Diaz gracious winner of very unofficial Swiss scoring award


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

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


  1. HardHabits says:

    This just in. The Subban fiasco is just a ruse to ensure a solid draft pick next draft.

    Welcome to 5 year plan v3.0

  2. Loonie says:

    It’s funny that there’s almost a surprised reaction to where Galchenyuk has fit so far in camp.

    This is a cat you can’t put back in the bag. Who goes to that second line if Galchenyuk doesn’t stick? Bourque? Doubtful considering the chemistry between him and Plekanec is like Oil and Water.

    Eller? Probably not if Therrien wants him centering a versatile third line.

    I’m saying with a very strong degree of certainty that Galchenyuk will NOT be back in Sarnia.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Not sure how you can base anything involving chemistry on last year.? Bourque was playing hurt as well. Last year was a wash for the entire team except the first line.

      I do think Galchenyuk will end up staying though after the camp he’s had so far.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I like the fact Bourque is playing RW this year instead of LW and is healthy. I think the third line could have some offense. Hopefully Bourque and Eller click.

      Gally should be interesting. If he is the shooter he looks to be him and pleks should click well and he also is quite the pass which should help with Gio

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am in complete agreement Tom.

  3. Old Bald Bird says:

    LiW with some thoughts about Gomez, Subban and management.


    • HardHabits says:

      I disagree with their premise. If the Habs had McDonagh it would mean no Kaberle and possibly no Gionta. It would also mean that Markov would also be expendable. Who knows what would have transpired. The only thing we know is this is a new management team and the Habs are rebuilding after the mess left over from the past regime.

  4. Hobie Hansen says:

    Really stinks Subban will not be in the lineup Saturday. I thought we had a decent shot of sneaking into the playoffs but this really hampers things in a big way.

    Ya, ya, ya we’d probably be disposed of quickly if we squeezed in but it’s very exciting hockey and as we saw a few years ago, anything can happen.

    I hope the two side can meet somewhere in the middle quickly or we’ll be done 10 games into the season.

  5. commandant says:

    Max Vasilyev’s Must Watch Games of Opening Day in the NHL.


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

  6. CCL says:

    we’re gonna have to wait till the team is finalized than we’ll have a better idea where we are going with the new coach and the new players. I have a feeling we’ll be a little better than last year not by much. scoring will still be our problem especially if any of our top six go down with injuries. making the playoffs would be a treat. after this year they should out with the old and in with the new. build a Stanley cup winner that have a chance every year.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Let me predict some things. The team which was the same as last year minus a few taller players and the recent acquisition of smaller players than Gomez means the habs are downsizing literally. The future for the habs is that they will again finish in the basement, cause they are all way too small. Since when did a small team in the NHL ever win a cup? Since when do defensemen who are smaller than Gomez stop a big player like well name any regular size NHL forward, cause that is what any regular NHL player is: A giant when they play the habs, never mind having Charra come to town…..

      So a small team that finished last in their division because they were too small defensively and offensively will still finish last because not even the biggest coach, well any coach who is of regular height towers above this mighty smurf of a team, can help them improve.

      I predict next year we’ll be paying Therrien to stay at home like we did to Carboneau. I wonder when Marc Bergevin will be bought out and told to stay at home…..

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    I think it would only be fair that Geoff Molson offer PK 5% of the teams ownership, seems fair to me, he is our #1 defenceman.

    • Mustang says:

      The Habs are valued at something like $900M so 5% would only be $45M. His agent will turn that down for sure. You have to sweeten the deal to something like 5% of the team plus at least $5M per year. A guy’s gotta live, ya know.

  8. GenerationYHabs says:

    This might be a stupid question, but since the lockout ended I havnt heard a single thing about Moen. Is he even participating in the camp or did I miss something in between all the PK, MT, lockout craze?

    • mark-ID says:

      Yea he’s there. Apparently on the third line today with Eller and Bourque.

      “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

    • Luke says:

      This is the treatment a guy like Moen gets in most hockey markets… it’s only in places like Toronto and Montreal that they fret over what colour his water bottle is…

      Don’t get me wrong… i really like Moen… it’s just that when he is a talking point for your team, you either have no issues and its great, or you have big issues and you are ignoring them!!

  9. mdp2011 says:

    For anyone interested, the live stream of Habs practice.


  10. Mustang says:

    If P.K. continues to hold out for a very big contract, what reception do you think he will get from the 21,273 fans that fill the Bell Centre for every game, when he finally signs? Will they cheer every time he touches the puck or will they boo him if he makes a mistake?

  11. commandant says:

    On Subban’s Bridge contract… vs Price and Pacioretty.

    When Price was given his second contract in the summer of 2010, he was coming off a poor season where he had lost his starting job to Jaro Halak in the playoffs. He had much to prove.

    When Pacioretty was given his second contract he had just had his first productive half season in the NHL after being in the AHL at the start of the year. He had 14 goals and 24 points in 37 games. Was injured with a broken neck and severe concussion. And he had a total of 123 NHL games 20 goals 29 assists and 49 points to his name.

    Last season PK was given the most ice time of any defenceman on our team. He played over 24 minutes per game and was matched against every team’s top line. He led the team in scoring by a defenceman. He played top penalty kill and powerplay minutes. He was +9 on a 28th place squad, and was clearly our best defenceman on the year.

    Seems pretty clear to me that his career and situation isn’t the same as those two and I understand why he wants more than a bridge contract.

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

    • Mustang says:

      comm, what do you think would be a fair contract for P.K.? Fair to both the team and to the player. It is obvious that the GM wants a short(er) term contract, possibly in the 3.5 to 4.5M range while Subban’s agent is looking for long term, big bucks. What is fair?

      • commandant says:

        I’d say 2 years 4.26 per (ie, second highest paid D on the team)

        or 6 years at 5.5 – 6 million per

        I’d avoid the 4 year deal.

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

      • Mike D says:

        I would actually suspect the team is more interested in a short-term deal closer to 3mil. Maybe 3.5mil max.

        If they were willing to offer 4.5mil for short term it would be too easy to increase that slightly and get him signed long term.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I’m glad that there are a few peeps on here who recognize the difference between the three players situations.

    • Blondie says:

      Have to agree with that. This is not the contract to be nickle and diming on, lock him up long term and move on.

  12. 69HABS says:


    U R getting on my last nerve …

  13. commandant says:

    Some notes

    We’ve got what looks like opening night today: Here is 1st PP it appears: Galchenyuk Plekanec Cole Kaberle Markov

    Jonathan Bernier ‏@JoBern
    Lest trios: Gionta-Plekanec-Galch, Pacio-Desharnais-Cole, Prust-White-Armstrong, Moen-Eller-Bourque. Gallagher-Dumont en over. #CH #Habs

    It looks like Therrien is giving Galchenyuk every opportunity to make this team.

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

  14. habstrinifan says:

    What number is Gallagher wearing? I need some-one to get a man crush on by Saturday.

  15. habstrinifan says:

    This is all because we made two very bad moves personnel wise.

    We gave Todd Gill one too many bridge contracts
    We didnt give MAB a bridge contract.

    We basically burnt all our good bridges behind us.

    Subban wants the Golden Gate contract and MB only has a Capillano bridge to give.

  16. mark-ID says:

    Pleky back on the ice with teammates. BAM!

    “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

    • RetroMikey says:

      Make it or break it year for the following players: Gionta, Plekanec, Eller to put in strong offensive numbers with the team.
      Personally, I think the defense will be question mark even if they sign the greedy Subban.
      Therrien will not have an easy task with our team and it will be another year of experimenting under a new coaching system for the players to get used to as they have done in the past with Jacques Martin.
      I just don’t want to hear lame excuses here saying we did not make the playoffs because we had to get used to a new coaching system as we have done in the past.
      Anyways can someone explain Therriens’ system here and will it work?

