One-on-one with Habs’ Andrei Markov

Andrei Markov

Locked-out, healthy Andrei Markov would entertain a KHL offer in a heartbeat. “I’m not going to just stay here and waste my time, you know?” he says.
Len Redkoles, NHLI via Getty Images

The Gazette and Hockey Inside/Out’s Dave Stubbs sat alone for a half-hour on Friday with Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov to discuss the two-time all-star’s fitness, his legendary right knee, his playing plans for the lockout, his critics, Habs fans – and even the drought-ending goal he scored in the Tournée des joueurs charity event last Thursday in Châteauguay. That was Markov’s first goal in an organized game in almost 23 months, and he laughed about that one.

Stubbs’s two stories from his visit with Markov are below.

First, the feature column, an in-depth look at the Russian rearguard. And then the companion sidebar on how Markov was rebuilt in the gym since late last December, bringing him to the “very good place,” in the words of his trainer, Scott Livingston, that he is today.

Canadiens’ Andrei Markov in action against the Capitals in Washington last March 31.
Mitchell Layton, NHLI via Getty Images

The Gazette

“I was lucky,” Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov was saying through a grin a few days ago. “I was in front of the net and the puck came to me.”

The goal Markov scored last Thursday ended a personal scoring drought of almost 23 months and no, he never considered keeping the puck as a souvenir.

“Nothing special,” he joked.

We spoke for a half-hour in the empty lobby of a Candiac arena last Friday morning, Markov slipping from intense to light-hearted and back in quick, effortless dekes. He was in blue longjohns, soon to practice with teammates and a few fellow NHLers, and as we talked he fidgeted with his BlackBerry, its blinking red light signalling a message or more.

Markov had potted his Thursday goal in Châteauguay in the first game of the Tournée des joueurs, the evolving charity event organized by Philadelphia Flyers’ Max Talbot and Bruno Gervais for a group of locked-out NHL players.

The Russian’s last goal in any kind of organized game had come Nov. 9, 2010 at the Bell Centre, the winner against the Vancouver Canucks. Three games later, he was sidelined with his second torn anterior cruciate ligament in less than seven months.

Markov finally returned to the Canadiens lineup last March 10, having missed 133 regular-season games and all seven in the 2011 playoffs. The 33-year-old played 13 of the Habs’ final 14 games last season, trained ferociously through the summer and now, fitter and better conditioned than he’s been in three years, he is locked out, chipping in with other players to rent ice in community barns like Candiac.

As the labour dispute drags into its third week, no end in sight, Markov is ready at a moment’s notice to return to Russia should a suitable offer come from the Kontinental Hockey League.

“It’s a possibility,” he admitted. “I just want to play. To lose another season would be my third. I don’t want to do that. If I’m going to have options over there, I’ll look at them.

“Actually, I’m looking forward to playing there. Why not? It’s like a new league. There are good players there.”

Markov said he’s “not looking aggressively,” but a new agent representing him in Russia is keeping a sharp eye out.

“If it’s a good (offer), I’d look forward to it,” he said, having played for Dynamo Moscow during the 2004-05 lockout. “It won’t be easy. The (KHL) teams didn’t know there’d be a lockout and their rosters are already packed. They’d have to open a  space for another player. But if someone is interested in me, I’m always open and always available.”

Markov says there is no date circled on his calendar for such a move. But he’s not prepared to tread water indefinitely.

“It could happen any day,” he said of an offer. “I’m ready to leave tonight or tomorrow if it’s an interesting offer. I’m not going to just stay here and waste my time, you know? I want to play and enjoy the game.

“I hope (the NHL and NHLPA) sign an agreement today and we start camp tomorrow. But I realize it’s a business. It’s not my job. I don’t think anybody knows when it’s going to be over.”

It’s no wonder that Markov is eager to play, having seen action in just 73 of the Canadiens’ 272 regular-season and playoff games since the start of the 2009-10 season.

In order, he’s been sidelined by a lacerated tendon in his left foot, slashed by goalie Carey Price’s skate in the first game of the 2009-10 season; a brief, unspecified lower-body injury two games before the 2010 Olympic break; a torn right ACL that required surgical reconstruction; a second tear of the same ACL seven games after his return; and finally 11 months ago, an arthroscopic clean-up of the joint.

Along the way he’s become a Canadian citizen, also keeping his Russian passport, and 15 months ago he signed a three-year, $17.75-million contract, eight days before he’d have become an unrestricted free agent.

To the criticism of many, Markov returned for 13 of the Canadiens’ final 14 games last season, the Habs by then eliminated from the playoffs and facing opponents that were battling hard for playoff seeding.

Clearly, his timing was off and there was rust he still hadn’t scraped off by season’s end.

“I don’t want to talk about those kinds of people,” Markov said of those who second-guessed his decision to play. “They know nothing about hockey. You have to know the person and what’s inside that person.

“I hadn’t played for almost two years. I knew I needed to play, if even with just 14 games left, and even if I wasn’t 100 per cent. I was happy to play my 13 games. They helped me a lot. They showed me the things I had to work on during the summer. And it was important finally to have some fun, to be with the guys on the ice, to feel the game and the support of the fans.”

After a summer of gruelling training, his program directed by renowned certified athletic therapist Scott Livingston, Markov is raring to go – with nowhere to go, for the time being.

Shortly before the lockout was announced, he sat in the Brossard office of Michel Therrien, under whom he played in 2000-02 during the coach’s first tour of Habs duty, and renewed acquaintances.

“Michel told me what he wants to see in the team and he asked me how I feel about the team,” Markov said. “It was a good conversation, nothing too specific, and I’m looking forward to working with him.

“We’re on the same page. We’ll see.”

No doubt, Markov will continue to confound many who will stand before him with a microphone or notebook, questions sometimes yielding sharp-tongued replies or uncomfortably long silences punctuated by icy stares.

Some suggest he’s the most misunderstood player on the club, though at least one player says he’s far from the world’s best teammate.

“I try to be honest with people, that’s all,” Markov said, shrugging. “If you’re thinking something, why not say it? But you must be smart when you do.”

He guards his personal life jealously – he won’t even discuss a new tattoo, suggesting it’s his business alone – but admits that, unlike many players, he’ll occasionally read the papers and the Internet.

“Sometimes it’s funny to read the comments from the writers and fans,” he said. “Sometimes they hate you, sometimes they like you. It’s fun. Even from that, you can learn something.

“I remember many years ago, someone told me, ‘It’s easy for you, earning your salary, playing a couple times a week.’ My answer was, ‘I’ve been playing hockey since I was 6 years old. Why didn’t you start what you’re doing when you were 6?’

“Sometimes, people don’t understand what we go through. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. That’s our life.”

The lockout is just one more obstacle on Markov’s road back to the game he loves. What he’s missed most, he says, is everything.

“It starts in the morning when you wake up on a game day,” he said. “The morning skate, lunch, your nap, preparation before the game, the warmup, seeing the fans. The routine is special. You can’t replace that with anything else.

“I enjoy every time I step on the ice at the Bell Centre. Our fans know and understand the game. They cheer for us and sometimes they hate us, but I know they always support us.”

After three surreal seasons – the last two an endless nightmare – and after forever-long days in the clinic and rehab, Markov is finally ready to once more play in robust health.

Can he again be a thoroughly dominant defenceman? Even he doesn’t have the answer for that.

“I have lived through many difficult situations,” Markov said, his thumb now twitching on his phone, a message or more still unheard. “Right now, I try not to think about the past. I try to stay positive and focus on the things I must.

“This hasn’t been just about hockey, it’s been about life. You can be on top one day and so much down the next. But the people close to me have supported me 100 per cent.

“I’m looking ahead day by day, because I never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Hopefully soon, any day, any time, something is going to happen. And I want to be ready when it does.”

