Flyers shot down in five by Devils

Ilya Kovalchuk

New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk (17) celebrates his third-period power-play goal Tuesday in Philadelphia vs. the Flyers.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

“Wacky playoffs” is how Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty described the NHL postseason, watching from Helsinki as he competes in the world championship for Team USA.

Wacky indeed. New Jersey polished off the Flyers in a brisk five games Tuesday in Philadelphia, their 3-1 win sending the Devils to the Eastern Conference final against either the New York Rangers or Washington Capitals.

Wednesday night: The Caps are at MSG to take on the Rangers.

289 Comments

  1. Ali says:

    Saku re-signs for one more year with Anaheim. Hope they visit Montreal so I can come down from Toronto for the game and see one of my childhood heroes.

  2. boing007 says:

    Here’s a song for all the teams that have so far been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIiUqfxFttM

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

  3. Chris says:

    This is a response to Mad Habber below, but it is getting buried and is perhaps worth more discussion…

    The Alexei Cherepanov draft situation in 2007 was somewhat complicated by the fact that there was no agreement between the IIHF and the NHL regarding compensation to home leagues when the NHL poached their young talent.

    Before that year, it was typical that a $100 000 development fee would be given to the team or federation of the player selected in the case of European players.

    The European leagues were justifiably miffed that the NHL was playing hardball, refusing to increase the transfer payments despite massive growth in the NHL’s revenues. That led to an impasse that was only resolved in December 2007, six months after Cherepanov was drafted.

    That 4-year agreement gave each federation $200 000 (USD) for each of the first 45 European players drafted.

    After its expiry, no subsequent deal could be reached between the NHL and the IIHF as a whole, so individual transfer agreements were signed.

    Finland and Sweden both signed similar deals that would see teams compensated with $225,000 for each player lost to the NHL, and higher amounts for players selected in the first round. I should note that these deals expired at the end of this season, so I’m not sure if this summer’s draft is covered by a transfer agreement or not (better not draft any Swedes or Finns!).

    Since 2011, Russia has refused to sign a deal. The NHL wants a “flat-fee” system, while the Russians argue that players like Malkin or Ovechkin should necessitate much higher fees given their potential and ability to draw money to the NHL. To be honest, I find their arguments pretty fair, and I’ve always found the NHL to be completely arrogant in their dealings with European leagues.

    Developing players isn’t cheap, and the European system often sees those costs borne by the professional teams. If they then lose those players for little compensation, eventually their system breaks down.

    Perhaps things SHOULD be run like the CHL/NHL agreement, but that has not been the European way. Smaller teams often fund their existence through extensive development efforts, “selling” prospects to the richer teams while giving the youngsters an opportunity to get quality minutes while developing so that they are ready to contribute when they land with the big clubs.

    This model is used extensively in European soccer, obviously, but also in hockey, basketball and other sports.

    I don’t know what the situation will be with Yakupov, who left his hometown team in Russia’s attempt at a CHL analogue (the Chevrolet Youth Hockey League Championship) to join the Sarnia Sting, or Galchenyuk, who has played in the U.S. for one year before jumping to the OHL. The fact that Yakupov does not have a KHL team bankrolling his development could mean that he is completely free of any transfer agreement hurdles.

    • commandant says:

      The transfer fees are only paid when the player is under contract to that team. Ie, if Mika Zibanejad had made the Sens this year his club would have got a transfer fee.

      For a player whose contract expired with his club, and is a free agent, ie, Raphael Diaz, no transfer fees are paid.

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

      • Chris says:

        I am curious as to whether, in a case like Diaz, the Swiss Federation received a transfer or if he really was a free player. I think I read something in the old IIHF-NHL agreement about a limit of 22 years old, so perhaps that might also be a factor for a player like Diaz, who was over that age when he came.

    • Ali says:

      honestly love the insight you provide. thanks!

    • Mad Habber says:

      I assume there was some sort of agreement between the NHL and Russia prior to Cherepenov’s draft year. Since it expired Russia decided they’d rather have their guys stay in Russia. I’m pretty sure they weren’t part of the 2007-2011 agreement. The KHL has thrown big bucks at Russians to get them to stay or leave the NHL.

      There is a risk of drafting a Russian. Say he takes time to develop to an NHLer, so the team brings him along slowly, and then a KHL team decides to throw a truck load (or a truck load more) of money at him. Instead of him developing like the team wants, he bolts for Russia.

  4. Thomas Le Fan says:

    It would appear that all the EA GMs reluctantly, at least, agree with me. It’s their job to be cautious about all players based on many conditions. In the words of the great Ian Hunter

    I said my my my, I’m once bitten, twice shy babe
    My my my, I’m once bitten, twice shy baby
    My my my, I’m once bitten, twice shy babe

  5. Stormin says:

    @Mattyleg you think Lacrosse is bad, try Irish Hurling a mix mash of lacrosse, baseball, hockey and football.

  6. TomNickle says:

    Us Habs fans could very well be treated to a great Memorial Cup in the coming weeks.

    We could see all of Nathan Beaulieu, Jared Tinordi, Morgan Ellis and Michael Bournival playing with three of the four teams in the tournament.

    • jon514 says:

      Very cool. It’s like a preview of the bulldogs blue line next season.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      But not future Habs Roy and Grigorenko.

      Can’t have everything I guess.


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

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’m pissed the Ottawa 67s lost in the semi-finals because i would have gotten to see Tinordi and the Knights live in the OHL finals…Oh well I’ll just have to wait until Tinordi makes the Habs out of training camp next year and see him in Montreal.

      • Chris says:

        I sincerely doubt that Tinordi is going to be anywhere near the Habs next season.

        He only grew into the OHL as a 19/20 year old that was bigger and stronger than the vast majority of his opponents.

        He’s got a lot of work ahead of him to get his skating to NHL level and some adjustments to make as he will now be playing against 20-30 year old professional hockey players instead of 16-19 year old kids going through their physical development.

        If you want a good comparison for Tinordi, look at Taylor Doherty, the 6’8″ and 230 pound second round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks back in 2009. Doherty was an elite OHL defenceman in his last two seasons in the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs, but he had a bit of a tough transition this past year in the AHL with San Jose’s AHL affiliate Worcester Sharks.

        I would be a bit surprised if we see Tinordi in Montreal, barring injuries, until at least the 2013-14 season and perhaps a more reasonable target would be the 2014-15 season. With Gorges, Markov, Emelin, Subban, Kaberle, Diaz and Weber, the Habs already have a bit of a log-jam on defence. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two of those guys dealt and a steady, veteran stay-at-home defenceman brought in to help nurture the youngsters that will be coming up over the next 2-3 seasons.

  7. Max_a_million says:

    I just read that in 1981-82 Gretzky’s teammates included: Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, and Mark Messier. With that many hall of famers does that lower his accomplishment of 92 goals?

    On top of that I just read that in 1985-86 Gretzky’s teammates included: Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, and Mark Messier. So should we devalue his 163 assists?

    No of course not!!! No one cares who you played with when you excel, unless you want to be goofy and split hairs. This is a doofy argument that should not be used ever.

    • TomNickle says:

      As compared to what? If you’re referring to an 11 point disparity there’s cause for argument.

      If player A was playing with Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka and Robert Lang would you expect him to score more than player B lacing them up with Saku Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn, Chris Higgins and Tomas Plekanec?

      I think a reasonable person would. And I think it’s quite easy to make the argument that Player B scoring 84 points with the Habs group is a better accomplishment than Player A scoring 95 points with the Penguins group.

      Just my opinion though.

      • Max_a_million says:

        Stormin’s answer is more simple and much better than mine, see his below please

        • TomNickle says:

          This entire debate was the result of a comment that nobody has career years as Habs. That’s false.

          It sure is splitting hairs. But the point remains that similar production under less appealing circumstances(for me anyway) is more impressive than producing slightly more under significantly more desirable circumstances.

          Simple question. Would you expect a player to score more with Lemieux and Jagr/ Straka and Lang or Koivu and Higgins/ Kostitsyn and Plekanec?

          • Max_a_million says:

            No the comment was what a fricken year Erik Cole had, that had a minor reference from a previous discussion. My mistake for trying to add some context?

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I suppose that is how you view Mark Streit’s situation with the Islanders? Accomplished identical production with the Isles (a last place club) compared to the Habs (a first place club) ?

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        You have swayed me on Kovalev, he lead that Habs team in goals, assists, points, +/-, and playoff scoring. he was second on the Pens, more of a “cog in the system” despite having significantly better numbers in Pitts.

    • Stormin says:

      Definitely is splitting hairs big time, why not just include everything in defining reasons for players stats. Like the Goalies he scored against, type of penalties called in that season, ice conditions, TOI, TOI PP etc…. list is endless…….splitting hairs,

    • Chris says:

      It does not lessen his accomplishment that he was surrounded by such an amazing group of players in the highest scoring era in NHL history. But it DOES contextualize it.

      A kid like Sidney Crosby would not be fighting to get 100 points in 1984 like he does in 2012…he would be a shoo-in. But would he match Gretzky’s 215 points in 1986? I don’t know the answer to that.

      I think you have to take all sorts of things into account. Who was the better quarterback, Dan Marino or Joe Montana? Marino has the numbers, Montana has the championships…but there is an argument that can be made either way.

      Stamkos’ 60 goal performance this past season (with the next best tally being Malkin’s 50 and then Gaborik’s 41) was infinitely more impressive to me than Pavel Bure’s 60 goal performance in 1992-93.

      Why?

      Because Luc Robitaille (63), Mario Lemieux (69 in only 60 games), Teemu Selanne (76), and Alexander Mogilny (76) all eclipsed that mark, while another 9 players (Yzerman, Turgeon, Stevens, Andreychuk, Hull, Lafontaine, Roenick, Shanahan, and Recchi) scored between 50 and 59 goals.

