Not enough guys for a game of shinny

playoffs, practice, montreal canadiens, bell complex

The Canadiens have only 11 skaters – and no goaltenders – at this week’s Development Camp II.

Pat Hickey looks at the prospects, including 6-foot-3 sleeper Daniel Pribyl

• Hickey on Pierre Gauthier’s game plan

Pierre Durocher’s take

Jean-François Jacques, a very large forward, is very available

Eric Duhatschek on trading the untradeable

568 Comments

  1. RobertAlanFord says:

    Finally the lads at dev camp have something to shoot at and the whole Konopka thing can go to bloody bed…..yay.

    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  2. punkster says:

    There once was a bruiser named Konopka
    Who was about the size of a gorilla.
    His fistcuffs were awesome
    But where he really did blossom?
    In the circle he was abracadabra.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  3. RS says:

    When is PG finally going to find a replacement for Tom Pyatt? You can’t just leave a hole like that in the line-up.

    Kidding aside, once the Habs sign White, they will still only have 12 forwards signed. Please don’t count Weber as a forward! Palushaj might have a shot and maybe even Engqvist, but there aren’t many real prospects from the Bulldogs.

    Scrapping the bottom of the barrel here, but how about Christian Hanson or Darryl Boyce from the Leafs? Boyce was once of the few plus players for Toronto last year. Basically, he is Pyatt material. Hanson at least has size, decent skater, no hands, fourth line/press box qualities. At least these guys would show up for Leaf games.

    • TomNickle says:

      Boyce also took three stupid penalties against us in the finale. I thought Ron Wilson was going to kill him.

    • Favorite Son says:

      Leafs fans love Hanson and don’t even wanna get rid of him in any scenario. Plus I’m pretty sure Burke holds him in high regard because of his truculence and hostility.

    • Mike D says:

      That stuff is more like the sludge under the barrel :-)

      I don’t necessarily want Weber as a forward, but if that’s what it takes to get him in te line-up, then I’m okay with it. He’s done well there before and I worry that JM might play Spacek and leave Weber the odd man out on D. At least if he’s in the line-up, even as a forward, he can be used on the PP and take the odd shift as a Dman if Spatch needs a rest or if we have an injury during the game. The kid needs to play if he’s going to develop.

      – Honestly yours

      • Favorite Son says:

        Yes but develop him at what? As a forward or as a defenseman? Because playing him as a forward doesn’t allow him to progress as a defender and hone his defensive skills, which is his weakness.

        • Mike D says:

          Just to get him on the ice for this year. Forward, Dman, whatever. When Spacek is gone after this season (assuming we don’t trade him sooner), then Weber gets his spot.

          Either way, it’s better than him sitting in the pressbox, don’t you think?

          – Honestly yours

    • I’d much rather have Stortini in the press box for 45 games than him. : )

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

  4. HardHabits says:

    The Konopka debate and looking in the wrong direction

    Konopka is what, a 4th liner? I for one do not believe that a 4th line centre is going to make or break the Habs. Konobodycares.

    Why did the Habs need Jeff Halpern? Because neither Gomez nor Plex are dominant in the face-off circle. Plex was 50% and Gomeboy 48% in the regular season but they both got smoked by Krejci and Bergeron in the play-offs.

    If the Habs make a move I would like it to be something bold. I’ve suggested Dubinsky. Others Stamkos. Of course Gomez would need to be traded or bought out but that is where I’d like to see the Habs go. Get a first line centre. If not this year then next. Plex as #2 would be ideal.

    If a move is to be made it’s better that it become something that produces a serious upgrade. It is better IMO to stand pat rather than to move laterally or just for the sake of moving.

    • TomNickle says:

      How about Toews?

      Stan Bowman is pretty stupid.

      • HardHabits says:

        Players of his calibre will become vulnerable to offer sheets or eventual free agency.

        But to counter query your wistfulness, what would the Habs need to offer the Hawks for Toews? Too expensive for the Habs methinks.

        • TomNickle says:

          Probably just Eller, Tinordi and Kristo or Leblanc and a 1st round pick.

          I’d probably do it. There isn’t a player in the league other than Subban that I’d rather have right now.

          • HardHabits says:

            Toews and Plekanec as the 1-2 punch up the middle would be very nice indeed.

            Can we throw Gomez in the package? I mean since we’re dreaming and all.

          • TomNickle says:

            Sure, take out Eller and make it Kristo and Leblanc.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            only Tinordi makes me cringe in that package. Can we make it 2 or even 3 first rounders, and keep Tinordi?

            COME ON CHICAGO, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO TRADE TOEWS.

            (before anyone gets crazy, yes I know Chicago is not going to move Toews)

          • kempie says:

            I hear that the Hawks may be looking to move Toews.

          • TomNickle says:

            Stop it Rick

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          I wonder if Dubinsky would actually be available to us, and what he would cost.
          He’s one of those guys I love to hate when he’s playing against us, but he’s an excellent player and would bring a missing element that we need down the middle(toughness mixed with skill).
          I’m on board the Dubinsky train.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Not that stupid. Chicago loves Toews.

        That said, all players with Bret Favre-type names should be on the same team. Wouldn’t that be fun?

    • Favorite Son says:

      Getting Konopka wouldn’t make or break the Habs as you say, but it would definitely help in the grit department. He’s good defensively and at faceoffs…the fighting I admit is just a bonus.

    • I dunno HH, Cup-winners always have excellent players on their bottom two lines. Dubinsky and Stamkos would be great, but even star forwards are only on the ice some 20-or-so minutes a game. For the other 40 minutes, you need a good reliable supporting cast that can keep pucks out of their own net, work their butts off, win faceoffs, bang in a few goals, hit hard, kill penalties and defend their teammates when necessary. I like Konopka because he does a bunch of those things for a low price tag.

      It’s like being a good carpenter — to do exceptional work, you need some fancy expensive tools, but you also need a plain old hammer a lot of the time. You ask a carpenter what the best tools are, he’ll tell you they’re not the fanciest ones, but rather the most reliable ones — the ones he can count on to do what they’re good at.

      A guy like Konopka is just that — not flashy, but very good at blocking shots, taking faceoffs and defending teammates. Faceoffs and physicality are deficiencies right now on the Habs, and you can never have too many excellent shot-blockers.

      You bring up Halpern, and he’s a good example too. The Habs didn’t need Halpern just for his faceoffs — they needed him primarily because it doesn’t make sense for your best offensive players to be logging big PK minutes, when they should be rechargnig their batteries on the bench and waiting to leap back onto the ice after the penalty’s done. In that way, Halpern was a really useful piece — same consistency on the PK as before, but with more juice for even-strength and the PP, plus a clutch faceoff guy.

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

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree with everything you say as to the importance of the bottom 6 forwards, but I don’t think that Konopka is the missing piece or crucial for the Habs. I think the Habs have better options and I suspect they are pursuing those.

        1 year for the Sens is not a blockbuster deal. It more of a there’s-not-much-else-on-the-shelf-and-the-store’s-closing-in-5-minutes-take-it-or-leave-it type of proposition. The Habs can do better.

  5. Hey guys, Habs just signed Peter Delmas for 3 years, 21 years old, and he probably starts the season in Hamilton.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568494&navid=DL|MTL|home

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

  6. natethegreat says:

    i say the habs offer NJ moen for clarkson straight up. they could use the extra cap space and we need someone who can play gritty and tough but also put the puck in the net. moen has zero offensive upside. clarkson has some offensive ability and he plays with an edge, unlike moen. we have the cap space. i think it would be a good trade for both.

    • Mike D says:

      How is he at killing penalties? Moen’s one of our best guys in that dept. and since we lost Pyatt and Halpy, we can’t afford to lose another PK guy unless the replacement player can fill that need.

      – Honestly yours

      • natethegreat says:

        i dunno to be honest. but with guys like plekanec and gionta, eller, darche and even gomez and cammalleri on the pk, i wouldn’t be too worried about that.

        • Mike D says:

          Don’t recall seeing Eller or Darche on the PK. The other guys you mentioned certainly spent time killing penalties, but I’d rather not use top 6 guys (or at least limit them) in that part of the game so they can be fresher for the offensive side of things. Pleks will certainly get his PK time cuz he’s so damn good at it, but I’d rather have more options than less.

          Clarkson only had 5 more points than Smithson and is also 3.5x the cap hit. He’s also a winger I believe (according to TSN).

          – Honestly yours

          • TomNickle says:

            Eller got some pk time. Sometimes late in games.

          • natethegreat says:

            he, like many other NJ players had a very bad season. the year before that, though, he had 24 points in only 46 games. if he had played the whole season it would have worked out to over 40 points. also, he IS a winger, which is why i think we should trade him for moen, another winger. clarkson has shown in the past he can produce good numbers for a bottom 6. smithson never has and never will. smithson is also 32, while clarkson is 27 (in his prime). you were rite about the pk though. we would have to sign a center or someone who could replace moens spot.

        • GenerationYHabs says:

          It would be great if we could get someone to take over pleks pk time or atleast limit dramaticly. They have him doing way too much most of the time and it really begins to show by the end of the season. Imagine a fresh rested plexs going into the first round rather then a guy whos been over used all season.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          You don’t want your top offensive guys on the PK too often, you’ll wear them out over the year.

    • PeterStone says:

      you know, thats a solid thought process. You have to assume that NJ want to cut some salary .. they have a pretty important RFQ to be signed. Clarkson is clearly better than Moen, but, at close to 3M$ he isnt exactly cap friendly. Moen fills the void ( kinda ) of Clarkson, at 1/2 the hit .. toss in a pick to call ‘er square. We get a guy who can toss ‘em, and pop in the occasional goal. Hell, while they’re at it, they should get corrente … he becomes our 6/7th dman, can toss them too …

  7. caladin says:

    I agree completely. I’m glad we didn’t sign Kanopka. If you can’t skate like the wind you can’t play for the Habs. We win with speed and skill. Size is great when combined with those things, but winning a fight with Thornton doesn’t help you beat the Bruins.

  8. Mike D says:

    Ayone care to ponder what it would take to get Smithson from Nashville?

    He’s a big RH Center with a damn good FO% (6’3″, 206lbs.; 57.7% FO%), who can also play the wing.

    Anyone know about his play? Is he defensively sound or capable of playing the PK well? Does he play physical?

    David Steckal (former Cap, current Devil) might be good too. He’s a lefty, but has a great FO% at 62.3%. He’s 6’5″ and 217lbs. Thanks to NJ’s cap mismanagement I imagine they’ll need all the cheap serviceable players they can get though.

    – Honestly yours

  9. Newf_Habster says:

    I think we should offer JP Dumont a one-year contract with $1,000,000 or bit less per season since he got $1.3 millions dollars in buyout per season for next two years from Nashville.

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    So we’ve got six games agaisnt the Bruins, Sabres and Leafs. We also have another four agaisnt the Flyers.

    So unless we bring somebody in, other than Konopka, there’s going to be at least 22 games of the season where we’re going to have to skate off the ice with our tails between our legs anytime the game gets rough….

    Can’t wait for another season of telling everyone that it’s the score that counts and burying my head in the sand!

    • TomNickle says:

      Who from Philadelphia and Buffalo is going to beat the crap out of Ryan White or Travis Moen?

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Jody Shelly, Cody Mccormick, Paul Guastad…

        Moen could possibly stand in there with them but they’re guaranteed heavyweights.

        And I didn’t say they’d “beat the crap out of them”.

        And is White signed yet? And when he does sign he’s more of a middleweight. love they guy but if he’s the toughest we’ve got….back to my original point.

        • TomNickle says:

          Paul Gaustad’s a bit of a coin flip if you ask me. McCormick yes. Shelley got absolutely filled about a half dozen times in the last couple of years. And I recall Yannick Weber leveling him with a hit last season. His tires are bald.

          Fact is, without Richards up front now. The Flyers are going to be relying on Simmonds and Hartnell to dictate the physical play. That may be a challenge considering they’re also going to be relied on to generate offense.

          White and Moen can trade with anybody in my opinion. They’ll lose fights, just like everybody does. This fighting thing is getting really old. We have guys who can fight.

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            100% agreed (Wouldn’t hurt to sign Mara and throw him in there too)

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I guess its just years of frustration for me. I’m looking for that guaranteed super heavyweight on our team that will stand up to anybody on any team when the situation presents itself.

            I’m thrilled with every aspect of our club but i think the final nail in the coffin is to acquire a guy that will answer the bell and have the ability to skate up to any player and challage him so that other teams can’t skate off the ice knowing that they won any aspect of the game.

            Goals, hits, fights….

