PG’s buzzwords

Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is all smiles at Monday’s news briefing.
Dave Sidaway, Gazette

Late-afternoon update: Lars Eller did not participate in the 5
p.m. scrimmage at Rookie Camp. RDS’s Renaud Lavoie reports it’s a 10-day-old abdominal muscle knack. Eller will be
re-evaluated tomorrow.

Later afternoon update from Stubbs: I saw Eller skating alone with Canadiens head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend at Brossard on Friday morning. That might explain update above.

• AUDIO: Pierre Gauthier | Lars Eller | Ian Schultz | P.K. Subban | Louis Leblanc | Brendan Gallagher | Ben Maxwell

•  •  •

Team identity and leadership core.

Pierre Gauthier stressed
these points frequently during his 47-minute media briefing, preceding
the opening of Rookie Camp in Brossard.

Carey Price is “more
mature” and “really fits into the group” in the Canadiens’ room. The
goaltender’s success, Gauthier added, will depend largely on the support
of his teammates.

Wearing a charcoal suit and a tight grin,
referring to everyone in the Canadiens’ organization as “Mr.” (it
sounded funny in the case of P.K. Subban) Gauthier seemed more at ease
than his predecessor, media-wary Bob Gainey.

And why not?

Gauthier’s team is undefeated, and “we have a better knowledge of who we are and what we can accomplish.”

In his opening remarks, Gauthier cited an “impression of optimism” that’s carried over from the Canadiens’ success in the playoffs.

Gauthier spoke about 17 holdovers – “not including Mr. Subban” – giving the Canadiens “quite a bit of stability”.

“We like our leadership group,” Gauthier said, promising a captain would be named – by management – before the season begins. The GM said the Canadiens are blessed with “emotional” leaders who “care about the team.”

No names were mentioned, but the group surely includes Andrei Markov, Brian Gionta, Josh Gorges, Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Hal Gill.

Gauthier made frequent mention of Larry Carriere, a hockey man of “enormous experience”, whose familiarity with defence, the position Carriere played in the NHL, will be an asset to player development. The GM also mentioned Randy Ladouceur’s experience as a Dman.The remarks suggest this was perceived as an organizational deficiency.

Gauthier expressed confidence that Markov would make a full recovery from knee surgery. He said the Canadiens had no hard and fast rules against negotiating contracts during a hockey season, adding that preliminary discussions have begun on a new deal for Markov.

Gauthier described the anointment of Carey Price as the team’s Number 1 goaltender as a difficult decision that came down to “who is the person we want to go forward with, middle and long-term.”

Although 21 players are on one-way contracts and the other two roster positions are generally ceded to Subban and Lars Eller, Gauthier said “there are positions open on the team.”

“Coaches tend to look at a 28-man roster,” Gauthier said. “No one is guaranteed a job. A lot of things can happen.”

Gauthier described the team identity as predicated on speed and “intelligence”, which the GM says is moving the puck efficiently and knowing what to do with it.”

Asked whether the playoff loss to Philadelphia exposed a lack of team toughness, Gauthier cited Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago as successful teams who have maintained winning formulas based on a consistent identity.

Take that to mean we won’t be watching the big, bad Habs any time soon.

Other points:

• Jeff Halpern is a right-handed faceoff specialist whose PK abilities will lighten the load on Tomas Plekanec and Scott Gomez.

• Brock Trotter remains on the team’s protected list.

• Louis Leblanc made his own decision about leaving college for junior hockey, as did Jarred Tinordi. It is important, Gauthier said, for young players to choose environments in which they can excel and build their confidence.

• The Hamilton Randys, Cunneyworth and Ladouceur, are two NHL vets who were captains and are capable of developing “professionalism and leadership” down on the farm.


  1. Mark C says:

    I know nothing! NOTHING…about that.

  2. Ian Cobb says:

    Your always on the ball Chuck.

  3. Chuck says:

    A “Hogan’s Heroes” reference! Great show!

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Love your humour boys.!

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    Was Schultz’s father a German prison of war guard in Stallack 13.?

  6. Chuck says:

    I wouldn’t bother; nobody’s liver could handle such abuse. 

  7. Mark C says:

    re: smaller players getting injured. What cases from the regular season are you referring to?

    Halak plays the puck better than Price now huh? Do you watch games or are you a just a troll?

  8. likehoy says:

    it would be a brilliant game…except the fact that a lot of this goes on during the day…we would be drunk by 9am…..3 months ago.

    i still feel the buzz.

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  9. Ian Cobb says:

    Dead wrong my friend!!!

  10. likehoy says:

    cammy, pleks, gomez, gionta will be our top 4 scorers

    ak, pouliot, eller will be the wild cards

    dmen, only markov and subban will be producers…if markov plays 70 games, he’ll have 50+ points

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Picking a fight with Marian Gaborik does take a lot of balls doesn’t it? Carcillo is worse than Laps is at times and I say that as a Lapierre fan, Laps embellishes but Carcillo plays himself off the Flyers roster sometimes with his garbage.

