Returning Brisebois eager to work with Habs prospects

Patrice Brisebois

Patrice Brisebois, here age 22 in 1993, photographed in the Canadiens’ Forum dressing room with then-GM Serge Savard in the blush of the team’s Stanley Cup victory.
André (Toto) Gingras, courtesy Patrice Brisebois

Canadiens veteran Patrice Brisebois is thrilled to be back in the Habs family, and he can’t wait to get started working with the club’s defence prospects.

In a wide-ranging chat outside a downtown Montreal café last week, Brisebois talked about his return to the Habs, his 2009 retirement, Montreal’s legendary boo-birds, his family, future, TV work last season and his love of car-racing. The way Breezer was hired to his new post speaks volumes about the new front-office culture of the Canadiens.

Here is Dave Stubbs’s feature profile of Brisebois.

Mathieu Darche’s days with the Canadiens reach an end

• AUDIO: Three clips from Stubbs’s Thursday talk with outgoing Habs forward Mathieu Darche: One | Two | Three

Galchenyuk in the spotlight as Habs’ three-day development camp opens
Talks on new NHL CBA to begin Friday in New York

On-ice development camp schedule at Brossard’s Bell Sports Complex, all sessions open to the public:

Thursday: 4 to 6 pm
Friday: 10:30 am to 12 noon; 4:30 to 6 pm
Saturday: 10:30 am to 12 noon; 4:30 to 5:30 pm.


  1. alwayssunny says:

    I was glad when I read the Gazette article here that said Bergevin has no big FA plans. We need to stay the course and wait for our future stars. Last year we graduated Engqvist and Palushaj from our great system. This year it doesn’t look like there is anyone on the immediate horizon but you cant have a class like that every year. So now that we know exactly what the roster will look like this season, there are only a few questions to be asked:

    Can Carey Price elevate his game enough to bring himself among the middle of the pack of NHL goaltenders? Can he find the consistency that he had in Junior and that one year in the NHL? Or will he be the Price we are used to, the one who gives up a backbreaker in seemingly every close game.

    Andrei Markov has contributed 6 points to the cause in 2 seasons, and earned himself roughly 2 million dollars a point. Can he keep it up for 2 more years?

    Assuming Markov doesn’t hold up, who is most likely to fill the void on the roster. DIaz, Weber, or St. Denis? At least until our next bumper crop of defensemen is ready.

    Galchenyuk only played a handful of games and had major surgery on his knee. I never like to be pessimistic but just what if there are some lingering effects or if that knee has some lasting damage. I know the Habs would sign off on a guy who was damaged goods, but if he can’t make the call, can Gomez, DD, Pleks, Eller, and Nokelainen continue to carry this team on their shoulders?

    Which Scott Gomez will we see this year? The one that Bob Gainey fell in love with? The one who once scored over 80 points in a season, many many years ago, while playing on the best team in the NHL? Or the one who has been oppressed by his coaches in Montreal. The one who takes crap from the media, and all of the fans in the world (except for a couple on HIO who like to write that he is actually a great hockey player). Try as they may to crush his spirit, Gomez never ever sweats, he takes it all with a smile. He has this year and next to deliver the goods or I think it’s safe to say that the Habs will let him walk.

    How much will Tomas Kaberle weigh when he arrives at camp? Answer: Who cares? Get over it. The only time he bothers paying attention is when the other team is a man down and he doesnt have someone all up in his grill. Thats only a few minutes a game so he doesnt exactly have to be Mr. Universe. Just keep delivering your half a point a game Tomas and the fans on HIO will continue to applaud you and the men who acquired you.

    At the end of last season Cunneyworth went against everything this organization has stood for and not only dressed Staubitz but actually said in the media that the team needed to be tougher. This seemed to be well received by his teammates and there seemed to be a decline in incidents where opposing players would strip the manhood and dignity from Les Boys. Naturally this was met with a lot of tsk-tsking and sanctimonious finger-wagging from many of the great commenters on HIO, who have maintained for years that this sort of thing was for neanderthals and had no place in hockey. I think they felt challenged or something, and no doubt they are. Anyway, my question is with the departure of Staubitz and Moen and Blunden and Darche, do we fill a couple of those spots with some guys who will protect their teammates? Or do they keep with tradition and use the role playing spots on the roster for Weber and Palushaj. What role they play, I’m not sure. I know, before you say it, the enforcer has no spot in the NHL anymore, he is all but extinct. I hear it every year from the pious HAbs fans, but I still haven’t seen it happen. These same people speak of the need to be “Team Tough”, a bit of doggerel from the Bob Gainey Book Of Nonsense. What does it mean, “Team Tough”? Is that some kind of Zen thing? You know what a tough team is? A team with tough players.

    Can Michel “Mom” Therrien bring the same atmosphere of lucidity and calm and level headedness there was at L’antichambre, to the Canadiens bench? If things go south right from the start, how long until the howls for a new french coach begin?

    Those are a few questions that I have been pondering. I have many more and look forward to asking them ovver and over.

  2. shootdapuck says:

    Brisebois teaching defense prospects…….scary!

    What’s the curriculum: blind pass up the middle, getting beaten on the outside,the ill timed pinch and going on vac in Paris while supposedly rehabbing and injury?

    The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

    “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
    “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
    ” I have a pet peeve”

  3. HFX-HabFan says:

    Terms for Crosby deal rumoured to be 12 yrs, 104.4mil, working out to an annual cap hit of 8.7mil (same as previous contract)

  4. Chuck says:

    Can’t wait to see what the Gomez extension will be worth.

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    Does anyone know if teams are insured against player injuries?

    I would be very surprised if that was the case, especially for a $100M contract. Injuries are so frequent that the premiums would be sky high.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      There is insurance on every contract. That is why I am shocked at the term of the crosby deal

      • shootdapuck says:

        More shocking is the fact they found someone to underwrite the policy especially considering the history and term of the contract.

        Wasn’t cheap for sure!

        The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

        “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
        “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”
        ” I have a pet peeve”

        • Chuck says:

          Probably some place in the deep south that’s never heard of ice.

          Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Chris says:

      There is insurance through the NHL, but teams must work separate deals for long-term and big $$$ contracts.

      If I recall correctly, the first contract that the insurance companies refused to insure was Rick DiPietro’s on grounds that it was simply too long. I can’t remember if it was 5- or 6- year deals that they set as the maximum term, but anything past that required the team to get their own insurance policy on the contract as much higher rates.

  6. aemarchand11 says:

    The less we hear about the habs being one of the teams being IN on Justin Schultz the better. Would be a beautiful addition to the team, despite our depth you can never have enough Defenceman on the team or on the farm..

  7. HFX-HabFan says:

    Obviously the Penguins are confident enough in Crosby’s health moving forward that they didn’t even wait for the puck to drop in the fall.

    IF he’s fully healthy, I actually think it’s a great deal for Pittsburgh in terms of value.

  8. Ghosts of the Forum says:


    “Be patient, let some contracts run their course”

    Uh oh…I was hoping we were ditching that contract??

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Bingo!! A Hundred Million Smackers!

  10. krob1000 says:

    Crosby signed for 100 million

  11. knob says:

    Max Pac-DD-Cole
    Georges-Sutter (a guy can wish)

    which means NO Latendress, NO Pouilliot, and NO Kostitsyn!!

    ef this

  12. frontenac1 says:

    What about Eric Fehr? Seems like the big negative is injury history,(shoulder).Big body,likes the dirty areas. Does anyone have a handle on his commitment? If its same as LaLa or Pouliot, then forget it.Hola!

    • HFX-HabFan says:

      Any time I’ve seen him play he doesn’t strike me as overtly physical or tough. I liken him to Steve Bernier (another former first rounder, big RW, injury-plagued), who ironically up until his idiot play in Game 6 of the Cup Final wasn’t exactly known for his physical play.

  13. TomNickle says:

    Crosby re-ups in Pittsburgh per Darren Nonis.

  14. Phil C says:

    For those using an iPhone, a good option is to download the Mercury web browser App. You can the view the HIO site in the standard format instead of the mobile format. It is still hard to post, but it is WAY easier to follow the discussion when you can see the replies to each post like on a normal computer. Not sure if it’s worse for your data plan, but I’m using wifi so I’m not worried about it yet.

    • Propwash says:

      Or if you’re an Android user, Dolphin browser does a great job at loading the non mobile HIO site.

      “Access Forbidden” gettin’ ya down?
      Hold down Shift while clicking refresh.

  15. DMAN says:

    Justin Schultz would be crazy not to consider playing for Detroit. If I had a choice of being a star on any team, and Montreal wasn’t a choice , Detroit seems like the perfect place to play. They treat you like gold and you have a better chance of winning.

  16. mark-ID says:

    It has probably been posted already…but if not….I see that the Habs are not on UFA Justin Schultz’s short list.

    List includes Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, NY Rangers

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza


      how about penner??

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Probably in part due to the depth Habs have at D prospects.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • mksness says:

        he should be on everyone’s list. basically a blue chip prospect which would have 2 years of entry level max salary associated with it. Montreal would be foolish not to make a max entry level offer.

        • Malreg says:

          26 different teams were reportedly interested in him.

          Minus the Ducks, that means just 3 teams did not contact him. They can all offer the same term and dollars, so money has nothing to do with it.

    • commandant says:

      Not really that surprising. I don’t think he wanted a team where he’d be battling for ice time, and we have a ton of prospect defenceman. Easier to go to Edmonton

      Vancouver is closest to home.

      Toronto has Jake Gardiner, Rangers have Stepan and McDonagh, his friends from Wisconsin.

      Not sure I get why Ottawa though.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  17. nickster13 says:

    Please no Latendresse or Pouliot. Move forward. Latendresse is always injured now, and Pouliot is a lame duck.
    With the injuries we had last year, we need more durable players who can play 80 games.

