Documentary shines light on NHL enforcers

Hockey fans in Montreal can get their first glimpse of The Last Gladiators on Monday evening. The documentary film about hockey enforcers makes its Montreal premiere at the Starcité Cinema at 7 p.m. (4825 ave. Pierre de Coubertin), followed by a question and answer session with retired Canadiens tough guy Chris “Knuckles” Nilan.

The film includes interviews with several retired NHL players including Marty McSorley, Tony Twist and the late Bob Probert. But its main focus is Nilan — his NHL career, his descent into addiction after he retired and his subsequent recovery. It features moving interviews with Nilan, his parents and siblings.

A French-subtitled version of the film will be shown at the Montreal premiere on Monday. The documentary, which opens in theatres across Canada starting on Friday, was directed by Alex Gibney, who won an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2008 for Taxi to the Dark Side.

Nilan spoke to The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell on Monday about The Last Gladiators. Here’s a short video clip:


The official trailer for The Last Gladiators:

Branswell’s feature on Nilan will be published in Thursday’s Hockey Inside/Out section in The Gazette.


  1. DorvalTony says:

    And “enforcer” is your guy. A “goon” is the other team’s guy.

  2. mark-ID says:

    I really wish somebody could get on the news out there and be the voice for the fans. Someone with some free time on their hands. They could speak on behalf of fans whose voices aren’t being heard. I am sure the cities news stations all around Canada would give them some screen play to get the fans voices heard.

    By stating that fans should move on from hockey…find other leagues or other sports to follow. This representitive could have his own facebook page and twitter which fans could follow to show some solidarity on our behalf. I think this could actually get some Owners/Players attention… say “hey, guess what…if you dont settle this now… will lose alot of us for good”

    Ideally it would be a reporter who already has screen time….I guess most are not wanting to be black balled by the league though.

    Maybe I am dreaming ….

    “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

    • wjc says:

      No matter how long the lockout is the fans are not going anywhere.


      • mark-ID says:

        says who though? Yea i may watch on tv…but I am very capable of not spending money on tickets and merchandise. Especially in the US…losing fans is a very real possibility.The NHL for 20 years now has been taking advantage of the fans…and we continue to accept it.

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

  3. shiram says:

    No words on Louis Leblanc, who suffered a high ankle sprain in saturday’s game, he should be re-evaluated today, as per Derek Wills.
    I was also wondering about Alexander Avtsin, he’s being scratched for games right now, is it safe to say at this point he will not be an NHL player?
    Morgan Ellis scratched too, but I thought he was a good D prospect.

  4. commandant says:

    What are the numbers for Friday, and I’ll phone G&G for postgame.

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Hamilton Bulldogs Game this Friday (Mini Summit)
    Hey everyone, I have just received confirmation that Tailgate Charlies is putting out the Welcome Mat for us before the game. Please to all those going to game, please make it out to the bar in advance. Food and Bevvies waiting for us.

    Will be a good chance for many of us to meet for the first time.

    Look forward to seeing all of you!!

    Habfan10912 helped make this possible along with L Elle and Chrisadiens. CHeers to them for all the help.

  6. Chris says:

    My take on the whole issue:

    If the owners want 50/50, which seems to be a sticking point, then I think the players are going to have to accept it.

    But in return, they should demand unlimited free agency. No more being locked into a team for below market value simply because you are under age 27.

    In terms of contracts that are already signed, if we really want to shake things up, declare every NHL player a free agent. All current contracts are null and void, as the NHL is clearly unwilling to honour them. Players are then free to negotiate for the period of a month or two and then the league can return to some sense of normality.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I understand where you are coming from Chris, but given it seems the NHL is watching other leagues and trying to create similar CBA models, there is no way the NHL drops to complete UFA status etc.. as you suggest.

      The NHL will rather shoot itself in the foot for a whole year lockout before they give in to that.

      I actually don’t want to see the UFA you suggest, as one of the things I enjoy the most about sports is watching my team build itself. Granted the Habs haven’t been good at this lately, I think we are moving in the right direction. I think in complete UFA marketplace the Taxation, the language barrier, these things begin to hurt a Montreal destination. Also a team like Winnipeg gets ravaged in complete UFA world, I think. My opinion only as I am sure there are examples to the contrary, but its how I feel.

      • Chris says:

        HiB: If you have a hard salary cap and you close loopholes, there are only so many places a player can go.

        Detroit can’t sign every major player because they’ve only got so much cap to work with and the days to long-term contracts with deferred money to circumvent the cap are probably over. Players are going to want their money up front now, which will make it very difficult to load up a roster.

        I love watching teams get built as well. I just abhor the draft, which I think is an archaic and fundamentally unfair system. I hate the idea that anybody should be told where they have to live. I wouldn’t dream of living in some places, regardless of money, because those places quite simply don’t suit my values as a person. Yet I’m supposed to be okay with young 18 year old men being told where they MUST live for the next 9 years of their lives?

        The idea of building a team is still possible under a free agent system. Soccer teams throughout Europe do it all the time. Some go after the big-named stars (Real Madrid, Chelsea), some do it through academies (Ajax, Barcelona), some chase after young players with huge potential (Manchester United, Arsenal of late)…there are many different philosophies, and you see players sticking with teams for years at a time despite a system that allows free mobility.

        I just don’t see why such a system could not work in the NHL. The presence of a hard salary cap automatically removes the negative side of European soccer leagues, the idea that top teams can spend orders of magnitude more than their poorer peers.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Good points to ponder, thanks Chris.

        • Cal says:

          Any drafted player can do the Lindros thing and not go. No one is holding a gun to their heads. The player chooses to play hockey, after all, and it’s a pretty good living.
          The draft system as it is now can be the great equalizer over time for the clubs now struggling to ice a good team.
          By the way, all the players know well before hand that the draft exists and it essentially a owner/property type of system.

          • Chris says:

            Any player can do the Lindros thing, but look at the price Lindros payed. He was villified (and continues to be so) for refusing to report to teams (Sault Ste. Marie, Quebec) that he had no interest in playing for.

            So while an 18 year old can do so, it puts them in an awful situation and it is completely unnecessary.

            I see no reason why teams that struggle to ice a good team should be rewarded with the most talented players, especially if it is against the will of those players. I feel bad for guys like John Tavares: he did the “right thing” and reported to the Islanders, and his reward has been playing for a sad-sack franchise with no hope of ever winning. He’s just putting in time until he can become a UFA.

            Nobody puts a gun to their head, but nobody puts a gun to fans’ heads to pay expensive tickets either and yet we have seen post after post lamenting the fact that the fans are being treated like dirt. I have no emotional investment in the whole process…I love the Montreal Canadiens, but my life is not particularly affected by the lockout. I’ve simply shifted my attention to other pursuits.

            The players are taking a stand, and in many cases it is a bold one: for a significant number of those players, they will never again play in the NHL. Each year, about 20% of the players never play another game in the NHL. So for 20-40% of the players (if the lockout stretches the entire season), their stand will cost them their chance to continue their careers.

      • wjc says:

        You realize, once Canadiens build a strong team they will have to start tearing it down because of the salary cap. If the players are good they will demand more money.


    • Phil C says:

      With a hard cap, you can certainly make the arguement that the draft and restricted free agency is uneccessary. With the contracts signed by Doughty and Meyers, it has become almost the same thing.

      The players could also negotiate harder for better working conditions so that they live long enough to enjoy their money, for example headshot rules, minimum rest periods, etc. I am sure Marc Savard would give back every cent he has made for a clear head.

  7. Kooch7800 says:

    Any News on Louis Leblanc? I wonder if he is playing Friday

    Dunlop: Gloves off, stick down, no warning, he challenged the Chiefs!
    Steve Hanson: Called us names!
    Reggie Dunlop: Called us names! But Dave was there.
    Steve Hanson: Dave’s a killer!
    Johnny Upton: Dave’s a mess.

  8. commandant says:

    @ed lopaz

    Proposal number 2 of the NHLPA hits a 50/50 split in year 3.

