New season, new division rivals for Habs

(File photo John Kenney: Goalmouth scramble during Canadiens’ season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013)

For only the third time in 14 seasons, the Canadiens will open their season at home. Less unusual is who the Habs will play against in their season opener on Oct. 1 at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs as they have for the past four years. The Leafs won three of those games and also have an edge historically in the 14 times the division rivals have met in season openers between 1921-22 and January 2013. (The Habs won five of those match-ups.)

More than one-third of the Canadiens’ 82 games are against the seven other teams in the new Atlantic Division, part of the National Hockey League’s realignment, which takes effect in the 2013-14 season. The Habs’ former Northeast division rivals–the Leafs, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators–are part of the new division as well as the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Detroit Red Wings who have joined the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens’ schedule also features more than a two-week gap between games in February because of NHL players’ participation in the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

You can read more about the Canadiens’ schedule for the upcoming season by The Gazette’s Pat Hickeyย here.

And you can read more about the NHL’s realignment and new division namesย here.


  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …IT’S A BOY !!!

    …hope they call him Maurice

    …Prince Maurice ! …great name

    …of course, eventually King Maurice ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Timo says:

    New thread, people.

  3. Timo says:

    This is not the final list from which team Canada brass is going to select, is it? I mean, some players will get injured, some will have amazing seasons. Like when David Desharnais starts lighting it up and will be sitting at 40 goals by the olympic break…

  4. Habfan10912 says:

    Kouvu and Selene named to Team Findland hopefuls. Would be 5 time Olympians.

    Team USA hopefuls will be announced tomorrow.

  5. Say Ash says:

    So nobody from the 2002 team invited, eh?

  6. Edman says:

    Does anyone know if Ryan White signed and where Big Mac landed?

    -Follow Me @EddieThoughts

  7. Hobie Hansen says:

    I can just see it now…

    Carey Price stands on his head for the Canadian Olympic team. Hitchcock, Holland and Julien call him world class and one of the top goalies in the NHL.

    Price comes back to the Canadiens and plays behind Markov, Bouillon and Diaz and gets lit up. The morons who call themselves fans boo and the French media tears him apart.

    He gets traded and wins the Stanley Cup the next season. And Habs fans spend the next 20 years complaining that Price was traded.

  8. Habfan10912 says:

    The Pittsburgh Gazette list the Russian Olympic hopefuls. A couple of familiar names.

  9. Kooch7800 says:

    No Iginla on the Canadian team invites. That is kind of shocking.

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  10. frontenac1 says:

    Just look at that picture amigos. Two Leaf Punks in Carey”s paint! And neither one of them with a mouthful of lumber! For God”s sake what has happened to our Habs? I remember when Bouchard,Robinson and… Ah shit,never mind, I’m heading to the Saloon. Saludos!

  11. habs1992 says:

    Sam Gagner 3 year 14.4 milliion. CONFIRMED

    I support Carey Price
    “Habs Insider”

  12. HabFab says:

    The Russian Team invitees;

    I see that Perezhogin kid is still going strong.
    And notice what goaltender didn’t get an invite…too crazy even for a Russian!

  13. derfab says:

    Morrow would be a decent replacement for Cole, Big improvement on Ryder. Someone else has to go if we sign him (DD, Moen, Gio, Bourque…).

    Love to watch team Canada play the Russians, but I hope few Habs make any of the teams. They will all be spent come May.

    • pmaraw says:

      usually it’s the Olympians who end up making it deeper into the playoffs, especially the ones who have leadership roles on their respective clubs.

      • derfab says:

        Stacked, well rested teams make it deeper. Habs only got past second round when the core (Halak was back up to Price all year), including the americans, got snubbed. Vancouver had the best club but died.

  14. Mattyleg says:

    Looks like those wily HI/O heads have picked some pretty sweet new aliases to generate clicks.

    Some excellent pot-stirring, my cyber-lords!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  15. HabFanSince72 says:

    Montreal Canadiens Captains.

    Jack Laviolette, 1909โ€“10
    Newsy Lalonde, 1910โ€“11
    Jack Laviolette, 1911โ€“12
    Newsy Lalonde, 1912โ€“13
    Jimmy Gardner, 1913โ€“15
    Howard McNamara, 1915โ€“16
    Newsy Lalonde, 1916โ€“22
    Sprague Cleghorn, 1922โ€“25
    Billy Coutu, 1925โ€“26
    Sylvio Mantha, 1926โ€“32
    George Hainsworth, 1932โ€“33
    Sylvio Mantha, 1933โ€“36
    Albert “Babe” Siebert, 1936โ€“39
    Walter Buswell, 1939โ€“40
    Toe Blake, 1940โ€“48
    Bill Durnan, 1948 (Januaryโ€“April)
    Emile Bouchard, 1948โ€“56

    Maurice Richard, 1956โ€“60
    Doug Harvey, 1960โ€“61
    Jean Beliveau, 1961โ€“71
    Henri Richard, 1971โ€“75
    Yvan Cournoyer, 1975โ€“79
    Serge Savard, 1979โ€“81
    Bob Gainey, 1981โ€“89
    Guy Carbonneau and Chris Chelios, 1989โ€“90 (co-captains)
    Guy Carbonneau, 1990โ€“94
    Kirk Muller, 1994โ€“95
    Mike Keane, 1995 (Aprilโ€“December)
    Pierre Turgeon, 1995โ€“96
    Vincent Damphousse, 1996โ€“99
    Saku Koivu, 1999โ€“2009
    Brian Gionta, 2010โ€“present

  16. HabFab says:

    Dave Stubbs – Oh dear. Team Canada’s Sochi Olympics orientation camp in Calgary begins one day after wedding of Carey Price… No excuse for @CP0031: @MaxPacioretty67 was in the gym training the day after his wedding. Max’s wife, Katia, still jokes about that.

