Start the countdown

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You know what September means, eh?
At long last: HOCKEY!
The Canadiens rookie camp begins Sept. 12, then the team golf tournament on the 14th.
It’s so close you can taste it …

Mike Cammalleri video

The ongoing Bell Centre tax battle

J.T. on the Canadiens’ marketing

EotP on Max-Pac

The pressure on Lars Eller

Hungry for more Cups

Brendan Gallagher interview

The lonesome death of Wade Belak

Steve Simmons on Belak; vintage Belak interview

• THN: Bruins will finish third in the East; Is Marc Savard finished?

A video tribute to Max-Pac:

271 Comments

  1. Propwash says:

    Scored a Roomba at a Garage sale for 40 bucks, had to buy a new battery for another 40 bucks, named it B***h Gita (if you follow Family Guy, you’ll get it), and this thing freakin’ rocks! If one has money to burn for a cleaning product, this is one to get.

    • gatorhabs says:

      The only problem I have had with a Roomba is that you will spend twice as much time watching it vacuum then you would have spent vacuuming yourself.

      If you find yourself throwing dirt around your house to see if B****h Gita (yeah, I got it) will get it, seek help immediately.

      I named my first one Zouppi, btw.

      Cheers.

  2. Chorske says:

    CNN has picked the enforcer deaths story up- front page news over at cnn.com. Maybe now the league brass will start taking this thing seriously.

    • Chuck says:

      Actually, I bet that the league, secretly, is overjoyed. They know that Americans turn out in droves in the hopes of seeing NASCAR drivers turn their rides into crumpled pieces of aluminum, with the possibility of serious bodily harm. Sadly, all CNN is doing is selling more tickets and cable subscriptions.

      • Chorske says:

        I know several people who are huge fans of car racing. I know one racer, and have met the daughter of the dude who won Montreal’s NASCAR event a couple years back. I’m pretty sure that none of them want to see anyone suffer serious harm. The crashes are expected as part of the sport- but no-one wants to see drivers get seriously hurt. No one. In fact, organizations like NASCAR are constantly trying to make the sport safer- as safe as it can be, given the nature of the sport.

        • Chuck says:

          Must be the off-season rust… my post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. That said, it’s hard to deny that there is an element of sport fans that hope for the worst.

        • Bill says:

          Come on. Last year? When they loosened up the rules to allow “boys to be boys” and encourage the bumping and reckless moves that lead to accidents? Sure, that was with safety in mind.

          NASCAR is all about crashes. That’s its thing. Gladiator sport, which means what it means.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • otter649 says:

      Even 100 Huntley Street has commented about the recent NHL deaths….

  3. HardHabits says:

    All I gotta say is this. Chrome. Incognito mode. I wont say why but there are many reasons why. Ask me at the summit if you remember.

  4. punkster says:

    The anticipation for the upcoming season can sometimes prey on the mind. So many questions, so few facts available. We’re left to grapple with our overactive imaginations.

    Me, I have my own big concerns (none the least of which is starting a sentence with “Me, I”) so I turn to one of the great philosophers of our time for a few words of deep and meaningful explanation. I refer, of course, to Lennie Briscoe.

    See if you can match the quote with the Hab. Go ahead. Winner gets to buy John Bellyful a beer at the summit.

    “Love, a dangerous disease instantly cured by marriage”.

    “I got ties older than him. Few pairs of shoes, too.”

    “I believe on a good day he couldn’t hit his ass with both hands”.

    “Remind me to borrow this next time I can’t sleep” (in reference to a JM game video)

    “Hey, they pay me good money to look like an idiot”.

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Geez, Punkster, these are tough! I only got two — old ties (Spacek) and ass misser (Gomez). But if I’m the only guy that replies, I win!!!! I get to buy … myself a beer!!! Be still, my beating heart.
      I’m a root beer man. Any good root beer emporiums in Montreal? And book stores, near the centre?

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Love cures is MaxPac
      Old shoes Spacek
      Ass Gomez
      ?
      Idiot Max Lap?

      My best guesses Punkster

  5. Marc10 says:

    Read this on Kuklas Korner off the Oiler blog there… about a number one draft pick that didn’t go to plan for the Oilers. It’s well worth the read.

    http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/hockey/comments/jason_bonsignore_-_i_feel_like_i_let_everyone_in_edmonton_down/

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

    Go PK Go!

    • ProHabs says:

      Good read. A 6foot4 center who weights 220 pounds is a teams dream. Sather seems like a jerk in that article. But Bonsignore seems like Pouliot, big, lots of talent but no motivation. If you look at his career stats, he is a minus player every year. Couldn’t play in his own end, and if you can’t, you won’t play in the NHL.

  6. slamtherimtim says:

    enough of this , poor enforcers have a bad life ,

    lots of people in this world have worse jobs and more stressful jobs, for a lot less money and benifits , is it our fault they wernt responsible with their money or life, we all have the some issues on this planet , and how we deal with them is what makes us who we are , its time to suck it up and get on with life just like everyone else who dosent kill themselves one way or another, these guys had everything handed to them and when its time to do something them selves the pressure is just too much , what ever ,

  7. HabinBurlington says:

    So Montreal Hockey Question!
    When does Budaj get his first start? I think game 4 Avalanche, is this too soon, can’t see game 5 against Buffalo or 6 against Pittsburgh. Anyone? Buehler…. Buehler…..

    Edit: Reg. Season Start.

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    Stu Hackel’s take on Wade Belak, on si.com:

    http://nhl-red-light.si.com/2011/09/01/wade-belaks-death-poses-key-questions/?sct=hp_wr_a1&eref=sihp

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  9. JoeC says:

    Time for me to be heartless, and its a tragedy for anyone to lose there life, regardless of if they play hockey or not, but the general idea of why its happeneds is so narrow sighted.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. In the year 2000, 815,000 people lost their lives to suicide — more than double the number of people who die as a direct result of armed conflict every year (306,600). For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of disability and infirmity worldwide.

    Men commit suicide at a rate four times higher than that of women. According to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), more men in Ontario committed suicide in the past 10 years than died in car crashes.4 Approximately 591 men committed suicide in Ontario between 1990 and 2000, while 558 men died in car crashes.

    So, say what you want about ANYTHING you want about hockey, but im sick and tired of people saying its the cause and only cause , because mental health issues affect more then just hockey players, and im pretty sure you wont find anywhere on these studies about concussions being the only cause.

    Hockey players arnt the only people that kill them selves or sucumb to substence abuse, so unless this discussion gets more well discussed for people other then hockey players, then can we just move on?

    • Mark C says:

      All that is true, we need to be carefully in this discussion. However, there is a direct medical link between brain damage (concussions) and depression, and there is a link between depression and suicide. It is wrong to think that hockey related injuries were the only reason these men committed suicide, without knowing all the medical facts, even then, it might not be a sure thing. However, it is total naivety to think these men did not suffer concussions (Boogaard fought 66 times as a teen in the WHL, 66 fights in 3 years as his brain was still growing), which were highly likely part of the reason they become depressed.

      • JoeC says:

        Ok, then how come there is still boxing, still UFC. etc etc. Just like hockey, these people decide what they do. My point is even though it is terrible people died, is the fact that these 3 incidents are not even the slightest dent into the amount of people that die every year do these kind of things. A player that wants to fight chooses to fight to have a job, there is no proof that these people would not have not done something to themselves if they did not play hockey. My whole point is the discussions about how to fix this is naive. The sport has existed for a very long time, and yet change after change happens to make it safer on the player, but the player chooses to fight. I agree on the blind side hits and stuff like this, but player like Wade played the game in the role they chose to be, and to be honest, the only reason they are in the game.

    • The Dude says:

      Bang on JoeC, like I posted earlier we’ve had suicide in my family as well as I battled depression for many of my early years “did a lot of self medicating to try and make it go away!” And only got a handle on it when I read the new findings of Brain research “how your brains work , the happy centers and how they work … dopamine etc.” Now when I have a bout I just tell my brain too F-off,lol. Life is too short and you need not help it get shorter so we all need to keep our chins UP! Peace….

  10. Neutral says:

    skilled players if you notice are mostly the ones that’s getting the concussions. why? because the dummy that does this is not as skilled, good example was Chara on Max-Pac. Max-pac made him look bad a few times and Chara didn’t like it so guess what he doesn’t want to look bad and by doing so he takes a skilled player out of the game he thanks that’s ok because that’s the only thing he could do against a guy that keeps making him look bad, if the dummy’s don’t play dirty against guy’s like crosby, malkin, savard they’ll make you look bad and dummy’s don’t like that so a cheap shot will solve it. the fighters I won’t go there…

    • Chris says:

      There is no evidence whatsoever that the skilled players are the only ones getting concussions, or even getting the majority of them.

