Fearless prediction: Tough practice today

Montreal-born Calgary resident Candace Curry, daughter of the Canadiens’ late forward Floyd Curry, proudly wears her love of the Habs in Alberta. (We’ve blurred her plate for her own protection!)
Courtesy Candace Curry

Welcome back, Max Pacioretty.

Now start skating.

Coming later: update from practice and Robert Rice’s Habs Future.

• Red Fisher: Passion missing vs Leafs

• Dave Stubbs: Floyd Curry’s daughter in pursuit of Heritage Classic tickets

• François Gagnon on the Pacioretty call-up

Nordiques Nation on the Island

Jack Todd doesn’t like Don Cherry

Ovechkin in a fight

• Richard Labbé on life in the East Coast league

And one fan’s love letter to Max-Pac



  1. WestHab says:

    – Who will be at the Heritage Classic?

  2. VancouverHab says:

    I’ll make this quick: it’s the easiest-to-Fisk column of Mr. Todd’s yet.

    NB: nothing that follows is any defense of Don Cherry. Assume that Mr. Todd’s hateful opinions of the man and his political position are entirely valid. That is, I grant for arguments ‘s sake Mr. Todd’s hate.

    1.] One point is alone sufficent to deflate the entire article. That is, Don Cherry has impeccable blue-collar, working-class bona fides. The fact that Mr. Cherry has been able to work his perfect blue-collar life to financial and cultural success within the white collar bourgeois world is credit to Mr. Cherry’s blue-collar life and character. Much of Mr. Todd’s animus against Mr. Cherry is the typical resentment of the bourgeoisie toward working-class boys who make better than the individudal bourgeois himself. So, Mr. Todd’s petulancy notwithstanding, Don Cherry is working-class (by Mr. Todd’s North American standards, that is.)

    2.] On the article’s ‘Tea Party’ references, assume again for sake of argument that Mr. Todd’s hatred toward their politics is valid. Their demographics, however, are equal parts working class and middle class, as a matter of public record. Once more, I make no defense of their point of view. But it is odious to imply, as Mr, Todd does, that blue collar and lower-middle-class people are content to be taxed by their upper-class masters and mistresses, and that only “rich” object to onerous taxation.

    Once again, grant that Ms. Sarah Palin deserves all the hatred that Mr. Todd directs toward her. Yet she is the daughter of public school teachers who married an oil worker of First Nations descent. Here again, Ms. Palin is a working-class person who made good at the white-collars’ own game: yet another source of resentment for the petulantly bourgeois Mr. Todd.

    3.] Small points and that’s enough. In his oedipal engagement, Mr. Todd uses that fact that his father “voted solid Democrat” as a marker of virtue. In a two-party democracy, one’s worth does not depend upon which of the parties for which one votes. And the persistently segregationist Democracts of George Wallace or Chicago Mayor Daley and his Democrat thug rule are also no guarantor of moral credibility in any case.

    4.] Mr. Todd uses actually as a line of hatred that Don Cherry uses outdated figures of speech. What is to be said such a venial polemicist? Septegenarians use words and phrases from their salad days: that’s life for goodness sake. And as a matter of fact, the provenance of the terms which Mr. Todd directs his hatred toward may be American, but they had strong currency in Western Canada through the 1970s among the working class…which is a fact a credible journalist would have researched before writing. Hateful opinion-mongers, however, one presumes, can express hatred without support.

    5.] Using an anonymous person who claims that a public figure doesn’t stop and talk to him is cretinous journalism. Nothing else to be said.

    It is very simple to Fisk an article in which there is so complete an absence of reason or research.

    [NB: keep in mind that there is no defense of Don Cherry’s person or politics in any of the above. Mr. Todd’s writing fails on its very own criteria.]

  3. Hagar says:

    Jersey retirements are the ultimate tribute to NHL greatness & they should be. KOIVU?!?! I get choked when people bring up the possibility of retiring his jersey. How many Hall of Famers do we got w/o retired jersey numbers?

  4. Hagar says:

    Koivu’s number will never be retired. Injured too much, his team never won anything, and he doesn’t have enough points.

  5. Chris says:

    I disagree with the premise of that Puck Daddy article.  Jersey retirement does not merely have to be the result of exemplary play on the ice…it should be the combination of various factors (on-ice play, team results, community involvement, franchise contributions) that basically summarize the relative importance of that player to the franchise.

    We of course have a very controversial figure in this debate here in Montreal in the form of Saku Koivu.  Injured too much, the critics will say.  His teams never won anything.  He doesn’t have the points.

