Centennial Plaza moving east at Bell Centre

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson announced at a press conference on Thursday morning that the Centennial Plaza, originally opened in 2008 as part of the club’s festivities surrounding its 100th anniversary, will be moving to the eastern part of the Bell Centre – outdoors and adjacent to Windsor Court and the Canadiens Hall of Fame. 

In a press release, the club announced: “It will comprise every element of its predecessor, including the 100 greatest moments through the team’s first century, tributes to all 24 Stanley Cup-winning clubs and the 17 men whose jerseys have been retired by the organization, the four statues honouring Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, and Guy Lafleur, the team’s logo monument featuring all major award winners and every player through the first 100 years of the franchise, and the thousands of fan-personalized bricks.”

Moving the Centennial Plaza became necessary to make room for the Tour des Canadiens condominium project. 

“It has always been essential for us to honour our greatest legends and teams, coupled with the bricks personalized by fans as testament to their passion and attachment to the club, in an area accessible to the public at large for generations in a setting worthy of the iconic moments and history it celebrates,” Molson said in a statement.  “We are happy to unveil to you our vision for what will become the permanent home for Centennial Plaza, a place Montrealers and visitors to the city will be able to enjoy for decades to come.”

Molson also confirmed that due to the risk of damage inherent in the removal and storage of existing bricks, the club would absorb the cost of ordering an entirely new set of bricks complete with the original inscriptions made by fans.

(Photo by Marie-France Coallier/The Gazette)

A new home for Centennial Plaza, canadiens.com

Molson proud of Habs’ progress this season, by Pat Hickey

Habs take a look at draft prospects, by Pat Hickey

Canadians keen for a Stanley Cup, montrealgazette.com/sports

Why can’t Canada win the Stanley Cup, by New York Times


  1. frontenac1 says:

    Floyd rules. James Brown and Sinatra too.

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    Does Chicago have enough to beat the Neanderthals in the finals ??
    This whole enjoyable season for us this year, would not taste as good if the Boston beans won the Cup!!

    HIO contact site…..Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Is Corey Crawford now better than Jonathan Quick?

  4. jphk says:

    I think the Pens-Bruins series is showing that the “West is best” myth is being buried. Iginla, Morrow and Murray have been non-factors. The Kings are sooooo boring to watch, and we know now that their #7 guy on D is also our # 7 (sorry Dre…). Sad to say, but the Cup belongs to the Bruins…

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      I’m not willing to give up yet I think the Blackhawks can take them. At least I’m hoping. Don’t think I could stand watching those bums win another cup.

  5. ZepFan2 says:

    OT: For the fans of GoT/Red Wedding..

    If Game Of Thrones took place entirely on Facebook

    Ka is a wheel.

    “On we sweep, with threshing oar.
    Our only goal will be the Stanley Cup!” – Danno

    For Your Life

  6. christophor says:

    Bickell isn’t going to pot 1 in 3 shots regularly. Someone’s going to overpay. Hopefully not Bergevin.

    What worries me more, though, is that Markov appears to have had another set back in rehab 😉

  7. HardHabits says:

    Unreal to think that the Black Hawks and Bruins have never met in a Cup final even during the time of 6 teams. 30 teams now and they could meet for the very first time.

    • Mike Bone says:

      That’s because, once upon a time, the Habs used to be good. They were in the final or close to it every year, and they destroyed many Hawks and Bruins chances. Now that the Habs are irrelevant, the door is open for these kinds of match ups.

  8. frontenac1 says:

    @prohabs. He’s not bad. Good balance, ability to change up right to left and decent connect rate but not much weight behind the throws. That will come. For my money Dumont is the best pound for pound fighter with Dogs. Check out his KO of Colborne last season. “David vs Goliath” Saludos!

  9. habs_54321 says:

    i like what bylsma said about comparing the 3-0 series hole to the olympics where you have to win consecutive games without any room for error

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    Connecting the dots … [no, not those three, it’s a figure of speech. Geez.]

    A pickle is a cucumber that’s been fermented in brine.
    Brine is used to make ice in arenas.
    Bick’s Pickle used to make pickles in Scarborough and then moved production to two small communities elsewhere in Ontario. The Canadian operations were closed in 2010 not long after the company was purchased by J.M. Smucker based in Ohio.
    In 2010 Bryan Bickell produced 17 goals for another Ohio company – playing on ice.

    A pickle and Bickell need brine to define
    What it is that they do, in one single line:
    One serves as a snack, the other dents twine
    Another shared trait I hope you won’t find silly
    A pickle’s a dill but this Bickell’s a dilly

  11. Chris says:

    With Bryan Bickell’s unexpected scoring surge, the consensus is that he’s earning a big fat paycheque for next season.

    Unfortunately, that cheque should come with a massive buyer beware tag. The playoff hero phenomenon used to be a bit rarer, but it seems to be cropping up every couple of years now.

    The prototypes were Chris Kontos in 1989 and John Druce in 1991. Druce is a bit unfairly labelled, because his following season was pretty good.

    But in recent years, we’ve seen:

    2011: Sean Bergenheim – 9 goals and 11 points in 16 games for Tampa Bay (Signed 4 year, $11 M contract with Florida, and scored a respectable 17 goals in 60 games in his first season; missed all of this past season due to groin injury suffered in Finland during lockout)

    2011: Joel Ward – 7 goals and 13 points in 12 games for Nashville
    (Signed for 4 years, $12 M by Washington, and has scored 16 goals in 133 regular season and playoff games since then)

    2007: Travis Moen – 7 goals and 12 points in 21 games for Anaheim (Re-Signed by Anaheim as RFA to 2 year, $1.8 M contract; has never exceeded 9 goals in the ensuing 6 seasons)

    2006: Fernando Pisani – 14 goals and 18 points in 24 games for Edmonton (Re-signed for 4 years, $10 M and never scored more than 14 goals in a season for the last 5 years of his career)

    Bickell might be proving that all he needed was a chance. But it is more likely that he is enjoying a hot streak and that he will return to his career average next year. Bickell is a 15-20 goal and 30-40 point player. That is plenty good enough, and he was due for a substantial raise (something comparable to Prust, if not a bit more).

    But his playoff heroics are going to cause some team to dramatically up the ante, and I’m not sure he can justify the cap hit.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Good points, Chris.
      In any case, sometimes a GM wants to take a risk on a player like that. You might overpay him a $1M a year or so, but it’s better than overpaying an expected marquee player (Richards, Gomez, Lecavalier) by $2-5M/year + adding too much term, I reckon?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Yeah, it’s now too rich for our blood. If he’d remained an effective, solid player, I think Marc Bergevin would have tried the Brandon Prust-hard sell approach on him, especially if he had a rapport with him from their Chicago days. As it stands now, they’ll probably target a couple of other loyal soldiers who are underutilized on their current team.

  12. ProHabs says:

    Is Nathan Beaulieu a good fighter on the ice or does he just throw punches at charity house parties. Has anyone seen his scrap in the AHL at all.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Apparently, he played with an edge in the LHJMQ, wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves. He apparently was depending on his natural size, he’s no gym rat evidently, and showed up to Hamilton this season out of shape for AHL/pro standards. Let’s hope he learned his lesson and will work on that this summer.

      I was joking that if he gets 60 days in the pen for the assault charge, he can go on a Max Cady-style program to bulk up and get ready for the season that way.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Google shows the following….


      • ProHabs says:

        Thanks for that link. He looks like he did OK in some of those fights. I want to see him with the Habs able to take on guys like Horton, Campbell and Boychuk from the Bruins.

  13. Blondie says:

    There’s a lot of talk about luck on here tonight. I can’t help but relate it to Chicago’s scoring this evening. Not exactly year-end highlight reel stuff. 🙂

    • SlovakHab says:

      If Chicago had Desharnais they wouldn’t need any luck. The guy is a pure playoff performer and can score those dirty, garbage goals that you need so much in the playoffs.

  14. Un Canadien errant says:

    Oooooh, we should get Penner. He’s big.

    • H.Upmann says:

      Maybe for minimum wage and free “pancakes” ?

