How your Canadiens beat the Islanders

Game stories and analysis.
Quotes from the room.

Pat Hickey’s game story

What the players said

Red Fisher’s column

John Mahoney photo gallery

Pierre Ladouceur’s game report card

Hickey explains his Fleury column

Tough sledding for Muller

SI Power Rankings: Canadiens 20th


  1. ont fan says:

    Don’t care about the cap ..don’t care about Gomez contract…I care about a quick start to every game,a little passion thru out and no heart attacks in the third

  2. JUST ME says:

    A game against the Islanders is always a free for all kind of night. Loose canons with talent make the Isles far from an easy prey. If your stubborn enough though you should win because they have no toughness,no defense and even less goalies.

    Not a pretty sight i admit but the results were there yesterday.

  3. VancouverHab says:

    “…the zeitgeist seems to finally be that Gomez will be gone soon.”

    Now, I like SD as much as the next H-I/O commentor, but do you realise how vacuous that statement sounds? You are writing like a journalist, for crying out loud.

    You may feel a journalist’s unavoidable need to express petty animus against some player. You may have pet hates (Scott Gomez) and puppy loves (DD) toward chosen players just like a journalist does. You may even be unable to avoid letting the mob mind stir you to open irrationality toward some easy target to a degree that brings to mind a Twilight Zone episode.

    But for God’s sake you don’t have to write like a journalist!

    What you call “the zeitgeist” (or, better put in the case of Scott Gomez, the mob mentality) makes absolutely no decisions; effects absolutely no changes; and has absolutely zero causal agency in whether any Montreal Canadiens players comes, stays, or goes.

    Share their vices of emotion if you must, but never allow yourself to share their vices of intellect.

  4. Hab-Q says:

    Re: How your Canadiens beat the Islanders

    Not falling behind 3-0 was a starting point!


  5. hfotwc says:

    Shame on you Mr. Hickey. I certainly do not wish you and your family the burden that Mr. Fleury and his family are living.

  6. Moose says:

    I heard a while back that Larry Robinson approached Bob Gainey about coming back to Montreal. Bob gave Larry the run around so he signed with the Devils again. If this is true it was a huge mistake on Bob’s part. Image having Robinson as the Habs defensive coach.

    The D in front of Price last night needs a Larry Robinson touch don’t you think?

    • A. Berke says:

      I believe that you heard wrong, from what I remember it was Boivin who gave Robinson the run around. I may be wrong too since all this is basically hearsay after all.

      Ali B.

      • nunacanadien says:

        We could sure use Larry Robinson, when Martin and Gauthier bench Emelin even with a victory, at the expense of Cole hitting the net, what other injuries do we need to be reminded yet again we are not tough enough as a team and we are easy target for other teams to push around and injure, cause we are a soft team. With Emelin at least there is some room given. Even though there are some that say having a tough guy doesn’t change the team. Well, having Emelin hit like he does has given the habs room to breathe. I guess Martin and Gauthier are so deep in denial over signing small forwards they forget we are in the NHL.

  7. patience is a virtue says:

    I agree with you about Gomez Smartdog – stealing Kaberle from the Canes = crossing the Bury-Gomez-Rubicon. Or his contract might be dumped if the CBA negotiations lead to another penalty-free buy-out period.

    While the trade was risky short-term and long-term, it’s all upside for Montreal if Kabs plays up to potential, and I think it is apparent that he is responding well to the offensive talent of his fellow PPers by setting them up for some beauty scoring chances.

    So, rack up another coup for PG – everyone would do well to recall that Boston spent a 1st round pick and Joe Colborne on Kabs less than a year ago!

    Where we part ways is over Cams and Gio and the BG-PG rebuild. The players acquired are still at the heart of this team, and will be key to any playoff run this season or for the next couple (true of Cams and Gio at least). Gill is a leader and brilliant on the PK and in the playoffs. Moen is also a quality grinder. Cams is still in his prime and the captain ain’t over the hill yet. Cams is playing hurt. This is Gios first real slump since joining the team. Be patient.

    You can think of Cam’s and Gio’s slumps another way: the team is doing alright in spite of their missing production! Imagine what the second half will look like with Markov back and Cams and Gio cranking it up.

    I maintain – these Habs are more than a bubble team.

    • SmartDog says:

      You could be right. What’s exciting at least is the zeitgeist seems to finally be that Gomez will be gone soon. I can’t imagine moving ANYONE else before him to make cap space.

      As for Gio and Cami, I don’t disagree that they have a contribution to make, just that they are over-paid and on the ‘slowing down’ side of their deals. There are a lot of 25-year-old 20 goal scorers out there, some of whom also bring other skills, defensive responsibility, sandpaper (said too often I know but), and who cost half of what these guys do. Not to say that our kids can fly through the second season alone, some veterans are needed. I just feel the weight of the team is shifting. Also, we’ll be losing Gill (I can’t imagine he gets resigned with all our D), so… the question becomes, is Gionta a guy that can take us to the promised land. I don’t think so. That’s just my opinion.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Danno says:

        Is Gomez really hurt or is he just trying to avoid the inevitable?

        Just wondering…


        “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

        • SmartDog says:

          Yah, it seems weird.

          What’s also weird is that everytime I hear an update on his “progress” I involuntarily yawn. It’s strange. I’ve taken to recording the updates to help me sleep at night. I think I may have cured insomnia forever.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Clay says:

            Every time I hear an update on his “progress” I cringe in fear that he will come back to play 😀

            “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work. Yvan was proof of that.” – Jean Beliveau.

          • The Juice says:

            @ Clay…Agreed


            “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high!”

      • patience is a virtue says:

        Fair. Time will tell!

  8. SPATS says:

    Nothing new here, but there is obviously a lack of confidence, understanding or smarts to explain how we cannot protect a lead. Everybody seems to be on the same page until we have to protect a lead and then we look like those silly fish that jump into the boat. A minor tweak to a 2-1-2 instead of 1-2-2 should fix it non?

