Pacioretty set to dazzle Habs’ fitness staff

Maxweb

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)

421 Comments

  1. RetroMikey says:

    Wow….70% of fans here in the latest poll think our once mighty Canadiens will make the playoffs this season. Unbelievable.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  2. Sportfan says:

    So Bettman apologized, do you think the players should apologize too? Personally I didn’t agree with either side it was really pathetic to watch. So personally the players thanking us isn’t really an apology.

    Also I think Eric Cole wont retire, the Habs make the playoffs this season, he”ll want more

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Loonie says:

      Have to reply here. Did the players strike? Nope. Did they move toward the league on a number of significant issues as early as September? Yes.

      If you’re going to play the blame game. In my opinion there’s only one side that deserves it.

      • Sportfan says:

        I know the players weren’t the one who wanted to strike, but I still feel they didn’t help there cause when the strike got into full swing.

        http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

        • Loonie says:

          Lockout….;)

          I think it depends on your definition of help. They certainly moved much more toward the owners than the owners did toward them. And much earlier too.

      • B says:

        The league could have done what the players wanted and the players could just as easily avoided losing any games by agreeing to what the league wanted. The bottom line is that it takes two sides to make an agreement and both sides were not willing or able to do that with any urgency until recently. I feel it is disingenuous to try and lay the blame on one side only. I believe that both sides are / were culpable in this mess.

        –Go Habs Go!–

  3. HardHabits says:

    Tom and I seem to see eye to eye on many things.

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    This year is only a reorganizing and a evaluation year for the whole organization!
    It is a meaningless few game this season for fans who want a competition between NHL clubs.

    But those who enjoy the development part of a clubs growth, these few games will be very interesting indeed.

    From management down through to the farm, there will be intense competition to find out where everyone fits into our franchise for the long term.

    Some will be moved right out of the whole organization, many faces will be moved around and some new ones added.

    It will be a very much different looking franchise for the start of next falls season you can be sure.
    Like a large hockey chess board, this practice 2 and a half month season for the franchise.
    They won’t get a lot of bucks out of me this year! I mean none!
    But I will be watching every move for sure!

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  5. Loonie says:

    A rant regarding Gary Bettman and why I don’t fault Erik Cole for his admittedly immature hat.

    Bettman has done a lot of good in the league. But the stains of his reign will leave an effect on the game that really won’t be felt for another few years where it will become obvious that there were big problems with his decision making, with even more clarity than today.

    First, the sunbelt teams. The majority of us believe the sunbelt teams were a terrible idea and with merit. In a revenue sharing league the growth of the NHL was stalled by taking moderately successful teams or if you prefer teams with more potential for success than the markets they were moved to. These moves took huge dollars off of the table for the league and its players.

    Second, he’s appointed a number of terrible people into their positions. Starting with Jeremy Jacobs as Director of the Board of Governors. Why not a moderate who will act as a better voice for all 29 owners instead of representing a small part of the membership? Because Jacobs in power will if even temporarily “bully” the other owners into solidarity. We know how that went. Penguins ownership got involved and suddenly no more lockout.

    Second, Colin Campbell as disciplinarian czar. A former thug handling player discipline for acts which couldn’t be successfully or adequately penalized on the ice? What could possibly go wrong in an age where concussions are destroying lives? Well, you could have countless elbows, blind side hits and borderline assaults go unnoticed by the man who has no interest in promoting a safer, skillfull game. The obvious reason being that he himself wasn’t all that skilled and empathizes with the near out of work 4th liner.

    When I think about Bettman I think about failure in economic growth opportunities, player safety, integrity at the senior management level in the league offices and a repeated attempt to avoid bridging the gap in labour relations for more than a decade.

    How are players supposed to view this man? And for a player like Cole who’s known no other Commissioner, enough was enough. He decided to make a statement. Was it immature? Yeah. Was it unprofessional? Absolutely.

    At the end of the day, a great number of players have had enough. Cole is one of the few with guts enough to express his frustration.

    • HabFab says:

      I think you are wrong on your first second point. The BoG would appoint the Director, who then becomes Bettmans boss. Hate to see a good rant derailed by inaccuracies. :)

      • Loonie says:

        Bettman controls the BOG in my opinion.

        Edit: And we’re both wrong cuz it’s Chariman!

        • HabFab says:

          That is on you buddy, I wrote Chairman and then changed it to match yours.

          And don’t see these billionaire owners allowing their employee to control them.
          Remember when Jacobs wanted to walk out of the negotiations between the players and owners? Daley’s response was that “You are the boss”

    • 24 Cups says:

      Loonie – The only true unstable sunbelt team is Phoenix. All other markets have shown to be viable under the right set of circumstances. Most leagues have weak sisters at any given point in time.

      Discipline and safety issues run on a two way street. The players are as guilty if not more so than the league. I agree that Campbell was an a-hole but I also feel that Shanahan lacks the guts to stand up and be counted. Nothing will change until the players let go of their “Don Cherry” mentality.

      The economic growth in the league has been very good. Just look at the cap increases.

      Labour woes once again have a shared responsibility. THe NHLPA has been dysfunctional for the past few years. Bettman is a very sharp cookie who was given a mandate to pick up some of the gains that were witnessed in the NFL and NBA. Both sides now have eight years to bring in fresh blood which I think they will eventually do.

      The uproar about Cole is much ado about nothing. The guy spoke out of frustration and then the media did what they do best. Who hasn’t done the same thing in a work, family or social setting?

      • Loonie says:

        I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. Shared responsibility on player safety and labour as well as economic growth specifically.

        Having said that I was trying to say that Bettman has missed huge growth opportunities. Dallas is a big market, but not a hockey market under the best of circumstances. Phoenix we agree is a dumpster fire I’m sure. Tampa Bay and Sunrise in my opinion are awful markets.

        I think if the goal was growth both in popularity and in terms of financial gain, Seattle would have been the best choice from the beginning. They had an arena when the relocation and expansion began under Bettman’s watch and with some foresight he and the league could have dumped money into Winnipeg and Quebec City instead of yanking them, losing a pile of money and then forced under the gun to go back to both cities later. Which is half complete.

        I agree regarding Shanahan as well. Bettman and the BOG have failed again with his appointment. Best example so far being Malone destroying Campoli with an elbow. Yzerman’s a great friend to Shanahan, no punishment for Malone on a near unanimous illegal play worthy of suspension.

        The best way I can put it is that in my opinion, the league could have done significantly better with a different commissioner. In all of the areas we’re discussing.

        • 24 Cups says:

          One final thought about Bettman. Who knows what kind of pressures he is under in that boardroom with all those powerful, egocentric men? I also think it’s a tough dance with large and small market teams. Bettman is the face of the league so he takes all the animosity while the owners sit in the shadows. I think we might be surprised in terms of who is really pulling the strings.

          As for markets, there are only two solid ones left to tap – Quebec City and a 2nd GTA team. Seattle and KC are also out there but may not do any better than the ones that are already here. I think the league will run with that and maintain most markets on a long term basis. Of course, revenue sharing is the answer but then that takes us back to my first paragraph.

  6. Hobie Hansen says:

    Random thought?

    What in the heck were the Bruins thinking when they made this deal:

    2011/02/18
    Boston Bruins traded Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler to the Atlanta Thrashers for Boris Valabik and Rich Peverley.

    I took notice of Stuart last year because of his intense hitting and physical play. Would love to have him on our blueline as a 5th or 6th guy.

    And that’s not mentioning Wheeler. He’s going to be a very good power forward for the next decade.

    You could argue that the Bruins won the cup after adding Peverly I suppose?

  7. HardHabits says:

    Interesting that there is no English news on a recent report published by the Conference Board of Canada. Its conclusions are a scathing rebuke of the Bettman era.

    According to the Conference Board of Canada the current financial model of the NHL is not viable long term.

    Even though the lock-out is settled, for now, the agreement does not provide a solution that will ensure the long term sustainability of the league, the fundamental problem being that the league has expanded into markets where there isn’t enough interest in Hockey. They lay the blame squarely on Gary Bettman’s shoulders who started this vast expansion in the late 90’s sending Canadian franchises to U.S. markets, especially into the South.

