Audio: Habs sign Cole, Budaj; Hamrlik, Halpern join Caps, Pouliot to Bruins, Auld to Senators

erikcole

New Canadiens forward Erik Cole, signed for four years and $18 million this afternoon.
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

• Carolina Hurricanes forward Erik Cole brings his grit and durability – 26G, 26A in 82 games last season – to Montreal for four years and $18 million in the Canadiens’ major unrestricted free agent signing today.

AUDIO: Erik Cole conference call | Habs GM Pierre Gauthier

Video of Erik Cole taping his stick. One more thing you now know about him:

• Peter Budaj is in, Alex Auld is out: Budaj is signed to a two-year, $2.3-million contract to back up Habs starting goaltender Carey Price. Auld, meanwhile, returns to the Ottawa Senators for the same $1 million he earned in Montreal last season.

• Roman Hamrlik: 2 years, $7 million to Washington, and possibly a partner for Mike Green; Jeff Halpern: one year $825,000 to Washington.

Benoit Pouliot in a Bruins jersey, for $1.1 million. Who’d have thought that?

• Jaromir Jagr, who many believed would be wearing a Canadiens jersey next season, signs for a year with Philadelphia. Says here that’s just as well.

• James Wisniewski signed six years and $33 million with Columbus – stunning money. The Blue Jackets had exclusive negotiating rights with the defenceman, a mid-season acquisition by the Habs, until 12 noon ET today, and Wiz agreed to terms an hour before that. This gives Montreal a fifth-round draft pick in next June’s entry draft.

AUDIO: James Wisniewski conference call

I had a one-on-one interview with Erik Cole five springs ago, the Hurricanes in town for the playoffs, Cole sidelined with a fractured neck. (A few interesting parallels with Max Pacioretty five years later.) We sat in the stands at the Bell Centre as the Canes took part in their morning skate. Our talk yielded this story:

Young gun on mend
Erik Cole can only watch and envy Hurricanes teammates
as they play Habs in playoff series while he recovers
from broken neck suffered eight weeks ago

Published Saturday, April 29, 2006

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

On Monday, doctors in Raleigh, N.C., will remove the cervical thoracic brace from around the broken neck of Erik Cole.

And then the Carolina Hurricanes left winger will hold a special ceremony for the plastic-and-steel support that’s been clamped to him almost every minute since early March.

“I’m going to run over it a few times with my Cadillac,” Cole said yesterday. “And then I’m going to drive at least a few miles down the highway, dragging it behind the car.”

He vows there won’t be even a single bolt left to sell on eBay.

It was eight weeks ago today that Cole was crushed head-first into the boards by Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik. The check produced a compound fracture of Cole’s C5 vertebra, a hit from behind that doctors say came within fractions of an inch of paralyzing one of the NHL’s top young stars.

Monday, Cole will shed the hard brace and be fitted for two weeks with a less rigid collar, “just to remind me that I broke my neck,” he said, “so I don’t snap my head from side to side.”

Yesterday, the 27-year-old from Oswego, N.Y., stood at the boards during the Hurricanes’ morning skate at the Bell Centre, remembering what it was like to be on the other side of the glass.

He’s eager to get back on skates, of course, though there’s no firm timetable for that. Cole was having the best season of his four-year NHL career when he was injured; he had 30 goals, eight of them game-winners, and 29 assists in 60 games.

He is healing well, since the frightening idea of surgery was floated six weeks ago, and Cole’s presence in the dressing room has been an inspiration for his teammates.

“It’s going to be pretty emotional stepping back on the ice with the guys, whenever that will be,” he said.

But sooner will come the joy of again scooping up his children – daughter Bella, 4, and son Landon, 21 months – and of being less reliant on his wife, Emily.

“In the last eight weeks, I’ve put my children to bed maybe five times, and putting my little guy to bed is great, because his personality is really starting to come out,” Cole said. “It’s not easy when he’s trying to climb up your leg and his mother has to say: ‘Let Daddy rest.’ ”

This might be the only way the Canadiens could have kept Cole off the scoresheet. He was poison in three regular-season games against Montreal this year, scoring five goals on only six shots – including a Jan. 31 hat trick – and adding three assists.

On Wednesday, and again last night, Cole inhaled this city’s unique playoff air from the press gallery, wishing he’d been on the ice seven storeys below.

“It’s pretty miserable sitting upstairs,” he said. “You’re so close to being a part of the energy, but you’re not. It’s hard to come to this building, because I love playing here. This is such a great hockey atmosphere.”

Many times Cole has replayed the Orpik hit that fractured his neck. The Penguins defenceman, who was suspended for three games, bristles at charges from the Hurricanes and others who label it a cheap shot, and has suggested that Cole shares the blame, saying he turned and ducked just before impact.

“I didn’t know that my neck was broken,” Cole recalled. “I’ve been hit hard before, and I’ve had stingers. But the jolt that went down my arms was a lot more severe than anything I’ve ever felt.”

He was transported to a Pittsburgh hospital, and returned home the following day wearing only a collar. When Raleigh doctors believed the vertebra might be moving, he was fitted with a more restrictive brace – the same one that will wear Cadillac tire treads on Monday.

