Cup comebacks? Habs had ’em

SP030120-Gump 01

The Devils are looking to make some history, rallying from 0-3 to win the Stanley Cup against the Kings. As you’d expect from the franchise with the most Cup championships in hockey, the Canadiens can lay claim to some of that history.

Yes, the 1942 Maple Leafs are the only team to rally from 0-3 to win the Cup but — like those Leafs — the 1966 Habs also lost the first two games of the final on home ice to the Red Wings. After that, they came storming back to win four consecutive games and their second consecutive Cup championship of the four they won during the 1960s.

Of course, they almost fell behind by two games against the Kings in ’93, and only the Marty McSorley illegal stick penalty, followed by two late goals from Eric Desjardins, including the OT winner, enabled them to even the series going back to L.A. In ’79, they lost the first game to the Rangers on home ice and trailed 2-0 early in Game 2, but roared back to win in five.

In ’66, however, they did fall behind with two losses on home ice. The Canadiens had won the Prince of Wales Trophy (then given to the first place team in the regular season) for the second time in three years and eighth in the previous 11. The Wings had finished 16 points behind them, but unexpectedly defeated the second place Black Hawks in seven games of the first round while the Habs swept the Leafs in a brawl filled series and then had 10 days off before the final.

Detroit was a veteran team, with future Hall of Famers Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Andy Bathgate, Bill Gadsby, Norm Ullman and Leo Boivin, all in their 30s. But two younger players gave the Wings a big lift. Bryan Watson, 23, who had started his career with Montreal, harassesed Bobby Hull all series. And another 23-year-old, goalie Roger Crozier, the Calder Trophy winner a season earlier, was at his acrobatic best.

They continued their exceptional play in the first two games, Crozier making 33 saves in a 3-2 Game 1 win, and super-pest Watson distracting the Habs, goading John Ferguson into a costly Game 2 elbowing penalty that led to a big Wings goal. The distracted Habs chased Watson all over the ice — and finally caught him with Dick Duff, Jean-Guy Talbot and Henri Richard all taking runs at the guy called “Bugsy.” He wasn’t as effective the rest of the series. But, after winning Game 2 by 5-2, the Red Wings started to believe the Cup might be theirs.

Unhappy with his team’s performance, Toe Blake called up forward Leon Rochefort from the Quebec Aces. He replaced Claude Larose who had not been backchecking well enough to suit Blake. Rochefort was put on a line with Richard and Dave Balon for Game 3. Even though Rochefort was not very adept offensively, he played a responsible game and that gave Blake a good second line.

“After that less than lustrous start, they outskated, outhit and outfinessed the Wings with some of the best hockey seen in many a year,” wrote Martin Kane in Sports Illustrated.

The newly formed Richard line scored key goals in the final, the first after Detroit opened the scoring in Game 3; Balon answered it and then Jean Beliveau, after stealing the puck from Delvecchio, put the Habs in front to stay before the first period ended. Gilles Tremblay, who did a magnificent job shadowing the 38-year-old Howe all series, scored int the third and the Habs won 4-2.

Canadiens goalie Gump Worsley told Dick Irvin for his oral history The Habs, that after Game 3, he spoke with Gadsby, his old Rangers teammate and Gadsby — a 20 year NHL veteran who had never won the Cup — told him, “We’re gonna go down again.”

To relax his troops, Blake handed Beliveau a couple of hundred dollars to take the team out to dinner. It worked. Worsley started to outplay Crozier and the Habs took the body at every opportunity. Howe scored only one goal in the final, and Tremblay wasn’t on the ice for that one. Gadsby seemed like a prophet when Crozier was hurt early in Game 4. Replaced by Hank Bassen, the Habs won again 2-1 to tie the series and Dick Duff, with two assists, was brilliant.

Back in Montreal, Crozier returned for Game 5, but the Habs revved it up and won 5-1, a serious blowout. Wings coach Sid Abel constantly juggled his lines to get something going. “All of a sudden, the Forum fans loved us again,” Ferguson remembered in his autobiography.

Game 6 was back in Detroit and the Habs jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Beliveau and Rochefort. The Wings quickly got it to 2-1, then tied it midway in the third. The Gumper made a big save on Howe late in regulation to send it to OT. Early in the fourth period, Worlsey again made a big stop to keep the Habs alive. That’s when one of the most controversial goals in Stanley Cup play ended it for the Habs.

With a little more than two minutes gone in OT, as you see in the video, Richard broke in the zone, passed it to Balon who returned it to Richard driving the net. Doug Barkley of the Wings cut down Richard but the puck ended up under the Pocket Rocket’s elbow. As Richard and Barkley slid uncontrollably to the end boards, the puck ended up past Crozier. The Habs raised their sticks, the red light went on and referee Frank Udvari didn’t seem to know what to do.

As soon as the puck went in, Blake yelled to the players on the bench, “Get out on the ice! Get out on the ice!” Whether the Habs celebration persuaded him or not, Udvari ruled it a good goal and the Cup winner.

The Wings complained Richard gloved it over the line, but in the Original Six era, 25 years before the dawn of video review, the decision was the referee’s alone and the goal stood.

Crozier was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, the first player on a losing team to receive it, but the Habs got the big prize and a bonus of $5,750 for winning it. On the train ride back from Detroit to Montreal, they partied all night and when they arrived home, Windsor Station jammed with fans, they made their way to Henri Richard’s tavern on Avenue du Park above Rue Sherbrooke for breakfast and more celebration.


  1. JohnBellyful says:

    TORONTO – Don Cherry, who’s been ridiculed for referring to the metric system as “that commie stuff” during post-game comments he made following New Jersey’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles Saturday, “got it right,” says Canada’s leading historian.
    “The guy is a walking encyclopedia and doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” said Thurston Wallingham, chair of the University of Toronto’s history department. “He was dead on in what he said, but, as too often happens with Don, he pulled his punches, and that’s what got him into trouble.”
    Wallingham said Cherry, “a history buff, knows the real story but didn’t want to come out and say it because of his well-known aversion to ruffling feathers.
    “The country responsible for the metric system was France but you won’t ever hear Cherry badmouthing anything French. No, so he put his observation in a slightly different historical context so as not to offend anyone. But it bit him in the bum, as we say here in the history department.”
    Wallingham pointed out that the metric system came of age during the French Revolution.
    “And what did the French Revolution give birth to?” Wallingham asked. “Let me quote a colleague: ‘The French Revolution did not directly produce the 19th century ideologies known as socialism or communism. But the Revolution did provide an intellectual and social environment in which these ideologies, and their spokesmen, could flourish … The French Revolution made the modern revolutionary. It gave the revolutionary a focal point through which energies could be concentrated in the interests of social reform. In France, these energies tended more toward a communist-inspired collectivist state where the individual was considered as part of the collective body.’”
    (You can read the two-part lecture here.)
    “Now you won’t read about that stuff in Sports Illustrated or The Hockey News which is why I often see Don down in our library checking out armsful of history books every week,” Wallingham said. “It’s to add depth to his commentary on Coach’s Corner. Unfortunately, too often his pithy historical references go over the head of most of his viewers. Remember when he and Brian Burke were having their public spat and Cherry said it was time the “Colossus of Rhode Island” was taken down. Not many got the veiled allusion to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Or the time he quoted 18th century English historian Edward Gibbon to describe the traits of the prototypical Canadian hockey player: ‘A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.’ Once again, whoosh, right over the heads of the viewers.”
    Wallingham said Cherry will need to change his style if he wants to continue to hold onto his legions of fans.
    “Now I love Don but I just wish he would drop his high-falutin’ ways and try to speak to his viewers — the blue collar workers — on their level,” he said. “Sure, it’s great he praises our troops whenever he can but when he starts citing World War One troop movements to describe the first period of play, well, he risks losing his audience. At least that’s the way I see it – and I teach history.”

    — “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” —

  2. mark-ID says:

    Who here wants to start a petition to get Chris F.Lee and Tim Peel as our assistant coaches. Hear hear. We will be sure to have the ugliest coaching staff in the league.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  3. TomNickle says:

    The curious case of Luke Schenn.

    The media darling of trade rumours. It seems every day we see a big trade rumour with Schenn as the centre piece. I’ve thought a bit about it. With him being the main cog in any trade or big trade, it’s got me wondering about the potential for bidding wars. I’ll just go ahead name some guys who could potentially be offered by rival teams who either have been traded or could be traded.

    Jack Johnson
    Lubomir Visnovsky
    Brent Burns
    David Runblad
    Philip Larsen
    Jeff Petry
    Chris Tanev
    Dylan Olsen
    Brendan Smith
    Ryan Ellis
    Mark Pysyk
    Dougie Hamilton
    Nathan Beaulieu
    Jared Cowen
    Jon Merrill
    Calvin De Haan
    Tim Erixon
    Simon Despres
    Ryan Murphy
    Erik Gudbransson
    Zach Bogosian
    Mike Green

    That’s 23 of a possible 29 teams who have something comparable to what the Leafs are offering in Schenn. Now the logical counter point to saying these guys are more desirable is that Schenn is NHL proven and still developing. That’s fair. But in the interest of discussing attainable assets these are not only players who present a more complete package as defensemen than Schenn, but they are also all playing for teams who can afford to trade a defenseman away without hurting their team. It’s also worth noting that the majority of them come with better contracts than Luke Schenn and nearly all of them are already considered to be better long term options for their respective clubs than Schenn is to the Leafs.

    In my mind this begs the question, why in the hell would a team like Columbus swap first round picks with the Leafs with Schenn as the centrepiece when first of all he isn’t that desirable of a player and second, nearly every team in the NHL can afford to outbid the Leafs in any trade negotiation.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Kadri’s another name that frequently comes up. It always seems like they’re set up as The Trump Cards that will change the trading landscape. I mean, how could you not want either on your team?

      In that light, how many good Leafs prospects are there? Will guys like Colborne be any good at the NHL level?

    • jon514 says:

      I think Schenn is getting a tough ride in Toronto. I think he’s actually put up pretty good numbers (especially through the first half of last season) and I just don’t get why they hate him in Toronto…

      • TomNickle says:

        He will very likely become an excellent shutdown defenseman. As it is he’s currently a very hard checker who isn’t above average offensively or defensively and isn’t very athletic.