            If we beat Boston or Toronto by a 3-2 score but they cream us in the fights and the physical aspects of the game the know they can come back next game, pot another goal and they’ve got the game.

            Teams gain a physiological advantage because they know the media, fans and players are all talking about how small the canadiens are and how they have nobody who can stand up to the tougher players in the league.

            The media asks them about it for weeks after it happens….

            Just eliminate all that garbage, get an enforcer, have a one minute fight and put it to rest.

    • Andrew65 says:

      Guys, some of you seem to be stuck in the 70’s. Fighting is no longer a big part of the game. Having a bona fide heavyweight is no longer required.

      Remember, the game after the Bruins beat us 8-6 and beat us “in the alley” we had them 4-0 until Chara took out Patches. That’s what cost us the Bruins series. But having a goon isn’t going to stop that kind of hit — only proper NHL discipline will. With Campbell gone, let’ see how it goes next year. I’d rather have hope in that area than wish for a return to goon hockey.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Not beating the Bruins in game 3 AT HOME when we had them down two games to ZERO is what cost us the series.

        It’s understandable that the Chara hit is top of mind and it certainly didn’t help, but we did not show a killer instinct and instead did the Jack Martin “turtle dance” and hid in our zone and that was all she wrote.

        Hopefully the 11/12 Habs will have a little more character with Markov and Patches back and some of the new guys. But don’t give us revisionist history because if we don’t honestly admit WHY we lost we won’t fix it.

        • Andrew65 says:

          Yeah, good point about killer instinct. But it’s really game 4, when we had them on the ropes halfway through, that sticks with me. And the reason we didn’t put ‘em away is exactly the JM system. Hopefully he learned from that.

          I completely agree that we lost for reasons other than our perceived lack of bigger players.

  11. HardHabits says:

    Ottawa is seriously a contender now.

    For the draft lottery.

    <thinks to self>I am breathing a sigh of relief that the Habs didn’t sign Konopka.</thinks to self>

  12. NCRhabsfan says:

    There seems to be an assumption that the Habs are either looking for a UFA or working on a trade. Is that wishful thinking? Perhaps all PG is working on is resigning Gorges and maybe Mara as that “7th” guy? Is O’Brien an upgrade on Mara? Both Yemelin and Diaz come with a fair amount of pro experience albeit not in the NHL. If PG thinks they’re ready to step in immediately, he may not see a point in signing a UFA Dman that in his mind projects as worse than any of the new guys. Perhaps PG’s happy with the young guys he’s got in Hamilton for the remaining forward slots. He may not be convinced any of the UFAs left are better than players already developing in the system. When we start talking about Konopka and some of the other losers out there that really won’t be any more useful than BGL, would they really represent an improvement?

    I think Markov/Cole were our big splash for the summer, and they were a very nice splash at that. Lets see what the kids bring to TC, there will be other guys that come available as teams cut loose guys that don’t fit during the TCs if the kids aren’t ready.

    PG should leave his cell phone in his office and go sit by a lake somewhere and relax. Next season may run all the way into June.

    • TomNickle says:

      Gomez is highly probable to be the only player from the current roster traded, and even that’s a long shot. And there really isn’t much room for an addition beyond a fourth line centreman.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      O’Brien is tougher than Mara, but not as skilled offensively or all-round. He is not an embarrassment, just a decent #6 defenceman who brings size and pugnacity, bellicosity, hostility, truculence and jocularity (the guy is a card). He’s Canadian, so Burke hasn’t snapped him up.

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I think I’m with you. We need to develop the kids, and then the next big window will be in March to make a move depending how many cylinders we are firing on.

      Of course if, as Tom points out, if Gomez goes, for a water bottle and a Vachon cupcake, then we are in good shape and can wait patiently for a real number one center.

      I’m also in favor of guys like Mara, Sopel, etc. being kept around for depth, as you almost always overpay when you HAVE to have a particular position guy due to injury. Boston and Vancouver both had decent depth – us, not yet.

  13. Jonson says:

    We have 4 centers right now and a full roster, do we really need to add any more players right now? if we got moen and white playing together it will make for a pretty tough line. Cole and MaxPac are both big aggressive players. I think we got a good enough team to win the cup next year as long as we stay healthy!!!

  14. Hobie Hansen says:

    Twitter:

    ArponBasu Arpon Basu
    Have trouble understanding why #Habs didn’t sign Z. Konopka. Would have filled a need that few others available can fill like him

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Basu and Dreger were tweeting multiple times that Konopka would fit in with the habs nicely and I’d have to agree….oh well.

      Cole was obvisouly the most important piece by a long shot and maybe we still have a chance at someone else in order to avoid being pushed around all year again…

      • Ozmodiar says:

        He tweeted that a) he’s a heart and soul player, and then b) that he would be a good fit on the Leafs 4th line.

      • HardHabits says:

        I too saw Konopka as a good fit until I listened to the counter arguments most notably from Mark C, that he is a lefty and the Habs are stocked there.

        He was also a minus player last season, but that was on the awful Islanders. Wisniewski was also a minus player with that same team and he came to the Habs to be a plus player.

        It was what I read on the Isles fans blogs that sealed the deal. He’s slow. Not a heavy weight. Doesn’t win many fights, at 6’0″ and 200 pounds not entirely huge. He’s a heart and soul player, will block shots, stick up for team-mates so he is likeable but he has limited skill besides his one trick pony winning FO%, and the Habs already have Moen and Darche in the limited skilled character player department.

        I think Engqvist will be given a closer look as 4th centre.

        If the Habs do make a move I’d rather that it is an upgrade. A top 9 forward or top 4 defence man. In either case a crasher and a banger, which implies speed, and a little skill wouldn’t be too much to ask for either. If not, better to make no deal at all as a lateral move changes nothing.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Maybe Basu will understand the move when he finds out what the alternative is.

  15. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Fearless Prediction: Sometime in early November the good people here will be marveling at some crafty move that Dumont made the night before and lauding Gauthier’s foresight in picking up such a useful veteran for our 3rd line to help guide Eller for so cheap a deal.

    Meanwhile in Ottawa – Zenon will have won 3 faceoffs, spent 10 minutes in the penalty box, 6 minutes on the ice, and ended the evening a -3.

    • TomNickle says:

      Possible. But unlikely unless a current forward is moving out.

      • TorontoHabsFan says:

        I think it’ll happen if they rotate White and Darche on the 4th line.

        • TomNickle says:

          And where are you putting Kostitsyn, Eller, Moen and Desharnais?

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            Kostitsyn-Eller-Dumont
            White/Darche-Desharnais-Moen.

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t think they gave Desharnais a two year deal to be a 4th liner. I think it’s highly likely that you’ll see Desharnais with Eller and Kostitsyn on our third line.

          • TorontoHabsFan says:

            That makes sense to me too. My line combinations are only if they get someone like Dumont.

            I think it would be a good move.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dumont has great name recognition for me, he used to kill us when he was with the Sabres. His stats in Nashville last year are abysmal though.

      Anybody know what the story is? Injuries?

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Ozmodiar says:

      All 3 faceoffs won so cleanly they go 5-hole on C.P.?

      Edit: 5-hole on Anderson, that is. I must be in denial.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      From The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper, in December 2010:

      Recently, Nashville forward J.P. Dumont has seen his ice-time dwindle. He played 4:30 against Carolina last Saturday and 8:24 against Atlanta on Monday.

      Dumont is Nashville’s fourth biggest cap hit at $4 million. What has been the issue? I asked Coach Barry Trotz. Here is his answer:

      “He’s doing everything as a pro. He’s one of those guys, he’s a great person and a great pro. When he gets away from the details of the game, it hurts him. He has to skate all the time. That’s his key. The game has changed a lot. If you look at J.P., that’s not his strength – his overall skating. His strength is some of the offensive instincts, so the game has really gone quickly, and when he’s not skating, he’s not as effective as he can be. He’s working on his game. He has fallen off a little bit and he’s trying to pick it up. I’m not too worried about him.”

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      More from Josh Cooper, March 2011:

      When you go to a Predators practice, J.P. Dumont is normally one of the first guys on and last guys off the ice. Unfortunately for the veteran of 812 NHL games, that has pretty much been the only major ice-time he has seen recently.

      Dumont has struggled this year with nine goals and eight assists in 60 games. This has prompted Coach Barry Trotz to make Dumont a healthy scratch the last four games.

      “It’s the time of the season that … it’s hard, you want to be a part of it,” Dumont said. “Now it’s just get ready for the playoffs and when I’m going to be in I’m going to be ready. That’s the way I have to look at it.”

      It’d be pretty easy for a veteran at Dumont’s stage of his career to just pack it in. But the forward has acted as somewhat of a mentor to the younger players. After Blake Geoffrion’s goal against Vancouver last Thursday, Dumont walked into the locker room and gave Geoffrion a little fist-pound.

      “I mean, we’re professional athletes, we have the best job in the world, we’re getting paid to play hockey, but at the same time you have to be respectful,” Dumont said. “To be a good pro you have to be respectful to anybody and everybody and always try to show up and work hard and do the little things right. That’s not just in hockey, that’s in real life too.”

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  16. HabFanSince72 says:

    And so the Konopka Era begins in Ottawa.

  17. Ozmodiar says:

    Congrats to Ottawa for winning the Konopka Lottery!

    The lottery where, IF you put your name in the hat, you win.

  18. Mike D says:

    If anyone cares, Ladd just re-upped with the ‘Peg. 5 years, 22mil, for a 4.40mil cap hit.

    – Honestly yours

  19. CHsam says:

    These Kovalev rumours, though entertaining, have got me wondering what a playoff run would have been like if we did pick him up last deadline. Not that we could have seen the MaxPac incident coming, but just wondering if Kovalev could have helped.

  20. Mike D says:

    Any of you good folks on HIO have a reliable website for hockey stats, specifically one that lists FO%?

    – Honestly yours

    • TomNickle says:

      nhl.com – individual stats – sort by team – real time stats

      • Mike D says:

        Thanks, Tom. I went to NHL.com before, but not to that section.

        – Honestly yours

        • TomNickle says:

          My pleasure

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Mind you – stats alone won’t help you if you don’t know how to interpret them.

          Say a team scores more goals than 2/3 of the league six years in a row – it actually means they can’t score.

          • TomNickle says:

            Wow. Jesus Cripps. Take a break for a second.

            When 4 players score 46% of a team’s goals. One guy had not topped 25 before last season, and another was a rookie. Can I not question their decline in scoring from prior years and think that they may struggle in the future?

            Can I not think that? Am I not allowed to think? To form an opinion? That okay? Do I have your permission?

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Saying they have difficulty scoring isn’t an opinion. It’s a statement of fact, a factual mistake which you refuse to admit.

          • TomNickle says:

            And by the way. I listen to WGR 550 radio in Buffalo consistently, every morning and night. And their general manager, coach, and media members often voice a concern over the decline in offense they’ve had since Briere and Drury left town, and that they’ve struggled to find depth in that area. The stats back that up regardless of how high they rank in the Eastern Conference.

          • TomNickle says:

            Difficulty with scoring depth is a problem they’ve had, like us. I thought I specified that. If I didn’t. I apologize. But I don’t think a mistake is worthy of a god damn brow beating.

            If you make a mistake. I’ll correct it. But I’m not going to throw it in your face for hours.

            I’m not accountable to you. I don’t need your authorization to express a thought here. And I certainly don’t need to be raked over the coals for not properly articulating my opinion. It’s an innocent mistake for Christ’s sake.

      • HardHabits says:

        you can also go to nhl.com – individual stats – sort by position – center

        no joking

        :-|

        • TomNickle says:

          Thanks Dave, that’s easier.

          • HardHabits says:

            The cool thing about that is if you check under Report you have various speciality stats for Centers most notably Faceoffs and Faceoff Leaders. ;-)

            You can see why Patrice Bergeron Boston’s #1 Centre.

  21. SmartDog says:

    Games can be won and lost with a strong bottom six.

    The ‘waiting game’ strikes me as odd. Why would PG sit around while the better bottom six players get snapped up? You’d think his team would’ve done their research before July 1 and be ready to pick up depth players quickly as well to get the best ones.

    I picture some guy munching on a sandwich dropping by PG’s office saying “hey, I just saw a video on YouTube of Konopka… maybe we should give him a look”. I mean really, WTF? What are the Habs doing – still discussing what they need? If the Habs do intend to add some toughness or depth, they’re being lazy about it. And that’ll show in who we get.

    • Mike D says:

      Your first statement is very true, but I very much doubt that Konopka was the answer for us.

      – Honestly yours

      • SmartDog says:

        I wasn’t really talking about Konopka. I’m talking about the process. The best guys are more likely to go quickly. So why the wait? You’d think there would be a bit of urgency but there seems to be none. They’re not choosing paint colours, they’re picking up guys in limited supply.