Cole says that late last month, Orpik tried to get his cellphone number from Mark Recchi, who had been traded to the Hurricanes from Pittsburgh five days after the check.

“I told Mark to tell him not to bother. I wasn’t interested in his call,” Cole said. “At that point, I felt a call was more for his benefit than for mine, of him trying to clear his conscience.

“It’s up to a player to make decisions out there. Things happen quickly, and you choose to take advantage of situations or you don’t. Accidents will happen, and there are always going to be mistakes and misfortunes.

“But I think his first comments told me how he really felt about this. I definitely look forward to next year, when we get to play Pittsburgh.”

Cole’s rehabilitation did not at first include coming to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 of this series. But when the Hurricanes lost the first two at home, he got clearance from his doctors and was welcomed by head coach Peter Laviolette.

“I think my wife was ready to kick me out of the house, too,” he joked. “She was a little worried about my being comfortable on the road, but she also understood it would be good for me.”

And what fun to goof around with teammates and trainers, “because they run away, knowing they can’t fight back.”

Cole and his family will spend the summer in Raleigh instead of returning to New York state. They’re eager to enjoy the weather and the beaches, and will be close to his doctors, should they be needed.

“This is a week at a time,” he said of his recovery. “I’ll have to get my range of motion and strength back. Then have another X-ray to rule out ligament damage. If there is, it will require surgery. But getting out of this brace will boost my spirits, for sure. With that, healing will come more easily.

“I feel very fortunate that this wasn’t much worse,” Cole said, wistfully watching his teammates breeze around the rink. “I’ll never take for granted being able to pick up my children.”

1,227 Comments

  1. Justin Alarie says:

    One less Habs Killer to worry about!

  2. sally122 says:

    Of course, if Cole had signed with the Leafs, they would have said AMAZING SIGNING!! I WANT TO SUCK BRIAN BURKE’S HAIR GEL!!
    I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Andromeda2002 on–s’e'ek’c'ou’ga’r.c óm–.it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and old’er men, or older women and y’ounger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck ‘it out or tell your friends!

  3. HalifaxHabs says:

    good night all

  4. Rainrocket16 says:

    I have had enough of the Armchair GM scenarios on this site for one night.

  5. The Dude says:

    While I was happy shedding the players that we did I still feel that it’s the wrong team being assembled by Gauthier AND MARTIN. A) So far the Habs consist of a lot of older players “Spatch,Gill, Darch,”and though there is a use for older athletes there is also a downside. B) Still have a small and kinda soft D and if anything it’s softer than last year? Don’t get it! C) Added old Veteran Cole who hasn’t played the same after his neck fracture for years now and now has to adjust with a whole new team.D) Budaj… spelling? Who? E) Gomez???????????????????? can this guy have a comeback? F) Small forwards and not much team toughness as compared to Boston or Philly or Toronto”yikes”. Like I said “givin that Gauthier or Martin have never ,ever won a Stanley in 30 years of hockey each” …I don’t see the plan they see and with out injury “WHICH WILL BE APLENTY imo.”Don’t see a final round play-off team…not even close. All I think is happening is a play it safe and keep the seat’s full ,run of the mill Habs team that if Gauthier thought was so good then I ask ,why the changes?

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      seriously dude

      pathetic post

      reading this verbal spewage makes me want to hit the sheets and pass out… if you cant feel good about the addition of Cole to our top 6, my guess is you wouldnt feel good no matter what move they made

      • The Dude says:

        Really…in Halifax did the Habs win a cup lately cause over here on the left coast Vancouver was in the Big Show and almost won it with Higgins and Lapierre ! And who beat them? Boston ! Boston….the Stanley cup champs that are in our division….You know ,the team that just keeps on beating us up and laughs at us all the way to the bank. So tell me since you must know ,whats “The Plan?”

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          I can barely understand your post until the point you asked me what the plan was…

          Im not sure what you meant about Vancouver, but they can knock themselves out paying two million each for Higgins and Lapierre

          Yeah, Boston is in our division, thanks for that… but you must have just started watching the rivalry mid way through this year, because before the brawl game and the max pac incident we had owned the Bruins for the last 2 years.

          They beat us out no doubt, they irked out 3 OT games against us to avoid the upset, and went on to the cup

          You clearly have a hard on for the Bruins, so enjoy watching them fail to repeat next year when Tim Thomas doesnt stand on his head for a 100 game season again

        • HardHabits says:

          I marvel how you scribbled
          that mindless useless drivel
          So fuddled and insane
          It sounds like you been drinkin’
          Cuz the post in print be stinkin’
          Dude you haven’t got a brain.

        • Chorske says:

          The Bruins keep beating us? If anything, they are our bitches. Look at the regular season stats. Also, look at us taking them to game 7 with no Markov, Gorges, Pacioretty, and guys like Eller playing injured.

          Bruins keep beating us? Really? Do you even watch the games?

          • The Dude says:

            How bout that last game ,huh. It’s like talking to the Palin family,lol Oh,now comes the closet Bruins fan B.S. .To bad I’m not a Bruins fan…apparently they have a plan!

