Seven sleeps till Rookie Camp


A Labour Day salute to all the working stiffs and stifettes in the HIO community.
And that includes the hard-workin’ players on our fave hockey team.
They’ll be back to work next week.
For most of us, it’s tomorrow.

But for today, kick back, pop a cold one, count your blessings and await the inevitable triumph of the proletariat.

• Jack Todd is back from summer vacay, and he says the NHL has to ban fighting; Jim Peplinski agrees

• A vintage Michael Farber piece on the worst job in sports

Should NHLPA vote on fighting?

• Yvon Pedneault on bare cupboards for late FA shopping

Grabovski cops to concussions

Belak laid to rest

Tyson Nash on Belak’s death

Riley Cote on painkillers in the NHL

Monday pump-up video:

And a Labour Day special:


  1. Habziefan09 says:

    Wow.. What is it going to take for the lot of you to grow a pair? Seriously, if 3 hockey players had not died this summer we would not be having this stupid debate if fighting should be banned from hockey. Derek, Rick and Wade were hockey players first… They were not UFC champs or fighting out of the WBC, WBA or IBF. As like most media outlets, the sports writers are playing pin the tail on the donkey while blindfolded with the issue.

    Flame me if you will but I cannot stand idle and watch most people of this thread cheer for this article and call for the banning of fighting when in reality fighting did NOT lead to these tragic deaths.

    Teams have doctors, nutritionists, dentists, physical therapists and some teams may even have someone to wipe your ass. What is needed are mental health professionals and programs to ensure not only the physical but as well as the emotional and mental stability of players.

    I love this site and I love my team. However I think it’s time for Jack, Mike and Red to address the real issue and not use fighting as a cop out.

    Twitter: Habziefan09

    Confucius says: “Baseball has it all wrong, Man with 4 balls cannot walk!”

  2. HardHabits says:

    Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That’s good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.

    Quintus Arrius? No!

    That was actually JM to Halak in the middle of the 2009-2010 season.

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Mike Brophy of Sportsnet with some brilliant analysis. Says Montreal will fight just to make playoffs but could go really deep in the playoffs. Wow, glad this guy is paid to have a fencepost shoved deep up his colon campbell.

  4. solomio says:

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but according to some accounts I’ve read about ” old time ” hockey games they were indeed vicious affairs.
    In fact much more so than today.
    Also in my playing experience fights were to some extent caused by the game itself. The game is high paced, furious, breath taking and frustrating.When after pouring everything you’ve got into an offensive rush, a back breaking penalty kill or whatever, an opponent nails you, or your hard efforts are thwarted, you get kind of angry no? Over the course of the game perhaps a slash, a high stick, a trip, an elbow, a word, and kaboom the gloves are off.You’ve lost your temper and its lets go. I’m sure you’ve all experienced it. Even outside of the sport, in the world we live in, the school yard, the parking lot, the highway, the bar, whenever we have felt wrong done by, most have given or taken a shot to the head.
    Fighting occurs naturally in hockey. I liken it to spontaneous combustion.It has never been refered to as the ” gentlemanly art of hockey ” thats for sure.
    It is when the fighting becomes ” unnatural ” that the game runs into problems. Goons, enforcers, staged fights, bullies against non fighters, cheap shot artists, instigators, are all insidious outcroppings that have been allowed to develop in our game. And its the owners, GM’s and coaches who are to blame.
    And then why not in Euro and Olympic hockey you say? I say because of more space. You don’t need me the spell it out more than that I’m sure.
    I think you cannot remove ” a fight ” from North American hockey but I think you can do something about the ” unnatural aberrations ” of that occurrence which the commercial game has spawned.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      You are not wrong but I think the question is what is naturally occurring animosity in hockey and what is contrived and controllable.

      While there has been a general cry for the NHL to reform fighting, the real problem with the players whose demise has brought the community to this crisis is, according to many, sourced at the roots of hockey development. Its apex is in the NHL but think of the possibility of how many more guys are out there dealing with similar issues having never made it to “the show”. It’s a sobering thought.

      It’ll be great if the NHL manages to help its former fighters, and better still if it sends the message to development leagues that this kind of stuff is no longer needed. But there has been too little written about the generalized abuse and misuse of young players throughout their development in the quest to build both winning franchises and coach’s reputations without regard to a boy’s future.