    The idea is that if you go from 57 to 50 immediately, you are subjecting the players to a 12% paycut and the NHL’s make whole provision takes from 100% from future players shares to do it.

    Explain why the NHL owners who spent well over a billion dollars this summer and spent over 250 million in the last week before the lockout should only pay 88% of those contracts and all other contracts on the books.

    What the owners did this summer was clearly bargaining in bad faith and expecting a rollback. Especially when Calgary, Minnesota, and Boston were three of the biggest teams making commitments to players (lucic, seguin, marchand, hudler, wideman, parise, suter, and others). These are also 3 of the 5 owners on the NHL bargaining committee. Thats pretty compelling evidence of bad faith IMO.

    I don’t see why the owners should be allowed to use the CBA to get out of the other contracts they gave out.

    50/50 in the future with the Owners honouring all current commitments is fair.

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

    • Phil C says:

      According to this TSN article,
      it would take 5 years to get to 50% with proposal 2 based on an annual growth of 5 percent. I think that is too long.

      Edit: I agree with the rest of your points, especially “50/50 in the future with the Owners honouring all current commitments is fair.” This is the key to getting a deal done. I’ve never seen an employer ask for a salary rollback when the business is growing.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ben, you bring up an excellent point regarding those 3 specific teams and the roles their owners play on the Bargaining committee.

      I have to believe that ownership like Molson, The Bell/Rogers group in Toronto, and other fairly wealthy teams whom have been quite open and honest with their treatment of players, they must be very frustrated with the current gamesmanship of the NHL.

      It is this type of mistrust actions by the owners which pollutes the air in the bargaining room.

      I still think the players need to realize eventually owners will get their way so cut the best deal you can. But I would hate to see some of these teams receive “Get out of Jail Free Cards” for the Bullsh*t contracts they wrote this summer.

      • wjc says:

        The owners are all partners in one business…..NHL.

        Money spent in the summer is spread over many, many years.

        Think of the NHL as a big pot and money is distributed (much the same as the NFL) among all the participants in a very complicated (to outsiders) system. Teams are held to certain restrictions.

        Teams like Toronto, Boston, Montreal etc. are partners that work together.


    • Ozmodiar says:

      The players and their agents knew full well the new contracts would be subject to change based on the terms of the new CBA. They knew there was an element of risk associated with these contracts. For all we know, the owners might have paid a premium for this risk. We’re not privy to the negotiations.

  9. Phil C says:

    I find it ridiculous that the owners are asking the players to get to 50% immediately. I find it equally ridiculous that the latest player offers still included small increases in the HRR share and taking 5 years to get to 50%.

    I think the framework for a deal is as follows:

    According to capgeek, the owners have about $1.7B committed to 663 players. To get to full rosters of 23 per team, this would project out to about $1.8B. This would represent about 56% of HRR (using very rough math). So I think the deal should be:

    Year 1: Player share of 1.8B or 54%, whichever is higher, not to exceed 56%;
    Year 2: Year 1 player share or 52%, whichever is higher, not to exceed 54%;
    Year 3: Year 2 player share, or 50%, whichever is higher, not to exceed 52%;
    Year 4 and beyond: player share of 50%.

    This way, the owners could get to 50% as soon as year 3, year 4 at the latest. The players would not see a reduction in salary as a group. The “not to exceed percentage” is to protect the owners if HRRs contract instead of grow, so would likely never apply. The “whichever is higher” percentage allows the players to get a part of any upside if the owners have been underestimating growth, while still gradually reducing their share to soften the landing.

    Everyone wins. Drop the puck.

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    Up? I’m up? I’m always up! I won’t let no hockey leave me feeling no joy.
    I’m a happy kind of fella
    See below, it’s a cappella
    (Sorry, there’s no link to a tune, but you should know the lyrics are based on the emotionally powerful anthem independence fighters used to sing when they took to the street before Estonia gained its freedom from Soviet control in 1918. Enjoy)

    I’m going to sing a happy song
    Going to sing it all day long
    A smile on my face
    Won’t be out of place
    When I sing this happy song

    I’ll go hopping down the street
    Shake the hands of those I meet
    I’ll say ‘Have a good day!’
    Then I’ll be on my way
    Going hop, hop down the street

    I’m going to snap my fingers – Snap! Snap!
    I’m going to tap my toes – Tap! Tap!
    I’ll hum a merry ditty
    When I see a girl who’s pretty
    Then I’ll clap my hands – Clap! Clap!

    I’m going to whistle while I work
    There’s nothing I will shirk
    I’ll never eschew
    What I’m paid to do
    I won’t go postal or berserk!

    I’ll keep a positive mind
    Look for good in what I find
    I’ll be a pleasant fellow
    Rather nice, oh so mellow
    Become a model for all mankind

    Only good things will I spin
    I’ll put the grin back in chagrin
    You’ll find me oh-so-cheery
    I’ll be no Wallace Beery
    I’ll be more like Rin-Tin-Tin

    If there is no hockey, swell
    None of us needs the NHL
    Life is what we make it
    Live it fully, do not fake it
    And tell the league to go … sing a happy song
    And sing it all day long
    Put a smile on your face
    (There is no better place!)
    You really can’t go wrong
    Joining a happy throng
    Dancing all night long
    Singing this happy SONNNNNGGGG!!!

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps the NHL when it returns will adopt this Hybrid Icing Rule currently being used in the AHL.

    Have to admit, I had forgotten the AHL was doing this and when at the game last Friday was surprised to see some icing plays whistled down. It did nothing to hurt the game and seems it will help prevent some of those nasty injuries we see on icing plays.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Mornin’, Burl’. Thanks for getting a ticket. Mr. Diamond phoned right after I sent him the email so it looks like I’ve got one reserved. I just pick it up the night of, I presume.
      Be kind when you scalp the ticket to a Leaf friend (somehow it doesn’t seem to put those two words together).
      See ya Friday… what’s the name of the place again where everyone is meeting beforehand?

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Like I said weeks ago now, this dispute will be a bute! This will be a fight that will go down in infamy, as far as sport labor and management is concerned.

    The owners are together on this one and so are the players. But the owners will win out in the end. This fight will be settled for the long term or the owners will keep the players locked out.
    The owners are not willing to settle for a few years of labor peace only.
    We are in a once and for all settlement for the long hall, in order that the owners can get long term deals done with TV, players, and a host of contracts of supporting cast businesses. Three or five year deals are not going to cut it in this fight, this time around.
    We may just be without NHL for more than one year folks. It is big against bigger and the smaller bigger will be cut down to a more manageable size. Fans will not enter the equation what so ever.
    Mark my words folks!!
    Get out to your local rinks and watch the real game played for fun as it should be again.

    I am attending the OHL Belleville Bulls game tonight against the mighty Mississauga St. Mike’s majors! Both the Subban brothers will be starting for the Bulls.

    • commandant says:

      The two offers right now are anywhere from 350 million to 500 million apart.

      Over a 5 year deal thats an average of 70million to 100 million a season.

      If they extend the deal to a 6th year at 50/50 (something both sides agree, the difference is mostly in early years with the “make whole” provisions. We are talking 55 to 80 million per season.

      This is less than 3% of the 3.3 Billion in HRR the league will earn this year.

      Throwing away an entire season to fight over this amount of money would be silly from both sides. I think they get something done here, I really do.

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

    • Mustang says:

      Ian, I get the feeling that you may be correct. I have no idea if this lockout will exceed one season but I really doubt that it will be settled this year. I have felt all along that the 2012 – 2013 season was toast but time will tell. The owners can use their buildings for other events so their losses will not be as significant to them as the pay losses will be to the players. I am not at all sure how an extended lockout will affect the new TV deal in the US as well as the Jan 1 classic outdoor game.

    • SmartDog says:

      I disagree with you Ian, precisely because of your opening point: the owners are in it for the long haul. With their last offer, the players have conceded that by the end of this deal, like most other North American pro sports they will be at 50-50. That means that the next deal is going to probably be 50-50 as well (there’s no way the players are going to go UP in percentage, anymore than the owners are going to let go of the cap). So the owners already have the MAIN thing they wanted – to reset the share structure more in their favor. Done.