Andrei Markov defends the Canadiens net in front of goaltender Carey Price in Vancouver last March 10 in his return to action following his second ACL surgery.
Rich Lam, NHLI via Getty Images

How Andrei Markov was rebuilt, inside and out

The Gazette

His 13-game 2011-12 NHL season complete last April 7, Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov set himself one very simple goal for the summer:

“To become stronger and healthier,” Markov said during a talk last Friday in Candiac.

Markov’s season began with a bold prediction from Pierre Gauthier, then his general manager, served up at the team’s mid-September golf tournament in Laval.

Gauthier suggested that Markov, on Dec. 8, 2010 having undergone his second major right-knee ACL reconstruction  in seven months, would be ready for the start of the 2011-12 season.

The prediction missed the mark by a bit. Three months later, a year after the second ACL rebuild, Markov had to undergo an arthroscopic procedure to clean up debris in the joint, Gauthier then saying that Markov “absolutely” would play before season’s end.

That forecast proved accurate, the 33-year-old defenceman returning to action in Vancouver last March 10, his first of 13 games he would play by season’s end.

For months, Markov had been working with the Canadiens medical and athletic therapy staff, slowly rounding into form. But late last December, he arrived for additional treatment on the St. Henri studio doorstep of Scott Livingston, a certified athletic therapist and the Canadiens’ former strength and conditioning co-ordinator.

From that moment onward, Livingston performed what he called the “back-end rehab program” for Markov, then accepted the defenceman’s request to train him through the summer.

The offseason work involved a reconditioning and conditioning program and lung-torching cardio that included intense PowerWatts cycling sessions with a dynamic group of elite amateur and professional athletes, including skiers, hockey players and Olympic diver Alex Despatie.

“Basically,” Markov said, “I found the right person who helped me a lot and put me back in shape.”

Livingston has an excellent working relationship with Habs head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend and his team and he’ll not get in the way of the club’s work once the lockout ends.

But he will be available to Markov, if requested, having produced what appears to be a new and vastly improved defenceman.

“Andrei looks to be in great shape, and he is,” Livingston said. “A lot of the reason why his ACL tore twice was because there was a lot of stuff above his knee that needed to get cleaned up – his hip and back, etc. We had a chance to fix all that so I think he feels good where is right now.”

If Markov largely credits Livingston for his excellent strength and conditioning, the trainer says it’s the player who deserves the praise.

“People need to know that Andrei has worked very hard the last eight, nine months to get himself where he is right now,” he said. “I’ll give the guy total credit. He’s come in and done everything I’ve asked him to do and more, all the time. He’s a good man and he’s put his full effort into being where he needs to be.

“I really would have liked to see how things would go for him right out of the gate. He’s in a really good place,” said Livingston, like everyone unhappy with the lockout.

“Cardiovascularly and strength-wise, he’s very, very strong. I think he feels better on the ice than he has for a long time, which is really nice for him. He has a smile on his face a lot, which is nice because the past few years have been pretty difficult for him.

“People don’t understand Andrei that much but he’s a very proud man and I don’t think he’s very happy with how things have gone physically for him the past few seasons. He’s not happy that he’s not been able to do what he wants to do.”

Markov says he got back on skates a little more than a month ago, having focused in Livingston’s gym on rebuilding his body’s alignment, strength and cardiovascular capacity.

Had the Canadiens training camp opened as scheduled on Sept. 21 with medicals and testing, Livingston believes that Markov would have been “right up there” with the fittest players.

Most important to the two-time all-star, however, is the idea of finally getting a chance to play again with a strong body that’s brimming with confidence.

“I was ready to start camp,” Markov said of the suspended period of preseason training. “There, you have three weeks to improve and get stronger and play (exhibition) games, which are better than one practice after another.

“I can’t say I was 100 per cent at the end of last season. But right now, I don’t want to look back. I feel strong and ready to play and that was my goal going into the summer.”
Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs


  1. nunacanadien says:

    I wonder if it would be possible to refloat the idea of setting up a hockey league where players play well hockey and owners, well sign hockey players. Not like the NHL has become where the habs sign injured defensemen, draft injured defensemen, and basically have a roster of defensemen who can’t play hockey but who have very lucrative contracts…..

    World Hockey Association where are you when we need you?

  2. shiram says:

    So when is the HIO cd coming out, and is Mike Boone singing solo or are there duets?

  3. Mattyleg says:

    Ah, John, my achilles heel…

    NHL Villanelle

    The lockout goes on and on,
    The puck is dead without the whistle’s trill,
    The winter will be far too long.

    Croesus tilts at Midas among
    Scurrying lawyers, their voices shrill;
    The lockout goes on and on.

    Where is the surging crowd, their ole song
    Silent through rafters with banners still?
    The winter will be far too long.

    The merchant eyes his stock along
    Dust-dark shelves and wonders, will
    The lockout really go on and on?

    The midweek fan, wishing he could throng
    To bars, arenas, yearning for the thrill…
    The winter will be far too long.

    And we demand, Who will right the wrong?
    As our sport is penned in for the kill.
    The lockout just goes on and on,
    The winter will be far too long.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  4. Lafleurguy says:

    I’m going to put it out there for folks fo contemplate, but Bettmann and Fehr did not grow up as kids who passionately loved NHL hockey like most of us did, and this fact alone impacts their current intransigence. As fans we are enormously frustrated, and the notion of a season without NHL hockey evokes genuine uber-angst in multiple ways. Bettman and Fehr do not share this passion. They have the psyche of O.J. Simpson trial lawyers (both sides), and the only mission is to win, not to achieve fairness. I doubt very much they followed hockey as kids. They are immigrants to this nation of hockey and like many immigrants (but not all), have their loyalties elsewhere. Do you think Donald Fehr saw Sid the Kid’s Golden Goal (or cheered when Team USA came back from 2 goals down)? What were these two dude’s favourite sport in the Winter Olympics? They’re more familiar with Shaun White than Ryan White, or Picaboo Street than Mark Streit. These 100% mercenaries have hijacked notre Jeux du Passion, and I can only pound away at this keyboard.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Agree. Fehr is a labor lawyer whose sole purpose is to extract the most money from owners with little regard to the sport. As an example his resistance to working with MLB with drug testing even though it was obvious players were cheating endangering the integrity of the game. Bettman? Greed is his motivation
      Us fans? We just want our game back.


    • mrhabby says:

      There just doing the job they have been given by the players and owners. Both have support and its not going to change any time soon. I would say Bettman is passionate for the well being of the game not sure about DF. The process is the same as the NFL, NBA just the way it is.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hiring these legal eagles to work out CBA negotiations is fine by me, however, I would think both the owners and players would want someone involved in the dealmaking process who would be a stakeholder to each group, someone who has passion towards the cause. A Gretzky or Yzerman or Dryden or someone that could be a leader for the cause, while the Fehr of the world hammers away for the bucks they want and deserve. Probably far to Eutopian a wish, but then again, I also dream of a League where a Commissioner has the owners backs to a certain extent but is also appreciative, resptectful and fair in dealing with the players.

  5. HabinBurlington says:

    As an FYI, this is the BRI (Basketball Related Income) Definition which the NBA and the NBA Players Union agreed upon in their most recent agreement. They also went from approx. 57% share to the players to approx. 51% in the new agreement.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    I am going to let W.H. Auden respond to John Bellyfull.

    A villanelle in its purest form.

  7. SmartDog says:

    Give me Markov’s insightful and honest comments over those of most hockey players any day.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree SD, at least he isn’t a quote machine of trivial sayings as so many are. I can’t wait to see Andrei back on the ice in great form.

  8. Clay says:

    Lockout Haiku # 2:
    Eighteen days of strife
    Lockout bears its ugly fruit
    No end is in sight

    ☞ The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. ~ Richard Feynman ☜

  9. HabinBurlington says:

    So both Josh Rimer and Bill Watters are tweeting that they think Bettman may try bring in Replacement Players. Uh oh, this could really get ugly.

    Having said that, we could then have a Summit in Montreal and if a player scores a Hat Trick we can throw Geritol on the ice, as the rumour thinks that Bettman believes players in their 30’s will want to cash their final paycheques.