    • ProHabs says:

      I’m hoping the Habs can pry Tyler Ennis from Buffalo, Stephan Gionta from New Jersey and Cory Conacher from Ottawa this summer instead.

      • H.Upmann says:

        trade for Gomez again, trade for Cammy. Get Pyatt. Track down MAB. Sit back and listen to Therrien say them words: they soft lol

      • SlovakHab says:

        How about Nathan Gerbe?

        Gerbe – Desharnais – B Gionta
        Bouillon – MAB

        Ennis – S Gionta – Conacher
        Krug – Weber

        • H.Upmann says:

          talk about shortening your bench!

          • SlovakHab says:

            I actually reckon Yannick Weber and his 5’11 is too big for this lineup.
            We will need to look for his replacement.

            As long as their Fenwick and Corsi are good, we don’t need any physicality and grit, let alone size.

          • ProHabs says:

            LOL. Fenwick and Corsi. I still remember Berkshire posting on here and telling us how good Gomez was because of his Fenwick and Corsi. Makes it hard to take any of his EOTP articles seriously.

          • SlovakHab says:

            Try to go to HOTP and tell him that. He’ll probably ban you for being aggressive. 😀

            I left the site and won’t be returning there. It’s a bunch of guys mentally masturbating over stat sheets and if you have a different opinion, they’ll attack you in a group. They also like to invite Bruins and Leafs fans to come to HOTP and gloat after they beat the Habs.

            The best part is that Andrew trolls around other SB Nation blogs and argues with other fanbases to the point that makes me feel embarrassed that me and him support the same team.

          • HardHabits says:

            I posted at EOTP that their comments section was akin to synchronized menstruation. Rather than a swarming I got a warning… from his holiness himself.

        • ProHabs says:

          Really like the look of the team with these players on it. Hopefully Bergevin is able to pull off the trades to get these guys. Perhaps trade our first rounder and Galchyenuk and get Marty St.Louis as well.

          • SlovakHab says:

            Having players like Eller and Galchenyuk on our team really makes me miss Scott Gomez.

          • HardHabits says:

            I have tears in my eyes laughing reading this thread. LOLOLOL

          • H.Upmann says:

            Wonder how tall Fenwick and Corsi are…. can’t be taller than DD

          • SlovakHab says:

            Don’t forget their cousins – PDO and Fenwick Close.
            They’re all about 5’5 but play a good puck possession hockey. Many shots on goal, which means that ultimately they’ll regress to the mean.

  15. Strummer says:

    Looks like Brad Pitt will save the World.

    I can sleep well tonight.

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  16. Strummer says:

    The pride of Orono, Ontario ties the score!

    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  17. jols101 says:

    Every game Bickell plays he adds $100,000 to his upcoming new contract. He might have played himself out of the price range that Bergevin is willing to spend.

  18. The Jackal says:

    Bickell scores again. This is bad news.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  19. 1010 says:

    Clod is such a drama queen. Now he has the boys motivated to win it for the gipper. After witnessing such unprecidented bravery.
    This has the potential to be bigger than his crusade to stop diving.

    GO HABS…

  20. Sportfan says:

    Still bothers me that they are moving this…


    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  21. H.Upmann says:

    They’re not fake they’re real lol

  22. frontenac1 says:

    Cassie. Ah yes Cassie.

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Please get off te habs were injured theme. Let’s just move on. It ignores very serious deficiencies to say that injuries were the main caus eof our exit from the playoffs. It looks at tle last month of the season with blinders on.

    Pac was injured? DD was injured? Plekanec was injured? Etc etc!
    Markov was injured? Gorges was injured? Emelin was needed for the PP?

    Let’s move on!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JF says:

      Agreed. Saying we lost because of injuries (or even worse, because of bad luck) is a way of ignoring the problems that were already beginning to appear in March and were fully exposed by the injury to Emelin. Farther down the page, Chris’s breakdown of the team’s GAA by month shows that it was starting to rise during the month of March and went up to well over 3 after Emelin’s injury. Chris suggests that this was partly because teams had figured out the Habs’ “swarm” defence to the point where it was no longer effective. At the same time, the forwards were not doing as good a job of getting back to help the defence. Chris’s post is well worth reading; it shows that the team has huge problems on defence and suggests that the system being used is faulty.

      So the injury to Emelin aggravated a problem that was already there. As for the injuries up front (Eller, Gionta, Pacioretty), what they mostly did is expose our total lack of depth. There was literally no one who could step in for any of those three players and be effective. In short, the playoffs showed that we are not close to being contenders. We have insufficient depth to survive even one playoff round, let alone four.

      • The Jackal says:

        Disagree. It is not ignoring any problems, it is merely being attuned to the realities that led to the Habs’ dismissal in the post-season.
        Say it is an excuse all you want, but the Habs were done in by injuries to key players and by bad luck in general. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME IN SPORTS. For some reason, accepting this bristles some people, presumably because it rubs against the mainstream narrative of sport being a contest of skill, so the jock mentality prevails. Skill is the only factor worth considering. Well that is not the case, that overlooks many important extraneous factors that affect every instance of sport. Injuries and how the puck bounces, literally affect the outcome of games. As skilled as a team is, they cannot control whether the puck bounces off a player’s stick; they cannot control where a puck goes after it hits a post; and they cannot control where a puck deflects after making contact with another player, among many other things.

        Sure, skill is a huge factor, but to ignore everything else or to undermine the role of injuries and chance is pure denial. No one who acknowledges these factors is saying that the Habs have no deficiencies, nor are they downplaying these deficiencies. What they are saying is that the Habs’ end can be attributed largely to factors other than skill and the composition of the team. So let’s stop denying the importance of these factors. When a team hits many posts, shots go just wide, you lose key players and other key players are rendered less effective because of injury, chances are that skill does not take you over that hump. Look at the Pens, all the skill in the world yet you can certainly say they got unlucky – they hit four posts and in the end Bergeron deflected a shot clean into the net. These events could have easily gone in different directions.

        Skill will always be important, but ignoring other factors downplays the role of these in the game. It makes people jump to overly strong conclusions about what ails a team or about how good a team is. You need to consider whether or not chance or other factors determined an outcome rather than just skill. If you ignore these factors and then analyze the Habs, you are left with an inaccurate and overly pessimistic assessment that is ultimately unfair and unrepresentative. Likewise, if you attribute success purely to skill then you ignore other favourable conditions that may have masked certain deficiencies and are thus left with an incomplete picture of why a team succeeded.

        So let’s not drop the issue, let’s acknowledge that it indeed mattered enough to affect the Habs’ fate.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • HardHabits says:

          Totally unadulterated and patently false bull shit. The problem with using the injuries/bad luck argument is that it is being in denial of the realities on the ground.

          You make your own luck, especially in sports, and that is it. And to use injuries to explain away the results is not an argument but a blatant excuse. It is a passing of the buck and a dismissal.

          The narrative goes like this… “the Habs have a good Fenwick/Corsi rating and although they are not scoring, eventually will, as the law of averages and “luck”, will have them regress to the mean…” It is akin to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

          The disconnect is as apparent as between a person who is bean counting and another who is conceptualizing abstract concepts. Mice to men. Or better yet… mice to mentality, jock mentality that is. A healthy body is a healthy mind and the temple of the soul and all.

          • punkster says:

            “Conceptualizing abstract concepts”…that’s the part that really got me chuckling.

            Admit it HH, you’re the real puppet master behind JohnBellyful.

            ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

          • The Jackal says:

            I’m not using the EOTP stats-based analysis. Anyway, you make your own luck, sure, but there are many things outside an athlete’s control. Just as someone many study a lot for an exam, some questions may come up that are not their strengths, other times, they may get to answer questions that they are best at. At other times, the professor may be in a more forgiving mood or in a more scrutinizing mood. The same thing is true in sports, sometimes the puck bounces a certain way and it is either disastrous or helpful. Like the goal Quick just let in. Weird bounce – that is all.

            I am not denying skill is a factor at all, but denying the role of other factors is just shortsighted. We may ultimately have to agree to disagree, but the reality is that it is far from bull shit, it is, well, reality.

