Saku, Gainey back in NHL picture


Two former Canadiens captains, Saku Koivu and Bob Gainey, will be back in the NHL next season, Koivu with Anaheim and Gainey with Dallas.

Koivu signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Ducks, where he’s played for the last three years. He could have been a free agent on July 1 but opted to stay in Anaheim. This past season, he made $2.5 million. Ducks GM Bob Murray gave Koivu a raise even though his production dropped for the second consecutive season. For Murray, the numbers were not the deciding factor.

Pat Hickey has this story on Koivu’s signing in The Gazette and notes that when Gainey was GM, he elected not to bring Koivu back so he could acquire Scott Gomez. Here’s Dave Stubbs’ Gazette story from 2009 on Saku leaving the Habs.

“Character and leadership on and off the ice,” Murray said on a conference call to discuss Koivu’s re-signing. “You can never have enough of that. Things didn’t go well this year. He’s a veteran who really believes it can work here and wants it to work here.  He had an opportunity this year to jump ship and he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay and make it work. That’s a quality character guy. We need more of that.

“He’s a very intelligent hockey person,” Murray continued. ”There’s no doubt about that. So our talks are very informative and interesting, I think, on both sides. He knows what it takes to win. And he desperately wants to win. Saku will do whatever it takes to win and that’s all that’s important.”

Koivu said in April he wanted to remain with Anaheim. The feeling obviously was mutual and Koivu said he believes Murray has the Ducks headed in the right direction. “Everybody wants to win and at this point in my career, that is the number one priority,” Koivu told the media on Wednesday. “Talking with Bob and hearing his plan and also getting a very positive from the ownership, I’m confident that they are going to make a push….If I didn’t feel confident about their view and their willingness to make the push, I would have looked somewhere else.”

Koivu played his only game in Montreal since joining the Ducks in January, 2011.

Koivu appeared in his 1,000th game in March. Dave Stubbs had this story on that milestone in The Gazette.

As for Gainey, who was dismissed along with Pierre Gauthier in March, he is heading back to the Dallas Stars as an advisor to GM Joe Nieuwendyk. Gainey was GM of the Minnesota North Stars and the Dallas Stars from January 1992 until 2002. He won the Stanley Cup as GM with Dallas in 1999. He was the Habs GM from 2003-2010 before stepping aside to become an advisor to Gauthier and help develop players in Hamilton.

“I do see it in a similar way to what I was doing with the Canadiens over the last two years,”  Gainey told ,Mike Heika blogging for the Dallas Morning News. “My scope will probably be broader with the Stars, but I see it as observing and familiarizing myself with the players and then hopefully offering some guidance that maybe others haven’t seen. I would like to be able to say, `I see this in a player,’ or `Maybe we could shape this player in this direction.’ Those are areas where I believe I can help.”

Jim Lites, who was president of the Stars under former owner Tom Hicks and returned to that job last November under new owner Tom Gaglardi, appears to be the man who brought Gainey back to Dallas. “I think the most important thing I can do in my job is hire good people, and Bob is one of the best persons I know,” Lites said. “He was available, he was very interested in what we’ve been able to accomplish, and I just believe having a voice like that will be extremely beneficial in a lot of ways.”

Gainey traded for Nieuwendyk in 1995 and four years later he was the Conn Smythe winner when the Stars won the Cup. “He just has so much experience and has been such a respected player, coach and GM that it’s great just to talk with him and bounce ideas off of him,” Nieuwendyk said of Gainey. “I’m looking forward to it.”


  1. habstrinifan says:

    Sometimes you read a post and say WOW, I wish I had crystallize a side of a discussion as well as that poster.

    There has been a long discussion re the merits of using Plekanec as trade material to improve the team. Plekanec’s defenders have understandably voiced their disagreement… some misreading the suggestion as a devaluation of Plekanec’s ability.

    I think the very best post made on this subject follows and I am not alone as you will see from the segment pasted below.

    Great post and reaction.

    Old Bald Bird

    May 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    When we talk of trading players, we generally mean for an appropriate return. In that event, everyone is tradeable. In the case of Pleks, it might be argued that where he is in his career doesn’t necessarily mesh well with where the team is now in its makeup and development and possibly not for the foreseeable future. In any case, “to trade” does not equal “to dump.” If we were to trade Pleks, I would expect a very good return, which may be feasible for the right team at the right time.
    Log in to Reply


    May 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm


    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Agree trinifan. I think Tom Nickle espouses a clear, consistent point of view, which is that the new management team will want to put a stamp on their team, clear the air a little bit, change the dynamic in the dressing room, which is understandable given the poor results obtained last year. To effect those changes, some players will be traded, and the most valuable commodity we may have that we can live without, due to other options at that position, is Tomas Plekanec.

      This was the point François Gagnon was making, when everyone was engineering trades to obtain Ryan Getzlaf or Eric Staal, that to get quality you have to give quality (not Tomas Kaberle and Aaron Palushaj), and he made the point that organizationally the Canadiens might be able to part with P.K. Subban, but wouldn’t be able to part with Carey Price, and one of these two would probably have to be included to swing that deal.

      When I was making the same point, when P.K. was making boneheaded mistake after undisciplined gaffe, and suggested we try to package him and Andrei Kostitsyn plus others to try to pry Shea Weber out of Nashville, the response was shrill and abusive. When I tried to explain my position, and that I wasn’t attacking him personally, just wondering if he’d ever get his head screwed on straight in Montreal, and that maybe we trade him before he loses all value, it was no use. I pointed out that I was talking about behaviour, not the person, and illustrated specific examples from recent games, but got nowhere. I was being a jerk and an idiot for trading away our surefire Norris Trophy winner and Hall of Famer.

      Good on Old Bald Bird for getting everyone to take a step back, to take a breath and understand that Tom was making a strategic case for swapping a commodity for equivalent returns, not running a guy out of town on a rail.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • Talik Sanis says:

        Your critiques of Subban, your suggested trade, and your projections for his future were inspired by nothing less than the same kind of cherry-picking that led many to claim that he was in the midst of a sophomore slump, and little more respect was due them. People trust their eyes. They establish their beliefs – for that is all to which opinions divested from substantiating fact amount – based on a few moment of offensive brilliance (see Johnson, Jack), or allow a handful of egregious errors to taint their perception of a player, while ignoring the numerous other events that, when taken together, defy the narrative that they’ve developed. Any argument in regard to a lack of hockey sense on Subban’s part, or his failure to heed intelligent coaching, has as its foundation an examination of specific instances of failure and not of the player’s work in its totality.

        As for listening to the coach and learning? Subban’s development has been nothing short of remarkable, not simply in terms of how much he has grown, but in how quickly he has done so. This is something that evidences further his intelligence as a hockey player. The claim that he is boneheaded ignores the tremendous strides he has taken since entering the league (something else which I can substantiate with objective, statistical facts regarding quality of opposition, success at completing plays, and his control of “the play” over the course of his career). There is no boneheaded person alive who can learn so much so quickly. Subban’s play has improved so dramatically that it is apparent that he learned well his lessens from Martin. Subban listened to those to whom such respect was due. The greatest problem this year, however, was that he had no competent head coach from whom he could learn. Cunnyworthy’s complete lack of ability to coach at the NHL level, adapt to changing conditions in a game, and create a system of play that is effective at generating scoring chances and goals, while limiting them for the opposition, reduced him to a brutal farce, a man whose instruction on defensive play and positioning was unworthy of being heeded.

        Subban is likely the most intelligent player on the team. He would not have the highest ratio of successful to unsuccessful plays (a function both of natural skill and of good decision making) otherwise. Indeed, he is even better than that ratio suggests; it decreases necessarily as the quality of opposition the player faces increases. Similarly, one cannot claim that his ratio of successful plays to unsuccessful ones is inflated “artificially” by his offensive prowess. His decision making on the penalty kill, and his own end at even strength, is second only to that of Gorges (as evidenced, again, by the ratio of successful to unsuccessful plays, weighted by quality of opposition).

        Moreover, considering that it can be demonstrated statistically that Subban is our best and most complete defenseman (an argument could be made that Gorges is less mistake prone, but it would be confounded by the simple fact that he tries to do less because he has far less natural talent with which to try), who makes more good plays a game than most other players make plays of any kind, it may be for the best that incompetent coaches shut up, cease their micromanaging attempts to “break” the cocky kid, and let him play. I stress the word “incompetent.” There is still much that Subban can learn (regardless of his tremendous play), and has evidently learned (as evidenced by that tremendous play), from a competent coach.

        Subban’s value to our organization is all but immeasurable, and by every statistical means of analysis that takes into account the changes between the role Subban has been asked to play between this year and last, and the quality of the team around him due to trades, injuries, and the gutting of our defensive core, he is far better than he was last year. Even if he stays exactly as he is now, in him, we have a number one defenseman. Trading him would not only set the team back, but would be irrational given the “fact-less” sophomore slump narrative that has developed around him for various reasons including the team’s lack of success, the desire to not acknowledge coaching incompetence by the media due to Cunnyworth being a proponent of blue-collar, “good old Canadian boy” hockey, Subban’s race to some degree, and his on ice flair and embellishments alike. Because people have bought into the narrative, his value as a player far exceeds his value as a trade asset.

        So if people lambasted you for your “savant” critique of Subban due to it having as its base what you could “see” on the ice, those few glaring instances of true failure, and not on either his hundreds of excellent, intelligent, and highly skilled plays, or on statistical facts (in this case regarding the ratio between successes and failures, the very sort of thing on which one might build an argument as to Subban already “having his head on straight”), it was justified.

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Ummm people were harping on Plekanec and calling him inconsistent (especially the poster who agreed to a gazillion with the bald bird dude), so yes, it was very easy for some to take the posts as a devaluation of what Tomas can do.

      If Tomas is sooo valuable and could yield such a high return because “any” team would want him, why not the Habs?

      This is exactly the signature the new GM has to put on this team, you stick with the guys that have stuck with you. Fans of this team always bemoan they get rid of “home-grown” talent. This is one player who has never complained, always did what was asked of him, and is very skilled on the ice.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to trading almost ANYONE – Plekanec, Subban, Price, Gorges (just not Pacioretty, I think he is a special player that should be built around), provided it improves the team, but if we are trading Tomas in a package to get that illusive #1 center, consider this. That will surely bump Desharnais down to 2nd line duty. The new #1 center will be playing with our best wingers, n’est pas? Yup and those two are Pacioretty and Cole.

      I have doubts on whether Desharnais could produce numbers close to what he did without Pacioretty or Cole, but guess what, Plekanec did playing with every other winger on the team.

      If the trade is for a winger, I am feeling even less confident handing over the #2 duty to Eller or Leblanc than Desharnais at this point. Eller should be a winger and play with Tomas for a full season. Leblanc should be the 3rd line center.

      I wonder how the PK% would drop without Pleks?

    • gmur says:

      While comparing players is often controversial and to some extent an inexact measure of a player, I’ll go ahead and do it anyways… I find that Plekanec and Daniel Brière are close when you compare size, points per game, and position. Brière has a slight edge in points per game, but, stating the obvious, you could argue that in Philadelphia he has been surrounded by more skilled offensive players than Plekanec has in Montreal.

