Update: Hamrlik says no to Canadiens


The Gazette’s Pat Hickey thinks the Canadiens decision to offer a contract to Roman Hamrlik is a smart move because the veteran would serve as an excellent mentor to the likes of Alexei Yemelin and other young defenders.

And it would also allow Raphael Diaz and Brendon Nash to get lots of playing time in Hamilton for another season, and the Canadiens could use Yannick Weber as a fourth-line forward and power-play specialist.

La Presse reports, however, that Hamrlik is hesitant to accept the one-year contract he has been offered. On Wednesday morning, Hamrlik turned down the one-year contract offer from the Canadiens, RDS says.


  1. The Juice says:

    Sign Maxime Talbot!


    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

    • Bripro says:

      I’m with you. He’s a grinder, great short handed. He shows up every shift. And since the Habs have given up on Pyatt, he’d be ideal. He’s a francophone local boy, which would make many, media heads and otherwise, very happy. And so far, he’s come cheap for Pittsburg at $1mm, so he could be had for a great price.
      And joeybarrie, Gionta and Cammy cost the team nothing. They were both UFA’s, and were signed by Gainey. What cost was having to sign Gomez to lure them over, even if they both say otherwise.

      • sally122 says:

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        I agree totally on Hensky. I wouldn’t pay the $4M for him because just as was the case at trade deadline last year – the Oilers wanted too much for him. And Connolly, as good as he may be, is on the injury train far too much for my liking.

    • Tony McLean says:

      Yeah he probably doesn’t wanna play with Crosby and Malkin any more…

      “I shall always remember Beliveau. Now there was a real captain.”

  2. joeybarrie says:

    WHAT??!!??? We got a draft pick for Wiz? What a terrible job PG. 5th or 7th. What a waste…. I mean considering what we gave up for Gionta and Cammalleri.
    I mean the Habs ALWAYS get fleeced. Look at what NYR got for Jokinen, look at what NJD got for Martin, ETC, ETC….

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • shiram says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but we just signed Gio and Cammy, so we gave them contracts, but no draft picks or players we’re exchanged.

      • Mattyleg says:

        They were FAs.
        So I don’t know what we gave for them either.

        And because Wiz is a Free Agent, we can’t trade him. No team would trade for someone who might not sign for them. We trade the rights to offer him contracts until July 1.

        …or am I constantly missing sarcasm today…?

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Polar Bear says:

      Yep only one club de hockey best team ever and one goal away from the stanley cup. Stay the course Gauthier.

  3. emann_222 says:

    This was just posted in the comments section of my Habs Roster Challenge … Um – Yeah – OK …

    Mike Cammalleri ($6.000m) / Tomas Plekanec ($5.000m) / Ales Hemsky ($4.100m)
    Max Pacioretty ($1.625m) / Tim Connolly ($5.000m) / Brian Gionta ($5.000m)
    Joshua Bailey ($2.725m) / Lars Eller ($1.270m) / Andrei Kostitsyn ($3.250m)
    Travis Moen ($1.500m) / Zenon Konopka ($0.750m) / Mathieu Darche ($0.700m)
    David Desharnais ($0.850m)

    Andrei Markov ($5.750m) / Anton Babchuk ($4.200m)
    Hal Gill ($2.250m) / P.K. Subban ($0.875m)
    Alexei Yemelin ($0.984m) / Josh Gorges ($2.600m)
    Jim Vandermeer ($1.800m)

    Carey Price ($2.750m) / Chris Osgood ($1.500m)

    BUYOUTS: Georges Laraque ($0.500m)

    SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $60,980,033; BONUSES: $400,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $3,719,967

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.wordpress.com and http://www.thehockeywriters.com

    • TomNickle says:

      Connolly will be a Leaf. I am convinced of this based on the amount of times that Brian Burke has leaked that he’s after a player(Richards) who has said he has no interest in playing in Toronto. He’s hoping to fly under the radar on that one, thing is, the guy’s too bullheaded to realize that with this crop of ufas, there’s no flying under the radar because they’re all gold.

      Hemsky is very possible and wouldn’t surprise me. I am however very concerned about what Edmonton requires in return for him.

      If Babchuk gets $4 million on the market the system is broken, ditto for Vandermeer at $1.8 million.

    • I wonder if the commenter has realized that Osgood retired? Connolly at 5M?? Babchuk at 4.2M???? A no talent 7th defenseman for almost 2M instead of Weber?? No thanks.

    • SyntaxLove says:

      If this is someone’s dream roster, it’s my nightmare. All of the additions are ridiculously priced & just…dumb.

      I’d focus on signing Belanger & Talbot for cheap & unload (if $3 mil can be considered “unloading”) on Ville Leino & be done with it until trade deadline.

  4. TomNickle says:

    So now the ship on Hamrlik and Wisniewski has sailed. I’m completely comfortable with Gauthier signing Gorges and going with what we have on defense.

    Now, go get a winger who can play with Plekanec and Cammalleri.

    • krob1000 says:

      he just went too in Jagr….we might just be looking at AK46 playing there and a really weak third line and a sputtering offense again I fear. THe only options now are via trade and thatcosts assets and now we know we aren;t overstocked on D and may in fact be undermanned because Weber and Emelin as everyday guys are both question marks….pretty good best but still question marks. I see no other UFA that strikes me as top line material…..Leino? perhaps…but that is a stretch to think he is creative enough to play with Pleks and Cammi. As of this moment we are no stronger this year than last……something had better be done because Markov is only marginally better than Wiz, we are still subject to being pushed around. Pacioretty had a good part season….so did Pouliot.
      Unless we no go and sign two top nine forwards I am a little more than concerned……the Habs aren’t the best of bets in the UFA market to lure guys…..so what was enormous optimism at the cap increase is now slowly fading.
      Maybe we get a vet like Mccabe or Jovo as suggested earlier which would toughen the back end and help Markov return to his left point on the pp and subban could anchor a second unit…..dunno….slightly disappointed right now
      Hopefully something is up PG’s sleeve because we are right now no better on paper than last year…may even be worse and only time will tell that…….Erik Cole??? could help I guess but he has never been the same and is about as injruy prone as they get
      Gagne? I would roll the dice but does he want to play in Quebec?

