Exclusive: ‘Would have been interesting,’ Robinson says of Habs post

Larry-jersey

All members of the Canadiens wore a No. 19 jersey for warmup on Nov. 19, 2007 when Larry Robinson’s Canadiens jersey was retired.
François Lacasse, NHLI via Getty Images

For nearly an hour on Sunday from his home in Florida, Canadiens Hall of Famer Larry Robinson spoke to Hockey Inside/Out’s Dave Stubbs about his latest brush with a coaching position with his former team. Robinson took the high road, but there’s no question he would have enjoyed the chance to work with some of the Habs’ young blue line prospects.

Here is that story:

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

It’s probable, even likely, that the coaching career of Larry Robinson is not over.

It just won’t be continuing with the team on which he became a Hall of Famer, winning six Stanley Cups as one of the greatest defencemen of all time.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin rounded out his club’s coaching staff last week, naming former Habs defenceman Jean-Jacques Daigneault as the second bench assistant for head coach Michel Therrien. Daigneault joins Gerard Gallant, with Clément Jodoin contributing perspective from the press gallery and Pierre Groulx continuing his work as goaltending coach.

There had been considerable talk in the Canadiens universe since Bergevin’s May 2 hiring that Robinson, at that time an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils, would be an ideal choice to nurture a young Montreal defence corps.

Ultimately, the composition of the coaching staff was left up to Therrien, and last Friday he decided on Daigneault as the final member of his staff.

There is no bitterness in Robinson, who a few times in the past half-dozen years has been in a contractual position to return to the Canadiens in a coaching capacity.

On several occasions, long-time Robinson friend and business agent/adviser Donny Cape has attempted to broker a deal to bring Robinson back to Montreal as a coach, team ambassador or both. For a variety of reasons, from awkward timing to telephone calls that were not returned by the club to team brass saying it was satisfied with its incumbent staff, a Robinson-Canadiens reunion has not taken place.

It is not happening again, Robinson’s NHL career now unlikely to end in the city where it began.

On Sunday, from his Florida home, Robinson spoke to me for nearly an hour.

“I understand the Canadiens had to get going, they couldn’t wait,” he said, settling into the off-season with his wife, Jeannette.

“They decided, and they chose Daigneault. They had to move on in their task to improve their club.”

It’s no secret that a number of NHL clubs have expressed interest in Robinson’s coaching talents. Complicating matters with the Canadiens was the fact that he was unable in recent days to come north for a face-to-face interview, tied down in Florida dealing with the onslaught of Hurricane Debby and the torrential rains that overflowed his swimming pool and swamped the 12-acre polo farm he co-owns, stabling and training polo horses.

I had suggested in a May 10 Gazette column that Bergevin, who was searching for his head coach, could do worse than to consider a bench tandem of Guy Carbonneau and Robinson. Carbonneau, I wrote, could return to the head-coaching post from which he was fired in early 2009 and Robinson, Carbo’s longtime friend and former teammate, could serve as one of his assistants.

Several media instantly spun this suggestion into stories that had Robinson actively courting a job in Montreal, which wasn’t the case. Still under contract to the Devils and in the heat of the playoffs – Robinson had been an assistant coach, head coach and special assignment coach on New Jersey’s Cup victories in 1995, 2000 and 2003 – he denied any such interest.

“Things are always going to be taken out of context, that’s what happens,” he said. “It didn’t bother me, (a Montreal job was) nothing I was thinking about.

“Our game is filled with rumours. That’s what gives you (media) guys your jobs and it’s what makes the world go around. People love hearing that kind of stuff. I’ve been around it all my life. You take it with a grain of salt and life goes on. Twitter, Facebook … it’s amazing.”

But a couple of days after the Devils’ Stanley Cup final loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Bergevin contacted New Jersey president and GM Lou Lamoriello to ask permission to speak to Robinson to explore coaching possibilities. Under contract until midnight on June 30, the Canadiens were obligated to follow this route.

Lamoriello gave his permission and Bergevin placed his call, which preceded a brief phone chat between Robinson and Therrien.

“The fact that the Canadiens even thought about me coming there, Marc asking Lou permission, that’s an honour,” said Robinson, who forever has taken the high road in discussion about his former team. “It honestly took me by surprise.”

The 61-year-old was packing up in New Jersey when Bergevin called, Robinson arranging to ship his belongings and two vehicles to Florida on a trip that became a nightmare because of a clumsy mover and the violent arrival down south of the hurricane.

“The mover and I got into a yelling match over the phone. It started at the side of the (polo) barn and by the time I got finished yelling at him, I was in the middle of one of the paddocks,” Robinson recalled, laughing. “I told him to stick his company up… He told me he had my $600 deposit and I said it was almost worth the deposit just to tell him to stick his company.

“It felt so good,” he said of the full-decibel venting. “I didn’t get my $600 back, but at least I felt better.”

Robinson’s assistant-coaching contract with New Jersey was to expire as the calendar turned to July 1.

“We don’t know what’s going on there right now,” he said of the team’s fragile financial situation.

Robinson’s departure ends his long New Jersey relationship with Lamoriello. The bond of the two men is so special that Robinson chose Lamoriello, and not a former coach or teammate from his glory years with the Canadiens, to introduce him on Bell Centre ice on Nov. 19, 2007 for the retirement of his No. 19 sweater.

