Habs’ Cole excited to finally get back to work

Erikkkweb

After 113 days and 655 games lost to the NHL lockout, the Canadiens’ Erik Cole is excited about finally getting back to work, but is of several minds in trying to process what transpired.

“The initial feeling on Sunday (when tentative agreement was reached) was more relief than anything,” Cole told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs in a wide-ranging talk this week. “But at the same time, there was little bit of, ‘(Expletive), why did it take this long? Why did we even have to go through that?’ You run the gamut of emotions when you look at what this all finished off at and realistically, you can say, ‘Man, if (owners) had come to us and had an honest discussion with us, this probably wouldn’t have lasted half as long as it did.’ ”

You can read Stubbs’s column on Cole by clicking here.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman apologized to fans for the lockout during a news conference Wednesday in New York after team owners voted in favour of ratifying the new collective bargaining agreement.

“To the players who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labour contracts, to our partners who support the league financially and personally, and most importantly to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I’m sorry,” Bettman said in a prepared statement. “I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months but I owe you an apology nevertheless.”

Read more by clicking here.

Below is a list of fresh HIO stories to help get you ready for the season that will finally start on Jan. 19 when the Toronto Maple Leafs – minus Brian Burke – visit the Bell Centre:

New daddy Eller happy to be back in Montreal, by Dave Stubbs

Bourque has no excuses for last season, by Pat Hickey

RDS delighted hockey’s back … but, by Brendan Kelly

NHL referees will also need to work on their timing, by Pat Hickey

Future looks bright for QMJHL stars, by Brenda Branswell

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)

123 Comments

  1. DorvalTony says:

    Multi millionaire union fat cat$ like Eric Cole just don’t get it.

  2. rhino514 says:

    Positives going into this season:

    1) The team is healthy!!!!!

    2) The team has more depth to withstand injuries. Armstrong, Bouillon, Diaz, White can be valuable bit players. It´s even good to have Gomez there as a spare part.

    3) I believe this is a team that will play tough every night and has leadership

    4) There are guys on the team who can have breakout years, or at least become solid players. Eller, Emelin, Diaz, Pleks if he is given help. There are a few unknown variables on the club that could surpise. En bref, there is more upside than downside.

    Questions:

    1) Why do we keep having health issues, year in and year out?

    2) Whay was the club able to win and be tough to play against (remember the bruins in the first round?) WITHOUT Markov two years ago and not last year? and, no, Wizniewski cannot be the sole answer.

    3) Will Cammalleri go on to score thirty-five goals and be clutch in the playoffs, and Bourque hits, say, 13 goals, leaving us all ruing that trade. Or will they get almost similar goal totals, in which case The Goat did a good thing, specially cap-wise.

    4) Can Markov still play???

    On another note, anyone think Desharnais could be productive in the wing? It would help create more depth on the top three lines which is just about the only thing we really need to be competitive.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Too bad the habs can’t have Gomez in a suit as a coach/consultant instead of suiting up. Trust me, no matter how healthy Gomez is, like Gionta, he is too small to make any difference offensively. And Gomez and Gionta are too small to be used defensively in Therrien’s coaching style.

  3. rhino514 says:

    The 50/50 split was agreed on in september, cole is right. It took over three months just for some more tweeks. No way over half the season should have been missed.
    The one provision they could have included for future bargaining sessions is if someone they could make an obligation for an earlier cutoff date for cancelling the season, under duress of penalties for both parties.
    Basically, as adverserial as the parties are, they need the threat of a deadline coming up within a few days to get anything done. Hence it is likeley that no agreements can be reached before the last possible minute. Neither party talked to each other over the last two weeks pretty much…

  4. ooder says:

    to Eric Cole… eff off.. push the puck around with your stick and keep your mouth shut.. can’t stand the guy anymore

    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • The Jackal says:

      What the hell are you on about?