      So yes, taking the spontaneous fight out of hockey seems unlikely but nobody is talking about that. The idea that “if you body-check Wayne Gretzky we will beat you senseless” is what is on the chopping block. Hack away, please. Hack away.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Solomio, you are putting credence to the theory that anger must be released through acts of anger, like yelling, arguing, punching, kicking, etc. This is a common mode of thought in Western thought based on ‘Drive Theory’, which stated that people had certain basic needs like hunger, thirst, libido, etc., that needed to be slaked or spent or else would cause physiologic or psychological harm. There are lots of movies where the hero is repressing grievance after slight after injustice until he explodes in a burst of righteous anger, like Michael Douglas in “Falling Down”. This sets us up to think that anger will come out somehow, that it’s not good to repress it.

      In point of fact, the idea that releasing anger through violent outbursts is healthy and even necessary is not supported by science. Angry people who lash out learn this behaviour and strengthen it with each outburst, whereas people who learn to diffuse anger through more constructive means such as meditation or exercise deal with it much better. These much-derided ‘Anger Management’ therapies are largely based on derailing internal monologues that heighten the internal pressure when faced with perceived injustices. They work. Punching out the guy who cuts you off in traffic doesn’t.

      Practically, hockey players who get frustrated and decide to fight do so because they have grown up in a culture where it is tolerated and even celebrated. Players are put in situations where they believe it is expected that they will fight, they have no other recourse or option. You see kids in PeeWee squaring off and cross-checking each other in the grille because that’s what they see their heroes do.

      There’s nothing biological or inevitable about it, we can retrain everyone
      by handing out stiff penalties to those who do, and by doing a much, much better job of calling infractions as they occur by on-ice officials, and with new video replay technology. This will reassure a player who has just been cross-checked in the throat that he doesn’t need to take the law in his own hands, that the transgressor will be punished, even if that offender is Gregory Effing Campbell.

      Just because some games in the past were bloodbaths doesn’t mean we can’t address the problem now. Hockey needs to join the 21st century and reflect social values. Getting angry with your boss and challenging him to a fight won’t get you anywhere, so why do we accept that garbage in hockey?
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      • HabFab says:

        Did you play hockey?

        • punkster says:

          Frank, I think the phrase ” …whenever we have felt wrong done by, most have given or taken a shot to the head.” in reference to actions outside of hockey sounds like hyperbole. Even within a game the majority of actions taken against a player are not responded to with a punch or fight. Getting “nailed” or taking a slash, high stick, trip, elbow or angry word rarely results in a punch or fight.

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

        • HardHabits says:

          Hey listen buddy. UCe and I, we play World of Warcraft. We know the score.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            HH, never played World of Warcraft. I tried Halo a long while back and couldn’t get very far, never got hooked. My only video game addiction is Tetris, I played far, far too many games of that. Many brain circuits fused by playing it on Gameboy until my Costco pack of AA batteries ran out.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


        • Un Canadien errant says:

          I played minor hockey growing up, all the way to midget. I played rec league hockey off and on as an adult. I also played rugby and football.

          I got into a fight in hockey, I think in bantam or midget, where ‘Le Grand Bérard’ crosschecked my teammate in the head, so I crosschecked him in the head. We sort of stood there for a split-second and then started flailing away at each other, pushing and shoving and punching each other in the grille with gloved hands. To my amazement, I heard the refs say “Let them go at it” and backed away. Bérard ripped off my mask, then took his off and I wasn’t really thrilled to see the look on his face. Anyway, no harm done, except for the three or five-game suspension we both received. It sucked being away from the team, I wasn’t allowed in the dressing room, and my father wouldn’t let me go to the games and watch from the stands. Needless to say, it was the only fight of my hockey ‘career’, and the only one for many seasons in our league.

          Rugby is another sport I played where rough play and hurt feelings abound, but somehow there aren’t that many fights, seeing as you get an automatic ejection and suspension in any league I’ve played (CEGEP, University, Second and First Division at TMR). So the whole argument about fights being necessary doesn’t wash, they’re born of opportunity and lack of consequence.

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

          • HabFab says:

            My thoughts are posted at 4:36pm below. Guess we can agree to disagree. Definitely changes are needed but still see fighting as having a purpose.

      • Marc10 says:

        Yep. A zero tolerance policy on fighting is the way to go, but that can only go hand in hand with a zero tolerance policy on attempts to injure.

        As long as guys get away with attempted murder (and by that I mean the League not assigning any blame nor suspension and calling a game ejection worthy play… a ‘hockey play’) then there’s definitely room for fighting.

        I mean what Hab does not want full and complete payback for what Big Z did? (Sure, there’s no one on the roster, or in the League for that matter, equipped to give him the beat down he so richly deserves… but a nice fat suspension and a strike against his name would have done the trick…)

        So I’m all for the end of fighting… just as long as someone (the League/Review Panel) starts to wield the sword of justice and protect players who focus on scoring.