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

      • bwoar says:

        Eller, yes maybe, but vets like Plekanec and Gionta are well past “make or break”. I think this would be a good year to try and move a brace of vets to contending teams (Gionta, Cole, Kaberle, Markov, say) and do a short, honest rebuild – the kind that Gainey shunned when he went and got Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri.

        Plekanec, well, hate to lose him, but if he could be dealt in a nice package, that’d be the real key to a quicker rebuild.

        Our window for contending just isn’t open. But I don’t see that kind of strategy pleasing the brass. (Nor is it likely to be a popular opinion in general, unless I’m misjudging folks.)


      • Luke says:

        “The Greedy Subban”. HAHAHA! Too funny…

        I want you to go to your employer and tell him that you would like to be paid then less then your co-workers, and less then the people who do the same job in the same field.

        Or are you too greedy? Yes. Yes, you are.

        • RetroMikey says:

          I am an prinicipal owner for a large Consulting Engineering firm in the GTA with 5 others.
          I worked hard as a University graduate to an Engineer-in training to Design Engineer to Project Engineer to Associate and to a Principal owner.
          I’ve been blessed and rewarded and paid my dues.
          Don’t tell me that I am greedy, I have always been loyal to my company and to my employees, Actually gave everyone on my “team” at least a 2.5% raise during these hard economic times we are experiencing.
          Subban has not for a guy who is coming into the organization in his 3rd year for Montreal.

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

          • Luke says:

            When you go out to tender, you should tender way below market value or you are being greedy.

          • Luke says:

            PS: In case you couldn’t tell, and since you snapped back, I’m not truly calling you greedy. I’m applying your PK logic to your situation… and naturally I know nothing about your situation. (nor do I care, but if what you say is true: Good for you & well done.)

            You dropped the credentials… well PK can do the same. He’s trained at an elite level for ten years, since his early teens. He’s found a place near the top of his field, and he’s carried more than what was expected of him at a rate lower then many contempories – Liles!!??!!).

  17. geo_habsgo says:

    So not sure if it has been reported before but I learned that Markov will be skating with a knee brace this season. Is that standard practice or does that mean there are still lingering issues with his knee?

    • mark-ID says:

      Not sure, where did you hear this geo??

      “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

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I don’t like posting stuff like this because it is a sketchy source but, alas, I couldn’t resist. My friend met him yesterday at a physio clinic (they have the same therapist) and it was there that my friend saw him working out the knee and was told that he would have to play with a brace. Like I said, probably hard to believe but I’m just reporting what I heard. Take it or leave it I guess. Not sure what it would mean regarding Markov’s skating or his overall play.

        • mark-ID says:

          Ok. Yea I mean who knows. I would be much more reassured knowing he didn’t need a brace, but whatever. Maybe it is a common thing with knee reconstruction surgery.

          “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

    • arcosenate says:

      I would think alot of guys play with braces after surgery, I wouldn’t be surprised if Galchenyuk played with one.

      Preventative at this point.

    • bwoar says:

      It’s common enough. Nothing to worry about; there’s gonna be concern over his knee with or without a brace.


      • geo_habsgo says:

        Yeah that is what I thought. Just for kicks, I kind of want to be that guy that writes into the journal de montreal so start a [Edit: poop] storm. My fifteen minutes of fame as an “anonymous source” 😉

  18. Habfan10912 says:

    Pleks on ice practicing with team this morning. Good news.


  19. nunacanadien says:

    Michel Therrien announces platform shoes to help improve the Habs! Yes, that is true. In response to concerns that recent acquisitions make the habs look small and skinny….Therrien announced that the Habs will now wear platform shoes and wear baggy pants and some in zoot suits to bring back the classic look and so they can also be the same height as TSN reporters……You Rock GeoFF Molson! You sign small players and put them in platform shoes. Too bad they forgot the box for Gionta to stand on when he gave his TSN interview!

  20. RC-51 says:

    Is he playing in Hamilton after this, his last year at ND? Or is it just another wasted pick?

  21. habstrinifan says:

    OK Serious question!!

    Of all the teams in the NHL, which is it the ‘hardest’ being a fan of.

    I dont mean hard as in ‘would rather not’ but ‘hard’ as in you gotta earn your stripes… things are never straight forward.

    The CH.

    Man it’s hard work.

    • Loonie says:

      Phoenix? Buffalo?

    • habsfan0 says:

      I disagree.
      I think it’s toughest being a fan of the Laffs.
      Not only have they not had a sniff of the Cup since biblical times, but unless you have a GM like Brian Burke providing comic relief, hockey season can be very trying.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I lived in Toronto. Being a fan of the Leaf is freakin easy. I have proof .. my loafish idiot neighbour who borrowed everything and broke it was a huge fan. LLeafs fan have no inkling of ‘high standard’ or ‘excellence’. They have no ambition hockey wise, no goals (except to be plentiful and multiply)… they just get up lose another day and go to bed and do it all over again.

        Leaf fans dont do nuttin… they let their surrogates, Cherry; TSN etc do all the work.

    • Blondie says:

      Islanders fans must be working pretty hard too. Especially with their successful history it must be deeply painful putting up with the Wang/Snow gong show.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Devils. I say Devils because no matter what they accomplish on the ice they will always play second fiddle to the Rangers.


    • twilighthours says:

      It is hard being a Habs fan. The team stinks, we eat our own, we turn on each other….

      I hope my son frees himself of the shackles of Hab-fandom. I’ve given him carte blanche, as long as he doesn’t end up being a Leaf or Bruin fan, of course.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Winnipeg Jets, first team is stripped clean by NHL when expansion occurs, then the curse of Barry Shenkarow owns the team, mixed in you have Jimmy Mann for a 1st round pick, trade Babych for Neufeld, have team taken away, and now know that the team will never win a championship as the owners want to make money each year, will never spend to cap.

      Edit: And of course you usually live in Wpg being a Jets fan…. okay that was uncalled for by me.

    • Mike D says:

      If an individual is stupid enough, it’s quite easy to be a fan of any team.

      Leafs and Flames get my vote though, for hardest to be a fan of.

      Leafs seem eternally hopeless, and whatever strategy the Flames have been employing lately is an insult to the word ‘strategy’.

      *Edit – forgot about the Islanders. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for them, or feel their misfortune is a deserved product of their own stupidity. Then I remember Mike Milbury was once their GM and all sympathy goes right out the window.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

  22. Blondie says:

    OT: Als are going to have to make-do without Marc Trestman, signed with da Bears. Big loss for the Als and going to make life a little more difficult for the Vikings too.


  23. HabinBurlington says:

    The team presently has Markov, Gorges, Emelin, Kaberle, Weber, Diaz, Boullion under contract. The team also has the RFA of Subban, making the total 8 dmen under NHL contract/control.

    The team also invites Commodore to training camp whom I suspect is looking to stick with a team in the NHL as opposed to playing AHL all season.

    Then we have the potential of Beaulieu and Tinordi hopefully available to the Habs within the next 1-2 seasons and an outside chance for Ellis and less likely Pateryn.

    Clearly a glut of NHL or potential NHL dmen. Seems to me a trade of some of these dmen is inevitable. There is also the fact that the Gomez buyout/send to corner wasn’t as clear cut as first thought.

    Seems to me lots of different factors in play as it relates to the Habs Blueline and Capology in play. All leads me to believe that MB is somewhat pressed to take his time in order to ensure the right moves are made along with the right contracts handed out.

