New sheriff in town

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Brendan Shanahan doesn’t have to be the reincarnation of Bora Laskin.
Canadiens fans will be happy if he’s better than Colin Campbell.
And he doesn’t have a son playing for the Bruins. (Photo: Getty Images)

A feature story on the NHL’s new chief disciplinarian.

Fantasy Focus on Lars Eller

EotP on Danny Kristo

Fans weigh in with predictions at team web site

Draft pick love

THN has the Rangers finishing one spot ahead of the Habs

Team bonding suffers in the tech age. (Hey, who’s the guy in the b&w photo with Dick Duff and Yvan Cournoyer?)

• Bobby Ryan the highest-paid Canadien? NHL.com’s fantasy re-draft

Bryzgalov talking Cup in Philly

No date for Crosby return but Horton is ready

251 Comments

  1. weiweiss says:

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  2. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pittsburgh makes it in because Crosby was on one if the best streaks the league had seen in a decade and took his team along with him on a huge win streak. The rest of the year they supped on the Shootout and Loser points as they managed to win enough to balance out the huge lead Crosby had given them. Detroit is Detroit, Zetterberg is no slouche, Lidstrom, Kronwall were there too and Babcock is still one of the best bench bosses around. Vancouver was a better team than MTL and had 3 All-Stars on forward to get them points. Do not forget either, VAN had a body blow on the playoffs losing Hamhuis and him being out hampered their D all series, PLUS Kesler having a bad hip when he was fielding a Conn Smythe worthy performance ended VAN hopes as well. key players out at the wrong time. Switch St Louis or Stamkos in there (St Louis has stirred the drink in TB for years now) put as one of the missing bodies for 75 games as they are arguably as key to TB success as Markov has been to MTL over the say few years. The point still stands, these teams, when they HAD to win in the postseason lost because they had missing bodies (VAN, PIT) or did not have enough going for them (DET, TBL) and since we do not know what the 2011-12 Habs are like at full strength, rating them under where they were last year is not.credible for me as our opposition is projected to do well healthy , we are already in the clinic according to the pundits. Doubtless there will be some injuries but are our opponents that much deeper and able to ride said injuries out, not particularly. Look at how Boston struggled in 09-10 with Chara having a bad season. PHI is a crippled beast without Pronger. Washington strong on talent, weak behind the bench. Pittsburgh was more lucky than good in the 2nd half, winning on a gimmick that does not exist when the real competition begins. Rangers have to pray Lundqvist is hale and hearty and Gaborik does not trip and hurt his groin for the 9th time. Buffalo has the same small man syndrome at forward that MTL has but suddenly Ville Leino shows up and they are fast tracked for the NE title? What happens if Miller misses 25 games??? Our opponents have flaws that can sting them as deeply as MTL losing bodies at the wrong position.

    • Chris says:

      Whether it was a gimmick or not, Pittsburgh did what they had to do to get into the playoffs while hoping that Crosby would come back. He didn’t, and they lost.

      I’m not disputing that other teams would be in some fairly deep trouble.

      Buffalo, as you rightly pointed out, is just as vulnerable as Montreal.

      Philadelphia tanked when Pronger went down, and would be even more vulnerable this season minus Carter and Richards.

      The Rangers suffered long injuries to both Callahan and Gaborik last season that sunk their playoff chances. Like Montreal, they feature a somewhat anemic offence and stellar goaltending. A key injury to two of their few offensive cogs killed them.

      But the conversation is about Montreal’s depth. Goalies get hurt relatively rarely, so I don’t really see Lundqvist or Miller or Price going down.

      But defencemen drop like flies. Markov has missed the majority of two seasons. To NOT question the Habs’ blue line depth given that fact would be irresponsible journalism.

      Markov’s my favourite player, and I think he’s going to have a solid year. But I’m not a professional newspaper columnist whose job is to analyze the team. If I’m an analyst, that is absolute the vulnerability I lock in my cross-hairs.

      That is my sole point…I don’t think it is unfair to question the Habs’ depth given their injury history. I am optimistic about this coming season because I think the Habs finally have something approaching the kind of balance that a Stanley Cup contending team needs.

      • Depends on your definition of depth. What you were saying earlier is that the Habs should be able to replace a Markov without trading via depth. That’s what I was saying is inane and a ridiculous complaint, because no team can do that. All they can do is rely on inferior players to step up and play better in his absence. What you haven’t acknowledged however is that Montreal has accumulated 9 NHL ready, or close enough as makes no matter, defensemen for the upcoming season. And that doesn’t count Brendan Nash or Mark Mitera who are likely capable of spot duty if called upon. That’s a lot of defensive depth whether you’d like to admit it or not.

        • Chris says:

          Last season, the Habs had 9 NHL-ready, or close enough as makes no matter, defencemen. The difference was that the guys filling those roles last season (Mara, Picard, Spacek and Weber) were mostly guys who had established themselves in the NHL, although to be fair they were mostly on the steep decline of their career arcs.

          This season the Habs have 9 NHL-ready defencemen, but we’re counting Yemelin and Diaz, who have never set foot in a North American rink, in that list. I’m high on Yemelin and freely admit to not knowing enough about Diaz to have a strong opinion one way or the other.

          As to my Markov comment…I don’t believe for a second that the team can replace a player of that ilk unless they can find a trade partner. So there we agree.

          Where we perhaps disagree is that I think the drop-off from the established players to the role players is an unknown: we have no idea how Diaz and Yemelin are going to perform.

          Comparing years, here’s how I would have bracketed the expectations for our offensive defencemen if they were playing a full 82 game schedule:

          2010-11
          50-60 points: Markov
          40-50 points: none
          30-40 points: Hamrlik, Subban
          20-30 points: Spacek, Weber

          Here’s how I see it this season:

          50-60 points: none
          40-50 points: Markov, Subban
          30-40 points: none
          20-30 points: Weber

          If everyone stays healthy, that’s not bad. But I think the drop-off is bigger going into this season than it has been in the past.

          • Last year going into the season we had 8 defensemen signed and 7 on the roster. Subban was a rookie and assumed to be NHL ready (luckily he was). Markov was on the IR. Picard was the depth guy who would act as 7th while Markov was out. It’s important to remember that Weber wasn’t considered NHL ready at the time, he’d had a rough go in 09-10. Carle was waiver eligible and Nash was an AHL rookie. As far as depth goes Montreal was damn lucky that Subban became a top 2 defenseman in his rookie year and Weber matured big time.

            This year they have Markov, Gorges, Subban, Gill, Spacek, Weber and Yemelin as guys who could crack any top 6 in the league. Unlike last year Markov has had time to rehab. After those guys Diaz and Woywitka are the two who would be asked to step in. Probably Woywitka first since Diaz is unknown as you say. But Woywitka is far and away superior to Picard, who looked ok last year by virtue of the fact that Subban carried him in nearly every game he played. Woywitka by contrast was a top 4 defenseman in Dallas for most of the year, until Goligoski was acquired and he was slotted down.

            Is he a good top 4 guy? Hell no. But having a poor top 4 guy as your 8th defenseman is a HUGE upgrade on Picard. Throw in the best defenseman from the Swiss league as 9th and that’s more depth than most teams can muster. Maybe any team.

            As for point potential, if we make the only logical assumption you can make when projecting points, that the player plays the whole season, I see it like this:

            50-60 points: Markov
            40-50 points: Subban
            30-40 points: none
            20-30 points: Weber, Yemelin

            But points aren’t the only factor in defense. Being able to field Spacek on the 3rd pairing is something we’ve never been able to do before. He’s been forced into hard minutes the last two seasons and looked old because of it. Might be a different story this season. Montreal has the advantage of having two #1 defensemen, and 5 guys capable of playing top 4, possibly 6 if Yemelin is as good as almost everyone in the know believes.

  3. The Cat says:

    Good move putting Shanahan in there, at least now theres integrity, or at least a semblance of it.

