Habs players talk about the shortened season that awaits them


In the wake of Sunday’s tentative deal between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association on a new collective agreement several Canadiens players spoke to the media Monday about the shortened season that looms ahead and the prospect of playing again.

“This is the day I’ve been dreaming of for the past couple of months,” said Habs forward Max Pacioretty before hitting the ice at an arena in Candiac on Montreal’s South Shore.

Pacioretty was one of more than a dozen players, not all of them Habs, who practised in Candiac, including captain Brian Gionta, forward Travis Moen and defenceman Francis Bouillon.

“It’s going to be a great feeling to finally strap on the skates with the boys again,” Pacioretty said. “And we owe our fans a big show and we owe them a great season. So hopefully we can get off on the right track and do that for them.”

You can hear more from Pacioretty here:

Forward Brandon Prust, who signed with the Habs as a free agent last summer, also had some words for fans, noting “they stood behind us and they stuck this out. We hope they come back.”

“We’re going to put a good product out on the ice for them. You don’t want to miss a game this year because it’s going to be high intensity and very passionate,” Prust added. “The boys are itching to go and I hope the fans are too.”

You can hear more of his comments here:

A week ago, Canadiens goalie Carey Price figured the NHL season was going to be cancelled, telling The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs: “I didn’t think we were going to play, I was just about ready to mail it in.”

Things obviously changed and Price was left scrambling to get back to Montreal.

“Just packing up my equipment,” Price told Stubbs late Sunday night from Washington state, organizing his life at the home of the parents of his fiancée, Angela. “I’ve got it all at the house. I’ve kept it here the last little while in case we needed to get on the move. I’m ready to go.”

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

Meanwhile, the gambling website Bodog.ca has listed the Canadiens as 30-1 longshots to win the Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the favourites at 8-1. Read more by clicking here.

(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)


  1. rhino514 says:

    Clearly Leblanc is still hampered by the high ankle sprain. I am not usually a proponent of bringing guys up early, but I think Gallagher has earned nine games with the team. That will hopefully give enough time for Leblanc to get going. I don´t see LL as a franchise changing player, but I think he can be at least a point per two games player in the near future and thus be a good third liner, which the team sorely needs. And I think both LL and Gallagher have some upside; Gallagher could adapt quickly and be productive in his nine game stint which would give the team a nice problem to have.
    I would also gamble on bringing Galchenyuk up but the team is deep at centre and if they bring him up to play wing I fear this could hamper him just as much as it could help him. I don´t think thay put him on the wing unless they are pretty sure they want him to play wing long term…and isn´t everyone salivating at the thought of finally having the big, game-chenging centre? Why has he seen as much action on the wing in Sarnia (was he also on the wing at the WJC?) anyway??

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I don’t think it is critical that Galchenyuk have his first games in the NHL be at center. If indeed he gets a 9 game or less tryout with the Habs, it is most important he simply adjust to the speed and physicality of the NHL. In fact this would probably be easier at wing as his defensive responsibilities would not be as difficult.

      He is an elite talent, and when he is ready to start playing games at center that adjustment will occur. He has been a center for much of his career so this I think is being overblown whether he is at wing or center to start. If anything it adds to his flexibility.

      As for why he is at center in Sarnia, it probably has more to do with fitting him in with the players there. As commandant has pointed out on numerous occasions, after the faceoff he often ends up playing a center type position throughout the shift.

      • commandant says:

        Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin, Claude Giroux, Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene, all players who started their NHL careers at wing and then moved to centre as they got accustomed to the league.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      Half a season at LW to start his NHL career isn´t a bad thing. Don´t forget we have Plekanec, Eller, Desharnais, Gomez (yes, unfortunately) and Nokelainen at center.

      Let´s say we play Galchenyuk LW on the second line. The other three wingers on the top two lines would be Gionta, Pacioretty and Cole. After that we have Bourque, Moen, Prust, Armstrong and White. Where do play Gallagher?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree, and there is no point playing Gallagher in the NHL just for the sake of playing in the NHL. He is a top 6 forward and currently we have those forwards. It won’t really help him a great deal to play as a 3rd or 4th line checker as this is not a role which accentuates his strengths.

        It isn’t like he is tearing up the AHL at the present time anyhow. The AHL will be a slightly different animal in a few weeks, when many NHL players leave their farm teams and join the big boys. Gallagher should indeed one day be an NHL player, but he isnt elite and it is only normal that he spend 1-2 full seasons in the AHL getting adjusted to the different nuances of pro hockey.

      • rhino514 says:

        I agree playing potential top six guys on the fourth line is a waste, but the third line? A third line can get get good minutes and isn´t per sey a checking line, it is a balanced line. Furhtermore in today´s nhl you need a third line that can contribute offensively and I see that line currently as the habs weakness. I would be willing to bet that one of either Leblanc or Gallagher has what it takes to be a regular right now in that spot.
        p.s. thanks for the correction of the nine game limit for Gallagher no longer being in effect.

      • wjc says:

        Gomez will be the difference between making the playoffs and not.

        You shall eat your words doubters!


    • AliHaba says:

      @rhino Why do you say 9 games for Gallagher? He is no longer a junior so they can take him up for as many or as few games as they please.

    • Cal says:

      Galchenyuk’s speed may- and only may- be a factor. A few mentioned how at the WJT he looked a little slow. That doesn’t mean he can’t improve and work on that like he does everything else. He’s going to be a good one.

      • K-hab25 says:

        Slow? I watched every US junior game and Gally is far from slow. I was amazed at how smooth he skates. He looks like Malkin, never seems to be skating very fast, but always seems to get there first.

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Elliote Friedman with his explanation of what happens when a contract like Luongo (Backdiving contracts) retires and how the team which signs him is affected and any team which acquires the contract if he is traded.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    So teams can make some trades now where they absorb some of the salary. Hello Mike Komisarek, Brian Burke got his wish, you will probably be in Vancouver shortly.


    Lots of interesting new twists in the CBA, definitely worth reading.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Thanks for he research HabinBurlington. This is a great clause for hockey fans and of course teams and their GM’S. It should make free-agency and trade deadline more exciting.

      It appears that this goes into effect immediately, as opposed to the buyout provision,. Maybe Gomez can be traded under this scenario before season starts.

  4. Les-Habitants says:

    I can’t wait for this season to get going.

    Who is going to round out our top 14 forwards? Galchenyuk? Dumont? Leblanc? Don’t see the team adding a veteran, rather will let one of the young guns fight it out. With Nokelainen out for a bit, there is a decent chance one of those guys could be on the ice for puck drop

    D is pretty much set for our top 8…but if mgmt can’t get their act together and have PK signed by training camp…so help me…

    Love our tandem in net, and with a shortened schedule this will be sooo key.

  5. Muckbringer says:

    not hockey related but i thought id share.

    Viddey well!


    Conan: Almost 20 years of pitiless cumber! No rest, no sleep like other men. And yet the spring wind blows, Subotai. Have you ever felt such a wind?
    Subotai: They blow where I live too. In the north of every man’s heart.
    Conan: It’s never too late, Subotai.
    Subotai: No. It would only lead me back here another day. In even worse company.
    Conan: For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

  6. Muckbringer says:

    And although we havnt won a game yet:


    Conan: Almost 20 years of pitiless cumber! No rest, no sleep like other men. And yet the spring wind blows, Subotai. Have you ever felt such a wind?
    Subotai: They blow where I live too. In the north of every man’s heart.
    Conan: It’s never too late, Subotai.
    Subotai: No. It would only lead me back here another day. In even worse company.
    Conan: For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

    • HardHabits says:

      I was a big Arnold fan back in the day. I saw like every one of his movies up until and not including the Last Action Hero. I was also a huge fan of Conan the Barbarian comics as penned by Robert E. Howard. The 1st movie with Schwarzenegger was pretty good but the 2nd one was atrocious. I’ve watched the recent Conan movie a few times and I think it is truer to the spirit of the the original black and white comic from the 70’s on which the movies are based. Of the 3, the recent movie is my favourite.

    • Chuck says:


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

  7. Castor says:

    I’m actually I’m surprised I remembered my username and password

  8. JohnBellyful says:

    I see on the Canadiens’ official website the team’s slogan is ‘Raise the Torch’. Personally, my choice would have been ‘Raise the Banner’, you know, like they used to do, but as taglines go, it wouldn’t have been very realistic, given the team’s current talent level.
    But the Habs will need to come up with something to spark renewed interest among fans who aren’t diehard supporters, something that will lure them back into the fold.
    Perhaps with the off-season signings, the team could start boasting: ‘Now with 25 per cent more grit.’
    (Actually, it’s closer to 13 per cent but that’s marketing for you. It’s still a heckuva lot better than the unofficial slogan the team adopted last season, lifted directly from Survivor, the TV reality show: ‘Outwitted. Outplayed. Outlasted.’)

