Habs have had some first-round draft busts over the years

Marc Bergevin made what looks like a great selection with his first draft pick as general manager of the Canadiens, selecting Alex Galchenyuk No. 3 overall last year (photo above). Galchenyuk made the club as an 18-year old, playing in all 48 games and posting 9-18-27 totals along with a plus-14.

Bergevin’s job will be tougher this year, since the Canadiens – unless they make a deal – won’t have a pick until No. 25 overall.

The Canadiens have had some first-round busts in the draft over the years. Here’s a look at five of them:

TERRY RYAN
8th overall, 1995, from Tri-City Americans
8 NHL games, 0 goals, 0 assists
Higher picks: Bryan Berard, 1st, Wade Redden, 2nd.
Lower picks: Radek Dvorak, 10th, Jarome Iginla, 11th.
Ryan scored 98 goals in three years with the Tri-City Americans, including 50 in 1994-95, but is a living example of how big the jump from junior hockey to the NHL can be. When a No. 8 overall pick plays only eight games in the NHL and doesn’t register a single point, that’s a big bust. Imagine if the Habs had selected Iginla instead.

JASON WARD
11th overall, 1997, from Erie Otters
336 NHL games, 36 goals, 45 assists
Higher picks: Joe Thornton, 1st, Roberto Luongo, 4th
Lower picks: Marian Hossa, 12th, Brenden Morrow, 25th
The rugged forward was a first-round OHL pick and a two-time member of Canada’s national junior team, but he was never able to carry that style of game into the NHL. He had some success in the AHL, but his best NHL season was in 2005-06 with the Rangers when he posted 10-18-28 totals.

ERIC CHOUINARD
16th overall, 1998, from Quebec Remparts
90 NHL games, 11 goals, 11 assists
Higher picks: Vincent Lecavalier, 1st, Alex Tanguay, 12th.
Lower picks: Simon Gagne, 22nd, Scott Gomez, 27th.
The Habs were hoping Chouinard would be a chip off the block of his father, Guy, a 50-goal scorer with the Atlanta Flames in the NHL. Eric scored 50 goals in his final season of junior hockey but never scored more than 4 goals in an NHL season.

BRAD BROWN
18th overall, 1994, from North Bay Centennials
330 NHL games, 2 goals, 27 assists
Higher picks: Ed Jovanovski, 1st, Ryan Smith, 6th
Lower picks: Jason Botterill, 20th, Dan Cloutier, 26th
Brown had 32 points and 196 penalty minutes and led the Centennials to the OHL championship the year the Habs drafted him. That combination of offence and toughness didn’t bring the same success at the NHL level, but he did have 747 career PIM in 330 NHL games.

DAVID WILKIE
20th overall, 1992, from Kamloops Blazers
167 NHL games, 10 goals, 26 assists
Higher picks: Roman Hamrlik, 1st, Alexei Yashin, 2nd
Lower picks: Grant Marshall, 23rd, Peter Ferraro, 24th.
The big defenceman was part of Team USA at the 1993 and 1994 world junior championships and had 40 points and 153 PIM the season before the Habs drafted him. His best NHL season came with the Habs in 1996-97 when he posted 6-9-15 totals.

Montreal has six picks in the first three rounds this year, more than any team, including three in the second round. The Canadiens will pick at No. 25, 34, 36, 55, 71 and 86.

The Canadiens have had success in the second round of the draft in the past. P.K. Subban, who won the Norris Trophy this season, was selected in the second round in 2007 (43rd overall). Danny Kristo, who was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Trophy as the top player in U.S. college hockey this past season, was selected by the Canadiens in the second round of the 2008 draft (56th overall). Kristo posted 26-26-52 totals in 40 games with North Dakota University this past season.

Other players the Canadiens have selected in the second round of the draft over the years include Guillaume Latendresse (45th overall in 2005), Maxim Lapierre (61st in 2003), Mike Ribeiro (45th in 1998) and Jose Theodore (44th in 1994).

(Photo by Keith Srakocic/The Associated Press)

Interactive graphic: Best and worst first-round draft picks by Canadian NHL teams

Canadiens draft history, hockeydb.com

Top 10 – Habs NHL draft steals, canadiens.com

Scotty Bowman wins his 13th Stanley Cup with Blackhawks, by Stu Cowan

Penguins listed as 2014 Cup favourites; Habs longshots at 28-1, by Stu Cowan

Avalanche would take MacKinnon if draft was held today, NHL.com

Flyers will buy out goalie Bryzgalov, NHL.com

It’s official: Tortorella new Canucks coach, montrealgazette.com

 

610 Comments

  1. Dunboyne Mike says:

    New thread alert.
    Guess who has the first 3 posts?…

  2. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @HFS72
    Totally con!
    Does it happen in any other professional sport?
    I like your analogies — I posted a couple a few days back when this came up.
    In the NHL, and with the active complicity of the networks, it’s justified through the euphemistic phrase, “Let ‘em play,” and you’re a boring rule-geek who hates hockey and your own Canadian identity if you disagree.

  3. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Does anyone else think Chara might be related to Martin Landau?

  4. EricInStL says:

    Looking at where the Habs are drafting in the first round, I would be happy with either Rychel, Gauthier or Burakovsky.

    Or package a couple of 2nd rounders + Gorges + Diaz or Habs 1st round and either Gorges or Pleks and try to get Edmonton to trade Hall. Edmonton needs a veterans and Edmonton needs to win right away. They have too many youngsters.

    This draft is deep so the 4 picks in the top 60 should give MB the opportunity to swing a trade.

    Anyway you look at it, it will be an interesting draft this year. One that might set the Habs up for the next 5 to 10 years if all goes right.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      I think, just like last year, and because it’s such a deep draft, there is going to be a lot of highly rated players falling for Timmins to scoop up. That’s how we got Collberg, Bozon, Hudon, and Beaulieu.

      So I’m thinking one of Morin, Fucale, Erne, Zykov or Rychel will still be available at 25, and maybe even possibly at 34. Even if those guys are all gone I think that will leave somebody expected to go higher for Montreal to draft.

      • EricInStL says:

        Yes pretty deep draft with something for everyone. You’re right with the fact that some interesting players might drop because of the teams who are drafting for immediate need (top 10) as opposed to other teams planning 2 or 3 years ahead.

        Lots of intriguing possibilities. But unless a great D prospect falls at 25, the Habs should avoid picking up a D right away.

        I guess we all know where we’ll be this sunday….

  5. MB needs to signed any players in future with a no NTC or NMC in contracts. PK should be given more ice time this season and allow him to play 25 plus minutes per game. Is Plekanec expendable in trades coming this Draft? Any updates on injury front and how far are they from rehab?

  6. Whatever says:

    I’m all for patience when it comes to developing a power forward. Although, we don’t seem to be drafting them.

    How about we skip a few years and trade some of our very similar smaller skilled prospects for another team’s project. A large forward that has struggled to find success in his first 4 years. Try finding Bickells before they become Bickells and don’t cost as much as Bickells.

    I’d even hire someone like John Leclair or Kevin Stevens to help the player development department in molding a power forward.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      If you can find him, Fransakois nominated three or four players exactly as you describe a few days back. Kind of below-the-radar Bickells!

  7. Marcusman says:

    Take Malone and the pick…give them Weber !!! Size and he plays left wing.

  8. Dunboyne Mike says:

    There were a lot of tongues hanging out here at the trade deadline (Ryan Clowe, anyone?).

    Which, if any, of the high-profile moves actually paid off in the playoffs?

    I think Iginla potted one or two but couldn’t help fend off the Bruins. Don’t think Jagr scored (couple of assists? still very strong on the puck).

    Etc. Are doubters ready to credit MB for sitting tight?

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Nope, and that’s not my own personal opinion. A lot of HIO posters eerily remind me of the kids in “Willie Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” MB and Geoff Molson have been trying hard and I respect their efforts.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Beautiful, LG! The ideal allusion!
        “Daddy – I WANT another pony.”
        (from the Johnny Depp version)

      • Lafleurguy says:

        P.S. How fortunate that Geoff Molson is at the top and not a peacock like the MLSE chairman.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          The Toronto situation is simply appalling and has been for years. Have you read Feschuk (of the Star) “Leaf Abomination”?

          I guess fans could never mobilize the way trade unions do or gangs of Canucks fans (ha ha), but I can’t see anything other than that ever changing the dreadful corporate culture that has been holding that franchise down for decades.

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    In light of Chris’s post below regarding patience, I wonder if in 2-3 years Steve Quailer could become Bickell “light”.

  10. Chris says:

    I desperately hope that Montreal fans and media learn to be more patient. Bryan Bickell would have been shipped out of Montreal 3 years ago when he finished his year with 4 points in 16 NHL games and 31 points in 65 AHL games at age 23. I guarantee Habs fans would have written him off as a never-will-be.

    Johan Franzen wasn’t even drafted until he was 25. Bickell’s first season as a regular came at age 24. Clarkson (23), Clowe (24), Moulson (26)…many of the league’s “power forwards”, the guys that spawn unhealthy obsessions on this website, are guys that developed late. Yes, there are exceptions, but those exceptions are generally drafted early in the first round and we never had a shot at them.

    A good example is David Backes. At 22 years old, he made his NHL debut and posted 10 goals and 23 points in 49 games. At 23, he “jumped” to 13 goals and 31 points in 72 games. It was only at age 24 that he made his big leap forward and became a top player.

    Contrast that with a player like Guillaume Latendresse. At 19 years old, he made his NHL debut and posted 16 goals and 29 points. At 20, it was 15 goals and 27 points. By 21, fans and media were starting to blast the kid for “only making the team because he was French-Canadian” and the team started to lose patience with him (14 goals and 26 points in 56 games). Basically, he was banished from Montreal before similar style players were even making their debut.

    More recently, it was Lars Eller. At age 21, it was 7 goals and 17 points. At 22, it was 16 goals and 28 points. Much gnashing of teeth and many pronouncements that he would never be anything but a 3rd line centre were made. At age 23, he got off to a slow start but ended up with 8 goals and 30 points in 46 games, which prorates to a season of ~13 goals and 51 points. I encourage people to go look at David Backes again. ;)

    It’s so bloody hard for Canadian hockey teams to develop players because the fans and media are like vultures waiting for these kids to falter, which they almost certainly will do in most cases. Look at the nonsense in Toronto around Nazem Kadri and Luke Schenn. Or in Edmonton around their youngsters, most of whom haven’t reached their 23rd birthday yet. Or in Vancouver about Cory Hodgson and then Zack Kassian. It is laughable.

    Sadly, Montreal is hands down the worst market for this abhorrent behaviour. We destroy our kids. Andrei Kostitsyn, Chris Higgins, Sergei Kostitsyn, Guillaume Latendresse, Maxim Lapierre, Carey Price…all started off strong, saw the inevitable hiccups in their development and then elements of the fan base were just waiting to pounce. Before those guys, it was players like Jocelyn Thibault, Patrice Brisebois, Brian Savage, and Valeri Bure.

    It is so unbelievably easy to say that it’s not us, that it is always the players. Guess what…when it takes an exceptionally self-confident (with frequent gusts to over-the-top cocky) player like P.K. Subban to actually overcome the attempts to kick him while he’s down, you’ve got a problem

    Subban succeeeded DESPITE the media and fans in Montreal, and kudos to him. We’re about to go through another major rejuvenation (Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Kristo, Collberg, Leblanc, Bournival, etc.) and I hope that we’ve learned the lessons from the past 15-20 years of futility.

    Player development is rarely marked by linear, consistent improvement. Some start great, falter, and then bounce back. Some suffer injuries that make you question whether they are “soft”. Heaven forbid that Maurice Richard had come up in this 24/365 coverage that today’s players experience…even back then there were questions. Today he would be drummed out of the sport before he ever got started!

    Some will take 2, 3 or even 4 years to develop into the player you want. Not all of them make it. That is the nature of elite sport. The trick for the management is to figure out during those struggles who is playing himself out of the league and who is just going through growing pains.

    I don’t expect fans and media to be pom-pom wearing cheerleaders. But it would be nice if we could perhaps be fair about the criticism.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Chris I 100% agree with the point of your post and I also agree with Eller and some of the other players in the past being kicked out too quickly.