      So that leaves the difference: honoring contracts that exist as they are. This will be brokered in some way. Here’s why. First, it’s in the owners best interest. With new provisions for sharing greater revenues with the poorer teams, the amount it will cost most teams to honour their contracts is less than they will lose in ticket sales for a few months of hockey. There are exceptions to this in the idiots that signed player for 8 or 10 years. But those are only a handful, and they can be voted down. (Why would Molson support one of the poor market teams he already has to prop up even MORE because of their reckless decision making?) And second, the players will bend more too IF the owners bend a little, which they will.

      The two sides will meet in the middle on this – and soon. Mark MY words folks!

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • wjc says:

        I agree this dispute will be settled, 82 games is to bloody many anyways.

        None of these deals were done recklessly, they were sanctioned by the league.

        Molsen is part of a 30 owner partnership.

        Part of the problem is the players are too rich and are independently wealthy. This makes for stubborn people that are not desperate enough.

        Sport/entertainment is better when players are hungry.


  13. commandant says:

    After stapling this kid to the bench for most of the season, Frolunda has finally done something with Collberg.

    They have loaned Collberg to Örebro HK of the Swedish Allsvenskan (2nd division).

    Finally he’ll get some icetime.

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

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Galchenyuk vs. Grigorenko

    Okay, so what if indeed we have a repeat of the 71 draft here. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Galchenyuk becomes Guy or Grigs becomes Marcel, but in all likelihood both players will develop into very special players.

    I liked Galchenyuk from the outset and still do like the pick, but I think we will see both players in the NHL for a long time. I just hope it is Galchenyuk that has the “It Factor” that our team has been missing for so long.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      They are both very highly skilled centre’s with decent size. What sets apart Gally for me is his dedication in Junior to fitness and being in the best game shape he can be. That tells me he has the drive needed to be an impact player.

      There was a reason he did so great in the NHL combine.

      • Chris says:

        John McFarland did very well at the NHL Combine too.

        I think people put far too much value on conditioning and fitness sometimes. A player’s not going to win hockey games in the gym. Galchenyuk had absolutely nothing to do last season BUT work out in the gym. If he didn’t rock the combine, something would have been seriously wrong with his motivation. His peers spent the season playing hockey, a sport that typically takes a significant amount of body weight and strength away from a player as a season stretches on and on.

        Strength and conditioning are nice, but talent can’t be taught and neither can size.

        Grigorenko is 6’3″ and 200 pounds, excellent size and strength for an 18 year old kid. Give him a year or two and I suspect he’s going to be a more dominant physical specimen than Galchenyuk.

        In many respects, I think dropping in the draft put a bee in Grigorenko’s bonnet, something for which the Sabres must be thanking their lucky stars. Grigorenko now has all the motivation in the world to stick it to all the teams that passed him over. He’s got the talent, he’s healthy and he’s got the size…he should have a huge year in Quebec.

        • commandant says:

          McFarland was always a lazy player on the ice…. which of course is the knock on Grigs (how much is true, and how much is mono we don’t know).

          Either way, Grigorenko will prove nothing til we get to the WJC and the playoffs IMO. Regular season stats are nice but this is where the critics will be answered.

          As it stands I prefer Galchenyuk’s still which despite being a couple inches smaller, is far more physically involved, and far less of a perimeter player.

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

  15. wjc says:

    The question of day:

    How many people on these boards have a $1,000,000.00 stashed away. Even the lowest NHL player with a couple of years under his belt would have this amount easily.

    Let me crunch some numbers. $750,000.00 a year. Defer $600,000.00 of it. Say you did this for 2 years, you would have $1,2000,000.00 invested. This money would be gathering compound interest.

    Now factor in escrow monies and lock out money from NHL players association and you could leave your investments alone if you had to. Now factor in the normal stuff, wife working, parental support etc and you can see how a hockey player could survive nicely.

    Now if worse came to worse he could always draw 5% from his investments…interest that would leave the original amount intact. That would give him $60,000.00 per year. Not bad for doing nothing.

    You must remember that this example would be the bottom guys in the NHL that are fringe players most likely or new players.

    Now think about that guys that are making 3-4-5-6 million dollars per year with investments in the $50,000,000.00 range and you begin to see that all the players are basically set for life, even if they never made another dime in the NHL.

    Interest off of $50,000,000.00 a year would be $2,500,000.00 a year without touching the principle.

    You can readily see that the players are wealthy beyond most people’s wildest imaginings.

    It always makes me laugh when some say the players will be flipping hamburgs somewhere if the NHL folded.

    Two more points…there will not be another league started up….period. Would cost too much.

    Players and owners to rich, season too long. Fancy accounting tricks can make success look like failure.

    The business of hockey has always been a business. The business of hockey is 30 separate teams united as one.


    • commandant says:

      A few things

      1) If a player’s gross salary is 7.5 million, taxes will take a huge chunk of that.
      2) The players agents will take 3-5%
      3) Escrow reduces the salary, not adds to it.
      4) No player is going to save 90% of what they are paid. These guys are gonna want to use some of the excess cash and have a little fun… big house, fast car, etc…

      So there is no way you can put away 6 million on a 7.5 million gross salary.

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

      • Chris says:

        The average NHL salary is $2.45 M. 50% or more of that is gone right off the top due to taxes.

        So the start number should be around $1.25 M.

        The average NHL career is not very long. Historically, 52.46% of all players who are now retired played 100 games or fewer, and 67.34% of all players played 400 games or fewer.

        We focus on the Ovechkins and Crosbys of this world, but the vast majority of NHL players are Darches or Nokelainens or Boyces.

        So while it would be great for the richer players to take less money and perhaps spread the pie around (they are greedy buggers), let’s not kid ourselves. The majority of NHL players are not millionaires.

        These guys are expected to spread their wealth around fairly liberally, starting foundations or supporting charities through purchasing private boxes or donating to hospitals or supporting other initiatives.

      • wjc says:

        Commandant, first of all if you defer the money it is tax free. You put it in a tax sheltered account to accummulate. Much like an RRSP.

        Agreed agents take a piece.

        A smart player would salt away a large portion to avoid taxes.

        Of course you could put away $6,000.000.00 of a $7,500.000.00 salary…..take it out years later when you are not earning anything.

        Ordinary people do this all the time…it is called sheltering your money.

        You think they would stick it in the bank and pay 50% taxes on it….tsk…tsk.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      “parental support”? wut?
      5% interest on investment? sign me up.

      mmmm….burgers. “Hey, Spezza!! I said no pickles on that Whopper!”

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      “Mom, i make about 20x your salary, but can i borrow some money?”

      • wjc says:

        You think some of the younger players haven’t headed home.

        20x’s how about 1000x’s
        If you have large amounts of money….millions you can realize 5%…if you have a couple of hundred dollars you get a much smaller amount.

        If I was a fringe player I would be stashing as much of my salary in a shelter tax account as possible, so I would not have to work another day of my life after whatever hockey carreer I had.

        Your example of Spezza is interesting, because he probably has over $100,000.000.00 stashed away.


  16. centre hice says:

    Grigorenko played this summer in the Canada-Russia Challenge and in 4 games had nothing but 1a. He was supposed to be one of Russia’s go to players, but the games I watched and pro scouting reports say that he was practically invisible.
    He may be burning up the Q, on a stacked team, but when competition is tougher it’s a different story.

    Galchenyuk this summer was at the US jr camp and was their #1 center on the top line. This is a US team with returning players, players that were drafted in 2011, and Gally is expected to be their top center. At camp they played some intra squad games and a mini tournament vs Sweden and Finland. All reports I have read say that Gally looked really good. Here is an objective report from NBC hockeytalk on US jr:
    “2012 third overall pick Alex Galchenyuk could wind up being pretty special. While he wasn’t a big factor in Team USA’s win over Finland, the performance he had in the Americans’ 10-2 win over defending gold medalist Sweden was encouraging.

