Canadiens begin crucial homestand

Cunneyworth
Your Montreal Canadiens play 11 home games in January.
This is their chance to begin a climb back into playoff contention.
It starts Wednesday night, when the Winnipeg Jets are the visitors.

Too bad about the Juniors, eh? Heckuvan effort though, and Brendan Gallagher scored..

Dave Stubbs on the trials of Randy Cunneyworth

Gionta nears return

Hickey: Time for the Quebec City Coyotes

Michael Farber on the Canadiens’ mess

Jonathan Bernier grades the Canadiens

Another suspension for Carcillo

303 Comments

  1. New says:

    Michael Farber rules.

  2. Mike D says:

    From Stubbs’ article:

    “There is no doubt that the head coach of this hockey club should be able to communicate in both official languages; anyone who feels otherwise is disconnected from the social reality of the Canadiens, who greatly transcend a sheet of arena ice in their home province.”

    Dave, let me first say that I both respect you, and greatly appreciate the work you do for The Gazette and H I/O to bring us fans so much Habs content – thank you. Regarding the above statement though, I have to vehemently disagree.

    To think that ANY team can truly contend in this highly competitive league while placing such limitations on key members of it’s personnel is an incredibly arrogant fallacy; anyone who feels otherwise is disconnected from common sense and reality of ANY sort. Not saying this applies to you BTW, Mr. Stubbs.

    While what you say might be the current reality subscribed to by some (though certainly not everyone), it does not make it correct. Slavery and lack of womens rights were once realities too, but fortunately, those incorrect realities have changed for the better. Not to compare such truly important social issues with something as trivial as the unilingualism of a hockey coach, but the point is the same.

    We’re all aware of the reality that existed 50+ years ago for French Canadian hockey players. That was an incorrect reality. What this team did was change that reality by taking many of these unwanted heavily talented players, put a team together, and win DOMINANTLY….and often. The reality now is that a talented French Canadien will be as sought after as any other talented player, and paid accordingly, by any team in the league. Giroux, St. Louis, and the list goes on. The flip-side of this is Montreal no longer has “dibs” on the talented locals.

    At what point does this team move on from the past and stop letting it’s history get in the way of it’s future? Will the Canadiens be relegated to requiring a franco-crutch for the rest of their days. Can people not just look at what the team and it’s French Canadien players did way back when and appreciate that for what it is….and leave it at that?

    I look at the Detroit Red Wings and how they pioneered bringing Russians over and finding success with a largely European roster. Not that different from The Montreal Canadiens and French Canadians. Does Detroit have an ongoing obligation to have Russians and Swedes in their organization? If they had a predominantly North American roster, would their fans be up in arms and plan protests outside Joe Louis Arena? Would Wings fans in Europe be insulted if they did that? I doubt it.

    What players like the Richards, Beliveau, Plante, Geoffrion, etc. accomplished and the barriers they broke are amazing. It is something to be respected and remembered. It’s special. I believe allowing a French Canadian mandate to now hold back the team they represented so proudly is an insult to them, and trivializes what they did. It completely demeans what they fought for. I would even dare to say that this is not what they would want. They achieved success, and helped make the league a better place for fellow French Canadians. To turn around and allow a French Canadian “requirement” to now prevent the success of their sacred jersey is a disservice and a dishonour to them, and any other French Canadian.

    - Honestly yours

    • The Jackal says:

      I think you’ve missed the point here. Whatever your opinion may be, the fact of the matter is that it is important for this organization to be able to address the media and their fans in both languages. The Habs are a cultural institution in Quebec, a predominantly French province, and trying to respect that heritage by ensuring the coach/GM can communicate with the media and fans in both languages is not an arrogant fallacy. There are many quality candidates for the job, and it is not so much an issue of limiting the selection pool than it is an issue of honouring/respecting the relationship of this team with the province as a cultural institution. Sure there are fans who do not see it that way, but I’m afraid they are a minority. The media and some politicians like to blow the issue up, but it underlies the fact that it is a sensitive issue and popular opinion suggests the cultural dualism be upheld. This doesn’t mean hiring a French-Canadian, it means hiring someone who is bilingual – you can be from anywhere and be able to speak both languages.

  3. smiler2729 says:

    Habs3 Jets 1

  4. otisfxu says:

    I think it is 8 home games out of 11,,,,,they will be lucky to win 3, and that’s if they start tonight. Real tough stretch of games against good teams. And many points out of playoff spot,,,,,,time for the big “solde”.

    • lets go habs says:

      I think. We need new lines…let me know every one what you think….

      LW.                                    C.                               RW.  

      Pacioretty.                 Desharnais.              Cole                 
      (A proven  Perfect line)

      A.kotsitsyn.              Cammy.                       Gionta
      (when cammy plays centre he gets great points, a.k is great with him, same with the captain)

      L.eller                          Plekanec.                    Moen.     
      ( Eller and moen r sick together then add plek a true playmaker)

      Darche.                      Nokelainen.               Blunden
      (We need to call up enqvist, with dumont next to him and then blunden or Darche is fine)

      B.F

      • derfab says:

        Our only proven centre is Pleks (who deserves Cole), not DD. True, Cammy might hurt us less at centre right now. He is pathetic along the boards in his own zone but skates well. Then again, seeing how lost he has looked for so long, I would begin to consider any decent offer for him at his point. The 4th line is AHL and should just sit on the bench for the rest of the year. Leblanc should be in until Gionta is ready and should be the 7th forward, inserted, wherever someone is not working. He could be a decent checking center if we move someone.

        • lets go habs says:

          Desharnais seems to be improving every game and has a special style that lights up his line mates,IMO he is playing more efficient than pleks right now…. Leblanc has better possible potential than a checker and should Be 1st line ahl to get there…. Cammy has been a point per game player the 2 seasons he played centre, and that was once alongside frolov who is worse than a.k and gionta

          Go HABS
          LET’S WIN THIS YEAR!!!!!!!

  5. SmartDog says:

    Colton Orr just waved. Pick him up for peanuts and play him only in games against Toronto and tell him to have at it.

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

  6. tippytoes says:

    I don’t know if anyone has ever mentioned the important role Quebec Nordiques played in relation to the Habs during their existence in the NHL..
    They were so influential in so many ways:
    - Nordiques had a French coach so the Habs needed one too
    - Nordiques had a strong core of Francophones, Habs had to as well.
    - Nordiques iced a competitive team and Habs had to keep pace, neither the media nor the fans would allow it.

    *I think the worst thing for the Habs was when the Nordiques left . This made the entire Canadiens organization complacent

    • SmartDog says:

      Or it made the entire Canadiens organization responsible for maintaining the French quotient of the NHL. Giving us Gauthier and Martin. Hooray! May the best French management team win!!!!

      What? Other teams can pick anyone??? Not fair!!!

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

    • habsnyc says:

      Yes, I wrote that last month. I agree.

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

  7. j0nHABS says:

    maybe if the trades didn’t sound like total crap and really just there to cause fighting then they wouldn’t take them off.
    it’s not funny

  8. Bogie Man says:

    Why is Cammi and Kaberle sitting tonight? Or did I mis interpret something I read?

  9. RiverviewCanadien says:

    ah come on really?

    the mods are removing these posts which are meant to be funny?

  10. Mickeyy says:

    That trade is crazy.

    I know Subban is struggling but give up on him for a lazy player like Semin? Giving up on Subban would be a brutal decision by the canadiens. he is only 22, he needs time, he is going to be a great player in time. If Montreal had a couple better defencemen he wouldnt have to play so much.

    Your source may be a washington fan because that would be a BRUATL trade for montreal to make.
    I would never take Semin on my team no matter his skill

    Saku you’ll always be #1

  11. j0nHABS says:

    who are these sources? These trades sound like total fantasy from someone trying to get people talking about non reality.

  12. remi_10069 says:

    Washington is going to make a move but it would be more like this.

    Cammi straight up for Brooks Laich

    pipes

    • lets go habs says:

      What cammy really needs is to go back to centre…
      Tell me what you think of these Lines…

      LW.                                    C.                               RW.  

      Pacioretty.                 Desharnais.              Cole                 
      (A proven  Perfect line)

      A.kotsitsyn.              Cammy.                       Gionta
      (when cammy plays centre he gets great points, a.k is great with him, same with the captain)

      L.eller                          Plekanec.                    Moen.     
      ( Eller and moen r sick together then add plek a true playmaker)

      Darche.                      Nokelainen.               Blunden
      (We need to call up enqvist, with dumont next to him and then blunden or Darche is fine)
      B.F

  13. Propwash says:

    Somebody found the Eklund Trade Rumor generator online, did ya? :)

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

    • SmartDog says:

      I heard that a player whose name starts with M is going to be traded for a player whose name starts with an S or K. And it’s going to be a huge deal! But probably more important to just one team. And it’s going to involve two teams, one from the east, the other might be from the west. And it’s going to happen tomorrow. Or next week. Watch for it!!
      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  14. krob1000 says:

    Does everyone remember that one year ago…Tomas Kaberle was traded to the Bruins for Joe Colborne, a 1st rounder and a conditional pick that ended up being a 2nd. 2 first rounders and a 2nd…as a rental…..and he is now getting his act together….IF and this is a hgue IF…markov is ever healthy or they ever think he will be again….then the team would get great return on Kaberle…far better than Spacek.
    Yes Kaberle stunk in Carolina until the very end but in his last 12 games he has 11 points…..7 with us 4 with carolina). he is not as bad defensively as we make him out to be….yes he plays soft…but his poistioning is usually pretty good and on terrible teams he is a career plus player for what that is worth….but when you consider he is a pp guy…..

    When people try and judge a guy who has had 10 solid years for an 8 month period I think there has to be more thought …..
    Is Ovechkin only a 30 goal guy…with his horrid contract and his bad last year…should we be able to land him for Anfreik nad Weber…something tells me they’ll still kind of consider his track record…..but for some reason we don’t want to look at Kaberle’s….or for that matter even the fact the guy is puting up nearly a point per game over the last month and a bit.

    • habsnyc says:

      why did anyone pay anything for Kaberle when they could have had him for free in the offseason? because he was a rental.

      the market for rentals and the market for players on long term contracts are entirely different. there is a reason why all the deadline deals are for pending free agents. to compare kaberle’s value as a pending free agent to his value as a long term contract signee is ridiculous.

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

      • krob1000 says:

        you are right…a player under a reasonable contract is far more valuable…and if Kaberle’s contract seemed bad (which it never did to me)then it seems alrightnow with Gorges making 4 million per.
        Or are you suggesting that rental players have more value then a player under contract? I have never heard that said before…ever.

      • ont fan says:

        Moen ,Gill,Campoli if moved at deadline if you want to part with them but guys with term left will probably get moved a week or two before to someone who has injuries and has a shot.

      • Strummer says:

        Boston was in Cup mode as was looking for more offense from their D.
        Their perceived need was more immediate than waiting to sign him for nothing.
        They didn’t really have room for him after paying Chara $7.5 a year anyway.

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  15. Propwash says:

    Last season, when Gionta was hurt, didn’t the team go through a similar losing skid?

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  16. HFX-HabFan says:

    Our most tradable assets are probably Gill, Moen, Campoli, and possibly Cammalleri if the asking price is enough (which it likely won’t be based on his play this year).

