Cole nears end of rehab on frustrating, nagging injury

Erik Cole

Canadiens’ Erik Cole has words with the Carolina Hurricanes during a game last April.
Grant Halverson, Getty Images

Canadiens power forward Erik Cole finished his first season with the Habs much too early for his liking last April. So the 33-year-old veteran was back in the gym before the month was out. He’s probably regretting that today, still dealing with a nagging lower-body injury – “When I pinpoint it, I’ll tell you,” he told us brightly on Friday – that continues to require treatment.

So if there’s a bright side to the NHL lockout, it’s that Cole has had more time than usual for rehab. And this rehab is nearing its end, Cole told me Friday on his brand new iPhone 5 from his upstate New York cottage.

More Habs hockey in Saturday’s Gazette, the day the Canadiens were supposed to first step on the ice for their 2012-13 training camp.

Next Quebec labour hearing set for Oct. 15: Brenda Branswell
Montreal merchants feeling pinch of lockout: Branswell
Long, winding road of the hockey stick: Stu Cowan


  1. BeeGee says:

    What I look forward to:
    (Avtsin, Berger, Lefebvre, Fortier, Leveille, Chaput)

    St. Denis-Ellis
    (Stejskal, Hagel)


  2. ProHabs says:

    The NHL is dead to me.

  3. --Habs-- says:

    NHL – All of you! Can you please take your thick heads out of your derriere for a “period” long enough to realize people making minimum wage will start loosing their part time jobs while your negotiating what portion of your millions you will gain lose. Remember boys that those same people may have been your moms and dads holding those same jobs to help pay for your camps, coaches, skates and those $200 sticks!

    Go HABS Go

  4. kempie says:

    Plekanec looks pretty good with wingers who know how to finish:

  5. Bripro says:

    NFL-I-O update:

    When are the real officials supposed to return?
    Soon, I hope!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree, wouldn’t mind if a real Steeler team returned to NFL as well.

      • Bripro says:

        Yeah….it’s not looking too good there buddy.
        It looked like it was going to be a walk in the park for the Pats tonight, until the officiating started screwing up the game, and with Blowhard-a-chek having a coronary, the Ravens are right back into it.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Bruce Arthur of The National Post with a good summary of how stupid this current lockout is.

    • Bripro says:

      How can Daly be losing his temper over what’s going on?
      From the get go, Butthead let it be known that if things didn’t go the owners’ way, he would not hesitate to lock the players out.
      So that’s the strategy…intimidation!
      What do they expect in terms of cooperation from the players?
      Arthur is right in his analogy of the fans’ frustration being moot.
      If I thought that all fans, from every venue, would collectively rebel by staying away from the game, I wouldn’t hesitate to push for it.
      But how do you initiate something so far-reaching, and expect to get the cooperation from so many fans? It’s a virtual impossibility.
      And the league knows it.

  7. ProHabs says:

    The quickest way to end this thing is for the owners to threaten to get rid of guaranteed contracts. I think the players would give up alot in order to keep the guaranteed contracts. Guys like Gomez would be signing any agreement to keep his guaranteed contract.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Conversely I think the players could keep their Lion’s share of revenue if they offered to move to say 80% guaranteed contracts. Example: 5 year deal, the team can walk on the 5th year if they choose.
      Players keep comparing themselves to the rest of us and how would we feel if the corporation was making money and wanted to cut our wages. Well this is reality for the rest of us; if you don’t produce, you lose your job.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

  8. naweed235 says:

    Pleky now has 3G, 4A in 3GP…. man we really need to get this guy some decent wingers because he is able to produce atleast an 80 pt season

    • Bripro says:

      It would have been nice to see the Habs sign Jagr to a one-year deal this summer. The two of them seem to play so well together. Let’s hope he plays like this when the season starts….if it starts.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Most of all, we just need to play opponents of Czech league equivalent.
      You seem to have forgotten this pretty important condition 🙂
      For me, Plekanec is not a PPG, elite offensive player in NHL, although he is pretty close.

  9. scuba says:

    After the first two Halifax Mooseheads games this Drouin kid looks unreal. I watched the game on Friday and he was the best plaer on the ice by a mile. Although Mackinnon is coming of the flu. I see Drouin had five points tonight and Nate had four. Can’t wait to watch these guys all year.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It is neat to see how excited so many of us are to watch Junior and AHL hockey. In a weird way we all will be fueling our excitement to watch the next wave of NHL’ers, which in turn will help these bozos as they refuse to even negotiate to keep the game we love going at the NHL level. Now this excitement almost has me depressed, as even when we try to move on…. oh a headache is coming on.

    • Rad says:

      One thing we can say with certainty, Drouin will be heavily scouted by top Canadiens brass all season long. Whether we will finish low enough in the standings to acquire him is another question. The runaway leaders at the top of the 2013 Draft Class are MacKinnon, Jones, Barkov, Ristolainen, and probably Drouin in the top 5. If we miss the playoffs again as is quite likely, we have a shot at one of these players. Plus 3 Second Round picks next year.

  10. commandant says:

    Galchenyuk scored in the shootout, but the Sarnia Sting still lost 3-2 to Kitchener.

    No shame in losing to Kitchener though, if you read my OHL West preview today, I picked them to win the league. Strong team they have.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Friggin nuts! 3 games in OT and I lost the.9rs/Minny game… Go Steelers, Go Chargers! Hola!