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

  4. rhino514 says:

    Of the three major injuries last year, I´d say Pacioretty´s is the one with the biggest chance to have repercussions. Simply because he was a rookie. He had just started to find his NHL game. A hit like that at such an age can affect a kid mentally big time. Especially when one is a physical player, stands often in front of the goalie, etc.

    Of the three revelations: Desharnais, Eller, and Pacioretty, it´s close between MaxPac and Desharnais, but I would say Desharnais is the one who will have the toughest time building on his success. His point production was already slipping down the stretch and wasn´t that great for a guy who only brings offense to the table. I think surrounded by the proper wingers he could eventually be good and i like him, but he´s not a winger and he´s not a fourth line centre either. Unless something crazy happens with Gomez, one of Dizzie and Eller will be traded, quite possibly before the end of the year, and it almost certainly will not be Eller.

  5. SeriousFan09 says:

    As someone who has sparred at great length with Berkshire over the last 2 years since I joined H I/O,.I would not say he has been particularly or even mildly offensive tonight. He has called out some inane remarks about how if we lose 3 key players we are in trouble but that is the case with every team in the NHL. I have had good and spirited debate with Andrew, it has gotten contentious on occasion but I would not say he has crossed anything close to a line considering the poor debate about how the team is in trouble if they lose their big impact players, that is the case for every sports franchise past and present.

    -Cup squads win when the key players are all in or at least play the majority of the playoffs in a meaningful capacity. MTL is a threat when healthy and now has the depth to at least make a run at a Division title and a strong playoff run. The reason we dump on media predictons in MTL is they go with the idea it will go wrong for our team, but it will go right for teams that are inferior or have bigger liabilities than we do.

    • As hard headed and opinionated as you and I are, it’s almost law we have to spat from time to time eh? Always a pleasure though, Robert.

    • Chris says:

      Vancouver lost Salo (55 games), Edler (31 games), Hamhuis (18 games) and Bieksa (16 games) for extended periods last season and still had a brilliant regular season.

      Detroit lost Datsyuk (26 games), Rafalski (19 games) and Stuart (15 games) for extended periods and still finished strong.

      Tampa Bay lost Malone (28 games), Downie (25 games), Gagne (19 games) and Lecavalier (17 games) but were able to hold on for a playoff berth and a spot in the second round.

      Pittsburgh dealt with the loss of Crosby (41 games), Staal (40 games), Malkin (39 games), Orpik (19 games) and Kunitz (16 games) and managed to hold on to a home-ice date in the playoffs.

      I doubt that there are many people disputing that a permanent loss of any of those guys would have sunk all those team’s playoff hopes. In reality, none of them won the Stanley Cup anyways, even with those guys.

      But the argument about depth doesn’t have to centre solely around thermonuclear point of season-ending injuries such as those suffered by Markov, Gorges and Pacioretty last season.

      Can the Habs withstand a 25 game absence by Plekanec mid-season and still make the playoffs? If Markov goes down again for 30 games but is able to make it back in time for the playoffs, can the team’s blue line hold up without him? Those are the type of injuries that challenge depth: you can’t go out and trade for a high salary like Wisniewski because the injured guys are coming back.

      Teams like Vancouver, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Detroit managed to tide themselves over during their injuries. The question that many have is whether the Habs can do the same. It is an absolutely fair question and far from inane.

      We’ll know the answer in April, because the odds that the Habs’ key players escape the injury bug for an entire season are minimal. That was what made that 2007-08 season so unbelievable in some respects. The stars were lined up.

  6. Timo says:

    Subbie’s goals from last season. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s almost like there is a recurring theme in all of these goals.

    http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlp=8474056

    • Chris says:

      Something I’m sure coaches around the league have picked up on as well.

      It will be interesting to see if Subban experiences a sophomore jinx now that teams have a full season’s worth of video to form “a book” about his tendencies.

    • naweed235 says:

      After hours of research I think I figured the recurring theme… If you zoom in on the bench in all those videos, you can see JM making a hand gesture to Subban and then
      BANG there goes the water bottle…

  7. Seems like in order to appease Habs_R_Us we need to copy the most annoying %^&*in’ horns out there. I submit the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cVlTeIATBs

    We should also look into the fact that our logo is not intimidating at all. I think we can all agree that we would instantly win the cup if we switched to black jerseys with a honey badger as the logo. Honey badgers just don’t give a s***: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

  8. mike3131 says:

    NHL.com has a lot of time on their hands:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=587058&navid=DL|NHL|home

    It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

  9. SyntaxLove says:

    I’ve decided I’m keeping the Habs old goal song on standby during games this season so I can mute Vertigo and dance around the room air punching.

    DUN DUN DUN DAH-DAH-DUNNNNN, OHHHHHOOOOOHHHH.

    Chinchillin’

  10. joeybarrie says:

    Maybe I’m just grumpy. But I am king of sick of hearing about how we have no defensive depth. Then I hear about having Mara, Sopel, and Wiz last season to help us…
    But we did not have any of those guys when the season started… Just like we don’t now. If our guys go down, and I pray to God they don’t. We can get depth then. So what’s the difference???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

    • Mike D says:

      The difference is that you used your head, while those who claim we have no depth on D, didn’t.

      - Honestly yours

    • deggy24 says:

      I hear that. Mara and Sopel are barely good enough to dress, let alone get any ice time. The Wiz was tremendously gifted but flawed as well. I’d like to put Wiz on a team in the 70′s or early 80′s, he’d have been amazing. I think what we need to do, in the event of injury, is get some big guys swinging clubs to compliment Weber.

      Habs Win!

    • Chris says:

      We didn’t have any defensive depth last year either, hence having to spend assets on Wisniewski (2nd round draft pick in 2011 and conditional 5th round pick in 2012) and Sopel (Ben Maxwell and 4th round pick in 2011).

      You’ve sort of answered your own question. What you’re really asking is whether it is unreasonable to expect that the Habs can go out and find a quality replacement in the likely event of an injury felling one of the team’s top-4 defencemen (Subban, Markov, Gorges and whoever of the remaining guys ends up playing with them).

      Last year Wisniewski filled in as a top-4 defenceman for Hamrlik, who jumped up into Markov’s #1 defenceman role. Gorges was never really replaced, as seen by the team’s defensive ranking dropping significantly after he was lost.

      This year, there is no Markov insurance policy. Subban and Markov are the clear-cut top 2 on the blue-line. There is no other defenceman in the system with the exception of the young and inexperienced Yannick Weber who has any offensive acumen whatsoever that could be reasonably expected to play top-4 minutes.

      • SyntaxLove says:

        What team CAN replace a top 4 defenceman from within the organization, especially for long stints? It wouldn’t have been much of an issue if Spacek/Hamrlik weren’t so old. They shouldn’t have been playing 20+ minutes a game under any circumstances.

        Chinchillin’

        • Exactly. This issue is a ridiculous complaint.

          If Chara gets injured Boston is a borderline lottery team with that horrendous defense core. Without Pronger the Flyers were garbage in the playoffs last year. Without Lidstrom what is Detroit? Their whole identity is different. The entire BS “well if Price and Subban and Plekanec and Markov are out for the year our team sucks and we’re not prepared” complaint on this site is the most whiny crap ever. I highly doubt anyone but a Habs fan would complain about something so inane.

          • Chris says:

            I had a fairly long reply typed out and then I realized, “Why bother?” I’d hate to be whiny and ridiculous and force you to read more inane BS.

            So I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.

            And just in case you wonder why you end up in so many flame wars, might I direct your attention to the usage of 4 insulting terms for people of the other viewpoint than your own in just one paragraph. That might be a new HI/O record.

          • I could care less about flame wars. I don’t see me anywhere complaining about flame wars, that’s you. If you disagree with what I’m saying, fine, say so. But seriously Chris, I’ve never met anyone who looks has hard as you do to get offended. Every time someone doesn’t reply with “omg you’re brilliant” they’re a bully.