    -Gill might fetch us a 2nd or 3rd rd pick or a prospect. He’s probably not coming back next year anyway, so why not send him to a contender for a chance to win another Cup before retiring?
    -Moen might get us the same, though I hope we keep him next year.
    -Campoli will probably only land a 6th rounder at best.
    -Darche is similar to Campoli.
    -If we deal Cammy, we have to get a 1st and/or a prospect back.

    Gomez will have to be addressed in the off-season. There will be some teams who will be looking to reach the cap floor and will be drawn to his low(er) salary to his cap hit.

    Pacioretty-DD-Cole
    ?-Plekanec-Gionta
    Kostitsyn-Eller-Leblanc
    Moen-?-White

    Markov-Gorges
    Emelin-Subban
    Kaberle-Diaz/Weber/?

    Price
    Budaj

    If we get a top five pick in the draft, hopefully we can land one of Yakupov/Forsberg/Grigorenko, who would likely crack our top six right away (and A re-signed AK46 could jump up if need be). Sign a big fourth line centre who can take faceoffs, maybe add in a depth D (or get either of these pieces in a deal for Gomez), and we might actually make it back to the dance by spring 2013.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think we obviously have to hope to get a 1st rounder back for a guy like Cammalleri but the most important thing is to get as many high priced and long term contacts off the books!

      That’s why my jaw dropped when Gauthier signed Kaberle. He just dug us further into an already bad contract situation with several players and our cap.

    • 24 Cups says:

      HFX – That’s basically the same team we have now minus Cammalleri. It also assumes that the Habs have the stones to place Gomez in Hamilton if no NHL team picks him up for free.

      Can we still re-sign AK46 after the Gorges/Kaberle contracts? I haven’t done the math (it’s too early to start worrying).

      What kind of salary bump is Moen going to get? Do we go over 2M?

      Can Markov play, and if so, will he still be a top pairing minute machine?

      Who’s the question mark on the 2nd line and how do we obtain that asset? Hopefully, he brings some Cole like attributes.

      I’d have to check, but right now the top three draft prospects are forwards (that you listed). The next grouping are mostly Dmen. If we miss the playoffs, do we choose the best player available or go after a forward based on need?

      If we can’t sign AK46 by the deadline, do we just let him walk or try and get something in return now? If he walks, will he still consider coming back to Montreal on July 1st? Is there any chance that some team is going to give him a Leino/Fleischmann type contract? Do we give it to him?

      • krob1000 says:

        Moen will likely get the Ryan White bump….I see Moen going at the deadline to help someone out for a 3rd or maybe a 2nd.
        I am not so concerned with Price, Subban and Patches having crazy demands right now..if their agents are smart…and greedy they will likely sign shorter term deals trying to time when the team will be more successful and then strike.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Gill has slowed down a lot this year.

      I doubt that he could help a cup contender now.

    • remi_10069 says:

      I am not starting a rumour, I am sharing one that came from a good source and I think makes enough sense to be possible. Getz wants out and why wouldn’t Plek want to go play hockey in California? Weber sucks now but has enough potential that someone may take a shot at him.

      pipes

  17. j0nHABS says:

    Black Ice’s comments are idiotic! Why would you want an even more watered down talent pool than there already, with regards to how many teams there are in the NHL and how many players are needed to roster them. Plus most of the players are north American anyway.
    And yes your comments do make you sound like a stupid, racist douche bag.
    You’ve been listening to way too much Don Cherry!

  18. VintageFan says:

    Reallly?
    The inescapable end of this kind of reasoning is that all of the Montreal Canadiens organization, players and management alike, should be ‘pur-laine’ Quebecois. Which won’t work. Because the best and brightest Quebecois in every field want to be recognized for their ABILITY, not language. And that is why so many Francopohone Quebecois are spread around North America in positions of authority and responsibility. And that is why talented Quebecois hockey players do not want to come back to Quebec if they have the choice.
    And if the best a brightest are gone, who’s left?

    • shiram says:

      Mathieu Darche?

    • Da Hema says:

      Pierre Gauthier?

    • smiler2729 says:

      Quebeckers have shot themselves in the foot.

      Way back in ’76, electing Levesque and the PQ, the onset of Bill-101 and all the other moronic laws, referendums, mass exoduses… all this has left the province a shambles, all the money moved to Toronto and westward, there are no jobs in QC.

      All for the sake of protecting a language. QC children are forced to be schooled in french and thus have no chance at the eventual career opportunities available in Toronto and the rest of Canada or the U.S. for that matter so the only way out for a young francophone kid is to play hockey and hopefully make the NHL.

      It says something when the brightest Francophone stars, once they’ve tasted life in the U.S. or anglo Canada, don’t want to be anywhere near Quebec.

      Sad…

      ___________________________________
      Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Well, it is lunchtime …

      • G-Man says:

        I remember Bill 22, so it goes back farther.
        However, existing in a sea of American English means that French language laws are in place. French culture and tradition are as important as any local language is. Being a French Canadian, I am thick-skinned enough to read a lot of outright racist comments on this site. I am glad, though, that the language laws are in place. If you believe that your language and culture are important, you protect them.

  19. BLACK ICE says:

    I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but I have to respond to what I posted a few threads back.

    I feel that the NHL should consist of only North American born players. Not imports from overseas. I believe that we take care of our own first and that doesn’t make me stupid, or a racist douche.

    Why certain HIO members have to constantly insult other members is beyond me.

    Thanks

  20. RGM says:

    Sport Club Stats currently has the Habs pegged at a 9.3% chance of making the playoffs. For the team to even have a legit hope of crossing into the top 8 they will require 91 points. To reach that plateau, 26 wins and a small handful of OT/SO losses is the objective. Remember, this is to have a legitimate chance of getting into the top 8, even with those numbers it is not a guarantee.

    So, armchair GM’s of HI/O, how many games do you give until you begin to make some hard choices about the future of this franchise? 5? 10? The calendar month of January?

    If things go very well this month and the Habs can rattle off, say, 8 wins out of their 11 games, do you ponder going into February full-tilt-boogie with the mentality that the playoffs may be achievable?

    What type of lull, or how long of a losing streak, going forward do you permit before making the assessment to pull the plug?

    If things go poorly, which players go on the trading block, and which ones are absolutely off the table unless a Phil Kessel-esque offer comes through?

    Discuss.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • vegas says:

      the only positive spin is that if by chance we were to make the playoffs, it would mean we were a force in the second have and riding a hot hand. Don’t think to many teams would want to face us in the first round

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Dave Stubbs – Well written article. In an era where guys like Gainey, Gauthier and Molson show no fortitude, an outsider like Cunneyworth takes the high road and shines through. He may well be the only guy who’s holding the torch right now.

    Gionta – What does it say about the fan base that some people want to dump this guy and make Gorges captain? Do we dump Gorges in three years and make Max-Pac captain? Two short years ago everyone was lauding Gionta as captain. Now on the injury list, he’s excess baggage. Gimme a break.

    Pat Hickey – 30 Thoughts had some interesting points yesterday on Seattle as a replacement for Phoenix. That would eventually lead to Quebec City and Southern Ontario getting expansion teams. The premise being it’s all about money, not hockey.

    Farber – Nothing new in this article, just a rehash of what we already know.

    Bernier – A lot of the grades seemed to be in the same range. Bell curve at work?

    Carcillo – He represents everything that is wrong with today’s NHL. The league moves forward when these slugs can’t get contracts.

    • RGM says:

      Some of us wanted Gorges to be captain two years ago. Nothing has changed in that intervening time period to make this individual change his mind.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • 24 Cups says:

        I’m not sure that is the point. The discusssion really has nothing to do with Gorges. Some others also thought that Markov, Cammy or Pleks should have been captain. The same notion applies. Regardless, Gionta was chosen. End of discussion. The team moves on with him wearing the “C” for the next five years. That brings the stability that the franchise was after. To trade or fire Gionta would only add to the mess that now exists.

        The last thing the Habs need is to go back to the revolving door of dumping captains like we did years ago Carbo/Muller/Keane/Turgeon/Damphousse). The ultimate humiliation being when Mike Keane was thrown in as part of the Roy trade.

        • RGM says:

          After Muller the quality of the captains was in considerable decline. I don’t say that to slag the players that were chosen to wear the C; after all, the team had to pick somebody and at the organizational level there was a real dearth of talent to choose from. All good NHL’ers, sure, but captains? They of course could never live up to the great names of the past but even looking at them now….

          Stability is good. I understand that’s why they went with Gionta. I would have preferred Gorges. I think that Gio’s done what he can in the role but I don’t really see him as being as good in the media or the “rah rah” inspirational type. Perhaps it’s a situation where the guy is amazing behind closed doors at rallying the troops, but at least to the public eye many have a hard time thinking that Gio is the guy that all the other guys look to for their inspiration.

          ———————–
          GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
          Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • shiram says:

      I never was a fan of Gio as captain, really.
      I did not really like it when he was named, and have not really cared all that much about his captaincy.
      But overall, considering all the troubles the team is having, the captain is really unimportant to me.

    • gumper says:

      I’ve noticed, with interest, that Gionta has just been lumped in with all the other so-called deadwood on the team, (Cammalleri, Gomez), and that that seemed to happen after he got injured. To me that seems unfair. Gionta, while he may not be Ovechkin, is pretty consistently near 30 goals a year, and his 5 mil. cap hit is not overly unreasonable for his level of production. He seldom, if ever, can be seen dogging it on the ice, and so leads by example. Of the veteran leaders on the team, he is one of the few consistently doing his job. I say, let’s strike him from the list of underachieving veterans, at least until we see what effect his return has on team performance.

      • smiler2729 says:

        Short memories for Habs fans, Cammalleri has been our best playoff scorer and now he’s ‘deadwood’?

        Can a player wearing the CH not have a slump or a bad period? How do we know injuries or rather playing through injuries are what ails the production of some of these guys?

        Also, if Cammalleri’s come on under Cunneyworth, who’s to say Gionta and even Gomez play better under him than the stifling old JM way?

        I don’t bitch about Gainey for trading for Gomez (I still like Gomez and really want him to get it going in Montreal, yeah, the contract sucks but I’m not paying him so why should I care?), no, man, Gainey’s worse move as GM was hiring Gauthier as assistant GM and Jacques Martin (who I also wanted to succeed) as coach.

        These knobs took what should’ve been a high flying skating team and made ‘em into a defensive-wait-for-their-opponents’-mistakes kind of team that has ended up pissing everyone off from the shackled players to the frustrated fans.

        ___________________________________
        Jack Edwards sucks chowdah chunks

    • krob1000 says:

      re Gionta…not what I said (guessing you are referring to me)….but the signing of Gorges to the longest contract in habs memory makes me think that is the direction they are going….or at least one possible direction they think they may go.. not sure but that is a pretty telling contract. As of right now we just started our 2017-18 team with Josh Gorges….and at 3.9 million…you know I like Gorges but you also know I I don’t think he’s worth that myself.
      To me the signing of Gorges really opens up a can of worms because we have now two d spots committed to stay at home guys in him and Emelin and neither is an after whistle deterrant…assuming Gill gone at deadline.

      On Gio….my concern is not really with Gio it is with what appears to be no clear plan….Gallagher might as well be Gio’s illegitimate son and should be ready next year.