            Also, making the case for injuries as a factor is not an excuse, it is just part of the overall analysis. You may have a bias or disregard for stats and other factors, and that’s fine, but the reality is that these are being taken more into account, not only in hockey but in other sports, as an ancillary tool to break down the game.

            Acknowledging this is not at all like the analogy you describe of bean counting and conceptualizing abstract concepts. In fact, adding these considerations only enriches one’s understanding of a given sport (or situation) and helps provide a more robust analysis. This dismissal because it can sound like an excuse is exactly what the old guard says. It just goes against the traditional sports narrative and some people don’t accept that for whatever reason.

            I know you know your hockey and I am not disputing that, but including these considerations is not an excuse at all, it is just part of an explanation. In the end, the Habs are missing a few pieces, they are not a complete team and they are not yet contenders.

            Expanding the analysis to include injuries and other factors does not change that and it does not exonerate their failure, but it does help to explain why it happened and it does allow for the possibility that, should these factors been more favourable, they would have done better. We know they could not have done worse.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • HardHabits says:

            @DG: I candidly admit that luck and injuries are factors but not significant ones, at least not as much as apologists tend to portend. I don’t like using them to try to cover for other deficiencies. I also tend to believe that you can create conditions to diminish injuries and bad luck, and that elements like size, grit, speed, skill, hockey smarts, conditioning, mentoring, team identity, depth, confidence, swagger, moxy, intensity and focus all contribute to better luck and less injuries.

            @Dave. I am flattered. But JB’s genius is on another level. 😉

        • JF says:

          No one is saying the injuries had no effect on the outcome. But all teams have injuries. A good team has sufficient depth to fill the holes they create, at least temporarily. Look at the Bruins. For most of the last series, they were missing Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg, two of their core defencemen. They called up Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug. Both filled in well, the Bruins kept winning, and Krug scored several goals. That’s the kind of depth that we don’t have. If, for example, we had had two physical, hard-hitting defencemen rather than just one, the injury to Emelin would not have hurt so much. As it was, various solutions were tried, with Tinordi being the best, but we still lacked that physical presence. After the first playoff game, the holes up front were even more gaping.

          You say the Habs were done in by injuries and “bad luck in general.” How do those factors explain poor goaltending and inability to score enough goals? How do they explain the fact that we twice blew leads to lose a game? Or that we failed to score a single goal in any third period? Or that our penalty kill gave up three goals in two of the games? None of this can be explained away by injuries or bad luck or even bad officiating – though we had our share of all of those.

          • The Jackal says:

            You’re right that we could not plug the hole Emelin left behind, and of course the Habs play affected the outcome. All I am saying is that you can’t ignore these other considerations aside because they also played a part in the outcome. One of the blown leads as a direct cause of bad bounces and bad reffing. The whole team had to and could have played better, but they were also balls deep in excrement when they lose those players.

            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

          • JF says:

            This is to The Jackal – Maybe we don’t disagree as much as it seemed. But I don’t think there’s much point in dwelling on the injuries, bad luck, and poor officiating. I also think we’re deluding ourselves if we insist we’d have won the series without those things. The Senators were the better team, Anderson outplayed Price, their guys outworked ours. It’s more constructive to focus on what our team needs to do to improve.

  24. frontenac1 says:

    Go Hawks! Go Chateauguay! Go Crawford!

  25. 1010 says:

    Have to come clean that I have been living in sin all day. Every time I see a replay of Campbell writhing around on the ice I have felt all gooey, good inside. I have been wanting him to get his ever since he used his elbow pad on Pyatts`s face. And of course it never happened as far as the `regime`was concerned.
    Every sports show I`ve seen today has described the loss of this fourth liner as huge. OK. But it does leave me wondering just what word is left to describe the loss of a first liner.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      It’s the opposite for me. I’ve been fast forwarding through ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and “PTI”, zapping basketball and baseball stories, and in both they exclaimed how gutsy he is, and what a warrior he is. Come on, he blocked a shot and it bounced off his ankle, and broke his fibula. He hobbled around for a minute before he could get off. Big whoop. As if that hadn’t happened a hundred times this season. P.K. put one guy on the bench every game he played this year. By their reasoning, Sidney Crosby is Superman times Mother Teresa, since he took a puck to the choppers.

      That creep gets no credit from me for having a puck bounce somewhere he didn’t have any padding on. What else is that shameful plug good for? It’s not like he’s going to make a pass or score a goal. He better be mucking and grinding and choosing his spots and taking on 160 pounders like Tom Pyatt, or else he’ll have no career, even in his daddy’s league.

  26. commandant says:

    Going through the final five to see who can sustain their success (the final 5 teams in the playoffs were also the last 5 teams to win the cup).

    A look at the building of the Red Wings

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    Crosby has been disappointing (he looks pretty good to me however) and you figure he is one concussion away from ending his carer; plus the Pens have no keeper and no #1 pick.

    Price and our #1 to Pitts for Crosby and Fleury – and then we buy out Fleury.

    They would never go for it but let’s say they did – would you (as pretend Habs GM)?

  28. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Looking back at the San Jose Canucks series, when Sharks eliminated Vancouver and everyone was exchanging hand shakes. They showed Gomez in the line and man, did he look shortest guy on the line. Made me think we gotta trade DD Gio for size or atleast a draft pick with prospect just to get into “normal” size category. 😛

    Win is a win, but I hope we win. One Day…

  29. Coca Cola Kid says:

    I wonder how long before a developer makes an offer for the “new” Centennial Plaza

  30. Psycho29 says:

    That poll question is multiple choice? How can I vote for the Markham Martlets??????

  31. Luke says:

    OK Everyone, have a great weekend. See you all Tuesday.

    Time to pay for the bartender’s summer home.

  32. Maritime Ron says:

    @ Luke.
    You mentioned, “Bourque and Cammaller is basically a saw off”?

    Depends how you look at it.
    Me, myself, and Mike Cammalleri leads nobody to nowhere!
    His Salary is $7 Million this coming year (no typo) and his Cap Hit is $6M.

    That Salary will rank Cammalleri 17th Highest in the NHL for ALL forwards, and that $6M Cap hit will rank him 31st for ALL NHL forwards.
    Calgary is stuck with that, as no sane team would touch that contract with a 10 foot pole in this new Cap decreasing year.

    For $3.3M, Bourque has 25 goals written all over him IF he can stay healthy and be the guy we thought he could be.
    He will be a bargain if he goes to the net.

    • Luke says:

      It was in response to UCE’s blog post in which he mentioned that.
      I tend to agree with him though, in terms of the actual player’s production/contribution.
      But yes, taking into account the cap hit, you are right Bourque is probably a better bargain.

  33. Chris says:

    I’m surprised that the Oilers and the Canucks are getting so little love in the current poll.

    In terms of current rosters, the Canucks are the closest, but their window is closing. They have two legitimate stars (Henrik and Daniel Sedin), they have an elite two-way forward when he’s healthy (Ryan Kesler) and they have some good defencemen (Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Alexander Edler) in front of a good goalie (Corey Schneider).

    This season was a complete write-off for the Canucks because of the injury woes of Kesler, but a couple of astute signings can have them right back in contention for the Stanley Cup. David Booth will probably be a compliance buyout, and we’ll see if the ownership has deep enough pockets to eat Luongo’s salary. If they do, they’re in good shape and could easily go after the type of role players they need to complement the Sedins, Kesler, and Burrows.

    I know it is popular to pick on the Sedins for their wimpy play against the Bruins. What I’m enjoying a little is seeing the almost unanimous choice of best player on the planet basically pulling a Sedin against the big, bad Bruins.

    Maybe people can realize finally that the Sedins don’t suck, but that the Bruins are the best team in the world at shutting down elite players because of their total team commitment to defence and work ethic.

