a great top 6. Remember when Kovy joined the habs? He made the top 6 better and bumped down some talent that also improved the bottom 6. 1 player can make a difference.

    • Phil C says:

      I wonder if Yakupov would benefit from being around guys like Markov, or even Alex G Sr., who coached him in Sarnia? He seems like he does not have a good support network.

  51. CJ says:

    Shifting gears for a moment if I may, Bell Centre excluded, what is everyone’s favorite arena to watch an NHL game? Consider ticket prices, availability, concessions, fan interest and accessibility.

    I’ve been to 21 of the 30 and would rank Minnesota at the top of the list. Very knowledgable fan base which helped to create a great atmosphere. Longest escalator I’ve ever seen. Oddly, the arena is in St. Paul, which was out of the way, but overall it was great. As hard as this is to believe, I also really enjoyed Atlanta and Phoenix.

    My all time favorite is still Maple Leaf Gardens. Got there three times. Never saw the Leafs score a single goal! I only have a faint memory of the forum, but our seats were obstructed view which was odd as they were corporate seats – my uncle and Craig Ramsey (then with the Sabres) were best friends growing up so he would leave tickets when in town.

    Interesting to see what others think. Happy reminiscing, CJ

  52. 24 Cups says:

    RE a possible revamped defense: I wish people would stop talking about Beaulieu and Tinordi like they are locks to make the Habs and will be mainstays for the next decade. They are good prospects, not great prospects which means their future prospects of becoming regulars are good, not great.

    Right now our D is kind of shaky. Subban and Markov are solid. Gorges and Emelin are playing bellow expectations. The thought of any two from a list of Murray, Bouillon and Tinordi being the 3rd pairing is scary. Beaulieu brightens things up, Drewiske not so much.

    Scratch Markov from that list and you might just find that Carey Price never gets over his jet lag. We need to trade for a Dman, not trade away a Dman.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’ve never been quite sure what a definition of a great prospect is. To me Galchenyuk is a great prospect because of his skill set. Excellent hands sets him apart from others. I think Beaulieu has the skills to be considered a great prospect as well. His skating ability and puck moving capabity would seem to support that argument.

      Tinordi? He’s big and the hope is he will become tough.

      Steve, from where I sit we have one great and one good. But what do I know.

    • twocents says:

      Steve, I honestly think there is an extremely small chance that Nathan Beaulieu does not establish himself as an NHL regular. I would say his future prospects of becoming a regular are great. Now whether he becomes a great/very good defenceman or an average defenceman is up in the air.

      So by your terms, he is a great prospect.

  53. Plekasuares says:

    Markov talks gettin kinda boring…

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It sure does, eh? But we sprinkle in a little DD hate andMT bashing as well from time to time and now we have folks who feel compelled to boo the Gold Medal winning coach. As they say in Philadelphia, “tough crowd”. :)

      • Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

        Not to mention tough parking!

        Hey Jim. I was able to make that delivery you requested!

        You’ve been the most gracious of posters in the aftermath of those two US defeats to Canada. Despite the close score, I don’t think the US men really had any answers this time other than hoping Kessel would pull a rabbit out of the hat.

        The women’s final, however, could have gone either way, and the US deserved to win for all but the last minutes of the 3rd. I loved the way they tried to protect the lead not by closing up but by maintaining their offensive pressure. Had they gone into JM-Shell mode I have no doubt Canada would have scored and tied it up much sooner.

        Although I was delighted Canada retained gold, my heart went out to the US women. They were so shell-shocked that nearly all of them found it physically impossible to smile or otherwise acknowledge what took place. I reckon the rivalry just deepened significantly.

  54. sherburnehabfan says:

    It’s time to put the EGG line back together and move Bourque with Patch and DD. Two years ago the Patch, DD, Erik Cole line led the Habs with 84 goals. Bourque is just as fast as Cole and has had a scoring touch in the past.

    __________
    Hockey is a game played with a clock, the more time you play in the offensive side of center ice the less pressure you put on the defense. Control the clock, win the game.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A lot of people here would agree with you on that. I kind of like Galchenyuk with Eller and Bourque. We need to find some additional scoring and Galchenyuk is our most talented offensive player. If we must play DD and Max together then Gallagher provides the net presence they need. No one else seems interested in doing that.

