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

  1. frontenac1 says:

    So a journalist thinks Crankshaft has some extra “cash”around the midsection? Wasn’t the same thing said about TU-74 a while ago? The extra weight helps with the hits amigos.

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    I really get a kick out of the recent comments that Murray is carrying a spare tire and is out of shape. So did Mr. Basu hang out with Murray this summer? Is he one of the same journalists that believes Emelin to be overweight as well?

    Or perhaps Murray like Emelin has what I call a Farm strong physique. Put me in a tough situation, and I will take the guy with farm strong over gym strong any day of the week. Granted I am bias, I am come from a family of big Farm Strong boys. Got one set of Uncles from my Grandpa’s side of the family, 4 boys, ranging from 6’4 to 6’9″ each a minimum 300lbs. I’ll take those boys with me to any saloon!

  3. Lafleurguy says:

    Not too long ago, Habs defence-of-the-future looked to include Komisarek/Fischer/McDonagh/Valentenko/possibly Emelin/possibly Subban. The three first-rounders aren’t around and what’s worse is asset-management netted nothing in return for them. Unless Tinordi or Beaulieu win a roster spot, there won’t be any first-rounders among this year’s starting six D (unless Murray was a first-rounder).

    “Where’s the Beef?/What’s the Beef?”

  4. Timo says:

    Now, I know that photo of Boone is photoshopped. Looking way too lean in that picture.

  5. Maritime Ronn says:

    Terrific gesture by the ever classy Geoff Molson Habs, and sometimes it’s just not all about hockey.

    MONTRÉAL — The Montreal Canadiens will be participating in a series of events in support of the people of Lac Mégantic, where tragedy struck last July 6. Between September 14 and October 3, the Canadiens will be conducting a fundraising event and acknowledging Lac-Mégantic residents who were on the frontlines of the tragedy and emergency first-responders. All funds generated will be given as a direct contribution to Lac Mégantic, through the Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic. The entire Canadiens organization is doing its part to ensure that people of Lac Mégantic get all the support that they need.

    On September 14, at 1 p.m., the Bell Centre will play host to an informal scrimmage starring Canadiens players divided up between teams Red and White. Habs fans who wish to attend this game will be able to do so for only $5 (taxes included). Tickets will go on sale as of Saturday August 24, at 1 p.m. on the team’s website, canadiens.com and evenko.ca, or through the Bell Centre’s ticket office. Each ticketholder will receive a free hot dog, a bag of chips and a soft drink. Proceeds from this scrimmage game will be donated to the Fonds Avenir Lac-Mégantic

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=680741&navid=DL|MTL|home

  6. Hstands4Hockey says:

    I wonder what the number would be excluding comments that suggest Montreal trade DD.

    ——————————————————————–
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

  7. RH says:

    If only Stubbs, Boone et al got a dollar for every comment….

    • Strummer says:

      With Quebec taxes, they may be able to have lunch with the remainder

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

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’m often guilty of going overboard on the fighting ;-). But before I head out for the day, watching the fight clips of Murray, this guy is so strong that I think he could actually go toe to toe with Lucic!

    Prust has done his best but not once since we’ve been facing the Bruins has anybody even come close to pounding on Lucic. Laraque might have taunted him a bit when he was a rookie but that’s ancient history. I think the Centre Bell would blow it’s roof off if Murray was actually able to land some devastating blows to the chin of Lucic.

    I am so looking forward to the first scrum in front of Price when Lucic tries to bully the Habs players if Murray is on the ice. Parros too actually.

  9. SmartDog says:

    Just a million comments? I’m sure I had 10,000 of those myself.

    What I like about the Murray signing is this team has real depth.
    No, Murray is not going to bring us a cup and there’s nothing to LOVE here.

    But we have a strong pipeline of young players and smartly, while they develop, the team is picking up short-term veteran options at a bargain (at least the English ones are a bargain) to make sure we’re not rushing kids, or running out of bodies in a playoff series.

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

  10. JF says:

    I’d like to see the reactions of some of our players to the Murray signing. I’m betting they’re very positive.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It will be nice to finally have at least have one guy standing in front of Price that won’t have to turn away when the likes of Lucic, Hartnall, Horton or Simmonds start jousting and pushing the Habs around after a whistle.

      It was demoralizing to have to watch guys like Subban or Gorges hope that the linesman immediately stepped in or maybe their 4th line was on the ice. Going on 4 years!

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi JF
      They most likely are…unless you’re one of the Dmen that was going to fight for that 5-6-7 spot.
      Internal competition will make this team good this year. The only position that won’t happen is…well, you know.

  11. Ian Cobb says:

    In his own end he can play the man well, but he is like a fish out of water when the puck is around his feet in his own end. Like I said, we will just see how they use him.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He won’t be as good as the players I am about to mention, but if he can vaguely resemble Craig Ludwig or Mike Lalor that is good for me.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think we’ll see Murray a lot for faceoffs on the Habs side of the ice. We’re not going to see Murray or Markov too often on an even strength draw in the offensive zone because of their slower foot speed getting back to their end. Crazy to say that about Markov but he just can’t get back anymore.

      • doc359 says:

        I have high hopes Markov can play a much better game at more managed minutes.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Managed minutes and not being over worked like he was last year while Subban was out. The whole making Subban earn his ice time for 10-15 games after he returned was also very taxing on Markov.

          We’ve just go to hope that Markov’s knees are stronger after another full summer of conditioning.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Are we witnessing history in the making? Is the current poll regarding Murray, the most lopsided result we have seen?

    • Blade says:

      Perhaps…although a simple yes or no makes it kinda lopsided. A defenceman like him signing for a low risk contract? Kinda hard to say “no” to that poll.

  13. Hobie Hansen says:

    Was listening to Arpon Basu talk some habs on the TSN 690 Montreal yesterday afternoon. The two things that cuagt my attention were his comments about Markov and the newly acquired Murray.

    He stated that for his writeup on the Habs for LNH.com that he ran some numbers on Markov to confirm his suspicions. Markov was on the ice for 45% of ALL 5-5 goals scored against the Habs last year. People trying to blame those numbers on the loss of Emelin are only partially correct, according to Basu, because Markov’s downwards spiral began several weeks before Emelin was injured.

    Markov’s major downfall was he had lost the ability to cover up for his gambles gone wrong. He basically can’t catch a forward who pinches by him on the wall in the neutral zone and cut him off at the pass anymore. Was it case of overworking him early in the season during Subban’s absence or is he pretty much done playing normal minutes 5-5?

    And his comments on Murray were so/so. He basically said Murray isn’t in outstanding shape and carries a spare tire. And he knows cuz he’s in the locker rooms on a regular basis. In saying that though, Basu believes that even with all defencemen healthy that Murray fits in the top 6, probably on the 3rd paring.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Hi Hobie

      A few things here.

