Spacek on memorable, surreal Habs experience

Jaroslav Spacek

Jaroslav Spacek works out on a bike at the Mansfield Athletic Club in Brossard on Tuesday.
Peter McCabe, Gazette

Twitter followers – join me at @Dave_Stubbs – submitted a variety of questions for me to ask former Canadiens defenceman Jaroslav Spacek over lunch on Tuesday. Those questions, supplemented by others of my own usually asked as follow-ups to his replies, form the Q&A that follows.

Spacek, who has played for seven different clubs during his 13-season, 880-game NHL career (currently he’s with Carolina, a UFA come July 1), made it clear throughout our two-hour lunch that he loved his time in Montreal and he has no axe to grind with anyone.

But many of the 38-year-old’s remarks, which add considerable detail and context to what we had print space for in today’s Montreal Gazette feature, shed some interesting light on the often bizarre team dynamic and some of the turmoil that enveloped the club during the past couple of seasons. It’s a good cross-section of insight that, off the record, ran much deeper and grew stranger by the anecdote.

In talking with your former teammates here, the guys with whom you stay in touch, what’s the feeling about the hiring of Marc Bergevin as general manager, and will this exorcise the ghost of his predecessor, Pierre Gauthier?

From what I hear, hiring Bergevin is all positive. The organization was in the dark the last couple of years. … It was only Pierre’s way. He never asked anybody else, probably. He set up the strict rules we all had to follow.

What were the most frustrating and most satisfying things about playing under coach Jacques Martin?

I think we played too much of a defensive system, I didn’t like that. I think it was even boring to watch us, to be honest. To be very honest. Come on, at home, we play like this? I think it was boring a little bit. At the end of the night, if you win 2-1, nobody cares. It’s a win. But there weren’t too many games that we win 5-2, 6-4, wide-open games in which you just had fun. There weren’t too many like that.

The run we had in my first year here (2009-10) was very satisfying, even though I was injured a little bit… it wasn’t so much the coaching as the players all coming together. You have a couple guys in the room who had won the Stanley Cup, yes, but after the all-star break, we really started to play like a team. Before that, we were trying to figure out what we could do, what kind of role we could have in the team.

At the break, we were still outside the playoff (cut), and we started to really play like a team. (Goaltender) Jaro Halak started to play really, really good for us. He took us there. But we were all really good with each other. That was something where you could see the relationships build. We started to play for each other and that was just great.

Many nights, Canadiens fans were crying out for Martin to show some fire-breathing emotion behind the bench. Did you ever see that?

He’d do it sometimes in the locker room. When you go off the ice, usually coaches go to their office and come to the dressing room a few minutes before the next period, whatever their routine is. But when you walk in the locker room right after a period and the coach is waiting for you to sit down, you know you’re in trouble. Jacques did that a couple times.

I didn’t mind Jacques. But today you see young coaches trying to change systems, trying to adjust to other teams. We never did that. No 2-1-2 (formation). With the talent we had, we should have been aggressive. We never did that. It was chip and chase. Now everybody’s going after Gomer. Cammy didn’t like it, either. Those guys have to play with the puck.

It was like watching my (9-year-old) kid, firing the puck along the boards and chasing it. We didn’t have strong forwards to run somebody over. We should have played with the puck and made the plays. If we chip it around the goal, do you think Gio’s going to win the battles against Chara?

We’d sit back and wait for a mistake. We never put the pressure on the opponent. It’s sometimes OK to do that on the road. But at home, where you should be playing your own game, it was the worst thing.

Communication seems to have been less than ideal. Compare it to Carolina, having been traded to the Hurricanes?

Well, Jacques didn’t talk to us. He coached more than 1,200 NHL games. At least you have to talk to your players. In Carolina, we’d have a players’ breakfast every day and (head coach) Kirk Muller would sit with us, talk to us. He’d talk to us at pre-game meals. When I got there, Eric Staal was playing really bad, he wanted to get out of there. (Goalie) Cam Ward wasn’t good. Kirk turned those into the two best players on the team, with help of other guys, and that made everyone want to play better.

You’ve heard the story about Mike Cammalleri asking for his Habs jersey, upon being traded, and being told he could have it if he paid for it. What about your jersey?

I didn’t take mine when I was traded. But I saw Geoff Molson three weeks ago at a hockey tournament – our sons play in the same organization – and he asked me, “Did you ever get your game-worn jersey?” I told him no and he said he’d take care of it. Three days later, a courier showed up at my home with my jersey and a nice note from Geoff.

Geoff was thrown in the deep end as owner of the team. He grew up as a fan, in the Molson family, and he’s been learning his responsibilities every day. Now, he can make the moves. He can’t kick out the coach and GM in the middle of the season. You need somebody to run the show. There’s so much stuff to do in the middle of the season. Serge Savard probably helped Geoff a lot to find the new GM.

I saw Geoff two days after the press conference (to introduce Bergevin) at the hockey tournament and he seemed so relieved. He finally had some time for his family after so many meetings. “We have a guy to go with and now it’s up to him,” he told me.

My wife saw Geoff’s wife, Kate, and she was so happy Geoff is finally at home for a few minutes with his kids.

The 2010 playoff performance by Jaroslav Halak – was that the best postseason performance you had ever seen by a goaltender?

I played in Edmonton (in 2005-06, losing a seven-game Stanley Cup Final to Carolina) and we had Dwayne Roloson in goal. He did some incredible stuff during that playoff season. I saw some of those same things in Halak, the same way, but Halak was probably 10 years younger than Roloson. It’s something you want to see in your goalie.

Jaro basically carried us through the first two rounds for sure. I think we ran out of juice a little bit in the third round against Philly, having played two hard seven-game series (against Washington and Pittsburgh). The first two series weren’t that physical for us. We tried to think the Philly series would be easy. We stayed away from the type of hockey we played in the first two series.

What are your impressions of P.K. Subban?

I think he’s a great hockey player. But he needs to be coached the right way and I don’t think Jacques Martin was right for him. That’s how I see it.

Randy Cunneyworth, Martin’s interim replacement?

I think Randy was told what to do. We had a general manager running the show. Randy was put in the worst situation ever. Here’s a great guy who can be a good coach, but Montreal wasn’t a good fit for him with the French stuff.

What was your proudest moment as a Canadien?

I loved the 100th anniversary game (Dec. 4, 2009 vs. Boston). I scored the first goal of the game, and I’m pretty happy about that. I should have kept that puck but I was so emotional. I had all my friends here, they saw the huge team photo that was taken before the game. That was something I’ll always remember.

A biggest regret here?

Everybody wants to win the Stanley Cup, right? I went to Game 7 in the Final with Edmonton. I see the excitement here. Everybody lives for it. I was part of it and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. There are no regrets beyond not winning the Cup.

Well, maybe this: on every team I played, the coach or GM would talk to you. They wouldn’t wait for the last second. If you played bad, they’d come and talk to you right away. That didn’t happen here.

And the worst thing in my 2½ years in Montreal is that we were always hurt. It seemed that we never played as a full team.

Was there such a thing as the “Montreal experience” for you?

My wife, Lenka, came to Carolina to visit me with the kids this past Christmas. We went to a Starbucks and sat down for some coffee and dessert and she said, “This is nice.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Nobody bothers us. You can sit like a normal family.”

In Montreal, you’d never do this. I’m not complaining, not for one minute. You can go, but everybody looks at you… “What are you doing? What are you eating?” They’ll put you on Twitter or Facebook.

I think everyone growing up wants to play for the Canadiens. When I was growing up in communism, I wasn’t thinking about the NHL, I didn’t even know what the NHL is. Then I watched the Russians and the Czechs and the big battles in the world championships, and you see Canada… The 1989 revolution, you see (fellow Czech) Jaromir Jagr win two Stanley Cups and you start to think about the NHL.

No second thoughts about having signed to play in Montreal instead of elsewhere, being an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2009?

I would never change it. I had two options – here or Phoenix. I liked both. To be honest, Phoenix was faxing me a contract already, for three years, but then Bob (Gainey) came back and made me an offer and I always wanted to stay in the East.

I wanted to stay in Buffalo, but they offered me just one year and I didn’t like it. I was 35, I’d had a good season, and I had to take as much as I could. One year wasn’t enough. I had to make the right decision for myself and my family and three years here was perfect.

Your sense of humour and skill as a practical joker are two of your trademarks. Why aren’t you on Twitter, or even on Facebook?

(Laughs) My wife told me, “If you ever get Facebook, I’ll divorce you.” Fair enough!

Did you have a favourite teammate to prank?

Gomer. Gio. Pleky, of course. But they got me back.

Greatest prank of all time?

(On the record, he’ll say nothing, just as a magician never reveals how he does his tricks.)

How did you get along with the Montreal media?

I always enjoyed them. Never had a problem except for (name withheld at Spacek’s request). I didn’t like him from the first day and I don’t think he liked me. He never talked to me after we’d won, but when we lost, I knew he’d be coming. I always had the feeling that he’d ask a question that he’d already answered for his story, or would try to lead me the way he wanted me to go. (laughs) I’d always try to (mess) with him and talk about something else.

One enduring memory of your time as a Canadien?

I enjoyed every day. Any day.

