Next stop: Vancouver

So this morning it’s off to Vancouver to catch up to the Canadiens, who chartered to the West Coast last night following their 4-0 loss to the Calgary Flames in the Heritage Classic. Don’t think the Habs weren’t happy to see the last of McMahon Stadium…

A practice is scheduled for early afternoon at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. With the grace of God and a tailwind behind Air Canada, we’ll be there to bring you updates with audio and video.

(And if the Habs wish to expand their scouting department, they should look no further than here: last August, I profiled stock-car driver Trevor Bayne when he came through Montreal for the Nationwide Series race. Yesterday, barely 20, he became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500.)



  1. KenD29 says:

    Unfortunately 29 GM’s out there did not agree with your opinion either. $2.7 million and still has another year on the contract after this season, one would say a BIG risk. 

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  2. shuttle-lemaire-lafleur says:

    Don’t get me started on Gomez ! I realize AK is not the only problem on the team TripleX…but he is something PG can do something about unlike Gomez, who is untradeable because of the ludicrous contract we inherited from the Ranger’s when Gainey made the move to acquire him. Gomez is a huge disappoinment and that deal never should have happened. I am as baffled as you are with the contract he has, but we are stuck with him unless some other team is asleep at the wheel and we can rid ourselves of him. Kostitsyn is -8 in his last 10 games and Gomez is not any better at -9. Why JM has them playing together and giving them the minutes they are getting is absurd just the same, yet he rewards them while taking minutes away from Desharnais and Pouliot who,in my opinion, should be getting more ice time.

  3. SLONCOLD says:

    that would only be the case with his last 2 years of his contract at 5.5 and 4.5

  4. Bill J says:

    Problem is, and it’s been repeated ad nauseum now…

    Let’s say the Habs add Souray, is he really the solution ?


    Because the biggest problem this team has, is the DEFENCE (as in helping the goaltender stop some pucks) now…. And there STILL remains problems up front.

    Just too many injuries at this point, and still too high in the standings to become sellers…


  5. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    He’s a major health risk, thats why.  He’s no worse defensively than Mara or the Wiz.  People will be wishing we picked him up when Hammer or Spacek goes down to injury and all we have to replace him is Picard.  Or when we’re getting the shit kicked out of us in the playoffs by Boston or Philly.

  6. nick says:

    While you may be right about AK being over paid, etc etc… He has for the last 2 seasons either gotten, or been on pace for 40 points. He is slightly below last seasons average of 0.55 points per game, this season only being at 0.50 PPG. So in short, AK is roughly looking at ~41 points / 3.25 million this year.

    I look at point per game (PPG), because if you look at number of points it differs from year to year, as do the number of games these guys play based on injuries… PPG is the only real way to tell if their on pace… Need to assume 82 games for each. Ok with that said lets look at some of the other “top” players…

    MTL’s fan favorite Cammalleri is producing at a rate of about 0.68 PPG this season, which is slightly down from last years 0.76, and ’09s rate of 1.01 PPG. Looking at this season, that puts Cammalleri’s pace at roughly ~56 points / 6.0 million this year.

    Our favorite scape goat Gomez is producing at a staggering rate of 0.50 PPG. Where as the last two seasons, he’s been producing at a rate of about 0.75. Gomez is on pace for ~41 points / 7.3 million this year.

    Gionta is currently producing at a rate of 0.51 PPG this season. Last season he had a  PPG of about 0.90, and ’09 had him with a 0.74 PPG. So Gionta is on pace for about  ~42 points / 5.0 million this year.


    AK isn’t the only one having trouble this season. And from looking at these numbers, there are bigger issues than AK.

  7. newbrunswick troy says:

    some points on my mind>> The Habs look horible the last few weeks..i wonder if they are honestly thinking that playoffs are in the bag??? or maybe feel they can let off the gas and just hide behind the injury plague??

    One thing for sure if this team has any pride…and i mean any pride at all they will faceoff against the NUKS with everything they got and for a full 60minuites as well—for its been a full 10-11 years since they won there and they have truly imbarrased themselves this week!!!

    But if they can,t muscle up any better …well i think management should sit back and consider being sellers this weekend…because status quo may only just get us to playoff ( JUST TO HAVE OUR ASSES HANDED BACK)

  8. Bill J says:

    A subtle difference you seem to be forgetting here:

    – Wiz IS good offensively NOW.

