Eller signs for two years

Lars Eller

Late Friday afternoon, the Canadiens announced they have signed RFA centre Lars Eller to a two-year contract.

Renaud Lavloie of RDS reports it’s for $2.65 million, which is a small increase on what he made last season .
As some members of the HIO Commentariat may know, Eller came to the Canadiens in 2011 in the deal that sent That Other Goaltender to St. Louis.
Eller is a favourite of HIO … not least because he looks like he’s 16 years old but is married and has a recently-born child.

His nickname in the room is “Larry” … which Eller hates … which means his teammates use it all the time.

One of the more pleasurable games at the Bell Centre last season was Eller’s four-goal explosion against Winnipeg:

One of the goals was a VERY COOL penalty-shot spinerama:


  1. aj says:


    Am I reading correctly what was indicated in this report? Doan is 35 yr. old RW whose a UFA right now. Sure, there’s some upside that will boost the Habs lineup but the organization have to think mileage here.

    Hmm, maybe he could sign a 2-3 yr deal. But, it will cost Molson and Bergevin a lot of cash to sign this guy. If this thing materializes, they would have to find a way to dump Gomez’s contract. I’m pretty sure they won’t go to a buyout.

    EDIT: I’m sure everyone would love to see Doan play w/ his second cousin goaltender of this team. Oh well…

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I would take Doan in a second. The guy is the kind of leader and competitor that we need to put the fire under the kids with the ability to back it up.

      And yes, Gomez needs a sandwich and a bus ticket back to somewhere.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I would take Doan in a second. The guy is the kind of leader and competitor that we need to put the fire under the kids with ability to back it up.

      And yes, Gomez needs a sandwich and a bus ticket back to somewhere.

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    I wonder if HIO has got caught up in this FBI malware problem that has infected millions around the globe.
    Or are they just waiting for the next signing for a new page.

    HIO Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

    • HabFab says:

      We are going for 1500 tonight Ian…

      • Clay says:

        Doing my part. 🙂

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

    • stevieray says:

      Sure never figured a pic of Larry would garnish this much interest…must be close to 5 days now ..I like the kid ..but ..
      He needs a beer in his hand !

    • ABHabsfan says:

      To combat your malware problem or any other infectious virus your computer may be experiencing, you should all try the new FixMe Stick from Steamtree Systems.www.fixmestick.com. My little brother invented this little gizmo and apparently it is the cat’s ass for this sort of thing. It is a Montreal-based company, and there are Habs tickets holders so there is a correlation.
      I have nothing interesting to add hockey-wise because there is nothing going on, so I am throwing this out there.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • piper says:

      Should see PKs big grinning mug on here soon. I hope.

    • boing007 says:

      No new news to report yet, so they’re sticking with this one.

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

    • New says:

      They have nothing to say Ian and are doing so with grace.

  3. jo_maka says:

    I have a feeling that, in a year or two, a Leblanc vs Collberg debate will engulf the whole Province in another chaos.
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

    • commandant says:

      God forbid we have 2 RWs on the team. Heck we could use 4

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • jo_maka says:

        We could use all we can, I’m with you on that. Its just than whenever a kid locale as a philosopher would say is in play, people around these parts get overly emotional. I love ’em both so far, but if the kid locale is used as a trade bait, Charest would get elected very easily as people around won’t pay attention to anything else at all.
        Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  4. HabFab says:

    engelheather – #Habs prospect Charles Hudon on Canada’s roster for 2012 CAN-RUS Challenge next month. Event replaces Canada’s WJC summer dev camp this yr.

  5. The_Franchise31 says:

    Doesn’t everyone remember the AK plek ak27 line from a few years back? That off season I said “they better not break up that line” and by the next season none of them showed up. What ever happend last year was last year and will not repeat exactly the same way. Who cares if they break up that line if it helps out the rest of the team

  6. The_Franchise31 says:

    I still don’t see what every body does in dasharnis… I’m happy for the season he had and I’m happy for a undrafted player to make the NHL but put plek or Eller in his position and I think dd would be forgotten about. It was not him driving that line last year, not by a long shot

    • piper says:

      I sort of agree but why break up the line if its going well. That leaves Plek for line2 where I think he should be. I hope Eller will develop into a top line centre since he has the size but i’m sure he can be a #2 centre.
      If we could trade Plek + for a big power winger (Stewart or Kane) that would be great but the + would have to be substantial IMO.
      Lets hope our first pick this year is a #1 centre in a couple of years.

  7. Greg says:

    Doan would be so good on the Habs. He doesn’t turn 36 until October or something like that so if we sign him this summer, it’s not an over-35 contract so unless he plays until he’s 40 we can give him more term (potentially, i’m just sayin’…).

    • TomNickle says:

      That’s why I floated three years. I can’t see him being offered more than that but I suppose it’s possible.

      3 years – $15 million.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I believe it’s a 35+ contract which means if you’re 35 then there is no relief.

      Besides, Doan would want to go to a Cup contending team, not a rebuilding team. His window of opportunity is closing.

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    Well it’s summer, so time for some reruns. Here’s an inept classic from December.


    How do I love David Desharnais? Let me count the ways…

    A significant quote of his is telling: when he was first called up and the media were getting to know him, he explained that at every level of hockey that he’s ever played at, when he first joins the team he concentrates on defence and the role he’s supposed to play within the coach’s system. He said he did that to gain the confidence of the coach, and it would inevitably lead to more icetime and more offensive opportunities. I remember thinking what a smart kid he was, especially compared to Andrei Kostitsyn, for example.

    He’s not a strong guy, but he makes up for it in quickness and agility. His assist on the Mike Cammalleri goal in Ottawa was telling, how quickly he pounced on the puck and wheeled around the net, no opponent could move in time to stop him. Along the boards, he gets low enough that opponents have a hard time getting leverage against him or getting a clean hit. He uses timing and a quick stick to steal pucks from bigger, stronger opponents all the time.

    I may be partial to him since I remember how hard it was to play against quick shifty forwards. Sure, if the opposing defencemen can get a good lick on him it’ll hurt, but they seldom do. Unlike Scott Gomez, he has a variety of moves, and goes to the net or slot without hesitation, and is effective once there.

    His linemates love him and want to play with him, and pout when they’re taken off his line. Max claims he’s the best player he ever played with.

    This is his first full season in the NHL. He’s still young, he will improve, get acclimated to the speed, get stronger and fitter still.

    The fact that he’s French-Canadian is a nice bonus. The Canadiens have a few competitive advantages. One is that they have a huge pool of hockey players who grew up idolizing the Habs, and will bleed bleu-blanc-rouge if they ever get a chance to don the jersey. I think we should use that to our advantage.

    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 2429: Travis Moen [x]
    June 2627: Mathieu Darche
    June 26: Ryan White
    June 30: Alexei Emelin
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 52: Carey Price [x]
    July 6: Lars Eller
    July 9: P.K. Subban


  9. HabsFanMTL says:


  10. TomNickle says:

    My two cents regarding Doan. Give him 3 years at $15 million.

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gionta
    Cole – Desharnais – Doan
    Bourque – Eller – Moen
    Prust – FA – White

    • nickster13 says:

      Too much coin! He’s a good player and all, but thats a serious chunk of money for a 36 year old

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

    • habs_54321 says:

      FA = noki/gomez?

      edit. where is white?

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I agree with the term and $$.

      I don’t really agree with the line-up, however. I’d tweak as follows. Rotate the wingers in your top 3 lines clockwise, one spot.

      • TomNickle says:

        $5 million to play on the third line?

        • Ozmodiar says:

          Sure. The difference vs. Bourque is 1.67. No biggie.

          3 lines that can score and everyone playing the position they’re most comfortable with.

          You’ve said Eller can replace Pleks. If the Habs brass think the same way, they might want to see him with a line-mate who can put up some points.

          • TomNickle says:

            I like your thought process. But the only way we’ll see similar production from Eller is with some powerplay time. That won’t happen unless(knock on wood) an injury occurs.

          • jo_maka says:

            Eller shouldn’t have to wait for an injury for that to happen. The Habs have to give him that (also evaluation of his potential)

            Hopefully Gomez will be sent in Europe by that time, no buyout, no Bulldogs. So there’s that. If anything, let Pleks work the half wall on the PP and have Eller at center out there at the same time. All they need is a sniping s.o.b and for Subban not to try to tickle the rafters so much. With Markov reactivated, should be interesting.

            Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

          • TomNickle says:


            Plekanec and Desharnais will be seeing the first and second unit powerplay time at centre. Gomez’s presence or lack of presence doesn’t change Eller’s role.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Tom 3 years at 10 maybe more like it.

  11. ont fan says:

    Craig Leipold says, I know I over spent to get these guys to Minnesota. I am against this kind of thing but what do you do to get your franchise kick started.

  12. HabsFanMTL says:

    bergevin has contacted Doan’s Agent and doan is also interested in playing for montreal but he is also talking to other teams

  13. jo_maka says:

    Could it be that this kid is the steal of the whole draft ? Now that we have him, that skilled and right-handed, I won’t be surprised if LL is in talks as trade bait somewhere.
    Open-mindedness is not a skull fracture

  14. frontenac1 says:

    Don’t be silly Bripro.It is common knowledge that Respect and Authority emanate from men that are well tailored. Habadashery my friend,Habadashery….Damn its Hot out here,where’s my fedora,everything is spinning

  15. TomNickle says:

    It would appear that there is a member of HockeyBuzz.com coming to this site for trade ideas, whispers or rumours.

    If any of you are aware of the information I shared prior to the long weekend I suggest you read John Jaekel’s most recent blog post on the website.

    He’s essentially calling me his source. And since I know that many of us here go the that website and read whether it be for entertainment or otherwise. I’ll clarify and say that John Jaekel does not know me and I do not know him.

  16. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …wonder if Boone intends to do an event by event game-day blog of the Olympics ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  17. Bripro says:

    Am I correct in assuming that, since both Boone and Stubbs are at the Olympics, we’re stuck on the Eller thread for the next 3 weeks or so?

