Friday roundup

* RDS says Jacques Martin says the team will have a captain this season. Discuss candidates.

* RDS also reports Julien Brisebois is outta here … which throws the Hamilton situation into a bit of disarray.

Arpon Basu compares the Plekanec and Koivu contracts

Louis Leblanc likely headed back to Harvard. Shout-out to Mark C for finding this Boston Globe piece on Harvard hockey.

• Carolina will retire Rod Brind’Amour’s number

All UFA team: The Best of what’s left (No Moore or Metro)

Donald Fehr not hired yet

• Nothing to fear but Fehr himself

* Elliotte Friedman’s pre-holiday column

Re the Koivu contract, nsjohn130 posted this to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune web site:

I am statistically and logically looking at his worth. His points can only go up if he can get a first line player or two with him, he is a leader on a seemingly leaderless team at the moment (a leader must be born), he works harder than any player on the ice besides clutterbuck and brodziak (if only brodziaks skills were on par with his work effort) which creates a dynamic on the team to which other players will work hard, he is likable– i dont care so much about PR as I do staff and locker room relations, and lastly and honestly as important as the numbers he puts up is his loyalty. After all this is a business. Above all attributes, loyalty is the most important. At the end of the day everything is done for the organization first, not Mikko. Mikko gives direction to the team. It gives them identity, and if you don’t think that ALL of these things are worth 7 mill for a 27 year old player, I dont know what is.


  1. TomNickle says:

    Gorges played the second most minutes among our defensemen this season.

  2. TomNickle says:

    I would be ecstatic if Leblanc was at North Dakota.  Better coaching, more practice time, better teammates, better competition due to their team playing deep into the season every year and playing meaningful games.

    Harvard has to wait longer to start practicing, have low level talent on their roster, have less money committed to their hockey program than almost every other D1 program and don’t play meaningful games late in the season.

    Your suspicion is correct if you thought that I was happy with Kristo at North Dakota.  Kristo is in an environment where hockey comes first, Leblanc isn’t.  

    And if Leblanc’s sincere primary goal is to become an elite NHL hockey player, he’s in the wrong place.

    After reading of the likelihood of him returning to Harvard this season, my expectations for him have plummeted.  I no longer expect a productive NHL player.  Anything he contributes at the NHL level is a bonus for me now.

  3. likehoy says:

    no offense to gorges, but he’s not worth 3 million…he doesn’t play top 4 minutes and he doesn’t contribute offensively enough. max offer to gorges would be 2.2m…any more and i would rather just find another player. he’s not irreplaceable.

  4. Tremblant Habs Fan says:

    Never say never, Turner is an offensive genious, and he’s done way more than Marty ever did in the playoffs. It would have been nice for the most accurate kicker in the NFL to atleast make 2 of the missed FG’s and it would have been a different game. Don’t forget this is a team that beat the mighty Colts with they’re back-up QB(Volek), RB(Sproles) and no Gates. You are right about LT, his time was done 2 years ago.

  5. avatar_58 says:

    Yeah we should give it to Kovalev instead, always best to idolize players on other teams over our own!

  6. Mark C says:

    Is your issue more with college hockey in general or just weak programs in weak leagues? For example, if Leblanc went to ND and was centering Kristo on a powerhouse team in a great league, would you be OK with that for one more year?

  7. Bugs says:

    Not if our top two centres can only manage 15…

    Keepin it real, I be chillin as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Brotha to the Man with the Plan, Product-runnin Lead Houndogg with the Voodoo Flannel Posse, and Pimp Extraordinaire of Habsbros Mama Jones Snow Cones, muthafugga:

  8. Natrous says:

    Not at all – Gorges HAS to bust ace on every shift, because he doesn’t have the natural talent which would allow him to coast. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be in the league.

    It’s awesome to have that determination and will power to maintain a roster position in the NHL, but is that really enough to be CAPTAIN of the Montreal freakin’ Canadiens?? Not in my books.

  9. TomNickle says:

    But with 79 draft picks they’ve turned no more than 10 of them(to my knowledge) into NHL regulars and have produced zero first line forwards, top 2 defensemen or starting goaltenders.

    I could make a better argument for Brendan Gallagher’s pedigree at this point than Leblanc’s.

    Just saying, having elite talent is all the more reason to play against elite competition and quite often results in a lack of improvement when that elite talent is honed against sub-par competition.


  10. Natrous says:

    Absolutely agree on all points – I have definitely yelled at Markov through the tv over the past two seasons no doubt. I’m not saying that Markov is a harder worker than Gorges, but he simply gets twice as much done. It reminds me of comparing an old car to a new one in that I love the look of the old muscle car and it can sure tear the crap outta the tires, but the new car gets me from A to B on 1/2 as much gas and I know it’s not gonna break down on me half way.

