Subban and Price invited to pre-Olympic orientation camp

(Photo: Allen McInnis / THE GAZETTE)

Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban and goaltender Carey Price are among the 47 NHL players invited to Canada’s national men’s team orientation camp in Calgary next month.

The team that will represent Canada at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia next winter will be chosen by Dec. 31. The 25-man roster will include three goaltenders.

Five goalies have been invited to the  camp in Calgary, including Price, Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks, Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, and Mike Smith from the Phoenix Coyotes.

Subban, who won the Norris Trophy last month as the National Hockey League’s top defenceman, is among 17 rearguards invited to camp. Kristopher Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators are also on the list.

“To be invited, obviously it’s a very cool honour,” Subban told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs in an interview Monday afternoon. You can read more of what Subban had to say here.

The Olympic Games kick off on Feb. 7. The men’s hockey event runs from Feb. 12-23, ending on the final day of the Games.

In a press release Monday, Hockey Canada said the orientation camp in Calgary from Aug. 25-28 “will offer the opportunity for management, the coaching staff and Hockey Canada to present the players with the team’s plans for Sochi, such as playing systems, international rules and regulations and logistics.”

Brad Pascall, vice-president of hockey operations at Hockey Canada, said it’s “unlikely” the players will take to the ice at the camp based on insurance requirements.

You can see the full orientation camp roster by clicking here.

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will be back behind the bench for Canada.  Babcock coached the gold medal-winning Canadian Olympic team in 2010 at the Games in Vancouver. St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock and Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who were also part of the coaching staff in Vancouver, are back as associate coaches along with Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien.

You can read Hockey Canada’s press release about the players invited to camp here:

And you can read its press release about the coaching staff here.

 

2,594 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Hey Ron, I vaulted this to the top of the site because I think your post about Subban is very important. In general terms, you are suggesting that it’s possible we might have a problem signing Subban, and your logic is sound as usual.

    I will propose the following; not signing Subban, losing him, would be a huge failure for this GM and one that his career in Montreal will not survive.

    There are certain truisms in the world of sports and one of them has to be the following:

    If you are lucky enough to have drafted and developed a star like PK Subban, you sign him long term.

    There are no ifs, no buts, and no excuses.

    Letang got 58, Subban is worth around 60 for 8 years, and he will get it from Montreal, or he will get it from 29 other teams if he ever gets to UFA status.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Not to worry ED & Ron,

      PK will stay in Mtl. It is not all about money with him.

      • Ed says:

        I have seen that too Ian. The Subbans are such a classy family. PK’s parents should be extremely proud of how they’ve brought up their kids.

        Outstanding family!

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Good Morning Ian
        Please know I don’t doubt what you say, yet if it’s not all about the money, then why did PK sit out and miss games?
        And perhaps you may know or have known PK in the past, but sometimes people change and only the closest people in a very trusted inner circle really know what’s going on.

      • wjc says:

        It’s always about money. Do not kid yourselves.

        wjc

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          I agree with Ian. It’s not always ALL about the money. I agree with you. Money is always a huge factor. But even then, sometimes, it’s that $ gets equated with respect and fairness. If they won’t give you what you think you deserve, you take that as a lack of respect. In that case, it’s what the money symbolizes more than the amount per se.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Ian – It’s going to take eight years at 60M to sign Subban.

        Let’s get it done.

        I’m also still pissed that the Habs drafted Crisp over PK’s brother, Jordan. They probably could have landed both with some more astute drafting.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Crisp was a great pick.

          • HabFab says:

            Would have been better as a 4th rounder.

          • 24 Cups says:

            Crisp can’t skate worth a damn. He went undrafted in his draft year of 2012 and wasn’t even listed by sites such as McKeen’s Hockey for 2013. Habs took him way too early strictly based on size. They could have had Subban AND Crisp with the hope that at least one of the two long shots would pan out.

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Ed

      Here’s believing MB will get it done….but one never knows exactly what a player wants to do or where he wants to be long term regardless of nice-nice words and supposed youth favourite team stuff.
      Let’s call it the Habs Armageddon Scenario.

      EX:
      Doesn’t PK have Hollywood written all over him?
      Who is to say HE refuses to sign long term and head out to California to play with Doughty?
      And if not Hollywood, what about Manhattan and all the lights and glitter there and hanging out with Jeter and Eli…?
      What about ever wanting to play in his hometown of Toronto or hook up with Duncan Keith in the fabulous city of Chicago?

      MB better put this one to bed ASAP, because I don’t believe PK and clan will put up with any shenanigans.
      He is no flash in the pan and will only become more dominant and dynamic.
      If so, it will end up being the largest contract in the history of the Habs.

    • tophab says:

      pk is the best player in the nhl.

    • JUST ME says:

      For once i am ready to pay the price for a player . P.K. deserves the 7 or 8 million he will be getting and he is a young guy around whom we will build the habs of tomorrow. Opposite to Gomez we will not take a contract given by someone else and willingly will be investing in a gifted player.
      I am not naive enough though to think that in two ot three years we will not be boooing P.K. cause we have a strange relationship with money in Montreal…. One day we ask the management to go all in and the day after…

      Still i think that P.K. only knows one way to play and for me he is from a rare breed of guys who love what they do and spread it around with a smile. Priceless !

      A gifted player like him only comes around every decade if we are lucky so let`s make it count !

  2. W.M.C.W. #1 says:

    sounds like a Dear Abby site

  3. habstrinifan says:

    Dear Ian Cobb,

    I humbly ask you to find me an isolated table at the summit’s social functions (maybe near the kitchen door where I can eat alone) and a distant seat in the stands where I can brood alone.

    The un-maddened acceptance of our purgatory maddens me. Those flared looks of rejection I shall accept with understanding and feign no indignation.

    I have just read a sequence of laudatory posts about our prospect pool. The pinnacle of achievement when these prospects graduate? That “this team could be a serious pain to play against.”

    The chalice has been passed. It is filled with koolaid. I wont be offended that no one shows me the courtesy of an invitation to partake as I hope no one is offended by the discourtesy of my declination.

    I have brought along much reading material. One will be on something called the Stanley Cup.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Trini, the way I read it was a bit different. The Habs teams of the 70’s were tough to play against, no?
      Hanging out alone at a table won’t save you. I’ll find you and deliver a cold beverage or two. CHeers.

    • Phil C says:

      I would rather drink koolaid than whine. ;-)

    • HabFab says:

      Bull crap!
      I would MAKE you sit in the corner and NO DESERT either!
      And you have to wear Gomez’s sweater ALL weekend!
      And no good beer for you! Only the crappy stuff, beer or otherwise!

      Is any of this helping or do I need to continue :P

    • wjc says:

      Wow! Not sure if that was an attempt at humor, I hope so.

      I would hate to think people cannot enjoy ‘hockey’ namely the Montreal Canadiens without the feeling of utter failure.

      All professional sports teams can do is the best they can do.

      There are no guarantees, no warranties (on injuries) no pro rating (on trades) only the best foot forward.

      Prospect pools are just that….’prospect pools’ you win some you lose some…because they are prospects.

      You try your best, and making mistakes comes with the territory and once in a while you hit a home run.

      30 teams competing for the best players, working under a budget, and demanding fans.

      The chalice is past and it is full of kool aid, I preferred ‘freshie’ myself. If you feel that badly you must take my advice and back slowly away from this. Slowly wean your way off the ‘hockey’ teat.

      Find other hobbies and forget the frustration of living in the past when Canadiens operated under a different system with a whole lot less teams to annoy them.

      Find happiness in other things and maybe you can realize that taking anything his serious is just not healthy.

      The reason my advice is free is because it is usually worthless…chow.

      wjc

  4. frontenac1 says:

    Hey amigos. I bought the Centre Ice deal last year for 49 bucks and loved it. Anybody heard what the whole season will cost this year?

  5. Ian Cobb says:

    2013 HIO Fan Summit—- ITINERARY & LOCATIONS

    We are staying at the Novotel hotel, discount rates at 866-861-6112 Tell them you are with HIO to get your discount.

    We will all meet and greet at Hurley’s pub Friday eve. on Crescent St.
    Some of us will be having supper there, and name tags will be given out.
    Everyone is welcome to join us. Wear you team colors! and enjoy the evening.

    Saturday morning, breakfast is at Chez Cora’s at 8:30am. 1240 Drummond St.
    You can order a la cart and everyone gets 15% discount off your bill.

    After breakfast we walk over to the Bell Center for the Hall of Fame Tour.

    At 3pm the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation charity raffle at the Baton Rouge restaurant 1050 Mountain St.
    Each person is asked to bring one gift item to donate for the charity raffle, so everyone gets a gift to go home with. After this years fund raiser, we will have donated over $10,000.

    Then our Baton Rouge Restaurant pre game dinner. With special guests.

    After dinner we walk across the street to the Bell Center and Hab’s game.

    After the game the 2nd floor of Hurley’s pub is reserved for us again, to celebrate the win. Anyone may join us, just identify yourself as a HIO member.