  18. Harry says:

    the 4 goal night…shows Eller’s talent…also Kostitsyn’s..fans might be disappointed thinking lack of effort ( = nights off it was said) but the ex-team management ran him through a washing machine plus the dryer…everybody knows he can score 40 maybe 50 goals..he was one of the best for hits , the best 2 years back…good plus minus…most years 20 plus goals…most years top 6 forward…he has always said he loves Montreal….reported popular in the dressing room & upbeat, funny compared to his TV punished dog appearance…. with Russian speaking players around & finally some ability to communicate ( maybe he would be better to try French before English)….why don’t the Habs make him an offer….
    They need a winger & if they keep Gomez, AK may need to replace Gionta on the Plek line…

    • commandant says:

      AK46 could score 40 maybe 50 goals, if we include the goals in practice.

      5 different coaches in his NHL career including the much respected Barry Trotz couldnt get this guy to be consistent, its a little much to blame his problems on management

      Here we are July 9th and no NHL team has given him a contract, wonder why?

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • Harry says:

        He does not speak any native American language…he has a reputation mostly not deserved…if he does not get a contact in the NHL for sure he he has or will get KHL offers…..he will have to accept less than the $3.25 he got from the Habs in the NHl…for sure as the Nashville venture with Radulov was dumb….
        still he would be a steal if he had a good coach who also respects his offensive strengths & not push the defense, which in fact he has been good at…scratched the right way he will evfentually be explosive….

        Hairy Harry

        • commandant says:

          He is what he is, a 20-30 goal guy who hits well on the forecheck but is maddeningly inconsistent, takes dumb penalties and is not great defensively.

          At the right price he can be useful, but lets just not say he can score 40 or 50… it will never happen IMO. There are so few 40 goal scorers in the game and he isn’t one.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  19. frontenac1 says:

    Mustard colored blazer….Gauche! Also his wearing a suit with a short sleeved white shirt is fine if you are a NASA engineer or delivering Bibles door to door but he is behind the bench of the Montreal Canadiens for Chr*#t sakes!Something Must be done!

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Boone and Stubbs are in London now, Olympic”s and all.

    I have a contract to run this site for a month starting now. So everybody better be on their toe’s and best behavior.

    OK, first thing that you can help me out with! how do I put up a new page.? Eller has been signed over 2000 times!

    Just kidding!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Ah the Dog Days of summer,when a gentlemans fancy turns to other things of a more elegant nature.Like a fashion makeover for Mr.Therrien. And no,I don’t mean like that Vulgar Philistine on Coaches Corner. I mean something of a more refined nature.I’m talking about Brash,almost abusively decadent. Retro?Post Modern Hipster? Guys, it could be a game changer.This is important.Jeeze its hot out here in the sun….

  22. Un Canadien errant says:

    This novel sounds interesting, about a CHL hockey scout who turns Private Eye when someone turns up dead in an arena parking lot. By Gare Joyce, a hockey columnist. Heard him being interviewed on CBC, he compared a scout to private eyes in that they evaluate signs and project into the future, they do a lot of background checks on players and their families….



    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk [x]
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 2429: Travis Moen [x]
    June 2627: Mathieu Darche
    June 26: Ryan White
    June 30: Alexei Emelin
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau, Taylor Pyatt
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 52: Carey Price [x]
    July 6: Lars Eller
    July 9: P.K. Subban


  23. Habitant in Surrey says:


    …for the foreseeable future I will be annoyingly and shamelessly crusading for Our Montreal Canadiens to retire Toe Blake’s number 6 …and add His banner in the rafters next to Our other former Greats
    …now some of You may believe Toe was only a Great Coach, and as a Player, did not quite rate such an honor …and/or do not want yet another low-number unavailable to contemporary Players
    …maybe forgetting Toe Blake won an NHL scoring championship, the Hart Trophy and a Lady Byng, and led Our Habs in scoring in 6 seasons of His Hall Of Fame playing career …He was an essential component with The Rocket and Elmer Lach on the ‘The Punch Line’ which was the most feared scoring line of it’s day
    …most remember Toe Blake as the genius Coach of the Montreal Canadiens at the cusp of Our Golden Era …the Golden Era that most of Us were inspired by to follow Our Habs as if it was ‘a religion’ unto It’s own
    …Toe Blake’s name is on 11 rings of the Stanley Cup; 8 as Our Coach, 2 as a Player for the Montreal Canadiens, and one for the Montreal Maroons
    …Toe Blake was the ‘heart and soul’ that inspired and ‘showed the way’ to Our great Players of the time, both as a Player and Our Coach
    …His Legacy is greatly taken for granted, I strongly believe, by the fact Toe Blake’s number 6 is not represented in the rafters of the Bell Centre
    …the totality of Toe Blake’s legacy,as a Player and Our Coach, to the History and success of the Montreal Canadiens as the most famous brand in the hockey world is way past the overdue stage
    …I wish to request all Montreal Canadiens Fans to join with Ian Cobb and I to right a wrong
    …I suggested to Ian to theme this year’s Summit on Toe Blake …to incorporate some homage to Toe …maybe even make a request to Hurley’s Tavern to try to replicate the ambiance of the famed former Toe Blake’s Tavern
    …I will leave that to Ian, of what is doable in that regard …knowing Ian, He is more than capable
    …meanwhile, some clear input must be made by Habs Fans that agree with the objective, to let Their feelings and opinions be known to Geoff Molson and Montreal Canadiens Management
    …that means You !!! boys and girls
    …if this is something You would like to make right as I and Ian do, I will provide mail contacts below to send Your requests to Retire Number 6 !!!
    …if anyOne out there have other suggestions please let Ian and I know …they will be considered and appreciated

    The following are the most relevant to send your support to Retire Number 6 !!! testimonials:
    Geoff Molson: President and Owner (Twitter; @gmolsonchc)
    Kevin Gilmore: VP Operations

    Send your testimonials to:

    [Name of person]
    c/o The Montreal Canadiens
    1909, avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
    Montreal, QC, CANADA
    H3C 5L2

    Michel F.Therrien ???: HIS’ new Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey/The Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfkvPnjb9hs

    HIS’ temporary alternative 🙂 HIO Official Theme Song: Annakin Slayd’s: ‘MTL Stand-up !’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK0l0XEW3Dw
    HIO’s BC Odd Couple: uCE, the supercilious stickler; and HIS, the stubbornly relentless ‘schismatist’ 🙂
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  24. commandant says:

    Chicago is unlikely to give him up, but knowing our team needs and what this player brings, the guy I’d target is Brandon Saad.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  25. HardHabits says:

    Haha. Two years ago it was “the Habs don’t Tank™” and now it’s “we’re developing for the future so if we make the play-offs next season that’s a bonus however if we miss them we can trade some veterans for picks at the trade deadline with the worse case scenario being if the Habs finish in the draft lottery we’ll get another super sweet pick to add to the three 2nd rounders we have in 2013, all that added to the prospects we already have in the pipeline.”

    You can either curse me or thank me.

  26. habs_54321 says:

    apparently montreal is talking with chicago with montreal looking to aquire a forward, looking at montreals defence their is definetly an abundance of simular dmen at the 6th-8th spot with kaberle,diaz, & weber and only a spot for one of those 3. not to mention ellis,nash,tinordi,beaulieu & st denis waiting in the wings to seize an oppurtunity,

    the 3 forwards that stand out to me from chicago’s roster that are obtainable are viktor stalberg, bryan bickell, and kyle beach

    each of these 3 players have different usefull skillsets if you had the choice to aquire one of the 3 for lets say diaz & weber who would you look to aquire?

    • HabsFanMTL says:

      so who’s your source that montreal is talking to chicago? and in fact if they are would u not think maybe they want kane?

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I’d be happy with any of the 3, but I think it would take more than Diaz and Weber to pry Stalberg.

      I’m one of those that is uninterested in the Kane rumors though. I think he would cost too high a price and with Gio and DD on the team and Gallagher in the wings, I don’t know think he fits.

    • HabFab says:

      Don’t believe that sorry. Chicago is apparently trying to move D-man Hjalmarsson as they feel that they had to over pay to counter a RFA offer sheet after their Cup win. They do have an overabundance of forwards including one they payed $3+ ml to play in the AHL.


      • habs_54321 says:

        “rumor has it” as the song goes is that chicago would love to add a right handed power play defenceman to their roster hence all the subban for kane rumors, i don’t think a subban for kane trade would happen (although its possible he is still not signed maybe he’s asking to much) but a more realistic trade is weber & diaz for kyle beach a right shot power forward prospect.

        Another trade id like to say makes sense although their is no official rumor is diaz or weber for Nino Niederreiter he had a complete disaster of a year last year scoring 1 goal 0 assists in 55 games with a -29 rating…… why trade for him? hes a 5th overall pick of 2010 and is 6’2. why would the islanders whant one of our swiss dmen? they are undervalued as puck moving dmen by us because we have an abundance of them islanders have the pride of switzerland in mark streit and might whant to team him up with a fellow countryman or two to try to take them to another level in their development as capable dmen

        dont hate me for speaking my mind im just saying these theoretical trades would make sense for both teams and im being as unbiased as possible

  27. SmartDog says:

    This year will be interesting, but probably nothing to write home about.

    BUT the situation of the Habs a year or two from now looks good because:
    a) A year or two from now (if not sooner) we’re going to have the problem of being too strong at center – with Galchenyuk AND Plekanec AND Eller AND Desharnais ALL being probably top 6 centers… we’re going to have something of SERIOUS value in trade to help wher-eever we need it.
    AND… at the same time we may also have excess riches on D. A package with one of the above centers and a strong D prospect or young player could return a top line winger.

    b) Meanwhile we’ve locked in key players long term. This is what’s smart about what the new management is doing. Price, Subban (to come), Plekanec, Cole, Gorges… all are high-level players… and add character guys like Moen and Prust (also on long term deals)… this means stability and a great core during those next several years when our prospects are maturing.

    With good coaching and management (and no really dumbass trades) we’re a serious threat 2 years from now.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Chuck says:

      Great… just when the Oilers should be getting REALLY good. 😉

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

  28. Kfourn says:

    Mason Raymond signed a 1 year 2.25million contract with the ‘nucks. He’s 26, does that mean he goes UFA next off season….might be worth looking into.

    • habsnyc says:

      Yes, he will be a UFA next off season. Vancouver has only six forwards under contract for 2013. Burrows will also be a UFA.

