Diaz gracious winner of very unofficial Swiss scoring award

raphael-diaz-bell

With good humour, Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz accepts his trophy Tuesday at the Bell Sports Complex.
Stubbs photo

Column: Diaz more skilled, confident heading into sophomore season

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

It began as a gag, of course.

But on Tuesday in the Canadiens’ Brossard dressing room, defenceman Raphael Diaz graciously and good-naturedly accepted a modest trophy for his achievements in Switzerland during the NHL’s four-month lockout.

It was hardly the Art Ross Trophy for the NHL’s leading point-scorer, or the Maurice Richard Trophy for the man who scores the most goals.

Rather, it was billed, as it was born on Twitter, as the #Habs D In Switzerland Scoring Race (for points, in fact, not goals), and if Diaz knew there was a trophy of sorts coming, he might not have come into the dressing room on Tuesday after training-camp practice.

When Diaz and fellow Habs rearguard Yannick Weber headed to their native Switzerland a week after the NHL declared the lockout, a scoring race was underway.

Neither player knew it. But I recognized a good duel when I saw one, advertising it as such on Twitter after the friends had played just one game each in their Swiss A League adventure.

Diaz returned during the lockout to EV Zug, the team whose system had nurtured him since he was a boy, the club from which he came in the fall of 2011 to begin his NHL career.

Weber, meanwhile, signed with Genève-Servette, up the road from where he had practised during the summer in Bern, aware that it was in his best interests to play some quality hockey during an NHL work stoppage.

Both played their first Swiss League games on Sept. 22. Diaz held without a point while registering four shots on goal in a 6-3 victory; Weber scored on a power-play slapper, took a penalty and recorded six shots in a 2-1 win.

(Centreman David Desharnais, a later arrival in the Swiss League with the Fribourg squad, was not eligible for the award by virtue of his position.)

“No, no, there’s no competition,” Diaz said with a laugh when we spoke a day later. “I’m happy for Yannick for every goal he scores. It’s good for everybody. We want to prepare for Montreal, for when the season starts.”

I didn’t have the heart to mention the race to Weber when we spoke for a column in mid-December, Diaz by then comfortably in front and both players to suit up just a couple more times before the holidays, the lockout’s resolution and their return to Montreal.

In the end, Diaz would play 32 games for Zug, scoring seven times, assisting 22 times for 29 points with 12 penalty minutes, a terrific plus-19 and 71 shots on goal.

Weber played 32 games as well, scoring five times with 16 assists for 21 points, with a healthy 40 penalty minutes, a minus-1 rating and 106 shots on goal.

Diaz enjoyed a three-assist game on Oct. 13 and even had a nine-game point streak going that month.

Weber had a two-goal game on Oct. 2 and a two-assist effort on Oct. 30. He lost his mind, at least in the eyes of the officials, in his other most-noteworthy game, drawing eight penalty minutes in his second match.

There had to be an award for the winner of this low-key race, and a Swiss Army knife seemed too cliché.

Much more cliché than the fancy brass Swiss cowbell I found at a shopping centre antique sale a few months ago, a frilly leather strap and small brass depictions attached of a hiker and his dog, and a cow.

The $45 price tag was reduced to $40 when the bewildered merchant – “Seriously, that’s what it’s for?” he said – was told where his bell ultimately was headed.

Then, as Diaz flew back to Montreal, I visited Trophées Pointe Claire in the Valois village and explained the story to shop proprietor Mario Dupras.

Dupras didn’t even blink. For 10 bucks, he engraved the plaque you read in the photo below, illustrating these words, and cemented it to the strap.

And then poor, earnest, unaware Diaz walked into the Canadiens dressing room early Tuesday afternoon for a chat with journalists, after which I sprung the $50 bell and the story on him.

To his credit, the affable 27-year-old seemed genuinely pleased, almost touched, by the award. He insisted it would be displayed in the trophy room his parents have back home in Switzerland, though I considered checking garbage cans in the arena before I left for the day.

“But I hope I never win it again,” Diaz said with a laugh.

I was insulted for a moment, until I realized he meant that he hopes his Swiss A League days are behind him and that he’ll never again be locked out by the NHL.

That, or he was deep down truly appalled at his cowbell award (though it is one of a kind), for which I furnished a bag so he could take it away without notice, having stuffed the bell with a paper towel to silence the clapper.

Below: the plaque on the Raphael Diaz’s scoring championship “trophy,” a Swiss cowbell bought for $40 at a shopping-mall antique sale.
Stubbs photos

641 Comments

  1. Desi says:

    The Subban dance is sickening — not because each side is trying to get what it wants. That’s to be expected. But the time it is taking is just plain stupid. The Habs want X, Subban wants Z. The compromise is pretty obviously something like Y. So why does it take months, weeks, days — even hours — to work that out? The answer is that one or both parties prefer to play chicken at the expense of the team. This pisseth Desi off and eats into further into the respect that I have for Bergevin and Subban. If both sides would put the emphasis on working this out that it deserves, it could be decided in two hours. Shame on both parties for this dance of idiocy they are choosing.

  2. Mothstoflame says:

    As per http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/47635/teemu-selanne-plus-nine-other-dudes-to-watch-this-nhl-season

    I liked his PK piece

    P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens

    The Canadiens star is one of the league’s most exciting young players and almost absurdly charismatic off the ice. And off the ice is where he’ll be spending the start of the season, since he’s still an unsigned, restricted free agent.

