McCarron signs entry-level contract, off to Knights; Duffy signs with ‘Dogs


Michael McCarron had his eyes opened wide at last week’s Canadiens development camp. On Thursday, he signed a 3-year entry-level contract with the Habs.
Jamie Squires, Getty Images

The  Canadiens announced Thursday morning the signing of Michael McCarron to a three-year entry-level contract, clearing the way for him to suit up next season with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.

From the Habs release: The Canadiens’ first selection at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, No. 25 overall, McCarron had five goals, 10 points and a plus-1 differential in 19 games with the United States National Team Development Program in 2012-13. In each of his two seasons with the USNTDP, the 6-foot-5, 228-pound winger has led his team in penalty minutes per game.

The Macomb, MI, native participated in the Canadiens’ development camp from July 3-7.


Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs GM Marc Bergevin announced Thursday the signing of free agent forward Ben Duffy to a one-year, two-way American Hockey League / ECHL contract for the 2013-2014 season.  As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In 2012-2013, Duffy won the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s scoring champion with 110 points.  The 21-year-old also led the QMJHL in assists with 71 and finished 11th in the league in goals with 39.  The Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia native also registered 215 shots, posted a +17 rating and recorded four penalty minutes in 68 regular season games for the Prince Edward Island Rockets.  In six post-season games, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward produced four points (two goals, two assists).

In five seasons with the PEI Rocket, Duffy compiled 341 points (139 goals, 202 assists) and 18 penalty minutes in 334 regular season games and eight points (five goals, three assists) in 19 post-season games.


  1. NightRyder says:

    What’s the best chocolate bar out there?

  2. HardHabits says:

    The Habs just signed this guy to an entry level contract.

  3. HabFab says:

    Good God, even Bob McKenize is giving out recipes today…mind you at least his is for a drink!

    @TSNBobMcKenzie: For those asking, Caipiroska recipe I use is from Grey Goose ad in Wine Spectator. 1 shot of GG Le Citron, 1 lime, 1 tsp sugar, club soda.Cut lime to 1/8ths, squeeze, put lime with sugar in shaker. Muddle. Add ice, vodka, shake, pour. Top with more ice/lime/splash of club soda.

  4. Fransaskois says:

    As much as I enjoy a pizza, I absolutely love cedar-plank salmon.

    Cuttin’ down cedar trees
    Makin’ sauce

    Likely my favourite fish-dish.

  5. kholdstare says:

    Hello all, haven’t been here recently as I felt it was getting to be too much like groundhog day, same posts be rehashed and reworded to death. Habs being small, pk subban is under-appreciated by Therrien, Gomez trade was bad, Bruins suck, DD is the worst.

    So I was a little surprised by the whole Pizza-gate that is going on in here. What’s next? Scrap booking?

  6. habs1992 says:

    Do you guys think Kolvachuck should in the HHOF, I mean there has been much more underserving people who have been inducted. Illya was a point a game player. Just something to talk about on a boring day.

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  7. HabFab says:

    You know the off season is officially here when recipes are exchanged on HIO “sigh”

  8. jedimyrmidon says:

    So there’s an article on TSN stating almost categorically that Morgan Rielly is too good for junior, and seems to be lamenting the fact that he can’t go to the AHL because he’s also not NHL ready.

    What do people think?

    I don’t remember there being any fuss about Dougie Hamilton or other defensemen. I also don’t think Rielly was dominant during the WJCs or had nothing to learn defensively (as opposed to offensively) in junior. It seems to me that there are holes in his game that should be worked on in junior.

    My impression: the Leafs media hype machine is revving up.

    • Dust says:

      there was the same thing for hamilton. i believe that rielly is one of those players like strome was last year. too good for the chl but not good enough for the nhl. Ahl would be perfect but they are not allowed.

      Reilly is a really good prospect. better than any of the habs D prospects.

      • jedimyrmidon says:

        He is a good prospect. I just don’t see why he’s being pegged as too good for junior.

        Guys like Ryan Murray and Scott Harrington could play very well defensively. I don’t see Rielly having that kind of acumen yet or even nearing that.

        I think of him as a better version of Beaulieu: puck moving, offensive Dman who is a great skater (which allows him to compensate for bad plays) who is not quite developed defensively.

        • Dust says:

          i agree with what u say. I think however he would be good enough to play in the ahl due to his skating so he would learn more than junior plus play against tougher competition.

          I think last year, if allowed, Galchenyuk would have been better off learning to play against men in the ahl and getting top minutes as opposed to what he did with the habs last year

    • Ozmodiar says:

      If he’s not NHL ready, then he’s not too good for junior.

      Many who have been “close” to NHL ready have been sent back to junior.

  9. commandant says:

    Could Donald Fehr be headed back to Baseball?

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    I notice that punkster’s “heavenly” pizza has no meat on it.

    Is that you BGL?

  11. Luke says:

    Beer ME!

    Y’know it’s gonna be a good Friday when the bartender phones you instead of sending a text.

    Enjoy the Weekend, be safem have fun.

    Enjoy the ‘Za with or without pineapple.

  12. Strummer says:

    Still not sure if we should sign Carbo’s son-in-law-
    It’s a “Morrow ” dilemma
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  13. HabFab says:

    Who is this guy masquerading as Chucky coast to coast?

  14. Haborama says:

    You guys ever tried Greek Pizza? It is something else I tell ya, I was skeptical at first but it really did it for me.

  15. mark-ID says:

    Apologize….Coburn not Colburn

  16. frontenac1 says:

    I’m going drinking.

  17. mark-ID says:

    Here is my somewhat realistic wishlist with the rumours that are floating around:

    1) trade Diaz+ for Colburn
    2) trade Gionta to NJ for Volchenkov
    3( trade Gorges for pick or prospect
    4) sign Morrow to short term deal

    Just imagine our back end with: Subban/Colburn Markov/Emelin Tinordi/Volchenkov
    We would have the hardest hitting D in the leaugue
    Our forwards will have gotten bigger and touher also this off season.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. No – Diaz is better (trust me – he is).
      2. Lou may be shell shocked but he still has some wits about him.
      3. No- Gorges is going to bounce nack.
      4. Yes.

      • Dust says:

        1. Diaz is not better. maybe on the powerplay diaz is better but that is all. So Diaz + for coburn, yes please

        3. If we trade for coburn and volchenkov absolutely trade gorges. However i would rather keep gorges and not trade for volchenkov

  18. Chuck says:

    Pizza must only be cooked on a stone heated by an open flame.

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

    • Strummer says:

      Pizza must chosen very carefully at the supermarket freezer aisle,
      gently stored in your home freezer, after cellophane lovingly removed and pizza placed in the oven as per instrucions on the box and always, always cooked from frozen.

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

    • longbow says:

      Remove when half done and crack a couple of eggs on it then return to oven. Seen it done a couple of times on Food Network so I tried it and it is absolutely incredible. Worth a try.

      ” Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ” – Winston Churchill

  19. Habsfan888 says:

    Really, were talking about pizza. Come on People

  20. The_Truth says:

    I saw some postings about Eller being our #1 center. I think it is way too premature to say that. The guy has a career high of 16 goals and 30 points. He looked pretty good last season, but still only had 8 goals in more than half a year. People are butchering DD, yet Eller had a grand total of 2 more points more than him. DD had a bad year and Eller a great one, yet their offensive production is amost identical.

    You look at all the other #1 centers in the league and Eller isn’t close to being in their class. He may well continue his progress and get 60 points next year, or he may not. As it stands now, i think Pleks should still easily be considered the #1 guy. Eller and DD can fight it out for #2, starting from training camp.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    Pizza should have no more than 4 ingredients (not counting the dough). One of these 4 should not be pineapple or any other fruit.


    • Propwash says:

      All dressed with bacon and sauteed onions .


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Scientifically speaking, doesn’t all pizza contain fruit? Tomato Sauce

      • shiram says:

        That’s what I meant to post as well.
        And besides, with the sauce and cheese that would only 2 other ingredients, I like mushrooms, they soak up all the flavor and you have to have some kind of meat on there!

        “The game isn’t played on the weight scale and it’s not played in the gym, it’s played on the ice and it’s whoever wanted it more.” #81

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          OK pet peeve time.

          Tomato is a fruit in botany, but not in cooking terminology.

          In cooking, the fruit / vegetable dichotomy refers to savoury / sweet, and, more to the point to its use in cooking (I know tomatoes are sweet too but they are typically part of savoury dishes).

          Look at it this way. Your wife is sick with a bad cold and she asks you to bring some fruit home from work. You bring her some eggplant. Does she applaud your dry wit or throw them at you?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Do you not think Shiram and I realized that tomato was a fruit only from a science perspective?

            Edit: And as an aside, I do agree, I never put fruit on my pizza.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Not even tomato????

    • SmartDog says:

      Except for Hawaiian pizza which is AWESOME. Yah, I know I’m in the minority here but I love it.

      But the BEST pizza in Montreal is at Amelio’s on Milton in the McGill ghetto. Their vegetarian pizza is the best vegetarian pizza is amazingly delicious, as is their sausage pizza (wow!). Their lasagna (the meat one not the veggie) is also amazing.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Haven’t had Amelio’s in a decade. Reminds me of my grad student days. The four cheese one, with sauce on the side, was pretty awesome, as I recall.

        Hawaiian pizza refutes the popular Italian saying that “Pizza is like sex: any pizza is better than no pizza”.

        • johnnylarue says:

          I just had my first ever slice of Hawaiian pizza at a union meeting earlier this year.

          It was the only thing on the menu and I was hungry.

          As such, I found it serviceable, but I think they should come up with another name for it because calling something with pineapple on it “pizza” is… just wrong.

        • bwoar says:

          Used to live in that block; the first meal I had when I moved to the city was 3 beers and a sausage pizza.

          Wish I’d stayed in the ghetto, that was an awesome place to live.


      • Propwash says:

        One of the best pizzas I’ve ever tried was Bardeco in Ville Emard. Their veggi pizza is awesome.


      • HabFab says:

        I knew you were a SmartDog….Hawaiian! Yummie!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • johnnylarue says:

      My pizza, which is a bastardization of the classic neapolitan style, has the following:

      1. crushed San Marzano tomatoes
      2. olive oil
      3. buffalo mozzarella
      4. fresh basil (cut with scissors onto the pie after baking, while still piping hot)

      But I have been known to add some grated pecorino romano cheese and fresh ground pepper to the crushed tomatoes on occasion.