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

    • Bripro says:

      At that price, he’s a bargain.
      He’ll be due for a healthy raise next year.

      • HabFab says:

        This was actually a 15% decrease after a 10 + 10 season.

        • Bripro says:

          I think he only started back somewhere around Christmas, no?
          He broke his collar bone (I think) during the previous playoffs and missed most of the beginning of the season.
          So how many games is that? 40?

          EDIT: He broke his vertebrae and played 55 games.
          But he was very solid in the previous year’s playoffs, and it looks as though his injury plagued his season. I’d take him at that price.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Mason Raymond is a perpetual disappointment for the Canucks and their fans. He’s the first-rounder who has/had lots of promise but doesn’t deliver. They think of him as we do of Aaron Palushaj, small but fast guy who’s all over the ice but his game doesn’t include his linemates well, and he can’t finish. I don’t see what he brings that would be of interest to the Canadiens, based on our roster and prospects.

  29. Sean Bonjovi says:

    This is my official for the day concerning Tomas Plekanec.


  30. YoNiko says:

    Guys, Eller is 23. He scored 10 goals his first season playing mostly 4th line minutes. He has a physical presence and is probably our best stickhandler. Most of his goals have been goal scorer goals. Not many were flukes or bangers and crashers type of goals.

    Im not sure but if you were to compare Plek and Eller, at the same age, im sure youd see Eller is ahead, not only statisticalyl but physically as well.

    Last season, Eller had 16 goals, again with little or no PP time, playing with players like MOEN , Darche and rookies like Palushaj and Leblanc .. Found some good chemistry with AK and TM but that didnt last long cuz of injuries.

    My point, I guess, is that our hope as a team and as fans, is to have the best possible team out there year in and year out.

    And perhaps, just for one more year, that has Plekanec as your number 1 center. But long term, there is no way that this team will have eller, plek, AlexG and DD as our 4 Centerman. Need another big body down the middle.. in the palce of either Pleks or DD.

    I believe Eller will become a Jordan Staal type of player. in the sense that he will produce good numbers whilst not playing on the top two lines.

    Hopefully we could surround him with better players as we have started to this off season. Of course all this depends on AlexG and how well he will play…

    Cheers for now

    • twilighthours says:

      So you see Eller playing a third line role going forward and being a good scorer, too? This means that we will at some point have to get proper 3rd liner wingers for him..

    • habsnyc says:

      I’m rooting for the organization to give Eller a chance to score 20+ goals. I mean any intelligent hockey organization would give top six minutes to the highest draftest center in the organization. It is not like the team actually made the playoffs or anything with someone else playing ahead of Eller. There is nothing to lose by seeing how good Eller could be. And if he is not any good, well the organization has not been any good for 20 years, so it would not be a big loss.

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

  31. commandant says:

    Who is Sam Gagne? Simon’s undrafted little brother?

    Sam Gagner, son of ex-NHL Dave Gagner, is a 2nd line centre for the Oilers, who had one magical week which included an 8 point night in what was otherwise a pretty shitty season for him last year.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

    • twilighthours says:

      Replace “oilers” with “habs”, “gagner” with “Eller” and “8 point” with “4 goal”…

    • songles says:

      Yeah. I spelled his name wrong a bunch of times. I also didn’t really get that he has, over 5 NHL seasons, failed to live up to his projections as a #1 centre. I thought he was only a couple seasons in and had a much higher ceiling. I erroneously lumped him in with the other Oilers 1st rounders.

      There are a few players like that in the league that I tend to unconsciously overrate based on long expired hype. Most of the them are in the Western Conference because I don’t watch much hockey that isn’t Habs hockey.

    • habsnyc says:

      I’m not sure why 15-20 goals and 40-50 points is “shitty” for a 22 year old second line center.

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

      • commandant says:

        A guy who can’t win a faceoff, and can’t play defence, and has the hype of Gagner needs to bring more. Especially when you take out the 12 or so points that came in that magical week.

        The suggestion was trading Plekanec ++ for him, which is crazy.

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

        • habsnyc says:

          He plays defense, but he throws fewer checks than Phil Kessel. Agree that Plekanec for him is ridiculous. Plekanec for an NHL ready scoring wing + first round pick is a good deal.

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

  32. naweed235 says:

    I think the real question here is if Plekanec was ever to be traded, would he still wear the turtleneck with the CH logo on it?

  33. frontenac1 says:

    I seem to recall Mike”s last go around ,he was somewhat challenged in the fashion area.Anybody think a snappy Zoot Suit and appropriate Fedora would work for him? I think he could pull off Retro quite well.

  34. Ozmodiar says:

    Chemistry is a wonderful thing. Pleks must have loved playing with “Others” 71.5% of the time.

    Line combos:

    Cammalleri-Gionta 7.5%
    Moen 5.8% (mostly SH)
    Bourque-Leblanc 5.6%
    Bourque-Darche 4.9%
    Pacioretty-Gionta 4.6%
    Others 71.5%

    Pacioretty-Cole 58.4%
    Cammalleri-Cole 7.6%
    Pacioretty-Kostitsyn 3.5%
    Cole 2.2% (almost none SH)
    Pacioretty 1.9%
    Others 26.2%

    Now, who was it that was responsible for Cammy’s lack of production?? 🙂


  35. twilighthours says:

    Regarding desharnais, what value can we place in the fact that pacioretty has called him the best player he’s ever played with?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      They have chemistry and it shows. Why not take advantage of it.

    • TomNickle says:

      Pacioretty’s experience has been Montreal, Hamilton and Michigan over the last few years.

      I’d call Markov the best player he’s ever played with but he knows better than I do.

      • twilighthours says:

        Indeed, he does. This isn’t to incite an Eller v plex v DD debate, nor to even disagree with you on any of these issues. It’s just fascinating to me that most of us spend so much time disagreeing with roster moves and line combinations when real, live NHL employees see things much differently than we do. Is DD the best centre on the canadiens? I have no idea, but cunneyworth and pacioretty both think so, and I gotta think they know more than me, so I can’t invest too heavily into a debate like this one.

        • ont fan says:

          The only debate I have is who will bring us the best return now, for the future, not who is going to be the best centre. I have to move the most expierenced guy. Not that i don’t like him as a player.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Pacioretty doesn’t give himself enough credit. Before the Chara hit he was playing on a line with Gomez and Gionta, and was on pace for a 30 goal/82 game season. He put up 33 with Desharnais.

      His rate of production basically stayed level moving from a line with Gomez, to that of Desharnais.

      Adding a bull like Erik Cole doesn’t hurt your production either. Desharnais’s upside is marginal at best. He doesn’t have the speed of a St. Louis, nor does he have the tenacity and shooting ability of a Gionta (or a Gallagher for that matter). You need at least one of those skills as an undersized player to be effective long term in the NHL.

      I was screaming bloody murder all last season that we needed to spread our sized wingers (Cole and Patches) out over the first two lines to make space for both top line centers. Isolating Desharnais with our two best big forwards is a waste of resources long term.

      I would much prefer to see a long term depth chart at center of:
      1) Galchenyuk: depending on how he develops, we’re banking on him being a potential franchise center, hard to find, but that’s the potential he possesses
      2) Plekanec: good, consistent offensive production, fantastic defensive awareness. Good power play player, elite penalty killer
      3) Eller: good size and skillset. Has potential to pot 20 goals a season in a 3rd line role (16 last year is good production for a 3rd line center who still has room to develop). He also plays well defensively, he played a lot of tough minutes last year and came out with a respectable -5 on what was a pretty poor team.
      4) A centerman with speed/grit, and can play some tough minutes. Ryan White fits the bill now but this position is pretty flexible.

      Desharnais has hit his ceiling, I don’t see any potential for growth (no pun intended) and if Bergevin were smart, he would sell while Desharnais’ stock is high. But the two big problems are that the rest of the league probably sees Desy for what he is (undersized and insulated with two great power forwards), and that he’s French Canadian and the fanbase would march on the Bell Centre with torches and pitchforks in hand for trading a way a ‘local star’.

      • boing007 says:

        If the fanbase marches on the Bell Centre with torches and pitchforks in hand just pretend its Halloween.

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

  36. Kfourn says:

    I’m really worried about our defense this year. We’re banking on:

    1) Markov returning to form and not re-injuring himself
    2) Emelin and Diaz not going through the dreaded sophomore slump
    3) PK being able to increase his point totals while still being able to shut down the top lines.
    4) Kaberle not sucking

    • Kfourn says:

      And we’re still missing a big crease clearer.

      • steve17 says:

        I am not worried, Pateryn is already physically mature and was a leader on his team last season. He has size and has a nasty edge. There is also Nash who has size and probably would have played for the Habs last year if he hadn’t been injured. He isn’t nasty, but you don’t have to be to clear the crease, although it helps!


    • songles says:

      I’m not really worried about the D this year, since contending for the cup is not really a priority, but I am worried about it going forward. Long-term, we’re banking on Tinordi and Beaulieu, and they’re both still a ways away from playing full-time minutes in the NHL.

      We also don’t seem to have a guy like Markov coming up through the system, that is, someone who can confidently thread the needle and turn low-percentage plays into high ones.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        So… Beaulieu being an offensive defensemen isn’t projected to fit the bill? Folks are also banking on Subban improving offensively though that has more to do with his shots on net than puck distribution, I guess,

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Our current D is in rough shape. PK and Gorges are great. Emelin if he continues to hit is also good but I hope he plays more comfortable in the North American rinks this year. We now have Frankie B who can hit as well but we still don’t have a very physical defense

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

  37. frontenac1 says:

    DD is pretty small but the kid is good.Every interview I saw with Patches and Cole couldn’t say enough good things about him.They love playing with him.That’s good enough for me.

  38. Mattyleg says:

    Strange, all this talk about Darcy Tucker… watched ‘Goon’ last night for the first time. Great flick!!

    Problem was, I thought that the Ross Rhea character WAS being played by Darcy Tucker! I thought “Man, Tucker must have some serious acting skills to be able to come across as such a tough nut!” Turns out it was Lev Schreiber…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ron says:

      The movie was a good one for sure. Ya, the Rhea actor looked like Darcy alright. At the end of film if you watched the credits there were clips of some fights from a few years ago. A couple were from our games here. Short clips but I enjoyed reliving them. Fun days.