    Reports indicate the two sides are far apart. Yes, after a lengthy work stoppage that almost cost the league a season, Subban is actually sitting at home pouting about money. His outrageous demands are not only selfish, but they’re unbecoming of a player presented with the rare privilege of suiting up for the league’s most-storied franchise. The Canadiens should make an example of him, while also sending a message to the rest of the league that some principles are more important than the almighty dollar.

    Did that sound convincing? I really hope it sounded convincing, because I desperately want the Canadiens and their fans to screw this up and run Subban out of town. He’s really, really good, and it’s fun when teams that take themselves too seriously make terrible decisions to prove a point. I can’t wait until somebody offer-sheets him.

      • Rightwing says:

        PK would screw up the team in order to put himself front and center. The players don’t respect him and shouldn’t.

        It’s too bad he doesnt have the personality of his goalie brother, but it’s the case.

        Time to unload him for some unselfish player(s) while he’s at an all time high value in the eyes of other teams.

  3. RetroMikey says:

    It’s all about money for Subban and not wearing the CH with pride. The kid is fooling you if he wants to be in Montreal for years.
    The kid is only in his third year with our team and his agent Meehan wants big dough, which I am sure PK has no argument with what Meehan says.
    I say we go 10 games into the seaaon and see what our D can do without Sub Daddy. Not that we have a great D but Bergevin will cave in unfortunaltely sign the guy to a ridiculous contract.
    Besides, we have Weber who is a PP specialist, right people? This was the player I said was overrated and we should trade him when we had a chance, but many disagreed here.
    Now everybody has forgotten about Weber on this site and solely concentrating as Subban to be our PP specialist on D.
    Just shaking my head many times what goes on in some of these fans’ heads when they jump on the bandwagon on the “Habs’ celebrity” for this season in PK.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • Mats Naslund says:

      You can’t be serious.

    • The Jackal says:

      Sigh….

      Every team is hoping the Habs DON’T get a deal done so they can pick PK up somehow… that alone speaks to his skill level at this age alone.

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • Timo says:

      Seriously, that whole “wear the uniform with pride” is for kids. No one does that anymore. NHL is a business and the uniform I’d wear with pride is the one that’d pay me more than others. There is nothing more, nothing less to it.

      • RetroMikey says:

        Sad if the players don’t “wear the uniform with pride” as you say which I agree.
        The Rocket and other deceased Habs are shaking in the ground in disgrace with today’s “Cafe Latte” generation of players.

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  4. Say Ash says:

    OK. Lori Graham or Valerie Sardin?

  5. 123456 says:

    Is is just me, or does almost every single contract seem like it is too high? I’m not here to call our certain players (habs or not) but dang the one signed today is redic… just like most others.

  6. Stevie.Ray says:

    All I ever hear about PK is that he has a bad attitude, but can anyone point to a specific example?

    Mike Richards called him cocky, and that he needs to show respect, but it was Mike Richards that was trying to pick a fight with our smallest player (who is also one of the most respected players in the league), when PK stepped in to stand up for our captain only to be taken down by a face wash from behind. If you ask me then Richards should get off his fatass and earn some respect.

    Is there any other concrete examples?

    • Timo says:

      He just doesn’t do it the white way.

    • krob1000 says:

      http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2011/02/08/17202236.html

      This is the Hal Gil incident..not too sure I care too much but Gill is a respected vet….and was his teammate…we all know what other players and personalities have said, Richards, Cherry,etc

      http://montrealhockeytalk.com/blogs/martin-sets-the-record-straight-on-subban/
      JM says PK is seflish..
      Opponents obviously hate him but I see that as a positive..the question is if the coach and a guy like Hal Gill who were on his side also had issues…is there a divide in the room? probably all overblown but the smoke is there for sure….could be said about a ton of players likely but it s not a totally fabricated notion. Then you have to factor in the environment Pk entered as a pro….the team had several issues and was a split of vets and kids who abviously see things very differently.

      For the record I am a Subban fan and have a signed jersey of his…but this reputation is out there

      • 123456 says:

        totally agree – and i think you should send that signed jersey of his to me . . .

        • krob1000 says:

          It is my older boys…the ironic thing is he is a Crosby fan but likes the Habs…my youngest likes PK, the Habs and for whatever reason likes to pretend he is Malkin

      • ZepFan2 says:

        The requested document could not be found

        Linky no worky.

        ———————————————————————-
        Ka is a wheel.

        “Bring it back home to me baby”

        Bring it on Home

      • Stevie.Ray says:

        The first link didn’t work but if it’s about the “report” that Gill got mad at Subban for throwing his jersey on the floor, then that was debunked by another reporter that was in the room who said his jersey fell on the floor and Gill sarcastically chastised him as a joke, to which PK picked up his jersey.

        And I remember JM speaking and that was blown way out of proportion. He said PK had a lot of growing up to do because he was young, not because he was actively going out and being immature. He was a young player learning how to be a pro, like all players are at some point.