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            you envy the Bruins so much, you have crossed the void… you are officially a closet Bruins fan

            from now on, you will be forever known as such

        • Muckbringer says:

          There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

    • This illiterate rant is especially hilarious talking about Philly’s team toughness after trading Carter, Richards and Powe.

    • filincal says:

      who are all the “tough ” guys in Philly?
      It seems to me they’ve decided to go in a different direction (more skill) other than the hard nose, tough checking type style…from the trades and acquisitions; at least it would seem to me.

      I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

    • Tony McLean says:

      And still nobody to break Chara’s nose. Pouliot, not good enough for Martin signs with the Stanley Cup champeens the Big Bad Bruins LOL! The drift continues. But having Max and Cole up front means a bit more size and grit and goalies *wile* have a harder time due to those two. D is soft though, same old story back there. Been soft since Chelly and Ludwig left. Nobody’s afraid to stand in front of our net.

      Chara should never mess with our players again. Take him down.

  6. Ozmodiar says:

    Just catching up on ‘the F.A. frenzy’.

    Holy smoke. Dale Tallon’s been spendin’ like a drunken sailor/democrat. Hope he doesn’t wake up in the morning with a tattoo on his face, pierced nipples, next to …

    Also, I’ve been reading some comments about overspending for Cole. Against a backdrop of crazy spending, with everyone screaming for a power forward who can score, this is a good signing! c’mon!! Besides, overspending by $.5M is nothing new to us….Pleks, Cammy, Gio……(ahem) Pyatt.

  7. Marc10 says:

    The Rangers are going to be big… The Caps are improved. Philly will have a goalie. The Sabres are solid.

    But all things considered, we’re looking all right. Cole goes to the net and can finish. With Max Pac and AK46, we’ve got some big bodies with goal scoring ability.

    I think we’re one big arse, mean, nasty mofo on the 4th line from being a very tough proposition for any team.

    2012 is the year. I like this team. C’mon Pierre. Sign Josh and find us a killer.

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.

    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Don’t understand the ragging on Budaj, the guy has been a #1 goalie on a bad team for a while. In that time he has had a couple good seasons and had some great individual games. We didn’t bring him in to be #1. We brought him in so that if Price gets a naggning minor injury we have a goalie that can start 4-5 games in a row. He is hardly anymore money than Auld, a career backup except one year on a bad senator club and the other in Vancouver long long long ago.

    If Price has a serious injury we are toast period. We just need a guy that can play a bit more that Auld and maybe a run of 5 games in case of a bad flu or minor injury to Price.

    Cole is going to be really good for us. Yah a little to much, but that is UFA in todays world. Has character, grew up a hab fan, loves to play in our barn. Our top 3 lines now all have solid players at each position. Yah i included Gomez, looking for bounceback season, primarily because of Max Pac and hoping he was embarrassed last year.

  9. HalifaxHabs says:

    Max Pac Gomez Gio
    Cammy Pleks Cole
    AK Eller Moen
    White *DD Darche

    *DD prolly plays 3rd line centre until Eller is back… at which point he could go 3rd line winger or 4th line centre… depending on who else PG grabs in the next few days.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      looks good to me

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        with only 12 forwards secured, PG will definitely pick up at least one more

        who will it be

        I have the perfect fit, we give next years 2nd and 3rd round pick to Buffalo for Gaustad… gets them the cap room they need, give us a big mean tough centremen whos amongst the leagues best faceoff men

    • G-Man says:

      ColeCamPleks. Sounds like somethin to get over!

    • bwoar says:

      Flip Moen and White and I’d take it.

      (Get rid of Moen and somehow add Simon Gagne, then we’d be in business.)

    • Mozeby says:

      Which one is supposed to be the “checking line”. The first 2 are offence, the 4th is the supposed energy line. The 3rd so far, especially with AK, is no where near being a checking line, more like 3rd string offence. The energy line is really lacking too. A couple years ago they had a great line in Begin, Kostopolous, and I think Lapierre. Now you barely notice they’re out there.

  10. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Great backup signing. Budaj can handle the load that will be expected. He is quick and plays textbook positioning (Price is elite, he’s proven that), so I think he can handle the 15-18 games he will play.

    Cole signing. Took me by surprise to be honest. But how can you argue, that was a very smart move. Exactly the type of player the Habs need. Strong, skilled, team player that appreciates the ‘game’.

    Been sayin’ it, and will keep sayin’ it. The club is in good hands.

    EDIT: Plekanec and Cole…for a while. I really like that.

  11. Chuck says:

    Sabres now have only 1.3 million in cap space with 4 more players to sign. Is there anyone on their roster that the Habs could realistically trade for to help them move some salary?

  12. bwoar says:

    If at all possible a trade with Nashville for Jerred Smithson would be ideal for #4 centre. I’d prefer him to Konopka. Can’t see why they would trade him though.

    It’d be nice to pry Ryan O’Reilly from Colorado.

    It’d really be best if one or both of Eller or DD figured out how to win draws.

  13. longbow says:

    Wish we could Fast Forward to the middle of September. I wanna get this show on the road. Can’t wait for the first game against the Laffs. Note to Cammy:Don’t get suspended for the first game this time.

