Habs closing in on home ice for playoffs

The Canadiens moved closer to clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre.

Coupled with Tampa Bay’s 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars Saturday, the Canadiens moved four points ahead of the Lightning in the battle for second place in the Atlantic Division. Any combination of Montreal wins and Tampa losses adding up to two during the final week of the regular season will give the Canadiens home-ice advantage.

The Canadiens are in Chicago Wednesday night and finish the regular season with home games Thursday against the New York Islanders and Saturday against the Rangers. The Lightning plays host to Toronto Tuesday, then has home games against Philadelphia and Columbus before wrapping up the season Sunday in Washington.

“We’re shooting for that home ice and we want to win out there and climb as high as we can get,” Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, who scored twice in Saturday’s win to give him 17 goals for the season, told reporters after the game.

Max Pacioretty scored his career-high 39th goal Saturday and could become the Canadiens’ first 40-goal scorer since Vincent Damphousse during the 1993-94 season.

“People keep talking about 40, but I’m just worried about winning games,” Pacioretty told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs after Saturday’s game. “I contribute to this team most by scoring. If 40 happens, it happens. If not, we’re in a good position right now. We’re in a good spot in the standings and we feel good about ourselves.”

The Canadiens are also feeling pretty good about defenceman Mike Weaver, who was acquired at last month’s NHL trade deadline. He had an assist and was plus-4 against the Red Wings and is plus-11 in 14 games since joining the Canadiens. He logged 19:19 of ice time against the Red Wings, more than P.K. Subban, who had 18:52.

“We like the way he plays,” Therrien told reporters after Saturday’s game about Weaver. “He has a lot of passion He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. We like the way he kills penalties. He’s always in the shooting lanes and he sacrifices his body. This is a great addition for us.”

Defenceman Alexei Emelin also had a strong game, credited with eight hits in 20:49 of ice time.

“It took him some time (after knee surgery last year) and that’s normal,” Therrien said of Markov. “We said we were going to be patient with him. Lately, he’s been really good and he works well together with Andrei Markov. He’s back where he was physically and he’s tough to play against.”

The Canadiens will practise at 11 a.m. Monday in Brossard.

(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

(Videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell)

Pacioretty closing in on 40-goal season, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Habs GM has momentous decision to make on Subban, by Jack Todd

Subban relishes Stanley Cup challenge (video), CBC.ca

‘We’re shooting for that home ice,’ captain Gionta says, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Habs vs. Red Wings photo gallery, montrealgazette.com

Habs playing with fire, Canadiens.com

Canadiens blow lead, rebound to beat Wings, NHL.com

Canadiens thwart Wings’ comeback, Detroit Free Press

Nyquist another breakout product of Wings’ system, The Hockey News

If the playoffs started today, NHL.com

Biggest game of year one of Leafs’ worst, Sportsnet.ca

686 Comments

  1. Richard B says:

    Restaurant recommendations!

    Hi all, my wife and I will travel to Montreal from Newfoundland this weekend to watch the last two regular season home games. We will be looking for somewhere to have dinner Friday night. Can anyone help me with suggesting local restaurants?
    I know if people visit St. John’s and look at the list of restaurants they might end up at the Keg…but they would be missing out on dozens of restaurants unique to St John’s that might be more appropriate when visiting a new city.
    Can anyone help?
    We are 34 yrs old. price say between 100 – $200 for two people. We like everything except wife does not like sushi. right now we have been considering Moishes.

    (sorry to repost but the comments dropped of the screen – at least on my computer)

    Richard B

    Richard B

  2. Habfan17 says:

    Not sure why so many people think the Habs have no chance to sign Vanek! Unless I missed it, I have never seen Vanek or his agent publicly state that he will not resign in Montreal! On top of that, as much as he may want to sign with the Wild, it takes two to tango and they may not want to tie up so much money in one player having already done it with Suter and Parise and having Koivu and a few others that are key to the teams success. They may want to spread the money around and build more depth around the young talent they have coming in.

    At this point, I would hope that his experience this season will give Bergevin a chance to get him resigned, especially if they go deep in the play offs!

    Habfan17

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi 17

      The only thing Vanek has ever stated was that he wanted to go through the UFA process…and smartly never mentioned any team preference if there was even one.

      Some posters on here have mentioned that Minnesota has never shown public interest….yet if they ever did, that would be considered tampering and the CBA has huge fines for teams that would ever be guilty of that.
      Of course there are back channels via agents and obscure questions…

      This will be Vanek’s last contract (7-8 years/$50M-$55M) and I guess we’ll find out how much family considerations play a part in his decisions.

      As for Minnesota, they have the Cap room if they see there is a match. They already have 17 players signed with about $22M left to the Cap Ceiling.

    • Would you pay him 8 mil over 8 years when you already have to sign Subban and Markov to big contracts?

      I was just in St Paul this past weekend, had lunch with the guy who works for Wild Movers, he already bought a house there. :lol:

      OT FYI not that one game makes any player but Matt Moulson can stay in Minnesota, talk about a player on a full house Saturday night not do anything to make the crowd want him, then I checked his stats, streaky is what he is. http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470852&season=20132014&view=log I got five bucks that says he’ll be a paycheck washout in Mtl. Stay Clear Marc-E-Marc

      Shane Oliver
      Twitter @Sholi2000
      http://www.Sholi2000.com
      Custom Sports Figures
      Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

  3. Rad says:

    Some news on Magnus Nygren. He still wants to play for the Habs …

    http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2014/04/06/la-lnh-ou-la-suede

    • Habfan17 says:

      That is very good news. I think he has a shot at making the team next season, His age and maturity, coupled with his playing against men should help. Pateryn too should get a long look. Some say that both cannot make the team at the same time. I don’t agree. They may be rookies in the NHL, but they are both older. more mature players who have played against men. These are not 18/19 year olds making the jump from junior! There is enough experience in Montreal to make it work. Even if Tinordi also makes it.

      Habfan17

      • Rad says:

        Nygren is unproven, but with that 104 mph shot, he would be a real asset on the PP, for one. And it sounds like he has rounded out his game. I like the defensive depth the Habs have in the system. Dalton Thrower has had a solid year in Vancouver, and Brisebois had some good things to say about Mac Bennett.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      There seems to be a lack of communication between him and the team. This is not good.

      Obviously the team must be miffed that he bailed on them like he did, but they might have to swallow their pride and forget the incident.

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I read the article (granted it was google translate version) and while it does sound like lack of communication i am not sure the timing has been there for the MB and his player personnel to spend time with Nygren while in Sweden.

        I would think this off season, prior to the draft conversations will occur. MB has changed the culture of the Front Office from the PG era, he has brought in extra scouts, and more player personnel staff. Lets see what the offseason brings, I think it is too early for us to think the Habs won’t communicate properly with Nygren. Both sides will need to be understanding. Hamilton may not have been an ideal environment but some of the other AHL cities don’t provide much better accomodations either.

        Reads to me a great deal like he was homesick and likes the comforts of what he knows. I imagine he earns more playing Swedish Elite than an AHL contract also.

  4. Richard B says:

    Can anyone comment on Moishes for me? I’ve heard this is a good restaurant.

    Richard B

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    Always an interesting read from Jim Matheson at the Edmonton Journal.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/03/are-the-capitals-married-to-alex-ovechkin-for-life/

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    A good read from the Boston Globe on the Toews hit and the reaction around it. Also some interesting information regarding the ability of the Bruins to re-sign Iginla.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/04/05/blackhawks-fail-rally-around-jonathan-toews-injury/oGCMwDr76nlixUtjKbK5QM/story.html

    • Shackles says:

      Just…wow. Even after I removed my “Habs-coloured glasses”, that was a poorly written article, lacking substance and objectivity. My “favourite” part was where he mentions that the Habs will never win another Stanley Cup.

  7. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    @Marc10 re Therrien…how do you think so clearly at 3:00 AM??? Great post!

    ~~ You’ve been spun ~~

  8. HabsFansince49 says:

    At the beginning of this season the Hockey Writers predicted:
    1. Boston
    2. Detroit
    3. Montreal (thanks primarily to Price – not far off there)
    4. Toronto (But far off here – “This Maple Leafs team is big and physical. It gets even bigger with the addition of David Clarkson”)
    5. Ottawa
    6. Tampa Bay
    7. Buffalo
    8. Florida

    Have to love the experts.

  9. Bash says:

    And the game one lineup against Tampa is announced:

    Pac Des Van
    Galc Plek Gall
    Eller Briere Gionta
    Bourq Prust Weiss

    Mark Emel
    Subb Geor
    Weav Murr

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  10. Richard B says:

    Restaurant recommendations!

    Hi all, my wife and I will travel to Montreal from Newfoundland this weekend to watch the last two regular season home games. We will be looking for somewhere to have dinner Friday night. Can anyone help me with suggesting local restaurants?
    I know if people visit St. John’s and look at the list of restaurants they might end up at the Keg…but they would be missing out on dozens of restaurants unique to St John’s that might be more appropriate when visiting a new city.
    Can anyone help?

    Richard B

    • toinz says:

      Price range?
      What part of town are you staying in?
      What kind of food do you like?

      • Richard B says:

        ha good questions,
        We are going to be fairly close to the bell centre.
        With regards to price I’d rather not spend $400 on two people but maybe up to $200? Of course less if fine too if the atmosphere and food are good.
        My wife does not like sushi. Outside that we like many things, Steak, Pasta, Fish, Chicken, Lamb…
        In St. John’s I often get some sort of fish for app followed by a main of steak or Lamb.
        The wife likely chicken or lamb, but we are open to new things.
        Oh and we are 34 yrs old if that helps.

        Thanks,

        Richard B

    • Habitue says:

      If you like Italian food I’ve had good meals at La Pizzella, 2080, rue St-Mathieu. Not a chain. Fair price for right downtown. It’s north of Ste. Catharine, not a long walk to the Bell Centre. Reserve ahead and ask for the table near the front window. Enjoy.

  11. Habfan10912 says:

    Good Monday to all! Thinking about some of our injured players this morning. Don’t ya just hate the secretive nature of NHL player injury reports. “Upper Body”, “Lower Body”, day to day, and on and on.

    I’m really anxious to get Prust back for the playoffs. Along with Moen, they provide the type of (sorry for this) grinding hockey, often seen in the playoffs. The addition of these two plus possibly Weise, give us some decent gritty back end players we’ll need in the playoffs.

    Boy, did the Stars blow a big opportunity yesterday. Talk about ouch.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I really have doubts we see Moen back this season, regardless of how far team goes in playoffs. It took him quite a while to recover from his last concussion, and given the nature of his game he will need to be as close to 100% as one can be after suffering another concussion.

  12. JF says:

    @ Marc10 – excellent post about Therrien.

  13. rhino514 says:

    You guys really think Subban doesn´t enjoy playing in Montreal? You guys really think he has something against his coach?
    Really?

  14. Lil Snapper says:

    So we will lose out on keeping Vanek, who can we replace him with? It is quite obvious that we need that caliber player in this lineup.

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    Mike Babcock; “It’s not about Pavel Datsyuk tonight, it’s about the Red Wings. He’s got to fit in.”

    …those young-guns of the Red Wings must be the real deal if Babcock is not allowing Datsyuk to alter those kid lines

    http://www.freep.com/article/20140404/SPORTS05/304040084/detroit-red-wings-mike-babcock-pavel-datsyuk

  16. Timo says:

    I am really hoping that Rob Blake is not considering Phaneuf for the WC team.