      • TomNickle says:

        I think the trade route will be taken for a forward addition.

        I don’t see a ufa defenseman coming in. They certainly wouldn’t have much confidence about playing time.

    • Polar Bear says:

      Totally agree Tom. They will sign a forward. I’m thinking maybe Erik Cole

  5. HardHabits says:

    The Habs are going to wait until everybody worth signing is signed. They will look at what’s available and make one or two shrewd little moves. Sign some player(s) for cheap, get the most out of said player(s) and next season it’ll be more for the recycling bin.

    Hey. At least the Habs are leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Veganism and going green go hand in hand right?

    I hear pacifism is another pinko-commie tendency.

    Maybe the Habs should make a new jersey, which would reflect the team’s new philosophy, and add a nice little rainbow to the logo.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Maybe you should support another team!
      One that doesn’t make you so darn unhappy.
      Because supporting a team is supposed to be fun!
      You seem like the unhappiest person in the world.
      Move on before it kills you, HH.
      I worry about you.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HardHabits says:

        I am a Montrealer and hockey fan. I am not like other people who support teams outside their cities.

        During the 80’s Team Canada became my #1 team. At least they win championships. ’93 to me was like yeah whatever. I wasn’t surprised when the team nosedived after that. Losing Chelios was the first salvo. The writing was on the wall when Roy, Leclair and Desjardins were gone.

        However, as far as the Habs go. I’ve watched them crumble since 1980. They’ve gone from bad to worse and have stagnated there.

        People probably see me as being ambivalent, others say bi-polar. It’s neither.

        I don’t get worked up. That’s what happens to you. Writing is just that. If I evoke responses than I am doing my job.

        Don’t worry about me. The Habs could suck for the rest of my life and I will still joke about it. I don’t get angry. When I read my posts. I laugh. I recommend you do the same.

        I kill me.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I like it.

      But if that were the plan they would have kept Laraque, The Green Enforcer.

      How about a little pale pink unicorn logo? In fact, The Winnipeg Jets should be re-birthed as The Winnipeg Bio-Diesels.

      And damn, the Leafs are already ahead in Green-osity just being called “The Leafs”.

      You’ll be pleased to know I drive a Porsche with a bumper sticker that says “Powered by French Fry Oil”.

    • ed lopaz says:

      “pinko commie tendency” – hilarious!!

      I closed my eyes and thought I was watching Carrol Oconnor on All in the Family!!

      I think if Gauthier put on a little weight (like 150 lbs or so), he could easily be confused with George Constanza on Seinfeld

      (Gauthier) : It’s not working, Jacques. It’s just not working.

      (Martin) : What is it that isn’t working?

      (Gauthier): Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  6. krob1000 says:

    ok since straw grasping is all that is left…..maybe Svoboda leaked the offer to the Russian press to let other teams know what the offer was…
    …and maybe Wiz wants to hear his JUly 1 offers and is still interrested so we get a pick and take a crack at him…..
    …and maybe The Flower is gonna lace em up again after a steady diet of human growth hormone for the past few years and bury 40….expecting his usual 50 or 60 is pushing it guys so please be realistic

  7. nick says:

    5th or 7th beats the hell out of nothing.
    Which is… exaclty what Montreal would have gotten out of it in 2 days. Nice work PG.

  8. shiram says:

    So if we can confirm that Jagr is signed in Pitts, that would be the 2 most stressing issues down. What are we gonna talk about??

  9. HardHabits says:

    Way to go turning that 2nd into a 7th (maybe even a 5th) PG. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

    Is it just me or does the league generally consider the Habs to be suckers on the trade market?

    I mean how desperate must the Habs be. The Roy trade, Chelios, Leclair and Desjardins, the Lecavalier for Plekanec, Subban and Price proposal, Gomez.

    PG couldn’t even get a 7th for Pouliot, Picard and Pyatt combined.

    The Habs trying to deal players are like a desperate fat girl trolling Internet dating sites.

  10. krob1000 says:

    Well….a 5th or 7th is better than nothing like we usually get….didn’t we just get that Pribyl kid in the 7th or so?

    • Sharks9 says:

      We’ve gotten guys in the 5th and 7th before, although it’s a negative for us as we gave up a 2nd rounder to get him, wish we could’ve traded his rights earlier.

      25 before 14

  11. pants buzzed

    at least the whining about trading wizz rights will cease

    of course now itll be “why didnt we sign wizz”

    dont get me wrong im a fan of the guy but… our d does not need adressing like our forwards do

    • Tony McLean says:

      Amen. We’re dying for some beefcake up front! A heavyweight who can score 15-20 and disturb goalies. And kick Chara’s yellow ass.

      “I shall always remember Beliveau. Now there was a real captain.”

  12. krob1000 says:

    7th round pick, 5th if they sign him

  13. krob1000 says:

    so…what are plans e, F and G now that Wiz is gone, Jagr is gone, Brooks Laich is gone and Hammer broke our hearts?

  14. JayBee says:

    Wiz rights dealt to Columbus

  15. krob1000 says:

    If anyone can read Russian this says Jagr signed today with Pittsburgh for one eyar at 1.4 million? anyone who can read Russian please confirm http://www.dobberhockey.com/index.php?option=com_jfusion&Itemid=93&jfile=showthread.php&p=734787

    • CranbrookEd says:

      That would be correct:

      Jaromir Jagr signed with ” Pittsburgh “and return to the club, which played 11 seasons and won two Stanley Cups. 39-year-old Czech has decided to leave Omsk ” Vanguard “and next season will earn about $ 1.4 million.
      Читать полностью: http://gazeta.ru/sport/2011/06/a_3680105.shtml

      Using Google Chrome as your browser, will provide you with option of translating just about any webpage . . . !

