Pacioretty set to dazzle Habs’ fitness staff


In anticipation of the NHLPA overwhelmingly approving the new collective-bargaining agreement, with player voting slated to end at 8 a.m. Saturday, the league has given teams permission to conduct physical exams and fitness testing Saturday.

Canadiens players will go through their tests early Saturday morning in Brossard and there will be ice available for them at noon. Training camp will officially open Sunday when the players hit the ice at 9 a.m.

Max Pacioretty is ready to dazzle the Habs’ fitness staff this weekend after putting in some serious time in the gym during the lockout.

“As the end of the lockout became a reality, Max upped his ice time, so we decreased the volume of his work in the gym to avoid overtraining,” Pacioretty’s personal trainer, Ben Prentiss, told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. “This way, he could still skate and lift without getting burned out.

“His intensity was still very high. We focused on Olympic weightlifting and plyometrics for power, and sled-training for speed and strength. This way, we were able to continue to maintain his body weight at a steady 218 pounds and keep his strength levels very high.

“There is nothing we had to lay off, we just added soft tissue therapy and a few rehabilitation exercises. Obviously, we’ve been training hard since May, but we were peaking for September.

“Once we knew that wasn’t going to happen, I needed to periodize his training. Now that his ice time is increasing, his overall conditioning is ready for the new start of training camp.”

You can read Stubbs’s feature story on Pacioretty by clicking here.

The Canadiens announced on Friday that tickets for the first two home games of the season will go on sale Sunday at noon, but had yet to announce what plans they had to say “we’re sorry” to fans after the lockout.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said: “Our plans aren’t completed. Here in Montreal, the fans are the most important thing and we recognize that. We want to do something that will be very much appreciated.”

Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan spoke with HIO fan Ian Cobb, organizer of the annual HIO Summit, to get his reaction to Gary Bettman’s apology for the lockout this week and also offers some suggestions on how NHL teams can say sorry to their fans. Read Cowan’s column by clicking here.

Read how the “Habs effect” is helping sell Tour des Canadiens condos in a hurry by clicking here.

(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)


  1. HABZ24 says:

    Jeff molson should show the fans love and regret by: selling all habs merch at 50 % off for first 2 weeks. One free beer at games for first 5 free soft drink and hot dog first 5 games,free parking first five games and a meet and greet with players one saturday signing everything with merch onsale at that event.and send gomez to hamilton !!


  2. Un Canadien errant says:

    The Montréal Canadiens’ scoring winger and all-round stand-up guy Erik Cole has made some disconcerting statements about his mindset following the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the National Hockey League and the NHL Player’s Association. In effect, he claims to be so disenchanted with the deal that the Association was able to strike with their employers, and skeptical of its fairness, that he is contemplating retirement at the end of the season. The prospect of losing ten percent or more of the value of his contract through escrow clawbacks leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, seeing as he signed this contract only last summer, especially since he more than held up his end of the bargain so far.

    Now, I don’t believe for a second that he will go through with this, and walk away from the remaining two seasons and $9M (minus the Bettman Larceny Factor of course, which will probably work out to as much as a million dollar removed from his compensation). I think that when he’s back in the dressing room with the boys, and on the ice having fun at practice, and when he cashes in some David Desharnais feeds and 21 000 fans erupt in the New Forum, he’ll quickly come around. He enjoys the game, it’s what he does and he’s very good at it, he won’t quit cold turkey out of spite.

    On the other hand, I don’t think he’s being disingenuous. Mr. Cole has been a stalwart supporter of the Association and its good fight against the owners, serving as a player representative alternate to Josh Gorges, and making himself available to the media to explain the players’ stance and counter the management disinformation campaign. As such, he’s been strongly committed to the cause, and it’s perfectly believable that now that it’s over, and the NHL pretty much had its way, that he’s feeling let down and contemplative. He’s genuine in expressing his feelings, and what he’s going through. If he’d had a week to cool off, those feelings would not have been so raw, and he’d probably have had the willpower to hold his tongue.