      • HabFanSince72 says:


        But I will say this: I prefer Roman style (thinner crust, less cheese) to Neapolitan.

        Best thin pizza in Montreal right now? Magpie on Maguire and St.Laurent or Bottega on St.Zotique.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Ah ha! I recently hung out with the manager of Magpie and he assured me they’re ‘doing it right’ on the pizza front. It’s on my to-do list for the next time I swing through Montreal.

          Vancouver is rapidly becoming lousy with artisanal pizza places. Which is one trend I just can’t bring myself to resent!

    • Alex_425 says:

      I know, right?!

      I’m of the mind that pineapple does NOT belong on pizza. Ever.

      I love me my pineapple, don’t get me wrong. But never on pizza.

      Ham, sure, it can work, but it’s not my go-to meat type for my pizza. Pineapple just turns pizza into tomatoe-y bread with an identity crisis.

      But I’m no expert….

    • H.Upmann says:

      I find the sweetness of the pineapple does not mix well with the tomato sauce. Rather I wash down the pizza with sweet red wine than taste fruit. Nuts are also weird… but I suppose that never stopped anyone from gorging on a mouthful…

      • Luke says:

        Red Wine shouldn’t be sweet.

        Unless it’s Cab Franc IceWine. That’s cool.

        But this sweet red California trend found in wines like Apothic and Dreaming Tree, where they are ramping the sugar up so high in the big Reds like Cab Sauvs/Francs to the point that they lose all Structure and Tannins… well that sucks. It’s to the point where it is not even representitive of the varietal anymore.

    • Luke says:

      Oh. Oh. Hang on you, you… you… commie (?).

      I do enjoy pineapple on my pizza.

      In the West we are all about freedom of choice (as long as your choice agrees with a large number of other free thinkers) and pineapple, and the delicious tangy sweetness it provides, is profound… and well… the embodiment of a free market. How else would you describe such a delightful tropical treat finding it’s place on, probably, the #1 type of food of all time.

      Seriously… what’s a better food than Pizza? Hot/Cold. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner. Pizza’s got serious game.

      Just keep the damn fish off of it.

    • habs11s says:

      Always a fan of tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni and ground beef!


      “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • Alex_425 says:

      I might well get crucified by the entire North American male population for saying this, but I’m probably the only guy who doesn’t think that bacon pizza is all that it’s cracked up to be.

      95% of the time, the bacon is not cooked the way I enjoy my bacon.

      Find me a pizza place that makes a bacon pizza that cooks their bacon just a little more than usual, so that it’s got a nice degree of crunch to it, and I’ll change my mind.

      But I’m no expert….

    • punkster says:

      Thin crust of home made dough, a tomato sauce base made with garlic, onion, fresh roma tomatoes and a bit of tomato paste, topped with cheese (mozzarella/provolone blend is nice but medium cheddar adds a zing), then mushrooms, sweet red pepper strips and red onion plus a sprinkling of grated fresh parmesan.

      Just made it for lunch after 18 holes of golf…that’s living baby!

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

  22. johnnylarue says:

    @Trini, re: CK,

    Louis states the barista who made his coffee wasn’t black. I think the phrase enters his head simply as a manifestation of the popular urban/street lingo that has colonized his subconscious.

    Unfortunately, there’s really no ‘white’ equivalent to the term that properly or succinctly conveys the sentiment he is expressing–which, as I interpret it, is a sort of high compliment acknowledging a job well done on the part of an equal, or a ‘fellow proletarian sufferer’ if you will.

    In other words, he’s borrowing language that a hip black dude might use because it’s more precise in describing how he feels than whatever the PC equivalent might be. Which is not to suggest that he’s right or wrong for doing so–he’s just being honest. (Which is incidentally a quality I really appreciate in an entertainer.)

    • SmartDog says:

      I made some comments about this below.

      Black rap artists and others use the word – which I can’t write here because it will get me deleted – in a way that is “okay” because it is reclaiming it (this is what sociologists call it). This is like me referring to myself as a squarehead, which I do sometimes to both my French and English friends (and to my son whose mother is French).

      So we here the word and how it is used, and it enters our brain. Louis CK had it pop it to his head right next to “Damn that’s a bitchen cup o’ coffee”… which makes sense. But you can’t say it. Cause then you’d end up defending yourself and so on. Just like here. And because (and this actually IS important) there are a lot of people who couldn’t judge on what is appropriate. For example is you were Louis CK’s friend and he said that you’d laugh, getting the sort of gansta exclamation style he is mimicking. But say it to the wrong person and they think it means it’s okay to use that word whenever. Which it’s not.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  23. Maritime Ron says:

    I would like to ask a question of the learned posters here at HIO.

    To qualify the question, I’ll use the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli as an example.

    According to the NHL CBA, any + 35 year old contract can contain bonuses that if achieved, can carry over to the following year if a team exceeds the Salary Cap at the end of the hockey year – and Salary Cap is calculated on a daily basis – an insurance policy if you will.
    (Cap Geek gives a yearly total)

    When Boston signed Iginla, the total Cap Hit shows $6M, yet in reality, the actual Cap Hit for next season will be $1.8M with bonuses of $4,2M that can be moved to next year if the Bruins exceed the cap this year.

    Therefore the question becomes:
    WHY didn’t we do the same thing with Briere – who also has a +35 year old contract?
    That would have potentially freed up perhaps another $3M of precious Cap Space this year…knowing the Cap will probably move up another $7M-$9M next year?

    Instead of having a small $4M of Cap Space to cover short term injury call-ups (not counting potential LTIR of Emelin-Giona) we could have had $7M that may have scooped us some 5-6-7 push back Dman assets.

    Any thoughts?

    • Andy says:

      I guess it is more of a question of would have Briere taken a contract with more bonus and less base salary. If he would go this route would we have to up the total of potential bonuses he could achieve to get him to sign.

    • Forum Dog says:

      A good question, and while I won’t claim to provide a “learned” response, I’ll throw in my two cents.

      The Habs probably feel they have the cap-space they need to cover Briere for two years and not put in bonuses that jeopardize the space for next year – when they really need it (to sign Subban, Eller, Emelin, etc.).

      They pretty much have their roster filled for this year and, while I hope they make some moves to shore-up the defence, they may be looking to move surplus assets rather than add more players through free agency.

      It’s a tough call because, as you point out, it would give them a chance to add more now. But if you can’t actually add an impact player (and there weren’t that many available this year), why take on “debt” that you’ll just owe next year? For the Bruins it makes more sense because they absolutely have to have the lower cap hit this year.

      Edit: That plus, as pointed out by others, Briere would have had to be open to the idea.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Somebody the other day (Chris I think) provided some detail on the bonus structure in Galchenyuks contract, it is very likely we get at a least a million of that capspace back. If he did achieve all those bonuses, he will truly have had a breakout year.

  24. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    I think the longer we go until we see another Habs transaction the better. We wait it out and get what we want/need at a reasonable price, whatever it is…My beliefs are: The likelihood that Gionta either retires or is traded is starting to go up in my mind in part because of the Ilya retirement. I was always worried about about that second bicep injury. I wonder if Moen and Georges aren’t being quietly shopped to make room for upgrades. Will we see Tarnasky at centre on the 4th line this year. I think we might. Will Louis Leblanc finally resolve into an NHL third liner either in Montreal or on another team? I say yes. What impact will Waite have on CP? I think it will be very positive. Predicting here that Carey becomes the guy at the Sochi Olympics and brings home a medal for Canada. God wouldn’t that be wonderful! Bold prediction: Bulldogs make the playoffs, not so sure about the Habs though (50/50)! Just some thoughts on a slow Friday afternoon.
    Go Habs Go!
    24 cups and counting….

  25. kempie says:

    I see that the Briere poll is split at 50/50. That’s how I feel about it too.

    • johnnylarue says:

      It’s pretty crazy that there are only 9 votes difference out of 6400+.

      It goes to show the degree to which that signing was a major gamble on Bergevin’s part. Hope it pays off…

    • Luke says:

      Yah. Actually, I was going to point that out too. a 10 vote spilt with over 6400 votes. crazy.

      I thought there should have been an ‘indifferent/undecided’ choice, but that would probably have garnered 50% of the vote, with the other sides getting 25%.

      • Walmyr says:

        Would be nice to check this poll a couple of days after the signing…I think the numbers are little bit different now…

        • savethepuck says:

          I think people are coming around. I think early poll results had it at closer to 60% against if I remember correctly.

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

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Yes, about 60% against at that time. I believe it’s the closest vote since I began posting on this site.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

    • JUST ME says:

      I too tought there should have been a 3 rd option : not sure.

      Did not answer the poll cause back then was not sure if it was a good move and now with time it would not be fair to answer anything else. Of course i changed my mind being more at ease with the 2 year deal and the fact that we needed a replacement for Ryder/Cole but still…

  26. Since there isn’t a lot of hockey to talk about, and because the level of discussion and collegiality is pretty high here today, what do we all think of a lawsuit brought by people trying to immigrate to Canada who object to having to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen to get citizenship? Globe article here.

    I’m of two minds on this — on the one hand, if you want to join a country as a citizen, it’s reasonable for that country to require you to play by its rules. On the other hand though, none of us Canadian-born folk had to swear that oath — lots of us, especially in Quebec, would certainly refuse to do so, and Constitution would probably protect us as citizens from having to do it in the first place. What is the value in forcing immigrants to swear allegiance to an unelected, unaccountable head of state, if citizens don’t have to do the same? If anti-monarchists born here can be Canadian, I guess I don’t see how anyone can say that loyalty to the Queen is a requirement for Canadian-ness.

    Any thoughts?

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • johnnylarue says:

      Personally, if I were emigrating to another country, I would accept all of the ridiculous trivia involved in the process and just laugh it off. It’s not like you’re signing your soul or freedom away or anything. Or undermining religious beliefs, etc.

      I mean seriously, the very notion of swearing an oath to a Monarch who has virtually no relevance to or bearing on our society today is… well, it’s hilarious. We might as well require all immigrants to put their hand on a golden beaver and recite the words to the theme from “The Littlest Hobo”. It’s all just pomp and circumstance, really.

    • Cal says:

      “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen”
      This oath to the queen is a technicality. She is officially the head of state. The oath should be changed. Just remove the”Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of” and then eliminate the “Her Heirs and Successors” and it would be right.

