Postcard from camp

Louis Leblanc at Canadiens development camp on Tuesday.
Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette

As befits a Harvard man, Louis Leblanc will devote some of his summer to thinking.

The Canadiens’ first draft choice in 2009 has completed his freshman year at great Ivy League university. Leblanc must weigh options that include:

• Returning to the Crimson for a sophomore season

• Playing in the Q, where his rights belong to Chicoutimi

• Turning pro and likely spending a season with the Hamilton Bulldogs

Scrummed at Day 1 of the Canadiens development camp, the highest-drafted player on hand would not commit himself to one course of action or another.

Leblanc, who turned 19 in January, said he would consider pros and cons before deciding what would be best for his development.

His stall neighbour – and former USHL teammate – was more definitive.

“I’m the best right winger in Camp,” Danny Kristo crowed, hastily adding “because there are six centres, five left wings and I’m the only right wing here.”


Chalk up another first-round bust.

David Fischer, the
Canadiens’ top draft choice in 2006 (20th overall, two spots ahead of of
Claude Giroux) has not been invited to camp.

The Canadiens have
until Aug. 15 to sign the University of Minnesota defenceman … or not.

team has released Dman Nicklas Torp, their sixth-round draft choice
(163rd overall) in 2007 and Jason Missiaen, a beanpole goaltender picked
in the fourth round (118) of the 2008 draft.

•  •  •

Russians aren’t coming, the Russians aren’t coming,

Canadiens PR
guy Dom Saillant says “let’s put it this way: it’s more complicated to
get them here than others.”

•  •  •


Fortier schooled Gabriel Dumont.

Also impressive: Louis Leblanc
on Michael Cichy. And Danny Cristo on Tanner House (who edges Hunter
Bishop for Best Name at Camp).

•  •  •

Worst thing about
coming to Brossard:

On the Champlain Bridge approach, the giant
TekSavvy billboard featuring the smiling face of Georges Laraque.

•  •

Guy Boucher is attending to family matters and will not be
at development camp until Thursday.

General Manager Pierre
Gauthier will be here on Friday.

•  •  •

Players are
available at 5 p.m.

Safe bet Louis Leblanc will attract the
biggest scrum.

•  •  •

Congrats to good guy Marc De Foy,
locked out Journal de Montrèal beat man, who has won the Elmer Ferguson
Award and election to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

When asked which
cap he’d wear to the HoF ceremony, De Foy said “RueFrontenac, hostie!”


  1. Exit716 says:

    So Montreal took him anyways.


  2. PeterStone says:

    yup, read that book. David Fischer … Not Draftable was the words stamped next to his name by many scouts.

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Why should we let the Pens rip us off? Markov, Top 5 or 10 NHL defencemen depending upon who you ask, Staal not a Top 20 Centre outside of his agent, close family and Pens fans, got drafted at #2 because of his brother’s name.

    Not a natural scorer nor does he have playmaker’s vision, I don’t care how good of a penalty killer he is, he doesn’t have the scoring assets of a centre to deliver what the team would require from him. Markov is needed to direct the power play, eat ice time, lead the defence and most importantly for next year, mentor P.K. Subban, the next great skating defencemen of Montreal should be instructed by the best we have now.

    We acquire Staal, we get a 2nd team PP guy whose only flirtation with 30 goals was when he played next to Evgeni Malkin and a great PK man. We lose Markov, we lose our PP and our record goes right below .500 as we all wonder what the hell went wrong when we let our best defencemen go and let it all fall on the head of P.K. Subban to be only our top blueliner. Trying to make it by with one top-ranked defencemen is why the team has such a **** record when Markov isn’t around. Not to mention Subban isn’t fully ready for the responsiblity and shouldn’t have to be.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  4. habs03 says:

    Exactly, I also think he’ll be gone by pick 27 but whatever team that drafts him is either going to be thought of as being genius or having missed another one..

  5. HardHabits says:

    When you live in Montreal you can talk. Seriously. I pass by the Bell Centre almost everyday. Talk to me about my city’s team some more and tell me what and how we should think.

  6. diehardhab says:

    If gonchar doesnt resign with the pens maybe we can pull a markov for staal?

    The torch be yours to hold it high!

  7. Mad Habber says:

    Kabanov’s attitude aren’t as bad as the seem. My understanding was he left Russia to play for Moncton (to show NHL teams he wanted to play in the NHL) then left Moncton, because he knew playing in the CHL meant not playing for the Russia WJC squad (which he got left off of anyway).

    Last I heard he was saying “Run to North America” to Russian prospects. I don’t know if he would be there at 27, I think he’ll be gone sooner, but if he is and there aren’t any more or equally skilled/less risk guys, then why wouldn’t they take him. Only so we can hear how they passed on him for Sheahan who is going to be a really good checking liner..

  8. Habsforlife 1959 says:

    Who is going to be signed in the off-season is the biggest issue with the Habs? I hope management comes forward soon and let Habs fans know what direction this team is heading for 2011. A big centre is a must that will give this team a much needed boost to the other top 5 forwards. A block buster trade could benefit the way Habs might deal in acquiring the right guy. Who will be the first to be traded? Who will be the first to be signed?

  9. slapshot777 says:

    Try reading it the right way instead for a change. He said,

    “I’m the best right winger in Camp,” Danny Kristo crowed, hastily adding “because there are six centres, five left wings and I’m the only right wing here.”

    Dany Kristo, will be okay. Right now the Habs have bigger decisions to attend to.



    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  10. habs03 says:

    To add, on just how tricky the draft is, I’ve been reading about prospect Kiril Kabanov who plays with Moncton  Wildcats, came from Russia to play juniors, great skill, size 6’3. He would be one of the top prospect but most likely will fall due to attitude problem, I doubt he will be still there at 27, but what if we were picking 15ish, would you draft him or not. If drafted he could be the next A.Kost, if not could be the next missed one. It so easy to look at things in so many years later.

  11. habs03 says:

    To everyone that calling for the firing Trimmins and so forth. Our prospect depth has only increased since his arrival, I really don’t care if he goes or not, but you can’t fire someone unless you have someone better to replace him, and for most of us fans, our knowledge of scouts isn’t that best, so I hope the people in charge hire the right people for the right jobs. And I’m so sick of people talking about 2003 and so forth. It happens to every team, we were not the only team that passed on Carter, Richards, Giroux, etc, I wouldn’t go as far as saying drafting is just lucky because it takes a lot of hard work and judge of early talent, but every team hits home runs with picks and strikes out with others, ex Flyers are actually rated the 28th team in prospect ranking, go figure with picks of Richards, Carter and Giroux. We have missed on picks and have hit home runs also, Kristo was a go to player on the U.S. Junior team. Fan favorite P.K. was a drafted 43th of the 2nd round, just in the 2nd round there were 5 D-man taken before him, thats 5 D-men in picks 31-42, I guess those scout should be fired too.

  12. ooder says:

    imo drafting players hasn’t been the biggest weakness of the organization.

    it’s been player development and the fact that MTL is a really intense place to play for a young player


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  13. ooder says:

    oohh.. haha this guy has a sense of humour


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  14. Mad Habber says:

    He is the only RW prospect there, therefore he is the best & the worst. lol…

  15. Mad Habber says:

    Ever read “Future Greats and Heart Breaks” by Gary Joyce. It’s interesting as he talks about that draft, Columbus let him sit in on there draft prep and they had him as a none draft along with alot of other teams (according to him).

    I’m not critizing the scouting staff however, they’ve missed on quite a few prospects but they could be worse. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the Canadiens are one of the teams with the most drafted prospects (second I think to Colorado) in the league. Not all of them are playing for the Habs of course.

    Development has been the big let down as far as I’m concerned..

  16. Mad Habber says:

    While I hope for the best with LeBlanc, but there is nothing like rushing the guy. How many times has that happened over the past couple of years. I’d rather he went back to college or preferable played in the Q.

