Exclusive: “I’m here to help the team win” – Scott Gomez

scott-gomez

Canadiens centreman Scott Gomez returned to Brossard ice Thursday with teammates.
Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Canadiens centreman Scott Gomez isn’t preoccupied with thoughts of a compliance buyout, despite the fact that the phrase and his name are attached anywhere you surf on the Internet.

Gomez, 33, coming off an injury-riddled season that followed the least productive campaign of his career, will speak to hockey media in Brossard on Friday after practice. But he spoke at considerable length Thursday late evening with Hockey Inside/Out and The Gazette.

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

Centreman Scott Gomez arrived in Montreal late Wednesday night, driving up from New Jersey following a cross-continent flight from California, where he had been playing with the ECHL Alaska Aces.

The 33-year-old native of Anchorage packed an enthusiasm to begin Habs training camp, along with a very clear understanding that he’s coming off an injury-riddled, unproductive season that followed 2010-11’s dismal campaign, the poorest of the 11 he had played in the NHL to that time.

Gomez has this abbreviated season and a full 2013-14 left on his bloated contract, the seven-year, $51-million deal to which he was signed in 2007 by New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather. That contract has only increased the size of the bull’s eye many have affixed to the back of his jersey.

The 1999-2000 Calder Trophy recipient as the NHL’s rookie of the year arrived in Montreal by trade in June 2009, his acquisition by then-GM Bob Gainey in part paving the way for a handful of unrestricted free agents to sign with Montreal that summer, encouraged by the team’s direction.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion with New Jersey, Gomez had 12 goals and 47 assists here in 2009-10 and his leadership played a large role in helping to carry the Canadiens three rounds into the playoffs.

But his production tailed off dramatically the following year; last season, he missed 44 games with injuries.

So Gomez’s critics are almost giddy now, seeing him as the prime target for one of the Canadiens’ two permitted compliance buyouts that will kick in for 2013-14 and 2014-15, following the upcoming 48-game schedule.

But if such an unceremonious see-ya is on the radar of Gomez, who will have a cap hit of $7,357,143 when the buyout window opens, he’s not letting on.

Late Thursday, Gomez called me to speak at considerable length; more like he rasped, believing he had contracted something from an ailing airplane neighbour on his flight from the west coast.

He was in Ontario, Calif., playing with his hometown Alaska Aces, when rumours started to swirl that NHL training camps could begin as early as Thursday.

So instead of returning home to Anchorage, Gomez threw his hockey gear on a plane and flew east, then drove north.

“My little sister was staying with me,” he said. “So now she’s probably the happiest person in the world.”

Gomez didn’t speak with media gathered at the Canadiens’ Brossard training facility following Thursday practice, his voice almost shot; he said he will meet the cameras and notebooks Friday noon-hour after his on-ice workout.

Through a couple of coughing fits, he had enough to chat for a half-hour late Thursday. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:

You sound like you’re enthusiastically ready to throw yourself back into this mess…

I think everyone’s pretty excited that there’s hockey. Hey, it’s fun playing in the NHL. We’re all excited to get back.

Were you one of the guys who expected this NHL season would begin, or a guy who thought it was toast?

When you’ve gone through it before, you don’t know what to expect. I remember last time, a couple times, I was pulled out of the (Aces) lineup because the rumour was that (the NHL) was going to start. I didn’t think last time there was any way there would be no season. When it happened, it opened your eyes. Going through it once you didn’t know what to expect. But the main thing this time was to get hockey going again for the fans. It’s tough to answer them when they’re always asking and you want to be playing. There are some great hockey fans out there.

Six goals and seven assists in 11 games with the Aces the past few weeks. How was the experience?

It was great. It was fun playing hockey. To get the opportunity to play in front of family and friends again, I had a blast. Alaska is an outstanding organization, the (head) coach, Rob Murray, (assistants) Louis Mass and Scott Burt, it was fun. I got to spend some time at home. It’s been a long time. We all want to be playing here (in the NHL) but I had a great time. It’s always a great experience to play in front of the people out there.

The Canadiens finished up on April 7. We have gone from spring, summer, fall and back into winter without hockey in this city. When you begin camp, it will be a little more than nine months since a meaningful faceoff in Montreal. Does the whole thing seem surreal, or having been through a lockout once before, do you just look forward?

I’m just glad there’s hockey again. I believe I was in Peoria last time when the (2004-05) NHL season was cancelled. You think of how many people are losing out. Not only us, but people who work in and around the buildings and the fans. This time around, too. Especially playing in a city like Montreal, places like that, you realize how important it is, not only for fans. I’ve been in town just a day now and in the restaurants I go to… for certain people, even my buddies back home, they loved the fact I was playing there but they wanted NHL hockey.

Were you back in Montreal at all during the summer?

No, I stayed maybe a week after the season. Then I went to New Jersey and New York. It was still too early to go home. A couple other places but I can’t remember. It seems so long ago. I drove in (Wednesday) night. It was a nice drive up. The only delay was at border patrol. They wanted to talk about hockey. The guy had season tickets and he was pissed. I knew I was back in Canada, put it that way. It was good to go over the Champlain Bridge (laughs).

We spoke at length before last season’s training camp and you were very enthusiastic about 2011-12. You’d had a miserable 2010-11 season and you’d spoken candidly about that to reporters on locker-cleanout day. And then last season, if I’ve catalogued it properly, you suffered a torn lat in October, a torn groin in November, then suffered an eye injury and a concussion in March. You played 38 games and missed 44. Could you have written a script that ugly?

The thing about last year is we didn’t make the playoffs. Simple as that. I don’t care about me personally. We didn’t make the playoffs. You can ask any one of us. Unless you’ve gone through it before, which I hadn’t, and a couple of the guys, it’s the worst. To know you’re not going to get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. In all essence, that’s all I’ll say about last year. We didn’t make the playoffs. I’m not going to sit here and talk about my injuries. It’s a long summer. A long summer to think about that. My injuries? It’s never been about me. The bottom line is we didn’t make the playoffs.

Have you had a more bizarre year than last season? Look through it and it reads like a bad novel.

I’ve never not made the playoffs in all my life. I don’t care what it was. The fact we didn’t make them was terrible. That’s what you play for. I don’t know how more I can stress that. That’s all that comes into my mind and the minds of all the guys who were here last year. We just… we didn’t even get a chance to go for the ultimate prize. At the end of the day, the goal is to win the Stanley Cup. And to win the Cup, you’ve got to get in. And that’s all I remember about last year.

Did you watch any playoffs last year?

Do you wear a tuxedo to the games? (laughs) Nah, it’s too hard. I never have. No, no. Since I was a kid, I’m too pissed off to watch. I don’t care to watch when we lose. No, it’s almost like you’re jealous when you’re watching guys play. It’s always been that way. I’m not going to sit there and watch guys having the time of their lives when you’re miserable for not being in the playoffs.

Have you had any discussions or any contact with (general manager) Marc Bergevin or (head coach) Michel Therrien since they were named to their positions?

I talked to (Therrien) this summer, I think when he got the job. It seems so long ago, I can’t exactly. But not to Marc yet.

When would you have the chance? The lockout still isn’t officially over until the players ratify the CBA.

There are still a lot of rules. Most of all, we (the players) were all pretty excited to see each other (in Brossard on Thursday). That was the main thing, to see our teammates again. It felt right, seeing the guys and the trainers. Camp starts Sunday, hopefully, that’s when it all starts over again. A fresh start for every team. Here we go. Going for the Cup.

OK, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. If you Google “compliance buyout,” chances are good your photo will pop up. Your status was addressed at a news conference this week held by (Canadiens owner) Geoff Molson, Bergevin and Therrien. To a question, Bergevin replied, and I paraphrase, that you’re a part of this team and you’d be at training camp. Have you heard from anyone, in any way, about the compliance buyout that’s part of the new CBA?

No. I’m here. I never once have felt I’m entitled to anything. I’m here to play for the Montreal Canadiens and I’m here to help the team win. My dad gave me the greatest advice: “Make them keep you. Make them play you.” That’s every year you go into. I’m happy to be back and a buyout is the last thing on my mind. I’m here to help the team win in whatever capacity they want. I’m going to give my all.

Max Pacioretty suggested to me today that everyone has to prove themselves all over again.  From the GM to the head coach and his assistants, there’s a whole new face on the management of this team. Do you believe that it works to your advantage, or at least not to your disadvantage, that you’ve got a new coach and GM and beginning the first time you step on training-camp ice, you’ve got a clean slate to earn that ice time?

Everyone who plays in the National Hockey League, unless you’re a couple of guys, Gretzky or Lemieux, I don’t know, you’re never entitled to anything. You’re hungry. We’ll do anything to get back to winning and being a contender. You prove yourself every day in this game. You prove yourself at every training camp. Patch is right. Everything is new. It’s a clean slate but at the same time the goal is the same and that’s to get in the playoffs and go for the Stanley Cup. Once we realize it’s going to work, you’ll do anything to win and that’s the thought from all of us. It wasn’t a good feeling for us last year. It’s such a good room, such a good group of guys. Let’s face it, when you’ve got the best goaltender in the world, it starts there and you’ve got to take advantage of that. Last year is last year. The goal is to get in the playoffs and get the chance.

A few offseason additions here: Brandon Prust, Colby Armstrong and Francis Bouillon. Some sandpaper. Is that something this club needed to maybe keep other clubs at least a little honest?