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Uhhh… pardon?
      What on Earth did he say that a hundred others haven’t said?
      He can’t believe that it took so long. Nobody can believe it took so long. He is annoyed that everyone had to watch a powerplay between Bettman and Fehr rather than owners and players trying to get the job done. Everyone is annoyed about that.

      I don’t get your problem with Cole.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Lafrich says:

      THUMBS UP! I wanted to write this exact sentiment, but read yours first. So very correct. I will root for the Habs, but not for him (Not initially, anyway…)

  5. Bill says:

    James Duthie of TSN taking shots at Bell and Rogers corporates over the Burke firing … Bell is his employer, and Rogers is TSN’s biggest carrier. I admire his frankness, it’s rare.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …nice to see Stubbs and Hickey busy again :) …nice to be reading Their stories on Our Habs

    …still wish Hickey was assigned to Hamilton and writing more in-depth on Our prospects during the lock-out …but, that’s water under the bridge for at least the next 10 years, We hope

    and, that leaves Me wondering what ??? in the Hell will I have to complain about for the next 10 years ? :(

    …ah, never mind, I’ll find sumptin’ :)

    …Hamrlik and Cole skating together in Brossard must have been interesting …does Hamrlik live in Montreal in the off-season ?

  7. frontenac1 says:

    @Phil. Redemption Line. I like that. Shawshank style. Saludos!

  8. Phil C says:

    How about a line of Armstrong-Gomez-Bourque? Get Bourque on the RW. Call it the redemption line.

    Watching the Bulldogs game last night, St.Denis is looking really good, certainly better than last year’s Weber. I would keep St. Denis as the 8th defensemen and ship out Weber for sure as I don’t think he would clear waivers if they try to send him down.

    • jols101 says:

      Even last year when he was called up for that short stint, St. Denis never looked out of place. Another small Dman though; Habs really need some size and toughness back there.

      • nunacanadien says:

        No kidding and their recent acquistions while they may have size bring with them a poor work ethic or a bad history of injury or a big mouth that doesn’t help. And what are we left with? A few promising players like Subban, Eller and Emelin. Armstrong has proven to be too skinny to make a difference offensively in the crash the net style of the NHL.

  9. B says:

    I wonder if Cole hit his peak last season with career bests in goals and points? I hope he has more of the same left in him, but have to admit that I have some doubts.

    –Go Habs Go!–

    • frontenac1 says:

      Cole was the man last season. Brought it every shift ,every game.Never let his teammates down. Wish we had more like him.

      • B says:

        Absolutely, Cole was great last season. Loved it! I just wonder if he has more of the same left in him. I hope so, but I do have some doubts when I think about whether he can do it again. I hope those doubts are unfounded and perhaps I am the only one wondering about it.

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • Bill says:

      Don’t usually see guys hit career bests at his age. It was one of the few things that really went right last year. We can’t expect a repeat, but I’d be please with 25+ goals and the same kind of effort.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • rhino514 says:

        Cole was also playing injured the last part of the season. He probably won´t match last year´s totals but I think he will make his money´s worth. It´s his third and fourth years on his contract that are a bit worrisome to me.

  10. Mavid says:

    The Sens kept Redden over Lurch because at that time he was the better player..made team Canada, then he fell off the wagon..kinda sad actually that such a great hockey talent was wasted..who knew thats how it would turn out..

    • Phil C says:

      Arguably the better player at the time, but the fact that you can could even argue about it then is amazing given how their careers went in opposite directions.

      The post lockout new rules made many hockey experts think that slower players like Chara were obsolete or at least less valuable, so they went with Redden. I thought Chara was their best defensemen at the time, playing over 27mins/night.

    • DAVE. N says:

      Did he fall off the wagon, or did the NHL game change and he couldn’t adapt? I’ve never quite understood what happened with him. I thought he was a very powerful offense oriented defenceman?

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      I heard that it was Muckler’s decision and that Murray was against it.