    They note that the new deal will garner an additional 250$ in revenue for the 30 teams which is approximately 8$ million per, however this will not rectify the budgetary deficits of many teams. They note that the Coyotes operated on a deficit of -20.6 million and the Blue Jackets -18.7 last season. The lock-out could very well exacerbate the financial problems of teams operating in deficits.

    According to their research the NHL should have expanded in traditional markets, notably in Canada. They suggest Hamilton and Quebec City as examples of places where the NHL should be.

    ==========================

    This is only the financial disaster implemented by Bettman. There is still the on ice officiating which is well below sup-par. All the rule changes since the last work stoppage that were supposed to make the game better have IMO made the game worse. The instigator rule, hand passes in the defensive zone, the elimination of the red line are examples of rules which should be set back to the way they were before Bettman arrived. As for the officiating, there is a real perception that the league brass has interfered with on-ice decisions. There is evidence of tampering as we saw with Colin Campbell. The Bruins were given a pass to intimidation and violence with nary a slap on the wrist and when other teams retorted they were duly punished. Not to mention since Bettman arrived only American teams have won the Cup.

    ===========================

    I cannot feel good about hockey’s return. I cannot support this league while Bettman is in charge and Phoenix is in it. Nor Columbus for that matter. I could care less about NBC broadcasting games.

    The glory days are over. The Habs were once one of the greatest sports franchises in the world, but those days were purer and simpler. The game was ours and it was about the game, not about collusion, corruption and fat cat barons raking in the cash while they are raping the fans.

    ===========================

    Bettman’s apology rings hollow. His tenure as league commissioner should go down in history with infamy. Until Bettman is turfed and a Canadian (or a person with a real hockey sense) takes charge of the league and restores its integrity they can all rot as far a I care. In the past the NHL was well above the IIHF in terms of officiating and integrity. The tables have been turned. If I want hockey I will stick to games organized by the IIHF and the junior and minor leagues. The NHL sucks. It is crap league with a crap product. It could take a decade to repair the damage, but it wont happen until the league contracts and Bettman is history.

  8. Habfan10912 says:

    @Tom Nickle A public sincere apology. As Ralph Crambdon (SP) told his wife in the TV show Honeymooners, “I HAVE A BIIIIGGGGGG MOUTH!” In this case finger. I am sorry for calling you a bully. Having never met you I had no right to come to such a conclusion. My thoughts or critique on any of your post should never have resulted in me hurling any insults or name calling your way. As I’ve said, I come on this site for the purpose of having friendly conversation with fellow hab fans. I have failed. I’ve been guilty of obviously hurting a fellow hab fan and for that I am extremely sorry. For those that have had the opportunity to have met me I hope that you will understand my shortcomings and can find it in your kind hearts to forgive me as well. For Tom, I am sorry that I’ve caused you any discomfort and wish I had handled this entirely differently. Trust me, I have a good heart I’m just not so smart sometimes. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive.

    Sincerily and with much regret,

    Jim LaPlante
    habfan10912

    ———————————–

  9. Loonie says:

    When discussing the Florida Panthers earlier this week somebody mentioned that it would be the most enigmatic training camp ever with Kovalev and Svatos attending. Very funny and probably true.

    I shared an opinion at the time that it could be a stroke of genius by Dale Tallon to bring those guys in if his goal is to get Dimitry Kulikov into camp on a cap friendly deal(RFA).

    The kid is a fantastic young player flying under the radar.

    Thoughts?

    • commandant says:

      Kulikov is a fantastic young defencemen, but I don’t know that signing guys to “tryout only” deals would effect the signing of an RFA.

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

      • Loonie says:

        But is it not a risk worth taking? Having Kovalev and Svatos there on tryouts really can’t hurt can it?

        And it might prompt Kulikov to get into camp by signing a deal that Tallon is comfortable with.

        I understand it’s a reach by if Kulikov is tight with either or both of those two it could prompt him to put some heat on his agent to get a deal done.

  10. Peterpatch says:

    I really don’t care what Cole says. He impressed me with his play last year. Played hard every shift.

  11. DMAN says:

    According to TSN’s Top 300, here is the Habs top 11:
    RANK PLAYER TEAM POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM PPP
    1 Tomas Plekanec Montreal C 47 15 22 37 -2 33 11
    2 Max Pacioretty Montreal LW 43 16 16 32 -1 30 6
    3 Erik Cole Montreal RW 45 15 13 28 2 27 6
    4 Alex Galchenyuk Montreal LW 44 11 15 26 1 13 6
    5 David Desharnais Montreal C 46 7 19 26 4 14 11
    6 Rene Bourque Montreal LW 45 13 12 25 -2 40 4
    7 P.K. Subban Montreal D 47 7 16 23 3 70 9
    8 Lars Eller Montreal C 47 9 12 21 -2 36 2
    9 Brian Gionta Montreal RW 37 12 8 20 -1 12 6
    10 Scott Gomez Montreal C 40 4 15 19 -5 20 5
    11 Andrei Markov Montreal D 26 3 13 16 4 15 7

  12. jeffhabfan says:

    I really hope we do not fail to sign P.K. if so I would look to trade him.Eric Cole talking about retiring this year that would hurt good player but a better leader but it gives a kid a chance. Ian great read since I met you last year you have become a great friend to talk to about life and our beloved HABS.

  13. Lafrich says:

    While most of us cannot understand why, Cole does have every right in the world to dislike the new CBA.

    Unfortunaely for him, he is choosing to convey his displeasure to the fans – the very people who pay his salary, a salary that 99% of us would be thrilled to earn.

    He appeared to bring hs all to every game last year. I now have doubts about his future work ethic based solely on his comments.

    His comments have left a very sour taste in a lot of fans’ mouths (mine included), and I will be finding it very difficult to root for him. I would be happy to trade him ASAP while his value is high, as I don’t see him producing as he did last year.

  14. HabFab says:

    For the how much will PK get forum;
    NEW YORK POST/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: It’s possible the Rangers might not have RFA defenseman Michael Del Zotto under contract when training camp opens on Sunday. Larry Brooks reports it is believed the Blueshirts have offered up a two-year, $2.4 million per season contract while Del Zotto is seeking something closer to $3 million per, while Pat Leonard speculates the Rangers have offered up $1.875 million per, with Del Zotto seeking something around $2.5 million per.

  15. Hobie Hansen says:

    Just watching the morning highlights on TSN and there’s a little piece on Ginota tossing his stick in the hallway leading to the dressing room after he sustained his injury last year. Funny part is he almost gives a lady a heart attack who was standing in the hallway. The stick misses her beak by a couple inches.

  16. Chris says:

    Tom: In my comment about Cole, I’m referring more to the fans who don’t follow the team quite as obsessively as most of us do. The lack of Cole on the PP was a good story for online forums, but casual Habs fan (who make up the bulk) don’t really care that much.

    I think Cole is a good player and I generally appreciate his opinions, that he isn’t quite as scripted as everybody else in the game. But he’s also got to be smart about it.

    I was accused of being very pro-player in this lockout, and I was generally sympathetic to a lot of their views (not the salary issue…I think wage rollbacks are going to become more common in all industries as we finally realize that society can’t support the crazy levels that salaries have gotten to).

    I just don’t see Cole as having anything to gain and a LOT to lose by publicly expressing some of his bitterness over the lockout and musing on retirement. The time for that is in a couple of months, but right now, the league and its players have to get back into the good graces of the fans after what was a pretty ugly lockout for both sides.

    Perception is everything in sports. Cole may very well be a 20-25 goal, 40-50 point player, but the bar he has set in Montreal is a 30-35 goal, 50-60 point player. That will be what he is judged against.

    We only have to look at a guy like Chris Higgins to see how public musings and anomalous years can change the public’s expectations. Like Cole, Higgins rarely took a shift off. He killed penalties, skated hard, worked the corners and was responsible.

    But Higgins also mused that he could be a 40 goal player, and giddy Habs fans wanted him to build on a 27 goal season. When the wheels fell off, we ignored all the little things that he still did right and focused on that the number wasn’t where we thought it should be.

    I doubt Cole will pull a Higgins, as he is a more mature player. But I used Higgins as an example that demonstrates the negative power of perception.