    “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

  18. RobertAlanFord says:

    Dev camp parte deux starts today. Shame to see Darche go but I think everyone knew it was gonna happen. I wonder who management is making room for.

    weekly Habs analysis:


    is ryan white a rfas after this season? i thought he would become ufa!!


        ok, i thought it was when a rfa signed a contract, after that he becomes ufa, but i guess he need to be a minimum age as well.

        • commandant says:

          Age and years of service are the key factors.

          In order to be a Group III – UFA you must either be 27 or have 7 years in the NHL, whichever comes first.

          There are also some group 6 UFAs who get there by being stuck in the minors for too long, but typically its the group IIIs, or not qualified RFAs becoming UFAs that we talk about.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  20. Phil C says:

    Many posters seem against recycled Habs players, wanting to have a fresh start. The problem is the fresh start is really a couple of years away when all the top prospects will mature.

    For next year, the consensus view seems to be the Habs need a top six left winger to play with Pleks. IMO, among the best UFA left wingers are Kostitsyn, Latendresse, and Pouliot. You could argue they are the three best available. All have shown potential to score 30+ goals. All have size and can hit. All three are young for UFAs. Pouliot is even a pretty good fighter. They are all considered slightly damaged goods, so they will come at a discount. The biggest criticism of all three is their defensive game, consistently, and commitment, but if there is a coaching staff that can get through to these guys, it’s Therrien and Gallant. All three are a little older, so it should be better than the last time with the team.

    Given the choices for UFAs on left wing, the Habs could do worse than Kostitsyn, Latendresse, or Pouliot, as long as the term is reasonable.

  21. HabFanSince72 says:

    I would absolutely support offering a 1-yr contract to Latendresse.

    He wasn’t an underachiever here – he was just too young.

    Then he had health issues in Minnesota – possibly self-inflicted in part.

    I think a 1-yr deal is risk-free.

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

    • Bripro says:

      He’s arrogant and stubborn. There are others to chose from, without having to re-hash it with him all over again.

      • krob1000 says:

        He was arrogant and stubborn with an organization that at the time could be said to have those same traits as evidenced by the young talent that left every year …… kids these days don’t deal well with the idea of the Mighty Montreal Canadiens privilege …they can mae more money,get more ice time and qutie franklly have a better chance of winning quite often elsewhere…the old guard were from a diff’t time and didn;t seem to realize that respect flows both ways from org to player and player to org….it seems Bergevin has a fresher approach given his commitment to more support at the development level

        • nunacanadien says:

          One day in Montreal the truth will come out about the Gainey era, where the team was bought out not to win, but to make money, not to win, but to get even for a hundred years of winning cups, the habs were bought out by a bunch of angry Toronto based directors who their American puppets got even. One day Habs fans if they want to get even back, can buy out the MLSE group and do the same thing to the leafs as was done to the habs. This time we have a nice clown to make us happy while Geoff Molson keeps this sad charade going…..


      really? and lets bring back michele therian to coach our team as well!

    • HabFab says:

      Apparently negiotiating with Minny. They didn’t qualify because of the amount he was making. Will resign for about half, similar situation to Comeau in Calgary and Pouliot in Tampa.

    • shiram says:

      He’s still young, at only 25.
      I think a one yeard deal could work out, as a trial.
      They’ll have to bring a Québecois back, now that Darche is gone.

    • Greg says:

      I really don’t see it. Lats was/is slow as molasses in january. His skating was always a weakness, and that doesn’t mesh with a team based on speed. I think we already have an upgrade on Lats in Travis Moen. Doesn’t quite have the scoring that Lats has, but he’s better defensively and he can skate.

      Also… check out the GPs.
      GP G A PTS
      2009-10 Minnesota Wild NHL 55 25 12 37
      2010-11 Minnesota Wild NHL 11 3 3 6
      2011-12 Minnesota Wild NHL 16 5 4 9

      We don’t need another guy in sickbay all year.

      • Phil C says:

        I remember the lack of games played was a concern for Cole last year, but that turned out pretty well. I think you have to assess that based on his current health and fitness, not by past performance.


          latendresse sucks he cant even stand on his skates let alone go forward…

        • commandant says:

          Cole has played far more games than Latendresse. Not even comparable.

          Cole is pretty consistently above 70 games per year with only 2 exceptions. Even in his worst season (knee injury) he played 40 games.

          Latendresse has played 27 games in the last 2 years combined.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

          • Phil C says:

            Latendresse had 3 seasons in which he played 70 plus games as well. My point is you judge a players ability to play based on his current health and fitness, not on past injuries that are resolved.

    • Chris says:

      I agree. Worst case scenario, you cut him loose. But he is one of the more intriguing options at LW, where the Habs have little depth and no prospects ready for probably 2 years, if not 3.

      Latendresse did reasonably well when traded to Minnesota and then suffered the groin injury. Last season was a concussion…not much he could do about that, except perhaps not turn into the boards.

      But two big red flags: he’s played less than 30 games over the past two seasons, so any concerns I have about Kristian Huselius have to be applied to Latendresse. Secondly, Minnesota is one of the most offence-starved franchises in the NHL. Why are they giving up on Latendresse then?

      If I was signing Latendresse, the first thing I would tell him is that I want his playing weight down to 215-220 pounds, as opposed to the 230 pounds he is carrying on his 6’2″ frame. Take 15 pounds off and he becomes a quicker skater and potentially relieves some of the issues on his groin.

      When he came out of junior, people told him to bulk up and become a prototypical power forward (much like Andrei Kostitsyn, for that matter). Early in his career with the Canadiens, his fitness was not a big issue. But I think these guys that bulk up so quickly have to be careful…if they lay off the weights but continue to eat as they were, they are going to gain “bad” weight very quickly. I’ve seen it happen with a number of my friends who get into weights for six months to a year and then stop.

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    Assuming MB feels the same way about our Defence as many posters here seem to (needing at least 1 more Craig Ludwig style dman) what would be the trade value of Weber or Diaz?

    My suspicion is they get a decent draft pick back, but probably not much more. THey both have wonderful skill sets but can’t really be properly used to their strengths with the current makup of Defence.

  23. otisfxu says:

    Holy $#$#&, someone is not actually talking about Benoit Pouliot? That same Benoit Pouliot!!? And Latendresse!!!

    I’m starting to lose respect for this site.
    Been ther done that guys – remember we’re moving forward.

    Now that we have Breezer back to coach “da defense man” (scary), maybe MB goes after Stehan Richer to teach “da slapshott”.

    Or,,,,How about finding players who already can do these things well?

    • TomNickle says:

      It isn’t the site’s fault that I floated the idea of Latendresse coming back. Blame me.

      • Greg says:

        Damn you Mr. Nickle. Damn you.

      • krob1000 says:

        don;t feel bad…I said the othe day I would actually wlecome back AK, Lats, Pouliot, Bouillon or Souray…all are fine with me. Now that the organziation has been overhauled they would have clean slates…. I think Pouliot or Lats to help out Eller would be almost as goosd as AK. I would prefer in order AK/Lats athen POuliot but all would be sueful and with the cap increasing and many of the teams fourth liners and taxi suqad departing…there is a real chance Motnreal could go 4 lines deep if they took on a couple of reclamation projects like Lats/Huselius/Pouliot,tec. You could actaully have Leblanc play as a 4th line center if the team were deep enough to give him at least one talented winger offensively and White.

    • krob1000 says:

      It sure seemed like we were better when we had those guys..Kostitsyn’s, Higgins, Lats, Pouliot, etc, etc….

      I even remember watching some spring hockey when they were around…..they must not ahve been that bad

      • Greg says:

        We were better in every year since 1948 or something like that. That’s no reason to bring back brick-skates Lats. Higgins will always be next year’s 30 goal scorer in my mind, Pouliot was just annoying to watch. Flashes of skill… mostly poor backchecking and brain cramp o-zone penalties.

        That being said, and I’ll take some TomNickle-esque heat for this probably, but I really miss AK46, and think that was a horrible, horrible idea to trade him for a 2nd rounder.

        • krob1000 says:

          They were ALL good hockey palyers and ALL proved it elsewhere…many were young and stupid and when combined with an organziation that had no real plan in place ofr it’s young….we lost them all…for nothing…with the excpetion of AK…who now if returned could be viewed as us getting a 2nd rounder to take him back! …not really fair but I would welcome pretty well any Hab back not named Ribeiro.

    • shiram says:

      Moving forward… with a re-tread head coach. I would not take BenPou back, but he seems to have done a decent job, in his bottom trio job.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Latts for the 3rd line I would be ok with. He hits, he has good hands and is decent in the shootout.

      He played pretty well in Minny. Montreal rushed him and unfortunately he wasn’t mature enough when he was here. Not sure if that has changed but he could be a decent option for the 3rd line:

      As long as he doesn’t do those stupid wrap around attempts anymore

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The thing to keep in mind with Pouliot is that he probably still felt (while in Montreal) that he deserved 1st or 2nd line shifts given his draft position and talent level. The fact that he went to a very good Boston team and played 3rd line shifts and was not retained must help convince him that he currently does not display the talent/effort required of a 1st/2nd line player. Humble Pie perhaps.

      Also one has to remember that during the Pouliot experiment, the head coach was JM whom it has been revealed through the Spacek and Gill interviews didn’t communicate well with the players.

      I am not saying beat down the doors to get him, but have a chat with his agent and Benny and see where his head is at. He has size, he has talent, does he now want to get a restart in a city like Montreal is the question.

      Latendresse I fear will continue to fight injuries, but as Tom Nickle says, for the right price a 1 year gamble shouldn’t hurt this team. We are not exactly laden with talent at the 3rd line position.

      • Bripro says:

        Some individuals just can’t be taught. He’s had his chance. If I was given such a glorious opportunity, I would make the most of it. It’s true that life’s wisdom might make that perspective a little easier, but he’s blown the 3 chances he’s had, so far. Why would it be any different this year?
        I would rather they aim for someone with a history of grit and grind for a 3rd or 4th line. Someone you know will show up every game, even if his talent isn’t at the same level.


      pouliot can NOT skate.