    But for me he is not only a marginal case, but absolutely belongs in the rafters.  Koivu represented the Montreal Canadiens and was the face of the franchise where that role is one of the toughest in all of professional sports.  Koivu’s off-ice contributions were numerous and exemplary. He was the captain of the team for longer than any other player not named Jean Beliveau.  He has been a clutch performer his entire career, both in the NHL as well as in his extensive and enviable international career.  But most importantly, his return from cancer in 2002 was easily one of the most magical moments in Habs history, FAR trumping any of the Stanley Cup victories.  Koivu’s return from cancer ranks in the pantheon of Habs memories with the Richard Riot, the closing of the Forum and the funeral of Howie Morenz.  I would gladly trade all 24 Stanley Cup banners for the goosebumps I had on my arms watching the standing ovation the night he came back, and I suspect most other Habs fans would as well.

    That was a long-winded way of saying that there is more to a jersey retirement than numbers, and fans of other franchises usually can’t properly understand the connection a given player holds with his community.  Stan Smyl did not have his jersey retired in Vancouver because of his career numbers…he was honoured for representing the franchise.  Ditto for Trevor Linden, whose career numbers, awards and team success would make arrogant Habs fans snicker at his enshrinement, but to most Canucks fans it is an absolute no-brainer.

    Teppo Numminen was fantastically popular in Phoenix and especially in Winnipeg.  He hold franchise records for most games, points, goals and assists by a defenceman.  Watch the video of the Jets leaving the ice after their final home game and you will see why Numminen’s number will be retired by the Coyotes.

    When a franchise decides to honour a player with jersey retirement, it has been well thought out and is certainly something I do not question, nor do I feel it detracts from the jersey retirements for any of the all-time National Hockey League greats.

  6. Chorske says:

    We could have a vote! Your top ten Hab Killers! All with F’s as a middle initial!

    Many of them former Habs themselves, right, Mark F. Recchi?

    It would be fun. Martin F. Brodeur should be on there. Milan F Lucic.

    My vote would go to Stan F Jonathan. I loved to hate that guy so much- not as much as Pronger, mind you.

  7. Chris says:

    I’m actually one of those very, very few people that has always liked Jack Todd.  🙂

    And I really enjoyed “The Taste of Medal”, his autobiography describing his reasons for deserting the United States during the Vietnam era.

  8. Chorske says:

    “I know someone who has held the same bluecollar job for at least the past 15 years.”

    That’s a badge of honor?  Does he want a medal for that?  Kind of like someone being accused of racism trotting out the ol’, “Hey, I’ve got a black friend!” line, isn’t it?

    He could probably have avoided that impression by instead saying: I have personally met someone who has worked alongside Cherry in a blue-collar job for fifteen years, and never once interacted with him. I don’t think Todd was going for a “badge of honor”. That’s one way of interpreting that statement- but only if one takes that sentence out of context. I’m no fan of Todd or Cherry- for amazingly similar reasons- but in this specific instance you may be being a tiny bit nitpicky. 🙂

    Also, few people on here EVER trip over themselves to say nice things about Todd. So the fact that some posters are saying positive things about this article makes me think that there is considerably sympathy for what Todd has to say here. So I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss it as simple agreement based on political stance. People here REALLY hate Todd. But they clearly hate Don Cherry and his BS way more.

  9. petefleet says:

    Great post.  Well done.

    ”’Price is a pleasant suprise”’

  10. KenD29 says:

    Which one, PJ Stock, Elliot Friedman, Peacock (not 100% sure of his name covers Montreal games) or all of them?!


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  11. MikeMcLaren says:

    From Jack Todd’s piece:

    “When Cherry dives in to right-wing politics with both feet firmly in his mouth, he is over the line -the line that separates commentary on hockey from such complex issues as public transit, health care and the war in Afghanistan.”

    I see a lot of people tripping over themselves to support Jack Todd on this.  Please ask yourself if this is because you agree with Todd’s assessment of Cherry or you agree with Jack Todd’s politics.

    Because what follows that particular paragraph seems an awful lot to me is Jack Todd diving into left-wing politics with both feet firmly in his mouth.  No lines not to cross for Jack, just everyone else?

    Cherry’s a boob, just about everyone can see that.  But there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around in all political circles.  Yes, even for those who think there are “complex issues” that need some discussin’ (because right-wing folks are black and white mouth breathers, and left-wing folks are deep thinkers who see shades of gray that those morons don’t.  Riiiiight!)

    “I know someone who has held the same bluecollar job for at least the past 15 years.”

    That’s a badge of honor?  Does he want a medal for that?  Kind of like someone being accused of racism trotting out the ol’, “Hey, I’ve got a black friend!” line, isn’t it?

    Bah well, back to hockey.


