Gionta, Gorges headed to Sabres; Habs sign Malhotra, Weaver and others

The Canadiens will be looking for a new captain for the 2014-15 season.

After failing to reach a contract agreement with Brian Gionta before the Canada Day free-agent sweepstakes began at noon Tuesday, the former Habs captain signed a three-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres worth $4.25 million per season later in the afternoon. Gionta will be joined in Buffalo by Josh Gorges after the Canadiens traded the defenceman to the Sabres in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2016. Gorges has four years remaining on a six-year, $23.4-million contact with a $3.9-million cap hit each year.

Shortly after noon, the Canadiens signed free-agent Manny Malhotra to a one-year, $850,000 deal. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound centre posted 7-6-13 totals in 69 games last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He averaged 11:35 of ice time per game and won 59.4 per cent of his faceoffs. In 933 careeer games, the 34-year-old has posted 115-176-291 totals.

“It’s an opportunity to win,” Malhotra said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “To say it’s a great hockey market is a gross understatement.”

Malhotra added: “This team is the best fit for me hockey-wise and family-wise.”

The Canadiens later re-signed free-agent defenceman Mike Weaver to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. Weaver played 17 games with the Canadiens last season after being acquired from the Florida Panthers at the NHL trade deadline, posting 1-6-7 totals and a plus-9.

After the signing was announced, Weaver tweeted: “Fier d’être de retour! We had the contract signed for a few weeks! Just wanted to keep everyone in suspense!”

The Canadiens announced a couple more free-agent signings Tuesday, inking forward Jiri Sekac to a two-year entry-level contract and defenceman Tom Gilbert to a two-year deal worth $5.6 million.

Sekac, a 6-foot, 174-pounder, played 47 games last season with Lev Praha in the KHL, posting 11-17-28 totals. Gilbert, a 6-foot-3, 206-pounder, posted 3-25-28 totals with 18 penalty minutes last season with the Panthers.

“When you visit Montreal and you see the way the fans are excited game in and game out, it makes playing there exciting,” Gilbert said on a conference call.

“Manny touched on it with where he is in his career,” Gilbert added. “I’m looking for what everyone is looking for: a chance to win the Cup.”

The 35-year-old Gionta spent five seasons with the Canadiens after signing a five-year, $25-million free-agent contract during the summer of 2009. In 81 regular-season games last season, Gionta posted 18-22-40 totals. In 17 playoff games, Gionta scored one goal and added six assists.

“I was never looking to break the bank (with the Habs),” Gionta told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs Tuesday morning after contract talks with the club broke down. “My time for that is past.

“It will be about the family now that Montreal window is closed,” Gionta added.

Gorges, who spent eight years with the Canadiens after being acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks, played in 66 regular-season games last season, posting 1-13-14 totals and a plus-6. He spoke with Sportsnet shortly after the trade to Buffalo was announced.

“It’s tough,” Gorges said. “I mean, you never really expect to get traded … you never think that this day is going to come. I mean, obviously, it comes for everybody and it’s happened to me once before. But when that phone call does come that day you’re not prepared for it. So it’s tough when you first hear the news, and especially because I’ve really loved every moment that I’ve had here in Montreal. It’s become my home over the last eight years and I’ve made a lot of good friends in this city and on this team and that’s the hardest part … knowing that you have to say bye to all that and move forward. But that’s the nature of the beast and part of the business that we’re involved in. So you deal with it and you move on. And like I said, I’m excited about the opportunity to go to Buffalo and help that team out.”

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin had tried to trade Gorges to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the defenceman nixed that as part of a limited no-trade clause in his contract. Gorges told Sportsnet that after playing with the Canadiens for such a long time it would have been hard to “switch over and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

“Nothing against that organization or that team,” Gorges said. “But when you build a rivalry it’s hard mentally, emotionally to think, ‘Wow, I’ve grown to hate this team, to play against them, how could I ever really go and put my heart and soul into it?’ And so I just wanted to take some time before I made a decision.”

In an interview with The Gazette’s Stubbs, Gorges was asked who his pick would be to be the next Habs captain.

“Everyone watches how (Andrei Markov) trains, prepares and plays,” Gorges said. “That’s what you want from your leader.”

When Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin met with the media Tuesday afternoon in Brossard he was asked about a future captain. Bergevin said if he did have someone in mind he wouldn’t say now and added that it was too early to make that decision. How that captain will be picked will remain “in house” Bergevin said.

When asked if he had a date by which he wanted to have restricted free-agent defenceman P.K. Subban signed, Bergevin said “no.” When The Gazette’s Pat Hickey suggested Oct. 1 as the date, Bergevin responded “that would be nice,” drawing chuckles from the media.

The Canadiens didn’t make a qualifying offer for forward Ryan White, meaning he now becomes an unrestricted free agent.