  17. Un Canadien errant says:

    Not all is lost for the Leafs. The Marlies are headed to the playoffs. Think how strong they’ll be next season, when Dion is sent down to join them, the Bulldogs are in tough.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/toronto-marlies-win-3rd-straight-ahl-north-division-title-1.2600434

    • Timo says:

      Just looked at the standings… eesh… It’s not only Cbus… Laffs also have to worry about NJ and Washington.

      It is in the moment like this that I say “thank god for Michael Therrien”

  18. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …P.K. had a meh !!! regular season …but just wait until these playoffs begin

    …You will see a kick-ass P.K. Subban

    …this will be fun …with a CAPITAL ‘F’ !!! :)

  19. Marc10 says:

    Looks like the Hawks are on deck. I knows they’ve sustained injuries, but they also just beaten the Blues…

    Ayoye! Why to I sense payback for that great win a while back?

    And will Beaulieu suit up?

  20. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …P.K. is My most fun-to-watch Hab …I love His personality, though His enthusiasm can be a little too enthusiastic, which in-time He will learn to pick His spots and modulate

    …We all learn from experience, in-time

    …I personally rue P.K. winning the Norris …for one, I don’t think He was ‘the best’ over-all NHL d-man that shortened season, and winning it placed immense expectations on P.K., which I wouldn’t be surprised that even P.K., Himself, would not admit He is not quite yet ready for

    …in current negotiations between Don Meehan, a very tough negotiator, and Marc Bergevin, that Norris is distorting this reality

    …the ‘reality’ is, I am hoping, that P.K. is grounded-enough (via a superbly wonderful family upbringing) to realize a +$ 2 million annual salary above Carey Price’s, or even more $ more than a Max Pacioretti, will feel very ‘uncomfortable’ to Him

    …with P.K.’s ebullient, charismatic personality there should be other lucrative sources of income outside hockey that hopefully Molson can creatively ensure for Him

    …after bonding with Montreal Fans and the great personal friendships, He will feel that starting over with another generic NHL team only for the lucre is not something that P.K. Subban ‘is’

    …I, personally, as a Habs Fan, am not going to worry about losing a P.K. Subban, because I think Marc Bergevin and P.K. Subban are just too smart not to work-out something that works for both

    …have faith in both Marc and P.K.

  21. Un Canadien errant says:

    Everyone should take a deep breath. We’ve won ten of twelve games, things are going well. P.K., Don Meehan and Marc Bergevin will find a way to make things work. There’s no sense in batting around $9M or $5M as likely figures and then tearing that strawman down. When the deal is announced we’ll gulp, hard, but as the seasons pass we’ll realize that we paid market rates for a great player.

    Aside from the Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty deals, mostly every contract the Canadiens have signed with players have seemed too high, we all feel that we’ve overpaid, for Travis Moen, for Brandon Prust, for Daniel Brière, but as time marches on we look back and realize the deal isn’t that bad after all, in most cases. Why, David Desharnais, who used to be the target of posts that verged on assault, now has members sheepishly admitting they went overboard a little bit.

    As I’ve written before (http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/01/pk-subban-playing-with-fans-patience.html):

    One unfortunate consequence of the salary cap system in the National Hockey League is that it transforms committed fans into vigilant custodians of the team’s payroll. Whereas before fans would harry their team’s ownership to pay whatever it costs to retain the hometown stars, nowadays fans are forced to take a stand on the wage a player will receive, as overspending on players decreases the likelihood that one’s team will be successful and championship material. In the days of the Guy Lafleur or Larry Robinson holdouts, every fan howled that the team made enough money to pay these guys what they wanted, and that they sure as hell deserved it. Especially if Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson are worth millions to the Rangers…

    So I’m now, as a fan who can’t resist the pull of NHL hockey, forced to care how big P.K.’s paycheque will be.

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I agree that a contract will probably get done, hopefully we aren’t gulping too hard.

    • Marc10 says:

      So not worried about PK. He’s overcome much bigger odds than what is in front of him at present time.

      His ego took a knock at the Olympics. That seems to have played with his head a bit. He’ll dial back in. We need him to play 28 minutes, but we don’t need this just yet. He gets a chance to re-focus during the short break before the TB series begins.

      I predict he’ll be a star in that series and put all the doubts to rest. I’ve got a good feeling about our guys (and yes, even under our terrible coach, awful GM… whine, cry, moan…) Bring it on!

      And I’m not worried about this potential contract. Cooler heads will prevail and PK will be the face of the franchise for years to come.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …Marc, a ‘terrible GM’ ?

        • Marc10 says:

          That was for my mate Timbits and his nuthuggers. I was being sarcastic. Had my fill of the hater negativity and the shameless Internet trolling passing as commentary.

          I’m fine with how the team is being led. It’s pretty darn solid and the results are there. Ask me again if we get wiped out in 4 against TB… but I suspect we’ll win a round (maybe two if Price channels St Jaro or St Pat…)

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …good to hear Marc :) … personally, even IF eliminated in 4 vs Tampa Bay, I like and have confidence where We are going with Bergevin, organizationally and culturally

            …Therrien, I’m a bit more long-term circumspect whether He can maintain the Team’s mojo …but I very much respect what He has accomplished as Our Coach over 2 consecutive seasons

            …even in P.K.’s situation, the onus is on P.K. rather than on Therrien, especially when the Team is being successful under this Coach’s regimen

            …if P.K. continues to grow and mature as a Player, I’m confident Michel will be first to recognize it is time to let P.K. fly

          • Marc10 says:

            Hey HiS,

            MT has improved a lot. He’s not a rocket science kind of guy to begin with. I liken him to the late Pat Burns.

            He’s a Memorial Cup winning arse kicker who has mellowed a lot. He gets results by keeping things simple and by demanding effort and accountability. He might mangle his second language (as many second language speakers are prone to do if they’ve learned said second language early in life…), but good luck taking your foot off the gas on his team.

            His ‘system’ is as good as most coaches out there. Dare I say it, I think it’s top 10 considering what he gets out of some players that are clearly past their prime.

            If you look at his record objectively, he managed to get one of the worst Habs teams on record into the playoffs. He also lost to Carolina by the skin of his teeth when had the wrong guy (Bill Lindsay?) out to take a late game faceoff. That’s not a bad result for a rookie coach thrown into the deep end. Carolina had the better team. He just made one mistake.

            His time in Pittsburgh wasn’t wasted either. He sorted that crap out. The big interview everybody gives him s*** about was a tactic done with Super Mario’s blessing. MT had come up from the minors after setting records down there with the farm team and he electro-shocked the Pens from an Oiler-type country club into a real contender and a cup final appearance.

            His message ran out of gas and Bylsma lucked into a team primed and ready for the inevitable second wind that comes from a coaching change, and he won Pittsburgh’s last cup.

            So MT gets a lot of grief around here for his treatment of PK, his playing of Frankie B, and a lot of other stuff – mostly I think it’s the ‘coach must speak French’ thing…

            That being said, and that’s an invitation to all the haters, picture yourself as the coach of the Habs. You’d get turfed in about 5 seconds. Now picture Mike Babcock as the coach of the Habs. Guys would stand in front of the net; that goes without saying… He might do a slightly better job at matching lines… Maybe. But d’ya think PK would be having a smooth ride? Lars? Bourque? Danny B? I seriously doubt it. It would be a very similar story. I doubt Babs gets 5 more wins out of this team than MT over a similar tenure.

            There aren’t many ways to run a successful bench. You’re only as good as the guys on the ice and you need to motivate them to reach their potential. So far, MT’s done a pretty good job.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …couldn’t agree with You more Marc …though, still would have hired Patrick :)

            …here’s hopin’ We get out of the first-round, it’s been awhile, and if so, Montreal will be crazier than usual

            …Montreal is crazy to begin with, so Stanley Cup CRAZY !!! should be a sight to behold

            …I feel more optimistic of having a good playoff run than I have in years …Vanek has added an invaluable extra dimension to Our Team

            …regards ‘French’, and Michel mangling English …I’m a square-head, and I envy how well Michel speaks English so much better than I ‘speak’ French :)

            …hope all’s well in Sydney, Marc …watch out for those dingos :)

          • Marc10 says:

            Ah cheers dude. St Pat clearly proved he was ready this year, eh. Wow! Sure his team is ultra talented up front… but a record like with a spotty D in front of an unproven goalie… well that’s just amazing. Kind of like the job Babcock did of getting the Wings into the playoffs.

            I’ll be sure to watch out for dingos as I make my home. Will say g’day if I see one on the Harbour Bridge while I cycle home. Looking like rain here… Yuck!

    • Timo says:

      Wait until Bouillon gets a 3 year extension at 4 mil per.

  22. sirs81 says:

    Its not Terrien that has done anything wrong with PK.
    Its the fact that PK was not in the spotlight during the Olympics.
    Now Habs have Vanek and he seems to be getting a good deal of positive attention, not PK.

  23. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Ian Cobb

    …Ian, with due respect, please do not allow the HIO Summit to go off on a fund-raising tangent for Tim Bozon …He will likely someday be a multi-millionaire hockey Player, hopefully wearing the red white et bleuet :)

    …the Summit should keep it’s fund-raising solely for children, either for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, or similar, and/or low-income children’s hockey programs

    …My 2 cents

    …the Bozons will certainly have the outstanding hospital fees covered by hook or crook here in the west, or other means

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    _____________________________________________________

    Mike Boone, Hockey Inside/Out blogger ; MARCH 25, 2014 AT 7:54 AM
    “Finding every way to stir up sh.. is pretty much my job description.”

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Or, they can raise money for Bozon and let people decide if they want to donate or not.

      You might find this hard to believe, but not all 3rd round draft picks become multi-millionaires. Even tougher, no doubt, for those who have to recover from bacteria meningitis.

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        There are people all over strapped with medical bills and related debt. I’m one of them. Wanna donate to me? Cuz I can guarantee I won’t be a multi-millionaire. Whether he makes it to the NHL or not, he is a young adult and will be capable of paying off this debt, whatever will remain after the team’s contribution.

        That said, it is outrageous that these kids are not fully covered for any and all medical and health events, directly hockey related or not. It’s really, really, ridiculous.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …understood, but Tim’s medical bills will CERTAINLY be covered

  24. Un Canadien errant says:

    My metronomic playoff odds update: the Leafs’ chances drop 1.2 points, down to a measly 1.4%.

    Big winner tonight are the Blue Jackets, who with a win grow their odds by 8.5 points to a healthy 87.2%.

    Bad news of the night is the Flyers, who were wobbling there for a second, but with their win over the Sabres solidify their chances to 98.3%.

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern.html

    ———————————————————————–
    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  25. Sportfan says:

    WOW for old wrestling fans Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  26. CHicoHab says:

    Prust, Weise and Moen are ready for game one. Bournival, Bourque and White are all healthy. Which 3 play???

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think Prust when healthy is guaranteed a spot, as a veteran and due to prior service. The rest will be mix and matches on coaches’ hunches, it will be interesting. To repeat, we’re in a better situation than when we were putting Aaron Palushaj and Mike Blunden out there.

    • Timo says:

      If I had to pick Weise, Prust and Bournival… However it will more like will be Weise Prust and Moen. Or any combination of the above and Moen.