            You want to know what’s annoying, drawing incredibly false conclusions based on syntax and throwing up heavy accusations against someone, and then when an explanation comes, making no reply. You’re the king of passive aggressive BS on here, so sorry I’d rather be direct and call a stupid complaint stupid.

            So go ahead, call me a bully again and then simper on forever and make passive aggressive comments. Meanwhile when I disagree with something I voice it instead of whining to the HIO community about people being big meanies on the internet. Seriously man, if you find a comment of yours or someone else’s being called ridiculous to be a grievous insult, it’s time to toughen that skin up a little bit.

            In all honesty, Chris, I find you to be a valuable commenter on HIO and I read pretty much every one of your comments I come across, but there’s never been a person on the internet who’s as easily offended as you are. And let’s be honest that you’ve had an axe to grind with me for well over a year now. You’ve called me out personally out of nowhere about 4 times since you came back from your brief hiatus. You’d love to assert that I’m the worst on here for personal insults and you allude to it all the time, meanwhile sanctimoniously claiming you’re taking the highroad while taking potshots. It’s below you. Honestly it is. If you’re that petty and thin skinned I guess I understand why you left the site once before.

          • Chris says:

            You simply don’t get it. I’m not offended…I teach university age students. I get far worse than you can ever dream up thrown at me everyday by people who can’t seem to process that there are consequences for their own actions.

            I just didn’t see the point in arguing with you when your first post is loaded with terms like that. You argue that I need to grow a thicker skin. But how did you think the tone of that conversation was going to go, Andrew? Be honest here…your post wasn’t a starting position, it was a final position combined with an invitation to a gutter brawl.

            If that is more simpering, I guess I will have to accept that label. I don’t think you are a bully…I just think you type without thinking. Given your level of education, I expect a little more than that from you. I will take your explanation under advisement for downgrading my expectations.

  11. habs_r_us says:

    our goal horn sucks it doesn’t intimidate the opponent at all it doesn’t describe the home fans emotions at all.

    just imagine the blackhawks song in the 21k bell center crowd.

    just for compare the montreal horn/song(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUEzLByPGr4)

    to anaheims fog horns
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSP4prFw5-8)

    big difference in potentiol intimidation

  12. Mark C says:

    Guess which athlete Phil DeSimone admires the most? None other than Alex Kovalev.

    http://www.unhwildcats.com/sports/mice/2009-10/bios/Phil_DeSimone

  13. Muckbringer says:

    how we all felt after the last nhl horn

    NOT FOR FAMILY!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q97hBJ7alKI

    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    — John Quincy Adams

  14. Muckbringer says:

    heres a question for all the brothers and sisters living outside of mtl.
    have you ever seen a bruins fan with his wife and could tell she was hoping they win more than him that night?

    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    — John Quincy Adams

  15. Muckbringer says:

    i don’t know whats been going on here. im hoping alot of undying rage from last year, mixed with anticipation, but i want to call to everyone’s attention: all is pipes and colors on the gooins blogs right now. if those anthropoids can discuss civilly, surely we can as well.

    i know im not innocent of this crime.

    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    — John Quincy Adams

  16. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Danny Kristo a possible Free Agent next Spring if not signed by Nos Canadiens ???
    …that would be VERY frustrating !
    …also on the Hockey Buzz page is a video interview of Blake Geoffrion …a likely Pred this season
    …and, another sign that Our world no longer makes sense to Myself :(

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Mark C says:

      While it is a possibility, the odds of Kristo taking this route are remote. It is a card that all college players have at their disposal, however very few play play it.

      • Chris says:

        Blake Wheeler is the last guy I can think of off the top of my head.

        I think this will become more the norm. Its an excellent way for players to basically ignore the NHL’s rather stupid entry draft. They get far more choice in where they are going to try and start their careers, as opposed to the current system which is ridiculously flawed.

  17. HabsFanMTL says:

    heres my lineup……….
    gionta pleks cammi
    patches gomez cole
    kostitsyn eller desharnais
    moen darche white

  18. ds says:

    The Habs look like they can finish anywhere from 1st-3rd in the East to 10th-12th. A lot of questions have to be answered this season.

    1. Are Markov and Georges back 100%? Same with Eller & Pac.

    If not the defense is worthless. Last year PG wisely brought in Mara, Sopel and Wiz that made up for it, this year there is no depth to that level.

    2. Will Price & Subban continue to improve or regress from last year?

    Price took the pressure of Halak’s heroics and came through with flying colors. Subban was solid after a great playoff. I expect them both to do well this year but they are young, anything can happen.

    3. Will Scott Gomez produce like he did at the end of the 2009-2010 season or will he produce another 30-40 pt stinker?

    I’m sure Gomez is going to give it 100% and I hope the team gives him the opportunity. Same with Andrei Kostitsyn. They both deserve an opportunity at redemption and I think both are ready for rebounds.

    4. Are Spacek & Gill going to regress significantly?

    Gill especially is a leader on this team and great defensive specialist. Hopefully he has a season similar to last year. Spacek OTOH might get the first opportunity to do what he was signed to do, feed Markov the puck on the PP. Maybe he’s poised for a break through year who knows.

    Overall this team has 3 scoring lines and a solid checking 4th line. Defensively a top 6 that rivals almost every other team in the NHL, and the best young goalie prospect in the NHL with already >200 games played. Hopefully the injury bug does not decimate this season, if it doesn’t this team can go really far. Don’t see a single team a healthy MTL is outclassed by.

    • punkster says:

      Um, are you perhaps RetrogradeMikey’s brother?

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Muckbringer says:

      1. i cant ever see anyone being totally 100% pre injury and 1 year younger
      2. i say the second half of the season will be better than their best last year.
      3. not great, but chantable.
      ive taken a step back from this and think is mainly mental with him.
      4. space boy cant regress any further. skillzy, he is a legend.

      my final thoughts are, we all saw how far luck can take you last year.

      “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
      — John Quincy Adams

    • 1010 says:

      While I agree that defense is a huge question mark at this point due to the Markov and Georges injuries I don’t think the world will end if one of them struggles. You mention Mara, Sopel and Wiz and seem to imply it’s impossible to bring in a couple more able- bodied Dmen. Gauthier picked up Wiz when Markov’s salary went off the books. Well guess what? Gauthier has 4 or 5 million to play with even if someone doesn’t get injured. Now let’s say (I pray not) that Markov gets seriously injured again. Seems to me that Gauthier should be able to find a couple of decent blueliners for 9 or 10 mil. No?

      GO HABS…

      • Chris says:

        It doesn’t exactly work like that. We may have the money, but we also have to find a team willing to part with a player worth that kind of coin.

        The Islanders were looking to dump Wisniewski, who they didn’t think they could re-sign.

        What potential UFA’s in the summer of 2012 are there that are playing for teams that probably won’t contend?

        Souray in Dallas, Roszival in Phoenix, Liles in Toronto, Beauchemin in Anaheim, Kuba in Ottawa, Jackman and Colaiacovo in St. Louis potentially Carle and Coburn in Philadelphia, etc.

        I’m sure there are some guys out there. But Wisniewski’s case was a bit special.

        • 1010 says:

          “It doesn’t exactly work like that”.
          Yes, I’m sure it won’t work exactly like that either. But you nor I have any idea about just who might be available next year. And he named two other guys – Sopel and Mara- and that kind of talent will be available. The Habs went deeper without Wiz and Markov the year before for that matter. Gauthier has added some late parts that have helped the team before and as long as he has some cap room he will find the right parts again.

          GO HABS…

          • Chris says:

            I’m not sure I buy the argument that it has happened in the past so it will happen again.

            Detroit found some superstars in the late rounds before, but it doesn’t mean they do it all the time. In fact, they haven’t done it for many years now.

            I mentioned a bunch of guys that might be available based on that they are UFA’s next summer and their teams might struggle. None of them really jumps out as the kind of guy that could replace a Markov. Wisniewski was special.

