HIO exclusive: Pacioretty to Switzerland, sixth Hab to Europe

Max Pacioretty

Canadiens star forward Max Pacioretty has signed to play his locked-out hockey with Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss A League.
Len Redkoles, NHLI via Getty Images

Canadiens star forward Max Pacioretty is headed to Switzerland, having signed to play for coach Kevin Constantine’s Ambri-Piotta squad in the Swiss A League, that country’s elite circuit. The story below, appearing in Monday’s Montreal Gazette, was held until 6 am ET for online publication by agreement with Pacioretty. His new club made its announcement on their website in both Italian and German at the same time.

Pacioretty, 23, joins Habs defencemen Raphael Diaz, with EV Zug, and Yannick Weber, of Geneva-Servette, in that league. He becomes the sixth Canadien to head to Europe; also overseas are centre Tomas Plekanec and defenceman Tomas Kaberle, both with HC Kladno in the Czech Republic; and defenceman Alexei Emelin, who’s in Russia, signed with his old Kontinental Hockey League team, Ak-Bars Kazan.

Below, a few clips from my weekend phone conversation with Pacioretty, who was frantically preparing to leave for Europe while packing up his Connecticut home and closing its sale. He and his wife, Katia, soon are moving to  a home they’ve built themselves in the Montreal area.

Pacioretty on talks with coach Kevin Constantine: Clip 1 | Clip 2
On having hit the ground running for a full summer of healthy training

The Gazette

Canadiens star forward Max Pacioretty is headed to Switzerland, the sixth member of the Habs to thus far sign with a European club during the NHL lockout.

Pacioretty has agreed to terms with Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss A League, the country’s elite circuit.

With Ambri, the 23-year-old native of New Canaan, Conn., will be an opponent of two Swiss-native Habs defencemen – Raphael Diaz, playing for EV Zug, his organization from age 5 to 25 before he joined the Canadiens last season; and Yannick Weber, who is suiting up for Geneva-Servette and on Saturday scored a power-play goal in his team’s 2-1 win over the SCL Tigers.

On Friday, it was announced that Canadiens defenceman Tomas Kaberle would join Habs centreman Tomas Plekanec in the Czech Republic, skating with and for player/owner Jaromir Jagr’s HC Kladno. Kaberle played for Kladno during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, having begun his serious hockey in the organization from 1994-98.

Montreal defenceman Alexei Emelin, meanwhile, returns to the Kontinental Hockey League’s Ak-Bars Kazan, the club for which he played from 2007-11.

Pacioretty will be coached on Ambri-Piotta by Kevin Constantine, who led the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils through 377 NHL games from 1993-2002.

Constantine, a former goaltender, has a Canadiens connection, having been selected by the Habs in the ninth round of the 1978 entry draft (154th overall). He never played an NHL game.

“(Constantine) called me to tell me their situation – that they haven’t made the playoffs in six or seven years and that they’re not looking for someone who wants to come over on vacation,” Pacioretty said. “I explained to him that I have intentions of helping them win and playing my heart out. I was happy to have that conversation with him.

“Maybe he was feeling me out, to see if I have what it takes to be a member of their team. I guess he liked what he heard. I told him the truth: that I want to go over there and play and work on my game and help them win.”

Pacioretty expects his wife, Katia, to join him in Switzerland shortly after he arrives. The couple were frantically closing the sale of their Connecticut house over the weekend – they’ve built themselves a home in Montreal – in the final hours before he’d fly out.

“We’ve been packing up the past few days and I’m absolutely gassed,” he said.

There were other issues to be considered, as well:

“My dad wondered whether I had to get an international driver’s license,” he said. “In Sweden, I don’t think they wear suits to games. I have no idea about Switzerland. Should I pack suits?”

(Diaz told Pacioretty he was 90-per-cent sure that a suit wouldn’t be necessary, so the latter fell on the side of the other 10 per cent and packed one anyway.)

Not that Pacioretty wears much off the rack these days, having worked ferociously during the offseason to build on the strength and conditioning that took him to a career-best year of 33 goals and 32 assists, his 65 points tops on the Canadiens.

Ben Prentiss, his longtime trainer in Connecticut, marvelled at the player’s work ethic in the gym and on the ice; this was a full summer of training and not the reconstruction of last summer, Pacioretty then recovering from a fractured vertebra and concussion he suffered in March 2011.

“We were able to build on Max’s current strength and increase his power (this summer),” Prentiss said.

Pacioretty emerged from the gym at 219 pounds and a lean-muscle 8.7 per cent body fat.

“Max is as strong as last summer but he’s faster on the ice with a stronger shot and better power because we were able to do more work and less rehab. So this summer, he’s basically more well-rounded and more complete.”

It’s all part of an evolution, Pacioretty says.

“I was able to skate a lot more given that I didn’t finish my season on an injury,” he said. “It’s the same thing every summer, talking about how good shape I’m in. But I think it’s a process. I build off the previous summer and get bigger and stronger because of that.”

Pacioretty won’t soon mistake his Swiss club’s arena for the Bell Centre. His new rink, called Valascia, is open-ended, meaning the venue is partially outdoors. At 1,000 metres above sea level, enough oxygen-thin altitude to sear the lungs, it seats 2,000 with room for 5,000 more in standing room.

“The coach told me the games are pretty wild and I’m excited to be a part of that,” Pacioretty said. “I know it’s a pretty big hockey town. It kind of reminds me of junior. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Alex Schall, Pacioretty’s agent, brokered the deal by working through another agent who largely focuses on Swiss hockey.

“They understand Max’s value to their club,” Schall said of Ambri-Piotta management. “Negotiations weren’t overly difficult … it was more that so many people are trying to go over there right now.

“It was figuring out the hefty insurance bill, how that would be paid, because obviously you have to insure the Canadiens deal Max signed (last month). And it was more sorting through the whole marketplace rather than a difficult specific negotiation.

“It was nothing like negotiation with the Canadiens, I’ll tell you that,” he added with a laugh of the six-year, $27-million extension he got his client from the Habs in mid-August, a deal that kicks in after the coming season.

Schall is aware of the delicate balance between finding a place in Europe for Pacioretty to hone his game shape during the lockout and the risk of injury.

“Of course, we gave that a lot of thought,” he said. “Max is just raring to go and he wants to be sharp when the season does start.

“The other consideration is that it’s very likely that when they do agree to a (CBA) deal, we’re going to have a very concentrated season. I envision them playing 70 games in five months, which means playing three or four games a week the entire NHL season. You want a guy to be well rested, but sitting around doesn’t mean that’s the way to do it.”

For Pacioretty, who’s never set foot in Switzerland, this will be more than a means of playing some quality hockey. It promises to be an unforgettable life experience.

Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs

Below: The home-ice jersey/billboard Max Pacioretty will wear in Switzerland, sported here by Ambri-Piotta’s Pascal Müller.
Courtesy HC Ambri-Piotta

Below: Pacioretty’s new team, which hasn’t made the Swiss A League playoffs the past six seasons, currently sits 10th in the 12-team circuit, one spot up on Raphael Diaz’s EV Zug and nine back of Yannick Weber’s undefeated, league-leading Geneva-Servette:


  1. HardHabits says:

    The Hockey lock out breaks Bettman’s spell over NHL hockey fans.


  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Wow, Semin has signed with his hometown club in Siberia to play for FREE! No salary, I am sure his fans in his hometown will be thrilled to watch him play, it is a league one step down from the KHL.


  3. HabinBurlington says:

    So the Oilers have provided a Kife product on the ice for about 4-5 years in a row all the while getting the support of their fans. The city has given them support with an extremely generous arena deal. How does Katz repay them? By playing them off as fools as he courts some tramp down in Seattle? (You have to remember Shawn Kemp was leading the rally in Seattle this past weekend for new arena deal for NBA and Hockey, the same Shawn Kemp who can’t pay child support for what 11 differents kids?)

    Call his bluff Edmonton, let Katz run down there and the Coyotes can move to Edmonton. What an absolute jerk Katz, Lowe and company. As UCe points out down below, behind closed doors Katz basically pulled the old deal off the table and asked for a multitude of things and to top it off is willing to look at Seattle where he would be just a tenant. His primary point of complaint to start with was that his team can’t make it when they are tenants in a building they don’t control/own.

    Unbelievable, it appears Katz fits in well with a good number of the owners afterall.

    • Phil C says:


      Pro sports as a form of entertainment is a fairly harmless distraction until the fans’ love of the game is used to shake down tax payers. Now money that could be used elsewhere for the benefit of all is being diverted into rich people’s pockets. We need a law against it or it will keep happening. Maybe Harper can add a line to the bottom of Bill C-38 ;).

