Some pre-game reading

Red Fisher on a courageous kid
• Martin hopes for debate on discipline
Sopel is day-to-day
Dave Stubbs visits the great Glenn Hall
Bashing Bettman
Andrew Cohen’s great read in The Atlantic
Stu Cowan on a better helmet
Arpon Basu on CH injuries
Ken Dryden on hockey violence


  1. The Cat says:

    Exactly. Change isnt going to come from within, nor will the hockey media bite the hand that feeds it too hard.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  2. Omit says:

    Buttman and Colon!  There’s a good joke in there, but it would probably get deleted.

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Thanks Ian, I’ll spread it around by my modest means.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  4. Omit says:

    Colon will probably be given a “promotion”, not fired. 

  5. ed lopaz says:

    Don’t hold your breath – Maclean will repeat exactly what almost everyone has been saying.

    its unspeakable nonsense – but everyone who was not following the Chara Pacioretty conflict has arrived at the same conclusion

    Chara was interfering -and because Max was injured badly, he received the maximum penalty by the refs on the ice.

    he will continue…….


    it is not a suspendable offence to force a player into the boards, and short of PROVING that Chara wanted to injure

    Max, the NHL does not suspend a player for pushing another player into the turnbuckle.

    It will flow out of Maclean’s mouth without any hesitation.

    Where Maclean WILL take a stand is on the idea that something must be done to correct this going forward.

    First, the turnbuckle area must be made safer, he will argue

    Second, the GMs must bring in some ideas to slow down the head injuries

    Third, the players must support rule changes.

    And then the game will continue.

    What I find sad, is that Chara has been caught (by Max, Sedin and others) in some terrible lies.

    Lies that would have incriminated him in a court of law, because his credibility would have been completely shot.

    When Chara stated that he had no idea Max was even on the ice, that was a LIE.

    When Chara stated that he did not know he was up against the bench area of the ice, that too was a LIE.

    And it could have proven in court quite easily.

    The testimony of 5 or 10 defenceman with Chara’s experience would have been sufficient.

    Each and every defenceman would have testified that an NHL defenceman:

    MUST KNOW WHO IS ON THE ICE AT ALL TIMES – it is requirement of his job, especially a #1 d-man who is the most knowledgeable, and most important d-man on the team – and especially from a team Captain.

    NHL d-men MUST KNOW WHERE THEY ARE ON THE ICE at all times – skating parallel to the boards, with his head up, and taking at least 2 or 3 strides with Max right next to him, there was 0% chance Chara would not know where he was.

    These 2 lies having discredited Chara’s testimony, now we go to the issue of INTENT.

    We bring in Max to testify how Chara’s behaviour towards MAx was predatorial in nature.

    Max also testifies that he was convinced Chara was gunning for his head.

    It all comes together.

    Minimum 4 or 5 game suspension would be handed out.

    But this is NOT the reality.

    The reality is a miscarriage of justice supported by NHL cronies, violent fans, and soft peddling media who are afraid to take a stand.

    Geoff Molson gets it.

    I know he does.

    We will see if the NHL will allow M. Molson to make the changes that are required.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  6. Keith says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

  7. Omit says:

    Ian, here’s a suggestion.  Arrange for a seminar at NHL headquarters. That way you can cut out the middlemen and go right to the source of the problem.

  8. Deano says:

    Too bad Ken Dryden’s intellect is wasted on politics (where he is limited by the bumbling of his friends and foes) … he would make a perfect commissioner.

  9. Bugs says:

    I mighta bought Ed Robinson as the poster-child for the “film gangster going down in a hail of cop bullets in a really, really cool way”, that is, until I saw Kevin Costner’s virtuoso performance in the part a few years ago.

    Now THIS is how you “go down in a hail of bullets”, boooooy:

    Look at him go! Even gives a little something extra at the end; it’s beautiful.


  10. Danno says:

    It could be a defining moment. Bigger than when the Pope finally said it’s okay to use condoms


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  11. Bugs says:

    I think they were weak. According to him, Poolio was playing extraordinarily well when he first joined this club, scoring 13 goals in 20 games on account of “people having lost all hope in his abilities”. That’s why he played so well and scored so many goals. Being motivated to do so, by encouragement or confidence, apparently had nothing to do with it.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy those comments.

    It’s clear that in my boy’s case, the problem is psychological. If he had NO talent and couldn’t skate and the problem was physical, that would be worse. If you can’t play, you can’t play. But if the problem is between the ears holding the cap on the fountain of talent underneath…

    In my opinion, that can be worked on. His maturation will help as well. Plus he’ll be cheap, right?