        • TomNickle says:

          Those guys that go early usually end up with long term contracts. Long term deals for plug-in players isn’t the best idea. In my opinion.

    • shiram says:

      I doubt Konoka is as good as he has been made up to be.
      Sure the faceoffs % is great, but what else does he bring to a hockey game??
      He gets tons of penalties, 307 just last season, and that was one of our weakeness as well, drawing to many penalties.

      • mike3131 says:

        But roughing, interference, crosschecking, boarding and fighting are penalties that are a result of aggressive play, unlike tripping, hooking, high-sticking and holding, the lazy penalties we’ve been taking.

    • TomNickle says:

      Madden, Sutherby, Ryan Johnson, Todd White are all still available. And in addition, these guys can be had for 5th round picks.

      They are a dime a dozen.

  22. punkster says:

    Damn…ZKon is no longer in play. What am I going to stir up crap with now?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  23. lukas-joshua says:

    Konopka wad be bad

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    No one else came to the table with an offer for him, well konopka will be missed by many of us! Lol

  25. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Dear Boone/Hickey/Mio,

    Has there been any word on whether Pribyl will play for Shawinigan this year?

    Also, does anyone who follows this sort of thing know why he was still available in the 6th round? Is it a case of teams thinking he’d play in Europe and not sign a North American contract?

  26. nick says:

    Konopka signs in Ottawa. 1 year, 1 way, 700K.

  27. natethegreat says:

    canadiens sign a goalie
    gave peter delmas a 3 year contract (per tsn)
    could be a real sleeper. if he plays to his potential, he could be quite a steal seeing as he wasn’t signed by colorado and then went undrafted in his re-draft. solid signing. lets hope he develops nicely into a backup for carey in a couple years. (he put up solid numbers in the echl and then did good in his couple games in the ahl….the next halak??)

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      The Goalie Guild Guy seems to LOVE him. I don’t pretend to understand why…but he seems to know his stuff.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      Delmas was really good in the Q, but then he got ruined by injury problems(back I think)… last year was his first fully healthy year in a while, and he looked good. Hopefully he pans out, but I wouldn’t expect to see him the NHL for a few years unless injuries require him.

      I don’t know who the Goalie Guild guy is, but I’m a goalie, lol.

  28. Chris says:

    People that are looking for the reason the Habs keep getting ousted from the playoffs need look no further than the team’s popgun offence.

    Remember how bad the team’s offence was in the early 2000’s, pre-lockout? When Saku Koivu had to rely on guys like Jan Bulis, Richard Zednik, Martin Rucinsky, Yanic Perreault, etc.? Look at the numbers…those teams STILL finished better than the Jacques Martin Habs in goals for. You have to go back to 1999-2000 to find a Habs team that finished lower ranked in goals for than this year’s Montreal Canadiens.

    You can steal a round or two if you get otherworldly goaltending and a total commitment to team defence. But you aren’t winning four rounds when your offence was ranked tied for 21st and tied for 25th in the league overall (and even worse, 25th and 28th overall in even-strength goals for).

    • TomNickle says:

      Cole, Pacioretty, Desharnais, Markov and Subban help there. And I believe that Kostitsyn playing on a third line is capable of 30-35 goals.

      • nick says:

        Kostitsyn 30-35 goals on the third line?! What are you smoking man?
        This is why people always crap on Kostitsyn… Unrealistic expectations.

        He’s bagged between 40-50 points (based on 82 games) since playing for the Habs. Now that he’s on the third line, with less productive linemates and less minutes your expecting him to raise his quota?

        • TomNickle says:

          I know, what am I smoking? These stats look really weird, it looks like they he’s scored twenty goals in three of his four NHL seasons and that he had 15 in 59 games in the season where didn’t score twenty. His profile also says that he’s only twenty-six years old.

      • JayBee says:

        LOL…

        I’ve been hearing that AK was going to break out for 30-35 goals every year. Now he’s going to produce that many goals on the 3rd line? You really need to put down the koolaid.

        If you’re counting on Desharnais, you have serious problems. He scored 8 goals last year…I don’t see him getting much more than that next year.

        This is as ridiculous as saying Gomez will somehow score 25 goals next year. You’re off your rocker if you think Andrei wills core 35 goals on the 3rd line…he won’t ever hit that on this team.

    • JayBee says:

      Indeed.

      If your goals come from the PP and the transition game…you will not go far in the playoffs.

    • ed lopaz says:

      and there you have it – in a nutshell why Jacques Martin will never win a cup.

      replying to Chris comments above.

      he is so married to his system that he refuses to ever adapt and change.

      and if he can not adapt his system this season, with the scorers that Gauthier and Gainey have given him,

      to allow our top 9 enough, REASONABLE time and space to create offence,

      then I say (and I have said for 2 years) that Martin is absolutely the wrong coach for this team.

      we have the goaltending – par excellence!!

      we have assembled an excellent group on defence – definitely Markov must remain healthy for that statement to hold true,

      and now we have 3 dangerous lines with power forwards, snipers, and excellent play makers.

      I say Martin must modify his system to allow this team to score.

      Every Habs Stanley Cup winning team has been dangerous offensively, while never sacrificing the defence or the scoring.

      In my opinion, this team, with the right balance of offence and defence can compete against anyone.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Ed – I agree in general but I wouldn’t say JM refuses to adapt. He certainly did against Wash and Pitts in the playoffs.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I think if you asked Martin he would steadfastly deny that he has EVER knowingly and willingly modified his system.

          Martins system is his religion.

          He lives by it and he will end his career believing in it.

          And if we are sitting in July 2012, and discussing a Habs 1st round elimination and another year of scoring problems,

          Martin will no longer be the head coach of this team.

          This team, as assembled, can and should be able to score goals. Period.

          • TomNickle says:

            It should now Ed. But no physical presence with Cammalleri and Plekanec has made them one dimensional, much like Gomez and Gionta were without Pacioretty. That issue has been addressed. If we don’t score this season with those additions up front and Markov returning from injury, there are no excuses.

            But short of a lottery pick finish Martin will be finishing out his contract. He’s earned enough good grace that a letdown year wouldn’t result in termination in my opinion.

    • nick says:

      Ok I haven’t looked at the numbers… And i’m not a JM fan…
      But how much of this could be to do with the fact that the team has gone to JM’s defensive system?

      I mean a defensive system is bound to be a little less productive than an offensive system right?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Quite right.

      How long do you think JM can live off Halak’s insane performance of last year?

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      What I find amazing is just how closely bunched teams are for Goals. There’s always one or two really high scoring, and one or two really low scoring teams…but for the most part teams stay within 20-25 goals of each other.

      That kind of parity over a season (1 goal every 4 games) is astounding.

  29. JayBee says:

    You can kill all the Konopka crap. He just signed with Ottawa for $700K.

    Gauthier, Gauthier, Gauthier…..*sigh*

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    Reposted from bellow.

    Tom said Buffalo failed to address last year’s biggest problem, scoring.

    I pointed out they were actually 4th in the East in goals scored (and in fact statistically indistinguishable from the two teams above them, Tampa and Boston).

    He replied, yes but they lost Connolly and didn’t replace him.

    But hold on – your point was they couldn’t score last year. How is the loss of Connolly this year relevant to that?

    See, this is why arguments go nowhere.

    • TomNickle says:

      I said continue to struggle scoring. Not last year. They had trouble scoring the prior year. Last season Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe gave them a shot in the arm. Their scoring, like ours I said, is a house of cards. It relies on a few guys performing at a high level.

      Scoring depth has been a problem for them in prior years.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Jesus Tom. The year before last? That’s what you meant? Really?

        Here’s what you’re supposed to say:

        Hey, I didn’t realize that. Still, I suspect those stats are misleading.

        Or something like that.

        Not, Oh I meant the year before last – not last year.

        By the way in 2009-2010 the Sabres were also 4th in scoring in the East. In fact since the lockout they have never been worst than 10th overall and 5th in the East. In other words always in the top tier.

        • TomNickle says:

          With 235 goals. And was a season where their scoring had declined for three consecutive years. In the future, when I refer to the past, I’ll be sure to specify the precise period of time I’m referring to. K?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        And in any case, if they were poor two years ago but got some new players who helped them out last year, and those players are still with them … ah forget it I give up.

        • TomNickle says:

          They had four twenty goal scorers last year. And the same in the prior three years. Their offense comes from a very select group of players. They don’t have scoring depth.

          Getting Roy back will help, losing Connolly doesn’t.

          Is there not more than one angle to analyze a team’s scoring? Or potential for improvement? Regression?

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            I would say goals scored is a pretty good angle from which to analyze a team’s scoring.

          • TomNickle says:

            I would say that a team is susceptible to having their scoring decrease when they get 46% of their goals from four players. Especially when two of those players are Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis.

  31. Bugs says:

    One of the finest examples of a prank working out wonderfully I’ve ever seen.
    http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/shampoo-prank/2jyl8iea?cpkey=2de8cbac-9d18-4889-b730-3821e5525b0d||||

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  32. The Dude says:

    You know I could understand the idea of using the very best players who never get injured that have average size and some grit , breezing past the Bruins ,Philly and now Toronto (like Detroit use to do ),but I don’t believe that Gauthier has assembled that kind of team. So far this new season Montreal has lost it’s point shot ability ,more size and hasn’t addressed it’s issues with overpaid ,undersized and under performing veteran forwards. The only answer …Cole… And yeppers ,7 years ago Cole was a Habs killer and that’s when we should of acquired him. I see a few key injuries”like all way’s” and a very average team this year that’s going to be pushed around AGAIN and that PISSES ME OFF!

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      “So far this new season Montreal has lost it’s point shot ability, more size”

      because we lost Wiz? well we could have paid him as a top 5 defenceman in the NHL(yet you complain about overpaid players), but rumour is Markov and Subban are decent point men offensively speaking. Subban even has a slap shot, you might have seen him score a bunch of goals with it last year, including one in game 7 of a playoff series with 3 minutes left.

      what size did we lose? Wiz’s 5’11? oh you mean Hamrlik and Pouliot, because they really used their size to help us out right, always standing up to Lucic and Chara?

      “and hasn’t addressed it’s issues with overpaid ,undersized and under performing veteran forwards.”… so at the end of the day, you’re really angry that they didn’t get rid of Gomez, because you can’t possibly be talking about Cammy(lead the playoff in scoring 2 staright years), and Gio(our captain like him or not).

      great post dude

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dude, chill.

      With Mr. Hamrlik leaving and being replaced by Mr. Yemelin in the roster, we add an amount of Burkeian bellicosity. Mr. Cole adds some size and toughness as well.

      HIO favourite Zenon Konopka is now off the market, but Shane O’Brien is still available. As a BC resident I’ll vouch for the former Canuck, Mr. Gauthier should sign him as a 7th defenceman, to assist when injuries strike or the opposition dictates.

      Our undersized, underperforming forwards are actually a strength on this team. Very few teams can skate with us. Adding a couple of untalented forwards who won’t be able to keep up with the pace doesn’t help our cause. Sure, we can use a couple more Coles or Corsons, but those guys are pretty popular, they don’t tend to be unsigned free agents.

      Never fear though, Jean-Francois Jacques is rumoured to be on the radar, and to have received a two-way offer from the Canadiens. I did a little work on the Google last night and posted three articles on the “Camp Roster” thread. He is described as a banger with a shot as hard as it is inaccurate, so basically a tougher version of Benoit Pouliot minus the skills.

      Point shot duties will be ably filled by Mr. Subban, Mr. Markov and Mr. Weber.

      ———————————
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  33. habs_r_us says:

    i cant resist posting my projection of what the lines will look like in the upcoming season sorry i know there is a kazilion line combos posted daily but i just have to get it off my chest

    Forward lines:
    Cammalleri, Plekanec, Cole
    Pacioretty, Gomez, Gionta
    Darche, desharnais, Kostitsyn
    Moen, White, Engqvist

    Notes:
    1. eller is not included in starting lineup because he is projected to be injured until november.

    2. both White and Engqvist can play center and wing so there is versatility in the fourth line, Engqvist will be this years tom pyatt (quiet but reliable fourth liner with pk duties)

    3 i would like one more depth forward with versatility who can play wing or center and kill penalties Rob niedermayer would fit perfectly people whant konopka but he would not fit in with montreal.

    4. our top three lines are freakishly balanced and simular with each line consisting of a playmaker a shooter and a grinder/power winger.

