Audio: Habs sign Subban to two-year deal

Subban_001web

Full Subban/Bergevin conference call (one minute or so of CTV interrupts call at about 14 minutes)

The Canadiens have signed defenceman P.K. Subban to a two-year deal putting to an end the contract saga that has hovered over the start of the team’s season. The team made the announcement Monday evening.

 The first year of the deal is worth $2 million but will be prorated for the lockout-shortened season. Subban will collect $3.75 million for the 2013-14 season.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and Subban spoke to the media at 8 p.m. Monday on a conference call.

Negotiations between the team and Subban’s agent Don Meehan started last May and resumed once the National Hockey League lockout ended but hit a stalemate.

A subdued Subban praised Bergevin Monday night for his professionalism and said the general manager’s consistency led to a resolution of the dispute. He complimented his teammates on their strong start to the season and said he was anxious to get on the ice with a great player like Andrei Markov.

“I watched all the games on TV and to say it was dfifficult would be an understatement,” Subban said from his home in Toronto.

Subban said it was particularly tough on opening night when Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Henri Richard, Serge Savard and Jean Béliveau participated in the opening ceremony. He said it served as a reminder that the Canadiens are a family and he wanted to be part of it.

“I grew up as a Canadiens fans and you all know my father is a great fan and I’m anxious to get back on the ice with my teammates,” Subban said.

“I’m always ready to play,” added Subban, whose return to the lineup is in the hands of head coach Michel Therrien.

Said Therrien at Tuesday’s morning skate in Brossard: “I’m going to meet with P.K. tomorrow and talk with him then. We’re not sure yet exactly when he’ll play.”

Subban will join his teammates Wednesday in Ottawa and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s in uniform this weekend when the Canadiens play their annual Super Bowl weekend matinees Saturday against Buffalo and Sunday against Ottawa.

Subban, 23, led the Habs in ice time last season, averaging 24:18 per game. He also had the most points – 36 - of any Canadiens defencemen last season.

The Habs face the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, TSN 690 Radio).

At Tuesday’s morning skate the lines were set up like this: Eller-Desharnais-Cole; Prust-Galchenyuk-Gallagher; Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta; Moen-White-Armstrong (Blunden out). The defence pairings were: Markov-Emelin; Gorges-Diaz; Kaberle-Bouillon. Weber will be a healthy scratch and Price will start in goal.

Subban signs two-year deal with Habs, by Pat Hickey

Kids staying “because they deserve it”, by Pat Hickey

Backup Budaj says he’s ready, by Pat Hickey

Canadiens tickets are still available, by Brenda Branswell

Photo gallery from Habs practice Monday

Bergevin passes first test, by Mark Spector of Sportsnet

Jets head to Montreal, where new test awaits, by Winnipeg Free Press

Jets have liftoff in early going, by The Canadian Press

910 Comments

  1. …but I’m confused. I’ve read the vitriole on most American sites (Yahoo.com, etc…) for Subban and I get it. He does a great job f getting under other teams skin, but he only took $5.75 million for 2 years? So why the hold out? Were we all wrong to assume that he was shooting for a 6 year contract at $5 million per? That would suggest we should all apologize publicly to him, since if he was worth that, wouldn’t 5 others teams have made offer sheets that MB would have had to answer to or let him go with no trade? Very confusing why no other team didn’t jump in… if they didn’t because Subban wanted to play only for the Habs, then any rumors of him being a self-important, narcissistic, room destroyer are patently false!

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

    • shiram says:

      I think GM’s have a gentleman’s agreement about offer sheets and RFA’s, either that or Bergevin commands alot more respect than I thought he did with the other GM’s. There are also cap implications for every team.
      If PK received offers, and declined them, how can we know?
      PK is worth more than he is making now for sure, but that’s how the NHL contracts and salary work, he will get his big payday soon enough I believe.

    • krob1000 says:

      The holdout was because he wanted more money…he did not get it. Holdout was essentially for nothing….he has to earn his bigger raise and likely will. I think seeing Markov in there and the team doing well got under his competitive skin as it should.. He always expressed a desire to play for Montreal… but I think the combo of the team and Markov doing well going along with the public perception of him changing by the day and the team following the precedents with Price and Patches made him realize he wanted to play hockey…ASAP. His contract will get him back into the good books or should anyway…..had he walked into that locker room with a 5 million dollar contract …I am pretty sure it would not have went over too well.
      PK is back…that is what matters…and Markov is back….and the team has a little team toughness to let the kids play and guys like Emelin play their game…things look pretty good right now.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        That’s exactly the way it went down KROB1000. Bergevin did the right thing and PK is being paid well for 23 year old.

        • Yet so many other contracts were signed in this league for way more at PK’s level. Is Bergevin so sharp? I can’t imagine Meehan not wanting his own payday since he gets a percentage and the difference between 2 years $5.75 and 3 years at say, $4.5 million are substantial. Look at Seguin in Boston, O’Reilly in Colorado and Jamie Benn of the Stars. Seems like PK’s two plus years with the Habs would have merited more? Course I’m happy with the deal as any owner operating a franchise would be, but now we have to worry about PK resenting a bit and mucking up the gelling going on in the dressing room if you believe he pisses off the other players (‘cept for Pricey)

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

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Nothing to be confused about. PK wanted a longer term…possibly more money, but he settled for what he got after thinking about it. No other teams made offers because they knew the Habs would match and I don’t think there are all that many teams keen on doing that anyway. They know what goes around comes around.

      PK did what anyone would do…tried to see what he could get, stuck to his guns for a while, possibly got a little more than what the Habs first offered and signed with the team he’s always wanted to play for.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Much obliged. That seems like what happened, just unsure (apart from a gentleman’s agreement that most GM’s stick to) why nobody offered him. Is he damaged goods? Are the rumors about him being a problem in the dressing room real (beyond being competitive)? Is he um-coachable? He’s no Chris Nylan for sure, or Andre Savard (yet) and certainly not a Big Bird (Wish we had someone like that!), but he shows signs of brilliance beyond his big wind-up to a wide shot, unlike what Markov has been demonstrating of late (hope his kness hold out).

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

  2. shiram says:

    Eller had his 4 goal game ( that does not count!!!) against the Jets last year, totalling 5 points. He should be primed to have a great game, and with Cole slowly lighting the fires under his own postérieure we might just see the domination we expect from the DD line. We could be in for a great game against a Jets team that has been performing well, with Pavelec being solid with a .932 sv% in 4 starts.

  3. jedimyrmidon says:

    About Eller:

    I think the fact that his time in the NHL was almost exclusively under Jacques Martin and Randy Cunneyworth has had a significant on the way he plays offensively.

    For a young guy to be coached under a philosophy that heavily favoured veterans like Gomez and Darche and that stifled any creativity – or offense, it seems – must mess with a rookie’s head.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Just signed on and saw a post “Weber is gone”. Did I miss something?

  5. Willy the bum says:

    Such great news to hear last night, as I was close to bed.

    For sure Subban will be on this Super Bowl weekend, giving a few days for practice and learning Therrien’s System.

    A shorten yet most exciting season this year!

  6. Habsrule1 says:

    In addition to some of the posts below, I’d just like to ask who here would have felt that even without Max (who I love as do most of you) the Habs can still win. As much as I think Max is a huge part of this team, I have a confidence that this team can win every game that I haven’t had it quite some time!

    Anyone else feel the same??

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • habstrinifan says:

      Well still deciding how ‘good they are’. And I am more and more bummed at how we are forced to play without key players last few years. So I can’t feel as confident as you yet.

      But I gotta tell everyone… I am so freakin excited that my adopted son Gallagher earned a spot. I loved it in the ‘olden’ days when you actually saw call-ups come and earn a place on the team. Galchenyuk is different (just a little cause of high draft status) But Gallagher and yes P.K are signs of a good trend for the HABS. Two ‘unheralded’ picks looking like stalwarts of the f uture… and to me they both do.

    • Cal says:

      Habs are on a roll, all right. May it never end.
      This season’s team seems to be all about depth at all positions (except goalie).
      I’d like to see DD’s line produce at even strength tonight.

    • The Jackal says:

      Aye!

      _________________________
      “PK Subban is an integral part of the team, a hard-working player who is extremely talented, and part of any bright future the Habs may strive for.” – Gunnery Captain Obvious & Brigadier General Knowledge.

