Habs, Price feeling sick after fantasy loss to Devils

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Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Tuesday night’s scheduled game between the Canadiens and New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

PAT HICKEY
THE GAZETTE

NEWARK, N.J. – Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said he felt ill when he saw goaltender Carey Price Tuesday afternoon.

But not as ill as Price.

“We had an optional morning skate, but Carey was there because he didn’t play last night,” Therrien said. “He was fine, but he said that when he woke up from a nap after lunch his sheets were all wet. He was running a fever and our first thought was to keep him away from the other players.”

Price’s illness forced Therrien to use Peter Budaj in nets, and while the backup turned in a strong 32-save performance the Canadiens finished on the short end of a 2-1 count Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.

“I can’t remember the last time I played back-to-back games,” said  Budaj, who was in nets for a 4-3 win over Nashville Monday night in Montreal. “I wasn’t tired, but I was worried about getting hurt because there was no way Carey could have played.”

Price was listed as the backup, but stayed in the trainer’s room and never put all his equipment on. Therrien said there was no time to summon a backup from Hamilton, because the Bulldogs were in Newfoundland, and he’s not too concerned because the Canadiens are idle until Saturday when the Vancouver Canucks are at the Bell Centre.

Budaj and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur were both working on shutouts when Travis Zajac redirected Henrik Tallinder’s shot from the point at 16:57 of the second period. Adam Henrique’s, who has been experiencing the sophomore jinx, scored what proved to be the winner at 18:16.

“I didn’t have a chance on the first one, but I would have liked another shot at the second goal,” Budaj said. “I got a piece of it with my blocker.”

Brodeur made 31 saves and lost his shutout when Rene Bourque scored his seventh of the season at 12:58 of the third period.

While Therrien said he was pleased with his team’s effort, he was disappointed  the Canadiens didn’t generate more offence on the power play. With Andrei Markov out of the lineup, the Canadiens went 0-for-5 with the extra man. New Jersey had only power play.

The game ended on a sour note when Steve Bernier drove P.K. Subban into the boards from behind with 31 seconds to play and received a major for boarding. Subban had a small cut on his cheek, but skated off under his own power. 

phickey@montrealgazette.com

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

179 Comments

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  2. shiram says:

    Both the NHL and the NHLPA bear some responsibility for the current lockout, both of them have resorted to “negotiating tactics” that did not help in getting a fast resolve on the issues. Sure one party might be worse or guiltier, but really at this point, pointing fingers does not get me any satisfaction, nor does it help in bringing hockey back any sooner.
    Overall, I guess I feel left out, players and the NHL might be dropping some lines about fans once in a while, but neither of those parties are trying to enrich the experience for the fans, or bring in lower tickets, foods and beverage. So I don’t care about these negotiations, the verbiage of it is boring, the tactics used are annoying, and while fans have the least to lose in these CBA negotiations, I feel the fans are also not going to get anything positive from these talks.
    So screw both parties, I frankly don’t care about what’s going with their negotiations, but I will be back watching diligently once they drop the puck.

  3. Mike D says:

    Absolutely hilarious tweet from Down Goes Brown.
    *Note: This will likely only make sense to you if you’ve been following the updates about today’s NHL/NHLPA meeting*

    “Jeremy Jacobs and the other owners currently hooking Gary Bettman up to the Condescend-a-tron 3000 and cranking it to the highest setting.”

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  4. Stormin says:

    The thought of Gary Bettman ever handing out the Stanley Cup at center ice again makes me ill. If this gets resolved in no way whatsoever should he be allowed to ruin the Stanley Cup presentation ever again, the cup should be presented by a former hockey great connected to the teams involved in the final series, not that dumb ass donkey..Venting away here boys damn i Hate looking at his mug daily on the news…

  5. Stormin says:

    Nothing these days makes me more nauseous than looking at any body belonging to the NHL’s side, Bettman, Daly, Snider, Jacobs, Leopold, hand out 10-15 year contracts one day and cry foul the next. Owners needing to be regulated by players damn hilarious if you ask me. The lockout will get resolved in the summer and Bettman will get a nice increase to over 10 mil a year, and the owners a year from now will find a way , maybe personal service deals to get around the cap because they cant contain themselves. The players have to make a stand to stop lockouts every 5-7 years this is absolutely ridiculous. Why would anyone take the owners side in this dispute because last lockout they didnt have the forethought to implement contract length restrictions at the time by genius Bettman. In 7 years Bettman will be doing this all over again that is why Fehr and the players have to stick to there guns this time. 100% behind the players this time boys…

  6. punkster says:

    The PA needs to send that letter to a Parliament that can actually make things work…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjKFCYzqq-A

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  7. Mike D says:

    In lieu of any actual hockey to generate revenue, why not have a public debate between Fehr and Bettman, put it in an NHL rink, sell tickets, and have it broadcast on TV?

    The public votes for the “winner” of the debate via text message and that person takes 57% of said revenues to their respective side, while the “loser” takes 43% to their side. ;)

    Almost forgot….debate to be hosted by Ken Dryden.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  8. bwoar says:

    Easily the best, bar none, article written on the lockout. Doesn’t take sides, cuts all the crap, talks all kinds of sense. By John Buccigross of ESPN:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8636253/lockout-forever-tainted-league-eyes-fans

    Sorry if it’s been posted already.

    • Blondie says:

      I used to read Buccigross all the time. Kind of drifted away the last couple of years, I don’t know why. It is a great read, thanks for that. I’ll have to remember to go back to reading him regularly when hockey gets going again.

      Cheers.

  9. commandant says:

    182 million apart on a 5 year deal.

    Thats $1.21 million per team, per season.

    If the NHL rejects this offer, there is absolutely NO DOUBT that the league is trying to break the union and we can say hockey is done for this season. No doubt whatsoever.

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

    • bwoar says:

      Show us the rest of the details, please. Nothing in the players’ behavior as a group has shown that they shouldn’t be broken.

      • commandant says:

        And the owner’s behaviour.

        They locked the league out despite a rise in revenue of 1.1billion in the 7 years after they achieved cost certainty.

        They haven’t offered the players a single concession.

        They are righteous upstanding individuals I’m sure.

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

    • mdp2011 says:

      “182 million apart on a 5 year deal. Thats $1.21 million per team, per season.”

      That is according to Donald Fehr, because we all know how honest and truthfull Donald Fehr is. Sorry, I don’t buy it and I am guessing that the NHL won’t either. Sorry folks, I have been saying all along, there will not be a season. But, I really hope I am wrong, but I fear (Fehr) that I am correct.

      • commandant says:

        The numbers are pretty clear… the NHL offered $210 million in make whole last week. Fehr asked for the fund to be worth $390 million today.

        If that $390 million number isn’t true, all the NHL has to do is release the offer on their website. Its a PR nightmare for the PA if he lied.

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

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    For anyone still unsure which side to take, recall that Gary Bettman is the guy who failed to suspend Zdeno Chara after he almost killed a young player who had shoved him gently a couple of months earlier.

    He’s the guy who keeps saying the NHL is doing a lot to prevent head injuries when in fact they are doing nothing at all.

    He’s the head of a league that actually puts videos of fights on its website to sell the sport, despite the overwhelming medical evidence that fighting causes brain damage, and the deaths of three fighters last summer.

    He’s an amoral weasel.


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

    • bwoar says:

      Hard to argue that. From a fan perspective the guy is bad for the sport. But as I posted below, he’s made both the players and the owners quite a bit of money. They’re fighting over the pie made from his turpitude. That makes it hard to simply take any side opposed to him; they all benefit from his actions.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        So what exactly did Bettman do to raise revenues so much? i think with the growth of the dollar and inflation I could have increased revenue for the league.