  12. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I said from the beginning an agreement will be concluded by end-October, latest

    …based on facts that ‘the business’ of hockey has never been so lucrative …and, that both sides are too intelligent to self-immolate

    …hope I am not over-estimating their respective intelligence, and this will be resolved in-Time for Ian Cobb’s HIO Summit

  13. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …the Argonauts looked like the Maple Leafs of the CFL today

  14. HabFab says:

    Daniel Pribyl sat out again. The NHL players are costing him major ice time.
    Oh!, and some guy named Plekanec scored 2 goals and an assist.

  15. HabFab says:

    Erik Nystrom scored 3 assists today in the Swedish Junior League. A nice weekend scoring 8 points to start off the year!

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Watching a great game right now.
    Montreal Als vs Toronto Argos. Al’s leading at the half.

    No hockey, so going dancing tonight!

  17. JF says:

    Right about now we should be counting off the hours until tonight’s game.

  18. HabFab says:

    Audio interviews with Gallagher and Leblanc as they prepare for camp;

  19. adamkennelly says:

    how lucky are we Habs fans to have Cole on our team. Stud winger. and we got MaxPac also – not too bad…hope we get to see them in action this year.

  20. habstrinifan says:

    Wonderful post John. Although you have placed quite a burden on me. My better half is now clamouring that during tthe lockout, I now show her one of the perennial woody of which you speak.

    Edit: OOOPS! Two weeks into the lockout and I have forgotten how to post. This post should have been made as a reply to John Bellyful’s post.

  21. TheAmerican says:

    When the lockout ends, I will watch hockey. It’s what I do. What I won’t do is business with the NHL’s advertisers. To the NHL we are the fans that have no choice. But to the advertisers, we are customers and we have plenty of choices. When the ad men tell the NHL they won’t advertise with the NHL, the lockout will end. Until then, it will be more of the same.

    BTW, what is it, exactly, that the owners do that is worth more than 50% of the revenue?

    • ed lopaz says:

      sign the player’s checks.

    • joeybarrie says:

      OWN everything….
      Why is my house worth what it is and why does the equity come to me?
      Cause I bought it and invested my money to begin with.
      Although it seems that the bank did much better than I did.
      but Molson put down 550 million, or at least figured out how to come up with that money. So he gets to reap the rewards.
      While the argument of how much its worth compared to what the players do is up to them to figure out. BUT ITS UP TO THEM TO FIGURE IT OUT….. FIGURE IT OUT.
      Meet in the middle of the last offer each and be done with it.

    • ooder says:

      they buy the team and pay for everything :s
      there is no successful business model where the employees make more then the owners.
      it makes no sense

      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  22. HabFab says:

    My dark thoughts….sigh!

    Don Fehr will never give into the NHL!

    The NHL owners will never give into the NHLPA!

    #^&*%$@ are the fans!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Not just dark Frank but realistic as well. I can see this lockouy costing us the season. Sigh.


    • 24 Cups says:

      I think it’s a bit different this time around.

      In 2005, Bettman and Goodenow hated each other’s guts. They truly never began any form of negotiations. Eventually the players folded as did their union. Goodenow walked the plank and Bettman was able to form most of the new CBA. It was a great plan except for the fact that some owners and GMs took advantage of the loopholes and basically sabotaged the financial stability that was there.

      Fehr has to know that the 50% settlements in the NFL and NBA means that 57% is out the window. Having said that, there is still room for compromise as long as the owners give and take when it really matters. Both sides can win as long as they don’t hold out for a total victory. The players can’t win total victory and probably know that. As for the owners, I think it’s still too early to tell. It depends on the dynamic of the 30 people in the room. This really isn’t about Bettman, at all.

      Bettman is planning to cancel the Winter Classic in early November. That way the union loses any leverage they might have in terms of this important event. If it gets cancelled, then you know it just might be a very long year. Thus, the Winter Classic becomes the canary in the coalmine.

  23. ed lopaz says:

    to answer Phil below – re: the owners “need” the union and the CBA to save them from a free agent frenzy market place.
    Phil, simply put, its a 2 way street.
    There are 700 men who play hockey in a league sponsored by ridiculously wealthy owners.
    If the NHL would open itself to complete free agency, virtually all of the owners would be pushed over the edge and the league would fail.
    Maybe 10 franchises would survive, and 2/3 of the players would lose their NHL jobs.
    Maybe another league would emerge and pick up these players. (all the best players would be on the 10 teams that could survive the free market system, and the 2nd league would suck)
    But eventually the salaries have to make some economic sense.
    Even rich people have a boiling point and will refuse to lose 10, 15, or 25 million per season, year after.
    The owners need great players to attract fans willing to pay huge money for tickets.
    The players need very rich owners willing to support the franchises, write the checks, and sustain some losses.
    The CBA joins the 2 parties together and keeps 700 hockey players earning more than 2 million average annual salary.
    Its not a free market system – but it works to artificially keep 20 franchises afloat and save hundreds of hockey players’ jobs.

    • Phil C says:

      I actually agree with your assessment. The cap has been good for both sides. Even though the players have a smaller piece of the pie than before, the financial stability has resulted in a bigger pie overall, thus their net result is more. And by the players agreeing to tie salaries to revenues, they have removed a huge portion of the risk of operating a sports business. The WHA might have done better if they had a similar salary arrangement.

      That’s why I was expecting a change in the owner’s attitude towards the union this time. I would have thought they would have considered the union’s proposals in earnest. Instead they are playing power games again, showing that they are the owners and that no union will push them around or tell them how to run their business.