    The Canucks, if healthy, are still the best team in Canada. Their window is definitely closing though…they might have one or two more years to take a run. And they need to resolve the Luongo situation to have any hope…that distraction has cost them dearly.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Gillis and ownership didn’t analyze the injury factor in the same way when they tied the can to Vigneault. In getting swept 4-0 by a Sharks team that had unloaded Ryane Clowe and Doug Murray, were the Canucks close in any of the games? I hope some of the other Canadian teams are better, otherwise, they’re all no better than shark bait.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Chris says:

        Gillis and the ownership group needed a scape-goat. The Canucks have had two straight seasons where they underperformed, so Vigneault pretty much had to go.

        I will be interested to see who they bring in to replace Vigneault. Lindy Ruff could do a lot with that roster, and his sometimes abrasive style could probably work for a while given that Vigneault was more of a player’s coach.

        The Canucks roster is not as bad as they appeared in the playoffs. They wouldn’t be the first team to seemingly be finished only to bounce back in a big way. Gillis has a great core to work with, but he’s thus far avoided making the big decisions. This summer will be do-or-die time for him. With Vigneault gone, he no longer has any excuses. Kassian and Sestitio are bringing some much needed nastiness to their forwards, and they could instantly leap back to contender status if they could find another guy like that for their top-6. Schroeder and Jensen give them a couple of young forwards that can chip in some nice offence next season if they pan out the way most people think they will.

        I would be in favour of Montreal finding some way to pry Jensen away from the Canucks. At 6’2″ and 202 pounds, he might be a good right wing for his country-man Lars Eller. Canucks want to get younger and faster, and Jensen has both attributes. Still, it would be great to somehow send one of our smaller snipers to the Canucks for Jensen. 🙂

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Sedins have a lot of miles on those bodies and their ‘best before’ date has passed.
      The Canucks are in huge Cap problems even if they rid themselves of Luongo.
      Before any judgement of them can be made for next year, we have to see the make up of the team.

      • Chris says:

        Booth and Ballard are both likely compliance buyouts, which takes ~$8.4 M off their cap. If they can find a taker for Luongo (and that is a huge if), they would be fine from a cap point of view.

        I agree that we have to see what Gillis does. But the core in Vancouver is better than any other Canadian team, if I’m using my head instead of my Canadiens heart.

        As for the Sedins, this is a contract year for them. I would not at all be surprised to see them post big numbers. Having a healthy Kesler to take some of the pressure off would be a huge help. They were essentially a one-line team this year, and that wears guys down.

        When Jannik Hansen is your third leading scorer, your team had a forgettable season. But when you look at the players in place, the Canucks could easily make the transition from a team that relies on scoring to a team that relies on team-defence, a la Boston.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Hi Chris
          As the old Zen Master said, “We’ll see.”
          Enjoy your posts….

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Keith Ballard is an obvious choice for a buyout, but David Booth less so. They already have him in the fold, and they’ll be looking for more physical forwards, they might decide to keep him for at least next season, and see if he can play a full season and how he fares.

          You’re quite right about Ryan Kesler, that guys is amazing. Easily the player I’d pluck off their roster if given the choice to add to the Canadiens, he’s like a Tomas Plekanec, but more of him in every facet of the game. Kevin Bieksa would be second.

          My take on the Roberto Luongo saga is that it didn’t hurt the Canucks so much for being a distraction, as easy a discussion point as that is for PJ Stock et al., but for the fact that Mike Gillis couldn’t transform either of his goalies into a sorely needed asset, namely a big physical winger to play with the Sedins, or at least to add some size to the lineup when matching up against big Western Conference teams. Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo worked quite well together, and there wasn’t any tension in the dressing room because of those two.

    • HardHabits says:

      I voted Oilers. No Tank™ jokes please.

  34. Caesar says:

    re Keith slash to the face. In a league where you get a 5 minute penalty if you grab someone and punch them bare fisted in the face why would Keith resort to swinging a stick and risking a suspension. I’ll never understand that.

  35. The Jackal says:


    Like you said, the D fell apart and was terrible at the end. I think it is partly because of Emelin and also because we lack a balanced D. Nonetheless the Habs go past the first round with Emelin in net.

    That is not an excuse but a reality. Teams that are healthy going into the playoffs tend to do well. When the injuries pile up, you’re in trouble. Ottawa had depth to make it through the season but they got Anderson and Karlsson back at the right time, whereas we lost Eller and Emelin and saw Price, Pacioretty, and Gionta get hury and be less effective.

    Clearly, injuries play a big factor in determining success. Had Campbell gone down in game 1, the Pens PP may have clicked a few times since then.

    Not sure why some like to deny the impact of injuries, but it is one of the clearest things one can notice in the sport.

    Next season, despite our D remaning largely the same, the development of our prospects will provide us with improved depth at the position, allowing us to better weather injuries.

    • Chris says:

      Injuries are important, no question. Losing Eller and Emelin and having Gionta and Pacioretty playing hurt eviscerated the Habs. I’m still 99.9% positive that Ryder was playing with a very bad shoulder at the end of the season and in the playoffs…he was definitely avoiding any chance of contact on his left shoulder.

      My only beef is that the writing was already on the wall before Emelin went down. I think Bergevin knew it as well. The Swarm, that God-awful defensive “system” that Bergevin was using, was effective when players had no idea what to do against a system they hadn’t seen since they were 6 years old. But once teams figured out that it was Montreal’s system and not simply chaos, they pretty quickly figured out how to break it down.

      A more balanced D is needed, and they need a wholesale re-dedication of the forwards to playing team defence. For most of this season, about 2/3 of the Habs forwards were simply going through the motions if the team didn’t have the puck. That made the defencemen look worse than they were, and was ultimately exposed when they played the Senators, who feature a high work-rate all over the ice.

      Boston is talented, balanced and tough. But the trait I believe contributes most to their success is that their forwards contest every inch of ice. How many passes were the Penguins able to complete in the neutral zone or breaking out of their own zone to a forward moving towards the Bruin zone? I could probably count the total on my two hands. The Bruins make it impossible for anybody to get a head of steam up going through the neutral zone, making their defencemen’s job a LOT easier.

      Montreal, on the other hand, might as well have their forwards give the opposing forwards a short-track speedskating-esque “push” for the effort they put into slowing down the attacking forwards. I don’t care who your defence corps is…if the opposition get to torpedo your blue line, you’re going to be in big, big trouble.

      Until top-9 forwards like Pacioretty, Desharnais, Galchenyuk and Gallagher commit to skating as hard without the puck as they do when Montreal is in control, the Habs will be a second tier contender or also-ran.

      I don’t think Montreal beats Ottawa with Emelin in the line-up. Ottawa had major injuries as well (Spezza, Karlsson with major rink-rust, Michalak playing on a bad knee that required arthroscopic surgery on March 19 and had him playing through pain most of the season, Cowan with some pretty major rust after coming back from hip surgery), but their depth guys work their tails off. Montreal does not have many forwards of that ilk, which is the #1 culture change that the team needs. Montreal was banged up, but so was Ottawa. Most teams that are no longer playing were carrying some injured players.

      Part of the reason I liked Chris Higgins so much was that even though he frequently couldn’t shoot a puck into the ocean while standing on the beach, he worked his tail off everywhere. Montreal needs guys like that on the third and fourth lines, and they need one or two on each of the scoring lines as well. Plekanec works, Gionta works (but is easily pushed away) and Bourque was working most of the time in the playoffs. The rest? Not good enough unless you want to go golfing.

      • bwoar says:

        Agreed on both the ‘swarm’ situation and the lack of forward pressure. It’s a major concern with Therrien’s tenure: will the team play better defense? Is it a problem with the effort of the forwards, or is MT not implementing a system that call for hard pressure.

        You nailed it on Ottawa, those guys worked harder. However I don’t really follow that the D was made to look worse – I think the squad is simply poor defensively, with or without help from the passengers up front.

        Injuries? Bah, they means nothing until we fix the effort level.


        • Chris says:

          Montreal’s defencemen are unfairly maligned, in my opinion. They are in an impossible situation: the swarm means that there are no clearly defined outlet passes when they do get the puck, resulting in prolonged pressure that wears them down. So the breakouts are often chaotic.

          Many of the goals against were scored off transition plays. Transition is murder on just about any team: Montreal itself is a master of transition scoring while struggling mightily in the offensive zone when the other team has had a chance to set up.

