Habs’ division rivals not quiet

SteveOTT

Despite the news that Jaromir Jagr wanted to play for the Habs but got no interest, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has earned praise for his moves in the last couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, some of the Habs’ Northeast Division rivals were also pretty active as the first week of free agency wound down. Here’s a rundown of what the other Northeast clubs have done.

Buffalo – With a couple of acquisitions, the Sabres have matched the Canadiens in the grit department. Still smarting from Milan Lucic’s freight-training of Ryan Miller early last season, they first traded centre Derek Roy to Dallas for agitator Steve Ott (pictured above), generally regarded as the best trash-talker/shift disturber in the NHL, someone who can throw opponents off their game. He and P.K. Subban should have some noteworthy encounters next season. Ott may not have Roy’s offensive upside, but he’s a hard worker, can kill penalties and take faceoffs plus he can play any forward position.

Along with Ott came Adam Pardy, a depth defenceman who has good size at 6-foot-4, isn’t much on speed or skill, but keeps things basic on the back end.

The Sabres then signed UFA defenceman/left John Scott. It’s less important which position Scott plays than what he does when he plays, which is to fight. At 6-foot-8, 270 pounds, he’s got Zdeno Chara size. He also has little of Chara’s skating ability, defensive acumen or puck skills. As a Ranger last year, Scott played very sparingly, not able to regularly find his way into John Tortorella’s lineup. He had one assist and was a minus-1, averaging 6:42 in the 35 games he played. He also racked up 53 PiMs. He has one goal and five assists and 236 penalty minutes in five NHL seasons. It will be interesting to see if Lindy Ruff finds more use for Scott than Tortorella did.

Besides Roy, who was openly critical of the Sabres organization, Buffalo let Brad Boyes and his declining offensive production walk away as a free agent. He signed with the Islanders. If the Sabres are going for team toughness — and it looks like they are — Boyes no longer fit in. The Sabres probably aren’t done adding pieces. They’ll need some scoring punch and lack a top centre. But they won’t be pushed around any longer.

Senators — Ottawa lost Erik Karlsson’s partner when Filip Kuba, who’s 35, inked a two-year $8 million UFA deal with Florida. Bryan Murray wasn’t going to pay that. In Kuba’s slot, the Sens shipped Nick Foligno to Columbus for Ottawa homeboy Marc Methot, a very good veteran defensive defenceman — which they need — whose biggest problem has been staying healthy.

Taking Foligno’s spot, they signed ex-Hab Guillaume Latendresse, who finally looked like the NHLer the Habs projected for him until his recent run of injuries, especially concussion-related. If they can stay healthy and perform at their best — no guarantees of that — they’ll be important additions.

Another UFA defector from the Sens, Matt Carkner, signed with the Islanders, but Murray picked up Mike Lundin, who played well for the Lightning in their 2011 playoff run. More mobile, well-rounded and with a better hockey IQ than Carkner, Lundin also has had injury issues.

Murray says he’s done in the free agent market for this summer.

While the Sens expressed interest in the Rick Nash hunt, the Columbus winger let it be known he didn’t want to be traded there, which his NTC allows. Habs Nation certainly was happy to learn of that. But Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun believes the Senators could be in the hunt for Bobby Ryan. Maybe, maybe not.

As for Daniel Alfredsson, while the Sens believe he’ll be coming back for one more year, he hasn’t confirmed that so no one is sure just now whether he will. That seems to include Alfredsson himself.

Maple Leafs — Trading Luke Schenn for James van Riemsdyk prior to the draft gave the Leafs some much-needed scoring potential, although JVR did not enjoy the breakout year for the Flyers last season that was predicted for him following his excellent play in the 2011 playoffs. Injuries played a role in that, but so did his own inconsistency.

The Leafs cut ties with Colby Armstrong, much to Bergevin’s delight, and Joey Crabb, who signed with Washington. They did pick up a good veteran defensive centre and penalty killer in Jay McClement, a UFA who played for the Avalanche and the Blues before that. Coach Randy Carlyle reportedly told his bosses he would like McClement on his team.

But Toronto’s biggest need remains in goal and while Roberto Luongo is the name most often connected with the Leafs, there doesn’t seem to be a match between what the Canucks want and what the Leafs have to offer, not to mention the fact that Luongo prefers returning to Florida and his NTC puts him in the driver’s seat.

The Leafs could start the season with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in goal.

Bruins — One of the quieter teams so far this summer, the B’s seem content that with most of their Cup-winning team from 2011 returning, they’re in no rush to make any big moves. They dealt Benoit Pouliot to Tampa Bay for Michel Ouellet and a fifth round pick at the draft. Then they didn’t give Ouellet a qualifying offer, essentially cutting him lose. Jordan Caron is slated to replace Pouliot.

They also re-signed their three key depth forwards who were headed to free agency (Gregory Campbell, Dan Paille and Chris Kelly), but have a bigger hole to fill with Tim Thomas apparently sitting out the season. Tuukka Rask has been the Number 1 goalie in Boston before (2009-10), but the B’s still need a backup. There’s some thought they might move Thomas’s $5 million contract, clearing cap space and giving that sum to a team that needs to get to the salary cap floor as the season draws near.

They also have to address their need for depth on defence, where they lost Joe Corvo and Greg Zannon as UFAs this week. GM Peter Chiarelli has referenced the “secondary market” in free agency and trades as the places he’d focus on filling those holes. With most of the big names signed, that secondary market seems ready to open.

They do have 19-year-old Doug Hamilton, the blue chip blue line prospect, but it’s uncertain if he’s ready to make the jump from junior, where he was the CHL Defenceman of the Year or needs some more time.

In May, the B’s traded with Washington for Ray Bourque’s son, Chris, 26, a small, fast winger who has a played a few NHL games, forechecks well but isn’t much like his dad in most other respects. The B’s hierarchy said he may get a look or two in the NHL during the season, although for the moment he’s probably ticketed for Providence.

The relative lack of action by Chiarelli has some B’s watchers impatient, perhaps forgetting that Boston has the least available cap space of any team in the NHL. “When your team wins the Stanley Cup, you also receive a free pass for twelve months of bragging rights,” writes Wayne Whittaker of The Hockey Writers. “Once those twelve months expire, unless you’re once again holding a 35 pound trophy over your head, it’s time to move on.”

616 Comments

  1. DMAN says:

    Tampa Bay has 11 legitimate top 6 dmen. They will have to get rid of someone. Maybe they will give us Clark for a bag of pucks. He would be a good fit, I think.

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Was just going to say the same thing Habsolutely”.Keep yer Head Up and Stick On The Ice” I coached minor hockey for 7yrs in a pretty rough full contact league north of the city and that was Rule #1.Hola!

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Looks like I may actually be watching Breakfast at Wimbledon this Sunday. What a great matchup, perhaps Federer gets his crown back while all of England hopes their boy Murray wins it for the Queen!

    Growing up I would look so forward to the Borg vs. McEnroe matches, tennis lost its way with me for years, but this Sunday should be good.

    • habstrinifan says:

      rooting for?

    • Jordio-oh says:

      As a big tennis fan, I’m pleased that you might be finding your way back to the sport. However, it’s a shame that it takes Andy Murray being in the finals to do so. Federer’s Wimbledon defeat of Roddick in 2008 was a real cracker of a match and his loss to Nadal in 2009 might be one of the best Grand Slam matches ever.

      We’ve been fortunate enough to see some of the best tennis players ever in the last 8 or 9 years.

      • Chris says:

        Don’t forget the Safin-Federer Australian Open semi-final back in 2005. That was just a fantastic game between two of the most talented players in recent memory.

        If Safin could have ever gotten his head screwed on straight, he could have been right there with Federer. On the other hand, he was my favourite player because he was so terribly flawed as a tennis player. You really never knew which Safin was going to show up in any given match!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree, the Federer/Nadal matchups have brought back nostalgia of Borg/McEnroe. I have watched much more tennis the past 6-8 years than the previous 20. Probably since Boris Becker was relevant.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Bjorn Borg was my all-time favourite, and probably in part cause
          he was gentelmanly in the time of Connors and McEnroe, and partly because he was on top at the time of the Lafleur/Dryden/Robinson/and many others Habs era.
          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Derek2 says:

            Rocket Rod Laver – Only person to ever win the Grand Slam – Twice

            Our chief weapons are fear and surprise

    • Chris says:

      The Federer-Djokovic match this morning was pretty crummy until the third set. All of a sudden, both players combined for some great rallies.

      I’ll be cheering for Federer, as I love his style of play. But I wouldn’t be unhappy at all to see Andy Murray win one on home soil.

      Either guy winning would give us a great storyline.

    • Sakus Evil Twin says:

      Murray’s a Scot. He’s not one of England’s boys. For shame.

      No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        A Scot when he loses, a Brit when he wins.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        They treat him as such though, because he is part of the United Kingdom. Heck the newest royal couple has been watching and cheering the lad on recently.

        • Sakus Evil Twin says:

          Cheering him on like a beaten stepchild who turned good. Until he fails, then he’s just another unwashed pict.

          And this coming from a Scot.

          No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

  4. commandant says:

    Lines that could not find chemistry after an offseason.

    Habs
    Zednick – Koivu – Kovalev
    Higgins – Plekanec – Kostitsyn
    Higgins – Koivu – Ryder
    Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
    Cammalleri – Plekanec – Kostitsyn

    Other teams
    Ryan – Getzlaf – Perry (a line where Perry won the Hart and Rocket Richard).
    Kulemin – Grabovski – MacArthur

    There are numerous others.

    While the Patches – DD – Cole line should start the season, there is no guarantee they will be together in November.

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    I just got a call from the Bell Center. We are now getting two blocks of HIO Summit game tickets this year.

    One at the $110 price and one at the $90 price. We will all be together.
    It is getting late, so get a move on boys and girls! Courier would be best now!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  6. ed lopaz says:

    here are a few statements that I hold as facts:

    1) david desharnais will not be traded, moved to the wing, or otherwise dicked around. the man stepped into a huge challenge, the biggest of his life, and came through with flying colors

    2) the desharnais, cole, pacioretty line was one of the very best lines in all of hockey last year and no coach will break up that line. it will take a miserable losing streak for Therrien to justify breaking up that line, so lets hope that doesn’t happen.