    He skated like a confident player, played an intense game, and added a nifty goal that saw him skate through the Swedish defense before beating goalie Niklas Lundstrom five-hole. He didn’t play many games last season for Sarnia, so getting him real game action is a big help for both him and the Team USA staff. Canadiens fans have every reason to be excited about what he’ll bring.”

    IMO the Habs made the right pick. Can’t wait to see this year’s WJC.

    • Cal says:

      I agree with your assessment of Galchenyuk. He will definitely be the #1 center in Montreal within 2 or 3 seasons if his development curve carries on. On Grigorenko, he had mono last season and I know that it takes a very long time to work that out of the system. He will be a good one, too, but Galy will be better.

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    CHL Draft picks by League 2012
    First Round
    OHL – 11 Players
    WHL – 6 Players
    QMJHL – 1 Player
    Second Round
    OHL – 5 Players
    WHL – 7 Players
    QMJHL – 4 Players
    3rd Round
    OHL – 10 Players
    WHL – 6 Players
    QMJHL – 1 Player

    Seems to me the NHL scouts prefer taking players from the OHL and WHL more than Q. I hope this does eventually change and the Q produces more of the talent, specifically I hope the Habs can find that talent the best.

    • Cal says:

      The Q apparently has no good players at all, whereas every Tom, Dick and Harry from the OHL and WHL is gold. Racism or poor scouting? Probably a bit of both.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think scouting is part, but I think end of day the style of play in the OHL and WHL seems to lend itself to what the NHL scouts look for.

        I would also think that sheer population numbers of potential players to pick from gives the OHL and WHL an advantage, but I may have just exposed how poor a geography student I am.

        Seems to me though that the top prospects from Europe more often than not end up in the OHL, Grigorenko being an exception.

      • Ron says:

        Cal, thats what the Toronto based media brings to the table. They have been passing out the kool aid that way for years. Eventually people believe it. Everything is the OHL. I guess thats the way it is when its in your back yard.

    • commandant says:

      Its a cycle and the QMJHL has been in a down cycle the last few seasons.

      The big issue though is the number of “Quebec Born” players is way down overall. Even the guys picked from the Q there are a lot of Euros and/or Maritime players.

      I don’t think its the QMJHL’s fault though. From a lot of people I talk to, there are issues at the minor hockey level. (more good athletes doing soccer/football than ever before and giving up on hockey, hockey registration down, coaching and training for coaches not as good as it should be, and other issues).

      Now they have made moves to address this as it was somewhat of a problem throughout the 00s, but whether its fixed or not… we won’t know for several years.

      I will say this though, the QMJHL crop this year is one that shows signs of an improvement starting to happen. There are a number of high quality Quebec born and produced forwards, more than any draft in probably at least 5-10 years for them.

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

  18. Cal says:

    This one’s for the organizer of the Mini Summit.
    Enjoy, Burly.

  19. 24moreCups says:

    I just wanna watch hockey and drink brews with the lads like every winter, tired of all the politics! Just give us back our game, money hungry bastards!

    Sorry about the rant (my first one.)

  20. The Dude says:

    If the Habs could get a Knock out specialist like Oboma….

  21. Timo says:

    Not knocking Nilan by any stretch of imagination… I have never seen him play so have no reason to.

    But, I spend quite some time browsing youtube and I am yet to find a clip where Nilan has decisively won a fight.

    Anyone has a good link please post here.


    • Hoegaarden says:


      I saw Nilan turn up at the NS Voyageurs training campo in the early 70’s and believe me the Habs did not bring him up because of his scoring skills, skating or play making. I honestly do not recall seeing him losing a fight.
      The AHL was a different league then, with the WHA around as well. There were plenty of jobs for goons and thanks to Chris Nilan, the Vees could play their game and not worry about getting smacked around.

    • joeybarrie says:

      Nilan was a tough tough player. Its not about being the best fighter on skates. Its about being feared by the rest of the league. Its about how he never backed down and he was very very difficult to put down.
      he could play some hockey too, but in order to understand his role you have to see the games, not the youtube snippets of a fight.
      look at his penalty minutes. And as soon as a guy would start to mess around, no one threw their gloves off as fast as knuckles.
      the game is different now, but make no mistake about it. Nilan is one of the most famous enforcers the game has ever seen, and it jsnt due to a specific dirty hit or act. Its his entire career and the way he allowed the rest of the team to stand a bit taller.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      You cannot judge a players role or toughness or what he meant to a team from YouTube. Nilan provided a constant presence in the lineup.

      Too bad you didn’t get to see him play, I suspect you would have loved him. A warrior who helped in many areas and didn’t have to be relegated to 4 mins a game like many today.

      A great teammate.

  22. commandant says:

    Here is a youtube of the play I was talking about in my Galchenyuk/Timmins article.

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

  23. Boomer says:

    In 5 years, Barring Injury… Galchenyuk>Grigorenko… Anyone wanna bet otherwise? you can choose the wager if you want.

  24. Boomer says:

    Hey guys, for those interested Craig Button just tweeted:
    Craig Button‏@CraigJButton

    “Tuesday, I’ll answer questions on new #TSN scouting & prospects podcast. Tweet to me or @TSNMattCade if you have one. Or more”

  25. JohnBellyful says:

    @ Habfan10912
    Jim, I didn’t see the post from Gerald you just mentioned, the one he posted this afternoon [correction: later in the morning]. I thought you were referring to one much earlier in the day. I didn’t know about the more recent one until I went back and checked.
    So do I have two tickets now?
    We can straighten it out tomorrow. Thanks, Burl’.
    Much appreciated for what the two of you are doing for the mini-summit. Looking forward to it. I’ve frozen 14 ounces of my blood to have at the ready for that extra energy Friday night. I’m expectin’ to stay up way past 10 p.m.

  26. Boomer says:

    Anyone else get shivers watching the trailer for The Last Gladiators?

  27. Ian Cobb says:

    This is a re post of mine!
    After concussion, severe depression and it kills.!

    What is a concussion?, as comprehended and explained by myself.

    I have been involved as a lay person with research pertaining to neurology at a major medical university. I have picked up a lot of information working first with veterinarian pathologists when I was doing research on my fox and mink ranch with calcium. And I have been involved lately with the neurology research dept. from a major medical university. Only as the handler of my research birds involved in the study and offering some of my former findings from my own animal autopsy’s on my ranches.

    So I do not profess to be an expert on the subject pertaining to concussion, but I will try to explain, the best that I can, what happens to the brain cells that have been concussed inside the skull. And why one must stay completely resting after a concussion.

    The very soft brain cells, when violently thrown against the skull, are damaged and the neuron releases a potassium chemical out of the brain cell. Leaving a void. Calcium that is already present around the outside of the cells, seeps into the cells replacing the potassium.
    This calcium is what gives the chemical imbalance to the brain and is what causes the damage. Until all of this calcium leaves the brain cells completely, and it can take a long time, depending on how much calcium was taken on each cell. The patient is left extremely vulnerable to instant death upon a second bump, or at least permanent brain damage as the calcium solidifies upon second impact. Even a hard coughing spell or light exercise can cause severe pain and damage. Complete rest is needed.

    These damaged cells have to be cleared completely of this calcium before one can resume activity to avoid the calcium from solidifying, causing more serious consequences including death.

    This is very acute in young people under the age of 24 as the brain is still growing and developing.
    Please, coaches and parents know this, every severe contact to the head can cause some cells to expel potassium and take on calcium. A second, even slight bump, with the cells still containing calcium, can be even more deadly.
    Ian Cobb

  28. Chris says:

    Regarding the CHL leagues and their reputations:

    One of the central criticisms of the QMJHL players and their statistics is that they are biased by the offensive nature of that league.

    The reality is that this is nothing more than historical bias. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Q was a run and gun league that saw ridiculous scoring totals by players like Bossy, Lemieux, Lafontaine and Daigle. Even guys like Stephan (94 goals and 188 points as a 19 year old) and Patrick Lebeau (68 goals and 174 points as a 19 year old) had obscene point totals.