    That Erik Cole is going through this, and that Ilya Kovalchuk is not overjoyed at the prospect of leaving his current team in his home country to go back to toil for the Devils, after being Scarlet-lettered as one of the culprits for the owners’ third lockout in two decades, is understandable. Just as there were pragmatists/bootlickers like Roman Hamrlik in the players’ camp, there were also some highly militant, outraged members, and that they won’t be all rainbows and sunshine in the space of a couple days at the prospect of heading back to work and shaking hands with their bosses, and acting like they haven’t been heisted again, without much recourse.

    So if Erik isn’t all polished and doesn’t speak in platitudes and opens his heart and bares his soul and overstates his possible course of action and still wants to send a message to the owners and hasn’t quite given up the fight yet, let’s cut the guy a break or two. He’s proven himself to the fans of Montréal all of last season by being a leader on and off the ice, by working tirelessly and spectacularly, by scoring a career-high in goals and bringing spectators out of their seats with his thrilling rushes to the net, and by never giving up and playing his heart out for every game of a very difficult season. Erik’s all right in my book, and he should be so in yours.

    One month ago, when Don Fehr said the NHL and NHLPA were essentially on top of one another and were not far apart at all from an agreement to end the lockout, the union leader was not kidding.

    The only joke was that Canceler-in-Chief Gary Bettman and sidekick Bill (The Hill) Daly responded on that Dec. 6 day by throwing a twin tantrum that effectively shut down negotiations for a month while delaying the start of the 2012-13 season for the same amount of time.

    The fact is the agreement in principle the parties reached just a couple of hours before sunrise yesterday morning following a 16-hour workday was suspiciously close in essentially every respect to the proposal to which Bettman responded with another in a set of ultimatums that all proved empty threats while keeping NHL rinks empty at the same time.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

    • ed lopaz says:

      I disagree.

      Even if Cole believes that he is justified in feeling cheated by the owners, he should have simply kept those feelings away from the media. It serves no one’s interests to whine and complain at this point in time. Its over.

      Moreover, many people believe the players did very well, even won the day. So why complain at all?

      Because his PERSONAL contract has been affected negatively?

      He’s part of a union – which means that certain aspects of his PERSONAL contract are subject to change whenever the COLLECTIVE bargaining agreement is due for renewal.

      I would add that your quotes from Larry Brooks take away from your credibility considerably.

      It’s no different then a Right Wing propagandist who insists on including Rush Limbaugh quotes. Brooks is so far up the union’s deriere he is entirely irrational and lacking objectivity.

      Rush Limbaugh can not be trusted to give us a rational account of anything, and neither can this Brooks clown.

      You are very clever. But a propagandist can never be fully trusted.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        ed, I think you may have skimmed over my comments, rather than reading them in their entirety. I’m not saying he’s right in complaining and whining, as you put it, but rather that it’s understandable and forgivable that he made these comments. And I do say that if he’d had a week to cool off he wouldn’t have made these comments.

        As far as the players winning the day, your terms of reference must be different than mine. If you mean that they didn’t get hammered quite as hard as most observers expected, or as compared to the owners’ initial offer, then we agree. In absolute terms though, the players’ position is much worse than it was in the prior agreement, despite the colossal increase in revenue that they generated.

        Rush Limbaugh is a fabulator if not a downright liar, and a person of little moral and ethical repute. That you compare quoting him to quoting Larry Brooks is a great insult to the latter.

        For Mr. Brooks to be objective doesn’t mean that he’d have to expound on both sides of the issue and allow that they have equal merit, it’s more a case that he has to observe the facts and comment on them, as is expected of a columnist, which he did.

      • Lafrich says:

        Hear hear.

    • bwoar says:

      Glad to see you here, UCE.

      But I must second Ed, quoting Larry Brooks makes one look a trifle less credible.