  12. ctony says:

    You don’t know me – must have me confused with someone else.  JM knows a LOT LOT LOT more than me about coaching an NHL team.  I KNOW there are a lot of better coaches out there than him for us.  

  13. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    yes Tony, we all know about you.  JM has more knowledge of the game in his pinky than you do in your whole body.

  14. ctony says:

    Actually, I have my own place.  

    JM is below average coach for his career and has the fourth best career winning percentage of recent Habs’ coaches. 



  15. ctony says:

    Excluding Gainey’s two interim stints behind the bench and
    one game by Laperriere, Demers (won the Cup in 1993), Tremblay, Vigneault,
    Therrien, Julien, and Carbo are our coaches since 1994.

    I’m not going to pretend that Tremblay is a contender for
    the lead.  But, if you go by career
    winning percentage (all prior to this season – too tired to do the math), JM’s
    .550 is actually second last behind Demers at .613/Julien .599/Carbonneau .589/Vigneault
    .551.  He’s only ahead of Therrien at

    Only Demers won a Cup and none of them, including JM have a
    winning record in the playoffs or a Cup appearance. 

    I recently analyzed and posted what an average team gets in the
    pseudo-three-point NHL.  Over the last
    five years, the AVERAGE team had approximately 91 points.  In an 82 game schedule, that means the
    AVERAGE coach has a winning percentage of .554
    – I know, crazy right??

    So, when you really think about it, JM and Vigneault are slightly
    UNDER AVERAGE.  Carbonneau and Julien are statistically
    impressive and Demers is probably the best coach we have had in the past 15

    Other than churning a lot of average to above average
    coaches, what has the coaching turnstile down for us?


  16. punkster says:

    Good one, Torak.

  17. notbigbird says:

    It might take the guy more than a minute to learn some things and unlearn others.

  18. notbigbird says:

    Even a clock, eh?

  19. thorandresson says:

    I think JM plans of playing MaxPac on the top 6, according to Francois Gagnon he went down to Hamilton on Sunday to watch him play, and the call up came soon after.  Looks like JM likes what he saw and thinks MaxPac is ready to be a significant contributor on the team.   Remember last year, JM started MaxPac on the 1st line with Gomez and Gionta, since he obviously liked him during training camp.  Then he got demoted to the line with Metropolit and Moen because he wasn’t producing.  He did play well on that line, it was a very sound defensive line that generated some good chances but couldn’t really finish.  Also remember, how bad the team was a year ago, JM’s was far from being in place, so the timing really wasn’t right.  And if this move doesn’t work out, then it makes it clear that the team needs to make a move for a top 6 player.

  20. SmartDog says:

    It’s fun watching people finding ways to praise Todd for his article, while at the same time reconciling that with their general feelings toward the guy and the tripe he often writes. 

    Good that people can give credit where due (I took that from someone below).  You’re okay HIO’ers… you’re okay.


  21. JD_ says:

    Interestin’ factoid. Did not know this.

    And reason #45,688 that Quebec City should get its team back.

    Quotin’ Wikipedia: “There are currently 96 retired numbers in the NHL. There are also 13 ‘honoured numbers,’ all issued by the Toronto Maple Leafs. A further 7 numbers were retired, by the Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques, but upon the relocation of the two teams the numbers were put back into circulation. By comparison, the Phoenix Coyotes continue to honor the numbers retired when the franchise was the Winnipeg Jets.

    The ‘Diques in question were Tremblay(3), Tardif(8), Goulet(16), and Stastny(26).

    It just doesn’t seem right, in particular for a guy like Stastny who took a huge risk some 30 years ago to break through the Iron Curtain as one of the first full-fledged stars from that part of the world to play in the NHL, amassin’ 1239 points in 977 games. I mean, I hated the guy. What else can I say?

    You know, I wouldn’t have a problem with the Habs in a way rebestowin’ this honour by recognizin’ these guys, some of the greatest Hab Killers of all time. Nothin’ from the rafters or anythin’, just a display somewhere in the corridors of the Bell Centre. At least until such time that the NHL returns to Q-City.

    It’s the sportin’ thing to do.

  22. punkster says:

    LOL…I went to a Klingon name generator, entered my name and asked for 5 alternate names and the number one name that comes back…? Meth.

    I’m going with that.

  23. thorandresson says:

    He’s still making the same mistakes he was making pre-benching, like shooting right at other players instead of getting the puck on the net, or telegraphing his shots…  He wasn’t like that last year when he got called up, he’s still being too cocky instead of trying to get the job done.