    More enlightened minds please advise…


  9. keepthefaith says:

    Hey Hickey, Sheldon Kennedy was a part owner of the Jr. Team as well. Poorly researched, poorly delivered. Stick to hockey since you are a so called expert in that field.

  10. SmartDog says:

    Imagine… just IMAGINE if PG had the balls AND the smarts to find ways to get rid of Gomez, Gionta, AND Cammalleri, and replace them with another power forward, and a couple of depth guys with sandpaper who can pot a few goals. Keeping one of Gionta or Cami I could live with. Cami probably (partly because of his playoff performance… and because I think he’s slumping because he just has his first kid… i know what that’s like).

    What a team we COULD have. There’s a better youth foundation on this team than any I can remember.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • J_P says:

      The kids are very promising, they just aren’t ready to carry the load yet.

      In two years, when Markov and Kaberle’s contracts are act, all those years of drafting D should start showing dividends. Beaulieu, Tinordi, Subban, Emelin… Our D looks like it could be downright dirty a few years down the road.

    • TOEmastro says:

      I would also keep Cami ahead of the others because of his insane playoff numbers. This guy is worth his weight in gold after game 82. The only issue would be if they don’t make the playoffs.

      Olé, olé, olé oleé

    • habsnation says:

      I heard from the beginning that PG wasn’t done after the Kaberle deal, I’m hearing rumours (and yes they are only rumours) that the Habs are shopping Camm and that Molson has finally had enough and that Gomez could be waived before Christmas. Heard the Habs are very close to deals for Brian Bickell and/or David Clarkson. We’ll see what happens, but could be very interesting to watch.

      • nunacanadien says:

        I doubt any of this is true. Not to question your credibility, but honestly, signing Campoli hasn’t shown us any return yet. Don’t forget they tried to get Blair Betts to help Gomez. Chances are if they are doing that, that they are not about to get rid of Gomez.

    • Jordio-oh says:

      Which players? And what would the deals look like? Would the other GM’s want to take on Gionta and Gomez?

      What happens when the players we trade for don’t meet the lofty expectations of 80% of Habs fans?

      Tricky questions to answer?

      Try being a General Manager.

    • SPATS says:

      Throw in Weber and go for Koivu, Selanne and Getlaf


    • SPATS says:

      Option 1 is above, but it got me thinking. If we go after talent that is struggling by offering talent that is struggling or unneeded, how about those 3 for Eric Staal, Skinner and Kirk Muller. Might as well throw in JM

      Fun with Habspiracy theories


  11. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Mr. Hickey, a word to the wise. When in a hole you are having trouble getting out of, stop digging. Theo Fleury is an individual damaged both by James and the system that protected him. His choices were very possibly the result of being damaged thusly. It is quite obvious to most of us that James should have been dealt with more harshly and the uber liberal justice system has failed, in that regard. Under the circumstances, I will give him a pass if he wants to criticize that system. If he chooses not to go on Off the Record and publically peel the scabs off of these wounds in order to make you feel better, that too is his right. Apologize and let it go.

    • MasterHab says:

      First of all, Hickey isn’t in any hole. He was merely trying to re-explain his position since so many of the people who supposedly read the first column simply did not “get it”.

      To me, this points to a failure of the public school system. People learn (just barely) how to read and write but their comprehension skills are non-existent. Hickey writes “A” and people read “Z”. How else to explain the idiotic rants about how Hickey’s column was somehow taking the side of Graham James? People just see what they choose to see in order to buttress their arguments. They’re chastising Hickey for things he never said.

      But the biggest problem people seem to have is that they believe certain topics are sacrosanct or taboo. They don’t think that certain people should have to face questioning. To them, Fleury’s status as a victim somehow immunizes him from any criticism. Nice try, but it won’t wash. Fleury isn’t to blame for what James did to him as a teenager but the decisions that Fleury made as an adult are all on him. His abuse may explain why he chose to do a certain thing, but the consequences of his actions must be on Fleury himself.

      For example, Fleury developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol as a result of trying to deal with the after-effects of his abuse. That’s a tragedy but what if Fleury, while under the influence of drugs, got behind the wheel and killed someone? Who goes to jail then? Graham James? Nope, it’s Fleury.

      And if you were the parent of a teenaged hockey player and you let him go to Calgary to play for the Hitment when James was coaching them, would you still see Theo as a blameless victim when you found out that he knew first-hand what James was and he still let him coach? Fleury knowingly put those kids into harm’s way. I frankly don’t care “why” he made such a stupid decision. All I know is that he, as an adult, needs to answer for it.

      And as Hickey wrote, Theo Fleury is the last guy who should be standing on a soap box pontificating about the inadequacies of the federal justice system or Scouts Canada. He co-owned a junior hockey team with a coach that he KNEW would abuse kids if given the chance. So Hickey is not wrong to label Fleury as an enabler. Sure, sure, his abuse had a lot to do with why he allowed that to happen but it’s not an EXCUSE.

      What happened to Fleury wasn’t fair but life isn’t fair. No matter what happened Fleury, as an adult and a member of society, has certain obligations. As an owner of a junior hockey team, he had a further obligation to act in the best interests of his players. Allowing a sexual predator to be the head coach of that team was a massive error in judgement and he needs to answer for it. The fact that he’s also a victim shouldn’t get him a free pass.

      None of this is to say that Fleury is a bad person. But he has to be held accountable for his actions the same way James has to be held accountable for his. A lot of people say that pedophilia is a compulsion; that the people who engage in it have no choice – it’s just an urge they have that they can’t control. But even if that’s true a guy like James deserves to rot in prison. Fleury is emotionally scarred from that abuse and it sometimes causes him to make bad decisions. But he’s still responsible for the consequences of those bad decisions, especially when it affects other innocent parties.

      So get off your soap boxes, people, because we all know that if your kid had played for the Hitmen and you found out later that Fleury knew about James and still let him coach, you’d want to rip his head off and sue him for every dime he ever earned. His victim status wouldn’t matter to you then, nor should it.

