Gorges organizes outdoor pickup game with fans

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Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges finally got a chance to lace up his skates for a hockey game on Wednesday – even if it was only an outdoor pickup game.

Frustrated by the ongoing NHL lockout, Gorges organized a game through his Twitter account at Verdun’s Willibrord Park outdoor rink. An estimated 50 skaters, from small fry wearing caged helmets to teenagers and those older still, turned up for some crowded-rink shinny that saw Gorges on the ice from shortly before 2 p.m. until past 3:30. In a wool tuque, parka and jeans, minus-10 C feeling like minus-17 with the breeze, it was no doubt the longest shift he’s played in his life.

You can read Dave Stubbs’s column on Gorges’s pickup game by clicking here.

The Willibrord Park rink is one four artificially refrigerated, Canadiens-funded rinks in city and borough parks as part of the team’s Children’s Foundation Bleu, Blanc, Bouge (Blue, White, Move) program to encourage youngsters to be active. A fifth one will open in January in N.D.G., which has citizens there excited. You can read Brenda Branswell’s story on the fifth rink by clicking here.

With the NHL lockout set to drag into 2013, Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times writes that commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners view the lockout as a “kind of apocalyptic battle in which the players union must be defeated, even if the world must be brought down to do so.” Read more by clicking here.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wonders what will happen to the 2013 NHL entry draft if there is no season because of the lockout. Read his column by clicking here.

Klein of the New York Times also has a feature on Seth Jones, one of the top prospects for the 2013 draft. The defenceman with the U.S. team at the world junior championship is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Read more by clicking here.

Donna Spencer of The Canadian Press has a story on how Malcolm Subban, P.K.’s brother, has grabbed the starting goaltender job with Team Canada at the world junior tournament. Read that article by clicking here.

And SportsPickle.com’s recent list of new Christmas song titles included this one: Bettman Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Read more by clicking here.

(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)

35 Comments

  1. Mavid says:

    and Spezza blindly gives it away..some things never change

  2. Mavid says:

    4 zip….hehehehe

  3. kempie says:

    According to Mirtle, Emelin is playing in the KHL Ass Star Game.

  4. Mavid says:

    three nothin on a shorty….nice

  5. Mavid says:

    lots of the white stuff here in Ottawa too..at least two feet..and its still falling..a good day to stay in and watch hockey

    • Haborama says:

      tell me about it bro, I’ve had to shovel my driveway twice…….

      • Propwash says:

        Apparently 40cm has fallen in Montreal so far, old record was 37cm.

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        • Bripro says:

          We’re on the south shore.
          I had nothing until last night.
          The snow on the side of the house has buried my basement window.
          That’s 4 feet off the ground.
          And they’re saying another 20cm before it’s over.
          I’ve been shovelling all day, and haven’t watched a bit of hockey.
          That’s about to change…

          • Propwash says:

            I’ve shovelled my front porch three times so far, looking at my car, I started to whimper a little bit. Thankfully I don’t have to drive anywhere but it’s gotta get done…after the game of course.

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          • frontenac1 says:

            Got my 6’4″” son out shoveling. Feeling Guilty? Not on your life! I just think about all those 6am hockey practices! But I do have a Guinness waiting for him when he’s done. Saludos!

  6. jols101 says:

    Anybody else enjoying the hockey with the bigger ice surface both in the WJC and the Spengler Cup. The extra space just seems to give the great players a split second longer to work their magic. Hope the NHL does this in the future; it doesn’t ruin the physicality, there are still plenty of big hits.

  7. Propwash says:

    Quite the snowy day today in Montreal! Going to watch the Spengler cup, then unbury my porch (again) then tackle getting my car out, after that, enjoy a shot of 18 year Glenfiddich to warm up.
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  8. Mavid says:

    two nothin…whooohooo

  9. jols101 says:

    Spengler Cup – Davos vs Team Canada – both teams are flying right off the get go. Davos has some big name NHL talent. Should be a beauty.

  10. Hobes says:

    It will be interesting to make the comparison between Yakupov and Galchenyuk during this tournament. It is really starting to look like we stole Galchenyuk @ 3rd overall, due to his injury.

    For the 1st time ever, I actually want to watch teams like the States and Russia play games against opponents other than Canada.

    I am looking forward to seeing Galchenyuk play against Canada because it is going to be a super physical game and I’d like to see him dish out some hits as well as take them. If Galchenyuk scores against Canada I’ll probably be as happy as I’d be if Canada scored.

