Post-Kostitsyn era begins in Tampa

The Canadiens complete their Florida swing with a game against the Lightning Tuesday night.
Andrei Kostitsyn won’t be at morning skate.
But Blake Geoffrion and Brad Staubitz will.

Canadiens quiet on trading day

Red Fisher weighs in

Canadiens holding bundle of draft picks

Geoffrion gets a chance

Richard Labbbé’s take

Not much action anywhere

Predators won deadline day

Trade tracker


  1. montreal ace says:

    I am looking forward to seeing Geoffrion tonight, I find moments like that magical. He is 24 with a big upside and wants to play, its a great trade. I remember reading the nick name Bam Bam Geoffrion, I forget who wrote it, but it sounds great. I hope Staubitz plays and if somebody takes a run at a Hab. he smashes their face. I know people disagree with fighting, but the rush of adrenalin from a fight, help in all areas of the game. This year the team had hard luck to no luck, next year the team will make its own luck. Go Habs Go

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Ever notice how optimists never call themselves ‘realists’?
    They are aware that they are optimistic.
    Pessimists, on the other hand, always call themselves ‘realists’.
    This helps them believe that their negative outlook is founded in ‘reality’ and not on them just being chronically gloomy and an all-round wet blanket.

    Just an observation.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  3. SteverenO says:


    Would it have not made more sense to sign Andre K. for two or three years and then trade him?

    If we got a second rounder in exchange for 20 games of AK’s services, what cold we have received in return for two or three years of the same services?

    If I were making the rules a team would not be allowed to trade a player that is not under contract for the following season. This “rent -a player” for the playoffs smack of “bush league” in my opinion.

    It’s getting like the CFL where near every player has played for nearly every team.


    Steve O.

    • Bripro says:

      I see pros and cons to both scenarios.
      A team needing a rental player, bush-leaugue or not, might find it risky to claim a player who’s not playing up to full potential but is on a long-term contract.
      The opposite – a player who’s playing to his full potential but not signed won’t command as much by the dumping club.
      But then, there’s no reason to get rid of him.

    • shiram says:

      To me it shows little class, working out a deal with player, speficically to ship him out, so I’m glad they did not go that way.
      There’s also the issue that the contract might warrant too big a return, so it becomes more difficult to trade players.

    • LesHabs says:

      He’s a UFA after this season. Who knows if he really wanted to stay here and sign – I’m sure Sergei was would have been pushing him to go to Nashville.

    • ont fan says:

      I’ve been watching different sports programs this morning and when AK’s name comes up they all say there wasn’t much value for him by the other GM’s. So it’ll be interesting how he makes out.

    • third generation haber says:

      No, that’s not possible.

      To sign him b4 free agency opens (July 1st… can’t remember exactly) would mean we would have to offer him the same salary he is currently making minimum.

      For 3+ million and 12 goals, no GM would have taken him.

      We were able to unload him b/c he’s a rental.
      After July 1st all 30 teams can offer him a much lower salary.

      j.p. murray

  4. boing007 says:

    Let’s go back in time and put DD to the side for the moment. Who is supposed to be our #1 Center, Plekanec or Gomez? If its Gomez then I say put him on as first line center with Max & Cole. If he doesn’t cut the mustard, then put him on the second line, and so on. Put him on the hot seat and we shall see what he’s ultimately made of. Will he rise to the occasion, or sink like a stone?

    Richard R

  5. Bripro says:

    It looks like the HIO servers are having complex partial seizures.
    When I reloaded the page, everything went italic.
    Someone has a slanted sense of humour.

  6. jedimyrmidon says:

    I don’t know what to think of expectations that fans want every player to play with heart above everything else. It’s certainly reasonable to want that, but I can’t think of many players that can maintain that for an 82-long season. AK was definitely not one of those guys, but you knew what he brought each season even if game-in and game-out it wasn’t consistent.

    Mathieu Darche plays with heart, but people love to complain about his lack of finish and skill, which leads me to conclude that what people really want is heart and skill/production, guys like Erik Cole. Well, if the team was composed of 20 Erik Cole’s (in terms of heart, effort and production), we’d be guaranteed to win the Cup.

    It’s probably more up to the coach to produce line combos that work AND play a style that suits the players. A line consisting of skill/finesse players will not succeed at dumping-and-chasing as the prime strategy with tons of grinding and digging out pucks. The top line succeeds at that. Not sure the other players can do that.

  7. avatar_58 says:

    The more I see and hear about Erik Cole the more I want this man to be our captain. I’ll give Gionta a 2nd chance next year, but if they keep DD we need to trade him for size.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Shiram mentioned below about JM and RC’s line juggling.
    Carbo was a juggler too.
    I wonder how much other coaches do that…
    We only see the Habs, and this is something that comes up regularly. Do other team’s coaches juggle lines too?

    Wait, what’s worse, a coach that mixes up his lines, or a coach that doggedly sticks with lines even if they’re not working?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Bripro says:

      MacLean was juggling his Senators like crazy against the Bruins.
      I’m sure that every coach does it at some point when nothing’s working.

    • shiram says:

      Line juggling is fine, in itself, situations will arise when there is a need to move some players, for injuries or whatever.
      My issue is that if you leave out DD’s line, not one forward line has enjoyed any kind of consistent team-mates this season, and it was a similar thing last year.
      Pleks most consistent line lasted for only 11 games, and he is supposed to be the 1st center!

      Nashville was saying they would not play AK with SK, as SK was enjoying great chemistry with his lines.
      I want a coach that works for and builds chemistry on the forward lines. JM and RC do not seem to do it.

    • Cal says:

      All coaches juggle, but usually after a prolonged drought by the scoring lines. The thing most fans don’t get is planned line matching and what that does to scoring. It negates it, almost to he point of zero effectiveness. Only the few stars can be termed “consistent” in this league that is now dominated by parity.

  9. habsguy says:

    I just don’t get all the sympathy going out for AK, he was given far too much time to prove his worth, and aside from flashes of brilliance (like flattening Lucic) I’m sick of waiting for him to decide to play like the star he should be. For those of you who will counter with “he scores 20+ every year”, imagine what he would do if he put effort into his game, EVERY game.
    With his wrist shot and moves 30 goals + should be the standard for him, but no, we sit and wait game after game wondering which AK will show up, GOOD RIDDANCE to him !!!!!

    • Mattyleg says:

      Once again, this is an excellent example of people blaming the player for their own expectations of him.

      Rather than point the finger at themselves for having unrealistic dreams about a player, it’s much much easier to blame the player for ‘underperforming.’

      The Simpsons has the best line for this (as it usually does):
      Superintendant Chalmers: “It’s always the children’s fault, isn’t it Seymour?”
      Seymour Skinner: “Yes sir. Yes it is, sir.”

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habsguy says:

        Yes I have expectations for him. I expect him to show up and give 100% game in and game out, NOT once in every 4 or 6 .

        • avatar_58 says:

          That’s interesting given even guys like Plek and Gorges have off nights.

          Ak46 is expected to show up on the scoreboard every night but no one else is? The guy was playing on the 4th line for the last 20+ games.

    • Les Canayens says:

      I don’t have stats with me but how many of his 20 goals each season are clutch goals? He often leaves me with the impression he only scores in moments that don’t matter.

      ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭
      Scouting is subjective.

      • shiram says:

        Second best on the Habs this season for game winning goals, behind Pacioretty. AK has 3, Pac 4.
        He was co-leader in GWG last season with Gionta, at 6 GWG.

        I know GWG is not exactly clutch goals, but it’s as close as a stat that I can find.
        So to me, this is another misconception.

        • Habsbill24 says:

          But significant drop off in post all star games every season and in the playoffs. He had a lot of chances. At the end of the day maybe he is a 25 goal guy and 45 points but not someone you can count on in difficult games. A second round pick was all the league felt he was worth. No one wanted him save Nashville. I for one will not miss him. Tired of watching his indifferent play.

      • Bill says:

        So your criticism of AK is based on “impressions” you are left with because you “don’t have stats”.

        This is why so many Montreal fans are impossible to deal with. They hate away and back it up with “impressions”. It’s pretty easy to look up that AK has been a team leader in game winning goals, for instance.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • mrhabby says:

          hit the nail on the head with that one.

        • Les Canayens says:

          Your assessment of my criticism is correct, because it’s purely based on me asking myself how often did we cheer his goal when the game is on the line?

          Considering the number of blown leads this team has so far this season, how many of those game winning goals he scored when his team was already leading?

          ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭ ◌ ▭
          Scouting is subjective.

    • Bill says:

      You must think you are Scotty Bowman and Kreskin rolled into one. It’s pretty easy to call a player “lazy” or say they “don’t live up to their potential”, but how would YOU know?

      Fact is, you have no idea how much “effort” Kostitsyn puts in. All you know is how it looks to you, subjectively, from your couch. You’re interpreting, not observing.

      I agree that AK should have scored thirty goals a year. And he would have if he’d gotten first-line minutes and power-play duty. That’s not his fault.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  10. BJ says:

    Here is a great post worth re-reading:
    veryhabbyFEBRUARY 28, 2012 AT 10:06 AM
    sorry to see Andrei leave. A top 10 pick, a player who wanted to stay in MTL. I think it all went downhill when Cunney came in. He had 9 goals in 18 games, got injured, then the firing, then in 43 games under cunney only 3 goals. Cunney never understood Andrei. Andrei’s personality is one of being quite, barely smiles, just content looking, you don’t see passion in his eyes but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. Listen I figured out a long time ago that AK was a 20-25 goal guy and to expect more would get you disappointed. At 27 he has developed, he is who he is. I just don’t know who will replace his goals next year and the habs HAVE TO get another top 6 frwd next year or they will score even less then they already do.

    Best of luck. If you find consistancy you can easily be a 25-30 goal guy…I mean SK has hit 24 already, and we know AK is the better goal scorer of the two.

    • habsguy says:

      SK has 15, and has never hit 24

      • BJ says:

        Even at 15 it would make him our 3rd best, throw in Grabovski with 18. I know, I know they’re gone. But the point being a) we can’t evaluate players b) we get virtually nothing in return. What business manager would keep his job in a competent business? And yet Molson has made no moves and continues with this incompetent GM and his overlord BG.