    3) Galchenyuk is the most talented and most nhl ready player drafted by the Habs since 2005 and Carey Price. Gally will make this team better, either this year after his 9 game trial, or 100% next year.

    4) tomas plekanec will not be on the Habs for very much longer. with Desharnais, Eller, and Galchenyuk the Habs will not need plekanec – either this year or next year at the latest. Eller will not be traded or moved to the wing. He is big, talented, 2 way center. the only player in the organization who has all of those qualities.

    5) the habs do need and will acquire another defenceman; that defenceman will be bigger and tougher then anyone else we currently have on the NHL roster. one or both of weber and/or Diaz will be moved. diaz has more trade value, is older, and more developed. diaz will be moved for certain. kaberle will be kept to insure against further markov injuries.

    those are the facts the way I see them.

    • HabFab says:

      Ed, I believe you to be one of the most knowledgeable guys here but not sure if you will not see #1,#2 happen and #4 not. And not because I’m smarter then you, but perhaps because others are not as.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      While none of these are facts at the moment, Ed, I do agree that most of this will, or at least, should, happen. I can see Plekanec getting traded this year or next, although none of those other guys can kill penalties like him, but Prust will pick up some of that slack. Plek can fetch a very good return, so I hope MB gets what he is worth, or close to it.
      Galchenyuk will not play in the NHL regulary until at the very soonest next season.
      You could not be more right about Desharnais and that line. The other players will have to get their acts together and form a solid 2nd line. I’d rather have 1 good line than none, but Gionta, Bourque and Pleks will get a chance to shine.

      Nice post all in all Ed.

      Go Habs Go!!

      “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • Chris says:

      1) I agree. We’ve got to give Desharnais the benefit of the doubt. All too often, small players have to prove they are actually good players over and over again, while big players have to prove that they are not particularly good players over and over again. It is a little unfair.

      2) Disagree. We already had such a losing streak…it was all of last season. Having one line firing on all cylinders at the expense of any sort of balance in the line-up is not a recipe for success. Coaches routinely break up successful lines (when they don’t avoid putting all the eggs in the same basket in the first place): Ottawa broke up the Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson line all the time to try and get a second line, Chicago broke up Kane and Toews, Washington routinely broke up Semin-Backstrom-Ovechkin, etc. You simply can not win with one line. With the primary scorers on the team all lumped on one line, the Habs are too easy to play against.

      3) Galchenyuk will be a good player in time, but it will take time. Steven Stamkos struggled through much of his first NHL season, as did Tyler Seguin. Both guys were better in junior and arguably as NHL ready (if not more) than Galchenyuk.

      Playing centre in the NHL is a tough gig. Galchenyuk is going to have to get stronger and he’s going to have to learn to compete against guys who aren’t 17 year olds still growing into their own bodies. I think Galchenyuk will be a special player, but coming off a knee injury of his own, I suspect he will spend the season with Sarnia this year. Because of his age, he almost certainly will be with the Canadiens the following season, as he is not eligible to go to the AHL. He might surprise (and I’ll be happy if he does!), but I can see Galchenyuk having minimal impact at the NHL level until the 2014-15 season.

      4) I agree with you regarding Plekanec being most likely to be traded, possibly at the deadline this season (if the Habs are out of playoff contention as I expect they might be) or next summer. This makes this coming season very important for the team…to get maximal value in return for Plekanec, there is even more reason to ensure that he has a strong rebound season this coming year, even if that requires moving one of Pacioretty or Cole to his wing.

      5) I’m not convinced that they give up on Diaz. He showed a lot of intelligence and the ability to move the puck at the NHL level. We still don’t know how any of Nash, Beaulieu, Bennett or Ellis are going to work out at the NHL level. Chances are reasonable that only one of those four guys does make it. I think the team is far more likely to deal Markov than Diaz, as the return would be more substantial. Regardless, with Kaberle and Markov almost certainly gone within 2-3 seasons, I really don’t think it would be wise to let Diaz go for minimal return.

      The defence corps four years from now would look something like Subban, Gorges, Emelin, Beaulieu, Tinordi and one of Weber, Diaz, Ellis or Nash. I think that Diaz is the best of that group, personally, and he would fit in well with the players we’ve got coming up.

      • ed lopaz says:

        Chris, yesterday I told 24 Cups about your respect for Diaz.

        You have made some compelling arguments in favor of Diaz on this site, and I explained that to him.

        I don’t think Diaz is the type of d-man we need going forward.

        I think his spot needs to be a bigger, tougher d-man.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          In the pro-Diaz camp. Convinced many that being MAB size does not mean bad defensive zone play. First! (to type MAB today)

          “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Chris says:

          Ed, I think the Habs do need to get bigger and tougher at the back end this season if they want to contend. But I think the offence is such a mess that the defence corps will not be the controlling-factor on the Canadiens’ success next season.

          Subban (6’0″, 206 pounds) can hit, move the puck and will be the shooter on the power play for years to come.

          Emelin (6’2″, 223 pounds) has good mobility, hits with malice and could have a bit of offensive upside, but is more likely a stay-at-home type.

          Gorges (6’1″, 200 pounds) is a prototypical positional defender that blocks shots with reckless abandon and gives the team quality minutes. He’s not particularly strong, but he brings a lot of intangibles. Limited to non-existent offensive potential.

          Tinordi (6’6″, 220-230 pounds in two years time) is a tough, physical stay-at-home defenceman with decent mobility for his size. Limited to non-existent offensive potential.

          Beaulieu (6’2″, 190-200 pounds in two years time) is a smooth skater that can partner Subban on the power play. Not particularly physical for his size, but not likely to get pushed around.

          With those five guys, the Habs have the makings of a defence corps that has good size, mobility and a nice dose of aggression. There is room there for another puck-moving defenceman: Diaz (5’11” and 194 pounds) is a solid bet, as we already know what he brings to the table.

          One advantage Diaz has is that he shoots right. At the moment, the breakdown is:

          LH-shots: Markov, Kaberle, Bouillon, Gorges, Emelin, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Nash, Bennett

          RH-shots: Subban, Diaz, Weber, Dietz, Thrower

          The team is deeper on the left than they are on the right.

          When I look at the Canadiens’ upcoming prospects, there is a LOT of size coming up the pipeline. Having one guy on the blueline that is smaller should not be a detriment. I see a lot of a guy like Brian Rafalski or Andrei Markov in Diaz: he is an excellent skater with good agility, he’s smart with the puck, makes decent decisions and has good vision. When you factor in that last year was his first on NHL-sized ice, I’d like to see what he can do when he is given another year to adjust. I think he will be much-improved in terms of his positioning, which is critical for his style of defence.

          I’ll understand if he is dealt, but I think it would be a mistake given how far the Habs are from being a legitimate contender. Keep Diaz as an insurance policy should one of Markov, Kaberle or Subban get hurt. They need somebody who can man the point on the second-wave power play, because the idea of seeing Plekanec or Gorges back there is horrifying to me.

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Not so sure I see Diaz being moved … not to beat a dead horse but I can see him playing with Markov in a Lidstron and Rafalski type pairing.

        He adjusted well to the North American game and stronger forwards help smaller defence.

    • CanadienBoy says:

      Agree on DD ,only way Plak get traded is Eller showing he can take is place and could be in the next two years ,for this he will have to match Plack second in the league in min play in disadvantage and that,s no small feat

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        I was thinking about Plekanec earlier – thinking that if other GM’s knew he was available they would line up to make offers. If they were to trade him (can’t believe I’m saying that) they should do it from a position of strength. Quietly let it be known that he is available, and let other GM’s overpay to get him, rather than having him in a package to get a player that other GM’s know we are desparate for.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      I can’t believe fans of this team still do NOT appreciate the talents of Tomas Plekanec. Why do so many posters here under value him and OVER value Desharnais? Not to undermine everything that David did, but I HIGHLY doubt David could do half his points with ANY other wingers on the Habs last year.

      With the philosophy to be instilled by the new HC, do you really think Pleks is going anywhere? He is every NHL coaches dream player to coach, he has ALL the tools and never complains with assignments.

      If you honestly think Eller has more of a chance remaining a Hab and is more important than Plekanec…I think you should start following the PBA.

      If anything, Eller will be moved to the wing to play WITH Plekanec, they were great together last year.

      That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Where are people not appreciating him? People are saying we may have 4 centers capable of playing the top 3 centre roles. When all four have the skills why keep an extra one with a larger cap hit? Especially when that center is so respected that we hope we can obtain a very good player in return.

        This isn’t disrespect towards Plex, this is actually respecting him.

        • RiverviewCanadien says:

          Every day there are numerous posts about trading him. That tells me people feel the team is better off without him.

          I don’t believe that to be the case.

          This team is far better off with Plekanec than without, by a long shot.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I understand your point, my perspective is different. I rather look at it as we may find ourselves in a position of extra bodies at center while lacking depth elsewhere. Because Plex is the most proven of those centers and has the highest cap hit, it would make sense that he would be the one to reel us in some depth elsewhere.

            Love plex, love the turtleneck, but more importantly would love to see the Habs have depth at all positions is all.

          • shiram says:

            Trading Pleks now or in the coming year would leave the Habs back where they were 1-2 seasons ago, weak at center.

          • boing007 says:

            Agree 100%.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

        • Habzfan says:

          We don’t have 4 centres capable of playing the top 3 centre roles.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Why do people assume DD benefited from his linemates more than the other way round? Both Max Pac and Cole had their best ever seasons last year.


        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

        • RiverviewCanadien says:

          And despite all the goals both Max and Eric scored, DD finished with 8 pts more than Pleks.

          Give Pleks two BIG, talented scoring wingers all season long, and I GUARANTEE you he finishes with a minimum of 65 points.