      It reminds me of the attitude of Augusta National in 2003 when they were rumoured to be ready to allow the first female member. But because Martha Burke protested, they shut it down because they wanted to prove that they would not be pushed around. They finally allowed their first female member quietly this year. They put looking powerful ahead of doing the right thing, just like the NHL owners now. That’s why I am frustrated with the process. Both sides clearly benefit from the current CBA, but they are putting it at risk for very little gain.

      The players seem to know that 57% is too high and they seem willing to negotiate. This shows that they recognize that most teams should be able to make money. But the immediate demand for a salary rollback seems like the owners are forcing the labour dispute because no union would agree to a rollback without a fight.

      • HabFab says:

        Phil, the NHLPA had the perfect opportunity to fix this before it started in June and instead set up this confrontation.
        – with the new TV contracts coming into play there was a large increase in the Salary Cap for 2012-13 of almost 10%
        – the NHL asked them to hold off on activating this increase while the new CBA was being negotiated…they refused.
        – the GM’s then had to spend this $5.9ML increase over the summer
        – now the NHLPA is screaming no deal that involves “roll-backs”
        – if the Salary Cap had stayed at 2011-2012 level it would have lowered the players share to 51.75%
        – the NHL by most Media people is looking for 50-50
        – and by what info that is available, the teams need another 4-5% distributed to the lower revenue teams to make it profitable for 90% of the league.
        – so everything out of the NHLPA is a load of crap…they were looking for a confrontation!

        • Phil C says:

          I agree in your assessment that the NHLPA are not perfect and share a certain amount of the blame. From what is reported, Fehr had been preparing the troops for lockout since he arrived. But it is the NHL that are backing out of the deal they agreed to a few years ago. They are the ones initiating the lockout, so I find it reasonable that most if the ire is directed their way.

          They may be headed to the 50-50 range, which I think would be a enormous win for the NHL. Rolling it back immediately is the part that I find unnecessarily provocative. I also think increased revenue sharing would be better for both sides in the long run, but the NHL has not included this in their offer (based on what I have read anyway), mainly because the idea comes from the union, not because its not a good idea.

          I really hope that the purpose of the lockout is for both sides to find out each other’s bottom line that they would accept. If that is the case, the lockout should not last much longer. I still find it hard to believe they would be willing to lose the season for a few percent either way, (that goes for both sides).

          • HabFab says:

            There already is Revenue sharing in the NHL to the tune of $100-150 ML, it needs fine toning and increased as it was originally set up for small Canadian market teams and a weak Canadian dollar.
            – The NHL is not backing out of a deal. It has expired and needs review.
            – And as I pointed out above, the NHLPA had the perfect opportunity to avoid roll backs but instead set it into motion.

          • Phil C says:

            “The NHL is not backing out of a deal. It has expired and needs review.” Fair point. The lockout is still on them.

            I meant increased revenue sharing. I believe the union suggested $240M, while the NHL is status quo. That would bring them a few percent closer.

            Anyway, time for some golf, I normally wear my Habs hat, but not today. 🙁

    • HabFab says:

      Another point is that the CBA establishes the perimeters of the “market place” by which the GM and owners have to play. Basic Economics 101… but how many here have taken the course?

      • Phil C says:

        The CBA only exists if the players agree to it. De-certify the union and the perimeters of the market place change in a hurry. I think the players would lose in the long run if they did this, although the quality of the hockey would improve due to a contracted league. It would be a form of brinksmanship, say, like if the owners were to lockout the players…

  24. joeybarrie says:

    I think the real losers here are us. The fans. While I can’t deny my need for Montreal Canadiens hockey, its frustrating that the very people I support simply can’t come to a solution, and neither side seems to care enough how it affect the people that make the whole league successful…. Us the fans.
    Like any business, it the people strike, if the owners lock the doors, the product doesn’t get made. The profits are lost. And in most cases someone else comes along and steals the business. So both sides are almost forced to come to an agreement or everything is lost.
    in this case, we will all go straight back to them like stupid loyal sheep, and they will barely miss a beat.
    I’m sorry, but anyone who made 500k plus last year is doing just fine in my books, if there is no work this year. It’ll take me 7 or so years to make that, and I’m doing fine.
    what really hurts is the lack of respect both sides show to the fans, who are in danger of losing everything. The owners OWN other stuff, and will continue to work. The players will PLAY elsewhere.
    The fans get NOTHING. Cause while there will be hockey, there won’t be NHL hockey. Its not the same.
    I wish there was something REAL we could do.
    But the truth is, I’m addicted. I won’t ever say no. I’ll gobble down all I can get, when they come prancing back with some agreement, which is inevitable…. WELL THEN, STOP BEING SO STUBBORN AND GET THERE NOW. Work at it. Stop using stupid tactics that hurt only US.
    Both sides should come out and simply say, we appreciate our fans who made this 3.3 billion dollar league possible, so much, we will not give up until a deal is made.
    They both deserve a punch in the face.

  25. Mark C says:

    Video of Collberg’s helper at the 2:00 mark. He’s number 49, who makes a strong play coming off the half wall with a wrister on net.

