Postcard I from Rookie Camp

Louis Leblanc is adamant: He wants to play in Hamilton.
I’ve learned what I can learn in junior,” Leblanc said, careful to praise Montreal Junior coach Pascal Vincent while adding he’s anxious to play for Clement Jodoin’s Bulldogs.
The interviews begin in French and then Leblanc switches to English. He is fluent and articulate in both languages, as is to be expected from a Harvard man … for a while.

•  •  •

• I’ve got Brendan Gallagher in the first-goal pool.

• Scoreless after eight minutes.

• No Leblanc for the scrimmage

• Youngest guy scores! Darren Dietz cashes a rebound from close in

• Alain Berger, alone in the slot on a pass from Ian Schultz. 2-0 Whites

• Olivier Dame-Malka for the Reds

• Lovely rush by Nathan Beaulieu

• Hunter Bishop beats Robin Gusse with a wrister from the slot, 2-2 … my heart is in my mouth

• Delmas glove save on Gallagher in alone

• 2-2 after the first half

• Good sequence for Hunter Bishop, a slick back pass, a shot

• Berger again, with a smoker after picking Olivier Archambault’s pocket

• Palushaj got a good lick on Dietz

• BIG COLLISION! Jordon Southorn on Bournival in the neutral zone

•  •  •

Good medical news on Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated.

Tests back and they were good.

A great hockey writer will be ready for the season.

Youngest player in camp: Defenceman Darren Dietz, the Canadiens’ fifth-round choice, 138th overall, turned 18 in July. Man, I’ve got ties older than that.

Sniper?: Etienne Brodeur, an undrafted free agent, scored 53 goals for Lewiston in the Q last season.

Heavyweight?: Undrafted Dman Olivier Dame -Malka had 116 PiM in the Q. He’s 5’10”, 181. I’m guessing most of the fights ocurred after guys teased him about his name.

Shortest: Brendan Gallagher, 5’8″

Tallest: Jarred “Geez, He Better Turn Out Good” Tinordi, 6’6″

• Free agents (7) plus Try-outs (8) outnumber draft selections (13)

Louis Leblanc is wearing a “Don’t Check Me” blue jersey, amid the Whites and Reds

• Five of the 10 Dmen weigh less than 200 lbs.

Goaltending depth?: Two Free Agents and a Try-out

• NCAA guys aren’t here: No Danny Kristo, No Mac Bennett, No Greg Pateryn. But Dustin Walsh and Joe Stejskal are here because Dartmouth starts late.

Coaches: Clement Jodoin, Ron Wilson, Perry Pearn and Paul Lawson (skating specialist)

Some size: Swiss-born Alain Berger is 6’4″; 29 goals for Oshawa.


  1. Un Canadien errant says:

    I’m pretty sure the interview attributed to Mr. Dame-Malka is actually Louis Leblanc. He talks about his shoulder injury and focusing on his recovery, as well as the ‘trade to Shawinigan’.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  2. JIMVINNY says:

    Based on the ridiculousness of tonights comments, no one else can wait for the season to start either. Good to know.

  3. caladin says:

    Well if you want the first source it’s Confucious.

  4. punkster says:

    You know, in 2017 there will be a special HI/O 10th anniversary page on this site. Boone will populate it with links to the most erudite hockey insights, wittiest side splitting comments and memorable threads from the past.

    Tonight’s will not be among them.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Feb. 15, however, between 2 and 6:20 p.m. …that one was for the ages.

      Edit: 2:13 and 6:27 p.m.

      • HardHabits says:

        Any HIO 10th anniversary page that would be dependant on erudite hockey insights, witty side splitting comments and memorable threads from the past would be devoid of any content.

        Much like most of punkster’s comments.

        • punkster says:

          Well as for content I guess there are a few things I could brush up on to improve my contribution such as; line combinations; Star Trek references to line combinations; tanking and how it relates to line combinations; grit, size and how they relate to line combinations; bottom 6 weaknesses and how line combinations would solve that…to name a few.