        • The Jackal says:

          Still, Pleks has consistently put up points, even with players that are not offensively gifted. Pleks is a more complete player and a better asset, no knock on DD.

        • Bill says:

          It does work both ways. Obviously it helps DD having two big natural finishers on his wings, but since they had career years with him on a crap team with no power-play, you HAVE to give him props. He was obviously a huge part of their success, as they were of his.

          But you also have to be fair to Plekanec, who had zero help on the wing, played against tougher opposition, and still put up almost as many points as DD. He scored more goals, just didn’t have anyone to pass to.

          So I give credit to both players and I’m pretty comfortable with them as the top two centres this year.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

      • ed lopaz says:

        I used to watch the PBA when I was a young boy. My parents registered me into a Sunday morning bowling league at the Recreateque in Chomedey, Laval, and I loved watching the Pros on Saturday afternoons.

        I bowled for my high school team and enjoyed that as well.

        Thanks for jarring those memories!!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          DId you see Pete Weber freak out a few weeks back when he that tournament Ed? It was hilarious to watch. Can’t say I watch much of it anymore, but that highlight was on ESPN and TSN for a few days.

          Here it is for those that missed it.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKQOXYB2cd8

          • ed lopaz says:

            great stuff!! “who do you think you are? I am!”. What does that even mean??

            I used to watch Weber’s father, Dick Weber.

            And Earl Anthony, the lefty. And a few others whose names escape me.

            That Weber line is a classic!!

      • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

        Moving Eller to the wing would be worse than trading him – his only liability is that he CANNOT play wing .. he just can’t.

        He is a centre and will be very, very good for a long time, but all his instincts are for centre, espcially in defensive zone coverage.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Let’s play “Is Ed Right?”

      1) Is Ed Right? … Is the Pope Catholic?(Edited.. is Kermit’s ass
      watertight?)

      2) Is Ed Right? … You bet your boson particle.

      3) Is Ed Right? … Too much hedging there ED. #3 overall in NHL in
      in 2014… It’s like baby diapers… they gonna
      get soiled.

      4) Is Ed Right? … Are Suter and Parise two rich Wild kids?

      5) Is Ed Right? … Is Bergevin listening? … see what I did there.

    • shiram says:

      If DD is so great, then surely he can get Bourque going…

      • habstrinifan says:

        To paraphrase a famous GM “Bourque’s got to get Bourque going!”.

        And dont call me Shirley.

        • shiram says:

          Well there’s some of that too, for sure. I just don’t see why it’s such a bad idea to try him with DD.

          Is Budaj really one of your favorite current Habs? I would not say he is mine, but I think he got alot of flak on here last season, but he did a good backup job to Carey.

    • Habzfan says:

      Plecs is going nowhere. Best centre on the team. He can score as good or better than DD and hes is our best defensive forward and best face off man. Is one of our best on the pk while being a real scoring threat short handed. Plus the guy brings it more often than most players on the roster. He’s not getting traded unless it’s part of a package for a big name which I doubt will happen.

    • boing007 says:

      Eller has the potential to attain all those two way centerman qualities but he hasn’t mastered them yet. Plekanec could be of help to get him there.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    Kerrigan! She was Hot.

  8. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    MB has about 7.7 million in cap space to work with. Subban and Eller are going to eat up most of that, depending on the term of their contracts (2-3 year contract for Subban would likely leave a smaller cap hit). We still have Diaz, Geoffrion, and Palushaj unsigned. We’re likely not going to see any signings of FA’s until a) we lock up our own RFA’s and b) we can lose some salary via trade. Of course the potential of a trade is that we get back what we need so we may not need to sign any FA’s. MY guess is nothing happens with FA’s until we sign Subban and Eller.

    • commandant says:

      All those guys will not be on the roster. Consider a 23 man max roster and re-do your cap space (only one or maybe two of Leblanc, Geoffrion, Palushaj, Diaz, Weber fit on the club). You’ll see a lot more when there aren’t 26, 27 guys on your roster (add the RFAs you sign to the roster size on cap geek).

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • savethepuck says:

        glad someone finally pointed that out to some posters on here. I was about to do it, but you beat me to it

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        Point taken. Leaving off Eller and Subban, and leaving out Leblanc, etc, I see just over 59 million committed to players that will likely be on the team. That leaves us with about 11 mill to spend. Subban and Eller take about 6.5-7 million of that. It leaves us with about 4 million for 2 more roster spots if we spend to the limit. With that number in mind, I still don’t think we’ll see an impact player unless we lose salary via trade. Granted, MB can spend over the cap to a certain percentage (10%?)…

  9. Landof10000lakesHab says:

    Thx for the update Stu – always great to see what the competition is up to.

    Speaking of which:

    I have lived in both Canada and USA or a number of years. Hockey in MN is as big as anywhere north of the border. The MN Wild are currently a model franchise for the Habs to follow. A middling team for years under Riseborough & Lemaire, the bottom finally gave way in 2009 when Marian Gaborik walked away with nothing in return. At that point, the MN Wild were rated last in the NHL for org depth according to Hockeys Future. Sound familar?

    Move forward to leadership under Fletcher / Yeo and Wild moves at the 2010 – 2012 drafts. Multiple sources (Hockey Prospectus / Hockeys Future) this summer now rate the Wild as one of the top NHL teams in org depth (Granlund, Phillips, Brodin, Coyle, Dumba, Zucker, Gustaffson, etc..).

    Mikko Koivu is a premier two-way player in the NHL. 3rd/ 4th line players Brodziak, Clutterbuck , Cullen, Kassian, and Powe are tough, gritty, and solid. Goaltending with Backstrom and Harding is strong with top prospect Matt Hackett in the wings. Defense is currently a work in progress with only Gilbert and Scandella as true top four.

    Wild ownership saw building through the draft and then adding key free agents is a model for success. The LA Kings just won the cup with a similar game plan. I have no doubt St Louis is thinking same.

    Enter Suter and Parise who are both young, with local connections, and looking at what a Wild lineup will look like in the next few years. An easy decison for boh players, and Wild ownership as the Wild will soon be a contender in the West and for years to follow.

    This is perhaps a model for Habs mgmt to follow. Coming out of the recent draft, and with the mgmt and player moves (focusing on signing Price and soon-to-be PK, adding grit and depth to ensure compete level and give kids AHL time) that MB has made, it looks like a decent start. After the Habs are free of the Gomez contract, and when Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gallagher, Leblanc, Gally,etc.. are contributing, then the time will come to add 1-2 key free agents to place this franchise amongst the elite.

    • Habitall says:

      Love to have Powe on my team, for the toughness factor. Not a huge guy, but punches in above his weight. And he was a one-man wrecking ball against the Habs when with the Flyers a few years ago.

      Still prefer Malone, though.

  10. habstrinifan says:

    On the topic of fighting in sports..In their prime, who would you rather whack… Nancy Kerrigan or Tonya Harding.

    Interpret whichever way you wish.

  11. The Dude says:

    You know what…bring back Big George Laroque for $600,000 on a 1 year! Quit the bitchin and do it!

    • Bill J says:

      Why ? So he can preach about the code, and not lay a fist on anyone ?

      I’m surprised you would suggest BGL – Plekanec fights more then him.

      Your short term memory may be affected by your extra carricular activities… ;)


      Go Habs Go!

    • Propwash says:

      I’d rather Scott Gomez get the 600k raise.

      _____________________________
      “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
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    • Kooch7800 says:

      He was a joke and should be ashamed of his time as a hab.

      I was a huge fan of him in previous years but he became a gong show and offer zero value to a hockey team

    • punkster says:

      Pffft…$600K on a blowout party of beer and hookers for the boys would be more wisely spent than that.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  12. JUST ME says:

    I do not think any team in the division made enough changes to get to the big cup but once in the playoffs you never know.

    Not sure if the Bruins are as reliable in goals as they once were. Thomas is a lunatic but he does the job.
    Ottawa got rid of a few players that they wanted to let go Foligno and Carkner but still the replacements may not be up to par.
    For me Buffalo will be a team to look for in the next few years with the drafting of Grigorenko and Giregensons.

    1-Boston
    2-Ottawa
    3-Montreal
    4-Buffalo
    5-Toronto

    Please do not bet a dime on this !

    I expect a tight race in the division.

    -Boston should finish first with a mildly comfortable lead .

    Then it`s anybody`s game from second to 4 th spot.

    -Ottawa should have a good season although everything went too well last year and things will be a tad more difficult this year.
    -The Habs can not do worse than last year. Less injuries,better production from many players that were close to nothing should help the team to reach the playoffs.
    -Never an easy task for the Sabres. Expected great things last season but…
    -As for the Leafs well…Need i say more ? Just do not understand why Burke is still there. It`s beyond me.

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    An overlooked aspect of the goon debate is that beating up a Bruin is an end in itself, even though it isn’t a means to winning games.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  14. Mattyleg says:

    Jets just signed Ben Maxwell, and Chipchura’s staying a ‘Yote, apparently.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Buffalo looks like they finally got annoyed with being pushed around by Boston and other teams. Kaleta, Ott, McCormick and Scott. Would love to see Scott in the lineup during a game against Boston and go at it with either Chara or Lucic.

    • Habitall says:

      Habs need toughness and a left winger. Hmmm … I see Ryan Malone put up 48 points in 68 games last year.

      Wonder if Tampa could be persuaded to make a deal. He may be a jackass, and who knows how the team would react to him in the room, but he’s a 6’4″ heavyweight who can play.

    • Chuck says:

      Or, Lucic and Chara would completely ignore Scott and concentrate on something that he can’t do, like play hockey.

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Hey, personally I wouldn’t want Scott for the same reason you suggested. He plain stinks.

        However, Lucic ran over their star goaltender and concussed him. I’m pretty sure everyone in the organization is happy Scott is there.

        And the Bruins OFTEN put winning the game secondary to beating on people during the regular season. Or at least they don’t think twice about throwing a dirty hit or dropping the gloves at almost any point.

        Buffalo had to get Scott. Would be nice if he was skilled enough to take a regular shift but not having anyone is worse.

