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. zozotheclown says:

    At least he’s cheap, probably won’t play more then 15 games anyway.

  2. Hobie Hansen says:

    Budaj is a small upgrade on Auld…

  3. RGM says:

    Budaj should be capable in the role. Good signing.

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  4. habsfan0 says:

    Peter Budaj! Plan the parade!

    I’ve misjudged PG.

  5. Mike D says:

    Why the EFFF would we sign Peter Budaj?!?!?!?!

    I’ll miss you Auld!

    - Honestly yours

  6. icemachine says:

    Peter Budaj (G) for 2 years, 1.15 AAV

    Its time to switch to whiskey, we’ve been drinkin’ beer all night

  7. JasonM says:

    BUDAI? REALLY?

    For THAT much? Ugh.

  8. deuce6 says:

    Budaj to us….2 year 2.3M….

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  9. HalifaxHabs says:

    I guess Budaj is better than Auld… and he must be cool with being a back up, or he never would have signed up.

    I’m cool with this.

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Now at least we can hope the too old prima Donna version of jagr returns to the NHL!

  11. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    wow ask and you shall recieve! lol

  12. RockinRey says:

    Budaj to MOntreal? Curious

  13. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    MTL

    signs goalie Peter Budaj to two year deal, $1.1M, $1.2M.

  14. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I hear PG is too hungover and put his phone min silence.

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

  15. HABSGUARDIANANGEL says:

    PG sign sombody please

  16. Bugs says:

    Watchin the feed from Couver and the reporter is standing in front of a STATUE of Neilson’s white flag surrender.
    They put up a STATUE. Of their SURRENDER.
    They are PROUD to be losers. Every day, they walk in and see that and say to themselves “boy, am I PROUD of that moment that so clearly defines us as a hockey club.”
    They put up a damn STATUE…
    I…I’m at a loss for words.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      With respect to all my friends here who are Canucks fans, their franchise doesn’t have our long history, and certainly none of the glorious history. They have retired jerseys for Harold Snepts and Stan Smyl. They’re even considering retiring Pavel Bure’s, the guy who held them hostage and crybabied his way out, with nary an explanation.

      For them, the Roger Neilson moment is a seminal event in their history.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  17. Mike D says:

    Anyone else kinda hopin PG re-signs Auld before he gets snapped up by another team and we run the risk of ending up with someone not as good, or who might not be a good fit with Carey?

    - Honestly yours

  18. HabsFanMTL says:

    told u guys, its gonna be “status quo” again as is every year, hope for this player hope for that, nothing new gonna happen

  19. habstrinifan says:

    Not alarmed or discouraged by ANYTHING that has happened so far.. from my perspective as a HABS fan. The guys we need are still there.

    Little bit nervous that we will do NOTHING and that would be bad.. bust so far so good! We havent done anything foolish YET!.

  20. solomio says:

    C’mon guys will sumthin happen already! I’m gonna watch Nick Cage in Season of the Witch

  21. Propwash says:

    These contracts that have been signed so far are just redonkulous!

  22. HalifaxHabs says:

    I’m still holding out hope for 2 forwards… one for the top two lines, one for the bottom two:

    Top 2 – Gagne or Leino

    Bottom 2 – Belanger or Rupp

    we’ve only got 11 forwards locked in…

  23. zaq007 says:

    Hoping the Habs sign Belanger for their veteran bottom 6

  24. scrowe21 says:

    These contracts are ridiculous. PK and Price are gunna be sooo expensive next year.

  25. MocaJoe says:

    take your pick…. caps, pens, or flyers in the stanley cup finals next season.

  26. HardHabits says:

    Philly has me scratching my head. It’s like Holmgren has morphed into a 3 head Hydra. 1 part Pollack, 1 part Sather, 1 part Milbury.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I like their moves actually.

      Richards and Carter were horrible in the room and 1 had the C the other an A – they were total a-holes, partying, cheating with other wives, real cancers, something had to be done after they were swept away by Boston.

      I had jagr tops on my list and Talbot up there as well.

      Both would have fit quite nicely wth Habs and Pens.

      Philly added 2 players who have experience and were perfect fits for two competitors.