  27. 24 Cups says:

    Tonight’s wins by Columbus and Philadelphia pretty well puts the final nail in the coffin for the laffs. I’ll wait one more game but I’m eagerly sharpening my knives (just watched the season opener for Game Of Thrones).

    On Tuesday, I wore my winter jacket and a hat while walking my golden, Faith. Froze my ass off in the face of the strong north wind. This afternoon, I sat out in a friend’s yard (that faces south) and had a few beers on his patio wearing a tee shirt and a Hab sweatshirt (as well as pants).

    The driving range in Slowville is finally getting ready to open. The greatest game besides hockey is just around the corner. So is the Masters.

    I guess spring has sprung on so many fronts. I just love tradition this time of year.

  28. I am all for acquiring players to “protect” our smaller forwards, but to sacrifice room on the bench for merely bodyguards is shortsighted. We acquire Parros to add some toughness – and granted there are rare situations throughout the season, where he can toss his gloves and set a tone, however as a fourth line forward he is slow, lumbering, and short of a liability, matched to the speed of the game these days. We need protectors the makes of Bickell, or Hartnell. Gone are the days of Shane Corson or John Ferguson. Both were able to score and exhibit some authority. We need our power forwards to step in when the situation calls for it. Not a staged fisty cuffs some shifts later – once we get our chosen tough guy out there to exhibit muscle. Forwards gotta be versatile – White, Moen, Prust…. Vanek shows grit, he has come alive coming to Montreal, and he knows it. Hopefully we can see that chemistry for years to come.

  29. ClutchNGrab says:

    There is not a player in this league you wouldn’t inquire the trade value before giving that much money. That being said, there are not many players in this league that would perform in this market at his age, his position, with his style and still be the second leading scorer of a team while being seen has having an “off year” .

    Do people realize the second youngest regular defenceman on this team is three years older?

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I don’t think anyone here questions PK’s talent, enthusiasm and what he brings to the Habs. However in this salary cap world it all comes down to making sure you don’t overpay.

      • ClutchNGrab says:

        When nobody has any real numbers it’s hard to know what overpay means. I did read posts that questions what Subban brings or will bring to this team.

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          Realistically I am comfortable with a maximum of $7million/year for a long term contract. I think he will get it from the Habs. If he is looking for much more than I think Bergevin needs to explore other options. It’s a big decision for the Habs.

          • ClutchNGrab says:

            Well, 7 mil is too much for some. MB could have signed Subban two years ago, we all praised him for signing him to a low value be we also knew there was a risk to signing him for only two years. Since then, he won a norris and a gold medal. In all logic taking a risk should have consequences.

            I never bothered too much about salaries, a good GM will make it work, worst case scenario you can always trade a bad signing, especially now when part of the salary can be kept.

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            I think Bergevin did the right thing at the time, making PK prove himself. Do I wish now that he would have signed him to a longer term contract at about 5 million or so. Absolutely.

  30. Chris says:

    Just back from tonight’s Guelph-London game. The Knights absolutely spanked the Storm, scoring a boat load of pretty goals on their way to a 7-2 win.

    With 2 goals and 5 points, the big performer on the night was San Jose 2nd round pick Chris Tierney. I’ve caught the Knights about 5 times this season, and Tierney has impressed me in every one of those games. Listed at 6’1″ and 187 pounds, he looks taller than that to me (we were down near the ice tonight). And better yet, he can skate. The Sharks might have found yet another overlooked gem in Tierney. Through 6 playoff games, Tierney now has 5 goals and 16 points.

    The other major standout was Nikita Zadorov. That kid has it all: he’s big (6’5″, 228 pounds), he’s fast and he has a bit of a mean streak. He was drafted as a project player by the Sabres, but he’s well on his way to fulfilling his substantial potential. Great, great player. He scored a nice short-handed goal tonight by turning on the afterburners and catching up to the forwards. Guelph couldn’t muster much against the Knights when Zadorov was on the ice…he covered up any rushes very well. He could very well end up as a pretty impressive steal as a 16th overall pick if he continues the career arc he is presently on.

    Other notable players for the Knights were Josh Anderson, another big (6’3″, 212 pounds) and mobile forward that is a 4th round pick of Columbus and Mitch Marner, a 16 year old speedster who figures to be the top-line center for the Knights next season with the expected graduations of Anderson, Tierney, Horvat and Domi. I also love Brett Welychka, a 19 year old utility player. He has played a big part in McCarron’s resurrection in the second half, but he was called upon as a defenceman for most of tonight’s game and played very well. He is just a phenomenal skater…too bad that he will likely never get a shot at the NHL.

    As for McCarron, he was pretty invisible tonight. He was skating well, but he wasn’t particularly engaged in the play. That line got thrown into some confusion with Welychka moved to defence, and both McCarron and Gemel Smith didn’t do much. McCarron picked up three minor penalties, but was a bit disappointing for his lack of physical engagement. I was very impressed with his skating tonight…definitely the best I’ve seen from him this season. Like Guelph’s Justin Auger, you can see that there is some pretty impressive talent there but he just looks awkward much of the time because of his size. I’m not particularly convinced that forwards pushing 6’6″ or 6″7″, like Auger and McCarron, are able to play a skill game because their center of gravity is just so much higher than all their peers. They really seem to lose the puck in their feet a lot.

    For Guelph, they laid an egg tonight. They had a solid first period, generating numerous chances but they simply didn’t get any breaks. On the game, they probably had 10 glorious scoring chances and they just missed the net or the puck hopped a stick on a wide-open tap-in. Their passing was simply terrible in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Their big guns (Kerby Rychel, Jason Dickinson, Scott Kosmachuk, Robby Fabbri and Zack Mitchell) were all very weak on the puck tonight and simply didn’t look like they were into the game. Fabbri almost ate an identical hit to the one that knocked him out of the Plymouth series, once again trying to wrap-around the net with his head down. He saw the train coming at the last second and avoided a hit, but he’s GOT to keep his head up or he’s not going to have an NHL career of any duration.

    We’ll see how Guelph does through the week in London. London has struggled to win games in Guelph or Erie this season, so I’m a bit worried about the swagger they are going to have going into Game 3 now that they have that monkey off their back.

    • laGrandeTerreur says:

      How much do they charge for those games?

      Being right across the border, I frequently forget how close I am to so many junior teams and their prospects. Even Hamilton is just over a half hour drive. I’d like to check a few junior games out.

      • Chris says:

        Guelph charges $26.50 for tickets, and you can almost always get tickets pretty easily unless they are playing London or Kitchener. London generally has a big group of fans that travel to road games in SW Ontario, while Kitchener is only a 20 minute drive to downtown Guelph so their fans can make that drive easily.

        Most junior teams are in that ballpark. The games are generally pretty fun, and you can get absolutely fantastic views of the game because most of the rinks are small. Kitchener seats about 8000, while London seats 9000. The rest of the rinks are typically in the 3000-4500 range.

    • CJ says:

      Thank you for sharing Chris. I’m going to the Olmpiques games this week (hopefully they push it to five games) and will share my feedback, with a focus on Reway and Fucale.

    • unclefester says:

      You’re right Chris. McCarron has lots of room to improve but he has made noticeable strides. And he’s getting better slowly but surely. He shows the odd flash of some “soft hands” around the net, as he did in scoring a goal in tight against Windsor in the opening series of these playoffs. A really nice effort. But McCarron would be the first to tell you he found out he was WAY BEHIND in his development when he arrived in London last September. He’s on the rise for sure. But patience is the key. Dale Hunter rolled three line against Guelph tonight with the Knights 4th line only getting two or three shifts towards the end of the game. So McCarron is seeing regular active service at centre, and has the trust of his coaches. But it is clear, he’ll be back in London next season. He needs more seasoning and next year will give us all a much clearer picture of what Michael McCarron will truly be. I’m pulling for him. London hosts the Memorial Cup and you can all feast your eyes in May.

      • Chris says:

        The Knights were mixing and matching the 3rd and 4th lines tonight. I saw Marner, MacDonald and Seguin out there more than 2 or 3 shifts, particularly Marner. He was all over the line-up with Welychka playing a lot of D.

        I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not crazy about McCarron playing center. McCarron is never going to be a center in the NHL, and it gets him away from the physical game that he should be developing. I think he has become a bit too reliant on Smith and Welychka…when he doesn’t have them, he disappears again.

        Next season will certainly be a test, because the Knights are not shaping up to be a particularly strong team. They are losing so many core players that they will be fighting for a playoff spot next season. He will get all the ice time he can ever desire next season. :)

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Thanks for this update Chris, very timely in my case as I just caught the newest installment of “Quest for the Cup” on Sportsnet. Not much focus on our boy, but they did show him working on faceoffs during practice.

      For everyone who will tend to be anxious to see him in bleu blanc et rouge, let’s remind ourselves we need to be patient. Go over the ponderous career arc of Brian Bickell, with the ‘Hawks, and settle in and expect another year from him in junior, then at least another couple seasons in the AHL.

    • Marc10 says:

      Now that’s a game summary. Thanks for the scouting report. You should do this for a living!

  31. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Dion “Pylon” Phaneuf.

    http://i.imgur.com/8mcMY29.gif

  32. Timo says:

    I can’t believe people are now talking whether PK is even a sound investment. He was more than sound until that buffoon was hired as the coach. He was doing just fine. Bergevin is the biggest fraud of a GM if he even remotely entertains a thought of trading Subban. Once again, this team is run by people who put personal likes/dislikes ahead of business of winning the Stanley Cup.

    A carefully orchestrated approach has now plenty of people saying “that perhaps PK is not a great investment”.

    Idiots.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      We’re probably in the minority today Timo but I second everything you said. The sky is the limit for PK if we have the right people behind the bench. People don’t realize it because the team has been winning & because Vanek is on board. Even thinking about a trade involving PK is downright criminal in my book.

    • laGrandeTerreur says:

      No one on the Blackhawks makes near 8 million per year, including their top defenseman, who is better than Subban.

      No one on the Bruins makes 8 million per, including Norris-winning Chara.

      No one on the Kings makes 8 million per, including Cup champion Doughty.

      No one on St. Louis, a top defensive team with 2 Olympians, no one on Colorado, a Cup contender.

      Maybe you’re the idiot for thinking Subban is a one-man Messiah. There’s probably a place on the Redskins management team for ya.

      To be clear, I don’t want to trade him. But if another team makes a ridiculous offer, let them.

      • WindsorHab-10 says:

        Very thoughtful. Thank you.

        • laGrandeTerreur says:

          I thought so as well. But it wasn’t directed at you. It was directed at the jerk who called us all idiots. Save the smugness, sir.

          Funny how you ignored his use of idiots because you agreed with him, but when someone else does it back, suddenly it’s rude neanderthal mentality.

      • ClutchNGrab says:

        How many of those players signed a contract after the lock out?

      • Chris says:

        No one on the Blackhawks signed a contract operating under a $70 million salary cap. That counts for a lot.

        The other thing that counts a lot is the tax situation. Here is the after-tax salary for a $7,000,000 player in the markets you listed, using 2013 numbers:

        St. Louis: $4,196,067
        Chicago: $4,146,420
        Los Angeles: $3,975,990
        Boston: $3,931,604
        Montreal: $3,640,313

        Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto operate at a significant disadvantage in the salary cap world because the tax rates are substantially higher.

        Keith signed his contract under a $64 M cap, and he gave the team a reduced rate in exchange for 13 years. Chara signed his deal under a $66 million cap, but his deal carries him to age 41, so I think it is unfair to compare his contract to one that will take Subban to age 31 or 32, his prime years.