  11. bwoar says:

    Guys! Guys! I know a sure way to make a deal to save the season!

    Send a letter to Parliament complaining about the other side!!

    The PA is an utter joke, as bad a joke as the one spelled N-H-L but with bigger calves and less common sense.

  12. L Elle says:

    Collective: denoting a number of persons or things considered as one group or whole

    Bargaining: an agreement between parties settling what each gives or receives in a transaction between them or what course of action or policy each pursues in respect to the other

    Agreement: Harmony of opinion, action, or character. An arrangement as to a course of action

    The way the two sides have gone about the CBA, are you surprised in 2012 there are still countries aiming missiles at each other?

    Ego, a dirty word. I don’t have a “side” in this mess. Both sides have valid grievances and rights in the matter. My objection is the way they have handled it. I would side more with the owners if it weren’t for Bettman. Obviously, Fehr is just a hired gun, who is there because the players needed a tough SOB to deal with Bettman. It doesn’t bother me at all, he doesn’t care about hockey or the fans. After all, Bettman is the commissioner of the NHL, and is supposed to represent all that is good for the sport, including the players.

    This man only knows one way to do things. I’m sure if we asked his wife, she’d say the same.

    Bettman must be let go. The mistrust and hatred towards him is hampering (to put it mildly) this negotiation process. It takes creative and open minds to settle this, I don’t see any member of this Motley crew capable of making a lasting agreement where both sides walk away satisfied.

    With Bettman at the helm, expect a lockout every 7 years. Ol’ Faithful.

    The players will continue making money. A 4th liner, at league minimum, would make in 3 years what it would take me 30 to make. The billionaire owners, oh please – no comment.

    I posted the meaning of CBA only to point out some words missing from these meetings, like “one group”, “respect”, “harmony” and
    course of action”.

    Both sides and their reps are an embarrassing failure.

    • Curtis O Habs says:

      I think Nikki Sixx could settle it.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Post of the day. I just can’t believe that they’re going to ruin another season
      Have people lost the art of compromise?

      ———————————–

    • Cal says:

      Every NHL commissioner has been hated by the fans. While we’re supposed to think he is supposed to represent the sport, that’s a misconception. All commissioners have represented the owners and their interest. The level of hate directed at Bettman is simply because of the 24/7 media coverage and fan interest. No matter who the commissioner is, the same problems would exist.

      • L Elle says:

        True, therefore time for a commissioner who embodies the sport of hockey. There must be someone out there that can take this thing into the 21st century.

        As long as they don’t break the mold, we’ll be getting Bettman-like characters over and over. Maybe a smart, ex-hockey player?

        • Cal says:

          We’d all love Dryden to be commish. The only problem is that he’d represent the fans and the owners would see that as weakness. All owners are sharks and not the nice guys they pretend to be in front of the camera. They are all hyper-competitive (hence, all the loophole umpteen year contract signings) and seem to not really want to deal with unions. I guess all those individual contracts makes them think that way, but I’m not sure.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Thougtful Post L, can’t say I disagree with anything you have stated. I am not sure Bettman was a bad Commish, but just as GM’s and Coach’s have shelf lives, I think so do Commissioners in sport. I would have no issue with the little weasel being replaced.

      In my pipe dream we have a commissioner with a hockey background (even if he just played road hockey as a kid). I realize Selig is no great baseball guy and Goodell well he has warts also. But would be nice to have a commish that even remotely relates to the game. It is his/her job to hand out the Cup at seasons end and Gary can hardly lift it!!!

      While we are it, can we replace Fehr too? Have to say I think Paul Kelly would have been a good longterm NHLPA rep.

    • bwoar says:

      Great post L, but, why the hate for Bettman? From the fans, I get it. Hey, I’m from Winnipeg, an as a kid Dale Hawerchuk was right up there with the Rocket in my books. You won’t find a town that dislikes Bettman more and I’ve been on that train an awful lot.

      But the players hating on Bettmen? Hypocritical, irredeemable scumbags, every last one of them.

      The way they talk about a guy that’s grown league revenues to the point where they can walk away with an average salary of 2.5M (per year!), you’d think he tried to bugger their grandmas with two chainsawas and a bottle of Dom.

      Their talent, raw physical skills, and determination are the reason the players get to the top of the hockey world. Bettman is the reason they get paid so much once they get there.

      But no, “Puck Him,” right?

      • L Elle says:

        As Burly points out, he is past his due date. I don’t hate him or anyone. As I said, right or wrong, the players hate and mistrust him, creating this long dragged out lockout.

        There are a lot of issues we are not aware of. If I were Max Pacioretty I’d probably still be harbouring some animosity towards him. But in any case, if things aren’t working out, you gotta just keep moving.

        And I’m not so sure bettman is the reason revenues have grown. Someone is going to have to prove this to me.

        It’s like saying Jean Perron is the only reason our team won a Stanley Cup. ;)

      • frontenac1 says:

        Chainsaws and Dom eh? Up here in God”s country,its all
        “Hard Liquor and Hand Guns” amigo.

  13. Chris says:

    In the last year of their respective deals, Parise, Weber and Suter will be 40. I’m not sure that banking on a player playing to 40 in 15 year’s time with the improvements to conditioning and fitness that we’ve seen is that far-fetched.

    Even in 1990, many star players basically hit the wall at age 30. Mats Naslund left the NHL at age 30. Bobby Smith made it to age 35, but wasn’t the same player after age 31. Today, a player that hits 30 years old is thought of as being very much in their prime.

    Of the players in the league last season, 66 were age 35 or older by the end of the season. 52 of those 66 players over 35 played in 60 games or more. Compare that to the league as a whole (443 players of the total 894 that suited up), and the veterans are often good value.

    Nobody is going to offer Ryan White a 12 year, front-loaded contract. The guys that get those deals are the true stars of their teams, and those guys almost always DO play through into their late 30’s barring catastrophic injuries such as the one that felled Marc Savard.

    If you look at the top players from the 2000-2001, you see that most of the players in that list are either still playing or played well into their 30’s.

    Top Forwards
    Jagr (40, still active)
    Sakic (39)
    Elias (36, still active)
    Kovalev (38)
    Allison (30)
    Straka (36)
    Bure (31, injury ended career)
    Weight (40)
    Robitaille (40)
    Palffy (33)
    Forsberg (37)
    Yashin (33, still active in Russia and could easily have been productive to 36 or 37 based on his level of play)
    Guerin (40)
    Modano (41)
    Mogilny (35, injury ended career)
    Turgeon (37)
    Oates (41)
    Bondra (38)
    Sykora (36, still active)
    Lang (39)
    Hejduk (36, still active)
    Hujj (41)
    Tkachuk (38)
    Audette (35)
    Nedved (36)
    Recchi (43)
    Tanguay (33, still active)
    M. Lemieux (41)
    Shanahan (40)

    Top 10 Defencemen
    Leetch (38)
    Lidstrom (42)
    Blake (41)
    Bourque (41)
    Gonchar (38, still active)
    MacInnis (40)
    Rafalski (38)
    Schneider (40)
    Stevens (39)
    Pronger (38, still dominant before his injury)

    Top 5 Goaltenders
    Brodeur (40, still active)
    Roy (37)
    Hasek (42)
    Kolzig (38)
    Belfour (42)

    In total 29 of the 40 players that I would have put at the top of the game in the 2000-2001 season (I cherry-picked Pronger, who was dominant but missed a bunch of games, and Stevens, who was dominant defensively and both were certainly considered at the top of their game) made it to age 38.