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree Phil, that city has been so supportive of the Oilers all these years from Skalbania to Pocklington and now Katz, evidently blackmailing crooks are required to own that team. Very dissappointing news, I have empathy for the Oiler fans.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Exactly, how is it acceptable to tax people in order to hand that money over to a potential billionaire to make himself richer. People are losing jobs, can’t afford a mortgage and you’re going to take more of their hard earned money away and spend it on an arena that they probably can’t afford to go to? Something is backwards there?

      • ed lopaz says:

        the people are protected by the votes cast by their municipal council.

        in Phoenix, for example, the citizens of Glendale have had a voice throughout this process.

        in Quebec City, and on Long Island, and in New Jersey, and everywhere, the people are represented democratically.

        that’s why Katz’s plans have not been accepted these past 4 years.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Katz is a Jackass. The oilers are going nowhere. Could you imagine him trying to sell the relocation to the league right now. They would probably force him to sell. Why would the NHL want another struggling franchise when they oilers are making money in Edmonton? They wouldn’t. Katz is a gear box

    • bwoar says:

      This is par for the course for big business in Alberta. It’s a total non-story if it’s non hockey-related, but that’s just how people become billionaires. It’s not like they’re actually going to move; the city will cave and the owner will get his sweetheart deal.

  4. wjc says:

    Random thoughts: There are no good guys or bad guys.

    Players need to take less of the pie.
    Lockout is necessary, so players don’t strike at a bad time (e.g.playoffs)

    Bettman is owners spokesman, he does there bidding.

    Ticket prices are market driven, supply and demand. Separate issue.

    Players make plenty of money, give back is no big deal.

    Bettman grew the league by about a billion dollars, so his 8m salary is no big deal.

    Lock out will be settle very soon. If players lose games they will lose more then they can possibly gain in the long run.

    Southern states are necessary for NHL contract with NBC to be truly a National Hockey league and to drive up pay per view, and viewership.

    The numbers will eventually be settled to both mutual satisfaction.

    A new league cannot be formed, no one can come up with the billions of dollars it would take. When NHL settles they would fold like a tent.

    All Canadian league will not happen, could not compete with NHL.

    NHL WILL not become an all Canadian league, they already make billions.

    In another month this will all be forgotten.

    Remember there are no bad guys, just people trying to do the best for their people…..owners/players.


    • Mustang says:

      Only the fans consider this to be a sport. The vast majority of the owners, players, agents, coaches, trainers, etc, etc, consider it to be a business. They are in it for one reason……..the money.

      • wjc says:

        Of course Mustang, welcome to the real world. This is the entertainment business, it only exists because of profits, without profits, no league.


        • Phil C says:

          Profit is a necessary pre-requisite to a business. It should not be the goal. The goal should be to provide a service, in this case, high quality entertainment while preserving the integrity and history of the sport. When you make profit the number one priority, things get corrupted.

  5. JohnBellyful says:

    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO OO
    OO —-
    OO OO

    The question is: Who blinks first?

    • Chris says:

      I did…I’ve been following more soccer and OHL this season. The NHL can take as long as it likes, as I’ve got enough other stuff to watch.

      My housemate is streaming KHL games. He is a bit more desperate for hockey action than I am, I suppose.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I was filming street-hockey games with play-by-play commentary for the community cable channel until I got a cease and desist order (the players formed a union and demanded a cut of the action – free movie passes). Too bad. It was the highest rated show of all local programming.

    • Morenz7 says:

      Crap. I thought this was going to be another Statler Bros. number ..

    • wjc says:

      This is not the show down at the OK coral. Just need to adjust some numbers, lower some expectations, and sign a deal. As revenues rise players will make all there money back.

      Both have to have their eyes wide open and realize a stare down is unnecessary.


    • Bripro says:

      Hey John,
      Did you get my post yesterday? With my sophisticated software, I was able to intercept a communiqué from the Qc. Minister of Sport and Leisure. They’re out to get you. I suggest you read it over (posted yesterday morning), then go into hiding. Let me know when you come out to look for your shadow, and watch your back!

  6. Phil C says:

    Now THIS is how you build a sport in non-traditional markets. Paying attention NHL, or are you too busy squeezing the players for a couple of percent?


    • ed lopaz says:

      soccer is more likely to succeed in the U.S then hockey.
      developing interest from fans is the key.
      fans that are more interested are more likely to spend the money, watch the games, etc.

      and where does this interest come from?
      participation in the sport!!

      soccer can be played anywhere there is grass, a few kids (very young kids who can barely run), and a ball.

      hockey? where is the ice? is it free? where are the skates? how much do they cost? and a stick? how much is that?

      hockey is just too expensive, too difficult to coordinate ice time, too much trouble for the VAST MAJORITY of people.

      so most parents who have never played hockey simply pass on the expense and the time required to get their kids involved. afterall, most parents in the U.S did not play hockey growing up, so their kids don’t “need” hockey either.
      why would these people, who have never played the game, and whose children are not involved in the game, watch hockey on TV?

      simple answer. they don’t.

      this lockout is bad business. hockey is barely alive in the minds of americans who watch sports on TV, and this lockout and any other labour stoppages only serve to re-enforce that notion.

      • Phil C says:

        I agree with all your thoughts about this.

        It would be nice to see the NHL at least try in places like Sunrise and Columbus. Start with one or two rinks, find sponsors for equipment to get the kids in the door and then run the club as a business to at least break even.

        Let the kids wear Panther or Blue Jacket club uniforms and try to grow the game from the grassroots. There should be people in these markets who can afford it and it would cost the league peanuts in the big picture.

      • JF says:

        A while ago I was visiting my sister in Miami. Her kids just stared blankly when I mentioned hockey. They had no interest at all and were barely even aware that there were teams in Florida.

        • Phil C says:

          Stories like this re-affirm my belief that the NHL have been lousy stewards of the game of hockey. They only care about making money from the sport.
          Concussions? Who cares, violence sells.
          Clutch and grab? How else can less talented teams compete and sell tickets?
          Build the sport from the grass roots? Naw, sounds like a revenue leak.

  7. HardHabits says:

    Waterloo Hockey League. Bettman will meet his.

  8. commandant says:

    The Season previews move on the QMJHL. We look at the Maritime Division which is home to the 2-time defending Q Champs in Saint John, and the latest prospect wonderkid, Nathan MacKinnon


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

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Junior player scores ‘brilliant’ goal
    That was also part of hat-trick night for Bozon, his first in the Blazers’ blue and orange. It cannot be stressed enough that Bozon is a long way from playing in the NHL, but moments such as this show why people believe Montreal got good value when they snapped him up in the third round of the draft.

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    On the topic of the NFL, I agree, what in the hell was up with those officials? A five-year-old would have ruled that the GB player caught the ball on that last play of the game. Especially since they saw a “clear as day” replay of the catch!

    I felt bad for the replacement refs constantly getting picked on from the start of the season, before that absurd call!

    • commandant says:

      The replay official is not a “replacement”.

      He’s the regular replay ref as those guys aren’t locked out.

      So all this blaming the replacements is misplaced.

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

      • JohnBellyful says:

        You can blame the replacement refs, for making the absurd call in the first place. That was the climax to a host of miscues by the officiating crew throughout the game, and the weekend.
        That the regular replay ref blew it as well doesn’t excuse the egregious performance of the on-field officials. We all know regular ones make questionable calls, their replacements have simply increased their frequency and ridiculousness.
        The players also deserve criticism, because so many of the penalties they receive are warranted. Even the broadcast team acknowledged last night’s game was sloppy. It’s as if the players are daring the referees to make the call. The replacements are out of their element but the teams are only adding to their problems with their undisciplined play.

      • Chris says:

        It is my understanding that the replay official in the NFL is the referee, so in this case you can blame the replacement officials.

        The replay officials in the booth can only buzz the field telling the referee that a call should be reviewed, but the referee on the field is the sole judge of whether a call on the field can be overturned.

  11. habsfan0 says:

    Apparently,the NFL hired replacement referees who all attended the Chris Lee school of officiating.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Some of them have graduated to the Christopher Lee school of officiating — they’ve gone from being merely incompetent to sucking the life out of the game.

