Hamrlik’s award spurs debate

stubbs

Hockey Inside/Out and Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs is filling in for Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber with CJAD Radio-800 commentary weekday mornings at 7:55 a.m. ET, guesting with Abe Hefter.

On Tuesday, Stubbs and Hefter debated Monday’s announcement that Habs defenceman Roman Hamrlik had been voted, by media covering the team, the 2010-11 recipient of the Canadiens’ Jacques Beauchamp award. The prize is presented annually “to the member of the Canadiens who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honour.”

Hamrlik was Stubbs’s first choice in voting; Mathieu Darche, who finished third – one point behind Hal Gill – was atop Hefter’s ballot but No. 2 on Stubbs’s. Listen here to their debate, refereed by CJAD morning host Andrew Carter.

150 Comments

  1. Say Ash says:

    Shpatch playing tonight? Czech brothers gonna be back together? And WTF happened to Webber?

  2. Max_a_million says:

    Logically speaking if Scott Gomez had Mathieu Darche’s status and contract he would be a candidate for the unsung hero. Not a great candidate probably still, but he takes 1st line faceoffs, plays first line minutes against other top lines. At 550k and coming in as a marginal player the argument could be made for Scott Gomez as a candidate though. What makes him not a candidate? He is paid to be a top line guy, and as such he under performs. Money and status matters, and money goes a long way in conveying status.

    So if Hammer is paid to be a 1st paring guy ($5.5 million says he is). Then by the same token he is not the ‘unsung hero’. It doesn’t belittle his contribution, his value, his work ethic, or anything of the sort.

    Of those who much is given much is expected. Hammer was given a doozy contract, and is expected to perform. Darche and Gill make little and are expected to have small status’ on the team, and they outproduce their status and contracts. Thus unsung heroes.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I agree Max.

      I would go one step further, in fact.

      Considering Hamrlik’s performance in Markov’s absence, he could be considered the Habs’
      Most Valuable Defenceman.

      However, the “unsung hero” goes to Gill.

      Darche is also up there.

      The media seems to have voted for MVP on defence.

      Which is the wrong award.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • bwoar says:

        Had they voted on MVP defensemen, I’ll wager the winner would’ve been P.K. Subban. Hard to argue with his performance this year.

        • ed lopaz says:

          agree bwoar. I think Subban was the d-man that took Markov’s spot.

          but I didn’t want to upset all the Hamrlik fans out there.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • wotever says:

      Logically speaking, the honour is awarded on the following basis:

      to the member of the Canadiens who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honour.

      Pay is a business transaction where money is exchanged for services. It’s not honour.

      It’s just a game.

  3. Hobie Hansen says:

    OUCH. So Calahan for the NYR broke his ankle eh! Massive blow for them!

    • Nahlsy says:

      I didn’t see it happen, all I hear is that Chara broke Callahan’s ankle. So that’s Pacioretty and Callahan that Chara’s managed to sideline from the two teams they may face in round 1.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Much as I would love to see Chara drawn and quartered, I don’t think we can convict him on the broken ankle. Deliberating shooting hard enough and on target to break someone’s ankle… not likely, it’s like hitting the upright on a field goal attempt. It happens, but you’d spend a long time trying to do it on purpose.

        • ed lopaz says:

          in golf, when you have to hit out of the trees, they tell you to aim

          straight at the middle of the biggest tree in your direct path.

          that way, when you shank it to the right or the left, you end up

          flying right back onto the fairway.

          Maybe that’s the logic Chara uses with his slap shot.

          I hate that guy.

          Ok. hate is a strong word.

          I meant, freakin’ hate!!

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        It was off a slapshot and that happens now and then. What was a joke was him showing all this concern about Callahan post-game.

        Post-game from MTL, Chara blamed Pacioretty saying he jumped into the hit and then expressed concern while he tried to whitewash his attempt to cripple a player.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

        • Jonson says:

          he never blamed patches. it was an unfortunate hit thats all. HE DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CRIPPLE HIM. he should have let up but i remember watching it live and i did not feel that chara meant to do that. it sucks no doubt, but to think the guy wanted to cripple him is a little much. to do that you need the mindset of a murderer and i really doubt he is that.