  17. Psycho29 says:

    The most important website for any hockey fan:

  18. doc359 says:

    So it looks like Markov and Emelin are invited to Russia’s Olympic camp.

    Good see more Habs representing their countries in the Olympics.

  19. joeybarrie says:

    For those thinking David Desharnais is not a very good 2nd line center….
    09-10 Bolland .041 pts per game -16 total
    10-11 Bergeron 0.71 pts per game -57 total
    11-12 Richards 0.59 pts per game -44 total
    12-13 Bolland 0.40 pts per game -14 total
    12-13 Handzus 0.54 pts per game – 6 total

    David Desharnais 0.62 pts per game average in the NHL or 50 pts on average per season.

    And of course these are the teams that WON the Cup that year…. Lets see how his full season goes with his new contract before we bash him to the 4th line and declare the contract MBs worst mistake ever…..

    • Maritime Ron says:

      And the playoff performance?

      • joeybarrie says:

        Can you really compare playoff performance when considering the team that won the Cup?
        Not really a fair assessment of an INDIVIDUAL.
        Besides what’s being questioned is whether he is a capable 2nd line center.
        The Playoffs are the Playoffs. and DD has had 10 games experience…

    • Strummer says:

      This ppg stat on its own is worthless.

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

    • B says:

      Suffice to say that many here do not care for Desharnais as a Hab or how he was used this last season. There are some (albeit less vocal) who don’t think Desharnais is as awful as the many like to claim. I don’t think any of the arguments or choice of stats thrown out in this frequently looping topic are likely to sway folks away from their opinions on it. It is what it is.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  20. Mick says:

    Twitter talk that Hab’s are still trying to get Morrow after RFA’s are done.
    I thought we were against the cap?

    • doc359 says:

      We’ve got a little over 3 mil to spend (, and Emelin won’t count against us till mid season (we could then demote tinordi)

    • joeybarrie says:

      Emelin 2 million wont start the season
      Tinordi or Drewski saves us 700k to 1 million
      Cant play the whole season with 14 forwards either. So we would have to move someone or send someone down to the AHL saving us another 700k to 2 million.

      So adding Morrow would only give us an additional 1 to 1.5 million dollar cap hit at worst and we are currently 3.4 under…
      I believe he would be a welcomed depth addition to our top 3 lines.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        It’s not that simple and a little more complex.

        1) There is waiver eligibility and waiver issues to contend with

        2) There is no more complete burying of contracts in the AHL even if a player passes waivers.
        – A) A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows:
        cap hit โ€“ [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]
        – B) A two-way contract counts as follows:
        minor-league salary โ€“ [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]

        3 ) LTIR relief is a little more complex.
        ” Teams are eligible to receive cap relief when a player is considered to have a “bona-fide long-term injury” โ€” injuries that cause a player to miss at least 10 games or 24 days. In such cases, the team can place the player on long-term injured reserve (LTIR).

        The placement of a player on LTIR does not remove the player’s cap hit from the team’s cap payroll โ€” the cap hit continues to count. Nor does the placement of a player on LTIR provide the team with any additional cap-space savings that can be banked for future use while the team operates below the upper limit.

        Placing a player on LTIR only provides relief if the team’s cap payroll or “Averaged Club Salary” begins to exceed the upper limit. The amount of LTI relief is limited to the amount the team has gone over the cap โ€” less the amount of cap space the team had at the time the LTIR transaction took place โ€” and not the entire amount of the injured player’s salary.

        Further to the previous paragraph, eligible long-term injury space is calculated on the day the player is placed on LTIR. If the salary cap is $70.0 million and the team has a $69.0 million cap payroll the day Player A with a $4.0 million cap hit is placed on LTIR, the team’s cap payroll or “Averaged Club Salary” can only exceed the cap by $3.0 million at any point thereafter.”

        • HabFab says:

          And don’t forget to remind them that Chuckie and Gally are going to be collecting a good piece of that Bonus money that capgeek doesn’t like to add in.

  21. habsfan0 says:

    Chances of the Royal baby being born today and of the male gender are at least 50/50.

    However,the odds of same being named “Guy” or “Maurice” not quite as good.

  22. H+ says:

    If Markov is traded at the deadline and Gio leaves via Free Agency, then I suggest that Subban recive an A and that Prust be made Captian.

    Gorges is simply too limited a player to be considred for captiancy, Pacioretty evidently has some huge questions around his compete level and overall game, and Subban and Gallagher are too young at the moment.

    Prust is loved in the room and respected around the NHL, he would go through a wall for this team and that is a Captian-like attribute. He wore an A in New York.

    Down the road I think Gallagher or Tinordi should be Captain with Subban and Galchenyuk as Alternates.

    • alain58 says:

      Without saying that looking at his girlfriend, Prust might try to learn the fan base’s language which would be a bonus for a captain.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Gorges is limited as a player but Prust isn’t?

      Do you think Chris Nilan could have been captain of the Canadiens?

      • H+ says:

        Gorges is an offensive and defensive liabillity.

        Prust can be a solid defensive forward and can still put up 27ish points a year.

        • alain58 says:

          Come on kid, leave the computer and go play outside.
          Gorges is 71th for the +/- on equal footing as Yandle and Doughty. He is 7th for blocked shots, better than Seabrook, Fraser, Phaneuf and all Ottawa defensemen. And he is only 114th for the giveaways, the lower your are, the better with this stat.
          He sure is not an offensive machine, but it is a far cry to say that he is a defensive liability.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Man, nothing worse than a defenceman being an offensive liability.
          Was he blocking our shots too?

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Ed says:

      “Pacioretty evidently has some huge questions around his compete level and overall game”

      I will give you a chance to read this to yourself again, a few times, and then edit it right out of your comment.

      Then I will come back in 10 minutes and change my comment.

      That way, it will be like you never even posted it.


      • doc359 says:

        The guy took TWO WHOLE Days off after a appendix surgery. If he was captain material, he would have been lifting weights while the doctors performed the operation.

