Fantasy Sabres sweep Habs

Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre.


The Gazette

Cody Hodgson scored two second-period goals to power the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens Monday night at the Bell Centre.

The win gave the Sabres a sweep of their home-and-home series against Montreal. Buffalo eked out a 1-0 win Saturday in Buffalo.

“We’re missing some key players and we have to have other guys step up,” said Coach Michel Therrien. “We played a strong game the other night in Buffalo but tonight was a letdown. We gave the guys an optional morning skate but maybe they all got tired shoveling snow.”

Veteran Jochen Hecht opened the scoring at 6:22 of the first period and Hodgson upped the count to 3-0 when he scored at 5:06 and 14:35 of the second period.

‘We had pretty good coverage on (Thomas) Vanek and (Jason) Pominville but Hodgson sort of snuck in there,” said defenceman Josh Gorges. “Vanek gave him a great pass on the first goal and we let him get to a rebound on the second one.”

Brian Gionta spoiled Ryan Miller’s bid for a second consecutive shutout when he scored at 8:13 of the third period while Vanek completed the scoring with an empty-netter at 19:03.

While the Canadiens outshot the Sabres 39-25 on Saturday, they were outshot 29-21 Monday.

The Canadiens will be on the road Wednesday to start the first half of their six-game Christmas road trip and Therrien said that David Desharnais will accompany the team.

“He’s very close,” said Therrien. “He skated this morning and he wants to get back out there. I don’t think he’ll be ready for Ottawa but he should play at some point before Christmas.”

A hip pointer is expected to keep defenceman P.K. Subban on the sidelines for another three weeks. He won’t go on the pre-Christmas portion of the road trip but he will join the team for its post-season jaunt to Florida.  

“Our medical staff will monitor his progress,” said Therrien. “The warm weather should be good for everybody.”

The pre-Christmas schedule shows that someone in the NHL head office has a perverse sense of humour because the Canadiens will be bouncing back and forth across the border. They play in Ottawa Wednesday, Washington Friday and Toronto Saturday.


  1. HabFanSince72 says:

    Say I am a concert promoter in a small town and I’ve got it into my head to book U2 for a show. My town is so small that I can’t hope to sell enough tickets to make a profit.

    So what I do is this. I go to promoters in New York, LA, Chicago and demand that they share a portion of their U2 concert earnings with me.

    But that’s not enough.

    So I go to my local town council and demand that they abolish the municipal taxes on the concert hall.

    But that’s not enough.

    So I ask the town council to subsidize my business by building me a new concert hall.

    But that’s not enough.

    So I get together with all the promoters in all the podunk towns and we tell U2 they need to play their shows for 20% less money, or else we prevent them from playing anywhere.

    That in a nutshell is what the owners of non-hockey market NHL teams are doing.

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

  2. L Elle says:

    Tomorrow players, where is your past?
    Tomorrow players, how long will you last?
    Tomorrow players, where is your past?
    Tomorrow players, how long will you last?

    Today you say you don’t play
    Tomorrow you say you’re gone
    But you’re gone so long
    If there is no love in your heart – so sorry
    Then there is no hope for you – true, true

    Tomorrow owners, where is your past?
    Tomorrow owners, how long will you last?
    Tomorrow owners, where is your past?
    Tomorrow owners, how long will you last?

    So you’re in the air
    But you still don’t have a thing to spare
    You’re flying high
    While we’re on the low o-o-oh

    Tomorrow players,where is your past?
    Tomorrow owners, how long will you last? Tell me now
    Tomorrow owners, where is your past? No where
    Tomorrow players, how long will you last? Ten years?

    Stop tellin’ me the same story
    Today you say you you care
    Tomorrow you say you’re gone and you’re not coming back
    If there is no love in your heart oh now
    There will never be hope for you

    Tomorrow owners, where is your past?
    Tomorrow players, how long will you last? Ten years?
    Tomorrow players, where is your past?
    Tomorrow people, tomorrow people, come on
    Tomorrow people, tomorrow people, come on
    Tomorrow people, tomorrow people, no soon come
    Tomorrow people, tomorrow people, soon come
    Tomorrow people, tomorrow people, hockey is here

    If you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future
    Don’t know your past, don’t know your future everyman
    Don’t know your past, don’t know your future, come on
    Don’t know your past, don’t know your future

    How many people did that one catch
    How many players did that one catch
    Don’t know past, don’t know your future
    Don’t know past, don’t know your future
    Tomorrow players, where is your past?
    Tomorrow owners,how long will you last?

    Tomorrow owners, where is your past?
    Tomorrow players, how long will you last?

    Today you say you don’t play
    Tomorrow you say you’re gone
    But you’re gone so long
    If there is no love in your heart – so sorry
    Then there is no hope for you – true, true


  3. frontenac1 says:

    So, if this goes nuke, and players de-certify,no more union, no more CBA, no more existing contracts, no Salary Caps,Anti-trust suits etc, There would be no more Drafts? Everyone would be free agents?

  4. Mavid says:

    what the players are doing…this disclaimer stuff….

  5. habstrinifan says:

    “The Canadiens will be on the road Wednesday to start the first half of their six-game Christmas road trip and Therrien said that David Desharnais will accompany the team.”

