“It is what it is,” Cammalleri says of ban

AUDIO: Mike Cammalleri | Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Tomas Plekanec | Lars Eller

Speaking for the first time since Saturday’s incident that led to his suspension, Mike Cammalleri was reluctant to discuss particulars.

“My opinion,” he said today after a training camp session in Clermont, “is an arbitrary one, like anyone else’s. The only opinion that has any credence is that of the league … The less we talk about this, the better.”

Cammalleri admitted he was disappointed to not begin the season in his hometown.

The captain’s take:

“The league is doing what it has to do,” said Brian Gionta, who also observed “c’est tres beau ici” in the Charlevoix region.

On  a lighter note, reflecting on team bonding at the retreat Cammalleri said:

“Hal Gill talks a lot. We all need some earplugs by now.”

•  •  •

Alex Henry is on waivers. This move suggests Roman Hamrlik, without benefit of a training camp, will be ready for the opener in Toronto.

It seems unlikely that Habs will make final cuts tomorrow in Quebec City, so a full plane will fly to Toronto mid-afternoon Wednesday, a few then detouring to Hamilton. Jacques Martin wasn’t saying yesterday whether he’ll carry a 22- or 23-man roster into opening night.

Practice lines were largely unchanged today from yesterday, with a few notable exceptions that feature Lars Eller moving into the spot of the suspended Michael Cammalleri. Here’s the look today:

Pouliot-Gomez-Gionta; Eller-Plekanec-Kostitsyn; Lapierre-Halpern-Darche; Pyatt-Boyd-Moen; Cammalleri-Maxwell-White.

Defence pairings: Spacek-Subban; Gorges-Gill; Picard-O’Byrne; Henry-Weber; Markov-Hamrlik.

• Marc Antoine Godin’s training camp report card


  1. HabFab says:

    Alex Henry has played 177 NHL games for the Oilers,Capitals,Wild and now the Habs. He is entering his 11 year as a Pro. Nice fill in but no NHLer, tough enough but not skilled enough to play full time. Unfortunately another guy who has been on the bubble his whole career. Great guy for organizational depth.

  2. flowerpower_74 says:

    Wow , I really had no idea why OB did that and now it all makes sense.

    Thanks for sharing and my opinion of OB just went up a little.


    Where did you get this info?

    Habs will gel as a team.

  3. flowerpower_74 says:

    I agree with Jan(yan) wholeheartedly and what are you on today Tom?

    Habs will gel as a team.

  4. Timo says:

    I get my own clause – sweet.

  5. JD_ says:

    You’ve kinda lost me. Why are you sorry?

  6. Matthew says:

    Doing that would be a breach of HI/O code of conduct Clause 4.32, the so-called Timo clause, designed to make reading posts more of a pleasant experience…

  7. Chips says:

    The purse snatching incident is a rather large feather in OB’s cap in my mind, as he went after it to get a camera that had pics on it that were not good for the rep of certain players. Doing something about it and then taking the rap for it, certainly makes him a team guy!!! as for his ability, he has shown quite  afew times that he has the capability to be physical and effective defensively. His play last year was much improved, though I admit that he’s had a relatively poor pre-season. Definitely wouldn’t make thru the waiver wire imo.


    25 in 2011

  8. Max_a_million says:

    If you are going to have the Great Gazoo as your avatar, don’t you have to end all of your entries with “dumb dumb”.


  9. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Seriously Tom, normally I like your posts. You usually have a lot of compelling arguments. However, I just can’t understand or support this crusade you are on today. Alex Henry does not belong on the Canadiens. If O’Byrne is not the solution either, then a trade will be made. Henry will not be an option for the Habs this year. Seriously.

  10. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    Seriously? I mean, Hammer gave me fits at times last year (especially in the playoffs), but I would never go so far as to say that Alex Henry would be a more viable option on defense than Roman Hamrlik. If Hamrlik gets proper minutes, i.e. not 22+ and more lik 17 a game, he will be very valuable to the team.

  11. ZepFan2 says:

    Last year in the playoffs.

    In the 13 games he played, O’byrne had, 32 hits and 26 blocked shots. Ranking him 5th in blk’d shots on the Habs and 21st overall.

    Now granted, he wasn’t too impressive in the pre-season. That being said, neither was Spacek.

    I’ll wait for the regular seaon to start before I pass judgement.


    After admiring the Stanley Cup: “This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us.”
    – Steven Tyler

  12. nunacanadien says:

    Is that the same play where Price lets the floater in?  Heck drink the whole case then.

  13. TomNickle says:

    He’s a better option than O’Byrne at the very least.