    • CCL says:

      It’s all about opinions Tom. if some people don’t like your opinion that’s the way they’ll portray you. I myself much like you has been called everything in the cook book but I have learned their opinions are no better than mine and as a true Hab fan I’ll keep putting my opinions out there and ignore reply’s I don’t like. works for me.

    • Ron says:

      Good take on this Chris. I did not side with the players during lockout and had some comments inregard to Cole’s remarks during lockout. With this last bit I think it a very poor time to start publicly bringing it up. The present seasons preparations are more important. He could have searched out all the info he wanted privately. Hope he dosen’t become abit of a distraction.

    • petefleet says:

      “I think wage rollbacks are going to become more common in all industries as we finally realize that society can’t support the crazy levels that salaries have gotten to”

      Are you kidding me? The only thing that needs to be rolled back in industry is the CEO, CFO and other execs salaries!! They are on average 100X the salary of the people under them now. Ridiculous!! It’s because of the exorbitant salaries and constant pressure to pay share holders unreasonable profits that the worker bees are being screwed all over the industrial world.
      If you don’t see that, I would have to guess that you are a business owner.

      ******************************************

      “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

      RGM
      ***Habs Forever***

      • commandant says:

        Wage Rollbacks are only necessary in industries that are not making money.

        In an industry whose revenues have raised 50% in 7 years. They shouldn’t have been needed.

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

        • petefleet says:

          Amen
          ******************************************

          “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

          RGM
          ***Habs Forever***

      • Chris says:

        I earn far less than most people while working crazy hours. So no, not a business owner (although my father was a small business owner when I was a kid).

        No matter how you cut things, the average Canadian’s share of the pie is somewhere around $50 k. There are various metrics and ways of calculating that, but you usually come out to a number in that ball park.

        In many, many professions, the average salary has soared far above that number. I agree that the executives are grossly overpaid, but that is just an extreme case of a chronic ill.

        Our model is built on growth, but growth is going to be harder to get as countries like China, India and Brazil begin to increasingly flex their economic muscles. And if Africa and some of the impoverished nations in Southeast Asia and South America also start to demand their own fair shares, then this whole house of cards crumbles.

        So no, I am not a business owner. I think globally, and there is no way that our planet can support 7 billion people living the way an average Canadian lives. And since we rely so heavily on those other countries to ensure our way of life, any demands by them to get their own fair share of the pie will inevitably come at our expense. It might not happen this decade, but it will happen in our lifetimes, I suspect.

        • petefleet says:

          I like to try to think of things in perspective. For instance, the federal gov’t laid off 19 people in the DRDC building here in Halifax. That would amount to about 1.25 million in salary. That was less than one year after they spent 58 million on a fake lake and a total of 1 billion plus on a meeting in Toronto. The point is that the rich make us poor and keep us poor so that they can remain rich. The rest of the world will never make an average of 50k per year. The rich will not allow it. The NHL owners are no different. Don’t think for a second that any of the billionaire owners thought long and hard about the poor people in their arenas who were out of work or the bar and restaurant owners who were going out of business / losing business. My rant for the day.

          ******************************************

          “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

          RGM
          ***Habs Forever***

      • Cal says:

        The average CEO now earns 2000 times the salary of entry level employee.
        During the 70s, it used to be 40 times.
        This is what has gone wrong with this society.
        Complete, unabashed greed.

  17. TomNickle says:

    Prior to my self exile from this site during the lockout things had become pretty heated. It seemed as though I couldn’t disagree with somebody or share an opinion without being called a bully, arrogant or worse.

    Because of the potential negative consequences of being labelled a bully in writing for anyone to see, I’ll be deleting this account and registering a new one with an anonymous username.

    If I’m such a bully and arrogant and worse I’m sure it won’t take long for people to identify which username I’ve registered with.

    Talk soon!

    :)

  18. HabFab says:

    NHLPA

    Per agreement with the NHL, we will announce results of player vote later today. Discussions to finalize the MOU continue this morning.

    about 9 minutes ago

  19. Mark C says:

    Just read the Cole article still can’t understand why people are upset.

    I see a man who has seen his body damaged by playing hockey, jaded by another lockout, now coming to terms with a long term perspective on his family and life.

    Instead of trashing Cole and his desire to reevaluate his life, people should take stock in what’s important in their own lives.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      If I had the opportunity to make 3-4 million dollars a season for as long as Cole has had and also had the opportunity to retire on or around my 40th birthday, I would never once complain.

      People work at jobs that damage their bodies and leave them very jaded and disenchanted with their professional life for much less than what Cole or any NHL player makes. As someone in his 20’s who knows that he has more than 35 years left before he can think about retirement and truly enjoying my life, friends and family the way Cole is thinking, his cries prove foul.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I can’t speak for other posters, but I know that for myself personally I was not trashing him in the least. I simply question from a P.R. perspective some of the things he has said in a public forum.

      I love him on the ice, he plays with great passion and clearly carried that same passion to the NHLPA in their fight with with NHL. Obviously he doesn’t do anything half ass and therefore makes him as successful as he has been and will continue to be.

      I just think in a market like Montreal especially, you need to be careful what you say. I think he’ll be fine, obviously he is still stinging from another paycut. I suspect once he starts playing again, and hopefully enjoying it, he will be okay.

      I don’t want him to retire after this year as he is valuable to team. His comments about retirement, I have no issue with, but when added to the Puck Bettman hats he needs to be careful is all. Of course this is all just my opinion, which generally means little. :)

  20. frontenac1 says:

    @Tom. Agree 100%. Cole brought it all for every shift last year. How many other habs did that?. The guy is a bad influence?He brought LL parents down to Calif.last year to see their son play his first NHL game for Chri*t sakes! I wish we had a few more Eric Coles on the team.

  21. habstrinifan says:

    OK I am going back to bed. Wake me when

    a) NHLPA vote done
    b)P.K is signed or traded
    c) Gomez scores!

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    I want to share a story with you from The Gazette: So, did you accept Gary Bettman’s apology for the NHL lockout …? Didn’t think so. “To the players who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice and not negotiating labour contracts, to our part

    (See the full text at http://www.montrealgazette.com/literacy/raiseareader/Cowan+expect+empty+seats+Bell+Centre+when+season+starts/7809580/story.html

  23. rhino514 says:

    I am curious about one thing concerning P.K.
    Does anyone remember when he first came up? He would make a few end to end rushes each game. He was the most visible player on the ice. It was a thing of beauty to watch.
    O.K. I get that he had to tone that down because he tires himself out over the course of a game, and many times a good outlet pass accomplishes the same result or better with less energy expended.
    But it seems to me that he has gone to the other extreme. We are lucky if we see one rush per game now. He has either been discouraged from doing this himself or has lost the confidence to do it, or both.
    I wonder if he ca actually do it with any regularity any more.
    sure, he´s going to be a good defensive defenseman and is improving this part of his game steadily.
    But he isn´t nearly as exciting a player to watch as when he first came up.

    • likehoy says:

      I’d take effectiveness over exciting any day.

      he’s still trying to piece it all together.
      he got called up, was told to do what he can out there.. so he did everything he knew how to do
      year 1 as a rookie, he’s allowed to make rookie mistakes
      year 2 he can’t make those mistakes anymore, so he’s gotta learn how to pick his spots

      in the next following years, we’ll see a more complete PK subban that will be able to skate with the puck, pass the puck, and shoot the puck and also get the puck back.

      there’s no worries, but that’s also a reason why we shouldn’t be paying him a ridiculous amount of money for the next 1-2 years as he is still incomplete in his development.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You are WRONG WRONG WRONG! So very wrong! It is the type of post where you sat down with a reason to be disenchanted with Subban and made up images in your head re his demise.

      And I say this WITHOUT any apologies, hesitation or fear of it being a subjective interpretaion.

      And you know whay I can be so emphatic that YOU are wrong?

      Well go back and look at the last game of the season. Or maybe it was the second to last. And the posts and reaction which followed.

      Subban made some incredible moves/rushes. So much so that there were posts of astonishment immediately after. One high flying top speed deke in particular stood out and DREW AWES from the crowd, which could be clearly heard over the play by play. And it prompted one poster to write seconds after and I paraphrase somewhat, “WOW,, where was that all season” in glee at the play.

