Canadiens sign Big Red defenceman

The team announcement:

General manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent defenseman Brendon Nash to a two-year contract (2010-11 and 2011-12).

Nash, who is currently completing his studies at Cornell University, plays with the Cornell Big Red in the ECAC of the NCAA.

Brendon Nash, who will turn 23 on Wednesday, March 31, is a 6’, 3’’, 206 lbs defenseman who hails from Kamloops, BC. In his last season at Cornell University in 2009-10 (team also includes his brother Riley), Nash led all team defensemen in scoring with 19 points in 33 games (2 goals, 17 assists).

He also served 48 penalty minutes. Nash recorded a total of 67 points (8 goals, 59 assists) and 173 penalty minutes in four full seasons with the Big Red. He also led all team defensemen in points in each the past three seasons.

From 2004 to 2006, Nash registered 60 points (9 goals, 51 assists) in 112 regular season games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League).

Nash participated in the Canadiens’ development camp in 2009.

From Hockey’s Future:

Nash is a smart, offensive-minded defenseman who possesses a nice
combination of size, mobility and puck skills. He uses his 6’3 frame and
long reach to great advantage, particularly in protecting or stripping
the puck. He’s also not afraid to join the offensive play. Defensively,
he is solid and keeps things pretty simple. Nash has great poise and
patience with the puck, but what sets him apart from many young
defensemen is in his timely passing ability, particularly on power
plays. Though he skates quite well for a big man, Nash needs to work on
having quicker feet. Developing speed and strength are two areas that
will be paramount to his future success.

Cornell head coach Mike Schafer’s comments on Nash: “With
Sasha Pokulok
and Ryan O’Byrne
signing pro contracts last summer, Brendan had a lot of responsibilities
as a freshman and he did a tremendous job. He logged as much ice time
as we could possibly give him and played in all situations. It’s just a
matter of Brendan continuing to excel. We expect big things from him
next year and I think he’ll be one of the top defensemen in our league.”


  1. Chris says:

    Perhaps, but moving forwards we might have the opposite problem.  Subban, Weber and Carle are the top 3 defence prospects for the Habs and all shoot right.  Of the Habs young defencemen, O’Byrne is a right-handed shot.  I’d say they are potentially alright in that department moving forwards.

  2. ed lopaz says:

    just heard that he showed up after the olympic break out of shape – according to nick kipreos – he has been asked to lose 7 or 8 lbs before he gets back into the lineup.

  3. Chris says:

    They’ve already begun negotiations, but both sides agreed to put it off until after the season was over to minimize distractions during the stretch drive and playoffs.  So don’t hold your breath waiting for anything to happen until May (or even better, June!).

  4. DMAN says:

    Yeah, cause Gainey never showed any interest in big university defencemen, right?

  5. Harani says:

    Last night, it was Mike Ribeiro who was a healthy scratch for missing a team meeting. Dallas isn’t playoff bound so understandable. 

    However, today, it’s Shane O’Brien’s turn. And he will miss three games and all the practices up until Sunday for being late for practice. A little bit much no? Alain Vigneault should maybe run the league and everyone will get suspended.

    “I gotta feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  6. christophor says:

    the russian big man, artyukhin, who a few here covet, just scored on the leafs. 2-0

  7. habs_agardiner says:

    good sighning, one that gainey would never do. I saw him play in B.C. a good play maker. And good to quaterback the powerplay, plus he will go in the corners and pick a fight.

    Good job!

  8. ed lopaz says:

    thank you. in fact, my son has applied to Stanstead College for grade 11. its a great school and they have an excellent athletic program – especially hockey.

    the school was just in the news because their new arena will be named the Pat Burns Arena – very cool.

    again – thanks for the encouragement.


  9. Tis Himself says:

    Judge the man by his results. Lots of people bagged on him for picking up Dominic Moore for a second rounder, but have since changed their minds. Grabbing this kid from Cornell was like picking up a fiver off the sidewalk.

  10. Tis Himself says:

    Oh, I can see it happening. He has called just four playoff games total in his decade-long career as a member of the NHLOA. But, the improvement that he has shown this year merits him calling all Hab playoff games. (We are as doomed as doomed can be!)