      Frankly Cole should’ve contented himself with his ‘Puck Gary’ 15 mins of fame and then cooled it off. I care more about his performance on the ice, frankly, but he’s clearly not playing for the CH. Rather, he’s playing for his teammates. Not sure that’s a good thing long term.

  3. habs001 says:

    Gallagher is not a finisher but because of his effort level he gets so many more goal scoring chances than many other players in a game that he does produce…

  4. rhino514 says:

    The habs always have a ton of injuries and this season will be worse for all teams in general with less days rest between games.
    The teams which make the playoffs this season will be the teams which:
    a) stay the healthiest
    b) have guys from the farm systems who come up and do well

    I think the habs were smart to add depth players over the summer. And though i feel bad for Leblanc with his injury, I think Gallagher (unless LL makes a quick recovery), if he doesn´t make the team outright, will be the first call-up at forward and I will really be pulling for him. On the one hand, I hope he doesn´t make it because if he does it will probably mean Bourque is playing on his off wing, a recipee for disaster. But whatever, the coach knows what he is doing more than any of us here.
    Overall, the team is better positioned to plug holes if someone goes down this year. Someone had an interesting theory that JM´s style of coaching produces an inordinate amount of injuries. It will be interesting to see wether that theory is proven or disproven this season, though there will be more injuries in general.
    I still think they have no one besides Max on left wing.

  5. HardHabits says:

    So where has Mr. UCe been hiding? I miss his long winded soliloquies.

  6. Old Bald Bird says:

    For those who have never been in a strike/lockout situation, it is very stressful and aggravating, more so to some than others depending on one’s personality. I suggest that we don’t judge players too harshly for comments made in the heat of anger and disappointment.

    • CCL says:

      why didn’t they do this foolishness in the off season. instead of punishing the Fans. do it to the players and owners. that’s whom it was about. so the players and owners loss their summer at least the fans would not have loss a half season of hockey. forgiveness to these people. I don’t know what it means.

    • Phil C says:

      Well said. I suspect Cole is suffering from a lockout hangover, but once he gets back in the locker room with the boys and puts on the jersey, he’ll start feeling himself again.

      Cole showed a lot of passion in this lockout, just like on the ice. He got angry during the lockout, just like when he gets pushed into the net, then goes out on the next shift and runs over the goalie to express his anger after walking right through the defenseman like he wasn’t there. Is this really a bad thing? He’s like a thoroughbred, he can be temperamental, but it’s part of what makes him successful.

  7. habstrinifan says:

    If reports are correct and if LL isnt injured ( he played last night… 1 goal in 16 games) then again it seems I am right…. Gallagher has leaped frog LL as a prospect.

  8. Loonie says:

    It looks like a lot of people are thinking Eller’s going to be our third line centreman this season.

    I disagree. The reason being that I expect Therrien to have Gomez with Gionta. Which would make Gomez the third line centeman and Gionta to his right.

    I think Eller will be on the wing this season.

    I’m giving Therrien the benefit of the doubt of course because I think keeping Gionta with Gomez for this shortened season is a good idea.

    • BJ says:

      Loonie in reply to my reply below (for some reason there was no reply button) despite the posted size of the players they are all completely dominated and outmuscled. Easy to control on the boards and most of the shots coming from towards the boards. There is no strength to control the puck and work it towards the slot. A very easy team to play against.

      • Loonie says:

        None of them are over the age of 22. Playing against professionals.

        It’s going to take time for them to add mass.

        Regarding Leblanc. He rarely gets outmuscled off of the puck and more often then not is borderline dominant with puck control in the corners. I’m not sure where the opinion that he gets pushed around is coming from.

        • BJ says:

          I hope you’re right. As for my observation with Leblanc, its from having watched most Bulldogs games this year. After the first 2 games he looked as if he was ready for a good season. he then ended up with an ankle injury in a scuffle in the corner and was out for quite a while. I’m not wishing him any negatives here, just reporting what I have observed from him since his return.

    • Phil C says:

      Most people have been leaving Gomez out completely when they suggest their line combinations which I assume is wishful thinking. The only position I think he is suited to playing is centre on one of the top three lines, as you suggest. I would rather have a defensive/faceoff specialist for my fourth line centre.