  39. frontenac1 says:

    LOL! Darcy Tucker highlight reel…..Kovalev decking him in an open ice hit, The Cube destroying him in a Tilt in the corner!!!! Aren’t the Leafs still paying him or something? Too Funny! Got my Buzz back again Amigos!Gracias!!

  40. Kfourn says:

    For those in the trade pleks camp, I don’t disagree with trading him, but I would wait till the next offseason (or if we’re really doing poorly at the trade deadline).

    If we are going to trade him, I want to get full value for him, and he has displayed a capability to bounce back after an average to poor season. I just don’t feel that we would get fair value in a trade for him at this point.

    • ont fan says:

      Full value is exactly the point. When will that be? Now, the trade deadline, or next season. The only reason for trading him now, if a great deal came along, is to give Eller more quality minutes and to get new prospects into the system.

  41. mdp2011 says:

    For everyone who says that DD was the beneficiary of playing with Cole and MaxPac, here are his career totals. For a guy that was never drafted, only 5’6″, and had to earn everything he ever got in hockey, boy has he ever been lucky to have line mates carry him everywhere he played!!! If DD would have been 5’10” or taller, he would have been a first round draft pick.

    GP G A PTS
    2011-12 Montreal NHL 81 16 44 60
    2010-11 Montreal NHL 43 8 14 22
    2010-11 Hamilton AHL 35 10 35 45
    2009-10 Hamilton AHL 60 27 51 78
    2008-09 Hamilton AHL 77 24 34 58
    2007-08 Cincinnati ECHL 68 29 77 106
    2006-07 Chicoutimi QMJHL 61 38 70 108
    2005-06 Chicoutimi QMJHL 63 33 85 118
    2004-05 Chicoutimi QMJHL 68 32 65 97
    2003-04 Chicoutimi QMJHL 70 23 28 51

    • Kfourn says:

      yup he’s proved everyone wrong at every level, gotta love that kind of character

    • TomNickle says:

      Look at it this way. You think he would’ve had the year he did with Darche and Moen on his wings?

      • twilighthours says:

        That a fair argument? Crosby would struggle with those plugs on his wings.

        • TomNickle says:

          Of course not. But that’s exactly why it isn’t fair to compare Desharnais to Plekanec or Eller.

          Desharnais had a four star $5000 plate supper. Plekanec and Eller had a dog’s breakfast more often than not.

          • twilighthours says:

            You think cold and patches would have had career years playing with plekanec?

          • TomNickle says:


          • The Dude says:

            Ok Tom….how much is Plecs being paid as compared to DD,LOL. As far as I’m concerned DD is the only under 5’10″er that earned they’re keep on the Habs last year! As well Plec’s was a Huge disappointment…in fact “epic Fail !!!”

          • commandant says:

            In the only 2 games that Plekanec played centring both Cole and Patches, the line scored 4 goals.

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • Kfourn says:

        In his first call-up he was on the third line a projecting 42 points over an 82 game schedule.

      • mdp2011 says:

        Do you think Gretzky would have scored 92 goals and 220 points with Darche and Moen? Come on Tom, that is not really a valid argument, your offensive players need to play with offensive players. But if your point was that Eller would have had more points than DD playing with Cole & MacPac, I disagree. We don’t know what kind of chemistry Eller would have with those two and since there is no history between those players, we can’t speculate. Also, in my opinion, for what it is worth, I think DD has a lot more offensive upside than Eller.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Or this way. Erik Cole had his bet year ever.

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

      • Kooch7800 says:

        True but I would put money on it that he would have had more points than Eller if they had the same line mates 😉

        DD had crap wings in his first 43 games that he scored 22 points that isn’t too shappy.

        Regardless none of us have a crystal ball.

  42. HabFab says:

    Patrick Holland gets philosophical on twitter;

    PattyShwayz – Life is essentially receiving a randomly generated character with one life and playing as long as you can. Maybe get your name on a ldrboard

    Too much Tom I fear 😀

  43. frontenac1 says:

    I like Pleks,but what really drove me crazy last season was his tendency to take really dumb penalties at the most inopportune times and not get benched.Eller would make a dumb mistake and he would ride the pine,heck,Blunden made a mistake trying to hit a guy and we didn’t see him again for 3 weeks! Meanwhile,Gomez,Darche and Pleks would get a pass.I still think Pleks is an excellent two way player ,but what the hell was he doing playing point on the PP. Interesting to see what decent coaching will do for his game this year.

    • knob says:

      I agree with the dumb penalty part of your post…Plekanec was terrible with them. The rest of your post relates to a coach who is no longer here, thank God!

      ef this

    • steve17 says:

      Pleks is a very good player and has value on the trade market. When I looked up his career stats, I was surprised, especially his playoff stats. They were very disappointing and not good enough for a 1st or 2nd line centre.


      • arcosenate says:

        So stop looking things up.

        • HabFab says:

          It’s better then a lot here, who just make things up!

          • steve17 says:

            Thank you! I try to be fair. I really Like Pleks, but I also try to be realistic and not wear the rose coloured glasses. I figure if a team really think he will make them better and will offer the Habs a player or players that will make them better, then with the young centres, it is worth looking at. If you look at the depth at right wing and defence right now, if the majority of these kids are ready in 2 years, they can’t all make the team. Then some become valuable assets to add more depth or to add a piece that is missing.

            If Montreal could hang on to Pleks or this seasona and trade Kristo (because of the right wing depth), Weber, Pulashaj (because of the right wing signings Armstrong, Prust), and if need be Diaz to Anaheim for Ryan, then even though that is a lot, it doesn’t hurt the depth and having Ryan play with Pleks and Gionta would be fun to see, with the Desharnais line remaining the same and Bourque, Eller, and Prust/Armstrong, and then Moen, White, and either of Prust/Armstrong. with Blunden or Nokelainen as the 13th forward. Then If galchenyuk looks like he will be ready after camp or for next season, Bergevin can make a trade at the deadline or in the next off season.


          • HardHabits says:

            It’s called magic HF. I make things up. They happen.

      • songles says:

        I don’t get the playoff stats criticism. He averages roughly the same PPG in the playoffs as he does in the regular season. And the goals that he scores tend to be the kind of timely daggers that deflate opponents when they’re trying to build momentum. And he occasionally has games where he seems to be in control of the entire play for periods at a time. I think he’s a really dominant player very often and has intangible qualities that can break games open or shut them down.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Hold on… I think you might be mixing Pleks up with Eller. Eller was the one who couldn’t keep control of his stick, and regularly spent the final two to four minutes of the game in the box for high-sticking.

      I agree that JM’s favouritism and benching ways was pretty shoddy, and putting Pleks on the PP point was not only idiotic, but also was probably the final straw for Plek’s season. He was being asked to play the PK, his regular shift, AND he was the one responsible for being first man back on counter-attacks on the PP. Freakin’ exhausting, and it’s no wonder he didn’t recover.

      Yeah, I’m hoping that Therry will sit him down and tell him exactly what he needs him to do, so he doesn’t feel he has to play every position but the goalie’s.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  44. naweed235 says:

    all this trade Pleks talk is nonsense… Every team that has won the cup in the last 10 years has had versatile players in the mold of Plekanec… If he is every to be traded I assure you there will be 29 teams inquiring. The only player that I would trade Plekanec for is Bobby Ryan (realistically tradeable players ofcourse).

    • Max_a_million says:

      I think the point is exactly that 29 teams would line up for him, and the Canadiens have a thoroughbred on the way that needs to play centre. Maybe you can get a Bobby Ryan for him.

      Dollar for Dollar Eller gives you more value, and Desharnais doesn’t give you the return.

      • TomNickle says:

        Desharnais might give you the return but there’s no way in hell he gets traded.

        • shiram says:

          Yeah, look at the media reacting to Darche not being re-upped. Now think about trading a 60 point francophone guy that most Habs fan like? DD is not being traded because he plays well and was born in the right place…

          • TomNickle says:


          • Mattyleg says:

            I don’t think that his Quebec-ness would stop him being traded as much as his effectiveness on the ice.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • shiram says:

            I did say he played well, but him being francophone and Québecois is the reason I think why he won’t be moved.
            To me it makes more sense moving him than any of our other centers, and as Tom says all the time, Habs will need to decide who sticks and who goes.
            At equal talent and production the francophone québecois will always be kept.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            There is a long-term strategic advantage for the Canadiens to having David Desharnais on the roster. He serves as a recruiting tool, getting lots of little francophone Québec boys dreaming of playing for the Canadiens one day. Having francophones on the team is important to the future success of the team, it’s not just window-dressing.

  45. neutral says:

    Don’t bother writing any more comments TomNickle is the only one that’s right

    • TomNickle says:

      I’m actually left but do me a favour and don’t bring politics into the conversation.

      • The Jackal says:

        Haha! Tom, you make good points, and I mostly like to play devil’s advocate and see how much one will defend their argument. Although I do disagree with your stance on Pleks. Anyway, don’t mind those trying to bring you down, you’re a good contributor.

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

        • TomNickle says:

          Seems people having been going out of their way to pick fights lately Eric, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it seems. Thanks for the kind words.

    • HabFab says:

      Common now, if Tom is right someone has to be left.
      Ying and yang!!

    • ont fan says:

      So can we count on that neutral?

      • neutral says:

        I don’t mine. I make comments like everyone else if you agree fine if you don’t I don’t know what to tell ya. that’s what this site is all about and everyone has an opinion. sometimes it comes down to arguing and name calling.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Neutral, Tom brings forceful arguments, with stats and facts to back up his opinion and analysis. You don’t have to agree with him or engage him in conversation, but the personal attack is unwarranted.

      Debate the ideas, but don’t dismiss the person.

  46. Max_a_million says:

    It’s been raised enough here as a thought. What will the 2014 Canadiens look like in terms of depth at centre?

    1 – Galchenyuk
    2 – Desharnais
    3 – Eller
    4 – Leblanc

    Seems like Pleks just becomes expendable as the best tradeable asset. I would prefer to trade Desharnais (even though I like him), but I think Pleks gets a lot more in return.

  47. songles says:

    Jim Matheson suggested on Twitter that the Oilers have too many one-way forwards and could benefit from a trade. So let’s postulate one of those everybody-wins trades that never happen in real life:

    Plekanec, the rights to Diaz and a 2nd round pick in 2013 for the rights to Sam Gagne.