    Perhaps we need to get a couple weeks into the season with some showcasing of dmen in order to finalize how the D looks going forward. This isn’t to say a deal with PK can’t be made immediately, but it must or could play a factor.

    • Blondie says:

      Gotta agree about all the d-men. I’d like to see Bergevin sign Subban and then trade Kaberle and one of Diaz or Weber for a big stay-at-home hitter if at all possible. That can’t be too difficult a trade to make can it?

    • habstrinifan says:

      Sorry HabinBurlington, I can’t see your ‘reason’ as very valid. In fact if MB is NOT signing PK based on the thought process you describe then I would construe that as him being a very poor GM.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – The four kids you mentioned are not close to being ready to play in the NHL. Commodore is a place holder at best. Bouillon may be on his last legs. Kaberle is only here for 48 games. The team probably can never afford to have Diaz and Weber on the same team (if the team wants to improve).

      If Subban doesn’t sign, then Weber and Diaz stay. If Subban signs, then Weber still might make the team as the 14th forward. There also is the injury bug that will start hitting teams as soon as the schedule begins. I say we hold the fort for now.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I realize that Steve, I am just saying there are lots of questions as it relates to the Defence presently. And because of that, this presents other cap questions. My point is simple, we can’t just Give PK whatever Meehan asks.

    • Rad says:

      Right you are HIB. “Capology” plus the number and quality of D in the pipeline are, and SHOULD be, important considerations in the signing of Subban. Let the Boy Wonder cool his jets on the sidelines for a few days/weeks/months. With the declining cap in future years, players are going to be paid (slightly) less inflated salaries, post-lockout.

  24. nunacanadien says:

    Geeze, Bergevin traded a 6 foot tall 3 inch, 206 pound defenseman in Brendan Nash for Jason DeSantis who is smaller than Scott Gomez, ok, maybe a centimeter or two taller and maybe 500 grams heavier if he eats his Big Mac…..geeze and you call that improving our defense? So we got small Gionta and small Prust to go along with small DeSantis and Desharnais. Oh no, we can’t be having a real NHL defenseman make our Desharnais look like a midget now can we? No we can’t be having the rest of the team look taller than Gionta. Did you catch Gionta’s interview? Next time the habs will have to get him to stand on a box so he doesn’t look smaller than the short cameramen and reporters…..lol.

    • Propwash says:

      Yeah I know right? Seeing that the Habs are an AHL team and all and Nash was destined to be a stud d man in the NHL…

      “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
      Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Desantis is 26 years old. When ever have you ever seen a 26 year old grow period? Geeze, if you are shorter than Scott Gomez when you are 26 years old chances are you’ll always be smaller than Scott Gomez! All that is missing is the huge contract for DeSantis.

        Brendan Nash is a proven player both in the AHL and the international arena. He can actually push back a Yakupov or any American rookie…..or for that fact any NHL player.

        What can DeSantis do? Maybe let the other short guy Desharnais or that Yoga Gorges guy bend over backwards….

        You call that improving our future?

  25. twilighthours says:

    Ugh…. more Subban talk.

    I used JBelly’s Scan-o-matic (or whatever), and all I got was the phrase “bridge contract” over and over again.

    This is exhausting.

    • Loonie says:

      Prefer Halak?

      • nunacanadien says:

        Actually Halak like Subban actually contributed to the team. Not like the stand back and let them come attitude displayed by Price and the rest of the team, too bad Desharnais wasn’t a bit bigger and taller he’d be murder on the other team but honestly, I can’t agree with Bergevin trying to save money by only signing small players. I realize it costs money Mr. Molson to transport the bigger players but you need to have real NHL players to win real NHL games and to win an actual Stanley Cup…..but I hear there is a highschool team Mr. Geoff Molson that you can buy that is equally or just the same height as your recent acquisitions…..

  26. geo_habsgo says:

    Which bar should I watch the game at this Saturday (In montreal). It’s been so long I want to start the season off right.

    I am thinking the basement of Brutopia with the couches around the big screen tv. Feels like you’re watching the game in your living room but instead you’re having beers with drunk fans. Any other ideas?

  27. RC-51 says:

    Whatever became of D.Kristo? Wasn’t he a prospect with high expectations?

  28. helluva habs fan says:

    OH MY GOD, I can’t wait till Saturday!!!

    Watching a Canadien score a goal makes me so deliriously happy, I feel like a 5 year old kid.

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    Very nice to see a little Cow Bell on here today, It kind of balances out the Cow Dung that is thrown around on here.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    I am not 100% certain it is the same foot, but trouble afoot in Leafland as it relates to JVR. He had blocked a shot last season and had problems with his foot.

    Now in training camp it has inflamed again.

    JVR is a nice forward, but he sure seems to have a bit of an injury bug about him since the start of his Flyer career not long ago.

    I wonder if Holmgren had a suspicion of persistent problems as it relates to health and if that also spurred that trade to happen. I do realize Flyers needed a stay at home Dman.

  31. geo_habsgo says:

    I just assume that any numbers being reported re: the subban deal are all false. I doubt any of us know the truth. Let’s just wait it out. He’ll be signed when he’s signed. The team will survive a couple of games without him.

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    Lost in all this noise is the fact MB does have some pretty good people around him for advice. While Dudley is known primarily for his eye on talent he is also a very well versed student of the game from a head office perspective.

    When he was GM of Tampa he was adamant for staying the course in developing and keeping his young talent. The ownership group at the time was pressing him to trade a Lecavalier type player and get instant rewards. He realized this was completely against how he wanted to develop that team and left.

    I am sure that Dudley is in MB’s ear and is providing advice on how to groom and keep the young talent in this organization, which obviously includes PK.

    I find it interesting how many people feel MB is failing when none of us know what the real numbers being negotiated are. We are in a rebuilding year, this wasn’t going to be a Cup winning team this year. A fair and rewarding contract to both sides is imperative.

    I don’t give a Rats Ass about whether it is a bridge contract or even a tunnel contract. I just want it to be fair and equitable for both sides.

    I continue to trust what MB is working towards.

    I am officially PK’d out…. sigh.

    • Loonie says:

      An admittedly small fear that I have is that with Bergevin delegating so much responsibility to others, you’re bound to have conflicting opinions within that front office about what Subban’s value is. The second part of that is how much is he relying on financial advice regarding this contract?

      I think that’s a good concern and good question but I’m obviously biased.

      I would hate to think that the negotiation process is being slowed down because Johnny pencil pusher doesn’t think there’s financial flexibility to get Subban a long term contract.

  33. Loonie says:

    Question. How does a deal not having been reached mean that Subban is being too greedy?

    Why can’t they just be in negotiations or Heaven forbid, maybe Bergevin’s being too frugal.

  34. commandant says:

    The Big Mick previews the Atlantic Division in the first of his division by division previews.


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

  35. derfab says:

    This is Bergevin’s first real test and he seems to be choking on his own need to feel like he’s in charge. Subban should be signed long term already. Given his strength, skill and overall ability to contribute in all facets of the game, a ‘bridge’ contract is something beneath silly. I don’t see how the habs can lose by signing this guy to a big, long term deal.

    • Loonie says:

      They can lose in the unlikely event that he’s a flash in the pan. But that’s highly unlikely and he could be traded in any event due to his skills and marketability.

      So I agree.

  36. 69HABS says:

    Who’s going to do the Famous Triple Low Five if PK leaves?

  37. Mike D says:

    Hard to know what PK is really asking for as many talking heads throw out different numbers. The highest I’ve heard is 6mil/year on a long term deal. Montreal is reportedly trying to sign him shorter term for about 3mil/year.

    Concensus is that he’s asking for at least 5mil/year though.

