Stop the press! Or stop the Internet!! Just stop something!!

When the biggest Canadiens news is Shawn Belle signing with Edmonton, we have officially begun the Dreaded Dog Days of summer.

One more sleep until the HIO mini-summit at the Manoir.

• Pat Hickey on Maxim Lapierre signing

Arpon Basu’s take

Jacques Demers on the mend

Pierre LeBrun updates UFAs

• TSN’s UFA tracker

• Another fun-filled season of Daniel Carcillo in Philadelphia

• Why the Bruins shouldn’t trade Marc Savard


  1. andrewberkshire says:


  2. SeriousFan09 says:

    He was also a pillar of strength for Slovakia at the Olympics. Pronger can be a pylon as well when he’s exposed but Chara played well enough to offset that in 08-09. He’s very good, Top 10 in the NHL when he’s on his game.

    Joe Thornton is useless as hell, he can be the best playmaker in the regular season ever, he’s crap when a big game is going on. Garbage at the Olympics when the games mattered and garbage in every playoff series he’s ever been in. San Jose will never win a Cup with Chokin’ Joe.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  3. ManApart says:

    Lars Eller is probably the only good bet to play for the big club. Don’t tell me things are great because we picked up the Blues leftovers, who haven’t proven anything, after dumping team MVP, proven NHLer SK74, very good 3rd line center in Moore and 4th line center in Metro. the Habs have not addressed the top 6 problem to help their weak offensive ability , as well as it’s lack of physicality. This team will get hammered by the Flyers once again because dumbass PG and Co. didn’t feel the need to fix these problems. This team is downgraded big time in goal and has actually gotten worse in depth, which was already horrible. You tell me PG isn’t failing and you’re dreaming.

  4. ed lopaz says:

    “smart business” is identifying your, YOUNG, LONG TERM, CORE players,

    and then signing them to 3 or 4 year deals that make financial sense to the corporation,


    give the player the financial security and sense of belonging that he’s looking for.


  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    I’m surprised anyone would expend mental energy on the length of Carey Price’s contract (other than Carey Price, his agent, and the Habs’ GM).



  6. habrez says:

    Posts like this are the reason I still read the comments

  7. SeriousFan09 says:


  8. Clay4bc says:

    G-Man…you ask “What’s to admire?”…I would point out that they won the cup – the whole purpose of any team – and that’s what there is to admire.

    But beyond that, Dog points out that they are getting picks and prospects for those they need to get rid of – something the Habs rarely get for players who “don’t fit into our plans”.


    “This has to be the mother of all brain-dead decisions.” Red Fisher regarding the Halak trade.

  9. Rugger says:

    All the things you say are fine with me, hope they continue.

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    Halak’s save % dips but his GAA also goes down, he gets more wins and has a successful year, including making the playoffs.

    Price’s save % goes up, GAA goes down, gets more wins than Halak because Conklin will play more games than Auld, and people stop fretting about Halak so much.

  11. JD_ says:

    NHL career +83, including an average of +18/season over the last three seasons. NHL career 363 points in 847 games, including an average of about 50 points/season over the last three seasons.

    Smart as hell. Considered one of the hardest-conditioning players in the league.

    My kind of ape, expensive as he is.

    The Joe Thornton experiment was a bust. The Broonz evened that one out when they duped Burke.

    Beware the Broonz…

  12. ed lopaz says:

    not really – no I don’t. If you have no opinion on the most

    important signing for the Habs this off season, why do

    you bother coming to HIO?

  13. Storm Man says:

    It is called Kool-Aid oldtimer. 

  14. SmartDog says:

    As Arpon says Gautheir decided not to decide about Laps.  He reminds me of that saying “shoot first and aim later”.  This ‘we’ll sort it out after’ attitude of the Habs kills me.  We have all these big long-term contracts and all these small ‘tell us why we should pay you more money’ contracts.   The form of these contracts just doesn’t seem like smart business. 

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  15. Chuck says:

    When Chara keeps his focus instead of getting distracted, he’s a force. Plus, he’s got a hell of a point shot on the powerplay.

    And could you imagine Chara and Gill killing penalties together? Not the fleetest of foot, but their combined reach could clear 20 feet around Carey.


    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  16. habrez says:

    Mason will beat out Pavelec

  17. HabFanSince72 says:

    Do you also lay awake at night wondering how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?


  18. andrewberkshire says:

    All I’ve been doing is blacklisting people!

  19. andrewberkshire says:

    I guarantee it. No way Montreal would let him walk for draft picks in a crap draft year when there’s no replacement.

  20. HabFanSince72 says:

    Chara, like Tim Thomas, had that one very good season and now everyone thinks he’s not a pylon.

    That ape can stay in Boston.