  9. Habfan10912 says:

    Tinordi among Bulldogs invited to camp. Surprised?


  10. Habs64 says:

    Canadiens Montréal ‏@CanadiensMTL

    Quatre joueurs des Bulldogs ont participé aux examens médicaux ce matin à Brossard: Dumont, Gallagher, Tinordi, Commodore.

  11. Mavid says:

    its not an excuse..its a factor..anyway…on another note, why are all the sports sites still blabbing about Burke…enough already..even the Leaf fans have moved on…bla bla bla bla…

  12. habitual says:

    A great article by David Shoalts in todays G & M about a critical point in the bargaining.

    And Steve (24 Cups), in a post below you have a point about not being able to know the real deal in bargaining, but you only get part marks from me for that comment.

    I have bargained on behalf of unions and employers and I can tell you that any CEO is given considerable sway to determine content and strategy by the owners. That so, you will see a snippet in the Shoalts article about Bettman; gauge the import for yourself. And also remember Ed Snider’s comments some weeks ago. No question, the strategy and goals were influenced by the owners, but designed by Bettman.

    And if anyone thinks that is not correct, then what purpose do you think the Commissioner serves?

    • Loonie says:

      Exactly my thoughts. The commissioner’s job is to guide the league. Just because he’s put in place by ownership doesn’t mean he’s a puppet. Quite the opposite.

  13. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Strike and lockout are two sides of the same coin. Other than individual feelings, one is neither better nor worse than the other in labour law. If two sides cannot come to a contractual agreement, the existing contract prevails. If unsatisfactory, one side is allowed to withdraw its services, the other, if the workers will not settle but try to continue without a contract (that is under the old contract), is allowed to lock them out. Neither side is evil for merely exercising these rights. The inability to settle, the fallout and aftermath, are separate issues. For that both sides must be held partially responsible.

  14. B says:

    The Dogs don’t play again until Tuesday night in Abbotsford. I wonder which guys there might get a short chance at training camp? I suspect that not as many as would be invited to a regular pre-season camp.

  15. BJ says:

    I hope we stay healthy. Having watched most of the Bulldogs games this year, it is at best a middle of the pack ECHL team. They are awful at almost everything they do. Last nights game was the clincher for this slightly negative outburst. I don’t know if its the remnants of the Gainey/Gauthier destructive era, but at this time other than Gallagher there is no one that can help the “Big” team. They maybe controlled the play for all of 5 minutes. Completely out skated, out muscled, basically out everything. The scouting system will have to start thinking about selecting specific needs, as most of the players are small and physically push overs. Most of the teams have been toying with the Bulldogs. That is not to say that there is no potential, but that potential is not well surrounded at all and certainly not in an environment conducive to feeling confident.

    • Loonie says:

      Youngest team in the AHL stocked full of first year players struggling? Yeah. And it was pretty predictable.

      The take away from the Bulldogs shouldn’t be the win loss record for Habs fans in my opinion. It should be the development of the players who are down there.

      In my opinion Joonas Nattinen has been a revelation. I can see him having a big impact at the NHL level with the way he’s improved.

      • BJ says:

        It is a young team. There are too many small players with 3rd line potential at best. And the juniors that have come up this year are not well surrounded. The team structure is awful.

        • Loonie says:

          Other than Gallagher which important draft pick playing in Hamilton is small?

          • BJ says:

            Leblanc, Bournival, Holland, Beaulieu (because his skating and offensive puck handling is great he’ll be fine). My point is that there is no apparent physical dominance to go with their skill sets. The other teams for the most part have the same skill sets plus size and physical dominance. Given that edge other teams have dominated us for the most part.

          • Loonie says:

            Leblanc – 6’0 – 190
            Bournival – 6-0′ – 187
            Holland – 6’0 – 175
            Beaulieu – 6’3 – 190

      • VJ says:

        My concern is not they are losing, but it’s how they are losing.