      • sherburnehabfan says:

        What made the Patch, DD Cole line so successful?

        __________
        Hockey is a game played with a clock, the more time you play in the offensive side of center ice the less pressure you put on the defense. Control the clock, win the game.

  55. GL says:

    IMO there’s two players I would try and trade all of you may jump through the screen at me. That’s fine.

    Markov – While we can get something for him. He’s 35 with very bad knees that could end his career in any game. With a new contract if such a thing should happen we are stuck with it and we could have gotten a pretty good player for him. Gotta trade now or give him a new contract or let him walk in the summer. Myself, trade would be the best option for the future.

    Eller – Will never be more than a 3rd line center and I don’t care what line they play him on. I think we could do better with a trade
    if that can’t be done. Than I guess he remains our 3rd line center.

    MB can also improve this team by trading others. No one is expendable if we can improve the team. The name of the game is to win a Stanley Cup not to make the playoffs every year to be ousted in the 1st round. I personally think the fans has waited long enough and deserves more….

  56. Strummer says:

    Looking at the practice lines I’m glad for Eller. He needs a shot in the arm. Bourque was playing better before the break and Galch is a stud- could be the start of something significant.
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion- I could be wrong”

  57. Timo says:

    All I am looking forward to is watching ma man DD in action tomorrow. I am still not over the big DD snub for Team Canada.

  58. habs11s says:

    I’m just happy the NHL is back!!
    _____________________________________________________________

    “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

  59. Phil C says:

    I think what bothers me about all this trade Markov talk is the implication that the Habs are not good enough this year. I know the team has flaws, but in the parity era, almost every team has flaws and holes. The Pens have Fleury in net and are top heavy offensively. Boston are a fairly complete team, although losing Seidenberg leaves a bit of a hole and the Habs seem to have their number again. Even the Blackhawks managed to win the Cup with frickin’ Handzus as their 2nd line centre, a guy they pulled off the waiver wire trash heap.

    It is no coincidence that each team that has won the Cup recently also enjoyed good luck WRT injuries. LA managed to finish the playoffs with the same 6 defensemen they started with, which is amazing considering how many shots they blocked. So if the Habs can get healthy for the playoffs, why not them? Especially if they can pick up a player before the deadline.

    The other thing that bothers me is the almost dogmatic belief that the Habs will be a better team in 2-3 years. But what is the evidence for this? The only player who will be better for sure is Galchenyuk and maybe Beaulieu, while they will be losing a lot of good veteran players. There is no guarantee any of the prospects in the system will blossom into top flight players and replace all the players they will lose. It is possible, but far from guaranteed to the point where it is worth throwing away a shot at the Cup this year. A lot of people were pencilling in Leblanc for this year a few years ago, but that hasn’t exactly worked out as hoped.

    Wow, two things that bother me, maybe I need some anger counselling…

    • BJ says:

      Phil we have 7 games in 11 days coming up. And I think 4 of those before the trade deadline. These next few games are critical as we will be facing some top teams. i love Markov but if an offer that can’t be refused comes along then maybe its time. We could still make him an offer when UFA’s are open season.

      • Phil C says:

        Any player is tradeable for the right offer, so you are right there.

        I get the sense many people would want to dump Markov for the best offer. Considering how many teams that have no cap space, the sellers market might not be that good.

        • BJ says:

          It can’t be the best offer it has to be the right offer that will improve the teams needs both immediate and long term. I’m favorable to a first rounder only if it includes a hot prospect that can step in now.

    • Paz says:

      I agree with you Phil on both points.

      And I remember Dryden and Roy carrying the team to Championships and Price looks THAT GOOD this year. Goalies have up seasons and down seasons. This is a huge up season for Price.

      We need to add a real scorer and put him on a line with Plekanec.

      If we can get back to the way we scored goals 5 on 5, our defence, and especially Price, can keep the puck out of our net. We are 6th in the eagle defensively, but only 22 nd on offence and worse still 5 on 5.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Bergevin mentioned the 3 year time frame. It’s his belief as well.