  7. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    PK has consistently said that he is leaving the negoatiations to his agent. Meehan sees that PK was the cornerstone of the defense last year – top pairing, top minutes – and is looking for compensation for that kind of player. MB likely takes the view that PK was in that situation only out of necessity – we had no one else. Meehan probably sees this to some extent as well, but as a good agent is trying to get his client max dollars. In essence, MB is saying “Prove yourself” and Meehan is saying “Already did”. It’s a staring contest at this point. They’ll find a happy medium (or maybe unhappy) soon. I would doubt that PK is driving this situation as much as Meehan is. Kind of like Fehr and the NHLPA – “Hold out a little longer and you’ll get a better deal”.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I would tend to agree with you on this.
      Nobody can be sure, really, but I think that’s a pretty good call.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        Of course, when he gets traded I’ll change my theory…

        • nunacanadien says:

          Since when have the habs ever traded anyone for anything lately? No they’ll let Subban sit all season without the benefit of offering anything and someone will offer him more. Molson’s cheap nickle and dime the team to death modus operandai sadly. We’ll see Subban walk away for nothing and while we could have traded him for someone we really need, we’ll watch as Molson finds a smaller version of DeSantis to replace Subban, as if you could find any defenseman smaller than Desharnais anywhere……mabye the NHLPA daycare nursery perhaps?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Agreed

    • Cal says:

      Another of Meehan’s clients is Redden. Overpaying is nuts. PK should be in camp. Sitting at home is doing him (and us) no good.

  8. krob1000 says:

    hmmm…wonder if this Zajac signing will speed things up…obviously our last 4 months as hockey fans was just wasted when a 2nd line center gets $5.75 at a max contract from a team that can’t fill it’s building and is an always endangered market despite being one of the most successful franchises around.

  9. Timo says:

    Man, I am bored. Anyone has any good Lori Graham links to share?

  10. shiram says:

    Travis Zajac re-sgins in New Jersey : 8 years at an average of 5.75 millions.

  11. For the last several months of negotiations, the teams have made it abundantly clear to the players that they see hockey simply as a business. In that light, and with the teams and a very profitable league doing all they can to throttle players’ salaries, it’s hard to fault a player like Subban for responding in kind and working to extract every penny he can, just as the teams have done.

    We reasonably expect the guys who wear our colours to show loyalty to the team. But he’s not wearing our colours right now, because without a contract he isn’t a Hab at the moment. If he can get a ridiculous $10M per year, that’ll be awful for the team, but fantastic for him — should he say no? Would you? I know I wouldn’t.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  12. The Jackal says:

    This whole PK contract drama is just a desire to make headlines, it’s pure media speculation.

    Don’t believe anyone who tells you that PK’s future with the team is in danger or that the talks are having a negative impact on his view of the Habs, or that he is a selfish guy.

    You can bet your house that PK is in the long-term plans of the team. MB knows that, and his agent knows that. They just want a good deal for both parties, and that may take time in getting a good compromise. Both know the importance of the contract, and it will get done sooner than later.

    As Tom Nickel, now Loonie, said earlier, I think they should give PK a long-term deal that buys some of his UFA years, instead of a short deal that sets him up for a raise in 2 years – what is the point of that? Another poster here said that second contracts are an issue the NHL did not address – I agree, young stars coming out of their ELC have a lot of leverage, specially when they know they are a key part of their team’s future and thus not expendable. By failing to address this issue we have a situation in which young stars can make demands in only their second pro contract, even before they are UFA. This is not PK’s fault, and every player in this situation is definitely going to take advantage of it and secure their future. As someone else too, he plays the most minutes per game, he is more exposed than other players, and he plays a physical game. A long-term deal is good insurance policy should anything (god forbid) happen. So you understand the PK camp is standing firm – it not only makes sense, but its probably the safest thing to do.

    Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      I agree 100% I’d hate to see PK be a UFA after two years sign him long term now it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll get even better in the years to come.

    • 44har48 says:

      I here you, regardless of what I spew on here, he will be a Hab for a long time, and in the end, I will be very happy about it.

      The challenge, and you make it sound so simple, is that we can’t seem to agree on here how much leverege he actually has or doesn’t and/or how much he is worth – and our GM and PK’s camp can’t either or a deal would be done already.

  13. krob1000 says:

    Not saying it would come to this but ….if Philly signed PK to an offer sheet….would you match at over 5 million? take the 1st and 3rd pick that would be compensation? or try to work out a deal for Couturier?

  14. Mattyleg says:

    Just watched this delightful Frankie Bouillon moment again. Delightful.

    And this one made me realize I’d miss AK more than a bit…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Strummer says:

      That was a dynamite line last year Moen, Eller, AK- until injuries scuttled it.

      While we’re on nostalgia- AK, Kovy and Pleks- best line in years.

      I also remember Kovy that same year smacking sideshow Tucker much like Frankie B did

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        Best line indeed. Man, what panache…

        And that Kovy bit was one of my favourite moments as a Habs fan. Dodges the elbow of Tucker, gets the puck, stickhandles around the Leafs, feeds the puck into Tucker’s feet and effing levels him.

        …I think I’ve got something in my eye… (*sniff*)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      God dam do I ever hate Tucker

    • Chuck says:

      One punch Tucker… thanks for coming out.

      I was at the game where Kovy decked Tucker. Habs were running roughshod over the Leafs (again), and I don’ t know if I’ve been in a louder arena than when he steamrolled Marcy.