  26. joeybarrie says:

    its extremely doubtful that the money people spend on nhl hockey will simply sit in peoples banks and no one will do anything else instead.
    so this argument of the minimum wagers that will be affected is pretty weak in my eyes.
    what about the ‘other’ minimum wagers that will make the money parking cars for concerts? Bussing tables for dinner instead? Pettling more hot dogs for AHL games? Waitresses helping us drown our lack of NHL hockey in beers?
    The city will not stop…. The money (that will still get collected in taxes and such) will continue to go around. Simply in a different manner.
    Millionaires vs billionairs, indeed. But the so called little people that will somehow not be able to feed their families cause there is no NHL hockey…. Not really realistic. The city lost the Expos. People survived.
    Who is really gonna feel the hurt??? SCALPERS… Lets not forget them. What will they do?

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    I deleted this.

  28. savethepuck says:

    Every year my mother ( she turns 75 in December ) buys me and my brother something Habs related for Christmas. I informed her today that if the NHL is still locked out, not to buy anything NHL related this year. It’s the least I can do to show my disgust with us being deprived of watching the game we love. I am sure there are others out there who have people who buy the gifts for them at Christmas time. Let them know the same.

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good job save. I along with a few hio members have also taken the same pledge. I admit I am too much of an adict to swear off the game but I can do this!


  29. Phil C says:

    Here is the Devellano quote that got the Red Wings in trouble:

    “It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this,” said Devellano. “The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

    So the owners don’t want to to be pushed around by a union. This sticks in my craw because the fact is the owners need the union more than the players do. Without a CBA and a salary cap, all players would become unrestricted free agents. Take a player like Subban, the Hockey News just ranked him number 12. The top 15 defensemen in the league make at least $6M per year, so that’s where the bidding would start and who knows how high it would go based on his age and potential. Yakupov has an entry level contract at $925K. He can make more with bonuses, but how much would the Habs pay him to reunite him with Galchenyuk? (Hint, it’s more than $925K 😉 ) We saw what happened with this year’s free agency.

    Imagine if every player hit the open market. Pittsburgh barely averaged over 11K in attendance the year before Crosby arrived. They have practically sold out since. The owners know the stars sell tickets so they will pay to get them if they can. Without Crosby and Malkin, Pittsburgh probably would not even have a team today. Without a cap, it is scary to think what Malkin and Crosby could make.

    The owners are showing how tough they are by pushing around the union. If the union wants to really make the owners sweat, they should de-certify their union immediately, declare the draft as in violation of labour/anti-trust laws, declare all players free agents and fight to have the lockout deemed illegal without a union. The thing these so-called capitalist owners are afraid of the most is an actual free market because they know they can’t control themselves. If the union were to go this route, my guess is that instead of sabre-rattling about not being pushed around by a union, they would be licking Fehr’s shoes to get the union back.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I think it’s nonsense to think of this in terms of “union” and “management”. As a union member, I’d be pretty unhappy with some members getting ten times more money for doing essentially the same job especially if they couldn’t do their job without my assistance. Besides no real union would ever stand for allowing the employer to pay vastly different amounts based on “performance”. I think we would say to those players, “You didn’t build that.” Like Hollywood, this is the entertainment business and like Hollywood, this sort of “unionism” is a bit of a joke. The stars are deemed essential, get the huge pieces of the pie and everyone else hustles for crumbs and are easily replaceable.
      By the way, where would these players play, who would pay them and how much in your non-capitalist league? I think you are naive in your understanding of business. What about contracts? Where do they come in?
      Anyway, what Devallano said is the unpolitically correct, unvarnished truth.

      • Phil C says:

        Lots of unions have different pay scales. Have look at pilot pay scales. A senior pilot at Air Canada makes over $200K while a new hire at the bottom of the seniority list makes less than $40K in his first year, barely enough to live in Toronto. It will probably take him a decade to get above $100K. And this has nothing to do with skill. When Canada 3000 went bankrupt, some were hired at other Airlines and were paid entry level salaries again despite being some of the most experienced pilots in the company. Why? Because that is what their CBA says. Seniority trumps skill for pilots and results in large differences in salary for doing the EXACT same job.

        Every industry is unique in how a CBA is written, including hockey. The players understand that stars should get paid more. It think you are naive to project your unique experience on to other industries.

        I also think you misunderstood my post. I am not saying a non-capitalist league, quite the opposite actually. I am saying go back to true free market capitalism. That is the irony here: that the most of the owners need the union and the CBA more than the players do because they could not survive in a free market.

  30. --Habs-- says:

    The sad thing that nobody talks about are the people who will start loosing their part time Tuesday and Saturday night Jobs at minimum wage. Jobs that Students, young mothers and fathers trying to make extra cash to get by the month or to afford an extra perk or saving to buy Xmas gifts for their kids. Or maybe just to pay off a loan. Money that they will be paying taxes on to build a big beautiful rink in Edmonton Alberta and the kicker! Chances are they don’t follow hockey and they’ll never be able to afford to go to a game!

    Go HABS Go

    • The Dude says:

      Habs …don’t forget all of this is happening during a World recession.I feel that if this situation causes one lil Habs fan to have less on his plate for weeks to come,that there is a total lack of sensitivity to it! So I WISH THE SAME TO HAPPEN TO THE OWNERS,AGENTS ,MANAGEMENT and PLAYERS…THEY COULD USE A GOOD GROUNDING”spoiled prima donnas “besides a pay system that awards G-love 7 million per unconditionally on a long term ,is one broken system that will eventually collapse.

  31. commandant says:

    CHL Previews All week.

    Today, the OHL’s Western Conference, home to Alex Galchenyuk

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  32. Ian Cobb says:

    4 games played in the OHL last night.
    My Belleville Bulls are 2 and 0. Looking good!