      In the same line you can’t blame the fans totally you can look more at the organization. Players like Max P have been up and down at the start before they started to blossom and they have been fine while other players like the Kostitsyn brothers just went the other way with the development.

      I do disagree on Higgins Andrei Kostitsyn, Chris Higgins, Sergei Kostitsyn and even both Lappierre and Latts (to a lesser extent).

      Higgins had his best years in the NHL as a hab was on the top 2 lines. He was packaged in the deal for Gomez which we got fleeced on big time. Since he left the habs his numbers have declined and he has been a bottom 6 player with getting no top 6 minutes.

      Sergei K – has major attitude issues to the point where the preds have said they don’t care if he goes to the KHL. The way he handled being sent to hamilton he wrote his own ticket out of town.

      AK – Just wasn’t consistent. He was getting top 6 minutes with Pleks and Kovie and then just kind of tailed off and now is a KHL player.

      Lappierre is a useful third line player but I don’t think he is any better really than anyone we have on the third line currently.

      Lattendresse I agree with you on somewhat but he also had some attitude issues and further to that had some major health issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t even play in the NHL next season. I liked him as a hab and everyone expected so much out of him at a young age before he matured.

      I am not sure we would be a better team with any of the above noted players in the line up. Your point is still 100% valid I just don’t agree on these specific players

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree with you! It appears player development was no where near the level as is should be since MB had to bring in so many people to work with the kids. I think the ship is righted now and we should see some positive results. Yes, we the fans are hard on kids with high expectations, but it foolish to believe that is the reason the players had a hard time or the team gave up on them to soon, or brought them in too soon. If it due to fan pressure, then the management had no business being in the positions they were in.

        Habfan17

      • Chris says:

        I think in almost all those cases, things could have been done differently by the franchise to insulate those players a bit from their eventual fate.

        Montreal has rushed a lot of kids to the show, and has had very little in the way of player development personnel to help them when they got there.

        Young players are prone to getting into trouble. It is a part of growing up. I work in a university and I see 18-22 year old kids away from home for the first time imploding every single day because they have no guidance and make poor decisions. A big part of my job is trying to identify and help those kids before irreparable damage is done.

        Many of us heard stories of the hard drinking and hard partying Canadiens of the 1980’s. But they were largely rumours and the odd story from a buddy who partied with them.

        Today, every single detail would be analyzed, complete with Twitter photos and interviews with the players’ parents, sister and veterinarian. It is a disgusting amount of coverage and intrusion into their personal lives. Yes, they are paid ludicrous amounts of money in exchange for that intrusion, and I have little sympathy for the players when they are caught in these indiscretions.

        What I can’t possibly understand though is the fan obsession with this crap. I couldn’t care less that Carey Price, Chris Higgins and Josh Gorges partied it up. I EXPECT that kind of thing from young, rich athletes in their early 20’s.

        Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were drinking after curfew? Wow…all that means is that they have joined the exclusive club of 98% of NHL players who have broken their team’s curfew to go out and party. And it was that terrible, awful indiscretion that largely led to Kostitsyn’s banishment from the NHL. He was labelled as not caring about his team, which is a pretty strong accusation.

        The players I mentioned above were ripped for their on-ice play, but they were ripped even more for off-ice stuff that really had nothing to do with the team. It is a distraction for the team and the players themselves.

        Montreal has done a very good job of drafting guys who have the talent to get to the NHL. Where they have failed miserably is in providing an environment to ensure that those players are able to maximize their potential, to create an environment that nurtures their work ethic, their team commitment and their skill development.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          While much of what you say may be true Chris, another very key factor has to be taken into account and that is STABILITY from the top down – from ownership to the GM to the Coaching.

          Take coaching for example.
          In the past 10 years we have had what can be best described as a revolving door, Seinfeld comedy merry-go-round:
          Therrien-Julien-Gainey-Carbonneau-Gainey again- Martin- Cunneyworth-Therrien again!
          That’s 8 changes in 10 years!

          GMs? In 13 years we have had:
          Houle-Andre Savard-Gainey-Gauthier-Bergevin.

          Put all of that in a pot, stir it up, and you have a rotten stew that flows right through to the players.

          And then we blame a Kostytyn?
          No wonder a bunch of players couldn’t wait to get out of Montreal!

          Here’s hoping that no matter what happens next year – we may not even make the playoffs, that owner Molson comes to the plate and gives a vote of confidence to the team.
          That he tells the media to nicely take a hike!

        • Habfan17 says:

          Chris, I agree with most of what you wrote, but we don’t know what really led to the falling out with Kostitsyn. Some of what happend made it into the media. The Habs should have mentored the Kostitsyn’d better in my opinion, but we still do not know enough to
          hang this on anyone.

          Habfan17

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Excellent post Chris.

    • florida habs says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, which from a fan/media base, players have little desire to play here (combined with cultural issues). But who was twisting Mgmt arms to give up on these players? There is no excuse on that side of it, they need to hire/have people (which you would hope comes from the coaches) who can assist a player in overcoming the BS to ensure their confidence doesn’t dissipate into thin air. Look at our current coach, when he was sitting on the AC couch, he was the 1st in to criticize PK, not from a talent perspective, but about his style, or as he likes to term it now a “team player”, please. PK should stick his Norris on MT’s desk, so he can look at it everyday. Just another component of playing in the fish bowl!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Very thoughtful, and not surprising that it comes from one of our most informed posters. Betcha no one else lists Stephan Lebeau as one of their all-time faves, and I wonder how old Naslund is in your avatar. John Leclair was discussed ad nauseaforever but was a “mistake.” Neat comparo the one you did of the undeveloped Leclair alongside the early years of Gilbert Dionne. Galchenyuk will be 22 in three years and I am doubtful we’ll be a “final four” team before then. One of the themes you highlight is how to understand development. Other teams’ players that come to mind are Phil Exposito, Cam Neely, Brett Hull and Winnipeg’s Daniel Briere among many others.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Two minutes plus a 10 minute misconduct for making sense! You oughta know better than that.

      There is no crying in baseball, “i” in team or “chuck” in Galchenyuk.

    • Walmyr says:

      Congrats Chris…one of the best posts that I read here in a long time…like Lafleurguy said: “very thoughtful”…

    • Timo says:

      Chris,

      I only read the first line of your post and I gotta ask – how much more patient do fans have to be? There’s been 20 years of mediocrity and none of us is getting any younger. Another couple of 5 nine year plans and some of the folks won’t be with us anymore. Being patient is not a choice really since fans can’t do squat to improve this team. But really… how about just getting the right pieces in place sooner rather than later and winning the cup?

      • Chris says:

        Timo, if you base your love of a sports team on championships you’re doomed to be unhappy. It’s like gambling…the house always wins. A particular franchise might get lucky (Detroit was stupidly lucky landing both Datsyuk and Zetterberg) that can cause a run. But in the end, the house gets you.

        We’ve waited 20 years, and we’re feeling pretty hard done by.

        Chicago has now won 2 in 4 seasons. That’s awesome. Before that, their fans had to endure a 49 year wait, as their previous victory was in 1961.

        Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup ended a 39 year wait (1972).

        Pittsburgh’s win in 2009 was their first since their back-to-back wins in 1991 and 1992. And they almost lost their franchise in between.

        Detroit has been the model in recent years, with four Cups over the past two decades (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). Before that? 1955.

        Getting the right pieces in place sooner rather than later isn’t easy. You’ve got two options…get stupidly lucky (Detroit with Zetterberg and Datsyuk) through the draft, or suffer through 5-10 years of TERRIBLE teams to get a shot at the guys you need to build around.

        Montreal were bad in the early 2000’s, almost unwatchable. And yet they still never drafted higher than 7th overall. Then when they finally get a 5th overall pick, it is probably the shallowest draft in the past two decades. That was just terrible, stupid luck. Yes, we could have drafted Kopitar. But we also could have drafted Brule, which was far more likely.

        I have grown up as a New Orleans Saints fan. You want pain, cheer for the Saints. And then, like a bolt from the heavens, we get stupidly lucky when the Dolphins pass on Drew Brees and suddenly the Saints are a contender. That made up for almost 20 years of ineptitude.

        In baseball, I was a Montreal Expos fan. You suffer through some dark days in the early 1990’s, and then the sun comes from behind the clouds and you’ve got what appears to be the best team in MLB in 1994. And they cancel the World Series, causing the inevitable disappearance of your team.

        I watch the Habs because it gives me something to do on Saturday nights. It would be great if they won a Stanley Cup. It would be greater if I won the lottery. I don’t bank on either of those things happening and content myself with the most likely result.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        You’re confusing two completely separate and independent timelines:
        1) the Canadiens’ cup drought
        2) proper player development

        Just because 1) is taking longer than one would like (Cup dynasties are nice and all) does not mean in any way that 2) can be rushed otherwise the team will just be hemorrhaging valuable assets because of a lack of proper development/patience.

    • The Dude says:

      So this cultural bullspit excuse must of led to the Laff’s not winning a Cup since 1967! Come -on…get real and stop blaming the FaNS ! Look, hate to ruin your day but the Fans pay the bills around Hab land and that’s all, Owners -Management- Scouting- Coaches- are responsible for the LACK of Vision and resourcefulness as well as timing needed to put on the Ice a long term winning line-up that is equipped for the rigors of the NHL. Montreal fked it up ‘BIG TIME’ when Scott Bowman was not allowed to take over the reigns. Serge Savard did a fair job and after that complete Morons who were trying to force their will on the game instead of working with the game of Winning . As for the Players they did their best…but always losing and not being in finals action due to 20 years of mismanagement destroys your MOJO,PERIOD! A GREAT WAY TO FIX ALL OF THIS IS TO START WITH ACCOUNTABILITY !

      • Chris says:

        Scotty Bowman took over the reins in Buffalo when he wasn’t given the Montreal job. From 1979-80 to 1986-87, he served as Buffalo’s GM.

        So it’s not like we have to play the “What if Scotty Bowman had been allowed to be the GM?”. We can actually see exactly what Bowman would have done!

        Bowman took over a similarly aging team in Buffalo. He only missed the playoffs once in that run. He did get to the Conference Finals in his first year as GM and coach. But after that his teams lost in the 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 1st round. His last two seasons saw the Sabres miss the playoffs. His last season, 1986-87, saw the team he built finish last overall, costing him his job.

        The more that the team became Bowman’s, the less competitive that it became. That is Scotty Bowman’s real-live record as an NHL GM. Yet we still see people like you speculate that it would have been all different if he was given the reins in Montreal.

  11. Say Ash says:

    David Fischer not on the above list. Guess he worked out, then?

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Hey UCE! Are our Chargers going to break my heart again this year?

  13. Strummer says:

    Interesting read on the large number of potential 1st rounders from the Q in this year’s draft.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/quebecs-change-in-hockey-philosophy-beginning-to-bear-fruit/article12821606/

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

  14. Jerman says:

    I heard that Carolina is looking for a top 4 Dman. Do you think that Markov + Mtl 1st (maybe with a B grade prospect) would get us their First? Maybe get Monahan at that spot?

    • florida habs says:

      I think someone asked this yesterday, and consensus seemed to Markov++++++ would be a starting point. IMO Markov has lost considerable ability 5 on 5, maybe he tried to play the type of game he would have done 4 years ago, but think he needs to talk to Hamrlk about how to adjust his game versus his declining capabilities.

      • Jerman says:

        If Habs’ find a way to get Monahan, having Galchenuk, Monahan and Eller as your top 3 centers would be insane. (But getting Monahan is FAR from a reality).

        In a perfect world:
        -trade Plec and Markov for Monahan
        -Sign Letang next year
        -sign Lecavalier for dirt cheap and 2 years max as a vet guy

    • A PP QB is going to be a precious commodity this summer, but if I’m Carolina, I’m asking for more. I don’t think they’d part with Gleason, but if they were willing, I might dangle Markov for him.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • savethepuck says:

      I don’t like to include Markov in trade scenarios, I don’t think our remaining D could fill the void of his offensive production. If we did somehow manage to obtain the 5th overall I would be much more interested in Nichushkin, he is more likely to become a game changer.

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

    • Chris says:

      No chance.

      Moving up 20 spots into the top-5 of a draft where the consensus is that it is 5 star players deep is going to cost you a lot more than a 34 year old soon to be UFA.