      Brière, however, is 5 years older than Plekanec… and if you go back 5 seasons (pre-Philly), Brière had the identical PPG as Plekanec does now… in fact, Plekanec has the edge.

      All this to say that unless a player with the skill set of Brière is available, there’s no trade. Weren’t Habs fans enraged when Brière chose Philly over Montreal? Maybe we have our own Brière under our nose. Put a Hartnell and van Reimsdyk next to Pleks and watch him go…

  2. H.Upmann says:

    Gonna say I think Crawford would be a good choice. Read somewhere once that he even dabbled a bit in 1-3-1.. Not that I think we should play 1-3-1, but it’s indicative that he wouldn’t be stuck in his ways… If we really want 1-3-1, we could ask Stevie Y to release Boucher ? 😉 jk… But seriously I think Crawford would be good with Randy C as assistant and Larry Robinson.

  3. boing007 says:

    He’s been here for five seasons and he’s had one good year. 38 wins, 28 losses. That makes twenty percent. Check out his career stats. They’re just hovering over .500 = 121 wins 101 losses, not including 33 Overtime losses. Sorry, I’m still sitting on the fence. Not that impressed yet.

    Richard R
    Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    Boy do I remember this one.

    I was a young buck and watched this live from a pub with friends. We were a couple blocks from the Forum, wanted to run over there and take on the Flyers our own selves.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Nice! Looking forward to next weeks tourney!Going to be fun!

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Knights win, Tinordi in the Memorial Cup

  7. commandant says:

    Tinordi and the London Knights are going to the Memorial Cup!

    4 Habs prospects (Tinordi, Beaulieu, Ellis, Bournival) will be in the tourney, on three different teams.

    This is gonna be fun.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  8. habsfan0 says:

    Michael Rafferty verdict is in. Guilty! Common sense prevails.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If only we handed out punishment to fit the crime.

      Interesting side note, the hockey game is in London tonight, people in that town are crazy for it, and now in the midst of one of their biggest games, that information from the court case going on in London will be spreading through the crowd.

  9. frontenac1 says:

    Hey guys! Just got home and see its 2-0 London. How has our boy Tinordi been playing?

  10. commandant says:

    That goal was Visentin being Visentin.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Does that guy even have an NHL career to look forward to anymore? After the World Juniors two years in a row, and now this playoff?

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • HabinBurlington says:

        He doesn’t strike me as a big game goalie Normand. He had no chance on the 2nd goal tonight, but yah I am not sure either.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Not an impressive showing for that poor kid, didn’t deliver in big games.

          EDIT: From the Wikipedia entry on Mark Visentin.

          “Personal life

          Growing up, Visentin’s favourite hockey team was the Montreal Canadiens, and his favourite player was Carey Price.[1] Visentin grew up in the community of Waterdown,Ontario.”

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Holy Cow, like Brayden Holtby didn’t have enough on his plate, he became a father Thursday night.

    And an interesting development in Radulov and AK’s night out.

    And Emelin delivered a dirty shot, he speared Franzen at the Worlds.

    • 24moreCups says:

      I don’t know why Emelin would do that, I want him to stay in the NHL playing with the Habs and keep laying out those big clean hits, but if he does dirty plays like that someones going to make him answer for it and obviously he can’t fight.

    • Sean Bonjovi says:

      What that youtube clip taught me is that “Oiy-yoi-yoi” probably means the same thing in every language, and that the swedish word for “spearing” is “spearing”.

      “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
      – Sean Bonjovi

    • Malreg says:

      Not that I condone what Emelin did, but next time, don’t shove a guy after you just scored a goal.

      Go looking for trouble, and you’ll find it. Definitely a penalty, and he shouldn’t have done it, but looked like Franzen sold it quite a bit too.

  12. HabinBurlington says:

    Tinordi just took a 4 min. high sticking penalty.

  13. HabinBurlington says:

    Bryzgalov sounds off on the Philly fans to a Russian paper. Ahhh gotta love the drama surrounding the Flyers with this guy in nets.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Tomorrow we’ll hear from his agent saying it was translated incorrectly. How many times did we gear that song with Kovy?


      • HabinBurlington says:

        Yah, and how many more with AK as well. I don’t think that will fly for Bryz, too many sentences were quoted. The fans in Philly are going to eat him alive next year if he starts poorly.

    • L Elle says:

      Maybe Bryz should play in Montreal, where it’s waaaaayyyyyyyy less stressful to be the goalie. 😉

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Bryzgalov is the flakiest Russian yet …and that’s saying a lot :)

      HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out:
      What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  14. commandant says:

    London vs Niagara is on Sportsnet right now.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Dreger with an answer to a question regarding Dudley.

    Seems to be a formality Dudley is coming.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’ve pretty much given up on Burl and L ( I still love them both) but I still had hopes, psycho that you would not get dragged into this Semin stuff. So disappointing. :)


    • D Mex says:

      I didn’t see Burke as a guy with a short memory, but I’m wondering now if he forgets what went on before he landed, officially that is, in TO.

      ALWAYS Habs –
      D Mex

  16. HabFab says:

    PKSubban1 tweets;

    “PKSubban1 Happy to be back home! #Tdot can’t wait to get back in the gym Monday with @laylorsystems #summerishere”

    So can we assume PK’s injury is alright, as he is back in TO and about to start his off season training.

  17. FanCritic says:

    Pick The Best Available all they can do

  18. Un Canadien errant says:

    How bogus is that penalty shot goal by President Putin? One rung above Elvis Presley’s black belt on the legit scale, two rungs above Kim Jong-Il’s golf game maybe?–kim-jong-il-once-carded-38-under-par-at-pyongyang-golf-course

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  19. Chris says:

    Two nice articles on Ilya Kovalchuk, a much-maligned player (“he has no heart”, “he only plays for money”, etc.) who is having a nice playoff run:

    The Yaroslavl tragedy, Ilya Kovalchuk and the road to healing (from the Globe and Mail)

    Ilya, Win (From The Score’s website)

  20. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …this is completely hypothetical, so don’t get Your briefs so tight You will sing falsetto

    …I believe it is possible, bordering on probable, Edmonton will select Ryan Murray, and Columbus Galchenyuk

    …therefore, based on that hypothesis, leaving both Grigorenko and Yakupov at Our number 3, whom would You select between the 2 ?

    …Yakupov ? …because of his potential as the next Guy Lafleurski ? …or, would You select Grigorenko …because of his potential to be Our long, long needed big skilled centreman ?

    …just stick to a choice between these two …not Forsberg or others

    …Grigorenko or Yakupov ?

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out:
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yakafleurov for me good man.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …H.I.B. & Commandant …if it is what We know about Malkin today, and he was in this draft with Yakupov, I would pick Malkin without hesitation …because I believe a Stanley Cup team’s priority is dominance at centre …though the choice would not be easy

        …Galchenyuk is My choice as well if Yakupov not available, but hard to say either Galchenyuk or Grigorenko will meet Malkin’s standards …this is a decision where Trevor Timmins, and Marc Bergevin, will earn Their salaries

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Chris, you know i have wanted Galchenyuk first from day 1. To me he is the highest upside. I recognize some risk, but he could be the home run in my opinion.

          • Habitant in Surrey says:

            …the film I have seen on Galchenyuk left Me salivating …the film I’ve watched of Grigorenko left Me unimpressed

    • commandant says:

      Yakupov is the best player in this draft, bar none.

      If he’s on the board, you thank the hockey gods that Edmonton and Columbus passed on him and you draft him without thinking twice about it.

      His talent is such that it trumps the need. He’s just head and shoulders ahead of Grigorenko (and Galchenyuk who I personally am hoping for, because I don’t believe Yakupov will be available).

      I think if Edmonton or Columbus is going to do this they are better off trading the pick.

      Go Habs Go!
      Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • HabFab says:

      Grigoryak 😀

  21. Propwash says:

    Automotive legend Carroll Shelby passed away today. RIP.

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

  22. SmartDog says:

    As lucky as Anaheim is to have Saku, we are equally unlucky to have lost him (for nothing, the way most good players leave Montreal).

    I’m liking this GM, if not because he seems to be the OPPOSITE of Gainey-Gauthier. A good communicator with energy who says what he thinks, speaks directly, doesn’t seem evasive when he can’t talk about something, and has passion. That and he doesn’t seem OLD, like the game is passing him by.

    Interesting that the coaching candidates people talk about seem more realistic lately too…. bye-bye ridiculous decisions. Phew.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  23. Dust says:

    I know most of the talk is who the habs will take with their first pick. Personally I want one of Gally or Grigs. I think with their 2nd pick of the draft they can also get another quality forward. There are two players I have my eye on with potential to become power forwards: Tom Wilson, and Nicolas Kerdiles. This can turn out to be a very good draft for the habs if things work out.

  24. GrimJim says:

    Good news for all you worried about the Mayan calendar,
    there will be a playoff in 2013

  25. EasternOntarioHabsFan says:

    How about this

    Buy out Gomez or put him in the minors, either way MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that he is GONE come September, he can mine coal for all I care…….

    put Kaberle on waivers or trade him for a conditional 7th rounder
    OR buy him out, as he would be easier to buy out then Gomez.

    Trade Weber, Diaz, Bourque, a second round pick in 2012 and a third and fourth round pick in 2013 to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan.

    Sign Sheldon Brookbank, David Jones, John Scott, and Bryan Allen

    the end result would be this:

    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
    Ryan – Plekanec – Gionta
    Jones – Eller – Moen
    Dumont – White – Staubitz

    Subban – Georges
    Markov – Emelin
    Allen – Brookbank


    Draft Galchenyuk

    Roy as coach, with Robinson as an assistant

    Please leave feedback

  26. Habsolutely says:

    This place is gonna be downright nasty come July and August.

    • shiram says:

      It does not have to be…

      • HabinBurlington says:

        No but I fear Habso is correct, not to take away from the gist of your post.

        • shiram says:

          I guess it depends what kind of news we get over the summer.
          I’m trying to be more civil around here than I was when I first started posting, for one thing.
          Having an idea of people’s personality helps in posting replies and such.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Shiram, unless their is a tactical squad outside your route to work dealing with “raucous” students, you are never anything less than a gentleman.

          • shiram says:

            Thanks, I guess what I’m trying to say is that was not always so!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Why do you say that Habso.? Is it because of player movement will upset some and make others happy or are people meaner in the summer? :)


  27. HardHabits says:

    Well. I am certainly jealous and think I am going to have raise it up a notch as it appears that TomNickle has unseated me as the resident shit disturber here. Good job TN. You da man!!!

  28. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …if Our Gallagher is half the player Jeff Skinner is, I will be a happy camper …they selected Kane player of game, but it was Skinner that drove the recovery …amazing deft skating on His wrap-around, his figure skating skills obvious there :)

    …Canada still adapting to the larger international ice surface, like they are swimming out there at times …the ice in Finland seems extra hard, thus inopportune falls

    …and watching Getzlaf and Perry play makes Me amazed how any speculation exists of Anaheim considering trading either of them …they are beasts :)

    …great character game against Finland …and, if My good Friend, JJ of Turku is reading: JJ, if I was in Turku I would share a Perjantaipullo with you tonight :) …My sincere condolence

    …may Your Saturday morning hangover not deter You from enjoying Saturday night :)

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out:
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Haha, I skipped out of work to watch the game at the watering hole and when I saw the Finnish fan crying after the game, I wondered if JJ was in the crowd.