      • Luke says:

        I wouldn’t expect Lucic or Chara to fight Scott either. Chances are they won’t even see the ice at the same time. Do you want Scott out there trying to defend against a 30 goal scorer like Lucic or would you waste 2:15 of Chara’s 26minute game against a career 1 goal scorer?

        It makes no sense to lose all-star calibre players for 5 minutes. Scott won’t see much more then 5 minutes of ice time in his highest TOI game this season.

        Scott is more or less useless. Can’t play, can’t skate at a professional level. (yes, he is better at hockey then I am).

        Here is the sad thing: I was hoping the new NHL would see an influx of small skill guys who can score 10-15 goals a season, play some PP time and take shootouts while the one dimensional goon faded away into obscurity.
        Apparantly, it’s more important to give time to John Scott and his one goal in 146 career games then it is to give it to some smaller guy who may be able to pot you a Game Winning Goal, or help out when you are down by one late, looking to tie it up. I guess scoring isn’t as important to winning as John Scott punching some other nameless guy with 3 career goals who won’t see the ice for the rest of the game after this ‘tone setting fight’.

        • piper says:

          you guys just dont get it.

          • Luke says:

            Oh no, I get it. Very clearly.

            Prove to me that John Scott can help the Sabres win games.

            Erik Christensen – “Soft” (not small), high skill guy:
            387gp: 68g 95a – 9gwg

            Born in the same year (’83) as Scott & has trouble finding regular employment in the NHL, just as Scott does.
            EC has had a defined impact on games. Most noticeably 9 of them where he was directly responsible for the winning goal.

            I’d rather win hockey games then win hockey fights.

            Your turn…

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          If the game gets ugly, Buffalo can easily put Scott out on the ice and line him up against Lucic.

          There are lots of games during the regular season where the score goes out the window.

          • Luke says:

            And then what? Scott just grabs Lucic (or whomever) and starts punching away? Didn’t everyone here piss and moan when the Bruins guys just grabbed the Habs guys and started punching away?

            What happens when Lucic isn’t on the ice and Scott grabs Bergeron or Seguin? Oh wait, because the Bruins have Thornton Scott wouldn’t dare touch one of those two…

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I’m just saying that the Bruins throw the score out the window and do that to other teams.

            And yeah, the fans freaked out when Boston did that to Montreal with good reason. At the time we had the only coach and GM in history that didn’t care.

            Bergevin, like any responsible GM, fixed that right away when he arrived.

            I don’t think anyone, anywhere wouldn’t have a problem with Scott grabbing any player on Boston and feeding it to them.

            Thornton , Lucic and others have been taunting and beating on any type of player for several years now.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The sad part is the sabres pushed around the habs last year

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

    • boing007 says:

      It might be a TSN highlight of the night moment this fall. Chuckin’ the knuckles with Dutch.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  16. frontenac1 says:

    No goons agreed. A good heavy weight that can play and keep the crease clear,if available would be good.And it doesn’t have to be Erskine.Now that I’m over Big Bird not coming back,I’m trying to deal with the fact that Erskine trade might not be feasible.Oh well…..

  17. Ncognito says:

    I think Gomez starts on the second line as a LW to start the season. If they are to give him a chance to prove himself it won’t be from the 4th line or bench. His best chance to find his game is with Gionta. If it doesn’t go well he will be 4th line or in Hamiton.

    Pac – DD – Cole
    Gomez – Pleks – Gionta
    Bourque – Eller – Armstrong
    Moen – White/Noks – Prust

    Not much left free agent wise for D-men but does Colin White interest anyone? He used to be one big tough SOB and would come cheap until the kids are ready. I know he hurt his eye a coupe years ago and may be a step slower at 34 but could he work as a stay at home D-man to clear bodies?

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Gomez hasn’t made an effort in two years. Why will he be motivated now? Is there an answer? Is it possible?

      I think it is important that he be gone. Where? I don’t care.

      We have a rare chance to create a culture here almost from scratch, and a vastly overpaid floater is not the message you want to send to anyone, especially our kids.

      AND we need the cap space to sign a real hockey player.

      • HabFab says:

        Unfortunately don’t see it happening, Gomez and Kaberle will play if the Habs can’t find a buyer.

      • The Jackal says:

        How do you know he hasn’t made the effort, genius? Players are not super heroes, they’re regular people who get down on their luck and confidence, that’s not something you get back by flipping a switch. It’s even tougher when armchair GMs and supposed hockey know-it-alls crap all over you and assume you put in no effort when in fact you’re probably trying too hard. You must be a real knob if you think the criticism of hundreds of thousands of people does not affect one’s demeanor.

  18. HFX-HabFan says:

    Schenn-JVR trade happened on the second day of the draft.

    And I would think Reiger/Ruff are quite content to give Ennis/Hodgson a real opportunity to establish themselves as 1/1A centres.

  19. ProHabs says:

    Looking forward to the Buffalo-Boston games this year. Too bad Buffalo got rid of Zack Kassian last year. It is nice to see Buffalo bulk up again on toughness. They used to be so fun to watch when they had May, Ray, Barnaby, Boogyman, etc and Ted Nolan leading them. I hope they put a world of hurt on the Bruins.

  20. commandant says:

    Bergevin comes from the Hawks, who won the 2010 Stanley Cup with a team toughness approach, and a group of guys who could fight and play. Their PIM leader was Ben Eager, who is a middleweight at best.

    I don’t see us signing a pure goon type as much as some want a heavyweight.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000352010.html

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Time to get rid of the Instigator Rule.

    • Mattyleg says:

      On HI/O?
      But this site is all about instigation, isn’t it?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabFab says:

        :D

        And speaking of that. Is there any truth to the rumor that you have been working out with the Canadian Olympic Hurtles and Steeple Chase Teams?

        :P

        • Mattyleg says:

          Indeed.
          If I want to go to the HI/O Summit this year, the STM have insisted that I train with the Canadian Olympic hurdling team so as not to be found liable for any hand/knee/face/pride/image/reputation injury that might occur in their facilities.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • LA Loyalist says:

            I was thinking more of training in back-paddling, so when you meet someone in person that you’ve excoriated in print, you know what to do :-)

            I’m not saying you are hard on anyone, I mean in general, or more specifically, me. I can’t see myself sitting at the Scott Gomez table without it getting ugly.

    • commandant says:

      Or get rid of fighting.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Yeah. Then anyone can run our goalie or our skill players at will with no fear of consequence. The reffing isn’t good enough or consistent enough to get rid of fighting. Campbell was a joke and Shanahan is hardly better.

        My kid gets run now at age 9. What should I be teaching him? So far I tell him to never start it, but if he has to protect himself or one of his team mates, he has permission.

        Of course it’s sad. I’m open to suggestions, but soccer isn’t one of them.

        • commandant says:

          Obviously if you get rid of the fighting you have to have a corresponding toughening of Shannahan’s position to what it was last preseason.

          If the league really wanted to do it, it could. Its not as difficult as you and others make it seem.

          The league just doesn’t want to get rid of fighting.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

  22. habsfan0 says:

    With the humidex,temperatures expected to reach 44C today in the GTA.

    Definitely hockey weather.

  23. Mattyleg says:

    Mailed my money order to Ian today!
    C’mon Summit Tickets!!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs sign Kyle Hagel to an AHL contract. A 6′ 210 lb D/ LW who is not there to play hockey!

  25. shiram says:

    Tim Thomas will win the Vezina next season, no goals against him.

  26. toinz says:

    I can’t decide if hockey needs more figure skating or if figure skating needs more truculence…

  27. third generation haber says:

    If goons are the key to success the leafs would have three consecutive president’s trophies under their belts. Tough players, meaning guys capable of playing professional hockey, are what’s needed.

    Hey Gomez, did I remind u to go F&%@ yourself yet today?
    This letter from Bergevin puts it a bit more eloquently:

    http://www.allhabs.net/feature/letters-from-bergevin-dear-scott-gomez/

    j.p. murray

  28. frontenac1 says:

    Just watched some of Prust”s tilts on youtube.Although he’s a middle weight ,man the guy goes in like a Pitbull!He’s got good staying power too. Still think we need one heavy weight though.

  29. Propwash says:

    Q: With the changes the Canadiens have made during the offseason, do you think they will make the playoffs next year?

    A: Depends on what happens with the 14 other teams in the Eastern Conference as well.

    _____________________________
    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  30. Bill says:

    Lots of negativity here today! I’m still in a good mood about the squad, because:

    A) The players added combine toughness, grit, determination and capable hockey skills. Bouillon is a much better addition than people think; he played over 17 minutes last year on a good Nashville squad and if you think he can’t clear the crease, you’re wrong.

    B) A healthy Gionta and Markov will make a huge difference to the team offensively and defensively.

    C) The way Subban has progressed over his first two years – he improved a ton defensively last year and showed he could be the number one D already – I’m excited to see what he can do in his third season, the year most pros really start putting it together.

    D) People say we don’t have an enforcer to fight other teams’ enforcers. Who cares. We have plenty of tough players to go up against the other teams’ tough players. We don’t need to engage in the side-show, staged heavy-weight tilts. I’m sure we all remember how useless Laraque was. I’m sure Lucik was shaking in his boots when Laraque skated around politely asking him to fight.

    I’m not saying I wouldn’t be pleased if Montreal could acquire a Kane or a Ryan, but only at the right price. This is a competitive team if it stays healthy.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • shiram says:

      I pretty much agree with all this, but I still have my doubts about Markov.
      So much rests on him being healthy but also the dominant blue-liner he was before his string of injuries.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      The fact is, the time, effort and capital — admittedly, not much — required to add an enforcer to the roster would be better spent on improving the team’s power play. The resources are already there for it to be effective, with the proper application of practice and commitment to a strategy.
      Fewer injuries, especially involving key players, and a more potent power play would go a long way to closing the gap between a last place finish and a berth in the playoffs. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but not so probable as to consider deviating greatly from plans of longer range to become a true Cup contender.