        That’s a problem for the Leafs. They have a lot invested in a guy who will need a tremendous amount of experience to realize his potential.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Isn’t that always the way with the Leafs though? They dominate Canadian broadcasting to such a degree that any player who shows a glimmer of promise gets so overhyped that it’s sickening, their airtime is completely out of proportion to their value to the team or game.

      Nazem Kadri is a good current example of a player who gets way more attention than he should, possibly to his detriment, it must be hard to go about your business and learn your craft in that environment.

      Tomas Kaberle was the best example for so long for me of the Torontoflation of a player. I always saw a player who didn’t seem to work hard, didn’t get great stats for a pure offensive defenceman, and plain just didn’t seem to care when he got scored on and skated back to the bench with his chubby red cheeks. I would bask in schadenfreude whenever his dipsy-doodle attempts ended up in his own net, which was frequently due in part to the usual quality of goaltenders in Leafland. When they kept trying to trade him but insisted on a bounty in return because he was such a quality player I laughed and laughed, loved how he stayed on the shelf, deadline after deadline, draft after draft. When Brian Burke eventually pulled off his heist and got a 1st and 2nd for him and a prospect, I was surprised and befuddled, how did the Bruins get snookered like that, but I laughed on, he was Boston’s problem now.

      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    • Chris says:

      Of your list:

      Ryan Murphy, Simon Despres, Tim Erixon, Calvin De Haan, Jon Merrill, Nathan Beaulieu, Dougie Hamilton, Mark Pysyk, and Brendan Smith have to first demonstrate that they can even make the NHL. Some of them won’t, some of them will. Maybe a couple of them could help an NHL team right now, at best, based on historical norms for young defencemen.

      Dylan Olsen, Ryan Ellis, Erik Gudbranson, Chris Tanev, Phillip Larsen, and David Rundblad still have to prove that they can be regular players that contribute in the NHL.

      Jared Cowen is not on the trade block…Ottawa loves him.

      Zach Bogosian is an interesting case, but he’s risky…he’s an established player, but something has derailed his career. And his contract expires at the end of next season, while Schenn’s continues for another four seasons…that gives Schenn more value.

      Lubomir Visnovsky costs even more than Schenn and his contract ends in two years. He will be 36 at the start of next season.

      Brent Burns is a good comparable, albeit a slightly better player. But he also costs $2 M more per season on the cap than Schenn.

      Most importantly, Toronto makes sense because they still have a high enough pick for the Blue Jackets to get a player that they covet (say, Grigorenko or Forsberg?) while also picking up a young defenceman that can already play 18 minutes per night. That option is not on the table for Washington (Green) or San Jose (Green) because they pick in the middle of the first round.

      And while the Columbus management has been demonstrated as inept over and over, I don’t think even they are stupid enough to trade Jack Johnson to themselves. 😉

      • TomNickle says:

        Of the first group of prospects you mentioned. Ryan Murphy is probably the biggest question mark, and that says a lot about the prospects that I mentioned Chris. They’re essentially all blue chippers, or if you prefer, guys who have an incredibly high likelihood of making it.

        As for moving a couple of spots, the difference between #5 and #2 is huge in the NHL draft and I’m sure that the respective GMs feel the same way.

        If the pick is so highly coveted, why would Columbus take a guy that Toronto has been begging to get rid of for two years to seal the deal?

        I’m sorry but if the Leafs call me with Schenn and a pick swap in mind, I’m on the phone to Winnipeg about Bogosian, or Anaheim about Fowler, or Washington about Orlov, or San Jose about Vlasic.

        I’m not touching what the Leafs of all teams don’t want. Rafael Diaz presents more potential at the NHL level than Schenn in my opinion. But hey, maybe Scott Howson feels differently.

        • Chris says:

          Yes, but even blue-chip prospects fail.

          Remember Ryan Parent? He was one of the best defensive defencemen in recent CHL memory. He was absolutely dominant at the World Juniors and managed to snag an OHL second All-Star team selection one year despite very limited offence. He was highly regarded, enough so that he was a key ingredient in the Peter Forsberg to Nashville trade a few years back. But injuries and stalled development have resulted in him never making it.

          Remember Thomas Hickey? He was a reach at #4 overall, but he certainly had the appearance of being a good NHL defenceman. Still hasn’t broke through though, and is starting to look like a bust.

          Cam Barker was a can’t miss defenceman back in 2004, but he’s been largely disappointing. Most of the blue-chippers you mentioned were not the top defensive prospects in their year.

          My point isn’t that Schenn is that much better than the guys you mention, although I would argue that Schenn is ahead of all the blue-chip prospects above. Columbus needs help now, and those guys are all 1-3 years away.

          More important is the combination. Columbus can still get an excellent player at #5 in this year’s draft, which most scouts say is about 9-10 players deep before a drop off. Calling Washington for Orlov or Anaheim for Fowler is unrealistic because neither guy is available. Bogosian is, because of his own developmental issues, but trading with Winnipeg drops you to pick #9 and you’re getting into the more risky picks. There’s certainly no way that one of Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, Yakupov, or Forsberg are left at #9. I’d be shocked if Vlasic, one of the few younger players on the Sharks, were available, but it is a moot point as they pick 17th.

          It is the combination of a #5 pick and a good young defenceman that can play today and is still only 22 years old that is the attractive thing with Toronto’s offer.

          I would normally agree that the jump from #5 to #2 is a big deal, but this year has Yakupov #1, and then four or five guys who could all go #2. If Columbus thinks Toronto is willing to give up a roster player AND they think they can still get their guy, why not do it?

  4. muffinman says:

    Are you guys for real?????? The main thing that came out of Molson’s mouth when he hired Bergevin is that they are looking to have a team that can compete for the CUP and not just squeeze into the playoffs…

    Based on what we have right now in terms of talent, size and skill, this year will be interesting! Chances are the majority of our lineup will be fairly young and inexperienced and they will start to grow together! I think that the playoffs are a longshot, but team chemistry should start improving and it will be a great step towards rebuilding a team that needs to step out of the shadows of the garbage that we’ve called the Canadiens over the last 30 years!!!

  5. Un Canadien errant says:

    This was probably a foregone conclusion, but Andrei Kostitsyn will not be back with the Predators according to GM David Poile.

    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    • EastCoastJoe says:

      According to Eklund he’s likely to end up in Washington because they lack leadership. Just sayin’ what I heard… AK46 apparently is a leader in the lockerroom. Eklund says so.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Yeah Joe, even if we do it to make fun of him, whenever we mention him or click on his site, he wins. It’s that simple. He has a garbage site where he posts rumours he grabs out of thin air, and frequently mentions teams such as the Rangers, Leafs, Habs and others with large followings with no other basis than to generate clicks. So as I mentioned below, let us, like Dwight Schrute, commence shunning.

        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  6. petefleet says:

    There’s alot of talk below about wanting a guy who can drop the gloves and play the game. None of the players mentioned are what I’d want for the Habs but then, there aren’t very many guys who could do it. The best examples I can think of, reluctantly, are in no particular order, Cam Neely, Rick Tocchet, and Wendl Clark. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.


    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    ***Habs Forever***

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    In Euro2012 news, England looked very fortunate to get a draw result out of their game with France.

    • TomNickle says:

      You see it?

      France controlled the ball but it looked to me like England had the better of the scoring opportunities.

      Just my two cents and I’m by no means an expert on the beautiful game.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yah watched most of the game, England had some chances, but 2nd half was almost entirely played in Englands end. France had great possession but did a poor job of finishing that possession with good shots. But I definitely felt France controlled the game.

        The English keeper played a very strong game.

        The embellishment is a true shame indeed Shiram. They need to enforce cards to the players after the match when video evidence proves they were diving. It is ruining the game.

        • habstrinifan says:

          I saw most of the first (started late) and most of the 2nd half (left early). England literraly played with 8 defenders. Two walls of 4. Seriously!

          But then again I found the lack of individual runs by France surprising. If they had a player or two take the ball around midfield and make a almost flat diagonal runs, they would have pulled the two walls to one side or the other and could have capitalised with a pass to the weak side.

          I find this Euro, from what I have seen, lacking in individual players putting their stamp on the game… which has always been the mark of great soccer.

    • shiram says:

      I was watching the game over diner, just about 20 minutes really.
      Could not get over the embellishing those guys do.

      • Cal says:

        Basketball and soccer have ended up becoming a parody of their own sports. Sad, really.

        • shiram says:

          Baseball is just too slow and boring for me, I timed it once, and it took on average 90 seconds between pitches, most of the time you are just listening to analysts as nothing is going on.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That is true Shiram, but if that game is being called by Vin Scully in his prime, it was beautiful to listen to. Unfortunately there aren’t too many good new baseball play by play guys. Here in Toronto Alan Ashby has done a nice job on the radio with Jerry Howarth, but on the TV side Tabler and Martinez are a horrific duo to listen too. Regular season games with no drama and poor play by play are tough to watch. But heck I am a junkie for sports, I get my fix with many sports. Habs will always top the list however.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            This is exactly why i PVR it and watch it at x15 (x60 during commercials).

            Watching it this way is reminiscent of old baseball footage, and painful Billy Crystal skits.

          • shiram says:

            There’s too many games also, 162 is way too much. I haven’t listened to any of the guys you mentionned, mostly because I did not get english radio/tv till later in my life.
            I only follow hockey and I already feel it takes a good chunk of my time.

          • Chris says:

            To be honest, that sums up NFL football too.

            I believe the statistic runs that in the 60 minutes of designated playtime, the ball is only in play for about 11 minutes, on average. Replays make up about 17 minutes, on average.

            The rest of the 3+ hour telecast is made up of commercials, commentators talking over images of the players milling about and other such things.

            The NFL is the most brilliantly hyped league in the world. The other sports could all learn something from that league, because the product they are selling is often not that compelling.

          • shiram says:

            Never liked football either, I think after hockey, basketball is a very distant second.

          • Max says:

            I used to be a huge baseball fan but completely lost interest when the Expos left. I have no clue about what’s going on in MLB these days. Couldn’t even tell you who won last season’s world series.

            As a youth I was a much better baseball player than hockey player, but hockey has always been where my heart is.

      • habstrinifan says:

        The England players were particularly bad in this game.

  8. jon514 says:

    any news on assistant coaches?

