On the bus with the Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogsweb

What’s life like on the road to the National Hockey League?

The Gazette’s Pat Hickey jumped on the bus with the Hamilton Bulldogs last week as the Canadiens’ American Hockey League affiliate travelled for games in Cleveland and Rochester. Hickey discovered that while bus trips in the middle of the night are far removed from the charter flights that ferry the Canadiens from city to city, the NHL hopefuls are treated well.

You can read Hickey’s feature story by clicking here.

While on the road with the Bulldogs, Hickey met up with 38-year-old Montreal native Olivier Sedra, a public-address announcer who does work with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. You can read Hickey’s story on Sedra by clicking here.

While the NHL labour talks continued Wednesday night in New York, Canadiens captain Brian Gionta was skating during the day with seven other locked-0ut players in Candiac.

“I’ve got excited before and I’m not going to get excited until a deal is signed,”  Gionta told Bill Beacon of The Canadian Press.

You can read Beacon’s story by clicking here.

Talks were to continue Thursday in New York. You can read a column by Bruce Arthur of Postmedia News on the lockout talks by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Canada will play for bronze at the World Junior Hockey Championship after losing 5-1 to the United States in Thursday’s semifinals. The U.S. will face Sweden, which beat Russia 3-2 in a semifinal shootout, in the gold-medal game at 8 a.m. ET Saturday. Canada and Russia will play for bronze at 4 a.m. Saturday.

For all the latest news from the world junior tournament, click here.

444 Comments

  1. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …2 things

    …first, Hickey’s ‘On The Bus With The Bulldogs’ is the kind of work He should have been doing predominantly during this Lock-out

    …the Lock-out was/is a rare opportunity for Habs’ journalists to focus on the next generation and Their day-to-day development …most of We, Montreal Canadiens Fans, would have been eating this up, rather than the senseless Midnight Fantasies

    …very good read for Me by Hickey, and I hope, if the Lock-out continues, Cowan will take Hick off His leash to dig deeper on specific Players as well as the Bulldogs as a team …as well any of Our Prospects in College and overseas

    …second: …my frustration and concern with Canadian junior hockey is our overall disadvantage in speed and skating skills relative to Europeans and the Americans, whom per capita of their athletes registered for hockey, have an overall speed and skating skill advantage over Canada …very ironic when One considers the limitless ice available to Canadians in and outdoors relative to many of Our competitors

    …more than anything, accent on improving speed and skating skills is core to the future in Canadian international hockey

    • HardHabits says:

      ‘On The Bus With The Bulldogs’ is real journalism. The ’93 season recaps and the fantasy games are just embarrassing, part of the reason this website has sunk to serious lows since Boone’s departure. Unlike sports teams, HIO wont be drafting any new generational young talent via a bloggers draft because of this Tank™.

      Canada lost because they played against a better and hungrier team. That and a lack of clutch goal tending.

    • habstrinifan says:

      Agree!

  2. HabFab says:

    So the dust up has to do with HRR.
    The NHL in it’s proposal had dropped the severe penalty section for teams caught cheating.
    The PA hadn’t caught on to the change right away so pissed.
    Apparently Washington and Nashville are the teams the PA feel have been cheating.
    The NHL has put the severe penalty section back in BUT there is so little trust to begin with.
    Bad boyz!! Bad boyz!!

  3. Bripro says:

    So I PVR’d the game this morning, drove 90 minutes to my customer’s, making sure to change the radio station when they started to talk hockey, so as not to hear the result.
    I got back in time to turn on the 3rd period of the Sweden match, and the first words out of his mouth were:
    “The winner will face the U.S. for gold…..”
    TV off.
    Crap!
    No use watching it now.

  4. Cal says:

    This “voting on a new disclaimer” is a red herring. The players are voting on the deal and are keeping it hush hush. Okay. Maybe not. ;)

  5. HabFab says:

    The NHLPA has started voting again to authorize a “disclaimer of interest”. Voting to be completed by 6pm on Saturday.

    • Habilis says:

      Yep. Some are saying that the league’s tone changed once the threat of the disclaimer was gone. If that’s truly the case then Bettman just lost what little respect I had for him. Fehr shows good faith by staying at the table last night, not playing his trump card, and this is how Bettman responds? Cruddy for everyone.

      Either way, we were bound for one last hiccup before the 11th. I’m just hoping it’s a small one.

  6. Mavid says:

    nothing to do with hockey..I love my MacBook I will never go back…

  7. HabFab says:

    So a hiccup in the negotiations. Still have at least a week for grandstanding!

  8. Hobie Hansen says:

    I noticed people discussing the buyout situation below and I’m not sure I have it figured out correctly?

    Am I correct in saying that no buyouts would happen until after a 48 game season this year? The cap would stay at $70 million until the 2013-14 season and teams would buy players out before that point?

  9. Ron says:

    STRANGE ONE: The BullDogs have reassigned defenceman Brandon Nash to San Antonio Rampage. In return the Rampage ( Panthers AHL team ) reassigned defenceman Jason DeSantis to the Dogs. Announcement states reassigned, no mention being traded. Looks like MB trying to shake things up.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I was in love with Nash two years ago. Boy I was wrong. Again.

      ———————————–

      • Habilis says:

        At least you can admit when you’re wrong. Can you call Fehr and Bettman and explain that concept to them? ;)

      • NoTinFoilCups says:

        Well not necessarily wrong. Missing all of last season when he’d had a call up with the Habs the year before really hurt his chances. Often there is a only a brief window for the average guy to make it to the show for any extended period of time. Sadly for him it seems he has missed it. Now all those young dmen we’ve drafted the last 2 or 3 years have overtaken him on the depth chart.

    • Habilis says:

      It’s because the respective player’s rights belong to NHL clubs, and they can’t make trades right now due to the lockout. So the players get reassigned, but their rights remain with their original NHL club for now. There will probably be a trade once the new CBA is signed.

  10. Bripro says:

    Burly…. “willing to consider a buyout of Roethlisberger…..”
    Wow. That’s a mouthful, from a loyalist. ;)
    It’s time you came over to the dark side, my friend.
    Pats…. Pats… Pats…
    Just repeat it in your head, over and over.
    You’ll get used to it. You might even enjoy it.
    At least you’ll get to watch more football.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I figured you might notice that post! I say it somewhat tongue and cheek, but he really didn’t play well down the stretch. I have not liked Ben the person away from the field for a few years now, and would have understood if the Steelers had said, Ben you no longer represent this team, this city, this ownership group. Unfortunately, sports is a business.

      The team was frustrated with the relationship between Ben and the Offensive Co-ordinator Bruce Ariens last year (Bruce was a neighbour to Ben at a secondary home in Georgia I believe) as they felt Ben was doing whatever he wanted with the offence. They made a change and Ben spoke out against it, and then apologized, but then came out and stunk the joint against Cincinnati.

      I am just very frustrated… still love my Black and Gold though, no need for me to go to the Pats, they have enough bandwagon fans who have no idea who Steve Grogan was. :)

      • habsfan0 says:

        Somehow, I cannot sympathize with you.

        It’s been 4744 days since the Bills last playoff appearance.

        But, who’s counting?

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I have a buddy who loves the Bills. Every new season he tells me the Bills are gonna win 12, 13 or 14 games. He drives 7 hours to all the home games. He buys into a club that guarantees him Super Bowl tickets if the Bills get there. The guy is a nut. You Bill fans are true diehards. Gotta love it!

          ———————————–

        • frontenac1 says:

          I just keep playing re-runs of the Chargers with Air Coryell ,Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner from Jack Murphy Stadium.
          That and Single Malt makes for a pleasant and soothing evening.
          Saludos Amigos!

      • Bripro says:

        We’re talking Steve Grogan, one of many Pats QB hall-of-famers, right?
        Not the serial killer…

  11. Bripro says:

    @bwoar

    I have to disagree with your contract provisions.
    PK will be on his first full contract, and the Habs will not pay $5MM or close for him. IMO, that’s why he’s not signed yet.
    They might end up packaging him to Philly, although I hope they find a way to sign him. I see him in the $3.5-4 MM range.
    Desharnais will not earn $4-4.5MM. He’ll top out at $3MM max. Everyone will want to determine if his last year was a fluke or not. So it’ll probably be a short deal.
    And Gally’s contract will be a $1MM cap hit because of the bonus clause.
    So their hits won’t be nearly as bad.
    And I don’t see why you would not honour another $1MM deal for a character player like Armstrong. They’ll be keeping him.
    He’s developed off-ice chemistry with several players, and I’m sure he’ll want to carry that onto the ice.

