Update: Darche has played his last with Habs


β€’ EVENING UPDATE (Stubbs): Mathieu Darche has played his last game with the Canadiens, apparently unwilling to accept a two-way contract offer that would have paid him dramatically less should he have been sent to the minors.

On his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, Darche first poured cool water on an TVA report than had his agent claiming it seemed unlikely the 35-year-old would be back for a fourth season in a Canadiens uniform. But Darche later suggested in the evening, again on Twitter, that it seemed he’d not be back with the Habs. At the same time, he thanked Canadiens fans for their support.

Darche, who earned $700,000 last season, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The NHLPA wrapped up its three-day meeting in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for the upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations which will begin at the end of this week.

The PA disclosed the players who will be on their negotiating committee and both Mathieu Darche and Chris Campoli are among the 31 on the initial list. More players could be added down the road.

At a press briefing after the meetings in which he was surrounded by a couple of dozen players, NHLPA executive director Don Fehr didn’t disclose much else about the upcoming negotiations or the players’ positions heading into them. He also said he doesn’t know much about the owners’ positions adding he’s not concerned about that and it wasn’t that unusual in his experience.

Most expect the main issue to be about the share of revenue under the salary cap system that will be devoted to players’ salaries. That currently stands at 57 percent.

It’s believed the NHL owners may ask for a reduction to 50 percent, which is what they NFL and NBA owners achieved via lockouts during the past year and that could bring about a lockout and a delay in the start of next season. Fehr said, however, that wasn’t what he hoped would happen and added earlier this week that, legally, the season could start even if a new CBA isn’t reached as long as the two sides kept talking.

For more on this, you can read my SI.com story from Tuesday here.

While he wouldn’t discuss what players have told him about the issues they believe are important or how the mood heading into this negotiation compares to 2004 — “I don’t disclose conversations I have with players,” he said. — Fehr place no restrictions on the players from discussing their feelings with the media. Unlike the owners and team executives, who are under a gag order from the league office, the NHLPA won’t discourage their members from speaking to the press.

He repeated that he took the job after helping the PA get reorganized and finding he liked the players “an awful lot.” As to their suitability to take part in helping reach a new CBA, he said of the players, “They get it, they get it easily, they get it the first time, and they’re on top of the game.”

He added he’s fully prepared to go into the negotiation with them.

He expected player participation in the negotiations to be “very large, very significant and constant.” He added that any player was welcomed to attend the negotiations and that the PA would pay for their ticket and hotel room. “It’s their futures,” Fehr said, “and they need to take responsibility for it.”

NHLPA Negotiating Committee:
Craig Adams (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Adrian Aucoin (Phoenix Coyotes)
Alex Auld (Ottawa Senators)
David Backes (St. Louis Blues)
Marty Biron (New York Rangers)
Brad Boyes (Buffalo Sabres)
Chris Campoli (Montreal Canadiens)
B.J. Crombeen (St. Louis Blues)
Mathieu Darche (Montreal Canadiens)
Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders)
Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)
Ruslan Fedotenko (New York Rangers)
Alex Goligoski (Dallas Stars)
Ron Hainsey (Winnipeg Jets)
Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia Flyers)
Jamie Langenbrunner (St. Louis Blues)
Manny Malhotra (Vancouver Canucks)
Steve Montador (Chicago Blackhawks)
Dominic Moore (San Jose Sharks)
Brendan Morrison (Chicago Blackhawks)
Douglas Murray (San Jose Sharks)
George Parros (Anaheim Ducks)
Chris Phillips (Ottawa Senators)
Cory Schneider (Vancouver Canucks)
John Tavares (New York Islanders)
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
Kevin Westgarth (Los Angeles Kings)
Dan Winnik (San Jose Sharks)
James Wisniewski (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings)


  1. Mike11 says:

    I like Marthieu Darche. He is a hard worker, plays a smart game and is worth more to the team than the 7 million dollar man on the roster.
    I think he will make a great coach someday.


