Plekanec’s advice to Galchenyuk: Don’t buy into the hype

Tomas Plekanec

Czech Republic’s Tomas Plekanec (left) celebrates with teammates Petr Nedved (centre) and Marek Zidlicky ]after scoring against Sweden during their Euro Hockey Tour ice hockey match in Liberec, Czech Republic earlier this month.
David W. Cerny/Reuters

Stubbs column: Plekanec’s turtleneck crisis calls for desperate measures

DAVE STUBBS
The Gazette

Tomas Plekanec knows more than just a little about coming up through the Canadiens system.

So it’s with a learned eye and with more than just passing interest that he considers the case of current Habs prospect Alex Galchenyuk, a highly touted centreman who’s expected to make a big splash in Montreal when he finally arrives on what might be hockey’s grandest stage.

Plekanec was the Habs’ third-round pick (71st overall) in the 2001 entry draft, joining the organization’s Hamilton Bulldogs American league farm team in 2002-03 from his hometown organization in Kladno, Czech Republic.

Two full seasons with Hamilton, and a tantalizing two-game skate in the NHL in his second year, taught Plekanec a great many of the ins and outs of being a pro.

That taste of the Canadiens in 2003-04 was the promise of more to come the following year – until the plug was pulled on an entire NHL season with a lockout, the first of Plekanec’s two big-league work stoppages.

“I don’t know about full time but definitely I was told there’d be way more,” he said of an expected promotion from the AHL in 2004-05. “That’s what I got from management back then. (The lockout) was unfortunate for me and for everyone and obviously, I wasn’t only player who was cost a season in the NHL. I was sure I’d play half, maybe more of the season with the Canadiens but that’s the way it was.”

Plekanec played 80 games for the Bulldogs in the lockout year, scoring 29 goals and adding 35 assists.

“It would be kind of key for my career that I played in Hamilton that year because the AHL was such a good league,” he said in reflection.

Plekanec graduated to the Canadiens in 2005-06, where he’s been ever since.

Galchenyuk, of course, is following a different path to the Canadiens. As the NHL’s third overall draft selection last June, he had been on everyone’s radar as he starred for the Chicago Young Americans of the Midwest Elite Hockey League, then put up an 83-point season in 2010-11 with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario major-junior league.

The 18-year-old – he’s @AGally94 on Twitter – has 14 goals and 23 assists in 23 games with the Sting this season, rebounding from the fallow 2011-12 season that saw him sidelined for all but two games after suffering a horrific knee injury in a pre-season game.

Signed in July by the Canadiens to a three-year entry-level contract, Galchenyuk certainly will be brought along in good time by the Habs. The NHL club surely is in no rush to throw him into the deep end of Montreal’s turbulent hockey waters, no matter how badly fans are clamoring to see him.

From his hometown of Kladno during the current lockout, Plekanec has a few thoughts about this phenom and his future:

“I was in a different situation,” he said by way of comparison. “I was a third-round pick, not a high prospect, and nobody really believed in me at first. (Galchenyuk) is a high pick, obviously a talented kid that everybody sees playing first-line centre or forward for the next 15 years in Montreal. For him, it’s a different situation than it was for me back in the day.

“What I’d advise him is to stay on his course of his work. To work hard every day. I know it’s a cliché but that’s the way it is, with Montreal especially.

“Don’t listen to all the hype. Everybody’s going to tell him he’s a great guy, a great player, that he’s going to be great. If I were him, I wouldn’t listen to those things too much.”

To Plekanec, I quote an old hockey saying: “A player is never as good as the media say he is, and he’s never as bad as the media say he is.”

Plekanec laughed and replied, “That’s it exactly.

“(Galchenyuk) should just be focused on his game, his work ethic, his practices. What will really make him a good player in the NHL is not his talent right now, but his work ethic and attention to details that will come into play in the NHL. That’s the biggest thing for him.”

Plekanec will at some point get a first-hand look at the youngster, but not from where the Habs veteran is working now. He’s having a fine season with the Czech Extraliga’s HC Kladno Knights, third in league scoring playing on a line with fellow NHLers Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Tlusty.

The 30-year-old expects that the quality hockey he’s playing now will translate to an advantage for jumping back to the NHL, assuming that happens this season.

“I’m in game shape now and it will be much easier for guys doing this than those not playing and just working out and skating, playing charity games,” he said. “It could be really hard for them. But it depends. It’s a very individual thing.