  11. jols101 says:

    On the crazy discussion below – I’m jealous and envious of NHL hockey players. Not at all afraid to admit it.
    - They get paid millions to play a game that me and my buddies have to pay to play a couple of times a week.
    - They are treated like Gods.
    - They get free stuff thrown at them, stuff that i can not afford or have to pay a lot of money for.
    - The single players and many of the married ones get to sleep with the hottest women in every city they play in and don’t even have to speak with them all that much.
    - They never have to wait in line to get into the best clubs or need a reservation to eat at the best restaurant.
    - And above all they get to play the game we all love for a living while the rest of us have to go to work.

    What’s not to be jealous or envious about, I think it is a normal response.

    • DAVE. N says:

      These guys do work. You try travelling away from your family, practicing 18 hrs after a rough game a time zone away, being subjected to “media meet obligations” when you’ve got a pulled hamstring or a nagging injury.
      I’m not all about their side. I think that a system where an employee who makes more money than the owner of the company is wrong.
      And …going to Phoenix and Toronto? Where the Hell are the hot women? The free stuff? What’s that? ….fill in the blank between v ____ and ____d (Ask Bobby Hull )

      But, tongue in cheek aside, I agree.. they get paid to play the game we all love for a living, while we work to afford to watch them…yup..You nailed that!

    • Phil C says:

      Imagine being a back up goaltender to a guy like Brodeur. All you have to do for your millions is sit on the end of the bench and have good hair.

  12. Ron says:

    James Duthie tweet : despite some denials the tweet earlier is accurate, the Flyers are interested in Loungo.

    That should drive up the Laffs offer

  13. HabFab says:

    @Twilight – hope you are happy now. Look at the litter you left at the bottom…”sigh”…some people’s kids!

    • Ron says:

      That litter is going to screw someones mind trying to figure what the heck their talking about. :D

    • twilighthours says:

      Yeah I hate what happens to the thread when posts get deleted. But I’m not sorry it’s gone. That stuff should never be posted or written anywhere. It’s gutless and offensive.

      You know what they say Hab, if you wouldn’t say it in front of your grandmother….

  14. Haborama says:

    Two things………….
    1. I Hate to admit it but it would be best for the Habs to Tank™ for a high first rounder, this draft is much to talent laden for us to pass up on that kind of opratunity.

    2. Lucic appears to be very out of shape (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2013/01/08/trending_milan_lucic_out_of_shape/)
    Could this possibly set him up for an upset at the hands of our very own Brandon Prust????

    • Lafrich says:

      Worst post of the day.
      1. For the 1 millionth time, teams don’t PLAN TO TANK!!!!!!!!!!!
      Getting others to agree with you on this site won’t make the Habs tank either!
      LET THE TANKING TALK GO!

      2. Dumb

  15. Habilis says:

    Ok the truth now, how many of you completely forgot that Wade Redden is still playing pro hockey? I know I did. The dude still has 2 years left with a cap hit of 6.5 million. I just read Bob McKenzie’s new piece on TSN.ca about what the Ranger’s options are and it ain’t pretty. They can no longer bury him in the minors without taking a cap hit and they can’t buy him out until next off-season. So now it looks like they’re going to just sit him this year, pay him his salary and buy him out this summer before the cap drops next season.

    Imagine they still had Gomez to deal with as well.

    • Haborama says:

      I would have Redden over Gomez any day………….

      don’t get me wrong, Redden SUCKS but Gomez is worse by leaps and bounds………….

      The only difference is that the Rangers actually had the stones to put him in the minors while they could………………

  16. Phil C says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=413185

    Interesting discussion on what to do with Redden. If Gomez continues to struggle, Montreal might have to consider option 3 of not playing him because if Gomez gets hurt, they can’t buy him out according to the article.

    I know Redden is not worth his salary, but can he still play in the NHL, or is he completely washed up? Almost hard to believe Ottawa chose to keep him over Chara 6 years ago.

    • Habilis says:

      Didn’t see your post becase I was typing mine ;)

      That’s a great point about Gomez, the Habs may have to shut him down early along with anyone else they plan to buy out.