“Lou’s an incredible person,” Robinson said. “He’s a man of his word, and there’s not many like him in this world any more. He’s one of a few special kind. I can’t say enough about what he’s done for me.”

As Robinson mopped up in Florida, Cape kept in touch with Bergevin about the versatile role Robinson might play. Other teams had expressed interest in Robinson so the Canadiens broadened their defence-coach search, casting a wider net.

Therrien apparently liked Daigneault so much, the decision was made to hire him before Robinson had a chance to interview for the job.

“Nature didn’t help me get up to Montreal and have a formal discussion with them,” Robinson said of the hurricane and his delay to meet, upon the Canadiens request, with Therrien. “We can speculate all we want about whether that made a difference. This was a decision they made and I have to live with it.”

He hears the suggestion that perhaps a hockey man of his stature, winner of nine Stanley Cups as a player and coach, might have been viewed by Therrien as a threat and would reduce the returning head coach’s comfort level.

“I would have made (Therrien) feel comfortable,” Robinson said, cutting off this theory in mid-sentence. “A lot of people think because I won a Cup as a head coach and coached for so long, I’m there only to watch (Therrien) fail so I can take the job myself.

“Believe me, that’s the furthest thing from my mind. All I want out of the game now is the fun of working with whoever I’m working with, trying to give whatever knowledge I’ve gained through my experiences to help do whatever I can to make the team better to win another Cup. That’s all I’m there for.

“I’m not there to threaten anybody’s job. That’s not the way to go through life. You have to be a pretty vindictive person if you’re there, working with a guy, and you’ve got a big dagger in your hand ready to stab him in the back. It’s not the way I was brought up and it’s not the way I work.”

Robinson says he has not personally had any discussion with Canadiens principal owner Geoff Molson about a role as a team ambassador, though Cape has had a few informal talks.

Even if Robinson wasn’t involved in coaching, a goodwill/public relations role would make perfect sense, given the greatly limited roles now of ambassadors Jean Béliveau and Henri Richard. Robinson was, in fact, named by the Canadiens themselves to their all-time dream team.

“You never close any doors,” Robinson said of returning one day to the Habs. “I don’t want to coach forever. At some point I want to lay back and enjoy my kids. I’ve got a grandson, Dylan, playing Little League baseball, I’ve got twins in California (grandchildren Blake and Brian, the latter named for Robinson’s late brother) whom Jeannette and I want to be able to spend more time with.

“And I want to be able to spend more time with my horses. I can’t continue playing polo when I’m into my 70s, though some do.

“There’s going to come a point when I don’t want to be involved in hockey on a day-to-day basis. That’s why we were thinking about some kind of job in Canadiens public relations.”

Robinson’s most recent communication with the Canadiens came last Friday when after a couple of days of phone-tag, Bergevin finally reached him to explain the team’s direction. The call came as the team announced by news release the hiring of Daigneault.

“Marc told me they’d interviewed a couple of people, Michel liked his interview with J.J. and decided to go with him,” Robinson said. “I told him, ‘It’s a business, you have a job to do and that’s what you’re doing.’

“Marc just kind of explained what went down. He had talked to Donny, who’d mentioned others teams had interest (in me) and that we weren’t going to make a decision while I was trying to clean up in Florida. I suppose the Canadiens had to cover themselves in the event I didn’t sign with them. So they chose someone else.

“I wished Marc luck and thanked him for the opportunity – at least for the thought – and we left it there.”

And just like that, one more opportunity for Larry Robinson to rejoin the Canadiens had evaporated.

“It would have been interesting maybe to get back to Montreal,” he said. “But this is a business. There are decisions made by people. Things go on in everyday life as far and business and life. If you’re a person who takes everything to heart and has a chip on your shoulder, you’re going to be an awful miserable person.”

dstubbs@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: Dave_Stubbs

578 Comments

  1. frontenac1 says:

    Jeeze,I’m out in the middle of the lake with the wireless fading in and out. What’s going on with this presser!

  2. unclefester says:

    Any of you folks know if Larrys agent Donny (Dingy) Cape is still living and working in Montreal?? That guy has rubbed a lot/most people the wrong way for decades. Just curious if Cape is perhaps one reason why Larry didn’t get the job??

  3. chilli says:

    Ha!, I love how some of you fools actually think Parise might come to Montreal…

    Tre

  4. D Mex says:

    Friedman now on SN-1 / Prime Time Sports – roundtable.

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  5. Psycho29 says:

    Habs sign Cedrick Desjardins to a one year contract…

    Edit: (That’s not the press conference announcement) ;-)

  6. Okay the RDS link is not working for me, can anyone let me know afterwards what was said in the presser?

    • Captain aHab says:

      Use Internet Explorer

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

    • Captain aHab says:

      Habs have just signed Mathieu Darche to a 10 year $80M contract. He gave the Habs a hometown discount.

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

    • Bill says:

      Listen on TSN 990, presser hasn’t started anyway. It’s getting weird.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  7. db says:

    Do the Habs always do a presser on day 2 of free agency? Are they trying to steal Parise’s UFA thunder? Is this about prospect camp? Has he resigned an RFA? What is going on here?