Will it take them 10 or 20 games to get into game shape? Maybe more? Less? It will be huge for those who are able to play now, and maybe very hard for (other) guys to get into game shape right away.”

And then Plekanec considers the other side of the coin.

“But on the other hand, if it’s going to be a long (NHL) season, maybe the guys who aren’t playing now will have an advantage in the end. They’ll be fresher, able to play until almost July, while the guys playing now might get back to the NHL already having 30 games behind them.

“So, maybe they won’t be as an energized in the end.”

None of this, of course, has any bearing on the golden prospect Alex Galchenyuk. He’ll be watching from the junior ranks, an NHL lockout of his own possibly waiting sometime into his professional career if this sport continues on its often self-destructive path.

dstubbs@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @Dave_Stubbs

Canadiens prospect Alex Galchenyuk (left), established veteran Tomas Plekanec.
Getty Images


151 Comments

  1. fuzz16 says:

    Hey everyone…

    New to the site….huge habs fan! So, I had a thought and curious what other habs fans think. I think its safe to say the way things look and the way he is playing, Galchenyuk will be playing in the NHL probably next year. We haven’t been in a position like this in quite some time where now we will have some very good quality players at Center. Plekanec, Desharnais, Eller, Leblanc, Galchenyuk and I have a feeling I am missing someone else here….Gomez??…lol. So, we have a little depth here and we also have some holes on the wing.
    I also think its about time we let Markov retire while he can still walk. No disrespect…great player….He has done so much for the habs but the 5.75 million is better spent on something which will give us more towards the future.

    So, which centers do u see expendable and who realisticly can we bring in to fill the gap.

    Gionta will retire within 2 years…after the top line we don’t have much. Look forward to comments..

    Fuzz16

  2. Price07 says:

    Also would like to add, while hindsight is 20/20, you still get judged on your decisions. If a CEO of a company keeps missing opportunities, he isn’t gonna use hindsight is 20/20 as his excuse for too long. If you don’t do well on an exam, you can’t say “well hindsight is 20/20″ so it doesn’t matter. No, eventually you’re expected to figure it out or fail. Your job is to do the best you can with the information available and people expect you to do a real good job at it. Mediocre is not good enough. Success isn’t (or shouldn’t) be graded on how many NHLers you draft, but by how well the team you have drafted does. Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit etc. maybe didn’t have a great number of NHLers drafted, but they drafted enough players to make stanley cup winning teams. I’ll accept nothing less, not all of us have seen a stanley cup in montreal in our lifetime!

    I know the habs draft many NHLers, but Lapierre, Higgins, Komisarek, Plekanec, Kostitsyn etc aren’t putting any teams over the top. Apart from 2005 and 2007, there isn’t much that would make the habs a serious contender. Other teams that draft a smaller percentage of NHLers but a higher number of impact players do just as well or better than the habs. Drafting is extremely important and while the habs aren’t nearly the worst they need to improve. Looking back and grading their success and failures is exactly what whoever in charge does and so yes we can go back and judge them for the decisions they made (and didn’t make).

    All this to say, I think the habs are a better team with Kreider than Leblanc. We’ll soon find out who is right, as both of these guys begin their NHL careers.

  3. Price07 says:

    Everyone complains about how the habs are small and that they always get pushed around. The future doesn’t look much bigger and people still don’t see that even if Kreider and Leblanc become more or less the same talent-wise, Kreider will always hulk over Leblanc.

    While people are quick to dismiss Kreider’s solid playoffs, the guy was tossed into the NHL when it matters most, against the best teams (those which make the playoffs) and scored as many goals in 18 playoff games as Leblanc scored in 42 regular season games.

    The reason Kreider was ranked behind Leblanc prior to the 2009 draft was that Kreider came from a league which was harder to to get a read on than the one Leblanc came from.

    Lastly, while everyone posts their link to prospect ranking websites, I’ll post the site I like the most and you can see how much lower regarded Leblanc is.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/louis_leblanc/

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/chris_kreider/

    Like the website says (and I’m sure all of you already know), the habs are weak in gritty/physical power-forward type players. Leblanc isn’t going to scare anyone, Kreider is bigger than anyone on the current habs roster at just 21 years old.

  4. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Chris Kreider will get a million chances to make it in the NHL and never score 30 goals. He can skate fast, that’s the extent of his world class skill IMO, based on the handful of games I saw him play in the playoffs last year.