  4. JD_ says:

    * Great for Hammer. Works hard. Clearly proud to be a Hab. A number of other guys equally deservin’, but there’s only one JBT. In the grand scheme of things, however, I have never – and maybe I’m in the minority here – cared one iota about team trophies.

    * Havin’ said that, I admittedly can hardly contain my excitement regardin’ this year’s awardin’ of the Bobby Clobber Trophy in Philly. That hard-workin’ bastard and buddin’ neurologist, Mark Recchi, won three of them durin’ his tenure.

    * Speakin’ of Recchi, what is it with the Broonz and 3-nil leads? I had the game on in the background last night – you never know when somethin’ compellin’ might go down – and ended up watchin’ another epic meltdown. If the Habs (62% prob of seedin’ 6th) do meet the Broonz (87% prob of seedin’ 3rd) in the first round, perhaps they should consider spottin’ the chokers 3 goals to start every game.

    * Come to think of it, that’s probably not a good idea.

    * Tough matchup tonight. Other than what is considered to be a relatively minor injury to Sharp, the Chihawks are one heck of a healthy squad. Captain Serious is the kinda guy who gets off on a crowd like the Bell Centre’s and can’t be particularly happy about bein’ blanked at home on Sunday. And, most notably, the Hawks’ bubble is a little more bubbly than the Habs’. They’ll come out of the startin’ blocks hard and Price’ll have to be in top form for the first five minutes. Then, it’s anyone’s game.

    * Commentin’ on the Loafs 0.1% probability of makin’ the post-season for the first time in some 70 years, Loafs GM Brian Burke noted, “Look. There’s a 10 basis point chance Phanny [Loafs captain Dion Phaneuf] will have been bang on when he said, at the beginning of the season, that this team will make the playoffs. And I don’t need to tell you 10 is a big number. A huge number. Don’t forget that Darryl Sittler got 10 points in one game. And that was huge.”

    • punkster says:

      How dare you include Darryl Sittler’s name on the same page as Dr. Mark Wretched. Mr. Sittler was always a fine player, a class act an inspiration to his team mates and fans. That other guy…not so much.

      ‘Course, Darryl never had to step in and “take some heat off” Tiger Williams.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    Does anyone know if Georges Laraque is running in the next election?

    I looked at the Green Party list of candidates and couldn’t find him, so I thought hey maybe they are less of a joke than I thought (FYI I am very pro-environment and contribute to Greenpeace).

    But now I find out that Laraque is not a mere candidate, not a mere spokesperson, not a mere friend of the Greens. He is the Deputy Freaking Leader! The number 2! One heartbeat away from the big kahuna.

    https://greenparty.ca/party/georges-laraque

    What a joke! They are the rhinoceros without the humour, the marijuana party without the munchies, the natural law party without the ability to defy gravity.

    • The Cat says:

      I saw him in an interview on Tout Le Monde En Parle, and he is a bit of a nut…But he does put his money where his mouth is at any rate.

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

    • bwoar says:

      I agree with this, particularly your last sentence.

      But for practical purposes Adriane Carr is the deputy leader, BGL is just there because he has a high(ish) profile and doesn’t shut up very often.

      Carr is even listed before him under “Deputy Leaders”, and that’s not a coincidence.

    • Chuck says:

      I’d be tempted to vote for him if only to ensure that he never laces ‘em up again. ;)

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  7. Ian Cobb says:

    Both teams need the 2 points tonight. The Hawks need it to stay alive in the hunt, and we need the points to stay ahead of N.Y. who is playing awesome right now.

    We most definitely want to play Boston to send them golfing. So we need to stay in 6th place ahead of the Rangers.

  8. Say Ash says:

    Hamrlik’s award spurs debate? You’re way off, Stubbs. Absolutely anything H*bs spurs debate here. Anybody disagree?

  9. habs365 says:

    Who cares – they should have all been playing for the Jacques Beachamp award – we wouldn’t be fighting to stay in a playoff position if they had.

    • Drive_For_25 says:

      Ya…especially Gorges, Markov, Spacek and Pacioretty. Those guys have been showing no heart out there lately.