    • HardHabits says:

      Last season the slogan was “Writhe Together”

    • B says:

      The last verse of John McCrae’s famous poem:

      Take up our quarrel with the foe:
      To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch; be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
      We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

      This World War One memorial poem is meaningful to the team (who adopted the phrase on their dressing room wall from it) and to the Molson family. Percival Molson was killed fighting in France during WW1 and is buried there in the Villars Station Cemetary. Among the many accomplishments in Percival’s short life was wining the Stanley Cup while playing for the Montreal Victorias.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  9. Mavid says:

    when is the shedule out I need to start planning

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Pretty sure the Habs 1st game will be Saturday the 19th @ 7PM.

      • Muckbringer says:

        If they go off original sched than its in ott and then in mtl for to i think.

        Conan: Almost 20 years of pitiless cumber! No rest, no sleep like other men. And yet the spring wind blows, Subotai. Have you ever felt such a wind?
        Subotai: They blow where I live too. In the north of every man’s heart.
        Conan: It’s never too late, Subotai.
        Subotai: No. It would only lead me back here another day. In even worse company.
        Conan: For us, there is no spring. Just the wind that smells fresh before the storm.

        • commandant says:

          The entire schedule has to be re-written because

          1) Not all teams had the same number of games remaining
          2) You no longer play the other conference.
          3) Your opponents have all changed.

          Don’t read too much into the old schedule.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  10. Ron says:

    Dave Stubbs: Markov playing Tuesday back in Montreal Thursday.

    Amen to that 😀

    • Fake says:

      He will be injured on tuesday.**

      • Blondie says:


        So tired of hearing this “made of glass” nonsense. His last injury was a freak occurrence, not going to happen again. We will be much better on D and the power play with him back.

        I’m really looking forward to enjoying watching him play for us again and, eventually, everyone predicting his imminent demise will too.

        • Fake says:

          I’m joking bud, if I didn’t say it someone else would’ve.

          • Blondie says:

            Sorry about that. Too many others are serious about it though – gets me going a bit. :)

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            It will take a good chunk of games for me to regain my confidence in him. He was not close to his old self in his small stint of games at the end of last season. He’s the best defenseman to play for this team in a decade and I’ll be thrilled if he’s elite once again but I just need to see it first.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Brent Musberger getting a little frisky talking about women in the stands, joe Namath moment coming next?

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I thought that was a little off-side myself. Tide is Rolling

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

  12. 24 Cups says:

    There’s always lot of talk on the site about forwards who have decent size and grit and aren’t afraid to get their nose dirty once is awhile (I know, I’m one of those who keeps saying it!) A player who can fit the profile AND take a turn on a regular line without hurting the team. With that said, it sure would be great to draft a guy like this in June’s entry draft.


  13. HabinBurlington says:

    I fear the rout is on, size and strength of Bama is comparable to an NFL team.

  14. HabFan in Edmonton says:

    Quote from Craig Button today, looks like a great year to have 3 second round picks.

    “I believe this is a deep draft that in time may rival the 2003 Entry Draft with respect to quality NHL players being selected well into the second round,” Button told TSN.ca.

  15. 24 Cups says:

    I find all this Subban contract talk to be a bit bizarre. There are at least another four RFAs who are unsigned and I’m sure that they will all get signed by opening night. I for one, am glad that the Habs didn’t dole out one of those dumb 6 year, $6M a season contracts based solely on a player’s potential just before the lockout. Subban doesn’t have much leverage so it will eventually get done.

    As for trading one of Diaz or Weber, all it would take is one injury and the Habs would be shit out of luck on the D. Outside of maybe St. Denis, there is no Dman in Hamilton ready to step in.

    The team is what it is. The only difference between last year and now will be a healthy Markov and Gionta (which is something, to be sure) as well as a 4th line free agent. We’ll see what it all adds up to soon enough.

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Tweet from McKenzie, TSNBobMcKenzie: Players’ playoff pool $ go from $6.5M last yr to $13M in each of next 2 yrs, $14M for 2 yrs, $15M for 2 yrs, $16M for 2 yrs and $17M for 2.

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m anticipating Hickey to put up the next thread and tell Us that this was just another of His fantasies :(

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

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

    Bring Back Boone, and send Hickey to Hamilton !!!

    …and, last, but not least: …the Parade WILL follow the usual route !!! :)

  18. Steven says:

    Here’s a thought I hatched a little while ago.

    With the shortened season, we’re going to see mostly(if not exclusively) intra-conference games throughout. If the entertainment value is greater, would it make more sense to have the league function like the NFL or MLB with two leagues that only play each other?

    I’d miss watching games against Vancouver, San Jose and Detroit, but I think it could potentially work, if and exclusively if this season proves better than the long stretch of 82 games.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      I can’t see it ever happening for a variety of reasons.
      Unfair travel schedule for West versus the Eastern Teams.
      Teams in the West need many of the traditional Orig. 6 teams and others to visit to help draw attendance.
      To name a couple.

  19. Chris says:

    I’ll just chime in on the Devils first Stanley Cup win and say that I’ve also never once heard anybody utter anything about the 1994-95 Stanley Cup being cheapened or lessened due to the shorter season.

    There were a lot of things that you can attach to that Stanley Cup…the stellar play of Martin Brodeur, the clutch scoring of Claude Lemieux, the addition of an always underrated Neal Broten to the fold, and the emergence of Bill Guerin, Scott Niedermayer and Bobby Holik to complement Scott Stevens, Stephane Richer and Ken Daneyko.

    The Devils were one victory away from upsetting the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers the previous year in what was Martin Brodeur’s coming out party. They finished the job in 1994-95.

    I never thought that Stanley Cup victory was cheapened by a shortened season, and I sincerely doubt that many hockey people did either. Now if we want to talk about that it was lessened by the emergence of Jacques Lemaire’s infernal trap, that is a different discussion.

  20. Ian Cobb says:

    Therrien say’s the players in Montreal are going to have fun playing under his style and system, unlike the past!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  21. commandant says:

    With Visnovsky gone, maybe the Isles would like another PP defenceman.


    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  22. habsfan0 says:

    Does the fact that Malcolm, PK’s brother,belongs to the Bruins,possibly influence PK’s decision to resign with the Habs as he may want to play with him?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Funny this question rarely arose with all the Sutter brothers in the league. I don’t see this as a factor at all.

      • Big Ted says:

        Sometimes it’s a factor, sometimes it isn’t. Jordan Staal refused to sign with Pittsburgh because he wanted to go and play with Eric in Carolina, so it happens from time to time. I don’t see P.K. jumping ship to the Bruins, I think it’s more just a question of Marc Bergevin not making him feel welcome here to date. I like some of the things Bergevin has done, but if he lets P.K. get away, he should be fired the same day.

        • rnnoble says:

          Jordan Staal didn’t want to stay in Pittsburgh because he would never get a chance to play top 6, since he would always be behind Crosby and Malkin on the depth chart. Playing with his brother was not the reason he wanted out, it was just a perk.

          • Big Ted says:

            And P.K. could say he wants out of Montreal because he’s been put down by management several times, most recently by Bergevin dishing out long-term deals to the likes of Price, Gorges, Pacioretty, Prust, and Moen, but not wanting to give Subban a multi-year deal. Now I’m hoping that was just M.B. banking on getting a better deal post-lockout, but then why not do that with other guys too? Why sign Eller pre-lockout and not P.K.? We’ve always had the feeling the coaches and G.M.’s had something against Subban, rightly or wrongly. But we’ve seen it too many times with guys deemed to be troubled athletes here going on to have great success elsewhere. Subban is not Sergei Kostitsyn and he’s not Shayne Corson or Chris Chelios; so far as we can tell, his only fault is being too flamboyant for our conservative coaching style (which has gotten us nowhere frankly). I’m not saying P.K.’s going to hold out to play with Malcolm (or Jordan when he comes along), but if he’s being pushed out the door, all I’m saying is that there’s precedence for brothers wanting to play together. Saku’s come out on record saying he’d love to have played with Mikko, but didn’t want to infringe on his having built up his own identity there. Jordan may be playing second fiddle to Sid and Geno in Pittsburgh, but that line-up’s been tinkered many times and Jordan’s had plenty of opportunity to play the top two lines when one of those was shifted to the wing AND with all the injuries those other two have had the past few years. In Carolina, he’ll still be sitting behind his brother on the depth chart. No matter what percentage of the decision you attribute to ice time or to brotherly love, it was a factor in his decision and a major reason Pit had little bargaining power in the trade, as other teams knew he would bolt to Carolina once a free agent anyways.