    But it quite simply is not the case anymore. Compare average goals per game in recent years in the OHL and QMJHL:


    2007-08: 6.84
    2008-09: 6.88
    2009-10: 6.92
    2010-11: 6.73
    2011-12: 6.76

    Average: 6.83


    2007-08: 6.88
    2008-09: 6.86
    2009-10: 6.95
    2010-11: 7.25
    2011-12: 6.89

    Average: 6.97

    The Ontario Hockey League has been the higher scoring league in each of the past four seasons. Through the early part of this season, the QMJHL is seeing an average of 6.89 goals per game, while the OHL is seeing an average of 6.56 goals per game, so the Q is looking like a good bet to break that run this season.

    As for quality, I’m not sure I buy the argument. Leagues that have a talent deficiency usually opt for a defensive style of play. This has in fact been a complaint of Patrick Roy’s for some years, that too many QMJHL coaches are playing defensively (he specifically commented on Guy Boucher in this regard) as opposed to trying to develop their players.

    In the NHL, the talent deficient clubs generally opt for a workmanlike defensive gameplan to grind out wins. Think Columbus under Ken Hitchcock, Nashville, Calgary, etc. The QMJHL has been a pipeline for coaches to get into the NHL, with many of them being known for defensive gameplans.

    Regarding Galchenyuk vs. Grigorenko, I expect Grigorenko to have a much better season because Quebec is a much better team (Sarnia is just flat out awful) and I think he is a better junior player than Galchenyuk.

    Some guys (Corey Locke comes to mind) are just dominant junior players but can never put it together at the NHL level, while some other guys are so-so junior players that only shine at the NHL level (Patrice Bergeron is a good example here).

    The Q has not been an offensive, run-and-gun league for some years now. It has featured some absolutely explosive teams, such as the Saint (edit…whooops! I knew it was Saint and not St.!) John Sea Dogs of recent years or this year’s Halifax Mooseheads. But the Guelph Storm, who only feature one overage player, would rank second in the QMJHL in average goals scored this season.

    The OHL is not that great a league this season when it comes to forwards. The OHL is much deeper in defencemen and goaltenders, which should bring the offensive numbers down.

    The QMJHL has some fantastic forwards so their scoring is probably going to come up. I don’t think the league is any more offensive, just that they have some better offensive talent to work with this year.

    • commandant says:

      Overall the numbers are similar.

      However that doesn’t take into account the good vs bad team phenomena I was talking about.

      I’d like to look at the goal differentials for top teams.

      I think the QMJHL has a greater disparity between the good and bad teams, which doesn’t necessarily lead to more scoring for the whole league, but can lead to more scoring for an individual team.

      Top 3 teams in the Q
      Halifax as a team is +32
      Quebec as a team is +26
      B-B Armada are + 21

      In the OHL (top 3 teams in standings)
      Guelph is +18
      Barrie is +10
      Owen Sound +14

      When they blow people out in the QMJHL, they really blow them out, meaning that if you are on a top quality Q team, goals are easier to come by.

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

      • Chris says:

        Again, it isn’t that different. Last season:


        Saint John Sea Dogs – +118
        Shawinigan Cataractes – +95
        Quebec Ramparts – +84
        Victoriaville Tigres – +83


        Niagara IceDogs – +122
        London Knights – +99
        Plymouth Whalers – +74

        In 2010-11, the OHL’s top teams (Mississauga – +117, Ottawa – +79, Niagara – +76) were not up to the pace put up by their peers in the QMJHL (Saint John – + 159, Quebec – +90, Montreal – +78) but that comes with the caveat that the Saint John Sea Dogs were one of the best junior teams ever constructed from a talent point of view. You have to go back to the Corey Perry London Knights (back-to-back seasons of +153 and then +185) to see a team with comparable talent.

        Even the rough and tumble WHL isn’t so far off the other two leagues in terms of the discrepancies. Last season’t top three (Edmonton – +117, Portland – +99 and Tri-City – +91) were right there with the other leagues, while the year before that was also comparable (Spokane – +117, Red Deer – +109, Saskatoon – +97).

        I really believe that the difference this year is that the OHL is just seeing a lack of high-profile forwards and nobody knows yet who the contenders are. It happens from time to time, and its going to make for an interesting season. As it stands right now, you couldn’t pick three favourites to start loading up on other teams 18 and 19 year olds in preparation for a Memorial Cup run. In the other leagues, that is not the case.

        The OHL is strange this year because the teams expected to contend (London, Kitchener, Plymouth) all got off to sluggish starts. Guelph and Owen Sound, who were not picks to contend this season, got off to great starts. I suspect things will return to some semblance of normality as all three of the powerhouse teams are starting to show signs of waking up.

        • Ron says:

          Thanks for the correction on the spelling of Saint John Chris. We lost the St quite some years ago. lol

        • commandant says:

          We’re comparing the OHL/QMJHL this season though when we compare Galchenyuk/Grigorenko’s numbers.

          Obviously its not every year that the OHL features more parity than the QMJHL.

          However this season it does IMO. When I was doing my predictions for the two conferences I saw a lot more parity in the OHL, where the winners of each division were nowhere near as clear or easy to predict as the QMJHL.

          Back when I did my QMJHL articles they were all about This team will finish first and here’s who is second…. where the OHL articles were all about good competition.

          The WHL is also suffering lack of parity this year, and I think when it all shakes out it will be Kamloops, Portland and Edmonton leading the way.

          The OHL is just a deeper, stronger, league this season on the whole, but it goes in cycles.

          In the last lockout for example we had the London Knights put together a team that might have been among the most dominant OHL teams in the last 30 years.

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

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            “Back when I did my QMJHL articles they were all about This team will finish first and here’s who is second…. where the OHL articles were all about good competition.”

            SO… Your belief that one particular league is better than another is the evidence that you’re using to support your argument that one league is better than the other?

          • commandant says:

            Sean I already posted the Stats that show my predictions are being proven correct approximately 20% of the way into the season.

            The QMJHL is showing a much greater disparity between top teams and bottom teams (seen in the goal differentials), then the OHL is this season.

            The OHL has a number of contenders to win the league, and a lot of parity, while the Q is a battle of 3, maybe 4 if we get lucky, teams.

            In the WHL, we’ve already seen teams like Kamloops be absolutely dominant.

            The OHL is the deepest league top to bottom this season. Will it be the same next year? probably not, things change quickly in junior hockey. But at this point in the year, this is the result we are seeing.

            Of course, traditionally the trade deadlines seem to make the strong teams stronger, and the weak teams weaker in the CHL leagues as teams load up for playoff runs, or give up and build for the future…. so we’ll have to re-examine then. But looking at the first 12-15 games, we are seeing the QMJHL dominated by a small number of teams.

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

          • Chris says:

            Ben: We’re comparing those leagues present day numbers now, but that was certainly not the tone of the comments over the past couple of days if people read back through the posts. This has been a small but welcome change of tack since it was pointed out that the numbers don’t bear out a more offensive game in the QMJHL vs. the OHL.

            The QMJHL is routinely written off as an offensive league, while the OHL enjoys a reputation of a well-balanced league. Yet the numbers have not borne that out for the past few years.

            I think it is quite enough to say that Sarnia is a terrible team, whereas Quebec is one of the top 10 teams in the country. But the tendency is to constantly to throw digs in at the Q which I feel are unwarranted and perpetuate a bias that is doing the kids in th Q a big disservice.

            Scouts typically write off the statistics of a player in the Q because it is an “offensive league with no defence”. Then people take that lack of draft picks as proof that the Q is an inferior product. It strikes me as a vicious circle. I am confident there are a significant number of undrafted players from Quebec and the Maritime/Atlantic provinces who perhaps would have been better draft picks than some of their drafted peers in the Ontario and Western Hockey Leagues. But the bias that their league is a joke is a hard one to shake.