      I always believed that Team D consisted of 5 guys + the goalie, and when a goal is scored, you can usually pinpoint several mistakes regardless if the goalie let in a soft one.

      As for Markov’s Time on Ice, you can see that for each 2013 game here:
      http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/m/markoan01/gamelog/2013/

      He had several +25 minute games and as for 5X5 total season play minutes, he was 2nd to only Gorges during the season…so there was a good chance goals would be scored when he was on the ice. And let’s not forget the year end Price meltdown.

      http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132MTLDADALL&sort=evenStrengthTimeOnIce&viewName=timeOnIce

      Lastly, for the last 10 games of the season, Markov’s top D partner was Bouillon – not exaclty Brent Seabrook material. His other D partners were in order, PK and Drewiske.

      http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combos/index.php?season=2012&team=MTL&strength=EV&playertype=D&gametype=10

      With all the rotations, it becomes difficult to get to know your partner. Markov may or may not still be elite.
      We’ll find out this year.

    • habstrinifan says:

      That is the most distressing news I have heard yet on the signing. The spare tire not in shape news. Leaves me less optimistic about the signing. Maybe Bergevin and Mt and Murray have reached an agreement that Murray needs to start ‘working out’ for the start of season. There is still time for him to improve shapewise.

      • Cal says:

        Has Basu followed Murray around this summer?
        Emelin had a “spare tire” last year that everyone here was commenting on. Until he started crushing everyone in his path.

    • formerly known as the hc says:

      One thing to remember aboujt Markov: He sat much of the previous 2 seasons. When combining his KHL experience with his time in Mtl, he played verty close to a full schedule. That, with the number of minutes he played, and the lack of depth on the Habs d-corps… well you can’t be too surprised with the stats. No doubt his best days are behind him, but I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    Good Morning everybody, which GM won Executive of the Year last year. Wasn’t it Shero in Pittsburgh who gave up a fair amount of depth for Murray last year?

    Yes the guys has some shortcomings, most of which are things the rest of this team have in spades. He is not short, he isn’t fast, but does seem to be good enough to remain in the NHL, and be in high demand at trade deadline time.

    Low risk with medium to high payoff, if he can allow a Diaz or Markov to have a bit more space on the ice, good for us.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Hey Bud! I wanted to post somewhere that Murray will be earning less than Emelin, and it’s likely Emelin won’t be able to contribute much until near season’s end. It’s always easy to tag onto your thoughtful posts. It’s very revealing how this one signing unlocks the positive attributes of the incumbent defensemen whose forte is not physical play. Even Gorges may be more effective this year.

      “Where’s the Beef?/What’s the Beef?”

    • Luke says:

      I am not at all concerned with Murray’s skillset.

      What I expect from his this season is a slow, plodding, physical, defensively responsible player who fills out the bottom end of the D unit.

      If he starts rushing the puck and trying carry the offensive load… then he’s a problem.
      If he buffers Diaz or Markov, as you mentioned, then even better.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Gerald,
      I’m not to sure about Murray as most people here. Yes he is a very large boy and that alone might keep a few more opposition players from squashing our kids. His hockey skills are my fear, when trying to keep up to the play on one of the fastest teams in the league. He is a minus player for sure, so I am not sold on the value yet. We will sure see in a couple weeks though.

      • wjc says:

        Ian, old buddy:

        To be honest and that is perfectly honest, it is impossible to be sure.

        He may be a bust (not likely) but the bigger question is do you take the chance?

        Do you pick him up and take a chance, because that is always what it is. So you would have passed on him?

        You would have passed or taken a chance? It is all about trying to make the right decision, anybody can say, he has this wrong or that wrong, but does he have some things right?

        So you take a chance. Now of course you can say you had reservations about the signing and be right if he busts. You can keep quiet if it works out, nice situation.

        I say take a chance, because that is what it is all about, with the chance you screw up. But, what do I know?

        wjc

    • habstrinifan says:

      Been following your comments re Murray a lot because I like the tone of them I share(d) your optimism until I read Hobie’s account from Basu. And I dont think Basu is spreading false info. What’s your reaction?

      I still likethe signing. I hope that it came with a lecture and a promise by Murray. Imagine if Murray’s work last year was down becaus eof not being in shape… that would mean we could come up looking like geniuses if he does hit camp in improved shape. Athletes do not take very long to start getting back their ‘physique’.

  15. Maritime Ronn says:

    There’s a pic floating around the web showing PK working out this summer.

    http://cdn.25stanley.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/P.K.-Subban.jpg

    Is this pic real or photoshopped?
    If real, then PK could be weighing in at 225-230,,,and if I’m Brad Marchand or even Lucic, I’d keep my head up next year.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Congratulations, Darryl Hackett ( Newf_Habster)

    It would be nice if we saw you at the Summit. I do not know how to sign, to communicate with you, but if your wearing red, white and blue at Hurley’s, I am sure we could share a brew or two my friend!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  17. aemarchand11 says:

    You know, whether I agree with the whole Corsi/Fenwick analysis on players or not, i do appreciate the work that goes into Berkshires breakdowns of players from time to time. This stuff on Douglas Murray though, is absolutely ridiculous..

    We’ve signed a big, tough and physical d-man for our bottom six, who can also be moved into the pressbox if he under performs when Emelin comes back or Tinordi impresses. What on earth is wrong with this situation?

    Using all of these stats systems is still foreign to me because while they focus on a certain player they don’t take everything into account about a players personal life (being traded, starting season late, kids, WIFE, etc…)

    I look at last season specifically, there was a Lockout, he came back and played for a Sharks team that had a good start but then went downhill fast. He was traded to P-burgh, who went on a tear but had the goaltending of Peewee AA player and relied (i believe) on their PP/top 2 lines to get their points.

    All in all i think these is a brilliant signing since it was a mere 1.5M and he is a major upgrade on Frankie B at a minimum. Its nice to think about a D-Corp that wll have Subban, Emelin and Murray on each line to keep players honest. We dont expect 20-25 mins a game from this guy……

    Almost there!!

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Corsi and Fenwick appreciate the fame they acquired I’m sure from their ingenuity in developing “Moneypuck,” as an analogy to “Moneyball,” but their “app” did not predict the 4-0 sweep the Bruins pulled off on the Penguins. It would not have predicted the “Hot Halak” playoffs results. A few days ago, I was ecstatically standing in the USA dressing room in Lake Placid and “Moneypuck” would not have predicted the USA gold.

      “Where’s the Beef?/What’s the Beef?”