    – Souray WAS good offensively THEN.

    Catch the subtle difference ???


  9. Bill J says:

    All Storm said was “Case Closed” he said NOTHING ABOUT YOU or TO YOU… What kind of code are you talking in for me to have missed “case closed” as meaning a jab at your expense ?

    You say you try & ignore him, but YOU did nothing of the sort… You replied to him, and avoided the actual topic altogether.  Again I maintain, my 2 cents (not worth much, thus the term 2 cents) as I do not know everything involved in your dissagrement, is that YOU seem to be looking for him and not the other way around.

    That is ultimately why I offered my 2 cents, I am fully aware I have no clue why you are arguing…  Understand now ?


  10. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Yup Souray was just terrible at scoring.  Didn’t have much of a shot either. 

  11. Bill J says:

    I did say 20 years didn’t I ? Not 30 years…

    Cuz Savard 20 years ago was trying to trade Roy…  Not exactly a great GM choice…. His work was the groundwork for what was the death of the Habs, the Roy trade…

    So yeah — 20 years…

    And NO, there was no qualified GM when PG took over, as the swap in positions happened with about 1/4 of the season left…  Again to repeat myself, ALL THE GOOD GM’s are employed already.

    And you can not possibly know if the Habs could do better, you are assuming…

  12. TomNickle says:

    Teams looking to compete with young inexpensive talent that need to reach the cap floor would definitely take him at a $4 million actual salary.  That’s why teams like Phoenix and even St. Louis makes sense.

  13. fbkj says:

    agreed i liked him as well im just saying that hes not exactly infallible

  14. fbkj says:

    the chelios trade was under his watch, hes not exactly without his foibles… am well aware we won a cup with him but its not as black and white as your trying to paint it

    i wish you could remember the other eras to give you some perspective as to just how, not bad, it is right now for this franchise

  15. SeriousFan09 says:

    In the last couple years of his contract, the salary actually lowers quite a bit, if a team is looking to meet the cap floor he may move then if Gauthier can find another Top-6 Centre candidate.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  16. Ian Cobb says:

    Gomez is non trade able. Contract to heavy.

    He will finish his career and contract here and retire.

  17. Mark C says:

    Inconceivable! With all the talk of how good he would be back in Montreal, I even think I remember one poster saying he was better than the Wiz, I guess all 29 GM’s disagreed with some of  the GM’s on HIO.

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Gomez is non trade able. He will finish his career and contract here and retire.

  19. TripleX says:

    Your reply is quite ironic coming from someone who champions “knowing all the facts” before giving an opinion.


    My reply to Storm goes way back as he is one of those individuals who can’t let an insult go.  I ignore his comments and wish he would ignore mine.  But, c’est la vie.

  20. RGM says:

    “And back in the day the white flag was the royal standard of France.”

    What do you mean back in the day? Spring 1940?

    Go Habs Go!

  21. ed lopaz says:

    Moen will be delt before the deadline.

    If Dominic moore was worth a 2nd rounder last year, maybe Moen can fetch us one this year?

    I would take a 2nd round for Moen in a heartbeat.

    Gomez needs to play with Gionta – and keep them together for the rest of the season.

    they know each other and have the potential to work well together.

    Put Cammy back with Plekanec and keep him there for the rest of the season.

    I’m out – back to work !

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  22. sidhu says:

    Souray passed through waivers without being claimed.  Sorry to everyone who was hoping Shelley would come back for 1/2 his salary hit.

  23. TomNickle says:

    I give Jacques the benefit of the doubt as much as possible but Moen being on that line is a complete waste.  And this season I’ve found myself questioning what his role on the team really is.  What exactly is it that makes Moen a valuable member of the team?  He gets involved physically on the forecheck and is good on the walls but my goodness he’s expensive for that kind of player.

    Jacques must be trying to balance out our offense but having Moen flanking Gomez makes him useless.  What’s the point of Gomez sending a pass through traffic into the slot if Moen can’t bury it.  Why have Gomez dish from behind the net to a wide open Moen who’s gonna put the puck 5 feet wide or right into the goalie’s chest?

    I’d rather see Conboy on that line for Pete’s sake.

  24. blu3chip says:

    Our trip to the west coast Canada last year was a nightmare. Let’s hope we can finish this year’s trip with a convincing victory.

