Canadiens sign D-man Campoli, announce cuts; Gallagher still on roster


The Canadiens have signed defenceman Chris Campoli to a one-year, $1.75 million deal on Monday, the club announced.

The signing raises doubts about the health of defenceman Andrei Markov, who suffered a setback while recovering from a knee operation.

There is also reason to be concerned about the status of  P.K. Subban – afflicted with a mysterious back injury, sustained during off-season training. Subban has played in only one of the Canadiens’ five exhibition games.

The back-end picture has also been clouded by the mediocre preseason play of Yannick Weber and Russian newcomer Alexei Yemelin.

The Canadiens’ zone has been a shooting gallery through most of the preseason schedule, during which the team is 1-4.

The Why Didn’t They Keep Hamrlik? club holds its first meeting at Hurley’s, an hour before tonight’s game.

Nathan Beulieu will not be part of the team’s D picture.

The Canadiens’ 2011 first-round draft choice has been returned to the Saint John Sea-Dogs of the QMJHL.

LW Olivier Archambault and D-man Morgan Ellis also have returned to their Q teams, Drummondville and Cape Breton, respectively.

Junior-age phenom Brendan Gallagher is among the 45 players still  in camp after Alexander Avtsin, Andrew Conboy, Dany Massé, Mark Mitera, Joe Stejskal, Robert Mayer and Peter Delmas were assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs, who start training camp Tuesday morning in Brossard.

Here are the team’s releases:

MONTREAL (September 26, 2011) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of defenseman Chris Campoli to a one-year contract for the 2011-12 season. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In 2010-11, Campoli registered 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists) in 77 games with the Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks. One of his goal was scored on the powerplay and he tallied one game-winning goal. Campoli served 34 penalty minutes and totalled 84 shots on goal.
Campoli, 27, played 397 career regular season games in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Ottawa and Chicago. He has registered 135 points (33 goals, 102 assists) and 192 penalty minutes. He suited up for 18 career playoff contests, collecting five points (1 goal, 4 assists).
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Campoli was drafted in the seventh round, 227th overall by the Islanders at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

In other news, the Canadiens announced a round of cuts on Monday:

MONTREAL (September 26, 2011) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that three players have been reassigned to their junior team, and seven players have been assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.
Forward Olivier Archambault (Drummondville – QMJHL), defencemen Morgan Ellis (Cape Breton – QMJHL) and Nathan Beaulieu (St. John’s – QMJHL) have been returned to their respective junior team.
Forwards Alexander Avtsin, Andrew Conboy and Dany Massé, as well as defencemen Mark Mitera and Joe Stejskal, and goaltenders Robert Mayer and Peter Delmas have been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
There are still 45 players at camp, including ten players sidelined due to injuries: Andrei Markov, Hunter Bishop, Brendon Nash, David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Olivier Fortier, Louis Leblanc, Joonas Nattinen, Ryan White and Ian Schultz.
Canadiens will play tonight the sixth of their eight preseason games hosting the Boston Bruins, at the Bell Centre.
The Hamilton Bulldogs’ training camp will get underway tomorrow at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.


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  2. RickyBobby says:

    ……be straight up with us how long will AM be out ; love the fact u signed AM shows loyalty but one year too long and 1.5mil to much !

  3. RickyBobby says:

    Please pipe down and straight with us al

  4. RickyBobby says:

    The last 2 pre-season games will shed a lot of light and answer many questions; league rules stipulate 10 nhlers each game and the habs had practically 6 on Monday . Love the character on this team , but Martin leave weber on D and get some bangers on the fourth line ; pleks ,pk, pp1 and weber,campoli pp2 ; and Gauthier will u

  5. Habs rule says:

    Nathan Beaulieu (St. John’s – QMJHL)
    There is no QMJHL in St John’s , thats in Newfoundland. Nathan plays for Saint John in QMJHL

  6. Coach K says:

    I dunno about this one…All I can remember about Campoli when I watched him in Ottawa was that he was responsible for more turnovers than Pillsbury. I hope jumpin’ Jacques can reign him in or that he’s improved with experience.

    Maybe this signing isn’t about Markov not being ready – just trying to be positive. Maybe they’re really disappointed with Woywitka’s performance (I know I was) and see Campoli as a suitable replacement. In Woywitka, I see a defenceman who (to this point) has communication problems with his goalies, been last to the puck in his zone and handles it like its a grenade on the end of his stick on those rare occasions when he gets to it first. IMHO not nearly good enough!