241 Comments

  1. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Spacek’s take on JM is spot on. The guy had no imagination, he stifled any creativity, he coached a boring style that did not suite the players he had. No emotion on the bench, and, he never virtually never talked to the players. Then there’s Muller…what a waste letting that guy get away.

  2. alwayssunny says:

    Good interview with Jaro. If there was any doubt that this organization has been anything other than a clown act for the last 7 years, that should shine a little light on it.

  3. slapshot777 says:

    So do you think the Habs will draft a forward or defenseman?

  4. Xkhann says:

    So…who will be Habs’ 2nd pick?? I hope a guy like Seth Griffith or Anasthasiou is available, both look pretty good in Memorial Cup

  5. The Dude says:

    I just hope that with the new management and with the Molson bro’s growing into their ownership shoe’s we all can dispense with the OVERPAYING for either small athletes from other teams or Older athletes and definitely no to players whom have had the game pass them by.This is the Montreal Canadiens and you come to play for the best because you are the best,period.And while we’re at it ,it’s time to stop thinking every Hab has to be Jean Beliveau,there was only one !I myself would much rather have a team of Franco Chris Nilan’s with Jean Beliveau’s hands and Roy behind the bench.AND THEN WE PLAY BOSTON!

  6. habstrinifan says:

    WOW! So much to read and enjoy! Thank you staffers and all the fellow posters. I shall be eating up every word.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    Thank you Mr. Stubbs for an excellent piece of journalism. I dont know whether it was you or your ‘boss’ or pure circumstance that prompted this detailed ‘chat’ with Jaro Spacek, but the choice of Spacek and significantly the timing shows a sharp journalistic sense.

    I hope you dont mind my characterization of it as a ‘chat’ rather than an interview. The questions, the pace of the writing, the topics you covered all added to the feeling that I was sitting in on a very amicable but revealing and confidential chat between you two.

    Great read and thank you again. I especially like the hints of ‘off the record’ information which you left for us readers to put our imagination to. It added to the sense of no-agenda easy honesty of Spacek’s remarks.

    Thank you again! This is one of the reasons why I come to HIO. I bet this would be quoted by many media as good team dynamics insight.

  8. piper says:

    If the Habs have any chance to trade for Chris Stewart I say they should go for it. Even if they have to slightly overpay. If they would take Bourque and one or both of the swiss guys go for it but I think it would take a late second or early third rounder also.

  9. HabFanSince72 says:

    So – who’s the writer?

    Don’t think it’s Raymond because I don’t think he’s a beat writer anymore. Does he do post-game interviews?

    Not Gagnon either because he’s a puppy dog. I’m sure he’s extra nice to all the players.


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

  10. JUST ME says:

    I like those inside look kind of readings.

    It shows that even though things don`t always go your way, there is a way to see through everything,say the thruth without bitching or trying to take a shot at someone. It is called respect.Don`t have to agree just to let it be and let go once it is done.

    I wish the media would act that way. Instead they look for every crooked thing about the team and keep bringing it back for decades after.
    I really enjoy Marc Bergevin`s way of dealing with the job he has to do. As the G.M. of a private enterprise you do not work with reporters at your table that simple. Notice on how little we read about the habs and how the tone is different ?

    Of course i would talk habs 365 days a year but not with the negative angle it usually takes. I am the kind of guy who lives for now and hope for tomorrow. Let`s learn from the past but leave it where it is.

  11. The Cat says:

    Francois Gagnon is a good guy, my money is that Spacek is referring to Bertrand Raymond.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  12. habs11s says:

    So any one else baffled how there are no fines given to the players of the ‘NHL’s team’ after they publicly criticized the officiating…

    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Habs11s I’ve been baffle d by the league office for two years. Wondering when the owners pocketbooks begin to get impacted so they will see the damage Bettman and Daddy have done to the game. Its disgusting.

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    • Malreg says:

      The NHL usually does not announce fines publically, and not exactly like there is some rush to make sure it is done the day after…

  13. Dr.Rex says:

    Random Wednesday thoughts:
    1) Chances are that Jaro Spacek was referring to our favourite journalist Francois Gagnon. HE has shown through the Cammy fiasco that he is willing to go the extra mile to reveal negativive info……..HE is willing to do what it takes to make our franchise look bad…..SOme people will call this great journalism, others see is as having a personal agenda.
    2) Seems to be some confusion to what position Mellanby would be taking over……Either way he is a good hockey mind.
    3) Chris Stewart is exactly the type of player we need and has shown what he can do in this league. SOme players just dont work for certain coaches and as long as we dont rehire Jacques Martin I think Stewart would be a fan fav here in Montreal.
    4) Bayern Munich fans should focus their anger towards their strkers with steel feet like GOmes and Muller not the only player on the team with super skills and the guts to take a crucial penalty.
    5) Someone mentioned in an earlier blog that players talk alot to each other around the league. Teh buzz on Bergevin is extremely positive and if we hire a good coach then free agents will line up to come here……Other then the francophone stars of course.

    • jols101 says:

      Again, well said Dr. Rex, but Muller came through huge for Bayern with his header in the 83rd minute. Robbin’s pentalty kick should have never happened. Bayern needs to blame its shoddy defending on the corner kick. All they had to do was defend for 7 frickin minutes and they chocked. Everything else you posted was bang on, especially about Chris Stewart being exactly what the Habs need…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Regarding 1), I seem to be the guy who defends François Gagnon here, so I’ll take up the cause again.

      I find if interesting that we applaud Dave Stubbs and Jaro Spacek for, finally, giving us some actual insight into how the team was run, how the strategy didn’t mesh with the players, how despite Jacques Martin’s denials the system was too defensive even to a defenceman’s liking, etc. We really appreciate the fact that they give us the dirt on Pierre Gauthier, the inside scoop.

      Somehow, when François Gagnon does the same with a situation regarding Mike Cammalleri, he’s the muck-raker and scat-disturber. Inconsistency? Hole in the logic? Big enough for Guillaume Latendresse to skate through.

      **EDIT: http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/03/francois-gagnon-is-good-professional.html **

      Regarding 5), I’m astounded that we managed to attract any free agents the last couple of years. I thought we had a classy organization with good facilities and great prospects for winning, that’s why Erik Cole must have signed I figured. I guess we now have to credit the proximity of Montréal to his off-season home, as well as that famous phone call to Brian Gionta a heck of a lot more. Nice work Cap’n.

      It stands to reason that the phone calls around July 1 will be a heck of a lot more positive, along the lines of: “Yeah, it’s an awesome place to play, the rink and the practice rink and gym are top-notch, the organization is first class. The GM Bergevin is great, and the owner couldn’t be a better guy…”

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • cboden says:

        Here’s the difference between Stubbs and Gagnon:

        Cammy said “We need to have the same winning mentality we had in the playoffs where we said to ourselves ‘we can beat anyone’”. Gagnon PUBLISHED “Cammy said ‘We play like losers’”. Gagnon, after the trade, even said “I miss-translated his quote”. (bullshit)

        Stubbs, in this article, is quoting what Spac said.

  14. Habitall says:

    Spacek’s comment on JM’s dump and chase system was right on, but II’m curious what others think about how much this impacted Gomez’s production. Would Gomez’s numbers have been significantly better in a puck-possession game?

    Personally, I’m on the fence with that, because he seemed to be the worst Hab for just giving away the puck rather than carrying it, usually just when things could have been getting interesting. But how much of that is due to him buying too much into the JM ethos, vs. his own brain cramps?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I understand where you are going with that, I really do but for me Gomez displayed a lack of compete on a near nightly basis. For whatever reason he dogged through too many games. Was it the coach? Style or system? Perhaps but for me it doesn’t matter. He has to go. He is the last symbol of the former regime. Interesting concept though.

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      • jols101 says:

        Well said Habfan, he has to go for sure. Interesting to think what this team would have accomplished if they had the right philosophy for a small, speedy, talented group , which should have been puck possesion instead of chip and chase. Alas, we will never know but looking forward Gomez’s time has run out. However, I disagree that Gomez is “the last symbol of the former regime” , after Gomez is gone there is still our captain, Brian Gionta.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      IN the games we played from behind and opened up his plus minus got even worse. IN retrospect by putting the mussle on GOmez we were simply limiting the damage. JM deserves no credit for that its just simply a matter of a damaged and expired hockey player. AS Sather mentioned GOmez thought he was signing a retirement contract.

  15. Rossy says:

    Thanks Dave for the great interview with Spacek–always classy. I love hearing the stories behind the news. I’ve always wondered, for instance, why Latendresse did so well in Minnie (and Pouliot did well, initially in Montreal). Was it the pressure of being French and playing in Montreal? Was it the relationship with Martin?

    Anyway, nice to hear what Jaro thought of his time in Montreal. I missed him (and Hal Gill and Hammer) when they were traded. Real gentlemen who gave us their all with leadership and class.

    I hate hockey as a business.

  16. commandant says:

    Thanks for the comments Chris. I saw him a bit, but obviously not to the same extent as someone who was at nearly every home game.

    You are right on the U18 vs U20 comment, I’ve added that change.

    As for the consistency of effort, we definitely agree there, he doesn’t always give full effort, but where i was most disappointed was in some of his defensive play, which i referenced as…

    “He also has a tendency to float or puck watch at times, and we’d like to see him give the same effort in his own end of the ice that he gives in the offensive end.”