  12. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day Ten
    Counted flowers on the wall. Played solitaire with a deck of 51.
    Speaking of playing without a full deck, what were those replacement officials thinking in ruling the Seattle player caught a Hail Mary for a game-winning TD on the final play of last night’s NFL game? It would be more accurate to characterize it as non-thinking. Replays clearly showed it was the Packer defender who had possession of the ball against his chest when the two fell to the ground. The replays also showed the Seattle receiver pushing a Green Bay player aside before making “the catch,” an obvious instance of offensive interference.
    I was chagrined, I tell you. Chagrined.
    So much so I went searching for comfort and called up all my old girlfriends but it was after 8 and they had already gone to bed.
    Too bad. I wanted to ask them: Has anyone ever written an ode that wasn’t ode-ous?
    (Now if that isn’t a cue for Cal to compose a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms, I don’t know what is. P.S. Thanks, Merriam, you too, Webster.)
    One of the best puns ever: Three brothers buy a cattle ranch and ask their mother what to name their business. She tells them Prism and they ask her why.
    “Because it’s where the sons raise meet.”
    Sun’s rays meet.
    A triple pun. Beauty.

    • Cal says:

      Loving your posts, JB. They make me, and I hope many others, laugh during this dismal time. I don’t know about exaltation, but here is today’s offering. (Sorry, Leonard. He’s a Buddhist. I am sure he will understand.)

      I’ve heard there was a secret puck
      That Beliveau played, and it pleased the Lord
      But, Gary, you don’t really care for hockey, do you?
      Cups like this
      Number 4, his fifth
      The minors called, but the Habs did lift
      The snafu-d Cal composing Hallelujah

      Hallelujah, Hallelujah
      Hallelujah, Hallelujah

      Your sport was strong but you needed proof
      You tossed the players from the roof
      Their contracts in the moonlight overthrew you
      Fehr tied you to an injunction there
      a comma here, a semicolon there;
      And from your bylaws he drew out Hallelujah

      Hallelujah, Hallelujah
      Hallelujah, Hallelujah

      Baby we have been here before
      We know this space, we’ve missed hockey that you ignore
      We used to love the game before we knew you.
      You’ve planted your flag on a marbled fan
      Who may return, catch as catch can
      To a cold and very broken Hallelujah

  13. Un Canadien errant says:

    After another weekend of bizarre situations and questionable calls by NFL replacement refs, we saw two debacles to end it off, with Bill Belichik running and grabbing after an official on the Sunday night game, trying to get an explanation on the game-ending field goal and, more probably, their entire oeuvre that evening, and now a farcical performance by the crew working the Monday Night Football game.

    The replacement refs have been having an underlying effect on the games since they started working them. At first, they weren’t calling pass interference penalties as stringently as they should have, and we saw a lot of low-scoring games and upsets as a result in the first couple of weeks. We saw them lose control of games, some of them dragging on so long that I missed out on some game endings and had to adjust my PVR settings accordingly.

    One effect that hasn’t been mentioned is the amount of jawing and woofing that goes on now, constantly. This blight on the game had been effectively curtailed during the previous seasons, when jabbing your facemask into someone else’s to taunt or dis them was grounds for an unsportsmanlike conduct 15-yard penalty. This season, I have yet to see a flag for such behaviour, which is now endemic, and the source for a lot of the scrums and shenanigans we see after most whistles seemingly.

    This weekend, we saw a n avalanche of yellow flags, as the NFL circled the wagons and probably instructed the ersatz zebras to tighten the calls on defensive backs. And we now understand why they weren’t calling more penalties. It was not as a misguided attempt to ‘let them play’, it’s simply that they can’t make the right calls, the speed of the game is evidently too high for them. It seems as if every call or non-call is a toss-up, whether they’re nailing it or shanking it. I can do just as well at home with my trusty flipping quarter.

    We have probably reached the Rubicon, and NFL management has to decide whether they’ll cross it, or back down and come to terms with their real referees, the actual pros of the game, who while imperfect, are now shown to be effective in the overwhelming majority of cases, and to be decisive and fully, functionally knowledgeable of the rules of the game.

    The sad part out of all of this is that the NFL are having a principled disagreement with their staff. This isn’t about dollars and cents so much as it is about NFL owners trying to wrest more money from the refs to pile on to the staggering fortunes they already make from their teams. The NFL isn’t on the brink of financial insolvency, this isn’t necessary for the survival or even the profitability of the league.

    The refs are not holding out for more money, an unreasonable raise, or anything crazy. The refs aren’t on strike. They’re being locked out by the owners. The reason they’re being locked out by the owners is that they’re being asked to give up the pension they currently earn and accept a vastly inferior version, one with a ‘defined contribution’ instead of a ‘defined benefit’. So now instead of a pension that will pay out a set amount upon retirement, an amount that they can plan their life around, they are now asked to take a glorified mutual fund account that will be subject to the vagaries of the stock market and the piratical penchants of Wall Street.

    The NFL’s reason for the change? As weak as their moral fibre. They say that since they already beat down their other employees and wrestled away their pensions, they now need to beat down the referees as well. It wouldn’t be “fair” to their other employees not to. I’m not making this up. This is their reasoning.

    I’m sure if you asked any client of the NFL, anyone who buys tickets or jerseys or the Sunday Ticket package or a case of Budweiser, none of them would begrudge the officials a tiny slice of that purchase so that they can have a reasonable pension that allowed them to retire in dignity and security. None of them would vote that that money should rather go into Paul Allen’s pocket. Anyone who did would do so out of bitterness that they themselves are deprived of such a pension by the climate that reigns currently in Corporate America and North American society as well.

    Roger Goodell has been a bit of a crusader since becoming Commissioner, to various degrees of effectiveness. He has often punished players for off-field transgressions that he claimed tarnished the image of the league. He now has to wear this fiasco of a lockout. It’s on him. And he has to fix it. He has to bring his vaunted conciliatory and persuasive powers to bear on the owners and convince them that they must drop their demands of the officials to get a deal done, for the good of the game.

    Better yet, the vaunted ‘conscience’ of the game, the long-time owners like the Rooneys and the Maras, Bob Kraft who cried arm-in-arm with Jeff Saturday last summer, need to intervene and to put a stop to this. They need to bring everyone to their senses and protect their own legacy, their very business. Everyone in the owners circle must understand that their principled stance, repugnant no matter how they try to spin it, must end. They are damaging their product and image for a trifling amount in the grand scheme of things.

    This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post


  14. 24 Cups says:

    What a bunch of jerks – especially Kevin Lowe.


    • HabFanSince72 says:


      And perhaps a little short-sighted. Alienating the fans is not a great idea, especially when you know you aren’t moving.

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

    • Mark C says:

      Between reading articles like this, and watching the abomination that is the referee situation in the NFL, it is hard to feel any empathy for the owners. You said it best, a bunch of jerks.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      This is why the Oilers will never be considered a great franchise. Skalbania lucked into Gretzky in a card game on a plane and while they had great talent in the 80’s they have never had great ownership. As for Lowe, he has proven to be a great mismanager of a franchise. Katz is an even bigger d@ck.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Field of Schemes has a good article on this.

      “…(C)ity councillor Tony Caterina announced that Katz actually asked for (…):

      “They don’t want to pay taxes,” he said. “They want help now in operating the arena. They want a guaranteed subsidy. They want the city to be their tenant in a major office building. They want the casino licence.”

      These were the requests presented behind closed doors last week in a meeting Caterina said should have been public.

      “If everybody knew exactly what these new positions were, I think everyone would have seen it as council saw it, which is very unreasonable.”


      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post


  15. Mondou6 says:

    I love Bettman’s propoganda spin that the players will lose more money after forfeiting 8 games’ salary, than if they just accepted the NHL’s proposal.

    Yeah, great, it was the same thing 5 years ago when the players caved, and look what happens now…Bettman wants even more money back. If the players cave again to get 8 games’ worth of paychecks, the NHL will just keep doing this over and over and over.

    A better question is, what is Bettman doing to address the NHL’s problems? The main problems I see are unprofitable teams in terrible markets. The solution is to move them, or contract them. Bettman’s solution is for the players to give back more money, so Bettman can dole it out to support those failed franchises.

    Let’s face it, Bettman has been a curse on the NHL. He exists to grab money for owners. He cares nothing about the integrity of the game, player safety, or anything else. He’s a hired goon.

    • commandant says:

      Thats the biggerst reason to support the players. The owners solution doesn’t solve anything.

      As revenues rise, the small markets will again fall behind the big markets in paying salaries and making money, they will again struggle with a floor that is driven up and up as big markets continue to grow at a rate they can’t match.

      Then we get another lockout to solve their problems again, and make the players give back again.

      Without a meaningful revenue sharing system among owners, we solve nothing.

