One-on-one: Hamrlik stands tall

Roman Hamrlik was the Canadiens’ biggest offseason acquisition, signing a four-year, $22- million deal as a free agent after playing the last two seasons in Calgary. While some criticized the move by general manager Bob Gainey, the Czech defenceman has silenced his ritics with his steady and confident play on the blue line.

Heading into last night’s game against Pittsburgh, the 6-foot-2, 208-pounder had three goals and 15 assists to go along with a plus-6. While Hamrlik won’t put up the same offensive numbers as Sheldon Souray, the previous No. 44 with the Canadiens, the goals he prevents more than make up for it.

In this week’s One-on-One, The Gazette’s Kevin Mio sat down with Hamrlik to discuss his desire to play in Canada and one embarrassing moment he isn’t likely to forget.

14 Comments

  1. Smart Dog says:

    Hamrlik was a great signing. Solid defensive player who knows the game well, helps steady the team. And yes Markov, Komi, O’Byrne… but don’t forget Gorges who is becoming a force in his own right. And for a sixth – if you put the Cube in there… I wasn’t a fan before but I’m becoming one. He plays big and tough. That’s one helluva defensive corps. Surely one of the best in the league.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  2. Moey says:

    The Hammer was a great signing, any truth to the rumor that Ottawa had their eye on him (the greedy beggars). Much as I loved Souray (and still do) as a team we have improved without him.

  3. MikeMcLaren says:

    Removing request for link to article, was taken care of promptly (thanks!)

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  4. MikeMcLaren says:

    So Hamrlik says Dave Babych was one of his idols growing up?

    Gotta say that’s the first time I’ve heard a player say that… not as stunning a revalation as Max Pacioretty idolizing Jed Ortmeyer, but still… fascinating!

    Good work as always, Kevin.

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  5. Kevin Mio says:

    Sorry guys. Brain cramp on that this morning. The link is there now.

    Sorry for the delay.

    Kevin Mio

  6. Chuck says:

    As always, a great read, Kevin.

    I’ve got to admire a guy that frequents Queue de Cheval. I make a point of eating there every time I make it up to Montreal for a game.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  7. nick says:

    FYI – Carey Price played in Hamilton and brought a W for the Bulldogs saving 19 out of 20 shots. 2-1 was the final score.

  8. westhab says:

    They miss Hammer big time here in Calgary. Dion isn’t quite the same without him. Right now I think the Flames are still looking for a replacement. I was very happy when I found put the Habs got him.

  9. westhab says:

    is there on spel chek here??

  10. CHsam says:

    Yeah I noticed the change in Dion’s play too. Goes to show that one man’s success is dependent on those around him (unless you’re Mats Sundin).

  11. sanj91 says:

    Hamrlik’s amazing d is even more prominent with Markov’s transition to an offensive d-man… Hamrlik and komi are possibly teh best shut-down d-men I’ve seen in a long time…that said, I still (like I did in the summer) think that 5.5M is a bit too much…I have a feeling even Hammer was surprised…I think 4M would have been fair and would’ve made this acquisition even better…but no use if-ing….I look forward to next 3 years…I just hope Hammer can make O’Byrne into a Dion Phaneuf….

  12. CHsam says:

    Yeah I hope so too. If O’Byrne develops nicely as well as Komi, then I think we’ve got a good D corps. Nothing against Souray, but I think we all knew we needed a stronger and more stable defence. Doesn’t hurt that our goalie situation is pretty good too.

  13. Bill H says:

    I agree. With O’Byrne maturing quickly, our D corps is looking more solid. Markov, Komi, Hamrlik and O’Byrne. That is a great top 4.

    But I disagree with your statement about Souray. We all know now that we needed a more stable defence, but back then, there were lots of people that were whining about losing Souray, how our power play would collapse and we would be lost. It was Gainey that offered Souray what he thought he was worth given his defensive liabilities. When it wasn’t enough for Souray, he let Souray walk and used the cap space to sign Hamrlik. It was a good move by Gainey, but a lot of people criticized him for it. And its a good example of how the salary cap has changed how GMs must operate to be successful.

  14. sidhu says:

    Hammer has been strong and steady on the blueline, I’m glad we have him back there. He can be a good mentor to O’Byrne and is able to play well with whoever is paired with him.

    PS – “Paul Coffee”?


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