  8. Gumper Knows Best says:

    No decision for Parise

    • Captain aHab says:

      Well technically he’s made a decision to not decide yet.

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

  9. naweed235 says:

    Parise to Montreal 8 years – $70M Confirmed by TSN and RDS…

    And then I woke up and cried a little…

  10. What a waste of my 30 minutes. So basically ..Parise made an announcement that he will be announcing his singing in the near future.

  11. Psycho29 says:

    Press conference on RDS-2

  12. joeybarrie says:

    @Habfansince72…
    Komisarek wasn’t a reject. We offered him 4 million per. Thank goodness he is greedy and not loyal.
    Bouillion at 1.5 compared to Komi at 4.5 is genius.
    Orr played 5 games last season with a terrible team, Prust played 82 games with the best team in the East.
    Armstrong has 200 points in 430 games. At 1 million for the season, letting him prove himself can be genius. Exelby in comparison has 50 goals in 400 games.
    those moves by Burke is why his team gave up 2 top 5 draft picks to a stanley cup winning team and doesn’t look like he is making the playoffs again next season.
    MBs moves are why I have a good feeling, this is going to be a very different season for us.

  13. ProHabs says:

    Are both Habs and Parise press conferences delayed again.

  14. Hali_Hab says:

    Is tsn 990 airing the presser?

  15. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    PATISE announcement delayed… lol HABS next?!

  16. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Boone,forget about Belleville! C”mon down to the Limestone city!Great hockey guys,cheap golf and if you’re a naughty boy you don’t have to go far to the Hoosecow! Hola!

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    Yikes, playoffs all over again, hopefully Semin signs soon, this could get messy waiting for his contract to ….. arrive. :)

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    The day of the 50s and 60s are over!
    The day of heart, pride and loyalty for players, is a thing of the past boys and girls.

    Maybe not for the truth for the average hockey fan though!, We are the one’s that carry the pride and loyalty in club today. The fan who pays the salary of all people in the sport. Including right up to Betman.

    Yes a player puts his body on the line for his pay check each game, but the respect and pride is not as important today!

    • Chris says:

      Ian, there have always been players who play for personal reasons…I would argue that the majority of them feel that way.

      Perhaps one of the reasons this is true is that players in the 50’s and 60’s had a bit more choice whether to sign with a club or not. Today’s players are drafted, left with the options of reporting to a club (whether they wanted to play there or not) or not reporting and bearing the cross that such a decision entails (see Eric Lindros).

      And while you talk about players having less loyalty, let’s be honest. Hockey is a business, and the players are the commodities. Chris Higgins did not want to leave Montreal, and his father (a lifelong Canadiens fan) was so upset that he reportedly buried his Canadiens memorabilia. In the summer of 2009, after a disappointing season, the team dumped half its players, refusing to negotiate new contracts with any of them.

      As you say, fans are loyal to the club, but they aren’t particularly loyal to the players that make up that club. We couldn’t wait to get rid of some of our players. Mathieu Darche did not want to leave the Montreal Canadiens, yet he was left with no choice.

      So I struggle with nostalgic posts about how the players put their body on the line for their pay cheques but that respect and pride is not there. This is undoubtedly true of some players. But many players DO feel an intense pride for their teams, while even more simply have a strong sense of personal pride that sees them fight tooth and nail to be the best player they can be. And to be honest, I will take the guy who has a strong sense of personal pride just as quickly as the guy who has a strong sense of team pride…both will work hard every chance they get.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    So Dreger has tweeted some more remarks towards Eklund, almost apologetic. Why? Don’t we all know he is the epitomy of an NHL troll?

  20. Stormin says:

    Apparently Burke is going back and forth , back and forth with Alexander in hopes of landing Semin

  21. Gumper Knows Best says:

    Well GMMB-hope you have something after the Parise announcement like a Price contract?

  22. Dr.Rex says:

    IF Parise signs in Chicago then the Kane rumor could have some legs. I dont know if I would bet a nickel on it though.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Will RDS be carrying presser live?

  24. Gumper Knows Best says:

    Bergevin presser at 5:00PM
    Parise in the next several minutes

  25. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    just curious does anyone know but what date temas have to be below the cap limit??

  26. Carta-Hab says:

    Parise to meet with media in next 5 minutes as per Twitter.

    Is it possible he is going to announce to signing with the Habs?!?!? Something seems a bit weird about the timing of all this, given the delays in the team’s press conference.

    Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, and PJ Stock….The three stooges of HNIC.

  27. clever.alias says:

    http://www.r d s.ca/hockey/repechage/2012/direct/

    Presser at 5 pm!

  28. HardHabits says:

    It appears nobody wants to swallow Semin’s contract.

  29. Gumper Knows Best says:

    Melnyk on TSN 990 says the Bergevin thing shortly

  30. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    Elliot Price has a face and personality Id love to smack with a infected mace!

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    What do you mean he is retiring from the Gazette?

    Boone will be moving to Belleville Ont.

    He will be taking over for Ian” organizing the annual HIO fan summit, that has grown to be one of the premium weekend events for global HIO Hab fan’s.
    And Ian is just to old now!