      So if we are willing to contextualize the league-wide trend, we should also be looking at the environment that helped produce the performance. That includes the system employed by that team, the quality of the teammates, and the quality of the opposition (Yzerman benefited through the late 1980′s from beating up on the incredibly weak Norris Division in 28 of their 80 games, for example).

      Context is always important.

    • Chris says:

      Or, to resurrect another popular argument on Hockey Inside/Out, who had the better season?

      Jaroslav Halak had the same number of wins as Carey Price, but fewer losses, gave up almost half a goal less per game and stopped gave up one fewer goal per 100 shots than Price.

      Despite all that, the context of the two environments is very much a factor in deciding that an argument can still be made which is the better goaltender.

      Half the fun of being a sports fan is trying to compare players across teams (not trivial) to across eras (almost impossible). The difficulties don’t deter us…it generally makes for a fun conversation as long as you are willing to admit that there is no right or wrong answer.

    • Timo says:

      Well, Pleks teammates were Gomez and AK… I don’t see anything close to 92 goals. Great team/linemates is not everything.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    This is a video of a 1932 lacrosse game.
    Makes today’s hockey look pretty tame, dont’cha think?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  9. Max_a_million says:

    Would anyone take on Patrick Kane in a trade at this point?
    If we had to pay a fair price for someone of his caliber, speed, scoring ability.

    He would most likely come at a little discount given his l’enfant terrible act in Chicago at this point. They are talking about shaking up their corps … or shaking up their core. Funnily both ways of saying this are right aren’t they?

    I remember he was so good in the Olympics, giving the US a fighting chance with his speed. Seems like they were double shifting him in crunch time and overtime.

    • TomNickle says:

      I would give them Plekanec and two of our second round picks next year for Kane before Stan Bowman could blink.

      • Cal says:

        That would leave the Habs with DD and Eller and Kane, if Gomez is demoted. Too small and not tough enough. If the Habs could pry Byfuglien out of Winnipeg and have him play wing, sure.

        • Max_a_million says:

          Plekanek is pretty rough with his stick, but his 17 more pounds than Kane is not adding any beef to the lineup. It’s pretty neutral on size.

      • habstrinifan says:

        I would take off thetable one of the 2nd and add a 3rd. I think Plekanec fills a gap for the Hawks as much as Kane does for us.

        • TomNickle says:

          The difference between Kane and Plekanec is that Kane has truly elite skills. Overpaying a little bit for a player like that(Kovalchuk) is something you do to get a deal done sometimes.

      • Max_a_million says:

        I love his talent, but he looks to be a world class drunken idiot far beyond stuff I have read about say Chris Higgins. Does he take your locker room down a notch or two? Does he take out your world class Goalie, and some of your young studs for some highly stupid benders on Crescent in a town where grandmothers know all of the players instantly?

    • EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

      That is frankly the worst proposition i’ve ever heard, I wouldn’t take Kane if the Blackhawks offered him for free. He’s talented, but he’s small, not at all physical, and has HUGE off ice issues.
      Imagine that lunatic in MTL?, it would be 2008-09 all over again.

      His lack of character and maturity are truly disturbing, he’s a definate downgrade on ANY team.

  10. TomNickle says:

    Two nights ago Ron MacLean compared McDonagh, Girardi and Staal to Robinson, Savard and Lapointe.

    He should be fired for that comment. As disgusting of a comment as I’ve ever heard.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Not sure about disgusting, but it’s certainly inaccurate. There should always be lots of ifs and maybes and potentiallys and other qualifiers when lazy journalists decide to compare three young defencemen to the Big 3, who won multiple Cups together and eventually ended up in the Hall of Fame. The most talented Ranger doesn’t have the potential to be as good as any of the real Big 3, so the whole thing is hyperbolic and premature.

      Any time a team will assemble three really good young defencemen, the Big 3 comparison will be dragged out. It happened with the Leafs and their trio of Phaneuf, Schenn and Komisarek. It’s lazy journalism and hype and boosterism, but it’s not criminal.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • ont fan says:

      When it comes to the hype for the Rangers I cringe. They haven’t won anything.

    • punkster says:

      That one was dumb, Tom. But for disgusting the one directed at Andi Petrillo (reference to “those puppies”) was beyond excusable.

      Anyways, how could we possibly be upset at anything he says compared to the drivel that comes out of the mouth of the guy sitting next to him in the floral outfits.

      HNIC has great opening videos, excellent in game camera work and reasonable play-by-play announcers. Their on air personalities, from colour guys to interviewers to between period commenters are, for the most part, simply atrocious.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Chris says:

      Completely different eras, so there is no point comparing.

      I think the idea that McDonagh (27:55, 8th), Girardi (27:49, 9th) and Staal (25:20, 16th) are all logging over 25 minutes per game is justification for a “Big Three” comment. Are they the same as Robinson, Savard and Lapointe? Of course not…but there will never be another trio like that in today’s NHL. The game is simply completely different than it was in the late 1970′s.

      Girardi and McDonagh are #1 and #2 in the playoffs at blocking shots.

      McDonagh is #1, Staal is tied for #2 and Girardi is tied for #5 in takeaways.

      Those three guys have obviously benefited from playing in front of Lundqvist, but their performance has nonetheless been a complete tour de force this playoff.

    • Cal says:

      Not disgusting. Just ignorant. And anti-Hab, as is usual with the
      C(razy) B(oston-oriented) C(orp).
      Can’t wait for them to lose the rights. The opening sequence is the only part of the show that’s bearable. Cole and Hughson are boring as hell play by play (or is that bore by bore) calling. The
      “colour” men are dull and uninteresting. The between periods show is filled with idiots like Cherry, Mibury and Stock. In short, the CBC’s hockey telecast is watchable only one way, and that is with the mute button employed.

  11. Max_a_million says:

    Wouldn’t it be really terrible for morale in Hamilton to have Scott Gomez there. Don’t you have to put him down, and loan him out to a different team. Do you really want your youngsters hanging with a disgruntled underachiever who has been demoted beyond the bottom. It’s quiet astounding when you look at the players who make his salary, at how he just is so far and beyond never been in their class. Yes I know this going in, but seeing the players it’s just astounding the player we should be suiting up every night. I love Bob Gainey, what a bad day at the office that was.

    • punkster says:

      I think putting him down would be a bit extreme.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • shiram says:

      If you have got a choice of which locker room he staks, I’d pick the Bulldog’s every time.
      Gomez has been a good player before, and even was given a 5 million deal in arbitration, before his absurd long term contract.
      And even with his 2 lousy seasons, he’s got a 076ppg over his NHL carreer.

      • jon514 says:

        It worked for Souray… Revived his career. I think it depends on if he wants to take a leadership role again and if he has anything left to give. Nobody (Souray, Redden included) fell so far so fast as Scott. I think he can spend a year in Hamilton, or somewhere else in the AHL, honestly reflecting on his work ethic and his inability to adapt and maybe he can find a way to have fun playing this game again.

        Seeing what BabyBoom was able to accomplish in Hamilton vs. Montreal, I think the dogs would be really lucky to have a player with Scott’s skill set…

        • Max_a_million says:

          I don’t think Scott Gomez was every the caliber of player who should have been paid that much, which although nice for his wallet has to be hell on the psyche.

          In no way do begrudge a man taking the best offer, and all. He always had that business of saying ‘he wasn’t a goal scorer too’. That isn’t good positive reinforcement for your mind at all. Better to trick yourself into thinking you are one I think.

          • jon514 says:

            You may be right sir. But he was good for 50pts/season at one point. 50pts/season in the NHL is at least 80pts in the AHL. It’s 60 assists on Brendan Gallagher or Patrick Holland goals. It’s 50 times the Beaulieu lead PP can work because Scott broke into the zone, which he’s still pretty good at. Better at least than the guys we have down there now at center…

          • Max_a_million says:

            Yeah butt I remember being in the army, and getting injured. When you are injured you have to hang out with the depressed, upset, injured guys. It’s not inspiring. I had to quit that group, and pretend to be healthy or I never would have made it through Basic Training. How much is Scott going to bring to the table? What will his attitude be?

          • jon514 says:

            It’s not that much of a Risk. You watch him. If you don;t like what you see you send him home, or to the ECHL.

    • Cardiac says:

      It doesn’t seem to have affected the New York Rangers when they demoted Wade Redden.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

    • LNev says:

      Or perhaps it would serve as a reminder to the youngsters that once you achieve the success and the big contract in the NHL you must continue to work hard to stay there.

      Has Redden destroyed Hartford’s room?
      Has Redden’s demotion affected NYR’s ability to sign marquee free agents?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think it’s a foregone conclusion that the Canadiens would do the same thing the Oilers did with Sheldon Souray, and loan him to another AHL team rather than have him on their own farm team and possibly contaminate the atmosphere with resentment over his treatment. Possibly better for both parties is if they can arrange for him to play in Europe. That would probably be a much better option for Mr. Gomez.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I am holding out hope for an amnesty clause. Clean and cost savings for the club. Not greedy though. I just want him gone.

        ———————————–

  12. Max_a_million says:

    The other day I mentioned something about no players having their career years in Montreal, and someone smartly replied that Erik Cole did (although they were not disagreeing just pointing out an outlier). So it occurs to me how amazing of a year did Erik Cole have on a crappy performing team, when good ole Jacques wouldn’t even play him on the power play, or play him commensurate with what he brought to the team. Super impressed with Erik Cole. The guy is digging for pucks until the last whistle blows in games we have no hope of winning. Wow! Bravo Mr. Cole!

    • TomNickle says:

      Jose Theodore, Cristobal Huet, Matt D’Agostini, Sheldon Souray, Mike Komisarek, Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Richard Zednik, Mark Streit.

      Nobody has their best season with the Habs.

      You’re absolutely right.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        I loved Zednik. Was sad when he left, and horrified when he took that blade to the throat.