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  15. Strummer says:

    I don’t know if it’s been discussed here but Kovalev is practicing with the Panthers.

    I still miss the Artiste.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/fl-florida-panthers-training-camp-0116-20130115,0,2971460.story
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    The PK situation is proof why being GM/Coach or star player in Montreal is extremely more difficult than any other market in the NHL.

    No way in He$L this same type of panic, people on ledges is happening in Dallas right now.

  17. Timo says:

    So did Carbo’s truth ever come out?

  18. ed lopaz says:

    if you want to understand the rhyme and reason here, please do the following math:

    1) last year, Michel Therrien, prior to and AFTER being named head coach, appears on Antichambre and makes several statements that are clearly not flattering to one PK Subban. I reported at that time that the new coach was a not a big Subban fan.

    2) last night, one Gaston Therrien (brother of the coach) asks the following rhetorical question on Antichambre: “do we want PK coming into the dressing room and acting like he is the King? ”

    1) + 2) = no long term contract

    • mdp2011 says:

      FYI…Gaston Therrien is not the brother of the coach, no relation. Also, wouldn’t put too much stock in what Gaston Therrien says.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I had heard they were brothers, but if not, I stand corrected.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Same last name…must be brothers.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I know your just kidding, but I think Ed makes enough good posts here that he gets a mulligan, or at least in my books he does.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            You were right….kidding.
            Sounded funnier in my head.

            Go Habs Go!!

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

          • frontenac1 says:

            Bluet and Le Tigre like PK. What more do you need?

          • ed lopaz says:

            the issue arose because PK stepped into the room at 20 years old and immediately outshone everyone, skill wise, on defence – when Markov was not on the ice.

            some veterans could not accept the fact that he was stepping right over them and taking their ice time.

            Therrien, the coach, said on Antichambre last year that PK needed to be knocked down a few notches, that he needed to understand his place in the room, and that the coach needed to make this statement loud and clear to him.

            I stand by my post.

            Michel Therrien made it clear last year that he was not a big fan of Subban’s and his unrelated namesake, (thank you for the correction) Gaston Therrien was repeating the same sentiment last night.

            A sentiment that Mario Tremblay agreed with.

            Thanks to Burly above. I appreciate your support.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I find it hard to believe that an intelligent guy like Bergevin would take Therrien seriously if he suggested PK is not a good fit for the Habs.
      Therrien would be looking for a job pretty quick putting down our best player.
      If not, they both might be looking sooner than anticipated.

      Oh ya, and as stated…NOT his brother.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Timo says:

      So basically Mario Trembley – Patrick Roy v2.0

    • K-hab25 says:

      Or PK is an RFA just off of his ELC and the Habs are being smart by not paying more than they have too. You have your theory and have mine.

    • Gerry H says:

      I don’t think Gaston and Mike are related.

    • donmarco says:

      This is Bergevin’s team, not Therrien. Don’t think his opinion carries weight here at all.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      This Gaston Therrien?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9om4MGINeM

      He’s an idiot.

    • The Jackal says:

      I wouldn’t read too much into what is speak on LA.
      I think the hold up is, obviously, a difference in what PK wants and what MB wants to give – I don’t think it is a product of the new coach’s views of PK, as I’m sure PK is in the long-term plans of this team. They will come to an agreement, the hoopla around the talks are just media fodder.

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • Mats Naslund says:

      Marc Beregvin is the GM handling the negotiations. Not the coach.

      PK Subban averaged the 19th highest TOI/Game last season in the entire NHL. Anyone who doesn’t see that PK is the best defender on the team and deserves to be paid as such isn’t paying attention to what he would be worth to other teams in the league. He’s a top defender – and anyone who thinks he is a problem needs to snap back into reality.

    • Mothstoflame says:

      Dave Stubbs ‏@Dave_Stubbs

      No relation “@LabsofSteel: @Dave_Stubbs.Question for you Dave. Is Gaston Therrien Michel’s brother ?”

  19. Les-Habitants says:

    Nice article recaping today’s training day on TSN:
    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413619

    One question: why is Cube on the 2nd unit PP? I always liked him, and he has underrated passing ability, but is he more deserving of a spot than a pure Weber-Diaz combo?
    Does anyone know if he played any PP minutes while he was in Nashville?

  20. twilighthours says:

    Bwoar, you made a list of interesting items. But none of them “have the potential to impact the Habs at least as much, or more, than PK Subban this year.” If PK is a Hab, he gets the most ice-time on the team, no question. Add to that the fact that he is their best player…. my conclusion is that he is the most impactful player.

    I’m not sure if impactful is a word and googling it is too much effort.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    I do like the fact that the numbers being talked about between Habs and PK’s agent are being kept quiet.

    Never cared for a Mgmt. team that negotiated through the media.

    • Loonie says:

      You mean like the Bruins and Leafs?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Habs have always been pretty discreet about that sort of shnizz.
      Which is pretty cool, I think.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        @Loonie, exactly
        @Matty, yah they have been, of course with PG no one knew but him.

        Can you imagine if all the exact numbers were leaked, there could be some real hate created by media through fans.

        At least now it is just frustration. Also it is a credit to Don Meehan as he is a professional.

  22. Loonie says:

    Anyone have any idea what they could give Subban for a signing bonus on a one year $4.5-$5 million deal?