          • Chris says:

            Big Ted: Given that Lars Eller signed for $1.325 M per season for two years, I’m not sure why Bergevin shouldn’t sign him first. It was an easy contract to get done: the term was what you would expect for a second contract, as was the money. Eller is a player the team wants in the fold, so they got it done.

            Subban is a different case because, and this is pure conjecture, I suspect his agent is asking for something that is much closer to Drew Doughty money than Lars Eller money. And that is why his contract is taking so long.

            Subban is a great young player. But the team has always been somewhat reluctant to shell out huge money, and Subban is only entering his third year in the league.

            Carey Price signed a two-year deal (for $2.5 and $3 million per season) coming out of his entry level deal. I truly believe that if Subban and his agent wanted the same, the Habs would do that in the heartbeat.

            If this deal is taking a while, it is likely because Subban’s salary and/or term request is too high for Bergevin’s liking. Some teams don’t mind handing out huge second contracts, but the Montreal Canadiens have never been one of them.

            Look at the deals that some recent players have signed…

            Price (2 years, $5.5 M)
            Pacioretty (2 years, $3.25 M)
            Higgins (2 years, $3.4 M)
            Komisarek (2 years, $3.4 M)
            Kostitsyn (3 years, $9.75 M)

            The Canadiens ownership has never approved a big long-term deal for any of its RFA’s. The longest term deal they’ve handed out was the 6 year, $30 million that Tomas Plekanec was given when he was eligible for unrestricted free agency.

            Subban will be signed, but I suspect it will be for 2-3 years at $2.5-4 M. The less he gets per year, the shorter the deal will be. The Habs will want him to prove he’s an elite defenceman before they pay him like one.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He’s not going anywhere habsfan0.

      BTW- As a big SU fan I must tell you the Bills hire has me shaking my head. What dio you think?


      • HabinBurlington says:

        My Bills buddies all think he was hired due to being inexpensive relative to other past NFL Head Coaches. I have empathy for Bills fans, Russ Brandon has been around for 10 years and seems to have more influence now than ever. Until they have an owner who actually cares about winning I fear this team is going through a rinse and repeat cycle. My apologies habsfan0.

        • habsfan0 says:

          Unfortunately, I completely agree with your assessment of the Bills’ situation. While Marrone has won several accolades for turning around Syracuse’s football program, his overall record there was far from outstanding,especially when you compare it with Chip Kelly’s record at Oregon. I believe there was a poll taken prior to this hiring that indicated the vast majority of Bills fans wanted to see Kelly retained as HC;most who were against that from happening used the excuse that Kelly had no NFL experience;that success at the collegiate level doesn’t necessarily translate into wins at the pro level. While Marrone does have experience in the NFL as an offensive co-ordinator,lineman coach, and player, he is a novice when it comes to head coaching at this elite level as well. When push came to shove, I believe Bills’ management fell back on their old frugal ways and hired the candidate that demanded the least amount of money…something which I’m sure they would vehemently deny if asked,of course.

  23. Steeltown Hab says:

    Boys serious question.

    I got NHL Jersey day at the office tomorrow, do I role with my Koivu in the morning and Eller in the afternoon or vice versa?


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

  24. geo_habsgo says:

    I haven’t done this in so long and I feel like I should get one in before these become more tired than they already are :)

    Bourque-Plekanec-Gallagher/Galchenyuk (Or Gomez)


    I know I don’t have some guys accounted for but this is my dream so I make the rules :p

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    OK football fans. Irish or Tide?


  26. HabinBurlington says:

    Quick shout out to all the UND fans out there, good luck tonight. I don’t really have a pony in the race tonight, but have not been a fan of how Nick Saban has acted in his commitments to various teams and institutions, so I will give my support to the Golden Domers! Go Irish!!!

  27. HabinBurlington says:

    With regards to the Devils Cup win during shortened season. Perhaps I am not the sports junkee I thought I was, but I don’t recall hearing any of my hockey buddies talking about the Devils Cup being cheap. They still played a full playoff schedule and won. If the playoffs had been shortened, perhaps I would buy the argument it was cheap, but that wasn’t the case.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Not everything HE says is right. As a matter of fact he’s a bit off his game today. Maybe the layoff?


    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If there are four best-of-seven playoff rounds I think it’s pretty legit…

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Of course. Comparing regular season games with the intensity of playoff games is apples and oranges. Couldn’t agree with you and Gerald any more Hobie.


    • Blondie says:

      I don’t think there’s a single player in the league that would not accept his Stanley Cup ring because it was ‘tarnished’ by a shortened season. It’s the cup. It’s what they play for.

      Well, that and the cash of course.

  28. HabFab says:

    A good read by a blogger on the media circus that was NYC;

  29. Ron says:

    Markov to stay in Russia for abit and play for his team on Tuesday according to his club President.

    EDIT: Stubbs tweets that Hab players have been given access to the Bell Sports Complex Ice, dressingroom and gym but no contact with Mgtm.

  30. habstrinifan says:

    My two favourite post of the day!

    January 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    RenLavoieRDS – Nokelainen (back) won’t be able to start the camp for the Canadiens. Only player injured for Habs.

    Reply Timo:
    January 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Oh no!!! What are we gonna do now?

  31. Habs64 says:

    Gally will play 9 games especially with Bourque injured.

  32. HabFab says:

    And it starts;

    nhlupdate – Lubomir Visnovsky has announced that he will stay in the KHL for the remainder of the 2012-13 season

  33. rhino514 says:

    Poor Eller. Who will he be centring? Moen and Prust? Ay-ay-ay!

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    OK, just got in, what was the Hab’s press conference about at 4pm today.????

    • Chuck says:

      Reading between the lines, Geoff Molson isn’t a fan of Gary Bettman or the new CBA.

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

      • frontenac1 says:

        And PK will be signed before training camp,Mike has a system that”s fun and Marc”s Hair is still screwed up. Saludos amigo!

      • HabFab says:

        “Geoff Molson isn’t a fan of the new CBA”
        And I thought Geoff was a moderate and wanted the players to get everything they wanted. :)
        To be honest he said he had not seen it yet, but that it was being printed off for him while the presser was happening.

    • Dr.Rex says:

      Begun negotiations on a extension for Kaberle and Gomez.

  35. Dr.Rex says:

    My odds of players on the bubble making team outta camp:
    – Diaz 70%
    – Weber 45%
    – Tinordi 5%
    – Beaulieu 5 %
    – Ellis 3%
    – St Denis 15%
    – Emelin 95%

    – White 80%
    – Leblanc 50%
    – Gallagher 30%
    – Galchenyuk 20%
    – Bournival 20%
    – Palushaj 15%
    – Holland 5%
    – DUmont 10%

  36. HardHabits says:

    1995 is a footnote year in the history of the NHL. As will be this one. Mind you I think an 82 game schedule is excessive, given that teams are expected to play 4 rounds of hockey in the post season.

    50 games minimum is a real season.


  37. shiram says:

    Here’s your Habs gift!

    Canadiens MontréalVerified
    Affichez vos couleurs pour le début de saison! Nous vous offrons 25% de rabais sur TOUT à la boutique Zone Canadiens jusqu’à dimanche!

  38. Gerry H says:

    And if anyone out there doesn’t think that this season’s Cup Winner will be remembered as a team that won a Cup in a lockout shortened year is being foolish.

    While it might be true that people will say stuff like that, I personally don’t think 48 games is too short a season for the purposes of eliminating less than half of the league from playoff contention. The lack of inter-conference play is probably a more significant issue, but I doubt that inter-conference play has much impact on conference standings, either.

    At the end of the day, eight teams will emerge from the regular season in each conference and the routine from there will be much the same. I suspect the quality of playoff hockey will be better, with the payers fresher and less likely to be playing hurt.

    Different? Sure. Inferior or less meaningful? Not at all.

  39. Chuck says:

    Some interesting tap dancing done by Molson when asked whether or not he was satisfied with the new CBA as it related to the Habs. In other words, “no.”

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yes and also how he felt Bettman had done. LOL.
      Edit: I bet your little princess enjoyed the Holidays, huh?

      • Chuck says:

        There’s nothing that put a smile on my face more than a 19 month-old let loose on wrapping paper. :)

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

  40. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS – Nokelainen (back) won’t be able to start the camp for the Canadiens. Only player injured for Habs.

  41. Habfan10912 says:

    I wish I knew French. MB left little doubt about PK though, huh?