            Now if it were Gorges or Gill or someone like that that were to get hurt, than sure. We should be able to replace them. In that regard, I think the Jeff Woywitka signing was brilliant.

            But offensive defencemen are a tough find. We’ll have to see what Rafael Diaz does in Hamilton to start the season. If he’s the real deal and can adjust to North American rinks quickly, than the conversation might be somewhat moot.

  19. Un Canadien errant says:

    ****Fantasy football alert- New League- New Draft Time*****

    Be a well-rounded nerd. Obsess over hockey AND NFL football this winter.

    Draft is on a Friday September 2, 10 pm Eastern, 7 pm Pacific.

    To join, go to http://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football

    Create an account if you don’t already have one, then click on ‘Join A League’. Search for this one in Private Leagues by its name or its draft time. Password to join is ‘markov’. No capitals or anything cute, so hopefully that works.

    5 teams signed up, 7 spots left, first come first served.

    League Name Habs Inside Out
    League Type Private
    Draft Date September 02, 2011, 10:00 PM ET
    Draft Style Live Draft
    Member Count 4 of 12 needed to draft – more info
    Password: markov

    ———————————
    For my training camp surprise, I want the second coming of Mike McPhee. And maybe Kent Carlson.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  20. Chris says:

    I’ll never understand why people get bent out of shape over pundit’s predictions. Like our own, their predictions are not much more than filler while we all wait for the season to start.

    There are all sorts of reasons that smart hockey people can question the Habs potential to challenge for a division title or even make the playoffs in a worst case scenario.

    There are precious few sure-things on the Habs roster. I think we can count on solid two-way play and a 60-70 point season from Plekanec. Gionta should be good for another 25-30 goal season. Moen, Darche and White will work hard and grind, but probably won’t chip in much offence.

    I’m in the cautiously optimistic camp. I like the increased offensive depth, but have some very heavy reservations about putting too much faith in Pacioretty or Cole. Pacioretty has to prove last year’s nice run wasn’t simply a hot streak similar to what Matt D’Agostini was riding when he came up to the Habs. Cole has to prove that he can get it done in Montreal’s system with no Eric Staal to lean on. The Habs remain very shallow at centre behind Plekanec, unless Gomez somehow travels back in time to find his from from 4 seasons ago.

    I am anxious to see what Yemelin can bring, because the Habs best bet is for him to play Hal Gill into the third pairing and PK duty, where Gill’s lead feet are less exposed. Gorges and Markov have to show they are healthy…if they aren’t, the Habs are in a world of trouble with Wisniewski and Hamrlik now gone. Weber is also intriguing, as I think he could be a solid third pairing guy if Martin can bring himself to play Weber over Spacek.

    The Habs absolutely could battle it out for the division title with Boston or Buffalo. But an extended injury to Plekanec or Price could see them down in the lottery zone too.

  21. Harani says:

    Hi everyone! I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted here but I’m still very much present. Twitter was kinda easier to use from the phone and Uni took over my life!!

    As for the Habs, I’m very happy with how our team is looking. On paper, we are destined for a real good season. Once again, I would say our success will be parallel to that of Price’s. He’s capable of doing it so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t believe in him and the team. And the Captain is solid.

    One of my fears going into Free Agent Frenzy was landing a guy who considered himself bigger than the team. Love the dynamic of our current roster.

    Also, if our last season was any indication, without Price playing 100% every game, we could be in trouble. In that case, Peter Budaj is an adequate fill-in. Not saying he can replace Price but he’s better than Alex Auld. And a strong insurance and he accepts his role. Bravo PG!

    I gotta sign off now but I’ll be back :)

    “B.E.L.I.E.V.E!”

  22. 2011 Summit We R Fans

    Flights Booked

    Hotel Booked (6 nights)

    Need tickets to Canes, and Bruins. 3 Sept or stub Hub?

    Ian are you home yet?

    Shane Oliver
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Brandon, MB,Canada
    R7B 2R7
    hockey@sholi2000.com
    Ph- 204 724 8418

  23. C_exacte says:

    2 random hab bits for you today… 1-did you know Budaj was a wall in shootouts last year?? 13 for 14, probably 2nd best goalie behind Craig Anderson & 2-we have to wait 1 extra day more than anybody else to start training camp, oh the humanity!

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Notes from new Habs prospect Darren Dietz’s training camp with the Saskatoon Blades from the team’s colour commentator and communications manager Cody Nickolet, who is on Twitter at @WHLFromAbove

    “I wasn’t at the game this morning, but Canadiens prospect Darren Dietz scored 4 goals in the Blue vs Grey scrimmage at Blades camp.”

    “Dietz looked very strong yesterday when I did see him. Tried to jump into the rush a few times…looking to grow his offensive game. ”

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • SlimDiggity says:

      Awesome news. The more I hear about Dietz the more I like him. Seems like he’s a bit of a late bloomer, excited to see what he brings this year.

      SF09 you’re one of the few reasons I still read this site, love the prospect updates. Keep up the good work man!

  25. habpunk says:

    I heard that habs are interested in center Eric Christensen, currently with the rangers. I think he’s about 6’2″.
    that being the case, it would be great if we could land him, then maybe trade Gomez or buy him out?
    do you think PG has a deal in the works for both players?

    • shiram says:

      That guy cannot replace Gomez, Gomez’s worst season is better than that guy’s best season, point wise.
      Size alone is not worth it.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • Dave Alphabet says:

      the biggest problem with that rumour is it’s source…which is Eklund

      • Mark C says:

        Does Eklund even want to be taken seriously? He adds this to his rumor: “and I have said it before, but if Gauthier can pull this move off I predict it will go down as his best trade to date in his tenure as GM in Montreal.”

        What? Trading for a forward whose career year was 61-18-15 would be a better trade than the Wiz deal? PG got Wiz for a 2nd rounder months before Kaberle (a much worse player last year) fetched a 1st, blue chipper (former 1st), and a 2nd.

    • Chris says:

      Habs can’t buy out Gomez until next summer…there is a narrow window in which you can do that. We’re stuck with the useless one for another year unless they trade him or bury him in the minors.

      But I don’t see Christensen being even remotely appealing to the Habs. He’s tall, but he’s one of the players in the league that actually makes Gomez look good.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Christensen has one sweet pair of hands, silky smooth with the puck but has no idea where his own end of the rink is let alone what to do when he gets there. He can’t replace Gomez, there would need to be another aspect to this deal.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      You heard the Habs were interested in Eric. Did you hear that from one of the Swiffer dust girls my friend.??

    • Neutral says:

      The Habs must want to help the Rangers again if they’re interested in Christensen, remember they helped them two years ago and we,re still paying for it if you know what I mean.

  26. mike3131 says:

    Why all the U2 hate?!?!

    It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

    • shiram says:

      To me they just play very bland average music, it’s not offensive, but has no bite or identity, it’s some bland kind of arena rock
      Their music can be heard everywhere, at all time, so it will easily get on my nerves.
      Bono also does not come off too well either, seems very sanctimonious.
      And their guitar player has ego issues, thinking he is the best guitarist in the world…

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • mike3131 says:

        I can’t necessarily call myself a “fan” of U2 but ever since I went to the concert, I’ve gained a lot of respect for them. Bono is very classy, not at a show off at all. Check this out:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_peGJv2ilU

        Their lyrics are very strong; all about peace and love.
        Seems you got the wrong impression of them.

        It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          They used to be a rock band, now they are what they are. Guy does alot of good things no doubt. But when i shelled out $400 for a pair of tickets and heard him sing remakes of BB King all night cuz it was BB’s birthday i was less than impressed. No offense to the Beale Street Blues Boy, but neither did he (Bono) do justice to those songs nor did I go to hear him sing that.

        • shiram says:

          I’m sure they have incredible production values, being one of the biggest band in the world does that, and their shows are acclaimed for being very visually impressive, for sure.

          But they are a safe band, as you say they have the universally approved lyrical theme, the music is catchy and easy listening.