      Theres no Milbury in that.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      He’s definately not shy to make some big moves, thats for sure. He’s the anti-PG.

      • ed lopaz says:

        ya in philly, boston, new york, if you dont make moves the other sports franchises in the city steal your thunder very quickly.

        here in mtl, the Habs are not that concerned.

        thats why we desperately need the Nordiques back in the NHL.

        it would be great competition for the Habs.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • habstrinifan says:

          agree agree agree! Only thing will wake these non-habs souls who are running our beloved team.. change that only thing will make Molson jettison these guys for some management who have HABS souls.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      I’d prefer to be jealous of Philly (not that I am) than hate them. Now if they could just trade Pronger to the West.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      “Sign Scott Gomez” Sather or “Trade Scott Gomez” Sather?

      * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  27. scrowe21 says:

    Glad we passed on Talbot.. 5 years is way too much.

  28. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Bugger! The first player I actually wanted Mtl to sign goes with PHI instead.

    Although Talbot for 5 yrs is pretty long term…even if it’s $1.8m/yr.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      That’s 300k more a year than we’re paying to Moen over a longer term, there’s no sense in having grinders signed to contracts like that. They are interchangable at the end of the day. Metropolit became Moore, Moore became Halpern… on and on we go.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Yeah, I agree about the interchangeability of grinders. Mike Johnson begat Bryan Smolinksi, began Metropolit etc etc etc.

        There always will be a lot of veterans available to fill those roles. I’m not too worried – I just kinda liked Talbot is all.

        Waaay too long a contract I think.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Although I agree wi you in principal, I think Talbot is much better than Moen. Moen is after Gomie and Spatch, the player I’d least miss if he were traded.

  29. habstrinifan says:

    There are two schools of thought regarding the HABS.

    One view is thatthe habs do not have the core group of players that will make a run for the cup within the next season or two.

    The opposing view (one I share) is that the HABS have an exciting and resilient and potentially powerful combination of youth (Priice/Subban/Eller/Max Pac/maybe Yemelin) and veterans (Gionta/Cammy/Plekanecs/Gill/Markov/Gorges) who are primed to exceed the past two playoffs performances and make a grab for the Holy Grail.

    I think both views would postulate that players like AK46,White,Weber,Gomez, will either be dragged excitedly into that higher stratosphere or work unspectacularly at a lower performance level set by the club. They wont drive the drive for 25 but have enough skills and experience to go along for the ride with opportune contributions.

    Logic says that with either view, there is NO ‘super-star’ or ‘big time’ move that PG can make today to dramatically change the outlook. He must either plod along and hope that in 3 years time we ‘do get better’ or hope for magic from his youth corps mainly.

    Therefore it is EASY,VERY EASY to see the course of action that PG must take. And he seems to be doing so thus far. No signing of huge names like Jagr or Richards. They wont affect the balance, regardless of your view of the team.

    But he MUST sign at least two of the many many names mentioned here and elsewhere which will add GRIT and PHYSICALITY/SIZE to his team.

    If he believes as some do that we are AT LEAST 3 YEARS away, an inexpensive pick-up or two to bolster the backbone of the club and reduce the wear and tear on prospects being physically manhandled will HELP ENSURE that in 3 years time all our youngsters are still relatively unjaded mentally and still physically ok, while the teams develops.

    If he believes ,a s some do including myself, that this team has shown by the last two playoffs seasons and by it’s resilience and by the impressive emergence of Price/Subba/Mac Pac/Eller that the team IS READY to make the LEAP, then his task is the same. An inexpensive pick-up or two to bolster the backbone of the club and reduce the wear and tear on our youths and smaller veterans so that they can play at their strongest at best and most fearless during the season and especially in the playoffs, without being manhandled to distraction and dejection.

    Two views SAME SOLUTION TODAY.

    What You CANNOT do PG is STAND PAT and disregard all evidence or general consensus that you need to make the environment safer on the ice for your skill players.

    Do not be obstinate PG re you and your coaches disdain for physicality.

    This UFA market seems ripe for the picking of just the resources you need…at a reasonable cost.

    GO HABS GO! DO IT TODAY PG!

  30. habsfan0 says:

    I think PG has said it’s Brad Richards or nothing.