    • savethepuck says:

      I will give a big thumbs up on this post. I will also add that some of the perceived “missing pieces” that some on here think we have, may be in place before season starts or during the season

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • New says:

      You know what? If you complain in September that this team will go nowhere, that the biggest excitement is a kid who scoots but can’t score and is headed to junior, you are shot down as being negative. Some people figure you’re being negative if you claim Hitch is available and Martin is terrible. All to say “negative” depends on your point of view. From my point of view HIO has a negative theme and the off season just makes it worse.

      Boullion will be fine. He is aggressive.

      Subban will be fine if the team does well and the team will be fine if Markov does well.

      Fighting is part of hockey but not the “Wanna go” fights which are BS. The NHL made it this way by allowing chickenshit plays, diving, and evening up calls. Someone trys to take out your star’s eyes, knees, or head, and you take offense? Bang, gone for weeks. Someone stages a fight and a bunch of no minds clamour for more. Everyone gets five.

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    This will get H I/O rocking if it materializes:

    Leafs working on a trade for Jaro Halak.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  32. twilighthours says:

    I’m going to the summit. How about y’all? Who’s in?

  33. ont fan says:

    Listening to some scouts on TV. They predicted only 3 juniors from this crop will play more than 10 games in the NHL this year.

  34. frontenac1 says:

    Lafleurguy,Agreed! Gotta have the Lid! Check my avatar amigo.Hola!

  35. MTLCANADIENS says:

    pacioretty desharnais cole
    bourque plekanec gionta
    moen eller armstrong
    prust gomez white

    spare forwards: nokelainen

    • steve17 says:

      With the exception of Gomez, I agree, give these lines a chance, unless Galchnyuk and Gallagher give them no choice but to play them.

      Habfan17

  36. MTLCANADIENS says:

    really looking forward to this years habs vs bruins rival now that we toughened up alot more.. we just need armstrong to stay healthy all year

  37. Gerry H says:

    While it cerntainly isn’t a sure thing, I’m a bit surprised by the number of people who think it is a stretch for the current Habs lineup to make the playoffs. I’m completely aligned with the focus on a steadily improving roster over the next 2-5 years, but I think this team is a serious 6-10th place contender right now. Factoring the league parity we see today, the disproportionate injury losses of the last (2-3) season(s) and the fairly reasonable notion that the 2011-12 Habs were the best last place team in recent Eastern Conference history, and I don’t see the playoffs this year as a stretch goal.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      The Blues rose from 12th to 2nd in their conference in one season.l

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • shiram says:

      I don’t see it as such a stretch either, last year was not the norm.

    • steve17 says:

      I don’t disagree, Take away the dysfuntional off ice escapades, the reduced injuries, knock on wood, and the fact that Diaz and Emelin have had a season to adjust nt only to a new team and culture, but the smaller ice size.

      Add in the new focus on player development both on and off the ice, the fact that Bergevin communicates and hopefully an aggressive system that exploits the strengths of the players!

      Habfan17

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      A priori the following teams are head and shoulders above us: NYR, Bruins, Flyers, Pens.

      The following teams (admit it) are clearly (but only slightly) better than us: Tampa, Florida, Caps.

      The following teams are perhaps slightly better: Sens, Devils, Sabres.

      The following teams are as good as us: Leafs, Jets, Canes.

      The following team is young but probably less good than us: Isles.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • murfdog says:

        only on paper buddy, you wait and see. glass is half full

      • Gerry H says:

        I might quibble with some of your rankings (I think the Canes are likely to be better than the Devils or Caps next year, for example), but my point is that after the top four or five teams the next six or seven positions are virtually interchangeable.

        • neumann103 says:

          Gerry

          Yes this is what I always say. There are typically about 5-6 teams that are definitively quality playoff teams. There are usually then about 5 teams competing for those last 2-3 slots. What I found aberrational about last year was that there were about 6 real teams and then 8 or 9 sorry ass excuses clamoring for those 2 slots as “least bad of the rest”.

          “Et le but!”

      • neumann103 says:

        Generally agree, but have some shift in degree:

        Teams that are head and shoulders above the Habs:
        NYR, Flyers, Pens

        Teams clearly somewhat better than the Habs:
        Bruins, Caps.

        Teams that are perhaps slightly better:
        Florida, Sens, Devils,

        Teams that are about as good as the Habs:
        Canes, Tampa, Sabres

        Teams that are not as good as the Habs:
        Leafs, Jets, Isles.

        So a few teams falter, and some always do, and the Habs are in the mix to make the playoffs.

        “Et le but!”

    • Bill says:

      Agreed, just posted much the same thing actually, haha.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • neumann103 says:

      Last season, the Habs were a 6th-10th team that had the wrong coaching philosophy for the talent, lost key players early to injury, forced to start a D corps of rookies, melted down organizationally, fired the coach and then immediately undermined the new coach, traded one of their only true goal scorers out of pique, benched Eller and Subban on vindictive whims, the highest paid player on the team had an almost impossibly bad season and then got injured, they had about $20M in salary sitting on the sidelines, played a “hang on to one goal lead” style and then couldn’t hold on to any leads in the third period (the stats are astonishing on this), took on another big contract on a player who would not help with the whole “hang on to one goal lead” style, and when the season was well and truly lost, traded away defensive defensemen and natural scorers for draft picks

      I don’t expect all of this to change. Any team will get injuries. Any team has organizational issues and strategic and tactical misses. Bad luck hits anywhere. Someone will turn out less productive than expected. Players will be moved. Some will be asked to fill larger shoes. Things are not magically better.

      But I do not expect 2012-2013 to be a repeat of the perfect storm of crap that last year was. As a result I think a 6th-10th finish is perfectly reasonable.

      I am one of the 77% who voted that I think the Habs will make the playoffs this year, not because I think they made massive improvements in the off season, but because last year was an aberration.

      I don’t have big hopes for next year. The two or three years following are a different matter when the kids come online. But this is not going to be another season of getting a lottery pick.

      “Et le but!”

  38. Lafleurguy says:

    The statisticians and sabermetrics folks on this site may be able to do it, but it would be very revealing to have a ranking of say, the top ten goalies, top twenty defencemen, top twenty center forwards, twenty right wingers(excluding Tim Thomas), and twenty left wingers. Of course, the point I’m leading up to is that I am doubtful that the Wild got good value on their recent free agent triumphs. They are a better team than before, but may be a full cap team with still major holes to fill. They will be followed by all fans next season for the first time in their history-with the same air of anticipation like waiting to hear Christina Aguilera hum the national anthem.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  39. frontenac1 says:

    Ok, Wanted; Responsible Experienced D man with Character.
    6+”,220+lbs.Resume should include history of talking on and winning fights with league heavy weights.Preference given to candidates with respectable plus/minus record and no long term contract. Apply to Hockey I/O in confidence.

  40. JohnBellyful says:

    The suggestion raised yesterday to have Toe Blake’s number retired – sounds good to me – prompted thoughts of other players with (nick)names of an anatomical nature: Knuckles Nilan, Mr. Elbows (you know who I’m talkin’ about), Marcel (you know what I’m talkin’ about) Dionne, Rod the Bod Brind’Amour, Baldy Cotton, Adam Foote, Bill Finger, Woody Dumart, and Dick Duff.
    Their body of work is quite impressive.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Monsieur Bellyful, one difficulty is the fact that few contemporary fans know anything of Hector Blake’s achievements as a player. Phenomenal coach though. Phenomenal fashion trend setter with the hat. Can only recall Dick Irvin Sr., Punch Imlach, and maybe Hal Laycoe as other hat wearers.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  41. VT_HabsFan says:

    Laughable Jagr claims he wanted to play for Habs… He wanted to play for Habs only if they were dumb enough to overpay, like Dallas did. Without Claude Giroux lets see what kind of numbers he puts up. Can he be more than a shadow during the playoffs? I agree with Bergie, lets see what the young can do, like Gallagher. I really hope they let the new draftees season along with Tinordi and Beaulieu so when they step in to the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge they are ready to hold the torch!!!

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.”

    • BJ says:

      I’d like to see space made for at least one young player per season so as to brake some new blood in. Naturally talent and need factors in, but its time to integrate our drafted players into our system and stop looking to fill the holes with spare parts.

  42. habstrinifan says:

    Welks

    July 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Toughness wins Cups yes. But just fighting alone does not constitute toughness. Toughness is taking hits to make plays, sacrificing the body in the defensive zone, being physical on the fore check and back check. Standing up and being accountable is toughness. Fighting has its place but it makes no sense to fill a roster spot with a 3 minute a game player
    ==========================================

    Great post!
    If a team plays like that.. and the coach encourages their positives rather than defends against the other team’s positives all the time… then that’s all we can ask.

    • commandant says:

      I agree 100%. I really like the addition of Prust because the guy can actually play hockey. Same with Moen and White.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • boing007 says:

      ‘Fighting has its place but it makes no sense to fill a roster spot with a 3 minute a game player.’

      Especially if he gets a five minute major.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      More specifically, it seems physical strength wins cups.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • BJ says:

      Losing fights deflates a team. We have not won many in the last few years. I liked what Staubitz brought, I would have re-signed him if not John Scott. At 500-600K per year he’s a good deterrent even if needed only for 35 games per year. I’ve seen quite a few Montreal Stanley Cups, all of the ones starting in the 1950’s until 1993 and I don’t recall us getting beaten up as we have in the last years. Team toughness and winning some fights when they happen are a must. I think toughness gives your skilled players space.

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    So FIFA has decided to use technology on goals!

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/fifa-approves-goal-line-technology-headscarves-for-female-soccer-players/article4392505/

    Now use technology on the divers! I am thinking a cattle prod used by the official on the diver would suffice. :)

  44. Strummer says:

    Rosanne Cash’s version of classic Hank Snow.

    Priceless!