      If there is a guy on this team that would be an instant character boost and great asset for a team making a run…it would be Gio…do I want him to go? no…but I would prefer him to Pleks leaving. That is all I meant there as I cannot even tell who is untouchable and who is nto right now…the organization is a mess from the top down….tons of good pieces…but many doubles like I mentioned. We have Weber/Diaz, Gorges/Gill/Emelin, Pk/Beaulieu, Markov/Kaberle, on D who are all comparables..as far as styles and toughenss,etc.

      Up frotn we will next year have Gio/Gallagher/Cammi, Pleks/Gomez/DD and Cole/Pacioretty/Andrei(hopefully)….
      Only Eller seems to have something unique to the group…that is my point and with a new owner…are they going to blow it all up….or make repairs…the way thins are going I truly don;t know….the last couple of weeks…havebeen downright embarrassing though so nothing will surprise me

      • 24 Cups says:

        Rob – There’s no way Gallagher should be on the Habs next year. He goes to Hamilton to play a ton at the pro level and gain experience. Same goes for Beaulieu.

        There are two camps here at HI/O on Gorges and his worth to the team and how much he should be paid. No amount of discussion will change those viewpoints.

        His contract signing was all about leverage, timing and being an UFA. He held all the cards, plain and simple. I aslo wonder if Mr. Gauthier’s announcement (at this precise moment in time) was a bit of a smokescreen to divert attention from the team’s woes although the deal had been in the works from last summer. Or that could just be me being too negative.

        • krob1000 says:

          I don’t know…the kid looks like the real deal to me….looks like by next year he should be able to jump in as our first call up or even make it off teh hop for his 9 games or whatever if someone is hurt….I suspect the Leblanc route and maybe half a season but there is no doubt he is round next year at some point..and based on what I see of the kids attitude, heart and work ethic….he is gonna make it hard to remove him. If there is nop plce int he top nine than AHL it is…but as sson as a spot ont he top nine is available for wahtever reason he will likely nab it…and once a pitbull locks his jaws???

          • 24 Cups says:

            Where is Gallagher going to find the ice time, Rob? He’ll be playing behind Cole, Gionta and Leblanc. Then there’s White, unless he moves back to centre on the 4th line.

    • GrimJim says:

      re: gionta
      I find it a curious fact that gionta was injured Dec 10 and since that time Mtl has gone 2-7. That might be an indication of how much of a leader he truly is for this team.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Darche’s revelation of Cunneyworth’s first statement to the room was new? I had never heard it before.

  22. neumann103 says:

    In the last couple of years, no player in the NHL has aroused my hate more than that idiot Carcillo. Just despicable.

    Nice to be proven right once every couple of years. I really wish the NHLPA cared enough about the 99% of its members to not protect the <1% of scum like Carcillo who should be out of the league

    "Et le but!"

    • avatar_58 says:

      Why did Chicago sign him? It’s akin to Detroit signing Bertuzzi – I am baffled at classy teams signing thugs and players who need to go away

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Carcillo helped me win a pool a few years back (idiot set it up so that each minute in the box was worth 2 pts)… so I can’t hate him as much as everyone else.

      I agree that he is a thug though.

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Am I wrong or are the same fans who want this team to tank, the ones who think our management sucks, our scouts don’t know what they are doing and we never draft well? How is tanking going to help if we draft someone who will never play in the NHL?

    • Ali says:

      well the consensus is that PG won’t be the GM once the season ends so tank now and let the new GM and Timmins (if he sticks) draft. Also, even they can’t screw this up. Pick Yakupov if you’re first, Grigorenko if you’re not and walk away ASAP

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You are not wrong.

      Next find a baby and explain to them how throwing their toys out of the pram is counter-productive.

  24. HFX-HabFan says:

    Florida Panthers just signed John Madden. Not a bad pickup for a team that has surprised a lot of people and clearly have serious playoff aspirations.

  25. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I think our owner is OUT TO LUNCH. What is he waiting for keeping PG who could very well screw us up even more. I just don’t get the logic.

  26. derfab says:

    Strange game. With extra shifts, Gallagher looked great in the comeback. He obviously thrives on this kind of challenge and keeps showing that he could have played in the nhl this year. He should make the Habs next fall if they are not too nervous (and stupid) about inflating his value. The most shocking thing about this 2nd big loss to Russia is that we appear to have been outcoached again. It took 2 full periods to figure out which forwards were effective and that the guys had to create more traffic down low. Letting the game get out of hand like that tells me that there are too many other agendas besides winning in the mix. Russia’s 3rd goal stunk and (in an elimination game like this)Wedgewood should have been pulled then. That #19 was not made accountable by the refs or the players for running him on the 4th goal is just bizarre.

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      I hate to say it, but I think goaltending has been the Achilles’ heel for Canada in the last two WJCs. Where did the great goaltending factory in Quebec go? Right, the Q doesn’t produce as much elite talent anymore, particularly in goal. That used to be their calling card, but those days are gone it seems.

  27. Hobie Hansen says:

    @ habs03

    If you are happy with the results of the last decade and a half where we have constantly iced a group of forwards that rank among the smallest in the league and believe that it’s just a fluke that we haven’t had too much success, all the power to you.

    I have nothing against small players with skill and sure I might exaggerate the topic a tad, but be real pal.

    And it’s not only their size but it is their grit a determination.

    A player like Mark Recchi on a line with John leClair and Eric Lindros is awesome.

    But Mark Recchi with Oleg Petrov and Saku Koivu isn’t as good.

    All I’m saying is why can’t we not try being a big and tough team and switch it up a bit.

    Some of my favorite players have been small in stature but my philosophy is that this is hockey and like football, the bigger and stronger your team the better.

    If you have two players that put up 80 pts a year and one is 6’3″ 220lbs, hits, stands up for teammates and the other one just quietly goes about his business, who would you rather have?

    Maybe it is possible to win a Stanley cup with a smallish team, haven’t seen it done lately though?

    It’s all a matter of preference. I like smash-mouth hockey and I think I have good reason to?

    Hockey is a very emotional game where momentum can play a large factor. And when your small and getting knocked around and shying away from confrontation it isn’t a good thing.

    I want swagger and toughness back! Not putting our heads down and skating away from every challenge.

    • derfab says:

      Right you are. Pete Mahovolich allowed Lafleur to emerge. Cunneyworth is finally playing Pleks with Cole. DD and Pacs should be kept together with Cammileri or Kostitsyn. Small guys definitely need someone to ride shotgun and big guys need someone quick enough to exploit the openings they create. Enough with spreading the talent around. Bunch them up on two lines but mix size with skill and speed.

      • montreal ace says:

        When the Habs were winning they always had guys who could take care of problems on the ice. I would still like to see a big winger with Gomez and Gionta. Its unbelievable that PG has not gotten players of this type, and just allows ours to be pushed and face washed, and at times beaten up

    • habs03 says:

      Total agree with saying you need to have a mix of speed and size, but you keep dismissing the teams effort to adjust to that. Cole, Bring up Patches, trading for Eller, drafting bigger, thougher D-men etc.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I was happy when Cole came in over the summer but was like…THAT’s IT????

        Emelin is also good but to leave the 3rd and 4th lines in the shape they are just baffles me?

        There were plenty of good grinders and tough guys who can play the game that Gauthier passed over this summer. Then he brings in Nokelainen and Blunden as a band-aid solution. Those guys are garbage!

        And there were also a handful of tough stay-at-home defenseman that would have looked great on our bottom pairing.

        Gautheir impresses me on occasion but overall he isn’t doing a good job.

    • Ali says:

      NO! HEAD IN THE SAND! NO!

  28. SmartDog says:

    Good article by Engels (yesterday).

    On GAUTHIER:
    Why should Gauthier be trusted to make decisions that will largely impact the future of the club? His accountability for the present situation is next to nothing, and his track record lends no support to him retooling the team accordingly so that it can succeed.

    On HAB DEADLINE TRADES:
    I see two as majorly attractive for teams looking to make an extended playoff push: Travis Moen (who’s really overachieved so far) and Hal Gill. Both of them are Stanley Cup winners, both of them could be inexpensive but brilliant moves for other GMs, and both could fetch second round picks if the right GM is pulling the trigger on shipping them out of town.

    More on Eller, Plekanec, team chemistry/ability and where we are…
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Engels/Gauthiers-Accountability/82/41015

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

    • shiram says:

      I might not like it, but AK46 could also be very interesting for a team contending for the cup.

    • krob1000 says:

      IF Pleks is not the hardest working Hab who is?

      Singling out Pleks who is our leading scorer while also being our best pk guy, best defensive forward, and a temporary landing pad for every winger on the team ruins his article for me….
      Sometimes plus minus is a valuable tool…in the case of Pleks we all know that not to be the case.

    • derfab says:

      A number of players will become more interesting to poachers as the playoffs approach. The GM will have to be very patient and smart not to get fleeced. Who knows, with sudden injuries and so on, someone might panic and take an albatross off our hands. Cammileri could be attractive to a team who loses a top six forward to injury.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        cammy is clutch in the playoffs so don’t give him away for nothing. It would have to be a decent trade to let him go.

        AK 46 I think will be dealt. I like AK but I have a feeling he is going to be gone after this season. If he isn’t coming back better get something for him

  29. habs03 says:

    Where is this Kaberle is overpaid notion? 4.25M on a 63M cap, is 6.75% of the cap. I think that pretty much is the going rate for a 4-5 D-men, when you look around the league, ex Brewer…

    • shiram says:

      It’s actually 6.75% of the cap.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      cause he doesn’t produce that much and is defensively not a top 4 guy

      • krob1000 says:

        doesn’t produce that much? 7 points in 10 games on a team that can’t score is not producing? At that pace we would score nearly 60 points ….. that is Markov, Streit territory. 47 points last year as a dman in a so called awful year?
        He got off to a rocky start in Carolina an up and down short Stanley Cup trip to Boston but in Toronto and in Montreal he has been as advertised…
        If Gorges is worth 3.9 million than Kaberle is definitely worth 4.25…

        • Ali says:

          problem is Kaberle’s game in his own end has deteriorated to the point where he can’t be counted on to play more than 12 minutes a game. A PP specialist is not worth 4.5. Thats why MAB is on his like 10th team and Campoli is a healthy scratch these days. Priority is to be able to play in your own end, which is why PK was also a healthy scratch recently, and deservedly so.

          • krob1000 says:

            Campoli and MAb are not Kaberle…. not even close..less than a year ago Kaberle commanded Joe Colborne, a 1st rounder and a conditional pick….someone who won a cup thought he was pretty good…that Chairelli…what a bonehead…it was a lucky cup right?

          • Ali says:

            He played less than 15 minutes 9 times, mostly in the last two rounds when the games got more and more important because he was a liability on the ice.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          He has 16 points in 39 games….that isn’t great. you can’t discount the rocky start. Josh Gorges has 10 points in 39 games and is a plus on a terrible team.

          I have no problem with Kabby’s production when he is on but he is streaky and please don’t try and put a healthy Markov in the same category as a Kabrele. Markov is great defensively Kabrele is not. Striet yes, cause he wasn’t great defensively either and is majorly over paid as well.

