Habs help build a new outdoor rink for kids

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While there’s no end in sight for the NHL lockout, some Montreal kids will soon be able to play hockey on a new outdoor rink built in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce thanks to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.

The NHL-size rink is expected to open in mid-January. It’s the last of five rinks planned for less advantaged areas in Montreal by the foundation as part of its Bleu Blanc Bouge program aimed at getting children to be physically active and adopt healthy lifestyles.

Since the program’s launch in 2008, the foundation has built rinks in St. Michel, Montreal North, Verdun and LaSalle.

You can read an article by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell’s on the new rink by clicking here.

You can read what Mario Lemieux had to say about his days skating on the outdoor rink as a kid growing up in Ville-Émard by clicking here.

And check out the video below of what might be the best backyard rink ever. You can read more about the rink in the video by clicking here.

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

 

24 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I’m super impressed with Connor McDavid. The kid is now up to 16 goals and 35 points in 28 games, and has only been held off the score sheet 3 times.

    Not bad for a 15 year old. :)

    And on the topic of the OHL…how tough is the perennially tough Midwest Division?

    Guelph currently has the sixth best winning percentage (0.661) in the OHL, but only the fourth best in their own division! Not bad given their injury issues this season!

    But London is finally on the roll (13 game winning streak) that was expected of them, so the division is pretty much theirs to lose now.

    • English is not a Crime says:

      McDavid is going to be a superstar in the NHL if they ever sort their mess out someday. He’s one of those rare can’t miss gems that comes along once a generation. Always hate saying that so early in a career, but you can’t watch him for more than a shift and not have that painfully obvious. He stood out among the OHL all-stars and the Russian selects in the OHL/Russia game and that was some pretty select company.

      The division is disgusting. Arguably 4 of the best 5 teams in the OHL all in the same division (poor Erie). Any of the 4 teams has a legitimate shot at making a run for the Memorial Cup and it’ll come down to who faces who when basically as it usually seems to. I still figure it’s Kitchener and London in the end, London has the early advantage and they’re much healthier right now so they’re clearly the favourite. I figure Owen Sound will slow down a touch, but stay strong at the top and Guelph with push the Attack and both of them will make the Rangers fight for every inch right until the end. Rangers better get their scoring touch back to go with that ridiculous defence/goaltending if they want to hold off the two of them.

  2. commandant says:

    Vail is playing a GREAT game, but really can’t buy a goal or even a point.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Haborama says:

      If you could compare him to a current or past NHLer, who would it be??

      I’m not in to comparisons, I just would like an idea of what this guy is all about.

      • English is not a Crime says:

        Didn’t look like an NHL talent tonight to be honest. Windsor stayed alive on the help of some seriously lopsided officiating. Vail missed a penalty shot and was stopped again on his shootout attempt. He played ok defensively, nothing too special offensively, even with all of those powerplays they didn’t put many shots up with the man advantage. His team was pretty badly outshot in spite of being on the powerplay most of the night, it was a Chris Lee Special out there.

        • commandant says:

          I have to disagree….. Vail was all over the ice from what I saw and creating a ton of chances. He was snake bit not to score, but he created a number of chances (including drawing that penalty shot and others that hit posts, etc) but was just snake bit not to be able to score.

          Considering his point totals this season, it looks like tonight’s inability to finish his chances is a rarity. But for me, the most important part is the number of chances he created.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • English is not a Crime says:

            With all due respect, you may have had Habs goggles watching him. He was ok, but wasn’t among the top 7 or 8 players on the ice by any means. Off the top of my head Bailey, Marcantuoni, Murphy, Palazeese, and Faksa from Kitchener and Johnson, Ho-Sang and Pavelka for Windsor all had better games and stood out to me a lot more than Vail did. He looked ok, but didn’t really stand out as overly exceptional to me anyway.
            Just how I saw it anyway.

          • commandant says:

            HO-Sang had a great game as did Bailey.

            Murphy is a stud, but we all know that. He’s Ryan freaking Murphy, one of the best offensive deefencemen in all of junior hockey.