      So you see… YOU are WRONG! You just wanted to convey your weak theorising hoping it becomes a fremescent thread.

  24. Mustang says:

    There were some nice comments by Ian Cobb in today’s Montreal Gazette. Ian, since you grew up in St. Lambert, did you go to CCHS?

    • Ian Cobb says:

      I never got that far my friend. My Grandfather built that High School, and I was suppose to attend. But I was dyslectic and illiterate until 8 years ago. Left home as a kid and went to work on St. Catherine St.

      • geo_habsgo says:

        Ian I have to say, for someone who is new to reading and writing, you have a very strong command of it all. I’m sure having to fake it all these years is what gave you the creativity you need to succeed in business. Hats off to you, sir.

      • Mustang says:

        I only went there for the last 2 years of high school so I didn’t develop lots of really close friendships. I still live on the South Shore but so much has changed over the years. Maybe we will get the opportunity to meet one of these days. Wayne

  25. TomNickle says:

    @JimL

    You think I’m bullying. I’m curious how you came to that conclusion? Because people were chiming in with various opinions that Cole’s hat displays poor leadership, that he should “shut up” and that he should just focus on hockey and I decided to confront those opinions and disagree with them?

    Is it because I post a lot? Is it because of my tone?(which I get a lot but is hilarious considering nobody can definitively deduce tone or mood from written word).

    If I’m a bully for disagreeing with people, they’re all bullies for disagreeing with me.

    And if you’d like to continue this discussion in your passive aggressive way I’ll be here for a few more minutes.

    • HabFab says:

      I’m not sure he is calling you out specifically BUT this post could certainly be considered as such. Nothing passive coming from here.

      • TomNickle says:

        Well if he isn’t I apologize. But you’re right and I won’t apologize for being not being passive aggressive when it comes to conflict with others. I think I’ve made how I feel about that pretty clear.

    • 44har48 says:

      You throw your opinion around pretty good on here Tom, and I’ll give you that, that’s what this forum is for. Just please take it like a man when we don’t agree with you and do not call people names…like “jerk” below.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Dude lighten up. This is a sports entertainment site. The aggressive tone in your post are too much. You don’t have to hammer everyone for having a difference of opinion or as I tend to do, post something Incorrect. I’m willing to bet that most, like me, visit this site to have friendly conversation with fellow Habsfans. Conversations with you are rarely described as friendly. Sorry that I upset you. I really am not interested in fighting with you or anyone else here. Andoone last thing. If I appeared to be passive aggressive I apologize. Not my style .

      ———————————

      • TomNickle says:

        Funny you say you aren’t being passive aggressive in a passive aggressive post.

        Plenty of people who’ve been here have friendly conversation with me and trying to label me as a bully in an attempt to have others pile on is actually bullying.

        Disagreeing with somebody isn’t bullying.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I said if I was passive aggressive I apologize. Your comments IMO seem like bullying to me. Of course you feel differently.

          ———————————–

          • TomNickle says:

            What you should understand is that it’s you taking things to a personal level. You’re labeling me.

            I may disagree with you, say that I feel your opinion has no merit and support my opinion as you support yours. And in this specific case i was speaking to the mentality of fans that these athletes are here to serve fans and only to serve fans. A mentality that I vehemently disagree with.

            If you took that as an insult to you personally, I’m sorry you reacted that way but it wasn’t my intent to insult you. Merely to demonstrate that the mentality pertaining to these players by fans is very selfish.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      My 2 cents, you are a bit feisty this morning Tom. We all are entitled to our opinions indeed. We just sometimes have to agree to disagree with the other person. After all as it relates to the topic of Mr. Cole, there is no proof of who is right or wrong.

      I look forward to a week from now when we discuss who did or didn’t play well, as opposed to this off-ice crap.

  26. habs001 says:

    As long as Cole gives his all on the ice thats all we can ask for..Most people can never relate to a player if it is based on salary..An above average job that pays 80k a year only equals what a low end player makes in one year after you work 10 years..

  27. HabFab says:

    Speaking of pay cuts for the players due to the players share of HRR dropping from 57% to 50%. My calculations based on the HRR staying the same (??), make the pay cuts;
    – 12-13% pay decrease ($231 ML)
    – factor in the”transitional make whole” fund ($83 ML)
    – and amnesty buy outs coming from players share of HRR
    – 9-10% loss of pay ($5 ML contract is now worth about $4.5 ML)
    – and no, the Salary Cap figure is not what they get to keep.

  28. Bill J says:

    Some fans really are delusional, Cole is a human being just like the rest of us. He is entitled to say what he wants, repercussions? They fall on him.

    He doesn’t need our PR advice, he’s making millions and (in the words of some here, a complete idiot for not censoring himself) is doing just fine.

    If he wants to retire? So what!

    Used to be we were not allowed to hear what Habs players thought, so much that people criticized the Habs for it. Now that they speak their minds, some of you seem to be regretting wishing the players to have a voice.

    When Cole flew Leblanc’s family out to California to see Louis play his first NHL game he showed the most class I’d seen from a Habs player in many years. Why do some forget his good moments so easily.

    I find his candor refreshing, and hope Cole does change his mind about retirement. If he still does retire? I will thank him for what he’s done while he was here.


    Go Habs Go!

  29. habstrinifan says:

    Hookeyy-Inciderr reports that P.K. has left Toronto!

    Only problem is he’s driving West! Updates to come!

  30. habstrinifan says:

    Something’s wrong at HIO.

    People snapping at each other?

    Also I am beginning to feel a bit misunderstood based on responses to a couple posts I made. I think I may retire after this week…. forego the last two years of my contract.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think everyone is just chomping at the bit for some real hockey. There will be a few more scraps before the puck is dropped. Enjoy your retirement, must be nice to have that option. :)

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I think some have anger issues. They can’t debate others having a different opinion without resulting to name calling. It seems at least one person who’s recently returned seems to have big issues with anyone who’s opinion differ from his. I know he doesn’t care but he behaves like a bully. Rant over.

        ———————————–

        • TomNickle says:

          I think some fans who don’t have the spine to confront behaviour they disagree with are funny when they decide to lie about people they disagree with.

          Name calling? Other than just calling you spineless you’ll be hard pressed to find any.

      • 44har48 says:

        Yeah this is just Tom and I scrapping in the crease, as Dick Irvin used to say some “extracurricular activity”…Let’s drop the puck!

  31. Mavid says:

    only a week to go…I can hardly contain my glee

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Saw the post below about your granddaughter, great news Mavid, Congrats! Now make sure none of that Senators stuff from your other half gets near the kid, Habs only!!! :)

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Congratulations Mavid! Grandchildren are the best! I only have one granddaughter and I tell her everyday she’s my favorite granddaughter.

      ———————————–

  32. HabinBurlington says:

    So the rumoured contract for PK is 4 years 22million. Seems a bit high considering this doesn’t buy any of his UFA years, as I think he has only 4 years RFA remaining.

    However, Meehan has the advantage of being able to compare PK’s playing ability against the contracts which Gorges and Markov. I realize contracts signed under different circumstances, but end of day PK is presently our best defenceman, regardless of age.

    • TomNickle says:

      Gorges and Markov were both pending UFAs. Big difference.

      I really don’t care what amount of money they give him provided they give him a long term deal that makes him part of the core group that’s been extended like Price, Pacioretty and Gorges.

      4 years would be a very bad term in my opinion.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand the difference Tom, but Meehan can sit in MBs office and throw out a crapload of stats proving that PK is already better than both of those players.

        I agree the term seems odd, seems to me for that type of yearly salary it should be a 2 year term. Or make it a 6 year contract, which is out of the norm for the Habs to do coming off entry level deal, but PK is a special player.

    • HabFab says:

      I think that is just that… a rumor. Meehan laughed and said a definite no.
      “What am I saying, quoting a lawyer player agent… shakes head!”
      Personally I can’t see it.

  33. 8th Annual Sholi2000.com Hockey Pool

    I wasn’t going to set this up because I didn’t have time to prepare however I was emailed by some fans a few days ago to set it up for bragging rights.

    Yahoo is the server.

    League ID- 52682
    Password- mefix

    14 places remaining and the draft is 1 PM CDT.

    We are drafting regardless, so if we stay with 6 that’s fine.