  7. habsfannfld says:

    does anyone have a link where i can watch the game tonight? I’m away working for a few days, and all i have is internet :|

  8. Gerry H says:

    Wow. Who’da thunk the Habs would be sitting here right now? Even with the not insignificant loss of Max for a month, this team is looking good and comfortably set through next season with almost all key players committed. The D is looking first rate, plain and simple. The Plekanecs/Bourque/Gionta line is on fire. Brandon and the Gals are injecting excitement the Hab’s haven’t had on their third line in at least a generation. The fourth line has gone from being a loose assortment of spare parts to a rock solid wrecking crew that can chip in goals. To top it off, Price is on a focused tear. And I’m oblivious to any worry about Eric Cole’s habitual slow start or the ridiculous scrutiny Desharnais gets. When Max returns, I have zero doubt that that line will re-emerge as a potent force.

    By contrast to last season’s parade of AHLers, the Habs now have the luxury of sitting talents like Eller and Kaberle. Injuries be damned. With this kind of depth, the Habs should weather a shortened season pretty well.

    Over to you, M. Therrien.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “The fourth line has gone from being a loose assortment of spare parts to a rock solid wrecking crew that can chip in goals.”

      The importance of that sentence can not be stressed enough!

      White, Armstrong and Moen is a terrific fourth line. I’ve been waiting to see a line (4th) like that for a LONG time.

    • JF says:

      Love your description of the fourth line. Last year’s fourth line typically consisted of the extra defenceman, whichever forward happened to be in the coach’s doghouse, and any other spare body from the big team or from Hamilton.

      But we should keep our fingers crossed over injuries. Other teams have already been hit hard (Philadelphia, Toronto). However, it is possible, as some have speculated, that the defensive style JM demanded rendered the team vulnerable to injuries, and that this year’s team, with their greater speed and more aggressive forecheck, will get off more lightly.

  9. Peter Young says:

    Now we know how much P.K. has signed for, I would say some of the people here who accused him of being selfish, a big-head and making unreasonable demands will apologize to him publicly on this board. His demands were in no way unreasonable. If anyone was unreasonable, it was on the club’s side of things.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yes lets get our pound of flesh out of the posters now, no reason to just enjoy the euphoria of the moment. :)

    • Habsssssssswin says:

      Subban got a well deserved raise, and maintained throughout it all his undying desire to be a Hab. I admire that. Bergevin undoubtedly garnered huge respect throughout the league. I admire that.
      Let’s now put this behind us. Please.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Amen!

        • Peter Young says:

          Most of the fans on this board think players can be kicked around at their whim. I’m disgusted.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            Welcome to the World of the Montreal Canadiens. Kick your players when they’re down. Did you not get the memo?

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

            For Your Life

          • ont fan says:

            You are going to have to toughen up Peter. Lightweights won’t last here. We like to dwell on the negative.

          • Cal says:

            No players read this stuff. If they did, they’d not want to play anywhere in North America. Same goes for all the coaches and GMs.
            There are a lot of over the top posts, but that’s what makes this site so much fun.
            Take it all with a grain of salt, some aspirin, and don’t forget nuna’s saltpetered beer.

    • Price07 says:

      Judging by the fact that the deal which was signed is the same deal that was offered in the summer (2 years 5M), and that it took this long to agree to it…clearly PK was looking for more. He just finally realized this is how things have to go. I commend him for finally agreeing though.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Actually, this contract is 2 years for 5.75M, so I guess PK squeezed 750K out of the Habs.

        Well done PK. Either way, he deserves the contract he got. Fair for both sides. Now it’s up to PK to earn even more.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Cal says:

      PK owes US the apology for dragging this out this long.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Why would anyone owe anyone an apology? Nobody is to blame. There was a negotiation and it ended yesterday. Now we move on.

        I wasn’t thrilled about not knowing what was going on and if the Habs were really trying to get this done, but they don’t owe it to me to keep me informed.

        Would have been nice of them though :-P

        Go Habs Go!!

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

  10. Ian Cobb says:

    First of my weekly reports on how we compare in the 30 team league.

    Total Points….. 6, We are tied with 5 teams at 8th place.

    Goals For……..13, We are tied with 3 teams at 17th place.

    Goals Against. 7, We are in 1st place, tied with Jersey.

    Every Sunday, I will be posting these 3 most important stats each week, as the season progresses.
    Goals against is by far the most important stat on any scouting report, for a winning team at the end of the year!

    Ian

    • Say Ash says:

      2011-2012 goal differential:

      67 Boston
      61 Pittsburgh
      51 Vancouver
      45 St. Louis
      45 Detroit
      39 NY Rangers
      32 Philadelphia
      27 Nashville
      19 New Jersey
      18 San Jose

  11. RetroMikey says:

    Weber is gone (no surprise)….why didn’t we trade him last year when we coulld have gotten a middle round draft pick or a gritty player in return?
    Now, nobody will want him except the Swiss League.
    Like I’ve said, Weber has a wicket shot but very poor on the defensive game.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • shiram says:

      I was saying to trade him before the start of the 2011-2012 season, his stock was higher back then.
      I think if the Habs shop him they can find a partner, Weber is still young and could help out a team lacking in D.
      Maybe a third or a prospect?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I suspect the fact we had a different GM with a different agenda may have been a factor.

  12. Phil C says:

    I think it needs to be acknowledged that DD earned his ice-time, nothing was given to him. When the line with Cole and Pacioretty was formed last year (in December I believe), I don’t think anyone considered them the 1st line. DD was certainly not getting much PP time. But then they became one of the most dominant and productive lines in the league and became Montreal’s first line. DD earned it.

    Now I’m not slamming Eller, I love the kid, I think he could be great, especially as a two-way centre. But he has to earn his ice-time like DD did. That’s how it works. No one said life is fair. If Eller is patient, he will get his opportunity, he just needs to be prepared when it happens.

    • shiram says:

      As of now Eller’s opportunity could only come from an injury to Pleks or DD. Playing wing is a substitute at best, as he feels alot more comfortable at center, and in my meager experience he plays better at center than on wing.

      • Phil C says:

        I think you are right about Eller at centre.

        Lat year Gomez was injured in November and didn’t come back until January. By then DD was already lighting up the league and Gomez’s role on the team diminished. If Gomez had stayed healthy maybe DD never gets a shot. Like I said, life is not fair, you just have to make the best of your opportunities.

  13. RobertAlanFord says:

    Habs and Jets seem pretty equal in most categories except what is probably the most important one: goals against. Habs have allowed 7 in four games while the Jets have let in double that in 5.

    http://bleublancetrouge.ca/

  14. habs-fan-84 says:

    I have to admit, our GM did an incredible job here.

  15. Habsssssssswin says:

    Beaulieau and Tinordi waiting in the wings. Subban signed and at his prime in two years when they are ready to replace an aging defense. The future looks bright for our Habs. The present ain’t too shabby either. Good news all around. A good day for Montreal hockey.

  16. coutNY says:

    Lets hope his youth can overcome the fact he hasn’t been playing, nor played abroad… to stay in game shape. Maybe the Toronto weather room had some pick-up games after work.

  17. AliHaba says:

    I’m so excited about our Habs especially now that PK is signed. Missing the playoffs would be a great disappointment for sure.

    Last week when my friends and I discussed the Subban issue one subject that was raised was the fact that TSN’s Bob MacKenzie stated that he expected PK to be traded. I always found credibility in what MacKenzie wrote so I sort of expected it to go that route. Now I will take anything he says with a grain of salt. I have lost a lot of respect for him because of this. Seems he’s stooped to the sensationalist reporting of many of his peers.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      You lost a lot of respect for Mackenzie because of this?

      Why?
      He’s an on air hockey analyst whose paid to have an opinion. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. Not sure why you’d respect him any less. That is how he thought it would go down, turns out he was wrong, big deal.

    • Harditya says:

      I know he was going to be wrong about this, but 90% of the time McKenzie is usually right. I’d say he’s the most credible source out of all the hockey insiders.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think what it exposed is the stations obvious pro-Toronto slant. If this was a Maple Leaf story, he is careful not to be wrong, because its just Montreal, go ahead just conjecture away. Plus Toronto fans love to watch anti-Montreal stories, so he fed his masses.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      I don’t think he stooped to sensationalism. He never said anything indicating that there was a trade in place or that Bergevin was shopping him, but rather due to the gap in salary expectations and offer, that he expected it to head that way.

      That’s not sensationalism, merely an opinion.