      Skinner was great, I thought Kane was really good too. If we had some better dmen there (PK for one) this Canadian team would be very hard to beat. Our forward collection seems very strong indeed.

    • Max says:

      Excellent point about the Canadian team having trouble adapting to the larger ice surface.This issue has caused problems for Canadian teams in the past at the various tournaments.

      The Finns had it down as they are used to the larger ice, but once the Canadians adapted,they were hard to stop.

      It’d help if the NHL finally adapted the international ice size as their standard.

  29. HabinBurlington says:

    I understand the reason many people don’t want to trade Plex, he has been a consistent performer for this team, he plays virtually every role asked him very well. He also has a decent priced contract for all the things he can do.

    Having said all that, many people were very impressed with what Holmgren has done on a couple of occasions with the Flyers in bringing in new talent to his roster. Well, he had to trade some high end talent in order to do so. (Before anyone says it, yes he did one crucial mistake and screwed up with the Bryzgalov contract)

    Most of us don’t care alot for Mike Richards especially after his remarks about PK. But, he is much like Plex and perhaps even a better player as he brings physical edge to the ice as well. Holmgren had to trade talent to get new talent.

    My point in all this is simple, we maybe close to making the playoffs, but we aren’t close to winning the cup like the Kings are with an 8th place finish. They have a much more complete roster, and underachieved throughout the regular season. Because we have multiple positions that require upgrading, we need to be prepared to have a short term loss (ie. Plex) in order to get a longer term gain.

    It doesn’t have to be Plex that is traded, it could be Gionta, it could be Gorges. BUt our future is in our youth PK, Price, MaxPac, hopefully Beaulieu, Tinordi, Gallagher, Leblanc etc.

    This is all just my opinion obviously, but just as Gainey had to trade an effective Craig Rivet in order to get a young Gorges and a draft pick, we will need to trade one of our effective players again in order to make a bigger improvement in the future.

    • ed lopaz says:

      bang on, as usual.

      when a team finishes 28th things need to change, and
      you need to trade quality to get back quality.

      FOR THE RIGHT PACKAGE, trading Plekanec makes sense.

    • piper says:

      I agree HIB, thats the direction they need to go in. I just dont think Plek would bring much return. Would need to add this years first rounder which I would be willing to do.

  30. HabFanSince72 says:

    A proposal.

    In 1978 the NHL, recognizing that hockey had a new dimension, introduced the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward. I suggest that the game is so radically different nowadays, that we once again need some new awards.

    To recognize what makes a winning hockey team in 2012 I think we should think up new awards.

    1. Pick a hitherto undervalued skill that is crucial in today’s NHL.
    2. Pick an appropriate name for your trophy.

    I will forward the top three suggestions to the NHL.

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

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      The Craig Ludwig Trophy for shot blocking.

      The Lou Lamoriello Trophy for best implementation of the neutral zone trap.

      The Illy Trophy for best grinder.

      The Apu Nahasapeemapetilon Trophy for best player at clearing his zone by lobbing it off the glass without it being icing.

      The Barry Trotz Trophy for dealing with players who party too much.

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

  31. JF says:

    Skimming through the discussion about trading Plekanec (at least it started off being about trading Plekanec), I have a question for Tom Nickle: Why is it that almost every discussion you’re involved in on this site quickly becomes acrimonious?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Tom’s alright. He has a few odd ideas, but other than that he consistently contributes hockey discussion to this site.

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

      • JF says:

        I agree, but I find his manner very abrasive and dogmatic.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          JF, seems folks here today are in a bit of a bad mood. I really like Tom’s contributions although I must say I don’t always agree with him and sometimes his mannerisms might be on the abrasive side but I excuse most of that as writing style.
          As far as the mood here today I wish I knew some good jokes but look at the bright side guys. Hockey game tomorrow involving this sites adopted player, Semin. :)


          • HabinBurlington says:

            L, I worry about you if washington is eliminated. Laughter will have been taken from you.

          • L Elle says:

            Don’t worry Burly, we’ll find something else to pick at. haha

            A beautiful day, I’m leaving work now, the heck with it!

        • ed lopaz says:

          that`s just Tom being Tom – and he is one of the best hockey minds on this site!

          and with the free agent pool being so shallow at forward, putting Plekanec out there as trade bait makes perfect sense.

          there are only 3 untouchables on this team.

          Price, Subban, Paccioretty.

          everyone else can be traded.

          • Old Bald Bird says:

            But they’re not untouchable — just very, very, very close to it.

          • Max says:

            He thinks he is. He makes some good points, but his lack of acknowledgement and “know it all” attitude is a big turn off.

    • L Elle says:

      Tom is a wonderful poster whose “thinking outside the box” posts, whether I agree or not, get me thinking.

      Like Hockey exercise for the brain, if you will.

      It’s not what he says, but how he says it. If he were a hockey player on the Habs’ team that elbowed an opponent, we would say he’s passionate.

      Or, we could go on and on endlessly with the Price/Halak, I hate PG BG, OMG Ribeiro just scored another one, Gomez-Kaberle-Campoli-Diaz-Weber nonsense.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      @JF, I understand your post, but I think this is a problem with internet chat sites. We don’t see each other, we tend to contextualize peoples responses how we see fit. I see where you are coming from, but this is why emailing and texting is not as good as talking in person or on the phone. Old fashion communication is still number 1, but we don’t have that option here. :)

    • ont fan says:

      I haven’t said much to Tom, but he has an opinion and doesn’t mind stating it. What i have noticed is when he has put himself out there, he has opponents almost immediately. I find it interesting how quickly people will take the opposite side and push him. I guess he rubs some people the wrong way, mostly because he believes in what he is saying. You had better have a good rebuttle or he isn’t going to back down. I happen to like it.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I agree with your assessment Ont.

      • JF says:

        I appreciate Tom’s contributions and the way he defends his arguments. I just think he could do it a bit less aggressively. But maybe, as HabinBurlington says above, it is just part of an internet forum. Whatever, the mood here seems generally bad today.

  32. Niklas says:

    Is anyone watching Sweden-Russia?
    Emelin on centerstage, spearing, diving and now a goal with a major slapper!!

  33. shiram says:

    I feel that with a normal amount of injuries, Habs could have made the playoffs, JM might still be here and PG might too.
    So I’m cool with having “lost” this season, I feel JM for all his talent was holding back the team, and sometimes creating friction even.
    PG was just weird, and well he was not liked by anyone it seems, so good riddance.
    There were also some key members of the team that moved recently, Gill, Kostitsyn, Cammy… Considering 2 of them we’re top3 not so long ago, and Gill was a top 6 D here, well the team is already changing.
    If anyone else is moved, I won’t be sad or pissed, unless the return sucks, I’m not against any strategy to improve the team, but there are some that do not mesh well with how I see the team.
    I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, or that what I say is fact, just that’s my opinion and that it is fun to debate stuff on here.
    If you are getting angry/annoyed/pissed it might just be time to take a short HIO break, that can’t be that bad on such a beautiful day!

  34. secretdragonfly says:

    What a great come from behind win by Canada! Can’t wait to watch the highlights.

  35. pmaraw says:

    If it aint broke, dont fix it. trading gorges and plekanec would dismantle the #1 PK.

  36. Old Bald Bird says:

    When we talk of trading players, we generally mean for an appropriate return. In that event, everyone is tradeable. In the case of Pleks, it might be argued that where he is in his career doesn’t necessarily mesh well with where the team is now in its makeup and development and possibly not for the foreseeable future. In any case, “to trade” does not equal “to dump.” If we were to trade Pleks, I would expect a very good return, which may be feasible for the right team at the right time.

    • TomNickle says:


      • shiram says:

        This is not cool Tom, you are screwing up the way the page is displayed now!

        • TomNickle says:


          And sorry.

          • shiram says:

            Much appreciated Tom!

          • Mattyleg says:

            The problem, Tom, is that you are focusing on Plekanec and trying to poke holes in his performance record.

            Any player can be traded. You just want it to be Plekanec and I, amongst others, think that you’re off base for focusing on him.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • TomNickle says:

            You may want to go back and check again Matty, I’ve focused on Plekanec, Markov, Gorges and Gionta as a group and not just Plekanec.

            If anyone is focusing specifically on Plekanec here it’s those who feel this team can’t live without him.

            Some people feel that he’s an elite two way player. I disagree and point to his age, salary and role on the team as they relate to where this team is at in its development as a whole to illustrate that it would be best served by trading him for a valuable return sometime over the next two years.

            You’re saying that I’m guilty of poking holes in his game that aren’t there which couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s a 50-60 point player who is good defensively. No more and no less.

            He is inconsistent and in my opinion shouldn’t be kept in a top six role that slows the development of Eller or a player we’re about to acquire via the draft.

            That’s as simple as I can put it.

  37. Le Jadester says:

    GO Knights GO !

    Shawinigan here we come !

    Habs, OLE !

    PS – the Hunter Bros. are undefeated when they play on the same night ?

  38. Habsolutely says:

    everyone seems to be in a bad mood today. C’mon folks, it’s Friday, cheer up!!

  39. Shane1313 says:

    I think it was Lidstrom..the king of consistency..who said “what sets great players from good players is if the can come back year after year and be consistent. I can’t think of one guy – save Gorges, who’s been more consistent then Pleks. In every facet of the game.

    • TomNickle says:

      Than who? Plekanec?

      29 points – plus 4
      47 points – plus 10
      69 points – plus 15
      39 points – minus 9
      70 points – plus 5
      57 points – plus 8
      52 points – minus 15

      I can’t think of a more inconsistent centreman in the Eastern conference.

      • Shane1313 says:

        See I measure consistency on whether he brings it game in and game out. And…those stats seem fine?
        Consistency doesn’t mean he scores near the same point total every year..come on now

        • TomNickle says:

          So scoring a point in only 39 of 81 games is consistent?

          • pmaraw says:

            and thats why commandant said you like putting words in people’s mouths. also i believe kovalev was on the team at that point and wouldnt pass plek’s the puck

          • TomNickle says:

            He said specifically that he measure consistency on a per game basis. I pointed to Plekanec’s scoring record on a per game basis. How’s that putting words in somebody’s mouth?

          • pmaraw says:

            also, if you break down his goals instead of his point’s (assists require linemates who can bury the puck) his goal production is extrememly consistent.

          • pmaraw says:

            no he didnt, that’s just what you read, he said specifically ‘brings it game in and game out’ which to me, means did he skate hard every shift, did he backcheck? did he put it all on the line? being on the #1 ranked pk while being last in the east, you can’t say that he didnt do that. it would have been very easy to just half ass it at that point, stop giving a crap, let the guy out of the box early. but he didn’t he played hard each night and our pk stayed at #1 even while being in last place, i believe that is a more accurate assumption of what he meant.