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Advanced stats are nice, but unfortunately they don’t measure:

        a) heart
        b) sticking up for your guys and being a good teammate
        c) balz
        d) back checking hard and breaking up a 2X1 vs floating to the bench.
        e) Did ‘advanced stats’ predict that BOTH Crosby and Malkin would not record 1 single point against the Bruins last playoffs?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        “their “app” did not predict the 4-0 sweep the Bruins pulled off ”

        You just outdid the guy who complained that EOTPers had probably never been in a fist fight.

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Mornin’ Professor. I’m chuckling recalling Tortorella taunting Larry Brooks, first by implying Brooks had never played sports, but when Brooks retorted he had in “junior high,” Fonzi snorted, “You were probably beat up all the time.” Tacky and rude but funny.

          “Where’s the Beef?/What’s the Beef?”

  18. 123456 says:

    I have not posted on here in such a long time. Anyway the US NHL network showed a 30 minute recap of the 1967 finals against the leafs. I find the history of the game and the way it was played so interesting. Even knowing the eventual outcome I was still rooting and hoping for a win.

  19. L Elle says:

    Congratulations Newf_Habster! Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. :)

    So many seasons, we’ve been clamouring for big tough D. I am ecstatic about the Murray signing. Low risk, possibility for a very high return. What’s not to like?

    Go Habs Go!

  20. JohnBellyful says:

    Douglas Murray
    Doesn’t hurry
    But the big banger
    Is quick to anger

    Tomas Plekanec
    Plays without panic
    His looks have one defect
    He does have a turtleneck.

    Ryan White’s
    Been known to fight
    Brandon Prust
    Will if must

    Peter Budaj
    Is a nice guy
    But Larry Eller
    Is much sweller

    Carey Price
    Is also nice
    Rene Bourque
    Is no dorque

    Francis Bouillon
    Plays a soupçon
    Alex and Brendan
    Play with abendan

    Andrei Markov
    Is a Molotov
    He sets ablaze
    With whom he plays

    Max Pacioretty
    Should drive to the netty
    Travis Moen
    Should drive home

    – “A little rhyme, a little verse, not so great, but I’ve done worse.” –

  21. Habfan10912 says:

    What an awesome picture of the HIO Summiteers. I’ve seen the picture before and recognize a few people in it but always wished there were names attached to the photo. If you’re in the photo I’d love to know where you are in it.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I’m the handsome one.
      Wait a minute, I just took another look at the picture. I’m not in it.
      But if you’re looking for an 8-by-10 glossy. Autographed …
      (Mornin’, Jim)

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    Good morning to my HIO family.
    If we keep growing at this rate, I do not know how I’m going to pay for all the groceries. But what a community we have become!!

    SUMMIT NEWS! TICKETS
    Boys and Girls! I Just Put Your 2013 Summit Game and Hall of Fame Tickets in the mail today.

    When you get them, tell people on here what seat numbers you have and find out who you are seated beside. I picked them from a hat. It maybe Guy Laflure or Guy Lapoint.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

    • NL Hab says:

      I’ll be down in Brazil for it this year, but hopefully next year I will be home for the summit. I would love to meet the guys in person who I agree/argue with the whole time in here. Go Habs Go.

      Et Le But

  23. Hynes says:

    Been Habs fan since being a teenager back in the 50′s when every Sat night it would Montreal and Toronto on HNC. Things have changed since then.

    • Cal says:

      “Puck Daddy” keeps trying to be funny and knowledgeable. After reading his blog, I find he is neither. Hell, Chris, UCE and many others here deserve a highly visited blog spot more than this guy. Of course, JB is so funny he needs his own interweb thingy.

      • 24 Cups says:

        LOL!

        Cal – I think the real debate concerning Murray is which player will be able to show up for the Habs this year – the guy who could block shots, dole out hits, work on the PK and be a physical threat or a player who is now too slow and immobile to play in today’s NHL that is dominated by fast, young skaters.

        I would have preferred Fistric and one of MacArthur or Frolik but I guess we will have to see what Briere and Murray can bring. They are both on short term contracts filling in time until younger players emerge. It’s not like the Habs are going to contend for the Cup this year. In the end, it may be much ado about nothing.

        • Cal says:

          I think being in an “all hockey all the time” environment might be just the tonic for Murray (if he needs one). Once he knocks someone over, the talk will be about the Habs Twin Tanks™. :)

  24. NL Hab says:

    Congrats to HIO and for all of the Habs fans on this site. This site has become part of my daily routine. This site can be very entertaining and controversial at times, but I love that it is a site where I can go with other die hard Hab fans and discuss/fight about our team.

    On a side note, I love the Douglas Murray signing. I have been watching highlights of him all morning. He is a tough cookie, who will certainly replace Emelin while he is gone. However, if he can he can play like he is capable of, I would have no problem giving him a 2 year extension during the year.

    Markov will be gone after this year, so Beaulieu can replace him. And Bouillion and Diaz will also most likely be gone after this year so there would certainly be room for him even with our young guys coming up and guys currently under contract past this year.

    Worst case scenario is we trade him at the deadline or hold onto him during a playoff run. This is a very low risk, possibly high return signing by Bergevin. Love, Love, Love this signing.

    Et Le But

    • wjc says:

      Murray signing gives Montreal another dimension, bring him out in tough games, keep other teams honest. An equalizer if you will.

      There are always ‘ifs and maybes’ in any signing. You could fail or you could succeed, but, it remains you must take that chance.

      Markov will not be done this year, he is probably good for another 3 years and counting.

      Bullion will be gone and Diaz could be too good to let go.

      Diaz brings qualities that cannot be taught.

      You should wait, wait, wait to see how this plays out so you are not too disappointed, disappointed, disappointed.

      Like I said Montreal can start to play any style you wish, be it skating or rough…that is the plan, that is the chance, as I see it.

      Rough stuff will be equalized, some players will have to behave.

      wjc

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Share your optimism wjc that the team will be better and not insignificantly, being humiliated will be a thing of the past.

        “Where’s the Beef?/What’s the Beef?”

      • NL Hab says:

        I don’t think I have to wait, wait, wait. I cannot be disappointed, disappointed, disappointed by a 1 year 1.5M contract. Even if he is a complete bust he is gone after this year.

        As for Markov, there is no way in hell I sign him for a 3 year contract. 2 tops at about 4M per is all I would give him. I think he and Emelin compliment each other very well, but I really don’t think Bergevin brings him back next year. If he does not find a trade partner by the deadline I think they will bring him back on a 1 or 2 year deal, but I have a funny feeling he is not in Bergevin’s plans and will be dealt some point this season. Diddo with Gionta.