  42. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs call up two players from Wheeling. Possibly to free up a couple of Bulldogs for Habs camp??

  43. krob1000 says:

    What is all this about an asterisk and the Devils first cup not being a real cup and no respect for less than 60 games seasons,etc….I have NEVER heard that before. This is a little much from a team tha won the majority of its 24 Stanley cups in short seasons and in an NHL with less competition. Whoever wins the cup this year is the winner of the Cup…no ifs, ands, butts or asterisks. We best not throw stones from our glass houses re Cups and short seasons.

    • TomNickle says:

      That was me who said that. And anytime I hear of the Devils first cup win it’s followed by two words….shortened season.

      If you don’t hear it when it’s brought up, you aren’t listening.

      Edit: And if anyone out there doesn’t think that this season’s Cup Winner will be remembered as a team that won a Cup in a lockout shortened year is being foolish.

      • krob1000 says:

        Then let us discount all of the HAbs cup runs of two playoff rounds…and I do listen…and I talk hockey a lot…as much as anyone I know…just out of curiousity I googled “devils first cup asterisk”…and came up with a whopping 4 results…not many things on this earth you can search on google and get 4 results…all from within the last 6 months as well.
        The Devils won 16 playoff games…same as any other stanely cup in modern times and twice as many games as the great majority of Habs cup victories.

        • TomNickle says:

          It was a comment that was meant to illustrate that when people think of the Devils’ first Cup victory, they think of the shortened season. That may not take away from the accomplishment for YOU, but it DOES for others.

          The whole mystique behind the NHL season is that it’s long and grueling. That to win it is to have battled through a treacherous schedule and come through when there shouldn’t be anything left in the tank.

          A half season takes away from that in the minds of many.

          That doesn’t make the victory fake, or not valid. Because as long as they’re awarding the thing, it counts. But the legacy of the victory will always have the shortened season attached to it whether you like it or not.

          • krob1000 says:

            I totally disagree. We’ll have to leave it at that because I think it is the playoffs that make the cup the hardest to win ….not the season…heck for many years nearly every team made the playoffs…heck in the 80’s 21 teams played and only 5 got eliminated from contention.

          • TomNickle says:

            Nice logic. The 28 or less games meant everything and the preceding 82 didn’t.

            Shame we’re talking about 1995.

          • Luke says:

            Opinion on the Cups won when a good chunk of the league had players fighting in the Second World War?

          • Lafrich says:

            “when people think of the Devils’ first Cup victory, they think of the shortened season”.

            I am a HUGE hockey fan, and I discuss hockey all the time with other big hockey fans, and I can honestly say, we have NEVER thought this way.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            @laf. Agree.


    • Timo says:

      Don’t worry… won’t apply to Habs as they won’t be winning the Cup this year.

    • Ron says:

      Gee Krob, I wouldn’t care if there was a * ? @ after the cup win as long as the Habs win it.

      Welcome back Tom, you been away from here for awhile. Forgot how opinionated you were. Good to see you back, can’t predict trades but I welcome your 5c worth. 😀 :D. Going be a short schedule but a long season on HIO I think.

    • Luke says:

      Yah, it’s like all cups won after expansion diluted the talent and ruined the purity of the blah blah blah.

  44. frontenac1 says:

    Habs Pesser starting now

  45. Propwash says:

    From Stubbs’ twitter…

    Dave Stubbs ‏@Dave_Stubbs

    #Habs Plekanec injury rumour that’s getting out of hand: he told me yesterday it’s very minor, he’ll get treatment in Mtl. Says he’s FINE

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

  46. derfab says:

    Lockout or not, a legitimate and respectable hockey season would be 60 games with 4-8 less teams in the playoffs. No?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Money my friend.


    • Say Ash says:

      Don’t go into business.

    • krob1000 says:

      Then how many HAbs cups do we discount as they were from shorter seasons and in a 6 team league….

      • derfab says:

        None. They travelled on trains. Only the best got to play and only a few made any real dough. They played oneanother to the point of intimate hate (10 times each), not as jetsetter tourists once a year. 2 of 6 were eliminated after 50. Two more rounds of war settled it. It was at least as good as the four line, 82 plus version.

        • krob1000 says:

          Correct answer…and we don’t discount the Devils either..a Cup is a Cup….and the Devils earned theirs as much as any Habs team….wasn’t dissing the Habs merely pointing out the Devils won their cup and it means as much as any other. The Habs traveled the same way the other teams did at the time…just like the Devils…the playing fields were level ralative to their competition in both cases and that is what matters.

  47. Bripro says:

    For those already forecasting our demise, i.e. tanking, we should consider the following.

    The Habs lost 255 man-games last year. While Cammy was still with us, he missed 17 games, and there was no Bourque to replace him….not that it would have made a difference.

    Markov was gone for the basically the season, making a big difference.
    He’s back, and currently playing, which should have him in game shape when the camp opens.

    By the look of things, Pleks is playing very well, and should be able to carry it over here if he’s put into the proper setting, with the right wingmen.

    MB has signed Brandon Prust, who’s Rangers’ teammates raved about him, and his PK abilities. That will certainly take a load off Pleks. Smart pick up, IMO.

    As for the Bouillon pick up, I seem to remember him differently than many here. Yes he’s not very tall, but he’s built like a tank and was very effective in clearing the crease and the corners when he played here. He too has passion, and maybe that’s why MT likes him so much.

    Carey comes back with another year’s experience.

    They’re building a solid scouting program.
    This is all very good news.
    I see this as a better year.
    Go Habs Go!

    • TomNickle says:

      I think it’s VERY premature to talk about the scouting department unless you’re referring to Trevor Timmins specifically. And he was already in place with the previous management team.

      I think if people who are skeptical about Bergevin and company are being premature that levity would dictate that those singing the praises of Bergevin and company are as well.

      We really have nothing to indicate that Bergevin’s group will be any better than their predecessors. Trevor Timmins is the gem and he’s been in the fold for quite some time.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        That’s what fans do. We hope for the best and get upset when it doesn’t happen.  


      • thorandresson says:

        I think he’s referring to the additions of Mellanby and Brisebois. And I think we can all agree that scouting wasn’t and isn’t a problem with Montreal with Timmins at the helm, however the problem has been developing the talent and making sure they don’t get distracted (see Higgins, Kostitsyns, Grabovksy…) Obviously we haven’t seen the results of Mellanby and Brisebois yet, however the idea to have them there is a good one.

        I’m thinking the first good example will be Beaulieu, from what I’ve read he’s a bit of a bad apple off the ice. Hopefully they can turn him around and teach how to be a pro before he gets run out of town. I’m more confident this will happen with the new management.

        • TomNickle says:

          I’m just speaking to what seems to be a majority assumption that this management team will be better when early indications are that it will be more of the same. Just with more communication.

          Consider that they re-hired Therrien. Then consider that they outright ignored a significant organizational weakness by not getting into the market for a UFA defenseman who can be a physical presence and play 20 minutes each game.

          In addition they committed significant dollars and term to players who bring little skill to the lineup.

          If they decided to leave Galchenyuk in Sarnia they will be ignoring the lack of skill on our second line.

          I see no differences in regimes yet that will translate to better on ice results. Last year’s results were a big win for this team.

          • Bripro says:

            I’m referring to their foundation.
            I mean (yes) Mellanby, Marty Lapointe and Breeseby (player development at the minor-league level), the local scouting programs (especially) by adding Donald Audette, Gerard Gallant, Rick Dudley (although I hate his hair) and JJ Daigneault.
            And yes, maybe even Therrien. Although I’ll give you that I might be eating my words come May.
            It shows a different direction. A professionalism. It’s been a long time.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Again Bri, I don’t mind the team at all at the forward position, in goal and I don’t mind the Therrien hiring either, it’s just the defense looks awful.

      Kaberle, Diaz and Weber completely useless in the corners, along the boards and in front of the net. Markov is still a large question mark and I love Bouillon but he’s probably lost a half step from when he was last here.

      • TomNickle says:

        I actually don’t find Weber useless in the corners at all. I find his confidence to be at a level near Ryan O’Byrne’s before his departure.

      • derfab says:

        If Markov is OK, I don’t see Kaberle getting any time. My hope and guess is they will try to package or release him. Diaz or Weber could be included in a trade since Tinordi and Beaulieu (especially) are very close. An ordinary D-man to clear the front of the net would be an upgrade and pretty easy to come by.

