Waite named Habs’ goalie coach; McCarron gets taste of Montreal’s hockey fish bowl

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Thursday morning that Stéphane Waite has been hired as the team’s new goaltending coach.

“Stéphane Waite has over 30 years of experience as a goaltending coach, including the past 10 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks organization,” Bergevin said in a statement. “He contributed to two Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks during his tenure working closely with two different goaltenders, namely Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford. We are very pleased to welcome Stéphane in our organization. He has a vast experience, and a thorough knowledge of our local market and we are convinced that our goaltenders will benefit from his expertise and his work ethic.”

Waite just completed his 10th season as goaltending coach with the Blackhawks. Chicago goaltenders Crawford and Ray Emery earned the William B. Jennings Trophy this past season, awarded to the goaltenders with the best goals against average in the NHL. Prior to joining the Chicago organization, Waite served as Sherwood Hockey’s Pro goaltender representative (2001-04). He was also a goaltending consultant for IMG Hockey (2000-2004).

Waite replaces Pierre Groulx, whose contract wasn’t renewed after last season. Groulx spent four seasons as the Habs’ goalie coach after taking over from Rollie Melanson. This past season, Carey Price ranked 29th in goals-against average (2.59) and 35th in save percentage (. 905) while posting a 21-13-4 record with three shutouts. His performance was particularly shaky at the end of the season and in the playoffs he posted a 1-2 record with a 3.26 GAA and a .894 save percentage. For his career, Price has a 9-17 playoff record with a 2.90 GAA and .905 save percentage.

On Sunday, Michael McCarron became the 551st pick in Canadiens history, selected in the first round (25th overall) of the NHL draft in New Jersey.

Now he’s learning what living in the hockey fish bowl can be like in Montreal.

“I know this is a city of hockey,” McCarron told a mob of reporters in Brossard Wednesday on the first day of the team’s development camp. “I was told to expect this. I’m kinda an easy going guy. I like to reach out to fans and you (media) guys. I don’t think it will ever get old.”

McCarron had 800 Twitter followers before the draft, but as of Thursday morning that number had climbed to more than 8,500. You can follow McCarron on Twitter by clicking here.

McCarron said that being drafted by the Canadiens was “a dream come true.”

“The Canadiens talked to me the most (before the draft) so when they walked up there, I was like, ‘This could be me, this could be me . . . ‘” McCarron said. “The sweat started to fill up my palms and I was like, ‘It’s going to be me.’

“And then they called my name and it was just relief. I gave my mom a nice, long hug, and then my brother and sister and my dad.”

On his way to Montreal for the development camp, McCarron was noticed by some hockey fans at the Toronto airport.

“A dozen guys came up to me and said ‘hey, are you Mike McCarron?’” McCarron said. “That was the first time I’ve ever been recognized outside the rink so it was pretty special.”

It won’t be the last time.

The Habs development camp continues through Sunday with players practising in three groups each morning with scrimmages at the end of the day in Brossard. The camp will wrap up with a scrimmage at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

All practices are open to the public.

Meanwhile, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Thursday that free-agent Daniel Briere has narrowed his list of teams down to three, including the Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators.

(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)

Canadiens appoint Waite as goaltending coach, canadiens.com

Worth the Waite, canadiens.com

McCarron already living a Habs dream, by Dave Stubbs

Fifty-six players hit the ice for Habs, by Brenda Branswell

Free-agent frenzy watch, TSN.ca

Thirteen potential UFAs who figure to attract attention, NHL.com

Plenty of wheeling and dealing for some teams, montrealgazette.com

976 Comments

  1. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Definitely excited about the Waite hiring. Consider what he has done already in Chicago, with Niemmi, Crawford, and even Emmery. Got to be impressed! Hope Carey gets his ass worked off because with his tools, he has the potential to be better than anybody Waite has coached to this date.

    As far as Briere is concerned, I would have preferred not to sign him, since he too, along with Vinnie, is past his best before date, but, he seems to be coming in with the right attitude, and, you got to give him props just to have the balls to play in Montreal. I f nothing else, it will prove that Montreal is a team on the way up, I mean apparently he had several choices, and, he plugs some holes until the young guys finish developing.