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think everyone here knows my opinion on our former oaptain by now but the #11, I’m just not sure…

    Koivu was the Canadiens for their dark age, without a doubt. Only guy who left it on the ice each game, battled adversity just as much as any of the men who have their jerseys retired today and wore the C with distinction. We do have to consider we will not see Dynasty again in MTL and Saku should not be held against a standard where the Canadiens could put two fifty-goal scorers on the top line compared to now. People know who Guy Lafleur’s linemates were, and Beliveau’s. But in 30 years, who the hell was Sergei Zholtok and Martin Rucinsky? Brian Savage? Oleg Petrov? Jan Bulis? Koivu spent many years dragging mediocrity behind him.

    Is it time to turn the page on the standard of retiring a number? Probably so, Carey Price could stack what, 450-500 wins as a Canadiens goaltender if he’s a lifer and set the team record. However the team might only win 1 Cup in his tenure because of the size of the league and all the right factors being together. Doesn’t mean he couldn’t be considered in the class of goaltender like such the Canadiens have seen fit to retire their jersey should all that happen for his career. Likely, the Canadiens will have to reflect on the whole as an organization if the standard must be changed for what a player must do to have their number retired considering the times.

    If Koivu has his number retired, you can bet I’ll be at the game when they do it, but I would not be wholly unsurprised or grandly insulted if they decided against it. The numbers who hang from the rafters belong to HOF players, maybe that is a standard the Habs need to maintain as other teams content themselves with honouring anyone who had a great 5 year-stretch or hang their Division/Conference Banners to fill up their rafters. The standard must change, but by how much I’m not sure. Saku Koivu is likely the greatest leader Team Finland has seen or ever will see, as a 4-time Olympic Medalist, a 4-time World Championship medalist and a Silver from the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. But that’s an argument for him to be honoured by Finland and have the International Team retire his number. I would not be against his number retirement, I will argue for it if the debate comes up but if it doesn’t happen, I would on a level, understand it.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  25. 24 Cups says:

    Robert – I thought he was a centre in junior.  Switching to the wing is probably the only way any of these other guys will have a chance.  Fortier is a bit like Maxwell.  Looked great and then had his career derailed due to injuries.  He’s got lots of time to turn it around. His best bet may be as a checking 4th liner.

  26. cautiousoptimist says:

    Nice piece by Jack Todd, but maybe it’s just because for once I agree with him wholeheartedly — and because there isn’t an exclamation mark, ampersand or “aaaaaaaaaaand” to be found.

    That said, I’m not sure it’s quite fair to accuse Cherry of being in bed with right-wing bank-owning kingpins who want blue-collar workers to take two trains and a bus to get to their night shifts…

    And much as I agree with his sentiment this time around, there’s something a little ironic about Jack Todd calling someone a loud-mouthed, gimmicky, name-calling windbag…

  27. gohabsgo25 says:

    why put darche with g love and cammy patches should go in that slot


    and than we can have the phd line back up

  28. K-hab25 says:

    I thought the same thing 24. He’s a big, smooth skater, that layed a couple of big hits and always seemed to make the right play. I also was impressed with Conboy, a big guy, that was always in front of the Marlies net. I also liked the skills Avtsin showed, in a couple of years he’ll be a top 6 in the NHL.

  29. 24 Cups says:

    Rob – I think you have made a valid point.  I, like Paul, have been fortunate enough to see the glory days as I was growing up.  All the way from Plante to Roy.  In a way, that has become a hinderance to the team.  Especially in light of last year’s anniversary overkill.

    We are no longer a great franchise, there is no real glory in being a Hab today (hold on a minute).  All of our pride is based on the past memories of the teams that many Hab fans (of today) never witnessed.  The Canadiens really haven’t done that much during the past 17 years.  We have had a few good runs but have never made a Cup final in all that time.  We have few, if any, building blocks.  The only two star players of late have been Markov and Koivu.  We have traded numerous captains and fired coaches on a regular basis. In reality, we are just like everybody else in the league – desperate to win just one Cup in order to bring back some of that lost glory.  In that regard, we are no better than Chicago or Boston.

    I may not be wording this properly, and I’m certainly not a traitor to my team.  It’s just that the feeling of superiority that many of us have just doesn’t ring true when you look back at the past 18 years.

    Koivu may be the last number we retire for the foreseeable future.

  30. JD_ says:

    I can live with that. His numbers were almost as good as Shutt’s and he played with a far more robust style.

    Jersey number retirement functions, however, to a much higher standard, even if it is only a club’s decision. One could argue to almost the highest standard. In my little corner of the world, Gillies was never up to that kind of snuff.

  31. SmartDog says:

    Heck, I’d bet a quarter of the guys on here have Klingon names and still need mom to drive them to the mall. 

    I won’t name names but I have my suspicions.


  32. SmartDog says:

    Yes. We should pay him more.  I wonder if he would sign a contract extension too.