      It’s amazing that this team is even in talks for the playoffs with the amount of injuries that we’ve had. If it wasn’t for very good work done by a very good organization, we’d be getting a lottery pick next year. It’s a shame we may never get to see how good this team really would’ve been if everyone had been healthy the last couple seasons.

    • Morenz7 says:

      I think they should have a Jacques Cousteau Award—the player who disappears for the longest time before surfacing and climbing back on board.

      Brother Andrei? Cammy? (still waiting for Gomez to bubble back up …)

  10. Habitoban says:

    Maybe I missed it on HIO somewhere, but I had to go to Arpon Basu’s Twitter to get some intel on today’s optional practice and likely starting lineup fro tonight. If it wasn’t on HIO, then it shoulda bin.

  11. HNS says:

    “Gomez is the best”…………for me to poop on!!

  12. Mattyleg says:

    I’d like to nominate myself for the Jack Pleasantfield Trophy for most unsung poster on HI/O.

    A nomination for Mattyleg is a vote for Sanity in a Site Gone Mad.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  13. Anyone crapping on Hamrlik’s contribution to this team simply doesn’t watch the actual hockey games.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I can’t believe there are people who actually think Hamr isn’t one of our better all around players. This guy has the most ice time on the team, blocks the most shots, and even contributes with hits, points and shots. Considering his age, he is nothing short of miraculous for us.
      He may not be worth 5.5 million, but the way he had played and helped this team without Markov, he ABSOLUTELY earned his salary.

      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I agree with you. We would be dead meat without him. He is probably just playing too many minutes is the real issue as we are so short on depth and in a lower $ and lower minutes scenario (next year) could continue to be effective for us.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I personally like Hamr and if we weren’t chained to Spacek I’d like him back. Unfortunately there’s not enough room when you consider PK, Gill, Wiz, Spacek, Gorges, Markov, a spot for Weber, etc.

      • G-Man says:

        Weber is not that highly regarded. Markov, Gill and Wiz are FA, Gorges RFA.
        Subban and Spacek are only Dmen on the roster signed for next season. Wiz won’t be worth the money his offensive numbers will give him. Next training camp will be interesting only to see who gets re-signed.

    • Drive_For_25 says:

      I’ve watched all 79 games to this point and while I love that Hammer is stepping up and trying to play good hockey every night with all of our injuries, he just doesn’t have it anymore. His abilities out there are pretty well diminished and he makes bonehead plays every game. Where we would be without him is a different story, because it probably wouldn’t be anywhere good. All I can say is that I’ll be glad to be rid of his $5.5 cap hit next year.

  14. ManApart says:

    Glad to see guys like Darche and Hammer get some recognition. those are two guys I can see on a championship team. Pouliot and AK46 I don’t see on a championship team.

    Anyways, Hammer’s been the team’s best all around defenseman the past 2 seasons and has just been a pillar of strength back there in Markov’s absence. He has his limitations and age is creeping up on him, but he’s very intelligent hockey wise and is a monster shot blocker. If he’s willing to accept 3 to 3.5 mil, I think a 2 year deal would be great. Hammer is a real pro, who is a great example to any young defenseman in this organization. I love the guys who are willing to pay the price to win.

    • newbrunswick troy says:

      ya well i can garauntee once they leave this orginization…they will single handedly carry another team on thier shoulders to a championship….that the way it will go for sure

    • OneTimer says:

      Good post on Hamr. The one guy I really want back next year is Gill. I think i regard him as highly as you do Hamr.

      Markov-Gorges
      Subban-Gill
      Hamrlik/Spacek-Wiz
      Weber

  15. observer says:

    gomez should be “unsung” too. who’d have thought he’d still be on this team and leading them to the playoffs from his spot on the first line after scoring just 7 goals in the habs first 79 games.

    the writers dropped the ball again. gomez was very unsung as his own type of hero.

  16. mrhabby says:

    lots of good choices for this award.
    Hammer has certainly been an excellent signing by Gainey. Steady, nothing flashy , logs lots of minutes and never complains.
    he is getting up in years and maybe a bit over paid..i say who cares. it was great investment.
    not sure he wll be back nor will he accept any kind of discount if offered a contract by habs in the summer so will see.