    Thanks again for following along.

    What did you think of our Matt Finn piece?

    Go Habs Go!
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    • Chris says:

      No problem…I’ve enjoyed reading them when I catch them. I missed the Matt Finn piece, but I’ll check it out and give my comments. Needless to say, I **LOVE** Matt Finn.

      Reminds me quite a bit of Drew Doughty. Obviously not as polished or as elite in the skating department, but he’s going to make some team very, very happy that they drafted him.

      EDIT: Alright, here’s some comments…

      Finn is a very smart player with an excellent hockey IQ. As you mentioned, the Guelph Storm have produced some excellent defencemen over the past few years: Drew Doughty, Daniel Girardi, Kevin Klein and Ryan Parent (one of the best of the group in junior, but his back injuries have really derailed his career). While the coach who much of that success can be attributed to (Dave Barr) left Guelph before Finn’s arrival, Finn is a worthy successor.

      He logged top 4 minutes as a 16 year old defenceman in his rookie season, and what really stood out was his size (the kid was huge) and his poise. Finn’s 2010-11 numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as he was not getting much in the way of PP time. Tim Campbell and Peter Holland typically manned the points on the PP, leaving Finn with little time to rack up the easy points. After that season, Finn was taken behind the shed for his conditioning by Scott Walker and Finn responded by working his tail off over the past year to improve his conditioning, strength and fitness. As such, I think his strength is fairly underrated. This seems to be a Guelph thing…Drew Doughty was absolutely pudgy in his draft year, but worked his rear end off (literally!) to drop the extra weight before his stellar rookie season. ;)

      My favourite aspect of Finn is that he reminds me a little of Nicklas Lidstrom on the power play. When he shoots, he is often not looking at the puck, but at the goalie and the shot-blockers, which allows him to adjust his shot to make sure it gets through. He can hammer the slap shot when he needs to, but he is smart enough to try bank shot-passes off the boards or snap a wrister through traffic. That kind of thing is not easily noticeable, but it is also very hard to teach.

      Like Doughty, Finn was a little more adventurous in his first OHL season, even pulling out the Doughtyesque spinoramas to get around forecheckers. He really tamed that part of his game back this season, but the skill is there to do it when he wants.

      Finn will be the Storm’s captain next season and was already one of the team’s vocal leaders when you watched them between periods or before games.

      Like you said, there is probably no one thing he exceeds at. But part of that is a problem with our evaluation: everything he does is at an elite level in the OHL. He really doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, and his skillset is right there with anybody else in the league, whether it be his shot, his skating or his positioning.

      Daniel Girardi is probably a good comparable, although I would also throw Eric Desjardins in the mix. Like Desjardins, Finn will be criticized for not using his size more effectively. But his superior positioning and read of the play will allow him to have a long, successful NHL career.

      • Bripro says:

        Maybe you can clear this up for me Chris.
        Matt Finn wasn’t in any (that I remember) draft rankings last summer or this past fall.
        How can someone climb that fast?
        Is it that he’s improved dramatically, or was he just overlooked, or initially under-rated, or a combination of all….?

        • Chris says:

          He was initially under-rated, no question, but the big knock on him was conditioning. He really was huge when he came to the Storm as a 16 year old, and it wasn’t all muscle.

          Scott Walker (who has really turned into a good coach for developing talent) told him in the off-season that he could either be a top-10 NHL pick or a seventh rounder, depending on how hard he wanted to work on his conditioning.

          Regardless, (patting myself on the back here), I was raving about Matt Finn at this time last season (just like I am doing with Jason Dickinson this season). Finn was special…it is pretty rare that you see a 16 year old logging as many minutes in crucial situations as Finn was.

          What held him back was the overall stink surrounding the Storm last season. They were expected to contend for the OHL championship, but there were rampant problems with that team. Ultimately, their coach/GM (Jason Brooks) was fired and some of the good players (particularly Peter Holland) tarnished their legacy with somewhat lackadaisical play.

          As mentioned above, you also have to factor in that he wasn’t getting power play time because the Storm had a surplus of good forwards and thus put Peter Holland back on the point and ran everything through him. Finn was on the second wave, but there was a substantial step-down in talent up front once that first wave unit left the ice.

          He was also largely overshadowed by Slater Koekkoek, which I found puzzling because their numbers were similar and I felt they were quite similar as players (I split my time between Peterborough and Guelph that year and got to see both guys a few times). Cody Ceci had an advantage of being born a few months earlier and was able to get into the OHL as a 15 year old, raising his exposure.

          Sometimes, I think the scouts just buy into their own hype…Finn was there for all to see, but for some reason they weren’t talking about him. I just didn’t get it.

      • commandant says:

        Finn was mid teens… they are all there in my sig link, with the newest (lower draft picks) at the top… and then moving up to number 1 on each subsequent page.

        Edit: Here’s Finn #18
        http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/04/23/nhl-draft-prospect-profile-18-matt-finn/

        Go Habs Go!
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        • Bripro says:

          That explains his sudden rise. Thanks for that.
          Comparing him to an offensive Dan Girardi.
          That’s quite the compliment.

          • commandant says:

            All my comparisons are “MAX CEILING” doesn’t mean the player will get there, but if he fulfills his maximum possible potential, thats what he could be. Ie… best case scenario for the player.

            Of course with guys like Andrei Kostitsyn, we all know that not every prospect will reach their Maximum potential or have the best case scenario play out.

            But at 18 I like to be positive on the kids (even if I’m overly positive).

            I’ve gotten a couple (not many) emails from friends and family of a couple of our prospects, so while I do criticize, I try to keep as much constructive criticism as possible.

            Go Habs Go!
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          • Chris says:

            At the same age, Finn is miles ahead of Girardi. Girardi really didn’t hit his groove until the year after his draft year, and really broke out as a 19 year old. This probably explain why he was never drafted, but had to toil for a couple of seasons in the AHL as an undrafted free agent signed by the Rangers.

          • commandant says:

            I’m not comparing them at the same age either… Finn at 18 may be better than Girardi was at 18….

            But what I’m saying is that Finn in his prime could become a player comparable to what Girardi is today plus some offence.

            This way we don’t get stuck with draft ranks… ie, if I compare a forward to Pavel Datsyuk, i think he has huge potential, not that he’s a fifth round pick.

            Go Habs Go!
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          • Chris says:

            If I was to give Matt Finn a “Max Ceiling” player, I think I would choose P.K. Subban.

            When Subban was drafted, he was 5’10.5″ and 200 pounds. Ranked 102nd (!!!!) amongst North American skaters, Trevor Timmins “reached” to draft him 43rd overall following a season where Subban put up 15 goals, 56 points and 89 PIM in 68 games with a very good Belleville Bulls team.

            Matt Finn is 6’0″ and 197 pounds. He just came off a season where he put up 10 goals, 48 points and 58 PIM in 61 games with a very young Guelph Storm team that struggled to get into the playoffs. He’s not as flamboyant as Subban, but he is as effective because he does everything in a calm and controlled fashion. He’s got a similar body, he’s got some offensive flair and he can hit as nastily as Subban when the mood takes him.

            Finn will not make the jump to the NHL next season (he’s not Doughty), so I’m curious to see if he can dominate the OHL to the same extent that Subban did as a 19 year old.

          • commandant says:

            Subban’s growth over his last 2 OHL years, and his 1 AHL year is almost unprecedented.

            He’s really the rare case who massively outshone what would have been called his “max potential” when he was drafted.

            It will happen, but this kind of growth is so rare, I really don’t put it into my comparisons.

            Go Habs Go!
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          • Chris says:

            Commandant: I watched a lot of P.K. Subban’s junior career in Belleville, and also got to watch him and Yannick Weber in the Memorial Cup.

            Sometimes, I think people read too much into Subban’s unprecedented “growth” as a player. Subban, coming out of junior, was a very, very talented offensive defenceman who was already an elite skater when he was drafted. The two big knocks on him were his positioning, which is a relatively easy thing to improve and something that his coaches in Belleville, Hamilton and Montreal have been drilling into him, and picking his spots to make risky plays. The latter remains a bit of an issue with Subban, but that’s equally true of Drew Doughty.

            Subban already had an absolute howitzer of a shot, he could skate, he could hit and he demonstrated offence at every level. His growth has been on the defensive side of the puck.

          • commandant says:

            Lets remember what Subban was in his draft year, and what he was in his final two years of junior are two different things.

            Subban really started to come on in the 2nd half of his draft year, but even then there were huge concerns about his defense.

            As far as the unprecedented growth, there is no doubt that it started in Belleville in the 07-08 season, and continued there in 08-09 before he ever got to Hamilton.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
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    • punkster says:

      If I could butt in…your piece on Finn is interesting. I have read some good things about him but your use of the word “intelligent” attracted me the most plus the indication that his all around game seems sound. I went out on a limb some time ago, and foolishly I suppose, suggesting we take a top rated “D” in the first round instead of a forward. I changed my mind over the course of the last few months but if this kid is available 2nd round (doubt it) he’d be my choice.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • TomNickle says:

        Not a snowball’s chance in hell that Finn is there in the second round.

        It would be a minor miracle if he was available at #20.

      • commandant says:

        I can almost guarantee that there will be an interesting D prospect avaiable at 32 (though it likely won’t be Finn), and there should be one available at 51 as well.