    Final SO 1 2 3 OT SO T PP S
    BELV: A. Brassard (14:45 1st), C. Sandlak (06:17 2nd)
    PLY: S. Noesen (00:51 1st), R. Hartman (08:42 1st)
    Text Game Sheet Game Sheet Game Summary Compuware Arena
    Belleville Bulls Belleville 1 1 0 0 1 3 0/4 31
    Plymouth Whalers Plymouth 2 0 0 0 0 2 0/2 35

    Final 1 2 3 T PP S
    WSR: M. Clarke (10:16 1st), J. Maletta (14:53 1st), B. Vail (06:14 3rd)
    SSM: D. Broll (15:42 1st), N. Cousins (08:41 2nd)
    Text Game Sheet Game Sheet Game Summary Essar Centre
    Windsor Spitfires Windsor 2 0 1 3 2/8 40
    Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie 1 1 0 2 0/5 31

    Final 1 2 3 T PP S
    PBO: Z. Lorentz (01:01 1st), C. Seymour (04:07 1st), F. Menard (05:30 1st), N. Ritchie (01:16 2nd)
    OTT: T. Fielding (05:45 1st), C. Ceci (19:30 1st), R. Van Stralen (00:19 3rd)
    Text Game Sheet Game Sheet Game Summary Scotiabank Place
    Peterborough Petes Peterborough 3 1 0 4 0/0 27
    Ottawa 67’s Ottawa 2 0 1 3 1/0 42

    Final 1 2 3 T PP S
    SAG: V. Trocheck (18:59 1st), G. Ross (11:40 3rd)
    OS: K. Hope (04:33 1st), K. Gabriel (11:38 1st), C. Brace (05:12 2nd), H. Cook (10:03 2nd), D. Catenacci (13:16 2nd)
    Text Game Sheet Game Sheet Game Summary Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre
    Saginaw Spirit Saginaw 1 0 1 2 2/9 29
    Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound 2 3 0 5 1/7 29

  33. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day Eight
    With no hockey to cover NBC Sports should return to calling its cable channel Versus and provide round-the-clock coverage of the lockout. A large portion of the programming could be devoted to billionaires/millionaires versus the little guy.
    [Musical interlude]
    Can’t help myself. HRRs (Hockey-Related Ruminations) keep crossing the goal line in my mind:
    Is there a stupider team name in all of sports than the Maple Leafs? Aside from being bad English, calling yourself the Maple Leafs doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents. The Toronto Mighty Oak – now that’s impressive.
    Heck, it would have been more impressive if Toronto had gone with Hard Maple (there’s something to be said for a plant that’s a perennial woody; just ask the guys who are annual).
    Even a lowly shrub would have made a better choice. Foes would think twice about tangling with the Toronto Poison Sumac.
    If Toronto was honest about itself and striving for verisimilitude – which I think all of us in our daily lives should be trying to achieve – it would rename itself the Toronto Chokecherries.
    And why pick the flimsiest part of a tree, a leaf, as your sobriquet? It’s not okay. A good rule of thumb in choosing a moniker is to go with one that commands respect or causes rivals to quake but leaves – sorry – leafs? C’mon, they’re the ones that tremble.
    Think about it, if Willowdale were to get a professional sports team, would it call itself the Willowdale Willow Branches? No, it would be the Willowdale Willow.
    But if you must insist on naming your franchise after a part of a plant, why not the Toronto Pistils? So what if it’s the female reproductive part of a flower, at least it sounds deadly.
    And whenever teams lose to Toronto, you could always say they were pistil-whipped.

  34. JF says:

    TSN and RDS report that the League and the PA will meet tomorrow to conclude some HRR business from last season, and that both sides “hope” the CBA talks will continue when the other business has been done. They just “hope”?? They don’t plan?? As Bobby Orr suggested, someone should just lock the door on the two sides and not let them out until they’ve hammered out an agreement. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to think we could lose a single game, let alone an entire season, in a dispute in which one side has increased its profits by 50% and the other side has increased its average salary by the same amount.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Does not appear that the parties have any sense of urgency, does is? Looks like the fans are the only ones who want this to get done quickly. I am sick!


  35. JF says:

    CHL roundup: Charles Hudon scored as Chicoutimi routed Gatineau 6-0.

    Brady Vail scored the winner as Windsor defeated Sault Ste Marie.

    Darren Dietz scored in a 5-2 loss to Prince Albert.

  36. HabFab says:

    It appears that Patrick Holland will be back in the WHL as an overage player this season. With 30 players under contract for the Bulldogs, this certainly makes sense.

    • 24 Cups says:

      This makes no sense to me, Frank.

      If this guy can’t even crack the Bulldogs at the age of 20 (with a January 7th birthdate to boot) after three years of junior, what kind of a prospect is he? Especially seeing we are loaded on the right side.

      Holland is skating uphill against guys such as White, Leblanc, Collberg and Gallagher. Not to mention wannabees such as Kristo and Palushaj.

    • Rad says:

      Holland is slated to play just 2 games for his alma mater Tri-City of the WHL, after which he will report to the Bulldogs training camp.

  37. Habilis says:

    So Cole is still getting paid plus he gets his 2mil signing bonus this year regardless of the lockout.

    No wonder he won’t be going overseas. Dude knows how to plan ahead.