    Just curious if a bunch of cash up front is possible it would at least be a compromise.

    • 44har48 says:

      Here we go Tom, (I think this is you) we are scrapping again! PK can go workout somewhere, we are ready to play Saturday night without him. No sweatening the deal here, he has no leverege and is not even close to as talented and mature as he thinks he is. This entire process has been very telling to me.

      I’m ready to move on without him, he is just a player, and we have more ready to jump in and take advantage of their opportunities.

      • Loonie says:

        I love that you assume that blame falls at somebody’s feet here. And by that I mean you assume it falls on one person.

        Two people have to agree to a contract. I for one am not going to be upset with Subban and if he isn’t willing to eat a dog’s breakfast. If it turns out he’s turning down fair deals and we find out about it, I’ll probably change my tune. But until then, I’m not going to badmouth a guy about a negotiation I’m not privy to.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Umm.. “he is just a player…” The team is composed of players. We need good ones. He is a good one.

        Why are you suggesting that the blame is solely on PK for this impasse? Who’s to say that MB isn’t low-balling him like crazy? Who’s to say that he isn’t saying “You have no leverage and you’re not even close to as talented and mature as you think you are,” and offering him something appallingly low?

        You can be ready to move on without him, but fans of this team should not be.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • 44har48 says:

          Just my opinion Matty, I do realize it is not that popluar on here. There will come a day that the tables will be turned and PK, with his increased maturity level and demonstrated talent, will have all the leverege. Right now, he doesn’t have it, and our GM knows it. Feels good to me.

          • Loonie says:

            Oh give it a rest. You don’t know him, you don’t anything about these negotiations.

            He isn’t immature, YOU ARE WAY OUTSIDE OF YOUR ELEMENT HERE.

            Speaking as someone who live nearby to him for a long time and someone who has a high number of mutual friends and acquaintances, I can tell you he isn’t the person YOU think he is.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Not denying your right to your opinion, 44.
            I agree that he’s still a spring chicken, but I’m also saying that we shouldn’t be too quick to assign blame, and that there are always two sides in a negotiation.
            Meehan is a seasoned agent, and wouldn’t make demands that he didn’t think the Habs would take, so perhaps Bergevin is the one who is more entrenched.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • 44har48 says:

            I can respect that you know him personally and you are a fan of PK. You are right, I don’t know PK the person, but I certainly see what everyone else sees on the ice and how you can say he is not immature on the ice, and maybe he should be at 23, you are crazy.

            Another thing, I’m noticing you really don’t take it well when people have a difference of opinion with you. Are you used to always getting your way?

          • Loonie says:

            I’m fine with people who have differing opinions. I don’t appreciate when people falsely label others. You’re calling Subban immature and you couldn’t be further from the truth.

            When his junior teammates were going out to bars all hours of the night, he was at home. When they were getting into trouble, he was working on his game.

            And nothing’s changed. You don’t know him and have no right to call him immature.

        • twilighthours says:

          I believe it was commandant who wrote “the minute you trade Subban is the minute you start looking for a replacement for Subban.”

  23. ZepFan2 says:

    “I am not a Toronto fan, but Gomez could be a very valuable leader on that team. He needs to be brought in for his ability to help a young team that needs veteran experience. If he returns to even half his point output from before, bonus. He is a savvy guy who knows hockey and knows the huge contract years are behind him. I suspect he wants to play, and I suspect he would love the chance to play any role offered to him. Money isn’t a huge issue for him, he’s not a third year guy or anything”

    Wow, talk about deja-vu.

    ———————————————————————-
    Ka is a wheel.

    “Bring it back home to me baby”

    Bring it on Home

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Can these PK negotiations go to arbitration?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. von says:

    I’m a fan of P.K.’s but I must say I’m pretty disheartened by this whole thing. I never would have thought it’d come to this… days away from the season starting and it’s looking more and more like he won’t be in the lineup.

    He’s played two seasons with the Habs, three as a pro, and now he’s holding out for what he thinks he deserves.

    Like the lockout, fairness doesn’t exist in this world. It’s all or nothing.
    _________________________________

    “Obviously it would be great, but they don’t really hang conference titles in this rink. They raise Stanley Cup banners.” – Carey Price

  26. jols101 says:

    Enough about PK, just get it done. 8 years 40 million.
    Years 1 and 2- 4 million
    Years 3 to 6 – 5 million
    Years 7 to 8 – 6 million

    Just do it. We won’t have to talk about PK and a new contract for a long long time. I would love that.

  27. Luke says:

    Once he passes waivers, I think Montreal should make a 1-yr offer (1mil? 1.5mil?) to Wade Redden. They should at least inquire. Perhaps he can fill in as depth while PK is unsigned.

    I understand Marc has Wade’s agent Meehan’s phone number…

  28. TheDagger says:

    I kind of want Commodore to make the squad, hulking lad. Even if just for the glorious beard he can grow.

    Wait…. he looks like Youppi!

  29. BJ says:

    Mckenzie on TSN re. PK: “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being a done deal, MB & Meehan are not even at a 5.

  30. ed lopaz says:

    at this point if I was Bergevin I would make a 1 year offer of 4-4.5 million.

    if I was Subban I would take the 1 year and move on.

    at least if that deal was done, both sides could save face and Subban might still want to sign long term with the Habs one day in the future.