  17. bwoar says:

    Nothing there to do with salary. These awards weren’t conceived with a “let’s take everyone’s pay grade into account” mentality. Sure, plenty of younger people (and sorta-young-but-trying-really-hard-sportswriters-with-the-initials A.B.) are trying to say that the guy is expected to do more because of salary.

    This is a foolish argument for a trophy meant to honour someone who hasn’t received enough credit for playing beyond expectations. That’s the truth – Hamrlik has played well beyond expectations for two years, doing a job he wasn’t hired to do, being forced to play much, much more than he really ought to and keeping weaker, younger D-men from being exposed during those long minutes. To say nothing of his usual 30+ points, like clockwork.

    What’s flagrantly offensive to those of us with a longer memory is that this is meant to be a small gesture of true appreciation to a team player. To see people turn this into yet another childish debate is disrespectful to the man and in my opinion to the organization. Now sure, other candidates were deserving too. And to the extent that we sometimes have our favorites in the bleu-blanc-rouge, it’s normal in Montreal to have a friendly (or more naturally in MTL, heated) discussion over whose guy most deserves it. But the absolutely petty spectacle of seeing fans (and new-jack “reporters”) take to Twitter to denounce the choice of Hamrlik over his salary is just pathetic. Talk about kicking a guy in the face for doing his job.

    I can only imagine if Scott Gomez had magically put up 95 points. Not a chance he’d ever pull that off, but if he did, he’d get absolutely no credit, no matter how many game-winning plays he set up, no many how many faceoffs won, or crucial turnovers caused in the neutral zone, because the guy is paid way too high to deserve any credit either, right?

    • alestar says:

      My thoughts exactly…good post.

      XXIV…and counting

    • mrhabby says:

      100% agree.

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      In my humble opinion, this has been the best post on this subject so far.

      Thumbs up / +1 / and all that jazz…

    • Max_a_million says:

      -1
      nonsensical at best

    • Mattyleg says:

      Very good post. I agree completely.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Chris says:

      Great post.

      Salary aside, we entered this season thinking that Hamrlik would be a second pairing defenceman, slotted in behind Markov and Gorges and the much-hyped Subban. Gill and Spacek were seen as the third pairing guys.

      Very few people identify Hamrlik as the guy that is the key to the Habs’ success, and few expected him to hold up too well at 36 years old when he signed that contract years ago. Yet due to injuries, the Habs have leaned on Hamrlik heavily and he has largely come through.

      I have no problem with Hamrlik winning the Beauchamp award, even recognizing that Darche, Gill or Halpern would all have been excellent choices as well.

      • Max_a_million says:

        How do so many cavalierly put salary aside … He is supposed to be the best defenceman we have. That is what he was hired to do.

        To those that much is given, much is expected.

        • wotever says:

          Because that’s not the way a team works. That’s the way a small petty mind works.

          It’s just a game.

          • Max_a_million says:

            That’s not the way a team works??? As far as I know all hockey teams in the NHL have first lines, first defensive pairings, and starting goalies.

            Because I think the highest paid defencemen who is paid to star as our top defencemen shouldn’t be rewarded for doing his job at a satisfactory level I have a small petty mind??? My opinion is not a crazy assertion after all it is being debated, and I was reading where Francois Gagnon was at least of the same mind. I would dare say we don’t stand alone.

            Try saying something insightful instead of bashing.

          • wotever says:

            So you’re saying he should be doing 10x the amount of work as Darche, or some other player making league min, cause he’s paid 10x more? And every time he’s only twice as better as everyone else is – the other people in the room should go, hey, where’s the other 4 million dollars of work?

            Not the way it works. Teams like that would self-destruct. The players are expected to give their all, every time they’re out there. Regardless of compensation. So I repeat, that is not the way a team works.