    • Price07 says:

      Yea and Leblanc is gonna score a ton. Took him 42 regular season games to do what Kreider did in 18 playoff games. Not to mention Kreider can make space for himself with his 6’3 230 frame compared to Leblanc’s barely 6’0 190 frame.

  5. DorvalTony says:

    Continuing stories like this show somebody is in denial.

    Fat cats like Eric Cole don’t get it.

  6. chanchilla says:

    @piper gally took the firstcouple draws before they moved him
    To the wing

  7. chanchilla says:

    Oh boy did sarnia ever get stomped last night, it was a really boring game to watch. Pure domination by kitchener, offensively and defensively. Ming stood out all game long, gally didnt even get a chance to make any plays, it was a dissapointing experience

  8. habstrinifan says:

    In the Le Blanc vs Kreider debate, put me down on the side of Kreider.

    I do not chastise the Canadiens management for drafting Le Blanc.
    Given the circumstances they kinda had to or be criticised like crazy.

    a)draft was in Mtl. b)Le Blanc was hometown boy(francais) c) their draft position was 18th so it was not like they were picking top 3 to 5 and d) the fans were already disenchanted with the damn team and way it was run etc.

    They had to APPEASE the fans.

    But any and I say any unbiased and realistic evaluation of the career prospects of both players based on their physical gifts and talents and their development curve so far and durability….. well you gotta be crazy to choose Le Blanc over Kreider.

    I for one would be surprised if Le Blanc becomes a regular in the NHL, especially with the HABS.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Canadian Football related; Grey Cup. I’m old school so I gotta go East (even if it is the Argos) Vanier Cup… Boom Boom Biede! Natiional Capital High School Bowl today at the Rogers Centre, Go Frontenac High School!

  10. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay any Habs fans in BUrlington, i just saw Zach Stortini and a bunch of other Bulldogs on the street right by my house. I followed them to a rink behind my house. They are having practise at the Wave Rink on Mainway behind Long and McQuade music store. I spoke to Zach (handsome fellow :) ) and he said feel free to watch practise.

    Will do my best to get a scouting update on Commodore.

  11. HabFab says:

    Larry ripping in Finland today with 2G + 1A in the 3rd now.

  12. Habfan10912 says:

    Pretty neat piece on the Meca.

    http://thehockeywriters.com/the-montreal-forum-1908-1996/

    ———————————–

  13. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Less than 5 weeks until WJC!

  14. Habfan10912 says:

    The list of idiot players continues to grow.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/good-idea-bad-idea-donald-fehr-dave-bolland-210659334–nhl.html

    ———————————–

  15. commandant says:

    Are we starting to moan about Chris “4 goals in 14 AHL games” Kreider?

    Really?

    Yeah he had a good playoff, but he isn’t some 40 goal scorer that we missed out on. Even his “great playoffs” was 5 goals in 18 games.

    He’s become so OVER RATED as a prospect that its gotten ridiculous..

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

    • Habfan10912 says:

      A New York state of mind?

      ———————————–

    • Matt says:

      Good Morning Everyone. I do a lot of reading on here but rarely post anything, but thought I should today to provide a bit of a report on one of our hopefuls, Mr. Galchenyuk. I bought tickets to the Kitchener vs. Sarnia game last night to get a sneak peak on what type of player our habs will be getting. I realize it is very difficult to judge a players potential at the junior level, but I think you can at least determine their work habits (back checking, tendancies, opportunities to make things happen, overall smarts, etc.) For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the OHL, Sarnia got lit up last night and I did not see anyone on the team who really stood out, including our friend.. I realize they played the night before, but they just looked terrible. As for Alex, he played both wings (mostly left) for most of the game, but switched to centre on the PP then hung out mostly on right wing along the side boards during play. Their PP had no chance of creating any good chances as they couldn’t even get a pass through (Kitchener has a very good PK rate, something like 85%). Anyway, this is only one game, but I thought I had better share something. I am hoping to catch another game soon in Barrie or Mississauga as I live in between. Not to drag this post on for any longer, Alex does look like the real deal, very smooth hands & skater and is always looking to make a play.

    • 24 Cups says:

      I remember that draft well as I did a mock draft for Mike Boone that year.

      Leblanc, Kreider and Josefson were all bunched together in the rankings. It’s even stranger that they eventually were then basically drafted in the same mid round grouping.