      • Bill says:

        Ok, he scored 23. What’s the difference? SK leads Nashville in even-strength goals, btw.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • BJ says:

      Until fans and management realize that not every players name is Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson or Patrick Roy, we are going to find our yearly 1 or 2 whipping boys. Kostitsyn was as pointed out above a regular 20-25 goal scorer perhaps even a 30 goal scorer with some PP time. I’m really wondering also who we have that will make up those goals.

  11. Bripro says:

    I don’t think I would ask PG for lessons in parenting.
    As soon as a young player falls off the tracks, ship him out! That seems to be his philosophy. I wonder if he does the same with his kids.
    When you have an individual who is only 20-23/24 years old, you can’t expect him to have completely matured. Those who have at that age are rare.
    So what they need is mentorship.
    Instead of limiting AK’s ice time, why didn’t RC (and JM before him) increase his time so that he can back up his words of more ice time, more output?
    They bring some in too early (Max), they ship others down when they shouldn’t (LL).
    There is a psychological approach to being a boss in any company, organization or family. Each individual is different, and each has to be dealt with differently.
    I’m mad as hell that an exceptionally talented player like AK is gone.
    IMO, he was mismanaged, poorly coached and mishandled.
    Goat should have been more apparent in implicating himself to the point where these players can thrive. I don’t think he has the capacity.
    I hope that Geoff Molson has the gumption to can his butt, and hire an astute individual who can not only guide the players, but get pissed off when they don’t work, while at the same time taking a mentorship approach to make the player know that his abilities and contributions will be rewarded with effort, instead of having him warm the bench.
    Time will tell.

  12. joeybarrie says:

    @ Bob S
    Are we still on this?
    Erik Cole ABSOLUTELY ONLY A RIGHT WINGER. Never to be confused again with a left wing. I’ll start a petition to have every incorrect bio changed to RIGHT WING ONLY.
    I won’t rest till its absolutely clear everywhere…

  13. JF says:

    Gauthier said in his press conference yesterday that he is envisaging a quick turnaround. I hope this does not mean that he plans on overpaying a bunch of free agents the way Gainey did after the centennial debacle. Such a move will only repeat the cycle of mediocrity in which the organization has been mired for the last couple of decades. The team needs a complete rebuild, which will take time and require patience. We need to develop our young players, hang onto our draft picks, and not try to rebuild through free agency.

    • Lizardking89 says:

      I can see it happening too. The philosophy of this team for the last 20 years has been; be good enough to squeek into the playoffs and hope for a miracle like 93 or even whe Halak carried us to the ECF. All Molson cares about is profit making the playoffs makes him more money even if we get bounced in the first or 2nd round. The cycle of mediocrity needs to be broken.

  14. Sap Anderson says:

    For all of this talk about ruining and/or mismanaging younger players, you would think that the CHC would have put in place some mentorship measures for young players that join the big club.

    When Crosby broke into the league, he was set up at Mario’s house while Malkin was bunking at Sergei Gonchar’s. You see similar stories throughout the league yet the Habs never do this for some odd reason. I would imagine that you need to convince a veteran to take on this responsibility, but that’s part of leadership.

    Had it been up to me, PK would have bunked at Hal Gill’s and guys like Leblanc or Desharnais/Eller last year would have stayed with a guy like Gionta.

    I can’t imagine things would have been the same had the Kostitsyn brothers been lodged with a veteran at some point…

  15. alwayssunny says:

    There is always that crash after the euphoria that is deadline day in Montreal. What a ride. Should be a great game tonight. Now that there is a little more space on the roster it’s time to get some guys some more ice time.

    Campoli won’t be playing in the NHL next year unless the Habs resign him. That might be in Bob and Pierre’s plans again but if not then there is no sense playing him any more.

    But Gomez and Kaberle are going to be fixtures out there for the next two years so do whatever it takes to keep them happy. They’ve slowed down a bit the last couple of seasons but they still have a lot of hockey for us in front of them. Let’s give them a chance.
    And Palushaj still needs time to grow. He picked up a point this year, he could probably get us a few more next year. Play him as much as you can.
    Decide whether Yannick Weber will be patrolling the blue line or whether he will be on our energy line.
    Hopefully the guy they got yesterday wont see much ice. I dont know why Pierre and Bob went against their judgment and brought in a player like that. They have always preached team toughness. We are team tough. When teams decide as in the Florida game they they are just going to knock the piss out of us and slap our goalie, the selfish thing to do is react and risk being penalized. The tough thing to do is to swallow your pride and skate away. We have that kind of toughness in spades so I’m sorry they gave in to the 99.9 percent majority of people who have ever watched an NHL game, who thought that we needed a guy like that. But it’s so easy to second guess.

  16. shiram says:

    AK’s contract for one year, at the same salaryas his last, clearly indicates he was on a try-out, the team did not want to take a risk on a longer deal, with a player considered inconsistent.

    AK did not live up to the expectations management had put on him, and a big part of that is on him, as even in bad situations, those professionals have to show up every night. He was not going to be re-signed next year, and they got something from him.

    I’d have prefered he stayed here, and competed on a top 6 role, but he was never really given that chance consistently for about the last season and a half.

    What’s clear to me in all this, JM was not a great coach for players, and RC does not seem to be much better. Both make baffling decisions and have a tendency to juggle line incessantly.

  17. Mustang says:

    A question on the NHL rules:

    During the regular season, when regulation time is completed, is each team guaranteed at least 1 point? Some guy was telling me last night that one team can actually lose their point in the following situation. During the 5 minute overtime, if one team pulls their goalie for an extra skater because there is a faceoff in the other end with only seconds to play, and the puck is shot down the ice into the empty net, then not only does the winning team get 2 points, but the loser actually does not get any point. I have never heard of this. Comments?

    • Sounds bonkers to me. : )

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Edited due to being incorrect.

    • kholdstare says:

      Some guy is indeed correct

      84.2 Overtime – Regular-season – Extra Attacker – A team shall be allowed to pull its goalkeeper in favor of an additional skater in the overtime period. However, should that team lose the game during the time in which the goalkeeper has been removed, it would forfeit the automatic point gained in the tie at the end of regulation play, except if the goalkeeper has been removed at the call of a delayed penalty against the other team. Should the goalkeeper proceed to his bench for an extra attacker due to a delayed penalty call against the opposing team, and should the non-offending team shoot the puck directly into their own goal, the game shall be over and the team that was to be penalized declared the winner.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Yep, I heard that too.
      I believe it’s a rule.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • krob1000 says:

      it is true…
      it sounds bizarre but fun so I tried to imagine a possibly why?
      What if one team purposely pulled their goalie in the 4 on 4 so that the team they were playing got a point and it meant a different playoff matchup? or bettter yet what if it was HardHabtis team and they tanked and gave up the point on purpose

      • HabinBurlington says:

        From now on every game we play in that goes to OT HH will be screaming, Pull the goalie just like that lady yelling at her husband to start the car in the Ikea commercials.

    • Bripro says:

      That guy is correct.

      84.2 Overtime – Regular-season – Extra Attacker – A team shall be allowed to pull its goalkeeper in favor of an additional skater in the overtime period. However, should that team lose the game during the time in which the goalkeeper has been removed, it would forfeit the automatic point gained in the tie at the end of regulation play, except if the goalkeeper has been removed at the call of a delayed penalty against the other team. Should the goalkeeper proceed to his bench for an extra attacker due to a delayed penalty call against the opposing team, and should the non-offending team shoot the puck directly into their own goal, the game shall be over and the team that was to be penalized declared the winner.
      Once the goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker in overtime during the regular-season, he must wait for the next stoppage of play before returning to his position. He cannot change “on the fly.” If he does, a bench minor penalty shall be assessed for having an ineligible player.

      Double post, sorry….I was a little slow off the mark.

  18. Thomas Le Fan says:

    AK was either lazy, too sly by half, stupid or very unlucky. All qualities we can do without. Why anyone thinks he would have got his sh*t together in the foreseeable future is as big a puzzle as he is. If he does so in Nashville, it will only prove my point. How long do you wait, afterall?

    • Wait, so if he succeeds in Nashville, it proves your point that he’s lazy, stupid or unlucky? What if he just continues to score 20-25 goals a year for a reasonable $3M cap hit?

      The last four seasons, he scored 26, 23, 15 and 20 goals. He’s also routinely one of the top three hitters on the Habs.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        He plays just well enough (but not consistently) to drive you crazy when he disappears of the radar, right? If he suddenly blossoms in Nashville, it proves that he couldn’t and never would get his sh*t together in Montreal especially when you figure in his UFA demands to come. If you’ve watched Montreal hockey for long enough, you will have noticed the conundrum. Regardless of coaching, management, ownership etc., some players cannot succeed here under the microscope and, no matter how long you wait, they will never prosper here. I wish AK luck but not too much and I think I’m right about him.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Have a look at my post below about people repeating things that have no grounding in fact, and only do so because they hear them.
          How can a player regularly be in the top 3 hitters yet ‘disappear’ or be inconsistent?

          And I think it’s funny that you know what he’s going to demand as a UFA. That magic 8-ball must be smokin’!

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • Thomas Le Fan says:

            Oh you mean I’ve missed all the games where he’s consistently lived up to expectations, worked hard, been a dominant player and delivered on a nightly basis? Alright then, my bad as the youngsters say. And you say he wasn’t going to ask for more money to deliver more of the same? Right then.

    • Bripro says:

      Take a look at Richard Labbé’s take, specifically the second video.
      Who is hitting? And who comes back to help Eller out during a scuffle.
      AK was underrated, pure and simple.
      Because he’s so talented, when he wasn’t tearing up the ice and just playing north south, everyone thought he was sluffing.
      I went to the Dallas game last week, and I watched him.
      If he wasn’t directly implicated, he was always trying to either set himself up for a pass, or anticipating a cutoff pass.
      They’ve made a mistake in not keeping him.
      I would have offered a half dozen picks along with Kaberlazy and Can’tpolimuch as opposed to shipping AK out.

  19. boonie says:

    Andrei Kostitsyn: Montreal 2005-2012.

    Like AK himself, our return for him didn’t live up to potential and was maddeningly less than what we hoped for.

  20. Habsssssssswin says:

    Some pearls from “THE MAN” …
    “There could only be one boss, one person in charge of where the team and the organization were going to go,” declared Pollock. “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing. The fans are great, but the thing they respect most is a winner. Don’t get me wrong, we were very conscious of our fans. But we ran the team. The thing that the fans know the least is managing a sports franchise. They have their favourites and strong emotional attachments with them. A sports administrator who wants to be successful can never think that way.”