      • alain58 says:

        โ€œPacioretty evidently has some huge questions around his compete level and overall gameโ€
        Nothing can substantiate that. He finished 9th for points total among left wingers which is what we want him to be good at. He is only 43rd on PIM and hits, but it doesn’t take away his grit. The following stats shows it. He finished 21st for the take away among the left wingers, and 56 for the give aways (Big Lucic finish 2nd and that’s bad with that stat) Also, Pacioretty finish 47th for the block shots, on par with the famous Lucic.
        Questions about his compete level? Well, ask the same about Lucic as Pacioretty has the edge on him on some stats.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      I can’t see Markov leaving Montreal, but I don’t see him as a logical captain. He’s past his prime and only has a few good years left. Gorges is a leader, but he’s an average NHL player and not a guy you build a team around. Prust makes no sense whatsoever, the guy is a bottom 6 forward (albeit a very good one) and isn’t likely to take on a bigger role than the 12 quality minutes and 15 goal guy he is now (not a criticism – I like Prust a lot).

      It simply has to be Subban. There have been many captains in the NHL younger and much less proven than PK. PK is the face and future of the franchise and the best player to wear the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge since Lafleur. This is PK’s team.

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

      • Strummer says:

        I’ll bet Gorges can spell his surname though.

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

    • junyab says:

      “Gorges is simply too limited a player to be considred for captiancy”

      That is a ridiculous comment. Give your head a shake. Skill limitations has no bearing on who’s the leader in the room. Jason Smith was a fantastic captain for the Oilers for 6 years, and Ethan Moreau for the 3 after Smith. And those are just two good examples.

  23. ClaytonM says:

    Guess I missed the stories about Montreal dealing with their size issue. Maybe Bergevin had his eye on Gerbe and Grabovski to complement Gionta, Gallagher, Desharnais, and Plekanec up front. He still has the toughness of Markov, Gorges and Diaz on D to count on.

    Face it, people. Whether Montreal does well in the regular season or not they’re built to get bounced in the 1st round. So why give a damn anymore if management doesn’t?

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      I can never understand how Plekanec and Gorges get dragged in the “too small” debate. Both are right around the league average for height and weight. I feel the mathematics of “averages” are poorly understood.

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

      • Strummer says:


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

        • Hstands4Hockey says:

          I’m impressed a man of your age knows how to use the internet. Well done old-timer.

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

      • The Jackal says:

        For people with size issues, you need a monster truck to compensate. In this case, anything smaller than Chara is soft and small.

        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • Phil C says:

      Chicago had a small team, especially on defense. They had guys like Kane and Shaw up front. How do you explain their Cup win?

    • Mattyleg says:

      There’s nothing I like better than a good “Face it, people,” because there’s BOUND to be something silly written afterwards.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. Sportfan says:

    So the Devils signed Jagr!

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

  25. Alex_425 says:

    Can’t wait, I’d love to go 0-for-Florida even MORE so than we used to….

    But I’m no expert….

  26. twilighthours says:

    Time to go trim my bush.


    You guys take it easy.

  27. Maritime Ron says:

    A question to the folks that know a heck of a lot about our draft choices and their progression.

    There is a fella named Josiah Didier – a Dman that was drafted in the 4th Round in 2011.
    He just turned 20 years old and starting his 3nd year at University of Denver . He is 6′ 2″ – 202.

    There doesn’t appear to be much, if any offense in his game yet there have been a few reports that this guy can hit – and hits hard.

    Can anyone confirm that, or has anyone seen him play?

    • H+ says:

      Commandant should have insight into this dude. He sounds like a very good depth Defender.

    • HabFab says:

      He is getting closer to 220 now. Watched him last season in the NCAA play-offs and he got love from the announcers. Strictly defensive game, hitting, taking the body, clearing the crease and shot blocking. In fact he has become known for his shot blocking and physical strength in the NCAA. I think he needs to be quicker but an upside would have him as a Ludwig type defender.

    • Matthew C says:

      “2011-12 NCAA season as the Pioneers’ coaching staff felt that the big defenseman could help their Hockey program right away. The freshman would not disappoint them, as he played 41 games with three assists and a plus six rating while playing big minutes all season and leading the team with 68 blocked shots and 118 hits.”

      Rename the Bell Centre the Bell Forum. – Maffu

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Thanks a lot guys. Appreciate it!
      Very interesting – kind of like the guy we’ve all been looking for…Scuderi had little offense, but a hell of a career

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    Ian Cobb
    July 22, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Our 7th annual 2013 HIO Fan Summit is, Oct 26th weekend.

    1st. I HAVE GREAT NEWS.!
    I do not need to sell preseason game tickets this year, in order to get us enough Summit game tickets.

    2nd. I was able to keep our ticket price the same as last year.

    3rd. To get your replacement tickets from me. You need to send me your last years tickets back, along with a self addressed, and stamped envelope. I have only 10 days to order our group tickets. Be prompt.!
    โ€ Check with your local post office for the correct postage, USA & Canada, get it right, so that you get your new tickets backโ€

    4th. Other people wanting tickets, or people wanting more tickets, you also must act quickly. You need to send me a Money Order (only) along with a self addressed, stamped envelope.
    White tickets= $110ea, and Grey tickets =$90ea. Again, I only have 10 days to get my order and money to the Bell Center.!
    You will also receive a Hall of Fame ticket and a raffle ticket at the pre game dinner.

    Send today so not to miss out.!

  29. habstrinifan says:

    I originally was going to post this as a response to a remark made by Tiomo. (I gave you an extra O there sir). But I am quite vain as you all know and believe that this deficiency must be addressed before the HABS win a cup.

    He said “… (does not have) mental strength required for winning a cup”.

    My response which I am proudly convinced is absolutely right.