    Not a great analogy, but you get the point. Markov’s contributions to the team can’t be overlooked and he’s the man JM puts on the ice when the situation requires it, but Gorges brings the heart and tries his best, despite the fact that Montreal’s record wouldn’t deviate much if he wasn’t in the lineup.

  11. joeybarrie says:

    So the reason you would give the Captaincy to a player is because he has LESS experience, makes LESS money and is YOUNGER??? This makes no sense.

    Plus WHY would we not give it to Gionta? That makes no sense at all… Gionta is the BEST candidate. Some said the same about Koivu… Not French, Not Big, Too Young, BLAH BLAH BLAH… Stupidity.



    OK I re-read it. I mis-understood. I though you meant you would pick Gorges over Markov, and Gio as captain is just wrong….MY FAULT….But I’ll leave what i wrote…

  12. Mark C says:

    About Yemelin, the clock strikes 12 on him next off-season. His contract ends in April at which time he will be 25. One would think that he re-signs long-term in the KHA or jumps the pond then. If Yemelin stays in the KHL for more than 2 years the Habs will lose his rights.

  13. TomNickle says:

    Yemelin is NHL ready and his contract expires after this season. Not so coincidentally, Gill and Hamrlik’s contracts expire.

    Tinordi hasn’t signed to go to Notre Dame yet and the Knights are calling. I think he’ll play for London personally but that’s just wishful thinking. If he goes to London, he could be NHL ready as early as next December.

    Weber could be NHL ready this December. He struggled at the Olympics but had his successes too and only struggled against top flight competition. He’s highly unlikely to see major minutes against lines like Crosby, Iginla and Nash in the NHL.

    Carle was drawing rave reviews for his improved defensive play prior to his injury, and his offensive abilities speak for themselves. He could also be ready as early as December of this year.

    Bennett and Ellis are surely at least 3 years away but with Yemelin, Tinordi, Carle and especially Weber being this close to NHL action, why sign what will be a 37 year old defenseman to a 2 year deal?

    And why do so when you’ll already have Markov, Subban, Spacek, O’Byrne and Gorges under contract?

  14. TripleX says:

    If I remember it correctly JM said it during th summer after he was hired as the new coach. 



    “And I am really looking forward to watching Michael Cammalleri in the NHL. He had an awesome year in the AHL.” PIERRE McGUIRE

  15. aemarchand11 says:

    Yemelin may never come, Ive been wanting this guy on the blueline like most for years now but i doubt it.

    Tinordi will need a few years to develop and could likely step in after that contract expires. 21 years old.

    Bennett and Ellis could take a few years or could surprise we will find out.

    Our Forward prospects are very up in the air, other then Eller I dont see anybody really jumping into a 1st or 2nd line position. Its obviously early, but Gagne has the two-way style that the Martin staff loves.

    Im all for the youth movements, but I think a lot of our prospects are gonna need a few years before being NHL ready.


    Go Habs Go! 2010-2011

  16. SeriousFan09 says:

    Gionta is my favourite for the C, I love what Gorges does for the team, but I think a captain needs to be able to make the play and score the goal that can get the team going. Gionta is a fierce competitor, he doesn’t back off and will score goals.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  17. Mark C says:

    I agree, from a hockey career point of view that the sooner he leaves the better. However, the program has never had someone with his pedigree (I am be wrong). I hope that if he has a strong season, he would strongly consider signing and playing the end of the season at Hamilton this upcoming season.  

  18. Storm Man says:

    As a person who went to play ball in a Div 1 university in the states. I know 20 pounds can be done very easy in 3 months, A very clean high protein diet, great training program and the key to it all is genetics. Do I think Leblanc needs to put on 20 pounds for sure he does but does he have to do it in 3-4 months no he does not but he could if he had too. I need to go to the grocery store to pick up some steaks for my BBQ tonight.

  19. aemarchand11 says:

    Toews is young….. Crosby was young….. Skill sets are obviously night/day but age is not a factor in leadership..

    Gorges is a top 4 defenceman, so I dont understand the knocks on him. He wont be captain but he is not far off from being one at an NHL level. Players who put it all out on the line, and who inspire there teamates are captain material.

    Go Habs Go! 2010-2011

  20. Natrous says:

    If you look across the league, all of those negatives have a big impact on captaincy (maybe not leadership but captaincy is the ultimate sign of leadership). Doug Weight and Craig Rivet might be the exceptions to that rule, but they make up for it with experience and still contribute points.