      • naweed235 says:

        take dagostini and Streit off that list and you are right

        • TomNickle says:

          No I won’t be taking them off of that list. Streit far and away had his best season in Montreal and D’Agostini is borderline. 12 goals in 50 game season with us and a 21 goal season in 80 games with the Blues.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            During Streit’s best season with Montreal the team had 104 points, finishing first in the East, the following season with the Islanders the team had 61 points finishing last in the east. It must also be noted that Streit played as a forward often in Montreal leading to more offensive production.

            His Stats are as follows:
            Mtl 2007-08 81 13 49 62 -6
            NYI 2008-09 74 16 40 56 6

            Looking at the stats, he increased his +/- by 12 playing on a team that accumulated 43 less points. He scored 3 more goals while playing exclusively on D, and in 7 less games. Looks to me like these two season are fairly even.

          • TomNickle says:

            He was a fourth line forward the prior year. His big year here had Dandeneault playing that role if I recall correctly.

            His contributions offensively were largely due to his powerplay time on defense with 34 of his 62 points coming on the powerplay.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            So the seasons were practically equal.. right?
            0.76 PPG with the Isles
            0.76 PPG with the Habs

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Alex Kovalev had his best season with the Pens in 2000-2001 44G 51A 95PTS.

        Sheldon Souray had his best season with the Oilers in 08-09 (slightly less points but increased his +/- by 30.

        Streit is debatable, as is Koivu given he played his entire prime with Mtl.

        Def Theo, Huet, Komi, Zed.

        • TomNickle says:

          Jagr, Straka, Lemieux and Lang were on that Pens team.

          He had Plekanec, Koivu, Kostitsyn and Koivu around him here. I’ll call the Montreal season better confidently.

          As for Souray, he was the bomb on the Powerplay for the #1 unit in the league in his career season with the Habs. And if points were the only criteria for Kovalev having his best season in Pittsburgh, why aren’t Souray’s?

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            Well, Kovalev had 9 more goals (an increase of 26%) in his Pitts season, while his +/- was 6 better in Montreal.

            Souray had 3 more goals with the Habs, but his +/- was 30 points worse. (26 with the Habs and 23 with Edm)

          • TomNickle says:

            Are you reading what you’re posting? Kovalev had a better season in Pittsburgh because he scored more and Souray had a better season in Edmonton even though he scored less.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I am saying that Souray and Kovalev did not have “absolute” career years in Montreal. I used statistics to provide an argument supporting my hypothesis.

            I used the significant increase in goals as a determining factor in Kovalev’s situation, all other statistics were quite comparable. With Souray’s case, the statistical area with the biggest difference was in plus – minus (where he had a much better season in Edm in that category). All other relevant statistics were quite comparable, so I placed higher value on the statistic with the most significant difference.

            You sir, are unable to open your mind to other points of view. “Are you reading what you’re posting? Kovalev had a better season in Pittsburgh because he scored more and Souray had a better season in Edmonton even though he scored less.”

            If you think that is what I am saying your intelligence level must be extremely low, or you are unable to provide a counter point and are resorting to a failed attempt at insulting my logic. A third possibility is that you are intentionally being a dick. I don’t know you, I have seen you make some interesting posts, but in this case, your examples of players having career years in Montreal was weak, at best.

          • TomNickle says:

            You say it’s about open mindedness. Yet your argument was that Kovalev had a better season in Pittsburgh BECAUSE of a higher point total and that Souray had a better season in Edmonton IN SPITE of having a lesser point total.

            Your logic is flawed. I’m completely willing to debate the merits of plus/minus and the value of these players’ contributions to their teams in the relative seasons that they had using the entire body of work. The problem in having that discussion with you is that you aren’t willing to do that. The value you place on points is supposed to be taken as a clincher for one player but not for the other.

            That’s a backwards rationalization used to suit your opinion.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            You still are not getting my point, perhaps it is in our definition of “career year.” To me a career year is a season that stands above a players entire body of work, undoubtedly. The point I have been trying to make is not that Kovalev’s Pit season was his best or that Souray’s Edm season was his best. My point is that both of those players career seasons are very debatable, and their is no clear winner.

            As for the data I chose, Souray had 3 more goals in Montreal (a 13% increase) where his plus minus went from -28 in Montreal to +1 in Edmonton. The points vs +/- argument has to be had to determine which season was better. Same with Kovalev, 44 goals vs 35 goals. 51 assists vs 49 with Habs. Career best +18 with Montreal vs +12 with Pitts. You have to admit that their seems to be no “career year” for these players in Montreal. Like I said I agree with Theodore, Huet, Komi, and Zednik.

      • Max_a_million says:

        I am confused by your comment. I think you are trying to attack me, not sure why.

        D’agostini – best year 46 pts Blues
        Kovalev – best year 95 pts Penguins

        You are right about Saku, yes at over 35 he isn’t exceeding his totals of the 13 years he spent with the habs in his prime

        No sense going through the rest of the lists, I am sure you are right on. I appreciate how you picked up on the spirit of my post. :-)

        • TomNickle says:

          I’m not attacking you at all. But saying that players don’t have their best years here is a generalized statement that is very inaccurate.

          If I were Kovalev, I’d be more proud of and consider my Habs season to be my best based on the talent around him at the respective times.

    • shiram says:

      He got banged up alot also, and did not miss a single game, the guy is a warrior.

      • Max_a_million says:

        I know right he was banged up. Some nights played 2 shifts the whole game! So impressive!

        Hey thanks for reading most post, and replying to what I was talking about. It makes for better conversation.

  13. Newf_Habster says:

    What?! If the Capitals win tonight, there will not be another game until this Saturday night, not tomorrow or this Friday night!!! I find it disgusting and unacceptable. :(

  14. ZepFan2 says:

    There really is a power struggle in Chicago. Leaked video of a meeting between Bowman and Quenneville

    Warning: language is rated R

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

    Bring it on Home

    • Propwash says:

      Sounds like my boss :/

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

  15. kerrgte says:

    gerry h: what is your source in reference to the gomer ‘resolution’ ?

    • Gerry H says:

      Sorry, been busy. Bergevin has acknowledged to the media that the Gomez situation is a top priority. Many commentators have concluded that he has no choice and one has even mentioned that he “appears resigned to his fate,” whatever that means.

      Sorry, nothing more than a fairly loosey-goosey consensus among talking heads.

  16. Gerry H says:

    Back to the only team that matters…

    So, with all signs pointing to a resolution of the Gomaz contract for 2012/13, it looks as though the Habs are headed into the off-season with the cash in hand they need to make a difference. Add to that their #3 pick and things should be looking way up, right?

    What a bummer that the UFA market is so weak. After Parise, Suter and maybe Semin, this crop of UFAs looks pretty slim. Inevitably, that means the first two will almost certainly get insane contracts that the buyer will almost inevitably regret in a big way. All the moreso thanks to the fact that the NHL seems to be finally pushing back somewhat on the ludicrous front-end loading that has been going on for some time.

    So who do they target in a trade? Jumbo Joe? Bobby Ryan? Nash? And on D, White? Hamhuis?

    • mark_ID says:

      Don’t forget Doan…..Price’s cousin afterall :)

      Q: Who put the gold in the Alaskan Bering Sea?
      A: Scott Gomez

    • EricInStL says:

      I always think you should look at teams that had disappointing playoffs (Vancouver, STJ, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Detroit) and see what they lack and maybe the Canadiens have that missing element.

      Vancouver = Solid defensive defenseman
      ST-J = Offense, different coach
      Pitts = Solid defensive defenseman, shut down defensive forward
      Chicago = goalie
      Detroit = not sure.

      Canadiens have solid defenseman coming up, will not be ready this year but for sure next year, maybe trade Markov or Gorges to get a marquee player, Chicago would be great to get a couple of solid prospects but trading Price right now is nuts. Although Halak to Chicago would have been sweet right now.

      • TomNickle says:

        Vancouver is in desperate need of an elite defenseman, a solid defensive defenseman isn’t going to get it done. One of their biggest problems was an inability to generate offense from the back. Also, lost in the Sedin injury bringing them down was the fact that Bieksa didn’t play at a level close to what he did last season. They need a defenseman who can play excellent hockey in all three phases of the game and eat big minutes.

        Pittsburgh has Michalek, Letang and Orpik. They just had a meltdown. From a personnel position they’re fine. Maybe acquire a couple of wingers who can play both ways. Jordan Staal is a pretty good shutdown defensive forward.

        Chicago has little depth at the centre position now and that’s been their biggest downfall outside of goaltending.

        Detroit is just old. They’re going to be rebuilding sooner rather than later.

        • EricInStL says:

          Markov would be a nice addition to Vancouver. But what would you ask for in return ?

          • TomNickle says:

            I believe Markov has a no trade clause and he has never expressed a desire to leave. He gave the Habs one hell of a discount with the contract that he signed prior to his most recent.

            If he were okay with a move to Vancouver I would be asking for a 1st round pick next year and Nicklas Jensen.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: Any trade that brings Montreal more Danes is fine by me! Maybe we can somehow get them to throw in Jannik Hansen too. Detroit had their Russians and then their Swedes…Montreal needs to pick up Regin, Boedker and Nielsen and we can unleash some Danish Dynamite on the NHL. ;)

          • TomNickle says:

            The Danes are a-okay in my book Chris.

            I think this organization identified Switzerland as a relatively untapped resource. I’m hoping like you that they do extensive research in Denmark.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: The problem with Denmark is that the hockey infrastructure there really is non-existent outside of a few small pockets. There are only something like 20-30 actual rinks in the entire country. Now, Denmark is not a large country but that is really the limiting factor for the kids getting to a skill level where the Swedish, Finnish or German leagues might look at them.

    • TomNickle says:

      I doubt Bobby Ryan’s going anywhere with the finish that the Ducks had with Boudreau coaching.