    “People build teams in certain ways. I’ve always traded for futures – not pasts.” – Sam Pollock

    “Restocking the team was important to us and we quickly realized that the draft was going to be the major area of importance.” -Sam Pollock

    “You can never set out to build tradition. You start out to build a winner. If you can perpetuate that winner, you might end up with tradition. But tradition is a by-product. It can only be measured after the fact. But the obvious fact, too, is that success breeds tradition. In the case of the Canadiens, the oldest team in professional hockey, they have been blessed through the years with one or two superstars; they’ve always had the Hall of Fame players. That and the fact that tradition will build up when you’re winning because when you are talking about a championship team, there is a lot more stability than you will have on a losing club. Winning clubs don’t change players, coaches or management as often as losing clubs. That’s where tradition is built up.” – Sam Pollock


  21. Bob_Sacamano says:

    @joeybarrie: Erik Cole played RW for Berlin, he played RW in most games (maybe in all, I am not sure) I saw him for Carolina and in all for the Habs. So why would I care about what some websites say?

  22. smiler2729 says:

    Over the last decade, who failed who – the Canadiens or the individual?

    Saku Koivu
    Andrei Kostitsyn
    Sergei Kostitsyn
    Chris Higgins
    Max Lapierre
    Guy Carbonneau
    Kirk Muller

    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  23. smiler2729 says:

    Truths, expectations, upper management in the last decade:

    Did the Canadiens fail (see name below) or did he fail them?

    1. Saku Koivu
    2. Andrei Kostitsyn
    3. Michael Cammalleri
    4. Chris Higgins
    5. Maxim Lapierre
    6. Mike Komisarek
    7. Sergei Kostitsyn
    8. Mikhail Grabovski
    9. Guy Carbonneau
    10. Kirk Muller

    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  24. zak says:

    AK will be on the PP and score

    Hire the best regardless of language

  25. HabFanSince72 says:

    Who to cheer for now?

    – Obviously anyone playing the Bruins.
    – Then, anyone playing the Flyers.
    – Can’t cheer for the Pens – those pathetic tankers.
    – Rangers? No way – everyone will say what a great GM Sather is – he isn’t. He just pwn3d Gainey that’s all.
    – The Leafs? Out of the question.
    – The Sens? Sure, but their ex coach and GM have kinda wrecked our team.
    – The Caps? Dale Hunter’s team? I don’t think so.
    – Leaves the Panthers, Jets, Lightning maybe. Ho hum.

    I guess I will be cheering for a Western team this year.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • shiram says:

      I’ll just take a hockey break.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I think I will take the NYR, their colours are the same and I love watching Lundqvist play. Best in the world.

    • punkster says:


      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • Cal says:

      *tap* *tap*

      Is this on?

    • Mustang says:

      I still have a soft place in my heart for Halak so I hope that the Blues continue to do well.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Watched the Blues beat on Calgary last night.
        Man they look tough.
        They manage to put offensive pressure on, but as soon as the puck turns over, they magically have four guys in their zone blocking up the blue-line.
        Lots of Halak’s success comes from the five Blues bodies between the shooter and the net. Not all, but lots.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Strummer says:

        I always cheered for ex-habs when the habs were out of it.
        I cheered for the Av’s after the Roy trade.
        Cheered for the Devils when Coco and Bird were coaching
        Dallas when Gainey and Carbo were there.

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

    • habsnyc says:

      Rangers drafted Del Zotto, Stepan, Anisomov, Staal, Sauer, Hafelin, Dubinsky, Callahan and Lundqvist and found Girardi as an undrafted prospect. The majority of the roster was built through the draft. Sather demoted Redden and Avery and bought out Drury. Maybe he reached to get Richards, but I think he did more than just fool Gainey.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I NEVER cheer for other teams in the East.
      Unless they’re playing the Bruins.
      I’ll be cheering for the Habs until the final siren.

      The only other team in the NHL that I even care an iota about is the Flames.
      I’ve always liked them since we beat them in ’86 and they beat us in ’89. Only visiting team to win a Stanley Cup in the Forum, and I’m glad they were Canadian, and I’m glad Lanny McDonald was the Captain.

      They’re kind of like the Habs of the West, I think. Never really failed (except for this season), always pretenders, and hockey crazy fans who don’t fall for the megadouchery of Vancouverites. Plus, got a couple of good buddies who are Calgarians, and I love watching them pull their hair out during games.

      I’ll be rooting for them to secure a place in the playoffs. They’ve got a pretty good run in.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Very sound arguments.

        I like the Flames too.

        I cheer for any Canadian team bar the Leafs because every time they win Gary Bettman dies a little bit.

        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Nashville (Habs South), Vancouver (Habs West) or Winnipeg…

      Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      I will be turning my attention to my other love (yet, just as big of a dissappointment year after year) – the Blue Jays

  26. eric says:

    We know Staubitz is gonna score too many pts so why not bring up Schultz from the dogs to see what he can do.

  27. neumann103 says:

    I admit that I did not obsessively follow the minute by minute fake suspense of the TSN Statutory Holiday and the overall level of non-event ness was about what I expected. Not much happened. Holding players like Cammy or Gill until yesterday would not have increased their value. Let those memes die. I never faulted PG for what he got on those moves (although possibly because i was still choking “Kaberle? Seriously, Kaberle???”

    But I do have to question the whole “Pending UFA AK46 was only worth a 2nd” mantra when the exact same team gave up a first for pending UFA Gaustad two hours later.

    Also I still contend that the 2nd round pick being on 2013 required at least some sweetener.

    Even skimming through 1600 HIO posts is more than I can broach but I would like to ask was there a consensus or at least a spirtied debate within the commentariat on how a reevaluation of the “got full value for AK46” in light of the Gaustad deal?

    “Et le but!”

    • Captain aHab says:

      Maybe it’s because Gaustad is far more typical of what you need for the playoffs than AK?

      McGuire for GM!
      Roy for Coach!
      Sh*t for Brains!

      • neumann103 says:

        I agree that Gaustad brings toughness and faceoff wins, although I thinj his physical game is overstated. But AK46 brings you a secondary scorer who hits and is excellent at puck possession, all good tings for a long playoff run. And Nashville is not exactly lighting it up offensively.

        I heard it voiced on TSN multiple times that Buffalo was holding out for a 1st for Gaustad and that most considered that too rich to expect. I think that Nashville giving that up for Gaustad reframes the context of fair value for Kostitsyn

        “Et le but!”

    • mrhabby says:

      my take is simple.

      1..PG did not have much leverage when it came to peddling AK.The team is bad, AK is playing bad. Most GM’s if there doing there job will play that card thus forcing the other GM to take what is fair value or less for this type of player. Combine that with a contract that ends and thats what happens. AK can certainly walk away..

      2. Gaustad has a contract , the Preds know what there getting They can plan more effectively since he is now a permanent member of the team. He is not walking away. Therefore his contract/status is more valuable then a player who may walk away.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Gaustad is UFA this summer as well.

      • neumann103 says:


        Gaustad is a UFA in 4 months. Buffalo dealt him for that reason. Maybe he does sign with Nashville in July but for the purposes of this transaction he is a rental.

        This is as close to an apples/apples comparison as you are likely to see in evaluating.

        “Et le but!”

        • Strummer says:

          It’s still apples and oranges.
          Gaustad’s a defensive centre/face-off specialist
          AK is a winger.
          Different palyers solve different needs and therefore are of different value.

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

    • boonie says:

      Here are Poile’s comments about Gaustad, which may explain why Buffalo got a first and we didn’t. “Paul Gaustad is a playoff-type player… He’s big, he’s strong, he’s good on faceoffs, he’ll fight. He can move up and down our lineup. He’s the guy who will probably be on the ice in the last minute for faceoffs and things like that.”

      In short, Gaustad has more “playoff” value than Kostitsyn.

      That said, I don’t believe we got fair value given that guys like Moore moved for 2012 second rounders. But, hey, we’ll never know if AK could have returned more than what we got and Molson doesn’t seem to care about the totality of PG’s body of work, so…

  28. shiram says:

    So PG still has another year on his contract after this season. I’m really starting to think he won’t be fired or replaced.
    As bad moves go, he’s done a few, Sergei being a noteworthy one, but SK was not working out in MTL anymore.
    And I think the coaching change can alleviate alot of the locker room issues that might be on-going.

    Coach change? Sure that makes sense.
    GM change? I’m not so sure it will happen.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Sergei is on Jacques Martin, as are Latendresse and Lapierre.

      For me the biggest problem is that the Habs, like every other team, want to create an environment that is conducive to bringing out the best in our players, and in attracting potential UFAs.

      I think Gillett understood this and went a ways to making the Habs an organization players liked playing for.

      But Gauthier does not. He treats the players with something close to contempt, as did JM when he was here. That is perhaps his biggest failing.

      (Unless he was behind the Gomez trade, of course)

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • shiram says:

        Maybe AK was not so liked in the locker room as was portrayed.
        Maybe only Gomez liked him afterall, there was some quotes about Gionta on AK yesterday, but I missed most of them in chaos of posts and server issues.

        Did Gill endorse AK, I thought I read that too.

      • Le Jadester says:

        Well said HFS72

        As for Shiram below……I heard Gill say nothing but good things about the brothers while they were in Montreal in his interview.

        I am wondering what Gio said RE: AK 46

        Habs, OLE !

  29. LafleurGuy says:

    I prefer HIO days that aren’t dominated by angst. This ain’t one of those days. May I point out that in the larger world of THIRTY NHL teams, ALL of them have been trying to improve through drafting well. Building a winner which we had since acquiring Alexei Kovalev (NOT through the draft) until last year, is a complicated multi-faceted process. I venture to say blind luck plays a huge role. Damn Bruins got their hands on KKK Grand Wizard Thomas and Monster Chara (thank you Chris Neil!), and again, NOT through the draft.

    In hindsight, obtaining Gomez crippled the budget, but who knew at the time? Forgive the tasteless phrasing but Andrei’s severe injury and cap hit are also crippling the current team, but again who could have known? One can assert that management is paid to know, but if blind luck should come this way, say trading Price for Nash and having it pan out, we would be posting with less angst.