  17. Slovak says:

    Well, well,

    just in time, another nice useless debate in many lost directions down here, blabla potential here potential there, ok people did that damned Halak signed already that damned manymultimillion contract that will ruin Montreal and kids of your kids and their kids and my kids /actually no my kinds no/ will be paying for his contract till the darkest bloody time of afternoon games or what?

  18. ed lopaz says:

    leblanc’s choice is between harvard and hamilton – sounds like a joke someone would tell in a bar – but I digress.

    here’s my thinking – I have a little inside info but not much.

    he’ll be signing and going to hamilton.

    forget the Q – why would he play there if the habs want him in hamilton – not an option.

    if he was going back to harvard he would have come to camp much more committed to that position.

    I’ll be the first to post it.

    Leblanc will sign his first pro contract and play in Hamilton.

    He will be called up for a few games this season.

    He will be a fixture in our lineup by 2011 season.

    There’s our #2 center – no long term deal for plekanec – he’s gone as long as gomez stays.


  19. ooder says:

    oh ok..

    i just didn’t read that anywhere.

    i am sure he will be fine.. kristo is the last propsect i am worried about


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  20. ooder says:

    why do you say that?


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  21. crabvader says:

    Are you really worried about Kristo?

    The kid is insane on the ice.

  22. crabvader says:

    Jason Missiaen and Nicholas Torp are being released…

    Not too pleased about Torp being gone…

  23. kempie says:

    Mmmmmmmm, Holmstrom.

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    Has been? Martin St. Louis has scored more than Vincent Lecavalier in the last 5 years. While I believe St. Louis isn’t what we need because of size issues but St. Louis is the opposite of a has been.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  25. nightmare_49 says:

    WOW – Panthers’ F Kamil Kreps to Karpat / Litter Box …….. Sergei Samsonov On The Way Out? / Canes Country

  26. homerbowen says:

    OK, keep Boucher in Hamilton and leave Martin St Louis in Tampa we do not need any more small has beens.

  27. pmaraw says:

    man, I would go crazy everytime I saw Higgins get a breakaway, for awhile there he seemed like the only one on the team who could do it…  and then he’d flub the shot EVERYTIME until it got to the point where I was like “oh god, higgins has another breakaway… way to kill time off the clock with it, we are losing you idiot, couldn’t you have tried at least one deke?”

  28. sh00n says:

    Really? Better ink up Halak for 35 years at 120 mill per then, seeing as he scored all our goals during the year too!

  29. G-Man says:

    More hockey knowledge from the cognescenti.

  30. zak says:

    Smurf hockey didn,t get us into the playoffs, Halak did. Do you really think Gomez is worth 8 mil…..

  31. ooder says:

    he is deffinately one of the best.. but the wings are very tight up against the cap

    like Andrew i thought he would take less to help the wings out


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  32. ooder says:

    ya i thought the same thing… which is why i think he is a little overpaid


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    Andrew, Calgary traded for him because Darryl Sutter has just gone bat**** insane over the last few months and was desperate for anyone who looked like they might put a puck in the net.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  34. mike g says:

    When Lidstrom is making 6 mill and Hamrlik is making 5.25, that is not a penny overpaid.

    You can probably take the Wings to court for robbery as a matter of fact….

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

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Perhaps he’s thinking about what he’s going to do in retirement and thought it would be cool if he could own the entire SEL.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. GrimJim says:

    Yeah, but with 6 million more, he gets steak knives…

  37. joeybarrie says:

    Is this for sure? If so, they are gonna have a problem signing Bertuzzi, Holmstrom, and 6 others with only 10 million MAX to use…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  38. B says:

    I am not sure if your expectations and claims are realistic. Outside of the handful of top prospects each draft, the rest is really a crap shoot, especially if you lack top drafting positions. Players aged 21-23 would be basically from the draft years 2005-2007. How many players from those drafts have scored 20 goals in an NHL season (and how many of those were not from high picks)? I decided to look for those 20 goal scorers:

    From the 2007 draft, only 4, Kane, Sutter, Perron and Benn (a 5th rounder). Montreal picked 3 forwards in this draft and I have not given up on Pacioretty becoming a productive NHLer yet. Fortier seems to be a wash out, but Conboy may yet see the NHL.

    From the 2006 draft, only 9 have done it (Berglund, Stewart, Little, Frolik, Mueller, Kessel, Backstrom, Toews
    and Staal). That leaves 21 teams like Montreal without one of them. I noted that Montreal only drafted 2 forwards this draft, Maxwell and White, both of whom are later picks that stand a good chance of making the NHL.

    Finally going back to the 2005 draft, only 3 players from that draft have scored more goals than Montreal drafted Latendresse (Crosby, Kopitar and Stastny). I was hoping they would take Kopitar with their lucky high lottery result, but they surprised me with Price instead. Only 5 more from this draft (Setoguchi, Ryan, Neal, Downie and Bergfors) have managed to score 20 times in an NHL season. Latendresse was of course traded, but Pouliot who came back scored 17 times last season. While that 17 is not quite 20, he is already more than a”10 goal a year scorers at most”. D’Agostini from that draft is gone, but he scored more than 10 as a rookie. S.Kostitsyn from that draft is capable of scoring more than 20 in the NHL, but if that does happen it is not likely to be for Montreal.

  39. SeriousFan09 says:

    He leads his team in ice time and is still one of the 3 best defencemen in the NHL, I’d say he’s worth the investment. I was pretty sure he was taking at least one more year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs around for 1-2 years after next season.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  40. mike g says:

    Calgary got him because that was the only recyled player they could get for that piece of garbage Jokinen.

    If that’s all you can fetch for Jokinen, it tells you alot about both players. Jokinen at least had an impact on NY’s chase towards the playoffs. Higgins, once again, did nothing to help the Flames chase 8th place.

    I have nothing against the guy, but he’s not a very good hockey player. He was supposed to be a 30 goal scorer, maybe unfair expectations IMO, but he never lived up to it with huge minutes. And, if you remember he always had 2 breakaways per game and never scored. In NY, it was supposed to be the old “change of scenery”, and help his carrer playing in his home state. Nothing, nada. Then Calgary was supposed to try help him, and he once again did nothing. As far as I can see, he’s not really suited as a 3rd line player. He’s really not durable as he often gets hurt.

    I don’t know, there’s just something big that he’s missing. Everyone wants to figure out what it is and make him into an excellent player. But nobody can find it…

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

  41. joeybarrie says:

    Keep Boucher, and get Martin St.Louis from Tampa. GREAT ARTICLE. LETS DO IT…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  42. joeybarrie says:

    How in the world can you say Habs are going the usual route of CHEAP, yet cry so many times about Gomez’ big contract???????

    Try to remember the smurf hockey got us into the Conference Finals, and are picking 3rd from last in the draft… Which I believe by the NHL Playoff standard means we are the 3rd best team…

    By the way, can you give me even one tiny peice of information that shown we are going to go cheap and small??? Where exactly did you get this forcast?  From the same place that you get most of your incorrect and misleading nonsense???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  43. andrewberkshire says:

    I really thought he would take less money in order to help the Red Wings out with the Cap since he’s made $87.965 million in his career.

  44. ooder says:

    Lidstrom signs for one year at 6 million

    down from the 7.4 he made last year.

    a little overpaid but hey, the guys a legend


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  45. andrewberkshire says:

    Who said Calgary doesn’t want him? Calgary traded for him precisely because they did want him. He was also the biggest chip in the Gomez trade since McDonagh is an unknown quantity. Earlier in the year TSN did a breakdown of players who contribute the most to their teams via intangibles that usually aren’t measured, and Chris Higgins was in the top 10. This is while he was having the worst season of his career. And fyi, it’s been two bad seasons, not three. In 07-08 Higgins was awesome.