      • It’s true that the oath to the Queen probably doesn’t mean a lot in practice. But then, how would we feel about swearing an oath to the prime minister and all his successors? Why require allegiance to an individual, rather than just to the state?

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Da Hema says:

      I confess I am strongly opposed to monarchy, both as principle and practice. That said, what new Canadians are swearing allegiance to is not strictly speaking the Queen as a person but rather to the Crown more broadly. The Queen represents the symbolic manifestation of British and Canadian constitutionalism, while the constitution itself is the formal mechanism of the laws. In other words, the oath is to uphold the laws of Canada. So to that extent, I support that oath.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      It’s the “heirs and successors” bit I have a problem with. Bunch of inbred philistines.

    • JUST ME says:

      You have the choice to take the oath or not. Canada is a friendly land that will accept you with open arms but you also have to join the country and what it stands for even if you do not agree with it being royalty,religion,political views or else. If you feels strongly enough about fighting what is being offered to you with open heart then you do not deserve it and many others are waiting for this priviledge. Nobody is forcing nobody.

    • bwoar says:

      I think allegiance to the Queen is a waste of time and irrelevant, but so too is a frivolous lawsuit. Those who are wasting our time and money on it should be immediately put on a canoe and sent out with the tide.

      Imagine buying a car and then saying “I find it immoral that I must purchase gas. Oil companies are bad corporate citizens. Mr. Car Dealer, please change the state of affairs here immediately!”


    • Luke says:

      She’s on our money, and if the NHL has taught us anything, it’s that everything is about the money.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I’m of the mindset that when you choose to immigrate to a country you have to follow the rules of admission. I can’t believe this is actually an issue, regardless of the Monarch’s current role in Canada.

      Wow, the things people can bitch about is limitless.

    • Mc says:

      Actually, I’m a Canadian born citizen who had to swear allegiance to the Queen, in order to work for the Province of Ontario, as everything we do is in the name of Crown. I’d be interested to hear if the same applies in the other Provinces. Personally, I believe the Oath should stay, as it is part of our history and the Queen is our Head of State. Too many Canadians do not know the structure of our Government and how it works. We shouldn’t be eroding our traditions.

  27. rhino514 says:

    A few questions:

    Fucale is being touted as the heabs best pick of the draft, but will he end up being strictly trade bait, as Price is set for another 8-10 years?

    How does the team make room for any one of Bealieu, Nygren, or Dietz if any of these guys tears up the AHL? It seems, at least for this season, there isn´t room for any of them barring injuries.

    And how exactly good or bad is Markov five on five? (i dont doubt he is still very valuable on the PP) Here´s where I´d like to see some of those fancy stats on quality of competition etc. to really find out . Is he ok on the second pairing? There seems to be no general consensus as to to how valuable he is at this point. On the one hand he led the D with time on ice, on the other hand he was last, by quite a bit, in plus-minus.

    If Emelin is out for two months, should the team try and get someone to fill in, or bear with it and maybe give the kids a chance to get their feet wet?

    • The Dude says:

      Easy…If Carey Price fails again this year and or is even’ just good ‘.HE’S a GONER !

      • All things being equal, if we end up in a few years with Fucale and Price being roughly equal in terms of ability, it’s a no-brainer that we deal the guy with the bigger cap hit.

        But if Price is “just good” this year, who would you want us to replace him with? What elite goalie is waiting to step into the breach? Even if Fucale achieves his potential and becomes a star, I don’t think it’ll be for a while.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • johnnylarue says:

      Markov played a LOT of hockey last season for a guy who hadn’t skated for the better part of two years. While I don’t expect him to come out skating like a 25-year-old again, I think there’s a chance his skating will have improved when he suits up again in October. And barring that, MT played him too much (out of necessity) last season, and I’m pretty sure he knows it. Keeping Marky’s minutes down will improve his effectiveness at 5-on-5 in my opinion.

      The crusty old guy will probably help his image if he reduces the number of high-risk plays he attempts, too.

      • Bill H says:

        Good points johnny. I agree that Markov will play better this coming season. Dont’ forget that it was also a condensed season, with more games played in a week. I think that contributed to Markov wearing out through the season, in addition to high minutes per game and coming off of an injury.

      • on2ndthought says:

        You want to restrict his creativity, drive and genius? This guy is light years faster on the ice (in his brain) than all but the VERY best NHLers. Let him be. Pair him with a responsible partner (Gorges or Emelin) , or someone who can fly (Subban or Diaz) and let him create. He no longer has the foot speed to recover from mistakes, so once or twice a game, a forward, defense partner, or a goalie will have to bail him out. Bail him out!! Let me watch him try to be his best, he is still our best. (c’mon PK and Chuck, I hope this is the last summer I can say that.)

        “a cannonading drive”

        • Luke says:

          Markov = Lidstrom Lite.

        • johnnylarue says:

          Well, on 2nd thought… 😉

          I agree with you. I was simply suggesting reeling it in as a way of making himself appear a bit ‘less vulnerable’ to the voting public. But no question–vision and anticipation are still and will always be his primary strengths, which is why I suspect he has more than a season of quality hockey left in him.

          Lidstrom Lite® is indeed an appropriate descriptor.

        • piper says:

          I would say PK is already our best. By a long shot.

    • mksness says:

      Fucale is a ways off from being an NHLer. however, if he develops into a #1 type of goalie and there is a market for Carey and you get a good return, you make the deal

    • wjc says:

      You are making this too complicated. Always, ways to make room for new talented players.


    • Bill H says:

      Firstly, I don’t think Price is set for the next 8 – 10 years at all. At this point, he is at least somewhat unproven; some would fairly argue he is largely unproven.

      Secondly, Fucale is at least 3 years and probably closer to 5 years from playing in the NHL as a first string goaltender, if he even progresses that far.

      It seems that the other goalies under contract with the Canadiens have very limited upside.

      Drafting Fucale was a depth move at the goalie position. Who knows what our needs will be in 5 years?

    • savethepuck says:

      Why did you have to open up with a question to welcome Carey bashing?
      Of the young DMen listed, Beaulieu is obviously the closest to being ready, but I have no problem with him playing in the AHL a while longer and being an injury call-up.
      I expect Markov to be around a few more years. Even though I am a huge Markov fan I wouldn’t mind his PK minutes decreased ( Tinordi should help that ) and some of his 5 on 5. I still think he makes or breaks our PP. When Beaulieu is ready it may make Diaz dispensable, because I think we could get good value back for him due to his age and how he has developed the last few years when healthy,

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

      • Habfan17 says:

        Nygren may also be close to ready. He has been playing against men for two seasons and he did just win the best defenceman award in Sweden. He may just surprise and make Diaz expendable.


    • Luke says:

      Markov is fine 5on5.
      He is probably the most consistent and all around best defenseman the Habs have. Though PK certainly has the skill and projects to surpass him (and arguably has already, I just trust Markov more). He is no a “no panic” player that the coaches do not have to worry about when they throw him on the ice.

      Fucale is not strictly trade bait. He is an 18yr old prospect. Let’s look at this reasonably. Bernier, the darling of the goalie prospects, is a 26yr old who has played ~50 games in his career. In all likelihood it’ll be 4-6 years before Fucale becomes an NHLer. Plenty of time to evaluate and decide what to do. In 6 years if 32yr old Price is absolutely killing it & Fucale looks poised to become an NHL reguklar, you trade Fucale and address team needs at that point. In 4-6 years, if Fucale looks poised to supplant Price, then you trade Price.

      I’m afraid you have that cart well before the horse right now. Basically, you are worrying about Pacioretty’s spot on the team because they drafted McCarron.

      If one of the D prospects is absolutely tearing up the AHL, you find room for them. Either by trade or supplanting someone on the depth chart. In all likelihood though, there will be injuries and that is where they will be slotted in.

      (Just my thoughts, may read a little harsher than I intend).

      • FANHABULOUS says:

        Excellent reply Luke, especially this part:

        “In 6 years if 32yr old Price is absolutely killing it & Fucale looks poised to become an NHL reguklar, you trade Fucale and address team needs at that point. In 4-6 years, if Fucale looks poised to supplant Price, then you trade Price.”

        Best case scenario is a situation like Luongo and Schneider in Vancouver… two solid goalies, and a choice of which guy to move. I don’t think any GM will make the same dumb mistake that Gillis made with those two…. so MB might end up with two top tier goalies, and get a nice package for whomever he decides to trade.
        “You will not regret picking me” – PK Subban.

      • savethepuck says:

        Well said Luke.

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

    • JUST ME says:

      The kids need time especially d-men and goalers. The main mistake we should learn from the past is that we made them graduate too fast and burned them in the majors.

      I liked the way they did things last season giving them a few games in Montreal to have a taste of things to come and to compare them with the pros. And if you noticed they all were at different stages of development. Some were ready some not at all. They belong in Hamilton and furthermore Hamilton needs them more that Montreal does.
      For the season after it will be a toyally different story. A few veterans will probably go Gionta ,Markov and others and as much as we think that they are not in their prime anymore it is when they are gone that we will realize how precious they were. So if we replace them with yougsters they better be ready to face the challenge.
      The main difference with the Habs this season and the habs in the horrible previous season is from Markov being back and bringing a solid presence on defense. Maybe not the best out there ,maybe not at his best yet but worth the ice time.

      Fucale is hopefully the Habs next number one goaler but not before at least 5 years. Goalies reach their prime in their late twenties so plenty of time to integrate in the system and for Budaj to continue his excellent job as number two and who knows then ? Injuries and opportunities will be there for Fucale as much as they are right now for Price.

  28. adptanoli says:

    First time poster here. I’ve been reading your comments for the past 3 years and I must say, I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Anyone have any updates on the potential trades with phili or st. louis?

    • bwoar says:

      St Louis should be done trading, looks to me like they have the cap space to sign their guys now and that’s about that.

      I don’t expect teams who need to get into cap compliance to do so until last August, so don’t hold your breath. This is just my analysis and opinion based on past history, nothing magical or special about the above.

      It’s pretty boring out there right now, innit?


      • desertman says:

        Thanks for that. It’s been super boring. Worst time of the year. I’m just waiting for the NFL and the premiership to get going again.

        Everyone is saying that MB is not done tinkering, so one can only hope.