    I think Pat Hickey or his boss needs a reality check!

  6. habstrinifan says:

    The poll is a straightforward one but the answer , especially the NO needs answer needs explanation.

    At this point my answer is NO. And it is a confident NO. I dont have any longing/yearning for this season anymore.

    I would watch if the season commences. Bu I wont be engaged in the overall league; how other teams are doing; how other players are doing. My sole interest would be an almost academic interest in appraising the HABS, some key players, and the coaching and ‘system’. I would be treating this season almost as a developmental camp.

    I also will add that my optimisn for a ‘truncated’ season have perished. And I consider it a case of it’s probably for the best that there is no season.

    There is real damage being done to the league now. And a haphazardly put together season under a ‘temporary’ CBA will probaly do it even more harm. Not the least of which might be a greater awareness and acceptance of ALL the various international hockey available.
    So best scrap the season and go back to square one and come up with a sound labour/cost structure which would allow the league to recover… and it will have to recover. And I think this reworking should include re-alignment; franchise movement; disciplinary blueprints etc etc….so that when the next season starts the NHL can sell itself as a ‘rejuvenated league’.

    One other change in my thought process. I am rethinking opinion that this ‘lost’ season would have marginal effect on fan interest in the major markets and be unnoticed in the minor markets… a premise on which the NHL Governors probably fortified their determination to pursue and maintain the lockout for the long run.

    I think the public carnival which the negotiations have become have made fans come to see the NHL as second rate. Imperceptibly I think it will diminish the ‘hero’ worship fans have and the passion for the game as our catalyst of and outlet for the gladiatorial emotion of ‘warrior’ excellence. It will become more a league we follow to see the standings etc rather than a game we invest everything in on every night.

    • ont fan says:

      No is my answer but I want them to play. This year was a throw away year anyway, so i want the high draft choice. Other than that, not too interested. We would just read about the Tank for 4 less months.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I see your point although I had greater hopes for the HABS… in fact I was really excited to see the new additions(including maybe Gally) , the new coach, the alacrity of the GM to respond during the season, the true long-term value of players like Subban and Pacioretty , and a renewed dynamism in HABS HOCKEY.

  7. Fake says:

    HF ranks us as #8 out of all NHL teams for prospects.

  8. Mavid says:

    I am very confused, can the great minds of HIO simplify it for my little pea brain…thanks

  9. Fake says:

    I see some of you guys talking about giving up a late first rounder and giving up some of our second rounders for a top 5 pick in this upcoming draft:

    I’m going to have to agree with Commandant even with his offer as well, because we’d still have one second rounder just like everyone else to go with that elite prospect but that’s if they accept… BTW: Does anyone know if Barkov was wearing that habs toque because he actually is a habs fan?

    • bwoar says:

      I’m siding with Chris on this one, because I don’t at all agree that quality over quantity is a smart maxim at the draft table.

      1. It’s easy to be seduced by the idea of getting that elite talent, but drafting (even in so-called deep years) is still something of a crap shoot. The possibilities or acquiring useful pieces when you have 4 picks in the first two rounds is simply much greater than having 1. (It’s safe to assume the price of a top 5 in this draft will be all 3 2nd-rounders plus our 1st. Let’s not dream in Technicolor here.)

      2. Trevor Timmins is good at drafting. We are better off giving him more picks to work with than betting the farm on a single guy. Instead of giving up picks I’d rather have him roll the dice 4 times and see what he can come up with. It’s been wiser to bet on his instincts thus far than against them.

      3. This is the contentious part: To me, the salary cap world means you can’t have too many “elite” talents on a team at once. You’ll never be able to pay them long-term. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go after top talent, but building a timebomb isn’t helpful. We have Price overpaid, Subban who may yet earn massive bucks, and potentially Galchenyuk. (Not to mention Gorges’ contract, yuck.) Pacioretty’s next contract may be a tough one, too. What happens? We start surrounding 4-5 stars with low-level and no-level depth. Are teams like Washington, Chicago & San Jose really better off? I’d like to hang on to Eller. To find a place for Plekanec after his current contract, etc. etc.

      So in summary, I’d rather hang back and see if any of these 2nd rounders or late first is a home run and becomes elite. Then we can deal with #3 above and still have potentially 3 other prospects in the pool.

      • Fake says:

        Really, either way I’m fine with tbh. But I wouldn’t give up all 3 2nd rounders unless the player is a no risk superstar.

        BTW, I don’t find anything wrong with any one of those contracts we have except the obvious players that will be off the books soon. Pacioretty signed a 6 year deal 4.5M a year. OMFG. I can not express this to you enough if you haven’t gotten it already, that is a STEAL. He’s still improving as last year was his first full year in the NHL. Even if he stays at say 60 points a season… STEAL. This guy can only get better. Now he’s turning more into a sniper than a PWF because of the supsension and so he’s not hitting as much but that’s another story for another time… I doubt he will ever be overpaid, him signing that contract proves it. Price? Yeah it’s not my favourite contract but people will tell you that you can’t compare that contract to the Quick one because the lengths are different so it’s fine. Gorges contract is fine as well, he does alot for MTL. Other defenseman in the league are paid more for doing less.