      The Habs have young core players that they’ll be looking to draft around by all indications, so I doubt that Joe Thornton or Rick Nash fit into the equation.

      If making the team a playoff contender while the period of retooling is the mandate. I’m looking for the team to add one or two defensemen who can keep the crease clear for Price and perhaps a couple of forwards who can keep up with the current group while contributing scoring and solid forechecking. Brad Stuart, Barrett Jackman, David Jones, Chris Kelly, Jarret Stoll and PA Parenteau would be good players to chase after.

      • jmsheehy19 says:

        I’ve been hoping we go after Jones, always liked him in Colorado. A third line of Jones- Eller- Bourque/Leblanc could be a difficult line to play against.

        Still leaves the problem of who to play with Pleks and Gio, unless they break up Patches and Cole. I think Parenteau is a product of his environment, and I think he realizes that and will likely stay.

        Also you don’t think Boston lets Kelly go do you?

        • TomNickle says:

          I think that if Bourque isn’t moved in the off-season that he gets the chance to play with them again. Gionta being gone had much more of an impact than people here are willing to admit. When you have a Leblanc or White on the right wing of that line you don’t have to worry about them. You can focus on Plekanec and Bourque, neither of whom were playing well to begin with and shut them down fairly easily.

          I think it sets up like this.

          Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
          Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
          Free Agent – Eller – Leblanc

          • Ozmodiar says:

            If the FA target is a 3rd line left winger, they might as well keep Moen around.

            I think MB will target a top 6 player, with plan “B” being Bourque and Moen on 2nd and 3rd lines, respectively.

          • jmsheehy19 says:

            True, I’ve just never been a big fan of Bourque, neither here nor Calgary. But that obviously doesn’t erase those 27 goal seasons, so as long as he can rebound to 20 that line will work.

            Picking up Jones would give us 3 lines that could score, and give us 5 big guys in the top 9.

            Add a good defensive defensmen to the back end, pray for better health that last year, and I think we would be back in the playoffs. Not a favorite by any means, but somewhere in the the 8-5 range.

            EDIT: I’d prefer Moen on the 4th, and able to jump up on the 3rd if necessary. I love Moen but he was on pace for 25 points or so and that would have been a career year.

      • naweed235 says:

        agree with all those names… add Chris Stewart and Rj Umberger

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          If Stewart or Duchene (somebody pointed out his reduced ice time and poor production) can be had without giving up Subban, Pacioretty, Price, and to a lesser degree Eller I hope we jump all over that.

      • Gerry H says:

        Interesting thoughts, Tom. There seems to be a burning desire for a “difference-maker” down the lines of Parise, etc., but I’d be more worried about the cost of such an acquisition.

        There are a lot of good pieces on this team and some good prospects on the way up. I think making the play-offs next year is very attainable without drastic changes. The single most important piece needed right away, I agree, is at least one rock-solid defensive DMan with an edge. The kind of guy I’d love to have is a Johnny Boychuk, though he isn’t likely to be available to the Habs.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      David Perron. He’s had his injury troubles, so maybe St.L. balks at giving him a long term contract. MB makes a splash by bringing in a local kid. Nice fit on the left wing next to Pleks.

      Or…

      Alex Radulov. I could see it happening if Roy becomes HC.

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    Do the lack of results obtained by Ilya Bryzgalov and Pekka Rinne weaken Carey Price’s bargaining position, or is it the converse, that Martin Brodeur’s steady play and body of work strengthens his agent’s hand as he shoots for a long-term deal for his client?

    I’ll repeat that I hate this consequence of the salary cap, that I’m now so concerned about what individual Canadiens earn, and that I react personally to the contract negotiations of my team and favourite players. As if the outlandish salaries weren’t enough of a reason for the average fan to resent players’ compensations, now we have a rooting interest, we actually side with the owners to offer as little as possible.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Chris says:

      The funny thing with Brodeur is that I don’t feel like he has been that solid in New Jersey’s games. In many cases, he’s looked a bit shaky but gotten away with it.

      Who knows how things will play out with Price. Quick’s dominance has been a huge boon for the Kings and Lundqvist has been his usual solid self in helping the Rangers to being on the verge of the Conference finals.

      But there are just so many goalies out there that are spectacular when put in the right situation. In a shameless example of patting myself on the back, I’ve long said that Mike Smith could be a good goalie in the right system. He showed flashes with Dallas, and was establishing himself as a good goalie with Tampa Bay in 2008-09 when he had to shut down his season due to concussion woes. The next two seasons were a bit of a disaster, but he was lights out this past season in Phoenix for a team that had previously made Ilya Bryzgalov look amazing.

      Price is a very good goalie. But I would be very wary of committing too much salary cap to him as a RFA in a league where a strong system can make a great goalie but a great goalie can’t seem to save a crummy system.

      • TomNickle says:

        Funny you mentioned that about Brodeur. I remarked yesterday that I’ve noticed that unlike his early and prime years in his career that he is going out of his way to stop pucks that are missing the net. Goalies are taught when they get to the junior level to avoid doing it. Not sure why he’s going out of his way to get his body on pucks that aren’t a threat.

        He’s also been flopping at weird angles. Not a very good strategy for an old goalie but who am I to critique his game?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I agree that Martin Brodeur hasn’t stolen a game yet or been lights out, but he does provide his team with confidence, something Mr. Bryzgalov didn’t.

        I guess what I’m wondering about is what’s the zeitgeist now in the league as we prepare to negotiate Carey’s new contract. Two summers ago, apparently the thinking was that you didn’t need elite goaltending to win, since the Hawks had won the Cup with Antti Niemi, and then walked away from him after the arbitration award was too rich for their liking. It seems the market was deflated, as we got less than impressive returns for trading playoff hero Jaroslav Halak.

        Last summer, the mindset seemed to perform a complete 180. Pekka Rinne gets an outlandish contract from the Preds, based more on his physical tools and potential than actual production. The Flyers cave and finally buy their frontline goalie with an even more outrageous contract, which is proving as reckless as it first appeared in July.

        So where are we at this summer? 2010 groove, where the going rate is deflated, and we believe that in the right situation (Kevin Hitchcock, Dave Tippet, Jacques Martin) any goalie gets the job done? Or 2011, where the goaltenders are King, and back their trucks up to the bank vault and help themselves?

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  18. rogieshan says:

    Error in the posting, Dave. The Caps are at home tonight, not MSG.

  19. shiram says:

    Little K and Big K to join the IIHF. They should play their first game on saturday.
    http://fr-ca.actualites.yahoo.com/championnat-du-monde-les-kostitsyn-au-championnat-du-155011937–spt.html

    On the rumours no one wants to believe but still get around anyways : apparently AK’s night out in Glenndale cost him 3 millions, I laughed in the face of the buddy who told me that.
    Don’t trust everything you read/hear.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      3 million?! What did he do? Buy the Coyotes?

      • shiram says:

        Considering the Bruins Starley Cup party cost them 156k, I see no way AK46 spends 3 millions in one night…

        • Mr. Biter says:

          I think he means is salary over the next contract. No way he gets as much as he made this year. Take that to the bank or the way the market is going bury it in the back yard beside the ex-wives.

          Mr. Biter
          No Guts No Glory

          • shiram says:

            No no, the rumour my buddy told me was that his night out drinking cost him 3 millions, he then went on to say AK could afford it since he comes from a rich familly.
            But this buddy of mine, well he believes anything….

        • jmsheehy19 says:

          Yeah there is no way, I was just joking around. Unless he decided and Radulov decided to play a one on one game of crash derby with Bugatti Veyrons.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I posted that he probably went from a potential 5 year twenty five million contract to something more like 3 year 10 million because of that one night of drinking. Smart.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  20. RobertAlanFord says:

    The Kids Are Alright…..

    Just a quick look at where a couple of the young guys are at so far this post season in the junior leagues.

    Brendan Gallagher – Vancouver Giants, played in (sadly) only six WHL playoff games had five goals, five assissts, was even in the plus minus department and had sixteen penalty minutes. A little guy at 5’09 and 175 who is a natural scorer lbs, has good speed and crashes the net. Remind you of anyone? Great fifth round (!) pick by Timmins in the 2010 draft and is a perfect example of why Bergevin confirmed that he will be at the draft table in Pittsburgh this year.

    Jarred Tinordi – London Knights (captain), in seventeen OHL playoff games so far has three goals, five assissts and is plus fourteen. Whats just as impressive is his plus thirty nine in fourty eight regular season games this year which is a huge improvement from last year. I had the opportunity to see him play when his London Knights played the Ottawa 67′s a few months ago and I must say he looks very promising. A big (6’07, 218lbs.) stay at home defence man who reads the rush well. My only concern is his stick handling but then again Hal Gill was no Crosby either and was still one of the Habs’ top d-men.

    Nathan Beaulieu – Saint John, has four goals and five assists in fifteen playoff games with the Sea Dogs and is plus twenty. Upcoming offensive d-man with a lot of potential.

    With just these three names alone most likely headed for Hamilton next year, the Habs will have a little more depth to play with. A nice little trio of talent thatcover both ends of the ice offensively and defensively. Makes me wonder if the habs really need that first rounder this year when they can swap it away for an immediate ipact player. Or………should Bergevin go for first by trading someone away with the first and keep the young talent rolling in.

    Maybe the third overall pick is worth hanging on to. There is a possibility that Edmonton will go with a defenseman like Murray or Dumba which gives the Canadiens either Yakupov or Grigorenko. However, if those guys go one and two then its not worth it for Bergevin to pick up another defenseman seeing as though Tinordi and Beaulieu are about to break into the AHL. At that point he can let the pick go or trade down and get some immediate talent or take a chance with Galchenyuk, who I believe is a better prospect than Forsberg as long as the knee is healthy. And from what we saw with Sarnia’s short playoff run, the kid’s alright.