        The contracts of Karlsson, Letang, Pietrangelo, and Doughty will be the benchmarks for Subban. The Habs already used up their goodwill on Subban’s last deal, which was certainly below market level for a player of his caliber. The idea 2 years ago was that Subban had to prove himself and he would get paid on his next contract.

        Well, he’s proved himself to be a top-10 defenceman in the NHL. He’s going to want top-10 money, and that means in excess of $7 million in today’s NHL market, and it is easy to see his agent starting negotiations at $8 million or more and not settling for much less.

        Salaries continue to skyrocket in the NHL. We might preach financial prudence, but the reality is that the players are going to continue to see bigger and bigger money. This is how Michael Ryder can see his salary increase by 50% after his worst statistical season, a season where he found himself a healthy scratch for a team that desperately needed scoring.

        This is how 39 year old Sergei Gonchar can still land a 2 year, $10 million deal from Dallas.

        If I’m Philadelphia or Toronto, I would absolutely consider throwing a $8 or $8.5 million deal at Subban. Worst case scenario, he accepts and you get a lot stronger at a conference rival’s expense. Yes, the four 1st round picks would hurt. But if you’ve got confidence in the players you’ve got now, you can make that work. The Flyers and Red Wings have made a living off of using their 1st round picks to secure proven NHL players, and then trading players they no longer want for other assets.

        • CJ says:

          Chris, is it not fair to say that PK would have endorsement opportunities in this market that might not be available in non traditional hockey markets? Those endorsement dollars should all but make up for any tax imbalances.

          Agents need to be creative and work on other revenue channels – assuming it’s all about the money which is what we are all saying, right? If it’s not about the money than surely $6.5 million for 8 years is more than fair.

          Like I said, if people think the spotlight is bright now, just wait to see what it’s like at $8-$9 million.

          • laGrandeTerreur says:

            Good point regarding the spotlight. One thing I hate to admit is that the drama around this situation on and off the ice, driven by the media and devoured by the fans, is enough to make me not care if he’s back or not. It’s not his fault, I don’t blame him at all. But it makes following the team all the more stressful and annoying nonetheless.

          • Chris says:

            There is simply zero chance that Subban signs a long term deal for less than $7 million a season. Even with his endorsement potential, one thing people have to remember is that P.K. Subban absolutely desires to be considered the best in the NHL.

            Subban is not your traditional, boring hockey player. He wants to be the center of attention, and he wants to be recognized for his ability. This has always been a central plank in his character, and I am by no means saying this in a negative light.

            In the NHL, the size of the contract is absolutely a metric for determining player worth. I will agree with anybody that thinks that is silly, but it is reality.

            If Montreal offers $6.5 million, Subban’s agent will play hard ball. If Bergevin and the Habs dig in and make this the hill they will die on, then they go to arbitration and he gets his money. He’ll get his $7 million regardless of how the Habs play this, so why aggravate him if he is seen as a building block for the team’s core?

            I think it is increasingly likely that we see a 2-year deal at $7 M, either by mutual agreement or salary arbitration, and then Subban hits the open market in 2016.

          • CJ says:

            Fair enough Chris. You are more informed than I. Niceties aside, if PK craves the spotlight so much, why did he not speak to reporters following his minus four performance in Detroit last week in which he and Frankie took turns playing hot potato. That’s pretty harsh, and it’s not indicative of the star we have, but the team comes first. I love watching PK, but players will come and go. I don’t get emotionally attached and seldom cheer for one of the other because they all come and go. I care about the crest only. I know I’m being naive, but I hate that it’s all about the money now.

          • Chris says:

            CJ: I give PK a pass on that one because he’s always been there to face the music in the past. Everybody is entitled to a rare game where they just want to clear their head and not have to re-hash their mistakes.

            I agree that it shouldn’t be about the money, but it is a business. The teams are ruthless when they need to be, so I have no trouble with the players wanting to get paid when they can. It is up to Bergevin to make the call whether he can field a good team with Price and Subban eating $13-14 million of cap space. They are both phenomenal players, but Stanley Cups are won with offensive superstars and depth.

            I don’t see much chance of Gionta re-signing…he will want more than what the Habs can afford to pay him as a third liner. If he was willing to sign for Chris Higgins money (see how I snuck Higgins back in the conversation, everyone?), I would be all for it. But I don’t see Gionta taking a 2- or 3-year deal at $2.5 million per season. Maybe I’ll be wrong.

            The Habs will need to start working some more kids into the line-up, especially if they miraculously sign Vanek. If you’re going to run with expensive stars (and both Vanek and Subban will cost a mint), then you need some young guys to step into roles and play above their cap hit.

            Bournival can do that, but the team desperately needs one of Crisp, de la Rose, Andrighetto or Leblanc to force themselves onto the team next season. I’m not terribly optimistic, truth be told…the 2008-2011 drafts are increasingly looking like they might be a bit barren of forward depth for the Habs, with only Gallagher panning out so far. Crisp, de la Rose and Andrighetto remain a little raw to be thrust into the NHL spotlight.

            The Habs may have to be active on the trade or free agency front this summer, fishing for cheap players that can produce on their 3rd or 4th lines.

        • laGrandeTerreur says:

          My objective is not to compare player to player, contract to contract. My point is % of cap money spent on individual players is an important consideration. This number is often very high for crap teams.

          If they sign him for one year, and he returns to his potential, then give him his money. Right now, I’m not convinced he is the best defenseman around. His defensive play is average on his best night. Karlsson’s defense sucks too, likewise so do the Sens. And you can see that by the 12 goals they’ve given up over two games against the Habs.

          Letang has played less than 70 games over the past two seasons, which speaks to another point of mine, regarding locking up over 10% of your cap space in one man who could be taken out of the mix in the blink of an eye.

          Of course, injuries happen to anyone, it’s just a contributing factor to my viewpoint. In any case, if we keep Subban for $8 mil or more and lose Markov and Gionta because of it, our defensive play is significantly worse, and it’s not very good as it is right now.

          • Chris says:

            I’m not disagreeing with you…I am firmly in the camp that believes that you build great teams either by tanking or somehow convincing very good players to sign below market-level deals.

            The Habs have been pretty good at that with deals for players like Price, Pacioretty and Markov over the years all representing less than what they probably should be making. But I just don’t see that happening with Subban.

          • laGrandeTerreur says:

            Fair enough. I’d like to see him stay, but if they can somehow keep Vanek, Markov, Gio, and the only thing in the way is a $9 million offer sheet, give us the picks! So many picks…

      • Habitforming says:

        None of the players on those teams are signing a contract after a lockout, with a new heightened salary cap, and enforcement of front end loaded deals to lower the cap hits either.

        How can you make comparisons and call people idiots when the circumstances couldn’t be more different? If the situations were reversed you’re damn right they would get that much or more.

        • laGrandeTerreur says:

          Why are people so offended by me calling someone an idiot when they JUST CALLED ME AND OTHERS AN IDIOT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE!

          Again, just like with Windsor, the initial insult goes unnoticed or endorsed because you agree with the post. But someone else disagrees and says the same thing back, and suddenly it’s a point of contention.

    • habbytent says:

      +1

      Thanks everyone! I’ll go back to lurking now.

    • CJ says:

      Hey Timo!

      Not that I’ve been appointed spokesperson, but I’ll offer a response regarding the subject of PK’s contract.

      Firstly, keep in mind PK’s Norris season, albeit only 42 games in length, was under Therien. I’m not a big fan of the coach, but I’ll call it as I see it. If he excelled last year, and was maintaining a similar pace this year through 40 games, what happened? Was it the coach, or has PK simply regressed to the mean?

      My concern with PK is this; thus far over his career – as short as it’s been thus far – last season was, statistically speaking, well above average. PK played 77 games in 2010 and had 38 points. He followed that up with 36 points in 81 games in 2011. Last year was his career year statistically, with 38 points in 42 games. I don’t have a calculator in front of me, but his point per game in 2010 was roughly .48. In 2011 it was roughly .44. Last year it spiked to .95. This year it’s dropped to .65, of which he was over .85 through the first 40 games, and approximately .50 through the last 37 games. Those are the numbers.

      Now, take a deeper dive. Over the past 37 games, since the Dallas game, PK has returned to just above his career average of .50 points a game. The 48 games last year, and the first 40 games this year put PK at a point pace well above his average. This is what makes this file so complicated. This review looks at points only. It doesn’t include the intangibles, positive and negative otherwise.

      So, do you pay for a sample size over a strike shortened 42 games and the first half of this season, or is this above average? Or, conversely, do you pay for the career average and discount the spike in production? There are so many uncertainties. As a result, I’m very uncomfortable going 8 years at $8-$9 million. Setting the points aside, if PK was eating huge minutes and playing the PK and helping close games, than and argument can be made, but he’s not. This is the Weber, Doughty, Suter example. The very best, not just for 42 games, but consistently, year over year.

      As someone said earlier, when the Canadiens are ahead you want Weaver on the ice. When the Canadiens are behind you want PK. If PK’s worth is built exclusively on offence, than these numbers are very concerning. Personally I think he has potential to be the whole package, but how do you place a value on potential? Buffalo tried to with Myers who many regarded as a can’t miss following his Calder trophy win, but now, at $5.5 million, there is significantly less value.

      In closing, I want PK. I want PK to be the star I think he can be. That said, when it comes to signing the deal, I’m preaching patience and restraint. $6.5 million is not a ridiculous number.

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      He is a sound investment at the right price. I am a big fan fan of Subban, love his energy, talent and enthusiasm. I hope they sign him to a long term contract at a reasonable price. If they can’t then trading him is an option they have to look at. For those that think that trading him is a ridiculous idea what is the maximum you would be willing to pay him?

    • mount royal says:

      PK is a major part of the future of the Habs. He will get a fair offer. Then, its up to him (or his agent).

    • habcertain says:

      I know it is unbeleieveable

  33. laGrandeTerreur says:

    Not sure if this was posted already, but in any case, here we have a speculative list over at Bleacher Report of Canadiens players and staff most likely to win league awards. I see Price more likely to win the Hart than the Vezina as well. I think Markov should have been nominated over Desharnais for Masterson. Knees don’t grow on trees.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2018441-ranking-the-most-likely-montreal-canadiens-to-win-awards-this-2013-14-season

  34. laGrandeTerreur says:

    Most of the conversation has the die-hards seeing the Subban number at $8 million per, though I have read some indicate they believe teams will over closer to $9 mil. Keep in mind this offer would likely come from a middling team at best, more likely a bottom-dweller like Edmonton.

    So now let me just be clear and nuance-free in my opinion: If anyone would reject FOUR CONSECUTIVE FIRST ROUND PICKS for the privilege of spending $9 million on one player, well I think you are the crazy people, not us in the minority.

  35. 1010 says:

    I can`t believe the major sports networks have not talked about the brilliant moves made by MB in obtaining Vanek and Weaver at the trade deadline. They would have heralded any other GM who made two move like this that so instantly paid dividends. I don`t care how far this team goes with these guys. And I can only speculate how far the team would have gone without them. The man filled two needs as well as could be expected of any GM. Once Vanek settled in, it became apparent they were a different team. Salutes to MB. It has been a long time since a Montreal boss did something that impressive at this time of year.