      Markov could be included, but they would probably want one of Beaulieu or Tinordi as well, and then you are probably still expected to add another roster player.

    • Habfan17 says:

      No, not Markov. Maybe Gorges and Diaz. I would not want to give up any of the picks in this draft. I would give Gorges, Diaz, Moen, and Holland

      Habfan17

  15. Old Bald Bird says:

    HIO doesn’t like this ref from Brooks?
    http://tinyurl.com/p2653hm

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      “It’s the nature of the beast that features four best-of-sevens, but it’s also a by-product of unstated league playoff policy that allows, and thus encourages, physical beat-downs at every goalmouth scrum, cross-checks all over the ice, wrestling after every whistle and blows to the head that go unpunished. “

  16. habs001 says:

    Where would the Habs present team roster rank vs the rest of the NHL?…or their prospects( AHL,junior and overseas players?)
    While the Habs have more picks than most teams they are picking 25th and onwards…from the posts here there are so many quality prospects in the Habs pick ranges but that means other teams will get quality players also and a the majority of the teams pick earlier than the Habs so they will have access to even better players…So unless your picking top 5, i am not sure how this draft will allow the Habs to surpass teams that have better NHL and minor league players …

    • Through a lot of skill and a lot of luck, we’ve drafted exceptionally well in the later rounds — we can’t bank on that continuing of course, but six picks in the first three rounds are bound to produce a couple of gems.

      Totally agree that a top five pick would be a huge step forward, but frankly we got that last year, and anyway championship teams aren’t built on superstars alone — sure you want that top line full of great players, but your 2nd and 3rd lines have got to be full of the two-way 15-25 goal types that you try and nab with the 25th, 35th or 45th pick overall.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  17. Timo says:

    Aaah… this is a great morning. Calgary is getting back to normal (more or less), Bruins flunked out in a spectacular fashion and I don’t have to watch NHL for the next 3 months. Feels pretty good.

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    Do not read if you want to continue to believe that the Jacobs (Jeremy and son Charlie) are complete d* bags.

    Seems the son has a heart.

    http://espn.go.com/boston/nhl/story/_/id/9423951/fan-77-boston-bruins-gave-tickets-life

    • Lafleurguy says:

      The difference between night and day is * is spelled differently at night (on HIO)!
      Another difference is lack of sunshine at night unless you’re where nunacanadien is.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    So another NFL has chosen to trade in an All-Star career for chrome bracelets.

    From a football perspective, Tom Brady will start the season with no Welker, no Hernandez and no Gronkowski. (Patriots have already released Hernandez as well)

    Thankfully they have Tebow!

    • Bripro says:

      I knew you’d be the first to comment (salt on wound) on this.
      As if I wasn’t peeved enough! ;)

      It’s easy for Mayo to say that the team must stay focused, but with this many distractions, I don’t see that happening.
      I might have to look to Pittsburg for some encouragement.

      Cheers buddy!

  20. veryhabby says:

    Most say the biggest thing we need to fix right now is “becoming a harder team to play against.” I often say it’s our D that needs biggest upgrade…be hard to play against in that area and our small fast forwards will do the rest. But I looked at Chicago’s team. Where were they “hard to play against.” Which dman of their’s put fear into the opposition when entering the zone? Seabrook, Rosinval, Keith, Leddy? Really only Odyuya (yup prob spelled that wrong). I don’t even know who their other dman was!

    Upfront, they didn’t have a Horton or Lucic on the top 6. Bickel isn’t at their O level. Hossa has size, but really…..Handzus…really? Definitely no muscle/size in their top 6.

    My point is they won the cup, but where were they “a tough team to play against”? Even their goalie has many possing questions.

    So maybe if Moen, White, Prust can play their roles…that’s enough? If Emelin, Tinordi, PK can keep hitting hard….that’s enough?

    Not saying we have the same elite level talent as Chicago. But this whole “hard to play against”….I dont’ see them have that many more players hard to play against then we do.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good thoughts, vh.
      AND, the Hawks did it against a Bruins team predicated on truculence.
      However, I think Moen is done — won’t play physical any more, and offers little else. There are other post-concussion players that could be heading that way also (good for them, I say; just not good for us).
      I would still love to see a little more size and strength on the D: I think guys like Gorges and Diaz would play better if paired with someone unpleasant.

    • twilighthours says:

      Their 6th D is Hjalmarsson, who is quite a nice defenseman. Great skater and puckhandler.

      And I agree, our glaring issue is on D. There’s really only Subban and possibly Emelin who I like back there. Let’s hope Tinordi is ready for prime time.

    • florida habs says:

      they do play a physical game, I think you under estimate the play of the D-men, Keith/Seabrook/Rosinval/Hammer can all play with an edge. Keith and Seabrook can be downright scary if they choose to.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Our D needs a huge upgrade and that may come from within (Tinordi-Beaulieu, possibly even Pateryn) yet to say our small fast forwards will do the rest…well, how did that work out against Ottawa?

      Bickell may not be as talented as Horton/Lucic, yet his size and courage going against Chara-Boychuk was a key factor in the Hawks Cup win.
      His tenacity also led to 9 goals and just 1 short of playoff leader Patrick Sharp

      Keith Seabrook and Leddy are smart O players. You don’t need the big slapper to prove that.

      They were a tough team to play against because they had discipline and were as committed to D as they were to O – and they have great talent and coaching.

    • You make a good point: that hitting isn’t everything — a team as skilled as Chicago doesn’t have to play the same Don Cherry-style hockey that the Leafs did this season to compete.

      But I think team toughness is a different thing altogether. You mention Handzus, and he’s a good example — not really a physical guy, but he’s 6’4″ and 219lbs. He’s a lot bigger, stronger and harder to knock off the puck than too many of our own forwards — and he’s rock solid defensively. A guy like Andrew Shaw isn’t big, but he had 9 goals — and 70 hits — in 48 games. Even if you consider Prust and Bickell a wash, we can’t match the strength along the boards of guys like Bollig and Stalberg. Seabrook isn’t Scott Stevens, but he had 106 hits in 46 games, and his 6’3″/221lbs frame made sure a lot of them hurt. And even an elite team like Chicago made sure to have a Daniel Carcillo in the lineup for 23 of 48 games — a higher-end goon with at least enough hockey skill to maintain an even +/- in limited minutes.

      IMO, if a player isn’t elite, he can’t afford not to be physical — he doesn’t have to be a huge hitter or fighter, but a physical presence that dishes out the occasional hit of significance, and that’s strong along the boards and hard to knock off the puck. That describes Eller, Pacioretty and (sometimes) Bourque among our forwards. Plekanec is arguably elite as a two-way centre. Prust and Gallagher get a pass because they play that Toronto style. But other guys like Desharnais, Ryder, Galchenyuk and Gionta aren’t elite enough to excuse their lack of physicality, nor physical enough to excuse their lack of elite ability. This is especially true of our bottom six — guys like White, Dumont, Halpern, Moen and Armstrong all need to be both tougher and better. Even moreso for defencemen like Diaz, Weber, Gorges and Drewiske.

      I’m not saying these are bad players, but when you have more than one or two at the most, you’re not “tough to play against.”

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Good points, but I think there is potential that young Galchenyuk could develop into a large size Patrick Kane with more physicality coming into his game as his body fills out and he get’s further removed from the reconstructive surgery on his knee.

        “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Garbo says:

      I think there’s some guy on their team named Toews? Not exactly a small pushover forward.

      And Keith is grittier than any player on the habs.

      Not to mention they have one of the best speedy small forwards in the game. No one on the habs even comes close to the talent of Kane.

      I simply don’t see the comparison between these teams. Being hard to play against includes having the elite offensive threat that will actually score goals when you make a mistake, making teams much more cautious to begin with.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You missed the obvious and principal and most long standing reason why our team is not hard to play against.

      I take you back to the last time our team made a significant playoff run. Remember?

      There is agreement that we must address deficiencies which ails our team and make us match up unfavourably with ‘elite’ teams. But I agree with your conclusion that ‘size wise’ we may not be as disadvantaged as we all clamour about here on HIO.

      In my opinion, the one reason why HABS fail during the season and in the playoffs is simple… offensive weakness. And dont trot out the stats which say we are this in the league or that in the league in scoring. The one constant remark by analysts for the last so many years.. HABS will have trouble scoring and therefore will rely on Carey Price and ‘a shutdown’ style.

      It started with our infatuation (correctly) with Roy and the determination made then that if you have a ‘great goalie’ then you dont need the other stuff. That mantra was why we drafted Price.

      It continued with our coaching and and our systems of play.

      It got worse as we insisted that every player who comes onto this team must buy into something called … well I dont know what it is, but what it does is ensure that everyone plays at a level of mediocrity which makes the team look ‘good’ defensively.

      Let’s look at Chicago.

      Chicago never looked like a great defensive team where everyone collapsed in front of their goal and depended on blocking shots etc .

      In almost every game Chicago looked vulnerable in their play to counter attack.. .

      What Chicago had… in every game… was that EVERY PLAYER on the ice had a determination to take their chances; to be offensive. They would lose the puck often but as I have wished many times here… they didnt dwell on those ‘giveaway’.. every player on the ice reacted and skated his arse off to harry the other team until puck possession was re-gained… and then the adventure would start again. And I use the word harry deliberately. There was really no bone crashing hitting. There was no need to ‘strip the puck or take the man down. I often saw just a poke to make the puck skirt free and then there would be another Chicago player skating his arse off to take possession or resume another ‘harrying and cornering’ move.

      I challenged anyone here who watch the finals to stand up and tell me that they werent nervous for Chicago against almost any team. And yet suddeny, there would be a goal from Chicago… simply because they were always , always on the attack. If your skilled players are working their butts off to do what they are meant to do..take real risks to score.. then the entire team fills with energy and remains alert and hard working.

      But when you give your team over to the plodders, and you mix and match your lines to emphasize that plodding defensiveness and you allow your most skilled and best hockey players to become ‘happy’ with ‘poor results’ under the guise that they are being defensively conscious… well what you get is our team.

      Oh yeah and the answer to when last we had a great playoff run… we had a guy named Cammallieri (by no means a ‘superstar’) leading the whole freakin league in playoff scoring.

      And note Chicago started their ‘comeback’ when Quenville reunited Kane and Toews especially and played to the strength of these two great and skilled ‘offensive players’.

      Habs have to identify our ‘real offensive’ stars and set them free. If a team cant respond to pick up their man or skate like hell defensively when an offensive thrust breaks down.. then they may as well just line up 5 along the face-off radius and block shots.

      While I am at it.. I will repeat the remark that Denis Potvin made and I have not seen one comment by HIO on. “.K must learn to make plays once he gains the offensive zone on his rushes”
      Why I bring this up again… because if the HABS start joining in the urgency and sweetness of their skilled players like a P.K to ‘make beautiful offensive plays’ (See Toews to Kane to Bickell for Chi tieing goal ) then we will once again become a team hard to play against.. and we will also be able to properly determine the true skill level of our roster. Having everyone be a ‘defensive specialist’ afraid to ‘join the attack’ is chiefly responsible for our inability to , as Denis Potvin says, make the plays which make us hard to play against and and break out of our ‘system mentality’ when we encounter breakdowns.

      And that is the biggest difference.. that is why the HABS no longer produce star-quality offense. We coach and play too defensive a system. Even last season when we tried, our players have been so inculcated into this style of hockey that the slightest push from the opponent would see our team fall back into our zone.

      This is one reason why we dont know if Plekanec is a #1 centre or Eller or what are Pcioretty’s true abilities etc. Look at all the posts here. We all know that this player or that player s good enough to be on our #2 or #3 line.. we can hardly identify a true #1 offensive threat on our team… and it has been this way forever it seems.

      • veryhabby says:

        habstrinifan…I agree. I have said that outside of having a bigger/tougher D…that our other need is to have a real goal scorer. most fans are asking for more toughness in our bottom 6. But our top 9 is made up of a bunch of 20-25 goal guys. Only Pac, once hit over 30. So yes nice to have 3 lines that can score. But nicer to have elite talent on the top line. A 20 goal guy will give you 1 goal in a 7 game series. and then we wonder why we can’t score or win in the playoffs.