  32. Should the Habs take a shot at Alex Semin? He has more upside than AK46 and he has scored 40 goals before.. or is it a pass. I don’t see the Habs signing him, but given our lack of production offensively.. would you consider this guy?

    EDIT: Wow, Bergevin’s press conference has been postponed yet again. Trying to pull off a trade?

  33. Strummer says:

    Why would anyone in a pro hockey capacity want to live in Florida in the off-season?

    Baseball off-season OK.

    Summers in FLA are hot, sticky and hurricane-prone.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Or anytime! If your wanting to go south, go to the Islands, not Florida, its to Americanized.!

    • shootdapuck says:

      Happy wife Happy life!

      =================================================
      The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

      “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
      “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
      ” I have a pet peeve”

  34. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    why wouldnt they consider jagr? maybe pleks insnt in their plans!!!

    • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

      supposedly the 430 presser has been postponed…again..

      • Captain aHab says:

        What in blazes is going on? Someone had suggested that they may be waiting on an Armstrong medical but I think the numerous delays make that unlikely now.

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

        • HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

          yeah thats could be, the team hasnt announced the signing yet, so that makes snese.

          • Captain aHab says:

            Yeah but you would think doctors would know how long getting test results would take. Maybe they found something weird…like the Laughs planted a microchip on him.

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

  35. habsnyc says:

    This from Rick Moffat of CJAD courtesy Yahoo: “Bergevin called me this morning and told me they have no interest in Jagr,” Svoboda commented to CJAD 800. Svoboda is Jagr’s agent.

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

  36. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Does Kristian Huselius still play hockey? When I lived Calgary all the Flames fans hated him, but besides Hamrlik, he’s the only guy I liked. That guys’s got great hands.

    • He’s a UFA and I suggested his name earlier. But his health is a huge concern as he has only played 41 games in last 2 seasons. I think the Habs should give him a chance, when healthy he can easily put up 60+ points.

  37. knob says:

    where can i watch the presser?

    ef this

  38. Hobie Hansen says:

    Prust in on the Team 990 now…

  39. Captain aHab says:

    I’m sorry but watching Wimbledon and Serena Williams is a man. She’s built like a tank. I think the Als could use her at LB.

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

    • The Dude says:

      Let it be known that I would much rather sleep with Serena Williams than Captain aHAB! :)

      • Captain aHab says:

        So would I but I’d take out life insurance first and wear a vulcanized rubber.

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

      • Captain aHab says:

        She’s playing someone I’ve never heard of whose reasonably cute but wearing something that is absolutely hideous on her. Black ankle braces and black nerd glasses. She needs a stylist like me.

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

      • boing007 says:

        So would R Crumb.

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

  40. Gumper Knows Best says:

    This one you can take to the bank. Under no circumstance, underscored no circumstance, will Scot Gomez be part of the CH family in any way, shape, or form this year. Hamilton is included.

    If the new CBA details for buyouts or amnesty are not known by training camp, Gomez will be told to stay home as he will not be welcome to training camp or to poison the new positive atmosphere. Once details are known to the CH management, they will then act. Money is not the issue but best bang for the buck is the issue especially for the cap.

  41. HabFanSince72 says:

    If Brian Burke had signed a head coach of Therrien’s stature, signed a recent reject of ours, signed a 37 year old journeyman defenceman, and offered $10M to a goon with 24 NHL career goals – and justified the whole thing with the words “truculence” and “hard to play against”, we’d have laughed at him.

    How do I know this?

    Because three years ago he kept Ron Wilson as head coach, signed Mike Komisarek (reject), Garret Exelby (journeyman), and Colton Orr (thug), and talked truculence and hard to play against.

    And we laughed.

    Oh how we laughed.


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

    • Captain aHab says:

      Can people give Bergevin some time before throwing him under the bus and running him over back and forth? This is stupid.

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

    • Gumper Knows Best says:

      Are you comparing Colton Orr to Prust? Oh my. Did you actually ever watch the Rangers play? What he brings? Why the tough MSG crowd just love him? Colton Orr could not skate

      • habsnyc says:

        I watch the Rangers play. The skilled grit on the team is Callahan, Dubinsky and Boyle. Proust is great on the penalty kill but he really is a fourth line player and I am stunned that a team would make a multiyear committment to a fourth line player.

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

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Dubinsky was quiet and had a horrible season and didn’t do much last year, pretty much like Bourque.

          Prust threw 144 hits in the limited time he was given each night and led the league in fights.

          He was exactly what Montreal needed.

          • habsnyc says:

            A 6 foot 192 pound fourth liner who leads the leagues in fights is not going to be healthy enough to play his fourth year. He already has two concussions.

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

        • Mike Boone says:

          Yes, but Proust found time to write Remembrance of Things Past.

          Mike Boone
          Hockey Inside/Out blogger
          Gazette City columnist
          mboone@montrealgazette.com

          • habsnyc says:

            Sure, when you spend that much time in the penalty box, you could even write Crime and Punishment, which would actually be more fitting.

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

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Proust :-)

          • habsnyc says:

            y my bad on the spelling thanks for correcting it.

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

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Damn, you beat me to it.

          • boing007 says:

            And he used to have a bar on Prince Arthur: Swann’s Way.