      For every Sidney Crosby or Marc Savard, there are guys like Arron Asham, Dave Scatchard, Derek Boogaard, Jamie Benn, Ian Laperierre, Raitis Ivanans, Matt Beleskey, Kyle Chipchura, Shaone Morrisonn, Steve Montador or Colton Orr.

      The star players get the headlines when they are injured. But that should not negate the fact that it is a problem that strikes all the players, regardless of skill level.

      If anything, you should expect the stars to be at higher risk for the very simple reason that they enjoy far more ice-time. Guys like Plekanec or Gomez play 20 minutes per game, while guys like Laraque or White played 5-10 minutes per game.

    • Neutral says:

      Christ, I didn’t say skilled players are the only ones getting concussions, I said mostly, the other ones you mentioned for most part couldn’t get out of their own way and some are scrappers so what do you expect. I still say skilled players are targets look at it what ever way you want. it has nothing to do with how long you play, what ever shift you’re on the ice could be you’re unlucky one, you could play 20 shifts or 1 shift doesn’t matter. besides it has to do with respect not playing time that’s what’s wrong with the game today

  11. Bill says:

    The deaths of three hockey “tough guys” brings to mind Roy MacGregor’s novel, “The Last Season”. It’s about the life and death of an NHL enforcer, and offers a lot of insight into what that job is like and the toll it takes on you. Usually regarded as the best novel written about hockey (not that there are many). Worth a read for serious hockey fans.

    The NHL and NHLPA are in the stone age on this issue.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  12. Bripro says:

    For Un Canadien errant, I wonder if the union is still legally obligated to protect a player if:
    1. An incident falls outside of its geographical jurisdiction – complicated here since its throughout North America or
    2. If its member has broken a law like, for example, assault, such as Chara on Max, or Cooke on Savard.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The gist of it is you can’t withhold a recourse or benefit. If the member is in good standing, he has to have access to all the services, benefits and protections provided equally to all members.

      Be aware I’m not a labour lawyer, but:

      1) If you are in your workplace (NHL rink, practice facility, etc.) and doing your job, you are entitled to all benefits as a member.

      2) Very often a member calls upon his shop steward and other members higher up in the hierarchy precisely in these circumstances, when they got in trouble and need help and representation. In these cases, even if the member is the author of his own misery, he is still entitled to participate in the grievance or appeal process to escape or reduce disciplinary consequences (suspension or dismissal). This is not a time when a union can decide to cut ties with someone, as I’ve stated the union has a legal duty to provide as much support as the member is entitled to.

      Practically, Cooke and Chara can’t be ostracized by the NHLPA, so if the league came down arbitrarily hard on them, the PA would need to represent them in any appeals. Where the PA can help reduce violence in the NHL is by advocating its right to provide itself with a constitution and a workplace that clearly spells out that member on member violence or harassment is not tolerated and will be dealt with harshly, in conjunction with the employer (Collective Bargaining).

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I understand that, and I know that is how they work. I guess what I am asking of the players is, is this union really working in your best interests? Are they truly interested in protecting you, because I see no evidence that the Union is truly interested in player safety. This is a union that fought wearing helmets, fight any potential drug testing, they fight against players being suspended, they fight against players gettting fined for breaking rules. Yes I know that it was Unions do, but again I ask, does the union really care about the players safety?

        PS same union doesn’t want equipment to change, for the reason of player safety, yah that isn’t hypocritical.

      • Bripro says:

        I understand what you’re saying. It reflects standard union practices.
        The situation with the NHL is somewhat different, I’m sure you’ll agree, since they seem to be sheltered from laws that forbid such bad behavior.
        What I’m looking for (wishful thinking) is that a rogue player such as Cooke, who might be made an example of by the NHL disciplinary committee, may not be protected by the NHLPA if they deem that his behavior was worthy of such discipline. I’m wondering if that would be allowed by law.

  13. HardHabits says:

    Anybody want to join my fruit boot hockey league? Because we all know only the coolest of hipsters play hockey on snowboards. :-)

    Fantasy leagues. Once upon a time…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dude, you have to understand…. It’s okay to Rollerblade, you just shouldn’t admit it or say it out loud. I know our time on hockey skates made the blades real easy to master, and going for a spin on them with your lady friend around Stanley Park is guaranteed to seal the deal, but don’t crow about it.

      Snowboard hockey never caught on, but a few years back I heard good things about football on skis from my New England friends. Wonder if that ever took off?

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  14. Ian Cobb says:

    Belak, Rypien, Boogaard: the common link
    The Faustian Bargain of the NHL fighter
    on puck daddy

  15. Ian Cobb says:

    It is what we do before tragedy, that really makes a difference.
    The next tragedy is just around your corner.

    • SmartDog says:

      Very thoughtful Ian.
      I have a related bit of wisdom for the NHL and NHLPA:
      “You get the courage AFTER you do the brave thing.”
      They need to show some balls and make necessary changes and sacrifices to protect the mental health of their players.

      When they step up and make REAL changes is when we’ll know they are brave and dedicated men – not while they are talking about talking about change.

      *****WARNING: Testing out new dog icons for the coming season. *****

  16. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://habsloyalist.blogspot.com/2011/08/marketing.html
    …I don’t often disagree with JT …she da BOMB
    …but I like that image of Carey & PK blended marketing poster
    …it’s got sizzle, and a great poster if I was 50 years younger, to hang on My bedroom wall next to My poster of Annette Funicello (Google it !)

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  17. HabinBurlington says:

    So when the topic of removing goons from play is brought up, along with the removal of the instigator rule, I have often heard this BS argument about loss of jobs, particularly from the NHLPA. How does this argument hold any merit. You still dress 4 forward lines and 6 dmen. You are then giving jobs to the Tom Pyatts of the world.

    While I am disgusted with the road our wonderful NHL head office has taken us down with both Americans (Bettman, Daly) and Canadians (Large Intestine Campbell, Murphy) at the helm, I am equally disgusted with what a piss poor job the NHLPA has done for its members over the years.

    Clean hockey up(enforce the rules, all I ask), just as many jobs, and the players will play longer and healthier. Kind of simple isn’t it?

    Oh yah and the game will be far more enjoyable to watch.

    • Bripro says:

      HB, are you surprised by the NHLPA’s poor performance record?
      The only honourable representatives of the union were the founders, Doug Harvey and Ted Lindsay, which the NHL succeeded in trading away. Then, a true self-centered Alan Eagleson took over and managed to amass a fortune while extorting the players.
      The union is much stronger now, but you’re right, it doesn’t seem to effectively protect its members. I don’t get it either.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Disgusted, not surprised. When a member of your union breaks the rules of hockey to hurt another member, no decision for me, Matt Cooke just fried his chance at being taken care of. Simple as that, don’t care what he paid in union dues, he broke the rules, he lost his rights. Savard paid his dues, and Savard didn’t break a rule and lost his career.

        • Bripro says:

          I would say it’s up to Cooke’s employer, Mario and cie. to fire him.
          Would the union protect him then?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            As a member of the union, would like to see him now go after Cooke for damages etc… and not see the union protect Cooke.

            I don’t want to get into semantics, but my simple point being the union will never admonish a player even when trying to kill another member of the union, outside the rules of the game.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Unfortunately (?), there is quite clear legal precedent that a union has to extend full protection and benefits to all its members, even when it believes the member is wrong. For example, if everyone in the shop knows John Smith got caught stealing office supplies, and everyone in the shop believes management is in the right for firing John, and John was kind of a tool anyway, the union still has to provide John with all legal avenues and appeals and protection. This is due partly to the fact that in some cases in the bad old days, if someone was considered ‘undesirable’ (ethnic group, sexual orientation, gender….) some unions would look the other way during a management hatchet job to rid themselves of that member.

            So Matt Cooke can’t be stripped of his NHLPA membership rights, or accrued benefits. Having said that, I think the NHLPA fails in its duty to promote brotherhood and to protect its members. It should do everything in its power to reduce violence in the game to provide a safer working environment. It should also actively promote a substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug-free workplace.