  33. krob1000 says:

    “However, when you compare those names to the true greats of the game, the recognition starts to lose some of its luster”

    Completely true but it really is a team honour to me so I am glad you got the jist of what I am saying….it isn’t a league award or anything, it isn’t the Hall of Fame….it is a team honour and has to be viewed from that perspective because that is the intent.  No diff’t than going to a local Junior rink and seeing the names of the odd jersey retired of a guy who never even made the NHL…so what…his career for that team was what earned the honour. We are all outsiders of other teams so our view is already distorted….we haven’t an appreciation for the moments, energy and influence these players had on the fans of those particular teams…i trust the people making the decisions do have the right perspective and while there are some names that definitely make me wonder as you do I always think about those guys whose jerseys are retired in local junior rinks, or guys who make the local hall of fame……that helps me keep it all in perspective. 

  34. HabFanSince72 says:

    Far worse: he is in the Hockey Hall of Fame.


  35. shiram says:

    Just a small notice, back in spring, Josh Koscheck was annouced to fight George St-Pierre at the Bell Centre, the match was this week-end. Back then, Josh was making predictions how he would beat GSP and how his Penguins would beat the Habs. Well after all is said and done, the Habs beat the Penguins, and GSP beat Koscheck.

    Montreal 2 Pittsburgh 0


  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    My favourite H I/O trope is the one where they call for Martin to be fired after the Habs lose a game. Why? Because he benches players when they make just one mistake.

  37. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    I think if we saw the resume’s of some of the people bashing JM it would clear things up.  I’m willing to bet some of the basher’s still live at home with their parents.

  38. JD_ says:

    I like retired jersey numbers. In many ways, they are the ultimate tribute to NHL greatness. Jumped through hoops to attend Roy’s ceremony.

    Havin’ said that, the day the New York Islanders retired Clark Gillies’ #9, the notion took a bit of a dilutive hit. No doubt he has his fans, but he always struck me as just bein’ in the right place at the right time.

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    I’ve liked Nash since I saw him in pre-season, he tends to know where to go on the ice to be effective so he doesn’t often get caught spinning or out of place. Likely he’ll need a couple years in the A but he was a good free pick-up from the NCAA free agents.

    Fortier is a LW btw, one of the few in the organization, not sure about his NHL upside quite yet, missed a lot of his final Q season and almost all of last AHL season due to injuries or being scratched as a rookie AHLer.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    I watched most of the Marlie-Bulldog game yesterday.  Two factors stood out.  The speed of the game is slower and most of the players finish their checks. 

    As for our boys, there obviously was the solid play of MaxPac but the Brendon Nash kid on defense also caught my eye.  He may need another year in the AHL but he might just be a replacement for Spacek in 2013.

    Fortier made the best of his PP promotion and scored all of his goals by being directly in front of the net.  Alas, he could in in tough as the Habs have a host of small centers who will eventually be battling it out for the same job with the big team.

  41. habs03 says:

    JM gets way too much heat, people complain yet most decions he make plan out, I remember everyone on this site going nuts on JM for playing Darche, and look how that has planed out. JM has been the best coach this team has had for the past 15+ years.

  42. krob1000 says:

    Well….let’s put it this way…..how many cups would those guys have won in todays NHL? how many of them would have been on other teams due to cap constraints, how many would have just chosen to play tax free in the sunbelt, etc.  How would Guy have fared with his partying ways in an era where your every move is reported, would Cournoyer ever have been given a shot with his size? Patrick Roy is more modern and I am glad they retired his jersey but Habs fans were somehow divided on that one too which just boggles my mind…you will still find 1 in 4 Habs fans likely who think he didn’t deserve it. You can’t compare things like that…it has to be relative to the game at a given time….that is my point.  Saku shouldn’t have to be compared to guys who played a diff’t game in a diff’t time ….his measurement should be over his generation, relative to his team IMO.  was Saku Koivu the most important Hab since Patrick Roy…in my opinion absolutely….despite the losing ways he managed to proudly carry on the class of the organization over a terrible stretch by team, he didn’t beat 30 teams to win the Cup…but neither did most of the guys you mention….for every 5 cup wins only one should count for those guys if you consider competition…now that is ridiculous..they did what they did…but everything is relative. 

     As for your original question….Roy is the greatest Hab that I got to appreciate…and Saku is second. I saw the tail end of Guy’s career and to this day still wear number 10 in everything I play….I saw the end of Robinson too but I never got to see them flying in the 70’s…as a young kid their names were heard daily in my house and their pictures onour walls….but  I only know the legends of the other guys you mentioned …..but in my life as a 34 year old Hab fan…two guys stand head and shoulders above the other hundreds of Montreal Canadiens that have worn the sweater over that time frame…those two are Saku Koivu and Patrick Roy…..and I believe that is reason enough….otherwise my 34 year old life doesn’t seem very significant as a Habs fan.