      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”!

    • ManApart says:

      Wow, I would have given him that if i were PG. You simply can’t lose giving Jagr that contract. Unfortuneately PG is incompetent.

      • saskhabfan says:

        Problem is the NHL is played in north america,not north korea. The player chooses where he wants to go not who always offers the most money. You would think someone like you who constantly says he knows more then anyone else about hockey would know something so simple.

  16. Haligonian-Hab says:

    Wiz’ rights traded to Columbus e5

    • JD_ says:

      If true, I guess the prevailin’ theory PG is mentally incapacitated can be set aside.

      • TomNickle says:

        Perhaps. But the return will be interesting. If he got anything less than what Vancouver got for Erhoff he probably missed the boat and allowed the market for players’ rights this season to dictate the return he got from Columbus.

        Not saying the Islanders would’ve given up a pick to re-acquire him, but getting there first has been his strong point.

        Edit: Aaron Portzline says it’s a 7th rounder that becomes a 5th if he signs. That’s a bad deal though better than nothing. Erhoff was acquired for a 4th outright. Had Gauthier acted prior to today. The additional day of negotiations may have earned him a better pick.

        • JD_ says:

          The issue wasn’t so much what the return would be, just this incessant and incredibly naive speculation around here that PG wasn’t doin’ anythin’ at all on the Newsy file.

          As I pointed out yesterday after readin’ the same breathless BS for the upteenth time, I suggested for that to be the case, PG would have to be mentally incapacitated.

          With regards to the trade, we really don’t know where the Habs and Newsy’s agent were as of yesterday. The Hamr offer may have been part of the leverage. It’s all pure guessin’.

          • TomNickle says:

            I remember reading what you had to say on the subject. And while he may not be incompetent, getting a 7th for a defenseman of eerily similar talent to Erhoff when the latter was acquired for a 4th is bad management in my opinion. Not only did he not get equal value by waiting too long, but he got lesser value because of it.

          • JD_ says:

            Again, we don’t know that PG was waitin’. In fairness, that is an assumption.

          • TomNickle says:

            Maybe not but Helen Keller knew he was going to test the waters come July 1st.

            Gillis knew when Erhoff turned down the Bieksa offer that it was game over, moved him for a decent pick. We just lost an equally taleneted defenseman for a pick that could come three full rounds after the pick the Islanders received.

          • JD_ says:

            I just can’t pretend to be a fly on the wall. For all we know, they were a few hundred thou apart.

            The point remains the same: It’s one thing to suggest PG could have done better – I can’t debate the point absent any of the above knowledge – it’s a whole other premise to feed some grindin’ juvenile agenda by st00pidly positin’ he’s doin’ absolutely nothin’.

        • punkster says:

          I’m late to this party but…do you really consider Newsie that close in talent to Ehrhoff? I say he’s definitely lower so the
          7th or 5th rounder doesn’t surprise me.
          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t think there’s enough of a gap to justify a pick three rounds later.

            One point separating them this season and Ehrhoff played on the highest scoring team in the league that had the best powerplay.

      • punkster says:

        Until the next tempest in a teapot…say 24 hours or less?

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s an ‘e’ for ‘eeghhhhh, I don’t know what I’m talking about…”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Sean Bonjovi says:


      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        …anyway (since that link is messed up) Bob McKenzie says it’s a 5th if they sign him and a 7th if they don’t.

        * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • longbow says:

      7th rounder and a conditional pick.

      “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  17. SmartDog says:


    1. So if you’re PG, Hamrlik just turned your 1-year deal down so this means:
    a) you can’t trade Spacek as planned
    b) you can put that money and go after the Whiz
    c) you sign Mara or Sopel as a 6th or 7th for toughness
    d) you’ll do with the D you have and now have money to chase a proven top 6 forward

    2. Imagine looking at 3 free agent forwards of similar value likely to score 15+ goals. Each has a different “extra” quality. Which do you pick?:
    a) face-off specialist with defensive strength
    b) big tough agitator
    c) powerful, fast, hard to control

    3. Should PG spend all the money he can? Or is it a good idea for him to leave a couple million in cap room for a trade deadline signing or mid-season deal?

    4. Gorges will sign for 8.25 million over 3 years. Is that too much, too little, or about right.

    5. Assuming he’s not traded (and that prayer actually DOESN’T work), who will show the bigger “bounceback” from last year: Gomer or Cami?


    • HardHabits says:

      Put down NHL11.

    • SmartDog says:

      1. C – Go for toughness. We need it.
      2. B – Toughness again.
      3. Save 2 million for a trade later. We already have Markov back, so we’re better without spending more money, let alone having 6 million more in cap room. Save some for later.
      4. I think that’s about right. Or 5.5 million for 2 seasons. I hope it’s not more. 3 million would be too much IMHO.
      5. Cami. I just don’t believe what Gomer says.

    • 123456 says:

      1 – C . . . i think Wiz is as good as gone
      2 – C . . . he can get the puck to others to score
      3 – Leave about $2M so can get a $4-$5M guy as needed in 2012
      4 – Tiny bit too much, but I like 3+ years
      5 – Gomer . . . both will have better numbers but i think the perception is that a 30% increase in production from Gomer would be viewed as a bigger bouce back.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      1) A- We have enough D signed right now and if we can pick up a solid top 6 forward then go for it

      2) C- That player would be the perfect piece to stick next to cammy and pleks

      3) Pg likes to keep a bit for wiggle room always, but if we manage to stay healthy we should have everythign we need and if we do get some long term injuries then it will free up cap room that wya.

      4) Would like if we could nab him for about 250k less a year but that about seems right.