          Could you help me out with these HH?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  5. caladin says:

    It’s from Buckaroo Bonzai…. Which is why I credited it to…
    Buckaroo Bonzai.
    If you haven’t seen it, do.

  6. scrowe21 says:

    Who do you think is more likely to have a spot with Montreal someday, Kristo or Avtsin? .. They both could bust or boom, just curious on what other people think between those two, if you had to pick just one.

    • Bill J says:

      Based on what, because not many people can say they’ve watched both play….

      If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

      Go Habs Go!

    • Trisomy 21 says:

      Based on hype, last years stats and what I’ve read: Kristo. I think it sounds like Avisn’s potential to bust is higher than Kristo’s, but if Kristo keeps walking home from parties shit faced, with no shoes, he’s done for.

      • ProHabs says:

        LOL funny there Trisomy.

        And Bill, just because many posters may not be NHL scouts does not mean that they can’t give a half educated opinion. I thougth it was an interesting question by S21. My half educated opinion would be Kristo but am hoping for Avtsin for his size.

        • Bill J says:

          Hey if you wanna judge just based on others opinions, that’s your business. No disrespect intended. My point remains valid. Too early to make those comparisons.

          If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

          Go Habs Go!

    • DearyLeary says:

      Kristo feels like a pretty solid bet to be an every day player (if the Canadiens manage to sign him someday).

      Avstin has a tonne of attractive qualities as far as hockey players go. He’s also only 20 years old and has the luxury of developing in the AHL for the next 2-3 years before people will start harping on whether he’ll be an NHLer or not. Watching Avstin play you see flashes of skill that embarrass the old warhorses in the A, and the hope is that he’ll be able to translate that into consistency in the NHL.

      I’d say that Avstin has a higher ceiling, if only due to his physical attributes, but he isn’t as certain to be an NHL player as Kristo (I have to go on what I hear from Kristo, because I haven’t seen him play aside from the WJHC, and I’ve seen a lot of Avstin in Hamilton).

  7. Trisomy 21 says:

    I never watch those Miss Universe shows, but holy Jesus

  8. HardHabits says:

    The idea that it’s Top 12 world is nothing more than revisionism at it’s finest. Taking a look at WGRD (What Gene Roddenberry Did) and that is yes he talked about egalitarianism in his pseudo-utopian society but at the core of the Star Trek world was a structured system. All members of the crew were part of the military as Star Fleet was a wing of the Armed Forces of the United Federation of Planets. Kind of like the Moscow Red Army team of the old USSR.

    Politics aside there is no doubt that The USS Enterprise’s top line or Top 3 were none other than McCoy-Kirk-Spock where the 2nd line was clearly Sulu-Scotty-Chekov.

    Now it’s true that Uhuru played on the 2nd line and even the 1st line given the mission but clearly there was not a top 12 going on. I’d say that it was a top 6 with an interchangeable 7th that could play on either of the top 2 lines.

    Who can forget when nurse Chapel was called up for duty on the top line in the episode “Return to Tomorrow” where Spock’s consciousness was held in Nurse Chapel’s consciousness for a brief yet important period of time.

    The beauty of GR’s system was that he could call up bottom six players for top line duty as the needs presented themselves but there was clearly a top 6 and a bottom 6 happening in Star Trek.

  9. Bill J says:

    Jonathan Toews Chara’s a little kid.

    If you want a days count till Habs hockey, I recommend this as your home page:

    Go Habs Go!

  10. JD_ says:

    I don’t care for this Top 6 / Bottom 6 dichotomy.

    It evokes a class structure and harks back to the kind of ugly dynamic that led to the fall of the French monarchy in 1789.

    An enlightened society fosters the kind of environment that promotes the notion of the Top 12. Put more nerdly, WWGRD? (What Would Gene Roddenberry Do?)

    Was Chekov bottom 6? No.

    Uhura? No, although she had killer legs.

    Yeah, Shatner and Nimoy were self-important jerks who treated everyone else with contempt, but when the cameras were rollin’, there were no secondary players.