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

    • wjc says:

      It is true, they will lose more money after 8 games, then if they took the deal.

      The NHL grew the league by about a billion dollars, the players benefited greatly, time to restructure the take.

      The NHL needs the teams to play in there current format with a different division of the pie.

      The NHL has survived allowing southern teams to grow by giving them time. L.A…Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas. To win over new fans, it takes time. They mature and become paying customers. NBC and pay-per-view are also necessary and have to be considered.

      The northern teams understand that they are in a 30 team partnership and support the lockout. The league grew by a billion dollars (a thousand million) get your head around that. Bettman is the catalist to this amazing growth.

      The owners do not see Bettman as a curse. The integrity of the game, not sure what this means. Player safety is an issue that is being addressed. The speed of the game has become a problem, it makes it entertaining but a little more dangerous.

      The players are rewarded and live like kings, so spare the tears.

      Bettman is not a hired goon, he is representing the owners and has their best interest of the game at heart.

      To make him the bad guy, or Fuhr the bad guy is just plain silly.


  16. novahab says:

    The players need to say no deal, that does not include firing Bettman.

    • Cal says:

      LOL. Fire the boss. Right. On what planet?

    • wjc says:

      Players can’t fire Bettman, players need to see that a reasonable deal can be worked out. Players/owners will make a deal and soon, just need to get the numbers right moving forward.

      If you fire Bettman you have to fire 30 owners that support him. He built the NHL by about billion dollars….smart man!


  17. RiverviewCanadien says:

    In the spirit of Pleks’ sick moves over seas the other day (I posted the yahoo link earlier), I decided to scour the youtube archives for more dazzling Tomas.

    Here are some of my favorites:
    – Nice stick-lift to keep the puck after trying to sneak it between the feet.
    – Face-off win, good effort from Cammalleri, then Pleks beats Jordan Staal
    – Eller with a great feed (yes he should be Tomas’s wingman).
    – He is a fantastic 2 way player.
    – I want hockey back to see game winners like this. There was no way Pleks was losing this puck, and what a pass to Roman

  18. novahab says:

    Hey Gary ( the crook Bettman) guess you just know all these guys are going to come running when you call. I say half these players may not come back at all. So Bettman you’ll get you wish and lower salaries. Only thing is they will be half AHLers.

  19. Mr. Biter says:

    Just our luck that Gomez goes to Europe this year breaks out of his slump and scores like crazy then comes back next year to the old Gomez.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  20. Mondou6 says:

    Bettman’s plan is to do this every 5 years.

    This crap needs to stop, and I’m glad the players hired Fehr. The PA got rolled in the last stoppage, so Bettman is emboldened to go for more.

    He behaves like a 4 foot tall bully, and the PA knows that he needs to be punched in the mouth, or else these lockouts and player give-backs will be neverending.

    I blame the NHL/owners/Bettman 100% this time. It’s just blind greed. Take it just because they can.

    I hope the players extract a pound of flesh. Yeah, the owners are richer, and don’t care if the season gets canceled. Great. How about next season? There are other hockey leagues for the players to go to.

    • JF says:

      How do you propose that the players “extract a pound of flesh”? They have no leverage. Missing an entire season will hurt them far more than it will the owners. Eventually they will be forced to take what the league is willing to give them. The only question is what percentage of their earnings and how much game-fitness they will forfeit before they bow to the inevitable.

      But I agree with you that “this crap” needs to stop. What other business grinds to a halt every time its CBA expires? Normal practice is for the employees to go on working, the products to go on being produced, and negotiations to continue meanwhile, with a mediator brought in if necessary. For the NHL, the lockout has become the main negotiating tool – or weapon rather – and looks like becoming a regular occurrence.

    • wjc says:

      Mondou6, Players made out like bandits over the course of this agreement. Their share rose to 67%, because Bettman grew the league by a thousand million dollars (picture a million dollars stacked up a thousand times)

      Bettman plus 30 owners feel they need to right the ship.

      A four foot bully, never heard of one of those. The players need to see the big picture and work towards a settlement.

      I know you will never understand this, but hopefully another reader will comprehend this.

      You say you blame the NHL owners and Bettman, so you are admitting they back Bettman.

      The owners care if the season is cancelled and are fighting to start on time. Every one is rich, players are multi-millionaires and could quit hockey today and never work again and live with the super rich.

      The players are not the victims, this needs to settled and it will, common sense will prevail.

      There is no other hockey league that comes close to paying the players as handsomely as the NHL.


  21. Mr. Biter says:

    Obviously no Union Solidary. Actually I hope most of the Habs find work overseas even though I shudder with AM playing in Russia on his bad Knees. Just wondering if a player playing overseas happens to get a season or career ending injury, can his Team void his NHL contract? Not hoping that this happens but wondering about the legalities.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  22. kempie says:

    Per @gdrinnan, #Habs invite Brendan Ranford & Antoine Corbin to @BulldogsAHL Training Camp. Ranford was @ #Canadiens Dev Camp.

  23. frontenac1 says:

    Best of luck Max! Pack that suit Amigo,. Don’t let them put those leather shorts and knee socks on you. Los Habs Para Siempre!

  24. Phil C says:

    Someone please explain how it is bad that an NHL player takes a job from a less skilled player, a job that the NHL player is more highly qualified and thus more deserving. There is certainly nothing stopping European players from taking NHL jobs, Diaz and Emelin did it last year.

    As well, I would love to hear stories about when you were hired for your last job and you sent the guy you took the job from your first check because you took his job. I’m dying to hear those.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      When did u last take a job for less money! Waiting with baited breath for your old employer to invite u back for less money? To compare an NHL players job to our jobs seems asinine to me also.

      • wjc says:

        They are not taking a job for less money, if you realize that they are only making strike pay right now. You cannot count money they are not making, while not playing.

        The league will continue to grow and the players money will be back where it is in a couple of years, if Bettman continues to do what he does best, growing revenues.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          WJC, i was pointing out the jobs they take in KHL or Swiss Leagues those are less money than the current contracts they have in the NHL. Why do you just go through everyones posts and immediately disagree with them?

          • wjc says:

            I disagree with the post, because I disagree with them. Most of the people on here have a mutual agreement pact, or something.

            Someone has to speak up and tell it like it is, that is to say, the way I think it is.

            If most of the post are blaming Bettman, then I disagree.

            I most of the post are blaming someone, then I disagree.

            If most of the posts are saying the players are right, then I disagree, because I think the last agreement worked out great for them, because revenues grew.

            If you say there should be a Canadian league or an new league, what are my choices, I disagree.

            One sided arguements, blaming and name calling I disagree with.

            I go through the post and try to explain an alternative point of view. To say the fans are victims, I disagree, if anything you are safely on the sidelines, with nothing on the lines except emotions.

            Will anyone die because there is no hockey. Will the multi millionaire hockey players suffer, will the owners suffer, the answer is no.

            I try to bring perspective to the arguement and common sense, not just raw emotion. You might miss a few games….so what. The season is too long and the players are too rich anyways.

            Just my opinion, unfortunately, my opinion causes me to seem disagreeable.


          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well with that clarification provided, i will no longer need to take any of your posts serious since you are in fact disingenuous. Appreciate the feedback.

  25. habstrinifan says:

    What do you folks think of the idea expressed in the article at this link.


    The writer admits to it being a sort of screwball idea but it will at least improve public perception of league.

    Basically suggests scrap the present commissioner role and turn over the league to someone like Shanahan.

  26. Hammer says:

    Habs fan or no habs fan I find it just a tad hypocritical that all these millionaires go over to Europe and force players of lesser ilk out of a job. Do you think these players including the Habs players donate any of their wages to the laid off workers? I guess this is how entitlement works!

    • chemic says:

      thats simply not true, get your facts straight! there are at least 15 nhl players right know who signed with clubs in switzerland and there is just one confirmed player who did lose his job because of the arrival of Logan Couture. the guy was a czech player and has found immediatly a job back in his home country.

      please stop this silly story about nhl player forcing poor guys of their job

      • fun police says:

        did the teams expand their rosters to allow more players per team? If not, then someone loses a chair when the music stops. If 40 guys head over seas, eventually 40 other guys loses a job.

        • chemic says:

          you might lose a chair at theater but you can still hear the sweet sound of money getting transfered on your account (or you hire with an new team). the only thing someone will lose is icetime. there is a rule about the limited number of foreign players here in switzerland. we talk about a really small numbers of players who getting affected by the lockout and the arrival of canadian/american players. these are usual players who do not have a problem to find an new club.