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

    • habsnyc says:

      If he only signs veterans and does not trade for youth then you have a point. The fact he would sign Jagr is stunning to me. I can’t believe a GM of a non playoff team would consider it. Therrien was forced upon him. Armstrong was a cheap signing, like getting a player off waivers. Bouillon is depth in case of injury. Prust, I cannot explain in the least. And being hard to play against is important. I think Montreal gave up at least one point in more games than almost any other team last season.

      But so far, the only rebuilding I have seen is in the organization itself which hired a lot of staff. The on ice product is no better.

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

    • jols101 says:

      Partially Agree, I am totally confused by the Therrien choice for Head Coach. We needed to get bigger and tougher on D and we sign Bouillon, so again totally confused, but I love the Prust signing and Armstrong for 1 million is a steal if he stays healthy. If Armstrong has another injury riddled season, oh well, we have only spent 1 million on him and walk away from him with nothing of value lost.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      So Exelby 3 year 4.175 million and made a scratch first season, Orr 4 years 4 million sent to minors in year 3, Komisarek 5 years 22 million, no trade clause and no movement clause is now equal to Armstrong 1 yr. 1million, frankie bouillon 1 yr. 1.5 million and prust at 4 yr. 2.5 million.

      In other words 6 years of contract for 12.5 million is equal to 12 years and 30.175 million are now equal?

      Okay I see the exactness in this comparison.

    • The Jackal says:

      Counter the group think? Over here the group think is: be negative, doubt every move, think there is someone who could do a better job.

    • wjc says:

      You are stretching things a bit. Habs 72.

      wjc

  42. Sean Bonjovi says:

    A buddy just sent me a link to a “hockeybuzz” headline. I won’t link it, but I will quote it, because I think it’s awesome.

    “Panthers Out (or still in) On Luongo? Mixed Signals (E4)”

  43. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Hudler signs with Calgary – $16m over 4 yrs. There goes the last of the potential top six guys I was interested in.

    Hmm…what if July turns to August and AK46 is still unsigned. Think he might be worth a 1 yr deal for $2m?

    • That AK46-Eller-Moen line looked good.. but I don’t think Bergevin will try to pursue him. He puts a lot of emphasis on character and work ethic.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Is he worth 4M$? Or is this just another case of CGY overpaying? I suspect it’s the latter.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        I think it’s a bit of an overpayment – but not that much. Maybe a year too long and $500k too much. I think he’s a legit 2nd liner though – which is something we seem to need.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          I know point totals aren’t the whole story, but his best year was this past year at 25 goals, which is decent, and prior to that his production has been nearer to 16-17 goals. Is he defensively responsible? Hard working? Character guy? Good/fast skater?

          At 4M that seems like a rather steep price to pay while the length of the contract also seems a bit on the long side.

      • JF says:

        I think Calgary is doing what the Habs did – trying to avoid a genuine rebuild by signing a bunch of free agents because their prospect cupboard is pretty bare. Free agents are almost always overpaid; the Flames overpaid for Hudler and even more for Wideman, the same way Gainey overpaid to rebuild through free agency in the summer of 2009. It’s likely the Flames will suffer a fate similar to ours. IMO, they ought to think about trading their aging stars – Iginla Kiprusoff, Tanguay – while they can still get good value for them, stockpile draft picks, and be patient.

        • HardHabits says:

          So you’re saying the Flames are going to be a lottery team in 2-3 seasons? Hmmm. Interesting.

          ;-)

          • JF says:

            Maybe not. They may be able to go on doing what they’re doing for a while longer. But their stars get older every year, and they keep just missing the playoffs and drafting in the middle of the pack, so they don’t have any potential impact players coming up through their system. At some point it’ll catch up to them; until it does, they’ll go on treading water instead of improving.

          • HardHabits says:

            So 20 more years of finishing just outside the play-offs with a few years of squeaking in at the final berth. Flames fans must be ecstatic.

          • jedimyrmidon says:

            Somehow I get that most Flames fans have clued in that they are in serious need of a rebuild seeing as they have the Oilers next door who have done an admirable job of just plain being bad the past 5 years or so and getting 3 straight #1 picks. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Habs went through a very necessary rough patch and hopefully everything will get better, but to get 3 #1 overall picks… kind of comes off as being rewarded for incompetency after a while. No team should be able to do that.

  44. bel33 says:

    Sorry if this was mentioned earlier… just came in from the sun.

    Is there somewhere I can watch the presser? Is it being streamed?

    Cheers!

  45. HabFab says:

    Habs presser rescheduled to 4:30.
    Something definitely cooking but what??
    Chicago closing in on Parise, will need to move salary!
    Could Tom’s source be right??

  46. Habcouver says:

    I agree with MB passing on Big Bird. A cast of former Greats will not add to but instead cloud the chemistry the new regime is trying to build.
    Whew! So glad Jagr not going to be part of the team. MB is doing all the right things!

    Waiting patiently for #25

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    Was just getting reacquainted with Mr. Prust, sorry didn’t mean to sound like Gauthier, on http://youtube.com.

    The guy might not be a heavyweight but he’s got a lot of balls and can play the game! We didn’t find the answer to Lucic with this guy but at least he’ll show up.

    I’m excited to see Armstrong in action too. He was a good player before he arrived in Toronto.

