Lockout ahead?/Devils square with Rangers

nyj-nyr

New Jersey’s Travis Zajac (back) and Jeff Carter celebrate the latter’s goal as New York’s Ryan McDonagh skates away Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Paul Bereswill, Getty Images Sport

While Canadiens fans wonder what Marc Bergevin’s club will look like in the fall and who will be behind the Habs bench, the possibility exists that the season might not start in October.

The NHL provided the NHLPA with notice in recent days that it intends to change and/or end the current collective bargaining agreement. The terms of the current CBA require that one of the sides notify the other it wishes to change or end the agreement no later than 120 days before the expiration of the labour agreement and Friday will mark 120 days before the CBA expires on Sept. 15.

The two sides have yet to begin negotiating the new agreement.

This current CBA was the one that ended the lockout of 2004-05 that cancelled the entire season. The main issue in the lockout was the imposition of the salary cap by ownership, to which the players capitulated after losing the season. The fact that the NHLPA did not wish to change the current agreement means that the players under Donald Fehr — who always fought against the cap when he headed the MLB players union and advised the NHLPA against agreeing to the cap — now feel they can live with it in its current form.

The overall economic health of the NHL can hardly be an issue, with record revenues of over $3 billion reported for the most recent year. And player’s salaries have gone up along with the rise in revenues, the salary cap moving from $39 million in 2005-06 to $64.3 million this season.

Just what the league wishes to change about the CBA is not known, although there has been widespread speculation over the last year that it could include matters as relatively small as allowing clubs to buy their way out of a bad contract without having it count against the salary cap, and as large as the split of revenue the players receive from the NHL-NHLPA partnership.

Prior to the lockout, the NHL claimed player salaries ate up as much as 75 percent of league revenues. Since the lockout, player salaries are fixed at around 57 percent of revenue.

According to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily, the NHLPA had no problems with the current agreement and had no intention of notifying the league it wanted changes, so this is being done unilaterally by ownership.

As Pat Hickey wrote in The Gazette earlier this week, Fehr’s brother Steve, who is an outside counsel for the NHLPA, told Mullen that the players will not agree to any further reduction of their share of revenue. Hickey noted NFL players accepted 48-49.5 per cent of revenues after a lockout last summer, while NBA players lost nearly half a season before agreeing to a 50-50 split.

“I think it is fair to say that if the approach is what many are predicting, that the owners come in and say we have to shave 5, 10, 15, 25, 30 – pick a number – points off the percentage of revenues in the cap that players receive, there may be a lot of players who say: ‘Wait a minute, we already gave at the office,’ ” Steve Fehr told Mullen.

“We made massive concessions last time that were designed to fix your so-called problems. If it has not fixed your so-called problems, we need to have a long, hard discussion about what those problems are and what we should do about it.”

But Steve Fehr added he did not know if NHL owners would follow the path of NBA and NFL owners, who asked players to take a reduced share of revenues in ’11, or if they would follow the route of MLB owners, who did not seek major economic concessions and reached a labor deal without a lockout last year.

“If, on the other hand, there is more of an approach that was taken by MLB, it may be a quick and easy negotiation,” he said. “That is actually what Gary Bettman has said, that he expects a quick and easy negotiation and he probably knows more about it than I do, so perhaps that is the direction it will take.”

In December, Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post asked Don Fehr, “Are we in any danger of another labour stoppage?”

He replied, “All I can say is, I would certainly hope not. In the last negotiation, there obviously was a long stoppage at the owners’ instigation. Both long stoppages in hockey have been lockouts, the players haven’t had any extended strikes. The owners insisted upon and received enormous concessions from the players, so one would hope that those days are days that people can write about in the history books, and we don’t have to look at them going forward. Having said that, I’ve been doing this too long and in too many different places to make predictions.”

We’ll be going five or more games in the East.

The New Jersey Devils showed they’re made of tough stuff Wednesday, the Devils beating the New York Rangers 3-2 on Madison Square Garden ice to even the Eastern Conference final at one game apiece. Game 3 is Sunday in New Jersey.

• Tonight: The Kings can go up 3-0 on the Phoenix Coyotes in Los Angeles.

474 Comments

  1. ed lopaz says:

    re: discussion below where the owners were called “parasites” and “criminals”

    It is the owners who are risking their money.

    that’s how business works, right?

    maybe the players should start their own league and see how successful it would be.

    what a freakin joke!!

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      How much risk did Geoff Molson assume when he acquire the Montreal Canadiens?

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      - Sean Bonjovi

      • HabFab says:

        More money then he had.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        That is difficult to determine without having access to all the financial data from the team for the five years prior to the sale.

        Earnings before interest and taxes/Interest Expense
        The number should be 3 or above to be considered a low risk investment. I hope this helps.

        • neumann103 says:

          except that you have to look at the appreciation in value of the franchise.

          The LA Dodgers could have lost a few million dollars a year on operations but when you sell the team for something like 3000% more than you paid, that is kinda water under the bridge.

          “Et le but!”

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            yeah, but… the real value of the hockey team is the value of its future profits I guess.

          • commandant says:

            The owners royally screwed players for years, and years… even when there was a PA they continued to screw the players by making backroom deals with Alan Eagleson who was the head of said PA and worked against the PA’s best interests. The owners in this league made a lot, and I mean a lot of money on the backs of the players for damn near 75 years.

            If the players today are getting a fair share…. good for them.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
            http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • Sean Bonjovi says:

          @Mr MacD – this isn’t so much a reply to you personally, but an expansion of an argument based on a concept that you introduced to the discussion.
          The risk of owning an NHL franchise is a function of cost and revenue and how predictable those things are. Though I cannot say for sure, I suspect the revenue and cost generated by the Montreal Canadiens are pretty stable. The current CBA even has a feature (salary cap) to stabilise cost, and therefore reduce risk.
          The other factor that contributes to risk is the stability of interest rates, but that is of no concern to the players. The formula EBIT/ interest depends entirely on whether the owner had enough money to buy the team in the first place. The EBIT/I calculation for the Canadiens is very different with Geoff Molson as owner than it would be if the guy who owns the Buffalo Sabres had bought the team. The Montreal Canadiens may very well be a risky investment for the current owners, but that risk IS NOT inherent to the investment. If Molson thinks he can buy a hockey team with borrowed money and still make a profit, he’s welcome to try, but he’s got no business asking the union to reward him to the “variable” risk that he willfully assumed.

          “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
          - Sean Bonjovi

    • neumann103 says:

      Ed,

      Think anybody would pay $300 a seat to watch the owners?

      I didn’t see the post you reference. “Parasites” is probably a little strong although your implication that hockey needs owners more than it does players is laughable. “Criminals” is straight out factual. Over 20% of NHL teams have had an owner convicted of a felony in the Bettman era. The NHL braintrust favours frauds over politically disruptive and uppity prospective types like RIM-guy.

      And don’t get all free market capitalisty because the NHL market is not free. You can’t just start up a team and compete.

      And regardless of what you think about those lazy millionaire players , they are drafted at 18, traded as chattel, impeded from selling their services to the highest bidder to benefit a closed oligopoly of owners.

      “Et le but!”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s a common trope. We hear it all the time on Fox News, that the wealthy are in fact the risk takers and the job creators.

      What I argue is that the colossal sums of money involved in the NHL are not central to the product. If the league operated on 10% of the revenue currently being generated, you’d still have a great league with great product and the best players in the world providing a great show and memories that’ll last a lifetime. This gigantic house of cards that has been erected by greedy owners is not a justification for a lockout, and not a rationale for taking back 7% in revenue from the players, six years after a CBA was arrived at in which the players made massive concessions already. There is no financial imperative to a lockout this season, only another expression of greed by the owners.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Bripro says:

        Thanks for the discussions by the way. It was fun. Supper. Gotta go!
        Bon appetit!

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Anytime Bripro, always up for a lively discussion, as this site puts it. Love the tone of respect, I’ll debate with you and most others anytime.

          Except for shootdapuck. That guy made me look a little silly the other day, I had to take my ball and go home…

          ———————————
          In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • ed lopaz says:

        like I said, some players like Gretzky and Lemieux actually understand the concept:

        if you want to run the business, become an owner.

        this is not about Fox News, I’m not sure why you keep making that reference.

        Business is Business.

        There are owners and there are players.

        Each has a right to exercise his power and influence on the other according to the rules that govern the sport.

        If the players don’t like the rules they can collectively bargain and change them – same for the owners.

        But to say that the owners are parasites, or that the owners are less of a stakeholder then the players, is just nonsense.

        Without the owners there is no league, no arena, no salaries for the players to earn.

        when the league wants to expand, it first requires an owner, and then it goes and finds the players.

        its really quite simple.

        you can’t have a league without owners.

        but the players can and do get together and play pick up hockey throughout the off season all over North America and Europe.

        funny thing about those games….no pay, no fans, nothing.

    • The Cat says:

      Parasites maybe not so much, but criminals definitely.

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

  2. db says:

    I’ve been in Tulum, Mexico for over a month now. Got me a great spot in paradise (any sponsors feel free to email me). I just found out that I’m hanging out with a cousin of Shea Weber. She’s very cute, “have you heard of Shea Weber?” she asks…What! Try not to gush I thought, focus on the important things. Boyfriend? Yes. Damn.. Ok. Montreal. Montreal. Montreal.

    I’m doing my duty, every time I see her I ask her to say to Shea “go sign with Montreal. Even for just one year. Ya gotta see what it feels like. Ask Hal Gill.” I’m pretty sure she can remember that.. although by the time she speaks with him, it may be too late. (I’m also urging an email to him within a month so he can advise his agent lol).

    Have a good off season y’all, it’s wonderfully hot here in Tulum, Mx. I’ve already invited Gomez to the beach for some cervezas, no response yet.

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Here’s a question:
    Who would you most like to go for a pint with on the Habs, and why?
    Who would you not?

    Me: I’d love to go for a beer with Hal Gill (admittedly no longer a Hab, but you can pick them too.) He seems like an easygoing guy who’s my age (4 days older), and who has a good sense of humour and likes to chat. I’d also go for a beer with Gomez, believe it or not, because he seems like he’d be a fun time.

    I would be much less interested in going for a beer with Eller or (even though he’s one of my faves) Plekanec. They don’t seem like they’d have much to say, and Eller’s just a kid.

    What about yous guys?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • hansolo says:

      Yes:

      a) PK — suspect he’d be quite a bit of fun. I’d probe him for the inside scoop on JM and PG
      b) Eller — when I saw the segment of “Our Canadiens” that featured him, he seemed like a good guy to hang out with, very thoughtful
      c) Gill — for sure
      d) Yeah, Gomez — but I’d make sure he paid!
      e) Carey Price

      Probably not:

      a) AK46 — what would I say in response to monosyllables?
      b) Ryan White – just don’t know enough about the guy
      c) Blunden and d) Staubitz — ditto
      e) Nokelainen — can’t see myself saying “Hey, Pet, howzitgoing?” It would feel weird.

    • Bripro says:

      Gorges, White and Subban.
      Gorges seems like an honest interlocutor. He looks you straight in the eye and reflects on what he says. He’s honest.
      Subban will make you laugh by his naivety, and hyper behaviour
      which will get on White’s nerves and start a bar brawl.
      And that’s really what you’re looking for to get onto Youtube. Right?

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      If ex-Habs count, Andrei Kostitsyn sounds like a fun guy to party with.

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      - Sean Bonjovi

    • punkster says:

      Now this is an excellent question to get a discussion rolling.