          • TomNickle says:

            No player in the NHL brings it every shift of every game. So you can just go ahead and toss that argument through the window now.

            There were several instances this season where Plekanec was lazy coming back into his own zone to pick up a trailer in the slot awaiting a pass, and sometimes it resulted in a goal. That doesn’t make him worse defensively than anyone else because it happens to everyone. But to suggest that he gives everything every night is foolish.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I read those as consistently good numbers.

        Who’s this?

        87 pts – plus 19
        92 pts – plus 26
        73 pts – minus 14
        57pts – 0
        57 pts – minus 7
        84 pts – plus 11

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • TomNickle says:

          A player who has four times posted higher point totals than Plekanec’s best year and is +5 better over the course of his career.

          • pmaraw says:

            must not be very consistent in his own end then.

          • TomNickle says:

            By that logic Plekanec isn’t either.

          • Shane1313 says:

            We’ll I dont know who it is, but now im curious!

          • pmaraw says:

            nah, i think you misunderstand. I was simply comparing the two head to head, therefore how can my point be made to show them both being inconsistent in their own end?

          • Mattyleg says:

            It’s Jason Spezza.
            My point is not his totals, it’s his consistency, or lack thereof, which is what this conversation is about, Tom.

            You said that you couldn’t think of a more inconsistent center in the East. I’m helping you!

            Grabovski is another example, if you need one.

            48, -8
            35, +3
            58, +14
            51, 0

            You see, there are lots!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • TomNickle says:

            When you compare Spezza to Plekanec, you’re looking at Jason Spezza’s worst season being very similar to Plekanec’s best.

            But I’m the one being irrational apparently.

          • sane hockey fan says:

            Tom you seem to have selective reading?

            What part of “My point is not his totals, it’s his consistency, or lack thereof, ” dont you understand.

          • TomNickle says:

            Ummm…..Sane Hockey Fan,

            You didn’t make a single point about scoring totals or consistency in this conversation. I’m not sure what opinion of yours I’m supposed to be reading or understanding but I don’t think you hit the submit comment button.

          • Mattyleg says:

            Jeez, Tom!!
            You’re smarter than that!!

            Read what I wrote! I’m talking about CONSISTENCY!!
            NOT POINT TOTALS.

            Jeepers… you’re not doing any of your arguments any favours by being as unobservant as that!

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • TomNickle says:

            I read what you wrote Matty,

            You can’t quantify his effort level for 82 games because nobody brings their best effort every game of the year. Conversations getting flooded with people reiterating what others have said just to make the argument louder. You can speak for yourself and you’ve done so, others who don’t have anything to contribute don’t need to take up space in the conversation.

      • boing007 says:

        Well, try harder then.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  40. commandant says:

    You seem to like putting words in people’s mouths.

    Maybe I missed it, but no one called Kreider a terrible hockey player, merely that he’s being massively overrated to put him in the same league as Richards, Gaborik, Callahan, etc… Nice prospect? Sure, but the fact remains he’s proven little at the NHL level yet.

    Maybe I also missed where someone said we should trade a #3 overall pick for a second line winger.

    If someone disagrees with your position on trading Pleks, Gorges, or the value of Kreider, Why not address what was actually said, instead of building strawmen and then knocking them down.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • TomNickle says:

      I wasn’t talking to you. And yes somebody did in fact call him a terrible hockey player.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Trade #3 pick – an example of bringing in an extreme alternative to make one’s argument sound better.

      • TomNickle says:

        I’m all ears if you have a way to acquire a player who fits Plekanec’s standards for his left wing position.

        • Mattyleg says:

          Plekanec doesn’t have standards.
          He plays well with everyone.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Ozmodiar says:

          The 1st thing I’d do to help Pleks is sign a player to take some of the defensive assignments away from him (PK, d-zone faceoffs, shut down role).

          After that, I’d tackle the 2nd line LW position, but wouldn’t do anything drastic. Maybe stick with Bourque for 1 year to see how he does and test 2013 FA market. Or maybe Jagr can fill in for a year. 2012 won’t be a cup year.

          Another option might be Yakupov, depending on the asking price to move up 2 spots.

          Of course MB will call around to see who might be available. Who knows? Maybe there’s an RFA out there that I team might have trouble signing, who wouldn’t command our 3rd pick or 6 mil.

          • TomNickle says:

            That’s reasonable. I’ve thought about that, what’s available on the free agent market and what a reasonable GM would be willing to give away to add that winger for Plekanec.

            In reality, hitting on something through any of those three routes is unlikely without giving away significant building blocks.

            For me, and this is just me, it makes more sense to move Plekanec for a great return, ideally at next year’s draft than it does to build around him at a time when young players should be the focal point of retooling or rebuilding this team.

            Any player who isn’t truly elite should be spoken of in trade negotiations in my opinion, and that includes Plekanec.

  41. Mattyleg says:

    Afternoon friends!

    Just had a bit of a chuckle reading some of the posts on here.

    A Flames buddy was over today, and we were talking about the stupid things that are posted on our respective fan forums.

    I mentioned the ‘Trade Plekanec’ and ‘Trade Gorges’ and ‘Trade PK’ siliness that goes on here, and we both laughed.

    Then I saw it brought up again today. Yeesh.

    Any of those three players would have other teams in the league falling over each other to try to get. There isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t want any of those guys.

    …so why don’t we…? Are we that stupid, that we would trade away a great player?
    Let’s look at Gorges first: Played most of his career on a busted knee, got fixed, and didn’t miss another game, and finished FIRST in the league in blocked shots.

    Who are you going to replace him with? The number 2 shot-blocker? Number 3? Definitely an upgrade.

    Next: Plekanec. His is a multi-faceted, two-way forward who regularly puts up good points regardless of who he plays with. He plays the PK, the PP, and is very very rarely injured.

    What other player can do as much as that as effectively and for the price we have Pleky for? Nobody is an upgrade on him.

    PK: Young and getting better all the time. Who is better?

    Let’s leave this silly talk alone, shall we, and focus on areas that actually need improvement?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • TomNickle says:

      Yes calling people stupid for wanting this team to be a little bit better than okay is nice for you and your friend Matty.

      Maybe tonight over a beer I’ll bring up how dumb it is for a team to hang onto veteran players who it hasn’t won with in the face of a rebuild. Maybe we’ll laugh about how stupid people are who believe that they’ll get better results with the same pieces in place.

      A new coach won’t make Plekanec elite, younger or less expensive. A new coach won’t make Markov less of an injury risk and a new coach won’t make Josh Gorges anything more than a shot blocker and leader.

      Maybe we’ll laugh about how dumb people are to believe that a new coach would be able to do those things.

      • Shane1313 says:

        A voice of reason Matty.
        Plekanec is not old.
        If Gorges is nothing more than a “shot blocker” and a “leader”…I want to know what a “real” defenseman is!

      • Mattyleg says:

        I wasn’t calling you stupid, Tom.
        Even clever people say stupid things.

        As I mentioned above, the idea behind trading players is that you get better players for them.

        Saying that all Gorges does is block shots and be a leader as a knock against him is a bit strange. He’s a stay-at-home defenceman who finished the season for a last-place team with a +14. What would you like him to do? Score hat-tricks? When you have a player who is the best at something, you don’t get rid of him for someone who is not as good. That’s called bad management.

        Same goes for Plekanec.

        As I said, there is no reason to change things/players that are working well. You have to fix the things that AREN’T working well.

        Like an effective 4th line. Like better goaltender managment. Like a decent powerplay. Like an effective winger.

        You know, things that won’t make the team weaker.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • TomNickle says:


          For this team to become elite over the long haul it will have to get weaker in the short term. It can’t add UFA defensemen seeking long term deals and waste years of NHL service of Tinordi and Beaulieu in Hamilton.

          It can’t trade premium draft picks or prospects so that Plekanec is more satisfied with his wingers.

          If building this team into a Stanley Cup contender is the mandate, some excellent veterans will have to be traded along the way. It won’t all happen tomorrow but it will happen. I wasn’t a member of HIO when Craig Rivet was traded but I recall the mood in Montreal being very pissy to say the least. Rivet was a clone of Gorges and could fight to boot. That was the best trade by a mile that Bob Gainey made for this team.

          People should but won’t accept that this team is going to trade some good veteran players to build for the future and that Rivet to San Jose trade is a model of what this team should try to do with Plekanec, Markov and probably Gionta and Gorges over the next five years. It sucks, we all have favourite players(Gionta is mine) but the reality is that when you’re rebuilding(and the Habs are) familiar faces become memories.

          • Mattyleg says:

            I think the problem is that if you start saying “We should trade this player or that player” then it sounds like you want to get rid of those players. Any trade can be good if it makes sense for the team, and answers an issue the team has.

            Why get rid of good players? We should be getting rid of players who aren’t working out.

            Your fair attitude in this post is tainted by your somewhat irrational dislike of Plekanec. You have an idea that Plekanec needs some particular kind of winger to be successful with. He has played with nearly every member of our current squad, and still put up good numbers.

            —Hope Springs Eternal—

          • TomNickle says:

            I have nothing but admiration for Tomas Plekanec. Based on his salary, role and level of production I would trade him if I had to make the choice between him, Desharnais and our #3 overall pick which will almost surely be used on one of Grigorenko or Galchenyuk.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      True dat, Matt!

      Somehow i doubt MB will want to trade away two of our best players for futures in hopes that it all comes together nicely 4 years from now.

  42. TomNickle says:

    I’ve never seen a group of people clamour for change so strictly and then following the change hope that the new regime stays the course so diligently.

    Pierre Gauthier could have signed a couple of free agent defensemen or traded for a winger to play with Plekanec. If that’s all you people wanted, why in the hell were you so desperate for a new GM and Coach in the first place?

    You don’t fire and hire General Managers to make a couple of tweaks to the personnel. Big changes are coming and I for one am going to enjoy it. It will be made even better by watching those who begged for new administration but apparently want no roster turnover.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      “why in the hell were you so desperate for a new GM and Coach in the first place?”

      Really? You’re not seriously questioning the Gauthier firing, are you?

      “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

      Bring it on Home

      • TomNickle says:

        Not at all. I wanted the change. But I’m also willing to embrace change in other areas of the organization where they’re needed for the long term benefit of the team. Others out of loyalty and false appraisal of some players don’t want change. They think a new coach will fix everything.

        • Shane1313 says:

          No quick, magical fixes.
          I like the change for more immeasurable changes like communication, passion and leadership. Something I feel we lacked. As for the team, I guess I believe we’re not far away from a real good team. And I dont believe franchises like Detroit are “decidedly” built. I think they happen after a little success and then built upon. We don’t all have to say “let’s look long term!!”.
          If we have a more competetive team this year. It’s managment’s job to keep that going while looking at the bigger picture to keep us in contention.

          • TomNickle says:

            This team in my opinion is much further away from Cup contention than you do.

            It doesn’t have the depth at forward or on defense to compete with the Rangers, Flyers or Bruins and won’t for a couple of years at the very least.