        We have no one that the other team worries about when on the ice. No one that fans say, “ok he’s on, now we have a chance cause he can score anytime.”

        MB was smart in replacing Ryder with Cole. But now our 30 goal guy is gone. Where’s the goals gonna come from?

  21. Maritime Ron says:

    As noted from earlier posts, that 2003 Draft in the 1st Round was incredible, yet the picks that came later – right up to the 9th Round makes that probably the best draft ever.

    Starting from the 9th and last round that year:

    Round – Overall Drafted Position- Team – Player

    9 – 290 – Ottawa – Brian Elliott
    9 – 288 – Colorado – David Jones
    9 – 271 – Montreal – Jaroslav Halak
    9 – 263 – Pittsburgh – Matt Moulson

    8 – 250 – Anaheim – Shane O’Brien
    8 – 245 – Chicago – Dustin Byfuglien
    8 – 239 – Atlanta – Tobias Enstrom

    7 – 205 – San Jose – Joe Pavelski
    6 – 168 – Columbus – Marc Methot
    5 – 148 – St. Louis – Lee Stempniak

    Is this the best 2nd Round ever?

    2 – 62 – St. Louis – David Backes
    2 – 49 – Nashville – Shea Weber
    2 – 47 – San Jose – Matt Carle
    2 – 45 – Boston – Patrice Bergeron
    2 – 37 – Nashville – Kevin Klein
    2 – 33 – Dallas – Loui Eriksson

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    Thomas McCollum, 2008
    Jakub Kindl, 2005
    Jesse Wallin, 1996
    Maxim Kuznetzov, 1995
    Yan Golubovsky, 1994
    Curtis Bowen, 1992

    Just some of the recent Detroit Red Wing 1st Round Picks.

    Even they made mistakes?

    McCollum may still develop, he is a goalie. But the rest were hardly NHL regulars. Kindl may yet prove to be a reliable NHL Dman as well.

    When looking at the Wings, the amazing stat is how few 1st round picks they have had over the past 15 years.

    • commandant says:

      Detroit’s “great drafting” is a bit of a myth.

      The Red Wings were awesome from about 1990 – 2004

      Since then, they have not drafted a single legit top 6 forward, or top 4 defence, or #1 goalie. Not one single player of this caliber since 2005.

      Now recent drafts have some promising prospects, but all unproven at the NHL level.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        My Red Wings history is a little hazy! What changed in 2004 or thereabouts?

        • commandant says:

          My theory is that seeing the Wings success with drafting in the 90s, other teams beefed up their scouting departments, and made sure that guys like Datsyuk wouldn’t be found by Detroit in the 6th round because they were the only team who saw the kid play in some Russian junior league at the time.

          The Wings of the 90s did a great job of finding the undiscovered gems. Now there are more eyes out there.

          Go Habs Go!
          Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Thanks Commandant. So the rest of the field caught up.

            Somewhat separately, last couple of times we’ve played Detroit, there was comment (players, coaches, HIP posters) expressing a desire for our two teams to play more (be careful what you wish for!).

            And I’d agree. I like their hockey. (Or, is there a deeply-embedded chromopyschological memory associated with the Detroit colours and Dec 31, 1975?….)

          • issie74 says:

            It is all hindsight Commandant and we know, that is 20-20

            NorthTOHab

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Cheers Issie. Was driving in North York last week, holy traffic, Batman! What did you think of the Leafs’ collapse in the last 9 minutes of game 7?

            “May you live in interesting times.”

        • Maritime Ron says:

          It’s easy to crap on Detroit, yet they have not had favorable draft positions, nor was it easy to crack their Top 6 or top 4.

          Since 2005 their highest overall draft positions by year have been:
          19-41-27-30-32-21-35-49.

          • commandant says:

            Even with those draft positions, you gotta be able to get one guy. The number of full time NHLers is low too.

            Didn’t mean this as a total “crap on Detroit” thing… more an illustration that even the team with a reputation for being the best isn’t finding those players as much anymore.

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Maritime Ron says:

            Granted Commander, yet the Top 6 and Top 4 were not easy to break into.
            Here’s believing detroit is going to go through a very rough time once Datsyuk (soon to be 35) and Zetterberg start to wind down. Actually, it has begun with Lindstrom now gone.

          • issie74 says:

            Hey Guy, Leafs collapse ,was about the same as Bruins collapse in game 6 …

            Bruins should have watched Hawks all year … they would have known the Hawks play from whistle to whistle.

            Both teams thought they had it won … that is never a good thing.

            NorthTOHab

      • Chris says:

        Assessing the Red Wings is also difficult because it is not uncommon for their prospects to spend 4-6 years working their way into the lineup. They have long been the most patient team in the NHL with their development, something that some of their players get very frustrated with.

        Since 2005, they have two guys that I fully expect will be top-4 defencemen: Brendan Smith by next year, and Jakub Kindl should be there by next year or the year after.

        More recently, Nyquist and Tatar are very good players that are on the verge of breaking into the NHL and should have long, productive careers. Finally, I really like the Jurco and Frk choices, but we’ll see how those guys do.

        Detroit drafts to fit their system and they spend a lot of time grooming guys to meet that need.

  23. kalevine says:

    Re Wickenheiser, as I remember it, his choice was certainly not a slam dunk in Montreal, and many were disappointed by it. One of the negatives about Wickenheiser at the time was that he had had a very poor playoff that spring, and this was noted. Unfortunately it turned out to be predictive of his career. I also wonder if his benching in opening game while Savard was turning the Habs defence inside out was because he had already shown in training cap that he didn’t have the stuff. Some guys, like maybe Leclair, only excelled when they left Montreal because of the environment being more conducive to success. But Savard was a guy who would have been successful in montreal, and he might have propped up Lafleur and Shutt a few more seasons in the process

    • florida habs says:

      you never know, but Savard clearly was able to play at an elite level. at the time, and maybe even today, the QMHL was seen as a league that was easy to score in, and the scoring numbers were inflated versus a tougher league. Wickenheiser was viewed as the proto-type western league hockey warrior. goes to show you experts are never always right even when dealing with blue chip, can’t miss, players.

  24. Kooch7800 says:

    Kawasaki sent to triple a……not a smart move Jays.

    Emilio Bonifacio should be the one going down. That guys is garbage

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I believe Bonifacio is out of options, if they sent him down he could be claimed by another team. The team is also keeping an 8 man bullpen for similar reasons. A player like McGowan if sent down could be claimed.

      Reality is Kawasaki will be the first infielder called up. Izturis is showing more flexibility in the infield at this point. Kawasaki was a nice story, but there were also a few games earlier in season where he blew some games as well.

      The important thing is they now know what is available to them when needed.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        All True Burly. i am just not a Bonifacio fan. He hasn’t impressed me at all this season. He is fast and that is about it.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I don’t disagree, personally Bonifacio should be playing the outfield only I think. He is not a regular starting anything in the infield. I am surprised how well Rajai Davis is playing, I would have had Bonifacio doing that role.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Maybe we will get lucky and they will deal Bonifacio.

            Davis is a decent player. Great speed and a decent back up fielder

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • veryhabby says:

      EB has been playing very poorly. But this was the right move. Kawasaki will be back. Reyes is a ra-ra clubhouse voice like Kawasaki was. So if these Pros still need a ra-ra voice to get motivated, then so be it. You have to do what is best to win games, and Kawasaki was the right move for the time being.

      It will be interesting once Lawrie comes back. Then I guess a bullpen guy goes down. With EE at 3rd and Lind at 1st, we almost don’t need Lawrie back. But for sure this team is much better with Reyes in it. Kawasaki will be back

      • Kooch7800 says:

        If they could trade Lawrie I would do it. he has a great skill set but his attitude is not great and he can’t hit this year at all

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Total agreement. I am not even worried that he isn’t hitting, but he has every appearance of a petulant spoiled brat out there. He needs to be reigned in and show he is part of the team, or ship him out, regardless of his citizenship and the marketing they hope to do with it.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I think AA has noticed the attitude as well and with Gibby as the manager he doesn’t take crap from players. His days could very well be numbered. I wouldn’t give him away for nothing though. Maybe package him off

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I’m not convinced Gibby doesn’t take crap. What I am sure of is that when he does decide to step in, at least in the past, it was too late and was handled poorly.

            I didn’t think the Jays handled the Lawrie incident yelling at Lind and the Base coach well at all.

            I hope I am wrong, and I hope he is continually improving in this area. This team requires a strong Managerial leader.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          We’ve had hitters like him before but they were much more reserved. Warning track power. Barry Bonnell comes to mind, but we could come up with other names. Doesn’t look like Lawrie can hit for average like say John Olerud did. Encarnacion because of his great bat, may be able to succeed in a platoon at third. Kelly Gruber and Jose Bautista are the best the Jays have had at third.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            What about that Platoon Pair of Mulliniks and Iorg? :)

            Gruber, while not the sharpest knife, to me is the hands down most talented 3rd baseman the team has had.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            I loved Rance ’cause he played with wire-rim glasses on; could see better than with contacts apparently. Al Arbour was cool too. Poor Kelly got trashed ’cause he was seen water-skiing while on the DL with a chronic neck injury. (Guess 10912 is having way too much fun, and no time except to say hello in the early morning.)

            “May you live in interesting times.”

  25. Steeltown Hab says:

    Erne, Hartman, Compher, Morin, De la Rose, McCoshen, Zykov, Carrier, Hagman, Dano, Subban, Burakowsky, Poirier.

    Good chance MTL ends up with at least 2 of those guys, let alone 3 and a stretch to think but potentially 4.

    This draft along with last years is what changes the franchise going forward. Subban, Pacioretty, Price turned the tide – now these 2 drafts put us in the spot we’ve wanted to be in for a long time.

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  26. junyab says:

    Please oh please MTL, draft little Subban.

  27. The Juice says:

    Watched a program last night called the 2003 Draft in 30 Minutes. Wow what a deep draft it was, and given that the Habs only ended up with A. Kostitsyn, makes me think he should be included in the list above…

    __________________________________________________________________________

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

    • SmartDog says:

      At the time Kostitsyn was rated really high – 3rd or 4th – but health concerns (mild epilepsy) kept clubs away. The Habs thought they had a steal. More like they were robbed.

      I’ve wondered if anti-epileptic drugs are what made him look so sleepy.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Maritime Ron says:

        The Sather Rangers picked 2 spots after that in the 12th spot and chose Hugh Jessiman that played a total of 2 NHL games. We were not the worst. :-)

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Yeah, but he had great sideburns as Wolverine. “Presley-Burns.” His singing however left me feeling miserable.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Never heard him sing, Guy! Must have been pretty dire if he made you feel miserable. Belarussian Country & Western? I think that would do it for me, too.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Dunny Boy! Good Bud! Must be nice to be an European Habitant and away from the cloying culture of Hollywood (“so-and-so looked good on the Red Carpet, and so-and-so didn’t.” Well, make the ground cover black then, cause black goes with everything and hides stains better!). I was alluding to Hugh “Jessiman’s” Hollywood roles especially the Jean Valjean one.

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            HA HA! I’m an idiot! Thought you were still talking about A Kostitsyn! Never saw Hugh Jessiman play hockey nor heard him sing, nor even had the opportunity to admire his side-burns (called “chops” in Ireland).

      • adamkennelly says:

        I’d guess it was Vodka – combined with a good helping of “I don’t give a crap”

        turned into a 2nd round pick – excellent return all things considered.

      • Strummer says:

        He played well with Kovy and Pleks in ’08 and then in ’10-’11 with Moen and Eller.
        He had 30 goal potential but management wasn’t able to deal with his head.
        Perhaps with a Bergevin management model includinga team psychologist things may have turned out better.

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

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Kostitsyn had the skills and the size but couldn’t put it together on a regular basis. You would see flashes of it.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • neumann103 says:

      I don’t know if it is the definition of bust that needs a dose of reality or just a timeout on the hate for Kostitsyn, but he was typically a 45 point guy for the Habs for a half a dozen years and when his contract was expiring they dealt him to Nashville for what will be the 34th pick in this ostensibly deep draft, plus (i think) the 5th round pick they traded for Davis Drewiske.