        This draft is absolutely loaded with defencemen.

        As far as taking one though…. We have 4 picks in the top 63. Ideally I’d like us to take.

        2 or 3 forwards
        0 or 1 defencemen
        1 goalie

        in those 4 picks given the state of our prospect cupboard.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • TomNickle says:

          Need drafting huh?

          Koekkek could be there at 32 with the injury plagued season and Ville Pokka will almost certainly be there.

          • commandant says:

            I don’t advocate drafting purely for “need” or purely for “best player available”

            I think it should be a sliding scale.

            Ie, even if a guy isn’t a need… if he’s head and shoulders the BPA available… draft him.
            If the two guys are so close that there is little to differentiate between the two, go with the position of need.

            In between those two extremes, you need to weigh out the pros and cons… how big is the need? how hard is it to find this type of player later in the draft? how many Ds and Fwds are available July 1st? How late in the draft (later in the draft means more BPA drafting than early in the draft, as these players take longer to develop and needs change).?

            One thing that Bergevin and Timmins need to be cognizant of is this:

            We will have 4 rookie Dmen in the AHL next year.
            Mac Bennett, Jonas Nygren, Darren Dietz, Colin Sullivan, Josiah Didier, and a few others are also on the way.
            One spot on the D squad should go to a journeyman AHLer, (stafford, Callahan, or Henry-type*) to teach the young kids.
            You also still have Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Gorges (signed 6 years), on the big club right now.

            Eventually if you draft a big number of defencemen (ie we can handle 1 or 2 in this draft, but if we draft 3 or 4 we’re pushing it)… you are gonna run out of AHL/NHL spots to play these kids, and even if they are good players they need to develop, not be healthy scratches.

            So while we aren’t at a point to say don’t draft a defenceman, we need to be sure he’s a clear BPA, and much better than the available forwards and goalies (both huge needs) before we take one IMO.

            *yes i know Henry is in Germany

            Go Habs Go!
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          • Chris says:

            I can’t see Koekkoek lasting that long either, Tom. His shoulder injury shouldn’t be as much of a scare as a knee injury or concussion, and his numbers in his shortened season warrant consideration given how crappy the Petes are.

            If he slips to 32, I would draft him in a heart beat.

      • Chris says:

        My ideal scenario is still to package our #3 pick with a defenceman and a second round pick for Edmonton’s #1 and take Yakupov.

        We have a logjam of defencemen that needs to get cleared up and really have a glaring weakness at left wing and desperately need another scoring winger, while they would love to draft a defenceman but are loathe to pass on Yakupov. Win-win.

        I don’t know what it takes, but I think that Tambellini is a bit antsy with that pick right now.

        It might seem like too much, but I suspect Edmonton might want more. I just think Yakupov is a special hockey player and the rest of the guys in this draft don’t really inspire me.

        • ont fan says:

          I don’t believe for a second Edmonton is going to give up a 1st overall and not get a 1st from someone else with a defenseman. Probably 5 to 10 1st. Habs won’t give that much. There isn’t that big a differents.

  17. jols101 says:

    @TomNickle, so we are in agreement that Chris Stewart would be a good addition to the Habs? If so why the snide remark “The Chris Stewart that was benched in the Playoffs?”

    I watch way too much hockey for a grown man and i already knew Chris Stewart was benched in the Playoffs but that alone doesn’t diminish all of his upside. So, if you agree that he would be an upgrade to the Habs roster, we are in agreement and we can leave it at that. But as far as me “putting my foot in my mouth” maybe you should re read your posts before you call out others for their views…

    • He’s a perfect replacement for Andrei Kostitsyn.

      • TomNickle says:

        Been a while since we’ve spoken Robert. I’m not sure if you mean that as a good thing or a bad thing.

        • It wouldn’t be a good thing Tom. I’d rather players that exceed themselves than those who consistently underperform. When you have what is essentially an established NHLer, I’m only interested in upside if a player has already achieved it.

          • TomNickle says:

            This is what I don’t like about Stewart specifically. The Blues made a big trade to get him and worked hard to get him going, he didn’t respond and has at least twice now defied coaches who’ve asked him not to fight, one time resulting in him breaking his hand.

            Also, why bench a player that brings more than scoring in the playoffs? A player like Stewart can clearly contribute even when he isn’t filling the net. He can be dominant physically. So what the hell did that guy do that was so terrible that Hitchcock of all people(who loves the rough stuff) would bench him?

            Lack of production wasn’t the reason and not being emotionally invested wasn’t either. So we’re left to wonder, and that’s never good.

          • Bripro says:

            Did he affect team chemistry?

    • TomNickle says:

      Ron,

      I agreed with you that if he could prove he was no longer a meathead that I’d add him for the right price.

      You responded by saying that I couldn’t see the value in having a player like him on the team.

      I’m not sure what you want me to say or how you’d like me to react to you going out of your way to insult me even in the middle of me agreeing with you.

      Some people live to argue so badly that they can’t accept it when people agree with them.

      • commandant says:

        Lets see if we could work a Bourque for Stewart deal. Our underachiever for theres? Maybe something else thrown in.

        I’d give Stewart a shot, but we need to move something out to bring him in.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
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        • TomNickle says:

          At a time when this team needs to get on the same page adding a player like Stewart, Kane or somebody like them is very risky. What they bring to a team and their talents are undeniable, but they can do as much if not more harm than good if they don’t want to be team players.

          I think you’re right in thinking that Bourque alone doesn’t get that deal done. I wouldn’t be opposed to Weber or Diaz being included. But again for me, this is all dependent on whether or not Stewart or a similar player can realize that the team doesn’t revolve around them.

  18. Slightly jumping the gun, Scott Mellanby’s Wiki page states that he has left his assistant coach post with the Blues to become the Canadiens assistant GM.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Mellanby

    • Wow! In the time it took me to post the note above, the Wiki page was updated to read “Hockey Buzz’s Eklund reports.” Guess that means it ain’t gonna happen folks.

    • stephen says:

      Hi, Robert,

      The wiki seems to simply report on conjecture at Hockeybuzz.com that Mellanby will be the next head coach.

    • shiram says:

      this is what was on the wikipedia page before : HockeyBuzz.com’s Eklund reports Mellanby will be the next head coach of the Canadiens.

      do you trust is less now?

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

      • Really? Must be Eklund editing the page himself.

        I had originally seen a tweet at Bob Mac’s page, then went to Wiki simply to read the bio.

        https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=TSNBobMcKenzie

        • shiram says:

          Yeah, with the way people can just edit wikipedia, you cannot really trust anything on there, unless there’s a link to the source.
          There’s an edit tab on each page, and you can see previous version of what was written on there.

          To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

        • Newf_Habster says:

          That is why you CANNOT trust Eklund!!! He just has made up stuffs to attract gullible hockey fans including unfortunately some of HIO posters and lurkers so he can make money off from you thru ads on his crappy website.

        • Malreg says:

          Pretty hilarious that he’s reporting Melanby will be the next Head Coach, since Melanby’s comments made about his departure from St-Louis state that he wants to pursue something in the Hockey Ops department rather than coaching…

          • Had I seen Eklund’s name there in the first place, I wouldn’t have bothered linking. If Bob MacKenzie however, suggests that Mellanby is in line for the Habs Assistant GM post, he’s usually got his sources nailed.

          • TomNickle says:

            I would wager that it will be director of player personnel. Apparently he worked wonders with Backes.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: I sincerely hope so. Right now, the Habs are sorely lacking in the “player development” or “player personnel” department. Trevor Timmins is listed in this role, but he’s in charge of scouting and amateur development. Most teams now have a retired and respected hockey player serving in this role.

            It helps the players to have a former player to bounce ideas/frustrations off of.

  19. jon514 says:

    I cannot wait to see Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis patrolling the habs blue line. We are going to be pretty awesome in a few years. I’ll be watching the bulldogs next year for the first time!

  20. Bill H says:

    Fantastic interview and article Dave. It gives valuable insight into what was going on behind the scenes and validates what many people were thinking around here. We’ll be expecting more just like it from now on…at least once a week to start. Okay? ;-)

  21. Chris says:

    Commandant has been linking prospect reports for the past while, which have often been very interesting to read.

    I saw the he linked one for Scott Kosmachuk, the Guelph Storm right winger that is ranked #24 amongst North American skaters.

    As I got to watch a fair number of Storm home games, I thought I’d supplement this a bit…

    First up, there is a mistake…Kosmachuk played for Team Canada at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships, not the Under 20 as stated.

    As for his style of play, I was really high on Kosmachuk at the start of the season. He got off to a great start and was skating hard all over the ice. At some point, he started trying too hard to do everything himself and was sat down by Storm coach Scott Walker for a game to get his focus back. Kosmachuk was streaky…he had 4 scoring streaks of 4 games or more, but was also held scoreless in 29 of his 67 games, playing most of the time on one of the top two lines and getting heavy power play minutes.

    The point where I really disagree is the discussion of his aggression. Scott Kosmachuk is not an agressive forechecker. When he’s scoring, he’s great. But when he’s not, he often appeared to be floating and disinterested. At the end of the season and in the playoffs, I was VERY disappointed with Kosmachuk, as he should have been a leader for the team but pretty much disappeared for Games 3-6 of their first round loss against the Plymouth Whalers.