    “Shut up and play against him” – Bob Gainey (2011 Heritage Classic)

  7. Mozeby says:

    Who in hell would want Hamrlik back? He was such a liability in the Canadiens’ own end that only Stevie Wonder would think he plays a great game.

  8. rass21 says:

    for sure would rather this guy in a habs uniform if our guns on d are not ready for the start of the season much better then a picard or sopel guys that have been there in the past at least the guy can move and for the price right now this is a good move in the long run

  9. deuce6 says:

    Good puck mover and somebody that can QB a PP if Markov/PK are out longer than expected…I like this signing…


    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  10. Sal says:

    It sure does not take long for this team to go off the rails, injurywise. Got a bad feeling about Markov, could set things back dramatically. Sure feels like PG is booking some insurance. CRAP!!Hope this settles down. It’s a long season, breath, breath….

    Sal from the Hammer

  11. petefleet says:

    Obviously something came up recently. I’m leaning toward the PK injury. Here’s why. They played the guts out of Beaulieu over the last few games. If ne was going back to junior, they wouldn’t have wasted their time. Someone must have thought he could be a stand in for PK, kinda like what PK himself did 2 years ago. Evidently that didn’t happen.
    The other scenario is this. Campoli take Sopel’s and Picard’s seat in the pressbox. It’s not unusual to have 8 D-men ready to go. I don’t see Campoli being in the top 6. Period.

    I didn’t say you were lying, I said I don’t believe you.

    ***Habs Forever***

  12. jimmy shaker says:

    What a horrible waste of cap space……please save the money and go with the 6 d we have in camp

    Gill, Gorges, Yemelin, Subban, Spacek and Weber, or give a different young gun a chance…….did pg forget this is the jabroni that gift wrapped game 7 for the nucks in the playoffs last year. Maybe PG will trade him to the bolts for MAB straight up! That would be awesome!


    • Viruk42 says:

      So are you judging Campoli based on his entire 415 game NHL career, or on the single game where he made a single mistake? Did PG forget that? Probably not, but he probably also looked at the entire season to determine whether or not Campoli was worth a reasonable cap hit. 1.75mil for one year? If he sucks or everyone comes back healthy soon he can be waived and someone will pick him up at that cheap price.
      Based on his career he’s good for 20-30 points if he plays almost a full year, and he’s a +1 in 169 games since he left NYI (can’t really judge his +/- while there, it was NYI afterall). It’s not horrible numbers considering the cap hit.

  13. SeriousFan09 says:

    MTL went through 12 defencemen last season so the depth move isn’t crazy, not to mention with the play of Woywitka, Mitera and the injury to Brendon Nash, Hamilton is weak for a call-up and Weber is struggling too.

    Can we really be surprised that JM wants 8 Ds on his roster?

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

    • SmartDog says:

      A depth move doesn’t surprise me. It’s just that judging by this guys stats – his points and plus-minus are nothing to write home about, and he doesn’t seem to play a full season (or even most of a season) very much… so I don’t get why, at a time when guys are sitting at home praying for another chance, this guy costs 1.75 million.
      No, I don’t know him, so can someone please fill me in why he’s worth that at this time of year. It just seems that PG overpays every chance he gets. The Habs don’t get bargains.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  14. SmartDog says:


    Can someone explain to me why a 6-foot, 7th round stay-at-home defensive journeyman is worth almost 2 million a year?

    Especially at a time when the guy must be getting desperate for a team to play on?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Malreg says:

      Stay-at-home? I guess you’ve never watched him play.

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      You’ve never watched the guy play (or probably heard of him for that matter). What does his height or draft position have to do with his play?

      Campoli has been capable of playing top-four minutes on every team he’s played for (two lousy teams, and down the stretch last year with Chicago). He’s a great insurance policy to take on more minutes in case some of the top guys can’t start the year, and should be a number 4 or 5 guy once everyone’s back and healthy.

  15. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, Trotter was one of the players put on waivers today. So he’s starting in Hamilton i’m guessing..

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

  16. jigsaw says:

    Is Josh McFadden, who signed a free agent tryout agreement, still with team and sidelined? What injury did he sustain and how longer will he be with the team?

    • HabFab says:

      Good question, if you do the math. The 4 players remaining on try out are not included in the 45 total.
      59 in camp – 10 sent down = 49 not 45. We should see clarification soon.

  17. 365fan says:

    What is Schultz’s injury?

  18. OK, here’s the Habsoloutly, wild speculation of the day:

    Habs are gonna package a D man and AK and trade for a forward who can score and fight.