  27. Bripro says:

    This isn’t hockey related but nevertheless,
    (watch the video)


  28. chemic says:

    f***ing awesome see Patches down there in ambri, by far one of the “coolest” and unique clubs in this sport.

    their rink has more seats than the town has habitants, people are driving hours to see a game, even on a workday. the rink has open side so the wind goes through the rink an it gets really really cold inside. that means you have to do something, sing, jump, whatever and drink a lot coffe with booze in it to stay warm. i really like those modern facilitys but this is really the real sh*t and there are for sure no bandwagoner in there. habsfans have their oleole and stuff, ambri has this – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B93T2yoXN54

    have to say, nhl lockout sucks but to see all those guys in our league is not so bad after all……still waitung for scott gomez to join the EV Zug!

  29. Bripro says:

    Here’s the latest update on today’s discussion between Daly and Steve Fehr.
    Neither Butthead nor Donald Fehr attended.

  30. Chuck says:

    On the bright side, at least the lockout is happening this season. I couldn’t have lived with the Bruins getting a freebie to call themselves Cup champions two years in a row.

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

    • Bripro says:

      Agreed, Frank.
      I don’t know where Campbell comes off with his perspective. Saying that Bettman had a part in the increased revenues of the NHL. That had to do with the Canadian dollar and increase ticket prices at the gate of the money-making franchises (and let’s not forget the $10-12 beers). Or that who couldn’t reel in the owners with their greedy contract offers, …. or that the players should take responsibility for accepting those offers.
      What?? Are you kidding me?
      If I was an agent or player with an owner throwing money at me like that, why wouldn’t I take it? I’d be challenged not to take it.
      Some journalists…. That one was more laughable than most of Jack Todd’s rants.

    • bwoar says:

      It’s not love. But Ken’s right, and Devellano doubly so. As usual, someone tells the truth (Devellano’s cattle comments) and a bunch of people (players, in this case) get over-emotional because they don’t understand or agree.

      I might’ve used pigs at a trough as a metaphor, rather than cattle. It’s really not funny to see a largely uneducated bunch of athletes fail to grasp the simple reality Devellano explains – moreso the problem is that they don’t like being reminded, that on one all-important level, they really are just like the rest of us: someone richer then they are is responsible for their lifestyle.

      Their reaction to those comments has been infantile, the kind of thing only a massive sense of entitlement can engender and massive ignorance tolerate. Plenty to go around at NHLPA meetings.

  31. Bripro says:

    I don’t know how many here are active on twitter, but following Devellano’s “cattle” comments, there’s a new twitter page entitled
    “nationalcattlehockeyleague”, with comparative comments such as
    – Travis Mooen
    – Meat Mahovlich
    – Ilya COWalchuk
    – Dave Steak-el
    – Steer-ven Stamkos
    ….. you get the idea.

  32. adamkennelly says:

    In order for a status change in this negotiation you need a compelling event – can’t think of anything that is going to drive one – conclusion- the season is gone. if you think you are mad now – which I am – wait till Oct 8th…then again every freakin Tuesday, Saturday, Thursday etc for the entire winter. this blows.

  33. nunacanadien says:

    Too bad for MaxPac, he’ll end up going to a team that is just like the habs in that they are bottom of the league. No pizzaz. MaxPac and the rest of the habs could have used a pick me up all signed in the KHL. Oh well. You sign small, you win small. Aim high, win high.

  34. Habfan10912 says:

    Bill Daly said owners waiting for NHLPA to present an offer before CBA negotiations will resume. Translation. Owners waiting for players to give in to owners demands. Bye bye season.


  35. Sean Bonjovi says:

    “HI/O exclusive”
    “[Pacioretty and this Swiss team held back this info until we could print the Gazette…]”

    This site gets cheaper everyday. It’s bad business too. A newspaper can’t be the industry leader in breaking news. A newspaper needs to highlight the accuracy and depth of its reporting. The Gazette needs to promote the idea that the quality of the reporting is far more important than whether, or not someone, or some group broke the story ten minutes before someone else. Maybe investigative journalists can break stories, but this is just factual information that was bound to get out. The interview is an exclusive, but the headline doesn’t say anything like

    …..”Public Knowledge!! plus exclusive interview”

    , they promote the news as the exclusive. The first paragraph of the story isn’t even about “the story” it’s about the Gazette:

    ….”The story below, appearing in Monday’s Montreal Gazette, was held until 6 am ET for online publication by agreement with Pacioretty. His new club made its announcement on their website in both Italian and German at the same time.”….

    Making a big deal about who’s first adds value to the concept that being first is the most important thing, which then logically suggests that the Gazette, like any newspaper is pretty much useless 99.9% of the time. Dave Stubbs wrote a great story here, but he, or someone else, or more likely just the “machine” at the Gazette decided to play up the least important part of it, and to me that’s a little off-putting, and tiresome, but mostly just sad.

    • Bripro says:

      I don’t see why you’re letting one revelation get your underwear into a tizzy.
      Chances are, Max asked that it be withheld, otherwise he was not going to share the information.
      I would have to think that Stubbs, after being in the dressing room with the players on several occasions, has developed a relationship which offers him some privileges.
      Look at the sit-down he had with Moen last week. I didn’t see anything remotely similar in the french press.
      You would think if Moen was willing to have a sit-down, that he would have shared with other media personnel.
      Max probably agreed to divulge something on the promise of it being withheld for a certain amount of time.
      So it was released at 6am instead of 11pm the night before. What’s the difference?
      Like Careys says: “Chill out!”

    • SmartDog says:

      Does anyone else have an interview with Patches to go with the (boring) press release about him going overseas to play?

      It’s a real article, with some real meat – and it seems like either the writer got a tip off or was just in touch with Max at the right time. Credit deserved I’d say. I mean it’s not a blockbuster trade, but it’s still of interest.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  36. fuhgawz says:

    I have not commented for about a year. My only comment about this lockout is, do you supposed this lockout will last longer then the Gommer goaless streak?

  37. savethepuck says:

    Max is a warrior, I love the guy. His rehab from a possible career ending injury followed by a year which placed him at a top ten ranking for his position is remarkable. I still remember the puck in the ribs he took from the Wiz in Buffalo, rushed to hospital on a gurney in an ambulance, reported to be out at least 2 to 3 weeks, and he was in the starting line-up the next game. After that he fractured his wrist ( or so we were told ), out maybe 3 or 4 weeks, and again the guy doesn’t miss a freaking game. I wish we had 20 of him.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  38. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Plekanec has 7 pts in 3 games played (someone noted this earlier).

    This beauty play made Yahoo Sports. Go Pleks!

    Plekanec Setup

  39. Say Ash says:

    That Fribourg logo looks like a Habs ripoff, eh?

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      That’s the first thought that jumped to my mind too.

      The graphic designer responsible for Fribourg’s logo was either completely void of an original concept or had absolutely no fear of repercussions associated with trademark infringement.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    The rhetoric is really starting to crescendo. Here is a quote from Toews of Blackhawks.
    #Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews on NHL owners: “If they want to hurt their own game and drive it into the ground that’s what they’ll do.”

    Toronto Sun today has a story saying players expect the whole season to be cancelled. Here TSN says the same thing.

    Of course the repetition continues where it is obvious neither side gives a Sh*t but actually lie and say they do.

    Bite me Players and Owners, you are both full of Poppycock.

  41. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …anyOne ‘see’ hide or hair of UCe lately ? …I miss His novellas

    …which are often a good read too 🙂

    • BrianSkrudland says:

      Good point. His presence has been missed.

      While I rarely post on HIO, I am on the site several times per day reading what those more eloquent and knowledgeable than myself have to say about the Habs, hockey in general and other miscellaneous matters.

      Speaking of missing in action posters; where is Tom Nickle? Haven’t read much from him since the Patrick Kane to Montreal rumour. I always enjoyed reading Tom’s takes.

  42. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …that’s a rarity, an HIO ‘exclusive’ …but a nice family-feel story by Stubbs

    …Switzerland and Scandinavia are to Me ideal places to play during the lock-out …safe,organized and beautiful environments, especially to bring a family with You

    …always the risk of injury, but if the season starts at some point, Patches and those lucky enough to be getting competitive game play will have the edge on the Guys that chose to sit it out

  43. JF says:

    Yesterday the League and PA “hoped” that today’s meeting to conclude some HRR business from last season would be followed by negotiations. But today we learn that, since no negotiating session was scheduled, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr did not even bother to attend the meeting. So no negotiations. Does either side even want this dispute to end quickly? It looks as though they don’t. Yet I’m convinced there’s a deal there to be made. The two sides are not so far apart that it couldn’t be done if they had the will to do it. There is nothing in the League’s current situation to justify a lockout. It is absolute insanity, and everyone stands to lose – owners, players, other employees, fans. I think the fans stand to lose the most, and will end up paying the most – first, in losing possibly the entire season of hockey; and second, in no doubt substantially higher prices for tickets and NHL merchandise when the lockout eventually ends.