      At some point his actions should match his words.

      “we need to get bigger, tougher to play against” – signs briere, dd

      “it will take a few years to be a perennial contender” – sign markov to 2 of 3 year term? we’ll see.

  60. Habilis says:

    Interesting take on the Markov situation by Adam Proteau here: http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/it-may-be-painful-but-best-time-for-canadiens-to-trade-markov-is-now/

    He makes a pretty good point. Markov’s value is through the roof right now due to the lack of D on the market. We could get a lot for him. Like, a lot. I was not a fan of trading him before reading that piece, now I’m on the fence. It’s tough to pass up the kind of haul he could bring, considering that we’re not “Cup Ready” anyhow.

    Still, I just don’t see it happening. We’re too high in the standings to justify a move like that. If MB pulls that trigger and Beaulieu doesn’t immediately succeed, it’ll be pretty tough to come back from. Of course, losing Markov for nothing in the summer would hurt worse than all of it.

    Pretty tough spot for MB.

    P.S. I told you guys that Price wouldn’t play till Saturday. Hope Budaj is ready.

    • JUST ME says:

      Although we are in the race i do not think that we are seriously considering winning the cup are we ? Looking at the team as is right now i do not see Markov making such a difference whether we make the playoffs or not.

      So if Markov is worth so much then what do we have to lose to make the move and add parts of the puzzle to better prepare for when we will go fot it.
      Markov will not be worth much in a year or two so it`s now or never.
      I realy would like to keep Markov but we have to mind our own business and not let ourselves get mushy with his sentimental value..

      If he signs i will be happy but it will mean that i will lose him for nothing in a way…

  61. Big D 1234 says:

    What’s with Therrien. Here’s his chance to put the kid line back together.

  62. scrotchland says:

    Good move therian sitting Price so the fans can see what a crap team we have without him in nets.
    One good defenseman in PK and nothing else.
    Remember tomorrow that the Wings coach’s name is : Booooo-cock….All together now….Booooooooo-cock….

  63. Sportfan says:

    Seems like the Habs are missing left wingers and right handed shooting D

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

  64. doug19 says:

    Hey the Bulldogs won a game! Looking at stats which do not tell the whole story Greg Pateryn stands out at +5 and the same points as Louis Leblanc -4.

  65. jimmy shaker says:

    I like that lineup but with Prust in for Bourque, if he’s ready.

    Shaker out!

  66. Chris says:

    Montreal desperately needs some offensive players to step up now that the stretch run is upon us. With 23 games to go, the Habs have scored fewer goals per game than all but Florida, Buffalo, and New Jersey in the Eastern Conference.

    People will inevitably point to the LA Kings, a team that couldn’t score all year until they won the Stanley Cup. The difference, however, is that the Kings added two high-level forwards in Jeff Carter and Mike Richards that season, who helped spur the team to increase their offensive output from 2.29 goals per game in the regular season to 2.85 goals per game in the playoffs. Looking at the Canadiens’ current roster, I don’t see a similar transformation in the cards.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Fans can talk trade all they want but underperformers such as Gionta, Bourque, Eller, Briere, Gorges and Emelin need to up their games. That’s one third of the team’s starting line-up.

      Re Mike Green and Alex Edler: They both make big coin and are going to cost Montreal real assets in a trade. Edler shoots left and is in the dog house right now. Green shoots right but is shaky in his own end. Let’s see what Beaulieu does in the next few years.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      The Habs have gone through some tough stretches, but they have scored 20 goals in their last 7 games – very close to an average of 3 per game.

      No, they are not the Crosby Pens, yet are not as bad as you want to portray them.

      If that 2.86 goals per game could be maintained, that would be good for 7th place in the NHL.

      • Phil C says:

        I’m with you Ronn, this team is better than a lot of people think. The acquisition of Weise and White playing the best hockey of his career gives them as good of a 4th line as any in the league. The remaining 3 lines can score by committee. They have the best goalie in the world. They have a Norris trophy winner and arguably the best PP QB in the league on defense, league where special teams are often the difference.