    • habs1992 says:

      Welcome to the board my friend, what I am hearing is that the Habs are very interested in Coburn (philliy defencemen) also it seems like the Habs would really like to add Morrow to the roster, so then that will more then likley eliminate St Louis,

      I support Carey Price
      “Habs Insider”

      • Habfan17 says:

        If the Habs were to make both moves, who would they move to Philly? Philly needs to make some cap room. Maybe Diaz and Holland for Coburn! Diaz is at $1.2 million and Coburn at $4.5.
        The Habs would have to make another trade to have room for Morrow.


    • wjc says:

      100’s of potential trades, none of them true you know. Maybe you could do your share and make up a few. Just say there is a rumor that so and so is being traded for such and such.

      Just say Bergevin is looking for help on….take your pick…blue line, wing, center ice, goaltending, and then use your imagination.


    • desertman says:

      hahahahaha, thanks for the welcome!

      I’ve been hearing cobourn since the draft. I would love to see cobourn and Morrow on the habs, but it would take ALOT to make that happen.

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    Brad Marchand on the trading block according to KP Dupont.

  30. habstrinifan says:

    Was MT at the Draft? If not has anyone seen or heard from MT lately?

    Not suggesting anything but….

  31. Sportfan says:

    Any new/latest rumors?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

    • bwoar says:

      For fun: some folks believe the Habs are still negotiating with Morrow, as wel las with Dustin Penner. There’s some belief in the rumour-sphere that that Habs have a potential deal on the table with Philly for Coburn, but would have to dump Anrei Markov’s salary first.

      These are rumours; I didn’t start them, and am only posting them because you asked. They don’t come from people like Creasy, or HockeyInsidrrrr or known active frauds, but, this is the internet, so consider these for discussion only.

      Again: JUST FOR FUN!


      • wjc says:

        You don’t start them dog gone rumors, but you have no trouble spreading them…..just for fun of course.

        Apparently this is the internet, so waste your time discussing something that will not happen.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          I see you are in a wonderful mood again?

        • bwoar says:

          The poster above me asked for rumours, I obliged.

          Some people are bored to tears with reading the same ancient recollections of the hoary old past. Not everyone wants to re-hash yet another version of what happened with Chris Chelios, or which youngster challenged whom to a game of horsehoes in 1935, or what the all-time worst trades were, or ‘orrible drafting, or whatever you leatherbutts get lit up on once the scotch is all spilled and the phantom limbs have gone quiet once more.


  32. MatsAttack says:

    Good read by Eric Engels ( Makes a point about Eller being the breakout player last year.

    Who do people think emerges this year?

    • johnnylarue says:

      Depending on how much you believe in the ‘sophomore jinx’, I could see Chucky putting up even better numbers this year as he’ll be less intimidated and (hopefully) given more ice time by the coach.

      It might not be the REAL 100-point breakout season we’re all optimistically expecting from him in the next 3-4 years, but I think we’ll see him begin to assert himself more and rack up points accordingly.

      • habs11s says:

        I’d put him at around 60-70 points this season and building on it in the coming years


        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

        • johnnylarue says:

          If he cracks 60, mission accomplished! Not an unreasonable goal if he sees a bit more time on the PP this season…

          I almost forgot how excited I was to see our team play hockey again–just thinking of Chucky getting into his “bird of prey” stance as he closes in on the opposing team’s net has got my hockey fandom on full throttle! 😉

      • wjc says:

        Why would anyone believe in a ‘sophomore jinx’.

        Do you believe in ‘jinx’es seriously. Do a study on all second year players and see if there is a pattern.


    • habstrinifan says:


      4) I wasn’t in Brossard to take in development camp last week, but spies tell me the standouts were (in no particular order):


      I now dislike Engels even more… he totally ignored Bournival.

      • Steeltown Hab says:

        I used to like his blogs, I just feel like he’s seriously lost touch with this team. All he does is praise every move MB and MT make, and took him FOREVER to come around on Eller. Easy to call him a legitimate piece now after all this, when most of us saw it years earlier.


        Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Emelin – @J_Perez22

      • Walmyr says:

        Hi buddy,

        I am habs fan from Brazil…so I have to follow some blogs and sites (as HIO…) in order to updtae myself regarding CH news…

        And Engels is one of those people that I like to read…in fact this is the only reason to access the eklund HB site!…

        so Engels is really a guy to not like?


        • johnnylarue says:

          Engels is okay. His heart is in the right place. He’s not necessarily the most informed, and certainly not a great writer. In the grand scheme of things, he is much more of a ‘blogger’ than a proper journalist (with all due respect to the bloggers out there.)

          • bwoar says:

            Good answer! That’s Engels – a blogger, and only average at it.


      • MatsAttack says:

        I like the Bournival pick as well, but also like Leblanc to get it together.

  33. Bill H says:

    There are some interesting comments about the Blue Jackets being the dumbest name for an NHL team. I never gave it much thought before, so I googled it.

    According to wikipedia, Blue Jacket was a Shawnee war chief from the area of present day Ohio. He fought with the British against the Americans during the Revolutionary War.

    He was a prominent leader of the indigenous resistance fighting American expansion through the 1780’s until he was defeated in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers south of Toledo, Ohio. He then signed the Treaty of Greenville, ceding much of present day Ohio to the Americans.

    Strange that they would choose an historical character as the name of a sports team. Maybe the Capitals should be renamed the Washington Washingtons. Even stranger that they would choose the name of a war chief that fought against the American army.

    • B says:

      The name came from a fan contest to name the new team.

      “It was first thought that the Blue Jackets were named after the Indian chief, Blue Jacket, from Xenia, Ohio, but that was not the case.

      The Blue Jackets name was selected because the name pays homage to Ohio’s contributions to American history and the great pride and patriotism exhibited by its citizens, especially during the Civil War as both the state of Ohio and the city of Columbus were significantly influential on the Union Army. Ohio contributed more of its population to the Union Army than any other state, while many of the Blue Coats worn by the Union soldiers were manufactured in Columbus.”

      –Go Habs Go!–

    • doc359 says:

      I’m pretty sure that the team name derives from the Union Soldiers who wore blue jackets, since Ohio was a big contributor of troops to the north.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Thanks for the history lesson Bill. Interesting facts my friend.!

    • Bill H says:

      Thanks B and doc for your comments. Columbus’ contributions during the civil war makes much more sense than the Indian chief story. I had a quick look on the team web site but didn’t see the
      “News” section that B quoted.

      Ian, looking forward to seeing your game selection for the summit this year. Thanks for taking that on again this year. Maybe you should jot down some notes, including contact names and phone numbers so you can pass the information on to the next guy when you are ready to retire as our chief organizer. I expect you have put in many hours and learned a few things while organizing the summit the last few years.

    • habstrinifan says:

      I do not think the term ‘ceded’ is particularly accurate when describing the passing of ‘ownership’ of territory from American Indians to American Caucasians.

      But that’s just me.

  34. johnnylarue says:


    Your reference to the term ‘n-word’ reminded me of this classic bit of stand-up genius from Louis CK:

    • Haborama says:

      LOL really funny, reminds me of classic Gorge Carlin stuff.

    • SmartDog says:

      Funny as hell. I love the last bit. The word n—-r has been “reclaimed” as they say and used by rap artists etc. as a word of power. But we’re not allowed to say it. It’s not ours. That’s kind of weird. And his example – the thing he’s thinking as he leaves the store – reflects that.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • johnnylarue says:

        Problem is that ‘we’ were the ones to use the term in a derogatory way in the first place.

        To use a more titillating example of the principle in question, if women suddenly started slapping each other’s rear ends in public as a show of unity or empowerment, that wouldn’t by default erase the element of sexual harassment or domination that’s implied when a man does it. (Unfortunately…)

        Louis is great though. I love his show, too. It’s a bit clunky at times, but pushes boundaries in a fun way and his worldview is extremely relatable.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Great piece except the ending. Am I missing something there. Again no problems but for the part I’m describing below.

        He describes the ‘making of the coffee’ spot on and with humour. I’m assuming that the coffee maker in the story is black .

        So he walks out and by his own admission all he could think was “that n- …… my coffee” and you want to follow suit in thought and voice.

        Isn’t it like you going to a lecture at some university; hear a good lecture from some black professor; and came away thinking “wow that n—– sure gave a good speech”.

        Or maybe you think this is a good’ or ‘lousy’ post and want to say man “that n—– sure made a —–post”. See the extrapolation based on your conclusion?

        Or maybe I’m missing something.

        ASIDE: ” I’ve never really heard a RAP artist imbue a feeling of ‘power’ in the ‘n’ word. But then again that’s just me.

  35. Maritime Ron says:

    Re Kovy retirement:

    Is this the NHL version of Pandora’s Box?
    For too long, the almost arrogant Bettman guided NHL BoG disregarded Euro expansion in favor of ‘Sun Belt’ disasters.

    What becomes interesting in all of this are the Retirement Rules in general and what a player/team can do when caught up with a bad contract such as Luongo/Nucks or down the road Hossa/Hawks or Ovie/Caps.

    What are the rules concerning players – or ANY player ‘just leaving’ or how can retired players possibly return and play in the NHL?

    There doesn’t appear to be anything in the CBA, yet there was something found in Section 8, page 13-14 of the NHL Bylaws concerning the League’s Voluntary Retirement list.

    I posted them on the page before, or they can be seen in black and white here:
    While Sweet Lou is master of the CBA/NHL Bylaws loopholes, this may have opened the eyes of several players and their agents as to perhaps short term mega $$$ options…

    There is no doubt most would build their team around a Canadian Toews, Crosby….yet if we ever started losing some highly skilled and ‘entertaining’ Euros and former Iron Curtain players, this NHL would not be the same.

    Imagine for a moment our Habs without the dazzling talents of Galchenyuk and Eller moving forward – or the League without Ovie-Malkin-Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Karlsson…..and the so many others, along with several outstanding foreign goalies.
    The ‘entertainment value’ would certainly decrease!

    Some may cite IIHF rules as a deterrent for NHL desertion or non compliance of contractual obligations…to which the answer is regardless of background, ‘politicians’ run the IIHL, (yes, Rene Fasel was a dentist…and Obama was a community organiser…) and we all know that politicians could never be compromised…Right?

  36. Haborama says:

    My posts have gotten wiped a couple times, no idea why, I never use the f-word or the n-word.

  37. frontenac1 says:

    My posts never get snuffed. Must be the Clean Living.