      5)Ill have to say gomer jsut because he didnt exactly set the bar high on that one. Cammy’s production was below what it should be but it wasn’t abysmal.

    • longbow says:

      1) B
      2) C
      3) Save some of it
      4) A little to much. 7.5 seems ok
      5) Gomer,believe it or not !

      “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  18. longbow says:

    To anyone out there suggesting we send out some offer sheets to RFA’s I would suggest it would come back to bite us in the a$$ next year when PK and Carey become RFA’s next year. I’m sure some GM’s out there would be all to happy to return the favor and no doubt the situation isn’t lost on PK and Carey’s agents.I’m sure they would see it as an opportunity to be exploited.We don’t want to go there.

    “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

    • HardHabits says:

      Price or Subban for 4 1st round draft picks would be worth it any day of the week.

      Even two first-round picks and a second and third-round pick would be worth it.

      It’s when the compensation gets to be only a first, a second, and a third-round pick that it get’s to be in the Habs favour to match the offer sheet.

      I’d even be tempted to go with the latter depending on the team making the offer and where their projected standings would be the next season, although that temptation would be easily passed up.

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        Two first round picks that could potentialy be busts and a 2nd and 3rd rounder for a franchise goaltender and one of the most promising rookie dmen in the league?

  19. petefleet says:

    I’m thinking the Hamrlik offer was just to put it back in Hammer’s court, for him to save face. He has been great for the Habs over the past few years. His time has past though.
    With the money they have just saved, they should offer Wiz a new 3 year deal @ $4-4.5 million per.
    If they can unload Gomer for a bag of pucks, everything would be in place for a good run this year….a big strong centreman would be nice though.

    ***Habs Forever***

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Looks like we will have eight D. But there is some signing for Gauthier to do yet.

    Markov & Subban
    Gorges & Gill
    Spacek & Weber & Yemelin

  21. 100HABS says:

    UFA’s I would take:
    Brad Richards
    Simon Gagné

    The last 3 have decreased in production and have injury issues so should not be too expensive. A little experience with these guys, bring in help from Hamilton and we’re set.

  22. JD_ says:

    * What a great time to be a UFA. Some 16 teams short of the salary cap floor of $48.3M, and just about half of those below $40M. I have a feelin’ Newsy’s upcomin’ five-year deal is gonna make a few heads spin and is likely the reason nobody’s coughin’ up anythin’ for his negotiatin’ rights.

    * Hamr a no-go. I can live with that. The only downside is I was hopin’ his one-year deal would mean that Spacecake’s remainin’ one year would be traded away.

    * I’m glad to see it’s finally happened, but it’s still completely outrageous that the HHoF waited some three decades to induct Howe. WTF? Gordie should have been in there a long time ago. The selection committe should be ashamed of itself. Some people just don’t get it.

    * Memorable Gilmour as a Hab moment: Game 6 of the 2002 playoff series against Carolina, Dougie’s assessed a minor in the 2nd period, enters the box, slams the door, and the glass in front of him just explodes. He just sits there like nothin’ has happened. Slap Shot couldn’t have scripted the moment. Awesome.

    * Epic Ed Belfour moment: Some ten years ago, while quite refreshed at a Dallas hotel and in the process of bein’ arrested, he offers police a $1 billion bribe to let him go. Eddie’s bank account would become the catalyst behind the NHL’s imposition of a salary cap.

    * Alex Auld would have a story or two to share in regards to The Eagle’s drunken temper.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    So if no Wiz, and now no Hammer. PG has plenty of money available to fill in up front. I don’t mind if he slightly overpays for the services of an Anthony Stewart, Ville Leino or even Joel Ward. I am not talking drunken sailor overpay, but lets get a couple tough forwards with semblance of hands to play with this team.

    Or as someone had suggested days ago, why don’t we throw an offer just south of 3mill. per for Wayne Simmonds. I believe we then have a very reduced compensation to pay if we get him.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I don’t think Eric Cole would be a bad pick up. He is going to test free agency. If I do remember correctly him and his brothers were habs fans as kids so there could be some willingness to join.

      He had three great seasons with Carolina and a couple bad ones in between with Edmonton but lets face it Edmonton sucked pretty hard when he was playing there.

      I would take him to add some physicaclity and goal scoring

  24. Habfan4lfe says:

    I’m glad hammer refused to sign. Goodbye Hammer. Signing him for more than a year is a mistake.

    I hope we get rid of Gomez, I don’t care if he wants to stay either. Get rid of him, we will be tonnes better without him. It’s disgusting to see how much money he makes, he did zero for us last season and he was a no show for the playoffs. If PG does anything smart, it will be to get rid of this guy now. For that matter I hope Wiz is long gone. We don’t need another average defenceman. That’s all Wiz was except for his first 10 games.

    Not impressed with the draft either. We grab a bunch of defence, great… just what we needed, more defence.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Gomez did more in the playoffs than he did all season.

      I liked the fact that he owned up to his poor performance, and said that he was embarrassed in the dressing room. Takes balls to say something like that, and I’d like to see if he can bounce back. He’s a good player, and he should be able to.

      Look at Pleky, and how many people were screaming to throw him under the bus after his Year of Playing Like a Little Girl, and then how well he came back the following 2 years.

      I don’t mind hanging onto Gomez and re-evaluating him around Xmas or the All-Star break.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • J_P says:

        Although I understand your point, I cant help but disagree. Gomez had TWO seasons to prove his worth, and all he has proven is that even if he steps up his play, he still won’t play to the level of a player with a $7.3 million cap hit. Now is the time to deal him to some small market team, if possible, hoping that they see some upside (how much worse can he get) and the fact that they are coming out over $4 million ahead in dollars paid vs cap hit over the next three seasons.

