Pacioretty wins Masterton trophy

Max Pacioretty

UPDATED: Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty —  whose 2010-11 season was ended when he suffered a cracked vertebrae and concussion when the Bruins Zdeno Chara slammed him into the glass support at the Bell Centre in a March, 2011 game — won the NHL’s Bill Masterton Award on Wednesday.

The NHL Awards were presented tonight and Pacioretty was one of the three top vote-getters, what the NHL calls “finalists,” for the Bill Masterton Award.

That award, named for the late Minnesota North Stars player whose story appears below, is presented to honor the NHL player who best exhibits the qualities of dedication and perseverance. The other two top vote-getters are Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators and Joffery Lupul of the Maple Leafs.

When the NHL announces that three players are “finalists” for an award, that doesn’t mean that a second round of voting then takes place to determine which of the trio gets the prize. There’s one round of voting, the top three vote-getters are named “finalists” but in reality, the guy who came in first is already the winner while the runner-up and third place finisher get the “finalist” designation as a little window dressing, providing some viewer suspense to the proceedings.

Each of these three overcame significant injury to have excellent seasons in 2011-12, leading the Habs in scoring.

Alfiredsson had back surgery last offseason and his return to the NHL was uncertain. The Sens captain (Daniel F., as Mike Boone calls him) He did come back, of course, and had a strong season as the Sens improved by 18 points and made the playoffs.

Lupul also had back problems and a blood disorder to overcome and he had a breakout year going for the Leafs until he separated his shoulder and missed the final 16 games of the season.

Here’s video of Pacioretty and his wife Katia prior to the awards show.

On, Shawn O’Roarke had this story on how Pacioretty made the misfortune of the hit and his injury work in his favor. “I definitely take a lot of positives out of my situation and my injury,” he said. “I had to grow up a lot and I matured a lot. I kind of use it as motivation not to prove the people that doubted me wrong, but prove that you can overcome an injury like that and become a better player. I think I did that, but I know I have a lot of work to do down the road.”

He added some remarks on the Canadiens new coach, Michel Therrien and the club’s outlook going forward.

“I haven’t heard much, but what I have heard is he is pretty demanding of all of his players and I think that is really important for our team, because, like I said, I think we were really set off course last year and didn’t really have a sense of direction,” Pacioretty said. “If he is demanding of that, I think that is exactly the route we need to go.

“It’s nice to know we have a sense of direction now. Everyone is on the same page. With all the hirings and firings over the past season, it was a bit of a distraction and kind of set guys off course and made them question how they should play the game. Now that we have a sense of direction, everyone will know their role and what makes the team successful.”

Most don’t know much about Bill Masterton, fewer know that he began his pro career with the Canadiens organization. Here’s his story as told a few years ago by James Duthie on TSN.

Pacioretty is certainly deserving,  but really no more deserving than those who didn’t win. And that isn’t merely the other two “finalists,” but the additional 27 who were nominated from the rest of the league, one from each team.

All 30 deserve recognition for what they’ve combatted and overcome to stay in the game’s top league, despite the adversity and odds they’ve encountered.

On another subject, if you haven’t read Ken Dryden’s piece in The Globe and Mail about Red Fisher, you should. Here it is.

Below: Habs’ Max Pacioretty in portrait taken pre-awards by Harry How of Getty Images:


  1. Bripro says:

    Wow, now logged in as Hard Habits!
    All these new identities! I need a valium!

  2. Sean Bonjovi says:

    What the…? Where’d my last comment go?

    *Sean BonJovi’s Draft List = 1. Yakupov 2. Grigorenko 3. Galchenyuk*

  3. HardHabits says:

    What is up with buggy HIO? Has the site been hacked? I was logged out without wanting to be and the last time I came to the site it looked like my mobile phone got a hold of my web browser.

    • citizenSanto says:

      same thing on my phone, and I actually thought it was an improvement.
      I really dislike the usual mobile paradigm that is used.

      btw, heard about your new girl. all my best to the two of you.

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    Globe article on Alex Galchenyuk.

    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 24: Travis Moen
    June 26: Mathieu Darche
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 5: Carey Price
    July 9: P.K. Subban

  5. Mr. Biter says:

    Virtually no signings of any players 10 days before free agency for any teams (yes there have been a few before someone mentions it). Very strange. I fear a long time before we see hockey in the coming year.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

    • Bripro says:

      At this stage, the agents are telling their clients to hold off and test the waters come July 1. I would too. More money….

      • Mr. Biter says:

        But not even fringe players are signing up. Prehaps management is also not making large contract offers waiting for the CBA to expire? If everyone waits for July 1st. it’s Hudson Bay Rules and the GM’s are gonna need a room full of accountants to watch the salary caps.

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

  6. Un Canadien errant says:

    I think the argument that a player didn’t ‘merit’ an assist because, even though he was one of the last two players on the scoring team to touch the puck before the goal, he didn’t really do anything special to create the goal is an irrelevant argument. It is based on basketball’s interpretation of the assist in that game, where I guess a player has to make a significant pass that directly leads to a basket before he is awarded an assist. That’s fine in basketball, that’s the way they run their awful boring game, whatever, but then journalists who are more versed in that game than hockey try to apply that criterion to our game. To which I say forget it.

    Our way of tabulating assists is easy, objective, not open to debate, interpretation or manipulation, and has worked for over a hundred years. The fact that some assists seem undeserved doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Great skilled players will amass a lot of assists, some of which will be lucky. Pluggers will amass few assists, and a percentage of those will be lucky as well. It will all come out in the wash at the end of the season, and good players will end up with 40, 50 or even more assists, while goons and ‘gritty fourth-liners’ will have under ten.

    The system works, don’t mess with it basketball/Bettman. Fix your own damn game, leave ours alone.