      • Bripro says:

        I don’t think the D is as bad as that.
        We have PK and (gulp) Markov.
        Gorges is always very reliable, if not exceptional.
        Emelin will be a beast, IMO. Give him another year or two.
        Top line D, I believe. And Diaz is small but smart. Which I think is why they brought him Bouillon. He’s older, but there’s a lot to be said for heart and experience. He’ll teach the younger ones.
        And how far are we from seeing our minor league prospects up here.
        This year won’t be a knock-out year, but I don’t think we’re that far away.

    • shiram says:

      I can’t wrap my head around the Bouillon signing, except that he speaks french and was a Habs once before. He does not fill a top 4 spot, and we already have many D’s fighting for the lower spots.
      I also expect injuries to be a factor for alot of teams, with the compressed schedule and out of shape players all around.
      Overall it’s a mixed bag, and the season could go either way…

      • vegas says:

        i agree with you hear, another left hand D which we don’t need and as much as he has heart he has aged and he ain’t very big. I would have preferred a big right handed bruiser to play a 6-7 role

  48. Say Ash says:

    How many games would you play Price?

  49. TomNickle says:

    My wish starting 2013-2014

    No more of this get into the playoffs and see what happens BS.

    Look at all of the great teams in every sport. The focus is on winning the division. Why? Because winning the division provides home field, ice, court, whatever advantage and it’s something that’s within your control.

    Kick ass in your division and everything else will take care of itself. In addition to the nice feeling of dominating your division, the mathematical probabilities show that if you do, you stand a far greater chance of advancing to the playoffs in a good position than you would otherwise. There are VERY FEW exceptions.

    Treat the games against the Bruins, Leafs, Senators and Sabres with more importance than the games against the Lightning, Panthers and Hurricanes.

    If winning the division is the goal, the chances of deep playoff runs are far better than they are with just making the tournament.

    Edit: I couldn’t give a rat’s behind about this season. It isn’t as if winning the Cup will be seen as legitimate. Anytime the Devils’ first Cup victory is brought up it always has the shortened season asterisk attached to it. Just another reason to bring Galchenyuk up this season.

    • shiram says:

      A sound plan, but Habs are a ways away from winning the division.
      Hopefully MB keeps a cool head and they manage to build upon the shambles we now have.

      • TomNickle says:

        If Bergevin makes some changes on defense I’m not sure that they are far away.

        The Bruins just lost their most valuable player, the sabres just lost Derek Roy, the Senators(in my opinion) are significantly overrated and the Leafs are a hampster on a malfunctioning wheel.

        • shiram says:

          Thomas? I think Chara might be a bit more important, and Rask while not as good can hold the fort with the team in front of him.

          Bergevin will have won alot of my respect if he manages to have the Habs win the division within say the next 2-3 seasons. Not that it’s impossible, but it would be a a great “tour de force”.

          • TomNickle says:

            Tim Thomas yes.

            I think Chara’s probably more valuable but if we’re talking about best relative to their positions then Thomas takes the cake.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Gary Bettman is their MVP.

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

          • Bill J says:

            HF72: technically, Jeremy Jacobs is their MVP.

            Bettman is Jacobs’ lackey just like Daly is to Bettman.

            “The hill we will die on” 😉

            Go Habs Go!

    • habsnyc says:

      I think there is a strong chance you get the first half of your wish “no more of this get into the playoffs.”

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I would like to SEE Brandon Prust bring his girlfriend to every single Habs game this year. :)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think we’ll be winning some division titles but it’s going to be 3-5 years before that comes to light.

      As soon as the top 4 on our defense is Subban-Tinordi-Gorges-Beaulieu.

      And Galchenyuk and the other prospects are starting to mature.

      • TomNickle says:

        That’s very pessimistic. And I hope not born out of the opinion that the Sens will be running wild.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Lol. I never liked the Sens Tom! We just had different opinions about how that entire situation involving Carkner and Boyle played out!

          And the Habs could win or be close to the top before 3 years but it would take an awful lot of house cleaning, smart trades and UFA signings for that to happen.

      • Luke says:

        Gorges… god love him… but not in the top 4 of a division title winner.

  50. habsnyc says:

    My usual worry is that ownership will demand they make the playoffs. Management will trade prospects and picks for veterans and have even less flexibility for 2013.

    My early predictions are that the Desharnais/Cole/Pax line will be broken up within ten games, Colby Armstrong will be a healthy scratch by March and Eller will be stuck on the third line as a wing. On the positive side, I think Plekanec will have better stats this year.

    I see no reason for the incompetence, backward thinking and organizational malaise to abate. Though the names may change, the stupidity remains the same.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Really? An entirely different management team whose focus now appears to be on player development gives you no reason for the “incompetence, backward thinking and organization malice to abate”? As a Hab fan I really hope that you’ve totally misread this.


      • habsnyc says:

        Bouillon, Armstrong, Prust. Clogging the bottom of the roster with over priced or underperforming players is the opposite of player development.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          You don’t develop from the top down. By developing I was referring to focusing on long term solutions and not making bonehead moves like the Gomez trade. Armstrong and Frankie are temporary fill ins. And as far as Prust, underperforming has never been used to describe him.


          • TomNickle says:

            Like trading Halak for Eller?

            Or O’Byrne for Bournival?

            Or Rivet for Gorges and a 1st round pick?

          • habsnyc says:

            Paying an undersized fourth line forward $10 million for four years when your roster has major gaping holes is organizationally disfunctional and not a long term solution. Armstrong will not get enough ice time to justify his salary. Signing the most prolific fighter in the NHL at a time when the league will try to reduce fighting is backwards thinking.

            I appreciate that Montreal hired some former players to develop talent in the minors. But the off season roster moves did not seem logical to me.

            Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Again Tom I didn’t say the previous organization. Did were not interested In development. I can’t say it any clearer. Stop putting words in my mouth.


          • TomNickle says:

            Please read the thread below before flying off of the handle.

      • TomNickle says:

        It isn’t as if the prior management group ignored player development.

        Not exactly a sound endorsement of this group.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I never said the prior management team ignored development. I said what I said. In my opinion the previous management team were more interested in just making the playoffs. Many of the major trades seem to support this.


          • TomNickle says:

            You said this management team is focused on player development. That implies that they’re more focused on it than their predecessors. If I interpreted that incorrectly I apologize.

            The only difference between this group and the previous group so far is that this group has more people in it, which should lead to better results. But the jury’s still out.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            @Tom. I think we agree. The condition of the organization kind of dictates some of these decisions. Sorry for the misunderstanding.


    • munch17 says:

      I’m hoping it will be the opposite – that with a shortened season and a new management team and fairly low expectations that if the team does not seem competitive they will move certain players such as Kaberle , Gionta , and maybe Markov to contenders for either blue chip prospects or draft picks.

      I think a short season leaves less time for fans suffering over a long losing season ( see Habs , 2011-2012).

  51. commandant says:

    On Therrien, I’m not the biggest fan of the hire… but at the same time, I’ll reserve judgment til I see him coaching now. I’m not gonna judge him based on what he did a decade ago, with a team that was totally different.

    We can hope he’s learned from his experiences here, the AHL, Pittsburgh, and even the media in the meantime.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I 100% agree. I wasn’t a big fan of his in the past and wasn’t thrilled when he was hired but I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

      Hopefully he is a better coach now and we will get to find out

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Bripro says:

      Ben, if you read my reply to Tom asking what admissions MT made on RDS, you’ll see that I agree with you on our optimism. It’s just below.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      My feeling is that Therrien has lost his newfound zen attitude already. He was in a good place in August when he was ready to take the reigns. Now that he has been made to wait I think we are going to see angry Michel much more often.

      This is just my gut feeling, however. I think he actually has a chance to make an impact as coach of this club, regardless of how he fared as coach in his last stint.

  52. Say Ash says:

    So how many of the 48 games can the kids play before being sent down?

    • commandant says:

      To retain the year on the ELC (and Galchenyuk is the only kid this effects)…. 9

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I think most of them should stay down. Gallagher and Tinordi would be the guys I call up for a little taste of the big game. Gallagher is having a solid if unspectacular rookie season on a struggling team and Tinordi has looked pretty solid to me.

      I would definitely like Tinordi to play a couple of games up here so that he can see what he needs to do to make the transition. There is certainly a spot available if he manages to impress.

  53. TomNickle says:

    Reaction to Plekanec being traded next off-season and replaced with Mike Ribeiro?

    • mark-ID says:

      No way Bergevin is dumb enough to trade Pleks in order to bring back Ribeiro. Not sure if you are being sarcastic or not though……

      Ribeiro is not nearly as complete as a player as Plekanec…nor does he put up more points on average. I’m trying to figure out where you came up with this trade?

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • TomNickle says:

        Just throwin it out there man. Ribeiro expressed a desire to come back and Bergevin seems to be all about the hometown connections.