  34. TomNickle says:

    At first I questioned the Budaj signing much like most people here. But I came to the conclusion that if this team knows anything, it’s backup goaltending. I mean, look at what we got for Theodore, Huet and Halak. All backup goaltenders now. This team knows how to develop goalies and then ship them off when they’ve hit their ceilings.

    Perhaps Pierre Groulx can fix Budaj and we can sell him back to the Avalanche for a 1st and 2nd round pick when Varlamov doesn’t work out.

    • shiram says:

      Halak is still a #1 goalie in St-Louis.

      • TomNickle says:

        Not for long. His final six months of the season saw him post a save percentage under .900

        I don’t think the Blues are likely to keep him in a starting role if that continues.

        • shiram says:

          I think that’s when he came back from an injury, but could be wrong.
          I also think they will test him as #1 this season as well, as of now they only have Brian Elliot as a goalie signed in for next season.

          • TomNickle says:

            It was prior to injury and after injury. Either way. There were some serious holes in his game that were hidden by one of the most effective shot blocking teams in the league when he was here. And in addition, he was wildly inconsistent.

            It’s starting to reflect in his statistics. And he’s on a team that hasn’t improved from last season.

          • shiram says:

            Glad we kept Price!
            But I still think they’ll give him a try, if only because of of his contract/salary.

  35. punkster says:

    Wow…how did my comment end up as a new thread on the News page?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  36. HardHabits says:

    It’s nice to see some vilification being levied towards “journalists” as opposed to Habs management. The Cole signing and a good old dose of no news is good news has calmed things down here.

    It’s going to to be a lean few weeks for advertising revenue at HIO once the Sens sign Konopka.

  37. punkster says:

    The whole size, toughness discussion concerns me. So many here believe a large, physical presence is required to do the following:

    keep the other teams at bay
    react to other teams who push us around
    send out some 4th line tough guys to deal with the after the whistle rough stuff
    teach Chara (among others) a lesson or seek revenge

    Do you see the problem with this line of thinking? It’s all focused on reacting to an incident or style of play. I doubt this will advance us in the standings, increase our goal scoring or improve our injury record. This type of defensive reaction simply won’t win us any games.

    Will the Bruins or Philly or another physical team back off the rough stuff because we might send out someone to stage a fight, take a run at Chara, Lucic, Pouliot or whoever? Not a chance. Those teams are built for physical offence and their style is to take it to the opposition. The only way to beat that in the alley is to take it to them first.

    Do you want to build a team like Boston? Win a Cup with a team like Boston? Cheer for a team like Boston? If so then the Habs have to completely revamp their lineup and rebuild from the ground up.

    How do you want to win? Just asking.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • TomNickle says:

      Reacting to what other teams do is okay if it isn’t the focus of your team. This team can win, and they can win in the playoffs. Provided that they don’t lie down when our skilled players are targeted. And you’re right, a staged fight does nothing to deter the opposition from targeting our skill guys.

      We respond by doing to them what they do to us. You don’t initiate it, you don’t alter your style of play. But you sure as hell don’t lie down and let them do it. You retaliate. And it will stop.

      • punkster says:

        Thing is Tom, I don’t believe it will stop. Bruins are built for physically punishing offence and they won’t change just because a team physically pushes back. They’re stronger and more experienced at it than anyone else and until they change their style or lose some of their “truculence” through injury or trades or whatever, a team like Montreal will not likely be able to intimidate them. My point may be that the only way to beat the Bruins style is to become better at it, the more physically dominant team. Personally I don’t want that but I don’t see a modest physical reaction solving anything.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • HardHabits says:

          Where were you in 1976? Oh yeah! Being a Leafs fan.

          Study your newly adopted team’s history young, er I mean, old padawan.

          • punkster says:

            Well at least I was a conscious (relatively) and sentient (sort of) being in ’76. Hey, I saw Mahavishnu when they were BIG!
            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • TomNickle says:

          This is precisely the point I’m making. When they go after Markov, Cammalleri, Gionta, Subban, Price. You respond by going after Bergeron, Krejci, Marchand and Thomas. And when THEY suffer an injury at the hands of one of our players. It will stop. They do not want to start trading injuries with anyone. Fighting may pick up, but the cheap shots on skilled players will stop when they know that you’re willing to do the same thing to them.

          • punkster says:

            Sorry Tom, too many HH thrusts and parry’s going on above.
            I think they only way the Bs would suffer is if we had the type of players and system that would match them, and if we were to take it to them. I’m not agreeable to watching my Habs become Bruins clones. Today’s Habs would be able to do nothing but add a couple of 4th line goons and exact revenge, not initiate. There’s no winning that war.

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • HardHabits says:

      Here let me tear you a another new one.

      keep the other teams at bay by that do you mean checking and hitting them, because god forbid the Habs should actually be a team that checks or hits

      react to other teams who push us around do you mean like not taking lazy penalties, because adding a few extra pounds to the line-up which everybody right up to PG agrees the Habs need to do, hence the Cole and Yemelin additions, might actually force the other teams to hook, hold, trip or interfere us for a change

      send out some 4th line tough guys to deal with the after the whistle rough stuff this is a strawman argument

      teach Chara (among others) a lesson or seek revenge and the clincher with which you lose all credibility

      It’s people like you who almost swing me back to wanting Konopka on board. If he was right handed and could skate he would have already been signed. But every argument you make against him is actually an argument in favour. Give it up you agent provocateur.

      punskter is obviously trying to take the argument away from crappy journalism and up the ante with more hits for HIO with another lame Konopka debate. Give it up old man. I can see right through your cheap ploy.

      • Bugs says:

        Yeah, Brewster!
        If Knoppy could skate, we woulda signed’m.
        So THERE! What do you say to THAT, sir?

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

      • punkster says:

        David…it’s the little blue ones on odd days. The oval shaped red ones are for evens only. Get one of those plastic med dispensers with the days of the week slots and load ‘em up in advance.

        Now, you missed the point…again.

        The point, for those who follow the HH med sched and are woefully short of amino acids this morning, is that reacting to a Bruin type style is not good enough. You have to initiate and dominate with that style. Is that what you want HH? Is that a bit clearer for you?

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • HardHabits says:

          I already pre-emptively answered you above.

          see –> JULY 5, 2011 11:53 AM

          The meds argument. Weak. HIO could have it’s own wiki for the type of lame retorts that masquerade as debating here.

    • Totally agree. I’m all for having one heavyweight bruiser on the team, but he’s got to be able to block shots, kill penalties, bang in 10-15 goals, or at the very least end the year with an even +/-. If he can’t do that, he’s hurting the team, no matter how many times he KO’s some other team’s goon in staged fights.

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

    • JayBee says:

      Incident?

      The boston “incident” was just icing on the cake.

      Habs are supposed to be a possession team. They’re supposed to control the game by controlling the puck. They don’t do this because they never have the puck. Why? Because they get rubbed off the puck by bigger and/or grittier players. Habs tend to lose way too many puck battles along the boards. They employ dump and chase but NEVER get the puck because the 5’7, 5’9 forwards aren’t impossing any fear in the defender going to get the puck.

      In addition, Habs tend to struggle against larger teams that play with jam. The Leafs had no business having as much success against the Habs over the last few years.

      In addition, we’ve seen teams run our star players. Teams do all that crap after the whistle becaus they CAN!

      Price gets run…no retaliation.

      You’re not tired of teams taking liberties on our players and skating to the bench smiling?

      And lastly….Habs have played Philly and Boston 4 times in the playoffs over the last 4 seasons. They only won once…and the main theme in just about every series was how they got pushed around.

      This team needs size and grit in the worst way. You think it’s a coincidence that everyone around the league calls the Habs smurfs and soft? Perception is reality bro. Never heard all that soft crap in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

      • punkster says:

        Then as I said the team needs to be completely revamped. There’s barely a player on the roster today who can handle the rough play, the physical grind. They have to be rebuilt to initiate, not retaliate.

        On another note…Perception is reality? Um…not really, bro.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • JayBee says:

          Not true. Watch how physical Pouillot plays when he’s with the Bruins. He’s not going to get away with that soft crap over there. The identity needs to be revamped here.

      • HardHabits says:

        punkster is just trying to incite an HIO riot

        It’s a slow day and he comes here to start his pot stirring crap again. He’s not even that good at it. He’s an HH wannabe.

        Only the most halcyon-like medicated rosy lens wearing Habs fan thinks the Habs don’t need to add size and grit to their line-up, which they are doing any ways, both slowly and methodically. Yemelin and Cole are examples. The recent drafting patterns. Pacioretty.

        This season will attest to whether it was enough. I still believe more offence will reduce both injuries and penalties taken though. They added size and grit coming from the two power forwards hopefully will clear up some space for the smaller speedy and skilled forwards to cause damage on the scoreboard.

        The bottom line though is that the best type of player to add to the line-up has it all, ample size and grit, and a decent helping of speed and skill.

        • Bugs says:

          Hey, I love me a good riot…

          Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • punkster says:

          Man, try a little reading comprehension. I have never had a problem with adding size or grit to our lineup, if they have hockey skills. What I’m suggesting is that reacting or retaliating is not the answer. Initiating is the way to win in today’s NHL. We do not have the team for that and would require a bottom up rebuild to do so. Can we win with speed and skill? So far, no. Will we rebuild to dominate in a Bruins style? Fat chance.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • HardHabits says:

            That’s is preposterous. A rebuild is not needed. And no Habs fan wants to play their game. We want to beat them at their game. Speed and skill will beat them, with ample size and grit. There cannot be any more passengers on board this Habs team *cough*Spacek*cough*.

            DD was kept over Pouliot because although DD is smaller he is grittier and stronger, not to mention more daring.

            The Habs are moving in that direction because last season saw a few passengers cost the team it’s psychological edge. The team had doubts sown into them. They need to be exorcised. They will be when the up their edge ante. We’ll see if the moves up to now and yet to come will have achieved that.

            You don’t need hair to think like a hippy. Hippy. ;-)

          • punkster says:

            What an absurd response. The length of my (missing) hair has nothing to do with this. It’s about teasing you and your continual back tracking and constantly moving the goal posts. What do you want, a speedy, skillful Cup winner or a thuggish, goon squad Cup thief? No, you want an elegant mix of the two, a delicate balance of grit and skill, you want something that does not exist in the game anymore. You want the Habs of yesteryear. You’re too old to accept the reality of the new NHL and too young to know what it was really like in its heyday. You’re of a lost generation who wants to grasp at the easy answers but is unwilling to accept the march of time. And to all this I add a heartfelt ;)

            …and I saw Jack Bruce play with Bill Cobham Lifetime Band at Newport in ’70…so there!!!

            ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Like i said below…I’d like us to start the game on the offense in terms of the rough stuff for once.

      It seems like the feeling in building starting at the bench is that everyone in Montreal is hoping the game doesn’t get too rough or we’re in trouble.

      That a player on the Habs better not turn around and push back or that will send the game into an area that doesn’t suit our style of play….

      I saw it many times last year, often with Subban, where a tough player on the other team gave him a jab or what have you after a whistle and you could see by his reaction that he wanted to push back but then realized that he would be the one having to fight because nobody else could…

      Subban will fight on occassion but it would be nice for him to have an enforcer to fall back on…

    • SmartDog says:

      Who do we get eliminated by lately? Physical, punish teams. We beat the Caps, we beat the Pens and get killed by the Flyers.

      Let’s not go playing black and white games. No-one is saying we need to become a-holes. But we need a guy or two to step in when the going gets really tough. We have a pretty good physical team I believe, but we lack that one extra element. No-one with any intelligence hires 1-dimensional goons anymore. But there are players who are tough and do other things. We need more toughness in our depth. Or it’s a weakness that we’ll lose by.

      • HardHabits says:

        Here. Here.

      • punkster says:

        Funny but I’m with you on that. A couple of physical guys, guys with some hockey skills, would give us the ability to compete with the Bruin type teams in a playoff. The thing is I feel that as long as the league allows Bruin type tactics to dominate the game then the Habs won’t dominate until they initiate…copy the Bruins makeup and style and initiate the physical cheap shots, after whistle crap and intimidation. Reacting to the Bruins without the ability to dominate won’t gain much.

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • HardHabits says:

          I disagree. When the Bruins start their crap the Habs would need to lay the beat down on them then and there, not initiate, which is akin to being goons, what you say you loathe, and then they can move on to playing hockey once the dust settles.

          Or the Habs have to burn them on the scoreboard, and keep their heads up while they turn the other cheek.

  38. HabFanSince72 says:

    Sorry to be a downer but so far I am not impressed with the Goat’s moves.

    We added Erik Cole, a guy who is 32 and coming off a best ever season of 52 points. At best he repeats that. Nothing to get too excited about. More likely he gets 18 goals and 40 points, and enters a slow 4 year decline while hurting our cap.