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  45. HabinBurlington says:

    City of Glendale facing more hurdles, really wonder how long Shane Doan will wait on ownership to settle before he is fed up and signs elsewhere.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/globe-on-hockey/glendale-petitions-threaten-to-torpedo-coyotes-sale/article4393492/

  46. awesomerino says:

    Something about the way Bergevin said he’s not ready to write Bourque off just yet gives me the sense that Rene starts the first 15-20 games of the season on the 2nd line with Pleks and Gionta. If he continues to eat all the dicks, I’d say that MB will replace him swiftly, but he’ll get that time to prove himself one way or the other. At least that’s the sense I get.

    • shiram says:

      I still think he should get a shot with DD, it makes sense as it gives a good winger to play with Gio and Pleks, DD can retain one of his usual power forward, and Bourque benefits from facing the lesser opposition while having a great powerforward on his wing to model himself after.
      Bourque is a tough guy and he has a nose for the net, but he was not doing well on a more responsible line with Pleks, have him play offense with DD, see how it goes, if it does not try him with Eller.

  47. Andy and the habs says:

    Just when you think there can’t be much to read about at this time, a nice peace from Stu. Good read Hackel.

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    Might be interesting to watch the first game between Minnesota and Nashville this upcoming season.

    Weber is none to pleased with Suter.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=399987

    • hockeyscout101 says:

      That will be a tough physical game. Look for lots of fights and scrums in that game…If you have NHL Centre circle that on your calender.

    • D Mex says:

      I listened to an interview with Parisé and Suter (broadcast on XM) in which the latter said that, when he called Weber to announce his decision, he was congratulated and told that he (Suter) had to do what was best for him.
      Something doesn’t add up here.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

      • Chuck says:

        Weber told him that he had to do what was best for him (Suter), and by extension, not what was best for his (former) team. I think it’s pretty clear what he meant.

        ___________________________________________________
        Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Interesting, it is a quote from Weber’s agent used in the TSN story, have not heard any quotes from Weber as of yet. Never know, perhaps Weber’s agent is using this for contract negotiating purposes.

    • commandant says:

      Will Weber even be in Nashville.

      If I’m Poile, I try to sign him long term right now.

      If he’s not signing long term, I trade him for what I can get. You can’t repeat this process.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Phil C says:

        I agree. Actions speak louder than words. Suter strung them along all year saying he was undecided, but the fact that he would not sign a contract should have told them that he was going to test free agency.

        In Poile’s defense, he should have traded him in the offseason last year to the highest bidder, or load up at make a cup run and take advantage of the window of opportunity. He chose the latter and almost pulled it off. If Radulov and AK had worked out better, I think Nashville would have given the Kings a lot more trouble than Pheonix did.

        This year it looks like the window has closed because Suter is gone, and they parted with a lot of assets last year, so it would be difficult to duplicate another cup run. I would have Weber on the market now if I was Poile. He would look great in a Habs uniform, but I don’t think the Habs have the assets it would take to get him.

  49. habsavvy says:

    it’s all about scoring! scoring!
    habs have none.
    they are a 2/3 scoring line team.
    that’s it!

  50. HardHabits says:

    I have had enough of line combos. Here are my NE Division final standings for the 2012-13 season:

    Ottawa
    Boston
    Buffalo
    Montreal
    Toronto

  51. hockeyscout101 says:

    Perfect example of this was when Brian McGrattan (with the Flames at the time) took a run at one of our smaller players (can’t remember who) and of all people Paul Mara had to come in and jump him from behind!!

    Example #2-Cam Janssen of the Blues ran Carey Price and at the time (Laraque was a healthy scratch by Martin) Price had to go after Janssen, but if Laraque was actually playing that would not have happened.

    Example #3-Boston-Montreal brawl-Where the Canadiens got killed, if we had tough guys this would have been a better outcome for the Canadiens, but instead, Pyatt, Spacek and Hamerlik got their lunches handed to them.

    I don’t think I can stand another season of Canadiens being pushed around..Prust helps but he is not the saviour.

    • shiram says:

      I’m so tired to people bringing up the 8-6 Boston game, it was 2 seasons ago, get over it.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yeah really. Call it the Beantown Beatdown like it should be referred to.

        • shiram says:

          I call it a crap hockey game, and definite proof that officiating is not working correctly in the league.

          • Greg says:

            Also, we scored 6 goals in that game. So what if we lost a couple of fights. Both teams were out to lunch defensively, it was a weird game. Not something that we should be basing our current lineup on.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            If I remember correctly we won the fair fights.


            Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

          • commandant says:

            I much prefer MB’s approach of guys who are tough and can play hockey to signing useless players like McGratton

            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • shiram says:

            Pouliot pounded Krejci.
            Price won over Thomas.
            Moen won over Ference.
            Hamr got beat by Thornton.
            Spacek lost to Boychuk.
            Pyatt received Campbell’s furious elbow pad.
            so 3 wins for each teams I guess, and that’s with the results from hockeyfights.com…

      • hockeyscout101 says:

        Toughness wins Cups! Stats show that. Go back for 50 years and look at all the teams that won a cup or teams that were in the Cup finals. The Kings even had a tough guy…never played in the playoffs but the presence was there….

        • shiram says:

          Your argument would make more sense if you just said you like fighting and just want to see it.
          Fighting does not win Cups…

        • Greg says:

          “The Kings even had a tough guy…never played in the playoffs but the presence was there…”

          What?! Should be re-sign Laracque’s presence then?

          • hockeyscout101 says:

            Once the season starts you will see that I was right with this argument.

        • Welks says:

          Toughness wins Cups yes. But just fighting alone does not constitute toughness. Toughness is taking hits to make plays, sacrificing the body in the defensive zone, being physical on the fore check and back check. Standing up and being accountable is toughness. Fighting has its place but it makes no sense to fill a roster spot with a 3 minute a game player.

        • commandant says:

          Go back every year since the lockout. Of all the cup winners the only team to play a goon in the playoffs is Boston, and even that isn’t truly fair cause Scott Thornton is a decent enough player.

          Parros, Godard, Downie, all these guys are healthy scratches in the playoffs.

          Let me get this straight, if toughness helps you win, and winning in the playoffs is the most important time to win. Why are these teams scratching their toughest players?

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      I think the best deterrant for these incidents would be a productive PP.

      _______________________________
      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

    • Malreg says:

      The Bruins goonforce didn’t seem to be much of a deterrent for Matt Cooke when he took out Marc Savard.

    • twilighthours says:

      Laraque would have done nothing – zero – to either deter janssen or punish him. Laraque would have asked him to fight, janssen would have said “no” and laraque would have sat on the bench for the rest of the game. This exact incident happene in new York where every ranger and their dog was gooning Markov and nothing was done about it. 2 days later, laraque was gone.

      Tough guys who can play, thank you very much. Thankfully, Prust can play.

  52. derfab says:

    Habs may not want to rush the kids, but Beaulieu and Gallagher have been dominant for 2 full years in junior and are NHL ready. I wonder if the AHL is the right place for either.

    • savethepuck says:

      Preseason will answer those questions. They both had great camps last year. see what happens

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • habsavvy says:

        Gallagher didn’t score a single goal in preseason.
        that minor league midget will never be an NHL calibre player.

        • Bill J says:

          Martin St Louis was not even drafted, that’s how short he is!

          But he still managed to rack up a few points… On his way to a likely hall of fame career.

          Small players are not useless, it’s the line combos that make the difference. So clearly if Deharnais and Gionta are Gallaghers line mates… That doesn’t work.

          Why do you think Davey did so well this year ?


          Go Habs Go!

    • Greg says:

      There’s a HUGE jump between junior and the NHL. The AHL is a very good stepping stone to the big league, and I don’t think it’s ever hurt anyone to play a year on the farm. Like MB says, you can hurt players by rushing them, but you can do no harm by leaving them back a year.

    • Cal says:

      Both are playing against kids. The results are much different against men. They both need a couple more seasons to get ready.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gallagher still needs to work on finishing. Missed many opportunities at World Jr. tournament and also wasn’t filling the net in preseason last year. In my estimations he will need at least half a season in AHL, more likely the full AHL season before he is ready to play NHL.

      Doesn’t help having him in Montreal lineup unless he is scoring goals, that will be his role. Having him as a 3rd or 4th line checker will not benefit the team.

    • Malreg says:

      Considering that our GM said himself that you always hear about a players development being hurt by being rushed into the league, but you never hear about a player’s development being hurt by being left in the AHL for too long, I don’t expect any player to make this team out of Junior.

    • JUST ME says:

      That`s why it is called junior. Then a step above is AHL and another step above is NHL. So basically you are willing to compromize what could be a promosing future and repeat the errors we made some many times before ?

      I just don`t know how many times we need to make the same mistakes before we change our way of doing things.
      Bergevin hired people to make sure that the kids are ready when they get to the NHL , at least we should let them do their job shouldn`t we ?

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      The AHL is almost always the right development step for a player. For all the players like Crosby, Stamkos or Nugent-Hopkins, there are far more players who make the leap who are then either ruined of stunted for having bypassed an important development step. Even if it’s only 20 or 30 games, give the kids the adjustment step and develop conservatively.

  53. habfan53 says:

    Let me preface this with assuming Montreal stays realitively healthy, no major injuries like Gionta and Markov last year.

    Even if we had stayed the same Montreal would have improved greatly add 10 goals with Gionta and 5 PP goals for Markov with 10 less goals scored that is a 25 goal differencial and probably would move us up to 9th or 10th.

    What I like about last weeks signings is it REALLY strenghtend our PK even with the loss of Hal Gill. I think Prust and Eller will be able to give Plekanec a break and with Gionta and whoever they place on left wing Montreal will have a solid second line.

    The Power Play with both Markov back as general and Gionta (probably) and Kaberle yes Kaberle on the second unit will give some sustained pressure .

    Therrien will not put up with anybody (Bourque) just going thru the motions. By adding two of “his” type of players in Bouillon and Armstrong the team is less likely to give up those 3rd period leads that cost us so many games last year.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

    • Strummer says:

      Also a healthy Markov will take some of the presure off of Subban and he should be able to get back to the form that allowed him to score 14 goals the season before last.