    • Whatever says:

      When McKenzie states facts, he is right. That’s how he’s earned his trust and respect within the hockey world for many years. He doesn’t report BS. However, in this case he didn’t report a fact, he gave an opinion.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think you are judging MacKezie unfairly. Throughout it all MacKenzie was always professional. In fact he was among the first to categorically dismiss the Doughty level contract demands. I think MacKenzie read the situation and expected a long holdout by P.K (maybe even with the acquiescence of Meehan). If you consider P.K’s comment ( I have to meet with my Mom (and family) Monday an then decide) and if you have seen P.K on the ice during warm-ups etc, you would probably agree that P.K is too antsy a guy to sit thru a long holdout. I think MacKenzie read the tea leaves well.. I just think that P.K and his family thought it thru and told Meehan to settle. And I really think this wa smore P.K settling than Meehan settling. Have we heard from Meehan yet?

      I think if you pause and review MacKenzie’s career and character you would reconsider your position.

  18. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t know why all this rigamaroll and fooferall is being made in The TwitterDome about “Subannator” being PK’s nickname.

    That was the name he jokingly gave himself during the World Juniors if I remember correctly.

    Anyone else remember this?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  19. Habfan10912 says:

    Tickets still available. A result of:
    A. Lockout backlash
    B Economy
    C. Timing of quick season startup
    D. Other

    ———————————–

    • Chuck says:

      Mostly C, I’d figure.

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

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, and lots of games all together.
        People can’t afford to shell out all that money at once.
        Over the course of a few months, for sure.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Chuck says:

          Coming from the other side of Toronto, I’d have loved to have gone to a couple of games this year, but it’s not like the Bell Centre is a quick stroll away for me. Too much advance planning necessary for me to make it happen. :(

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

          • Mattyleg says:

            When I went online, there were games available all this week, and a few in the coming weeks.

            I got tix for tonight, and a friend got some for a couple in coming months, but that’s all I could afford!

            Never thought my own finances would ever be the main reason for me not getting tickets!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • J_P says:

            @Mattyleg. I know what you mean. Last season I would jump on any opportunity to get tickets for face value because the opportunity rarely came up lol This season I could have gotten tickets for every game so far, but you kind of have to slow down and realize going to a Habs game is really expensive.

    • Cal says:

      A little bit of A,B and C all mashed up.

    • habstrinifan says:

      A: Although I wont consider a ‘backlash’ so much as a ‘loss of interest’

      and
      D: Maybe some corporate and even scalper purchases have diminished because of the shortened season 9for the scalpers) and alternative allocation of dollars for the corporate purchases.

  20. habfan53 says:

    HUM. 2 years for 5.75 mil who saw that coming. Based on the comments here for the last couple of weeks half of you where going to give between 5-6 million a YEAR Half of the remaining would have traded him and most of the rest (myself included) would have given him 2 years at 4 million per.
    PK gets a 250,000.00 raise based on a half season from last year then next year almost doubles his salary again.
    It also sets him up nicely for his next contract with the 3.75 million as a start point.

    Maybe the new G.M. just earned his pay.

    Like the DODGERS “Wait till next year”

  21. rhino514 says:

    “In the not too distant future Lars Eller will be a productive second line center on an okay team on an elite third line center on a stacked team”

    I would say “in the near future Lars Eller will not be a second line centre on the canadiens, nor perform at the average level for a second line centre for any team if given the chance”.
    “Eller is, right now, an average third line centre on an average to above average team, who excels on the PK and on defensive assignments, and can be used, apart from his third line role, in specialty defensive assignments”
    “Eller may one day be a decent top six…but not in the near future”

  22. Sportfan says:

    Yeah Tickets still are available too bad I can’t afford them :(

    New blog has been posted check it out guys! :D
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  23. shiram says:

    Lot of good discussion this morning, I love it! This is what makes this place great, seasoned hockey fans engaging in debates with great depth of analysis.
    A great day to be Habs fan, and I for one welcome the log jam of decent, not #1a centers on our team, it might just be the next best thing to have all those #2a or #1b centers on our team. It’s a good problem to have and affords some safety in the case of injury. All of Pleks, DD and Eller have been pretty healthy in their recent season, but injuries can strike at random.

  24. Habsrule1 says:

    I am so pumped! Love PK and the excitement he brings.
    Now those of you that bashed him for being greedy and God knows what else, you are welcome back to the PK bandwagon, but let this be a lesson to you.

    I forgive you. Wow….amazing how much better I feel after letting go of the hate ;-)

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  25. commandant says:

    Max V looks at the Goalie Interference rule and how it is being applied.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/01/29/rule-69-1-what-the-puck-is-goalie-interference/

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

  26. Mikey_39 says:

    When will PK be playing in the line-up? I have him in my pool, and he owes me some points!

  27. CCL says:

    Even though the team is winning. when Pacioretty returns I would try Pleks and Cole on the first line with him. Desharnais/Eller on the second. it’s so easy to revert back if it doesn’t work out.

  28. commandant says:

    Sounds like PK won’t play until Saturday at the earliest. Makes sense, he needs some practice/conditioning time.

    Practicing at home is good, but its not the same.

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

  29. Ian Cobb says:

    First of my weekly reports on how we compare in the 30 team league.

    Total Points….. 6, We are tied with 5 teams at 8th place.

    Goals For……..13, We are tied with 3 teams at 17th place.

    Goals Against. 7, We are in 1st place, tied with Jersey.

    I will be posting these 3 most important stats each week, as the season progresses.
    Goals against is by far the most important stat on any scouting report, for a winning team at the end of the year!

    Ian

  30. CCL says:

    Don’t kid yourself loonie. Desharnais will miss Pacioretty. I don’t think Eller is a replacement. he’ll have to prove himself in the next few games. he may have the skills and tools. but he doesn’t have the same work ethic that’s the difference.

    • ed lopaz says:

      because Michel Therrien, the “hockey guru”, calls out Eller for needing to play with more energy – i.e – we want you to play like Brandon Prust, even though you made the NHL as an entirely different style player,

      now the “experts” at HIO have decided Eller lacks work ethic.

      go to a practice at Brosard. tell me that Eller is not working hard.

      “eating our own” continues.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        He said “intensity”, which is different. I don;’t think it means be a banger.


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

        • ed lopaz says:

          I actually do think he meant it that way. and it’s unacceptable to conclude that Eller lacks work ethic.

          I’ve seen him called lazy as well.

          I’ve seen him compared to Andrei Kostytsin.

          Its just ridiculous.

          • Phil C says:

            I agree 100% that he does not lack work ethic. He is trying too hard if anything.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Ed, I think HF72 was referencing what MT said, not what CCL said. It was CCL that commented on work ethic.

          • frontenac1 says:

            I remember Eller showing intensity a few years back when he was getting mugged by a couple of Bruins against the boards and he maintained posession of the puck for a long time. That’s the type of intensity and focus I want to see again. I don”t know,its strange but he seems to just drift off into his own world sometimes. Much like me, but I have legitimate reasons.

      • Loonie says:

        No vision, doesn’t work as hard as Desharnais.

        I’m wondering who on this board has seen their off-season training regimen.

        This vision thing is hilarious. Galchenyuk was cited below as an example of a player with vision for finding Gallagher for the goal.

        The better example would be when he was caught on the ice with Gionta during the Panthers game and Gionta was in the near side corner, Gionta passes the puck to Galchenyuk at the half-wall, the Panthers’ defender pursues the pass and Galchenyuk immediately one touch passes the puck back to Gionta and proceeds to the net.

        That’s a better indicator of good vision than passing to an open man in the slot.

        As for the comparison between Eller and Desharnais, the Desharnais example was his no look pass to Bourque in OT the other night. Funny that nobody mentioned Eller twice threading the needle with passes to Cole for one-timers in that game.

        It seems the scoresheet is the ultimate “vision test”.

        • ed lopaz says:

          in 2006, St Louis drafted Patrick Berglund in the 1st round, who is very similar in a lot of ways to Eller.

          That is what made Eller available in the trade with the Habs.

          Berglund is developing very nicely there it seems to me.

          I’m sure Eller hoped he would have been allowed to develop that way as well.

          And its not too late. After all of this, he is still so young.

      • Phil C says:

        Speaking of eating our own, I think that is a harsh analysis of what Therrien expects out of Eller. He wants him to play with more energy, not necessarily to go crash and bang. Eller does look tentative and lost out there to me at times, especially on the wing. Maybe his confidence is rattled, who knows. But he needs to go leave it all out on the ice, maybe simplify his game, let it come to him a little more instead of fighting it. Fans tend to focus on production, but a good coach will look at the process. If the player is executing but not producing, the coach will be patient.

        Secondly, the Habs are deep down the middle right now with Galchenyuk exceeding expectations. I think that has more to do with Eller being on the bench than anything. Now that Pacioretty is injured, he will get his chance.