            Completely agree with HabinBurlington that the ‘protecting jobs’ issue is a red herring. Instead of having an enforcer on its roster, each team would hire a shifty playmaking centre or slick puck-moving defenceman who before might have been thought to be too short.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  18. Bripro says:

    Someone blogged earlier that depression is a terrible thing. It is.
    And sometimes, the person next to you is being eaten up inside without you even knowing it.
    Some years ago, one of my very good friends was standing in line with me at Canadian Tire, and we were talking about getting my bike back on the road. He was a true biker…the head gear, the tatoos, the jacket, and a mechanic to boot. We were just talking.
    He was going to come over the next day, and we were gonna get my bike out…I was so psyched.
    He went home and hung himself. I never saw it, and I miss him still.
    My point is not to depress anyone, but to raise awareness.
    If you know of anyone close to you going through it, BE THERE for them. Always. 24/7. It might be a small inconvenience to you, but it will be worth it for both of you. I promise.

  19. savethepuck says:

    Just changed my Desktop Wallpaper to The new September Canadiens calender. I left June on my computor all summer with Carey & PK doing the low 5. It’s good to see a calender now that actually has 6 games on it. Hockey’s getting near and I’m really excited about the 2011-2012 Habs

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

  20. ooder says:

    “When you retire after being a heavyweight for as many years as you played, most of those guys didn’t make [much] money, so there’s no options for them after,” Laraque said.

    leave it to Laraque to say the dumbest thing:

    I hardly doubt that money is what leads to these players committing suicide
    ——————
    The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Georges Laraque is actually a pretty thoughtful guy and capable of insight.

      He doesn’t draw a direct line between financial hardship and suicide, you do.

      Listen to the whole interview. He is speaking in generalities about the difficulty of being an enforcer in the NHL, the pressure the player is under, and the limited resources they usually have when they leave the game.

      ———————————
      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • ooder says:

        Maybe I read it out of context, I just find that money is not necessarily a problem for these guys.
        They make more in one year then msot of us will in a life time

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

    • Jordio-oh says:

      It may not be the case in this particular incident, but it’s not ridiculous to suggest. Financial woes were believed to be a contributing factor in the suicide of former Cy Young pitcher Mike Flanagan:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/25/mike-flanagan-suicide-dead_n_936719.html

      • Cardiac says:

        I read the article and yes, it does say that but at the same time it goes on to say:

        “After his retirement, he worked for the Orioles as a coach and in the front office before settling into a job as color commentator on the team’s broadcast network.”

        Doesn’t sound like he was having difficulty finding work… Might have had a gambling problem or something if he was having “financial problems.”

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

        • Jordio-oh says:

          Or bad investments.

          My point remains the same: it isn’t dumb to suggest a financial situation is the reason for the downfall of an athlete. It doesn’t matter that they made $500,000+. They still become accustomed to living a certain lifestyle during their prime earning years and are still vulnerable to the financial problems of people who earn an average salary.

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …Ooder, this is a comment I found on CBC regarding the Wade Belak suicide. …I hope it speaks for itself

      …”I was a national and world level athlete who had my sport(s) life, (there were two sports I excelled at), end abruptly as a result of an injury. The first operation my coaches and teammates were there with me. Second operation, coaches were fading into the shadows and key friend/teammates were still there, but dropping. Third surgery, I was on my own. Over twenty years of my life gone for reasons I could not control. I can not even begin to explain the sense of loss of identity, pride, stability, and worth that happens with that loss. My heart feels for him and his loved ones.”

      …to Me understanding another human being,or an athlete. and the reasons they do things is complex, …there is no one single reason for all this happening now …no single reason that fits all
      Our questions

      …I don’t think Laraque is completely wrong or right …money may or may not be the sole or predominant …but all this certainly is showing Us the ‘dark-side’ and risks an athlete bears when out of the glare of the camera and Our high and often times unrealistic expectations

      …no different than You and I in the Real World, except for the indifference the media has for You or I

      Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
      http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    • Neutral says:

      Laraque, what a BS’er saying heaveyweight’s didn’t make much money anywhere between $800,000 and up and there’s no options for them after, those guys took on a fighting role in the NHL because that’s the only way they would have made it, they had very little talent. Laraque averaged 6 goals a year, they beat each others brains out every game how can they be normal after 15 years or so, can’t feel sorry for these guy’s that’s what they chose to do. I mean they are all great guys and I feel sorry for their family’s but the way these guys made a living should we say was hard on the brain and a very sad ending….

    • New says:

      I think a lot of people identify themselves by what they do. When the “what they do” part is taken away they are often lost. Suddenly they no longer have an identity. To them everything has changed. They become afraid. Alone.

      People are pretty fragile when the living is good. Some places in the world it isn’t like that.

  21. V says:

    Just reading Ian’s comment below about greed not knowing any boundaries, I am reminded of a story I read recently about a mine collapse in a former Soviet controlled country (don’t remember which one).

    Over a dozen miners were killed and this mine owner – one of the richest men in the country – has been long known for mines that are very unsafe. Following the ‘accident’ he talked about how mining is inherently unsafe and the men who take it up know the risks.

    His comments stuck with me because I thought he sounded like an NHL team owner as he explains away the issues associated with unsafe conditions in their game. Now I know there is a big gap between mining deaths and concussions in hockey. Just struck that both were using the same tired rationale for putting profit ahead of safety.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Agree V. While these players make a good living while they play, they are all deemed replaceable by the owners. No better example of this than the NFL. For that reason, you can’t hold anything against the players for getting the best contract they can. They don’t know if they will get another contract. Totally see how the analogy fits.

  22. Neutral says:

    should have kept the NHL at 12-teams brought in talent not Goons that’s the biggest problem along with respect always trying to take out the talented players, I don’t care about fighters and goons getting concussed, most of them would have not made the NHL if they didn’t play that way. savard, maybe crosby and a whole list of great players had their careers ended because of goons as well as players with no respect time to clean up the NHL and allow the talented players do their thing. I don’t go to see goons or fight’s anymore this only ends in a RIP comment and there’s been to many on here lately it’s too late when you read those comments I say stop it now….

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Except Matt Cooke and David Steckel are hardly goons. These are just players who don’t respect another player in a different colour uniform. As Erik Cole said in his interview, he goes on the ice not trusting anyone from the other team.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        And really how can you. If the league lets this garbage go then players will do it. Savard’s career is now over on a blind side hit by cooke that he wasn’t suspended for. max P gets his neck broke after his head is guided into a post and it is just a hockey play. The best player in the league gets clipped by a player going forward and it is just an accident……the game is fast yes, but not that fast

        The league is to blame. Look at Moore’s hit on Mats Nasland and he got no suspension. He hit the teams captain while he was on his knees and gave him a concussion. The league does nothing and Meathead Bertuzzi takes it on himself to take care of business. The league should have fixed it first

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I can’t help but think 10 minute major penalties for all these dirty hits plus game misconducts and a suspension. You think a teammate is going to tolerate that little prick Cooke when every one of his antics costs his team 2-3 goals! Again, just enforce the rules with some teeth. How hard is this? Will improve scoring too!

        • otter649 says:

          Ironically Matt Cooke went after Moore & lost the fight (or did not do well) and then Bertuzzi decided not enough punishment was handed out by Cooke & B went after Moore……….

    • Bripro says:

      You’re absolutely right Neutral.
      The league has too many teams. As a result, you have the elite players, and the goons. If I’m a goon playing across from Crosby, for instance, I’m doing what I have to to stop him. Period. And at the speed they’re going, if it’s an elbow that does the job, they’ll use it. With a smaller league, you trim off the excess and keep the best.
      But at the same time, I think the game is a metaphor for life in general. There was discussion regarding the American’s general level of disrespect. It doesn’t matter which country you’re from, that level exists in droves around the world, and not just in sport.
      Violence is everywhere: In video games, against women and children, in song lyrics, in cars, in back alleys, everywhere.
      And we’ve become so de-sensitized to it that nothing is done until it’s too late. Americans gave the world extreme fighting and boxing, the English gave the world rugby, and Canadians gave the world hockey.
      So now, Savard’s career may be finished, and Crosby’s gone for the year. It’s everyone’s loss.
      The psychology of hockey has to change.
      But with younger generations, many accustomed to the violent trends I’ve described, I don’t see it changing. I hope I’m wrong.

  23. HardHabits says:

    Talking about my youth reminded me of playing football again. Tackle. No pads.

    We had a game at Elementary School called rumble. The rules were simple. There was an object, usually a roll of tin foil no bigger than a mini Nerf ball but obviously harder, that whoever had was fair game to be tackled until he threw it away. The game started by somebody throwing the foil ball into the air and then someone would get it and run around the huge school yard we had. Everyone would chase and the mayhem would ensue. There were some brilliant collisions and pile ups of bodies in that game. No lives were lost. No bones were broken. But it was mayhem.