    June 22: Alex Galchenyuk
    June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
    June 24: Travis Moen
    June 26: Mathieu Darche
    July 1: P.A. Parenteau
    July 3: Shane O’Brien
    July 5: Carey Price
    July 9: P.K. Subban

    • Talik Sanis says:

      For the most part, I’d agree when it comes to simple things like NHL awards. However this half of the “phantom assist” issue is relevant in terms of assessing a player’s value without being swayed by the effects of luck, and projecting future success based on that assessment. It is relevant for NHL scouts and managers who are tasked with more in-depth evaluations of players and their values. If video review shows that a fairly substantial number of assists result from plays that require no actual offensive skill, vision, or playmaking ability, and are simply the result of lucky breaks, then should modify managers’ projections for future success, their assessments of “true” talent, and their approach to contract negotiations.

      In my opinion, it is at that level of decision making that things like the “phantom assist” issue should come into play. Exceptional luck does not hold over a career, and its impact should not be discounted. The same can also be said of questionable record keeping (of which I can say nothing, as I have not investigated the issue; it is merely another part of the “phantom assist” claim as it pertains to Karlsson). I do not believe that it will necessarily “all come out in the wash” over the course of a season. Exceptionally good, and exceptionally bad, seasons do happen, simply due to the effects of “luck”, and they are hard to repeat.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Well yes, analysis always has to come into play. For example, how much credit should Rob Brown get for his 50 goal season as a Penguin? My main point remains though, that to tabulate assists objectively as is done now is more reliable than a subjective, basketball-style method. Over time, statistical anomalies revert to the mean, and a bad player with poor offensive skills doesn’t accumulate assists, even with a few cheap freebies thrown in.

        June 22: Alex Galchenyuk
        June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
        June 24: Travis Moen
        June 26: Mathieu Darche
        July 1: P.A. Parenteau
        July 3: Shane O’Brien
        July 5: Carey Price
        July 9: P.K. Subban

      • commandant says:

        The Norris trophy is based on an 82 game sample size. Whether it is repeatable or not in the future has no effect on who the best D in this sample size was.

        Go Habs Go!
        Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • Rob says:

      Don’t get me wrong….I love hockey. But calling a sport that allows their skilled players to display their talents while winning championships boring, in comparison to a sport that rewards the Cup to the team who best summons their inner most “third line grinder”????…… well seems a little off base is all

      The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I’m certainly not saying that NHL hockey is perfect Rob, or even much good, there’s a hell of a lot of work to do. But basketball is just a fundamentally flawed sport. Put a goaltender in front of the net, then I’ll applaud when someone dunks. Hell, I’d applaud if the dunk was meaningful, and not just a tall guy reaching up. Jack up the net to 12 feet, let’s see some dunks now. And if the act of dribbling was actually necessary, except when guys take eight steps to run and (*yawn*) dunk.

        For my money, slamball was way, way better than basketball ever will be.

        June 22: Alex Galchenyuk
        June 23: Stefan Matteau, Mike Matheson, Martin Frk, Brandon Whitney
        June 24: Travis Moen
        June 26: Mathieu Darche
        July 1: P.A. Parenteau
        July 3: Shane O’Brien
        July 5: Carey Price
        July 9: P.K. Subban

        • Rob says:

          ha. fair enough. we are gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. but i’m gonna assume you never really played the game? it’s not as easy as you make it sound. If you ask me, there something more fundamentally flawed about being able to completely outplay another team but lose because the guy standing in front of the net is stealing the game for the other team. The least flawed sports are the ones where the best teams win most of the time. That’s what creates the most excitement, and makes upsets really mean something. Of all of the major sports, hockey is the one where this happens the least. in my opinion, THAT is the sign of a flawed game. Hockey didn’t used to be like this mind you….so there’s hope that it can find it’s way back to allowing the teams with the most skill (like the old Habs teams, Oilers teams in the 80’s, Pens in the early 90’s) be rewarded for their superior talent, and stop rewarding the teams that make the game the most boring

          The Montreal Canadiens: sporting the best AND worst fans since 1909!

    • commandant says:

      Exactly, claiming Karlsson got X number undeserved assists with no calculation of any other player and doesn’t deserve the Norris because his inflated total, is either manipulative reporting or ignorant reporting. Take your pick

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  7. Adidess says:

    Ok, just posting to see what poster I would come out as. Looks like I am Adidess, which is confusing because how do I know this is right?

  8. Bripro says:

    I feel like a super-hero. Every time I try to reply to a post, I become them.
    Zep twice, Surrey once and Commie once.
    But no worries, I don’t have any of your passwords, so you’re safe. 😉

  9. Bripro says:

    I have to agree with Surrey.
    Good for Max. He’s a true ambassador-in-the-making.
    Very polite, classy and approachable individual.
    I’m happy you’re a Hab, Max.

  10. Bripro says:

    Impossible to reply on any post. It appears that the little monkeys that run the CPUs are on strike!

    EDIT: BTW I apologize for all the posts below, which I’ve edited. I tried 3 times to post, and they never came up. Enough said! Have a great evening!

  11. Bill says:

    Why is it so hard to log in??

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  12. commandant says:

    The latest from our friend Berkshire on Twitter.

    Apparently Karlsson didn’t have 25 more points than Weber cause the difference was all assists.

    What the hell does that even mean?

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • Talik Sanis says:

      I assume that you are misreading what Mr. Berkshire wrote. The difference was “phantom” assists, as I imagine Berkshire was pointing out. Video review by independent sources has indicated that multiple assists have been awarded to Karlsson this season despite the fact that he did not appear to touch the puck during the play, or (subjectively) that unintentional effects have led to him getting assists without making a play to generate the chance (he was just lucky). The argument is that sloppy and biased record keeping, and luck, have inflated his point total. This is, of course, not to say that he is not an excellent offensive player.

      Actually, I just checked. He does claim that “the difference is just assists” more or less. I’m sorry that I doubted you. He does bring up the argument that I referenced above, but he seems to value assists less than goals (perhaps because of the “phantom assist” problem; you’d need to ask him)… I’ll just shut up now.

      • Bripro says:

        Based on what AB used to post on this site, you can’t assume anything.

        • commandant says:

          You can check the timeline if you want…. he’s corrected me multiple times when I’ve said Karlsson scored 25 more points than Weber, to say those aren’t points but assists.

          Me: Karlsson Scored 25 points more than Weber
          AB: “25 assists you mean. They both had 19 goals.”

          Argued multiple times that winning by 25 assists doesn’t matter cause they were assists.