          You know it’s not that they are doing anything bad, they just are not doing anything to warrant me wanting to listen to them, the music is not very orignal or impressive in any way to me.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

        • Chris says:

          U2 remains one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended (shortly after 9/11 in Hamilton at Copps Coliseum)…not so much for the productions values (which are amazing), or the quality of their musicianship (which is not bad at all), or their fame.

          But the crowd…the crowd-band interaction at that show was the best I’ve ever seen. When they broke into Sunday Bloody Sunday and what seemed like a million Irish flags suddenly sprung out of nowhere, I had goosebumps.

          When they pulled a fan out of the crowd to play guitar on one of their songs, that was pretty cool and the crowd went nuts.

          Whether it was New Year’s Day or Pride or Mysterious Ways or Desire or With or Without You, they’ve got a huge enough catalogue that even more casual fans will be singing along for half the show.

          They finished with a very minimalist One, with the names of all the people who died on September 11 flashing by on a screen behind Bono. Again, you’d have to be pretty much dead inside to not be stirred. It sounds pretentious 10 years later, but at the time, it worked. I’ve never seen a concert crowd go from full concert mode to respectful remembrance so fast. Not too many bands can pull that kind of feat off, but U2 is, or at least was, one of them.

      • Bripro says:

        The first video I ever saw (aside from a hoakie Sonnie and Cher compilation) was U2′s “where the streets have no name” on a SF rooftop. At the time, it was something new and innovative. I’ve since shown it to my daughter……”eh” she said, and walked away.
        My point is music has its timeframes, and what impresses us today might not tomorrow. At the time, Cournoyer was captain. Awsome.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Your not saying that things we experienced in our “Youthful” days only seemed to be much better than today are you? LOL

          Oh the beauty of aging….we get to retell stories of those great wonder years.

        • shiram says:

          Some stuff is timeless though, but what is timeless to me might not be to you…

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

        • ZepFan2 says:

          Actually, the Beatles did the rooftop thing first with “Get Back”.

          ———————————————————————-
          Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

          • Chris says:

            I’m pretty sure music was played on rooftops before the Beatles. ;)

          • Bripro says:

            Now you’re going way back.
            I’m getting a flashback of the Ed Sullivan show in B&W.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            “I’m pretty sure music was played on rooftops before the Beatles.”

            Not that I’ve seen on film. That was basically a live concert and their last live performance.

            My point was, it was done before U2.

            ———————————————————————-
            Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • GrimJim says:

      Too big
      Too sanctimonious

    • HabinBurlington says:

      As I posted earlier, everything up to Joshua Tree B Side was Awesome music. I think Bono lost his edge after the success of Joshua and the band seemed to change direction. My opinion.

    • Chris says:

      Everybody has a band that they just don’t get. U2 is that band for a lot of people.

      I’ll admit, my fandom days stopped after Achtung Baby as Pop and Zooropa were just a little too out there. Interestingly, Pop was very much a departure from U2, yet they are always accused of playing it safe…go figure.

      Any band that is still making records after nearly 30 years in the business has to be doing something right. But I don’t like them as a goal song…just not my cup of tea.

      • mike3131 says:

        It’s fine as a goal song because it has become a tradition! (for me at least!) It’s been our goal song every year since the lockout (besides 08-09). I wouldn’t mind if we went back to the 02-03 classic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfTpGKJqROY), but look at how bad we were then. Keep Vertigo, the same way we play Fix You every game as an intro. Remember how annoyed people were when they played City Of Blinding Lights (another great song, but…) as an intro to Game 3 vs. Washington? Just don’t screw around with our modern tradition!

        It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

    • Bill says:

      It’s easy to say their music is “bland” at this point in time. But that’s because they invented and then popularized their style: of course it’s familiar, we’ve been hearing it for years.

      A band should be judged on its entire body of work. When another band – even a really good band like Arcade Fire – out there puts out three of biggest and most important records of all time, let me know.

      If you’re judging a band as long-lived as U2, another way to look at is how influential are they? Bands like Coldplay and The Arcade Fire have clear U2 influences, to name two of the bigger examples.

      I went to the U2 show in Moncton and it was a knockout. Surreal. Fantastic show!

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Prospecting for the coming season is going to be like a 2nd job. I am now following 46 accounts to keep track of MTL’s prospects, info for the upcoming draft candidates and the teams the prospects play on. I’m also building a portfolio with dossiers on each of the members of Habs Future.

    Going to pen a preview of Habs Future for the coming season, with quick blurbs on each of the guys I’m tracking as soon as I begin my new permanent shift at work.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  28. HabinBurlington says:

    ESPN’s Scott Burnside is a complete Douchebag! Here is a podcast preview of the NorthEast Division. He has 2 guests Chris Johnston a writer for the Canadian Press and James Murphy (no not the former Bomber wideout #21 in your program James “quick” Murphy) of ESPN/Boston.

    Both guys are talking in the podcast how it will be a dogfight between Montreal and Boston for division title, then Scott Doucheside chimes in how he doesn’t see it and that Montreal won’t make the playoffs.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=6891853

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Burnside is pretty much a jackass, he and a few other American writers feel it’s their duty to dump on Canada when it’s Canada’s talent and dollars into the league that mean they all have jobs.

      Every media outlet likes to keep hatchet man to raise people’s ire and grow pageviews with caustic remarks. Even blogger networks, See Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy who enjoys dumping on well, everything and everyone. Pretty much wrote hate speech about the city of Detroit in the middle of his “eulogy” for the Red Wings playoff push lsat year.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The James Murphy guy who is Boston Bruin writer for ESPN was quite fair in his assessment, that was the amazing part. But then the Jackass had to steer the conversation away from Montreal because he just couldn’t see it.

    • Mats Naslund says:

      I think most people who have a clue and watched hockey last year can tell that Montreal and Boston will battle. Whether or not another team can jump into the mix is certainly debatable. Its pretty short sighted of Burnside to claim to “not see it” with this club. For all of the “short”comings he mentioned, the Habs have been right there for the past two seasons with a very deep run and then losing by an OT goal to the eventual Cup Winner.

      That counts for nothing next year, but to say that a team with a healthy group of Price, Subban, Markov, Cammelleri, etc could be a lottery team is pretty dumb.

    • avatar_58 says:

      So what do american’s do for hockey news, given all of their newscasts are idiotic and biased?

  29. sauster says:

    In all honesty, it is about time the league puts someone in place that doesn’t have a son playing in the league!!!
    As for the videos, it shouldn’t be necessary. When it comes down to it, some calls are all on judgement. That is why we put officials in place; because we trust their judgement. If it was all white or black, according to the rules, there would be no need for reviews or officials.
    Just like baseball, when a batter questions a called strike, he’s OUTTA HERE!

    TheHockeyRecord.com
    Recalling hockey records daily and taking an in-depth look at what they mean for the game of hockey.

  30. GrimJim says:

    In the ETOP article on Kristo they say that Montreal will lose its rights to Kristo if he isn’t signed “by this spring”. I thought Montreal only lost the rights to him if they didn’t sign him by the July after his college career is over and since he is a junior, he is eligible to play NCAA for two more seasons. Am I right or is the article?

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Depends if he decides to end his NCAA career in the Spring and not sign a contract with MTL and go as a free agent. After he completes this year he has one more year of NCAA eligibility as well he can also choose to complete and get his degree.

      All on what he wants to do but I’d be surprised if he didn’t end up in the CH after this spring, or at least the Bulldogs colours, reunite with his former Omaha Lancer teammate Louis Leblanc.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • 24 Cups says:

        I think Kristo should go back and finish his degree. He’s come this far so why quit now. He’s probably has a 50/50 chance of making the NHL so he should play it safe and finish his education. After that, two years in the AHL should have him primed and ready to go for a shot at the Habs.

        If he bombs, he can take his bonus money and three years salary and buy a house. Then get a job related to his field of study (podiatry?) and be on his way at the ripe old age of 27.