    Have a great draft!

    They Call Me Shane
    “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  34. TomNickle says:

    The faster some fans realize that being an nhl player is nothing more than a great job to most of them, the quicker they’ll be able to realize that there’s life after hockey for these guys and that in most cases the prospect is more attractive than their current career.

    • 44har48 says:

      Tom, really? You have a man crush on this guy?

      • TomNickle says:

        No. And that’s my point. I really don’t have a man crush on any player.

        I think that they’re human beings who aren’t in the NHL for me to live vicariously through them.

        I enjoy watching the Habs and they’re my favourite team. I’m more passionate about their results, past, present and future than most but I know that hockey isn’t everything to them. He’s a man, not a video game character.

        • I think Price is dreamy! :)

          They Call Me Shane
          “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
          Shane Oliver
          Twitter @Sholi2000
          http://www.Sholi2000.com
          Custom Sports Figures

        • 44har48 says:

          We are on the same team. I could care less about any of these guys individually and never even followed any of them in Europe. I care about the Habs and what they do as a team. In fact as sad as it is, I cheer for my USA in the Olympics and root against guys like Plekanecs, Markov, etc. The game will always be bigger than any player.

          I apologize if I struck a nerve with you, I was just voicing my 2 cents that it is time for all the players to stop whining, chatting, and now time to vote and get to work – and I don’t care who is to blame for this mess. If they don’t like the new deal, don’t vote for it, and go get another job. Let the networks pipe in other hockey for us.

          • TomNickle says:

            It strikes a nerve because the majority of fans think these guys are inhuman. That their sole purpose is to fulfill our desires for a Stanley Cup victory and be quiet along the way.

            They’re human. They’re going to react negatively to significant pay decreases, they’re going to have thoughts of retirement and they’re going to piss some people off.

            He’s saying that he’s considering getting a new job because he’s unhappy with the way things work between his union and the league and there are personal factors too.

            Would you prefer he held the team hostage like Brett Favre did with the Green Bay Packers?

          • 44har48 says:

            My Social Security wages just increased $100 a payday, I haven’t received a raise in 5 years, and my companies leadership will get bonuses again this year. I actually have it better than some – I have a job. Do you think I am peachy happy? The professional thing for me to do is to go to work on Monday, as I do every Monday, smile, and perform my objectives the best I can. If I don’t like it, I can look for other work. The wrong thing or unprofessional thing to do is bitch to my local newspaper about it, or wear a hat that says Screw my CEO.

            See where I am coming from Tom? I dont live vicariously through any athlete, you made that shit up.

          • TomNickle says:

            I understand where you’re coming from completely. But what I’m trying to communicate is that Cole reacted differently and unprofessional or not he did it in a way the speaks volumes about a broken process. On top of that, he’s free to react differently than you do when it comes to unhappiness with his employer.

            In addition, he’s done what you’ve said is the obvious alternative and considered moving on from hockey to get away from the constant pay cuts.

      • no no, he does have a point (salary cut).

        We all like Cole, but his comments over the last few months have rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way.

        All Cole did yesterday was tell management he may not be back. What organization wants to hear that from a top player? :lol:

        They Call Me Shane
        “They never asked to be Canadiens, they were Chosen.”
        Shane Oliver
        Twitter @Sholi2000
        http://www.Sholi2000.com
        Custom Sports Figures

  35. TomNickle says:

    This is hilarious to me. Cole takes his second major pay cut as an NHL player while league revenues skyrocket and somehow he comes off as selfish to some people.

    I know I’d be thrilled at taking another hit to my salary even though my bosses continue to rake in the dough.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I think the issue is over the lockout he did not conduct himself as a professional. The puck bettman hat is/was unprofessional. To also complain about the money being cut again after making money in Carolina a market that is struggling to exist is quite comical. These were the type of markets that would not exist if it were not for bettman. I am not a bettman fan but if we’re not for his expansion plans there would be a lot less players employed and making millions.
      Cole could retire now at 33 and he or his family never have to work a day again if they did not want. All thanks to the league that has so wronged him

      “Keep your stick on the Ice”

      • TomNickle says:

        And do you really think that if there weren’t a franchise in Carolina that Erik Cole wouldn’t be a professional hockey player today?

        It’s become clear that the NHL had a timeline from which they worked with the negotiations. They could’ve bridged the gaps in negotiations in September but chose to do it in December instead.

        They cost you over three months of the game you enjoy so much. Cole’s conveying the feeling that most fans feel when he wears that hat, maybe not in the vacuum on this board, but NHL fans in general yes.

        • Kooch7800 says:

          6 less teams quite possibly he might not be in the nhl. You never know. My point is you can be unhappy with a paycut but you don’t publicly wear a puck bettman hat when he has helped make him lots of money that he wouldn’t ever see in other leagues

          “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • TomNickle says:

            And without players of Cole’s skill level or better there wouldn’t be an NHL.

            This is a two way street. And it’s a fact that there have been three consecutive lockouts without a player strike.

            The owners are consistently holding their employees hostage and somehow you’ve found a way(albeit flimsy) to make Bettman a victim.

            If you don’t like the hat on a personal level, that’s fine. But let’s not pretend that Cole is accountable to you when it comes to his life choices.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I never said bettman was a victim or portrayed him to be. I said Cole is unprofessional in his conduct this offseason against the league that has made him millions. There is a big difference. I guess you can’t see that though

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

    • New says:

      He is politely encouraging extraneous interest in his services and assisted the GM while not in any way cornering him. Actually a much nicer way to do it than some players did before leaving.

  36. habstrinifan says:

    Breaking News! Breakin News!

    NHLPA voting is not done yet but I can report with certainty that there has been ONE ‘F…no’ vote cast.

    Any guess as to whose vote it is?

  37. 44har48 says:

    Mr Cole, I think its finally time to shut your trap, get on the ice at noon, and be ready to bring it tomorrow at 9am. Your mouth has created some pretty big expectations I’m not sure your body can deliver.

    • TomNickle says:

      When has Erik Cole ever done anything other than deliver on the ice?

      The majority of us hated him as an opponent for a number of reasons. He made life hell for our defensemen, scored big goals in big games, came back from a broken neck to help his team win a Stanley Cup and in his first season with the Habs delivered a 35 goal season.

      Of the players the Habs have on the roster, Cole should be the least of its concerns.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Edmonton.

        “Keep your stick on the Ice”

        • TomNickle says:

          And by having arguably his best season as a pro with the Habs last year he shut people like you up.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            You asked when he hadn’t delivered and I gave you an answer. I fail to see you point of people like me.

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • TomNickle says:

            18 goal season. Bad year for him and a pretty good year for most.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            18 goals is a good third liner. The guys who will fight for their jobs and bounce around. Ilike Cole as a player but as aleader this offseason needs to show more poise

            “Keep your stick on the Ice”

          • TomNickle says:

            Now you’re going to question his leadership?

            Based on what? Him not being happy about the CBA and considering retirement because of personal reasons? And a hat that says puck bettman?

            That demonstrates a lack of professionalism?

            Let me ask you something. Would you prefer the people you’re leading to be professional or stand up for what they believe in?

      • habstrinifan says:

        I agree with you 100%.

      • 44har48 says:

        I’m not saying that. Just saying he has been very vocal, to the point of obviously rubbing some fans the wrong way, and now we will be expecting him to produce again (as if his contract value was not enough)…and when does the well run dry, can he stay healthy, and as bantered about below, can he simply keep doing it? He better now…

        Whether or not he has produced in the past, and he certainly has, it only matters to me and many others what he does in the future now.

        • TomNickle says:

          The point to take away in my opinion is that he’s annoyed you. And quite frankly, I doubt he gives a rat’s behind about that.

          • 44har48 says:

            Yeah they all could care less about the fans Tom, We don’t actually pay their salary in the end or set the cap level do we? :)

          • TomNickle says:

            Yes his sole purpose in life is to make you happy.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Tom, Cole may not care specifically about 1 poster here at HI/O, but I don’t think he would enjoy his season as much if he becomes a whipping boy for the Bell Center faithful.

            I am not saying he is about to become that, but players do need to be cogniscent of how they are perceived by the fans. Having a good relationship with the fans is generally better than a bad one. There are a few athletes who seemed to excel in the opposite, George Bell comes to mind, but you gotta produce then.

