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. gloveside says:

    So you are saying…


    I should consider the “blindly dis-loyal negative fans” as well? You may have to help me define that. Myself, I’m hardly blind in my assessments. I base my “negativity” on actual stats and previous occurances. I’m calling out the “blindly” positive fans who base their assessments on speculation alone [My favourites are: Price will show how great he can be this year because he was picked 5th overall or Price will be great because Gainey says so or because Fleury wasn’t great at the beginning of his career either]. Tell me why Price, unequivocally, deserves to be the Number 1 goalie in Montreal. It’s not based on previous career resume. It’s blind faith.  

    As for the 5 year plan, I said in my previous post that the last 5 years seen a total of 1 great playoff run – last year’s team that needed a super-human effort from shot blockers, Halak and Cammy – all playing above their career bests just to make it that far. For a while last season [and the season before] it looked grim for the Hab’s playoff chances. I don’t see lightning striking twice, but I’d love to be proven wrong!


    By the way, not sure what a “fo ther finals” is.

  2. 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..

  3. Radio Free Timo 2 says:

    What’s even more ironic is he calls people lefty fascists.

  4. Nina76 says:

    JD.THANK YOU!!!!!!you are right he was merely a gleam in his father’s eye.I wish there more bloggers on this site like you.As I was taught as a child growing up if you cannot say anything nice about someone,say nothing at all…………..opinions yes…….bashing NO!!!!!!!!!      GO MY HABS GO!!!!!!!

  5. saskhabfan says:

    Just like virtually every other player in the nhl. Not very observent are you? Only 47% of the time?


    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  6. Chorske says:

    only with more jam

  7. OneTimer says:

    Argument backed with fact. Mike G wins

  8. fbkj says:

    im trying to deconstruct what your saying here without making any reaches or erecting a straw man and you know what… its VERY difficult..


  9. HabFab says:

    I thought your theory was 25 games.

  10. saskhabfan says:

    Only 5 goalies had over 40 wins last year. Does that mean 25 teams had losing records? For someone who claims to be an observer you kind of miss alot of rather basic hockey info.


    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  11. saskhabfan says:

    Imagine that,hockey is actually a team game.


    Leafstv “telling their fans they deserve to win for over 40 years”

  12. observer says:

    40 wins is winning less than half your games – so you predict habs to be sub- .500 again?

  13. observer says:

    what pressure? he’s already a rich man and set for life even he he never works another day.

  14. Mark C says:

    No matter how good a goalie is, I don’t think they should play more than 60-65 tops. Of the 8 goalies who played more than 65 games and made the playoffs, only Craig Anderson posted a better SV% in the playoffs than in the reg. season. Guys like Fleury, Brodeur, Luongo, and Nabokov “seemed” worn out during the playoffs.

  15. pierre lapuck says:

    Speaking the truth is hardly coddling.  No goalie can acheive success without a team in front of him committed to defensive responsibility.  For all you guys who are just waiting for him to fail I have only one question… will that make you happy?  Your team will be in the dumper and then what?  Why not just stay off the bandwagon and cheer for the Lightning or the Panthers, every one of thier fans will think you’re geniuses because they haven’t learned enough about the game to have forgotten anything.  You won’t break yuour ankles jumping on and off the bandwagon and when the Habs win the cup you can be suitably unimpressed, blame it on luck and good fortune, and continue on your deluded, negative, myopic way.

  16. RGM says:

    What a concept for a team game – the success of one player is dependent upon that of those players around him. Imagine that! Shocking!

    It’s funny – nobody ever says anything like “Cammalleri’s success depends on the support of his linemates” as if Cammy’s going to put a 40G season without any help at all.

    This anti-Price crap is ridiculous. Is it really asking too much for some people to at least wait until, oh I don’t know, the season starts before burying the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender?

    Josh Gorges for Captain!

  17. mike g says:

    Did I ever say that?

    You don’t find it a little odd that they’ve lost to the 8th seed Habs last year in 7 games, took 7 games to beat the 7th seed Rangers in 2009 and then lost to Pittsbugh in 7, and lost to the 7th seed Flyers in 7 games in 2008? I’m sorry, but there’s a problem somewhere.

    When you’re having seasons of 100+ points and blowing everyone away, but then can’t beat 7th or 8th place teams, there’s a problem.

    They’re a mirror of the Sharks.


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

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

  18. SLONCOLD says:

    well i think if price is all this and that you would want him to be a goalie who can play 70 games but i don’t think there should be a rush to get him that many games this year. My expectation is for price to keep us in games and help out the team when they’re flat and really just keep the habs in games.


  19. Mark C says:

    Out of those 5 goalies, only Ryan Miller’s playoff SV% was close to being as good as his regular season SV%. For a goalie to get 40 wins they need at least 65-70 starts, which are too many, IMO.

  20. nick says:

    Ya thats the spirit… lets string the kid up before the season even starts.

    OR… We could let the puck drop before we start pissing and moaning…

    Either way the poor kid is screwed. Unless he does anything short of win the cup, “fans” will forever say he’s MTL’s weak link, overrated, etc etc… regardless of his performance.