First and foremost, they’re outstanding teammates. Their reputations speaking for themselves. I’ve known Frankie a long time – the guy can move the puck, he’s a great D-man. I remember I was with New Jersey and there was a scrum in Montreal. I grabbed Frankie, I don’t know, maybe because he was more my size, and right away (Devils defenceman) Sheldon Souray told me, “Gomer, that’s the last guy you’ll want to mess with.” Frankie is not only tough, he’s an outstanding D-man. He’s a pain in the ass to play against. You’re not going to beat him. The other two? Look at what they’ve done in their careers. Not only that, they fit in right away. It is a close team. They’re character guys and great players. They’ll contribute. They’ve been around. We were just together today and the vibe is the room is great. Honestly, I can’t wait to get started.

dstubbs@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs

284 Comments

  1. B says:

    Sportsnet has the Saskatoon vs Red Deer game on at 8:00 PM tonight. A chance to see Dietz and Thrower. After a horrible slow start, the Blades (Memorial Cup Hosts) have climbed up into a playoff spot.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Mas Tequilla!Mas Gomez! Viva La Revolucion! Los Habs Para Siempre!

  3. Bripro says:

    Who believes in wiping the slate clean?
    Why is there so much Gomez bashing when not a puck has been dropped?
    You would think that the tanking theories, the negatives on the coach, reminding ourselves of last year when this is a brand new soason…. would all be put on hold until the team has at least played a portion of the new season.
    It’ll be a short one, and I’m certain that it’ll be very exciting. Especially with our Habs on the ice.
    So, as my daughter says, “Chilax, man! It’s just a game….”
    We can start getting frustrated after the season starts.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have seen you poke Gomez over the months here, who is this person that hacked into Bripro’s account. :)

      • Bripro says:

        :D
        I like your new avatar.
        As for Gomez, I actually like the guy.
        Yes, last year was brutal, but he was injured more often that not, and I’m convinced tried to play through some of it.
        But I also remember how he played into the third round of the playoffs for us, and he lived up to the billing.
        Picking fights, digging in the corners, creating plays in front of the net… this is what he’s here for.
        I do agree with HH and last year he played predictably, with speed out of our zone (never a problem), but getting to the opposing blue line and somehow taking the momentum out of it.
        I’m sure that’s changed this year. It wouldn’t make sense not to.
        And there’s a new coach in town who’ll concentrate on their speed.
        I foresee a much better year.

    • helluva habs fan says:

      The problem is frustration has been the only thing we’ve been feeling for over a year now. It’s become habit. Like breathing. Sometimes I feel like the only thing that will pull me out of this negativity is watching someone on the Montreal Canadiens score a goal. Remember what that feels like? I’m seriously considering duct taping a pillow to the ceiling above my couch so I don’t split my skull open when it happens.

    • nek25plus says:

      Agreed…Gomez has showed up for the season with a great attitude…but the HIO followers…not so much! Give him a chance!

  4. Polar Bear says:

    Some of you guys are real jerks. Gomer is a good guy, great in the locker room and he’s about the team not himself. There have been some real toxic people on this team over the last 10 years that didn’t get the action he does. Instead of dissing him he’s the type of guy that people should be rooting for, seems to me he has way more class then you guys do. Lets go Gomer have a great season…lets go Habs….

  5. TomNickle says:

    Regarding Emelin. He doesn’t need to fight. Scott Stevens had no more than seven fights following the 1986 season. Ulf Samuelsson had 9 in his last five seasons.

    The notion that a guy has to fight because he is a devastating and intimidating checker is incorrect.

    A guy may “have” to fight every once in a while, but it isn’t as if it has to be after every big check and in nearly every circumstance they can choose whether or not they want to fight.

    • Gerry H says:

      Agree 100%. You can add Subban to your list, as well. Loves the big hit, but was quick to laugh about his lack of fighting prowess after his dance with Marchand.

    • Phil C says:

      He doesn’t need to fight, but he needs to know how to defend himself. Its about not being intimidated out playing your game. I think Emelin didn’t hit the same after the Malone incident because he was intimidated. That’s a problem.

      • helluva habs fan says:

        His teammates need to stand up and say, “play your game, if anyone comes after you we’ll jump in and get your back.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That whole team didn’t do anything the same by that point in season. Last year was a complete and utter farce.

        Lets watch how he starts the year off. I have zero concern about Emelin as it relates to hitting people.

      • TomNickle says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by defend himself? If you’re referring to the Lightning game re: Malone, Malone jumped him at the Habs bench as he was going off if I recall correctly.

        There really isn’t much you can do when you get jumped.

        • HabsFanMTL says:

          the problem isn’t the fact that Emelin is afraid to fight or defend himself , its because his face is bolted together from a beat down he got in ussr. He can’t afford to get even one big punch in the face or it could be curtains for his career. …. i’d love to see Malone try that again now that we have prust on our team….I remember that specific game Malone was Nasty to lots of our players that night and we had nobody there to go after him.

          • helluva habs fan says:

            I remember that too, he was a little *insert word here* all night. My pride as a fan took a beating that game. I’d like to see him try that this year.

  6. Bripro says:

    Say what you want about Gomez…
    I think we can all agree that the guy has a great sense of humour.
    And the way he described returning to the dressing room….
    Doesn’t anyone feel a little envious?
    Man, what a life! If you can get it (or con your way into it…).

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    Love this response by Gomez to one of Dave’s questions from above:

    I remember I was with New Jersey and there was a scrum in Montreal. I grabbed Frankie, I don’t know, maybe because he was more my size, and right away (Devils defenceman) Sheldon Souray told me, “Gomer, that’s the last guy you’ll want to mess with.”

  8. HardHabits says:

    Hey Scott. Fool me once….

    If Gomez was serious about helping the Habs the headline would read… Exclusive: “I’m retiring to help the team win” – Scott Gomez

    • Cal says:

      You’d throw away $10 mil on the remainder of the contract to “help the team”?
      EDIT- Hell, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank every payday. Jst like Scott.

    • punkster says:

      Yes…well…from the guy who promotes purposely losing to obtain higher draft picks.

      I’ll buy the concept of moves for cap space, giving the young guys a taste of the bigs and experiments for the future…but before the first puck has even dropped?

      Defeatist attitude.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • HardHabits says:

        You still playing the victim card Dave?

        I never promoted purposely losing. I promoted embracing it.

        My attitude is Defeating… as in I win, you lose…. again. Kepp playing though. I like racking up the points.

        Anybody who opposes the Tank™ can get off the Galchenyuk bandwagon right about now. You can’t have it both ways.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I’m with Punkster here, shouldn’t you be worshipping at the feet of Gomez since he apparantly has his Tank Driving License?

      Getting mixed signals from you HH, wake up!

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree. The headline got cut off before Scott had a chance to finish.

        Exclusive: “I’m here to help the team win” – Scott Gomez

        Should be –>

        Exclusive: “I’m here to help the team win… in the future… as the Habs are destined to get another high draft pick with me in the line-up!” – Scott Gomez

        That’s more like it.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Re/Emelin. If its that fragile maybe he should wear a full shield. What happens if gets a slapshot on the button?Also not saying he should fight but I thought he lost some confidence last year.

  10. temekuhabs says:

    Yes, we are all aware of Gomez and his contract, truth of the matter is, he is ON the team that I grew up cheering for (and still do) He’s not going anywhere and he has my full support

  11. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think at some point this season, probably in every game, it’s going to be a war when we play Boston. The Bruins absolutely relish the fact that they have dominated Montreal is the physicality department going on 3 or 4 years.

    Lucic, Thornton and Horton are going to take a look at the Montreal bench and see guys like Prust, Boullion and Armstrong and feel that it will be imperative that they keep hold of that reputation of owning Montreal in that department.

    Boston has definitely listened to Montreal’s claim that they will be a tougher team this year and they’re going to come into the Bell Centre and are going to try and stick it to the Habs and the fans.

    I don’t care if the Bruins edge us out by knocking us down or beating up some of our players because I know we’re going to see Subban and Emelin destroy a bunch of them with huge hits and I’m sure guys like Prust and Moen are going to come out on top in a few scraps. We’ll get our licks in there for sure.

    We want the two points for the win but even in a shortened 48-
    game-season I think both teams will be oblivious to the score during parts of the games. It’s going to be wild when they play each other.

    • helluva habs fan says:

      I am salivating at the prospect of watching these two teams play this year. It’s the greastest rivalry in sports. Wish I had the $ to see it live.

  12. HardHabits says:

    Gomez skates like the wind through the neutral zone zig-zagging and circling his way to an eventual crossing of the blue line where he immediately passes the puck to the first winger he spots and skates to the corner waiting for a back pass.

    He then takes the puck behind the net and blindly flips it out to the crease where it hops over Subban’s stick resulting in a break-away in the other direction. Gorges skates backwards in an attempt to offset the ensuing rush and runs into Price knocking him over for a goal against.

  13. Curtis O Habs says:

    If Gomez wants to help the team win, he should retire. Maybe Molson can slide him an envelope full of cash, in the parking lot, to go home on the first day of camp.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    I’m not a big fan of power rankings (Nashville 8th?) but here they are anyway.

    http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/rankings/nhl/

    Toronto, Winnipeg, Florida, Columbus and the Isles just might mean that the Habs miss out on a top five pick.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Not sure what this has to do with a hockey site but I ain’t complaining.