  38. Haborama says:

    I often wonder (just for fun) what it would be like if any of the following posters ran the liveblogs for one game.

    1. Commandant
    2. NunaCanadien
    3. BILL
    4. Timo
    5. Frontenac1
    6. JohnBellyfull
    7. HabinSurrey
    8. EOHF
    9. Myself
    10. ZepFan

  39. bwoar says:

    For UCE & Chris:

    It sounds like a simple character limit in that case? Or a timeout on the session cookie maybe – do you get ‘logged out’ ?

    And does your post appear on the site, then disappear soon after? Or never appear once you hit ‘Submit’?


    • Chris says:

      I usually copy my post and try pasting it again if it fails, so a timeout of a cookie doesn’t explain it.

      Character limit doesn’t really cover it either, as I’ve posted longer ones than some of the ones that disappear.

      Post never appears when you submit it. They just disappear into the ether. I can post a short, pithy two-liner, but the longer ones disappear.

      I just chalk it up to a lot of people’s prayers being answered by the internet gods. :)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I have had some relatively short posts disappear upon hitting submit as well. Sometimes after I have hit submit and it disappears I need to sign in again, other times I am still signed in but the post is simply gone.

      Has happened about 2 times in the past 2 weeks to me.

      • bwoar says:

        Reading your guys’ replies makes we suspect that it’s an issue writing to the site’s database concurrently.

        HiB it’s almost for sure that if you get logged out after hitting submit that your session cookie expired while writing your post.

        As for the disappearances without logging out, it sounds like a problem with the db locking and unlocking tables; a submission comes in while a table is still locked and not being unlocked. Not being very familiar with WordPress’s comment system it’s impossible for me to say more than that.

        A site admin with a logfile could probably solve this pretty quickly though….!


  40. donmarco says:

    Just wanted to thank some of the posters for some well thought out and intelligent conversations this morning without a single mention of DD. thank you all, it was getting pretty monotonous.

    Now there’s a terrasse with my name on it. Beautiful day here and off to drink for 6 hours before the Al’s game.

    A good weekend to you all.

  41. bwoar says:

    Just throwing it out there: this is a good time for Kovy to go home and hit those custom PED’s before Sochi.

    I know, that’s a pretty random dig at a player’s ethics; it’s not serious.


    • Chris says:

      I don’t think he had to worry about being caught by the NHL’s non-existent PED testing.

      PED abuse is absolutely an issue for the NHL. Expect to see some “inexplicable” fall-offs in play this season as guys have go get off their HGH and other PED’s.

      • bwoar says:

        You got the humour. Awesome. I’ve always wondered when the shoe would drop in the NHL.


        • HabinBurlington says:

          You guys are both bang on, the NHL has somehow been able to escape the wrath of Steroid scandal, the NBA also has never seemed to have to worry about it.

        • wjc says:

          Exactly what shoe dropped????

          He retired, he is going home, where his wife is a star, where everyone speaks his language. Probably make more money, New Jersey is off the hook for the money.

          If KHL is willing to pay more, why not go home. If it were reversed would you want to play in Russia or Canada.


          • bwoar says:

            The PED shoe, wjc. I could care less about who plays where if it’s not on the Habs.

  42. Ian Cobb says:

    Gee! I wish the NHL would get off it’s duff and put up this years schedule so I can get on with organizing our HIO Fan Summit.

    Has anyone heard anything when they might release it.??

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  43. twilighthours says:


    I don’t know you, but I’m just going to take a shot in the dark here:

    If you were working overseas, and you could get paid the same or even more to do the same job in your home country, then you would return home and do just that.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Especially if you like your mother! twilight!!

      • twilighthours says:

        I don’t even like her!

        But I was living in the Caribbean and there was no way I was going to raise my kids without winter in their lives.

        So I understand the longing for home.

    • donmarco says:

      Of course I would. And I don’t blame Kovalchuk at all for what he did. If you remember, you asked the group to give you a reason for being angry with Kovy. I just took the challenge, that’s all.

      Like Dorothy said, bro, there’s no place like home. And there’s NO home like Canada.

    • junyab says:

      Fair point. But besides the salary number, more factors need to be taken into consideration. Lack of union, guarantee of salary payment, health benefits plans, pension…err freedom etc.

  44. SmartDog says:

    The Bruins signed Bergeron to an 8 year contract at $6.5 million per.
    He’s 27.

    As good as he is, that’s a long and expensive contract for a guy who’s had serious injury issues. And who’s never scored more than 22 goals a season. I know he does other things extremely well (faceoffs, defensive play)… but still. If he were a Hab I would be worried that it’s a contract we’d regret later. Between that and Rask, there goes $13.5 million for the next EIGHT years – over 20% of the cap.

    Talk about putting your eggs in one basket. …yah, I know, two baskets. (You HIOers are becoming so predictable!) Bad years by either or both of these guys is really gonna hurt.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • twilighthours says:

      Might not be so horrible 6 or 7 years from now assuming the cap increases. Still, it’s wild.

      • Strummer says:

        This is the reason why Bruins had to dump Seguin’s salary.

        Off-ice issues my ass!

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

      • Bill H says:

        This might not be a good assumption to make. Since the last lockout (i.e. not the most recent one) the cap steadily rose, as did the value of the Canadian dollar. The Canadian dollar has dropped in the past year, and most financial analysts agree that it could drop farther rather than rebound to parity with US$. Since a large percentage of NHL revenues come from Canada, this could mean the salary cap will not rise steadily over the next few years.

    • Timo says:

      Lets hope it hurts them. Hurts them bad.

    • SmartDog says:

      Next year: the Bruins are now over the cap by 1.5 million… but with Iggy’s contract being a lot of incentives they may be fine.

      BUT THE NEXT YEAR (2014-15).. that looks like trouble. They have only 7 million more to add 6-7 more guys which is doable except that Thorton, Krug, and Sidenberg all will need new contracts. They’re in trouble that year. Trades will come.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Mike D says:

        They’re not really over the cap for next year. Savard’s salary allotment will be given to them in relief since he’s on LTIR.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny
        The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

      • donmarco says:

        If revenues grow at current rate cap will be back up over 70 next year. That has to be a factor for them to have done this.

    • Cal says:

      The Cap is going to rise a lot during the lifetime of the contracts. That’s what Chiarelli’s depending on. However, if either are seriously hurt, that’s what insurance is for, isn’t it?

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      …20% of the cap this year.

      The cap will continue to go up as revenues increase. We’ll be back to last years cap in short order.

    • AndyF says:

      Given that Phoenix has ensured that the league retains a very unprofitable team, and that the Devils are likely in grave trouble… I don’t see how the cap will go up substantially.

      Boston’s gamble is a huge one!

  45. Rugger says:

    So a lot of discussion about Euro leagues and the NHL playing for World Championships got me wondering. Who actually owns the Stanley Cup and what is the criteria for awarding it. Originally wasn’t it awarded to teams other than just NHL? Any historians out there?

  46. Palushaj is a Hurricane — good for him. One year, $600k.

    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

  47. Haborama says:


    The Knights may be a great organization to play in, but McCarron is only a 25th pick, with no guarantee that he will ever make the NHL. Skill-development aside, UWM would have given him a backup plan in case hockey didn’t work out.

    • sirs81 says:

      Montreal brass would not have advised to go to London if they didn’t think he can make it…

    • Strummer says:

      CHL has a program that will pay for a player’s post-secondary education when their playing days in the CHL are over.

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

    • Luke says:

      Hopefully he squirrels away a portion of his signing bonus/salary into a little account that, should he not have a signifigant professional career, he can use to educate himself.

  48. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Hobie! The highlight of my OHL season is watching the Hab prospects come to town and beat my Frontenacs! How pathetic is that eh? Saludos!

  49. twilighthours says:

    Ae people upset with kovalchuk? Why?

    Give me an argument, people.

    • donmarco says:

      Make a long term commitment to a team, have the team built around him to the point where salaries had to be dumped to accommodate his salary, only to see him leave 2 years in for double the money, using his family as an excuse, in a foreign league, and essentially setting his NHL team back for a few years as a result? Naw, no reason to be upset with Kovy at all.

      • Don, it wasn’t his team, the players’ team or the fans’ team — it’s the owner’s team, a point made abundantly clear by the owners during the lockout. Hard to expect strong loyalty from the players when in general teams’ ownership couldn’t care less about the players.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

        • twilighthours says:

          Two more points:

          It couldn’t have been that bad a deal for the team if it accepted the retirement papers without kicking up a khl-sized fuss.


          Anyone who has lived in another country (or even province) knows the lure of home.

          • donmarco says:

            Exactly what fuss could NJ have put up? They were well and royally screwed.

          • twilighthours says:

            Is there no agreement between the NHL and khl, such as it might be?

          • To be fair, NJ did save $77M — not chump change for a team that’s only valued at $205M altogether.

            NJ also clears a ton of cap space, with just $250k of his salary against the cap per year. It’s got to hurt them to lose his skill, but not his payday.

            Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

        • donmarco says:

          There’s a huge difference between loyalty (which we all understand is in short supply on all sides) and contractual obligations. When a contract is signed there is an explicit understanding between the parties. If he “retired” from the sport permanently that’s one thing, but to turn your back on a contractual obligation which cannot be enforced in Russia, is another. It essentially invalidates the legal commitment both sides made to each other, and we know there are more than a few GM’s who would love to get out of a contract they signed. This essentially makes signed players available to the highest bidder, in a league where some teams are owned by billionaires of questionable repute. Tell me how you feel when Malkin, Ovechkin and others do the same thing. What happens if they offer Crosby 50 million?

          • twilighthours says:

            Why weren’t we so upset when this exact same thing happened with – I believe – Alexander avtsin earlier this year?

          • Chris says:

            The only reason that Evgeni Malkin was able to come to the NHL was by breaking a contract through a loophole in Russian law. So the NHL had no problem with contracts being broken to their advantage.

            They also had no problem with contracts being broken in the case of Cristobal Huet. Or Marcus Nilson.

            We have no problem with teams buying out players, thereby breaking the contract that was signed in good faith. Players are routinely expected to waive no-trade or no-movement clauses that were contractually agreed upon, with the players being faced with “selfish” labels if they refuse to do so, as we saw with Miikka Kiprusoff.

            It is a business. The players and the teams are both doing these kinds of things to one another all the time. No harm, no foul.