    • kirkiswork says:

      Breezer is not back to coach the defense, he is here for player development.
      I believe we are 1 of 5 teams pursuing Larry to coach the defense.

  24. chanchilla says:

    i’ve always wanted him for the past few seasons and i doubt it will happen, but how awesome would it be if we could pry cal clutterbuck away from minnesota for our third line.

  25. mark-ID says:

    So I was thinking to myself last night….how great would this line look, if all the stars aligned.

    Pacioretty Galchenyuk Parise

    Future 2014 USA olympic team line maybe? Too bad they are all Americans……

    Ok…so let’s assume it is unrealistic that we sign Parise, and if we don’t manage to bring in any big name forwards…..I would love this to be our top 9 forwards.

    Cole Plekanec Gionta
    Pacioretty Galchenyuk Gallagher
    Bourque Eller Leblanc/Moen

    Yea, it is a long shot that both Galchenyuk and Gallagher make it, but we all saw how Gallagher played in last years pre-season.

    Again this is assuming we don’t sign any top 9 guys this off season.

    “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gallagher will need a year in Hamilton I feel, especially being a smaller player it will take time to adjust to the speed and size of the pro game. I would like to see him finish better at the Pro level, seemed to me in exhibition last year he just wasn’t burying it. In fact at the World Jr.’s he had many opportunities and wasn’t burying to many either. He has the talent, hopefully will just need experience.

      Galchenyuk one has to believe will be in Sarnia this upcoming season. Unless he does indeed surprise everyone at camp.

      We have one more difficult season to endure, but hopefully will be less painful than last year.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Gallagher had a great pre-seaon energy level wise but I didn’t see much in the old point column.

      For him to succeed on this team it has to be a lot bigger. You forgot DD in your line up. With DD, Gionta, Pleks it would be also tough to have Gallagher in my opinion. The team would be way to small up front in a conference where the teams are getting bigger…Boston, Rangers, Sens..etc

      • mark-ID says:

        ahh…I knew I was forgetting someone. Yea I guess Gallagher will just come in to replace Gionta when his contract expires.

        “I think I may have found a way for us to get Griffey and Bonds, and we really won’t have to give up much” -Costanza

  26. HabinBurlington says:

    My last post on soccer for the day (I think), if there was one rule I would like to see changed in soccer it is the use of video replay. Would like to see it used for goals (not offside), just like the NHL does with judging if the ball crossed the goalline, and would also like the officials to review post game many of the dives. If after review it is revealed the player dove when no touch occurred, that player should receive a Red Card thus rendering his team a man short the next game.

    The diving is terrible for the sport.

    • Phil C says:

      I think they could prevent a lot of diving if they had a delayed penalty like in hockey. If you fight off a foul in Soccer, the ref will not call it because he is letting you “play the advantage”. The only way to get the call is to go down. If the option of a free kick or penalty kick was still available after loss of possession, I think there would be less diving. As the rule stands, if anyone touches me in the box, I am hitting the ground as fast as possible. And probably grab my shin in pain for effect.

  27. Bripro says:

    So now I’m Tom Nickle. So don’t try arguing my points! It won’t do you any good. 😉

    Boone, can you bring those little CPU monkeys back? This site has gone a little screwy since you released them.

  28. krob1000 says:

    I didn’t realize the cap number ahd been decided? when did this happen…70.2 million is the new cap …interesting..that is a big jump

  29. what-ever says:

    whom ever we got rid of in the pass leave it be. by Christmas you’ll be complaining we brought them back not only that we may be taking a position or two from the young players at training camp. stay away from former players and rejects from other teams. we should have learned our lesson by now.

  30. Kooch7800 says:

    Good luck to Darche. I hope he picks up on another team.

  31. Bripro says:

    Why would we want to have under-achievers like Pouliot or Latenderness back? They didn’t perform the first time around.
    And re-signing them, even at low salaries, takes up a spot for a player who could potentially be more of an impact player. Wouldn’t be hard.
    I say, they’re gone, leave them gone, except maybe AK because IMO, he was scrutinized far more than most, even with his 20 + goals/season, and quantity of hits. He’s the only one I would solicit.
    Well, him and McDonough

  32. Lafleurguy says:

    When looking for “yard sales,” going to a richer neighborhood makes a lot of sense. Some of the Canucks castoffs intrigue me. And some of the highly-informed posters may be able to bring additional names of other RFAs-not-renewed by their team. Gragnani, Latendresse, Pouliot….

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  33. Chuck says:

    “The potential of the Canadiens is very nice,” he said. “The core of the team? Beautiful. Just be patient. Let some contracts run their course.”

    Geez… I wonder who Brisebois was talking about. 🙂

    Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

  34. JayK-47 says:

    You know, as much as I wanted to sometimes throw rotten vegetables at Pouliot and Latendresse when they were last here, I’d be ok if the Habs picked them up for minimum salaries. I’d be more ok with Pouliot than Gui “The Poutine” Latendresse,. With a new management staff that seems proactive and empowered, I think they’d get better off season training and supervision than they did with the last regime who seemed standoffish and introverted.

    Just my thoughts. I’ve turned some Marines around for the better, but I’ve had hopeless cases too.

  35. Habsrule1 says:

    So, the date has been commented by Ian. Who’s in for the Summit? Just curious if I need to hide or not.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Unless you show up with a Pierre McGuire for GM sign, you and I will get along just fine! 🙂

      • Bripro says:

        McGuire for D coach!!!!

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Oh boy Bri. Burly is one of the most easy going guys I know but if anything can drive him over the edge its PM. Trust me. I made that mistake once. 🙂


          • HabinBurlington says:

            Haha, yes I remember that day like it was yesterday Jim!

          • Bripro says:

            I know!!! Isn’t it great to stir up the pot, this early in the day? 😉
            Truth is though, he and I have different opinions of PM.
            Personally, I like him. Yes, he’s abrasive and opinionated, but I’m convinced it’s a show for the media and the listeners. But I’ve listened to him as a more composed individual on the afternoon TSN990 show, and he knows far more than most who claim so on this site.
            But that’s all water under the bridge now, because they’re about to sign Big Bird anyhow! All’s good Jim!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Bri come on now, PM is the Devil in Sheeps Clothing! 🙂

          • Bripro says:

            No, that’s my mother-in-law!

    • pher pher says:

      First summit for you? I would bet that most ‘agressive’ bloggers are the opposite in real life.. shy.. haha. I have yet to go to one. I’m usually away when it’s in town.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        This would be my 2nd, but I missed the last 2 I believe. We’re up to number 4, right?
        Burly, I just want what’s best for the team. I thought PM would make a decent GM, but I was never married to the idea. It’s pretty rare that I don’t get along with people.
        My only question is whether to come to town Friday night or Saturday morning.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Friday night at Hurley’s is great, but then again I am travelling from further away, so I like to be in Montreal for as much as possible since I don’t get there enough. Really like the date this year, should be nice weather again also.

          I just am kidding with you about the PM thing, I always respected your openness and dialogue on the PM debates.

          • Bripro says:

            I missed that posting. What date is it scheduled for, Gerry?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Oct. 27th I think against Anaheim.

          • Habsrule1 says:

            I love Hurley’s so I’m tempted to leave Friday afternoon from Ottawa, stay with family on Friday night, then stay at a hotel on the Saturday night. Really looking forward to it.

            Go Habs Go!!

            “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • chanchilla says:

      i think i’ll come this year, i need to start posting more i think though!

  36. fun police says:

    i’m very happy that darche isn’t coming back. we were a last place team last year. time to mix it up a little. i hope we have six or seven new faces next year. i would even like to see a shakeup of our a few of our core players.

  37. adamkennelly says:

    why are so many people talking about bringing so and so back to the team…move on..its like re-engaging with an ex-girlfriend…seems like a good idea at first- familiar, acclimated already and then you quickly remember why it didn’t work the first time….I hope the Habs add a physical D man, re-sign Staubby and/or Prust and then go with what they have the rest of the way…if injuries work in our favor and PP improves, we make the playoffs.

  38. Habsrule1 says:

    Thank you for all the replies guys. This is one of the reasons I love this site.
    I personally believe they both have some value. I’m not convinced Kaberle is as big a burden as some others do, given the points he can put up. On the 2nd wave of the PP, he may still be able to help. For that matter, Gomez may just be ok with a different coach/system. That’s why I’m leaning towards them getting the chance, but they won’t be here at Christmas if they don’t produce, IMHO.

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • commandant says:

      The problem with Gomez is its not just one bad season, but two years in a row now.

      And at Christmas, you can’t spend his money. The best free agents are going to be signed now. So you need to use his cap space now.

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • TomNickle says:

        Habs have just under $25,000,000 in cap room today with the ability to spend $32,000,000 in cap money until the season starts.

        I don’t think Gomez’s salary is that much of a burden right now.

        • commandant says:

          Give a significant portion of that money to Carey Price, PK Subban and Lars Eller and it shrinks real fast.

          Leave almost 4 million open incase Galchenyuk shows up to camp ready to make the team.

          And suddenly the price of say a Bryan Allen on Defence and a 2nd line LW become hard to fit under the cap as long as the plan is that Gomez starts the season in Montreal.

          I realize you can’t send him down til September, but Bergevin has to have the decision made by July 1st, even if he doesn’t tell us what the decision is til September.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

          • TomNickle says:

            Price will see no more than $6 million annually($26m), Subban no more than $5 million($21). Eller, Diaz, Emelin, Geoffrion and Palushaj will probably chew up another $7.5 million or less. Call it $7 million and you’re at $14 million remaining.

            If they decide to give Galchenyuk an entry level deal it’s likely that the majority of it will be covered by bonus cushion.

            And on this entire subject. If Bergevin’s going to add free agents, current roster players will have to be traded to make room.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I think we need to address the defense before we address the LW position. Allen as you suggested would be a great fit back there with one other physical D man.