        • Loonie says:

          Hey why would he lack confidence? It’s not like his coach scratched him after the first game of the season at a time when less than a half dozen of his teammates played well………oh.

          • ed lopaz says:

            and then throws him on the wing where he clearly is not comfortable.

            Put Plekanec on the wing, even in an exhibition game, and watch him play.

            Its not an easy transition.

          • jedimyrmidon says:

            And all his NHL experience was under Jacques Martin and his defensive system that didn’t like things like creativity or offense.

      • New says:

        There is nothing wrong with Eller that 22 minutes a game wouldn’t fix. Two games, back to back, of putting him in a position where he has to stop thinking and has to react. Right now he is trying to think the game and everyone defending knows what he is thinking. You can’t just put the puck on Cole’s stick, you have to make them think you are driving to the net instead, then put the puck on Cole’s stick.

        If they can’t do something like that then they have to wait until Eller settles down.

        Besides it should be DD putting the puck on Eller’s stick.

  31. Strummer says:

    PK is signed and sanity prevailed.

    The GM could have caved -in and given him a ridiculous contract based other ridiculous contracts players signed with other clubs.

    Well done MB(Means Business)

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

  32. Ozmodiar says:

    You gotta love DD!!

    The diminutive underdog gives 110% every time he steps on the ice. Despite this, I think it’s save to say he’s just holding down the #1 spot until Galchenyuk is ready to take over.

    When this happens, he won’t be taking the #2 spot from Pleks. Pleks is better (AINEC) and has proven he can handle the defensive responsibilities (taking pressure off the top line) while adding secondary scoring.

    This leaves the 3rd line C spot open to either DD or Eller. The deciding factor might be whether MB sees this as a more of a defensive or offensive role. I think the former favors Eller (size, speed), while the latter favors DD (creativity, vision).

    The only way this doesn’t come down to a choice between Eller and DD is if Pleks is traded. I don’t really see this happening. Pleks is a guy they’ll rely on to take tough minutes away from Galchenyuk during his ELC years. He’s also a veteran presence that can teach the kid a lot about playing the center position.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree with this post. I remember Patches saying DD was the best player he’s played with. Perhaps a bit of smoke blowing but that endorsement is good enough for me. You’re dead on about Pleks as well.

      ———————————–

    • Loonie says:

      I agree with everything that you said and would like to add one factor.

      The success of this team will dictate which player is kept. If for example the Habs fall on their faces in any of the next two years I can see Plekanec being moved. If they’re finding success in the win/loss column I expect him to stay.

    • Mattyleg says:

      The Oz nails it!

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • krob1000 says:

      There is one thing though that has not been tried…while we can clearly tell the team wants Eller to be a winger ..it has been painfully obvious he is far better at center….we have never seen Desharnais at the wing. I would like to see them try that for an extended period before they make a decision on Eller as he has never really been given a legit shot to produce…he still does several things well but has great hands, can pass very well, can prtoect the puck (on one side…isn;t to good on back hand side protecting but that will come).

  33. commandant says:

    The big thing about the Subban contract is the way it is back loaded.

    2 mill in the first year and 3.75 in the second.

    With the first season being lockout shortened, subject to high escrow, and prorated salaries, and the second season being when “make whole” kicks in. Meehan did a great job of getting his client money in the year he’ll actually get to see more of it.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think Meehan and MB did a great job of getting PK his money. ;-)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I agree. Perhaps this is why PK can feel he wasn’t mistreated or disrespected by the club. At least I hope that’s what he feels. On to hockey!

      ———————————–

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Plus he is essentially guaranteed $4M the following year unless he can’t play.


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

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Commandant, I would add that if PK plays as we expect, within 12 months they will already be working on or announcing an extension a la Gorges and the lift off from 3.75 in his 2nd year will not make 5.5 or so per year seem that steep.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

    • New says:

      Exactly. The Canadiens have a barrel of money but are capped at what they spend. Great contract for the circumstances. PK gets what he is worth, the 2nd year forces a raise into the appropriate zone on the UFA, and the option of 8 years becomes valid or not at that point rather than guessing two years before.

  34. krob1000 says:

    For those below saying DD was our best center last year…really? There is a lot more to hockey than pp points and assists..or even goals for that matter and right now the teams best center is Plekanec by a country mile….he does absolutely everything well (well except faceoffs). The team could trade Dd or have him go down with injury and not miss a beat as Eller would be able to slide int heir rather easily IMO….if PLekancec goes down…the pp, the pk, the 5 on 5 they are all affected….the puck possesion, the lanes he cuts off, the space he creates with his speed and the respect opposing teams now give him knowing he can beat them one on one or make a seeing eye pass through their legs and have their paretns watch sportscenter the next morning getting embarassed. Plekanec may not be a 100 point guy…but he is one fantastic all round player…and those guys do not grow on trees…Bergeron, Toews….that is the class of center Pleks is in…he is a slight notch below Toews but IMO right there with Bergeron.

    • Phil C says:

      I get what you are saying. It’s hard to compare players like DD and Plekanec because they are such different players, but both can be part of a winning formula. I think numbering the lines is something fans and agents obsess over more than the players themselves.

  35. Ian Cobb says:

    Glad to get the PK back! But it is not like he had an option. He either signed for what Bergevin offered, or he sat out.
    If he sat out, he would be in the same situation as this year, because his free agency would be put back one year.

    • commandant says:

      His free agency would not have been put back a year…. He’s a free agent when he turns 27 years old in 2016.

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

    • Strummer says:

      In this case the commandant is right due to PK’s age.

      He didn’t complete his first NHL year until age 22.

      It’s 7 years in the league or age 27 for a Group 3 UFA

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

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    I think it is pretty obvious that at the next Summit we need to spend an hour at the Foosball table and have Mattyleg wear a Desharnais sweater and play against Looney wearing an Eller sweater.

    May the best man win and 2nd line center duties be your spoil! (At least as long as Plex is here and Galchenyuk on the way up) :)

    • Loonie says:

      I don’t have anything against Desharnais as a player. I said yesterday I’d give him a new contract if I were Bergevin.

      I do think it’s noteworthy that when he was on the third line here that he had Pacioretty with him and the success that followed last season was again with Pacioretty.

      And to be fair, today I said that I’m interested in how the next few weeks go to see “IF” Desharnais needs Pacioretty.

      He’s earned everything, nobody can take that from him and I wouldn’t even try to devalue his accomplishments. But if it becomes reality that he needs Pacioretty to be successful he shouldn’t be seen as a core player in the same category as Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Subban and Price.

      If I were just looking to make Desharnais seem worse than he is I’d say crap like “he lacks vision” or “why can’t he produce with Blunden and Darche”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        No worries Tom, I actually liked your initial post regarding Eller and thought it was very balanced. I also realize you are not anti-DD but rather wanting to see Eller get every opportunity.

        But you and Matty have had this running battle for a few days/weeks or seasons and thought I’d have some fun with it. :)

        • Mattyleg says:

          Heh heh.
          I’m all for it!! Bring it on!!! ;)

          For my part, I have nothing against Eller, and I desperately want to see him do well, but I also want him to EARN a top posting (as our top two centres have), and not be given one, as some people have suggested, just to see how he does and if he can be productive.

          Rhino has a great assessment below.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I see your Rhino post below and I raise you with Neumanns post further below! :)

          • Mattyleg says:

            Both excellent contributions to the Great Cause.

            (what is the Great Cause?)

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

  37. Propwash says:

    To put it in perspective, the Flyers offered Campoli to a 7 year 110mil deal.

    *edit* I think that tweet from AdamProteau was in jest…

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  38. Mattyleg says:

    So who do we line up PK with?

    KABERLE!!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  39. Ian Cobb says:

    For those on cable, that want the English TV station TSN-Habs, for all Habs games.
    Call your cable company and put in a formal request for them to carry this station. Only after so many calls will they carry this channel.

    • 44har48 says:

      Ian, not sure I coud get it on DirecTV in the states, but what is this channel? an actual Habs English speaking channel with all the games??????

      Is it just TSN with regional coverege? An all Habs channel?

  40. krob1000 says:

    PKAVE!!!!
    just kidding…awesome deal and great to have PK back in the lineup….the D corps all of the sudden looks pretty darn good!
    This deal makes me very happy for the team moving forward and glad to see PK took the bridge deal like Patches and Price …. it would not have sat well had he gotten a ton of money. This move gives the HAbs some wiggle room at the deadline and some manoeuverability should the team be faring well and I am glad PK realized it…I am guessing it was PK as I don’t think MEehan was happy about signing off on this deal.