    If this carries through past Saturday, the bad blood will be boiling on both sides and that’s not good for anyone.

    • Andy and the habs says:

      When the same person says “if i were Bergevin[...]” and “if I were Subban[...]” of course it gonna sound good and simple. But if we are talking about 2 people + then it’s more complicated.

      • Loonie says:

        Your last point is very true but in terms of a shortened season and the angles from both sides that deal makes sense. Though Subban may not want to play on a one year deal with the risk of injury significantly hurting his career.

  31. B says:

    Cole quotes in today’s Gazette:

    “Obviously, if I’m going to play this is where I want to play”

    “It’s just after the season we had last year and then being injured all summer and then having the lockout, it just kind of took my heart out of it a little bit”

    I still don’t like reading things like:
    “if I’m going to play”
    “kind of took my heart out of it a little bit”

    I hope the switch on his heart stays fully in the on position this season.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • bwoar says:

      As long as the cheques come in his heart will be fine.

      “thoroughbred”

      • The Jackal says:

        Nay horsey, nay!

        It’s hard to understand that a tough year can be taxing? I think every human can understand that. Stop being so offended by what a good player on our team has to say.

        Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

      • frontenac1 says:

        I could give a Sh#t what he says. It”s what he does on the ice that counts. Who gave more every shift last year? He is a character guy. I liked the fact he flew Leblanc”s parents down to California last year to watch their son”s first NHL game. He will have another Big season this year and nobody will remember him saying bad things about Buttman or Hamer. Wish we had more guys like him.

    • Luke says:

      I saw that interview (well the snippit) and the way I thought he meant it all was that:
      after the Lockout he was all cranky and disillusioned with the business of the sport and it didn’t seem fun anymore, but now that he’s back with the guys and just playing hockey, he’s happy again.

      • B says:

        I get that, but if he has to comment on it, then I would just rather hear something like “there is no place I would rather be” (no ifs about it) instead of “if I am going to play then…” (which sounds a bit wishy washy to me).

        Of course I am hoping for a repeat of last season’s attitude on the ice. I suppose I just find something lacking in the way he expresses himself lately (not that I am so great in that department either :)

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • donmarco says:

      If he’s guilty of anything it’s that he speaks his mind no matter what’s on his mind. I think he deserves some slack after being locked out only to see a deal that he may not see as favourable. Liked him before. Like him now.

  32. bwoar says:

    If I’m Bergevin I’d be making my final offer tomorrow. Frankly, the team isn’t going to blow anyone out of the water WITH Subban in the lineup. Playing without him will be a bit of a downgrade but not the horror some would make of it.

    At this point, for the good of the guys on the ice, preparing, learning the system, etc. I think it’s only fair to assume PK/Meehan are holding out until MB blinks. It is their prerogative to do what they think is best for PK Subban. I kinda doubt Bergevin blinks, though.

    Time to move on. The season is about to begin, some really exciting first steps are gonna be taken by our #3 pick from last year, and a new coach is in town. When PK Subban decides he wants to play hockey, the ball’s in his court. There’s a lot more going on with this team, and more interesting storylines, than Gomez being bought out and Subban wanting a large contract.

    1) Galchenyuk. Period.
    2) Diaz – I expected him to surprise this year, and without whats-his-name will get a better shot at doing so.
    3) Markov & Kaberle, what’s in the tank? Potential to actually dominate, or fall totally flat.
    4) Eller taking the next step.
    5) Desharnais: was last year a blip or is he the real deal?

    Any of those 5 topics have the potential to impact the Habs at least as much, or more, than PK Subban this year.

    “thoroughbred”

  33. ont fan says:

    I have to agree with HH. Subban is doing his part to ensure a great draft pick. We should celebrate his enthusiasum for the Habs future.

  34. arcosenate says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413671

    I hope we can re-sign Gomer now for less money.

    He’d look good on our 2nd line.

    Where’s Bob Gainey when you need him?

  35. Luke says:

    Gomez on waivers.

    Too bad, I was hoping they wouldn’t just to jerk us (nuna) around.

  36. mdp2011 says:

    No surprise, Gomez placed on waivers today.

  37. mdp2011 says:

    Via Stubbs:

    From @PKSubban1′s agent Don Meehan via text message just now: “Nothing new to report. No progress to report unfortunately.”

  38. Say Ash says:

    Anybody got a list of contracts Don Meehan has previously pieced together? My google fu is not strong today.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Don Meehan is hands down, nobody is close, the #1 ranked agent, in terms of how many NHL players he represents, and the star value of his clients.

    • Luke says:

      Newport (his agency) has over 100 NHLers.
      Habs: (Yah, familiarity…)
      Prust, Boullion, Armstrong & Commodore, Markov, Moen, PK
      Ex Habs (…Breeds contempt)
      Riberio, Thoedore, Lapierre, The Kostitsyns…
      (Interesting…):
      Ryan O’Reilly, Del Zotto, Doughty, Hamhuis, Phaneuf, E Kane, Iginla, Ottawa’s Karlsson

  39. habstrinifan says:

    Breaking News!!!!!!!!!!

    A certain male person of Jamaican ancestry was just seen running for a flight like a bolt of lightning through TERMINAL #1 at YYZ. And it wasnt Ussain Bolt.