  38. HabFab says:

    For those watching the Q, a Team review of the Maritime Division;

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    Will Denard Robinson (QB of Michigan) even get a sniff of the CFL? I understand he has mobility but this guy has zero chance of making NFL.

    • commandant says:

      We talked about him in our radio show this morning.

      I think he’ll make the NHL, but not as a starting QB. He’s such a good athlete that some team will take a chance at converting him to WR or RB, likely WR though.

      And use him in the wildcat as well.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

      Same here, If we have to tank, we should do it for him, he is really something else.
      …… and on the seventh day, the Lord rested, and while he rested, satan created the Bruins

  40. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …no NHL, which is frustrating, but it’s real nice reading everyone excited about our Prospects
    …seems no matter where We live We have Players We can follow …Europe, QMJHL, OHL and out here in the WHL
    …My Son and I must find a way to catch a few Blazer games this season because Bozon looks like He would be worth the price of admission …beautiful goal last night

  41. JF says:

    Danny Kristo gets his second suspension in a week (RDS).

  42. HabFab says:

    Erik Nystrom had a goal and 3 assists today in the Swedish Junior league.
    Collberg had his first career point on the men’s Elite team.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks for the update. Can I assume he got more ice time?


      • neumann103 says:

        The fact that he was on the ice at all to get a point inherently means more ice time.

        I really don’t pretend to understand the Swedish Eliteserien, but you do wonder what is the point of essentially having no ice time. What you learn in practice, from the pros? I guess what I am getting at is the merit of playing 4th line minutes (if that) in a checking role vs 1st line minutes on a scoring line a level down, or the Swedish version of the Aaron Palushaj conundrum.

        “Et le but!”

  43. HardHabits says:

    Given that there is a lock out I spent some time thinking about how to make hockey a more exciting game and palatable to Americans.

    First thing to do is remove the ice. Ice is part of the old era and with global warming, pretty soon outdoor ice rinks will be a thing of the past. With the ice gone the next logical step is to move to roller blades.

    To appeal to the NASCAR crowd and further the Sun Belt strategy, rather than have the game resemble soccer and basketball with nets at either end, make the rink round like a race course and have the teams skate around it to try and score. This would mean that the field would have to be tilted inward which would make the using of a puck and stick obsolete given that much energy and effort would be used just to keep the puck from sliding down towards the middle of the playing area.

    The pucks and sticks would be replaced by teams carrying a ball.

    Now here’s where it gets interesting. Teams skate around the arena and fight for the ball but to make the game even more interesting they should introduce motor cycles to make things go faster. Of course fighting will now be part of the game and head shots will be encouraged. Gloves can have studs for extra damage. The object of the game would be to score with the ball in a little shoot that each team protects.

    This is where I see the game heading.

  44. PeterD says:

    Tim Bozon hat trick last night…watch the game winning goal in OT…a real beauty.

  45. Bripro says:

    A shout out to Jim for reminding me of Cole’s injury.
    I swear it was an accident.
    Just ’cause the guy was too exhausted to pick up my gallon-tank coffee mug…. how was I supposed to know?
    I mean, it’s an average day, where you pick up the phone and invite an pro-athlete over for coffee.
    I mean…. c’mon! I’m sure you’ve all done it before too.
    Hang on, my wife’s calling me…. what’s that? Who’s lawyer?
    Ah crap, I have to go.

  46. Clay says:

    With boredom looming,
    I wish somehow I could end
    this lockout quickly

    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  47. Bripro says:

    ‘Mornin’ everybody.

  48. Captain aHab says:

    Holy Crap….a full season of the Hamilton Bulldogs live on the web is $150…..the Sting would be even more. Might go for streams after all.

    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  49. Rad says:

    Habs made off like bandits in this year’s draft. Our top 4 picks Galchenyuk, Collberg, Thrower, and Bozon — every one of these guys is going to be an NHL regular within 3 years. Now imagine that Hudon comes through as well. It could be the kind of draft that brings an organization back from the dead.

  50. habsfan0 says:

    So,because there is no hockey,what will Mike Boone do to justify his rather significant paycheque? Perhaps he can live blog NFL games…but which team?

    I know he and HIB are Steeler fans,but personally,I’d prefer him to cover Bills games.After all, the Bills and the Habs have a great deal in common.

    For one thing,their colour schemes are the same(red,white,& blue);their fans support them wholeheartedly no matter how atrocious their level of play has been recently;the fans at their games are arguably the LOUDEST in their respective sports;Habs head coach Michel Therrien has a distinctive French accent while Bills head coach Chan Gailey has a distinctive southern accent,which renders both of them at times completely incomprehensible;fans of both teams usually head into a new season with completely unrealistic expectations which are soon brought down to earth;Bills are owned by Ralph Wilson and they play at a stadium named after him,Habs are owned by Geoff Molson and they play at an arena formerly known as the Molson Centre,both owners conspicuously invisible at most home games.

    Heck,even Buffalo and Montreal are both known primarily for their culinary delights:Buffalo for the Anchor Bar and Montreal for the Orange Julep!

  51. 24 Cups says:

    Attention GTA residents.

    Here are the dates for when Hamilton visits the Marlies down at the Ex.

    Oct 20th
    Nov 17th
    Dec 26th (1pm at the Air Canada Centre)
    Jan 2nd
    Feb 2nd and 6th

  52. otter649 says:

    So it appears Detroit will be getting fined an undisclosed amount for comments made by Jim Devallano (sp) who called the players & himself cattle and The Owners ranchers. In the past this would have been a million dollar fine issued by the NHL & Bettman……

  53. 24 Cups says:

    NHL grackles get the green light to play in Sweden.