“Ryan was really good for us,”  Bergevin told the media in Brossard. “I have a lot of respect for the way he played. But sometimes the teacher needs new students and the student needs a new teacher. So maybe a change of scenery will help him out. Again, I have a lot of respect for Ryan, but we made a decision to go with Manny Malhotra.”

Thomas Vanek, acquired by the Canadiens at last season’s NHL trade deadline, signed a three-year free-agent deal with the Minnesota Wild worth $19.5 million. Vanek turned down a seven-year, $50-million offer from the Islanders last season before he was traded to Montreal.

Bergevin also announced that the club has signed junior forward Jeremy Grégoire to a three-year, NHL entry-level contract. In 65 regular-season games with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL last season, the 6-foot, 187-pound forward posted 35-34-69 totals. The Canadiens selected him in the sixth round (176th overall) at the 2013 NHL draft.

Bergevin also signed free-agent goalie Joey MacDonald to a one-year, two-way contract on Tuesday. In 11 games with the Calgary Flames last season, MacDonald posted a 5-4-1 record with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

Habs add size and experience in free-agent frenzy, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Gionta leaves Habs with a heavy heart, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Mixed emotions as Gorges heads to Buffalo, by Dave Stubbs

Habs sign free-agent Malhotra,

Bergevin press conference (video),

Canadiens’ salary-cap chart,

Gionta signs three-year deal with Sabres,

Sabres acquire Gorges,

Free-agent signings tracker,

Official list of available free agents,

Wild signs Vanek for three years,

Former Hab Cammalleri signs five-year, $25-million deal with Devils,

Senators trade Spezza to Stars,

Avalanche signs Iginla to three-year, $16-million deal,


  1. BJ says:

    What was the number of hits for White? Three thousand what?

  2. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

    3129. So close…

    Hab fans want choice! Sign the petition to give us back our games!

  3. twocents says:

    I was reading below about the relative merits with regard to timing the aquisition of a sniper. I fully agree that now is not the time. However, I do think that as teams sort out their cap situations later this summer is ideal. Late in the first half of the season is good too, but the idea of waiting until the trade deadline never sits right with me. Firstly, you usually overpay, though MB did well with Vanek. More importantly these players never seem to fully mesh with their new team in time for the playoffs. Very few Cup winners have acquired an impact player in that year’s deadline. Role players yes, extra scoring depth yes, but deals for top players seldom work out. Sometimes they end up contributing to a Cup in ensuing years, but in the same year is a rare occurrence.

    So Patrick Kane in August please Mr. Bergwvin. If dd has to go the other way… so be it.

  4. Mick says:

    Ryan White:
    I am going to miss white. He seemed like a good guy who had that crazy side. MT just could not get past his own prejudice and find a way to use him.

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    What do the fancy numbers say Iginla will do in Colorado?

    • Paz says:

      Burly, would you take Vinny Barbarino aka Lecavalier for 1 year and 2 or 3 million, and play him on the left wing?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I have to admit, I hardly watched any Flyers games last year. I still think there is a year left in the tank with Vinny. I wouldn’t have an issue with that, but, and its a big BUT, would he really embrace the role?

        Does he actually have any passion to wear the CH? I thought he was disingenuous with his apparent passion to be in Philly, all the while using MB as leverage for that contract.

        I don’t know if one could find out the answer, but perhaps I want to believe he may actually find some passion to add to his aging skills and give the Habs one good year, for the Gipper!

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I would. Sorry for butting in.

      • Luke says:

        He has 4 years left. Is Philly buying him out?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Widely speculated they may need to buy him out, if the trade avenue doesn’t work. It would not be a compliance buyout, but rather the old fashion kick in the capteeth kind of buyout.

          Perhaps all Vinny needs is a pat on the behind from Claude though to spark his interest in the game for Philly.

      • DipsyDoodler says:

        Gionta had the same points production last year, and he played on the penalty kill too.

        Moving. Forward.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          One scored 20 goals, One scored 18, one played 69 games, one played 81 games. Stats are somewhat even, comes down to wondering if one player has a certain strength to offer the team which the other doesn’t.

          No doubt though, Vinny’s skills have been diminishing. Also believe Vinny was banished to some 3rd and 4th line duties for chunks of the season, while Gionta was on our 2nd line most of the year.

        • Paz says:

          Vinny is 6’4, and when he’s motivated he can open up space for his line mates.

          Different kind of players.

  6. Habfan10912 says:

    I bought one of those fancy smancy TV’s and had it delivered today. The young man who delivered it was wearing a Habs cap, a rarity here in Ranger country.

    Of course I fell in love with him (fatherly/brotherly love) and we chatted about our club all the while Mrs. 10912 was rolling her eyes.

    I gave him this sites address and told him to join us. Hopefully someday he will.

    A Han fan delivers a fancy smancy TV. We do it all!

    CHEERS all.

  7. Mick says:

    the Ryan White post will still reign over the Ryan White era.

    What did he post?

  8. Puck Bard says:

    Get ready Atlantic Canada, Hurricane Arthur has arrived here in North Carolina.