            Our D has major holes.

            Worst comes to worst you can use Bourque on the second line for a little bit to see if he gets his game back. If he plays like he can (25 goal plus pace) we will be ok and Gionta never takes a shift off.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I hear you Ben, but the team is hamstrung by not knowing if they are going to get a one time amnesty buyout. Sucks that the CBA negotiations have not yet even begun. Thankfully Bettman really does care about hockey…..NOT.

        • commandant says:

          80% of CBAs in all businesses are settled in the last week before they expire. Since this one doesn’t expire until September 15th, this isnt news to anyone.

          Until the last minute, the owners and players are highly unlikely to cave on any key demands.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

        • Bripro says:

          Daren Draeger was reporting on TSN990 this morning, saying it’s been rumoured by the NHLPA that if the ownership attempts to touch any current salaries, whether they be roll-backs or amnesties, it will become a major sticking point and will be outright refused.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Fine – you’re locked out. You can sit collecting no pay for sicxmonths and then we’ll see how you feel.

            It’s all a cat and mouse game, Bripro, no different then any union contract squabble. There’s lots of room for compromise on both sides.

          • Bripro says:

            Only six months? Hey, 24, I’m self-employed. I’ve had longer droughts than that!

      • Kooch7800 says:

        He really has lost his game. It really bothers me to see him get out of the zone with speed come into the offensive zone and send a blind pass to no one.
        He is done as a hab. They really don’t need a 4th line centre with his skill set.
        I don’t feel bad for him…he has won Cups, had great seasons and made a ton of money.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      While not a popular opinion, I too believe Gomez will be given a chance at camp.

      Sports GM’s and Coaches all have ego’s, and perhaps MB and MT feel they will have what it takes to kickstart our highly paid centreman. The difference I feel with MB over PG is that if indeed Gomez does not perform, he will then insist on putting Gomez in Hamilton.

      Kaberle paired with a strong dman who can each play on their strong side can be far less a liability than many think. However, if he is asked to play 2nd pair defence we are in trouble.

      So much hinges on Markov being close to his old self and hopefully the addition through UFA or Trade of another crease clearing Dman to augment the Markov/Gorges/Kaberle/Diaz lack of physicality.

  39. Lafleurguy says:

    Two comments. I appreciated Patrice Brisebois’ contributions to the team in his playing days. Of course, there were holes in his game that all could see, not the least of whom were his coaches. Brisebois played for Michel Therrien. In the awful 71 point 2001 season, I think the leading goal scorer was Martin Rucinsky with 17 goals. Brisebois had to step up his offence and contributed 15 goals, far above his career average. He and Stephane Richer had to be the most harassed players in the time I’ve been following the team.

    Secondly, an observation that M. Bergevin’s method of filling holes in the lineup will hopefully be different from the recent past. We the fanbase may not realize how desperate we are at times when for example, there was jubilation over the waiver wire pickup of Blair Betts. I share the “emotionality” of the fanbase in the instance of Jeff Woywitka being lost via waivers, and feeling this was an impactful setback. Hopefully gone are the days when the pickup off waivers of players like Glen Metropolit, Jason Dawe (from the Isles no less), Donald Audette, and Andreas Dackell, would be seen as “fine-tuning,” and not a major move.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    • nickster13 says:

      In the fans defence, didnt he earn his nickname “breeze-by” or “break-wood” around that time? He was brutal. Though that doesnt condone people booing him directly.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

      • commandant says:

        Brisebois was a fine #3 defenceman, thrust into the role of a number 1 by an inept management group. If we had him on the second pairing, he wouldn’t have heard near the number of boos.

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  40. steve17 says:

    I have read that something the players may be asking for is an exemption of players salaries from the cap for any player over 40. If that was added as well as a one time buyout amnesty, it would work well for the Habs. They could buy out Gomez and sign Jagr for one season to play with Pleks and still try to get an upgrade at left wing for the 2nd line. It would also allow players like Leblanc, Gallagher, and Qualier to take at least one season in Hamilton to play in all situations and mature off the ice.


  41. Sal from the Hammer says:

    I think what I like most about the personnel moves made so far by MB, is the new focus/emphasis he is putting on the Quebec/French Canadian content level, that will begin to make up the Canadiens team, in the future. It’s long overdue.

    • nunacanadien says:

      It’s politics to please the Toronto based Coors part of Molson Coors…..but hey, when the Committee Rules, players like Gomez who have expensive managers who are connected with the corporate world, we will continue to get the Gomez type players signing with the habs. Sure we’ll get our quota of Quebec borne players who can be signed cheap. But you think Coors America would let the habs be the habs once again unless they are shamed into doing so?

  42. HardHabits says:

    Soccer isn’t called The Beautiful Game for nothing.

    However I am not a fan of the shoot-out to decide games. I think at the very least for semi-final and final games they should play until the golden goal is scored.


  43. TomNickle says:

    So as Latendresse suspected ten days ago, the Minnesota Wild are going to let him walk via free agency.

    If there’s a Tomas Fleischmann in this UFA class other than Peter Mueller, it’s Latendresse.

    I don’t particularly like him, but on a cheap short term deal he could be a great addition to a line with Eller and Leblanc.

    His minutes could be managed fairly well and he could provide the kind of offensive punch that allows our third line to become a major contributor offensively.

    And hey, maybe Leblanc could teach him how to deal with the pressures of being a Canadien.

  44. JohnBellyful says:

    Fugitive thoughts from a caffeinated brain …
    Alex Galchenyuk – the first (gym) rat to join, not flee, a sinking ship … Marc Bergevin was hired, in part, because he could speak both English and French. The question is, how good is he at trade talk? … Don’t peek: What are the ads on the site today? Thought so … Enough about soccer. Isn’t it about time we took stock car racing down a peg?

    • Cal says:

      You mean racing around a toilet bowl hundreds of times in a fast car?

      • JohnBellyful says:

        This afternoon: Cal’s take on bowling. Lawn and 10-pin.

        • HardHabits says:

          I am looking forward to the studied nuances Cal will propose concerning the big ball and small ball games.

          It’ll go something like this.

          Bowling is crap. Its’ like watching some fat hill billy throw an over sized marble down an alleyway in the hopes of knocking over some lined up garbage cans…

        • JayK-47 says:

          John, websites often deliver custom adverts to your eyes depending on text from your e-mails, FB likes and click throughs on other webpages. So, laugh at people who complain they have adverts catering to other than their “manly” nature on their page for some reason.

  45. neumann103 says:

    On Soccer and it’s merits as judged by fans of other sports

    I am not a big fan of soccer, but as hockey fans we ought to be sensitive to the ignorant dismissal of a sport (“I went to a fight last night and a hockey game broke out! Take my wife, please. rimshot)

    One of the key differences I have in my reaction to sports is that there some sports that I can watch at any level as long as the competition is relatively level. I can appreciate a peewee team playing hockey as long as it is against a similar level of team. I can watch boxing of guys who might be dismissed as bums by casual fans as long as it is a fair matchup. People who only see the sports as events (conditioned by television etc) may react to the lack of top level spectacle.

    Then there are sports that really only hold my attention when played at a world class level. I am not much of a tennis fan but I can watch something like Federer vs Nadal with great interest. It is not a matter of bandwagon jumping just because it is Wimbledon or French Open time, although those events absolutely do create the scenario where the sport at its best is thrust in the face of casual viewers.

    I am the same way with soccer. World Cup or Euro promises elite soccer at relatively well matched levels and it is inescapable. I will actually watch with some interest. But I am not enough of a real fan to fully appreciate the game played at all levels.

    Another aspect of this is the whole televised thing vs live experience. I think we ought to understand as hockey fans that television can change the experience, and there is a lot in hockey that viewers who have never played the game nor seen it live will miss. Conversely there are sports like NFL football which are massively improved by the spectacle technology and hype of television. I think soccer is another sport that is difficult to capture on TV, with shots either too close as to mask the real play going on away from the ball or so wide that it makes it look like scurrying ants.

    There is one aspect of “soccer as boring” thought that does stand out. Even many who have played the game feel this. Generally I find that anyone who has played organized hockey at any level has enough understanding of the game to appreciate what is going on. But like baseball, there are many many people who happily played the sport and understand soccer who would rather watch paint dry than spend time viewing it on TV. This to me is the big hurdle for the sport to overcome. And it is the biggest flag to suggest that the people who articulate the “soccer is borng” mesage may actually be onto something.

    How to make soccer more compelling? My understanding is that Cricket has made rule changes in recent years to keep test matches under 3 days and otherwise make the sport a bit more accessible. Understanding that this will never happen in soccer I offer the following humble solution for how to improve the game:

    Change that stupid #&@%! offside rule

    Any rule like that not based on objective position on the field (eg a line) but based on your opponents’ position on the field is just nuts. It is the equivalent of preventing breakaway plays being setup by allowing an opponent to put you offside simply by not backchecking. Nuts.



    You are welcome.

    “Et le but!”

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      I broke down and decided to catch a Euro 2012 match so I watched the England vs Italy game the other night. 120 minutes of nothing decided by a shootout that makes the NHL version look pretty darn good. The grass growing was more exciting. I’ll stick to the highlights of soccer goals on Sports Centre, from now on. Secondly, there may some fights in a hockey game but I’ve never seen a need to ring the stadium with police, five feet apart, all watching the fans. North American security, at least, get to watch the game.
      C’mon October and please, millionaires and billionaires, don’t forget the fans as you’re carving up the pie!

      • neumann103 says:


        To be fair I think that many would suggest that this was one of the weakest games of the whole Euro, with England attempting some form of the Tampa Bay Lighting 100% trap for the whole game strategy.

        It looked like the English side decided that they had no way to win, would not even bother to try, but to hope to go to a Nil-Nil final (I have to write it out so I don’t mentally say “zero” when I read it) and just roll the dice on penalty kicks. which actually came close to working.