        As a big spending team, we can do so much more with that kind of cap space.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Yeah, he’s overpaid, that’s for sure.
          But who’s the alternative?
          There’s no point in freeing up cap-space if there’s no quality player to fill the spot. Gomez is a great skater that eats up tons of ice-time, and is rarely injured. When he was injured, we really really missed him, which I didn’t actually think was possible, but we did.
          There is very little on the RFA or UFA list that we could replace him with, unless you can think of someone…? I can’t, unfortunately.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • SmartDog says:

          I agree. All last year Gomez was saying “I know I need to be better” and (even worse) “I’m a veteran and the guys look up to me… (not)… so I need to be better”. And what did he do to back up these repeated confessions? Sweet suck all. So when Gomer said in his exit interview “I will come back better”, how can we really believe that.

          For those saying “yeah but who will we replace him with?” I’ll tell you who? DD or Eller or Halpern or ANYONE could be about as good and we’ll have SIX MILLION DOLLARS to buy another goal scorer which should make up for his 7 goals of production by Remembrance day. The rest is gravy.

          • PeterStone says:

            i dont understand this desire to fill in a 7M$ cap space with a guy like gomez who does nothing. Im with you, save the cap space and wait for the inevitable moment during the season when some team says, da** I got to move this guy now. Who has cap space … hmmm ….

            if I recall, you hated this deal from the second it went down.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        ah… 0+0 = 0

  25. Chris says:

    I see a lot of people pencilling Gill in as a top-4 defenceman…I will be surprised if that is the case. He filled that role last season only because Gorges and Markov were both down with extended injuries. And even then, he was padding his ice time because he and Gorges were the go-to penalty killers for Jacques Martin. Gill actually finished 6th amongst Habs defencemen in average even-strength ice time per game in both of his seasons in Montreal.

    When Markov came back in early November, Gill’s minutes dropped to 15-17 minutes per game, least amongst the Habs’ defencemen. Jacques Martin knows that Gill’s minutes must be managed if he’s to have anything left in the second half and the playoffs.

    I’m looking for Gill to start with Subban, but I really do expect that Yemelin will very quickly relegate Gill to the third pairing and play alongside P.K. Subban during even-strength situations.

    Gill would be best used as a mentor for Weber on the third pairing, where his minutes can be more tightly managed. Subban is a bit of an adventure at times, but he doesn’t necessarily need the same level of baby-sitting after completing a season in the NHL.

    • TomNickle says:

      I agree with what you say. Which is why a lot of people were upset at the prospect of Hamrlik bumping Weber or Yemelin out of regular duty.

      Yemelin at worst is a 3rd pairing defenseman out of the gate. Training camp and pre-season should give him ample time to get used to playing with the current members of the team and his versatility will see him as a top 4 defenseman before the season has concluded.

      • Morenz7 says:

        Hope you’re right about Yemelin. He’s clearly tough enough to play in the NHL, but based on what I saw at the WCs, he might need longer than camp and pre-season to adjust. His ice time was limited and he got caught out of position a few times—maybe he was covering for poor partners. Without Hammer or Wiz, we’ll need his grit.

        • Chris says:

          Yes, but remember that using world championships (and especially world junior championships) to judge defencemen is perilous. So much of defence is knowing where your partner is going to be and what he’s going to do.

          When you throw these guys together, it turns into a bit of an all-star game. The offensive guys always excel because it is easier for them to adjust, but the defensive guys always look worse.

          This was always something that irked me about people dismissing Ryan McDonagh as a prospect…based on his WJC performances, people were quick to write him off as a bust. The Rangers knew exactly what they were doing when they acquired him, and I don’t think they regret that trade for a second.

          I have every faith that Yemelin, when playing in a system that he knows and with a partner that he understands, will be a very effective defenceman.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Don’t underestimate how difficult the switch from the KHL to NHL game will be. Different ice size and different style of play. I am not saying Yemelin can’t do it just don’t think it will be a three week thing.

        Defense is not easy and switching ice size and style are big things that you have to make adjustments to

        • TomNickle says:

          The jump from the KHL to NHL should be a fairly smooth transition for a Yemelin style of player. He’s a creative passer and plays a physical game. North American game suits him better in the opinion of many.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            We will see. It just seems to take players a bit to adjust and Defense in the NHL is not easy. Everyone keeps saying his is physical but I have seen a ton of clips on youtube none of which show him being really a physical threat. I am worried he is just going to get tooled over here

      • Chris says:

        I was upset when I saw they re-signed Gill. I personally would have preferred Hamrlik (their shot-blocking and hits were basically the same, they are both suceptible to getting attacked with speed, but Hamrlik brings so much more offensively that it trumps Gill’s defensive superiority), but once Gill was re-signed that should have been it for Hamrlik.

        Weber and Yemelin NEED to play this season. Having one or both waste away for a year in Hamilton would not help either guy’s development at this point in their career arcs. This is also why I am perfectly okay with them letting Wisniewski walk…well that and the fact that I suspect Wisniewski had a career year last season and that he won’t replicate that level of success.

        Markov, Gorges, Subban and Gill give them four solid defencemen. I want Yemelin and Weber to play. They already have a good veteran #7 defenceman in Spacek who can rotate in and out of the line-up when needed. The defence corps is largely set as far as I’m concerned.

        Where they team and its fans should be focussing all efforts is up front…they desperately need help at forward, particularly some forwards who could shoot the puck into the ocean from the beach. I was ecstatic to see they’ve given up on Pyatt, who was utterly useless. Pouliot had some potential, so that disturbed me a bit, even though he was clearly on the outs with Jacques Martin. Halpern was a good stop-gap for a year.

        Unfortunately, there is not much to choose from out there this year. The lack of UFA forwards means any player with a pulse is probably getting a big deal…Sean Bergenheim, the John Druce of this year’s playoffs, looks to be in place to cash in handsomely.

        With Kopecky apparently off the market, my favourite targets might include Tomas Fleischmann (speed to burn, decent hands but a bit small) or Scottie Upshall (decent third line grinder to replace Pouliot’s offence, but will be more expensive).