    Markham still in the hunt with Kansas City, Seattle and Quebec City for future NHL franchises. In a perfect Bettman world, the NHL expands by two teams down the road while still having two more options for relocation just in case teams like Phoenix and Columbus can’t make a go of it.–nhl.html

    • Phil C says:

      Never heard the term grackle before, although I assume you are implying something negative.

      I don’t understand why you would have a problem with them taking jobs on the open market. Unless you are self-employed, everyone who accepts a job takes one away from someone else. How is this different for NHL players?

  54. commandant says:

    Love that Bozon pick. Way to start the season off right.

    Pure sniper and might be our best LW prospect going forward.

    A guy who is flying under the radar with our other high profile picks in this draft, but the kid can play.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  55. frontenac1 says:

    @Prohabs from previous thread. You are correct. The only visit by The Sting to Kingston is Feb3@2pm.(Super Bowl Sunday). The following Sunday Feb10 the Spitfires are in town.I will be at that game too. (Brady Vail,Habs 3rd. Pick)

  56. Mark C says:

    Highlights from Tim Bozon’s hattrick last night, his OT winner is really sick, as he beats three defenders and gets off a great shot.

  57. 24 Cups says:

    A point to ponder.

    Nine games into the 2005–06 season, Keith Primeau suffered a concussion which ended his season and ultimately his career. As a result of ongoing post-concussion syndrome, he still experiences severe headaches to this very day. That’s seven years later for a player who was built like a Sherman tank (6’5″/235).

    All the talk around the issues of the lockout seem to relate to money. Hopefully, the concussion crisis will also be addressed in a meaningful way.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      What is a concussion?, as comprehended and explained by myself.
      I have been involved as a lay person with research pertaining to neurology at a major medical university. I have picked up a lot of information working first with veterinarian pathologists when I was doing research on my fox and mink ranch with calcium. And I have been involved lately,(2005-2010) with the neurology research dept. from a major medical university. Only as the handler of my research birds involved in the study and offering some of my former findings from my own autopsy’s So I do not profess to be an expert on the subject pertaining to concussion, but I will try to explain, the best that I can, what happens to the brain cells that have been concussed inside the skull. And why one must stay completely resting after a concussion.

      The very soft brain cells, when violently thrown against the skull, are damaged and the neuron releases a potassium chemical out of the brain cell. Leaving a void. Calcium that is already present around the outside of the cells, seeps into the cells replacing the potassium. This calcium is what gives the chemical imbalance to the brain and is what causes the damage. Until all of this calcium leaves the brain cells completely, and it can take a long time, depending on how much calcium was taken on each cell. The patient is left extremely vulnerable to instant death upon a second bump, or at least permanent brain damage as the calcium solidifies upon second impact. Even a hard coughing spell or light exercise can cause severe pain and damage. Complete rest is needed.
      These damaged cells have to be cleared completely of this calcium before one can resume activity to avoid more serious consequences including death. This is very acute in young people under the age of 24 as the brain is still growing and developing.

      Please, coaches and parents know this, every severe contact to the head can cause some cells to expel potassium and take on calcium. A second, even slight bump, with the cells still containing calcium, can be even more deadly.
      Ian Cobb

  58. Ian Cobb says:

    OHL news.
    I watched the Belleville Bulls and the Sarnia Sting do battle last night. It was a very fast and spirited game to see.
    Final score was Belleville 3 (last goal into an open net), Sarnia 1.

    Talk about a 2nd year defence man coming into his draft year putting on a great show. Yes his name is Jordin Subban. He looks faster than PK. was at 17.
    He carries the puck up ice like his older brother. He is going to be fun to watch this year for sure. He plays R. Point on the power play as well for his shot and set up capability.
    Brother Malcolm played a fine game between the pipes also.

    I cannot spell his name, but our Hab’s first draft pick last spring, playing for the Sting is going to be quite an addition to Montreal when he gets there my friends. He is a heady player with speed, size and play making.

    • Bill H says:

      Thanks for the news on Galchenyuk, Ian. From the score of the game, it doesn’t sound like he made quite so much of a splash as he perhaps could have. If you have some more comments on his performance, I would be interested in hearing them.

      I am remembering all the debate last spring about Galchenyuk vs. Grigorenko. I have much confidence that the Habs made the correct choice at the draft, but this article with video about Grigorenko’s season thus far is interesting and does cast just a shadow of a doubt in my mind. He had a 4 pt night against Chicoutimi.

      • Mark C says:

        All it takes is one game and blog on the Hockeybuzz by someone named “Garth’ to cast a shadow of doubt in your mind? Yikes.

        • Bill H says:

          Doesn’t take much to put your nose out of joint, does it? Okay, I get it. You don’t like Hockeybuzz or some guy named Garth. And you wouldn’t prefer to see Galchenyuk put up 4 pts in a game? Because its only one game and it doesn’t mean anything, right? Or because it was reported on hockeybuzz.

          Sorry if my attempt to stimulate discussion and inform others of the progress of Grigorenko fell short of your expectations. Try to read the whole post next time rather than just 4 words “shadow of a doubt”. Or just skip over the post when you see hockeybuzz mentioned.

          • Mark C says:

            Just don’t see why one game should have any affect on a person’s opinion regarding players. If Gally has a 4-goal night tonight while Grigorenko is shutout, will that mean Gally erases all doubts he was the correct choice? I wouldn’t think so. We are years away from fully understanding which player was the “right” choice.