      Sure I would have liked to have seen more from AK46 and the skill vs output gap was maddening but he was a perfectly reasonable pick in that draft and even if he did not light up the league was a key player for a number of years and with 20 games left on his contract was dealt for some decent assets.

      Bust? Nuts.

      “Et le but!”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Just for fun I looked at other #10 draft picks.

      1999: Branislav Mezei
      2000: Mikhail Yakubov
      2001: Dan Blackburn
      2002: Eric Nystrom
      2003: AK46
      2004: Boris Valabik
      2005: Luc Bourdon
      2006: Michael Frolik
      2007: Keaton Ellerby

      AK46 is clearly one of the better players in that list, if not the best (Bourdon died in a road accident).

    • issie74 says:

      A.K had an attack of epilepsy … If not for that incident … scouts would have had him in the top five … he was considered a good pick at the time

      Again hindsight is 20-20

      NorthTOHab

  28. Ozmodiar says:

    Man, these media types are getting my hopes up!

    The player atop my wish list for the upcoming draft, Valentin Zykov, came in @ 25 on Bobby Mac’s rankings list. Then, in his mock draft, Craig Button had the Habs picking him @ 25.

    I think it will come down to Zykov or Rychel, which would bode well for the top six down the road.

    Pac – Gally1 – Gally2
    Zykov/Rychel – Eller – Collberg

    Mix and match…. you can’t go wrong.

  29. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Is is accurate to claim that we are in the NHL’s toughest division?

    If so, presumably it gets even tougher with the addition of Detroit, departure of Winnipeg.

    If it’s true that we are minimum 2-3 years from Cup contention, where would we prefer to continue our development: in the toughest division or in the company of crappy teams we can easily beat?

    Semi-rhetorical, and I know what I think!

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Ireland Mike

      Don’t forget Columbus was also added to our Conference.

      That team lost out in a tie breaker to Minnesota this year for 8th in the West…and they also have 3 First Round draft picks this year.

      They are another BIG nasty team we’ll have to deal with as they had the 3rd most Majors in the NHL behind only Toronto and Philly and ahead of 4th place Boston.

    • Cal says:

      Yes.
      And yes.
      The forge that burns hottest makes the best steel. I’m glad the Habs are in the toughest division.

      http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Good afternoon and good morning gentlemen. Yep, we’ll be in probably the toughest division but luckily, playoff seeding will be conference-wide except for the guarantee of top three positioning for the division leaders.
      Good point Ron, about the stature status of the Columbus squad. That is one of several teams likely to improve or remain status quo. Habs are similar. Examples of teams likely to worsen or remain status quo are Carolina and Vancouver because their key players are older unlike guys like Galchenyuk, Subban, Seguin, Ekman-Larsson, and others. Have a nice day. Peace/Out.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Guy,
        I’m not writing off Carolina just yet.
        With injuries to their Top 2 goalies last year – Ward and Ellis, they were forced to play 3rd stringer Justin Peters for 19 games. Ward only played 19 games.
        Due to injuries on D, they had 12 different Dmen suit up in 48 games.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Good point, Ron; forgot about the goalie injuries; would be like us relying on Tokarski for 19 games. Didn’t know about their extensive number of D-men injuries; would have been like us using Joe Stejskal and Frederic St. Denis and others.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hi Dun. Just by chance, I read your post way down below about Pronger, and agree totally. “Time heals all wounds” is a famous proverb, but time can also make that tree fall in the forest with no one nearby to attest to any sound.
      http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2007/news/story?id=2891998

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  30. Peter Young says:

    Apologies if someone has posted this already; I quickly ran through the comments on this and the immediately preceding thread and saw no such list posted.

    The Canadiens’ Stanley Cup-winning games against the Black Hawks, as they were known then, in 1971 and 1973 remain first and third, respectively, on the all-time list of the most-watched NHL games in U.S. television history. The 1971 game outranked even game 6 of the Bruins-Rangers series of 1972 by almost one and a half million viewers. While the Hawks are, of course, a U.S. team, surely these record numbers reflected in large part the draw of the Canadiens and their mystique in the U.S.

    The population of the U.S. waa a third smaller 40 years ago, 203 million compared to today’s 309 million, yet the top three games were from the early 1970s. That indicates that NHL hockey was much more popular then, at least among television viewers.

    Most-watched NHL games of all-time in the U.S.

    1. 5/18/71, Montreal vs. Chicago, Game 7: 12.41 million (CBS)
    2. 5/11/72, Boston vs. NY Rangers, Game 6: 10.93 million (CBS)
    3. 5/10/73, Montreal vs. Chicago, Game 6: 9.41 million (NBC)
    4. 6/15/11, Boston vs. Vancouver, Game 7: 8.54 million (NBC)
    5. 4/30/72, NY Rangers vs. Boston, Game 1: 8.51 million (CBS)
    6. 5/12/74, Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 3: 8.30 million (NBC)
    7. 6/9/10, Chicago vs. Philadelphia, Game 6: 8.28 million (NBC)
    8. 5/7/72, Boston vs. NY Rangers, Game 4: 8.26 million (CBS)
    9. 6/24/13, Chicago vs. Boston, Game 6: 8.16 million (NBC)
    10. 6/12/09, Pittsburgh vs. Detroit, Game 7: 7.99 million (NBC)

    Source: http://www.sbnation.com/2013/6/25/4463964/stanley-cup-final-tv-ratings-game-6

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Nice stuff Peter.
      Just wondering how much the time of the year came into play back then?

      The top ranked 1971 finals were played between May 4th and May 18th where for the most part in Canada and border US states, flowers and veggie gardens are still weeks away from being planted, and golf courses far from their prime….and satellite TV/Computers and all the other stuff didn’t exist

    • habsfan0 says:

      Very interesting stats, thanks for sharing,Peter.

      I’m guessing that one explanation for the reason hockey viewership was higher in the early 70’s than it is today is because there is a plethora of other avenues of entertainment available today that was not in existence back then,i.e..multi channel universe,internet as examples.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Nice research!

      Isn’t it true that the NBA was not successful on tv in the 1970s? In fact, I think it may have come fourth behind the NHL’s third in terms of viewership.

      When did Slapshot come out and did it affect viewership?

      Strange that US viewership apparently declined in the decade following The Miracle at the 1980 Winter Olympics….

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    Some good research down below from UCe on the 1980 draft.

    • Ed says:

      Wickenheiser was the best player at the time of the draft. Not even close. I remember the draft well, and he had the numbers and the size to justify that pick 100 times out of 100.

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    IF the Sabres bought out Ville Leino, would anyone want the Habs to take a chance on him? Many of the reports out of Buffalo was that the clubhouse was not happy when this relatively unproven forward was essentially given the keys to the City when he walked into Buffalo as an UFA.

    I wonder if signed on a 1-2 year contract at reasonable price if he would be helpful.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Morning Burly

      Hard to say.
      He turns 30 at the start of next season.
      Injury riddled, he only played 8 games last year.

      He had only 1 half decent season with Philly scoring 19 goals in 2010/11 playing on the top line then with Danny Briere and Scot Hartnell where he had Top 6 minutes and 2nd Unit PP.

      http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combos/index.php?season=2010&team=PHI&strength=EV&playertype=F&gametype=ALL

      Why they ever gave him 6 years/$27M is a mystery only Darcy Regier knows the answer to.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Good Morning Ron, yah I am not really endorsing the move, but he is a good sized Left winger which we are lacking. For some reason, I get the feeling if Buffalo buys him out, he ends up back in Detroit. Assuming he takes a low contract, given they have cap difficulties like many other teams.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Leino has always played well against us in the playoffs, if memory serves. But is he past it? Injuries catching up?

          And how is he related to Jay?

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Maybe sign him for more “finish” around the net, something missing from the squad since Saku departed. Ville is funnier than Jay.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan17 says:

      I’d rather MB target younger players like Bickell and Stalberg. If they are going to sign players in their early 30’s, I would prefer a big crease clearing Defenceman, and then for two or three seasons max. Just to fill in while the prospects are cutting their teeth!

      Habfan17

    • Marc10 says:

      No thanks. Bad work ethic. And we have guys like this already (not the work ethic, but skilled forwards in his mould). He might be well served to go back to Philly really.

  33. Ian Cobb says:

    Scotty was moved out of town, and Grundman destroyed the Montreal franchise, he put us in the garbage the same way Harold Ballard destroyed the Toronto franchise.

  34. Habfan17 says:

    I posted this yesterday when I read some posts complaining that Timmins has done a poor job. I only looked at the first round, not the later picks that were gems, like Subban.

    I am wth you Maritime Ron! To all those who have an issue with Timmins, here are the 1st round picks made since Timmins joined the Habs. As MR stated, Timmins may have been over ruled on some picks.

    Under Timmins watch, the Habs have drafted in the first round
    Galchenyuk, 48 NHL games played
    Beaulieu, 6 NHL games played
    Tinordi, 8 NHL games played
    Leblanc, 42 NHL games played
    No 1st round in 08,
    McDonough 07, 169 NHL games played
    Pacioretty 07, 246 NHL games played
    Fischer, 0 NHL games Played
    Price, 310 NHL games played
    Chipchura, 262 NHL games played
    Kostitsyn 398 NHL games played
    Higgins. 523 NHL games played
    This does not include playoffs. So out of 11 players selected, 10 have played in the NHL. How is that bad? So they may not turn out to be franchise players, but most have been drafted in the bottom half of the first round!

    Habfan17

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Gmorning 17

      It’s also interesting to see the later round picks and what they ended up giving back to the Habs.

      Ex:
      2003
      Halak chosen 271 – we end up Lars Eller drafted 1st round
      Ryan O’Byrne chosen 79 we end up Michael Bournival

      2004:
      Mark Streit chosen 262 and we ended up with nothing that has little to do with Timmins

      Here is the history of Habs picks since 1963:
      http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006929.html

      • Habfan17 says:

        Morning MR

        It is interesting, sometimes we forget what assets were obtained later in the draft and ended up being traded for a anotherhigher drafted, talented player. Thanks for the link.
        I think it is pretty amazing that 10 of 11 first round picks have made it to the NHL. The last 4 are just starting their careers and I like the chances that Timmins and his group will uncover a few more this draft. Nygren, Kristo and Collberg also look to be shrewd picks.

        Habfan17

  35. Maritime Ron says:

    A question for the Draft gurus around here;

    From USA Today Kyle Woodlief former scout for the Nashville Predators and his blog The Red Line Report a subscription, sometimes controversial report used by 29 NHL teams.

    No one is perfect when it comes to this, yet it’s interesting to hear from someone that has actually sat at a draft table.

    “25. Montreal — Emile Poirier. Hear that? It’s the sound of fervent praying as the Habs try to subconsciously will the rest of the league into staying away from this hometown Montreal stud. If they land him at No. 25, mark our words — it will be the biggest steal of the draft.”

    Central Scouting has him at 39 – McKenzie at 46-The Hockey News at 47-McKeens the lowest at 26.

    From Benoit Groulx – his coach in Hull:
    ” I think it’s an understatement to say that he’s not going to be there in the 3rd round. I think for sure he’ll be gone in the 2nd round, probably early in the 2nd round. Some teams talked to me about late in the 1st round”

    • issie74 says:

      You should not forget McKenzie is 85% correct … He takes the draft order of all scouts at Central Scouting(I believe) and then averages all the orders … thus giving him a list … It does not mean it is 100% …

      NorthTOHab

  36. Maritime Ron says:

    Good Morning morning crew

    Re Habs/Price ‘potential’ goalie coach.

    From here there was a belief that Stephane Waite from Chicago would eventually fill that role for many reasons.

    He is Sherbrooke Quebec born and is well known to both Bergevin and Dudley from their Chicago time, and unless there is a huge personality clash from the past, he would seem an almost natural fit.
    His 3 year contract with the Hawks is up on June 30th.

    He had some interesting quotes from an interview yesterday – and after 10 years and 2 Cups in Chicago, chose his words carefully -” It may be time to think about my options” or ” There was a lot of criticism and doubt in the Hawks org about Corey Crawford and I had to go to bat for him on several occasions.” or when asked if he would pick up a call from MB, he said of course…

    He sounded like a no nonsense guy. If that would transpire, here’s wondering what Carey would think about that….or does it even matter?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ron and the rest of the morning crew. I kind of thought that Bergevin may have been firing across Price’s bow and he may have a name in mind when he fired Carey’s goalie coach. Maybe this is who he had in mind?