  10. Mike D says:

    If you want a couple good chuckles, have a look. His write-ups on the U.S., Sweden, and Latvia are hilarious.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  11. Hobie Hansen says:

    Welcome to the Blue Jays inside Out!

    This is what ESPN is reporting about the R.A. Dickey deal on the front page of their site:

    Talent evaluators who have heard Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos say no to possible deals for catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud in the past are stunned — completely shocked — that Toronto has said yes to a to a proposed trade for R.A. Dickey.

    There’s even more to this deal than d’Arnaud: Noah Snydergaard, regarded as the Jays’ best pitching prospect by some teams, would be the cherry on top of this trade for the Mets, if it goes through.

    “I can’t believe [Anthopoulos is] thinking about doing this,” said one AL official Saturday, before the Jays and Mets finished the structure of the deal.

    “He’s out of his mind,” said another.


    We’ve been hearing for twenty years about how great the Blue Jays prospect pool is and it has done absolutely nothing for them. Great moves by Jays in my opinion.

    Bring on Spring Training!

    Screw the NHL!

    • Luke says:


      If you were in the position the Jays are right now, with the division and AL East in the shape it currently is, you would not trade Dickey away for a couple of top flight prospects. You keep him and go for it.

      Prospects are great… but if your window to win is 3-4 years, and those prospects won’t contribute during that time frame, you use them as assets to acquire something that can contribute to the plan.

    • Chris says:

      I personally think the Jays are insane to go through with that trade, but I’m not a Jays fan.

      Giving up a top catching prospect AND a top pitching prospect for a 38 year old knuckleballer? A knuckleballer who is about to move to the AL, a hitter’s league?

      Good luck to them. Dickey sounds like a great guy, but that trade has the potential to be the Jays’ Georges Laraque move. Laraque was also a good guy, but he never lived up to what he was supposed to do in the eyes of the fans.

      What if Dickey returns to his usual ways of an ERA around 4.00 and a 10-10 record? Are the 175-200 innings of mediocre pitching going to be enough for Jays fans to forget D’Arnaud if he becomes the star that most people think he will be?

      The whole premise here is that the AL East is weak and there for the Jays to take. I think the Baltimore Orioles might disagree with that assessment.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        His record in interleague was something like 7-0 or 7-1. Hitters don’t hit knuckleball pitchers better in one league or the rest. The difference in hitters is more are able to catch up to fastaballs or hit good curves in the A.L.

        The only risk is his arm, most knuckleballers have their best seasons late in career, and he only developed the knuckle in the last 5 years essentially.

        The best part of Dickey is his character, something the Jays needed, Buerhle also provides this.

        Comparing a goon to a starting pitcher seems a stretch (pardon th pitching pun)

        The numbers Dickey put up 3 consecutive years on a Crappy Mets team are impeccable.

        Edit: .500 record and an E.R.A. under 4 makes you a good pitcher in the A.L. not great but good.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        AA is a smart cookie. They have been building a pool of prospects to pounce when the time is right and with the Yanks and sox in bad states the time is now to bounce and make a run. In 2 years both Edwin and Joey Bats will be gone cause they will demand huge bucks. Yes, they gave up good prospects but those prospects were needed to move to make a run now.

        Also, prospects don’t always turn out…see Kyle Drabeck.

        I am honestly super impressed with the moves AA made. On paper they are one of the best if not the best in the AL east. Time will tell how they do on the field. Their pitching, team speed and bats this team should be great to watch.

        Anyone hating these deals is probably a bit jealous of how the Jays now look. They are a contender

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Vegas has Jays as favourite in all of Baseball to win World Series!!!! 8 to 1 odds.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Not sure I would put cash on it just yet LOL. Until the team hits the field and plays they need to seem how they will gel but AA has done quite a bit. I actually don’t think he is done yet.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Riga Fraction says:

            Those change every 5 minutes, wouldn’t put too much stock in that. At any rate there are still quite a few question marks. Will Bautista test positive this year? Will his wrist be healed? Reyes has had chronic leg problems and is now moving to a team that plays it’s home games on turf, how will that impact his already wonky durability? Will Dickey find lightning in a bottle twice or was last year a fluke? How will all of the new players (virtually an entire new roster) mesh? Will they find a way to stop their bullpen from blowing so many games? Will Lawrie grow up and stop throwing his equipment at umpires and himself? Then after all of that, will the strongest division in baseball see any of their teams take a bit of a nose dive (Rays seem most likely if the Shields trade backfires on them). Will the Red Sox rebound? Will the Orioles be able to follow it up? Time will tell, far too early to be talking World Series… they need to worry about just making the playoffs first.

        • Riga Fraction says:

          Yanks in a bad state? They were obliterated with injuries last year and still finished first in the AL in spite of that. Give them Rivera, Pettite, CC, Nova, Joba, Gardner, Tex etc all back from injuries this year, Pineda back in a few months and add Ichiro for a full season and I don’t see how that makes them somehow get worse. A-Rod missed a large chunk of last year so his being out doesn’t really change much, and they added Youk in his place (again I don’t see that as making them any worse somehow). The Red Sox were also decimated by injuries last year. They’ve given up some of the talent they had, but have made some solid moves in the offseason and are always dangerous. Considering the Orioles are now contenders and the Rays are always dangerous, the Jays are still basically looking about 4th best in the division.