  43. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    without Gomez this team is nothing.  I can’t imagine how we survived all those years without him.  =)

  44. GhostRider says:

    You really can’t compare the two.  They played in different eras, and if we use them as the yard stick to measure all future players, the Canadiens will never retire another number again.

    Koivu’s personal struggles and perserverence are an inspiration to everyone and his value to the city, outside of hockey, was huge.  On those merits alone, he deserves to have his number retired.

  45. Kappy says:

    What is the word on Spatch?  Back to Back loses, back to back games that Gomer missed, is there a connection there?  A couple of real BIG games coming up.  I hope the streak stops at 2, but with Philly and Boston coming to town it’s gonna be tough.  Jacqy here are your lines

    Gionta – Pleks – AK46

     Darch – Gomer – Cammy

    Patches- Eller – Pouliot

    Moen – Halpren – Pyatt



  46. 24 Cups says:

    Rob – I guess you sum it up best when you say “I have no issue with teams retiring their (players’) numbers relative to their history (with the team)”.  In that context, some of the names make sense.  However, when you compare those names to the true greats of the game, the recognition starts to lose some of its luster.

    I took a few minutes to flip through my NHL Guidbook and came up with the following names that I feel should never have had their numbers retired.  Without exception, they fit into the category that you jus t mentioned.  So be it.  O”Reilly, Gare, Robert, Wesley, Hamilton, Daneyko, Nystrom, Graves, Richter,Numminen, Hunter, and Labre head my list.

    As for Saku Koivu, it’s a no-brainer for me.  Once he has permanently retired, the Habs should raise his number to the rafters.  He may not have won a Cup with Montreal, but it’s not his fault that he played here during the dark ages.  If anything, that just show he deserves it all the more.  He surely merits it based on your original point.

  47. joeybarrie says:

    You know, alot of peopl around here must not think PK SUBBAN is a very good player. Anyone who can be RUINED after sitting for 3 games really doesn’t deserve to be playing in the NHL. So it seems to me that anyone thinking JM did any kind of damage to the kid, is kinda saying that the kid is made of glass.

    If that can shatter his confidence, then it was NOWHERE near where we thought it was. Hopefully that is not the case, cause if it is, then he will NEVER make it in this league…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  48. Mark C says:

    Is the amazing Martin also responsible for the vanishing act of one of last year’s NHL’s All Rookie Team players, Michael Del Zotto? Last year’s rookie of the year, Tyler Myers’ numbers are way down, is the Martin’s fault too? Drew Doughty had 59 points last year; so far this year he has 7, boy that Martin has amazing powers!

    Maybe coaches aren’t to blame; maybe young players just struggle to find a consistent high level game.


  49. Mats Naslund says:

    I rarely agree with Todd regarding the game, but in this instance I couldn’t agree more. Everyone knows Cherry is a fool. When it was about hockey, you could forgive his outbursts as you would a senile grandparent, but his recent ramblings are dangerously divisive. The fact that Ford used Cherry to speak at his inauguration is telling of the new Mayor’s willingness to work with those who hold differing priorities. Not good for the mayor of the most diverse city in the world…

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    And that new guy with the moussed hair too.

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    Out of curiosity, how would you rate Saku in comparison to Jean Beliveau? Guy Lafleur? Larry Robinson? Yvan Cournoyer? Patrick Roy? Ken Dryden?

    Because those guys are the touchstone.

  52. VintageFan says:

    The “Amazing Martin”.  He made Subban vanish!  Watch out David Copperfield.

  53. habsguy says:

    sometimes I think M&M is far worse than grapes,  I remember when Dags got hit and knocked senseless!!!!….Milbury said ” I love that stuff “…He actually sounded mad when whoever it was suggested a suspension for the hit!!!

  54. krob1000 says:

    It’s all relative Steve….I do think Naslund deserves his number retired in that city…by the Habs standards that come to mind he doesn’t but times have changed…and if he were  a Hab I may argue his case not unlike Koivu….simply playing that long for one team is a rare accomplishment anymore in a changed NHL landscape. Dynaties, Multiple Cup wins and championships, etc are far harder to win than back in the days when all of our retired jerseys were earning their places in history.  I have no issue with teaams retiring their numbers as relative to their history, a guy like Markus Naslund is deserving IMO.  Montreal views things differently thanjother organizations because our history is filled with guys with a full hand worth of Cup rings, and long illustrious careers all with the Habs…well that just doesn;t happen anymore. 