    • Bripro says:

      Gauthier couldn’t sign a willing player if his life depended on it. He signed what others didn’t want. Carolina didn’t want Kaberlazy, Buffalo didn’t want Can’tpoli, and Sather was certainly looking to save his own keaster when he dumped Gomez on us.
      Why are you asking a question for which you know the answer?
      Why would any of us (almost all of us) want a new GM? Looking for competence, perhaps?
      As for coaching, I didn’t have a huge problem with JM except his was entirely a defence-above-all-else approach.
      No fostering of the offensive players, a reticence to put Cole on the PP, playing Diaz all the time, over Emelin, etc.
      I think we’ll all enjoy the changes, but when Bergevin says we have a good nucleus of players, I believe him. I don’t think the changes will be that dramatic.
      And like he said, you don’t break it down until you know exactly what you have.

  43. Habsolutely says:

    what a sweet goal by Skinner.

  44. HardHabits says:

    Apparently it is not allowed to out a new user’s old HIO user ID. So I guess I am going to have to be cryptic. I also see clearly why Cal has such an attitude problem.

    Let’s just say that Cal fancies himself an ex-Government Man.

  45. Bripro says:

    I have to agree with most that the team is missing a no. 1 centreman.
    However, the DD line was a no 1 line this year, and the only real effective line. So as the year progressed, the opposing team’s priority was to counter that line. That was obvious.
    Now, take DD off that line, and replace him with either of Pleks or Eller, and guaranteed, both will see their numbers shoot up.
    Pleks did play with them for a few games toward season’s end, and collected points.
    I don’t think it’s a question of trading Pleks. Not this year, anyhow.
    Pair him with effective wingmen, rather than picking up a #1 power centreman, and the team dynamic changes completely.
    No question that the no 3 pick will reap benefits. Long-term, he just might become our no 1 power centre, but not this year. To listen to some, it might take another year. Usually, such a high draft pick should yield an NHL-ready player, but perhaps the pool really is too shallow this year, and whoever they pick might need grooming in Hamilton.
    Personally, I would like to see how much Eller has matured since last year, because he certainly made some pretty brain-cramped moves this year, and took too many cheap penalties. And I would take this hold mode for the early part of this year, at least.
    I don’t question his ability, but will not bank on it.
    I would place more importance however in grooming the D, since we are lacking in that department more than up front, I find.
    My priorities would be (aside from sending Gomez packing in the minors) to somehow rid ourselves of the Kaberle and Campoli contracts. And focusing on training and reenforcing the D.
    That’s where bringing in Larry Robinson would reap huge benefits.
    That’s how I see it.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’m not sold on Eller either at this point. He could go either way in my opinion. He showed flashes last season but I think the ceiling for him is a 20 goal 20 assist season one day down the road if he’s lucky. I hope I’m wrong?

      We’re stuck with kaberle, unfortunately, unless he is bought out or plays in Hamilton. No team would want him just for the PP and have to deal with his uselessness in all other aspects of the game.

      Campoli’s contract is already gone.

      • TomNickle says:

        The other 29 General Managers in the NHL told you that Kaberle will have to be buried in Hamilton did they?

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I know Tom, you believe someone might be interested in Kaberle, I don’t.

          If he moves to another team before the trade deadline next year 2013/14 – I buy you a beer.

          If he stays put, is sent to Hamilton or is bought out prior to the 2013/14 deadline – You buy me a beer?

          • TomNickle says:


          • Bripro says:

            Sorry guys, but I would say you’re both going to suffer from parch mouth, because I don’t believe another GM will pick up Kaberle, and there’s no way the Habs will send both he and Gomez to Hamilton.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            There’s also the minimal chance he shows up in great shape in September and actually plays some good hockey and Montreal decides they want to keep him. Than it’s a draw :-).

    • Habsolutely says:

      Campoli is a UFA this summer, and I doubt the Habs sign him. They will add his 1.75 million to the money they will free up by dealing with Gomez, and Bergevin will most likely go after a D-man like Garrison or Suter.

  46. TomNickle says:

    Hey let’s keep Tomas Plekanec for the duration of his contract.

    Since he needs an upgrade at the left wing let’s trade our #3 overall pick for a player who costs $6 million annually so that they can play together for the next four years.

    Keep Desharnais as a second line centre with Pacioretty and Cole.

    Let’s leave Eller as a third line centre and let him walk when he becomes a UFA. He’ll just go to another team and score more points than Plekanec as a second line centre with another team and then in four years when Plekanec is a 34 year old UFA we can watch him go somewhere else or keep him on as our first line centre who isn’t productive enough offensively.

    Great idea all around. No top six centre taller than 5’10 or weighing more than 200 pounds and neither one are elite. On top of all of that we’ll have an expensive veteran left winger instead of a franchise player that we could’ve had with a #3 overall pick.

    Sounds great to me. Definitely the way to build a perennial contender.

    • sane hockey fan says:

      man I wish I could see the future too!!

      • TomNickle says:

        You think Eller’s going to want to stay here to be a third line centre behind Plekanec and Desharnais for the next ten years?

        It isn’t reading a crystal ball, it’s the business of hockey.

        You want to trade one of Tinordi, Beaulieu, Gallagher or Leblanc to get Plekanec the winger he needs to be effective offensively?

        Or would you rather trade a first round pick in one of the next two drafts?

        • RiverviewCanadien says:

          Let Desharnais play with the wingers that Pleks had. Give Pleks Pacioretty and Cole all year. Lets see who has more points in the end.

          And lets see how the PK is next year without Plekanec.

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Or we could keep Pleks *and* our #3 pick.

      BTW, Pleks is 5’11”. Same as Giroux. Taller than Briere. Both of whom you list below when explaining why we can’t compete with the Flyers. :)

    • ZepFan2 says:

      You seem to get upset that some here like and want to keep Plecks. The guy has scored 20 or more goals since 2006. Was 3 shy of doing it again. This year he had no linemates or new ones every second week. Do you truly believe that he wouldn’t have the same or more points playing with Cole and Patches?

      You want to trade him, some don’t. Stop acting like a baby when faced with differing opinions.

      “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

      Bring it on Home

      • TomNickle says:

        I get bothered by….

        1. The notion that we need him.
        2. The inconsistency in people wanting a team built for the future yet want to keep every veteran we have. It doesn’t work that way.

  47. commandant says:

    I noticed Tom mentionned Kreider among all the other players on the Rangers.

    Is there a rookie more overrated than Kreider?

    He had a good first two games in the NHL but has done very little since.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • TomNickle says:

      You mean the Kreider who is the second fastest player on the ice behind only Gaborik whenever he plays?

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        He can’t play hockey though.

        “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
        – Sean Bonjovi

        • TomNickle says:

          No not at all. 92 points in 114 games at Boston College. A National Champion and a 19th overall pick who the Rangers wouldn’t include in a deal for Rick Nash.

          Terrible hockey player.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            Rumours about trades that didn’t happen, are less relevant than where he was drafted. I’ve seen the guy play in televised hockey games, and he’s doesn’t know what to do with the puck. His brain-dead, no hands, follow the coaches order style of hockey fits in perfectly on that Rangers team though.

            “I’m not opposed to trading Plekanec and/or Markov”
            – Sean Bonjovi

          • TomNickle says:

            Yeah you know better than John Tortorella, Glen Sather and Doug Riseborough.

            Craig Anderson probably thinks that he knows what to do with the puck.


    • 24 Cups says:

      Kreider was part of the ’09 mid draft that saw the Habs selecting one of Leblanc, Kreider or Josefon. All three players brought different attributes and risks. Kreider had the most upside as well as the most amount of risk.

      I’m not sure I would want to judge him on a few playoff games straight out of college (same as Kassian). Just like I wouldn’t want to judge Leblanc’s “rushed before his time” performance or Josefon’s apparent “band-aid boy brittleness”. All three of these players are just 21 years of age.

      It was a no brainer for Montreal to pick the French kid but Kreider is a blue chip prospect.

  48. HabsFanMTL says:

    well i’m just gonna say something here about trading pleks. I’d trade not only Pleks but ya know i’m no completely sold on DD , yeah he had a great year but he was easily bumped off the puck with his small size and this coming year the Big D of other teams will be ready for him and he’ll probably take some nasty hits and falls. In my opinion trade both pleks and DD and get an Experienced BIG Center and perhaps a winger. Our other BIG center will be from the Draft Pick hopefully able to play now

    • Cardiac says:

      Below I compared DD to Brendan Morrison. Morrison put up his best numbers playing with two great wingers in Bertuzzi and Naslund. After the lockout and the eventual breakup of the West Coast Express, his production numbers dropped significantly.

      With that said, DD definitely has a place as a second or third line centre in the NHL, but let’s face it… his numbers are slightly inflated because Pacioretty and Cole has career years.

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  49. Habsolutely says:

    Hypothetical scenario, let’s say Burke offered us his 5th overall for Plekanec and Bourque, or something along those lines. Would you do it?

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Nope. Pleks is one of our best all round players and bourque has scored almost 30 goals twice. yes, bourque stunk last year but the entire team was not stellar. i would give him a little more time.

      The main reason why I wouldn’t do it is the fact I am not overly encouraged by the top 10 in this draft.

      We have the number 3 pick and that player will not be ready for the NHL next year. This team still has to try and compete

      “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out

    • Cal says:

      Nope. If this was 2013, the supposed year of the BIG DRAFT, I’d have to think about it.
      Most scouts this year are saying there is Yakupov, and then there’s everybody else.

      • TomNickle says:

        Who are “most scouts”?

        I’m curious to know which scouts made that declaration.

        You know it’s funny that was the prevailing opinion in Stamkos’ draft year.

        Drew Doughty went second overall in that draft. Zach Bogosian went third. Alex Pietrangelo went fourth. Luke Schenn at five. Cody Hodgson at ten. Erik Karlsson at 15. Jake Gardiner at 17. Michael Del Zotto at 20. Jordan Eberle at 22. John Carlson at 27.

        • sane hockey fan says:

          Who’s “prevailing opinion” was that? I’m curious to know who made that declaration

          • TomNickle says:

            Bobblehead McKenzie

            Which is my point. It isn’t the opinion of scouts. It’s the opinion of a member of the media who speaks to a couple of scouts who don’t like what will be available where their team is picking.

    • ont fan says:

      Plex, Bourque for 5th and Kadri …they hate kadri anyway

  50. ont fan says:

    So Tom in your estimation..what does Plex or Georges get you in this draft..when you say 1st round draft choice, how high?

    • TomNickle says:

      I wouldn’t move Gorges right now unless I had an offer that blew me away.

      Plekanec? A first round pick this year(if it were in a spot where I really liked a player that I could select) and a prospect or roster player that I really like.

      Having said that I would do my best to avoid moving him at the draft. I would try to have a free agent lined up to play second or third line centre pending my moving Plekanec.

      • RGM says:

        Full NTC in the first year of Gorges new contract. End of that discussion.

        GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
        “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

        Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

        • TomNickle says:

          On paper that’s the end of the discussion. And in reality a Gm goes to a player and says we have an offer on the table for you that we’d like to take because we’re rebuilding. If you don’t want to go to that city or team is there anywhere that you’d consider moving to?

          If there isn’t another acceptable destination, then it’s end of discussion. If there is, the door is open.