  41. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Thank you, PK.
    I said I’d eat my hat if you sat or got traded.
    Then I changed it to eating the sandwich my kid left under the passenger seat in November.

    Not a natural-looking colour.

    As for mentoring, changing his slap, fulfilling his potential — all PK really needs to do is read these threads.

  42. caladin says:

    When I first heard subban signed 2 years at 5.75 I was stunned. When I saw it was 2mil this year (prorated so really 1.2) and 3.75 next year I got curious. Here’s why this deal really is a win for both sides.
    For the habs, we get PK for 2 years at a tiny cap hit of 2.85/year. And then we get to negotiate while he is still a free agent.
    For PK, very little of his money is assigned to this year. About 40% of any salary assigned to this year is not paid because of the shortened year. So PK will recieve 4.95 mil over the two years after pro rating is factored in. That’s about the same as had he signed for 3.15/year for both of the 2 years.
    Also the qualifying offer must be at least 110% of the last years salary. So by this very lopsided contract PK’s position in Arbitration is much stronger.
    I think Don Meehan and Mark Bergevin have conspired to exploit the CBA very well. As they should.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Cheers Caladin.
      I’m too right-brained and innumerate to get all that, but it sure looks good.
      Especially the part about the two sides out-manoeuvring the CBA.

  43. 44har48 says:

    Thank you PK, for being a part of the system and team, not above it, and paying your dues. You will be a very rich man and make us very happy for years to come when this deal expires. Now let’s get to work and keep the momentum going!

  44. Habfan10912 says:

    Maybe it’s my eyes but I don’t quite see the hate on DD. I’ve seen him get knocked down more often then any player on the team thus far but he’s battling constantly and rarely get’s caught out of position. I still see him trying to create open ice for his wingers and his work ethic is second to none. Am I seeing him through Hab coloured glasses?
    ———————————–

    • Bill J says:

      Not hate from me, just to clear it up. Mostly disdain for the fact he’s on the first line as its center. He’s not a #1 center, just because he works hard in the corners.

      I don’t even want Eller on the top line…. I wanna see Chucky on that line.


      Go Habs Go!

      • Mattyleg says:

        Haha!!
        “He’s not a #1 center.”
        Oh dear.
        So #1 centers have that tatooed on their foreheads? Or is there some kind of physiological aspect that #1 centers have that sets them apart from other centers?

        If he is the centre for our best (#1) line, then he is the #1 centre.
        It’s as simple as that.
        Once he stops playing well enough to merit that position, he moves to another line, and another player becomes the #1 centre.

        It’s just bizarre, this ‘not a number 1 centre’ argument.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Loonie says:

          He isn’t the centreman of our best line. Tomas Plekanec is.

          For me a #1 centreman is the kind of guy you can build your forward group around. We only have one of those and his name isn’t Plekanec, Desharnais or Eller.

          • Mattyleg says:

            DD was the centreman of our best line last season.
            This season is stil young.

            This is also why the concept of #1 line, #2 line etc. is silly and is probably only considered as such by fans and stat-watchers.

            Within the team, the lines are probably not ‘ranked’. Is the line that starts the game the first line? If not, why not?

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Loonie says:

            They may not be ranked but each of the forwards lines should be competing with the others for powerplay time and last minute time.

            I think this team has two lines competing for that slot right now with Plekanec’s line and Desharnais’ line.

            As for which centreman is most skilled or “the best”, the most productive line on a team doesn’t necessarily have its best centreman on it.

        • Bill J says:

          Are you DD? you seem insulted by my opinions.

          I have not insulted your opinions, but I can start if you want.


          Go Habs Go!

          • Loonie says:

            If Desharnais’ open to criticism that means Plekanec is. That doesn’t sit well with some people Bill.

            At least you aren’t saying that they lack “vision”

          • Mattyleg says:

            I’m not trying to insult you, but I’ve heard that comment many times (about many players, not just DD) and it always makes me laugh.

            I just find the concept of a ‘#1 centre’ a little bit silly. Saku Koivu was our “#1 Centre” for years, despite Plekanec (sorry Loon!) being on the more offensively productive line. Was Plekanec our #1 centre, then? Or was he ‘not a #1 centre’, while Koivu was?

            You see what I mean?
            I find that this kind of thing smacks of preconceived notions – you’re not a number one and you never will be kinda-thing – and it gets under my skin.

            Sorry if I insulted you.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Mattyleg says:

            .

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Loonie says:

            Matty when you begin debating your points with anything other than your eye test I’ll disabuse myself of the idea that you form your opinions about players based on something other than like and dislike.

            Far be it for me to question your scouting acumen.

            The second somebody so much as analyzes Desharnais or Plekanec you’re all over them. But Eller lacks “vision”.

            Right. We’ll just all take your word for it. And in the event that I disagree, I’m a joke.

            Got it.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            View from the peanut gallery:

            This is a really good discussion. Not just about DD, but about the whole concept of what constitutes a No. 1 centre, a stay-at-home Dman, a First line.

            Bill, are you saying that DD isn’t a classic No.1 centre? Or that he’s just not cut out to be one, except as last resort?

            Loonie’s point about playing with Pacs is a separate matter, but also interesting. Didn’t St Louis and Lecavalier come up together also? I don’t know — how do they play apart? How did Shutt (ie. without Guy)?

          • Mattyleg says:

            Good on ya Loonie!
            You’re getting it!
            Baby steps, buddy… baby steps!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Matty’s right.

          DD started off as the 3rd line centre. He worked his way onto the Cole and Pacioretty line which was at that point the 2nd line. It only became the first line because of its results on the ice.

          DD was not handed the first line job. He won it.


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

          • Loonie says:

            He’s had Pacioretty with him the whole way…..including on the third line.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Not true. Max Pac was with Gomez and Gionta for some time.

            (And see Commandant’s point re: the AHL below)

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

          • Loonie says:

            For some time? Any idea as to what the amount of games played with each were.

            As I said, save for a few games at the NHL level Desharnais has been near exclusively paired with Pacioretty.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            And as commandant pointed out below, you’re wrong.


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

          • Loonie says:

            Wrong about what exactly. That they’ve nearly exclusively played together at the NHL level?

            Umm….no.

            I said they came up together. Played together in Hamilton, came up full-time in the same season together.

            Which opinion requires correction?

          • Mattyleg says:

            Loon:
            “when [Desharnais] started out and worked his way up he had Pacioretty at his side and that hasn’t changed.
            Pacioretty’s been a constant with him the whole way save for a couple of games here and there.”

            That was proved wrong.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Loonie says:

      No he earns everything he gets. The only caveat that I have with Desharnais is that when he started out and worked his way up he had Pacioretty at his side and that hasn’t changed.

      Pacioretty’s been a constant with him the whole way save for a couple of games here and there.

      I think Pacioretty’s proven that he can be good with anyone(Gomez) for example. These games without Pacioretty will be more telling about Desharnais than they will about Eller or Cole in my opinion.

      • 44har48 says:

        Agree totally, even in the AHL he had Pac… I did not want Max to get hurt or have to be out of the lineup, but this is a blessing. We need to know what this guy can do with other players to find out if he is really going to stick. I like his game but I am not sold on him long term and I really would like to see a #1 center on that line, maybe he is, and I just don’t realize it yet.

        • Loonie says:

          Joe Juneau needed Adam Oates. Oates didn’t need Juneau.

          I think that’s good comparable other than the position switch.

        • commandant says:

          Desharnais did NOT have Patch in his whole time in the AHL, in fact they only played together about a month.

          Desharnais was a dominant AHL player both with and without Pacioretty.

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

          • 44har48 says:

            ahhhhhhhhhhhh, Loonie? I don’t have time to check the facts but I seem to recall DD coming out of nowhere as soon as Max Pac forced the Habs to put him in the top 6 in AHL instead of Martin’s 4th line in NHL…Am I crazy? I don’t agree with commandant. I’ll look it up later if you don’t know for sure.

            EDIT: See below statistics…my bad, wow. Thanks for sharing commandant

          • commandant says:

            In 2008-09 as an AHL rookie, Desharnais had 58 points in 77 games. Pretty good numbers for a rook

            In 2009-10 Desharnais had 78 points in 60 games in a season. Well over a point per game and would have challenged for the AHL scoring title if he played the full season and was not injured (based on his scoring pace). Brock Trotter was his most frequent linemate (with a rotating assortment on the other side). Max Pacioretty played 18 games for the Dogs, mostly not on Desharnais line, and had 11 points.