    • Ron says:

      HH, you might want to remove that attachement. Not quite the type of “hockey play” ment for the site. Nude shots, even though breasts, are abit too much for this site with frequent younger viewers as well as female posters. Your choice.

  15. Captain aHab says:

    The effect of the shorter season on trades will be interesting. It’s likely that there won’t be quite as much separation between teams at an eventual trade deadline so will teams be inclined to trade more to try to keep that slim separation in their favour?

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

  16. DorvalTony says:

    Stomach trouble. No guts.

    //Multi millionaire union fat cat$ like Eric Cole just don’t get it.//

  17. The Dude says:

    IMO the shortened season will help the Habs as will the new coaching staff. Let the vets play “Gomer Kabs ,Gio…even Cole if he’s off to a slow start” a little and trade them for what ever they can get while intro-ing the new young guns.It’s time for a new generation of Habs players to compete with teams like the Oilers in development.Lets be honest…no Stanley Cup with this team possible this year and it’s” ALL” about winning the Cup ,SO THE SOONER THE BETTER on a rebuild.

  18. Phil C says:

    I have some concerns about Emelin. His inability to fight or even defend himself is a HUGE liability for this team. The word will be out on this guy now, and the Malone incident makes me concerned that he can be easily intimidated because he never looked the same after that.

    If he stops hitting because he is afraid that it will start a fight, he becomes quite useless. If I was the opposition, Emelin would be getting a facewash after every whistle to try to get in his head. Even with a face plate, he should learn how to defend himself if attacked. Learn how to tie up the other guy like Gill used to do and protect his face while wrestling the guy to the ground. He is big and strong enough to do it. It is WAY safer than turtling and waiting for the linesman to save him like he did with Malone because a guy like that will still try to cave in his face and now you are defenseless lying on the ice.

    It’s too bad, because a 6’2″ wrecking ball is exactly type of defensemen the Habs need playing top-four minutes. I just don’t see how he can be effective if he can’t defend himself or his team-mates against the rough stuff. Like it or not, it is still part of the rules in the NHL, and thus part of the playing strategies.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It is an interesting situation, him not being able to fight, but there have been plenty of guys that level people who don’t drop the gloves. Scott Stevens was a little crazier when he was younger and fought quite a bit. Once Stevens hit 30 his fights dropped right off and his hits remained just as devastating.

      If Emelin levels someone and that player goes after him and Emelin covers up, Therrien will have Prust, White or Moen over the boards on the next shift to answer the bell.

      • Phil C says:

        A guy like Stevens could defend himself if required, so fighting him had no real benefit in a game, unless you really wanted to wake him up and get a teammate killled the next time he crossed the middle. Better to leave players like Stevens and Robinson rather than fire them up.

        At least we have some guys who can defend Emelin now. Maybe it’s enough for him to play his game.

    • frontenac1 says:

      I felt the same way about Emelin last year. I loved what he brought but man,oh man after that puke Malone went after him he lost his mojo. I am really hoping that Mike can help him find it again. I still want someone to slap Malone silly in front of his own bench.

    • likehoy says:

      if the face plate breaks, he could get seriously hurt, brain damage, damage to his eyes, or it could even be fatal .

      would you really risk yourself in a fight like that?
      it’s just hockey at the end of the day and he’s learned to play and accept that, and so should you.

      not to mention, I can’t imagine him wanting to go through another surgery to repair the plate.

      • Phil C says:

        I’m not saying he should fight, he would be crazy to do so. I’m saying that if attacked, he should know how to defend himself. Its going to happen, so I think tying the other guy up is probably safer than covering up and waiting for the linesman. I think it would also give him confidence to play his style.

    • Cal says:

      He had his orbital bone shattered, so he can’t fight.

      • Phil C says:

        Yes, I am aware. What do you suggest for Emelin the next time a player drops the gloves and starts punching him? With his hitting, it’s going to happen.

        • Cal says:

          I suggest he covers up. If players can’t take clean hits, they shouldn’t be in the league. Whatever bleeping happened to taking a number and hitting back later?

          • Phil C says:

            In a fantasy league. In the NHL, fights after clean hits are quite common, seems like every night. Let’s hope he is better at covering up because in the fight that injured his orbital bone, he did a poor job doing so.

  19. 69HABS says:

    Take this to the bank:

    Habs finish 2nd in the North East
    32-16-0

  20. rhino514 says:

    It´s the time of year when we see headlines such as “Kaberle looking in good shape” and “Gomez has something to prove”.
    Chuckle….I´ll give the Bourque article the benefit of the doubt ´cause WE WANNA BELIEVE, don´t we??

  21. Say Ash says:

    Gomez between Cole and Patches. Discuss…

    • commandant says:

      Disgust is probably the better word.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Captain aHab says:

      Gomez skates like the wind with the puck through the neutral zone, gains the opposition’s zone, stops at the blue line and dumps the puck to the opposing d-man to avoid getting hit on the boards? What do I win?

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

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    If Gomez is on the starting roster, then he deserves to be there, according to the coaching staff that makes the roster.

  23. RH says:

    Wow…..I’d forgotten Scott Gomez was still on the team.

    No Subban signing yet?

  24. Sap Anderson says:

    If Scott Gomez takes the ice at the home opener, you can be sure there will be boos, and you can be sure that I will be a part of that crowd.

    For management and ownership to allow him to take the ice is a huge slap in the face to the fans, particularly after the lockout.

    Have some respect for the fans, and actually try to put a good product on the ice. It’s time to stop looking at the situation through the optics of the sunk cost fallacy – we need to cut our losses now and send the message that underachievers are not welcome on this team

  25. JF says:

    So the Canadian Press has the Habs finishing 9th in the Conference. That’s probably not too far off, but I thought some of their other rankings were haywire. Tampa in 5th? The Jets in 8th? Buffalo and Carolina both near the bottom? I think both will make the playoffs, Carolina likely at the top of their division.

    Although it contradicts all my instincts, I’m half hoping the Habs lose more games than they win so we can land another top offensive prospect. Watching the Bulldogs’ pitiful struggles to score, especially in the shootout, made it abundantly clear that we have almost no offensive depth in our system. Unless we can add another prospect of Galchenyuk’s stature, the Habs will remain near the bottom of the league in scoring for the foreseeable future. I would love to get Jonathan Drouin, who was one of the few players on the Junior team to impress me. It’s time the Habs had another home-grown star.

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Injuries, questionable coaching and a lack of experienced AHL scorers (like Keith Aucoin in Toronto) have cost the Bulldogs. Gallagher has been doing fine and other than him and Galchenyuk we have two very interesting wingers with Collberg and Hudon yet to play in the AHL.

      Add Leblanc, Bournival and maybe even Kristo who might eventually turn out to be decent NHLers and things are looking much better than you want us to believe.

      • JF says:

        I actually think Lefebvre is doing a good job as coach. The team is far better than they were at the beginning of the year. They work much harder, they’re better defensively, they play with more of an edge. They just can’t score. A couple of games ago, they were up a goal with 7 seconds to go but ended up losing in the shootout – despite having a 4-minute powerplay in OT. They set up OK on the powerplay, move the puck around well, create some chances, but seem all but incapable of taking a dangerous shot. Yes, Gallagher has looked good, and Hudon and Collberg have been impressive, but more high-end offensive talent can only help; and after how painful it was to watch them last year, a half-season of seeing them sitting near the bottom will be easier to take.

      • commandant says:

        Toronto has 11 core players on the Marlies 25 years of age or Older.

        Hamilton has 2 (Mike Commodore and Cedrick Desjardins), sorry I don’t consider Hagel and Stortini to be “core players”

        This is the biggest difference in the two squads.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • B says:

          Blunden? St.Denis?

          Nash and Boyce are gone now, but played a lot of games for the Dogs earlier (26 and 22 games respectively), some your Marlies 11 played less games. Nash’s replacement DeSantis is 26. Stortini doesn’t count but Fraser does?

          Other than the above nit picking, note that 1st place Syracuse has 6 core 25 or older guys, 2 of which are Hagel / Stortini’esque (Cote and Nightingale). This is very similar to last place Hamilton (arguably less).

          I just don’t think that age on its own is to blame for the Dog’s poor standing. It is a combination of many contributing factors IMO.

          –Go Habs Go!–

    • frontenac1 says:

      Hope the Habs loose more games than they win? Jeesh, guess I”m old school but I want them to win the cup.

    • rhino514 says:

      The dogs lost Palushaj, Geoffrion, and Leblanc is playing hurt. They were also playing against many teams carrying 3 or 4 nhl players on their roster.
      There is some depth in the system. Collberg is a potential top six; Gallagher and Leblanc upsides and downsides vascillate between top six and top nine.
      And of course Galchenyuk.
      Agree that another tank would bolster the system even more, but I am against this strategy. there will be off years from time to time, and Timmins will be able to capitalize on them.
      Furthermore, with the new lottery system, finishing near the bottom of the pack does not guarantee a team getting an elite player anymore.

      • commandant says:

        You can only lose 1 spot in the draft order due to the new system.

        Ie… if the Habs finish where they did last year, they would pick either 1st overall, 3rd overall, or 4th overall….. no other option is possible.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  26. Gerry H says:

    Yesterday, I suggested that I’d like to see the Plekanec\Gionta\Bourque line given a chance to find its feet, but the more I think of it, the more I like the idea of moving Eller into Gio’s spot, setting up a Gomez\Gio\Prust or Moen third line. I like the idea of giving Eller more minutes and better linemates. I also think the Gio\Gomez chemistry needs to be revisited under a new coaching system, backed up by a gritty character guy.