    But Basu saying the more we despair, the more he plays well? I dunno…I don’t see the relation.

  12. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Already happening in most but BUTTman does not get it. If we want changes made, it has to start by removing the dead-weight that is Buttman, Campbell and the rest of the stooges.

    Funny thing is that I listen to sports radio from the U.S. and whenever they give sports updates, you hardly ever hear hockey and that’s because they think this league is a joke & always blame Buttman.

  13. Mattyleg says:

    You know what I was just thinking??

    Perhaps this has been said before, but it just came to me now:

    The NHL didn’t do Chara any favours by not suspending him.

    As a teacher, I know that if a child breaks a rule in my class, I have to punish him or her, even if I think it is marginal. For instance, I don’t tolerate swearing in my class, and any student who swears has to write a punishment essay. If one of my students gets angry and in a moment of passion accidentally swears, they have to do the same thing. I will tell them that I know why they did it, and that it is excusable on a personal level, but that they still have to do the essay.

    If I didn’t do that, the other students would wonder why. On top of the fact that they would lose respect for me and my rules and start to push their luck, trying to see where the new ‘line’ was that they can’t cross, they would start saying that the student was a favourite of mine. The student might even gain a reputation around the school for being a kisss-ass. Other teachers might start feeling that the student felt him/herself exempt from punishment.

    Chara is going to have a very hard time around the league for the next little while. Perhaps longer. If the NHL had given him a slap on the wrist, Habs fans would still have felt that it wasn’t enough, but those on the fence would assume that justice had been done. By not punishing Chara, it makes him look like even more of a criminal, because he got away with it. If the NHL REALLY thought he’d done nothing wrong, they should have given him a couple of games to take the heat off him.

    This way, they’re hanging him out to dry. Perhaps, in a cruel sense, it’s the harshest thing they could have done.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  14. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Lets not forget the rectal regions of Don Cherry.

  15. Mattyleg says:

    Not to wee on your Wheaties, but I thought of you this morning reading Basu’s bashing of Your Boy.

    What you think of his comments?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  16. Danno says:

    The “cops” who police the NHL remind me of these guys Bugs…


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  17. Keith says:

    If Buttman were to come to Montreal in the near future and take a seat at the Bell Centre, I could envision some fan doing the same thing to him that was done to Clarence Campbell back in 1955, and we all know what happened after that altercation. I just hope Montrealer’s can keep a cool head if the POS was to go there on March 24th.

  18. Danno says:

    I don’t.

    Mr. Bettman and Mr. Campbell you are not welcome in Montreal. You have been warned.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  19. Dee says:

    It would give me such pleasure to be sitting just behind Bettman and accidentally spill my pop and popcorn, or maybe an all dressed hot dog with extra mustard and relish on him.It would be an accident of course.Bettman or Campbell won’t show there face in the Bell Center any time soon. And BRUINS lost last night WOO HOO! Good write up this morning Mr,Boone.I agree any one can be thrown out.

    Habs Fan 4 Ever & Ever Amen.


  20. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Ken Dryden said it best. “It’s time to stop being stupid”.

  21. Strabo says:

    Great site Ian. I’ll certainly pass that one around. I have a friend who is a teacher at UNB, I’ll get him involved as well. His brother is a minor league coach so I’m sure we can get him also(although he is a Leafs fan, can’t have everything). In the end any fan of hockey has to be concerned about making it better. With only a few people ever making it pro, making it a safer game for the average person is of the utmost importance.


    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

  22. notbigbird says:

    It will be interesting. Cherry has been ranting about equipment for eons. As for the actual hit, we shall see.

  23. Omit says:

    Time wounds all heels.

  24. HabFanSince72 says:


    it’s an analogy Cat.


  25. HabFanSince72 says:

    At least Buttman has made money for the owners.

    I dispute that. NHL income is almost all from ticket sales. TV income in the US is woeful, and Bettman lost all the major networks.

    The increased revenue over the years is due to:

    1. 25% more franchises hence more ticket sales.

    2. The $CAD going from 0.60 to 1.00

    3. The massive increase in consumer spending in the US and Canada.

    He is costing Montreal and Toronto a lot of money, to name two franchises.



  26. smiler2729 says:

    They won’t. And Bobbleheaded Gary usually likes to be the one to hand the Stanley Cup to the winning team’s captain so you can bet he’ll fix it so the Habs don’t win, at least on home ice.

  27. Deano says:

    The only good news about the NHL structure is that it is a “Dictatorship” … right about now I would take Ken as my “Benevolent Dictator”

  28. NightRyder says:

    Ken Dryden has too much integrity to be the commissioner of the NHL. He would actually care about the game, its history and its players.