    That’s the absolute maximum I would give him at this stage, but I would still prefer he take a bridge deal. Not because I don’t think he’s worth it – I think he’s a damn fine player actually – but would still prefer he take the 2 year deal first before really cashing in.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  38. secretdragonfly says:

    Kudos to you, Mr. Stubbs – there’s always room for more cowbell 🙂

    Did you not do something similar last season (sorry, I can’t remember who the recipient was, perhaps PK?)

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    In honour of Diaz and this wonderful prize he earned, I believe it is only fitting that he be honoured fittingly.


  40. HardHabits says:

    A shout out to UCe. Just ribbing you buddy. Your writing is a boon to this site and your views always welcome.

  41. BJ says:

    What could we package up for Shea Weber? PK and who or what else. I’m at that stage I can’t hear PK anymore.

    • Loonie says:

      None. The Predators just paid him a ridiculous amount of money. He isn’t going anywhere.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Not that I believe a trade is doable per se, but the ridiculous money is exactly why he could be tradeable by Nashville. THat contract does not fit their usual business pattern. This is not to say our current cap situation could handle Webers contract, but more to do with Weber.

        • Loonie says:

          They already paid him the huge signing bonus though didn’t they? If they’ve paid that much for him up front, they have to keep him for at least this season.

        • ed lopaz says:

          signing Weber gave Nashville credibility with their fans. I don’t think they can trade away that credibility.

          • Ozmodiar says:

            They’d get credibility back in PK.

            And for the 80% of the fans who wouldn’t notice the difference, you throw Yannick into the deal. Preds could give him #6, make him captain, etc… The good folks of Nashville would be none the wiser.

          • Loonie says:


          • commandant says:

            After Matching the Offer sheet, Nashville CAN NOT trade Shea Weber for one full calendar year.

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

          • Loonie says:

            Forgot about that Ben thanks. And with due respect to Erik Karlsson, Nashville trading the best defenseman in the league would be foolish.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I realize they can’t trade him this year, nor does it make sense in year 1 or 2 to trade with bonus paid. BUt i believe Weber is definitely traded within a couple seasons, as they will not want to be spending to cap limit and having Weber kills their depth.

            My fearless prediction, he still one day becomes a flyer.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Yes – imagine how cheated those 12 fans would feel.

            Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    And the groin injuries start already.



  43. rhino514 says:

    I actually like Diaz and no one ever really includes him when talking about our promising future. I think he is already a better than average bottom pairing defenseman and I think he will grow to actually be a pretty good hockey player. What I like about him is he has healthy attitude and those are the players you try to keep on your team. I don´t think our D is as small as many people make it out to be as Emelin, Gorges, Subban (he has put on 20lb the past summer) and Bouillon all can play a physical game.

    • Loonie says:

      If Diaz ever figures out what a corner is and what to do when he’s there I’ll become a big fan.

    • JF says:

      Agree about Diaz. He acquitted himself well last year considering it was his first season in the NHL; I’m sure he’ll be better prepared for the physicality of the league this season. What I like about him is that he plays very intelligently and makes good decisions, but you often have to watch him closely to see this. People are too ready to dismiss him because he doesn’t crash and bang and can be beaten off the puck. A team needs physical defencemen, but it also needs good puck-movers.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There is nothing wrong with having a Diaz or a Weber on an NHL team. The problem is having two of them along with Kaberle. Too much of the same is all.

      • rhino514 says:

        I agree. Webber could be a good PP specialist in time, but he is a bigger defensive liability than Diaz. Nice guy and all, but I think he is definitelt less likely to make it as a fulltime defenseman than Diaz. I think they should start the season with Diaz and Bouillon as the bottom pairing and have Kaberle as the 7th D and PP specialist. If the team can carry 7 D this isn´t a problem. If it can´t carry 7 D, then I think Unfortunately they will replace Diaz, and even Bouillon with Kabs against some teams in order to not let his salary sit in the stands. Either way I don´t think you will see Kaberle and Diaz in the bottom pairing at the same time all that often, so I don´t think that is a major problem. And Kaberle isn´t here long term, so eventually Diaz will get a chance to shine
        Also remember, especially this yassuredly ear, there will be injuries, so I think they can all find playing time.

  44. geo_habsgo says:

    I find it frustrating that so many are saying Subban needs to sign a bridge deal like Price and MaxPac did because they are similarly dominant players. Both Price and Pac struggled for a couple of seasons with the big club before establishing themselves as go to guys. Ever since Subban broke into the league, he has been a very effective and at times, dominant player on the ice. How does that put him in the position Price and Pac were in a couple of seasons ago? He came out stronger than any rookie we’ve had in a long time and played himself into a great contract. This shouldn’t be so hard to see. Bergevin is just playing it smart by trying to do whats best for the team while accommodating Subban as well.

    • Loonie says:

      I’m sure this comment won’t help but Price actually did the Habs a huge favour by taking a short term, relatively low money bridge deal.

      He didn’t have to. Halak was moved and Price was never really struggling, he was just getting outplayed by Halak and the team was better in front of him.

      Price could’ve held firm and waited for a big deal. He was under immense pressure to do a deal though.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Watching the playoffs from the bench didn’t really set him up to negotiate a long-term deal. 🙂

        • Loonie says:

          And neither did the fact that a large portion of the fan base turned on him.

          That’s what I’m talking about when I say pressure to do a deal. It isn’t as if he was a bust. He put the team on his back a couple of times in his first three years. Just so happens that the one year he didn’t was the last year of his ELC.


      • geo_habsgo says:

        I see your point, Tom. He was in a good position in terms of negotiations because the team got rid of Halak before he signed. I had forgotten about that. He did lose his job to Halak though so maybe he did the bridge deal knowing that he could get a better deal if his play improved. I don’t know lol

  45. Loonie says:

    I hope this is my last post about Subban negotiations. The majority of fans here seem to be seeing this thing in black and white without considering the grey areas. So here are the scenarios in my mind.

    1. Bergevin wants Subban to take a bridge contract.
    – Problem with sticking to your guns on a bridge contract with Subban is that he’s played himself into a long term extension. He’s been the best defenseman on the team in Markov’s absence due to injury and regardless of whether or not Markov plays a full season or two at this point, it’s highly unlikely at his age that he’ll be able to return to pre-injury form. And that’s the only way Subban becomes unseated short of him falling on his own face.

    2. Subban wants a long term deal with a high AAV.
    – By high I’m talking north of $5 million. If Subban wants more than $5 million I say Bergevin should hold firm. I’d be willing to give Subban any term he wants at five million annually but not more. He can’t earn the money Markov got on his previous contract without producing like Markov did. For those who say he doesn’t deserve a long term deal I beg you to look objectively at what he’s done. Big time international player, only one year in the AHL as a defenseman, jumped to the Habs and nearly set the rookie scoring record for defensemen with THIS team and rounded out his game last season to become the most complete defenseman on the team and the guy it was most dependent on not named Carey Price. That’s long term extension material regardless of how you feel about him personally or how you feel about an extension hurting the team financially. Something that it really doesn’t do anyway.

    It should be easier than it has been to see this from both sides because few have. But the main focus should be the product on the ice. Subban’s the kind of player you create cap space to sign and the kind of player you want on your team for more than a decade. Pump his tires a bit and see if you can get him to come down to your salary number, but don’t refuse commitment to him because you don’t like giving a big second contract. If Subban’s supposed to be “buying in” and “be a team guy”, give him a reason to be, make him feel wanted.

    Edit: Bergevin needs to be very careful that Subban doesn’t develop the mindset where he says “screw it, I’ll play on a short term deal and I’ll walk the first chance I get”.

    Any of you folks want this guy in a Leafs or Bruins uni?