        Don’t get me wrong, Markov is a class act and one of my favorite Habs. I would love to see him back for another year or two, but I just don’t think that he will be back.

        Hopefully I am wrong, but I can see this team going in a different direction.

        Et Le But

  25. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning all. It’s even obvious to me now that Bergevin saw his team get physically manhandled in the playoffs by the Sens and his priority during the off season was not allow that to happen again.

    Even if Parros and Murray play limited minutes, which they both surely will, the team is now in a much better position to withstand and respond to physical play.

    While I admit I would have preferred that Tinordi be given a shot it now looks like all of our young defenseman will be in Hamilton. Perhaps MB can point out Murray to Tinordi and say, “Hey, we want you to play like him. At least the toughness/meanness part.

    • wjc says:

      This in no way impacts Tinordi. He is young he will grow into his role, slowly. There is nothing cast in stone, if you earn your spot, you will be in Montreal. I personally think Tinordi will be in Montreal.

      Training camp will tell the tale, not opinions

      wjc

    • NL Hab says:

      A lot of competition this year in the pre-season. That is 8 one way contracts for Defencemen, plus Tinordi and Beaulieu and Drewisk. That is 11 quality defencemen competing for 6 spots. Love it. Love the depth.

      Et Le But

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    It’s like being in school again. The geeks are making fun of the dunces. The dunces are making fun of the geeks.

    Murray was actually San Jose’s #1 penalty killer last year. Yes, he was not great in the playoffs but if he sucks for us we have decent backup in Hamilton.

    I’m sure everyone also hated the Hal Gill signing but look how he turned out.

    But all things considered I’d have preferred Ron Hainsey.

  27. Maritime Ronn says:

    Good Morning morning crew,

    What’s not to like about the Murray signing?
    Inexpensive, 1 year, and as was the case with the Briere signing, it cost the Habs ZERO in terms players, prospects, or draft picks. Just 4 months ago, a sav vy GM was willing to pay 2 Second Round draft picks for Murray (Dela Rose-Fucale-Lehkolen…)

    A little concern here is how will he adapt to the MT swarm system if it is not modified this year? One would have to believe that a signing such as this would only happen with a planned, modified or hybrid revamped D system.

    This guy is one mean tough SoB and 15-17 minutes along with PK time should help a penalty kill that was a pathetic 12th in the playoffs and 23rd in the League during last season.

    Once Emelin comes back (?) that would leave the Habs with 8 Dmen with 1 way NHL contracts – and that doesn’t count the prospect guys like Tinordi, Beaulieu, Pateryn, and Nygren.

    Injuries always happen, and the key will be to whom and for how long.
    ‘NHL Nature’ will take its natural course. It’s basically impossible to know how this will work out, but the tea leaves say that we could have a very busy 2014 Trade Deadline and weeks prior.

    • Cal says:

      The signing was all about filling a void (Emelin) and making the Habs D more physical. Without losing a prospect or another player, this is a smart move by MB. Everything points to Murray as being more than good enough to join D squad that has Drewiske, Diaz and Gorges on it.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Morning Cal. The only downside to this is for folks like me who wanted to see some of the young dman get some playing time with the big club. Of course that could also be a plus for their development.

        • Maritime Ronn says:

          Morning Jim

          From here, I’m in the wait and see mode – let’s see how it all plays out.
          As for Tinordi-Beaulieu-Pateryn, nothing wrong with giving them huge minutes in Hamilton for 30-40 games, vs. 3rd pair or press box duty in Montreal. Here’s trusting Bergevin has a big picture plan working towards 2-3 years down the road.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Cal
        Exactly. MB has added Prust, Briere, and Murray at no cost of any asset, and Parros cost the Habs a 7th Round pick…and let’s not forget the Cole trade where Dallas threw in a 3rd round pick that has become Connor Crisp..

        As for Drewiske, Diaz and Gorges, these guys deserve a mulligan. Drewskie came in mid season from a completely different D system. Diaz was concussed, and here’s a bet Gorges played hurt having been run into the boards all year long.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ron. Someone’s put an extra N in your name. Even Timo likes this signing. Has to be good, huh? CHeers bud.

    • wjc says:

      In response, Maritime:

      Therien was probably approached or was a big part of trade. He would have given the big thumbs up on how he would fit into the lineup.

      The one thing Therien needed was players to push back if necessary. He now has this and he would not want to be embarrassed like he was against Ottawa.

      So as far as Murray fitting in to Therien’s system that is a no brainer.

      He would welcome a basher and if he is teamed up with a passer rusher, you might have gold.

      wjc

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        You would have to believe that Therrien was consulted and there was probably an agreed upon role in specific situations. I don’t believe MB would just dump Murray on MT and tell him to figure it out

  28. showey47 says:

    I like the murray signing, its only for 1 year and for a cheap price. If the habs have a bad year its another upcoming ufa contract that can be dumped at the deadline for a pick. Very low risk signing.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great point. The club now seems to have a surplus of defenseman who will become very valuable come trading deadline time. Remember Shero the genius gave up 2 2nd round picks late last season for this guy. Nice trade by the Sharks indeed.

      • wjc says:

        Canadiens are a shew in to make the playoffs. There days of missing the playoffs are over.

        There is to much competition for jobs.

        Elite goaltending, Noris winning defenceman to build around
        Veteren leadership…Gionta, Markov.
        Young forwards and defencemen pushing for jobs along with established young guys.

        Look for a surprise of two at training camp. Look for Montreal to finish high and begin to contend….the future is now.

        wjc

  29. on2ndthought says:

    Subban-Gorges
    ?-Markov
    Diaz- Murray

    I wanted Markov and Murray, but it turns out they play the same side and I don’t think they should be moved (Markov because of dogs and tricks, Murray, because you don’t hitch a plow horse to a sulky. So.. who does Marky make look good? Someone off wing or Patereyn or Nygren?

    “a cannonading drive”

    • savethepuck says:

      Markov always makes everybody look good.

      “http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/03/22/the-andrei-markov-effect/

      Look at the Habs record with Markov in the line-up vs Markov not in the line-up the last 8 years.

      The best example of this came in 2009-10, the last time Markov played a significant number of games. Including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Canadiens were 29-16-8 in the 53 games in which Markov dressed and 15-23-2 when he didn’t. Overall, since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Canadiens have a 38-22-13 record with Markov in the lineup and an 84-86-21 record without him.

      Every time Komisarek comes to Montreal, he should take Marky out for steak dinner and a night of lap dances because Marky is the reason he’s rich today.

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

      • myron.selby says:

        The line forms to the left. If we want to talk about the people that Markov made rich let’s not forget Souray, Streit and Gorges. They all hit for the trifecta largely based on the seasons they were fortunate enough to have Andre as a partner.