    BTW, wouldn’t actually trade Price for Nash.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • neumann103 says:

      Fair enough point that in the thirty team NHL, everyone (well almost) is trying to improve and it is close to a zero sum game. You can’t just magically make players availabe to sign but

      “In hindsight, obtaining Gomez crippled the budget, but who knew at the time?”

      Who didn’t know? I felt nauseous. I think the Gomez contract was widely considered one of the least movable contracts in the NHL after DiPietro. The whole “needed to sign Gomez to attract Gionta and Cammy” meme is ludicrous.

      “Et le but!”

  30. nick says:

    Pretty disappointed to see AK go.
    Alot of people have been bitching about his 24 points this season. People who base his value on this one season are about as dumb as those who gave Gomez an 7M / year contract based on his one good season. The fact is Kostitsyn is a 0.55 point per game player who averages 1.6 hits a game. He’s having a bad season – so is everyone else on the CH with the exception of 1 line.

    Anyways, what is comes down to now is whether or not the GM can find an equivalent player for between 3.5 – 4M a season. If he can’t… It’s one more step in the wrong direction for MTL.

    Go Columbus Go!

    • Bob_Sacamano says:

      I agree. Andrei has also missed ten games and before the injury he had four goals and two assists in seven games. The Moen – Eller – AK line overall also worked pretty well. Splitting Eller and Kostitsyn was one of many brilliant moves by that idiot Cunneyworth. I don´t like Gauthier but if he did his job as well as Cunneyworth his he would have traded PK to the Leafs for Schenn and Plekanec to the Bruins for a 2nd rounder yesterday.

      I really wish AK well at Nashville.

  31. smiler2729 says:

    I’m so tired of MISTER Gauthier.

    How such a clueless hockey man can still retain his post as General Manager of the most storied NHL franchise, THE MONTREAL FREAKIN’ CANADIENS, is BEYOND ME!!!!!!!!!!

    Geoff Molson, WAKE THE F UP!

    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are pukes.

  32. ABHabsfan says:

    Whoever the Habs new GM turns out to be, here’s a good off-season trade; All the Habs’s 2nd rd picks in ’13 (3 I think) for CBJ 1st, top 3 pick in that draft along with the top 3 this year and we’re talkin’. Not only McKinnon, but Monohan from the 67’s and Sam Reinhart in Kelowna. All will be franchise players, from what I’ve heard anyway and CBJ is bound to suck again next year.

  33. joeybarrie says:

    I would like people to keep in mind our current team.
    Cole and MaxPac are both left wings.
    They are both better than AK.
    With DD, Pleks, and Eller taking our first 3 Center positions we have Gionta on the right.
    This leaves us with Bourque and AK fighting for the 6th forward spot.
    On Nashville he will walk in and play easily 3 more minutes on average. With much stronger D capabilities he can focus on attack and will produce more than he did here. However on our team he is in my opinion an overpaid Rene Bourque.

  34. SmartDog says:

    Screw Canada!

    I’ve decided Nashville is my playoff team this year.

    Go Preds!

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Ali says:

      It’s almost like cheering for the Habs!

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Mine too, despite the fact we hold their draft pick.

    • joeybarrie says:

      I’ve decided to watch the playoffs and enjoy them. But I’ll never root for a team that doesn’t wear the CH.
      Besides the last thing I want to hear in here is how great the players are we gave to Nashville and despite the constant bashing of Gill, and AK. As soon as they are gone they were AWESOME.
      Last time I remember people jumping ship they were wearing Nordiques Blue two games in.

      • SmartDog says:

        My son was a big Lapierre fan and has followed him in his heart to Vancouver which he now says is his favorite team. Yes, I know, but we have to love our kids not matter what. I even told my son he could root for any team he wants even if it’s the Laffs. (Though I also told him I would have to laugh and point when they lost… maturity has it’s limits.) Anyway there’s a positive to rooting for Nashville… which was my point. If our (former) guys do well it will help drive the point home that this management group doesn’t know what it’s doing.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  35. aj says:

    I’m looking forward to Geoff Molson’s decision making from now till this summer as to how this Organization will improve for next season and beyond.

    If the owner will still practice his lack of judgement on whether or not to fire this incompetent GM, this organization will lose credit in the long run.

    For Pierre Gauthier to actually say in front of the media that there is “NO RECONSTRUCTION” happening is a total BS! By that remark alone will tell you he’s not fit to handle the pressure of being a General Manager. No wonder why he got fired by the Ducks after 3 consecutive, non-playoff runs.

    His track record speaks for itself by his failures both in Anaheim and in Ottawa. Since what he did to those two organizations produced disastrous results, this is the time for Molson to take the helm of GM of the Montreal Canadiens regardless of whether Marinaro’s rumour is true or not!

  36. Ozmodiar says:

    “Je suis Guillaume Latendresse”
    “Je suis Roman Hamrlik”
    “Andrei Kostitsyn”

  37. habsfan0 says:

    Tomorrow,February 29,will be Henri Richard’s birthday. He won 11 Stanley Cups as a player for the Habs,a number that Kaberle will probably have difficulty emulating.

    The Pocket Rocket will celebrate his 19th birthday.

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      My all time favourite player! I love the young feller. He has one of the major league records (11 cups) that will never be touched. Happy Birthday Henri.
      Go Habs!

    • English is not a Crime says:

      Kaberle, Gionta, Moen and Cole (with 1 each) are trailing only Gomez (with 2) in that particular category on this roster. I would have to say that your attempted slam on Kaberle didn’t exactly pan out for you. There aren’t a lot of players in the league’s history that ever came close to Richard’s total and there never will be any in this day and age.

  38. veryhabby says:

    sorry to see Andrei leave. A top 10 pick, a player who wanted to stay in MTL. I think it all went downhill when Cunney came in. He had 9 goals in 18 games, got injured, then the firing, then in 43 games under cunney only 3 goals. Cunney never understood Andrei. Andrei’s personality is one of being quite, barely smiles, just content looking, you don’t see passion in his eyes but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have it. Listen I figured out a long time ago that AK was a 20-25 goal guy and to expect more would get you disappointed. At 27 he has developed, he is who he is. I just don’t know who will replace his goals next year and the habs HAVE TO get another top 6 frwd next year or they will score even less then they already do.

    Best of luck. If you find consistancy you can easily be a 25-30 goal guy…I mean SK has hit 24 already, and we know AK is the better goal scorer of the two.

    • SmartDog says:

      Great post.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • habsnyc says:

      Good point.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

    • New says:

      SK this year has 15. I am sorry to see AK leave as well. Like Ryder he is the victim of bad press. Guys who will get 30 or 25 consistently are good to have around. You can work with consistent things. SK gets now about 17-18 minutes a game and about 50 points. Fair. Andrei was getting 13-14, some nights 7 or 10 minutes and has 12 goals so far. Give Andrei 18 minutes a game and he’ll easily score 10 more goals going into his UFA. Then cha-ching as GM’s, including Montreal’s new one, trip all over themselves to sign him.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Coparing him to Ryder is unfair.
        Ryder is a mercenary who chases a buck like a buck chases a doe.
        He took us to arbitration, then went to Boston as a UFA. Didn’t care about the rivalry, or about playing his old team or any of that. Just the money.
        Plus, Ryder’s best years were with us. He hasn’t done as well anywhere else.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Ali says:

          Gainey kept giving him one-year deals even though he kept scoring 25-30 goals. There was a reason he took the money and security.

        • habsnyc says:

          Ryder and Montreal came to terms before going to arbitration. Montreal did not offer him a contract. In fact, Montreal benched him for most of the playoffs. Boston offered him three years and the chance to play for his prior coach. Ryder is on pace for a career high in goals.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • Strummer says:

            Hear hear!

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

    • Mattyleg says:


      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • habfanacrossthed says:

      I’m happy to have Rene Bourque take his spot. Cheaper.

      GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  39. Ali says:

    Seriously, people here who can’t see that Nashville is a well run hockey team have no business complaining about PG.

    • Ali says:

      seriously. If you don’t recognize a well run team when you see it you don’t deserve one

      • Mattyleg says:

        They better hope they win the Cup this year, because they seem to have traded away a lot of their future for rentals…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Ali says:

          Nashville has a lot of depth already due to the fact that they have drafted well and retained their talent for the most part. And with their current team, they’ll have almost 36 million in cap space to resign 12 players. Give about 14 to re-sign Weber and Suter, that still leaves 24 million to play with.

    • boonie says:

      This is the same crew that posted “Trotz 12 seasons, 1 playoff win.”

      I’d trade their GM, coach and entire roster for ours. I’d even give them back their two second rounders.

  40. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Once again we see that trade deadline day is overhyped nonsense. Kostitsyn is a puzzle for Barry Trotz to figure out or not. Obviously he’s another in a long line of players who, for one reason or another, cannot cut it playing under the microscope in Montreal. Maybe he’ll shine elsewhere but it became painfully obvious it wasn’t going to happen in Montreal. Au revoir et bonne chance Andrei. But not too much bonne chance, eh.

  41. The Dude says:

    At this point all I have to say about this Habs team is Go Nucks Go !

  42. momotan69 says:

    The core of this team is good. Dump the floaters & softies and bring in some guys who play 100% every game even if on paper are slightly less talented and this team is in good shape. You already have 2 lines in DD-cole-max, pleks-gio-bourque with Ellen ready to center a banging 3rd line. You have potentially a real 4th line of white-moen-blunden with darche and staubitz as interchangeable parts. on D your top 4 are markov, PK, Georges, Emelin. Now send Gomez and kaberle to the minors and fill in the blanks with solid guys that are ufa.

  43. New says:

    Everything is optics. Your team is doing well and the roster looks like candidates for Team Canada. Things are going badly and you begin to notice there isn’t a heck of a lot of difference between your roster and farm and that of Columbus. Kostitsyn is very talented but he needed someone to hold that puck until he got open, then put the puck on his stick, then yell shoot! That is a coaching decision.

    I don’t admire Mr. Gauthier’s handling of the team. There have been too many ex-Ottawa types involved with the team. They stand on their record. However it is impossible to sell a product when the wheels keep falling off. Jumping from one little drama to another may make for great income to retired coaches, players, or anyone else sitting on their butt at 10:30 PM sober but it does nothing for the team.

    All to say don’t expect anything from this year’s draft either. There is no magic pill for this.