  2. doug19 says:

    Darche and Endquist will not fit the new team. They hardly dominated at any time last year on a poor team.

  3. Mark says:

    Hey Guys and Gals!

    Go on over to http://www.icethetics.info/vote/ and vote for the Habs logo in the NHL tournament of Logos! If the Habs win, they’ll advance to the bracket, and the more votes they get, the higher their placing will be. I’m sorry if the link doesn’t work, I don’t know HTML talk.

  4. DorvalTony says:

    Wonderful to hear callers talking realistically about Price yesterday on TSN990. Very refreshing.

    “Hi, this is P.J. Stock for Depends.”

  5. kalevine says:

    in the gazette article, Darche talks about the new management’s decision to take another direction, as if the same direction was still a reasonable alternative. This is coming from someone who actually benefited from the last administration’s incompetence.

    • DorvalTony says:

      Darche was one of the few who gave an honest effort 100% of the time unlike certain millionaire coasters. That said I’m not sorry to see him go, rather see a kid or a tougher guy take his place.

      “Hi, this is P.J. Stock for Depends.”

      • kalevine says:

        no argument there, I’m not a hater. It just speaks about the management that they had put a team together that needed Darche as much as it did

  6. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I hope the millionaires and billionaires remember the fans during their negotiations.

  7. HardHabits says:

    Don’t you love it when a new guy hops on board and decides to first post us with an unreadable tome rife with line combos and a virtual flow chart if-then loop of trade possibilities and permutations.

    Here are my line combos:


    on defence:


    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Well, I have never gotten the line combination thing in the first place. Unless you’re in a fantasy league, why would you waste time with pretend lines? I usually wait for management to put a team together, the coach to make up lines, sometimes juggle them and hope it all works. And sigh loudly when it doesn’t. I sigh a lot. πŸ™‚

    • habsfan0 says:

      LOVE your first line!

    • boing007 says:

      You forgot the Three Musketeers. How about The Cisco Kid and Pancho? The Lone Ranger and Tonto? Laurel and Hardy? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

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

    • Garbo says:

      How is that different than speculating on trades, contracts, management, drafting, or anything else anyone talks about on here?

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Soft Habits.

  8. CF says:

    Not to be harsh, but good riddance. He brought nothing, except for maybe PK duty. Having him on the PP just pissed off and confused more players than anything. Darche chosen over Cole for PP duty took the cake on embarassing personnel management last year.
    Can’t hit, can’t fight, can’t score, not a set-up man, we don’t need you. Darche maxed out two years ago, he was done last year and should have been let go. So happy he won’t be back.
    Take his money and offer it to Staubitz. Give Blunden a two way deal as well. These guys have shown they can jump in the fourth line and be effective.

  9. wildwilly says:

    Now that Kreuger is coach of the Oilers, perhaps he can use his knowledge of Swiss players and influence a trade for Weber or Diaz. The Oilers need defence and (to me), both are too similiar to play for the same team.

    We’d probably be able to get Linus Omark (young, talented LW) or Ben Eager (gritty LW). From what I read, Omark is unhappy and wants out.

    What do you think?

    • BJ says:

      I like the possibility you suggest. Weber has not really progressed in the last two years. If he’s traded I hope it doesn’t come back to bite us in the a$$. But we need size and toughness and its simply not there on our D. So hopefully we can acquire someone through free agency or a trade.

    • boing007 says:

      Give it a whirl, MB.

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

  10. Un Canadien errant says:

    All right, I’m not going to cry over Mathieu Darche, although I thought it made sense to sign him to plug one of the holes on left wing. If we’re not going to go that way, then we need to look for a fourth-liner left winger with size and character.

    I nominate Taylor Pyatt. 6’4″, 225 lbs, can fight but is more of a disciplined player than anything else, hands of solid marble when it comes to scoring goals though. 30 years old, impeccable character, was a good team player on the Vancouver Canucks for a couple years.