        Sounds like a plan, Stan.

        • GrimJim says:

          His field of study is Recreation and Tourism Studies, not podiatry. Podiatry is a branch of medicine studying the foot.

          Oh. I just got that…

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Well done 24! Perhaps though since Grim found out Danny is taking Recreation and Tourism, Mr Kristo was working on inventing a barefoot Snowshoe last year!

  31. JD_ says:

    I think Shanny sincerely means well but, as I said some time ago, this whole notion of releasin’ a video to explain his decisions is naive on his part. Sure, people love the idea. Why wouldn’t they? Problem is, all the videos will end up doin’ is armin’ those who disagree with the decision the minutiae with which to attack the decision and, ultimately, Shanny.

    Folks are not just gonna sit there and say, well, I don’t agree with him, but at least I understand how he got there.

    It doesn’t work that way.

    When it all finally becomes too much for Brendan, he’ll pull the plug on the idea and simply end up lookin’ like he’s circlin’ the wagons.

    Colin Campbell is not a hard act to follow. Shanny could have achieved a whole lot of goodwill with the fanbase without blowin’ his load like this. For all we know, this was Gary B’s idea and Brendan’s just runnin’ with it. That way, when it goes full epic fail, he can be summarily thrown under the bus.

    For what it’s worth, he was really on his game in Dances With Wolves.

    Hey, Shanny! That rulin’ on Matt Cooke was a load of tatanka!

    Hmm. That Montreal Canadiens fan website thing. Real names, pictures of real people, and a preponderance of very optimistic predictions.

    *shudder*

    Not my cup of tea.

    Speakin’ of cups, caught this in the Bryzzy piece, “Laviolette instituted a ‘Dry Island,’ the name of a pledge in which he asked his players to stop drinking for a month. Richards and Carter repeatedly declined to take part in the pledge over the past two years — and were traded the same day.”

    Really. Up until now I thought this whole ritual was just rumoured.

    Interestingly, Bryzzy’s only the second Flipper to wear #30. Nittymaki was first. Also interestin’ is how much Bryzzy’s endearin’ himself with the fans. Bobby Clobber’s probably curlin’ up in the fetal position readin’ this stuff, with distorted, satanic imagery of Bernie Parent holdin’ two Conn Smythes and laughin’ at him swirlin’ around in his head, breathlessly plottin’ his revenge.

    Brian Burkie sux.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I didn’t see the movie, but Dances with Wolves gave rise to this classic Pauline Kael quip: “This epic was made by a bland megalomaniac. The Indians should have named him Plays with Camera.”

      • JD_ says:

        Bland megalomaniac, or not, his little vanity project garnered 12 Oscar® nominations and nailed 7 of them, includin’ best picture and best director for the guy.

        I hear that pays the bills.

        And let’s you make a whole lotta crap movies afterward, with nary a problem sourcin’ the financin’ for said crap movies.

        As for Kael, a bit of a Red Fisher of the cinematic world, but I applaud her crappin’ all over the hugely successful It’s A Wonderful Life, the epitome of art imitatin’ nausea.

      • G-Man says:

        See it, then dismiss Pauline (who the hell is she?) Kael.
        Probably the first western to disregard “big sky” and really show the lay of the land.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Pauline Kael was the long-time film critic for the New Yorker, and possibly the best writer on film in the English language.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            You sure she wasn’t just a former girlfriend of Superman back when he lived on Kalel?

          • Bill J says:

            HabInBurlington: Kal-El is Superman’s name from his native planet Krypton. Thus the numerous “Kryptonite” references over the years as a means to imply weekness.


            If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page: http://bit.ly/mTnegr

            Go Habs Go!

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        Wait, what? Never seen dances with wolves? Wowwee! I give you credit, good sir. That movie seems to be on once a month on regular cable. Assuming you have cable (or Satelite), how did you not come across this and at least watch a little bit???

        I am not saying it is the best movie of all time. Not even close… But to never see it is an amazing feat based on the fact that is now considered a classic (at least that is what AMC has me believe’en).

        It has it moments… and as a 10 year old boy watching it for the first time, it has a topless woman (for 0.5 seconds).

        Kids these days, no longer watching PG-13 movies to catch a glimpse…. Internet has wrecked the wonder of it all….

        Wait, what was my point….

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      If Shanahan is sincere about changing the disciplinary standard, then this is the best move he could have made because clearly he is fighting an entrenched mindset. Colin Campbell did not make it all up by himself. So if Shanahan has to subvert the current system in order to improve it, what better way than video documentary of its capricious nature? Has Shanny ever had a concussion? Maybe he is way smarter than he looks. : )

      • JD_ says:

        From a fan perspective, the video thing is a great idea. I totally agree.

        My contention is, however, that from Shanny’s perspective, it ignores some of the basic tenets of self-preservation. I do not see it as sustainable and fully expect he will eventually be forced to retrench.

        Barrin’ that, TMZ will eventually report on Shanahan succumbin’ to this self-imposed video gulag, walkin’ the streets dressed in a tattered bathrobe, smashin’ DVDs, wide-eyed and high as a kite, and mutterin’ somethin’ about how he shoulda ignored his wife’s career aspirations and signed in Montreal.

        He could have re-invented the position’s culture without swingin’ the pendulum this far. Bad business decision.

  32. HardHabits says:

    The best thing about JM’s system and low scoring defensive style hockey is that it reduces the number of times we have to listen to the U2 goal song.

  33. Rob says:

    Regarding NHL.com’s fantasy draft………wow. and people complain about Trevor Timmons and PG!

    The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Let’s hope he’s on fire all year long Ian.

      Another note/question, am I the only one who hates U2? Its like nails on a chalkboard for me. Dont know why. Can’t wait until they change the “goal” song.

      Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

      • Malice says:

        i equally despise u2 lol

        Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness was

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          For a brief period last year the NY Times gave a space on its opinion pages over to Bono. I think it was meant to be a regular column.

          You think you hate U2 now? Look for those editorials and get back to me.

      • shiram says:

        I don’t expect AK to light it on fire this season, but I expect him to keep his usual pace, unless his PP and ice time are greatly diminished.

        Count me in on U2.
        They are a generic arena rock band to me, and are basically riding the success of their early 80′s album…

        If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Timo says:

        I hate U2 a little less than Biebs. Bunch of tree hugging hippies.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I was a huge U2 fan until the B side of Joshua Tree. Everything before that was great, Boy, October, War, Unforgettable Fire, and Under a Blood Red Sky. Then after Joshua Tree Bono became the Rock Peacemaker and the music has gone down. Too bad.

    • Say Ash says:

      Sure, but this is a clip from Andrei’s BG era – Before Gomez

  34. HabFanSince72 says:

    I have low hopes for Shanahan. What hockey really needs is an outsider. The sport is hopelessly corrupt. Worse yet, Shanahan as a a Canadian is far more likely to be part of the problem than part of the solution. Let’s face it, thuggery in hockey is an entirely Canadian contribution. It ain’t the Swedes, the Finns or the NCAA that are teaching kids goon hockey.

    Getting pleasure out of seeing people inflict pain on each other is called sadism. It is one of the least benign of the sexual perversions. Nonetheless, among consenting adults I have no objections. However, the image of the old man behind the bench sending young males to go out and fight conjures up dark associations of coercive sadistic self-denying homoeroticism that in my opinion verges on pedophilia (note I said “verges on”).

    I remember a pre-season game where everyone’s hero Kirk Muller tapped Greg Stewart on the shoulder and clearly told him he had to fight someone if he wanted the job. You could tell Stewart had no interest in fighting (most fighters admit as much) but he did anyway. Lost the fight and was never seen in a Hab uniform again.

    The sport is sick and I think only an outsider can help. Discipline should be meted out by a committee of psychologists, neurologists, and maybe an exorcist or two.