            Faksa didn’t impress me last night. Okay game, but I expect more from him.

            I’d have to say Vail was easily better than Johnson, and Marcantuoni last night, even if it didn’t show on the scoreboard. When assessing a player a goal like Johnsons (right spot right time) doesn’t mean as much to me as consistently creating chances all game long.

            Both goalies played well, but I don’t include them when I’m judging the skaters.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • commandant says:

        I compared him to Dave Bolland before. A two way centre, good on the boards, good skater, most liked for his defensive game.

        My pre-draft report.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/05/27/nhl-draft-prospect-profile-51-brady-vail/

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Haborama says:

          a Dave Bolland-type would look really good in blue-blanc-rouge. We haven’t had that kind of player since Brian Skrudland.

          Let’s hope everything works out for young Vail……..

        • Chris says:

          True enough, but Vail is still quite a long-shot to ever be a regular in the NHL. I’m not sure that his skating is at the elite level it needs to be if he is going to be a defensive stopper, and he hasn’t displayed much in the way of offensive dominance at this level yet.

          He got off to a very hot start (4 goals and 9 points in his first 5 games, but his play since then hasn’t been stellar: 7 goals and 19 points in the subsequent 23 games.

          I’d say he looks like a poor man’s Louis Leblanc thus far. Leblanc, coming out of his draft year was cited as a good two-way centre that could skate and who worked very hard.

          Vail is going to be a long-term project and could very well be a long-shot to be a regular in the NHL. He needs to step it up at the OHL level, in my opinion.

          • commandant says:

            Hes obviously a long term project… most 4th round picks are. And you are right he does have some things to work on. However I think he is doing great given where he is today, just 6 months post draft.

            He’s got 2 full years in the OHL before he’ll ever even see the AHL and then some time there to develop.

            Is he at the same level as Michael Bournival was in November 2 years ago? Heck I think he might even be better than Bournival was at the same stage.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Chris says:

            Ben: I haven’t seen enough of Bournival to say, but how is Vail’s skating compared to that of Bournival?

            Too often, people focus on all the other stuff for these guys. If they are not **elite** skaters in the OHL, they’re not making the NHL. It is pretty much as simple as that.

            A guy like Vail can look really good in the OHL because he already has decent size (6’1″, 194 pounds) when compared to the other kids he’s playing against. But when he gets to the AHL or the NHL, then his size advantage is completely neutralized. Pretty much everybody is that size or larger.

            A guy like Bolland was special because he was so amazingly good offensively in junior. He knew where the other guys were going to go, because he had been in their shoes. Same thing applied to stoppers like Guy Carbonneau, Benoit Brunet, and Mike Peca (38 goals and 102 points in 55 games the year after he was drafted).

            What concerns me with Vail is that he is already being asked to be a defensive stopper in junior hockey. That is usually a huge red flag for me, because I can’t think of a guy like that that has actually made it in the NHL as anything other than a journeyman role player.

            Like you say, you can’t expect too much from a fourth round draftee. But I sometimes worry that people see these prospects through rose-coloured glasses.

          • commandant says:

            Keep in mind I said this about Vail before he was a Habs draft pick.

            That his skating stride is choppy and unorthodox, but despite it not being pretty, he has good speed, and good acceleration.

            Basically, he’s not the prettiest skater, but if you watch him, he’s still moving more than quick enough.

            On Bolland, another reason he’s become a defensive player in the NHL is the injuries. He never developped his full offensive potential.

            On Vail’s shutdown role. Yes he plays against the other team’s best line, and yes he kills penalties, but he’s also the number 1 Centre, number 1 on the PP, and playing at a PPG level.

            His scoring and Bournival’s scoring as 18 year olds is pretty similar.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

  3. commandant says:

    Good news on Hudon, he’s back on the ice and appears healthy. He also has an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games.

    Bad news… Chicoutimi is losing 7-1 to Halifax.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  4. commandant says:

    2 assists for Galchenyuk so far.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  5. Habfan10912 says:

    Hope everyone had a great day and are enjoying your evening. Here’s a QMJHL profile on Hudon.
    http://t.co/ozKntPSj

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