      • Mutt says:

        The crux of his argument was that Fleury was an enabler by owning a team with James, and Kennedy did it the right way.

        Factual error; Kenney was a part owner of that team too. So he either ignored that fact to help his story or didn’t do proper research.

        Either way this was a shameful article and indefensible..

      • neumann103 says:

        I don’t want to accuse you of straw man arguments, but I never saw anyone attacking Hickey for siding with Graham James. The first time I saw that idea advanced was when I read Hickey’s followup column 10 minutes ago.

        Most of what I read that criticized Hickey was of the “don’t blame the victim” theme re: Fleury. That can be a little simplistic however i think in many cases people are reflecting a more nuanced understanding of the contradictory nature of the relationship between accuser and abuser.

        I am not a big advocate of victimology, and it is not a free pass. As I wrote earlier (about 2 seconds before a new HIO page went up and everyone moves the the new thread…who is the rocket scientist behind this format?)

        “you need to consider the dynamic of the relationship the abuser creates. He is not some stranger in a raincoat holding out ice cream. He is a trusted mentor/authority/friend because he has earned it. James was apparently a pretty good hockey coach. Fleury and others undoubtedly came to feel he had improved them as hockey players, and cared about them as people, as we would hope a coach of youth would. Add that feeling that he is taking a special interest in them (and also likely the exclusive feeling that it is an special interest not shown to other peers) and crank up the manipulation and guilt and you have a recipe for abuse.

        And the victim blaming himself.

        Abuse like this is usually committed by a trusted family member or friend. Look at the wreckage of these situations and they are filled with self blaming victims who don’t want dad to go to jail, or mom to get a divorce or Uncle Phil to lose his job and be banned from all family events.

        Is it really so hard to understand?

        I get that it is not obvious or logical, but I don’t get paid to research such things before I shoot my mouth off and it doesn’t seem at all beyond comprehension.

        And yes if I was a parent of kids under his supervision, I would be furious that someone did not put this guy away, but I think I would cut some slack for the victims.”

        That plus the basic factual inaccuracy that Mutt points out above.

        Hickey advanced a thesis that is factually inaccurate, misconstrues the relatively common experience of an abuser remaining in the trusted circle of the abused, and when called on it throws up the smokescreen of the criticism being about allegedly siding with James, and continues full speed ahead.

        I think digging in is the nice way of putting it.

        “shameful” and “indefensible” are probably a little closer to the truth.

        “Et le but!”

  12. krob1000 says:

    I didn;tt really want to get too much into the Fleury thing and victim mentality as I know absolutely nothing about it…but what I can see from the outside is Fleury is now being tossed some potential blame for allowing James to coach a team….does nobody here think that James would have threatened to “out” Fleury? I think unfortunately it was the offender holding the power as Fleury did not want everything known…had he been able to do that sure he wouldn’t have let him….but he was in a very different state of mind for very obvious reasons…
    Blaming Fleury is ridiculous……justify it how you may Mr. Hickey the reality is that Fleury is not the problem. Hickey’s point about Fleury having more to lose is sort of accurate…so to me given his victim mentality that makes me give Fleury even more leeway not think he is more accountable. People tend to deal with these things their own way but we do not know what was being said or what kind of power James still had over Fleury in his state of mind….
    Theo Fleury is nor responsible for anything on this matter…..he has a life sentence… James walks free in a couple of years….
    As far as I am concerned Fleury ever having admitted things is an accomplishment from what I understand. Kennedy is a frigging hero….and so is Fleury but because Kennedy was “more”of a hero does not mean Fleury is not one as well ..but Fleury is not at all to blame for any of this mess and the fact he is higher profiled and can draw attention to this issue and chose to do so is a huge positive for others in his situation…in some strange sense even Hickey’s stance is doing that but it is a classic case of “blaming the victim” although he never actually offically “blames the victim: and in all honesty I don’t believe he even realizes he was doing that.
    I don’t think he would have written a piece like that to hurt Fleury but I don’t think enough thought went into it…it is the kind of article that probably requires several interviews with Fleury himself by Hickey and several disucssions with counsellors,etc before writing an opinion piece on such a delicate subject where real emotions are being stirred and evidently Fleury is quite upset.
    The line where Hickey says he agreed to appear on off the record and Fleury declined should ot have been printed either and is insulting…Fleury would most likely be driven to tears having been put on the defensive for this instance in a forum like OTR while Hickey has no real emotional attachment to the incident…that was not fair at all and is quite upsetting. What that amounts to is Hickey vs Fleury? how the hell is that the issue here…..Hickey swallow your pride…apologize, back away slowly and never mention it again as this is a very troubled individual and victim who you are hurting whether you intend to or not and don’t think for a second that Fleury doesn’t feel guilty about not having said something sooner…he probably does …that is just another part of the wide range of damage done to him..he will probably spend a lifetime trying to rid himself of the “false guilt” and quite simply it is not his fault….at all…and now when he is probably trying to get through this and help others he is being attacked……whether intentionally or not that is how he feels and if this comes down to Hickey swallowing his pride or a victim of a terrible crime being further upset and it is all over some words in a newspaper a half country away from the incident…why Hickey can you just not apologize? It is the right thing to do in my opinion anyway. I understand your intentions were not poor but the result is an already troubled person now being hurt further when he really did nothing wrong in the first place and was abused by someone he trusted.

    • The Cat says:

      Good post krob.

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

    • neumann103 says:


      good post. see my post and Mutt’s above too in response to MasterHab’s hickey defense.

      the point that you raise which is something that i failed to adequately consider is just exactly what an asinine move it was fo Hickey to call out Fleury for essentiallu failing to “man up” and confront him on Michael Landsberg’s Is that show still on? program on TSN.

      Classy. And really just shows that Hickey doesn’t get it.