    • Ozmodiar says:

      If Subban is asking for a long-term deal, you can bet he’s asking for north of $5M, considering MB would be locking up UFA years.

      • Loonie says:

        If that’s the case I would again be okay with Bergevin holding firm. But I don’t know.

        What I have seen a lot of in recent days is people putting down Subban personally and diminishing his value to the team with fallacy to support the decision to leave him unsigned.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          I tend to agree. If he wants a long-term deal, I’d like to see it ~ $5M per.

          For 6+, I’d like to see a couple more years of development first.

          People who put down Subban would likely do the same if they were in his shoes.

        • helluva habs fan says:

          If Subban were willing to take 5M on a long term deal, I think he’d be at camp right now. That deal would be good for the Habs as he’ll surely collect more once he’s a UFA.
          I think he’s holding out for a home run.

          • Loonie says:

            With absolutely no reason to think that he’s looking for it.

          • helluva habs fan says:

            My reason for thinking he’s looking for that is the fact that there hasn’t been an agreement reached yet and that they are still “not close to making a deal.” It’s speculation obviously, that’s what we do here.

          • Loonie says:

            Okay. So from the same premise I’m going to say that Bergevin is offering $1.5 million annually for one year. Because a deal hasn’t been reached.

          • helluva habs fan says:

            Well that’s just silly, he’s worth more than that. 😉

    • Gerry H says:

      Spot on, Tom. Right down to the number.

  46. ed lopaz says:

    When Price, Max and Subban were called up from Hamilton, how much were they making on their Entry Level contracts?
    800, 900, maybe a little over a million.

    Yet, no one is saying 1 word that Galchenyuk stands to make over 3 million this year, if he makes the team, and then hits his bonus numbers which are very attainable.

    Why is Galchenyuk being treated better then Price, Max and Subban?

    What leverage will the Habs have on Galchenyuk once his Entry Level deal has expired, and its time to sign him to a 2nd contract?

    This is the point that the fine poster, Tom Nickle, brought to the board a few days ago, but I thought it was well worth repeating.

    As players join the team, their circumstances are not always the same. There is no perfect contract that suits everyone equally.

    So the same way the Habs have given Galchenyuk an extremely rich Entry Level deal, it stands to reason that they could consider this for Subban’s 2nd contract as well.

    Subban might be playing on the 28th place team in the league, but anyone who knows NHL hockey will tell you that he is already considered to be one of the top 20 defencemen in the entire league.

    Chris, who is probably more knowledgeable about hockey then 90% of the people who get paid to cover this sport, considers Subban to be close to, if not already in, the top 50 players in the NHL for any position.

    So for all of you who are sitting back and not overly concerned that Subban is still not signed, I say you are missing the point here.

    We have not seen this kind of talent from a d-man since Markov was in his prime, and before that since Chelios.
    You don’t want to have a guy like Subban locked up long term??

    Well, in today’s NHL, there are at least 20, maybe 29 other teams that are prepared to sign a big, long term deal with Subban, and the Habs might be a “proud” bunch, but their pride has not won us didley in over 20 years.

    It’s time to wake up Mr. Bergevin! You wasted all of June, July and August, when this contract could have been put to bed, and now your hard line is going to lose us our best d-man.
    After hiring Therrien, who was supported by a whopping 5% of HIO members, now Bergevin has misfired on the Subban file as well.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      What he said. Once again I find myself trying to blurt out a post while people like Ed say what I mean to in such a clear to the point manner. I bow to you my friend. CHeers.


    • Cal says:

      Habs will give Nyuk a bridge contract, as well. It’s called managing the salary cap, especially for next season when it drops to 64.3 from the allowable 70.2 this season.

      • Loonie says:

        If Galchenyuk scores at a near ppg pace in his first three years you can bet your ass that there won’t be a bridge contract. It’ll be big money over a LONG period of time.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        You wouldn’t have a team very long then lol :p Some players, if they are performing at a very high level obviously need to circumvent that bridge deal. Not to say that Gally is on Crosby’s level but how absurd would it have been if we saw the Penguins lowballing Crosby in the early years and trying to sign him to a bridge deal?

        • Cal says:

          There hasn’t been a Hab performing at an elite level since Roy left.
          Crosby was a #1 draft pick. NHL consensus was that he was a franchise player. PK was picked 43rd. Some teams skipped over him twice. His or his agent’s expectations are too high.

    • Loonie says:

      I appreciate the kind words Ed. And it’s also nice to know that there’s somebody else out there who doesn’t think Bergevin’s bm’s result in gold bars dropping into porcelain.

      Sorry for the expression everyone but that’s probably the best way I could put it.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I don’t think the point really stands up. Traditionally, players who are top three picks usually get the full entry level max package. Players who are further down the draft order always get less. MaxPac was around the 20 mark and Subban was a mid 2nd round pick. Both were huge maybes at the time while guys like Seguin got top end pay (keeping in mind 2/3 of it is bonus money that must be earned) I don’t remember the details of Price’s first contract but goalies usually sign for less with the notion that their first few years will be in the minors.

      Let’s use next draft year as an example. Let’s say Montreal drafts in the top four. That player will pretty well be able to demand the full entry level package. If the Habs draft 24th, that player might get the $850000 but a much smaller bonus package. That’s standard procedure these days all around the NHL

      One more point. Subban might turn into Chelios or Markov. But right now, that is based on his potential, as great as it might be. I can think of at least three areas that he can work on during his next two year deal that would help him reach his goal of being an elite defenseman. Right now he’s a good to very good Dman but not a great one.

      • Loonie says:

        Sincere question.

        Would you rather make players take bridge contracts and potentially alienate them going into future negotiations or compromise on good value long term deals that keeps the core players around long term Steve?

        • 24 Cups says:

          My answer is quite simple – this decision should never have to be made. The league should have addressed it in the CBA. Seeing that ship has sailed, I would think a fair offer for Subban (who is not Doughty or Stamkos) would be six years for $30M (4.5/4.5/5/5/6/6).

          Let me ask you a question – everyone is talking about how great Subban is this very minute. Can people not see the holes in his game? They also say he’s the best Dman on the team. True, but our best D player has been out for two years and the team ranks 28th. Which brings us to why we truly have this contract impasse. If Markov doesn’t rip his knee then Subban doesn’t have to play 25 minutes. He would be quite happy with a MaxPac bridge contract. Fact is he did play that role so he probably deserves some flexibility on his contract.

          • Loonie says:

            I certainly do see holes in his game. Notably the big wind up on the shot, turning his back to his coverages and late reactions to turnovers among others.

            But having said that his first NHL season was pure offensive ability and he developed very well and very quickly. No reason to think these parts of his game won’t improve in short order.

          • Luke says:

            @ Loonie:

            When talking holes in PK’s game, don’t forget the “Gomez-Dash” to the blueline which causes all the forwards to hard stop…

            Drives me crazy.

    • Luke says:

      @ ED: “the Habs have given Galchenyuk an extremely rich Entry Level deal” & The rest about Galchenyuk’s contract vs Price etc…

      Gally’s contract is a standard Entry Level deal. It is capped at $875,000(or so) per season for 3 years. It is the same deal that Price/Eberle/Kadri/Grigerenko had/has. The potential for bonuses drives it’s cap value to 3.5mil.

      Price’s cap hit due to bonuses was similar.

      Gally’s deal is basically the standard deal.