          Now as for jealousy, that would apply to Jays fans that never stop complaining about the Yankees “trying to buy a team” anytime they make a move, and suddenly cheering when it’s the Jays trying to buy a team with their own moves. Clearly they don’t mind the notion of a team trying to acquire talent, they just mind it when it’s the Yankees doing it.

          Time will tell how the Jays did, but the marlins weren’t exactly setting the world on fire last year with a lot of those players.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yankees look so good next year they are already looking to add Vernon Wells!


          • Riga Fraction says:

            To be their 5th or 6th outfielder replacing Andruw Jones. Difference there is he’d be starting for the Jays.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Riga, I am trying to become a Jays fan, and have been frustrated for years. But your diminishment of the moves they have made seems typical Yankee fan to me. Have you noticed the ages of the players the Yankees need to come back from injury? Never mind the fact it is looking more and more like they may not be able to resign Cano. These aren’t George’s Yankee’s anymore, the boys seem to rather enjoy hanging on to the money Pops left them rather than continue to spend like Pops did.

            We shall see, I will never count the Yankee’s out, but they face a tougher off season than usual.

          • Riga Fraction says:

            What realistic as opposed to over-reacting to a trade? The yankees are cutting a bit of salary this season in an effort to get under the 189M luxury cap. The reason for that being that if they are over that cap next year, they get hit with a 50M luxury tax, whereas if they get under it for a year, they can go ahead and break the limit the following year (when it comes time to sign Cano) and not be hit with even remotely the same tax. There’s also a rather huge crop of free agents coming up on the horizon that they are looking toward, right in time for a few older guys retiring. You speak of ages of injured players. Pindea is a kid, Garnder is young, CC is about middle of the road, as is Tex. Pettite is old, but isn’t counted for much during the regular season and Rivera is the best closer in the game regardless of age.

            Around the infield they’ve got Tex, Cano, Jeter, A-Rod/Youk. Around the outfeidl they’ve got Ichiro, Granderson, Gardner, Ibanez and (possibly Wells if they opt to go that route). Starting they’ve got CC, Kuroki, Pettite, Hughes, Pineda (eventually), Nova, Garcia. Bullpen has Joba, Robertson, Rivera. They’re not exactly hurting for talent on that lineup and all of them have been in big games before, knowing full well what it takes to win in races for the playoffs when the games get more important.

            Dismiss them all you wish, most Blue jays fans do for the first month of the season, much as Leaf fans dismiss the rest of the foolish league that dares think they can beat the mighty Leafs for the first month of the NHL season every year. Reality is, in the end, they’ll still be there again this year like they are every other year.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Your are comparing a 20-game winning Cy young award winning pitcher to George Laraque?

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        The Orioles are the worst team in the division.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have been very impressed with all the moves A.A. has done, and like the acquisition of Dickey.

      My only concern is the clubhouse itself and what appeared to be lack of strong veteran leadership in the past couple years. I am hopeful Gibbons will do a good job of recognizing which players need to be kept in check and how to ensure that the veterans provide proper leadership.

      Last years Jays team lacked discipline in many ways, and while Bautista was injured during some of the worst examples of it, he was also a leader of this lack of discipline in other ways.

      Early last season the Jays team quickly developed a reputation at the plate as whiners as it related to the umpires calls of balls and strikes. Umpires are human and talk to each other, Bautista and Lawrie in particular looked at times like children stomping their feet when calls did not go there way.

      This new collection of players is rich in talent, and I hope out of this group leadership is provided. If indeed this clubhouse gels, plays as a team and shows discipline the sky is the limit for the talent assembled.

      Many people in Toronto dismissed the job Cito Gaston did as Manager of the Jays during the back to back championships. What he did was keep a bunch of egos in check and kept the team playing as a team. This is Gibbons task this upcoming season.

      Also, The Jays did trade Jeff Kent for David Cone, it got a world series. you have to give to get, the Jays gave in Darnaud and Snydergaar, but I think they received a quality individual. Now they just have to win while he is here to make sure the payoff is worth it.

    • ont fan says:

      Baseball is finally getting interesting again. With their division in the shape it is, the Jays have to make a run. If that means giving up potential major leaguers, so be it. All those prospects the Jays got for Halliday, are where? d’Arnoud was hurt so much they were making him a first baseman. Roll the dice. Funny when an opportunity arises, it can change everything. One trade leads to another and another. Even Vegas has the Jays 8 to 1 to win the world series.

    • habsfan0 says:

      The Jays got themselves a 38 year old player in return for giving up Travis d’Arnaud who has the potential to be another Johnny Bench. Jays fans will rue the day this trade was made.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Potential to be Johnny Bench, which part of his early injury proneness lends itself to that comparison. Kid is talented, but we should then say Collberg has potential to be the next Peter Forsberg, Danny Kristo the next Mike Modano, Mark Tinordi the next Zdeno Chara, Carey Price the next Jaroslav Halak and on we go…..

        P.S. Are Jays fans ruing the day they gave up the best home run hitting 2nd baseman of all time in order to get pitching help when they won the World Series in 92?