  19. doug19 says:

    I have enjoyed games on RDS even though my French is almost zero. I like Diaz he is fast thinking with the puck. Gallager is exciting and unpredictable for defensemen. Beaulieu looks a great prospect too. In fact I liked all of the prospects, they all have some really good skills.I think Yemilin has looked good as he adjusts. Atvsin looks promising. Henry is better than I thought, tough stay at home dman.Happy to see Danny Masse healed.
    Where is the fast forward who was highly rated 3 years ago, Danny Kristo?

  20. doug19 says:

    What happens when a player is injured short term, mid term,
    long term or even forced to retire? I ask in regards to
    1. Salary. Is it covered by insurance?
    2. Cap space?

    For instance has Montreal been paying Markov full salary all along?

    • HabFab says:

      Wow! You’re not asking much. You need a lawyer and pages of CBA to cover this. Markov for instance;
      – the Habs have to pay his full salary
      – his salary does count against the Cap while out
      – the salary of his replacement can exceed the team’s salary cap total as long as it is not higher then Markov’s and the pre LTIR criteria is meant.
      – the insurance for the team would depend upon each team and player
      – complex system

  21. Campoli is an awesome signing, we may need him if Recchi comes out of retirement.


    hey PG, I can think of a few better ways to spend 2 million dollars

  23. zak says:

    Are they going to sign a goalie because of Cary’s and Budaj mediocre play. Panic on defence already

  24. punkster says:

    Round and round the madness goes.

    In other more important news, congratulations to Cammy for the JB award he’ll receive tonight. Some things in life are far more important than the signings of a middling player.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  25. Jonson says:

    EVERyone needs to stop putting down weber. ive watched every game is he has played this pre season and he has not been that bad! this kid is good he had an awesome year last year and he is only gonna get better. its just the preseason he will be play a ton better once the real sh*t gets going. campoli is a good signing another offensive dman. we need it for the second pp unit or even the first for a little while. i really doubt that diaz was in the plans for the canadiens this year. no doubt he is a project and he will spend a couple of years in the minors. a lot of people need to chill out !!!

  26. RobertAlanFord says:

    Send a Hello to Murph in the kitchen at Hurley’s from Rob.

    guess this means that Yemelin isnt impressing the coaching staff much and not signing Wiz is starting to look like a mistake isnt it. I remember early in the off season when i was being torn a new one for that view.

    “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”, Hunter S. Thompson.

    • habmanj says:

      Wiz at 5.5 over 6 years wasn’t/isn’t an option. I hope the well-deserved ‘new one’ is healing nicely.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I was with you with Wiz as insurance, and if we had to trade him (meaning Markov was fine) to max out his value to another team (and ergo to us) by trading him in March.

      I have nothing against depth, in fact it is critical, but this signing is a little un-nerving.


    we are totally setting up for a trade…

    • slamtherimtim says:

      we better be , cause if there is not i have 2 words for you ,THE WIZ , and this reflects terrible on PG, but i would rather not speculate yet , so i am waiting to rip him a new one ,


        I would have liked to keep wiz, I just dont get why they gave all that money to markov when he hasnt played in 2 season, you knew what you were getting with WIZ.

        BUTTTTTTT I will say this, Carey Price and Subban have big deals to be made this off season, we need to get the money somewhere, I would have taken wiz over markov, personally. I think it was the safer move for the franchise.

        that be said nothing we can do now, but dross out fingers and hope we get our moneys worth out of this markov contract.

    • Bill J says:

      It’s the first thing I thought when I read about this. I highly doubt Subban is as serious as above implies.

      And as for Markov… I remain undecided, but still do not see Campoli as a fill in for him.

      Something is brewing, and I suspect a trade.

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

      Go Habs Go!

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      A trade that should’ve happened a week after letting wiz go for a low pick.

      “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”, Hunter S. Thompson.

    • Jonson says:

      ill bet you anything we are not, the team is as strong as ever. no need for anything else

    • solomio says:

      OMG… They’re not playing PK , signed another D man and you guys are saying they’re setting up for a trade. OMG

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  28. kungpowchicken says:

    Kungpowchicken says:

    Dont underestimate youth. With injuries present our youth will show speed and intensity. This, combined with perserverence, makes kungpow a happy man. Get behind your Habs my friends and let’s slap those Leafs on Sat night. Cant wait to see Cherry witness a Leaf loss! Price will shine and all will be good. Kinda like drinking a Coke on a hot day. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Now that is refreshing!

  29. JasonM says:


    Chris Campoli?