      Leblanc had a solid rating and the French name. Josefson was the safe two-way centre pick. Kreider had the most upside but also was the one pick who might just flop.

      It’s too early to judge at this point just how all three will eventually develop. Regardless, Montreal HAD to choose the French Canadien player. It was a no brainer at the time and the huge majority of fans were estatic with the choice. In fact, it took a couple of surprise moves by other teams to allow Leblanc to still be available when the Habs finally made their pick.

      I haven’t been happy with the way Leblanc was developed (up until this point in time) but then I said the same thing about MaxPac who also was rushed. Can Leblanc turn into a MaxPac? I doubt it. Can Kreider? There’s a chance, but he could also turn into a Rene Bourque.

      Here’s a question. If Leblanc wasn’t French, would you trade him today straight up for Kreider? I’m not making the case one way or another, just talkin’ hockey (BTW – posting about the lockout isn’t really talking hockey!)

      • commandant says:

        The two guys are very close right now.

        The fact is that Kreider hasn’t done anything (except maybe be a Pierre McGuire man-crush) to prove that he is head and shoulders above either Josefson or Leblanc.

        It still remains a three horse race today IMO.

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

    • Boomer says:

      i’ve given up comm lol

    • joeybarrie says:

      Same as always. Moan and groan about who we DIDN’T pick up, or didn’t trade for. Always looking back with 20-20 hindsight.
      Scouts have to look forward. Fans get to look back and critique.
      Well is there a better scout in the league than Timmons?
      Is there a team that produces more NHL players than Montreal.
      You have to consider that Montreal is not Columbus or New York.
      Scouts consider this as well.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      So true. I remember hearing so may gush about him during the playoffs as if he were the next young phenom.

      Over on the NHL boards, it seemed like many were ready to just “give” him the Calder Trophy.

  16. HabFab says:

    Week 9 of the Hab Prospects and them other guys;
    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2012/11/24/3682804/overseas-habs-prospects-weekly-report-9

    What a waste that Diaz fellow is! Cost the Habs a draft pick and two prospects….

  17. HabFab says:

    @petefleet – Marc Bergevins take on the young Bulldogs;
    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=646199&navid=DL|MTL|home

  18. Price07 says:

    Habs need some big time offense in the system. Pacioretty and Gally are great, gallagher might be pretty good and Collberg/Bozon have some potential. But, we have way too many 2nd and 3rd liners who will likely play in the NHL, except you need a few real good players to build your offense around. This draft is the chance to do that, lots of offensive talent.

    We need to make up for drafting Kostitsyn in what was maybe the best draft class ever, drafting chipchura (4th line centre) the year after, biggest 1st round bust in a long time for the habs in David Fischer in 2006 (Claude Giroux was also chosen after this Fischer guy), trading away Mcdonaugh for the awful Gomez (not a Timmons mistake though) and last but not least, taking Leblanc over Kreider. Not only does Kreider have better skill he’s a monster at 6’3 230 (size is another thing the habs could use with Collberg, Leblanc, Bournival, Kristo, Gallagher, Hudon all undersized).

    • HabFab says:

      Yeah, but Kreider is not Quebecois.

    • Matt says:

      Good Morning Everyone. I do a lot of reading on here but rarely post anything, but thought I should today to provide a bit of a report on one of our hopefuls, Mr. Galchenyuk. I bought tickets to the Kitchener vs. Sarnia game last night to get a sneak peak on what type of player our habs will be getting. I realize it is very difficult to judge a players potential at the junior level, but I think you can at least determine their work habits (back checking, tendancies, opportunities to make things happen, overall smarts, etc.) For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the OHL, Sarnia got lit up last night and I did not see anyone on the team who really stood out, including our friend.. I realize they played the night before, but they just looked terrible. As for Alex, he played both wings (mostly left) for most of the game, but switched to centre on the PP then hung out mostly on right wing along the side boards during play. Their PP had no chance of creating any good chances as they couldn’t even get a pass through (Kitchener has a very good PK rate, something like 85%). Anyway, this is only one game, but I thought I had better share something. I am hoping to catch another game soon in Barrie or Mississauga as I live in between. Not to drag this post on for any longer, Alex does look like the real deal, very smooth hands & skater and is always looking to make a play.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    We enjoyed watching the Laval and Mc Master football game last night. The better team won for sure, but a great game again this year!
    I believe there is a charity game tonight. (NHL) players including the PK. For Sandi storm victims.