    JVR versus Pacioretty, the 2nd overall pick versus 22nd overall pick is better? Wow, who’d have thought. Pacioretty adding on some more muscle could stand his ground and he got rushed along in his development. Van Riemsdyk has yet to live up to his 2nd overall pick billing.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  12. nunacanadien says:

    Any bets on when the Habs blow up part 2 will occur?  I know April 23, 2009 was a defining moment in the support of Carey Price, when Gainey hinted at his displeasure with the lack of team support for Price.   Now this is a different version in response to the fan displeasure with Gainey particularly hockey wives, that prompted the Molsons to ask Gainey to step aside.  Now I know who is controlling Gauthier’s strings. 

  13. RGM says:

    It’s posts like this that really inspire me to create a Habs Inside/Out drinking game. You hit on all the big memes:

    • Bash Price
    • Bash Gauthier
    • Gauthier as Gainey Redux
    • I Miss Jaro

    —————————————– Josh Gorges for Captain!

  14. Oddball says:

    Why is it, that you add the word “blindly” before the loyal positive fans and not the other way around. You are clearly part of the negative fold, so your point is tainted, to say the least.

    Gainey took a organization that was a disgrace and brought us within reach fo ther finals. He stated when he took over this team that it would take 5 years to rebuild. He totally dismantled a team of quitters before the start of last year and brought in players who actually seem like they want to win.

    I find it funny, how your group of naysayers seem to equate last years terrific play off run as a failure and not as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.


    ..always with the negative waves, Moriarty, always with the negative waves..

  15. newbrunswick troy says:

    Ok on the eve, of the draft…whats everybodys thought on the habs “big point producers”

                                             more importantly  who will be the big suprises????????

  16. nunacanadien says:

    This kind of logic also says because Price managed to have a better save percentage that he won more last year which was not the case.  In fact Price lost a lot of games last year.  He has a decent win/lose record, but I am sure that is just Gainey and Gauthier protecting Price from humiliation of defeat.  But if you keep yanking your starter, then of course he’s gonna have more victories shown than defeats where he was pulled.  So really Halak’s losses are also Price’s losses.

    As for team toughness, when you lack both a decent size and weight, unless you are a Bouillion or a scrapper like who knows, a small one like Tootoo, or an instigator like anyone, then you are there for a specific purpose.  Otherwise you have all of last season where in the regular season players were injured because of lack of size in some cases.

    The team played together with Halak quarterbacking passes.  When do you ever see Carey Price pass a puck that starts a decent play?  Hardly ever, Price doesn’t know how to pass the puch to save his life.

  17. mike g says:

    Yeah right, Carcillo’s not tough….

    Carcillo isn’t the most popular hockey player across the globe, but he’s a very tough and effective player. Don’t knock him just cuz he’s not a Hab.

    Pleks is known to be a diver, but it doesn’t take away from the fatct that he’s a very good and intelligent hockey player.

    And don’t knock JVR just yet, my friend. The kid’s a beast, and he’s a rookie. I’ll take him over Pacioretty anyday. JVR’s younger and able to stand on his skates, Max is like Pouliot who always swim on the ice anytime a hit comes.

    This is what I mean about Habs fans overrating their own players and not looking at the whole league. Alot of Habs fans defend their players way too much.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  18. likehoy says:

    who wouldn’t? they’re guaranteed bucks cause we know the leafs overpaid for middle-class talent.

    - I support Carey Price as the Number 1 Goalie!

  19. Fire_Laraque says:

    Is Ian Schultz the son of Dave Schultz by any chance?

  20. mike g says:

    Dude I’m having a bit of fun, relax….

    BUt you should know how fragile the francophones are with their own. For pete’s sake, they still can’t stop talking about Latendresse, Lecavalier, and how we should have never traded Begin, Bouillon, Dandelnault, etc….

    If you’re gonna sing a french Canadian, sign a good one and not the lemon. Gagne’s a very good player, but we all know that he comes with a bag of question marks. We don’t need those bags, all it is is food for the media…


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Carcillo is a diver and Van Riemsdyk was soft as marshmellows in the playoffs, wouldn’t say those two add to the toughness factor.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  22. Ian Cobb says:

    I will take speed, finesse, work ethic and intelligence every day over toughness.

    Unless you mean mentally and  emotionally tough.

    Speed kills,! and when harnessed to hockey intelligence, there is no end to your dreams.

    We are a very good team this year, and we will be fighting for a top spot in this league right out of the gate.

  23. nunacanadien says:

    Alot of that success was the team supporting Halak through thick and thin.  I wonder if the team will now support Price, but if they didn’t last year, what makes you think they would this year, it’s practically the same roster minus a few and plus a few.

  24. mike g says:

    The Flyers are the toughest team in the East. Period.

    The Caps are up there, but not #1. When your forwards includes Carter, Richards, Hartnell, Carcillo, VanRiemsdyk, Laperiere and Asham….that’s toughness.