    I’d be happy going into a game against Boston with Subban, Armstrong and Emelin trying to line guys up all night and smoke them.

    Then if things go bonkers, having White, Moen and Prust ready to drop the gloves.

    Maybe we don’t have the guy to take down lucic or definitely Chara but we’re a heck of a lot tougher and bigger. Nobody in the league can go with Chara and very few with lucic.

    Eller, Cole, Pacioretty and Bourque are also big bodies that might not fight often but guys that can absorb and give out their share of hits.

    After two years of being the softest team in the league, this is a major breath of fresh air. Great job Bergevin.

    I’m content with this roster (Gomez-Kaberle excluded) while we wait for the youngsters to develop.

  48. Ian Cobb says:

    Our 6th annual 2012 HIO Fan Summit is, Oct 27th weekend.
    All game tickets are available from me for a very short time period.

    ITINERARY & LOCATIONS
    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Ware you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8 or 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000.

    Then our Baton Rouge restaurant pre game dinner. With special guests.

    After that we walk across the street to the Duck’s and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.
    See ya there.

    Ian Cobb
    HIO Fan Summit Organizer (613-968-9807) if you need anything.

    For Summit tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  49. Captain aHab says:

    Is there a time for the presser?

    And is Boone really leaving the Gazette on Aug 31 as per HF Boards?

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

    • HabFab says:

      It is past due starting for the presser, they await impatiently.

      And that seems to be the sad truth as per him on Melnick yesterday.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Did Boone say he was retiring or simply leaving the Gazette?

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

        • HabFab says:

          Don’t know, wasn’t listening but believe it was leaving. I know that the Gazette had announced that they were reducing their editorial (writers) staff by 23 and hopefully most would be thru retirements.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Boone will be moving to Belleville Ont.

      He will be taking over for Ian” organizing the annual HIO fan summit, as it has grown to be one of the premium weekend events for global HIO Hab fan’s. And Ian is just to old now!

  50. HabFab says:

    Canadiens presser still on hold. Interesting feed just from NBCSports, Parise down to between Chicago and New Jersey? Cap space would be needed perhaps…

    • neutral says:

      it’s all about money not the team. if someone offered you 100mil at 28 years old. would you care about what team you’re gonna play for.
      you’d probably do back flips for an hour….

  51. BeachHabFan says:

    So – lots a talk bout jagr but nothing was really there. NO talk bout Parise … Maybe that’s the delay?
    Still think it’s Armstrong and health check as I posted this a.m.

    • Habilis says:

      I tend to agree with you about Armstrong. As for Parise, I just wish that he and Suter would get it over with already. They are the first dominoes for the upper echelon players and nothing big will happen till they sign.

      Edit: Or maybe not, Hudler just signed in Calgary.

  52. Phil C says:

    I am a big Robinson fan, so I’m a little disappointed that they never took the time to interview him. I was impressed with how they hired a GM so I am surprised that the didn’t follow a similar process for a coach.

    If Therrien really liked Daigneault that much, I suspect he will be a good hire, so I’m not too worried about the team. I just think Therrien should have talked to Robinson in person before making the decision. Perhaps they were worried that Daigneault would not be available if they waited.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Therrien probably feared Robinson. The incompetent hate nothing more than talented people.


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

  53. HabFanSince72 says:

    Just read Crawford’s attack on Semin. Now I’m not a huge fan of Semin, for the same reasons as everyone, but Crawford’s screed was over the top.

    You would think that losing out on the Habs’ coaching job to Michel Therrien, when you were the only other candidate (after Hartley signed in Calgary), would instill a bit of humility.


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

  54. ProHabs says:

    Mr. Stubbs,

    I get the impression you were not impressed with my post regarding Robinson that I made at noon time.

    First of all, I am a huge Robinson fan and would have loved to have seen him behind the Habs bench mentoring our young D-men. I have always been a huge fan of his when he played and after and have met Robinson a couple of times and he has been friendly and respectful.

    However, lets be honest. If you are really interested in a job, you don’t play phone tag with a potential employer for days. I am sure most of us have wanted a job badly that we make sure when the call comes in, we are sitting by the phone. Robinson had enough time to talk with a moving company and crap all over them but didn’t have the time to talk to Montreal management over a number of days.

    Also, if you truely want a certain job, you don’t play the “other teams are interested in my as well and we will make a decision in a couple of weeks” and make it sound like you might take another job. If you truely want a certain job, you work something out with them, don’t throw other offers in their face.

    It is well documented that Robinson has a hard time with stressful situations (he left a coaching job in LA of all places) because he couldn’t handle the stress. I am not so sure he is interested in working in the fishbowl that is Montreal and the stress that comes with it.

    So I am a huge fan of LR, but did he really really want to come to MOntreal. I am not convinced of that.

    • Chuck says:

      Stubbs was the guy who talked to Robinson for over an hour, so I’m inclined to believe his take on Robinson’s motives.

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

    • Rob says:

      good alternative take on the situation.

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • Gumper Knows Best says:

      Try and connect the dots between Therrien Jodoin JJD and Gallant. There are none, and these guys have to live together almost all year. Then you have the booing and questioning of Therrien within ~fill in the blank~ and the boo birds will start the Robinson chant. No need for that right now. Just give JJD a chance and let him work

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Exactly. Robinson was snubbed because he’s too good. That’s the last team a hack like Therrien wants.