    Speaking of the Laffs, there sure ain’t much left for them to sign.They’ll have to fill out their roster with bottom feeders.Guess we can count them out of the play-offs. lol

    “Wanting is often more pleasurable than having.It is not logical but it is often true.” – Spock

  14. Rainrocket16 says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Brad Richards will not just be overpaid but he is already overpaid and overhyped. I really don’t think he is gonna be that big of a help to anyone. He is not a bad player but he is not as good as they make him out to be.

    • Stev.R says:

      I agree… PLUS, his mouth is ALWAYS open. I mean, breathe through your nose!!!

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      all that being said… if Richards was to choose the Habs(I know, I konw, never going to happen), and PG could offload Gomez, youd be planning the parade along with the rest of us :)

      • Stev.R says:

        Someone told me they read that a rumor about Gomez for Statsny.

        With Duchene and O’Reilly looking like the future guys in colorado it kinda makes Stastny expendable. COL would be taking on about 3.5m in salary too.

        I don’t this is very likely however because Stastny is still a whole lot better than O’Reilly, and COL probably would want Gomez + something else.

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          Im sure they would at least want a 1st rounder with Gomez… but I would probably make that swap.

          How about Gomez and a 2nd rounder for Stastny… they have already been fleeced by St Louis and Washington especially, why not us… we still owe them one for Roy

      • Rainrocket16 says:

        Wrong, it would be no different,,ok maybe a few more goals for Richards but same stupid Salary

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          it would completely change the look of our top 6… Richards is a true number 1, Pleks could truly play the number 2 center role he is born to play. we could remain defensively sound while increasing our offensive output

          you my friend, are wrong

          • Rainrocket16 says:

            You my friend will forget you ever spoke about this when he signs a 9 mil a year contract with Rangers or Flames. Richards is no better than Cole IMO.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I never said I wanted the Habs to sign him, or that I thought they would

            I just opined that you would eat your words if the Habs did land him. Its easy to be negative in advance when it doesnt look like we could get him.

          • neumann103 says:

            You, my friend are wrong… about Tomas Plekanec. I agree that it is actually easier (although not cheaper) to find someone who can handle the offensive side of the game than it is to backfill the incredible two-way, all situations role that Tommy Pleks fills, but give his appropriate respect. He is the one Hab you want on the ice in ANY situation.

            And while I don’t agree with Rainrocket16 that Cole = Richards, I do believe that Cole for $4.5 for 4 years is a hell of a lot better than Richards for $8 or $9M for 8 years or whatever insanity it ends up as.

            “Et le but!”

          • Rainrocket16 says:

            Ok, to be fair to you. I have never thought Richards was too good. I actually like Gomez, maybe one of the few Habs fans that do. So I would not want Richards here in his place. All I am saying.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            fair enough rain rocket

    • HardHabits says:

      Totally. At least it hasn’t turned into reality show yet. Hopefully Richards pulls the trigger early tomorrow morning so we wont have to go through another day of will he or won’t he.

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      Richards has been a minus player all his NHL career, he gives out more goals against him than his total points stats in his whole NHL career.

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  15. savethepuck says:

    A. Why is Budaj better than Auld for that much money? I always thought he sucked!!!
    B. Is everyone on here happy about the Cole signing? According to H/IO commnents earlier, he’s someone everyone wanted for our power forward we needed.

    “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      A: Budaj had a bad year last year, but Colorado was terrible, and we have good goalie coach(Groulx), Budaj is still young, and has had a 1 or 2 really good seasons… hopefully Groulx can get him back there.

      If Carey Price ever got hurt(please god no), Budaj has a better chance at succeding as a starter then Auld, IMO.

      B: F#*K YES!!! Everyone was pretty much in agreement that we needed a top six power forward, and we got one… 6foot2, 205 lbs, 26 goals last year, over 200 hits, 82 games played.

      • G-Man says:

        100% agree. Tis a good day to be a fanatic about the Habs. :)

        • HardHabits says:

          Cole was so under the radar. It’s a very good signing IMO. Much better than Jagr.

          Cole really adds to the team and looks and sounds like he’ll fit right in. With that one player, the Habs look undeniably upgraded.

          To think that there could be more to come.

          I am also looking forward to see what the Bulldogs roster will look like.

          • G-Man says:

            Great time to be a fan. More productive depth with an edge – at center and D- could put the Habs over the top if the chemistry is there with Pleks Cole and Cammy line. I mean, let’s not get a ColeCampleks about it until we see them on the ice.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            Im almost ready to give you a hug right now HH, LOL

    • Budaj is making 150K more than Auld did, how is that a lot of money? He’s more talented than Auld.

  16. HardHabits says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen. This is your Habs team. Well. So far.

    Brian Gionta-Scott Gomez-Max Pacioretty
    Michael Cammalleri-Tomas Plekanec-Erik Cole
    Andrei Kostitsyn-Lars Eller-David Desharnais
    Travis Moen-Ryan White-Mathieu Darche

    Andrei Markov-P.K. Subban
    Hal Gill-Josh Gorges
    Jaroslav Spacek-Yannick Weber
    Alexei Yemelin

    Carey Price
    Peter Budaj

    ——————————————————

    Habs still could use a face-off specialist, preferably some one with a little bit of a mean streak *cough*Konopka*cough* and a stay at home ass-kicker on the back-end *cough*Anton Babchuk*cough*.