  30. jedimyrmidon says:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/canadian-doctor-zdeno-chara-deserved-80-games-pacioretty-145748541.html

    Wow. Reading this article makes me mad. The author is actually outraged that people would consider the Max Pacioretty incident disturbing.

    He’s incredulous that a medical professional thought Chara deserved an 80 game ban. The number isn’t important – the author is clearly in disbelief that anyone could consider Pacioretty lying on the ice with fractured vertebrae a suspendable offense because, of course, it was those darned STANCHIONS that were not safe.

    Wynshinski (or however you spell his name), instead of thinking ‘Oh, a doctor sees a player lying on the ice unconscious after a rather graphic display of violence’ seemingly opts to immediately resort to thinking ‘Oh, just let it go.’ (i.e. ‘I don’t even see what people are upset about, just get over it. Nothing to see here.’)

    The author also scoffs at the idea that the NHL isn’t protecting its players from violence. Sure, the doctor *is* from the province of Quebec, but the article is basically smearing a medical professional and anyone who shares his opinion that thinks that incidents that leave players unconscious on the ice are rather problematic.

    Sure, Habs fans calling 911 is a bit extreme, but to ridicule a doctor and the Canadian medical association is pretty foolish and just goes to show how blinded he is by his hockey (and probably Bruins) bias.

    • on2ndthought says:

      I love it! he quotes a study which says: ‘the rule changes implemented did nothing to alter the rate of injury’ in order to refute the idea of changing the rules in order to reduce the rate of injury: pretzel logic!

      “a cannonading drive”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Were doctors who pushed for anti-smoking measures also opportunistic? What a weird thing to say.

      Hockey violence is becoming a public health issue.

  31. Timo says:

    So when are Habs going to get a decent coach now?

  32. Stevie.Ray says:

    Can you predict the Habs top 11 scorers for this upcoming season?

    Subban 72 points
    Pacioretty 69 points
    Plekanec 61 points
    Desharnais 55 points
    Gallagher 50 points
    Eller 49 points
    Galchenyuk 46 points
    Briere 42 points
    Gionta 39 points
    Markov 38 points
    Bourque 36 points

    • savethepuck says:

      I expect Galchenyuk and possibly Eller to leapfrog a few people. They are a year older and will earn more PP time and TOI. If Markov is healthy there is no way he finishes 10th. He is closer to top 5 if he plays more than 70 games, like he has done his entire career.

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

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      As awesome as Subban is, I don’t think he will lead the Habs in scoring. My bet is Pacs will. As for who will come in second: could be Subban, but it’s hard to tell.

      I really think the Habs offense will be spread out once again.

  33. Timo says:

    @Burly – great day at the links? Did you actually score in double digits?

  34. Bill says:

    Maybe I’m being grumpy, but the complaints about the Murray signing come off as whining.

    Take a look at who the remaining UFA dmen were.

    Now tell me which of them were going to sign for apnea year at 1.5 million.

    People been crying for the Habs to sign a big physical dman, which we desperately needed. So they do, and now the bitter complaints roll in.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • christophor says:

      Well 1.5mill isn’t really the limit for the debate, since there was over 4mill available under the cap. So if someone prefers signing, say, Tom Gilbert for, say, 2.5+ million, then that’s not whining, even if you disagree.

    • savethepuck says:

      It amazes me too how people complain about small $ signings. In today’s NHL, 1.5 million is nothing. If a guy doesn’t work out, you send him down and it only affects your cap by about 600 K. It is even crazier when people complain about signings around 700 K or less. I finally see a team with depth that won’t be crippled if they have 3 or 4 injuries now, unlike in the past.

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

    • Timo says:

      Apnea – that’s a great word. I knew there was something you must be good for, Bill. Learned a new word today. Thank you.

    • Epic says:

      The little lifeless gnomes at EOTP know nothing about hockey at all. They are wannabe moneyballers who speak statistcal gobblygook in a futile attempt to seem smarter than everyone else, but just come off as a bunch of butthurt CGEP accounting program dropouts who play fantasy hockey in mom and dad’s basement at 38 years old.

      There contrarian viewpoints on nearly everything now reproaches the realm of cheap trolling. It’s a troll site. They ripped the Prust signing last year and now I laugh at them.

      Just ignore them boys and girls, it’ll save you precious brainpower and time.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Well, there are different factions of fans out there – complaints will roll in from different factions depending on what is done.

      If the Habs acquire a guy like Briere, the faction that wants more size , i.e., 6’3″+ and fighting will be in an uproar.

      If the Habs acquire a guy like Murray, the faction that espouses possession metrics and those that think slow is useless (and I do agree, a team shouldn’t be slow) will be in an uproar.

  35. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Loved the outcome alright! What a rush. Nice to see the Als beat a western team.

    24 cups and counting….

  36. habsfanforever7631 says:

    OMFG who watched the Als game?
    That game was fricken amazing!
    My blood is still pumpin!
    Best game in a long time!

  37. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I read that EOTP BS / over analysis of a #6 depth D Man. Some people take themselves way too seriously. I guess the Pittsburgh and Montreal front offices don’t know as much as that EOTP windbag, eh? Did he steal your girlfriend or something?

    24 cups and counting….

  38. Stevie.Ray says:

    Murray has been a capable second pairing defenceman for a few years now, but his skills are deteriorating fast and he may not be anything more than a third pairing guy. Lets hope he has 1 more year left in the gas tank, or even three months until Emelin is back.

  39. 24 Cups says:

    The Washington Capitals have signed Mikhail Grabovski to a one-year deal.

    • punkster says:

      Ya, but we got MURRAY!!!!

      Still SUBBANGIN’ BABY…
      but…
      ELLER IS STELLAR!!!

    • Sportfan says:

      THat could be a steal how much?

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

      • 24 Cups says:

        Rumour has it that he’s getting 3M. Grabovski might be a bit of an asshole but he’s a decent player. I’d take him over DD. I won’t be surprised if he has a great year in Washington.

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      You know what team was going hard for Grabovski? The Jets

      You know what team is in need of a point scoring center? The Jets

      You know what team has point scoring center that is #3 on their depth chart atm? The Habs!

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        If you’re talking about Desharnais, he’s #4 on the depth chart down the middle in Montreal, with no place to play, in any coaches honest opinion.

        Desharnais will play because of the GM’s only slip up since being in Montreal. Any normal coach would put a combination of Plekanec-Galchenyuk-Eller down the middle on the 1st three lines and wouldn’t want Desharnias on the wing or centering the 4th line.

        Desharnias could be OK at center but not with the three above mentioned centers on the same team. He could be OK on the wing but not with Gallagher, Briere and Gionta already there.