  21. TomNickle says:

    With Yemelin, Tinordi, Bennett, Ellis, Weber and Carle in the system it’s highly unlikely that Hamrlik gets re-signed.

    With Pacioretty, Palushaj, Desharnais, Trotter, White, Eller and Avtsin in the system, it’s highly unlikely that Gagne is signed.

    I don’t expect a big splash in next year’s ufa market.  I expect our priorities to be locked up long term and money left over to pay Subban the following season.

  22. Cookies says:


    No. I meant during the huge free agency summer we had last summer. But anyway, question is resolved now, thank you!

  23. Castor says:

    I mis-read it then. I thought he meant Gionta for cap is wrong.

  24. Natrous says:

    I agree – College is an excellent opportunity for guys who want an education and play very competitive hockey at the same time, but it’s hard to gain the experience required in the pros by playing twice a week.. in a 30+ game league.

  25. aemarchand11 says:

    Leadership qualities do not have to include any of the negatives that you listed.

    He was captain in Junior, so obviously the guy knows how to talk to his team.

    However, Gorges didnt even have an A for most of the season unless injuries were piled up so I dont see him having a C next season. Definitely an A though.

    Go Habs Go! 2010-2011

  26. aemarchand11 says:

    2010-2011 Montreal Canadiens Captain: Brian Gionta


    Re-Sign Roman Hamrlik: 2 Years @ 2M/Season

    Re-Sign Andrei Markov: 5 Years @ 6M/Season

    Re-Sign Josh Gorges: 5 Years @ 3M/Season

    Trade AK46 at Deadline

    Sign LW Simon Gagne: 3 Years @ 4 Million 

    Pouliot and Pacioretty to be re-signed

    Go Habs Go! 2010-2011

  27. Natrous says:

    – plays bottom-line minutes
    – lacks significant experience (compared to other C candidates)
    – is not go-to guy on D (besides on the pk…meh)
    – does not put up points

    + plays his heart out, injured or not
    + can take a puck off the head

    = captain?

  28. TomNickle says:

    Harvard’s NHL alumni include but aren’t limited to….

    Craig Adams

    Dominic Moore

    Ted Donato

    And Dylan Reese, he of 19 NHL games is their only player to graduate to the NHL level in the last 5 years.

    Before that, it was Noah Welch and Tom Cavanagh.

    Forgive me for not being optimistic about Leblanc’s prospects as an elite NHL player if he continues playing for the Crimson instead of the Bulldogs.

  29. KenD29 says:

    Are you saying Gorges does not bust his ace every shift?

    Markov with an A, not the C. Unfortunately he is often injured too and who knows when he will be back this season.

    Not comfortable enough with the spotlight either.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  30. nickster13 says:

    the non-existant false levels

  31. Natrous says:

    The last I read about Markov was that they were aiming for a November return (please correct me if I’m wrong), which means that he’d miss one month and change.. consider the fact that he’s a “fast healer”, and maybe he’d be back sooner?

    Consider another fact, that Montreal’s record with him in the lineup vs out of the lineup is sadly night-and-day different, another quality that I would look for in a captain (that he adds significant value to the entire team when dressed). Even if he missed the first two-three months of the season, I still wouldn’t mind if someone else assumed the C until he returned.

  32. Castor says:

    I’d love to hear even one “level” as to why you’d EVER say that.

  33. avatar_58 says:

    Not to be “that guy” but I watched plenty of games where Markov wasn’t even giving 50% nevermind busting his ‘ace’. I love the guy but some games I wanted to leap out and smack him across his russian Mr. Bean-esque face.

    Sorry but GORGES is a harder worker than Markov. Not a better D-man, oh no, but he works harder pushes his ethic as far as it will go. That’s just my opinion I guess, but near the end of the season Marky wasn’t giving it his all in my eyes.

  34. KenD29 says:

    Missing the point. Definitely not 46 for C.

    The point simply was that while Cammi may float, will take his floating and his production over some other who float game in game out… 46 and 57 for example.

    That’s it, nothing more.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  35. SLONCOLD says:

    for price, i think he’ll be fine, similar season in regards to stats with a slightly lower gaa but i think his sv%will be in the 910-915 range…

    that being said this team is a fringe team. we could finish anywheer from 10th to 5th. the team has problems scoring and if faced with injuries they don’t have the depth to cover some of the wholes.

    too many question marks remian on this team along with to many assumptions that everyone will play better and develop.