    Kosmachuk does have good NHL-calibre speed when he uses it (which he did at the start of the season), but he often looked gassed…not sure if he was playing too much this season as the Storm were in a rebuilding year.

    Steve Downie is probably a good comparable for Kosmachuk. I would have liked to see a bit more compete from Kosmachuk in the playoffs. The make-or-break skill for many of these guys is skating, and Kosmachuk can fly so he should make the NHL. But like the writer, I wouldn’t expect him to become a top-6 scoring forward at the NHL level, but more of a third or fourth line checker.

    To get to the NHL, Kosmachuk’s going to need to spend a lot of time working on his defensive game, which remains his biggest weakness. There did seem to be improvement on that front in the second half of the season, as he went from a -18 rating in the first 38 games to a +8 rating in his last 29 games.

    • TomNickle says:

      I agree Chris. I saw my fair share of him too and while I really like him as a prospect, it appeared as though he was looking for dead areas without any conviction or focus on the game when things didn’t go his way.

      Having said that, it looks like he has all of the tools and just needs to find consistency.

      • Chris says:

        Jason Dickinson is going to be the Storm player to watch next season. He’s draft eligible in 2013, but that kid has all the tools: size (6’1″), speed, shooting and he got better and better as the season wore on.

        He had 1 goal and 4 points in his first 20 games, playing largely third and fourth line minutes.

        As his minutes picked up, he started racking up points. 4 goals and 16 points in 21 games through December and January, followed by 8 goals and 15 points in the last 22 games of the regular season.

        In the playoffs, he was in my opinion Guelph’s best player. We knew he was a decent prospect, but most Storm fans were really surprised by how quickly he developed.

        He came into the season listed at 165 pounds, but I suspect he is closer to 180 pounds now from seeing him. He and Hunter Garlent were ranked as late first round/second round prospects this season, but I have a feeling that Dickinson is going to fly up the draft rankings by next fall.

        • TomNickle says:

          I’ve heard him compared to Nick Ritchie quite a bit. If that’s really the case he’ll be shooting up the ranks as you say.

          One player I really like that I called my shot on is Trevor Murphy from Peterborough. I think that kid is going to absolutely explode next season. He’s got an NHL shot today, almost always hits his man in stride with the puck and battles ferociously in the corners for an undersized guy. When he gets time at the top of the zone it’s like a man against boys.

  22. commandant says:

    Adding both Mellanby and Dudley would seriously beef up the pro scouting department, something the Habs really need.

    Or maybe one will be in charge of player development.

    Mellanby was an assistant coach with the Blues, but wants to work in management… so any management title would be a promotion.

    Either way its good to see a real management TEAM.

    Go Habs Go!
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    • Ali says:

      If, and I think it’s probably likely, the two Randy’s aren’t brought back as assistants, I’d put them both in player development. Players respect and listen to them and they are both great teachers.

    • Bripro says:

      If Bergevin does this year as he suggested, which was to truly develop the local scouting program, then Mellanby would be a perfect fit, and he would achieve his requested management position.

  23. PeterStone says:

    so, now that you are all very excited, if someone is looking for a pair of reds, entire season , next season. Send me a note.

  24. VancouverHab says:

    Wow–actual journalism happening here, folks! My best respects Mr. Stubbs.

    We Gomez fans get their vindication: JM foricing Cammi & Gomer to play dull plain defense absolutely contrary to their skill-set.

    And no way to positively identify the journalist who rode Spatches: from my reading of the Montreal media, I’d guess Red Fisher.

  25. Ali says:

    Bob McKenzie reporting that Scott Mellanby has left the Blues and will reportedly join the Habs as assistant GM. Interesting.

    Edit: Should clarify, he said “wouldn’t be surprised” to see him join the Habs, not saying it’s done.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wow, talk about a complete different dynamic this new mgmt team brings to the table.

    • mrhabby says:

      does this mean Dudley is not going to the habs from the laffs. i guess will find out.

    • TomNickle says:

      Which will of course lead to speculation that Larry Pleau is on his way over too. Not Canadian and probably doesn’t speak a lick of French but neither does Mellanby. Pleau played with the Habs, the Junior Canadiens and has a ton of front office experience. Among the most in the game in fact.

      Edit: I see that Mellanby is a native Montrealer. I have to confess I had no idea that he was and couldn’t recall ever hearing him speak French. How bout them apples.

      • Ali says:

        And he was the architect of some pretty good St. Louis teams. If they had had a goalie who could make a save (Turek, Brent Johnson, Osgood) might have a cup or two.

      • mrhabby says:

        you honestly think some of the older guard could be on there way out..that being marky, pleks, gorges, gionta. i like the crystal ball stuff.

        • TomNickle says:

          I’m not sure if that reply was meant for me. I’ll dive in anyway. If Bergevin wants this team to be a Cup contender it needs an upgrade on Plekanec(in the role that he’s in) and it needs Markov and Gorges to be able to play in less demanding roles than what they are or are expected to now.

          I don’t see how anyone could believe that Tomas Plekanec is capable of being a #1 centreman on a Stanley Cup winning team.

          Just my opinion.

          • Ali says:

            yup, he’s a perfect #2 though.

          • TomNickle says:

            I agree. Ideal in every way as a #2.

            Only issue that I have is that if you can’t get the #1, you’re wasting your time with him on your team.

          • Ali says:

            I’ve said before, Bergevin had Toews in Chicago. He knows what it means to have that #1 guy, and I have faith he’ll get us one.

          • mrhabby says:

            it was meant for you.

          • Bripro says:

            Tom & Ali You have to consider that the team might decide that the DD line will remain as the no. 1 line, what with 180-190 points?
            If they beef up the 2nd line and leave Pleks at centre (I agree on both your assessment of his being a no. 2 centreman), then that too will change the forward dynamic on this team.
            Then it’ll be time to do exactly as you suggested..to beef up the D to help relieve the load.

          • Chris says:

            Well, Boston did win a Stanley Cup last season with David Krejci as a #1 centreman and I don’t think Krejci and Plekanec are all that different when it comes to skill level.

            Boston made up for their lack of a truly elite #1 centre by having 2 #1A centres (Krejci and Bergeron) and making sure that they had three balanced scoring lines and the best fourth line in the game.

            Montreal hasn’t had any luck landing the elite centreman in years, so they’ve had to try the two #1A route. Unfortunately, they haven’t had the wingers to compliment those centres.

            The winger depth is almost there. Pacioretty, Cole and Gionta give them three top-6 wingers. If they can find a true sniper for the second line, Plekanec could be just fine as a #1 centre with a supporting “second” line of Desharnais between Cole and Pacioretty.

          • Ali says:

            @Chris Boston has a lot more beef on the wings with Horton, Lucic, Marchand and incredible depth down the middle with Bergeron, Krejci, Peverley, Kelly, Campbell. IF Eller become’s a 20 goal man, and we can get those bigger wingers, then it’s fine. But right now we have Bourque, Gionta, Leblanc, Gallagher who are candidates and the size other than Bourque just isn’t there.

          • TomNickle says:

            I disagree regarding the Boston argument Chris.

            Krejci in his first full NHL season had a higher point total than Plekanec has ever had. Second, I don’t think it’s fair to make the argument that Lucic and Horton are any more skilled than Pacioretty, Gionta or Cammalleri. We can’t really argue styles of play here either because they’re as close to identical as any two teams in the league. Krejci worst full NHL season in terms of offensive production funny enough hovers right around where Plekanec’s average season is.

            If you feel that a more offensively capable third line is going to elevate Plekanec’s numbers that’s fine, but it’s speculation. Eller/Moen/Kostitsyn were scoring pretty damn well as a third line this season before Moen’s injury and Kostitsyn’s trade so I’m not sure I’d buy that argument today.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: The Eller/Kostitsyn third line sort of demonstrates the point. When they produced, the Habs actually were doing okay. The problem was that we never got to see the team healthy to keep that unit intact.

            We know now that Andrei Kostitsyn is a bit too streaky to be a go-to scorer on one of the top two lines. But as a third line player, he can be very, very dangerous.

            The issue with Boston is that they can manage the minutes of their offensive players and optimize their production. Krejci averaged 18:51 ice time in their Stanley Cup season (1:13 SH), while Bergeron averaged 17:53 (2:03 SH) of ice time.

            In the playoffs, the Bruins brilliantly spared their top guys from leg-crushing SH time by acquiring Chris Kelly at the deadline (one of the best trade-deadline moves in recent memory). While Krejci’s overall ice time went up during the playoffs to 20:07, he averaged 16 seconds of short-handed ice time. Even Patrice Bergeron benefited, seeing his ice time go to 18:42 (1:45 SH) at a time of year when most coaches ride their stars even more.

            Contrast that with Plekanec’s ice time the past few seasons:

            2009-10: Regular Season – 19:57 (2:44 SH), Playoffs -19:57 (2:58 SH)

            2010-11: Regular Season – 20:14 (2:49 SH), Playoffs – 23:20 (2:20 SH)

            2011-12: Regular Season – 20:45 (3:13 SH)

            Montreal’s problem isn’t the quality of players, but the lack of depth. Plekanec is a very good hockey player, but he’s not a “horse” that can log crazy minutes and not pay a price. He’s a smaller guy that relies on speed and agility, and those are the two things that are most affected by tired legs.