    Then we got Peter Budaj, a guy who is no longer NHL caliber. A guy who was not good enough for one of the worst teams in the league. Peter Freaking Budaj! Are you serious? Caps got Vokoun for Pete’s sake!

    And that’s it. Lost The Wiz and Pouliot for nothing. Signed a so-so player and a sieve.

    If there are no further moves we are not contenders. Not close. And that is barring injuries. If the usual injuries pile up (and they will – the NHL is like rollerball now) we are back to trading picks for rentals in order to squeeze into the playoffs.

    • G-Man says:

      Take a happy pill. It’s summer, for crying out loud. Cole isn’t so-so. Budaj when Vokoun was available? Doh!

      • Mike D says:

        Vokoun wouldn’t have signed with us. He wants to be a starter, is definitely good enough to be one, and he knows that job is already taken in Montreal.

        The “D’oh” in the Vokoun storyline belongs solely to the Flyers. They could have easily signed him for 3 years at 2mil per, kept Carter and/or Richards (if they wanted to), had more cap room to work with, and bought themselves time to let Bobrovsky develop into a decent tender with an excellent mentor in Vokoun.

        – Honestly yours

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          You are right about Vokoun, but the bottom line is we signed a guy who cannot tend goal in this league.

          PG also did very little to a team that was middle of the pack at best last year while many others (Caps, Pens, Rangers, Sabres) have improved considerably.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I would have to guess that PG disgrees with your feeling that Budaj cannot tend goal in this league.

            But I guess we’ll see next season.

          • Mike D says:

            The Caps improved mostly by signing Vokoun. Halpy will be a good addition for them. Hamr might be good depending on how well he can still play (he needed a lot of time to shake the rust off last year). A fair amount of how much they improved will depend on if they get the Joel Ward from the playoffs, or the Joel Ward that has always been with the exception of the recent playoffs. They were in the running for Cole BTW and I think Ward was their back-up plan.

            The Pens didn’t improve unless you mean James Neal, but that happened last year. They lost Talbot and Rupp who were important pieces for them, especially on the PK. Adding Steve Sullivan won’t do much for their offense. Their improvement will come in the return of Crosby and Malkin.

            Buffalo improved a lot, but that’s because they finally have an owner who is willing to spend money and ice a competitive team. Losing Connolly and adding Leino is likely a wash points wise, but they drastically improved their D. They also have to sign one more Dman and only have 300K in cap space. Maybe we can pry Gaustad from them?

            I wooouuuld say the Rangers improved because of Brad Richards, but NYR is the team where good players go to die, so I won’t. They currently have 16.8mil in cap space, but need to re-sign their 4 UFA’s (Dub, Calla, Artem, Boyle), and need to also sign 3 more D.

            – Honestly yours

    • Mike D says:

      We needed another power forward for Pleks and Cammy, and we got one in Cole. Sure, his term is a year too long, and his pay is 500K – 1mil too much, and the NTC he got isn’t great for the club, but we had a need and addressed it. Lesser players got more term and money. He’ll also be a great role model for Max-Pac since he also had a broken or fractured vertebra. He’s also crazy fast which fits our team’s style.

      Budaj over Auld was curious to me too, but maybe mgmt. feels more comfortable with him playing more games instead of Auld. Auld seemed like the perfect back-up and partner for Carey so I understand questioning this move, but mgmt. must have had their reasons so I’ll let this one play out before I call the move good, bad, or indifferent.

      We got a 5th round pick for Wiz, which isn’t much, but CHI only got a 7th rounder for Kopecky. I think everyone expected Wiz to test the market and that’s why they didn’t offer anything better. CBJ took a chance and it paid off for them.

      I’ll lament losing Pouliot IF he becomes a better player. If he doesn’t, then it’s addition by subtraction. I don’t think he was gonna develop here with us, at least not under our current mgmt., if at all.

      – Honestly yours

    • shiram says:

      Cole, I agree with you to a degree, kinda expensive and on the long side of term as well, but he was probably the “best” available player that wanted to come here, also he might play on any of the top 9 lines. We’ll see. Think PG had the right idea, but there was not a better player available.

      Edit : Cole has had 2 better seasons than the last one as well, 2005-06 with 30 goals and 29 assists. And in 2006-07 with 29 goals and 32 assists.
      He also had a 51 points season in 07-08.
      The guy kinda reminds me of AK actually, in his stats anyways.

      Budaj, this one I don’t get, why this guy instead of Auld? No clue really.
      Wiz, well we got a fifth, and I figure Wiz would have asked at least the same deal as he got, or more money considering the taxes. Keeping him would have cost us alot for someone like Wiz, and his history of injuries and suspensions. The team already took a risk on Markov.
      Pouliot, I’m pretty sure no one bit when PG came calling about him. Also surprised he got picked up so fast.

      Hopefully Markov will bring in a steady D effort, and work his magic on the offence side.
      Yemelin is interesting, but I can’t say anything else bout the guy.

      Not a great free agency run, but every team seems to overpay, and the crop is meager, what can you do?

    • JayBee says:

      Just think about going into last year’s playoffs with:

      Gorges, Markov, Cole and Pacioretty. You wouldn’t be happy with this? Habs essentially got 4 impact players in the offseason. AK is on the 3rd frigging line. That’s some good depth righ there. Also Eller played quite well in the playoffs.

      Now, would I have liked to keep Wiz? Yes…but $5.5M is far too much… He shouldn’t be paid top 5 in the league man.

      Pouilot had no value…do I think a better GM could have squeezed a pick out of him? Yes, but still, Pouillot was never going to work on this team. He is completely useless in the playofffs.

      The Budaj signing I didn’t like. But, Colorado has probably the worst D in the league, it’s hard to really judge any goalie playing there. If Carey’s playing 70 games…it really doesn’t matter how great your backup is.

      I agree that we’re not contenders. I’d like to see OBrien added as well as a tough SOB on the 4th line. If this is done, I think the Habs will look really, really, good.

      I’m pretty critical of management but you need to chill out. Who else would you have suggested as a FA?

  39. RobertAlanFord says:

    Way I see it PG need one more forward and one more Dman before training camp either via trade or UFA. I went through the current UFA list and found a couple of possibilities.

    Z. Konopka: I know theres guys rooting for him but he is a career minus player. Just a tough guy that probably wouldnt fit into JM’s current system. But we need to toughen up nonetheless.

    A. Voros: Not as tough as Konpka but at least seems to have a better hockey sense.

    JP Dumont: Not his best season last year by a longshot. Maybe a change of scenery might help. Also depends on if the body is still able to keep up and if the price is right.

    B. Winchester: 6’5″ 230. is mostly a minus player but was +3 in the 09-10 season with 8 points in 64 games and 108 pim with St.Louis. Might be a nice fit with Moen and White.

    A. Kovalev: If the price isnt ridiculous (2mill tops) then he might be good for Eller. Kovy has crazy stick handling skills and Eller is really good with the puck in tiny spots. Learn from the best I guess. Also, now that Cole is here, AK46 would be bumped down to the same line and that may prove to be quite an interesting combo.

    DEFENCE

    S. HAnnan: Solid Dman except for the 08-09 season where his+/- dropped to – 21. Aside from a -3 in the previous year he’s kept his head above zero and doesn’t get a crazy amount of pim’s.

    B. McCabe: May have another year or two left in the tank and still manages to put up decent points for a dman at his age. As always, its a question of money. I say 3.5 mil tops but I get the felling he thinks hes worth 4.5-5, so no thanks.

    S. O’Brien: 6’3″ 230. Decent points and differential. PIMs are way up there but thats what he’s there to do. Probably my favorite of all the unrestricted dmen.

    J. Erskine: 6’2″ 220. Another plus dman throughout most of his career. Points are OK and PIMS are high. If O’Brien cant be signed then this would be the guy who’s agent is holding on line 2.

    Theres a few other names out there that maybe I’ve overlooked. The FA’s above are just the ones that caught MY eye and I think may have a chance of actually fitting into the current line up. Theres probably a couple I missed. Personal preference: F-Kovalev or Winchester, D- O’Brien or Erskine.

    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • Viruk42 says:

      Konopka was one of 8 players in Tampa with -10 or worse in 2009-10. He was one of 12 players in NYI with -10 or worse in 2010-11. With the exception of his 23 games for Anaheim back in 05-06 (his first NHL action), he has never played for a playoff team. To discount him based on his plus/minus is illogical, because he hasn’t had a real chance to play with a good team – or even a half-decent team.
      You know who else is a career minus? Steven Stamkos.

      Konopka can play 10min a game, block shots (2nd among NYI forwards), and win faceoffs. He doesn’t give the puckaway more than he takes it (13 vs 18), and he can even kill penalties (though I wouldn’t want to depend on him for it, but we don’t need him to do that, he can just be an extra PK body).

      I think he’d be a good addition, though there are other options that we could look to. He may be asking for too much money, or may not want to play in Montreal, but who knows. On the right money, I’d like to see him in our lineup.

  40. Interesting that Matt D’Agostini isn’t being qualified by St. Louis. He got 21 goals and 25 assists last year, played in all 82 games, and was a +8 on a lousy team. He’s not small, either, and he’s just 24. I wonder what’s going on there?

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

    • Mike D says:

      The Blues likely think it was nothin more than a good year, and don’t believe he can repeat it. He’ll want to get paid based on that good year, and St. Louis feels that would be too expensive for a guy they think will regress back to the player he looks to be (minus the good season he had).

      Sort of the same idea going on with MacArthur in Toronto.

      – Honestly yours

    • Thenumber11 says:

      They’ve already resigned him, I believe not qualifying had something to do with avoiding arbitration.

  41. Thenumber11 says:

    PG’s comments about adding another D-man, and the brief rumors that someone like Yandle was being looked at strike me as pretty crazy. It really wouldn’t seem like a PG move, especially considering we’d probably have to give up something like Georges (by all accounts that would be an unpopular move in the dressing room) even though it would improve the club.

    If all they’re looking for is a guy to round out the depth, why not look to Mara or Sopal if they’re willing. Mara’s first go with MTL was not so great, but in his return I thought he did a fine job with his ice time. Sopal was another good depth guy, but if we resign Georges then I think he’s off the table.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Please no Sopel (P.S. as has been posted before, Gorges not Georges)
      No issues with Mara – Fear the Beard!

    • Mike D says:

      I like Mara. He was injured in his first go-round with us, but was much better in his 2nd stint. I’d really like to have him as an extra Dman. Big, tough, and gritty, and he seemed okay defensively so not someone who’ll cost you a lot of goals against, and if the going gets tough, he’ll be right there to throw some knuckles.

      Sopel was a good shot blocker, but I think he’s even slower than Mara and he doesn’t bring any size or toughness.

      – Honestly yours

      • Thenumber11 says:

        Mara’s definitely my first choice. I’d rather see him than a lot of other UFA depth guys; and I rather see him than overpay for a top talent.

    • I dunno, we’ve already got 7 defencemen lined up in Markov, Gorges, Gill, Subban, Spacek, Weber and Yemelin. I can’t see adding another depth defenceman to the mix (and the press box), but I’d like to see PG packaging one of our defencemen with a bit of sweetener in order to upgrade our top six. Markov, Subban, Yemelin and Gill aren’t going anywhere, so that just leaves Gorges, Weber and Spacek as upgradeable pieces.

      I don’t think there’s anything crazy about bringing in a guy like Yandle (especially since he doesn’t appear to want to re-sign with Phoenix), in exchange for, say, Gorges, a 2nd-round pick and another so-so player.

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

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    Kinda retyping what i had just posted down below, but I think PG and JM need to literally take a page out of the Bible, but make that page be from the Old Testament. Our team (as SD referred to with turn the cheek) is a little too New Testament. We are the nice guys, we make nice plays we play clean, but we get taken advantage of. There are bad people in this world and some of them are playing in the NHL against our boys in Bleu Blanc et rouge.

    I say bring out some of that good old O.T. eye for an eye hockey and kick some ass this year.

    No doubt we stay skilled, fast, but as others have said, if we start with a bit of a mindset change bring in that “Konopka, Boulton, Janssen” type guy I think the whole team starts playing bigger. Plus we got the new Big Bear outta Russia coming to help too.

    • Mike D says:

      Cam Janssen is a tough kid, but can he take a regular shift and contribute more than just hitting and fighting? Is he defensively responsible or a good PKer? I’m actually asking because I don’t know enough about him.

      From what others have said, Boulton seems like he can actually play hockey and not just be a physical presence, but isn’t he a winger? If we’re gonna add a bottom 6 guy, I’d prefer if he was a faceoff specialist/big/gritty/tough guy/defensively responsible guy. Basically Travis Moen except more aggressive and a center who is good at faceoffs.