          • TomNickle says:

            His opinion that the CBA is a dog’s breakfast for players of his age and salary range shouldn’t be a reason for fans to turn on him.

            And if fans will hold it against him that he’s considering retirement, that says more about the fans here than it does about him in my opinion Gerald.

  38. HabFab says:

    Real_ESPNLeBrun – NHL and NHLPA still “hammering away” at CBA MOU at this hour… League isn’t open for business officially until MOU is completed..

  39. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS – NHLPA vote on the CBA is over. I’ll be flying soon. Check @NHLPA to get the result of the vote.

  40. Cal says:

    I heard Cole has a dog. It’s a Whineranner.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    When the Habs signed Erik Cole, it was essentially because Montreal offered a 4th year, whereas Carolina only offered a 3 year term.

    Looking at it in that light, if indeed Cole decides 2 years is enough, it does remove a potential cap issue. I think he clearly has 1-2 good years left in him, but the 4th year of the contract was a risk the Habs took.

  42. adamkennelly says:

    Erik Cole is not that bright. He had a good first year with the Habs but prolly still has too big and too long a contract. Now he is threatening to retire cause he doesn’t like the CBA – which in plain, simple terms to anyone, without getting into the details – means he is not happy because he feels like he will not get enough money for playing hockey so…he is threatening to retire and make no money…Erik – you’re an idiot and need to keep your mouth shut…free advice from me.

  43. Chris says:

    Erik Cole popping off about his future was, in my opinion, an incredibly stupid move on his part. Not because I disagree that he should re-evaluate after each season whether his heart is in it…I think that should be a given for a married player with children.

    Instead, why go INTO a season musing about whether it is your last when you are as young as Cole and after a very ugly lockout where you were one of the most vocal players in attacking the NHL owners, Gary Bettman and the league itself?

    Cole is a notorious slow starter. People forget that after the first couple of weeks last season, there were already whispers of “bust” going around because of his lethargic start. Through the first 7 games of the season, Cole had 1 assist to show for about 15 minutes of ice time per night. What people see is a 35 goal scorer, but they forget that he had a ridiculous hot streak to close the season (12 goals in 14 games) to vault up the scoring charts.

    What happens if Cole gets off to another slow start? Are Montreal fans going to recall that he does this every year? Or are a lot of less plugged in fans going to see a 35 goal scoring forward who had expressed unhappiness with his lost pay suddenly slump?

    Cole set the bar very high last season by tallying the highest goal-total of his career. In his previous four seasons, he had averaged 20-25 goals and 35-50 points. I’ve always felt that Cole was a very good candidate to regress this season. I treated last season as a unexpected bonus, and I would be equally happy to see him pot his usual 25 goals.

    But with all the bitterness out there amongst the fans, I don’t think musings about retirement and the unfair concessions he is giving up are going to resonate much with the fans. All these comments can do are paint a big fat bullseye on him if he has any early season struggles.

    I’m hoping that the magic of Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole carries through to this season, both for the sake of the team and the sake of Cole himself. But we’ve seen hot lines at the end of one season not carry through (Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Kovalev, anybody?).

    • Phil C says:

      I notice in the picture in this article that he looks like he is winded (I assume it is a current photo, not a file photo). Another slow start is probably a given at this point, especially seeing where his head is.

    • geo_habsgo says:

      Totally agree. He has become less and less endearing throughout this whole process and it is disconcerting that he is still talking about his displeasure with the new CBA when his job at this point should be preparing for the season.

      I never brought it up here before because I didn’t want to be lynched, but I’ve long believed that based on Cole’s remarks over the course of last season, that Cole can make or break a team room. He is a very honest person and that is an admirable trait but sometimes people need to know when their remarks will be too caustic and cause strife instead of help to remedy a situation.

    • HabFab says:

      My worry is how much of this negativity rubs off on the younger players. Cole is one of the team leaders and took a prominent leadership role in the labour dispute. Hopefully it works out but it could have a negative impact on the team.

    • TomNickle says:

      Nothing of Martin not giving him powerplay time to start the season? A slow start on a new team isn’t unexpected and Martin’s system wasn’t exactly a conductor to an electrifying offense.

      He’s been a slow starter throughout his career as you say with the exception of a season if I remember correctly. But I’m not sure that this is as big of an issue as some others think.

      He has a ring, proved his doubters wrong when he produced arguably his best season away from Carolina and Eric Staal last year and his body’s been put through hell as an NHL player.

      Why wouldn’t he want to retire after the season?

      And it’s entirely possible that his comments at this time of year were mean to ignite a fire under the team’s collective behind to storm out of the gates in pursuit of a playoff spot.

  44. habstrinifan says:

    Found the following quote from Markov madE on Jan 11/2013 at RDS.CA.
    Mais que Markov s’exprime ainsi: “Mais l’absence éventuelle – et hypothétique pour l’instant – de Subban ne serait pas dramatique, estime Markov. C’est un bon joueur de hockey. Mais l’absence d’un seul joueur ne change pas le visage d’une équipe. Le hockey reste un sport d’équipe »

    Guess all the pundits who have said not having Markov for approximately a season and a half absolutely changed the way the team palyed were wrong.

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    The full NHL schedule – full being 48 games, this being the lite version of what passes for a season these days, not exactly what the fans had hoped for, their diet for hockey being enormous, although they certainly had their fill of the league and players union … but I digress – is to be released today. To refresh everyone’s memories of what it will look like, here is what the CBC reported a few days ago:

    “The league is planning to have teams play three games against the 10 opponents within the same conference but outside their division. They will then have an unbalanced schedule against division rivals, with five games coming against two teams and four against the two others, according to a source.”

    Given that the race for a playoff spot will be a sprint with no room for a slump, that the difference between making the post-season and not making the post-season will be razor thin because there is a certain amount of parity among a good many teams, and that, yes, even the Canadiens have a shot at finishing in the top eight if they stay healthy – [take a breath, forge on] – should we be a itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie worried that the unbalanced schedule against division rivals could work against our favourite team’s chances of securing a playoff spot, because one or two of its closest opponents get to play a team or two having a terrible year one more game than the Habs do?

    Also from the CBC:

    “The CBA process will continue behind the scenes even after the season gets underway. The league and NHLPA have agreed to meet over 10 consecutive days in February to finish off a document that will total several hundred pages once it is finished.”

    What could go wrong there. After all, it’s only several hundred pages of contract stuff to work out and the boys are going to meet over 10 consecutive days so what’s to worry about as far as something major happening that could affect working relationships and plant the seeds for future turmoil?
    The devil is in the details, they say.

  46. Captain aHab says:

    I’m almost worried Pacioretty is going to kill someone by checking them into the boards now. ;-D

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  47. HabFab says:

    HabsWorld bloggers take on who will be at the Habs training camp;
    http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=2970

  48. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning. Let’s hope today brings us nothing but good news. What a nice piece by Stu on our very own leader, Ian. Great to see Ian representing us at HIO so well. CHeers!

    ———————————–

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Mornin’, Jim.
      That was a good piece on the fans and Ian in particular. Nicely put, Ian. You expressed the feelings of how a good many fans feel these days. It would be nice if the teams came up with something to show their remorse over how they left their supporters hanging in the wind but the best gift they could provide is exciting hockey a lot more often. They need to remind themselves frequently they are in the entertainment business.

  49. Komihater says:

    Habs Rule

  50. rhino514 says:

    Kristo scoring consistently, finally.

    Those of you who follow the kids; among the glut of decent RW prospects,who has a good chance to be on the Habs team by say game 40 next year, between Kristo, Gallagher, Collberg? And are we assuming that if Leblanc is healthy he is almost automatic, or can one of these kids surge past him?

    • Chris says:

      None of the above.

      With Erik Cole and Brian Gionta here for another couple of years, there are not scoring line spots available for a couple of years. Those guys all need to be on a scoring line to be effective.

      Collberg will take his time coming over from Sweden, and Gallagher has really not shown much to demonstrate that he’s close to NHL ready this season. Kristo will need at least one year in the AHL, if he signs with the Habs this summer, before making the jump.

    • neumann103 says:

      Gallagher.

      “Et le but!”