    Add Pronger, Coburn, Mezaros, and O’Donell, and the Caps don’t stand a chance of beating them in toughness.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  25. nunacanadien says:

    Geeze this is Bob Gainey part 2, remember April 23, 2009 when Gainey practically crapped all over the Habs players for not supporting Price?  Now Gauthier’s impression of success, is having Carey Price sit on the bench, and if the team doesn’t support him, he’ll blow up the team again I am sure like Gainey did.  Don’t forget Carey Price was very succcessful in being a backup goalie to Halak.  It was Halak who gave us success last year not Price. 

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    So basically we shouldn’t sign a French Canadian player because he might get a concussion?

    By that logic we shouldn’t sign anyone.

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    So what. Aren’t they goping on strike next year?

  28. HabFanSince72 says:

    I think the Caps were bigger and tougher than the Flyers.

    Everyone thinks the Flyers are tough because of their history. They have a lot of small forwards.

  29. Say Ash says:

    I’m watching out my office window at GM Place (sorry, Rogers Arena) for a puff of white smoke…

  30. mike g says:

    So the HIO hockey pool draft is tonight….

    Does AK46 fall into the category of “sleepers” because he basically sleeps on the ice all the time, or because he might have a productive season?


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  31. scrowe21 says:

    Eller seems confident. Schultz even more..compared his game to Lucic. I wish.

    good interviews 


    My spinorama shootout goal with Cammy

  32. Chorske says:

    Haha, we haven’t won a cup since Kurt Cobain shot himself, yet no one ever mentions the Nirvana Curse either. ;)

  33. Chorske says:

    Fellatio Festival: a Boone classic.

  34. mike g says:

    The toughness issue is overrated…

    The fact of the matter remains that each team has about a 4% chance of winning the Cup. That doesn’t even factor in which teams make the playoffs, injuries, playoff matchups, etc…

    The Flyers, the big team who spanked us like pancakes last year, were seconds away from being swept by Boston. They won game 4 in OT, and if they don’t win that overtime period the Bruins sweep them and we play Boston. Does the physical factor come into effect as strong as it did if we play Boston? Not really. I’m not saying we woulda won, but it would have been a longer and closer series.

    The only team build with extreme toughness and talent in the East is Philly. Anybody else can play vs anybody else, and anything can happen on any given day. Building a team to only compete vs Philly would be dumb.


    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

     I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  35. Tobiass says:

    Your logic is kinda flawed. One of the “highly skilled” teams we beat were the Penguins, who themselves went all the way a year back. For not being tough, the beat some tough teams. I think to much emphasis is put on this up front toughness everyone likes to throw around.

  36. Exit716 says:

    Square pegs also fit into round holes from time to time as long as somewhere is patient enough to keep hammering away.

    Regards Bob The Bread Maker.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Tinordi was drafted for a reason, the team acquired Ian Schultz in a trade for a reason as well, they’ve added pieces to the pipleine for toughness but they’re not going to run out like the Rags and sign Boogaard to a moronic contract.

    Subban is a tough defender as well, he’s got a great build to play a solid defensive game as needed.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  38. nick says:

    As GM… It doesn’t make sense to start taking shots at your goaltender before the season starts does it?

    Either way, I believe Gauthier has a better idea of who Price is than any of us… So he may be protecting him (perfectly reasonable to protect your players as GM isn’t it?) On the other hand, given how much we all rub elbows with NHL players… I don’t think any of us are in a position to call him out on what he said about Price.

  39. RGM says:

    What a fellatio festival.

    —————————————– Josh Gorges for Captain!

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    Teams didn’t expect when the cap came in that so many loons would be in charge of teams and not understand basic math, some players got overpaid (Drury, Gomez, Redden, Campbell, Huet, Horcoff) and it started a snowballing effect as one player got overpaid, anyone slightly better got overvalued even more.

    Lack of smart management across the NHL has caused the cap issues we’re looking at for the most part.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  41. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Kesler was immediately who I thought of. Not sure about either Sedin being named – unless they name both :)

  42. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Yeah, I see what you’re saying. I still think that teams will find a way to keep their core players signed long-term. I suspect the trend we’ve been seeing where teams have big ticket players and bargain basement players with precious few players in between (Montreal being a fantastic example of this – there’s what, 4 players making over $2m and under $5m?). If anybody will be available next year, I think it’ll be players of the Kostitsyn variety – not exactly amazing, but likely too pricey for their teams to re-sign.

    Your example of Boston is interesting. They’ll have $25m to spend next year and will have some bad contracts coming off the books (Ryder and Sturm combine for a $7.5m cap hit), and will have to figure out what to do with their younger players like Bergeron and Wheeler.  If I had to guess I’d say that Bergeron will be one of the most attractive UFAs available next year.

    Should be interesting to see what happens!

  43. Ali says:

    did anyone bother to point out to Gauthier that all the teams he mentioned have (or had in chicago’s case) more toughness up front than us? we beat two primarily skilled teams in the first round, a tremendous accomplishment, and nobody was more proud of them than I was. but the goal is to build a team that can beat anyone, not just win a couple of rounds. the fact that they refuse to address this issue is so frustrating.


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