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    HIO is all about the great people who post here in reality. I do not even read the fantasy. Current news is the way to go, even if it is about Elmer Fudd!

    World Juniors are coming up Thursday morning!

  13. commandant says:

    At Burly, I was trying to boycott the thread on your suggestion; but then I saw you posting in here

    I still think its a good idea for the next fantasy thread

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

    • Riga Fraction says:

      When’s the last time the comments section had much of anything to do with the article above it around here? I don’t believe it’s happened much at all this (non)season anyway. We’ve just ignored whatever silly fantasy reports or Xbox results have been written up and discuss whatever the heck we feel like discussing at the time anyway.

    • shiram says:

      Just don’t read the piece and use the thread for comments, I don’t see why this needs a boycott…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        THe only reason I suggested Shiram, was that we were only at 60 comments on the previous thread and some good conversations were occurring. For that thread to be ended just for the sake of telling us that Carey Price had a Gordie Howe hat trick and Blunden had 15 assists onshorthanded goals seems kind of ridiculous.

        The site is currently much more about our comments than what is being posted due to lack of NHL hockey. SO why not appease us a little bit?

        • shiram says:

          HIO’s been posting multiple threads per day for a long while, and even when there was hockey people would complain about the multiple threads.
          For me, the site has always been more about the comment than the stories posted, even though I greatly appreciate the work the Gazette crew put in for us.
          That said I could do without the fantasy stuff, but I don’t mind it either.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yes, and by no means do I mean to disrespect the product they provide for us. However, I have noticed at times where Dave Stubbs has posted the next topic where he leaves comment section turned off in order to maintain the conversation happening on previous thread. I think this speaks more to how aware Stubbs is of what we are discussing, I mean how long does it take the person posting the Fantasy updates to check off the box of whether or not to have comments on or off?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I know, I woke up this morning and saw the boycott failed, so like the blind mice I scurried on into this thread. I admit I failed at my own campaign!

  14. HardHabits says:

    HIO. Living in the past. Disconnected from reality.

    • Cal says:

      And HH, visiting every day to see if anything has changed. That’s the definition of insanity.

      • HardHabits says:

        No Cal, that would apply to your website dedicated to bad lyrical parodies.

        • Cal says:

          Visiting there, too, eh? You’re as loony as they come, HH.

          • HardHabits says:

            Please don’t flatter yourself. I admit I checked out your site a few times, but strictly for observational purposes. I am curious to see what people with limited intelligence and skills are up to. I do find your lyrics funny, but not in a laughing with you but more in a laughing at you sort of way. Keep them coming though. There are enough people here to enable you.

          • Cal says:


            Like I’m enabling you right now, eh?
            Well, I’ll just ignore you like the rest do around here.
            Have a great time talking to yourself. By the way, I laugh at lonely you an awful lot.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Question to the masses. Given the Habs have 3 2nd round picks this year, if indeed the season is cancelled and the Habs end up outside the top 5-10 from lottery, how many of our picks would you give up to try get one of the top 5 picks.

    This upcoming draft is supposed to be very good, and very deep. Would sacrificing most or all of these 2nd round picks be worth it for a top 5 pick, or would all 3 picks even get you a top 5 pick.

    Of course with the legal wrangling going on, there may not even be a draft next summer, as their may be no NHLPA.

    • Cal says:

      If a team were willing to give up a top 5, it may be worth the Habs 1st round pick and a second rounder. Hell, give ’em Diaz and Weber to sweeten the pot. OR insist the other team take them or no deal. (I’m kidding, damn it!)

    • Chris says:

      I can’t see anybody giving up a top-5 pick in this draft, and Montreal still has far too shallow a talent pool to be giving up multiple picks for one player. They need help in a bunch of spots.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think you are correct on both fronts, I just wonder though if having that bushel of picks may create opportunities which could be very tempting for mgmt.

        It is critical the Habs get one more high pick this upcoming draft.

      • commandant says:

        I have to disagree Chris

        Lets say we have the 20th pick, I’d give the 1st plus two of the seconds to get into the top 5.

        I’ll say this I dont think the other teams would give up those picks, and I dont think my offer would get the deal done. However I do think that anytime you trade quantity and get quality you should do it.

        I just think you only get so many chances to get true difference makers. True elite prospects and if you go from 5 picks in the top 60, to 2 picks in the top 60 (but one elite pick) you do it.

        The value of another gamebreaker cannot be understated

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Okay so I am riding the fence real good this morning. That is kind of what I was thinking. However, I also am not sure that gets the deal done. I understand what Chris is saying regarding our lack of depth, but depth can be bought. Once the Kaberle/Gomez contracts are off the books we can pick up depth through free agency perhaps.

          Maybe this is why MB, Dudley etc… get paid the money they do. Hopefully they figure out what is best, but should explore the opportunity to get into the top 5, if indeed we get no season and we end up with low 1st round pick.

          • Mike D says:

            I’m certainly not a GM or a hockey expert, but I would not have traded our 3rd overall pick last year for three 2nd rounders, so like you and Ben, I agree it’s unlikely another team would give us a top-5 pick for our three 2nd rounders this year.