            And for the rest of what you wrote, you are projecting a whole hell of a lot into my two throwaway sentences. Take it easy, Bud, hopefully it is as beautiful day where you are it is where I am. Enjoy it before its winter and there is no hockey.

  59. Ian Cobb says:

    Boogaard’s parents sue NHLPA
    : Boogaard’s parents sue NHLPA

    Tried to put this up as a link, but alas!

  60. Hobie Hansen says:

    Kinda bites that today would have been the 1st day of training camp. I was so looking forward to the pre-season games. Really cool how all were on TV last year. I really wanted to watch Beaulieu and Tinordi play some more NHL games. They didn’t look out of place last fall if I remember correctly. Tinordi had a big fight with Smith from the Sens…

    People say Tinordi isn’t ready for the speed of the NHL yet. However, nobody is predicting the Habs to do anything so I could see them possibly throwing him right in the fire. He’s big and strong and won’t get hurt so why not? People over dramatize bringing up a young kid too early. If things get overly ugly, which I don’t think they would, the Habs can simply send Tinordi down to Hamilton.

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    Guy Boucher “threw” out the first pitch at Rays vs. Jays baseball game last night. Pretty cool how he put his hockey touch on it.–nhl.html

  62. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day Seven
    Stupid, stupid Ticats. Now those are players who deserve to be locked out.
    Have taken up cigars. The licorice kind with the fake glowing embers. I find them relaxing, although they make me look like I’ve been sucking on coal.
    Which remains an option, if I ever get tired of licorice. And life without hockey
    Went to the sports store and ordered a skidload of pucks. The wife’s goin’ to love her new kitchen floor.
    Today’s birthdays: Allan “Rocky” Lane, the voice of Mr Ed and a founding member of Actors’ Equinity; Ingemar Johansson, a Swede who could fight (world heavyweight boxing champ, 1952); Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life), younger sister of Mike (I’ve Lit Up a Few In My Life).
    Today’s prime numbers: 3, 5, 7. Tomorrow: popular fractions of the 1700s.
    This is ridiculous. Why don’t the players just hire a lockoutsmith?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While I was happy with the win last night John, I could feel your pain. Would like to personally thank you for having the Ti-Cats on the Bombers schedule as often as they are, the rest of the league seems to be in a different class.

      Enjoy the cigars and Good Morning!

      • JohnBellyful says:

        We do what we can, we Ticats, to ease the plight of others as unfortunate as we. We weak sisters have got to stick together (like a lump of porridge — make that pooridge — at the bottom of the bowl).

    • Cal says:

      Only the hockey fan
      Roy Globularson

      Dum dum dum, dummy doo wah
      Oh Fehr and Bettman yay, yay, yay, yeah
      Oh oh oh, oh oh ah
      Only the hockey fan, only the hockey fan

      Only the hockey fan
      (Fehr and Bettman are dummy doo wah)
      Knows the way I feel tonight
      (Ooh yay, yay, yay, yeah)
      Only the hockey fan
      (Fehr and Bettman are dummy doo wah)
      Knows this feeling ain’t right
      (Fehr and Bettman are dummy doo wah)

      There goes the PA, there go the owners
      They’re not talking, so far apart
      But only the hockey fan knows why I cry
      Only the hockey fan

      Maybe tomorrow, a brand new CBA
      No more sorrow but that’s the chance
      You’ve got to take, if your hockey fan heart breaks
      Only the hockey fan
      (Fehr and Bettman are dummy doo wah)

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Why, Cal, you’ve been taking singing lessons. Even hit the high notes.
        I look forward to your next hit number about Fehr and Bettman, Pretty Useless

        Pretty Useless, why don’t they like to meet
        Pretty Useless, why won’t they ever tweet
        Pretty Useless,
        I don’t believe them to tell the truth
        All their fans couldn’t fill a phone booth

        Pretty Useless, they’re quite the pair
        Pretty Useless, they fight over share
        Pretty Useless
        That you two men control hockey:
        And ruin it for fans like me

        Pretty Useless, talk a while
        Pretty Useless, go that extra mile
        Pretty Useless, give it all you can
        Pretty Useless, blah, blah blah
        Pretty Useless, make a deal
        Pretty Useless, c’mon, let’s get real
        Cause we need it, our hockey fix
        Give us our game, you pair of dix

        Pretty Useless, don’t walk on by
        Pretty Useless, don’t make me cry
        Pretty Useless, don’t walk awaaay
        Hey … okay
        If that’s the way it will be, just fine
        I’ll watch NBA all the time
        And all-star bowling but wait!
        What’s that they say,
        They’ve signed a CBA!
        Yeah, they’ve signed a CBA!
        Oh, oh, they’re still Pretty Useless

    • punkster says:

      Heh…a Swede who could fight…marvelous as usual JB.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • 24 Cups says:

      “Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life), younger sister of Mike (I’ve Lit Up a Few In My Life).”

      JB – This line gets my vote as best post since the lockout started. Great way to start my day.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        We have some talented posters here don’t we Steve, never ceases to amaze me the creative things posters like Bellyfull continue to come up with. Who knew Cal had this singer/songwriter talent as well.

  63. Habfan10912 says:

    I dedicate this first post to my friend Bripro.
    Cole must have been a pretty serious lower body injury to take all summer to heal. I’d be curious to know exactly what this injury was.

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