  30. punkster says:

    Ed Lopaz pretty well captures the essence of it for me. Number one objective this year is make the playoffs. Moving your aging assets comes next but not until you’ve met number one or you stumble on an incredible deal that would help you achieve number one.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  31. habs03 says:

    We need some luck right now. Were 26 in the league, this team isn’t a bad team but just needs to retool and get health. IMO this season is a wash. But I’m just praying with that win the draft lottery to at least get a shot at an impact player, just one of Yakupov or Grigorenko will change the team big time.

    • powdered toastmann says:

      Sorry, i think we need a lot more than luck. Being 26th does mean we are not a good team. I do agree with your assertion that the season is a wash.

      We need a major retooling/overhaul to change the character of this team. (not necessarily a tank) We’ve heard it before, we do have some of the essential parts, but we need to change the entire organization mindset.

      PG could have taken a major step forward by adding a couple of steady/physical/ stay @ home Craig Ludwig/Lyle Odelein type defencemen during the offseason along with assembling a punishing/effective/energetic 4th line. Fairly easily achievable and innexpensive goals. From there we could have progressed in tweaking the other lines (he did well in signing Cole but much more was needed). Instead, well you know what he chose to do.

      Change has to start @ the top with PG/BG.

  32. krob1000 says:

    Farber summed up the mess pretty good….

    Fortunately the hockey team itself has enough parts to retool in one year…maybe

    Some important decisions to be made though going forward….from top to bottom and forward to d

    If PG is not to be the GM then act now and let someone new have some time before the deadlien…otherwise leave PG in place for another year or two and let him have his shot next year.

    D is iffy for us…we have 5 puck movers with Subabn, Kaberle, Markov (or shall I call him Pokeroo), Diaz and Weber,

    We have two stay home guys in Gorges and Emelin…neither of whom if a an after whistle deterrant (assuming Gill goes at deadline) We need a phsyical after the whistle deterrent in our 6th spot

    Will Markov ever play again? might be a good thing we have Kaberle.

    Is Gomez tradeable at the deadline? or offseason…..

    Is Cammi one of the guys not 100 percent on board? woukd we trade him? shoudl wetrade him? not sure what the deal is there and not sure anyone outside the locker room will ever know…I do know that in LA he was quoted as always talking about becoming the 6 million dollar man…then gets in on the biosteel thing…just sayin’ lol

    I say sign Andrei K…..not sure what management thinks ro what we could get for him

    White is a good start but we need another glove dropping froward ti push back..not a goon but I would settle for Jordin Tootoo despite his size who is toughas nails. Paul Gaustad would be awesome for a 4th line center but doubt Buffalo lets him walk.

    Dd/Eller…..as much as Gomez is a hinderance cap wise this year he still would have been a better player than either guy for this season…by next year I am not so sure..well I am but…. I think DD can put points up with two solid wingers but for a team crying about size up the middle he is smaller and less physical than any center we have had in recent memory…..but he is French. Eller is looking better every game and is starting to push back and stand up for himself..I think this kid is going to be fantastic….I predict somewhere between a Jordan Stall and Olli Jokinen.

    Gallagher/Gionta…..Do you give Gionta one more year as captain to mentor Gallagher who is his younger clone…as Gorges is the obvious choice moving forward now that we signed him for 6 years(that is a whole other discussion….)

    If Gallagher makes the Habs next seasona s it looks like he should….we can’t possibly ice a lineup with Pleks, Gio, Cammi, Dd, Gallagher and have half of our top nine be those guys …or can we? Is Gionta possibly available? Pleks? Cammi? DD? all of them? Gallagher? something has to give as Eller, Pacioretty , Cole and Andrei are all playing well and address the size/skill thing pretty well.
    With White, one phsyical imposing dman, another 3rd/4th line fighter do we have enough grit?

    Of the puck movers Weber is young but has no future here for his sake….Diaz is a bargain and serviceable…no trade value but again not physical enough around the crease after whistles as I am sick of other forwards playing head games with us and standing right in Price’s grill after every whistle.

    Subban? is he possibly trade bait with Beaulieu coming? Ryan Suter? Would it be foolish…I hope so as my son got an autographed Subban jersey for Christmas.

    What would happen if we dressed the same lineup for this year….but they were healthy next year?

    I think the signing of Gorges was a huge indicator of things to come….that move made sense but didn’t…..it means the back end will have to be shaken….and it probably means that another leadership group is being groomed ….

    I really have no idea what the direction we are headed is….I am totally baffled as to what the intentions are….all I know is I have an uneasy feeling every day and everytime I turn on the computer I am wondering there has been a “shake up” yet……they tried with the assistant, they “tried” with Cunneyworth although that opportunity has really been stiolen from him, many are calling for Gauthier’s head, Markov is where? so many questions it actually hurts me head trying to guess any of it….and I truly enjoy that stuff…..the sad thing is there are many good pieces there…but many of the same pieces and completing the puzzle will be a difficult task given everyone knows we have “doubles and triples” of the cards we are trying to deal……good luck boys….talk about work being cut for you…this managments handling of this deadline will dictate the next 3 years of this team……if done ideally we are a playoff team next year with a bright future and several future buliding blocks….if boggled….we are outside looking in again next year.

    holy…head hurts again

    • montreal ace says:

      Good post, a point of interest is you mentioned Weber whom I think has changed positions too much, I like him on D. I think he is under rated, and JM did not use him properly. Cammi is the player I would be after, if I was a GM with thoughts of a Cup. I dont think he has played all that bad this year, goal posts ect, but come playoff time, he does have another gear

  33. habsnyc says:

    where the money went this year:

    Gionta and Gomez IR $12.3 million
    Markov surgery $5.75 million
    Kaberle $12 million over 3 years
    JM $2million

    PG is throwing around a lot of money to get nothing. As he said, most nights, the team on the ice is below the salary cap floor. If you spend to the cap and play below the floor, the responsibility lays with the GM, not the coach. Injury risk increases with age and the team has a lot of older forwards and defensemen.

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

    • habs03 says:

      Where do you get this none sense, JM money doens’t count on the cap, Kaberle>Spacek, Gionta, Gomez not PG signings. Only one have have a case on is Markov.

      • habsnyc says:

        i never said anything about the cap. i said where the money is being spent. pg fired jm that cost $2mllion. pg traded for kaberle, fair that that cost only 8-9 million incremental after spacek.

        gionta and gomez – well ghee whiz what do you expect from older, undersized forwards playing long minutes. of course they were going to get injured. and yes, it is the responsibility of the GM to work around the problems or solve them. if the GM’s job was to let everything fester and blame his predecessor, he would be a politician.

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

        • Strummer says:

          kaberle’s contract can be moved if necessary.

          He can be traded or loaned out for cap relief. He is the only one of the big earners (over-paids) that doesn’t have a NTC.

          ______________________________________________________
          “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
          -as posted in amusement parks across North America

  34. montreal ace says:

    The reason JM was let go, was because of his relationship with PG became unworkable. One of the reasons was the selection of players JM used, hindered the rookies and new players. That is the story here, how they let their relationship deteriorate to the point they needed an interim coach. I see the press keeping the debate open, more then the fans when it comes to language issues, I dont think it hurts their sales. The brass hats in Montreal have done a good job in improving the club up till this year. This year we have broken down, but from time to time it happens, this team has the resources to fix this breakdown, were fortunate to be lucky that way. The last thing is Molson showed courage in hiring Cunney, he has had no support from any english journalist, and this is for an interim coach in the middle of the season.

  35. HabinBurlington says:

    I think there is a point being lost on some people regarding the Habs squeeking into the playoffs. If indeed this team does do that, it means the team will have played winning hockey for a 40 game stretch. What that means is the team is playing well and would be on a good roll heading into the playoffs. That is not a bad thing!

    Now I am not standing (actually sitting) here telling you I think they can do that, but rather if this team indeed gets on a roll as healthy bodies are provided off the injured list then so be it and I will enjoy the ride.

    If the team continues the pattern of recent weeks/months then we will see a retooling, and one can be ensured that this is not being done because a poster here has self annointed himself the creator of such an exercise.

    • shiram says:

      That’s a fair point Burly, my only gripes with that is it would mean Price, and probably some skaters as well would go in the playoffs very weary from the extra workload they had to put in.

    • G-Man says:

      Unless the Habs win the Cup this season, the Tankheads™ will get their “I told you so” moment. Frankly, I want the Habs to go on a tear and roll out 25 wins in the next 30 games, but I don’t expect it.
      This season has been very disappointing. If the Habs forwards are scoring, the D and goaltending are subpar. When the D and goaltending are great, the forwards can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
      Getting Cole in the off-season gave the Habs a “power” forward for the top 3 lines in Cole, Pac and AK. I was hoping Moen would be able to fill in for any of these 3′s injuries. I was expecting balanced scoring with 3 lines that could attack and defend well.
      I was expecting Markov back in late November to shore up and lead the Dmen. I was hoping Price would pick up from where he left last season, and be a top 10 goalie.
      None of these things have happened, yet the club is 9 points (with a possibility of 11 points due to a game in hand) from 8th. Time is running out and the good to great teams tend to start winning with regularity from January to the end of the season. Thus far, the Habs have been inept. As a fan, I’d like to see a strong rebound. One big reason is that after Nail and Grigorenko, who the heck are the rest in the upcoming draft this season?

    • savethepuck says:

      I have said the same thing several times in the last couple of days, adding that to make the playoffs I think they’ll have to be a top 5 NHL team over the next 43 games.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      Most logical post in a long,long time.

  36. Dintrox says:

    My thoughts: 1) Farber’s article was good but nothing new. The one thing he doesn’t mention is that top flight francophone players have refused to sign with the Habs (Briere Vinny etc..). The Francophone media may bang drums about lack of francophone players on the team but they should also be directing some of that anger at those francophone players that avoid the fish bowl of the Bell Centre.
    2) Gauthier has lost the job and only a miracle will save it. I think Molson has already begun the search for a new GM. Gauthier was a left over from previous ownership and right now the new owners need to bring in a new regime.
    3) I’m fairly happy at the stable of prospects coming up the pipeline. However, tinordi, Gallagher, Beaulieu etc. are likely 2 yrs out at best. time to shed salary for picks and prospects and target a rebuild. The team has some cornerstones to build around price, gorges, subban, and some exciting young talent Eller, DD, leblanc

    • SmartDog says:

      Agree 100%

      I don’t get why people make such a big deal over Farber. He’s mostly right about what he says but it’s usually things we already know. I don’t find him nearly as insightful as some of the other better ones (Basu or Engels for example).

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

      • Ali says:

        The media is an old boys club, but if they don’t like you watch out. Case in point, Pat Hickey got away with his whole Fleury thing and nobody in the MSM called him on it. If Jack Todd wrote that? Hooooo boy!

      • twilighthours says:

        Because he’s a great writer. Because the way in which something is written has value. Because I want to read to the end of his articles, and they don’t feel long even if they might be. Engels and Basu have a lot to learn in this regard before they can be considered anything more than what they really are: bloggers.

        —————————————————————–
        http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

  37. Eric37 says:

    Anyone see this yet?

    “Stop overpaying for under performing players”

    http://www.thecheapseats.ca/2011/12/the-montreal-canadiens-are-hoping-less-is-more-when-it-comes-to-tomas-kaberle-in-the-nine-games-since-being-acquired-from-t.html

    —————————————————-

    To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

    E.