  47. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    As the fan base is so sick of contracts and money talk, I don’t think it will take long for talk to turn against P.K. I know I’m fed up- trade him.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Dadidolized. Like you, I’m sick and tired of the business side of the NHL for sure. It seems that’s all we’ve had to talk about for months and now we have to deal with it some more with the PK contract negotiations. However, you and I take different roads with trading PK. I sure hope MB is patient here and does not even consider moving him. Right now MB has all the power. For PK it;s sign or don”t play. He will have no choice but at some point in time to cut the best deal he can. I’d love for PK and MB to come to a more long term solution so we don”t have to deal with PK during his first few unrestricted years but it sure is looking like that’s improbable.
      One thing for sure though, we are a much better team with PK then without which is the only thing PK has going for him at this time. I wake up every morning hoping the deal has been signed. I really hope they get this done today but like you I am sick of the money side of the game.


      • Cal says:

        I heard Meehan on a taped interview this morning on the radio.
        He talked about how other clubs have given term to players after their Entry Level Contract expires.
        My reply is this: Just because Kevin Lowe is an effing idiot, doesn’t mean the Habs have an idiot for a GM, too. PK sitting out is bad for PK, not the Habs. He is the one losing out (besides us).
        After all the crap waiting for the season, Meehan pulling this is just, pardon the expression, a-holish. PK will make great money during his career. The Habs NEVER give term after ELC. PK was a 2nd round draft choice, so there’s no premium for getting him signed right now. If PK and Meehan are going to be this stupid, let them rot.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Morning Cal. That is essentially the argument, huh? Comparable salary analysis vs open market value. I understand your frustration Cal but you know my man crush on PK, right? 🙂 He’s the first player we’ve had that brings me to my feet.


          • Cal says:

            Understood, Jim. However, no 1 player is bigger than the team. His agent is acting as if PK’s won the Norris already and led the team to the Cup. Last I looked, the Habs finished 28th.

        • Loonie says:

          Darcy Regier won’t be called an idiot in NHL circles anytime soon and he gave Myers a nice second contract.

          Neither will Dean Lombardi, and he did it.

          Neither will Bryan Murray, and he did it.

          Neither will Peter Chiarelli, and he did it.

          We’re supposed to discount the idea because Kevin Lowe or Steve Tambellini did it but not take into account that very good to elite GM’s have done it?

          • Cal says:

            All GMs giving term to players after ELC ARE idiots, especially in a salary cap world.
            Just because a player starts well doesn’t mean he will progress to an elite level. Of course, there are a few exceptions. PK, like it or not, isn’t one of them.

          • Loonie says:

            Regier is not an idiot.

            Lombardi – Cup Winner
            Chiarelli – Cup Winner
            Murray – Built the Ducks team that won a Cup.

            Yep, complete idiots.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Myers has never been worth his pay cheque. Doughty was only worth it after Christmas last year. Karlsson was pure gold. Seguin improved but wasn’t a Stamkos. Outside of Karlsson’s season, none of these players have earned their high rate of pay. They are being paid for their potential as well as the fear of losing them to another team. That’s a huge issue for the league.

            There was no reason for any of these GMs to dole out these contracts. They hit the panic button and set a bar of their own making. They set the prescient for these over inflated second contracts which in my mind adds up to a collective state of idiotic thinking.

            In many ways, this was the one major clawback (after the 50% & back-loaded contracts) that the league needed to address. They didn’t, so now the madness continues.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Regier may not be an idiot, but he sure didn’t come out looking like a scholar either last year when he was finally given a bankroll.

          • Loonie says:

            But Steve you’re discounting Subban’s role to THIS team. When the Kings signed Doughty they had Johnson to fall back on.

            When the Sabres signed Myers they had excellent depth on defense and oh by the way have seen the likes of Drury and Briere walk and had to match an offer sheet to Vanek.

            The Bruins did their deal with Seguin largely because he was the second overall pick.

            Subban’s value to this team is rivaled only by Doughty’s to his in that group. I’m not saying he should get Doughty money obviously but when a player has the value to his team that Subban has to the Habs, it’s okay to make exceptions now and justify them later.

          • Loonie says:


            Fair point about Regier but something that should also be noted is that he developed a reputation around the league as a manager not to trade with because he fleeced so many teams a few years back.

            Low and behold Gillis was dumb enough to give him Hodgson for Kassian. He did it again.

            When the wallet opens up like it did last off-season it’s also worth wondering how much ownership meddling was going on.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Regardless of how this thing ends up, I’m sure it opened Bergevin’s eyes. If it’s that hard with the second contract, it’ll be close to impossible to sign him when he’s a UFA.

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

    • BJ says:

      I feel exactly the same. The last thing the team needs is all the distractions we have had over the last few years.

  48. Mavid says:

    Its all because of the doll….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Usually after a little time I can see where your post fit. I have to admit that this morning you have baffled me. Is there a “Chuckie” doll in your home? I’m worried.


      • Mavid says:

        sorry for confusing you…I do that alot…I randomly blurt out stuff that is in my head assuming that the listener has been in there with me…only to realize from the confused look on their faces, that the in fact had no idea what was going on im my pea brain..no worries there is no Chuckie doll..its left over from my post yesterday..

  49. HabsFanMTL says:

    say good-bye to Mark Trestman. He is the new head coach of the chicago bears. we will miss you

    • Captain aHab says:

      I wish him all the luck in the world with that headcase QB of his.

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

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Might be a bit of a head case but unlike most NFL teams the new coach has an advantage at least of having a NFL caliber quarterback to work with. A 10 win team is a great opportunity for him to build himself a reputation. Could be the next great coach in the making. Great hire by the Bears who I think screwed up by firing Lovie.


  50. Un Canadien errant says:

    Mr. Stubbs, it’s unfortunate that you paid $40 for the Swiss cowbell, the Whistler Re-Use It Centre has a container load of those, you can purchase them by the tonne, they’re left over from the 2010 Olympics. I could have shipped you two of these for half the price you paid, and made a profit, and Yannick would have had a runner-up prize.

  51. Un Canadien errant says:

    After Erik Cole’s gauche sortie Saturday, it’s now Penell Karl’s turn to try Montréal Canadiens fans patience. Word is that he’s seeking a five or six or seven-year-deal, worth 4 no 5 no 6 no (are you kidding me!?) $7M/year. No one really knows, but everyone has an opinion. Some decry him as being inept in managing his public persona in this post-lockout period, of being undeserving of the demands that are bruited on social media, while others tout him as the best defenceman if not player on the team, a sure-fire future Norris Trophy winner, and state that a long-term deal will turn into a bargain in a couple years..

    One unfortunate consequence of the salary cap system in the National Hockey League is that it transforms committed fans into vigilant custodians of the team’s payroll. Whereas before fans would harry their team’s ownership to pay whatever it costs to retain the hometown stars, nowadays fans are forced to take a stand on the wage a player will receive, as overspending on players decreases the likelihood that one’s team will be successful and championship material. In the days of the Guy Lafleur or Larry Robinson holdouts, every fan howled that the team made enough money to pay these guys what they wanted, and that they sure as hell deserved it. Especially if Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson are worth millions to the Rangers…

    So I’m now, as a fan who can’t resist the pull of NHL hockey, forced to care how big P.K.’s paycheque will be. And I unfortunately have to side with Canadiens’ General Manager Marc Bergevin on this one. He’s trying to install a salary system whereby players entering their third pro contract, on the eve of their Unrestricted Free Agent years, get rewarded by receiving long-term security, as Carey Price and Max Pacioretty did this summer. Players who haven’t reached that level of seniority have to graduate to more modest contracts and prove themselves. Mr. Bergevin is trying to clean up the financial mess left behind by the previous régime, and he realizes that cap flexibility is gold in the current NHL.