  11. christophor says:

    yes, but against mostly non-playoff teams.

  12. showey47 says:

    come on devils,islanders and not thrashers (sorry i just can’t say the alternative to thrashers)

  13. showey47 says:

    Oh if it was only true. If we can pull this thing off and get into a playoff spot we both know damn well chris lee will be doing at least 2 of our games. Going to the last game on the 10th against the leafs. It would be a nightmare if the game actually meant something and if lee was doingthe game.

  14. Tis Himself says:

    I heard Chris Lee is off to South Africa to do a few World Cup games. Some guys at FIFA saw him call a Habs game and thought he would be a big improvement!

  15. showey47 says:

    at least the officiating will be better.

  16. Bill says:

    Didn’t Theodore just go like 17-0-2 recently?

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  17. Tis Himself says:

    And no more stoppages. We’ll just add injury time, but not let anyone know how much is left!

  18. showey47 says:

    instead of a puck use a lawn dart?

  19. Chorske says:

    Having worked within the system, I have nothing but good things to say about it. In September, I got a list of NCAA eligible students registered for my courses. I also got VERY specific instructions about the process- most importantly, we were not to cut the students any slack or treat them favorably. In fact, the expectations were higher because many of the students had to PROVE they were attending classes… and maintain high averages (I forget the exact letter but I think it high B’s, no picnic in my classes). The only accomodation that was requested (not ordered, only requested) was this: we received a schedule of the competitions the students were going to be in, and then the students would meet with me to work out a schedule that allowed them to attend all exams and fulfill all the requirements of the class.

    In other words: the academic requirements are higher, and they spend significant amounts of time training, practicing, and so on. And I can tell you, these are great kids, and it is a great program. So I think it’s a great idea you are encouraging your kid to follow that route.

  20. Tis Himself says:

    I think we should get rid of faceoffs and just have throw ins and corner kicks!

  21. showey47 says:

    The hawks are screwed if bettman puts in a 3 point line,where a shot from 50 feet counts as 3 goals

  22. Tis Himself says:

    I could see the Hawks making it to the final, but I wouldn’t bet on the Caps. Hell, of the teams that the Habs might play in the first round, I’m hoping for them or the Pens. The Devils are the Devils and there is not a coach in the NHL that gets more from his roster than Lindy Ruff.

  23. Mattyleg says:

    De-fence! De-fence! De-…

    sorry, what were you saying?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Wow, who’s doing the colour on RDS?

    After the Caps scored to make it 1-1, he said (in French) “oh dear, second weak goal let in by Theodore…”

    Much like the Sens through the past 5 years, RDS is great, but their second line sucks.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. HardHabits says:

    It’s Bettman’s plan to get the Black Hawks versus the Capitals in the finals. Huet versus Theodore. Scores will be like 12-10, which each game having at least 5 goals scored by each team. They’ll also experiment with a few nifty new rules. No more blue lines for one. Yep, we’re a few tweaks away from basketball on ice. It’s not like the puck isn’t already bouncing around all over the place on those soft ice surfaces.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    He’ll end up in St. Louis or Nashville or some other deadwater burgh.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  27. Bryan says:

    And Brian Elliot let in a goal on his first shot.


    The Habs are making me Bi-Polar.

  28. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s also the 2nd **** game in a row for him. He’s hitting the FA market again this year.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  29. mrhabby says:

    have no idea about this guy but the size is a good starter. iam hoping PG is a little more proactive over all than Bob G…re: sign pleks please.

  30. ed lopaz says:

    I like the way you think. my son has been in a “sports etude” hockey program throughout high school. they go to school until 12;30 and then they skate and train every afternoon.

    He’s an honour student first and a solid defenceman second.

    He has skated almost every day since he was 7 years old – he’s now just turned 16. Even in the summer, he trains hard.

    But he knows that his surest path to success is by using hockey to get a great university education.

    I myself have 5 years of university training, but I was never the skater that he is.

    I really respect the student athlete.

    They often (not always) are more organised, more responsible, more dedicated to the work ethic.

    My son is hoping to play NCAA one day – and I’ll do everything I can to help his dream come true.


  31. Mattyleg says:

    Silly Caps,

    Started Theo, 2 goals in the first 4 minutes.

