HIO hits 1-million comment mark; annual Summit set for Oct. 26

The Hockey Inside/Out website was launched in November 2006 as habsinsideout.com and on Thursday we hit the 1-million mark in comments from Habs fans.

The site averages about 1.75 million page views per month during the hockey season and had 1,029,547 page views in July when there was no hockey being played.

But as all Habs fans know, hockey is a 12-month-a-year sport.

Comment No. 1,000,000 came from Newf_Habster at 11:59 a.m., shortly after the Canadiens announced they had reached an agreement on a one-year contract with free-agent defenceman Douglas Murray, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder who split last season with the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Murray vs. Parros” Newf_Habster commented, while posting a link to a YouTube fight between Murray and George Parros from April 2009. “Now they are teammates! LOL”

The Canadiens acquired Parros, a 6-foot-5, 228-pound enforcer, from the Florida Panthers this summer.

Newf_Habster’s real name is Darryl Hackett, and he has been a Habs fan “since I came out of my mother’s womb.” The 47-year-old moved from Newfoundland and Labrador to Ottawa in 2001 and says he visits the HIO site a few times every day during the season and a few times every week during the off-season.

“HIO is where many of the most compassionate Habs fans converge to discuss on different news articles concerning our beloved team, and I enjoy reading and engaging in some discussions with them,” Hackett, who is deaf, responded in an email exchange after learning he had posted comment No. 1,000,000. “As a fellow Habs fan, I appreciate their love and compassion, which should not be undermined and/or underestimated. They are simply the best fans in any league in the world, so that is why I proudly enjoy being among them.”

Hackett’s favourite player is P.K. Subban.

“He is the most exciting Habs player that I had ever seen since Guy Lafleur, who is still my all-time Habs idol,” Hackett wrote in an email.

The HIO site, which was the idea of former Gazette editor-in-chief Andrew Phillips, launched on Nov. 24, 2006, when Phillips wrote:

“The Montreal Canadiens have been our city’s favourite team as long as anyone can remember, and The Gazette has had the best team of hockey writers for just about as long. Starting today, there’s a whole new way to keep up with the Habs and take advantage of The Gazette’s edge in hockey writing and reporting. It’s called Habs Inside/Out, and it’s a website that offers fans of the Canadiens ‘absolutely everything’ about the greatest hockey team in the world. It’s one-stop shopping for Habs fans.”

Last year’s annual Hockey Inside/Out Summit had to be cancelled because of the NHL lockout, but the event will return this year and is slated for Saturday, Oct. 26, when the San Jose Sharks visit the Bell Centre. (The photo above is from the first HIO Summit in October 2007.)

HIO member Ian Cobb, who organizes the Summit every year, says that more than 175 HIO members will be attending this year’s event, which will kick off on Friday, Oct. 25 with a get-together at Hurley’s Irish Pub on Crescent St., with fans encouraged to wear their bleu-blanc-rouge colours.

An HIO breakfast is scheduled for the next morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Chez Cora restaurant, located at 1240 Drummond St., followed by a trip to the Canadiens Hall of Fame and a Bell Centre Tour. A pregame meal is planned for the Baton Rouge restaurant beside the Bell Centre (1050 de la Montagne).

After the game, the HIO members will get together again at Hurley’s, where the second floor will be reserved for the group.

Noted Cobb: “Everything is walking distance, so park your car for the weekend. Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this year’s summit.”

Cobb, a 69-year-old lifetime Habs fan who grew up in St. Lambert and now lives in Belleville, Ont., said that the HIO Summit attracts “people from all different walks of life … so it’s always fun.”

“One guy comes from France every year … and he says he’s coming,” Cobb added. ”There’s a couple coming from Northern California … so it’s pretty much the whole North American continent. We have some people from the Yukon … one of them’s coming, I don’t know if the other ones are or not.”

Cobb says his favourite part of the annual Summit is “just meeting the people.”

“I’m a people guy,” he said. “I had five families (from the HIO group) drop by here (at his home) this summer on vacation. It’s kind of neat.”

Organizing the Summit is a lot of work for Cobb, “but it’s payback,” he said, recalling the days when other HIO members helped teach him to read and write.

Despite being dyslexic, which led to illiteracy until his late 50s, Cobb put together a successful business career, including running a fox and mink ranch in New Brunswick and developing a feed formula he sold to Ralston Purina. He says he managed to hide his illiteracy throughout his business career, only revealing his secret after former Canadiens coach Jacques Demers announced he battled illiteracy in 2005 in a biography titled Jacques Demers: En Toutes Lettres.

“After Jacques came out of the closet, I figured what the hell,” Cobb said. “Financially I didn’t need to bull—anymore.”

You can get more information on the HIO Summit from a Facebook page set up for it by clicking here.

Below is a column Mike Boone wrote about Cobb back in 2008:

(Gazette file photo/Tyrel Featherstone)

Fansite turns teaching tool

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON NOV. 24, 2008

MIKE BOONE
THE GAZETTE

This is the heartwarming story of a former dead-end kid who found friendship and happiness on the Internet.

No, Ian Cobb’s favourite site isn’t kinky.

It’s hockey.

Cobb is a resident of Belleville, Ont., who has spent most of his 65 years concealing a secret. He couldn’t read or write. About 18 months ago, he discovered Habs Inside/Out, where the words began to make sense because Cobb cared about what Dave Stubbs, Pat Hickey and I were writing.

We’re not making outlandish claims here. The Gazette’s Canadiens fansite can’t bring eyesight to the blind. It can’t cure cancer.

But Habs I/O helped Ian Cobb. And he’s given back by posting countless comments and by becoming one of the primary organizers of the second annual Habs Inside/Out Summit, which brought about 80 fans to the Bell Centre for the Oct. 25 game against Anaheim.

The Canadiens lost that night, but Cobb’s enthusiasm was undiminished.

A typical post: “Boys and girls! We don’t need anyone to tell us that we have a shot at the Cup this year. We, the most perceptive and most informative hockey fans in the world, have been treated and shown how this game is to be played and won for 100 years. We recognize quality and expect performance, from management to throughout the organization …”

Here’s how Cobb describes himself in his Habs Inside/Out profile: “Born in Montreal … Worked many different jobs around Mtl. as a kid, later went working pipeline construction as a labourer, equipment operator and scuba diver for oil & gas co’s … owned and operated two corporations in three provinces, illiterate until my late 50s. Raised three children, retired 10 years ago as just your average millionaire, drive school bus and read and write on Inside/Out, learning here every day with friends!!!”