    P.K. is a fine young man with oodles of talent and charisma, the Canadiens are his boyhood favourite team and he wants to be here, he can play with skill and toughness, he played the most minutes of any Canadiens last season, at even-strength against the opponent’s top line, and on special teams. Guys like that are hard to find. As tempted as we might be to bend the rules in his case, we have to mind the veritable peacock’s tail of red flags he carries around. His sometimes irritating loquaciousness do not make him a unanimously beloved denizen of the dressing room. His tendency, mentioned in hushed tones to the journalists who cover the Canadiens, to go against team rules, also grate. There’s his apparent resistance to coaching, as demonstrated by his run-ins with coaches. There are also run-ins with teammates on practice ice. His insistence on rocketing wild, skull-high slapshots off the glass on powerplay make his teammates cringe. His resolve to start trouble on the ice last season, paired with his infrequent instances of finishing what he started, must have worn on Josh Gorges, Hal Gill, Travis Moen, and whoever else had to come in and fight his battles.

    Another point to bear in mind is that P.K. was the best and most used defenceman on the team last year by default, because Andrei Markov was injured and we traded away Ryan McDonagh, and we let Mark Streit and James Wisniewski and Sheldon Souray walk in free agency. While he is undeniably talented, if we hadn’t stripmined all of our talent on the blue line in the last five years, he would have been called up from Hamilton and assumed a third-pairing role, and then slowly increased his minutes and responsibility. Just because we didn’t have a #1 defenceman last season doesn’t mean he inherits the crown and fat paycheque by squatters’ rights. That’s the kind of thinking that makes Leafs fans proclaim Nikolai Antropov and Nikolai Kulemin and Luke Schenn as surefire superstars.

    We also have to wonder about Mr. Bergevin’s mindset in this shortened season. Is he going in thinking playoffs and a couple of rounds are possible, or does he see this as a rebuilding year? If it’s the latter, any leverage P.K. might think he holds vanishes, for his absence from the lineup allows the team to evaluate the other youngsters like Yannick Weber, Raphaël Diaz and Alexei Emelin, to display Tomas Kaberle so as to increase his trade value at the deadline, as well as jockey for drafting position for next summer.

    So as badly as I want P.K. to sign and be in uniform on Saturday and for us all to be a happy family, I want even more for Mr. Bergevin to show resolve and prudence and not upset the applecart, and shackle the team with another long-term contract on the basis of promise and potential. I want P.K. to get his millions, but in due time, and if it means he sits out for a while longer, and we miss seeing play a couple games or even a dozen, then so be it. We’re building for the long-term here, we just got out of the Scott Gomez mess, let’s not jump into any more ‘entangling alliances’ unless really necessary.



    • Loonie says:

      Price and Pacioretty weren’t UFA eligible when their contracts were up.

      And Bergevin’s made no mention of installing a system that includes bridge contracts that I know of.

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think the point was that both players signed short term contracts at reasonable coin before they moved onto hit pay dirt. Both Price and MaxPac paid their dues, as little as they were. It’s time to re-establish the financial steps to stardom instead of handing out Doughty/Karlsson like contracts to players who have only played two or three years in the NHL.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Such a well thought out and written post on the hottest topic of the day.

      There is no denying that Subban is the team’s best Dman and a potential cornerstone moving forward. The fact remains, that he has only played two years in the NHL. He still has gaps in his game and room for maturity over the next few years. As of this moment in time, he is not a star player and therefore should not be paid like one. To open the bank vault now (based on promise and potential) means that we will be doing the same with Galchenyuk in 2015. Where does it end, especially if we land a top pick again this summer?

      The league didn’t address the second contract elephant in the room so now it’s up to the GMs to do so. Some will, some won’t.

    • HardHabits says:

      I like how you say in 1000 words what I say in 100. 😀 But then again… we are on the same page…

      … fortunately my logo speaks a 1000 words on its own.

      But seriously… I concur, as I’ve stated as much already, albeit not as irritatingly loquacious as you just did. 😛

    • HabinBurlington says:

      A wonderful read, and I think I even knew what every word meant! 🙂 Thanks Normand!

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Pay a player what he’s worth whatever his age. I understand the bridge concept quite well, but this is an extremely unique guy, and I don’t think he fits into formulas very well.

  52. jeu_de_puissance says:

    Stubbsy, you are truly a f#@ing legend for doing all of this. Truly!

    Can\’t F#*k with history!!!

  53. Propwash says:

    This guy went “nyeeeah” to the shootouts in the NHL…


    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  54. Ron says:

    Dogs down 1-0 end of 1st. Abbotsford out shot them 13/3. Although the Dogs have many roster players in Habs camp, the Heat have 9 of theirs at the Flames camp. Not fairing so well so far.
    EDIT: Dogs tie game up half way 2nd – Murovich, Hagel beat up Heat player. Heat pull ahead 2-1, 12 sec after Dogs had tied it.

    2-1 end of 2nd now being out shot 24/10
    3-1 6 mins in 3rd

    FINAL: 3-1 Heat

  55. habstrinifan says:


    Here comes another #SH..disturber post

    Don Meehan has filed a legal Certificate in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario which he knows would force MB’s hands.

    He has filed a name-change certificate for P.K. Subban,

    It is now Pérnél LéSubbàn.

    Think about it!

  56. alfieturcotte says:

    Bergevin – Where is PK? He couldn’t wait to sign Price our “thoroughbred” with the average statistical background and now we begin a shortened sans our real MVP. He needs to take off those fancy glasses and put his thinking glasses on…..Sign PK; he will bring us more wins than Price loses in shootouts.

  57. PrimeTime says:

    PK and Meehan are trying to capilize on his popularity. MB is assessing PK as a player on a rebuilding team. No way PK should hinder team growth at any cost. PK can sit. GM’s will learn his M.O. I hope MB can sign him for a reasonable short term deal.

  58. habstrinifan says:

    I must be getting the hang of this:

    First HIO poster to raise the ‘red flag’ re possible ‘legal’ action on the Gomez despatch (dispatch) to his home….

    Most unequivocal posts all summer re the non signing of Subban.

    Quite possibly the first but by far the foremost in tagging Gallagher as habs best prospect (not counting Galchenyuk).

    • neumann103 says:

      On the first, I didn’t post it quickly but my initial thought when hearing about l’affaire Gomez was concern that it might get into a messy restraint of trade/damage to future opportunities type deal.

      Number 2. I will definitely credit you on that one

      On BGally. No. No way. I refuse to accept a backseat in Gallagher boosting. A year and a half ago I posted that in Training Camp he was definitely among the 12 best forwards and earned a spot on merit but sending him back to Junior was the right thing. Ever since I have been semi-relentless in my advocacy of Gallagher. Hey we are so close I even got a PM from his hacked twitter account.

      “Et le but!”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        3) That’s nothing. I got you both scooped. The day he was drafted, I was talking with the boys about the Canadiens’ picks, trying to break up the Canucks circle-hug they were having, and one of the guys piped up about Brendan Gallagher, saying everything about him that we now know, that he’s small but really strong and well-conditioned, that his dad was the Vancouver Giants’ strength coach, that he was very talented offensively, had a great attitude…. He knew all this because his son was the same age, and they played at a couple of tryout camps together, and Brendan made a great impression.

        So there.

    • Chris says:

      1) Hardly…there were many of us speculating on that right after it happened.

      2) Hardly. This place was full of Subban doom-and-gloom, as if Montreal is the only team that has a problem with a young RFA who wants to be payed like a seven-year UFA. Jamie Benn’s name has been thrown around quite a bit, as was Michael Del Zotto all summer.

      3) This is still laughable. You’re claiming credit for something that hasn’t yet been proven. If Gallagher does anything in the NHL, it will be as a goal-scorer. With 10 goals in 36 games as a top-line winger getting power play time, he’s not exactly lighting it up.