    I’m betting on nothing.

  31. habsfan0 says:

    Talbot with Flyers. Well done,PG!

  32. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    haha, Talbot to Philly.

  33. thehabsfan29 says:

    talbot gone to phi
    5 yrs/9m

  34. prankstergod says:

    talbot to philly too

  35. zozotheclown says:

    I’d like to see us land one of Leino/Cole/Fleishmann for the top 6 and one of Talbot/Konopka for the bottom. Talbot has that home time allure and a great personality, but we all saw how important faceoffs were in the playoffs, and konopka is amazing at them apparently, and is pretty tough to boot.

  36. Gindan69 says:

    Talbot to Flyers. Does this team understand there is a cap? They are way way over now.

    • zozotheclown says:

      Well scratch him off my wishlist lol…

    • ManApart says:

      You have to admire Holmgren. That guy has the stones to follow his gut and go after it. They get swept by Boston, even though they had a very good team, Holmgren says F**k this, I’m going to take it to the next level. Now that’s a winner. Hope PG is watching. Who am I kidding, he and BG are probably hiding in his basement, afraid somebody may call him and he’ll actually have to speak to someone.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        Except Holmgren hasn’t actually won anything ever, so he is not a winner. He’s just a guy desperate to be a winner by tearing apart the team he built because it’s not working.

        - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

        • ManApart says:

          He’s not a winner yet, but certainly has the makings of one. His team went to the Cup finals, game 6, 1 year ago. It’s not that they are not woking. They had a step back against Boston this year and Holmgren immediately saw the problem and is doing a great job of addressing it, so far. Guys like PG/and BG wait 10 years hoping things will fix themselves.

  37. solomio says:

    Kaberle… are you nuts? no fckn way.
    Cole…. are you nuts? He’s killed the Habs to may times to be wearing the CH

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    Colorado traded Anderson for Brian Elliot late last year.

    Bunch of maroons.

    Who is their GM?

  39. NLhabsfan says:

    Jagr… Why am I am not surprised… Money talks bullshit walks.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    So irritating that I can’t see who is responding to what on my iPhone.

  41. thorandresson says:

    According to RDS, Richards is Montreal’s top priority right now. Could there be a deal in place to send Gomez to Florida if the deal happens? Considering Florida needs Gomez’s salary to get to the cap minimum?

    • deuce6 says:

      Dreger just reported that there is speculation that the deals getting thrown at him are in the neighborhood of 12.8M per…Which is the league max…No thanks…

      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • scrowe21 says:

      Not happy about this. The money is there for a good depth player that could be signed. PG could easily get Anthony Stewart for a good price. While Richards waits a couple days to make up his mind, all the good depth players will be signed to other teams.. and Montreal will have to re sign Tom Pyatt.

    • solomio says:

      I thought it had already been reported that he wasn’t interested playing for Montreal ?

    • Chris F says:

      Richards, no way. Unless Gomez is traded and he signs for the same amount of less. I will gaurantee Richards does not end up in Montreal, if PG pulls that off, shock wouldn’t begin to describe it.

  42. showey47 says:

    hoping for both erik cole and zenon konopka

  43. habs001 says:

    last 2 years in the playoff we hardly received any production from our 3rd and 4th lines…not only they did not score but they hardly created any chances…this is where boston had a huge advantage…this is where we need to add players who can score at least 15-20 goals and provide a workout for the other teams d…we could have played 100 periods vs boston and it was a no brainer to see that moen,pyatt,pouliot,halpern,eller,dd were not going to score on them beyond a lucky goal…

  44. thehabsfan29 says:

    why do i have the feeling the habs are gonna sign kaberle?

    PG needs to go out and grab cole!!!

  45. I know this is of subject, but just check the Habs official site and saw that carey Price will be a free agent after next season. If Price has another 70 games season in 2011-12, PG may need some money reserved to re-sign Price to a long term deal after next season.
    This could be a factor on what or who PG sign’s this off season.
    Just something to think about for all of you who think the Canadiens should get a top notch player.

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s going to be a little awkward for Washington to make their draft lottery selection next year over the sound of Colorado’s head of scouting strangling the life out of their GM.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  47. BKAK72 says:

    Overpaid contracts?