  12. L Elle says:

    For the Tankers, with love. :)

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

    Come on everybody clasp your hands
    Now you’re in the mood
    I’m gonna write my song and it won’t take long
    We gotta do the tank and it goes like this

    Come on let’s tank again like we did last summer
    Yea, let’s tank again like we did last year
    Do you remember when things were really bummin’
    Yea, let’s tank again, tankin’ time is here

    Yeah round ‘n around ‘n up ‘n down we go again
    Oh baby make me know you want to tank then
    Tank again like we did last summer
    Come on, let’s tank again, tankin’ time is here

    Who’s that yappin’ up there?
    Is it Donny? No
    Is it Gary ? No
    Is it Top Prospect? Yeah

    Chorus

  13. Chris says:

    Regarding buyouts…

    Remember, what we are talking about here are amnesty buyouts, buyouts that don’t fall under the normal rules.

    This is important. There is no reason to buyout either of Markov or Kaberle this season. Everybody that needs to be signed can be signed without any big problems.

    The issues start next year, when the cap is proposed to drop to $60 million (although this is probably one of the sticking points, and some number in the range $60-64 million is plausible.

    If you’re going to do an amnesty buyout, you buyout the guys that hurt your cap the worst.

    Let’s say we play out the season with Markov, Kaberle and Gomez to see what we’ve got. It’s pretty clear there is not necessarily help coming from the farm, and Therrien has long liked veteran players (he played Gilmour heavily in his first stint in Montreal, and used guys like John Leclair and Gary Roberts at the very end of their careers).

    This summer, Markov would have one year left on his deal and a buyout under the normal rules would apply $1.916 M cap hits to the Canadiens in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

    Tomas Kaberle also has one year left and a buyout this summer under normal rules would apply $1.25 M in 2013-14 and $1.5 M in 2014-15.

    Finally, you’ve got Scott Gomez, who also has one year left but he had a front-loaded contract so a buyout for him is more ugly; $4.357 M in 2013-14 and $1.5 M in 2014-15.

    So of those three players, you pretty obviously have to buyout Scott Gomez with an amnesty buyout so that you can free up that $4.4 M cap hit.

    As others have pointed out, the other big disappointment in Montreal is Rene Bourque, although I will be interested to see if he has a different outlook after his own personal season from hell (two suspensions, a trade and an injury would play havoc with anybody). To buy out an underperforming Bourque this summer would cost the Habs $0.3 M in 2013-14, $1.83 M in 2014-15, $1.83 M in 2015-16 and $1.0 M in each of 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

    The Habs don’t have a glaring need to move Markov or Kaberle in either of the next two seasons. They keep those guys and ease their young defencemen into the lineup over the next two seasons, and if some teams comes calling with a trade proposal, you avoid the whole buyout scene. But Gomez and Bourque are prime targets to go if they don’t pick up their game if there is a shortened season to be played this year.

    It’s not a bad situation to be in…if they continue to stink, they will help the Habs get a high draft pick. If they don’t stink, they Habs can potentially trade them. Either way, buyouts should not happen until the summer when we have a better idea of what needs to be done.

    There is nothing stopping the team from using both amnesty buyouts and then also buying out one of the other guys as well. Molson’s got the money, and the cap hit on Kaberle and Markov buyouts is not egregious.

    • Mustang says:

      Thanks for the clear explanation.

    • bwoar says:

      I came to the same conclusion earlier to day, then did some math to see if the 60M cap would really be so bad. It’s not pretty.

      Once Subban is signed (for hopefully 5M or less), the pressing new cap contracts are Desharnais (who I think will get Saku money, 4.25 or 4.5 mil), and “possibly” making room for Galchenyuk. (3.25M). So potentially 12.75M to add in salary from where we are today.

      Buying out Gomez (7.35m) & Kaberle (4.25m). Nokelainen out (.535m), Weber likely out (.850), Armstrong out (1m) and Boullion (1.5) out.
      That still leaves us with about 3.7M in cap space to sign 2 defenseman and a forward.

      Let’s say St. Denis (6-7th D)& Dumont (13th forward) are recalled, we’d have 2.5M in space to sign another D man.

      It’s from that position that I’d start thinking about what to do with Markov and or Rene Bourque. Keep in mind that from here your lineup is something along the lines of:

      Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole
      Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta
      Moen-Eller-Leblanc
      Prust-Galchenyuk-White
      Dumont

      Markov-Subban
      Emelin-Diaz
      Gorges-St. Denis / ???
      ???

      - give or take how you want to line them up, of course. At this point one option is leaving Galchenyuk in junior (freeing up 3.25M in space), and letting the clocks tick down one more year (next year) on Markov & Gionta who aren’t longterm Habs. Frankly those players won’t be part of a window where the Habs are competing for the Cup.

      Another “out of the box / out of my mind” idea: Trade Tomas Plekanec and live with Desharnais, Elller & Galchenyuk as your centres.

      • Garbo says:

        Why would Galchenyuk be 3.25?

        • Kooch7800 says:

          He wouldn’t be on a entry level deal

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • bwoar says:

          It’s actually 3.225 M that capgeek has him listed at. If I understand it, this takes into account the bonus money he can earn and is currently applied to his cap number (I’m guessing this bonus calculation may or may not be in the next CBA). His potential bonus is 2.3M so his actual ELC is for 925K per year.

          I seem to recall there was once a cushion for bonuses that would allow you to go over the cap but I can’t recall the exact details.

        • Chris says:

          Like bwoar said, entry-level players have a cap hit that include all their possible bonuses, even though most of them never achieve all of those bonuses.

          So Galchenyuk has a large cap-hit ($3.25 M) for a relatively small salary (~$0.9 M) because there is room to get a significant number of bonuses. In Galchenyuk’s case, many of those bonuses actually ARE achievable, so his salary will probably closer to the cap hit than not.

      • Chris says:

        The only problem I have with this analysis is that the prospective salaries you propose include $4.25-$4.5 M for David Desharnais. In a league where the cap is decreasing by about 15%, there is no way Desharnais gets that kind of money.

        Koivu did not get his salary solely based on his point totals. He gets that kind of money because of his leadership skills, experience and faceoff skills. Koivu has also shown that he can play in any situation: he averaged 1:40 on the penalty kill, 2:06 on the power play and 14:20 at even strength.

        Desharnais has one good point total under his belt, but he still has a lot of work to do in the rest of his game. He is not very strong defensively, nor is he good at taking faceoffs. I don’t think too many coaching staffs would trust Desharnais to take a regular penalty kill shift.

        Most importantly, Koivu’s $4.5 M contract came as a highly regarded veteran unrestricted free agent, while Desharnais is going to be a 27 year old restricted free agent that is perceived as largely one-dimensional. He does not have the leverage to get Koivu-like money.

        I think $3-3.5 M is far more reasonable of an estimate for Desharnais. Current comparables are no longer worth much because the new reality in the NHL is going to be much different. There will be a lot more guys signing for $1-1.5 M contracts, and far few of the in-between $3-5 M contracts handed out to mediocre players like Rene Bourque or Andrei Kostitsyn.

        • Bripro says:

          100% Chris. I had pretty much the same reservation, but posted it above. Too lazy to unpost and then reply below his. ;)
          That’s what a couple of glasses of good wine will do to you.

    • mrhabby says:

      good analysis. Habs will have to do something its guaranteed as there up against the cap.

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    Don Cherry says about the results of our performances year after year!!!–

    When you bring players from other countries into the best junior league in the world (Canadian Hockey League) and develop them with Canadian dollars, you’ve got to expect these results.

    Cherry is still completely out to lunch!! as usual.!!

    • Timo says:

      I disagree. Today’s result has nothing to do with other teams being better. Today’s result was team Canada mailing it in and not showing up for the game. No matter who and how you develop, if you don’t show up to play you lose.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I see no problem in having other countries elite talent coming and playing with our kids here in Canada. The numbers are small on a per team basis, and if anything it provides a consistent measuring stick for the Canadian players.

      We are a mosaic country, to say that hockey can’t be part of that seems a bit wrong to me.

      Edit: And I don’t hear Canadians complain when hundreds of kids each year gain scholarships in the United States for various sports, including hockey.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great. Now we will quote Canada’s Chief Bigot. I guess bigots got to have some excuse when things don’t go their way. Yeah, and I’m sure there were no American dollars invested in the players development.

      ———————————–

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Easy man. Don’t get your blood pressure up. It isn’t worth it.

        The US played a great game today and were rewarded for it. They wanted it and their team played a good game.

        It is also a tournament people. They lost one game in the actual tourney and now our development is garbage? Canada beat the US earlier in the tourney so they are 1-1. One was an elimination game so bye bye Canada.

        People need to chill. The US development has been improving and is getting better and has shown in the last few years. Canada is still a great hockey nation.

        I think Canada’s biggest weakness for the last few has been goal tending. Subban wasn’t the only reason they lost today, the US played better in every aspect but we need to start producing some better goalies.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • Habfan10912 says:

          :). Thanks bud. What today was? A bunch of teenagers from one team scored more goals then a bunch of teenagers from another team. Nothing more. CHeers Kooch.