  10. JohnBellyful says:

    Lockout – Day 17

    Agreed: players are both employees and product. So are the M & M guys, Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Peanut, Snap, Crackle and Pop. How much leverage do you think they have when it comes time to renew their contracts? You know as well as I do they’ll get eaten up. The players should be worried.

    Sometimes it’s okay for history to repeat itself.
    The players’ union should be pushing for a notwithstanding clause in the next CBA. It got a deal done for the feds and the premiers when they were negotiating a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the 1980s.
    A notwithstanding clause could be the very thing the NHLPA needs to clear the logjam stalling CBA talks.
    Not for itself but for the owners. The owners acted like it existed in the last contract, the way so many of them violated the spirit and the intent of the agreement with a raft of ridiculous player signings. So formally include it in a new contract, and make life simpler for all concerned.
    The owners – ALL of them – will feel empowered, and not at the mercy of rivals with deeper pockets and greater influence, and the players will, no doubt, end up getting what they did the last time around – a robust increase in income.
    Besides, when it comes to exploiting an ambiguity in a contract, the union already has a Lupul.

    Wonder if Timmy T’s gonna live-tweet the presidential debate Wednesday.

    Mea culpa: While HIO is refreshingly lenient in accepting posts without regard to spelling, grammatical construction, rhetorical flourishes or factual content, there are still certain unspoken expectations contributors have of their peers and I must confess I have of late fallen short of even those modest standards.
    While there are too many examples of my recent failings to enumerate here in what is intended to be a short entry in the lockout diary, permit me to draw attention to just a few errors contained in posts offered up over the last few days:
    – placing the mention of timers on showers as a revenue generator for team owners when, in fact, it is intended to serve as a device for cutting down on expenses;
    – referring to Kid Fehr as a tinhorn when what I meant to say was greenhorn;
    – lastly, I was informed just yesterday that Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and that Stephen Harper is the prime minister, not Steve Allen.
    All minor errors, I grant you, and certainly well within the 25 per cent range of unintended mistakes I try not to exceed in order to maintain credibility on this site.
    Still, they are bothersome, as I had a streak of seven error-free posts going until I was undone by my own fallibility.


    It’s been a long time since I read a good villanelle, that exquisite conjunction of five tercets followed by a quatrain. If only there was someone on this site who could make that yearning go away.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Wonderful as always JB. Have no idea what the last paragraph means. Could you please let me know if I am to respond by laughing, crying, anger or other? Thanks bud.

      Stupid but Friendly American


    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gotta admit my online dictionary had a hard time keeping up with your final paragraph. Sounds like the lockout is getting you stressed out pal, don’t fret over the minor mistakes its not like anyone here would ever point out your shortcomings.

      Have a good day sir.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        Tsk, tsk. I can’t believe how far our educational system has fallen. What, exactly, are the young whipper-snappers being taught these days?
        Heck, I was dabbling in tercets in kindergarten and had composed my first villanelle by the time I was in Grade 2.
        It’s all texting now with acronyms and smiley faces. I fear for the younger generations.
        IMHO, all these Twitter users need to go into tweHab

    • Cal says:

      Ah, JB, you make me stretch (out to Google- what the hell’s one of them there villanelles?) However, your yearning becomes my challenge for the day. Forgive me if it is a little trite.

      Small Gary met calmly with Fehr,
      Nothing to say, but yet he was clear
      That he would never go there.

      Not close enough to go there,
      Owners beginning to stir with fear;
      Some beginning to pull on barely-there hair.

      Gary jealous of the other’s chair,
      Mindful of how it would appear
      A union rep, seeming without a care.

      Games cancelled because of Gary’s dare,
      Too soon more deadlines come near
      A shrug of the shoulders from Fehr.

      Gary speaks to cameras there
      About fixed rates and prices queer
      The talks continue in that lair
      And none but the fans truly care.

  11. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I will go one better than Gretzky
    …a few weeks ago I predicted CBA negotiations will be concluded by mid-October to beginning of December, and I am sticking to that
    …You can lob Your brickbats at Me if, and when, I am wrong
    …or, You can start early if You are so inclined 🙂

    …I was hopeful a deal would be struck in-time to make Ian’s HIO Summit a go …but, that looks like a long-shot, unfortunately

    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PUSSY RIOT !!!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      No objects being thrown your way from me kind sir. What has be worried the most is the number of players who fled overseas so quickly. I’m worried that they’re prepared to blow a season in the attempt to get the owners to move. That said, I like your prediction much better.


    • HabinBurlington says:

      As others have suggested including myself, this either gets solved in fairly short order or it goes the whole season. I am somewhat optimistic given both sides are at least talking these days.

      I realize my view still contains some fence splinters in my backside, but I am kind of stuck on it at this point, anyone got a ladder to help me off the fence?

  12. commandant says:

    Ryan Kujawinski, 2013 Draft Eligible, is OHL player of the week.

    As I said last week…. watch this kid.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  13. youngwun says:

    Who the hell voted for the owners in the poll? Straight disrespectful!

    • ooder says:

      other then wanting a rollback on current contracts.. the players are being straight up dumb in this negotiation
      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  14. Boomer says:

    Haven’t checked out the site as often as i have before but everytime I come on I notice a post about Galchenyuk/Grigorenko. Let me just say you really shouldn’t use this year as a measuring stick for Gally. He just came off missing a full season of hockey. This year will be good for him to knock off the rust and get back into the groove of things. It’s similar to Markov. Remember when he came back and his timing was off? It takes some time.
    Anyways, Scouting is about projection guys. Ask anyone who’s actually seen him play, he’s something else. Give the kid some time 🙂

  15. HabFab says:

    @commandant – do you understand how the PA comes to this 51% instead of the 57% figure?

    • commandant says:

      I assume they get there by looking at what the value of all the exclusions are.

      Lets not forget that the PA has requested and gotten over 75,000 pages of financial disclosure from the NHL.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • HabFab says:

        I’m curious as it would represent almost 12% more revenue.

        • commandant says:

          Part of it is the fact there are so many discounts given.

          Ie…. cost of all marketing efforts, plus the staff involved in those efforts is discounted. Any money spent in order to generate revenue is discounted from HRR. I’m sure those NHL Ad campaigns aren’t cheap.

          Next you discount out all the ticket sellers, ticket takers, concession workers, etc… all those salaries are removed from Total Revenue before you get to HRR…. so when people say that the owners still have to pay these people out of their 43%, it isn’t true… you’ve already accounted for them.

          Then you take out 46% of concession sales, as this is assumed to be the cost of the food and drinks.

          Then you take out things like selling tours of the arena.

          Then you take out things like investment income for the team, and real estate income…. ie (what the Leafs get from Real Sports, or Maple Leaf Square, and what the Habs will get from Le Tour Des Canadiens) etc….

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • HabFab says:

            So it is money they don’t deserve in the first place which is why I guess I find it offensive that they even mention it which they don’t very much. Just Fehr throwing out figures to baffle peoples heads. Trying to compete with Bettman on BSing.

          • commandant says:

            Whether or not they deserve it, isn’t the issue.

            The issue is that people want to compare 57% of HRR to the NFL’s CBA at 49% or the NBA CBA at 50% and say, why can’t the NHL take the same percentage?

            Because its comparing apples to oranges. These other leagues include those things in total revenue, and the NHL is doing a deduction for HRR.

            Secondly there are misconceptions about the “other staff” and “other expenses” that NHL teams pay out of the 43% that they get. This is to clear up some of those misconceptions. The arena staff have already been accounted for, the cost of food and merchandise is already accounted for, a number of other expenses are accounted for. So its not a fair statement when we talk about the expenses for NHL teams.

            The only expenses that haven’t been covered before HRR is divided up are management expenses, travel, and the overheads on the buildings.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

        • Ron says:

          You would have to ask…

  16. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay finally some huge hockey news, Paul Mara signs with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL! 🙂 (Ontario, California by the way)

    • Bripro says:

      How the mighty have fallen!
      Imagine…. a first rounder.