    • TomNickle says:

      Gomez/Gionta should be automatic coming out of the lockout with their chemistry I agree.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think Gio with his veteran skills and productivity and the fact he is the captain will be given first crack at the second line. Gio is usually a great energy player who gives it every shift.

      If would guess it will most likely be pleks-Eller-Gio and the third line being Bourque-Prust-Moen and the fourth line Gomez-White-Blunden

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  27. TomNickle says:

    Regarding the Plekanec/Eller topic.

    If you believe that Eller would regress with a bigger workload due to conditioning and that Plekanec would improve with a lesser workload, and that were true, Plekanec’s value to this team skyrockets.

    If you believe that Eller could handle a heavier workload or for the purpose of this debate, Plekanec’s workload, then Plekanec’s value to this team is that of a tradeable asset.

    It’s also worth noting that Plekanec is very near the age of athletic decline while Eller is at the age of peaking athletically.

    Their production based on minutes played last season were near mirror images and Eller handled shutdown duty through the first half of the season. Plekanec had comparable linemates to Eller(maybe slightly better).

    Just sayin.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Given how MT can be a polarizing coach with some players, I wonder if perhaps this situation of 2 centers looking for the same job (generalizing the situation to be brief) may not sort itself out rather quickly depending on how either of these players responds to MT as a coach.

      • TomNickle says:

        I don’t disagree with that entirely but many have mentioned that Therrien isn’t very fond of Eller. The biggest thing will be opportunity. If Eller doesn’t get one we’ll never know.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I’ve seen that as well but find it hard to believe. Eller is very sound defensively with size and I would think he’d be a coaches dream. Plus he has skill on offense.
          ———————————–

    • habsnyc says:

      I am strongly in favor of trading Plekanec. He is a fantastic player but the team is better served getting younger. If goaltending is the team’s biggest asset then the emphasis should be on puck clearing defensemen. The team should build outwards from Price.

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

  28. Gerry H says:

    Man. Did anyone else watch the replay of the final game of the 87 Canada Cup last night on RDS? I watched a few vintage games over the course of the lockout, but this was something else. I remember the original excitement of that game, watching with my wife and another couple in our new house, but I had forgotten just how good that team was. Grezky, Lemieux, and Coffee at their peak. Messier and Bourque coming into their own. Only the goaltending seemed weak by today’s standards.

    Wow.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    In watching TSN they have shown some clips/interviews of various players whom have gotten together on their own to practise. Found it interesting when watching the Flames clips. A couple players spoke about the pace and hard work at the practise.

    Given the new coach there in Hartley, i find it hard to believe he somehow didn’t convey a message to a few of the leaders of exactly what would be worked on for that practise. I suspect similar in Montreal.

    I guess my point is, it is rather naive for any of us to think that somehow coaches haven’t already started telling players what to be doing at these informal practises.

  30. Timo says:

    Hand up who else burst laughing out loud reading this headline?

    (and the fact that the article came from Stubbs?)

  31. jon514 says:

    Have you ever been at work and seen a friendly, yet unproductive co-worker get rewarded/elevated above you? Did it motivate you to be your best?

    I understand that Gomez is funny and that he’s a nice guy so teammates like being around him, but letting this guy play after the past 2 seasons has got to be entirely unmotivated to guys who haven’t landed a good contract or guaranteed ice-time.

  32. habsnyc says:

    It is one thing to be a non playoff team that has some dynamic players and recently won a Cup like the Ducks, Lightning or Hurricanes. It is another thing to be a non playoff team with plenty of young stars like the Islanders or Oilers. But to be a non playoff team, with no dynamic players, no young stars on the ice, no recent playoff success and stuck in salary cap hell is an entirely different animal.

    The team is clogged with mediocre and aging players. The offseason fix was the typical Gaineyesque useless move- add a seventh defenseman and two fourth line forwards. The fix should begin with the top lines and the first pairing of denensemen, It is mind bogglingly foolish to think a team could improve to from last to first by tinkering with marginal positions that are on the ice for the fewest shifts.

    The team needs to give major ice time to its youngest players. Clogging a lineup with the likes of Prust, Armstrong, Moen, Bouillon prevents the team from promoting its young talent, assuming there is any talent in development.

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

    • commandant says:

      No young players….. what do we call Pacioretty, Subban, Price, and now Galchenyuk. I look at them as the core to building future success.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • bwoar says:

      Would you point out for us which young player is being held back in favour of these veterans? Someone ready to contribute more than they can?

      Nathan “Brisebois” Beaulieu?
      Louis “Too far, too fast” Leblanc?

      I’ve seen a few posts of yours singing the same song, but so far you haven’t presented any alternatives. I’d be interested in hearing what your immediate solutions are.

    • TomNickle says:

      That would be a valid argument if any of the current roster players you mentioned were taking a spot away from a young kid that would excel or even develop in their roles.

      • habsnyc says:

        Sadly you are probably right, hence my caveat “assuming there is any talent in development.”

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

    • Ozmodiar says:

      First you complain that the team is in salary cap hell with mediocre and aging players.

      Then you complain about the off-season moves being limited to the addition of depth players, instead of top line players.

      Do you know where you end up when trying to add top line players through free agency?
      – salary cap hell with mediocre and aging players

  33. frontenac1 says:

    Ah sh#t! Nate Silver predicting a Pats vs Seahawks Super Bowl.Where were you last week Nate before I made my picks?Damn! Oh yeah, Viva Gomez!

  34. myron.selby says:

    Lots of HIOers are worried about Montreal’s D this year. So I thought I’d give my fearless predictions for the season:

    Markov – last season someone on here talked about proprioceptive sense (which I’d never heard of) and what it means to a professional athlete. As near as I can tell it means the ability your body has to do things without thinking about them. After a long term injury your body (knee in this case) doesn’t simply do what it always has. You don’t trust it and have to consciously think about doing what used to be instinctual. This is why Markov’s skating was so weak last year.

    This is why it was so crucial that he play in the KHL, to get his body working the way it used to. He will get better as the season progresses and he keeps getting more comfortable. When Markov was healthy he was one of the top half dozen defenceman in the world. His game was based as much on his incredible vision and instincts as on his physical abilities. I’m going to say that his skills will return and he will still be our best skater (as he was for many years). I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as he was before his first knee injury but I’m hoping for 80-90%.

    Oh and the idea that he’s injury prone is nonsense. If you go back and look at his 3 injuries none of them were due to poor conditioning or poor playing or positioning. Any player caught the was he was would have suffered the same injuries.

    Subban – he’s going to sign a 2 year deal for somewhere around 3.75/yr. It doesn’t make any sense for either PK or the team to sign him longer term. He hasn’t come close to his prime and until he does nobody knows how good he’ll be. For him going long term now would cost him money. For the team it would mean that he becomes a free agent way too young.

    I’m hoping Markov can teach him to play a classier game – the one thing I would change about PK is all the cheap stuff. He’s way too good a player to need the slew-footing and spearing nonsense. He’s going to be our best D once Markov retires and play his whole career here. Oh and he’s going to refine that one-timer of his to get it off quicker.

    Gorges – he’s going to play his usual reliable game and look steady regardless of whether he partners Markov or PK. I think he’s going to start taking a few more chances offensively this year since his skating is better after his surgery.

    Emelin – Assuming Therrien plays him top 4 he’ll do great. He learned the difference in the North American game (small ice) last year and he’ll be much more effective this year. He’ll continue to hit like a freight train and hopefully others can keep the retaliators off his back (he can’t fight with that plate in his face). Kind of a sad comment on the game that players taken out with a clean hit (Emelin is usually a clean hitter) want to immediately drop the gloves.

    Diaz – I like Diaz and think he’ll do better this year, *IF* he gets to play. With the bottom pairing there’s no way to know which of the 4 will get ice. I thought he was much more responsible defensively and played a much more complete game than:

    Webber – Until last year I thought he had real promise, but he was lost most of the time last season. I suspect he’s trade bait.

    Kaberle – I really disliked his game last year. I know he racked up points but he was just so clueless inside our blueline that I had to cover my eyes whenever he (mis)handled the puck back there. I hope he does well so they can trade him for something. I was amazed that either Carolina or Montreal wanted him after how useless he looked in the Boston-Montreal playoff 2 years ago.

    Boullion – I loved him last time around but I haven’t seen him much since. If he has anything left in the tank he won’t hurt us if he’s paired with one of the puckmovers (Kaberle or Diaz).

    • helluva habs fan says:

      I think Emelin is the key to the Habs’ overall success on defence this year. I’m not worried about the other “big three”, we know what to expect from them (provided they stay healthy). But Emelin needs to show he can handle the big minutes, keep the mistakes to a minimum and dish out the punishing physicallity to anyone on the opposition foolish enough to go near the corner or the slot. I hope he has a great year, I’m a big fan of his and I think we’ve been in big need of a player like him for a long time.

    • B says:

      Kaberle was a -6 last season for Montreal, Emelin was a -18.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  35. Sal from the Hammer says:

    I just don’t believe anything this guy says. If memory serves me, he said this kind of stuff before. No?? It’s very easy to gate off to the media. Prove me wrong Gomer, prove me wrong…

  36. Mike D says:

    Fun little scenario question for the Commentariat…..