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Jim,
        It was an interesting interview. He sounds like he just loved working with Quenneville….yet also mentioned the incredible amount of hours of HARD WORK (emphasized by him…) he and Crawford put in be it on the ice, in the video room, and on the head side of things.
        Great playoff results by Crawford including all those OT games.
        1.86 GAA – .932 SP.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Makes sense. Maybe he felt that Price needed a shake up and a reminder, you are getting the big bucks you wanted, now give us what we want, we expect you to be better.

        Habfan17

    • habsfan0 says:

      Given Stephane Waite’s body of work in Chicago,and the excellent results turned in by Corey Crawford and Ray Emery this season,Waite does appear to be an excellent choice.

      However,and I’m only trying to play devil’s advocate here,what qualities does Waite bring to the table that his predecessor,Pierre Groulx,apparently lacked?

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Don’t know. IF he ever leaves Chicago, and IF MB ever signs him, I guess we’ll find out because as usual, no stone will be left unturned…including thoughts by his kindergarten school teacher.

  37. Un Canadien errant says:

    Interesting thread, lots of revisionism going on.

    About Doug Wickenheiser being picked over Denis Savard, that was the overwhelming consensus at the time. Doug Wickenheiser was playing in a tougher league, and had better stats his draft year. In fact, when reviewing that year’s draft, we see that the Winnipeg Jets chose second and went with Dave Babych, instead of Mr. Savard who went third. So Denis Savard, while a spectacular prospect, was not a slam dunk pick, and was maybe hampered by the too small-too-soft-Québec player tag.

    As far as Irving Grundman overruling his scouts, including Claude Ruel, and going with the WHL player instead of the kid from his own backyard, I have never heard that story. Ever. I would love for someone to dig up any reports about that, any after-the-fact analysis or reminiscences. What I do remember is Ronald ‘Le Professeur’ Caron, the guy who was actually in charge of the draft for the Canadiens, crowing about his pick, and how he would be “le gros joueur de centre” that we were lacking, and how he’d slot in effortlessly between Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt. And every fan salivated.

    It’s not impossible that some Canadiens scouts were in the Denis Savard camp. Heck, some of them may never have seen Mr. Wickenheiser play before the draft, so in the room they would have been advocating for the player they’d seen and pushing hard that he be selected. The thing is, that happens at every draft. It’s rarely unanimous that one player is the guy that floats everyone’s boat in the draft war room.

    Just last season, Serge Boisvert started pushing for Charles Hudon to be picked in the second round, according to Stéphane Leroux of RDS, and had to sit as Dalton Thrower, Tim Bozon and Brady Vail were picked, growing ever more strident with each round passing. Before the Brady Vail pick, he kind of shrugged and shook his head at Mr. Leroux, indicating that it wasn’t going to happen. Then, as he walked to the podium with the card for the fifth pick, and having the honour of announcing the choice, he gave Mr. Leroux a nod to confirm they were selecting Mr. Hudon, and RDS viewers knew what the pick was before it was announced.

    So there may have been one or two Canadiens scouts pushing for Denis Savard at the 1980 draft, but they were just doing their job, giving info on the players they’d seen and selling the ones they felt were the best candidate to pick. It’s no sinister conspiracy, and there’s no need to fabricate histories to blame Irving Grundman for fanciful sins beyond the multitude that he did actually commit.

    ———————————————————————–
    “There’s a little bit of embelleshing going on. You know, on our team, we don’t accept it. You kow, it’s something we don’t accept as players, and as teammates.”–Milan Lucic.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …My memories of the time, Normand, for what it was worth, then an intense Habs Fan as a young man, was that Denis Savard was the one expected to be selected by Our Habs

      …totally devastated that Grundman chose Wickenheiser

      …the French flair and speed of Savard was what a Habs Fan of the day expected to rejuvenate the continuum

      …I can’t speak for other Habs Fans, but this square-head’s jaw dropped with vitriol on the beginning of the decline of the Montreal Canadiens as I viewed it

      …to this day, if I ever met Irving Grundman in public, I would smack him with a bowling ball between his eyes

      …I don’t know how old You were at the time, but I think others of that generation would remember it pretty close to how I did

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Not how I remember it. As I recall, the Canadiens had manoeuvered to get that #1 pick just to get Savard. Savard played his junior in Montreal, was already a star, and everyone “knew” he was going to be the pick. It was a shock when they went for size over flair.

      • Phil C says:

        The trade to get Colorado’s pick in 1980 was made in 1976. It was one of Sam Pollock’s brilliant “option to swap 1st round picks” trades. I’m surprised this strategy doesn’t get used anymore because the other GM does not have to give up his 1st rounder and if you get an arrogant GM who over-values his team, the pick can turn into a very good one. On the flip side, if the pick ends up being worse than your pick, the option is not exercised, and you essentially get nothing in the trade, so in that sense it is high risk, high reward.

        Anyway, I find it implausible that Montreal had Savard on the radar when he was 15, and they really had no idea if Colorado would finish so poorly four years later, although they probably felt confident that the pick would be better than theirs.

        • wjc says:

          That is the beauty of having a championship team full of stars, you can be patient and trade for futures. Polock was always trading extra players, for futures. Remember Canadiens won 4 Stanley cups during that time and did not need a draft choice until the good players started retiring.

          wjc

          • Phil C says:

            It certainly helped to have a good team, although that championship team of the late 70s was built by similar type trades, ie trading veterans for future draft picks. Lafleur, Shutt, Robinson, etc. Pollock figured out very quickly that the key to a draft system is to draft early and often, and he was willing to part with assets to do it. Can you imagine Bergevin making a trade for a pick 2017? That type of patience seems almost impossible today.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      From: ZURKOWSKY, HERB. The Gazette [Montreal, Que] 17 June 1990

      The 1980 NHL draft produced a few superstars and several players most fans haven’t heard of since. This is a look at four of the players from that draft 10 years ago.

      Ten years have passed but the mere mention of the name Doug Wickenheiser still sends shivers down the spines of some people.

      Like Ron Caron.

      Caron is the general manager of the St. Louis Blues, but was Montreal’s chief scout in 1980 when the Canadiens selected Wickenheiser first over-all.

      The affable Caron is one of the most garrulous GMs in the National Hockey League – until the subject of Wickenheiser arises in a conversation. Caron suddenly does an about-face and becomes tight- lipped, almost surly.

      “I’m not into history. I live in the present, not the past. There’s nothing to talk about,” said Caron. “When I was hired, I was told I would make mistakes.

      “I remember he scored 100 goals. If I had to do it again, he would be considered very heavily.”

      Wickenheiser scored 89 goals and 81 assists his final season of junior with the Regina Pats and was named the Canadian Hockey League’s player of the year. He was rated the best draft-eligible prospect by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.

      Del Wilson, who scouts the Western Hockey League for the Canadiens, knew Wickenheiser like the back of his hand.

      “We were told to get a big centre. He was an offensive centre when he was drafted and we tried turning him into a defensive centre. It’s unfortunate, but we don’t run the team. We draft the best available player for what they want.”

      Irving Grundman was the Canadiens’ managing director in 1980 when the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Wickenheiser was selected. Grundman said Montreal already had plenty of small centres like Denis Savard, who was eligible in that draft.

      “Central Scouting had (Wickenheiser) first. If you would have surveyed the scouts, 90 per cent would have selected him where I did,” said Grundman. “All of our scouts were in agreement. He had everything we were looking for. Under the circumstances anyone in my position would have done the same thing.”

      Wickenheiser played 3 1/2 seasons with Montreal before being traded to St. Louis. He has also played for Vancouver, the New York Rangers, the Canadian Olympic team and Washington, and with Flint and Baltimore in the minor leagues. In 556 NHL games he has 111 goals and 165 assists.

      Wickenheiser, 29, is spending the summer at home in Regina working in construction with his father, Charles. He wouldn’t discuss his future plans but it’s believed he might play in Europe next season.

      He is understandably defensive about his career.

      “The draft was and is to this day a big thrill. The biggest highlight to this point,” he said.

      Asked if things might have turned out differently had he been drafted later by another team, Wickenheiser said: “Things wouldn’t have turned out differently.” But then he paused and added: “Who can say?”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      from: Matheson, Jim. Edmonton Journal [Edmonton, Alta] 21 June 2000

      Doug Wickenheiser recently lost an excruciating battle with cancer, while Denis Savard just got into the Hall of Fame. Two good people forever linked in time.

      Twenty years ago this month, the raging debate at the Montreal Forum was whether the Habs would appease their followers by taking the local phenom Savard first overall in the draft or go with Wickenheiser, the stronger kid from Regina.

      The story back then was that Guy Lafleur wanted a bigger centre after Jacques Lemaire retired. Savard was flashy but people said he hung onto the puck too long and wouldn’t find Lafleur for his big shot coming down the right side.

      Wickenheiser hadn’t put up Savard’s junior numbers but was built more like Jean Beliveau. He was talented but he never passed muster with the fans in Montreal.

      Why did the Canadiens take Wickenheiser and not Savard? Good question and only one guy can answer it: former Canadiens’ chief scout Ron Caron, who left the Habs to become the Blues’ GM three years later.

      Savard finished his career with 1,338 points in 1,196 games.

      Wickenheiser, the victim of harsh fans and bad management decisions in Montreal and later a knee he damaged in a rookie initiation prank in St. Louis, played just 556 games over 10 seasons. He was a solid NHLer, a tremendously well-liked guy, but never a star.

      Caron denied Lafleur swayed him at draft time. It was Caron’s call, alone. He’ll take the fall for missing on Wickenheiser, who was about 20 pounds heavier and three inches taller than Savard, and had 170 points (89 goals) his last junior year.

      “You’ve got beef out there in Western Canada,” joked Caron. “If players are even in talent and attitude, I’ll always take the size. We knew how good Savard was, but … . ”

      But the Habs were looking to get bigger.

      “In 1975, we took a centre named Pierre Mondou, a nice little player. And in 1979, in one of the best drafts in history, we got Guy Carbonneau with the 44th pick. So little guys we had at centre,” said Caron.

      “There are a lot smarter people in the game than myself. I have no idea what Savard would have done for the Canadiens if we’d selected him. He would have made the team, don’t get me wrong. But he was an individual player, playing an individual game. I didn’t think we needed another small French-Canadian because we had Carbonneau ready to blossom.”

      So Caron took Wickenheiser. And he convinced the ‘Hawks to take Savard, saying, “He’ll have a great career because he plays with emotion and especially with the way the Chicago rink is built he can break through the middle and make a lot of plays.”

      He made enough of them to make the Hockey Hall of Fame.

      And Wickenheiser became a journeyman before a simple lump on his wrist started him on his battle with cancer. The Habs did him no favours, especially coach Claude Ruel in his first year.

      “The Canadiens didn’t handle him well at the start, benching him when they played Savard (and the Blackhawks) the first game,” said Caron. “It became a tough task trying to live with that … looking back, he just wasn’t made to play for Montreal.”

      Caron’s first deal when he got to St. Louis was giving up Perry Turnbull for Wickenheiser, Greg Paslawski and Gilbert Delorme.

      “I told Jacques (Demers, the Blues’ coach) to make Wickenheiser a defensive player,” said Caron. “He helped us a great deal, but that knee injury he got didn’t help him. It came in one of those `snipe hunts’ they put the rookies through (he fell off a truck). He was out seven months.

      “He was a very good person, married a little late. If he’d had the maturity after he married his girl, he’d have an eagerness to achieve which he didn’t have naturally.

      “But everybody liked him in St. Louis. He put in quite a struggle to live.”

    • neumann103 says:

      Human memory is fallible but here is my recollection.

      That draft was the first to which I really paid any attention. The draft didn’t have the profile it does today, pre internet and the near-professionalization of amateur sport. So there had to be some kind of big deal. I knew a few people who were approaching draft age, and actually got drafted in the early 1980s too. But most of it was probably the fact that having a high pick really changes things. I mean even today with all of the data available on the internet and games on TV, how much can you really invest in the suspense of who your team will pick 17th or 24th. Who really knows who is going to be available at that point. I probably only knew the names of a dozen or so eligible prospects. But 1st, or even as we saw last year 3rd is a game changer. And it got a lot of attention.