    Not at all.

    The CBA was (force) negotiated and agreed upon. What the NHL and NHLPA are gaining here is a cash machine from their Canadian franchises that are keeping garbage franchises afloat in places like Tampa Bay, Miami/Florida, Phoenix and the list goes on and one.

    It’s about time the NHL realized the gate revenue is on steroids in Canada and that the “t.v.” revenue is and will forever be a pipe-dream in the USA (no different than soccer in N. America).

    Good for the guys that manage to gain a pay-day.

    (bleep) off to all the owners who killed hockey in 2004. Something that the Spanish Influenza, two World Wars and a host of civil strikes couldn’t accomplish.

    – HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

    • _Habsoloutly_ says:

      Yes, the list does go on. Here’s all the teams that had worse attendance than Florida last season:

      22 Florida Panthers
      23 Dallas
      24 Colorado
      25 New Jersey
      26 Anaheim
      27 Columbus
      28 Winnipeg
      29 Phoenix
      30 NY Islanders

      P.S. – How is Tampa a garbage franchise? They average 17, 268 fans a game, they have won a cup and they did pretty damn good in the playoffs. Also Tampa had better attendance last season than Edmonton, a Canadian team. Do you folks even bother with facts when you write stuff?

      • BKAK72 says:

        Respectfully, please take a look at the Tampa Bay official site for season ticket information. The price of a full-season ticket at centre ice (section 101, row D) is US $3357.93.

        For the Canadiens? $7,224 (CDN)

        That’s why TB is a garbage franchise.

        – HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

  48. deuce6 says:

    Who in the hell is the GM in TOR? Burke or Nonis? lol

    Seems that Nonis has made more signings/trades than Burke has…

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

  49. adam76 says:

    Tom Nickle guaranteed jagr in Montreal. So happy the prestigious award-winning head coach (NOT PEE WEE!) was wrong.

    3.3 million for a 40 yer old KHL player?

  50. HabFanSince72 says:

    Andy Murray is melting down at. Wimbledon. He has to be the most mentally fragile player in tennis.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Ack. I am not reading Twitter for this very reason — avoiding spoilers. I am just taking a break from watching it delayed.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Sorry but “Andy Murray melting down on centre court” is as much of a spoiler as “latest Julia Roberts romantic comedy might not appeal to men” or “Brian Burke fails to deliver on his promise to do X”.

    • Vid says:

      Well it is Nadal…players including Federer have had meltdowns against him. I think the only players who can threaten Nadal are either Del Potro (who just lost to Nadal) or Djokovic who’s had recent success against Rafa.

  51. HardHabits says:

    John Lu has nothing to report from Brossard. Big surprise.

  52. Mattyleg says:

    Now that Halpern’s gone, we can bring Metro back! Top scorer in the Swiss league, y’know…

  53. scrowe21 says:

    How the f**k did WSH get a 1st and a 2nd for Varlamov..and we got Eller and Schultz for Halak..

    • HardHabits says:

      Habs have a reputation for getting fleeced.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Eller was a 1st so technically the difference is the 2nd instead of the 3rd (Schultz). That and nobody thought goaltending was worth ****-all last off-season b/c of Leighton-Niemi Cup battle.

      Goaltending value is up this year b/c of Thomas.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • scrowe21 says:

        Washington just got 2 great picks in a very deep draft for a player who was going to the KHL anyways.. lol

      • ManApart says:

        PG didn’t even inform all the teams Halak was on the block. That doesn’t help,
        when trying to create a market. Eller was drafted in the 1st round, but was not a 1st round calibre player when PG got him. Th reason Caps got more than Habs: Mcphee is a better GM than PG/BG, plain and simple.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          I’m sure PG just picked a name out of his phone book, called for best offer on Halak and that was it… Please, goaltending wasn’t worth much last year, the big names flopped in the playoffs and the nobodies were winners, markets respond to trends and the trend was goaltending didn’t matter 12 months ago.

          If George McPhee was that smart, he’d have broomed Boudreau after MTL beat them in 2010. Four straight seasons of being beaten by lower seed playoff teams would have mobs with pitchforks outside the Bell Centre.

          - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

          • ManApart says:

            It’s a fact, some GM’s didn’t have a clue Halak was on the block. The market for goaltending is the same now as it was then. No, Thomas’ great play didn’t change the mind of 30 GMs. What do you think, they’re idiots that change their mind on how to structure a team from year to year? PG didn’t bother creating a market, that is why he didn’t maximize his return.

            McPhee is pretty good, but miscalulated his team chemistry, so isn’t great. He’s better than PG though.

          • SeriousFan09 says:

            …Except he spent the year addressing goaltending trades around the NHL. JVR and Giroux were apparently targets he wanted to swap for Halak during 09-10 but it never happened. And as for not talking to some teams, why would the Kings with Quick/Bernier want Halak? Why would the Canucks want in with Luongo/Schneider? What’s Boston’s angle on that one? With Thomas on the bench and Rask having a season that had him talked up for the Vezina? Calling up teams that are already set for goaltending and have no reason to offer you something for yours is a waste of time generally.

            - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
            SF09 on Twitter

    • Gindan69 says:

      I’m fairly certain that two humans that are already playing are worth more then to theoritical picks in Hockey currency.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Not sure about that. Once you have Eller and Schultz in your system for a year, you have a better feel for how they will develop. They are not 18 anymore, they are a year older and more developed.

        I myself am always leery of taking a prospect out of someone else’s farm system. Why are they willing to give them up?

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

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • SlimDiggity says:

      Eller was a first round pick. Schultz was a third round pick. Very similar return and Varlamov arguably has more upside. Remember, Halak was never even a clear cut starter in the NHL until the 2010 stretch run+playoffs and he was already 25 at the time.

      • scrowe21 says:

        I know where Eller and Schultz were picked. Schultz will never make the Habs. Halak was much more of a clear cut starter than Varlamov is. Bottom line is Washington will get two better picks for a lesser goalie.

        • SlimDiggity says:

          Halak is also 3 years older than Varlarmov. He was just getting his first sniff of the NHL 3 years ago. You can’t compare them based on starter status, I’m just saying based on age/size/skillset Varlamov has arguably more upside.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      When you put it that way, I’m scratching my head too.

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

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  54. Lokee says:

    Has anyone thought players do not wanna play for JM.

  55. SeriousFan09 says:

    Semyon Varlamov goes to Colorado for a 1st and 2nd round pick. Washington is going to laugh their way to the bank on this one, that pick is likely going to be Top 15.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  56. Hobie Hansen says:

    Can they take that pic of the Wiz in a Habs jersey off tsn.ca already please…

    Put jagr as the main pic or something…

  57. showey47 says:

    avs trade for varlomov

  58. Mattyleg says:

    Maybe I’m stating the obvious here, but there ain’t that much out there. And all these guys who are being signed for big money aren’t worth big money.
    I’d be happy to see PG do very little today. Wait until the madness has abated, then do some real deals.

  59. PeterStone says:

    this has to be the worst year to have a ton of space on your cap and the cap floor going up. Florida has spent tons on Theodore, Campbell, Jovo, Upshall and now Marcel Goc.

  60. Shiloh says:

    Halpern was a very honest player for us – just like Metro and Domenic Moore. Maybe we’ll find another veteran with a great work ethic who can pop a few.

    • ManApart says:

      Wouldn’t it be easier to keep one of those guys, instead of always letting them go and trying to replace them?

      • PureGuava says:

        I’ll go further back than that – Gilmour, Juneau, Bonk….Lang. The revolving door of aging two-way centers continues – I do think that Moore was the guy we should have granted tenure to.

  61. Gindan69 says:

    A truly pathetic display by the panthers. Rather then try and build a winning team, just throwing money to reach the floor. May as well move them to Quebec City already and be done with it.

  62. Chris F says:

    Andrew Brunette to Chicago. He would have fit too.

  63. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Brunette in CHI is the fantasy sleeper pick of the year!

    He’s a lock to put up 50+ pts on that roster…

  64. HardHabits says:

    Hahaha. Eklund says Habs are interested in Simon Gagne. (E3)

    • deuce6 says:

      What’s so funny? I would love to have Simon…
      ——————

      Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      I get the feeling Gagne will simmer for a day or two as teams tender contracts of various lengths, I doubt many want to bet long-term on his injury history while Gagne would like to have his final big contract.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him remain a UFA for a while yet. The way he gets his long term deal (that any team should be leery of) is to wait out the bigger names (Richards, Leino, Cole etc) and hope that a team panics a bit.