  25. Exit716 says:


    He’s a restricted free agent. He has to be given a 10 per cent raise for the team to retain his rights.

    He’s not worth the money he’s being paid now, which is $3.25 million. There’s no way in hell they keep him for $3.6 million.  He’s 26 and hasn’t figured it out yet, so chances are he never will in Montreal.

    Dumping him is the only option.

  26. HardHabits says:

    Nice link. That was a very good read. Thanks!!

  27. ed lopaz says:

     a few thoughts from the bleacher seats.

    1) Gauthier and Martin get a 100% pass – justifiably – because of the injuries.

       whether you like them or not (I don’t) they can not and should not be blamed for this.


    2)playing Gomez with Big Tits is a huge mistake – they are both standing still or gliding constantly – not a good combination at all


    3) this team will play better after the Vancouver game – The Wiz and Subban will find a way to help the team put some goals on the board


    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    Spezza could never again play for Martin.

  29. Storm Man says:

    When did Andrei get that point? are you sure?

  30. Kimberly2u says:

    yeah you are right…too bad he couldn’t move a bit faster and use his size…lol

  31. The Cat says:

    Big buff has agility, Gill is a snail in every way lol

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

  32. Exit716 says:

    16 goals 18 assists for 34 points.

    Meanwhile Brother Andrei has one point for February.



  33. Bill J says:

    Seeing as he replied to a post by me, it would seem to me that it is YOU who is holding on to things by now replying to his post, when he did not say anything about you or to you…

    Just my two cents…

  34. Miltie01 says:

    The problem is it is not just about parking infront of the goalie (although it would help a bit).

    The guy has to be able to deflect the puck and put in rebounds too. Gill just can’t. Anybody on D who could we need on the point on the PP. We need Pacs, Poul or Andre to get good at it or get someone.

  35. HardHabits says:


  36. Storm Man says:

    He is playing for a great coach.

  37. HabFab says:

    I’m sorry but I fail to follow how $3 ml in Cap Space is a tradeable asset??

  38. Bill J says:

    Hmmm you’re on to something here.

    Habs trade Gomez & AK46 to OTT for Spezza & Phillips 😀


  39. TripleX says:

    Stickler for complete accuracy eh?  Fine his cap hit is $7,357,143.


    After the fact?  Ummm no!  Many of us including EVERY hockey analyst and myself said the moment it went down that the trade was TERRIBLE.  I stated it was the worst deal I have ever seen and would be an albatross for years to come.

    Ignorance of the facts?  The facts about Scott Gomez are easy for anyone who takes the time to look at his career stats.

  40. HardHabits says:

    That line was already tried:

    The Tin Man – The Lion – The Scarecrow

  41. Storm Man says:

    FYI the french troops fighting the American war of independence fought under the white flag. And back in the day the white flag was the royal standard of France. Don’t toss in the season yet :).

  42. zaq007 says:

    I think there’s a typo there 😛

  43. Bill J says:

    Really ?  Speaking of delusions…

    When & for what did PG trade Selanne for ?

  44. Sheldon says:

    There is an air of capitulation in his post.

  45. rhino514 says:



    Sometimes sports writers and consequently all the fans grab onto a supposed nugget of wisdom and it becomes repeated over and over for weeks. The latest one is that the canadiens do not have the “assets” to make a big trade. This is patently false. The biggest “asset” is cap space. Because of Markov (and to a much lesser extent, Gorge´s) injuries we have more cap space available than most teams. Because we´ve gone most f the season without replacing the lost cap space (except for wisniewski, who was brought in around midseason), we have tons of pro-rated cap space. we could out-leverage most teams to get a good player. We could also fiddle around t free up a bit more if need be. The reason we haven´t made a trade is strictly for other reasons; as far as the postion we are in to  actually make one, we are in one of the best positions. I think if there were truly an indeal fit out there for this team, for market (not above-market) value, PG could go out and get him. That´s what it´s going to boil down to in the next week. No reason not to make a trade for a non rental player (or a player with a very good chance to re-sign). A strict rental is out of the question, because of the injuries, but that´s about it. The ideal fit is PROBABLY not out there; Montreal, more than any other team, needs to preserve their hard won chemistry, and therefore needs a very special type of impact player (and just because you have cap space doesn´t mean you are willing to lose another couple million on a player). But you never know. If a couple of other teams fall out of contention over the next week and most of the contenders have fulfilled their buying needs, PG could have a shot at some interesting leftovers.