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  54. hockeyscout101 says:

    I still think the Canadiens need to get 1 more tough guy for up front, who is able to be the 12th or 13th forward.

    Now is it just me or do you see Prust, Moen, or White going with the likes of John Scott, Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton, Matt Carkner, Jody Shelley, George Parros, Darcy Hordichuk, Brian McGratton, Paul Bisonnette? No you won’t see that. These Canadiens are all light weights or middle weights. Yes Prust throws with Rupp, Asham, Lucic and Neil, but you won’t see him going with the heavyweights. I still think this needs to be addressed in the offseason.

    You can’t have tough guys running around and taking shots Gionta and company. Even Neil in Ottawa fights the big heavy’s. Prust is a good fighter but will not fight the heavys. What do you think?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The point is still to score more goals than the other team.

      Fights may stiffen your nipples but they are irrelevant to the outcome of the game.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • hockeyscout101 says:

        I am still from the old mentality that the enforcer is still needed.

        I will be right about this, the first time the Canadiens get pushed around this year. Just a question though..who will fight a Carkner or Chara if they take out Gionta with a cheap hit? Or let’s say Pac hit again?

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          Nobody fights Chara anymore… and for good reason. Damn sasquatch

          and no one is taking out Gionta with a cheap hit. If they tried they would blow out a knee on contact.

          • boing007 says:

            I think that Chara should be required to shorten the length of his hockey stick. It must be eight feet long. Or thereabouts.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • HardHabits says:

        I shoot better (and farther) when my nipples are hard. We’re talking hockey here right?

        • boing007 says:

          So, you’re a shinny in the wintertime with your shirt off kind of guy.
          Brrr.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

          • HabFarmer says:

            Mine are stiff right now, but the air conditioning is nuts at work this morning. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll wander down and say hi to the ladies in the typing pool…….. .

            *******************

            Bring on zee Fembaahhts!!

      • pmaraw says:

        ‘nay!’ say the naysayers

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Sadly, the fans’ opinion is of lesser importance than what the main participants believe. One of many clear examples was the line brawl at the start of the Devils/Rangers game with first the insertion of enforcers to that game’s line-up, and secondly putting them on for the opening faceoff.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  55. hockeyscout101 says:

    Do I have any agreements with me on this?

    • steve17 says:

      It is good to have a tough guy, even better if he also has hockey skills. If Montreal is going to make a trade, maybe they should trade Weber, or Pulashaj to Chicago for Beach. With the right coach, he can chip in some offence and he can go!

      Habfan17

      • hockeyscout101 says:

        But who on the Canadiens will go after a John Scott, or Chara if they start to take runs at our players. Yes now we can take runs back with Prust and company but when it comes down to it, who will fight the heavy’s. This is an issue that I will be bringing up all year once the Habs start to be pushed around by Chara. I am glad Bergevin is making us tougher but you still need that ‘tough guy’ to police. This player does not have to play every game…

        • shiram says:

          All year uh?
          Habs play Bruins 6 times a season, but some on here are so focused on them, they are actually letting the Bruins get into their minds, and they are not even on the ice!

        • Vladdy Mondavi says:

          Chara is too valuable a player to be taking “runs” at Habs players.
          Scott won’t dress, Habs are too skilled. He’s there to dress against the grinder teams (BOS, PHI, NYR, the likes).

          _______________________________
          Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

        • steve17 says:

          Simple solution, birng the game to the 21st century and take fighting out. It does no good, puts players at risk and if other pro sports can do well without fighting, like the NFL for example, then the Habs don’t need someone to deal with them.

          Since that is not likely to happen, then just skate around them and burn them for goals. They dont play much, except for Chara. him you just keeo checking and wearing him down. If he fights and gets kicked out or 5 minutes, great, he won’t be on the ice to worry about!

          Habfan17

          • hockeyscout101 says:

            But who will fight Chara on the Habs haha!! Gionta… Believe me I live outside of Montreal and people know that the Canadiens are small. Fighting will never be banished from hockey because then you will have more stick work and people being struck in the head with sticks. They need to take the instigator rule out as well. Teams need to settle their own scores, not the refs or PP.

          • Greg says:

            hockeyscout101, no one fights Chara. Even other heavyweights rarely fight Chara. It would be foolish in the extreme to sign a player with the sole purpose of fighting the 9 or 10 other heavyweights in the league. We had Georges Laracque and he was useless. Lesson learned.

        • boing007 says:

          You don’t have to fight Chara to get him off his game. Use some smarts instead.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • derfab says:

      Boston is fortunate to have some very big, tough players who can actually play. You can waste alot of time trying to match up. The smarter approach is to get what toughness you can and hope that, if someone like Chara or Lucic goes over the line, you make them pay with whatever you have. Remember, everyone in the league weighs around 200 pounds, carries a stick around and skates pretty damn fast. That said, I think we really could use a big D who can punish people and drop ‘em if necessary. Gill was a disappointment in this respect.

  56. shiram says:

    Carlyle to play Van Riemsdyk at center
    “He’s a big man and we’re going to try him playing in the middle for us,” Carlyle told The Sun on Thursday. “It’s always nice to have a 6-foot-plus centre in your top six. We feel there is an opportunity to explore him at centre.

    • Chuck says:

      Read between the lines: “Brian Burke hasn’t been able to find us anyone better.”

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    TODAY I just got a call from the Bell Center. We are now getting two blocks of HIO Summit game tickets this year.

    One at the $110 price and one at the $90 price. We will all be together.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

    • Chuck says:

      It’s nice to the the Habs helping us out like this!

      ___________________________________________________
      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is great news Ian! You are doing a bang up job as usual on this bud!

  58. JohnBellyful says:

    Division rivals, take note:

    MONTREAL – It looks like the injury bug that cost the Montreal Canadiens 440 man-games last season hasn’t left the building.
    General manager Marc Bergevin broke his wrist yesterday adjusting the microphone at a news conference called to announce Lawrence Nightingale is the club’s new director of player preservation and redevelopment.
    “It could have been worse, I could have broken my leg,” Bergevin quipped, minutes before breaking his leg tripping over a photographer’s camera bag at the end of the conference.
    Nightingale demonstrated his hiring was a timely and judicious one as he put Molson’s right arm in a sling, using his undershirt, and attached a makeshift splint – a tripod – to his left leg. He then hoisted the GM onto his shoulders, firefighter style, and carried him to the team’s new medical facility.
    Nightingale’s role, as explained by Bergevin between injuries, will be to develop and carry out a program to reduce the risk of players getting hurt, and to accelerate their recovery when they do.
    “We’ve acquired a reputation around the league – I think, unfairly – that we are a soft team prone to injury,” Bergevin said. “Some of our harshest critics have even asked in columns and radio broadcasts how can you refer to ‘man’-games lost when talking about the Canadiens, implying our personnel are delicate creatures who are less than manly. Well, I’m going to put a stop to having our players’ manhood manhandled in public by people who couldn’t carry their jockstrap!”
    Several Canadiens suffered concussions last season while others were sidelined by a variety of upper, middle and lower body injuries, including Brian Gionta (torn bicep), Yannick Weber (MCL sprain) and Raphael Diaz (groin).
    Bergevin admitted that having a roster that misses a total of 440 games suggests “a certain fragility” but he expressed confidence that the new regimen Nightingale was hired to put into effect, covering diet, exercise and bionics, will yield a more robust squad.
    “You don’t have to be tall to be tough,” he said, “but you do have to be smart to be healthy.”
    Bergevin said the approach the team developed to protect one of its most valuable assets, Andrei Markov, following his return to action last season will be extended to every player.
    “All of our skaters will be instructed to stay clear of high-risk zones – behind the net, in the corners, and along the boards – where studies have shown the majority of injuries occur,” Bergevin said. “You can’t score from the periphery so why bother straying into dangerous territory where nothing good can happen. Canadiens will no longer be perimeter players.”

  59. krob1000 says:

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/ott120706.html
    This 4th period article references the Ottawa Sun and says the HAbs are one of several teams to ask the Ducks about Bobby Ryan

  60. habs03 says:

    Habs need to add a top 6 winger, and a top 4 stay at home D-men.
    Without that they will not make the playoffs.

    • Bill J says:

      Not that I disagree with you. But the way you posted this, let me the first to say “what are the winning Loto Max numbers ?”

      Good morning, just teasing ya :P


      Go Habs Go!

    • steve17 says:

      That might not be such a bad thing . A few more higher picks could ensure they not only make the playoffs, but they can seriously contend for the cup on a regular basis

      Habfan17

      • habs03 says:

        The problem is, the team isn’t as bad as where it finished this past season, IMO without the addition of a stay at home D-men and a top 6 forward, we’ll finish between 7-10, possibly no playoff, and a mid first round pick.

        • steve17 says:

          I agree, it is very difficult given the situation last season to tell how good they are. Not to mention the transition required for Diaz and Emelin and the other rookies.

          Habfan17

    • habfan53 says:

      Assuming our top 4 right now are Markov-Emelin and Gorges – Subban which one gets relegated??

      Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

      • habs03 says:

        If it was up to me, I’d roll all 3 pairs 5 on 5

        Markov-Emelin
        XXX-Subban
        Kaberle-Gorges

        Late in games, have a Markov-Gorges pairing, and Kaberle-Emelin with limited minutes

        Gorges will be playing 22 plus minutes when a night with all the pk mintues but that would be the 5-5 match up.

        • savethepuck says:

          But you have to also expect Gorges to get as many minutes as possible against other teams top lines. I think he stays with Subban

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

        • Andy and the habs says:

          You are missing Bouillon in your list. He may not be 6′ but plays big and does not shy away from physicality.

  61. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    I have a feeling next season will be, yet another, roller coaster ride for us Habs fans. While the roster changes appear (on paper) to bring an air of change, the single biggest change to the on-ice product will come from behind the bench. (See: OTT and NJ 10/11 vs. 11/12 results based on new coaches)

    All four division rivals have returning coaches, albeit Carlyle only coached the Leafs for a fraction of the season, once they had one foot in the grave. Although M.Therrien is a re-tread, I think he (and associates) will help nurture back an on-ice identity and hold the players accountable for their actions, regardless of pay scale. I think that will result in the biggest changes, instead of having the players lead themselves.