  24. Propwash says:

    So if the OHL is making soft shoulder and elbow pads mandatory, I hope the NHL and AHL follows suit, ’cause whoever graduates from the OHL is in for a rude awakening and even more serious injuries could occur.

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    Our game has been taken over by the almighty dollar from the USA. The States have a very different standerd of social values, and conduct, than Canada enjoys.
    Players are just pieces of meat, to be bought, used, traded and then thrown away, depending on the dollar value at the time.

    • Chorske says:

      A bit simplistic given that most of the players, and a fair chunk of the GMs and officials and league managers are Canadian.

      As a Canadian living and working in the USA, I agree that there are some differences in terms of social values. But not the ones you describe. And certainly I don’t think that it is an inherently American value to treat people like meat as you describe. I have seen horrible behavior and senseless violence from the Pee Wee level on up in Canada, it’s one of the reasons I stopped playing when I was 16. So this has nothing to do with so-called “American values” infecting the game.

      In fact, one could argue that the single person who is most responsible for pushing the game down a violent path is Mr. Rockem Sockem “Great Canadian” Don Cherry.

    • krob1000 says:

      We are just as guilty Ian….take teh UFC for example…where do they go to repeatedly get record crowds? CANADA. Figthting in hockey is very Canadian ..and the reality is that footbal which is an equally violent sport is a US game and has no fighting and takes headshots very seriously…they also protect their qb’s, kickers,etc. The old boys club is mostly Canadian and like many I was always an “old school” guy…but I have been swayed over recent years….just too much bad happening. I don’t think we can blame the US here…..we need to blame ourselves as fans and we all need to start making it clear when these opinion polls,etc break out that we want hockey and not thuggery on ice.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      While it’s probably true that some of the American owners are the ones pushing for the NHL to remain violent (Bruins and Flyers in particular), one has to admit that the thug mentality in hockey is a purely Canadian contribution.

      One of the major proponents of hockey violence is Brian Burke, of the Toronto Maple Leafs. We joke about him, but this guy is a major force in the league (the NHL even asked him for advice on discipline last year – a shocking abdication of responsibility on their part).

      It is Burke who promised truculence (well he isn’t going to promise Stanley Cups is he?). It is Burke who said, about the outcry on brain injuries: “This year it’s head injuries, next year it’ll be shoulders” and “if you don’t like it, watch tennis.”

      It’s Burke who justified drafting a future journeyman in the first round by saying: “He’s a big kid. We’re drafting a skilled player who has truculence and belligerence. He’s a big guy who can play,… but he’s hostile and truculent and those things we like. We’re pretty excited about it.”

      That a vulgar thug like this is viewed as a major thinker of the game is an indictment of the entire culture. The sport is sick from top to bottom.

      • HardHabits says:

        Yes but the American audience is the wind in Canadian ice gladiator’s sails. It’s a vicious circle. Almost perpetual motion. Until somebody gets their bell rung.

        • punkster says:

          This could be a record on HI/O for mixed metaphors. Anybody want to confirm that?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • Chorske says:

            I’d like grab my ass with both hands ten times to stop myself from being the one to throw the first stone, but it’s not just an Old Horse’s tale that you shouldn’t count your eggs until they are all in one basket.

        • Chorske says:

          But this is what drives me crazy in this discussion: AMERICAN FANS DON’T LIKE FIGHTING. They don’t want to go to a game and see a guy get killed. People who worry about the game not being successful in American markets keep ignoring the market surveys that clearly show that Americans who are unfamiliar with hockey are TOTALLY turned off by the thuggery and potential for fighting and violence.

          I would also add that hockey- a predominantly Canadian sport- is one of the few sports where in-game fighting is not severely penalized. Baseball, basketball, football players who fight in game almost always receive major sanctions… and these are all predominantly American sports.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            I agree generally, but some Americans clearly like fighting. The filth that supports the Bruins and Flyers for instance.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            The Maple Leafs are building the exact same team in Toronto, still part of Canada. Edmonton just signed two goons this offseason. BS to blame America.

          • Duracell3 says:

            I think you overrate Americans. They have entire leagues (echl, chl, sphl, etc) where they expect to see a fight every game. Our game is little more than a joke to them.

            But even here we have the LNAH. But then the entire British league is goon filled, and Russia even has Vityaz Chekhov. Seems much bigger than one team or country or league, and to me even bigger than one sport.

            Especially for fighters, the fans often barely really know them, there is a whole AHL and ECHL to replace them on a moment’s notice, they are nothing more than meat bags to the owners as far as their health. And if they won’t do what they are told the same rule applies, some guy in the AHL making 50k or in the ECHL making $20k a year is going to do whatever he has to to make $700k in the NHL.

    • Chris says:

      And yet the most passionate fans of Ultimate Fighting tend to be Canadians. Blaming violence in hockey on the influence of the United States is a shell-game. Canadians are just as blood-thirsty as anybody else.

      It isn’t the American networks that launched the career of Don Cherry, nor was it Americans that were making his Rock’em Sock’em collections best-sellers every year.

      When we look at the most notorious head-hunters in the NHL, who are they?

      Colby Armstrong (Lloydminster, Saskatechewan)
      Matt Cooke (Belleville, Ontario)
      Trevor Gillies (Cambridge, Ontario)

      Who got suspended last year for headshots? VAST majority were Canadian players.

      We may have a different standard of social values and conduct, but it sure doesn’t get reflected on the ice.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I don’t think one can pinpoint the country in this argument. The problem is Hockey today. Ulf Samuelson was a complete dirty SOB, there are examples from many countries. The commonality is the new game of Hockey.

        Unfortunately, Canada has invented the only two organized team games that promote/tolerate fighting. Lacrosse and Hockey (Bagataway for the real old school).

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      “The (United) States have a very different standard of social values, and conduct, than Canada enjoys”. Wow, Ian. Really? Does Canada also enjoy your bigotry more than the USA?

  26. Un Canadien errant says:

    C’mon guys, it can’t all be about hockey, there’s more to life than the Canadiens. You have to savour from all the offerings of life’s buffet. Like NFL football. And World Cup Rugby.

    WE STILL NEED 6 TEAMS to form up our 12 team fantasy football league. Even if you’ve never played fantasy football, it’s easy and fun to play, all the info is provided on an easy-to-use website.

    SmartDog will be providing great prizes. There’s a messaging-chat-bulletin board function so can spew out crazy conspiracy theories and distract your opponents.

    Competing this season are:

    arni swanson: Rugger
    Normand Harvey: Whistler Blizzard
    John Jensen: Yamaska Americains
    spencer wilson: Horde of Hillbillies
    tim reynolds: aites
    Paul Teixeira: Abasement Park

    Draft is Tomorrow night (Friday) 10 pm Eastern, 7 pm Pacific.

    To join, go to http://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football

    Create an account if you don’t already have one, then click on ‘Join A League’. Search for this one in Private Leagues by its name or its draft time. Password to join is ‘markov’.

    League Name Habs Inside Out
    League Type Private
    Draft Date September 02, 2011, 10:00 PM ET
    Draft Style Live Draft
    Member Count 6 of 12 needed to draft – more info
    Password: markov

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • HardHabits says:

      UCe. You’re a valued contributor to these pages but this is a hockey site.

      You’re wasting time and space with these posts. And, IMHHO fantasy sports is for girlie men. There. I said it.

      Me. I’m going roller blading around the Lachine canal and St. Lawrence river. 25 clicks should clear the senses if not at least burn some calories. Time to Zen out on the earth moving under my wheels (speaking of girlie men). ;-)

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Sorry HH, didn’t think it would be this hard to round up twelve people, I’ve had to keep re-posting. Once the league is up and running you won’t have to skip over too many more of these posts. I was hoping to get a league together that didn’t include 14 year olds Tourette’s patients who ditch after the second week. The HIO Commentariat seems to be a higher calibre of being than that which populates ESPN’s site.

        Fantasy sports have to benefit of broadening your interest in the entire league I find, instead of just your team. When you play, you need to know who the third WR is on the Jacksonville Jaguars, or who the backup goalie is in Nashville. Seriously, who is it?

        Speaking of girlie men, you really feel confident casting that aspersion at someone when you’re about to set off on your fruit boots? That’s bold, friend.

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Had every intention of joining bud, but I am now in about 4 other NFL pools and going to be away from Computer Friday, sorry can’t join. Good luck, Go Steelers!

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            C’mon, we need you. Options:

            1) Use the nifty auto-draft feature. Pre-rank your players. You set it, then forget it. Draft is overhyped anyway, everyone knows you win your league by picking up Michael Vick on waivers before Week 2. That’s what I did.