     I believe Saku Koivu deserves his number retired as well…he didn’t win any Cups, he didn;t win any scoring titles, heck his hockey numbers are really not that impressive….but some of his other accomplishments are and anywhere else it would be a no brainer….but in Montreal if he ever is honoured it will likely be years and years from now.   Saku is the 2nd longest serving captain in Habs history and his willingness to compete on and off the ice and inspire people is legendary and a worthy feat when weighed with his tenure, his captaincy, his sparkling rep, his perseverance, etc….so what he didn’t play in a 6 team era in a time where winning is all we did….what he did in his time here was deserving to me. I am 100 percent OK with all of these retirements because relative to their franchises history, factored in with todays NHL landscape and expectations….I think one would be hard pressed to find many guys that have not earned these retirements.  I think we need to get off of our high horses and people need to examine the realities of todays game…..there will be no more Oilers, HAbs, Islanders,etc…..while there is a cap. 

    I for one support any of these events that gives fans an opportunity to celebrate as odds are anymore that Cups will be generations in between if ever for most organizations….that is just the way things are…so let’s celebrate what is worth celebrating……relatively speaking.

  55. Shiloh says:

    Great piece by Jack Todd, who puts his own beliefs on the line for all to read – and to criticize if they like. He is one of the best sportswriters we have – and an excellent commentator on society as well.

  56. StevieRay says:

    Glenn ( glass 1/2 empty ) Healy as well …

  57. Dee says:

    I couldn’t believe my ears when he called Kovalev a DOG.If you don’t like someone you don’t call the person a DOG on national T.V.CBC is going to the DOGS if you ask me.I have said this before CBC is NOT HNIC it is HNIN in Toronto.This has to stop,along with Cherry he is nothing but the biggest loud mouth on the planet.Mclean they should both be gone,PJ Stock is not much better. Milbury he should be fired NOW what a piece of work he is.I’m tired about Pk enough is enough if he was playing for the Laffs there would be no story.Cherry said PK will get hurt.What kind of a person would say something like that about a kid 21 years old Cherry is more than a JERK he is a miserable old man and thinks he is the Gods of hockey.I can not for the life of me understand why Cherry along with a few others on HNIC are still there,Oh yes because Toronto thinks they are the center of the universe LOL,LOL.You GOOOO PK show all those idiots like Richard,Cherry and the rest of the jealousy that goes on for the Habs, they would all love to have you as a player on thier team.Please don’t change your style that is why we love you # 76 in Montreal.

    Now I’m happy I got some of the rage off my chest!

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all Habs fans all over the world.Greastest fans on the planet.

    Habs Fan 4 Ever & Ever Amen.


  58. StevieRay says:

    With regards to Todd’s piece..I remember a few years back my friend and I went into a Cherry Bar in Moncton to get a draught beer … since Cherry is the champion of Blue Collars workers ..which my friend and I are .. and draught beer to me is a blue collar drink . So we sit down .. and order 2 draught !! ..guest what .. we were told that draught beer is not available  …we left ! nuff said !

  59. 24 Cups says:

    Great point about retiring undeserving player’s numbers.  As well, some very good video highlights of the week.

  60. joeybarrie says:

    I disagree. Here I can call a player a dog, and its fine. I can call another poster an idiot, and anything else I like… BUT MIKE BOONE CANNOT. Or anyone else officially connected to the site. They are a representative of the Gazette among others. To me you can’t do that. 

    Call him LAZY, USELESS, or any other critical word. But the use of DOG, is disrespectful and demeaning. Its not a far cry from calling somone a ‘bitch’. Not in the sense he used the term. I actually found it to be offensive, and I rarely find things offensive. Kovy is a great player. He may not put forth the effort, but there are ways to critique that and to insult a person is not the way it should be done from the professional media.

    I lost ALOT of respect for Milbury, and it has nothing to do with his ideas or thoughts. Just him as a pro.

    I may not love Jack Todd, and I may not agree with is ideas, but as a journalist I at least respect the fact he does not simply insult someone needlessly. I can absolutely say Todd is a professional. Milbury, not so much any more.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  61. joeybarrie says:

    You know I find it pretty ridiculous that Pang can mis-speak and say white instead of right. But when Milbury calls a player a ‘dog’. CBC sees nothing wrong with it. Its kinda pathetic. In the end it doesnt matter who the player is, I do not believe the media reporting on the players ahould be able to use such a dis-respectful term for someone. EVEN AVERY should not be called something like that.Jack Todd calling Cherry a phony is fine, great in fact, at least he is calling him a term he believes and writes an article to show his side. He didn’t simply call him a douchebag and move on.