          On top of that, until someone looks at how many phantom assists the other top defencemen got, the research pulled out is meaningless.

          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

      • Commandant (Ben Kerr) omitted a lot of information from what he posting on HIO, which isn’t surprising because he ignored most of what I said in order to create strawman arguments.

        Note that Ben first claimed that Karlsson outproduced the next best defenseman by 50%. That is when I said the outproduction was only assists. Someone can make the argument that assists are just as good as goals, but they’d be wrong and look like a damn fool. Scoring the goal is the most difficult part of the play, and there’s more value in that than an assist in most cases. Especially if they’re secondary assists.

        Basically, if Karlsson had outproduced Weber by 50% in goals as well, essentially scoring 30 instead of 19, it would be a lot more impressive. This is the point I was getting at that Ben refused to acknowledge and instead decided to go on tangents and throw insults.

        There are also different things that I brought up that Ben ignored, like Karlsson’s role being entirely offensive, with very few hard minutes to play, which allowed him to produce more, or that despite all his production, he actually had a worse goals for/against ratio than P.K. Subban. These are relevant things, although none of them change anything about Karlsson being an excellent player, they just show that his production was a mirage to a certain extent, due more to situation and luck than his talent level.


        • commandant says:

          You have a hard time with facts.

          Fact 1: Karlsson scored 78 pts this season
          Fact 2: Weber scored 53 pts this season
          Fact 3: Karlsson’s 25 additional points is ~50% more point production than Weber.

          This is simple math…. Yet you still argue against it.

          I also pointed out to you that Karlsson/Kuba duo played against the top competition of other teams by Qual Comp, yet you ignored that as well and still say he got easy minutes in those 25 minutes per game.

          I then pointed out that while Karlsson’s 57% offensive zone starts seems high… 5/7 defenceman on Ottawa were over 50%, and the lowest dman was 49.2% indicating that Ottawa as a team had far more than 50% offensive zone starts… so no he wasn’t getting cherry picked zone starts…. it was a team wide phenomena, where Ottawa spent more time in the offensive zone than the defensive one.

          Yet despite all this you came back with 78 pts to 53 pts is not 50% more points because they are all assists…. which was at the point I decided you were too dumb to continue arguing with.

          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • “Karlsson’s 25 additional points is ~50% more point production than Weber.”

            It’s 50% more points, not 50% more production. 50% more production implies that he had 50% more goals, which he didn’t.

            I didn’t ignore your mention of QoC, and I didn’t say he got soft minutes. I said he got softer minutes than his peers, which he did. You’re lying so hard that it’s starting to get annoying.

            Karlsson didn’t play on the PK, which means he got easier minutes than other top defensemen. His energies weren’t spent defending.

            Whether Ottawa started more in the offensive zone as a team DOESN’T MATTER because Karlsson still started more in the offensive zone than the rest of his team. He still started more in the offensive zone than his peers, this means he was given an easier job defensively. This isn’t arguable, it’s intuitive to anyone with a brain. When most of your shifts start in the defensive zone, the minutes you play are more taxing because you have to break out of that zone and into the offensive zone to produce offensively, 57.1% of the time Karlsson did not have to do that.

            “Yet despite all this you came back with 78 pts to 53 pts is not 50% more points because they are all assists”

            The same lie. This is what you want to believe I said because it’s easier to argue against. It’s called building a straw man, and it’s a logical fallacy. You realize that there’s a lot of data that doesn’t fit with your viewpoint, so instead of accounting for it, you’re creating an easy argument to knock down. It’s pathetic, and continually insulting me doesn’t make your lies true.


          • Chris says:

            “It’s 50% more points, not 50% more production. 50% more production implies that he had 50% more goals, which he didn’t.”

            If Adam Oates or Henrik Sedin or Ryan Getzlaf aren’t producing, it is because they aren’t generating points (75-80% of which are assists). Nobody expects those guys to score goals themselves, as that is not really their game, but they are expected to produce goals through their play.

            The same applies to Karlsson (and most defencemen, for that matter). Karlsson scored 19 goals, which is a phenomenal total for a defenceman and the same number as Weber. But he absolutely dominated the NHL in creating assists through his play.

            To give another relevant example, in 2009-10, Henrik Sedin scored 29 goals and 112 points in 82 games while playing about 20 minutes per game but only about 30 seconds per game on the second wave penalty kill. On the other hand, Tomas Plekanec scored 25 goals and 70 points in 82 games while playing about 20 minutes per game but almost three minutes per game on the first wave penalty kill.

            Nobody questions that Plekanec played tough minutes, but I would be surprised if many people in the hockey community were surprised that Henrik Sedin won the Hart Trophy while Tomas Plekanec was never seriously considered despite similar goal production and much heavier defensive responsibilities for Plekanec. Sedin’s 113 points carried the day, especially when the injury to his brother was factored in.

            Points has long been associated with production in the NHL. Re-defining “production” to fit an argument that goals are the only form of production is a weak starting point.

          • Chris, I never made the argument that assists aren’t part of production, but if you’re going to say someone “produced” 50% more than another player, you can’t ignore that a goal total is the same.

            You can quote Wayne Gretzky all you want, then go ask an NHL GM if they’d rather someone who regularly gets 50 goals or 50 assists. It’s an easy answer.

            Bringing up Henrik Sedin is a red herring. Defensive play is never factored into winning a trophy for forwards outside of the Selke. However defensive play is a huge factor for the Norris, and that is where Karlsson becomes heavily inferior to many of his peers.


          • Chris says:

            Andrew: If somebody’s point total is 50% higher and you argue that their production rate is not 50% higher because the goal total is the same, you are effectively saying that assists don’t count in production. I think it is semantics, or perhaps merely wording that you did not intend, but that is how it reads.

            As for the Gretzky analogy, I would point out that both players had the same goal total (as you have pointed out), but Karlsson brought more offence to his team in terms of his assists. So while a GM might prefer a guy that gets 50 goals over a guy that gets 50 assists, I think we would both agree that those same GM’s would prefer a player that gets 50 goals AND 50 assists over a guy that gets 50 goals and 20 assists, correct? And this is where it stands with Karlsson versus Weber: they both created the same number of goals, but Karlsson produced more total offence.