        • mark-ID says:

          Tom…I would be willing to trade Pleks for Washington’s other centreman……Backstrom. haha

          “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

        • nunacanadien says:

          Enough of the bunch that Gainey and Gilette and Gauthier got. Let’s start new and think only of real NHL players. Let us shoot for the stars. Let us encourage and follow local home born talent in Quebec instead of watching this talent going way south because of Bettman. Wins the hearts and minds of real players, not being lazy and signing only those no body wants.

        • habs03 says:

          Bergevin was big on the concept of a team also, not something Riberio is known for. If Plek is moved, its going to when/if DD Gally and Eller are ready to be the guys down the middle.

          • TomNickle says:

            Considering Therrien’s public opinion of Eller I’d be shocked if he were a Hab beyond this season.

            And quite frankly that’s my biggest fear with Therrien. His personal relationship with Bergevin and the like minded player evaluation that I assume is there.

            Meaning that if Therrien doesn’t like a player Bergevin may begin making moves based on Therrien’s desires. Not something I’m looking forward to.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          MB also said he wants players with character. Don’t think Ribeiro fits the bill.

    • Habilis says:

      I just threw up in my mouth a little bit while contemplating it.

    • shiram says:

      Disappointment, I’d probably take up membership in the “We dislike MB” Club.

    • Say Ash says:

      Tom, did you ever give any followup on why you thought we were getting Kane? Just curious.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wow, you sure are pulling the strings here today Tom, forgot how much activity you can stir up! :)

      If indeed you are serious, I would call for MB’s head. Have no desire to see that Prima Donna in a Habs uniform ever again. Plex works hard on the ice, while I can see scenario which trades Plex, I hope beyond hope it isn’t for the kid that layed at center ice faking an injury and laughing about it on his way back to bench.

      • TomNickle says:

        Only half serious. And only wondered about the reactions. It surprises me how many are still married to Plekanec considering the lockout.

        • geo_habsgo says:

          Well he has been having a great season oversees so I think that has made many optimistic about him. He is a very good hockey player. If the team doesn’t overload him on responsibilities in this shorten season he can easily be a ppg player.

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m skeptical. Jagr on the same team has 55 points in 33 games.

          • shiram says:

            I figure both Jagr and Pleks to get about 55-65 points if it would be a full season, ie: not very different from their points total of recent season.

        • Marcusman says:

          Cause he is a money player ….remember that…long breakaway against Boston few yrs back…….down 2-1…we had to score…..BING…off the left post and in…. PLeks is with out a doubt one of our top 5 players…be silly to ship him anywhere…fill the gaps around him is how we build a winner.

          • TomNickle says:

            The gaps were filled around him every year save for last season. It hasn’t done much good.

        • Habilis says:

          In my case it’s not because I like Plekanec so much, it’s because I dislike Ribeiro. Plek is a more complete player, Ribeiro is a one dimensional offensive player, in my opinion.

          • Marcusman says:

            Tom…you can’t lay last yrs result at his feet….come on. If anyone gives an effort night after night it’s him.

    • Bripro says:

      No thank you.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !

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

    • habsnyc says:

      More shootout wins, fewer CH turtleneck sales.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

  54. JFriedman says:

    I hope Habs fans show some pride and don’t show up in droves right away.

    Let’s send these guys a message!

    • Luke says:

      What does this have to do with pride?

      I enjoy hockey. It’s entertainment.

      I know it’s a business. I knew I’d return as soon as they settled.

      I didn’t stop watching TV when they announced the end of Fringe.

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    I think it is very easy to criticize the hiring of the MT. I personally was not happy with the decision. However, from what I read and heard at the time of the hiring, MB seemed to make it quite clear that he and MT discussed in detail what went wrong with his time in Montreal and where things went wrong in Pittsburgh.

    Seems to me that recognition was made of how and what things must change as it relates to his coaching style. I don’t believe for a minute that JM could or would ever change his behaviour or style of coaching.

    Out of respect for MB, I am going to give MT the benefit of the doubt for this first season and find out if indeed it was just lip service being paid to get the job or if indeed he has learned from past experiences.

    He has had some success as a coach and has had some clear failures.

    I actually think it is a blessing that this season is only 48 games long as MB gets to find out in a shortened season how his choice turns out. MB doesn’t just want to be a GM for 1 or 2 seasons, this is a long term job he wants to hold and if his coach is not successful in working with the players then change will occur. Granted, no one should have high playoff aspirations or perhaps even any playoff aspirations for this coming season.

    • TomNickle says:

      I’m very critical of Therrien and have my reasons. To be fair, he was handed a deck without face cards in his first tour with the Habs.

      Having said that, the Tyrant attitude and lack of self control are very bad things. If he hasn’t changed, he’ll do more damage than good.

      I’m skeptical because it’s easier to say in an interview that you were too hot headed in previous endeavors than it is too actually change the behaviour.

      As far as Bergevin getting the benefit of the doubt, he hasn’t earned it yet.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Well he earned it from Molson and Savard when he was given the job in my books. I understand your concerns with MT and had the same upon hearing of his hiring.

        As for MB, given where and how he grew up, given he survived in this league as a journeyman Dman, and given how he rose in the ranks quickly in front office, I think he has a very good understanding of what a player needs to possess to make it in this league.

        I also am happy he has surrounded himself with some good hockey people to bounce ideas off of. He has lots still to learn as he is green, but he does have some experience around him.

        Given how this team is at least 2 years away from making any playoff noise, I am hopeful he learns quickly.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Maybe we need a real grouch to manage this team of wannabee washups and too skinny rookies, the whole team is still way too soft and while statistically they seem average, the reality is we only have a few who can actually push back the crash the net style of hockey in the NHL. What do we have? Markov and his fragile knee, Prust who only fights midgets, Gionta who couldn’t skate against the wind, Plekanec who stays away from anything rough play and the rest are basically skinny like Gorges, easy to push around. It’s no wonder they finished 15th out of 15th in their division and what are 30 to one odds at winning a cup.

        But then again, having a Therrien on board also means that superstars are leery about signing here. Who wants to put up with a nasty alkie type of coach?

    • Bripro says:

      I agree 100% Gerry.
      We have no idea what was said during MT’s hiring interview.
      I can say that he’s been on RDS often enough that he’s admitted to the mistakes he made as a young Habs coach and what he would do differently (this was before his being hired).
      He’s also very passionate, and gets peeved when watching players who don’t show up.
      I prefer that to JM, the puppet master.

      • TomNickle says:

        I don’t ever recall seeing a mea culpa from Therrien. Maybe I just wasn’t tuned in when he made it, woulda figured it would make news though.

        I’ll defer to Hal Gill on this one.

        • Bripro says:

          After the Habs were eliminated, they did a post-season review.
          There was talk of who would be the new coach and GM, and Carbo was also in the running (I would have preferred his selection).
          MT was acknowledging his weaknesses during those final days.

          • TomNickle says:

            Wow. Didn’t know about that.

            Out of curiosity. Do you remember what he said his weaknesses were?

          • Bripro says:

            :) I see where you’re going with this.
            He was rather vague.
            You have to remember that every other night, it was a mix of
            Carbo, MT, Crawford and JM.
            So any admission of weakness or “doing things differently” were spoken with much reservation.
            He spoke of his strengths with the Penguins young crew, and his admission that the famous “rant” was a mistake. Not that he ranted, but he did it in public.
            But by the same token, he pointed out that it turned them around.
            I see this as passion. I really believe we’ll be seeing a different coaching style this time around.
            There will still be that abrasive side, but with a mix of maturity, experience and older wisdom.
            That’s why I’m remaining optimistic.

    • Timo says:

      True… We could only have to endure Therrien’s genius for 48 games instead of 82. He will fail just as spectacularly, but the agony will be twice as short.

  56. Cal says:

    Who on HIO will advocate line Tweaking™ after the first shift of the first game?
    Hell, we’re already firing the coach before the puck drops. Love it! :)

    • Bripro says:

      I don’t know about you Cal, but I’m already McTanking for MacKinnon.
      BTW, I like your new avatar. Very chique….
      Also, a very Happy New Year to you and let’s hope that our lyrical renditions are for Stanley Cups only.

      • TomNickle says:

        I’d rather jones for Jones or slack off for Barkov.

        • Bripro says:

          That’ll work. :)

        • 24 Cups says:

          I fear that if the Habs draft Jones he will only be here until he gets the first chance to leave. Considering his American background, you have to worry that he would rather play elsewhere.

          We talked earlier in the day about MacKinnon. That would be a tough call up against Drouin and the French factor. I think the Habs make that call first and then compare the choice to Barkov. That choice may then come down to size versus being a local hero.