      I’d enjoy sharing a few pints with Brian Gionta. He’s the leader and I’d like to get to know what makes him tick. He seems intense and focused and it would give me an idea how he relates to the rest of the team.

      I wouldn’t care to sit down with Emelin as I don’t speak Russian.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s too easy. Évelyne Audet.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Bripro says:

        :D
        We can see where your mind’s going.

      • HabFab says:

        And the winner is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Like I said, too easy.

        Also, I have a gap in my TV watching when it comes to the Canadiens, and I didn’t get RDS for years until last year. Anyway, that’s how I got to ‘meet’ Chantal, and I get the admiration she receives from the posters on here, she’s a handsome woman and all… And then I saw a clip from the 2004 lockout, and a brief glimpse of Chantal back then. I kick myself for having missed those years.

        ———————————
        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • 24moreCups says:

      I’d actually have a beer with just about all of them but would definitely prefer-

      Carey Price – Because he’s probably my favorite Hab and apparently knows how to party.

      Or White – Good ol’tough Canadian kid with a missing tooth, plus he’d probably have my back in a bar fight haha.

      There’s a few more, Pk and I wouldn’t having a few with Randy Cunneyworth.

      Probably not with Eller or Markov.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I’d like to go for a beer with Pierre Gauthier.

      Just to hear him call me “Mr. Curley” all the time.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        You know what, that may be the best choice. All these questions that we beat our heads against the wall about, he could answer. “What were you thinking when you drafted Ben Maxwell? Was Milan Lucic on your radar at all? Did you think you could nab him later? Weren’t you petrified of seeing him in a Bruins jersey?”…

        ———————————
        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • ont fan says:

        Bob Gainey…I’d pick his brain, no question about it. A little beer, a little wine.

      • Bripro says:

        Got a brother named Mr. Moe?

  4. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    Canadiens definately need to move one of their top 2 centers from last year. At least 2 new defencemen have to go.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I’d move Desharnais to the left wing on Eller’s line. IMO Eller has the best Physical skills on the team, but he doesn’t read the play well enough to make the wisest decisions. Let Eller get the puck out of his own end then let Desharnais do the thinking in the other two zones. You could even give them Cole to play the right wing.

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      - Sean Bonjovi

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Chris Nilan is from Boston.Still love the guy.So does Montreal.

    • 24moreCups says:

      Every summer I meet a bunch of drunk tourist downtown Montreal, a lot from Boston and they always have nothing love for the city. Not so much the hockey team though.

  6. frontenac1 says:

    NHL Lockout? “She got the Goldmine,and I Got the Shaft” Jerry Reed.

    • otter649 says:

      Bobby Hull said his wife made him a millionaire – He had millions when they were married but only a millon after the divorce went through……..

  7. jon514 says:

    I never thought Emelin and Plek would be the 2 habs to make it to the semi-final.

    • shiram says:

      Why not, they both represent good teams.

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

      • jon514 says:

        I should rephrase and say I’m surprised with the impact made by Emelin. He’s kicking butt! 4pts and +9. I know he’s good defensively, but that’s ridiculous.

        Anyway, I just thought the Americans would go deeper. I also thought the Czechs would be eliminated.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Not surprised that the Russians made it. I *am* surprised that Canada and Sweden did not get through. As I see it, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Finland are pretty similar in the way that they play – probably a bit more defensively and system-oriented.

      I really wish we could see how every country would play if they all had some time to practice under a given system. As it stands, teams relying heavily on NHL talent are basically improvising their way through the tournament.

  8. shiram says:

    Just Hal Gill, being awesome.

    To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

  9. Sir.Plekers says:

    NOOO lockout i am missing the habs already :,( At least i am watching my favourite for The czechs right now.

    SIR PLEKERS

  10. jols101 says:

    RE: The CBA – Am I missing something? In what other business do the employees take home 57% of the revenue?
    I hope the NHLPA is bluffing saying that they will not budge from that because I can see the Owners taking a hard line and saying 50%-50%.
    Again, am I missing something? Why wouldn’t the owners take home at least 50% of the revenue? Colour me confused….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The owners agreed to it, can’t blame the players. Gary Bettman was so adamant to get Salary Cap that he was kind of hoodwinked on the revenue split and the escalation of the Cap being tied to revenues, in my opinion.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The entertainment business.

      Which this is.


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

    • ABHabsfan says:

      This is the same business where the employees give back a portion of their salary to the boss, just in case they don’t make as much money as they think they should make.
      I sure would like to get that arrangement from my employees.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Who do you pay $100 or more a ticket to watch? Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux, or Ed Snider? Why do you pay extra to have RDS on your cable package, because of Carey Price and P.K. Subban and Erik Cole, or because of Geoff Molson, and George Gillett before him?

      We love the game because of the players, not the owners. They are the game. They’re our heroes, the ones we put posters of on our bedroom walls as kids.

      Team owners pretend to care about fans, but will pick up and move their franchise at a moment’s notice if they get a better deal elsewhere. They get taxpayers to defray the cost of their stadiums and then charge an arm and a leg for a ticket.

      Players, who entertain us and put their life and health on the line to play a game they love, deserve the lion’s share of the revenue they generate, not parasitic owners who have amassed great fortunes through prior great crimes and ended up owning what should be a community institution instead of a billionaire’s toy.

      The 50-50 split is a conjurer’s trick, it’s sophistry. It hearkens back to kindergarten, that we should all share and share alike, so it’s superficially sensible. It’s as fair and balanced as Fox News. It’s as even-handed as having scientists on a panel discussing climate change, and allowing equal representation to hacks bought and paid for by the oil industry to provide the ‘opposing view’.

      Two decades ago, NFL players were arguing for 65% of the gross revenue, now they’ve been beaten down to less than fifty. It’s a travesty that buffoons like Al Davis and his destitute son and Ed Snyder and Mike Brown and Robert Irsay make more off the game than the actual players who play.

      ———————————
      In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Bripro says:

        I’m sorry Norm but on this one, I can’t totally agree with you.
        Their situation is typical union-driven. It has been since the days of Alan Eagleson. He helped create the force behind today’s NHLPA and their union. The crook that he was.
        Let’s be honest. The amount of money most of these guys make is ridiculous.
        Don’t get me wrong. I love the game, the talent, and the players. They become stories to tell our children.
        But when the dark shadow of money influences the game to the point where teams change from one year to the next…fans not knowing the new guys’ names… millionaires playing millionaires, paid for by the typical enthusiastic fan, who may or may not sacrifice something to buy those tickets. It’s insane! $12 for a beer!
        So who’s at fault?

        The players aren’t stupid. The money’s there, why not take it?!
        I would…no question. Who’s to blame for that? The Steinbrenners of this world. The Charles Wangs of this world.

        But I’m convinced there are owners, such as Geoff Molson who love their city, and wouldn’t move it for anything. Why should they, if they have their captive market?
        The Bell centre’s success might be an exception, but that’s the very reason he wouldn’t go anywhere else, I’m convinced.

        I own a company. I work my ass off for that company, for its success. I deserve to be rewarded for my success. Why not? I’ve invested heavily into it. I shouldn’t be allowed to reap the benefits?
        I take all the risks. I coordinate an enterprise.
        The staff that I hire, if they’re not happy, they’ll leave and go elsewhere. But I’m still here. And I report to the shareholders.
        ….sound familiar? Mine’s a very small operation, Geoff Molson’s isn’t.

        I think a 50/50 split is fair. It should stay there. The players provide the entertainment. The organization provide the venue for the players to thrive in, enjoy themselves and stay awhile.
        And isn’t that all the fans really want? Some good players who chose to stay awhile and create some success?
        We haven’t seen that since the ’70s.

        • commandant says:

          So the players make ridiculous amounts… so your solution to that is to give more to the billionaires who own the team.

          Consider also the career of a player is relatively short compared to the owners who can reap in cash indefinitely.

          Always gotta remember when we talk about the evils of millionaire players, that a reduction in salary means more profits for the BILLIONAIRE owner, not cheaper prices for the fans.

          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
          http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

          • Bripro says:

            I see your point, and I don’t totally disagree.
            But how long will it take the average individual to hit their first million?
            5 years? 10….20? The average salary I’m guessing is about $2.5mm?
            Even if they play 5 years, then retire or are forced to retire…
            They’ve made $12.5million!!!!
            You win the lottery tomorrow and that’s the jackpot…..
            what are you doing? I don’t know about you, but I’m retiring and heading south!
            They’re not working! They’re playing the game that we all love, and they’re getting paid ridiculous amounts to do so.
            Am I on their side? No. Am I on the owner’s side? No.
            In an ideal world, the claw back salaries and by extension ticket prices, where it’s reasonable for you and me to go see not one or two, but maybe a half dozen or even 10 games during the season.
            Are most owners greedy…no doubt. And they should be accountable to the fans, but the reality is that they’re not.
            Both sides command too much, so my solution is 50:50.
            And drop ticket prices.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Bripro, you’re saying 50-50, like it’s automatic, in a reflex. I don’t get it. You’re saying the players should give up seven percent of the revenue for no reason at all, six years after making major concessions in the last CBA. When the league just signed a ten year deal with NBC, and the salary cap keeps rising because revenues keep rising. Why is that? Why do the players have to take a huge pay cut? They’re producing, giving their all.

            Thought experiment: I think your company should give 7% more of its revenue in salary and benefits to your employees. I have no real reason to state this, I haven’t seen your books. There no documented need for this to happen, but I think it’s only fair. That’s my solution.

            ———————————
            In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • Bripro says:

            No it’s the other way around.
            If I’m earning 43% of revenues as opposed to 50%, I’m already conceding the 7%. I’m just saying that 50% of revenues to offer all of the company’s resources, support staff, tangibles as well as intangibles, pay for all the promotions, so that your top staff can come into an ideal environment, making more money than God, and being worshipped by millions.
            What’s wrong with that?
            To be honest, I don’t think I could be an arbitrator, because my first question would be “what about the fan?”
            I think of the days when Maurice Richard would play under (the uba-greedy ownership – can you say crooks?-) less-than favourable conditions, to go sell his fishing tackle to try and survive.
            But that’s what made those guys better hockey players.
            Because it wasn’t about the money.
            No question, today’s players are far more talented,
            yet they’ll jump ship to the highest bidder.
            Don’t ask me to feel sorry for them.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Pro sports are so distorted that it’s hard to apply comparisons to the real world. In your business, I’m sure you have a lot of talented, dedicated individuals who contribute immensely to the success of your firm, but if they leave for another opportunity you can find someone who can fulfill the role.

          The NHL features players who are one in a million. They are the best of the best. Their compensation and the supply and demand doesn’t compare to real life and average workplaces.

          HFS72 mentions the entertainment industry, and that’s a good comparable. Does Brad Pitt deserve $20 million to appear in a movie. No, but yes. By appearing in ‘Moneyball’, he made the producers a whole pile of money, and made what could have been an unwatchable mess a good movie. He deserves his compensation in that distorted world.

          So do hockey players. Whereas producers and owners bring nothing to the equation, they bring no value to the game or film. They’re leeches who suck unbelievable profit out of the industry, completely out of whack with what they bring to the table.

          I respect Geoff Molson a hell of a lot, and I’m on record as such, but I could do his job. I could have stood at that podium and said Pierre Gauthier is fired, and I’ve hired Serge Savard to help me recruit his successor. And when we hire him, he’ll have all the resources he needs to be successful, since I have a pile of money. Anybody can do that. It’s not rocket science.