    ——————————————————

    Then there’s the _Habso_ dream, which oddly enough would be a perpetuation of the SmartDog nightmare; Gomez traded and Brad Richards signed.

    ——————————————————

    If I may speculate and my apologies to those who prefer a more sarcastic and poignant HH but every once in a while I gotta gush a bit and let loose my inner Habsrule1. I have a feeling that not only will we see a continuation of the progress we’ve seen in the last 2 years with the Habs (top 10 PK, PP and goals against, as well as an improvement in points total) but that we will also see a very good team in Hamilton. Moreso there might be a few surprises coming from the farm in terms of NHL readiness, certainly by year’s end and in time for the play-offs, but IMO even during the course of the year.

    Obviously I’d rather see a player win a spot, as opposed to by way of injury, but in case of the worse case scenario I still believe there are players that would be capable of stepping up.

    ——————————————————

    I am pleasantly surprised because; in the long run Hamrlik didn’t sign (2 years at 3.5M, ouch!!!), Gomez was actually shopped around (which should be a double motivator), Jagr wasn’t signed for 3.3M either (double ouch), Cole, a bona fide top 6 forward, is now a Montreal Canadien (it could be argued that his contract is a little bit pricey and the term a tad long but that’s show business).

    ——————————————————

    Francois Gagnon is going ape-shit on twitter about some of the contracts. He’d make a great addition to HIO.

    • G-Man says:

      Where is HH and where do you have him locked up?
      Cole is an excellent signing. That face-off specialist and a mean Dman may have to wait for the dust to settle, but it can be done.
      The Habs are better and have more depth. We’ll have to be patient over the rest of the summer to see if those last links to the puzzle can be signed.

    • The obsession on this site about Konopka, where does it come from?

      Do people realize that according to the guys that keep advanced stats he was one of the 10 WORST players in the NHL last season? And I don’t mean worst as in production, I mean while he was on the ice against weak competition he bled shots against and scoring chances against while getting very few of either for his line.

      Fighters have absolutely zero effect in the NHL today, and they don’t protect anything. I didn’t see Chara, Lucic and Thornton stopping Horton from getting his head caved in, or Savard from having his career ended.

      • Ozmodiar says:

        bingo! on the money! speak the truth, AB!!

      • HardHabits says:

        Why Konopka? He was 4th over-all in the league last year in face off percentage and he was 47th over-all in face-offs taken (Gomez was 32nd). But it could be any face-off specialist. ZK was #4. He’s good in the circle and tough as nails. So if you don’t like him rather than go off on some tangent about concussions why don’t you come up with a suggestion. OK Tony242 version 2.0.

        But to take your bait, IMO that the Habs need more than Ryan White and Travis Moen who can drop them. It’s not about protecting injured players from getting hurt from hits. For that, they have to keep their heads up. It’s for the added toughness. The Habs are a small team and could use some extra weight added to their roster. With a more robust 4th line centre it’d create an energy line that could also bust heads. So nobody said anything about Savard. I said Konopka. Because he has a nasty streak. Hockey is a game that has dirty areas. It’s a contact sport. Just in case you didn’t know.

        Here’s another little bone for you to chew on. I believe that the team will take a closer look at Engqvist this season which could make signing a 4th line centre moot. I still like Anton Babchuk though.

        • You’re pretty angry for such an innocuous comment. This is why I, personally, get so annoyed with you HH, you expect everyone to take everything you say as gospel and when they don’t you act like a child. Konopka can fight and take faceoffs, so he’s good whenever the puck ISN’T on the ice. Great, just the player every team needs.

          As for a suggestion on who to grab for faceoffs, I’d much rather spend the extra cash on a good all around player like Eric Belanger, for example.

          Here’s the thing with your current modus operandi: with Moen, White, Cole, Pacioretty, Emelin and Subban all planned to be in the lineup, there’s no need to add toughness. The toughness has already been added. Not to mention that Konopka hits less often than Kostitsyn because he can’t catch anyone.

          You can keep building your strawman to pretend that not wanting to add useless hockey players means I want pansy ass hockey. But to ignore the fact that you spent a month on this website spamming everyone with your reason to get tougher as being “protect players from injury like Markov”. You spent at least a week talking about how Markov never got injured with Komisarek around, conveniently ignoring the Grabovski incident.

          So let’s not pretend you’re logically consistent and I’m distracting from your argument. In actuality your stance has been debunked numerous times in the previous weeks and over the last few years when people of the same thought process brought it up. Start reading “Behind the Net” and maybe you’ll start to understand the subtleties of hockey aren’t the same as your perceptions of the media based narratives.

          • HardHabits says:

            You could argue on for hours, and think you feel empowered
            Confronting once again.
            But your head is so inflated that
            your thoughts are just aerated
            Cuz you haven’t got a brain.

      • Mark C says:

        In addition, for all the “but, hey, he can kill penalties, too” crowd. Well, he sucks at that, too.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      welcome back HH to happy(medicated) land… great post

      and for sure PG isn’t done(8.3 left, after white and gorges, 4.5 to5 left)…2 more ufa… 1 forward and 1 d, or 2 forwards

      forward – konopka, 2nd choice stewart… or both

      d – O’Brien or babchuk or mara… on the cheap

    • Stev.R says:

      Konopka is a left handed center, which we already have 4 of.
      Konopka is a shitty player, and Gomez has dibs on that role already.