    • shiram says:

      I would put some blame on our neighbors to the south as well, mostly it’s a North American thing.
      And I’d also say that changes would come from the GM’s as they hold the veto on those kinda decisions.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hear what you are saying in the present day Shiram, but I think HF72 brings up a good point (in the 1st paragraph, not willing to touch the 2nd paragraph). Canadian hockey really established the “finishing your checks” in order to nullify the speed and skill of Russian hockey. This almost seemed to begin in the World Junior Championships.

        The argument to this will be that Canadian Hockey was choosing the “clean” hits to nullify the cheap shots of these skilled but dirty teams.

        • Chrisadiens says:

          While this may be true. Bettman is using this goonery to feed the rabid, idiotic fan bases of philly/bos. So there is no end in sight.

          Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Absolutely, now it is the meal ticket for the league in advertising this game to a market in the South that naturally has no inclination to hockey. But to HF’s original point, alot of Canadians associate hockey with toughness and get up and get back on the ice if your a good canadian kid! This actually may no longer even be “alot” but rather a very vocal segment of the Canadian hockey market.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            A further point: there is a big difference between toughness and goonery.

            Toughness implies persistence in the face of obstacles; never giving up; being fearless.

            Goonery implies trying to hurt or injure your opponent, whether during a fight or during play.

          • Chrisadiens says:

            Agree HFS72.

            Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

        • shiram says:

          Ahh I was not born during those first Canada / Russia competition, but having just finished Dryden’s The Game, I got the sense that violence in hockey was escalated to please the TV networks of the USA, and to market it to their viewers.
          Contact and hits seem to have been part of the game for a much longer time though.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

        • G-Man says:

          Have to disagree with you Burlington. Body checking has always been part of the game. The game used to be much slower with players rarely being substituted. It literally was more of a game of possession, with no forward passes allowed.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Body Checking to seperate the puck from the player i agree is/has and always will be part of the game. I am talking about the game has evolved into this grey area called finishing your checks. Isn’t that really just interference? When I watch the classic games from the 70′s, you see virtually no hits to players after the puck is gone. Contact that does occur after is minor rubouts etc… Now we have full scale bodychecks and elbowing occurring when the puck is no longer in play.

            I am all for a physical game, it is the excessive hits, the extra cheap shots, but i really have a problem with this Finishing the Check. To me that is flat out interference and it is now a regular part of the game.

        • RGM says:

          “Canadian hockey really established the “finishing your checks” in order to nullify the speed and skill of Russian hockey. This almost seemed to begin in the World Junior Championships. ”

          Go back a little further, to Bobby Clarke breaking Kharlamov’s ankle. That was the birth of the “NAG Movement.”

          /tongue in cheek….or is it? LOL
          During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • G-Man says:

        Rome 2000 years ago. Blame them, too. :)

    • G-Man says:

      Been taking a psych course? :)

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      BLAME CANADA! Is this an episode of South Park? In the sense that hockey is basically unimaginable without Canada, I suppose you’re right.

    • V says:

      ‘sending young males to go out and fight conjures up dark associations of coercive sadistic self-denying homoeroticism that in my opinion verges on pedophilia’.

      That’s showbiz. And I would be really interested in hearing more about your childhood.

      But I digress. I agree hockey has a problem with excessive violence but I don’t think it’s quite as perverse as you are portraying . Also don’t think it’s the old man behind the bench who is the real problem – management could not let him do it if the fans did not lap it up.

    • G-Man says:

      As a folow up- you’re basically saying that Canadian hockey fans are perverted sadists who require therapy?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Only the ones who get their kicks watching guys beat each other up.

        • shiram says:

          So I take it you are not a fan of boxing or mixed martial arts?

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            I think there is a difference. Boxing is a legitimate and to a certain extent a noble sport, and one that does require great mental toughness and persistence. Boxers don’t hit each other because they hate each other (although they may). They don’t fight because they’ve lost their temper.

            The problem with boxing is that the medical data are so unequivocal. These guys are sustaining very severe brain damage (look at Ali).

            The big difference is that fighting or dirty hits in hockey are not the goal of hockey. They are a sideshow, and indeed are against the written rules of the sport.

          • shiram says:

            I agree there is a difference in that boxing and martial arts the violence is the sport in a way, but people are still getting their kicks out of 2 human beating on each other.

            I’m just hoping I’m not one of those homoerotic sadist you are talking about, I followed MMA/UFC for a while, but grew tired of the rules imposed on fighter that rewarded the wrestling style…

            If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • 1010 says:

      I have to agree with you. I mean, the idiot who claimed he was just being a hockey dad is gone, and that in itself has to be an improvement, but the fact is they replaced him with a guy that will fit in quite nicely as a member of the old boys network.
      Fact is the refs put their whistles away during the entire Bruins run. The only time they blew them was if they thought someone might be hurt and they couldn’t get that right half the time. I had no idea what was considered a penalty by the third round of the playoffs. Everything, it seemed, had changed.
      I think this type of crap will continue, in one form or another, and when the time presents itself, under Shanahans watch.
      Hope I’m wrong though.

      GO HABS…

  35. Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

    According to Pacioretty’s twitter feed, the Habs have signed his best friend Phil DeSimone to a try out contract.

    This guys has played four years at University of New Hampshire and put up decent numbers as a centre. He was also the USHL forward of the year in 2007 when he put up 73 points in 60 games.

    Interesting move. He was a 3rd-round pick by Washington.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      He is listed 5’11″ 193 so he will meet the criteria for criticism from a certain part of the fanbase.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Probably got help to those numbers because his best buddy Pacioretty was playing with him that year though. Hello Bulldogs depth he gets a deal.

      - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        While I’m not getting my hopes up for this guy to be a game-changer, it does appear to be a solid depth move with the added bonus of making Pacioretty a little happier.

        While playing with his buddy may have inflated his numbers in the USHL, it’s harder to make that argument when you look at his NCAA numbers, which compare pretty well to Kristo’s.

        Picking up a 3rd round pick for nothing is a decent move if you ask me.

    • t1tan5 says:

      Does one have to be going to the game in order to attend the other events?

      • GrimJim says:

        Absolutely not. Come hang out with us all you want. The only thing is if you want to go to the Saturday pre-game meal let Ian know beforehand because he has to make reservations at the Baton Rouge. And you would have to buy a ticket for the HOF/Bell Centre tour at the door.

  36. MathMan says:

    “• THN has the Rangers finishing one spot ahead of the Habs”

    Not surprising; they landed the UFA big fish. At this stage predictions tend to be more about who got the most hype from their UFA moves, not about who ended up with the better roster. Watch Buffalo get a lot of credit on that basis.

    They seem to be undervaluing Tampa a great deal, too. I get that they’d be behind Washington and Pittsburgh, but they’re also behind Boston, Buffalo, and the much-diminished Flyers? Tampa’s better than all those clubs.

    I think they’re also underestimating how much the Flyers hurt themselves, but that may just be the typical tendency to think that “young and exciting” inherently makes a team better.

    • G-Man says:

      TBay’s big question mark is goaltending- is Roloson the next Johnny Bower with late success?
      I think they are in for a big fall.

      My bold prediction: Flyers do NOT make the playoffs. Trading away 2 established centers for maybes and signing Bryzgalov to an insane contract could be Holmgren’s undoing.

      • MathMan says:

        TBay was only held back by goaltending because their pre-Roloson goalies played not average, not below average, but utterly putrid; we’re talking .890 and below, a level at which you expect to be able to call someone up from the AHL to do better. Otherwise, they were a dominant 5-on-5 puck possession team with top-10 special teams; they’re a team that carries the play and the way they dominated Boston outside of the crease in the playoffs only reinforces the point.

        That’s why I think the goalie question mark is a red herring. Sure, there’s no telling what Roloson will do next year but it’s not like Tampa needs him to be a world-beater. If Tampa can get even average goaltending, be it from Roloson or anyone else, then they’re a top-tier club in the East.

        Tampa was a lot like the Habs last year actually, except that they were unable to buy a save rather than unable to buy a goal.