    Please be generous with your charity raffle gifts and your purchase of raffle tickets. It is a way for the HIO community to give back to less fortunate kids.

    Everything is walking distance, so park your car for the weekend.
    Enjoy talking hockey and meeting your wonderful HIO community at this years Summit.

  6. frontenac1 says:

    @hobie. I get what you mean about the crappy roads but just park your car and do a walkabout for a few days. Montreal still has the Vibe and Style amigo. Best city in the country IMO. Saludos!

  7. Maritime Ron says:

    Morning all

    It’s going to be very interesting to watch Bergevin this year and how he manages the signings/trades of the complete cast of Dmen on hand.

    As of this specific moment, our Habs have only 4 Dmen signed for next year: Gorges-Tinordi-Drewiske-Beaulieu.

    Potential UFAs that ‘may’ accept new contracts if offered….OR outright refuse and could test the free agent market (these same may also be traded if they refuse..):
    Markov-Emelin-Diaz-(Bouillon probable retire)

    RFAs:
    – P.K. Subban that has Arbitration rights for 2 years after this year (summers of 2014-15) and could become a UFA in Summer 2016 IF he desires.
    – Greg Pateryn

    Looking around the NHL, few if any team is terribly deep on the blueline (perhaps somewhat LA and Philly, but not Chicago) and whatever depth they have is always needed to cover injuries.
    Add to that the numerous No Trade clauses, and acquiring a Top 4 is almost next to impossible unless a team is willing to part with a high price in return.

    It all comes back to draft and develop…and don’t make any mistakes there.

    • Ed says:

      Hey Ron,

      another way of looking at this, perhaps, is the following:

      The Habs will have

      Subban, Emelin, Gorges, Tinordi, going forward almost 100% guaranteed.

      That leaves 2 regular spots, and one is very likely going to Beaulieu.

      So we have 5 assuming Beaulieu and Tinordi are NHL players, and good ones, and if they’re not, well, the concept of drafting 1st round d-men and developing them will be taking a serious hit.

      That leaves several prospects to battle it out for the 6th spot, and right now the edge will probably go to Nygren, would it not?

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Ed,

        I would never bet against your scenario, yet your ” almost 100% guaranteed” becomes the concerning part.

        Take the example of PK.
        Next time around he has Arbitration rights and holds ALL the cards.

        He could force the Habs to sign him long term (8 years/$64M) or tell them to stuff it – go to arbitration for 2 years and easily win an award of $7M/year, then become free as a bird and sign with whomever he wishes.
        Imagine if he (Norris Trophy winner) ever waded into the UFA pool?

        The max salary allowed under the CBA is 20% of the Cap…meaning in 2016, that could be around $14M-$15M.
        While no one would ever go that high, it would not be unrealistic if some crazy team offered him 7 years/ $70M.

        If Letang nailed an 8 year/$58M contract, what will the more dominating and dynamic Subban fetch?

    • mksness says:

      Subban should be extended ASAP. however maybe MB wants to test him out to make sure he’s just not a fluke. Really when you think of it he should sign another bridge contract instead of being locked up long term.

      All jokes aside our defence isn’t all that bad. But i dunno, we have this goalie, who is a top5 goalie in the league, a team canada hopeful, an elite goalie in the eyes of many, yet i see just a good goalie. Price needs to step up this year and show he’s elite otherwise ship him out for pieces that can improve the team in other areas. It shouldn’t be hard to trade price if it ever came down to that because he’s like a demi god around the league so their should be a monsterous return…

    • Roy_s_WINK says:

      Philly has some of the worst defenders in the league right now.

  8. habstrinifan says:

    Good Morning everyone! I am being severly modded methinks.

  9. Cal says:

    Fiction: all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes writings.
    Fantasy: Tolkien’s LOTR – David Eddings: Sword and Sorcery books (funny as hell!)
    Sci-Fi: Larry Niven’s Ringworld series. Asimov’s I, Robot
    Retro Sci-Fi: Jack Williamson’s With Folded Hands. Roger Zelazny- too much to list.
    Bio: Farley Mowat’s And No Bird’s Sang as well as My Father’s Son gives a Canadian view on what happened in Italy in WW II.
    Dramatized Bio: All the Herriot All Creatures Great and Small books- these are funny, too.

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      For non-fiction books I would seriously recommend “A language older than words” and “Endgame” by Derrick Jensen. Probably a completely different way of looking at the world than most people have, but fabulously well written and thought provoking. You probably won’t agree with everything he says, I didn’t, but it will change the way you look at everything.

      Greg

  10. 24 Cups says:

    Someone mentioned that Boston’s prospect pool had dried up. They may not have the depth that Montreal does but here’s a comparison of the top kids in each system.

    Subban vs Fucale

    Morrow, Hamilton, Krug vs Beaulieu, Tionordi, Dietz/Ellis

    Fraser, Smith, Spooner, Khokhlachev/Knight vs Collberg, Hudon, Leblanc, McCarron, de la Rose/Bozon

    Looks pretty even to me.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Steve. Good point but could I add Christian Thomas to your list above. I think this kid may end up a key part of the Habs team moving forward.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Agree with you J. Have the same optimistic gut feeling about CT that I once felt for Louis Leblanc.

        “May you live in interesting times”

      • 24 Cups says:

        I guess we’ll never know why Danny Kristo got traded before even playing one NHL game.

        However, I would also apply the same notion to Thomas. Why did the Rangers dump him at the age of 21? What didn’t they like? As well, can any contender afford to have two guys playing right wing who are both 5’9″ tall?

        • Lafleurguy says:

          Hello Steve and Faith. The speculation that a closed-door deal was made at the time Kristo signed has substance. He could have been an UFA after August 15th or so. Bergevin was able to at least retain an asset in the form of a “B-grade” prospect. Betcha the Rangers just didn’t fancy his slight stature. In the games, the teams are pounding each other, two small right wingers, couldn’t face up to say, Rush Limbaugh, but they’ll skate circles around him and his Vicodins.

          “May you live in interesting times”

    • Loop_Garoo says:

      I don’t post often but had to jump in on the prospect debate. The habs don’t have the 2 or 3 potential superstars that some teams have but they have a truly amazing amount of depth in the system. If you look at many of the prospect websites like hockey’s future, most teams have between 3 and 6 legitimate NHL prospects at each position, while the habs have 8 or 10. Guys like Pateryn and Brady Vail are solid prospects. But are 6 or 7 on the depth chart for prospects at their respective positions. This should pay huge dividends in the near future in regards to cap management, injury callups, and trades. This, combined with a weak free agent market and cap uncertainty for next year are likely the reasons MB has been quiet this year. We all want size but of the young defenseman that joined the bulldogs this year, Beaulieu was the smallest at 6’2 and over 200 lbs. The young players look great, a year or two of patience and we will see a serious contender.

      Greg

      • Habfan10912 says:

        You should post more often. Very good points. Maybe no superstars but there could be some decent secondary scoring and solid 3rd liners in the pipe.

        • Loop_Garoo says:

          Thanks! In a few years I see this team built more like a less evil version of the Bruins, not like the Penguins or such. Four lines that can hurt you. The really hard thing about Boston is that if you completely shut down the first two lines, they can still score. Depth of scoring was one of the reasons for Habs success this year, and I only see that getting better, throw in Subban,Emelin,Tinordi etc on defenceman and this team could be a serious pain to play against.

          Greg

    • Old Bald Bird says:

      Not that I am disagreeing with you main point, but if you include Hamilton who played all year, don’t you have to include Gally and Chucky?

    • Mark C says:

      Boston was really able to close the group on Montreal with the trade with Dallas.

      Since everyone is on a size kick, check out the sizes of Boston’s prospects, that’s a pretty small group.

    • The Dude says:

      Hamilton’s a beast!

  11. Lafleurguy says:

    Non-fiction writing that captivates:

    The Best American Writing in Science and Nature series, and its sister books (are there brother books?), The Best American Writing in Travel, and The Best American Writing in Science. I have great admiration of Elizabeth Kolbert, Freeman Dyson, Bilger Burkholder, David Quammen, Tim Folger, Jonthan Franzen (who I had heard of before reading these books, unlike the other fascinating authors), and many others because of these books. and whom I might otherwise never have encountered.

    The previous mention of Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer-winning, “Guns, Germs, and Steel…..,” and the equally pithy “Collapse,…..” are highly engaging non-fiction works. His new book is selling like hotcakes, kind of a dated metaphor, since I’ve never seen a line-up for hotcakes….ever.

    Stanley Karnow’s large works on Vietnam, and Philippines with so much insight and facts of those countries’ histories before America discovered them in the twentieth century.

    “May you live in interesting times”

    • Habfan10912 says:

      My list now is so long I have no hope of reading them all before my time is up. We’ll have to discuss further. Perhaps at the Summit? :)
      Morning friend.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        And a Good, Good Morning to you J. HabFab and Hobie are reminiscing on the Expos, and I cut classes in ’69 to watch their inaugural game and victory over “The Miracle Mets” 11-10. Those Mets shocked the baseball world by winning it all just 6 or 7 years after being an expansion team. Tom Terrific Seaver is famous of course, but I loved how Ron Swoboda fielded in the World Series.