  46. SeriousFan09 says:

    I was hoping to see Higgins turn it around this year in Montreal when last season ended and wished him well on his way to NY when the trade happened, I always liked him. Gomez’s cap hit is a stinger but the cap is going up by 2 million this year, which helps negate the effects of his contract. I don’t like his contract, but I’m satisfied with any player who does his best all year around which is what Gomez does.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  47. G-Man says:

    Repeat ad nauseum. Repeat ad nauseum. Etc.

  48. G-Man says:

    Higgins is a night life guy. Let him do it where it won’t cost the Habs hockey games, like Toronto.

  49. Hockey Socks says:

    Danny Kristo reminds me a lot of Cammalleri.

  50. pic1983 says:

    you look at higgins as the big loss in the gomez deal?

    Personally, I find the 7.3 million of cap space, and the solid defensive prospect to be the bigger loss.  Even if Mcdonagh doesnt pan out, id still like that 7.3 million back more than anything in that deal. 


    That being said, I agree that id love to have higgins back in a third line role for $2 million or less.  Unfortunately, I think we all know that some stupid team will offer him $2.5 or more. 

  51. HabsProf says:

    Here’s an article from SI’s Allan Muir, talking about head coaching prospects.  He has an interesting take on the guy we are all curious about:  Hamilton’s Guy Boucher.



    “Deserves” got nothin’ to do with it.

  52. mike g says:

    LMAO….r u serious?

    “Maybe he’s in a slump”. Listen, I’m not player development expert or anything, but a slump doesn’t last for 3 years. He’s got a very bad attitude for starters. When things don’t go his way offensively, he tries to be physical, defensive, and gets away from his game. Din’t work here or in NY, and he had a ton of chances….

    He didn’t impress in MTL, NY dumped him in the trash can, and CGY doesn’t want him….tells u alot

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

  53. pic1983 says:

    Good point, but drafting is only one part of the equation.


    If detroit drafts terribly, they certainly develop their talent well. 

  54. nunacanadien says:

    It sounds like the Habs are going to go the old route again, go cheap, buy cheap, and hope to win big.  This tells me, expect more signings of small forwards and skinny defensemen, as the Habs are still experimenting with smurf hockey.

  55. gumper says:

    I took it to mean that none of the Russian prospects will be coming to the development camp. Hope that’s what it means, because it sounded hopeful that Yemelin would be coming over this fall.

  56. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s not like the guy has any leverage for a new contract, he can play as a two-way forward and is capable of a 20 goal season and that isn’t nothing, especially in this league where every cent counts, have him back cheap and get him going again. It would also be pretty funny if we basically get back what we traded for Gomez.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  57. joeybarrie says:

    Higgins is not a bad player. He had a great season, and we expected he would do it again.  Maybe he is in a slump. He can average 40 points a season. Maybe more. As long as we don’t pay him alot, and don’t expect 2nd line numbers, I would love to have him back. 2.25 is to much. 1.25 – 1.5 might be worth it.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  58. SLONCOLD says:

    drafting is overated…. ask toronto… wait a minute…lol

  59. pic1983 says:

    Its drafting or development…theres clearly an issue somewhere there. 



  60. Y says:

    So no Yemelin?

    Mediocrity seems to be the new credo

  61. mike g says:

    I agree…

    What freaks me out the most about the draft, is how everyone pulls a stiff when they talk about Detroit. It’s like “OMG, the Wings are the best drafting team in the world. They are the best, they are the best, blah blah blah..”. It’s called luck my friends…check this out:

    -Philly’s last 12 FIRST round picks (who’ve made an impact):  Simon Gagne, Justin Williams, Joni Pitkanen, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, James VanRiemsdyk.

    -Detroi’s last 12 FIRST rounders (who’ve made an impact): Nick Kronwall.

    That’s right people, 1 first rounder in the past 12 drafts has made an impact in the NHL for the DETROIT RED WINGS. Are they really the kings of the draft? Or are the Flyers the champs, looking at the stars they’ve been able to grab. Are the Wings just lucky that they get gems in the 9th round?

    Who knows, but I’ll tell you that Philly impresses me big time when it comes to drafting in the 1st round..


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

  62. andrewberkshire says:

    If Higgins would be willing to sign for <1.5 million a year on a short contract, I would love to have him back. As a bottom 6 player he’s very good, and there’s always the chance that he rediscovers his goal scoring touch. He’s a big guy who’s fast and physical as well. If we’re not expecting top 6 production, and he’s not partying all the time, he’s exactly the kind of guy we need.

  63. SLONCOLD says:

    Jason Missiaen is 6’8… lol

  64. MikeMcLaren says:

    Unless there’s some sort of dressing room problem that we don’t know about, or a committment to fitness that wasn’t adhered to, I would be fine with Higgins coming back with lowered expectations.

    I thought he was great on the Penalty Kill.  He’s a very good third line player.

    And the Habs are his favorite team and his dad’s.  I always think that counts for something.  It helped P.K. Subban’s case with Habs fans everywhere.

    It would be like the Flyers having Desjardins, Leclair *and* Recchi, we’d have Gomez, Pyatt and Higgins.  LOL


  65. cautiousoptimist says:

    If they’re going to fire Timmins, it would be crazy to do it now, and then head into the draft with no scouts and no scouting info.  The fired scouts surely make regular reports to Timmins, so he’s the guy with the info, and the underlings were expendable — besides, how much June hockey were they going to scout before the draft, anyway?  By firing them now, the Habs save a bit of money that would have gotten them zero extra scouting info.  Smart move, if the plan is to replace them — not so smart if the plan is to replace them with camcorders.

    As for Timmins, the jury’s still out,a nd aside from a couple of disastrous years in 03 and 04, his record really hasn’t been worse than average in the last few years.  Subban was a huge steal at 43rd overall, Leblanc and Kristo look promising, Trunev was a star for Russia at the 2010 WJC,  McDonagh was packaged with Higgins for Gomez and Pyatt which is just fine in my book, and I’m not ready to write off Pacioretty or Weber.  Could we have done better?  Probably, and maybe it’s time for Timmins to move on.  But while there are certainly a handful of can’t-miss picks every year, those guys are almost always gone by the time a middle-of-the-road team like the Habs gets to choose. And when you’re picking between a bunch of guys who are all projected to be 10th to 20th overall, all of whom have the skills, there’s a real element of luck in there.

    1. – not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  66. BJ says:

    Short interview with Mac Bennett. He’s well spoken, hoping his play takes him up to the big team.

  67. mike g says:

    Wow, this site has gone crazy today…

    Some want Higgins back (barf, seriously the guy is a pathetic hockey player), some saying Pleks was not our MVP for the WHOLE season last year, and now no prospects are showing up at the camp….

    Guys, relax. It’s a long offseason, filled with “OMG, why did we draft him instead of him”, and a bunch of “WTF!, we signed no free agents on July 1!”…..


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

  68. mezzi14 says:

    The only other players on that list that will probably be solid NHL players will be: Bennett, Kristo & Leblanc if he works harder off the ice and gains muscle.

    ” They call me Drew”

  69. SeriousFan09 says:

    Leblanc, Kristo have Top-6 provided their development continues, Avtsin has size and had great scoring in junior hockey before joining the KHL and was PPG in the league under the KHL when he served time there during points in the season. Joonas Nattinen might make the leap to Top 6 as well, Steve Qualier will take longer after blowing his ACL and missing his Sophmore season in NCAA hockey but he might have the upside. Engqvist might be the gate-crashing forward the Canadiens need as well. Got some prospects, Mac Bennett could have a good future as well.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  70. aemarchand11 says:

    PK Subban was 15th last season I think. It’s all about how they improve in that season. Emelin could be a top pairing defenceman if he came to North America. But thats the key, will he ever come.

    -Halak it alot because the Price is right-

  71. habs001 says:

    hopefully the future prospects will develop..biggest failure has been that we do not have one forward prospect we drafted who is between 21-23 and is able to score 20 goals in the nhl…in this age group our prospects are 10 goal a year scorers at most

  72. LeNordique says:

    Maybe some here is better informed than I am but beyond Subban I don’t see anyone with the potential to be a top-6 forward or top-2 defenseman.