    GO HABS…

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Doug Maclean has on Hockey Central at Noon many times, but Kypreos has an inability to speak anything Habs.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

      • 1010 says:

        It`s just as well Kypreos doesn`t. He sounds like Ricky on the trailor park boys whenever he emotes on any subject. A few weeks ago he offered that the Russian were much better to deal with since they came to North America and got civilized. The other two hosts wilted and made a comment but the poor schmuck still didn`t realize he said something rather stupid.

        GO HABS…

  36. thehabsfan29 says:

    Was lucky to be at the game last night and noticed a few things:

    Great start by the habs last night & Patches,Vanek,DD line is honestly amazing almost every time they are on the ice!

    Had a strong feeling (even told the random person next to me) the habs were gonna blow the lead in the third period but was great to see them bounce back!

    Galchenyuk is for sure gonna be a star in the near future!

    It is ridiculous how much heart Gallagher plays with in every shift! especially for his size. Its truly amazing.

    Was thinking also about all the controversy in Winnipeg surrounding Evander kane and I think if I was MB I would look into seeing if a possible Eller (or +) for Kane deal could work. I think both players need a change in scenery. Especially since Gio probably won’t be re signed and Vanek is still uncertain we really need a scoring winger. (Just my opinion of course)

    On another note Seeing Plek shoot Chucky with water after his goal was truly priceless!

    And last but not least If there’s one thing I can’t stand at habs game is drunk fans starting trouble and being extremely obnoxious. Another drunk obnoxious fan got escorted out by police last night (not without a fight though) and its just really annoying to see. But I guess some people will never learn!

    Overall I couldn’t have asked to go to a better home game!

  37. DipsyDoodler says:

    I would not trade max for Lucic – I think Max is better.

    But, more to the point, I wouldn’t want Lucic on the Habs. Leaving aside the obligatory anti-Bruins bias, I think he’s a shabby human being. A thug, a bully, a coward, and an abuser of women (OK he got caught only once but do you really think it was a one-off?).

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

    • neumann103 says:

      It is comments like this and Marc10′s below on Subban that make me wish there was a Recommend or Like or Upvote function.

      Correct on all points

      “Et le but!”

      • Marc10 says:

        Cheers dude.

        Also agree about Lucy. I like the size and intimidation factor, but yeah… who needs the off ice issues.

        Kinda of why I’ve cooled off dramatically about EKane or Big Buff if there ever were to end up on the market. They’re just too many distractions with immature kids who will never grow up. You want pros that will give you their best. Not asking for Church goers, but there should be a minimum threshold for professional conduct in society.

      • chanchilla says:

        we had a thumbs up thumbs down system, it lasted like a week and a half before too many people complained about it, it really didn’t work out the way it does on most forums.

    • Paz says:

      I think he only plays that role on the ice because he was told that would get him 5 million per year.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      What you used to describe Lucic applies to every single Bruin except may be Bergeron.

  38. Marc10 says:

    Trading PK Subban?

    The best Dman we’ve had since Chelios…

    You know you won’t get close to fair return when you trade a core guy like that. Don’t pull another McDonaugh. Keep PK for 20 years and enjoy the show.

  39. Butterface says:

    First let me preface this by saying PK is one of my favourite players to watch.

    But his play since Team Canada has be announced has drastically fallen off.

    I am not sure if that is coaching or defence partners (he has been given a slew of them) or between his ears. He may even be struggling while trying to mesh what they want him to do compared to what he has always done.

    Who knows.

    But given this I think we have some leverage in negotiations again.

    He is not Karlsson. He is not Doughty. He is not Weber. But he is something special. I do not think he is worth 8m given his regression since January 7th.

    I think we should be 7-7.25. Longterm.

    Has PK’s creativity been stymied by coaching ? I think for sure it has.

    Do I want him to turn into a “safety first” defenceman like Gorges and Weaver ? Absolutely not. I like watching him carry the puck and make terrific long range passes.

    But the truth of it is he defensively average and offensively gifted.

    He should have learned more defensively from his Olympic experience while watching how the Team Canada’s back end played.

    Sadly it hasn’t rubbed off yet.

    That is why when Montreal is up a goal you will see more Weaver and Gorges. When Montreal goes down a goal I would expect to see more PK.

    Hopefully during the playoffs there will be more PK ice time controversy.

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

    • Paz says:

      You can believe anything, and may turn out to be right.

      Here’s my two cents.

      Subban’s money is a done deal. He should not accept a long term deal from the Habs unless they blow him away with their offer, and of course, Bergevin has no intension of doing that.

      If he is not happy with any restricted offer sheets he receives, he should simply sign for 1 season at about 5 million.

      That would give the team one more year to decide whether they want to bust the bank for him. That would be fair money. That would give Subban another year to bounce back and show the Habs what he is worth, or, perhaps, the league what he is worth.

      Unless the Habs offer 8 times 8 million, or very close to it, and they won’t, a one year deal will work for both parties at around 5 million.
      If they go to arbitration, which is not desirable, Subban will get around 6.5 million.

  40. Timo says:

    Cbus 4-0 with 3 mins left. Beautiful.

  41. laGrandeTerreur says:

    Is there any substance behind all this Vanek to Minnesota talk? I know the family connections with his wife, I know he went to college there, I know Pominville is there (i find that completely irrelevant, as he already has found himself on a better line in Mtl than at any point in Buffalo) – BUT, is there any concrete evidence that this is his life plan?

    In all the years here in Buffalo, him wanting to play in Minnesota was never mentioned, not once, until he rejected the Islanders offer.

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      Don’t know how credible that source is that says Vanek wants to end up in Minnesota but he seems like he’s having a blast in Montreal. I’m hoping that if the team has a good playoff run it will convince Vanek to stay.

    • Marc10 says:

      Oh, if you go by what LeBrun or Mackenzie or McGuire are saying, it’s a done deal. It was a done deal before the Islanders went and got him, so unless there’s a seismic shift of epic proportions, that’s where he’s going. His wife is from there, he went to college there. The family is still in Buffalo so moving states won’t be a huge upheaval. Taxes, etc…

      He’s a fantastic rental thus far (ask me again after the playoffs) and he will be incredibly hard to replace. There are only a handful of guys like that out there every 10 years or so. Hossa (honorable mention to Eric Cole) was probably the last pure UFA sniper out there so you know once he departs will likely be waiting a while for the next guy like that to surface.

      I say we enjoy the ride and hope that Mr Vanek helps wipe the floor with the Bolts, the Bruins and whoever else we encounter. I’d imagine that’s the best outcome from this very good deadline rental.

      Incidentally, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day John Tavares becomes a full UFA. I wouldn’t want to spend one more minute on a permanent rebuild and I would suspect a superstar wouldn’t either.

      Imagine the circus around that. If the Leafs keep on sucking, the contending Habs (hopefully at that point) and his buddy PK (hopefully still with us) could be an enticing destination for a megastar… Hey, can’t hurt to dream. :-)

    • Paz says:

      Some people don’t know that Minnesota, and that area, is a great place to live, and a great place to play hockey.

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        I’ve been there. It seems like a great place. So what? That is no evidence that Vanek is really insisting on only playing in Minnesota. Indeed, he very well may be. But it seems as though it’s just something being said around and around in a circle, a rumor reinforcing itself, with no original source.

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      Since Minny went for a rental forward, and Moulson and Vanek were going for the same price, why didn’t they go for Vanek?

      In any case, it seems Vanek will go to free agency, and he could certainly sign with teams like the Rangers, Flyers, Kings etc …

      —–
      Moving. Forward.

      • Marc10 says:

        They might keep both. So go for the guy you won’t get by default… :-)

      • laGrandeTerreur says:

        I have been thinking the exact same thing, Dipsy.Who foes for a cup run and says ‘ no, i’d rather trade for a player we wont keep, then sign the guy we really want later, instead of today’. makes no sense.

  42. The Teacher says:

    Three people. Who in their right mind would trade subban.

    It can’t be that there are three insane people for every 16 people in the population.

    On second thought. That sounds right. Carry on.

    • docketrocket says:

      So true and so crazy. We won’t get another player as good or as exciting for years. If this relationship is broken, fix it!

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      I don’t think anybody wants to trade Subban but at the end of the day the numbers have to work. I hope they sign him to a long term contract but not at any price.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      I guess “anyone” can be traded for the right price, right?

      Certainly wouldn’t trade him for what was being proposed around here earlier.

    • laGrandeTerreur says:

      Well, I’m number 24. The ratio is narrowing, btw.

      It’s not about wanting to trade Subban. I want him on the team. But in any sport, and any player, I am philosophically opposed to ‘putting all the eggs in one basket’. $8 million long term is too much money to wrap up in one man when his future is not guaranteed. $8 mil for a few years, maybe. But as CJ (i believe) pointed out, you need look no further than Buffalo and T Myers for a lesson in why this is bad.
      In any case, there should be no reason why he can’t be signed for 6.5 to 7. If he gets offer sheets, and several first round picks are coming back (i believe we’re talking FOUR picks), I think it would be crazy not to consider that.

      • CJ says:

        Agreed. Not sure if anyone watches baseball, but I’m a big Yankees fan (boo, hisss)… In any event, I love Robinson Cano, probably my favorite player along with Brett Gardner, but the team couldn’t give him $300 million.

        I want PK, but in a hard cap era it has to work financially. Because someone (me) preaches financial restraint does not mean I don’t want PK signed long term. We must be guarded however. The team’s best interests have to match PK’s interests. It can’t be as simple as just get it done for whatever. $9 million is a ton of cash. I’m sure someday PK will earn that in a season. However, that season should not be next year.

        • laGrandeTerreur says:

          Once upon a time, I was a Mets fan. They’ve been disappointing for far too long now, basically since the Subway Series, so it’s hard for me to pay much attention. In any case, I know what you are referring to.

          What I see happening here is some b.s. team near the cap floor pouring a bunch of money on Subban to help them sell tickets. I can’t see a legitimate contender spending that much money on him. We keep hearing that they will, but which teams? who are they? Before the chatter was about Toronto. Well they shit their bed, so it won’t be them. Edmonton? Islanders? Good for them.

          • CJ says:

            I agree, lots of speculation, which is likely born of fear, but I can’t name one team who has the combination of cash, cap room and balls to throw that kind of money at a player who is so disliked (not my opinion) around the league. And, to boot, PK needs to sign the offer sheet.

    • JUST ME says:

      I also fail to understand. One must want to trade it`s value that may not be the same for other teams but we haven`t had a guy like him for ages and sure need his kind of personality if only to have opponents expect the unexpectable. Ever since he has been with the Habs i have not read or heard once that the price of tickets are outrageaous. He gives a show and those who can afford to go to the Bell center deserve to be entertained and he sure does !

  43. slapshot777 says:

    Columbus leading 2-0 against the Islanders.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • DominicanHab says:

      Now 3-0. I would like to see Columbus leapfrog Detroit to set up a Wings-Bruins first round match up. Not only would that be a fun series to watch, I think the Wings have a much better chance than the Jackets against the Bruins

  44. Ton says:

    Much talk about PK………..I like him…..but I don’t think were in a position to sign him because he is a must sign! If other teams deem him to be than be ready to cough up some #1 draft picks!Things of changed and perhaps management have influenced it in order to get a bargain. Hope not…………I cannot understand why this player holds up on his rushes……he slows up at the blue line and that’s when his problems begin….allow him to kick into overdrive on the outside and get him a good D coach that could change his game, instill more confidence etc. With this said……….PK join our team…….be a part of it and not all of it! ………6-7 years at 41/44 million……. markov 2 years at 6.2 million…….and Price still is still your highest player at 6.5 because he is your true mvp….Vanek is different topic…..