    My final thought, reading the net roster changes by the Habs’ divisional rivals is interesting, unfortunately the CH compete against the entire conference for a playoff spot. When can we expect so see the rest of the East changes? I’m sure Commandant has done a review, but I rarely venture away from HIO.

    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

    • steve17 says:

      It may take a while for everything to come together, but just having a clear direction that isn’t a big secret should work wonders. Not to mention the new emphasis on player development both on and off the ice.

      Habfan17

  62. steve17 says:

    I have gone back and forth thinking the Habs need to trade for a 2nd line left wing, then thinking it would be best to wait and see how the players do with the management settled, no more dysfuntional running of the team, a new sytem, and hopefully a healthier group of players.

    We have to remember both Emelin and Diaz were in a new country, new system and on a smaller ice surface. There were the other rookies getting their feet wet, The Ghost! and of course all the injuries. Maybe it is best to wait and see, and if they do trade for a left winger, maybe a high end prospect that will grow with the team rather than a roster player who Beregevin would have to over pay for.

    Habfan17

  63. on2ndthought says:

    How about signing Gragnani? He’s a Mtl boy, with good size and decent upside. Half a season in Hamilton, then bring him up to replace Kaberle, if he has a season like last year.

    Three hills apart great armies stir
    Spit oath and curse as day breaks
    Forming lines of horse and steel
    By even yards march forward.

  64. Bill J says:

    I wonder how much of Karlson’s game relied on Kuba protecting Karlson ?

    I’m reaching here, but it sorta reminded me of Komisarek protecting Markov. Not a huge coincidence that after Komisarek left, Markov spent more time on the IR then he did on the ice.


    Go Habs Go!

    • Gerry H says:

      Not sure how big a factor that was, but I can say that a lot of Karlsson’s game was about recovering from Kuba’s brain farts.

    • steve17 says:

      I think Komisarek benefited more from Markove than Markov from Komisarek. One of the injuries to Markov was a fluke. Not from a lack of protection

      Habfan17

    • Vladdy Mondavi says:

      I think having a veteran defenseman flanking Karlsson definitely helped his progression. Not unlike Gill – Subban a couple seasons ago. But more importantly, pairing a less skilled player (Komisarek) with a deft puckhandling D-man (Markov) offers the less skilled an easy out every time instead of trying to do too much.
      This was evident with the Scuderi/Doughty pairing in LA. Scuderi just had to find Doughty on the other side of the ice (usually via behind the net) and Doughty would skate it safely up the ice.

      _______________________________
      Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  65. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    “Filip Kuba, who’s 35, inked a two-year $48 million UFA deal with Florida. Bryan Murray wasn’t going to pay that.” … umm… no kidding!

    _______________________________
    Opinions are like kittens, I’m giving them away.

  66. JayK-47 says:

    Alright, RFA poaching period is over and most of the big UFAs are signed. Time to get down to BIDNESS.

    The bidness of making a couple trades and finish up those RFA signings that is.

  67. neutral says:

    In all fairness to the Habs. it will take till December to find out where they’re at and how the other 14 teams are doing. without a good scoring left winger for Pleks and Gionta they’ll have to fight and claw all 82-games without any serious injuries to make the playoffs. But. if MB can come up with that all important left winger for Pleks we could make the playoffs. they have a few teams to jump over that has improved in the Eastern Division. it’s possible but it won’t be easy. no cup for sure. too many good teams in the west.

  68. commandant says:

    The big movers and shakers of free agency was the Northwest division, with 7 of the biggest names in Free Agency going there.

    A look at the changes in that division.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/07/06/go-west-go-northwest-the-powerbrokers-of-nhl-free-agency/

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  69. Ian Cobb says:

    NOTICE !
    All USA summiteers that have not already sent your money orders to me yet, will have to send by Courier to make it on time. It takes about two weeks by regular mail.

    Our 6th annual 2012 HIO Fan Summit is, Oct 27th weekend.
    All game tickets are available from me for a very short time period.

    ITINERARY & LOCATIONS
    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Ware you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8 or 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so that everyone gets a gift to go home with.
    After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000.

    Then our Baton Rouge restaurant pre game dinner. With special guests.

    After that we walk across the street to the Duck’s and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Come and enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.
    See ya there.

    Ian Cobb
    HIO Fan Summit Organizer (613-968-9807) if you need anything.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

    • boing007 says:

      Ian:
      After that we walk across the street to the Duck’s and Hab’s game.

      Shouldn’t it be waddle across the street …?

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Posting mine today Ian!
      See you in October!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  70. Gents, that Kuba signing wasn’t $24 mil a year. The NHL isn’t quite at MLB neurological disorder levels yet!
    As for Montreal’s needs, I checked out the available UFA list (good one here http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl–2012-ufa-tracker–nhl-list-of-unrestricted-free-agents.html) and there are plenty of big players left (curiously, many drafted and let go by Edmonton). While Wojtek Wolski is expensive for his skill level, he does put up numbers on the LW. On the cheaper side, Daniel Winnik can put up a few goals and assists and doesn’t mind throwing his body around.
    The list did make me feel better as there are plenty of busted hoped for talent like Alexandre Picard (Tampa) who was picked 8th overall, but hasn’t done anything, but there are plenty of mid 20’s bodies that are 6’2″ and over on the LW or any position with some modicum of talent to fill the holes for depth we have for a year or two.

    Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

  71. nickster13 says:

    My very brief summary:

    Buffalo got tougher, but less potent on offence -> Neutral
    Toronto got weaker on D, but stronger on offence -> Neutral
    Boston Did nothing, lost Thomas and Pouliot -> Worse
    Ottawa got better defensively, but worse offensively -> Neutral
    Montreal got tougher -> Better

    We have a very good chance of winning our division next year as all the teams will be neck and neck except for the leafs, who will remain weak. Look for a 4 team dogfight a la southeast division for that number 3 seed.

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

    • CH4Ever says:

      Dont disagree that the net changes in the rest of the division appear to be significant at this point. That said, remains to be seen how the rest of the teams come together, build momentum and most importantly chemistry.

      That said, I think that while our beloved Habs have improved, I still think the single biggest factor for making the playoffs or not will be injuries and comebacks. If the core of the team (Price, Markov, PK, Pleks, Cole stays healthy, if there is a bounce back year from others (Gionta, Bourque, maybe Gomez) then I think they can compete for a playoff spot. Not real depth to backup the core at this point, so serious long term injuries or off years will be deadly

      Much as Id love to see it, I dont think they seriously compete for the Division title or the Cup this season. Two or three years from now……

      Remembering the Dynasty Days…..

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning. I love your optimism and i really hate to poop on our parade but the Habs did not improve in two of the areas which imho needed fixing. To many nights our defense could not get the puck out of our own end. Major portions of games were played with us chasing the puck around in our own end
      We better hope a different system helps. The other area in which we need help is in front of the own net. Teams had a picnic at times in front of Price. A big move the pile dman would be nice.
      Sorry for my negative Nelly attitude and believe me with all my heart i hope you are right.

      ———————————–

      • boing007 says:

        Much like ants at a picnic; crawling all around the crease and behind the net.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      How did we get tougher?

      Proust versus Staubitz is a wash. Bouillon is 37 and will barely play and Armstrong is more fragile than a teenager’s ego. All three are marginal players at best.

      Offence-wise we lost Cammy and AK.

      If we improve it’ll be because Markov and Gionta are healthy (fingers crossed).


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • arcosenate says:

        Well, Prust can play a bit of hockey compared to Staubitz. Boullion is another tough, character guy. Armstrong? Jury’s out on him but Therrien wanted him maybe he’ll get more than he’s delivered over the past 2 years.

        Bourque has to bring some desire to the rink this year, if he can show that he cares a bit he might be the guy that plays with Pleks.

        That would be a huge plus.

      • The Dude says:

        100%AGREE WITH YOU 72!

  72. frankcasting says:

    Yeah, and that Joey Crab sure better watch his claws – blog proofreaders are hard to find these days (Crabb), good for a chuckle however, Kuba’s 24M per year :) Come to think of it, however, Suter + Parise = $24 M, ok, maybe not a fair comparison.

    I don’t really see where any of those teams improved, maybe Buffalo? JVR is a nice piece for TO, but they’re gonna try to turn him into a centre, (according to Carlyle) and that will be a work in progress, Schenn, while a whipping boy in typical Toronto-eats-Toronto media/fans fashion, is a pretty solid player, Flyers mgt. aren’t stupid, they got what they needed to replace Carle, they didn’t toss away JVR for nothing. And if the Leafs go with Reimer and whomever, their D had better be amazing, else it’s another long season for them here in the Hog (tee hee).

    As biased as I am, I see the Habs additions as being excellent, and see no significant deletions. Their problem last year was not lack of talent, it was depth, injuries and toughness, and I think they’ve done a great job adding to their roster. Now they just need to stay healthy and let PK skate.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  73. dano58 says:

    According to capgeek.com it’s two years at 4.0 mil per season. Way too much for his age and talent but it would have been nice to see Ottawa waste that money and cap space.

  74. nickster13 says:

    a two-year $48 million UFA deal???
    DAMN STRAIGHT Bryan Murray wasn’t gonna pay that!

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

    • ProHabs says:

      If someone is worth $24 Million a year, it is Kuba. Murray was crazy to let him go. I think it is save to say that Kuba is 4 times better than Gomez who makes 7 million a year.

  75. huge_polar_bear says:

    That has to be a misprint. I thought that the maximum any one player can get next year (under current CBA rules) is somewhere around 12 million a year. TSN has Kuba’s deal at 8 million for 2 years. Not $48 million as mentioned above.

    DATE NAME POS FROM TO Total Years Avg/Yr
    Jul 1 Kuba, Filip D Ottawa Florida $8M 2 $4M


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