    Finally someone targeting the biggest problem on our team.. including maybe the coaching.
    “mental strength required for winning a cup”… From what I saw last year the new and improved Therrien, while showing signs of renaissance-like thinking on the underbelly issues, needs to assert himself and stand up to the veterans. And I consider this a big MUST! We have no cup-winning leadership (yet) so the coach must instill it.

    Oh by the way Timo, try pronouncing your name Tiomo… Tiomo.. see.. isn’t life rosier already. The new softer Timo.. Tiomo!

  30. Mattyleg says:

    I have a question for you:

    How can some people say that they don’t think that we would have made the playoffs in a full season? What is their logic behind this? I see comments like “we collapsed terribly” and “we aren’t built for a full season” and suchlike.

    I have a question for you:

    Does a marathon runner have the same strategy for a 35km run as for a 50 or 70km run?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Lafleurguy says:

      They were a much weaker team at the end of the season and were dominated by more than just a couple of teams.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Although that opinion is arguable, it makes no difference to whether we would have made the playoffs in a longer season.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • twilighthours says:

          I think it’s less about “would they have made the playoffs?” And more about “how good is this team, really? What can we expect of it?”

          • Mattyleg says:

            That’s fine, but people insist on saying “we would never have made the playoffs in a longer season.”

            I think that’s dumb.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Phil C says:

      They had so many points in the bank that they would have made the playoffs regardless.

      However I do think that the Emelin injury exposed a lack of depth on defense, particularly for a big physical defenseman. Kaberle could have replaced most of Markov’s minutes, but not Emelin’s. Without Emelin, all three pairings became weaker, so as result they became more of a bubble team than a conference leading team.

      I am still hoping they get another defenseman before the season starts.

      • Ed says:

        Not sure Kaberle could have replaced anyone’s minutes; especially not the important minutes Markov played.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Perhaps his PP minutes, but Kaberle cannot play 5X5 NHL hockey anymore

          • Ed says:

            Jim Rutherford knew as much when he made the trade but many Habs fans (and Gauthier) refused to believe him.

        • Phil C says:

          Kaberle wasn’t as bad as he was in Carolina. He could have replaced Markovs PP minutes and some of his 5-on-5. My point was that they had some depth for offensive defensemen, not for big physical defensemen.

          Hell, even Markov couldn’t play Markov’s minutes at the end of the season. His pairing was being lit up badly at the end of the season until he was paired with Subban. Emelin was covering up some of Markov’s deficiencies.

    • twilighthours says:

      I just finished my intervals for this week, so I might wade in here….

      Strategy as in: goal time? Or strategy as in: maintain x pace, try to gain a few seconds during y part of the course, and then kick with z distance left?

      I’d say a 35k, 42.2k, and 50k would all be pretty similar.

      But is it fair to compare distance running with a hockey season?

      Every year in Boston, they run 42.2, and Joe Schmoe wins. This year, however, they only ran a half, and Joe Schmoe didn’t quite have the top end speed as billy bob. But put billy back in the marathon and then maybe he’s not in contention.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      It’s a good teaser, Matty, as well as unanswerable because speculative.

      I never fully bought the idea, either. That said, however, if you compare the Habs and Bruins in the final three weeks of the season, both teams were on a similar trajectory — ie. both looking weak — until the playoffs started and the paths diverged. Boston kept getting stronger while we, alas, struggled against the Sens.

      Does that mean we wouldn’t have even made the playoffs following a full 82-game sched? I don’t know.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I just find ridiculous the idea that there is a set parabola for every team, and that ours wouldn’t have allowed for a playoff berth.

        As you say, speculative, but in all their infinite wisdom, many posters claim it as truth.

        By that same logic, therefore, it can be said that the Habs would have undergone their slump, then come back stronger than ever with a galvanized team who had made it through Mordor and come out unscathed. We would have been tougher and more determined than ever, and would have won the cup.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Hard to see how we could have slipped out of the playoffs. We would have had to get caught by 6 teams. We were 12 points up on Winnipeg and 14 on Philly.

      We would have had to slump very badly while every team below us won 60% of their games, which is pretty difficult since they all play each other.

      Ottawa is the team that would have likely gotten caught, which would have been a good thing because the fat walrus wouldn’t have gotten coach of the year.

    • Timo says:

      Simple. Look here – “I don’t think Habs would have made playoffs if 2013 were a full season.”

      See? Like this.

    • habs001 says:

      Habs should have made the playoffs in a 82 game sched as long as they maintained the same record they had in the 48 game sched where they had a dominating record vs non playoff teams and 500 vs playoff teams…would they have done the same vs the West ? ….probably….

    • alain58 says:

      They only extrapolate based on their last five regular season games and the playoff. I think it’s garbage too as all teams go through such hard time during a season. Hey the Bruins weren’t able to catch us on 2nd, they will amount to nothing too….oh wait, they went to the Stanley cup finals, forget what I said about extrapolation…

  31. Kooch7800 says:

    Can Thrower & Dietz play in the AHL with the bulldogs next year

    And yes i am aware that Thrower hasnt’ signed his ELC yet

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Luke says:

      Thrower is playing in Vancouver of the W
      Dietz I thought was headed to the Hammer, but I’m not 100% on that one.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dalton Thrower can play for the Canadiens, Bulldogs or Giants this season. Discounting the very slim chance that he has an awesome training camp and earns a spot on the Grand Club, his options are to earn a spot on the Bulldogs at training camp, or go back to Junior. Based on his difficult season with the Blades, and his unimpressive showing at the Prospects Camp, plus the fact that we have a plethora of young defencemen in Hamilton already (Beaulieu, Pateryn, Ellis) with two new AHL rookies joining (Dietz, Nygren), I think it will be hard for him to work his way on to the pro team.

      We have to remember that Dalton is not even signed yet, the Canadiens are probably in a ‘wait and see’ mode as far as he’s concerned. I think the best thing for him would be to go to Vancouver and put his game back together under Don Hay, be a top-pairing defenceman who gets lots of special teams minutes on a playoff-bound team.