    • habcertain says:

      If you plan on keeping Price your highest paid player good luck with that, he signed what seems to be eons ago, gotta keep moving forward.

  45. BJ says:

    Felt like watching an old Habs game and ended up watching the full 3 periods of the final game of the 1960 Stanley Cup win 4-0 vs Leafs in Toronto for our 5th straight. A few interesting things jump out at you watching. One was no adds on the boards (I liked that). On the hockey side I was surprised that the speed of the game was just as fast then as it is now (despite a lot of comments to the contrary when compairing the two eras). Also there is hard hitting but the players do hold back and don’t try to decapitate each other on the boards. And what is amazing are the 80-120 second shifts they took in those days. Did the players have better stamina, it partially looks that way but part of it is also the fact that there is virtually no clutch and grab and this BS of finishing your check (which wears you down). The game was a lot more fluid then. And finally the goalies look very small in the net, I think more than anything this has been the biggest change in hockey between the two eras. If anyone gets a chance tr to find an old game on a cd, its worth the watch.

    • Rossy says:

      Plus, it was the FIRST Cup final where a goaltender (Jacques Plante) wore a mask.

      Has anyone else noticed how Plante-like Price’s stance is this year?

  46. CJ says:

    I hope this conversation doesn’t result in a bench clearing brawl like the FDNY and NYPD this afternoon….. Jeez, that’s awkward.

    • Mavid says:

      I was just reading about that on Twitter..are you on there, if so what is your name

      Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

      • CJ says:

        Hi Mavid, I’m on, but very inactive. I have to be cautious with my line of work. My name is C. John Casselman.

        • laGrandeTerreur says:

          What do you do for a living? …if you don’t mind me asking…

          I used to work in politics and I remember being told by my boss, a Senator in NY to stop posting ‘goofy’ pictures on Facebook, namely a picture of me with an old hippy at the House of Reggae on Rue St Denis. B.S.

          By the way, anyone know if that place is closed for good? I was there in December, no signs of life.

          • CJ says:

            Consult. Casino manager, provincial agency.

          • CJ says:

            I come from a political family. Three MP’s, one MPP, the Lieutenant General of Ontario, Parliamentary Secretary, high commissioner to London (Canada House).

            My mother’s first cousin owned a casino, which they recently sold. I guess it was destiny lol.

          • laGrandeTerreur says:

            the OLG? You ever visit the Niagara Falls casinos? I haven’t gamed there yet, just eaten. I’m curious how that system works. We only have Native casinos in NY. Kind of a scam.

          • CJ says:

            Yes, that’s it. I’ve been to conferences in Niagra Falls.

    • slapshot777 says:

      I guess the brotherly love is long over since all the admiration they had for each other after 9-11.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  47. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Do we want home ice advantage in the first round or do you prefer that we start on the road?

  48. likehoy says:

    not sure if this was posted yet, but gotta love the on-ice chemistry of Phaneuf and Kessel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIayPfQ_Xgk

  49. CJ says:

    In response the comment below regarding Karlsson (it was me who offered the comparable as the question asked for someone under 24 who won the Norris).

    Karlsson signed his deal in 2012 following the season in which he won the Norris trophy. He signed a long term deal worth $6.5 million annually.

    In June 2012, as reported in the Globe and Mail, the salary cap rose to $70.2 million dollars, or approximately $6 million more than it’s current ceiling. So, when the Karlsson deal was signed the cap was higher than what’s being projected under the revised version. Originally, next year’s cap was forecasted to be $71.1 million, however that was based on Canadian dollar parity. With only Montreal making the postseason and with the Canadian dollar receding in relation to the US greenback by 10%, cap projections are around $68 million.

    Lastly, Ottawa imposes their own cap. $6.5 million for a team with an internal budget is a major payment. It was less than Spezza’s cap hit.

    To say that $6.5 million then is the same as $8 plus now is simply not true. In fact, it’s entirely inaccurate.

    • habcertain says:

      Worth is determined by the market, someone in the market will pay PK much more than $6.5 m to play hockey, the Habs had their shot at getting him at a reasonable price, long term, and took a pass. For those who want to devalue his talent based on a couple of months, especially when the coach is getting in his head, are completely misjudging his worth to any team.

      • CJ says:

        PK is an RFA. If someone wants to offer him more, they need to present an offer sheet, which PK must sign. It might come to that. If so, and Montreal matches the offer, they can not trade him for one year.

        Speaking of offer sheets, matching and expired restrictions, Shae Weber….

        • habcertain says:

          I understand that, I was talking in theory, which leads me to believe if Meaghan doesn’t get market rates, the term will be short and he will get to UFA status and he walks for nothing or they have to trade him from a weaken position. I laugh at how some folks think you don’t have leverage as a RFA, he has plenty of leverage.

          • CJ says:

            PK’s play has negated a great deal of that leverage. If he would have sustained his play following the success he enjoyed over the first three months of this season, we would only be debating if he signs in blue or black ink. His play, the past three months, is impossible to ignore. One could ask themselves if last year, a season in which he won the Norris after playing just over 40 games, was the exception and not the rule.

            Again, we are talking about being the highest paid defenceman in the league. That’s the responsibility that comes with a contract over $8 million. That’s the scrutiny that will follow becoming the highest paid defenceman in the league.

          • habcertain says:

            I just don’t see it that way, MT has done nothing but F with his head, and believe it had played a part with PK continually looking over his shoulder, not ideal circumstances to play under, IMO.

          • CJ says:

            Fair enough. Cool thing is we can all see it differently.

            I’d be surprised if MT is going anywhere. So, either PK gets used to it, or he overcomes it. Either way, he needs to deal with it. I’m not a Therien fan either, but his success has all but solidified his position going forward (short term).

    • Ozmodiar says:

      The Karlsson contract was signed before he won the Norris. So, really not a comparable for a contract signed by a Norris winner seeing how the win couldn’t have been used as a bargaining chip.

      Also, if the contract really was affected by some artificial “internal” cap, it makes it even less of a comparable, right?

      So, let’s scratch Karlsson from being a comparable then. Cool?

      • CJ says:

        Technically, yes the contract was signed less than a month before the award was presented. Everyone in hockey had him on their ballot, so let’s be fair. Karlsson had 78 points and was plus 16. He signed a deal and thus far has not come close to recapturing that same magic.

        Contrast that with the current position we find ourselves in. PK is having a below average year, so we sign him to the highest cap hit in the league among all defenceman. If, as some suggest, he signs for $9 million, he will be over a $1 million more than any other defenceman. That’s not inconsequential. We are placing a tremendous amount of trust in PK’s upside. I think the potential is there and I agree you pay for potential, but PK is an RFA, not a UFA. He is not hitting the open market.

        The cap was greater than (2012) then it will be next season. So, as a percentage, PK at $8 million is higher than Karlsson at $6.5 million.

        Karlsson is a much better offensive player, PK is the better defender. Unfortunately though PK does not play on the PK, nor does he play, consistently, at the end of tight games.

        Again, if PK is going to be signed to the highest cap hit of all defenceman in the league, should he not be among the best in the game? Unfortunately, he’s not. He was last year, but that seems like, well, a year ago.

        I want PK. I’m just saying if we give him $8-$9 million annually, he better be prepared for the spotlight. Phaneuf and the Leafs get heat everyday because of his ridiculous contract. Doughty is $7 million, Chara is less. Karlsson and Pietrangelo are under $7 miillion.

        Just be prepared is all I’m saying. Therien isn’t going anywhere.

      • matrags says:

        CJ, relatively poor play over the past twenty games is a very dangerous window upon which you wish to low ball a d men whom the league has deemed the best at his position and at twenty four can anchor a defence for another ten to twelve yrs. No disrespect but I don’t want you managing just yet.

        • CJ says:

          To be fair, putting all the cards on the table, the Norris PK earned was based on just over 40 games. Look, it sounds like I’m bashing the kid, which I’m not trying to do. I really like PK. I want him to take over the game. A guy making $8-$9 million takes it over at both ends of the ice. Doughty, Weber, Suter….PK doesn’t even play 25 minutes a night. I can’t be a hypocrite. I call out Karlsson for his one dimensional play, but fact is his offensive upside dwarfs that of PK. Both struggle defensively. I don’t consider either top 10 this season.

          The stretch of games over which PK has struggled this season is nearly the equivalent to the number of games he played last season en route to the Norris – an award he was full value, fully justified in winning. I count 37 games since the Dallas game. Three more and we will be almost the exact same. Bergevin, or me (if in charge) has to take the franchise’s best interest into account. Risk reward tells me that there shouldn’t be much more downside (I hope) and that there is significant upside. This upside drives my offer to $6.5 to $7 million. Again, we can’t use Phaneuf as a baseline because his deal is just so grossly unjustified. Pietrangelo and Karlsson are the comparable measures.

          Respectfully I don’t consider $6.5 million to $7 million a low ball. I consider $8-$9 million more dangerous than the risk of the low ball perception.

          Just my two cents….

  50. UKRAINIANhab says:

    I wish I made 8 million a year! Siggghhhh

  51. Habfan17 says:

    I am really looking forward to the playoffs, however, I can’t help but look ahead to next season.

    In a perfect world, I would see Vanek resigned along with Subban.
    I like Gionta, however, I think he needs to be allowed to move on.
    If Bergevin can resign Vanek, I would say having him with Patches and DD is a given, so unless MB would trade Pleks, I see Eller as the odd man out since Galchenyuk should move to center next season.

    That would be a pretty strong middle. On defence, I am torn when it comes to Markov. On one hand, I say a 2 year deal would help and he could move down to the second pairing. I like what Weaver has brought and see him as the 7th d. As much as Murray has brought some “honesty” from opposing forwards, I see him gone too with Drewiskie getting a shot. If Markov is resigned, tht leaves the habs with Emelin, Gorges, Markov, Beaulieu, Tinordi and Drewiskie as lefties and only Weaver and Subban on the right. Yes, I know Gorges has done okay on the right side, as has Beaulieu. In my opinion, both Nygren and Pateryn deserve the chance next season ans although both are “NHL” rookies, they are both older, more mature, and have played against men.

    I would think someone will have to go. Gorges and Eller could bring a solid second line winger. Bournival, Galchenyuk and Gallagher would be a solid 3rd line. Moen and Bourque could be odd men out up front. I expect Parros will be gone. Weise has proven he belongs, white could be on the fence. Maybe a package for Evander Kane or a player of his type.

    The playoffs should be a lot of fun as will the off season!

    Habfan17

    • scarboro_habitant says:

      1 thing has become very clear. a player of vaneks calibre obviously takes this team to the next level and gives the team some much needed balance throughout the lineup.

  52. UKRAINIANhab says:

    I give Pk 8×8

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I give him as little as possible without upsetting him!

      Hahhaha

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

    • slapshot777 says:

      What is your option for Vanek? Would you try to see if PK would take a little less to have a little more for Vanek. Or do you not see Vanek re-signing back here.

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

      • UKRAINIANhab says:

        In my honest opinion. Vanek will not be here next year unless we go deep in the playoffs which is possible!