  51. jedimyrmidon says:

    Whoa, MaxPac pushing a 1135lb sled… That’s insane.

    From the last thread, I’m worried about Cole’s focus. The CBA negotiations really seem to have gotten to him. Doesn’t seem like he’s focused on hockey like his fellow hockey players are. It looks like he’s harboring feelings of resentment and bitterness.

    The same character traits that made him a good teammate last season who kept performing on the ice even though everything was falling apart seem to also make it challenging for him to feel less ‘passionate’, shall we say, about the lockout.

    • Marc10 says:

      That’s awesome. I love the dedication this guy puts into his career. If Therrien is smart, he’ll double shift him between Pleks and DD. What a beast!

      Can’t wait to see him on the forecheck against a certain Bruins’ D man.

  52. neumann103 says:

    Just have to say that I find it astonishing that Erik Cole – one of the few players who showed up every freaking minute of last year’s hell season – says a few things about how the moving the goalposts of how contracts are honoured might provoke a re-evaluation of his situation, particularly as it affects what he views as critical times in his family’s life and half the commentariat string him up in effigy while others take the opportunity to use this as a rationale for explaining how Gary Bettman has been good for hockey.

    This is through the looking glass stuff, people. I gotta get some sleep. Maybe when I wake up this will just turn out to be a bad dream and I will turn out to have been in the shower with Sue ellen or whatever.

    “Et le but!”

  53. commandant says:

    There was some concern that Hudon was injured Thursday night… He played Friday and scored a goal.

    Dany Kristo scored a goal for the 6th straight game for North Dakota.

    Mark MacMillan scored this beauty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtVlgUgheXo&feature=youtu.be

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

  54. HabinBurlington says:

    Perhaps the Habs can have a record at or above .500 and Erik Cole feels what its like to play on a team in Montreal with potential playoffs etc…

    I can understand he is frustrated, he has been through a few lockouts. I actually hope Geoff Molson can reach out to Cole and have a sit down with him. Perhaps that can lead to something positive.

    • Timo says:

      Perhaps we can offer him a tissue.

    • OMG. Seriously, bros. Maybes he really is kinda tired of the spiel and wants to spend time with his family. IF he retires, does he get all his money? If he does, I’m like , why doesn’t Pleks and everyone else retire RIGHT NOW. Like RIGHT NOW! If he only gets his pro-rated salary from this year, I’m like, BROS, DUDE-BROS (those are the bros who have brains but are like, uncertain how to use them in the pursuit of other things, but still,
      need to be encouraged, as opposed to just the dumb MF bros… anyway, BROS! He’s potentially standing up for something real! Like, He’s not going to have millions, in Quebec or anyplace else, after this year!

      Whoa.

      That’s hardcore.

      Now, I’m just a stupid chick, so if he can still retire and collect ALL HIS MONEY and NEVER PLAY A GAME EVER…I’m like, whoa, I’m a stupid chick…. And if not. Well. I guess he…is a dude-bro? Not acceptable to feminists, but not not? Lost in the slip stream. Alas.

  55. dicktracy says:

    Was at the ranger sting game tonight. 5-1 rangers and the score flattered Sarnia. I was looking forward to seeing Galchenyuks’ final game in the OHL, but no Gally. The Rangers however did have all their guys in the game who were leaving after the game.

  56. frontenac1 says:

    First time I have seen Thrower and Deitz play. Thrower seemed a little slow,one step behind while Deitz appeared to have good speed and positioning. I understand Thrower was injured ,but was this his top gear tonight?

    • B says:

      I agree. Dietz looked smoother and quicker, but I noticed him a few times caught up pressing and then chasing the play back into his zone. Was interesting to see them put both on the PP with Thrower moving to the left side. I only noticed one slap shot from Thrower, but it seems he has a heavy shot.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  57. Phil C says:

    1135lb sled pull? Holy crap, Pacioretty is strong. Can’t wait to see him rip down the wing.

  58. ooder says:

    so after erik cole spoke up during the lockout, which he is entitle to do, i used my entitlement to judge that he is a total nutsack.
    really dislike him, especially after the hamrlik ordeal, and the puck bettman baseball caps
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • jols101 says:

      lol, thanks for the good laugh.

    • Da Hema says:

      Does what players say publicly really matter? Scott Gomez is such a “nice guy,” so politic in front of cameras and microphones. But he is an embarrassment (to himself) on the ice. Cole speaks his mind, and played with more passion last year on the ice than I’d seen from a Montreal Canadien in 20 years. My point is: judge the players by their on-ice performance. Cole is the last player who deserves any criticism in this forum.

      • ooder says:

        my criticism isn’t related to his on ice play, which is top notch. it has to do with his ridiculous calling out of Hamrlik and still complaining about the CBA.
        but you have to ask yourself, now that he is so unhappy and feels cheated, how much effort is he really going to put in, especially since he is contemplating retirement. I guess we will see
        ——————
        The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

        • Saintpatrick33 says:

          I’m just wondering how exactly Bettman has made the owners accountable. It seemed to me that the owners agreed to the last CBA spent money like crazy, circumvented the cap whenever and however they could then cried poor and locked the players out again. You can’t blame Cole for speaking his mind just like you can’t blame Hamrlik.

          • ooder says:

            i’m not blaming him for speaking his mind at all.. i am just disagreeing with what he said.
            as for Bettman, there was an article not long ago that spoke about how we sat down the owners and showed them how they were misusing their money. and this CBA he fixed the loophole with for the backdiving contracts (albeit with owner support).
            Bettman he came in and did what he was supposed to do… and he fought the nhlpa and was not pushed around by it.
            I don’t agree with what Erik Cole has said, saying that he would be all over Hamrlik on the ice and basically calling him names because Hamrlik disagreed with how Fehr was handling the situation is immature and stupid. Hamrlik has earned the right to say what he wants having been in the league for about 20 years and going through 3 work stoppages.
            ——————
            The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

          • Da Hema says:

            This is for ooder: you write that “Hamrlik has earned the right to say what he wants having been in the league for about 20 years and going through 3 work stoppages.” Why are you not extending this logic to Cole? Hasn’t Cole “earned the right” to say what he wants?

  59. frontenac1 says:

    3-0 Rebels. Makarov looking weak but the guys are saying he just got back from Russia this morning.Why leave him in?

    • B says:

      3-1 after 2 now. Here’s hoping for a good 3rd period.

      I wonder why Makarov took so long returning from the World Junior’s in Russia? Perhaps he was given some extra time off to stay and visit family while he was already in Russia (and his Mom fattened him up with some good ol’ home cooking :)

      –Go Habs Go!–

  60. Psycho29 says:

    Not sure if it was mentioned before but RDS reporting Erik Cole thinking about retiring when this contract ends?

    Roughly translated:
    Despite the end of the lockout, he could retire before the end of this contract. The veteran starts his second season with the Habs next week, but it’s possible that he will not complete the last 2 seasons of his 4 year 18-million dollar contract.
    He will make a decision at the end of this season.

    http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/354415.html

  61. Mavid says:

    whoooohoooo my grandbaby is girl!!..I am going to have a granddaughter after raising only boys I am thrilled to have some female in the family!!

  62. frontenac1 says:

    Looking at that goal again looks like both D screwed up amigo.

    • B says:

      I just saw a replay and Thrower was close to (but not tying up) Volek when he popped the rebound in. Both D could have played that better.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  63. Ron says:

    11 seconds into 3rd Dumont scores to make it 4-2 Rochester

    EDIT: Got very nasty here in the 3rd. Both boxes loaded.
    5-2 Rochester in 3rd

  64. frontenac1 says:

    @B. I think you are correct. I had the wrong side.Friday nights! Hey that Dietz lad moves well eh?

    • B says:

      Nice to see two right handed D prospects who have both size and toughness. Both seem to have some offensive upside too, but Thrower’s production is off so far this season. I am looking forward to seeing how they do in the pressure of the Memorial Cup.

      –Go Habs Go!–

  65. HammerHab says:

    another thread? geez….i appreciate the stories but i hate it when the comments get all broken up….no point reading another thread any comments will go un-noticed….and i need to be noticed!