        “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
        Andy Warhol

        Go PK Go!

  5. HardHabits says:

    The Habs need more Grize and Skeed!!

  6. Propwash says:

    Sheesh, no point in line combo guessing, JM will just blow ’em up within the first five minutes of the first game of the reg. season…

  7. HabFab says:

    Lest we forget!!

    There is a place for hockey fights.
    No place for enforcers…
    No place for head shots…
    No place for hitting from behind…
    No place for staged fights…
    No place for hard padding…

    Now play hockey already, gosh darn it!!

  8. JohnBellyful says:


    Ticats defeat Alouettes 44-21.

    Key stat: Montreal flagged for 13 penalties, 146 yards, Hamilton just one.
    Typical sports team from Montreal — tries to play it rough and intimidate the opponent. When will Montreal teams learn its skill and speed that win games?

  9. caladin says:

    Ankle sprain

  10. geo_habsgo says:

    So is going FullTweak™ the same as going FullBreezer™? I feel like with these two mental conditions and a healthy dose of MAB sprinkled around hilarity might ensue around here this season.

  11. Toe Blake says:

    Seven sleeps until the Scott Gomez gains the opposition’s end with silky smoothness and accomplishes absolutely freakin’ nothing!!!

  12. Un Canadien errant says:

    Jack Todd for NHL Commissioner!

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    • Stuck_in_To. says:

      Jack Todd is a blowhard. Always was, always will be. Which is not to say he is entirely wrong all the time but that he has never seemed to be able to tilt at the right windmill. If J.T. really cared about players, he’d have written a well-researched piece about Hockey Canada and the state of the WHL, OHL, and … what’s the name of that poor cousin in Quebec? ; ) Found the “journalist” unpalatable prior to his sports ascension, still find him so. Even when he espouses an opinion I completely agree with.

  13. HardHabits says:

    Drop the friggin’ puck already!!!

    • savethepuck says:

      only 15 days to the first preseason game, Getting closer

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I just did. In the basement. Feelin’ better?

      • HardHabits says:

        I am sure you are if you had to go all the way down in the basement to “drop the puck”.

        • JohnBellyful says:

          Oooh, that’s just gross!
          It was a friggin’ puck, not a toilet puck I dropped, ya idiot!

          [Note to self: find emoticon that conveys equal measures of disgust, bewilderment, and scorn, leavened with a Mona Lisa smile that suggests, ‘Hey, I was just kidding, Leo, my husband isn’t home until tomorrow.”

        • HardHabits says:

          I hope they make the Da Vinci Emoticons into a movie.

          Apparently Leo foresaw the Internet and had created a series of emoticons. There is even a rumour that one of these classics was the infamous passing gas smirk.

          The story goes that the Vatican seized the material and has since hid it in it’s secret vault.

  14. Bigdawg says:

    Getting close…happy for Hockey!!

    My brain was tinkering this morning and made a mess on the floor. In it I saw the following vision:

    Line changes at start of season:

    1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line, 4th line
    ak plek cam
    cole gom gio
    patch eller darche
    weber dd white

    markov gorges
    subban gill
    spacek/weber emelin

    scratch most often MOEN

    and then at the end of the season

    patch plek cam
    cole DD GOMER (who picks up 9G and 22A in 40 games on DDs wing)
    ak eller gio
    moen white darche

    markov emelin
    subban gorges
    weber gill

    scratch most often Spacek

    Is hoping Patch can be a first line regular too much to ask?
    Can Gomer be converted into a sliperry winger?
    Am i asking for it?

  15. Wencz says:

    I agree with other posters who feel that the time has come to ban fighting in hockey. I’ve always been a fan of the excitement of fighting in hockey, but these recent incidents, not to mention some of the insights provided by enforcers and former enforcers, have swayed me. Suddenly it seems archaic and senseless. It’s strange, I used to feel somewhat uneasy about my pro-knuckles stance, but I’m much more comfortable with my new position.

    However, if a ban on fighting was imposed, I wonder if there would have to be at least a time lag of a few years from the time such a decision was taken to the time it could realistically be put into place. After all, how else could consideration be given to the way that some teams have structured their rosters (to include players whose fighting skills are their most valuable asset). Perhaps there are some more creative solutions?