            As to historical precedents, the fact that offensive wizards like Ray Bourque, Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, Paul Coffey, Brian Leetch and Al MacInnis have dominated the Norris Trophy awards over the past three decades is a pretty strong indicator that offensive stats dominate defensive stats in the Norris Trophy voting just as much as they do for the Hart Trophy. While most of those guys were also very good (Bourque, Lidstrom, MacInnis) to average (Coffey) defenders, they weren’t winning those awards based on their all-around play.

            I’m not disputing that perhaps Weber wouldn’t be an outstanding winner. He would have been, in his own way. But Karlsson was also full value for his win because he simply obliterated the competition on the offensive side of the puck while cleaning up his defensive game significantly over last season, much of which can be laid at the feet of Filip Kuba.

            I have heard many a very smart hockey person over the years argue that Wayne Gretzky wasn’t even the most valuable player on his own team (they preferred Messier, who was on the ice in all the key situations) but Gretzky deservedly gets all the hype because he was so spectacularly transcendent on the offensive side that one could overlook his defensive shortcomings.

            I think the same applied this year for Karlsson…the voters got wowed by that 25 point bulge and couldn’t overlook him.

    • ProHabs says:

      Why would you follow Berkshire on Twitter.??? You my friend have too much time on your hands.

  13. durocher says:

    Sign: Parenteau; Cube
    Trade: Bourque, Eller, and Diaz for RJ Umberger and David Savard; trade our later 2012 second round pick for Dubinsky



  14. Bill says:

    First comment: a Russian won the Hart trophy? I thought those guys had no Hart?! Impossible.

    Second comment: this site is bizarre. WordPress is not your solution, HIO. Even GoDaddy would be an upgrade.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  15. Bouleau noir says:

    Congrats Max !! I am glad your dedication payed off, what a come back that was.Now… Enjoy the Summer.

  16. citizenSanto says:

    sorry for the double.
    they had me logged in as L Elle for some reason.
    I’m sure she’s better looking.

  17. citizenSanto says:

    For anyone who missed Tracey Morgan’s skit

    Felicitations Max!

    Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. — Augustine of Hippo

  18. L Elle says:

    Chara didn’t get the suspension, instead Max won the Masterton and matured into a top player. Not bad.

    It seemed like he was thinking to himself, I’ll be back for more hardware.

    Loved the Shanahan skits, very SCTV-like. He seemed pissed. lol

    • ProHabs says:

      Agreed L. I got the impression he thought the first one was funny but after that he was not amused. I wished they had made fun of Colon Campbell in past years as he was the real joke of the NHL.

  19. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Patches, You brilliantly deserved this …very proud You are A Hab !

    Michel Therrien ???: HIS’ new Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey/The Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’:
    HIO’s BC Odd Couple: UCe, the supercilious stickler; and HIS, the stubbornly relentless ‘schismatist’ 🙂
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  20. ProHabs says:

    Who keeps posting under my name. I am now logged in as ProHabs and that is not even me. WTF. Weird.

    MaxPac is the man. Full of class. Nice to see him thank Molson and the Habs fans. The NHL didn’t back MaxPac up at all and he doesn’t owe the NHL anything.

  21. petefleet says:

    What did Lundquist say that got the laughter, I missed it.


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

    ***Habs Forever***

  22. Hali_Hab says:

    That Tracey Morgan skit killed me… i never thought i would have seen that in a million years on an NHL awards show. For as lame as the awards show usually is that skit was gold.

  23. habsavvy says:

    way to go Pacman!

  24. Chuck says:

    Patches started his speech, “I’d like to thank Zdeno Chara for making this moment possible.”

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  25. Chuck says:

    How can they give the Masterton to a guy who’s biggest claim to fame was just being part of a hockey play?

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Strummer says:

      How many pro sports have a “most devastating injury award”?

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

      • Chris says:

        The NFL and MLB both have Comeback Player of the Year Awards, as does the MLS. The NBA used to have that award, but renamed it as the Most Improved Player award.

        The NBA used to have that award, but they rebranded it to their Most Improved Player award.

  26. Strummer says:

    I’m logged in as jols101?

    • Strummer says:

      I suppose It could have been worse- could have been logged in as that wanker in Nickelback

    • jols101 says:

      Im jols101 and logged in as you. Oh well, having a cold beer watching Nickleback, things could be worse, lol…

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

    • jols101 says:

      Im jols101 logged in as you, funny stuff…

      Edit: And now double posting as you, lol, sorry about that…
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  27. TomNickle says:

    Regarding Jordan Staal as a #1 centreman. Please!

    Not only did he only score 50 points in 62 games with Crosby out of the lineup for the majority of it, but he only scored 30 points in 42 games the previous year while Crosby missed the second half of the season. 49 points in 82 games the year before that.

    People like to point to his “third line role”. In nearly every game I’ve seen the Penguins play since Crosby’s draft year, he(#87) and Malkin have been put on the same line for significant stretches of time. During Staal’s time in Pittsburgh that has elevated him to the second line centre role.

    It is a fact that Jordan Staal has only one time been a point per game player, and that was his second year of junior.

    He is not a #1 centreman. He’s an excellent #2 centreman who will command the return of a #1 centreman with only a year left of exclusive rights.

  28. Propwash says:

    Congrats Max Pac!!!!

    “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
    Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  29. jols101 says:

    Just got home, Congrats Patches, well deserved and keep up the good work. The sky is the limit!!!

  30. Habilis says:

    Grats to Patches and his family. Well deserved after his incredible comeback.

    He’s gonna hit 40 next year, provided they have a full season that is. They can’t be short-sighted enough to miss games again, can they? Nah these are professionals we’re talking about here. I mean Bettman has tons of experience so he must know what he’s doing, right?

    Yeah we might be in trouble.

  31. HardHabits says:

    What did I miss? Again!!!! 😎

  32. Bill says:

    Site is tripping me out.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  33. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Congratulations Max! Well deserved! Next year the Hart!

  34. jedimyrmidon says:

    Congratulations MaxPac! A well-deserved award.