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

    • Lizardking89 says:

      Well said. If he really wanted the job he should have been more proactive.

    • TommyB says:

      I guess people have different views of reality, don’t they? I mean, from my point of view, a person with the hockey background of a Larry Robinson doesn’t go begging for employment. He waits for something concrete from a potential suitor. What was the rush? We’re talking about an assistant coaching job. It’s only the first of f’n July. The reality of the situation is that Michel Therrien grabbed Daigneault before Robinson had a chance for an interview. What was his hurry? Am I supposed to believe that the Habs didn’t have the luxury of waiting a week or two, so Robinson could get his personal life together following a hurricane? Seriously? Phone tag? Where do you get that from the story? From my perspective, Therrien grabbed Daigneault and ran to Bergevin saying “I found my guy, Marc!” out of selfishness. Out of self preservation and his own job security. He didn’t want HOFer Larry Robinson around. A guy who might expose his shortcomings too quickly. He put himself ahead of the team. It won’t be the last time. And, for those with short memories, it wasn’t the first time either.

  55. Chuck says:

    It would be hilarious if, when Therrien gets fired, he’s replaced by Robinson.
    ___________________________________________________
    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  56. Gumper Knows Best says:

    “Bergevin called me this morning and told me they have no interest in Jagr,” Svoboda commented to CJAD 800.

    Good.
    Would have been a waste of cap space and development minutes. Let’s see what Bergevin pulls out of his hat and those writing off Bourque are gonna get a big surprise. look what he arrived into last year. Total chaos

  57. HabFab says:

    No confirmation of Armstrong signing, probably contingent on passing some physical.

  58. David Pagnotta ‏@TheFourthPeriod
    That said, Montreal’s still involved in some talks both on FA AND trade fronts, though not sure if anything is imminent.

  59. Habilis says:

    The Fourth Period is reporting that the Habs are definitely OUT of the running for Jagr. Apparently they never even offered him a contract.

  60. Rob says:

    No Jagr, but the press conference is delayed?….hmmmm

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • habsfan0 says:

      What reason,if any given for the delay?

      Big deal brewing? Jagr? Parise? Suter?

      Or just lineup at Orange Julep very long…..

      • Rob says:

        lots of speculation, but my guess is that they’re trying to get whatever is holding up confirming the Armstrong signing completed (physical?), and probably not much more than that. I can’t see the Habs making a big splash here, and in the unlikely even that it did happen, it probably wouldn’t be in the next couple of hours.

        The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • neutral says:

      waiting for the coffee to perk – Gomez going to toronto

      • habsfan0 says:

        In return for?

        Komisarek?

        • Chuck says:

          I’d take Komisarek for Gomez. If anything, if they had to buy him out it would be cheaper. ;-)
          ___________________________________________________
          Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Was hoping Jagr would be a temporary solution for the lack of a solid Top 6. But if the recent press of being interested in playing for the Habs is nothing more than trying to drum up more interest and a bigger contract ($ or term) then no thank you. If I were a GM, I wouldn’t appreciate having my team being used that way – probably the same way Pittsburgh felt last year.

  61. Mavid says:

    ug..Colby Armstrong…really..he is such a weasel

  62. naweed235 says:

    what time is the Bergevin presser supposed to be at?

    • Rob says:

      it’s been postponed..again. later this afternoon is the new, NEW time

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

  63. Bouleau noir says:

    I wonder why Lamoriello has kepted the Bervevin’s group away from establishing personel contact to Robinson until july first ? Althought in his right to do so it did compromised Robinson’s chances to move on into a potentially interesting situation for him….. Lamoriello a nice guy ? I have seen nicer than that in my life.

  64. commandant says:

    Jagr on a one year deal would be fantastic.

    Two years would be ok, but I’d be less enthused.

    1 year as a stop gap until Galchenyuk is ready? Fantastic.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  65. Ron says:

    Has Tom Nickle been onsite in the last 2 days ? Has he taken the long weekend to be with family and friends or just not coming on to listen to some people make wise cracks inregard to his thoughts on a particular trade rumor ? Hope he is just off on holiday, miss his thoughts etc. Can anyone answer ?

  66. newbrunswick troy says:

    wow after reading so many posts here of what the team will look like , i can,t believe that everybody is just writing in Jagr to the lineup??? and furthermore has everybody forgot about the “elephant in the closet” … just what will happen with Gomez? i don,t think the team will barry him in the minors as 7mil will make for a bad story, and he in not tradeable ….maybe he has a comeback season???ha ha

    • JUST ME says:

      Something tells me he will be in the lineup ant Therrien already spoke in that sense. If they could not get rid of him by now,i think he will be given another chance until all-star break when someone somewhere may be interested to take a guy who only has a year and a half left on his deal.
      Kaberle also will be in the lineup by the way.

      But i do expect another move from Bergevin so maybe just maybe someone owes him a favor. From the looks of things Bergevin seems to have a much larger group of contacts/friends in the league than P.G.

      But it is oh so true that people prefer to ignore the fact that he is a legit Habs player.
      I do not believe for a second in a buyout or a trip to Hamilton.