      And again I don’t think Hickey is wrong to express an opinion, and the job is to generate page hits and letters to the editor. I just think that modifying the original position to reflect something along the lines of “I underestimated the persistence an abuser can have in the trusted circle even years after the abuse and in any case Sheldon Kennedy who I differentiated from Fleury as hero was ‘guilty’ of precisely the same offense. Mea Culpa.” and move on.

      “Et le but!”

      • MasterHab says:

        I think Hickey pointed out that Fleury chose not to debate him as a way of showing that Fleury isn’t interested in answering the tough questions Hickey posed in his column. All he wants to do is use his website to take pot-shots at Hickey without Hickey being able to retort.

        And let’s not forget that Fleury didn’t get on board with telling his story until he had a book to peddle. His timing has been nothing if not suspect. He’s turning his victimhood into a cottage industry and he’s popping off about every abuse story that comes down the pike nowadays. To me, his motivation for telling his story never struck me as genuine – at least not as genuine as Sheldon Kennedy, whom Fleury let twist in the wind for years by refusing to confirm what Kennedy had intimated about his involvement in the abuse.

        By the time Fleury admitted what had happened, no one was shocked or even mildly surprised. We all knew when Kennedy came out in 1996 that Fleury was involved. It was the worst-kept secret in the hockey world to everyone, it appears, except for Fleury himself. Fleury’s “revelation” that he was one of James’ victims was about as shocking as finding out that Liberace was gay. And a lot of the self-destructive behaviour that Fleury engaged in happened after Kennedy went public and the cat was out of the bag.

        To me, his refusal to face Hickey shows that Fleury is still hiding. He knows damn well that he has things to answer for so he avoids direct confrontation. He pops his head up like a gopher, fires off a pot-shot, and then disappears and lets his acolytes take up the cause for him.

        Hickey, who many irate readers have labelled a “coward” isn’t hiding. He’s ready and willing to sit under the hot TV lights and have it out. But Fleury the “hero” is hiding from him.

  13. ont fan says:

    Always surprised how everyone worries about the cap hit.Every team has a handful of people mulling this over before a contract is oked.They are constantly thinking ahead.Everyone in the organization aren’t morons.C’mon people they will find a way.Enjoy the possibilities for the present year. I agree that 3rd periods are giving me heartburn though.

    • savethepuck says:

      I too prefer to think that one of the proudest organizations in sports is not run by a bunch of stupid morons that don’t have a clue about the business.

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

  14. RS says:

    Remember when Ryder, Ribeiro and Eric Chouinard played for team Canada? They were terrible. 2 of the 3 became pretty good (but frustrating) NHLers.

    Remember when Chipchura captained team Canada? Remember when Tom Pyatt won two gold medals playing for team Canada?

    I’m looking forward to seeing 5 Hab prospects play over the holidays, but it’s good to maintain some perspective on things.

  15. shiram says:

    I had never seen this picture before, but it kinda weirds me out, thought I’d share.
    Cole is a great team guy

    Maybe Markov sometime?

  16. awesomerino says:

    “I’ve been accused of blaming the victim”

    F#ck Pat Hickey and his bloated, ageing Baby Boomer arrogance. He invited himself to a dance he should have sat out in the first place, and his inane, self-serving efforts to explain himself reek of condescension.

    • The Cat says:

      Honestly I wonder if people know how to read. Hickey states that Fleury called for a press conference to state that the legal system was flawed. I mean Fleury does kinda set himself up for criticism here.

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

      • HabinBurlington says:

        What part of James being only given 2 and 1/2 years on his first laundry list of disgusting charges then getting parolled and then getting pardoned do you think is not flawed?

        • The Cat says:

          It is as equally flawed as letting him coach the team you own. Im not taking sides, I dont think anybody but James needs to be crucified.

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I am not overtly interested in picking a side, I just think prior to writing this article, I wish Hickey had a sit down with Theo and asked these questions before printing.

            Given the delicate nature of the topic, we as society need to be extremely careful not to further scare these victims from being scared to tell/talk of what happened. I just worry about that.

          • Mutt says:

            as a point in fact Kennedy, the hero of the article was part owner too…

  17. Mr. Biter says:

    Back from an extended vacation with unhappily very little internet time.
    The reason PG got TK was because he knows that AM will not be back this year or if he is it will be near to the end of the season. I have nothing against TK ( how could anyone who has 3 points in 2 games) but as I posted many times in May and June about keeping Wiz over AM (or signing a him to a low 1 year contract), where would we be now if we had kept Wiz (I believe he makes less than TK but i’m not sure) for our 1st. 31 games? Lets see how may AM defenders come forward now? Huge gamble which backfired on PG.

    Mr. Biter

    • G-Man says:

      Markov will be worth it when he’s back. Do you think the Pens are going to jettison Crosby because of his recent troubles?

      Wiz signed at 6 mil for 5 years. TK for 4.25 for 3 years. Who got the better deal?

      • Mr. Biter says:

        Sid and Markov are not at the same talent level as well as Sid is much younger while Markov is coming off 2 now 3 knee operations and is much older. not talking about jettison anyone just saying a lower salary for 1 year for Markov would have been a better deal for the Habs to see what shape he is in.

        Mr. Biter

    • shiram says:

      Wiz is making 5.5millions for 6 years, Kaberle 4.25 for 3 years, both include this years salary.

      Maybe Markov sometime?

    • dh says:

      Where your logic breaks is that we now have Markov AND Kaberle. If Wiz was the same price as Kaberle (not sure about that…) why didn’t we just sign him to begin with. Having both of them would have been better than neither.

      We let too many good players go for no apparent reason. In Wiz’s case, I thought that it was at least because of the cap space but you’ve just shown me that was wrong.

  18. SmartDog says:

    When Kaberle was signed I wrote a post saying how pissed off I was. The next day I wrote a post saying that after seeing him work the PP so smoothly and with some thought, even though I hate think the risk in his 3 year contract (another veteran with questions about his play we don’t need), I can imagine this trade might POSSIBLY work out well.