        The farm system isn’t coughing up much when it comes to forwards…Aaron Palushaj can probably step in on the fourth line and Nigel Dawes could be effective in the right role. Ryan White should see full-time action next year.

    • krob1000 says:

      You know where I stand on Gill Chris…I have always thought he was overrated as a dman but now know he is underated as a teammate and mentor. I think Hamrlik over Gill would have been my preference too and think Gill serves a purpose but as I have stated a number of times on here I am not fully convinced that his great play in our end is not often a result of him having to allow the team easy entry to our end because he must give ice on his side to compensate for his lack of speed. Once in our end and down low…he does great…but would we be in our end without possession to begin with? that has always been my question as I loved it when the Habs played against him and he would just back in.
      His mentorship qualities and ability to reign in Subban have been huge and no doubt he helped Price thorugh things too so I see some value there as well . In fact I respect him so much I would genuinely seek out his interest in a year or two in becoming the teams defense coach…..and I am dead serious about that…..he has those qualities and commands a genuine respect from guys. However, like you I have questions about his on ice impact. Down low…great but this isn’t basketball where you can call timeout or sub him in for just d purposes in a half court setting…I think I would have preferred Hamrlik but it is done or so it seems…..but the difference is minimal IMO so maybe that is why they went to the intangibles.

      One year…I can live with that and I truly hope he stays involved in some capacity with the club given the projects we have on D via past drafts, Subban, Weber (if we keep him) and the crop we just drafted…he is a master at maximizing a skill set and the intellectual side of the game. That is a defense of d that is far underrated …..defense is difficult mentally and his poise, understanding and experience are something that need to be shared once his days are done on the ice IMO……

    • Mats Naslund says:

      Agreed. Gill is most effective in 15 mins with PK time. Yemelin (barring a meltdown) should be a top 4 guy playing beside either Gorges or Subby.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I think you have to expect that for game one we’ll see the traditional pairings and that newcomers will be eased into the season. It only makes sense, unless the preseason results in some unexpected dominance. But if things develop in a probable manner, then Yemelin’s time should increase over the season and veteran time should decrease. Logical, no?

      And I agree that a bird in the hand beats two in the bush, but sometimes you have to gamble. The luxury of having aging defencemen and upcoming youth is the ability to trade those D-men for inflated value mid-season when other teams’ D either don’t pan out or get injured.

  26. Talik Sanis says:

    So, once again, Hamrlik sacrifices for our team without fanfare. It behooves us all to pause for a moment and thank him for his final service: not resigning with us.

    Disclaimer: I love Hamrlik as much as the next guy. I appreciate his service (mostly) but his time has passed. We can be better without him.

  27. Mike D says:

    With Hamr not returning, I hope this means more of a regular spot for Weber. I’m guessing the KHL clause in Yemelin’s contract puts him ahead of Weber on the depth chart meaning Weber currently sits 7th (assuming Gorges re-signs), but I’d like to see him on at least a semi-regular basis.

    I’m also hoping, probably to no avail, that PG is feverishly working on a trade for Spacek so room can be made for keeping Wiz. I think I’m gonna be disapponinted on that front though.

    – Honestly yours

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      We all are gonna be disappointed. I think Weber is actually higher on the depth chart than SpaceCheck who will fill in for Yemelin and Weber here and there…… unless PG finds a buyer that is.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I think Hammer turning us down is hilarious, but g*d bless him and I wish him the best. Thanks for doing all the dirty thankless housekeeping in our end of the ice and covering for Markov for 2 years. I only wish you got a little more appreciation for it.

  28. Jordio-oh says:

    Some whispers around the league suggest the Flyers could offer sheet Stamkos.

    • Chuck says:

      And what would they pay him with? Monopoly money? They’ve got just over $8 million in cap space with only 18 players signed.

      • RS says:

        Maybe they’re planning on trading Bryzgalov? It’s not like they haven’t moved big contracts before.

      • HardHabits says:

        They can offer Tampa Carter or Richards, wait a minute, I meant Briere and Giroux, or Couturier and a few picks.

        Maybe they can offer them Subban and Price. No that would have been Gainey’s offer for Lecavalier.

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Actually, it was Pleks, Price and a prospect (possibly Subban) for Vinny.

          I just barfed in my mouth at the thought.

          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • TomNickle says:

      Tampa has the ability to match any offer sheet that comes. No price is too high for them, he isn’t going anywhere.

      • krob1000 says:

        Philly may just be the hockey version of Storage Wars Dave Hester on this one lol….bid them up just so they have to cut someone else loose.
        Holmgren already threw his reputation out the window with his Carter, Richards handling,etc….so why not start throwing out offer sheets to any and everyone. Sounds about right and to be honest I have never really understood the reluctancy for teams to throw out offer sheets…IMO they should not be taboo and should be more frequent and not so frowned upon. I realize it makes it tough on small market teams but those are the rules in the agreement….just like the signing of players until they are 55 years old is a loophole this is too so why is it not used but the other is? Because one is perceived to only hurt its own team and the other targets another team? well let’s be realistic the long big money contracts are just as hard for small market teams to take on so they are effectively put out of the running by these long contracts just as the offer sheet process puts them out of the running in some cases. In fact I would argue the offer sheets level the playing field because teams that are already at the cap are teh ones who are vulnerable…which makes one wonder who is it that really doesn’t like offer sheets?

      • Jordio-oh says:

        I know. I’m just noting that it’s being talked about. Yzerman will lose his job if he doesn’t match.

    • Chris says:

      Sometimes the point of an offer sheet is to eight-ball another team financially. Look what happened with Hjalmarsson in Chicago…they did not want to pay him that kind of money, but they also didn’t want to lose him.