            2) Register and let me draft for you. I promise I’ll do a good job, no Tiki Barber or Maurice Clarett.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Chorske says:

      I can see the Dolphins practicing from my office. LOVE it.

      • HardHabits says:

        I lived in Miami as a lad from ’67 to ’72. I was following the Dolphins back then (I also watched this show every Sunday, I think it was on NBC called something like NFL this Week almost religiously, loved the voice over and the incredible highlight replays). I watched the 24-3 loss to the Cowboys live. I lived through the perfect season game by game. Never will forget Earl Morrall’s incredible run after Griese went down. I think I watched every football game they played back then. I saw the Bills at the Orange Bowl with you know who at running back.

        Came back to Montreal in time to see Henri Richard hoist the Cup in ’73.

        The WFL and the exodus of Miami’s best players, Marino’s Super Bowl loss and subsequent perennial play-off choking sealed the deal and I stopped following the Dolphins. I guess I moved out at the right time. :-)

        • Chorske says:

          They remain problematic. Plus, this year we’re dealing with the UMiami scandal at the college level. I am learning that, in Florida, pound for pound and and in terms of emotional upheaval, even the biggest Hab scandal is easily matched by, say, the scandal raised when a local convicted ponzi schemer treats UMiami players to booze-fuelled sex parties. Just, you know, for example.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Didn’t you just extoll all kind of virtues against Un Canadien Errant explaining what a pussy sport football was and you post this?

          Edit: Okay reread your post, you stopped watching, never mind… as you were…. nothing to see here…. move along….

          • HardHabits says:

            Football rocks. It’s this fantasy BS I can’t stomach. The last thing I want to be doing is see how my players are doing and where I am in the standings. Might as well watch a stock ticker.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            HH, I know some people see Fantasy Football as a bit of a lottery, as much fun as Bingo. It is actually much more than that. If you know the sport and the players and can see trends, you can draft your team well, react to injuries or poor play with smart waiver claims or trades. The whole season becomes an exercise where, if you make the right moves at the right time, you are successful in the end. You are not so much a passenger as the captain of the ship. So it’s not a lottery or Bingo, but more like poker or bridge. Luck is involved, but your skill is the determining factor.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • HardHabits says:

            I prefer Texas Hold’em.

            But have a blast. I am just kidding around too. Besides, I was including all Fantasy Leagues not just Football. I can’t even believe that on line sports publications devote time and space on the subject.

            It’s like D&D meets sports statistics. I am sure it’s a toxic and addictive mix. Which is why I stay away from it.

            One more hard habit and I am sure to break the camel’s back and go over the edge.

            Just put all those metaphors in a blender please.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            D&D?!!! What kind of a nerd do you think I was? I never played Dungeons and Dragons.

            I played the much more scientific and cerebral Star Fleet Battles.

            http://www.starfleetgames.com/

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Fleet_Battles

          • HardHabits says:

            Pfft. My big three are: Risk. Diplomacy. Chess.

            Diplomacy rules. If you can get 7 players who know the strategy and can move to the next level of negotiating troop and attack support and of course withdrawing it at that ever so crucial stab your opponent in the back moment you’ve got something good going on there.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomacy_(game)

          • Chorske says:

            WHHHHAAAT? Us D&D dudes used to eat you chess-playing and poker posing weenies for breakfast RIGHT AFTER SMITING YOU WITH OUR +4 VORPAL FISTS OF FURY!!!!

            LEEEEEEERRRRROOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY JEEEEEEEEEEEEE

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Love love love Diplomacy. Love Risk.

            Love chess but not good at it, so instead of playing I taught it for Association Echecs et Maths, cool part-time job while at university. I got taken out of the Christmas party Blitz tournament in the first round two years in a row, but then all the first-round-losers like me gathered for the Risk tournament, and I won that two years in a row. Nice consolation prize.

            Only problem with Risk and Diplomacy is that when you garner a reputation for excellent play and having a great big yap, your adversaries tend to band against you, even if it’s not strategically sound. I learned quickly to not trash-talk in those games.

            No Star Fleet Battles alums out here? Hello?!

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        You work at Sea World?

    • Willy says:

      Where on the site can i find the scoring system for our league? I play in a league on NFL.com which makes it super simple but i find the cbs one very cluttered.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Home page, there is a link to the League Rules.

        http://freemeeting.2.football.cbssports.com/meeting/rules#rules_single_scoring

        ———————————
        How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

        • Willy says:

          Thanks, hope we get more people before tomorrow’s draft. Gotta get to at least 10! My other league is a 16 team PPR, that’s when you gotta know who every 3rd and 4th string WR and RB are.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Wow, 16 teams, pickings must get pretty slim. I’ve never played in PPR league, that always seemed gimmicky to me, but I guess what you’re used to is what seems natural and true.

            I like 12 team leagues, that seems right to me. I played on nfl.com and Yahoo the last few years, but I didn’t like the 10 team format, and the fact that rosters are too big. Bye weeks suck when you have to drop players for a backup tight end, but that’s the essence of the game, making the tough calls. I felt in 10 team leagues unless I had a major injury I could cruise the whole season on autopilot.

            Hope you get used to CBS’ service, it used to be the one nfl.com used until last season. NFL got its own now, but I think it’s gimmicky, just gives you links to highlights, which you can find everywhere else (TSN, NFL network, …)

            We have 7 teams registered so far, hope we make it.

            ———————————
            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

            http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Apparently Dustin Byfuglien has been arrested for boating while intoxicated, but the biggest thing (literally) about the arrest report is that Byfuglien apparently tipping the scales at 286 pounds, which would make him the only man in the NHL who can seemingly dare to engage Guimauve in a Poutine-Eating contest and win.

    I know the guy has gone between 230-250 since he’s been in the NHL but yeesh, that’s just embarassing if anywhere near accurate.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  28. krob1000 says:

    my bad…messed that up

  29. Chrisadiens says:

    Is all this concussion controversy being played in the media in Canada? It isn’t getting any coverage here in the States. Espn had a 5 second blip on the 3 offseason deaths and then went on to nfl news. This seems like such a serious issue and most in the US don’t know about it.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      The story is certainly getting lots of coverage, print/internet/tv/radio.

      The question will be does the media take this circumstance and the others around it and properly pressure the league etc… for change.

      Some of the biggest Hockey media in this country are also some of the biggest backers of the NHL. TSN rarely holds the NHL accountable as they want to stay in the good graces of the NHL. Mr. Cherry is willing to attack Gary Bettman, but on topics of padding and rink design.

      Listening to the Dan Patrick show here at work, and of course hockey gets little to zero coverage there at the best of times.

      • Chrisadiens says:

        I feel Bettman/NHLPA would be more pressured to change if more people knew. Why is the US media not talking about this? People are dying. Great player’s careers are ending. It is really frustrating.

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

        • HabinBurlington says:

          The world’s biggest sports marketing machine, The NFL is about to start, NCAA football about to start, I think that is the US Sports media sole concern at the moment. I would think in the hockey markets, Minnesota, Boston, perhaps more airtime, but hockey just isn’t that important in the US.

          • Chrisadiens says:

            Yea you’re right. I wish the US could realize what an amazing sport hockey is. I try to convert as many people as I can, but most of the time it doesn’t work.

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

        • HabsFanInTampa says:

          error

    • HabsFanInTampa says:

      ESPN has “blacklisted” the NHL and pretends the league doesn’t exist ever since they lost the television rights a few years back. All they cover is about a 5 second blip like you mentioned and that’s usually during the season and on an hour broadcast like SportsCenter. You’re lucky you even got that 5 second blip in the off-season.

  30. Ian Cobb says:

    NEWS JUST OUT

    Bruins’ Savard and Penguin’s Crosby will miss this season with concussion.

    The OHL league has just announced that this year there will be an equipment change for more safety. Soft elbow and shoulder pads are now mandatory. This is at least a start.

    • avatar_58 says:

      As sad as it is – I think Crosby NEEDS to sit out. Come back 100% healthy and ready to own the league bud, don’t risk your life over this.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        58-Paul–
        Once the brain cells are damaged, it is for life my friend!
        It never repairs, it’s not like a broken leg.

        Brain damage is a life long disability with severe depression.

      • G-Man says:

        Hate to say it, but Crosby may be done for good. The league’s posterboy knocked out by a crap play by a crap player. With the dearth of scoring in the NHL, you’d think a way would be found to protect the goal scorers, but nooooooooooooo.
        We already know the NHL does not give a rat’s ass about the players.