            We’re not getting an elite #1 centre anytime soon, but there is still a recipe that can get the Habs to the Finals, by building a roster three lines deep and ideally with a fourth line that can contribute some good minutes and chip in some goals.

            With a healthy Gionta, a rebounding Bourque and development from Eller, the Habs could easily have a good top-7 forward situation. I’ve long since given up on Gomez, but if he could get his head screwed on straight he would be a very, very good third line player at this point in his career. So one more forward, preferably one who can score 25-35 goals per season, and we’ve got that depth barring injuries.

            I don’t know that it happens next season, but we’re not as far off as people make it out sometimes. Last season was a disaster, but I hesitate to read everything into it. Once a season goes off the rails, you are better to just put it behind you and build for the next one.

          • TomNickle says:

            I won’t disagree that a lesser workload would help Plekanec at all. But I’m also not going to say that Plekanec is as good of a player as Krejci or even Bergeron.

            And it’s true that this team could build around Plekanec, Desharnais and Eller with a focus of acquiring enough depth at forward that they become an elite team, but I do think that a retool or rebuild is far more likely with some veterans sent to new destinations with an eye toward the future.

        • Ali says:

          @ Bripro: I don’t believe this team can succeed with both Pleks and DD as our #1 and #2 centers. One of them has to go.

          • TomNickle says:

            Or move Desharnais to the wing, which is really not something I’m crazy about personally.

            It’s a nasty situation because he may have peaked but he’s shown improvement every season.

          • Bripro says:

            If that is to be the case, I’d be very divided on deciding who.
            DD is (in my opinion) going to become the next Marty St Louis. His hands and vision are that good. And he’s young. His size is a disadvantage at times, but he’s such a good play-maker.
            On the other hand, I believe that Pleks is one of the best defensive-forwards in the NHL. He only played with Cole and Max 2-3 games, but produced in every one of them. His was a bad year because of poor coaching choices and playing with 23 different line combinations. That’s ridiculous. But as Tom says, it’s probably the best time to get the most for him……that is, if either is in fact traded at all.

          • Ali says:

            He has the higher offensive upside of the two. If I were him I’d start watching tons of video on how Marty St. Louis plays.

          • TomNickle says:

            Just my two cents, but I would temper expectations on Desharnais. I could see him elevating his point production and improving defensively but Martin St. Louis comparisons are a stretch.

            The only reason I say that is because St. Louis has a tremendous shot and when he was at the top of his game had elite speed.

            I don’t think it’s fair to say he’ll wake up with St. Louis like speed some day.

          • Bripro says:

            Perhaps not his speed but his patience with the puck and play wisdom are as good. Also, bare in mind who St Louis has played with, and when either of Lecavalier or Stamkos are down, so are his numbers.
            DD is younger, but I truly believe he’ll be as good.

    • jols101 says:

      Great news!!! If Mellanby does come to the Habs I hope he stuffs Chris Stewart in a large suitcase and brings him along….

      • TomNickle says:

        The Chris Stewart who was benched during the playoffs?

        • jols101 says:

          yep thats him

          • TomNickle says:

            Not sure that I’d want a guy who doesn’t listen when his coaches tell him not to fight. If he can prove to the guys in charge that he’s not a meathead I’d be all for taking a chance on him for the right price.

            Just doesn’t seem like he’s in any hurry to grow up. If we’re taking chances on guys who act like jerks, I’d prefer Patrick Kane.

          • Bripro says:

            That’s an expensive risk.
            You could go one cheaper in bringing back a more-mature Max Lapierre.

          • jols101 says:

            Well 29 teams in the NHL would perfer Patrick Kane but at what price. As you mentioned St.louis isn’t at all happy with Stewart and for a guy who is just 25 years old, big, mean and talented it would be extremely short sighted not to look into his availability. I’m pretty sure with the type of player Mellanby was he would see the benefits of a Chris Stewart, even if you can’t….

          • TomNickle says:

            I’d rather pay an expensive price for Kane than a cheap price for Stewart. He plays about thirty pounds overweight and has had problems with coaches everywhere.

            I’ll take the elite skill over the bulldozer.

            I’m not sure what I did to incite a smart ass remark about me not seeing the benefits of a former 30 goal scorer who hits like a Mac Truck.

            Maybe you should go back and read my comments agreeing that Stewart could be an effective addition before you put your foot in your mouth like that again.

          • Ali says:

            Its been reported in St Louis that Stewart realized this season the importance of conditioning, and has already hired a full-time personal trainer for this off-season. I think St. Louis gives him one more year before moving him, and I think he’ll prove himself to be a premier power forward again next year.

          • Bripro says:

            He becomes an UFA this year, and I don’t think St Louis will resign him, especially at $3.25MM for an under-achieving 30 points. He did much better as a rookie in Colorado.
            I would not risk $ on a player who has a hard time finding himself. He needs to grow up some more.

          • Ali says:

            He’s RFA Bripro

          • Bripro says:

            I did not know that! Ooopsies..
            Seriously, I guess he’s been up and down so much…is this his final year?
            St Louis aren’t enchanted with him anymore. I’m not certain they’ll want him next year.

          • Ali says:

            They’ll do what they did with Oshie, sign him to a one-year “show me” deal.

          • Bripro says:

            Did Gauthier not try and pry him away prior to the trade deadline, but the price was too high? A couple of high round choices….

          • Ali says:

            didn’t hear that, but wouldn’t be surprised if the price is high. He has great potential, and to be honest i don’t know why people have given up on him, he’s had one bad year. He was developing nicely before he hit the wall this year because of fitness issues. If he gets that in order, he can be on my team any day of the week.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Where does that leave Rick Dudley?

  26. jedimyrmidon says:

    Vigneault extension with the Canucks. Strike him off the list of candidates.

    • shiram says:

      Like Tampa Bay below, I found it hard to believe Vancouver would try any of the available Head coach.

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

  27. HabsFanMTL says:

    i wonder whats gonna happen to guy boucher after that hurrendous year and would the habs be interested in picking him up if he were free? or would we want to watch a boring 1 -3- 1 system here LOL

  28. rhino514 says:

    The Spacek interview is the most revealing thing I´ve heard from a still active player or coach in years. Man, was that juicy! I like Spacek because he manages to be so honest but yet not classless.
    Until these insights, we only SUSPECTED all the things we hear about JM, and, especially PG.
    On the one hand I am a bit relieved about the feeling that JM was no longer the right coach for the team, because the move at the time struck me as a panic move and got rid of a guy who really seemed to have gotten the most out of the team during the previous postseason.
    On the other hand, I am angry at the things Pierre Gauthier has done which have really put the team in a hole -in less than two years at the helm.
    How could we ever have ended up with this guy? How could Gainey trust this guy so much to carry on? Not only were his moves questionable, but his overall character and personality seem so much at odds with how a person in who is the GM of the Montreal Canadiens should be. Autocratic, and contemptful of the media and public with whom he visibly was uncomfortable awith and hated dealing with.
    As a parting gift he has saddled us with 8 million a year in salary (wiggle room on the cap we will no longer have) on two players who are going to be 1) maddeningly inconsistent and 2) completely one dimensional.
    Truly angry, after the promise of two seasons ago, at how this man appears to have done everything posible to undo the progress the organization had made. And I strongly suspect that, as a former head scout, he gave the green light on Gomez, though that is speculation at this point.
    JM had his good points and bad points, but I am shocked that it seems we had the 30th most competent GM in the league for the last two years overseeing such a glorified franchise. How did we get there?

  29. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    @CraigJButton: Jacques Beaulieu, GM & Coach of Sarnia, says if he was Trevor Timmons, he would take Galchenyuk of all players. .http://t.co/QxaQTt20

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I feel much better with Jacques Beaulieu saying that than Button. I like what Galchenyuk has to offer, I don’t like much of what Button usually has to say. Of course that could be why he is still unemployed by the NHL, but happy with his media related job.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Let’s hope he’s available at #3. Seems his stock is rising even if he missed a year due to injury.

      • boing007 says:

        I hope that if Galchenyuk is selected that he will be invited to participate in next season’s training camp. Ya never know.

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

    • Max_a_million says:

      He seems quite sure of it too.

  30. HabinBurlington says:

    I think there is a positive sign from this Spatcho interview that may get missed. (Of course I could be stretching things, as I am want to do, will let you folks decide).

    So Spatcho says the team played a chip n chase system that was not suited to Cammies, Gio or Gomez strengths along with the defencemen at the time. We heard brief innuendo statements from Gio after the previous season about hoping some beef would be added to the lineup to help the small players with puck protections etc….

    But despite the fact it appears the veterans in that room were not happy with the control freak that was PG, the lack of communication that was JM we didn’t see a mutiny of this team. Yes it can be argued that this past season the team essentially sucked, but I think it was a culmination of year 3 of frustrations that probably reached the breaking point.

    But my point is we didn’t see Gionta the Captain making waves, being a leader of the mutiny. I think our current team does indeed have some real strong leadership and I am hopeful that this new regime GM and Coach will provide a revitalization of the team. Markov will hopefully be rust free by November/December and we know from listening to Bergevin he is not adverse to having physical players to help the team.

    I am excited at our draft choices upcoming, our prospects working their way up and the fact that the air in the Bell Center has been purified.