    While the Habs didn’t break the bank on him… he’s soft as pillows.

  30. The Dude says:

    Hey Campoli’s one year salary is only $250,000.00 more than Budaj’s”who I’m really impressed with as of late?”

  31. Post this earlier today and never got any updates?

    How many regulars were in the Bruins lineup last night in Halifax? Also, Can HIO provide updates on all injuried Habs players? Is this the final game tonight before cuts are made? It would be nice to see what the Habs can do with their starting lineup before the start of the season.

    • HabFab says:

      13 Boston regulars the same as tonight vs 7 Habs also the same tonight.
      Andrei Markov, Hunter Bishop, Brendon Nash, David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Olivier Fortier, Louis Leblanc, Joonas Nattinen, Ryan White and Ian Schultz are still out injured.

  32. Alright, even if Markov doesn’t start, our d-core is:
    Subban, Gorges, Gill, Spacek, Weber, Yemelin, Diaz

    Not bad. Campoli’s signing does make sense however.. if Subban’s injury is a tad serious. Other than that, I don’t like this move. Oh well, time will tell.

  33. Psycho29 says:

    Well one good thing about Beaulieu being sent back to the Q is I get to see him live on Wednesday night.
    The Sea Dogs play in Boisbriand against the Armada…

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  34. HabFab says:

    PK is off the injury list!

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    It’s only pre-season but I expect a better effort from the boys tonight.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  36. Captain aHab says:

    The whole thing about Marchand’s tattoo….anybody think the tattoo artist might have been a Habs fan?

  37. Habs64 says:

    Beaulieu sent to
    Saint John, NB not St. John’s NF..

  38. Stev.R says:

    …or maybe Yemelin is getting sent down for some seasoning.

    There is so many possibilities that everyone going straight to the worst-case-scenario is a little over the top.

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    Here we go again.
    Markov should be ready for game action by January.
    PK needs to heal torn muscle.
    Martin needs to heal the face off circle that our centers can not find.
    Martin is worried that Gallagher’s intensity might spread, killing any hopes of a defensive game.

    Ten players sidelined due to injuries: Markov, Subban, Bishop, Nash, Desharnais, Eller, Fortier, Leblanc, Nattinen, White and Schultz.
    What to do ?

  40. avatar_58 says:

    I hate to be “that guy” btw too, but usually montreal’s dirt is all over the place. Why is it this signing came out of nowhere and no one knows why it took place? You journalists and insiders asleep?

  41. Danno says:

    PK looked fine playing against Buffalo last week. I doubt he is seriously hurt.


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

  42. Propwash says:

    Habs didn’t break the bank on him.

  43. JoeC says:

    So, i dont get it. Trotter was the first player put on waivers by us? REALLY??? wtf

  44. jmsheehy19 says:

    Don’t really get this unless MArkov is worse than we thought or Trade is in the works. While Weber, Emelin, and Diaz have been unspectacular, they’ve by no means been awful. Campoli is if anything, a minor upgrade on Diaz from what I’ve seen.

    • sane hockey fan says:

      Yeah a guy with over 100 NHL points is just a minor upgrade on a guy who hasnt yet played one NHL game

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        First of all sarcasm isn’t necessary. Secondly, Campoli hasn’t broken the twenty point mark since his rookie year despite PP time on every team he’s played for and has been weak in his own end. And thirdly, your argument that his points total is an indication that he’s better than Diaz is inconclusive proof. Pyatt has more NHL points than Gallagher, does that make him better? Would you rather have MAB or Gorges?

  45. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I think this is a decent signing. Once everyone is back, I really hope Campoli keeps Spacek out of the Top 6 and not Emelin. With JM that´s unfortunately not too likely.

  46. Eric37 says:

    I’ll start the Hamrlik talk with the suggestion that 2 years for Roman is 2 much.

    Wizneiwski…2 much for 2 long.

    Sure we’re all disappointed with the injuries, but this is the right signing for now.


    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Completely agree + Wisniewski´s name was just too difficult for the majority here.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …to be fair to Pierre Gauthier, it was a tough call …I, Myself, would have tried to sign Hammer for the same money, or a signing incentive premium, and only at a single year because of Our prospects maturing
      …not resigning Markov, letting Him walk (or limp) to another team, was as big a risk as resigning Him
      …either Way, We would have been All Over Pierre
      …easy being a back-street driver,ain’t it ? (…Me included)

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  47. HabFab says:


    Well sort of, maybe, sure why not!

    Eller, Leblanc and Conboy are on the ice, practicing with their teammates, but all wearing blue no-contact jerseys.