    Would ya do it? Would the Oilers do it?

    (Edit: I realize this doesn’t really solve our problem of too many Cs in the pipeline.)

    (Double edit: I’m an idiot. I clearly had a totally false impression of what kind of player Gagne is.)

  48. mfDx says:

    Just a thought:

    Pacioretty. Desharnais. Cole
    Leblanc. Plekanec. Bourque
    Gomez. Eller. Gionta
    White. Noki./Armstrong. Prust

    Sent from my CHphone

  49. pmaraw says:

    I see it’s TomNickleInsideOut again…. yawn.

  50. HardHabits says:

    Eller versus Plekanec

    Plekanec spent 3 years in the AHL (GP – G – A – Pts)
    2002-03 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 77 19 27 46
    2003-04 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 74 23 43 66
    2004-05 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 80 29 35 64

    Eller spent 1 year in the AHL
    2009-10 Peoria Rivermen AHL 70 18 39 57

    Eller had more points in less games in his 1st AHL season

    Plekanec’ first 2 NHL seasons
    2005-06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 9 20 29
    2006-07 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 20 27 47

    Eller’s first 2 NHL seasons gives:
    2010-11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 7 10 17
    2011-12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 79 16 12 28

    I think Eller is up thte curve and will be a better two way player than Plekanec. He is already showing signs of being comparable at a younger age and is an extra 2 inches taller and could end up 20 pounds heavier.

    Of the two moving forward I would trade Plekanec at the deadline in 2014 (along with Gionta and Markov) for sweet assets and feel ultra comfy with him as #2 centre. If DD can hold tough and have a good long NHL career than at the point cross that bridge. My feeling is that Eller will have a longer NHL career than DD will.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      HH, Eller will have a longer career than DD also because of the roads taken by each player. DD went undrafted and had to work up from the ECHL and is currently 2 years older and last season being his first full season in the NHL.

    • TomNickle says:

      I’d like to add that Plekanec spent his second NHL season as a 2nd line centreman with much better talent around him than Eller did with Darche, Moen and Blunden.(Though Eller did have Kostitsyn for a while).

    • joeybarrie says:

      You can look back and compare their individual careers when they retire. Who is better and who played more….
      Right now all that matters, is Pleks is a much better player.
      So your point of seeing what happens in 2014 I agree with.
      But all this talk of trading him now because Eller will one day replace him makes no sense…. Cause he cannot replace him for the next season. And we need a player like Pleks next season.
      Who would we trade him for? someone just like him? So trade just to trade?
      You are correct. Trade him when he isnt so invaluable to us and get the assets. Pleks, Gio and Markov can return us quite a lot. And we seem to have them replaced in players like Eller, Beaulieu, PK, Leblanc, Kristo and DD.

  51. veryhabby says:

    LEt me give my few thoughts on Pleks. He is one of my fav players, love that he is home grown and has developed into a top 2 centre for this team. I’d say that as little as 2 yrs ago I would have said he was the best player on this team.

    I can see MTL trade him, but I do think that there is no rush to trade him away this year. I am sure MB’s goal is to make the playoffs this year. Losing Pleks now would create a hole. Many assume that Eller can take that 2 line role, yet others here still don’t know if he is anything more then a 3 line centre. I believe he is our future 2 line centre, but I would love to give him this season to keep developing as our 3 line guy. Remember he’s only 23 yrs old. Allow him to develop. One more year, on a stable team, will do wonders for him and will truely let us know what we have in him. If I am right, and he is a 2 line centre, then Pleks is tradable. Add another year of inflation on salaries and teams will be lining up to get Pleks at the “cheap”cost of $5M left on 2 more years (by that point).

    I say keep him another year. WE don’t need to create a hole at centre this year. Gal isn’t making the team this year. There is no rush to trade Pleks away. Today he is still arguably our best centre. Keep him for another year.

    Of course I throw all this reasoning away if an allstar young top 6 player can be had for Pleks this off season. LOL! Then we can just cross our fingers that Eller can play on the 2 line, and we can play Gomez on the 3rd line (ouch and yuck- but that’s what we are looking at for all those who want Pleks traded this off season)

  52. joeybarrie says:

    A few opinions I have.
    -Plekanec. Under rated excellent defensive center that every team needs to compete. Why would we want to get rid of him? 20-29 goals a season for the last 5 years. Lots of PP time and PK time. Huge addition to the special teams aspect of our game.

    -Bourque. 21-27 goals in his 3 seasons in Calgary. A drop in production last season, still 18 goals. I can’t judge a new player with no direction from his coach on 38 games in a bad season. Coming off 2 suspensions and trying to find his game. I have to give him a chance.

    -Gionta. Always a solid goal producing player. Injured for most of the season last year. But when healthy can be relied on for 20-30 goals.

    -Markov. A spectacular player who can offensively produce a lot more production while not injured. If he can come back, and we have no reason to suspect he wont be healthy this season.

    The addition of players like Prust, Bouillon, Armstrong, re-signing Moen and getting White back show the direction this team wants to go in.
    Tougher, grittier, with plenty of depth in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines.

    Markov and Kaberle for attacking defense.
    Gorges, Emelin and Bouillon to block shots and play a rougher game.
    PK to be PK…

    Looking at the upside of players like Markov if a full season. Bourque as he has a coach to give him direction and bounce back. Armstrong who has something to prove. DD, PK, Price, Eller, Emelin, Pacioretty and Leblanc as they progress.

    We have a lot of possibilities. Lots of hope.
    I for one am excited to see how our team does this season.
    Knowing we have lots of young stars to progress. And lots of great talent to hit our team in the future.

    I think we are looking great. Considering.
    -6th to 8th place finish in the East, and only moving up as our team gets better. Gally, Beaulieu, Tinordi ensure that.

    Not quite the disaster everyone thinks it is.
    Soon to be gone are Gomez and Kaberle. And ignoring their salaries, thay arent exactly awful players. But I know, goals means everything to fans in montreal for forwards, and Defensmen who dont play like Larry Robinson are not liked for their strengths….
    Just look at how people bashed Hal Gill for so long. Now they all are on the Hal Gill train, and saying how valuable he was.
    Josh Gorges cant score or pass to save his life. He still got 4 million a year and we LOVE it…

    • SmartDog says:

      The individual assessments of the first few players are good. And I agree the team has some good players in the pipeline and a good foundation.

      But you had to put on your rose coloured glasses to refer to Kaberle as an “attacking defenseman” and to say that Gomez was not an “awful player” last year when he went an entire calendar year without a goal.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • joeybarrie says:

        Kaberle has 22 points in 43 games and per game thats better than what PK did. 40 points in a full season???? Thats not great numbers? I think you have your black glasses on there that blind your vision based on rumor and expectations.
        Gomez averaged 14 minutes and is having problems. But ignoring his salary wasnt terrible. He wasnt particularly valuable. Not worth it, but not a reason we lost games. His LACK of production based on what we hoped, lost us games cause with his salary we cant replace him.

        • SmartDog says:

          You can slice it in a favorable way if you want, but Kaberle had 29 points on the year. When Markov is back, Karberle won’t be used as heavily as he was – and a good thing, since he was also -6 in Montreal and -18 on the year.

          And you are really still defending Gomez? Wow. You SERIOUSLY think he’s not a reason we lost games? How many 1-goal games did we lose? Don’t you think that a top 6 forward (ignoring the particulars of his salary you can’t say he should be judged as a journeyman or depth guy) you should expect at LEAST 15 goals a year. And that a drought of SEVERAL MONTHS probably cost the team some games? Be serious.
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  53. habstrinifan says:

    Is it just me or does it seem that there has been a ‘turnaround’ in the perception of David Desharnis. I see fewer and fewer posts trying to diminish the diminutive center’s value, potential, and 2011-2012 contribution to the top line.

    I am glad and encouraged. HIO does, after all, seem to possess a positive learning curve.

    • fastfreddy says:

      DD played well because of PACS and COLE, let’s not get too carried away now!

      CH = Les Glorieux!!!

      • joeybarrie says:

        Or did Pax and Cole play so well cause of DD????
        Its ridiculous to say one particular player did well cause he was lucky enough to be on the same line. It takes chemistry between 3 players to succeed.
        But then again, I actually WATCHED DD play. Creative and quick. Knowing where to put the puck and who was there.
        All 3 had the best production or their careers. Explain why Pax and Cole did so well specifically with DD if they were carrying him???

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Because DD is 5 foot 7 and well under 200 pounds. People will never get over that fact.

          Don’t worry though, i think that is what fuels DD to succeed every year.

          “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

          • joeybarrie says:

            Well to be honest. At the NHL level he has only succeeded once, and teams now know to focus on him. So we will see what he does going forward. But we have the protection for him.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            He is stronger downlow on the puck than you think. In the corners the kid actually does some of his best work. I think he will score 50 plus points again this season. In saying that we have to have a second line that can put up some points of this team is dead in the water

      • Kooch7800 says:

        ….I don’t think you are correct.

        They all had banner years last year (cole, max and DD) playing together. They all complimented each other.

        So I guess Cole couldn’t make Staal a better Centre?

        DD made Max break out on the AHL as well. they have chemistry.

        Did you also know that DD lead the AHL in scoring the year before in the AHL before being called up? I guess that was from Max and Cole as well?

      • habstrinifan says:

        Guess I may have been WRONG!

    • TomNickle says:

      His value is very much unknown in my opinion and that’s probably why people avoid the topic.

      My reply to Shiram below was essentially that Desharnais doesn’t have tremendous skills(a big area of disagreement between HIO members and I) but that he executes more than others.

      For example, I don’t see the offensive creativity or “vision” that others do, but rather that he makes the simple and complicated passes work more often than not.

      I like him more as a smart player than a creative player is the best way to say it.

      Having said that. I would not argue with anyone if they told me that Eller or Plekanec would have crushed Desharnais’ point total with Cole and Pacioretty by their side.