    As far as the cupboard goes, it’s full of great potential, and depth. As a Hamiltonian I am looking forward to watching the Bulldogs this year as the young guys are going to be further along in their development. Just hope that the Dogs use the offseason to get some experienced AHLers, so that the team can advance to a playoff level team. It is important to the development of the youngsters to get some playoff experience under their belt for future reference.

  2. PrimeTime says:

    Briere will be the new whipping boy (2nd to Price of course).

    • olematelot says:

      As long as fans don’t expect too much from him it’ll all be good.He was brought in to compliment the young guys and add a veteran prescence. let’s not forget he was C in Buff and an A in Philly. The habs are a better team today than they were 72 hours ago.

  3. Sportfan says:

    @the guys who answered my Cap post, thanks! Maybe MB might be moving some players around and that could help the cap?

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    • Ron says:

      With Yemmy hurt and mending does his cap hit come off while on IR ? That frees up another 2mil till most likely some time in Jan 2014. With 7 mil it would give some room for a high level pick up. They can try and trade off DD or another player on his return.

  4. prankstergod says:

    I think some of the posters here need to chill out a bit. I’m not sure about either the Briere signing (mostly due to how many other smaller forwards the Habs have) or the Kristo trade, but really, it’s only July 4. Free agency hasn’t even officially opened yet. We’re over two months away from training camp.

    Why do some posters have to resort to using ALL CAPS and personally insulting MB and Habs players? Why the hyperbole all the time? MB has only been on the job a year and has a pretty good record with the exception of the DD signing. The jury is still out on any moves this summer because this summer just started.

    There are probably more changes to come in the next few days and coming weeks via signings and/or trades. Have to think that there might be some effort to move DD or Gio (could be tough being injured). Maybe lets evaluate the work of the GM when its a little clearer what the team will actually look like?

  5. Sportfan says:

    Looking at Bens article here:http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/07/04/habs-ink-briere-2-years-8-million/

    Briere is Ryders pp replacement and he could be fantastic in the playoffs.

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  6. habs1992 says:

    Can’t wait to get beat up again next year,

    I support Carey Price

  7. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Has Pierre Lebrun confirmed the Briere signing? I don’t believe anything until he says it’s true. ; )

  8. Sportfan says:

    In funnier news Mikhail Grabovskis time looks to be over in Toronto :P

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  9. Haborama says:

    @Psycho

    Good point, those were great times, but reality came crashing down in the playoffs when our roster’s weaknesses were exposed.

    The Fool has done nothing to address them, and has made them worse with this signing.

    It is logical to wonder about his sanity and intelligence.

  10. matt jordan says:

    There are always smurf’s available in the NHL, and the Habs can always find them. Let it be the draft, free agency, or through trades, you can always count on the Habs getting smaller.

    That said, Briere is a good player who had a bad season last year. I hope he can rebound.

    And here’s to another season of the Canadiens getting knocked around!

  11. bwoar says:

    Glass half full… It’s better than keeping Cole at 4.5M?

    “thoroughbred”

  12. habsfan0 says:

    Wikipedia already has Briere as a Hab, so it must be true.

  13. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    The problem is not the guy coming in but the guys that are already here. Fact: Briere is better than DD and Gionta on the power play and in the playoffs. I want to see MB do something about the problems here (like he did with Cole).

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

  14. johnnylarue says:

    New. Thread.

  15. joeybarrie says:

    OMG, why would we want a guy like Briere???
    Lets see, HE CAN PRODUCE IN THE PLAYOFFS MAYBE….. Did none of us see the games vs Ottawa?
    Quality signing at a reasonable rate. Good replacement for Ryder. Why on earth would anyone bash this move? Can’t imagine how people are already trashing MB and so far he has been genius. Sometimes it makes me wonder how hockey smart we really are.

  16. habs1992 says:

    So I guess Prust is suppose to protect all these small players HAHAAHAH

    I support Carey Price

  17. Fransaskois says:

    Instead of b****ing about this deal, take a moment to consider the implications. Easy as that.