    • Ali says:

      They’ve been quite a few instances of Daly and Steve Fehr negotiating with each other, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Either way, Fehr or Bettman are sending them with marching orders.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Ali, I think the owners are dug in and the players will have to accept their terms. This is looking like a long ugly battle.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think at issue is the two Ego’s. Bettman wants to win just as Fehr thinks he will be the Lone Ranger trotting into town and winning for the players.

      The fact each side sent proposals back and forth and none of them spoke to the other parties proposal.

      Players say they refuse to take a haircut instead dictated owners should rather revenue share more than currently.

      Owners say exact opposite.

      Each side is so concerned to look like they won the fight, that in actual fact zero negotiation is occurring. Like two 5 years olds fighting, perhaps I shouldn’t insult 5 year olds.

    • Cal says:

      Until members of the PA start feeling the pain, nothing will be negotiated. Stupid, but true. Welcome to the No Heads League.

      • JF says:

        I guess “feeling the pain” means missing paycheques. The first is due mid-October, so by mid-November they’ll have missed three. Will that be enough pain? If Bettman doesn’t think so, he won’t negotiate even then, but will instead cancel the Winter Classic (as he has threatened to do) so the players can’t use it as leverage. If that happens, it’s easy to see the lockout lasting well into the New Year, with the season being officially cancelled around the middle of February. Could they be such idiots?

        • Cal says:

          In short….yes. Look at their wonderful negotiating thus far. I’ve said this before, but for so-called intelligent people, Beavis and Butthead are yet again demonstrating how poor they actually are at making deals.
          It would help if Beavis’ and Butthead’s views of the pie weren’t so different. It’s this simple: the pie is us, the fans. We pay the freight for all those ludicrous contracts. If enough fans not only threatened a boycott, but followed through with it, the NHL would fall to pieces, just like any other product that is rejected en masse. Beavis and Butthead need that lesson, I think.

          • JF says:

            Some fans are saying they’ve “finished with the NHL,” but I imagine most, in Canada, will come flocking back when the lockout ends. Hopefully this won’t be the case in the U.S.A., and Bettman’s sunbelt franchises, and American television audiences in general, will take a serious hit. This would be damage it would take the League a long time to recover from.

            If fans are not willing to abandon the NHL entirely, one way they could have an impact is to stop buying NHL merchandise, as some have suggested. Even better would be to buy pirate items.

  44. BrianSkrudland says:

    It seems that HIO mods were so sensitive that my reference to Kempie’s new gravatar being as “black as Bettman’s soul” had to be deleted.

    Considering some of the slanderous allegations I’ve read on here in the past, I find this deletion to be a tad confusing. Clearly the scenario would be more understandable if there was a racial reference, but that certainly was not the case in this instance.

    • Cal says:

      Agreed. Perhaps, instead, “black as the tar in Bettman’s heart”?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I can see this below still showing:

      “BrianSkrudland SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 AT 12:22 PM
      Your gravatar is the same shade as Bettman’s soul.”

      Are you sure it was deleted?

      • BrianSkrudland says:

        That’s odd. Now it is back. It had definitely disappeared for a short while.

        Perhaps the abundant quantity of Barking Squirrel beer I had this weekend is still wreaking havoc on my brain.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Don’t worry brother. I have a wiked cold and accidentally took the night time medication so staying awake at my desk is not going so well. Come on 5:30!

          • BrianSkrudland says:

            If you happened to have had NeoCitron there is no way you will be able to stay awake. That is the greatest stuff to knock you on your butt when a cold is having its way with you.

            Posting on HIO is my good luck charm when it comes to success at work. On the days I post something, I typically make a nice sale or two. Can I afford not to be a regular poster?! My contributions are not top quality, but my son’s hockey is rather pricey so if more posts equal a bigger commission cheque, I’ll be posting non-stop!

  45. shiram says:

    When tomorrow comes, we’ll have missed the first game of the pre-season, as the Senators were supposed to be visiting the Bell Centre tonight.

  46. kempie says:

    Lockout Gravatar engage!

    Edit: Damnit. Same Gravatar. I’ll give it a few mins I guess.

  47. shiram says:

    According to L.A.Lariviere, #Canadiens goaltending coach Pierre Groulx says Carey Price likely heading to Europe.

    Also Pleks is 3g/4a in 3 games, with Jagr 1/3

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Plek’s style of game would be great on the bigger ice surface as he has great vision and it would give him just that little bit more time to make a nifty move or pass. I would imagine he will rack up a bunch of points over there with his play making ability.

      I think the players are realizing it is going to be a long haul again and are making the appropriate choices to play elsewhere.

      This sucks

      • shiram says:

        He’s also playing with arguably better wingers there than he did here last season.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          That wouldn’t be too hard to do LOL. he had some rough wingers last year. I just see his style on the bigger ice he could use his speed and great passing ability a little better than on the smaller ice surface here in N. America. He also is arguably playing against weaker opponents.

          Pleks is an underrated centre for sure. I am certain he will have a good season across the pond and he will stay sharp. I wonder if he will be dissapointed when he comes back to play with weaker wingers again

          • shiram says:

            Might be the fanboy in me, but I think he likes it in MTL, and even though the circumstances are not favorable for him right now, I think he’ll stick it out and always try to help the Canadiens.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      My only issue with Price going over the pond is the angles are different on the bigger ice and if he plays there awhile I wonder if it will do more harm than good if they do start back this season

  48. Chris says:

    Interesting news in the OHL: Windsor saw their league record fine of $400,000 reduced to $250,000 and the loss of their first round picks in 2013 and 2016 as well as second round picks in 2015 and 2017.

    The punishment was levied in response to still undetailed recruitment violations. This is intriguing, because rumours have long surrounded some of the high-profile CHL programs, like Windsor (and I’m sure others can insert other potential violators!) in terms of their ability to consistently land top players who had all but assured they would not be joining the OHL teams that drafted them.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Chris, I was talking to a friend of mine last week about this (whom used to coach in the OHL until last year). While he was happy to see Windsor get some punishment, he remains skeptical given certain teams like London/Kitchener have received no reprimand. He gave me a few instances of the cars some now notable NHL players were driving around in both London and Kitchener when these guys played junior. Many people speak of how U.S. Colleges are paying many of their players, I would say Junior hockey has reached some pretty unacceptable levels when it comes to player payoffs.

      • Chris says:

        Cars and apartments seem to be the primary focus of potential payoffs surrounding CHL players. There were always rumours swirling around Mikhail Grigorenko in Quebec, for example, but I just don’t have enough insider knowledge to say if these types of rumours are founded (as opposed to just sour grapes from the teams that don’t get the star players) and what other teams might have been guilty.

        Teams like Quebec, Halifax, London, and Kitchener have a huge advantage in that they can offer an opportunity to play in front of relatively large crowds, something that would certainly appeal to some of the hotshot prospects. But if there is any more nefarious behaviour going on that helps those teams land the top guys, then those teams should be punished just as hard as Windsor has been.

        • commandant says:

          There have been rumors about it for years.

          If it is happening (and I’m not saying it is) The CHL leagues are between a rock and a hard place here.

          On one hand, incentives, help you get the best players in your league in the ongoing recruiting battle with the NCAA.

          On the other hand it hurts competitive balance as Erie, Sudbury, etc.. cant compete with the big market clubs.

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

    • Mad Habber says:

      Given what is going on with the pro game, I find this topic to be much more interesting than the CBA. So let me play devil’s advocate here.

      What is the big deal with college aged players making money through recruitment? Okay I get it kind of slides into a grey area of players going for money now instead of long term goals. But really for some of them the CHL/NCAA is as far as they are going to get. Why shouldn’t they get money for their talents?

  49. frontenac1 says:

    @Commandant. Good work again on the preview for the OHL. Looks like we are in for some good hockey. Thanks Amigo!