        • Bogie Man says:

          The post was well written I agree but disagree with the content. I am also on the side that agrees that there are several others on this team more deserving. Hamrlik makes too many defensive zone errors to be considered doing more than expected. He is hired to play defensive hockey and has too much experience in the NHL to be making as many mistakes as he has made this year. I am sorry if this in any way mocks the award or insults the Canadiens organization but the award given to Hamrlik is the wrong choice. You need to consider players that go beyond their role and contribute in other areas. For a defensemen it would be one that contributes offensively while being responsible defensively. Also the other way around as well where a player who a forward who back checks and contributes significantly in the defensive zone as well.

          • bwoar says:

            We disagree on Hamrlik’s defense. I think it’s steady but unspectacular, you see it as less than that. I feel at his age he’s handling far too many minutes with pretty solid play. He makes mistakes, but so does everyone on the roster. Forwards miss open nets, Carey lets in a softie once in a while, Pouliot is Pouliot, Plekanec can’t take draws to save his life.

            With D-men we see the errors more because they result in goals against. I respectfully suggest that you might not appreciate the “good” but unspectacular defensive plays that many veteran D around the league are well routinely paid to make. Some nights when the fowards are giving you ZERO back pressure, just beating the forechecker(s) and getting the puck to an open man on an outlet can be a great play.

            You really are glossing over his point totals, which aren’t in decline despite his age, and the wicked job he does on the PP making sure his low shots hit the net.

            I do wish he’d ice it a bit less.

            You didn’t suggest who you felt was more deserving, but I certainly agree that there were other worthy candidates like Alex Auld, Darche of course, Andrei Kostitsyn (yes), and an honourable mention to Hal Gill.

        • bwoar says:

          Max, the thing is that I think Markov was hired to do the job you describe.

          Hamrlik, while not a bad player, isn’t a candle to the guy we hired to fill that role. But bless the old guy, he’s done a hell of a job. If he’s merely earned his salary, then I guess a lot of people would be hating on him if he was playing solid 2nd-pair minutes and not earning his pay. (Same 30+ points though, same special teams duties too.)

          The obsession with theoretical maxing out cap value vs. production/performance obscures real-world contributions to the team. It certainly adds in a variable never intended to be considered when handing out these types of special awards. I think it’s part of the new salary-cap-is-god mentality and reinforced by video game hockey ethics.

          No offence meant, but I might just as well ask you, how can so many people so hamfistedly and coldly cut down such a fine contribution to his team’s success? And because of a salary we don’t even pay?

          Has Hamrlik not gone beyond expectations this year? Did everyone seriously expect him to just repeat last year’s slog without skipping a beat?

          • Max_a_million says:

            I make the argument above that If Scott Gomez had Darche’s status and and pay he would be a ‘candidate’ for unsung hero. Saying the same things here was repetitive sorry.

        • Chris says:

          Be honest: did you think Roman Hamrlik was going to be the best defenceman we have this season?

          Salary is largely irrelevant because of the structure of the NHL. When Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby won their first Art Ross Trophies, they were expected to be the best players on their team despite making entry-level money.

          In the NHL, you don’t hit your big pay-days until after you become a UFA. Teams will pay more money for a guy like Jaroslav Spacek than they will for a guy like Josh Gorges. Why? Because that is the way the structure works. If you don’t have leverage, you aren’t as likely to get a big contract.

          As I said above, I think that most people had Hamrlik slotted in behind Markov, Gorges and Subban this season. That he has performed as the team’s most reliable defender yet again is grounds for winning an award for the most unsung player on the roster.

          That Hamrlik is routinely overlooked in post-game analysis is another vote in his favour. He is filling the role of the team’s #1 defenceman, yet we only talk about Subban, Price, Plekanec, Gomez, Gionta, Kostitsyn, etc.

          • bwoar says:

            Agreed, with one reservation, I honestly had Hamrlik ahead of Subban on the depth chart & somewhat equal to Gorges due to his point production. But no, no one thought he’d have to redo last year’s trial.

    • G-Man says:

      Bang on. 100%- excellent post.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      If Scott Gomez put up 95 points even I would shut up and give him credit.

      Hammer is expensive, but he provides far more bang per buck than the G man.

  18. kirkiswork says:

    Hammer could have won it last year also. He was the workhorse when Marky was out .
    He has been doing it for 2 years now. Playing many more minutes than he should be. Of course he has a bad game occassionaly, everybody does but I don’t get people who dis him. He has been a great asset.