  9. Grimmly says:


    We hit 5000 comments before a new topic

  10. HUDSONHAB says:

    Gionta thinks Pleks should wear C

  11. sCOTT1243 says:

    Not interested in going back 10 pages but is this new or old news?

    Former NHL player Alex Kovalev has announced his retirement.

    Kovalev last played in the NHL with the Florida Panthers during the 2012-13 season and spent last season with Swiss second-tier team EHC Visp.

    Didn’t like his work ethic but man could he dangle and shoot. One of my favourite Habs of all time.

  12. HUDSONHAB says:

    Pacs wore an A last year

  13. Walmyr says:

    TSN Poll:

    “Who should be the next captain of the Montreal Canadiens?”

    Their 5 names are:
    – Andrei Markov
    – David Deshairnais
    – Max Pacioretty
    – Tomas Plekanec
    – PK Subban

    Deshairnais instead of Price, Prust or even Gallagher. Weird (at least for me).

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    HH—Nice to see you on here! your right, inch by inch good management gets rid of the bad deals on the books and steadily replaces with a better, faster, bigger, younger team . Great management at the helm my friend. Cup around the corner!

    HH—Nice to see you on here! your right, inch by inch good management gets rid of the bad deals on the books and steadily replaces with a better, faster, bigger, younger team . Great management at the helm my friend. Cup around the corner!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  15. rhino514 says:

    Hey all, though Gilbert seems like a heck of a pick-up, would having Franson have been alot better?
    Don´t know much about either of them, but it looks to me as follows;
    Franson is a good offensive Dman, who two seasons ago had awesome stats, and could have a scary high ceiling as he is only 26. He´s also bigger than Gilbert.
    Gilbert seems perhaps more reliable defensively, can bring more veteran leadership, and going just by their photos and who they play for 😉 Franson looks like he could be a twerp; Gilbert seems like he could be good in the room (but not as talented).
    Also see that Franson hasn´t been re-signed yet. Anyone surmising how much he´s going to get, or what it would have taken for the habs to re-sign him?

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Franson plays “tough” because the coach tells him to, not because it is second nature. As a result, he gets caught thinking too often and neither makes the hit or incepts the pass.

      He is the pylon’s pylon, although his -18 giveaway rating was the same as Gorges (best on the Habs) Gilbert was -16.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

      • thebonscott says:

        Really we got gilbert and a second rounder for gorges, when you think about it and franson is gonna want a fortune, so probably for the best, the way it turned out.

        C’mon guys this is not rocket surgery!!!!

  16. 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

    If we need an unhinged enforcer, my money is on Ben Eager. Not the best fighter but can really skate and seems to have a game face made of swirling bees.

    “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  17. HardHabits says:

    Nobody has signed Diaz yet. That Wiese trade was amazing really. Nice to see things tilt in favour of the Habs. An incremental step forward is significantly better that an horrendous step back.

    It’s funny because one of my friends recently posted an “Oh wow, now I smell the Cup” on FB about the Malhotra signing. I didn’t reply but this is common for Habs fans, even on these very pages.

    The big splash UFA signing(s) that is going to all of a sudden turn a team from outside the play-offs one year to winning the Cup the next doesn’t exist, except for in the minds of the most deluded hockey fans.

    It’s just so refreshing to have a team that doesn’t need to placate its fan base with moves that actually set it back, and worse… for years. That is now the domain of the Leafs.

    • CJ says:

      HH, don’t whisper that around Serious Fan. He still thinks that letting Diaz go was a mistake. There’s probably an equal chance that Diaz plays next season in Europe versus the NHL.

      In fact, I am hopefull that Bergevin does not make another move of significance and decides instead to keep the cap space in reserve. When others are selling, we will be buying. Just like the stock market… low, sell hi.

      • Paz says:

        CJ, Robert Rice might have been wrong about Diaz, but the guy knows hockey.

        When no one, I mean zero people, knew about Gallagher, Rice was calling him a great pick up and a sure fire NHLer.

        It’s too bad you guys had a run in, because you are both very knowledgeable.

        Very knowledgeable!

        • CJ says:

          Hi Paz.

          I don’t have an issue with Robert personally. I disagree with his stance on size. I agree that we still need to target skill, but I also see value in having a team with size. LA is the model – size and skill, which is what I am hoping for. Further, when I am wrong, and it is often the case, I have no issue in saying so. It is difficult to debate an issue with an individual who is so opposed to another viewpoint and so unwilling to course correct. Additionally, for a young guy who only started watching the Canadiens in the past 10 years and who never played the game himself, he does have a very strong knowledge of the sport.

          I do often reflect on the exchange between Matt Damon and Robert Williams character in Good Will Hunting – Will (Damon) might have read a book about war, or quote a Shakespear verse, but he doesn’t know what it feels like to have been engaged in warfare. I am not saying you need to have played hockey to qualify as a fan, but I do believe that those of us who have been punched in the face, lost their teeth, broken bones, blocked shots, score goals, etc., have an intimate understanding of what it feels like to be a part of a team, on and off the ice.