        “May you live in interesting times”

        • Habfan10912 says:

          I may be showing my NY Met prejudice here but Swoboda’s catch in the 69 Series was the best play by an outfielder ever. In my eyes it beats the May’s Catch.

          Saw the Expo’s beat the Met’s 19-6 at Jarry Parc in 1973. Still have the scorecard. It cost a quarter. Sigh.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Oakland A’s Joe Rudi had a catch-for-the-ages, when he, Reggie Jackson (Reggie chocolate bars), Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, and others (Rollie Fingers….) were winning 3 in-a-row. But I’m partial to the spectacular World Series catch Devon White made, half-hoping the padded wall wasn’t going to crush his face, followed moments later by a bonafide triple-play that the ump blew the call on.

            “May you live in interesting times”

  12. HabFab says:

    For all you Expos fans out there, today in Expos History… Dennis Martinez’s perfect game;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWo7oC_BbTM&feature=youtu.be

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Happy and sad memories.

      “May you live in interesting times”

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      It’s really a sad story. I grew up in Montreal and have since lived in many different Canadian cities. After leaving Montreal in the late 90s and moving to Toronto for almost a decade, my friends and I would gather at Olympic Stadium and in Toronto at the Rogers Center, then the Sky Dome, to catch the Jays and Expos when they faced off.

      When the Expos moved to Washington it ended an awesome annual summer event for my friends and I. I’m living in Ottawa now and if the Expos were still around I’d head to Montreal a handful of times each summer to catch a ball game as well. If the Olympic Stadium were repaired.

      It was nice to see the 1000 or so Expos fans at the Jays game in Toronto a week back. Unfortunately, any talk of Montreal getting a ball team again is pure fantasy.

      There would be no place for baseball in Montreal. The Olympic Stadium was just in the news again because there’s 1000s of holes in the roof. I personally wouldn’t even enter that building at the risk of a concrete slab falling onto the spectators.

      The only chance of baseball returning to Montreal is if there’s a new facility built for them to play in. And with the constant political garbage that goes on there, the city could never raise enough tax dollars to pay for a portion of the project. The city and Province can’t even afford to repair their own infrastructure let alone build a new stadium.

      When the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois forced all the big corporations to move their head offices out of Montreal and Quebec, and thousand upon thousands of wealthy Anglophones, they killed the chances of a new stadium being built and severely damaged the city’s future.

      Don’t get me wrong, Montreal is a gorgeous city (parts of it) to visit, the best in the country to head for a night on the town, but with this Pauline Marois character, and with the insistence of everything being French, so many potential investors are simply turned off.

      • mount royal says:

        Nobody forced those companies to leave. That was their choice and one that was very much to the detriment of Canada. Hundreds of thousands of Anglos continue to live happy successful lives in Quebec. One thing is clear, the Anglo exodus rid us of a ton of bigots.

        • Phil C says:

          Too bad they couldn’t have taken the francophone bigots with them, Quebec would be a better place for it.

          • Lafleurguy says:

            Like the Certs commercial said, “Stop, stop, you’re both right.” (bigots of any ilk make the world a worse-off place).

            “May you live in interesting times”

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          When you drive through any of Canada’s other big cities you see shiny new buildings, condos and office buildings. Cranes everywhere building and expanding.

          When you drive through Montreal you see old red brick buildings, crumbling and falling apart. The roads are in terrible shape, the Metro looks as it did in 1985. It’s like driving though Cleveland.

        • ZepFan2 says:

          “One thing is clear, the Anglo exodus rid us of a ton of bigots.”

          Nah, there’s still plenty of ignorant separatists living here.

          ———————————————————————-
          Ka is a wheel.

          “On we sweep, with threshing oar.
          Our only goal will be the Stanley Cup!” – Danno

          For Your Life

      • habsfan0 says:

        You bring up some very interesting points,Hobie.
        However, I don’t believe the Expos moved to Florida.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Like many here, so my first professional baseball game at Jarry PARC. Such wonderful memories. Someday the game will return, won’t it?

  13. HabFab says:

    - Was taking a look thru capgeek and you really have to be careful when you look at the opening page. Some teams look like they are in trouble but when you look deeper are not, while others that look good at first glance have some serious problems.
    – In other words, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!
    – Noticed there are at least 4 players who will probably not play again but are under contract. Savard of Boston, Pronger of the Flyers, Ohlund of Tampa and Mitchell from LA.
    – Another interesting note was there are still 21 RFA’s unsigned listed on team NHL rosters. About half a dozen of those that are not going to be cheap to resign.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Hi Frank. Brooks is another one who seems to be burying his head in the sand. Those that argue that no one has ever failed a test are missing the argument completely. Roger Clemmens, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong have all bragged about NEVER failing a test. The problem with these drugs is the testing always lags behind the newest drug/masking agent.
      It seems to me that PED’s are prevalent in all sports. Players getting bigger, stronger, and faster is not due to just diet and workout procedures. The NFL and NHL are now seeing an increase in concussions among other injuries in part because of the bigger stronger faster athlete.
      Player are willing to sacrifice whatever health consequences these drugs may have, in order to cash in a big payday.
      People like Brooks are just plain wrong and are sending a very dangerous message. Eventually this will catch up to them.

  14. HabFab says:

    I see that Oliver Archambault is getting an invite by Minnesota to their training camp.

  15. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Good morning HIO.

    Fascinating book recommendations continue to roll in. Jackal I’ll try and get back to you with an answer to your enticing invitation for suggestions.

    @Bill: please check in here soon so we know you survived your gig. In my head your image has morphed from Muller to Patrick Swayze in “Road House”. You’re welcome to our spare room if you need to lie low for a few months — they’d never think of looking for you here in Ireland, would they?

    Last but not least, overnight there were broadcast-worthy exchanges
    — led by Ed and Chris — on the current status of the Habs and the strategy of MB. Fairly divergent views, very cogently argued but with zero BS. Makes my tongue hang out both for the coming season and the next few, and also reminds me how glad I am to have stumbled on this site.

    Have a great day all.

    Mavid, how many?

  16. BJ says:

    On the book front. Michael Tellinger’s Slave Species of god. Great in depth and well researched details of the “true origin of man”.

  17. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/golf/Play+Canadian+Open+suspended+weather/8717165/story.html

    ‘Hunter Mahan withdraws from RBC Canadian Open after wife goes into labour’ …(He was at the top of the leader board at the time)

    …sorry, I’m not at all into golf …but I love these stories about human beings that have their priorities in Life in the right order :)

  18. Lil Snapper says:

    Rumors afloat that we are the front runners for Grabovski, thoughts?

  19. The Slacker says:

    George Parros gets in a scuffle with Colton Orr…

    Who wins?

    Is Parros on the wrong side of thrity?

    Can he rumble with Lucic?

    Can he win that fight with a 50%+ rating on http://www.hockeyfights.com

    Just wonderin’ if our enforcer is solid. Is he gonna run into a younger quicker guy?

    Do we need an enforcer? What’s his role on our team?

    Parros is a self-described Power Play Specialist…

    He has a degree from Princeton, does that mean he’s got a greater hockey IQ?

    HELP!

  20. The Jackal says:

    Thanks for the book recommendations folks.

    I’d reply to my own thread but I’ll just throw some of my own here, and make it a new post so it doesn’t get buried, as I see UCE has expanded everyone’s list :D

    The Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon
    -Deals with post-colonial and race issues

    Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell
    -Very interesting read on Spain during its civil war

    The File – Timothy Garton Ash
    -Very interesting recount of Ash’s experiences in East Germany and the new perspectives the declassified Stasi files bring to the picture

    Cheers HIO

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  21. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Patrice Bergeron, 28, 6′-2″, 200 lbs. …Selke-winning 2-way forward, considered ‘the best 2-way heart & soul forward’ in the NHL today

    …selected at 45 in the 2003 draft …jumped immediately from junior to the NHL

    …has won a Stanley Cup, Junior and Men’s World Championship

    …We selected Louis Leblanc at 18 in the 2009 draft …Louis, 6′-1″, 186 lbs (according to Wikipedia) is only 22, with a very different progression line in His career path, so far, though He did not look out of place at the NHL level His first season

    …My heart breaks, as an older Fan that has experienced and still holds cherished memories of Our long past Golden Era, when I see Patrice Bergeron in the skanky mustard of a Teddy The Psychotic Bear sweater

    …but We have Louis Leblanc !

    …which explains a little of the WHY ??? Marc Bergeron yet has little wiggle-room (elite Team depth) to pull off the trades that a Peter Chiarelli, Rejean “Ray” Shero, Dean Lombardi or even a Bryan Murray can pull out of their rear-ends

    …if You don’t have the chips, You can’t play poker

    …when and IF Louis becomes even a shadow of a Bergeron or a Carbonneau, and We begin to realize a core of elite-talent among Our prospects and Team depth, then will be the time We will have every logical basis to crap on Bergevin if He is not doing His job

    • 25insight says:

      That was deep. Nearly brought a tear to me eye :'(

      In all seriousness using your analogy, Marc Bergevin is the guy holding few chips who is patiently trying to get back into the poker game with very few hands to play. Hopefully he plays his cards right and keeps pushing this team in the right direction next season. Time will tell, and I still can’t wait for the first puck to drop.