      • ont fan says:

        I have to say, I’m with you on where we are for next year. I believe we have to move those 2 for prospects and draft choices. Bergeron probably has a window for a short period of time to mold this team for a couple of years from now.

      • sane hockey fan says:

        So let me get this straight. You marginalize Plekanec value to our team and then want to trade him for a FIRST round pick AND a prospect!! WOW. You want to trade Plekanec thats fine but don’t tell me hes not worth keeping on a 15 place team then say hes worth a 1st and a prospect. Lets try and be realistic here.

        • TomNickle says:

          His value is determined only by what team he is playing for.

          I never once said he isn’t an excellent hockey player. I’m not about to call him elite like many here believe he is.

  51. TomNickle says:


    – Richards, Gaborik, Kreider, Hagelin, Callahan, Stepan and Anisimov.


    – Bergeron, Seguin, Krejci, Horton, Lucic and Marchand


    – Briere, Hartnell, Simmonds, Schenn, Read, Giroux and Voracek

    If some of you think that adding a veteran UFA defenseman is going to make the Habs a contender in the East, you’re seriously misjudging where this team sits in the Eastern Conference.

    • Cardiac says:

      You could probably add:


      – Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Neal, Kunitz, Dupuis, Sullivan, Kennedy

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  52. Mr. Biter says:

    This is stupid. For over 2 months about half of the posters wanted to tank to get a high draft pick and everyone knew who the top 5 would be. So we tanked and now these same posters want to trade the #3 pick for Kane who is #2 in the Jets depth chart behind Slater a team which was all of what 5 or 6 points above us. Oh yeah, a great deal. Not. Trade the pick for a 1st line player Not going into option year) and they have to take gomez. Then if another GM goes for it our new GM will be a genius for at least a couple of weeks.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  53. Habsolutely says:

    2- zip for the Finns.

  54. zaq007 says:

    Pleky to me is still our best overall player, would hate to see him traded

    • Habsolutely says:

      I like Pleks. I would only trade him if the return was worth it. I also think trading him would be difficult because his no-trade clause limits what the GM can do with him.

  55. Shane1313 says:

    I love Koivu.
    Oh ya and the good thing about all of this unrest…I think we really get the sense that Bergevin will do things properly and not rush anything like it has been done in the past.

  56. FanCritic says:

    Myself, I’m for ROY and ROBINSON after that whom ever, I think they would do a great job especially should Bergervin bring in a little more talent…

  57. commandant says:

    Team can’t score enough goals.

    Solution, trade plekanec.

    That makes sense.

    A guy who scored 8 pts less than DD and never had a good winger with him the whole year.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

    • Shane1313 says:

      True that man. He’s extremely valuable

    • TomNickle says:

      It depends on where you think the franchise is. If you think they can sign a couple of stalwart defensemen then sure keep everyone else in place and take a run at it.

      If you can’t get those guys you need to pray that all of Gorges, Markov, Emelin and Subban stay healthy and that each one of them learn how to keep guys from running price through the back of the net.

      • Shane1313 says:

        Tom, I cant make assumptions on when guys will be ready, so I cant necessarily say in 3 years with those 3 new dmen, we’ll have a proper core, because maybe Ellis flops and Beaulieu gets in the lineup this year ya know?

        Also I dont think we need two “stalwart” dmen. I think we need one, experienced, net-clearer type. Gorges already protects the net. Subban had a tough 2-3 first months, but then came into his own, he should be even better this year. And with more maturity, guys will back off from respect. Markov had a short time after a long time out. He’ll prove even more valuable also. One addtion will give us a just solid decent D. If Emelin gets better and Markov shows us that he can still do a lot and Subby plays strong all year…then its a very solid D.

        • TomNickle says:

          Emelin is currently the only defenseman that we have who can move bodies out of Price’s way. That is the single biggest reason this team couldn’t hold a lead this year.

          One addition like that will not solve this teams’ problems around its net. Markov, Subban, Emelin, Gorges and two defensemen capable of knocking anyone breathing near Price on their butt and I’d entertain the thought of keeping the veterans around. If that can’t be done this summer, I’d be rebuilding.

          • Shane1313 says:

            I guess we won’t agree.
            I think Gorges and Subban are actually more capable than Emelin. They both “clear” the net.
            *But ya 2 guys like that would be benificial

  58. christophor says:

    We should remember that last year Eller missed a normal summer regimen, training camp, and the beginning of the season. Besides the fact he’ll likely take the next natural step in his development next year (big or small), a full summer program and training camp under Eller’s belt raises my expectations for him next year. If he’s given the chances (PP and PK time, and some linemates), I’m actually optimistic that he’ll make a big jump forward next year.

    I’m hoping that they sign him for a few years now.

    • jon514 says:

      Eller will be a beast next year. I can’t wait to see what he can do as a 23 year old. I expect he will surprise everyone, but none more than the HATErs on HIO.

      • shiram says:

        Hey I’m no hater, I really like Eller, and I think he’s got room to improve!
        A set of wingers that do not change all to often would definately benefit him. I also hope they sign for at least 3 years.

  59. commandant says:

    Jagr would be a great stop gap on a one year contract. We need someone to play with pleks and gio on the second line and Bourque just wasn’t getting it done.

    Go Habs Go!
    Visit Your NHL Draft Headquarters

  60. Donnie Murdo says:

    For all the talk of a plethora of centers and the availability and disposal of Pleks, why is no-one even entertaining the thought of drafting Forsberg?
    From what I can see he does it all, is most likely NHL ready, is big, fits with this teams new identity (if I think I understand it…) and, well, is not Russian.

    I can’t think of a lazy Swede in the NHL.

    • Max says:

      I agree. He’s the guy I would take with the top 3 pick.

      He won’t be ready for the NHL for at least another year as he has signed on to play in the SEL again next season.

      I expect he’ll be NHL ready in 2 years from now, but good things come to those who wait as they say.

    • TomNickle says:

      Forsberg has underachieved offensively at every level of hockey he’s played. We need elite skill, not hard working grinders.

  61. TomNickle says:

    Regarding loyalty to players like Plekanec, Markov, Gionta and Gorges.

    This team is at a crossroads and there are, in my opinion three ways to go about handling this team right now.

    1. The rebuild on the fly. It would involve.

    – Burying Gomez in Hamilton

    – Moving Kaberle for a mid round pick

    – Signing two defensemen who are tough, physical and capable of moving the puck(ie: not turnover machines). A couple of note are Brad Stuart, Barrett Jackman, Bryan Allen and Joe Corvo. The problem with this is that all four of them are going to be looking to sign their final contracts. They’re going to want long terms and a damn good chunk of money. With Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis in the system and likely to be NHL players within the next two to three years adding veteran defensemen who are looking for term is a bad move because all three of the prospects I mentioned are going to be burning years of service regardless of whether or not they’re in the NHL as early as next year.

    – The rebuild on the fly would also entail adding a winger who can play with Plekanec and Gionta and moving Bourque down presumably with Eller and Leblanc or Eller and Moen.

    This strategy is unlikely to unfold the way any GM would want and takes years of service away from prospects like Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis. Bad long term move in my opinion.


    As I mentioned, Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis are likely to be NHL regulars within two years. Conservatively say that Ellis is no sure thing. That still leaves this organization with Subban, Tinordi, Beaulieu, Emelin and Gorges within three years. Fine by me.

    With that in mind this team has a two to three year window where it won’t have stability on defense. Markov, Gorges, Emelin and Subban, if we’re lucky and don’t suffer serious injury. And with Markov’s instability and Gorges being a shot blocking machine that’s unlikely. So realistically this team can’t be expected to compete for a Cup unless it adds two free agent defensemen in the mould I mentioned above. Trading for them is out of the question considering it would take prospects and picks. Something a new GM will be seriously against.

    Back to the rebuild. A defense group with Subban, Beaulieu, Tinordi and Emelin will leave Gorges and Markov expendable. A forward group with Desharnais, Eller and Galchenyuk or Grigorenko will within a calendar year leave Plekanec expendable.

    So my strategy over the course of the next full calendar year would be to move Markov, Gorges and Plekanec to build for the long haul instead of right now.

    From each one I would be seeking a first round pick and promising young roster player or a package that would net me a truly elite winger.

    • Habsolutely says:

      Hey Tom, I have Jason Garrison on my wish list for the Habs D. You think there’s any chance MB will tender him an offer?

    • shiram says:

      So it’s short term sorta tank deal you are pushing!

      • TomNickle says:

        It’s not a tank at all. On defense, maybe, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Diaz and Weber aren’t capable. I would honestly re-sign Campoli and give him another shot. He played well down the stretch when he found out he wasn’t getting traded.

        At forward you could leave Desharnais as a #1 centre, elevate Eller to #2 and sign a Chris Kelly or somebody similar to fill the short term vacancy. Or you could give the third line centre job to Leblanc.

        • gordon bombay says:

          Re-sign Campoli?

          One step forward, two steps back….

          • TomNickle says:

            To a short term deal to serve as a stop gap measure in between now and the time that one of Tinordi or Beaulieu are ready.

            I’m not talking about a five year deal for Campoli here. One or two years maximum.

          • gordon bombay says:

            Beaulieu > Campoli

          • TomNickle says:

            Beaulieu is not anywhere near where Campoli is today.

            Beaulieu will not be ready to join the Habs in September either.

          • TomNickle says:

            To be more specific Shiram, if I were to move Gorges it would be at this time next year. I would move Plekanec when I felt I had the best offer on the table regardless of timing and the same goes for Markov.

            Provided they’re willing to waive NTC’s of course.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Campoli? All year long he sucked and almost all posters wanted him gone. Everyone hitting the bottle early?

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

        • shiram says:

          Sending away established players for picks and prospect is a sort of tanking, especially if you move such important pieces as Gorges and Plekanec.
          D was horrible last year, and you’d trade away our best stay at home D, that would not help the standings for the next season.

          • TomNickle says:

            I wouldn’t trade him right now. I would only entertain the thought of trading Gorges when the group of defense prospects we have is ready.

            I’m not screaming tank from the rooftops here.

          • shiram says:

            It’s a great discussion, and I really like these exchanges, just wanna make that clear.
            But you did say you’d move Pleks/Gorges/Markov over the course of this year. I just feel our D prospects won’t be ready this year, or at least I’d be very pleasantly surprised if they were.

        • Max says:

          Diaz is a very capable defenseman

          • TomNickle says:

            Capable of what? Blocking shots? Yeah I suppose. He can join the rush pretty nicely too. But I don’t recall him taking the puck off of anyone all year and don’t remember a time where he went into a corner or even tried to move somebody from the front of the net.

          • Max says:

            He is a good skater,shot blocker as you alluded to and he has a good outlet pass with some offensive insticts.He isn’t big or pyhsical, but can safely be plugged into that 5th or 6th slot without worries and with a low salary. I personally have no problem with him on our last pairing.

          • Kooch7800 says:

            I agree he is capable but depending on what your other D look like as well. there is no place for him on the same team with Weber and St denis

            “Like Canadian Hip hop..check us out

        • Bripro says:

          OK well now you and I definitely are in a different place.
          The guy couldn’t play his way out of a paper bag.
          I would rather keep Saint Denis, who was far more impressive.