    How he not only rose above a potential career-ending, life altering injury, but also rose above the circumstances of that injury to come back better than ever is very impressive. Hope he builds on this in the upcoming years!

  35. Boomer says:

    Tracey Morgan’s skit had me in stitches

  36. JF says:

    Congratulations to Max! He fully deserved the award. But I admit I’m stunned; I really thought the NHL would brush him aside and give it to Alfredsson.

  37. mrhabby says:

    Karlson wins Norris….bit of a surprise for a 1st year player.

  38. mrhabby says:

    Congrats Max P…1st trophy won by Hab in freakin ages.

  39. alfieturcotte says:

    Jordan Staal
    Habs should try to make a deal for Staal. Throw our first rounder plus either prospect/2nd rounder for Staal. He is the #1 centre we need.

  40. commandant says:

    Happy for Max!

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  41. Lizardking89 says:

    woohooo Awesome Max won!

  42. savethepuck says:

    Congrats MaxP!!!!!

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  43. Les Habitants says:

    Congratulations to Max Pacioretty!

  44. K-hab25 says:


    Proud Pricebot since 2006/2007

  45. Lizardking89 says:

    Damn was hoping no Bruin would win an award this year

  46. Toe Blake says:

    The only award that matters was already presented to the Kings in LA!

  47. ogilthorpe says:

    Compared to last year and Jay Mohr..this is better although it’s still really lame …they should get a real fanlike Dennis Leary and move it to TSN…

    • Lizardking89 says:

      The NHL awards always seem to have the smell of cheese in the air. Corny jokes, B list celebs and 3rd rate bands. If anything it’s an embarrassment to the league

  48. Un Canadien errant says:

    Good read on whether it’s true that defencemen take longer to develop than forwards, and whether the Oilers can afford to draft Nail Yakupov.

    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

  49. commandant says:

    Anyone watching the Lindros Draft documentary on TSN.

    LOL at Bob McKenzies big hair in 1991

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  50. Bripro says:

    What the…?
    PG isn’t nominated for GM of the year….

  51. Bripro says:

    So Yaro won the Jennings.
    That will have more then a few commenting on HIO.

  52. frontenac1 says:

    WTF is going on here tonight? I thought it was just me! Yeah its hot out and I had some herb,rum and Bob Marley,but this getting weird. Next up ,Bombers vs Ti-Cats. We Be Jammin”!

  53. JayK-47 says:

    I still don’t know why Pacioretty is up for the Masterton, he was the victim of a routine hockey play. If anything, poor Chara who had scorn heaped on him for no reason should be up there tonight.

  54. Paulin98C says:

    Wow! I feel really embarrassed and I’m alone watching the awards… This is a mess. TSn should host everything.

    • durocher says:

      They should have previous, retired winners of the awards present the awards. The hollywood has-beens and wanna-bes are just embarrassing and diminish the respectability and class of the event.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        You are 100% right on that, great idea. Hockey keeps wanting to improve it’s image, and that’s something dead easy to do that would help.

        E-mail somebody!

  55. Habs64 says:

    Karlsson wins Norris:))

  56. JohnBellyful says:

    Hey, guys, I figured out what’s going on around here

  57. durocher says:

    Matthew Perry, you sir, are lame. This awards show could do without the Hollywood douches.

  58. TomNickle says:

    Hey did I miss anything? HIO told me that I was logged in as Zepfan. I suddenly had a wicked craving for Doritos and chocolate chip cookies.

    I feel a little tuckered out and open minded now but content also.

  59. JohnBellyful says:

    I keep getting a message that I’m repeating myself

  60. HabFab says:

    @ normand…lmao, good one!

  61. HabFab says:

    It is getting lonely here, have just discovered that if I click for the bio’s can read your responses…really frigging weird!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. ZepFan2 says:

    WTF is going on? I’m logged in as Mike Boone?!

    Edit: Okay now it’s just his tag?????

    Mike Boone
    Hockey Inside/Out blogger
    Gazette City columnist

  63. HabFab says:

    MA Godin from Lapresse Mock Draft. This is the second one I have seen with Malcolm Subban going to the BBBB;

    • 24 Cups says:

      Subban and Vasilevski are at least four years away from being NHL starters. With that in mind, any team not having a Carey Price should think about taking one of these guys.

      Oscar Dansk of Sweden is a another option but who knows where these three prospects will shake down. Just think what Bernier and Schneider would bring in a trade right now. Asset accumulation is where it’s at right now in the NHL.

      Speaking of goalies, it’s kind of funny to watch the Luongo situation. Only Toronto and Columbus are desperate for goalies and I can’t see Columbus taking on that contract. Looks like Vancouver will get little in return for their “franchise” player.

      Weird how things can change on a dime in sports.

  64. Un Canadien errant says:

    The way Mr. Grigorenko has fallen in final draft rankings and mock drafts is surprising. Whereas he was thought at the start of the season to be in competition with Nail Yakupov for the honor of being the first player taken overall, he is now seen, for example, as the 12th ranked prospect in Bob McKenzie’s final draft rankings for TSN, a historically reliable indicator of draft intentions since they are compiled by averaging the scores of numerous NHL scouts’ lists.

    The grumbling started midway through last season, Mr. Grigorenko’s first in the LHJMQ, when anonymous scouts were quoted as saying he was lazy and didn’t give full effort, especially on the back check. The money quote came from a scout who said that he wouldn’t pick him in the Top-15 if his team’s turn came up that high.

    On the record, some scouts would partially agree that it sometimes appeared that he didn’t give full effort, but would temper their words by explaining that his game is a more cerebral game as opposed to an in-your-face puck-chasing physical centre like Brendan Gaunce. Whereas the latter hits and digs with energy in the corners, Mr. Grigorenko is more of a positional player who anticipates where the puck will be and uses his body effectively but unspectacularly.

    The further explanation that he had mononucleosis during the playoffs and thus couldn’t play with full energy, as well as having to fight off an ankle sprain suffered during the World Junior Tournament hasn’t managed to salvage his reputation.