            Then again….a well placed call to Garth Snow might be worth the while 😉

            – Honestly yours
            Twitter: @de_benny

        • Chris says:

          We’re seeing the result of that type of management right now in Hamilton. The cupboard is empty when it comes to offensive prospects.

          You need quality players for your prospects to play with or their development can stall. Louis Leblanc is still a decent NHL prospect…but he’s spinning his wheels if he’s playing in Hamilton with that supporting cast. The Bulldogs forwards are just flat out awful.

          Right now, Montreal is desperately need of goaltending depth, which they can easily get in the second round, and forward depth at both wing positions. Giving up three guys that could potentially fulfill those roles for one quality player works only if you are absolutely sure that that player is worth the exchange.

          Let’s say Montreal does draft 20th overall. At that position in the draft, they could easily land somebody like Jason Dickinson, Kerby Rychel, or Ryan Kujawinski. How much of a fall-off is between those guys and Drouin or Monahan? (Let’s be honest…anybody in position to draft MacKinnon, Jones or Barkov aren’t trading their picks).

          Drouin is intriguing, but his point totals could be inflated by who he gets to play with…MacKinnon, Drouin and Frk probably make up the most talented line in the country. Monahan is good, but he’s not really tearing up the league.

          If we’re talking size, Rychel (6’1″, 200 pounds), Kujawinski (6’2″, 205 pounds), Dickinson (6’2″, 176 pounds), Monahan (6’2″, 193 pounds) and Drouin (5’11”, 176 pounds) are all guys that have the potential to be strong enough to play in the NHL. Dickinson has been filling out quite rapidly and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at 185 pounds by the draft. He’s plenty strong and fast enough to make a lot of people look stupid in the OHL. His problem is that he was playing without a natural center for much of the season (Tanner Richard and Hunter Garlent, the Storm’s top two centers, have missed a fair bit of time this season).

          But it’s those two second round picks that bother me. Montreal has the picks of Nashville (one ball) and Calgary (three balls). So the likelihood is that they are in the running for a relatively high 2nd round pick and a couple of middling 2nd round picks. (It is a lottery, though, so who knows…we got 5th overall last time with only one ball in the lottery).

          With three picks, you could end up with three of a list of players including Bo Horvat, Eric Comrie, Tristan Jarry, Stephen Harber, Jordan Subban and Nick Sorensen. (That is wild speculation, but probably not inaccurate).

          Let’s say it was Dickinson, Comrie and Sorensen or Subban. There is no way I would trade those three prospects straight up for Sean Monahan. This is a deep draft with some good players that are going to fall into the second round, just like last year. It is an absolutely perfect year to have four picks in the first two rounds. Giving that flexibility up would be silly.

          • commandant says:

            I still disagree.

            First I think we are very deep at RW where we have Collberg, Leblanc, Kristo, Gallagher, Palushaj, Holland and Archambault. I don’t think we are weak there in terms of depth.

            At LW there is some need, but Max Pacioretty is young and should be a stud LW for a long time. Behind him there is Bozon Hudon, Qualier and MacMillan. Plus some of the centres like a Bournival, could move to wing. Agreed this is a position of need. But an elite player here would make all the difference.

            In goal there is definite need. No question there. I don’t think you necessarily need to go for a first/second round goalie though. I think this is a spot where you use some depth picks.

            As for the situation in Hamilton. I think we disagree on the causes for the lack of forwards. I merely see it as the fact that the management group has not signed/acquired two guys like when they had Nigel Dawes and Dustin Boyd leading the first line. Or when they had Mike Glumac and Mathieu Darche in that role. Or when they had Yannick Lehoux and Mike Glumac in that role. And on and on down the line.

            Look at the Marlies who have Ryan Hamilton, and Keith Aucoin on their first line, and Mike Zigomanis on the 2nd.

            These journeymen forwards give the kids like Leblanc and Gallagher, someone to play with and help their development, and that is what we are lacking in Hamilton. We are also lacking elite talent up front. But in terms of depth, I think we’re fine. And I trade quantity for quality every time because yes, there is a significant difference between a Dickinson and a Monahan, or a Sorenson and a Drouin.

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

          • Chris says:

            Ben: Holland, Palushaj and Archambault are longshots to ever be anything more than journeymen NHL players.

            Kristo, Collberg and Leblanc are the three RW prospects, and we know from history that 1 of the 3 is likely to pan out as a legitimate top-6. By the time they do, Gionta and Cole are both gone. The Habs have a big need at right wing in 2-3 years time.

            At LW, we’ve got Pacioretty. Bozon has potential, I’m not sold at all on the NHL potential of Hudon and Quailer and MacMillan are unlikely at this point to be anything but journeymen.

            I haven’t seen enough of Monahan to know how he’s going to turn out. I have seen enough of Dickinson to safely feel that he’s got the motor and the skill to turn into another Dustin Brown or Ryan Callahan.

    • HardHabits says:

      The major reason why I am upset that this season is being cancelled is that it takes away another opportunity for the Habs to tank. Which in turn takes away numerous opportunities for me to create wickedly insightful avatars. It also renders my ability to rile up Cal (AKA Golly-Gee-Man) moot as I have already ripped apart his inability to produce even the simplest of nursery rhymes with his pathetically out of tune and disconnected attempts at musical parody.