    • SmartDog says:

      Good point.

      Add to this that the Bruins scored big in the Kessel trade and in the other trade where they picked up Rask. Thanks to the stupid Laffs.

      And yet Hockey’s Future says the B’s cupboard is now relatively sparse. We’re on the upswing, they’re on the down.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • savethepuck says:

      Really hard to compare other drafts to 2003. That draft was incredible. Shea Weber was 49th over all, 4 picks after Bergeron. Not sure if your post is intended to knock Louis or not, but I think people need to take into account that late in his junior career he had shoulder problems. The off season between his junior year and first professional season, he was recouping from shoulder surgery and couldn’t bulk up like I’m sure he eventually will. Due to injuries on the Habs roster, he was brought up early to fill a need because he was the best available for them, probably earlier than we all would of hoped. Early in his next season, he has a high ankle sprain, an injury many say takes a long time to recover from ( I remember Carey’s in the 08-09 season).
      I am far from giving up on him this early based on the injuries he has suffered early in his development.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …not at all, …Louis is still young, and hopefully it falls into place for Him this year

        • savethepuck says:

          Agreed. I’ve had a few and wasn’t sure where you were going with the post regarding him. Actually I should apologize because I know you are not someone who comes on here and bashes our players.
          Time for bed now.

          “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
          Carey Price

  22. Sportfan says:

    @Habitant in Surrey/Chris haha I have no idea who David Moulton is to be honest saw the article on twitter posted by, Paul Hollingsworth haha

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Habitant in Surrey says:

      …KitSap Sun is a page based in Bremerton Washington state …out in My neck of the woods (US Navy base, further South)

      …unless there is another ‘kitsapsun’ in Florida

      …so, good for Montreal if ‘Americans’ are thinking of this first as do-able and a good idea :)

  23. Timo says:

    Woot! This story is quietly hit 2200 posts. Couple more days and this will be another 3K thread.

  24. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Thanks for posting the Louis Leblanc story Habfab. Oh my, wouldn’t it be great if he had a break out year and becomes an important part of the Habs future? I’d love to see this West Island kid make good!

    24 cups and counting….

  25. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Yes it wasn’t that long ago when the cupboard was fairly uninspiring. Many of the Habs prospects seemed to lack offensive ability and any real real talent and or grit. The Habs now appear to have more actual talent in the pipeline, real depth at the forward positions and depth on D. Some of these players will either play for us or can be used in trades, surely. Many experts seem to rank the Habs around the middle of the league in terms of prospect depth so there is still a ways to go yet. But what a fine young core of players in Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Gallagher, Price, Emelin, and Galchenyuk. Soon to be reinforced with Tinordi, Beaulieu, Dietz, Collberg, Bozon, and Bournival. And a few years after that McCarron, Andrighetto, Lehkonen, De La Rose, Vail, Hudon and Fucale. Maybe there is still a chance for Louis Leblanc as well. Plus we seem to have a quality front office team in Bergevin, Dudley, Timmons et al that have shown some promise. I for one am intrigued and encouraged. But then I’ve been excited about the team before and I’ve been disappointed so maybe take all this with a grain of salt! Hey I’m just a fan, what do I know?

    24 cups and counting….

    • Steven says:

      In regards to your “middle of the league” remark, I believe Hockey’s Future had the Habs in the top 10 somewhere when they made a list. We’re perhaps better off than you think.

      • SmartDog says:

        Indeed, they have us in SIXTH.

        They note that we are weakest in goal…. but this was pre-draft, so Fucale alone should up our game there. They also note we’re not strong in gritty forwards. Check!

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • SmartDog says:

      Basically says he needs to rebound. (And bulk up.)

      Uh yah. Ya gotta wonder what he’s up to…. would be great if some sports reporter could find out (cough… cough… cough, cough).

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  26. The Jackal says:

    I hope it’s not too late for me to jump into the book recommendation thread.

    I have a year off before heading to my future graduate studies and I’d like to read a bunch of books as a way of keeping my mind sharp and also to expand my vocabulary.

    What are some books that would accomplish both goals?
    I like books that are thrilling and which keep you wanting to read on. I am a bit peculiar about settings, I’d prefer something Eurocentric or Western. I’ve read my share of treatises and political/philosophical stuff, so I’m more interested in a leisurely read but philosophical and political undertones/messages are welcome.

    Anything historical is also good.

    Anyone out there?

    Bueller? Bueller? Eller?

    ______________________
    Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • SmartDog says:

      Frankenstein is both a great read and an amazing study of humanity that still pulls the strings. Perfume is also great in the same way (lousy movie, great book).

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • The Jackal says:

        Thanks SD. I would check out Frankenstein but I have read it recently, but yeah something like that would be good.

        I’ll check out perfume, that sounds very interesting.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

        • SmartDog says:

          Perfume is a very special book. It’s so beautifully written and well told. It’s Silence of the Lambs creepy but delivered in a much more appealing case.

          1984, Farenheit 451, Brave New World, Walden 2 are all classics.

          If you want a fun, clever read, read Koontz’s Life Expectancy. A guaranteed good book.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • SmartDog says:

          For Westerns, The Good ol Boys and the Smiling Country are both great – and classics.

          Not Western or Eurocentric but “One Second After” is a great book about an immediate (and real) threat to civilization today. And what happens when it hits.

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

          • The Jackal says:

            Thanks again!
            Just to clarify, by Western I mean grounded in the Western tradition, like Euro-American/Classical.

            I bet Perfume is creepy, but I enjoy crime stories.

            And since you threw me an Orwell book, I’d suggest, if you haven’t read it, Homage to Catalonia.

            ______________________
            Hockey sine stercore tauri.

    • habstrinifan says:

      If you like historical novels try the following two books.

      This one is definitely Eurocentric, is very good, not too heavy reading that you wont be able to put down until finished.

      Cathedral of the Sea: A Novel by Ildefonso Falcones.

      Then for your Western theme (as in American West) try the following book , It is pages and pages long. You will put it down and keep wanting to go back and read some more.. it is a very hard book to finish or leave alone. I wont say more.. let you discover it yourself. It takes a hardy soul.

      Hanta YO An American Saga by Ruth Beebe Hill.

      Both books can be borrowed from your local library I am sure.

    • Clay says:

      Shogun and Aztec – best historical fiction I’ve ever read. Not necessarily the settings you want, but worth the time.

      __________________________
      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Four books that I’ve read over the years that really stuck with me. Really enjoyable if you’re into learning stuff, but also fascinating and page-turners. Google them for more info.

      1) Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
      About why Europeans ‘conquered’ the world, as opposed to vice versa. Takes a broad view of history, more historical materialism as opposed to the ‘Great Man’ approach, but focuses on various accidents of geography, zoology and sociology among others to explain some of these broad trends. If you’ve seen the documentary, which I felt was a little weak, the book is much better and more interesting.

      2) 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
      We’ve all heard how smallpox and measles swept through the Americas when Europeans arrived, and know about great civilizations like the Aztecs and the Incas, but before reading this book I’d never really thought about what that meant about what the Americas were like before contact. I assumed vast tracts of wilderness and noble savages living as one with nature, but this book shows how there were highly intricate societies with huge cities and political systems that disappeared after first contact, and not just in Central and South America. I don’t want to give away too much, but the Mississipi and Amazon weren’t as wild and untamed as we tend to think they were back then.

      3) Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe
      If you’re interested in ecology, the SETI project and/or the Drake equation, this is a must read. Actually, it’s a must read for anyone. The authors ask the question: “If the Drake equation predicts so many habitable planets in our galaxy, why aren’t we finding them or hearing from them through the SETI project?” They recalculate the Drake equation and introduce new variables that were ignored initially, and are based on various new findings and hypotheses from ecology and geology, the study of the solar system, etc. Really cool stuff about our planet and the various cycles it’s been through.

      4) The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
      As the title implies, this book studies our behaviour, our psychology as not necessarily rational or culturally acquired, but rather as evolutionarily advantageous strategies that outcompeted others. Things like friendship, the drive for high status, altruism, love for family, are all examined through this lens, and some very interesting and enlightening conclusions are drawn. Relies a bit on “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins, but stands up as a good book in its own right.

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …these 4 are just where My interests lay recently Normand …thanks

      • SmartDog says:

        These all sound great. You put my summer reading list to shame! If I were back in grad school I’d give you a run for your money… but now I feel so…. lowbrow. :(

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Be careful with #4. Balance out socio-biological representations with those of Richard Lewontin and Steven Jay Gould, both from (or formerly so) Harvard–the first an evolutionary biologist, the second a paleontologist. Brilliant men of letters and science.