    In that post I said one reason it might work out is that signing Kaberle might force them to eat Gomez’s contract. Of course someone accused me of working Gomez into every conversation. I’ve cut down on my Gomez bashing – it helps that he’s not playing! – but anyway, it wasn’t frivolous.

    As it stands we have only about 19 million free on cap space after signing JUST TEN guys. And ALL these guys need to be resigned or replaced:
    1. Subban
    2. Price
    3. Eller
    4. Gorges
    5. AK
    6. Moen
    7. Darche
    8. White
    9. Blunden
    10. Gill
    11. Campoli

    So let’s just take the first 4 (obvious we hope) signings:
    1. Subban – 4 million?
    2. Price – 5.5 million?
    3. Eller – 2.5 million?
    4. Gorges – 3.5 million?
    Total: 15.5 million

    And those I think are fairly conservative numbers…. but regardless, bump them up or down by a mil, this is close.

    So we’re left with 3.5 million to sign 7 players. And that’s before resigning AK46 and Moen – good contributors to the team. To resign AK alone would eat up ALL the cap space. Craziness. The fact is that the POSITIVE of the Habs now is that they have a strong core of good young players in Price, Subban, Patches, Gorges, Emelin, DD, and a couple of excellent veterans in Pleks and Cole… we have a lot of expensive baggage and we’ll need to move a big chunk of salary to ice a strong team next year.

    If we DO move that salary… wow, we could have a REALLY strong team.
    If we DON’T move that salary or (because we have to move something) if we move that salary by giving up or not resigning good guys like Gorges and AK… we’re gonna fill important positions with plunkers and the team will be worse.

    – So… the two most obvious players whose salaries to eat are GOMEZ (7,350 mil) and MARKOV (5,75 mil).
    – The most likely players to MOVE (veterans with inflated salaries) are GIONTA (5 mil) CAMI (6 mil), or KABERLE (4,25 mil)

    And we HAVE to move at least ONE of these just to ice a team. Move/remove TWO and you have real options for a strong team.

    So who do you whack? And tell me again that Gomez’s salary didn’t come up or at least wasn’t an obvious option in the background as Molson and PG discussed taking on Kaberle’s salary.

    PS: I did this in a bit of a hurry. Apologies if my numbers aren’t perfect, but I think they are accurate… please correct me if not.

    PPS: FINAL PS… I mean this post to be optimistic but also telling of the obvious story of where we are. I’m excited about the core of this team, but in my mind the core is not the one Gainey brought in 3 years ago. That experiment failed. But he might be credited with seeding this new team with Price, Subi, Eller, etc. But we need to prune back the old brush to let that young team thrive.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • thorandresson says:

      what are you using as your maximum cap? the same as this year? you know it’s going to go up, it always goes up

      • SmartDog says:

        I did use the same as last year but I didn’t adjust for that because a) I think my numbers are actually a little conservative and b) I’ve heard that it may not go up much. And even if it does we still HAVE to move one guy at least.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • TomNickle says:

        The cap is not going to go up. New CBA is going to mean the cap floor goes down too.

        • krob1000 says:

          When it does go down as it likely will there will likely be a buyout period or there is a huge disadvantage right off the hop to the larger market teams who are built around larger contracts. Gomez is a goner for sure one way or another and that combined with Gill (since we have 9 dmen when healthy) is enough to pay all of the RFA’s.

        • thorandresson says:


          Just like everyone was saying 2 years ago that the cap was going to go down for sure because of the recession, and it still went up. It always go up!

      • J_P says:

        With the new CBA there’s going to be a lot of question marks. Just the fact that league wants to go from guaranteeing the players 57% to 50% alone means that the cap is going to go down.

    • JF says:

      Agree with your assessment of Gainey’s rebuild. The Gomez contract is obviously a disaster, but Gionta and Cammalleri are also overpaid. To keep our young core, we’ll need to get rid of both.

    • TomNickle says:

      This was Gomez’s last season regardless of whether or not Kaberle was added. There are players performing better in his role in Plekanec, Eller and Desharnais and with Subban, Price, Kostitsyn and Gorges up for new deals, he’s gone.

      Adding Kaberle doesn’t change where the team was going with Gomez.

      • SmartDog says:

        Good point, it just makes sense. But if he was even a question mark before he’s gotta be gone now. If they can trade away one more (under-performing) guy, our cap situation is actually very good. Or if the cap goes up by 1-2, and Gomez goes, we have about 14 million for 7 guys which is doable with guys like Leblanc in the pipeline.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • TomNickle says:

          Yeah. I happen to think however that Leblanc will spend the entire 2012-2013 season in Hamilton where he’ll have Bournival, Gallagher, Kristo, Quailer among others around him.

          I’m not a big fan of having Leblanc in Hamilton right now because of the dire lack of talent on the roster, but next year Hamilton will have a boon of talent coming.

          • SmartDog says:

            I dunno… he’s handled himself well in the bigs. Needs a bit more bulk but he’s smart enough and quicky enough that he might do okay, especially with another year. And with our cap space close he’d be cost-effective. Or course Gallagher might take his spot.

            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • J_P says:

            Id rather leblanc in hamilton right now getting played in every situation than playing 10 minutes or less on our 4th line.

      • J_P says:

        you say that its gomez last season like its obvious, yet when hes in the line-up jacques martin is still playing him 18 minutes a game. I have no reason to believe the habs will actually bury his contract, even though its the right thing to do.

    • shiram says:

      Moen might be pricing himself out of the equation with his scoring this year, and while I would be sad to see him go, I would not want him to have an important raise either.
      AK is key after the guys you already posted salaries for, and the best thing that could be done to make it so everyone can signed easily is to dump the Gomez salary.
      I posted below that I’d rather the team keep AK46 over Gionta, and I maintain it, depending on the situation at the trade deadline I’d like the team to see if they can picks for him.
      If Markov comes back and plays good, they can try to move Kaberle.
      I don’t see Campoli sticking either.