      • mdp2011 says:

        Sorry, but I have to disagree with you. I am not sure what the difference between “smart” or “creative” is; to me they essentially describe the same thing. Same goes for your statement that you don’t see vision in his game, if he more often than not makes the smart and complicated passes work, that to me describes vision. DD has done it at every level, junior, east coast league, AHL, and now NHL. And as for your statement that Eller or Plekanec would have smashed his point totals playing with Cole or Pacioretty, well that is just ridiculous.

        • TomNickle says:

          First. The difference between smart and creative is that Desharnais doesn’t bring the wow factor on plays that say a Plekanec or Kovalev if you prefer do and did.

          As for the Eller and Plekanec versus Desharnais thing. I didn’t say they would. I said I wouldn’t be able to argue with anyone who said they would.

  54. neutral says:

    Eller has the misfortune of being the low man on the totem pole right now.
    DD and Pleks at best are both 2nd line centers. which one to pick for the 1st line. no question Pleks.
    as for Eller. sorry Bud. right now I happen to think DD is a little better for the 2nd line and we can’t have a 7-mil player playing on the 4th line one Scott Gomez so you’re the odd man out.

    • TomNickle says:

      One thing that cannot be debated rationally is that Plekanec and Eller haven’t had the fortune of tremendous insulation from excellent linemates.

      Comparing any centreman on the Habs roster to Desharnais is a waste of time.

      • joeybarrie says:

        I feel like the Habs have had more equal top two lines as opposed to a top line and a second.
        Pleks and DD play 14 min ES per game.
        Cole, Pax and Gio play all close minutes on different lines.
        Seems the top two lines play about the same depending on the situation. We have very clear PP and PK players.
        And hopefully if we get our PK and PP back to where we think it should be, we will be a different team.

        • TomNickle says:

          I’m sorry Joey but I have no idea what you’re talking about. Ice time?

          Saying the top two lines are equal is incredibly false. I believe the Desharnais line accounted for nearly 40% of the team’s offense last season.

          • joeybarrie says:

            I look at the amount of time a line is on the ice. To me thats how you can tell the first line.
            You play a line 5 minutes and they score 10 goals VS playing a defensive line 25 minutes but they score 0 goals…..
            Which line is the top line?
            The team has played with 2 lines playing equal time depending on the situation. It takes offense and defense to win a game.

            To me its not all about production. So you are saying to me that KABERLE is a top Defenseman but GORGES is not…..
            I think you are wrong.

  55. TomNickle says:

    #13 overall pick and it should be noted that the man who drafted him is among the World’s best scouts and said that he had Eller #4 on his board.

    55 points in 39 games with the Frolunda Under 20 team as a 17 year old.

    10 points in 25 games during his first year as a pro in the SEL and Allsvenskan leagues.

    57 points in 70 games in his first year in North America while playing the majority of the season with mono.

    17 points as a fourth line centre in his rookie year with the Habs.

    28 points in 79 games as a third line centre in his second season.

    This season. Eller’s offensive and defensive production prorated of Plekanec’s ice time projected to be better with the exception of assists and faceoff percentage.

    This is based on Eller’s actual linemates and obviously can’t be projected with Plekanec’s.

    He is ready and is very close to being better.

    • shiram says:

      I think you and me would be alot closer to agreement as per our center situation if it were not for DD being on the team.
      You are also more of a hockey guy, so I value what you say.

      • TomNickle says:

        I appreciate that and agree. I’m one of the idiots who refuses to acknowledge Desharnais value.

        He protects the puck incredibly well, is very strong for a player his size and can pass very well. I disagree with my friends here who say that he’s creative offensively. But I feel that he executes on nearly all of his opportunities.

        From an organizational evaluation standpoint. Cole and Pacioretty should be taken away from Desharnais to see his real value. It would be foolish to travel down the same road as the Canucks with Sedin/Sedin/Burrows.

        If you leave a line together so long, injuries cripple you.

        • shiram says:

          Yup, thats why I keep saying give Bourque a good tryout with DD, see what sticks. Cheers Tom.

        • Max_a_million says:

          ‘The enemy of great is very good’. Marrying yourself to DD with Cole and Patches does not allow for any other combinations that could be even better. What if Eller between these two guys is even better. What if playing the two big power forwards on 2 different lines generates great chemistry.

          I remember Jacque Martin getting hell for trying to make 2 great lines, and hurting the one line that was clicking to do so. In a way it is valid, as the coach has to be able to get a feel for what will work. Though trying to maximize the ability of your team should be the coaches goal. Maybe we have two great lines right now, but being afraid to mess with one that works well is keeping us from seeing that.

          My convoluted way of agreeing.

    • mdp2011 says:

      I really hope I am wrong about him, but for some reason, I think Eller will never be a top 2 center. I don’t see Eller ever getting more than 45-50 points in the NHL. Like I said, I really hope I am wrong.

  56. steve17 says:

    Pleks has proven to be pretty reliable and a very good two way player. That is not to say that he has achieved what was expected of him when he was drafted. He has been hampered by bad management not supplying the team with enough high end talent. You can use the excuse that the Habs were a victim of being in the middle of the pack and not having high draft picks, but that is a crock. Detroit has had late round picks for years, yet they keep the team in the top echelon year after year. You can’t use that excuse when the team went to the semis two seasons back.

    Both Datsyuk and Zetterberg were later round picks. They are similar in size to Pleks, yet they have had over 70 points 5 times each and they both elevate their games in the playoffs. They all play against the other teams top lines and kill penalties. Yet, in the playoffs, with the exception of 3 times between them, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are plus players whereas Pleks is always a minus player. Considering in the past few years, defence was the strength of the Habs, that is not good. Pleks has done well considering the linemates and talent he has had to play with, but at some point, the player has to be able to reach another level.

    I really like Pleks but his playoff stats speak for themselves. If Bergevin can leverage him to get a 2nd line left winger that can grow with the team and make the team better, then they should!

    So, with the moves that Bergevin has made, and the relative youth of Eller and DD, I would say that if by trading Pleks, Bergevin can make the team better for the long term, then I would like to see him do it.

    Having said that;

    Pleks has had 3 seasons under 50, but it is his playoff stats that are less than stellar for a first or 2nd line centre. True 2 of those were his first 2 in the NHL, but at an average of 52 points per year, you need to get more form a number 1 or 2 centre. Look at Boston last year, their top 3 centres had 55 points or better. All of these centres have less time in the NHL than Pleks. Their 4th line centre had 39 points and you can’t tell me he had top end talent on his wings or the ice time Pleks gets. Every centre on Detroit had 50 points or more. If you go through the regular season stats of each team, you see that the successful teams had at least 2 if not 3 centres with better point totals than Pleks.

    Bergevin was correct when he said after goaltending and defence, centre is the next key to winning and Montreal needs to be better there! DD hit 60 points and if Pleks could hit 60 consistently and Eller at least 50, then the Habs should be okay during the regular season. Then they need to bring it up a level in the playoffs!


  57. Chris says:

    I see the Plekanec debate has started up again, and I am late to the party.

    One of the common comments is that Plekanec’s most vocal supporters ask who can replace Plekanec’s two-way game.

    As most of you know, I tend to go back and look at past performances and try to find parallels. An interesting thing arises when you do this with Tomas Plekanec.

    At 23 years old, Plekanec was coming off the lockout season which forced the Canadiens to give him a full season in Hamilton. As an aside, that lockout was a godsend for a number of players and one big reason why I believe that 2003 draft that everybody raves about was so successful, as players that normally would have been rushed to the NHL were forced to spend another year in the AHL or junior hockey honing their game. In Plekanec’s case, his offensive numbers in 2003-04 should have seen him promoted in 2004-05, but with no NHL hockey he was forced back to the AHL where I believe he really worked on his two-way game in the lockout season.

    In 2005-06, Plekanec played much of the season in Montreal and averaged 13:15 of ice time per game, including 2:22 short-handed and 1:20 on the power play. He posted respectable totals as a third/fourth line centre playing behind Saku Koivu, Mike Ribeiro and Radek Bonk:

    61 GP, 9 G, 20 A, 29 PTS, +4, 32 PIM, 50.3% on faceoffs

    His performance, coupled with Ribeiro’s on- and off-ice antics, allowed the Canadiens to deal Ribeiro and go with Plekanec as their second-line centre. Again, his performance was respectable if not exactly world-beating. He averaged 15:48 of ice time per game, including 1:59 short-handed and 1:57 on the power play and his 2006-07 season stats were as follows:

    81 GP, 20 G, 27 A, 47 PTS, +10, 36 PIM, 48.3% on faceoffs

    So what is the relevance to the present discussion? If you look at last season as a 22 year old, Lars Eller had a VERY comparable season to where Plekanec was when he was 24 years old. Playing for Jacques Martin, who would frequently bench rookies who made mistakes, and Randy Cunneyworth, Eller averaged 15:18 of ice time, including 1:41 short-handed and 0:37 short-handed. His season stats were:

    79 GP, 16 G, 12 A, 28 PTS, -5, 66 PIM, 46.6% on faceoffs

    The difference in points can be mostly accounted for in terms of the power play. Plekanec racked up 5 goals and 14 points while playing 158:33 with the best power play in the NHL in 2006-07, while Eller only managed 2 goals and 3 points while playing 52:19 with one of the worst power plays in the NHL in 2011-12.

    At even strength, Plekanec scored 13 goals and 29 points as the second line centre, while Eller scored 12 goals and 22 points as the third line centre and occasional winger on one of the top two lines due to injuries.

    They played relatively similar minutes as the center for the second wave of the penalty kill (134 minutes for Eller, 161 for Plekanec).

    All of this was to basically show that while I am in no rush to trade Plekanec, I actually do think that Eller is being groomed to take on that role and he has already shown that he is well on his way to becoming a Plekanec-like player himself.

    Galchenyuk is obviously going to be groomed to be the #1 centre in Montreal in a few years time. But I think that Eller actually stands a very good chance of being the two-way centre that can play against opposing teams’ star players and chip in some points.

    As much as I like Desharnais, I’m not sure that he has a long-term future as a top-six forward for Montreal, but he could be a relatively cheap and productive third line centre by the time Galchenyuk matures.

    This leaves Plekanec as the odd man out. This isn’t to say that Plekanec isn’t an excellent hockey player…he is. But he also carries far more trade value than either Eller or Desharnais, but Eller appears to be on track to be a bigger and younger replacement for Plekanec.