  14. Mattyleg says:

    The one that has the bigger paycheck.


    …was that one of the options?


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  15. TomNickle says:

    Well I’m sorry that you perceived Henry to be making mistakes in his own end.

  16. Mattyleg says:

    Huh. Never looked at it that way.

    That certainly is what that certainly is:


    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. Chorske says:

    I hate to direct traffic their way, because the organization as a whole is awful (and run by a vertically challenged fascist), but NHL.com has extended replays of the game- one can often catch 8+ minutes of a game in their video sections. I think of it as the “good parts” version of a game, and it’s well worth watching. Getting there is a chore- you need to go directly to their video page, and not follow any of the links on the main page (epic fail in site design and navigability, too).

  18. Chorske says:

    Cue Tom asking you about shooting the puck over the glass in 3… 2…

  19. Bill H says:

    “The other part of this is can we wait and see before crucifying
    management. some people (welcome back Timo) will never be happy. you’d
    think finishing in the final 4 would shut some people up, but for
    Christ’s sake, I doubt the Stanley Cup would even do that.”


    LOL  I have no doubt a Stanley Cup win would do it, at least through to the parade.  Then it would start again. 

    Why haven’t they extended so-and-so yet?” 

    “What?  They didn’t sign him?”   

    And then draft day…

    “They should have traded up.”

    “They should have traded down.”

    “What a bunch of morons.”

    Then there would be free agency signings…and so it goes.

  20. Mark C says:

    Where is it written that Alex Henry can do all that at the NHL level, without having his flaws exposed? You have to go back to 2003-04 to find any NHL experience that comes close to 15 minutes per game. In 71 games he had 2 goals and 6 points that season.

  21. JD_ says:

    There is no such beast as a mistake-free hockey player. There are, however, players who make few mistakes. Unfortunately, Alex Henry is not one of them.

    Watchin’ the preseason games, I was enjoyin’ Henry’s robust style, as was my son. At the time, I mentioned that, despite all of this, the likely reason Henry won’t make the roster is the inordinate number of mistakes he is makin’ in his own end. As it is with many minor leaguers, a lack of NHL experience leads to poor decision-makin’ when the pressure’s on.

  22. Chorske says:

    How many has he made? Actual number.

  23. Mark C says:

    What about point production? Do scoring goals not matter for defenseman? Hamrlik had 6 goals and 26 points last season, Henry had 13 AHL assists, one has to go back over the last 229 games to find Henry’s last 6 goals.

    I know some people don’t like advance stats, but Hamrlik ranks among most of these stats as a middle of the pack defenseman compared to his peers on Montreal.

    Henry has flaws, such as a lack of speed and agility, have a few good preseason games remedied those issues?

    I have a hard time believing that Henry is as good as a middle of a pack D like Hamrlik. If he was, I would think other GM’s would have signed him, or traded for him.

  24. TomNickle says:

    Doesn’t take much for a defenseman to be better than Hamrlik.

  25. G-Man says:

    Ha-ha-ha! First laugh out loud post in a long time. Henry superior to Hamrlik. Yeah, right.

  26. TomNickle says:

    If Henry logs 15 minutes of icetime in a hockey game.  Doesn’t get scored on when he’s on the ice, protects the crease and doesn’t turn the puck over while Hamrlik plays 20 minutes, routinely ices the puck, gets caught out of position and gives the puck away resulting in a goal who is the better defenseman on that night?


  27. sholi2000.com says:

    I feel bad for that kid.  No one should have to put up with that kind of abuse.

    They Call Me Shane

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    The flaw in your argument is this.

    Henry is not a better player than Hamrlik.

    Not even on his best day and on Hamrlik’s worst.


  29. TomNickle says:

    Long term I can’t say, nobody can.  But for Thursday night, he’s better.

  30. TomNickle says:

    Yes, Henry plays mistake free hockey and Hamrlik costs the team hockey games with bad play.

    I don’t care where a player was drafted, how old he is, what his upside is, what his leadership ability is or how much experience at the NHL level he has in this case.

    Right now, today, Henry is a better defenseman than Hamrlik, Picard and O’Byrne.  He should be in the lineup.

  31. Mark C says:

    You really think Henry is a better option than Hamrlik, just for the first few games or in general?

  32. TomNickle says:

    None of you answered my question.  How many puck over the glass delay of game penalties does it take before you realize that this player isn’t capable of correcting mistakes?

  33. pic1983 says:

    So lets hear some examples?