    Spengler Cup is about to start too!

    • Haborama says:

      no one really expects Galchenyuk to be a physical player, but if he wants to play on a team that shares a division with the Boston Bruins he had better develop a bit of a tough streak……………

    • JF says:

      Agree about Galchenyuk. I haven’t seen a lot of Yakupov, but he was very underwhelming in the Subway Series. He is skilled, but does not seem to be the kind of game-changer that Galchenyuk has shown himself to be.

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Sure glad we picked Gally. Yakupov calling Canadian players Dirty aint too bright. That New Years Eve game should be interesting!

  12. BJ says:

    A nice watch for those who might understand french and a nice image of Gill visiting the children’s hospital while he played here. He stayed in contact with the family, the little girl had a brain tumor. Gill was someone I liked despite his limitations. Click on the icon where Gill is for the video.
    http://www.lapresse.ca/sports/hockey-junior/201212/27/01-4606980-galchenyuk-aide-les-etats-unis-a-dominer-lallemagne.php

  13. BJ says:

    Galchenyuk looked great out there. I was wondering how he would do speed wise against the worlds best juniors. He’s looked a step ahead whenever he carries the puck. He’s an excellent stickhandler as well as passer and what a shot. Measuring up against men in the NHL to see if the skill levels hold up will be the next test. My feeling is he will either now or in the very near future be an excellent player and certainly a great pick perhaps upwards of Subban and Price.

    • krob1000 says:

      This is the one thing that slightly concerns be about Galchenyuk…he doesn’t appear to have elite speed and many of todays stars do…but he is top end…and has the size to offset it and the ability to what he can do at his top speed….think back to Russ Courtnall and all of those end to end rushes only to fumble the puck…or Gomez. Galchenyuk has been taught well and everything he can do he can do at 110 percent and that goes a long way.

  14. krob1000 says:

    Just reviewing some of the more recent draft and the top picks …and who was “rushed” and how they are faring….
    Guys who played first year after draft : 2010 : Hall, Seguin, Skinner…Guys who were “seasoned” Gudbranson,, Johansen, Neiderreiter
    2009: Tavares, Hedman, Duchene, Kane ….Guy who wasn’t …Brayden Schenn
    2008: Stamkos, Doughty, Bogosian, L Schenn …guy who wasn’t Pietrangelo
    2007: Kane ,,,guys who weren’t ..Turris, Alzner, JVR

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Looks to me like a list of guys who were ready vs those who weren’t. For the most part these guys were higher picks who were picked based on higher skill level that was close to if not immediately ready to play in the NHL

    • Chris says:

      I think the discussion about players being rushed centres around lower draft picks, guys who don’t have the exceptional talent of a top 5 draft pick, but still have a ton of potential.

      A boat load of talent can make up for strength deficiencies that most of these guys face at the NHL level as 18 year olds. But if they don’t have that, then a year or two of seasoning and developing their confidence is not a bad idea.

      Galchenyuk is an interesting case because of his injury. The closest guy I can think of to Galchenyuk is Marian Hossa, who destroyed his knee in the Memorial Cup in 1998. Hossa was drafted in 1997 and the Senators brought him up for 7 uneventful games that season (1 assist) before sending him down to dominate junior.

      He was supposed to be with the team to start the 1998-99 season, but was out until December recovering from the injury, but did go on to play 60 games, posting 15 goals and 30 points.

      Hossa has obviously turned into one of the top forwards in the world. But he didn’t really get rolling until he was 20 years old. There are many paths for these kids, and some of them are dependent on need. In Galchenyuk’s case, the Habs have Desharnais, Plekanec, Eller and Gomez that can all play centre, so they really don’t need him up the middle. They could use him at left wing, obviously, but I don’t think that is where many fans want to see him. :)

      • krob1000 says:

        The injury does make for a curious case…but given success of his half season, WJC’s,etc ….in a shortened season I just might be inclined to let Glachenyuk play with the big boys this year..if there is a year. Physically he is a big strong kid, his talent level is elite, the team has an opening of sorts with Rene Bourque’s spot.
        As the above posts notes …some guys are ready …some guys aren’t but I just think the whole confidence thing can go both ways….a kid may respond negatively to being cut, may not dominate at the AHL level or whatever (may not be able to produce without simialtr talent …which I personally believe has happened to several potential starts over the years with an age that focused on a top six/bottom six mentality……the Canadiens of a few years ago were so endearing to me because of their focus on offense and ability to score on every line…and while that could be argued that is had an adverse effect on some guys who caould have had higher point totals…it also led to the HAbs developing many decent players who later moved on…but were developed at the NHL level …on third and fourth lines that were not chalk full of grinders.
        I would like to see Galchenyuk play this year if there is a shortened season….I walso think the importanceof every game would be similar to playoff type hockey and would be great experience for him despite the loss of free agency year…..just my opinion but now having had a chance to see him in action a handful of times (all on tv) he is not being sufficientyl challenged in my opinion where is and is not playing at the level he is best suited for…that to me is the NHL. HE will have to adjust the detail oriented system/defensive traps/systems,etc but I think he is a smart enough kid that he is there…

    • jols101 says:

      @krob1000, I believe the whole “rushed” idea is a fallacy. If you are good enough with elite level skills making the jump to the NHL right away doesn’t hurt a players development. But there are only a few each draft with that elite level skill. The NHL is now a young mans league more then ever.

      Players like Gaillaume Latendress (sp) didn’t become elite NHLer’s because they were “rushed”, he didn’t become an elite NHLer because he skates like he is in quicksand with a piano on his back and he eats at McDonalds 5 times a day with a few Dairy Queen Blizzards for dessert.

      Players that are not good enough should definitely be given the time they need but elite talent can make the transition quickly.

    • Riga Fraction says:

      I wouldn’t say Stamkos was rushed really. There was a lot of controversey about Tocchet’s usage (or lack thereof) of him when he would sit him in the press box for at least every other game and some felt he should be playing more instead of being protected that way.

  15. jols101 says:

    Many negative comments about Team Canada, they have only played 1 game that matters and they won 9-3. It has always been and always will be about getting better each and every game. Canada will bring home the Gold medal, the boys are just getting warmed up and Malcom Subban just needed to calm his nerves.

    Re: Seth Jones, not sure what this kid could have done better in the first game against a tired and listless German Team. He will get better as the intensity increases. He has all the skills and size to be a dominate NHL Dman for 15-20 years. Definitely worthy of being a 1st or 2nd overall pick.

    • krob1000 says:

      I did not see game but looking at the boxscore…1 goal, 1 assist and a team leading plus 5…..as a draft eligible Dman in his first game in a tournament that is historically a 19 year old tourney? Sounds like a pretty solid effort to me…factor in the learning curve for bigger bodied players, add to that the fact d is the toughest position to learn, playing on a larger ice surface….sounds like a pretty impressive performance to me.
      Dmen aren’t forced ofter to demo their skating skills all out but when they do that is often the test and from what I have read on Jones he doesn”t have to concede space a la Gill and can force plays and still recover if need be…and join the rush at will …I think he is the real deal myself but I have only seen clips of him and a couple of games.
      Mackinnon is liekly going to be a grinder…and there is nothing wrong with that at his age and given the talent on the team but people dismissing JOnes on one game (especially one where the results speak for themselves) is a little much…pretty sure the scouts have him touted as high as they do for good reason.

      PS…ironic to see Gorges organize this game on a Canadiens funded rink …a nice gesture and subtle dig all at once!

    • Riga Fraction says:

      Hope Subban finds his game if Spott opts to completely ignore all of the camps, and exhibition games and go with the weaker of his two goalies as his starter. Canada won’t get away with the goaltending he’s been giving them over the past month or so if they want to beat some of the teams that are better than Germany. Spott has a rep for not being able to figure out which of his goalies to use in the OHL and in a short tourney like this, to opt not to go with the hot hand is a pretty big risk, hopefully either Subban finds his game again or Spott comes to his senses and gives the hot hand the nod. Otherwise it’ll be a short tourney for Canada, no matter how the rest of the team plays.

  16. joeybarrie says:

    How do we not have NHL hockey or any idea of when we will???

    Revenue was doing so well, do they not care that its killing any progress the league has made in 5-10 years?

    How can such a bunch of ridiculous bufoons be responsible for the success, such as it was, of the league and be so stupid as to how it progresses???

    Astonishing how ridiculous some things are. How can you go thru 3 different work stoppages and still be in charge?
    How can so called OWNERS be so ridiculously BAD at running a team and being part of a league?

    Incredible. And there seems NO WAY to make it better….
    OH YEAH, and………………. FIRST.


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