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          Issue wasn’t just Steckel catching him G-Man, it was the utter incompetence of the Penguins FO and medical staff that had him suiting up for a game two days later. More head trauma when his brain was still healing from the Steckel encounter made the whole thing far, far worse.

          Pens should really be taking more heat for not taking care of their own guy. This is 90s Flyers territory.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Absolutely Serious, I have been saying that all along the way. Imho the Pens ownership/mgmt/coaching staff/medical staff have been given a free pass on complete neglect!

            Does not mitigate the cheap shot by Steckel, but in theory Crosby should be recovering right now like MaxPac after a single concussion, not from the even more devastating 2nd hit during trauma.

          • Ian Cobb says:

            Gerald! Your question below about the summit charity raffle.

            We try to get each ticket holder to bring a gift that will be won by one of us. Rejean Houle will also bring some stuff from the hockey club. We sell tickets and draw them out of a hat, as your number is drawn you go and pick a prize of your choice.

            We have people donating pairs of seasons tickets for a game, hockey card collections, team sweaters and a host of different items. OK?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Okay thanks Ian, so i won’t be bringing the big cuddly teddy bear I had my eye on. LOL.

            Cheers Ian, thanks for the clarification.

    • sane hockey fan says:

      source?

    • scrowe21 says:

      Is Crosby confirmed?

      Still can’t believe Pacioretty is coming back..

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Still don’t know if Crosby is done for the year Ian.

      I still say look at Patrice Bergeron, his career could have been aruged to be just as much in doubt at one point with the two concussions he suffered. He scored the SC winning goal much to all our chagrin not too long ago.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • krob1000 says:

      Crosby done for season or start of season? I can’t think of any reason to even consider bringing him back (symptom free or not) until after the all star break. I suspect aht is the target they are aiming for and if it is not achievable? so be it….long term he is still a kid and a year isn’t going to make or break his career like the unfortunate Savard incident but I find it hard to believe that they are already ruling him out for the year…they said the same about Lombardi…and now he has been cleared. They really don’t know with these injuries and he may very well never heal which would be devastating for Sid and hockey in general.

      Sid is a kid and will play things smart and if it takes a year, two years and even three years….he is Sidney Crosby…if Michael Vicka can come back and be a star again after his layoff Crosby could too. He is so young and I can only hope he can make a return because his love for hockey is as authentic as it comes…..he truly is an inspiration to kids everywhere.

      If Sid can though Ian I think he tries to come back this year after the all star break and I feel it is too early for any doctor to be ruling that out at this stage. Only Sid will know his symptoms and if his team is in contention at that point and he has been symptom free? I suspect he plays. I think the NHL needs to examine the headshots thing and stop finding excuses for the hitter (sometimes they may even be valid) but why they give the beenfit of the doubt at this stage to the hitter is beyond me. It needs to be black and white. If a guy is too stupid to have his head down….so what…it shouldn’t make it ok anymore with what we know now. Being stupid for a fraction of a second in a game shouldn’t mean permanent brain damage. Perhaps the accidental headshot is not considerd a “repeat” offense but is suspendable nonetheless??

      I already mentioned this before and noone cared but if baseball can stay with wood bats why can we not stay with wood sticks at the Pro level. Baseball could dramatically increase the long ball numbers and averages and amp up the excitement…but tehy are maintaining the integerity of their game. The NHL should go back to wood, the goalies can’t be expected to trim down their gear until that happens….and soft padding is an easier sell to the NHLPA with wood as well. International size rinks would be nice too but the fact that enforcers are dropping like wrestlers and stars are dropping out with concussions is very, very alarming…as a fan but more as a parent of a hockey player with another soon to be.

      i would also be fine now (finally after all these years) if hockey were removed completely……the odd fight would still happen but met with a 2 game suspension or something. the instigator rule…who cares? if there were no fighting there would be no instigator rule…other sports get along fine…have the odd fight and retribution and self policing is still the norm. Heck..pitchers protect their own by throwing a 100 mph pitch in your ear…..football players take you out at the knee or get you in a pile situation, basketball players pick you hard or catch you with their elbows clearing a rebound….the fighting is entertaining…but once again…old age/parenthood have changed me and I am redy for hockey to be cleaned up….and what is with the music these kids are listening to???lol

    • Willy says:

      I heard about Savard but can you post where you saw the Crosby news? I know it’s been speculated everywhere but i haven’t seen or heard confirmation. Hoping he can come back, but it’s looking less likely all the time…..

    • Chorske says:

      Ian, I can’t find that report anywhere- where did you read that? (about Sid and Savard)

  31. Ian Cobb says:

    I feel compelled to put my post up again, If it will help one parents decision.

    What is a concussion, as comprehended and explained by myself.

    I have been involved as a lay person with research pertaining to neurology at a major medical university.

    I have picked up a lot of information working first with veterinarian pathologists when I was doing research on my fox and mink ranch with calcium.

    And I have been involved lately with the neurology research dept from a major medical university. Only as the handler of the research birds involved in the study. So I do not profess to be an expert on the subject

    Pertaining to concussion,

    I will try to explain, the best that I can, what happens to the brain cells that have been concussed inside the skull. And why one must stay completely resting after a concussion.

    The very soft brain cells, when violently thrown against the skull, are damaged and the neuron releases a potassium chemical out of the brain cell. Leaving a void.

    Calcium that is already present around the outside of the cells, seeps into the cells replacing the potassium. This calcium is what gives the chemical imbalance to the brain and is what causes the damage.

    Until all of this calcium leaves the brain cells completely, and it can take a long time, depending on how much calcium was taken on each cell. The patient is left extremely vulnerable to instant death upon a second bump, or at least permanent brain damage.

    Even a hard coughing spell or light exercise can cause severe pain and damage. Complete rest is needed.

    These damaged cells have to be cleared completely of this calcium before one can resume activity to avoid more serious consequences including death.

    This is very acute in young people under the age of 24 as the brain is still growing and developing.

    Please, coaches and parents know this, every severe contact to the head can cause some cells to expel potassium and take on calcium. A second, even slight bump, with the cells still containing calcium, can be even more deadly.

    Ian Cobb

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Important!

      2011 FAN SUMMIT
      Right after the tour, we will be meeting with a few players at the Bell Center.
      Mr. Keith Primeau, a former Philadelphia Flyers Captain in the NHL will also be presenting.

      On the serious subject of concussion and the aftermath of medical depression from concussion in hockey for 45 min.

      Mr. Primeau played in the NHL for 15 yrs before a last concussion at the age of 34 yrs old ended his career in hockey in 2006.
      He was nine games into the 2005-2006 season when he suffered another concussion and had to officially retired on Sept. 14, 2006.
      http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2587486

      Please visit his site for more information in regards to concussions in sports.
      http://www.stopconcussions.com/about-us/

      Please watch the video also- on post -concussions- head trauma –

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg_2hykQe3E

  32. G-Man says:

    The NHL condones concussions. The only language that Buttman and the rest of the thugs in NHL Head office understand is legalese. One hopes a large Class action suit is launched on behalf of these players. Then, maybe the morons running the league (it seems as if they themselves suffer from brain damage because all this is taking so long to get through to them) will get rid of the body armour that players are wearing. Maybe if a player is finally sued for a debilitating and dirty hit will all this bullspit stop.
    Something has to change and soon. Otherwise a death on the ice is in the future.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Between the deaths of players this past offseason, the Chara hit on MaxPac, Savard having his career ended, Sidney apparantly out for who knows how long (if he ever returns) and the countless other players currently suffering from head trauma/concussions, I don’t know how much closer the league can get to having a death on the ice. In fact, I can’t really see how the current circumstances shouldn’t be as impactful as this “worst fear” of a death on the ice.

      I agree with you G-man. Wade Belak was absolutely loved and adored here in Toronto, the self proclaimed mecca of hockey Canada (argument over this statement to be held another day). This tragedy I feel will carry much more weight with the powers that be than the earlier tragedies. I don’t agree with this, but Belak was a Star enforcer in the Toronto hockeyworld. Hopefully his loss and more importantly his families loss may somehow help the game and its players moving forward.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        .Gerald!

        Your question below about the summit charity raffle.

        We try to get each ticket holder to bring a gift that will be won by one of us. Rejean Houle will also bring some stuff from the hockey club. We sell tickets and draw them out of a hat, as your number is drawn you go and pick a prize of your choice.

        We have people donating pairs of seasons tickets for a game, hockey card collections, team sweaters and a host of different items. OK?