        I didn’t see the whole thing and the latter stages including penalty kicks I heard on radio. Pulled over to the side of the road in Toronto’s little Italy whcih made things interesting.

        One thing I can say compared to hockey. The radio broadcasters (who appeared to be English) were terrible. I mean in the shootout it was like “Drivel drivel drivel” (crowd screams but not sure which side) “Confused hyperbolic reaction that does not actually indicate whether the ball went in!!!!!”

        The hilarious homers who do radio broadcasts for Leafs or Sabres games here are not anywhere near this useless in the basic elements of describing a game for radio.

        “Et le but!”

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Too bad that was the game you picked, two teams who don’t like to play the ball forward so much. Particularly England who have little strength in the midfield to develop the plays.

        This afternoons game will have Germany going forward, with Italy hitting back on the counter attack. If Germany scores first we will have a humdinger of a game. It Italy scores first they will sit back and frustrate the Germans.

        • Thomas Le Fan says:

          Yeah, just my luck. I appreciate the finer aspects of the game but when I watch one, there just aren’t enough of them. Too much chess and not enough backgammon. 🙂

          • Bripro says:

            Then you missed a very entertaining first 90 minutes yesterday where Portugal took it to Spain…then ran out of gas.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        sucks that you had to watch that game as a first impression of this years tournament.

    • Chris says:

      “How to make soccer more compelling?”

      A sport whose major event (the World Cup) is the single most watched event in the world probably doesn’t feel the need to be more compelling.

      As for the offside rule, it really does not obliterate breakaways. If a guy times his run properly (as long as you are onside when the ball is kicked, you are fine), then you can go.

      The reason you don’t get breakaways is that you quite simply can’t dribble a soccer ball at the same speed that another person can sprint. And if you kick it out too far in front of you so that you too can sprint at your top speed, the defender or the goaltender is waiting to sprint out to get it before you can catch up.

      • Thomas Le Fan says:

        Really, saying that it’s the most single watched event in the world doesn’t really tell us anything does it? The Royal wedding excite you too? It’s like saying, “Eat sh*t, billions of flies can’t be wrong!” 😉
        Seriously, I appreciate the finer moments of the game but there’s not enough of them. I don’t like watching chess either but it’s a great game.

        • Chris says:

          And nobody actually cares whether you or I like watching or not. My point was that the soccer authorities are quite content knowing that the product they have already generates massive revenues in nearly every corner of the world. Even here in Canada, the World Cup Final drew comparable viewer ratings (5.1 million average, 7.3 million peak) to the Stanley Cup playoffs last season when a Canadian team (Vancouver) was playing (6.1 million average) despite being played in a time zone that made the game times tricky.

          It’s not like their business model is failing, so why should they feel the need to change it?

          If the MLS wants to monkey around with its rules to try to attract more North American fans, they can knock themselves out.

          My advice to people who dislike watching soccer is the same I give to people who dislike watching hockey: Watch a game live, experience the atmosphere and get a feeling for all the things you can’t see when watching it on television. And if you still don’t like it, there are a host of sports out there for you to watch, so no sweat.

      • neumann103 says:


        Given the rest of my post I think it is pretty clear that I meant make it more compelling for people who are not already fans.

        Per your suggestion to Thomas below, in my post I already referenced the need for people to experience the game live (as with hockey) for a full appreciation. I recall my younger brother (who never played hockey as a child) coming back from his first live NHL game. He was astonished at what was happening off camera and how it affected play. It had never really occurred to me how someone with no experience playing the game or seeing it live would have fallen into a trap of trying to follow the puck.

        But the complacency of FIFA or other bodies does not mean things are perfect, The NHL doesn’t think that it needs to fix the concussion problem, or inconsistent officiating and discipline. They are profitable as is. This does not mean things are fine. I think soccer has a valid interest in conquering the American market. The current major league has demonstrated some possibility. It would make more fans for the World Cup, more jobs at higher salaries for more players, more merchandise sales for existing Euro and world teams…

        “Et le but!”

        • Chris says:

          Let’s put it this way…

          Every couple of years, we have similar discussions around hockey. Here, I am not addressing legitmate safety issues such as ways to address concussions or no-touch icing, but ways to make the game more entertaining to appeal the American sports fans that have, thus far, remained somewhat immune to the charms of hockey.

          We’ve discussed making the nets larger (why not simply add 1 foot to every dimension? scoring will undoubtedly go up!), moving to 4-on-4, changes to shot blocking, etc.

          We did remove the red line, but why stop there? Why not simply abolish offside altogether? If a team wants to sacrifice a defender to keep a “cherry-picker” up ice, why shouldn’t they?

          We’ve discussed moving to larger ice, and shrinking goaltender equipment.

          If we really wanted to go radical and increase scoring, make the result of every penalty a penalty shot, regardless of how ticky-tack the foul is. Players will learn awfully quickly to keep their hands on their sticks, thereby reducing clutch-and-grab in the neutral zone.

          Some of these things could very well happen. But in some cases, the proposed changes have been met with heavy resistance by current hockey fans. And probably with good reason…for every change you make attempting to attract a group of fans that have never shown any inclination to follow your sport, you risk alienating the fans that you already have.

          This is the risk that you face not only in sports, but in any area of life where there is an existing base of clients/fans/subscribers.

          The North American sports market probably isn’t as appealing to FIFA and the various soccer governing bodies as we North Americans like to think. While it is obviously lucrative, it is also split in a multitude of ways already. Club soccer is played through the winter in Europe, so getting North Americans who are already saturated with NFL football, NHL hockey, NBA basketball and NCAA football and basketball to add soccer to the rotation is a tough sell. There are only so many entertainment hours to be had.

          If those attempts come with the significant risk of alienating the massive base that you’re already got, I’m just not sure what the appeal might be.

          Soccer is the most watched and played sport in the world. It is one of the few global sports, appealing to the fantastically wealthy and the fantastically poor alike on every continent. 240 million people in over 200 countries are considered regular soccer players, and 3.3-3.5 billion people on Earth consider themselves fans of the sport.

          There are undoubtedly issues with the sport, such as the diving and simulation by players, match fixing scandals and a massive lack of parity in the most popular European professional leagues where only a handful of teams are legitmate contenders each year.

          But they’ve got a solid base of fans that are often extremely passionate about the sport that has only made minor changes in over 150 years. While I understand that North American fans often wish the sport featured more offence, the sport remains ricidulously healthy.

  46. HabinBurlington says:

    Big Game for Die Mannschafft this afternoon, Germany may be favoured but in Euro and World Cup History Germany has never beaten the Italian squad, 3 Losses and 4 Ties, am hoping history will not repeat itself today.

    Cal, you are welcome to head out to Burlington and watch the game with me and a bunch of my German buddies!

    Is it 11am yet, can I have a Jager?

    • TomNickle says:

      I don’t think there’s anybody stopping that German squad. They do have the player with the best name in the World after all.

    • habsfan0 says:

      No sweat,Gerry.

      Germany in a cakewalk today.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Never not against Italy, one can never take that squad lightly. The more people say that, the more I pace today nervously. Cheers Phil 🙂

    • TommyB says:

      “Die Mannschafft?” … isn’t there medication for that now?

    • toinz says:

      Good luck today Burly,

      Only a real German soccer fan would know how favorite Germany always is versus Italy and the result always ends up going the other way.

      In the end, the way Spain is playing, I think this is the de facto final.

    • Chris says:

      Stats like that are largely irrelevant, HiB. Germany hasn’t faced Italy in a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup. Only Klose, Podolski, Schweinsteiger, Mertesacker and Lahm played for the German national team back then, with most of them in small roles.

      Italy is a dangerous club because they don’t really play like the Italy of old. But then again, neither is this edition of the German national team playing a typically German style either.

      It should be a good game and I think the Germans have more talent and depth. But they definitely can’t afford to get behind on the Italians.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I recognize that the stats are just historical data, but I am doing everything I can to remain cautious and wary of the opponent. I remember many of the losses Germany has had to Italy, specifically the 1982 3-1 defeat when Paolo Rossi came from nowhere to dominate that Cup. Still pains me……

        • Chris says:

          Well, just like a fan saying shutout has absolutely no bearing on whether a goal is scored, I don’t think it much matters whether you are cautious! 🙂

          I think the Germans will be ready…if they play their own game, they have a great chance. It would be nice to see the Özil or Müller that we saw in the World Cup, though…those two guys have been playing okay, but they have the ability to step up in a big way and see Germany through to the final.

  47. aj says:

    TSN’s Darren Dreger and the 990 Morning Show yesterday commented about rumors of Jiří Hudler’s presence at an Impact game. Hudler was also spotted with an Impact Jersey. Is this true? If so, is he the guy the Habs are looking for as a 2nd line LW for Pleky and Gio?

    Who wants Jiří Hudler here?

    • TommyB says:

      So, is Dreger saying that nobody spends a weekend in Montreal unless they are potentially signing with the Habs? Maybe he should visit. And, yes, Hudler could be a useful player.

    • TomNickle says:

      If Hudler can be had for a good price and not played on a line with Gionta or Desharnais, I’d be for it. Something like….

      Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
      Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
      Hudler – Eller – Leblanc

    • twilighthours says:

      I love his hands and his game, but it’s probably not a good fit due to his size.

    • Malreg says:

      That was this morning, and Dreger did not report that.

      Starr told Dreger about Hudler being spotted at an Impact game wearing an Impact jersey. Dreger went on to comment about how Hudler might not resign in Detroit.

  48. what-ever says:

    If MB don’t have any plans of taking a player or two from training camp he should at least upgrade the team to be competitive. so far and I know it’s early he hasn’t done anything so the next couple of months should be interesting.

  49. LOL, look’s like Breezer’s wearing one of Savard’s suits in the pic. I assume he has something a little better tailored for his new tenure?