That’s the bare-bones outline. As he’s told me over too many beers at Habs I/O Summits I and II and in a phone conversation last week, Cobb has done a lot of living since his youth in South Shore St. Lambert.

“My dad was a welder, a church-going man and all that kind of stuff,” Cobb recalls. “He didn’t know why his son couldn’t read or write.

“I felt I let the family down.

I walked around with different inferiority complexes, pissed the bed till I was 12. I was scared to go to school and got strapped every day.”

Neither his father nor his teachers knew that Cobb was dyslexic. In the absence of a diagnosis and special-needs instruction, he stumbled along, repeating Grades 5 and 6.

“I got to know everyone in high school,” Cobb recalls, “because they all went by me.”

He dropped out without finishing elementary school. Cobb was illiterate, but “I could bulls— with the best of them, and I learned how to do that.”

How good was Cobb at concealing his disability?

“My wife of 30 years never knew I couldn’t read or write,” he says.

But, as Cobb’s posted CV indicates, he could do a variety of jobs that didn’t require literacy. He was a teenager, washing dishes at a restaurant near the Forum, when Danny Gallivan took a shine to him and set up Cobb with a room at the downtown YMCA and various odd jobs around the Forum.

“Boom-Boom Geoffrion had a big blue station wagon,” Cobb recalls, “and I used to start it up for him on cold days.”

While living at the Y, Cobb would hang out at the Sir George Williams University library in the adjoining building on Drummond St. He couldn’t read the books, but he liked to look at the pictures.

Fiercely proud of “never taking a friggin’ handout in my life,” Cobb reels off a long list of work experiences that took him from the dress-alteration department at Sears to pipeline construction in Alberta and Kentucky to a jail cell in Oregon (it’s a long story, involving papers that were not in order).

“I’d go with the flow,” Cobb says. “My first trip out west was riding the freight cars.”

The constant was Cobb’s ability to live by his wits, without benefit of the alphabet. He didn’t have to be literate to run a ranch in New Brunswick, where Cobb had 2,000 silver foxes and 36,000 minks, breeding animals to supply furriers on Mayor St. in Montreal and developing a feed formula he sold to Ralston Purina.

Another constant: passion for hockey. Since moving to Belleville in 1993, Cobb has billeted players – including Dan Cleary and Jonathan Cheechoo – for the OHL’s Bulls.

Cobb was living with a woman who helped him with dyslexia and following the Canadiens at a distance when he stumbled on Habs Inside/Out.

“My first post to the site, I didn’t even know how to use Spell Check,” he says.

There have been maybe 500 posts since – all knowledgeable, none a literary classic.

“I’d get up in the morning and go on Habs Inside/out,” he says, “and I didn’t know how to go on another site. I had a dictionary, my partner and everybody on the site giving me help.

“I didn’t have to look anyone in the eye and feel my face go red every time I screwed up a word. It was so exciting to be able to communicate.

“I learned to read and write on Habs Inside/out. There’s no doubt about it.”

Below: Gazette’s Allen McInnis photographs HIO founding contributors Sid Banerjee (left), Mike Boone (centre) and Dave Stubbs in the Canadiens dressing room in November 2006, for the launch of the website. The Habs loaned us all Alexander Perezhogin sticks, and we posed in front of the stalls of Mike Komisarek, Mathieu Dandenault, Craig Rivet and Sheldon Souray. Whatever…

AMC06 1121 Habs Web 1

687 Comments

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  2. frontenac1 says:

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  3. Ian Cobb says:

    Douglas Murray flattens Brian Boyle
    http://goha.bs/16Weu9I

    A couple of these might make the Bell Center a place not so soft anymore.!!

    • Ian Cobb says:

      This is going to be a lot different team than we have had in Montreal for many years. I will be taking my camper to the Brossard parking lot for roster camp again.
      Maybe Michel Therrien will ask me to help pick this years roster.!

  4. durocher says:

    MB should get rid of Diaz and Moen. With Emelin out of the lineup, here’s what I’d do:

    Markov-Subban
    Murray-Gorges
    Cube-Tinordi
    PP1: Markov-Subban
    PP2: Cube-Gorges
    PK1: Gorges-Subban
    PK2: Murray-Cube

    Emelin in:
    Gorges-Subban
    Markov-Emelin
    Murray-Tinordi
    PP1: Markov-Subban
    PP2: Emelin-Gorges
    PK1: Gorges-Subban
    PK2: Murray-Emelin

  5. frontenac1 says:

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  6. JTT says:

    I would classify Pacioretty, Galchenyuk as elite power forwards. Galchenyuk because he has only played 48 games in the NHL and has shown signs of being a real power forward.

    Eller unless it’s from the lack of playing time has not shown he’s a power forward. when he gets as much ice time as Pacioretty and Bourque and can put up 45 – 55 points a season than he’ll have me convinced he’s an elite power forward …

    Lucic is an elite power forward. Don’t compare Eller to him or Galchenyuk right now. Pacioretty yes.

    • sheds88 says:

      Although he has shown all the talent and potential to be an elite forward, Galchenyuk is not an elite forward yet. He has played only 53 NHL games. Calling him an elite forward at this point is a bit of a stretch

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Galchenyuk is hardly a power forward. His game isn’t based on outmuscling other players and driving to the net. Power forwards, in my mind, also tend to have limited hands and passing ability, both of which Galchenyuk has in spades.

      • Luke says:

        Power Forwards can be slick.
        Bertuzzi in his prime had some soft mitts. Rick Nash too…

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          True… then what is a power forward exactly?

          Galchenyuk fits a Toews-Hossa hybrid. Is Hossa considered a power forward? I wouldn’t think Toews is. Galchenyuk’s passing ability definitely makes him fit the bill of a #1 centre, which doesn’t take away from his great wrist shot, and I’ve never usually considered a center to be a power forward (or else it would resemble McKinnon’s game).

        • piper says:

          Chris Stewart is a power forward. We don’t have one on the Habs…Yet. But it looks like MB is going in the right direction and we should have one soon.

  7. frontenac1 says:

    Now that both Murray and Parros are on board, I hope at least one one of them slaps the daylights out of Youppi.

  8. HabFab says:

    In regards to the Murray and Parro signings, I suspect about half a dozen other Habs grew 2 inches and 20 pounds to boot!