    As far as the Broonz getting better, don’t forget they ran Joe Thornton out of town. Their 40 years of suck isn’t an accident.


  21. Mark C says:

    Even if Montreal did not match, the other G.M. just gave Price a well above market deal (in almost everyone’s opinion). Which makes the point that offer sheets are not efficient or effective as means of acquiring players. 

  22. G-Man says:

    Chicago gave a Cup to their patient fans- 49 years is a long time. Right now, as an organization, they’re completely screwed. So, what’s to admire? They’ve literally thrown away pretty much every part that helped bring the Cup to Chicago. Let them make their gambles. Like the Canadiens this upcoming season, it’s going to be very tough for them to compete. Youth movement= let’s wait some more.

  23. andrewberkshire says:

    Coming back this year. You’re so funny…

  24. ed lopaz says:

    Arpon writes:

    That amount of cap space essentially rules out the possibility of getting Price locked up long term because Gauthier can’t offer an average salary greater than $2 million per year.

    Considering the Canadiens have essentially handed the No. 1 job to Price and the team has no other viable options, it’s hard to imagine Price accepting so little on a multi-year deal.

    If he were signed prior to the Jaroslav Halak trade, then maybe something could have been worked out, but not now.


    So, like Lapierre, it looks as though it will be up to Price to prove himself this year and earn himself a big contract, because I’d be stunned to see either side agreeing to each other’s terms on a long-term marriage.

    I can not, for the life of me, remember a situation like this before. It is so strange.

    And it continues, day after day.

    I have learned to have a lot of respect for Mike Boone over the last year. He does a great job here at HIO,

    and he has some important insight when it comes to the Habs and hockey in general.

    Mr. Boone suggested a few weeks ago, here on HIO, that the Habs might want to sign Price to a long term, 4 years, if they truly believe in him as their goalie.

    Its clear that more “term” does mean more “confidence” in the player.

    Now, Arpon is suggesting that “term” is out of the question, and that the habs don’t have the cap space to

    give Price a long term deal.

    So, presumably, if both Boone and Arpon are correct:

    Price will get a 1 year deal.

    Price (and / or the Fans) will perceive that the Habs lack confidence in him as their long term # 1.

    Is this a healthy situation??

    My answer: absolutely not.

    And for everyone out there who has been arguing that everything is fine since the Halak trade,

    well, the short answer is, it is NOT FINE.

    The Habs had a pretty good thing going between the pipes last season – better than most teams I would say.

    Now, this situation looks precarious at best.

    How does this get resolved to the benefit of everyone?

    I really don’t know.

    We need a confident goalie who will take over the #1 spot and win about 35-40 games this season.

    That is the objective.

    If you guys have the answers, I would love to hear them.

    And I’m starting to think that maybe Gauthier is looking for some good answers as well.


  25. ed lopaz says:

    you “think” PK will be on the roster next year?


    what gives you that impression? :-)

  26. HabFanSince72 says:

    How are they fine?

    They wear that ugly brown and yellow sweater, they’re from Boston, their fans  make Flyer fans seem urbane, and they always suck in the playoffs.

    Fine is the last thing the Boston Bruins can be accused of.




  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Only guys on the team under contract who will be at/past their primes for sure are Hamrlik and Spacek. Pleks and Cammy are playing through their primes while Gomez and Gionta each easily have several good years left in their games. They’re not battered like our former captain from years of constant injury.

    Blackhawks also had a ridiculously deep Cup team that had a ton of valuable players on it who were young and easily tradeable, who did MTL have that was really worth much when it it was possible to dump them? We weren’t going to round up picks, prospects that were worth a lot. They also didn’t have any old guys besides Madden on their team.

    Lapierre isn’t worth more than a late pick right now as well, nor is anyone else really that has a contract due to run out this season whose name isn’t Andrei Markov.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  28. Mark C says:

    Belle is the hockey version of baseball’s million dollar arm and 5 cent head. He has the full package minus hockey sense and IQ.  His skill are such that he is left just a little short of being a legit NHL player.

  29. JD_ says:

    Were Broonz management to react to what happened in the playoffs, my expectation would be that they would turf Julien before performing major surgery on the team. Not that it’s the right thing to do – the guy can obviously coach – but it’s always the fallback move.

    As much as I hate the Broonz, they’re a solid team and can only get better thanks to Burke & Co. If Rask remains consistent, and they’re able to clear up cap space by dumpin’ Thomas and Ryder, I’m not going to like what I see.

    If only there were a way to get Chara in a Habs uniform…

  30. SmartDog says:

    Somewhere between all these 1-year contracts and all these 5-6 year contracts is a balance of what a typical contract should be.  While I realize the reasons for the 1-year deals, I don’t accept that this is a good way to develop players or that there were no alternatives.  Gauthier is acting like he doesn’t know the players.   A long-term contract is motivating to some people.  Where’s the risk in signing Laps to 2-3 years?  It’s an easy contract to get out of if you need to, and will give him stability in his home town with the team that developed him.   And I don’t even particularly like him.  But it’s hard to see a scenario where he’s not worth 900k per year under decent leadership.