            In 2010-11; In the season Patches did so well in the AHL…. Desharnais continued to score for well over 6 weeks after Patches was called up, and Desharnais was the AHL scoring leader at the time of his recall in December.

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

    • Phil C says:

      I’m with you, I think he is great. There are many posters here who simply dismiss him because he is small. Secondly, I don’t think everyone appreciates his best talent; his ability to find his teammates on the ice and get them the puck. This requires a very high hockey IQ and he makes it look easy. Anyone who has played hockey knows how fun it is to play with a guy like DD; just get open and you know the puck is coming.

      Markov’s overtime goal is a prime example of how DD’s talent can go unnoticed. First of all, Gallant drew up a great play so he deserves full credit, but DD was the key to the execution. Once Markov bolts for the net, DD looks to try to get him the puck, enough to draw Elias down low and off the pointman, Bourque. Then DD executes a perfect no-look pass for the one-timer shot. Without the look-off and perfect pass, this play is a bust. Markov gets the glory and throws pucks to the crowd, DD made it happen.

      That being said, I don’t see DD matching up well defensively with some of the big centres in the league, especially on the road when they don’t have the last change. I would not mind seeing him on the wing as an experiment.

  45. HardHabits says:

    Out of the fire…
    Enter PK Subban!!

  46. Mattyleg says:

    So have I missed any grovelling, back-pedaling, apologizing, qualifying or ‘clarifying’ over PK?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  47. Loonie says:

    I know the subject of Eller has been brought up repeatedly here and I’d like to add something to it.

    Last season with 16 goals and 12 assists. Not great but not bad either. I haven’t seen many people give consideration to the fact that he only had 2 powerplay points in limited opportunities.

    So 26 points in 79 games as the team’s third line centreman. Essentially a point for every three games played. The Eller detractors understandably don’t like his linemates being cited as a reason for the lack of consistent offensive production. Travis Moen(21p career high), Mike Blunden(4p career high), Mathieu Darche(26p career high), Andrei Kostitsyn(53p career high).

    Eller had stretches of two points in two games, three points in two games, four points in three games, two points in three games, three points in three games, twelve points in nine games, four points in eight games and three points in five games. Some overlap I understand.

    He has stretches of inconsistency as well.

    But here’s the thing, he’s in a third line role. Nobody in the NHL is a consistent offensive producer as a third liner. Nobody. Some may have better goal or point totals but all of them have long stretches of inconsistency.

    I realize Tomas Plekanec got a raw deal in terms of wingers last season. He started with Gionta and went to Bourque after the injury and acquisition. That’s not ideal and I’m not comparing Plekanec to Eller.

    I’m saying that as long as Eller’s in a third line role and isn’t surrounded by talent his production should be taken with a grain of salt.

    If in this season he’s surrounded with talent I believe he’ll prove that he can find consistency offensively. Of course that’s also predicated on him not having to completely overhaul his style of game.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I dunno Loon, anybody can play well with great players.
      The mark of a good/great player is to make his linemates look good, regardless of who they are.

      If Eller is only good with our best players, it doesn’t say much about him.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Loonie says:

        Who said he had to be good with our best players? Two talented players would suffice in my opinion.

        He doesn’t have to be great either. I’m not saying he will be or that I expect him to be. But given his stretches of offensive production without talent around him I think it’s safe to say that he’ll find offensive consistency with talent on both sides of him.

        You show me somebody who can make Moen and Kostitsyn “great” and I’ll show you a player who isn’t on our roster.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Hmm, Kostitsyn was pretty good with a few of our players…

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Loonie says:

            Kostitsyn was good with Plekanec and Kovalev. He was incredibly inconsistent with everybody else.

            And before you jump to heap as much praise as possible on Plekanec for that, Kostitsyn and Kovalev are fairly skilled on their own.

            But that’s the key. You can’t have two skilled guys and a fourth liner beside them and expect consistent results. Unless you’ve got Sidney Crosby.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            @loonie and Matty Was Kostitsyn a good example of someone whose expectations were set to high by us fans and was doomed to fail? Outside of the off ice issues of course or maybe they were related?

            ———————————–

          • Loonie says:

            Kostitsyn has an all world offensive skill set in my opinion. His lack of consistency has lead to his exile from the league. That’s just my opinion though.

            I don’t feel there are ten players in the league with better hands or a better release on their shot than Kostitsyn has.

          • 44har48 says:

            OMFG Loonie!!!!!!!!! What is up today…I agree here too. AK was/is a special offensive talent. I would dare say that if had never played with Kovalev, he would be a scorer for us today. He picked up some horrific lazy habits from Kovalev he never could shake.

        • rhino514 says:

          I agree that Eller hasn´t had, the majority of the time, offensievly talented players playing with him. But I simply don´t think, and this is purely subjective, that he has deserved them.
          To me he has never proven that he belongs as a top six so of course he is not going to be playing with the top four wingers of the team. Though I do think AK was as good an offensive player as you could possibly ask for on the third line and he played with him for a good chunk of the season.
          My point is that you can still SEE when a player has the talent to be a top six, no matter who he is playing with, if you really look hard.
          Look at Galchenyuk; if you see him for a few shifts, you can SEE that he is going to be top six and he´s playing with an offensively limited grinder and with a teenager who is not an elite prospect. Did you see the pass he made to Gallagher on the goal?
          How many times over the course of the last two seasons have we NOTICED Eller, in the way one can notice The Kid in just a few shifts? Very, very seldom. He has some skill, and it´s not like he makes bonehead plays with the puck. But when he has the puck he simply doesn´t do anything creative with it, anything that makes you jump out of your seat. It is lack of hockey IQ for want of a better word. It´s about that attitude which says “i am going to WILL something, MAKE something happen.
          I think eller is a guy that will develop and mature very slowly, and hit a point later in his career when he can possibly be a good, not great offensive player, because he does have some raw skill.
          In short there is nothing wrong with him, he´s just not a top six. He´s ok on the third line if you only have two decent centres. Now we have three.
          So given that, and since he has size, and doesn´t have the vision of top notch centre anyway, that´s why I think more can be gained than lost trying him on the wing. Who knows, it could work out for him there.

      • Bill J says:

        DD has only been good with our 2 talented power forwards. What does that say about DD?

        Even in the AHL DD excelled when placed on Pac’s line.


        Go Habs Go!

        • Mattyleg says:

          Huh?
          That’s not true.
          He was good enough on the other lines that he played on to merit that posting.

          (“Only been good with our 2 talented…”??? …honestly…)

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Bill J says:

            We only have 2 power forwards.

            And no, DD was not that spectacular when he was on the 3rd line.

            Eller? He scored 4 goals in one game while on the third line. Has DD scored 4 on the first line? A hat trick even?


            Go Habs Go!

          • Mattyleg says:

            You’re right.
            Eller’s better.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • tophab says:

          both dd”s wingers had career years.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Using your logic, then Plekanec is not a great player because he did not make his linemates look good. Last game, I watched Pleks lose some key faceoffs. I think his value to the habs now is more in a deadline trade. I think to see if Eller is a keeper is to let him centre the 2nd line for a reasonable period of time, say 20 games. He played well overseas during the lockout and was used on the PK and PP. He needs that same opportunity at his natural position in Mtl. If they do not want to give him that chance, they should trade him.
        Habfan17

        • Loonie says:

          Bourque’s playing about as well as he can and doesn’t have a goal through four games.

          His best chance came on a turnover that he created.

          Just sayin…..

    • Habfan10912 says:

      He has a great opportunity for the next couple of weeks to prove your point. We’ve all seen flashes of an extremely talented player so it is a great chance for Lars to take that next step.
      Could it be its our own expectations that is the issue here? Given who he was traded for and then his 4 goal unbelieable game, that we (I) see him as a bonifide star in this league where we should be content with a solid two way forward with size?

      ———————————–

      • Loonie says:

        I think his offensive skills give him more potential than that of a two way forward. But he is excellent offensively yes. 42 takeaways last season was second on the team to Plekanec with around five hundred less minutes played.

    • neumann103 says:

      Tom,

      I have said here on several occasions that I have very big on Eller since the Halak trade. Without rehashing the Halak/Price debate (and yes, the correct answer is Price) I was an advocate of keeping both goalies, at least in the short term (it would have cost less than Montreal currently pays for goalies).

      I was a bit surprised the the Habs made that trade because what they got was essentially the minimum offer sheet compensation they would have got with that salary levelA first round and a second round, except they got specific players with about 2 years post draft experience. So this was about the specific player(s). Short version, Timmins had been big on Eller and this represented another chance. This made me curious.