          ———————————–

          • Kooch7800 says:

            No worries brother. Fans and goofs like Cherry make it seem all doom and gloom. They lost a game…oh well IT IS HOCKEY.

            The US team was really impressive with their speed I thought and they came together as a group at the right time. What you need to win

            I didn’t really get a good vibe from this years squad (Canada) and I think it was the coach personally but they are always the scapegoat.

            Happy New Year by the way and good luck in the gold medal game

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • HardHabits says:

      Don Cherry is a xylophone.

    • Bripro says:

      Ian, Ian, Ian….
      Don Checkerboard? Really?
      C’mon buddy!
      We’re trying to stay credible here.
      No verbal diarrhea allowed here.
      After all, you’re our ambassador, and you have set a standard we try to follow.

  15. Timo says:

    So if the season is indeed salvaged and they start on Jan 19, does this give Subban an upper hand in contract negotiations?

    • Cal says:

      Only Meehan, his agent, knows for sure. He has displayed no patience and believes he should be given Markov type money right now. Habs generally don’t operate that way. Will Subban be the exception?

      • bwoar says:

        I’m guessing he earns 4.9M for the next 2 years.

        • Cal says:

          If Gorges gets 3.9, what the hell, eh?

          • Timo says:

            No kidding. What other defenseman with Habs can fulfill his role? No one. If I am Subban I am looking at other bums on this team and how much they make and I feel totally justified asking for upwards of 5M/per

          • habsfan0 says:

            If Habs sign Subban at $5m per, that will leave little to no room to sign MAB. Maybe MAB will play pro bono?

          • Timo says:

            Gomer’s money (as much as it pains me to see him leave) will be re-allocated to sign MAB

          • bwoar says:

            That’s the part that really turns my stomach. PK can point as Gorges’ contract, laugh at anything under 5M per, and sit out until he gets it.

            I am being optimistic in this case, and the hoping that Meehan tells PK to be patient and cash in even bigger on the 3rd contract. If he’s worth 5M now, might he not be worth 7M later?

            The other factor in that 4.9M salary figure is that contracts under the old CBA become poor comparables as the cap goes down significantly.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      PK, will probably get 3.5 for the first 2 years of a 5 yr. contract

      • Cal says:

        Ah, the voice of reason. That makes sense, but with the 20% variance they are talking about, the Habs won’t be able to do 2 at 3.5, then 3 seasons at 5mil. Sign him short term and extend his contract after each season.

  16. habsfan0 says:

    IMHO,there will be 2 momentous announcements coming from the world of sports within the next few days:

    1) NHL lockout ends,play to resume weekend of January 19.

    2) Buffalo Bills unveil their new Head Coach: Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly.

    All in all, not a bad week!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Is there an amnesty buyout for the Bills as it relates to Mario Williams and that extremely booksmart QB Fitzpatrick? FYI, I would be willing to consider a buyout of Roethlisberger…. sigh… still getting used to idea of no Steelers in playoffs. You must have some coping tips available?

      • habsfan0 says:

        I’m assuming Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin’s job is not in jeopardy despite Pittsburgh’s poor showing this season.

        However, if I’m wrong,I heard Chan Gailey is looking for a job!

  17. twilighthours says:

    Two buyouts? I’d take Gomez and Kaberle, thank you very much, and the sooner the better.

  18. HardHabits says:

    Maybe with a shortened season the Habs can Tank™ again. All they would need to do is double shift superstars Gomez, Markov and Kaberle.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Pierre Lebrun tweeting Players just left NHL offices. THat was brief, perhaps negotiators remain working?

  20. Gerry H says:

    If it’s true that there will be up to two compliance buy-outs per team and that these will apply to the players share of HRR, it will set up an interesting dynamic. First, coupled with the likely slow overall bounce-back of revenues, the cap will take a good long while to return to $70 million. Second, the buy-outs will amount to a subsidy from the cash-rich teams to the poor ones. We won’t see Phoenix, Florida or Columbus throwing money at under-performers to make them go away and improve their teams. Yet they will benefit from the lower cap that results when Montreal, Toronto and New York do exactly that.

    P.K. is gonna regret not signing a deal this past summer.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    Just in the nick of time, PGA golf resumes this weekend. I needed a sport I enjoyed that had a pool for me to enter to give me some rooting interests on the weekends.

  22. neumann103 says:

    Good for the Swedes. Good for Collberg. Looking forward to him in the Finals against the Habs other forward prospect wearing #15 AGally94.

    But I am pretty sure that is the third or fourth time I have seen him make essentially that same move on a shootout. He varies the fake a little. It can be a fake shot, a fake deke, a fake toe drag, and he varies the backhand a bit depending on what he has offered, but you would think that opposing goalies would have youtubed the greatest hits of likely Shootout shooters.

    I was among those very happy (and astonished) that the Habs were able to pick him up in the second round. My main exposure to him had been last year’s WJC.

    But one of the things I really liked about Collberg’s game today was his speed on the backcheck. I have not seen him described as a fully formed two way player but there were several times that he made up huge gaps committing to the backcheck.

    “Et le but!”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      What I like the most is he seems to have that goal scorers touch. It is even better to hear that the backchecking part of his game appears to include hard work and speed.

      He has talent, and goodness knows, watching the Bulldogs we need more talent from our forwards.

  23. bwoar says:

    Frankly, I’d rather not have to pay Josh f’n Gorges 3.9M a year. There’s a contract I’d maybe buyout before Kaberle. But eh, people seem to like him a lot.

    The Gorges and Price contracts are probably going to be as bad from a longer term risk/reward standpoint as Rene Bourque’s. Even Kaberle at 4.25 doesn’t seem as bad as paying a #4-5 D 3.9 million a year.

    • Cal says:

      Shot blockers are expensive in Montreal, you know. ;)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gorges provides alot of intangibles and works hard every shift. I realize that 3.9 is probably overpaying for that, but he is hardly a problem on this team. If this team can find a way to upgrade Diaz, Kaberle, Weber with some kind of muscle I am okay with our D going forward until the replacements start filing in.

      I am far more concerned with lack of depth in skill at forward and would like to see that addressed.

      Granted perhaps a healthy Gionta will help our secondary line.

      • bwoar says:

        Agreed that JG isn’t the problem, but his contract isn’t helping. On a team where Kaberle and Markov’s days are both numbered, I think there’s room for Diaz.

    • twilighthours says:

      So you don’t like paying a #4/5 defenseman $3.9 mil per, but you’re OK with paying a #6 D $4.25 mil per?

      • bwoar says:

        One blocks shots, which isn’t even a hockey skill. and brings ‘intangibles’ which are a dime a dozen, honestly. The other can actually setup scoring plays with hockey skill and be useful on a powerplay. I’ll pay more for the latter.

  24. 123456 says:

    Gomer is a no brainer to buyout – cap hit is huge and production the opposite.

    As far as a second, don’t be too quick to buyout Kabs – Markov’s hit is more and his production will be???

    I say (depending on the rules) – buyout Gomer ASAP and let Kabs and Markov play to see who you keep.

    Bourque IMO you keep because he does produce – or rather he is supposed to or expected to produce (UGH don’t referece the Gomer wiki page please).

    Assuming a season I’d try to get any propects into NHL games – use the season as talent evaluation. Love to see Gally skate with the NHLers.

    • New says:

      Yeah but the problem with that is the teams wins enough when Markov is in the lineup to make the playoffs with a cushion to spare. Without Markov they lose enough to end up second last.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The feeling is that Markov and Kaberle are nothing like they used to be. I have no clue if either of them have anything left in their respective tanks after injuries, age and whatever else has happened in their careers. I think you are correct that it will be an audition between the two.

      If Markov is unable to move out there and it is painfully noticeable, maybe they do buy him out and Kaberle stays. I would really have to watch the first twenty games of the season to compare the two players.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        Hopefully the organization has seen Markov play enough over seas to have made that determination. I think if it’s two then it’s Gomez and Kabs. If Markov cannot perform then it will make the tankers happy.

        ———————————–

  25. Hobie Hansen says:

    I think things are going to turn out nicely for Montreal in 2013-14 and beyond. Gomez and Kaberle will be bought out heading into next season and following the 2013-14 season Markov and Gionta will have their contracts expire.

    It looks like the Canadiens are setting themselves up nicely to bring Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Collberg and Hudon into the lineup up front and Beaulieu and Tinordi on defense.

    Each team is going to have a large crop of cheaper-talented-young- players to compete and stay under the cap and I would say Montreal is looking very good in that regard. We must be patient but I think good things are coming a couple years down the road. The 2014-15 season is going to be a totally different team from today.

    • 123456 says:

      Add to that Defense PK, Georges, Weber or Diaz, Emilin and it looks good.