          What I mean about the forwards making the D look worse is that the lack of work ethic up front results in more of these transition plays coming against the Montreal D than most teams see. The reason why transition plays are so dangerous is that the forwards can blitz the blue line with a tremendous amount of speed, forcing the defencemen to concede space to minimize having the forward blow by them to the outside. By conceding that space, the opposing forwards get into better shooting positions in terms of screens and deflections, and that was a big issue for the Habs. It is a Catch-22: concede space and risk those shots from the high-slot through traffic, or challenge the defensive zone entries and risk having players blow by to the outside and have an unimpeded path across the crease. Neither option is attractive.

          The Bruins, the Kings, the Blackhawks…these are all teams that have both speed in their forwards and a commitment to get back and clog up the neutral zone to prevent that blitzing of the blue line. Chara, McQuaid, Ference and Boychuk are not particularly mobile, as the Leafs showed. But the Bruins forwards are preventing the speed players of the Penguins from having a chance to use that speed to attack by clogging passing lanes, causing offsides and just generally interfering with the Penguins’ breakouts in any way that they can get away with.

          Montreal does not do any of this consistently well. It is an area where small improvements could yield disproportionately large effects when it comes to the team’s success.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I can only agree with that. A lot of people just want to believe that the better team always wins in the end and that injuries are only excuses. It´s just not true in hockey. Maybe it´s hard to admit that you can´t control two of the most important things you need to have in the playoffs: A healthy team and a fair share of luck.

      The Bruins were pretty much dead against the Leafs. Without some luck they would be golfing for weeks. Now they are pretty healthy and who knows? Of course I hope the Kings or Blackhawks will kill them.

      Or look at the Kings last season: They were great but imagine them playing without two key players like Kopitar and Brown (not to mention Doughty): They just would not have won the Cup.

  36. mrhabby says:

    Last night i mentioned that Brad Marchand was a prick when he stuck his leg out by the net…i don’t understand why it was deleted.

  37. Rad says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Habs make Duclair their first pick in the 2nd Round. They’ve been following him closely for a while.

  38. commandant says:

    Going through the final five to see who can sustain their success (the final 5 teams in the playoffs were also the last 5 teams to win the cup).

    A look at the building of the Red Wings

    And the Penguins

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  39. Timo says:

    Eller signs for two years… again. HOw many years is that in total now?

  40. Luke says:

    Who’s gonna be around for the Canadiens @ Leafs liveblog tonight?

  41. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Flames will sign Karri Ramo, formerly property of the Canadiens, to a contract. Karri Ramo was a throw-in in the Mike Cammalleri trade.

    I tried to post my thoughts on this, but I’ve again run afoul of the HIO gremlins. You can follow the link below if you’re interested.


    • HardHabits says:

      Number of words: 1080

    • Luke says:

      The trade was Camalleri/Ramo/5th for Bouque/2nd/Holland. As you state Bourque and Cammalleri basically saw off. So you are left with Ramo/5th for Holland/2nd.

      I’m not sure Ramo could have garnered much more then he did.
      Let alone, him being a ‘goldmine’ as you said. (“In hindsight, this trade looks more and more uneven. What could have been a goldmine was instead exchanged for a relative song.”)

      Drafted in ’04, he’s played parts of 3 seasons in the NHL. 24 games in 08-09 was the most he played, for TBay, in one year, and 48 in his career.

      Do you expect him to be an NHL goalie for the Flames, let alone a starter?
      You describe Holland as a longshot prospect, I think at 21 years old he is less of a longshot than 26yr old (27 in July) Ramo.
      You also mention that the 2nd round pick is underwhelming.

      Would you trade a 2nd round pick (36th overall?) and ‘B/C’ level prospect for a 27yr old goalie, 4 years removed from his cup of NHL coffee, with a career save% just south of .900?

      You also mention this: “The scuttlebutt was that Karri Ramo would never come over the NHL, being content to remain in the KHL and earning a decent living.”

      I believe the scuttlebutt was not that Ramo would never come over, but that he just wasn’t/isn’t an NHL goalie.

      As for the Flames signing him to a contract:
      1) It’s the Flames. Not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to hockey management.
      2) Someone’s got to play net in St. Johns.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That reads like quite a Bazzzinga!

        • Luke says:

          Well, It wasn’t supposed to be a Bazzzinga, just a reply. Now, I’ve been afraid all afternoon get uCE’s rebuttal! haha

          Sadly, I’m going to miss it… or only read it on my phone. The weekend starts in 15minutes and isn’t over until Tuesday.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            HiB, you’re supposed to be on my team, not any Smiley-come-latelies.

            Having said that Luke, no rebuttal to be fearful of, your opinions are valid and well-thought out.

            I do think Karri Ramo will have the inside track at the Flames’ job. Whereas he was ineffective in earlier stints in the NHL, he seems to have put his game together in the KHL, as indicated by the progression of his stats. This isn’t surprising, since he’s coming into his prime, and we often discuss on here the long gestation period of goalies, and how important it is that they be developed properly.

            I stand by the assertion that if the Canadiens had been better at asset management, had been pro-active instead of reactive, they could have transformed Mike Cammalleri into a much greater haul than they received.

            I think that Patrick Holland, as impressive as he was playing for the Tri-City Americans when I ‘scouted’ him (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/03/vancouver-giants-1-tri-city-americans-2.html), is a player who wasn’t a right fit. It’s like if we traded our car stereo for a spare tire, except we already had a spare, and now don’t know what to do with the spare spare.

            The fact that the Flames aren’t the best management team in the NHL, but appear to have taken in Pierre Gauthier, in getting a major piece they wanted in return for disposables, only strengthens the case I was trying to make.

  42. Rad says:

    Re: the article by Hickey (above), Bill Berglund is not listed on the Habs’ Scouting Staff here
    Does that mean Habs have other/numerous scouts that are officially not on their books, i.e. do they have a Vancouver scout, a Philadelphia scout etc?

  43. Bripro says:

    According to Pierre Lebrun, size is becoming more relevant to most teams.
    I guess it’ll take the Habs a while to get there.

  44. bwoar says:

    So, now injuries are why we bit the dust? Not terrible defense and crappy goaltending and utter lack of scoring?

    Thank god, I’ll bet we have perfect health next year and win the Cup. After seeing the team fold when Eller went down, no one in the league would rudely want to attempt to play hard against the Habs. Certainly not the Bruins. And certainly not the Leafs. Those guys play polite, speed-kills ™ hockey, and ask permission to take the puck away. Just like us!

    It’s all about staying healthy. Good to know.


    • Mattyleg says:

      Just unlucky with injuries.
      Our defense was great through the season, and as soon as Emelin went down, we didn’t have the same physical presence. Another player like Emelin would be great to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

      Scoring was another thing, but obviously hurt by Eller’s injury and Gionta’s injury.

      The teams in the playoffs haven’t been hit that hard with injuries. Look at how much LA suffered from losing Richards.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Chris says:

        The defence was already falling apart when Emelin went down.

        If anything, the Montreal Canadiens were following a very familiar script: They played very well defensively for the first 20-25 games, and then started to run into some serious defensive issuesl.

        Look at their monthly records:

        January: 4-2-0, 3.00 GF/G, 2.50 GA/G
        February: 9-2-3, 2.80g GF/G, 1.79 GA/G
        March: 9-3-2, 3.43 GF/G, 2.86 GA/G
        April (with Emelin): 3-1-0, 3.25 GF/G, 2.00 GA/G
        April (without Emelin): 4-6-0, 2.90 GF/G, 3.50 GA/G

        Obviously, their defence was abysmal without Emelin in April. That 3.50 GA/G extrapolated over the entire season would have left the Habs in 29th overall, just ahead of the last place Florida Panthers (3.54 GA/G).

        But the Habs defence was hardly great the rest of the season. Their March total of 2.86 GA/G extrapolated over the entire season would have left the Habs in 22nd place. The only difference was that their offence was able to run-and-gun with the opposition in March, but largely dried up by April.