      I gotta ask too, is Cole that much better than Kostitsyn? Maybe I have never given him much of a look because I never forgave Carolina from that year they knocked us out of the playoffs, but I don’t see him as that much different than Kostitsyn. He’s big, yes. He plays physical, yes. He’s probably safe for 50 points. But if Pacioretty and Kostitsyn out play him, then we got a 4.5 million dollar third liner…

      I guess that’s a good problem to have, and we we don’t have to worry about it if Cole plays well. Whatever happens, he’s a useful player.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      This is a reasoned, balanced, grammatical yet opinionated analysis of the Canadiens situation and the work of Mr. Gauthier.

      Get that s*** outta here.

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  17. prankstergod says:

    so according to bob mac, the coyotes are considering trading yandle………..and we all know they need to bring on contracts to reach the cap floor, so this is the question: could the habs/yotes work a trade that manages to ship out gomez? obviously the yotes would want actual hockey value in the deal though.

    love the cole signing; a little too much $$ and 1 year too long, but hey it’s july 1st and now we have a legit power forward

    budaj: meh, as seriousfan says the change from auld is likely a wash.

  18. SmartDog says:

    I know this has been said below but, um, doesn’t Budaj suck?

  19. Rainrocket16 says:

    Erik Cole is an Oswego, NY native who had the pleasure of kicking our teams ass in Watertown, NY when we were younger as mites. He has had a decent career and I can’t wait to have his impact on this club. He has been known to be a Hab killer, that may not be a good sign to the ghosts. He is also a 3rd cousin to my stepfather, no relation to me but his family is very excited to see him closer to home. No doubt Erik will fit in well with Les Boys!! Great signing!

  20. slychard says:

    Hey halifaxfan! I beleive the addition of Cole will invigorate Gionta and inspire him this coming season. Yes he will make good on his post season statement of embarrasment of his poor performance and put up what’s expected of a 6 million dollar bionic man… Excuse me 7.5 million dollar man, Oups inflation.

  21. Ian Cobb says:

    Cole to replace Pouliot. Boy! did we ever improve that spot in a hurry.

    Pouliot to Boston, great! he always looked good in chicken yellow.

    • Rainrocket16 says:

      It’s great, Bruins fans get a taste of sourness. All season they called him a diver and a cheap player. Now they have him, classic Bruins, milking off the Habs teit.

    • Clay says:

      Ian, this is beneath you. Now that he’s gone we have to deride him? Pouliot is not a ‘chicken’. He actually stood up for our team. I’m glad he’s gone, but let’s make it about his talent and not his character, shall we?

      __________________________
      Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

      Winston Churchill

  22. 306Hab says:

    I think Brendan Morrow would be an awesome piece to the Hab puzzle.

    I am pretty excited about seeing (potentially) Erik Cole smash some Bruins and pot some goals for us!

  23. Critical-MASS says:

    Check out the new guys skills yo…..link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpw3aOyOhSU&feature=related

    …..You’ll never get to heaven if you’re scared of getting high…..

  24. kid87 says:

    Wow, lots of discussion going on here today!

    Well, I love the pick up, and even though it’s still summer, I can feel the season approaching…

    As for reading some so-so opinions about Weber, all I remember is that wicked goal he scored in game seven when it was looking really bad down two goals. Meh, I rarely say anything bad about any player, although I do read some comments about players a laugh, like last season with Pouliot falling down all the time… hehe good times.

    Anyways, yeah, love the new signing and just watching some of his highlights on youtube…

    …and he looks EPIC.

    GO HABS GO!
    ____
    My two favorite things are hockey and mystical mysterious islands I dream of living on

  25. habstrinifan says:

    Hoping PG makes one more foray into the UFA market for that BIG TOUGH MEAN INTENSE D-MAN.Next telling decision will be the new coaching assisstant. I think that in the current NHL assistant coaches are more important to the team than in the past.

    I like PG’s gameplan so far. It seems as if he is intent on having a real go at a deep play-off run. And if that is true then it MUST mean that he will address with JM the necessary tweaks too make the team play a less ‘lay-back’ style.. and the candidate chosen as assistant might help that transformation a lot.

  26. SmartDog says:

    Okay folks, take a pause from planning the parade route or picking out that storefront item you’re gonna take when the looting starts, and tell PG:
    1. Who he needs to get to take face-offs and help out Pleks with defensive coverage like Halpern did, AND:
    2. Who he needs to pick up to add some toughness to our back 6.
    Then go back to pickin’ out the nylons you’re gonna wear over your head so the cops can’t ID you on tape.

    • Mike D says:

      I think the answer for 1 and 2 will end up being the same. There’s a bunch of guys out there that can play that role and they’re typically not expensive and readily available.

      - Honestly yours

      • Stev.R says:

        Since Pleks, Gomez, DD, and Eller are all left handed, we’re going to have to look for a right handed center.

        However, Ryan White is a center so maybe he could takeover the 4th line C duties. Not sure how good he is at faceoffs though.