    You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

  50. TommyB says:

    Enjoyed Stubb’s profile on Brisebois. After reading this interview, I get a clear idea of the value he will bring to the team as a mentor, of sorts, to the young players coming in. The man is a competitor. He wants to succeed, rather than to just be there.

    When you look back at his career, and particularly the crap that was thrown at him by fans and media-types, you have to take your hat off to the guy. Brisebois was like the Energizer rabbit. The Timex watch. He’s seen the good, and he’s seen the bad, when it comes to a pro career in the NHL. Yet he was always able to stand back up and dust himself off. Perseverence, and pride. But maybe most of all, a love of the game itself. These are all fine qualities to have in a role model/development coach. Brisebois will have a positive effect on the kids coming up. Having a guy like that around can’t hurt.

    I have to say I am impressed with the people Bergevin has brought into the management and coaching group (Well, with the exception of, ahem, MT. But I’ll get over it.) So, looking at what he has done with the off-ice part of building a solid competitive team, I tend to think that as he gets around to dealing with the on-ice product, I will be equally satisfied. The reality being, however, that it will take a bit longer with the on-ice product.

    • punkster says:

      Nice Tommy. We had some good chuckles about Breeze for various reasons but he’s a pro and I’ll bet he gives his all in this new role.

      As for Bergy, I’m with 24 Cups (below) when he says let’s see how he does with player personnel before deifying him. The upcoming July 1 and follow up will be his biggest test to date.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  51. Habsrule1 says:

    Morning all,

    I’m curious what people actually believe the Habs are going to do with Gomez & Kaberle, so I’m asking these questions (and gave my opinion on them):
    1. What do you think the Habs will do with Gomez & Kaberle?
    I think both will be on the team come October.
    2. What would you like the Habs to do with Gomez & Kaberle
    I’d like them to try hard to trade them both. If there are no takers, I’d keep them and decide X games into the season if they should be sent to Hamilton.

    How about you guys?

    Go Habs Go!!

    “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

    • TomNickle says:

      Good Morning Paul,

      I think that the new collective bargaining agreement will feature an amnesty buyout. And I believe that Gomez will in fact be bought out.

      I believe Kaberle will be traded and despite the prevailing opinion about him on this site being unmoveable, he does have value. It’s probably limited to a mid round pick, but it is value nonetheless.

      • TommyB says:

        The impending new CBA will definitely be a factor. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.

        However, for argument’s sake, let’s say Gomez remains with the Habs, at least to start the season. Is it possible that he can regain some form, after wasting away under Jacques Martin for two years? I dunno, might be surprising, and might be worth a look. Play him for the first two months. If it’s not working out, do what you have to do. At that time you have a clear idea of what your product on the ice looks like. If it’s going south, you have plenty of time to make corrections. Kaberle? I agree. He has some value, and should be movable if you have no suitable replacement.

        • TomNickle says:

          For what it’s worth he said he loved playing for Tortorella and I feel Therrien’s a similar coach. Who knows?

          I just don’t think he’ll be back. Last season was make or break for him and while he did the things that normally get players back on track offensively like going hard to the net, shooting more and cheating in transition, it didn’t work out for him.

          It’s very hard to say how it will play out though because there may not be room in Hamilton. Perhaps a loan to a European team?

          • TommyB says:

            Good points. But call me crazy…okay, I’m crazy…but I just get the feeling that JM was such a downer influence on that whole team, that some vets, like Gomez, just said “screw you, I give up”. [checks bath salts supply]

          • TomNickle says:

            Ha. Very nice.

        • rhino514 says:

          Except he´s a centre and we are deep at centre. Do you really want Pleks to suffer playing with him again? And then you´d have two passers and only one shooter (Gionta). I don´t think it would work, even if Gomez does start playing better, he needs two snipers to cash in. If Gomez were a winger i´d say give him one more chance…

    • commandant says:

      Gomez – Hamilton

      Kaberle – third pairing defenceman, with PP time. Get him a partner who is strong defensively and he’ll be fine.

      These two are no where near comparable IMO.

      Kaberle was on pace for ~40 assists and ~45 points (prorated over a full season) in his time with montreal. Last year was the first year post lockout he wasn’t on pace for at least 45 points when you look at his full season (Carolina and Montreal). There were 11 defenceman in the NHL who got 45 points last year (on only 10 teams)… 2/3 of the teams in the NHL didn’t get this kind of offensive production from the blueline.

      Its ridiculous the flack he gets. He is in no way, shape or form the kind of albatross contract that is Scott Gomez. Just look at Dennis Wideman to see what a defensively suspect, high scoring defenceman gets paid in free agency (and its not just one guy, look at cap geek and you’ll find many, many defenceman over 4 million dollars).

      Go Habs Go!
      NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
      Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • TomNickle says:

        Dennis Wideman being defensively suspect is a total fallacy. He got that contract because of his ability to be an excellent #3 guy who can do everything well. He can step into a #1 or #2 role in spot duty and your team isn’t likely to miss a beat in the short term.

        He gets called an offensive defenseman by people who look at his point totals. They happen to forget that he consistently blocks shots, hits and does a pretty nice job of being a fly in the ointment.

        I think he’s comparable to Dan Hamhuis. Wideman brings more offense and less defense. Very comparable players.

    • piper says:

      I think thats all they can do. Probably won’t be any takers but if they get off to a good start someone may bite. The worst thing they could do is turn down an offer just because they have a good start. Unfortunately I think the Habs will be stuck with them all year playing mediocre hockey.

    • twilighthours says:


      I agree with Tom that Wideman is a much better all-around player than Kaberle.

      I disagree with Commandant that Kaberle isn’t as bad as everyone makes him out to be. A defenseman’s first job is to prevent goals – Kaberle does so many little (wrong) things on the ice that force his other 4 skating teammates to cover for him. Bad pinches, bad giveaways, being 2nd on the puck, losing battles. I don’t think his 45 points (how many were 2nd assists?) offsets his rather horrible play in every other aspect.

      I also disagree with Tom on his trade value. It’s not hard to imagine that PG or whomever tried to trade him at the deadline and couldn’t find a taker. Time will tell, of course, but I suspect they’ve already tried to deal him and will try again without much success. Frankly I’d rather give his minutes to Weber/Diaz/Tinordi/Beaulieu/Emelin/random player as I don’t think Kaberle makes us a better team.

      • commandant says:

        Wideman’s slightly better but also got 2 additional years. 1.25 more per season, and a full no movement clause

        As for Kaberle’s “poor defensive play” , yeah he’s not great… but give him a defensive defenceman who can compliment him and not Campoli who shares all his weaknessses, and you will have a stable steady pair.

        Go Habs Go!
        NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
        Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

    • Welks says:

      Gomez needs to go. Amnesty buyout would be great but a regular buyout could be absorbed as well. At least that is what I got from playing with the capgeek calculator.

      I think if Kaberle gets a strong defensive partner in Free Agency that he can eat up some third pair minutes and work the second wave of the PP. You can’t have him out there with a Campoli type and expect him to be effective.

  52. commandant says:

    My top 10 UFA forwards in the NHL this year

    Go Habs Go!
    NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
    Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

  53. what-ever says:

    Around December will tell how well Bergervin upgraded the club.

  54. boonie says:

    I read rumors this weekend that Mr. Boone was leaving HIO. I’ve haven’t seen an announcement but noticed that Messrs. Stubbs and Hackel seem more involved than before. Is Mike on a gardener’s leave or was an E5 rumor finally (sadly) right?

    Please advise – I may have to change my handle.

  55. PrimeTime says:

    Some people find soccer boring to watch. Others see the skill level and the intangibles of how the game is played. The excitement level of a good match is in the eyes of the beholder. I don’t understand Cricket or why a game takes so long to end, but why would I knock the fans who do enjoy the sport? I wonder if Rugby fans ignorant of North American Football make light of players wearing so much damn equipment, play only on one side of the ball (offense /defense), and why each play only lasts a few seconds. Are they lesser athletes than Rugby players? Perhaps hockey fans ignorant of how soccer is to be played should keep their opinions of the sport to themselves.

    • habsfan0 says:

      I think the problem with soccer is that, while the skill level required to excel at the sport is indisputable, the fact remains that a great many matches are extremely low scoring(if in fact ANY goals are scored) and a disproportionate number of these games are ultimately decided by penalty kicks, which negates the finesse and skill that rabid fans attribute to it. That so many important contests are won in this manner, where the penalty kicker could be blindfolded and still have a good chance of scoring from that distance, is a turnoff for many potential fans.

      • twilighthours says:

        I love watching and learning about soccer. My only frustrations are

        1) the offside rule. I’m fine with it until the players enter the box. Then, there should be no rule – there’s so little space to make a play at the point, I think anything that takes away from offensive creativity isn’t good.

        2) those guys need to shoot more! Too many crosses and attempts at a setup. Just blast the ball, already. Make the goalie make a save.

  56. habfanacrossthed says:

    Unless we can dump Kaberle, we don’t take on Yandle. I’d like the Doan 2 yr 9.75 mill deal. Him on a wing with Pleks and Gionta would be good! Second coming of Erik Cole. Playing with family in Carey Price could be good for him too. With regards to Kovy, NJ better take what we offer, low ball them. Gally centering Kovy and Patches! Give up RB, YW, Gomez, and a 2nd rd pick for Kovy and a 1st rd pick NJ! Thoughts?

    GHOD – Go Habs Or Die

  57. PrimeTime says:

    Why would anyone compare soccer to hockey? Other than 2 nets with goalies, how is there any similarity or reason to make a comparison? If you understood both sports equally, you wouldn’t do so. What’s your point anyway??? That millions upon millions of soccer fans are inferior to you because you prefer hockey? Maybe there are ignorant soccer fans who question why hockey isn’t more like their favorite sport. Each to their own opinion I guess.

    • Cal says:

      All the hoopla over World Cup and Euro and all you get is a snoozefest.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I think that the people who make the hoopla find it exciting.