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hmmm, was just logged in as Stubbs, looks like the system has its quirks back. Was gonna edit your post bud, but couldn’t do that to a friend like you. 🙂

        • Bripro says:

          Wow, you are the privileged one! Since you now have your writing cap on, try this one Gerry! How’s this for a metaphor?
          On a completely un-related sports topic, a fish truck crashed into a building named after Jeffrey Loria.
          There was no mention of the thousands of shrimp victims, and no, I don’t mean David Sampson.

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • HabinBurlington says:

            LOL, I saw that on deadspin and considered posting link for all of us Expo fans that despise Loria! Saw the comment as well, too funny bud.

    • 24moreCups says:

      I kinda like him to, or his beard at least.

  17. HabFab says:

    Some Bulldog scrimmage video;

  18. Bripro says:

    Here’s Wayne Gretzky’s take on the current situation.

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  19. habs-fan-84 says:

    Lockout will not last the entire season. At the worst, NHL is back in December IMO

  20. Ron says:

    Frank, how long has that blog been around ? Its only this year that I follow it a few times a week. Habsworld that is.

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    The fact that tomorrows negotiation agenda includes discussing the defining of HRR (Hockey Releated Revenue) I think is positive.

    Given that the biggest issue is the split of HRR and the fact the NHLPA disputes the current definition of HRR we at least are seeing discussion related to core issue.

    • HabFab says:

      “No hockey for you” …the Furbutt Nazis

    • commandant says:

      Players don’t dispute the current definition of HRR, its the owners who wanted to change it in their intial proposal.

      So putting it back on the table seems a step backward IMO.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I thought I had seen where you have typed that the NHLPA currently believes that the HRR definition actually results with them getting 51% not 57% of the total HRR?

        Regardless of who disputes the definition, I feel HRR definition is closer related to talking about the split amount between two parties than the Dental Plan or Pension Plan. That is the reason I see something positive.

        Plus I am desperate to see something positive.

        • Bripro says:

          Bon, another one bringing up the dental plan! That’s getting long in the tooth! 😉

          “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • Habfan10912 says:

            :). Is it time we moved on to the vision plan?


          • Bripro says:

            I’d like to say “I saw that coming”, but I didn’t.

            If this is seriously what’s holding everything up, they’ll be needing more than glasses!

            “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

          • HabFab says:

            “No hockey for you two” …the Furbutt Nazis

        • commandant says:

          The PA does say that the current definition results in them getting 51% of total revenue when they get 57% of HRR.

          However they don’t want to redefine HRR, but the fact above is why they want 54% as a minimum and not go 50-50 or 48% like other sports because its comparing apples to oranges when other sports are talking total revenue and hockey is doing HRR.

          Having both sides agree on what HRR is, would be a good thing, because once you agree what the pie is, then you can decide how to split it up.

          If they aren’t even agreed on what is included in the pie, then we’ve taken a step back from 2 weeks ago when they both agreed to leave HRR as it was in the last deal in their latest proposals.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Well given that the two sides don’t agree on what is HRR, it needs to be agreed upon in order for the split to be discussed when both sides use the same numbers.

            I just hope it starts meaningful discussion is all. Given there has been little or none of that so far.

  22. Kooch7800 says:

    Cody Franson one of the best Leaf D prospects just singed a year deal overseas and isn’t coming back this season. That is not a good sign. He is an RFA (same as PK).

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Apparantly has an out clause in the contract (speculated it would be used if he was traded) allowing him to return to NHL. Toronto really wasn’t playing him much and they picked up Franson and Lombardi for a bag of pucks from Nashville.

      I think comparing his situation to PK is a big stretch. If a Jamie Benn or PK signed a contract like this in Europe, I think then that would be really significant. I don’t mind Franson and think he was really misused by Toronto.

      • neumann103 says:

        I thought the whole point of that Toronto Nashville deal was to get Franson and that the Leafs were willing to take the salary dump of Lombardi (assuming he would be on LTIR) to make that happen.

        I mean as much as people like to harp on the failings of Kaberle or Weber, the Leafs did not have 6 actual NHL level defensemen last season. I am not sure how they can give up on Franson.

        “Et le but!”

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think if the Leafs don’t have Komisareks contract with no movement clause, Franson is regular 5th-6th dman instead of Komo. BUt that isn’t the case, and Franson was not happy with playing time situation etc….

      • Kooch7800 says:

        I like Franson, he was never liked by Wilson and his play and ice time showed it.

        For the record I wasn’t saying PK would do the same or is comparable do man, just that they are both rfa’s.

        Could be a bold move to get a trade away from Burke and his regime.

    • commandant says:

      Franson played 57 games last year and was often a healthy scratch or given limited minutes as the 6th dman.

      He’s 25 years old.

      He’s “one of the best Leaf D Prospects”… if that was true, the Leafs would be in even more trouble than they are in.

      Franson isn’t that good… Toronto Hype Machine in overdrive when he was acquired, but teh reality is that he’s nothing special.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  23. Bripro says:

    Everyone is waiting on the NHL and NHLPA to see if a new CBA will run the presses soon. I would wager that the simple answer is no.
    Even before the expiry of the last CBA, neither side made an effort to sit down together and be pro-active. And since these so-called negotiations have started, they haven’t agreed on a single thing.
    The two parties were reviewing the litigation points pertaining to HRR. I’m sure these are substantial.
    The NHL wants to eliminate some of what the players take for granted, and the players want a larger stake in the benefits of the HRR, but neither side can agree on how much or what this represents.
    So they’ve agreed to meet again, but not until tomorrow.
    Does that tell you that they’re determined to get a deal done?
    If they can’t even define the parameters of the HRR issues, this will drag on.
    The players are trying to show courage in solidarity, but the owners (aside from a few, I’m sure) own a hockey team more or less as a hobby and as such, aren’t in any hurry. It’s 2004-05 all over again.
    At first, I foresaw them starting again prior to the Winter Classic, mostly so as not to upset their network contract investors.
    Now? I’m not so sure!

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • mrhabby says:

      iam still of the opinion that as soon as pay stubs are not received by the players (particulary the player making less than 1m ) then we might start seeing some action here. i get what the players are trying to do but owners have deep pockets..will see what happens once games get cancelled..

      • Bripro says:

        I hope you’re right. But the players seems more committed than they did under Goodenow.

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  24. habs001 says:

    Markov will have a good season… after all a certain running back is not doing badly after major surgery…A shortened season will help Markov

  25. Bripro says:

    I don’t know what to do as a mere fan during this lock out, but these clowns should know that as fans, our lives have meaning!!!
    It’s a good idea to keep your nerves in check, à la Frank Zappa or à la Robin Williams.
    But sometimes, you just have to
    enjoy a good meal,
    forget about hockey for now, and learn about the really important things in life!

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  26. geo_habsgo says:

    I believe that Markov, if healthy should be our Number One defencemen. However, why is there so much talk on here that Subban needs to develop into a number 1 D? He is already there and still getting better.

    Even with his alleged “sophmore slump” that occurred last season, he was still our best D and would be a top pairing D on maybe 27 of 30 teams in the NHL

    We now just have two players on the team who are #1 D. Let’s enjoy the older one while the younger one becomes a legend.

  27. jon514 says:

    The idea that they are meeting for even fifteen minutes is ludicrous. This is their “bi-monthly” conversation as I see it:

    Fehr to Bettman: Are you ready to pull me down to 54% yet?
    Bettman to Fehr: Are you ready to pull me up to 50% yet?
    Fehr: No!
    Bettman: No!
    Fehr: Same time tomorrow?
    Bettman: No I’m in Hawaii for the next 2 weeks. Let’s make Daly talk to Steve a few times while I’m away so the fans don’t move on with their lives?
    Fehr: Sounds good, have a nice time!

    I mean what else is there to say? They both know where they stand and time is the only factor that can alter anything.