        It would be a blessing if he were traded to Winnipeg, although highly unlikely.

        • Stevie.Ray says:

          I left Galchenyuk out of the center equation for the time being.

          Desharnais, when put in the right situation, is a very capable point scoring centerman. Problem is he needs to play in the off. zone exclusively, and I think Pleks and Eller could put up similar points if they got nearly as many off. zone minutes as him.

  40. JohnBellyful says:

    You have got to be kiddin’
    Way to go, B.C. [what's the emoticon for sarcasm again?]

  41. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Thrilling win for our Als!

    24 cups and counting….

  42. Greg says:

    I’ve been a member of HIO for a long time… since pretty much the beginning I guess (there’s probably a way to check that). I’ve always seen Ian’s posts, but I must have missed that article about him.

    Here’s to you Mr. Cobb (tilts beer toward the screen).

    Now let’s all get back the important business of hating the Murray signing. ahhh…. Hockey’s almost back.

  43. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Murray is a wonderful depth signing. We need that crease to be cleared and he will certainly give us an option when things get rough. Think of him as a balance to the skilled and smallish forward group currently on the Habs. This is moving in the right direction. Everyone knows that we aren’t there yet but he’s a great acquisition given what we currently have to work with. Maybe some of our future gets a chance to dominate at the AHL level with this move instead of being rushed to the NHL. How could any Habs fan see this as a terrible move? MB has been very good to this point.

    24 cups and counting….

  44. Sportfan says:

    Still super duper happy about Murray!

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

  45. Rad says:

    Douglas Murray at 6″3″, 245 lbs. is a good signing for the under-sized Habs defense corps. The $1.5M price tag makes it an outright steal. He must have really wanted to play in Montreal to sign for that, which bodes well for the team. I am looking forward to seeing Murray play this season. His presence on the back end will certainly help Carey Price, for one. Murray and Parros combined will inspire more confidence in our smallish forwards. Look for players like Plekanec, Gallagher, and Briere to have outstanding seasons in 2013-2014. I feel a lot better about the Habs now than I did when they were physically beaten and demoralized by the Senators in the playoffs. Nice to know that Marc Bergevin was watching the same games we were.

    • Greg says:

      He’s good to stand up and fight in the tough games, but not much else. The Best Case Scenario with Murray is that he spends some time with Markov or PK to inflate his usefulness, so we can trade him at the deadline for a 2nd rounder.

  46. frontenac1 says:

    28-24 Lions in 3rd. This kid Tanner Marsh is doing ok.

  47. twilighthours says:

    Just got back from a run and some beers (Luke! Holla at yer boy!), and here is what’s up:

    1) welcome back, maritime Ron. No hard feelings, it’s all good

    2) I’ve been enjoying EOTP more lately, but you just can’t read it on days like today

    3) I don’t like this signing. I could go on a long winded rant about why, but in a nutshell: I think the Habs D needed to get tougher, but that Murray isn’t quite up to the task of playing valuable minutes… And… I’d rather they give his minutes to tinordi, who deserves a spot

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree on 1 and 2, disagree on 3. We picked up a cagey tough veteran for 1.5 mill for 1 year. It’s not like we committed long term to this guy. We needed to have some of what Murray brings to ice.

      Edi: probably agree on 1 only, part of 2 at best. Just too much pontificating there period for my liking.

      • twilighthours says:

        I don’t think it’s the end of the world, but we already have a bottom pair guy in bouillon, and now Murray, where I envisioned tinordi in his place. I’d really just rather play #42

        On days like today at EOTP, there is no humility, there is no “this is what I think, but lets wait and see”

        It is intense

        • HabFab says:

          I think Tinordi needs more time in Hamilton playing 25-30 minutes instead of 5 or 6 in Montreal for another year. Wither Murray was the best choice I’ll leave to the pros… and none of them post here or on EOTP.

          • twilighthours says:

            :)

          • Mark C says:

            I agree. Let him get huge minutes, 1st unit PK, some PP times, he’ll also have a large leadership role on the Bulldogs.

            To me, one of the biggest X factors for Montreal to take the next step forward is how soon and well can Tinordi and Beaulieu play an important role in D corps lead by Subban. I think more time in Hamilton might be best for Tinordi.

      • habstrinifan says:

        As I posted before, I’m not only ok with the signing but feel that MB has filled the ‘holes’ that HIO have been clamouring about for over 2 yrs.

        But I’ve never heard Murray described as a ‘cagey’ veteran. Is he really? Would be a plus.

  48. HabinBurlington says:

    Just home from a day on the links, find out Maritime Ron is back and we picked up a crease clearer. Great day all around!

  49. Mavid says:

    24

    Weed Wacker Gramda Smurf

  50. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Okay, D at the start of the season:
    Subban-Markov
    Murray-Gorges
    Boullion/Drewiskie-Diaz
    (Emelin injured)

    D at the end of the season:
    Subban-who knows the rest……lol

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

    • christophor says:

      Murray isn’t playing more than 3rd pairing minutes. That’s what he’s been playing in recent years.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean that he will be playing 2nd line minutes. I suspect at even-strength the three pairings will play around the same minutes then the extra will be given on special teams.

        BTW I’m tired of people saying to play PK a lot (>25min per game). Therrien needs to be more judicious with his allocation of playing time.

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

  51. JF says:

    Finally some news about the Habs, and good news at that. We needed another big, physical defenceman; Douglas Murray, although he isn’t a great skater and has lost a step, does the physical things well. This signing, together with that of George Parros, helps correct the balance in our lineup, which was clearly a problem last year, especially in the playoff, and erases some of the question marks around the acquisition of Daniel Brière. I don’t think we’ll be as easy to push around this year as last.

    If Murray is in the lineup regularly, someone else will have to sit. I see Diaz’s name being tossed around as a candidate for the pressbox or a trade, but I think both scenarios are unlikely. Diaz is one of our best puck-movers, and he and Markov were dynamite on the powerplay last year while Subban was sitting out. It’s true that he struggled after his return from concussion, but that’s probably normal. I look for him to bounce back this season. I would guess that Tinordi will spend a good part of the year in Hamilton, which is probably a good thing.

    In any case, as we’ve discovered on several occasions in the past few years, you can’t have too many defencemen. I wouldn’t even count out Davis Drewiske, who, coming into a new team and a new system late last season and playing only a few games, looked as though he could be useful.

    The last two or three years of drafting and the moves made by Marc Bergevin last summer and this signify to me that the Gainey era is finally at an end. The days when the Habs were a small, speedy, skilled team that was routinely overwhelmed by any bigger, tougher team are over. We are building a team that can compete physically with any team in the League and that can hope to go far in the playoffs.