    If they don’t win the cup this year, it’ll be down to poor goaltending.


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  32. HabFab says:

    Also explains the fear of going into the corners.

  33. HardHabits says:

    I always though MAB skated funny. I guess now we know the reason why.

  34. HabFab says:

    HH , responded to your last post on the previous. Good eye!

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Tetchy, now there’s a word you don’t see very often. It’s one of those words that’s fun but we don’t get to really use because almost no one knows what it means.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. Chorske says:

    NP- see my post below re: why I get tetchy on this topic

    it’s all good

  37. Chorske says:

    Probably because I’m a scholar. Also, I’ve had athletes in the NCAA system and I am pretty protective of them. They get a bum rap from academics for being athletes, and from athletes and sports fans for daring to want a college degree.

    So ya hit a noive, as Bugs would say. But you should know by now that EVERYTHING is open to debate on HIO. 😉

  38. SlovakHab says:

    Thank you all. Well, if we try 10 of them and get 1 serviceable NHLer, we won’t complain, will we?

    St. Louis is indeed one of the best, if not the best undrafted player of his era. Goes to show how size is often overrated. 

  39. andrewberkshire says:

    Same here, in fact I was very confused when my entirely right-handed family all shot left. I always figured right handed = shoots right.

  40. HardHabits says:

    Ovie’s no Ken Dryden.

  41. fuhgawz says:

    for my comment down below about sigining Hockey players or Scholars i guess what i meant from that was more of a hey its interesting we have a lot of players in college maybe someone else knows how we stack up against the rest of the league in terms of players who focus on an after hockey life as much as we have in the Habs organization. Is this a Organizational thing? where they want players who can fit roles as GM’s Owners ect. that can carry themselevs well in the business world and stay part of the Habs family .. if so i find it interesting indeed. 

    WASNT raising it as an issue sorry for the confusion

  42. HardHabits says:

    I don’t get this. I am about 70% ambidextrous, can even throw pretty good with my left hand. I am right-handed though. I’ve always played hockey, lacrosse, floor hockey or broomball with a right handed shot. I perplexes me to think that the bulk of left handed shots are righties. ?!?!?!?!??!?!

  43. Say Ash says:

    ever swat at a puck with one arm? which hand is the stick in? your strong hand, top of the shaft – not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  44. Chorske says:

    That’s the Catch 22 Boucher faces as well- as soon as he’s got them honed to perfection, they get called up. They do their jobs too well for their own good. 😉

  45. fuhgawz says:

    great points Chorske

    but i think your making it into a bigger issue then i intended it to be or seemed to be trying to do– i was just asking a question. I wasnt looking for debate really or calling this an issue why are you?

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    Bleacher Report’s fun for the Top 5, 10 and 15 lists they throw together.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  47. Chorske says:

    Oh for Christs sake. YOU brought it up.

    You said: hockey players OR scholars. OR. In other words, one cannot be both. It was a silly comment. We got a big, talented kid into our system. High fives all around.

    And yeah, I don’t give a CRAP if he wants to be a doctor someday. It would be interesting to have a kid like that on the roster, don’t you think?

  48. fuhgawz says:

    hey thanks seriousfan … interesting find !



  49. Chorske says:

    What makes you think this kid doesn’t obsess about hockey? He’s made it this far. Plus, he has clearly shown that he can balance the incredible demands of a college degree- at a great school- while still excelling in sports.

    I think this is way healthier than pushing kids through the Q and the AHL and the NHL- sure, a few kids might have long NHL careers, but the majority of them need something to fall back on if their careers stall or they get injured. Plus: the kids gain maturity, balancing multiple demands, they work their asses off. I’ve said this before- my NCAA kids at SUNY were all hard-working and incredibly dedicated.

    They are probably more mature, complete human beings than the kids who follow the Q-AHL-NHL route, too. And why sneer at that?

    TOTAL non issue.

  50. showey47 says:

    When you are a top pick like those guys are you don’t have to worry about it. But what about the other 99.5% who are not nearly as talented as those guys.

  51. SeriousFan09 says:

    Top 10 NHL players to come out of College Hockey, some quality names on that list.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  52. twocents says:

    Superstars are not signed as 21 year old free agents.