    If Plekanec could be used to secure a piece that Montreal desperately needs ( a #1 defenceman or sniping winger), I think that Montreal will very seriously entertain the idea of trading Plekanec. This would almost certainly hurt the team in the short term, but I don’t think too many people think the Canadiens are going to contend for a year or two.

    I like Plekanec: he is a home-grown player and he was always classy and worked hard. But he’s also not been able to lead the team to success, and he could become a victim of a lack of patience. Throw Plekanec onto a team like Pittsburgh, Chicago or New York and he would elevate a Stanley Cup contender into a Stanley Cup favourite as he would be one of the top five second line centres in the NHL (along with Kesler, Bergeron, Zetterberg and Richards).

    • TomNickle says:

      Provided Eller could maintain his play over 1800 minutes(Plekanec’s time), he projects to be a better player sooner rather than later.

    • songles says:

      If Eller really does have that kind of potential then trading Pleks next summer, or perhaps at the deadline, is a no brainier. But we have to admit that trading Pleks now would almost certainly end in another tanked season. I’m not sure I can stomach that, even though it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing going in to a highly touted draft class.

      • RiverviewCanadien says:

        That is the way I feel, you just can’t make a trade right now involving Pleks. The future is too uncertain to make a bold move like that.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Good post Chris (as always).

      For the right price, all of ’em but 2 are tradeable assets for the future (Price and Pacioretty – IMHO, yes that means even Pleks can go for the right deal).

      I still think Eller should be a winger. But heck, I don’t know anything.

  58. Timo says:

    Ok, Eller signs for 2 years is getting old. Can we replace this headline with something? Like, “Gomez is in the best shape of his career and promises a complete turn around”?

  59. adamkennelly says:

    anyone ever consider PEDs as the potential causes of the drop off in production we see from some players. Not exactly sure what the NHL’s official stance on the subject is but clearly the NHL cannot be excluded from the impacts of PEDs and clearly they “work” so if someone say – was forced to stop taking them – it could explain why they now suck.

    • TomNickle says:


      Notice how the NHL swept that scandal under the rug in a real hurry? Notice how their team has been far less physically imposing and offensively capable since that scandal?

      • Heisenberg_ says:

        NHL PED scandal?
        Better Call Saul!


        I’m sure he can find some sort of loop hole for our Habs. We could use Gomez and Bourque as the guinea pigs.

        __________________________________________________________________ “Never give up control. Live life on your own terms. Every life comes with a death sentence.”

  60. songles says:

    I’ve been trying to infer MB’s strategy from this Eller signing. I’m not totally sure if there’s a plan here, other than the following: When Gally comes up, there will hopefully be four viable centres competing for top nine minutes: Gally, Eller, Pleks, DD. None of those guys will be fourth line Cs. One of them will have to go elsewhere and it won’t be Gally. So it seems to me that Eller, Pleks and DD are being played off of each other this year.

    The question is, what’s the preferred outcome? Plekanec is suited to any role from first down to third line C. Eller is probably a third liner, but might have the potential to be a second line C. DD is a total wildcard. He either A) tanks and returns to a lower line role or gets traded for cheap, or B) keeps it up and solidifies his status as a first/second line play-making C. The thing is, if it’s scenario B, can we really imagine getting fair market value for DD the number-one centre? He’s so small that, despite being a 60-70 point guy, most teams won’t even give him a fair shake. That’s why I can’t imagine DD being traded at his highest potential value.

    So in the end I see this as being the year of Pleks v. Eller, with Eller auditioning for the role of Pleks going forward. Plekanec could be sweet trade bait in the future, and if Eller is up to the task, then why not trade Pleks once Gally is up?

    • songles says:

      That said, Plekanec is still one of my favorite players in the NHL and I’d hate to see him go. He can do anything and is perennially underrated, even by many people on this site (in my humbly unsophisticated opinion).

  61. ed lopaz says:

    Plekanec will be traded and should be traded.

    He can bring us a tremendous return of young talent that will improve the team, overall.

    Players get traded for different reasons. In Plekanec’s case the trade is triggered because the team has made 3 key acquisitions in the last 3 seasons.

    In the last 3 seasons the Habs have:

    1) acquired Eller

    2) promoted Desharnais

    3) drafted Galchenyuk

    This has opened the door, to trade Plekanec, this year or next year, whenever Galchenyuk is ready.

    The TEAM will be better because of the trade.

  62. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Apologies for the blank comments, new on this site and seem to have a delay issue while typing.

    While we can go back and forth on the merits of trading Plekanec and whether or not he’s responsible for his wingers lack of production, or vice versa, I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt to investigate a trade and see what Pleks could fetch, and execute that trade if we thought it was good for the Habs in the long run.

    Personally, I do think Pleks is a lightning rod for discontent, and is undervalued. Not saying he doesn’t fade every year as the season closes, or that he’s not at least somewhat responsible for his winger’s lack of production, just that I’m definitely not comfortable trading him, promoting Eller to #2 centre, and hoping/assuming Eller will reach his potential. Show me what we’ll get for Pleks, and then we’ll talk.

    Preparation + Opportunity = Good Luck

    • TomNickle says:

      For fun.

      A 1st round pick and Nino Niederreiter from the Islanders.

    • Bripro says:

      Hi Gerry. Welcome.
      Seeing that you’re posting on this site with a favourable opinion of Pleks will be encouraging to some (including yours truly) and criticized by others.
      But your astute observations seem to reflect the majority so, for now anyhow, you will not be ostracized….at least not yet.
      As for the delay, I doubt anyone noticed.
      Most of us on here are slow in nature to begin with.

      • TomNickle says:

        Yes because the people who are in favour of letting Plekanec play out his contract here face unfair criticism and name calling consistently.


        • Bripro says:

          OK Tom….now you’re confusing me.
          Do you want to trade him or let him play out his contract?
          I can’t decipher through the thick curtain of sarcasm.

          • TomNickle says:

            I would have no issue with him being traded for the right return. If it can’t be found, I wait until it is.

            I feel this way because I believe that Lars Eller is ready to be a #2 centreman today.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Hi Gerry! Welcome and well presented post.

      I would say you wont be no pigeon when it somes time to holding your own in the give and take of this site.

      Looking forward to reading more from you.

  63. RiverviewCanadien says:

    The PP sucked, the Habs had better scoring chances on the PK.
    Not too many players on this team are capable of doing this.




    • TomNickle says:

      If an argument for keeping a veteran player in a role that could be filled by a potentially better young player is predicated on short handed goals it isn’t going too far.

      And it’s funny you show short handed goals. Plekanec had 3 with 260 minutes on the penalty kill.

      Eller had 2 with half of the short handed minutes that Plekanec had.

        • TomNickle says:

          You can in the short term. But you can’t have Plekanec, Desharnais, Eller and Galchenyuk for another five years.

          Not happening.

          And why would you keep Plekanec and his 55 points in a second line role when you have a player that is showing signs that he can do better. The point made all the more significant when Plekanec can probably get you a great return via the trade market.

          • shiram says:

            I love Eller and I also see the future in him, but let’s not kid ourselves, his carreer high in assists is 12, some more seasoning on the third won’t hurt him. Gally is also very far away and for now a question mark as to NHL productivity. I also think DD is a question mark, maybe he’ll keep improving, maybe he won’t, in any case good to have someone else to rely on.
            5 years is a long time, I think a veteran presence for the kids will be great, and even though you feel he is old, 29 year old means he’s still got a good number of years ahead of him.
            The returns your speak in trade for Pleks are all also years away.

      • RiverviewCanadien says:

        Just providing a small example of what you get with Tomas, every, single, season.

        Lets see what DD, and Larry can do before you get rid of the sure-shot!

        • TomNickle says:

          You’ve seen what Desharnais can do. Improves every year. You’ve seen what Eller can do, improves every year.

          You’ve seen that Plekanec has peaks and valleys with each passing season.

          But hey, I just hate him.

          • RiverviewCanadien says:

            Lets see what they do this year.

            Certainly not polite to publicly hate a person.

  64. Gerry Pigeon says:

    Preparation + Opportunity = Good Luck

  65. habsnyc says:

    If it was up to me, and it is not up to me, I would have overpaid Eller and underpaid Prust. Eller, is younger, more skilled and has a higher ceiling than Prust. I would rather be stuck with Eller than Prust for four years.

    Larry Robinson could have joined the Candadiens’ organization in any of several capacities, had he been extended an offer. I do not care to speculate as to where lies the weakness in intestinal fortitudue that someone was afraid of him, or where the inflated ego rests that thinks this organization is good enough without him. But if I was a Sharks defenseman, I would be high fiving everyone I see.

    Montreal’s earliest window to contend is in three to five seasons when their prospects can play significant NHL minutes. Those minutes will come from players like Gionta, Plekanec, Bourque and perhaps Markov. Depending on how bad management would let the team to be this season, assets which are at their peak today could be traded for assets that will likely peak in three to five years. Personally, I would make those moves, but perhaps ownership is banking on playoff revenue and cannot afford to trade veterans.

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

    • TomNickle says:

      If I were Eller there’s no way I would have signed a four year contract for that salary.

      Why would he want to be under contract here and be a fourth line centreman in 2013-2014?

      • habsnyc says:

        I wrote I would have overpaid Elller. I would have made room for him on the second line and given a longer contract for more dollars. I would have taken the risk that he is good player.

        One of the stupidities of this organization is they can sit on first round pick prospects for years without figuring out what do to with them. At this point, Eller’s role should be obvious to the organization and to him. They should tell him that either he is a top six forward or he is going to be traded. Signing him for two years at less than what they pay a fourth line player is, in my opinion, a waste of time

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

        • TomNickle says:

          I don’t know that it’s a waste of time. I think you’re reading a bit too much into it.

          Prust commanded longer term and more dollars because of his UFA status. I don’t agree with the dollars but I agree with the term(though hesitantly).

          Eller will know where he stands after this coming season. Galchenyuk won’t be spending a third year in Sarnia and can’t play in Hamilton.

          Desharnais will be due a new contract.

          There will be a big decision coming.

          • habsnyc says:

            No arguments. Decisions need to be made. UFA’s get more money than RFA’s. Eller can still prove his worth.