  40. The Dude says:

    OK,listen up Berge,Molson and anyone else leading the Habs in management…. We fans have been through enough with the last 20 years of mediocre play and a strike filled last 10 years! On top of all that ,watching all the bad player trades ,small Hab teams,OVERPAYING THE WRONG HOCKEY PLAYERS and all this so we could hope for player development to come through and give us a PLAYER LIKE PK SUBBAN and now he’s not playing ? F-U and grab a couple and sign the Guy up long term or trade him for Jammie Benn…but stop putz-ING around!

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Just to ensure there is enough fuel on the fire, I give you this.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413662

  42. veryhabby says:

    I am not one who is counting the days to see if habs trade or buyout Kabby. I think he has a place on this team..3rd unit with a sound Dman partner. 2nd wave PP unit. But if Kabby is gone next season, I think Diaz can very easily take his place. I hope Diaz hangs in there and realizes that a spot is there for him down the line with Mark/Kabby both in final 2 yrs of their contracts. No not saying Diaz is a replacement for Markov at all. But just talking spots opening up. There is no room on a team for all of Kabby, Diaz, Weber (and last year Campoli too). But when I look at the player, I have no issue with a Kabby or Diaz on the team.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Never mind Kaberle, look at the pathetic record of Gionta our captain. If there is a side story to Gomez’s pathetic year, add to it the performance of our captain. If there is any player screaming for a buyout contract it’s Gionta.

  43. BJ says:

    Putting PK on the shrinks couch:
    Shrink: How are things? PK: Great! I’m having fun.
    Shrink: Why do you think you need so much attention? PK: Because I’m great and people really like me. The team needs me, the fans need me.
    Shrink: Are you sure? PK: Sure I’m sure why do you ask?
    Shrink: Well I sense a self sabotage. PK: What do you mean?
    Shrink: Normally real self confidence translates into a more low key expression of co-operation and nurturing of your environment. It doesn’t require an over the top attention grab. That will be $150.00 for the session.

  44. Timo says:

    Btw, for those who bored with the whole PK thing (like me), check out Youtube for MMA Candy.

    I discovered it yesterday and this is how I am going to learn martial arts from now on.

  45. Fansincebirth says:

    Is the PK thing a case of an agent over-inflating a young kid’s ego and holding out so he can line his pockets or a case of PK thinking he’s a superstar already?

  46. krob1000 says:

    Also re Subban missing…this gives an opportunity to give top pp minutes to Kaberle and second duties to Weber and Diaz….this can only help in maximizing any value they have as we are not keeping all three long term so one or two will have to go so I guess every cloud has a silver lining.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      If Markov stays healthy and Subban is resigned I think Kabby will be traded at the deadline

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Considering (edit) Markov’s injury history, and his age, both he and Kaberle can be moved at the deadline for draft picks. Markov is a very good defenseman, and one of my favorites on the team, but the team comes first. He could set the Hab’s future up for years to come.

        They Call Me Shane
        “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        http://www.Sholi2000.com
        Custom Sports Figures

        • 24 Cups says:

          Both Kaberle and Markov have another year left on their contracts so it won’t be that easy to move them at the deadline. Teams may not want to carry over 5.75M and 4.25M cap hits for 2014.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            depending on how they play. Kabby could still help a team…Markov if he is 80% of what he was can still help the habs

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • nunacanadien says:

            Why waste the cap space on Markov yet again? Wasting a spot. Time to move on.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          We will see. So many questions this season it will be interesting to see it unfold.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • nunacanadien says:

          All theory, but what is known is that a small habs team in the past with the same lineup as today’s habs lineup, had a really hard time offensively and defensively with the exception of Subban.

          But sadly we are now going to watch as Therrien’s bigotry gets the best of him and we watch the future of the habs go. His comments about Subban when in the Quebec media seemed to hint at this. And of course while some may have been gone last year, what we did not see was increased production from either Cole, Patches or any of the so called saviours and Desharnais while he is fast and wiley, did not show any significant stats other than average compared to other players.

          Injury or no, this roster has at some point in the past played as a team and as a team it came in last. As if Colby Armstrong could pull us out when the rest of the team is too small to put up and stay and fight.

          • Luke says:

            Therrien is a Bigot?

            Pretty bold statement there…

          • krob1000 says:

            same lineup? Gionta hardly played, Markov hardly played, Gomez gone so more quality minutes to Eller,Bourque can;t possibly play as bad as last year so that will offset either of Cole or PAtches not matching last years production, Galchenyuk added to aid on pp and in shootouts, Kaberle in shape, Armstrong and Prust and healthy Ryan White to add some thoughness…also Bouillon. Diaz with a little more experience and Weber too ….. that those are some pretty significant additions all things considered. Should be enough to earn a playoff birth IMO

  47. jedimyrmidon says:

    I like the lineup. With the always-existing condition that they remain somewhat healthy, they should do a lot better this year.

    A 4th line of Prust-White-Armstrong isn’t bad at all – they might actually produce some offense while providing some solid grit. Of course, Armstrong has been injured for the past couple of seasons…

  48. habstrinifan says:

    Your mission should you choose to accept it is to come up with a name for Habs new dynamic line… Bourque/Prust/Armstrong with Cameo appearances by Gallagher.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I thought it was Bourque Eller Moen and Armstrong/White/Prust

      • arcosenate says:

        Too many men on the ice.