      Up front it’s harder to project out too far as Pleks and Cole will slow down bu tit looks like a solid core.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        It will be real nice if Tinordi and Beaulieu turn out the way everybody is expecting them to. With the skill and size of Beaulieu and the even larger size and physical play of Tinordi, we would finally have what I consider a perfectly balanced crop of defensemen. Perfect mix of skill and physical play.

        Georges, Subban, Beaulieu, Tinordi and Emelin and Markov would be awesome for the 2013-14 season. Might be a bit early but I think there is a decent chance it could come together that way.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Yes sir. Don’t forget about Ellis either. Things might be brighter on the blue line soon. One more good draft and investing in development and this organization can return to the top.

          ———————————–

    • bwoar says:

      If we were 2 years into the future I’d share your optimism. Right now all we have is hope. And I’m going to have to dissent on Gallagher; I think there’s going to be a massive correction in the way people view his ceiling by the end of this year.

      • New says:

        Yeah I don’t see it either but years ago a fellow said something that stuck with me. It was about Michael Ryder. Simply he said “Ryder has always struggled at each new level and then gone on to do very well at it.”
        Gionta made it. Hudon isn’t that big. Koivu made it. Time will tell.

  26. HardHabits says:

    If I was a Bettman,
    Yadda Yadda Yadda I’m a twiddle diddle sleazy bum.
    All day long I fiddle with my thumbs.
    Because I’m just a filthy man.
    I never have to work hard.
    Yadda Yadda Yadda I’m a twiddle diddle sleazy bum.
    Cuz I’m just a filthy petty rich,
    Useless and abusive petty man.

    I’d go to useless towns with teams by the dozen,
    Just like a riddle from a clown.
    I’m just a goof and a heel who isn’t apropos.
    Only my fave teams would I showcase always going up,
    With Canadian teams forever coming down,
    And one more year leading nowhere, just for the show.

    I’d fill arenas with chicks and turkeys and fleece canucks
    To pay for bored towns to see and hear.
    And each loud “cheer” and “sqwauk” and “honk” and “quack”
    Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
    As if to say “Here lives an unhealthy man.”

    I am just a bitch man,
    Yadda Yadda Yadda I’m a twiddle diddle sleazy bum.
    All day long I’m sitting on my bum.
    Cuz I’m just a stingy, wretched man.
    I never have to work hard.
    Yadda Yadda Yadda I’m a twiddle diddle sleazy bum.
    Cuz I’m just a filthy, petty rich,
    Useless and abusive, petty man.

  27. ooder says:

    so going with yakupov as captain was a mistake imo
    Grigroenko was way more involved in the games and was always talking to his team mates.. he was the first guy to go talk to his team mate who missed the last shoot out attempt.
    maybe yak just didn’t click with his line mates, or the coaches system didn’t work for him… and although the raw speed and skill is there, he is definitely no pavel bure
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • mark-ID says:

      Yakupov also refused to speak to reporters during the tourny. Someone on TSN mentioned that. I get that he wanted to focus on the hockey, but that is definately something that the captain has to accept as part of his duties….win or lose.

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • This Guy says:

      Classy move at the end by Grigorenko, but it may be too easy to call it in retrospect. Yakupov is a dynamic and hard-working player like Galchenyuk in Sarnia, who is captain there. His Sarnia teammates he’s not exactly eloquent to put it gently, but he leads by example. Grigorenko hasn’t always been known to give his 110%, but he did look good out there, big dude.

  28. habsfan0 says:

    If it’s to be a 48 game schedule,I’m guessing all the games will be contested within the same conference. What I’d like to see is the Habs play ALL 48 games within the Northeast division: i.e. 12 games against the Bruins(6 home and away)12 against Leafs,Senators, & Sabres .

    It would be like the old 6 team NHL schedule!

    • neumann103 says:

      I hope not. What i loved about the NHL proposed realigned schedule from last year that got shot down by the players was including at least a Home and Home matchup with each team every year. I think it is important to get a chance to see all teams. And some teams have strong in-Division rivalries but not all do.

      This is something against my own narrow interest, since as a Torontonian I frequently buy tickets to all Montreal games in Buffalo. Going heavier on Division matchups would allow me to see more.

      If they could clear room for 51 games you could go something like:

      4 games against each team in the same Division (2 home and 2 away)
      2 games against each team in the same Conference but outside division (1 home and 1 away)
      1 game against each team in the other conference

      “Et le but!”

      • habsfan0 says:

        Like you I’ve seen the Habs play many games at The Aud & First Niagara Center.

        So, what you’re saying is that you’d rather see the Habs play teams like Columbus & Nashville rather than more games against the likes of the Bruins & Leafs?

        • neumann103 says:

          Not entirely.

          Within the conference I would like to see the Rangers, Penguins, Flyers, and maybe even the Capitals just as much if not more than I want to see Buffalo or Ottawa.

          I would want to see LA, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Detroit, Chicago.

          I would rather see those teams and have to sit through the occasional team of less interest as opposed to just all Division, all the time.

          But a large part of it is just philosophical. I think playing every other team each season is essential. In a full season that should be a home and away game. In the shortened season and needing to minimize travel it would be one or the other

          Secondly, not all teams have the in Division rivalries that the Habs have. Those fans deserve to see some other teams.

          Third (and I often use this as a benchmark with my hapless Leaf fan friends) a few years back I attended a meaningless Wednesday night game in mid November vs Minnesota. Apart from a Koivu vs Koivu theme there was nothing special about this matchup. It was still louder than any Leaf game I have ever attended, including a Saturday Night Home Opener which was also the first HNIC game back after the Cherry/McLean holdout, or the first home playoff game vs Ottawa in 2004 I think. I think real fans enjoy all kinds of opponents. More than walking dead Leaf fans do anyhow.

          “Et le but!”

  29. Mavid says:

    If you can’t say anything nice..then you should not say anything at all…every group/blog/discussion site has one of THOSE guys…HIO is no different..but man it is getting hard to be nice…the Jr are winning he says nothing..they lose and he has 8000 comments all of them (of course) negative..why not just cheer for another team or another country..**sigh*** sorry but I just get tired of it…now back to work I go…:-(

  30. jols101 says:

    If every team gets 2 buyouts, Gomez is a sure thing but what about Markov at 5.75 million. I was a huge fan of the Markov of 5 or 6 seasons ago but will we get the Markov of old or just an old Markov?

    That is why I like the fact that Bergevin and Molson have 48 games or so to evaluate what they have before making this decision. Regardless, if teams get 2 buyouts the Habs will be fine even with a 60 million cap even though I think the cap will be more like 64 or 65 million after negotiations are done.

  31. The Dude says:

    I wish Kabele and Gomez would be bought out but with only a 1/2 season and New Coaches I believe there will be no buyout this short season. Therrien’s ego will believe he can reincarnate those two while waiting for the younger players to replace them and others….in other words “NEW FIVE YEAR PLAN”

    • mdp2011 says:

      The buyouts will only be for 2013-2014 season, not for a shortened season, if there is a season. It has nothing to do with Therien’s ego.

      • The Dude says:

        It has everything to do with EGO …That’s Pro sports man,wake the fk up! How do you think the Habs got into the funk they got into??? “never mind the league” Answer : someone in a power position didn’t listen or watch and did what their testacules told them to do :)

  32. habstrinifan says:

    I see there is a movement afoot to get HIO ‘reply cap’ increase among other demands. Despite being advised against it by my Uncle Hamrlik, I stand 100 percent with my brother posters in this fight.

    Let us have a vote to de-certify ourselves. We would of course have to excuse the three Amigos, HabinBurlingto, Habsfan0 and Cal since they apparently are well and truly CERTIFIABLE.

  33. doug19 says:

    New motto “no points” Another top draft pick this year?

  34. 24 Cups says:

    McKenzie on Team Canada.

    http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/story/?id=412699

    Interesting to see that Sweden beat Russia. Should be a great tilt against the Americans.

    • ooder says:

      it is definitely NOT INTRESTING :(
      jk jk… when Russia was allowed to play its free flowing offense they were awesome to watch… oh well.. it was in a shoot out its anybodys game
      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  35. - If this deal goes through and two amnesty buyouts are allowed, it’ll be interesting to see who teams sign for a more reasonable price…
    – Also, do you have to buy out two players? or do you just have the option to?
    - Did anyone see Collberg seal the deal in the shootout for Sweden? Talk about clutch, should be a good final with a couple Habs prospects involved…

    Cheers,
    Jagger – Habs7.com

    • Ron says:

      On the buyouts JH, a team has the option too buyout 2 players in total if they desire to do so. If 1 or 2 are bought out then it has to be completed before the 2013/2014 season. It will be an interesting game to see Collberg and Gally play opposite each other for the gold. Best of luck to them both.

  36. HabinBurlington says:

    In reading 24cups comments about waiting until after this half season (assuming we get one) before doing buyouts. If indeed the amnesty buyouts can wait until the following offseason, this would be a chance to see many players in a new environment before potentially buying out the wrong people.