          • TomNickle says:

            I think Barkov will get the shaft come draft day, which will benefit whoever is picking 3rd or 4th.

            The kid’s resume is nearly as impressive as Sidney Crosby’s and I’ve never seen such a skilled prospect fly under the radar so quietly.

            Something to keep in mind with Drouin and Mackinnon is that Bobby Smith is still the owner of the Halifax club if I’m correct. I don’t see a way that the Habs miss on that distinction. I think they’ll get all of the information possible, and from the right people.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Same situation as Hawerchuk, Winnipeg and the selection of Scheifele over Couturier. Time will tell on that move.

          • TomNickle says:

            Funny you bring up Scheifele. Had no business on Canada’s top line. Just my opinion.

      • Cal says:

        One last song for opening night, then it’ll be time to close the site for good.

  57. TomNickle says:

    For those of you getting caught up in playoff dreams out of the gate I have three words for ya.

    Diaz, Weber, Kaberle.

    If management and/or the coaching staff decided to subtract two of those names from the lineup this team could do some damage. Otherwise, good draft year.

    • Bripro says:

      Like I said in the previous thread, I’d play patient with Diaz.
      He’s been doing very well overseas.
      As for Kabelazy, say “bye bye”!
      Weber? Meh….

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Maybe Diaz fits in on a defense who needs a 2nd PP guy that already has some size and grit but there’s zero need for him on the Canadiens. It would be great to trade him for something we require in return or a draft pick.

      • TomNickle says:

        I like Diaz too and would keep him. I’m not convinced he can be anything more than a #5 or #6 guy who specializes on the Powerplay. And it’s worth noting that he was as effective overseas prior to signing with the Habs as he is now.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I still have no idea how they didn’t sign a physical, stay-at-home defenseman. Boggles the mind.

      • TomNickle says:

        Another reason for my pessimism regarding Bergevin.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yes, it was an extremely busy last off season in the trade marketplace. I don’t understand how so many can be pissed at MB for inactivity when most GM’s only concentrated on signing their own key UFA’s and some of the RFA’s. I will judge MB now that he can be active.

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m not pissed at Bergevin but I don’t understand the Bouillon signing considering the market was flooded with the type of defenseman this team could make great use of.

            Bouillon is a Therrien pet. I’m not complaining about that because I have a lot of admiration for Frankie but his signing was puzzling to say the least.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I think MB now has a chance to put a footprint on team. There were no trades of significance going on last summer. He now gets to start peddaling a Kaberle, or a Weber or a Diaz or Plex or Gionta. The GM’s had great restriction on their player movements last summer. Frankie is a bit of an odd move, but I would like to see how his early player moves pan out.

      • Bill says:


        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • TomNickle says:

          Bouillon may not back down from anyone but he isn’t clearing the crease in any hurry.

          • frontenac1 says:

            And crease clearing was a major problem last year.How many clusterf#cks in Careys paint did we have to endure last year? Hey, management obviously sees something in Diaz that I dont”t but until he grows a pair and stops watching his goalie getting mugged from 10 feet away ,and stops being afraid of the corners, we may as well bring up St.Denis.


      • thorandresson says:

        My guess is that there was a plan to address the D come training camp, we should see that plan come into effect in the next week or 2. I doubt MB intended starting the season with all 3 still on the team.

      • 24 Cups says:

        The point that bothers me a bit is that Nashville passed on Bouillon in favour of giving Gill a TWO year deal. It’s gotta make you wonder.

        • TomNickle says:

          Yep. And the plan when they acquired Gill was to have him in the lineup ahead of Bouillon.

          The signing was just getting Therrien a weasel for the dressing room. Kills me to say that about Bouillon but it’s the only logical reason to sign him.

    • Bill says:

      Yea, but the Habs only have three D who shoot right, and two of them are Diaz and Weber, unless I’m wrong. I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I think that’s a defensive problem.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • TomNickle says:

        I think it’s more of a problem at forward Bill.

        Gorges has always been fine if not better on the right side and Emelin was pretty good there last year.

        • Bill says:

          Most guys who know (like you) say that, so I’ll defer to your knowledge, it just always worries me anyway, haha.

          EDIT: just stuff like clearing pucks out of the d-zone is harder on your off-shot side, and it’s been a problem for the Habs for years.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • habs03 says:

      If you look at the depth chart, only 1 of them should be in the lineup, the top 5 are Gorges,Subban,Markov,Emelin, and Bouillon, so not not sure how that is a problem, since you said yourself that have one of them play isn’t the issue.

    • thorandresson says:

      I’d be very surprised to see Weber play another game with the habs, he’s #8 on the defensive depth chart as it stands.

      As for Kabs, there’s no denying the guy has top skills, and he can still be a great puck mover, however the big question is IF he will be at his best or somewhat close? If he’s not he becomes very useless. My optimistic point of view is that him and Markov become the top PP defensive pairing.

      As for Diaz, despite his size, the guy’s got game. He’s a really smart hockey player and he’s been able to adjust. I’d keep him and pair him up with a bruiser. I see him as a bottom pairing guy and a role on the 2nd PP unit.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agreed 100%. Was saying the same thing all summer and gettin crucified for it. Oh yeah,Welcome Back Amigo!

    • savethepuck says:

      All summer long, before we had to endure all the lockout BS, I was confident the Bergevin would be making a deal late summer or during training camp including 1 or possibly 2 of these DMen. I am still confident a deal will be done. I consider all 3 of them assets but 3 of them don’t fit on the current roster. He couldn’t just release 1 or 2 of them with no return and sign a UFA. It has to be dealt with in a trade go get a return.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  58. thorandresson says:

    So who do people here hate more JM or MT?

  59. habs001 says:

    Is the NHL an easier league to play in than the KHL?… as Markov has produced 5 points in 19 games so far yet many posters think he will produce with the habs..hopefully they are correct but so far there is no indication that he is back to his old form…Diaz may have played well in the Swiss league but the games i saw him play in the Spengler cup he was over matched physically in the d zone just like last year with the habs…..

    • shiram says:

      Grain of salt… he was on one of the worst KHL team, a team that struggled for offense. But he was also selected for the KHL all-star, so he can’t be all rust and bad knee. He’s been playing good minutes too.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      KHL is a shinney league I’d be surprised if we see the same Markov again as before the last injury. I’d also consider buying him out before Kaberle and Bourque.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      I would say, at least for a defenceman, it really all depends on who you have up front. You can’t get assists with pretty plays if there is no one there to cash them in…

      Anyway, I haven’t looked at his KHL team, so I have no idea who he is playing with. I have no idea his skill, but I am now concerned.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I read somewhere that Markov is playing with a KHL known pretty much only for its physical play. Doesn’t sound like they have any offensive forwards or defensemen of note. I’m pretty sure he’s the only locked out NHL player on his KHL team.

  60. Bripro says:

    So is it McTime to Mctalk McTanking for McKinnon yet?

  61. Phil C says:

    Looks like Plekanec will not be ready for training camp.


    • shiram says:

      “It’s nothing serious,” Plekanec told the newspaper. “I should be playing in a week, 10 days maximum. Maybe quicker when I get proper treatment.”
      With rumors of a start around the 19th or so, Pleks should be ready or very close to it.

      • Bripro says:

        Besides, the discussion was with Stubbs, and his interpretation was that it probably wouldn’t hinder his return. I’m not worried.
        One thing’s for certain, he’ll be in better shape than most coming back.

        • shiram says:

          I’ve said it earlier, but our 3 main centers have been playing, and have all enjoyed success in their respective leagues, that’s some good news for us.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Pleks has been playing a lot over the past few months so he’s definitely much closer to game shape (timing and all) compared to many of his teammates. Missing training camp shouldn’t be a big deal (except for possibly establishing chemistry with potential linemates [hopefully Galchenyuk]).

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    Nice, lots of speculation and prodding back and forth. HI/O is back baby!

    Come on owners get ratifying and players get playing.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Great to see a lot of the regulars back for sure! They sure showed a lot of restraint!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      It is refreshing hey Burly. Nickles kmocking the coach, HH advocating the Tank and the overall discussion on hockey related matters is great! I love it.


      • shiram says:

        I think we should all prepare for reading knocks on Therrien.
        Tanking seems to have taken a slight nerf, with all teams out of playoffs eligible for the first overall.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Yeah I see peoples issues with Therrien as well. I just tend to be optimistic until I see things play out. I’m not much of a forecaster.


  63. Bill says:

    Let’s hope this shortened NHL season is better for the Habs than its predecessor, the terrible 1995 NHL half-season.