      For whatever reason, he didn’t have a great season under Lorne Molleken last year, and it won’t serve as a stepping stone to the pros. He should have another year to work on things in Junior.

  32. twilighthours says:

    A lot of words being thrown around, like “insane” and “joke”, when describing criticisms of Max Pacioretty.

    I have no desire to rehash that argument, nor re-type my position, but if you read through my post to Punkster and still think that I’m insane, an idiot, or a joke, then I just don’t know what to say…

  33. Trollhunter says:

    If Beaulieu and Tinordi reach their full potential our top 4 is gonna look pretty good in a few years. Subban Tinordi and Beaulieu. (4th spot could possibly be Emelin?) Magnus Nygren is really good on the PP and having just won the equivalent of the Norris trophy in the swedish elite league he could be an excellent 5th or 6th defencemen (If he can adjust to the North american game) with Gorges as the shutdown D and on the Pk. There are other good prospects like Dietz, Ellis and maybe Pateryn, who if they continue to improve, could fill out that 5th or 6th spot too. It will be interesting to see in a few years how this plays out. Woulda been nice to see Mcdonagh in that top 4 but oh well.

    “Troll the troll”

  34. HabFab says:

    Pierre LeBrun – OK 30-sec break from vacation. Jaromir Jagr has agreed to one-year deal with Devils. Likely won’t be officially announced until Tuesday…

    • Kooch7800 says:

      just saw that. 4.5 mill was last year I bet he got over 5 this year. I guess he was holding out for some cash

      edited as I saw it was 4.5 last year not this year the cash isn’t reported yet

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  35. habsfan0 says:

    While there have been many posters on this forum who have expressed their doubts re: Marc Bergevin,I am prepared to give him the benefit of it.
    If only because the man has been on the job for just over 1 year,and I don’t think I’d be amiss in suggesting the Habs surpassed most of our expectations with their 2nd overall seeding in the Eastern Conference last season.

    Having said that, I am somewhat concerned with the way the Habs imploded towards the end of the year. While a good part of this collapse could be attributed to injuries,there is a nagging suspicion that the way the Habs performed during the last 4 weeks of the year was more indicative of where this team truly is,as opposed to the way they seemed to steamroll through the competition after that 6-0 shellacking administered by Toronto.

    There have been very few moves of note made by MB since the Canadiens were so ignominiously eliminated in the 1st round by the Senators.
    Michael Ryder has been replaced by Daniel Briere. Goaltender coach Pierre Groulx has been supplanted by Stephane Waite. George Parros is on the roster as an enforcer. While there is still plenty of time to make additional changes to the team prior to training camp opening in 7 weeks, I wonder if this team,as currently constituted,will be strong enough to effectively compete in a normal,82 game schedule in a much tougher,Atlantic Division. Time will tell.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am not convinced that we would have made the playoffs in a full season. That collapse was awful and the injuries we had going into the playoffs would have been the same in the second half of the season.

      I will give MB some time as he is sticking to his build through the draft theory which hopefully pans out. I do think though this season may be a little rough at times with our current D core.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • habs-hampton says:

      The one thing to keep in mind ( and this applies to most teams) is that I think MB expects that many players will have better years than last year. (AGally, MaxPac, Tinordi, Price, even PK, maybe BGally, and I think White will improve as well). If Gionta stays Healthy and Pleks play like Pleks, and Briere has a decent year I think we’ll be alright. I think the key is staying in the top 8 until Emelin is back. He was arguably the bigggest loss last year.

    • Cal says:

      Don’t you mean Habs will break down during the new schedule? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ed says:

      when Andrew argues that Penner has simply had bad “luck” the past two seasons, he stops being someone I can take seriously.

      “Penner is 30 years old and produces as many shots per minute as Tomas Plekanec but has had two years of bad luck. Heโ€™s signed for less money than Brandon Prust”.

      Penner has not had bad luck. Penner has 11 goals in his last 117 NHL games. He’s playing himself right out of the NHL at about 250 lbs.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The one thing I have never understood about the stats geeks (and I use stats for a living) is the notion that shooting percentage is only affected by luck.

        They’ve heard about regression to the mean but I don’t think they use it quite correctly.

      • HabFab says:

        Ed, I had to go back and check what I had linked. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Andrew can do some good work so you have to take the good with the bad my friend.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I liked how he breaks down where people score from and if they are changing that and compares year to year. Lets you know who is going to the dirty areas. A la Bourque and he even mentions DD doing that more this year than the year previous

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • twilighthours says:

            The thing is, this only relates to goals, right? So DD got more goals this year than last year from 10 feet out. Doesn’t mean he went to the net any harder this year, it just means the puck when in from there.

            To know how often or effectively a player goes to the net, you must watch (and record, perhaps) every time he has the opportunity to go to the net hard, regardless of whether it results in goals or not.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Here is the link Twi. It is actually a really good analysis on how he DD changed his game:


            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • twilighthours says:

            I’m ok with the analysis, actually. I agree with most of it. Although I don’t think he changed his game dramatically. He’s always been willing to get pummeled, to get to the crease.

            My only real issue is that Berkshire thinks DD is a versatile shooter who can beat goalies in a variety of ways. I don’t see this as being true at all. He has one of the weakest shots on the team, and an average release, at best.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        The one thing I will give Penner is he was very effective in their cup winning playoff run and was also effective this year in the playoffs in a third line role.

        He can have good hands but you would never know it by the reg seasons he has had in LA.

        He is worth about what he is getting paid

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • twilighthours says:

        They say “luck” as in “his recent shooting percentage is lower than his historical percentage / a league-wide percentage, and so should eventually return to where it’s expected.”

        Two issues with that:

        1) the assumption that it will or should regress to the mean. There never seems to be the acknowledgement that hey, maybe he just can’t shoot like he used to, or he’s in a funk, or his previous shooting percentage wasn’t representative of his skill

        2) that the quality of his shots are good or as good as they used to be. Some people have apparently done work to show that volume of shots correlates to quality of shots – i.e. you take enough shots then you take enough good shots. Me, I’m not convinced. There’s more (much, much more) to a quality shot than just where on the ice it’s taken.