    If Gomez has a good season, say around 30 points, he’ll still be destined for the buyout due to our cap issues for next season and the logjam at Center. If he gets those 30 points though, would some team take a flyer on him as a UFA in the summer? Is it possible the team could even find a trading partner without having to buy him out with a good season?

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Ozmodiar says:

      30pts in 48 games, or should we pro-rate?

      • Mike D says:

        Yes, I meant 30 points in 48 games. I meant it as an approximation though, so let’s say 25-30 points in this shortened season.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • commandant says:

          Trading partner? Likely no. The cap hit is too big (and even the salary at 4.5 next season is too big). With the dropping of the cap floor, the lowest payroll in the league is 6 million dollars above the floor today. I doubt anyone needs to trade for such a contract to reach the floor this summer.

          I can however see someone give him 1 or 2 million on a 1 year deal as a UFA to see if he can continue to play at that level. Teams are always looking for centres, and if he can regain the form he had up to the end of the 2010 season/playoffs there is still some value there.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Ozmodiar says:

          hmmm….that’s pretty productive… even so, here’s the issue. With the cap going down, teams will know the Habs will buy him out, and will likely just wait for that to happen.

          4.5 might be a bit expensive, even for a team trying to reach the cap floor.

    • krob1000 says:

      I would say that if he returned to form and got say 30 points in 48 games…yes he may be tradeable…as we all know his salary is actually only 5.5 this year and 4.5 next while his cap hit will remain at 7.3 million…That is pretty attractive to a floor team or team being hurt by the lockout…if they can justify him being the equivalent of a 3-3.5 million dollar play then he has value. Ont he flip side..if he has 30 points in 48 games the Habs will likely be doing well. We have the offseason to buy him out…and next year his contract becomes even more attractive as it is nearly a 3 million dollar real dollar savings vs cap hit for a floor team wishing to such a thing.

    • habsnyc says:

      Because his salary in dollars will be a manageable $4.5 million and his salary cap will be $7.35, he might find a home with a team needing to get to the floor without spending as much money. Trading him would save ownership $3 million spread over two seasons, less whatever they had to take back in salary. But 30 points in a 48 game season is 50 points in a full season. There is no way Gomez gets to that without playing top six and powerplay minutes.

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

      • commandant says:

        Because the floor has dropped from 54 million to 44 million with the new CBA. There are no teams that will struggle to reach the floor this year, or next year. The earliest we could see a team right up against the salary floor is likely the 2014-15 season, when Gomez is UFA anyway.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  37. New says:

    Good for Gomez. In a couple weeks we’ll see what he brings to the table under Therrien. Not much point in going on about what he didn’t do before or what he did do long before.

    But does anyone see him as number 1 or 2 center? Does anyone see him pushing a LW out? Where do you play him? Fourth line? Extra guy? Play him 1, 2, or 3 and you’ll have agents crawling into Bergeron’s office saying their guy needs out. I guess it’s up to Gomez to impress them enough to make it some agent’s problem, not his.

  38. Habsssssssswin says:

    Question for y’all … Is this team that takes to the ice saturday a

    Marc Bergevin or Michel Therrien “kind of team”…. ?

  39. habs-fan-84 says:

    Is anyone else worried about the possibility of Price getting injured during this 48 game sprint. I know a lot of his peers are in the same position, but, this team needs Price to be successful over the long run.

    I am no goaltender, nor have I ever played the position, but it would seem to me that this has to be the hardest position to get back into game shape.

    Unfortunately, I think we’re going to see a lot of groin injuries, but I hope I’m wrong.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think he has done a pretty good job of staying in shape. I would be more concerned if I was Calgary, Buffalo or New Jersey, who have much older goalies who now have to go full tilt in just one week.

    • Mike D says:

      No one wants Carey (or anyone else) to get hurt, however, if he did and the team had another low finish, this would be the season to do that and get another top pick.

      It’s sort of an illegitimate season anyway, plus there’s a really good crop of players in this draft. Anyone of MacKinnon, Drouin, or Barkov would be a VERY welcome addition to the Habs.

      I for one wouldn’t mind a lousy season this year as I look at it as more of a development/learning/evaluating year with all the new faces in the org.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

  40. Ozmodiar says:

    RE: the centre position

    Bergevin has stressed the importance of the centre position. I think he’ll be quite comfortable if this is a position of strength/depth for the Habs. He won’t be in a rush to trade out of this position.

    Here’s how I see things going down…

    I think Gally will spend this year (5 or 48 games) and next on the wing. To get used to the speed of the game, among other things. During this time, the top 3 centres will be DD, Pleks, Eller.

    Two years from now, Gally will be moved to the middle and Eller will be promoted to the 2nd line (with new contract in hand) and play the role now occupied by Pleks (shutdown + secondary scoring). DD will be moved to the wing, or traded. Pleks will be moved to the 3rd line, or traded (likely the latter based on financial considerations). The 3rd line centre will be a defensive-minded 2 way player. Maaaaaybe Leblanc can be the man, but I have my doubts. At that point, the top 3 centres will be Gally, Eller, ?*.

    * not the same “?” from TN’s 4th line posted below.

    • commandant says:

      Bergevin has already said that he doesn’t see Leblanc as a centre… but more of a RW.

      I also think that Pleks’ value as the two way shutdown guy on the second line is vastly underrated on this board. What he can do providing points while matching top lines has a definite value and I wouldn’t be too quick to trade him. Hopefully Eller can assume that role but there is lots of development to be done by him between now and then.

      Even if he does develop… having three strong centres is never a problem (and usually a strength of true cup contenders). I don’t mind him and Pleks in a 2a/2b type role with 3 sets of good wingers (where some combination of Leblanc, Gallagher, Collberg, Bozon, Kristo, Hudon, and/or Free Agents/Trades may enter the picture).

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • TomNickle says:

        Eller proved last year that his abilities defensively are very close to Plekanec’s. He was also a better point producer at even strength with slightly lesser quality linemates.

        Plekanec’s only clear advantage over Eller is powerplay production, which could well be a product of practice and experience.

        You say Plekanec’s abilities are underrated on this board? I say they’re vastly overrated relative to the in house option that could perform in his role.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        I agree with Bergevin about Leblanc….which is good, because who am I to disagree? ;)

        Yes, I think they’ll continue with the 2a/2b to leave the easier minutes to the top line. I think Eller will be ready in 2 years. If not, Pleks remains in the 2 spot, and Eller continues to earn 3rd line money.

  41. Hobie Hansen says:

    Wanna see if Galchenyuk is ready for the NHL? Throw him in the corner for five minutes during practice next week with Prust, Moen and White and see if he can stay on his feet!

    Or send him in on a one on two against Gorges and Subban 100x.

  42. Chrisadiens says:

    Call me naive, or call me stupid, but I’ve got that “we can compete for the cup” feeling. I know, I know…I realize I’m probably just being overly optimistic, but if all our pieces align right ya never know. 48 games to secure a playoff spot, so that’s like 54ish points to get in? I think last year was a fluke and a product of poor management. I like our players and talent level. So right now I think we’re going all the way.

    Let’s see just how long that feeling lasts. :)

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Don’t know why, but I totally agree with you.
      In the least, last year was an aberration and most pundits addressed that at seasons end saying that our team statistics don’t really match the typical last place team mould.

  43. habs-fan-84 says:

    Hope Gomez can have a good season. It’s hard not to like the guy, plus the Habs will benefit from a resurgent Gomez.

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    Rangers have asked Wade Redden to sit out the season. Will buy him out over the summer. Source NY Post

    ———————————–

    • Mike Bone says:

      Sit out, as in, without pay? If I were Redden I’d laugh out loud every time I cashed my cheque.

    • 24 Cups says:

      This was mentioned a few days ago. It’s a great gig for Redden. He gets 8.4M to not play hockey. Before the new CBA, he was destined to play out his career in Albany.

      The only drawback is that he may not be able to catch on with another team in 2013-14 after sitting out for 16 months.

      Don’t fret, there will be no tag days for Redden as his final NHL career salary will be just a shade under $70M.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      If I were Redden? First shift I skate straight into the boards. Rinse and repeat until I hear something pop.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  45. HardHabits says:

    Testimonium HardHabitsum

    Now there was about this time Gomez, a centre, if it be lawful to call him a centre; for he was a doer of wonderful assists, a passer of such players as receive the puck with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the players and many of the GM’s. He was the impact centre. And when Sather, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the contract, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he traded to them alive again to the Habs; as the divine pundits had foretold these and 7.357 million other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Canadiens, so enamored from him, did tank on this day.

  46. rhino514 says:

    It´s the time of year when we see headlines such as “Kaberle looking in good shape” and “Gomez has something to prove”.
    Chuckle….I´ll give the Bourque article the benefit of the doubt ´cause WE WANNA BELIEVE

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Yes, I chuckled too.

      My preseason favorites from yesteryear:
      – Latendresse really improved his skating in the off-season
      – Lapierre took boxing lessons in the off-season

      Hope springs eternal….

  47. Ron says:

    Aaron Ward tweeted that the NHL teams have gotten their final 2013 schedule this morning.
    Be interesting to see what the first 12 games (25% of season) has in store for them. Some tough competition in that 1st quarter could make or break any team in a shortened season.

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Good for you Hobie!
    Brisbois was another example of a player who gave his all every night, despite the booing from the ignorant.