    The NHL’s argument is that the front-loaded contracts are terrible because the players will never play to that age. For people with a poor understanding of statistics, this claim resonates: only 17 of 894 players in the league last season, or 1.9%, were 38 or older by season’s end. But if we go back a dozen seasons and look at the top players in the league, we see that 72.5% made it to age 38 or older. Nobody is offering Ryan White a 12 year, front-loaded contract. But Carey Price or Sidney Crosby or Anze Kopitar are good candidates for that type of deal because they are stars that are good bets to have long careers.

    I would not bet against most of the players on their long contracts actually making it to the end of the deal, barring injuries. And in those cases, the teams are off the hook anyways. Suter and Weber are VERY good bets to make it to 40 years old, and Parise’s game is one that could easily see him make it to that age as well. If those guys are willing to play for minimal salary at that point of their career, I have no problem with it.

    • bwoar says:

      Now I get it, you’re Chris Chelios! I’m kidding, but seriously, you’re pushing this thing with 40 year olds way, way too far. The league has and will continue to shift towards youth. It’s been that way since the cap came in. Your list of players from 2000-2001 is pretty much irrelevant, and at best it only proves the contrary of your argument. 10 out of 45 players still playing, only 8 still active.

      As for injuries, well, the law of averages catches up to you if you play into your mid-30’s.

      • Chris says:

        Bwoar: all evidence points to the fact that more players than ever before are playing later into their careers.

        Go back to 2003-04, the year before the salary cap and see how many players were 38 or older. The answer: 19 players were 38 years old or older at the end of the season, of a possible 916. Given that there are more than three times as many players 38 or older playing today, I would say that sort of makes a mockery of your claim that the salary cap pushes older players out the door.

        The problem with your rebuttal is that it demonstrates that you maybe didn’t get the point. In any single year, it does not appear that there are many players playing into their late 30’s. But if you look at the stars from any year and track their careers to retirement, their career is far, far longer than the average NHL’er. The NHL has a huge number of guys who play one or two years, skewing the average career length downwards, but once they get past that huge barrier, they tend to have long, productive careers.

        Improved fitness and conditioning has prolonged careers by many years past what the average career was in the old days. The NHL has been handing out silver sticks to players who play at least 1000 games in the league, but that is no longer the benchmark that it once was.

    • Phil C says:

      I know what you are saying, it is way more likely that an elite player will last longer in his career, Chelios is another good example.

      But even using your list above, less than half made it beyond 40, whereas almost all of the most recent contracts take the players into their 40s. Of the top ten longest contracts in the NHL, only Mike Richards expires before the player turns 40.

      The real question is were these contracts negotiated in good faith with the intent from both sides for the player to play the entire contract? Put another way, would the contract have been the same without the advantage of averaging the cap hit? Or were they structured to circumvent the cap? I think its the latter.

      Perhaps if they can address how they calculate the cap hit, they can avoid taking away a player’s right to negotiate any deal.

  14. frontenac1 says:

    So,since 1992,we have had 3 lockouts and 1 strike. what is the common denominator? Bettman. Sure,blame Fehr if that makes you feel better.

  15. Mike D says:

    This can’t be good at all. NHLPA sends letter to Canadian Parliament re the Lockout:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=409973

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Cal says:

      Crap like this is why there won’t be a NHL season. Fehr, is a non-negotiating POS. And the players who are on his bandwagon deserve their fate. 0 season = $0. Morons.

      • commandant says:

        Yeah the NHL wants the PA to take less money now, more years til they become Free agents, less arbitration rights, better ELCs for owners, less percentage of future earnings, and pretty much win in every area.

        But Fehr’s not negotiating?

        Just because the NHL has moved off the initial offer which was ridiculous, doesn’t mean they’ve offered a single thing to the players, they havent.

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

        • Kooch7800 says:

          It is a two way street and that is why I don’t think there will be a season this year. Both sides need to negotiate instead of trying to just demand what they want. There should be a deal to be made….

          The NHL in my mind is the biggest problem.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    And while the PA and NHL meet this morning, Lebrun tweets that the NHLPA sent this letter to members of Parliament. Ahh the rhetoric continues…..
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/20325/letter-sent-by-nhlpa-to-parliament

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    So many have noted how our Bulldogs don’t quite seem ready to challenge yet for a playoff spot in the AHL. However, if the NHL season were currently being played, I suspect our AHL roster would remain largely unchanged, while many other AHL teams would lose some of their top players. Aside from possibly Leblanc, I don’t think any of the current Dogs would be playing in the NHL and I mention Leblanc because if the Habs were playing I am unsure of Bourque’s current injury status.

    As an example, the Toronto Marlies would presently lose their starting goalie Scrivens (he is slated to be Reimer’s backup), Gardner who currently is far and away the Marlies best player, and perhaps even Kadri may be off that roster.

    Having watched the Dogs play the Marlies a few times this year, that team would look much different without those three players. I suspect the same is true on a few AHL rosters.

    Our Habs need this year and possibly next year, before our next wave of prospects is ready to start making the jump (Galchenyuk, will or could be the exception). This is the price we now pay for all those years of 2nd round and sometimes 1st round picks we gave away to supplement playoff runs. Once we finally get caught up, I am hopeful we don’t go through that again, or at least if we do trade picks for playoff players, I hope to watch the players drink out of that Chalice the Stanley Cup as a reward.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Your spot on Gerald, our roster in the AHL would not change, but many others would.
      It is a great learning curve for our kids. Dogs are young and eager to improve game by game. Our management is doing the right things for development.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      The timing of many of the D prospects like Tinordi and Beaulieu entering the AHL this year could work in the Habs favour. It may be possible to have 2-4 impact young players begin their careers at the NHL level at the same time if Galchenyuk can make the jump and someone like Collberg is ready after playing against men in Sweden.

      Well, I guess you don’t want too many rookies on a single team, but you also don’t want to spread it out either.

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Quebec deficit tamed by Fehr Tax, Lockout Tax, user fee on English phrase “we love our fans”, “we have best fans in the world.”

  19. Mustang says:

    Does anyone here actually look at the results of these “Fantasy” games? Just wondering as I think the emtire idea is foolish. Maybe the Habs could bring back “Red Light” Racicot for the next fantasy game. He could face 50 plus shots and get a shutout. That would be just as realistic as any of these other results.

    By the way, has Gomez scored a goal in any of the games so far?

  20. Mike D says:

    Does anyone know the proposed length of the new CBA from both the owners and players?

    I heard a while ago the owners proposal was 5 years but have not heard what term the players are suggesting. I really hope the new CBA is longer than that considering this league’s propensity for work stoppages!

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • commandant says:

      I think its 6 by the owners and 5 by the players.

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

      • Mike D says:

        Yikes! We should almost start the countdown to the next lockout right after this one ends. I understand the advantages (one could even argue necessities) of more shorter-term CBAs, but looking at that strictly from a fan’s standpoint is bothersome given the NHLs track record the past 20 years.

        Thanks for the info, Ben.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • HabinBurlington says:

      TSN did a bit of a story with regards to league sponsors and the building frustration of just that Mike. Essentially sponsors are starting to say, Hey your league is having constant work stoppages which is terrible for us as a sponsor. It is critical for the NHL and the PA that they start to have smooth transitions at the conclusion of CBA agreements.