          Yet on my best days, I cannot do what the players do. I can’t go on a breakaway like Tomas Plekanec, I can’t outskate and overpower a defenceman like Erik Cole. Maybe just maybe I could have blocked shots like Hal Gill, based on my colourful minor hockey and garage league career. But that might be stretching it.

          The game is about the players. The 50/50 split is an illusion of fairness, as I’ve pointed out earlier, especially since right now the players earn 57%. You’re asking them to relinquish seven whole points for no reason at all, after all the concessions they made the last CBA agreement.

          As far as the prices and salaries are insane, I agree. Arbitrarily, if all revenues were cut in half, the players would still be handsomely rewarded if they got 57% of that. The thing is, the owners are the ones who leverage themselves like crazy to buy their shiny toys and then jack up beer prices to make us pay off their loans. They’re the ones who make revenues rise, and that rising tide is making athletes wealthy, in a salary-capped world.

          ———————————
          In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • neumann103 says:

      In what other business are you told at 18 who you are going to work for, take it or leave it. If you excel and someone else wants to pay you more, tough.

      “Et le but!”

  11. frontenac1 says:

    Agreed! 4th line,Moen,White and Staubitz.Sign them all! Sign Bryan Allen,and trade the Swiss guys to the Caps for John Erskine.Get”er done Marc!

    • mark_ID says:

      Would love to see that in our lineup next year. +1

      “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

    • kempie says:

      I approve this plan.

    • commandant says:

      While the current team doesn’t have enough toughness and needs more, there is always a balancing act between toughness and skill.

      I think your proposal loses sight of the balance needed, pulling a complete 180 and leaving us with an overabundance of toughness, but not near enough room for skill, especially on the blue line.

      One of the two Swiss defenders should go, but certainly not both. And if you add both Allen and Erskine, who is sitting in the press box? Erskine or Emelin?

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
      http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Not sure if this was posted yesterday, but article in the Globe regarding difficulty CBC will have keeping Hockey Night in Canada.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/bruce-dowbiggin/hockey-night-in-canadas-days-may-be-numbered/article2435006/

    • Bripro says:

      There goes another institution of our youth.
      I guess we have the Harper Gov’t to thank for that as well.
      Between that and Kyoto, he’s just doing wonders for the typical Canadian citizen.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I am not sure the quality of todays CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada merits Gov’t protection.

        • shiram says:

          Was gonna say something like that, do we wanna keep paying Don Cherry and co.

          To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

          • commandant says:

            HNIC is one of the few profitable ventures at CBC. Advertising on HNIC more than pays for the rights fees they pay to the NHL.

            In fact HNIC funds some of the other less profitable shows on CBC, the actual shows that taxpayers pay for.

            Whenever you think Taxpayers are paying Cherry and MacLean and company, its just not true.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
            http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Say what? The CBC gets 1.1 billion a year from taxpayers. Under Harper. And for what? American TV and shows no one watches? You Libs and Dippers have Harper Derangement Syndrome. Is P.M. Mulcair going to increase it to 2 billion? Hockey will still be hockey on a private broadcaster. Sheeesh.

        Where is the anti bigotry brigade when true bigotry raises it’s ugly head, by the way? Oh right. The tolerance and diversity bunch are allowed to hate some groups.

        • Bripro says:

          My comment was more emotional than logical. I’m not saying I support the CBC per se. You’re bang on regarding large sums of $ for low quality programming. I was just reflecting on its demise.
          Saying “There goes another institution…” was more reminiscing my youth with Danny Gallivan and Dick Irvin.
          As per the Harper Gov’t comment, that was just an opportune shot at a government that I loathe…for a bunch of reasons.

  13. HabFanSince72 says:

    Two of the most sought after free agents will be Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Although we typically do not “get” marquis free agents both are Americans and we have had some success luring Americans.

    What would be the likelihood of one of them becoming a Hab?

    I think Philly, Detroit, NY Rangers, Chicago are more likely destinations, but after those we are probably in the running.


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

    • ont fan says:

      I think zero chance. Guys like that want to win now or go to a destination like NY or LA.

    • DLHABSNUT65 says:

      I’ve read it that Parise would like to play with Datsyuk, and that Dallas is interested in both and guess who’s back in Dallas..Bob Gainey, who was responsible for several Americans signing in Montreal!!

    • jon514 says:

      Patches success at the Worlds might make a few people take notice. He is getting better and better, and guys like Bobby Ryan are taking notice.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      I think there is very little chance that the Canadiens will even make competitive offers for Suter, and Parise unless Markov, and Gionta are on the way out, and even then I’m not sure it would be worth it to sign them.
      If the Canadiens spend to the cap this summer they’ll have trouble in 2013 when they need to re-sign Max Pacioretty and maybe David Desharnais. If Pacioretty scores 30 goal again this season he’ll get Bobby Ryan/ Phil Kessel money (possibly adjusted for inflation), and if Desharnais can repeat this year’s performance it will take at least a couple million more than the $0.85 million he plays for now if they want to keep him.
      The Canadiens real opportunity to become a great team won’t come until/unless some or all of Beaulieu, Tinordi, Gallagher, Ellis, this years 1st round pick, or for that matter even Leblanc and Eller establish themselves as really good NHL players, so I think the best play is to just ride it out.

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      - Sean Bonjovi

  14. commandant says:

    Jonathan Vilma is suing Roger Goodell

    How long til an NHLer sues Bettman or Shanahan.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  15. 24moreCups says:

    Nice little piece on Ryan White – http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=631296

    I’ve always liked White and hope to see him back again next season.

  16. Bripro says:

    For those interested, the Canadiens, on behalf of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s foundation, are holding their first annual street hockey tournament.
    Here’s the link to get more information.

  17. frontenac1 says:

    For me ,I love the World Juniors,then the Memorial Cup and the Olympics.The World Tourney?….meh!

    • shiram says:

      Looks like a dive, but then there’s the stick in the genitals, and the stick gets stuck in Emelin’s legs as he is trying to turn/move…

      To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

      • Les Canayens says:

        It may or may not be a dive, but one thing for sure is Frazen wanted to engage Emelin and possibly got him a penalty, but he was having none of it.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I really like Franzen as a player. He has great hands and hockey sense and is massive. He also can be pretty mean when needed

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out http://www.groovecontrolmusic.com

    • DLHABSNUT65 says:

      You guys missed the trip at the beginning too!! First he tripped Franzen, with his skate, then I believe he bluffed the spear to the groin but if that wasn’t a dive then it was definitely embelished!! I was a fan of Emelin but I may have just changed my mind….That was pure dirt!! If I could use replay and make the call, Emelin would get 4 mins and Franzen nothing!! I think Emelin had a cheesy smirk on and was rubbing it in too!!

  18. frontenac1 says:

    Thanks for the prospect link for the Memorial Cup Bripro.I am starting to get pumped!

  19. jedimyrmidon says:

    I think Team Canada could have sorely used Gorges and Subban on the PK, which was in general not very good this tournament. (Yeah, I know, Subban was injured).

    Who did they use on the PK? Phaneuf and Keith? Their NHL teams weren’t exactly good in that regard this year…

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The skating ability of Schenn and Phaneuf was dreadfully noticeable on the larger ice surface. I still think Schenn can become a good stay at home physical defenceman, especially under Carlyle.

      • commandant says:

        The tournament being used by GM Kevin Lowe as an audition for Ryan Murray, and by AGM Dave Nonis as a place to give Luke Schenn more experience is self-serving for their NHL teams, and self defeating for Team Canada.

        There were much better defencemen than these two available, but they were picked for selfish reasons.

        Team Canada should get a GM who isn’t affiliated with an NHL club to pick this team, so the only best interest he will serve is to win for Canada, to make himself look better and get an NHL job down the road.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Agree 100%, posted some sarcastic comments about just that earlier.

          The old boys club at Hockey Canada continues.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          NHL affiliation wouldn’t be a problem if the people in question were from respectable teams, but here we have members of Leafs and Oilers management of all people trying to guide Canada to gold.

          They can’t really go wrong with the immense talent at the forward position, but I don’t know what happened at D with Murray, Phaneuf and Schenn (Phaneuf is okay, but you can’t have multiple guys like him, and certainly cannot play the role of a shutdown D especially on the larger ice surface). I guess injuries did play a part, but I’m sure they could have been more judicious in their picks.

  20. HabinBurlington says:

    Well based on the results at World Championships, looks like we should be happy to be able to draft a Russian player with our 3rd pick. ;-)

  21. D Mex says:

    Canada followed out of the World Championship Tournament by the USA today.
    Thought I saw Max Pac skate over and say something to an official after the final buzzer – potty mouth ?

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  22. Habspark says:

    And now the US are out!!!

  23. habsavvy says:

    just heard Donna Summer(queen of disco), dead at 63.
    had cancer, but kept it quiet.
    RIP. I loved her voice and songs.
    she will be missed.

  24. Hobie Hansen says:

    The reason I think people are attached to Plekanec is that he sort of came out of nowhere, grew up with the Habs and turned to turn into a very reliable player.

    Business is business and sports these days is definitely a business. So if there is a deal out there to make the Habs better by trading Plekanec, you’ve got to pull the trigger.

    I’m hoping Plekanec sticks around long enough to hoist a cup in Montreal myself.

  25. Bripro says:

    Plekanec for mayor! (Burley’s idea)

  26. Bripro says:

    I don’t know if it’s been posted yet, but here’s an inspiring update on our own Max, the Machine!

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/Pacioretty+seeks+positive+memories+from+world+championship/6581555/story.html

    • Habspark says:

      I find it very strange, there has been very little chat and essentially zero coverage of the World Championships on this site and yet this is our national team playing our national sport – our only sport for which this country is recognised/remembered internationally!

      During the season, we are more than happy to say how disinterested we are in hockey being played out in Phoenix, Nashville etc., and yet when it comes to having a choice to follow Team Canada or Phoenix/LA – sweet nothing on Team Canada.

      Why is that? Do we really assume that we are the best and don’t need to prove ourselves internationally, that it is just a given, despite the results, because it is ‘our’ game? This is the third time Canada has been ousted in the quarter finals.

      The Russians on the other hand are outstanding at the moment. The only way they will not win any major competitions over the next year is if they become too big-headed, but otherwise, Canada (with or without Crosby) does not stand a chance… And they only have 6 NHL players on their roster – 6. Equally, for anyone who thinks Russian players tend to be ‘lazy’, take a look at the Russian team playing now!

      The European teams have plenty of support, we don’t, and to be honest, the noise and chants generated by the European fans at these games far out do anything I have ever heard at the Bell Centre, and I’ve been to a couple of good ‘uns. I know it hurts, but it’s true, and they they make noise without being told to do so by a big screen!

      Of course I understand Stanley Cup fever, but personally, I would watch Team Canada anytime over Phoenix/LA etc., because I am Canadian and hockey is my sport and I care about our reputation, we don’t have anything else! But also, the hockey played in the WC’s is lovely to watch, fast and open, and you get to see different pairings, lines and players than you would normally.

      Anyway, we’re done there, though I would recommend to anyone to try and catch a glimpse of what we’ll be up against come the Olympics (youtube.com/icehockey)… It’s great hockey.

      • Bripro says:

        I feel your pain.
        And I don’t think we can assume that it’s our game anymore.
        There are too many countries who are spyching themselves up for these international tournaments and showing how much progress they’ve made.
        The truth is, there is more interest at that level than there is within our country. Someone posted earlier (I think it was Gerry) that Holland mentioned that more players decline invitations than those who accept. Go figure.
        We’ve always been able to relate to NHL playoff hockey, even if our team is ousted.
        Perhaps we’re just so spoiled that we’re not as patriotic as most other countries.
        It’s not just our game anymore.