    He made $1.2 million last season, he can possibly be had on a deal in the same vicinity for a couple of years, while the yoots slow roast in Hamilton.

    I updated my signature accordingly.

    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 24: Travis Moen
    June 2627: Mathieu Darche
    June 26: Ryan White
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 5: Carey Price
    July 9: P.K. Subban


  11. I am sorry guys.. I have found the reason for Habs’ misery.. Just look at the pattern.

    – 07/08 season – Habs had 104 points. My average was 88 in grade 8.
    – 08/09 “Centennial” season – I started off great then finished with a 68 percent average in grade 9.
    – 09/10 “Conference Finals” – Bounced back with a 87 percent average.
    – 10/11 “Losing to B’s in Game 7 OT”- Finished with 83% average.
    – 11/12 “Tanked.” – Finished with 69.8%.. got no university acceptances.

    I am repeating 4 grade 12 courses.. If acing them means Habs will excel..then I am going all-in this year.
    Sorry guys lol

    • nickster13 says:

      So its all YOUR fault!

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

    • Rozz says:

      LOVE THE DEDICATION!!! much props.. any one else gonna join this sacrifice for superstition movement? I will .. as soon as i think of what to sacrifice.. lol

      EDIT: but so help me if i sacrifice and your grades aren’t up .. *shakes fist*

      “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

      Mark Twain.

    • hab_in_cowtown says:

      I’ll tutor you in math and sciences. Everybody pitch in where they can!

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Give your head a good shake, man. While grades aren’t everything, it doesn’t get easier when you go to University. I waltzed through highschool, doing the absolute minimum amount of work and still pulled down 90’s. I tried to do the same thing in University and my average dropped to 75% and I got my first 60 of my life.

      I realized very quickly that even though I wmy grades were near the top for my elementary and highschool, every one else in the Engineering program was too. I could no longer coast and get good marks (and more importantly, understand what was being taught).

      Learn how to study and work hard now. It will make a big difference in University (and it will help you get your work done quickly so you can do the important things in life…. beer and woman).

  12. kotz says:

    Hi guys, i’ve been reading all comments on this site for a while, and it’s definitely the best place for interesting insight regarding the Habs. With July 1st coming up shortly, I thought it might be a good moment to evaluate our assets, and figure out what’s needed for next year.

    So here’s my evaluation of the lineup and the players i’d consider signing for each roster spot that needs to be filled:
    – 2 wingers for the second line, with offensive talent, and size;
    – a LW and C for the 4th line, and it would greatly help if the C could win faceoffs;
    – a top 4 D;
    – a backup goalie better than Budaj (only if his last name is Brodeur, and his first name is not Mike).

    Line 1 : 67 – 51 – 72

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, i’m not convinced yet that this is a real first line by NHL standards. Last season, Pacioretty, Desharnais and Cole all registered between 60 and 65pts, but can we really expect more from them this year ? By the end of the year, everyone knew that if they could stop this line for 60 minutes, Montreal would lose. Which led to a 3rd overall pick.

    If this line can get better matchups and avoid playing the opponent’s top D pair all the time, they might repeat, or even improve to 65-75pts each.

    But in order to do so, it’s gonna be important to spread the offense across the top 3 lines, and making sure we have spare offensive parts on those 3 lines is key. Having players like Darche, Blunden, Leblanc or Geoffrion to fill spots on the second line last year certainly didn’t help, so Marc Bergevin has to get more depth up front this year.

    Line 2 : LW – 14 – RW

    Tomas Plekanec probably had to swallow 2 Advils each time he looked at the board last year to see who his two wingers would be that night. Plekanec finally deserves to get 2 stable linemates, with 1st/2nd line talent, in order to re-establish himself as one of the most complete 2nd line center in the league. And i don’t think the answer to “who’s playing with Plekanec tonight?” is under contract with Montreal at this point.

    On the LW, we all know Parise would look great, however we might have to settle for lesser options, like the venerable Ray Whitney, who just enjoyed a 77pts season in the desert at 40.