      The NHL has turned into the Big 3 auto makers of recent history. Where after every CBA expires a strike/lockout ensues. All the while the competition continued to make cars and start taking market share. I realize this comparison has many faults, but the gist is simple, the NHL needs to have at least 10 years of continuous hockey to capitalize on momentum etc….

      Of course right now I would just be happy to see this stoppage over with.

      • Mike D says:

        I can’t say I blame the sponsors at all for being gun-shy. Who knows, maybe corporate pressure from the sponsors (or lack of sponsor dollars) will be the catalyst that keeps the league from having so many work stoppages in the future.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

  21. Phil C says:

    For all of you who answered “I don’t care anymore” to the poll question, you remind me of this song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9e157Ner90

    You don’t even have to change the lyrics to make it a lockout song! :-)

    • Phil C says:

      Larry Brooks is usually very pro-players, but his tone in this article is about how the players should bend to get a deal done. I really like this quote:
      “it is believed — but not confirmed — that the only two must-haves are elimination of front-loaded contracts and reducing entry- level contracts to two years.”

      This should be doable for the players. You could argue that both of these things are also in their best interests.

    • Mike D says:

      Good article – thanks, Gerry.

      Brooks mentions that he believes the only must-haves for the owners on the contractual issues are the elimination of front-loaded contracts and reducing EL contracts to 2 years. I totally understand (and agree) on the front-loaded contracts thing, BUT…

      I don’t understand why the owners would push for a 2 year limit on EL contracts. It made sense before when it tied into their request to increase the UFA age up by a year and have a 5 year limit on contract length because then the owners can get a ‘bargain’ on a good player’s second contract, but I fail to see the benefit of a 2 year EL contract without those other components.

      Am I missing something?

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I speculated a few days on this question, that the owners may feel the player will have less bargaining position to demand big contract after just 2 years. I suspect they view this as a tool to keep the 2nd contract smaller.

        Only the true genuine bluechip stars will be able to demand huge 2nd contracts after just 2 seasons.

        • Mike D says:

          Ahhh, gotcha. Now that you mention it I remember reading that in a recent thread. Must still be a little early in the morning for me….or I need another coffee. :-)

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

          • commandant says:

            You’ve also got lack of arbitration until a player hits 4 years in the league. This reduces bargaining power.

            What the NHL owners seem to forget though (As i think they are a little locked in a bubble here), is that the KHL may either

            a) try to poach these players, especially those who are european as they continue to expand that league.
            b) even if they can’t poach, this will drive up the salaries.

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

      • flowerpower_74 says:

        I think you have to take into account the unrestricted free agency extending to 8 years or 28 yrs old in the league. If you have a 2 year entry level contract and then your second contract can only be a maximum of 5 years, then that leaves one year left on restricted free agency. I think this is another reason why they want the 2 year entry level deal.

        GALCHENYUK FOR 9 GAMES WITH THE BIG CLUB THIS YEAR!!

  22. b_whalen13 says:

    I was at the game last night, and the bulldogs did play a good game. They hit the post 4 or 5 times on some nice setups. Icecaps goalie pasquale played a really good game with a couple highlight reel saves. The player that stood out the most to me, who I thought was the best player on the ice was Brandon Gallagher. He was all over the ice, setting up plays every shift he had. Had lots of chances. And went hard to the net all night. Which was how he scored the dogs lone goal.

  23. I love the new poll (is it new first time here in a three weeks).

    My answer “I don’t care anymore”

    I will never be the fan I was. A fanatic! I lived for the NHL. I was wrong and life is too short to get worked up over this league and the people who run it.

    All I want is my money back for the tickets I bought in Oct, just send me my money :lol: They (both sides) don’t deserve fans like me.

    Yes I’m bitter :)

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  24. rhino514 says:

    I have always steered clear of criticizing people involved in matters the machinations of which we are ignorant of. But never in my life have I come across someone in a comparable position of responsibility who responds publicly the way gary Bettman does.
    In the winnipeg Free Press link someone posted yesterday, he responds to the owner´s initial proposal by effectively saying that only “naive (his words!)” people would consider said proposal to be tabled in bad faith…That by offering 14% less on HRR, he was effectively “telegraphing” (his words!) that the owners would settle for half of that sum, a 50/50 split. It surprises me that he can make such statements, but what surprises me even more is the lack of anyone (besides the players) taking him to task for speaking this way. He seems to do it because he genuinely thinks he is immune from everything. And quite possibly, he is. I don´t think he realizes the animosity this causes on the part of the players, but it seems that he doesn´t care.
    Just about every time this person makes a public comment, he talks in a condescending tone, either directly about the players, or indirectly, but clearly alluding to, the fans and press. The man exudes arrogance.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Rhino, I agree and said as much in my response to the article. That being said, the guy across the table isn’t much better. Hard to root for either.

      ———————————–

      • Ozmodiar says:

        Yes, they’re both arrogant. A quality that has serves them well in the jobs they do.

        His arrogance, and the perception that he’s taking away something people love, is infuriating to many. It makes him a lightning rod for criticism, and takes the heat off of those he is serving – the owners.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I can’t think of a better example of a guy with “little mans syndrome” or Napolean behaviour. He certainly is a guy who comes across as arrogant, and seems to always talk down to everyone he comes across.

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    And this from USA Today. Is disaster looming?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2012/11/20/nhl-labor-talks-column/1718225/

    ———————————–

  26. Habfan10912 says:

    More money then brains?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/leafs-fan-spends-5-300-184028629–nhl.html

    ———————————–

  27. Habfan10912 says:

    And the lockout is getting some press in Nashville although not as much as the Fisher “carry his wife’s purse” caper.
    http://www.wkrn.com/story/20143538/nhl-labor-talks-resume-progress-still-limited
    ———————————–

  28. Habfan10912 says:

    Will the proposal be more of the same old same old or will we have something more to be thankful for on the US Thanksgiving?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/time-slipping-nhl-deal-article-1.1205362

    ———————————–

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Somehow I can imagine both sides talking and it will sound to the other like they are saying Gobble Gobble.

      I am hopeful both sides are finally willing to talk Turkey!

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Burly. I am no longer getting myself hopeful at all. I’m sick of the roller coaster.
        Following the Twilight tip of the week from yesterday, I am going to try talking to my wife, and then seeing if we can fool around. If yesterday is any indication, I’ll be going to the gym shortly. :) CHeers!

        ———————————–

  29. Cal says:

    In a week I’ll be heading down to Bell Centre to watch a 79 year old dynamo in action. His band will be there, too.
    This one’s because it’s time to make a deal. In other words, it’s Closing Time.
    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Nice job Cal. It’s great you’ll be at the Bell Centre. Enjoy a hot dog or two for me, bud.

      Edit: In the spirit of yesterdays dumb post of the day, how about an Ode to Phoenix parody?
      ———————————–

      • Cal says:

        Best I could do on short notice, Jim. ;)

        Cue the music:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTfW12pm3q8&feature=related

        Did you ever see the Coyotes fly?
        Well I seen the Sharks fly
        I seen Anaheim fly
        I seen Panthers fly

        I seen those teams, too
        I seen a French fry stand
        And heard a baby grand
        I seen camels that went through a needle’s eye

        But I’ve been, done, seen about everything
        When I see the Coyotes fly
        What’d you say boy
        I said when I see the Coyotes fly

        I seen a team bench swing
        Had my head ring
        I seen a face-off, no lie

        But I’ve been, done, seen about everything
        When I see the Coyotes fly

        I saw Predators praying
        And I’m not just saying
        I didn’t see much, I only heard
        Just to be sociable I’ll take your word
        I heard Bettman chat
        I saw Fehr wearing a hat
        And I just laughed till I thought I’d die

        But I’ve been, done, seen about everything
        When I see the Coyotes fly

        But I’ve been, done, seen about everything
        When I see the Coyotes fly

        When I see the Coyotes fly

    • myron.selby says:

      I saw him on Sunday night at Rexall Place in Edmonton. One of the best concerts ever. Somehow they managed to get fantastic sound in that barn. His band and backup singers are world class and he was funny and full of energy. The show started at 8:20, he took a 20 minute break in the middle and finished at 11:50. So over 3 hours of playing. Incredible.