  73. lavie says:

    Top Prospects

       1. P.K. Subban, D
       2. Danny Kristo, RW
       3. Louis Leblanc, C
       4. Yannick Weber, D
       5. Aaron Palushaj, RW
       6. Ben Maxwell, C
       7. Joonas Nattinen, C
       8. Ryan White, C
       9. Mathieu Carle, D
      10. David Fischer, D
      11. Andreas Engqvist, C
      12. Cedrick Desjardins, G
      13. Mac Bennett, D
      14. Steve Quailer, RW
      15. Tom Pyatt, C
      16. Gabriel Dumont, C
      17. Alexander Avtsin, RW
      18. David Desharnais, C
      19. Maxim Trunev, RW
      20. Alexei Yemelin, D

  74. mezzi14 says:

    So they are really considering re looking at their prospects. Looks like changes are coming


    ” They call me Drew”

  75. SeriousFan09 says:

    Is David Fischer V Claude Giroux the new AK46 versus Jeff Carter et al?


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  76. mezzi14 says:

    I guess so haha. But Fisher always was a bust to begin with. But does this mean Timmons is on the outts to I certainly hope so. Here are probably some our steals by him: Danny Kristo, Mac Bennett, P.K Subban, Alex Aviston. Louis Leblanc is a maybe but not a sure home run. But Kristo & Bennett look to be sure picks.

    ” They call me Drew”

  77. Exit716 says:

    When does Timmins get the boot as well?


  78. mezzi14 says:

    Soon hopefully. When he does lets send out our cvs for the job.

    ” They call me Drew”

  79. SeriousFan09 says:

    Timmins has definitely improved his scouting record over the last 3 years, but that doesn’t make up for 2003-2006 I’d say. I’m calling his dismissal 50/50 and if so, the new guy will come in and have a certain influence on who the new scouts will be.

    I don’t think Fischer was a bust to begin with, Central Scouting had him in the top 30 NA skaters that year but some guys just don’t properly transition from one competition leval to the next, lot of Top 10 picks in the last decade are testament to that.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  80. mezzi14 says:

    Very true. But when they said they relseased Torp that means he is no longer one of our prospects right? I said before our best bet prospects are Kristo & Bennett and maybe Leblanc if he bulks up and continues his solid play in college

    ” They call me Drew”

  81. SeriousFan09 says:

    That would be correct, team’s acknowledging they are not interested in him and are releasing his NHL playing rights.

    Bennett I suspect will require at least 1 year of NCAA hockey, Kristo and Leblanc are possibilities for pro contracts and transition to the AHL for this year, but I’m guessing at least one of them is turning in 1 more college hockey season first.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  82. mezzi14 says:

    I would say Leblanc will committ to one more year to get bigger and finish his degree. Kristo on the other hand will go to the ahl he has a great wrist shot from the point The Hockey News says. Bennett I say will do 2 years of college hockey because he has potential to be a great puck moving dman and could compliment P.K in the future if he develops well. After reading THN’s draft preview, I think we should draft either dman Dylan Mcilrath a rugged offensive dman in the whl & another big center in the ohl named John Mcfarlan. Other considerations are Beau Bennett and sadly Russian Krill Kabanov.


    ” They call me Drew”

  83. mbplekfan says:

    Drafting is always a gamble. Our problem has been drafting based on their current abilities and not on their projected skills.

    A small speedy sniper will not turn into a grinding winger or a shutdown center. The big guys have more potential roles and we need to draft and develop more of those.

    We have always been trying to draft home runs instead of everyday players needed to fill out the roster. As a result we have few role players working their way up.

  84. G-Man says:

    “A small speedy sniper will not turn into a grinding winger or a shutdown

    Guy Carbonneau.

  85. W35T5ID3 says:

    Hindsight is 20/20….I hate it when people say crap about who got picked slightly after a habs bust.Its soooo friggin  EZ to do that shhhiiiiiiit.It is what it is.

  86. Exit716 says:

    Exactly. Why worry about Claude Giroux or Richards/Carter/Getzlaff when there is the immortal Andrei “Dumber than a bag of hammers” Kostitsyn and some guy who peaked as a grade 12 high school player in 2006. The team can always fill those holes with stars like Metropolit and Marc Andre Bergeron.


  87. ArmyFan says:

    Yes, except that it’s happened almost every year for the past 30 years.  There is a systemic issue with the scouting process in the Canadiens’ organization.  These guys get paid pretty good money to do this, and have consistently failed in the task.

    Check out this web page if you want to get depressed about our draft picks:

    Firing six guys is a good start.

  88. longtimehabsfan says:

    Waiting for David Fischer.  I guess the Habs were thinking Zdeno Chara when they drafted him yet didn’t even get Ron Hainsey.

  89. LeNordique says:

    So I guess that’s the end of the Minnesota experiment donchaknow.

    Cmon…someone was going to say it.

  90. aemarchand11 says:

    He’s 22 why would they invite him to a development camp…? The only players here have been drafted in the past 2 seasons maybe in 2007?

    -Halak it alot because the Price is right-

  91. PeterD says:

    Given all the dialogue about failed draft picks in the past that never panned out given their high pick status or those that we somehow missed and others were fortunate to select…then really there can be no second guessing why the wholesale dumping of our scouting department.

    Pretty obviously it is long past time for a change so that future draft picks have a better chance of making a positive impact on our team.

  92. G-Man says:

    This is a move because the technology is there to scout with video. Why pay people when you don’t need them any more?

  93. showey47 says:

    Funny since even the central scouting bureau had fischer rated as a last 1st rounder and giroux as a mid 2nd rounder. They also had AK ranked in the top 10,15 spots ahead of getzlaf. Even the central scouting bureau who are paid to scout the best young talent in the world made the same mistakes we did. But,somehow i bet u knew better.

  94. B says:

    Don’t you remember all the outrage from fans and Gazette reporters when Fischer was drafted? All of the cries at the time that they should have taken Giroux instead? No? Neither do I.

  95. pic1983 says:

    good to know that we were paying our scouts to follow the central scouting list…


    Honestly, Montreal is a tough environment to play in, we should be drafting more on character and less on skill.  These kids cant seem to deal with the pressure.

  96. showey47 says:

    You do know that the central scouting list is made by the best youth hockey talent scouting group in the world,don’t you? Would you have drafted a 5’10” 160 lb center with your #20 pick who was ranked about 40th on that list instead of a 6’4″ defenceman who was ranked to go late in the 1st round and the best highschool player from that state that produces more hockey players then any other state in the u.s? Groulx was over looked by his own backyard being the OHL,so he had to sign in the Q in order to play major junior hockey. Personally,i wanted chris stewart but the av’s got him first. Though the central scouting list probably shouldn’t be written in stone,the people who do the work to compile it are a million times smarter then all of the hindsight idiots who post here.

  97. pic1983 says:

    Funny how the two most productive players we drafted since 2004 (inclusive) both no longer play for us: Streit and Latendresse.


  98. Bob_Sacamano says:

    If people think our drafting in the last decade was bad, have a look at the 90s. Markov, Koivu and few others aside, that was bad, very bad. Does anyone remember Terry Ryan, Eric Chouinard, Alexander Buturlin, Jason Ward, Matt Higgins, Brad Brown and David Wilkie as our top picks?

  99. Bill J says:

    Those where dark years for drafting – I agree 100% btw… Some of the younger fans disrespect Timmins & Co. far too much.

    In fact I read one poster who actually lumped the 90’s into Timmins picks and then said “Timmins has only just started to get lucky in the last few years”

    Some people are brutal!


  100. pmaraw says:

    I remember chouinard and ward… 😐 not fondly as for the others, no knowledge.

  101. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Markov Talk…I just could not resist chiming in.