      • habsguy says:

        if someone else offered me DOUBLE the money, it’s bye bye, see later, I’m outta here !!!!!!!

        • donmarco says:

          Anyone who disagrees with you is a liar. And as I just posted above, what happens if one of the billionaires offered Crosby 10 years at 50 million a year?

          • twilighthours says:

            Then so be it. If the NHL wants to be the best league in the world, it has to offer the best overall compensation package.

    • In a league where owners lock out their players so they can renege on their contractual obligations to them, it’s hard to blame a player for quitting while he’s ahead, calling it a career, and heading back home to spend time with his family.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Haborama says:

      He quit his team. For an opportunity to make $20 Million a year.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Both he and the Devils circumvented the rules, which helped them get to the cup finals two years ago.

  50. Timo says:

    Holy sh!t. Bruins sign Bergeron for 8 years 52 mil. Do they really think he will last that long?

  51. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Good Morning everybody!!

    Seems quiet today on the Hockey World.

    • Arnou Ruelle says:

      Just out of curiosity:

      I was listening to Marinaro in the morning on TSN 690. He had a guest who will be holding an NBA clinic at the Y.

      I like to know if there are some stars who are doing hockey clinics here in Montreal? I mean NHL calibre players who can do these clinics.

      • Timo says:

        Georges Laraque will be holding a power skating clinic.

        • Arnou Ruelle says:

          Other than Laraque (w/c is retired), I want current players. No one?

          • BrianSkrudland says:

            Dude, Timo’s tongue-in-cheek comment sailed right over your head. He should have shouted ‘fore’ when he posted that one.

            Daily recommendations for July 12
            Song of the Day: These are the days (Van Morrison)
            Movie of the Day: Godfather

  52. Alex_425 says:

    I’m sorry, does the salary cap simply not apply to the Bruins? Where are they getting this kind of money?

    Unless they pay a select few 6+ million a year, and the rest are given <$500,000 and a bag of Skittles.

    But I'm no expert….

  53. commandant says:

    An early look at the 2014 NHL Draft top 10

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

  54. Dr.Rex says:

    What time is the Brenden Morrow signing announcement today?

  55. secretdragonfly says:

    Wow, first Rask, now Bergeron. Bruins have been busy.

  56. donmarco says:

    @kooch Your comment re “so be it, let them see some good hockey” is forward thinking. While this game will always be our National sport, it is not our game and is followed equally passionately by their fans. Imagine how we’d feel to watch young players grow and play only to sign professional contracts in Russia.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I just think it may actually make it better to give the NHL a little competition. Bettman is an arrogant SOB as we all know and it is still ran as an old boys club. Some real competition could help the actual sport

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • bwoar says:

        I am completely with you on that point. Despite missing talents with Kovalchuk et al, it’s the fans of NHL hockey who are most likely to be the winners if the league had honest, stiff competition.

        Imagine a time when the KHL, or SEL, or FEL grows to such a skill level as to rival the NHL? When it becomes just as exciting, if not moreso, to follow teams in that league? That may be anathema to everyone (most everyone) here, who take the Stanley Cup for granted as the pinnacle of hockey, yet such a scenario would involve strong market forces that compel the NHL to work that much harder to improve as a league.


        • donmarco says:

          But if salary is no longer is the motivator to come here, we are left with what? The Cup. Still the holy grail for all hockey players around the world. But aside from that, what else will attract the top talent to leave their countries? What if the NHL was to grow to become a Global Hockey League, with equal rules in all countries, levelling the playing field?. Imagine a trade between Toronto and Moscow. This, to me, is the future of hockey.

          • bwoar says:

            I don’t see that as workable, since the ownership of hockey teams is mainly the providence of bickering, egotistical, unrealistic, greedy and altogether unsavory people. This is a global phenomenon and I suspect it transcends our favorite sport.

            You are more likely to hear a group of billionaires say, “I’ll start my own league, with blackjack and hookers” than agree to work together on the project of a global league.

            The main motivator to come to NA to play hockey is still the level of competition, and to a lesser degree, the prestige of the Stanley Cup. You can already make more money playing elsewhere, in almost every case (i.e. for the vast majority of hockey-playing professionals, not simply the top 1%.)

            In the main, I think the NHL’s greatest advantage is simply the quality of life: hotels, proper airlines, better medical treatment, and in living in a country that for millionaires provides the best legal protection against undue, er, influence.

            That said, home is where the heart is, and so any of these thigns are mitigating depending on an athlete’s personal preferences.


        • Kooch7800 says:

          I think it is exactly what the NHL needs. Competition makes everything better

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • donmarco says:

        My suggestion would be to fold all the leagues into one massive one, and not to have them compete with the NHL.

    • yakhab says:

      Besides if it came down to it ,& the NHL was full of canadians ….
      Don Cherry would do a cartwheel !

  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    Site administrators, why do my posts disappear? It’s very frustrating to try to join in a conversation, spend some time replying to someone’s post, and have your work disappear, with no explanation, no message telling you what happened, that you’re over a word limit, or you used a word that’s verboten, or whatever. It’s a serious disincentive to visit HIO.

    I know the workaround, about copying and saving your work to another location so you have a backup, but I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t trust that this site will eat my words, never to re-appear again.

    It makes HIO seem mickey mouse, much less than it could be.

  58. Chris says:

    Some rebuttals to the London Knights mystique:

    Max Domi was drafted #8 overall by the Kingston Frontenacs. Leading into the draft, he had indicated that he would not play for any team but London. Even Tie Domi’s good friend Doug Gilmour could not convince Max Domi to change his mind, and he was eventually dealt to London.

    The Knights have been masters at getting NCAA-committed players to forego college and come to London. Players like Jarred Tinordi, Patrick Kane, John Carlson, and Sam Gagner were all “convinced” to come to London. Kane’d decision in particular has always been questioned in other OHL rinks.

    We know that there are recruiting violations in the CHL. Portland just got their wrists slapped, while Windsor was dealt a pretty heavy penalty ($400k fine, loss of three first round draft selections and two second round draft selections). Faced with that penalty, the Spitfires quietly confessed (although the details of the violation were never made public) and the fine was dropped to $250k and the lost draft picks was dropped to two firsts and two seconds.

    You would have to be naive to believe that there aren’t some shady deals going on behind the scenes. Opposing fans HATE the Knights because we’re sure they are up to no good, and their fans wink and nod and say that we should just get better at it. Can’t argue that.

    But to say that the Hunters are OHL gems? No, I will never go that far. :)

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree I am sure they are shady deals going on without a doubt but I really don’t mind seeing habs prospects go there. They have a great program and do a very good job developing young talent to be NHL ready

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Chris says:

        They do a good job. It really isn’t that much better than a lot of other CHL teams, especially if you take away the one-and-dones.

        Here in the OHL, I would say the best teams developing talent have been London, Kitchener, Guelph, Plymouth, Belleville and Barrie. Peterborough used to be the cat’s meow, but that franchise is in shambles.

        McCarron is stepping onto a very good team. That can be either a blessing or a curse. We’ll see very quickly if he has the skill to be effective in that league, or if he is going to become a bit of a goon. I’m heartened by the lack of natural right wings on that team, but I am a bit worried that they will go after an elite player like Ryan Hartman and push McCarron down the depth chart.

        London is in a tough division this year. Guelph has also been building for 2013-14, and Kitchener has a pretty strong team of veteran players. Erie is the wild-card…McDavid is going to break out in a big way, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Erie loading up on talent from rebuilding teams to surround McDavid for his last two junior seasons (no way that he plays in the OHL after his draft year). Owen Sound should be rebuilding, so they will fall back a bit.

        Windsor also had a strong team and had been hoping to host the Memorial Cup.

        It should be an interesting OHL season. Guelph, for example, has a good offence but needs help in net and on defence. With Barrie rebuilding, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Aaron Ekblad (an early favourite to go top-3 in next year’s draft) be a prime target for the Storm or one of the other teams that wants to knock off the Knights.

    • Cal says:

      The Hunter Brothers obviously run their club the same way Montreal hands out public works contracts. Something stinks in London.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Great decision to go to London. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with soaking in the culture of hockey in Canada and the OHL. Out of all the teams in the CHL, NCAA and wherever else, London is among the best.

      He isn’t going to sacrifice any offesive development and he’s going to learn to play “tough as nails” hockey under Hunter.

      It’s really a no brainer. Welcome to Canada Mike McCarron.

    • Mike D says:

      Chris, I’m not really even a “fan” of the Knights. I live in London and they put out a good product consistently so I like them, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. It was great when Tinordi was here cuz I got to watch him develop with my own eyes and I’m looking forward to doing the same with MM, but my previous statement of the Knights being the “best route for NHL development” is actually objective and not based on a personal bias at all. It’s certainly debatable, but I didn’t say it because I want it to be true.

      In case you didn’t see it, I replied to you on the previous page.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny
      The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Some people just think they’re being hip or cool by going against the grain and supporting US College hockey or the Swedish Elite league over the CHL.

        The best hockey players in the world are born, raised and developed right here in Canada so anytime a young player decides to play in the OHL, WHL or QMJHL they’re making a smart choice.

        • Cal says:

          Have to disagree s far as lower drafted players go (not first and second rounders). Too many will never make a living at hockey. For these players, getting a degree (and it better not be Basketweaving 101) should be a priority. There’s nothing negative about playing to the best of your abilities and just not being quite good enough to get to the NHL.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            You do raise an interesting point Cal. I wasn’t considering the education part of things. I was speaking more of “balls to the wall” trying to become the best player you possibly can be.

          • Cal says:

            @Hobie- I’m thinking McMonster will be quite the player for the Habs in 3 years. 1 to 2 in London + 1 in Hamilton.

          • commandant says:

            CHL players recieve a scholarship to Canadian Universities… 1 year of paid education for every 1 year of service….

            Go Habs Go!
            Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.

          • Chris says:

            You are correct Ben.

            However, as somebody that tutors some of these kids when they come to university, one of the things that is left out of that is that in most cases the academic standards that the kids are being held to are very, very low. Many of them simply can’t get into university.

            Furthermore, upon taking that university scholarship, they often have to deal with having been out of school for 1-2 years, so it is a bit of a tough haul for them to get back into the swing of education.

            The scholarship program in the CHL is definitely a step in the right direction. But they need to really work to improve the schooling that the kids are getting while traveling all over the province on buses. It is a massive disruption.