  28. Not to take sides here — I honestly have no idea what a “fair” salary is to play hockey really well — but I don’t really blame the players for fighting this one. They would have been happy to continue with the status quo, and even offered to continue playing without a CBA as negotiations went on.

    But if you fold when your boss unilaterally decides to cut your pay by 24% in 2012 — especially when he also rolled back salaries at the last lockout — what’s to stop him from doing the same thing after the next CBA expires, and the one after that?

    Millionaires or not, these players signed contracts with business-savvy owners who (understandably) paid them as little as they could get away with, and are now trying to get away with paying them even less by throwing those contracts out the window. I don’t care if the owners signed them for $10M a year or next to nothing: you honour your contracts.

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

    • jon514 says:

      Actually I’d like to ask Bell, Rogers and Telus to “roll back” everyone’s smartphone contract prices by 24%. “I know I agreed to pay you $65/month for 3 years but I’m only paying $46.80 cause someone else on the same plan somewhere can’t afford it. Thanks!”

      • My sentiments exactly. It’s one thing to fight for lower salaries in new contracts — no problem there. But it’s something else altogether to sign Evander Kane, say, to $5M/year for six years just 30 minutes before the CBA expires, and then unilaterally decide just a half hour later that actually you’re only giving him $3.8M.

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

  29. veryhabby says:

    Markov read this—– I expect a lot from you this year! Before you missed most of the past 3 season you and Pleks were our best players. I expect you to be one of our best again. The difference this time is that we have other players who will be joining you in that group. On D offense you won’t have to carry the whole team. I think this is a good thing! I still see you as the general of the D corp on offensive. This will also give PK a chance to keep developing before taking over the #1 reign in a few seasons.

    I don’t worry about your knee, but I do realize that you are now 3 yrs older then when you last lead this team on D. They say the prime is 27-31 yrs. But I think elite players stay in their prime a tad longer. So I don’t expect you to be as good as 4-6 yrs ago, but I expect you to be as good as a Markov at 33 yrs old would be if he hadn’t had 2 ACL issues.

    That’s how much faith I have.

  30. accp says:

    Markov can read this – you’re one hit away from being toast. done, history.

  31. bwoar says:

    “I remember many years ago, someone told me, ‘It’s easy for you, earning your salary, playing a couple times a week.’ My answer was, ‘I’ve been playing hockey since I was 6 years old. Why didn’t you start what you’re doing when you were 6?’

    I loved that. Absolutely brilliant. 10,000 Krys Barchs will never be worth one Andrei Markov. Just like 10,000 Timos will never be worth one Krys Barch.

  32. Habilis says:

    Three straight days of CBA meetings and not one iota of progress on the only issue that matters. That’s just super.

    It’s simply amazing to me that the players are willing to throw away another season like this.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the players need to recognize something, Gary Bettman only cares about the owners because they pay him and will pay him even more if he gets what they want. Therefore he cares what he gets for them.

      Donald Fehr I don’t think cares about the players, he cares only about his ego. I think for anyone to believe that Donald Fehr all of a sudden is passionate about hockey players seems crazy. I think he is ego driven to show he can beat two different groups of owners. He already defeated baseball and now wants to defeat the NHL. I personally don’t think he has any vested interest in what the players lose along the way. Players have relatively short careers, so while Fehr may think by waiting 1-2 years he can beat the owners, the players will be worse off for it.

      Whereas Bettman taking 1-2 years in order to win, will be a long term win for owners, since they will own teams much longer than a players career.

      • Bripro says:

        Truer words have never been spoken!!!
        Well, at least, not today.
        I said the exact same thing of Fehr when we learned that he was hired by the player’s association.
        Long before the discussions started or last season was finished, I used that exact example of how he ruined baseball (at least in this city) and is too egotistical to really care. If he truly did, he’d have Butthead sitting across from him every day, 7 days/week if need be, to get a deal done.
        You can’t tell me, given his resources, that he can’t have some gophers looking over the HRR clauses, enhancements to the CBA all the while personally showing up with Butthead to get this done.
        I’m sick of this!!!
        But I still come on here, because it’s not our fault. 😉

        “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

      • Habilis says:

        I agree 100%.

        I have had this nagging feeling all along that Fehr is in this more for his own legacy than anything else. As you said, he defeated baseball and now he want to be the guy who fixes hockey. The problem lies in the fact that the 30 owners don’t want to be told how to run their own businesses, which is what Fehr has tried to do with the attempted restructuring of revenue sharing. The owners just want more money, period.

        If Fehr were really working for the players best interests, he would sit them all down and explain that they have no leverage whatsoever and that the owners will simply wait as long as they have to, end of story. Taking a little less now and continuing to earn would serve everyone better than the alternative.

        Unfortunately for all of us, that just won’t happen. This is going to get worse before it gets better. I really hope someone proves me wrong on that, but it’s what my gut tells me.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Legacy is the word I was looking for, exactly Habilis. I think that is what this is all about for Fehr. Hope I am wrong, I think of all the pro athletes in the Big 4 sports, they are the most approachable and I wish them well. I just don’t think Fehr is motivated in the slightest by anything hockey related.

      • HabFarmer says:

        Both of these guys (Bettman and Fehr) are polishing up their respective legacies. I believe what you have here are two ego driven men, who have little interest in the “sport”, beyond it’s economic ramifications (and what that means to their respective clientele), and little to no concern for what it means to fans. In the case of Fehr, you have a guy who has come from a place far away from hockey and is doing a job – solving a problem – and cementing his place as THE GUY, who brought two sports to a respective catharsis/crossroads. Bettman, although he’s been in hockey for longer, also came from a place far away from it, and assertions to the contrary, remains at a distance from the sport. He is doing his job – solving a problem – and trying to put his own personal stamp on the sport.

        It’s a perfect storm for a long lockout.

        (Edit: I’m a slow typer, someone has said pretty much said the same thing).


        Bring on zee Fembaahhts!!

    • JF says:

      The one glimmer of hope is that Bettman and Fehr met privately a couple of times to discuss ways to bridge the gap on revenue division. I also read that the two sides are not meeting today because they have things to discuss with their members in connection with the weekend’s meetings. One source implied the meetings would then resume – but of course, if they don’t grapple with the core economic issue, we won’t be much farther.

      Nonetheless, I’m trying to remain optimistic that there’ll be hockey around mid-November. I just can’t believe the owners could be stupid enough and self-destructive enough to sacrifice the Winter Classic, the television series that goes with it, and all the spin-off and publicity from those events. And I can’t believe the players could be blind enough not to realize that losing even half the season would cost them far more than the value of any concessions they might wring out of the owners.

  33. Ozmodiar says:

    When I wonder about how effective Markov will be this upcoming (?) season, my best guess is that he’ll be Kaberle-like. I hope he proves me wrong.

    “…but admits that, unlike many players, he’ll occasionally read the papers and the Internet.”

    @Markov: Hey, Marky!! Did ya catch that?! I said you’d be Kaberle-like. Kaberle!! Prove me wrong, buddy!

  34. New says:

    Markov is the man. Few of the players would even remember they had a window of 14 games and appeared in 13.

    Just as an aside the Habs — at the end of the season when the games get real — had 16 points in Markov’s 13 games. We can all use a calculator but in case that works out to about 100 points over an 82 game schedule.

    A bunch of people always write things like “Yeah well he sucks and was a minus 2 and….” But you can’t ignore the simple facts. The Montreal Canadiens win with Markov and they don’t even come close without him.

    • Mustang says:

      I, for one, was very worried that he may get re-injured in one of those meaningless games at the end of last season. I am really happy that I was wrong and he was able to get some ice time. None-the-less, could you imagine what would have happened if he had re-injured that knee instead of waiting for next season? Of course, at that time, we did not know for sure that there would be another stupid lock-out.

  35. SmartDog says:

    Everyone, please stop being so BORING.

    Thank you.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Timo says:

      Halak is better than Price.