  67. clubdehockey says:

    I’ve noticed that absolutely no one’s lineups have included Gomez.

    Is this realistic?
    What are the chances that Gomez is not with the Habs for the season?

    I predict he will be. (Unfortunately.)

    • SmartDog says:

      Doh! You said his name who is not to be mentioned!

      We are all pretending he isn’t there.

      la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabFab says:

      I agree 100%. Until he or whatever other player you don’t like is moved by the Habs, they remain part of the team. My biggest pet peeve here is the fantasy posters.

      With the increased salary cap, there maybe more opportunity to move him.
      As for Cap amnesty and burying big contracts in the minors, not sure they will happen in the new CBA. Apparently opposed by both NHLPA and the small market teams.

  68. Bripro says:

    The face of the red wings might be different, but they’re making certain that they’ll remain competitive.

  69. SmartDog says:

    Put me down as FOR Jagr.

    We need the scoring. There’s no-one else available. The guy only wants a 1-year contract, and his play will rub off on others. I don’t see the downside. He showed last year he came to play (and CAN play) and he wants to play with Pleks. Let me put it this way: Jagr or Bourque? Who do you want to see?

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  70. TommyB says:

    Having just logged on and not read any of the previous posts so far on this topic, I just had to immediately respond to this disheartening story about Robinson, once again, being bypassed for a position with the Habs staff.

    As if I needed another reason to dislike Michel Therrien. Seriously, you don’t think Daigneault would not still have been hanging around if they had waited another week or two to interview Robinson, and Robinson had turned down the offer? What an insecure little jackass Therrien is. He hears the name Robinson, and %*#s his drawers.

    Marc Bergevin is doing things the right way. It is the right thing to do to allow the coach you hired to choose his assistants. But surely Bergevin has to be shaking his head just a little bit here. J.J. Daigneault over Larry Robinson?

    Enjoy your short term as head coach, Michel. Because it will be a shorter term than you realize. If the team goes into an early tailspin, and the players tune you out in quick fashion, you’re going to find yourself out the door sooner than the two-year short term expectancy that most of us have you pegged for. Look over your shoulder, Mike. Many of the new hirings under Bergevin could step in and take your job on short notice. As I said before, Marc Bergevin is doing things the right way.

    Back to Larry Robinson…I do hope that sometime in the future, Robinson will be back with the Habs in some capacity, whether it be in public relations or direct involvement with the players. His return is far overdue, and his presence would be quite valuable around the young kids coming up. Meanwhile, we have J.J. Daigneault, who I have no problem with. My disappointment over the lost chance to bring in Robinson doesn’t mean I don’t think J.J. is capable. But anyone can see the difference here. Well, anyone but big Mike Therrien.

  71. Greg says:

    All this talk about Bobby Ryan makes me really wonder. This is a guy who played on the best line in hockey a year ago. With Getzlaf and Perry on his line, this guy put went 31-26-57 this season. They want a 2nd line center and a prospect/draft pick for him? Erik Cole went 35-26-61 this year with Patches and DD, and he’s almost a million bucks cheaper.

    Someone explain to me the logic of trading an asset (Eller, Pleks, whatever you guys want to do) for a guy with inflated stats (he’ll never get better linemates than he had in Anaheim) coming off the worst year of his career (identical stats to his rookie season). This guy has never scored more than 35 goals. Don’t get me wrong, that’s good, but not worth selling the farm over.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      Agreed, he’s a great talent but not worth what they want for him. Another GM dreaming in technicolor just like the Nash situation.

  72. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    can we afford Jagr? check my custom roster on capgeek.

    http://capgeek.com/cap-calculator/roster.php?id=10322

    what do you think? lineup, salaries?

  73. Rob says:

    HardHabits: Good post below. There’s one element of it, however, that I take aim at. Your sentence: “it is better to lower expectations and exceed them than it is to raise them and fall short”. I disagree with this sentiment whole heartedly. In my opinion, it is EASIER, not better to lower expectations in hopes of not being disappointed.

    I think that there are two ways of thinking when it comes to this matter. Some people do as you say, and others constantly shoot for the stars in terms of their expectations. I also think that difference in philosophy is the root of many disagreements and issues between posters. I’m not going to try to convince anyone that one way is more right than the other. They both have their merits. In my experience, however, anything worthwhile that has happened to me has come about because I’ve given my heart and soul completely to something with the knowledge that it could end in complete disaster. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, you feel a tremendous amount of hurt. But when you succeed…..in my opinion, the reward of setting your expectations so high and succeeding is far more rewarding than going about it any other way.

    Some believe in safety first. Some believe that risk leads to reward. To each his own I suppose.

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • HardHabits says:

      Did you read the conclusion Rob? ;-)

      I know that I can be cryptic at times even paradoxical. My point about expectations has more to do with promises one makes to others. The expectations one has for himself though holds truer to the quote from Michaelangelo and thus I am in agreement with the valid point you make.

      So if your aim at my target was slightly off permit me to make the adjustment to it’s position so that you may hit the bull’s eye.

      “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” – Mark Twain

  74. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Boomer. My motto has always been”if at first you don’t succeed, then maybe you”re just not good enough”


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