      • Phil C says:

        Guns, Germs, and Steel was tedious while reading it, but after I read each chapter, I was glad I did as I felt I really learned something. His next book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” was also interesting. I read Collapse right after I read “The End of Oil”, kind of a bad combo when you combine the two themes :-(

    • Phil C says:

      I would recommend The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. It’s about the first month of WWI and the political events that led to the War. Won the Pulitzer in 1963. The first month of WWI was incredibly dynamic, not the stalemate you normally associate with it. One of my favorites.

      For Canadian history with some good story telling, The Arctic Grail by Pierre Berton is a pretty good read, although I was living up north at the time, so maybe would not interest you as much.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Funny, I read “Klondike” by Pierre Berton on a road trip to the Yukon. Loved the account of how Canadians were encouraged by the Canadian government to reach the Klondike using the all-Canadian route. Unbelievably, some poor souls would get to Edmonton and would obediently check in with the RCMP before buying up equipment and supplies and start to walk (!) to Whitehorse. This was felt to be more patriotic and better for Canadian interests than going to Seattle and getting on a boat to Skagway. Instead of giving your money to Americans, why not walk?

        Amazingly, not a single man who attempted the all-Canadian route died, they all either turned back, but a large proportion pushed on to the Yukon and made it two years later, when no claims remained an the Gold rush was over. In any case, everyone took the time to register in Whitehorse when they arrived, and that’s how we know that no one died from animal attack or drowning or disease or foul play or starvation. Everyone checked back in, which Pierre Berton contrasts with the American conquest of its Western territory, and he believes that it captures the difference between the U.S. and Canada beautifully.

  27. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    don’t watch..it doesn’t end well…

    24 cups and counting….

  28. zorro says:

    TSN just showing Habs, Ottawa playoff round. OUCH.

  29. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    How does this look in three years?

    Of course lots can happen between then and now…

    Pacioretty Galchenyuk McCarron USA Line

    Bozon Eller Gallagher

    Lehkonen De La Rose Collberg Viking line

    Crisp Vail Gregoire 3 centres!

    Fournier/Hudon/Andrighetto

    Tinordi Subban

    Beaulieu Dietz

    Pateryn Emelin

    Georges

    Price
    Fucale

    24 cups and counting….

    • SmartDog says:

      What gets me about this is that because we have other guys (obviously), if you consider that Bergevin should have some extra real NHLers – not something every team has – we would have both DEPTH and the opportunity to make GOOD trades.

      Good trades being not just trades that are not bad (ahem) but also trades that involve good players – something you can only do if you have good players to spare. It really does look like we may be close to having a very stocked cupboard. Haven’t seen that in many, many moons.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  30. Habitant in Surrey says:

    @Ed

    …I completely agree with Chris’ matter-of-fact lucid description of where Our Habs are at this season …a respectable ‘bubble team’

    …certain unexpected intangibles (a one-sided boffo trade, unexpected maturation ready for stardom from some of Our Prospects from Hanilton) could be elements that make Us a more serious playoff achiever, …but that would be asking a lot with today’s lineup

    …I think there was a day when One can say ‘most’ Habs’ Fans would not tolerate a Canadiens Team missing the playoffs

    …20+ years of mediocrity by the Montreal Canadiens, especially among Our younger Fans whom sometimes wonder what all the fuss of what We older Fans term ‘high expectations’ is about

    …realism in this 30 team draft/Cap-era NHL is the cold-fact We somehow have to find a core of elite-level Players before We can compete with those teams that do, and once again, as Fans, to have the right to an attitude of arrogance to have such demands

    …personally speaking, if I may, as one of the oldest Fans in Our HIO community, I very clearly would have no problem for one or two seasons having a Top 3 pick in the summer draft

    …I’m going to be cheering My Team to beat the shite out of Our opponents along the way …but if We stumble, I won’t lose My sanity and common-sense

    • Ed says:

      Sorry to read that you too believe we’re a bubble team, but had we made a big splash this summer, trade or free agent, had we been aggressive in pushing forward and added two or three more pieces instead of briere and a token goon, don’t you think you might feel differently? Because that’s kind of been what I’ve been trying to say today. A team can sit on the bubble and wait or push forward. Spend 4 million on a big dman and not on briere, for example
      Thanks for weighing in. Always enjoy reading what you have to offer.

      • Chris says:

        I think the fact that Gainey kept making those ill-advised splashes was exactly why the team remained on the bubble.

        I’m not saying you have to tank. But you’ve got to hit some homeruns. Montreal has specialized in hitting singles with the odd double.

        Subban is a homerun. We desperately need Galchenyuk to be a homerun. Realistically, the team needs two to three more before they can be considered legitimate contenders. Barring that, they will remain a bubble team.

        • SmartDog says:

          Hey Chris,

          Your posts are always articulate, usually well thought out. Not that I always agree… but always quality.

          But THIS post to me is the most succinct description of the Habs current and past position.

          Slow clap my friend… a raised glass… and an amen for good measure!

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        …I always read Your comments too Ed :) …thank You

        …personally I cringed with Briere’s acquisition …first because I just don’t ‘like’ the little toad :) …second, at His age He is simply a stop-gap until Our Young Guns Prospects come-of-age (IF They ever do) …so I will hold My nose while He is with Us

        …of course, IF He scores this year’s Stanley Cup winning goal for the Good Guys, I may (possibly) feel a warmer and fuzzier feeling for Him

        …I too would have preferred a 7 foot, ugly hairy-chested Cro-magnon replicant from some evil-scientist’s lab added to Our present cast of water-bugs on D ,,,but,I’m thinking that Bergevin is pretty committed to Tinordi and Beaulieu being part of this year’s D

        …I think We have to consider that Bergevin will be in a much better position to trade and acquire free-agents once the Habs prospect depth begins to mature and the Team as a whole really start to look like They are on the verge to be a dominant Team again

        …at this time and place,I just don’t think Bergevin has the cards to trade for the pieces He really wants to add to Our Team

        …this is only His second-year as GM …I really like what He accomplished in His first year …I am very confident He knows what He is doing going forward …and I get no pleasure being a back-seat driver …yet :)

  31. Sportfan says:

    Nice article about moving Tampa to Montreal
    http://m.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/jun/26/moulton-best-solution-for-the-tampa-bay-rays-to/

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  32. ProHabs says:

    Why did Bergevin sign Briere? WHY?

  33. Habs4LifeInTO says:

    Loved Watership Down and the Dune books too!

    24 cups and counting….

  34. Ed says:

    Chris,

    The team is ALL IN on Price – there’s no sense questioning it because he’s what we have – and so you move forward as a GM assuming Price is a star. We’re paying him as a star and we just extended him.

    Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Eller – you kidding me? that’s gold, pure gold. You know it, I know it, and Bergevin knows it

    Who is going to step in for Emelin? That’s why we have a GM and that should have been addressed or needs to be before the season starts

    The questions regarding what Markov, Gionta, Bourque etc can give you? The GM should know what they can give you. I know what they can you give you at their best, and if you get less than their best, well, you deal with it.

    Which team doesn’t have questions surrounding several players in their lineup?

    Which team doesn’t have questions surrounding the health of some key players, like Bergeron or Toews or Pacioretty?

    There are teams pushing forward and there are teams falling back.

    I would push forward.

    I think the average fan expects the Habs to be a playoff team, and the media will be all over Bergevin and Therrien if this team falls back from 2nd in the conference out of the playoffs.

    I think the stakeholders expect this to be a playoff team. The season ticket holders, the advertisers, and especially Molson expects a playoff
    appearance.

    Even under Gainey this was a playoff team virtually every year.

    It would not be taken lightly in this town if the Habs fell back out of the playoffs, not at all lightly.

    This is the difference between Montreal and Toronto. Missing the playoffs in this town is a disaster – and virtually no one is “ok” with it.

    • Chris says:

      Gallagher: I want to see where he is in 3 years. I would not at all be surprised to see Gallagher slump badly this coming season. The sophomore jinx is real, and while Gallagher has the heart of a lion he has the body of a mouse. He’s not going to surprise anybody this coming season, so let’s see if he can keep it up.

      Eller and Galchenyuk: I think we are both pretty outspoken in our support of Eller. I’m just not sure that there is much more ceiling there. What I’m looking for now is consistency. Eller’s not going to turn into a 70 point guy. But I’m hoping he can be an Alex Steen type, a good, solid two-way forward that can give you points and play tough hockey against the other team’s best players.

      Emelin: The problem was that the market was super thin this year. Scuderi might have been worth a look, but I don’t think he would have been interested in Montreal. Other than that, the only guy I was intrigued by was Jeff Schultz. The rest were scrubs that were either long past their prime or never had one. Bergevin seems to be rolling the dice on the idea that Tinordi can fill in for Emelin. Given his progression, that might not be a bad call.

      End of the day, the Canadiens over-achieved last season. They stayed injury free when everybody else was getting hit pretty hard and they had a lot of guys play above their previous levels. Some are expected to sustain it (Subban, Galchenyuk, Eller) while others will without doubt fall back. We’ve seen it time and time again. This group is no different.