          • commandant says:

            Fair enough, I just know that I haven’t said its been weaker for several years. I’ve always talked about depth and that is specific to this year.

            We saw in last years QMJHL playoffs with teams like Quebec and Shawinigan getting knocked off and teams like Halifax, Chicoutimi and Rimouski going far that the league had more parity overall (even if Saint John was the clear top team).

            This season teams like Shawinigan and Saint John took major steps backward, and I’m not sure they have been replaced in the upper echelon of the league, while Quebec and Halifax are no longer just top teams, they are even better than they were and seperated from the pack even more. But its a cycle.

            As I said above though, if there is one area the Q has been weaker in recent years, its the number of Quebec Born players they are producing. I don’t think thats the Q’s fault, and I don’t think its scouts bias either. Hockey Quebec has made a lot of changes in recent years as they had some big issues at the minor league levels. We just haven’t quite seen the results of those changes yet.

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

  29. Haborama says:

    Re the JohnBellyful post: ……………………… I really don’t know what to say……………………

    It seems his um “imagination” can get a little scary at times………


  30. Habfan10912 says:

    And this from Krejci, of the Animals, er a Bruins.

    • L Elle says:

      Ya, poor guy. I guess Bettman makes him travel between games on a train…in a boxcar with no heat.

      F Bettman, the owners, Fehr and the players, I just want my hockey! 😉

  31. JohnBellyful says:

    The ongoing saga of the CBA talks, which have turned on how all hockey-related revenue is to be divided, has been captured in a blockbuster novel. Here’s a synopsis of the plot that has propelled 50/50 Shades of Grey into this year’s number one bestseller.
    Warning: The following contains graphic content. For mature readers only.

    Bonnie Fehr bit her lip as she fought back tears. Never had she been so humiliated. She had stayed up all night to put together three draft proposals for her contract law professor, the enigmatic, darkly handsome, intriguingly short Christian Bettman, only to have the assignment flung in her flace… face… oh, she was so flustered!
    “Thoroughly disappointed,” he had snapped at her, and his words were as acid as they fell on her skin. His spittle was hot with spite, and it seared the flesh.
    She felt pain – and something else!. A stirring she had experienced only once before, when she had eaten an ice cream cone too fast and given herself a brain freeze – initial delight giving way to terrible agony.
    Was Christian Bettman to be her spumoni?
    Bonnie turned her head away to hide the shame of her failure and to escape the cold, cruel stare of her tormentor … and, dare she say it, her master?
    “None of your three variations even approach the 50-50 target I had set for your assignment,” Bettman sneered. “Either at all or for some long period of time.”
    A pause.
    “I expected more of you, Ms. Fehr.”
    Dear God, his hand was upon her shoulder! She willed herself to remain conscious.
    “I tell you what. I’ll give you one more chance to make this right. Work on it for the rest of the afternoon and then come see me tonight at my suite. I’m sure you can come up with something better.
    “By the way are you double-jointed?”

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Bonnie stood outside Bettman’s door, her right hand poised to knock. She hesitated. What was she doing here? Was she walking into a situation where she’d feel trapped for the rest of her life? Why was the peephole waist high?
      The door suddenly opened and there stood Bettman, in dark blue silk kimono pyjamas, a silken smile giving his face an eerie glow. A closer look revealed it was a lava lamp off to the right that illuminated the room, as it destroyed the village of Pompeii and its panicked residents every two minutes.
      “Ein der luckenbach heiderhosen guten dag.”
      Uh? was what Bonnie wanted to say but she recovered and said instead: “What?”
      “Ein der luckenbach heiderhosen guten dag.”
      This time a bit more forcefully.
      Now Bonnie was thoroughly bewildered, and beginning to feel like a Pompeiian. Panicky.
      Suddenly, a grin broke across the lower part of Bettman’s upper body.
      “I’m sorry, it appears we weren’t speaking the same language. Is this better?”
      Bonnie sighed and allowed Bettman to usher her into the room – and straight to his office!
      “Okay, Ms. Fehr let’s hear what you have to offer with your new proposal.”
      As Bonnie removed the 45 pages of the detailed contract she had prepared from her handbag, Bettman busied himself pulling out various instruments from a side drawer of his magnificent oak desk, unusual not only for its mammoth dimensions but also by the presence of a pillory at one end and a rack at the other.
      “Never mind, Ms. Fehr. I’ve written up some agreements myself, which I think you’ll find will serve as a model for the sort of arrangement I’m looking for. I can assure you it will improve your understanding of where our relationship is headed. No more confusion.”
      Wide-eyed, but strangely without fear – the manacles and handcuffs Bettman held in his hands she found strangely comforting – Bonnie gratefully accepted the paperwork handed her.
      “The first agreement is non-disclosure, the second contract is one of dominance and submission” – for the first time in her life Bonnie knew fully what it meant to swoon – “and the third one talks about escrow.”
      The excitement was too much. Bonnie slid off the chair onto the floor. Ecstacy was writ large upon her face.
      “Escrow,” she sighed: The bond that ties people together.
      She didn’t care what other people would think.
      Bettman picked up a feather duster.
      “I do hope you’re ticklish,” he said, as he pulled off her shoes.

      — “A little song, a little dance, Holy cow! What’s in your pants?” —

      • Cal says:

        Nothing like a little pulp fiction to spice things up around here. **Standing O** Funny as all gosh golly, too! 😀

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Too funny. BTW dif you get burlys message today in regards to the mini summit?


        • JohnBellyful says:

          Yep. Burl’ works wonders. Sent an e-mail like he suggested and lickety-split I got a phone call from the gentleman I’ve been trying to reach for more than a week.
          So Hamilton here I come.
          (Turn left at Toronto, right?)

    • SmartDog says:

      I see what’s coming. Bonnie learns to take… it in the end.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Cal says:

      One question, JB. Where’s Savoie Fehr, Bonnie’s sophosticated younger brother in all this?

  32. HabFab says:

    For all those that remember, Robert aka “Serious” has released his latest Prospect Ranking. First of the season I believe…

  33. superkev420 says:

    Ok, so im not sure if I fully understand. How are players, that already have a signed contract with their respective teams, losing money when the HRR split goes 50/50?

    As I see it, they are not losing money since they have already been guaranteed a certain amount of money on there contracts. I realized unsigned players will be losing money because there is not as much room in the cap.

    Can anyone explain this? Will contracts be lowered to accomodate cap space? Isint that illegal? I dont get it.

    • shiram says:

      Contracts have provisions in them stating they must adhere to the CBA, so if the new CBA calls to have salaries on already signed contracts slashed, those contracts will be slashed.
      It’s basically something the players agreed with the NHL in the last CBA negotiations.

    • HabFab says:

      If in the new CBA, the players are getting 50% of the HRR and their contracts are set at 57% (such as right now). Then when the 8% held back against their salaries during the season to prevent overage is cleared at season’s end…they would only be entitled to the amount that gives the players 50%. Groggy so not sure I’m making myself clear.

    • shiram says:

      I would not put much credibility in this news, it had to be translated and we could have lost meaning in the translation and besides that what he says is nothing to be infuriated with.
      As a player he has to play the tough card, so of course he will say he does not mind not playing in the NHL, he’s got another job right now, and he has to be courteous to the journalist over there.
      And us Habs fan all know how Little K had troubles adjusting to North American life…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      regardless if the article is 100% true or not I think SK is a knob. The way he acted when he was with the habs was a joke. He is a headcase

    • The Jackal says:

      Why is he a knob? Because he spoke his mind? Good! Better than the same platitudes the rest of these guys spill 24/7. So what if he likes it better in Russia, so what if he does not like the culture in North America so much. That explains why some Russian players “don’t try,” as the usual short-sighted ethnocentric explanation goes.

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

  34. shiram says:

    Marc Savard skated monday, under supervion from a personal trainer, savard said it was not a pleasant experience. No return in sight for him either.
    French :–spt.html

    • Kooch7800 says:

      That sucks for him personally. The fact his daily life is drastically effected by a cheap shot and his life will likely never be the same again let alone every play hockey again.

