Diaz, Weber head home for Swiss jobs

Raphael Diaz

Canadiens rearguard Raphael Diaz.
Mitchell Layton, NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens defencemen Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber have both found work in their native Switzerland for as long as they’re locked out of the NHL.

Diaz returns to EV Zug, the team that he’s known for roughly forever. Diaz played for the organization from the age of 5 until he was 25 and came across the pond to join the Canadiens.

Weber will patrol the blue line for Geneva-Servette.

It was earlier announced that Habs centreman Tomas Plekanec will play for HC Kladno, the club Jaromir Jagr owns in the Czech Extraliga and for while he’ll suit up.


  1. jmsheehy19 says:

    My totally and completely unresearched solution. Eliminate the cap floor, then:

    1) FLA contracted (sorry Habsolutely, no offense intended)
    2) PHX contracted
    3) CLB moved to Markham (the fact that the leafs had nearly twice the the revenue of anyone else despite being terrible for the better part of a decade shows that the GTA market could support two teams)
    4) ANA moved to Seattle (California doesn’t need 3 teams)
    5) Dal moved to Milwaukee (don’t even know if they have an arena but whatever it’s my day off and I’m drinking)
    6) NY Islanders “moved” to Brooklyn, NJ moved to QC.

    Division 1: MON, QC, OTT, BOS, NYI, NYR, BUF
    Division 2: TAM, CAR, WAS, PIT, PHI, TOR, Markham
    Division 3: MIN, CHI, WIN, Milwaukee, STL, DET, NAS
    Division 4: SJ, LA, Seattle, VAN, CAL, EDM, COL

    Division winners awarded spots 1 – 4. Remaining 12 spots awarded due to overall points REGARDLESS OF DIVISIONAL RANKING.

    Gets rid of some of the money troubled teams, creates even divisions, and anyone can play for the Cup.

    And far more importantly, anybody try any good beer lately? I’m drinking the Nightmare on Mill Street, which is no Dogfish Head, but a pretty good pumpkin beer all the same.

    • Thurston says:

      Nice to dream, but that’s far too much failure for Mr. Bettman to admit.

    • frontenac1 says:

      That’s a good start! The Revolution Starts Here Today! I like 4 divisions with 6 teams. Vive La Revolucion!

    • neumann103 says:

      You don’t even need to do that much, but even much less is impossible to achieve.

      I posted below that with contraction by two teams and an increase in the revenue sharing pool by about $150M you could make it work, and I fully admit that even that is too much to hope for.

      But you have inspired me to post a hopeless naive dreamer proposal, which I will do shortly.

      “Et le but!”

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Just read through your post down below Neumann (which I read in a Seinfeld voice every time, spelling not withstanding). Thanks for such a detailed response.

        And I realize that “hopeless naive dreamer proposal” is an apt description of my post. But I can’t play NHL13 yet so I need y’all to help me with the crushing denial with which I’m afflicted at the moment.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Haha, I do the exact same thing Sheehy, before I begin to read his post I appropriately say “Newman” with gritted teeth, the best part is many call me Gerry, so I always feel in character when reading his posts.

          Doesn’t hurt that as usual I agree with his post, as I mentioned way down the thread 2 contractions and 2 relocations and this league is in a complete different picture financially, and way more profitable for the players.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Never Ever, underestimate the power of the proliteriat amigo.

    • shiram says:

      Tried a few microbreweries 2 weeks ago at the Oktoberest in Repentigny, one standout was “Le Grimoire” who had an excellent rhum flavoured beer called “La vie du chateau”.

    • adamkennelly says:


    • adamkennelly says:

      you’re hired…and Stella is no microbrew but its delicious.

    • habsnyc says:

      The wealthier players who have endorsement income and signing bonuses are taking jobs in Europe. It seems there is very little player solidarity. The average earner in the NHL is taking the brunt of this and will not likely recover their lost wages. My guess is player solidarity will wane quickly. The owners will not end the lockout until they get the best deal they feel they can get.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        I know mine is unrealistic, and that’s as generous as I can be with it. Like you said, I think the players will break by November. The league can wait them out. I’m just annoyed they took the Lockout path again.

      • commandant says:

        Why should a player who is locked out, not be able to take other employment.

        Why is this a big problem for solidarity?

        I don’t see it… and I don’t think the players see it that way.

        The players may crack and give in to the owners demands like they did in 2005 but I doubt the fact that Joe Thornton went to Europe (and made barely more than the insurance he has to pay in order to play in that league) has anything to do with it. I think the bigger issue is the missed paycheques from the NHL.