    Plus, it would take two hours to hand out the Stanley Cup once he got talking!!

    My biggest problem with Bettman is his apparent lack of love for the game. As Canadians, the passion flows through us. The game is inherent and beloved. We can all remember our dads lacing up our skates, pilfering Hockey Illustrateds from the school library and tuning in every Saturday night to Hockey Night in Canada.

    When we see a soulless little weasel whose only objective is to make money for Jeremy Jacobs and his other pals is so galling. Every public pronouncement is smug and condescending. Under Bettman’s watch, the game was taken from Quebec City and Winnipeg. His front office smacks of perceived conflict of interest.

    Has he made the owners happy? For the most part, yes. Expansion has lined their pockets and a natural upward progression in terms of franchise values and secondary revenue streams has supplemented taht. But really, other than gouging rich morons with big egos and giving them teams in lousy hockey markets, none of the rest really has anything to do with Bettman. A chimpanzee could have sat in his chair and those revenue streams would have progressed.

    But those are all hitting a plateau and Bettman is now showing his true colours. Blowing off sponsors, sputtering at media critics and, as usual, showing a complete disgregard for the fans of hockey. He might have a five-year contract in his back pocket but this time, I don’t think his braying (and growing) opposition will not be ignored.

    Little Napoleon may soon meet his Waterloo.

  29. Shiloh says:

    Follow the money. Simple, but true.

    A couple of years back, an extra round of the playoffs was considered to be worth $1.5 – $2 million a team. So, a vicious hit causing injury which might enable your team to get an extra round is not so different to a big shot taking out a million dollar hit on somebody. McLaren on Zednik, Koivu’s eye and now MaxPac. Accidents? Maybe, maybe not. But if they were, they were pretty lucky and lucrative accidents for the perpitrators.

    Remember the Godfather? When Don Corleone made the peace he admonished the others, “If some unlucky accident should befall my son Michael, then I do not forget – and then I do not forgive.”

    These “accidents” are potentially earning the perpitrators millions of dollars – and they should be made to feel the consequences of these “accidents”.

    An injury caused during the commission of a penalty is not a hockey play. A first-grader knows that. I am very, very close to ending a 60-year love affair with NHL hockey. Can’t take too much more of this.

  30. Danno says:

    Oh hold on now. Don’t count the Habs out just yet.

    And wouldn’t it be sweet if the money-grubbing weasel had to scramble for an excuse to be unavailable to hand the cup to us?


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  31. habstrinifan says:

    So would I. I guess they are ‘managing’ their call-up quota else I cant see why he would not have been called up.

  32. Deano says:



    Yes … Ken would definitely extend the season by a week or two with his Stanley Cup presentation speech.

  33. Omit says:

    Don’t get me wrong about Buttman.  I have absolutely no use for his and the NHL’s short-sighted management approach to growing the business and reducing it to a bush league.  But the little schmuck has made them money for whatever reasons you list as well as others.

  34. Exit716 says:

    Today’s fans would make the Richard Riot look like a play fight with water guns.


  35. Exit716 says:

    MacLean still officiates Jr. B around the GTA.

    God that would be fun to find what game he is officiating, pay my $10 and verbally abuse the guy all night.


  36. Habitoban says:

    Re: Basu’s artcile, another “Pouliot effect” is: you play well and develop some chemistry with your linemates and the trio gets broken up; you play poorly for 2 periods with new linemates who are also playing poorly and you get benched.

  37. Exit716 says:

    What did Sean Baligian think of the hit? He’s a great Habs fan on WDFN. What about Stoney?


  38. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    The anarchists and other trouble makers would make it much worse.

  39. Bill H says:

    Cherry will never be part of any solution.  He’s a senile old man who doesn’t know what he is talking about. 

    Yes, of course the issue of concussions is a polarizing one.  But if you think that hockey fans everywhere are up in arms about this, take a look on some other web sites.  Its far from unanimous.  Its not just a few crazy broadcasters who stand up for it.  There are a lot of fans out there who don’t want that part of the game to change.

  40. Bill H says:

    Yes Kevin.  That is what all the discussion boils down to.  And while the debate continues, more athletes are getting concussions.  I think one of the keys is to modify equipment.  As others have pointed out, when you are armour plated, you can really hurt someone.  Make the padding softer.  That is the starting point.  Even Cherry agrees with that.

  41. kirkiswork says:

    Off topic, but I would like to see Nigel Dawes get a shot.