  50. Bripro says:


    This off the wire. The following email excerpt was intercepted not 20 minutes ago, following a blog by one of Hockey Inside Out’s more controversial posters. It would appear that the Quebec Ministry of Sports and Leisure were beside themselves from this poster’s comments, and used Google translate to try and get their point across to the english community:

    “Ms. Marois,

    As the new Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation for our glorious country, Quebec, I must oblige to pay attention to a “blog” on the hockey damn anglophone Montéal city of our glorious countries, Québec.
    A man named “John bellyful” made ​​reference to the Charter of Rights of Canada. You remember this country, what was ours?
    Mr. Belly mentions that could become the NHL’s Hockey League nationalized, with the cooperation of other cities, which lie north of the 59th parallel.
    Despite our efforts to keep our Québec solidaire, this philosphy could destroy our vision.
    I suggest you envoy your bodyguard at Mr. Belley to remind him that we impose our vision, regardless of the resistance. In the silencing permanently will go away these types of blogs as quickly as Anglophones and Allophones in Quebec, making our ultimate goal more easily accessible. ET LE BUT!!!

    Loving yours,

    Bernard Matte”

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Gomez has had talks “feelers” with European teams. He will not be playing for the Alaskan Aces this year.


    • Kooch7800 says:

      I don’t feel bad for the stars of the league. I do feel bad though for the guys who are on one year deals like Ryan White, Joey Crabb (as in the article) Matt Darche…..etc. With the cap the stars make the big bucks and the bottom six guys fight for their jobs and get shuffled around the league regularly.

      Do the players make way too much cash….no doubt in my mind. Do the owners set the Bar, 100% they do. I do feel that this speaks to the size of the league as well. With only so many superstars out there and so much parity in the league you have to try and steal them away with insane contracts and term which just sets the bar for other players and makes everything rise.

      The owners needs to straighten up their end and how contracts are done cause I don’t see them as a unified group at all. The owners are looking for the players to pay for their mistakes IMHO

      Buckle up this is going to be a long lockout.

  52. geo_habsgo says:

    All this news coming in on players being in great game shape gives me hope that if there is a season the Habs won’t be bottom feeders. Last season was an aberration. With all the third period letdowns and all those overtime games blown we would have been a middle of the pack team instead of a bottom feeding one.

    The Habs didn’t improve a whole lot during the offseason with any of the moves they made but this is a fairly young team and I think that a lot of the personnel seem to have raised the bar for themselves as individuals which should lead to there being a more complete and competitive team on the ice. I am a believer again. Now if only the NHL came on board with my sentiments too :p

    • HardHabits says:

      Thankfully there were all those third period letdowns and overtime games blown which made the Habs a bottom feeding team instead of a middle of the pack.

      Last season was the best thing that could have happened to the Habs. The psychological burden has been lifted.

      All Hail the Tank™!!!

      • geo_habsgo says:

        Haha, I don’t doubt that last season had its benefits. We had a great draft thanks to the Tank™. I just meant that this team was always better than last years finish and should turn things around pretty quickly.

        HH, you should be the teams psychologist. Or long term strategist. Your far seeing vision continues to astound me. :p

  53. --Habs-- says:

    Well! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out this thing isn’t even close to be settled. They must be oceans apart. If the player discussions with the union is determining signing with European teams players surely wouldn’t be disturbing their lives for a month. Even if a player like Max blew everything he had its not like a bank wouldn’t bankroll him for a few years or maybe borrow a million from Mr Molson or maybe go pack some beer bottles for pocket change to get by in exchange 🙂

    Go HABS Go

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’m reading these overseas signings in a similar way. The players may have been told that this is going to be a long stoppage. Sigh.


  54. HabinBurlington says:

    Lars Eller, Louis Leblanc, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov all four of these players got to spend this past offseason training instead of re-habbing. This should be of great benefit to all of them heading into the new season. (Hello new season, where are you?)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I wasn’t expecting much from the Habs this year, buying in to all the naysayers, but all these guys working out an being in good shape is great.

      If there is a season, I definitely think Eller improves again and pushes for a spot on the top two lines. And someone like Leblanc or maybe even Gallagher might step up and score 20 goals. Someone will surprise us.

      The Habs are going to have a real solid bottom two lines for once and some character. They could do a lot better than people think, in my opinion.

      Although, with all these players heading to Europe, it doesn’t look like they’re close to a deal…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Leblanc getting extended time on a scoring line in Hamilton is probably the best thing for him at this point in his development. I am not crazy enough to think he can become a MaxPac, but him playing sporatic minutes on 3rd and 4th lines in JM’s and RC’s “System” was doing him no favours.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          People think they have every line that Therrien is going to play all figured out. I think there is a chance of a total shakeup and maybe it’s not Leblanc or a long-shot in Gallagher that really turns some heads but someone is going to come out of their shell under the fiery new coach.

  55. HabinBurlington says:

    For those wondering about Andrei Markov, apparantly Hockey Agent Dmitri Chesnokov tweeted about a week ago that Markov will not be going to the KHL. Wonder if perhaps he follows the jetstream left by Diaz, Weber and Max by heading to Switzerland, great ski hills for him to continue strengthening the Knee. 🙂

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thats right! He is quite the skier I’ve seen posted. 🙂


      • HabinBurlington says:

        There is always the chance he spends the winter in Miami again with Habsolutely, it is my understanding the two have become an inseperable part of the night life in South Beach Florida. While this may not be the best hockey training, at least we know he is in good hands.

    • Bripro says:

      I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve skied quite a bit in my life, and unless someone’s developed a new style, I fail to see how skiing can help to rehabilitate one’s damaged knee.
      Of course, if he prances as opposed to all-out crashing the gates, then maybe he’ll be a better D for it.
      And if he brings his stick instead of poles, that might help as well.

  56. Hobie Hansen says:

    Reading the Max Pacioretty article makes me appreciate what a welcomed addition he’s been to the team. Cole is right there with him but Pacioretty still has at least a decade of hockey in him and hopefully all of it is with the Habs.

    I’m not racist, a couple European players are among my favorites of all-time, but it sure is nice having a couple big and strong North American players on the 1st line for a change.

    We really haven’t had a North American power forward on the team with a scoring touch since Shayne Corson departed in the late 90’s! How is that even possible???

    Aside from Kovalev who was gifted offensively, we’ve had a bunch of second rate, second liner, mostly Euopean players on the team going on 15 years! And even the North American guys finally brought in by Gainey were smurfs.

    I was wondering for years why virtually every NHL club, aside from the Habs, had a collection of tough and talented North Americans on their top lines. I was baffled and was wondering if things were ever going to change?

    Pacioretty and Cole are beauties!

  57. neumann103 says:

    Omnibus post

    When I read this article I immediately thought of:

    what HabFab said about Eller and PK getting big (and you could add Leblanc and possibly others into the no-longer-Smurfs category.

    What Gerald said about it being interesting that MaxPac’s Russian wife was not enough to incent to him to play in the KHL. You often hear that cultural impact on families is a big part of the downside. Surely Max has picked up a little Russian (rimshot!). Is it a commentary on just how unpalatable the K may be?

    What Chris said about Kevin Constantine. While obviously I am very happy about Pacioretty’s recovery and season his defenisive game is an issue. Not so much weak as just not there at all. If that line did not get all the protected starts, or more likely is now on the radar to line match he is going to have to do better. Last year that line would have been in huge defensive trouble if Erik Cole did not play such a 200 foot game. I think Pacioretty has it in him,but he has never been forced to amp up that part of the game.
    Also surprised that Constantine has not had an NHL gig. He wouldn’t last anywhere more than 2.5 seasons because a demanding coach like that will lose enough of the room over time by being demanding. But either as a counterpoint to a previous “player’s coach” or on a team with a bunch of kids I think he could be really effective.

    “Et le but!”

  58. otisfxu says:

    Looks quite evident that the lockout is here to stay. I can’t see players heading across the ocean if this thing was going to be short lived.
    If you want to stay in shape you can do that at your local arena.
    You don’t move to Europe to stay in shape, and risk getting hurt playing in real games, if the season was only going to be on a 3-4 week delay.
    I think there is a lot more to this than revenue sharing. There were lots of things that came back to bite the owners in the butt in the last CBA. Yes some things they brought on themselves, which is why I think this time they want all their t’s crossed and i’s dotted with respect to salaries, contracts, player movement, free agency .
    The even bigger issue that is going to crop up here, is going to be the length of a new deal. Players might agree with a short term fix, but I don’t think they will agree to a long term deal if they are going to get the short end of the stick (no pun intended). If owners are going to attempt a complete fix-all, then good luck getting players on board for a 6-7 year agreement. We could be sans hockey for a long time.