      Nobody in Toronto is “ok” with the Leafs missing the playoffs. This has long been the most insane criticism of that fan base. Leafs fans hated what their team has been for the past 5 years. The problem was that they weren’t willing to make the tough decisions to truly get better.

      Let’s be objective. Who are the Stanley Cup contenders?

      Pittsburgh: Malkin, Crosby, Neal (Letang, Martin)
      Chicago: Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp (Keith, Seabrook)
      Vancouver: H. Sedin, D. Sedin, Kesler (Edler, Hamhuis)
      Boston: Krejci, Lucic, Bergeron, Eriksson (Chara, Seidenberg)
      Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen (Kronwall)
      Los Angeles: Kopitar, Brown, Richards, Carter (Doughty, Voynov)
      St. Louis: Backes, Stewart, Berglund (Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester)

      The only two teams in that list that Montreal can even hope to emulate when it comes to offensive talent are Boston and St. Louis. The others have bona fide superstars.

      The problem for Montreal is that both Boston and St. Louis are examples of teams that succeed because of a fanatical commitment to team defence. EVERYBODY buys in, or they lose.

      Montreal needs to play that same style. They have the speed to be aggressive, but their defensive play is on the whole below average. This isn’t something that can be fixed with one or two guys. I actually don’t share the common belief that the team needs big, crease-clearing defenders.

      What they need are forwards that give a damn when the other team has the puck. Galchenyuk and Gallagher were not good at all in that regard last year. Pacioretty and Desharnais were terrible. Moen didn’t show up last season. Eller is good, but is prone to brutal misreads. Briere replaces Ryder, and neither is any good defensively.

      That leaves three guys from the top-9 who are even remotely defensively responsible on a consistent basis: Plekanec, Gionta and Bourque. That is not going to cut it for a team that aspires to contend. Nor is it usually something that gets fixed in one year. This is why I am okay if the team misses the playoffs…they need a culture change. They need to play like Detroit, Boston or St. Louis: forecheck aggressively, defend ferociously but avoid sacrificing all their offence in the process. That is going to take a couple of years to implement, and I am not convinced that Therrien is the guy who can do it.

    • tophab says:

      first in our division,for sure. boston will be a bubble team.

  35. SmartDog says:

    Bill, Caesar,

    Do you know the novel “Drood”?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drood_%28novel%29

    If you like Dickens, you should!

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  36. Chris says:

    Regarding the discussion about Bergevin’s performance thus far, I’m reasonably content. Like Jane, I am very much of the opinion that the Habs remain a bubble team. They are not quite good enough to be considered a true contender, and their depth is a concern: one or two key injuries and this team is in the lottery.

    Is it depressing to say that? Of course, but that is also the reality in a parity driven NHL. The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks nearly missed the playoffs in 2010, riding a 15-6-3 finish to the season to nip the Dallas Stars by two points for the 8th seed. That team included Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, and Brian Campbell. That group beats Montreal cold in terms of talent and depth.

    Montreal has a lot of question marks.

    1. Can Carey Price put it together and return to his elite goaltender form or will he remain inconsistent?
    2. Will Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Eller make the next step?
    3. Who is going to step in for Emelin?
    4. What do Markov, Gionta, and Briere have left in the tank?
    5. What versions of Rene Bourque, Travis Moen and David Desharnais show up next season?
    6. Can Max Pacioretty stay healthy?
    7. With so many players potentially in line for Olympic duty (Markov, Emelin, Subban, Price, Diaz, Galchenyuk, Plekanec, Budaj), is a smallish team in danger of getting worn down by the end of the season?

    Last season, most things went right for Montreal until late in the season. In some respects, it was a repeat of the 2007-08 Habs, who also road a relatively injury free roster to an outstanding record and high hopes. Will the 2013-14 Habs suffer anything close to the same fate as the 2008-09 Habs, who got off to a great start and then just got absolutely pummelled by injuries?

    I am hoping that the Habs get off to a great start and get some confidence. But if they do slump out of the playoffs, I’m okay with it. There weren’t many moves that Bergevin could have realistically made this summer to put the team in much better of a situation. We don’t know who he offered contracts to and who he didn’t, nor do we know if he was in on the Ryan talks. What we do know is that the Habs didn’t have much depth to sacrifice, as evidenced by their collapse when Eller, Gionta and Emelin went down to injuries.

    • SmartDog says:

      Hey Chris, all of those questions marks in my mind are part of why MB is playing it safe. He still doesn’t know what he has. There are a lot of guys on this team that might be solid parts of a cup run – and we saw some of that last year. But there are guys who may be totally expendable. And we saw some of that too. He really needs a better look. And same for Hamilton.

      I think MB has his general feelings about players but wants another few months of games to test his theories. When you have coaches and GMs almost unanimously saying “you can’t make decisions based on a shortened schedule” you have to think this is more than just an idea – it’s common wisdom.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  37. Bill says:

    I got hired to play guitar tonight at a bar I’ve never been to, but it’s on the highway, is covered in biker memorabilia, and the crowd looks rough. If I never post here again, you’ll know what happened to me, and let me just say that it’s been a pleasure posting with you all.

    Also if anyone here is from Miramichi, New Brunswick, and needs something to do tonight … head to Harry’s and buy me a beer.

    EDDIT: yeah, I said beer. I’m an avowed wine drinker, but no way am I ordering merlot in front of these guys.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • punkster says:

      This has to be the best post of the past couple of weeks…we must swap first hand “musicians in biker bars” stories on here next…I have a few.

      Only advice, from personal experience…don’t talk to any of the girls…don’t even look at them.

      ***SUBBANGIN’ NOW BABY!!!***

      • showey47 says:

        I agree dave, don’t even talk to the girls even if they talk to you. A guy I used to play baseball with make the mistake of taking a bikers girlfriend home. When the biker found out what his girlfriend did he basically gave the guy the choice of either leaving the province or the alternative which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. Within 2 or 3 weeks the guy liquidated everthing he owned. He sold his house,cars,boat,furniture,anything he didn’t sell he gave away and moved to Calgary.

    • SmartDog says:

      Freebird
      Sweet Home Alabama
      Boy Named Sue

      …. play any of those?

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • habsfan0 says:

      I hope you take musical requests from the audience and that your repertoire is unlimited.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      Just remember to play Born to be Wild as many times as requested. Also, don’t forget to duck when a bottle comes flying your way. :smile:

      ———————————————————————-
      Ka is a wheel.

      “On we sweep, with threshing oar.
      Our only goal will be the Stanley Cup!” – Danno

      For Your Life

    • Strabo says:

      It’s unfortunate you never said anything earlier, me and the Mrs. would have gone for a drive, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Oromocto.

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

  38. Un Canadien errant says:

    Is Bellyful asleep at the switch? We’ve zoomed past 2000 posts, are now at a Rush-dyslexic 2121 posts, yet no updates on little Timmy O’Toole’s condition, and how he’s keeping up his spirits.

    • savethepuck says:

      I saw your reply re my Beaulieu query this morning BTW. Thanks, I didn’t hear anything before about his condition showing up to camp and I don’t follow social media unless someone posts it here.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        It didn’t get a lot of play, it was more brushed under the carpet, unlike Nazem Kadri’s poor fitness which was widely publicized and for which he was condemned. Probably better off having these discussions in-house. If it happens again, as it did with Ian Schultz, then we have a problem on our hands.

  39. Un Canadien errant says:

    Is it just me, or does Anthony Stewart make too much sense on the Canadiens? At right wing with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, he stands in front of the net and digs the puck out of the corners, pots in ten easy goals on tape-to-tape passes from David, banks in a couple off his butt, finishes out around twenty and gives his linemates some physical support. Reinstitute the kid line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher on either side of Lars Eller, Tomas plays with Brian Gionta and René Bourque again, that’s three scoring lines, and Ryan White or Gabriel Dumont centre Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and George Parros depending on the opposition and injuries.

    Now all we need to do is trade Daniel Brière, and we’re set to go, allez hop, en voiture…

    Ah, damn. Forgot about Mr. Brière’s No Trade Clause…

  40. Maritime Ron says:

    @ Ed

    I state this with respect… because there is respect for your posts from here,

    You say, ” …we needed to make at least 1 more deal to get bigger on defence and bigger up front.”

    Everybody says the same thing, and rest assured that all of Bergevin, Dudley, Carriere, Mellanby, and Lapointe KNOW that.

    That said, suggest a trade or signing….knowing the character of the individual and possible upside, along with what we would have do give in return.
    Then, the Cap hit involved along with the line up or possible chemistry repercussions.

    Look forward to your recommendations as food for thought.
    Not so easy…eh?

    • Ed says:

      Ron, I ran a contract catering business for many years and I wouldn’t expect Bergevin to hire my staff or bid on my contracts.

      I don’t know who is available on the open market, and chances are if I suggest a trade those players are not even available.

      Here is the general rule I am proposing:

      If I was the GM and I had Price, Subban, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Eller, Markov, Plekanec, and even excellent role players like Prust, and some very solid pieces like Gionta and Bourque,

      I WOULD NOT BE OK MISSING THE PLAYOFFS.