          I am very high on Jeremie Gregoire much more so than Charles Hudon, but I’m not a scout.

          In any event, I love hockey. I love talking hockey and always welcome the opportunity to discuss hockey related issues with anyone, Robert included. Cheers, CJ

          • Paz says:

            If Hudon’s back stops bothering him, watch out!

            He has unreal instincts and vision. A real good prospect.

            I’m not as familiar with Gregoire.

          • eric says:

            Look @ what the Ducks did during the draft. They’re huge. there’s a lot of big teams in the west with skill.

      • HardHabits says:

        I have loads of respect for RR. He was high on Gallagher since before he was drafted. However he calls DD the Hobbit.

        He has to tow the EOTP line and of course it has clouded his judgement if not skewed his perception significantly. What are you gonna do with a bunch of young statsurbators? They all hated Murray. That should tell you all you need to know.

        • twilighthours says:

          Well they were sort of right on Murray, weren’t they?

          But I find Robert pretty pretentious, hockey knowledge or not.

          (And I’d prefer the likes of Ed over Robert anyway…. Ed has been watching longer than 5 years)

          • Paz says:

            My biggest fan! Thanks dude!

            And my son just became a scout in the Q so he will carry the torch for another generation. He’s like our very own Danny Briere!!
            (Just kidding son.)

          • twilighthours says:

            Ed, you gotta get your son on HIO.

          • HardHabits says:

            Sort of right is not right. They were more wrong than right. They are not balanced. They categorically dismiss size and grit as a factor thinking that hockey is all speed and skill.

            Mass (size and grit) x Acceleration (speed and skill) = Energy (competitive hockey team)

            Murray was slow but he provided some back end hitting power, crease clearing and forced the opponents to keep their heads up and noses clean.

            I liked him while he was here. No regrets seeing him not resigned.

            Diaz was a bust as much as Weber but the statsturbators could not see beyond his disadvantages.

            Diaz had qualities the EOTP bunch tout and Murray had the qualities they denigrate and because of this they failed to accept that Murray is still better than Diaz.

            Fortunately, Tinordi, Beaulieu and even Pateryn are better than either of those two.

  18. FormalWare says:

    Wow – this thread has really got legs!

    Even it breaks the record, though, the Ryan White post will still reign over the Ryan White era.

    WWSD (What Would SubbieDoo?)

  19. habsfan0 says:

    Prior to getting Vanek at the trade deadline, the Habs goal scoring was rather anemic,especially in 5 on 5 situations. Despite Vanek’s disappearing act during the playoffs, he was effective playing alongside Pacioretty and Desharnais during the regular season.
    Now, Vanek is gone.
    Me thinks that Marc Bergevin is not going to merely rely on recent draft and or free agent acquisitions to compensate for Vanek’s loss.

    • HardHabits says:

      Possibly. Nothing’s available now via free agency so at this point it would have to be via a trade. My guess is that occurs at or around the deadline.

      • habsfan0 says:

        The trading deadline in March 2015?
        I don’t think MB is going to wait that long.

        • HardHabits says:

          Yes 2015. It’s not a question of wait that long. It’s a question of waiting long enough to pull the trigger at the right moment. That could very well be closer to the trade deadline. It could next week but I wouldn’t expect or hope for it.

          It depends what is available. However the optimal time, to take advantage of teams willing to trade, is at the deadline. Especially when considering cap space management.

  20. GrosBill says:

    Lucic vs Dale for your afternoon viewing pleasure. I have a feeling his new contract is one we will not hear many complaints about.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    WOW! In the ‘you might also like’ appears an item “Habs release list of qualifying offers to their RFA”. I couldnt wait to link to it.

    It’s from June 2012.

    Nice prank.

    “Protest Rogers blackout of Habs game…sign at:

  22. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    There’s an easy solution to the fighting issue.

    Visor airbags.

    On the first punch, they inflate, creating a beach ball effect in the team colours (clear in front). The fighters can whale away, unconcussed, til they run out of air. It will nod to tradition, not waste too much playing time and provide entertainment. There could even be a hot air cherry on top.

    • Strummer says:

      I get the that you’re kidding but,
      Why not just eject players like they do in every other sport and NCAA hockey?
      So much simpler

      “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        This, of course, is the only real solution.

      • frontenac1 says:

        Good old Toe to Toe punch up should be 2 min. max. Wrestling to the ice = 5 min. Silly Ring around The Rosie=Game misconduct. Its all about Entertainment amigo.

        • Strummer says:

          One man’s entertainment is another man’s boredom.
          Very entertaining especially for their wives and kids when Parros or Moen collapses to the ice unconscious after a taking a punch to the head

          “You are not T.J. Oshie. Do not shoot pucks at people without a helmet.”.