      I never lived in Montreal, being stuck in a frontier outpost halfway between the Forum and Maple Leaf Gardens, so of all places I got most of my Habs news from the Globe and Mail. They had a bunch of pre-draft coverage, including a rather lengthy article a few days in advance on the Habs choice. My recollection was that it was about two-thirds of a page and featured a large picture of each Wickenheiser and Savard almost as borders on columns of text.

      My recollection of the article was that it did frame things as a head vs heart choice. The big Western power forward who seemed to fill the empty niche on the team vs the elegant local playmaker who fulfilled the desires of the fans. I believe that it left little doubt that the Habs were thought to be leaning Wickenheiser, but I remember coming away with the feeling that although he was probably the safe choice, I hoped they would take Savard.

      Maybe this is from not being immersed in the Montreal milieu, but I don’t recall surprise that Wickenheiser was taken. Disappointment from partisans hoping for the homegrown kid, sure. Even I felt a bit of dismay, but in the context of having supported what I thought to be a slightly riskier pick with more intangibles upside.

      Now I thought Grundman was an idiot and I was certainly willing to blame him for much, but I do believe there is a lot of revisionism looking back at this pick.

  38. Clay says:

    It’s not just that the Bruins lost, but HOW they lost. Does it get any more deflating than that? That was a stellar ending.

    __________________________
    ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  39. HardHabits says:

    Good article about how the Q is back on the map.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …very encouraging David …hope 2 or 3 fall to Us this weekend

      …one or two of the Baby Huey forwards and Zykov would be nice

  40. Habilis says:

    Saw that TSN mock draft. Button has the Leafs taking Freddy Gauthier at 21.

    Somebody please tell me that Button doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Cuz that would suck harder than a black hole. Not that I don’t like the Habs pick at 25 (Zykov). Just anywhere else for Gauthier. The Leafs though? A big French Canadian monster like that… I just get the feeling that the kid would terrorize us for years.

    • Whatever says:

      It’s a well known fact that every year the TSN mock draft is 100% accurate. I still find it hard to believe that the NHL even bothers to go through the pointless exercise of even having the actual draft involving the 30 teams. Why teams have over a dozen scouts scouring the world year round baffles me.

      • Harditya says:

        lol cmon bud he was just stating a hypothetical situation. It would be kinda awkward don’t ya think? In any case I am really excited for the draft.

        • Whatever says:

          You’re right.

          Probably more to do with my disdain for any media’s mock drafts. Rate the players based on personal opinion, fine. Putting any stock into the fantasy of what players teams will draft is pointless. Beyond pointless.

    • wjc says:

      Just time filler. Something to babble about. Meaningless.

      wjc

  41. Fake says:

    GIONTA TRADE RUMOR?

    “Our captain, was crying in my harms…”

  42. jedimyrmidon says:

    #25 – Zykov
    #34 – Compher/McCoshen/McCarron
    #36 – Poirier/Dauphin
    #55 – Hayden/Buchnevich/Bailey

    See that commandant has Mirco Mueller at #31: he’d be a great pick at #34. I think most have him going much higher.

  43. Just A Guy says:

    I was looking up and down at the 1st round selections by Timmins since this article so deftly implies that we might have something to fear come time for the habs to pick their first selection. I looked at the list and thought to myself what was their potential at the time and aside from the Fischer pick, I don’t see a blatant failure on the part of Timmins, rather with the organization as a whole. The other exception would be Chipchura, but a lot of you will remember he suffered a career altering (freak) Achilles tendon injury that, by most reports, slowed him down to the point he had to change his style of play.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there in that people actually have a reason to either be actually impressed with Timmins’ body of work or at least reassured that we have a more then able mind in the right place come the draft, even though I’m sure he’d be the first to say he’ll make no promises. :P

    • Mark C says:

      Can pretty much tell whose an idiot or troll by their views on Timmins. While he isn’t perfect, no scout is, he is easily one of the better scouts in the business.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I posted this yesterday. I don’t know how anyone can say Timmins has failed.

      I am wth you Maritime Ron! To all those who have an issue with Timmins, here are the 1st round picks made since Timmins joined the Habs. As MR stated, Timmins may have been over ruled on some picks.

      Under Timmins watch, the Habs have drafted in the first round
      Galchenyuk, 48 NHL games played
      Beaulieu, 6 NHL games played
      Tinordi, 8 NHL games played
      Leblanc, 42 NHL games played
      No 1st round in 08,
      McDonough 07, 169 NHL games played
      Pacioretty 07, 246 NHL games played
      Fischer, 0 NHL games Played
      Price, 310 NHL games played
      Chipchura, 262 NHL games played
      Kostitsyn 398 NHL games played
      Higgins. 523 NHL games played
      This does not include playoffs. So out of 11 players selected, 10 have played in the NHL. How is that bad? So they may not turn out to be franchise players, but most have been drafted in the bottom half of the first round!

      Habfan17

    • wjc says:

      First of all, do you know how many other scouts, G.M.’s had Fischer penciled in to pick him. When Montreal grabbed him, they might have been disappointed to not have the chance to draft him.

      However, when he didn’t work out were chuckling to themselves, glad they missed. Drafting is not an exact science. Most draft choices do not work out.

      There are many reasons: health, (physical or mental), tragedy (death of a parent, sibling), social issues (drinking, drugs), women issues, lack of work ethics to succeed, homesick, lack of dedication and over confidence, failing to get better no matter how much work is put in, bad advice, coaching, maturity.

      When they are drafted they could be peaking, but how do you know.
      When they are drafted they might be more interested in education and not have the stomach for the violence.

      Every team tries to project into the future what they are getting, and sometimes they are fooled in a good way when a draft the nobody thought much of becomes the dark horse at #125. How do you suppose this happens. How does a Subban sit until the second round, and a Patrick Roy until the third round?

      Inexact science, that is why

      wjc

  44. SlovakHab says:

    Looking at those top 2 picks (Ryan and Ward)..

    Had we in hindsight drafted Hossa and Iginla who were picked just a couple of spots later… Koivu wouldn’t have had a problem of having no wingers during his career, haha :D

  45. shootdapuck says:

    Hoping and praying that MB isn’t considering bringing back the poisonous and self entitled Yappierre!

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …I liked Him Roy …as a third or fourth liner …He was for Me an upgrade on what We have now on the fourth line …White and Blunden etc.

      …I don’t follow the Canucks closely though even though I am in BC, so can’t say He has anything worthwhile to offer today

  46. Sportfan says:

    Rumors that Oilers and FLyers want Emery and Philly has been looking into Nabokov lol

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    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      C’mon…who doesn’t want Emery in Philadelphia? Bring back the goalie fights!

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Whatever says:

      Philly should go after Bobrovsky.

    • Steven says:

      Didn’t they have him a while ago?

      They also had a Vezina-winning tender whom they dropped in favor of an eventually bought-out player.

      Considering everyone was patting Holmgren on the back the year they made it to the Finals, he’s had some nasty blunders since.

      That being said, goalie careers go to Philly to die. They would probably be wiser trying to improve their D unit and strategy before they pursue a goalie.

  47. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If Jones is not going first then where is he going? Can Florida wait for a D-man when a perfect compliment for Huberdeau is available (Droiun)? I don’t know…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  48. SmartDog says:

    Ha ha… from SportsFan below:
    TSN: “CANUCKS’ TORTORELLA PROMISES TO IMPROVE MEDIA RELATIONSHIP”

    Yes, and by “improve” he means “eliminate”

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  49. EL_PRESEDENTE says:

    man, i don’t know how the hell this team got into the playoffs with a defense like this. With the exception of Subban and perhaps Emelin everyone is a human pylon!
    Diaz/Georges were scary every time they played a shift in the playoffs.
    Old man Markov sadly just cant play in his own zone anymore.
    Old man Frankie is too small.
    This defense is so pitiful that we had to get Davis Drewiskie.
    Sad.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      You’re right, in that it’s scary to think of our D as currently constituted trying to stay with the new Cup champs in a best-of-seven. Very scary.

      At the same time, the D was good enough to win 2nd and get us into the playoffs. So, in order to be a better playoff team, what we need is perhaps two strong additions, or at least one, which would help get more out of our existing guys, allow us to reduce Markov’s 5-on-5 time, etc. So perhaps we don’t need to eject everyone.

  50. HabinBurlington says:

    Hopeful the Jays aren’t about to start a streak the other way. Tampa sure has had Toronto’s number for quite a few years now.

    • Sportfan says:

      as a Jays fan I’m really tired of the Rays right now lol

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • GrimJim says:

      I was listening to sports radio last year, the sunday morning betting show, and one of the guests from Vegas said that whenever a streak ends, regardless of whether it is a winning or losing streak, the team almost always loses the next game. He thought it had something to do with the emotional let-down after the streak ends.

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Heard Glenn Healey on the radio today disussing Torterella. I preface this with the fact I’m not sure how reliable his sources are, but he did say the following.

    That the Vancouver dressing room is completely divided with Kesler leading one group and Bieksa leading the other side. He went on to speculate how the Sedins would not like Torterella at all and that the move is crazy.

    If indeed he has some real information there, perhaps why often hear Bieksa’s name in trade rumour. Seems to be a very effective dman to me.

    • Bripro says:

      Ahem….
      Hi, I’m John Tortorella.
      Here’s my speech. I’m happy to be here.
      Thank you.

      Now I’ll take a smart question.
      I know you guys are all Canadians, but I’m sure someone here has a smart one.
      Don’t all raise your hands, you idiots. I said ONE!

    • issie74 says:

      Yes … Healy would like to see Bieksa in TO …

      It behoves him to start rumors.

      NorthTOHab

  52. Old Bald Bird says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie Here’s a link to the TSN NHL Draft Preview/Rankings Show: http://bit.ly/134E6PY

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie Here’s a link to @CraigJButton’s TSN Mock Draft show that aired earlier tonight: http://bit.ly/12ohlA6

  53. HabinBurlington says:

    One would think if Tampa were seriously going to buy out Vinny and Ryan that Stevie Y would have spoken to their agents by now.

    http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/lightning/lecavaliers-agent-on-buyout-chance-we-understand-its-something-they-might/2128445

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hiya G. Trying to get used to the night guys. There’s still next year for an amnesty buyout, so no need to be rash and hasty perhaps. Two seasons ago, Tampa 103 pts., ECF qualifiers having eliminated Pittsburgh and Washington (sound familiar?), then lost to the eventual champion Bruins in six games. Doesn’t seem to be a team needing a teardown and rebuild.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  54. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Aha! Ruslan Rafikov’s middle name is Lokomotiv. That makes more sense. (My middle name is “caboose”.)

  55. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Also, not to be dismissive of Eller le jeune, but Denmark is a wee country with much less of a hockey culture than the other Nordic countries. Being a first line guy on every team he has been on is to be expected.

  56. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    The most shocking thing MB can do is draft Zachary Fucale (if he is still there). What a message that would send…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  57. Mavid says:

    **sigh** hockey is over for another year…105 days or so till regular season starts..sounds like an eternity..what will I do with myself?

  58. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    There’s a guy named “Lokomotiv”?

  59. SnowManHabs85 says:

    My list of who I want Habs to draft

    LW Zykov 25th 1st
    RW McCarron 34th 2nd
    D McCoshen 36th 2nd
    G Desrosiers 55th 2nd
    LW Tyler Hill 71th 3rd
    C Yan-Pavel Laplante 86th 3rd
    D Rushan Rafikov 6th round
    C Mads Eller 7th round

    What ya think?

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Not bad, not bad.

      Guys that I also think are intriguing are Emile Poirier and Laurent Dauphin.

      Then there’s guys like Justin Bailey, John Hayden, Zach Nastasiuk, Jason Dickinson and William Carrier.

      Lots of LWers with big frames out there that would be fantastic additions to the Habs’ current team composition should they pan out.

      • SnowManHabs85 says:

        Exactly! McCarron 6’5 220lbs RWer and Tyler Hill is 6’6 230lbs LWer. Our bottom 6 wingers is filled with size if they pan out.