    I would like to see Bourque given a chance, and hey Gomez is tearing up the ECHL! (Okay I may have lost any credibility I may have had left with that one)

    • Cal says:

      You mean he’s tearing up his groin in the ECHL. ;)

      No point in waiting on the Gomez buyout. I’d rather see someone in the slot that may actually have a future with the team. Hell, Gomez could pop 50 goals and no one would want him. Ok, maybe one person would, but I’m not saying who.

    • Mr San Diego Hab says:

      I was just up in Anchorage for Xmas and saw Gomez play 2 games…let’s just say I couldn’t tell he was an “NHL” player. No change in his game at all…rush the puck up the ice and promptly screw up the play. Granted he does have 12 pts in 10 games, but I didn’t like what I was watching when he was on the ice.
      Funny thing is even the local Aces fans were starting to say some unkind words about his play and he is very well respected in AK. One NHL’er who looked very strong for the Aces was Joey Crabb.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m just presenting options, Gerald. Personally, I feel the team needs to turn the page totally on the Gainey years. If you’re going to clean house, then do it right.

      If we have to play some slugs from Hamilton, then so be it. Been there, done that.

  37. 24 Cups says:

    Re: some of the posts below (can’t reply due to the 5 reply limit)

    I realize many forwards can play different positions but right now I think it’s safe to say that Bourque is a LW while Leblanc and Kristo are RWs. I get that Glachenyuk can play LW. I also understand that many other players who are centres come into the league on the wing. However, I always thought the idea was that players such as Eller and Galchenyuk were here to beef up the middle. Aren’t we all a bit fed up seeing guys like Koivu, Pleks, DD and Gomez get pushed around?

    On a side note, not that he was ever going to be a top six guy, but it must be disheartending for Blake Geoffrion to see his chance of a lifetime disappear due to what may be a career ending injury.

    “The chance of a lifetime
    In a lifetime of chance…”

    As for two buyouts, as much as I can’t stand his game, we seem to have no choice but to keep Kaberle. Good insurance in case Markov gets hurt or one of Diaz/Weber can’t cut it.

    Bourque is as lazy as hell but once again what else do we have right now? Let’s remember one thing – the Habs are a bottom feeder at the present moment. Look around at the other teams who are in the bottom third of the league. They all have guys who are stiffs or past their due date. Stop comparing the Habs to the elite teams and start looking at franchises like Florida, Winnipeg or Ottawa. Take away Price and that’s what you’re left with at the present moment.

    • habsfan0 says:

      You mean there’s a cap on replies too?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        We need representation to get this cap increased for us habsfan0 !

        • Cal says:

          Quick, hire Fehr. He might do something before 2016 for us if we get him now! ;)

          • habsfan0 says:

            Here are our demands:

            1)Increase cap space as far as replies are concerned

            2) Bring back “habsinsideout” name.

            February 1,2013 is the deadline for our demands to be met.

            Otherwise…

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Lets add an ignore feature and the thumbs up and down as well. May as well present an NHL type offer, ask for the moon!

          • habsfan0 says:

            I’m all for the thumbs up and down feature. Not the ignore function,though.

            It would be sad to see Timo disappear from these boards.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Okay, so the ignore feature is the first one we are then willing to concede during negotiations. We need to come up with a drop dead date, and what can we de-certify from?

    • krob1000 says:

      That is what I thought…until Eller kept getting shifted….and now everyone seems to be shifting Galchenyuk and he hasn’t even suited up. I think Eller looks lost on wing but plays very well up the middle…maybe once the 7 million dollar man is gone they expand Eller’s role..but given the DD situation…it makes one wonder what the plan is. Leblanc is a RW..that is true…my bad there I forgot he is a righty..although he too should be a depth center to suit his game best.
      I am not sure what the plan is but given the term of Bourques contract and the timeline for our youth to hit primetime I would be inclined to buy him out….not my money of course. Maybe Kooch is right and he could be traded..if so…do it. I understand his numbers over time are pretty consistent…but he is invisible out there…and to take time down the road away from those other guys he better be scoring 25-30 and playing like he cares.

    • New says:

      The thing is that Bourque can play at the NHL level effectively. The “thing that this is” then becomes a question of why Bourque does not play at that level. I think he is just trying too hard, despite what it looks like. However it could very well be that he is not trying too hard and is lazy as hell. That is what a pro development and coaching staff is for. Other teams manage to get the best out of players, meet with success, and like Nashville acknowledge that the issues are beyond help -thanks and here’s a ballcap, good luck.

      Almost everyone of us took time out of our busy schedules the last two years to express a thought or two on Gomez. But when you come right down to it Gomez was just not motivated to play anymore, and no one in New York or Montreal could motivate him. Any solution involved giving Scott more money than he will ever need to: go away, play elsewhere, or amuse the minor league affiliates with his insights into the game.

      The thing teams need and players don’t need is a non-performance clause.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He came into a dressing room and organization that was tilting something fierce. I would like to see him get a chance with better surroundings.

        • New says:

          Oh they were off the rails big time, and no one stepped up and led them until Markov came back. Why? I don’t know. Sometimes a funk happens. Teams go sour but no one will really say why until a few years have past. To me that is why a group of young men need a leader amongst them. Not just someone they follow and respect but someone who they follow and respect who will not accept losing and who inspires them. I don’t think the team has that many of those. If Gomez did that I would say he is well worth the money. Only the team knows and it certainly isn’t obvious otherwise.

    • The Dude says:

      I would of said “take away Halak and the Habs are a last place team” and that’s what happened….not that with Halak we would be a first place team but I truly believe we would go up a couple of notches with his never quit head-standing must win infectious attitude ! Besides ,THE LAST THING MONTREAL NEEDS IS ANOTHER athlete with Entitlement issues….

      • saskhabfan says:

        oh yeah,halak went to the media and asked for a trade. Who is the athlete with “entitlement issues” again? The last thing this team needs is another injury prone player like halak,he’s been out for extended periods of time in the last 2 years. His conditioning came into question by the coaching and training staff. After being given every chance to earn the starters job last year he finally lost it to a minor league goalie in elliott. Thankfully we didn’t over pay halak to play backup to budaj. Only an idiot would think we traded the wrong goalie,which is why i’m not surprised you think we did.

  38. Kooch7800 says:

    I am laughing when people are suggesting buying out Bourque when if really they wanted him gone there would be a taker for a trade.

    My only question to M.B is if they knew the cap was going down why the heck did Prust get 2.5 mill per. His best year he had 13 goals and 29 points. I know that isn’t why he is there but he is lucky he signed when he did

    “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • commandant says:

      Lots of contracts last year will look bad going forward.

      Most assumed a rollback, which didnt happen.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • krob1000 says:

      5 goals 38 games in top six role, uninterested play, minus 16 signed for 4 years…run out of Calgary for a similar issue…not sure there would be takers but if there are …please get taking! At this point on paper it looks like the ne to go…Kaberle is a close second but he only has one year left and offers more value then Bourque IMO.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        How was Bourque run out of town exactly? He was put in a deal to get Cammy? Cammy had his best years in Calgary. In the two years previous at >25 goals and last year on that pace until he got sent to the mess that was the habs last year. I don’t think most GM’s write off a player over a half a season. If they did you could eliminate a lot of players off the habs roster.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • krob1000 says:

          He was already fan fodder in Clagary for his spiritless play..that is why they moved him. Even when he was scoring he was likened to Ak without the AK skill….I was enthusiastic when we got BOurque…looked at his stats, consistency,etc and even Ak I liked…but looking forward…Bourque has a long contract and once he is thrust into a bottom six role what will his play be like? I would love Bourque to regian his form but it seemed pretty apparent last year he wanted to buy his own ticket out of town.

          The Habs have written several guys off over the years for less…Ryder still miffs me …he was like Bourque but always seemed to try hard and play hard…always seemed like a guy the players loved to play with. Perhaps the atmosphere changes with the new regime but this is a one time buyout ….do you take advantage looking longer term? is the 3.3 manageable….probably…or do you capitalize on the chance? tough call…glad I am a fan but given the choice between Bourque or Kaberle…I keep Kaberle for sure.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I just want to see him play a full season under proper habs management. The mess last year was brutal and a lot of players had bad years. I think he can be useful in the shootout and he has a nasty side that can come out occassionally and that to me isn’t a bad thing. He may flop but I think he could be traded cause of low cap hit and potential upside.

            all a crystal ball though. Would be nice to see them on the ice so we wouldn’t be debating on possibilities instead of actual playing

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  39. HabinBurlington says:

    Regarding the Buyout talk, Gomez etc…

    That would be a tough pill for Molson to swallow. First he misses half a season of revenue and then to have to cut a cheque to Gomez and still not have played a game or made a dime. Just sayin’

    • habsfan0 says:

      Sometimes life isn’t easy, Burly. Geoff will manage.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I do 100% agree with you Burly but you also have to remember that if the cap goes to 60 mill…we are at 63 currently with PK unsigned…someone has to go and there is not going to be trade partners lining up for Gomer

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        @habsfan0 and Kooch, I think he will buyout Gomez if possible, I am just saying it will be painful in the pocketbook. As for wondering if Molson gets by, yah I think he will.