        • Habspark says:

          Cheers Bripro, and I think you are right, we are spoiled over here by having the NHL. I think dollars (again!!) are to blame too, the NHL bosses don’t make any money from international competitions and yet it costs them if one of ‘their’ players gets hurt, ie., why promote international hockey/patriotism? Dollars vs the Flag, sadly dollars win, and we buy it.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          Getting ousted again is disappointing. I started watching hockey after watching the Olympic tournaments.

          I don’t think the losses mean much. Team Canada made a few boneheaded mistakes late in the game that cost them dearly. They seem to get into penalty trouble both because the refs seem to call more against them (I’m not trying to be biased) and because they (the players) made dumb decisions at the worst times (i.e. Tavares against the US, Getzlaf kneeing the guy).

          I know that most countries don’t send their A team, but I will never say that Team Slovakia had better forwards than Team Canada; out of all the teams in the tournament, I think Canada had the deepest roster in terms of forwards. The D is where they suffered and Methot getting suspended didn’t help (notice how Canada’s PK was horrible all tournament).

          In fact, Canada has so many good forwards, they could have fielded two teams with players that were eliminated from the playoffs, and I don’t think most countries could honestly claim that.

          It’s just the nature of these elimination games, which is too bad.

      • Rob D says:

        I just don’t feel emotionally invested in the tournament or the players. Just because they have the Canadian insignia on their chests? I gave that up after the Canada Cups ceased to exist. Hockey is so international now that the novelty of playing another country is not enough to hold my interest. Canada slaps together a team from the Stanley Cup remnants and its a crap shoot whether they find chemistry and/or someone like Rick Nash goes on a goal scoring streak. I don’t like the wide ice surface either..some do.

        The round robin is filled with games I could care less about. Then you can lose one game and you’re gone. It’s not a true test of the best team..it’s often who is the luckiest for one game. Now that’s an overgeneralization but overall, I’d rather be golfing or playing tennis than watching that tourney.

        Truth be told, I’m not thrilled with the lack of goal scoring in the SCP…I’ve turned many games off this year and that’s a first for me.I like defensive play but IMO the league is starting to regress back to the trap game that caused all the rule changes in the first place. Now its shot blocking that is taking a lot of the excitment out of the game for me. I’d rather watch a game of high skill action with many chances rather than the grim game of attrition being played out this year.

        Scotty Bowman once said that the league would be dominated by coaching at some point and that is would not be good. That day seems to have arrived. Bang it off the glass boys..live to fight another shift..yawn

        • Bripro says:

          If you consider the top talents, even from the disqualified teams (ousted from the NHL playoffs, as you say), you have players like Toews, Sharp, Tavares, etc.
          But you’re right in saying that they pair them together very quickly.
          That’s the main problem, they don’t have time to develop together, or fit into a new system.

        • Habspark says:

          Cheers for your reply Rob.

          What struck me was that you would never, ever find a soccer fan, or indeed any sports fan beyond North America saying “round robin is filled with games I could care less about. Then you can lose one game and you’re gone. It’s not a true test of the best team..it’s often who is the luckiest for one game.”

          The Soccer World Cup is the biggest tournament in the world, and they have round robin games, lots of them, and you would never hear a world cup champion saying it was the luck of the day. I like having playoffs, and yes, usually the truly best team wins, but knock-out games involve a different discipline, and Slovakia played a more disciplined game than Canada today, and won. England’s soccer team, on payroll, is amazing, and yet they are dreadful.

          North American sports centre around football, baseball, basketball and hockey… The problem is (except hockey) they are only North American sports, so I don’t think Canadians are used to watching foreign teams, or care too much. Playing for your country, at whatever level, should be a very proud moment, not merely slapping a maple on one’s chest.

          In team sports, it is interesting to note that apart from rugby (where let’s face it, there is no competition), Canada does not play any other British commonwealth countries. Canada’s sporting rivalry begins and ends with the US, and I am guessing for most Canadians that is the only result they really care about, as it is the only one they have to confront.

      • Cal says:

        A short tournament of no importance whatever compared to the Stanley Cup? Surely, you jest!

        • Habspark says:

          I take it you’re a Montrealer, which means you are a Canadian? Yet you would prefer to see Phoenix hoist a cup naming them the dominant team in one league (over your Canadiens) rather than Canada lift a cup naming them the best hockey nation in the world?? A proud Montrealer no doubt, but not a proud Canadian??

          • Habspark says:

            PS I am not for one moment suggesting people should not watch the Stanley Cup playoffs – they’re great – but I am stumped by how little interest there is in the Canadian national team defending ‘their’ sport on the global scene. Most other countries love their national team, but seemingly not Canada! It’s not like the games are being played at the same time, but no reports, no updates, no ‘watch it here’ and mainly very few people taking any interest whatsoever. I am clearly out on a limb here, but I find it extraordinary… And a little sad.

  27. shiram says:

    I’d try to move Gionta before moving Pleks, hopefully getting a left winger.

    To Pleks or not to Pleks, that is the question.

  28. Bripro says:

    My daily rant.
    It started this morning watching enough of the third that Team Canada’s captain should have it stripped off his jersey. Then Bell shows up with my new PVR and as he goes to show me how it works, hydro cuts the power for new lines in my neighborhood. So I spent time on McDonald’s wifi. Come back and now I have
    To post on HIO with my phone. They need a new app because I have no idea who’s responding to what. And it’s not even monday! Oye…

  29. ont fan says:

    Ken Holland says 3/4 of the players asked to go to the world tourney turns them down.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hey I saw your post down below and provided a response for you. I trust you will get some golf in this long weekend with the weather looking spectacular?

      • ont fan says:

        Thanks Gerald..saw it..also looked up your last name and new right away…yes, I go golfing most every morning and this weekend will be the same..hope you get a few licks in yourself.

    • Habspark says:

      As I understand it, Team Canada is only interested in players who make it known that they want to represent their country, ie., alot of big names are not asked. If that statistic is true, which I doubt, is it the player or the club turning down the opportunity?

  30. TomNickle says:

    This is a question to the fans who believe that Tomas Plekanec is irreplaceable or invaluable to the Habs.

    Today, why is he irreplaceable?

    On a team about to be rebuilding or at the very least retooling to build around its young, core players, what purpose does his presence serve?

    This team needs at the very least a defenseman capable of eating twenty minutes per game in a physical shutdown role, realistically they probably need two of them.

    In addition, this team needs to have three balanced lines that can score on any given night against the best teams in the NHL. Do you want to trade away premium draft picks or roll the dice in the UFA market for that player?

    Is all of this going to click within the next two years? It certainly isn’t likely this season with a first year head coach. The following year is plausible with Markov and Gionta in the final year of their contracts and their contributions, I’m sorry to break it to you are as valuable if not more so than Plekanec’s.

    Plekanec is an excellent player. He can be counted on to reasonably contribute 50-60 points and be good defensively. In my opinion, that is not a core player that you build around at the age of 30. That is a player that in the rebuilding stage, you trade to acquire young pieces to make your roster better for the future.

    • Cardiac says:

      Tomas Plekanec ≠ Rod Brind’Amour

      I think even calling him a “great” two-way center is a stretch. He CAN score and he CAN play defense, but what we saw this season was an overworked player who quickly became inefficient at either role because he was asked to do BOTH night in and night out.

      He’s a very valuable player and probably a hot commodity for other teams, but there are very few teams who would a) put him as their #1 center and b) play him 25+ minutes a game.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      - Jerry Maguire

      • TomNickle says:

        Exactly. He is what he is. Taking penalty killing time away from the guy isn’t going to magically give him the elite skills necessary to become better than a point per game player.

        He’s a very good player who contributes slightly better than average offense and well better than average defense. That like I say isn’t a core or invaluable player.

        That’s a guy you add when you’re ready to make a run at the Cup, not a guy to build a young team around.

        • jedimyrmidon says:

          I agree that Pleks would be a very useful player to trade. However, since he would be THE guy to trade for valuable pieces, they could not afford to give him up for anything less than a great return without the risk of crippling the team for years.

          Also, I think Plek’s offense is better than “slightly better than average” by virtue of him being the leading scorer on the team (or near the top) even when the system was so defensively-oriented that other players saw their production drop dramatically. That has to count for something.

          Anyways, I like Pleks a lot and thinks he contributes a great deal to this team, but, if Eller can be groomed to assume his duties, then Pleks would be a great player to trade for a useful return.

        • Max says:

          But he’s also the type of player that you need during the quest for a cup. Guys like Plekanec are not easy to find and 30 is the new 25. He’s still got plenty of solid years left. He’s technically still only 29 years old and has about 9 years of pro experience.

          • TomNickle says:

            In a league where young players are getting opportunities to play sooner than ever before, how is 30 the new 25?

            He’ll be 30 less than two months into the upcoming season.

            Was that a joke?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While I agree with you Tom, you know that essentially you have just lit the kindling on the Fire that is Plex for Mayor! I really like Plex as a player, but as I have stated before, you need to trade good parts to get hopefully better parts for the future.

      • Cal says:

        The “Kane for Pleks” trade is a lot of a stretch. Chicago’s Toews is coming off a concussion. The Blackhawks will stand pat with their 2 above average centers. Teams can’t have too much depth, especially when it comes to scoring.

    • hansolo says:

      Tom:

      If I’m not mistaken, you have an “in” with the Habs front office. I therefore pay a lot of attention to what you say. While I appreciate you can’t share the details of your knowledge source on an open forum, would you be willing to do so more privately, say, via e-mail?

      When you say you don’t think even Brian Gionta will be back, is this personal opinion? (Or not?). Thanks.

      • TomNickle says:

        Personal opinion on Gionta. And I just know a member of the scouting department. Not exactly inside knowledge.

        The only things I’ve known over the last couple of years are that….

        1. The team was pushing for Dominic Moore for quite some time.
        2. The list of names submitted to Gauthier for a Powerplay fill-in while Markov was hurt that lead to the Kaberle trade.

        That’s it.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      We still need to ice a competitive team of 20 players every night. If you trade Plex, you need someone to take his place.


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

      • TomNickle says:

        Eller, Desharnais and a cheap UFA centreman like Chris Kelly oughta do the trick.

        • Cardiac says:

          Agree. If we truly believe we got a decent player in the Halak trade, let’s start playing him like one. As long as Eller keeps getting third line duty and 30 second shifts on the PP, we will never really know whether Eller is as elite as most make him out to be.

          “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
          - Jerry Maguire

          • Lizardking89 says:

            Right on. He wasn’t getting enough ice time to develop properly. He would have been better off in Hamilton.

    • Gerry H says:

      First off, I think the question is a bit of a straw man. I don’t think too many people think Plekanec is irreplaceable. He certainly would be hard to replace, though, thanks to his mix of defensive and offensive abilities and the quite favourable contract he is signed to.

      Fifty-sixty points a year is not “slightly better than average.” It puts a player in the top 3-5 producers on any team in the league. Coupled with his very strong defensive skills, that’s a tough package to find.

      I see his value enhanced, not degraded, by the Habs’ rebuilding status. Plekanec is the proverbial “bird in the hand.” A proven, reliable entity, locked up long term at a reasonable cap hit. A rebuilding team must, of necessity, take chances with the draft (see Chipchura, K), prospects (see Pouliot, B) and the FA market (see Gomez, S). Some will work out, some won’t. You won’t always get the pieces you want when you want them (see Halak, J). Having a veritable Swiss Army knife like Plekanec on hand during that challenging phase is nothing to sneeze at.