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      As I understand it, Gomer’s salary is not that high next year. If he gets injured, they could still pay him and not have him count against the cap (or at least be able to use the equivalent amount of cap space to be more precise).

      • Phil C says:

        If he gets healthy during the season, they would have to make room for his entire $7.3M cap hit even though they are only paying him $4.5M. With the cap dropping to $64M, that could really hurt the Habs next year. If he is injured for the entire season, then it would be fine as they could get LTIR relief as you suggest.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          Good point.

        • nunacanadien says:

          Why is ok for the habs to have an enforcer still on the payroll or was until recently, anyone remember Georges Laraques? The taller version of Prust? Prust who only fights certain players of a certain size and only from a certain team and who come from a certain race etc?

          How is that the habs would buy out a pathetic fighter like Laraques but still allow and continue Gomez to basically bring the whole team down and basically have the whole NHL push the habs around?

    • ABHabsfan says:

      If Gomez or Redden for that matter, were to get injured and they are still injured at “buy-out” time, could they not be placed on LTIR and therefore their salary would not count against the cap?

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

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …one of My worst nightmares, the Maple Leafs finally have a credible GM

    …Dave Nonis will be a successful GM in this league

    …did Burke go to Anselmi behind the scenes for a sign-off on another feckless trade that seemed too familiar to the Kessel trade, and Anselmi thought enough is enough ?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Is it a complete start over there? IMO they’re not in good shape in Toronto.

      ———————————–

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …no, but Nonis is a smart hockey man and a pragmatic thinker …step by step he will rebuild

        …I hate to say it, but with Nonis, da Weeds will be a playoff team sooner than later

        • nunacanadien says:

          Nonis doesn’t have a playbook. He doesn’t name any coach or play style to bring. All they talk about is keeping Burke’s path for the rest of this season. Kind of sounds like the laffs are still waddling around thinking money can buy them a better team. We all know what Molson’s loansharked money and a lower Canadian dollar brought the habs, not much, what Gomez, Gionta and Prust? The three amigos, all we have to do is watch their Chevy Chase act, I wonder who is Martin Short and who plays Steve Martin in the Gomez, Gionta and Prust line?

  18. twilighthours says:

    Is there a mod in the house? I you really going to let Fake’s comment stand? I find it quite offensive. Here’s what it said, for a refresher:

    “… If you’re going to try and offend someone do it without your G@Y wink face there old Bill J. Read between the lines and sick a duck.”

  19. frontenac1 says:

    So, it”s agreed then.Leafs win the Cup this year. Oh ,and I now know who nuna is………. Yup, Its Jacobs! Think about that awhile Amigos. It all makes perfect sense. Damn I love single malt. Los Habs Para Siempre!

  20. JohnBellyful says:

    Some of Burke’s family members weigh in on his dismissal (with very little sympathy, I might add):

    “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”.
    “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.”
    – Edmund Burke waxing philosophically on great-great-great-not-so-great grandson’s managerial abilities

    “You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too! ”
    – Billie Burke (Glinda the Good Witch of the North), urging her nephew to leave town in haste

    “Never confuse the improbable with the impossible: Burke’s Law.”
    – Capt. Amos Burke, opining on why his cousin was wrong to think he wouldn’t be let go before season started

    “Statistically it was bound to happen — and I have the graphs to prove it.”
    – Andrew Burke (from the shire)

    • Bripro says:

      I once read a story of Bishka Burke.

      It said that it was discovered through genealogical channels that Brian is the great great great nephew, (third removed) to Bishka.

      Anyhow, when Bishka was two, being the son of the town cryer in the hills of Scotland, they were fortunate enough to own some farm land of impressive size, and on it was a collection of various animals, including ducks, which sometimes meandered away from the pond, always nozying around the humans.

      This one particular day, during a time when boys still wore dresses, Bishka was squatting down, going about his business just playing on the ground with some dirt and wooden toys when Quacky, the family duck, came around and saw something dangling from Bishka’s dress. The duck, now thinking it was a worm, decided that it looked good and went over and took a bite.