        Id give Vanek 7.5 or 8 long term

        • slapshot777 says:

          The Habs should try and get Vanek to bring his wife to Montreal for awhile. She may like it there. I mean Montreal being a city that is most European of all the Canadian cities. Vanek has got to feel more at home here than anywhere else he has played in the NHL.

          To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

    • likehoy says:

      well thank god you’re giving him the 8year 8 million per year contract cause that gives MB a chance to lowball him since we know he’s already getting paid big time by our lovely ukrainianhab!

  53. JUST ME says:

    This questionning about P.K. will continue until he signs i guess and he will be a Hab for a long long time.
    But still it is excellent food for thoughts . P.K still is in the driver seat but Bergevin must also have a big smile and a feeling of confidence. He knows that P.K. is not going anywhere being an RFA but also knows that he is sitting on a treasure.
    For argument`s sake and knowing that fans want to WIN NOW , if you had to choose between number 76 and number 20 because it was all you could afford and being of course garanteed that your guy would sign, who would you choose ? Would Vanek change your outlook on your direct chance to go all the way more than P.K. ? Just stiring the pot here…

    • ProHabs says:

      IF Vanek was 24 years old it would be him considering we have some depth on defence coming up. But because of their ages, it is a no brainer, I would sign PK.

    • neumann103 says:

      It is a no brainer under any circumstances. Subban.

      That being said I would be in favour of offering Vanek too much money for a shorter term than he is probably looking for. You don’t want to own years 5, 6, 7 of that

      “Et le but!”

  54. myron.selby says:

    We just got back from a vacation in Costa Rica. On Monday Denise and I were getting on a tourist van to go on a walking tour of the cloud forest in Monteverde. We had to squeeze past this young couple to get to our seats behind them.

    I look at this young guy and he’s wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs ball cap. I realize he’s just noticed my Habs cap at the same time. As I go past him I say “We’re not even going to talk about it.”

    He goes “Nope, absolutely not!”.

    His girlfriend is totally mystified and he has to explain about the Habs/Leafs thing and the losing streak.

    She shakes her head in wonder “Guys! You have your whole own language.”

    Turns out he’s from Calgary (I’m from Edmonton). Strange world – a Habs fan from Edmonton and a Leafs fan from Calgary meet in the mountains in Costa Rica.

  55. Habsman93 says:

    I have a pair of tickets to the Habs 1st home playoff game for sale they are in Section 105 Row D Seat 9 & 10 these are in the Reds B
    Date TBD
    I can be reached at habsman55@cogeco.ca

  56. Commandant says:

    PK should be paid every penny of what he is worth….. thats likely over $8 million a year. He’s young and elite. You lock this kid up for 8 years and don’t look back.

    Go Habs Go!

    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Ton says:

      and what would that do to your salary structure…..making a struggling player your highest paid player…….um! what do Patch, Price, Plek, think!

      • Commandant says:

        Patch is signed until 2019.

        Price is signed until 2018.

        Pleks is signed until 2016.

        I will worry about it then, when we have 2 more, 4 more, and 5 more years of cap increases as well.

        Since no restucturing is possible under the CBA… i’m not worried about Price or Patch…. its a long time before you have to think about them and many things cap wise and team wise can change.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Ton says:

          that’s not how you run a team…….you want your best players to earn their pay and be paid based on their value and the results they provide the team……why sign an under performing player and pay them well over the core of your team that is out performing PK……think like a manager if you can!

          • habcertain says:

            Not sure I would place PK’ s worth on a couple of bad months, many made the same mistake when judging Price. thank god we didn’t listen then, and we don’t listen now.

      • neumann103 says:

        You’re trolling, right? Subban struggling?

        If Subban were a UFA he would have multiple offers above $9M

        If you have a player like this you don’t let him go.

        “Et le but!”

        • Ton says:

          as of this moment he’s struggling that’s it that’s all……….I can quantify in fact anyone can………not saying to let him go…….but today is he worth 9 million……..I doubt someone will offer him that based on his performance this year.

        • Just a Habs Fan says:

          neumann …………..you sir are completely and utterly nuts

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Couldn’t agree more, pay him what he is worth. Except you and I differ on what that worth amount is.

    • slapshot777 says:

      So, Commandant I don’t think I have read anything on your stance on the whole Vanek situation. Do you think he re-signs in Montreal and if so who do you think it affects in terms of players moving forward?

      To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  57. Ozmodiar says:

    Quoted from below:

    Karlsson, $6.5 million?

    Karlsson signed his contract before winning the Norris, no?
    Karlsson contract included more RFA years.
    Karlsson signed before the new CBA…. and new TV deal.

    … and, $6.5M back then is pretty much equal to $8M next year. ~ 11% of cap.

    So, if Karlsson’s 6.5M is the comparable, then we’re looking at 8M for PK.

    • Ton says:

      karlson would be picked over PK by most GM’s

      • Commandant says:

        Doubt it would be anything close to unanimous…. karlsson has 0 defensive game whatsoever.

        Karlsson is far, far worse than PK defensively…. PK’s defensive struggles are grossly overrated.

        Go Habs Go!

        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Ton says:

          not true…..he won a norris over 82 games and not a half season…….he is a better fluent skater than PK that completes his rushes unlike PK who zig zags stops twirls spins and loses the puck very often………great shot and find the open much better than PK.

          • johnnylarue says:

            Zero physicality, zero defense. Guy is like minus one thousand this season, bro. He’s absolutely horrible in his own zone.

            In my eyes PK and Karlsson are about equivalent, but with different strengths and weaknesses.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            4the in TAKEAWAYS… That is a positive stat… Not sure how that is bashing…

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Are you speaking about the same Karlsson that is 4th in the NHL in takeaways?

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • HabinBurlington says:

            No we are only talking about the specifics that Karlsson does worse, lets leave the positive parts of his play out of this equation please. :)

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @jlgib, re read what MacDougall posted.

          • Ton says:

            no the one that was a key player for his country while PK sat in the stands eating pop corn.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            HIB read my post.. Takeaways is a positive stat not a negative guys! C’mon!

            ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

          • ProHabs says:

            Please understand a post before you reply to it.

        • neumann103 says:

          yes, I would say that Karlsson might be a bit better offensively than Subban, but it is close to a wash.

          Subban is much much better defensively. A more useful player overall

          “Et le but!”

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    One would get the impression that PK is so good that by not playing him on the PK or not playing him the minutes the other teams in the NHL play their top dman (thinking Suter in Minny, Weber in Nashville, Chara in Boston etc…) that the Habs would have a losing record at this point.

    Like PK a great deal, but sometimes think he has been put on a pedestal here higher than that of Robinson, Lapointe and Savard already.

    • Paz says:

      Subban should not have been taken off the penalty kill. It’s great for his development as an all around player and he was darn good at it.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Burly, he has a skill set seldom found. He has a chance to be that special player. Is he there yet? No, but I think he will. And soon.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I just fail to understand why an NHL coach wouldn’t be playing him more then. You know how I feel about MT, but it makes no sense for a coach to not play his “best” player more then.

        Something doesn’t add up.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          Ice time is earned on the Habs and other players have deserved more ice time as of late.. I love a coach that plays players and not contracts. Same as Bourque, should he be scratched and Parros in? Doesn’t make any sense.. Or does it?

          ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

        • Ton says:

          lol because he’s not his best player…..nor can he be trusted…….PK is a high reward high risk player…..he can win you a game but at the same token he can lose you a game…..that’s what Babcock was referring to when he was talking about players that can be trusted…….were seeing it happen now with our team and lets not bash MT…….he’s winning…n’est pas!

          • neumann103 says:

            Therrien isn’t winning anything. The team is. In spite of him and his misuse of players.

            “Et le but!”

    • neumann103 says:

      Gerry

      I don’t know anyone who would put Subban above Robinson or Savard. I guess you might find some who would place him above Lapointe, but only because Lapointe is strangely undervalued compared to some of his peers. In any event Subban is too young to begin any such reach.

      I have always thought that the real “what Subban could be” comparable is Chelios. I don’t expect him to have the same superhuman career (although Subban’s commitment to fitness is impressive) but they have a similar combination of flow, offensive gifts, competitive spirit, and polarizing love/hate temperments.

      “Et le but!”

  59. Ian Cobb says:

    Summit Question!

    Should our charity donation from this years HIO Summit go to Tim Bozon”s medical bill.??
    Ian

    Tim Bozon family facing large medical bill
    CBC.ca ‎- 5 days ago
    Tim Bozon, the WHL player and Montreal Canadiens prospect who was … a serious bout with meningitis, is now facing a hefty medical bill.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Hi Ian, if I may offer my opinion even though I was not in attendance at your summit (though I would like to have been, and plan to go in the future).
      Tim Bozon’s medical expenses should be covered by the Kootenay Ice. I find it despicable that they have not done so already, they should be embarrassed. This young man represents their club and they make money from his play, they should be paying, no question.
      As he is property of the Habs as well, I think the Canadiens should be digging in their ample pockets to help with this as well. I think it is admirable of you to offer up for his cause, but the clubs he represents ( or will represent someday) should shoulder this responsibility.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

      • BJ says:

        Thats like bail out money for the banks. The teams-leagues should pay.

      • slapshot777 says:

        This as been said several times over. The Habs are not allowed to contribute in any way shape or form to help Tim Bozon, due to restrictions imposed by the CBA. I’m sure if this wasn’t a problem the Habs would have more than likely already taken care of it.

        To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

        • ABHabsfan says:

          I’m sure Geoff Molson, as an individual, could contribute. Or Molson/Coors as a corporation. Doesn’t have to be The Montreal Canadiens. I was unaware of the CBA reg though, now I am aware.

          “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
          Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • CJ says:

      Hi Ian. I know I’m new, and this will be my first Summit, so in fairness my opinion should carry less weight, but I think the idea of directing the money raised to Tim Bozon’s medical find is excellent. I support this initiative 100%.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      CHL will not allow Habs organization to cover his bills… That’s terrible! Make an exception.. If there was a petition my entire family would sign it.

      ~~ Plekanec at the Disco ~~

  60. UKRAINIANhab says:

    MT is a good coach! MB is a good manager! PK is a good d-man! All is good!

  61. ProHabs says:

    When you have a player of PK’s talent, you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever ,ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever trade him. Never ever. Ever.

  62. 100HABS says:

    Anyone know what the changces are of getting our “A”fourth line. Will any of:
    Prust
    Moen
    Weise
    be available come playoffs? I know Gorges is coming back…

  63. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Afternoon

    @ CJ…and several others that took the Tim Bozon situation to heart….
    ————
    A partial Repost:

    I was at the Bell Centre last night for the first time this year.

    The highlight of my night was….the wonderful opportunity to share a few precious moments with Tim Bozon and his family who were present for the game.

    The young man looked much better than expected, yet what was truly frightening was the actual life reality of the situation.
    This was not television, or some fiction movie….
    Here was a young man of only 20 ( he looked much younger) that was a few heartbeats away from life and survived.

    The eyes are always the window to the soul, and those brief moments shared showed some eclectic combination of relief, incalculable fatigue, yet also a quiet and humble sense of determination in the soft and humble words of young Tim.

    Without getting into specifics, somehow there was a sense from here that the support and prayers received by the young man and his battle scarred – some may say, shell shocked parents, was positively overwhelming and of paramount importance in the bigger picture of basic survival.

    The game and its result was truly enjoyable, yet became so secondary to a real life battle that appears to be moving in a positive way.
    Somehow, there was a feeling that Habs fans have yet to see the end to this story – perhaps it is just the beginning….