          • Loop_Garoo says:

            Exactly. Took a 3.5 year old to an OHL game this year, for me, that was the end of internal debate on fighting. There were 2 fights in the first period, which was just embarrassing. How do you explain to a young child that fighting is fine in that respect? You don’t, it’s just not ok. Simple to fix too, a fight is an automatic ejection and 10 game suspension for the first fight, and it goes up from there. For junior hockey I’d make it much simpler, get in a fight, see you next year. There would never be another fight in junior, and we’d see even better hockey.

            All this nonsense about needing an enforcer to police things is just that. When players realize they don’t have their tough guy to protect them, they will start behaving appropriately.

    • BriPro says:

      You forgot the whipped cream.

    • B says:

      Make them all wear visors and keep their helmets on.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • Dunboyne Mike says:


      Laughing tears in Ireland!! Nice one!

      Please PLEASE let them do it in Goon II-The Sequel.

      (ALthough perhaps not team colours. Could be a valuable source for advertising/sponsor exposure, no?)

  23. habstrinifan says:

    Putting aside my Eugenie Bouchard cardboard cutout for a minute, I happened to see a post suggesting we are in play on Koivu and welcoming that we are. Visiting the source of the rumour (Hockey, I see Ottawa and Nashville in on Vinny (with Philly picking up salary).

    If Vinny signs in Ottawa (with Philly picking up salary) and we sign Koivu here…. I would consider it an error. If we gonna get a beat up old ex captain … I strongly advise it be Lecavalier.

    Now I shall return to my crumpets and tea parody with Eugenie.

    “Protest Rogers blackout of Habs game…sign at:

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      [Trini – did you happen to see a nice message I posted for you on Monday… before I got modded?!! I was in a neighbouring town, waiting for my power-steering to be fixed, sitting in a cafe with a book and a — can I mention it? — a pastry, shall we say, flavoured with a certain spice!

      This made me think of you and a comment you had previously posted which I didn’t understand! I thought you would like to know that someone was, as a result, thinking of you in faraway Ireland. Clearly something to do with that spice, however, to which you and the mods are privy but I am not, precipitated the deletion of my post!]

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Why read when you have your own tea leaves right there?

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Is Dave Nonis actually just confirming the tank is in this year for the Leafs? The new big ego at MLSE did admit upon his first arrival that having the Raptors tank was a good idea. Perhaps he has changed over to now wanting the Leafs to tank. Every move indicates this, from extending Nonis, to extending Carlyle, to signing Petteri Nokelainen’s cousion Petri Kontiola. Isn’t this how PG started our tank season?

    • habsfan0 says:

      The Laffs definitely have their sights set on Connor McDavid.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Just how far away is the apparently quasi-acceptable concept of tanking from the universally unacceptable concept of throwing games?

      • HardHabits says:

        You don’t need to throw games when you don’t have the players or coaching to win.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          So it’s an intangible, mind-set kind of thing? An acceptance of losing?

          • HardHabits says:

            It eventually sinks in but the reality has nothing to do with belief.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            But once an organisation is tanking, at some level its objectives have changed. It seems to me that at that point you enter a nether world as far as “competitive” sport is concerned. Out the far side of that nether world is throwing games.

          • HardHabits says:

            EDIT: The Oilers try to win, and they do, just not enough to get them out of the cellar. The psychological problem is not on the ice but upstairs.

        • HardHabits says:

          The Oilers try to win, and they do, just not enough to get them out of the cellar. The psychological problem is not on the ice but upstairs.

    • BriPro says:

      A buddy of mine owns Carvin Biscuits.
      They just received a large order of Chocolate Chip Cookies from MLSE.
      Maybe they’ve hired Gauthier away from Chicago?

  25. Dunboyne Mike says:


    You’ll agree, I’m sure: every now and then it’s GOOD to hold the puck a little too long!

  26. Chris says:

    So…who has the best mixed doubles team?

    Galchenyuk and Bouchard?

    Pacioretty and Afinogenova?

    Ovechkin and Kirilenko?

    Hockey players seem to like their tennis players. Let’s not forget the Fedorov-Kournikova-Bure odyssey.

  27. Puck Bard says:

    “Maple Leafs on verge of signing Petri Kontiola!”

    …it’s a slow day… thought everyone needed a laugh…

  28. Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:


    Hab fans want choice! Sign the petition to give us back our games!

  29. marvin20 says:

    Montreal is on the right track, they are getting bigger, and should have better puck possession. They are better than they were last year. But I do no think they are not tough enough, and time will tell, to either prove me wrong or correct. My preference is team toughness and they are currently building this through the draft.
    I do not believe their roster the way it is has enough team toughness and is able to insulate their star players. With this current roster the folks saying turn the other cheek, and no “enforcer/tough guy” will be begging for one come Christmas when the injuries and cheap shots pile up, and it gets embarrassing to watch. But as I said time will tell to prove me right or wrong.