  44. Mattyleg says:

    Sorry to see Brother Andrei leave.

    The people who are currently saying bad things about him, calling him lazy… and worse (I don’t get people sometimes, but I guess haters gotta hate), have pretty short memories and no patience or insight.

    AK had some very good years with us, and always contributed. The only reason that people think that he ‘floated’ and ‘was lazy’ and ‘disappeared for long stretches’ is because other people have said that, and rather than think for themselves, they’ve parroted what they’ve read.

    I can completely understand this. We live in a busy world, full of pressures and stress, we work to deadlines… it’s totally understandable that sometimes it’s just better to shut off the ol’ brain and let other people do the thinking for us. Why look into things to form our own opinions? It takes too long. Other people’s opinions are already formed! It’s not that important how they are formed or how well they are formed, it’s just easier.

    I don’t know if AK will do well in Nashville. I have a feeling he will. There’s something to be said about a change of air. I would welcome him back in the bleu-blanc-rouge because I think he’d have a new perspective which could help him in the future.

    And haters, keep on hatin’. It’s so much easier than lovin’.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • joeybarrie says:

      You make good points. He will get more minutes in Nashville too. He had plenty of chances here and didn’t prove himself to be pivotal. That’s all, I think we are a better team with him. But I’m happier we didn’t try to sign a 20 goal scorer to a 4 million dollar contract.
      We got good young players coming up. Lots of draft picks to hopefully use well, and I feel like there is a new mentality coming in our next GM.
      But the point is he absolutely did not prove himself to be worth it to us. Eric Cole absolutely has. We need more Cole and less AK.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Yeah, I agree.
        But I think that Erik Cole is a bit special in that regard.
        It’s easy to play hard when the team’s winning and doing well.
        It’s much harder when the deck is steeply canted, and Cole has proven himself to have what it takes in those situations.

        The funny thing is, the more I think about it, the more I realize that what makes AK better will probably put him out of our grasp.

        What I mean is this: He really really wanted to stay in Montreal, and probably would have been willing to sign for less than $4m to stay here. He knew that he didn’t have much productivity this season, and he’s a pretty shy person who would rather stay where he knows stuff rather than shift around. If he’d stayed, he might have plateau-ed or dropped in production due to his comfort-level.

        Leaving will probably breathe some new life into him, and could spark his production again, but he might also realize that moving isn’t so bad, and will open his eyes to the FA market.

        Not everyone is motivated by money. It’s certainly a consideration, but some people are happy to take a bit less and be happy where they are rather than chasing the almighty dollar. Hard to believe for some people, but it’s true.

        So, like I said, going to Nashville may make him better, but it may also put him out of our reach.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I’m sure he will be better. If he fails in Nashville he’s finished in the NHL.

          Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Agree about the haters (why the team losing makes them angry is something I don’t understand – disappointed OK, but enraged?).

      I’m also sorry things didn’t work out for AK, but surely you must have noticed all the times he gave a puck away and, rather than chase it back, slowly glided back to the bench for his line change (my shift’s over buddy, ask someone else).

      That being said he certainly did better under Carbo than under JM or Cunny.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • shiram says:

        He was not as bad last year as he was this year though.
        It seems to me it started when he was taken from Pleks wing to try and restart Gomez, and when that failed, he was relegated to the third line, and at that point Moen and Darche got the top 6 callups when injuries occured.
        He never regained his TOI, and his effort and implication died off then.

        I was one wanting to have him back, but it was clearly not working out for him with the coaches. I just hope management has a plan in place to bring in a top 6 winger, because Bourque can replace AK, it still leaves Cammy’s spot to be replaced.

  45. joeybarrie says:

    AK will have plenty of suitors to over pay him on July 1st. If the Preds sign him before it will most likely be in the 4 million dollar range. I prefer to not pay him as much. The 2nd round pick will help us a lot. Hopefully our next GM can trade some in for a higher pick.
    AK @ 4 million
    Cole at 4.5 million.
    I think we did just fine. Nash’s trade prospects probably spooked many GM’s and lowered the market value. Plus with the Preds we got a lot back for Gill, so maybe we owed them.
    SK hasn’t done anything phenomenal. Their team lacks scoring and relies heavily on Weber and Suter for point production. SK would absolutely not be our first line LW. Maybe we should have waited and got back more for him. However we didn’t, his attitude sucked and we moved on quickly.
    Call me crazy. But our players are not doing well. But we so quickly think Bourque is so useless, yet he has better stats than AK. And he is cheaper. Give him a chance next season as we re-organize and patch up our D. I think we have a pretty good team and once healthy we can make waves. PLUS as our young players gain experience we can only get better.
    I like AK and I think everyone wanted him to be a 30 goal scorer, but he ain’t. In my opinion we already have too many over paid players. And that’s exactly what he will become.

    • boonie says:

      AK has some great skills but he wasn’t great. Either multiple regimes failed to develop him or he is un-developable (is that a word?). PG got a 2nd and 5th or by some advanced pick valuation techniques (PVTs), a third and fifth. Like AK himself, our return for him didn’t live up to potential and was maddeningly less than what we hoped for.

  46. remi_10069 says:

    AK is not going to help any team become a winner because he’s a loser. He has mad skills but doesn’t show up? What does that tell you about him? Sure even the most dedicated / hardworking players need some help from the coach but..come on. Not going to win with a bunch of f’n babies who need constant help to bring out the best in them. Give me a break. I say good riddance, we’re a better team without him.


    • 44har48 says:

      You touched on my only knock on AK, he needed to be put in a position to succeed. I want my 10th overall pick to make his linemates better and be able to play with anyone. AK couldn’t and it’s all on this pis poor management that refused to put him in positions to succeed and use his skill.

      “No, no, no, no AK, don’t hang out in the offensive end and score goals, we want you pinned in your own end and playing the trap responsibly. Don’t do what you were built to do, and do not think of touching the ice on the PP when your useless linemate (#11) goes out on the PP.”

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    It is very difficult to judge how long it is gong to take for the Habs to turn things around. Does the current group of veterans like Plekanec, Gionta, Cole and Bourque have a chance to make their voices heard in the playoffs in Montreal over the next two years or are we in for a three to five year rebuild?

    Part of me believes that with a coach in place next September who has the chance to hammer home his system and expectations from day 1, we could have an alright year. If the defense were toughened up as well as Markov returning it is not a stretch to believe we’re a playoff team.

    The part about the defense, if I were to make any changes over the summer I’d sign two defenseman that are known for blocking shots, hitting, killing penalties and dropping the gloves on occasion. If they were the only moves made over the summer I’d be happy.

    When you look at it our top six isn’t bad at all. Cole, Desharnais and Pacioretty will be back together and they’re a quality scoring line.

    Then there’s the option of putting Plekanec, Bourque and Gionta togther as another scoring line. Again, there is no reason that Gionta and Plekanec can’t have good years like they’ve done many times and you have to hope Bourque, at the minimum, pots his 25 goals and adds some physicality.

    Then you’re left with Eller, Moen, White, Palushaj, Geoffrion , Staubitz and Leblanc and it is not out of the realm of possibility of Gallagher sticking with the team or playing portions of the season.

    You play Eller, Moen and either LeBlanc or Gallagher together and then have the option to dress a nice looking forth line Geoffrion, White and Staubitz.

    Subban will bounce back. Markov will be back. Gorges will be back. Emelin will be back. Kaberle will be back and hopefully his offense overshadows his defense. The gaping hole is a real tough, minute eating defensman.

    And then there’s Price. He’s not the best in the NHL but he’s easily in the top ten.

    And the wildcard will be our 1st round pick this year. Some of the forwards in the top 10 are said to be NHL ready. A few in the top 10 are definitely ready and have huge star quality.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Rebuild through the draft is the only way to get to the top, as long as you have top quality management at the top. Meaningless if you don’t.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Of course you’d want top quality management at the top, but the NY Rangers’ success this year shows it isn’t a precondition.

        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The draft is the only place Montreal has done well. Gauthier trading down to get Tinordi a couple years ago was a nice move.

        We’ll see what he does with our VERY EARLY pick this year.

        You have to think Yakupov is out of reach but if he landed Grigorenko, Forsberg or Galchenyuk it would be outstanding. There is a good chance he will get one of those three.

        • boonie says:

          @Ian – did you provide the recent scouting report on Tinordi (apologies, it might have been Chris)? If so, do you think trading a second was worth his current potential as HH suggests (I assume he means trading up not down)

      • New says:

        You’re right Ian. It is what you make it. Not pointing at any particular post but how many times have you seen the names Gallagher and Tinordi tossed around as solutions? Both are projects who “may” one day make the NHL. Yes Gallagher was the talk of camp. Because Camp was horrid. Gallagher hustled and that is about it. A junior playing against journeymen, who played with enthusiasm, achieved nothing except to be noticed for working.

        Montreal is very good at building capable NHL players. Not superstars, not game breakers, just guys with a job in the NHL. Until they get a game breaker it will always be like this.

        • boonie says:

          Camp was horrible. And, PG fiddled (as in Nero, not tweaking). The signs were there. They were ignored.

          Now, we’re last in the east. PG is still fiddling.

          AK and Spacek were coming off the books and likely would have been gone next year anyway. So, our major changes are Cammi for Bourque and adding Kaberle. Campoli is irrelevant (although a low, low pick would have been nice). Moen may or may not be back (with no pick for our troubles). We have 3 30+ year old wingers. Two of our returning D are Markov and Kaberle.

          Is a turnaround in the offing for next year or are we ignoring more signs?

          • New says:

            Hype sells tickets and it sells players (assets). Negative press breeds negative image. Until we know who the new GM is I don’t think anyone can estimate the enthusiasm levels for players and their value. As @Boonie says below the team has had no respect for picks. They do draft well “for the spot they draft in” but anyone who believes the best players available during Gillette’s ownership came from USHL is ignoring the obvious.

            Ignoring signs? Probably that can only be answered by Mr. Molson. Fans can only see that Markov is travelling with the team and suddenly PK holds the puck even when he sees a hole that isn’t there, slides to his right, and fires it towards the top corner that doesn’t look like it is open but is. Markov? Sure looks like Markov.

            So either the sign is that Subban got lucky or no one on the team knows how to coach an offensive D-man because they were never one. So yeah they should pay dollars for Scott Bowman to point out to the owner a path. The one they’re on now is not leading anywhere.