        So ultimately, I feel like the word/concept of “luck” gets thrown around too often by those guys. “Luck” is a bailout word to say “he didn’t perform in the way we expected.”

        I know you get all of this, Ed.

  36. Habs_4_ever says:

    According to TSN(or someone), Jaromรญr Jรกgr is close to signing…….with the Devils.

    “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

  37. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Getting bored with no hockey to watch? Check out our Canadian Badminton Team. Saludos!

  38. The_Franchise31 says:

    With the way the playoff format looks I don’t think the Habs will be in them this year. Boston Detroit and Ottawa and locks for 123 that leaves mtl t.o and maybe t.b fighting for the wild card against some pretty good teams in the metro conf. Just can’t see it happening with this group of guys….

  39. DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

    As an Expos fan who watched the Exposโ€™ exposure in the national media get increasingly marginalized by the media powers-that-be in Toronto ( yes- you, Marty York; ,yes -you, CBC; yes-you TSN) from the mid-80โ€™s on, even though they had a strong fan base across Canada, and even though they were fielding interesting teams, I feel nothing but nasty satisfaction at the plight of the Blue Jays. The Expos organization was mocked, their fans chided for not showing up by all those smug jerks down the 401. Their present state looks good on them.

  40. Trollhunter says:

    If Sam Gagner is undersized at 5`foot 11 190 lbs does that make Dustin Brown undersized at 6 feet 205lbs?

    “Troll the troll”

  41. Timo says:

    I makes me a little sick and wanting to throw up to even ask that but is Julien considered for the head coach of team Canada? Him and Quenville gotta be the two leading candidates.

    • doc359 says:

      Babcock was announced as the head coach I believe. That loudmouth from boston is an assistant. Q isn’t on the staff. from TSN:
      “The staff will be comprised of Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, Boston Bruins’ Claude Julien and St. Louis Blues Ken Hitchcock.”

      I have a feeling we will be playing some serious defense with that staff.

      • Timo says:

        Really? Why no love for Q? Thanks for the update though… didn’t know Babcock was named as a head coach. Also, makes you kinda wonder.

        • doc359 says:

          No idea why they wouldn’t put Q in. I imagine Babcock was a lock for the head position after 2010 and his performance since then. Maybe they planned the staff around is strengths and weakensses? Who knows what goes on in the mind of Hockey Canada.

    • Trollhunter says:

      julien is the assistant. Babcock has got the head coahing job again. As per tsn.

      “Troll the troll”

  42. Maritime Ron says:

    Some questions for the DD supporters.

    – Parking the comparisons and Salary Cap hit for 1 moment, do you truly believe that on a serious Cup contending hockey team, that DD is a Top 6 forward playing Top 3 PP minutes?

    In NHL hockey, there are 2 completely different seasons and style of play.
    One is the regular season – the other is the playoffs where referees put whistles away and the Law of the Jungle rules.
    Does DD have the physical make-up to be a factor in the playoffs?

    – Supporters will point to a 60 point regular season 2 years ago playing with a fired up Eric Cole and Max – yet that was achieved on a disrespected 28th placed hockey team when a lot of meaningless goals were scored.
    Last year his pace was 48 – a 20% decrease.
    Did DD make Cole and Max, or was it the other way around?

    DD supporters rarely mention playoff performance, yet Playoffs are what it’s all about.
    Against Ottawa, DD had no goals and 1 assist in 5 games playing an average of 17:14 seconds which was 2nd most for all Habs forwards.
    DD also had 12:40 of PP time and basically tied for 3rd most PP minutes for all Habs forwards.
    Are zero goals and 1 assist acceptable?

    In his only other playoff experience in 2011, he also had an identical no goals and 1 assist playing 11:04…and a pattern begins to emerge.

    Unless this offseason DD has worked hard to increase strength – his foot speed and quickness along with balance, it’s very difficult to see a 45-50 point season unless Coach MT continues to grace him with some unearned PP and Top 6 regular strength minutes.

    This year Plex and Eller HAVE to be given Top 6 minutes…with Galchenyuk knocking on the door.
    In reality, there is little room (no pun intended) for Desharnais

    • on2ndthought says:

      I wasn’t crazy about the signing; but: DD is a useful and creative player. He skates out of many scrambles with the puck (his teammates making him better), and finds smart plays in front of the net or back to the points with pin-point passes in high traffic areas (him making his teammates better). We played a pretty good Ottawa team in the first round last year; DDs minutes were elevated because Eller was out. He is not ideal getting tons of minutes against the PHI, OTT, BOS type teams, I have him centering the 4th line against less physical teams, but MB forgot I was available when he hired MT. He should hit his prime over the next two years. He may burn out quickly, or he may be the next St-Louis (check their career arcs, they are not dissimilar); who broke out as a 27, 28 year old. We’ve all seen good and bad in his play, let’s see if he can put it all together. Even if he can’t it is a small investment over a reasonable time.

      “a cannonading drive”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Ah ha! The one you wouldn’t post yesterday!

      Looks like very solid analysis as usual, therefore reinforcing the inevitable questions about DD’s long-term value. I would love to see him succeed, the measure of which might usefully be attaining somewhere in the region of 75% of the effectiveness of Martin St-L, who shines both in regular season and playoffs.

      But I would more love to see the Habs built stronger for the playoffs.

      I’d be patient and generally accepting of most things to do with DD, but not his time on the pp.

    • twilighthours says:

      Most of our players had bad playoffs. Not fair to just pick on DD.

      I don’t know who the real DD is yet. I think it’s fair to give him one more year before we banish him forever.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        Fair point about bad playoffs.