        But understand its a business, the more money he loses now, the more fans pay later. He does have bills to pay, he bought this team at a premium through financing with interest.

        He is no Leipold or Jacobs with and endless pocketbook. Same for Pegula in Buffalo, he could buyout Regehr or Leino and hardly notice.

    • 24 Cups says:

      We still don’t know the details but it appears we wouldn’t have to buy out Gomez until next summer. Right now, we can easily meet a $70M cap. The problem becomes 2013-14 with a much lower cap and increased player costs (DD, Galchenyuk, Subban’s 2nd year etc). Sadly, we presently don’t have enough NHLers to field a team (assuming Leblanc and Bourque can’t suit up). That means we would need Gomez to fill the gap, even though I think it’s very important to turn the page on the Gainey/Gauthier years.

      • Cal says:

        Bourque was cleared to play a couple weeks ago and was then “officially” locked out. He was collecting his pay until then. Pretty sweet gig, eh?

        • 24 Cups says:

          Thanks, Cal. Even knowing that, Bourque and Leblanc have the type of injuries (abdominal/high ankle) that many players need a full year to truly regain their top form. I don’t think we should expect a quick bounce back.

    • commandant says:

      With the cap going down and the percentage dropping, Geoff’s short and long term profit has increased. He’ll be okay.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • New says:

      Depends what Molson is washing the pill down with I suppose. If the team works out well and the world gets off his back at every meeting he won’t much care. If the team goes the way of the Bulldogs then paying more to obtain less is certainly going to rankle. What would be really awful for him would be to buyout Gomez and Kaberle, have the team be non-competitive with the GM trying to replace Kaberle all season and his buddies ragging on him because Gomez is leading the Coyotes to the Cup.

    • Strummer says:

      Molson knew the score coming in.
      This is still the second highest revenue generating team in the league. If the Habs can’t buy out one smelly contract then who can?
      He can make back the money he spent buying-out Gomez by getting a couple of playoff home games

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

    • ooder says:

      should have listened to trevor timmins in the first place and never traded for him

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  40. habs001 says:

    The Canadian d all tournament looked to have major issues when they were pressured in the zone…vs the US they looked really slow and physically over matched…i have not checked their height and weight stats but they looked liked 16 year olds vs 19 year olds,,,the struggle in the d zone brought back bad memories of many recent hab d….

    • Kooch7800 says:

      There will be lots of speculation as usual as there was a lot of good D man left out this year. I personally don’t think the coaching was that great.

      They were very undisciplined early in the tourney and then today just looked unprepared.

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Dr.Rex says:

      The Canadian defence did a lot better today then the Vikes defence will do on Saturday. Vikes are going get a ass whopping.

    • This Guy says:

      Well, we know the first overall contender Morgan “Truculence” Rielly can’t be blamed for trouble in the back end.

  41. wildwilly says:

    Pierre LeBrun is tweeting each team would have the option for each team to buy out two players without affecting the cap. If this is the case, I assume the Habs would pick Gomez and Kaberle. Are there any other candidates?

    • mark-ID says:

      some might throw out Bourque’s name??

      “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

      • krob1000 says:

        I think Bourque would be my choice…his cap hit is not sky high at only 3.3 …but he hs several years left on it. He seems to have no interest in playing in Montreal…and he plays left wing which is where the organization has some depth and if Leblanc or Galchenyuk (or even Kristo) are to crack in as a winger to begin with that is the spot they would be filling in likelihood.
        Kaberle is Markov insurance and with more team toughness his softness will be easier to digest for those that don’t see the value in his puck moving and passing ability.

        • Cal says:

          Bourque is a right winger. As usual, the Habs seem to search for ways to place players out of position, like they did with Spacek. For Bourque to play more effectively, maybe put him in the slot where he scored 25 per season for 3 years.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            further to your points Cal, the Habs are actually not deep at LW at all. It is a point of weakness

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • Timo says:

            Other than goal what position are Habs deep in? :) Bergevin hasn’t done much to make this team any better. He added a couple of washed up hosers and that’s about it.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Timo what the Heck did you expect MB to do during an offseason when no GM’s were making trades due to impending doom and gloom of CBA.

            I don’t get this hard on you have for MB already? Hate on Therrien, i get that, but in regards to players, were you already expecting he turn the water into wine? WTF did any GM do this summer?

          • krob1000 says:

            For above…there are really only two left wing spots that matter for offensive players long term (3 if we roll three scoring lines)…one belongs to Max PAc for a long time…..the other….if Galchenyuk is to be a winger….would be Bourques spot which he occupies on paper for now for the next several years. If Galchenyuk is to be a center…maybe that matters less…but they also keep putting Eller there as well despite him also being a better centerso not sure where you get that left wing is a weakness from. moving forward.

          • habsfan0 says:

            I didn’t know Bergevin signed MAB.

          • Timo says:

            @HB – actually instead of signing washed up “talent” I expected MB to sign the only good defenseman we have… that guy who is the brother of that bozo who was in nets for Team Canada.

            And my hard on for MB is primarily because of the Therrien hiring, just in case you were wondering.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @Timo, what if MB hired IceGirls, would that help? :)

          • habsfan0 says:

            @HiB…it couldn’t hurt!

    • Timo says:

      You think Molson will just hand over 10M just like that so that these guys could have a party of their lives?

      Man, Gomer is good. He’s got it covered no matter what. I am in awe of this guy.

  42. habsfan0 says:

    Galchenyuk vs Colberg….

    Decisions,decisions…

    These guys will play against each other in Gold Medal game Saturday, and be in Montreal for Habs training camp next week?

  43. Sportfan says:

    Hey guys I started up a new blog and was hoping you’d check it out maybe leave some feed back
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    I haven’t commented a while here, but thats mainly cause of the lack of Hockey im hoping to see the Bulldogs when they come next month

  44. habsfan0 says:

    With Jeremy Jacobs seemingly having Bettman’s ear and the Bruins up against it re: the cap, it’s unlikely cap will be only $60m. I’m guessing closer to $65m.

  45. krob1000 says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/scores/boxscore/?id=2083089
    Do they give you credit for the goal in a shootout in international play?

  46. frankcasting says:

    LOVE THIS TWEET: Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun
    Another detail emerging: NHL has upped its compliance buyout offer to 2 per team, up from 1 prior to 2013-14 season.

    Kabs and Gomer’s Pile – GONE??? PLEASE ???

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Could this be for Jacobs to buyout his goalie and Savard?

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Most likely. I still think the Cap should be 65. If not there will be a lot of crap players with high salaries going to teams like the Islanders and other cap floor teams and that isn’t good for hockey.

        Mike Komisarek anyone? LOL

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • Strummer says:

        Isn’t Savard on LTIR?

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

    • kempie says:

      If that’s the case, and I’m Rene Borque, I wouldn’t buy that house in Montreal just yet.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Bourque has a cap hit of 3.3 mill for a 20 plus goal guy that isn’t so bad. he would be traded before he was bought out.

        Guys like Gomez who can’t be traded are the guys you buy out. Gomez is really the only one I see getting bought out.

        Kabrele can also be traded

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • Luke says:

      I’ll never understand the hate for Kaberle.

      Why get rid of a mid-priced, puck moving, good skating, 40-50pt, defenseman who doesn’t hurt you defensively?

      Granted defense is not the strength of his game, but he’s not Scott Stevens. Don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed.

      If Kaberle had the defensive game people seem to want from him, he’d be paid 7.5 million, not 4.5.

      You get rid of Kaberle, you start looking for a player just like him.

      • Mats Naslund says:

        Its because he’s literally the worst. Look it up. He’s a league leader on the powerplay in terms of time he gets, and managed 15 points there last year. That is awful – especially when you can’t play in ANY other scenario.

        You could have MAB or any other liability who has a little offensive game for 3M cheaper. It was a panic trade in the worst.

        Buh bye.

        • commandant says:

          Take out the time in Carolina where it clearly wasn’t working for him, and only include his numbers in Montreal, and he looks a heck of a lot better.

          This is a guy who was on pace for 45 points as a hab last season (prorate his games in Montreal over 82 games). This is a pace he has matched or done better than in every season of his career.

          45 points? only 11 defencemen hit that mark last season.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Mats Naslund says:

            He is terrible. It is totally ignoring reality to simply look to point totals when you’re talking about a guy who had the 10th MOST time on the PP per game in the ENTIRE LEAGUE.