  9. HabFab says:

    And from the French press, both Bournival and Dumont determined to make a show;

    http://tvasports.ca/hockey/canadiens/dumont-entend-faire-sa-place-montreal-22082013

    http://www.lapresse.ca/le-nouvelliste/sports/201308/23/01-4682456-bournival-veut-forcer-la-main-du-canadien.php

    Although why the people in France even care is beyond moi … yada yada!

  10. HabFab says:

    The Tri City newspapers story on Price’s busy week;
    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/08/21/2532945/a-busy-week-for-montreal-canadiens.html

    For those too lazy to read, no other Hab players in the wedding party but a half dozen to attend.

  11. Un Canadien errant says:

    Here’s the danger of a too-cozy ‘partnership’ between a sports league and the broadcasters who cover the league:

    The NFL apparently pressured ESPN to drop out of its partnership with PBS’ “Frontline” to produce a two-part documentary on concussions in the NFL. It baffles me what the Ligg might have to fear out of an open and honest discussion about head injuries in pro football.

    http://nfl.si.com/2013/08/23/report-pressure-from-nfl-led-to-espns-disassociation-from-concussion-project-with-pbs/?sct=hp_t2_a2&eref=sihp

    • HabFab says:

      You were looking for HIO Bot, perhaps he is in your neighborhood visiting family?

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Looking for HIO Bot is stretching things, I certainly wouldn’t want it/him/It/Him to (gulp!) find me, I was more interested in knowing how it came down on this issue once it compiled all the data in the universe.

  12. HammerHab says:

    am I the only one who sees putting Diaz on the bottom pair akin to puttung DD on the 4th line? It just doesn’t make sense to me….

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • Luke says:

      If you give him the PP time, then it’s mitigated. Also the D pairs don’t necessarily fall in line, and are used more situationally, than the forward lines are.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      He’ll be one of the three puck-movers with Andrei and P.K., so he’ll have an important role to play. If he is on a third pairing, it’s because we will have three pairs with an offensive and a defensive guy on each pairing, and it makes sense that his pairing would come after the two All-Stars. And as Luke says, he’ll get significant PP minutes.

      • HammerHab says:

        I get the 3 puck movers idea….maybe it’s just me but I like that 3rd pairing to be a total shut down pair to give the offensive guys a rest. I get that Diaz is needed for the 2nd PP, but I have a hard time seeing how he fits in for the future. If my 3rd most talented offensive defenseman was good to great defensively, no problem. But Diaz is below average defensively. He’s ideal as a 2nd pairing guy, but not on this team, that role is filled by Markov. We really have 2 top pairing offensive guys but for many reasons they won’t play the same pairing. Honestly, Markov is a better fit as a 3rd pairing guy since he has the defensive game Diaz lacks. These would be my ideal pairings with everyone healthy:

        Subban (30 mins/game)-Emelin(20-25)
        Diaz(20)-Gorges(20)
        Markov(20-25)-Murray(15)

        PP1 – Subban-Markov
        PP2 – Diaz-?
        PK1 – Subban-Gorges
        PK2 – Markov-Murray

        I also get that Markov & Emelin have chemistry & the language thing going but at some point Emelin should get top pair duties and Subban is an ideal partner. Also, Gorges should not be on the top pairing with Subban. Having Markov & Emelin together cripples the other pairs. Markov needs less icetime while Emelin needs more. Limit his 5 on 5 time and make Markov your special teams guy, keep him fresh for the playoffs.

        ———————————–

        It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          You make good points and I understand a lot of what you’re saying, but I think Raphaël Diaz can still improve, and is being undervalued by the Commentariat. He’s entering his third season, had injury issues, and has only played 80 NHL games so far. As far as not being good defensively, that depends how we define the term. If we mean slugging it out in the corners, then no he isn’t, but if it’s about getting the puck and clearing the zone quickly with a deke and a good first pass, then yes he is. Let’s see how he does this year.

          I’m not sure that a third pairing necessarily needs to be a shutdown pair. I think it happens a lot of time by necessity, since teams can’t find six defenders who can skate and make smart passes, so they have two or three hackers and slashers who play third pairing and second-wave PK. If they could, they’d have 6 All-Stars playing back there.

        • Phil C says:

          Nobody got more PK time than Diaz in the Ottawa series. I would rather see him with Murray than Markov, let Markov focus on the PP. He is a better PKer than most give him credit for. Otherwise, I agree with your special teams.

          • HammerHab says:

            our PK was 76% in the playoffs…..

            ———————————–

            It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  13. Peter Young says:

    Nice to see Ian Cobb get some recognition again. Ian’s 15 minutes of fame has now stretched to several years and no doubt will continue for many more. All that hard work on the summit and on the blog deserves recognition. Well done, Ian!

  14. Strummer says:

    Vin Scully is back for his 65th year broadcasting the Dodgers

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/hall-of-fame-broadcaster-vin-scully-to-return-for-65th-season-with-dodgers/article13934710/

    This made me realize how much I miss Danny Gallivan, one his contemporaries.

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

    • Eddie says:

      I grew up listening to Dave Van Horne and I still hear his voice…

      “…that ball is going to be up, up, and AWAY!!”

      I watch some Dodger games at 10 PM here in Montreal and turn away from the TV to let Scully tell me the “story”. He is a legend.

  15. SmartDog says:

    Here’s Murray against Volpati.
    What’s great about it is the REASON for the fight…. listen to the audio and watch the hole clip. This is what we need… someone to avenge cheap shot artists.

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

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  16. Luke says:

    Josh Gorges just referred to Murray as “BigRig” on the Twitter. So there’s that bit of breaking news…

    man…. second last Friday of Summer, for all intents and purposes, and this one is a grind. Cannot wait for beer o’clock.

  17. SmartDog says:

    Folks, just to be clear I wasn’t really “worried” about Drewiske. I was being sarcastic.

    Sorry to cause such a fluster over something that really doesn’t matter.

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  18. jimmy shaker says:

    The bottom line for MB…..no matter what moves he makes, although I personally think he is making great deals for this team. At the end of the day the saying will go……..as Carey Price goes, so to will the habs! They are looking more and more like a playoff type team with these moves, but again, Carey has to carry this team! We’ll see how strong his back is and how big his britches are in a couple weeks!

    Shaker out!