    Ive watched pretty much every habs regular season game and all habs playoff games since the lockout.  Honestly, other than the own goal against the islanders, I cant ever remember Obyrne being THAT bad.  Sure, he’s had off nights, but never nights where I thought he is so atrocious that we should get rid of him to keep alex henry! Heck, I remember more instances of Hamr being atrocious than Obyrne. 

  34. TomNickle says:

    Okay.  Ryan O’Byrne is fine, Henry is a career AHL player.  

    Can anyone give me something other than he had an injury or he’s coming along fine that would indicate he has value to the Montreal Canadiens?

    This is just insane.  It’s like the argument that Roman Hamrlik is a great member of our team because he plays a lot of minutes.  That’s great.  I know lots of 35 year olds that could go play 22 minutes/night for the Habs and stink out the joint just like him.  If his icetime was a reason for him playing even worse down the stretch and in the playoffs, why was Spacek so good?  He’s older, has more injury history and takes more of a pounding because he’s actually willing to stand in front of our net and take punishment to keep the crease clear.

    Our group of defensemen should be a big concern right now.  We don’t have Markov and a player who in my opinion is a better option than O’Byrne, Picard, Hamrlik and Weber was put on waivers.  The goal of this organization is for the Habs to win.  Not for the Bulldogs to be have their captain.

    And again, I see arguments like Henry’s only played 2 NHL games.  And that’s great, experience goes a long way.  But I’ll tell you this.  O’Byrne’s experience hasn’t taught him how to clear the defensive zone without taking a penalty and Picard was used in Ottawa as a stop gap measure until Karlsson was ready for more ice time.  The only thing Picard can do well at the NHL level is pass the puck and skate.  His decision making and positioning are bad and that’s why he went so long without a contract this year.

    Henry has shown in pre-season that he’s responsible, makes a good first pass and sticks up for his teammates.

    And then I hear the argument that he did so against lesser competition.

    And my rebuttal is this.  O’Byrne and Picard were mediocre to bad against that same competition that Henry faired very well against.


  35. pic1983 says:

    He is very capable defensemen.  He just doesnt get regular ice, and unfortunately, due to the fact that all Habs players are under the microscope, most fans only remember o’byrnes few gaffs.  when it comes to defensemen like O’byrne, if you dont notice them, that probably means they are doing their jobs.

    Ryan O’byrne has played 125 NHL games, I would love to hear about games that Ryan Obyrne has cost this team.  Other than the own goal, I certainly can’t remember any.

    IMO, a lot of the negative comments and criticism directed towards obyrne are unfair and unwarranted.

  36. Matthew says:

    When people on this site have an opinion of a certain player, it is what it is… an opinion, and opinions are what they are

  37. JD_ says:

    “It is what it is” is the polite way of sayin’ I don’t agree with somethin’ but am powerless to do anythin’ about it, so why bother expendin’ any more energy on the matter. It carries meanin’ and is exactly the kind of thing I’d expect someone with Cammy’s temperament and poise to say.

  38. Habsrule1 says:

    Unfortunately, you’re basing that on 4 pre-season games.

    Go Habs Go!! “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  39. krob1000 says:

    Actually there is a very good reason for this phenomenon and it is 100 percent hockey related and valid at that too. A team is just that ..a team and it si only as strong as it’s weakest link.  In a sport like hockey that requires high energy expenditures in short periods over a long, gruelling season all lines get used…..whether or not they get used for 4 minutes , 12 minutes or 18 minutes…they are all minutes as valuable as any other minute in a given game.  The best players in the game feast on these weaker players and the better your 5th and 6th dman the better off you will be….especially on the road.  The fact is that in the NHL the talent gap is still relevant and any edge is considered an advantage…we worry about 1 or 2 percent in faceoff percentage, or .008 points on a goalie’s save percentage so to think it is not relevant as to who we have on the ice at our weakest (when we will most definitely see the other teams strongest) is not a very tactically smart IMO.  This was our problem last year…we ran out of steam because we simply did not have 4 lines and 6 dmen who we could ice in the playoffs…we tired and lost.  I think the solidification of our bottom six this season is hgue upgrade…and will give Gomez and Pleks better minutes.