        Andreas Enqvist is a 6’4” right handed center, so maybe he would be a fit. Not sure how good he is at faceoffs either.

        I looked for about 15 minutes today and any possible 4th line centers that are FA, all were left handed. Maybe I missed a guy though.

  27. LL says:

    A good day. Even though I’m sad to see Wiz, Hammer, Auld, Benny and Halpern go, but so glad PG went BIG with Cole. lol

  28. SyntaxLove says:

    Including White, we’ll have just 12 fwds. I hope PG has a late addition to make to the 4th line. Otherwise we’ll been leaning on AHL players, probably Palushaj, to step in when someone invariably becomes injured.

    Pleased with the Cole signing. The term is at least 1 year too long but maybe that’s what it took.

    Budaj is comparable to Auld, so no complaints there.

  29. dre1744 says:

    But honestley who is gonna win important faceoffs for us??????

  30. mike3131 says:

    2 years after the Orpik incident, this was Cole’s reaction:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKecZ-Q0ybU

    This style will be quite welcome in our top-6! Good signing PG!
    And maybe Max can take care of Chara in a couple years…

  31. adamkennelly says:

    Fine with Cole but please please please get some muscle on this squad…Oilers get Eager and Hordichuk..Rupp to Rangers…Chicago signs Carcillo…(not that I want him) but please bring this team some kind of muscle….how bout Rick Rypien to center our 4th line or go get a real monster for the tough games….Steve Mac is available.

    • How about we continue to stay away from useless players.

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      Was he dealing with depression or anxiety that kept him out of the lineup for a long period this year?

    • Stev.R says:

      Rick Rypien is only 5’11, 190 lbs. Hardly a muscle guy.

      • adamkennelly says:

        check him out on youtube…Brad Marchand would completely stop any and all of his BS with Rypien in Habs line-up.

        • No he wouldn’t, because then he wouldn’t be an effective NHL player, which he is. Fighters don’t intimidate players.

        • rmhayward says:

          Though I do agree that Habs need a bit of size in the bottom six they need someone that can hit and fore check. Someone aggressive would most likely bring some spirit back into Moens game. Rypien is not that guy. Not someone we need to start the season. Thats something Gauthier could address before the playoffs. I would rather see some young players from our farm try and take that role like White.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Rypien is not a heavyweight, but he is the toughest middleweight out there. He regularly took on guys twenty pounds heavier than him and did really well, surprised quite a few guys. A real buzzsaw.

        He played on the Canucks fourth line and was a bit of a fan favorite. He’s not a skilled guy, but not an embarrassment like some of the heavyweights currently in the league. If we have to have a goon, we could do worse than him.

        ———————————
        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • boing007 says:

        Richard R
        Yea, but he’s tough. Loves his Wheaties.

  32. habstrinifan says:

    Went and updated my profile … changed my favourite current player duo from “Eller and Auld” to “Eller and Budaj”. Just my little way of making UFA’S want to come to Mtl.

    Also have a soft spot for “deer in the headlights” circumstance (Eller) and an empathy for bench-warmers (Auld now Budaj) of which I was one.

    Seriously though I have a gut feeling about this Budaj guy. Looks very athletic in his net.

  33. 306Hab says:

    Dear PG

    RE-Sign Josh Gorges for 2.05 mil per year x 3

    Thanks

  34. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I’m trying to figure out how Calgary can afford Richards. They have 20 players signed (only 5 defencemen) and $6.3m in cap space.

    They’ll have to move somebody like Langkow or Jokinen (or bury them in the AHL?)

    Wouldn’t that be a crazy turn of events if Calgary actually won the Richards Derby? According to McKenzie, Iginla is lobbying Richards hard.

    edit

    I see now that Dreger is fingering Hagman as the most obvious AHL demotion.

  35. Mark C says:

    Not sure if it’s been posted, but Benny is not a well liked man in Boston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpFjEv8V2h4

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The funny part is the play-by-play, the Gooins hacks playing the offended virgins, talking about how there should be more penalties being called. I wholeheartedly agree, you pressbox baboons.

      One of them is going on about how there should have been a penalty called on Pouliot, how he jumped, what a disgrace it is, and meanwhile their own replay is clearly showing the official, right in the foreground, immediately and decisively raising his arm right after the check. Don’t let the evidence distract you fellas, keep hurling your feces.

      I don’t know if anyone here ever listened to Rock et Belles Oreilles on radio in the 80′s, they did a bit about the Nordiques play by play guys, they used this arch Quebec french accent, and were describing things such as “Naslund charging in the offensive zone, thirsty for blood”, and “Gainey, a shipwreck, who while he waits to hook up his skates, is hooking our players’ skates.”

      The bit ended with Svoboda striking Dale Hunter in the elbow with his solar plexus, and poor Hunter writhing on the ground. They were flabbergasted that now Hunter was being tossed, and were showering the officials with epithets such as “Mickey Mouse” (re: Gretzky on the Devils) and calling the whole situation a farce.

      I always thought the satire was almost overdone, but now I see they weren’t too far off on how play-by-play guys can get carried away.