    Ok, there were the actors who earned a day’s worth of scale just so they could get taken out soon after beamin’ down, but the point kinda remains the same.

    It’s a Top 12 world and we just live in it, baby.

    Besides, when your coach is the only coach in any pro hockey league in the world that juggles lines, you’re effectively workin’ with a Top 12.

    Remember: There is no “I” in “linemate”.

    Edit: I meant “lynemate”.

  11. Sheldon says:

    Louis Leblanc wants to play in Hamilton? And, I want to play for Manchester United!

  12. HabFab says:

    A re-release from a few days back to those that may have missed it. Some info on the Rookie Camp players on a try out.

  13. Neutral says:

    crosseyed, why bother try and explain what a weak bottom six is when you don’t understand hockey…your not alone there’s a few more out there.

  14. Un Canadien errant says:

    Nice to start off your new assignment with a bang Mr. Boone. Lots of information, highlights of the scrimmage, great job. Let us know how Ian Schultz is doing, there is a perception out here that he is not well conditioned. I want to know how my Halak investment is maturing.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  15. JohnBellyful says:

    I’ve had to put development of the gritometer on hold, you know, the device I was working on to measure a player’s compete level, to go along with all other testing they do during training camp. The wife asked for her spatula back and Billy, the kid down the street, remembered where he left his Game Boy so the project is suspended until a government grant can be obtained.
    It also didn’t help that I was stricken by a viral/bacterial/fungal/floral infection for the past seven days. I think it was an infection and not contagious but you might want to wipe your keyboard.
    While in a semi-comatose state I was seized by the next great project for the garage, which will undoubtedly solve one of the vexing problems that bedevilled the Canadiens last season: too many men on the ice penalties. The solution: a players bench equipped with ejector seats . No forward leaves the bench until JM pushes the button. Pop goes the player! This will greatly improve the team’s ability to change on the fly.

  16. HabFab says:

    A review of Pribyl in an exhibition game with the Elite League Club (he was on the Junior team last season)

  17. Pucknut says:

    Was at the scrimmage after work. Beaulieu got, what appeared to be, a lot of ice time & looked good most of the time.

    Avtsin made some sweet moves.

    Gallagher looks like he has good hockey sense & is fearless.

    Bounival & Bishop also looked good at times.

    Palushaj filled in Deitz pretty good.

    I’m no expert. Just my observations.
    Good pace

  18. Psycho29 says:

    There was a discussion earlier today whether Marc Savard should have his name engraved on the Cup….As much as I dislike the Bruins, I don’t have a problem with his name being on the Cup. The biggest joke was 9 members of the Ilitch family getting their names on the Cup in 2008…

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The irony is that a strict application of the rules would leave Savard’s name off the cup.

      Then again a stricter application of the rules would also have likely excluded Chara, Thomas, Lucic, Kejci et al.

  19. Laramy87 says:

    Saw Alain Berger play for the Generals last year in Oshawa and he stood out as the player of the game at both games i went to last year. I sure am hoping big things for this guy. Send him to Hamilton and see what he can do there

  20. slamtherimtim says:

    So JM is still on vacation or what , This will year will define him in Montreal , the Kirkless coaching staff has a big job ahead of them

  21. scrowe21 says:

    Hell yeah Berger! Now if only he can improve his skating..

  22. Neutral says:

    lets talk about the Habs. the bottom six is not half as good as the top six, they have to pick it up big time, if they do we’re gonna be a pretty good team….

  23. It’s actually hard to believe hockey is so close to being back. This summer has felt longer than the lockout.

  24. habaddict_andy says:

    Wow, hockey news! Keep ’em coming Mr. Boone!

    Go! Hockey! Go!

  25. Stejskal is actually under contract and done with school.

    “But Dustin Walsh and Joe Stejskal are here because Dartmouth starts late.”

    My website –

  26. Hobie Hansen says:

    Tinordi: “Geez, he better turn out good” is right!

    The rest of the guys sure don’t look like they could physically impose anybody…

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