    • Cal says:

      Why is Pleks irreplaceable? DD and Eller can’t match what he does and neither will any 4th liner centerman. He’s a player that can kill penalties ( helping the Habs finish in the top 5 in PK this past season) and do PP time (not at the point, though!).
      MB has called it retooling, so I don’t expect wholesale changes. I do not think the next 2 seasons will be an Oiler-like waste of time because the Habs are not as awful as many here believe.
      These days, a 50 to 60 point man is a core player. Giving Pleks two decent wingers for a season will provide dividends. That’s not “building around” him; that’s showing him some respect after years of service to the team.

      • Gerry H says:

        Bang-on.

      • TomNickle says:

        We have Louis Leblanc who projects to be exactly what Plekanec is today. We have Eller who is making tremendous strides as a two way player and while he doesn’t match up in speed with Plekanec he brings much more size and strength.

        A 50-60 point player is in no way a core member of a team, especially at the age of thirty.

        • Cal says:

          The word “projects” stand out. Pleks is a sure thing. Leblanc is a maybe. There is a lot of dead wood other than Pleks that MB can see to.
          On the point of being a “core” player with 50 points, ask Anaheim about Koivu.

          • TomNickle says:

            Well Cal you’ll never hear me say that Plekanec isn’t an excellent player.

            It’s likelihood that this team is ready to make a deep playoff run within the next two years is slim to none with their situation defense.

            In a perfect World Bergevin would be able to add two UFA defenseman in the mould of Barrett Jackman, Bryan Allen or Brad Stuart without stunting the development and restricted free agency period of Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis but unfortunately he has a better shot at winning the lottery.

            This team isn’t going anywhere with Rafael Diaz, Yannick Weber and Tomas Kaberle making up half or even two thirds of its defense group at the NHL level.

            Projects become sure things with opportunity. Eller and the perhaps a Galchenyuk won’t get that opportunity with Plekanec being a key member of the team.

  31. frontenac1 says:

    When I lived in Toronto, we would drive up to The Stoufeville market to buy those sausages made by the Mennonite farmers.Man they were unbelievably GOOD!

  32. jedimyrmidon says:

    Some say Torterella is “awesome” for his behaviour towards the media. “It’s reasonable that he would act that way: they ask such dumb questions with obvious answers.” “He’s just taking the heat off his players and placing it on himself.” “It’s fun to watch.”

    Well, for one thing, during this year’s playoffs, it has become rather obvious that Torterella doesn’t use this so-called strategy judiciously, i.e., when reporters do ask sarcastic questions or are pressuring him or are disrespectful OR after a particularly tough game. No, he does this after losses (any loss) and it comes across as being a sore loser. He really never does credit the other team for anything. Better coaches than him can handle losses, recognize what needs to be done, tell the media what they want to hear in a respectful way, and win the next game. In other words, honesty with restraint. Sure, they might revert to cliches and such (the best of them can find a balance between insight while not giving too much away), but at least they’re respectful to the average reporter who is just doing his/her job.

    What Torterella essentially does during those press conferences is force the reporters to ask useless questions. He won’t comment on individual players, he won’t comment on what could have been done better as a group (“keep it in the room”… riiiight). Okay, well, if the reporters can’t ask anything specific about the team, what the heck are they supposed to ask?! It just leaves questions like “How was the PP?” to which Torterella gives one word answers instead of elaborating even a little bit.

    The reporters should just not show up, or start asking him to comment about the other team since he won’t talk about his own. Of course that would probably net a tantrum and/or the response “I don’t talk about the other team.”

  33. frontenac1 says:

    Habitant in Surrey, Don’t give up yet! The Memorial Cup starts this week with Four Hab Prospects playing. It should be fun!

  34. gK_HabsFan says:

    I was wondering on what basis people say the “Habs should draft …”

    Lets be honest, all we’ve done is read scouting reports and seen youtube highlight clips. In my opinion, I will be happy with whoever we draft. I’m sure Timmins will do his homework and draft the best player available.

    I will be pi$$ed off if we draft a defenseman though…

  35. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Slovakia 4, Canada 3 :(

    …well, besides awaiting Roy’s shoes to drop as Our Coach, that’s it for Me giving a frig for hockey until The Draft and Training Camp

    …zzzzz

    …throw a rock through My window to wake Me up when anything interesting’ occurs, would Ya ?

    …tanks, and good night

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Hey memorial cup this weekend Christopher and we have some ponies in the tournament to watch.

      P.S. I threw the rock as far as I could but still can’t hit your window, sorry bud.

  36. TomNickle says:

    Scott Gomez at 59 points was a detriment to the team.

    Tomas Plekanec at 52 points is irreplaceable.

    • shiram says:

      Funnily enough, it’s with those 2 guys pivoting the top 2 lines that the Habs enjoyed the most playoffs success in recent history. Heck Gomez had 14 points in 19 games, pretty decent stuff.

    • mark_ID says:

      So Tom, where would you slot P. Kane in our lineup. Playing with Desharnais and fellow countryman Pacioretty?

      PS, I love Pleks…..but would be great having the talented Kane on this team

      “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

      • TomNickle says:

        In spite of the so called experts’ opinion that Eller would be a puck distributing centreman and not a scorer he has shown that he’s probably going to become a shoot first centreman. I would put Kane with Eller and Bourque.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I don’t think anybody was calling Gomez a detriment at that point?

      Plekanec could get 70pts next season and Gomez will be lucky to get 20pts.

      But yeah, I want to punch Kane in the face but I’d trade him for Plekanec in a second.

    • gK_HabsFan says:

      When pleks is off his game, he is still a useful player. Pk and shut down role.

      When Gomez is off his game (ALWAYS) he floats…

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        good point.

      • TomNickle says:

        I don’t disagree with your opinion one bit. My point was only to illustrate the mentality here towards Scott Gomez. Tomas Plekanec wasn’t exactly a tremendous competitor this year and in fact wasn’t all that terrific defensively.

        It was a very “Gomez like” year for him

        • arcosenate says:

          Man, you have a hate on for Tomas, but there’s not one GM that would say no to having him on their roster. Except you of course, but luckily you finished somewhere behind Bergevin in that competition.

          • TomNickle says:

            It’s not hate at all. Am I not allowed to share my opinion that he had a sub-par season?

            He wasn’t the defensive hero he’s made out to be this year and didn’t contribute nearly enough offense to a team in dire need of it.

            My comparison to the season Gomez had was not an indictment of Plekanec either. It was a point to illustrate that he’s a heavily armoured individual. Scott Gomez scored 59 points, played 2 minutes/game on the penalty kill(team finished top 10 in that department) and was an excellent playoff performer but to see the comments here at the time he was the anti-christ.

            Plekanec has a sub-par season and he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

            It isn’t hate. And I really resent that accusation. It seems to come all too often from the people who feel he’s irreplaceable as an attack when I point out that he isn’t all that he’s made out to be even if it is only my opinion.

            I’ve never met the man, don’t know what he’s like away from the rink or in the dressing room for that matter. I don’t dislike him, hate him or carry any ill will towards him at all because I don’t know him.

          • shiram says:

            I don’t think Tom hates Pleks, he just thinks moving him can improve the team by giving more room for Eller/DD/draft guy 2012, and also the return on Pleks could be a good building block. I don’t completely agree, but it’s a valid argument.

          • ont fan says:

            I don’t think Tom has a hate for Thomas either. He happens to be a valuable piece to trade at this time if you want to be better in the future. Sometimes you have to trade now for later.

          • Max says:

            Tomas is a solid player but a typical brooding Slav. When he gets off his game for whatever reason,you can really notice that he isn’t a very happy camper on the ice. He wears his heart on his sleeve.

    • arcosenate says:

      Pleks had 70 points that year.

      • TomNickle says:

        Yes he did. And 52 this year.

        • arcosenate says:

          And Gomez had…

          • TomNickle says:

            A career ending season. You’re taking this completely out of context. In 2010 when Gomez had a mediocre season he was blasted here on a daily basis by a great number of fans. Plekanec has an eerily similar season this year yet he’s a Hockey God and the mere mention of his being traded or somebody offering up the opinion that his production this season wasn’t adequate is a hate crime apparently.

          • shiram says:

            .. a tacos! one of those chocolate frozen one though.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      While 52 points is certainly not something to write home about, there is still a rather large difference in anual salary between those two individuals.

      • TomNickle says:

        $2 million. There’s a $4 million dollar difference between Plekanec and Desharnais/Eller

        • shiram says:

          To be fair Eller is still on his entry level contract, and DD was a RFA.

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          The 2 million has a lot more to do with perception then it has to do with actual salary cap. When people see a player making 7 million they immediately think that’s Crosby or Ovechkin kind of money and expect the same results. Add that to the fact that there was also couple of other under preforming vets on the team making just as much if not more then Plekanec and you get an instant preformance cushion.

          Also don’t underestimate the fact that Plekanec is a complete product of the habs developmental system and many fans have a soft spot for that sort of thing.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Gomez had his 59 points three seasons ago.

      He had a total of 49 in the last two years.


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

  37. JoeC says:

    As soon as Suter was appointed coach and Kevin Lowe had ANYTHING to do with picking team Canada, then throw in the fact that Pheunuf and Shenne where playing D, who here really thought Canada had a chance?

    That penality by Getzlaf was horrible, and the fact he was trying to say it wasnt dirty makes me sick, oh, and anyone else think Ward is overrated?

  38. H.Upmann says:

    Hey Stan: how bout Gomez for Kane? He’s great in the room!

    • shiram says:

      Yes and Kane is clearly a distraction.

    • TomNickle says:

      I’m sure I’ll be called crazy for this but I’m wondering if Plekanec by himself could get that deal done.

      They desperately wanted Kane to be a second line centreman and penalty killer because of the inexperience they had in the lineup at forward.

      Plekanec immediately solves that second line centre and penalty killing problem. Penalty killing specialists are pretty cheap on the UFA market but for them such a deal would let them rid themselves of Kane, acquire their #2 centre and penalty killer.

      If Plekanec himself weren’t enough I’d give’em Danny Kristo if that clinched it.

      • Bripro says:

        The problem is who do you use on the PK to replace Plex? Kane was assigned that duty this year, and clearly failed.

        • shiram says:

          Eller and the as of yet unknown 4th line C.

        • TomNickle says:

          Lots of UFA’s can fill that role.

          Stoll, Gaustad, Pahlsson, Slater(Bergevin connection), Chris Kelly, McClement, Winchester, Nichol, Hecht.

          Not saying they’d be better than Plekanec because none of them can contribute the offense that he does but I believe Kane would compensate for that more than adequately.

        • boing007 says:

          Plex is irreplaceable. End of story.

          Richard R
          Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • JoeC says:

        Plecks does EVERYTHING for this team, and if he worked on breakaways in the offseason he could score 50 next year!

        • TomNickle says:

          Except win faceoffs at a level considered to be above average or contribute adequate offense for a prominent centreman.

          • habsfan0 says:

            Actually,Plecks is adequate in the face-off win department…except late in games which are close..then his face-off win percentage drops rather precipitously for some reason.

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m not aware of any faceoff stats that measure percentage in the last five minutes of play

  39. TomNickle says:

    So I tried to bail my buddy HardHabits out this morning by looking at Darryl Sutter’s body of work with the Kings this season. I was looking to see if he would’ve had a 45 win season with a full 82 games.