  49. commandant says:

    Today a look at Canadian Goaltending: A theory as to why there seem to be so few great Canadian born goalie prospects in recent years.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/01/11/where-have-all-the-canadian-goaltenders-gone/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The basis of your theory I agree with Ben. Just the same a quarterback who plays nothing but option style pitch and run isn’t going to become a good NFL QB. Nowadays most qb’s are being groomed with pro styled offences in College to be ready for NFL.

      The age old dilemna of system, defence first hockey in Canada stifles talent and the growth of it to some extent.

      I do also wonder how many of the elite athletes as kids are choosing to become goalies also. End of day just as Gretzky was a special talent so were Brodeur and Roy, they didn’t just develop into great goalies they had something special also.

  50. Habfan10912 says:

    At the risk of putting myself into the great Gomez debate, I’ve read here often that putting millions of dollars in someone’s pocket could have an impact on your competitive spirit. Is it possible that now Gomez may feel he is fighting for his NHL life that his compete level will increase and we see a different player?
    I’m going to go hide now. Good thing I’m buddies with Bellyfull the Sr.specialized advisor hi/o.
    ———————————–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Funny though, ever since JB got the title, just like Brian Burke we don’t see him anymore….

      Look at you trying to find a silver lining in the Gomez Cloud debate. I am impressed! :)

    • JohnBellyful says:

      As the newly appointed, self-anointed senior specialized adviser to HI/O, which, of course, has the ear of the Montreal Canadiens, here’s one way to lessen the likelihood of injuries on the Montreal roster:
      When a puck is dumped in the corner, with the dumper – sorry for the use of hockey jargon – in hot pursuit, like a heat-seeking missile, why is it necessary for a member of the defending team be the first one to retrieve it and thereby expose himself to being rammed into the boards, with a good chance of being hurt? At minimum, these punishing checks will take their toll, diminishing the effectiveness of targeted players over the course of a game, the course of a season.
      Why can’t the team adopt a Be My Guest approach and let the opposing side — the brutes! — gain possession of the puck which they so stupidly gave up, and have the defenders use the opportunity to dish out the vicious checks the attackers themselves were bent on delivering?
      At the very least they could position themselves to ride the forwards out of the play or reduce their opportunities for making a pass at minimum risk to themselves.
      It doesn’t seem very macho, I grant you, but it seems very health-preserving, which will be critical to Montreal’s success this season. In the end, it’s not how conventional you play the game in keeping with tradition but how effective and durable your players are for the long haul.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      You raise an interesting point, Jim, but I think it needs to be put to the test. Please arrange for a million dollars — not two, not three, not several, just one — to be put in my pocket, and over the course of this season, we’ll have an independent party — are you up for it? — monitor what impact, if any, the money will have on my compete level. I have a suspicion you will see a different poster but that’s only speculation at this point which I’m willing to have confirmed or refuted. As you can see I’m taking my new role seriously.

      ——————–

      John Bellyful
      Senior Specialized Adviser to HI/O

  51. Hobie Hansen says:

    Now that we have an escape clause at the end of the season for Gomez, I hope he has a good year. I always like rooting for the underdog and love a good comeback story.

    Nothing makes me cringe more than the Bell Centre booing one of our own so I hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve never been one to boo a player on the Habs.

    Great interview and article Dave and it really puts into perspective that Gomez isn’t just a cap hit, he’s also a human being.

    Good luck this season Scotty and hopefully we get to see that big grin on many occasions after you’ve set up a dandy goal!

    GO HABS GO!

    • TomNickle says:

      The only two things about Gomez I’ve never understood are the hatred and the notion that he doesn’t try.

      He won’t be confused with his partner Gionta in the effort department but he certainly isn’t alone in terms of inconsistent effort. And I want to meet somebody who would’ve turned down the contract he got. In addition, I’d like to meet somebody who could show up consistently and work hard in their mid-thirties after getting that contract and winning two stanley cups. Easier said than done.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I come on this site and rip guys like Kaberle, Diaz and Gomez but I have to admit, after reading this article and seeing Kaberle interviewed yesterday, I can be a bit of an idiot :-).

        Kaberle looked to be in good shape and focused yesterday and I also hope he does well this year.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Both Kabs and Gomez are at a similar point in their career. It truly is do or die for them as it relates to their careers in the NHL.

          I have no doubt Kaberle is in great shape this year, but as others have said this won’t change his style of play. It will make him better at the style which he has always played. It is up to MT to find a way to utilize this.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Most of us are a bit fickle Hobbie but like you when they put the sweater on, I am the first to stand and cheer.

          ———————————–

        • Cal says:

          We all get worked up, Hobie. ;)
          I am hopeful that both Kaberle and Gomez play great. And 21 others, too.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I am with you on the booing thing Hobie. I still clearly remember watching the Leafs boo a Hall of Fame Defenceman all the way to Detroit where he want on to win more cups. Larry Murphy was not in his prime when he came to Toronto, but was victim of a poor team and immediately became the whipping boy. He lost all confidence and looked to be a shell of himself. Once he arrived in Detroit it was like a rebirth, granted having Lidstrom helps.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I remember being in the Bell Centre, might have been the Fourm, and a bunch of idiots behind me were screaming profanities in French, spilling beer all-over themselves and really giving it to Briesbois. I was maybe 19-years-old, was upset and often screamed at Briesbois at home on the couch watching the game.

        But after seeing the nastiness live and up close I have refused to ever boo a hometown player.

        it gave me chills and I always loved Bob Gainey for telling the idiots who booed Briesbois to stay home.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      ….Good for you Hobie!

  52. rhino514 says:

    A good player is a good player in any system. Don´t buy that one.
    A good player also makes others around him look better, and doesn´t, on the contrary need great players to make him (hopefully) look decent.
    that´s the case with Gomez
    Koivu got the best out of others. That´s why it is heartbreaking that he was let go in order to make way for Gomez.

    • TomNickle says:

      A good player isn’t necessarily effective in every system. A guy like Ryan Clowe fits with the Sharks because they’re a slow footed but big and physical team. Their style compliments him. Ryan Malone’s a comparable player. His first season under Guy Boucher was a nightmare.

      Great players make those around them great. And Koivu wasn’t neglected to make room for Gomez in my opinion. The locker room was divided between Koivu and Kovalev and Gainey chose Kovalev in my opinion. Gomez was added because the team needed a centreman to replace the absence of Koivu and to account for the sudden decline from Plekanec(who fell off of a cliff).

      • 24 Cups says:

        In answer to your your second paragraph, Tom.

        The Gainey regime had two distinct eras to it. The first was the Kovy/Koivu team while the second was the UFA team. As you stated, Gainey turned his back on Koivu and went with Kovalev. Who then turned his back on Gainey and followed the (belated) coin to Ottawa (it’s also interesting to note that Gainey tried to sign Komisarek, too)

        Has Gomez contributed anything significant since then that Koivu couldn’t? Don’t think so. What about the cost? Well, of course, there’s McDonagh. A top ten draft pick that Timmins was very high on. Secondly, the difference in contracts indirectly cost the Habs a chance to spend Cole like coin on an UFA during the past four years. You could say that Gomez was younger but at this point in time Koivu will probably retire just when the Habs are buying out Gomez. So it’s basically a draw in that regard.

        The cap math for next year (plus the team’s roster at centre) dictates that Gomez is the best buyout candidate next summer. Buying out Kaberle or Bourque will not bring the same financial relief as the Gomez contract.

    • Phil C says:

      Only the best of the best can play any system. I think a good system leverages the skills of the players you have. Playing a passive trap with a small inexperienced defense was a recipe for disaster. Insisting on a chip and chase offensive with players like Gomez, Cammalleri, DD, Gionta, who have the skill to carry or pass the puck into the offensive zone was just wrong. As Hal Gill said in his parting interview, players like Gomez and Cammalleri need to have the puck on their stick to be effective.

      Toronto have the same problem with Carlyle, who likes to play a tough fore-checking style, but Burke has built a small, fast team.

      Given the team’s current make up on defense, it’s strength is a lot of offensive-minded defenseman who lack size and/or grit. Rather than force the dump in with a passive trap, I think they need to avoid the dump in at all costs. Instead, chose an aggressive forecheck that makes it difficult to get to the redline for the dump-in. If the offensive get past the forecheck, the defense may have to deal with some odd-man rushes, but at least they have the puck moving skill to counter-attack if the rush is broken up. Keep them out of the corners if possible. I always thought the Habs’ system last year was playing right into the other team’s game plan, making them easy to play against.

      On offensive, I hope they activate the D in the attack like the USA WJC team under Housley. Again, chose a system that leverages the talent you have. This will mean the forwards will have to know when to cover on D. And don’t make a player like Gomez dump and chase. Not getting the puck deep will result in some blueline turnovers that could lead to odd-man rushes, but every system has a down side, they just need to be ready for it.

  53. TomNickle says:

    My ideal forward lines for Therrien to put together……

    Desharnais – Pacioretty – Cole
    Plekanec – Eller – Galchenyuk
    Gomez – Bourque – Gionta
    Prust – ? – Moen

    • arcosenate says:

      I want Eller playing centre, that’s his position. With Bourque and Moen perhaps.

      • TomNickle says:

        I would like Eller to play centre too but he isn’t going to develop into the kind of centreman he can be with Plekanec and Desharnais on the team.

        I think he can be much more than a shutdown/40 point centreman. Advanced metrics and scout’s eye say that he can be an upgrade on Plekanec. But that’s a discussion for another day.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think I know where you are going and agree. While I too would like to see Eller as a centreman for us, for the time being based on our personel he will probably have to play wing. I would like to think that by the end of this season, we will start to see moves made towards a different roster makeup, focused around the age group of our core.