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Been saying for months now,get John Erskine away from Caps.He has 1yr left at $1.5 mill. He beat Laraque in 09,bitch slapped Lucic , fought to a draw with Thornton,and destroyed Bolton amongst others. Oh yeah,for all you guys that don’t like fighting ,he is a damn good Dman and team guy.Make it so Marc!Hola!

  10. frontenac1 says:

    I love fighting in hockey! Always have,always will.Ding!Ding!

  11. 24moreCups says:

    One player I’d like to have for the 3rd line is Ryan Jones from Edmonton.

  12. Phil C says:

    I apologize because I am using my iPhone which sucks because I can’t respond to people directly.

    The best example of an enforcer changing the momentum of a playoff series was Ottawa-Rangers. The Rangers were abusing Karlsson every chance they had, which was very smart because Karlsson is the engine of the Ottawa offense. The momentum of that series changed when Cartner pounded on Boyle. The extra rough stuff that was obvious in game one was not as obvious in the rest of the series and Karlsson became a factor again. Cartner was a healthy scratch as well until he was needed.

    Most of an enforcer’s deterrence is not intimidation, it’s specific deterrence, in that if a team has a player that is running around threatening to hurt someone with dangerous hits, the enforcer can take him out of the game for at least 5 minutes, but also exhaust him in a fight and hurt him with a punch which should take the edge off his game. It’s hard to run around like an idiot after your bell has been rung.

    It is a big advantage if you ha be a heavyweight who can also play hockey. Having a player like Chara is a great asset. I still remember Robinson rag-dolling Milbury, that was great and certainly took away some of Boston’s swagger at the time.

    • commandant says:

      How many goals did Brian Boyle score in that series?

      Who won that series?

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Great example Phil C

    • TomNickle says:

      And that was the kind of the thing that shames the NHL among people who have a conscience.

      Carkner sucker punches Boyle, jumps on him, holds him down while he punches him in the face, head resting against the ice three more times.

      Raffi Torres thinks Matt Carkner went overboard.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Boyle is the was who should be ashamed. He turtled. Stand up like a man and protect yourself. Especially if you’re 6’6 and punched the other team’s beast player in the head a few times the game before.

        • TomNickle says:

          Yeah, a glorified facewash deserved that.

          You truly are Don Cherry’s lost son Hobie.

        • TomNickle says:

          Your idea that there’s some sort of honour in sucker punching somebody and then pinning them down and hitting them more when they’re out cold is ridiculous.

          Where was Erik Karlsson’s honour in letting Boyle facewash him?

          Don’t answer.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I guess Paul McLean is Cherry’s long lost cousin as well, he’s the one who ordered it? I guess you hate McLean as well?

          And give me a break, if you think Boyle was out cold you are out to lunch. He was turtling from the get go, trying to draw a penalty. And all the punches while he was on the ice hit him in the shoulder pads and the back of the helmet as well!

          • TomNickle says:

            Funny you mention that Hobie because any respect I had for Paul MacLean prior to that was lost yes.

            It was a gutless thing to do. If Boyle didn’t want to fight, you tell Prust to go facewash Gaborik. But that’s just my opinion and I’m no pugilist.

            I’m sorry to say that I take no desire in seeing somebody battered beyond their senses. Hopefully one day I can muster up the courage to become tough like Chris Neil, Matt Carkner, Paul MacLean, John Tortorella, Don Cherry and of course you.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            You forgot about 10,000 other names but it’s a start.

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

    “How much do the Habs give Carey Price? Shouldn’t it be the same sort of deal Marc-Andre Fleury has in Pittsburgh? Fleury signed a seven-year, $35-million deal in 2009 when he was 24 after 235 games. Price, 24, has played 271 games. Two guys challenging for spots on Canada’s 2014 Olympic side. Or does Price get a little more because he’s clearly the Habs’ best player today, while Fleury took a hometown discount back then because they had Sidney Crosby and Malkin ahead of him as marquee players?”

    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  14. commandant says:

    The other argument for fighting is that without it, teams wouldn’t make as much money, and fans love it.

    Answer me this: Why are the fans willing to pay higher prices in the playoffs, when the number of fights are greatly reduced?

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  15. Phil C says:

    I am against fighting in hockey, especially given what we now know about concussions, but also because it’s unecessary and sets a horrible example for kids playing Junior.

    But as long as it is a part of the rules of the NHL, it is important that the Canadiens have the ability to respond if another team chooses a strategy of intimidation.

  16. twilighthours says:

    I haven’t forgotten the game against the Rangers that ended Laraque’s career. He deserves no more thought nor virtual ink from us.

  17. commandant says:

    Tom you brought up the isssue of an enforcer and deterrence.

    The PP may not be a huge deterrent, but neither is the enforcer.

    You brought up Matt Cooke, so lets go with him and what he’s done…

    Major incidents

    -2008-09 suspension for hitting artem anisimov, Colton Orr was on the rangers, as was Aaron Voros,
    – 2008-09 another suspension for hit to scott walker of carolina, okay no enforcer.
    – 2010, the hit on Savard…. Bruins have plenty of tough guys.. Shawn Thornton, Lucic, Chara, etc…
    – 2011 suspended for hit on Tyutin of Columbus, who have Derek Dorsett and Jared Boll
    – 2011 the elbow to McDonagh… Rangers have Brandon Prust at the time.

    None of those guys stopped Matt Cooke.

    Heres the thing, its a multi million dollar business today, and these pests, they make millions by playing the game on edge. If they don’t paly the game on edge, they won’t be in the league, and they know it. So to them, its worth it… a couple punches in the face, big deal… there are hardly any injuries in a fight anyway. It doesn’t matter next to their playing time, and pay cheques.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • TomNickle says:

      Hi Ben,

      My point was that Matt Cooke is a deterrent to dirty play from the opposing team because he’s such a loose cannon. You don’t want to give that guy any reason to retaliate.

      Not sure if that was lost in translation somewhere or not.

    • twilighthours says:

      I don’t think we want a guy who provides the illusion of deterrence.

      What I want (and I think most of us want) is a really tough guy who can play solid minutes, contribute some big goals, and isn’t afraid to answer the bell (even better, to sometimes start a bunch of s**t) when it’s required. I look to Shawn Thornton and Chris Neil as the best examples of those types of players, because they are very effective and affordable.

      I lobbied for the Habs to deal for Chris Neil at the 2011 trade deadline and I got ripped for it.

      Anyone remember how good Chris Neil was during this year’s playoffs?

      • TomNickle says:

        My lasting memory of Chris Neil will be a devastating bodycheck, followed promptly by him faking injury to avoid fighting.

        • twilighthours says:

          Are you talking Boychuck/Chara? Because I believe he fought Chara later in the game.

          • TomNickle says:

            Yes. And yes he did, seven minutes later. But when the incident happened, and Chara wanted to fight, on the ice and in the heat of the moment the way it should be, Neil looked up, saw what was coming and decided to play dead.

            Seven minutes later he had to fight because he didn’t have a choice and knew as much.

            Neil has always been a gutless fighter. He picks fights with guys at the end of their shifts the second he jumps on the ice. And he’ll never, ever fight on somebody else’s terms. When he isn’t avoiding fights he doesn’t want, he picks them with guys who rarely fight.

            Mikhail Grabovski, Drew Stafford, Dennis Seidenberg(which was hilarious because Seidenberg broke his nose), Paul Gaustad, Hal Gill.

            I’ll pass on that disgraceful excuse for a hockey player thanks.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I know everyone says if he was on my team I’d love Chris Neil, but I really think I wouldn’t. He’s a thug and a bully who pushes people around after the whistle for no reason at all. He picks his spots, and facewashes smaller players but not guys his own size. I hate his scowl, I hate his attitude. He might do good things 80% of the time, but the 20% is enough for me to say no.

        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      • Cal says:

        I’m not a fan of the “we’re down 3-1 so it’s time to injure somebody” kind of player. In fact, I am really sick of seeing it.

      • Chris says:

        I agree. What most people want is a tough player that is actually a hockey player, somebody who can play a regular shift and contribute to the team in other ways than just fighting (defensive hockey, faceoffs, chipping in goals, etc.).

        As much as he can be a jerk, Chris Neil is a decent hockey player. He can score 10-15 goals per season and play 15 minutes per game.

        Thornton is a GREAT fourth line player. He can play 10 minutes per game and contribute 10 goals per season. He is tough enough to take on anybody, but smart enough to not take stupid penalties every game.

        I think Laraque is a good guy, but a terrible hockey player. He did exactly what he did his whole career, and people were excited to get him when he was signed because they didn’t realize just what it was he did.

        Instead of pining after the fighters, what many fans really want is a guy like Lucic who can score 20-30 goals and throw huge hits and, when he wants to, fight. Unfortunately, that might be the rarest skillset in the NHL. 🙂

      • habstrinifan says:

        Not by me. I lobbied for Neil or Phillips from Ottawa.

  18. GrimJim says:

    Craig Button posts his final draft rankings
    PS. Button and his sources really don’t like Grigorenko

    • chanchilla says:

      in what world is ryan murray gonna go 13th, what is this guy on?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think Craig Button doesn’t compare his rankings with anyone else’s, it’s his own take on these players that he has scouted himself. As such, it’s a highly subjective list, as opposed to Bob McKenzie’s, which is composed from the rankings of many NHL teams and therefore provides some consensus, and probably more objectivity. NHL’s Central Scouting list is also more objective, as it is the work of more than just one guy.

      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  19. Timo says:

    Can this whole SCF thing finish today?

  20. As for the ever eloquent habstrinifan, I don’t share your man crushing on Bergevin just yet. It seems like he is rebuilding a management team around his past relationships which is fine, but the Therrien (MT) appointment is extremely unsettling. I’ve asked the seers here about who else they would have suggested as head coach and got no reply except for the usual candidates like Carbo and Roy with the former a better choice in my opinion for a re-tread. I agree that MT doesn’t have the class, sophistication or elegance that Bergevin has, but I don’t care if he does as he’s behind the bench. I don’t think there is anyone close to a Scotty Bowman out there, but seeing as how Bergevin is letting MT fire at will, I am getting very nervous. Why a team let’s go of long time members of the team is always a big mystery to me. Why not use them and their familiarity with the problems on the team. Sure, get rid of the cancers, like the Ghost, but Pern? Come on, that is digging deep. Martin is still there, surprisingly and my concern is that MT will build a coaching staff that doesn’t balance his weaknesses, like a Robinson or Gallant. We have needs in the power play, scoring and shooting, forechecking areas and no manner of “tough” coaching will solve that without more than one forward line, a couple of pieces on defense and a goalie.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The coaching choice certainly dissappointed many here. Having said that, I will give MB the benefit of the doubt and trust that he has and will continue to discuss with MT how he wants this team managed and coached.