        • Chris says:

          The CHL is not a great option for some of these kids. As Cal pointed out below, the CHL is a great league if you are a can’t miss prospect. But the kids play too much and the league is too rough. A study by the team doctor for two OHL teams (including the London Knights) a couple of years ago found that 55% of the players on the two teams had suffered some level of concussion during their time there, and the majority of those concussions were suffered during fights or due to illegal head-shots.

          Fighting at the junior level, one of the reasons McCarron was attracted to the OHL, is an absolute blight on the sport. I’m sure that some people think they are being hip and cool by going against the grain and supporting brain trauma for 15-19 year old kids, but the reality is that is an epidemic that is causing untold damage to the sport and to those players.

          McCarron, because of his style of play and his size, will be a frequent target for every goon in the OHL. Pointless waste of development time with a high risk of permanent injury.

  59. Mike D says:

    I could see NJD offering Gomez a contract. For one, he won’t cost them much. Secondly, there would be some sentimentality appeal for them and their fans. Thirdly, they could recreate 2/3 of the EGG line.

    With regards to them trading us for Gio, I don’t see it. For one, he’s injured. Two, he has a 5mil salary which is expensive for them especially considering they don’t know how well he’ll recover and play. Three, they have to give us some kind of asset in return. If anything, I could see them waiting a year to see if he “still has it” and then signing him as a UFA where it won’t cost them an asset.

    Just my thoughts…

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny
    The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

    • habstrinifan says:

      Couldnt we trade and share salary. The purpose of the trade on our end is to make room on the roster.

      • Mike D says:

        We could, and you’re correct that the purpose for us to make that trade would be to clear a roster spot (and some cap room) and give our team more of that balance that MB was talking about.

        I was just saying that it *might* make more sense for NJ to just wait a year and get Gio (assuming they even want him) without giving us anything in return.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny
        The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Regarding Gio, Given he had the same surgery done to his other bicep the season prior and that arm appears to have recovered properly, I don’t think there is a great deal of concern as to whether or not he will recover. The issue could be the timing of his return, last year the lockout and delayed start to season allowed him much more time for recovery.

      • Mike D says:

        Good points Gerry and correct as well. It’s not the injuries alone that might make a team hesitant to acquire him. It’s a combination of his age, size, recent injuries, and the general slowing-down of productivity that’s associated with those things.

        As I stated to Trini above, it might make more sense for NJ to just wait 11.5 months and get him as a UFA without giving us something in return. It also allows them to “scout” him over the upcoming season to guage how much he las left in the tank.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny
        The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

    • Alex_425 says:

      Aah, the EGG line.

      I remember, back when I didn’t know as much about the good ol’ Hockey game, that was the line to beat.

      Still don’t know much!

      But I’m no expert….

    • Casanova says:

      No need to trade, they can throw his brother on the line and voila: Elias, Gomez, Gionta

  60. habstrinifan says:

    This is about as stooopid and narcissistic a post as one could find.. so if you are busy or selective about your HIO reading please ignore.

    I was re-reading one of my posts (purely for editing purposes of course) and thought how strangely and cumbersomely put.

    But then I delved deeper and found merit in my phrasing. Am I brighter in retrospect or simply ungainly.

    The phrasing nugget in question,

    “The Hunters are a treasure of the OHL” which could be more prosaically stated “The Hunters are an OHL treasure”.

    But… aha… on deeper inspection is there a different connotation.

    (This by the way may be good good mental exercise for you aspiring GM’s and head scouts… you have to look past beyond what you are seeing.. then again maybe NOT.

  61. Ian Cobb says:

    Under Bettman’s leadership and tenure, the NHL has become just another average sports entertainment. Not the elite league it once was.

    With 30 teams now, the real NHL hockey talent is spread so thin now that the KHL is just as attractive to players.

    The only way to repair the NHL is to let the weak franchise’s fail and not prop them up like the NHL has done for the past 20 years or more.

    To have solid NHL caliber talent throughout each roster, the maximum franchise’s in the NHL should be about 20 teams or less. Then they would become the elite league they once were.

    Today we have 35% of players that are past their prime or are still minor league talent on each team.

    We sure do not play the quality of hockey that was played many years ago when the total roster was made up of true NHL caliber talent. And the ticket price to watch this poorer game today has quadrupled.!

    Just my thoughts of the day boys and girls.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      I think what you are saying has alot of merit. When you see teams throwing that much money at 3rd or 4th liners, then you get a sense that the talent pool is stretched. My only concern in what you are proposing is that the reduction is teams would also have an impact on smaller market teams in Canada, not just the expansion teams in the US sunbelt.

    • donmarco says:

      I agree that the product is, shall we say, diluted, and often the hockey we see is dull and uninspired. But growth continues, and it’s all about the bucks. The solutions you propose will never ever be accepted by the NHLPA, just as a shortened season, or contracted teams, would never be accepted by the owners. Fans, as usual, don’t count, but I think most,if not all, would be more than fine with a 72game season, with 24teams, and finishing the season before June. What I’d love to see are 5 yearmax contracts. Would lead to a lot more player movement, not to mention a lot more motivated players.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Problem is, hockey is growing at a slower rate than other major sports properties. And, it has many low-hanging fruits, if anything it should be growing faster than the NFL or NBA, or the dying MLB.

        Hockey’s growth is related to the growth in media, and the fact that the PVR and internet has soaked away a lot of the captive market for films and other forms of entertainment. Sports is the only “appointment viewing” left, and that rising tide is floating the NHL boat.

        As I’ve said, the NBA used the Magic-Larry Bird rivalry, and then the Michael Jordan years to explode in popularity. The NHL squandered Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, and are currently strangling Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Illya Kovalchuk should have been putting up 150 points a season, playing the Dale Hawerchuk or Peter Stasny supporting role to Crosby-Gretzky. Instead, he’s picking up and going home, tired of getting crosschecked and slashed on his way to 70 point seasons and 17% escrow.

        Nice job, Gary!

  62. HabinBurlington says:

    When I first heard the news of Kovalchuk yesterday I figured there would be a huge long term cap hit on the Devils. They are extremely fortunate that they only have a $250,000 “recapture penalty” for the next 12 seasons.

    Is it possible, that when Lou and Ilya structured this deal they foresaw a retirement this early? I do realize the subsequent cap penalties were ratified in the most recent CBA, but it is hard to not question that this whole contract was a complete sham from day one.

    As I recall, the rumour was that Lou never wanted to do such a deal, but rather the owner Vanderbeek was the one who wanted Kovalchuk and was willing to have a ridiculous contract just so he could have his star player.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      SKA will announce the Kovulchuk signing on Monday. I wonder how huge the dollars are

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • habstrinifan says:

        WOW! Is this for real..

        • Kooch7800 says:

          for real

          David Pagnotta ‏@TheFourthPeriod 1h
          Well, my Friday is now ruined!! RT “@dchesnokov: It appears SKA will not announce Kovalchuk signing today. Monday is the most likely day.”

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • habstrinifan says:

            Hope they announce the true salary. Maybe Kovalchuk did walk away from all his NHL monies. If so the NHL hockey cant really question the Devils as it would all be on the player.

      • donmarco says:

        Rumors are 15 – 20 million a year, at a flat tax rate of 13%. But of course he did it for family reasons. By next week he will be the highest paid hockey player in the world. NHL GM’s should be very nervous. You can’t compete against a league with limitless money and no salary caps.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          At the same time, the KHL has to be careful also. They do have a number of teams who operate very similar to the Coyotes and present day Devils. Some of these teams are almost state owned, and the gate they draw doesn’t come close to covering their costs. While some of the KHL teams are indeed owned by Billionaires, others don’t have these same deep pockets.

          While the KHL will indeed want to bring back as many star players as they can, it could create a very lopsided league.

          • donmarco says:

            But as you say, the Coyotes and Devils, to name just 2, are both alive and well in the NHL. The KHL could fix disparity with one move, a salary cap, and who says they won’t if they desire to become more legitimately recognized. I’d bet anything that is Finland, Sweden and Germany join it will be on tha condition. Not saying next year, but within 10 they could be an equal rival to the NHL. And what happens when a future Nate MacKinnon is able to field offers from teams from all over the world?

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Honestly if that does happen so be it. The fans over sea’s deserve to see great hockey as well and there are lots of great players out there who never make the show.

            It may actually help the NHL to retract a bit and get rid of the floundering hockey teams and make the quality of the game better

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Cal says:

          The KHL as a league still has the problems of poor transportation (ancient jets) and a lower standard of medical care. The only attraction is that, as a Russian, you don’t have to leave the country to make the big bucks.
          I don’t think many North Americans would relish flying in 50 below zero weather to play in front of 2000 people.

          • donmarco says:

            I don’t disagree with your current assessment of the KHL, but medical care and transportation problems are very fixable through private physicians and private planes. And with regards to the climate, that is easily remedied with a 5 million dollar contract when the NHL teams are offering 1 or 2.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          that is just stupid money for a hockey player. It actually makes me sick really. He plays a bloody sport for a living….he isn’t out saving lives.

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • habs12 says:

          exactly what i was thinking. It is in the best interest of the league to let kovy go given the fact that it actually benefits the financial status of one of their teams with growing financial concerns. At the same time, what will the NHL do if someone like Malkin “retires” for double the salary back home in the KHL. By the time he is 30, Malkin will have already won 1 cup and likely another (if you think Pitt will win again within the next 4 years), 1 hart trophy and nearly all other personal accomplishments possible by playing in the NHL. If he is offered the same rumored 15-20 mil/season kovy is being offered (or more), what is to stop him from moving his family back home?

          • donmarco says:

            I don’t agree that it’s in the “best interests of the league to let him go”. It is in fact quite the opposite. Kovalchuk is a great player, in his prime, that was plucked from our league by using money and a return home as incentive. And why in the world would Malkin NOT do what Kovy did at some point? As you say he’s won a cup, has proven himself to be a elite player, and could double his salary in his home country. The question is not IF he’ll leave, but WHEN.

    • The Juice says:

      I am suspicious as you are, but what would be the benefit to either Kovy or Lou in structuring this deal knowing he would retire in 2-3 years?


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

  63. donmarco says:

    I can’t help thinking about the comparison between Kovalchuk “retiring” and the Formation of the WHA many years ago. They lured a number of NHL stars, current and future (bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky, etc,) sending shock waves through the NHL. And we all know how that ended up.