    • Riga Fraction says:

      There is plenty of talent to be had in second rounds of the draft. Subban for example.
      We don’t know what format will be used to determine draft order if there is no season (much as they change the way expansion drafts are run every time they’ve had a new expansion, they are as likely to change the format for this draft as they are to keep the same one they used last time so who knows really?)
      Having finished as low as they did last season though, no matter which format they use, they should land a fairly high slot (unless some major tampering takes place, which would be par for the course with Bettman at the helm).

      Either way, there are plenty of interesting options in the 3 through 10 spots that would make it all but meaningless to try trading up too much at the cost of a couple of second round spots. If anything, I could see them packaging a pair of second round picks to gain a second first round pick from a team looking to trade down a bit maybe, but I believe the Habs are in more of a position to try stockpiling prospects to regroup than to try for a homerun shot right now.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        If the exact format were to used again as the last lost season, our chances at a top pick are in the lowest percentage of all teams in the League.

        • Riga Fraction says:

          I’ve had my eye on the guy that’s currently ranked about 8th-12th depending on the source anyway. Plus there are some real gems available in the second round. I think it would really depend on where they wind up picking and what picks were being discussed. I wouldn’t be casually discarding several second round picks as being worthless in either case though.

    • Mike D says:

      You pose a great question, Gerry. Since you’re talking specifically about our three 2nd round picks, I’d give up all three if it meant getting a top 5 pick. Considering we’d still have our own 1st rounder in that scenario, that’s two in the top 30.

      I’d prefer to keep at least one of the 2nd rounders for this year if possible so I would look at other assets to trade, be it a roster player, or a prospect, or maybe even a pick in a future draft.

      Ultimately though, I’m really hoping for some sort of season this year because I’d expect our current team wouldn’t do that well and we can likely get a top 10 pick on our own ‘merit’.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • Riga Fraction says:

        Say they felt they could land Bailey (rated around 40th) and Kanzig (rated around 45th) plus another 2nd rounder? A 6’3 center with great hands and a 6’7 250 lb defenceman plus a third top 60 prospect. If they’ve already got a first round pick in position to draft say Nichushkin ranked around 10th (6’4 LW with great speed and hands), wouldn’t it be better to load up on a couple more prospects with great potential rather than risking both options on the chance that say a Max Domi pans out?

        • Luke says:

          I went with ’06 because we have a bit more of a track record to look at…

          Would you rather pick:

          Toews or Backstrom (3rd/4th overall) or Little (12th ); Nik Kulemin (44th) & Matt Corrente (30th)?

          • Mike D says:

            That’s a valid point, Luke, however, look at the 2007 draft. Montreal picked McDonagh (12th), then Max-Pac (22nd), and then P.K. (43rd).

            These guys are still a bit too young to say with certainty who the best of them is or how they compare to each other in rank, but at this point in time, I would say McDonagh is likely the worst of the three even though he was picked first among them. And it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say P.K. is the best of the three even though he was picked last among them.

            It’s hard to compare forwards and Dmen, but even looking strictly at P.K. and McDonagh, I’d take P.K. first all day long but he was picked 31 spots after RM.

            – Honestly yours
            Twitter: @de_benny

        • Mike D says:

          I think a good argument could be made for both sides, Riga. I’m not familiar with those projected 2nd rounders you mentioned, but lots of great players are found in the 2nd round. Hell, lots of great players have been found way later than the 2nd round! While there are some ‘sure things’ in the draft, it’s mostly a crap shoot and you can see evidence of that by looking at historical drafts. It’s possible that all three of our 2nd round picks could be better than the guy we could have gotten in the top 5-10……but less likely, and there are some REALLY solid players at the top of this draft.

          When Burly mentioned top 5, I wasn’t thinking about Domi. I assume MacKinnon and Jones will go 1-2, so I was thinking we could get one of Drouin or Barkov in the 3, 4, or 5 spot and I think they’re both fantastic players. Monahan too, but to a lesser extent IMO.

          I’m not stating that one top 5 pick is always better than three scattered 2nd rounders. I was more so saying I’d rather have one Alex Galchenyuk than a Collberg and two other guys not quite as good as Collberg. And that’s not a knock on Collberg by the way – I think he’s a good player with lots of potential.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

    • frontenac1 says:

      Draft? What happens if there is no season next year? Or if there is a De-certification and it becomes the wild west again with free agents? Since Ian has been right so far on this one,lets get his odds on this.

  16. Cal says:

    This is what happens when you google super junior and oppa. And you guys thought gagnam style couldn’t be beat. Take a look at this:

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Okay Cal, the fact you could even find that song is scary, to then take the time to put your own lyrics to it is beyond scary. This lockout must end for your sanity bud!

      • Cal says:

        I was wanting to put together a song featuring the juniors and the location of the WJT. What I found instead was that. 🙂

        You’re right, though. This lockout has to end sooner than later. The remnants of my mental health demand it!