  33. JohnBellyful says:

    NEW YORK – The National Hockey League has announced it will try to reduce the risk of concussions among players by introducing new headgear.
    The league issued a statement today saying it is working with hockey equipment manufacturers to develop a helmet containing granular material to absorb the impact of a hit to the head.
    “We’ve kept our heads in the sand for years and the league has never been in better shape,” said a league official who requested anonymity. “The NHL is confident there is a technological solution to the rash of concussions that, unfortunately, has taken place of late.”
    The official said the league is also taking a non-technological approach to the problem, in the event a state-of-the-art helmet doesn’t prove as effective as hoped. It’s working on an educational program to encourage players to think twice about delivering hits to the head that could cause short- and long-term harm.
    “Have a Heart, Spare a Brain is aimed at the ‘softer’ side of players that might have got submerged over the years while moving up through the ranks of organized hockey,” the official said. “It’s an effort to help them reconnect to their empathic self and realize there are consequences to rough play.”
    The official said the program will include animated segments featuring celebrity voices, word searches (‘trauma’, ‘nausea,’ ‘convulsions’, ‘vomiting’), connect the dots (which, apparently, is more difficult than one would think), subliminal messages, hypnotism, anti-machismo arm patches, spiritual guidance, and videos that provide object lessons (featuring Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em, Chalk ‘Em series).
    According to a source in the NHL Players Association, the union will study the league’s initiatives in depth before making a comment. While somewhat in favour of what the NHL is attempting to accomplish, the NHLPA is concerned about the impact it could have on the ability of some of its members to make a living, the source said.
    “Remember, we represent ALL players, even those with minimal skills,” he said. “We can’t pick and choose which ones we go to bat for. Superstars, pluggers, they’re all under our tent, they all pay union dues.
    “What would it do to our credibility if we came out in favour of measures that protect the game’s superstars but resulted in a loss of jobs for enforcers?” the source said. “They have the right to earn a livelihood, too, which NHL teams have made clear they’re all too willing to provide them.”
    The union official said the NHLPA will send out a directive later this month telling its members “to play nice with each other” to show that it cares about their welfare.
    He said the union is also in the process of developing its own behavioral modification program in which players can earn points for every period they play without a penalty. At the end of the season they can make use of their accumulated Byng Bling and More bonus points to acquire a variety of goods and services from NHL sponsors at discounted prices, even for free if they’re especially good at not taking penalties.
    If the Min Sin Bin program had been in effect last season, Lady Byng winner Martin St. Louis, who finished second in league scoring, could have purchased a Honda Civic for $59.

    — “Now with 31 per cent fewer grammatical, typo and factual errors” –

  34. Ian Cobb says:

    We are killing hockey players. All of us, for not taking a personal stand on this issue.

    Concussions starting in Junior hockey or even before causes brain damage, this we already know. The severe depression that follows makes life not worth living. How many have to die before changes are made.

    The OHL league has just announced that this year there will be an equipment change for more safety. Soft elbow and shoulder pads are now mandatory. This is at least a start.

  35. JF says:

    Perhaps the saddest thing about the three sudden deaths this summer is that none of the players seems to have been able to find or even to seek help for his problems. Where were their families and friends? Where was the NHL? It is now clear that concussion leads to mental health and drug-abuse problems. Are these things viewed as so shameful, so degrading, in professional sport that their victims can’t talk about them, can’t look for help? Mental illness of any kind has always been something to be hidden and feel shame about, but in the last few decades it has been becoming easier to seek help and receive treatment, easier to be open about it. Unless, it seems, you’re a professional athlete. Then you have to hide your problems, put on a smiling face, pretend everything is all right.

    It’s time for the NHL to recognize that it has a great and growing problem. The game has to change to keep concussions and their life-destroying consequences to a minimum; and players whose mental health has been damaged by doing their jobs need to be helped and treated as the suffering human beings they are.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If you listen to Belak’s interview with Mitch Melnick on Team 990, he talks specifically about all the programs available. He does mention that more is or may be needed (can’t remember exact phrasology).

      I am not defending the NHL or NHLPA but rather, just answering that indeed he was aware of what programs were out there. I encourage people to listen to the interview. Of course there will be some who hear the part where he talks about how JM didn’t like his style of play and didn’t want that on his team. He also mentions the Leafs beat Ottawa and JM because of the physical play.

  36. Malreg says:

    I really don’t understand the Belak death… I’m going to wait until the official cause of death before I start blaming concussions and fighting (The Star is hardly a reputable source…).

    This is different than Boogard and Rypien, whom everyone knew had some issues. Belak was married, 2 young children, recently signed on to perform on Battle of the Blades, was supposed to become a color commentator for the Predators this season, recently met with TSN to talk about becoming a TV personality… That doesn’t sound like someone who just goes back to his hotel room and hangs himself.

    • avatar_58 says:

      I want to agree, but you don’t understand depression friend. The shit people hide from even the closest friends would shock you. We don’t know Belak personally, we only see what the media let’s us see.

      Hell his own wife might not have known his deepest troubles. I have to be honest with you – depression scares the bejesus out of me now, so many stories and bad endings.

        • avatar_58 says:

          I recently had a close friend blow my mind and world wide open with what she told me. It made me realize NOTHING is ever what it seems on the surface, regardless of how well you think you know someone.

          • compartmentalization is a major major part of depression, covering it up to some is a full time job and only compounds the problem with stress

            agreed

          • avatar_58 says:

            It bothers me lately because I have been feeling off for many years myself. I’ve been trying to tell people how I feel more now because keeping it in is dangerous.

          • cognitive therapy is worth looking into my friend

          • kempie says:

            Paul, I lost my best friend in April to a surprise suicide. I myself have been treated for depression as has my wife. People in general have absolutely no idea how widespread this problem is. It’s not just NHL enforcers. Doctors, lawyers, ditch diggers, teachers, firefighters… it attacks everybody and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. The stigma and prejudice involved with the affliction is overwhelming. After what I suffered through this past spring, I have resolved to do my very best to help, however I can, anybody who may be dealing with this illness. I advise you to do the same.

  37. MikeMcLaren says:

    Something that many of you might not get to see is that those blended pictures from the new marketing campaign are used for the tickets provided to season ticket holders.

    So if you look at the Price/Subban picture (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bvSi2LEZ064/Tl5pk9H7WgI/AAAAAAAAAMI/AKjnSK_kPnA/s1600/CareyPK.jpg) you see that picture in your ticket book.

    But Price’s half is the image on the ticket of the opener against the Flames and Subban’s half is the second home game against the Avalanche. It’s pretty neat.

    In fact, the Erik Cole / Josh Gorges mashup might be one of the most genius in that they have a contiguous scar on their merged chin.

    Obviously this reeks of marketingspeak, but you can see the motivation for the campaign in this text from a letter provided in the ticket book to season ticket holders:

    “When the Canadiens take to the ice, the club is never alone. On the other side of the glass and beyond the Bell Centre – from Montreal and throughout Quebec, Canada, and around the world – stand the greatest and most passionate fans in the game. Together, those two forces unite year in, year out on the drive to raise the game’s ultimate prize, irrespective of the adversity faced along the way. Over the past two season, never has this been more evident – the players are united and have risen as a whole in the face of injury, doubt, or other challenges. The fans have risen with them, expressing their support with an energy and conviction that is electric.”

    I realize JT hasn’t seen the whole campaign, but some of these pictures *are* fun and great. The March 3 and March 14 tickets, for instance, do indeed feature a Price/Subban low-five celebration.

    All I know is this: I’m waiting for next year’s ad campaign and tickets that show each player celebrating his day with the Cup.

    /\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  38. Haligonian-Hab says:

    Interesting tweet from Brent Sopel today:

    ” It’s true when you’re gone from the NHL it’s like you never played. We’re all just pieces of meat”

    This summer has showed once again there’s a lack of support for current and post NHL players. The NHLPA yada yada yada.. looks out for players..

    • Cardiac says:

      If he is no longer employed by the NHL, why should the PA be looking out for him? I smell sour grapes…

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

      • Haligonian-Hab says:

        I figured players pay union dues and have post NHL incentives involved at the bare minimum

        • Cardiac says:

          Last time I checked, the NHLPA doesn’t offer pension plans. At least any kind of lucrative ones…

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Hockey: The NHL pension began in late 1947, and is the second oldest pension of the major sports. The new agreement came as a result of the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 NHL season. Players with less than 160 games receive the maximum pension benefit under Canadian law; players with more than 160 games receive the maximum pension benefit under US law (currently $45,000 per year). Read the NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement for more information (pg 101 for pension benefits). The plan’s normal retirement age is 45.