      – Honestly yours

    • TomNickle says:

      Which is why I’ve been advocating targeting the skilled players from opposing teams like the Bruins, Leafs, Flyers and Sabres do to us.

      No more fights with Brandon Prust, Paul Gaustad, Shawn Thornton and Darrell Powe.

      When Lucic runs Subban from behind. We send White to run Bergeron from behind.

      When Kaleta takes a run at Gionta, we send Moen to take Vanek’s head off.

      When Pronger does his best to take out Plekanec, we send Yemelin after Giroux.

      And when Mike Brown comes in late on Markov, we have Subban put Kessel through the glass.

      No more mister nice guy. We have a couple of guys who can fight. But we get taken advantage of because we don’t respond appropriately. Does anyone here really think that having another fighter in the lineup is going to stop guys like Pronger, Hartnell, Powe, Lucic, Ference, Boychuk, Brown, Orr or Kaleta from targeting our skilled players?

      I hope not. Because it won’t. You respond in kind, and it will stop.

    • JayBee says:

      What makes you think they’ll change now?

  43. Steve Eminger? No thanks — the guy was a -5 last year on a team where Ryan McDonough was a +16. (On an unrelated note, that stat hurts…)

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

  44. Neutral says:

    Training camp is good for Hamilton I guess, while the Big team pick up cast offs from other teams some good some not so good in one case already proven….

  45. SmartDog says:

    REPOSTED FROM BELOW:

    Re: the PHYSICAL GAME:

    It’s not a matter of “either / or”, it’s that any weakness on your team is a weakness that can be exploited. The Canucks were more skilled but got destroyed by the Bruins relentless physical play. The same happened to the Habs against Phily two years ago. The Habs cannot win a cup without more toughness in their depth to keep the other teams at bay. People who say we need only skill aren’t watching 4 rounds of playoffs. You need lots of skill, toughness, and depth to win a cup. Our team has some tough guys but not one REALLY tough guy. Moen’s a lightweight. Gill won’t fight. We can’t go having Gionta and Plekanec (and Gomez lol) scrapping. Period.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I was just looking at Boulton since you guys mentioned him below… he might not be the worst 13th forward to have on the roster. He is 6’1 225, loves to scrap, but isn’t out of control. Last year he played 69 games, and kept his penalty minutes under 100.

      And this is the mind blowing part, he was +1 in 69 games. On the lowly Thrashers!!! Compare that to someother tough guys terrible +/- on crappy teams, and maybe the guy has some defensive responsibility in him.

      Veteran minumum contract for him?

      • SmartDog says:

        I don’t know him but what you say sounds pretty good.

        You have to wonder if the Habs are giving enough attention to depth guys. Depth guys can win games. I hate to think that PG & Co were only concerned about headliners until now and didn’t do their homework because the better depth guys will be snapped up and the longer PG waits the less likely they are to still be there. I don’t get the lack of urgency.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        He was +1 because most of his shifts consist in lining up against the other team’s goon, and dropping the gloves one second after the linesman drops the puck.

        • SmartDog says:

          Dunno about that. He seems to often play 7-10 minutes a game. He’s 34 though.. that’s a knock. He’s probably slowing down.

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          He only had 87 pim’s in 69 games. He played 7 to 12 minutes in almost all their games.

          Where as Konopka had 307 pim’s in 82 games, with very similar ice-times.

          I only say that to illustrate he actually spent close to same amount of time on the ice as ZK, with about 1/3 the PIM’s. Not that I’m dying to sign him or anything, but I don’t think he only lines up to drop the gloves anymore.

          And he’s from Halifax ;)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      We are looking a lot better with Cole added to the lineup. I think that the first two lines look good with Cole on one line and Pacioretty on the other.

      Eller and kostitsyn are big enough to dish out hits and take them too.

      90% of people seem to agree that we do need another fighter to play on the 4th line, as I obviously do as well. We’ve got three good scoring lines so why the hell not put together a real crash line for the 4th.

      Yemelin is supposed to be a good hitter but that darn defense of ours is without a true enforcer as well. Personally i think it is nuts that there’s nobody that fits that bill back there.

      I looked through the rosters off all the other NHL teams and aside from the habs and maybe the panthers, every team as a no-nonsense defenseman that will fight in a heartbeat.

      I currently do like every aspect of our club except we’re still falling a little short in the toughness department when the current style of the league is very rough and tumble.

  46. krob1000 says:

    For thoe of you who think Konopka is useless…here is a link that digs deeper into his numbers. Hwe is very much a faceoff specialist of the greatest importance…he won 57.7 percent and took a huge number and the bulk fo them were fdefensive zone faceoffs. Also if you look at his NHl numbers …big deal…9 points but the guy has hands and is better offensively and a better player than people give him credit for…..look at his junior numbers and his AHL numbers…he inearly a PPG guy in the AHL…the guy is not totally one dimensional…is he worth the debate on here? dunno bout that …but he is not a useless goon ….. not at all…I bet if he were a righty he would have received an offer from us…as it stands he still may…doubt it but still possible…the guy is not a useless thug though.

    http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2011/4/19/2120495/islanders-grades-zenon-konopka-pim-and-faceoff-specialist

    • Mike D says:

      A few other posters who have apparently paid some attention to ZK this past season mentioned that often times he would be brought out for a draw, then get off the ice almost immediately afterwards.

      I haven’t seen enough of him to make an informed opinion myself, but I think we can do better.

      I’m kinda rooting for Enqvist to take that 4th line C spot out of camp. He’s a RH shot, 6’4″, defensive center, who excelled at faceoffs in the AHL for the Bulldogs. Don’t know much about his toughness or grittines, but I imagine they’re not spectacular since nobody else has mentioned it.

      – Honestly yours

    • Mats Naslund says:

      I agree. His point totals in the AHL have been: 55, 55, 57 before he was brought to the NHL and limited with Tampa then NYI as striclty a fighter.

      If he played with guys who could actually play (Moen and White) you would probably see that not only would his defensive numbers improve, but so would his offensive contribution. More importantly, the Habs would start with the puck about 20% more when the 4th line is on the ice.

  47. SmartDog says:

    Don’t read the ERIC DUHATSCHEK article about ‘trading the untradable’. He says that if you looked at all the untradable contracts you’d probably settle on two that couldn’t be traded: Campbell and Heatley. What a joke. Two elite players who are a bit overpaid. What does this guy write about normally – basketball?

    I don’t know Duhatschek but I don’t plan on reading any of his articles again.

    • Mike D says:

      You’re right about the article not being very good. Duhatschek is a hockey guy though. I think they usually have him on CBC doing the hotstove during the 2nd intermission. Not that being on HNIC gives you any credibility, mind you, but he is a hockey writer.

      – Honestly yours

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think if you stick to that plan, you will not miss out on anything. Believe it or not he is a puckhead writer first and foremost. I think the shnooks in Calgary have caught up to him, far too many times he must have been left outside overnight and it got really cold. He loves the talk in generalities and to make matters worse it really appears on HNIC that he and Ron Maclean get along swimmingly. That alone is another reason to miss this guys writings.

  48. AntoineSabourin says:

    Rumours are going around of Kovalev signing a 1 year deal to retire as a Canadien. Playing on the third line for a discount?

  49. SmartDog says:

    Habs sign a goalie for the Dogs.
    Delmas from Bedford – 6’1″
    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=370970
    Good stats last year!

  50. nick says:

    Konopka is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to seeing the Habs getting knocked around last year.

    Having this guy on the ice for 5-6 minutes a game isn’t going to change anything in the long run when your top lines are getting roughed up the remainder of the game.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think the team and our skilled players are able to take hits and play without issue during a rough game.

      It just seems that after the whistle we’re getting gloves in the face and being pushed around. Players skate back to the bench laughing because they know there’s nothing to fear about the Habs.

      I think if the Habs did put that famous Moen-Konopka-White line together at least they could deflect the majority of the after the whistle stuff on themselves.

      Maybe that line comes out and puts the Habs on the offensive side of the rough stuff for once instead of us scrambling to protect ourselves. Maybe konopka grabs Marchand after the whistle and taunts him and embarrasses him instead of Boston doing that to us after every play?

      Konopka may not be huge but he’s a skilled fighter with a hard head and is definitely a step up over White and Moen.

      Konopka would easily step in there with Lucic or Thornton.

      • adamkennelly says:

        very well said – your Marchand example is perfect…I would bet a year’s salary that if you did a poll of the current Habs – everyone except for the guy losing his spot in the line up – would vote for having some muscle on our 4th line.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I can guarantee that Subban, Cammalleri and many others would love it if a tough guy from the Habs skated over to one of the Bruins and told them to concentrate on him instead of pushing around the stars like a pansy!

          “Fight me instead tough guy!”

          “You touch plekanec again like that and I’m going to take Bergeron’s head off punk!”

          “Concentrate on me tough guy.”

          As dumb as it sounds, that’s how it work. We’re talking about hockey here and not how people conduct themselves at the office.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            That’s how I conduct myself around the office… throwing around threats and giving people face washes!!!

    • Mats Naslund says:

      Look at his AHL numbers. The guy has scored ever since he was in Junior. I’m not saying he’ll put up more than 20pts in the NHL, but you don’t put up 40 – 57 points without skill. One year he had 44 points in 34 games! The guy needs an opportunity to play with NHL players. His time in TB and NYI is a terrible indicator of what he is capable of.

  51. Bugs says:

    Guy in Cleveland arrested for farting at a cop. Charge was “offensive and/or provocative contact towards an officer of the law”.
    Swear to god!
    “Very odorous” was a statement taken at the scene.
    http://fr.video.sympatico.ca/index.php/fr/video/divertissement/12/vidos-insolites/169/les-plus-rcentes/816/une-lectrice-de-nouvelles-a-le-fou-rire-pour-une-histoire-de-pet/1027440057001

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Funny stuff.
      Was that video of jumping salmon for real? What a hotspot.

      ——————————————————————-
      ” There were giants on the earth in those days; and also after that (The Deluge), when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  52. durocher says:

    If we’re looking for a 4th liner who can fight, I’d take Kenopka over JF Jacques in a heartbeat.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Also if we’re looking for more players with initial ‘K’.

      Since the Kaypocalypse of 2009, AK46 has been in a very lonely part of the alphabet.

    • adamkennelly says:

      Eric Boulton is probably the “best” available 4th liner – with some semblance of skill. ZK is not a good enough fighter. I like Cam Janssen -he hits as well and stirs the pot – this team needs a guy like that. I’m sorry but going into this season AGAIN – with Moen as the toughest player on a team that got bullied a lot – is just a stupid thing to do – other GMs do a good job of trying to provide their skilled players a “safer” environment to play in…wait till PK gets hurts – since its obvious opponents target him…PG – seriously – wake up.

      • SmartDog says:

        I agree. The Bruins won by having guys who can win the physical game. It’s not a matter of “either / or”, it’s that any weakness on your team is a weakness that can be exploited. The Canucks were more skilled but got destroyed by the Bruins relentless physical play. The same happened to the Habs against Phily two years ago. The Habs cannot win a cup without more toughness in their depth to keep the other teams at bay.

        • JayBee says:

          Thing is Boston has team toughness… I don’t think adding a Jansen or Konopka will make the team tougher…it starts with the coach and management. Martin/Gauthier do not like the extra curricular stuff. They’re turn the other cheek kinda guys. So don’t expect a tough team that can protect themselves against the Philly’s and Boston’s of the world until they’re both gone.

          Habs are very close to beign a complete team…just need a couple of key pieces with “truculence” LOL

          • Mike D says:

            Philly is no longer one of “the Philly’s and Boston’s of the world” anymore though. They still have some tough players for sure, but losing Richards, Powe, and Carcillo lowers their truculence level considerably.

            – Honestly yours

          • JayBee says:

            If you break down Boston’s team individually, they don’t look that tough either. It’s all about the identity.

            When has Philly ever been soft? You put on the Flyers/Bruins jerseys and you know you have to go out there and crash and bang. You think its a coincidence that Horton turned into a goonish punk? Briere is out there carving people up cuz he knows he’s protected. Philly was tough before Carcillo and they will be tough after him.

        • TorontoHabsFan says:

          Having a goalie turn in the best statistical season of the modern era didn’t hurt either :D

          • JayBee says:

            That’s true, but Rask also put up the best save percentage in the league the year before. Boston has a very good defensive system and their dmen are very good at collapsing around the net.