    I agree that Markov for Staal is in favor of the Pens (by a long shot). If the Pens do not re-sign Gonchar, would you think Markov for Malkin would be bad (although it could cost the Habs a little more than just Markov)? This would also mean they would trade Pleks rights, or just let him walk (sorry Pleks, love ya, but…).

    Whatever happens this off-season, I will not judge the moves or players until the season is under way. They made out just fine last year and will only be better in 10/11. This is not the Habs from 07/08 to 08/09, they play with more heart and fire.

  102. mbplekfan says:

    Markov and Pleks to Pitt for Malkin is too much for one player. Pitt would get a legit #2 center and a legit #1 defenceman for a top center. I would bet they would jump at that.

    Markov on the back end alone makes them a cup favourite next year.

  103. HardHabits says:

    Plex to Pittsburgh is moot as Plex is an UFA. You can’t trade what you don’t have.

  104. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Yes they would, but we would get a big, legit #1 Center who has ALOT of skill, while still maintaining a pretty good D Core with the likes of Gill, Gorges, Subban, Hamrlik, Spacek, O’Byrne.


    Don’t underestimate how good Gonchar is, they were already a cup favorite with him the past few seasons. His PPG avg over his career is better than Markov’s.

  105. andrewberkshire says:

    Gonchar is a better offensive defenseman than Markov, but defensively he’s a wreck. Gonchar is kind of like MAB x4.

  106. sidhu says:

    Impossible.  MAB is the equivalent of infinity in poor defense.  You can’t have 4x infinity. 

  107. andrewberkshire says:

    The 4x is in offensive talent level sidhu, I should have been clearer though. How could I even accidently suggest that someone could come close to equalling MAB’s talent for defensive miscues. I humbly apologize.

  108. HardHabits says:

    MAB accomplished in one season what it took Breezer decades to do.

  109. Harditya_CareyPrice says:

    Hahahah! Comment of the day!

  110. Muckbringer says:

    where is #70 next year? i really wish he gets the call. all heart.


  111. Muckbringer says:

    does anyone know whats up with stewart? am i just blinded by grand river pride?

  112. andrewberkshire says:

    You’re definitely blinded, because he was so bad this year that Georges Laraque was making him a healthy scratch. Add to that; he was loaned to the Chicago Wolves for the playoffs, so he’s not regarded as a feasible Canadiens prospect anymore. Sorry.

  113. habs03 says:

    I’m hoping for Andrew Conboy to turn out to be our “enforcer”, huge at 6’4, best part he is he can play too not like Stewart and Laraque. I’m a big believer that your 3rd and 4th line guys should be on your PK, so I’m hoping he excels on his defensive game. Just wondering, doesn’t it bother you guys that Pleck/Gomez & Gionta are our top PK unit, I rather have those guys not waste energy on the P.K. and risk injury, I believe Gionta broken leg came on a P.K.

  114. 24moreCups says:

    Yeah I’ve also like Stewart aswell, I always hoped he’d be able to make it in the big club. But from what I’ve heard I don’t think that will ever happen but I think we got a couple “tuff guys” in Hamilton like Alex Henry(if he’s still on the team) and Eric Neilson(I think that his name and also not sure if he’s on the team don’t really follow the Dogs too much).

  115. Muckbringer says:

    damn, how sweet it would have been. 


  116. ProHabs says:

    “And fyi, it’s been two bad seasons, not three. In 07-08 Higgins was awesome”

    Please don’t ever use “Higgins” and “awesome” in the same sentence again, ever.

    The last thing the Habs need is a player who can’t hit, can’t fight and can’t score on the bottom 6 forwards. The team needs some sandpaper on the bottom 6. Pyatt is the same type of player as Higgins, we don’t need another (or the real) Higgins. Plus the guy is a boozehound who is a bad influence on the other players. Stay clear of Higgins.

  117. Muckbringer says:

    oh, like you never cheered higgins…


  118. Muckbringer says:

    at least he tried. would you trade higgins or even ryder for both ak’s at this point?

  119. ProHabs says:

    I stopped cheering and getting excited after he missed his 100th straight glorious scoring chance.

  120. ooder says:

    lol no..


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  121. pmaraw says:

    man, I would go crazy everytime I saw Higgins get a breakaway, for awhile there he seemed like the only one on the team who could do it…  and then he’d flub the shot EVERYTIME until it got to the point where I was like “oh god, higgins has another breakaway… way to kill time off the clock with it, we are losing you idiot, couldn’t you have tried at least one deke?”

  122. Muckbringer says:

    ive gotten used to sitting down when i realized it was gomer in position

  123. andrewberkshire says:

    Clearly you don’t remember much about the 07-08 season, as Higgins was 3rd on the team in scoring with 27 goals and also added 25 assists on the second line. He can hit better than 10 of our current forwards and is a great skater. I’m not saying he could replicate that season, but I’m saying that Higgins scoring 10-15 goals and 35-40 points for 1.5 million per year or less playing in the bottom six, taking pressure off our top end penalty killers, would be a great deal for this team. He’s a known quantity and there would be less pressure on him here now that he’s close to ruining his career. A one year deal would be an ideal fit for him and the Canadiens.

  124. andrewberkshire says:

    Gomez on a breakaway just makes me sad, as his head whips around rapidly looking for someone to pass to, before he passes it to the goalie’s chest.

  125. Muckbringer says:

    yeah well apparently gomer was our enforcer this year, well said!

  126. Muckbringer says:

    we have alot coming to fruition

  127. Muckbringer says:

    will he see much time next year? he is highest paid in hamilton(i think)

  128. andrewberkshire says:

    Gionta’s broken foot actually came on the PP, Cammalleri one-timer.

  129. linp says:

    Gionta was nailed in front of the opposing goal by a shot from Cammy.

  130. habs03 says:

    Thanks for the correction boys

  131. Hockey Socks says:

    So I did my research on the upcoming draft and if I were Gauthier, Timmins & Co., I’d aim to get a big, strong defenseman thats physically close to NHL-ready. As much as we might not want to think about it, losing Komisarek has left a hole on D that hasn’t been filled by anyone. If Gorges had that size, I wouldn’t be worried about it. O’Byrne, I guess, just isn’t good enough to hold down a top 6, let alone top 4 spot.

    My picks:

    Jon Merrill (ranked 21st by Central Scouting, so he would have to slip down or we’d have to trade up)

    Alexander Petrovic (ranked 29th)

    Jarred Tinordi (38th)

    Brock Beukeboom (41st)


    The last two could potentially be first round picks depending how things play out.

  132. Mikey_39 says:

    Why give up on Obyrne so early?  He’s like 6foot5 and right handed.  Also, I think he’s made some huge progress this year.   No need to look for a big physical defenceman in the draft, we already have him!

    Our biggest problem isn’t drafting players, it’s how we develop them and how much patience we have with them.  I think D’Agostini was given up on way too early.  He showed a lot of promise when we brought him up.  Then he starts slumping and we just trade him?  We need to give the young guys more time and show some patience.  Let them make mistakes on the ice.  They shouldn’t have to go on the ice and be worried that if they make a mistake or don’t score it could be their last shift.

  133. Mad Habber says:

    If it’s size and toughness, McIlrath would be the guy I want. I’ve heard he scares people. Again I have doubts he’d be around at 27…

  134. HabsProf says:

    I don’t know – I still greatly believe in OB.

    Is he going to be a stud?  No, of course not.  But I do believe the guy can be a solid player for us if he will just be allowed to develop. 

    The problem with perenially sneaking into the playoffs in the last two games of the regular season is that we are unwilling to let young players develop for fear that their mistakes will cost us a playoff spot. Drives me nuts.  Teams like Washington that are playoff locks (or Edmonton that are non-playoff locks) can at least just let the kid play.  The Habs can’t.  Result?  No development.

    I never worry when young players make mistakes – I only worry when they never learn from them.  However, when OB makes a mistake his ass gets glued to the bench for the rest of the game and he then spends the next few in the pressbox.  NOT a way to develop players.