    It’s a good stop-gap measure. It is not a considerable cap hit and it’s very short term. He is a playoff performer and, if we aren’t in the playoffs, we can move him for picks.

    Briere gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of our lines. Increased center depth as well as a player who can play on the wing means we don’t need to rush Galchenyuk or Eller into full-time minutes in our top-6. He will fill that right-handed PP specialist role we sorely lack. He is a very good veteran player and in no way does acquiring him make the team worse now or in the future.

    This either spells the end for Desharnais (preferably) or Plekanec (slightly less palatable but still okay). I’d expect a trade this offseason to increase our size and lack of defensive players in our top-9, or we’ll just have exactly the same roster set-up as last year with Briere replacing Ryder.

    It’s a good move now. It’s a good move for our players’ development. Get over the fact he’s small, he’s an upgrade on what we had last year. He ABSOLUTELY fills a need. Not the size or physicality need some people are looking for but he will bring a significant contribution to our team.

  18. Haborama says:

    My GOD it’s 2009 all over agiain!

    Remember when we needed size and managment laughed in our faces by Signing a bunch of little boys??????

    We are living those days again, it never ends, there is no hope until we have a GM who really cares about his team and knows about hockey…….

  19. hab fan in leaf jungle says:

    It seems that all old French-Canadian hockey players who are OVER THE HILL can now retire in Montreal and still collect a FAT paycheque. This French thing sucks. Go get the best player available and Briere is soft and useless. What the hell are they trying to prove? First they draft a behemoth on skates who has barely any NHL speed or NHL hockey skills and then this lazy midget Briere for $4M. Face it… the era of the French-Canadian hockey player is over. Somebody needs to tell Molson and Bergevin.

  20. Stevie.Ray says:

    I still think the draft and the Kristo trade were worse moves by MB. I can’t judge this deal accurately until we see what MB does with DD.

    • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

      MB got the coffee and donuts for the Hawks brass and that was it. Being a francophone was his only qualification for the GM job. He too will ruin the Habs but will be a hero to all the French-Canadians.

      • Psycho29 says:

        and all the trolls come out of the woodwork…..

        • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

          Psycho29: If you have no relevant comment to make in response to mine you should just STFU. Try to formulate some coherent response and I’ll gladly debate any topic or opinion with you. If calling someone a troll is all your brain can come up with, then your IQ is lower than room temperature.

  21. Sportfan says:

    Could some one tell me what that does to the Habs Cap situation? Can we sign a few bottom six guys or does the new contract put a strangle hold?

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  22. Dave Jones says:

    I don’t mind the signing at all. Briere is still a good hockey player. Two years, 8 million, is perfectly manageable. Low risk for the enormous potential value he adds in a playoff run. I am curious to see how things play out down the middle. As has been mentioned, we now have five quality, natural centremen. Is there a trade in mind? Is it to keep Galchenyuk protected on the wing? Can Desharnais play the wing?

  23. SnowManHabs85 says:

    If MB trades DD, then this Briere signing will be a good…wait for it…….wait…..just wait…..a lil longer……..you’ll see…… :P

  24. PeterD says:

    Briere…finally we get that BIG Centre we were looking for…
    Hey at least he is bigger than DD by 3 inches…
    This may be a reasonable move…Benefit of the doubt here…it may buy another year for Galchenyuk to matter into the Centre role.
    BUT…
    this may be MB’s first big mistake as GM…I think he was too worried about fan backlash if he didn’t land either of the two big name UFA French players…
    But even MB has quoted Sam Pollock before…”If you listen to the fans, pretty soon you become one”…or something along those lines.

  25. Buzz Lightbeer says:

    I’ve never really liked Briere. He is a good hockey player though.
    Just don’t see how he really fits in with this roster. Maybe more changes coming?

  26. Chuck says:

    I’ve got a feeling that Briere will have a lot of folks on HI/O eating crow.

    __________________________________________________
    Anyone but the Sens! (Check.) And Boston (Triple check.) Oh, and the Laffs, too. (Double check.)