    I’m impressed with Chicago and that they are making their long-term gambles on young players (not old guys) and doing the tough things, making the hard trades, seeding their farm with their unkeepable excess.  The Habs get nothing or little for their cast-offs while making risky, potentially entangling long term deals on expensive players who will be in uniform past their prime, and not gambling on relatively inexpensive younger players who could be a real bargain toward the end of their contracts.

    I can’t see it and won’t see it.  It’s not smart.


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  31. joeybarrie says:

    And the Montreal Canadiens made the playoffs without the help of a guy by the name of PK Subban… I still think he will be on the roster next season…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  32. TorontoHabsFan says:

    I can see why they’d think that – but from an outsider’s opinion, I think they’re actually just fine. These kinds of playoff collapses happen – it’s just the nature of sport.

    I personally think that Horton is just about the most over-rated player in the league – he was Florida’s version of A. Kostitsyn. That being said, I think he’s an improvement over Wheeler – who had a nightmarish sophmore slump last year.


    Still wouldn’t mind seeing them well out of the playoffs though (just not in a lottery position – them getting three lottery picks in two years would not be fair!)

  33. ed lopaz says:

    at 4 years and 15 million?

    I’m not sure about that.

  34. pmaraw says:

    I only saw him when they brought him up for that 2 game stint.  but I fully agree with your observations, a -2 in 10 minutes of play over 2 games but apart from that, I remember him making me very nervous, like he was looking for someone in the fans while standing on the blueline

  35. Bugs says:


    So what’s your call for this year then?

    Keepin it real, I be chillin as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Brotha to the Man with the Plan, Product-runnin Lead Houndogg with the Voodoo Flannel Posse, and Pimp Extraordinaire of Habsbros Mama Jones Snow Cones, muthafugga:

  36. HabFanSince72 says:

    On the other hand, after you lose a series the way they lost to Philadelphia you might also conclude that it’s time to completely shake things up.

    Not that it matters. They’ll always be losers.



  37. Mark C says:

    Maybe not 99%, but offer sheets are not a great way of acquiring players. Since 2006, only one out of the six offer sheets given has not been matched. So the recent success rate is only slightly above 16% for the offer sheet giving G.M.. Should we even count the one time it worked? I think the Oilers might want a do over with Penner.  

    There is so much added risk and cost using an offer sheet. Unless the team is in cap hell, any semi-reasonable offer sheet is highly likely to be matched, meaning you lose out on acquiring the player you want, and piss off other G.M.’s.

    If a G.M. really wants a player they should try to trade for the player before strongly considering using an offer sheet. Your example highlights this, you run the risk of Montreal matching, meaning you lose out on the player you want. Or, you end up giving Price more money than his market value, plus you losing picks. 

    In the end, if it works it’s pretty much a trade, where you might not have given up as much in terms of assets as a trade, but you’ve undoubtedly overpaid in cap dollars with the added risk that the offer sheet likely won’t work.   


  38. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Even though I loathe the Boston Bruins with the burning passion of a thousand suns, they would be insane to shuffle off Savard. The THN article was bang on – their window for success is small, they won’t save that much money off the cap, they need his production (they scored fewer goals than Mtl for pete’s sake!), Seguin and Bergeron can both play wing if need be, and Krejci simply is not a #1 Centre.


  39. joeybarrie says:

    So I am glad we signed Laps. Also cause it is a 1 year cantract. He is pretty cheap for what we get out of him. If only he did it more consistently. He is pretty good on breakaways, he is a big guy and a good instigator. Only problem is his yapping. It ALWAYS comes back to bite you in the end. I think he will be a pretty decent player as he matures, on the 3rd and 4th lines of course. I think he is capable of 25-30 points a season. Definetly in my opinion a good depth player. Usually able to keep these guys for under 1 million, and if his production gets better 1.5 million. Well worth it. Im all for an instigator, but the yapping and not backing it up, I do not like. But he has good hands, and can be quite usefull.

    I think we will see some interesting things this season as our players have bonded and start to see how they can play with each other. Laps has ALWAYS tried to conform to the role given to him.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    From what I saw watching him, he doesn’t seem to have the reaction time you need in an NHL defencemen. Saw a few Dogs games this year and while he can certainly land a solid hit, he doesn’t seem to be alert enough to be a regular roster player in the NHL.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  41. andrewberkshire says:

    Ed, if an offer sheet was given to Price where the compensation was just a 1st and a 3rd, Montreal would match it and move salary.

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