    “Deserves” got nothin’ to do with it.

  135. ABHabsfan says:

    Erik Gudbranson of the Kingston Frontenacs is a real stud d-man, but we would need to trade Waaaaay up to get him. May be worth it in the long run however.

  136. homerbowen says:

    Are Leblanc and Kristo over 6′ ? If not why do we need more tiny players?

  137. SeriousFan09 says:

    Leblanc and Kristo each stand at 6′ and they were the best available forwards when their draft numbers were called. Both had top rookie honours in their first NCAA seasons and made the All-Rookie Teams in their divisions.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  138. saskhabfan says:

    Do you ever post anything other then saying we need to get rid of our “tiny players”? Like,are you some middle aged,short,baldheaded,fat,small peckered,checkered suit wearing loser who drives a big vehicle or expensive sports car to make up for your “short comings”. Seriously,get a new gig. Your posts are old and stale and you obviously have zero clue what your talking about since our “tiny players” were our top scoring players during the regular season and playoffs. 


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

  139. ProHabs says:

    He is the guy I hope the Habs get as well. The Bruins and Sabres have drafted some big guys the last couple of years. Mcllrath would be a good guy to balance that.

  140. Hockey Socks says:

    He’s my favourite amongst the “Big D”, but I don’t see him slipping to us. His stock has only been rising.

  141. ooder says:

    his slump lasted over a year.

    i think d’agostini was more a case of a hot streak when he got called up more then anything else

    he didn’t do anything in st louis either


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  142. Mad Habber says:

    Is there some kind of rule saying you can’t have more than one defenseman that plays a physical style of game?

  143. HardHabits says:

    Kristo is listed at 5’11”

  144. SeriousFan09 says:

    IHDB often uses draft-year data for non-NHL players, they’ve got Yemelin at his draft-year weight which is about 40 pounds lighter. Habs Prospects has his NCAA player stats which have him an inch taller and 5 pounds heavier.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  145. pmaraw says:

    he’ll grow. or we’ll hang him by his toes till he does.

  146. ABHabsfan says:

    Having watched Kristo this past year for the US in the WJHC, the guy is wicked-fast as were most of the US team. He also had an above average wrist shot, I am looking forward to the day he dons the CH.

  147. punkster says:

    Either way many people would not consider them tiny. Am I correct in that assumption my friend? 😉

    The whole “tiny, smurf, midget, tots” thing is so childish. And as stale as the “Halak vs. Price” idiocy (oops, I mean the “Price vs Halak” foolishness).

    I wonder what this year’s misdirected notion will be?


  148. HardHabits says:

    It turns out he’s grown since hockeydb updated their db and is actually now 6’0″. Kristo was wicked good at the WJC I agree.

  149. ProHabs says:

    I heard that he has been eating his Wheaties, drinking lots of milk and having his Flinestone vitamin every morning and he is growing everyday.

  150. HardHabits says:

    I like those Canadiens Jerseys. Nice and modern. Edgy too. Did you design them?

  151. ProHabs says:

    No, my wife found the picture on the internet. I like the jerseys also. As for your question with Subban, I think he is too good not to play for the Habs next year. I agree with Andrew that with Markov on the blueline also (hopefully he won’t miss to many games to start the year) that Subban can play on the second defence pairing and play 18-20 minutes a game. I am looking forward to having him and Markov on the blueline (not playing together though). It will give us another offensive threat on the second wave of defencemen.

  152. camel_larry says:

    to you guys talking about the Markov/Staal trade:

    How ’bout Markov + Hamr (<- frees up cap space) for Staal & a prospect? (not sure about their system and who is in it)


    Habs Go!

  153. SeriousFan09 says:

    Pens have a pretty weak prospect chart, which is why they keep trading at the deadline. They haven’t had much success when selecting out of Top 2 draft position, last two guys they got outside of there were Goglioski and Letang, but forward prospects? They’re paper-thin especially.

    And again, J. Staal isn’t nearly worth Andrei Markov. For reasons I’ve stated several times on this page already.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  154. madmat411 says:

    I will wait for the day Saku comes back. After watching this season, i DO see a spot for him. Obviously not as captain, and probably not first or even second line…..But he could make amazing plays, could really pass, and especially win faceoffs…. I dont care what anyones, says, I am a strong believer, that Saku WILL retires as a Montreal Canadien

  155. Mikey_39 says:

    I’m right there with ya bud.  Saku is all heart.  I mean can you imagine taking the team that went all the way to the eastern finals….and then adding a hard-working 50 point leader?  I hope it happens

  156. 24moreCups says:

    I love Saku and miss him too, he deffinitely played with all his heart and gave it everything. And I would love it if he was still a hab, but I’m pretty sure his days in Montreal are over.

    I wish him all the best.

  157. W35T5ID3 says:

    i gott that feelin too…i could see that happen…

    when i look at hime…i see montreal canadien.



  158. Xtrahabsfan says:

    I am a 6’2″-250LBS fan and I agree ….The Habs need to size up,PERIOD!

  159. andrewberkshire says:

    You’re right, the Habs totally need to upgrade in size so they can compete with big teams like Washington and Pittsburgh, and not just get blown out or swept.


  160. 24moreCups says:

    I do agree that the habs need a couple big players who can throw hits and score a couple goals, I also think that our little guys Cammi, Gio and Gomer played bigger then their size espacially Gio and Cammi who played big and with heart and were great additions to the team.

    But I’d love to have someone like Dustin Byfuglien or that type of player, or two of them. It would really help the team out a lot and give the smaller players more room to do their thing on the ice.

  161. HardHabits says:

    Okay. Question(s): Should Subban start the season next year with the Habs or should he still do some time in Hamilton and if so for how long? What would you base this on?

    My answer: I think he needs some time on the farm still as although he played amazing in the playoffs still made some major gaffs and also tried a little to hard as if to carry the team and got caught for it. He was made to look like a rookie a few times out there. I called for him to be brought up during the playoffs so obviousy I think it was a good call but unless he smokes the training camp I think he should still develop more. Habs shouldn’t rush their prospects and try and build a stable of good young players as best they can instead.


  162. andrewberkshire says:

    Subban is a rookie, so he’s allowed to make gaffs. He made no more gaffs than anyone else on the team, and far fewer than MAB or Gomez. There’s no reason for him to start the year in the minors, if anything it’ll be a major slap in the face and hurt his confidence. With Markov (not Jordan Staal) back in the lineup he’ll have less pressure on him, and likely not be playing 25-29 minutes a game.

  163. SeriousFan09 says:

    I think he’s ready for the NHL, he displayed the skill set necessary and while there will be a learning curve, he was put into a playoff situation trying to carry the performance of Markov rather than just do his best as a rookie. He made mistakes but he’ll learn and his gaffes occur far less often than MAB’s or Hamrlik’s do on given nights.

    Spacek, Gill, Gorges and Hamrlik will all give him good support and encouragement to start the season on the blue line and when Markov comes back, even less pressure off of the kid and he starts learning from the ace defencemen about playing a skating defencemen role in the NHL.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  164. W35T5ID3 says:

    Seriously?Man…seriously?Time on the farm???I think yoou need time on the farm.

  165. andrewberkshire says:

    Perhaps this is a little vindictive, but with all the crap Pronger is doing off ice, and what’s he’s been getting away with on the ice, I would absolutely love it if Chicago went up 3-0 in the series, and for the pre-game skate IN Philadelphia in game 4, the went to the ice with brooms instead of sticks. I might literally die of laughter.

  166. SeriousFan09 says:

    Toews is too much the professional to get behind that with his team, albeit it would be awesome to see.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  167. ProHabs says:

    That would be crazy. A team can’t think a series is over until it is over. Look at the Bruins and also how Mike Green looked like an idiot after moking the Habs.

  168. Rainrocket16 says:

    I am with you mate, bring on the brooms!

  169. Rainrocket16 says:

    I am with you mate, bring on the brooms!