    • JohnBellyful says:

      I’ve suggested in another medium that the NHL should change its stance on fighting. Whenever two players seem eager to exchange blows, the linesmen should immediately intervene, take down their names, and send them to their benches. At the end of the game, all those signed up for the dance card, as they like to say, will have a chance to go at it toe to toe. Equipped with boxing gloves and and padded headgear, just like real amateur boxers. One three-minute round. Referee declares a winner.
      If the NHL is going to allow staged fights, at least make a show of it. And at the same time, reduce the risk of injury.
      Shootouts. Punchouts. All part of the same entertainment package.

    • savethepuck says:

      Your concern about how other teams have structured their teams is not a concern of mine. Let them deal with the cap issues. IMO the Habs don’t have to worry about this so too bad for the Laffs etc…

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  16. BigBird says:

    Not sure what’s with all the fuss about banning fighting. For those that actually attend NHL games can see that it’s a big part of the game whether the fights are staged or from protecting skilled players. 80-90% of the crowd at most arenas are on their feet when two players drop em. Men, boys, elderly and even women are cheering them on. Some people assume that concussions only happen during fights. Some people think that enforcers are the only ones out there that get depressed and commit suicide. People end their own lives for many reasons and most have no symptoms of concussion. There have been thousands of enforcers, boxers, etc who have gone on after their career and be successful and happy with their lives.
    Imo fighting will always be part of the game. Without it you have the All-Star game but without as much talent or European hockey. For those who don”t like to watch it don’t have to. They can always look away or watch other “sports” like figure skating. And the players who don’t want to fight don’t have to, they can just turn, skate away really fast to the bench. Ratings have gone down in hockey since the last players strike and will surely go down even more with banning fighting. Those who want it banned must be new to watching hockey or have put up with it all these years so might as well put up with it some more cuz I’m pretty sure it won’t be banned anytime soon.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Sorry Bigbird I completely disagree. The fact that a fight excites folks isn’t a good reason for allowing them. They aren’t part of the game and aren’t necessary for people to enjoy the game. And no, I’m not new to watching hockey. If people want to watch fights there are several sports that cater to that desire. Hockey is about skating, stickhandling, shooting, great saves and bone crunching hits. Getting rid of fighting will simply open up roster spots for more skilled guys. There are lots of fast physical sports out there that punish fighting severely – hockey should be one of them.

      • Trisomy 21 says:

        NCR I don’t like this argument. Skating on ice is enjoyable to watch but it’s not necessary to enjoy the game. So how would you making the hockey players run around instead? Additionally you could say hockey is about toughness, that’s a matter of opinion. You can’t say that opening roster spots to skilled guys is fair, because obviously they aren’t skilled enough to make the cut now, so the talent pool will still be diluted.
        I like how fighting in the game is what makes hockey unique. Sure call me primal or a neanderthal but that’s crap because I just love my game how it is, how i have always known it to be.

        I fear change.

    • ooder says:

      just because fighting appeals to the barbaric and violent nature of man, doesn’t mean it should be allowed in hockey

      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Ian Cobb says:

      FUSS,! LOOK AWAY ! as people are disabled, go into depression and die!? NOT ME!

      When today we now know how much damage is caused by head trauma.??

      You care not about your fellow man, is your business.
      But if I can save brain cells in kids or adults, that may not be aware, I will fight, without my fists, to make people aware of life long disabilities from severe head trauma. Get aboard and give a damn my friend.

    • Chorske says:

      So in your universe, there is no grey zone: one either likes hockey (complete with fights) or figure skating? What a load of horsebleep.

      Also: what is wrong with European hockey? Too fast and skilled for ya? Not enough UFC, perhaps?

      Again, for the millionth time: every market report ever conducted has shown that fighting and the perceived violence of the sport is what is keeping fans away is MOST markets. Most fans (present company included) hate it, hate the cheap shots and open ice hits. I fecking HATE HATE HATE that Crosby’s career is in jeopardy because the league is run by eejits who think as you do.

      • savethepuck says:

        I think we were typing the same thing at the same time

        “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

    • savethepuck says:

      Just when I thought we got rid of the guys on here sharing this opinion, except for maybe “the dude”. Another one appears.