        I think they are one complementary top four defenseman away from really competing in the East. They could use an upgrade up front in the scoring department as well, although less critical as long as everyone is healthy.

        • Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

          That’s a really good summary, Phil.
          I can’t pretend to know all the 4th lines in the league, but I think ours can certainly rival Boston’s which is highly acclaimed.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t “want to portray” offensive struggles…they are reality.

        October – 37 goals in 13 games, 2.85 goals per game
        November – 35 goals in 14 games, 2.50 goals per game
        December – 28 goals in 14 games, 2.00 goals per game
        January – 32 goals in 13 games, 2.46 goals per game
        February – 13 goals in 5 games, 2.60 goals per game

        From December 1st to the Olympic break, the Canadiens scored 73 goals in 32 games. That 2.28 goals per game would have them third worst in the NHL over the entire season, ahead of only the truly pathetic Sabres and the defensive LA Kings. Thank goodness they had their two offensive “explosions” (9 goals in their last 2 games, 13 goals in 3 games around New Year’s), or those numbers would be completely depressing.

        Contrast with the other playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference over the same time period:

        Boston – 3.37
        Columbus – 3.23
        Philadelphia – 3.18
        NY Rangers – 2.97
        Toronto – 2.94
        Carolina – 2.84
        Ottawa – 2.79
        Tampa Bay – 2.78 (despite no Stamkos)
        Detroit – 2.48
        Montreal – 2.28

        Scoring is always higher in October as teams aren’t familiar with their systems. But the successful teams find a way to sustain their offence as they tighten up their defence. Montreal has certainly become one of the better defensive teams in the league (albeit with bouts of panic most games), but it seems to have come at the cost of significant offence.

        So yes, the last two games, where they scored 9 goals, were a welcome change of pace. While I don’t expect them to score 4.5 goals per game for the rest of the season, something like 2.60 goals per game is probably the bare minimum if they want to avoid relying Carey Price to try to carry them into the playoffs.

        While everybody points out defence wins championships, you’d better have a strong offence too. Montreal isn’t winning the Stanley Cup this season, but if they have any hope of making a run in a very vulnerable Eastern Conference, they need to start giving themselves some easy nights here and there.

        Ottawa, Columbus and Carolina have been making up significant ground over the past 6 weeks. Montreal and Toronto have a pretty nice buffer of 7 points on those teams right now, but they can’t afford many slip-ups. Montreal’s offensive woes of the past couple of months need to be sorted out, which means that the various slumping players need to break out, and soon:

        Eller (0 goals in past 17 games)
        Plekanec (1 goal in past 10 games)
        Bourque (2 goals in past 23 games)
        Subban (0 goals in 11 games)
        Markov (0 goals in 13 games)
        Briere (2 goals in past 16 games)
        Galchenyuk (0 goals in 8 games previous to his injury)
        Gallagher (1 goal in past 8 games, although he does have 8 points over that interval)

        This team has been carried by the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher line for a month. The rest of the top-9 forwards need to step up.

  67. Commandant says:

    Our site was down for the last 5 hours, so here is the defenceman trade deadline post again, including markov.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/02/25/nhl-trade-bait-the-defencemen/

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Marky is going nowhere. He will be a hab and will sign a two year deal

      “Lets Go Canada”

      • Forum Dog says:

        Hopefully it’s for less than the $6M/per I’ve seen bandied about. Not sure it’s a good idea to tie up $20M+ in a top-4 D that includes Gorges, Emelin and a 36 year old Marky.

    • frontenac1 says:

      I think you site is still down amigo. Couldn’t connect.

    • Chris says:

      I mentioned it before, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Alex Edler and Mike Green were made available by the Canucks and Capitals, respectively.

      When Green is healthy, he is a good offensive defenceman. Unfortunately, he’s been plagued with injuries over the past few years (although he’s played all 51 games this year). The Capitals run-and-gun style has not achieved anything, and Green is often a flashpoint for that. If the return was attractive enough, I could see McPhee parting with him.