      I saw him on his last tour at the Jack Singer in Calgary and this show was as good. The new material from his latest album (Old Ideas) is the best stuff he’s done since The Future and he played quite a bit of it.

      Worth every penny. Oh and he’s still a youthful 78 btw.

  30. HabFab says:

    Here are TSN’s 50 top ranked players in the AHL. I wonder how many would be in the NHL if no lock out?
    http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?ID=11702

    The Junior leagues can also be checked out. There are 5 Hab prospects listed.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      It is both nice and a little surprising to see Holland make the list at #28. It is great to see that he is working so hard to prove that he was more than a throw in in the Cammie trade.

      I remember the night he was traded he immediately did an AMA on reddit and he came across as someone who was so excited to be a Hab. If he improves enough to be an NHL regular, he will be captain material.

  31. Stormin says:

    I wonder if the owners have given enough thought to limiting contract terms to 5 years,, i would think the non sexy markets will have a harder time holding onto to there draft picks that they develop into stars, if they can not sign them to long term deals. As soon as these players get through there entry level deals and first 5 year contract upon reaching the age of agreed UFA status, I see players like say a Nail Yakupov in Edmonton, and many other non sexy markets will be watching there stars leave for the bright lights and possible big endorsement deals, or just play where they want to now that there is no long term deals ala Lebron James, Chris Bosh NBA style.

  32. commandant says:

    Really?? Phoenix will one day be successful?

    Really?

    There is just no polishing that turd of a franchise.

    I agree with Hammer Hab, there are far more successful franchises than the owners let on, but Phoenix will never be one of them, with a bad arena location, a bad market, and no one willing to own them.

    They have been in the league 14 years now, and not onlyh have they never turned a profit, they also are accumulating greater and greater losses every year (bailed out only by 50 million over the last two years from the COG).

    This is a franchise that needs to be moved just like Atlanta did.

    Things aren’t a disaster for too many other franchises (just look at the Panthers healthy profits). But Phoenix is done for.

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

  33. HammerHab says:

    gonna pull a Bripro and double post from an earlier thread….hope you dont mind….

    ” 4) HammerHab has a point but if a team is losing money and the Owner is manipulating the books for tax gains (or whatever) inevitably the pot runs dry and the Owner can no longer keep the team (can you say Peter Pocklington anyone ?)”

    Most owners own more than just their hockey team. Many own the arena their team plays in and even though the team itself may lose money the owner may be profiting overall by owning that team. This is why the definition of HRR is such a hot topic. The 3+ billion references HRR as defined in the last CBA. There is plenty more revenue the owners make that doesn’t get cut up and served to the players.

    And if the league allows an owner like Pocklington or Boots into the league that is a league problem, not a player problem. Just another thing that players cannot control. The owners need to be protected from themselves when they front-load contracts, give out 15 year deals, sign huge second contracts, and find any and all ways around the CBA that they designed. The league also nees to be protected from itself when they insist on keeping teams in failing markets, when they deny hockey crazed billionaires from purchasing a team but allow crooks to buy a team, and when they would rather run a team themselves than admit an error and move it to a real hockey town. Considering a team like Florida is actually profitable I would say 25/30 teams are probably actually profitable.

    I refuse to believe the owners truly need help and truly need to claw back the players share time and time again.

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • HabFab says:

      Where is this Florida is actually profitable proof so that at least 25 teams must be? I have read all of those and I don’t see it. The HRR is clearly defined with the NHLPA having access to the teams books. Also the County auditor, who in the states is an “elected official” so has a political agenda in this ie; capital loans and tax credits. And IMO some figures are being seen twice, once in the Arena figures and again in the Panther totals. When the Arena figures show $1,000,000 gate receipts for a game minus the costs $200,000. This shows a profit of $800,000 for the event. For the Panthers this $800,000 then has to go against HRR. The original story is probably also a little bias and here is a story on that story http://www.defendingbigd.com/2012/11/16/3654718/2012-nhl-lockout-Florida-panthers-profits-arena-losses-money-revenue
      And as these County figures also show most of the Arena revenue comes from non hockey activities, so what does that have to do with the Panthers? Another factor to remember in these sun belt hockey centers that ticket prices are very low with tons of promotional deals. Winnipeg actually averaged almost 5% fewer fans per game then Atlanta had but almost doubled the gate Revenue brought in.

      • HabFab says:

        And just to clarify why I believe this story to be phooey and nothing but a smoke screen;
        – HRR is clearly defined in the CBA
        – NHLPA has access to teams books
        – Fehr would be all over their ass if the Panthers were doing something illegal with the books.

        • commandant says:

          No one accused them of doing anything illegal with HRR. They are still counting it in HRR. Thats not the issue.

          The issue is that the team is profitable.

          You can say all that arena revenue comes from “non-hockey” activities, but its a hell of a coincidence that the Arena Corp averages 10 mill per year in profit except for 2004-05 where the profit drops to a little over 1 million. No other year is even close to this outlier.

          Funny how that works as there were no Panthers games that season, but I thought all the profit was coming from other arena events??

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

  34. Chris says:

    Since the owners are so hot-to-trot angry against the cap-evading long-term contracts, I thought I’d look at 50 longest ones.

    What players in that list are clear attempts to do an end-around on the salary cap?

    Definitely:

    Kovalchuk, Weber, Parise, Suter, Keith, Zetterberg, Luongo, Hossa, Lecavalier, Franzen, Ehrhoff, Pronger, Ohlund

    Maybe:

    B. Richards – I’m betting he can still be effective from ages 35-38, during which he will earn $1 M per season

    Bryzgalov – playing as a back-up goalie at age 38 and 39 isn’t unreasonable, and his salary in those years would be commensurate with that role

    Chara – given his fitness and level of play, I’m not betting against him being good value at $4 M per season at age 40

    So looking at that list, I see 13 problematic contracts where players are almost guaranteed to retire before the full contract is paid out. Who gave those contracts? Detroit (twice), Chicago (twice), Philadelphia (twice), Minnesota (twice),Tampa Bay (twice), Buffalo, Vancouver, and the New York Rangers.

    So the insistence on 5-year contracts is essentially rooted in 13 problematic contracts handed out by 8 owners. Numerous other well-managed teams have refrained from offering those types of contracts and still managed to land star players.

    Pittsburgh locked up Malkin and Crosby, Washington locked up Ovechkin and Backstrom, Vancouver locked down the Sedins…all without resorting to salary cap trickery.

    I honestly think the contract length issue is making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I think this whole thing could be addressed by insisting that the contract’s cap hit is carried through regardless of whether the player is in the NHL, the AHL, Europe or retired, something the NHLPA has already signalled they are willing to accept. Only verifiable career-ending injuries should exempt a player from counting against the cap.

    Asking to remove the longer-term contracts or varying-salary contracts from the negotiating tools of players and their agents was perhaps unnecessarily confrontational. The problem was easily solved using the aforementioned mechanism, so going after this in other ways doesn’t really make all that much sense.