    On the RW, the only solid options in my opinion are Doan, Jagr and Parenteau. The french media will probably push for Parenteau, but i’m not sure he would be a good fit on the Montreal roster. I’d take Doan and Jagr before him.

    After that, we look at reclamation projects:
    – Kristian Huselius (LW), who’s been a consistent 55-65pts winger before battling injuries over the last two seasons;
    – Wojtek Wolski (LW/RW), Peter Mueller (LW/RW), and Guillaume Latendresse (LW) are three young wingers with size, who proved they could score in the past, but with a lot of questions marks attached to their health or attitude. Right now, these three guys are listening to the same tune on their iPhone : Abba – “Take a chance on me”.

    Among other notable wingers who could possibly play 2nd line minutes :
    – Semin: we don’t need another Kostitsyn;
    – Hudler: 5’9″, too small;
    – Smyth: 3rd line player at this point in his career;
    – Kostitsyn: hahaha, i would laugh for 3 days if Bergevin signed him.

    Personnally, i’d go with Jagr and Mueller. Doan will probably sign with a team like the Red Wings or Flyers. The fans would love to finally see Plekanec with Jagr, and Mueller, if he manages to stay healthy, probably has the most upside among the three young reclamation projects, and still is only 24, 6-2 204. I’d take a chance, if he finds his game again we could have a player for 8-10 years, and a kid like that could emerge under the tutelage of Jagr.

    Line 3 : 27 – 81 – 21

    Bourque was horrible last year after coming from Calgary, and i feel like he might become Therrien’s whipping boy this year. Eller hasn’t shown enough consistency to move up to the 2nd line. And Gionta, well, i’d trade him, but we’re stuck with his 5M salary. 2 more years, sigh. At least, if Bourque and Eller are somewhat motivated, he’ll play with two big bodies, just like Desharnais on the first line. All 3 can possibly move to the 2nd line in case of injury, and this is important as most candidates to be signed to play with Plekanec are injury risks.

    Line 4 : LW – C – 53 + Extra : 71 – 57

    It might be hard to find talent for a second line among this year’s free agent crop, however there are lots of options for the 4th line. What we lack in the first 3 lines can be filled with some specialists on the 4th line : 1) talent on faceoffs, 2) aggression.

    Last year, Desharnais, Plekanec and Eller were respectively 49.4%, 49.1% and 46.6% on faceoffs. The team leader was Nokelainen at 53.4, and he’s gone. As a team, Montreal was 6th worst in the league at 48.3%. It’s harder to score when you don’t get to touch the puck.

    At center, the three options i would consider are the following :
    – Gaustad;
    – Konopka;
    – Moore.

    They can win faceoffs, and the first two can add a physical element. Konopka was at 58.9% on faceoffs last year, Gaustad was 57.3%, Moore 55%. There seems to be a lot of demand for Gaustad, but if there is one 4th line center worth 2.5M a year in this league, he’s probably that guy. Bergevin should send a 7th round pick to Nashville for his rights and try to sign him.

    At left wing, i would go with another big guy who can either be physical, or play on the PK, and could potentially score 10 goals even with fourth-line ice time.
    My candidates at LW :
    – Taylor Pyatt : 6’4″, 24pts, 130 hits a year over the last 3 seasons.
    – Eric Fehr : Had a really tough year in Winnipeg injury-wise. However, the guy is 6’4″ 212, had 39 pts two years ago, and is still only 26.
    – Brad Winchester : 6’5″ 228, had 13 and 10 goal seasons in the last 4 years.
    – Mike Knuble : 6’3″, 230, good veteran to have on a team, slowed down a bit last year after 8 season of 21 to 30 goals.
    – Brandon Prust : 5’11”, 195. We’ll, his girlfriend comes from Montreal, she’s hot, and besides that he still managed to get 17 pts this year, and 29 pts last year while playing on the 3rd/4th line in NY

    I’d avoid Tootoo even though he might have many fans. There’s already enough drama around this team.

    oh, did i forget to put Gomez somewhere ?