    Go Habs Go!!!!

    • RGM says:

      “Markov will hopefully be rust free by the end of training camp.”
      Fixed that for you.

      The massive makeover the Habs are going to get this spring and summer will hopefully make them considerably distinct from the makeup we saw under the previous regime. Yes we have some very good pieces of the puzzle, but new blood means new life and hopefully the elimination of some dead wood.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • HabinBurlington says:

        LMAO, fixed it for you, I said November/December to leave room for him to get comfortable. I think realistically by early November he will be back up to speed. I think Training Camp Exhibition and first month of season he will be fine tuning and gaining complete confidence in his new Steve Austin knee.

    • Bripro says:

      I love your optimism Gerry!
      I’m 100% in agreement and also very excited about this coming season.
      It looks as though Bergevin is wise enough to listen to the experts he has-is-will surround himself with.
      This team’s speed was wasted last year. Hopefully that will change.
      My only concern is whether there will be a season, with the collective bargaining about to start.

  31. PeterStone says:

    I would really like to know all the stuff that hasnt been reported. What were those rules that the ghost had implemented ? Glad that guy is gone. As for spacek, i thought that was a horrible signing at the time, and yes, although he is dead on regarding his commentary about the habs style etc, the fact that he showed up out of shape for 2 years of his 3 year deal speaks volumes about HIS commitment level. On contract year he loses his double chin.

    Well, the good news is we replaced his double chin with Kaberle’s double chin …. hopefully we wont have to endure that one for 2 more years.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thank you PeterStone, I can’t believe the love-in for Jaroslav Spacek. Mr. Stubbs’ interview with him is enlightening, and I don’t dislike Jaro, but he was horrible here, way overpaid, and his fitness was obviously lacking while he was here as you denote. The fact that he crumpled at the merest hint of a bodycheck wasn’t due to his playing on the left or right side, but rather to a lack of conditioning and advancing years.

      It seems no one here remembers that at the start of last season all everyone wanted to do was get rid of him somehow, to trade him for a bag of pucks. We bemoaned that we couldn’t bury him in Hamilton due to his over 35 contract.

      Again, never thought he was a bad guy, I appreciate that everyone said he was funny, but really, this guy was a waste of cap space for the duration of his contract here. So let’s keep things in perspective. That he calls it as he saw it in the interview is refreshing, good on him, but let’s not retire his jersey or have a re-sign Jaro protest just yet.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  32. Say Ash says:

    So everybody thinks Spacek was referring to Francois Gagnon. If that’s the case why did FG have in it for Spatch from the getgo. Can somebody fill me in?

  33. Strummer says:

    Spatch wasn’t a fan of the chip ‘n chase and he was bang on in assessing the Habs were too small to win any puck battles playing this style – his example being Gionta vs. Chara.

    And it was sooooo obvious RC was a puppet for PG especially after he inserted Larry Carriere behind the bench to babysit him.
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  34. Phil C says:

    Spacek was one of Gainey’s good moves and a key part of the 2010 cup run. It is proof that in a cap environment, there is good value to be had with over-35 contracts for the right player. Whitney in Pheonix is another good example and I can’t imagine St. Louis doing so well this year without Arnott and Langenbrunner. Lang was good in Montreal until that freak injury.

    Signing 1 or 2 older guys to a short contract at the right price might be a good solution for the Habs while their prospects develop.

  35. H.Upmann says:

    Man… Completely forgot that JM played Spatch on the right side….. I’ll say this- just cause one has coached 1,200 in the NHL doesn’t mean they’re any good at it anymore. JM’s system, lack of communication, and stubborness just exemplifies what crap we had with PG and Bob in a way. Blech!

  36. Bripro says:

    Kirsten Dunst all wrapped up in a Canadien’s flag.

  37. Bripro says:

    OK, Am I allowed back on now?

  38. issie74 says:

    John Garrett on Hockey Central today:
    Tinordi is some kind of dman and will only get better,he stands out above all others(size aside)Edmonton Oil Kings were reported to have the biggest and best D coming into the tournament.

    Very impressive .

    NorthTOHab

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      indeed, assuming Tinordi, Beaulieu, and Ellis continue to develop at the rate they are, we will have an incredible back end over the next few years.

      Price
      Subban
      Gorges
      Emelin
      Markov/Ellis
      Tinordi
      Beaulieu

      exciting

  39. commandant says:

    Huge game tonight between Shawinigan and Saint John.

    Three Habs prospects on the ice.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  40. JohnBellyful says:

    The Canadiens are taking a long time to decide who their next coach will be, so it appears they’re giving my suggestion serious consideration. As well they should, for it addresses all the issues that go with choosing the right man for behind the bench.
    By going public with my proposal, it’s not my intent to put any pressure on the team to announce its decision anytime soon. I think it only fair that Hab fans be kept in the loop, to spare them further anxiety that the protracted selection process is cause for concern.
    Rather than paste the 72 pages I submitted to the Canadiens into this post, here’s a synopsis (minus the musical links):
    Numerous names have been bandied about as to who would be the best hire. I narrowed the list down to four: Crawford, Hartley, Roy, Carbo.
    My suggestion: Hire them all. Let them coach by committee, on a rotating basis. Each will be accorded a leadership role for games against certain teams, based on who has the best record against them; Roy will be assigned those teams his three colleagues with NHL experience had the most trouble with.
    There would be no assistant coaches, only equals among coaches (some more equal than others, depending on whom the team is facing).
    Such an arrangement combines experience with new blood, and the fresh perspective that outsiders Hartley and Crawford have to offer with the deep understanding that insiders Carbo and Roy possess of the club’s history and operations.
    The combined talents of the quadrumvirate would supersede individual weaknesses and provide for a flattened learning curve conducive to the team making a sharp upward trajectory through the ranks of the NHL.
    The collegial approach, in addition to encouraging flexibility in game preparations that would confound the opposition, would also dissipate the inordinate pressure from fans and the media that would overwhelm an individual if only one candidate were chosen. Even the team’s harshest critics would find it difficult to hit so many moving targets with a fusillade of cheap shots.
    Don’t think any of the four would dismiss out of hand the sharing of responsibilities. It would ease their return – or, in Roy’s case, facilitate his entry – into the coaching fraternity of the NHL on a full-time basis, in the least stressful way.
    And don’t be quick to deride the idea of giving over the Habs’ future to a committee as a surefire formula for failure. Some of mankind’s greatest achievements were the work of committees: the Magna Carta, the King James Bible, the Manhattan Project, the moon landing.
    Coaching the Canadiens is not rocket science. It’s about winning a Cup.
    How hard can that it be? If two heads are better than one, think of how much can be accomplished with four intellects working in concert.
    Is a five-year dynasty out of the question?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice to see a post from you John, haven’t seen much lately, evidently you were working on your 72 page dossier that you sent the Habs.

      Trust you are doing well my friend.

      CHeers.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Getting better. Was in the hospital for a spell and now recovering at home from the operation.
        What was I thinking, a hair transplant at my age! But I hear the ladies like their men to have ‘a bit of moss’ on their back so who am I to argue. Man, I’ll stand out on the beach this summer.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I completely, vehemently disagree with the composition of your quadrumvirate. The members should be Charles Thiffault, Michel Therrien, Marc Gagnon and Piton.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  41. HardHabits says:

    I feel like watching all the Spacek interview videos to figure out who the reporter is. I think it’s Francois Gagnon. Just speculation though.

  42. Timo says:

    Ok, now, where is Gomez interview?

  43. Timo says:

    I still don’t understand… did he or did he not like Jacques Martin. It is really hard to tell.

  44. frontenac1 says:

    My best memories of Spatch; The incredible shut down of Pitt and Washington best lines 2yrs ago. My worst memory;When he got the crap beaten out of him in the Boston Beatdown

  45. The Dude says:

    Jeese,you hear how Spacek points out how important Jaro Halak was on that 2010 playoff run stating “HE TOOK US THERE .He played real real good!” and you think after that …What did the Canadiens players think after the Halak trade? And can this be a team you can dedicate yourself too as a member? Well as it turned out ,it was the move that loosened the lug nuts on the Bus and sent us crashing to the bottom!

  46. Exit716 says:

    So do you also subscribe to the convenient media theory that recently was proposed that Gauthier actually pulled off the Gomez trade and not Gainey?
    But didn’t Gainey hire Martin from Florida and give him a four year deal?

    • HardHabits says:

      Gainey = Gauthier. They were both responsible for that debacle and hence the reason why they both were shown the door.

    • pmaraw says:

      in the previous forum, about ov to montreal, this conversation with glen sather is at the bottom of the article

      “I was at a sports banquet in New York and ended up sitting beside (former Habs GM Bob Gainey) and asked if he was looking for a centreman. I knew he was,” Sather told Matheson. Sather didn’t think Gomez’s whopping contract, which he signed as a free agent, was an impediment.

  47. mark_ID says:

    For anyone who follows PK on twitter…..what was the big news that he had to share?? Has he said anything yet??

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

  48. 123456 says:

    Can the next HIO poll ask opinions on who the “blank” reporter is?

  49. New says:

    Classy player and a classy interview. Thanks.

  50. TomNickle says:

    Carey Price already being followed by Marc Crawford on twitter.

    Hmmm.