    Many of these deals see declining salaries for a player as they play through into their late 30’s. That is actually absolutely normal. Here’s the salary chart for Mark Recchi:

    30 – $4.50 M
    31 – $5.00 M
    32 – $5.00 M
    33 – $5.00 M
    34 – $5.00 M
    35 – $5.00 M
    36 – lockout
    37 – $2.28 M
    38 – $2.28 M
    39 – $1.75 M
    40 – $1.25 M
    41 – $1.00 M
    42 – $1.00 M

    Despite the huge growths in salaries on the whole, Recchi’s went down as is usually the case for a post-35 player. If teams want to bank on a player making it to 40 years old, that is a risk they take, and they should be punished for getting it wrong. But the salary history of Recchi his last 13 years in the league, if it had been an actual single contract instead of a few separate contracts, would have had the NHL frothing at the mouth, yet he was worth his contract in most of those years, and actually gave good value on his contracts near the end of his career. Most of the top-50 contracts in the league are either to younger players who are in their primes and deserve the money they’ll be getting in the NHL’s current economic framework or to veterans who should be able to play out to the end of their contracts.

    • Timo says:

      Yeah, but that’s before Recchi got his doctor degree. What would it be now that he is Dr. Recchi?

    • HabFab says:

      I would like to see some salary variance guide, perhaps not as high as the 5% the NHL seeks. To me that self regulations some of those other issues.

    • Phil C says:

      Some good facts presented. Although there are only 13 problem contracts, 3 of those were the biggest signings this summer, which suggests that if they don’t change the rules, the trend will be for more and more each year.

      I actually don’t have a problem with the longer contracts for younger players like Crosby. I don’t think the Penguins could possibly over pay him because he helps fill the arena every night.

      But I don’t like contracts that take players well beyond 35 years of age. Your Recchi example shows that it is possible for a player to play into his forties, but the stats also suggest that it is unlikely for a player to do so. Over 60% of the league is represented in the 22-28 age groups, with 65-80 players at each age. By 35, they are down to 25, so less than a 1/3 make to 35. By age 36, there were only 11 players left, and only 7 players TOTAL above the age 39. So in reality, it is highly unlikely for a player to play beyond 35, and we can conclude that it would be nearly impossible to predict who will make it 12 years before.

      Given these numbers, you can conclude that the players and the owners don’t really know if they can play beyond 35, but it does not matter because the purpose of the extra years is to lower the average cap hit, not to lock the player up in the twilight of his career. In this sense it is a form of cap circumvention. Given your Recchi example, his average cap hit would be $3.2M, which would have been a bargain in his prime.

      They either need to cap the contract length, stop averaging the cap hit, or have a limit on the back diving 5-10%. I also think they could do a hybrid approach and only limit contract length that takes a player beyond 35. You could argue that this is also in the players’ best interest collectively because every time an individual player and his agent fleece an owner for too much for too long, it is less money in the pot for everyone else.

  35. Psycho29 says:

    Not sure if this was posted here earlier:

    Another victim of the lockout; Kraft Hockeyville cancelled for 2013

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2012/11/20/sp-kraft-hockeyville-2013-cancelled.html

  36. HardHabits says:

    I must be at the wrong place. This is AlcoHIOlics Anonymous is it not?

  37. Stormin says:

    Lockout upside I continue to pay zero or minimal dollars to watch High School, Midget,CIS, QMJHL, OHL, WHL, USHL, and or NCAA and even ECHL or AHL depending on where I am, love the game inside out, and really really get to see a different side with less time devoted to our favorite pro team and or NHL. I really could give a rats about the lockout anymore, and i Know i will be back watching NHL when and if the lockout ever ends, but I guarantee it will be a long time before i purchase any NHL merchandise or even an NHL ticket, I hope to be strong LOL. I am sure I will go to A game given a free ticket lands in my lap just being honest..

  38. SlovakHab says:

    Anyone watched the full Bulldogs game to share their detailed report from the game?
    From the game sheet, it looks like Bulldogs heavily outplayed them, with opposite goalie standing on his head – but it could have been perimeter shots too.

    Any insights?

    • slapshot777 says:

      Bulldogs played a good game, was at the game and the Dogs plyed hard right from the drop of the puck. Biggest problem I see from them is they are constantly playing from behind and again tonight was evident again with a little over a minute in the Ice Caps scored on a powerplay.

      The Dogs found themselves in penalty trouble all night but still managed to stay in the game. The shots were doubled what the Ice Caps had It was something like 45 to 20 and there were a lot of good scoring chances but as usual the Dogs are snakebit.

      They hit four goal posts. Gallagher played a good game scoring the Dogs only goal unassisted in a goal mouth scramble. Robert Mayer is not giving the Dogs what I would call adequate goaltending. the Ice Caps were up 2-0 on 11 shots on net. He seems to have a slow glove hand at least from what I saw tonight two goals of the three were to his glove side and there were a few other shots that he managed to just get enough off to deflect it over the net.

      Liked Holland, he going to be a good player, just needs more seasoning. The Dogs played well and derserved something better than a loss. I went to the game tonight hoping for a Dogs win, but more so to see the youth on the team. The Beaulieu, Tinordi,Ellis, Gallagher, Holland. Avistin played sparingly, He didn’t look out of place or have poor positioning against his opponent, but he didn;t get a lot on minutes.

      They play again here in St. John’s on Wednesday hoping that they play with the same consistency as they did tonight and hopefully a couple of bounces instead of ring the post will find the twine.

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

  39. wjc says:

    Talk about sermons, you give a good sermon yourself, amen.

    I will have to disagree with you on Chicago Black Hawks. They indeed did get help from the league. Montreal, Toronto gave them players to make them competive. You do remember Litzenberger he was Montreal property and was sold cheap or given to Chicago. How good was Litzenberger he won the calder cup.

    Chicago wasn’t drawing flies, because no one cared I guess. Norris wanted something to have in his arena to cover off the winter months. Chicago was on the verge of folding.

    wjc

  40. Bripro says:

    Hockey Frustration Song no. 23

    Cue the music!

    Lord, I was born a hockey fan
    Hiding from my wife with faithful remote in hand
    And when it’s time for game night
    I know she’ll understand
    That I was born a hockey fan

    My wife ain’t that much of a sports fan
    She sees Olympics as the only one
    And I’m entrenched in my seat with beer in my lap
    Putting it on station two-o-one

    Lord, I was born a hockey fan
    Hiding from the kids with faithful remote in hand
    And if they steal my game night
    They’d better understand
    I’ll be one peeved off hockey fan

    I took off work to watch a game this mornin’
    Expecting to have no one to see
    First my wife is sneaking some guy in our bedroom
    My son is smoking a joint without me

    Lord, can you explain to this lout
    First these things happen, then there’s this damn lock-out
    It might be time for leavin’
    But first I’ll take a stand
    I’m leaving with remote in hand

    Lord, I was born a hockey fan
    Lord, I was born a hockey fan
    Lord, I was born a hockey fan

  41. HabFab says:

    Bulldogs out shoot Ice Caps 46-19 but lose 3-1…ugly!

    • Pinchy says:

      Very ugly game. Nobody showed up in the first, very chippy, and hamilton ran into penalty trouble all game. Beaulieu looked really good at times but also took 2 bad penalties. At one point he got really frustrated playing the point on the PP, smashing his stick against the ice wanting the puck. Tinordi was decent did all the little things right.