          • TomNickle says:

            I guess you’ve forgotten that Malone nearly decapitated Campoli, that he suffered a serious leg injury and among all of that also had problems getting into the lineup because of Martin’s love affair with Rafael Diaz.

            Cunneyworth came in and Diaz went out.

            Campoli isn’t a top 4 defenseman by any means, but he is also had a ridiculous amount of obstacles last season.

          • Bripro says:

            I haven’t forgotten. Aside from Chara on Max, it was the most blatant example of injustice or inconsistency within the disciplinary committee.
            But even before that, I always found him to be a floater, and never very effective.
            However, I must admit that toward the last half dozen games or so, he seemed to play much better.
            Is it as a result of your observation, i.e. the injury? Perhaps.
            But man…. most of the season, I wished they would send him along with Kaberlazy and Gomer to the minors.

          • TomNickle says:

            He was also on a one year deal and was dangled as trade bait. The day the trade deadline passed he was excellent for us in my opinion. Give him a two year deal as a stop gap between now and when our prospects are ready and he’ll be fine in a #5 or #6 role.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Yes, Saint Denis who really impressed in his time up in the bigs. I also like Diaz before Campoli.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

          • Bripro says:

            Diaz I’m not so sure about…
            His heart was definitely there, but often he seemed out of his league.
            He got pushed around a lot and couldn’t clear in front of Carey.
            I don’t know if it’s too late for him, but I think he needs to put on a few pounds.
            Great shooter and passer though. Whatever that counts for.

          • Mr. Biter says:

            Agree, but more offensive than Campoli who did little this year. Originally thought Weber was better than Diaz but in my opinion Diaz improved while Weber got worse as the season went on.

            Mr. Biter
            No Guts No Glory

    • HardHabits says:

      Cal is not going to like this. I however, love it.

    • gordon bombay says:


      Do you really feel the habs would be a solid team with Desharnais, Eller, and Grigorenko/Galchenyuk up the middle?

      Desharnais = 2nd line centre
      Eller = 3rd line centre

      Grigs/Gally = unknown at this point, but not a #1 centre within 2-3 years

      To me, this would lead the habs down the same path as we have been on for years now – top level rookie talent on lines 2/3, decent top line wingers, no #1 centre.

      And get rid of Gorges? This guy will be a hab for life and will be the next captain once Gionta is traded at the deadline next season.

      • TomNickle says:

        We have differing opinions of what Eller’s capable of. I’d be willing to give Plekanec’s role to Eller as early as this season and roll the dice.

        • gordon bombay says:

          If we are trading Plekanec we need to get a #1 centre in return. The market is scarce, but it is not impossible:

          CAR – Staal
          PIT – Staal
          ANA – Getzlaf
          SJ – Thronton
          SJ – Marleau

          As the key component in a package, Plekanec + picks/prospects could fetch one of those guys.

          To me, Eller is a solid two way centre with offensive potential. He is well suited for a third line role. When I think of a #1/2 centre, I think offensive dynamo who can be a gamebreaker – that doesn’t sound like Eller, but I would be willing to put my foot in my mouth if he was to elevate his game and become the “missing piece” on this team.

          • TomNickle says:

            We have a #1 centre in waiting with either Grigorenko or Galchenyuk if one of them is selected.

    • Shane1313 says:

      Tom, I dont like this!
      Lol, Ill get over it, but gee you hit a soft spot with my Gorges

    • Cal says:

      Expecting rookie Dmen to take the team to the next level is pie in the sky. It’s great that Beaulieu, Tinordi and Ellis are doing well, but remember all 3 are playing against kids. Expecting them to perform at the same level against NHLers is asking too much.

      Building for the long haul by trading good players is the Oilers’ strategy. They have been at it for 4 seasons now with no end of ineptitude in sight.
      I want the Habs to get over this perfect shit storm of a year and get back to competing. It will take a couple of UFA shutdown Dmen along with adding the likes of a Parenteau to get Plekanec some help on the wing.
      There are many times when the prospects remain what they are, and that’s young men with potential. Potential doesn’t mean elite performance. Developing that potential is the coach in Hamilton’s job, not the new head coach of the Habs. Or should the new head coach be like Tom Renney, a babysitter?

      • TomNickle says:

        You’re missing the point completely. Tinordi, Beaulieu and Ellis won’t be elite NHL defensemen in two years, that much we agree on. But at the same time, this team will not be competing for a Stanley Cup until they’re in the NHL.

      • boing007 says:

        How old is Landeskog (sp?) in Colorado? Nineteen?

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  62. Max says:

    If I’m Bergevin, I’d offer Price 5.5 for 5 years for a total of 27.5 million. More than fair and if they want more,you tell them to look for it elsewhere.

  63. rhino514 says:

    McDonaugh is 0 1 1 in 13 gamea and “leading” the team with minus 4.
    It´s incredible the ink he gets on this forum. He may be good someday, but he´s just o.k. now. Not in the class of fellow Dmen Girardi or Del Zoto. Got the majority of his points when the team was forced to play him on the PP eraly in the year because other Dmen were out.

  64. rhino514 says:

    Even if they draft a centre, he will be a longshot to make the team next year and even if he does, he will not have an impact.
    Until or if Eller takes it to the next level and DD can replicate his past season, there is no glut at centre. Depth yes, glut no.

  65. Bripro says:

    So MAB was on L’Antichambre the other night, and I never got to post it for Timo.
    Bergevin hasn’t hired his coach yet, even though I’ve read posts this week to “get it done!”. I don’t see that happening prior to the draft, unless he hires Carbo or (God forbid) Therrien.
    The site is re-hashing the Price Lovers/Bashers and poor Plex would walk the plank if Tom, HH and Surrey have their way (no offence boys).
    Speaking of HH, if you want Dave, I can lend you my GPS just so you don’t get lost in Saskatoon on your way to Shawinigan. 😉

    • shiram says:

      Did MAB say anything interesting?

      • Bripro says:

        He must be quite the partyer. He has no memory.
        Couldn’t remember the coaches he played for, what numbers he wore, who had the hardest shot on his respective teams, etc.
        They asked him a bunch of questions where he sat there, blank-faced.
        It would have turned Timo off completely!

    • HardHabits says:

      No worries Bri. My smart phone has GPS built in as well as Internet access and a web browser so regardless of where I end up I’d still be able to stir the p…, er, I mean contribute to the discourse, over here.

      • Bripro says:

        LOL. My GPS sent us on our way to Burlington, VT on the weekend.
        It instructed us all the way to an open field and then declared:
        “You’ve arrived at your final destination!”.
        So call me old-fashion, but I still rely on the old maps tradition!

  66. Habsolutely says:

    Tom Nickle brings up a valid point, if the Habs draft a center they will have a glut at the center position. and using Pleks as trade bait seems like the most viable option. Could very well happen.

    • TomNickle says:

      That’s the most simple way it can be put. With another centreman with elite potential in the organization to go with Desharnais and Eller, Plekanec is expendable(IN MY OPINION FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE PLEKANEC IS ELITE OR NEEDED FOR THE TEAM TO BE COMPETITIVE).

      On a rebuilding team, having say Eller, Desharnais and Grigorenko. I’m moving Plekanec and hopefully packaging him with something else to acquire an elite winger like a Nash, Kane or Perry if I can.

      • Habsolutely says:

        anythings possible Tom. Should be interesting to see what route MB takes with the squad.

      • Bripro says:

        Rich Nash – 59 points, $7.5mm, $7.8mm cap hit
        Patrick Kane – 66 points, $6mm, $6.3mm cap hit
        Corey Perry – 60 points $5.4mm, $5.375mm cap hit
        Plekanec – 52 points (on 23 line combinations), $5mm, $5mm cap hit

        So where’s the advantage in picking these boys up? It’s not clear cut in stone.

        Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great players, but I think it would cost the team too much.

        • TomNickle says:

          You’ve done this before and it doesn’t surprise me you’re doing it again. Corey Perry hasn’t had a season with a lower goal total than 27 in his last five. Rick Nash has only been below 30 goals twice in his nine year NHL career and Patrick Kane has been below 70 points only once(this was the first time) in his five year career. Kane probably had more line combinations than Plekanec this season by the way.

          Plekanec has reached 70 points in his career only once and has reached 60 only twice. That’s in a seven year career by the way.

          • Bripro says:

            Look I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you. I’m only saying that it will cost the team too much. They’re all still on contracts (i believe), so it’s not as if the team can sign them as UFAs.
            And yes, Pleks has some trade value right now, but what you are asking for, I don’t think the team will get.
            If however, he was paired with a couple of top-wingmen, I’m convinced his point totals would shoot up.
            Someone had mentioned earlier this week about reenforcing the 3rd and 4th lines. If the new management would be astute enough to bring back excellent short-handed players like Dominic Moore or Jeff Halpern (who are also great on faceoffs), then Plex’s time can be focused on offensive play, and with a stable line, I don’t see it being a problem for him to produce 70+ points.
            I’m a little more open to your suggestion that earlier in the year. Perhaps it’s because we’re in sleep-mode right now.
            And as far as your not being surprised that I’m doing it again, you can’t fault me for loyalty or my convictions, just as I don’t fault you for yours.

          • Shane1313 says:

            But you know better than most, how valuable Pleks is!

    • 24 Cups says:

      I disagree. Both Grigorenko and Galchenyuk could both benefit from another year in junior. There also could be a lockout this season.

      • TomNickle says:

        They will probably both need another year in junior(Galchenyuk for sure).

        Nobody’s saying move him tomorrow. But if one of those players is the selection this team can afford to move Plekanec and it would probably be in the best interests of the franchise to do it.

      • Habsolutely says:

        You disagree with what? That it is in the realm of possibility? I didn’t say it was inevitable, just that it is a possible scenario. You provided another scenario, that the pick plays another year in junior, and the Habs keep Plecks and maybe get Jagr to play on his wing. Nothing is written in stone, this is all just conjecture on all our parts.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Easy on the tone.

          • Habsolutely says:

            What “tone” would that be? I was just discussing hockey. Easy on reading too much into peoples comments just because you don’t like the poster.

          • 24 Cups says:

            My point, exactly.

            As for allegedly not liking you, that’s not true in any way.

            Truth be told, we don’t even know each other.

          • Habsolutely says:

            Well, I’m sorry if you read my post the wrong way, I really just didn’t understand what you were disagreeing with. I didn’t intend it to be a malicious post directed at you. The reason I brought up the not liking me part is because I’ve noticed the only time you respond to my posts is to say you disagree with me. I certainly have no ill feelings toward you, but I understand that my irish temper gets me in trouble here sometimes, and I’m not the most well-liked poster here.

          • 24 Cups says:

            No worries, water under the bridge.

            Have a great weekend.

    • boing007 says:

      Mmm, love gluts at the center position. The more the merrier.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        boing007….not sure if you ever answered but why do you put Price down in your signature like that? I’d say if anything, he’s done better than most expected with the teams he has had in fron of him, but even if he hasn’t, I don’t understand why you’d write that instead of something supportive of your team’s goaltender.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

    • RiverviewCanadien says:

      Pleks wears an A with the Habs for a reason.
      Pleks is wearing the C with the Czech team for a reason.