          • TomNickle says:

            I think at this point in time or this coming off-season at the latest is the ideal time to move on from Plekanec. For personnel and financial reasons.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      On the 4th line I’d change “?” to “!”.

      I think Youppi would fit in nicely on a gritty 4th line.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Who’s playing RW on the 2nd line?

      Who’s playing centre on the 4th line?

      What’s the injury status on Noke? Can he even suit up?

      If Eller plays centre then Armstrong/White could be your 12th man

      • TomNickle says:

        Galchenyuk as your second line right winger.

        Nokelainen’s hurt so I would start with White.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I thought he was playing LW in junior (stand corrected). If so, we are now asking an 18 year old with 1.5 seasons of junior to play his off wing on the 2nd line?

          I can see where Galchenyuk would jump out of the gate real quick, especially since many NHLers will just be getting their legs. But isn’t the team running the risk that this kid will hit the wall after 20 games?

          Anyway, I’ve made my point about rushing young players. There are two sides to the issue and neither one is going to budge so I’m letting it go. All I’ll say is that if the Habs bring up Galchenyuk then he should get plenty of ice time and not be benched when he starts to make the inevitable mistakes. If he plays hard, then he should continue to play.

          • TomNickle says:

            I think he’d struggle for the majority of the season. But having said that I think this is the ideal time to bring him up. Short season, early cobwebs, acclimation to the pro life and game, etc.

    • B says:

      I posted the same lines yesterday, with White as your missing 4th line center. Not sure if it would work, but I do find that 2nd line intriguing.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  54. Mike Bone says:

    Scott Gomez may want to give all he’s got, but the problem is, he’s not got a lot left. He’s a different player from the one who used to cut to the net in Jersey. Unless he’s willing to go back to that style and take the punishment that comes with it, he’ll only bring more of the same crap we’ve seen in the last two seasons, injuries or not.

    Unfortunately, when you’re on the wrong side of thirty, you’ve already won two Cups and you’re making more money than God, the desire to let people beat you with sticks for the sake of a hockey puck greatly diminishes.

    • TomNickle says:

      He got back to going to the net last season when he was healthy, it didn’t pay off for him for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being the chip and chase crap that is notorious for creating chances from the perimeter instead of scoring areas.

      • Mike Bone says:

        It didn’t help that he kept shooting when he should have passed and passing when he had the shot, hesitating too long in both cases. If it’s been too long since you went to the net, you risk forgetting what to do when you go back to it.

        • TomNickle says:

          The same exact decision making can be said of Plekanec when he was paired with Rene Bourque. Hesitation to do the right thing on the ice is often caused by injury or lack of confidence in yourself or the players you’re with.

    • Phil C says:

      I agree 100%, if he starts going to the net and bringing the puck to the net, we know he is back. If he doesn’t, they should recognize quickly that he is washed up. I think we will see it in the first few games. That’s why I would like to see him with Bourque, who is another player who has had success going to the net. If they both find their old form, it could be the best third line in hockey.

  55. habs03 says:

    Gomez seems to be a great team guy, great leader for the young guys, many have said he has helped them be a pro. But that doesn’t mean he gets a pass, yes he didn’t offer himself that contract, but by accepting it, he should have known that this would happen if he didn’t perform.

    Some ppl hate him, which I don’t understand, maybe they were expecting something else, but I knew when the trade happened that he was 50-60 point guy at his best. But still, no need to hate on him, I just hate the trade, but you loss some, you win some (Rivet for Gorges, Patches-thru a draft pick).

    I think Gomez can actually help a team after he is bought out, in a 3rd line role, a team like the Caps can use a guy like him, some leadership for that locker room.

    Crazy stat, Gomez has make the playoffs in every year he was in the NHL expect for last year.

  56. JohnBellyful says:

    This all sounds so familiar

    ——————–

    John Bellyful
    Senior Specialized Adviser to HI/O

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Scott Gomez has still got the speed game, he is a very good player that had to change his style of play to suit Jacques Martin’s totally boring style. Martin’s style of hockey also produces the most injuries in hockey which also hampered Gomez.
    Gomez was never worth that contract, hence the reason for Sather to move him. Somehow Sather agreed to a 7 instead of a 4 over a cigar and a 40oz bottle.

    It will be very interesting to see how Therrien uses his great talents that have been locked away under Martin. He is still a very good top 9 forward that happened to squeeze high top 3 money out of Sather.

    • Sap Anderson says:

      I think he would be very good at carrying the sticks to the bench at high speed. Or bringing out the pucks for practice very quickly. He’s got great mobility when handing out water bottles to the boys. That would be about as useful as he could be this season

    • Phil C says:

      Martin’s system definitely hurt a player like Gomez. Even Hal Gill said as much in his parting interview.

      I really, really hope that Therrien plays a more up-tempo, aggressive system, something that uses the players the Habs have. The Habs had a small, young defense last year, yet Martin’s system forced the dump-in on almost every rush, making small, inexperienced defensemen go fight in the corners. It was tough to watch, so I hope that crap is over.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        Right Phil, the boys say this is going to be a more FUN style of game to play this year! If is more fun for the players, it will be a lot more fun for us to watch, don’t you think?

        • Phil C says:

          That’s what I think as well. He also said he wants them to play on their toes, which sounds more aggressive. I really hope Therrien doesn’t think a passive trap is fun for players. ;-)

  58. TommyB says:

    Do you think the Canadiens will make the playoffs this season? ….. Well, it’s going to be a challenge for sure. With only inter-conference games being played, the two points offered each night are so important. I think the Habs, like every other team, should focus on winning their division. That’s where they will play the bulk of their games. Scrambling to be included with the other five teams that don’t win their divisions who make the playoffs is going to be a tough call.

    Looking at the Habs division, I think, at least right now without the benefit of seeing anything from any team yet, that they do have a good chance to take that division. Maybe I have my habs-colored glasses on. We’ll soon begin to get the answer. Winning those games vs Boston, Ottawa, Buffalo, and Toronto decides whether or not you make the playoffs. Avoid the 3-point games at all costs. Come to play every night. Those last two statements touch on things that the Habs tend to have a bit of trouble with. The answers will come. Right now I’m just happy to have the chance to sit back and watch this 48 game sprint to the playoffs. For too long, it looked as though we would not see any games at all.

  59. Marcusman says:

    This team is going to gel nicely, score more often and compete…

  60. Cal says:

    Thus far, either 71% of us are prescient or just plain too hopeful.
    8 more sleeps.

    • I voted No. But I am basing my vote on last season’s performance. There were a lot of injuries,and other factors (tired dads one of them), but I don’t see a big difference considering how good the other teams are in the division (less the Leafs).

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

      • Cal says:

        Considering the shortness of the camps, I think a lot of teams will be scrambling for the first couple weeks into the season. That could cause trouble for teams that would normally be better. It’s going to be a very short and intense season.

        • All I know is every day I get more and more excited. For three months I was bitter and hated both sides. I sold parts of my memorabilia collection and swore off ever buying NHL/players stuff again. But I see myself looking for flights to Montreal so I can sit and watch a game in the Bell. I’ve been really lucky these past few years. Every time I go to a game it’s been electric (less the Sens game, Summit 11). I love the Habs intro and the music that follows them onto the ice to start the game. Very moving.

          They Call Me Shane
          “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures

          • Cal says:

            I’m the same way. I’m getting antsy for the league to get going again. Hopefully, the PA ratifies today and/or tomorrow and everyone’s back at it soon.

        • 24 Cups says:

          All it will take is one extended losing streak and a team will probably be out of the playoff picture. Only the top end teams wil be able to dodge that reality.

  61. Sap Anderson says:

    At this point, Gomez is finished. He’s through, and he’s got to go

    I don’t care how much you know about hockey – this is beyond that. If you manage people, you know this guy is garbage. He mails it in, he doesn’t care, and he laughs about how much money he makes while not working. He’s a loser.

    If Gomez so much as suits up for a single game, I’ll have lost a ton of respect for Bergevin and Therrien (not that I had much for the latter to begin with..)

  62. Propwash says:

    Personally, I don’t hate Gomez. I hope he does better this year simply due to the fact than any production from the forwards can only be a good thing.

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

  63. 24 Cups says:

    Gomez was the symbolic lightening rod for all of Gainey’s failures. It may not be totally fair, but he has to go once the season ends. There’s no real turning the page until that happens.

    BTW, there is no way that guys like Cammalleri and Gionta would sign and play here without Gomez on the team. LMAO.

    I only ask one thing of Therrien. Please don’t screw up the development of young pivots such as DD and Eller just to accomodate this guy. Tell him right from the get go that he is going to be the 4th line centre/2nd unit penalty killer.

    P.S. Could you imagine a Subban/McDonagh pairing on the D for the next ten years?

    • I have zero faith in Therrien. I don’t like the way he looks on the bench. I don’t like the way he speaks to the media. It appears he rubs players the wrong way (Crosby, Malkin), and if he arrived at our Summit, I would sit as far away as possible from him for fear of catching whatever personality it is he has.

      This is 2013 and his style does nothing for younger players. These guys all make millions, and as soon as he comes down hard, they will all go Lafleur on him (Bowman reference for those who never heard Guy speak out about Scotty).