            He didn’t get 45 points last year. Revise history all you want – he got 31 – which ranks him as the 40th best offensive defenseman – meaning he is not elite. But paid elite. Furthermore – Kaberle ranked 159th in NHL Defenseman for time on ice per game. Anyone see a problem here? Because his coaches clearly did.

            He’s -38 the past 4 seasons. Its time to cut the cord.

        • Luke says:

          He’s literally not the worst.
          He’s literally not even close.
          He’s literally one of the better offensive defenseman in the NHL. He’s literally a Stanley Cup winner with literally an average of 47 points per season.
          I did look it up, literally.
          He literally had 29 game stretch with Carolina that pooched this last season.

          • Mats Naslund says:

            STANLEY CUP WINNER? Did you watch that season? Kaberle got traded to a Stanley Cup Winner. That is where his contribution ended. He was the PP quarterback on a powerplay that couldn’t score at ALL. He was a 3rd pairing D man who got torched on a nightly basis. But yeah… he’s a Cup Winner.

            He’s so valuable that 158 defenseman in the NHL play more each night than he does. Thats 4.25Mil for a guy who is played as though he is worse than about 85% of the league’s defenders. He ranks in the 200s at even strength ice time for defenders. 1 second more per game than Jaro Spacek – who would have come off of the books this season. He’s -38 in 4 years.

    • Cal says:

      Gomez + 1. Besides Kaberle, which player would you kick to the curb?

  47. Cal says:

    And now back to our regular programming, or “Waiting for Godot.” A resolution is near, or is it just proximity to New Year’s?

  48. frontenac1 says:

    Hola! Just woke up. Did I miss anything?

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    It does appear we may have a shootout specialist on the way in Goalberg!

    Edit: Or would it be Et But Berg

  50. ooder says:

    God damn it… guess you can’t show up for half the gamr and expect a win
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  51. BJ says:

    Canada-Russia for the tarnished gold.

  52. Ian Cobb says:

    I got up at 4am this morning to watch, only problem, our team was not out of bed yet. They were Gawd awful, no energy, no jump or intensity. They just showed up to receive a gift! Out of 60min. they played intense hockey with the Americans for 6min. in the 3rd only.
    I don’t think I want to get up to watch them play for the bronze against the Russians! Not only 1 or 2 players were asleep most of the game, the whole team was, including the coaches.
    We never seem to learn how to pick a team to play European hockey!!
    We use to be a world power in our game! not anymore.

    • krob1000 says:

      Not really our game when we go overseas Ian…our game…their rules, their oversized barns…….not the same game at all. We should be used to this by now as team after team get beat at the international level…yet the bulk of NHLers will come from the Canadian lineup….because that is the game they train for.
      Our kids are guys who can handle thr rigors of 70 games in small rinks…sure they are talented but other teams take small speedy guys who are dangerous in space…we time and time again try to intimidate…which is laguhable in this day and age…nobody is afraid anymore and they can all handle the contact.
      You look around the OHL and a name like Catanacci sticks out to me…that guy IMO is cut out for international play…like the Gaudreau kid on the US. A kid like MAckinnon should have been seeing time over Jenner,etc IMO….if the game were on home soil in smaller rinks Jenner would be a beast..but it wasn’t.

      I don’t even consider Canada the favourites anymore when they go overseas for these events…they are a top contender and have as much chance as anyone but we are no longer the favourites in the international game.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        You are right! two different games to be sure. But surly we can learn to choose players that can compete with the European game, and I would add, European Refereeing!

        • Timo says:

          Oh come on, Ian. It’s pushing the puck with a stick. The game is simple. Canada didn’t lose because it was on European ice surface or officiating or anything else. The only reason they lost is because they did now show up for the game – plain and simple. And the reason they did not show up for the game is because they don’t a rats ass about the game, their team or their country. They can’t wait to get to the NHL and sign a big $$$ contract. Everything else is secondary.

  53. ont fan says:

    And Collberg scores a beauty! For the win.

  54. BJ says:

    Colberg burries one and Sweden wins

  55. commandant says:

    Collberg is pretty good.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  56. HabFanSince72 says:

    Collberg baby!


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  57. krob1000 says:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/article/1309928–nhl-lockout-past-the-midnight-hour
    Is this new or did I miss the boat over the last couple of days…the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to 2 buyouts not one amnesty buyout..was this confirmed before?

  58. 69HABS says:

    The Bulldogs suck! The Habs have no one on the farm to bring up. NOT ONE… If they ever play hockey again the Habs better stay very healthy …

    • BJ says:

      In any case I have no high expectations. I think I would not mind finishing low again this season as we have little chance to get far. So as we have lots of picks for the next draft, why not just get the highest picks possible. I’d settle for 3rd pick as last year.

    • commandant says:

      Its too bad we don’t have a Ryan Hamilton, Keith Aucoin, Mike Zigomanis, Mike Kostka or a number of other AHL journeymen the Marlies have in their lineup.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

  59. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Is Grigorenko wearing a turtleneck?

  60. HabFanSince72 says:

    To those of you who understand the game of hockey.

    The Russia – Sweden game is amazing. Fast, physical, clean hockey. Wave after wave of attack. Positive forward moving hockey insteand of dumping the puck behind the net and grinding it out on the boards. Almost as I remember it from the 80s.

    So why is it that the NHL can’t put on a show like that?

    Even in the playoffs.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • HardHabits says:

      Because the NHL is run by Bettman who doesn’t give a flying f*ck about hockey. All he cares about is revenues.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      How do we know if we qualify for understanding the game?

      Do wish I was watching the game, really unhappy with TSNs decision to charge for streaming. My love for Bell only grows stronger.

    • commandant says:

      On smaller ice, a well coached, boring system, and defence first style of game has been proven to be able to beat that style of game more often then not.

      Especially with talent spread out across 30 teams and Refs who allow for interference, hooking, holding, etc…

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Les Canayens says:

      The NHL does have games like that, occasionally. However with a 82 games schedule, they are few and far between.

      Teams that do not have the talents to pull off amazing hockey will inevitably resort to dump & chase + neutral zone trap. Players, coaches and GMs want to win in any mediocre ways possible to save their jobs, in detriment to fans’ enjoyment.

    • ooder says:

      The best league in the world has the likes of darche, parros, thornton, moen, westgarth….
      Thats why

      ——————
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Timo says:

      I’ll skip that post then. I don’t understand the game.

  61. Strummer says:

    Let’s take some positives from the Team Canada loss this morning-

    Subban and Hamilton are BRUINS – it’s the last time we’ll be cheering for a team they’re on – may they continue to choke!

    Gally’s a Hab- Good for him!
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  62. ooder says:

    Wooooooo

    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  63. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps some pressure from NBC to NHL to get a deal signed, given they are having a brutal winter for ratings on NBC Sports.

    http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/january/nbc-sports-network-ratings-are-a-disaster.html

  64. habstrinifan says:

    Thank You punkster for your link. It fits right in with the board today.

    I think the commentariat is sensing that hockey will be returning but said commentariat is also fearing that we may be in for the same old sh*^%tty boring pointless hockey from the HABS.

    We all may be figuratively doing this soon!

    http://imgur.com/4wMCC

  65. BJ says:

    Just watched yesterdays Bulldogs game on a stream vs Marlies. Brutal team. Three games without a goal. Dominated from start to finish. Small, weak forwards being completely dominated by bigger, stronger players. We always hear about our (Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs) speed, the problem is that the other teams have the same speed in addition to size which translates into better game control. We have several good elements but again as with the Habs there is no balance. Too much of the same everywhere.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The team is a product of the last 4-5 years managerial style, which was to continue to trade picks and prospects in order to attain playoff success. Our cupboards were barren and MB now has the chore of restocking a cupboard while at the same time improving the parent club.

      MB has had one off season, it also happened to be an offseason where trades were not happening due to impending Nuclear War CBA talks.

      The only players signed primarily this offseason were teams franchise players and the big UFA’s in the market.

      Hopefully once the CBA is completed, we can see MB have the opportunity to start shaping his team both in Hamilton and Montreal.

      All those 2nd round picks and a 1st round pick traded away in previous years along with removing all those “bad attitude” players has left the system short on talent.

      There is some decent players in Hamilton but they are young. Last summers draft should yield some more influx of talent. BUt it will take some time. The BG/PG/JM era did not leave alot of good food in the pantry for MB. He deserves a real offseason and a real season of playing hockey before he can be judged.

      Until then we have to hope the kids develop in Hamilton, there is no front line talent in Hamilton with the possible exception of Gallagher. Maybe some 3rd line players and good Dmen, but so far it appears our front line scoring is really really lacking.

    • zip by says:

      I was at the game last night and while it’s not news I can confidently report: Your Bulldogs are doggie do.

      I feel very sorry for Desjardins – a decent goalie who was hung out to dry by a non existent defense. The entire team was passionless, with the possible exception of Beaulieu. The coaching staff looked bored.