      There are serious posters on this site who have posted today that they are OK missing the playoffs, and I just do not accept that this team is that bad.

  41. Caesar says:

    Ok so here goes my list
    Historical fiction Colleen McCullough – The complete 6 book series about Caesar . Wilbur Smith was great too, can really tell a story.

    @Bill science fiction Frank Hebert-Dune another long series that I absolutely loved

    My favorite writer- Dickens –Loved Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I have watched Christmas Carole about 200 times in 10 different versions. Oliver Twist was amazing too.

    LOTR and the Hobbit great fantasy
    1984 Awesome book, -inspired Bowie on Diamond Dags–great album too. Animal Farm just as good.
    On the animal theme Watership Down great read also
    Douglas Adams for humour

    And about 100 others that I don’t have time to get too.

    • SmartDog says:

      Ever read Drood?

      +1 to Diamond Dogs.

      1984, Watership Down, good books I read in my youth.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Bill says:

      I love Dickens too. It’s still so readable all these years later. Great Expectations is a favourite, so is Our Mutual Friend.

      On the topic of humorous literature, how did I never mention Kurt Vonnegut, a legendary writer and one of my faves. Slaughterhouse Five is the obvious classic, but my faves are Cat’s Cradle – hilarious take on religion – and Breakfast of Champions, which is so sad and yet laugh out loud funny all at once.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

      • SmartDog says:

        And Sirens of Titan…

        I should read those again. Been a long time.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Bill says:

          Sirens, YES, that was a great read. Well, you know, almost all of his books are fantastic. How did he write like that, I’ll never know. Such a unique style.

          Bokonon became my religion after I read Cat’s Cradle.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

          • SmartDog says:

            LOL Busy, busy, busy….

            …that’s what this place makes me think sometimes.

            ————————————-
            Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  42. Ed says:

    so it seems quite a few of you will be “ok” if we miss the playoffs next season.
    wow.
    I will not be “ok”.

    Any team with the talent we have should be charging towards contention, not falling back to the lottery.

    • mksness says:

      ya well we’re not loaded with talent. We have some good pieces but that’s about it. This team either needs big trades or finishing low to aquire the talent needed to be elite

    • savethepuck says:

      I definitely won’t be OK with missing the playoffs. On the other hand, I don’t expect us to miss them either.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Bill says:

      Actually I would not be ok with that, and I totally agree that a good GM can rebuild a team without stripping it and tanking.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  43. HabFab says:

    My 2cents in honor of Eric ;)

    – not a lot of available funds for UFA’s
    – not a lot of good UFA’s so those available got top dollar
    – MB has stated he will try to improve the team by trading with clubs up against the Cap ie; $1.5 ml player for a $ 4 ml player
    – Cap should go up $5 ml next season coupled with $25 ml freed up Space = $30 ml to spend
    – 11 players under contract not counting Tinordi or Drew
    – resign PK, Lars, Emelin, Diaz.
    – Tinordi and Nathan should be ready plus possibly others

  44. Un Canadien errant says:

    The cool thing about signing Ryan O’Byrne, besides the many holes in the dyke that he’d plug, is that now we’d have him and Michaël Bournival. For free.

  45. Psycho29 says:

    Colby Armstrong ‏ @armdog

    I grew up like any kid dreaming to play in the NHL. I got to do it and also MTL was my favourite team growing up and I got to wear the CH

  46. savethepuck says:

    Can someone explain to me why it is common knowledge here that the Habs are in a rebuild. When I think rebuild, I think getting rid of veterans for picks and prospects and starting over again with youth insulated by a few veterans usually to at least reach the CAP floor and to mentor the youth. I will admit that my definition may be inaccurate, I am far from an expert, but by my definition the only things that resembled a rebuild were getting rid of Gill and AK at the 2012 trade deadline. Nothing resembling a rebuild occurred during this past season. The Gomez and Kaberle buyouts weren’t part of a rebuild, these were just no brainers that we were able to do because of the new CBA. The Cole trade was basically just to get rid of his term and free up MB to work around this year’s reduced CAP. We didn’t get any picks or prospects in that deal.
    Is the reason we are supposed to accept that this team is in a rebuild only because it finished last in the East in 2011-12?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Minor point, but we did get a third-round draft pick in that deal, which we used to select Connor Crisp.

      • The_Truth says:

        Another point is that if MB traded Cole to work around the cap, then why did he sign Briere to almost the same hit and term Cole had left?

      • savethepuck says:

        My bad, I should of relied on a little google instead of going by memory in this post.

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

    • wjc says:

      Facts: There is no ‘common knowledge’

      Teams need to get to playoffs, to maximize profits.

      Building, not re-building….go with youth with a veteran presence.

      Cole = cap room, Ryder filled a void. If nothing resembled a re-build last season, means they were just building. Building and making the playoffs is the goal.

      wjc

  47. Ed says:

    good question by Steve below:

    what could the Habs have done this past summer to become a contender – or he puts it – move up into the top 8?

    I’m not a GM – although I would gladly play one on TV if someone offered me the right contract – but here it goes;

    clearly there are always moves that can be made; do we not have players other teams want? do other teams have players on the market that we need? of course.

    it is the GM’s responsibility to make the deals.

    even the biggest Bergevin supporters agreed that after we picked up Briere, we needed to make at least 1 more deal to get bigger on defence and bigger up front.

    now everyone has gone quiet; rationalizing that Bergevin did the “best that he could” since he’s such a nice guy and he wears retro suits.

    Come on, we need to replace Emelin and Briere does not make our top 9 bigger, he adds to the problem that our top 9 is too small.

    We can all agree on that, can we not?

    • twilighthours says:

      I agree with that.

      But I also have no idea what it would have taken to make those things happen

      • Ed says:

        twi, we’re not paid to have the answers, the exact trades. If I could make the trades, I would expect to make the huge money Bergevin is making. i don’t know what players are available and so it’s impossible to make trades.

        I know other teams are making moves left, right, and center, all around us, and passing us on their way to contention.

        • Habfan17 says:

          I don’t know how you can know that the moves these teams made will work out and make them better. I would bet against the signing of Clowe and a few other signings.

          Habfan17

    • Habfan17 says:

      I look at it this way. There were not and are not many high quality UFA’s for Bergevin to sign. Some it has been reported are looking for big money and term. He is taking a long term approach.

      There are still a number of RFA’s that need to be signed, some of which are going to arbitration. There are also a few teams that will need to shed payroll before the season begins. I think it is more that Bergevin did not want to settle for something less now, if something better is available towards the end of the off season and he is in a holding pattern while these teams are sorting out their issues.

      Bergevin does not need to rush , he has shown to be patient with an eye to the future. We would all be upset if he signed an O’Byrne if an opportunity opened up later to get a better player that fits long term. I am still waiting to see if Bergevin does make a deal for Clifford

      Habfan17

      • Ed says:

        it’s Bergevin’s job to get the deals done, is it not?
        rushing? what does that even mean?

        are you “ok” with the Habs missing the playoffs this year, maybe a bubble team, maybe missing them in 2015 as well, maybe another bubble team??

        when does the clock start ticking?

        • Habfan17 says:

          Hi Ed,

          I would be okay if they missed the playoffs if it means being better long term and consistently. What I mean by rushing out is the same when new technology comes out. Some people have to have the newest gadgets as soon as they come out and they over pay, then regret it when a few months later, a better gadget comes out that is less expensive or on sale.

          There are GM’s every free agent season that rush out, over pay and then the moves do not work out. I would rather Bergevin let the dust settle and make a better deal, then settle for what is available now.

          Just because we aren’t hearing anything, does not mean that Bergevin has not attempted to make a deal or is in the midst of making one.

          Habfan17

    • JUST ME says:

      I think Bergevin did a reasonable job. Of course would have enjoyed a few more changes but there were no big players at the right price that would have made such a difference this year. Next year is a totally different ball game though. I expect a few youngsters to graduate as well as a few veterans going and others being added to the team.
      The core is there and being more and more solid. A lot will have to do with P.K.`s new deal cause money is a factor now in the total budget of the team. Let the kids learn in the farm team one more season. I like Bergevin`s way of preparing the future from the bottom up. It will work out but we need to be patient one more season.

      • Dust says:

        Bobby Ryan wad available. I believe he went for the right price. MB should have been all over getting him

        • 24 Cups says:

          I’m watching the Canadian Open but I’ll just say this – any Hab deal for Ryan would have cost you the equivalent of Silverberg which is Gallagher. If not, then either Tinordi or Beaulieu would have surely been part of the package.

        • Habfan17 says:

          In my opinion, Ottawa over paid and will regret it.

          Habfan17

          • The_Truth says:

            I thought it was a great deal for Ottawa and Ryan will be one of the top goal scoreres in the league for many years. Silverberg and a 1st was not overpayment for that. That was a championship move by Murray because players like that are never available through trade.