      Let’s hope Therrien has learned from prior experiences, he certainly brings passion and charisma to the bench, and will demand the team work hard.

      I found reading Gilmours comments on MT interesting and enlightening. I am cautiously optimistic.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Passion? Yes. CHarisma? Hmmmm, I must be immune to his charms.
        Geez, Burl’, you got WAY MORE CHarisma than Therrien. He’s called MT for a reason, you know.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yah, but i also struggle with the english language and don’t always use the best words. Okay lets stick with emotion and work ethic as it relates to a Therrien coached team. Have to admit I had a hard time reading your post, as I kept waiting for the punchline which was going to make me laugh. You posed some good questions.

          Edit: Just reread your MT comment and got it. Wow a weekend in the sun playing baseball and drinking beer has me very sluggish today.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            You have me worried, Burl’. You really should cut down on playing baseball.

            EDIT: And I just reread your comment, re: Therrien bringing “passion and charisma to the bench.” Now I get it, you were talking about his assistant coaches. Could you be a bit more specific. Names please. One guess is Gilmour, who’s the other?

        • Ii too am immune to his charms. He has difficulty expressing himself in English and is matter of fact “de nos gars chez nous” in Quebecois. He was liked by Bergevin, apparently, in part because of his blue collar upbringing in Montreal and his ability to relate to the common man, which in sports is often good, unless dealing with certain media outlets, management and the monied elite fans (just look at LA’s cameras panning for star power at their games). Let’s not forget the multimillion dollar players either. Classy guys like Cole, DD, Gorges, Markov (yes, a Russian with class! Out goes that stereotype!), Max and a number of others on our team will have to buy into his “style”. I miss the Scotty Bowman sophistication, but that may never return to us, at least in my lifetime.

          Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

      • Timo says:

        Charisma? Which part of Therrien is charismatic?

        And just as you find Gilmour’s comments enlightening, I find Gill’s comments disturbing. And being a very optimistic look on a bright side kind of guy I still have to side with Gill. Therrien will be bomb this the second time like he did the first. The new new 5 year plan just got 3 years longer.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Timo, your cockeyed optimism is going to be the ruin of you some day.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Timo, please provide a source that quotes Hal Gill making negative comments about Michel Therrien. What I think is that you’re making an assumption that anonymous negative comments made to Dave Stubbs came from Mr. Gill, while that was just educated guesswork on the part of HIO posters. This is another meme that is gaining acceptance as gospel here, and is not founded in fact.

          In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

          • Timo says:

            I trust info on HIO too much. I thought it was a fact that GIll said that. My apologies.

            My stance on Therrien remain though.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Yeah, that one took off like wildfire, trying to stamp it out is all.

            My deep unshakable sorrow at the Michel Therrien hire while Patrick Roy was available remains too.

            In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.


      • Max says:

        Therrien has as much charisma as week old salad.

    • BJ says:

      Give Therien a Lafleur, Robinson, Dryden, Shutt, Lemaire, Savard, lapointe etc. and he might do OK. Don’t forget that Scotty inherited from very good to great teams, it helps.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I don’t think Lafleur, Dryden or Shutt would make good assistant coaches. Robinson’s a possibility, but you can rule out Lemaire, Savard and Lapointe. I don’t know much about etc. even though I’ve often seen his name come up in print.

        • BJ says:

          John I meant as in players from the past that Bowman was lucky to inherit. The last batch of Habs coaches had rather slim pickins as far as players with quality talent was concerned. Some but not the loaded teams Bowman had.

    • habstrinifan says:

      “and my concern is that MT will build a coaching staff that doesn’t balance his weaknesses, like a Robinson or Gallant. We have needs in the power play, scoring and shooting, forechecking areas and no manner of “tough” coaching will solve that without more than one forward line, a couple of pieces on defense and a goalie.”

      I know people say that no one in real hockey positions reads sites like this. It is a shame. Because the statement above is absolutely one that should be pinned on our coaching team’s wall. If Therrien decides that all he can bring to the table is “tough love” and “system monotomy” then we are doomed. If he assembles a staff with people like Robinson then it would be a good indication that we would be seeing a different Therrien.

  21. JohnBellyful says:

    Set aside talk about draft picks, trades and free agent signings for a moment, and look ahead to next season: How realistic are Montreal’s chances of making the playoffs, considering the number of teams it will have to leapfrog from last place.
    To put it another way, which of the teams that made the playoffs this season are likely to drop down in the standings, and which of the non-playoff teams are likely to move up to take their place.
    Florida or Washington (only one can be division champ) is a possibility of falling out of the race, as is Ottawa. Two spots then.
    Who’s moving up into the top 8? Tampa, Buffalo, Winnipeg or Carolina? Montreal’s prospects would seem to be as good as anyone’s, if it stays healthy, but how realistic is that scenario? Or that the players with subpar seasons will bounce back, or that the players who exceeded expectations will perform to the same level?
    And how much of a factor will Therrien be in elevating the team’s play? His focus should be on improving the Habs’ offence, given it placed 20th in the league, while the defence was a respectable 11th, but is he the man for the job? This is where the people he chooses to surround himself with are so vitally important.
    And would fans consider Therrien’s first season back a success if the team jumped from 15th to 10th? Not really, since the Canadiens finished only six points back of Tampa and Winnipeg, who tied for 10th. No, it has to be ninth spot at minimum to keep the boobirds at bay.
    As far as making it to eighth, that seems a stretch, as Montreal was 14 points in arrears of Ottawa’s 92 — a number that, statistically, seems to be the ground floor for entering the post-season. And while Montreal might be able to make that jump, you can’t rule out other teams making comparable improvements. How closely do any of us here follow their progress with the same degree of scrutiny that the Canadiens receive on this site?
    I’m encouraged by the management that has been put in place, not as much with the coaching choice, but I still hold out hope for the assistant coaches yet to be signed, and remain guardedly optimistic the team will perform much better in 2012-13.

    • Cal says:

      The perfect sh!tstorm that was the Habs 2011/12 season is over. 7th this season with a Cup win, third the next with a loss in the Finals and 1st overall the year after with a first round exit. I can hear the hockey gods laughing, the arrogant turds!

      • Not just the hockey Gods….. but I like your optimism!

        Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

      • JohnBellyful says:

        You know, I could live with that scenario. I guess I wouldn’t be able to complain when the team renewed Therrien’s contract after a run like that. And I was so hoping to see Roy behind the bench. Sounds like the only way that will happen if he’s sitting on the other side of the glass.

    • The league does, I believe, have as close to parity as Bettemen is hoping. Any team up to 13th in each division can win, even the Habs last year despite the injuries. So could they enter the playoffs? Sure, but so what, they’ll be bounced unless they play the Bruins who always have trouble with us. We had 16 OTL last year and a terrible 3rd period +/-. That is another area we have to focus on beyond the ones I pointed out below. Until we become a team of closers, we will lose those late points even in the erea of the 3 point game. That gives us roughly 86 points converting 8 of those games to wins and if we can score more than 212 goals in 82 games (20th on the list of production) winning three more isn’t unrealistic to think of. Our defense will also improve (It has to) and the performance of Price too with a more solid group in front (Gorges can’t stop more rubber, that is not realistic). Once in, is it anyones Stanley Cup like this year? I don’t believe that is true to a team. It is indeed the second season and requires depth, staying power, ability to absorb crushing hits night after night and certainly a small team that takes it, won’t win. A smaller team that doesn’t waste it’s time on the hits, will win since almost all the teams that succeeded in the most hits night after night, didn’t win. Just watch the chasing and out of position hockey that is played to win the most hits fight every night.

      Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      To answer your question. It is a little over 50% realistic that the Habs will make the playoffs. 15 teams per conference and the top 8 teams making the playoffs equals slightly better than 50%.
      Making the playoffs isn’t very difficult in the NHL, so I fail to see how making the playoffs is such a big deal, especially since we get eliminated usually after the first round.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        The Canadiens just proved it isn’t difficult to miss the playoffs, either.
        We make a big deal of making the post-season, simply because it provides fodder for more interesting posts. Getting a head start on the draft pick discussions is fine, but I miss the to-and-fro of devising winning line combinations.

  22. As for the draft, thank you Tom for the “Just for the helluvit” list. As Habsinburlington noted below, we need not trade anyone to move up. The talent in the top three forwards is similar and we as an organization have to stick to our own roster of prospects and drafts of which we have a number in the second round which is where we will win some talent this year in a thin draft year.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

  23. Why even bother with Laraque? We have a solid couple in White and Staubitz and both can skate (the latter is better) and even pop a score once in awhile. With big boys in the system such as Blunden if we need him, we have a fourth line that can be very supportive. Georges is just a waste of time at this point. He’s out of cash and is looking for a quick fix as his Haiti schemes haven’t worked out.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • TomNickle says:

      Brad Staubitz scored one empty net goal and Ryan White didn’t score in 20 games this season.

      Some guys this team could target through free agency or the trade market are Shane Doan, Ryan Clowe, Ryan Malone(I know I know), Scott Hartnell and others like them.

      Problem is that this team is built for speed. A player like Ryan Clowe or Ryan Malone wouldn’t be an effective winger with two linemates who blow them away in the speed department. So you’re looking at them being third line players for you.

      Rene Bourque can throw his fists fairly well by the way.

      • adamkennelly says:

        smartest thing they could do is re-sign Staubby…he can skate decently and is a pretty good and active fighter, plus he will come cheap. Laraque????? give me a freakin break…he needs to go away….

      • boing007 says:

        I would go for Clowe.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • shiram says:

      Nervermind that Laraque actually scored at a better pace than Staubitz and White in the NHL, if you take a look at their career.

      • Then would you trade Staubitz, White (Certainly Bourque, who may be able to fight, but had no hands in how many missed open nets at the end of the season)?