      There was also 2 fights! Hagel got filled in right in front of us by mahachek, but I was yelling to much to even think of the getting a snapshot. Ellis also had a small tilt and ended up on the bottom at the end. I did manage to get a vid of the gallagher goal on the PP, nice takeaway followed by a drive to the net. The kid is going to have a legit shot at the NHL someday. His skill set combined with his determination, heart, character, and sandpaper (always in front of the net or in the corners) will get him there. Anyways Ill post a link of the vid tomorrow.

  42. L Elle says:

    Dedicated to Gary

    They told him don’t you ever lock us out here
    Don’t wanna see your face, you better disappear
    The Fehr’s in their eyes and their words are really clear
    So sign it, just sign it

    You’re no fun, you better do what you can
    Don’t wanna see no strike don’t be a nacho man
    You wanna be tough, better do what you can
    So sign it, but you wanna be bad

    Just sign it, sign it, sign it
    No one wants to be defeated
    Showin’ how junky and wrong is your fight
    It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right
    Just sign it, sign it
    Just sign it,sign it
    Just sign it, sign it
    Just sign it, sign it

    We’re out to get you, better leave while you can
    Don’t wanna be a man, don’t wanna be a fan
    You wanna stay alive, better do what you can
    So sign it, just sign it

    You have to show them that you’re really not scared
    You’re playin’ with your CBA, this ain’t no truth or dare
    They’ll kick you, then they beat you,
    Then they’ll tell you it’s fair
    So sign it, but you wanna be bad

    Just sign it, sign it, sign it
    No one wants to be defeated
    Showin’ how junky and wrong is your fight
    It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right

    Chorus

  43. Bripro says:

    I don’t know if anyone was still reading two threads ago, but if I’m gonna take the time to contract carpal tunnel syndrome while typing for the sake of entertainment, I’m allowed a double post! So here goes:
    REPOST
    I’m sitting here reminiscing about hockey as a boy.
    Bored am I? Ya think?!!!
    The first game that I remember seeing at the old Forum was with my dad in the late 60s. I believe the spring of 1967 or 68.
    It was the first of a playoff game against the Black Hawks.
    It was the last year of the old Forum before it’s restoration.
    Our seats were right behind a pillar at the Habs blue line.
    Nosebleeds you say? You could say that.
    But that building was structured like legos for kids.
    We were adjacent to a metal stairwell leading to the broadcast booth.
    Today, forget it. If you can’t access the elevators in the journalists entrance, there’s no way you’ll get up there.
    Anyhow, between periods, I snuck up the stairs. Imagine a boy walking 40-50 feet above ice level (seemed like 200). The dimn-lit passage, the echo of small feet on metal grating.
    But when I found myself staring down this long lit hallway that was the broadcast booth, it was a different world. I stood there in awe. It was so bright!
    A man to my right turned and saw me standing there, smiled, and turned back to what he was doing.
    Now I realize that as a young fan, I probably could have walked the length of that cat walk, been greeted or acknowledged… or not.
    But at that moment? I turned and high-tailed it outa there!
    And I went back and sat down at my seat, my dad draping his arm around my shoulders, not a care in the world.
    I dont’ remember a thing about the game aside the pillar and broadcast booth, but it’s a game I’ll never forget.

    • HabFab says:

      Seems I heard this story before ;)
      Aw! Sweet memories!

      • Bripro says:

        Not from me, not this one… well maybe 45 minutes ago… :)

        • frontenac1 says:

          Nice Bri. Reminds me of my first game at the old Forum . It was March 1963 and I got two tickets in the Blues behind the Habs goal for my birthday. My buddy and took the provincial bus into town(we were 9yrs old) yeah I’m 58. Jacques Plante was in nets and we were close enough to hear him yelling instructions to his D. It was pure magic Those Forum hot dogs were heaven. The only downer was that was the game where Lou Fontinato broke his neck being checked into the end boards. He never played again.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      That is pretty cool Bri, my biggest regret as a Habs fan is I never was able to make a game to the old Forum. I had purchased tickets to a game in their final season, but got distracted by a trip to Hawaii with a bunch of buddies from High School and went there instead.

      Love to hear you and others retell stories of your early Hab memories, it is music to the ears.

      CHeers buddy!

      • Bripro says:

        Ah the sacrifice you had to make! ;)
        I don’t know if it’s starting to feel a little beyond middle age Gerry, but I’m loving the old stories too.
        I say we should post HIO members’ old memories in lieu of these fantasy nonsense matches.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I remember that cat walk very well Bri. Great story that brought back some vivid memories. What a special place, eh?

      ———————————–

    • Cal says:

      It’s why the game is what it is. That’s something the PA and Bettman can’t understand. Great story!

  44. Stormin says:

    I was just reviewing latest Central Scouting Rankings,, And just a little observation from one of my stomping grounds,, the same program Lac St Louis Lions that produced 4 defensive NHL draft Picks last draft, Mike Matheson, Dylon Fournier and Ryan Culkin all defensemen along with goalie Francois Brassard,, That same program will now produce 4 forwards in my opinion,, this year’s list will be headed by Jonathon Drouin, Anthony Duclair, Anthony Mantha and one of my Favorites and a big time sleeper pick Kurt Etchegary all former Lions. Here is a video of one of Kurt Etchegary’s early QMJHL games and yes he did survive and is playing again, this is my sleeper pick even after being put to sleep in this fight from last year,, but i do love this kid’s game ,, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKXPCch0dFU maybe fighting should be banned after watching this knockout Patrick Roy does not look to be a happy camper in the aftermath.

  45. HabFab says:

    Gallagher has scored for the Dogs, 2-1 with 6 minutes left. Dogs are out shooting them 35-17.

  46. Stormin says:

    Top 5 NHL salaries
    1. Alex Ovechkin: $9,538,462
    2. Evgeni Malkin: $8,700,000
    3. Sidney Crosby: $8,700,000
    4. Eric Staal: $8,250,000
    5. Gary Bettman: $7,980,000, was 3.7 prior to last lockout,not bad, wonder if Gary would be willing to take a roll back in his salary for the good of the game.. How about the rich big boy owners try and regulate themselves and not hand out 10-15 year contracts one day like Craig Leopold and Ed Snider and then cry lockout time the next day,, yet still have the money to pay a dumb ass donkey like Gary Bettman 8 million a year to ruin Canadian winters every 7 years.

    • wjc says:

      Bettman’s contribution was helping make the NHL worth 3.3 billion dollars.

      8 million dollars was a great deal for the 30 owners.

      Once he brings the players down a notch or two he can get back to what he does best, growing the league.

      Phoenix will be a a successful franchise by the way. If you follow the NHL you should be glad for the job he has done.

      The NHL is not gate driven anymore, it is exposure on television, center ice packages selling hockey to the big screen t.v’s

      Rounds and rounds of playoffs well into June. People wonder why the owners love him.

      Being on NBC gives the NHL exposure and grows the game in places that don’t have natural outdoor ice. No matter with air conditioning and modern ice making machines you can play the game anywhere, even in the desert. You love the game and given time the deep south will to.

      Big contracts or even long contracts are not really the issue. These players are an investment and should put a positive face on a franchise and get fans excited.

      Excited fans come to games, buy pay per view and watch on television. They buy over priced merchandise for little Johnny and Daisy. The one’s with the coin treat their children to the odd game and then get hooked on the experience.

      Next thing you know Mr. Money is buying season tickets for the family and bragging to people what a great game they are missing. Word of mouth is great advertising, they may try it, they may like it to. Then it begins to catch on and rinks start to go up and kids play another sport…HOCKEY….