      Maybe Markov sometime?

      • nunacanadien says:

        Too bad we are not stuck with groaning about not being able to keep Gomez cause he scores…..if only if. Why are we still keeping Gomez around? What rationale is there? Did the NHL Board of Governors decide that the Habs would be stuck with a no trade clause for Gomez?

    • G-Man says:

      It’s funny how most here worry more about the cap than the actual management of the team.

    • krob1000 says:

      Eller will not get 2.5 …MAx Apc only got 1.6 , we have 9 dmen on our current roster…Gill is a goner and that clears 2.25. Moen will be replaced by White saaving more money. Subban will not get 4 million…I suspect somewhere around 3 million. Price probably deserves his 5 million plus. Blunden is not a factor in this equation. Ak is probably deserving of a longer term contract (3 yr s or so at aorund 4 million). I do not believe Gomez is brought back and I think it can all work with that one move. Ideally they will trade him to a floor team, or eprhaps they bury him a la redden, worst case scenario he is bought out…wither way that is likely enough. There are going to be injuries again next year too and that will provide some relief….
      There is also the new CBA issue…let’s suppose they did reduce the cap…..there would be another grace period in all likelihood otherwise it makes no sense to reduce the cap. We are in ok shape…..Kaberle’s 4 million which is an appropriate conract for him is a non issue when there are bigger easier fish to fry in Gomez and/or Markov. Leblanc should be ready for primetime next year as well and we may be in the market for an improvement up the middle which may ormay ot involve moving one of Cammi/Gio/Kaberle.

      Regardless I do not see how a 4 million dollar contract that is very movable is an issue.

    • J_P says:

      Good post, and well thought out.

      Karberle has looked good, and to be honest If the habs would have signed him to that deal in the summer I would have been happy with it, but only if they were bringing in Kaberle to replace Markov. I still wouldn’t have both. I have no problem with the trade as clearly its a serious upgrade, but I agree with you that the cap hit for the next two years is troubling.

      I also find your numbers very conservative. PK could pull a doughty and get the habs to easily pay him $5.5M on a long-term deal, and considering the Rinne deal, price could easily command $6.5M per year on a long-term deal. It all depends how committed the players are to the franchise, and how the organization treats them.

      I agree with you that the habs will have no choice but to bury gomez in the minors. Even buying gomez out doesnt make sense.

  19. ABHabsfan says:

    Very telling comment from Nokie; “when we are up by 2 goals we don’t need to score another goal”
    Well why the hell not? Is that the way these guys are being coached? Do you think Laviolette told the Flyers last night not to bother getting goals 3,4,5? This team needs to put a couple wuppin’s on other teams and have some fun doing it. Youwant to know why they are blowing 2 goal leads? There you go

    • likehoy says:

      it’s obvious.. if we score more goals the other team gets more pissed, and someone from our team gets injured in a freak play.

      nokelainen is protecting his teammates by protecting the slender lead.

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Nice catch. It’s a JM disease to sit back.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Didn’t hurt Philly that Vokoun may have been worse than Juan Montoya last night.

      I am starting to see why Vokoun took less money to be on a supposed Talented team. Not sure he is the solution for that team either. He may have been perfect for Philly, good resume, no solution.

  20. Mats26 says:

    When the Habs lose to team they should beat, they usually play really well the next game against a better opponent.

    What will happen tomorrow against Philly now that they didn’t play so great and still beat the lowly Isles?

  21. 24 Cups says:

    Team Canada’s final roster selections for World Junior tournament.

  22. Castor says:

    Gill said something so telling yesterday about the third period. “they changed their strategy and we couldn’t figure it out”
    (something along those lines)

    Why? our coach puts the trap on and then can’t adapt. The whole NHL knows this.
    If montoya doesn’t suck the Habs lose 3 to 2.
    Call me a pessimist or a “hater” but it’s simply that I really dislike our coach.

    • shiram says:

      Castor you are a coach hater, I am too.
      But I start to wonder, does anyone really like Martin?

      Maybe Markov sometime?

      • Castor says:

        I’m not sure anyone can defend him at this point. Even the games we are winning we almost lose or fluke out a win. If not for Price this team would be in last place in the East. That’s actually not an exaggeration.

        Like I said, I don’t mind PG. I’d start to really like him if he had the guts to fire JM

        • shiram says:

          Would you rather PG fire JM
          For him to buy out/send to Hamilton Gomez?

          Maybe Markov sometime?

          • Castor says:

            I’d rather him fire JM. See what Gomez can do with a coach who actually promotes attacking rather than constant defending at the expense of scoring.

            Playing not to lose is JM’s style.

            Gomez is still a great skater and passer and would be a fit on this team. Salary not withstanding.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        JM’s mother?

        • kholdstare says:

          I’m not sure what you do as a profession, but you must be amazing at it. They won the game and you still think he deserves to be fired. What if they go on a 5 game win streak? He should pay them to coach right. Who needs logic? You can’t even wait until a 5-0 loss in a six game slide. THEY WON.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I am okay at my job, I have room for improvement. Being a straight commission guy I am fully accountable.

        • kholdstare says:

          Then you should appreciate a coach doing ok who could use some improvement. Or maybe you should be fired for just being ok, whichever you think is most reasonable.

    • G-Man says:

      “We had to adjust and it took time to. Things that were open weren’t open anymore.”
      He did NOT say, ” they changed their strategy and we couldn’t figure it out” or anything close to that.

  23. Nice to not have a total collapse in the 3rd, just a partial one.

  24. J_P says:

    Ill definitely take the two points last night, although once again it wasn’t the most encouraging win. Still waiting to see a 60 minute effort. The difference between good teams and bad teams? When good teams erase a 2 goal, third period deficit, they win the game, bad teams lose. The islanders are clearly a bad team. The habs definitely got the advantage of some shaky goaltending from Al Montoya.