    • HabFab says:

      You tell them!

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Very well written post and I agree with all of it.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You didnt answer who’s gonna sit?

    • Greg says:

      Except Murray is a statistical nightmare. He’s a possession black hole. As you alluded to, he’s slow, he certainly doesn’t score, and it’s not like he makes a terrific first pass.
      I imagine he’ll spend some time on the PK, but he’ll see a lot of the pressbox himself… except when we’re playing Toronto, Boston, Philly, etc..
      There no way Bergevin is trading anyone because we have Murray. They don’t even compare in skill level. Murray is here in case someone gets hurt before Emelin gets back.

      I wouldn’t even say Murray is ahead of Boullion on the depth chart.

  52. ClutchNGrab says:

    We are lucky to have a blog sponsored by Montreal’s biggest english daily. The credibility of the paper brought and still brings quality people. A lot of readers come here just to get entertained, hope we’ll have at least another 7 years of this.

  53. jedimyrmidon says:

    Reading through some comments about EotP:

    It’s amazing how so much of the commentariat appears to have EXACTLY the same opinion as spearheaded by Andrew Berkshire. No, really, the core group of posters on that site seem to agree with each other about anything hockey-related, and anyone who doesn’t is quickly ostracized.

    When there is such unity and wholehearted agreement, that’s an immediate warning sign. If I didn’t know better, I’d call EotP a radical sect of Canadiens fans.

    As Chris pointed out earlier, they are indeed confrontational and aggressive. You can see it in their writing style and it is indeed off-putting even if their content is interesting to read.

    Since they are such proponents of possession-related stats, it wasn’t surprising to see that their reaction to the Murray signing being negative. What did surprise me was the extent to which they didn’t like the signing: it was almost as if it was the final straw in Bergevin as GM – he clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing and their faith in him is almost gone at this point. Okay…

    • twilighthours says:

      It’s a cult.

    • GrimJim says:

      People gravitating to media outlets of similar opinion is a common occurrence (American conservatives generally don’t listen to NPR and American liberals usually don’t watch FoxNews, etc) so it makes sense that people who think possession and speed are the (only?) winning formula would post on a site with a strong slant towards those metrics. And as to how they might view MB after this summer, think about it: he drafts McCarron and Crisp, signs Parros, and now Murray. Even Briere is not a speed guy any more. That four (and a half) moves in contradiction to their philosophy.

  54. JayK-47 says:

    I really like Diaz and think he will benefit from Murray’s addition like Pleks did from Prust’s.

    I think Diaz is a great 5-6th Dman who needs a chance on the 2nd unit PP.

    I was kind of upset with MT’s coaching of last year with the special teams. He never seemed to get the guys who earned the PP unit time on the ice and I hope that’s not repeated this year.

  55. Marc10 says:

    Not overly enthused with this signing. Then again, I wasn’t big on Hal Gill when he first rocked up and the big octopus was full value on the PK, so I’ll hope for a similar result from Murray.

  56. ooder says:

    all this talk about Diaz.. honestly I don’t really care about his size I just don’t find he is really good at anything.
    I don’t particularly think he is a good skater, he is not very tough, his offensive skills are greatly exaggerated IMO and his defensive game is mediocre. I might be wrong, but when I say I am not a Diaz fan it’s more about his overall game and not so much ihs size. We had Mark Streit who is the same size as Diaz but is twice the player. Too bad the genius combo of gainey+carbo couldn’t see that

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It seems that when an European player with a tad of offensive flair comes around a small group of people want to claim him as their diamond in the rough. He’s the last guy I’d want on the ice in any big game when the score is tight.

  57. Phil C says:

    Diaz is also very good on the PK. He is a right-handed shot, so he fits in well all around. I would put him third on the depth chart behind only Subban and Markov, so I highly doubt they will trade him.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      There is no possible way over an extended period time that Diaz is good on the PK. Are you telling me that in a big game you want him battling in the corners and in front of the net for lose pucks with the other team’s top players? On the PK or in the dying seconds?

      There is something to be said for foot speed and getting to lose pucks but the main factor is size, reach, strength and positioning.

      • Phil C says:

        I don’t think anyone has claimed that Diaz is a good shutdown defender. So to answer your question, no, he would not be the guy I would want out there defending a lead in the dying minutes.

        But how about down a goal in the dying minutes? When the Habs were down a goal in the Martin era, and he would send out Gorges and Gill, I’d almost scream in frustration, as I knew the Habs had almost zero chance of generating any offense with those two on the ice.

        Criticizing Diaz for not being physical is like criticizing Prust for not scoring enough. Each player has talents that are useful in the right situation. It would be nice to have six defensemen like Subban who can play in any situation against anyone, but that’s not the reality in the cap era, so you need role players like Diaz and Murray. I think he is a useful player as long as his match-ups are managed.

        • twilighthours says:

          I agree Phil, but it’s much more a D’s job to be physical than a 4th line forward’s to score. I actually have grown fond of Diaz and he is definitely an NHL player, it just once again comes back to the makeup of the D corps. And I’m not sure about it.

          But it is well established that I know squat

          • Phil C says:

            Despite my support of Diaz, he is not an ideal no 3 guy. Unless he takes another step forward this year, I seem him as more of a 4/5 guy. Same thing for Gorges, except for different reasons. Murray is also a very solid bottom pairing guy who can play a shutdown role. They are still missing a solid 3/4 type defender who can play in all situations 5-on-5.

            So if your concern is that the Habs are weak in their second pairing, I tend to agree with you. They’ll have to keep the wheels on until Emelin is back and hope he has not lost a step, or hope that one of the young guys step up.

  58. frontenac1 says:

    15-7 Lions in 2nd. Go Als!

  59. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Best case scenario for Murray: fills in for Emelin and lets Tinordi play in Hamilton (for the start of the season). MB then trades him at the deadline (or before) for a good draft pick.

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

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Again, when Emelin returns the defence should look like: Subban, Markov, Gorges, Emelin, Murray and Diaz. So from what your saying, Tinordi will finish the season in Montreal and knock either Murray or Diaz out of the lienup and leapfrog Bouillon or Drewiske?

  60. Bill says:

    @Hobie: Plekanec is terrible on the point. It’s been tried before.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Terrible? I’m not pushing for it but really, we’re talking about 2 minutes or less of ice time on the second unit with new players like Galchenyuk and Gallagher added to the mix.

      I’m just saying, the loss of Diaz is not going to impact the Habs in any major way.

  61. Bill says:

    @Commandant: Exactly, those recommending trading Diaz are ignoring his skill and focussing on his size. They don’t care who plays on the second unit of the power-play as long as it is someone Moar Bigger. It’s crazy.