      Remember places like Arizona have large populations with lots of disposable income to use when football etc. are off.
      wjc

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Phoenix will be a successful franchise. Okay now this requires some explaining. Perhaps for starters you can tell us the name of the owner who actually is willing to pay money for this pile of dogcrap with fleas all over it. Then you can tell us how the price he/she pays is actually a real dollar not requiring the city of Glendale to bend over one more time, thus not requiring the Goldwater Institute to be involved again.

        And then just for kicks, explain why people in Glendale will suddenly be so excited about hockey that they start paying parking fees to go to games and perhaps even pay real ticket prices thus enabling the franchise to be financially successful.

        I look forward to your response, since your are generally 5 steps ahead of all of us.

        Thanks in advance.

        CHeers

        • wjc says:

          HabinBurlington, how ya doin neighbor

          You have such a way with words…dog crap with fleas all over it?
          Not sure about all the details, but I do know they want the team in Pheonix. It pumps up the economy, people come from miles around to see big league hockey.

          Sure they have been a little shy in coming, but believe me (you do don’t you) the fans will see in the game what you see in the game.

          The league will prop it up for a while until all the politics and the ownership issue’s are solved. After all what is a few million dollars to the NHL. They probably have a few billion stashed away.

          Television exposure will sell the game and give it credibility. People pay a lot of money for sports when they get turned on. Just ask Montreal and Toronto fans

          Now on a personal note, this lock out has made you quite testy. I mean 5 steps ahead, now that is not true. I am just trying to express my opinion. I like to debate, not bait people. If your idea’s a good one, by gosh I will tell you.

          But, and I know, here I go, you cannot think people foolish because they might have a different outlook then you.

          Peace brother.
          wjc

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So how many years of propping is required? This team has had a commish babysit them for years now, yet still no owner with real money has stepped forward. The retired Canadians in Phoenix love hockey, but the locals down in Arizona love their Football, Nascar, Golf and College sports far more than hockey. No doubt hockey is a great sport, but the sport is regional still. To assume that people in that region will suddenly love it with passion is a great concept ( and I mean that) but it is not a sport they can play in their backyard. It can work in southern markets, but the Phoenix market does not have the population of an L.A. market to find large enough segments to support it. My opinion only and for now it seems to playing out that way.

            No doubt I could be wrong, and if indeed I am, well then the league will be that much stronger. I just don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

      • Bripro says:

        That 3.3 Billion is in fact their most recent revenue, and a large portion of the credit for increased revenues goes to the Canadian dollar. Not Gary Butthead.

        • wjc says:

          The Canadian dollar is not that powerful, I mean Canada has 7 teams out of 30.

          The main growth is the growth of pay per view, television, merchandising, sponsors etc.

          C’mon give ole Gary some credit, the owners gave him a 5 million dollar raise, because the “dude” knows what he is doing. 3.3 billion dollars in not something you will ever see in 100 life times.

          That is just for one year, the NHL has billions stashed away. The players need a nice share, but I would think 100 million dollars at the end of a career is pretty good reward…..no?

          A grinder would puddle through a few season and be a mult millionaire without even trying, just let the money compound yearly. Mamma I’m rich, your little yokum with the grade 9 edgycation is rich.

          wjc

        • wjc says:

          I don’t usually correct people’s spellin, see’in that my own is not grate, but ya all spelled Bettman wrong….you spelt it Butthead.

          Peace brother

          wjc

        • wjc says:

          Burl, (to lazy to type it all) Those issues you present are real, and I do not pretend to have the answers.

          This is Bettman’s baby and if he is right, he is right, and if he is wrong he is wrong. You must realize he has advisors and other owners saying it is the right way to go.

          Rinks will go up so kids can play with real skates, roller skates will work, ball hockey will work. Television (big screens) (3 dementional screens) huge screens with surround sound will give people the experience of a live game .

          Pay per view works in the UFC, the last fight netted them tens of millions of dollars. Montreal does not hold enough people to get that kind of money. Kids are doing mixed martial arts and they only have a big show every 6 months or so.

          So what drives it???? Now you get the NHL playing 100’s of games and you get how much money is involved. The arena is just for atmosphere.

          You could ask Doan what they said to him to make him stay. Must have seen something that a Canadian in the great white north might have missed.

          wjc

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agreed Stormin! Good to have you back Amigo

      • Stormin says:

        Thanks Frontenac, hope things on princess street are all well, at least you get to watch some good old OHL hockey.

        • frontenac1 says:

          Yes ,the Fronts are making a valiant attempt at respectability this year but having gone through this many times before, I am keeping my enthusiasm in check, temporarily. Enjoy those Lac St.Louis Lions Amigo.

          • Stormin says:

            Lockout upside continue to pay zero or minimal dollars to watch High School, Midget,CIS, QMJHL, OHL,WHL and USHL,NCAA, ECHL and AHL depending on where I am, love the game inside out, and really really get to see a different side with less time devoted to our favorite pro team and or NHL. I really could give a rats about the lockout anymore, and i Know i will be back watching NHL when and if the lockout ever ends, but I guarantee it will be a long time before i purchase any NHL merchandise or even an NHL ticket, I hope to be strong LOL. I am sure I will go to A game given a free ticket lands in my lap just being honest..

  47. commandant says:

    Back to Back Firsts

    Geez I’m bored today.

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

    • Stormin says:

      So is whoever thinks it is cathartic to continue to read or write these dumb ass fantasy reports.

    • Blondie says:

      I think this one will have a little more life than the last.

      • wjc says:

        Something people may not know. Chicago Black Hawks almost went under in the early 50’s. Fans were into Basketball, baseball (2 teams) football.
        boxing was big, wrestling was big. hockey was poorly attended and nobody wanted to play there.

        Did the league let them fold. Well, I guess you know the answer. Each team donated players. The Canadiens let them have Eddy Litzenberger, and I believe Balfour.

        They started building a farm system that produced Mikita, Hull, etc.

        The point is they saw the potential and didn’t let them fold. They didn’t move them to Canada. Chicago is now part of the big six and the fans love the game.

        The teams always need a face and for years it was Bobby Hull, they would pay him the money he should have gotten and he left. That is another story.

        wjc

        • HabinBurlington says:

          So the fact that Norris owned the Red Wings and essentially owned the Blackhawks as a virtual farm team for him had nothing to do with this? Wow your revisionist history is intriguing. Do you not realize the history of James Norris and how he treated the Blackhawks during those years. Nevermind his interests in the Rangers as well for many of those years.

          • wjc says:

            Yes Burlington, you are right. The Norris brothers did have quite a stake in the NHL in the States.

            Detroit being so close to Canada and supported by Canadians to a great extent had to have a good team.

            However, the Wirtz’s got a hold of Chicago and tried to make a go of it. The league jumped in and if you remember correctly, Ted Lindsay tried to start the hockey association and was shipped out of Detroit to Chicago

            It was a glorified house league back then, but the hockey was great.

            You are accusing me of revising history, not following that. I do however recognize you are cranky because the NHL is trying work out a deal with the pesky players.

            Peace brother

            wjc

          • HabinBurlington says:

            You spoke of how the league saved Chicago, the league didn’t save Chicago at all. It was never going under due to the fact the Norris family needed Chicago. That is the revisionist history I am speaking of. Wirtz did make a go of the team, and yes i do know the story of Ted Lindsay, he is a great man who should still be held in high esteem. The owners of the NHL have a checkered past and while i am not a pro union person, that league needed a union to protect the players. Unfortunately a scumbag named Eagleson took advantage of that.

            The hockey was indeed great and has continued to be so.

            I hope the Players and the Owners can find a deal, I miss NHL hockey. Not cranky by the way, just responding to your sermons.


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