    Unfortunately, he would’ve only won around 42 games this year with a full schedule. I still believe that the New Jersey Devils will beat the Los Angeles Kings in the final and with Mike Smith in net and some of the inconsistent stars lacing up the skates for the Kings the Coyotes aren’t done but I don’t believe they’re good enough to win that series. Very reminiscent of the Habs ECF squad.

    So to sum up, if the Kings win the Cup they will be a true underdog story.

  40. petefleet says:

    Where do you start on this topic? So much to say and so little will be done.
    One idea I had is to make a sub category in the NHL rule book called “Disrespectful Infractions”. Any player who manages to wind up on this list would automatically receive game suspensions and fines for his indiscretions. Obviously the more you have, the more you pay/receive as penalty. The obvious infractions would, in no particular order, be slew footing, spitting, biting, hitting from behind, man-handling refs, sucker punching, charging, head hunting of all kinds, etc. The idea is to come up with a deterent for unacceptable play. I’m not sure I would want to be suspended for an infraction under the “Disrespectful” heading.

    I love the game. I don’t want it to go through another work stoppage but I do want to see some serious changes and I don’t mean money. Really, who cares? I’m going to make my yearly trek to MTL for at least one game no matter what the price. Having said that, I would like to see a safe, fast and respectful game.
    ******************************************

    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

  41. Kelectro says:

    Here’s a general Habs question. With the almost certainty of Rick Dudley coming to us. Has he done anything at an executive level worth mentioning? I’m not sure I’m entirely sold. But then again I don’t know too much about him. And I guess he and Bergy are buds. (By the way, I read this site all the time, but this is only my second or third post – you guys are awesome).

  42. TomNickle says:

    Once upon a time the Habs traded away a player who was enjoying the nightlife to the Blackhawks.

    Could this be the time that the favour is returned?

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/chi120515.html

    • Bripro says:

      I think you’d have to pull him out of retirement. ;)
      As for Kane, with the Montreal night life, I think he’d end up being implicated in more than simple chocking…(tongue in cheek).

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I remember the headline in the Montreal Gazette the next morning after Chelios was traded.

      “The Trade Sucks!”

  43. frontenac1 says:

    “She got the goldmine….And I got the shaft” Jerry Reed. Vive Le Revolucion!

  44. Dr.Rex says:

    Thursday Random thoughts:
    1) I heard an arugment for drafting Forsberg simply cause he can play center and wing…….IF you read up on Galcnenyuk it is clear he is also comfortble in both positions…NEXT
    2) AS close as the NJ/NYR games have been I cant beleive how slow and passive the games have been…….YAWN
    3) WE need more habs talk on this site……Are we so desperate we need to talk about shot blocking, Torts and Ron Maclean.
    4) I find it hilarious that media are making a big deal about Philly giving up on Richards/Carter duo…….Lets be honest they are nowhere near this point without Quick/Brown and Kopitar……Richie and Carts have been passengers aiding occasionally but they are paid to be the leaders…..This was the problem in Philly as they were not the leaders on teh ice and scoresheet they were paid to be. Mike Holmgren made the right move for his team. Plus the length of their contracts is ridiculous and would of help the FLeyrs backfor years…….As for Bryzgalov well thats a different story regarding HOlmgren.

  45. Bripro says:

    Can someone tell me if Getzlaf was punished for his night of frolicking with Perry and Benn?
    He was given the “C” for a reason, but it certainly didn’t seem to encourage him to show leadership.
    So Canada is out, and we can thank him.
    BTW, has Sutter ever won anything at the international level? Why do they keep offering him these assignments?

    • TomNickle says:

      Won a World Junior with the best WJHC team ever assembled.

      Getzlaf wasn’t punished that the public’s been made aware of and in my opinion shouldn’t have been. They didn’t play the next day and for all we know a couple of meatheads at a bar wanted to get into with them just because of who they are.

      Corey Perry does have a reputation however of being an aggressive bar fly for what it’s worth.

      • Bripro says:

        TSN radio were reporting this morning that Getzlaf tried to pick a fight at the bar in Helsinki. Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t reflect well on the team.
        He certainly forgot his mental faculties this morning, with less than 5 minutes left.

  46. Strummer says:

    Speaking of Emelin-
    The spelling on his Russia jersey is Yemelin- with a “Y”.

    Is it Yemelin or Emelin? How is it pronounced?

    Semin is spelled diffferntly too

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

    • ont fan says:

      In Russian it’s Yu…according to my mother. it can also be …E me lie.Russian Mennonite…..

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Really? He is Russian Mennonite? If so this explains the not wanting to fight, as he would be a pacifist then. Hmmmm I will have to give a call to my mom, the Mennonite community loves to figure out who is related to who, before I know it, I could find a way to be his 15th cousin 4 times removed and then Mr. Emelin can start giving me tix to games when they play in Buffalo!

        • TomNickle says:

          I don’t know if you knew Gerald but the not fighting thing was because of the plate he has in his face.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Oh I know, i forgot to put my sarcastic ;-) font fact in my post. Just that as you may have figured out from my posts, my roots are Russian/German Mennonite, so I thought i would have some fun with the Emelin angle. Cheers bud.

        • ont fan says:

          No, my mother and I are Mennonite….she was just giving me pronunciations …she was born in Mariawald Russia …her maiden name was Bergen, my father’s family were Muellers.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Cool! My pops was born not too far from there. Next time I am in Leamington visiting relatives, I will definitely give you a shout. My relatives there are Durksen and Toews.

    • mark_ID says:

      I believe names are spelled differently in Russian. However, I think Emelin asked for it to be spelled without the ‘Y’ with the Habs/

      “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

  47. frontenac1 says:

    Oh Great! Millionaires striking against Billionaires again! Who is going to get shafted?Yep,you got it,The Fans!(Paying customers) Vive Le Revolucion!!

  48. commandant says:

    If you want to say that international ice will lead to less collisions and thereby make the game safer, I can buy that argument. It needs to be studied, but I think there is some logic there.

    If you think it will make the game faster and more exciting, I think you are dead wrong. You have to remember that the effects you are seeing at lower levels will quickly be negated at higher levels by better coaches. Coaches who will preach defence as they’ve been doing for the last 15 years, because with the goalies and equipment we have today, its successful.

    A bigger ice does is make the ice surface wider. This creates a reverse-funnel effect where all the extra room is to the outside at poor angles and poor scoring areas. Teams bottle up the middle even more than they do now, and keep everything to the outside.

    I’m telling you, watch a few Swedish Elite League games, or KHL games before you decide that bigger ice is more exciting. See what elite level coaches do with a team when they play on that ice surface night in and night out and have time to analyze it and design strategies for their team to play on it.

    Don’t think that what you see in Chicoutimi or Belleville on bigger ice is what you’ll see in the NHL if all rinks go to it. When its a one off game for teams they don’t adjust well and the coaching doesn’t take full effect. But if you make it a full time thing, its gonna be exploited to its full potential, which is to play a trapping game.

    There is a reason the neutral zone trap was developped in Europe and then brought to North America.

    There is also a reason why the goals per game in all these european leagues are far lower than the NHL. And its not because the players are less talented, because the goalies and defencemen are also less talented and so it cancels out.

    But seriously watch a few games of those leagues before you judge it, its not the same as what you see at the world championships or Olympics.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • TomNickle says:

      I believe that making the areas behind the goal lines substantially larger would create more offense but it could also have the reverse effect in that teams could control the puck behind their own net easier.

      I wish they would test that because making ice surfaces larger in $200,000,000 arenas isn’t realistic.

    • 123456 says:

      nice post – i have to admit i wish the NHL ice was bigger BUT watch a professional soccer (football american) game – HUGE field and not so excited. if taken to the extreme does anyone favor a hockey game that is all about patience and 2 or 3 scoring chances per game?

    • Strummer says:

      I can also see that the bigger ice would cause problems for some of the slow-footed defencemen like Hal Gill and Komisarek to mention but 2.

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

    • Malreg says:

      Thank you… I’ve been trying to say the same thing every time someone mentions the bigger ice as a solution to making the game more exciting.

  49. mark_ID says:

    Alexie Emelin with two goals so far this tournament. Nice to see him showing up on the scoresheet.

    “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

  50. shiram says:

    Should the owners push to have bigger fines available for offending players, or is 2500$ enough of a detractor.

    • TomNickle says:

      $2500 only comes into play when there isn’t a suspension. Having said that, I’d be fine with it making its way as high as $100,000. I’ll probably see pigs fly first.

      • shiram says:

        Maybe it could be set as a % of a player’s salary.
        Maybe 0.5%? That would mean a player making 500k would pay a maximum fee of 2.5k$.

        • TomNickle says:

          That really isn’t fair to the player. Ovechkin could see a $500,000 fine while Jay Beagle could be fined $50,000 for the same infraction.

          Not that I’m going to be shedding any tears over Ovechkin or a player of similar net worth getting hit in the wallet but they wouldn’t go for it.

          I think the league reserving the right to determine the fine should be acceptable.

  51. TomNickle says:

    When a coach is surly with the media it’s usually because they’re asking dumb questions. But after watching John Tortorella in these playoffs I’m convinced it’s him who’s being dumb.

    I like coaches that don’t reveal too much, I like it when they are sarcastic with less than respectful journalists or reporters and even when they throw dumb questions back at those individuals.

    Simply refusing to answer the questions that the media have been asking him lately has been selfish and egotistical of Tortorella. By answering “what do you need to do better” he isn’t providing the New Jersey Devils with any magical insight as to how he may come at them, they know why they’re outplaying the Rangers and know what adjustments they would have to make if the Rangers were executing.

    By answering “what players do you need to step up” he wouldn’t be publicly embarrassing a player. Try this John – “Marian Gaborik is an All-World elite player who has the offensive skills and speed to dominate in this series, we have to help him get going”. Gaborik knows that he’s an elite player as much as he knows that he’s stinking the joint out right now. It isn’t as if you’re keeping it a secret by benching him on the powerplay.

    He’s making himself bigger than the team right now, destined to fall.

    • shiram says:

      Some say he is taking the heat off the players. Last night there was mention that Rangers coaching would not acknowledge that their players could be tired, that way it can’t seep into the locker-room and have an effect on the player.
      “Mcdonagh player 58 minutes yes, but those were easy minutes as the Caps were not forechecking hard, and they could rest up once in the opposing zone.”

      Torts is a weird coach, and I’m sure he has some weird concept/ideas/superstitions going. His demeanor can get annoying though.

    • Ali says:

      I think internally, they’ve built up an “us vs world” mantra in the room. It may not be realistic at all, but its gotten them this far. Also its clearly in response to the fine he got at the end of the year.

      I am tired of the media whining about it. If it’s so irksome, then walk out of his press conferences and refuse to cover the Rangers. It’s simple, he’ll change his tune in a day or so when nobody in NYC can find out whats going on with the team.

      • TomNickle says:

        I agree with your proposal. If the members of the media required to attend were given a pass and told to stay away Bettman would have Tortorella on the phone before you can say “next question”.

    • aj says:

      @ TomNickle

      By the way Tortorella handles this Rangers team by his unprofessional behaviour, I could see it working for him and for his team. In fact, it did worked for him by making a comeback trail to beat the Sens and Caps in a complete 7 games each.

      Although I don’t like his demeanor in front of the media, he sure knows how to attract public attention! In fact, he has more media attention than Richards, Gaborik, Lundqvist, or Callahan combined. I think its just his defence mechanism kicking in or he just drank a Pint of KoolAid mixed with 1 glass of Sugar to basically uncalm his nerves to both players and the media.