    Even in instances where goals are not scored, momentum changing shifts happen against the weak guys….and on the flip side when a fourth line has a great shift or a third d pairing plays exceptionally well it can create positive momentum.  This is far more important than one faceoff or one save in a game as theere will be several saves and shtos and opportunities over the course of those minutes whether they be 5 or 15 or 20.  That is why it is very relevant….i would almost wager to say it is as important as the difference between a second and third unit….that gap is usually negligible and doesn’t often create matchup issues….a fourth line can bring energy or sap it. it can provide a buffer and favouralbe matchup for your club if they can handle mintues against opposition lines ahead of them  in the depth charts……to sum it up…it makes a huge difference IMO….this principle is the same in all sports and at all levels that I have ever seen…..a weak 5th pitcher…toast, a second string db, toast,etc.  When your 5th,6th or 7th (who will play when injuries happen) are on the ice, Ovechkin is itching to jump on the ice, Crosby’s linemates eyes light up and Patrick Kane spits out his mouthguard by accident….it matters.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    Henry hasn’t proven himself a better player because he’s never got out of the starting gate and got himself a regular job in the Big League.

    There has to be some shortcoming that more experienced hockey minds than ours can see.

    That being said, I wasn’t blown away with his pre-season. He looked good, but can’t say much more than that.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  41. HabFanSince72 says:

    A lot of H I/O posters have what is called attachment disorder towards most players in a Hab uniform, characterized by idealization of others, overinvesting of emotions, preoccupation with and dependence on the relationship, sensitivity to rejection, jealousy and posseiveness, and mood swings.

    That’s why every player who doesn’t make the team is taken as further proof that the two geniuses don’t know what they’re doing.

    I’m surprised how quickly it occured with Alex Henry though. The guy is 30 and has played 2 NHL games since 2006. He is obviously not in our future.


  42. Habsrule1 says:

    I know we’re all entitled to an opinion, but it really makes me embarrassed to be a Habs fan when people are so upset with Alex Henry being sent down. These same people probably cried for a week when Desjardins was traded to Tampa. there’s a reason players of that age have so little NHL games under their belt.

    The other part of this is can we wait and see before crucifying management. some people (welcome back Timo) will never be happy. you’d think finishing in the final 4 would shut some people up, but for Christ’s sake, I doubt the Stanley Cup would even do that.

    Go Habs Go!! “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

  43. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Again, you’re comparing Henry’s play in the preseason with O’Byrne’s play in the regular season – not a good comparison. Regardless, you’ve clearly got a bee in your bonnet over this, and nobody will convince you otherwise – so I’ll just leave you with this:

    Alex Henry – 2-way contract

    Ryan O’Byrne – not so much.


    Is it really any surprise why one was cut and the other wasn’t?

  44. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t think that people are criticising others for having an opinion, they are just voicing their own and disagreeing.

    Mind you, some opinions are stupid, but that’s neither here nor there.

    O’B’s value to the organization is that he is a young, large-bodied defenseman with a developing skill-set. His brand of player improves as he gets older and his play-reading develops. Look at Gill, same kinda guy, but it’s his experience that is his strength.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  45. pic1983 says:

    Alex Henry is 31 and a career journeyman.  Ryan O’byrne is 26 and drafted by this organization, and has shown glimpses of potential upside.  Seeing as we are talking about our SEVENTH defensemen, Ill take the player with the upside every time over the player who i know what Im getting.  Theres a reason why at 31 henry cant find a permanent spot in the show.  He had a great camp, but Im definitely more willing to lose henry than o’byrne. 

  46. TomNickle says:

    I’m not saying get rid of O’Byrne.  I’m saying Henry is better.

  47. TomNickle says:

    Henry’s ability is a very large part of the point.  Especially considering it was him who was put on waivers.

    But just as big of a deal is the players who stick.  And again, what’s O’Byrne’s value to this team now?

    What does he do well?  He sure as hell hasn’t played tough since he was injured.  He has no offensive upside.  He blows coverages, gets danced in the neutral zone and doesn’t position himself well.  I will admit that the positioning will get better with experience.

    However, in Henry, you’ve got a player who makes excellent decisions with and without the puck, is very conscious of his positioning and will protect his teammates.


  48. Mattyleg says:

    He’s coming along fine.

    We have to be patient with defensemen. Like always, accountability grows the further back the ice you go, with forwards having little accountability, and goalies the most.

    I don’t think we should be too hard on O’B. Like was said above, he played fine until his injury. Henry, I’m not so sure about.

    Pre-season is not a lot to go by. Put him against real opposition and he may not look so good.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  49. Mark C says:

    I think he has shown some flashes, but I cannot see how Henry is considered any better. Henry can fight better, a “talent” that Montreal brass gives next to no value. Henry has been playing a safer and simpler game than O’Byrne, but these are preseason games.  

  50. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Small point of correction – the player who had the better camp got put on waivers. None of us know whether or not Henry is a better NHLer than O’Byrne – he’s only played 2 games in the last 5 years.