      If Gallagher is our best prospect (not counting Galchenyuk), then the franchise is even sorrier shape than any of us are saying right now. Gallagher is a third line winger who could perhaps eventually make it to the second line.

      We’re counting on Tinordi and Beaulieu a hell of a lot more than we’re counting on Brendan Gallagher.

  59. matt jordan says:

    If the Canadiens start the season without Plekanec or Subban this half-season will be over before it starts.

    That being said, I wouldn’t mind the Canadiens having another terrible season. This year has a deep draft and the Canadiens are still desperate for another star quality forward. The season is only 48 games long, better to suck for this season than a real one.

  60. JohnBellyful says:

    Betcha Bob Cole’s excited the NHL is back. Just 17 sleeps to Saturday..

  61. db says:

    Here’s some good video, shootouts and the room on canadiens.com

    Cole is asked about next season..

  62. stnbog says:

    Boston Bruins just lost to AHL Providence Bruins 7-5.
    And a bonus Andrew McQuaid got his a….. kicked.

  63. SlovakHab says:

    Nice one, Dave!

  64. JF says:

    Fantastic! Congrats to Diaz. Unlike many here, I was impressed by him last year. Considering it was his first season in the NHL, he acquitted himself well; and he’ll no doubt be more prepared this year for the physicality of the league. But he’s an excellent skater and an intelligent player; you have to watch him closely to see how many things he does very well.

  65. Hali_Hab says:

    Man. There are some really uncalled for bigoted words being dropped on the previous thread. Weak..real weak.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I was on that thread often today and didn’t understand what you were talking about. Just went to revisit to see if I had missed something. It’s a recent post.

      Dear Mod. Please go and look at that garbage and see to it that that poster does not visit this site again. Thank you.

      Edit: Mods thank you very much. Much appreciated. CHeers.


  66. 24 Cups says:

    As for the debate about next year’s cap from the previous thread, I did a rough count (in my head!) and came up with 59.8ishM for 16 players which includes Subban at 5M (guesstimate) and Gally at 3.25M. That leaves the team 7 players short with one of them being DD who will be a RFA. I believe next year’s cap is 64.5M, a figure that can never be lower throughout the length of the CBA. So that will set the bar for Montreal going forward into the new deal.

    Stand corrected for those about to use mechanical devices.

    • commandant says:

      2.4 million of Gally’s money is bonuses, which means we could use the bonus cushion and delay that money (if he reaches those bonuses) to 2014 when Gionta, Kaberle, Markov are all off the cap.

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

    • jols101 says:

      Even with the Galchenyuk bonuses being movable, Bergevin is still going to need to use the 2nd buyout or unload some salary for some draft picks at the trade deadline this year.

      If the Habs are competitive this year I doubt he will want to sell at the deadline so buying out Kaberle or Markov if he gets injured again is the most probable outcome. Habs will most likely also be forced to use some rookies next year for the cheap cap hit.(Tinordi or Beaulieu or Gallagher)

      • commandant says:

        Very possible that one of those guys (or Leblanc) is ready by next year.

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

      • 24 Cups says:

        jols/comm – Dropping Kaberle puts the team at 55.6M for 15 players. The first question is how much will DD sign for? Let’s say 3M. That makes it 58.6M for 16 players. That leaves 6M for 7 players, injuries and wiggle room. Ben’s Gally bonus money then becomes the parachute. Of course, Subban might just get more than 5M.

        • jols101 says:

          Ya it will be very tight next year. I think Bergevin might be forced not only to use the 2nd buyout but lose one of the $5 million contracts up front. Pleks or Gionta in exchange for a young prospect or a 1st round pick. I would hate to see either go but when you look at the situation the Habs are facing it seems like the only way.

        • commandant says:

          Dropping Gomez next year puts us at ~53 for 15 players….. you have to remember cap geek hasn’t dropped gomez yet cause he isn’t officially bought out til thursday.

          Once Gomez is off the books, the numbers are much easier to manipulate.

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

          • jols101 says:

            You are right but then you add 5 million for Subban and 3.25 for Gally and lets say 3 for DD and your at 64.25 which is basically the full cap with only 18 players. Minus Kaberle, the Habs are at 60 million with only 17 players signed. Bergevin needs to lose some salary somewhere.

  67. V says:

    On PK… Can’t get too agitated on where things stand. It’s just negotiating tactics and both are trying to maximize their position and you can’t blame either for that. I don’t know whether there is a deadline on how ling PK can go unsigned, but if there is no limit I would not expect to see this settled till after the season starts. It’s in both parties interests to use PK absence from line up to soften the other’s position. Habs win on ice, they lower PK demands. If they lose, the opposite happens.

  68. Chris says:

    That is absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure Diaz and Weber both appreciate the sentiment.

    For the record, I’m glad to see that both guys did so well. I think they are both good hockey players that can have long NHL careers in the right system.

    People are always dismissive of our two Swiss rearguards, but those are some excellent numbers in a league that features some NHL talent:

    John Tavares, Tyler Seguin, Joe Thornton, Jason Williams, Henrik Zetterberg, Jason Spezza, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Streit, Patrick Kane, Logan Couture, Rick Nash, Brooks Laich, David Desharnais, and Dustin Brown all played this year in the Swiss league.

    This also has some potentially long-term positives for Swiss hockey. Getting a chance to watch some of the best players in the world ply their trade could help spur another generation of kids to take up hockey. Switzerland has done a nice job producing hockey players in recent years (Diaz, Weber, Streit, Niederreiter, Baertschi, Josi, Hiller and Sbisa give them a nice group to build on).

  69. Mark C says:

    Thank goodness for a new thread. The last one was chuck full of crazy talk.

    Collberg is nasty (2:20 for SO winner: http://www.elitserienplay.se/video.2096383204001

    More good news for young Sebastain, WJC HC, and big time Collberg fan, Roger Rönnberg, will take over behind Frölunda’s bench next year.

  70. naweed235 says:

    Mark my words:
    Leafs sign Gomez, he finishes the season with 90 pts and wins the Masterton trophy.

    *end sarcasm font

  71. V says:

    Very nice Dave. You deserve an award for this yourself, so better keep your head up. 🙂

  72. 24 Cups says:

    Word is that Nike gave Rory 200-250M for ten years. Sounds like the golf tour/industry needs to lockout it’s golfers!


  73. dr zgembo adislic says:

    I read somewhere on the net about a trade pk → flyers, coburn + briere → MTL sounds good to me, this whole thing with PK is a joke to me and i am losing my respect towards PK dont forget back in the day players played for honour and today is all about $$$$ i just cant see bergevin offering pk a disrespectfull amount of money my opinion is that pk and his agent are way to greedy i really dont give a damn any more about him. We should turn our focus on guys like gorges who really care for mtl.

    • commandant says:

      That trade would not work at all cap wise.

      And PK has no contract… maybe the team should offer him a fair deal and pay him what he is worth as the best defenceman on the team last year.

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

    • Mark C says:

      No thanks. Given his cap hit, age, and production Briere has negative value and Coburn isn’t near the player Subban is.

    • Adam says:

      Yeah, if only we could go back to a day when players were so uneducated in business matters that owners ripped them off by fooling them into thinking their teams were losing money, and they should therefore never ask for a raise.
      Maybe we could get a real winner like Alan Eagleson to take over the union so that players can really get screwed over. Just like the good old days.

    • kirkiswork says:

      Would prefer Briere remain a Flyer or anything but a Hab.

    • vegas says:

      make it Braydon and Brayden and we can start talking, Habs add Weber

      Both Schenn’s would do it too

  74. commandant says:

    HAHA, great stuff Stubbs

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

  75. JohnBellyful says:

    You go on, guys. I’m going to rest here. Don’t worry. It’s just a flesh wound.

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