    • frozengolf says:

      Thanks Robert, lots of good info!

      _________________________________________________________
      “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

    • EricInStL says:

      I’m picturing the following scenario.

      Toronto trades up for the #1 pick, as Edmonton wants Murray bad and doesn’t want to be in a situation where they pass up Yakupov with the #1, so trade down get an extra pick from Toronto maybe a #1 or whatever.

      Columbus picks Galchenyuk, then Montreal gets Forsberg. But I do like Brendan Gauce…

      Anyone but Grigorenko, I think he’s like the next Angelo Esposito…

      • TomNickle says:

        Brendan Gaunce is much closer to Esposito than Grigorenko Eric.

        He disappears regularly.

        Columbus is taking Forsberg by the way.

        • RobertAlanFord says:

          Why so certain?

          • TomNickle says:

            Dave Reid(good friend of Scott Howson’s) let it slip during the under 18 Championships. Reid doesn’t put up smoke screens for people and it’s since been mentioned by a couple of others that Columbus is sold on him.

            A lot can change in between now and then but most of the top draft eligible players are done with their seasons.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            I still say trade our #3 pick and Gomez (package deal) for a 1-3 forward or1-2 d-man and with gomez salary gone spend it on another 1-3 forward or 1-2 d-man.2 top line players for a #3 draft choice.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

          • TomNickle says:

            Why trade a #3 overall pick just to get rid of Gomez’s salary when you can just put him in Hamilton under a worse case scenario?

            I would rather have Gomez playing as our 4th line centre for two more seasons and add a Galchenyuk or Grigorenko than not have one of those prospects and Gomez.

        • Chris says:

          Agreed. I watched a lot of Belleville Bulls hockey over the past two years and I am not at all sold on Brendan Gaunce.

          • LNev says:

            Not exactly impressive. I saw him a few times against the IceDogs and seemed slow and behind the play. Now the Dogs are a pretty sharp team, so perhaps that was part of it. Probably the reason he was running around by the third period looking to throw big hits and cause trouble instead of play hockey…

            I think he’s the guy that Oleskiak one punched after trying to decline the fight at first…

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        The next Esposito or not he’s ranked in the top five by Central scouting so I predict Colombus going for him or Yakupove. I think Galchenyuk is the odd man out due to his knee injury that kept him out for the regular season therefore an easy pick up at third place. I agree with you about Toronto though, they have a lot more to offer than the Canadiens do unless Bergevin is willing to go for broke in a bidding war with Burke.

        • TomNickle says:

          The Leafs have more to offer? Their prospect cupboard is bare outside of Kadri and he’s creeping up on a bust label because of their mismanagement of his development.

          They have Schenn and Gardiner. We have Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Gallagher and a bunch of roster players that teams will be after.

          Their so called blue chip prospects are Greg McKegg and Brad Ross. McKegg is a nice prospect but Brad Ross has hit a wall in his development.

          • RobertAlanFord says:

            They have a lot to give on D which is one of the areas Edmonton is lacking.

          • TomNickle says:

            They have no more to give than most organizations. Schenn and Gardiner? If they want to trade two core players than yeah sure.

            We could trade Edmonton Subban and Gorges, Ottawa could trade them Karlsson and Cowen, Buffalo could give them Pysyk and Myers.

            There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t have two core defensemen to build around outside of maybe Minnesota.

            Who are their other defensemen they could give up for a #1 overall pick? Komisarek, Franson, Finger, Phaneuf? Phaneuf is a good player but I don’t think Edmonton would thank you for any of the other three.

        • Chris says:

          Central Scouting does not rank North American skaters versus European skaters. So where they’ve got Forsberg against Yakupov, Murray and Grigorenko is anybody’s guess.

          • TomNickle says:

            Exactly. You can’t know where they have players like Teuvo Teravainen which is interesting because he reminds a lot of people of Sven Baertschi.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: Sebastien Collberg is an intriguing guy for me. I thought he was one of the more dynamic players for Sweden’s gold-medal World Junior team (I actually thought he played better than Forsberg), and his numbers in the Ivan Hlinka tournament, the World Juniors and the junior Swedish Elite League were as good or better than Forsberg’s over the past couple of years.

            Forsberg has the advantage of size (6’2″, 180 pounds) but will have to work at building strength to take advantage of his frame, much like Lars Eller has been doing for the Habs.

            At 5’11″ and 176 pounds, Collberg doesn’t give up much at all in weight and is tall enough to be a good NHL player. More importantly, the kid can absolutely fly…fantastic skater in the few opportunities I got to watch him on TV.

            Because of the strangeness of the CSS rankings, he is often overlooked. Teravainen passed him at the end of the year ranking, but Collberg was right there with Forberg for most of the year. Playing in the Swedish Elite League probably hurt him a bit, as his bagels on the scoreboard might scare people away as opposed to viewing it as that he has had a year to practice and train with the professionals in the Swedish Elite League.

            Collberg’s been a sniper at every level and has NHL speed to go with a good shot. I’m not sure why Craig Button has him ranked so low (#18) and can’t access the ranking from any of the other usual players yet, but I would be shocked if he goes that low.

          • TomNickle says:

            Chris I would like to thank you. I’ve been called some choice names for speculating that Collberg presents more upside than Forsberg and that if any of the two have elite potential it’s Collberg.

            If offensive production relative to the league the players are in means anything, Collberg presents more potential in my opinion. At the same levels of hockey Collberg has shown more talent and professional capability.

            I believe Forsberg’s rise has been media driven and you may think it’s crazy but I suspect the Leafs have something to do with it in hopes that a player falls to them(Galchenyuk) ala Tavares a few years ago.

          • Chris says:

            Tom: This kind of stuff happens all the time. The media coverage of some of these events (World Juniors, the draft, etc) borders on ludicrous.

            The draft is a crap shoot. All most of us can do is speculate…there are very few experts out there that see all of these kids play. Even the guys making the decisions often have to rely on observations of their scouts and then try to compare one scouts notes on a kid like say Collberg versus a completely different scout’s take on a kid like Grigorenko.

            The only chance we get to see these guys all in one place is the World Junior tournament which is simply not a good evaluation tool for how these guys play hockey.

            You can spot the skills… Is he an NHL calibre skater? How is his shot? What about shot selection?

            But when it comes to the details, the kids don’t usually have enough time playing together to really get a true idea of their potential. McDonagh got ripped after a less than stellar World Junior tournament where he was playing hurt, but a defensive defenceman like he is simply wouldn’t be comfortable with a lack of familiarity with his defence partner, his goaltender and trust in his forwards to be in the right place.

            Forsberg looks like he is going to be a good one. But I still wonder how much of his hype is name-based…I wouldn’t be shocked if it plays a role. :)

  21. The Dude says:

    Is Roy head coach yet?

  22. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Is anyone actually saying that, if they were an NHL G.M., you would absolutely not consider ALL aspects of a prospect’s situation before drafting or not drafting, signing or not signing, trading for or not trading for that player? I call either B.S. or extend my best wishes in your new career, if you are.

    • shiram says:

      heh no one here is gonna be GM outside of EA’s NHL series…

    • Strummer says:

      It’s my understanding that the top prospects undergo not only fitness testing but also interviews by prospective teams.
      It seems GM’s practise due diligence when rating the top prospects at least.

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

      • Chris says:

        Exactly. They will interview each kid individually and then make a judgement call as to how serious that kid is about their NHL dreams, how mature they are, how intelligent they are, etc.

        Any GM that engages in widespread biases based on little other than a few isolated incidents does not deserve to be in the job. I have a hard time believing that anybody would pass on Yakupov based on his being Russian: everything screams that the kid wants to be an NHL player, and that he is going to be a very good one.

        If the Oilers pass on Yakupov, it is not because they are wary of his being Russian, but instead that they are already deep in forwards and desperately need defenceman. Anything else is just background noise…completely random and generally worth ignoring.

        • Mad Habber says:

          Remember Alexei Cherepenav (sp? former Rangers prospect…) A lot of scouts compared him to Pavel Bure, or Moligny but nobody dared to take him until #17…he was the first Russian taken that year, and a lot of it had to do with the KHL…It’s the same reason teams are afraid to take Swiss players as well..They get concerned the won’t be inclined to take a paycut to come across the pond.

          You see scouts are selective due to size…Zach Parise went #17 because of his size. They will discriminate because of injuries as well.

          Obviously some of their caution is justified, but I hate it when teams pass on guys like Parise because of one stupid little flaw.

      • GrimJim says:

        Yup, interviews at the Combine are a given. But not only that, there is nothing stopping a team from inviting draft prospects to “tour the arena”, meet with staff, see the town, etc. prior to the draft. Edmonton had both Hall and Seguin out for day-long visits about a week before the 2010 draft.

    • Cal says:

      Besides all the scouting info, the interviews with the prospect go a long way in determining whether or not that prospect is drafted (if still available). All info gathered regarding the prospect is important and must be weighed. The drafting process is about determining character as well as talent.

  23. boing007 says:

    Flyers excuse for being eliminated? The Devils made me do it.

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

  24. Strummer says:

    Devils’ victory was due to David Puddy superfan!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftUR6AFTNMA

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

  25. Marc10 says:

    It’s hard to go back to the big show the second year. The Flyers gave it a good try with a new lineup, but in the end they ended up with a spotty D and no goalie… Back to square one, eh!

    I’ll join the ranks of those who weren’t impressed by Laviolette’s goon show. Weak. Piss weak.

  26. DorvalTony says:

    Flyers ain’t what they used to be. And neither are the Divvils.

  27. H.Upmann says:

    Doing a quick wiki read on Stan Bowman gives me the impression that his lack of “playing / coaching” experience could be a factor in tensions within Blackhawks front office.. Plus maybe a bit of the entitlement thing with a name like ‘Bowman’… But hey, I ain’t no Hawks fan :)

  28. habsnyc says:

    This is so confusing. From what I can gather from the three teams that made the semi finals, the common denominators are a great goalie, shot blocking, conservative offense and a conservative coach. That sounds like what Montreal has.