        • shiram says:

          Staubitz is UFA, and I would not re-sign him, so no trading there.
          I’d keep White, he can at least take some draws and kill some PK.
          Bourque is usually a 20 goal scorer, he was not doing well this last season, but I’d be willing to give him another chance.
          I would not sign Laraque either.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            So what do you do to replace Staubitz or do you leave the team without anyone resembling a heavyweight again?

          • shiram says:

            I’d try to find someone that can play PK, bottom minutes and that brings a physical edge. If that guy does not exist, oh well.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Well the one thing I can guarantee, with Bergevin, Mellenby and Therrien is that they’ll have an enforcer at all costs, even if he is a slight liability and plays 4mins a game. Thank goodness for that.

          • shiram says:

            Meh it’s definately the least interesting part of hockey to me, the enforcing and fighting.

          • commandant says:

            Chicago didn’t have an enforcer on their cup winning team.

            The closest thing was Ben Eager, but he’s no true heavyweight and is roughly equivalent to Moen.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Interesting or not, its an important part of team. Having no push back is a confidence killer. When one of your teammates is beat up or run at all night and nothing is done about it, it really has a negative effect on a team’s confidence and swagger.

            I am totally for a guy who possess some offensive talent and can drop the gloves but if there is nobody like that available you need an enforcer or goon at the very least.

          • shiram says:

            You think it is a prime need, I think it’s tertiary.
            Neither of us have a say in the decisions. Have a nice day!

          • commandant says:

            The LA Kings lack an enforcer, they must lack the confidence and swagger to win.

            The 2010 Blackhawks
            The 2009 Penguins did not dress Eric Godard for a single playoff game, they lacked confidence and swagger.
            The 2008 Red Wings did not dress Downey for a single playoff game.
            The 2007 Anaheim Ducks dressed George Parros for 5 playoff games
            The 2006 Carolina Hurricanes did not have an enforcer on the roster.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            We don’t have a say but the management team that I mentioned does and you’ll see the end result is exactly as I say. Peace :-).

          • commandant says:

            Oh Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen have combined for 0 playoff games for Jersey.

            Now I think we can all agree that winning in the playoffs is more important than at any other time? No.

            So can you explain why the coaches of all these teams would continually scratch their enforcers in the playoffs if those enforcers are really necessary for a team to be able to win?

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            In the finals every second of every shift is ultra important. So there is an unwritten rule that you stay away from fighting to avoid getting an instigator or roughing penalty so enforcers are not dressed.

            During the regular season and into the early rounds of the playoffs teams are willing to take the chance of physically intimidating another team by the way of fighting.

            So I personally like the idea of having a tough guy for the first 82 games of the season and into the early rounds of the playoffs like 90% of team do.

          • TomNickle says:

            Has there ever been an instigating call made in a competitive Stanley Cup Finals game?

            I really hope somebody knows that answer because I’d be willing to bet there hasn’t been one called at the very least since the lockout.

          • commandant says:

            Those numbers weren’t just the finals, they were the entire playoffs.

            Godard didn’t play a single game in any round. Neither did Boulton or Janssen, etc… down my list.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Godard and Jansen are two of the worst 4th line players period. Aside from those two players, many tough guys have seen plenty of action in this year’s playoffs.

        If you look way up, my original comment was that i want the Montreal Canadiens to have some form of toughness on their team.

        If they had a well balanced team with with guys that could drop the gloves and score 25 goals a season…great!

        But to not have have one single guy who can go with the big boys for 82 games is wrong or in the playoffs, if called for, is wrong!

        • TomNickle says:

          Got any examples of “tough guys” who’ve seen a lot of ice in this year’s playoffs?

          Matt Hendricks was converted into a good hockey player so he’s out. Thornton was scratched by Julien several times in the first round. John Scott was dressed for one game by the Rangers. Paul Bissonette?

          • commandant says:

            Hobie’s whole argument was that the Habs can’t win in the playoffs without an enforcer, and that these guys give their teams confidence and swagger.

            Thats why I specifically looked at the winners post lockout, and the only one who played an enforcer was Boston in Thornton, and Thornton isn’t a bad hockey player, and even he was scratched for 7 or 8 games.

            I don’t care if some team that loses in the first round played their enforcer. I care that by and large the teams that have gone deep in the playoffs and have won, have done so without dressing enforcers.

            There is no correlation, 0, none, zilch, that says an enforcer is a necessary piece of a winning team.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • TomNickle says:

            No there isn’t. The most successful playoff teams from the last twenty years. Detroit, Colorado, New Jersey, none played a “goon” regularly during important games.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Mike Rupp, Brian Boyle, Milan Lucic, Chris Neil….

          • TomNickle says:

            Brian Boyle? The third line centreman of three fights this season?

            Milan Lucic? First line winger for the Bruins?

            Mike Rupp didn’t fight once in the playoffs.


        • Hobie Hansen says:

          @ commandant

          I like how my comment of hoping the Habs have someone on the team that can drop the gloves with the heavyweights has morphed into it being an essential part of winning the Stanley Cup LOL.

          It is a long 82 game season and having a heavyweight is a good idea, that’s all I’m saying. This playoff we’ve seen that it can come in handy as well. That’s all.

          Is it possible to turn the other cheek, not to respond when the other team is trying to intimidate players on your team, and not have tough players in the lineup, sure.

          But that’s not the type of teams I like and I’m glad Bergevin and company will agree with me. You can count on it.

          • commandant says:

            “Interesting or not, its an important part of team. Having no push back is a confidence killer. When one of your teammates is beat up or run at all night and nothing is done about it, it really has a negative effect on a team’s confidence and swagger. ”

            – Important part of a team
            – Negative effect on team confidence and swagger without it.

            Hmmm…. seems to me you are either saying that these players are necessary to win… or you are saying team confidence and swagger isn’t necessary to win.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  24. TomNickle says:

    Post-Combine Mock Draft(for the helluvit)

    1. Edmonton Oilers – Nail Yakupov
    2. Columbus Blue Jackets – Filip Forsberg
    3. Montreal Canadiens – Alex Galchenyuk
    4. New York Islanders – Ryan Murray
    5. Toronto Maple Leafs – Matthew Dumba
    6. Anaheim Ducks – Teuvo Teravainen
    7. Minnesota Wild – Jacob Trouba
    8. Carolina Hurricanes – Mikhail Grigorenko
    9. Winnipeg Jets – Radek Faksa
    10. Tampa Bay Lightning – Morgan Reilly
    11. Washington Capitals – Griffin Reinhart
    12. Buffalo Sabres – Cody Ceci
    13. Dallas Stars – Thomas Wilson
    14. Calgary Flames – Brendan Gaunce
    15. Ottawa Senators – Sebastian Collberg
    16. Washington Capitals – Martin Frk
    17. San Jose Sharks – Malcolm Subban
    18. Chicago Blackhawks – Olli Maatta
    19. Tampa Bay Lightning – Andrei Vasilevski
    20. Philadelphia Flyers – Matt Finn
    21. Buffalo Sabres – Stefan Matteau
    22. Pittsburgh Penguins – Derrick Pouliot
    23. Florida Panthers – Hampus Lindholm
    24. Boston Bruins – Phillip Di Guiseppe
    25. St. Louis Blues – Slater Koekkek
    26. Vancouver Canucks – Colton Sissons
    27. Phoenix Coyotes – Zemgus Girgensons
    28. New York Rangers – Scott Kosmachuk
    29. Los Angeles Kings – Scott Laughton

    • Chris says:

      I won’t be surprised if Collberg goes higher and if both Kosmachuk and Frk don’t get drafted in the first round.

      I’m curious to see where Malcolm Subban ends up. I think he is a little overhyped, but he looks to be the best goalie in a weak draft class so he will probably go in the first round.

      I can’t see it being San Jose, though, as they’ve already got quite a few goalies in their system. Subban is probably better than all of them, but they have bigger needs than a goaltender as their core players are getting on in years.

      • TomNickle says:

        If you have the opportunity to get the best player at his position in the second half of the first round, do you take it?

        I would, regardless of need.

        • Chris says:

          Hard to say. Is he the best player available overall?

          Goaltenders are tough to predict, and the elite guys come just as often out of nowhere as they do out of the highly ranked guys.

          I’m not a proponent of ever drafting goaltenders in the first round, as I think they are too easily replaced, but I just can’t see San Jose being the team to do it. They need some offensive players to replace Marleau and Thornton.

          • TomNickle says:

            Easy to replace like Quick and Brodeur? Smith and Lundqvist?

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Of the four, only Brodeur was drafted first round. The others were selected in the third, fifth and seventh rounds.

          • Chris says:

            And to add to what JB said, Smith was available this past summer (signed with Phoenix for $2 M per year), while Quick had been battling Bernier for the starter position in the Fall of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. The Kings drafter Bernier 11th overall in 2006, one year after they drafted Quick, and there were still people in the organization who felt Bernier was the man because of his junior pedigree.

          • TomNickle says:

            So being able to find good goaltenders should lead to not drafting them in the first round and as such their importance to the building of a team is mitigated.

            I can’t get there fellas.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            ‘So being able to find good goaltenders should lead to not drafting them in the first round and as such their importance to the building of a team is mitigated.’

            The unstated observation implicit in the draft positions of the four goaltenders is that it’s possible for teams to solve their goaltending issues with a first round selection but it seems to be more often the case the answer can be found in later rounds. If you have a first-rate talent like a Brodeur or a Price or, as seems to be the case this year, a Subban, you take them in the first round. But how often does it happen that two goaltenders are taken in the first round, even though the position of goaltender would seem to be the most important hole to fill. If it’s case the talent isn’t there each year for more than one goaltending prospect to be chosen as a team’s number one, can the argument be made teams see most goaltenders as a product of their coaching and style of play, and thus more easily integrated into their system? In other words, most teams don’t make a goaltender their first choice because, one, there aren’t that many first-rate talents to begin with, and, two, it’s not as big an issue as finding a natural scorer or a top-flight defenceman because their netminding choices can be groomed for the job?

          • Chris says:

            My reasoning is that goaltenders are pretty much the least important ingredient in building a team, an unpopular view (especially on this site) but one that I have had little cause to question.

            A team like San Jose has a lot of building to do. If Malcolm Subban is truly the best player on their board, than absolutely…draft him. But I just don’t see Subban as a difference maker.