      What initially impressed me about Eller was his pursuit and possession in the offensive zone and his understanding of and more importantly committment to defensive coverage. Yes he usually waited too long to shoot, but when he did he had a well above average NHL shot as a 21 year old. In all these ways he reminded me of my favorite player, Tomas Plekanec.

      Last year Eller was the Habs second most important penalty killer. He faced tougher quality of competition and had more defensive zone starts than any forward not on the Plekanec line (with the outlier of Ryan White being thrown to the wolves in a small sample size). The only player of any real skill he played with extensively was Kostitsyn, with whom I think he had some real rapport. (I am not as negative on AK46′s talents as the conventional wisdom here).

      So generally Eller was second most likely after Plekanec to take the hard assignments, actually did a little better with those, made tougher zone starts than Desharnais and Gomez and scored the same number of goals as Desharnais (and a few more than Gomez) got treated as the whipping boy by successive coaches even as he accepted whatever role was handed him without complaint.

      And he had a 4 goal game.

      So in the offseason/lockout he goes to play in the notoriously low scoring Finnish SM-Liga and produces at almost a point per game.

      And in Montreal after one bad team game in which everyone on both sides apart from a couple of AHLers looked rusty Therrien sits the kid and idiots pile on.

      In the not too distant future Lars Eller will be a productive second line center on an okay team on an elite third line center on a stacked team. The question really is whether the Habs brain trust is capable of seeing that that team is the Montreal Canadiens.

      “Et le but!”

    • 2mins4lookinsooogood says:

      Loonie, my eyes are rubbed sore from this preposterous “vision thing”. If anything, I see Eller as having an incredible sense of anticipation and being able to read where the play is going.

      The point to consider is that has done this as a shutdown centre not as a freewheeling pp, top line player.

      Folks, if the team turns out to equal to the sum of its parts unlike the last few years of slow decline, regardless of where Eller plays, you will see him produce, just not always in points scored.

      “Don’t crush that dwarf Alex Henry, hand me the pliers”

  48. Aybara says:

    Great to see Subban is signed. This team might have something in them this year. Itès plain to see the difference between this year and the last. Part of that is quite simply that the team now has something to play for that doesnèt involve draft position.

    The one two punch of Markov and Subban in the first two pairings should be a delight. Canèt wait till Saturday! Or Sunday at 4am here in Japan.

  49. HankHardball says:

    Don’t forget, it’s not really a 2yr contract.

    The Habs are going to pay PK $5.75 mil for a season and a half.

    I think it’s a fair deal.

  50. Keeper64 says:

    I am very surprised at the dollars on this deal. The two year part doesn’t surprise me given the cap situation, but this is way lower than what I had expected and what I feel he’s worth. Certainly it doesn’t appear that PK was greedy by any means. I woulda held out too!!!

    It tells me that MB played hardball and wasn’t willing to give an inch. This is the sole reason that it took so long to get him signed. I worry this might come back to haunt us in 2yrs when PK can be a UFA and has all the cards when negotiating. Players don’t forget these kind of things, despite all the “hugs and handshakes” we all heard on the conference call.

    • Habfan17 says:

      In two years, PK will still be a restricted free agent and I don’t belive it will make him want to leave. Just the opposite, as he matures, he will see it was the right way to do things and that his next deal will be better than it would had he signed long term now. Mtl couldn’t affors the cap hit of a long term $5 million a season cap hit right now. This deal gives Subban a chance to really shine and drive up the price at a time the Habs will be in a position to afford it.

      Habfan17

  51. 24 Cups says:

    A side benefit of the Subban signing is that the team doesn’t have to worry about any major contracts for another year. Same goes for the new cap of $64.3M.

    I’m assuming that Kaberle will be bought out at the end of the year. That leaves the Habs with 16 signed players and $12,431,667 of cap space (I’m including bonus money). The only player of any consequence that will need to be signed will be DD. I can’t see him having a ton of leverage so I doubt he’ll break the bank.

    Left to sign:
    - DD
    - 3 secondary forwards
    - 2 secondary Dmen
    - a back-up goalie

  52. Marc10 says:

    The Peg is playing well. Another good match up. I expect a lot of banging and crashing and what’d ya know… We have about 8 guys tailor made for that type of game!

    Fearless prediction: Bourque and Cole score. 4 – 2 Habs.

  53. rhino514 says:

    Question:

    does PK get this year´s salary prorated to 48 games, or to the amount of games left in the schedule at the point he is signed? i.e. 44 games

  54. RetroMikey says:

    Finally, after many e-mails I have sent to the club along with others, the official Canadiens website is offering press game notes for die hard fans to download.
    All I have to say is ….Amen!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    The Habs are very fortunate how the schedule opened up. Not only have we only played 4 games while many teams have had 6 already, but now as more back to back games arrive we have the added depth of PK drawing back in the lineup (hopefully this weekend). I am especially thankful we have yet to face the Bruins, Flyers or Rangers yet, as the physicality they bring to the ice would have I believed exposed our 2nd and 3rd pairings on defence without PK.

    • Loonie says:

      I was thinking that on the weekend. No back to backs yet has probably been a huge help out of the gate.

      Getting the Leafs, Panthers(lots of injuries) and Capitals was almost like a short pre-preason, the boys just happened to flop in the first game but responded well.

      It seems as you say that the schedule has really been favourable to them in terms of starting at a slow pace and picking up as they get their feet under them.

    • The Cat says:

      Not many road games as well.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Gerald! Hindsight being 20/20 it probably would have been nice to get a game against the Flyers and Rangers early. I suspect they will be playing much better shortly. I hate back to back games though especially when Carey gets a night off.
      Tonight is a tough one in the Burly household. Be nice to Mom!

      ———————————–

  56. JayK-47 says:

    Lil question here, Who or where is a good source to find out when open practices are being held?

  57. ogilthorpe says:

    Season looking good so far… Let’s play some HOCKEY!!!!!! not gonna say more.. Don’t wanna jinx anything…

  58. ogilthorpe says:

    Thanks… Gotta get used to you guys… :):):)

  59. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    And now, the great project of improving PK’s powers of observation, study habits and learned hockey sense can begin.
    If he can more quickly predict the movements of opposing forwards, he will take fewer penalties – of opposing defenders, he will shoot into fewer shinpads and boards and if he can get a better sense of where his team mates are, he’ll be a far better offensive threat.
    With a combination of a good defence coaching and experience, it’s all out there before him. He can be the player he wants to be rather than the salary he wants to have, and he’ll really become something fast. I predict he’ll be benched a few times and there will be screaming from his fans all season long, and for seasons to come, but if everyone stays the course, Subban can really become something.
    It’s a sub-plot for us to watch as we see if the Habs, our favourite TV show, will be like Downton Abbey, Fringe or Honey Boo Boo. For now, onwards into chasing down leads in the First 48.

  60. munch17 says:

    I think this was a very clever move by Bergevin and Subban did well.
    If in fact it is a 5.75 mil deal over two years PK gets about 1 mil for the first year ( 1/2 season ) and 3.75 mil for the second season – 4.75 mil.

    This is what he would get with a two year 6.3 mil contract.
    Win-win.
    Good job!!

  61. JF says:

    Great news about Subban, and good on Bergevin to get him signed to a deal closer to what he initially offered than to what Subban demanded. It was important for Bergevin not to be seen around the league as having “caved.” I’m very impressed; a few days ago negotiations seemed to be at an impasse and the gap between the two sides looked unbridgeable. Subban very likely feels he’s being underpaid this year, but it is only half a season, and next year he gets substantially more without the cap hit being a problem. In two years, if he continues to progress at the rate he has so far, he’ll get the big money; and the cap hit still won’t be a problem since, as Chris points out below, some of the big contracts from the previous administration will be off the books. This is Bergevin putting his stamp on the team (and no doubt he learned a lot with the Hawks, who could not keep their Cup-winning team together because of cap problems).

    About Lars Eller. There was quite a debate here yesterday over whether he played well on Sunday or floated. Therrien’s opinion was that he acquitted himself quite well and showed a lot more intensity than he had in the first game. Therrien concluded his remarks by saying he had no problem with Eller’s play; he just needed to keep progressing. I think a lot of people are too ready to write him off or trade him.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice use of the term unbridgeable, as end of day a bridge contract was achieved. Also an excellent point with regards to MB and his time in Chicago, where indeed the cap problems forced the team to lose players they may have preferred to keep.

      And as for Eller, perhaps people are too quick to write off MT, as opposed to writing off Eller. ;-)

      Great news indeed JF!