    There is no favorite for the Cup this year or next. The team with the most talented players does not necessarily win the Cup or even advance to the finals. To me, it would not be an upset if 7th seeded Washington hosted 8th seeded LA in the finals.

    I’m not sure I like that the playoffs are so unpredictable. It is fine to see and upset here and there, but home ice and seeding are irrelevent. Anyone who makes the playoffs can win the Cup.

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

    • mrhabby says:

      its all about Parity and most like it this way , more exciting.

      • commandant says:

        Hard work and a good system matter.

        But when you have a talented player, working hard and playing the system, its even better.

        Look what Kovalchuk, Parise and Elias are doing for the Devils.

        And look who has been scoring those big goals for the Rangers lately, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik.

        Sure the Tom Kostopolous type player and Mathieu Darche types are great, because they leave it all on the ice… but if you can get a guy with real talent to play the same way. Look out.

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

    • shiram says:

      Some years one of the top teams wins, others lower ranked teams can win it, I’m fine with that, it seems to indicate there is no one sure way to win the Cup.

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    If the KHL wants to take on the NHL I will watch with interest. .

    Putin vs Bettman would be like bruins vs Flyers. You hope they both lose.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I’m with you ’72, although Putin would absolutely crush Bettman unless it was a debating competition in English only ( with no translation)

      Ok – I will break my own rule and be political for 1 question:

      When is a Russian “Spring” going to run Putin the Czar out of town already??

      .

      • boing007 says:

        The sooner the better.

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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        He knows to keep the thugs and oligarchs happy and the cash flowing. He is safe.

        I mean Bettman of course. No idea about Putin.


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

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    Sherrie! I am with you! The best thing to come out of the play offs for me this year is the OUTING of 1st, the Boston bean gang of thugs and 2nd the Philly head shot artist’s.

    Skating, discipline and team play wins every time.

  31. Willy says:

    After watching the Devils put it to the Flyers last night i must say i lost whatever little respect i had left for Laviolette. He puts that dirtbag Zac Rinaldo in the lineup for “energy” aka intentional dangerous plays,l ook at the knee on knee he laid on Zubrus as well as numerous hits from behind. Just ridiculous stuff.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Let’s just see what Shannahan does today about the head shots of last night!!

    • Cal says:

      Watching Hartnell do whatever he wanted with impunity was sickening. In one shift I counted 1 slash to a Dman behind the legs, a cross-check in the back and a slash to a forward’s wrist.
      Not one call.
      Then, in the 3rd period, the refs decide that holding is more of a penalty. The NHL refs and their overseers are the biggest joke in sports. Very glad the Flyers are out.

  32. D Mex says:

    Any chance of a summary on the RDS (l’Antichambre) chat re : talk of Burke trying to send L Schenn to EDM in a bid for the 1st overall pick ?
    I thought I heard Bélanger comment it could give them Schenn and Murray, but it got noisy around here and I missed bits …
    Thanks in advance.

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

    • mark_ID says:

      I really hope that Edmonton would not go for that deal…..no way Schenn is worth the number 1 pick.

      If Burke can pull that off, it will be upsetting, to say the least.

      Edit: I guess you meant Toronto sends their first plus Schenn for the number 1 overall, that changes things a bit. I thought you meant Schenn straight up for the number 1 lol

      Q: Who put the gold in the Alaskan Bering Sea?
      A: Scott Gomez

      • Malreg says:

        It would have to be Schenn + the Leafs 5th overall pick for the 1st overall pick.

        Leafs would still have to add more.

        • Mad Habber says:

          Still Scheen is a borderline bust, and I wouldn’t see him as a player I would move down 4 spots for, but who knows maybe Kevin Lowe will. I doubt Oilers make a deal with the Leafs though.

    • D Mex says:

      I wasn’t able to hear most of what was said, but the bit I did get had Schenn going to EDM and Bélanger referred to Murray being there as well, so I gather the chat was that the teams would swap picks plus TO would send roster player(s) west.

      I’m not thrilled at the idea Burke could swing something like this. If there’s an upward move to be made, I’d rather it be us. This said, and until there’s reason to think otherwise, my sense is that Bergevin will get up to speed and will develop a sound strategy, including communications with any / all clubs as required, in the Habs best interests. I wouldn’t have said something like this a month ago.

      ALWAYS Habs -
      D Mex

  33. shiram says:

    I think I lost all interest in this year’s Stanley Cup, bring on some Habs news please?

  34. secretdragonfly says:

    Oh happy day, first Boston, then Philly – don’t have to put up with Briere’s annoying smirks, Hartnell’s general douchery or Laviolette’s bad hair for a few more months. I also lost a ton of respect for Giroux over the past few weeks; the tantrums, the whining to the refs, I really thought he was better than that but he’s obviously well indoctrinated into the Flyers’ philosophy of entitlement.

    • Les Canayens says:

      I also view Giroux differently after this series. Against Pittsburgh I thought he was more a stand up guy, but maybe having another whiny entitled prima donna like Crosby on the other end everyone else seem so much more as angels.

      Even Couturier bought into that bitchy whiny mentality.

  35. HabFanSince72 says:

    Thomas LeFan

    Big diff between mentioning the KHL option and raising ethnocentric prejudices.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      As if I did that, outside of your mind. For the record, there are many Russian and/or former Soviet players that I would sign in a heartbeat. So tell me. Any conservatives that you would vote for? Maybe Boone could answer that?

  36. kempie says:

    Hmmmm. Okay how about this: I heard that Galchenyuk is a lazy Russian with a bum knee who is likely to bolt to the KHL if he doesn’t get his way. Definitely not worth the risk if you’re picking in the top 3. Yak, Grigs, Forsberg would all be much safer bets. (winkyface)

    • JUST ME says:

      He is not a russian ! Born and raised in Milwaukee ! Apparently travelled the world with his parents but is as much a russian as you and i.

      • shootdapuck says:

        But mom and dad are Russian.

        Take from someone who just spent 3 years in Russia; money talks and traditions walk.

        Wonder what they chat about at the dinner table?

        Those tax free KHL dollars are tempting when compared to an entry level NHL contract.

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

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

        • Ali says:

          He already played for the States at the juniors. He won’t be accepted in Russia apparently. Dmitri Chesnnokov, a russian reporter who’s pretty plugged in with nhl guys, reported that. he’s just not welcome there.

          • shootdapuck says:

            The mentality in Russia is to try and screw the NHL at any opportunity grabbing top 3 draft picks welcome or not is their attempt at legitimizing the league.

            There would be big press in Russia if the KHL scooped all 3 top draft picks.

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

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

          • Chris says:

            And the fact that Galchenyuk picked the US to play for internationally is another strong indication of his intentions when it comes to NHL vs. KHL. Good point.

          • commandant says:

            The fact that the entire family also choose to move back to the United States as soon as Alex Sr retired from hockey is also a good indication of their intentions.

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

          • Chris says:

            Commandant: It wasn’t as soon as his dad retired…he played his last professional game in 2004, and they didn’t move over until 2009. But he did leave his job (I haven’t been able to find what that was) with two years left on his contract, so they were certainly serious about giving their son every opportunity they could for him to chase his NHL dreams.

      • Chris says:

        He was not born and raised in Milwaukee. Ugh.

        He spent the grand total of one or two years out of his first 15 years in Milwaukee. He only learned English as a teenager.

        Galchenyuk spent more time living in Italy and Russia than the United States.

        Regardless, Galchenyuk and his father (who had no problem globetrotting to follow his hockey dreams) both made considerable sacrifices to come to North America so that the younger Alex could get drafted into the OHL and learn the North American game. Think he’s interesting in the NHL? :)

        • shootdapuck says:

          After sacrifices more interested in dollars!

          As quick and as much as possible.

          Absolutely.

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

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

          • Chris says:

            The “more interested in dollars” comment has nothing to do with their being Russian. I can think of scores of North American players who have held out for more dollars.

            It is professional sports…these guys are hard-wired to make as much money as quickly as they can. In many cases, they don’t have many alternatives as the path to hockey success often involves slacking off in academic studies.

          • Ali says:

            yeah because all non-russian players are all in it for the love of the game purely, thats why they play for free right?

    • kempie says:

      Holy crap it worked.

      Eeeeeeexcelent. Bwa ha hahaha.

      Yes, he’s a fat lazy Rusky who’s only after the rubles and he’s already wrecked his knee. Probably won’t get picked until the 8 or 9 spot. Columbus would be wise to avoid this risk.

      Yes.

  37. HabinBurlington says:

    A very interesting read on the current situation in Chicago. I think Stan Bowmans best days as a GM came and went his first year with team that Tallon built for him.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/John-Jaeckel/Dysfunction-Junction/128/44336

    • habsfan0 says:

      Re: Stan Bowman. I thought the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
      Seems that not all idioms are true.

    • Ali says:

      Power struggle? Quenneville demanding changes to the roster to make it more to his liking? Not in harmony with the GM? Why I swear you could be talking about all the things people say Patrick Roy would do. Guess he wouldn’t be that different?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Except there were no reports of power struggles when Tallon, Chevaldayoff and Bergevin were in the Mgmt team.

        Seems since Stan was given the keys to the new car to drive, there has been an exodus of qualified Mgmt and Quenneville appears to be the last Mohican left in the Blackhawk fold.

        • Ali says:

          honestly, I met the dude. he did not impress me character wise at all. Then again he was at a fancy bar in montreal and was quite a few drinks in. (stan bowman i mean)

          edit: Talon on the other hand, was a class act.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yah I am not sure he resembles dad except in looks and last name.