        They WERE absolutely brilliant in February, but a recurring theme in Price’s career has been that he is one of the top goalies heading into the Christmas break before seeing his numbers suffer as the team became increasingly vulnerable defensively. Was this year just part of that trend or was Emelin’s injury really as important as it might appear on paper?

        I think there is a case to be made for both. The lack of depth (due to the somewhat unfortunate unwillingness to play Kaberle) was exposed by Emelin’s injury, but the Habs had also demonstrated vulnerability in the defensive zone throughout the season.

        As for Richards, I still don’t know how Bolland avoided a suspension for that hit. Left his feet, hit him in the head…in my opinion, that was a blatant head-shot, regardless of whether Richards pivoted back into the play. Bolland was coming in low and then launched. He had all the time in the world to see where he was aiming.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think injuries is another word for lacking depth. Ottawa’s injuries should have prevented them from making playoffs, but their depth allowed them to make the playoffs.

  45. Maritime Ron says:

    Really interesting to look at the repercussions of Hawks Duncan Keith missing just 1 game due to suspension, and how it puts so much pressure on the #2-6 Dmen.

    These same Hawks D Men must now move into roles they are not accustomed to – then the opposing coach knowing that, adjusts his strategy to take advantage of the situation.

    This is not saying that an Alexei Emelin is anywhere close to a Duncan Keith, yet for the Habs after his injury and during the playoffs, the reality showed that too many Habs Dmen were over their head/outside of their roles due to basic talent, and could not respond to those minutes demands that an Emelin void created.

    One of the main and KEY reasons we lost to Ottawa was that we lacked D depth and ‘strength/fear’ on D after the loss of Emelin.

    Duncan Keith is a Norris Trophy winner, plays top minutes for the Hawks, and also plays 1st Unit PP QB, and 1st Unit PK.
    With him not there tonight, others have to fill in difficult roles for his almost 25 minutes.
    The Hawks 5-6 guys Nick Leddy and Michael Rozsival will be put in tough positions they are perhaps NOT ready for either due to a lack the talent or experience.

    Unless Crawford stands on his head and the Hawks take very few penalties, this game could get out of hand fast in the Kings favor.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Good point Ron (as usual).

    • Bripro says:

      IMO, he didn’t hit Carter hard enough.
      At one point, they had the camera following both, with Keith trying to apologize, but Carter would have none of it.
      Just like when he whined about Subban being a big baby.
      That guy gets on my nerves.
      But that’s just me….

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The Loss of Keith is huge for Chi-town. He plays top minutes in all situations and is key to their d.

      This series will be 2-2 going back. LA wakes up at home and plays a different style and the loss of Keith makes it even harder for the hawks. the series but it is far from over.

      Not like the Pens vs Boston…Goes to show that in the playoffs it doesn’t matter how skilled your team when the refs don’t call clutch and grab it makes it tough.

      In saying that Boston has outplayed the Pens.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Rad says:

        On the flip side, the absence of Keith gives Sheldon Brookbank an opportunity to play. Brookbank plays a physical game, and it will be interesting to see what he brings to the dance.

    • pmaraw says:

      I don’t think the kings were gonna lose this game regardless of who was playing tbh… home ice winning streak remains in tact.

    • Bripro says:

      The Hawks have a lot of depth.
      But whether Keith is in or not, home-ice advantage is playing a big part, especially for the Kings, since the beginning of the playoffs.

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Question to those who purchased commemorative bricks at the Molson Center. When these bricks are transported, will you be receiving a nominal charge for moving and storage of your brick? 🙂

  47. ClutchNGrab says:

    Crosby, Neal, Bennett, Martin and Fleury. Those are the only players at this time that are signed past the 2013-14 season on the Penguins roster. For all the talk on how Ray Shero is an incredibly good GM (I’m referring mostly to Pierre McGuire) he’ll certainly have the occasion to prove it in the next two years.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      That may be so, yet you forgot to mention that GM Shero will have $40 Million to spend.

      That ‘may’ be more than enough to sign Malkin-Kunitz-Letang-Orpik…and if Shero feels squeezed, he can go the trade route as he did with Jordan Staal.
      They also have some good prospects coming.

  48. Chuck says:

    Kerry Fraser believes that Jagr should have been called for hooking Malkin in overtime, which caused the turnover that led directly to the B’s goal.

    Did anyone else see it that way, too? I think that it was a call that should have been made.

    Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston. Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

    • Bripro says:

      I didn’t see that one, but I certainly saw Lucic paste Orpik against the glass, with no call.

      • Timo says:

        Looked like a pretty clean hit to me. Like I said before, the impression I’ve been getting is that in these series for the most part Penguins have been more dirty and chippy and Bruins would just take that in. It’s playoffs hockey… the whistles were put away especially in OT. THe only dfference is that Bruins managed to score following some cheesy hook and Pens didn’t.

      • mrhabby says:

        i thought it was a clean hit…seen so much worse.

    • HardHabits says:

      It was blatant. But it was 2nd OT and everything else was being let go (apart from high sticks that drew blood for only 2 minutes, delay of game and too many men penalties). The Pens were just as guilty of being called for things that got let go. The real culprit was Orpik missing his assignment on Bergeron.

      • 24 Cups says:

        The real culprit was Orpik’s coach who had him out on the ice. I guess winning a hockey game in Pittsburgh is still more important than a man’s health. Orpik basically didn’t know where he was after Lucic hit him.

        It’s the same bullshit as hybrid icing and a 20 year phase in period for visors. The league doesn’t care and the players are too gutless to take a stand. I guess no one can see the irony of the “jock” mentality.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          +100, he looked completely dazed and confused after Lucic crushed him. There is absolutely no way he received a proper test to find out if he was okay prior to returning to the ice. I wonder if Sidney even noticed, and wouldn’t you think he might say to Orpik, hey go get checked out? I realize they were in heat of game, and asking Sidney to do that is probably outside the realm of possibility, but reality is the players are treated like meat when it comes to concussion, and it seems neither they nor their agents give a rats ass.

          • Bripro says:

            Did you notice that 5 minutes later, the trainer was talking to him, and you could read “I’m OK”.
            He was back on the ice for the next shift.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I also heard he went to a movie immediately after the game. Clearly he was fine.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Agreed. I thought as much last night.

          And it’s the Pens again. There was Crosby of course, playing when he shouldn’t have been, and remember when Letang came back against the Habs after Max clocked him?

        • HardHabits says:

          I salute your wisdom sir.

    • bwoar says:

      They showed the replay right after the goal. It was an obvious call that got “playoffed”. I love how the series was pretty much sewn up on a play that should’ve been caught and whistled down. Makes me feel totally better about paying only cursory attention to the ECF.


  49. Bripro says:

    GM was also asked his thoughts regarding the wasted money in buyouts. He stated that all teams go through it, and for him, giving MB the tools to work with to build a winning team in order to satisfy the Habs’ fan base is the ultimate priority.
    Deep pockets?

  50. Bripro says:

    Goeff Molson announced this morning the moving of the Centennial Plaza bricks as well as the construction of a sports bar similar to Toronto’s “Real Sports”.
    I’ve never been.
    I wonder if this means that last call will be at 11pm?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      They put a “Real Sports” in the market in Ottawa. You’ll enjoy it if you don’t mind spending $10 a pint and $15 for a pound of wings.

      • Bripro says:

        So whether we’re inside the Bell Centre, or out, you’re suggesting I go on pay day…. right? 🙂

      • Habfun says:

        I have been to it a couple of times, you do meet some retired NHL players that live in Ottawa and work for the radio station Team 1200 next door but I can’t justify paying the bucks they ask for a beer and food! Also on game nights or Fridays you can’t get in, unless you are well known then you just walk right past the doorman. But I tell you, during the Habs/Sens series there were just as many hab fans as sens, just like being at Scotia Bank Place!

        It\\\’s all about th CH

    • mrhabby says:

      never been in the real one in TO but from all reports from friends its fantastic. Many choices of beers , foods good with huge TV screens great atmosphere…(exclude laff games)

  51. Maritime Ron says:

    Re John Tavares.
    Please know he is NOT going anywhere!