            That’s why I give Julien credit more than anyone.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          SD, i think our team is a little too New Testament, and we need to bring some of that Old Testament hockey out, a little eye for an eye and maybe we take an extra pound of flesh with that eye too.

  53. G-Man says:

    The perceived toughness problem on the Habs would be solved if all the players could find their inner Nilan.

  54. Neutral says:

    Don’t seem to be much faith in our Hamilton Bulldog players or players we’ve drafted, everyone wants the team built before training camp.

  55. RobertAlanFord says:

    Totally unrelated but does anyone know when the 25th anniversary edition of Canadiens magazine comes out. Saw it on the Habs official website but they didnt give a release date.

    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  56. TorontoHabsFan says:

    ZK is not coming to Montreal. I feel it in my bones. Know who IS though? JP Dumont. For cheap. Like $1.5m/yr.

    He’s gonna play on the 3rd line with Kostitsyn and Eller. 4th line of White/Darche-Desharnais-Moen.

    It’s gonna be awesome!

  57. HardHabits says:

    I just read, well, I tried to read, Jack Todd’s article entitled Montreal Canadiens were smart to sign Erik Cole.

    How this guy earns a regular pay-check is beyond me. He is one the laziest writers in all of journalism. Every one of his articles are without substance or content. He doesn’t even have a point of view.

    What is he? He isn’t a columnist. Editorialist? Yeah right. Reporter? Only if spewing garbage is considered reporting these days. Sports writer?!? Have mercy on us poor critters!!!!!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      ” He doesn’t even have a point of view. ”

      First time I hear that. He’s usually like a drunk guy in a bar talking too close to your face. Indeed, a Todd article without a point of view might be a welcome change.

      • shootdapuck says:

        A real “Nowhere man making all his nowhere plans for nobody!”

        … the fans of the Boston Bruins now have lost forever any right to complain that “the league” is out to get their team, and that the Montreal Canadiens have some kind of pull inside the NHL home office.

        Charles P. Pierce – Boston Globe

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I’ve seen him in interviews and read a lot of his stuff and my impression is he’s just a dude with a laptop and a chip on his shoulder.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • CHsam says:

      I get the distinct feeling that Todd comes here to gauge the barometer of public opinion before writing his pieces… Take that Cole piece for example… Doing backflips ? Or the times he threw Price under the bus. Sure, I like the Cole signing, but I don’t think it was out-of-this-world. A little bit of Todd hyperbole if you will. Mind you, I do like reading his columns because they remind me of when I lived in Montreal and read the Gazette Sports with breakfast every morning.

  58. Psycho29 says:

    Hmmm….11 skaters and no goalies….sounds like the Leafs….

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  59. Bugs says:

    Readin the comments. Saw a nice thread about Knoppy being useless and what else is there to do but whine about it during summer time and maybe we could exchange bbq mix recipes instead.
    And that reminded me of another reason why I think Randy Tieman is an old and useless fuddy-duddy. Might be a little mean. Don’t have to read if you don’t want to.
    So anyway, a year or two back, Randy was goin on about how his wife made the “world’s best chili”. Now, you have to remember, this is when I hadn’t yet REALIZED he was an old and useless fuddy-duddy. So, “world’s best chili”. And I’m like “really?”.
    Cuz I spent almost 15 yrs in kitchens. You say “world’s best chili”; that’s a HELL of a statement. That’s HUGE. And since I’ve always been a firm believer that women make better chefs than men, I took the bait. Like a CHUMP. I write up Randy and I says “well, let’s see it.”
    So he sent it.
    -Take some beef
    -Take some peppers
    -Can’o’beans
    -Can’o’tomato sauce
    -Mix’em up
    -No seasoning
    -“World’s best chili”
    Swear to god.
    I took one look at the e-mail and I thought “if he ever says his wife makes the world’s best chili in TEXAS, they will fuggin HANG him.”
    That’s when his stock began to drop. You never. Never. EVER. Mislead someone about food.
    Never.
    I don’t think Randy Tieman is objective enough. Too soft. Too nice. No analytical skill whatsoever. Cliché-spouting only. Waste of time.
    World’s best chili, my azz.
    Other than that, really nice guy.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • cuzzie says:

      Agree. Team 990 could do much better than him. He’s not on today, so I’ll be listening.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      LOL Bugs… imagine a worlds best chili with canned beans and canned sauce, and no seasoning… easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I wonder if he knows how stupid he sounds.

      I’m stickin to my guns about my BBQ’d burgers though, lol.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      You probably knew ahead of time the world’s best chili wasn’t coming out of the western half of Montreal.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      Probably means bell peppers. No jalapenos? No beer? No … like … spices? That’s not chili, that’s beef’n’beans. I make the 1,403rd best chili in North America and I oughta know. ;)

      Go Habs!

      • Bugs says:

        I exaggerate. I’m lookin at it now.
        5tbs of chili powder. Half a one of basil.
        That’s it.
        No cumin. No sugar or nutmeg or whatever to offset the tomatoes’ acidity. And no friggin salt. Let that sink in:
        No. Friggin. Salt.
        And cans.
        World’s best chili.

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

    • Rugger says:

      Spent two years in Dallas right out of college, working for Texas Inst. One time, they had a Chile contest at work, probably 100 entrants. Anyone who put in beans of any kind were disqualified.

      • Bugs says:

        I don’t buy into the debate that says a “real” chili has no beans. No one has the copywrite on chili. It was created over 100 yrs over hundreds of thousands of square miles and the majority put in the frijoles, the little red beans, the chili beans, whatever you wanna call’em.
        They coulda just as well had that contest and disqualify those who didn’t put in BUFFALO meat, knowumsayin?
        Or else, it’s “no-bean chili”.
        Still though…how many of the 100 chilis did you manage to try at that contest?

        Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • Rugger says:

          I do agree with you – as long as it’s pinto beans! I tried about a dozen including the top two: The winner was a “green” chili with Steak tip size chunks of beef and too much green food coloring- but the taste was the best, very hot but flaverful not just painful. Runnerup was an “alleged” Armadillo Chili, I say alleged because it tasted like chicken to me. I passed up the Octopus Chili.

          • Bugs says:

            Aw, man, the octopus one woulda been top of my list! Wow. Octopus chili; that’s so freaky.
            But that’s the thing about some folks’ chili: I’m of the school of thought that says NO food should be “painful”. NO food should be “really, really spicy.”
            Or else it’s ruined. If you have to stop after two bites to catch your breath, wipe the sweat from your face, eat some lettuce, or drink a glass of water, it’s ruined.
            If children and old folks can’t eat it, it’s ruined.
            Gotta make it spicy, but not so spicy as to limit the number of folks who can eat it. I hate food that’s too spicy. It insults me. It’s ruined.
            In my opinion of course.

            Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          You want to rile up a Texan – say the words ‘vegetarian chili’.

  60. Hobie Hansen says:

    So what’s the deal with arbitration today?

    Do Gorges and White go to arbitration if they don’t sign by 5pm today?

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I guess so… maybe that will prompt something to get done today so we can have something to post about, or some numbers to crunch, or something.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I am really shocked White has not signed yet. He hasn’t performed enough to warrant a crazy raise. Jorges not signing is also interesting. If he goes for 4 mill a season we should trade him. He has zero offense and is not physicla

      • HabsTrueBlue says:

        Maybe he’s not looking for a crazy raise. Maybe he’s looking for a one-way contract or a higher AHL salary if he’s sent down. Nothing to be shocked about.

    • HabsTrueBlue says:

      Arbitration is not automatic otherwise Price would have gone to arbitration last year.

  61. HabFanSince72 says:

    Can anyone convince me that the Habs are any better than a team that will challenge for the 6th to 8th spots in the East and be an extreme longshot in the playoffs?

    • 123456 says:

      this year they have markov and cole in exchange for hammer an polouit. that’s an upgrade to me.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I think if they stay completely healthy they could challange for home ice advantage and finish in the top four.

      I think we’ll be neck and neck with Boston in our division but Miller and the new look Sabres could take the division if they gel right out of the gate.

      Close battle for first in the division but we’ll make the playoffs.

      There are many teams right around the same talent level now…

      • JayBee says:

        LOL, when do they ever stay healthy? Habs will again be contenders for 6-10th spot. Nothing new.

      • HardHabits says:

        Ottawa looks out of it. Toronto. If they miss the play-offs again, heads are going to roll. Boston might suffer from extended play-off run fatigue not to mention Stanley Cup champion euphoria. Buffalo is as new a team as it’s been for quite some time now.

        The Habs could finish 4th to 8th, or if they win the division they could finish 1st to 3rd. They don’t look like a team that will miss the play-offs though.

        However, I see the division as up for grabs. As strong as Boston is they have a big target sown on their backs now. Everybody in the league is going to want to beat them when they play next season.

        • JayBee says:

          The division is up for grabs but the Sabres got much better, so did the Leafs… Ottawa is out of it, but they too got better. And Boston will still be difficult to play against.

          A lot of things need to go right for the Habs to win the division.

          I guess we’ll see. But as far as injuries go…look at the past. Habs tend to deal with a lot of injuries. It’s the style of play, IMO.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The league accepts that attempting to injure your opponents is part of the game. We will not stay healthy.

    • TomNickle says:

      Yes. Erik Cole takes Plekanec and Cammalleri from a duo that can only score off of the rush or powerplay to a combination that can now focus on getting open for scoring opportunities in the offensive zone instead of worrying about getting in deep for puck retrieval and having Jeff Halpern waiting in front of the net for those scoring opportunities. The presence of Cole and Pacioretty among our top two lines takes those lines from being one dimensional to well balanced in terms of how they can attack offensively. In addition, Eller, Kostitsyn and Desharnais are going to make up one hell of a third line that can pick opposing teams apart on home ice when they get matched up with opposing teams weaker defensemen.

      Adding Markov back to the mix, presumably, makes the team better also. When teams forecheck with two forwards, he picks them apart. It’s nearly impossible to play a dump and chase game when he’s on the ice, if you do, he’s sending a perfectly clean breakout pass into the neutral zone just about every time he gets the puck on his stick. We’ve been missing that for two years now.

      Our powerplay will be among the league’s best with Subban and Markov quarterbacking it.

      Yemelin adds a tougher element to our defense group provided he plays. I’m not saying that I want him dropping the gloves, but he won’t get caught watching the puck in front of the net, and eventually in the back of the net like Hamrlik, Sopel and Spacek do. He’s also a very creative passer.

      Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Desharnais and Price are all getting better. No reason to think that this team won’t come along with them.

      • HardHabits says:

        The Habs should probably get around 102 points to finish the regular season, in my humble estimation of course.

        • TomNickle says:

          Sounds about right. With the lineup they have today, they would probably finish first or second in the division. I’d say that anywhere from #2 to #7 is possible.

          I’ll be shocked if Tampa Bay performs how they did last season. Same for the Flyers.

          New Jersey is the only team on the outside looking in that I think can get to the playoffs. And if someone’s going to be knocked out, I’d say it will be the Sabres. Scoring was their biggest weakness and Leino doesn’t really address that too much. Well, not enough anyway.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            I think you said this last week and someone pointed out that Buffalo were 9th in the league (4th in the East) in scoring. They were also 9th (3rd in the East) in power play success. And that was with Roy and Stafford missing lots of games through injury.

            So they did not have a problem in scoring and they should be better this year.

          • TomNickle says:

            Yes they were but they’ve lost Connolly without a replacement. Meaning that they’re going to be leaning on Ennis to be their second line centreman again. Their scoring, much like ours, could go either way.

      • takuto97 says:

        I have to say that IMHO this is an extremely well- written and insightful synopsis of our current situation, taking mostly knowns into account and without being overly optimistic in a ‘wishful- thinking’ kind of way. I was pumped after reading it, while also realizing that everything you mentioned was bang- on. Nice job, and thanks for making me see that it IS ok to believe that the Habs might actually be nearing contender status, and that PG DOES have it in him to pull off some beautiful, strategically planned moves. Cheers!

    • avatar_58 says:

      It’s going to come down to markov not being injured, max pax doing his thing and whatever cole may bring.

      Oh yeah….and gomez. Gomez. :(

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I’ll take a shot. At least, here’s why I’d be optimistic.
      – Recent history: 2010, semifinals; 2011, narrowly eliminated by eventual champs (I know that really that this means nothing, but it’s hard to ignore!)
      – 2 young stars, including crucially in nets, not yet hit full potential
      – Markov, Gorges, and Pacioretty back
      – the room appears to be good, good chemistry
      – addition of Cole; Yemelin might also prove a significant addition
      Two enormous IFs: stay healthy, last-year’s under-performers start to deliver.
      Could I suggest 6th or 8th or whatever is of little import? Getting in is all that counts, esp given our mix of young players and vets — I reckon we’re a real playoff team.
      Cheers

  62. twilighthours says:

    Chris, how do those zenopka numbers compare to other fourth liners? Other fourth liners on really bad teams?