  30. frontenac1 says:

    I agree with CJ ,that the future is looking better for us with kids coming into the system to take on Enforcement duties. They will be good hockey players capable of contributing good minutes. They are not ready yet. We are in need of some stop gap for a couple of years. Rosehill,Paluso are my favourites .After that maybe even Ryan Reeves or Dalton Prout. All are relatively young,affordable and capable hockey players.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Willard Reaves kid is indeed a good 4th line enforcer/grinder for the Blues. They got him with a 5th round pick. I don’t think the Blues let him go that cheap. Also am not convinced the Flyers are about to let Rosehill go cheap. I am in agreement with what you want, I know we have potential in the pipeline, but we may have to settle for something less in the shortterm.

    • B says:

      Montreal likes to carry 13 forwards. Unless someone like Cheveldayoff could somehow be convinced to swap Moen for someone like Peluso, having an enforcer on the roster would likely take away a roster spot from someone like Bournival, Weise or Malholtra.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • CJ says:

        I might be crazy, but I would love that deal for both clubs. We get the cap relief and add a solid fighter, who is young and hungry. The Jets get an experienced veteran, who could help improve the culture within their organization. Honestly, I see value on both sides of the fence.

        • B says:

          It would be a great deal for Montreal, but I just don’t see Winnipeg or who ever going for it (which was the point I was trying to make).

          –Go Habs Go!–

  31. Grimmly says:

    This team got so much better in the offseason, and it is because all the young players got another year of experience, and a huge taste of the playoffs. Gorges, Gionta, Parros, White, Murray, Frankie, none of them where the reason we made the playoffs, so we are now better cause our youth movement got the experience they needed. The Future is bright.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Grimmly, I agree with the gist of your post, but just wouldn’t be quite as ready as you to dismiss the contributions of Gorges, Gionta and Frankie both prior to and during the playoffs. Not spectacular, not statistically impressive, no. Valuable, yes imo.

  32. shiram says:

    On Habs centers.
    I’m thinking they roll DD, Plekanec, Eller and Malhotra as the C’s for next season, and Chucky gets refining his craft for another year on the wings.

    There’s no pressing reason to deal one of the C’s, afaik.
    And Chucky won’t be hampered by playing another year at wings.

  33. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Pleks re: captain (in French) translate it if you care a lot–c

  34. habsfan0 says:

    I know Winnipeg is thrilled to have an NHL team again,but fans there must be getting somewhat antsy seeing that the Jets haven’t made the playoffs in the 3 seasons they’ve been back.

    GM Kevin Cheveldayoff really didn’t do too much as far as free agent signings are concerned so he might be more willing than usual to part with one of his stars,i.e. Evander Kane.

  35. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Interesting discussion re. physical presence, for want of a better umbrella term.

    For those who have been watching for a while, would you agree that the terms “goon” and “enforcer” have morphed, perhaps mostly in the last decade, and become a Vincent McMahonized joke represented by “the code”, and “do you want to go?”, (“and I’ll text you later”), etc.

    I sure don’t remember that in the 1970s. Dave Schultz played regular shifts, and part of his remit was intimidating other players with big hits, and pounding anybody who attempted to intervene (with one VERY notable exception!!). That to me is “goon”.

    “Enforcer” was Marty McSorley, protecting TGO.

    We still seem to be using the terms, “goon” and “enforcer”, even though they now describe a different kind of player: the kind who just fight with each other, presumably because someone wants to satisfy the blood-lust of the crowd, viewers and media. It DOES seem, at the moment, as if clubs/owners are tiring of that, recognising the hidden cost (ie. a roster spot etc), and moving on (making it a development for which the NHL cannot take credit).

    HH* is talking about team toughness, exemplified by LA (and indeed by the Montreal teams of the 70s). Surely it’s the way we need to go. Suppose we had both a healthy Parros AND a Rosehill — does that mean we beat LA in a 7-game series?! (Rhetorical).

    Many of a certain age will harbour a longing for the reincarnation of Big Bird. Didn’t need to fight much — when he did, it was usually conclusive. Opposing teams were aware of this. He was neither “goon” nor “enforcer”, not by yesterday’s definitions nor today’s. Simply, on top of sick skills, you just did not mess with him. Sigh.

    (*HH! Love Gadzic as “simian”! Nice one).

    • HardHabits says:

      Thanks for trending the discussion in the same direction I’d like to see us fans take it.

      Caveat: *I was referring to Lucic as the simian… but yes it could also be applied to Gadzic. 😉

      Nice observation about the morphing of goon and enforcer over the years.

  36. Luke says:

    You folks are fired up today!

    Let’s see if Eller can keep the playoff mojo going during the regular season before returning trade plex or DD.
    And while DD definitely isn’t a shooting threat on the pp,
    Eller’s tendancy to over handle the puck doesn’t inspire me much either.

    As for a goon. You know where I stand. I say no. However, if we had one, where does he play? Who is out? We aren’t going to find one better than Bournival or Prust for the fourth line.