    Mr Wang’s Islanders are moving to Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season and you need Star Power in New York or forgetaboutit.

    As for finances, Tavares is relatively cheap with a Cap Hit of $5.5M until the end of the 2018 season.

    As for the ‘Business As Usual’ Islanders, they will struggle to get to the Cap Floor of $44M this coming year.
    They have 15 Roster players signed – almost $30M below the Cap Ceiling, and NEED to spend another $10M just to get to the Cap Floor and not be fined huge amounts of money.

    RFAs Josh Bailey and Travis Hamonic will cost them a few bucks, and they need to sign a goalie or 2, but they do not need to shed salary…they may even NEED salary (See Tim Thomas contract last year on Islanders Cap total)

  52. The Jackal says:

    So many posters with their tails between their legs, bemoaning the state of the Habs and having these late season revelations about how good the Bruins are and how we are not even close to that, totally undermining their team’s success and selling them short…. The mourning period is over people, let’s not let misery delude reality.

    The Habs are a good team. They are not “built to fight for a playoff spot.” They will be perennial contenders sooner than most think. We finished second in the East because of our good play, not because of luck. Many teams had slumps this season and ours came at the end, at the same time that we were hit with key injuries. Price, Pacioretty, Gionta – all playing hurt. Eller and Emelin out. No excuses does not apply to that. Teams have a very hard time winning with key players out and others playing hurt. Our exit was a fluke but our division title was not.

    A healthy Habs squad goes past the first round for sure. There is no real reason to get all panicky or throw the team under the bus.

    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Fransaskois says:

      Love the positive attitude, don’t necessarily agree though. Unless there are big trades or Free Agent signings, I don’t see our team competing at the level of Chicago-LA-Boston-Pittsburgh for at least another 2-3 years. Just not enough time to expect our new impact players (Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Eller) to develop and take over for our older impact players (Gionta, Markov, Plekanec, Bourque). Future’s bright, I’m just not quite ready to go all-in on the current roster or the transition roster.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I also like the positive attitude, even if it’s wrong. There are a lot of positives on the Canadiens but there are many holes to fill before any long run in the playoffs can happen.

        A few current contracts need to be moved or allowed expire, the youth has to mature and some free agents must be brought in or a few trades have to be made.

        The good thing is we’re headed in the right direction and have good management. They’ll get it done over the next few years.

    • Cal says:

      The reality is that the Habs were eliminated in 5 games by an Ottawa team that was dismissed in 5 games by a team that is going to be wiped out in 4 by the hated Gooins.
      The quick exit demonstrated the lack of clutch goaltending and defense, never mind how ineffective the tiny tot gang at forward was.
      A healthy Habs squad would STILL HAVE LOST in the first round.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        A healthy Habs squad beats Ottawa in round 1. It pains me to say you’re wrong, but you’re wrong.

        Actually, it didn’t hurt much to say.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • kalevine says:

          it’s not just about health it’s lack of desire. I don’t see teh Habs willing to take the punishment of a long playoff run when they could be golfing or roping steer instead. After all, hockey is only a part time job isn’t it?

        • Cal says:

          Can’t deal in ifs ands or buts. Habs not only lost: they were completely dismantled, exposing a squad that is too weak to compete in the playoffs.
          So, like, you’re wrong. And that didn’t hurt at all; must be the anesthetic.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Dismantled? Many would argue that they dominated more periods than they were dominated.

            To each their own views and glasses, I guess.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • kalevine says:

            anyone old enough to remember the 1967-1968 Finals – Blues vs Habs. Blues outplayed but Habs kept squeezing it out by one goal. Do you think the Blues were the better team? You get beaten 6-1 twice in a 5 game series, and suffer come from behind losses in 2 others and yes, you are being beaten by a far superior team. People who think Habs were just unlucky against the Sens are really in severe denial, and it’s that denial that keeps expectations so low around here, year after year

    • HardHabits says:

      Whatever it is your smoking… I want some.

      And the following does apply. “No excuses!!!”

      The fact is this… the Habs lost in 5 games in the 1st round to a team that got demolished in the 2nd round by a team that is getting demolished in the 3rd round.

      If, if, if. If my uncle had tits he’d be my aunt. If the Habs had the team Boston has they’d still be in it.

      Nobody, certainly not me, is throwing any Habs under the bus. I do want a few of them on a bus and shipped out of town though, hopefully to be replaced by bigger and better players. That will take time, and some time yet before they become the “perennial contenders” you and others like myself hope they’ll become, something they are not today, not even if healthy.

      • Phil C says:

        I Think Jackal’s point is that the Habs were better than people give them credit for when everyone is healthy. If Emelin and Eller were 100%, they demolish the Sens and give Boston and Pittsburgh everything they can handle. Hell,the Leafs gave Boston everything they can handle, lets not make the Bruins out to be better than they are.

        The reality is that you need more depth so that you can survive the injuries better. That is different from saying the team was bad. They were not bad, just vulnerable. Other teams are vulnerable too. What would do you think would happen to Chicago if Toews was injured? They are vulnerable at centre like Montreal was vulnerable on D. Like Boston were vulnerable at centre in 2010. The Hawks have been getting away with it, Montreal didn’t.

        • HardHabits says:

          It would have been closer but I am doubtful the Habs demolish any NHL team with their current roster.

          I never said the Habs were bad, just not good enough.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            Christ, take that kicked in goal away and they may have won with the injuries. They definitely win without the injuries…in 6 probably.

            and that’s not saying they’re a great team, just better than the sens when healthy.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • kalevine says:

            Before that goal was kicked in Sens were swarming…it was a matter of time before they equalized it anyway. These things happen. Good teams rise above it

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I’ll see your healthy Alexei Emelin and Lars Eller, and raise you a healthy Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza. Our injury woes don’t surpass the Sens’ injury woes.

    • HNS says:

      U R such an idiot.

  53. HabFanSince72 says:

    This makes no sense:

    ” TSN’s Bob McKenzie floated a potential trade involving the Canucks, who would send the Isles goalie Roberto Luongo in return for DiPietro (on whom the Canucks would use one of their compliance buyouts, with no cap penalty) and, of course, something to make it worthwhile on Vancouver’s end. (Nino Niederreiter is one name that pops to mind.)”


    Luongo has $40M owed him until 2022. Di Pietro $36M until 2021.

    The Isles would actually be worse off if they made that trade. Both now and in the long run.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I don’t think it will happen either, but the thinking is that Charles Wang will never buy out Rick DiPietro, he’s too cheap, and he’s the idiot who foisted that contract on his own team in the first place. Who can forget him being all smug when it was announced, explaining that he was bringing business principles to the hockey world, and how it made sense to amortize the goalie’s expensive years over his entire career? He thought he was being smarter than everyone else, but he was treating an unrealized asset as a given, and paid Rick DiPietro as a superstar before he’d proven anything.

      Anyway, if he won’t buy out the contract, he might as well swap out with the Canucks’ long-term contract goalie, and have Roberto Luongo who can actually play instead of Mr. DiPietro in the minors. He’d have to give up some big picks and prospects for the Canucks to agree to buy out his mess, but the Islanders have proven over the years that competitiveness and treating the fans of Long Island as more than fools to be parted with their ticket money are secondary concerns.



  54. HabFab says:

    Re question from previous thread concerning Compliance Buy -Outs;
    (Okay, that didn’t work well)
    – Compliance Buy-Outs are coming out of the Players share (50%) of HRR in the year that the pay-out occurs.
    – The Teams have to front the money but can then recover it from the Players share of their HRR in that season.
    – The bottom line is that this will increase the players escrow.
    – Section 6 http://nbcprohockeytalk.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/nhl_nhlpa-proposed-cba-summary-of-terms_final-jan-12-2013.pdf

    • Phil C says:

      So if Molson pays Depietro $1.5M per year for the next 16 years in a buyout, that will reduce the owner’s escrow payments, but how much will Molson get back?

      I would think the league-wide owner escrow payment would be reduced by $1.5M, but the Habs would only get 1/30th of that back, so he would still be out of pocket for $1.45M?