    One factor which can’t be overlooked is how much the comparison with Alex Galchenyuk paints him in an unflattering light. Mr. Galchenyuk has a more spectacular playing style, he’s a touch shorter and has a shorter skating stride, which makes him appear more engaged. He is also a gym rat, a fact which helped him wow the scouts at the NHL Draft Combine, while Mr. Grigorenko had to stay on the sidelines and couldn’t participate in the physical testing as he recovers from his illness. An important component in the comparison is how much more fluent and comfortable Alex Galchenyuk is in the English language compared to his counterpart.

    The result is that while he was seen as a reasonable option for the Canadiens at #3 as recently as a couple weeks ago, he now would be seen as a ‘reach’ if he was taken there. This is a ridiculous analysis of the situation for various reasons.

    One is the fact that aside from Nail Yakupov and possibly Ryan Murray, there is no clearcut choice who is head and shoulders above the other prospects. Indeed, Mr. Yakupov is thought to be slightly better than his cohort, but not to the same degree as Eric Lindros or Vincent Lecavalier or Sidney Crosby was. This isn’t even a Taylor-Tyler situation, where two picks are clearly, significantly better than the other choices. Further, the other choices in the Top 10 or 15 are thought to be ‘bunched up’ and relatively equal in value. So if the Canadiens deem it an organizational need to get a big strong skilled centre, Mikhail Grigorenko is as valid a pick as Matt Dumba or Filip Forsberg, and not a case of passing over clearly better players to choose a project.

    Second, the concept of a reach is stretched to the point of meaninglessness by draft analysts. A team is reaching when they pick a player a full round or two ahead of where they could reasonably have expected to snag that player. For example, if the Canadiens had Malcolm Subban ranked as the best player on their board at #3, and they picked him, they might be assailed as having reached for him since he was only ranked #25 or so. In fact, however, they would have drafted the best player available to them in their estimation, their own research showed them, right or wrong, that he was the most logical choice, regardless of outside rankings. Now, if Malcolm Subban had been ranked closer to #45, then the Canadiens could be accused of reaching, since they conceivably could have picked him up at #33. They could have taken a very reasonable risk and waited until the second round, and have picked up another player rated highly on their board in the first round. Clearly, this won’t be the case on Saturday, Mr. Grigorenko will be long gone by the time the second round starts.

    So if on Friday the Canadiens choose Mikhail Grigorenko, convinced that he is the best player for the team for years to come, I’ll be happy with the choice and will trust that the scouting staff made the best decision it could.

    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    • jmsheehy19 says:

      Agreed. In Timmins we trust… As long as it’s a forward.

    • HabFab says:

      I am quite content to sit back and let professionals decide who we draft, especially Trevor with his track record. The rest is all speculation by passionate amateurs and media talking heads.

    • RGM says:

      Gauthier’s gone, we don’t have to call everybody Mister anymore.

      I’m on the fence between the two guys you mentioned. I was initially largely in favour of Grigorenko but then I saw him (barely) in 3 games against Halifax in the playoffs. Yeah he had mono and all that, but still, when you see a guy that’s supposedly a top five pick and he’s not performing like a top five, it leaves a mark, especially since none of us learned about the mono until just recently. So I’m about 60/40 for Galchenyuk at this time. Either pick would be perfectly acceptable to me, so I’m sure that Timmins will make the right one.

      GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        RGM, tell us more of what you saw. Address the issues such as lazy on the backcheck, not physical, floater, etc. What was he like with the puck, without it, what was his shot like?

        I’m really interested in hearing a first hand account, as opposed to rumours filtered through the media.

        In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. There must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    • chanchilla says:

      i think he’s gonna go after the 5th pick, which will be a steal for whoever gets him!

  65. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Let’s pretend it’s the Canadiens’ turn to pick on Friday and there are three players still available whom MB/Timmins would be equally happy with. In this scenario the Canadiens wouldn’t be giving up anything to swapping picks with Toronto. Do the Maple Leafs have any young players worth having?

    *Sean BonJovi’s Draft List = 1. Yakupov 2. Grigorenko 3. Galchenyuk*

  66. That's-Hockey says:

    I hope Pacioretty is awarded the Bill masterton trophy, he was hit like Bill that could have ended his life but he came back to perform a career year with the Montreal Canadiens. not saying the other two guys don’t deserve it either but the vicious hit on max could have been his life….

  67. Chris says:

    Undoubtedly already posted in the other thread, but just in case…

    There’s a nice interview on Pacioretty up at Yahoo! Sports.

    Gist of it is that he has accepted that Chara didn’t mean to do what he did, a realization that finally clicked in when he went through his own incident with Kris Letang.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Hmmm, I remember getting pilloried for making the same observation immediately after the incident (the slow-motion replay played over and over and over again since then certainly makes it appear, however, there was malevolent intent on Chara’s part) and now Pacioretty is saying the same thing. I just hope the fans don’t tear a strip off him for being so deluded.
      Alternatively, he has decided to move on and is being charitable to put what happened behind him.

      • Chris says:

        I also got pilloried a bit as I really didn’t see the “clear intent to injure” that most Habs fans saw. It is a fast game, and things happen. It should have resulted in a couple of games of suspension just to send a message, but that should have been the end of it.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Yeah, intent didn’t have to be argued in support of a suspension for Chara. The consequence alone was enough to warrant his being punished. If intent could have been proven, it would have added to the severity of the penalty.

          • boing007 says:

            Chara’s hit on Pacioretty was vicious and uncalled for.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  68. JohnBellyful says:

    Testing, testing, to see if this %$&#%^* system will let me post a reply. (BTW, I didn’t use %$&#%^* in my reply.)

    Edit: @ commandant: I’ve tried three times to reply to your response to my post below but it has yet to post. This will be the fourth. It’s in regards to Yakupov and Eller on the wings – simply to demonstrate my lunacy is earth-based.

    From Hickey’s article today: “Yakupov is a right-winger, but shoots left, which is not unusual for a Russian player. He has also played left wing and centre in the past, and wouldn’t resist a change.”

    And from Boone’s article on March 20: “The faithful few were treated to a lively session: scrimmages, wind sprints between the blue lines and, for close observers of minutiae, the continuation of a late-season experiment: Lars Eller playing right wing, opposite Rene Bourque, on a line centred by Tomas Plekanec.”