    • gloveside says:

      Just what we need. Another overpaid, injury prone ex-goal scorer on the downside of his career. Gagne has averaged 57 games played over the last 4 years and now has concussion and hernia issues. I say Jagr outscores him, Gomez AND Cammy.

  65. Hobie Hansen says:

    Amateur guess that Gauthier is distracted with Richards at the moment.

    Hope there’s still some scraps if that doesn’t work…

  66. Vid says:

    I won’t be disappointed if habs don’t get any big name free agents, it’s not like the habs are one signing or two away from a stanley cup. i’d be happier if they didn’t sign anybody rather than overpay someone who will likely underperform in Montreal. Let’s face it very few top line veteran players actually get more points when the sign with Montreal.

  67. PeterStone says:

    well, its official. Hockey Salaries are out of control again. lock out in 1 year.

    • What would you do if I give you a unlimited credit card balance and direct you to the latest shopping mall. You would spend as much as you can and have fun.
      I guess GM’s are in this position so far.

    • RGM says:

      Doubt it. They’ve got their “cost certainty” that was the sticking point in 2004 – revenues are up, up, up due to the new NBC deal and the growth of the Canadian dollar. Having a new Canadian team will also help.
      While the dollar figures are stupid, it’s all tied to revenues.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • PeterStone says:

        the problem is the teams that lose $$ … Florida, Tampa, Phoenix, StLouis are going to lose even more money. Thats why these teams have all been sold, or are for sale now. It wont get better with a higher cap floor. I think there is going to be a battle next year.

        EDIT : I should add, NFL and NBA also have cost certainty and are either in lock out/strike mode.

  68. HabsFanInTampa says:

    I liked Halpern’s play here last season. We couldn’t get him signed for the same amount that Washington got him for????

    • Gindan69 says:

      Probably, but they hopefully have a pair of bottom 6 bangers they would rather get. So you take your chances by leaving that money free to use elsewhere and if it doesn’t work out then maybe the backup plan is still around, or in this case, not around. Who can guess that a guy like Halpern goes in the first hour when last year he signed in August.

  69. A 39-yr old player in Jagr to Flyers for 3M….
    Almost ridiculous as Wiz’s contract.
    Geez, these teams have money to burn. Some of you say that Jagr will score 30 goals in Philly. I would love to see it but I doubt it.
    I think the rumors of Jagr heading to Montreal for $2M was a smoke screen for a better offer. I guess Jagr’s represenatives guessed right.

  70. HardHabits says:

    If NHL Numbers is up to date Florida is at 34.357M spent. Still enough room for Gomez.

  71. scrowe21 says:

    ArponBasu Arpon Basu
    If the #Habs are waiting on Brad Richards before doing anything, they likely aren’t doing anything

    F***! So stupid!

    • habstrinifan says:

      What is so stupid? Whathe said or that HABS may be putting all their eggs in one basket, Richards.

      I think the latter is stupid so his statement is likely true. I hope they dont los eout on a couple of the many namesmentioned here who would add grit to this team.

  72. Chris F says:

    Philly really paid for Jagr, I was hoping at first, but at that price I’m not sure. I hate Holmgren, but not as much as Burke, and not as much as Neely.
    I just really hope PG doesn’t strike out, and stand pat. There are ways to improve the team.
    Stewart, Ward, Talbot, Konopka, Rupp.
    And you never know about all the RFA’s that may be passed over.

  73. Keith says:

    It would be awesome if Max Talbot could be signed by the Habs.

    P L E A S E!!!! Make it so P.G.!!!

  74. scrowe21 says:

    Anthony Stewart, Rupp, see how much Gagne wants.. do something..

    except Leino. Please don’t overpay for Leino.

  75. SyntaxLove says:

    Leino, Belanger, Talbot & Rupp all still available it seems. I hope PG’s thinking is the same as mine.

    Good luck to Halpern in Washington. I think he’ll do well there.


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