        Rafikov has similar style as Emelin and we know how much we love the physical play of Emelin and his mobility. He could be a good 6th round pick.

  60. Old Bald Bird says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
    Top 30 on Draft Preview show was correct
    Gremlins got into the interweb posting of TSN Top 75 draft rankings. Correct version will be up shortly. Sorry about that.

  61. HabFab says:

    Zykov as our 1st round pick. I could live with that.

  62. Lafleurguy says:

    Nice work Sam, I’ll take over from here. Several teams have no question mark about their goaltending. The ones that do should use one of their first six picks on a goalie. There are the methods laid out by the recent champs to illustrate successful strategies. Having already drafted Quick, L.A. still drafted Jonathan Bernier with their first round pick one draft later. Boston was “gifted” Tuukka Rask at a time that John Ferguson Jr. missed an opportunity to trade them Justin Pogge. Boston took a flyer on FA thirty something Tim Thomas. Ken Holland did not hesitate to procure Dominik Hasek (around the age of 42), when Curtis Joseph/Chris Osgood just didn’t look reliable. Chicago got Ray Emery this year in case Crawford faltered. We all know the Thomas Vokoun (Habs draftee) turn of events in the Pennsylvannian mountain city. There used to be a regular influx of Habs-drafted goalies including Vokoun, Halak, Garon, and even Racicot! (Plasse, Larocque, Myre, Penney). So no psychological maneuvers, a depth chart with more than Tokarski, Mayer, and Delmas is needed.

    Oh, I forgot to bring up how pro-active Bryan Murray was in seeking out goaltending after the decision was made that Patrick Lalime just wasn’t good enough (I thought Lalime was pretty good). My own personal wish is that Carey shows he’s better than Patrick Lalime.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  63. chrskwn says:

    id like it if we drafted jordan subban with our second 2nd round pick and mads eller with our 7th round pick, to have them develop similarly as their older brothers did

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    Very nice to see that Chara was on the ice and beaten for 85% of the goals against.
    The BULLIES always loose!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Speaking of bullies, after the game Chara was asked if he was playing injured. He replied that “injuries aren’t an excuse”.

      This is actually a cowardly non-answer but one that allows him to imply that (1) he was injured but (2) he’s too much of an ubermensch to even mention it let alone use it as an excuse.

    • Garbo says:

      In fairness to him, he is ALWAYS on the ice. But I agree its nice to rub it in his face.

    • JUST ME says:

      Chara did not have good enough series to make the difference and same thing with Jagr. Chicago`s best were better than Boston`s best.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      Well Ian the Bullies never lost in 2011 ….

      Dat’s wha me tinks

  65. Sam Boni says:

    Seems to be a lull so I’ll resurface. Robin Sadler, Matthew Higgins, Turner Stevenson. 2005 was a keystone draft for the L.A. Kings. They got both Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick in that draft. The goalie was chosen in the third round. Noteworthy is the fact that one year later, the Kings chose a goalie in the first round, 11th pick (or tenth) Jonathan Bernier. Timmins had Gainey choose Ben Maxwell in the second round in 2005, probably should have chosen Quick to cement the concept that you build from the net out (or Ondrej Pavelec or Tuukka Rask, other 2005 draftees).
    Just curious, how long has that feud between the two posters been going on? I guess the mod’s don’t see anything wrong with those kinds of posts, given that this site is rated “G.”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  66. habsfan0 says:

    Call it a hunch, But I believe MB has something up his sleeve planned for draft day that will surprise all of us.

  67. Sportfan says:

    Bryz should be leaving with Holmgrem

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  68. Sportfan says:

    TSN “CANUCKS’ TORTORELLA PROMISES TO IMPROVE MEDIA RELATIONSHIP” Does anyone actually believe that?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
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    • L Elle says:

      No. Maybe, the first half of the season, but then I think he’ll revert to his true nature.

      • Habcouver says:

        L Elle, Torts will probably blow steam and ruffle feathers during training camp. This move may draw some media/fan interest… but I can’t see the long-term benefits for the ‘Nucks. If Torts doesn’t succeed, Gillis has to go!

        Waiting patiently for #25

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think the Canucks beat writers are gonna eat him alive if he does his NYR schtick.

  69. SnowManHabs85 says:

    I noticed that Eller’s little brother Mads Eller is eligible for the Draft.

    Think we can top AK SK draft history with LE ME? Could be a good 7th round steal if he develops like Lars Eller

  70. Chris says:

    For the record, I also believe that the LeClair-Dionne-Desjardins for Recchi and a 3rd round pick was a bad trade.

    What I dispute is the notion that we traded a 50 goal scorer. We did not. We traded two 20 goal scorers and a #1 defenceman for a 40-50 goal scorer.

    We can speculate all we want either way, but there is no way that we can be certain that LeClair would have scored 50 goals in Montreal. At the time of the trade, he was 25 years old and playing in his third NHL season after a four year collegiate career.

    We know that he broke out with Lindros. We can’t ever know if he would have broken out with Vincent Damphousse, Pierre Turgeon or a young Saku Koivu as his centre.

    One thing that people often forget is that Eric Lindros was one of precious few elite right-handed centres. This means that his dominant pass side was to the left-wing where LeClair played. One often mentioned reason why there were so many more elite goal-scoring right wingers than left wingers was that the vast majority of centres pass better to their forehand side than to their backhand side.

    Another factor in his Montreal tenure was that Vincent Damphousse was monopolizing the first-wave PP time as a LW. Obviously, Damphousse was eventually converted to a full-time centre but that was after LeClair had been traded. You’re not scoring 50 goals if you don’t get PP time, and there was no reason to believe at that time that LeClair would supplant Damphousse as the #1 LW on the team.

    I hated that trade the day it was made and continue to do so for three reasons:

    #1: Eric Desjardins was the team’s #1 defenceman and was establishing himself as one of the top-10 defencemen in the NHL. He was good enough to make Team Canada in the 1991 Canada Cup and would go on to play in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and 1998 Olympics.

    #2: Montreal sent away as much offence as they got back. Recchi was a 40-50 goal player while playing in a stacked environment in Pittsburgh or flanking Lindros in Philadelphia. In Montreal, it was reasonable to expect 30-40 goals (although he only peaked at 34). In return, Montreal sent out the equivalent of 50 goals: 20 each from LeClair and Dionne and 10 from Desjardins.

    #3: They killed their depth. Sending out two top-9 wingers and a #1 defenceman for a top-3 winger is never a good trade unless you have a system full of NHL-ready players to fill the loss. Montreal did not.

    I will always maintain that LeClair wasn’t the mistake. It sucks that he went on to become a dominant power forward, but I honest didn’t see it happening in Montreal had they kept him.

    What killed them was trading Desjardins and then Schneider the following year. Their defence was massively weakened, leading to a frustrated Patrick Roy. We know what happened with that frustrated Patrick Roy.

    Keep Desjardins and Schneider somehow and the Habs are a much better team through the 1990’s. But that wasn’t the way the cards were played, and the team was forced to used Malakhov and Brisebois as their top-2 defencemen, roles that were beyond their skill level and/or temperament.

    • mksness says:

      well said. i’m on the same page. remember when chris higgins said he could score 40? sorry if i touch a nerve on this one because i believe you’re a higgins fan. for the record i liked higgins as well but not as second line player

      • Chris says:

        It really depends on the team make-up. In Vancouver, he’s fine on the second line because the Sedins and Kesler are expected to carry the scoring load. Higgins can do what he does best: play a strong two-way game, work the boards, contribute 15-25 goals and kill penalties. He’s not much different from Danny Cleary, who is also more of a complementary guy in Detroit (behind Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Franzen) than a go-to goal-scorer.

        In Montreal, he was miscast as a go-to goal-scorer. Higgins put too much pressure on himself to be a scorer and consequently couldn’t fire the puck into the ocean from the beach.

        Ideally, Higgins is a third-line player. If your team is strong enough that you can keep him there, he can be one of the best third-line wingers in the NHL. It is the perfect role for him. I would take Higgins back at $2.5 M per season in a heartbeat. But as you pointed out, I’m slightly biased. :)

    • myron.selby says:

      I wasn’t fond of trading Desjardins either. He really was one of the most underrated defencemen in the league at that time. But it was a reasonable trade – a top winger for a top d-man. The mistake was adding LeClair.

      From Philadelphia’s perspective the trade was for Desjardins. The rest was filler. As I said they would almost certainly have accepted Dipietro in place of LeClair.

      I don’t know if LeClair would have ever scored 50 with the Habs. But he most certainly would have been a consistent 35-40 goal scorer if they had used him properly. Lindros set him up, but he scored the goals. And he also was quite capable of driving to the net on his own to score.

  71. HabFanSince72 says:

    The refs not calling anything in the playoffs, pro or con?

    On the pro side it means close games, which in the playoffs means thrilling games. It also makes it more of a battle of wills and less an exhibition of pure skill. Maybe if they had called the games normally the last series would have been a cakewalk for the Hawks, which is less fun for the neutral.

    On the other hand either you are a sport (with rules) or you are roller derby.

    • mksness says:

      i’ll say Con.

      Not calling a penalty actually hurts a lot of teams. Nothing wrong with good hard hits but you can’t have a different rule book for the playoffs. i still don’t understand how boychuck didn’t get suspended for that hit on toews in game 5.

      u can have close and exciting games even when you don’t allow 4 cross checks, 3 two handed slashes and head shots after every whistle.

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Con because I stopped watching. Realize I am probably a minority but also kinda believe the scales are tipping my way with new rules and no body checking at lower levels … too bad so much of that could be addressed by bigger ice surfaces which is just about bottom line dollars. Of course, refs would still have to call the stupid showmanship after the whistle … therein lies the weak point.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      Imagine if Major League Baseball decided that in the playoffs the strike zone would be expanded by about 8 inches each side (inside, outside, top, and bottom.)

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Definitely con for me. The argument has been that the refs don’t want to affect the outcome; well they are affecting the outcome by instituting Hudson’s Bay Rules. What if the linesmen decided that all close off-sides were allowable? Maybe if the puck is over the line but just barely it shouldn’t count? How do they decide which rules to enforce and which to let go? Sounds like they are affecting the outcome to me.
      Case in point: Game 3 Pens v Bruins this year. Malkin is on a break and could have created a 2-on-1 in OT ( I think it was OT) but Jagr hooks him so blatantly that Malkin is almost lifted off the ice. Malkin loses the puck and Marchant goes the other way and sets up the winning goal. Not calling hooking just changed the series from possibly 2-1 to 3-0. That is a drastic affect and it could be argued that it cost the Pens the series ( that would be a stretch but 2-1 and 3-0 are night and day really)
      Call the games the same all the time, no matter what, I say. When refs start to “let them play” there is too much room for subjectivity.

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

  72. Timo says:

    Does anyone remember when the Hawks won the cup against Philly, who was that pretty much called Pronger an idiot and said he can’t stand him. Was it Bolland?

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Adam Burish.

      ———————————————————————-
      Ka is a wheel.

      “On we sweep, with threshing oar.
      Our only goal will be the Stanley Cup!” – Danno

      For Your Life

      • Maritime Ron says:

        He called him the ” biggest idiot in the league ”
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0jjOq7Hj4k

        • Sam Boni says:

          Pronger was way dirtier than Chara, and has been suspended more than once. He’s like a Matt Cooke on stilts.

          “May you live in interesting times.”

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            There is a lot of love and admiration for Pronger on this site and elsewhere, and not just Philly/Ducks fans. It says something about who watches and what for. Good description, although I think Cooke is more like Chara — finds himself in a situation where he can’t resist the opportunity for a little spontaneous injuring. I think Pronger sought it in a more cold-blooded and calculated way, as part of his game-plan, and in the knowledge that he did so with relative impunity. What a great hero to have, great role-model.

          • DorvalTony says:

            Watch the Pacioretty assault again. And the other attacks leading up to it.

            “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
            William F. Buckley, Jr.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Thanks, DT, but I can’t actually watch it any more.
            If you’re saying Chara is actually as bad or worse than Pronger I can’t disagree because we’re all only speculating as to intent.

            On that, and I can’t remember whose head it was, but on Monday night Chara used his forearm to ram a Hawk’s head into the goal-post. Exact same motion he used on Patches.


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