      As for Edler, he’s got a long-term cap-heavy contract. When he’s playing well, he’s a very good NHL defenceman. The Canucks were dangling him all summer, and his play this year has been mediocre by his usual standards. Still, he can get 40 points from the defence and play tough minutes, so he could be had for the right deal if the Canucks decide to rebuild on the fly.

      You also left out Matt Greene. Greene is a UFA at season’s end, and he is fighting for playing time now on the Kings’ blueline. At 30 years old, he’s still got lots of hockey left in him. He’s got size, he hits, he blocks shots and he kills penalties. For a team looking for a defensive defenceman, Greene is very attractive. One or both of Willie Mitchell (also a UFA) are rumoured to be available at the deadline.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Matt Greene would be an upgrade over Gorges.

        Could play with Subban

        “Lets Go Canada”

        • Chris says:

          Best part is that Greene is actually shoots right: that would allow the Habs to get Emelin, Tinordi or Beaulieu into their natural position, as opposed to forcing those guys to play their off-side.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            100% agree. Sadly Chris, Greene would be getting a big raise to get Gorges money. Gorges is a decent number 6 guy but he is making almost 4 mill a season. Way too much.

            “Lets Go Canada”

        • jimmy shaker says:

          I was almost going to dispute your post talking about greene……I thought you were talking about mike green from washington. A player I would never want to come here!

          Shaker out!

          • Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

            Thank you, Jimmy. I was just about to make that mistake also until I saw your post. Even in our 2010 playoff miracle I remember Mike Green as more or less totally ineffective.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Green and Edler aren’t going anywhere.
        They are Top 4, and if they are flawed and their teams are burdened with bad contracts, no team will trade for perceived worth

  68. DoopsyDiddler says:

    This is very cool. 23 year old Magnus Carlsen beats Bill Gates at chess in 90 seconds. Whole match is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84NwnSltHFo

  69. bwoar says:

    Good for Budaj. I suppose it’s possible that Price gets both games of that upcoming back-to-back.

  70. Mattyleg says:

    Almost first?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  71. shiram says:

    Gio’s getting about half the PK time he used to get, and while removing him is a fine idea in itself, it’s the matter of replacing that is troubling.

    I’m guessing Chucky could take the PP time.

  72. stephen says:

    Gionta seems effective enough on the pk. I don’t see him hurting it, anyway. I do agree with less PP time, however.

  73. B says:

    Galchenyuk already averages more PP TOI/G than Gionta. That said, I’m unsure how the kid’s timing will be after not playing a game since Jan 6th. He may take some time to get back up to game level.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  74. bwoar says:

    No, no. Snort the coke instead!

  75. scarboro_habitant says:

    i believe it was crack.

  76. Mustang says:

    Since no one, other than those players that were in the Olympics, has played in about 2 weeks, he won’t be the only one that will be a bit rusty.

  77. Maritime Ronn says:

    While I couldn’t care less about politicians or public figures, it’s always amusing how a certain segment appears to have glee attacking one side or person, yet would never acknowledge some of their own side that spy on the world and drone bomb weddings killing innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan…

  78. dr. schmutzdeker says:

    I guess there’d be some justification if the groom was a bus blower-upper and the bride was a suicide bomber or the guests were attendees/graduates of the Al Queda/Muslim Brotherhood bomb building enginering program @ the Acadamy of Hijacking/Mass Murder of Innocent, Defenceless Citizens.

  79. WAR72 says:

    Whats really amusing is you. The guy is talking hockey not politics. But on this site the lefties love to come out and jab at “our” side.
    Its a war for resources and ideas on this planet, which side are you on? Sharia? Believe me they would be droning and bombing us if they had the means. Wedding party example? What a joke.
    Bring on the lefty capitulation/racist replies…

  80. BJ says:

    Get your head out of the sand.

  81. Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

    Honest question, War.

    Who’s “they”? (“Believe me they would be droning and bombing us.”)

    Mike

  82. BJ says:

    What about a regime who’s only export is warfare (south of the 49th) and another who’s been ripping off land since 1948 and cattling in a race of humans that makes the Berlin wall look like a white picket fence.

  83. habcertain says:

    Christians have done there fair share of killing on this earth, give it a rest.