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  66. Bill says:

    No doubt someone else mentioned this before, but with Obama letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the highest tax bracket, hockey players in the states will now pay 40% in federal income tax. Most will then pay ad additional 5-10% in state income tax. In other words, Canada’s (and Montreal’s especially) taxes just became a lot less uncompetitive.

    A player in California will now pay just over 50% in total tax, and a player in Montreal will pay 54%. Before the tax cuts expired, the difference was more like 10%.

    Florida still has an advantage. No state income tax.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  67. VJ says:

    Is anyone else getting concerned about the play of the bulldogs? I know they are young and there will be a lot of growing pains. I don’t expect them to win every game but the way they are consistently getting out played is concerning. They just don’t seem prepared to play until the 3rd period and by then it’s too late. Through 36 games they have scored the games first goal only 9 times…

  68. frontenac1 says:

    1-0 Red Deer. Thrower didn’t look good on that one.

    • B says:

      The play and goal came on the other (left) side of the ice than Throwers (right). He had his guy covered. I am not sure what you would have expected him to do, leave his check and go out of position? Perhaps you just got him mixed up with his team mate on the left side? Thrower and Dietz are both right shooting right Dmen.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        Thrower didn’t have his guy covered, his guy score the goal.

        • B says:

          I’ll look for a replay, I could have sworn the D on the left blew the cover and his guy scored while the right D (Thrower) had his guy covered. Of course I could be out to lunch on this, it happens.

          Edit: I saw a replay and I was out to lunch. Thrower was closest to Volek when he put the rebound in, both D could have played that better.

          –Go Habs Go!–

  69. Ron says:

    Time to pull Mayer I think, 4-1 Rochester early 2nd

    EDIT: 4-1 end of 2 being outshot 21/13

  70. jols101 says:

    Anyone have a link for the Bulldogs game? Is it on TV? I can’t find a live stream or any channel that is carrying the game. TX

  71. Ron says:

    Bulldogs behind 2-1 to Rochester at end of 1st period
    Bulldogs have full team with them including Commodore.
    EDIT: 3-1 Rochester very early in 2nd

  72. habstrinifan says:

    The Devil made me do it! Duplicate link this!

    Well actually poster RON did with this reply:
    “going to be hard pressed to win games this year with that line up, talk about smurfs”.

    Luongo’s New Team. (I also have inside information on who the new GM is gonna be… Can you say BB boys and girls?)

    http://www.tsn.ca/

  73. commandant says:

    The “On the Edge” with the Saskatoon Blades is on now. Its like the 24/7 shows from HBO, but for junior hockey. This is a repeat of an earlier episode, but its the first time I’ve seen it. It shows Brisebois working with Dietz and Thrower in practice.

    Thrower had a dirty movember stash, porn star style for that guy.

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

  74. donmarco says:

    I can’t wait to see Pleks have a linemate he can hopefully play with all season.

  75. ooder says:

    I think he has done a lot of good for the league, he has made the owners accountable, has made more jobs for players, revenue for the NHL went from 400 million to 3 billion and secured very important TV contracts.
    Erik cole went crying to the media when his pay check was slightly threatened
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  76. ooder says:

    lol don’t be sorry man… it’s your opinion.. i don’t think Bettman is perfect, like after the Pacioretty deal he just pissed people off even more.
    but my comment was really more about Erik Cole. How he said he would be all over Hamrlik because Hamrlik went against the union, and how he made those puck bettman hats.
    Erik Cole is not a business man, this guy seems to have the brains of a high school jock. under Bettman player salaries increased at an enormous rate, even after the first lockout that was supposed to be the very worst thing in the world for the players, yet they came out way on top.
    so this time around there was no benefit of the doubt whatsoever
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

  77. Loonie says:

    Only if we can break it in half.

  78. HardHabits says:

    Depends. Are those cookies made with Marrakech butter?

  79. Loonie says:

    Haha. That was pretty dramatic Brad.

    Same picture. Just changed the name.

  80. Loonie says:

    If he were all about money he probably wouldn’t have flown Louis Leblanc’s parents to a road game.

  81. Chris says:

    I take financial risk everyday. I work in an essential role that is quite foundational to our society.

    And I do it for minimal salary, long hours, no pension at the end of the day, no benefits, and no job security.

    But that is the way the system is set up, and at the end of the day I like what I do.

    To say that a billionaire is experiencing a heavy amount of financial risk is just laughable. Warren Buffet has put it very succinctly. If he were to lose 99% of his wealth tomorrow, he would still be able to live beyond the wildest dreams of the average citizen.

    Yet for many people, even a loss of a few hundred dollars can spell financial disaster.

    Excessively wealthy business owners rarely do anything that even remotely approaches RISK.

  82. Ron says:

    The cookies are a funny shade of green but hell ya bring on the marrakech cookies. In my much, much younger days one couldn’t get enough. :D :D

  83. Loonie says:

    Defending Gomez as a person yes. As a hockey player no.

    I think a lot of people could learn from that distinction.

  84. HardHabits says:

    It will take some time to get past the soft, small, and mediocre mindset that has been the Habs identity as of late. Having players like Weber or Palushaj on the 4th line shows just how out of touch management was under the Gainey era.

  85. 24 Cups says:

    jcc – There is no evidence as of yet that White can play centre in the NHL. Most of us keep assuming that but it’s a stretch right now. I feel it’s a perfect spot for Gomez.

    Looking at our present roster, who would be the two good linemates for Eller on the 3rd line? Right now we’re short two, one if you count Galchenyuk as a full time NHLer.

  86. Loonie says:

    Do you know what his bills are? What his credit is like?

    If it were a small gesture with no benevolence behind it, it would happen more often.

  87. Loonie says:

    In keeping with my admiration of Al Davis I’ll agree with you in part but the character of these guys goes a long way. But it doesn’t mean anything without skill of course.

  88. Loonie says:

    That’s pretty funny. I’m flattered.

  89. Ian Cobb says:

    Welcome aboard Nick!
    Your not related to Tim stopping pucks in bean town are you??

  90. Boomer says:

    Welcome aboard Nick!

  91. frontenac1 says:

    Welcome aboard Amigo. Gird yer Loins!The “Precious Bodily Fluids”are beginning to flow!

  92. Loonie says:

    Prust lead the NHL in fighting majors last season, is an asset during even strength play and a very good penalty killer.

    Bergevin upgraded on Staubitz.

  93. Loonie says:

    I don’t know but I have serious doubts. This team has an over abundance of forwards as things stand today and Gallagher probably isn’t at the top of the list for call ups. He’s probably close though.

  94. Ron says:

    Maybe the start of a fan club

  95. Loonie says:

    If you’re going to get any use out of your fighters they have to be able to play hockey. Staubitz isn’t a good hockey player by NHL standards. Prust is.

    Why not White, Prust and Moen on a third line that you can give 20 even strength shifts? Moen and Prust will probably both be on the penalty kill too.

    All three can fight if that’s your ideal fourth line guy.

  96. Loonie says:

    So if you’ve got White, Moen and Prust where would Staubitz fit?

    Food for thought.

  97. Loonie says:

    And if you bump one of those guys to the third line you’re eliminating a scoring element you could have in place with any of Galchenyuk, Eller or Bourque.

  98. Mr. Biter says:

    Nothing against Prust however from you tube vidio’s he’s a game competitor but takes more punishment then he dishes out. Staubitz was less expensive and definatly gave more than he recieved from anyone.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  99. Loonie says:

    He’s going try convincing people that he’s Tom Nickle Ian.

  100. Loonie says:

    One can dream.

  101. BJ says:

    I wish I could share your perception with the above comparison. Having said that I heard Guy Carbonneau say a few days ago that he played two years in the AHL and he thought it was tougher playing there than in the NHL. I hope so for Leblanc’s sake but he is no Bergeron.

  102. Habfan10912 says:

    I think we’d all be delighted with that.

    ———————————–

  103. Habfan10912 says:

    You need more evidence on my stupidity? I just got it. :)

    ———————————–

  104. Boomer says:

    Tom’s back ey?
    I’m not gonna lie I missed the arguments…

  105. HabFab says:

    Remains to be seen. Either incredibly ironic or someone having fun!

  106. Lafrich says:

    Did you really just take a stab at my intelligence because I wrote a comment about Eric Cole? HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Get a life buddy.


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