    • christophor says:

      I hear ya, but a goalie shouldn’t have to carry a team, and a goalie rarely ever carries a team, even though that’s often the prevailing narrative.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Just as the players at forward and defence appreciate Parros and Prust joining the team, I am sure Price will be happy to have a player like Murray on the team and to get Emelin back healthy. Throw in a new goalie coach to help with getting Price back in the right frame of mind, and I am optimistic of him bouncing back.

    • CHasman says:

      I hate to sound negative but you are right! A team can’t win regularly without top notch goaltending. Price has been good to great at times but he needs to be consistently good. I really hope this is the year for him because it will make for a great season if it is. If not, who knows.

    • habstrinifan says:

      As I posted yesterday, I think this is one year where the saying “as Carey goes so goes the Mtl” will not apply.

  19. on2ndthought says:

    1st: don’t expect the Habs to fight more, one or two heavyweight bouts with Parros/Murray early in the season, then Prust/Moen(give him a break!) and PK a few middleweight scraps. The presence of these heavyweights just means other teams will stay a little calmer.

    #2. You guys are talking about power forwards and elite power forwards interchangeably. Power forwards on our roster right now: Max Pac, Rene Bourque, Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk (still budding). Except for Bourque the other three are or will be near the elite level. For instance of the 3 St.Louis players mentioned, only Backes would get me to give up on Max or Lars, and it would not be enough for Chuk. Add to that Gally’s playing style and Prust/Moen’s ability to play top 6 minutes when needed (albeit not superbly) and we don’t look out-matched except at RW (hence the McCarron thing).

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      I like Lars and Max too, but I wouldn’t call them elite. Max you could say is near elite, provided that’s a broad category. I think elite is thrown around here too willy-nilly.

      Edit: I definitely thought you were implying Max or Lars were elite if not near elite. So I think what I said is supporting your point…. So, well done

    • twilighthours says:

      Patches is big and strong but doesn’t play an aggressive physical game, which I think is a necessary part of being a dominant power forward.

      Relax people, I don’t hate him or want to trade him

    • Eddie says:

      there’s a lot of young talent in Max, Lars, and Galchenyuk.

      but there’s very little “power” in their games.

      guys like Backes, Oshie and Stewart pound defencemen on the forecheck, and they play top 6 minutes.

      Max, Lars, and Galchenyuk are talented, big forwards, who do not use their bodies to wear down defencemen and separate them from the puck.

      different type of players.

      and Prust and Moen are definitely not top 6 players. not even close. Prust can move up to the 3rd line and hold his own – I have a ton of respect for his work ethic and he deserves all the credit he gets for his success. Moen? a big disappointment last season and I hope he can give us 4th line minutes this coming year.

  20. Kooch7800 says:

    I can’t wait till mid season when we have both murray and Emelin in the line up. There will be some nice bone crushers

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  21. youngwun says:

    Murray just said he’s in great shape and ready to play any minutes given. Good news for the Habs .

    • krob1000 says:

      Because Murray is a smart guy this worries me…….

      Great is an adjective meaning: of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average.

    • christophor says:

      Well that’s a relief. I thought he was going to say he’s not in great shape and that he’s come to grips with his declining minutes and efficacy over the last few years.

      But it’s a good thing this isn’t true, because if it is, he would definitely have said so.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I know Arpon said he was out of shape but last year was also a short season and all the announcers talk about how strong this guy is. I think we are really going to like him. He is my fav off season signing

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • christophor says:

          I don’t think the signing is as bad as some do. But I don’t think it’s nearly as good as many here do. That said, I’ll love watching him plaster Bruins, even though I don’t think that will affect the win column positively.

          Edit: Overall, I think the difference between Emeilin and Murray is that one is physical AND a decent d-man while the other is mostly just physical. Still, I hope Murray has a great year and that I come to love the guy.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            It gives the habs something that have had trouble with and that is crease clearing and winning battles in the corners. If used correctly Murray will be a very good addition. When Emelin comes back murray will be on the 3rd pairing and I think that is a pretty good 5th or 6th d man. Having him and Emelin on the back end along with Subban will make people think coming across the blue line

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  22. SmartDog says:

    Sandpaper? You want SANDPAPER?

    Here’s a sandpaper line for ya!
    MURRAY TINORDI
    PRUST WHITE PARROS

    Won’t score any goals. But lotsa sandpaper!

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  23. Bripro says:

    On Drewiske:
    Although he really didn’t impress me upon his arrival, I’m willing to cut him some slack because
    1. he was quite physical during his first game dressed with the CH (but disappeared after that) and
    2. It’s a new season, and perhaps as pointed out below, his was a whirlwind life last season and he deserves some grounding effect.

    This being said, I still don’t understand some of the hate toward the Cube.
    Smaller? no question.
    Older? again… no question.
    But answer me this, who on the team (aside from Prusst and Gallagher) have bigger hearts or try harder?
    He brings everything to every game.
    Is he a top 4. Not any more.
    But he’s a true team player, and a very good mentor for the young guys as well as a true example of what it takes when you lack size.

    I’ll cut Drewiske some slack…..for now. But do the same for Bouillon.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I like the cube as well but he isn’t the same player he once was but he can be useful still. As a 5th or 6th I like the cube but I hope this is his last season

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m not sure if there that much hate towards Cube, but a lot of posters are looking beyond this season to the next, and taking his contribution this year as negligible. I think Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien saw him as the proverbial ‘bird in hand’, they sewed him up last season for this season, with an eye at the big board, hoping that the youths in Hamilton are ready in 2014. It’s a no-brainer.

      I’m not expecting him to play first pairing minutes, but he’s a good fit on the team as a veteran third-pairing guy, he’s on a one-year cheap contract, he’ll work his butt off, so we certainly agree on that.

  24. Un Canadien errant says:

    I see Eddie and Shiram talking about toughness in the Top 6, and how tough it is to find that type of player, and it reminded me of an article by Derek Zona when he argues that true power forwards, who can bang and score, are sighted as frequently as Big Foot.

    A roster fix via the vaunted “power forward” is nearly impossible. The players in this mold are extremely rare and the ones that do actually exist come with a heavy cap number. Their trade cost is just about priceless. Beyond that, the guys that fit this mold aren’t necessarily dynamic scorers…

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/8/18/4625210/power-forwards-in-the-nhl-rare

    So we sometimes see a post from someone demanding that we add a forward who can “take care of” Milan Lucic, but “has skills though”. Mr. Zona’s article reinforces the fact that you can’t just go to Costco and load up on these guys, you roll the dice at the draft and hope that you luck into them, as we did with Max.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake..–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  25. krob1000 says:

    Re Drewiskie…I don’t think many have an issue with him as a depth guy….we have to remember there is more to the NHL than games…practices are very important too and many times players are too hurt to practice and they need healty guys to fill in for certain drills,etc. Also the regulars need healthy competition at practice…having guys who are as talented as possible, great character guys who will look at their situation positiviely and bring forth an honest effort every day knowing they will not play helps the team as a whole as well. Blunden is another example of someone like this.