    If I was Kovy, I would punch him in the face next time I saw him. I would take the charges and sit for the games I would be suspended. Then I would turn around call my lawyer and sue the league, HNIC, and anything else I could.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  62. pierre lapuck says:

    Nice job Mr. Todd. 

  63. Mark C says:

    Random thoughts…

    All indications seem to point to Max-Pac’s call-up being a long-term attempt at solidifying the top-9. Calling up Max now starts his cap clock early, if Max was called up as an injury replacement, one would think the paper move would have taken place on Wednesday. Calling him up now allows the new lines a few days of practice.

    If the idea is to replace Moen with Max in the top-9, when JM has just added a lot of potential flexibility to his line creation and management. The most obvious lines would seem to be: Cammalleri-Plek-AK46, Max-Pac-Gomez-Gionta.  However, if Martin wants to place Max-Pac on the a 3rd line with Eller and Pouliot, that line would have tremendous upside as a fore checking, up-tempo line that can create a fair amount of offense.  A lot of people would be disappointed that Max isn’t playing in the top-6, but that line might be good enough to play 16-18 minutes a night, making Montreal essentially a three line team.       

    Lastly, if Max comes in and produces at a top-9 level, then it allows Montreal to focus more on upgrading the defense.   

  64. TomNickle says:

    Calling Kovalev a dog is fairly accurate.  I don’t know about you but I can remember the last game that he actually put in effort.  And when you can remember when that last game was…..and it was almost two years ago, that’s a problem for the player and his team.

  65. sholi2000.com says:

    #46 us slowly moving back to his old ways.

    I like your lines coach.

    They Call Me Shane

  66. TomNickle says:

    Milbury is a fairly intelligent hockey guy, he just made some really bad trades where he tried to hit homeruns but ended up striking out.


  67. SmartDog says:

    You know what’s funny is that I’ve found Milbury to say some pretty smart things lately. But he also does stuff like that.  I guess you need to be smart to get to the GM level, but being a bonehead at the same time (“I traded Luongo”) is what makes him a TV personality instead of a successful team architect. 


  68. petefleet says:

    If you have followed Milbury’s career, you’d know that he had a colourful past as both a player, coach and GM.  His spoutings on HNIC are just the icing on the cake.

    ”’Price is a pleasant suprise”’

  69. DD says:

    …and take Bob Cole and Greg Millen with them.

  70. joshua94k says:

    Along with Don Cherry, it is time to get rid of Mike Milbury on Hockey Night in Canada. Calling Alex Kovalev a ‘dog’ on national TV is just not done. There are better ways to express yourself and the like of Mike Milbury do not belong on television.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  71. jimmy shaker says:

    Is Gomez back for wed and thurs.?  What’s the word?  If Patch is up here and Gomez is a go, JM here are your lines.





    I’d sit AK46 because he’s been horseshite as a backchecker and was a big reason they lost in Detroit.  IF you want to keep him on the ice, fine, put him on the fourth line and sit Laps.

    On the D





  72. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Thats ring is sweet!!  What a great story.

  73. TommyB says:

    I agree, very good article from Jack Todd.  As some posters have acknowledged, Cherry’s expiry date, TV-wise, was a long time ago.  He used to have Rose around to keep him in check, but since her passing he has deteriorated into a miserable old, self-centred and pompous, windbag.  It’s baffling that the CBC still keeps him around.  Baffling, and embarassing.  Actually, I don’t know what is more embarrassing…Cherry’s rants, or Ron Maclean trying to appear hip.  Both should be long gone from HNIC. 

  74. petefleet says:

    “Shameless to the core, Cherry has even devoted one entire segment of Coach’s Corner to his own self-aggrandizement as Canada’s self-appointed No. 1 soldier.”

    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Cherry+nothing+phoney/3967855/story.html#ixzz1804UnI8f

    I don’t like Don Cherry either.  I would not let my 7 & 9 year old girls listen to one minute of his CBC HNIC segment.  That being said, while I disagree with most of the garbage that comes out of his mouth, I’m glad that he makes a spot for the military almost every coaches corner.  That’s regardless of how self righteous he’s being.  Most times the message is far bigger than the messenger.  It’s unfortunate that we get to see and hear about our real heroes in uniform on HNIC, but if not there, then maybe never except that short blurb on the news.  And you can’t take away the sense of pride and sorrow that the nation feels when the heroes are flashed up on the TV screen.  Again, regardless of whom it’s coming from.  And I have to believe that if the nation as a whole felt like Jack Todd does, Don Cherry would be unemployed.

     ”’Price is a pleasant suprise”’

  75. dockturtle says:

    Best Jack Todd column in a long time. He is bang on about Cherry and the Tea Party North mentality.

    Sorry for double post. The page seemed to not respond…..

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