            Build a great team and a mediocre goalie can look fantastic. At this stage of his career, Brodeur is not particularly brilliant. In the first two rounds, he looked VERY shaky at times. But the Devils won because they were strong enough to limit chances.

            Phoenix made Ilya Bryzgalov look like a $10 M per season goalie, and now we see that he might not be that great. Meanwhile, Mike Smith steps into the vacant position and looks like a $10 M per season goalie. Why?

            Brian Elliott was a journeyman goaltender until he ended up in St. Louis and suddenly posted Vezina Trophy calibre numbers. The knock against Elliott is that his teammate, Jaroslav Halak, also posted Vezina Trophy calibre numbers if you exclude a rough October.

            The one exception to that rule has been Jonathan Quick, who has been stellar for over two years now on a roster that wasn’t great at anything until the trade deadline this season, and nobody had him ranked as their top prospect in his draft year. In fact, he was ranked #9 amongst North American goaltenders (behind Carey Price, Pier-Olivier Pelletier, Tyler Plante, Alexandre Vincent, Daren Machesney, Ben Bishop, Jeff Frazee and Taylor Dakers), and most experts had him ranked behind Tuukka Rask as well.

            I wouldn’t draft Subban in the first round, but some team probably will. Is he really that much better than the two top European goalies, Andrei Vasilievski and Oscar Dansk? Time will tell.

            If some team thinks he has the skill to become a truly dominant goaltender (Lundqvist, Brodeur in his prime, Quick on his current run) then you probably should draft him. But when was the last goaltender that was an absolute slam-dunk to be that guy?

            Price is the closest I can think of, and his career has been up and down. Rick DiPietro has been a disaster, Marc-Andre Fleury was heroic in two straight Finals appearances but was very ordinary this season and cost his team dearly in the playoffs. Roberto Luongo has a reputation of choking, and wasn’t able to make woeful teams in New York or Florida any less woeful by his presence. Kari Lehtonen has had good years and bad years but has largely been irrelevant to his team’s success or lack thereof.

            I just can’t get to a place where the importance of a good goalie ISN’T mitigated. Finding a truly elite goaltender that can make a difference via the draft is a crapshoot at best. Far better to build your team through good roster players and, when you think you’ve got the pieces, acquire a goaltender that can stop the puck.

            I looked at the different goalies that have made Finals appearances in the past 15 seasons, and it appears as almost a random list. With two teams in the Finals, there is a spot for 30 goalies. If goalies were really a critical element, we shouldn’t see a number all that close to 30. Here we go:

            2011-12: Quick, Brodeur
            2010-11: Thomas, Luongo
            2009-10: Niemi, Leighton/Boucher
            2008-09: Fleury, Osgood
            2007-08: Osgood, Fleury
            2006-07: Giguere, Emery
            2005-06: Ward, Roloson
            2003-04: Khabibulin, Kiprusoff
            2002-03: Brodeur, Giguere
            2001-02: Hasek, Irbe
            2000-01: Roy, Brodeur
            1999-00: Brodeur, Belfour
            1998-99: Belfour, Hasek
            1997-98: Osgood, Kolzig
            1996-97: Vernon, Hextall/Snow

            21 different goaltenders (or tandems) have carried their team to the final. The repeat guys are Martin Brodeur (four times), Osgood (three times), Belfour (twice), Hasek (twice), Giguere (twice) and Fleury (twice). Post lockout, we’ve seen 12 different goaltenders out of a possible maximum of 14, with only the back-to-back Finals between stacked Red Wings and Penguins teams offering up a repeat appearce in the Finals for Fleury and Osgood.

            The era of the dominant goaltender is probably over. The late 1980’s, with the rise of Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon, through the early 2000’s, where Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour joined the aforementioned Roy in assuring their team of a place near the top of the standings, have been replaced by a parity driven league where a journeyman from Europe (Tim Thomas) can become the Vezina Trophy winner.

            With the notable exception of Henrik Lundqvist and, to a lesser extent, Roberto Luongo, the NHL does not feature any goaltenders who have featured prominently in Vezina Trophy voting year after year the way that Roy, Hasek, Belfour and Brodeur dominated the 1990’s.

  25. Chris says:

    Regarding Georges Laraque…

    I have always loved how Laraque was an “enforcer who wouldn’t fight”. Somebody hits Gomez or Plekanec and people are screaming bloody murder that Laraque should have done something about it. Of course, this ignores that Laraque was rarely on the ice (and shouldn’t have been, as he didn’t have the skill to play with anybody). It also ignores that this has NEVER been the role of the designated fighter…they aren’t on the ice when such events happen, so anything they might do later would be clear instigation, resulting in game misconducts, fines and suspensions.

    Georges Laraque never fought for the Habs…

    I see this one all the time. Of course, it is absolutely false. Here’s how many minutes of ice time Laraque played between fights throughout his career:

    1997-98: 10 minutes, 24 seconds
    1998-99: 23 minutes, 54 seconds
    1999-2000: 42 minutes, 56 seconds
    2000-01: 41 minutes, 12 seconds
    01-02: 43 minutes, 29 seconds
    02-03: 42 minutes, 17 seconds
    03-04: 56 minutes, 11 seconds
    05-06: 52 minutes, 39 seconds
    06-07: 88 minutes, 8 seconds
    07-08: 42 minutes, 4 seconds
    08-09: 28 minutes, 3 seconds
    09-10: 40 minutes, 22 seconds

    In Laraque’s first season with Montreal (the first of the two years in bold at the end), he fought more often than he had in any season since his rookie season. This comes in spite of the fact that he had been battling a bad back injury that affected his balance and core strength, big impediments for a fighter in hockey. Despite this fight rate, he was labelled as an unwilling participant and people began mocking his “code” as a cover for cowardice. In his last season, he was clearly on the outs but still fought in his VERY limited role at a rate that was comparable to his feared days as the top heavyweight in the NHL back in the early 2000’s.

    But he was a chicken unwilling to fight the big boys anymore, content to rest on his reputation…

    In Laraque’s three seasons prior to joining the Habs, he fought:

    Derek Boogaard (four times), Raitis Ivanans (three times), Donald Brashear (three times), Todd Fedoruk (twice), Colton Orr (twice), Darcy Hordichuk (twice), Riley Cote (twice), Brian McGrattan (twice), Eric Godard, Darren McCarty, Krys Barch, Zdeno Chara, Wade Brookbank, Wade Belak, Brad May, Jody Shelley and Chris Simon.

    The only two players on that list that were anything other than enforcers themselves were McCarty and Chara. Everybody else were guys who fought staged fights, just like Laraque.

    With Montreal, Laraque fought:

    Shawn Thornton, Todd Fedoruk, Mitch Fritz, Josh Gratton, Andrew Peters, Brad May, Eric Godard, Jody Shelley, Joel Rechlicz, Colton Orr, John Erskine, Riley Cote, and Eric Bolton. Again, all those guys were regular participants in NHL fights, with only Thornton (fourth line player for the Bruins and Erskine (third pairing defenceman for the Capitals) being regular players.

    Laraque did exactly what he had always done in his career. If there was a problem with Laraque in Montreal, it was simply that fans (and Gainey and Martin, for that matter) simply thought he was something that he wasn’t. Laraque is a nice guy who played a tough role in the NHL. He was a classy fighter who rarely took advantage of a fallen opponent, and he certainly was not a guy who ever jumped opponents a la Todd Bertuzzi. It wasn’t in his make-up as a person.

    So if we’re going to continue blasting Laraque, we should blast the role. The days of enforcers that would step on the ice five minutes per game to stage a fight or two are (hopefully) over.

    What people seem to really want is a return to the days of a guy like John Ferguson, a guy who would fight anybody but who could also play a regular shift, ensuring that he was on the ice as an effective deterrent. Ryan White might be such a player…he can play a regular shift if he returns to his form of 2010-11 and can jump in if he feels a team is taking liberties with Subban or Desharnais.

    • TomNickle says:

      Ryan White does exactly what you’re referring to Chris. He’s stuck up for Subban and Price most notably.

      Is Ryan White that much of a deterrent though? He’s tough, but he’s not physically imposing by any means.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t think ANYBODY is a deterrent. I’ve always thought the idea of deterrents to be a little bit absurd.

        Gretzky wasn’t left alone because of McSorely and Semenko, although I’m sure transgressors regretted the transgression after bumping him.

        “The Gretzky Rule”, the unwritten rule that many players believed existed when it came to any kind of contact with Gretzky resulting in a penalty, WAS a deterrent. Nobody wanted to be the guy that caused that power play of Edmonton’s to get a chance to score a goal. Imagine going back to the bench after that? 🙂

        The presence of Thornton, Chara, and Lucic didn’t stop people from going after Marc Savard.

        The presence of Rob Ray, Brad May, and Matthew Barnaby didn’t stop Francois Leroux from ending Pat Lafontaine’s career with a head shot.

        There isn’t much you can do to stop an idiot from trying to hurt another hockey player. The game is so fast that these guys simply don’t have a lot of time to think…most of the big injuries are on fast plays where a guy just reacts and sticks out an elbow or fails to slow up near the boards or jumps into somebody’s head.

        You could put 3 goons on the ice and I suspect it wouldn’t change the outcome.

        • TomNickle says:

          I think there are deterrents. But not fighters. Players who are so dirty and so devoid of conscience that they plant the seed in the oppositions’ head that if you rattle the guy’s cage, he’s going to seriously injure one of your players.

          Matt Cooke’s a good example. Trevor Gillies is another good one.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Having a great power play is also a great deterrent, lets hope the Habs power play is much better this season. I believe Markov will help it a great deal, but it needs more than just a healthy Markov to become top 5 in the league.

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t agree with that. The great powerplay might be a small deterrent but certainly not significant.

            Think Chara was worried about two minutes in the box when he smashed Pacioretty’s face into a post? Was Ryan Malone deterred by two minutes when he maimed Chris Campoli?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I said also, but perhaps shouldn’t have said great. End of day Tom, I think Chara does what he does no matter what the Habs have on the roster. He is a beast who was pissed off at MaxPac and wanted to “get him” for lack of a better term.

            However, I do think when a team has a powerplay which is very effective, it does make the other teams coach tell his players to not takes stupid or selfish penalties.

            The best deterrent would be a league which encourages its officials to enforce the rulebook.