    • habs03 says:

      Who the fck is Jeff Macki..lol

    • SmartDog says:

      Yah, it’s brutal what Montreal’s done. Most teams have 1 or two guys a bit overpaid. Montreal has most of its top six, and it’s two (supposed) top D-men. Ridiculous.

      Gauthier making these deals reminds me of a crazy girlfriend I had who had horrible judgement but would blame everything on other people. “I had to be a half hour late for dinner because my boss wouldn’t stop talking to me as I was getting ready to leave”… “I had to call that girl a b-tch because she wasn’t nice to me”.

      PG’s version: “I had to bring in Kaberle, because our power play sucked”. “I had to recommend Gomez because we needed a center and he was the only one I was sure was available”. “I had to sign Markov to a 3 year big money deal because he would’ve left otherwise.” You don’t HAVE to do anything as a GM, and everything you do should keep in mind the long term just as much or MORE than the short term goals.

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

      • avatar_58 says:

        Gauthier didn’t bring in Gomez

        • Ali says:

          No, but he was assistant GM and responsible for pro scouting, which means Gainey would’ve relied on his recommendation before making the move.

          Also, before you absolve Gainey, remember that was after (thankfully) Bettman vetoed a trade that would’ve seen Price, Pleks and Subban go to Tampa for Lecavalier due to TB ownership issues

  38. Bobcat Bob says:

    Bobcat Bob
    Some thoughts on the ” young Habs” on team Canada last evening:
    Gallahger: Plays like his hair is on fire –but with scoring skill – going to be a good one if he can control his temper.
    Bournival: Very steady 3rd or 4th line player with superior skating skill – I like him alot
    Bealieu (sp)- disappointed he was not given much ice, therefore
    difficult to rank his skills – but by all reports in junior -very good
    player.
    Best player on the ice by far: Russian captain #25 – wish we had
    him.
    I am interested in what you saw???

  39. DorvalTony says:

    GOALIE REPORT
    Jaroslav Halak has climbed another spot this week and is only one berth away from being back in the top 10 goalies in the league statistically.
    11 Halak 2.26 GAA and SV PCT up again to .911
    15 Jose Theodore 2.43 / .918 * (injured in gm against Canadiens)
    18 Carey Price 2.47 / .913
    Not nearly good enough, if he’s not top 5 the rest of the way the playoffs are impossible.

    • Cardiac says:

      How can Halak be a top 10 goalie with only 8 wins (8-7-5)? Meanwhile, Brian Elliot is 14-5-0 with 1.70 GAA and .938, FAR better stats.

      Quick trying to stir up the Price vs. Halak debate. That argument was settled over a year ago.

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

      • Strummer says:

        I’m guessing these ratings are based on activity in the last week?

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Halak is the number 2 guy in St.Louis.

      Much easier to have good stats when you typically face the weaker teams, get plenty of rest and never play two games in a row.

      • Strummer says:

        And don’t have Hal Gill 2 steps behind the play in your zone

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • habs03 says:

      AHAHA, Halak is a backup buddy..lol

  40. Are the Habs think’n about a trade with Florida still? If so, How about Mike Cammalleri for Jonathan Huberdeau? That would start the rebuild at Centre. That would still leave Florida will 4m in cap space.

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      I don’t think teams tend to trade third overall picks without seeing them in NHL action first (unless they can’t come to terms with their pick, IE Carolina and Jack Johnson, but the Cats already signed Huberdeau to an entry-level deal).

    • savethepuck says:

      Huberdeau was the 3rd overall pick in last summer’s draft, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s an untouchable in their organization.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  41. Marcusman says:

    We are going to win tonight! We will have a successful home stand. this time next’s month we’ll be much closer to the 8th spot and things will look much better with Mr. Markov and Mr. White back in the lineup. Keep the faith people no matter what language you speak.

  42. petefleet says:

    I don’t usually play GM on here but I can’t help it. Here goes.
    Fire sale:
    Cammy
    Gomez
    Gionta
    Gill
    Markov
    Campoli
    Weber
    Budaj

    Not necessarily in that order. That’s a lot of salary to move but I really think it needs to happen. The top 3 are a must to move. Them not being in the lineup this year (or playing like they aren’t) has not hurt the team as much as them playing has.
    The farm is pretty thin right now but there will be UFAs this summer.
    Also, get rid of RC. Not because he’s english, but because PG has ruined any chance he may have had at success. Get rid of PG as well; not sure who could step in there…..Dale Talon?

    ******************************************
    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    ***Habs Forever***

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I don’t believe in trading Gionta away, how does it reflect on the organization to make someone captain and not 2 seasons later, trade him away? We have a hard enough time attracting people here as it is.

      • petefleet says:

        It would look the same way looking back. Why make a guy a captain who so obviously cannot lead? That is not in lieu of performance either. Gionta is a bust this year.

        ******************************************
        Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

        ***Habs Forever***

  43. price365 says:

    IMO when PG decided to fire Martin – He should have had a coach in place – Not someone already with the team – when you do that most times nothing changes same old system – you gotta bring a coach in that has a different mind frame like st.Louis did – they’re doing better – doing what he did – he’s gonna wear it and maybe cost him his job – I have nothing against RC but I’m not sure he’s the right coach for the Habs he has too many of JM’s ideas.

  44. shiram says:

    So I’m mostly resigned to the way the Habs play this year, even with a great turnaround, it does not look like they are built to win consistently, and you need that in the playoffs.
    I am looking forward to next year, I do think there will be significant change in between now and the next season, a new CBA could definately change the cards. Also, adding on the salary of Kaberle and the Gorges deal seems to point to something being done about the Habs cap issues.
    Still I want them to win every game, and would never want the Habs to lose on purpose, or tank or anything like that.

    Also there is alot of talk about the weakness down the middle and Pleks not being a top1 center, look at his numbers, ice time, PP and Pk time, he is a top 1 center, and he’s the 20th best center in point production. He is not an elite center, but those are very rare and highly sought after.

    Also to those who would trade him, have you looked at the upcoming UFA center? I have and I’d rather keep Pleks.

    About the coaches, well PG could have done a better job of handling it, but I still think it was time for a change, and while JM might have gotten a few wins more than Cunneyworth, I’m happy that Cunneyworth gets a chance, he seems to have great class, a great hockey pedigree and he seems to fulfill alot of what people on here were clamoring for.

    And all of you have a merry new year, full of health, wealth and all the things that make you happy!

    Cheers!

    • petefleet says:

      Not sure I agree with you on them not being built to win. You only need a 57% winning percentage to win the stanly cup. Anyone who makes the playoffs can do that. I still think though that alot of guys have got to go before next year.

      ******************************************
      Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

      ***Habs Forever***

      • shiram says:

        Right now it’s looking doubtful that they make the playoffs, Price is heading for another monster load of work season and while before they could rely on a great PP to score, they don’t have it this year.
        Also, they are not winning at a 57% rate right now, and the playoffs are a tougher cookie.

        • petefleet says:

          Agreed.

          ******************************************
          Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

          ***Habs Forever***

    • neumann103 says:

      Agreed. The people who lump Plekanec in with the dump list are insane. You can’t easily replace that skill set in a single body at any price.

      “Et le but!”

  45. Eric37 says:

    At this point, I see more value in this team losing than winning.

    I ask you all: What does squeaking into the playoffs buy this team?

    In my opinion, winning just enables more mediocrity and delusion.

    Losing on the other hand, is the only way for this team to get better in the future.

    That’s where my head is at. How about you?

    —————————————————-

    To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

    E.

    • mdp2011 says:

      read Ed Lopez’s post below.

      • Eric37 says:

        Agree with his post 100%. It’s the only way right now.

        Nobody wants them to tank. I don’t even think tanking is a real thing. No professional athlete likes to lose.

        But as a fan, I don’t interpret winning as a good thing anymore. Ed’s post is bang on.

        —————————————————-

        To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

        E.

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      I would never openly root for the team to lose. I hate seeing them lose, and more importantly, I hate seeing them play badly.

      However, I have reached the point where I believe it will take a minor miracle to get the Habs into the playoffs this year. We need only look back at NJ last year to see how a bad first half is VERY hard to overcome. It’s not the number of points behind, it’s the number of teams ahead of us that hurts. NJ went on a terrific run last year, and still managed to get a lottery pick. I doubt the Habs could go on a similar run this year.

      What I do fear is that the Habs go on a tear that doesn’t get them in the playoffs but leaves them with a mid-range pick. If this season is truly lost, then I feel the only positive outcome would be to get a top-5 pick to build for next year.

      I feel like it is all moot anyway. With Markov only due to return at the end of this month, at the earliest, I really do not see how this team could turn things around in January. If they don’t, they will have no choice but to be sellers at the deadline anyway.

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      No Thank you !!! I would much rather see Canadiens play well and win. When you are in the playoffs anything can and does happen ( remember 2 seasons ago)

      • savethepuck says:

        That same season the Flyers got into the playoffs with a shootout win on the last game of the season, and they made it to the Stanley cup finals.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      In order of desirability:

      1. make the playoffs
      2. finish last and get the #1 pick
      3. finish second to last
      3. finish in 9th to 13th position in the conference

      Why is making the playoffs better than getting the #1 pick? Because we know that, healthy, this team can do well in the playoffs.

    • savethepuck says:

      I am of the opinion that if the Habs squeek into the playoffs, based on their position in the standings, they will have to be a top 5 team in the NHL over their next 43 games to do so. To me, if they are playing that good, I like their chances in the playoffs.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  46. habs03 says:

    So wait, PG thinks RC is the best person right now to replace JM, gives a “fck u”, to the French media. His owner gets blackage from his partners on it. Molson have to borrow a lot of money to buy the Habs, including Bell Media who owns RDS. And simply says that a coach that speaks French is important to us. PG simply says that sorry for offending anyone.

    So you have two guys that atleast had the guts to hire someone who they felt was best for the job and they are getting bashed for that too.

  47. twilighthours says:

    Just read the Stubbs’ article. Is he concerned about the treatment of RC? If so, then how does he feel about the silly polls on HIO’s sidebar?

    —————————————————————–
    http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

  48. afik says:

    As a Quebecer living overseas with a 7 hour difference (for a few months) it is very difficult to watch games (at 2 AM), not to mention my kid….
    This team is everything to me (and to my son)… I’m not sure i will be watching this one after so many dissapointments this season…

  49. TommyB says:

    When Gauthier canned Martin, a move that I still feel was necessary, and replaced him with Cunneyworth, he stated right off the top that RC was “interim coach”. The backlash from the “must speak french” sector of the fanbase, I think, was the fear that Cunneyworth just might accomplish what the french-speaking coach could not. And of course the political sector, who really don’t give a damn about the team or the game, predictably jumped on an opportunity. A protest is planned for tonight’s game outside the Bell Centre.

    Well, looking at it now, barring a huge dramatic turnaround by the team, all the fuss seems to be nothing but silly. The interim coach does not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being retained at the end of the season because the team’s record under his guidance will be the measuring stick instead of language issues. The protest outside of the Bell Centre will do nothing but shed yet another dim light on the city of Montreal and the Province of Quebec, in the view of the rest of the hockey community, and the media. The protest itself could just fizzle out since it seems a lock that the next coach will definitely speak french….or, depending on the number of riff raff hoodlums there are hanging around that like to also take advantage of a situation, it could get pretty ugly and stupid. I’m hoping for the fizzle out option. Why can’t we just play hockey? Go Habs!