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

    • pg says:

      “but whatever it’s my day off and I’m drinking”
      Best thing I’ve ever seen on HIO.

      – put the benches back on opposite sides of the rink

  2. Question for all you folks: does anyone know if CBC, RDS or TSN will be showing a significant number of AHL and CHL games this season?

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

    • JF says:

      Sportsnet usually shows some CHL games, and TVA in Quebec. I doubt the other networks are ready to commit themselves yet. Wait until closer to the beginning of the AHL season.

      • Ah, makes sense. Thanks JF. I wonder though if they could negotiate TV contracts that are conditional on the NHL season not being played, and that would end automatically if the lockout ends?

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

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Unbelievable, but Vince Young former NFL QB (as recently as earlier this season) is already broke after making $26Million in guaranteed income from the NFL.


  4. SmartDog says:

    Man, I sure could use a warm 8 buck beer and a 5 dollar hotdog about now!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  5. BKAK72 says:

    Guy Lafleur’s labour perspective: http://www.tsn.ca/

    He is dead on wrt:

    #1. Too many teams / drop down to 24
    #2. Split the pie 50/50
    #3. Stupid to go to Europe / injury risk
    #4. Underfunded pension for the superstars of the past (who are an important reason for millionaires today)
    #5. Fans will walk to other sports / IMO most true in the USA

    n/b I am a HABS fan(atic) because as a child Guy Lafleur was my sports idol….and remains true to this day!


  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Maybe the owners need to find a way to get some former players to talk to the current players about the current lockout.


    Modano certainly didn’t feel they accomplished anything in the last lockout.

  7. ed lopaz says:

    top 100 TV markets in the USA, Phoenix comes in at #12.

    that’s why Bettman does not want to move the franchise.

    moving #12 to Quebec City actually reduces the likelihood of a rise in future TV revenue.

    Buffalo is #51 and I believe the lowest of all NHL, USA cities.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      Atlanta was number 8 and they moved them without an issue

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great point Ed but if no one watches it matters little, no ? Is he speculating thatsomeday they will watch?


    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is probably a factor Ed, but I think the lawsuit Moyes slaps the NHL with the minute they move that franchise and the fact it would cost money and open the door for more franchise movement is a bigger concern. Also Mr. Gretzky would play a part in that lawsuit as he is still owed money and the NHL didn’t exactly part company with him on good terms.

  8. gmd says:

    I find it odd that NHL players are willing to go to Europe and play hockey for less money, but yet they don’t want their share of the NHL pie to be less.

    • savethepuck says:

      They are willing to play for less money for what they hope is a reasonable amount of time instead of letting their salaries get rolled back 20% over the lengths of their contracts. If a player is under contract for another 5, 7, 10 or more years, that’s a lot of freaking money.

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

    • SmartDog says:

      I heard a comment that the insurance to play in these other leagues is so high many players won’t make any money – or hardly any.

      They are going because they want to play. I believe this. I’ve never been a professional athlete (I wish!) but every year I can’t wait to get out on the soccer field and play. These guys have built their LIVES around this – prepping in the summer for a winter of giving it all they have. Well, except for Gomez.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • If your own employer locked you out because he wanted to cut your pay by 20%, wouldn’t you find a job elsewhere too — even if it paid less than your regular one — to help pay the bills until the labour dispute was resolved?

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

  9. rileysutherland says:

    I don’t care if guys gome home, like Weber and Diaz, but Nash and Thornton going and taking jobs from players who don’t make millions makes me so mad. No love in that community…all me first. Greedy.
    Two great takes on this site, one on the lockout and fault: http://thebarnstormer.com/complicit-in-the-nhls-demise-how-the-nhl-and-its-players-hate-hockey-and-how-the-fan-is-at-fault/ , and “diary” of a locked-out player: http://thebarnstormer.com/category/cheap-throat/.

    If they don’t comeback soon, I’m done with the lot of them.

    • habsnyc says:

      If the Barnstormer is this bitter now, how will he feel after the lockout when owners raise ticket prices 10% and attendence increases?

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  10. jmsheehy19 says:

    Just read Engles latest in which he writes, “it’s been reported that Phoenix and Columbus account for a 1/3 of the league’s revenue losses.”

    Is that accurate? If so my god how can there be any argument against relocating them?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I would not be shocked by that. Both of those franchises should be GONE. If they move one to Quebec City though it is going to drive the cap up again…..just like the Jets did last year.