  20. Cal says:

    Happy Saturday, everyone.
    Time for a little slow hand with a special guest
    http://calsnhllockout2012songparodies.weebly.com/

  21. HabinBurlington says:

    From the Dogs website a look at Desjardins as he discusses playing against his old team this Sunday at Copps Coliseum.

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=139

  22. petefleet says:

    Oh mon amis, Hamilton is in trouble. That line up should be able to get more than 2 goals per game. I haven’t watched them yet this year so I don’t know how (system) they are playing. I read here last week that the farm is following the same philosophy as the Habs…the results are not encouraging. I realize they only have 2 returning defencemen and maybe that explains Commadore but….
    Is the system such that they worry about defence always and play a very conservative offensive game?

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

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

    RGM
    ***Habs Forever***

    • HabinBurlington says:

      There is a real lack of offensive finishers/playmakers on the current Dogs roster. The crop of forwards Timmins drafted last season can’t get to Hamilton soon enough. Next year hopefully Kristo joins the team and adds some offensive flair also.

    • Cal says:

      The cupboard only seems bare because for most it’s their first season of pro hockey. The Dogs will get a whole lot better in the next two seasons.

      • commandant says:

        Exactly.

        4 key forwards who are rookies. 5 defencemen who are rookies (1 in his second year)

        These type of young teams almost always struggle a bit at first, Never mind a season with all the extra NHL players in the AHL.

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

    • Pinchy says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the dogs. Granted, yes, they do have a lot of guys who produced in junior, but this is the pro’s, son (sorry, felt like I had to add that there on the end). Combine that with an NHL lockout and it doesn’t make it easier.

      However, Gallagher and Tinordi look real good. Maybe not in PPG, but you can really notice Gallagher always in the right spots, or utilizing his skill and strength forcing the puck towards the net. And Tinordi knows his role, noticed him always pushing people out of the crease, grinding the corners and even some nice breakout passes. We have the tools, we just need patience.

    • Pinchy says:

      Oh and to answer your question, they like to push the pace. In one of the games I seen this past week vs ice caps, they produced 46 shots and had 3 forecheckers at most times.

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Some extra Bulldogs games have been added to TVA sports in the month of December, along with more games on TSN690 radio.

    Does anyone know when Mike Commodore will play his 1st game with the Dogs?

    http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/pressbox/news/?article_id=141

  24. HabinBurlington says:

    Congrats to Laval, very dominating 2nd half, looked like men versus boys. Of course many people feel that is just the case. Either way that is an impressive program Laval has.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Not to be critical, Burl’, but I think you should consider an avatar makeover. It seems like you’re angry all the time when I know you’re a happy fellow. Sure, there’s an occasional bone you have to pick but who doesn’t here. I just worry newcomers to the site will get the wrong idea about your person when they see posts attached to an angry dog. Maybe this will create a better impression.

    • habstrinifan says:

      They seemed to have the advantage in so many areas. Their kicker. Running backs. And their quarter back outplayed a MAC quarterback with a stellar rep himself.

      It was really a case of the better team easily winning. It wasnt a boring game because of Laval’s highlight reel plays, including their kicking.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Agree Trin, the Offensive Line of Laval wore down the Mac Defensive line all night. Same thing happened on the other side of the ball.

        That kicker for Laval may have a future south of the border. He was putting kickoffs 15 yards deep in the end zone. As the coach for Mac said after the game, they were dominated all night and were lucky to be ahead by 2 at the half.

  25. JohnBellyful says:

    D’oh! The post I responded to has been deleted.This site can be dismissive of missives at times.
    Edit: And another one bit the dust!
    But I wanted to order a rhinestone feather duster case from ‘a very good website.’
    If this keeps up, I’ll never get my Christmas shopping done.

  26. JohnBellyful says:

    So more games have been cancelled along with the All-Star game. Big deal.
    We should let nature take its course and not get uptight about the CBA talks continuing in a desultory fashion.
    To those who say there has been little to no movement in reaching an agreement I say the end’s in sight. Progress is being made albeit imperceptibly.
    Negotiations between team owners and players are not unlike peristalsis.
    One has to do with a contract, the other, with contraction; one starts out with stuff that’s bogus, the other with foodstuff turned bolus.
    Flatulence is common to both, as is waste (whether it’s food or time).
    The two processes can get messy, involving the introduction of chyme in one instance, and the appearance of slime in the other.
    By the time they work things out, it’s not a pretty sight.