  46. Bill J says:

    8 Million eh ? Is his salary increasing somehow ?

    As for your Chicken Little thoughts that remind me of “observer” – IMO you’re off the mark.

    Always easy to judge after the fact, without knowing the results of NOT making that trade no one, not even me can judge what could have been done differently.

    So to lay “idiots” tag to PG & BG is well idiotic to say the least.  As you are making the claim from a position of ignorance to the facts.

  47. byrneoNL says:


    shuttle-lemaire is right, imo. It’s past time for AK46 to go. No holding out for deals, just drop this guy. He is dead weight. Hell – throw him into a Gomez package deal as an afterthought.

    In terms of money, montreal is not going to find equal value in any deal involving Gomez anyways. This is not PG’s fault. But I fear, in order to be out from under the weight of it, we just have to eat the loss and basically give him away (or give other players away to make the deal more attractive). And if no one has room for his cap hit, well he’s got to go to waivers and we eat 50% of his salary when someone claims him off re-entry.

    I know jettisoning Gomez to waivers is not the classiest thing the organization can do, but if we are going to get this ship back in order and sailing towards a healthy playoff run we’re going to have to toss a few crates overboard. AK and Gomez are the biggest goats, but fellas like Moen and Pyatt are expendable too.

    Adding to the problem is our D: Hammer, Spacek Gill – Old, Older, Cannot skate. I’m sorry guys, I know Hammer and Spacek were good in their day, and I know they give 100% every night, but you just can’t have these guys anchoring your D. Not in this league. They are tired, and are getting beat by speed and youth every single time. Gill is a giant pilon. This works to his advantage sometimes sure. He’s a great dressing room presence, a great veteran influence on a guy like Subban sure .. but at the end of the day he’s another Craig Rivet: A big man, who plays small and is a liability whenever he’s on the ice.

    Back to my ship analogy. Problem is, if we toss too many people over board we’re not gonna have enough rowers to get us there. So I don’t know what PG has to do. My gut tells me it’s time for a youth movement. Dump Gomez and AK, Dump Hammer/Spacek/Gill, keep 1 of Moen or Pyatt for 4th line duties.



  48. TripleX says:

    Surrender can sometimes be a temporary retreat to buttress depleted ranks.


    Or as that song says ” you have to know when to hold em and when to fold em”.  The Habs are holding pocket deuces and it is time to fold.

  49. lenny says:

    not to shabby

    Sergei Kostitsyn   16G   34A



  50. Bugs says:

    Hard-Habit Surrenderfication!

  51. SLONCOLD says:


    … the line that does not try or care

  52. HabsFanInTampa says:

    I commend and applaud your optimism.

  53. HardHabits says:

    In view of my new avatar:


    Gauthier told me, yes, he told me I’d trade picks like you
    He also told me, “Play the game, you’ll never know who’s your coach”
    Just the other day I heard a D-man falling off some indecision funk that’s going round

    Molson’s alright, the Habs are alright, they just seem out of date
    Surrender, surrender, but don’t give your picks away

    Gauthier says, “The Molsons are right, they’re really up on things”
    “Before we parried, Molson served up beer tasting like urine”
    Now, I had heard beer revenues are selling more and more
    But Molsons isn’t one of those, I’d never drink those beers

    Molson’s alright, the Habs are alright, they just seem out of date
    Surrender, surrender, but don’t give your picks away

    Whatever happened to this season, losers every year?
    Ev’ry time they Habs need wins, the offence disappears
    Last I tuned in, Cammy and Gill were falling saying ouch
    Rolling plumbers, on the 1st line, it’s a scoring record drought

    Molson’s alright, the Habs are alright, they just seem out of date
    Surrender, surrender, but don’t give your picks away

  54. Sheldon says:

    JM would destroy Kovalchuck by putting Moen on his line.

  55. Storm Man says:

    The no heart -line 11-46-32. That is his group.

  56. shiram says:

    Yea I meant it in an ironic sense.

    At least Jovanosky’s contract ends sooner, a bit lower cap too.

  57. Bill J says:

    Agreeing with “observer” is tantamount to pleading insanity…

    Yeah perhaps I went on a bit in my reply to you, as most of my post is more intended for “observer” but seeing as you said “well said” you got lumped in with him.

  58. Mattyleg says:

    Apocalyptic Chokealization!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

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