  170. HardHabits says:

    Got Vape!!

  171. nightmare_49 says:

    56 Goals in the 1973 Finals! – Wouldn’t it be sweet for the Flyers and Blackhawks to go for this?

     by Robert L

     Chris Pronger’s other jerk moves

     by DGB

  172. W35T5ID3 says:

    We need to pry david backes outta st louis ,the guy is a really good player,still young,and is big.I really like this kids future.We should dangle a price or a halak.Them blues are prime and ripe looking for a goalie.We need backes,NOW!

  173. The Cat says:

    I agree. I think St.Louis, Washington and LA would be willing partners.

  174. ed lopaz says:

    There’s a reason why Chris Pronger teams (Anaheim, Edmonton, Philadelphia) win playoff round after playoff round (and in Anaheim’s case, the CUP), with him playing 28, 29, and even 30 minutes a night.

    You guys can bash Pronger all day and all night long – go ahead.

    There are 30 teams in the NHL who would kill to have this guy play big minutes for them.

    It is precisely his play on the “edge” – what you guys call “dirty hockey” – that helps his teams win games.

    He is a leading candidate for playoff MVP for the Flyers side.

    If the Habs had a guy who played with half of what pronger brings, we would still be playing tonight.

    You want soft, clean hockey – I’ll show you a team that can NOT win the cup.

    Its the “dirty” guys – the guys who are “getting away with it”, as it is stated here on HIO – those are your playoff MVP’s.

    Pronger is the best at what he does for years and years now – a sure fire Hall of Fame candidate.

  175. TomNickle says:

    Great post Ed.  People here tend to forget that our Hall of Fame goalie of the last generation wasn’t exactly an angel, yet he’s loved unconditionally and speaking ill of him is blasphemy.


  176. TomNickle says:

    Ok Pierre Gauthier.  The goalies and Pleks can’t wait a couple of weeks.  Time to get Danny Kristo and Louis Leblanc under contract for the next three years.

    Guy Boucher has worked wonders with P.K. Subban and these young players just had great seasons as rookies at their respective colleges.  What better way to develop their games than by getting them into the pro games, insulated by good teammates and a good coaching staff?

    The time to bring these kids up together is now.  Don’t put them back into situations where there’s potential for their games and confidence to regress.  Continue to challenge them and reap the benefits.

  177. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yes but Pronger’s teams immediately freefall after they win/lose their Cup Final as well. Guy’s a bit of a jinx in that category. Rather be building with the core we have now and I am always of the opinion that I will dislike ‘that guy’ even if he’s on the Canadiens, I don’t want Carcillo in Montreal, nor Avery, Ott or Cooke. I just don’t like those kinds of players.

    Nicklas Lidstrom has 4 Cup rings because of his play and ability that has been the cornerstone of the blueline in Detroit for years and captained the 2008 Red Wings, a team that has very little in common with the style of the Flyers to a Cup. All kinds of teams win Cups after all. Hall of Famer as well and was named the NHL Player of the Decade by one publication.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  178. ed lopaz says:

    Agrred Tom.

    The Habs also agree.

    The ball is entirely in Leblanc’s and Kristo’s camp.

    I know Leblanc’s situation well. Actually have met and like him and his parents.

    He doesn’t need the money – that’s not motivating him.

    He has a great situation in harvard and it is guaranteed to be better this year.

    He is SUCH A GREAT PLAYER – you can not imagine –

    the combination of speed, hands, grit and relentless determination, work ethic and smarts – its all there!!!!

    an honour student, his father is a great guy, very humble family, and he has been brought up with excellent values.

    He and Subban will lead the Habs on and off the ice for the Next 10-15 year.

    I can not say enough – he is that good!!

  179. SeriousFan09 says:

    We’ll get an idea of what’s going on by the end of the week I suppose as NCAA players can’t attend training camps in September. It would be quite interesting to see Kristo and Leblanc under the tutelage of Guy Boucher for the 10-11 season in Hamilton but if their game needs another year in NCAA hockey, I won’t complain because we’ve been rushing these kids along way too often of late. North Dakota has one of the best hockey programs in the entire US and has produced some great NHL players, Leblanc, Harvard isn’t the same obviously but if he’d like to take another year, why not. Although speaking as someone who can go see the Bulldogs play, I wouldn’t complain seeing them with the Dogs next season.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  180. TomNickle says:

    Well, when I applied for for post-secondary education, be it a long time ago.  Harvard cost $50,000 annually for Canadian students.  I don’t know what the cost is now, but I assume money isn’t an issue.

    The perfect storm for me is Austin Watson falling to us at the draft.  A 6’3 right winger who has a scoring touch and plays a physical game to eventually play on a line with Leblanc and Kristo has the potential to be a top 3 line in the NHL.

    Getting Yemelin over here next season would be paramount too.

    This Gainey cupboard isn’t nearly as bare as people make it out to be.

    Sure he made his share of mistakes but I don’t think anyone can’t point to a GM throughout the league who hasn’t.

    Our future looks bright in my eyes and the kids look pretty damn good.

  181. ed lopaz says:

    Yes but Pronger’s teams immediately freefall after they win/lose their Cup Final as well.

    Edmonton was not nearly the same team once Pronger left, hence the freefall.

    Anahein could really use a Pronger back on their defence as well – would have gone a long way towards getting them into the playoffs.

    Lindstrom is an amazing player – agreed – but it was ALSO the group detroit put together who played relentlessly and in your face type hockey – especially up front –

    with Draper, Martin Lapointe, Shanahan, Holmstrom, Maltby,

    and the list goes on and on……

    you think these guys got anywhere playing “clean” in the playoffs.

    Each year, Detroit would pad their lineup with guys wo played on “the edge” – and scored timely goals.

    That is what the Habs desperately need to get to the next level.(up front and d-men who play on the ‘edge”)


  182. TomNickle says:

    Calling them up to the big club next season would be rushing them.  I don’t think getting them to play at the AHL level is rushing them.  I think it’s the ideal situation.  They won’t be rushed and their coaching staff and teammates won’t have lofty expectations.  Learning how to become a professional hockey player at the young of an age would be a huge advantage for both of them moving forward.

    Two seasons in the AHL together would be absolutely perfect.  After that.  They’re both still very young but with lots of pro experience and better prepared for life in the NHL after playing against better competition.

    I think this is a no brainer for the Habs.  Maybe not for the kids.

  183. SeriousFan09 says:

    Considering he’s 14th overall with CSS, I wouldn’t wager on that. Gauthier would need to trade up in that circumstance and from what I heard before, that’s not really his style. Can’t say anything in the last probable 5 picks knocks me over though, but hopefully Montreal pulls something out of the 1st round beyond a 3rd-line F or 3rd-pair D.

    Yemelin talks have broken off from what I’ve heard and he has another year on his KHL contract anyway, factor in no proper transfer agreement between the NHL/KHL and it’s not happening in my estimation.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  184. TomNickle says:

    I meant the 2011-2012 season for Yemelin when I said next season, and I think his agent has set it up to be that way.

    As far as Watson goes.  I think it’s possible he falls to us, but not likely.  Based on what it takes to trade up in the first round, I wouldn’t be in favour of it unless you can find a bit of a sucker for a partner.  If he’s still there at twenty I would have no problem with Pierre Gauthier sending a mid round pick this year or next along with our first this year to get up there to select him.


  185. SeriousFan09 says:

    Team needs grit but that’s coming available, Ryan White should be an easy choice to lock into next year’s roster and trading for Sharp or Brouwer from Chicago would up the factor as well. Team has the opportunity to add that grit this summer with potential deals and Engqvist could be Montreal’s Holmstrom. Defence has a solid core, but a progression with Ryan O’Byrne and the development of Brendon Nash in Hamilton could be big dividends for adding impact to the blue line.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  186. SeriousFan09 says:

    Watch how the draft tables run this year I guess, it’s a pity Mike Milbury doesn’t run the Islanders anymore, probably could’ve walked off with a lottery pick by trading him Sergei Kostitsyn.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  187. SeriousFan09 says:

    No, but Pacioretty was never meant to play NHL hockey in 08-09 until the injury bug hit the team and he was called up to fill in for the team. Just worried about more rookies getting trapped on the team because of unforseen circumstances and having their development screwed up.