      “Not sure what’s with all the fuss about banning fighting ”
      Seriously? You don’t believe that fighting has any link to concussions and you must not believe the reports that concussions are related to depression and substance abuse. First of all I want head shots eliminated and the culprits to be weeded out of the game. Too much talent is being lost to the BS. If banning fighting only “reduces” the number of concussions, Then I’m all for it.
      “Imo fighting will always be part of the game.” and ” For those who don”t like to watch it don’t have to. They can always look away or watch other “sports” like figure skating. And the players who don’t want to fight don’t have to, they can just turn away”
      I am afraid your opinions are becoming the minority. and I am personally getting sick of the watch figure skating references. I am a hockey fan. I enjoy watching great goaltending, skilled players. good clean hits, hi-lite reel goals. That’s hockey.
      Instead of all of us watching “figure skating”, I think you, being in the minority on this issue, should start watching UFC, Boxing ( which IMO is a dieing sport ), the WWE, etc…

      “That beautiful bastard scored semi-conscious.” On the Rocket’s Game 7 game winning goal against the Bruin’s April, 1952

  17. Chips says:

    I’ve always found that trying to punch somebody in the head while they are wearing helmet, sometimes with visor, kinda stupid, so I think that the time right to ditch fighting in the NHL. It just seems to me that you have to be a bit on the dim side to do that. It kinda made sense back in the 70’s before the head gear, but the game has evolved and I have to say the best hockey I’ve watched was during the Olympics recently.

    25 in 2012

  18. JD_ says:

    With the season quickly approachin’, and the lines bein’ set for, say, the first five minutes of the Habs’ first game, we’re gonna have to batten down the hatches, board up the windows, put the children, elderly, and infirm in the basement, and go FullTweak™.

    Seven of the nine links today are in regards to fightin’, concussions, drug abuse, and the fallout of all of the above. Although this is hardly a sample representative of what’s bein’ discussed across the hockey media, it certainly differs from the broad discussion of offseasons past, and one can only speculate if both the league and NHLPA see any need to make material adjustments.

    One positive outcome would be the likelihood these issues, so front and center in the public’s eye, take on a greater importance in next spring’s negotiations to restructure the CBA, because not all of this is simply about the NHL rulebook.

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    Why haven’t we heard from Don Cherry? Has no reporter called him for his comments in the wake of all that’s happened? Former enforcer George Laracque has been free in giving his opinion but he’s an apostate and so an outcast in Cherry’s eyes, and certainly one not fit to carry the flag.
    Cherry’s showing uncharacteristic restraint these days if he’s refusing to offer a rebuttal to all that’s being said. His cherished rock ’em sock ’em style of hockey is under siege, which must have him seething, and yet we hear nothing from him. Is he waiting until his first Coach’s Corner to direct the full bore of his intellectual blunderbus on the limp-wristed critics of the modern game? If so, I understand. Imagine how long it must take to load such a weapon.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In watching the News I saw many pictures of people at Mr. Belak’s funeral. I did not notice Mr. Cherry present, did anyone else see if he was in attendance? Not saying he needed to be, but find it curious if he was not.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        His continued silence is puzzling. I can’t imagine him refusing an invitation to comment — and if he has, I’ve missed it. Perhaps he’s written a letter to the editor.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I am guessing he will wait to comment until the season begins, probably in hopes that by then the masses will be distracted by the fishing lure of regular season hockey.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Don’t forget the guy is in his late 70s at this point as well guys…

            If he were 20 even 10 years younger I’d take some real negative shots at the guy. However, he is from a different generation where there were less tests on concussions and injuries and every coach had his mentality.

            Even if he is wrong today, Nobody had a problem with his violent ways just a decade ago and people would have kicked the Prime Minister out of office and replaced him with Cherry a decade before that.

            He is dead wrong with his views today but it wasn’t too long ago that his word was god.

            I want him gone but I respect my elders, even if their opinions are a little long in the tooth…

          • RGM says:

            And ratings. Don’t forget the ratings. After the Pacioretty incident the nation waited with baited breath as to what Don would say.

            During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • Neutral says:

      John: Cherry won’t give an opinion he’s making money from this kind of stuff blame the people who purchases his tapes I don’t have any and won’t have any do you? I would like to watch skilled Hockey we don’t have a choice that’s the way it is watch it or don’t watch it…

      • JohnBellyful says:

        I actually have one or two videotapes buried among my possessions. I certainly didn’t buy them for the fights but the highlight reel goals and the solid clean hits, both of which I still enjoy today. They were the only videos out there at the time, as I recall, providing a package of plays worth repeated viewing. Since then, the Internet and YouTube provide the same service for free.
        What is disturbing is that Cherry’s attitude toward the game remains rooted in VHS while others no less passionate about the sport have moved in their thinking into the DVD and Blu-Ray era.

      • Neutral says:

        John: you’re right the tapes I guess do have some good parts to watch. as for fighting should they take it out of hockey they’ll replace it with something else. it’s all about respect, and the intent to kill all the time is the main problem with hockey today that’s what they should be looking at along with fighting most people would enjoy the game much more there will always be some who like the rough and dirty stuff I guess we could call it. myself I like clean, tough skilled hockey which for most part was played in days gone by.