    So that leaves us needing a beast of a power forward that can play, score, hit and fight. Burly is out looking for one right now, I imagine. I’ll keep an eye out at the flying Iguana for one as well.

    Enjoy the afternoon. I’m off for beverages.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Fighting should be banned, and enforcers are an embarrassment. The staged fights especially: two guys who should not even be there hogging the spotlight for 18 seconds. The tap, dropping the gloves, theatrically skating around in a slow dance, and then a “fight” where no one gets hurt.

      However, if we are getting a goon, let’s get one who is totally unhinged.

      Moving. Forward.

    • NightRyder says:

      Evander Kane remains the ideal target.

      • Luke says:

        I’d rather have Patrick.

        But sure. Evander.

        He’s going to cost a poop-load and brings some hefty baggage with him. Heck of a player though, no doubt about that. Could probably use some time in the MT personal development program…

        • shiram says:

          E Kane is brought up often, but trading for him would not be easy.
          He’s got a lot of value in Winnipeg, and our players with NTC’s might not want to go to Winnipeg.

    • Habfan17 says:

      One note that I think needs to be made. It is easy to criticize Eller for Hanging on to the puck too long, but when the other players are standing still and covered, what else do you do? That was the biggest issue I saw with the power play! They have this set pattern and it seems the players are like the ones on the old table hockey games, they are restricted to follow the “slot” in the ice and can’t move anywhere else. It makes it so easy to defend against.

      Even when they aren’t on the power play, too many nights, guys were just standing still, waiting for something to happen. That is not Eller’s fault! Yes, just like every other player on the team, he made mistakes, held onto the puck too long. I also saw Patches and Pleks make very bad passes to no one or so weak they were picked off.

      In the end, there is no player that didn’t make mistakes, live with it that is part of the game. As long as they make more better plays than bad ones, it is good!


      • eric says:

        Good comment. I’ve noticed that with PK too. Guys standing around waiting for a pass instead of getting in the open.

      • Luke says:

        I thought the Habs as a team held the puck too long last year. Eller was the most obvious culprit, and during the season he carried the puck on his backhand too often limiting his ability to move it.

        They were all Giving up chances to shoot and drive for rebounds or make a quick pass and open up different lanes.

        galchenyuk’s flip backhand pass into coverage…
        PK’s trailing the play lead-rushes…
        DD’s refusal to shoot…

        Everyone will make mistakes. Those are the ones that drive me most crazy.
        They all corrected them to a decent extent for the playoffs, let’s hope they keep it up next year.

  37. BriPro says:

    First… wayta go Genie! Local kid makes Canadian history and has the global media drooling all over her. And Milos tomorrow. WOW!

    And as Arpon tweeted, he attached a link showing one of the last impact moments of Brian Gionta in a Habs uniform. Toward the end of this youtube link, you’ll see him being congratulated by Gorges, then by Vanek.

    I can’t help but wonder just how much the dynamics of our Habs will change this year. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

    • mksness says:

      a bit younger, marginally better than last year. the elite center hasn’t been addressed unless u think eller/DD/pleks or chucky are elite.

      i think the most important thing this year is to push chucky forward. 3rd overall pick, so i think it’s time for him to show up and for our coach to give him some time as well.

  38. Phil C says:

    It is kinda scrappy today. I might as well stir the pot too.

    Only on paper are Gilbert and Parenteau “bigger” than Gorges and Gionta. But if it helps you sleep better at night…

    Eller had good production in the playoffs with third line matchups. Against the top defensemen and top lines of each team, I don’t think he gets as many points as Desharnais did. I’m just happy he is producing again. If he wants to take DD’s job, he has to step up at take it away. This playoffs was a good start but he has to do more in the regular season. As MB says, how you play will make the decisions for management, not the other way around.

    You know who’s going to love Malholtra? Therrien. Malholtra got some votes for the Selke a few years ago before the injury so he has the potential to be very good for the Habs. I just hope Therrien doesn’t start playing him 25 minutes a night, because the centre who will probably suffer the most is Eller.

    The best the Habs can do at this point is find a useless goon who is more than a punching bag for the other team’s goon. You are not going to find one who can play hockey, so let’s just hope he can at least win a few and make guys like Lucic skate away from the crease staring at his skate laces.

  39. 123456 says:

    OK I’m about drained on the Habs talk (yikes really??) and I’ll be taking a few days away for the US holiday.

    So, since I’m looking for a new career – anyone that wants to throw out their occupation please do so, maybe add in what you like and where you see opportunities. I saw this in the past on an auto forum and it was great getting to know what some of your fellow posters do for a living….

    • Chris says:

      Well, for me it is higher education/physical scientist. The prospects are absolutely grim both in academia and industrial research in Canada, so I would not recommend that route for anybody. (Engineering, sadly, seems to be the only way to go these days.)

      • 123456 says:

        Chris, I have a friend in academia who is the department head of engineering at a very good school – he is doing very well. Another is an engineer in corporate America and is less thrilled with his work and opportunities.