      Other than that, like I said before, if Torts simply hates the media, the simplest way should be to open his mouth and say “I’m not doing any interviews!”. That’s it!

  52. HabinBurlington says:

    I understand the sentiments when people post here that they no longer support the NHL by going to games and paying for tix and beer etc… But there has been a slow shift in how the owners make money and it involves us watching games on TV. Why would Bell and Rogers buy the Maple Leafs? Everyone is buying new 50″ plasma/lcd/led tv’s and paying big cable or satellite fees to watch their favourite teams. So while indeed we may not be giving them as much money in a one shot deal by purchasing tickets, by watching the games we are still supporting the league and its owners.

    • Cal says:

      The tv money the teams get are low in comparison to the gate and concessions. Like the CFL, the NHL is still a gate-drven league. A few teams, like the Habs, have excellent tv and radio deals in place, but they still need fannies in the seats.

    • TomNickle says:

      The closest I came Gerald was last season. After Chara wasn’t suspended I didn’t watch any games until the second tilt between the Habs and Bruins in the playoffs, didn’t so much as read an article about hockey, didn’t check a box score, nothing.

      If you love it, you can’t stay away from it forever, or I can’t at least. You can just hope like every other fool and I that they change.

    • shiram says:

      Stream!! If only the quality was better.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        Shiram, I know of an excellent stream that, while not HD, is high quality and at least as good as what we see off the basic cable. I’d be happy to link once the season starts up again!

        • 123456 says:

          i’m checking in for the stream (wow that did not sound right)

          • geo_habsgo says:

            ahaha mind in the gutter aside, I’ll hook you up once the season starts again for the habs. I am always scared that if these things get too much traffic that they get shut down. The best part of that stream is the comments section so much trolling and rage that it is just hilarious.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I pay $30.00 total for HD cable through Rogers because you get basic cable for free in my building. So I just pay $12 for the HD box rental and the rest is for RDS and some other crap plus taxes.

      If the woman and I want to head to Montreal for a game from Ottawa and grab a hotel for the night and maybe go out for dinner, we’re talking AT LEAST $500.00. Probably closer to $1000. That’s crazy!

      Forget it man!

      I didn’t go last year, mainly cuz the team sucked. But seriously, I would never pay $150 to $250 a ticket to sit in the lower bowl anymore and watching at home on the big screen is better than sitting up top.

      Beer and food is WAY cheaper and much better at home as well.

      Just before the Forum closed you could get a standing room ticket in the Whites for less than $20. That was cool!

      • TomNickle says:

        Or you could go to Scotiabank place and spend $70 per ticket for premium seats.

        ;)

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Yes Tom. I might do that!

          But still, the beer and food prices are such a joke.

          But when Montreal is in town the Prices are jacked right up.

          And in Ottawa if you want to drink there is no metro to take home so you have to cram on a bus or take a taxi. It sucks getting to a game in Ottawa.

          67s Games are great in Ottawa though!

  53. Bob_Sacamano says:

    At least Emelin plays well. After a great assist earlier on he has just given Russia a 3-2 lead against Norway.

    • mark_ID says:

      Yea…it is great to see. One thing that stands out for me last year, was the way he jumped into the attack. Specifically on some short handed breaks. You can definately see some offensive flair with Emelin.

      Hopefully as he gets more comfortable with the NHL, his offensive side of the game will continue to improve.

      “I think I may have found a way to get us Bonds and Griffey, and we really wouldn’t give up that much” – Costanza

  54. Cardiac says:

    Here we go again… It’s all about the Benjamins baby!

    If the league wants to shave salaries by %5-10, in reality it equals to lower end player losing anywhere from $75k to $200k and higher end players losing $500k to $800k. To put it into perspective, Mathieu Darche would only be making $630,000 and Tomas Plekanec a mere $4,500,000. NOT THE END OF THE WORLD PEOPLE!!!

    I would prefer the NHLPA bring real issues to the table like player’s safety, equipment changes, etc.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    - Jerry Maguire

    • ed lopaz says:

      every business is “about the benjamins”.

      that’s why businessmen take the “risks”, and why the players sacrifice their normal lives.

    • TomNickle says:

      I can’t speak to the NHLPA’s intentions but a potential salary rollback would have significant impact on the guys who get consistent call ups but play the majority of their seasons in the AHL.

      Ian Schultz was essentially rewarded for his improvement this year with a call up for a one day NHL cheque and then sent back down without taking as much as a morning skate if I remember correctly.

      You’re absolutely right about player safety though. They need to push the league to throw out the system of supplemental discipline and have an independent party who was a former official handle that duty. I’m not too familiar with labour or union law but a good measure to take could be the union itself imposing fines on violent offenders by NHL standards.

      • Cardiac says:

        Cheers for seeing eye to eye with me on player safety.

        I work at a company that preaches work environment safety. Whenever there is an accident were an employee is gravely injured, everyone from the president down to this injured employee’s co-workers are involved in an investigation to find the root-cause of the problem and put measures into place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This is a company with other 6000 employees in Canada alone. I wish the NHL had that kind of commitment to its players.

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        - Jerry Maguire

  55. shiram says:

    Maybe I’m thinking too simplistically, but having the teams get more of the revenue could be an avenue to explore so they don’t have to share revenues? Or if not, at least help out the struggling teams.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Don’t worry Shiram, we have Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr holding the key positions in this bargaining round. Thankfully we know both of them care about hockey passionately and as a result what happens in this negotiation will most certainly be centred around what is best for the game.

      Now if someone could just explain to either of them what a hockeypuck looks like that may be a good start. :)

      • shiram says:

        I’d rather have a full season of hockey, but if they can hammer out some worthwhile changes, it might be for the best in the long term.
        Without knowing what the GM’s wanna pass, it’s hard to speculate.
        There’s the share of revenue thing…

        • HabinBurlington says:

          In theory the 50/50 split of revenues I understand, the problem is believing the books the NHL teams allow people to see. It has long been speculated that many NHL owners were not providing true accurate looks at the books, but rather providing numbers designed to show how much they are losing.

          When this stuff starts taking over the sports highlight shows I stop caring. Then like many others, when the games resume I again become passionate about the Habs, but along the way care less and less about the owners as a whole and the players as individuals.

    • Ali says:

      no, because players do not want to give more of the revenues to the teams. The rich teams share revenues with the poor teams out of the 43% of the revenues that the owners get. Nothing comes from the players.

  56. j0nHABS says:

    If this lockout thing is going to keep coming up every few years fans are eventually going to get really annoyed. What is wrong with the way it is now? The only thing I can see is that with the higher the league revenues are and the higher the cap goes up the harder it is going to be for the poorer teams to reach the cap floor. Which is maybe a good indication to just stop trying to make hockey work in places that it doesn’t.

    Lockout again??? Bring back the WHA!!!

  57. smiler2729 says:

    Ugh… That talk is back… words like collective bargaining, lockout, capitulate… And the scariest aspect of it this time? Donald Fehr, the Man Who Killed The Expos is heading up the NHLPA.

    If they miss one freakin’ game due to their stupid negotiation bullsh*t, I’m never going to give the NHL any more of my money.

    THEY OWE THE FANS. Why isn’t there an NHLFA (Fan Association), why don’t we have a say at the table at all things NHL? Yes, I know we can’t stay away from the arenas but that’s never going to happen.

    _______________________________________
    Calling it like it is:
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Boston Bruins, gutless diving weasel pukes.

  58. --Habs-- says:

    These guys are going to close up shop to argue over what most of us won’t make in 2 decades while many of these players spell their name with an X and they want us to feel sorry for them. This is a business and players are just employees. Sorry but they should start a league of their own if they want to dictate revenue sharing. Oh ya they already tired on several occasions and couldn’t figure out the “Business” side of the house.

    • Cal says:

      How long do the players expect to keep getting 60% (roughly) of the revenues while taking no financial risk?
      Look for the 50/50 split to be the thing that causes another lost season.
      After all, both sides know we idiots…um, fans will come right back like last time.

  59. HabinBurlington says:

    While I didn’t wake up at 530 to watch Canada play, I did see half the second and the 3rd period. I really hate watching a game in which the winning team includes Chara, bah!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Could not agree any more. Chara to me represents evil. Canada certainly had enough talent on their team. I think they might have been a bit thin on the blueline but still surprised at the result. Large rink surface perhaps?
      Good morning Gerald.

      ———————————–

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Morning Jim, yah we had a weak defence there, but at least Kevin Lowe got a good chance to scout Ryan Murray, glad to see he put Canada’s priorities ahead of the Oilers….

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      They had Chara and we had Phaneuf and Schenn. What can you expect?

  60. habsavvy says:

    as far as who habs should draft, I suggest Forsberg.
    why? because he can play both positions as both winger and center, and I heard he’s NHL ready.

  61. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I won’t take sides in a fight between rich and richer but if these megamorons cancel another season, they can all just f-f-f-f-fade away.

  62. habsnyc says:

    Losing in the quarterfinals will again prevent Canada from improving their international rankings ahead of the Olympics. How does a goalie like Jan Laco beat Team Canada? It is not like Canada’s best players are leading their teams to the Cup at the moment and could not be at the tournament. Team Canada is in a tail spin.

    The next Olympics could be a disaster. Unlike the US and Sweden, Canada does not have an experienced world class goalie. This is not a knock on Price. Sadly he missed a golden opportunity to shine on an international stage.

    It seems to me Team USA is getting better each year. Ryan McDonough and Max Pacioretty could be outstanding additions to their next squad. Jonathan Quick who was the #3 goalie for their prior squad is better than the #1 for almost every other team.

    Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Not to mention that players like Handzus, Satan and Kopecky out score our guys.

      I’m still not sure why Crosby didn’t attend the tournament. Stamkos said he was hurt but you have to wonder.

      Playing in Russia, the huge ice surface, the quick time change and a poor seeding could mean our backs are against the wall even before the Olympics begin.

      • ed lopaz says:

        you’re not sure why Crosby didn’t attend?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Ed nice post below on the larger ice surface. Unfortunately, Bettman knows so little about actual hockey that I fear this league never figures out the need for bigger surface. The cynic in me feels that owners look at the larger ice with only 1 thought in mind, removing seats which make money.

        • 24 Cups says:

          I don’t remember him being injured. Am I missing something?

          • ed lopaz says:

            crosby – imagine the implications if he was to leave this tournament with another concussion.

            the reality of NHL players is that they are Pros who have an “obligation”, a contract to respect.

            in Crosby’s case I would never have expected him to risk further injury this season.

            if he can play a full season next year concussion free then he would be in a better position to represent Canada.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The tournament aside from rankings and getting players used to large ice is meaningless to Canadians (in my opinion) as long as it is played during playoffs.

        I have no issue with Crosby missing the tourny. The only I thing I wished was that Markov was healthy enough to use the tournament as a tuneup for next season.

        • habsnyc says:

          Rankings I think matter as it relates to seeding in the Olympics. But the most times they lose to the Slovakias of the world, the more confidence those teams have against us in the Olympics.

          It is one thing to lose in overtime in the finals to a stacked Russian squad. It is another thing to be upset by mostly non NHL players in the quarterfinals.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I understand and agree mostly, but end of day most Canadians care most about Stanley Cup, then the Olympics and then World Junior tournament. These other championships do have implications but they are not priorities for the players or the fans.

        • Habspark says:

          Sadly you are right Habsburl… I find it very strange, there has been very little chat and essentially zero coverage of the World Championships on this site and yet this is our national team playing our national sport – our only sport for which this country is recognised/remembered internationally!