  19. observer says:

    All this proves is and you tell me professional sportswriters don’t know that the highest paid defenseman on a team can’t be “unsung”!

    Smells like they all like Hamrlck who has treated them all well his entire stay here and they are trying to do him a favor so the Habs will try to resign him next year because they know he wants to stay here.

    Well he ain’t worth $5.6 million – never was. Only way I’d even think of keeping him is for $2.5 million tops and on a 1 year deal.

  20. Shiloh says:

    Hamrlik, Gill and Darche all would have been good choices. Darche missed significant time due to injuries, so maybe it’s a toss-up between the other two, but man, is Darche ever a good player to have on the team.

    • observer says:

      subban or price were unsung a word that now obviously lost all meaning by professional writers. had either subban or price not been there and who would expect a rookie the best player on the team or a goalie as messed up as price was after the last couple of years – that NOT having either of them and habs would have been long eliminated by now.

      those are the “unsung” heros. youppi also is unsung. everyone is overlooking his contribution too.

  21. adam76 says:

    Montreal just needs one point to clinch tonight.

    • laHoule says:

      I think they still need two points because Carolina can still reach 93 points with 3 wins…

      • Shiloh says:

        We get the tiebreaker if Carolina ties us.

        • observer says:

          meaningless numbers! flip a coin that has 2 sides it will come up heads 50% of the time in the long run! but each of the next 3 flips it has a 50-50 chance to come up tails. an if the next 24 flips all come up heads – then the 25th flip – the odds are still 50-50 for the 26th flip.

          stupid numbers on that page.

          • adam76 says:

            How was last nights MENSA meeting?

          • is there anyway we can simply block this clownshoe’s IP?

          • Psycho29 says:

            You obviously haven’t seen the Scotiabank commercial where the coin keeps landing on it’s edge…

          • wotever says:

            Actually sportsclubstats is pretty good about outlining how they come to their conclusions and the weaknesses in the simulations they do. I recommend you take the time to read his explanations.

            The weighted comparisons are NOT 50/50 comparisions, they take into account the clubs’s records against other teams. He outlines pretty well the weaknesses of this approach as well. (e.g. if a club’s record sucks because star player was injured it can’t predict the effect of player returning from injury)

            It’s just a game.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            I bought a loaf of day old bread. I am toasting it and putting butter on one side and then dropping it to test your theory. Do you think the sample size (# of slices) is sufficient, or should I get more bread?

            Also does it matter if I use salted or unsalted butter?

        • EastCoastJoe says:

          You do understand that 1 point does NOT clinch a spot though, right?
          93 > 92

          • observer says:

            Regarding Carolina – Habs “magic number” is 2 points. That is any combination of 2 points combined attained by Montreal or LOST by Carolina would guarantee Habs a playoff spot. Example if Carolina loses one game in overtime or SO they lose 1 point, if they lose one game in regulation they lose 2 points.

            Combined = Habs magic number of 2 over Carolina.

  22. Max_a_million says:

    Darche has been playing way above his pay grade, but this should have been Gill’s award. He is often playing like a top pairing guy when he is paid to be the lowest pairing guy. He gives up his body selflessly to block shots, he has groomed PK nicely, and has been a great leader.

    I don’t think we got a discount on Hamrlik’s contract because he is supposed to be in the ‘twilight’ of his career.
    Points are not the end all be all with defencemen, else Mike Green is the number one guy on Team Canada’s olympic team and he can’t even make the team.

  23. joshua94k says:

    Roman Hamrlik definitely deserves the Jacques Beachamp award. The prize is presented annually “to the member of the Canadiens who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honour.”

    Many times this year he has played a strong game and wasn’t named one of the 3 Stars. This is because sound defensive play is often overlooked by some one who scores or the goaltender who had a big game.

    With Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges and Jaroslav Spacek injured for most of the season, he has been asked to play bulk minutes night after night. The defense corps has seen so many injuries. There was a time when Markov, Gorges, Spacek, Wisnieski, and Gill were all injured in February. Replacements were sought with Mara, Sopul etc.