      Legend has it that’s the day that Brian Burke’s great great great uncle (3rd removed) became his great great great aunt Bertha.

      There’s a footnote that mentions that she walked around hitting round rocks with a long stick that sported a big round head with a flat face on it.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Andrew Burke was in my 3rd grade class. He’s a statistician? Amazing.

      ———————————–

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Is it just me, or is that a very weird photo of Cole?

    Speaking of weird things, something really smells fishy concerning the Burke firing. Regardless of your feelings, this makes no sense considering the time line.

  22. Ron says:

    Hickey tweeted that Gally is a healthy scratch in Sarnia tonight and is heading to Montreal for camp.

  23. Phil C says:

    I try not to worry too much about what the players did or said during the lockout. Many of the traits that make them jackasses in a negotiation make them great hockey players and the type of player you want on your team: ultra-competitiveness, tenacity, a pugnacious attitude, a nasty streak, willingness to sacrifice for each other, unwavering self-belief, etc.

    Being reasonable, compassionate, and submissive would have made for nicer sound bites and a shorter lockout, but ultimately useless hockey players. ;-)

  24. sherburnehabfan says:

    NHL fans should spend the first period of the first home game at the local pubs and businesses around the arenas. These are the people that lost the most from the lock out.

    Imagine the player announcements, anthems and puck drop before a nearly empty arena. Then go back for the end of the game.

    __________

  25. Timo says:

    It is so much better when hockey players just don’t say anything.

  26. Fake says:

    I’m sure he is, hence the word in the title “work”. I don’t know about you guys but I will never look at these guys the same way again (especially Gorges, and Cole because they’re the voices representing MTL) at the end of the day, they’re brats. everything is paid for them, they we’re getting more than enough money, and there contracts had CBA clauses so that there contracts COULD BE rolled back.

    • Bill J says:

      Your choice, but those two players have a whole lot of heart in them. And as a Habs fan, it makes me glad they are Habs.

      p.s., since you shared your opinion. I will opine mine as well, I believe many if not most fans who believe the players are paid too much are truly just jealous. Wether it be the fame or fortune. If you feel comfortable enough from in front of your computer to judge a professional athlete for what the “going rate” should be so “matter of factly” … Jealousy.

      Just my own opinion, I could be wrong just like you could be with your own opinion… ;)


      Go Habs Go!

    • twilighthours says:

      So what’s the end result here? You’re no longer a Cole fan? A Habs fan? A fan of the NHL?

    • The Jackal says:

      I can see why some fans would see the players as being “selfish” for holding out to get a better deal, but the truth is that most people in their position would fight to keep a good or better deal. Same with the owners. A lot of teams are not making profit, and the owners are the ones who have to deal with that – of course they can afford to and are quite wealthy, but its good for the game that the majority, if not all teams, are profitable so that the game can continue to grow. It may seem dumb to put a team in certain places, but hockey in the US growing, and a lot of the players from Team USA came from non-traditional hockey markets. It makes sense that both parties protect their interest and try to work out a deal that is beneficial for all. Sure, we as fans suffered, but the game will be better if there is a working CBA. Maybe players and athletes get paid too much, but that’s not the point. The point is that why would someone accept a rollback in their salary without good reason?

      Not all oysters produce pearls, thankfully, Price is a pearl producing oyster.

    • solomio says:

      Hello???? Fake they lost 7% of their cut. No matter you make 30 grand or 3 mill it is a substantial loss off the pay check is it not? And of course you are aware that there are only a handful of players in the world who have the ability to play NHL level hockey. Its an exclusive club and they are a rare commodity. Add to that the fact that their revenue lifespan in the game is what 4-5 years ? So first of all do not begrudge them the money they make. You’re not likely to break your neck sitting in front of a PC screen at work either. Brats ? They are professional athletes. R.A.Dickey is going to make 15 mill a year playing ball in Toronto so lets not begrudge the NHL players their pittance. Yeah “work” as in “work out” yeah ” work ” as in what I do for a living.
      You’re way off base Fake and I’m sure in the minority as far as looking at those guys in the same way goes.