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Not picking on DD, just stating some facts.
          If the coach is going to give a player top minutes, he has to find a way to perform

          • B says:

            You picked some stats to support your argument (of course not using any stats that would detract from it) and you drew some interesting conclusions from that sub set of stats. It is not difficult to pick and paint a sub set of stats to support a straw man. The conclusion I quickly drew from your post was that like many here, you are not happy with Desharnais being on the team or how he was used this last season. I get it (have for a long time). I understand that this is a popular theme among many posters here. It has been playing on a regular loop for quite some time now.

            –Go Habs Go!–

      • B says:

        Good point. Pacioretty went pointless in the playoffs, but no suggestion it’s a “trend”, he has to pick up his game or there is no room on the team for him. The team as a whole struggled on both sides of the puck.

        It is worth noting that Desharnais led the team in +/- for that series while also leading the forwards in ES TOI. He more than held his own defensively being a + while the team as a whole was -8.

        –Go Habs Go!–

        • Maritime Ron says:

          Pacioretty was hurt

          • Maritime Ron says:

            And desharnais was Minus 2 during the season 14th for all Habs forwards
            Plus minus is a lousy stat

          • B says:

            “DD supporters rarely mention playoff performance, yet Playoffs are what itโ€™s all about.”

            Also, +/- can actually be somewhat useful for comparing players on the same team, it is not as useful for comparing players on different teams. Of course like any stat, it certainly does not tell the whole story, but I do believe it tells something. Different strokes I guess ๐Ÿ™

            –Go Habs Go!–

  43. Timo says:

    @Ian – I hear you are “covering” summit ticket price difference. Since you are in the covering mode, I have that thing called a mortgage… should I send you the details?

  44. on2ndthought says:

    Wow, Price, Pax, Plek: these are the problems we have to solve???
    Most GMs (and fans of other teams) would love to take these problems off our hands. Each will get an Olympic tryout for a real contender.

    I worry about the anti-P bias so many of us apparently have; look deep inside yourselves and think: PPPrust ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “a cannonading drive”

    • doc359 says:

      Suppose we should trade them all, then sign some 7 footer and teach him how to play defense. Seems to be the way to win according to everyone else ๐Ÿ˜‰

  45. JUST - MO says:

    Max, Pleks, and Gio is our best forwards maybe add Briere now and the Gally’s not far behind. The rest is average.

    Defence: PK, Markov best the rest average.

    I still Think we’ll win our share of games. How far we’ll go. No idea.
    with Detroit coming in. That may drop us in the standings.

  46. JUST - MO says:

    I wish Price all the best but I’m not sure it will happen in Montreal.

    MB is doing a good job as GM by not selling the farm to impress people. Go with what you have until better come along. Fill some holes with the best you can get and go with that.

    a few teams are going all out to get burnt in the end. They may be better than the Habs but when it’s all said and done. Still no cup.

    • doc359 says:

      Can I ask why you think a 26 y/o who just got an Olympic invite and has been a solid starter for years and inconsistently great is not going to have success here?

    • L Elle says:

      I agree with you re Price. Call it intuition. There have been so many mistakes made in his development since he was drafted. Even if he’s not aware of it, his body and mind must retain all the BS that has gone on around him.

      I hope I’m wrong and he doesn’t end up winning with another team…The Bobrovsky Effect.

      Other than some Hab fans, everyone else, hockey people and fans of other teams, have Price as their lead goalie for the Olympics.

      • Timo says:

        Leading over Crowford?

      • Cal says:

        After many seasons, Price will actually have to step up and earn that boondoggle of a contract. If not, Habs are only 2 to 3 seasons away from Fucale.
        The Canadian Olympic team snubbing Price would have been a good wake up call for Mr. Chill.

        • L Elle says:

          Maybe Cal, but as a Canadian, I want the best to represent our country and win the gold.

          The reverse might be true as well. If Price can play on a really great team for once, it might do wonders for his confidence, which benefits the Habs, and us.

          • Timo says:

            Look at it this way… if Price goes to the olympics and then sucks at the end of the season there will be a perfect excuse for his performance – “he’s tired, overplayed, mentally exhausted”.

          • L Elle says:

            lol, yes, Pricebots never run out of excuses. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  47. Strummer says:

    Max Pacioretty is the least of our worries going into this season.
    Barring injury he will shine as always for a bargain cap hit.

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

    • Timo says:

      While less than thrilled with Pacioretty last year I agree.. Habs have much bigger worries, non of which Bergevin have addressed. The team, despite addition of Parros, is still soff and lacks any kind of aggressiveness and mental strength required for winning a cup. I hear 2017 is the target year?

  48. commandant says:

    Sam Gagner, an undersized centre who isn’t very good defensively, and has never scored 50 points in an NHL season (though he was on pace for it this year), and who was scheduled for arbitration gets 14.4 million over 3 years.

    Interestingly enough his career PPG is the same as another undersized centre who avoided arbitration with a 4 year 14 million dollar contract during last season… and was on pace for 48 points last year, and scored 60 the year before.

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

    • doc359 says:

      Fantastic point. I saw on HFSince72’s post that our little center was in amazing company in ’11-’12 in terms of point production.

      I know he isn’t a great option for #1 center, but he’s good.

      DD is a prime example of a player who is never as good or as bad as he is hyped to be

    • ClutchNGrab says:

      I think DD is superior to Gagner but what do you mean when you use the term “undersize”? 5’11” is not 5′ 7″. Are they the same to you?

    • Gerry H says:

      Lol. I also see the comments below about how the only way DD can redeem his contract is by consistently scoring 60 points a year. How many consistent 60 pt scorers are getting less than $4MM?

    • Ed says:

      2 or 3 years would have been plenty to give Desharnais – who who was thrilled to be getting NHL financial and career security.

      and it’s important to point out that Gagne got 3 years and not 4 for that money.

      It’s not the 3.5 million per year – which is +/- exactly what Desharnais deserved.

      The question surrounding the signing is why give Desharnais 4 years when you have Eller, Plekanec, Galchenyuk, and now Briere all in the mix at center – and frankly, all of them are more talented?