    – “A plate of fries, in gravy smothered, In one end and out the other.” –

  27. JayK-47 says:

    Is it the draft lottery yet?

    zzzzz………………

  28. habsfan0 says:

    Larry Hagman of “Dallas” & “I Dream Of Jeannie” fame dead.

  29. Boomer says:

    TSN’s Jay Onrait… BEST stache ever

  30. NCRhabsfan says:

    Anybody watch a Bulldogs game recently? The future is not right around the corner. There are no forwards with any real skill levels on that team except maybe Gallagher. A two year lockout would be fine. No more Gomez and perhaps the youth of tomorrow might mature into something useful.

  31. otter649 says:

    J R Ewing (aka Larry Hagman) passes away at age 81 – RIP Major Anthony (Tony) Nelson….

  32. otter649 says:

    Petr Nedved (in picture) still playing hockey as I thought he was long retired but still going at age 40……

  33. 24 Cups says:

    Ottawa 67 forward Sean Monahan was suspended 10 games by the Ontario Hockey League on Friday for a heat shot to an opposing player.

    • jols101 says:

      Ya it was an elbow to the head against the Plymouth Whalers. He wasn’t even called for a penalty but was clearly a head shot. OHL reviewed it and came down hard on him. Good for them. The OHL really seems to be taking the safety of their players very seriously…

  34. jols101 says:

    @commandant,

    Watching the Oil Kings on Sportsnet and am really impressed with Curtis Lazar. He looks great in all 3 zones. Where do you have him ranked?

  35. frontenac1 says:

    Vanier Cup, Not even close. Boom Boom Bede?

  36. jols101 says:

    The Sting got hammered again tonight. Kitchener 5 Sarnia 0. That makes 5 losses in a row for the Sting. First time they have been shutout all season.

    I think the WJC can’t come quick enough for Galy. It will be good for him to play with some top notch line mates and I am sure he will be playing center. He is frustrated right now and a month of WJC will be a nice change for him. Better teammates but much better competition; will be interesting to see how he does.

  37. commandant says:

    .

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

    • 24 Cups says:

      “28) Frederick Gauthier, Centre, Rimouski Oceanic (6’3″ 192 lbs): With 10 goals and 20 points in 20 games in the QMJHL, Gauthier is making a strong impression in his rookie season for Rimouski. He is a big centre who has shown to be very strong along the boards and in front of the net. Another powerforward in the making, Gauthier wins a ton of battles, and can both set up teammates or score his own goals with an accurate wrister and good release. He shows a good two-way game, and is especially impressive for a rookie. He has great size, and some pretty good skating, with decent top end speed and acceleration. If there is a criticism, its that I’d like to see him throw more big hits given his size and strength advantages.”

      With only one ball in the lottery this just might be a guy that the Habs will have to seriously consider. The good news is that they would then also get to pick another player in the top five of the 2nd round. Not to mention a possible extra high end pick with one of the Nashville/Calgary 2nd round picks.

      • commandant says:

        This entire draft feels like “power forward in the making”…. much like last year felt like a lot of “offensive defencemen” and “two way defencemen”

        One thing about the rankings though… Guys like Barkov, Lindholm, Ristolainen (last year) and Nichuskin ( last year and Subway) are the only players who are playing in Europe that I’ve ranked.

        Once I see WJC and U18s, there will be more Euros in the rankings, and thus players will drop, so even though hes 28 now, that probably means I’ve got him as an early 2nd rounder.

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

  38. Haborama says:

    Now let us take a moment to remember all of our long lost HIO comrades who are no longer with us, either because of mods, or their own design, either way they shall be missed (except for the advertising accounts, and the TROLLS)

  39. Phil C says:

    Does anyone know what would happen to current contracts if the union de-certifies? Do they become null and void, or are the owners still obligated to pay?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I believe contracts remain valid. Owners must pay as long as player shows up.

    • mrhabby says:

      From what I have read…..all contracts are voided, no arbitration,no draft all players become free agents…..no cba ,no salary cap. It goes from the boardroom to the courtroom. Essentially its hugely messy with at least 1 year lost, players retiring, some teams folding, many billions lost…kinda like a nuclear bomb going off with nhl starting over.

      • commandant says:

        Existing contract remain in effect.