  17. JF says:

    If the courts upheld the disclaimer of interest and ruled, as the NHL demands, that all contracts are void, would there be anything to stop owners simply pulling their teams out of the league, starting a new league, and signing whatever free agents they wanted? I’m thinking of the seven Canadian teams and some of the American ones in good hockey markets like Detroit, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, Minnesota. I’m sick of the fact that owners who want to play, particularly owners of Canadian teams, have no say at all in what happens. In fact, Canada has no say, and will have even less so if this battle ends up before the courts.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The whole thing just reeks already, seems to me the longer this goes the more the owners side will dig in and insist that they get “Everything” they want. It is for this reason I dont understand the players position. I understand and respect why the players did not just roll over and sign the first stupid offer presented by Bettman. But it isn’t like the players have prepared for a full season plus work stoppage which may require the formation of a new player friendly league.

      At some point the players side needs to work within the framework of the owners offer, make the best deal possible. This isn’t because the players deserve to settle for less, but simply economics of the situation at hand. The owners have the leverage and will evenually win out and if this goes long enough the players will be in a situation much closer to the 1970’s agreement than the most recent. (slight sarcasm, but you never know)

    • Cal says:

      The NHLPA is following the same playbook as both the NFL and NBA union did. The NHL is following the same legal formula, as well. Both sides will have to compromise. By that I mean the players (Gotcha!) must move on the disclaimer. If not enough votes for the disclaimer, it will be limbo. They are all following the same bleeping script.

    • JF says:

      Cal and Burly – Valid arguments, but they don’t answer my question. If the PA’s disclaimer is upheld, and if the courts rule that all contracts are void, would it be legally possible for teams such as the Habs to pull out of the League, start a new one, and sign free agents? Does the NHL have the right to prevent teams from withdrawing from it? Free agents can sign with the KHL or other leagues, so could they not sign with a new league made up of teams that seceded from the NHL? Is this scenario even remotely possible if this battle ends up before the courts?

      • Cal says:

        If the courts uphold the disclaimer, individual players will file lawsuits or the former PA will launch a class action suit against the NHL. Considering this can be held up in court for a decade or more, this won’t happen.
        As far as starting a new league, the new “owners” would have to find the buildings (many already owned by the present NHL owners) to form their own league. It’s easy to say, “Let’s start our own league.” The logistics of a new league would be a nightmare as they would be starting from scratch.
        The NHL has been good business for the Habs, so I don’t see this bump in the road causing Molson and others to start up a new league. Too much time and effort for a structure already in (limbo) place.

        • JF says:

          I’m not talking about new owners, but about current ones. What is to stop Geoff Molson and other owners from simply pulling their franchises out of the league?

          You say it would be too much time and effort to put a new structure in place. But the present structure is clearly not working, and there seems to be no will to restructure it so that it does work. If this whole mess gets bogged down in the courts, would it not be worth the time and effort to start a new league using teams currently in the NHL that want out?

          • Cal says:

            The pie (up until now) has grown too large to walk away from. Legally, the Habs can opt out of the league as they wish. (I believe Chris mentionned this about the elite European Soccer teams always threatening to walk away from their leagues to form a “Super ” league). Whether or not they have enough teams follow them is another story, besides all the ill will from many pro-Bettman owners.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        You pose a good question. I suppose in theory what you are suggesting could happen, but none of us have any idea what is written into the agreements teams sign or agree to when they become charter members of this “distinct society” of owners.

        I have to believe the NHL is aware of the possibilities and perhaps views this as a way to reinvent the NHL, with far fewer teams thus allowing them to sell franchises into bad markets all over again and line their pockets.

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:


    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

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

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

  19. otter649 says:

    It must be fantasy hockey as the photo shows Guastad (sp) #28 who got traded by The Sabres last season….lol

  20. Say Ash says:

    There’s plenty on the Internet that provides for fantasy. I don’t need it here. Talk more about the prospects like Tabarnyuk™ and how he’s gonna light up Miller like Gomez can’t. And I’d love to read some opinions from the minor leaguers and what they think of the current state of the NHL and the union they aspire to join.

  21. Bripro says:

    Fantasy losses to the Sabres, Nordiques ( a team that doesn’t even show up ) and the Sabres again.
    Boy, these guys really suck!

  22. Fake says:

    To Chris from previous thread;

    By no means do I dislike or was hating on Forsberg in fact I was hoping MTL would draft him or Gally or last but not least Teravainen. I was just joking about it because there really isn’t much scoring in swedish leagues like you said plus I didn’t know if he was playing on the fourth line like Collberg. And wow he’s doing really well. Thanks for the info.

    • Chris says:

      I was surprised at his performance because I figured he’d be a bit lower. But the scouts had him as one of the most NHL-ready players in the draft, and he seems to be showing that he could be similar to Gabriel Landeskog in his development curve.

  23. Damn, the Sabres really have our number this year. Hope DD gets back soon…hey wait a minute…fantasy? What? Really?


    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

  24. Steven says:

    You know, I kinda thought this would be interesting at first, but these fantasy updates are just killing me.

    If it were just like: “Habs win 3-2. Gionta, Cole, Pacioretty score for the Habs…” or a boxscore or something it wouldn’t be that bad. Look it over in 20 seconds and then back to lockout talk or whatever.

    But it gets REALLY lame when you see the comments from the “players” and stuff. I mean, as has been said before, it really does feel like a fantasy at that point, and that’s sort of offputting.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.