    No, i didn’t.

    The other two notable players i didn’t include in my list are Arnott and Langenbrunner, who played a nice role in St.Louis last year and are still unsigned.


    1. Subban
    2. Gorges
    4. Emelin
    5. Markov
    6. Kaberle
    7. St-Denis
    8. Diaz
    9. Weber

    Lots of choice, but Markov is still a question mark, as he seemed quite slow after coming back last year. I’m not sure if he was any better than Kaberle honestly, and i’ll admit i really don’t like Kaberle. I think another solid veteran is needed to play on the top 4 if this team wants to compete for the playoffs.

    Based on the fact that either Beaulieu or Tinordi might be ready in a year, i’d go with someone we can sign for only one year : Adrian Aucoin, who’s 38, or Filip Kuba, who’s 36. These guys are old, yet played over 17 minutes a game last year, and finished at +14 and +26 respectively.

    Although Bergevin would be dumb to pass on a chance to sign either Ryan Suter, Matt Carle or Justin Schultz, i don’t think they’d sign in Montreal.

    So ya, i’d just go for a 1-year solution on defense, and try to get picks or forward prospects for Diaz and Weber.

    1. Price
    2. Budaj

    As i mentionned in my opening lines, i’d keep Budaj since he’s already signed. I think he did an ok job last year.
    I would only dump him if Martin Brodeur is interested to play his last season in the league with Montreal, as a mentor to Carey.
    But i think that’s only a dream of mine !

    “You can fool some people sometimes. But you can’t fool all the people all the times.”
    – Bob Marley

    • boing007 says:

      – Wojtek Wolski (LW/RW), Peter Mueller (LW/RW), and Guillaume Latendresse (LW) … Right now, these three guys are listening to the same tune on their iPhone : Abba – β€œTake a chance on me”.

      Actually, they’re sending out this song to all the GMs across the league at this very moment.

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

  13. Clay says:

    I loved what Darche brought to this team. Work ethic second to none, and never quit on a play.

    With that said, I have long hoped for a team that was too good skills-wise to have a player like Darche. I hope this is the beginning of that team.

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

  14. ooder says:

    oh well.. good hard working guy that is pretty replacable.. and now the whole hard work mantra doesn’t have to come from the 4th line, but with this new cast will actually come from management and propagate itself downwards
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …is this the final players’ negotiating committee ? …I notice some teams not represented, and others, including the Canadiens have 2
    …ironically, Campoli and Darche, both of Whom likely (assuredly ?) will not be Habs in September/October

    • HabFab says:

      Christopher, Gomez was one of the 53 NHLPA members that was wilted down to this 31 member committee. My perverse side was hoping, strictly for the irony of it, that he make it. But alas….

      • nunacanadien says:

        That’s the thing, in those teams that have been bought out by a management committee like the habs were by the American Coors beer company, under Gilette also, we saw the signings of mediocre, washed up veterans with an injury who can’t be signed to the bigger teams, and most of all by the very public acknowledgement that Gomez’s executive corporate staff, which NHL player has an executive corporate staff??? talking with Gainey and his corporate staff……hmm…..makes you wonder if Gomez is that connected to the hockey corporate ownership world, he’d sell out his friends on the bargaining unit. So Marc Bergevin, if this is the new Habs then why do we still have a hangover of the Committee To Ruin The Habs hanger on like Gomez?

  16. So long as we’re playing this game, this isn’t too bad while we wait for the kids to come on up next year…



    • Richrebellion says:

      Why get Moore, Prust and winnik when you have solid young guys who can fill those 4th line roles? I’d see what Leblanc, Geoffrion and Palushaj can do before going out and getting those guys. Id also rather Doan or Samuelsson for that 2nd line. Since both are RW I’d make my lines something like this:

      Pacioretty- D.D- Doan/Samuelsson
      Cole- Pleks- Gio

      As for 2 I couldn’t agree more!

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