    If Henry gets nabbed on waivers and makes that team’s NHL roster, I’d be gobsmacked. After all, Carle, who is still considered a prospect wasn’t picked up, and neither Janik, nor Leach (two players who fit the same mold as Henry, but have the benefit of having played significant games in the NHL) were claimed on waivers.

  51. TomNickle says:

    Playing with who as his partner?  Markov.

    How did he fair in the playoffs when he didn’t have Andrei as a partner?

    How has he faired anytime he hasn’t had Andrei as a partner?


  52. Say Ash says:

    At least keep the insightful second-guessing until after the move plays out.

  53. TomNickle says:

    I wouldn’t shed one tear if O’Byrne was let go for nothing.  And you’ve got no guarantee that Henry will clear waivers just like you have no guarantee that O’Byrne wouldn’t.

    For everybody that wants to criticize people for having an opinion about a player let me ask you this.

    What is O’Byrne’s value to this organization?


  54. dallyd31 says:

    Until he got injured last season, he was playing very well and was easily in the top 6 D in Montreal.

    The injury set him back and ruining his confidence.

  55. TomNickle says:

    How many puck over the glass delay of game penalties are okay before the player convinces you that he has no idea how to correct a mistake.

    The point is, the better player got put on waivers.  There’s no unanimous consensus on the subject.  But it is upsetting to watch the potential of losing Henry for nothing while a player who does nothing but make mistakes is sitting pretty in the press box.

  56. dallyd31 says:

    Does ANYONE think O’Byrne would clear waivers ?  Of course he wouldn’t, that is why they sent Henry down instead of O’Byrne.

    These are the same folks that would crucify management for letting OB go for nothing.

    I wonder if any thought is given at all before people post

  57. Mark C says:

    I like the look of many of the young players too. However, none of them, especially outside of Eller, seem ready for a top-six role. Adding another wild card player like Grabner, would only increase the odds of having a good replacement.

  58. Storm Man says:

    With number 44 on the backend alot of Habs fans might not make it home.

  59. StevieRay says:

    Ya I guess he didn’t read Alex Henry’s report card from training camp ..next to go ..probably Ryan White ..he’s just way to gutsy of a player !! I’d like to see him replace Boyd ..but not likely as JM needs to show of some assets he got for Halak !

  60. Ian Cobb says:



    Cut off dates for HIO deal price at THE NOVATEL HOTEL is tomorrow OCT.6th.

    Make the call ASAP so not to miss out.   The hotel  number for Novotel reservations is: 1-514-871-2138

  61. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Somebody should do a study on why exactly hockey fans expend far more energy arguing the relative merits, or lack thereof, of the 7th defencemen than the position warrants.

    Already the teeth-gnashing has begun about Alex Henry – a career minor-leaguer who had a marginally successful training camp. Last year it was Ryan O’Byrne and Bergeron who took up far more metaphorical ink than was warranted, and the less said about the Brisebois obsession the better.

    It’s just bizarre.

    And it’s not unique to Montreal – I remember a few years back that the name Aki Berg couldn’t be uttered in Toronto without causing a firestorm of criticism.

    Sufficed to say, if our season rests on whether O’Byrne or Henry is our healthy scratch on D..well we’re in deeper trouble than I thought 🙂

  62. TomNickle says:

    When has O’Byrne ever shown the capability to be an NHL player?

  63. Mark C says:

    Why do people love Alex Henry so much? He’s played in 2 NHL games in the last 5 seasons, 65 NHL games since the lockout. NHL teams don’t seem to think he is an NHL level player in the “new NHL.” I get that O’Byrne has been shaky, but do people want to risk losing O’Byrne for nothing just so Henry can replace him until Markov is back?

  64. Rugger says:

    Off Topic but, I know a lot of you are based in Europe.  MY daughter is
    in Berlin for the semester and isa big hockey fan (Bruins fan
    unfortunately).  Is anyone aware of a site that has replays available so
    she can see the games at a decent hour there?  Thanks

  65. TomNickle says:

    In fairness to those guys it isn’t really turnovers.  In O’Byrne’s case it’s that he takes the dumbest penalties possible and he isn’t even playing tough anymore.

    With Picard it’s just that he’s not an NHL player.  He comes strikingly close to killing his forwards with the in the feet and in traffic passes and often leaves his partner alone to deal with odd man rushes.

    Henry on the other hand just plays mistake free hockey.

  66. Timo says:

    For starters, I might not make it home on Thursday

  67. HABZ24 says:

    i dont get it o burn cant skate worth a darn, he doesnt want to play physical and just because hes tall they keep him, crazy.  o henry could have been way better then o burn . bad bad move.

  68. Timo says:

    … and the string of great decisions by JM begins.

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