  84. Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

    Was just going to make that point, Stephen.

    PK and forecheck are two major contributions Gionta can make consistently.

  85. WAR72 says:

    Islamic Fascists.
    Now go ahead and call me a racist, even though islam is a religion and not a race.
    Ps this is a hockey board, not politics.
    However i refuse to keep my mouth shut when i read political bs. Still have free speech in this part of the world, so i am exercising my right.

  86. Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

    Would be a better conversation over beers, eh? Not here. I think you said before that you’re a vet and served in the Middle East. That obviously gives your view some extra weight, and in any case I wouldn’t have called you a racist. If we were having beers, though, I might suggest you were a tar-all-with-the-same-brushist?

  87. WAR72 says:

    I paint ‘em like i see ‘em.
    Cheers.

  88. Dunboyne MikCanadian says:

    Cheers.
    And some day that beer.

  89. Timo says:

    It would require an astute GM on this end… ain’t happening.

  90. Ozmodiar says:

    Or maybe a GM whose job is on the line … oh, say, George McPhee.

  91. WAR72 says:

    Perhaps it is your head thats in the sand?

    Nigerian Islamists kill 59 pupils in boarding school attack
    DAMATURU, Nigeria (Reuters) – Gunmen from Islamist group Boko Haram shot or burned to death 59 pupils in a boarding school in northeast Nigeria overnight, a hospital official and security forces said on Tuesday.
    via NewsFlash
    http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/WXCmZ3r1EOw/story01.htm

  92. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Since you seem to know, what actual maneuvers, tactics, schemes, plans, manipulations could an “astute” GM use to get more from another team? How would it work?

  93. Timo says:

    Last year was not a good enough indication? I am ready for under the bus tossing, but that’s just me :)

  94. Mark C says:

    I thought one only came out of Compton? Straight out.

  95. Ozmodiar says:

    Well, perhaps such manipulations could start by discussing how durable Markov has been over the last 2 years. ;)

  96. johnnylarue says:

    Have you ever had a dream where you’re having a discussion with someone and then, just as you begin to suspect you might be dreaming, you ask that person a pointed question and they suddenly just go silent and seem to short circuit internally before disappearing?

  97. Mark C says:

    Talent such as Timo’s can’t be expected to do anything constructive. He’s got some sweet DD’s is the best center Max has played with jokes below. If you didn’t laugh the first 100 times he made this joke, don’t let this opportunity pass. You might have to wait until tomorrow night before getting another chance!

  98. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Close but I wake up screaming instead.

  99. Chris says:

    The Caps have some of the prospects with which they could do it, but I will be surprised if they do. I know McPhee must be on the hot seat, but he hasn’t done too many panic moves in the past, the Erat/Latta-Forsberg deal notwithstanding.

    He doesn’t have much of a history of overpaying for rentals at the trade deadline, and wouldn’t be surprised if many within that organization realize that they need to clean out some of the “run-and-gun” era players. Trading prospects for one final kick at the can with that group doesn’t seem like a good investment for them.

  100. naweed235 says:

    Dude, no offense but every time I come on here, it seems like I see you writing the same thing… I think we got it the first 13908 times you wrote this!

  101. twocents says:

    That’s “outta”.

  102. DoopsyDiddler says:

    Apologies if my asking for clarification reduces the output of DD “jokes”.

  103. The Grinch Who Stole the DD Jokes says:

    I mean it.

  104. Plekasuares says:

    AM79. Lol!

  105. Plekasuares says:

    WE GET IT! Am79 Am79. No offence but WE GET IT!

  106. twocents says:

    I am mystified as to how you can be so down on Bergevin after so short of a time.

    From what I can see, I am very happy with the two drafts he has overseen. I also really like his decisions with regard to player development. He has shown patience and not rushed players where necessary, yet is not rigid in his approach and has allowed players to fast track if they have what it takes. In this department he has been flawless really.

    I think the Prust signing was smart. He managed to get Weise for Diaz, and so far that looks pretty good. His Cole trade was well considered, given all the factors involved.

    I like how he has not squandered and even stockpiled draft picks.