          During the season, we are more than happy to say how disinterested we are in hockey being played out in Phoenix, Nashville etc., and yet when it comes to having a choice to follow Team Canada or Phoenix/LA – sweet nothing on Team Canada.

          Why is that? Do we really assume that we are the best and don’t need to prove ourselves internationally, that it is just a given, despite the results, because it is ‘our’ game? This is the third time Canada has been ousted in the quarter finals.

          The Russians on the other hand are outstanding at the moment. The only way they will not win any major competitions over the next year is if they become too big-headed, but otherwise, Canada (with or without Crosby) does not stand a chance… And they only have 6 NHL players on their roster – 6. Equally, for anyone who thinks Russian players tend to be ‘lazy’, take a look at the Russian team playing now!

          The European teams have plenty of support, and to be honest, the noise and chants generated at these games far out do anything I have ever heard at the Bell Centre, and I’ve been to a couple of good ‘uns. I know it hurts, but it’s true, and they they make noise without being told to do so by a big screen!

          Of course I understand Stanley Cup fever, but personally, I would watch Team Canada anytime over Phoenix/LA etc., because I am Canadian and hockey is my sport and I care about our reputation, we don’t have anything else! But also, the hockey played in the WC’s is lovely to watch, fast and open, and you get to see different pairings, lines and players than you would normally.

          Anyway, we’re done there, though I would recommend to anyone to try and catch a glimpse of what we’ll be up against come the Olympics (youtube.com/icehockey)…

  63. Habitforming says:

    Can anyone tell me how the scouting services come up with late rankings like the latest ISS list and have players drop (like Galchenyuk dropping 10 spots) when they haven’t played a game in a month?

  64. frankcasting says:

    Bettman, who answers to Jacobs et al, and who is weaned at the teat of David Stern (NBA), will present a pretty dramatic change in revenue sharing. And his spin will be like the NBA: he still has too many struggling franchises with poor market value or serious ownership issues, including all the usual Quebec City prospects like Phoenix, NYI, Florida and New Jersey, and he’ll blame the players. I fully expect a lockout, Xmas is my guess, like NBA.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

  65. Gerry H says:

    …and Getzlaf ends Canada’s tournament.

    Bonehead.

  66. HabFanSince72 says:

    Watching a bit of the iihf championship It is a better game with a larger ice surface and no grinders.

    • commandant says:

      Watch a Euro league where they don’t have “all-star” teams on the big ice surface. Its not better.

      Its worse than what we are seeing in these playoffs for goalscoring.

      Everyone collapses to the middle and lets their opponents play on the outside all day long…. Its Jacques Martin’s wet dream.

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
      http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • ed lopaz says:

      there is no question the bigger ice surface would help North American hockey – at EVERY LEVEL.

      first, there is more space, and the players use that room to carry the puck, pass, and create plays

      second, its safer because there is more time for the players to react so they can avoid the wacky hits that have plagued hockey these past years

      third, the game has better flow, which makes it more entertaining to watch on TV, and more likely to attract a bigger U.S based TV audience.

      fourth, speed pays and the slower, grinding players are less effective, so overall teams will choose faster skaters on their rosters because they will be more effective.

      I have seen my kids play on the big ice from time to time during these past several years of watching minor hockey.

      The difference, even at the minor hockey level, is dramatic. The players know it immediately and the fans see it as well.

      I have watched International hockey since the early 70′s, and I have noticed the great difference the ice makes.

      to the point above, will some coaches try to clog the middle? Of course, just like Boucher uses a 1-3-1 when he feels its necessary on the small surface.

      But the teams exist to “entertain”, and the competition for the fans entertainment dollars will force the teams to skate and compete just as they do today.

      But the overall game would be so improved, so much faster, so much safer, so much more entertaining, that the NHL MUST consider the International ice as a realistic long term, 10 year plan going forward.

      How will the game look when the “average” skater is 6’4 240 lbs thirty years from today?

      that is the way this game is evolving.

      in the 50′s and earlier if you were 5’10 you were considered big.

      in the 70′s and 80′s guys like Robinson were considered giants playing at 6’3 and 220 lbs.

      today, every team has forwards and defenceman who are Robinson’s size or bigger.

      today its Chara and soon every team will have a Tinordi.

      that is the natural evolution of ALL sports.

      Athletes get bigger, stronger, faster, as each generation passes.

      there is NO WAY that the current North American ice surface can handle this natural evolution towards bigger, stronger, faster players.

      International Ice is the best solution going forward.

      • Max says:

        I agree completely. The players in the NHL are all much bigger and faster these days and it looks like bumper cars out there on the small ice.The NHL needs to mandate larger rinks so the players actually have room out there to do what they need to do.

        The game and players have evolved and the ice surface needs to also.

      • Welks says:

        Before I make the call to increase the ice surface to European size. Which is only 15 feet wider and the same length. I would make the call for the NHL to put the lines back where they belong.The NHL decided to make more space behind the net to increase scoring. (how that would work I have no idea, but it had the opposite effect. They moved the goal line out
        to 11 feet at each end as well as moving the blue line 75 feet from the end boards. This leaves a 50 foot neutral zone. And thus we have the trap. In order to give players more room in the offensive zone they made it harder to get into the offensive zone. And because with more space the players cannot make it out to cover the points they collapse around the goals. This makes the boring NHL game. So i would say move the goal lines back to 5 feet from the boards which is where I think they were before. Move the bluelines in 7 feet each adding 14 feet to the neural zone. Now players can generate speed and make passes to gain the zone and create more odd man rushes. I am aware that this would also bunch the defenders more in the defensive zone, but I feel the extra speed that would be generated would increase the offensive pressure as well as shortening the distance that defenders would need to make a play would result in more opportunities for offensive players to beat the defenders to make plays.

    • adamkennelly says:

      no its not.

  67. jon514 says:

    A lockout/strike in hockey would be akin to throwing bricks in the metro. It would bring this city to it’s knees and punish all the wrong people!

  68. commandant says:

    Today we bring Nicolas Kerdiles… I know someone was asking about him last week.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/05/17/nhl-draft-prospect-profile-41-nicolas-kerdiles/

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
    http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

    • 24 Cups says:

      Kudos for providing these profiles every day. I’m really hoping that the Habs can land a solid pick at #32 (thanks Devils!)

      This time next week you should be getting us into the range of the Nashville pick we received for Hal Gill. You never know what surprise might be lurking (Stepan, Anismov, Letang, Booth, Dubinsky, Keith and Pominville are prime examples from the past decade).

      • commandant says:

        Thanks

        As for whats in range at 50 with the Nashville pick, it might be one of the guys I’ve already profiled.

        Things are very close at this point, and there is a pretty good range where these 2nd round guys can be picked.

        Its not as big in the first round, but the deeper you get into any draft, the less there is to separate one pick to the next.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters
        http://lastwordonsports.com/category/lastwordblog/nhldraft/

  69. jon514 says:

    If the salary split goes down, does that mean they’ll drop the price of admission?

  70. yehaken says:

    Three reasons to want another lockout:

    1. I need more than a few months to get over how bad we were last year,
    2. Whatever Bergevin does, it’s hard to believe he’s going to build a contender out of a last place team in a single summer, and
    3. We’d get another very high draft pick.

    • JF says:

      Your third reason is invalid. If there is another lockout, the draft will be according to a pure lottery. We could draft anywhere.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Good Morning JF. Am I misremembering that in the last strike draft they fie a sort of weighting system? If I am its ok as I seem to misremembering a lot lately. :)

        ———————————–

        • 24 Cups says:

          It was a full blind lottery draw regardless of what position the team finished in the previous year.

          In terms of the draft, a lockout would probably hurt us. I’d rather take my chances that we would get another high pick if we missed the playoffs.

          • Habitforming says:

            PENGUINS WIN DRAFT DRAWING,
            OBTAIN FIRST PICK FOR 2005 ENTRY DRAFT

            The Pittsburgh Penguins won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing, held today following the League’s Board of Governors meeting in New York, and obtained the first overall selection for the 2005 Entry Draft, to be held Saturday, July 30 (noon, ET) at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.

            The Draft Drawing, a weighted lottery system, was used to determine the order of selection for all seven rounds of the Entry Draft. Under the weighted lottery system, the clubs that neither qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, nor were awarded the first overall selection in each of the 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Entry Drafts, had the greatest chance of receiving the first overall selection, 6.3 per cent. These clubs were the Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Thanks Habit. Kind of comforting to know that I dont misremember all. :)

            ———————————–

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Mornin’ Jim!

            “May you live in interesting times.”

          • 24 Cups says:

            I didn’t realize there was a weighting factor to the blind draw.

            Still a tough way to lose out on the best player since Mario.

        • Habitforming says:

          You’re remembering correctly in this case. Crosby was the prize for the penguins in a weighted draft lottery. That’s why it was as impressive as it was that the habs ended up with the 5th pick (Price) at the time

          • Habfan10912 says:

            Thanks. I think the Habs did beat some odds to get the 4th pick. I remember being upset that Habs took a goalie as Jose was the man. My how times have changed.
            @Guy Good morning Guy. Hope all is well.

            ———————————–

          • j0nHABS says:

            Huet was the guy not Jose.

  71. The Cat says:

    I dont see a lockout, owners got to realize they really dont have the public opinion on their side at the onset this time around. And I dont think they can change this perception.

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

    • Cal says:

      Dollars and sense rarely go together when it comes to owners paying star athletes. Public opinion matters not at all. During the last lockout, many said they wouldn’t go back to watching the NHL. Few kept that promise. 3 billion in revenues says the owners are doing something right. Look for this fight to kill next season. It’s Donald Fehr, after all, and he couldn’t care less about sport as long as he gets his millions for representing the NHLPA.

      • The Cat says:

        I disagree. Public opinion matters to those running a business, the owners. The NHLPA doesnt need to concern itself too much with that.

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

  72. Lizardking89 says:

    I have a feeling we hockey fans may be fooked. Fehr will drag this out till he gets what he wants he’s no cream puff like the last NHLPA rep. He was responsible for the MLB strike that robbed us of the chance to see the Expos in the post season and I have little doubt he will flush the season down the shitter if he doesn’t get what his way.

  73. AceMagnum says:

    Bergevin sucks. In five years we’ll be begging for Gainey back….or anyone who can actually speak English and not be laughed at by other GMs.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      How can you even say that he hasnt done anything yet

    • The Cat says:

      15th place my friend, itll be hard for Bergevin to be worse. Any finish higher than 15th will be considered a step in the right direction, so Bergevin really has a dream scenario where in all likelihood, he has the possibility to be criticism-free for 3 years.

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

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        “Bergevin really has a dream scenario where in all likelihood, he has the possibility to be criticism-free for 3 years.”

        HI/O blasphemy. On the real.

        In the real world though, you’d be right eh?
        ______________________________________________________
        Lost a bottle of Kraken during this debacle of a season. Better gettem next year.

    • Clay says:

      I don’t usually reply to the more idiotic comments on here, but yours certainly has to take the prize as the stupidest comment of the week. Seriously, can we not just give him a chance to do something – anything at all – before we rush to judgement? Because he hasn’t even had a chance to get his feet wet yet.

      I really hope you’re just trolling; if not, I actually feel sorry for you, because you’re probably too stupid to feel ashamed of yourself.

      __________________________
      ☞ “Wow, that’s a nice lookin’ pair of Crocs!” Said no one ever.☜

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      People are feeding the troll early today.


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