        Unless the league does something to breach them… such as unilaterally imposing a salary cap, then the players could choose to declare themselves UFAs en masse.

        However they don’t get cancelled immediately upon decertification.

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

    • otter649 says:

      If NHLPA becomes de-certified & no longer subjected to The CBA conditions then could the owners increase the playing schedule-change per diems for the players-go from charter flights to economy-change hotel accomadations etc since these are covered under The CBA ? & are agreed to by both parties. The owners would then be in charge of working conditions etc – Does this make any sense & could happen since the players if they want to get work may have to agree to what the owners say are the new working conditions…..

  40. frontenac1 says:

    Alright! Vanier Cup! What no Stingers No Gaels? Who cares ! Go CIS!

  41. Haborama says:

    soooo

    Gally’s a winger now, It seems to be working great for him. The downside is that it looks like we need another center…..

    • Bill J says:

      It’s a Sarnia thing, has no ill reflection on Gally. In fact it has been noted by many others, that the “center” position in this case remains solely for the face offs, once the play is in motion Gally swaps into the center position and controls The play.


      Go Habs Go!

    • commandant says:

      He’s a winger on Even strength faceoffs only. If you watch the play he often is in the middle of the ice.

      He also takes the faceoffs on special teams.

      Its more to stack the one line, and to keep Sarault (an elite faceoff guy) taking draws, than anything else.

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

      • Haborama says:

        good tactic, maybe the big club will use it one day…..

        any of our center prospects good at faceoffs???

      • Chris says:

        I’ve only got the one game dataset to work with, but when I saw his last game here in Guelph he was predominantly a left winger, not just on even strength faceoffs.

        Sarault was very much the center in the defensive zone coverage, while Galchenyuk looked a little bit lost, not surprising given that he’s out of position.

        On offence, Sarnia was just weird. Sarault frequently was dropping back to the left point, Galchenyuk was playing the half-boards and behind the net, and one of their defencemen was pinching all the time.

        I don’t think it was workin for Galchenyuk that night…he was frequently visibly frustrated that his teammates weren’t getting him the puck, as he was often ready to break out on the left wing, but they chose to ignore him much of the night.

  42. frontenac1 says:

    Hola Amigos! Just back from Friday cocktails with the Lads at the saloon and everyone was gettin Pumped for WJC . Screw the NHL,! They Screwed us!.Go Canada Go!

  43. HabinBurlington says:

    Looks like a fairly full house at the skydome, GO Mac Go!

  44. Le Gros Bill says:

    Good read from Elliotte Friedman.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opin…questions.html

    If they do go ahead with decertification I guess E Cole will still spin the protect the future generations mantra.

    NHLPA= greed and hypocrisy.

    • commandant says:

      A Maryann Jamison posted a very similar comment on my website about a week ago.

      Strangely enough, “she” had the same IP address as our old friend from Pougheskeepie New York.

      Funny how the comment references HI/O, which is the dead giveaway.

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

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Is that a decimal point or a period? A fly speck or a miniature black hole? A stranded dot in search of a polka? A lonely pepper that misses its salt?
          Got to hand it to you, Burl’, it doesn’t take much for you to raise a lot of questions.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            I managed to get me scratching my own head, not sure what it is JB. All this legal mumbo jumbo talk today seems to have gotten the better of me.

          • HabFab says:

            Yeah buddy, it really wasn’t a big point you raised there.

          • JohnBellyful says:

            Time for a breather. You let that legal mumbo jumbo start rolling around inside your head, there’s no telling how much harm it will do. You might start spouting Bettmanese.

    • Boomer says:

      I remember reading Timmins has the most active drafted player list playing in the NHL. (before this lockout that is) it’s impressive if you think about it. Most draft picks don’t make it. The only flop I can think of with Timmins is Fischer(1st rounder).
      And I don’t want to call him a flop because he’s a 5th round pick, but I remember Timmins saying he could be the steal of the draft (Maxim Trunev). But that’s what those later round picks are for, low risk potential high reward.

      • Price07 says:

        Chipchura was quite a bust as well. A first round pick who is now a 12th or 13th forward :(

        Timmins gets a lot of NHL capable guys which is great, but the habs can’t be stacked with 2nd and 3rd liners forever. Its time to take some chances and get a top guy or two.

        Also, taking Leblanc over Kreider makes me cringe.

  45. JohnBellyful says:

    First in line. For a Gomez jersey.


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