        • Ian Cobb says:

          Tucker! I knew you were out there!
          HIO has been waiting your comments sir!
          Larry is very comfortable in Jersey. I do not think he will take any head coaching job ever again. Be nice to have him as a assistant!

  38. Tuckerrr says:

    Hey I’m a new poster but i’ve followed the sight since ’09! Does anyone else think that Larry Robinson is in the Habs’ sights for head coach?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hey Tuckerrr. Welcome and glad you finally posted. From what I’ve read and heard, Larry does not want anything to do with being a head coach. He’s mentioned the stress as one reason for his dislike. As an assistant coach sounds great doesn’t it?

      ———————————–

    • JF says:

      Welcome to HIO!

      Larry Robinson stepped down as Devils coach a few years ago because he found the pressure undermined his health. How do you think he would handle the pressure of being head coach in Montreal? A lot of us are hoping we’ll get him as defence coach.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Welcome aboard Tuckerrr, hope for your sake no relation to Tucker Carlson the right wing political pundit, this environment here doesn’t like much to do with the right it seems.

      CHeers, and I agree with Habfan10912 above re: Robinson.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Welcome Tuckerr,
      As Habfan said, I also understand that Larry does not want the pressure of head coach, and I agree that he would be the ultimate assistant coach, especially given our young defense corps.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Chris says:

      Welcome!

      No, Robinson is unlikely to be the new coach but would have to be seriously considered for the defence coach position.

      One of the other rumours is that he would be happy to get out of coaching and be appointed as one of the Habs’ Ambassadors (alongside Henri Richard, Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Rejean Houle and Guy Lafleur). His main goal is to become re-integrated into the franchise, from what I have read, and would accept any role to do that.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Welcome aboard Tuckerrr.

  39. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Bruins and now Flyers done. I love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning!

  40. kerrgte says:

    Lou L is the new Sam Pollock. 3 stanley cups since 1995, and here comes the fourth.

    A smart, relentless offense. I was a skeptic when he acquired Ilya K but I’m not doubting his smarts now. And of course Parise, Zajak, and Clarkson.

    What a d. Big, mean, clean and smothering.

    And of course Brodeur, the best money goalie on the planet for the last 15 years.

    So whoever wins between Wash and NY – it really doesn’t matter. both teams will be walking wounded – will get clobbered in short order by NJ.

    Then LA. No worries, NJ in 6 in this series.

    • 69HABS says:

      LA will win the CUP!

    • Habsrule1 says:

      I don’t think the devils get past the next round, no matter who they play.
      Brodeur has been brutal in the playoffs for the past several years. Just another reason why Roy is the greatest of all time, and not Brodeur.

      You could be right, but I’d be surprised if the devils win the Cup.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

      • kerrgte says:

        too bad Mtl couldn’t have enticed Lou L to be the new GM.

        3 cups in 15 years is an exceptional achievement

        • Habsrule1 says:

          He’s done well, but no French. Do you want a GM who wins or one that can speak to the media?
          Get your priorities straight.

          Go Habs Go!!

          “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  41. Strummer says:

    Looks like Giroux’s transgression may have cost his team the series.
    Sucks for a good player like him.

    Much like Joel Ward’s situation from their Game 5 on Monday night.

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

  42. Mattyleg says:

    Heya gang,
    Another dark and drizzly day in the City Of Hockey Champions…
    Bah.

    Seems like déja vu for not-the-first-time (I should really © that…) with the Flyers going out: team plays hard as hell against an overmatched bitter rival, leaves it all on the ice, wins an emotional series, forgets they have another series to play, craps the bed.

    I can’t remember if the Habs have ever done that.
    Probably not, right?

    I’m going to have a hard time figuring out if there’s a team I really like left in the playoffs. LA have been my sleeper team all season, as I had Quick and Brown in both my pools (deft choices, I know; I will sell you my advice next season, and you too can finish 3rd and 11th -of 12- in your respective pools too!) and I think they are both quality players.

    Otherwise… I dunno. Phoenix is a feel-good story, and it’s great to see Shane Doan doing well, but I can’t bring myself to fully support a franchise that I don’t believe should exist in the first place, and one that Gary Bettman supports. I honestly can’t stand that little clown.

    So I think it’s cricket-watching time for me!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Matty and all. You sum it up very well. I’ve had a tough time getting in to any of the series’ with the exception of rooting against the Bruins vs Caps. I think if our Habs were involved it would be a lot different but for me its the lack of scoring that contributes to my lack of excitement. It’s really hard to score in the league now. Take last night. A goalie surley in confidence slump slows 3 goals. Couple of post helped him but a crappy goalie having a subpar game yet he’s only beaten 3 times. These goalies with their supersize pads leave very little to shot at. For cripes sake, Tim Flop Thomas looks bigger then a sumo wrestler. Too hard to score for my liking.

      ———————————–

    • HardHabits says:

      I’d be perfectly happy with a big money, big market Final between LA and NY. Nothing about the Coyotes makes me feel good. As stated numerous times, they’re a team owned by the league, foisted upon the other teams, trying desperately to entrench itself in the desert as an outpost to further expand in the desert to Las Vegas.

      I really hope LA makes it to the Final but gets banged up in the process.

      I think the real feel good story is the Devils. They are a team that truly turned it around and is winning with fatso in nets.

  43. JUST ME says:

    Can anyone tell me who was the Flyers best player ? That`s what i thought…they came out flat with nothing left in the gas tank.

    Devils really played their own game and deserved to win. Their best players were the best players.

    Unpredictable playoffs so far ! Of course the Kings had all the parts but at season `s end the puzzle seemed far from ready. Rangers or Caps, not sure they have what it takes.

    Off topic: Everytime i read about the upcoming draft people seem to be afraid that the chosen ones could go back to russia if not happy . In the group of usual suspects they mention Galchenyuk as interresting but…Please take note that the guy is american.Born and raised in Milwaukee.

    • habs-hampton says:

      You’re right about Galchenyuk. He’s about as Russian as Wayne Gretzky (OK, one more generation removed). He is a born and raised North American.

    • Chris says:

      Actually, Galchenyuk’s not exactly born and raised in Milwaukee. He was born in Milwaukee, but then spent the next decade or so moving all over the world as his father played in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the United States and Russia over the next few years. When he was drafted by the Sarnia Sting, he was fluent in Italian and Russian but only had a “good grasp” of English and was working heavily on that.

      In total Galchenyuk was born in the United States, lived there for another 2 years when he was 2 and 3 years old, and then came back to the United States at age 15. His dad finished his playing career in Russia and was still employed there when he quit his job in 2009 to bring his son over to the U.S. to give him an opportunity to get more exposure from OHL scouts by playing in the Mid-West Elite League.

      I have no fear picking any of Galchenyuk, Grigorenko or Yakupov. All three kids have shown that they want to play in the NHL by moving over to North America to get a higher profile with NHL scouts and make the necessary cultural adjustments.

      If the long NHL careers of players like Pavel Datsyuk, Anton Volchenkov, Alex Kovalev, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Andrei Markov, Sergei Gonchar or Fedor Tyutin don’t demonstrate that many Russians are perfectly happy to play in the NHL, there isn’t much that will convince you that these kids are serious about wanting to play in the league that offers the highest competition.

      The recent examples of highly regarded prospects like Evgeny Grachev, Slava Voynov or Artem Anisimov, all of whom happily toiled in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL, demonstrates that some Russian kids are actually happy to be patient instead of running to the big money in Russia.

      People who whine about Russian players possibly running to the KHL are just that: whiners. There are always going to be some players who use leverage to get bigger contracts, and they are just as likely to be Russian as Canadian. The goal of any team is to draft the mature, team-first players and avoid the selfish players (like Radulov) who are looking for paycheques first and foremost.

      • ed lopaz says:

        People who “whine” about Russian players possibly running to the KHL, are realists, not whiners.

        It is part of the reality of today’s pro hockey, and certainly is part of negotiating a contract with a Russian player.

        If you are a GM or an agent and you are not investigating the possibility that a Russian player might want to go back “home”, play for big money, and raise his family in the culture in which he was raised, then you are a GM or an agent not taking all the relevant factors of a negotiation into account.

        Ryan Kessler is not going to the KHL – no matter what. Its not a factor in his negotiations.

        Andre and Sergei and Radulov and all the guys you mention in your post could and SHOULD be investigating what their KHL options would be.

        It is not whining to understand how players who come from different countries have to be treated differently.

        Many Swedes like to end their NHL careers short and finish off playing in the Swedish league – that is part of the Swedish players reality.

        The KHL is a real league and the the players are quite happy playing there.

        I would argue that anyone who dismisses that the KHL is a huge issue when drafting a Russian player is simply not considering all of the relevant variables the player will consider in making his decision.

        If Yakupov gets drafted by a crap team like Columbus, and struggles to make an impact, you watch and see how quickly the KHL will come calling him – whether the player played in the the OHL or not – irrelevant.

        If Murray struggles, the KHL will never be a factor

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think that is a very fair way to describe the situation Ed.

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Right Ed. I got in “trouble” for voicing my fears about the young Russians as if it had anything to do solely with their ethnicity and nothing to do with reality. I’m surprised no one’s accused you of bigotry yet.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think Ed does a nice job of describing the factors of a player wanting to play in his home country, he is not attacking a players desire to play hard as a result of the country he is born in. I agree with Ed 100% in his post, but do have an issue with the often used term here, “Lazy Russian”. I am not accusing you of thisThomas, but clarifying the point I think Ed made very well.

          • Habspark says:

            And re Ryan Kessler, no I doubt management is going to be probing the possibility of him going to the KHL. But, you can bet they will be making sure he is happy where he is if they value him, particularly if other teams are interested. No difference.

        • Habspark says:

          I’m with Chris…

          Since the creation of the KHL, the NHL has never really had to worry about players disappearing off to other countries before – they’ve had a absolute monopoly on league, players and money. In European soccer you don’t hear this kind of chat about signing foreign players.