      It is a cynical move, but I’m surprised that more GM’s don’t play these types of games to try and force their opponents’ hands. The goal is to build the strongest team…if you can take away an elite player from a competitor, you have to try. And if in the process you force that team to sign said player for more than they intended, you still win.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Good point.

        ampa is obviously a serious competitor to Philly. Just like it would be bad for us to lose Wiz, but WORSE if he were to sign in Boston instead of say, Detroit.

        It’s kind of like the plus/minus system. I’m wondering if this stuff is starting up because it won’t be possible in the next player deal?


      • Chuck says:

        True, but I still don’t like the ethics behind it. To put forth an offer sheet, you should also show that you would be able to fit the contract under your cap space should the team not be willing to match.

        • HardHabits says:

          I don’t like the ethics of sacrificing a piece in Chess to get a check mate but I still do it.

        • TomNickle says:

          Sure would be funny if it happened and Tampa refused to match something like $9 million annually. That would mean that Simmonds and Voracek would be gone and that the Flyers would have to move out more contracts and fill two thirds of their roster with plugs.

          • krob1000 says:

            Hartnell or Timmonen and problem solved. I doubt they move Hartnell when you look at the rumours abound that hsi and Carters relationship had asmuch to do with things as Pronger/Richards,etc. They could do it though…doubt they will but if anyone has both the motivation and balls to do it Holmgren is that guy. He just made the gutsiest trades I can remember . The Briere family (incl Giroux) and Pronger run that show in the locker room and the alleged party crew Richards, Carcillo and Carter are all being discarded and I am not so sure that was the right move but he did well on his deals. He had better produce something dramatic because the window with PRonger and Timmonen anchoring the back end is very small IMO…..maybe 2 years . Briere by then will slowing,etc and he has done a great job at rebuilding with his trades but he still needs to make a splash to make the deals make sense short term too. I can see Richards ending up in Philly as much as the Rangers and Leafs appear to be frontrunners. But I wouldn’t put it past Homgren to make runs at Parise, Stamkos, Richards and anyone else who can be a front line center now that Richards is out.

      • ed lopaz says:

        the reason more offer sheets are not used is simple.


        it was a bone that was thrown at the players, and the GM’S understood from day one that if they stood together the RFA status would be a non factor

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      They did exactly that a few years ago with Kesler

  29. ABHabsfan says:

    I think t was the plan of PG to offer Hamrlik a deal he would likely refuse. It doesn’t look like the Habs have kicked him to the curb and management can say” well we offered”.
    Given the cap space still available to the Habs, I think the best route would be to offer Parise a real significant contract, or make a trade with NJ to get his rights. either way it’s gonna cost picks and/or prospects. Parise is the best fit at centre for the Habs and would really solidify up the middle for years to come. 5 yrs at $6.5M per would be good.
    I still think Joel Ward would fit well on the club as well. Smart player who apid his dues and has size and can score a few goals.

    • RGM says:

      Because the Devils filed for arbitration with Parise, he is not eligible to receive and sign an offer sheet.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • ABHabsfan says:

        Could be traded, though. If the Devils don’t think they will like the outcome of arbitration they could try and get something for him instead of walking from the deal and Parise becomes UFA.
        Isn’t pretending to be GM the reason why any of us post? with a few obvious exceptions

    • Mike D says:

      I’m pretty sure Parise is a LW, not a C. But yeah, I’d love to have Parise.

      – Honestly yours

  30. habs001 says:

    thanks hammer time to move on…. i still think we need another mobile d man to go with markov and pk…can weber be that?..i noticed a poster posted that Gorges’ offensive game is underrated …if averaging about 2 goals and 11 assists per 80 nhl games is underrated than gill is a norris candidate

  31. Bugs says:

    Over/under probability of Kaberle returnin to leafs: 72.5%
    Call it.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  32. HardHabits says:

    Could it be the Habs are looking at Ed Jovanovski and Bryan McCabe?


    • RobertAlanFord says:

      Sad but probably true. He’ll get top dollars from Detroit and its home for him. Wish him many thanks and all the best.


      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • krob1000 says:

      If he is good enough for Detroit to spend big bucks that should be enough for us to at least try….unless of course Wiz has flat out said he won’t sign with us. We overpaid for Gionta, Cammi, Hamrlik, SPacek, Gomez (via trade but we knew what we were getting), Gill IMO, and will liekly overpay for Gorges. The signing of Markov to 3 years, Subban, Weber in the system and drafting Beaulieu probably means we wouldn’t make an offer of more than 3 years but for those 3 years I would “overpay” as that is our window with Gio,Pleks, Cammi,etc. Give him an offer of 15 million for 3 years and roll the dice.

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        I’d play it that way as well. I’d even offer 5 for 5 and let the younglings compete for their spots. But I think he’d even take a little less to go home, especially if it was long term.

        -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  33. Harry says:

    Too bad if Hamrlik is not signed. A top flight defenseman and sounds as if the Habs management are doing the usual nickels and dimes knowing he wants to stay….
    Hope there are no big injuries on defense…..he has been a saviour for the team over the years

  34. krob1000 says:

    Wiz is not horrible defensively nor is really good vut…he has been a plus player in chicago plus 21 over four part seasons, plus one year i anaheim and a minus 5 the next, and last year was -18 in New York but plus 4 with the Habs over 43 games. Subban -8, Gill -9, Gorges -3. In fairness Gill and his partner (Gorges or Subban) often were matched against top lines in many cases but Wiz did alright on a team that struggled throughout much of the season. The idea that Wiz cannot hold his own defensively does not hold water with what I saw or his history says. HE did not look good duiring the playoffs but it seemed he was playing hurt…early on I saw no real deficiencies defensively…nothing stellar seemed average in our end, better than average in the ferocity dept and border line elite offensively and as a puck mover, appeared from a fans perspective to be an above average team guy as far as sticking up for guys, sacrificing his body and communicating on the ice and on the bench……I know the likelihood is very small he stays but I don’t think he is out of our sights yet….KAberle’s rigths were shopped via email tot he league as epr Darren Dreger…Wiz’s ahven’t been and he is in the same category as Kaberle and Erhoff IMO….so one would assume we would at least try if not planning at least a kick at the can no?