      • habstrinifan says:

        LOL! Good one!

      • habstrinifan says:

        Friendly ‘beer’ bet at the summit (are we having a summit) HabinBurlington. Bet you Bourque/Prust/Armstrong becomes a line (I say 3rd line) which Therrien uses like we used to use players like Tremblay Riseborough Bouchard Mondou etc etc.. Oh Gallagher will be the Mondou type..with more grit and less style though but with a heart for the net. For Momentum shifts and pushback.

        • nunacanadien says:

          Keep dreaming, somehow I doubt Bourque’s work ethic would ever get that far, and Prust who signed because of Gomez is not going to give up her future as a player, she’ll become ala Laraques a tough she type player, eating yogurt and saying he’s never wanted to fight…..and Armstrong playing a full game? Since when did Armstrong ever show up. No this will be the Stealth line, added to the biggest stealth player, Gionta-bomber, no where to be seen on radar anywhere near the other net.

    • 123456 says:

      we call that line PAB Street
      or PABST for short
      there you have your hockey and beer together

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I think they’ll keep Bourque at RW, where he’s produced consistently, rather than keep trying him at LW.

      Moen/Prust/Bourque seems more likely, with White/Nokia/Armstrong on the 4th.

      Of course this is all assuming that Eller is given that 2nd line LW position, which could very possibly go to Gallchenyuk.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Bourque producing consistently? Where are the stats to prove this? Not producing consistently ala Gionta more like you mean.

        • nunacanadien says:

          Armstrong who has scored 8 to 9 goals in 50 games on average, and stuck on a line with Bourque who is not exactly that great either, and Prust who is a fighter who only fights other midgets, and who can score when the bribe is right, I doubt Armstrong without stronger wing men could match his career high of 9 goals in 50 games, the more games he plays though Armstrong could score more, but sadly this is a short season. So what did we pay Armstrong to pay 8 goals and we are seeing Molson duke it out with Subban who scored how many goals? Kind of tells you what kind of hockey management is going on in Montreal.

          So Subban who can outscore a forward like Armstrong if he is healthy and also play defense get’s what? $800,000 last year and he probably wants a similar contract to any defenseman who can outscore even the forwards. You know a team is in bad shape when a defenseman can outscore the forwards, unless that defenseman is Bobby Orr. Maybe Subban should sign with Boston….

  49. Psycho29 says:

    For those die-hard fans, TSN-690 will carry the Habs’ inter-squad game live tomorrow night…..

  50. krob1000 says:

    I know we all want PK back..but expect a long holdout..and expect the HAbs to not miss him so much or really be pressured unless Markov or Kaberle goes down. Both Diaz and Weber are capable offesnively, both are right handed and while they will not eat all of PK’s minutes a slimmer Kaberle and more experienced Weber and Diaz along with a healthy Markov and the addition of a stay at home guy in Bouillon make it less urgent than one would think.
    Both Diaz and Weber are NHL calibre dmen, Kaberle and Markov are well above average offensively and if Markov has returned to form defensively that is better than PK.
    I would say even without PK …the Habs still have a very realistic shot of being playoff team….assuming relative health.
    There is still issues on the pp….Markov needs a lefty to feather passes to, as does Kaberle….they are playing together which shouod lead to some incredible puck movement but Markov needs to sneak in and one of them has to be a shooting threat, especially with COle hanging out in front and some sweet hands/creativity in Gally and PLeks also on the ice.
    I am excited about the team the more I think about it.

  51. Timo says:

    Can anyone explain what is the new system that Therrien is putting in place?

  52. Timo says:

    I wonder if perhaps Mike Richards can offer PK a friendly advise on how to be respectful and sign the goddamn contract.

  53. Newf_Habster says:

    I wonder if any teams can sign RFA agents while knowing that they will lose a few draft picks in next three years following the end of lockout.

  54. Sportfan says:

    The way I see it with Subban the longer it takes to sign, the more games he misses, the more his popularity goes.
    The worst part is any loss related to something he could have helped with will make it worse. I feel he is only hurting himself by not getting this deal done.
    Unless this his agents fault?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  55. Kooch7800 says:

    Anyone know the D pairings for practice? I keep seeing the forwards but nothing about D other than the PP units.

    First PP is Kabby and Markov…one question who will shoot or will they just pass it back and fourth LOL

    Second is Weber and Diaz

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  56. Phil C says:

    I really hope MB and Meehan are far apart on the salary issue because it is definitely starting to hurt PK. Doughty really struggled for the first half of the season after missing training camp, so PK will likely also struggle, especially with new coaches and teammates. He has missed an opportunity to become a leader in the room by not being there from the beginning, he will have to join the group like a traded player. The shortened season also makes it easy for MB to just sit him and retain an extra year of RFA status.

    You could also argue that a two year contract, while riskier, could also result in a huge payoff in two years for PK like Weber did. In two years, PK will be one year from UFA status with arbitration rights, so he will have more leverage, especially if he plays well. The Habs will have more cap room, so they will be in a position to open the vault.

  57. Timo says:

    This whole Subban thing feels like the lockout again.

    On the other hand, sun will rise in the east and set in the west whether he signs or not. It’s not like Habs have any chance to take a run at the cup with Therrien anyway. So pfft… I am going to get me a fresh muffin.


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