    The Canadiens are in a play-off spot due to the strong play of Hamrlik. His sound defensive play, experience and leadership are not easy to replace. These are the intagibles one needs, especially in the play-offs. Gill, Hamrlik and Spacek will greatly help Subban and Wisnieski. Sopul’s Stanley Cup experience will be a big bonus.

    If all these guys are healthy, it will be tough for any oponent with Price in the nets.

    “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

  24. nek25plus says:

    Hammer is a great choice, but you couldn’t go wrong with Gill either. Both have been outstanding. Go Habs!

  25. Athlétique.Canadien says:

    Thought I’d chime in on Hamrlik receiving the Jacques Beauchamp award. It seems that there are the 2 Hamrlik camps. One with people who have issues with his contract versus others who like his play.

    First off, like many here, I have RDS and I’ve missed about only 3 games this year. The people who are down on the Hammer confuse me. The guy has been a workhorse. To those who don’t see any evidence of this whatsoever I have to wonder what games they’ve been watching. Boo ‘Urns to that!

    And, who cares about his contract? This isn’t the past. It’s the present and on July 1st his contract is up. If people want to talk about his questionable play then let’s talk about last year. Last year was a bad season for him but not this one. He’s been super steady and consistent. Providing us with much needed experience due to losing Markov and Gorges. And, I believe Hamrlik will show the non-believers just how valuble he can be in the playoffs. His veteran presence and experience will be invaluble…IMO.

    • Max_a_million says:

      Your failing to get the camp that has no problem with his contract or his play. We just think a player who is paid as a star is expected to play as a star, which is the opposite of unsung. He is ‘sung’ through the awarding of a star level contract.

    • avatar_58 says:

      We seem to have a lot of players that need the defence “who cares about his contract??”. Add them all up and it IS a problem. Especially when you desperately need another top 6

    • Propwash says:

      If I recall correctly, Hammer stepped it up last year as well when Markov went down, or am I imagining things?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      There aren’t only two Hamrlik camps. There are two Hamrliks.

      The rested Hamrlik is a dominant player who can acquit himself on the PP and the PK, and is the most solid defenceman on the team.

      The Hamrlik who played the night before is a disaster on skates.

  26. joeybarrie says:

    So the Bruins are really a bunch of CHOKERS arent they?????
    First they had a 3-0 series lead. Then this season we scored in the last 2 min of the game twice to beat them, and then last night they blow ANOTHER 3-0 lead.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  27. matraque says:

    Great choice! Hammer has been amazing this season and this award fits him perfectly.

    I hope we resign him next year.

    ——
    Canadien en 5!
    Never go Full Retard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  28. observer says:

    Goals against in just 4 games down the stretch – 6 by NYR, 6 by Carolina, 7 by Boston, 8 by Boston!

    Hamrlck played defense in all 4 of those games! Some hero! Excellent play! Givemeabreak!

    He is overpaid and was a terrible signing by Gainey/Gauthier!

    • punkster says:

      So did a bunch of others. Guys like PK. So I guess it was only Hamrlik at fault for all those 27 goals? Not PK. No wait, it was PG/BG/JM 88 47 blah, blah, blah…

      Try to use your head. Just once. Just a little.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Trust me we would be a lot worse off without him. Without him with all of these injuries we would be in a deep trouble on the back end. He isn’t flashy he just does his job.

      By the way Hamrlik is plus six which is near the top of this team. I don’t think he was the only player who played in those games to which you prefer and was nowhere near the worst player on the ice.

    • habmanj says:

      So the team sucks for a stretch and its Hamrlik’s fault??? He’s been a minute eating machine. With all the injuries, most nights he’s our best defensive defenseman. He’s a leader in the room and he doesn’t sugar coat anything with the media. Yes his contract is high but he’s in the last year – it was good value (or as close as you can get for a UFA defenseman on July 1st) when it was signed.

      By the way, of the 3 Dmen who have played over 70 games, Hammer leads in +/- at +6. He is second overall only to Spacek (+8) who is another favourite whipping boy. What exactly are you complaining about again? Ridiculous.