    When the numbers are too high he can go to the AHL and be a great mentor type guy and in a pinch he can play NHL minutes.
    Those fringe players may not be able to bring a team over the hump but if they are negative or become a distraction demanding time it can definitely bring a good team down…very quickly.

    • on2ndthought says:

      That is a true definition of character, and it sounds like MB has done a fine job on that count, as well. (besides $600,000 is still not chicken feed)

      “a cannonading drive”

  26. Maritime Ronn says:

    Re Drewiske

    The ‘Habs management jury’ – the only one that really counts, may still give Drewiske a long hard look.

    He only played 9 games for the Habs, and in 1 of those games in a win over Boston, played 28 shifts for 23:50.
    The rest of his other games he played between 15-19 minutes before being sat with 4 games left in the season and never seeing playing time again.
    He had 1 goal/1 assist and was EVEN.

    He came from an Suter LA conventional D system, to something completely foreign in MT’s system along with trying to get to know his D partners and the rest of the players on the team.

    A full training camp and exhibition games should sort things out.

    If by chance he ends up 8th-9th Dman and can’t be traded, or if the Habs send him down, the effect on the Habs Cap will be zero with the new CBA formula.

    His Cap Hit for the next 2 years is $637,500.
    His NHL AND AHL Salaries will be:
    2013-14: $625,000
    2014-15: $650,000

    He has a 1 way contract.
    If Drewiske were to pass waivers, the Habs would have to pay him the above Salary in Hamilton, but the Cap Hit would be nothing.

    A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows:
    Player Cap hit – [ NHL minimum salary ($550,000) + $375,000 ]

    http://www.capgeek.com/new-cba/

    • Luke says:

      I do not understand how or why Drewiske has caused so much hand wringing.
      As you say, at best he finds a role, and has minimal impact on the Cap. At worst he vanishes and has no impact on the Cap.

      He’s the last guy on the Depth Chart. I’m glad it’s a 6’2″ 200 pounder making $637k, not a 5’10″ 177 pounder making $750k.

  27. Say Ash says:

    “Douglas Murray is one of the inventors of the UberTap, a hands-free dispensing system that allows you to pour three beers at a time and drain a keg five times faster than a traditional tap.”

    I think I’m in love.

  28. Un Canadien errant says:

    What’s HIO Bot’s take on the signing of Douglas Murray? I would think that this would dovetail with its machine language, programmed as it was to demand the acquisition of size and physicality, and to amalgamate the public weal. But then again, since it acquired sentience, its pronouncements have been less predictable. It seems to weight heavily the most recent chorus from HIO, and we already have a break in the ranks, those who are concerned that Mr. Murray may not be in tip top shape.

    Last season was a lockout season, and for a long while it did look like Gary Bettman would Leask-manoeuvre the season. He seemed dead set on scuttling the ship and going down with it as opposed to letting it fall in enemy hands. Bill ‘The Hill’ Daly was channeling George Armstrong Custer. In that climate, I don’t begrudge any veteran who took his foot off the gas with regards to his dryland summer training, and decided to give his body a break.

    Further, what little I know of Douglas Murray, there have often been whispers that his listed weight is a few pounds shy of the actual total on the scale, in the same manner as some more gargantuan offensive linemen, or Dustin Byfuglien. Modesty imposes. Watching Canucks games, you’d hear the announcers chortle at his massive size, but not in a negative way, more in an awestruck, ‘I wish he were ours’ manner.

    So I have no reason to doubt Arpon Basu when he states that Douglas Murray carries a spare tire around his mid-section. I’m not sure if it’s a one-year, lockout thing, and that he’ll be more trim this training camp, or just his now-normal playing weight.

    As much as I love it when players are workout warriors like P.K. or Max, it’s normal that some players are a little less dedicated to the gym. There’ll be a range in that regard, some coming in jacked like Lars, and some who work kind of hard but don’t really know how to get these results, or care to. It takes all kinds. If Douglas Murray found that he can be effective being a little heavier, he may have had no reason to change his formula. We’ve all played with guys who weren’t Men’s Fitness cover models, but were the best once on the ice or field.

    Anyway, my only strong image of Douglas Murray was during last season’s playoffs, when he was handling the puck behind his net, and an opposition forward wheeled around the other side and tried to bodycheck him. And it wasn’t really like he hit a brick wall, since he didn’t hit Mr. Murray and just crumple at his feet or deflect off him, but more like he’d shouldered into a trampoline, he literally bounced backwards. So maybe the ten or twenty extra pounds he carries ensure that he’s an immovable object, and there won’t be any irresistible forces.

    ———————————————————————–
    … you know, because there’s no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake..–Bill Simmons

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      The benefit of the doubt should be given to the player and not some out of touch reporter that believes he knows better.
      Murray said he has been in Sweden all summer?
      Was the reporter there, and did he follow him around?

      From my understanding, all players are given summer physical regimes to follow and weight/body fat and other body targets to meet. This is all measured at the training camp ‘physicals.’
      Unless you are a superstar and not a bubble player, you had better show up in shape.

      Surely the Habs management team did their ‘character homework’ and it would be hard to believe they signed a Byfuglien.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It’s not a right or wrong issue in my mind. I think Arpon Basu is reliable in what he reports. It’s even possible that Douglas Murray, seeing that his career is winding down, and his contract dollars are relatively meager this season, may not kill himself in the gym this summer. But it may not have that big an impact on his game, which is predicated on playing positional hockey, and being big, tough and mean. Having an extra doughnut around the waist won’t detract from his game too much, but it would in Scott Gomez’ case or Benoit Pouliot’s.

        • krob1000 says:

          People said the same about Emelin….his pictures were less than flattering …also a member of the spare tire club…
          Also, players lose weight typically over the course of the season so any player that relies on his size may sometimes wish to work it off slower instead of coming out of the gates in shape and then fading. Hitters rely on mass, momentum and leverage..as long as his skating is not a visible deficiency …he can eat what he wants. The extra few pounds may slow a speedy guy down and eliminate his first step…a guy like Murray doesn’t gamble and is a stay at home guy who physically punishes…that weight to him can be an asset assuming the rest of his conditioing is fine.