      • Cal says:

        The man has to retire. His brain is too affected to push his body any more. Like Pronger.

        • Bripro says:

          Even if he retires, as Kooch said…. his life will never be the same.
          Can he hike with his kids? Can he take them out on the ice? Can he walk his dog? It’s time the NHL took a much harder and long look at the issue of concussions. I still don’t see how they can’t strike up a deal to make the shoulder and elbow pads softer to impact.
          They’re certainly not going to slow down the game.

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • shiram says:

            I agree with you on this Bripro, the NHL should do more to help protect the players, but the players are not off the hook either, the NHLPA should try to improve things too, but it does not seem to be a priority for them.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Marc played with my cousin in Oshawa on the generals. He was a really nice guy and is/was a heck of a hockey player.
            I feel bad for him as a human being that something as simple as a cheap body check to the head will effect his life from here on out.

            Hockey players def have some danger pay built in with their huge salaries but you would never see Bettman who makes 8 mill a year missing time with him with his family or life due to an injury in his job.

            I wish Marc all the best

          • Kooch7800 says:

            @Shiram – you are correct. More needs to be done on the NHLPA side as well

          • Bripro says:

            I’m not sure I would blame the players on this. Well, let me clarify. The level of disrespect is far beyond what it used to be. On that basis, yes, the players have a part of the responsibility to live up to.
            As for the speed of the game, I think that’s something that the league has to monitor regularly and make adjustments.
            They are so much bigger and faster than when I was young.
            And yet, the new equipment is like body armor. You can’t tell me that the pads can’t be made softer at the points of impact, yet maintain its strength and integrity for the wearer, especially given today’s new materials.
            I fail to understand why the NHL are slow off the mark.
            If the Bruins’ Gregory Campbell got injured, I would wager a sum that Daddy would step in and there would be modifications to said equipment.

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • shiram says:

            My comment on the NHLPA goes beyond just players showing a modicum of respect to each other, it seems to me the PA should be leading the way with proposals on how to improve the safety of it’s members. It might be ironic for them to have to go to the NHL to have the players they represent be protected from themselves…

          • Cal says:

            I am firmly in the camp of Common Sense.
            Common sense dictates a player is allowed to body check the puck carrier. The second the puck is gone, any hit should be illegal.
            Common sense dictates that any hit to the head, on purpose or accidental, calls for expulsion from the game and a further review by ex-players that weren’t goons.
            Common sense dictates that while a helmet should have a hard shell, shoulder and elbow pads should not.

            Alas, this is the NHL we’re talking about. No common sense there.

          • Bripro says:


            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • neumann103 says:

      There is a lot of good discussion in this thread but I can’t respond to the later posts. A couple of things.

      I don’t think most of the people who want the players to address this think that individually they can suddenly develop a common and universally applied respect for each other’s safety, if it means some of them will be out of work because they are not willing to “do what it takes”. This is about the NHLPA taking a collective stand and effectively saying there are not jobs for the type of players who take callous cheap shots.

      But one of the ways that the NHLPA most resembles a traditional union in the negative sense is that it is loath to do anything that limits the employment of any class of member. That is what has to be overcome. To be fair, there are positive aspects of this. Unions also have been instrumental in protecting the rights of minority employees, even when the majority of the membership is against the rights of those minorities. So it seems straightforward to expect the NHLPA to be onside with getting goonery out of the game, but goons are members too, and you can think of lots of other descriptors that would sub in for “goon” that are not so progressive.

      Obviously equipment does not need to be weaponized. It ought to be a fairly simple affair to expect that manufacturers meet standards introduced to avoid making elbow pads into hammers. However this is likely to have little effect on the head injuries like concussions. A padded elbow to the helmet at 30 MPH is just about the same as an unpadded one.

      Cal’s point about hitting players without the puck is a good one. The single thing that has astonished me most about the change in rule enforcement and expectation is this nonsense tolerance of “finishing your check”. Every NHL game (and presumably at any level as this stuff does not come out of thin air) features at least a dozen 30-foot-run-at-someone-who-got-rid-of-the-puck-three-seconds-ago incidents that even in the tough old 1970s would have been called boarding or charging or at least interference. Enough. Just call the penalties until that stops.

      “Et le but!”

    • Bripro says:

      OK, well, I typed up this long reply, which got lost in the stratosphere. Oh well, there’s 15 minutes of my life I won’t get back.
      And I won’t waste another, except to say:

      “HNIC hired P.J. Stock, so anything is possible.” Ouch….Shot!

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • shiram says:

        So you’re not even goign to give us a Tl;Dr?

        • Bripro says:

          Give you a what?

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • shiram says:

            Tl:Dr or a “too long ; did not read”, basically just a summarized version of what you intended to post.

          • Bripro says:

            Thanks. I’ll remember that next time. Or should I say TY.

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  35. AliHaba says:

    Tim Bozon 13 games 21 points
    Charles Hudon 11 16 out–ankle
    Brady Vail 13 16
    Alex Galchenyuk 12 15
    Erik Nystrom 14 14
    Olivier Archambault 13 12
    Darren Dietz 14 9
    Magnus Nygren 16 8
    Mac Bennett 3 4
    Daniel Pribyl 3 4
    Dalton Thrower 10 3
    Mark Mac Millan 2 2
    Sebastian Collberg 16 2
    Josiah Didier 2 0
    Colin Sullivan 3 0
    Danny Kristo 0 0 team suspension

  36. SmartDog says:

    Bripro – re your question (previous thread) about Fehr saying that it will go to 50-50…

    I think it’s his third offer that says – you can have all new contracts based on a 50-50 cap, with current contracts paid out in full but for the purpose of the CAP judged at 50-50. In other words, to keep the math simple, say the cap goes down by 10% next year (because of a 50% share cap instead of 57%), and you have a guy like Gionta on an existing $5 mil contract. Gionta gets his 5 mil take home pay, but for the Cap sake, that’s a $4.5 mil contract.

    So in other words – we’ll give you what you want, EXCEPT you can’t roll anyone back in terms of take-home.

    To me, that’s a fair offer. The other union offers amount to a similar benefit to the league depending on how much revenues grow etc. But to me, the players – who lost the last one and have been crapped on by Bettman as only Bettman can during this one – are being REASONABLE, and have been from their first offer while Bettman has jumped around, starting with a kick in the groin and then modifying that to be just a slap in the face.

    As they did the LAST time the players are giving up not just money but also position. Last time they let the cap in. This time they are moving to a 7% lower share of revenue, and everyone knows full well they will that even if this deal is only 6 years, the players will never get more than 50% again. And most of the NHLPA offers were structured similarly – to move down percentage-wise over time. To me that’s real movement – real CHANGE that will PERMANENTLY help the league. Compare that to the BS the league has done by offering table scraps and then saying “we’ve improved our offer dramatically, why isn’t the NHLPA kissing our butts?”.

    And incidentally, I am sure when Daily says the basis for a deal is on the table he is talking about the fact that the NHLPA has come to the 50% point with the existing contracts needing to be sorted out. On the owners side, the only ones who are NOT going to like this deal are the unscrupulous dumbasses who gave out huge contracts EXPECTING a roll-back. But on the positive side for them, they get a guy who has part of his salary off the cap.

    Alright, now I THINK that’s what Fehr said. 🙂 If I’m wrong I’m sure I’ll get pounded. Correct me if I am. (Like I have to ask.)

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Cal says:

      Players didn’t lose last time. The system brought in has them taking in more than the owners, with no costs.

    • Bripro says:

      No Dog, all I’m saying is that Fehr submitted offers to the NHL that “would get them to 50/50″…. not that they would agree on a 50/50 split from the get go.
      I appreciate your outlining the math for me (which, btw, I had understood when discussed initially), but I just find it odd that no one seems to have picked up on the wording.
      In one interview, (paraphrasing) he said that the players “are willing to get there over time.”
      What does that mean? They’ll take a 50/50 split? When? When the new CBA expires?
      Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been calling Butthead since Butthead locked everyone out. Just read my musical reviews.
      I don’t endorse him, but his was (a first) a transparent attempt at getting a deal done, but the NHLPA submitted a counter-offer which was quickly rejected, and won’t tell us what was in it.
      In french, we call that “un couteau à deux tranchants”. A two-edged sword.
      So who’s right, and who’s wrong?