        • ont fan says:

          Our prospects should go to Hamilton and we shouldn’t even think any will make the big team for a couple of years. Unless we get a top 2 at the draft, what you see is what you get.

      • boonie says:

        PG has been an executive here since 2003, a lost decade of player development — squander picks like the proverbial drunken sailor, trading away developmental assets (SK, OB, Laps, McD, etc.) and failing until very recently to draft a player who can contribute in a significant role (PK, Price, DD, Pacioretty).

        Staggering how there hasn’t been more “accountability” at the management ranks around here.

    • HardHabits says:

      The Habs still have 19 games to f*ck up their draft pick.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I don’t think you have to worry HH. I’m sure they’ll be playing a lot of Budaj and the younger players. The players know to play hard but there’s no reason to over do it.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      My absolute MINIMUM rebuild is these 5 points:

      IF management is capable and willing, it may not take long. You guys can argue about the order, but at least 4 of these 5 need to happen or we are just going to spin our wheels

      1. As you say HH another tough D like Emelin or Rick Green (and a D coach who can mentor them, espesh PK).
      2. Gomez has to be gone – for all the reasons we know but mainly to make the point to everyone else that if you float, you leave on the next boat.
      3. Markov has to play and be at least 85% of what he was.
      4. We need a goalie to push Price. Someone yesterday suggested Bernier, doesn’t need to be him but someone who is a threat to him.
      5. A real #1 Male center, hopefully that will come through our draft pick, but no more Smurfs ™.

      These are the 5 pillars, you guys can shuffle the order of importance but I think they are equally important if we are to accomplish anything serious (beyond limping into the playoffs and winning a game or two).

      Do we need more than that? Sure, but after 2 years about reading posts about who should be on the 4th line or the 7th D man I think we miss the point sometimes.

      We need to fix the big things.

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        “A real #1 male center” is what everyone has been dreaming of! It would take luck to draft one, and mega $$$ to sign a UFA… although, Gomez money + $1-2 mill would land a UFA.

        I completely agree with your 5 points. 1-4 are “easy fixes”
        *well #3 is up to fate hahah

      • canadiens26 says:

        I agree with all your points except for the one about a goalie to push Price. That didn’t work to well when Halak was here. I think Price does his best knowing he is the go to guy.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          I can live with that argument, I don’t know the guy and he does not seem to like pressure. But the other side of the argument is if we do improve the team and go even two playoff rounds plus 82 games any team has to have a reliable back up. Maybe someone older / do a little mentoring is good too.

          As for needing luck to get a male center: yes, yes and yes.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Hobie, I 100% agree with your analysis of the Habs D, picking up two D with size, stability, and physicality is very important. Guys such as PK, Emelin, Markov, and Gorges should not have to fight their own battles, and DESERVE protection. Would you consider paying Brian Allen 3-3.5? big and has been a + player on awful teams (although Kabs would likely have to be unloaded to sign him)

      The top line of Pleks/Gionta/Bourque seems likely heading into next season and have the potential to outscore Cole, DD, Patch. IMO 20 goals should be expected from Bourque, anything more is a bonus.. 20 for Pleks and 25 for Gionta.

      The team isn’t as bad as this season shows. The lack of toughness on the back end is killing them, add in Markov injuury, Gomez distraction, JM being fired, RC having “cave-man” intelligence, Gionta injury, the horrific PP.. you have a last place club.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      Matt Carle from Philthy would be a D-man UFA I would target

    • boonie says:

      Let’s start with an easy one, which one of the 30-year old+ wingers will improve their numbers next year?

      (A) Gionta, returning from an injured filled year?
      (B) Cole having his best career year?
      (C) Bourque whose string of 27 goal seasons ends not with a bang but with a whimper?

  48. Strummer says:

    AK will show what a solid management and coaching structure can do for a player.

    Trotz always bring the best out of his players. AK will probably benefit from his leadership.

    Habs are in 15th because they don’t run/coach their organization as well as the Preds.

    AK will join the other “head cases” who have prospered post-Habs- Ribeiro, Grabovski, SK

    Rebuild needs to start at the top.
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”
    -Dennis Miller

    • Ian Cobb says:

      You are correct Strummer!
      If you do not have quality GM and great coaching in the modern NHL, there is no sense to have a superior scouting team like we do have, bringing in players that cannot be coached properly.

    • Mattyleg says:

      I could do without those three.

      Ribeiro is a douche who partied himself out of the team here.

      Grabovski refused to board a flight because he was scratched when he was a rookie, and had to be told to get on the plane by his agent. No other team but the Leafs would’ve given him a 1st-2nd line position, because they didn’t have anyone else.

      Sergei was dealt with harshly at the beginning of his stint with Nashville, even worse than in Montreal. Problem is that he didn’t have his brother to stick up for him or the media to tell him how badly he was being treated, and had to suck it up like a big boy.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Strummer says:

        Chris Chelios partied himself out of here to a stellar career.
        Part of coaching and player development is to manage these issues as players mature- not dump them for the first good offer.

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

    • momotan69 says:

      SK has done nothing more then he did here. He’s a first line winger simply because thy have no offensive forwards in that team. Check his stats since going there, same pace as here. You think Trotz is going to put up with AK floating around and missing coverage assignments? He’s a healthy scratch by playoff time. Players don’t change just because thy change teams. Nobody who has left this team in recent years is doing remarkably better or worse at there new teams.

  49. habs-fan-84 says:

    Haven’t been this excited to be a Habs fan in a LONG time.

    -Top 5 draft pick this year

    -Pacioretty is a bona fide 30 goal scorer

    -Eller on pace to double his goal total from last year (next year he’ll hit 20 no problem)

    -Emelin is a revelation – the Russian Scott Stevens

    -DD the little engine that could

    -Subban had a tough start to the season, but he’s been pretty solid the last month or so and seems to have settled down. Looking forward to a bounce back year next year and a medium term contract this summer.

    -Cole is a great signing and should hit 20 – 25 goals next year as well

    -Gorges is rock solid, good to know part of the foundation has been laid for the next half decade

    -Price gives this team a chance to win almost every night. He’ll be signed this year at hopefully a fair price and fair contract length (5 – 7 yrs.)

    -Gionta will be back with a vengeance next year

    -Bourque comes at a decent cap hit and addresses a need on the team

    -White is back and when he, Moen and Staubitz play together, we’ll finally have a real 4th line

    -If and when Gomez is sent to the AHL we’ll have cap space to pick up two big bodied 5th 6th D men

    I like the following prospects: Tinordi, Ellis, Beaulieu, Gallagher.

    The future is bright. I think PG has done a good job.

  50. John Q Public says:

    Whats with everybody we ruined AK and this and that.
    He could resign in the offseason. And if he does we gained a pick.
    If not well he had every chance here.

    • Ali says:

      I still remember last season the Cammalleri-Pleks-AK line started the season on fire and then they moved AK off that line and put him with Gomez because Gionta was getting sucked into oblivion playing with #11. Ruined AK’s season

      • Malreg says:

        Sorry, but getting moved to another line for a few games should not ruin ANY players entire season.

      • 44har48 says:

        Ali, I have referenced this many times on here. He was actually leading our team in scoring and +13 on the Pleks line until December. He was put on Gomez’s line with Gionta and it f^&*ed his whole season up. Within 2 weeks he was down to +2 and his scoring had stopped completely. He then was placed in the press box and on the 4th line many times after that.

        I hate to play this card, but guys/gals, it always seemed to me this franchise’s new leadership hates Russians/Belurussions/etc. whos last name is not Markov.

        Grabovski, SK, AK, we will ruin Avtsin next.

  51. Ali says:

    Anyone have any thoughts of giving Gallagher and Leblanc a call-up for a few games at the end of this season to play together?

    • Malreg says:

      Gallagher can only be called up once his WHL season is over. His team should make a deep run into the playoffs, so it’s not going to happen.

      Plus if he played a certain amount of games with us I believe it would burn a year of his entry-level contract.

      • Ali says:

        thanks, didn’t know about the WHL rule. 9 games is the limit, would’ve played him less than that but would’ve liked to see what he can do with not the usual pressure.

  52. Captain aHab says:

    Try this tonight:

    (To see if Pleks plays better with the first line wingers)
    (Eller is much better at C)
    (Let’s see if Desharnais can make these guys sing)

    McGuire for GM!
    Roy for Coach!
    Sh*t for Brains!

  53. SmartDog says:

    Molson needs to look in the mirror for what’s wrong with this hockey team.

    If he’s leaving things up to the Bob & Goat show – he’s an idiot. If he thinks his personal input is going to make their decisions better – he’s even more of an idiot. The Molsons totally messed up this team in the latter half of the 90’s with their arrogance. The team is still floundering from that ownership – and it’s the same today.

    If anything Geoff Molson has made the team worse, has added to problems with his comments about Cunneyworth, and basically looks like arrogant, spoiled rich kid who thinks his own personal genius and magnetism is adding anything to management of this team.

    Give your head a shake Geoff – half the posters on HIO know more about the Habs then you do – and 90% of them would not have approved the Kaberle trade. Hire a f-n GM and go do whatever you do when you’re NOT playing manager for the Habs.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • JF says:

      Agree about Molson. So far he has shown no sign that he has any clue when it comes to hockey, as evidenced by his allowing Gauthier to fire Jacques Martin at the worst possible moment, his immediately throwing Cunneyworth under the bus, and his allowing the Kaberle trade. I had hoped Gauthier would be gone by the trade deadline; now we just have to hope that Molson can get the right advice about who to replace him with, and that it happens before draft day.

    • Ali says:

      Owners should never get involved with running a team. Look how well it turned out for Buffalo and Pegula despite all the good media buzz he was getting when he took over the team.

      If Molson fails to find a better management team this summer things could get ugly at the Bell Center next season. For that reason alone I think he’ll make changes.

      • SmartDog says:

        The problem with expecting Molson to do the right thing because it “could get ugly” is he needs to swallow his pride to do that. In my experience, rich guys…. especially as rich as Molson, are not good at that.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • sanman_11 says:

      What ever happened to accountability?

      Players play – Have all the HABS played to their potential?
      Coaches coach – Martin sure had his issues and RC was dealt a crap hand
      Gm’s Manage – it’s PG’s job to manage. It’s his head at the end of the day.
      Owners own and have overall accountability – Molson owns the team and doesn’t manage day to day and shouldn’t.