    With the addition of Murray the Habs can easily carry Diaz.

  62. AliHaba says:

    Three things:
    1) I’m proud to have contributed a few comments of the million.
    2) The signing of Douglas Murray is a shot across the bow of the Bruins, Leafs, Flyers, Senators. “DON’T MESS WITH US.”
    3) I believe we’ll see another move involving Diaz and/or Drewiske and others for a big winger.

    • commandant says:

      This isn’t just a question for you, but for everyone who wants to trade Diaz.

      If he’s gone, who plays D on our 2nd PP?

      If he’s gone who plays first pp if one of Markov, Subban are hurt?

      The only guy close to capable is Beaulieu, and I would question the wisdom of rushing him to the NHL this season.

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

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Throw Plekanec on D with Emelin on the 2nd unit, that way Galchenyuk can find his way to the PP. Subban can stay out there for almost two minutes anyway and often does.

        Plekanec can sling passes down low to Pacioretty, Gallagher and the rest of the bunch like it’s nobody’s business.

        Remember Gallagher and Galcheyuk barely saw any PP time last year if any?

      • AliHaba says:

        What about Subban and Markov on first PP and Subban and Briere on second? Briere has lots of point experience and PK could play the whole game if asked.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        I think one issue with Diaz is he is a UFA along with Markov and Emelin. Can’t sign everyone and the kids can’t stay in Hamilton forever.
        If the Habs did deal him, I hope they would package him for a solid physical D-man under contract…but there are not many of those available.

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

      • Habitforming says:

        In a word…..Nygren
        .

        He isn’t a rookie afterall (23 years old) and has been very successful running PP’s in the SEL. He has a bullet and can play defense as well. I don’t get why everyone refuses to see this guy as an option.

        His last 2 seasons…

        2012-13 Farjestad Swe 51 13 19 32 +11
        2011-12 Farjestad Swe 50 7 11 18 -10

  63. mdp2011 says:

    Just taking a break from my vacation sitting on my balcony overlooking the ocean in Myrtle Beach to say congrats to Newf_Habster on getting the 1 million comment.

  64. JayK-47 says:

    I haven’t seen the Habs ice a team balanced in such a manner since 93.

  65. Hobie Hansen says:

    Finally we’re following the correct blue print. We’ve got the future number 1 center in Galchenyuk. We could use another big winger but Paciorrecty is a beauty and Bourque really showed something last year. We’ve got a scrappy little scoring spark plug in Gallagher. The versatile centermen in Plekanec and Eller. A forth line without a defenceman on the wing or some offensive hopeful getting his feat wet. The 4th line is tough as nails! We’ve got the total package in Subban, a PP quarterback in Markov, some devastating hitters in Emelin and Murray. And a top notch goaltender in Price.

    Are were gold in all aspects, no, but like I said, the basic blueprint was lost here several years ago and it’s great to see the club getting back to standard hockey!

    • Ron says:

      Just not with the Habs Hobie, their giving the Bulldogs a lift as well. Good job all around.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The Dogs are stacked with future hopefuls. Tinordi, Beaulieu, Dietz and Hudon are my front runners to right now to eventually become NHL players. Bournival sounds like he’s trained super hard this summer as well.

        Guys I’m keeping my fingers crossed on are Leblanc and Thrower.

        Oh and Dumont really worked his tail off last year to become a leader down there and played some good games in Montreal as well, love that guy!

  66. Ian Cobb says:

    SUMMIT NEWS! TICKETS

    Boys and Girls! I Just Put Your 2013 Summit Game and Hall of Fame Tickets in the mail today.

    When you get them, tell people on here what seat numbers you have and find out who you a seated beside. I picked them from a hat. It maybe Guy Laflure or Guy Lapoint.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  67. frontenac1 says:

    Email from my Chateauguay buddy living in San Jose, and yeah Bripro, Coreys Dad would know him too.”I’ve had pints with Murray . He is a great guy, Intelligent and funny. He is a beast. When he lays on the body it doesn’t work out well for the other guy. We were sad to see him go. A great pick up for the Habs.

  68. crabvader says:

    When was the last time we had 4 guys that were willing to bang (and most likely all 4 giving good tilts) on our roster???

    The 4th is Ryan White, I don’t think I need to say who the other 3 are. Obviously I’m talking about Pleks, Markov and Chucky.

  69. JUST ME says:

    I saw the link the other day here but could not follow up but if you have the chance to go on nhl.com and see how P.K. exercices in summer it is pretty impressive. Man this guy is in shape! What is not to like about this guy and his future ?

  70. habstrinifan says:

    I probably will get laughed at for this. But I see the signing of Murray as allowing another possible development.

    Lets look at our physical guys with size now … Parros; Prust; Murray.

    Lets look at our guys in the ‘not big’ category but where physial play is part of their style. .. P.K; Gallagher; White.

    Let’s look at our other big players who can be physical: Emelin;Bourque;Eller( kinda think Eller can go with the group above);Galchenyuk;Drewiskie.

    I think with our additions we now need a good player who can, by the way he plays, marshall( as in bring together/organize) the team during times when the team needs to be steadied. Like putting a Gainey out there.

    I know this seems farfetched. But I really hope Bournival shows well in camp. This guy has the smarts; has the leadership ability; is close to Eller in talent; has the game/ice awareness to improve other players on the ice.. and from his training regimen is making himself a solid physical specimen.

    It might be a real plus if Bournival shows so well in camp that he nudges White out of a regular spot. We need a player as I have described.
    Smart and physical enough and good at hockey. Bournival is all of these things and has shown it with all the teams he’s played with.

  71. commandant says:

    How the Leafs are between a Rock and a Hard Place with Kadri.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/08/22/leafs-stuck-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-with-nazem-kadri/

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

    • crabvader says:

      Ugh, I’d love to snatch Kadri away from them… He’s a Habs fan at heart, you know!

      Too bad won’t happen.

    • db says:

      Thanks, I think the kid has obvious talent.. and a stubborn agent. It makes me happy to see the Leafs struggling to sign him, although he does sound like a baby with his comments. I’d give em DD and a 4th rounder hehe.

  72. JTT says:

    Just because a player like murray big and tough that’s gonna win games. You’re missing something. Big, Tough and skilled that’s what wins games. The skilled part is why Pittsburgh and SJ let him go. Having said that at least the Habs will have a little more toughness this year could prove interesting …

    • habstrinifan says:

      I think the big point is that his addition fills a need we have had for years. Maybe not with above grade talent but with above grade suitability in the non talent areas.

      Our other Dmen should be able to do their stuff more freely.

      Diaz and Murray or George and Murray is a better pairing than George and Diaz.. in my opinion anyways.


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