    • New says:

      I watched some of the Pleks streaming game yesterday — that is boring. Pleks, Jagr and who was it Tlusty? goofing around with a bunch of guys on tryout or something. But bodes well for the future. There is some good hockey there, just spread too thin unless more of the world level players go over.

      • Ron says:

        I have watched most of 3 of Plexs games and what stood out to me was the almost total lack of hard hits. Its even funnier when Kabbs was pushing people out of the crease as though he was some tough guy. A first for everything. Very boring hockey.

    • Psycho29 says:

      What do you know? You’ve never played the game!!!!
      (That one always stirs the pot!!!)


      • SmartDog says:

        Oh yah? When I was growing up we used to walk 10 miles to the rink – in our barefeet! And the Rocket lived next door, he helped me move that one time. Then later, Super Mario was my paper boy, I used to tell him “shot more Mario! you need to shoot more!”. And my kid used to slap Patrick Roy around before he put on a few pounds!

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  36. The Dude says:

    The Questionnaire should have : A) Owners
    B) Players
    C) Fans
    And that’s the problem,both sides for got where the moneys came from….

  37. Timo says:

    “They know nothing about hockey”.

    I guess those people are ok, Andrey when they buy tickets though that pay your ridiculous salary at 5mil/year for sitting on the bench.

    • SmartDog says:

      You’re taking that quote out of context.
      He was talking about people that criticize him for playing at then end of last season. He explained (and rightly so) how important it was for him in his recovery to play, to test the leg, see what he needs to work on – and as a player just to be on the ice again in a game again. He’s right, and I know you know he’s right. And his comment makes sense.

      I don’t like the fact that he played so few games (or even the contract the stupid Goat gave him either), but what you can you do? He’s done what he can to get back on the ice – the injuries aren’t his fault.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • habstrinifan says:

        While I think Markov’s statement must be viewed with the understanding that Markov’s unfamliarity witth ENGLISH may skewer his intended meaning, I dont think Timo took the quote ‘out of context’.

        Simply put the question to Markov would have been if it was unwise, as some fans thought, for him to come back for 13 to 14 games.

        And for him to respond that “those fans know nothing about hockey” is at the very least “inarticulately” put. In fact Markov’s statement does show not that the fans who wondered “why play” know nothing about hockey but an impatience on Markov’s part (and this is to be expected from an athlete forced ‘down’ for a lengthy period) about the rehabilitation process and its effects. The following passages from Markov show that thin skinned impatience which come sthrough in the answer referenced by Timo.

        “I remember many years ago, someone told me, ‘It’s easy for you, earning your salary, playing a couple times a week.’ My answer was, ‘I’ve been playing hockey since I was 6 years old. Why didn’t you start what you’re doing when you were 6?’

        “Sometimes, people don’t understand what we go through. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. That’s our life.”

        • SmartDog says:

          The language part might be true. People are often more direct in a 2nd language. But also I think he meant it.

          What he’s saying is that a hockey player isn’t a race car. Playing those 13 games has value certainly in terms of his rehab, but also motivationaly and as a teammate, which are also important. I think what he was saying was if you think there is no reason to play those 13 games because we’re out of the playoffs, you know nothing about hockey as it’s played at this elite level. As we here over and over there is NOTHING that can fully replicate game conditions for testing and preparing players.

          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • Timo says:

            His language is that of a spoiled, entitled professional athlete. Nothing more, nothing less. And I don’t buy the “second language” excuse. He’s been here long enough…

            However, I must be one of “those people who know nothing about hockey” and hence my views shall be discarded.

          • New says:

            I am abrupt in my first language and usually sitting in Emerg after using the second.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            @New, LMAO, very funny.

  38. kirkiswork says:

    I don’t know how it got to the point of the players getting 57% of hrr. I don’t think any business owner would give the employees that amount of revenue.
    The players cannot not win, even though they gave up an awful lot last cba they cannot win.
    They should make sure that current contracts are honored but they will have drop to at least 50% of hrr.

    • commandant says:

      Remember that HRR and Total Revenue are not the same thing.

      57% of HRR is roughly equivalent to 51% of total NHL revenue.

      Remember also that the players are more than employees, they are in large part the product as well.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Xsteve50 says:

      I agree 100% with you, noone should dictate what percentage of revenue you pay an employee. It is between the employee and the boss, why not leave it there. If the owners want to spend less, let them spend less, (the HUGH contracts signed just before the lockout as an example). If they choose to spend more…let them. It is their $$$.

    • SmartDog says:

      It’s entertainment. The players ARE the product.

      What % does Madonna get when she does a concert? I dunno but without Madonna, NO-ONE makes any money.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • B says:

        Apples and oranges IMO. Entertainment is a very broad spectrum. The closest entertainment comparable to me would be what % players in other pro sports get.

        • commandant says:

          And players in other sports get more or less 50% of total revenue (big 4 north america).

          Which more or less is what the hockey players are getting (currently 51% of total revenue)… and willing to drop HRR to 54%, meaning total revenue will be 48 or 49%

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

          • B says:

            Rhetoric aside, I am not really sure if the NHL players are getting screwed over compared to other pro sports leagues, but I still don’t believe the % of revenues players of pro sports get is comparable to the % Madonna gets from a concert (hence the apples to oranges comment).

  39. twilighthours says:

    Interesting comments from Krys Barch. He’s right on two points:

    -If the NHL wants teams in questionable markets, the system needs to be fixed so true revenue sharing exists

    -The NHL owners are locking out the players to backtrack on their own silly mistakes. NJ with Kovalchuk and Minnesota are the two glaring ones.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Those points are correct, but a player of Barch’s skillsets and talents, probably isn’t in the NHL if 1-2 teams are contracted. He should be careful what he wishes for.

      Absolutely owners screwed up the last agreement allowing themselves to loophole themselves into terrible contracts. But the biggest mistake they made was allowing the reveune split to get up to 57/43.

      • twilighthours says:

        Which is why the players are for a real revenue sharing system (I believe). They don’t want to lose jobs. No one wants contraction.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I think 2 teams should move and 2 teams should contract. This would alleviate the big money losing franchises.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            100% agree there. It would fix most of this.

            It wouldn’t have an impact on the TV contracts either.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Burly, is there going to be a cut off deadline for the consolation Summit? I am out of the country next week with not access to a computer.

            p.s. I can help out with some of the planning if you need. Just will be gone all of next week

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I need to do some work on it this week. But essentially tix are always easy to get for Dogs games. A few of us had already agreed on a date that worked for us to attend together. We then realized we should open up the date and see if others could attend, the more the merrier. Unfortunately it isn’t a Saturday game which I think others would have preferred.

            Tomorrow I will get some more details posted here.

            Worst case people buy tickets for $27 instead of $20.

            Does this make sense?

          • Kooch7800 says:

            Makes sense to me. Just let me know if you need a hand with any of it.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Skillset is an interesting choice of word in reference to Krys Barch. The ability to get hit in the head, and a willingness to use racist insults against your opponents, are the only “skills” I associate with him.

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

  40. SmartDog says:

    I’m somewhat encouraged by the idea that Buttman and Fair are discussing how to break the deadlock. The idea of just resubmitting proposals to each other over and over makes no sense. They need to discuss – as a reasonable people would – the reality that neither is going to get exactly what they want, and that they would be smart to look at where the middle ground is and to get there asap.

    They need to find some sense of balance with each other and then be prepared to go sell that to the people they represent. NO-ONE is going to win this one. Both need to give up some part of what they are trying to hold on to.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      It seems pretty obvious the owners are adamant about getting the revenue split closer or at 50/50. Donald Fehr has to realize owners can live with a lockout longer than players.

      So essentially Fehr needs to get together with the players and say, okay what other things do you guys want, because we are going to have to settle on 50/50 eventually so lets do it now but get other perks to compensate.

      To lose a year of salary and still end up with 50/50 is pointless for the players.