    I would love to see them ready to play AHL hockey for 10-11, but I also wouldn’t be terribly distraught if they took another year in college. See what happens, but my personal estimate of their not making the NHL until the 12-13 season holds intact.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  188. HardHabits says:

    That’s why I was sh*tting bricks when the rumour came out that Boston was interested in him. Could yo imagine both Proger and Chara on their back-end? Talk about twin towers of power!!!

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  191. HardHabits says:

    Not Jordan Staal? What gave you that idea?

    Markov is out for until December no? He shouldn’t be rushed either.

    Slap in the face not. Rather he gets ready for the NHL for real. Look what happened to Price. I would’ve rather seen Price in Hamilton for his 1st full Pro year and come up for the playoffs. Sned him back a bit even if they won the Cup.

    Claude Lemiuex was sent to the minors in ’87. Legend has it he smashed a car window about it, but that’s another story from another era.

  192. SeriousFan09 says:

    He played a year in the A, was named a First Team All-Star and for reasons beyond my understanding lost out on Rookie of the year honours there. We didn’t yank Subban directly out of Junior, he’s already proven he can compete at a professional level, the NHL is the next step for him. Price basically went right from junior to NHL which was a mistake, Subban has been following the path so I don’t see it being the same situation. Only issue is to follow the current NHL trend of having rookies live with a team veteran so the adjustment is easier on them.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  193. andrewberkshire says:

    Subban as a rookie had a better playoff than Markov has had in his career. Even with Markov in the lineup, Subban is the Canadiens second best defenseman. The biggest reason Montreal didn’t go further in the playoffs this season was due to fatigue from having two slay the two biggest giants in the east, a problem that occurred because of seeding. Montreal has to compete better in the regular season next year, and it would be difficult to do that with the club’s second best defenseman toiling away in the minors. And since you think Markov will be out until December next season, there’s no way in hell Subban starts the year in Hamilton if Markov is injured, so you’re still wrong.

  194. HardHabits says:

    I think he’s ready for the NHL too. It’s just that he doesn’t have to play in the NHL at the start of the season.

    The pressure might be too great on him. I’d still rather see him ease into the NHL. Especially here in Montreal. He’s got many great hockey years ahead of him. I just don’t want to see him get ahead of himself and regress with the big club. High expectations could have a negative impact is all I am saying.

    Easing him in also gives him an opportunity to not feel pressure and provides a buffer and cushion. I still feel the Habs are thin in terms of prospects so why rush the best one they have? For sure by the end of the year, even mid-season he’s full-time on the club IMO, but at the start is risky. But as TH says, the greater the risk the greater the reward. If you roll and win of course. 😉

  195. andrewberkshire says:

    I agree, when its the Habs. Every other team can make all the mistakes it wants, especially if they’re humorous.

  196. andrewberkshire says:

    Professional as Toews himself may be, Chicago happens to be one of the dirtiest teams in the NHL, if not the dirtiest. They’re also known around the league for trash talking more than anyone else, and being insanely cocky. Chelsea Dagger’s obnoxious tone completely symbolizes the Hawks. If any team were to do that, it would be the Hawks.

  197. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s still basically a pack of kids on the team and they’ve ascended to the top of the NHL in short order, it is not unsurprising really they’d pack a fair bit of arrogance, albeit I’ll take the honest arrogance of the Hawks over that ‘aw shucks’ crap the Penguins carried around when they took the Cup, pretending like they were managing a monumental upset. I wouldn’t call them that dirty either, Burish and Ladd definitely go over the limit but Rupp and Cooke in PIT seem far dirtier players to me. Also, I don’t mind Chelsea Dagger at all, but the WSH goal horn has to go though, you’d swear they only scored 1 goal a game with the overblown nature of that thing.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  198. andrewberkshire says:

    The thing with Chicago is that almost the entire team is dirty, and they all chirp all the time. Kane, Byfuglien, Burish, Brouwer, Sharp, Versteeg, Eager, Bolland, Ladd, Seabrook and others will all go for the cheap shot as soon as the refs have their back turned. And none of them ever shut up on the ice. I remember Detroit players talking about it a lot last year in the playoffs, about how they were so cocky before they’d even accomplished anything. One of the funniest moments of the playoffs was Kane chirping Franzen until Franzen got pissed, grabbed Kane’s mouth guard and chucked it down the ice.

    I agree about Washington’s goal horn, and have to add Ottawa’s. I find Ottawa’s goal horn even worse.

  199. 24moreCups says:

    The thing about Chicago is most of them are young player and they have a lot of talent their team and they have a good chance at winning the cup( and I hope they do) I don’t watch a lot of their games so I’m not too sure if they play dirty and throw dirty hits.

    I’m aware some players like to chirp and are quit good at it, but hey thats a part of the game these days.

    And I deffinietly like them more then Philly, I remember one game against Philly during this season someone from Philly injured Spacek and the Philly crowd booed him after he got up and skated off the ice.

    I think Philly is a dirty team, trying to somewhat keep idenity of the “broadstreet bullies”, I actually like Chicago they have a “swagger” to them and the talent to back it up.

    Most of them might have big ego’s but they also have talent and worok hard and atleast Toews doesn’t cry about everything like Crosby.

    On another note I just recently found out Toews have bilingual in French and English, wouldn’t mind having him as a captin on our team lol.

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Postcard from camp

Playing soccer in the sunshine behind the Sportplex 4-Glaces: Tomas Plekanec, Roman Hamrlik, Mike Komisarek.

And the parking lot is full already.

•  •  •

Lines to watch: Plekanec with the Kostitsyn brothers, Robert Lang centring Alex Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse.

Also Kyle Chipchura, who’s trying to win a job, with Gregory Stewart and Tom Kostopoulos.

An interesting defence pairing on Team A: Pavel Valentenko and Yannick Weber.

•  •  •

First prediction of the season:

Plekanec will play with the Brothers K. Sergei and Andrei are great together, and if Pleks  can figure them out – as opposed to going nuts, like he did with Boris and Natasha two years ago – the line will flat-out fly.

I think Lang will centre the two Alexes, and Latendresse will play with Koivu and Higgins.

The fourth line, most nights, will be Bégin, Lapierre and Laraque. Kostopoulos and Chipchura in the pressbox. Dandenault dealt.

The defence pairings are set, with Brisebois as an extra.

So everything is set. Let’s start the season.

•  •  •

Alex Tanguay is the first number 13 since Billy Boucher in 1921-’22.

Notable 17’s preceding Georges Laraque: Jason Ward, Benoit Brunet, John LeClair, Craig Ludwig, Rod Langway, Murray Wilson, Larry Pleau, Phil Roberto.

Some number 20s before Robert Lang: Bryan Smolinski, Mike Johnson, Richard Zednik, Valeri Bure, Craig Conroy, Sylvain Turgeon, Jyrki Lumme, Mark Hunter, Cam Connor, Pete Mahovlick, Bob Berry, Dave Balon, Phil Goyette and the immortal P.J. Stock. 

Canadiens VP of communications Donald Beauchamp was in the press room telling us about Roberval.

The game against the Sabres will be played in an arena that seats 1,000. That’s fewer fans than are here watching the scrimmage today.

Canadiens Team A will fly out of Halifax Monday night after the game against Boston. They’ll have a morning skate – unsual during exhibition season – Tuesday in Roberval.

Fearless prediction: No one will be in school in Roberval that morning.

•  •  •

Beauchamp also said the team will announce its full slate of centennial activities on Wednesday afternoon.

Still to be confirmed: a game at Olympic Stadium in December, 2009.

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