  37. HardHabits says:

    About Pronger. He should wait out his return until he is ready to go. In the mean time Philly keeps him on the LTIR, which means they can get some cap relief and at the same time more than likely tank and get another top tier killer draft pick.

    And here is my question for illustrious commentariat. Is this the new loophole in the CBA? Teams who have players 35+, who have toxic contracts or are considered albatrosses, can put those players on the ice for excessive amounts of time hopefully to ensure that they are in harms way. A career ending injury puts that player on the LTIR for the remainder of their contract which frees up much needed cap space for the teams in question.

  38. Lafrich says:

    About the mock draft: “It took six hours, 15 people and 5 large cheese pizzas to get it done, but we drafted 690 hockey players to fill out 30 NHL rosters, and here they are.”

    That has got to be the BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME EVER!!!!!!!!!

  39. Marc10 says:

    I always liked Shanny – right up until he chose to waste his time in NY instead of joining Les Habitants. If that colossal error of judgement is anything to go on… Well, at least his kids aren’t playing in the league just yet…

    • mike3131 says:

      Apparently Shanny was supposed to sign with us but missed his flight to MTL and caught one to NY.

      It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    You really have to wonder how ready Pronger will be for the season ahead. Here is a column from a Flyer Blogger.
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-Meltzer/Meltzers-Musings-Meszaros-and-Pronger/45/37749
    I think the Flyers have a bigger question mark with Pronger’s health than we do with Markov.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      Markov also has the advantage of being 4 years younger and has had nearly a year to recover fully from his injuries.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        If Pronger is unable to start the season or is ineffective when he starts this could prove to be a difficult season for the Orange. He is clearly the straw that stirs the drink in Philly. Between all the new forwards, loss of Richards/Carter, could all of a sudden be a difficult season. Will be interesting to watch.

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          You have to wonder that with Pronger’s more aggressive physical style of play, even if he does return to start the season he might have lost a step or two in his game.

          Markov on the other hand plays more of a speed and finess game, so I’m thinking his transition back would be easier.

          In any case, if Bryzgalov doesn’t pan out in the end, the flyers will be mearly a shell of the team they were two years ago.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Pronger has a +35 contract. That could be hugh trouble for the Flyers down the road as it would be a cap hit of $4.9M for the next six years regardless of whether or not he plays, goes to the minors or retires.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Unfortunately, I think when the CBA is reworked after this we will see the league once again provide the owners 1 time buyouts of contracts just like this. I can only imagine that as Ed Snider sat at the negotiating table for Comcast/NBC with Bettman he said “Now Gary I am giving you your TV deal, in 2012 I need to be able to get rid of Prongers contract”…. I am sure Gary happily agreed.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          I hope they don’t give them an escape route for stupid contracts. The Pronger contract is just plain wrong. Everyone knew that when they saw the term and is just used to get around the cap. Just like Hossa etc.

          I don’t want to see GM’s be able to use this to lure players and then get a freebie. Like Tampa and Vinny. That contract is brutal and they shouldn’t be able to just buy it out.

          That is just my opinion though.

          I also think when you send a player to the minors like Redden there should be a cap hit instead of it coming of the books. Gm’s like Sather screw up the market place with their contracts and when they sign them other agents use them as a bench mark.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I agree with you, but Gary works for the owners and owners of teams like NYR, Philly etc.. are powerful and have influence on Gary. I think that is why those stupid contracts were handed out. They knew or were confident they would get a reprieve after this coming season.

            EDIT: Actually in this instance Brian Burke may be a key player. He has always spoken out against these contracts. I would hope he will be very vocal on this topic, as he knows teams like his own have developed their own competitive advantage by not giving out these stupid contracts. I guess what I am saying, is Go Burkie Go next offseason to ensure teams like philly, nyr, nyi, tampa dont get a free pass on those contracts.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Escape routes can work two ways. It would mean that we can get out from under the Gomez contract and then go with younger guys down the middle.

  41. RGM says:

    Carey Price as a Flyer in that draft? BLLLLLALAHHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
    Josh Gorges and Blake Comeau re-united with the Panthers? Gross!!
    Halak and Lehner as the Habs’ goalies? Yikes!

    Is it wrong that I like the Tampa team best in that fantasy world?

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  42. Neutral says:

    we have three if’s on this team whom could make or break the season for us. Pacioretty, Markov, and Eller if those three stay healthy we’ll have a good 2nd line with Pacioretty, Gomez, Gionta and we’ll have as equal good 3rd line with Desharnais, Eller, Kostitsyn that’s if Eller comes through. our season depends mainly on those three we know what the others can do they proved it last season. cole, can’t see any problem there and I think Yemelin will be good on defence so without injury’s should finish no lower than 6th and could very well win the eastern conference on paper looks like a real good team on the ice we’ll have to wait and see. all I can say is “GO HABS GO”

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    So in reading the feature story of Mr. Shanahan a couple of quotes caught my eye:

    Added Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, a former teammate of Shanahan’s in Detroit: “He’s got a real passion for the game and he has a lot of ideas and he played the game for a long time, so yeah, I think he’s well-suited for it.”
    No mention if he has read the rule book or plans on enforcing existing rules, but he has lots of passionate new ideas!

    The commissioner points out that every position in professional sports comes with scrutiny and doesn’t believe Shanahan will constantly be cast in a negative light while handling controversial incidents.

    So 1 out of 10 times he will get the enforcement of the rulebook right.

    Groundhog Day just got a new lead actor is all…..

  44. 24 Cups says:

    In hockey, the age old adage is to keep your head up. We all know that to be true (especially in this day and age of head-hunters and blindsiders) .

    On the other hand, in golf, you are taught to keep your head down. To do so, opens all kinds of doors to success.

    What’s my point? I’m not sure, but I sense there is something here for me on a personal level. Sometimes in life, the simplest things can take years to learn and master. But it’s all about the journey and the satisfaction with the end result.

    Maybe one day I will get to change my moniker on the site. Won’t that be grand!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Speaking of golf, did you see Fred Couples has already awarded one of his captain’s picks to Tiger for the Presidents Cup. I am sure the fact he was committed to the Australian Open the week before and they needed a ratings booster for the President’s Cup had nothing to do with picking a golfer who couldn’t qualify for the Fedex Playoffs this year on the PGA Tour.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Despite his personal life, the Tour is desperate to have Tiger as the face of golf. It’s the only explanation for this move. He is to golf what the sunbelt is to Bettman and the NHL

        His appearance may draw attention to the event but I doubt it will do much in the way of team building for the USA squad. There are lots of young guys from all around the world who are getting ready to challenge the old world order.

  45. 24 Cups says:

    EotP just posted Hab prospect #7 – Danny Kristo. In a perfect world, he will be the eventual, long term replacement for Brian Gionta.

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2011/8/26/2375949/habs-top-25-under-25-7-danny-kristo

  46. 24 Cups says:

    I think the 3rd guy in the photo might be Dave Balon. If not, I’ll go with Andre Boudrias.

  47. Exit716 says:

    Any word on what the eminently qualified Certified By The National Media Good Guy Colie Campbell will be doing now for the NHL? Probably sitting back and interfering in any Bruins decisions? By all rights he should be assigned to duties more within his skill set. Like cleaning toilet bowls with his tongue.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It was my understanding he still has the same job at NHL Head Office without the disciplinarian title. In fact I think Shanahan reports to the Colon. Part of why I think this move is nothing more than optics to appease a certain team playing at the Bell Centre!

  48. DearyLeary says:

    hahaha… the guy picking for Montreal chose Jaro for a goalie. It’s a fantasy cluster****!

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    NHL 12 isn’t out yet is it?

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  50. shiram says:

    13th of september.
    Demo is out though.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  51. SeriousFan09 says:

    Didn’t bother with the demo, my download bandwidth is overstretched on the month as it is.

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  52. shiram says:

    Yeah ditto, plus the game usually only changes in small increments, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!


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