      The sad part is they could easily take out 5 franchises out of the league with no problem.

    • neumann103 says:

      We can question the League numbers, the Forbes numbers, the Players’ numbers, the Leavitt report numbers. All are flawed sources.

      But what appears to be the case is that about 30% of the league makes big profits. These are the usual suspects, really the Original 6 plus big market actual hockey market teams like Philly and Vancouver.

      About 60% are floating around the break even point maybe +/- $5M a year or so. At the top of this bracket are the teams that in a typical season are slightly profitable. This can be in the “we make the playoffs, we make a profit” territory. A lot are in the “affordable loss to write off for megalomaniac sports team owner” territory. There are some teams in marginal or small markets without deep pockets owners who can struggle even with Playoff revenue. But these teams are not hopeless.

      About 10% of the teams are hopeless money sinkholes. These are the bleeding disasters. Non-hockey markets or ten-year doormats. A team may fall into this category by virtue of being chronically terrible, or in too small a market, or having an inadequate or poorly located arena. Obviously Phoenix and Columbus are charter members of this class, Florida has a lot to overcome, but teams like the Islanders or the Devils may fall in there for reasons that are not as doomingly structural (current ownership and arena qualities/location).

      They need a way to ditch the no-hoper teams and find a generic source of revenue that can be credibly split up evenly. (eg expecting significant gate revenue or local television revenue to flow from rich teams to poor teams is pointless).

      It is hard enough getting the New York Rangers to want to kick in $20-$30M a year to a revenue sharing fund to distribute $5M a piece to the marginal have nots, let alone actually step up to pay for the grandma-in-a-coma teams like Phoenix.

      So the obvious solution is this:
      Contract the league by two teams. Staunch the bleeding.
      Get a big National TV contract that contributes roughly $150M a year or so more than current which would address the operating losses of the marginal teams

      However neither of these things will happen. Neither the Players nor Owners want contraction for reasons of job loss and franchise value. The whole rationale for teams in Phoenix and Miami was to make the NHL a national presence worthy of a National TV deal. Retrenching just jeopardizes that illusion.

      Plus the NHL signed a 10 year deal with NBC that isn’t going to get any richer. The $7M or so that each team must be getting annually from that deal has to be about $7M more than they had any reason to expect from the history of the last 20 years, and it isn’t going to increase suddenly.

      So here we are.

      “Et le but!”

    • commandant says:

      Posturing and nothing more, unless he can somehow void his contract.

      Caps would sue the crap out of him for breach of contract.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I wonder about the voiding contract part Ben, imagine CBA is agreed with a 15% rollback, he could have a case to say no to that and stay in Russia. Would be interesting.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I agree Burly. I think he could get out of it as when he signed it was under different conditions (CBA). With having such a significant cut taken out of his pay he would have a pretty valid argument.

          I am not sure I would miss Ovie in the league that much. He is no longer the player he used to be

        • HabFarmer says:

          Also dovetails nicely with his, “I’m playing hockey at the Olympics whether you like it or not”, argument.


          Bring on zee Fembaahhts!!

    • Bripro says:

      I posted it just below.
      I guess I should have offered an explanation… would have saved you some time.

      Different report, same result.

    • savethepuck says:

      ” he would consider staying in his home country full time if player salaries are cut dramatically in the next collective bargaining agreement. ”
      I wonder if the words “cut dramatically” confirms what I’ve thought all along. If the owners would finally offer something better to the players that didn’t insult them, they would move off their strong stance regarding absolutely no decrease in salary, and be willing to start negotiating in good faith. The NHL’s original proposal of 43% was ridiculous and I think they hoped the players would come down, they’d go up, they’d meet in the middle somewhere. The owners need to offer something closer to where the players are willing to settle and can save face.

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

  11. Hammer says:

    Kind of hoping that the lockout lasts at least a year. This way it will allow the younger players to develop in Hamilton so that we don’t have to watch the same malcontents in fall 2013. It would be a breath of fresh air to see Gallagher, Ellis, Tinordi , LeBlanc, Bournival,Beaulieu,Galchenyuk skating with enthusiasm instead of the usual suspects.
    In the meantime I will enjoy watching the seasons turn and ESPN classic games of the mid 70’s Habs.
    PS.. The luckiest folks are those that live in Hamilton, kind of like those that were in Halifax in the early 1970’s watching the Voyegeurs!!

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