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • SmartDog says:

        In English we say “double-edged sword”, same thing.

        Okay, I get ya. I think Fehr’s point is reasonable as you can tell by the tome above. Why should the players just say “yah, roll us back 7% if that will help Phoenix and the Islanders – no problem”.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Cal says:

          How about they lose 100% of 1 season? Will that solve their problem? Guerin still regrets losing 6.8 mil he should have collected if the players weren’t such dimwits.

  37. kempie says:

    Tom Gulitti ‏@TGfireandice
    Devils D Anton Volchenkov fractures ankle while playing in KHL, expected to miss 4-6 weeks: If the NHL and NHL P…
    Retweeted by Tony Marinaro

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My understanding Tyler Ennis got hurt as well and concern it could be re-injury of his high ankle sprain. This could force Buffalo’s hand to bring Grigorenko in sooner than expected if we do have hockey this season.

      Thankfully Gomez is not playing in the KHL so we don’t have these concerns. 😉

  38. Blondie says:

    Excuse me, just to get on topic for a second. 🙂

    I’m really looking forward to this film. I always liked Nilan as a Hab and was really happy for him when he had that 20 goal season. Happy for him now, too, since he seems to be conquering his demons.

    edit: Oops! Didn’t see Cal’s and frontenac’s posts when I posted this.

  39. Cal says:

    I loved Knuckles. He was one of the last Hab players that habsolutely hated to lose. Fights, too. 😉

  40. frontenac1 says:

    Always loved Knuckles. Hope eveything is well with him.

  41. commandant says:

    Not only is Grigorenko playing in a league that is much easier to score, he’s also playing on one of the top 3 teams in that league and is surrounded by other top talent.

    Comparing his point total to Galchenyuk’s is the ultimate in Apples vs Oranges.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I do really like Grigorenko as well, but I think/hope Galchenyuk ends up the better franchise player. Had Galchenyuk not been available, I would have been okay with Grigorenko, I think he got a bad rap during predraft build up, just as Galchenyuk got dismissed during the year due to injury.

    • Ron says:

      Ben. are you putting the caliber of the QMJHL as a lesser product than the OHL ?

      • neumann103 says:

        I expect that Ben will reply but I think it is more of a question of emphasis on offense. It is very broadly believed to be easier to score in the QMJHL as compared to the OHL and WHL which are generally regarded as more physical and more defensive in nature. This has been true for a long time. I don’t know if the stats prove it, but if there was one piece of conventional wisdom about the CHL that would be near the top of the list.

        So being on a good team in a high scoring league compared to being on a bad team in a lower scoring league makes the stats comparison apples to oranges.

        “Et le but!”

      • commandant says:

        The Best teams in the QMJHL can compete with the best teams in any league.

        However the overall caliber and depth of the leagues is in question. A mid-pack team in the Q is generally weaker than a mid pack team in the OHL and WHL.

        Those leagues have 5 or 6 teams that could win the league, the QMJHL has 3 or 4. Those leagues have a further 5 or 6 teams capable of a 1 round upset of any of the top dogs. The QMJHL has 3 or 4.

        Just look at the number of NHL prospects coming out of the WHL and OHL, especially look at the defencemen. Compare sheer numbers vs the Q. The sheer numbers show deeper leagues.

        The Q has as many elite players as the other leagues, and their elite teams are just as good, but the overall depth is just lacking.

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

        • Ron says:

          Thats what I thought would be your reasoning. As you say the talent level is spread out a little thinner in the Q than in the OHL. I guess the only real time the teams show the equal level of talent is during the Memorial Cup runs. It is there that the best of all 3 come together. Thanks

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    I wonder if Don Fehr is finding negotiating with Gary Bettman a little more difficult than that great used car salesman Bud Selig. Surely the reason Fehr was able to win that negotiation had to do with Fehr’s brilliance, not the fact that the stooge on the other side of the table was Bud Selig, who decided an All Star game should determine Home Field advantage for the most important series in the season.

    • Bripro says:

      I would love to be a fly in the corner when the players get together to discuss the progress so far. I wonder if he has all of their confidence or support?

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Maybe but the MLB union was very much unified under his leadership. I’m thinking and maybe hoping as well, that the NHLPA may not be as unified.


      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t doubt Fehr has ability, I just think Bettman is much smarter than Selig. Thankfully he is now an impartial commissioner in Baseball, afterall he was no longer allowed to own a MLB team as commissioner so he found an impartial owner of the Brewers in his daughter.

        I can’t stand Bettman, but he is shrewd. My point being, Fehr is not negotiating with a hick.

  43. Chuck says:

    Poor Sergei:

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

    • Luke says:

      I don’t think SK really said anything wrong, or particularly wrong. The way I read it was that he basically said:

      It’s better to know one way or the other. If they end up cancelling the season, then it’s better for everyone for it to happen now instead of in a few weeks or months. That way people can actually move on and they aren’t living limbo, waiting to find out if they are flying around the world tomorrow… for the teams they are playuing on to know what to expect roster wise etc etc…
      I don’t think he said “I hope they cancel the season” he said “If the season gets cancelled, It’s best if they do it sooner rather than later.”

  44. Mikhail Grigorenko on fire in the QMJHL with 10 goals and 14 assists in 12 games…Gally has only 5 goals and 10 assists in the same number of games in the OHL.

    Does anyone think the Habs picked the wrong center in last years draft?

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
    Twitter: @teliopost

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Not at all actually. Gally is better defensively than Grigorenko and Gally is in great shape with extreme dedication to fitness and hockey. Gally will be a star

    • Habfan10912 says:

      You’re kidding right? Troll question of the day.


    • Bripro says:

      You have to remember that he was off most of last year. I’m sure it will take him a little time to adjust and come back up to pro conditioning. Once they’re both playing in the NHL, then we’ll have the privilege of hindsight.

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • veryhabby says:

      terlipost…no we picked the right kid.

      Remember scoring in the Q is over-rated compared to the Ohl.

      But more importantly, even Timmons this weekend said that the reason Gal doesn’t have more points is cause Sarnia is a horrible team and Gal has no one to finish his incredible passes (ok I am paraphrasing what he said lol) But it’s basically what he said. In that game Gal ended up with 1 A, but easily could have had 3 if his wingers could shot into empty nets! All reports state that Gal is head and shoulders above every other player on the ice.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So Telio, do you believe the OHL and QMJHL are then equal in terms of style of play and number of players who go on to the NHL?

      However, your patience in waiting until the 3rd or 4th week of the Junior Season before already condemning the pick is something to be commended for.

      • Habfan10912 says:



      • I never said i would have taken Grigo or said the Q is as good as the OHL.
        I’m just saying there was some debate before the draft as to who the Habs would pick and Grigo is in fact tearing it up so I think it is a valid question to ask.

        Burlington, for the record I never condemned Gally, i don’t know what you are talking about.

        Personally I’d take Gally any day of the week due to his intelligence and maturity but it seems like everyone agrees with me so there isn’t much debate here.

        I think the main reason Gally isn`t scoring more is due his teammates not being so great (as Ben reported Trevor Timmins saying in that recent great article of his).

        Thanks for all the love everyone.

        The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site:
        Twitter: @teliopost

    • chanchilla says:

      i’m half convinced this guy is just trolling.

    • Luke says:

      Jean-Maurice Cool once scored 149pts in the Q. It was his second season in the league with Verdun.

      Steve Yzerman, that season scored 64pts with the Petes.

      I’m pretty sure we all know Detroit picked the wrong the guy…

  45. Bripro says:

    Second! I’m not as fast as I used to be…. dang!

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  46. Mustang says:


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