    • CJ says:

      Unbelievable Ronn. Seeing the young man on television gave me goosebumps. I could not imagine seeing him in person. As previously noted, when the day arrives when he skates onto the Bell a Centre ice, I will be there. This whole situation has helped to weave a bond between this young man and the fanbase. I don’t often put a player ahead of the team, but I’m firmly supplanted in his corner.

      Thank you again for sharing. Cheers, CJ

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hear hear. Thanks for sharing that Ronn. Kid looked great and was happy he was shown some love.

    • matrags says:

      Well said Ron, such a great human interest story ,love to see him. Take the face off at centre ice for the habs some day.They will raise the roof.

  64. twilighthours says:

    Methinks we are letting 2.5 bad months of PK erase our memories of 3.5 years of elite-level PK. The kid is still amongst the best D in the world, and will be paid as such. He is virtually irreplaceable.

    • CJ says:

      I’m all for keeping PK. I recognize his value and will even go one step further by saying that he’s worth more to the Canadiens than the Canadiens are to him. This is high praise as both PK and his father Karl idolized the Habs.

      I’m all for signing PK. I’m simply saying I don’t think he’s worth $8-$9 million annually.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      The potential comparison of a Bourque, Orr, or Coffey is well within his reach. You do not give up on that level of talent. Ever.

      • CJ says:

        Jim, I agree with 99.9% of your posts. Respectfully, those are among three of the five greatest of all time. Subjective statement yes, but that’s the height of the pedestal I place those guys on.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I as well CJ. In fact Bobby Orr was the best player I have ever seen play. I think PK has the skill set to someday be in the conversation with those three. He’s that good. CHeers.

          BTW – I readily admit my man crush on PK. Bias? Perhaps. :)

          • CJ says:

            It’s a sensitive topic and probably best negotiated over a cold drink, my treat. PK last year was fantastic. If he followed that up, than I’d be a partner in the praise business. Sports are harsh and unforgiving. Like Tyler Myers, one year is not enough. Potential and youth are not enough. On ice performance is what PK will be judged upon. I’m all for giving him the big cash, but he needs to earn it. Respectfully, based on his play since the Dallas game, he has not been top 30 in the league. If he, me, of anyone else wants PK to be part of the best ever discussion, than he needs to be more consistent and bring it every night.

            Right now I see a kid struggling to find his game. Not an elite defenceman you deserves $8-$9 million annually. The $6.5 I’ve suggested places him in elite company. Pietrangelo, Karlsson, Doughty. More money than Keith. It’s not insulting, it’s business.

    • matrags says:

      Remember last yr. and the Halek debates, can you just hear them if Price was let go as they were screaming ….Did he not go through some rough patches that had legions on here calling for management to cash in early …

    • docketrocket says:

      So true and so crazy. We won’t get another player as good or as exciting for years. If this relationship is broken, fix it!

    • Ton says:

      Yep that’s why he held a spot on the men’s canada team……..norris trophy and now gold medal for PK greatness

  65. Ozmodiar says:

    I think it’s safe to say that Bergevin will keep his 24 year old Norris trophy winning defenseman, who’s still getting better.

  66. matrags says:

    When Subbans Head catches up to his body and enthusiasm for the game he will be one of the very best. he is 24 ,and he is going to mature soon and when he does look out As an organization lets not cash in the bond we invested in before it matures. remember, mr. Gainey you will not regret drafting me….

  67. Ian Cobb says:

    OH! OH! CJ—Your getting a lot of ink my friend!!

  68. laGrandeTerreur says:

    @twilight, I prefer it this way myself, talking hockey, not drama. I was chairman of the democratic party in my area, so that’s where both the former name, and frequent inability to avoid contentious matters comes from! But I’m not really an asshole, I don’t think. Ya just get used to aggressive dialogue in that field, it’s become a necessity… and I quit for that reason. And the lying. But old habits die hard.

  69. JUST ME says:

    Here you go !

    Passed by the CTC this afternoon on the way back from the cottage. No truth to the rumour that Melnyk was on the side of the road picking bottles in an attempt to add a few dollars to the revenue stream. I zipped by quick so I couldn’t say for sure though….

    Speaking of only in Ottawa; despite a single (one, uno) playoff series victory in seven, soon to be eight years as team GM, Murray gets extended for four more years. Nobody cares though so long as the Leafs don’t make it. Seriously, can you even imagine?

    Sure, Bergevin has his hands full this summer, but sometimes the best deals you make are the deals you don’t. Clarkson, Phaneuf and Gleason greatly handcuff the Leafs. Now, reports indicate Bolland wants seven years at $5.5 million annually. I only hope Nonnis continues his reign of terror and gives him the cash.

    So, bringing this full circle, how does this impact the Canadiens. Well, IMO, Weaver is playing like a 36 year old looking for a contract. Based on his play, he is going to get one, if not from us (can I say that?), than someone else. Conversely, PK is playing like a guy who is already signed long term and has no sense of urgency. If PK is worth the $8-$9 million folks say he’s worth than surely he’s worth a fortune on the open market via trade. I mean we must be talking Evander Kane and Jacob Trouba right? Or Hall and Shultz? Maybe Wayne Simmonds and Couturier? Sound far fetched, so is $8-$9 million for 8 years.

    Look, I love watching PK. He has some great moves and tons of skill, but he is raw. No, not Eddie Murphy RAW, or Monday Night WWE RAW, but the unrefined of inconsistent kinda raw. I want to have him going forward, but the term and dollars need to work. For those who have commented that my suggestion of $6 to $6.5 million is unrealistic, perhaps you are right. I’m not expert and only play one Monday to Friday at the firm. Again, if he’s worth $8-$9 million, than perhaps we ought to flip him for one of my scenarios above. The team’s best interest is always first and foremost.

    In closing, perhaps we should channel a little more Eugene Melynk when deliberating with PK and less Dave Nonnis.

    Food for thought…… Enjoy your afternoon everyone! Cheers, CJ

  70. CJ says:

    Any chance someone could copy my post over from the previous thread? I just posted, not realizing a new thread was open. Thanks in advance, CJ

  71. theox_8 says:

    Well I decided to get some decent tickets for the ducks and oilers game tonight , probably will be the last time I will see Koivu play . Here’s to hoping he pots one !! Cheers all happy Sunday .

  72. CH Marshall says:

    Upper respiratory infection! Drugs = 83$

  73. Fansincebirth says:

    Just back from Syracuse…missed both games but followed on HIO. Must have been a hoot to watch!

    Can’t wait to go to work on Tuesday (live in Ottawa) and giggle my ass off at the sulking Sens fans :)

  74. Say Ash says:

    First baby!

  75. matrags says:

    CJ this is going to take more than one cold beer….

  76. CJ says:

    Fair enough. I’m game! Cheers, CJ

  77. CJ says:

    Max is probably the only forward on our team I wouldn’t trade straight up for Lucic.

  78. slapshot777 says:

    Would not even entertain the idea. Keep Patches. Good goal scorers are hard to find. We should already know this. We have been trying to find goal scorers for awhile now. We finally have found another in Vanek and now have one of the best forward lines in the NHL. I still think Patches has it in him to score fifty.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  79. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    I like PK. He’s a good defenceman who may well be the best d-man on the team soon. At 24, he plays younger, but he has potential.

    Yup, I wrote that. He is inconsistent and lacks focus. Price was overpaid for a bit because of his potential, and it may be necessary to do the same with Subban. Price has come through, and PK may as well. If he eats that much cap space, I surely hope so.

    No one on Earth is worth paying 8 mill a year, but we have to play that game, so I’d say 6.5 would be fair. He’ll want 8 and probably get it, but that is part of the problem.

    I doubt he’ll ever win another Norris, but he does stand to become a solid replacement for Markov, and an excellent marketing face for the franchise. If all goes well, he’ll be a top 12 d-man in the league for years to come, and PK stands to become a top 6 if he improves his thinking game. That is still an ‘if’, but given that his marketability is absolutely proven, he’ll get his money and hurt the Habs with his cap hit.

    I don’t blame him for that – money is useful. He’s welcome to all of Molson’s money he can get. But the short season Norris is going to cost the team. If we forget they are dollars and call them points, he’s going to get a big chunk of the pie chart for what he has proven so far.

  80. ont fan says:

    Wonder how many teams are willing to give him 7 or 8 years?

  81. BJ says:

    I would add Galchenyuk to that.

  82. CJ says:

    Chucky might yet end up being an All Star, but Lucic, given his age and uniqueness combination of size and skill, is that unique talent.

    One in the hand is worth two in the bush. Lucic, proven, IMO, is worth more than Chucky’s potential.

  83. UKRAINIANhab says:

    Although, we may think Chucky is good. But, Boston would turn down that offer in a heartbeat at this point in time

  84. CJ says:

    Of course they would. I agree. As noted, the only forward, I wouldn’t trade straight up is Max. I doubt Boston would let him go for anyone on our team.

  85. Ozmodiar says:

    > his contract needs to be adjusted at least to $5 million

    It IS being adjusted. He gets Marc Bergevin’s hand-me-downs. It’s not cash, but it works out to about $.5M / year.

  86. HabFan in Edmonton says:

    No question, he is a bargain at 4.5 million, that’s why I couldn’t understand the trade rumours earlier in the year.

  87. DipsyDoodler says:

    You can’t adjust contracts.

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  88. neumann103 says:

    The thing with free agency is that – for the available high end talent – there is always some team willing to pay too much for too long. It would be the same with RFA Offer Sheets if there wasn’t such an informal moratorium among GMs on their use.

    The Oilers were prepared to pay Clarkson even more than that hilarious Leafs deal, and that is Clarkson. Vanek is a rare commodity and will get offers. I expect that almost no GM would consider that he will be worth it in the last 3 years of the deal, but are kicking the can down the road, or hope salary cap inflation will make the deal less painful, or figure than some kind of retained salary trade in future could assist. Mainly I think they will be thinking short term.

    I mentioned previously that I like the idea of offering Vanek too much for a shorter term rather than handcuff the team with a bad contract years out.

    That said I don’t think he will stay unless the Habs offer is more than anyone else in term and dollars. The one advantage the Habs have is the ability to offer that 8th year, which is exactly what you don’t want to do for a player of his age.

    “Et le but!”

  89. neumann103 says:

    or a few posts down, talking about trading Pacioretty for the big Neanderthal

    “Et le but!”

  90. laGrandeTerreur says:

    I am more concerned with Vanek than PK as well. We may very well be watching the best line in hockey, definitely top 5. Who would have thought? And chemistry like that is hard to come by. Further, these players are all proven over several years. This is no fluke.

    If I’m giving $8 mil to anyone, it’s Vanek. When you look on it as a whole, paying (presumably) $16 million for the possibly best line in the NHL -THAT’S a good deal!

  91. HabFab says:

    The Minnesota thing comes from the hockey “insiders”. Vanek has told everyone only that he is going to UFA come July.

  92. Wintercount says:

    MARC10 @ 8:40 seems to know what he’s talkin about!!

  93. HabinBurlington says:

    You may want to duck for cover. :)

  94. frontenac1 says:

    Front”s numbers; 1) PQ winning. Zilch 2) Vanek signing in Mtl.70%. 3) PK signing in Mtl.100%. I’m also a Chargers fan so……

  95. kalevine says:

    PK may want out of Montreal, and may not, but he definitely doesn’t want Toronto!


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