  48. The Big One says:

    As much as the possible Markov implications bother me, this could very well just be depth signing given the performance of the young guys (ie Yemelin) that most of us thought would round out the d-core.

    I’d rather this signing now, then have to make a trade before the deadline, as has happened in the past. Imagine having to trade a 2nd round pick for him because of underperformance/injuries!!!

  49. avatar_58 says:

    But hey folks – why bother with Wizneiwski right?

    (yeah that’s right, I’m not letting that go)

    • Psycho29 says:

      The Wiz was asking too much.
      As much I liked him, no thanks, not at that price.

      Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        Last I heard of Wiz he was suspended awaiting a hearing, what ever happened with that?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        We don’t know that the Wiz was asking too much. The Habs never spoke to him.

        • Stev.R says:

          How much is too much for a guy that disappeared for the last quarter of the season and playoffs? I liked him but he’s not the messiah guys

        • Mr. Biter says:

          I wanted Wiz over AM because of just this reason ,the leg injury. We never should have given AM that large & long contract until we knew what the status of his would be. Remember Komo, Schneider,Lang, Souray, etc who ended the season with serious injuries as their contracts expired and we did not resign them. None had a good year the following season and as a Habs fan I hope AM plays sooner and does not get hurt again but…….

          Mr. Biter

        • avatar_58 says:

          I don’t understand why people can’t seem to grasp this. Same goes for Metro, Moore and yes – even Halak. No one asked these guys what they wanted before they left, their agents said as much.

          So quit using their free-market tested amounts like they wouldn’t settle for less from the team they supposedly claimed to “love”. Wiz sounded to me like he’d have stayed here longterm if asked, but he was shown the door before a word was said.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      He is suspended and currently awaiting his fate. I am curious to see how long he gets

  50. habitantpeasoup says:

    I think Boone should lace em up!!!!


  51. CaptainGorges says:

    Campoli is a solid signing. He’s a very strong skater, and can play the point on the powerplay. I’ve been wondering all along what the back-end of our second unit would look like, and i couldn’t come up with many solid combinations. Campoli plugs that hole perfectly (that’s what she said?). He also makes a good first pass, has above average puck control, and has recently bulked up and become a pretty effective open ice checker. I’m actually really excited to see him play. He’s way better than Gill, and there’s no question Markov is going to miss a few weeks at the very least. Our D looks pretty solid now, Subban-Yemelin, Gorges-Gill, Spacek-Campoli. And those are the combinations with Markov being injured. Weber has looked weak defensively so far in the preseason, and his poor play may ultimately have been the reason for this signing. Who knows though? Maybe we’ve got a trade in the works.

    • Say Ash says:

      As one guy on the TSN blog put it: Campoli makes more turnovers than a bakery.

    • PeterStastny26 says:

      Hope you’re right. Particularly about his late improvements. Because last time I (and The Forecaster) checked, the guy was struggling when he had to lay on the body, and was getting manhandled in front of his own net.

    • Psycho29 says:

      Hey! What’s with the positive posting?? I don’t think that’s allowed on HIO.
      I read some of “The sky is falling” comments about the Campoli signing on the other threads here, and I think at this rate we will have to wear hardhats to the Summit this year.
      I’m willing to give it a chance and see what happens…

      Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  52. shiram says:

    It’s because Spacek is retiring/being traded.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  53. PeterStastny26 says:

    It’s an hoax.

  54. Ron says:

    There is not only doubt about Markov but Pk must be hurting much more than is being released. Maybe there is some trade movement in the wind, Weber ?

  55. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …not only does signing Campoli feel frustrating that Markov may not play this year or a good portion of the year, but it’s powerfully saying as well Our prospects and Players like Weber, Diaz and others may not be as good, or ready, as Our normally pink-shaded glasses tell Us.
    …if anyOne cares, or remembers, I started the WE Are Gonna Be Sorry Not Resigning Roman Hamrlik Club this summer
    …I remember clearly the boos & hisses from many Habbites at My nomination

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  56. looks like the Habs defensive core needed a little tweaking™

  57. RGM says:

    And this is why Mr. Gauthier was wise to keep a little bit of a salary cushion going into the season.

    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  58. SnowManHabs85 says:

    With the unknown factor of our d-men, maybe this is a good signing if our d-men are a little “inexperienced” 😛

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

  59. Thurston says:

    At least they added some depth without trading anything.

  60. Mothstoflame says:

    It doesnt say weither its two way or not.. Anybody else starting to feel frustrated…?

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