    • HabFab says:

      Same here, we have offended the HIO GODS.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I just tried inserting the non-posted reply into the above space and was told:
        “Your edited comment was marked as spam. If this is in error, please contact the admin.”
        It wasn’t spam. Not exactly sirloin, either. Definitely lean hamburger.

        • HabFab says:

          We have been sent to the rear of the class…ABC


          • JohnBellyful says:

            If you thought I was confused before — and there’s no reason why you wouldn’t have — I am twice that now. I won’t try to make sense of it. Besides, sitting right behind Suzie is not such a bad thing.

  69. steve17 says:

    I am puling for Patches, He deserves it and although the players he is up against are deserving, I think Patches situation was more serious and his comeback more amazing than theirs!


  70. TomNickle says:

    So according to Chris Therien(former Flyer) Patrick Kane may in fact be traded according to what he says is a source close to the situation.

    He played with Patrick Sharp in Philadelphia. It doesn’t get a whole lot closer than that.

    Depending on the return that could be one hell of an addition.

  71. JohnBellyful says:

    I think by now most of you know that I’m not one to jump the gun to leap to conclusions.
    I like to arrive at my inferences by connecting the dots on a string of facts. Here are a few that are of particular relevance to Friday’s draft and beyond.

    1 – Prior to the start of last season, the Montreal Canadiens signed a minor league player affiliation agreement with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League.

    2 – The affiliation agreement is shared with the Pittsburgh Penguins, suggesting there is a close relationship between the two teams (in addition to having a shared past with the same coach).

    3 – Nail Yakupov is the odds-on favourite to be chosen number one in Friday’s entry level draft.

    4 – Sidney Crosby will become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

    5 – Crosby grew up loving the Montreal Canadiens.

    6 – Crosby has Michel Therrien’s phone number.

    These six facts, I would argue, lead to one incontrovertible conclusion: Montreal’s Wheeling and Dealing will land it this year’s No. 1 pick. Yakupov will make it clear to Edmonton and Columbus that he will sign with the KHL if he is prevented from joining the Montreal Canadiens, because playing for an affiliate team bearing his name is just too big an enticement for a star-struck rookie to turn down.
    A year later, Yak, a seasoned professional, joins the Canadiens, along with Crosby, who gets to fulfill his own dream, playing for the team he idolized and is anxious to see return to respectability.
    He and Yak form a formidable line with Eller, who agrees to play right wing to finally get some top 6 minutes, and … the rest is history. Or will be.

    • HabFab says:

      Quick, your dealers number before he sells out!

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I only deal in cold, hard facts.
        Laugh at me if you will. I only wish I could see your face Friday night when Edmonton and Columbus pass on Yakupov who then gets chosen by Montreal.
        Actually, I wish I could see my face when that happens. Think I’ll bring some extra mirrors into the study so I don’t miss out.

        • commandant says:

          Yakupov is a RW, your story falls apart, Eller can’t be the RW.


          Go Habs Go!
          Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • JohnBellyful says:

            From Pat Hickey’s story:
            “Yakupov is a right-winger, but shoots left, which is not unusual for a Russian player. He has also played left wing and centre in the past, and wouldn’t resist a change.”
            Also. Montreal needs help on left wing, Yakupov can provide that.

            And here’s a line from Boone’s story in the Gazette March 20:
            “The faithful few were treated to a lively session: scrimmages, wind sprints between the blue lines and, for close observers of minutiae, the continuation of a late-season experiment: Lars Eller playing right wing, opposite Rene Bourque, on a line centred by Tomas Plekanec.”

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Here’s from Hickey’s article today:
            “Yakupov is a right-winger, but shoots left, which is not unusual for a Russian player. He has also played left wing and centre in the past, and wouldn’t resist a change.”
            Montreal could use help on left wing and Yakupov would provide it.

            And this from Boone’s article on March 20:
            “The faithful few were treated to a lively session: scrimmages, wind sprints between the blue lines and, for close observers of minutiae, the continuation of a late-season experiment: Lars Eller playing right wing, opposite Rene Bourque, on a line centred by Tomas Plekanec.
            … ‘Centre is my more natural position. But I play wherever I’m needed, and I take pride in that.’”

          • Chris says:

            As a left-handed shot, Yakupov could easily play on the left-side. He’s more of a puck-carrier than a one-timer guy, so being on his off-wing isn’t that big an advantage for him.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Commandant, I’ve tried and I’ve tried to answer your response but I’ve been denied four times now (you must have some pull with the mods unless …)
            Anyways, you’ll find what I had to say in today’s article by Hickey on Yakupov, fourth paragraph from the bottom ( as well as in Boone’s article on March 20 about Eller, second paragraph (

          • HabFab says:

            Heh!, how did you get out of detention below???

            I’m out too!!

            Free at last! Free at last!

            I have a dream that …..

          • commandant says:

            I know full well he can play both wings. Its even in my profile of Yakupov, long long time ago now.

            There was sarcasm in me calling that the point where your story falls apart.

            Go Habs Go!
            Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

          • JohnBellyful says:

            I know that you know. And that you were having a bit of fun, the same as Krob1000 was doing. It was for the site’s populace not as informed as yourself — I include myself in that number — that I posted those two pieces of information to show that my lunacy isn’t entirely far-fetched.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          @ commandant: I’ve tried twice now to reply directly to your response to my post down below but the system hasn’t let me (watch, it will show three times now).
          My lunacy regarding Yakupov and Eller on the wings is earth-based:

          Here’s from Hickey’s article today:
          “Yakupov is a right-winger, but shoots left, which is not unusual for a Russian player. He has also played left wing and centre in the past, and wouldn’t resist a change.”
          Montreal could use help on left wing and Yakupov would provide it.

          And this from Boone’s article on March 20:
          “The faithful few were treated to a lively session: scrimmages, wind sprints between the blue lines and, for close observers of minutiae, the continuation of a late-season experiment: Lars Eller playing right wing, opposite Rene Bourque, on a line centred by Tomas Plekanec.
          … ‘Centre is my more natural position. But I play wherever I’m needed, and I take pride in that.’”