      • Morenz7 says:

        Yeah, +1. The problem for the players is that it doesn’t matter how “right” they are. They’re simply more vulnerable to a stoppage than the owners because they need their paycheques.

        A sizable portion of most owners’ fortunes lie in the book value of their teams, not the operating incomes. Work stoppages serve them because whatever they do to improve their bottom lines serves to increase the value of their franchises.

        As things stand now, the players would need a massive war chest to win a lockout against these guys.

      • SmartDog says:

        I posted about this (the idea that players need to give up money and grab other things in return) a week or two ago. But the NHL – or Gary Bettman – also need to see that there is a price to pay for keeping teams in places like Phoenix. They need to face a hard reality there.

        I also don’t believe the owners want to go a year without revenue any more than the players do

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  41. frontenac1 says:

    Love Markov but ….That Knee! I almost load my pants everytime he gets bumped.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      One positive is the team is used to playing without him….he hasn’t really played in two years and after this year it will be three. Could you imagine that the season does get cancelled. That three year deal they signed him to he would have played 13 games in 2 seasons.

      Really sad considering his skill level

  42. Kooch7800 says:

    Krys Barch sounding off on the weekend had one great quote :

    “If the NHL wants teams in the south or struggling markets, than the players along with the financially well to do teams need to start working together or they need to start to move teams to the North where they will make money,”

    He is bang on the money. Why do the players have to pay to keep franchises in brutal markets?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I still can’t get over the fact that some players have to have real jobs after hockey. Suddenly I feel like passing a collection plate around my neighbourhood. 😉

      • Kooch7800 says:

        LOL true enough. You have to remember Barch has also had a lot of knocks on his noggin.

        Some players though and it usually the lower paid ones do pay a hefty price with their bodies. I have heard stories of players like Darcy Tucker who have trouble getting out of bed in the morning cause of the damage they have done over their careers.

        The players need to zip there lip a bit right now cause if they stay silent it just looks better and the majority of the frustration will be pointed at the owners.

        I do also believe the revenue sharing should be 50/50 but there should be rules put in place for struggling franchises. Bettman is the only reason there is still a team in phoenix that has lost money for YEARS and will always continue to do so. That team should have gone back to the Peg before Atlanta was moved.

  43. habs-fan-84 says:

    If this doesn’t tell you how clued out some of the players are, I don’t know what will:

    • Cal says:

      Completely clued out.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      His best quote I put in above and I do agree with him on that point. The major reason the NHL is losing money is due to some crappy market franchises. Why is Phoenix still in Phoenix? Cause of Bettman and Bettman only. You think the original owner of the yotes didn’t want to sell the team to Rim Job Jim? It could have made money and that would be 25 million less a year going down the drain

  44. Chrisadiens says:

    Sounds like the league will start to cancel regular season games on Wednesday.

    🙁 I’m a sad panda….

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

  45. Hobie Hansen says:

    Nice read on Markov. I love the guy, mainly because the Habs actually developed a 6th round draft pick of their own into a number one defenseman.

    I’m still up in the air as to how he’ll play, whenever the F&^%ing new CBA is signed that is. I believe he’ll still be effective on the PP but I’m skeptical on how he’ll be when racing for loose pucks in the corner. I think his days of 60 something points a season are most likely over as well.

    So with that being said, Gauthier was a complete buffoon for signing him to a 3-year-deal worth almost $18 million bucks. That deal was signed prior to Gauthier seeing him play after he severely blew out his knee, twice!

    Love Markov, but that might be another bad contract to add to the pile if he can’t regain any sort of steady form when he returns.

    Not that it matters, Montreal isn’t going to be a great team until guys like Galchenyuk, Beaulieu and Tinordi have played a couple years in the NHL.

    Speaking of our prospects, You can order all the Hamilton Bulldogs games online @ for $150.00.

  46. SmartDog says:

    Hey Stubbs

    That Markov interview article is the best piece I’ve seen in this site in a long time.

    I’ve always appreciated Markov but he’s never been one of my favorite players. But thanks to this article I can see more clearly that he should be. A very interesting guy. Nice job!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  47. commandant says:

    My last CHL Preview today is the WHL’s West Division. Habs prospect Tim Bozon is the best player on the best team in the division, in Kamloops.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  48. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Just logged in to say that I’m not going to reply to the poll because it doesn’t offer the choice of **** both sides.

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    What a great day of golf to watch yesterday! Ole Ole Ole Ole, Ole, Ole!!!!

    Finally opened up HI/O after a day or two away and my favourite player Markov is in great shape.

    This guy is incredible and will prove to be a great player again I believe. Love the fact he has found a good therapist to get him in peak condition. Now we just need an NHL league agreement so we can watch him.

    Thanks for the interview, the information etc… Mr. Stubbs.


  50. Cal says:

    Lockout- Day 16

    A familiar poster with the initials JB has gone missing.
    So bored I invented a Brazil nut launcher. Squirrels now in a tizzy. (perfected scope- can hit one from 50 feet)
    Reading up on prospects and vets, but, without an NHL season to look forward to, it’s not the same.
    Drawing up plans for a larger Brazil nut launcher in an attempt to hit NHL HQ from my balcony. *Sigh*

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning Cal. Seems JB is not the only missing poster. It appears our friend Burly is also among the missing. You don’t suppose? Could it be? Has anyone ever seen the two of them together?


    • JohnBellyful says:

      Hey, what’s goin’ on here? Sheesh, can’t a guy sleep in?

      Lockout – Day 16

      Got a memo from the boss the other day praising me for a threefold increase in productivity. If only he knew the reason why.
      They should vent the pucks in such a way they’d make a whistling noise the harder the shot, and wire goal posts for sound so that every time one got hit it would go ‘Ouch!’ over the arena sound system. The kids would love it!
      Somehow watching Stricker take forever to line up for the long putt on the 18th hole in yesterday’s Ryder Cup got me to thinking what if hockey players were to adopt the same approach in shootouts. Before taking up his position at centre ice, the forward would be allowed to go over the blueline and view the net from different angles facing the goalie, stopping every so often to crouch down and hold up the hockey stick in front of his face, even go behind the net and look out from there to get a sense of where the cracks in the ice are. I think it would make for higher drama. Although scoring on a shootout is far easier than trying to sink a long putt. You’ve got five holes to choose from.
      Somebody should buy Fehr and Bettman a Staples® Easy Button™

      Edit: Was I supposed to include a poem? Yeah? Okay

      Roses are red
      Hockey tape’s black
      I sure hope soon
      The boys come back.

      • Cal says:

        Mornin’, JB. 7:45 came and went and I thought you were a goner.
        Be nice if the suits got together and actually fixed this mess.
        Ah looks aroun’
        an’ all Ah see
        is a little clown
        goin’ fer a pee.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          They’re sapping my energy, the suits and sweaters, but I’ll keep pluggin’ along. Thanks for keepin’ me company, Cal.
          Adios, it’s off to work I go.

  51. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning! Brady Vail with a 4 pt night. 2g 2a.


  52. jon514 says:

    Grigorenko 4 games 11pts…

  53. commandant says:

    Markov has been one of my favorite Habs for a long time. I can’t wait to see a Powerplay with Markov, Subban, Galchenyuk, Pacioretty and Cole.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Ditto. A healthy Markov cures the clubs power play woes


    • geo_habsgo says:

      I can only begin to imagine the ceiling of that pp units potential. With Markov and Subban manning the points, there will be too many options to make a play which will keep the opponents defence guessing.

      A good powerplay needs to be diverse and have a few different weapons at their disposal. That is why we were largely inept last season. With Subban being the only threat on the blue line, guys knew to prepare for the windup and block his shooting lane. There is a lot of positives behind a healthy Markov return.

  54. Boomer says:

    This Kid is awesome… besides being a leafs fan… 😉

  55. Boomer says:

    I don’t know if this was posted but either way it’s pretty cool so it would be worth a 2nd post. It’s our boy Gally playing EVERY position on the powerplay. except goalie of course…

  56. Phil C says:

    I really enjoyed this article on Markov. He is one of my favorite all-time Habs, as he plays the game with such intelligence and vision. I can’t wait to see him with Desharnais on the PP, that could be magic.