    • Chuck says:

      It makes me wonder if Gauthier’s comments in his recent speech was a way to neuter any protest planned for tonight’s game. Why protest if you know that the English-speaking guy is only there until the end of the season? Or that if he does hang onto his job, it’s partly going to be because he’s managed to learn enough of the language to handle the pressers.

      Either way they get what they want, so no need to show up, right?

      • TommyB says:

        Excuse my mistake, but apparently the protest is planned for Saturday night’s game, not tonight. But yeah, why bother at this point, right? On the other hand, Saturday night does seem like a much better time to hoist a few cold ones and rabble-rouse, doesn’t it?

  50. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Geoff Molson & PG have disgraced this once proud organization with this english/french crap. If a bilingual coach is needed, why hire RC? If a bilingual coach is needed, why come out and say it not only embarrassing themselves but every Habs fan and Canadian out there. I said it before, RC should do the right thing and just resign telling both these stooges to shove their bilingualism up their butts.

  51. ed lopaz says:

    any discussion about “tanking” is frankly, stupid.

    we will definitely be “sellers” at the trade deadline if this does not turn around by the end of January.

    that’s not “tanking”.

    that’s moving older and more expensive assets out so that we can start building a new team for NEXT YEAR.

    Not for 3, 4, years down the road.

    You keep the CORE together and you move out a few experienced players that you do not believe can contribute like you had hoped.

    Or, you are moving out pending UFA’s to re-build your farm system for the future.

    None of this is “tanking” or any derivative of “tanking”.

    Its building a long term plan, while keeping the core together to make another run at the playoffs and the Cup next year.

    NO TEAM has ever won the Cup without first making the playoffs.

    The goal of EVERY NHL TEAM is to make the playoffs, because if they don’t, then they are ELIMINATED and any chance to win the Cup drops to 0%.

    Also, there is clear and definite responsibility to the SEASON TICKET HOLDERS, the single ticket holders, the sponsors, RDS, and other businesses.

    All of these groups have a vested interest in the success of the franchise.

    It is very bad business to turn away from these groups and “tank”.

    Finally, “tanking” never guarantees anything.

    the same teams are losing year after year; and through bad drafting, bad decisions, and some bad luck, they never get better.

    • mdp2011 says:

      Good post.

    • habs03 says:

      This exactly, the term used should be “retool”, but I think what people are referring to when saying tanking might be for this year, seeing how we most likely won’t make the playoffs, its best that we get lucky and get the best pick possible to get an impact player in the the strong draft coming up.

      But I agree with you that the best thing is to trade off vets that are not in next years plan, Gill (love him), Campoli, Moen,(A.Kost if not resigned), and let Eller, Emelin,Diaz, DD, Leblanc play and see what they can do for next year.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree Mr. Lopaz, hopefully the team makes wise decisions as we go down this road.

    • twilighthours says:

      Exactly. But ‘tank’ is shorter to write than ‘re-tool’ and it also makes for better avatars.

      Let the tanking continue!

      —————————————————————–
      http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Apostrophes

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “experienced players that you do not believe can contribute like you had hoped” is, to date, the best euphemism to describe Scott Gomez.

    • savethepuck says:

      Well said and agreed the decisions will be made depending on what happens in January. If the team doesn’t get over 16 points in those 11 games, things will be grim.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Eric37 says:

      Good post.

      I used to get really upset over each loss.

      Now, I only see the value in losing. It forces them into selling off veterans at the deadline.

      But nobody is doing this on purpose, or “tanking” as you suggest.

      I don’t even think tanking is a real thing.

      How would that even logically happen?

      —————————————————-

      To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

      E.

    • bellcentre hotdog says:

      I think it’s invevitable that this year’s Habs will need a
      re-tool/re-build at season’s end.

      To me the big question is … who will Molson entrust to rebuild the team?

      Who has the vision? The leadership? The hockey sense and smarts?

      • Eric37 says:

        You’re right, that is the only question here. At least in my mind.

        —————————————————-

        To quote the great Carey Price: “Chill out.”

        E.

    • punkster says:

      Good call Ed.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • neumann103 says:

      +1

      Excellent post

      “Et le but!”

  52. mdp2011 says:

    can we forget about this whole English/French thing and start worring that Cunneyworth really hasn’t impressed anyone with his coaching skills. So far, he is a JM clone in terms of system and line juggling, if you are going to fire someone, why do you hire his clone? If you are not going to hire someone who will bring in fresh ideas or a new system, then Habs should’ve just kept JM.

  53. Is that protest still happening? And why is it on the 7th and not tonight?

    http://www.puckbandits.com

    • savethepuck says:

      I thought it was the 1st home game, but if it’s scheduled for Saturday night it may not be a coincidence that the Habs are playing Tampa who’s more commonly referred to as Quebec South.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • mb says:

      They must want to make sure everyone is available to show up I guess, therefore Saturday would suit better than Wednesday for them. That’s the only reason I could find.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      It hasn’t occurred to anyone that the “group” behind this protest is an angry guy with a blog, that the number of politicians who have commented on this is minuscule, and that there is no big protest movement.

  54. habs03 says:

    So guys, what do we do with Gallagher, trade him now, or a few years when he goes in slump, seeing how he’s only 5’8..

    • mb says:

      We trade him for a useless untalented 6’3″ “tough” guy, of course. I thought that was obvious, isn’t it?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Hopefully by the time he’s ready to make an impact with the Habs some of the other Smurfs have moved on….2 high octane Smurfs is fine but 4 or 5 is a recipe for disaster, as we’ve seen for the last decade and a half.

      • habs03 says:

        Since you think that size is such a huge factor, I’d like your input on this post from yesterday byTorontoHabsFan

        TorontoHabsFan JANUARY 3, 2012 AT 2:54 PM
        Please excuse the length of this post:

        I was just taking a look at the rest of the league and seeing just how many teams have that Big, Strong, #1 Centre. For the sake of argument, shall we say that he should be at least 6’2″ and 200lbs? Does that seem fair? Who measures up?

        Anaheim: Ryan Getzlaf
        Boston; No one
        Buffalo: No one
        Calgary: Olli Jokinen
        Carolina: Eric Staal
        Chicago: Jonathan Toews
        Columbus: Jeff Carter
        Dallas: No one
        Detroit: No one
        Edmonton: No one
        Florida: No one
        LA: Anze Kopitar
        Minnesota: Mikko Koivu
        Nashville: David Legwand
        New Jersey: Travis Zajac (?)
        NYI: No one
        NYR: No one
        Ottawa: Jason Spezza
        Philadelphia: No one
        Phoenix: No one
        Pittsburgh: Crosby/Malkin
        San Jose: Joe Thornton
        St Louis: David Backes
        Tampa Bay: Vincent Lecavalier
        Toronto: No one
        Vancouver: No one
        Washington: No one
        Winnipeg: No one

        So we’re all clamouring for the kind of player that half the league doesn’t even have? And how are these Big, Strong, #1 Centres performing compared to our “smurf” Plekanec?

        Thomas Plekanec = 29 pts

        Getzlaf – 25 pts
        Jokinen – 32 pts
        Staal – 25 pts
        Toews – 39 pts
        Carter – 17 pts
        Kopitar – 36 pts
        Koivu – 32 pts
        Leqwand – 24 pts
        Zajac – Injured for most of the season.
        Spezza – 40 pts
        Malkin – 43 pts
        Thornton – 30 pts
        Backes – 25 pts
        Lecavalier – 25 pts

        So out of the 15 Big, Strong #1 Centres in the NHL, Plekanec is being outscored by 7: Jokinen, Toews, Kopitar, Koivu, Spezza, Malkin and Thornton (by 1)

        So maybe we should lay off on the incessant calls for a Big, Strong, #1 Centre – there just aren’t that many of them.

        • Sap Anderson says:

          Ok I’ll play…

          So this post says to me that there are not a tonne of big, strong #1 centres in the league

          But why should we stop clamouring for one? Just because they’re a rarity doesn’t mean that a big, strong, #1 centre would not help the team. On the contrary, I happen to believe that it would do this team a world of good. Look at the past few cup winners, and you’ll see that those teams that didn’t have a big, strong, #1 centre more than compensated with size on the wings. We have neither…

          • Bill J says:

            We should be clamoring for a very talented center. Forget the size part….


            If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

            Go Habs Go!

          • Sap Anderson says:

            Completely agree, Bill J. But I do think that overall, size has an impact on a team’s ability to score and, in a physical game such as hockey, stick up for itself and impose its will on the opposition.

            In a normal case, I’d say talent is the only consideration. Now, I think it’s still the most important consideration, but the need to add size up front (and on the back end as well, while we’re at it) means that it has to be considered as well.

  55. avatar_58 says:

    I really dislike this whole “We’re sorry for hiring an anglo-only coach” thing. Why not just fire Cunneyworth now? Clearly it’s what “fans want”.

    Funny if he had won every game since coming in this would be a non issue. The coach isn’t the reason this team is losing.

    • habs03 says:

      They were sorry to offend anyone, not sorry for doing it.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Clearly it is what fans what? Are you kidding me? The French, mainly separatist media, hijack these situations in Montreal and with the Canadiens to suit their needs.

      The city of Montreal is more bilingual than French only. Plus there are a million Canadiens fans across the country who speak English only.

      I’m sure 70% of Canadiens fans inside and out of Montreal just want to see the team win.

  56. Mondou6 says:

    I’d rather we tank this year and get into the Nail Lottery, instead of scrapping for the 8th playoff seed again.

    We have a dearth of talent on our roster. The players we have simply aren’t good enough to win, no matter how hard they try, or who the coach is.

    Therefore, I’d like to get better players, which is easier if you have top draft picks, and a GM who is smarter than other teams’ GMs.

  57. boonie says:

    Sorry folks, I just happened to read this depressing Barry Melrose quote while looking at Sugar Bowl stats on ESPN. I’m even sorrier to those of you who saw elements of this post around midnight.

    Melrose: “In the summer of 2009, Glen Sather traded Scott Gomez and stuff to Montreal for salary relief, Chris Higgins and a 20-year-old defenseman named Ryan McDonagh. Sather used that salary relief to sign Gaborik to a five-year contract worth an even $7.5 million a year. Why didn’t Bob Gainey just sign Gaborik? … Gaborik, and his otherworldly acceleration, turns 30 on Valentine’s Day and has a great chance for his first 50-goal season.”

    The relevance (to me anyway) was how out of touch our GMs are with the importance of contracts in a salary-capped league. When our deficiencies are obvious to Barry freaking Melrose, then something is wrong.

    Even if Gainey didn’t like Gaborik, or Gabby didn’t want to play for us, trading assets to pick up a toxic contract that few (if any) other teams would touch is a mistake. It was a mistake then. It’s a mistake now (Kaberle). We haven’t learned.

    This is not a debate about Kaberle’s skills, or how he will help the PP. It’s about our management understanding that salaries, terms and other contractual obligations have as much bearing as talent.

    Many teams won’t (some can’t) pick up bad contracts. Certainly, you don’t give up assets for players with contractual baggage. McDonagh should not have been included; Sather should have given us something to shed a bad contract.