  42. LTHF says:

    Wonder how the NHL can explain how they  rule on different situations.  Example   Kubina gets suspended  3 games on a hit on  blackhawks  Bolland where no penalty was called on the play. yet with a 5 minute major called on Chara and Paciorety  seriously injured they dont see fit to suspend Chara,  rather bizarre i think and  tells us what a sad state  the NHL is in.   Wonder  will the NHL suspend Joe thornton for his comments about Boston. Probably will since it appears they dont like the truth.

  43. Ian Cobb says:

    A real gentelman and good sportsman. Chara’s true charicter. click at the second link of this video after the initial one.

  44. JF says:

    In the Blue Jackets-Kings game last night, R.J. Umberger slammed Drew Doughty’s head into a metal stanchion. The players weren’t moving fast, and the play certainl;y wasn’t as dangerous as the hit on Pacioretty, but it was similar.  I wonder if there will be any disciplinary action, since in this case the victim instead of the perpetrator was a star.

  45. Ian Cobb says:
                                                                                                            March 11, 2011
    To Everyone Concerned,

    I am hoping that someone knows how to get a copy of this to Geoff Molson please. And all other NHL owners.

    I have spoken with OHL coach’s and a few former NHL players over the last couple days. They all agree that the Max hit was intentional. But they also said a few more things that make so much sense that I just wanted to send you this note.  We have to act now on this safety issue.


    The speed of the game today with all the changes, is making for a more deadly and higher serious result because of the (1) no red line now,  (2) the obstruction rule, allowing for no slowing down of the play. (3), And most importantly the body armour worn on the shoulders and elbows that are lethal weapons..


    There is no fear for the player giving the hit today. He will not be hurt like in the years of softer equipment worn. With the softer equipment, the hitting player had as much chance of getting hurt as the recipient of his hit, thereby holding back some of his force.


    Can you imagine getting a Gordie Howe elbow wearing this kind of armour, the neurology hospital beds would be full.


    It is all well and good for the NHL to try to put a better finesse hockey product on the ice, I support that, but with what consequences to brain cells and bones. They now have to find a way to put the genie back into the bottle before more of our kids are brain damaged and broken for life.


    Money and greed are dictating the rules, instead of a competent, dedicated and caring group, who will look out for the best interests of our kids and our game.


    Action must be taken right now. If not by the NHL owners, then by government and the courts. Every day wasted talking, will cause more of our kids bodies a life time of pain, suffering and even death.


    Please click onto this link and scroll down to the English video—The french text, click onto your translate button on google for the english.

    Regards, from a very upset and concered 67yr. old hockey fan, hockey billet, minor coach & referee and hockey players grand parent. This is no longer the game that I loved all my life.

    Ian Cobb —-
    Belleville Ont. K8P 4K2


  46. observer says:

    its not the nhl – its bettman.

  47. observer says:

    c/p boston globe march 9, 2011 ————- Go back and look, folks. Last week against Tampa Bay, Milan Lucic executed a similar hit on Dana Tyrell late in the first period [hit takes place with :25 seconds left in the first period in video]. Tyrell hit the turnbuckle, too. The difference was that Tyrell got up and nobody was carried off, and so we all celebrated the hit and cited it as an example of playoff-caliber hockey.

    That hit was as every bit as ill-advised as this one. And so shame on all of us for focusing on the end result instead of the event that led up to it, which undoubtedly will result in Chara receiving some sort of well-earned, multi-game suspension.

  48. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’m happy to see my mafia analogy is spreading (not that I take any credit – it’s the obvious analogy).

    But a slight amendment: Bettman isn’t the mafioso, he’s the mafia lawyer. The weasel who goes to court to explain that his client is an honourable businessman, and that any misfortune that might have befallen his client’s competitor is nothing but an unfortunate accident. Buildings catch on fire, your honour, it’s part of life.




  49. Ian Cobb says:

    Bettman has been asked to attend Mtl. next home game Tuesday night.

    Listen to the link below.!

  50. HabFab says:

    Great read Ian…indeed the new equipment (almost armour) is the main cause of the concussions and injuries today.

    The second is a sport that is being too slow to get it’s act together in dealing with this.

    To make changes requires the team owners to make a change in the leagues leadership and core values, hopefully Geoff Molson and Mario Lemieux are up to the task.

  51. The Cat says:

    Bettman only does the biding of the owners. Bettman doesnt decide anything really. He doesnt come up with stuff and hope the owners go along with it.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  52. Danno says:

    I know this may futile but I am calling on Don Cherry of all people to take a stand against this madness tonight on Coaches Corner.