      On an earlier post, I talked about how Horton was always screaming at Pouliot, from the safety of Lucic’s orbit. I wonder how things will go at training camp, if there will be a settling of accounts, and if Benoit will collapse or stand up for himself. It would be great if he cleaned Horton’s clock.

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Mark C says:

        Jack Edwards is an uber –homer and propagandist. He frankly outright lies seemingly in an attempt to protect Bruin players.

        More than little surprised that Boston would take a shot on Benny, he’s not their type of player.

  36. HABZ24 says:

    eric cole thats great, he,s off the pace of his best pts totals of past seasons with carolina but he will light it up on the right line.gritty point getter with size just what we needed.as for budaj its 4 quarters for a dollar there, lucky if he gets in 10 games, back to backers etc. hammer was a high paid avg at best player, but loosing wizzer was a bad move wizz had a hard point shot. pouliot was a streaky player not playing up to potential, glad hes gone. with the additions of the russian and finn coming in, its an upgrade across the board. if we could spark a fire under gomezes azz by demoting him if he plays crap again then gomer pyle would help too. the hell with summer drop the puck !!

  37. Neutral says:

    we just got better by picking up cole. he’s a top 6 player

  38. JD_ says:

    Hey, I was just over on wwww.whogivesaflyinf***.com and there was this really, really, really lenghty piece on Peter Budaj.

    The gist of the thesis was…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    *cough*

    Sorry, my narcolepsy is triggered by immaterial tripe.

    Wonder if Kovy’s gonna sign with any…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    Finally, if one takes the letters in Erik Cole and mixes them around, one yields Oil Creek. Oil Creek is found along the Allegheny River, a tributary of the Ohio River. If one mixes the letters in Allegheny around, one yields Glen Healy. The n is missin’ in Glenn’s first name cause Glenn is also missin’ somethin’.

    Now, keep up with me here: Healy was born in Pickerin’, Ontario and now resides in neighbourin’ Ajax.

    Ajax-Pickerin’ is considered a hole.

    Hole rhymes with Cole.

    There you have it, baby!

    Suivant! Next!

  39. Clay says:

    Wow – The Habs just got better.
    I can’t remember the last time the Habs got better on free-agent day. This is a sign of progress. Well done, PG.
    I’m astounded that the Bruins signed Pouliot though. Maybe they need someone to clean the ice? <– (reference to Pouliot falling down a lot)

    __________________________
    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    Winston Churchill

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      well there was the free agent day when they added Cammy, Gio & Gill

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        When Gainey signed those guys do you think he could foresee the future of free agency (i.e. the shortage of talent we saw today) or was it just coincidence that he need guys that last year there were any?

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          that just happened to be the summer we had to turn over the roster and make some changes… there’s a lot of BG haters around here, but guys like Cammy, Gio, Gill have been the key contributors to this teams success over the last two years… “success” is relative, but when compared to the teams performances over the previous ten years, it’s been an improvement. And the drafting of players like Price and Subban have given us hope for the future.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            I also think those were good moves. Gainey basically replaced his veteran core without missing the playoffs. I’d call that a success of sorts.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I agree, but of course not all moves are perfect… that 3rd year on the Spacek deal is hurting us right now.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Yes but sadly they didnt stop there and the net effect was well… I feel too good today to bring it all up.

      • Clay says:

        Well, I agree that those 3 were great signings. I was engaging in a little hyperbole perhaps, so I hope you can forgive me. Posting before your first cup of coffee can do that to a fellow. I went to bed thinking that nothing would happen, and woke up to see at least some significant improvement to the team.

        __________________________
        Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

        Winston Churchill

  40. Cable Guy says:

    I like the signing of Cole but still wished they made a run for Jagr, yes he’s old but a one year contract for $2 mill would have snagged him and we could still have afforded Cole as well. Here’s hoping Markov stays healthy for the year or letting the Wiz go will be a huge mistake.

    • Rob says:

      It’s days like this that i remember why i chose my tag line

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

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      He signed with Philly for $3.3m…there’s no way he’d sign in Montreal for $2m

    • Mike D says:

      He signed for 3.3mil in Philly. Why would you assume we could have signed him for 2mil?

      - Honestly yours

    • showey47 says:

      Jagr signed in philly for 3.3 million and you think we could have had him for 2?

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      “… Jagr, yes he’s old but a one year contract for $2 mill would have snagged him”

      are you for real? you know the Flyers gave him 3.3 mil right?

    • Lemur says:

      Considering Jagr’s propensity for online roulette, he was probably looking for a contract in the 3.5 range, and everybody knows that outside bets at 2-1 are a suckers play. Therefore the 2mill offer was nothing but a slap in the face to a seasoned roulettiere (apparently that’s a word, go figure)

      We got what we needed, so lets get gorges signed so we can enjoy the summer and not have a repeat of the Price saga.

      - my comp needs to rest, its been a long season

  41. Sean Bonjovi says:

    I have a question for anyone who knows the answer. Did the Capitals just get the 1st overall pick in next years draft for a spare goalie?

  42. Mike D says:

    Don’t know if anyone else missed this (I did), but Handzus signed with SJ – 2 year deal @ 5mil total for a 2.5mil cap hit. Is it just me, or do they have a lot of Centers? And pretty good ones too.

    - Honestly yours


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