    Did we learn anything? No. Spacek is a pending UFA, a veteran D-man, who — according to Eliote Friedman’s column may have been in-demand at the deadline – when teams WAY overpay for perceived missing pieces. A second rounder was not out of the realm of possibility. Trading Spatch is no different than trading a second rounder for Kabs, who may help us make the playoff which may (or may not) be good for us in the long run. We’re not in the hunt to win the Cup this year, so why trade long term assets for modest short term benefit. It’s bad finance. Hell, it may be bad juju.

    Here is the point. Our management is out of touch with the realities of the current NHL.

    I have tremendous respect for Mr. Gainey as player, captain, leader, human being and Cup winning executive in a PRE-CAP era. Unfortunately, he’s done. He knew this. Worse, his handed-picked successor, Mr. Gauthier, has similar limitations without my respect (not that he or anyone else should care about that) as a former player, captain or winner. These two guys picked a coach whose best days were coaching a powerhouse to underwhelming results in a different era. These two guys built a team out of synch with current NHL winners.

    We need executives who embrace the culture, history, traditions, ethos and, yes, language (I say this as a unilingual English-speaking Canadian, living in NY) who can evaluate talent, know how to build a winner in the capped-NHL and understands the intricacies of asset management. If one person doesn’t possess all these skills, then they must surround themselves with winners who excel in those areas.

    Ken Dryden comes to mind. His background, skills, character, accomplishments in various roles say more than I could. His record with the Leafs is underappreciated at HIO — playoffs during his tenure, no playoffs in the seasons leading up to his arrival or since.

    Mark Messier (sorry, he only sounds French) is a winner, groomed by Sather (a winner long ago, but I won’t count it because I don’t count Gainey’s) for management. Willed teams to wins and I expect nothing less from him for a team he might manage.

    I am sure there are others, many of which have been debated here.

    As my mom stuck to our fridge when I was a kid, “not failure, but low aim is crime.” We are a “have” franchise. Rich ownership. Owns the building. Has rabid fans. Makes more money per game than any other team. Spends to the cap. We have the resources to excel. We are aiming low. This is unacceptable.

    So here’s the thing, we need new leadership that blend our rich history with our potential. We don’t have them right now. All the folks at HIO, passionate about the Habs in our own unique ways, deserve no less.

    • Strummer says:

      I don’t have a problem with Kaberle’s contract.

      This years dollars would be the same as Spacek’s salary.

      Kabele could also be in demand at the deadline as he was last year. Boston gave a first rond pick and a prospect for him less than a year ago.

      It’s the only contract that can be traded or buried in the minors/Europe if it is no longer feasible. Unlike the other over-paids who have NTC’s

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

      • habs03 says:

        What?????????? Kaberle has 7 points in 10 games and he is going to get buried? Who else needs to be buried? Only one we have is Gomez, and he has a No Trade Clause to only 3 teams, nothing about being send down or loaned.

        • Strummer says:

          I’m not saying bury him. I like him and what he’s brought.
          I was responding to boonies point that it was a bad financial decision to acquire Kabby’contract.
          My point is it’s a better business decision because it’s disposable “if no longer feasible”
          ________________________________________________
          “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
          -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Very well written and I agree with 95% of your statement. I’m not a big Ken Dryden fan though.

      He’s a little too gun shy for my liking. It’s good to be concerned about concussions and dislike fighting but he takes it a bit too far and would probably try an assemble a team of finesse players that would get torn apart.

    • HabsFansince49 says:

      Excellent analysis, one of the best I’ve read. One of the perennial problems is that given our long tradition of Cup wins, most Hab fans expect to win the Lord Stanley’s hardware every year. Weak or bad management feeds this frenzy helped along by the local media.
      Not only is it “aiming low”, but there is no long term plan or real vision. We have been saddled with leaders who lack real leadership qualities. We stumble and bumble along year after year.

    • Strummer says:

      Just to add to your thoughts on executive decision-making ability.
      This is where we need to get our house in order.

      Check ot the Leaf web site and look at the number of front office people Burke has hired.
      Not that this will lead to any success with Burke in charge but my point is we have the resources to build a strong player acquisition/player development organization that will allow us to find,develop, and keep good players.

      Look at all the good players that are drafted in 2nd to 5th rounds.

      2 of the keys to Boston’s Cup last year Lucic and Marchand weren’t first rounders. Tim Thomas took the long way to the NHL.

      Detroit’s longterm abilty to challenge for the Cup is due to their executive resources and decisions.

      ______________________________________________________
      “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
      -as posted in amusement parks across North America

      • boonie says:

        Great point. There is no limit on front office resources and we have the money to afford excesses throughout the organization.

        One of the frequent posters (apologies, don’t remember which one) has a sig that links to a National Post article that says the Q is underrepresented.

        How much could it cost to have extra scouts looking for more prospects like DD (and Stephan lebeau) to draft with mid/late picks or sign as undrafted free agents.

        This makes the team better and reconnects with our roots. Funny, they would do this and more if they had real competition for a new nordiques team.

        To paraphrase Gordon gecko, “Competition is good. And it will save another failing group, the Montreal canadiens”

    • standing ovation <:')

      ———-
      hip-check!

    • tbovs says:

      Ken Dryden …. really??? How has he created a winner in the post lockout era. Hasnt done much other than talk and love to hear himselft talk. I agree with your assessment in what a GM needs to be but the guys you suggest are just brutal. Do you remember when Mess was the GM of Canada’s entry at the world championship a few years back. It was an unmitigated disaster. Our worst showing in over 10 years. So not the best choice. Basicly there aren’t too many people with those qualifications out there. In reality things are changing a little bit to more of a baseball or football atmosphere where a lot of younger guys who haven’t played or been in the NHL might be the new wave. Cause there aren’t too many people right now who could be the GM with your list of qualifications (which I agree with). As for Spatch…there ins’t a GM on the planet that would have traded a 2nd round pick for him. Elliot Friedman is normally wrong and his opinions are sometimes skewed about Montreal cause it sure seems he can’t stand us with a lot of his past comments on Price et al.

      • Strummer says:

        Messier learning at the feet of Sather doesn’t make him qualified.

        This year not withstanding, Sather ‘s been mostly a disater in NY. No one could understand why he still has a job.

        Biggest contributor to his success is a dumb Gainey. All he ever did was throw money at UFA’s because the Rangers were so rich.
        Gomez, Drury, Redden, Avery twice

        ______________________________________________________
        “You have to be this tall to ride on this ride”
        -as posted in amusement parks across North America

    • mdp2011 says:

      Excellant post, agree with everything except the Ken Dyden thing.

    • ont fan says:

      I think Melrose came back to Tampa and lasted 16 games.Maybe he should coach the team.I,m not putting a lot of stock in his analysis.Dryden,Charbo,Robinson are the same as Gainey.Why go back there. As for Gaborik,Richards,Vinny or any other free agents that didn’t sign on,I get the feeling from posters that these guys would have come in a minute if only we would have tried. Great players on other teams are just waiting to be traded to the Habs. GM’s want our players at the deadline,just call us.I’m with you onyour last statement.New’leadership with a track record of winning in some other organization.A VP . Let him pick whatever coach he wants. All we are looking for is someting to cheer for.Hope.

    • ont fan says:

      I think Melrose came back to Tampa and lasted 16 games.Maybe he should coach the team.I,m not putting a lot of stock in his analysis.Dryden,Charbo,Robinson are the same as Gainey.Why go back there. As for Gaborik,Richards,Vinny or any other free agents that didn’t sign on,I get the feeling from posters that these guys would have come in a minute if only we would have tried. Great players on other teams are just waiting to be traded to the Habs. GM’s want our players at the deadline,just call us.I’m with you onyour last statement.New’leadership with a track record of winning in some other organization.A VP . Let him pick whatever coach he wants. All we are looking for is someting to cheer for.Hope.

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    So I attended the Leafs/Lightning game last night. Ryan Malone was not in the lineup and wow did that Lightning team look terrible. Vinny played the night with dog wingers wyman, thompson etc… most of the night except on the powerplay when he was allowed to play with St. Louis and Stamkos. Of course Boucher actually benched that line on a powerplay midway through the game because they were so bad on early pp’s. Not sure if Hedman and Malone will be back by Saturday, but Montreal should be able to beat that squad.

    Boucher will have to turn water into wine to get that squad into the playoffs. And of course because Garon was not playing against his beloved Habs he looked less than ordinary. Leafs played a good game but Tampa looked brutal.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Don’t tell me they’re going to get another lottery pick.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Scary thought man, I can see Yzerman finding someone to take Lecavalier’s contract off his hands and give up something then watch them bottom out.

        • mdp2011 says:

          that is a scary thought, lets just hope that before Yzerman offers Lecavalier to the Habs for PK and Price, Gauthier is long gone. Just what the Habs need, another horrible contract.

    • habs03 says:

      Boucher needs to look in the minor, if your going to play MAB, why not use him on the first wave on the PP? I literally can’t even figure out a good season why he is using Brewer over MAB on the first wave on the pp, or even Brewer over Kubina as well.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      We’ve just got to keep the old fingers crossed that the fight in practice, the days off and the whipping from the media and fans has lit a fire under the boys!

      Carey Price has to go from being average to great!

  59. kirkiswork says:

    Go Habs Go.
    Time to go on a run les boys!

  60. stevieray says:

    Some thoughts on last nites Canada/Russia game
    Gallagher should of been th eplayer of the game last nite ..
    Are all the best goalies non-North American …?
    Stupid penalties..
    Poor Reffin’…
    Couldn’t finish ..
    helluva 3rd period though…Black Rum took a beatin’
    that young Russian kid who’s projected to be # 1 in the draft is a dandy..

    • Kooch7800 says:

      it was done after the first period, they came out way to flat and Russia played like they wanted it more then the penalties and lack of finish really kicked in.

      they were a better team then how they played. The russian goalie was pretty stellar in the first two periods as well.

  61. habs03 says:

    Seeing how the team has played in the pasts, and how guys like Cammy, Gio can play, guys that almost everyone is throwing under the bus, I think its a good team having a bad year. Some retooling in the offseason, and we’ll be more than fine, under the right coach. I never like seeing the Habs loss, but man would I love to get see us get Yakupov, but that is unlikely but I’m hoping for Grigorenko. Man how great would that be. Just the thought that we might be able to get a true impact superstar this June makes this horrible season seem not so bad.

  62. The Cat says:

    On the ‘no one wants to play here’ theme. I dont see why anglos wouldnt want to play here. Its hell on francos and their families; it aint only Guy on the team getting harassed but also ‘matante Huguette’ at her factory job…You cant be a franco and league wide star and play for the habs -it cant be done, the vultures will eventually get to you.

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

  63. HabFanSince72 says:

    Lots of very negative people around here. Almost half of the posts are of the variations on the same theme:

    * No one wants to play here.
    * We’re a laughing stock.
    * The team sucks.
    * I hope the team gets booed off the ice.
    * In fact, if I was a man I’d walk right up to the players and boo them.
    * Mr Molson, are you listening to me? Mr Molson?

    Some of the posts are literally hate filled. Towards the club itself, the management, any player who is slumping, not to mention the team’s home province and 80% of its citizens.

    I’m not a psychiatrist, but if I was I’d suggest there was a measure of self-loathing here.

    But I am a reader of this board who enjoys talking about hockey, especially if it’s done with wit. Would it be possible to dial it down a bit?

    • CranbrookEd says:

      Well said . . .