  36. Natrous says:

    Unless he was referring to the Panthers captaincy, I highly doubt he said that at the end of 08-09 😀

  37. Danno says:

    Will it be a vuvuzela-free event?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  38. TomNickle says:

    What levels?

  39. Mark C says:

    Here is a great read from the Boston Globe about Louis and the Harvard hockey program:

  40. Natrous says:

    And that’s exactly my point about Georges – he’s got some great qualities in terms of toughness and durability, but his main strength is the PK and that’s it. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a great shot, hence doesn’t run a PP or is much of a point presence, and gets 3rd line minutes.

    To me, and captain needs to be the go-to guy when things get hairy; a guy that no one in the locker room can look down upon because he busted his ace on every shift and didn’t slack; a guy that the coach puts on the ice in practically any important situation. That’s why I go with Markov on D or Gionta up front.

  41. HardHabits says:

    I still can’t believe I was in the “Lap for Cap” camp two seasons ago. Oh the shame.

  42. HabFab says:

    Not quite a frontier anymore…Bugsy is there already leading the way as per usual!!

    Keeping IT real,

    the Jester

  43. ooder says:

    teh captain will be Josh Gorges.

    A young guy, who plays his heart out game in and game out and always gives it his all.

    other then the 2 half season he played with the sharks, he has been pretty much a habs product and will be a hab for a very long time to come


    88 is the new 23

  44. KenD29 says:

    Sorry. my comment was that I would take Cammi floating at 80% vs Popgun 46 floating 100% of the time.

    Not that Cammi should be wearing the C.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  45. Storm Man says:

    So you dont like the Chargers. You have made your point.

  46. Cookies says:

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Did Jacques say there would be a captain at the end last season meaning the end of 2008-09??

    Or the end of the 2009-10 season??

  47. TomNickle says:

    David Desharnais is 5’6 and 170 pounds.  Tied for 4th in AHL scoring.

    Leblanc doesn’t need to add muscle before going to the AHL.  And if that’s part of the decision.  He could’ve added enough mass over the summer to prepare for it.

    Giving Donato and the Harvard program enough credit. 

    Please name me 3 NHL players to come out of that program in the last 5 years.

  48. likehoy says:

    who’s putting andrei k into captaincy consideration? now THAT would be foolish.

  49. avatar_58 says:

    It won’t be Markov if he’s hurt. I just don’t see them having an injured captain on reserve for months.

  50. avatar_58 says:

    Gill is pretty much the only guy they can “look up” to.

  51. KenD29 says:

    Agreed on Gionta.

    Markov with the A.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  52. likehoy says:

    yes, he’s sniping and getting impossible goals, but does that constitute as being a captain?

    if goal scoring in the playoffs was the basis of being a captain, fernando pisani scored important goals in the playoffs (14) so he should have had consideration in edmonton? 

    you obviously need goal scorers, but they’re not always captain material.

    on the basis of “playoff merit” hal gill blocked a bajillion shots and shut down ovechkin and crosby…he played a huge warrior-esque part in the playoffs…in terms of inspiration, that’s on par with cammalleri’s efforts.

    put it this way…with cammalleri floating at the blue line in the d-zone and he’s telling you to work hard in the d-zone and get him in the puck…wouldn’t you feel a little disrupted with his lack of movement and effort in the d-zone to get the puck himself? 

    let’s not fool ourselves…JM is a defensive coach and defense comes first…i can’t imagine having a player like cammalleri as the captain of our team given the desired make-up.

  53. bwoar says:

    Take a breath, Bugs…. if Eller scores 20 goals as a 3rd line centre this team will be top 5 in the conference.

  54. SLONCOLD says:

    i would go to your grocery store, and pick up 20lbs of steak… going from 180 to 200 lbs in 3 month is crazy and not healthy…

    i played college ball and i saw people who did it at 19 and 20…. lets say there was alot fo help from other substances… putting on 20lbs of lean muscle mass is soemthing a body builder does, not a hockey player.

    i called up my of my physio therapist buddies and he’s saying it’s not the smartest idea either

    and finally you could be messing up the person natural bio mechanics if done too quickly (agilty and felxibility).

  55. KenD29 says:

    Tom and Begin, good warriors yes. But limited roles not to mention Begin is often injured!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  56. Danno says:

    Gionta is my favorite. But there are several others who would also be good picks, including Gorges.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  57. Natrous says:

    Who do I suggest?!

    Markov if he’s willing, as he is the most experienced Hab player on the roster and is a rock on D (which might entise him to extend his contract to retirement as well), and if not I would go with Gionta because he busts his ace and doesn’t slack. No one in the lineup could look him in the eyes after a tongue lashing and tell him to shove it.