  27. durocher says:

    If Briere is playing C, Pleks may be on his way out. If Briere is playing RW, here’s how things look at present:

    Max-DD-Briere
    Bourque-Pleks-Gio
    Gally27-Eller-Gally11
    Prust-Dumont/White
    Blunden

  28. Psycho29 says:

    @ Haborama….
    Were you visiting this site when the Habs were near the top of the Conference this past season? Just Curious….don’t seem to remember….

  29. Haborama says:

    @MATTYLEG

    No, my points are based on logic. This team needs size and toughness, shall I remind you of our first round series against the Sens?

    Specifically game 3?

    and this nutjob goes out and gets a little eunech when we needed tougness.

    he is either REALLY STUPID or harbors a hatred for this team.

    use your head.

    • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

      As usual, they are just trying to make the playoffs and draft in the middle of the pack and with the worst scouting dept. they’ll get another dud. I guarantee this team will see no Cup for 25-30 years b/c they are flawed in their thinking.

  30. chrskwn says:

    WOW WTFFFF THEY SIGNED HIM

  31. habsfan0 says:

    And #48 is available with the Habs.

  32. Sportfan says:

    On the bright side we don;t have to see Seguins ugly face in a Bruins jersey!

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  33. habs1992 says:

    Can also Confirim, that Briere left 5.5 million dollars on the table as Nashville offered 3 year deal at 4.5 a year. HOMETOWN DISCOUNT

    I support Carey Price

  34. Sportfan says:

    This is what Pierre Lebrun said on twitter

    “Habs GM Marc Bergevin reached out to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren to get feedback on Briere. Holmgren had nothing but great things to say”

    Holmgren is a terrible GM why would you take his advice…

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    • Steven says:

      I laughed a lot harder than I should have to that, and entirely because you’re 100% correct.

      But how times change, everyone was saying Holmgren was the 2nd coming of Pollock after the Flyers went to the Finals and were a regular season beast the next season.

      Time changes all things.

  35. Stevie.Ray says:

    Well time to put some lipstick on this pig.
    Habs needed a top six scorer. We got one. Would rather have Iginla, Jagr, Horton, Clarkson, but they are demanding too much for too long. Briere, hopefully, can still put up points, and as MB will undoubtedly tell us, he has character. A one year deal would probably make more sense, but it’s free agency and you have to over pay a little bit.

    Max-DD-Gally11
    Briere-Pleks-Gio
    Gally27-Eller-Bork
    Prust-White-Moen

    That doesn’t really look good enough. Not enough size up in the top 6. Expect DD to get traded and Briere to play center.

    Max-Briere-Gally11
    Bork-Pleks-Gio
    Gally27-Eller-Prust
    Moen-White-???
    Plus whatever we get in return for DD. I feel bad for Max because no matter who he plays with he will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

    I also expect MB to look to sign a bottom 6 guy with some size. Not sure what is out there but maybe Stalberg.

  36. Psycho29 says:

    Chillax everyone, give it a chance…..could be more changes coming in the coming days…..

  37. Harditya says:

    I, for one, like this signing! :D
    I can see one of the smaller Habs forwards being shipped in the upcoming weeks.

  38. smiler2729 says:

    You people kill me lol… You want French Canadian name players with pedigree and then when one signs here, you scream blue murder.

    Briere hasn’t even stepped on the ice yet and the sky is falling, he’s over the hill, yadda yadda blah blah etc…

    Briere was great in Buffalo, key in Philly and now he’s here for two years, good for him, good for us.

    Now everybody chill out and go have six bieres.

    _______________________________________
    Jack Edwards is a clam.
    Gary Bettman is a bobblehead.
    The “CH” in CHOKE stands for Toronto Maple Leafs.

    • hab fan in leaf jungle says:

      That’s the trouble; too many people want French-Canadians on the Habs. These guys only come here after no one else wants them and they are useless.

  39. mark-ID says:

    I can’t wait until Danny scores his first goal as a Hab…and people forget that he’s “only” 5’10.

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


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