    Getting Waite was sheer brilliance

    Now, I do think he gave dd a little too much money and a little too much term… and the Briere signing has not worked out.(yet, he says hopefully)… and Parros hasn’t added much. But all GM’s, every single one, have examples of this level of misstep. Nothing MB has done has been truly awful.

    I am not any where near wanting to throw him under the bus, but I agree with the underlying point of the poster above… this deadline and this coming summer will really start to cement his mark on the team.

  107. CJ says:

    Looking forward to it Storm. My wife has wanted to line up a trip to Chicago for a couple years now. Life just kinda gets in the way lol.

    You are right about Boston and Philly. I’d also add Buffalo. Three worst group of fans I’ve ever been around. Absolutely horrible!

  108. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Visited old Boston Gardens to see Habs and Bruins in the 1985 playoffs. Wearing a Habs jersey and hat the whole time. I went down to ice level and asked the Gardens crew if I could walk out onto the ice. They were fine with it. I walked out and stood on the B at centre. I teared up thinking about all the star players who had enjoyed this vantage point. I was in Habs stuff too. I wasn’t hassled in the slightest. Just saying. Also saw a game at Fenway the same day Oil Can Boyd pitched against the White Sox..Quite the day. Boston fans were maybe better behaved back then?

    Do the math……..7 x 6 = 42…Love our PK!
    24 cups and counting….

  109. dr. schmutzdeker says:

    Should be great. Always wondered what it would be like to see a game in the old Chicago Stadium. Ice surface was small like that of the
    Old Boston Garden but the Stadium had an additional 50 per cent seating capacity. With that huge ol’ Wurlitzer organ in the upper loft, it would apparently get crazy loud.

  110. CJ says:

    Wow! Great story. My brother and I got onto the ice at Maple Leafs gardens as kids. Probably in 1990. My parents just asked and were told go ahead. Amazing. No chance that happens now.

    Regarding Boston, my brother lives in Brookline. He says Bruins fans are usually from south Boston or the north end. Fenway is very preppy. I’ve never had an issue at Fenway. I’ve been to five games there, without incident. The crowd at TD garden however is much different. Always hassles and fights. Maybe I’m just unlucky. Nothing has happened to me, but I’ve been in close proximity to douche bag like actions.

  111. dr. schmutzdeker says:

    Sounds like you should extract your head from your arsiento…I suppose you would have rather lived in the Ayatollah’s Iran, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Stalin’s Socialist gulag utopia, any former eastern bloc country, and the list goes on ie Red China, North Korea. No one is saying the US is perfect (far from it) but at least they don’t need barbed wire and armed guards to keep their citizens from leaving or have gulags set up for “social enlightenment. Talk hockey

  112. dr. schmutzdeker says:

    Yeah, you gotta watch those Amish terrorists.

  113. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I have heard some horror stories about Boston and Philly fans too but I thought I’d kick in a story in which the denizens of the old Boston Gawdens treated a Habs fan pretty well, just to balance things a bit. Was back at Fenway this past summer to watch the Red Sox and Orioles with my son. That place has a grace about it that stays with you long after you leave. To contrast, went to Foxboro to watch that Patriots / NY Giants game in August and while Gillette is an engineering marvel I forgot about the place almost right away and wouldn’t rush to go back. We’ll go back to Fenway again and again.
    Do the math……..7 x 6 = 42…Love our PK!
    24 cups and counting….

  114. doug19 says:

    Watching the Olympic hockey I noted a small guy like St Louis got little ice time. Team Canada’s big fast forwards and defense won the day.
    What about Patches, was he still shook up? He went unnoticed at the Olympics other than his pylon imitation in the defensive zone.

  115. Habfan17 says:

    I question the”hurting team moral” issue. Bergevin has stated publicly that he wants the young players to force his hand and make hard decisions. So, if Beaulieu and Tinordi show they are ready, and Markov is traded for pieces that will help long term and it opens a spot for Beaulieu and Tinordi, I would think the players in the room, would feel the loss but be upbeat knowing Bergevin is true to his word and is building for the future.

    Habfan17


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