      I really think a lot of people thought this team was better then 8th place at best. When you look at the gaping holes – no franchise forward, lack of a size, limited depth on D, what did you expect at the start of the year? This is why it doesn’t phase me that we are in last. Given the injuries and the lack of accountability from all it makes perfect sense.

      When you say “Geoff Molson has made the team worse” where are you coming from, the 8th position? Is it just him or everyone involved? Did you expect him to manage day to day and thus have PG as a figurehead? Do you really think he is supposed to weigh in on/approve every decision the GM makes or is he supposed to allow him freedom then assess his performance over a period of time?

      The only thing I agree with is if Molson leaves this up to PG and Bob then he isn’t doing his job. Now it’s time to assess the performance over a year and make long term decisions. I believe Molson’s presence meant a lot more then just a trip to Florida. He put himself into the day to day meaning he has lost confidence in PG and Bob. If he does not sack both of them then he is an idiot. But I think that’s 99% going to happen.

      I’m a HABS fan not a Leaf blower.

  54. 24 Cups says:

    The one trade nobody is talking about just might provide dividends to the Bruins. That trade is Greg Zanon (31) for Steve Kampfer (23).

    Zanon is as steady as they come. He’s the same height as Kampfer but is much stockier. Blocks lots of shots, doles out the hits, kills penalties and works hard every night. A perfect fit who’s great insurance for another deep playoff run. Zanon could also be back with the Bruins next year if all goes well. A samll but crafty trade.

    The Rangers and Pittsburgh failed to upgrade, so this means that the Bruins are still one of the three eastern teams who could realistically go to the final. It might come down to whether or not Horton can return from the injury list.

    Peter Chiarelli is one sharp guy. The only blot on his resume is that he overpaid for Kaberle last year which is easily overlooked seeing that the Bruins won the Cup.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think the steal was Buffalo getting Hodgson, no doubt Kassian is a big kid and has some talent, but Hodgson could become something special.

      Buffalo traded out alot of size yesterday which they will need to replace as they are a small team upfront. I would not be surprised if Darcy Regier in the offseason resigns Gaustad.

  55. AndyF says:

    24Cups said it very well lower down in the comments: don’t rush things if a kid lights it up in training camp next year. Let them season in Hamilton.

    Speaking of which, if the Habs want to promote patience in their fan base, they should allow RDS to televise the Bulldogs’ games, instead of subjecting us to Sens games. This would allow us to appreciate the young players a bit more.

    Fail for Nail (or better!)

  56. Cal says:

    Is this working?

  57. SmartDog says:


    Kostitsyn is:
    a) A player who is a bit moody sure, but if properly (better) coached is good for 20-25 goals a year, and some solid puck control and physical play.
    b) An impossible headcase who only shows up for a small number of games and will be lucky to ever break 20 goals again regardless of who’s coaching or where he is.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      C) A player no longer in our organization.

    • TommyB says:

      How about: c) Lazy doesn’t give a *^%&.

      He’ll come on strong for a bit, after all he does have to convince someone to sign him this summer, then he will revert back to his laziness.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I’m gonna go with A) for the first few games he’ll play with Nashville and then B) for the rest of the way.

      McGuire for GM!
      Roy for Coach!
      Sh*t for Brains!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I think we all know more or less what it takes for a team to win the Stanley Cup.

      AK46 isn’t part of that recipe.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • 44har48 says:

      a) I think it is obvious to most outside of Montreal and even some inside, that this guy was poorly handled and mismanaged. Nashville is pleased to have this guy on their front line to score goals, not play the trap or in his own end all night.

      • Ali says:

        Yeah, he’s no good for the Habs, but a Cup contender like Nashville wants him. Makes you wonder which way is up.

        • ont fan says:

          That’s what a trade is all about..something that you have isn’t working so you trade it for something else..AK wasn’t going to work for us here, just like most of all the other players, SK, Spats, Cammi and all the rest. Whether you like the management or not, people take a chance, make a move, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I really don’t get most of the people who think they have to win a trade. It’s supposed to work for both teams.I think it is rare that after a minor player is traded that he is going to change an organization.

      • TommyB says:

        I don’t know how you can say he was mishandled. He’s been given every opportunity to grow and progress on this team. He’s played with almost everybody at one time or another, yet he only seems to put out about one good game every 6-8. He’d been in Montreal long enough to show what kind of player he is. And in my opinion, he showed that. Nashville has a fairly solid lineup and they can afford to roll the dice by picking up a player fairly cheap who has “potential” to be a boost in the playoffs, and there is the possibility that he and baby brother would click. Nashville is rolling the dice here. Montreal would have had to lose him for nothing in the summer, as I don’t think they would have offered him a contract. They were convinced that he no longer fit their plans. Whatever those plans may be.

        • SmartDog says:

          I think he was mishandled. It seems he was always in the doghouse and it was rarely obvious what for. He was treated like a bottom 6 player even when guys like Darche and Moen, Gomez as a winger even were suiting up in the top 6. It was a joke show to see him sitting on the Bench with Gomez out on the Power Play or in the dying minutes of a game. Even when he wasn’t scoring, Kostistyn is a good puck control guy. Anyway… we’ll what happens with more ice time in Nashville.
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • TommyB says:

            You do make good points. I think with AK, fans will always be 50/50 on just what kind of player he is. In time we may get a definitive answer, or he may always be the enigma.

        • Le Jadester says:


          Habs, OLE !

      • SmartDog says:

        I have to admit I’m leaning this way – but I liked the guy and I’m probably being optimistic. It could be that Ahab above has the most correct answer.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • neumann103 says:

      a) is much closer to the truth than b)

      I don’t know how much he is going to contribute down the stretch and into the Playoffs in Nashville. I suspect it will be limited as they were filling small gaps in roles on an already humming team. The Predators are one of the half dozen or so credible Stanley Cup contenders and they added AK46 as part of a push to win it this year AND to be seen as willing to do what it takes in prep for keeping the FAs like Suter and Weber.

      And I do expect him to be a 20 goal scorer somewhere next year.

      “Et le but!”

  58. Captain aHab says:

    I want to see Budaj in nets tonight, with Price and PK as power forwards and Gomez paired with Kaberle on D and given first pairing minutes. Oh wait…we have to go easy on the Habs as some of them may eventually be traded at a later date and they feel pressure from that. They must be coddled….don’t say anything hurtful about them. Give them their tofu and soymilk and tell them not to go in the bad corners or slot where they might get hurt.

    Is Staubitz playing tonight and would it look too suspect if the first time he dropped the gloves was to give Gomez a beating to put him on the IR? I hope I’m not hurting the millionaire’s feelings by saying that.

    McGuire for GM!
    Roy for Coach!
    Sh*t for Brains!

    • SmartDog says:

      On a more serious note… they should put Plekanec with Cole and Patches for a few games. Give DD two other guys to pull behind him.

      It would be good for Pleks confidence to have some goal scorers to play with, and good to see what DD can do. And what’s the harm?

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  59. geo_habsgo says:

    0.8 % chance to make the playoffs? I’ll take it. I know its really not in our best interest to win right now but the Habs are a backwards team so I fully expect them to win 10 in a row now. They never do what the fans expect/want them to do. Because we have them pegged for a lottery pick come the draft, they will respond with a stanley cup.

  60. JF says:

    The Habs failed dismally with the Kostitsyn brothers. Both are talented, especially Andrei, while Sergei (like Grabovski) was immature. The Habs are a rigid, hidebound organization that has no patience with young, immature players and no creativity in dealing with them. If they don’t fit precisely into the slots created for them, out they go. Andrei Kostitsyn may have been the wrong player to draft in 2003 (as most of us have lamented), but having drafted him, the team failed in developing him and maximizing his potential, a failure driven home by the fact that we got only a second-rounder for him while the Sabres got a first for Gaustad. Sergei is doing well in Nashville (as is Grabovski in Toronto), and Andrei may become with the Predators the player he could have been here. Meanwhile we lose a big, talented winger who hits like a tank and has a laser of a shot.

    • 44har48 says:

      Agree. I’m ready to move on and not look back, but I want something done about the leadership, specificaly the GM, that can’t do any more than dabble, take on atrocious contracts, and give guys away.

      I want our players handled like players and not machines, and god I hope this organization realizes what a joke it is right now to the rest of the league, and how it went from being one of the classiest organizations to a laughing stock. Restore our pride and let’s get a GM that can build a winner for us.

    • mrhabby says:

      right so blame the habs for sk immaturity level and all the drama. I believe they gave him lots of opportunity before he was traded.

      do you realize that players with existing contracts and those who’s contract expire on July 1 are treated differently by GMS on deadline day.

    • Le Jadester says:

      Great post !
      I completely agree

      Habs, OLE !

  61. HabinBurlington says:

    Unrelated to hockey, but the Mets announced they will be wearing a patch on their uniforms this season honouring Gary Carter.

  62. Cal says:

    The trade deadline passes and only AK got moved. That makes about 4 players on the Habs that no other team wants, even for a low round draft pick. Kaberle, Diaz, Weber, and, of course, Gomez.

    Gomez’ contract must be taken from the vaults and removed to St. Joseph’s Oratory (past prayers for the playoffs in 2012 notwithstanding). Holy water must be sprinkled upon it and then it must be set alight. If the smoke is white, the Habs may have a new saviour for Hamilton. If the smoke is black, ditto.

  63. 24 Cups says:

    Is that all there is?

    Nothing left to do now except play out the string. Columbus is a lock for last place but Edmonton is showing signs of life now that Nugent-Hopkins is back and Gagner has caught fire. I’m quite content to finish 29th and then move on from there.

    Might as well play the kids a ton during these last six weeks. No need to bench anyone just because they make a mistake. There’s going to be lots of those in March. Price and Budaj can do a 12/6 split on the remaining games.

    As I’ve stated before, I feel it might be wise to sit Markov down until October. The extra six months of rehab makes more sense than trying to see if he can get in some game experience. He only gets one more kick at the can so let’s do everything possible to make sure he’s fit and able to do so.

    Mr. Gauthier, Cunneyworth and Gainey should all be relieved of their duties as of April 8th. Bob can join the alumni team and eventually take over for Jean Beliveau. He’s out of the picture in terms of management. It has to be a clean slate for the new hire.