  16. Mavid says:

    Its not a joke..its a fact..and you have no idea were they would have finished had they not happened..nobody does..put any other team down with that many major injuries and see how they would fair..we lead the NHL in lost man hours and dollars…

    • Chris says:

      Montreal’s injuries were bad, but other teams were decimated as well.

      Look at the Penguins:

      Crosby – 60 games
      Letang – 31 games
      Kennedy – 22 games
      Michalek – 20 games
      Staal – 20 games
      Asham – 17 games
      Martin – 9 games
      Malkin – 7 games
      Orpik – 9 games
      Engelland – 9 games

      That list sort of blows Montreal’s right out of the water given the calibre of the players involved.

    • Phil C says:

      Injuries were a big part of last year’s debacle. But what that says is that Montreal did not have the organizational depth to handle the injuries. They ended up playing half the season with 3 forward lines because they couldn’t even scrape together an NHL calibre 4th line. They had to play 7 D because they didn’t have 4 guys who could play in all situations.

      Organizational depth comes from a deep stable of prospects, which comes from keeping as many draft picks as possible. I hope the Habs continue to draft like they did last year. They can’t let the cupboard go bare like that again and expect to compete.

  17. Habs64 says:

    Leblanc on trade block per TVA

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    Pacioretty and I share the same problem daily!
    We both tend to dazzle our fitness trainers .!!

    NEW DATE FOR 2013 SUMMIT —Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments

  19. Mr. Biter says:

    Going to be an interesting 48 game season. Doubt many players will be “F#@king the Dog” in a shortened season.
    Why is nobody mentioning Gallagher playing with the Habs?
    At the end of the shortened season will the players who played overseas or the ones who just practised here be more ready for the playoffs. Lots of games in a short period.
    BTW we should have kept Staubitz and why is White not mentioned below as a fighter? he mandles himself quite well as a middle weight.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • Loonie says:

      It would be hard for Gallagher to get an important spot in the lineup ahead of Galchenyuk or even Palushaj.

      Gallagher isn’t lighting up the lamp with Hamilton with great frequency and this big club’s lineup is small enough in stature as it is.

      Just my opinion and I definitely think there’s an important spot for him down the road. Just not right now. But I could be wrong.

    • HabFab says:

      You had asked previously about the HIO start date. Checked the Internet domain date and that was September 22, 2006.

  20. HabFab says:

    Check out Stubbs on Twitter, he is very active defending Cole;

    • Ron says:

      Seen that, maybe he should have suggested the time was not quite right for those comments yesterday because of timing. Nothing wrong with Cole’s feelings on his lifes future in my view, just the public timing.

    • Loonie says:

      Good for him. I believe the reaction to Cole’s comments and hat have been ridiculous.

      • Chris says:

        The comments? Perhaps, although I still think he lacks a common sense filter.

        The hat? No, that was just tasteless on Cole’s part. We all get angry at our employers sometimes. But if the vast majority of us pulled a stunt like that, you can bet that you’d have a meeting with your HR department pretty quickly.

        The hat stunt, the Hamrlik hatchet job…those were just unfortunate.

        • Loonie says:

          He wasn’t an employee at the time though I understand your point. The more I think about it the more I disagree with the hat decision. I have no problems with the comments though. And in my opinion Hamrlik deserved any backlash he got. He was wrong to speak out of turn as a player who was not in any significant way depending on a good CBA for the players.

    • B says:

      Lots of negative reaction in the comments following the article on Cole’s ponderings at the TSN site:

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Chris says:

        It was pretty much inevitable. If he had just left it at his family considerations, there would not be much of a hullabaloo.

        But the fact that the quoted comment starts off with the CBA disappointment is just going to leave a VERY sour taste in the mouth of a great number of fans.

  21. Mavid says:

    I also think we have a good chance to make the playoffs, if we can stay healthy..all these stupid predictions from sports websites never take into account the injuries we had last year, many of them major..TSN is a joke anyway…they should bring back the monkey, she was more accurate spinning that little wheel of her’s..