    • 24 Cups says:

      Well said, Jane. There is no doubt that Subban left some money on the table but I get the feeling that he (maybe along with his family) thought it was best to get back in the game before the situation escalated to a point of no return.

      As I stated last night, this also probably means that Galchenyuk will lose some negotiation traction and money three years from now.

      As for Eller, all I can say is that he is a better talent than Moen, Prust, White, Armstrong and Gallagher. Maybe even DD (one day). The team is supposed to be in a rebuild mold and here we are dumping all over one of our best prospects because he had one bad game. Once MaxPac returns, Eller should slot in with the two kids on the 3rd line.

      • Cal says:

        A lot can happen in 3 seasons, so I won’t worry about MB handling the cap.
        Eller’s got to get it going and start producing at a better pace. He was ok last game, but you also didn’t notice him like you noticed Bourque. Eller can model his intensity level after what Bourque has been doing on the ice (thus far).
        I’d like to see him with the kids, too.

        http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  62. ogilthorpe says:

    Hey CAL!!! loosen up…. I don’t know the finer details and wanted some info… Nothing more… Why call me a goon???

  63. Bash says:

    And now the obvious, but I just want to write it down and feel good :)

    Markov Emelin
    Subban Gorges
    Boullion Diaz

    A puck mover and a stay at home in each pair.

    PP
    Markov Diaz
    Subban ?

    Kaberle #7
    Weber (waiver? back to AHL or trade

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Kaberle or Weber have 2 more games of guaranteed showcase time, then the juggling act begins. MT will coach every game to win, while MB may need either Kabs or Web to have some icetime to help enable a trade.

      BUt yes, agree with your pairings.

  64. rhino514 says:

    Re PK, Anyone have an idea why there would be such a discrepancy between this year´s salary and next year´s ? Why not just even it out more in line with the cap hit since it´s such a short contract anyway?

    Also, aren´t these amounts kinda bogus since they are based on two 82 game schedules? I suspect the amounts will be prorate, right?

    Anyway, I am happy they signed him. He sais all the right things on the conference call. Hopefully he will now concentrate on learning and listening instead of giving interviews.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It could be as simple as MB structuring this way to show PK that the money will be increasing from this year to next, just as it will on his next contract. BUt who really knows, there is also the issue of Molson cutting lots of cheques this year including the buyout to Gomer. :)

    • JF says:

      Subban gets more this way than if the salary were equal for the two years. This year’s salary is pro-rated, so he’ll only get about a million; next year he’ll get the full $3.75 million, so about $4.75 million. If the two years were equal, he’d be getting roughly $1.42 million + $2.84 million.

  65. HabinBurlington says:

    Well I suspect the next few weeks will tell us alot about the new Michel Therrien as coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Like many here I was less than thrilled when MB first announced that MT would be given the reins of this team. However, I also believed in giving both MB and MT the benefit of the doubt, take them at their words that indeed past mistakes had been addressed and that MT was the right man for the job.

    I do not speak french so I have never been able to watch L’Antichambre with any understanding of the words or nuances spoken by the various panelists and more specifically the things which MT apparantly has said in the past on that show. However, it has been said here that he may have been critical of PK. He must now show the team, and more importantly PK that just as MT was given a 2nd chance on this team, PK also must get a fresh chance with MT and any preconceived notions he had as a 3rd party media member watching from a distance.

    Given all the “Stuff” that was out there during this negotiation, it would be virtually incomprehendable that MB doesn’t recognize all the things said about PK and the possible relationship between this incredible young talent and this new coach. I would hope MB and MT have had or will have a sit down an discuss how this is indeed a relationship that needs to fostered properly. Again, I don’t pretend to know what goes into that, but recognition of a perceived rift must or should be dealt with.

    Along the way we also get to see how MT deals with the continued development of Lars Eller in the lineup.

    So far, it is very difficult for me to criticize the work of both MB and MT, and I hope this continues.

    The season just got even more exciting.

    Congratulations again to both PK and MB for getting through this negotiation with far more civility than we did here and with more class than much of the media covering it.

    CHeers!

  66. youngwun says:

    Markov – Emelin
    Gorges – subban
    Diaz – bouillon

    Kaberle , weber press box

  67. Bill J says:

    Looks like Plekanec is on twitter now, seemingly confirmed by
    Stubbs this morning.

    @Plek14


    Go Habs Go!

  68. Cal says:

    Looking forward to having PK back tomorrow night.
    It’s like the Habs traded for a #2 Dman and gave up nothing. :)

    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  69. HabsFanInTampa says:

    Will he be in the lineup tonight against the Jets?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No, he will be joining the team in Ottawa on Wednesday, and he still has to do his mandatory physical with the team. It seems more than likely his first game will be on Saturday against Buffalo.

      Edit: Obviously I don’t forsure when he will join, but this was the speculation amonst most pundits per se.

  70. Habfan17 says:

    I am happy it is done. I think it is a fair deal for both the team and Subban, although I did think the first year would be closer to 3 million. This gives Bergevin a chance to tweak the team and for the cap to go up before Subban proves his value and gets the big contract. It did bother me when Subban said he wants what he deserves after accomplishing so much. I like that he speaks out, but he needs to think first. Price had won the world juniors and then the championship with the Bulldogs. He plays a much more pressure filled position and he signed a bridge contract.

    Let sleeping dogs lie. I am glad Subban is back and I think he will prove himself and his next deal will be better than what he could have got now and will fit into the cap at that time too!

    One thing Subban did say is that the young guys look good and it will take money in the future to keep them too. Good on Subban for signing a deal that will help the team.

    Habfan17

  71. ogilthorpe says:

    Can anyone explain to me Galchenyuk’s contract of 3 million after 5 games and Subban’s contract of 2 million this year??????? I really want to know..

    • Cal says:

      Look at this Ogi- then go back to jail, you goon! ;)
      http://www.capgeek.com/player/2339

    • Habfan17 says:

      It all has to do with the CBA and what 3rd overall picks gets. That is one of the things that hurts the game. A new high round pick gets compansated on where he was picked regardless of whether he pans out. Having siad that. Just becuase other GM’s gave out the big contract to players coming out of entry level, does not make it right or the player worth it. I think the first year on Subban’s contract is a bit low, but overall I think it is fair to both sides. Good for him for taking it and now the core of the team can develop and grow together.

      Habfan17

  72. Chris says:

    Subban is probably unhappy, as this deal on the surface does not pay him what he’s worth, but I suspect there is an unspoken agreement here that at the end of this deal, he’ll get paid big, big money if his development continues.

    The issue for Montreal was never so much P.K. or any of the off-ice crap. It was more that Marc Bergevin inherited a LOT of rather large contracts. Montreal currently has 8 players on the roster making $3.9 M or more for next season, which is a rather high total for a team coming off finishing in the basement. Plus they have Gomez’s cap hit for the remainder of the season.

    Some of those deals will start clearing up this summer, and more by summer 2014. When Subban’s deal ends and he’s up for his next contract, Tomas Kaberle and Brian Gionta’s combined $9.25 M cap hit will be gone, with Gionta probably re-signed to less than $5 M per season and Kaberle kicked to the curb. Markov’s $5.75 M will also come off the books, and I suspect the club will look for a lower cap number than that to make room for Subban.

    In terms of Subban himself, I saw Steve added a list of what he needs to work on. I agree with the three items he mentioned (rein in penalty minutes, improve his shot selection and accuracy, and rein back his on-ice agitation), but I would also add in that he should really start to get some coaching on when to rush and when to dump the puck into the opposing end. Subban is going to play monstrous minutes (although his PP time might get dialed back with Markov and Diaz playing so well together), but he’s got to play smarter minutes to be equally effective throughout the game.

    • Cal says:

      Agree with most you posted, but I don’t see PK over 20 minutes TOI for a week or two. MT likes to give vet Dmen more ice. PK, as usual, may be the exception.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Nice post. I think the new coaching group will really help him. Subban is young and all that enthusiasm had him trying to do too much. As he matures, I am hopeful he will round out his game. As long as his hockey intelligence is there. He has everything else!

      Habfan17

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I understand the concept that PK could be frustrated he didn’t get more money, but I also think that there was an understanding through this whole ordeal why the Habs couldn’t or wouldn’t do the deal which he initially tabled by PK/Meehan.

      I also agree with your point about an unspoken agreement with regards to his next deal with Montreal. Hopefully PK will indeed by then have more accolades behind his name (maybe an all-star appearance or Norris nomination) to help his cause, as this afterall will mean he has played even better than he has until now.


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