          I have seen many a UFC fighter and boxer who look out of shape but go al out for extended periods of time in bouts or matches where an average slim person would be winded after a minute or two

  29. Hobie Hansen says:

    @Shiram regarding the size on the forward lines.

    As you know, I’m a big proponent of size and toughness. If you’ve got two guys of equal ability, more often than not you take the bigger guy.

    Is there a problem with the Habs size at the forward position, absolutely! I think the major size problem over the last few years has been with the defence though. We could use another two guys like Pacioretty and Bourque but now that we’ve got some size on the back end the situation isn’t as bad.

    Not only were we losing battles in the other teams’ end but we’d have guys like Diaz, Weber, Markov, Spacek, Gorges, Campolli, St. Denis and a couple other getting pushed off the puck in our end. We were getting pushed around allover the ice!

    Today however, We’ve got guys like Murray, Emelin, Tinordi in the works, Subban is solid! And we’ve also got a 4th line that can be pretty physical, plus Prust!

    So at least the moral of the team is changing. Before Prust arrived and with the additions of Murray and Parros, we were getting hit off the puck, beaten up and on every telecast or report it was mentioned over and over on how the Habs were way too small and had zero toughness.

    The players were all well aware of that and if people don’t think getting beat up and pushed around night after night has a large negative effect on a team, they’re crazy.

    There’s a new mentality on this team and if people start laying the lumber on Briere, Desharnais, Gallagher, instead of having just Moen or maybe White if he’s dressed, they’re going to have Prust, Parros or Murray coming at them as well. It will do wonders for the team confidence, trust me!

    The Bruins are bastards, we all agree on that. But part of the reason they’re so successful is they all have each others backs and if somebody take liberties with one of their players, five guys will be lined up to take a shot at him. That is a major boost to team confidence that the Habs now possess!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      You nailled it!

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      “If you’ve got two guys of equal ability, more often than not you take the bigger guy.”

      I don’t think anyone would disagree with this – even those who think the cry for size is disproportionately large. (Caveat: that is, if by ability, you mean skating, puck handling, vision, etc.)

      But as has been repeated ad nauseum, those guys are elite and very hard to draft and find. Most often you’re left with size and very little else. I certainly don’t want a team filled with plugs who literally just take up space. Sure, they can knock guys off pucks, but once they do get the puck they have no clue what to do with it, and generate very little offense.

      So you’re left with the task of choosing players with different strengths and sizes. The Habs happen to have too many of the small forward variety though I would argue only DD is the only one truly out of place on the team (because he’s in the way of Galchenyuk and Eller, and he gets all the prime offensive minutes to himself with no defensive responsibilities all the while being the smallest of small players and he’s playing center and he isn’t a particularly fast skater…).

      Interestingly, the Bruins’ forwards aren’t all these big behemoths. It is on their backend where the size difference occurs. Even then, the gap isn’t that significant (although Chara does make a big difference). It’s more that the Dmen they have are capable of playing a physical, robust game unlike guys like Kaberle, Weber, Gorges, Markov and Diaz.

    • shiram says:

      With Subban, Emelin, Tinordi and for now Murray, I feel the size thing is pretty much wrapped on the D.

      Max is not playing as physical as when Cole was here, but he’s got the size to play where he wants, so it’s a non issue.
      Bourque is great, often overlooked. There was a poll on another website, Clarkson versus René Bourque, had some very interesting comments on there, but the consensus was that Bourque was the better choice when considering both the play and contract.
      Here’s hoping Eller starts where he left off last season, and continues to force Therrien’s hand into playing him more and more.

      I think you’ll love this team in just a few short season, but for now we are still building up to that Cup contender status.

      “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

  30. Habfan10912 says:

    @Ron. Thanks for providing updates on Murray’s interview on TSN690. Did TM happen to ask about Basu’s article questioning his conditioning?

  31. JTT says:

    MB is trying to put a decent team in Montreal not a stanley cup team right now. It takes years to do that. we seen what happened last year in a couple of regular season games and in the playoffs.
    we were beat up like kids in a schoolyard. MB don’t want to see any more of that so he’s putting a team together for now that can compete and not get beat around. Down the road he’ll have a stanley cup team.
    The Leafs, Boston and Philly won’t come to our rink now and think they can run us out. We have some toughness and a team with speed and skill. They’ll have to play a better 60-minutes than us if they’re hoping to go away with 2-points. They’re be no easy games anymore …

    • on2ndthought says:

      Unless a GM says he is rebuilding, he is going for the cup. I know you’re trying to be realistic, but 30 teams hit training camp with the idea of winning one game: the last one of the playoffs.

      “a cannonading drive”

  32. habsguy92 says:

    Markov, Subban, Gorges, Emilen, Murrey, Diaz, Bouillon, Drewiske, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn

    Heres our top 11 D on the depth chart. (not in order) which 6 will play game 82?

    IMO –

    Subban – Gorges
    Emilen – Beaulieu
    Markov – Tinordi

    Scratched/Traded – Murrey, Bouillon, Diaz

  33. SmartDog says:

    What worries me now is, what about Drewiske? Where does he fit?

    ————————————-
    Can you smell what the dog is sniffin?

  34. pmaraw says:

    so…. whats habs1992′s track record? any better than eklund?

  35. IngersollHabFan says:

    A common sense signing. We were a little small in the backend. Gives Tinordi and Beaulieu another year of unhurried development. Average team height and weight improves. Nothing not to like here. As well, a little money left over for another depth signing.

    Its all good!!

    • on2ndthought says:

      ” As well, a little money left over for another depth signing.” or for a late season acquisition for a playoff push. (and don’t forget next years rash of UFA, RFAs.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • habsguy92 says:

      Having Drewiske, Parros, and Murrey as possibilities in the lineup as opposed to Armstrong, Halpern, and Weber, should make a huge difference for the avg height and weight. Any idea if/where that is calculated?

      • Bripro says:

        Sorry, but I would prefer any of the last three over Drewiske.

        • habsguy92 says:

          was only making a point on avg size/weight

          i would prefer halpern, but weber and armstrong are useless

          • Bripro says:

            I’m not strong on any of them, except perhaps Halpern’s abilities as a face-off specialist, but Drewiski is the fist signing I consider a head-scratcher under the MB regime.