  63. habs03 says:

    We’re still missing something important, we have no Right Handed face-off man, so this 4th line center that we need has to be a right handed shot, it might sound stupid but without one it might cost a few points in the season.

    • TomNickle says:

      Ryan White can take faceoffs. He only won 40% of his 2010-2011 NHL faceoffs though. And you’re right, it remains a pretty big area of weakness. And since replacing Plekanec, Gomez, Eller and Desharnais isn’t really an option. It’s on the coaching staff to either take some extra time with these guys for film study or get a coach involved who can really improve the team in that area.

      • habs03 says:

        Exactly, but Plekanec, Gomez, Eller and Desharnais are all left handed, puts them at a big disadvantage on the right circle. Maybe signing Jason Arnott and have him as a 3rd line RW (A.Kost-Eller-Arnott) and put him out for key face-offs late in the game

        • TomNickle says:

          There are a lot of reasons that our centreman lose more faceoffs than they win. Most notably that Plekanec and Gomez haven’t had big bodies to get puck possession when they tie up on faceoffs. That’s going to change immediately.

          Not having a right handed centreman isn’t drastically hurting Gomez and Plekanec in the circle. But it is something we should have in the lineup.

      • GenerationYHabs says:

        Like Somebody suggested yesterday, we should bring in someone like Yanic perreault to help the coaching staff for the sole purpose of upping our faceoff %.

  64. twilighthours says:

    Burilngton,

    Shawn Thornton is the best 4th liner in the league. Love to have him.

  65. nick says:

    Habs ink goaltender Peter Delmas to a 3-year contract.
    Details. http://goha.bs/jIgQ2J

  66. Chris F says:

    TSN has Shane O’Brien on the Ottawa Sens. ??? Mistake maybe, what a complete waste that would be.
    Why would it be so hard for PG to make a call and offer for this guy? It’s the exact type of D-man we need. Sit Spacek, for Fu*ks sake, who would you rather go in a corner with, Spacek or O’Brien? And he wouldn’t be that expensive.
    I don’t get it.
    I hate that we’ll continue to be soft on the back end. It’s a major weakness. We have to make teams pay for simply dumping and chasing. When we don’t always win those races, and when we don’t, they need to be punished with a glass shattering hit. PG signed Cole, OK, good job. We have a legitimate top six.
    NOW FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT’S HOLY, GET SOME SIZE ON THE BACK END!!!! ONLY BEEN SCREAMING FOR THIS SINCE SOURAY LEFT FOUR YEARS AGO.

    • habs03 says:

      Calm down buddy, even if O’Brien is signed by someone else there are other options, since Hamrlik got offered a contract, you would think P.G. still looking for a d-man, maybe Scott Hannan. Plus I like O’Brien but this guy was always out of shape in Van City and was always late for practice because of partying and that was in Van City…

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      Im pretty sure PG picked up Yemelin to add that physical element to our D. Not to mention Pk isnt exactly a tiny guy either, we’ve seen hjim land some pretty major hits last season.

    • walshy says:

      Forget who you would want to go into the corner with, who would you want coming out of the corner with the puck, shane “cement hands” o’brien, or spacek??

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      at this point we might as well just grab Mara on the super cheap to be the 8th d-man. He’s mean and tough enough. (assuming Diaz doesn’t start the season with the big club)

    • avatar_58 says:

      So? Gorges will be signed and that’s it. Why does everyone want yet another d-man? They have enough.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I think cuz we saw PG make an offer to Hammer, the thought is that he must want one more Dman. Personally I am pretty comfortable with the group we got (assuming Gorges signs), but that is assuming Emelin transitions to NHL pretty quick. We really are counting on him to be part of the regular 6 dman rotation by Christmas I would think.

        • avatar_58 says:

          He probably made an offer because he felt he could move Spacek. Now that he didn’t sign he probably gave up trying to move him (or the window closed)

          Signing another d-man would create a logjam with a vet playing where a young gun like Weber should be instead.

          I’d rather take my chances with Weber letting him grow all season versus signing some rental guy who has no future here.

    • pmaraw says:

      ya sure, hes got size, also gets turned inside out pretty good.

  67. Chris says:

    Only on Habs Inside/Out do we waste days upon days talking about a guy who was the 4th line centre for one of the worst teams in the NHL.

    Zenon Konopka is a waste of space. He gets 10 points a year, he can’t skate and he’s terrible defensively (-14 while averaging just over 10 minutes per game).

    Jacques Martin has an established record of not really having a lot of time for fighters, and nor should he as they are a complete waste of a roster space. So hoping for Gauthier to sign Konopka makes absolutely no sense…he is a TERRIBLE fit for the Habs. I sincerely hope Konopka signs somewhere soon so that people can move on from this particularly odd obsession.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Can you find us something else to do? It’s too hot to work in Hogtown today, come on what else are we gonna do?

    • TomNickle says:

      The scariest part for me with regard to Konopka is that he was on the ice for 59 opposition goals during that ten minutes per game. 11th highest total on his team while having the lowest ice time on his team. 24 of those goals came while he was killing penalties. So 35 even strength goals against scored in a fourth line role where he only had just over eight minutes of even strength time on ice per game.

      • punkster says:

        Stats, Tom. Nothing but stats and facts there. Things like that won’t deter people from jumping on the ZK bandwagon. It’s a juggernaut and it’s picking up steam. And may the gods have mercy on our souls!

        ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • avatar_58 says:

      It amuses me that people mock the leafs for signing Colton Orr yet scream for Konopka to be signed. The hypocrisy is hilarious.

      We don’t need a thug that can’t play. The end. If he fights AND plays? Ok then. However Konopka is not that player.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I would have no problem with Colton Orr on our roster. Guy is not too bad a skater, you just have to accept he is only gonna get you 4-5 mins. per game. Unfortunately for him, his days could be over, that concussion he got last year kept him out the rest of the year. I suspect Burkie is hoping he is back thus the reason he hasn’t signed a Konopka guy yet.

        Look at the role Shaun Thornton plays for Boston. You could argue that his 4th line shifts were big momentum changers in the series against the Habs and Canucks. I realize JM doesn’t want that kind of player and it probably doesn’t fit our “System” but I wish we had some protection on the team. The NHL’s version of protection by way of rules enforcement etc… is doing sweet dick all!

        • avatar_58 says:

          You know who’s a good bottom guy? White. Or Moen. Those two can skate, hit and bring energy. Guys like Konopka and Orr just “exist” out there and barely help at all. Oh look a big mean player who can’t even catch me! I am so scared! How ever will I skate around him to get to the net?

          No, you need FAST hard hitting guys for your energy lines. Guys like White who can also dangle and cause damage offensively. I don’t believe in useless plugs that eat at the cap doing jack shit out there

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Colton Orr can barely play. Konopka apparently plays on the PK. Imagine putting Colton Orr on the PK?

        Not that I want Konopka.

    • HardHabits says:

      As long as he doesn’t sign with the Bruins or Leafs.

    • pmaraw says:

      guess u already forgot that mugging, goonery and a blind eye from the league won the stanley cup this year.

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    So, your Shea Weber, you just came off your franchise’s most successful year (playoff wise) and you are an RFA. You proceed to watch your GM let your unsung Power Forward Playoff hero walk away in the summer (Joel Ward). Then you watch your GM trade away your buddy from your hometown in B.C. who happens to be one of your starting Dmen and improving (Cody Franson). Then you find out your GM screwed up his RFA sheets with about 4 guys including your reg. season leading goal scorer. Add to that the team also lets Steve Sullivan walk away in the summer. Granted he is on the decline, but a serviceable and talented player nonetheless.

    Why do you want to resign with this team? Please don’t anybody tell Brian Burke or Peter Chiarelli about this scenario. I think Shea Weber is a Franchise Dman waiting to be stolen from Nashville. How can anybody say this current CBA is working when a team has to start dissassembling its parts just as it starts to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Oh forgot to mention, at least the team signed Bergfors….

  69. HalifaxHabs says:

    I still feel like we need another centre, seeing as there is a good chance Eller might not be available to start the season.

    Seems like PG doesn’t want Konopka, and last time he was asked, Arnott didn’t want to come to Montreal.

    Drury is still out there, and he is very slick, but it would have been nice to get a bigger tougher centre. The perfect fit would be Gaustad from Buffalo, but no way they trade him to us.

    Who is out there for us? Maybe it will come in this supposed trade that PG has been working on.

  70. TomNickle says:

    I just thought of a ridiculous trade that might work if Phoenix is really having issues getting Yandle under contract and the Habs really are in discussions with them.

    Scott Gomez
    Josh Gorges
    Andrei Kostitsyn

    for

    Shane Doan or Kyle Turris
    Keith Yandle

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Tom you shouldn’t tease us like that. I couldn’t imagine Doan with the Habs, guy is a consumate pro, never mind his skill and toughness. Then you add Yandle into the mix!

      • TomNickle says:

        Yeah well I personally don’t think that Gauthier will trade any current roster players, but you never know.

        • pmaraw says:

          the only way i imagine he moves anyone is maybe in a package with gomez.

          • TomNickle says:

            Even then, if he’s moving Gomez it’s only going to be to a team looking to get to the cap floor. And because of that, he, as hard as it is to believe, has the leverage. I suppose it depends on what he would be looking for in return. For example, if he’s speaking to Phoenix, the possible candidates for return are Hanzal and Turris. If it’s Hanzal, Phoenix would have to sweeten the pot, if it’s Turris, we would have to.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            So which 3 teams do we think Mr. Gomez has put on his list for NTC. NYI and ? I fear he has Florida and Phoenix as the other 2.

          • TomNickle says:

            Well I don’t think that anyone other than the Islanders or Coyotes would take him, so if there is a deal to be made, I hope those aren’t the teams that he lists.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Exactly, that is why I fear he is smart enough to recognize that. Hopefully all this trade talk will really light a fire under his keester and motivate him for a Full Season!

          • GenerationYHabs says:

            When a player signs a NTC does he immediatly declare which teams he refuses to go too, or only once a possible trade is discussed?

  71. HabinBurlington says:

    Hey Hal, talked to my buddy last night, Ottawa has given Z Konopka a 1 year offer, SanJose is working on something apparantly and the Flyers apparantly told his agent not to sign until he talks to them. I guess he is waiting on the Leafs, but they haven’t got back to him. Sounds like he is trying to avoid the Ottawa offer, but needs a better one. Apparantly PG has not sniffed yet.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      nice info Burly, thanks!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Got a great story last night of Z and Grabner when the Islanders came to Toronto last year, I will have to share with you at the Summit, not a general rating story for HIO! This Z guy is a great character!! Grabner was the R rated part of the story.

        • G-Man says:

          Did Grabner grab her?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            LOL you could say so! What a turnaround year for that kid last year, from being released to scoring over 30 goals. Kid can skate.

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          ohhh man, I so want to hear that story… I’m only 50/50 I can attend the summit this year though… arghhhhh!!!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I have never been to the Summit, but am really hoping to make it this year. Would be nice to meet all these puckheads in real life! Plus how can a person not want to spend a weekend in Montreal!

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I wonder if Ian has a mailing list for the summit info… I need to get on that thing.

            Do you know?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            No idea, yesterday he posted that he is working on Oct. 29th game with Boston. Apparantly he has already put the word out to the Phone Booth that he needs 100 tickets.

          • HalifaxHabs says:

            I think I want to come, and bring my pops.

            I need to get on Ian’s list. I’ll watch for him today.

    • Malreg says:

      I’m not expecting PG to go after Konopka… We already have too many left-handed centermen, and I’ve heard his 5 on 5 game and skating is pretty weak(I haven’t watched enough of him myself to judge otherwise).

  72. HalifaxHabs says:

    Burly… you out there today?

    I know you’ve mentioned a few times your friend has a connection with the Konopka family.

    Make some calls, find out who he is talking to, and what the hold up is, would ya :)

  73. showey47 says:

    Odd to see so few players at a development camp. You would have thought they would have invited a bunch of undrafted players from the Q or something and a tender or 2 to shoot on. Perhaps this way it’s more of a 1 on 1 atmosphere with the coaches. Good to see Mcfadden get a look.

  74. TomNickle says:

    He will be remembered by many as one of the most talented players in the history of hockey who didn’t care enough to make himself one of the greatest players of all time.

    The perfect example of talent only getting you so far.

  75. TomNickle says:

    I recall his bust season when he finally came to North America. I don’t really recall how good of a player he was with the Stars though.


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