    There are numerous discussions about the KHL joining with Finland, Sweden and Germany to form a super league of European teams and Kovalchuk’s “retirement” may be a harbinger of things to come.

    I think the NHL needs to tread carefully and look at the long term implications here rather than take any kind of an aggressive stance. I can easily see, over the next decade, where hockey truly becomes a global sport and where the allure of playing in the NHL for players born overseas diminishes versus the appeal of playing in their countries of birth.

    In the short term this may negatively affect Russian born players from being offered long term contracts because teams are nervous they’ll do the same thing and bolt. But all that will do is make the KHL even more attractive to them.

    If I were Bettman I’d start looking at the long term opportunities this may present to continue building the game, but on a vastly larger scale than it is today.

    IMO of course.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think that is a very fair comparison. And some of the present KHL owners have much deeper pockets than the owners of those WHA teams.

      • donmarco says:

        I’m not sure if the KHL has any type of a salary cap system in place but I’d somehow doubt it. The implications could, in fact, be quite exciting. I could just imagine a day when the top club team in Canada, the US, Russia, Sweden and Finland play a tournament every year to determine the top team in the world. Soccer has used the same formula for years and its almost as exciting as the World Cup. Imagine the Canadiens playing the Blackhawks, Jokkerit, Modo and SKA for top team in the world. Would be a ratings bonanza.

    • Mike D says:

      If I’m not mistaken, Gretzky only went to the WHA because he was too young to play in the NHL at that time.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny
      The CH stands for CHaracter…(apparently)

      • donmarco says:

        He still gave the league instant legitimacy.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Correct, the WHA took advantage of the 20-year-old minimum age of the NHL, and raided the junior ranks for teenaged talent. That’s how Michel Goulet and Mark Napier and others became pros before they could have in the NHL. It’s also what started the push for an earlier draft age, and why the NHL picks 18 year old players now.

        • donmarco says:

          But new leagues don’t have to play by NHL rules, and the WHA showed that.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Exactly, Gary Bettman is acting like he’s the only employer in town and mistreating his staff. The KHL is a competitor that he should take seriously, instead whistling past the graveyard.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      If one elite European league is created with a limited number of teams and high salaries, the NHL will be in trouble.

      • donmarco says:

        Depends on how you look at it. It could mean more roster spots available for North American born players, and there will always be the allure for some Europeans to make their reputation in this league, but if the NHL dismisses this as a one time occurrence they do so at their own risk. Until now the KHL has attracted players NHL teams consider “damaged” (Kostitsyns, Radulov, etc,) but Kovalcuk is most definitely not of that calibre. Never underestimate the appeal of playing in your homeland, and now that the money is there, this trickle could become a flood.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      donmarco, you wouldn’t be concluding that Gary Bettman’s approach of alienating the players and grinding them down on revenue share and locking them out whenever possible, reliant on his monopoly on pro hockey, is ill-advised and short-sighted, would you? After all, he won the last lockout.

      • donmarco says:

        He won the last one too. But far be it for me to extoll any of his virtues, but he has has them. He has grown the game financially, fought to keep some teams in their cities, even championing a return to Winnipeg. I do believe he can be forward thinking and there are opportunities to grow the NHL brand on a global scale that would make current revenues pale I comparison. But he’s still a douche, don’t get me wrong. :-)

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Oh boy, where do I start.

          He didn’t “champion” the return to Winnipeg, he was handcuffed to it, and went along grudgingly. How can you forget his lecture on the day of the announcement, when he told the people of Winnipeg that they’d better ante up and buy all the tickets, or this wouldn’t work out, and his pained expression as he said that.

          A trained monkey could have ‘grown’ the NHL. All sports leagues are growing due to the explosion of media, fantasy leagues, and since it’s the only time sensitive programming. You can watch “Breaking Bad” whenever you want now, you’re not chained to watching it at the scheduled time on your TV. Sports though, different story.

          I think Gary Bettman is stifling hockey, not marketing it. If he cleaned up the game, the Sedin brothers and Phil Kessel could really put on a show, instead of ducking elbows and trying to survive. He’s too dumb, too ignorant and insulated from the beauty of the game to know as much.

          He didn’t fight that hard when Winnipeg, Québec and Hartford went belly up, just smirked that it wasn’t an NHL problem, but a WHA problem.

          • donmarco says:

            Not even going to attempt to find flaws in your argument, they are all points worthy of consideration (except for the trained monkey one, I’m old enough to remember how heavy handed some previous commissioners were, not to mention how inept).

            I don’t understand how you can pin the argument of cleaning up the game on Bettman though. Ina diluted league with too many teams many players are marginal NHL’ers at best and have to use whatever skills got them there. While I agree that some creative players are stifled it is still an exciting, hard (very hard) hitting sport and I like that part of the game. Are all the concussions Bettmans fault too?

  64. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    If Luongo wants to do a Kovalchuk, he can play for a non-NHL team: The Florida Panthers.

  65. boing007 says:

    Perhaps Louis Leblanc was overrated from the get go?

    Richard R

  66. lakechamplain says:

    I’ll bet quite a few of you have seen this already but a nice video interview with Trevor Timmons about this year’s draft class at

    • BIAS says:

      HIB – Can’t see it happening. As much as I like Gionta he’s damaged goods. Probably will never be the same.

      If MB could get something reasonable for him from any team now is the time to let him go.

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    How much more attractive does Brian Gionta now look to the Devils?

    From a marketing perspective, bringing back a fellow who was part of their last Cup winning team, could be a good move for them.

  68. Maffu says:

    Was looking at the Devils lineup and noticed they have a UFA for summer of 2014, Mark Fayne, he might be a good pick up next year if we’re looking for a big right handed defenceman. 13-14 salary is 1.4 million so if he gets a raise it could be around 2 million. If there’s enough money with the cap going up this guy could definitely add size to the right size of the Habs D behind PK.

    Rename the Bell Centre the Bell Forum. – Maffu

  69. HabinBurlington says:

    Wonder if Roberto Luongo is considering the KHL this morning?

  70. habs-fan-84 says:

    Just to stir the pot….this is why each and every team should be weary of signing Russian prospects….for all those who complained about not drafting Zykov…

    • Luke says:

      I’d love to see the actual number of Russian players under contract who fled for the KHL vs the actual number of Russian players playing in North America.
      I’m guessing this happens very infrequently, and most often with younger, unestablished players who opt for Russia (and millions) instead of the American Hockey League (and tens of thousands).

      I also think the Devils have a pretty heavy hand in this Kovalchuk retirement.

      • Chris says:

        There were 22 Russians in the NHL last season, but both Burmistrov and Kovalchuk have decided to return to Russia.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          that is it? Wow, that number seems low

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I was surprised as well Kooch, but we have to remember that there are a great deal of players whom we perceive as Russian, when they are actually Belarusian or from those other countries formerly part of the U.S.S.R.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            True enough I guess. I always just associate in my mind Russians being huge in hockey.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  71. 24 Cups says:

    You could say that the Devils paid a heavy price for the four years that Kovy was on their team. Directly they lost two first round picks and Oduya (as well as two young prospects who were recent 1st and 2nd round picks) while indirectly they lost Parise and Clarkson.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Must be hard to be a Devils fan these days, watching a team that was solid for nearly 2 decades, whom now care only about finances as opposed to the product they are putting on the ice.

      I don’t see how Lou can be enjoying his job as much as he used to.

    • Cal says:

      The Devils signed a star and still no one showed up for the games. Time for the Devils to become the new Nordiques I think.

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    Does Kovy doing this, pave the way for Ovechkin or others to start walking away from their contracts?

    I believe if this happened to a team like Rangers or RedWings, the league and teams are furious, but because the Devils are broke and missing payments on their new restructured financing agreement, I am sure Bettman and the Devils were happy to bless this move.

    • junyab says:

      I think this will become a growing trend 100%. One or two a year will turn into a half dozen a year by 2015.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      I agree, if this had happened to one of the rich teams the league and NHLPA would be crying fowl. Not sure that this will become a trend but it wouldn’t surprise me if a handful of players took this road.

    • jacquesthemonkey says:

      Interesting viewpoint here:

      Basically the NHL has to react otherwise teams will use this as a low cost buyout option and/or NHL player contracts will become meaningless.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I think the important distinction is that the Devils agreed to the retirement, and not retaining his rights, something with the Preds didn’t do with Alexander Radulov, for example.

      Agree with Jacques that this opens the can of worms of the backdoor amnesty. We so often would wish that Scott Gomez would retire, but would remind each other that it was impossible. Now, maybe a team will apply some pressure, come to an ‘understanding’ with an older player that he wants to retire. I guess the ‘over-35’ contracts will limit some of that, but the KHL plan B might work for the guys in their early thirties, with undeclared cash in their pockets from big money teams to ease their ‘transition’.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      Who cares – Russian players aside from Ovechkin are soft and add little to the NHL beside whining and diving. The less Semin-slaps the better.

      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!

  73. Maritime Ron says:

    After reading an article in the…Washington Times, it should be comforting knowing McCarron will be playing for the Hunters.

    A few excerpts:

    “LONDON, Ontario — It’s all there in black and white, spiral-bound behind a cover with the line, “London Knights — ‘A Tradition of Excellence.’ ” Eighty-six pages of the Knights’ recruiting guide handed to prospective players, detailing everything from dress codes, game schedules and curfews to local media coverage and schools.

    ” But the pictures of Corey Perry, Patrick Kane, Rick Nash, Dennis Wideman and others tell more than the tens of thousands of words.

    “The way you’re treated is that of a professional and they teach you how to be a professional. I think that’s why they’ve had such a great track record of sending guys to the NHL,”

    “Of course everybody wants skill and skating and talent, but you try to find that character, the drive to win,” Mark Hunter said.
    (Sound familiar?)

    “Love of the game. You’ve got to love the game. If you don’t love the game, the game will wear you down,” Mark Hunter said. “And you try to make sure you get players that love the game, because there’s a lot of hockey out there and if you don’t love it, it’s not long [until] you don’t want to win.”

    Mark Hunter:
    “I try to prepare them to play at the next level,” he said. “Some guys come in and say, ‘I’m just a winger.’ I go ‘No, no, no, you play all over. You play center and wing because you never know what situation you’re going to be in.’ I try to prepare them and I warn them what it’s like up in the NHL.”

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