        Comparitively, there is an awful lot of hoopla around the Super Bowl, and I find it incredibly tedious, long, and generally uninteresting.

        I would never compare football to hockey, or to soccer, or to cricket.

        Different sports appeal to different types of people for different reasons. Soccer is like chess- manouevering and finding opportunities to strike. Its opposite is basketball, where there is scoring every 10 seconds or so. Does that make basketball more ‘interesting’ or ‘entertaining’?

        I’m not so certain.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

  58. piper says:

    I’d love to see a fourth line of Prust-White-Staubitz. A perfect energy line.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      They’d leak goals.

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

      • piper says:

        I think with their forecheck they be in the other teams end more than not.

      • piper says:

        anybody can be taught to play defensively as long as they can skate and all these guys can skate well enough.

      • neumann103 says:

        Seriously? I mean i understand that HIO seems to run hot and cold on Ryan White (he is either the sparkplug of the Habs or a fringe 4th liner who can’t play center), tends to massively underrate Staubitz’s actual hockey ability (sure he has no hands but for a “grit” player he is an above average NHL skater), but adding PRust to a line like that makes it a defensive liability?

        Prust is a key penalty killer with a pretty good team. I generally think that you don’t score 5 shorthanded goals in an NHL season unless you have the defensive ability to have been out on the penalty kill for an awful lot of time.

        If i were building a prototype 4th line I would have Prust on it. His problem is not defensive weakness, it is he is generally too good to be ona 4th line.

        “Et le but!”

      • neumann103 says:

        double posted. I pressed the submit comment button but noting happened. Or maybe I was not logged in as myself

        “Et le but!”

  59. Cal says:

    Why NHL hockey is superior to soccer:
    1. Playoff wins are not determined by penalty kicks from 12 yards away at a net as large as a warehouse.
    2. With all the talent on the pitch yesterday, you’d have to figure that someone out of the 22 players on the field could put one in on a net that King Kong could fit inside.
    3. When hockey players fake injury, they are believable. Notable exceptions: Mike Ribiero and Rat Marchand.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think people underestimate how fast soccer goalies are.

      I too love playoff hockey more but go and watch soccer at a bar with a partisan crowd and it’ll be a lot better than sitting at home. Little Italy will be nuts today.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • nickster13 says:

        I think you meant little Italy will be crushed today 😉

        Also, the gap between an elite goalie and a so-so goalie is much bigger than people think, as you stated. Those elite goalies have literally cat-like reflexes.

        “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

        • Captain aHab says:

          Well they will be crushed but it’ll be nuts for a few minutes anyway. Just curious, where would the German fans assemble in MTL?

          Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

          • nickster13 says:

            Good question! I think there are not enough Germans, and I know Germans by nature aren’t as “united” as Italians. Rarely one hears about Germantown, versus a little Italy. Germans will appear out of the woodwork and hit the streets downtown I bet.

            “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

          • Chris says:

            nickster13: Living close to Kitchener, I won’t have any problem finding some German fans celebrating tonight should they win. 🙂

          • HardHabits says:

            Montreal never had a wave of German immigrants like they had waves of Italian ones.

          • nickster13 says:

            Chris, you mean the town of Berlin, Ontario ? 😉

            “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

          • commandant says:

            Italian response to the German threat


            Go Habs Go!
            NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
            Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

    • nickster13 says:

      Soccer may not appealing to a guy who is used to crash and bang, tough guys, speed and constant excitement. But to someone who appreciates a game that has hardly changed in its existence, the skill involved and the brains it takes to play the game, Soccer can be very appealing. I happen to LOVE both games and have played both every year for the past 15 years. So I don’t see why you need to put down soccer.

      “I don’t wanna see Maurice tonight, I want the rocket!”

      • Cal says:

        2 hours and no goals? That’s as exciting as golf to watch. No wonder the crowds sing; nothing is happening on the field.

        -Edit- Today’s match will be played for 2 hours, as well and no one will score. The only entertainment will be how hard the players fall.

        • Captain aHab says:

          The thing with soccer is that you have to appreciate and spend time looking at the set up to the play that may or may not yield a goal. Some of these set plays are actually pretty amazing.

          The one thing I will agree with however is that I far prefer a game where one team takes the lead. I think you get more chances that way to see offensive pressure. There was a game in the early rounds that I watched (can’t remember the teams now) where the action was literally end to end and there were lots of opportunities to score. Even without seeing too many goals, it was still awesome play.

          Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Chris says:

          The only thing worth watching in a hockey game is goals? Really?

          This has long been the American criticism of hockey, by the way, and it is as equally inane when applied to hockey as it is to soccer.

          Sports like basketball are pretty much nothing but scoring (although you can still marvel at a brilliant pass by a Nash/Stockton/Malone or the unrivalled athleticism of a freak of nature like Lebron James).

          Soccer is at the other end of the spectrum…little scoring, meaning that every chance has you on the edge of your seat because you know it could be the difference maker.

          When trying to explain to friends from cultures with no history for hockey what the best part of hockey is, I always point to overtime. Overtime games are often very conservative for the most part, and the longer they go the more conservative they become.

          But if your team is playing, you are on the edge of your seat for every second because ONE carom or bounce or deflection could end the game. When you don’t care about the teams, that doesn’t get you to the same degree. Soccer is obviously not quite as thrilling as that, because in most cases you still have a chance to come back, but it isn’t far off.

        • STFU

          I love watching golf on TV.


          You don’t have permission to access /wp-content/cache/supercache/ on this server.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      1,2. Given the dimensions of the soccer net, the argument against shootouts is even more pronounced. Soccer, hockey — they’re team sports. The only way a shootout could even come close to embodying the team concept is for EVERY player to have a shot at scoring.
      3. I haven’t watched much of the championship but whenever I have, no more than five minutes goes by after I start watching before a player falls down as if hit by a truck. Disgusting, particularly after replays show how glancing the blow was. Soccer players have to be the most fragile athletes on the planet — or the most shameless.
      Edit: SOME soccer players …

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      If I had come to hockey this year I would probably not get it.

      The game has become coarse and stupid. The need to eliminate talent so that poor teams can compete, and the desire to sell violence to American NFL fans, has turned NHL hockey into football minus the forward pass, or gay porn with clothes. Just big young guys pushing into each other. The most physical team can barge the puck into the net more often than their opponent.

      It’s telling that no one here thinks the Habs need more skill. Everyone wants us to sign some big lugs and you are probably correct. But who pays to watch the 6th best d-man clear the crease?

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

      • Chris says:

        It is important to note that the violence thing is actually distinctly Canadian. Professional sports developed and dominated by the Americans (basktetball, baseball) do not allow violence in any form. Football allows violence to a certain degree, but throw one punch and you are out of the game.

      • habs-fan-84 says:

        Don’t kid yourself. Hockey has ALWAYS been violent.

    • Chris says:

      I still don’t understand why so many feel the need to opine why one sport is better than another.

      For over a billion people, soccer is awfully compelling. Most of those people grew up playing the sport and understand that putting a shot on the net while running at full speed with 2 or more defenders trying to block your shot (and they are truly exceptional at doing so) and still managing to shoot with control is an unbelievably difficult task.

      Miss on your point of contact by a centimetre or two to either side and the ball is sailing wide, and if you lift your head even a smidge to look at the goalie your shot is going high. It IS that difficult.

      As for penalty kicks, the issue becomes how much more can you ask the players to do in heat. Soccer degrades with time because you only get three substitutions. An average midfielder in the English Premier League ran about 11.5 km during a 90 minute game. They do this in fits and starts: sprinting sometimes, jogging others. So unlike long-distance runners, they don’t have the benefit of finding a rhythm and just pounding out the distance. When you factor in that some of that running is with a ball at their feet, which they are trying to control while being harassed by defenders, it is all the more impressive. And they are often doing it in heat…many of the qualifying round games in Poland and Ukraine this year were played in very hot and humid conditions.

      After 120 minutes, most of these guys are simply gassed. I play pick-up soccer for two hours two nights each week. I am not an elite level soccer player running at the speeds that these guys do, but there isn’t a person on our field that is willing to play much longer. Either you settle the game with penalty kicks or risk seeing the players start to cramp up.

      As for how fragile soccer players are, have those of you that hate soccer ever wondered why the big, bad NFL doesn’t allow their kickers or punters to be hit? You are so vulnerable while kicking that it is very, very easy to get hurt. I’ve destroyed my ankles more times than I can count over the years playing soccer, and my leagues don’t allow slide tackling where the risk of injury increases exponentially.

      I can’t defend the diving and simulation that occurs in soccer. It is a blight, and FIFA still has done nothing to rein it in.

      I’ll finish this tome with the proclamation that we soccer fans get it, there are many North Americans who hate the sport. That is fine. Nobody requires that you like it.

      But I do find it hilarious how many hockey fans complain about soccer. Hockey is the other sport that most people around the world simply don’t “get”. I do…it is a beautiful sport to watch due to the speed and agility and technical skill of the players. But I’m not likely to convince those that hate the sport that it is better than the sports they watch that I find absolutely unbearably boring (baseball, NFL football) any more than they are going to convince me that hockey and soccer are boring.

      • Cal says:

        “As for penalty kicks, the issue becomes how much more can you ask the players to do in heat. Soccer degrades with time because you only get three substitutions.”

        Therein lies the problem, correct?
        Lots of players on the sidelines behaving like spectators. Free substitution would amp the game up a lot.
        Another point would be the offside rule. Once the offense gets the ball to the penalty area, the defenders should defend instead of all running forward simultaneously to cause an “offside.”

        • Chris says:

          But why should they change the most played sport and most watched sport in the world simply because some fans of other pro sports don’t like it?

          The offside rule is a tough one in that it does limit scoring chances. But even if you change it, the box is still going to be awfully crowded making it nearly impossible to complete passes or shots. Regardless of rule changes, the offence is almost always outnumbered in the box as all the midfielders and the defenders drop back into that area.