          The NHL is still the league any self-respecting hockey player aspires too, Canadian, Russian, wherever – it’s where you prove yourself on every level and get paid well if you reach the top, ie., these guys want the chance to prove they can be NHL stars, and that much is clear.

          So if Murray or another Canadian will never go to the KHL, so what? Maybe they should consider it, or else they just get traded to another mediocre position in another NHL team or dropped to the minors. Either way, they’re no use to us, so why worry about where they might go if they’re not working out with us? Point is, Canadian, Russian wherever, if they are not working out, we won’t them, and that’s the draft risk.

        • Chris says:

          Ed: It is nothing but whining because people absolutely know nothing about what makes each of these individual tick. Treat each individual as a an individual and avoid sweeping generalizations. Some Russian players WILL undoubtedly consider the KHL, as they should. Everything we are hearing is that for Yakupov, this is a VERY unlikely scenario. Grigorenko is a bit more of a wild-card. Galchenyuk is very unlikely as well, but not because of his supposed connections to the U.S. (he is far more European than American).

          What I absolutely can’t stand is the rampant BS about how Russians are different than Czechs, Finns or Swedes. Like you said, many other European players have strong cultural ties to their home country, just as Canadian and American players do.

          Nicklas Lidstrom was extraordinarily tempted to return to Sweden back in the early 2000′s. He stayed for another decade, but there were 2 or 3 contract negotiations in a row where he thought heavily about returning home so his kids could grow up in Sweden. Mats Naslund left at age 30. Hakan Loob left in the peak of his career. Lidstrom was willing to leave in the peak of his career. Where’s the fear of drafting Swedes? Would most Habs fans not be ecstatic if we picked Filip Forsberg? Did Adam Larsson or Victor Hedman have to contend with this nonsense in their draft year? No, they did not.

          For many Russian players, all they need is to be given opportunities to excel in a stable franchise, and they will have no problem staying in North America. Guys like Radulov and Filatov left, but the Kostitsyns have NOT left despite having much, much larger (tax-free) contract offers on the table each summer from KHL teams. Why? Because they have wanted to play in the NHL and were given opportunities to do so.

          Nobody should completely dismiss the KHL. But the threat of the KHL is little more than a veiled disguise of prejudice against Russian hockey players. There are plenty of examples of Russian players happy to work their way through the junior hockey to the AHL and then earn their promotion to the big club. Unfortunately, those players don’t fit the story that people want to tell so we don’t focus on them.

          Your argument that Ryan Kesler isn’t going to the KHL is a red herring. Kesler is an established NHL star. But let’s look at some players who struggled to break into the league, often the victims themselves of league bias against smaller players.

          Brian Rafalski went to play in Finland for a few years, as did Tim Thomas. Mark Giordano went to play in the KHL for a year when his NHL career wasn’t going the way he hoped. All three eventually came to the NHL and had great careers. Brandon Bochenski, Kevin Dallman, and Chris Bourque are all examples of young players who struggled to make the NHL and went running to the KHL. Mathieu Carle, the former Habs prospect, recently signed with a KHL club. Andre Benoit, a former top defenceman in the OHL who toiled in the AHL for a while, played last season in the KHL.

          Ray Emery resurrected his career in the KHL after flaming out of the NHL due to personal issues. So the notion that only Russian players run back to the KHL is complete and utter BS.

          Of course Russian players will be courted more heavily, as their name recognition will be greater to Russian fans. But how many young Russians that were high draft picks have bolted? Radulov is the only Russian player I can think of where he was clearly an integral part of his team but bolted to the KHL for more money. Filatov was struggling to get into the lineup, but we can count him as well to be fair.

          How many Russian players that were established stars used the KHL as a threat during contract negotiations? Kovalchuk comes to mind, but I don’t think many people took that threat particularly seriously given his love of the NHL spotlight. Jiri Hudler was lowballed by the Red Wings because of cap constraints and played one year in the KHL for big money, but he is Czech (and that defection didn’t seem to hurt Czech players’ perception amongst fans and teams).

          Other than that, the guys that leave are usually players struggling to get into the lineup in the first place or youngsters who weren’t particularly comfortable moving to North America to develop in the AHL when they could stay in their own comfort zone, make more money and develop equally well in their own home league (whether they be Russian, Finnish or Swedish).

          As for Canadian stars going to the KHL, it may very well happen someday. Imagine if the KHL was a legitimate option for a guy like Eric Lindros back in 1990 and the Nordiques decided to play hardball with him?

          With the salary cap and these absurdly long contracts gumming up teams’ ability to sign their youngsters, I would not at all be surprised to see a Canadian or Russian up-and-comer bolt for the KHL for more money in the event of a contract impasse.

        • Mats Naslund says:

          Actually they’re whiners.

          They see a few examples of one phenomenon and apply it to all situations regardless of the very specific conditions that exist for each player regardless of where they were born.

          Of course if you consider being ignorant “being a realist” – one can only speculate on what your “reality” looks like.

          If the KHL is such a danger – and money the biggest factor for Russian players – why have ALL of the elite Russian players turned down ridiculous contracts in the KHL to play here?

          So yeah – people who complain about drafting Russians are whiners. But I would go one further by saying that people who complain about drafting Russians who left home at 16 to ride buses all over the backwoods of Canada and the US are morons.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Very well written and very true re a good GM awareness of all pitfalls when negotiating contract.

      • New says:

        People get excited about players. Dryden walked out and continued his legal education but nobody ranted it would be the end of hockey.

        If a player can’t play in the NHL or doesn’t want to play in the NHL they can play elsewhere. Who really cares? I am sure some agents would use it as a bargaining chip but it would cut into their commissions and wouldn’t be widespread.

        I think if a kid says he would like to play in the NHL he means he would like to play in the NHL. I would be more worried about character than the KHL. They are pretty young and if they don’t get mentored properly it all goes to waste. All being their talent and your development efforts.

        • Chris says:

          Absolutely true.

          This ominous threat posed by the KHL is a bit of a red herring because, other than the cases of Filatov, Radulov and Hudler, it has amounted to a mountain out of a molehill.

          The guys that have bolted for the KHL have been, for the most part, somewhat marginal players or struggling prospects. Yet somehow, people are now freaking out over every top Russian prospect. It is absolutely laughable.

    • smiler2729 says:

      The Flyers didn’t even beat Pittsburgh, the Pens beat themselves…

      _______________________________________
      Calling it like it is:
      Jack Edwards is a clam.
      Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I am a bit scared of Galchenyuk because of his surgery. I have visions of 79 in my head. I am no Dr. Recchi so I don’t know the details of his surgery but isn’t it a bit of a risk at the #3 spot? Especially when we hear the talent difference amping the top 6 is slim. I dunno. Confused again.

      ———————————–

      • boing007 says:

        He played in the first round of the OHL playoffs, so he is certainly on the mend.

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

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        1) It’s a first reconstruction, as opposed to Andrei Markov’s second reconstruction in two years, which is way more problematic and has a lower probability of success.

        2) Alex Galchenyuk suffered this injury as a 17 year old. Teenagers have a very good prognosis with these surgeries, their ability to recover is much better than an adult in his thirties.

        3) Mr. Galchenyuk has already returned to active duty and showed no complications. The knee was solid and he was skating and moving effectively, with no limits on his icetime.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  44. 24 Cups says:

    This is why people buy lottery tickets even when they know they have little chance of ever winning.

    BTW, Beacon Hall is one great track.

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/golf/article/1175117–young-aurora-golfer-shoots-two-holes-in-one-in-same-round

  45. chanchilla says:

    I wouldnt trade up, i still think galch will be a better player than yakupov, if he didnt have surgery this year i bet he was goin first overall

  46. The Cat says:

    I dont see whats wacky about NJ beating Philly, NJ had more wins than they did this year…So its hardly the upset a lot of people seem to want it to be.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the Philly beating of Pittsburgh lead many to believe they were unstoppable.

      While I wished the Habs had picked up Jagr last offseason, boy his age really started to show this series. That Flyers team lost all of its poise in the Devils series.

  47. 24 Cups says:

    So it looks like we’re back to the drawing board in terms of the only two questions that really count. Who will become head coach of the Habs and which player will the team select with their 3rd overall pick?

    The best coaching candidate says no.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/joel-quenneville-commits-indian-explains-firing-blackhawks-assistant-013138944.html

    Who would you trade to Edmonton in order to move up and select Yakupov, 1st overall?

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.ca/2012/05/pick.html

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Have to wonder how close Bergevin was to prying Quenneville out of Chicago. Still holding out a little hope though.

      I like the idea some others have posted of Gerrad Gallant for Coach. I don’t want a retread.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      How about trading down?

      Say yak goes 1st and Gal goes 2nd. If the Leafs offer to trade Luke Schenn and their pick for your pick, do you do it?

      (You are the Habs in this exercise)


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

      • 24 Cups says:

        In a heartbeat. Schenn plus Forsberg would be a great draft move for Montreal. I’ll worry about getting a young centre next summer.

        Schenn is the posterboy for why teams should take their time developing young players, especially Dmen. I hope the Habs take notice when it comes to dealing with Tinordi.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Schenn will be much better with Carlyle, but there were lots of stories about Phaneuf and Schenn not getting along well in the room.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            There are stories of Phaneuf not getting along with pretty much everyone.


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

      • Habitforming says:

        Schenn isn’t enough when we are helping the leafs. I’d still rather take Forsberg or Grigorenko if we had to.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am of the same mind HF, I only want Galchenyuk or Yakupov, we have good young D coming up and have weird feeling about Grigs.

        Kind of wonder what the potential of trade is though between Toronto and Montreal if indeed we end up hiring Dudley.

      • nickster13 says:

        one would be wise to do so

        “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.