  59. commandant says:

    Today I look at the OHL’s Eastern Conference, home to Sean Monahan and the Ottawa 67s, the Subban Brothers in Belleville, Schiefele and the Barrie Colts, and Ryan Kujawinski and the Kingston Frontenacs


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

    • Duke_Rauol says:

      Kujawinski is from Iroquois Falls, about a half hour from where i live, wacthced him play Bantam hockey and he dominated. For a while it looked like he may not go south and play jr, im sure glad he did, hes got a slot of skills and could go far.

      We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

    • Chris says:

      Hey Ben…missed the first half of this. Have to express some suprise at the Rangers landing the favourite status in your Western Conference analysis.

      London ran away with the division title last season despite a relatively young team. While they did lose some key players, they still have a great balance of strong “veterans” to go with another year of experience on their young core. Hard to see that team taking a big step backwards.

      Kitchener and London, as seems to be the case every year, have the added misfortune of playing in a very strong division. Guelph should be much stronger this year, and Owen Sound remain strong contenders even if last season was probably their best shot. Those four teams beat each other up, and when you throw in Plymouth as well, the Western Conference seems to be poised to claim the OHL championship for the 11th time in the past 12 years.

      • commandant says:

        Absolutely the West is much stronger than the East.

        The East is full of Parity and I don’t give many of those teams a shot to compete with the West.

        Owen Sound and Guelph are on par with Belleville. I’ve got Belleville winning the East. I have them 4th and 5th in the West. That should tell you what I think of the two conferences.

        As for London vs Kitchener…. as I said in the piece. The edge is in goal. I’m not confident London replaced Houser, while Gibson will compete with Malcolm Subban for the top goalie in the league.

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

  60. JayK-47 says:

    PSN Online GM league at 6 peeps now. Search HIO Cup to join!

    (random rosters, join early to pick your team)

    • Duke_Rauol says:

      JayK, i noticed some peeps are playing games, are we suppose to start? Or wait for more GM’s?

      We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

      • JayK-47 says:

        Play the games! It’s just you vs the CPU and it’s pretty good. Just no trading with a CPU yet, I’ll decline the trade unless it’s with a human partner for now.

  61. HabsPEI31 says:

    I see comments below from others on Gomez, but I have yet to see an article on him, or at least relatively recent. Mind, it would be a change from previous years’ pre-season articles, where it’s all about his physical shape for the season…small pear is a shape…

    Anybody have any recent articles on Gomer? I love how in NHL 13, Gomez starts the game in the AHL.

    “Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

  62. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day Nine
    It’s time this country revisited the Canadian Bill of Rights. Here’s what it has to say, in part:
    “It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,
    (a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;
    (b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law;
    (c) freedom of religion;
    (d) freedom of speech;
    (e) freedom of assembly and association; and
    (f) freedom of the press.”
    You see it, too, don’t you. There’s no “right of the individual to enjoyment of National Hockey League games beginning in October of each year and concluding in June of the next, without fear of interruption or manipulation by the stewards of Canada’s national pastime and defining characteristic.”
    It’s time to make things right (and with the government we have now, that shouldn’t be too hard; we’ve never had a government that’s been so right).
    So what’s to be done? Nationalize the National Hockey League, of course. (Transitional costs would be minimal. You could use the same logo, for Nationalized Hockey League.)
    It’s bad enough the federal government doesn’t care about letting one of the country’s larger energy producers fall into the hands of a Chinese state-owned enterprise, but surely it sees the need to take action to protect Canada’s most precious resource. Especially if it’s philosophically not opposed to state-owned enterprises.
    The feds won’t need to take over all 30 teams, just the seven in Canada. Make them the Original Seven. Enough to make a viable league. With lots of room for expansion (just think of the votes to be won in Quebec!).
    O what a glorious final chapter that would be to the history of hockey the prime minister is writing.
    And all he’d have to do is slip a line or two into his government’s next omnibus bill.
    Which just happens to be this fall.
    Talk about perfect timing.

  63. Geo, we changed the layout of the site a bit..what do you think?

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Hey Telio!

      It is definitely an improved layout. It is a little cleaner now and easier to follow. I think over time as you keep tinkering with it that the layout will gradually get better.

      The only thing I would say is that I found it hard to scroll up and down the page. I don’t know if that is a problem with the site because of the amount of content on the page or if it is just my laptop not handling the page well but I thought it was at least worth a mention in case others had the same problem.

      Overall, good work. With each little bit of tinkering you’re doing to the site it is looking a little more polished and professional. Keep it up!

  64. Phil C says:

    219 lbs and 8% body fat, seriously? The guy is going to tear it up if they can get back to NHL hockey. Best signing of the summer in the entire league.

  65. HabFab says:

    So Patches up to 219, PK to 220 and Eller over 210. Where have the smurfs gone to?

  66. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting that Max chose the Swiss league rather than the KHL given his wife is of Russian descent. I like the choice as it is my impression the league is not as physical as the KHL. Specifically I can’t remember the teams name, but there is one particular team in the KHL who essentially model themselves after the 70’s Broad Street Bullies and it is fight night for all their games. While the quality of players is most likely higher in the KHL, I think the opportunity for injury may be higher in the K over the Swiss League.

    As for the Gomez talk, i missed the interview where he unequivocally states he is more concerned with the potential rollback than recessitating his career. Could be the fact a European team needs to want him, there is the insurance of his contract among other factors also.

    I would like to see Gomez play for a team in this lockout also, but am not yet prepared to state he has chosen not to go. Maybe Mr. Stubbs can put a call into the agent for Gomez and find out what his lockout plans are.

    • HabFab says:

      As for “the Gomez talk”, you missed the first of that comment…”I’m just thinking”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand the frustration with the guy, but seems people know insights about his choices pretty good. Not so sure I misread.

        • HabFab says:

          Ahhh! Sarcasm and it went right over —————->

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Yah, after I hit submit, I realized you got me Frank…. sheesh this lack of NHL is really getting to me. Have a good day sir.

        • jon514 says:

          At the end of the day he’s a professional who has had 2 terrible seasons in a row. His career is in a downward spiral. Everyone had him pegged to play as a loner to another AHL team next season. Until we actually hear about a guy signing to play, he’s chosen not to play.

    • jon514 says:

      You’re right, maybe he wants to go. As for “the interview”, I think actions speak louder than words. Good for him if he goes, but I doubt he will.

      Six players now, including Kaberle, who people on this site ridicule constantly, have found a way to get it done. I think, and yeah I don’t know, but I think if one of the wealthiest players in the league was really into it, he would have figured it out by now.

    • Mad Habber says:

      I gomez goes to europe I hope it is a 3-4 year deal…

  67. JoeC says:

    Even teams in Europe wouldn’t touch Gomez

    • jon514 says:

      Might be true, but I think his speed and skill would play really well in the wider European rinks. I actually think he could make a big splash, but I also think he’s got no heart.

  68. jon514 says:

    I’m just thinking, if there’s any player who should be playing overseas, trying to fix the kinks in his game… Scott Gomez anyone? If this guy was passionate in the least about hockey anymore, he would be in Europe trying to prove that he can make a comeback when play resumes. But we all know he’s more concerned about having his salary rolled back right?

  69. jon514 says:

    Oh man, with no nhl hockey to look forward to, I wish I could watch the swiss and czech games. Good on you Max! Keep it going. Keep in shape. Don’t get too caught up in the bull.

    Max is going to be our Iginla!

  70. Chris says:

    This could be a very good thing to come out of the unfortunate lockout. Kevin Constantine is an excellent hockey coach, and he has historically taught his players to tighten up defensively, the one glaring weakness in Pacioretty’s game at the moment.

    I’ve always wondered why Constantine has been looked over since his stint in the NHL in the 1990’s. He turned the Sharks around, their 58 point improvement in his first season at the helm still an NHL record. He coached in Pittsburgh and New Jersey but hasn’t been given a shot since 2003.

    In the meantime, he coached the expansion Everett Silvertips to post the best inaugural season in CHL history, before posting some good seasons in the AHL with the Houston Aeros.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Chris, agree and was going to type similar themed post until I saw you already had it covered. It is important that these players don’t go to teams where they pick up bad habits etc… As I recall Constantine was pretty detail oriented and held his players accountable.

  71. geo_habsgo says:

    First! 😀

    • Clay says:

      You must be proud. I’m sure your mother is too – I assume you called her to inform her of your incredible feat?

      ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

      • geo_habsgo says:

        I need constant validation in my life so of course I did. I also took a screenshot of this and put it on instagram so everyone I know could see.

        I only hope that you can one day know what it feels like to be such a winner!

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