      He is a true leader. No way I trade him. Not unless it is in a package deal that involves a player like Malkin coming back (yes a #1 center).

      Desharnais would be traded miles ahead of Tomas in a deal to land a #1, keeping Tomas at #2 spot.

      I am just not sold on Desharnais after one good year playing with our BEST wingers!

  67. 24 Cups says:

    The topic of a new coach seems to be the theme of the day. I’m not suggesting a favourite candidate (after all, I don’t speak French:-) but would rather examine the process that Bergevin will face. Circumstance beyond his control will severely impact his decision making process.

    We all realize that any new coach must speak French. Most posters have come to live with that fact. However, this requirement acts as a double whammy. Not only does it impact the list of inexperienced coaches, but also the ones who are presently employed. In essence, timing becomes just as important (and restrictive) as the French requirement.

    Tom Nickle mentions that the Habs really can’t afford to go with a rookie coach. That may be a valid point. If so, the list dwindles. Then there are the coaches who are at the top of the list but are not presently available – Quenneville, Vigneault and maybe Boucher. Not only are they not available at this point in time, but the Hab coaching job may not be vacant when one of these guys is unemployed in the next few years. This is based on the assumption that the new Hab coach gets a three year deal and fulfils his mandate. Timing, which doesn’t apply as much to English speaking coaches, cuts the list in half again. When it’s all said and done, the Habs may never get a chance to have the best French speaking coach even if they want him and he wants them. This will only worsen if Quebec City eventually returns.

    I can’t see Carbo coming back so soon. Robinson is on record as stating that he’s not keen on the pressure of being a head coach. Hartley and Therrien are both past their due dates. Both had major issues when it came to dealing with players in the new era of the NHL. That basically leaves Crawford, Gallant and Savard. They all come with some baggage and unanswered questions.

    The Hab reconstruction process consists of a three part process. The first was getting a new GM who would bring a fresh face to a franchise that was totally living in the past. The second was grabbing a top quality draft pick as compensation for finishing deal last in the conference. All that’s needed there is to fill in the blank at the June draft. The third piece of the puzzle is getting a coach who can speak French, develop young players and create a new team culture. This may be the biggest hurdle as the field of candidates appears to be mighty slim.

    Man, I wish I could speak French.

    • TomNickle says:

      In fairness Crawford and Gallant would probably near the top of anyone’s list of candidates.

      Savard probably wouldn’t be but that’s not necessarily fair. He did pretty damn well with a young Blackhawks team in his first full season and got fired before the ten game mark of the following year. Funny he hasn’t got a second chance or pursued one since. Says quite a lot that Chicago kept him in the organization.

    • boing007 says:

      Bergevin does not have an embarrassment of riches to choose from. His choices are limited right from the start. Not fair to him, or to the fans.

      Richard R
      Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

    • JF says:

      Steve – I think it’s the timing more than the language requirement that is the limiting factor. As you point out, it is highly unlikely that the Habs will be looking for a coach when Quenneville, Vigneault or Boucher become available. On the other hand, I can’t think of an available English-speaking coach I would put near the top of a list of candidates. Ron Wilson? Paul Maurice? Carbo is still at the head of my list, but I’m beginning to be less negative about Roy. Don’t want Crawford, would consider Hartley. Gallant is interesting. No one has mentioned Clément Jodoin as a possibility. It would be great to get Larry Robinson as assistant.

  68. Marcusman says:

    Anyone have the link to watch the Canada game live?

  69. Chrisadiens says:

    A tribute to Moms. Written by our own Habfan10912.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  70. jon514 says:

    So If Jagr is available in the off-season, Can we pick him up to help Plek dominate again next year? These guys love to play together as seen in international play and the fact that they work out together in the off season!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Jagr had a tremendous season, but his game seemed to drop off significantly at the end of reg. season and the playoffs. I am fearful his age cannot get him through a full 82 game season and a long playoff run.

      Perhaps the concept would be to “platoon” him throughout the season, but I don’t think that works in the NHL.

      I think I would pass on him.

    • TomNickle says:

      The time to build around Plekanec has passed. He should no longer be a focal point of the building strategy or considered a core player.

      Ditto for Andrei Markov(perhaps the player I’ve most enjoyed watching in the last twenty years in a Habs jersey).

      This isn’t the time to be loyal because of affection. It is time to build around Price, Subban and the draft pick coming in June, presumably a centreman. In doing so you have foundation pieces at all three levels of play and can begin to work around them.

      Everyone else should be expendable and as such it’s time to build around the new core.

      • Cal says:

        Yeah, let’s wait another 4 years like the Oilers to be competitive. NOT!

        • TomNickle says:

          What are you talking about? The team has been more than competitive without Markov in recent years and Plekanec is not an elite hockey player. You can’t ignore the right offer out of loyalty.

          • ZepFan2 says:

            I’m sorry, I have to disagree about the loyalty part. I feel Plecks and Markov have been loyal to the team. They had chances to test FA and chose to stay with the Habs. Markov has said on numerous times he loves the Habs and Montreal. Talk about loyalty, Markov even became a Canadian citizen.

            I’ve always felt if a player is loyal to the team, the team should be loyal to the player. Besides, this isn’t another wipe em out and rebuild season coming up…at least I hope not.

            “Bring it on home, Bring it on home to you…” – Plant/Page

            Bring it on Home

          • Cal says:

            Almost everyone expendable. Build around the new core. Replacing vet Dmen like Markov with raw rookie equals problems. Hamrlik’s loss got us a terrible season defensively from Diaz, Weber and Campoli. Do not underestimate experience. Do not throw every player under the bus, especially Plekanec.

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m not throwing anyone under the bus Cal. This team has 7 picks in the top 60 or better for the next two years for a reason. Markov, Plekanec and Cammalleri are the old foundation. Subban, Price and this year’s first rounder will be the new one.

            You want to be able to build around them exclusively at the draft but it doesn’t always work that way. Markov, Plekanec and to a lesser extent Gionta and Gorges present the Habs with an opportunity to maintain a competitive roster and build for the future.

            Think a team like St. Louis would have liked Gionta for the playoff run this year? The Habs could have called and asked about Tarasenko and Jackman(pending UFA I know).

            The Blackhawks have had a huge hole at their second line centre position. So how about a 1st round pick and Nick Leddy for Tomas Plekanec?

            You can make deals that leave you competitive and build for the future. And veterans on retooling or rebuilding teams are often the victims of such circumstances.

          • shiram says:

            DD and Eller are not elite either, and neither does what Pleks does better than Pleks does right now, that draft pick has not proven anything at the NHL level either.
            you make alot of assumptions, as if you were in Bergevin’s head, but who knows how he feels about each individual player.
            I’ve said it before, I’d rather keep all 3 centers at least untill trade deadline, then you can have a better picture of the center situation.
            If I’m trading a center, it’s got to be DD, the only reasons he will not be traded : he’s a french speaking Québecois.

          • TomNickle says:


            I’m speculating like everyone else on this forum. If you don’t like, ignore it.

            Plekanec, based on his salary, age and the likelihood that this team won’t be ready to compete for a Stanley Cup for at least three years is the most logical choice to be moved.

          • shiram says:

            Hehe well it’s fine, it’s just that the way you state your opinions, make it sound like they are facts everyone should be aware of.
            I think I finally got to the crux of it, which is basically keeping Pleks ensure the team can compete in those 3 next years, while moving him now is a move to build up the future, basically we won’t competing soon if we move Pleks.
            It will be interesting to see how they go about this, do they strive to go for a playoff spot next season, or hope to build a better contender down the line.

          • TomNickle says:

            Are we a worse team without Plekanec? Yes of course. But if this team can stay moderately healthy next year moving Plekanec in the summer and adding somebody like Chris Kelly via free agency would mitigate the loss.

      • gK_HabsFan says:

        Although I believe Pleks still has a lot more to give to this team (Not too sure about Markov), I agree with you 100%.

        I would throw in Pacioretty into your group, who is leading the WHC in scoring!

        • TomNickle says:

          Pacioretty is a core player no doubt about it. But it’s very difficult to build around wingers.

          For instance, a guy like Yakupov is a great puck handler and has tremendous vision. Much more likely to be a puck distributor at the NHL level than a scorer.

          With that in mind, you would want to surround him with a centreman who is a scorer first. You can sacrifice a bit of defense with that centreman because elite passers often get you out of trouble in your own zone and make the right play in the neutral and offensive zones. You would want a physical presence on the opposite wing for those two whose presence provides more time and space for Yakupov and the centreman.

          With Pacioretty, he can score and be a physical presence. But where it becomes difficult to build around him is that his style of game doesn’t translate to a great defensive ability. So Desharnais at the very least should be an excellent two way centreman and puck distributor. He has one of those two down.

          Much harder to build around wingers than centremen in my opinion.

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree TN. Markov should be traded in the last year of his contract. Gionta as well. Plekanec should also be dangled that year.

        I am sure the Habs can pick up some decent prospects of picks for those players.

  71. BJ says:

    If Patrick Roy is selected as coach I believe is a plus plus for the Habs. If he pans out, great management made the correct choice. If he doesn’t, the French Canadian fans (and I think also quite a number from the English speaking fan base) will have had their man and he simply didn’t work out as hoped, so fans can longer complain about “their man for the job”. Which in itself has a couple of potential pluses. One language may be less of an issue and two as we are not close to a Stanley Cup it will give us the opportunity to get some high draft picks over the next couple of years. Personally my choice would be Bob Hartley but I’m OK with Roy (for entertainment value) as I don’t think coaching will make a huge difference with the team as it is now. If Bergevin can pull a couple of rabbits out of the NHL hat perhaps we can get competitive sooner.

    • TomNickle says:

      The only issue with hiring Roy(other than the often mentioned temper) is that the results on the ice and any issues off of it will never be his fault. Bergevin will be falling on grenades all over the place.

      Bergevin probably can’t hire Roy. You have to have a big name GM controlling a guy like Roy.

      • Strummer says:

        I think you’re overlooking the Savardian infleunce on this team at least in the short term.

        Being hand picked by Suds-meister Geoff, Savard’s long experience allows for the hire of a novice GM in MB as well as having someone at the top who can make Roy behave himself in a coaching capacity.

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

  72. TomNickle says:

    I have to say that after looking through Marc Bergevin’s former coaches and teammates, he really can’t make a bad hire for coach or assistant GM.

    I mean my god, the man has probably played with or been coached by a third of the coaches in the NHL and AHL.

    He really must be a human rolodex as has been suggested.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Exactly Tom, and the real benefit is that along the way it seems people really enjoyed or benefitted from meeting him. His engaging personality is often spoken about. Sometimes I think the game is presented in an overly complex fashion. Some of the best people I have worked for weren’t so much experts in a finite field, but rather new how to surround themselves with excellent staff. They knew how motivate people and were confident enough in themselves that they were not afraid to bring in others with skillsets they may have even been greater than their own.

      A true leader knows how to surround him/herself and how to delegate. I know I run the risk of over accentuating this point, but I really like the personality side of Bergevin the best. Perhaps after what we just experienced with PG this is highlighted even more.

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