    They are hounded from the time they get peach fuzz and they are drafted in the top 3 in June.

    You got your apples and oranges all mixed up.

  53. fuhgawz says:

    why are you guys taking this such the wrong way ?? honestly

    I dont really care where they sign the players from AS LONG as they can PLAY HOCKEY — if we have smart guys playing for us hey thats cool too 🙂

  54. christophor says:

    Smart Hockey Players

  55. Chorske says:

    Seriously. It’s as if the WORST thing a hockey player could be is smart, too.

  56. fuhgawz says:

    not saying its an issue really just interesting how we seem to have so many in our system that play college hockey just saying it would be nice to find a kid once in a while that has done nothing but live sleep eat drink hockey since birth and didnt worry about a high class degree not knocking the kids at all but i dont think Ovie, Malkin, Sid, Stamkos ect. worried about making sure they could become a doctor instead of a NHL super star.

  57. Chorske says:

    I’m with you- I have no idea where this right-handed-but-shoots-left thing popped up. It was a definite rarity when I was playing back in the 80s as a kid. These days it seems like everyone is doing it. I even know someone who bats “backwards” at softball.

    Not that there is a “wrong” or “right” side- one should shoot from whatever side is most comfortable- but as a righty, I just can’t imagine shooting left. The results would be ridiculous. They are pretty ridiculous to begin with.

  58. twocents says:

    Because there always has to be one.

  59. twocents says:

    Nice signing.

    No… sleep… ’til Brooklyn!

    So far Gauthier’s moves have been unspectacular, but solid.

    The only thing I didn’t like from the franchise lately was the lack of official representation at the Pat Burns arena dedication. That, however, is more on Boivin or Molson’s head.

    Having said that, I doubt Gainey would have let it slip. 

  60. Chorske says:

    Why is this an issue?

  61. Tis Himself says:

    Considering the brain surgeons that have been roster players since ’93 and the Habs’ rate of success, perhaps it’s worth a try!

  62. Tis Himself says:

    Poor Mike Schafer. Just like Red Berenson, he has a tough time holding on to talent.

  63. fuhgawz says:

    Question — Are the Habs signing Hockey Players or Scholars?

  64. Tis Himself says:

    Is that really true? I never knew that. I am right-handed and shoot right and never thought twice about it.

  65. Say Ash says:

    I believe the picture answers your question. And, yes, since most people are right-handed, they also shoot left. Sound about right?

    So, dads, don’t force your left-handed kids to write with their right, but at least nurture their right-handed shot.

  66. SeriousFan09 says:

    He’s a LH shot unfortunately, but only 3 of 10 NHL defencemen are RH so they’re not exactly easy to track down. If he’s had to play right D before for his team, it will likely be a better deal for us than Spacek playing right D. Gorges handles it well enough.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  67. SeriousFan09 says:

    There is a reason college FAs go mostly undrafted. With modern scouting, unfair or not they can pretty much size these kids potential to be NHL players by the time they’re 18, or even before that. Some guys beat the system and prove to be late bloomers, after all the best active college free agent is Martin St. Louis.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  68. Derek says:

    Only one question. Is this guy right handed? or left. Too many lefties in the pros, righties are in desperate need.

  69. Hockey Socks says:

    Andy McDonald, Chris Kunitz, and Mason Raymond come to mind. There hasn’t been a very high success rate with college free agents.

  70. coachdoug says:

    Good signing…Now we got a matching set of big Cornell boys…While I am a loyal Black Bear it’s been slim years for us as of late…

    “Vive le col roulé! Le système, C’est le col roulé!”

  71. SeriousFan09 says:

    Ed Belfour and Adam Oates were unsigned players out of NCAA hockey.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  72. Anonymous says:

    You can see all players stats at and prospect rankings at

  73. SlovakHab says:

    Seems like now it’s time of NCAA signings.. does anyone have a link for a comprehensive summary of all NCAA signings? I would like to compare what other teams are doing..

    And another question – from this kind of signings, are there any good NHL players that came out in the past? (and I don’t mean future Leafs stars Bozak ‘n’ Hanson but someone else). Cheers

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