    • That's-Hockey says:

      That’s good stuff you’re smoking

    • Chuck says:

      That’s the most sensible post I’ve read on here all day, which is saying something.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • krob1000 says:

      Ridiculous….Eller high water Lars won’t be playing on that line …OVechkin will, he already wears red, white and blue and loves his fashion, he is great friends with Markov (they are both Russian you know),he loves Poutine and enjoys Montreal…he also knows he can’t beat him…so why not join em’ (Sid that is) , he loves Nailing players
      and never stops Yaking…it is all but done but you are way off base thinking Eller will play on that line, waaay of base….not really sure where people come up with this stuff….lunacy

  72. durocher says:

    Pacioretty should definitely win — he came back from a horrific injury to be one of the Habs best forwards and to set a career high in goals. He is a true inspiration and model for those athletes — and individuals — who have faced, or are facing, adversity. Much respect to Max. He is an asset to the Habs organization, on the ice and off of it.

    • commandant says:

      I agree.

      but I think they will give it to Alfredsson, for playing a long time or some b/s reason.

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

      • Ozmodiar says:

        The b/s reason will be to keep the Chara incident out of the spotlight.

        • JF says:

          Yes. The NHL did its best to minimize the incident; bringing it back into the spotlight now would imply it was more serious than they allowed at the time. I think Alfredsson will get the award.

          • Lizardking89 says:

            You’re all probably right. I’ll never forget the sight of Max laying on the ice and not moving after the Chara hit and the rage I felt after nothing was done to discipline Chara afterwards. I really hope he wins the award because Max truly is an inspiration. He not only came back to play after that horrific injury but he excelled. I’m probably biased but Max is the hands down winner IMO.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Most likely correct I am afraid

        “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I don’t think Alfredsson winning the Masterton would be for a b/s reason. He finished with 27 goals and 32 assists at age 38 after back surgery. Pacioretty scored 33 goals and 32 assists in four more games. Both feats are remarkable. You could argue Pacioretty’s accomplishment was more impressive, given the nature of his injury. However, does anyone know what was the nature of Alfredsson’s condition because back problems do end people’s careers or can certainly reduce their productivity.
        Pacioretty would be a deserving candidate and I hope he does receive the recognition he’s due but to say Alfredsson could win for a b/s reason unnecessarily diminishes his own accomplishment.

  73. RobertAlanFord says:

    So here’s my strategy. And before I do, I feel a disclaimer is in order. We all know how we can get when someone throws a potential name in a trade rumor or a potential UFA signing……. blood can boil and posts start flying all over the place and before you know it an interstellar war has broken out. Disclaimer: The steps to this procedure are of my own opinion and thought process. The names mentioned within these steps are of no preference to a particular player(s), just the type and or calibre of player in general. So here we go…..
    Step One – The Draft: Put the first pick into a package (I was thinking a Kaberle, or Weber, or Eller….add your own preference here as you like) and get an impact player that can play on the wing with Plekanec and Gionta. I personally like the idea of Perry but then again you fill in the blank for that position as you like. My thought process behind this direction is that there is a hole that needs to be filled right now on the top two lines and it doesn’t belong to Eller or Moen or whoever and it can’t be filled on July 1st either without rolling out some serious cash. The most valuable asset the Canadiens have in their name right now is the third overall pick on Friday, anything after that will get you mediocrity in return.
    As far as the draft is concerned after that, I have the utmost faith in Trevor Timmins’ abilities and two picks in the second isn’t peanuts.
    Step Two- July 1st: UFA day or Xmas for every armchair GM there is in Hockey Land!!!! This is where the fun begins. This year’s market is perfect for teams that want to build their bottom six and fourth and fifth D. Right off the mark, do NOT go knocking at Parise’s door. Instead, be the first one knocking at the agent’s door for players like McClemment, Tootoo, Allen, Moss, and the list goes on. The point is that the Habs have to build their bottom six and require a heavy fifth and sixth D. The only ones I see as a solid fit in those positions is Moen (if he accepts and doesn’t demand too much) and Ryan White in the bottom six. McClemment is my first pick to put between those two and I think it would be a bitch of a line to play against. The fifth and sixth D should be as tough as possible.
    The remainder of the UFA shopping should be to bulk up Hamilton with size and hopefully some veterans and give them a decent goalie. The Bulldogs are getting quite the injection of good young players into their lineup for next season and they will need the size and experience around them.
    Step Three (could come before or after step two) – Gomez: Buy him out or burry his contract in Hamilton. If someone is even willing to take him for a low pick five years from now it’s a good deal. The bottom line is the Habs will need the cap space to accommodate the renewal of Price and Subban’s contracts and whatever UFA spending. There is even Pacioretty to consider next summer and if his performance continues to grow, that contract will be quite substantial. One way or another, the $7,357,143 cap hit is no longer acceptable.

    To summarize:
    Top six: Desharnais, Pacioretty, Gionta, Cole, Plekanec and one hole to fill. Best asset for filling that hole is this year’s third overall pick plus an expendable.
    Bottom Six: White and Moen. This leaves four spots to be filled and is where the UFA market is deep. Pass the Parses and go directly to the McClemments. Geoffrion will be bouncing between Hamilton and Montreal IMO.
    Defense: Markov, Subban, Gorges are core. Emelin will be on the bottom of the pile but present nonetheless. With a seventh defense dressed there are two positions left to be filled and again this is where the UFA market is deep. There is room for one more offensive D in the top four and Weber deserves the opportunity however there are other preferable options.
    Goal: Price and Budaj are a decent duo between the pipes. There could be other options for the backup position but it’s not a priority at the moment.
    The expendables: Gomez, Kaberle, Eller, Weber, Bourque, Palushaj, Blunden, Nokelainen, Diaz, Darche and Campoli.
    Again, these are my preferences and I prefer the bottom six to be two grinding, shut down or just plain old in your face lines. Hence why Leblanc’s name isn’t anywhere. I think he would benefit more playing on a top line in Hamilton with Gallagher than ten minutes a game on a third line in MTL.
    Have fun guys! And keep in mind we’re all on the same side.

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