  20. RetroMikey says:

    How I miss Grabovski.
    The kid is doing just fine on a weak team in TO since watching him play in Hamilton.
    Any chance we can trade for him in a package, say Weber or Spacek or even Desharnias with a middle draft pick?

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  21. JohnBellyful says:

    Okay, Pete, you ask the question, ‘Which Side Are You On?’, I’ll give you an answer: the players’ side.
    Specifically, the players who abide by the rules, abstain from cheap shots and exhibit some skill.
    The players who show character, dedication and a commitment to their team’s success, even at the expense of individual reward.
    The players who wouldn’t dream of interrupting another player’s career or even ending it with an illegal hit, such as a deliberate shot to the head or a crosscheck into the boards.
    The players — a rare species — who actually speak out against violence committed by their peers and demand that something substantive be done to end the nonsense. Consistent enforcement of the rules would be a nice start, accompanied by stiffer penalties for the more egregious offences.
    As for the other side, well, who has much sympathy for team owners?

  22. Neutral says:

    Cammy – Pleks – Gionta
    Cole – Gomez – Kostitsyn
    Pacioretty – Desharnais – Darche
    Moen – Eller – white

    I’d put those line’s up against any line’s in the league.

    Desharnais & Eller can prove who belongs on the 3rd line one of them has to be between the pluggers, Gionta has to get away from Gomez had enough of that last year and he belongs on the first line no tweaking unless there’s injury’s.

    • Mike D says:

      “no tweaking unless there’s injury’s.”

      You know Jack Marty’s the coach, right? Line juggling is not an option, it’s “the way”.

      – Honestly yours

      • i know, we are cursed with the only coach who juggles lines

        he is the first coach montreal has had to do so as well

        the horror

        • Mike D says:

          Ahhh c’mon FJBK (or FBJK?), I was just kiddin.

          JM does do a bit more line juggling than most coaches though I think. Carbo was kinda bad for that too if memory serves me right.

          – Honestly yours

      • Neutral says:

        Gotta give it to Martin though. His tweaking most times it works, maybe it just happens because of the calibre of team he’s playing at the time. it’s his team and I don’t think our comment’s really matters….

        • Mike D says:

          No, our comments really only matter to us. They certainly have no bearing on JM’s decision making (nor should they).

          As for how often his line juggling works, that’s all perception so we all will likely have slightly different opinions. Personally I don’t find them too successful, but then again, whatever lines he had going prior to were also not working (hence the juggling), so they’re not necessarily doing any harm either. And we talking about a team that doesn’t score much to begin with which also compounds the problem.

          My preference is to let chemistry develop and then go with it – not juggle too much. But I’m not a coach, so what do I know?

          – Honestly yours

  23. Toe Blake says:

    Re Jack Todd’s column. Don Cherry has been hampered in his quest for hockey glory by three crucial shortcomings: he couldn’t play, he couldn’t fight (or at least win) and the most important he couldn’t count!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Great post Toe. Cherry and the rest of the goon squad will come up with a spin. Can’t wait to hear it.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Ratings, ratings, ratings. That is the only reason Don Cherry is still on the air today. Like him or hate him (I think the hate is starting to out number the like) people will watch.
      I don’t mind Pierre MacGuire, so many hate him, but I don’t not want to see Mike Millbury or Cherry on my television anymore.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Unfortunate but true, Don Cherry is probably CBC’s most profitable product.

      • Thurston says:

        It’s quite simple, really. If you don’t like Don Cherry (or Mike Milbury, for that matter), don’t watch them.
        I very rarely tune into Xenophobe’s Corner anymore. The one time I did, after Big Dummy’s hit on Pacioretty, it was to see Cherry go on an insane rant about the boards in Montreal and about sponsors who dared speak out against the hit leveled by the Bruin caveman.
        If more and more people change the channel when Cherry and his little sidekick Ron MacLean come on the screen, the ratings will start to decline.
        Don’t watch the freak show and find something better to do with your time between periods.

  24. Neutral says:

    with JM coaching tweaking will be on going till april 2012. you can suggest what ever line combo’s you like, I’ll would be very surprised to see them remain together.

  25. The Dude says:

    There is fifty ways to get concussions in hockey”Mikhail Grabovski & Zdeno Chara game etc ” of which the least serious one’s are from fighting.You want to stop concussions in Ice Hockey …BAN HOCKEY!And since that’s not going to happen I’ll ask the hockey players around here.Question:a)Did you ever get a concussion playing hockey? b)Did you get a concussion fighting in Hockey. Now lier’s on this these questions will be made to bed with my X’s from Texas so don’t do it!