  58. avatar_58 says:

    Why, what are you guessing Subban? The captain won’t be a rookie or recent signing. It’s going to be one of last year’s guys. Gionta, Gorges, Plek, Cammy – one of them.

  59. bwoar says:

    There are many different ways to reach the NHL.  Keeping Leblanc at Harvard one more year is just fine, and gives him another year to grow before joining the pro ranks in Hamilton (and starting on his 1st pro contract.)

    And you aren’t giving Donato or the Harvard program enough credit.  Cheese and Rice, the kid is 19, I’m just glad he isn’t wasting his time burning up the Q.  He needs to build muscle, the lighter schedule allows for more gym time.  Nothing wrong with bulking up and refining parts of one’s game before playing against men.  You’re talking about his preparedness for the NHL – right now as a raw kid he needs to prepare for the AHL first. 

    Plenty of time (i.e. until he’s 22-23) before we see him in the NHL, no reason to rush him.  Just because you hit 19-20 does not mean AHL or bust.

  60. G-Man says:

    MaxPac at center? The lad has hustle but no hockey sense. He may improve, but it will take a loooong time.

  61. Natrous says:

    According to the rest of the league, you don’t have to be on the first line to be captain, but you do need a sh!ttonne of experience if you’re not putting up points. Georges doesn’t have either. I’m all for warrior, all-round good guy, etc., but I wouldn’t be calling for Tom the Bomb two years ago or Begin before him…

  62. KenD29 says:

    Who do you suggest?!

    Gorges shows up game in game out (case in point the shot he took off the noggin , cracked helmet and who is back in the game?!)


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  63. KenD29 says:

    I will take Cammi at 80% over several others on the team… Popgun 46 for one!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  64. likehoy says:

    i would take hal skillz

    the guy is easily the funniest person on the team and just seems like an all-round great guy that can balance the team.

  65. avatar_58 says:

    I disagree. Even in the worst games during the playoffs Cammy was there sniping and getting impossible goals. Without Cammy 2010 would have been dissapointing in the first round.

  66. HabFanSince72 says:

    I agree. Gorges one day, but not now.


  67. avatar_58 says:

    I didn’t know you had to be on the first line to be captain. Gorges is a leader, a warrior and an all around good guy. I would love for him to be captain, or at the very least get an A.

  68. TomNickle says:

    I completely agree with the last sentence Paul.

    With the likes of Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri, Markov, Gill, Gorges and possibly even Plekanec sitting there, more than one player are going to be ticked off that they didn’t get the honour.

    Gomez and Cammalleri are learning french.  Gill, Gorges and Gionta have all been called the unofficial captains of the team at one point or another and Plekanec is probably the most vocal in his accountability and the most versatile player that we have.

    Oh, and then there’s Markov.  The guy who has carried the team on his back for close to a decade.

    If there’s one thing that can get in the way of the team’s success, it’s the choice of captain in camp.

    I don’t think it will be Markov, but for the sake of the room and the team’s success, it had better be.

  69. likehoy says:

    where did you hear players didn’t get along with cammy?

  70. avatar_58 says:

    All I saw was Cammy leading the pack and telling his teammates how he REALLY felt. He yelled at Lapierre and suddenly Laps started playing like an all star. He yelled at Gorges and suddenly Gorges blocked shots like a pro.

    Sounds to me like Cammy is vocal and will tell you if you aren’t pulling your weight. Thats the kinda captain *I* want.

  71. N.B.habs fan says:

    Great post,looking foward to next year.I have confindence that Price will be OK this year.

  72. Natrous says:

    I don’t understand what the deal is with wanting to name a 3rd line dman as captain? I’m not trying to take a shot at you (because I’ve seen many people write the same suggestion as you did), but why would we want a young 3rd liner/utility dman as captain? He’s good buddies with Carey and couldn’t reign him in during his struggles, so why do people think he would lead a team?

  73. Mark C says:

    Hockey East then. He had 100 points in 39 games his freshmen year, the team went 42-1-2. Missed most of this second season due to playing on the National team, then went pro. On team Canada we was second in scoring to Brain Savage (Paul PPG were way higher than Savage’s). Danny Dube was a coach on that team.  

  74. mike g says:

    For all you soccer hooligans..

    I would watch chess if that happened.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  75. Bugs says:

    Too bad Cammy and Gio missed whole chunks of the season then. They’re out.

    Keepin it real, I be chillin as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Brotha to the Man with the Plan, Product-runnin Lead Houndogg with the Voodoo Flannel Posse, and Pimp Extraordinaire of Habsbros Mama Jones Snow Cones, muthafugga:

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