          It really isn’t so different than what we have been seeing in the NHL in recent years, with the “box” that the defenders use comrpessing more and more in front of the net and shots are tremendously difficult to get through without them being blocked.

          With soccer, you have to resign yourself to the idea that some teams refuse to play aggressively. It is their strategy.

          Italy has long played a tight defensive game, relying on counterattacks and superior goaltending in many a tournament.

          Spain relies on a ball-possession game, but were plagued by the fact that their top striker (David Villa) was injured during his club’s season and was not available for this tournament, while they seemingly have no faith in Fernando Torres who has always struggled for the national team and had an absolutely miserable club season as well. Put Villa in the lineup, and Spain is a more aggressive team.

          I’ve grown up cheering for Denmark. They turtled against Holland (32 shot attempts against in the first game), but pulled off an Italian-style 1-0 upset on a counterattack. The Danes lost to Portugal 3-2 in one of the more entertaining games of the tournament, and the game against Germany (which ended 2-1) was also a reasonably entertaining game (and I’m still mad about the Danes not getting a pretty blatant penalty kick call in the second half). So in three games, there were 9 goals. That’s not a bad record.

          And then you get the more entertaining sides like Germany, Portugal, Argentina, and Holland (when they aren’t imploding). But like the NHL, a good offensive team can be derailed by a team that refuses to abandon its shell. Montreal did it to Pittsburgh and Washington, and New Jersey has made a living out of it. It is boring to casual fans, but I’m sure that the fans of the winning team are ecstatic. 🙂

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      “Why NHL hockey is superior to soccer”

      Are you 5 years old? This reminds me of the “my daddy is stronger than your daddy” stuff that kids say. Grow up.

      How anyone could complain about a sport with no commercial breaks, non-stop play, elite level skill, incredible team strategy and set-ups is truly beyond me.

      My dad is the same way he’ll almost mock me for watching such a “boring sport”, then I’ll remind him that he’ll spend an entire Sunday afternoon watching a guy leisurely walk around a field, hitting a ball into a hole.

      To each their own, if you don’t like the sport then fine, but don’t pull the lame “my sport is better than your sport nonsense”.

  60. JohnBellyful says:

    The NHL’s salary cap has both a floor and a ceiling that applies to teams’ payrolls. That same framework should apply to individual contracts. Right now players are paid according to their projected optimal performance, although there are no specifics set as to goals and assists. The unstated expectation is that they will achieve the ‘ceiling’ of their abilities, or come reasonably close, based on past performance or potential.
    But there should be a ‘floor’ as well, the barest minimum a team should expect from its well-paid athletes, which, should they fail to meet (barring injuries), would ultimately have an impact on their income. Take Scott Gomez – that’s your cue, Henny Youngman – he was paid $7.5 million last season for scoring two goals in 38 games.
    Now when Gomez originally signed that seven-year deal with the Rangers, did it ever come up in negotiations what he would be delivering at minimum for the salary he’d be getting?
    “Okay, Scott, we’re not expecting you to score 50, 40, even 30 goals a season – you’re a playmaker, after all – but 10 goals, that sounds reasonable, right?”
    And if he had said “No, that’s way out of line,” do you think negotiations would have continued at that point?
    So what’s the answer? It’s difficult to say, trying to tie compensation for individual performances in a team sport, but doesn’t arbitration and Hall of Fame credentials come down to goals and assists, games played, etc? Why shouldn’t a floor based on hard numbers be made part of a player’s contract? Laughably low hard numbers, if you will, i.e., 10 goals for a purported goal scorer, or 15 assists for a playmaker, pro-rated, of course, according to the number of games played.
    The penalty for failing to achieve even absurdly low benchmarks would not be a reduction in the player’s income, but to open up the door for the contract to be renegotiated – not for the season to immediately follow, but the one after that, so that the player has time to adjust to changed circumstances (obviously, this remedy only applies to long-term contracts with more than one year left in their term).
    It can be argued that a bad investment is a bad investment and a team should live with the consequences of a poor decision by management. Perhaps so, but then the league should seek in a new collective bargaining agreement the right to structure contracts that base part of a player’s salary on performance targets, with bonuses accounting for no more than 20 to 25 per cent of the money to be earned.***
    As you can imagine, this solution is born out of a Canadien fan’s frustration with a system that allows a player to continue to draw a salary totally out of whack with his contributions to the team.
    Such a proposal might be seen as far-fetched but the new head of the NHLPA, Don Fehr, is very familiar with the concept. He made his name in baseball – where performance bonuses are routine.

    *** “Performance bonuses will only be permissible for the following types of players: (1) players on entry-level contracts; (2) players signing one-year contracts after returning from long-term injuries (players with 400 or more games who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve in the last year of their most recent contract); and senior veteran players who sign a one-year contract after the age of 35.” (

  61. 24 Cups says:

    “The potential of the Canadiens is very nice,” he said. “The core of the team? Beautiful. Just be patient. Let some contracts run their course. And let these young guys mature.” (Patrick Brisebois)

    Shoutout to Marc Bergevin – take a week off, shut down your cell phone and let the other teams commit financial suicide on Sunday over over valued products. Then come back in a few days and grab a few basement bargains to fill out some holes in the line-up.

    Keep your powder dry for another day.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Let some contracts run their course? ruhroh…..

      I like how this speaks of patience but are they going to consider keeping Gomer? I can see them giving him a few games to prove himself but I hope they don’t give him half a season.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Habfan10912 says:

        I hope they don’t even give him training camp.


      • 24 Cups says:

        For me, Gomez is more than just a concern about a fat contract and an underachieving player.

        I also worry about what impact he will have if he truly does come back to play “out” another year on his contract. Who gets bumped at centre? Does it mean we have to play another pivot on the wing? Is our problem on the 4th line addressed by paying a guy 7.3M to centre the unit and only play 10 minutes?

        Teams dump players all the time (that’s how we got Gomez in the first place). Drafting Galchenyuk was a no-brainer. A kid in grade eight could have figured out that move. Bergevin’s first real test will be moving Gomez. If he chooses to buy him out then it will be his first major failure as GM. Bergevin will have to be more creative than that.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Good morning 24. I agree completely. In addition to opening positions for some youngsters to fill, I think the increase in cap space will create a crazy overspending on Free Agents (see Calgary). We already have our share of bad contracts. Other then adding a depth d man or 4th line grit I’d watch this years frenzy from the sideline.
      That said, like an addict, I’ll be watching closely on July 1. 🙂


  62. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    Looking at the prospects for the three day camp. Just wondering how they can have a scrimage with only 3 D-men invited. Maybe Brisbois and Bergevin will have to lace-em-up.

    • Captain aHab says:

      They’re converting Galchenyuk to be a d-man.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  63. HabFanSince72 says:

    George Laraque wants a tryout with any NHL team, feels 100%, and he’s promised to beat up guys during the pre-season if he gets a chance.

    This leads me to ask two questions:

    1. How many pre-season games do we have against the Bruins?

    2. Actually, that’s the only question.

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

    • Captain aHab says:

      George needs to go eat some cabbage and sprouts…it’ll take the edge off.

      Could it be that Georgey is running out of cash and needs to set aside The Code to generate moolah? After seeing him sleepwalk his way in MTL, I don’t believe for one second his heart would be in it.

      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • piper says:

      What kind of shape is he in? If he’s in good shape I’d give him a pre-season game agains the bruins just to see what happens.

  64. HabFanSince72 says:

    I have no comment on Brisebois, so instead let’s talk rumours.

    Two teams that have to sell are Phoenix and NJ, for similar reasons.

    What would we have to give up to get Keith Yandle ($5.25M cap hit till 2016, but with an increasing true salary each year meaning Phoenix might be interested in trading him)?

    Does it make sense to offer Shane Doan a contract? He is 35 and we’re not currently challenging for anything, but he might mentor our kids. Also would there be a backlash from Bertrand Raymond, Rejean Tremblay et al.?

    What would we have to give up to get Ilya Kovalchuk ($6.7M cap hit, signed till 2025) and should we even be in on it?

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

    • Cal says:

      Yandle = a little too much
      Doan would be a great mentor, so why not.
      Kavalchuk’s contract is insane and he ain’t worth it.

      You’re right, the Teflon Defender™ isn’t worth commenting on.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Yandle is a top flight Dman who is going to cost you some real assets. I think that two of Eller, Leblanc or Beaulieu would have to be part of the deal.

      Doan is the UFA bridesmaid to Parise. He’s going to be Plan B for a lot of contending teams. I can easily see him getting a 3 or 4 year deal at 5M a season on a +35 contract. I seriously doubt he would want to come to a last place team for a rebuild. That’s basically what he’s done his whole career.

  65. pmaraw says:

    if darche cant play on this team, no way gomez can.

    • Jim Edson says:

      Just another reminder that there is a new regime on the 7th floor of the Bell Center and players are graded by performance …….only!

      Darche, Gomez maybe even Gionta will be scrutinized ever so much under the reign of Bergervin.

      Those who can contribute will stay and those who can’t will go.

      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Gionta? Are you lumping him in with Gomez?

        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Jim – Easy does it with the “reign of Bergevin”. He may have done a nice job of remodelling his staff and creating a new culture for the club. But in terms of player personnel he hasn’t done anything yet that we can judge. Everybody is talking about upgrading the team but let’s see what goes down during the next 13 months.

        BTW, Gionta is the least of this team’s problems. Not to mention he’s the captain.

    • Welks says:

      Darche would be a nice spare part and mentor for the youngsters in the system. I think MB agrees and that is why they offered a two way contract. They don’t think he would make the revamped roster for regular work and wanted the option to send him to the AHL without having to clear waivers should he not make the team in the pre-season. Great work ethic and smarts. The kids could learn alot from him. He has earned the right to see if he can get a 1 way deal somewhere in the NHL and he may be right. If he is not I hope he takes the 2 way with the Habs and works with the kids to show them the ropes.

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