    In that year, captain Guy Carbonneau was traded in the pre-season, basically for flipping off some reporters/stalkers, who I think we would all agree had it coming (sorry Gazette writers).

    That was also the year of the legendary Leclair (and Desjardins … ok, and Dionne) trade, which haunted us for what seemed like a generation.

    Adding insult to injury, it was also the year that Kirk Muller – only my favourite Hab ever – was traded for the pusillanimous anti-Muller, Pierre Turgeon. Not to mention that the same trade saw the exchange of Mathieu Schneider for Vlad Malakhov.

    It was the year that Serge Savard destroyed the team’s fortunes for the next decade. It laid the groundwork for the Houle and Tremblay debacle and the basic devastation of the Habs.

    Obviously in that year they missed the playoffs (for the first time in 25 years!), and while they will probably miss them again this year, here’s hoping that the season is merely forgettable and not disastrous.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Bill – I agree with all of what you just said :-). That was a 10-year setback!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Bill. It is interesting to look back at history and see things so clearly. No question about it those events stung the franchise for a long period.


    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      The Muller deal on paper wasn’t that bad but the Leclair one sure was. Trading the heart of your team sucks yes but Savard did build two cup winners and should be held in high regard. Unlike Houle who comes a close second to Milbury as worst GM in NHL history. Houle was the one that set the team back for decades not Savard. I know where you’re coming from my favorite player was traded for a third string goalie and spare parts.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The one thing I remember from years ago when Muller was traded is that his production dropping off real fast. He was seeing a doctor because he was saying he felt like he had mono and was never the same after that.

        I can see how he was Bill’s favourite player though because he was certainly one of mine!

        • Saintpatrick33 says:

          Yep I remember that too and while I hated to see him go because I loved Captain Kirk “the work” Muller I really liked Turgeon. He was thrust into captaincy a role that I don’t think he was suited for.

    • Cardiac says:

      With regards to Turgeon, don’t compare cowardliness with finesse. He was not the type of player to go into the corners, but it was hardly a bad trade at the time. He was a point a game player and was given the captaincy under very stressful circumstances.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

      • Bill says:

        I wasn’t really referring to his on-ice behaviour (I never expected him to be a tough guy, and of course I’m opposed to fighting) but more like his general fortitude as Captain. It’s known that he asked for a trade in ’96 while serving as Captain, and I can’t really respect that.

        I do respect his career. Over 500 goals and over 1300 points … it speaks for itself. I can’t believe he’s not in the Hall of Fame.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • nunacanadien says:

      Although what Gainey and Gauthier and now Bergevin has done is give us a team of shrimp, smurf players. Even Savard at his worst could not handicap the team with a Gomez type contract or sign a Gionta and then a Prust and make is worse by signing Kaberle and Bourque. Then to pin the teams hopes on Price who has never shown his true potential, but put a real team in front of him with real NHL calibre players maybe Price could be the next Dryden. I’m sorry but Savard’s debacles have been outmatched by the likes of Gainey, Gauthier and Bergevin…..and now made worse by bringing Therrien back. What did we ever do as fans in Montreal to deserve all of this. What is forgotten is the hand that moves the players and signs the checks are no longer in Montreal but Toronto. Bascially the habs have been destroyed and the Maple Leaf fans in Toronto at least those with money who can buy the habs have wrought their terrible hand. As long as Montreal is owned by Coors Toronto and its mighty puppet Molson, expect to see even worse trades and signings…….

  64. TomNickle says:

    So who does everyone think would get the “C” if Gionta were traded this weekend?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Popular opinion would be Gorges…

      My opinion…Weber


      I might put Moen in that mix but that wouldn’t be very popular because he doesn’t put up a lot of points I guess?

      • shiram says:

        Being captain should not be about points, it’s a tough spot for us to guess at, we have no locker room access and don’t know how the guys are with each other.
        I too think Gorges would be a good choice, Moen too.
        Does the team or management pick the captain this time around?

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I think sometimes management picks and other times they’ll have a vote in the dressing room. I figure Bergevin to be the type of guy that would pick the captain with the help of his coach.

          • shiram says:

            Gionta was picked by management, iirc.
            I guess not alot have chimed in, but Cole was a popular candidate just a few months back, yet no one named him.

      • Bill says:

        It could only be Gorges, you are correct. He’s a great pick for being a well-known Team Guy, clearly well-liked across the board, and he’s locked-up for years.

        Of course, it invites the same problems that Koivu had as captain, i.e., not speaking French. The Habs’ best Francophone player is obviously Desharnais, but I don’t think he’s captain material yet.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      PK! j/k but yeah I’d give it to Gorges or Pleks

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I think Gorges but would anyone consider Pleks?


      • Saintpatrick33 says:

        He’s been a solid member of the team for quite a while now not sure how he is in the dressing room but he’s been a great player for us.

    • thorandresson says:

      think that’s a no-brainer, Gorges of course

    • B says:

      Iginla, who Gionta was traded for.

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • nunacanadien says:

      Even with the C, Gionta shows no leadership. He skates on the sidelines, gives the puck away and basically is never seen anywhere near the net. Shame on you Gionta, crash the net already and score. Problem is the team doesn’t wanna crash the net.

  65. shiram says:

    Darren M. Haynes ‏@DarrenMHaynes
    #Bruins Milan Lucic clearly not in hockey shape. Extended water breaks & took a knee to catch breath many times @7news pic.twitter.com/3fSvFvAR

  66. habs-fan-84 says:

    can barely contain my excitement!

  67. frontenac1 says:

    Hey maybe Gomez doesn’t know the Lockout is over.Shhhhshhh!

  68. Kooch7800 says:

    I wonder if Darche will get picked up somewhere. He is a decent bottom 6 guy

  69. Psycho29 says:

    So I was doing a little clean up in my desk here at work this morning and at the bottom of a drawer was an edition of The Gazette HI/O insert from October 15, 2009.
    On the cover of the issue was a photo of Gionta’s #11 and Gomez’ #91 sweaters…

    Some of the articles of interest were:
    -Canadiens’ coach Martin walks NHL tightrope
    -Donning the CH jersey a dream come true for Brisebois
    -A Gomez drawing for the kids to color
    -A list of Habs’ salaries for 2009-10…some highlights:
    Top earners: Gomez (8m); Markov (5.75m); Hamrlik (5.5m); Cammy & Gionta (5m) and Spacek (3.83m)
    Low earners: Gregory Stewart, A.Henry, D’Agostini & Chipchura (500k), Danny Massé (WHO?) (530k) ; Olivier Fortier (WHO?) (587k)

    There was also an article by Mike Boone that things got out of hand somewhat on HI/O when the Habs were eliminated the previous season; therefore certain members of HI/O will now be monitoring the site and deleting any racism, bigotry, vulgarity, etc.

    So….any buyers? Or should I try EBAY? The Gomez drawing has not been colored yet. Hmmm….Maple Leaf blue?????

  70. Habfan10912 says:

    I wouldn’t but I have a man crush on PK. :)


  71. jedimyrmidon says:

    A emphatic “No”.

    Without going into anything hockey-related, Byfuglien’s off-ice troubles would be enough to make me steer clear.

  72. pottymonster says:

    I love PK as much as anyone here, but if I was GM and I got that offer I’d think about it. He’s on pretty big money for a few more years, but he’s the kind of beast that most teams would love to have on their D.

    That said, I wouldn’t go shopping for it. If it came to me and PK was unwilling to sign a contract, I’d consider it strongly. Then again, I’d be offering PK 8 years going from 4.5mil rising to 6.5 for the last 4 seasons of the deal, so if he wouldn’t sign that then I would think he wouldn’t want to be in MTL.

  73. piper says:

    You are joking, right???

  74. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    NO! If Byfuglien came to play every night (and was in shape) he would be an absolute monster. As it is he’s fat and lazy, and still a force when he wants to be. He would drive us nuts with the Habs – think of Kovy on the blueline.

    He’s a constant frustration here in Winnipeg

  75. vegas says:

    You realize PK is our only true right handed dman
    we are loaded on the left side for now and in the future. Time to fix things up so we have a good balance

    St Denis

  76. neumann103 says:

    Ba hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

    catches breath



    “Et le but!”

  77. HabinBurlington says:

    Yah, really important the Irish offence sustain a long march here.

  78. Newf_Habster says:

    Alabama made ND defense non-existent by neutralizing their best player, LB Manti Te’o successfully and effectively.

    ND = No Defense LOL!

  79. Bripro says:

    What a romp!
    It’s all Alabama.
    The Irish have lost their fighting instinct.

  80. wjc says:

    Might do you guys some good to look at girls once in a while.


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