    All that being said, it was nice to see them battle back and not let another win slip away.

  25. DearyLeary says:

    We’ve got lots to look forward to at Christmas time! At least 5 Habs prospects should be suiting up in the World Juniors.

    Bournival, Beaulieu, and Gallagher all made Team Canada. Tinordi shouldn’t have much resistance making the American squad, and Pribyl should make the Czech team.

    Not sure if I’m missing anyone.

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      Does that mean the future is bright, or are all our Habs prospects in the WJHC going to be Pat Faloon’s and John Slaney’s?

      They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  26. Stev.R says:

    All 3 prospects make team Canada

  27. CF says:

    When all our D are healthy, why not trade Campoli to TB for Dominic Moore?
    First of all, Emelin has to play. He just has to. Our D are the most one dimensional group in the league without him. Nobody hits, nobody.
    And Moore can center a fourth line with Moen and White when he’s healthy.
    Oh, and one more thing. Everyone on here should start a petition to re-sign AK before the end of the season.
    We just can’t lose this guy. Next to Cole, he’s the best forward we have. Size, speed, shot.
    If we lose him, I’ll be sick.

    • habs03 says:

      I was thinking about A.Kost, I would offer 3 years at 3.75-4M, but not a single year more than a 3 year deal. Problem is he is a UFA, so I think he could get longer and a bit more money on the market, and he doesn’t take that, I say we let him walk.

      Also a petition? you think PG cares what fans think or want..(Thankfully)

    • J_P says:

      AK is going to nashville to play with his bro. If we dont sign him during the season, why would he sign with us? He’s on record stating that he doesn’t like the way Martin treats him, and once he’s two months away from being UFA, I am certain he will test the market.

      With nashville opening up the bank account and needing offense, I wouldn’t be surprised to see AK get a very generous offer from them.

      • Chrisadiens says:

        Can NSH even afford him? They have some big names to sign this year.

        Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

        • J_P says:

          Looks like it. According to cap geek they have $33 million of available cap space for next year, which already includes Rinne’s raise. They have 11 openings, which means about $3 million per opening. I highly doubt they will be able to keep Weber, and even if they do re-sign him, Im sure it will be a one year deal again. Barring some miracle playoff run this year, I dont see weber staying.

  28. likehoy says:

    on the replay of the AK goal, it looks like AK inadvertently lifted cammalleri’s stick. I’m not sure if he hit the islanders stick into cammy’s stick or he just directly hit cammy’s but you can see cammalleri’s stick lose control from getting to the puck when AK does movement with his stick.

    It’d be really funny if AK was like “eff you mike, this is mine!”

    – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  29. Castor says:

    Just for the record. I really want JM fired but I think PG does a decent job. I think his only real horrible move is not firing Martin.
    Cole is great.
    Betts would have been great.
    He can’t be blamed for Markov.
    He should have signed Wiz though

    • habs03 says:

      PG never hired JM, so he will always get the chance to hire his own coach before owners look at replace PG. The problem is PG hasn’t had a reason until this season to fire JM, and the problem with hiring a coach mid season is that you never get to hire the best coach available.

      • J_P says:

        Valid points. PG definitely still has the proverbial “get out of jail free” card in his pocket, so his job is probably safe for a while.

        If he was completely under the impression that markov would start the season, than it’s the doctors fault and not really his (although he would have to find new medical consultants in that case).

        As for the WIz…meh. His contract is ludicrous. I would not have been happy if the habs gave him that kind of money.

        • nunacanadien says:

          If we could just convince Jacques Martin to pull the furniture tags from the coach’s office furniture, that would give that nit picky Gauthier a valid reason to fire JM as hockey doesn’t seem to hold any water with Gauthier. Pull those furniture tags Jacques Martin…..

    • Stev.R says:

      Wiz was overrated and overpaid. I think the plan was to get Kabs for cheap in the summer to replace wiz, but Carolina offered him more years.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I still don’t know what to make of the Markov signing. I assumed he received a good prognosis from the Doctors involved and it was a safe signing. I still actually believe he will come back strong and play 20+ reg. season games. But I have to believe when PG signed him he thought he was getting 60+ games this year.

      Even if it was the Doctor’s who were wrong, the signing hangs on PG. It may work out long term, but in the short term PG is at least guilty of poor judgement perhaps. I think overall PG has addressed many of the teams needs and continues to do so. INjuries have really hurt us like many other teams. But JM seems to not use the players in the roles one assumes PG brings them in for. I think specifically of 4th line grinder like Blunden, physicality of Emelin etc…

      But until JM is not here, I must trust the System.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The Markov signing is tricky cause essentially it has cost the habs 12 mill in cap space (Markov 5.75 – addition of Campoli cause of the injury 2 mill and now Kabby at 4.25). I know we may have had to pick up someone else even with Markov but I highly doubt.
        I would think no one knew that he would be this long or there would have been different moves in the off season. Unfortunately, though that decision is costing the team as there are so many bloody d men on this team currently. I also don’t think anyone was expecting weber to have such a bad turn.
        What PG does in the second half of the season and in the off season I think will define him as a GM with the habs. He has a lot of big signings to do and limited cap space.

  30. habs03 says:

    Hey, our shitty GM who brought in some new scouts when hired, has 3 Habs prospects on Team Canada. One (Bournival) he traded for. FIRE PGG!!!!!!

  31. shiram says:

    Good “edge of your seat” game last night, the Habs had me nervous untill about the last 2 minutes, but they managed to win it.
    I was really impressed by Eller and DD, while barely noticing Pleky.
    DD gets shoved around and knocked down alot, but he gets back up quickly, and it’s hard to argue with the numbers he puts up, his faceoffs are greatly improving too.
    Eller is another beast, and while his scoring game is not up to snuff yet, his play is still great to watch, having him always play the top lines and coming out with great results doing it, this kid is a great asset on the team.
    Management needs to make sure to keep it’s key pieces come next season, Gorges is on top of that list, being one of the best stay at home D in the league. Kostitsyn is also proving his worth while getting limited TOI and no PP, he still scores, hustles and plays a physical game, I think if it came down to it I’d rather the team keep him over say a guy like Gio.
    Losing Moen will hurt alot, hopefully it’s nothing serious.