      GM’s make mistakes. Giving Desharnais 4 years was a mistake.

      • doc359 says:

        Depth at center is never a bad thing. Gally is playing wing for atleast this season and briere may well play it his whole time here. DD could also swing to wing. And we never know what will happen (injury, trade, whatever), where it would be nice to have anther center step up to play.

        • Ed says:

          depth at center is never a bad thing, except……

          1) you’re missing the 4 million (briere money) to sign a big defenceman who you desperately need

          2) you really need a bigger forward up front for the 3.5 million 4 years you’ve given to Desharnais

          Sure we have lots of depth at center.

          • doc359 says:

            I doubt we would be singing anyone to defense when we have 7 already under nhl contracts with Tinordi, B, and even pateryn (sp?) champing at the bit. I would expect any changes in defense to come next year when most of the defensemens contracts are up for renewal.

          • Ed says:

            a big d-man is essential to this lineup

          • doc359 says:

            Essential or not, it would be hard to sign a player when you already have so many contracts signed on defense.

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      The ceiling on Gagner is a lot higher than DD. Not sure I would call Gagner undersized either. Tough to compare a developing High first round pick with all the tools, to an undrafted “little engine that could”.

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

      • Ed says:

        I like Desharnais, and I totally agree with your post.

        Gagner is still only 23 after 6 seasons in the NHL.

        And he’s coming off his best 1/2 season, whereas Desaharnais is coming off his worst.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Bad deal for the oilers.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  49. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Gagner new contract in Edmonton

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

  50. Hstands4Hockey says:

    So here’s who I see as the Canadiens who will be going to the Olympics. Thoughts?

    Canada: Subban, Price
    USA: Pacioretty, Galchenyuk
    Russia: Markov, Emelin
    Switzerland: Diaz
    Czech Republic: Plekanec
    Slovakia: Budaj

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

  51. HabFanSince72 says:

    Lost in the H92 Max is soft idiocy is the notion that for Deharnais to be worth his $3.5M salary he needs to score 60 points.

    If you look at the list of 60-70 pt scoring centres over the past few years you’ll see names like Dastyuk, Couture, Bergeron, Couture, Tavares, Carter, Richards, Getzlaf, etc …

    The salary range of 60pt centres is $6-$8M.

  52. Maritime Ron says:

    Huge year for Carey Price coming up, and here’s hoping that new ex Black Hawk goalie coach Stephane Waite can re-create the ‘Chicago Magic’ he developed with Niemi, Crawford and Emery.

    First off, soon to be 26 year old Carey needs to stand up and play well and hope to get chosen for the Canada Olympic team.

    While many believe he is a lock, perhaps it’s best to defer to the comments of Bob Nicholson ( President and Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Canada):
    ” That’ll all be really figured out in December,” Nicholson said. “We’ve got such great depth, we’ll have to see who’s playing BEST in the month of December.”

    This could go 1 of 3 ways.
    – Carey plays well enough to earn a spot on Team Canada and hopefully gets some games and rekindles the 2007 Herculean performances of the Gold and Tournament MVP at the WJC, along with standing on his head for Hamilton and being a huge part of that 2007 Calder Cup where again he won MVP honors.

    – While unlikely yet possible, the Armageddon scenario would be a bad start to the season and he is passed over for Team Canada. Here is believing he would have great difficulty recovering from that.
    Braden Holtby is under the radar screen and doesn’t have the Price pedigee, yet he had a great season and playoffs for the Caps. Keep an eye on him…

    – Perhaps the ideal situation is that he is chosen – gets to play some games, and plays well under the pressure packed Canadian microscope.
    That could do wonders for his confidence and his career as a Hab.

    Lastly, there is difficulty in buying into the argument of, ” If Carey had a better team or group of Dmen in front of him….”

    When Cam Ward won a Cup in Carolina in 2006, this was the group of Dmen that played in front of him during the playoff run:
    Frantisek Kaberle, Bret Hedican, Aaron Ward, Oleg Tverdovsky, Mike Commodore, Glen Wesley, Niclas Wallin…none that would ever be close to a HHoF mention.

    • JUST - MO says:

      Put Carey with Chicago and he won’t need waite to show how good he is.

    • L Elle says:

      Mornin’ Ron.

      It would have been a fun comparison to include in your post, how many goals were scored by Carolina forwards.

    • Ed says:

      I really don’t care about NHL players playing in the Olympics.

      Nor do I think we should be using Olympics as a way for Price to build his confidence.

      He has been a Pro for 6 seasons now. He’s being paid a boatload of cash to play this game, and frankly, he walks around telling everyone to “chill” and “relax”, so I just assume that confidence is not an issue with him – and based on his life – why should he lack confidence?

      Price has to make the huge saves, in the key situations, that helps the Habs WIN GAMES.

      Just as Subban has stepped his game up, Max has stepped his game up, it is now time for Price to step his game up.

    • habs_54321 says:

      although price may have a bigger upside than other canadien goalies excluding bernier and holtby, i would have to go with luongo, smith and crawford as the top 3 goalies for canada this year

  53. L Elle says:

    Gionta, a great guy and great Captain. There was an interview with Ryder, when he was still a Hab… “When Gio talks, everyone listens.”

    Just because a player is immensely popular with the fans, doesn’t mean his teammates listen to, or are motivated by him.

    It has become an urban myth that management chose Gionta. Just before the announcement of his captaincy, there was the annual charity golf game, and the players all said the same thing…they were interviewed separately to get their input on this decision.

    Maybe Gio has lost a step or two, and has been mostly injured for the past 2 seasons, but before that, he was always a clutch player working his butt off, and leading by example.

    Who knows who the next Captain will be. If Gally was older and he impacted off the ice as much as on the ice, this would be my choice. There is an edge to that kid, and he never wastes a second of his time on the ice. I could see Tinordi and McCarron looking up to him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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