          • Habfan10912 says:

            @Bri. Relatively cheap signing so to me its more if a “meh” move. I do think there might be some personal relationship between NB and Drewskie. CHeers bud.

  36. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Douglas Murray about to be on Team 690 with Tony Marinaro.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  37. shiram says:

    I’m all for the toughening of our Habs team, and as such welcome the addition of Murray and Parros, both role players who will see somewhat limited ice time. Murray has a shot at the top 4, mostly because of Emelin’s injury.
    But I still feel an issue remains as pertained to toughness grit an whatnot.
    The Habs top 6 is still very small and non physical.
    Sure Brière has no remorse doing stickwork, and Pleky does it too, but they are not physical players.
    Even Max took a step back from physical play last season.
    Gallagher will go wherever he pleases and is fearless, hopefully it won’t hamper him down the run…
    All that to say I wish we could have got some sand paper on the top 6, but I guess the cheapest way to achieve that is with the draft, hence the McCarron pick.

    Guess Bergevin is still planning for a future Cup, not for one soon.

    “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

    • Eddie says:

      Probably THE most difficult position to fill as a GM is a power forward who plays with an edge and can still skate, pass and score like a top 6. it is very difficult to find.

      Evander Kane is probably my favorite in this group.

      Amazingly, St Louis has 3 excellent power forwards all on the same team in Oshie, Backes, and Chris Stewart. I think St Louis is looking extremely strong going forward – they will compete at the highest levels for the next several years, and they might win a Cup along the way.

      McCarron? – I remain very skeptical that he will skate well enough to keep up, that he will have the hands, the vision, or the “finish” to be considered a top 6 at the NHL level.

      It is extremely a rare breed to find, even in the draft.

      • shiram says:

        I like Simmonds in that mold, but yea those guys are very rare, and they also are injury prone and likely to decline faster than other players.

        “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

        • Eddie says:

          Philly will bounce back big time this coming season. Simmonds is a terrific player, and extremely effective.

          • shiram says:

            Well they are above the cap ceiling right now, so they’ll have to make some small move just to be legit.
            Beyond that, they have to hope one of their backups (Emery/Mason) plays like a starter…
            And I’m not sure what their D needed was Mark Streit…

            “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

          • Chris says:

            Philadelphia can be above the cap, because they can use Pronger’s cap hit each day. It is a dangerous game, but they have done it before.

          • shiram says:

            Always forget about that when looking at capgeek, thanks Chris.

            “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

          • Bripro says:

            Besides, I don’t know how dangerous it really is, since Pronger isn’t coming back.

          • Chris says:

            As you said, Pronger is not coming back. However, Pronger’s cap hit doesn’t come off the books. Instead, the Flyers must overspend the cap each day by an amount equivalent to his daily cap hit to receive the IR cap relief.

            Most teams are loathe to spend right to the cap in case of injuries forcing them to bring in more expensive players, such as first round draft picks or veterans.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        McCarron will most likely be a 3rd liner. I like his size but he is a gamble for a number 1 pick

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  38. HabinBurlington says:

    Pavel Datsyuk cites his Orthodox faith when asked about the Gay Rights issues in Russia.

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2013/8/22/4647280/pavel-datsyuk-gay-rights-red-wings

  39. Sportfan says:

    Kraft Celebration Tour was in a town an hour south west of Montreal (i think) majority wearing Nordiques gear, or showing signs that say bring them back. Will the habs lose 50% of their fans if and when Quebec gets a team?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  40. Sportfan says:

    Lol Canucks wanted Murray they couldn’t get him, so they resign Tanev and Alberts asap!

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  41. Forum Dog says:

    Here’s why I think the defensive corps will be better this year:

    Subban is an elite D-man at 24. He will likely continue to improve and solidify his all-around play this year.

    Markov struggled coming back from 2 years worth of knee surgeries. Barring an injury during summer training, his mobility will be better this year than last. And he has not lost his smarts or puck skills.

    Diaz was excellent last year and showed great defensive improvement compared to his rookie season. He is smallish and somewhat prone to injury, but he is relatively young and could be even better this year if he spent the off-season preparing physically.

    Gorges did not have a great year, but with the emergence of Diaz and the addition of Murray, he may not be asked to log as much time, which is better for a player of his skill-set. He is still a valuable piece who can play 18 minutes and have a positive impact on the team.

    Murray is a good add who can take play a regular shift and take up space around the Montreal net. Guys like Lucic and Clarkson will have a harder time scoring if Murray is putting them off-balance.

    Tinordi got his first taste of the NHL last year and played admirably. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he shows a lot during training camp and makes the opening roster. He is going to be a very good stay-at-home d-man for years to come.

    So that is 6 D. The starting 6 if you ask me, at least until Emelin returns and gets back into game shape (which will only improve the corps). Drewiske and Boullion provide depth, and other youngsters (Beaulieu, Pateryn, Ellis) keep honing their game in the minors.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      with the signing of Murray you will see Tinordi start in Hamilton and only be called up in case of injuries. Drewskie will be the 7th until Emelin is back and then Drewskie will be in Hamilton

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Forum Dog says:

        lol – ten minutes of writing shot down in 2 sentences.

        I still think Tinordi is closer than that. Can’t see why they would keep him in Hamilton all year if he comes to camp ready to go, especially when the type of game he plays is exactly what they need. I like Bouillion, but him Gorges and Diaz in a lineup where Murray is the only beef doesn’t make a tonne of sense, especially if they are trying to improve in that area. You can throw Drewiske in there now and again, but Tinordi showed more as a 20 year old than he did last year.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          Sorry, wasn’t trying to be rude with a short answer. I just don’t see the room for a spot at this point for Tinordi.

          We have 6 guys that I see as locks unless there is an injury and Tinordi is better suited in Hamilton than as a 7th in the NHL. He will get called up during the year as there is always injuries. Don’t forget the Cube and MT are bosom buddies

          Subban -Markov
          Jorges- Murray
          Diaz-Cube
          Drewskie as the 7th

          Our D really lacked Depth last year so this will help now. I also think we will be even better when Emelin comes back

          Subban -Markov
          Diaz- Emelin
          Jorges-Murray
          Cube as the 7th

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • on2ndthought says:

            as Doc359 said below, hopefully Subban is getting 25minutes and Markov is not. Subban Gorges is not as high end, but will leave us with more gas in the tank (if/when) we make the playoffs.