          • Cardiac says:

            Thanks for the info. I figured they had done something after the Alan Eagleson scandal but I didn’t feel like doing the research.

            So technically he IS entitled to some money, but only when he turns 45.

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

          • HabinBurlington says:

            There is a bit more to it than just the 45g’s, but that is the essence of it. I did some research, but reading pdf files didn’t seem very fun so I stopped and just reposted the link to the pdf.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      Wow. Kind of sad. I liked Sopes, played hard for us. Seems like the kind of guy u could have a few beers with.

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

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I agree it can be a problem for when players retire but the players need to take some responsibility for themselves. If my company lets me go there will be nothing….It is up to me to figure out my next step in life.
      The Belak one I think is more of a problem with concussions not the lack of work by the NHLPA helping players after they retire. The NHL and NHLPA are not doing enough about concussions in my opinion.
      After you get knocked in the noggin too many times your brain becomes damaged and you don’t think correctly. As more research is done with athletes donating their brains to study concussions I think we will learn a lot and maybe people will finally take notice.

  39. HabFanSince72 says:

    Laraque didn’t try to grab the spotlight. Presumably a reporter called him for his opinions – opinions that which seem fairly sensible.

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    Summit tip for your HIO Childrens charity raffle gift and more.

    We just received our Sears catalog Christmas Wish book. In it there are all kinds of great Hab items you could bring to the raffle at a very reasonable price. Sweaters, T-shirts, hats, watches, and much more in the early pages.

    Lets make this years HIO Children’s Foundation Charity Raffle the best yet. Rejean Houle will be bringing some things from the team as well.

    If everyone attending brings something, then everyone goes home with a memento of our great Summit weekend and we hold this raffle for under privileged kids remember.

    Raffle tickets are 1 for $20 or 3 for $40.

    Things are coming together nicely. This years Summit is the largest group to attend in 5 years. If you have not informed me as yet about which events you are attending, please do so ASAP so I can make your reservation. Even people with their own tickets or not even going to the game are welcome. But let me know please.
    IAN

    • Cardiac says:

      All kidding aside, Avon has some pretty cute stuff too. Christmas ornaments, slippers, blankets, lunch boxes, etc.

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

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Ian, having not attended the Summit before I am not familiar with the Raffle. The gifts I purchase to bring to this, are they intended for the kids? I just want to know who I am gearing this gift for when I go out and purchase it.

      Thanks for the info.

      Edit: Anyone who knows the answer to this, please let me know. Thanks!

      • MikeMcLaren says:

        No, they’re intended for all of us schlubs who show up to the summit. Last summit, for instance, I won a bottle of scotch provided by Dave Stubbs. Although come to think of it, that might calm my daughter down…

        /\\ike
        GO HABS GO!

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Very well written article by Bruce Arthur in the National Post
    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/08/31/belak-death-an-end-to-a-wretched-summer/

  42. HabinBurlington says:

    So I was kind of hoping the Habs were going to sign Ryan Johnson to a tryout contract like Detroit just did. He is no star, but a gritty, hard working 4th line checking centreman who is pretty good in the faceoff dept.

    Oh well, come on Enqvist, or somebody…Maybe the answer is in front of us in the form of Ryan White. I like White alot, but haven’t seen much of him as a center.

    • Chrisadiens says:

      I think the kids are going to get a chance for that spot. If they don’t perform, we have plenty of cap space to add a 4th liner through a trade.

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

      • 24 Cups says:

        A sense another draft pick going out the window:-)

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Exactly 24, while I appreciate we have cap space, wouldn’t it be neat to have most of our draft positions at a draft? I don’t blame PG for using a pick to get the Wiz we had no choice. But why not use some of the cap to have a legit tryout for that 4th line centreman role. 1-2 NHL journeyman, 1-2 AHL’ers, etc….

          Hopefully this year if we lose 1-2 dman for various amounts of time we have the depth equivalent of Sopel/Mara in Woywitka/Diaz. Again avoiding to spend a draft in any round.

        • Chrisadiens says:

          Point taken but I’m not talking about a 3rd or 4th rounder here. Maybe a 5 or 6 rounder for a plugger. I wouldn’t be happy to lose another high-ish pick unless it’s for Parise or S Weber.

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

  43. Sharks9 says:

    Subban ranked 9th and Markov ranked 25th among defendemen for fantasy hockey

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=587113&navid=DL|NHL|home

    25 before 14

    • 24 Cups says:

      From a fantasy viewpoint, I find it hard to believe that Chara would go 2nd overall. His ceiling is around the 45 point mark. And Boston didn’t bring in Corvo for his defensive play.

      There are a few other guys on the list who have much more upside than Chara in terms of racking up points.

      I’m assuming Markov is ranked 25th due to his injury history. He could be in the top dozen if he plays a full year. We might have a dangerous PP if someone is willing to park his butt in front of the net. I can think of three legit candidates.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        DD, Gomez and Gionta?

        • Chrisadiens says:

          1 out of 3 ain’t bad…. ;)

          But seriously. I know we have the personnel for a great PP, but Im worried this is where the Habs will miss Kirk Muller the most. Our PP has always been excellent to above average while Kirk was here.

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

          • Chris says:

            Wasn’t Perry Pearn in charge of the PP and Kirk Muller for the PK? I thought I heard something about that Martin believes his defensive coach should be the PP coach as he will better understand what the opposition will try to do, and vice versa.

          • Chrisadiens says:

            @Chris really? Hmmm, u might be right.

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

      • Sharks9 says:

        It’s probably mostly because he had such a high +/- this past season.

        Yea Markov’s ranking is definitely because of injury, if he stays healthy and gets the points we know he’s capable of he could even crack the top 10 by the end of the year.
        25 before 14

  44. Haligonian-Hab says:

    Aug 29 – Mayor Peter Kelly announces Brad Marchand Day in Halifax.

    -Gross

    Anyway, I feel the Canadiens will win the division this year, be in top 5 in scoring, PP and PK. It’s going to be a fun year. The Bruins will have the cup hangover, and hand over the reigns without much of a fight – no Large Intestine Campbell, and no Tim Thomas version 2.0… back to TT 1.2

  45. V says:

    Sometimes the NHL game just feels greasy.

    For me, it felt that way after the Savard and Pacioretty hits and reading the Star’s articles about Belak and learning more about the ‘enforcer role’, it feels even greasier.

  46. caladin says:

    J. T. Is out to lunch on this one, those blended pics are cool.

    • GenerationYHabs says:

      They are actually part of the new theme of the official habs site.

      edit: ok was before my coffee I misead your comment. Yeah I agree I find the new ad campaign pretty sweet.

  47. HabinBurlington says:

    So asked his favourite moment in the NHL Belak said:
    “Probably my first NHL goal, and scoring my last NHL goal in Toronto, when I broke that streak (nearly four years without a goal). Fans were chanting my name on the streets.”

    A shame that while other players are paid to score or prevent goals, Mr. Belak was asked to do neither.

    • 24 Cups says:

      “Hockey fights sell tickets and drive web hits that turn otherwise quiet arenas into primal cauldrons of communal blood lust. They make the masses happy by intimidating and inflicting pain on other people. It’s like a modernized version of the Romans throwing the Christians to the lions.”

      We have met the enemy. And he is us.

  48. JohnBellyful says:

    “It’s a bird!”‘
    “It’s a plane!”
    “It’s a joke that just flew over our head!”

    … or were you just kiddin’ as well? If only there was some means to indicate when a person is having a laugh.

  49. HabinBurlington says:

    I have been trying to come up with an abbreviated way to say: I am laughing out loud, or laughing my ass off and just can’t figure it out John. What would be cool is if you could get little like cartoonish figures that would express the mood one is in when writing something on the interweb. Please let me know if you find out answers to these questions for me! Cheers, haven’t seen a post from you since my Bombers kicked your Ti-cats Tail last week, was checking the papers and didn’t see your name as causing any issues though.

  50. JohnBellyful says:

    HiB, I’m not one to dwell on the past. I like to move on and forget about what has happened — with the exception of Stanley Cup wins and Grey Cup victories by the Habs and Ticats. Anything else is mere incidentals on life’s journey. I don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say.

    Stupid Bombers …

    Edit: :) (I found this thingamajig on E-Bay)

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    Your a good man John, pretty funny as well. Too bad the labour day classic ain’t the same this coming weekend. That is normally the weekend of the year I wear Ticat Colours and spew verbal atroicities at the Argos(just to fit in of course), not this year.


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