    • joeybarrie says:

      Is that why he has the highest plus minus of all our current defensive players playing????
      GENIUS COMMENT. You obviously don’t watch the games or are fairly clueless…

      There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • fbkj says:

      hammer has been a warrior for this team since the day he put the jersey on

    • Chuck says:

      Honestly, no one could be as vapid as observer…. unless they were trying to be. Then again, I’ve worked in public relations; nothing that the human race tosses my way surprises me.

      Ok, I’ll bite. Hamrlik’s stats in those games:

      vs. Boston: 8 goals against, -1, 16:42 of ice time
      vs. Rangers: 6 goals against, -1, 23:11 of ice time
      vs. Boston: 7 goals against, -2, 21:50 of ice time
      vs. ‘Canes: 6 goals against, -2, 21:09 of ice time

      Obviously, the Hammer shouldn’t be the object of your ridicule. You will, however, continue to be subject of ours.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Players are judged by the year, not by a handful of games. Otherwise one could say Price sucks, if you compare his numbers in say – the last 5 games versus the whole season.

      That’s why you aren’t a GM and Gauthier is.

    • eric says:

      Observer????

    • Propwash says:

      That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read today. Granted, I just woke up…

    • G-Man says:

      Go choke on your laffs choking, will ya?

    • Psycho29 says:

      Typical negative comment by a typical negative Maple Laff fan.
      Was Hamrlik the only player on the ice for those games you mention? No.
      He is +6 on the season, playing much better than some defensemen on your team, like Schenn -5, Beauchemin -4 and Komisarek -9…..

  29. observer says:

    Markov out practically all year SO Hamrlck is the highest paid defenseman on the team. How can the highest paid d-man be an “unsung” hero?

    Besides, are these wimpy sportswriters not watching these games? And how he gets outskated and circled by younger faster players, don’t see his many giveaways in his own end and how he quickly gets himself out of the way in self defense whenever a shot could possibly hit his body?

    Exactly why sportswriters should have no vote on hockey or any sports awards. They could vote for the best sportswriter!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Hamrlik may lose a foot race here and there but he’s usually in the proper position to avoid that problem. He makes crisp cross ice passes and is good coming out of his own end. He’s still good enough to play on the 2nd PP unit.

      He isn’t perfect but he’s still better than average!

      • observer says:

        Yes he is a good 5th or 6th defenseman – but those kind don’t take up $5.5 million of cap space of your team meaning the rest of your roster gets worse.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          It was a fair contact, he’s in his final year of it…he’ll make much less next season.

          What’s the stupid site again to add an Avitar?

        • Mark C says:

          A good 5th or 6th D? He’s tied for 37th in points for NHL defensemen. Care to explain how a top-40 point getter can be a bottom pairing player?

      • sillywalk says:

        Hamrlik can crisply skate to the red line and dump the puck like no one else, that’s for sure. It’s incredible how often he does that, if you watch for it. And often when there were better alternatives.

    • blu3chip says:

      We all know trolls have little to none brain power.

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    Hamr may have won it somewhat by default.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, many of these Habs have much to be unsung about.

  31. adam76 says:

    Somewhere, Tom is freaking.

  32. petefleet says:

    It’s kinda difficult to decide if Hammer is worthy or not. On one hand, based on his salary and experience, he would seem to not be eligable because great performance game in and game out are expected. On the other hand, based on age, Hammer is in the twilight of his career and is playing a much bigger role on the team than anyone would have expected. He probably won’t be back unless he takes a pay cut, he’s definately worth half of what he’s making now if only for what he brings to the dressing room and his steady defensive play; the offense is a bonus at this point.
    Darche has definately been an unexpected supprise. If not for his recent injury he would even better numbers for the year. His reward should be a two year contract worth $1 million + at the end of the season. The unsung hero award won’t buy him any groceries, but you could make case that it is deserved.
    What do you say about Gill except he should shoot more. He has done a great job on the back end this year and deserves all the accalades he gets. I’m sure that PK’s development into a premier defenseman in the NHL will eventually be attributed to Gill and his mentoring. That can be his reward.
    Bottom line, all three have had a great season in their own right. Awards are nice, I’m sure, but these guys will do it anyway regardless of awards.

    ***Habs Forever***


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