            “a cannonading drive”

          • Forum Dog says:

            Nah, I agree with what you say. It makes more sense to play Bouillion, who has plenty of NHL experience. I just don’t like the idea of Murray being the only muscle and I want to believe that Tinordi is ready to come in and take a full-time spot. You’re right though, it doesn’t make sense for him to be a #7, so the only way he’ll play is if he’s ready for a regular shift.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            @on2ndthought -I would agree that Markov needs less minutes. I was just putting those down as suggestions to show we have 6 D man now and our prospects will only really get called up in case of injury, which will happen.

            @Forum Dog – Tinordi will def play games with the habs this year I just don’t think it will be out of the gate. 82 games is a long season and who knows who will get hurt. I am worried that Diaz may get injured again

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Garbo says:

        Isn’t Drewiske on a one way contract? I could be wrong, but for some reason I thought that was the case.

  42. mrhabby says:

    Grabo signs a 1 year for 3m with Caps plus 1.78m for the buyout from the Leafs…..not to shabby.

  43. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I liked the Murray signing but let’s be realistic about this D:
    PK: RFA Norris Trophy winner
    Gorges: signed long-term, overrated IMO; hopefully he bounces back
    Markov: UFA, excellent on PP but has worsened 5on5; hopefully plays better 5on5
    Emelin: UFA recovering from a bad knee injury
    Diaz: UFA D-man with a good skillset but takes a beating
    Murray: UFA physical D-man with poor mobility
    Boullion: UFA about to retire D-man with heart
    Drewiskie: two-year minimum deal; basic 7th D-man

    This D is in transition to say the least. It could be extremely different by the end of the season or next year depending on how the kids play in Hamilton. All I know is that there is a chance it could get ugly this year…

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Timo says:

      I don’t think anyone has any illusions about Murray’s hockey skills. However, when it comes to choosing between a dman who sucks and can’t throw them and dman that sucks and can, I’ll take a latter in a heartbeat.

      Habs’ D still sucks overall.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Or, if you have to choose a depth defenceman, I’d rather have Douglas Murray to add to this year’s squad, than to have Frédéric St-Denis in Hamilton to back up last year’s squad. As smart and heady as he was with the puck, he was the proverbial ice to the Inuit. Douglas Murray brings what we sorely need. The other guys will cover what he doesn’t bring.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I seemed to recall Gorges playing some good hockey alongside Hal Gill. Wonder if Gorges and Murray together would be a good pairing.

    • Morenz7 says:

      That’s a clear-eyed assessment. It’s good to have what many here refer to as a “crease-clearer,” but ideally that player brings more to the table. Murray is not Orpik or Seidenberg—or even the Douglas Murray who performed so well for SJ in past years. He’s a one-year plug for an obvious hole in the makeup of the team, as it awaits the emergence of excellent prospects.

      That said, I look forward to seeing him confront sh*tbirds like Marchand, Thornton, Ott and Neil. With Murray, Parros, Prust, White and Moen, there’ll finally be enough gunpowder in the lineup on a nightly basis to make the idiots out there think twice. Not that I’m a fan off fighting. I just don’t believe in unilateral disarmament.

    • Phil C says:

      How do you see the pairings? Any combo of Gorges, Markov, and Diaz looked awful last season. Those three do not complement each other for some reason. A traffic cone would look good playing with Subban, so you could pair almost anyone with him and it would work. They have lots of choices for the third pairing, whose minutes and matchups can be managed. But who will be the second pairing, whose minutes cannot really be managed against most good teams? If you send Subban out against Crosby, who do you send out against Malkin? This is where the Habs are still weak.

      Is Murray/Gorges or Murray/Diaz good enough for a second pairing? Murray played top four minutes in SJ in 09-10 and 10-11, so if he shows up in shape…

      If Gorges plays with Subban again, who would play with Markov? It is obvious to me that they will not be able to manage Markov’s minutes. He will have to play in the top four. There is just no one else. How the Habs manage this situation will have a big impact on the outcome of the season.

      • doc359 says:

        I think Markov is a solid Top 4 D-man still. Not a #1, but a very good #3. Murray could maybe fill in until Emelin, or maybe Tinordi proves he deserves a spot next to him.

      • commandant says:

        When Healthy
        Gorges – Subban
        Markov – Emelin
        Murray – Diaz

        To Open season.
        Markov – Subban
        Murray – Gorges
        Tinordi – Diaz

        *that said, Bouillion will probably get more action than I would like

        Go Habs Go!
        Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          Agreed except Tinordi will start in Hamilton. If he plays well then bring him up half-way and deal Murray at the deadline to a desperate GM.

          “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • on2ndthought says:

          or
          PK-Gorges
          Markov-Tinordi
          Diaz Murray

          just replace Tinordi with Emelin when he returns and manage Markov’s minutes that way to start the season (use Diaz-Murray as the 2nd pairing to start)

          “a cannonading drive”

      • on2ndthought says:

        I’m wondering the same thing: to me Diaz-Murray has a complementary feel, but I see it as a third pairing. PK – Gorges would be first and Markov-Emelin a good second pair. If Murray is moved up in Emelin’s absence it would put him on his wrong side, a mistake IMO because he would have to relearn all his positioning and edging skills, not his strength. So to start, do you do Subban Murray? Man, the other team would be checking the ice constantly or regretting it, but does that give too many minutes to Murray? Maybe there will be a ‘PK effect’, similar to the ‘Markov Effect. That leaves Markov-Gorges and Diaz-Franky as the 2nd and 3rd pairings. Not bad, but not thrilling. There is still a chance Drewiske or one of the kids upsets the apple cart.

        “a cannonading drive”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        What’s the minimum NHL salary? ‘Cause I’ll volunteer as P.K.’s traffic cone. I’d even provide some value over and above that. I’m a leftie, so I could make the cross-ice pass to him lickety split, and I’m more the stay-at-home type, so I’d be a good fit.

        Maybe I should demand a flat million…

  44. Strummer says:

    Hulk Hogan and Rob Ford are arm-wrestling live on Sportsnet360

    Hulk walks like a 90 year old
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  45. Maritime Ronn says:

    In the category of, ” Oh, how the mighty have fallen”:

    Brian Burke is joining Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors.

    “I’m really excited,” Burke said Tuesday. “I think it’s a great sport and I think the future of rugby in Canada is really bright.”

    Whatever Rugby Canada does, do not let him be in charge of the budget…or recommend the signing of free agents.


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