            I understand why Prust got his money. But there are places where you spend too much and there are places where you do not overspend. Prust is not going to be the best fourth line forward in the NHL for the net four seasons.

            My feeling is that young players such as Eller and Leblanc need to either move up or move out of the organization. The team seems to sit there with them until either they feel lost and confused and leave the organization. I would rather they be more proactive and let them make their mistakes much like they did with Subban and Price.

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

    • Kfourn says:

      Eller was RFA
      Prust was UFA…if we tried to underpay for Prust we wouldn’t have gotten him.

      • habsnyc says:

        Yes, and the road to the Stanley Cup is paved with overpaying for fourth line players. Shawn Thornton, his two Cup rings and his fists are earning $1.1mil/year on a two year deal. His prior UFA contract was $1.625 for two years. And my money is on Thornton if he tangles with Prust.

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

        • Kfourn says:

          What other Shawn Thornton’s were available July 1st for 1.1mil/year?…we got the best available 4th liner at market price.

          • habsnyc says:

            George Parros $1.850 million total for two years with Florida.

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

    • habsmandes says:

      I’m with you 100% there, Habs made a big mistake, not to say Daigneault isn’t going to help, he was a pretty good defenseman in his day as well, but Robinson man for those young guys coming up he was the best they could have got.
      Oh well let’s move on and cheer for Daigneault to do his good work with the lads, seems he didn’t so to bad in NY minor system.

  66. frontenac1 says:

    This thread has been going for almost four days now! Can the High Mucky Mucks please give us poor buggers on Wireless a break and start a new one? Perhaps Lars Eller Part Deux? Gracias

  67. shiram says:

    Thing is, Habs have no clear cut 1a center, DD is a small uni-dimensional center, Pleks is good 2-way guy, but won’t win any scoring titles, Eller has not shown enough playmaking/scoring yet to be just given the role, the rest are years away.
    Keep those 3 guys and let the young guys get better, can’t hurt to have at least one center with experience to coach the younger ones.
    I think moving Bourque with DD makes sense, and would be easier than any trade, and could give 2 good scoring lines, possibly.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      A lot of the Canadiens fortunes next season boil down to how Bourque plays.

      • shiram says:

        Sure, but alot also hangs on Markov, maybe even more. At least with Bourque you can try to find chemistry, with Markov it’s more about his health and being back to his old self.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Both. If Bourque and Markov are both up to form, it will help immensely and buy time for the kids.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Ya I was going to say on offense. I’m going to just hope that Bourque realizes the situation that Therrien likes tough hockey and they’re counting on him to be a power forward. That something clicks this year.

        • neutral says:

          Zaffy – if those are the players remaining come the first regular game in October I agree with you 100%. let’s see if DD can get Bourque scoring like he did with Cole and Max-Pac. I don’t think Pleks would look out of place with Cole and Max-Pac. IMO Pleks is still our #1 center and that’s not to put DD down. he done a excellent job with Cole and Max-Pax. if Pleks doesn’t work out with Cole and Max-Pax how hard is it to put him back on the second line. that’s what it’s all about. line combo’s that will make the team more balanced.
          Moen, Eller and Armstrong wouldn’t be too shabby either.

      • habsnyc says:

        Price will impact the team an order of magnitude more than Bourque. As will Markov. A goalie who starts 70 games and a defenseman who leads the team in ice team trump a third line forward.

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

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      That is one point folks are neglecting, no leadership, other than Scott, for the young guns down the middle?

      Pleks wears an A on this team and has for a while now. He is a true leader on and off the ice.

  68. zaffy says:

    I know it’s a little early but since everyone else is giving their line up predictions here are mine for opening night.

    Cole pleks patches
    Bourque dd gio
    Armstrong Eller moen
    Prust Gomez White

    Bourque will strive with a pass first player like dd and I think he can come close to previous season totals. Gio will net close to 25 as well. So let’s take a look at line # 1 expect the wingers to have similar numbers and a better offensive season. As for the fourth line I know it’s centered by Gomez but until we know what MB is doing with him lets just expect him to be there.

    • habsnyc says:

      you can’t start the season with gomez on the fourth line. either you have confidence in him and put him on the second line or you do not dress him.

      well you can start the season with him on the fourth line, next to two cement hands, but how many assists is he going to get? and is he actually going to be an energy player smacking around the opposition and scrapping?

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

  69. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    Don’t agree with TomNickle on Plekanec, but don’t agree with the vitriol directed towards him either. He makes a valid point on who to blame for the offensive woes of “the Plekanec line” – you can either blame the wingers or the centre. I tend to blame the wingers/the coaches who have used Plekanec in too many situations, but that’s my opinion/viewpoint – just like Tom’s viewpoint is something else. Pleks has been inconsistent in scoring, and has tended to fade towards the end of the year. It’s a matter of opinion as to why. We can’t discount Tom as a know it all/knows nothing just because he has a different point of view – he backs it up with facts. It just depends on how you view the facts. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out this year. I don’t see the Habs trading Pleks, but if his production suffers again this year, maybe we need to look at that as the trading deadline approaches if it looks like we’re not going to make the playoffs.

    (and no, this does not make Tom a hater)

    • TomNickle says:

      For the record. I have no problem with Plekanec. I feel his role should be given to Eller but I don’t carry any ill will toward him or feel that he’s inadequate in any way at all.

      I feel that it’s foolish to blame Plekanec’s lack of first line production on defensive responsibilities and linemates while chalking those players’ lack of production up to a lack of effort.

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        And I appreciate the way you have made your point – backed up with facts. I’ve never really considered it from the point of view that Plekanec may be the issue. Still not sure I agree, but at least I’m giving it consideration. I’m also not sure that Eller is ready to take on the role of 1/2 line centre, but there are other teams that have done well making bold moves. It may set us back initially, but the return for Pleks would likely be high, if we were in the drivers seat on the trade. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      • The Jackal says:

        Pleks being able to focus more on offense should help his production and that of his linemates. No one is saying the linemates did not try, they just had an off year, Gionta was out for a while, Bourque was just traded, and the team was in disarray.

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

        • TomNickle says:

          What is it about this team and Michel Therrien makes you believe that Plekanec will be afforded the opportunity to focus more on offense?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The best possible way to get any sort of offense out of the second line is to have Plekenec centering it.

      Eller appears to be on the verge of something good but he still has a way to go to prove that. If he’s flying off the rails and looks fantastic in training camp, than they’ll find a way to get him some good wingers by possibly swapping spots with Plekanec.

      Plekanec is still young as at at age 29 so I doubt the Habs are in a rush to trade him.

      If Galchenyuk were to be ready in 2013/14 the best 1-2 punch Montreal could have is Galchenyuk-Plekanec. At that point Plekanec would still have 4 or 5 good seasons left in him.

      • TomNickle says:

        Eller projected to have five goals more than Plekanec, and a significantly higher number of takeaways and hits.

        He projected higher totals with far less offensive opportunity and despite the gripes about Plekanec’s linemates this season, it isn’t arguable that Eller had better skill beside him.

        Projections aren’t reality of course but if Eller’s conditioning allows him to play at the same level over 1800 minutes as Plekanec(not unrealistic considering his production with mono during his first north american season), than he could easily be an upgrade on Plekanec.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          He’ll have to PROVE it.

          I’m all for him becoming our number one or two guy down the road.

          My opinion, might not be correct, is to start him on the 3rd line with Moen and either Gallagher or Leblanc or maybe even Armstrong.

          If he’s playing great, things will work themselves out. There’s injuries, slumps from other players….if he deserves to be top 6 he’ll be put there.

          • TomNickle says:

            Players need opportunity to prove it.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I think the coaching staff and management will be able to see if Eller is ready for prime time.

            If he’s passing off to Moen and whoever and they’re not burring it I think the coaching staff will recognize that if he had better linemates the points would be piling up…

          • TomNickle says:

            That’s what he did last season Hobie.

            Kostitsyn, Blunden, White, Leblanc, Darche.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            He still looked a ways away last season…

          • TomNickle says:

            That’s your opinion.

    • JF says:

      Very sensible, balanced post.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      As I previously posted, how do we evaluate the subject forwards while they were under the yoke of JM? Let’s stay the executions until Christmas. 🙂

  70. Hobie Hansen says:

    The dog days of summer are here…

  71. christophor says:

    “Maybe we should consider trading Plekanec” ≠ “I hate Plekanec; I think Plekanec isn’t good enough to play on this team; Bergevin should trade Plekanec for whatever he can get”

    For example, I like Plekanec but think trading him might be the right thing to do, even if the Habs are worse for it next year. Also, I think he can fetch a 1st round pick and a good prospect, or be the main part of a deal to get a good winger.

    After a year, the Habs will be better, and for longer, with Galchenyuk, Eller, and Desharnais centering the team, plus whatever Plekanec fetches.

    Edit: Also, this means the present and future of the team is all within 5 years of each other in age, with Desharnais a couple of years older.

    • TomNickle says:

      NO. NO.

      You just want to trade him for a bag of pucks because you think he’s awful and don’t appreciate that he brings a solid two way game. You don’t realize that he’s scored 50 points or more four times in six seasons.

      You think you’re always right and that everybody else is wrong.


  72. commandant says:

    Bourque had a stretch of games where he not only didn’t record a shot, but also didn’t record a single hit.

    If that doesn’t show his effort level was lacking, I don’t know what does.

    Blaming this on Plekanec is pretty futile.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  73. Kfourn says:

    I wouldn’t mind bringing back Kostitsyn on a 1-2 year contract a 2.5 million per.

    1) he is a consistent 20-25 goal scorer
    2) knows the team and players
    3) Is a physical/solid player

    • Bripro says:

      TSN announced this morning that he’s in the final stages of negotiations with a KHL team.

      • Kfourn says:

        Well there goes that idea…we still need someone to replace those goals or we’re getting a lottery pick again.

        • Bripro says:

          Personally, I would also like to see them bring him back, only to break out in sweats every time he decides to mail in his game.
          So much talent….so little effort.
          He’d be a superstar if he had the heart of a …… Koivu? Or Plek.

      • Jim Edson says:

        Which one?

        What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

        In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

        They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

        ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

          • Jim Edson says:

            Which KHL team?

            What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

            In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

            They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

            ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

          • Bripro says:

            I don’t know, Jim. They didn’t say.

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