    • good morning 🙂

      thank you for this rivetting and thought out post

      i enjoyed it the last 100 times you wrote it and i am bursting at the seams with excitement for when you write it again tomorrow 🙂

      also the way you ignore retorts is commendable

    • punkster says:

      Stephen, let’s not attach the entire concussion issue to fighting alone. Fighting may indeed lead to concussions but it is hardly the primary issue. It’s the concussions we’re railing against and if head hits, blind side hits, boarding and yes, even fighting, can be reduced then concussions can be reduced too. It only makes sense. Whether the brain is suddenly jarred against the skull by a hit or a punch the result remains a potential concussion. No equipment improvements be they boxing gloves or new NFL style padded helmets will entirely alleviate that.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • The Dude says:

        My fear Punkster is that we forget about concussions if a ban on fighting occurs.

        • Mark C says:

          I don’t buy this argument of a red herring at all. The blindside/head shot and concussion storyline has been a hot bottom NHL issue for years (has been around much longer than this fight/concussion debate). Just banning fighting won’t stop these hits and won’t stop the majority of concussions. No one will stop talking about concussions due to a ban on fighting.

          Banning fighting isn’t a fix all for this issue, it will however, lower the amount of useless and unnecessary concussions around the league.

  26. awesomerino says:

    When he writes sober and without that canyonesque chip on his shoulder, Jack Todd is an excellent columnist.

  27. PeterStastny26 says:

    How do you people like those line combinations?

    Formed a small but creative and elusive unit in pre-season two years ago.

    Would love to see what Plekanec can do with that much space.

    Please don’t stall the young center’s offensive development by playing him between two bangers (Moen+White).


    Note that if I could genetically create a fast, defensively-responsible, faceoff-winning, huge, mean, feared yet disciplined heavyweight to center Moen and White on the fourth-line, I’d move up Desharnais to the third and sadly leave savvy Mathieu Darche – the perfect 13th forward – in the pressbox when everyone’s healty (if that ever happens). 🙂

  28. PeterStastny26 says:


    Yesterday you wrote that McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook hits the newsstands this week, but on August 25th, McKeen’s Hockey Ron Jones was tweeting “Official shelf date for the McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook is Monday September 12 (according to our distributor).”

    Did they change the release date some time after that tweet?
    Was 7-11 confused for dates?
    When should I put up the tent??

    Also, do you know if the Yemelin report was done at all? And if it was, will it be made avalaible?

    Thank you.

  29. HabFab says:

    DEPTH PLAYERS – those most likely to get called up for injuries.

    G-Nathan Lawson-6’2″/203/28-10 GP NHL-undrafted
    D-Raphael Diaz-5’11″/194/25-0 GP NHL-undrafted
    D-Alex Henry-6’6″/230/32-177 GP NHL-drafted 67th in 1998
    D-Brendon Nash-6’3″/210/24-2 GP NHL-undrafted
    D-Jeff Woywitka-6’3″/227/28-255 GP NHL-drafted 27th in 2001
    F-Mike Blunden-6’4″/218/25-51 GP NHL-drafted 43rd in 2005
    F-Andreas Engqvist-6’4″/191/24-3 GP NHL-undrafted
    F-Louis Leblanc-6’0″/180/20-0 GP NHL-drafted 18th in 2009
    F-Aaron Palushaj-6’0″/183/22-3 GP NHL-drafted 44th in 2007
    F-Brock Trotter-5’10″/180/24-2 GP NHL-undrafted
    F-Brian Willsie-6’1″/202/33-391 GP NHL-drafted 146th in 1996

    Yemelin not included on list as it appears that it is either Montreal or the KHL for him.

  30. Miltie01 says:

    The problem with fighting is a many faceting one. I do hate the staged sqaure off, it used to be that fights were the results of incidents during game play. Fighters themselves have changed too. Once upon a time it was two hockey players going at it. All to often these days it is two gorillas who train just as much in pugalism if not more than they train in the actual game of hockey.

    My only fear with an outright ban of fighting is the end results on the game. It will IMHO result in more stick work, or on the other hand a game devoid of any physicality at all. Please do not bring up international tournaments or the olympics here. Yes they have physical play. But a two or three week tournament is not comparable to an 82 game grind followed by the two month real season.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The more stickwork argument is a red herring. Just penalize fighting and stickwork. We have two refs and two linesmen, let them call stick on body infractions, none of the Don Cherry “Let them play!” BS. Let Datsyuk and Lecavalier play, not the ‘grinders’ who play anti-hockey.