      • Phil C says:

        It’s sad what the Harper Government has done to academic research and to the sciences in general. The ignorance towards how innovation occurs is so disapointing. Hopefully things will change with the next government.

        • eric says:

          Is it up to the government to legislate innovation or is that up to the private sector.

          • Phil C says:

            I think pure research should be the domain of government due to the costs involved. It is a lot to ask of corporations to make those type of investments in science. Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for until you find it. Corporations can step in when a promising new discovery needs to be taken to market. 

          • HardHabits says:

            The problem is the current government in Ottawa is gagging scientists.

        • Chris says:

          I’m no fan of the Conservatives as a government, but the abysmal job prospects of science graduates in Canada cannot be laid at the feet of the current government. Provincial and federal governments, past and present, and especially the private sector, are all to blame for this mess.

          There remains tons of money in the scientific system, but so much of it is being used to try to encourage companies sitting on their capital to start investing in R&D and training. The companies gladly take that money and continue to refuse to do the R&D or training.

          I don’t like the muzzling of federal scientists, but that is a drop in the bucket when it comes to Canada’s problems in science, technology and innovation. We spent billions propping up the auto industry after its follies, but nobody even contemplated doing anything to help Nortel or JDS Uniphase when they fell apart, and now we’re watching RIM start to implode.

          Canada used to be a superstar in telecommunications research, and now that field is a shadow of what it once was. The knowledge economy simply never happened in Canada…we went the other way, running to the quick and easy bucks provided by a resource-based economy.

          • adesbarats says:

            Chris, I do believe we can place a lot of the blame for a lack of innovation squarely at the feet of this current govt. We have two excellent programs specifically designed to stimulate innovation in this country. They are IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) and SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development). Both were great programs that encouraged spending on R&D. Both are a shadow of what they were prior to the Conservatives. Then we have the gutting of scientific institutions by this current govt. They eliminated the office of National Science Advisor, they cut the Great Lakes project, they cut funding at the Cdn Institute for Science, they cut the long form census, they reduced funding to the NSERC program, they ended a 40 year program in the arctic monitoring the ozone layer. And on and on. It is estimated that over 40 science based programs have been cut but no one is certain because most have been quietly axed. I think around 6,000 scientists are now looking for work, most likely outside the country. We have been set back at least 10 years by this failure of a govt.

    • shiram says:

      I work with computers, it would not be so bad if not for the human components.

      Heh joking aside, it’s a constantly moving environment, I have had management changes on almost a trimester basis.
      And each new management wants to re-invent the wheel.

      I should have studied another field.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      The world’s population is getting older. If I were a youngster looking for a career choice it would definitely be something in the medical field. Doctor, nurse, paramedic. Take your pick. CHeers.

      • 123456 says:

        Agreed – I am thinking of going for Sr. Living Administrator (I’ve been middle/Sr Mgmt at insurance firms and hospital but with our hcanges in healthcare system money is being squeezed out all over the place). The future is low reimbursement from governmental programs and high reimbursement from those that can afford it.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          If Lucic were to run his customary check on you and discover titanium, you could come to Ireland as a medical administration expert and oversee the complete overhaul of the Irish health-care system. There is an excellent consensus here between the government, the Dept of Health, the Health Service Executive (public health provider), and of course the miserable, suffering public, that the entire system is utterly dysfunctional: exponentially increasing expenses for steadily diminishing services, layer upon layer of administration, immense waiting-lists of horrendous duration, and the majority of Irish-trained doctors and nurses fleeing the appalling working-conditions to work in other English-speaking countries (including Canada near the top of the list).

          Yeah ok, never mind. Lucic would need to discover titanium inside your skull as well for you to want this job….

    • adesbarats says:

      You want to make oodles of money AND make a difference? Get into artificial intelligence R&D. You’ll have to move to Silicon valley cause not much going on in Canada. It’s where the next game changing technological break through will be, assuming we don’t go extinct because of it.

  40. Omit says:

    The answer to other teams’ goons is team toughness, which they have, and a good power play, of which they most definitely have (if properly utilized). Period!

    “Time wounds all heels”. – J.L.

  41. montreal ace says:

    I know a lot of posters liked White, which I did too at one time. He pulled one stunt in the playoffs against the Sens that I really disliked though, which changed my opinion about him. That was when he went after Latendresse, who suffered from concussion problems,

  42. UKRAINIANhab says:

    What’s the price on this Rosehill chap.

    A 5th and we have a deal

  43. JUST ME says:

    I would dedicate a new thread to Eugenie. It`s that big in Canada`s history. Wimbledon finalist sure sounds good !

  44. mrhabby says:

    Yaaaa… Bouchard @ Wimbledon.

  45. Cal says:

    Oh, I dream of Genie
    with the brown blonde hair.

    Congrats to Bouchard!
    In the Finals at Wimbledon!

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