      “I figure Bergevin has 3 or 4 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

      • Ron says:

        solo, I’m not going to get into Fakes idea of brats, highly paid etc. I’m not sure if you ever pay attention to the polls that appear on the right of each thread. But in you saying Fake is in the minority when he speaks of players getting overpaid over and above Cole and Gorges there was a poll taken during this lockout on this site that 1083 posters weighed in on. Of those posters the results were 83% saying they are over paid and the remaining 17% saying not overpaid. If the poll is any indication of the majority/minority on HIO then yes Fake was right in his assessment that most feel they are. The crap during his exchange with Bill was way out of line though.

        • twilighthours says:

          I can’t believe it hasn’t been modded yet.

          And Bill’s point wasn’t about what most fans believe but rather why most fans believe that. It is rather easy to sit anonymously at a keyboard and attack players for being overpaid. And it does smack of jealousy.

          • Ron says:

            All one has to do twilight is follow Fakes trail and one immediately can see a pattern. I don’t classify as a troll but definitely has a different way of expressing himself. The lack of class in his rebuttal to Bill will be picked up by the mods quickly I would hope. As far as being overpaid that poll shows what the posters think, but enough of that. Lets get this team going in high gear and beat those nasty :D Laffs on the 19th.

        • solomio says:

          Ron please read my closing sentence which was…. You’re way off base Fake and I’m sure in the minority as far as looking at those guys in the same way goes…….
          83% voted that hockey players were over paid… I believe that poll may have been taken in the heat of the strike anger. And besides that do the 83 % view those players differently because of the fact that they are, in their opinion, over paid? Prolly not and therefore Fake is in the minority. ;>)

          “I figure Bergevin has 3 or 4 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

          • Ron says:

            On here solo as you know, you have been on here long enough, that those polls are taken by HIO to get a cross section of what we as posters believe is happening. The poll was taken in early November a month after the league did not start and when there still was a glimmer of hope that it would. You must not have been on site too much during that time frame to have seen or for that matter cared. But the underlining fact was the players are being overpaid. It’s reality bud not fiction. The poll was not fixed by HIO staff. The numbers are there. So without trying to start a war here, Fake was not in the minority as you say.

    • DAVE. N says:

      I don’t usually comment; I read and learn but…If you’ve ever been in a Union, you would understand that the actions of a contract negotiation have future implications; not only those present and evident to the workers at that time. They couldn’t care less how you feel, you go to a game, buy merchandise, etc. Their interest is in their future and the future of the next generation of players, that can support their pensions and perks.
      Get off your pedestal. These guys do work. You try travelling away from your family, practicing 18 hrs after a rough game a time zone away, being subjected to “media meet obligations” when you’ve got a pulled hamstring or a nagging injury.
      I’m not all about their side. I think that a system where an employee who makes more money than the owner of the company is wrong. So, they moved forward, some of them with tact, some with frustration they voiced. You’ve got an opinion, and express it in your way, in your day to day life, in your needs and wants. I’ll not always agree, but I’ll sure as Hell grant you the right to err and be right on occasion.
      And no, I’m not mad.. I’ve been watching OHL and Juniors the last few months, and candidly, its been fun! What Cole and Gorges said, and did, didn’t affect my life at all..

  27. Mavid says:

    were is the new shedule?

  28. Habs64 says:

    Gary is great!

  29. V says:

    Good press conference for Bettman. I think he loves the Q&A from reporters. He’s got the look on his face of a clear-up hitter looking at a slow curve that isn’t breaking.

    Looking forward to the season kick off. Did not mind the lockout much at all – happy to let them go about their business and excited to see what the new administration has in store for us.

  30. This Guy says:

    First time for everything.


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