      Also, for everyone who says that the game is faster nowadays so the refs will miss call, well we also have video technology nowadays, let’s use it.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  31. Hobie Hansen says:

    Most of us can get a little annoyed with Jack Todd and his constant blathering that we’re forced to read on Monday mornings, but today he is right.

    His most accurate statement was concerning Zedeno Chara punching people in the face. And it’s not only Chara, there’s at least another 30 players in the NHL that are freakishly strong who possess the ability to break bones and cause concussions with one punch.
    Todd mentioned that a tall and skinny Larry Robinson at 6’3′ was about as big as they got back in the late 70s. Today, 6’3 would still be a good height for a fighter but throw in the fact that today they’re built like running backs, train like freaks and take boxing/wrestling lessons over the summer, forget abut it!

    When I first really started following the NHL in the late 80s some of my favourite players were guys like Shayne Corson, Dave Manson and even former Leaf Wendal Clark. Corson may have been the biggest of the 3 and he maybe weighed 210 lbs at his heaviest. A big difference from the scrappers of today who weigh anywhere from 210 lbs to 280lbs. And Corson , Manson and Clark probably drank beer for majority of the summer and wrestled in the back yard with their buddies instead of taking part in intense training a few weeks after their season ended.

    Today’s fighters are bigger, stronger and faster than any era of hockey before us. All of them can easily break bones on cause brain injuries and it is time to remove fighting.

    I don’t want the Habs to get caught with their pants down and have no fighters because fighting is still tolerated, so it is on the NHL to get it out of the game.

  32. Toe Blake says:

    Jack Todd is absolutely right! It’s time to end this nonsense. The staged fights that we see in the NHL today add absolutely nothing to the game. To be brutally honest, they are more often than not crappy, game-delaying farces anyway. The fans that the NHL might potentially lose by finally banning fighting need to be lost once and for all, a classic case of addition by subtraction.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agreed, the only caveat is that in order to ban the fighting effectively rules must now be enforced on the ice. To ban the fighting but continue to have Matt Cooke et al running around giving out headshots with virtually no punishment will not work either. Granted even with fighting in the game this is happening. But it is time the NHL rereads its rulebook and starts calling the game.

      Watching the clip provided by Stu Hackel yesterday, where was all this grandiose fighting that we are told has always been part of the game. It is a staged cockfight now with no purpose.

      But start calling all headshots! Yah a couple guys may get punished for a borderline clean hit but that will be the price paid for changing the culture of hiiting in the NHL.

      • CharlieHodgeFan says:

        To ban fighting, penalties would have to be revamped. It would call for as much of as change in the officiating culture as in the playing culture. Every infraction would have to be called, at all moments in the game. A ref who put away his whistle would have to be fired.
        I’d like to see no return to the ice until the entire penalty is served. You get two, you get two. They score five? Good. We’ll have some goal scoring.
        That would more than offset the entertainment value of following the bouncing brains through a scrap.It would be traditional too, as it used to be part of the game. Would hockey, like soccer, have games decided by penalties? Yeah. But that’s fair with professional officiating.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Everyone’s biggest fear is that the cheap shots will increase if fighting is taken out of the game.
          Now I don’t know the exact rules of the NFL but what happens if you deliver a head shot to the quarterback or if you start throwing punches after a scrum? I’m pretty sure a hefty suspension will be handed down.
          So all the NHL has to do is ban fighting and put their fist down on the table and tell the players that if we see you deliver a cheap shot because you’re angry, you’re gone for 10, 15 or 20 games.

        • Toe Blake says:

          I like your idea that two minutes means two minutes. The problem is that they put the current rule in place to counter a then-devastating Canadiens’ power play. Considering that Bettman pretty much values Montreal only for the subsidies it can provide to BS sunbelt franchises, they would never go back to a system that would likely benefit the Habs.

          • CharlieHodgeFan says:

            That devastating power play doesn’t live here anymore. What it would help is the snipers on all teams. I’ll betcha if a holding penalty could result in three goals, the skaters would rule again.

      • Toe Blake says:

        That was one thing that struck me when the NHL started replaying vintage games from time to time. The amount of physical contact was actually quite limited compared to what I was led to believe the case. I do think with Shanahan as the top cop things are going to change for the better. I think you finally may see players like Cooke spend most of their future seasons in civies.

  33. Toe Blake says:

    “We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well and live.”
    Quintus Arrius

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