    • shiram says:

      Does he follow any other Hab?

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

    • 24 Cups says:

      LMAO.

      I can see following a guy like Bob McKenzie, but hockey players? What’s next, Britney Spears?

      • 123456 says:

        why not follow britney – you neve know when you will need to get your fix of “upskirt” pictures….

      • LNev says:

        I stopped following Hockey players and even the team. No one says anything of any value. I follow HI/O, and they don’t post much (off season and all) and Bob McKenzie as far as hockey goes… BUT (this is the Key): Twitter is for following Comedians.
        Ricky Gervais’ is terrific. Steve Martin’s ‘on the go’ account is pretty solid as well…

        Mostly It’s just corporate shilling, or generic bland corporate speak. Heck, Carey Price has had a twitter account for a while… with the occasional posting… probably someone in Habs Marketing runnign it.

        But yah, Comediens.

        • lemess says:

          Actually, Paul Bissonette and Hal Gill are two hockey players that are worth following. Carey Price’s first tweet was “skillsey drinks wine coolers” – that doesn’t sound like marketing.

  51. TomNickle says:

    As Habs fans we should not be anxious about Russian players potentially staying away. The dollars certainly do factor into the equation when these players decided whether or not they’re going to come over but we have two things working in our favour. The first is the tremendous amount or respect and admiration that Russian hockey players have always had for the Montreal Canadiens organization. If anything, this organization should have more of a concentrated focus on Russia. The second is Don Meehan. He represents a great number of Russian hockey players and even though it was reported that he less than happy about giving the Habs a discount on Andrei Markov’s previous contract, he did have Alexei Emelin sign here. He also gave the Habs a pretty good price on Ryan White.

    On another note. From the day Spacek laced them up with the Habs I felt for him. Martin refused to play him on the left side for some stupid reason. He was miles better in his natural position whenever injuries allowed him to play it. He was much better than fans gave him credit for and was one of the unsung heroes of the playoff run a couple of years ago. Scored some big goals and really did a number on Ovechkin in the games that he played during that Capitals series.

  52. Marc10 says:

    What a great interview. It’s refreshing to get someone with a balanced point of view (unlike the ridiculous former player pundits we seem to get all the time) tell it like it is.

    So JM was a non-communicator and PG a control-freaking who played RC as a puppet. What a shame we let Captain Kirk go… or an innovator like Guy Boucher for that matter. Add that to BG’s colossal failure.

    I’m pleased Geoff put in the hard yards to land Bergevin. I hope it pays off.

    Great read.

  53. Mustang says:

    It is great to see some truely candid answers to direct questions instead of the usual stuff that most athletes must provide to the media. I always thought that Gauthier was some sort of control freek / moron, this confirms my beliefs. Hopefully brighter days are ahead with new management in place. Nice comments about Geoff Molson also.

  54. gK_HabsFan says:

    I’m afraid past Management and coaching may cause some Free Agents to stay away from MTL, especially this year.

    Word gets out quick in the NHL. Players talk amongst themselves. I’m sure Spacek let some of his Carolina team mates know how the players were treated here.

    I just hope MB quickly changes the entire culture of the team. Its got to happen and it has to happen fast if you want FA to come here…

    • RGM says:

      Here’s to hoping that NHL free agents are cognizant enough to realize that Marc Bergevin =/= Pierre Gauthier, and there will be, and is, a culture change taking place.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • shiram says:

        Add in the head coach change, and hopefully getting the players needed to play the gameplan, and hopefully PG’s doing won’t be a deterrent for free agents.

        To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

  55. arcosenate says:

    Great article, you don’t often hear the truth about situations. I suppose now that the coach and GM are fired it provides a unique experience for hearing more of the story. It must have been a pretty crappy place to play for these guys, I am glad that era is over, wish it had never began.

    Looking forward to watching a sea change in attitude and commitment to winning for us now.

  56. shiram says:

    Always liked Spatcho, and I’m glad to hear any beef he had, was not with MTL itself, but mostly with management.
    Best of luck to him and his familly.

    To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

  57. habsfanforever7631 says:

    That interview was great dave! thanks
    Lol I wonder who that media guy was.

    Thank god PG’s gone, we were the laughing stocks of the NHL!
    The stuff about JM… waw…
    And RC told what to do by PG, pore guy.
    know wonder he sent down his as GM to over see everything.

    I think Gio and bourque are gona surprise alot of us with a new coach.

  58. rogieshan says:

    With his years of experience and sunny disposition, Spacek would make a great assistant coach after his playing career is over. Consider it, Jaro!

  59. TommyB says:

    Thanks Dave! This is the kind of article that keeps me coming back to HIO. Informative, with some humour thrown in.

    Spacek pretty much reveals the shortcomings of Jacques Martin as a coach. Shortcomings that were mentioned on this site over and over by, not just myself, but many others. I’m not gloating. Okay, maybe just a little. But Spacek’s comments on JM, and PG as well, are very telling in regards to how the players were treated, and how the glorious “system” worked/didn’t work with the players we had on the ice. Spacek always seemed like a straight shooter [unless he was firing the puck towards the net, ;) ]. He didn’t roast JM or PG, he just gave an honest opinion of how he felt as a player under those two guys. You have to figure he was far from alone with this opinion.

  60. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Very interesting interview. Secondly, while I like Muller and wish him luck, I do wish that people would wait until he (and Boucher) actually has some success at the NHL coaching level before he’s elevated to the second coming of Toe Blake.

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    Since PG wouldn’t allow a player to keep their jersey, I am hopeful Geoff Molson made PG return every pen and paper with a Habs logo on it before punting his sorry ass to the curb. The more I read these stories from respected veterans makes me more amazed at how that dressing room bonded on that playoff run.

    Is it possible with the cloud of PG gone, that Gomez, Gionta etc… get refreshed? Dare to dream…..

    • Habfan10912 says:

      My first reaction was what was GM doing while all this was going on? My second thought was I have over estimated BG judgement big time.
      I’ve seen managers rely on this type of petty micromanaging before. Almost always its done to mask their limited understanding of the job. The goat was clearly in over his head. See ya!

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree and Good Morning Jim. The fact BG was letting PG run the show with all these ridiculous terms and conditions really has me puzzled. Again, glad they are all gone, perhaps now the ghosts of the forum can finally move into the Bell Centre.

  62. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Great interview with a lot of insight.

    I can’t believe Gauthier wanted Cammy to buy his own jersey.

    Shows you what kind manager/person Gauthier was.

  63. HabinBurlington says:

    Dave Stubbs, did Jaro indicate if he has plans to play next season and if so, has he had any offers?

    Edit: Nevermind, read your article in Gazette. Thanks again Dave, nice work.

    • Dave Stubbs says:

      Spacek said he’d like to return to Carolina for another year, but if he doesn’t get an offer from them, or from another NHL team, he’d be fine with having played his final NHL game. Which, as it turns out, was against the Canadiens.

      Dave Stubbs

      Hockey Inside/Out
      Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
      • On Twitter: twitter.com/habsinsideout1
      • Email: dstubbs@montrealgazette.com

  64. Ali says:

    If Spatch didn’t have a problem naming the media member who wasn’t being professional, why do you Dave?

  65. Habsolutely says:

    Would be interesting to know who the media guy he didn’t like was.

  66. Bripro says:

    Good morning to all.
    I was blocked yesterday trying to post a nice french article from La Presse on Jean Beliveau.
    I was viewed by the site as a spammer. I hope it’s different today…

  67. commandant says:

    Spacek was traded before Martin was fired. I’m a little confused as to how Spacek knows about what Cunneyworth was doing as head coach.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  68. RGM says:

    Really neat interview and story about a good guy. A lot of people ragged on Spacek, myself included from time to time, but it’s easy to see that he’s a good guy that just loves to play hockey.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
    “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think it is so telling just how stifling JM and PG were to the players here. Just makes me more angry that we lost Kirk Muller cuz of those two maroons.

  69. HabinBurlington says:

    Great Q&A, Thanks Dave. So glad Goat and JM are gone.

    Go Habs Go.

  70. aj says:

    From the looks of it, this interview does show that Spacho loved playing in Montreal. If it only wasn’t for those 2 douches (Gainey and Gauthier), the Habs wouldn’t be at the ‘circus’ they’ve had for the past 2 1/2 years.

    Best of luck with him playing w/ the Canes. At least we got Cole here.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      In that Q&A, can you show me where Spacek says anything bad about Gainey.

      I didn’t think so!

      ———————————————————————-
      “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

      Bring it on Home

      • aj says:

        Sure he didn’t mentioned Gainey (I don’t have to show you b/c that’s pointless to show that’s not indicated in the Q&A). but then, we all know him, the goat, and JM were here for the past 2 1/2 yrs right? Regardless of the unmentioned, he’s a major part of the destructive Habs Experiment.

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Stick with the Goat and JM and you’d be correct!

          I guess you forget Gainey taking Kovalev for a walk to get his head cleared. That’s talking to your player/s. Do you believe Gauthier would do something similar? I don’t.

          Gainey has his faults, I never heard communication being one of them.

          ———————————————————————-
          “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

          Bring it on Home

    • issie74 says:

      Never assume,stick with facts.

      NorthTOHab

  71. FishOutOfWater says:

    ahhh freakin sun media what a joke


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