      • HabFab says:

        – Buy-outs are one time money pay-outs. They are not spread over time.
        – Owners don’t have Escrow, players do.
        – Molson gets to keep the money from the players share (50%) of HRR in the year the buy-out occurs.
        – The Habs picking up Dipietro makes no sense for the Habs. UCe just above explains how the Islanders are thinking but why would the Canucks agree.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          But picking up Luongo makes no sense for the Isles.

          Trading Di Pietro saves Mr Wang $24M (the buyout for Di Pietro). Essentially he would be trading a player (not Di Pietro who will never play again) for $24M cash.

          However if you want to save that money you do not trade Di Pietro for Luongo. Taking on an even bigger salary (albeit for an actual NHL player) is counterproductive.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            We’re really stretching the definition of what ‘sense’ is in the NHL and for the Islanders, but here’s how it does make sense. The Islanders are stuck with that contract and can’t dump it on anyone. There’s no way for them to ‘save’ that $24M, if we take for granted that Charles Wang won’t buy out his own mistake. They’ll pay it anyhow. So they may as well pay that money to a goalie who is actually playing for them, and might sell a few tickets to some nostalgics. Now they have to find a way to convince the Canucks that, instead of being stuck with Roberto Luongo and having to buy him out, they could be stuck with a DiPietro buyout, but at least get some assets to sweeten the deal.

            Again, I don’t think it will happen, but it’s in the realm of the possible, and I understand why Bob McKenzie is even discussing it.

        • Phil C says:

          – according to capgeek, payments are spread out over time, otherwise the payout would take up too much of the player’s share of HRR for a given year.

          – Semantics on the escrow. Escrow is retained from the players side of the salary, but it is possible for the owners to have to pay the entire escrow back plus more if required. Not sure what you would call that. My question is if the owners owe more at the end of the year, is it shared equally amongst the owners, or is it proportional to salary spent?
          -I thought the 50% of HRR is calculated on a league wide level. So if Molson pays a buyout that results in getting the league wide salary payment up to 50% of HRR, Molson would not get to keep a dime of his buyout. It seems to me like it acts as a form of revenue sharing in that the league as whole does not pay extra for a buyout, but the individual owner may not neccessarily benefit.

  55. jedimyrmidon says:

    On a draft related note, I hope that the Habs don’t trade up using the #34 or #36 overall pick to go from #25 to #15 (or thereabout).

    Drafting at #34 and #36 is pretty much equivalent to drafting in the first round considering the 2nd round extends from picks 31 all the way to 60. People like to cite the probability that 2nd rounders pan out, but #34 and #36 are high 2nd rounders (teams that finished bottom 3 in their conference – think about it: it would be hard to get those 2nd rounders under most circumstances).

    The Habs should take the gamble to come away with multiple impact players rather than trade up to the middle of the 1st round where there most likely isn’t some can’t-miss guy available.

    • HabFab says:

      Agreed. This is a solid draft with depth and the more picks you have the better.

      • HardHabits says:

        I would be ecstatic if the Habs could trade up to grab a 1st line forward. However, I’d rather the trade be Gionta, Desharnais, Weber, Diaz, Bouillon and Kaberle for the pick. 🙂

        I’d even throw in Price if it was a top 10 pick.

        *ducks for cover*

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Problem with trading away Price is, the Habs have no other goaltender in the pipeline and no one readily available as a UFA. I bet they’d be screwed for a long time trying to find a replacement.

          Maybe if it was a Top 5 rather than a Top 10 pick…

    • wjc says:

      It depends who is sitting there at number 15 and if a deal can be made. If a player they covet is available, then they should go for it.

      If a player they covet is not sitting there and has been taken, then just wait your turn and take the best player available.


  56. monmick says:

    Gregory Campbell is one of my least favorite players in the NHL, and has been for several years.

    However, I must say that he has gained some of my respect following his performance yesterday after blocking a shot and breaking a leg…

    You can’t fake grit like that.

    ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  57. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Why can’t Canada win a Stanley Cup?

    How stupid are they down there?

    Dat’s wha me tinks

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    I see Stubbs sent a tweet to Crosseyed Mofo, I always enjoyed his posts here at HI/O. Good to see that name from a little while ago.

  59. Habfan17 says:

    The Habs invited Liam Coughlin to their combine. He is not ranked by central scouting. Does anyone know if the Habs could sign him as a UFA since he is not ranked? Or, would they only be able to do that if he went undrafted since he is draft age? Thanks!


    • HabFab says:

      I can’t remember all the rules off hand for signing players under 20 but he has to go thru the draft. The non-ranked status would not make a difference. The only exception to the 20 rule is CHL players who have gone through the draft undrafted their first year of eligibility (out of two / three) but can’t recall the rest of the criteria. Patrice Lefrebve was the last time we did it.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Great thank you. Then I guess if they like him enough, they won’t take a chance and will use a pick on him. If he is a 6’3″ version of Nilan, I would be very happy.


  60. Maksimir says:

    Regarding the Islanders – Streit is heading to UFA… I see Detroit going after him… he’d fit in perfectly there.

  61. otter649 says:

    Good News that means my Brick comes out of storage & I will get a chance to see it whenever I come to Montreal for a visit but may have to wait abit since the new plaza is due to open in 2016….

    – Stanley come home…..

  62. ont fan says:

    I guess you build a team knowing, as the games and series progress in the playoffs, the whistle gets harder and harder to find. Especially in overtime. Getting past the first round is the tough part then anything goes. Can a mostly skilled team win then?

    • wjc says:

      Repeat skills and toughness, skills and toughness, skills and toughness.

      Tough without skills is nothing…..skills without toughness might work, but you have to have depth and lots of skills. But with the cap you need skills and toughness…..now repeat……..no cheating.


  63. JayK-47 says:


    Carrying on…

    Thx Phil and Dust, re: Dipietro buy out

    So the good news is the Habs won’t get a cap hit.

    But that’s $24M out of pocket. To help another team get rid of a toxic contract.

    I’d want immediate help in return. Someone who’d help me get deep into the playoffs to get me a solid ROI.

    The only names I recognize are Moulson, Tavares and Grabner and the only guy I’d take is Tavares. And if we took their #1 center, we’d have to send something back.

    So, the only trade I’d make with the Isles is Tavares and Dipietro for Pleks, Eller and their pick of either another roster player or prospect. $24M is a lot of money and they’d have to make it worth my while and help me, help them.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I would not move Eller. Pleks, Gorges, Kaberle, and DD. should do if the Habs were taking Dipietro


      • Ali says:

        The only scenario under which the Islanders would even conceive of trading Tavares is if we parted with Galchenyuk. Not going to happen. (your scenario might work if Milbury were still their GM).

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        They’re not giving up Tavares.

      • Luke says:

        Wouldn’t move Eller to get JT??

        JT Scored more last full season (’11/12) than Eller has in his career. (82gp 31g 50a 81pts to 209gp 33g 44a 77pts)

        If we were getting Tavares, I’d move everyone and anyone.

        The only guys I’d hesitate on would be PK, Galchenyuk and Price.
        And the only one of those I’d be really worried about moving for Tavares would be Galchenyuk.

    • Luke says:

      If you are taking Tavares from the Islanders you may as well start
      the Habs giving up PK ++.

      They aren’t moving Tavares.

      Especially not for secondary parts. DiPietro contract or no.

    • JUST ME says:

      Why would the Habs feel the need to help another team ?

      As many others you think that someone else`s garbage will turn into gold in Montreal ? Dipietro is one of the most notable horror story in the history of the NHL and you would want him to wear the bleu-blan-rouge ?

      • JayK-47 says:

        That’s not the idea. The Isles have stated they’re willing to make it worth someone’s while to take Dipietro for a compliance buyout. So I wanted to explore what a $24M hit is worth and I think it’s Tavares.

      • wjc says:

        Teams (owners) are all partners…..30 teams share in playoff revenue at the end……even if you miss the playoffs you get a piece of the pie.


      • wjc says:

        Horror story for who….Wang is still rich, Diepetro is now rich, teammates are not out any money.

        No horror story here, move along.


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