  22. Mavid says:

    Sorry a little behind today…yes I already have a Habs Jersey for my granddaughter that is not even here of my staff (a Habs fan of course) gave it to me for Christmas..we need to start the recruitment early..

  23. HabFab says:

    So NHLPA holds off announcing results of players vote to keep the pressure on NHL as final details hammered out of MOU.

  24. habs-hampton says:

    just curious. How long does it really take to count 740 ballots with a simple “Yes/No” on them? Especially when you know its going to be 98% “yes”.

  25. frontenac1 says:

    Crapping on star players,throwing coaches and managers under the bus,scrums between valued and respected posters,can mean only one thing Amigos…….One more week until the Habs are BACK!
    Our CH WILL make the playoffs And surprise this year! So start planning next Saturday Night,stock up the fridge,liquor cabinet,smoke “em if you got”em. Saludos! Los Habs Para Siempre!

    • Sportfan says:

      I agree with you I really think the Habs will make the Playoffs, they will be really Hungry to win and hopefully there won’t be to many distractions.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If Therrien can get that defense working thy can make the playoffs.

    • Ron says:

      Any word circulating around whether Boone going to do a live blog on Sat. game ?

      • HabFab says:

        Damn well better be!
        Hockey Inside/Out is pleased to announce the return, for a sixth straight Canadiens season, of the live game blog.
        This will come as welcome news to literally dozens of HIO fans who have speculated about what Mike Boone’s imminent departure from The Gazette might mean for the website.

        Boone may be riding off into the sunset – metaphorically; he’s actually driving off to the suburbs – on Aug. 31.

        But on at least 82 occasions – and maybe more, inshallah, if the Canadiens make the playoffs – the happy retiree will be hunched over a keyboard, pretending to be a productive member of society.

        A prolonged period of intense negotiations between HIO executives and Boone’s agent, Otto Yerass of the sports management firm Dewey, Skruwem & Howe, has resulted in an agreement that guarantees the continuation of the live game blog and the post-game About Last Night feature.

        The Canadiens are scheduled to begin their exhibition season on Sunday, Sept. 23, with a 7 p.m. game against the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.

        HIO’s live blogger will be there … if there is a there.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        I think he will be up for it again Ron!

      • B says:

        I imagine that Boone is starting in on an intense one week training camp (beers, booze, bongs…). It’s admirable, the hard work and sacrifice that these pros go through for us hockey fans.

        –Go Habs Go!–

  26. 24 Cups says:

    I noticed some predictions down below from TSN on point totals. With a shortened season, it’s tough to work out comparisons to last year. So I’m simply going to break the Habs down into three groups.

    Increase in points: Gionta, Pleks, Bourque, Markov, Subban, Gomez

    Decrease in points: Cole, Armstrong (in place of AK46)

    Status Quo: MaxPac, DD, Eller, Moen, Prust (in place of Darche) Gorges, Emelin, Kaberle, Diaz/Weber

    Non Factors: Bouillon (in place of Gill), White, Noke
    N/A – Galchenyuk/Leblanc/Blunden

  27. Sportfan says:

    LOL apparently TSN 2 is showing Brian Burkes news conference about him being fired, frankly who cares? He’s done why have a conference to talk about you kicked out, thats a bit much right?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Cuz they are the Toronto Sports Network. Funny enough even after firing Burke he is still the face and star of the franchise.

      I fail to understand why they bothered with the formality of Sr. Advisor. Write the guy his severance cheque and move on already. By keeping the guy as an advisor they are only keeping the circus in town.

    • commandant says:

      This happens on a regular basis for outgoing GMs.

      I don’t remember Gauthier doing one, but Gauthier never talked to the media at the best of times.

      I do know that it happens a lot with high profile teams. I remember Serge Savard had one after he was fired, and as coach so did JM.

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

  28. Sportfan says:

    accidental repost sorry

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