    Don, you can make a difference. You might be a loud-mouthed shnook but you are an influential one.

    It would be a noble gesture on your part.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  53. punkster says:

    During the brief times when my head cleared 😉


  54. HabFab says:



    Dave, you must have spent the 70’s protesting! 😉


  55. habstrinifan says:

    Thank you Ian. I hope that the meetings coming up have on the agenda a discussion concerning the EQUIPMENT. It is becoming very apparent that the ‘protective’ equipment is a major factor. On this ISSUE Don Cherry has been right.


  56. punkster says:

    Mike Boone…good piece.

    Ken Dryden…we need more of the greats to wade in on this.

    HI/O folks…don’t be dissuaded by voices who say “they’ll never change”. We have the collective power to force change. Keep up the pressure.


  57. smiler2729 says:

    You’re damn right that hit was intentional but how do we, the fan, get our voice heard in the National Headshot League???

    If we flood Geoff Molson’s or Gary Dumbass Bettman’s email account, who’s to say they will even read it??

  58. HabFab says:

    And who is the Chairman of the owners Board??

  59. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Great article by Mike Boone on the douchebag commissioner of our league & his stooge Campbell. He pretty much summed up the way most intelligent people feel about the incident Tuesday night & the state of the NHL. Like the article said, if the Egyptian people can dethrone a thug/dictator like Mubarak, why can’t we do the same with our thugs of Bettman & Campbell?

    I have a good feeling that something positive will come out of this near tragedy and the world of hockey will have no choice but thank the passionate fans of the red, white & blue. Get well soon Max Pac. Justice will be served.

  60. PrimeTime says:

    Of which just extended Bettmans contract 5 years.

  61. observer says:

    Penguins on police involvement –   –  —  —

  62. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Great piece Ian. Please forward an invite to the Commish.

  63. The Cat says:

    The NHL needs bigger ice surfaces and safer structures within the rink, no chance in hell the owners will pay for that. The NHL is like any other company: money grubbing is way more important than the safety of individuals.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  64. SBAH says:

    And the worst contract in the NHL goes to  Gary “Little Czar” Bettman.

  65. Danno says:

    If so, that’s a Canadian connection I wouldn’t mind. Know what I’m sayin’ 😉


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  66. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I can almost guarantee that Don Cherry will not only say that Chara’s hit was clean and the league made the right decision but he will also add that this is a man’s game, a tough game and if you can’t handle it then don’t play it. He’ll rip Habs fans & the city of Montreal for demanding a criminal investigation & will conclude by giving a thumbs up to Mike Murphy.

  67. HabinBurlington says:

    I think watching the NHL right now is comparable to that of Groundhog Day.  Same thing every day with a slight twist on how the concussions are dealt.  Gary and Colin must just sit in their offices watching replays laughing and enjoying the carnage.

    And the worst part is that Gary does work for the owners.  And the owners did give him an extension.  Okay i officially now have a headache trying to figure out why this keeps happening.

  68. Ian Cobb says:

    How about your icon there. is she Canadian.?

  69. The Cat says:

    Well Bettman doesnt affect our lives like Mubarak -he doesnt rule the people nor is he a public official but rather the figure head of a business/entertainment entity that you can either watch or not… that would be the obvious flaw with that analogy.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  70. shootdapuck says:


    You need to contact sponsors of the NHL especially those with a Canadian connection.





    … the fans of the Boston Bruins now have lost forever any right to complain that “the league” is out to get their team, and that the Montreal Canadiens have some kind of pull inside the NHL home office. Charles P. Pierce – Boston Globe

  71. novahab says:

    There is no way Bettman is coming to Montreal next week or any time this year. IF the Habs some how found a way to win the cup Bettman would not be there to present it. Great Peice Mr. Boone you are putting my fath back in Journalism . This site has given a voice to the Canadiens fans we don’t always agree but we can be heard. Maybe the Gazette is ruled by Toronto interest but you have given the people a place to express their thoughts. Can the people on this site and in Montreal and around the country do the one thing thats the NHL needs more than anything else. That is get rid of Gary Bettman and put some one with a brain, a passsion and a love for the game at the top .

  72. PrimeTime says:

    Of which just extended Bettmans contract 5 years

  73. gumper says:

    Attaboy Danno. Sweet talk him.

  74. novahab says:

    First it wasn’t a analogy , it was a point being made. If the people of a country with few resources can over throw a evil crooked dictator of a counrty. Then the people who love the game of hockey should be able to get Bettman removed as the leader of this private business. Bottom line the people still have the power to speak up and get the right things done.

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