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

    • Marc10 says:

      Yeah… it’s pretty bad.

      I think the frustration has more to do with the potential for a lengthy rebuild and the fact we’re wedded to some pretty bad contracts to players we see as representative of Gainey’s skill first (I love tiny players with no pushback) philosophy.

      People are not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and they’re freaking out at the prospect of watching their team get owned for a good long while.

      I don’t know if it will be this bad. I’ll gladly take it if it means we can land a couple of true superstars who we can graft onto a bigger, stronger, meaner, more skilled team that dominates its conference for the next decade. If sucking means getting a 50 goal scorer, some badass who scores 30 and takes no prisoners, or an absolute terror on the point… I’m for that. If it means a legit shot at a Cup… Man! Let’s do it. We’ve tried it the other way.

      All aboard the Tank Train!

      • G-Man says:

        There’s no guarantee the Habs win the lottery, even if they finish 30th 3 or 4 seasons in a row. There’s no guarantee the player picked will pan out and be a star. If it were all so easy as portrayed, don’t you think every GM would do it?

        • neumann103 says:

          ^ This.

          It is not like”tanking” is some sure fired route to the cup.

          I can be onboard for writing off this season by the trade deadline and moving movable assets for prospects and picks but the idea of giving up in advance on multiple seasons is impossible – and not a guarantee of any results.

          “Et le but!”

    • G-Man says:

      Fans (ha!) can be negative in a lot of ways while being optimistic is a singular pursuit.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      *No one wants to pull for this team.
      *The fans suck.
      *I hope they all become Leaf fans
      *In fact if I was a man I’d track you all down and punch you out.
      *Mr. X are you listening to me?

      There. Fixed. ;)

    • Sprague and Odie says:

      Right on. It’s starting to get so bad that the situation reminds me of fans of the Leafs.

      There were years in the 90′s late and early 2000′s that were worse than this. Luckily the internet wasn’t widely used at the time.

      I was told that there was an award ceremony in Boston to honour Don Cherry – I thought about that for a brief moment and I replied: “For what? Too many men on the ice?”

      • savethepuck says:

        Hard to compare Habs fans to Leafs fans. The Leafs have been dormant since the late 60′s giving their fans only a few glimpses of hope since then, but only for a couple of seasons at a time. Yet their fans keep cheering on their team with an optimism of better things to come and faint glimpses of promise. It’s sad to say far too many Habs fans are the opposite, they’ll turn on their team even during a small slump. We are still the only franchise that has won a Cup in every decade except the last one, yet people make it sound like this team has sucked forever. There are still 8 more Cups to be won this decade and I’ll keep the faith we’ll get 1 of them.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree HF72.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Nobody twists your arm to come here, you don’t like it, take the road jack.

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      @Habsince73– I totally agree with you. There is much to like on this team ( not only this year but also for the future) — way to negative posts — not really deserved either.

  64. HardHabits says:

    I guess Farber is another hater.

    How this team can do no wrong in the eyes of some of its fans speaks volumes, not about unbridled loyalty but about blind adherence and fealty. It’s like being a Habs fans is a new variant of the Stockholm Syndrome.

    • G-Man says:

      Don’t compare being a fan with Stockholm Syndrome. Even some variant of it. That’s a lot over the top. Like it or not, people are still fans of the team and don’t have your loathing of them.

      • HardHabits says:

        I don’t loathe the Habs G-Girl. I can’t stand their ineptitude and charlatanism. Corporate speak platitudes to placate fans and lull them into spending more cash spinning the turnstiles.

        Resting on their laurels and riding the coattails of their storied past into insignificance.

        The Habs are to the NHL what Ancient Greece was during the heyday of the Roman Empire.

    • The Cat says:

      Thats because you’re not a Real fan ™

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

  65. Michael Ryder had 2 goals and an assist in a losing cause for Dallas last night. Not bad at all. Ryder is having a pretty good season so far and signed a 2 year contract for 3.5m with Dallas this coming season. That ties him with Tomas Plekanec who is paid 5m a year. See what NAG brings to another team? I’m proud of being a Newfoundlander and a die hard Habs fan too. I was pissed when Michael Ryder was let go. I hope to see him back in a Habs jersey but I know that will never happen? Another one that the organization gave up on. Guy Carbonneau used him as his whipping boy and benched him regularly in his last season with the Habs. Michael Ryder burned our team in round one during last years playoffs. Here’s his stats so far this season. Atta boy!!!! Lets go Ryder!!! Lets go Ryder!!! Go Habs Go!!! Go Habs Go!!!

    POS NAME GP G A PTS +/- PPG SHG GWG PIM SHOTS PCT ATOI
    RW Ryder 38 17 12 29 8 2 0 4 20 87 19.54 16:32

  66. habstrinifan says:

    Man reading Mike Farber is pure enjoyment. Like reading the Globe and Mail of yester-year when articles read as if they were written, long-handed, by essayists who had toiled over facts, references and phraseology all night and were meant not to be published sans bibliography. Incomparable!!

    Quite interesting the quote from Darche ascribed to Randy Cunneyworth. “I believe in Martin’s system”. Notwithstanding my apreciation of Randy’s situation and hope for his success, this is one of the ‘move’ which I put into the ‘questionable’ category.

  67. Cam_1 says:

    Best thing to happen would be for the Habs to lose tonight….get booed not only off the ice but right out of the city. Maybe then, Mr Geoff Molson will open his eyes…and clean house at the top !!!

    • G-Man says:

      I think a win would go down a lot better. In fact, just to piss you off, I hope the Habs reel of 5 wins in a row to shut you up.

      • Cam_1 says:

        Fine Fine hope for short term gain for long term pain. I prefer short term pain for long term gain. They are never going anywhere so long as PG and BG are at the helms. They are the ones who created this mess ! I want what is best for Habs long term !

    • RGM says:

      Nothing says “I’m a Habs fan” like wishing the agony of defeat on the Habs.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • Cam_1 says:

        Fine hope for short term gain for long term pain. I prefer short term pain for long term gain. They are never going anywhere so long as PG and BG are at the helms. They are the ones who created this mess !

    • Bobcat Bob says:

      Bobcat Bob
      Wow ,you sure are some fan –” booed out of the city” -what a load of crap you are selling.

  68. Sprague and Odie says:

    I’m one of the few people here that thought firing Martin was a mistake. For well over a year they’ve had a team held together with tape and glue and this year without some vet types like Hammer and Halpern the chemistry is a tad weak. They still have a chance if they can reel off some W’s in a row.

    If they continue their sub-par ways it’s bye-bye to a few players that will be wanted elsewhere. I hope this doesn’t happen but we’ll have to wait and see. If they start to dump players I’m pretty sure Price will be one of them. He can be stellar but way too many softies at key moments for my liking. He’ll fetch a high “price” (pun intended).

    I don’t mind a rebuild but if we’re led by the likes of hot head Roy my interest in all things hab will wain. I’m also one of the few people who think Roy should not have his number hanging from the rafters after committing the ultimate sin against our team.

    I still like their speed and ability to execute breakout passes when they have a mature and confident defence corps. Time is running out.

    Go Habs Go!

    I was told that there was an award ceremony in Boston to honour Don Cherry – I thought about that for a brief moment and I replied: “For what? Too many men on the ice?”

    • HardHabits says:

      Yeah. Roy committed the ultimate sin. He won the Habs two Cups they had business being near to. He sinned by being right whereas Houle and Corey were wrong.

      Is it any wonder this franchise sucks since he was traded.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Never fear HardHabits, the road to our NEXT Stanley Cup shall be lined by sainted acolytes frocked in the habiliments of perfect conduct.

        Alas you and I may be repenting in purgatory by that time.

      • Sprague and Odie says:

        No doubt those 2 cups were much his doing but the sin was committed in public not behind closed doors. My opinion is that the man showed that he was bigger than the team in a very public manner. Consequently he should not be welcomed back regardless of his competitiveness.

        I think back to the pocket who slugged the anglo coach in the dressing room and rallied the team to beat Chicago back in 71. Not a classy move but done behind closed doors. They win Stanley, fire the coach and the pocket becomes captain.

        Lest we forget.

        I was told that there was an award ceremony in Boston to honour Don Cherry – I thought about that for a brief moment and I replied: “For what? Too many men on the ice?”

  69. habstrinifan says:

    Regardless of how old I get, there is always the occasion, when I stop and tell myself to learn some of life’s skills from the example set by someone dealing with a problematic situation.

    In Dave Stuub’s article, Randy Cunneyworth demonstrates, through his easy and simple attitude and words, that he can put aside ego and self-centred pity and take the challenges of the job he is in and focus on doing everything in his power to do it well.

    I wish a WIN for you tonight Randy so that you may be able to smile before the next practice. Good Luck!

  70. Marc10 says:

    Carcillo… Love that guy. He’s Raffi Torres or Matt Cooke without the brains.

    Let’s see what Shannysham does with this one. Are the Hawks untouchable like the Bruins…?

  71. The Cat says:

    Farber is killing me: avuncular, disquisition, stolid,,,I dont mind learning new words but googling once per article is enough.

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

    • savethepuck says:

      Since you already googled it, what does disquisition mean?

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • habstrinifan says:

        ” an elaborate analytical or explanatory essay or discussion”.

        When not well executed it comes off as banal ‘covering my behind’ spin.

        I well let you judge how disquieted you were by PG’s disqisition.

  72. neumann103 says:

    Agreed, but there is a difference between a rational strategy:
    Give up on this season now that it is unreclaimable and not just circumstantial (eg injuries)
    Trade players by the deadline for prospects and high picks where you can.
    Assume you are going to finish bottom 10, possibly bottom 5 and hope for a lottery pick.
    Be prepared to bury/buy out some contracts, especially if there is a CBA amnesty in 2012.

    Remove contract liabilities, get whatever value from pending UFAs with unlikely to return (AK46, Moen) or those players with value to teams embarking on a cup run looking for scoring (Cammy) experience (Gionta), PK (Gill), PP (Kaberle), depth (maybe even Campoli).

    The goal ought to be to remove long term shackles, get enough prospects to make 2012/2013 respectable and position for a real run a season or two after that when kids start coming online

    “Et le but!”

  73. BLACK ICE says:

    habs-fan-84 let me ask you a question.

    How would you feel if a company opened up in your town & hired import workers rather then local workers who could do the same job at the same pay?

  74. RGM says:

    QFT. Limiting the talent pool only results in a limited talent pool.

    If you want the NHL to be the very best hockey league in the world, you must allow the very best players from around the world to play.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  75. avatar_58 says:

    “Good for them”? What era do you live in? How dare they “take our jerbs”?

  76. HabFanSince72 says:

    How would I feel if the local university admitted foreign students.

    Good, actually.

  77. Propwash says:

    Two different waves in two different oceans.

    _____________________________
    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  78. habstrinifan says:

    Black Ice you better look around. The job market is a Global one now.

  79. RGM says:

    Gionta has certainly performed well statistically, during both the regular season and playoffs. Cammalleri…not quite as much. Yes he’s been battling injuries but with his talents he should be a minimum 25-30 goal man year-in and year-out. He didn’t even hit 20 last year and he’s not exactly on a pace to do so again this year.

    I like the guy, he’s been huge in the playoffs but unless the team can get there, he’s not earning the big bucks.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81


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