  35. HardHabits says:

    PG’s master plan comes crumbling down around him. Muhuhahahaha!

    As much as I am liking Hamrlik’s refusal to take the 1 year, the mere fact that it was his decision gives me the eebie jeebies.

    What did Hammer expect? What a prima donna!

    Or maybe he’d just rather take his 1 year and go to a Cup contender. Watch Detroit sign him for 2 years now.

    • RS says:

      I don’t think it was his masterplan.

      His masterplan was to sign Markov and he did. He took a shot at retaining Hamrlik at a price and terms that he thought could work for the team. Hamrlik said no. Good luck to Hammer.

      The Habs didn’t NEED to retain Hamrlik as we all know.

    • Neutral says:

      Hamrlik, these old guys why waste money they’re over the hill, also the injury prone guys.The Habs has to be the easiest team in the league getting sucked in with these guys when they were young and healthy you couldn’t get one of these guys come to montreal it’s an easy paycheck and they jump right at it and tell you how great montreal is seen all those movies before. if they’re bringing them in to teach the young guys that’s not saying much for our coaching staff. some players come right out of junior and are excellent players I’m not saying all are like that and maybe far and few between. one comes to mind jeff skinner he don’t need old guys around him seems to be doing ok not saying he can’t learn something we all can but it is not necessary if you have good coaching. there’s a couple more D-men they should let go, bring on the young guys, same for up front, swim or sink there’s no stanley cup in sight for a few years anyway…….

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I think Detroit or Boston will sign Wiz. You already know which we prefer.

  36. JayBee says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Gorges is severely overrated among Hab fans?

    Do I like him? Yes
    Do I think he’s a solid player? Yes

    But, he’s not a top 4 d-man. He brings nothing offensively, which is fine, but he’s also not THAT special defensively. Him and Gill together make a pretty solid tandem, but Gorges still has trouble moving guys from the front of the net. He gets creamed along the boards and gets outmuscled quite a bit.

    He’s not a top 4 d-man. He’s a solid bottom pairing guy. One of the better bottom pairing guys in the league.

    • TomNickle says:

      And he’s done all of this without an acl in one of his knees.

    • Bugs says:

      Gorges is solid num 4 d-man.

      Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Mike D says:

      Lidstrom isn’t a physical presence on the blue line either. He also happens to be one of the best Dmen of all time (and not just because of his offensive abilities).

      I agree Gorges isn’t an intimidating presence, but that doesn’t mean he’s not excellent defensively. He’ll also sacrifice himself to make the best play and has no qualms about blocking shots. He’s top-4 all day and twice on Saturday night!

      – Honestly yours

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I completely agree with JayBee. One of the best bottom pairing guys you could have on your team but not somebody I’d lean to for PP duty. I’d put Weber or Yemelin out there before him. A lot of Habs fans have been all over this guy and how outstanding a dman he is but I think its a little over the top for him. If he gets a penny over 3mil per year my jaw will hit the floor. I say 2.2 – 2.75, absolute maximum.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        Gorges doesn’t play on the PP. He’s a defensive defenseman. Remember who the shutdown pair was in the ’10 playoffs? dynamic duo of Gorges and Gill. Nobody is saying Gorges is/will be Lidstrom. He’s a solid Dman who plays his position with his head. We have Subban and Markov, how much more offense do we need on the blueline? TSN had a segment on him a year ago as being an underrated Dman.
        How quickly some forget.

    • RS says:

      Agreed. If he played in Toronto and Leaf fans talked about him the way many do around here, we’d be laughing our heads off!

      Yes, I like Gorges too.

    • RGM says:

      How dare you? Who do you think you are? What gives you the right?

      I am only kidding. Gorges has long been one of my favourites, dating all the way back to watching him develop in Kelowna. He is worth every penny that he’ll receive from the team. For all those guys that never get drafted and think that the chance to make the NHL is a dead-end dream, you need only look at this guy.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

      I respect your opinion but I totally disagree with it. Gorges is not on this team to produce points, he’s here to defend and he does it as well as any 3-4 D-man in the league. He is not the biggest body back there but he plays the position well,blocks shots,makes smart decisions when pressured,until this injury he has been a work horse for us, doesn’t take a lot of penalties, he is only 26, he is tough as nails for his size, and is affordable. I think he will be a good player for us for years to come.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      I think it is reasonable to say that the drop in our penalty killing this past year was due to the loss of Gorges. We were first in the league before his injury and then suffered a significant decline. Thus, it may be that he is quite special defensively. His role as a shutdown defenseman is valuable to us not just because he makes us better in the immediate, but also because of the skills that he brings for the future. Next year, when Gill likely retires, Gorges value to us will increase, as we will already need to bring in one new defensive defenseman and work him into the system.

      Gorges’s positioning, penalty killing ability and his “intangibles” make him a top four. Neither Scott Hannan nor Hjalrmarsson are especially physical or in possession of any particular offensive ability, yet both have received significant contracts and are top four defensemen.

      For our team, Gorges is a known commodity who’s presence on and off the ice has shown a marked positive influence. He is a defenseman who can take on a large workload over the season, playing over twenty minutes a night and stifle opposing lines.

      For $2.5m, this is solid value.

      That said, however, he has his weaknesses and is obviously one dimensional. If he holds out for over $3.0m or if someone were to tender him an overpriced offer-sheet, it would be wise to let him go (not for nothing, in the case of trading his rfa rights. Please, God, not for nothing). We should learn from last season’s Blackhawks, who would have been better served by taking San Jose’s 1st and 3rd.

  37. Talik Sanis says:

    The CHL import draft is happening right now. It will be interesting to see if Pribyl is selected. This may have a profound impact on his future development.


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