    Also gotta thank the Islanders goaltending’ the habs could not have won without them!

    Maybe Markov sometime?

  32. Sharks9 says:

    Beaulieu makes Team Canada, assumed that Gallagher has as well.

    Let’s go Bournival!

    25 before 14

  33. rdiddy says:

    Beaulieu makes team canada.

  34. Castor says:

    Gill said something so telling yesterday about the third period. “they changed their strategy and we couldn’t figure it out”
    (something along those lines)

    Why? our coach puts the trap on and then can’t adapt. The whole NHL knows this.
    If montoya doesn’t suck the Habs lose 3 to 2.
    Call me a pessimist or a “hater” but it’s simply that I really dislike our coach.

  35. gK_HabsFan says:

    Looking at Pierre Ladouceur’s report card… and REALLY??

    I wasn’t able to watch the entire game, but was DD really the best habs player last night? From what i saw…. NO!

    I’m getting really tired with how the french media (RDS) overhypes the french players!
    He gave DD a 7.8, the best among all skaters and goalies

    Eller 7.2
    Cole 7.6

    I’ve been glancing at this guys game report card for a while now, and there is no doubt that there is a bias. Aren’t these guys required to report with at least a little bit of professionalism?

    • habs03 says:

      I was one that thought DD couldn’t make it as a C, let alone a top 6 C, but he is proving everyone wrong. He was great last night, he finds ways to win battles for pucks, somone protects the puck, and points up points, heck he even has been good on faceoffs.

  36. nellis13 says:

    thank god for the 4th line. let’s face it, they were 2 b.s. goals, slap shots from the corner of the blue line… and we weren’t exactly showcasing our defence, especally in the 3rd. we got the win though. get the ice packs ready for philly.

  37. jbroderi says:

    Pat was right about Fleury. It is awful that he had to suffer abuse, and it clearly affected his ability to live a normal life, but that doesn’t make him beyond reproach. He can’t blame the government for not doing enough when he, himself let more stuff happen for years. No one is blaming Fleury, but he is not perfect, nor should he be treated as such

  38. Storm Man says:

    It is offensive to watch how lord martin always puts a leash on the team in the 3rd….. I have zero tolerance for this guy.

  39. Bripro says:

    Watching Carey’s reaction after the game had “Pepto Bismol” written all over his face.
    But with his money, you’d think he’d find a more attractive tuque.

  40. habs03 says:

    Man that Hickey articles are some touchy, that I don’t know what to think, Hickey is giving his opinion but that must suck for Fleury to read. While I really don’t have a any comment on the subject because I have no idea how it feels to be abused, but isn’t it weird that Fleury, as a grown man, partnered up with James in co-owning the Hitmen team? If that is the case, shame on Fleury for that.

    • avatar_58 says:

      Sometimes it’s easier to pretend it never happened to avoid the shame and judgement than it is to come forward. Even worse for someone with any degree of celebrity.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        +1. What I was trying to say below, just took me 3 more sentences.
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

    • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

      Like you I have no inkling of an understanding of what it’s like to be abused. I’m thinking though that Fleury’s ongoing professional relationship with that scumbag was sort of like keeping his friends close and his enemies even closer. Add a coke habit and drinking to the mix and I’d say that pretty much sums up what the rationale there was in Fleury working with James.

      They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

      • habs03 says:

        Agree with you and Avatar_58, very tough to even picture being in Fleury position. I just hope that Fleury made sure James wasn’t hurting any of the Hitmen kids on those teams while they co-owned the team.

        • avatar_58 says:

          Whether or not he did is not Fleury’s fault. If you get robbed on the street, is it your fault if the man robs again and you didn’t stop him?

          This blame the victim nonsense in our society needs to stop, especially with sexual assualt. We need to convince victims it’s ok to come forward and that it’s not their fault, rather than burn them because they DARED to feel embarassed and humiliated.

          There’s a degree of guilt involved – “why me?” “what did I do to deserve this” that people just don’t seem to understand. You cannot judge if you haven’t personally felt it

          • habs03 says:

            I guess with not blaming the victim because it is true, it makes them not want to come out and speak publicly even more, but like you said, if you keep getting robbed again and again, why would you partner up with the person that robbed you afterword. But I just read “HabinBurlington” post that clearied that the partnership with James and Fleury wasn’t as I expected, I literally thought it their co-owners but in the sense that they worked together on a daily basis which wasn’t the case.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hear what all of you are saying and agree, but it is my understanding there was like 18 partners in the ownership. James organized the ownership structure and it included Bret Hitman Hart, Joe Sakic, Theo Fleury. Many people here I think are assuming it was Theo and James running the show. It was James running the team with 18 different investors. I don’t say this to absolve Fleury, but rather to clarify the ownership structure.

        • Bripro says:

          The editors are out early today with their knives.
          I replied to one of your comments, and it’s gone.
          It was innocent, regarding your Oiler post, but I guess not enough.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I got moderated out last night for jesting about the score being wrong on the top of the page. Pretty wild stuff. Anways, I was just ribbing HH in guessing who his next bandwagon team would be. Thought it was harmless.

  41. Nine1one says:

    The people commenting on the hickey article annoy me. He was just sharing his view. Complaining that he was doing it just for attention because he said he knew it was going to get a reaction is rediculous. A journalist sharing his unpopular view that makes sense and gets people to think differently is such a crime.

    • DearyLeary says:

      There ain’t such a thing as bad publicity, kid.

      (what Hickey’s first editor likely taught him)

    • Bripro says:

      People’s response wouldn’t annoy you as much as the article if you ever lived through it, or something similar.
      There’s a certain condition of human nature to understand another’s grief and misery. It’s called empathy.

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