  21. SLONCOLD says:

    40 wins is a huge number only 5 goalies accomplished that last year and it is very closely tied into you team as well. i still find it crazy that Evgeni Nabokov is not in the nhl this year.

  22. Sheldon says:

    You’re expecting a mondo season out of Alex Auld?

  23. Sheldon says:

    True, but it sounded like the right thing to say. I’m more worried about the fact that this year’s campaign ends in an odd number. Recent history suggests that the Habs bite the massive root when that happens. Dare I remind you of the Centennial Suckfestapalooza?

  24. JD_ says:

    Ah yes, Nina76. I remember you. Easily the most epic profile on HI/O.

    Was a fan of the game when PG was merely a gleam in his father’s eye. Has been around long enough to remember the Maroons.

    Tip of the hat, ma’am.

  25. MathMan says:

    Correct. Even if the Habs play well enough to rack up 40 wins, which is in itself very dubious, there’s absolutely no way Carey gets enough starts to get there.

  26. SLONCOLD says:

    he’s a still a good player. gotta love that shot PP totals

  27. The Cat says:

    Yeah, we all know the habs would have won that series 9 times out of 10. Come on!


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

  28. JIMVINNY says:

    Well after that amazing bounce pass him him right in the athletic trainer, he didn’t know what the trapezoid to do.



  29. Mark C says:

    Will we know what this team is after 20 games? That’s what everyone said before last season. Montreal went 9-11 over the first 20 games last season, yet ending up 3 wins aways from playing for the Cup. The first 20 games told us jack about the team.

  30. ManApart says:

    You are pretty dead on in this case and SeriousFan is out in left field once again. You were just stating the Flyers are a very tough team and Carcillo is a tough player. Both very true. SeriousFan likes to take a fact and try to see if he can make it a falsehood. It’s just his hobby.

  31. db says:

    He’s stating the obvious while saying nothing at all.  It’s the same for every goalie, it really does depend on the team in front of him.  The difference is going to lie in how many wins can Carey steal?


    Anybody else notice we only have 6 non North Americans?  AK, Pleks, Eller, Hamr, Spacek, Markov. 

    How many more after next off season?

  32. The Cat says:

    We all know what type of pressure he’ll be under, I think Gauthier said the right thing actually. It is just the beginning of the year.


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

  33. pic1983 says:

    Me too I would have loved to see it.  I love the way those two play the game, especially because they have such contrasting styles of play.  Seems to me like Federer is on his way out.  He had a great run, but he just cant dominate like he used to against the tougher competition.  One of the best players, if not THE best, in the history of the sport IMO.

  34. Nina76 says:

    gloveside….I have to agree with you, I to get very tired of some of the stupid remarks on this blog. I cannot for the life of me figure out if you are not a HABS fan then say the XXXX off.We like opinons but we don’t have to be insulting………….Yes I agree we have waited 5 years for nothing the promises never happened……………I always hope that we will not wait another 5 years.WIN OR LOSE I WILL ALWAYS BE A HAB FAN!!!!!!!!!

  35. SLONCOLD says:

    40 win season lol i’m not sure teh habs can pull that one off let alone carey

  36. punkster says:

    Well JM sure as hell didn’t think it was the heat when he rolled only 3 lines after Laps laid that hit on the other guy before the 3rd goal in game 3 because the pass from Hamrlik really showed how age and experience can sometimes be a factor unless Gauthier, who never won anything, ever, spoke about the future. Definitely before Xmas or sooner.


  37. JD_ says:

    That was sooooo beautiful.

  38. punkster says:

    There may be some blindly loyal but I couldn’t name them. I could be accused of being overly positive and some have made the leap to tagging me with rose coloured glasses. But even I have trashed some of our players (cough, K Bros. cough cough) and expressed doubts about a few goalies (one of them at any rate). I would challange you to name any poster who posts with consistent positivity comparable to the negativity of nuna (for example).

    As to frustration, sure we all experience it at times with this team. But continuously? Constantly? With every fibre of ones being? I don’t ask you to lower your expectations or standards and I support your right to express confusion and frustration. But whining for the sake of whining? No thanks.


  39. mike g says:

    I think Green was dropped as a child…

    But gettin back to the Caps, and how you hate them…same here. Exciting team to watch if you wanna see arcade hockey, but they’ll never go over the hill unless they play NHL hockey.

    The Caps have the same syndrome as the Sharks do. They have a system that’s built to blow teams away in the regular season, and come playoff time they can’t adjust to each teams style/system. Great coaching would fix this but they don’t have it.


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

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

  40. JIMVINNY says:

    Definitely before christmas, but after New Years.  That’s why it’s so humidity.

  41. Danno says:

    And a Gentle Giant at that! :)


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  42. Sheldon says:

    Is PG just preparing us all for the proverbial Price pass?

  43. JIMVINNY says:

    And if Price kills it and puts up 40 wins, watch you say that it’s only because the team played well in front of him.


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