    Select a top end forward at the entry draft and then let the new GM decide what to do with stiffs like Gomez and Kaberle. No buyouts, I’m dead set against that. These guys are given away, put on waivers or permanently sent to Hamilton. Kaberle will probably stay as an insurance policy for Markov. Not much choice there and it stops us from wasting another pick or young asset in November. Gionta stays, too. The guys on this site who crap all over him haven’t really been objective. It’s more a sign of the overall frustration associated with the team and the fact that they are dead last in the standings. Gionta is one of the good guys, he’s the team’s captain and is fully capable of scoring 25 goals on a 2nd line. He should stay.

    Don’t rush the young kids next fall. They will all look like Bobby Orr in training camp and during their nine game audition. Then reality kicks in and they hit the wall. This team will struggle again next year so there’s no point exposing them to a negative situation. (HI/O posters like to eat their young after first putting them on a pedestal. Paging Blake Geoffrion). One more high end draft pick won’t hurt, especially if the crop is as good as they say it is. No quick fixs or band-aids. NO UFA shopping sprees. Take our lumps and stay the course.

    2014 should see the return of optimism and hope for the future. I’ve waited 19 years, so I can wait two more. The third, five year plan begins in six weeks. They say that things come in threes, so who knows, maybe three’s a charm.

    • HardHabits says:

      The thing is at our age a few years seems like no time at all. I remember when I was 12 and summer seemed to last a lifetime.

      You and I can be patient my friend. The kids these days though. They want it all now.

      That being said I agree with your analysis. However I am beginning to see Arpon Basu’s point that Markov should be played this season if he can to give the Habs an idea of whether he will be back next season or not. The Habs should not go another season updating Markov’s ETA every few weeks.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Dave – Basu’s point is valid although I would counter it by saying it really doesn’t matter if we know about Markov’s status next year. We’re all in when it comes to his contract and status with the club. If he plays next year, great. If not, we go with Plan B which is Kaberle. I’m not trading any more assets to apply another band-aid and I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact that we will be in a position of weakness for another year without Markov. Why compound the problem?

        (BTW, there really isn’t cap space relief like most people think if Markov can’t play. That only kicks in under certain circumstance whereby we pierce the cap limit. Besides, why in the world would we spend up to the cap next year? Bottom feeders don’t waste cap room, they save it for a better day).

      • Captain aHab says:

        I can see playing Markov too now but you might still get the drama next season….he could get injured this season or during training camp next year and we’ll be stuck with him regardless.

        McGuire for GM!
        Roy for Coach!
        Sh*t for Brains!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I agree with everything although I think it’s a bit early to get on the 2013 tankwagon.

      And I speak as someone who was already chanting Ya-Ku-Pov’s name in October.

      I think we should ditch Gomer and make a serious bid for Parise if he’s not resigned by the Devils – although I can’t see them not signing him.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Nice post Steve, the biggest decision this organization faces is who they pick to replace PG. Your point of giving this new person a clean slate is a good one, as is the fact this new GM will deal with items unsold at yesterdays garage sale.

      Have a good day.

    • TommyB says:

      Pretty much agree with everything you said here, especially about next year being another struggle. And it’s totally unfair the way people have crapped all over Gionta, but that’s okay, he’ll come back strong next year and they’ll all be happy bandwagoners again.

      Here’s what scares me though, Steve. What if those management changes are not made? We feel it’s a given that the changes will occur, but what if they don’t? Looking at the money wasted the last few years on management salaries, which include the revolving door of coaches, and baby-sitters for the GM, maybe ownership decides to save some dough and stay the course for another year or two. How scary is that? They could point to a series of injuries, yada, yada, yada, that were to blame for this debacle of a season, instead of pointing at themselves. We could see Gauthier hang around a bit longer. This ain’t your father’s Montreal Canadiens. Let’s just hope I’m being paranoid.

    • Mustang says:

      One of the things that bothers me is the 180 degree change in direction by the Canadien’s management. For the past 5 years the emphasis was on speed and skill while size and strength did not matter. Now the team has to get bigger and stronger (same management/new direction). However the team is locked into some very expensive long term contracts that limit what can be done.

    • JF says:

      Steve – You summarize the situation very clearly, especially when it comes to next year. The Habs will likely be near the bottom again, but should start to turn things around the following year. Unless of course they repeat Gainey’s disastrous mistakes from the summer of 2009 and sign a bunch of free agents on the downside of their careers to long, bloated contracts. That would simply keep us spinning our wheels. We need to develop our young players and build from within, hanging onto our draft picks and reaching out to free agency only as we become contenders.

      If Markov is ready, I’d like to see him play a few games this season just so we have some idea of what we’ve got for next year. Will he be close to being the player he was before his surgery or only half that player?

      On everything else I agree with you.

  64. Ali says:

    I don’t know Mike reading commentary on here you’d think Kaberle and Kostitsyn in package should have at least landed us Rick Nash I think you are greatly undervaluing these guys!!

  65. HardHabits says:

    I love Mike Boone’s no pulled punches commentary.

    There was talk, among delusional optimists, that soon to-be-former general manager Pierre Gauthier might be able to unload Tomas Kaberle or Scott Gomez on some hapless hockey exec who had never seen them play.

    It’s not quite a membership in the Tank™ Corps but it’s as good as it gets. 🙂

    It’s also nice to hear the valid criticisms he levied against the Habs and that he asked what if they had waited before trading Mike Cammalleri and Jaro Spacek.

    It’s not Brian Wilde criticism but it’s a start.

    I have a feeling Gauthier will be here for at least another year. His mandate is to bring about more suckitude, as Boone’s so affectionately calls it.

  66. zephyr says:

    the habs big prob is their defense. the only big, tough dman they have is the rookie emeiln. subban & georges are keepers for sure (will markov play?) but the habs need at least another couple of big, physical dman back there. weber, kaberle & diaz are soft. the 70’s habs had NO soft dmen at all. that’s problem #1. really wish we’d kept the wiz. markov gets 5 mill & contributes zero instead.
    the habs have fewer needs at fwd. the return of gionta will help. maxpac has been awesome! it’s hard to believe it’s only his 2nd year. he’s the best habs fwd i’ve seen in a long time. pleks is a solid, all-around #2 ctr & should be kept. i’d like to see the 3rd & 4th liners show the hustle & grit of riseborough, trembley, lambert, carbs, nilan (gainey might be asking too much), etc.. there’s the standard for 3rd liners. heck, i’d take those guys for our 2nd line right now. we should also draft some big centres & develop them as centres. they’re too expensive to trade for.
    if we fix those 2 areas, we’ll dominate instead of playing close & blowing a lead in the 3rd period & losing. i’ve seen enough of that now to last me a lifetime.

  67. Marcusman says:

    6′ 1″ 215 pounds….27 yrs old….shoots, hits, and scores

    and why didn’t we want this guy? Is that 2nd round pic going to score 350 goals in the NHL?

    This guy is well on his way….

    2007–08 Montreal Canadiens NHL 78 26 27
    2008–09 Montreal Canadiens NHL 74 23 18
    2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 59 15 18
    2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 20 25

    Good luck AK46….”Mr. Gauthier…it’s the asylum calling, they want to make sure you’re eating properly?”

    • LafleurGuy says:

      Even now, I’m pulling for the kid (AK), but man, was he frustrating to watch! Loved his hattrick in the 6-5 playoff loss to Pittsburgh, and honestly, I haven’t seen him come close to playing that well since.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • boonie says:

      If this management can’t develop the considerable talents of either Kostitsyn brother in the long term or put the latter in position to showcase his upside and maximize our return in the short run, can we count on this management team to select and develop the players with recently obtained picks?

      • Marcusman says:

        AK 46 played with 19 different line combos this year. We can’t count our team maintaining & deploying the talent we currently have. Remember how many games Emelin sat at the beginning of the year. Our coaches and management are clueless….utterly clueless and they wasted an entire season.

        • Le Jadester says:

          I agree with both Boonie and Marcusman.
          It is becoming very frustrating to watch all this go down year in and year out. So I’m thinking its gonna be Eller, PK or even Patches next year ? Will they even last another 3 years in Montreal ?

          Habs, OLE !

          • boonie says:

            Patches said it last year, leave me in Hamilton or play me top 6, don’t waste my time on the fourth line. Had he sputtered whe he was recalled, he’d be gone too.

        • boonie says:

          “I don’t know that you can call top 6s any more… Whoever plays in what role , on what line doesn’t really matter…”‘ Gauthier

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I think many of us wanted AK – even the real AK as opposed to the imagined one. The problem is he would have cost too much as a UFA.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  68. LafleurGuy says:

    Come to think of it, I took a vow a long time ago that stated “…for better or worse, in sickness or in health, ’til death do us part.” Sorry Honey, but I feel even more strongly attached to my Canadiens! Mi Corazon!

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  69. Kappy says:

    I heard on my local news station last night that The Habs aquired the rights to Radulov in the Kostitsyn deal, but I haven’t read anything about that part of the deal on this site or anywhere else?

    Did The Habs aquire Radulov’s rights? If so what are the chances they can persaude him to come play in the NHL?

    We had success convincing Emelin…

    • RGM says:

      No they did not. Believe me, if that had been part of the deal we’d be trumpeting it as a major coup even before bringing him back over from the KHL. It was heavily rumoured in the days leading up to the actual trade, but the Preds didn’t want to give up that asset, probably because Gauthier never asked. Hell, they gave a first for Paul Gaustad!!!

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is probably not our year!
      “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

      Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  70. LafleurGuy says:

    I think you guys are getting to the venerable Red Fisher. RF used cliche writing in decrying fans filling the seats with such a poor team instead of boycotting. Seriously? As if we would stay away….

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  71. John Q Public says:

    Is Staubitz our Doug Glatt? Hope SO.

    Brad, Brad, Brad,Brad……………………………

  72. boonie says:

    The post Kostitsyn era begins with Gauthier’s presser. It wasn’t Mel Gibson leading his charges into battle in Braveheart, but ooh baby do I feel pumped…

    Gauthier, quietly almost muttering apologetically, “I don’t know that you can call top 6s any more… Whoever plays in what role , on what line doesn’t really matter”, then adds weakly, over the tones of Kumbaya playing in his head, “joins in everybody and gets their momentum changed into a more positive direction.”

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