      It was my first opportunity to see Gallagher – but he was seldom near the puck and easily pushed away when he was. It didn’t help that he was paired with Dumont. Don’t get me wrong I really like both players but having both on 1 line makes the line itself too small.

      The coach just rolled 4 lines all night – no shortening of the bench or any attempt to get the team back into the game. The Dogs did get a spurt of energy and a faceoff in the Marlie zone late in the game. The coach sent out the Stortini line to take the draw. Predictable result. Lefebvre makes Jacques Martin look animated.

      The other disappointment of note was Leblanc who impressed by looking extraordinarily ordinary.

      I hope the lockout ends real soon now because the Bulldogs are no substitute for hockey.

    • Cal says:

      Many young players in their first pro year and not much of a veteran presence = Hamilton’s lack of success. Jumping on the coaching and calling it horrible is laughable. Lefebvre has a mandate to develop players, not to win the Calder Cup.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Veteran team vs kids. I will agree though that they are having some serious issues consistently scoring. Really streaky.

      That will get better. Dumount is currently their number one centre…..I am a huge Dumount fan but he is not a number one centre

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

  66. Mustang says:

    I was a goalie when I played hockey. While I never played at, or near this level, I still have a very good understanding of playing that position. Firstly, there is no other position in any sport where a red light goes on every time you let one get by you. This is true no matter if it is your fault or the fault of someone else. The defence coughs up the puck right in front of the net, makes a bonehead pass to the opposition, or completely blocks the goaltender’s view, no red light comes on. But if the goalie doesn’t make the save after one of these errors, well too bad, there is that red light.

    Now, the goalie is not always on his game. I have had nights when I stopped everything and I have had nights when I couldn’t stop a beach ball. In an important game like the Canaidan Juniors were playing this morning, it is up to the coach to use the goalie that he believes is on his game. It is also up to the coach to yank the goalie as soon as it is evident that the goalie in the net is not having a good game.

    It is easy to blame Subban because he was the one with the red light behind him. He just didn’t have it this game but why did the coach leave him in the game until the score was out of reach?

    If we look at the final result of this game, the only way Canada could win was by having the goalie post a shut out as Canada only scored 1 goal.

    Riga seems obsessed with the fact that Subban’s older brother plays for the Montreal Canadiens. I looked through the entire thread and I cannot see one post where someone was supporting him because of PK. The kid had an off night and to be totally frank, I didn’t think that he should have been the #1 Canadian goalie but that is just my opinion. Let’s face it, Canada was outplayed by the US and did not deserve to win.

  67. commandant says:

    In Other news, Tim Bozon is lighting it up in the WHL right now.

    Last night he had 1 goal and 2 assists.

    Thats 7 goals and 11 points in his last 4 games

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  68. HabinBurlington says:

    Some comments below regarding coaching. I have always maintained that Canada is a victim of its own worst enemy, the desire to win at all levels, and as early as often.

    What I mean by this is that I believe in Canada, systems are taught almost at the expense of individual skills. The Team Canada we saw against Russia, took advantage of an early major penalty, and the top players were the top players and finished on their opportunity. Once a team has a lead, a system can then help finish off the game.

    I am not sure this team, these players, saw enough adversity as a team going into this game. And I also think, that once the team was down early, panic set in and players tried to get out of the whole with more individual plays.

    Seems to me Canada, and specifically the OHL teaches a very traditional bang and crash style of game which is very effective in close games. However, when puck possession is required and finishing becomes the key, this doesn’t bode well for the club.

    Looked to me like the USA team figured out how to stop Canada from gaining easy entry in their own end, and at the same time USA had figured out an easy way to gain entry with puck possession into the Canadian end.

    Someone made the comment below that most of Canada’s players appear to be trained to become 3rd and 4th line players. I can see where this sentiment arises from.

    This Canadian team had special talent, NugentHopkins, Drouin, McKinnon, Schiefele, Huberdeau etc… but just didn’t seem to have a flow which played to their style.

    Perhaps it is as easy as Canada wasn’t ready, flat footed and crapped the bed. But with the apparant talent on that roster, that shouldn’t be happening.

    I just wonder if the philosophy being taught by Hockey Canada, OHL etc… is too much system and not enough substance.

    I hope the team regroups and puts in a solid bronze medal performance. I still recall how Canada mailed in the performance in Nagano for the Bronze and how embarrassing that was.

    • habstrinifan says:

      “the desire to win at all levels”

      “I am not sure this team, these players, saw enough adversity as a team going into this game. ”

      Allow me to use your phrasing with a little twist. I think the coaches coach with “a desire to not lose” and they institute systems which curtail the players learning process so that when adversity happens on the ice players are unable to respond intuitively and in in the old fashion “oh sh&%t I better bust my *&%^ and ‘recover’”. I watched some of the games with the 70 habs last month and I was amazed at ow many times the puck was lost because players were ‘doing stuff…testing their skills’ and how quick and intuitively they covered for each other and it created the unpredictability that brought excitement and made for ‘oh my gawd” type plays.

    • Cal says:

      Talent can trump any system, but when the system is faulty we get today’s type of game. Just plain lousy.
      Players who don’t have that individual talent play crash and bang, like Boone Jenner (he was invisible today). All players these days have the “Canadian” over-coached system which quashes individuality on the ice.
      It’s hard to assess whether Canadian kids play too much “organized” hockey or not enough shinny, but I have noticed that there seems to be less creativity on the ice these days.

    • Timo says:

      “Desire to win”?

      I did not see any today. Not a very little bit of it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Timo I am talking about from the Grassroots and up. Where coaches don’t seem as worried about developing players but rather winning with the players they have. It is more about wins and losses than developing. I certainly missed seeing a desire to win today, in fact to me its like the players played with a sense of entitlement, like the game deserved to be theirs despite their efforts.

    • krob1000 says:

      I believe there is some validity to what you speak of….overseas there is a an emphasis on skills where as here we are taught to win very early. Howeve3r, in recent years (last decade or so) Hockey Canada has done a wonderful job of changing that…that to me is not the issue.

      The issue is we expect the boys to win at a different game….it is like asking the National League to go win a tournament vs an AL team with no DH…..or comparing box vs field Lacrosse. Our boys are very adept and well groomed for what their future is and what their demands are for the bulk of their careers.

      Unfortunately this means they are ill equipped for the international game…but in the past and for the most part we stil get by because our development programs and infrastructure are so very good. That desire and tenacity in our boys helps them to often persevere even though they are not used to the style of play, the officiating, the additional time/space, the puck possession aspect,etc. Other countries are imrpoving and their are no secret teaching methods.

      The other countries have talented athletes too and in a global village there are no secrets….all countries are aware of Canadian style hockey…and systems and the game has become so sophisticated whereby great plays are now forgotten and instead goals all sseem to be attributed to breakdowns or mistakes…everyone expects perfect hockey all the time from everyone…and the scary thing is that is almost what has happened…

      Go to a local arena and you will see on a typical Novice Rep team…3-5 kids who if you ahd seen them 15 years ago you would have sworn they were future NHLers…the skills these days are sickeningly good…and Canada is no different in that regard.

      The fact that International tournies are just that …tournies…where anything can happen hurt too….I am sure noone doubts that Canada had the best team there…if it were a full season and playoffs (North American game in North American rinks)…I am quite certain Canada emerges victorious….but it isn’t…the boys gave everything they had…had an off day and the rest is history.

      One can only tip their hat to the Americans as they are becoming very proficient at International play…and their system is almost geared more towards that style than North American in both High School and Collegiate levels. One had to know that once the US supported a sport they would produce top notch athletes.

      What I think is great is how the International players have somewhat adapted to the tougher play in hopes of playing in the NHL…no longer do Canadian players bully other teams after the whistle…instead we gtet our faces washed frequently….get whacked as much as the next guy…and hitting hard and clean is not so intimidating anymore and in fact often causes guys to be out of position and on a big rink that sacrifice of position for a hit can bite you.

      I have no issue with Hockey Canada….unless the NHL goes global…in that case we better build thousands of international size arenas and focus more on the soccer spacing game but until then…our system IMHO is just fine…so we lose the occasional international event…who cares…enjoy the countless ohl games and even what used to be Junior B is great hockey to watch these days….I find it is mostly the skilled smaller guys who are just as fast and skilled as the OHLers but are 4 inches shorter….the game pace is faster or just as fast as in the OHL…just no 6 foot 5 cyborgs roaming around on D.

      Ther is also the wear and tear factor……our boys are groomed for long strenous seasons ….and the athletes that make it are the ones who will hold up in that environment….this is a fact aht cannot be ignored either…you often see guys go excel in international leagues where the physicality is not as prominent, the schedule not so gruelling,etc.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Gerald – I remember Gretzky saying that Canada not showing up for the bronze medal game was one of his only regrets in his career. I believe it was Finlandd who kicked their butt even though Canada had a host of star talent on the team.


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