          • TomNickle says:

            I agree about Chara and about the league.

    • The Dude says:

      Mitch Fritz would be interesting.

    • adamkennelly says:

      the role of an enforcer is to provide some degree of respect to your team- to counter against opponents trying to physically impose their will..its not really about fighting staged fights, its about attitude..on the Habs, Laraque skated (barely) around acting like an angel… that was the problem with him….ever see Scott Thornton skating around smiling like a fool? Chris Neil? The Habs lack toughness to the point where opponents get to dictate the type of game being played….toss in a couple of tough type players, Staubby, White, Schultz, maybe Brookbank or Engelland on D and that stops. Ever see anyone push around the Bruins? Penguins? Rangers, Devils? nope.

      • Chris says:

        Part of my point was that Laraque is a stage fighter, whereas Thornton and Neil are good enough to play regular shifts as hockey players. That they are also willing to fight makes them infinitely more valuable than the Laraques or Boogaards or Parros’ of the NHL.

    • myron.selby says:

      I know it didn’t work out for Laraque in Montreal but I think he gets a very unfair rap on this site. When he played in Edmonton (until his back problems) he actually was not bad at cycling the puck down low in the offensive zone and eating up the clock. And anyone who thinks GL was afraid never watched him fight. 2 herniated disks will definitely affect your game.

      He is also one of the classiest players around in his personal life. He used to get the names of little kids from the Oilers’ office who had called to see if an Oiler could come to their birthday parties and just show up at the house. He was always approachable and polite to fans. He also does a ton of charity work.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks for performing the analysis Chris, that’s a lot of work but provides valuable insight. We sometimes as a group at HIO get carried away, saw a couple posts the last few days that treated a P.K. trade to Edmonton as a done deal, as well as a return for Guy Carbonneau behind the bench. Posters read opinions or unfounded rumours here and elsewhere and take it as fact, and then run off like their tail is on fire.

      In the case of Georges Laraque, I kind of missed his stint with the Canadiens, the only hockey that was watched at my house at the time was the Canucks, not the Canadiens, and certainly not in French, so I couldn’t really judge. I always thought he was the best heavyweight in the league when in Pittsburgh or Edmonton or Phoenix, never lost a fight, was never dirty, instilled respect for and confidence in his team. He also seemed like a good guy, as opposed to clowns like Wade Belak or thugs like Tie Domi. So I never understood how he might have become a chicken and too lazy to do his job in Montréal.

      Thanks for putting all this into perspective, and for challenging a meme that seems to have been adopted and parroted by a lot of posters on here. You should save this post and paste it as a reply to those who attack Georges’ character in the future.

      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  26. frontenac1 says:

    Henri Richard Tavern,Toe Blake Tavern,The Stanley Tavern,The Bon Voyage Tavern(where Doug Harvey hung out) Ah,the memories.

  27. frontenac1 says:

    What about Dumba?

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    Regarding the profile of Branden Troock provided by commandant, I’d just be careful with drafting a physical winger from the Seattle Thunderbirds, that hasn’t worked out too well for us in the past. I’m not superstitious, but we’ve been burned before.

    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  29. frontenac1 says:

    How can you be a Vegan AND Enforcer? Need Red Meat!

  30. frontenac1 says:

    An enforcer who won’t enforce? Useless!

  31. mrhabby says:

    I guess its nice to dream about Crosby somehow leaving Pitt and going to Mtl. I have to laugh..he will sign long term with Pitt its almost gauranteed. if anything happens it could be Stall on the move.

  32. shiram says:

    Perry Pearn fired as scout : — Perry Pearn, who just got into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame as the coach of the dazzling 1984-85 NAIT Ooks, is out of work twice in one season. Back in October, Habs GM Pierre Gauthier made the strange decision to fire the assistant coach before a home game in Montreal, looking for a shakeup that was never coming. Then, a short time ago, Pearn got word from the new GM Marc Bergevin that he was out as a pro scout — a job he took on to keep busy while they owed him two years salary. He will still get paid next season, but he’d like to get back on the coaching horse.

  33. TomNickle says:

    The Columbus Blue Jackets have Derrick Brassard and Ryan Johansen already on their roster with Boone Jenner not too far away.

    It’s certainly no guarantee that they’re taking a centreman, in fact it’s probably unlikely.

    • Chris says:

      It really depends on how they’ve got Galchenyuk and Grigorenko ranked. Most teams will take the best player available, although some teams (Detroit, New Jersey) will make reaches based on how a particular player might fit their system.

      Columbus has too much uncertainty to pass up on a player based on position. They have needs everywhere, and good centres can always be converted into wingers.

      • TomNickle says:

        I agree that as much as anyone they could go any direction. Realistically they’re going to get a great package for Rick Nash so it’s anybody’s guess if they draft or acquire prospects based on need.

        The post was made to provide a little bit of counter balance to the opinion that it’s near certainty that Yakupov and Galchenyuk go #1 and #2.

        I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see Edmonton or Columbus take Ryan Murray.

        Edmonton didn’t invite Galchenyuk out West even though they’ve brought or are going to bring Yakupov, Grigorenko, Reinhart, Reilly and Forsberg. I don’t think Galchenyuk is as locked into the top two of this draft as many seem to think.

        • Chris says:

          I agree with the assessment of Galchenyuk. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go second, but I also would be surprised to see him slip to 6th or 7th. He’s a good player, no question, but he’s not a lock.

    • Carta-Hab says:

      This is my hope too. Positionally, the Blue Jackets do have some decent Cs in their system. However, if any of them are seen as being as good or better than the two which will more than likely be available at #2 is the question. The other thing is the russian factor. I know this has been beat to death, but the lack of success that Columbus has had with drafting russians is well documented. Galchenyuk, although not russian, comes from a family which originally was from away. It has been said that this will be overlooked and they will take the BPA, regardless of their background, but you have to wonder if it will play some factor.

      Honestly, this is the scenario I see being played out (and I have to admit it is based on hope that Galchenyuk will then be available). If Edmonton drafts Yakupov, Columbus takes either Ryan Murray or Filip Forsberg. As Tom had mentioned, Columbus has some decent Cs, and if they lose Nash they are going to need another impact winger (Forsberg). Of course, Murray is seen as the best defence man in this draft, and where teams seem to win by defence and goal tending these days, it makes sense.

      Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

  34. That's-Hockey says:

    Larocque – sticks by his code because he’s scared of getting his ass beat in front of 18,000 fans somewhere and there’s big guy’s out there now that can do it that’s why he was useless in Montreal. I wouldn’t pay him $50.00 a game. if it’s true he’s trying a come back it’s for the money not to fight or play hockey….

  35. mark-ID says:

    All this Crosby talk….thought I’d throw out a trade that came to mind.

    Subban, Desharnais, our 3rd overall this year and our 1st rounder next year for


    Is this at all realistic?

    Pittsburgh would receive a potential all star defenceman,
    a young(albeit small) centreman….who has always put up numbers, every league he has played in. Then they get a top three pick and another first rounder in a very deep draft.

    Ps…..I wasn’t willing to throw in Pacioretty…gave them Subban instead considering we have a good amount of D prospects

    We get the best player in the world…who has ties to Montreal’s new management…..but is coming off some serious concussion issues.

    Who wins….is it fair? Discuss.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • Malreg says:

      No, it’s not realistic. Any trade involving Crosby will not be realistic.

      His value to the Penguins far outweighs anything a team would be willing to offer.

      Everyone likes to say “If Gretzky could be traded, anybody can be!”, but it’s not like the Gretzky days. Pittsburgh is not starving for money, and you can’t send cash in a trade anymore anyways.

      • mark-ID says:

        But there would be some people who would say Pittsburg and specifically Malkin plays differently when Crosby is out of the lineup. Especially now that Crosby has had concussion issues….I think it changes things alot.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • shiram says:

      I’d say Penguins win it, and I would not do it.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      We would be in Cap Hell then. DD is affordable and productive, Subban is only on his 2nd contract, we don’t get an elite scoring center on his entry contract from this years draft.

      I WANT the Habs to keep their pick and get the benefits of a young talent. Lets build this team around the youth we have and the youth on the way up. Our veterans are not the strength of this current team, therefore trading for a NOW player like Crosby is not wise, in my opinion.

      We haven’t had a pick this high in Eons, lets keep it!

    • Habitall says:

      Crosby is one or two hits away from being finished, sad to say. In sending Subban or our #3 their way, you’d be giving up too much. Either player will likely outlast Crosby, and play at a high level for years to come.

    • Cal says:

      No trade for Crosby. Sign as a UFA after next season.
      A few seconds later, reality hits. Just like the giant Monty Python foot.
      Love to get him, but with multiple concussions I would sign as a UFA and not lose anyone for him.

    • That's-Hockey says:

      don’t want crosby for any of our good players another markov sitting on pins and needles to see what happens after the next big hit. wait for his RFA and see what he’s asking….

    • Carta-Hab says:

      Hell no!

      As good as Crosby is, what we would be sending back to the Penguins is crazy. Not only that, but Crosby has not been healthy and you never know what could happen. Way too much projected risk both in terms of the players we would be giving up as well as Crosby’s health.

      Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

    • knob says:

      I think that there are enough pieces on the table (in your propostion) to get Pittsburgh to make the deal. I say this because Crosby is 2-3 hits away from retirement and Pittsburgh knows it. I wouldn’t trade for him.

      ef this

      • Luke says:

        PK is one knee on knee away from retirement.

        • knob says:

          all hockey players are for that matter. Crosby has a history of concussions and from what I understand, the latest concussion and the resulting symptoms are far worst and recovery takes much longer then previous concussion injury. Crosby will not have a long career and I would not want to give up a ton of young prospects and draft picks. now, if you want to trade Gomez for Crosby straight up…that is a deal I would consider.

          ef this

  36. Cardiac says:

    So I was chatting with my bro yesterday about the draft and who will be available at #3.

    Nowadays, the consensus seems Yakopov and Galchenyuk will go one and two. That leaves us with Grigorenko, Forsberg, or Murray.

    I’ve seen people here make a case for Forberg and some who still believe Grigs will be a great pick on talent alone.

    We seem to have a history of drafting the best player available, regardless of position (e.g. drafting Price when Theodore was still regarded as our franchise goalie). Is that a bad thing? Given we have Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis and Subban would it be so bad to draft Murray? Would we be better trading our pick?