      They Call Me Shane
      “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      That´s exactly how we should use Gomez. It´s pretty easy. He´s worse than Plekanec, Eller and Desharnais but better than Nokelainen. I actually think having Gomez and White on the fourth line + Moen, Prust or Armstrong could be very helpful.

      • 24 Cups says:

        It’s the perfect answer. Gomez used to be quite good in the face-off circle and at killing penalties (as is Prust and Moen). Having those two guys on his flanks will help offset Gomez’s lack of size and grit.

        The other three pivots get to ply their trade. Noke is the sub in case of injury as there has been no real evidence that either White or Leblanc is ready to play centre at the NHL level.

      • rhino514 says:

        I think unfortunately that Moen will be forced to play on the third line (unless they play Bourque on his off-wing, which I think would be a mistake). So it looks like gomez with Armstrong and Prust, and White sitting for now.

    • Phil C says:

      i would rather see Gomez sit than play fourth line centre. Gomez only has value in the NHL as a playmaker. I would rather see White on the fourth line. He can kill penalties just as well, and brings some grit that Gomez doesn’t.

      I see Gomez starting on the third line with Bourque. Bourque can score, so that’s what Gomez needs. If they both suck, send them to the press box, not the fourth line. The lack of a good fourth line was one of the problems last year.

      This may result in Eller or DD playing wing, which I don’t see as a big deal. DD struggles with the defensive responsibilities of centre, yet he could still be creative on the wing, like Cammalleri or St. Louis. I would rather see Eller on the LW second line, getting PP time then being 3rd line centre with a couple of grinders. With 2nd line LW open, miving Eller or DD there could be a good move.

  64. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    You know, when you’ve watched this game for a long time, it’s not hard to pull out the names of great players who “got there” – who simply lost their wheels from age and wear and were done like dinner. We’ve all watched it, and it’s a cruel show.
    I’ve always felt sympathy for them, but understood and even applauded when they retired or were cut. They weren’t earning what Gomez earns, and they weren’t stopping the team from signing real talent, as Gomez’s salary tends to, but their time as first line pros was over.
    I’d never argue Gomez has been great – don’t get me wrong. In a real elite hockey league, he would rarely have seen the first line, and his career would already have ended. In the NHL, I think he has lost his ability and is done, and I don’t think he lost it recently.
    I think he means what he says. You could give me millions to skate in circles, and I would take it. You could give me millions to score 30 goals and have the crowd go wild, and I’d prefer that. Any of us would, including Gomez.
    He’ll play this little fake season and if he proves us all wrong, good on him. If he doesn’t good bye to him. This 48 game exhibition season is a tryout for what we hope will become a good team next year.
    I’m going to try to ignore the guy, and see what he does. If, as expected, he does nothing, then he’ll go back to the swamps of Jersey or Alaska and we’ll never have to worry about him again.

  65. I’m a big a big fan of Gomez. The amount of crap he has to listen to every day over a Freakin game is retarded. He never whines and complains, he says all the right stuff, and in the most pressure filled atmosphere plays a game where we all wish we were him.
    When he arrived he was important, and did a great job in his first playoffs. He lost it somewhere between then and now, and I hope it comes back for one season but no matter how many points he gets this season, he’ll be traded, or released. So Good Luck Scotty!

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

    • Sap Anderson says:

      Easy to feel like that when you don’t live in Montreal. If you do, and you see that scumbag out at clubs the nights before games, and you go to private dinners where he openly says he doesn’t care, then all of a sudden you begin to resent a guy who has mailed it in long ago and knows that his contract is guaranteed. Worst case, he makes 2/3’s of his remaining salary, and he’ll likely sign for league minimum elsewhere or go play in Europe. Big deal..

      Gomez is garbage, he’s a cancer on the team, and he represents everything that went wrong in the Gainey/Goat era. He shouldn’t even skate during training camp

      • Oh my that’s the first I ever heard of this. Sound like he stole your girlfriend…just kidding of course. Next time I’m in Montreal I’ll do a better job stalking him :)

        They Call Me Shane
        “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        http://www.Sholi2000.com
        Custom Sports Figures

        • Sap Anderson says:

          So being out at a club and seeing him there is stalking now? Or going to the same dinners? We happen to be acquaintances through mutual friends is all, and he’s no better a person than he is a hockey player. To wit: he once told a friend of mine’s kid when he asked Gomez how hard he worked “hockey is easy, man, I don’t need to work”

          Believe me, don’t believe me, I don’t really care.. but those of us who have had the misfortune of spending time with Gomez know that he’s not a “great guy who just has some bad seasons.” He’s a guy who has completely mailed it in and doesn’t give a rat’s derriere about Montreal, its fans, or his team

          • Man, I am way too happy of a person to continue this conversation. Have a great Friday if you can, you sound really bitter.

            They Call Me Shane
            “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
            Shane Oliver
            Twitter @Sholi2000
            http://www.Sholi2000.com
            Custom Sports Figures

          • HabinBurlington says:

            If all of that is true, that is very discouraging. Just as I have no reason to believe you would make this up, I have just the same reason not to believe. Again, if true, really too bad.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Hay SAP.! Cry me a river! your in the wrong world me son!

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            I am absolutely positive that he was having a serious conversation with your friend’s kid. Gomez has never been known to be anything but serious.

          • wjc says:

            Sap: “A friends, kid said so and so, sounds like gossip to me. Third hand information (gossip) is never reliable.

            Dinner parties, night clubs, kids gossiping, with no proof, no tape, sorry not “admissible. Would fall apart under cross examination.

            You cannot expect to be taken seriously unless you can back any of it up. I can just as easily say, “I saw Gomez sobbing after a tough loss”. I could say a friend of mines kid (who is eleven years old) said that Gomez “loves the fans, and wants nothing better then to have a comeback year”.

            Well, where is my proof, ever heard of the expression “talk is cheap”. I could say you are lazy because you sit on park benches in the afternoon, or fell off a ladder and know you are faking injury.

            You might be told to produce proof of your accusations. Ah, well, ah, you see, ah………..silence.

            wjc

          • Sap Anderson says:

            HabinBurlington – That’s exactly right. Take it for what it’s worth (some random guy posting on the internet) :)

            sholi2000 – I’m sorry I didn’t mean to turn you off the conversation. I’m just sharing some of the information that I thought might change your opinion on the guy, but in hindsight my tone wasn’t the nicest. Sorry again :)

            You’re right, I am bitter at the situation, likely from spending 15 g’s per year for season tickets only to have to watch a mediocre product, and it’s little consolation that we have guys like Gomez on the team. I’m really disheartened by the fact that we have been mediocre for quite some time.

            But it is Friday indeed, so I’ll allow myself to dream a bit and hope that the new management team will be able to right the ship. Hopefully without our pal Scott…

          • Sap Anderson says:

            wjc – I don’t have to prove anything to you, my friend. Just sharing first-party experiences (not third party). I was there, I saw it, I heard it. It happens. This is the least of it, by the way. If you caught me over a beer, I would have more

            As I said, you can believe me or you can choose not to. Completely up to you and I’m not bothered either way… after all I’m always skeptical about what I read on the internet

    • 69HABS says:

      If I was getting his $$$ I would not Whine either …

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Could not agree more.

  66. Marc10 says:

    Whatever happened to Jersey Gomez? That guy could play and was a handful for any player…

  67. habs-hampton says:

    Dangit! When I saw the headline, I thought he was announcing his retirement!

  68. Habfan10912 says:

    This will be a fun thread. :)

    ———————————–

  69. Cal says:

    Go, Mez, Go! Back to Alaska with you. Seriously, another article about the Habs greatest failure?

  70. 69HABS says:

    @ Habsnyc:

    You said: “Carey is hiding the fact that he was equally poor in regulation as he was in the shootout”!

    Are you for real?

  71. Captain aHab says:

    Maybe he means it this year?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

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

  72. topher5468 says:

    I liked what Gomez had to say about Francis Bouillon, I always liked him, although he can be beat. For years I had to watch the NHL Center Ice commercial where Phil Kessel, in the playoffs as a Bruin, makes him look slow and stiff while going top shelf on Price. That being said, I still like him.
    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  73. HabinBurlington says:

    First to say Gomez!

    Given Gomez wouldn’t say anything about himself personally, to me it seems evident that he clearly knows he is finally near the end of the rope. He must perform this season, I don’t think any player wants to be the poster child for a new rule, in this case the Gomez Buyout per se.

    I wish him the best, would be great if he succeeded, I am not holding my breath though.

  74. TomNickle says:

    I don’t think any rational person is expecting a 40 or 50 point season from Gomez.

    But to your first point. I believe the context of the quote is that he isn’t concerned about the buyout possibilities, he’s concerned about the on ice results.

  75. Rugger says:

    Then he goes on LTIR, off the cap and is bought out as soon as the Doc says “ok you can play”. Not a problem.

  76. ZepFan2 says:

    What Rugger said.

    I don’t understand the fury about Gomez playing this year. Considering it’s only a 48 game schedule. He will be gone before anyone realises.

    So I say, Go Habs Go!!

    ———————————————————————-
    Ka is a wheel.

    “Bring it back home to me baby”

    Bring it on Home

  77. ZepFan2 says:

    @Habsolutely

    Beacuse of the new CBA rules they could no longer bury Redden and his contract in the minors.

    ———————————————————————-
    Ka is a wheel.

    “Bring it back home to me baby”

    Bring it on Home

  78. Sap Anderson says:

    No Gomez = addition by subtraction


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