    I was encouraged to read that not only has he strengthened his knee, but addressed underlying problems with his hip and back. I really now believe he can come back to 100%. A healthy Markov is the difference between missing the playoffs and being a contender, so this is very good news for Habs fans (unless you have your eye on McKinnon).

    To come back from a blown ACL twice shows a huge heart, as anyone who has rehabbed an injury knows how tedious it can be. I can’t wait to see what he can do. As for his demeanor in interviews, I am quite happy to see Markov express himself on the ice.

  57. Bripro says:

    I guess our friend Burly has decided to take the day off since his Steelers are as well, and he hasn’t blogged at all today.
    Too bad, since my Pats DOMINATED!
    Just thought I’d throw that out there.
    It’s not hockey-related, but it’s sports, and right now it’s all I get to watch.

    ….. this place is dead today!

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

  58. ProHabs says:

    I can’t believe Gauthier gave this glass house 6 million a year for 3 years.

  59. frontenac1 says:

    Hey Commandant! Kujawinski gets 2 goals today in Fronts win over Niagara Ice Dogs . Good call amigo!

    • db says:

      Aren’t they the only team to miss the playoffs between these last 2 lockouts?

    • Bripro says:

      The only exception I have is his stating that selecting Gally was a wash.
      Or did I misinterpret his meaning?
      As for the rest, it’s not much of a morale booster, but then, any morale booster these days is better than none.

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      (speaking about Maple Leafs goal tending)
      “No one is denying, though, that had the Leafs been able to improve upon that one aspect of their club, they had the offense and defense to make the playoffs.”

      That statement is ridiculous. The Leafs offensive strategy under Ron Wilson was to not back-check, and play every man out of position. When Randy Carlyle tried to get them to play normal hockey their defence still sucked, and their offence got worse.
      A sheet of plywood wouldn’t have gotten the Maple Leafs into the playoffs.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Reading that article was strange: his English is just a bit off (at least to me) such that it closely approximates how things are normally written, but not quite.

      Anyways, I can see how the Leafs have offense, but to say their defense isn’t that bad and that consequently most of the blame lies solely on the goaltenders doesn’t ring true. The author in the comments below also says he’d rather have Rielly than Galchenyuk, which I don’t agree with at all.

    • mark-ID says:

      oh yea see I started reading the article and e-mailed it to two of my friends who are Leafs fans….but after reading entire article, it isn’t as good as I thought. They still say the Leafs are currently better then us…which is BS. How is Toronto’s defence better then ours? Ours might not have been the best last year….but neither was Toronto’s. If Markov is healthy this year….I would definately take our D over Toronto’s.

      I suddenly regret sending it lol

      “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

  60. HabFab says:

    Some video from the Bulldog camp in Sherbrooke;

  61. Dave Stubbs says:

    Many fans have very strong feelings about Markov, pro and con. The comments here illustrate that.

    I do find it odd that one comment here criticizes him because he’s “boring” and “dull” and apparently isn’t what this person wants him to be. An interesting judgment made without having ever spoken to the man. Markov is neither boring nor dull, even if his words spoken in his second language are less than electrifying.

    I don’t believed there’s another North American journalist who’s interviewed Markov alone more than I have since he joined the Canadiens. I can state that if you go into a session with him having done your homework, you’ll hear answers that are clear, often passionate and always respectful of the interviewer and the interview process.

    No, interviews aren’t Markov’s favourite thing. He’d rather let his work on the ice, which he knows full well is a small body of work the past two-plus seasons, speak for him. He’s a private man who gives little of himself publicly. If some fans believe that’s a reason to knock him, so be it. He himself seems to learn from and even enjoy what’s said about him, good and bad.

    I enjoy talking to him and hearing his unique viewpoint about hockey and his place in it. He’s very, very interesting, if a tough nut to crack, but that’s part of the challenge of my job. I don’t merely shove a data recorder in his face and expect him to fill it for me.

    Dave Stubbs

    Hockey Inside/Out
    Sports Columnist/Feature Writer, Montreal Gazette
    • On Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs
    • Email:

    • Ron says:

      Awesome, well put Dave. Thanks

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The sad part is we won’t get to see him talk on the ice this year……

    • Bripro says:

      I watched an interview with Markov, being questioned by (I believe) Jamie Shalley during his injury. You are certainly right about his discomfort when it comes to interviews.
      And I spoke with him last year for all of 5 minutes, and it was more of a monologue. He didn’t have much to say. And I respected his space.
      But sometimes, as a fan, all you’re looking for is an acknowledgement that the players realize that we’re there, rooting for them.
      Is it possible that he’s more at ease with you now than before, since you’ve obviously become a familiar person in his life?

      “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • The Cat says:

      I think being a tough nut to crack is part of the russian psyche. They wont act like your friend if theyre not, but once youre their friend and that ‘wall’ is down-its for life unless theres a major betrayal. Ive said more than once that Markov is overrated but I am pulling for him to have a good season. I think he deserves more than to be defined as a player than by the last 2 years.

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

  62. kempie says:

    Some Olde School nutrition, Gump style:

    And a cigarette for desert.

  63. HammerHab says:

    For those hoping a lot more AHL games will be broadcast, it doesn’t look too good…

    “In previous shutdowns, the networks aired more major junior and American Hockey League games. But Hughson said the ratings and revenues do not justify the production costs, which are about on par with NHL telecasts.”–nhl.html


    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  64. DorvalTony says:

    Marshall Dillon, Marshall Dillon!

  65. Cal says:

    The 3rd option of “neither” should be part of the poll.

  66. Ms Steele says:

    I love Markov as a player and I’m glad that he seems to be in top shape but what a boring person he is! He always repeats the same things! And I don’t think that after 10 or 12 years in Montreal language is the issue. He is just a dull person who does not seem to be interested in what other people might think about him. He doesn’t seem to care. I would have loved to learn more about him and I was expecting more from this article. That being said, I can’t wait to see him and the rest of the team back on the ice.

  67. Say Ash says:

    Just cancelled my sports package – FU, NHL

  68. geo_habsgo says:

    I don’t know why, but I feel like Markov might turn out to be a negative personality on the team. I have no real basis for that statement, it is just a feeling.

    I hope he is able to return to form but every shift he takes, I’ll be expecting him to get injured. I’m shellshocked.

    Imagine a stay at home guy like Tinordi playing with him though? He made Komisarek look like an all-star, imagine what he’d do for Tinordi.

    • JoaquindaPark says:

      I agree with you. Last year Markov was asked what he thinks of PK Subban. Markov replied no comment. Markov is not a Team guy. Ask Gorges’ what he thinks of Subban and he will tell you that he is a thoroughbred, but that he is young and has to learn this and that. Markov can’t stand Subban and that’s a problem.

  69. Bripro says:

    First on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon.

    And to cheer me up even more, here they speak of one of the most talented players the Habs have had in years.
    I met him last year at the Cosco in Candiac and his wet-noodle handshake and lack of enthusiasm at the time were disturbing.
    Disturbing because here I appreciated the player so much.
    I was always frustrated by the fact that I’ve always found him to be underrated.
    But then I realized that given the circumstances, I would probably be frustrated as well (given my temperament, I know I would), and so I let it slide.
    But now he’s back, raring to go, and no where to go.
    I’m looking forward to the next season for so many reasons.

    Markov’s rehabilitation, new coach, new rookies, no 1 pick, and on and on.
    We’ve already lost the pre-season. I hope they come to their senses, soon.

    “I’m here to tell you: Gary Bettman hasn’t felt this alive since he killed Harry Potter’s parents.”

    • geo_habsgo says:

      I agree on all counts, Bri! This season was bound to be exciting! Now we’ll never know!

      What all these interviews have told me though is that we should all be ready to give Therrien a chance. He seems to have made a really good impression with the players already.

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