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

    • shiram says:

      There is a player with great talent that fills one of the Habs greatest needs, you draft him.
      For me it’s Grigorenko.

    • Habitall says:

      We need offense, and have for years. The only way I go for Murray is if we were to trade Subban to Edmonton for their #1. Wind up with Galchenyuk/Murray, if you think that would be better than Grigorenko/Subban (or Forsberg/Subban). Personally, I love Subban, but I think that trade could work out in the long run. Likely Murray and Beaulieu will be studs, while Tinordi & Ellis will be solid. And you’ve got the offensive player in Galchenyuk with a higher ceiling.

      Otherwise, if only one pick in the top 3, it has to be for a big forward.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    So I wanted to hear the latest B.S. rumours so I read Eklunds blog this morning. I didn’t know the rumour monger was now a comedian, but reading his analysis on Andrei Kostitsyn did make me laugh.

    I quote:
    On Andrei Kostitsyn
    Speaking of…Look to Washington to make a big push. Kostitsyn is seen as a possible help to the leadership core in Washington and also brings some solid two-way play. The Isles will also be in on AK…as will Columbus

    Given what just transpired in the desert during the playoffs, I find it humorous that AK would be described as Leadership Core.

  38. HabsFanMTL says:

    speaking of comebacks…….RDS is reporting that George Laracque wants back in the NHL……apparently his agent will be talking to teams , he is willing to accept the minimum salary and says he is in the best shape of his life……

  39. JayK-47 says:

    The Habs will have to choose between what’s left over of Yakupov, Galchenyuk and Grigorenko….. BEST. SUMMER. EVER.

    (after ’93 anyways.)

  40. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning Lizardking89.

    With your permission I am reposting here the part of your commentary on the Jack Todd artcle which relates to Michel Therrien.

    “also liked this part of Todd’s article and I think he nailed it on the head when he talks about Therrien; “Our reservations about Therrien come down to this: the man simply doesn’t have the class we once associated with the Canadiens. (Well, that and the fact it’s impossible to imagine the Canadiens winning a Stanley Cup on Therrien’s watch.”

    I hope to start a little give and take on the opinions expressed.

    I have similar doubts re Therrien. But I am absolutely enamoured with the personality of our new GM Marc Bergevin. Almost to the point that I am developing a real man-crush.

    On the subject of class. I think Bergevin has a quiet unaffected confidence and CLASS. His disarming anecdotal aw-shucks mannerisms make you sit-up and understand that in the end he will not suffer fools nor proselytizers easily. I think he will keep a moderating hand on every facet of the operation and hope that the organization is run with skill, wisdom and yes class. I think the assistant coaches process is an example.

    His class will carry us forward.

    My fingers are crossed.

    • JayK-47 says:

      I’m in almost total agreement with you on this one.

      I’m just worried he’ll fleece a couple other GM’s. Then get a reputation making subsequent trades get more than the usual amount of diligence performed by other teams.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      I like this reply to Todd:

      “For someone who has spent so much of his career as a writer, it amazes me that you persist in using the collective “we” to refer to yourself. It’s old, give it a rest. Unless. of course, you suffer from a multiple personality disorder, which would explain a lot. Your penchant for trolling deep into the past to pull up some half-witted tidbit with which to mock somebody whose views, ideology, or looks (remember your remarks about Kurt Warner’s trailer trash wife from all those years ago, Jack?) really don’t serve you well and instead taint you with the odor of yet another lefty crank on the downside of his career.” – Haggisboy

      “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

      Bring it on Home

  41. habstrinifan says:

    Quite nice read Stu! Thanks for the skip down memory lane. The ‘asides’ like the 200.00 dinner for the entire team and the talk between Gump and Gadsb were wonderful.

    Loved it.

    • Stu Hackel says:

      Thanks trini – There was more. Beliveau wrote in his autobiography that they stayed at a hotel in Detroit where there was a barbershop quartet convention and those guys were singing in the hallways all night long. Blake was running up and down the halls trying to get them to shut up because his players needed sleep. Pretty funny.

  42. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    That’s a great picture of the Gumper.

  43. 24 Cups says:

    Not much news from Sunday so here’s my re-draft for 2003 – the year the Habs blew a tire. Interesting to note that after all these years Montreal is now only left with two, second round picks (Halak & AK46) along with prospect Michael Bournival (O’Byrne).

    – I set a ten minute time limit to make this list
    – It was compiled based on my instinct and gut feelings
    – Comparing and ranking forwards and defensemen is a tough task
    – In case of a tie, size, grit and character always wins out
    – I considered players in the bottom three rounds (such as Pavelski, Enstrom, Byfuglien, Moulson, Halak and Elliot) to be ineligible. They never would have been taken in the final three rounds if scouts thought they were even close to being a sure thing or a decent pick.

    1. Staal
    2. Weber
    3. Parise
    4. Perry
    5. Getzlaf
    6. Bergeron
    7. Eriksson
    8. Kesler
    9. Vanek
    10. Suter
    11. Seabrook
    12. Backes
    13. Richards
    14. Brown
    15. Carter
    16. Horton
    17. Michalek
    18. Burns
    19. Fleury
    20. Phaneuf
    21. Klein
    22. Carle
    23. Howard
    24. Coburn
    25. Boyle
    26. AK46
    27. Quincey
    28. Stuart
    29. Fehr
    30. Bernier

    • TomNickle says:

      Interesting rankings there Steve. I don’t know that I’d have any one of them ahead of Shea Weber. I don’t think there’s much room for disagreement when people call him the best defenseman in the game, and he’s been at that level for quite a while now.

      I’m glad you gave Loui Erikssson some kudos. He’s a very underrated player.

    • jon514 says:

      Agree with Tom, Weber adds more value to a team than Staal because he can play 25-30 min per game at an exceptional level.

    • ed lopaz says:

      2003 draft of AK was a big mistake, but “why” was the choice made?

      If you look at AK’s history in Belarusse, you’ll see that there was another player there the Habs were interested in.

      that 2002/2003 CSKA Moscow team featured an 18 year old named Nicholai Zherdev a late 1984 birthday and eligible for the 2003 draft.

      AK played in 6 games for that Moscow team that season, he was a nobody.

      Zherdev played in 44 games and had 12 goals and 12 assists good for 3rd best on the team, even though he was one of the youngest players out there.

      So I believe the Habs scouts were primarily there to scout Zherdev, he was the “prize catch”.

      Problem is Zherdev went 4th overall to Columbus, and now the Habs had to change course.

      Considering how little AK had played, 6 games, considering that he was epileptic, considering he was from Belarusse which does not have a long and rich history of producing NHL players,

      the pick of AK was too risky to take at #11.

      It doesn’t matter that some hockey draft experts had AK that high or higher, in the 1st round you MUST limit your risk and choose the player MOST LIKELY to succeed at the highest possible level.

      The later rounds you can take some flyers on guys with AK’s background.

      Jeff Carter was the player the Habs should have selected. 35 goals, 36 assists in the OHL, 6’3 center, who was scouted by Team Canada.

      Carter stood alone at the top of the Sault Greyhound scoring and no one could make an argument that he had benefited from playing with wingers who artificially propped up his numbers – as in the case very often in Major Junior.

      The Habs need to “minimize” that risk this year.

      • TomNickle says:

        I know that Philadelphia isn’t the most boring place in the World Ed but I’m not so sure that Carter works out if the Habs take him in 2003.

        That has Latendresse/Higgins written all over it.

      • habstrinifan says:

        This is a remarkable analysis. I trust your facts are correct and if so I applaud your ‘behind the scenes’ analysis.

        Your warning that the HABS need to and can minimize risks in this year’s drafting is spot on. This is why I am very encouraged by the impression that many people will have ‘input’ into the decisions from now on.

        You cannot condemn a GM for his personality but that personality does affect the fortunes of the club.

        Both PG and Gainey were introspective and not prone to wide-ranging give and take. PG’s trait, from stories we have heard, was borne out of a need to weild power autonomously unfortunately.
        Gainey was not absorbed with power but maybe he placed too much trust in the advice of the ‘single’ lieutenant’ assigned to a task…. as seems to be the case with the Gomez trade.

        Again good post.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Pick a tried and true Canadian kid? That’s just crazy!

    • veryhabby says:

      24 cups, good list. Probably my would be a tad different but not significantly. I would tho, have AK46 a bit higher. At this point, I would definately have him ranked above Klein, coburn, Boyle. But that’s just me.

      also you did make one error. You mentioned all we have to show for that draft year now is Bournival and 2- 2nd round picks (via Halak, AK trades). Well Eller was not a 2nd round pick. He was 13th overall. We also have Shultz prospect from that trade. So not too sure why you said 2- 2nd rounders.

  44. commandant says:

    Branden Troock, an Edmonton Native, and member of the Seattle Thunderbirds. He is a big power forward prospect.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • myron.selby says:

      I did a lot of work for Whitemud West where Troock played. He was the same age as my son and I evaluated him for 2 or 3 years in Atom and Peewee.

      Most people thought he was great. I always downgraded him because I never once saw him pass the puck. His father encouraged him to play a completely selfish style.

      There was another kid in his same group that I actually gave a perfect 10 ranking one year. Nathan Smith if I remember correctly. I also got to evaluate Keegan Lowe a few times at that time (nothing too special). Oh and Craig McTavish’s boy was an affiliate callup on my son’s team one year.

      Of all of these guys, Nathan Smith was the only one I thought had a shot – shows what I know.

  45. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Mr. Hackel, You won’t understand HOW ??? much this article is appreciated …after an eternity of reading about teams and players I give a rat’s behind about
    …You must love Our Habs as much as I, the way You lovingly write of Them
    …anyhow, merci beaucup 🙂

    PostScript: …where’s da tune Stu ??? 🙂
    …finally, it may, after all these years, be sacriligious to admit, I wondered at the time and to this day why Henri’s (My favorite Hab all-time, next to Plante) goal stood
    Michel Therrien ???: HIS’ new Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey/The Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’:
    HIO’s BC Odd Couple: UCe, the supercilious stickler; and HIS, the stubbornly relentless ‘schismatist’ 🙂
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  46. second

    thanks for the post….sigh…

  47. ProHabs says:

    Second or deuxieme

  48. nickster13 says:


    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.