            Ryan is 26 years old and already has 4, 30 goal seasons. He’s big and goes to the net with skill. Very few players in the league like him, past or present. That guy is a good a piece for the Sens as anybody. MB should have at least been in the mix. Beaulieu, Leblanc and a 1st is a very good price for Ryan.

        • Bill says:

          Will Ottawa be able to resign Bobby Ryan, or will he go UFA and walk? If the Habs had acquired him, would they be able to resign him at the end of this contract, or would he go UFA and walk?

          If he walks, it was a bad trade, unless Ottawa wins the Cup this year.

          If they can resign him and keep him, it’s a great trade.

          Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Maritime Ron says:

      Ed

      I state this with respect..

      You say, ” …we needed to make at least 1 more deal to get bigger on defence and bigger up front.”

      Everybody says the same thing, and rest assured that all of Bergevin, Dudley, Carriere, Mellanby, and Lapointe KNOW that.

      That said, suggest a trade or signing….knowing the character of the individual and possible upside, along with what we would have do give in return.
      Then, the Cap hit involved along with the line up or possible chemistry repercussions.

      Look forward to your recommendations as food for thought.
      Not so easy…eh?

    • wjc says:

      Playing G.M. is what you would be doing.

      Trades for the sake of trades….no good.
      Trading with partners that want too much….no good.
      Trading prospects for veterans…could work, could back fire.

      Bigger defense is playing in AHL Pateryn, Beleau, these players need to be given a chance to fail.

      Parros was brought in up front as a physical presence when needed.

      Bergevin is a nice guy comments and wears retro suits is just a stupid thing to say.

      Maybe too small, but wait for training camp to offer assessments when you see what is out there available or if the farm can offer up someone to fill the void.

      It is nearly August, of course everyone has gone quiet, the season starts in October…..so relax…..deep breaths, you do not have any answers only questions that you cannot answer.

      Make a move and be criticized for being to hasty, do nothing and be accused of…….doing nothing.

      wjc

  48. Trollhunter says:

    Read “The complete idiot’s guide to Stock Investing” by Ken Little :)

  49. Maritime Ron says:

    The HIO ‘Book of the Month Club’ recommendations are intriguing and has made for some absolutely great suggestions as for further reading.

    Some favourites from here:

    – The Art of War – Sun Tzu
    MB read the book and this quote, “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy”….then traded for Parros.

    – Even though dated in the 1970s…
    “On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors”-John De Lorean

    Did anyone mention Tom Clancy and his older stuff?
    The Sum of All Fears – Debt of Honor – Executive Orders
    Too bad the idiot American media indirectly blamed him for giving whomever did 9.11, the ideas from his books

    Or Robert Ludlum ‘before’ he passed away…
    The Holcroft Covenant, The Apocalypse Watch, and the Bourne trilogy

    Any Shakespeare, and certainly Macbeth ( Scene 5 )

    Gardening for Dummies – a must!

    Throw away most, if not all of those prescribed chemical poisons..
    ” The Complete Book of Acupuncture.”

    Orwell 1984…just amazing how someone could get it so right written 64 years ago

    ” If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

    ” Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

    “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

  50. mksness says:

    If our GM was to get a grade i would say it’s a C. He hasn’t really done much at all. If anything he’s making a case for overpaying players:
    – prust
    – price
    – DD
    – moen

    He almost screwed up the PK thing as well. The teams record last year has more to do with the coach than with the GM. If anything our GM is playing the safe game. draft build and hope it all works out. Eventually he’ll have to make a move to build some depth.

    • piper says:

      No way is Prust over payed. As far as NHL salaries go, he’s a bargain. Price would have got that money elsewhere. I agree with the others though.

    • Trollhunter says:

      Takes two to tango. Us fans can say “trade this guy (cough cough DD), package these two for this guy, etc” but at the end of the day the other team has to want what your selling. And it would seem no one wants what they have to offer…

    • wjc says:

      Face it and be honest, no G.M. would ever satisfy you. You must change the system back to the 50’s, 60’s in order to get those Stanley cups flowing again, and go back to a 6 team league.

      wjc

      • mksness says:

        Actually i want someone to turn the team in the right direction. If we’re going to do this via the draft and youth, ship out all of the old.

        We have a GM that is dressing nice and saying all the right things. just not doing very much. And before you know it we’ll be on another 5 year plan and i’ll have to hear all the same catch phrases, be patient, he knows he hockey better than you, our draft picks are great and so on.

  51. Bill says:

    UCE: best Irving book for is “A Widow for One Year” … just a beautiful book, and I’m not really an Irving fan.

    Also. How can anyone hate Shakespeare??

    • SmartDog says:

      Wow. I could not read that book. I tried… and slept…. tried.. and slept. Maybe I’m just not literary enough.

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Bill says:

        Haha, I don’t know about that. Irving isn’t terribly “literary” … I guess it just wasn’t your cup of tea, that’s all.

        See, I couldn’t get through Owen Meany … so there ya go.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

  52. Bill says:

    SmartDog: sticking with your scifi theme, one series I would love to have the experience of reading for the first time again is David Gerrold’s series of books “the War Against The Chtorr”. It’s just the next science fiction I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, he wrote three books, and we’ve been waiting 20 years for the final instalment! Don’t think it’s ever gonna happen, so readers are kinda left hanging after book three, but it’s still a great series for anyone who likes speculative fiction.

  53. SmartDog says:

    I may be giving Bergevin too much credit. But to give him a high rating so far (despite a couple of moves I think are bad), I am assuming:
    1. That he couldn’t get a big forward without a big sacrifice. So I would applaud waiting. And so… I assume Briere was a fall-back plan with some obvious benefits from a homestand view (and a short term investment). He IS a good power play guy and if that part of his game is still on, we’ll probably forgive this move.
    2. That he’s seeing the cupboards quite stocked in Hamilton, especially on D and his strategy is to keep our best prospects until they are ripe for either the Habs or worthy of bringing real return on the market.
    3. The he sees the team as potentially being a good deal stronger in a year or two when our young core is more experienced and a couple more prospects make the leap. And so he’s perhaps overly-cautious now with trades and contracts.

    I assume this is the plan. He’s stated some of it, the rest I’m just filling in. But if this is the plan I applaud it. We still don’t know what we have in Price, how Eller and Galchenyuk will pan out should come clearer this year or next, and there are a couple of older Habs near then end of contracts and probably meaning a change of guard (Markov and Gionta mainly). Markov will be missed but if more young D prospects make the jump we could see a very good youth movement.

    And our likely two biggest needs are STILL:
    a) size and grit at the back – but we may have that in Hamilton.
    b) size and scoring punch up front… not as plentiful in our system… but with Patches, Galchenyuk, Eller/Plekanec, Gallagher, and Bourque mostly young guys, add a real sniper or a net crasher like big Mac and that’s probably going to be a decent top 6.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  54. HammerHab says:

    ugh….tired of listening to Leaf fans say Subban won’t make the team because of his “attitude”….”he held out, he’s not a team player” they say….but then they decide to put Doughty on this roster without question. How soon we forget….

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  55. frontenac1 says:

    @burly. Sorry to hear that . I had a friend pass away a few years ago from ALS. All the best amigo.

  56. 24 Cups says:

    Ed – That’s a lot of issues to address in one reply.

    First of all, the Habs weren’t as bad as they appeared two years ago and certainly weren’t as good as their record implied last season.

    Secondly, what DID Marc Bergevin do this summer? He turned Cole/Ryder into Briere. That doesn’t impress me. The team drafted the usual suspects as the names worked their way down through the pecking order. Getting Fucale at #36 could pay off big time in four or five years. The other two guys project as 3rd or 4th liners. Nothing special came out of that draft. Picking up Parros is another band-aid solution while the team attempts to develop real physical, in your face players who can play top nine minutes. Getting a new goalie coach may be the real highlight of the off season. Contrast all of that with what was done in Dallas or the highway robbery in New Jersey.

    I’m very hesitant to consider prospects as slam dunks. History states that just as many turn into disappointments. Having said that I’ll try and be positive. Right now the Habs have ten solid young players – a goalie, four Dmen and five forwards. Some might add Plekanec to that list even though he is 30. Out of that group, Beaulieu and Tinordi are at least a few years away from making a real impact. Gallagher and Galchenyuk should evolve into solid players. But none of this is going to fall into place right now. Hudon and Collberg are certainly reason for hope but are far off in the future. All the other parts are movable and interchangeable.

    So to answer your question, I think Montreal needs to take two more years to truly see how they might really rank in terms of the NHL elite. The trend in the NHL right now is to lock up a half dozen young core players and hope to hell they are the right ones. I’d love to see one more forward and two Dmen step up to join the ranks of Price, Subban, MaxPac, Galchenyuk and Eller. Once that happens, then MB can make the moves you want to beef up the roster, whether it is by trade or free agency. I don’t really think he can make any bold moves right now (like Dallas) because the cost would be some of the players I have just mentioned.

    I agree that Toronto made some bold moves. They should improve next year. So should Ottawa and Columbus. I figure Montreal will be in a dog fight to make the playoffs. They will also have to make some important decisions concerning Markov and Gionta. Both players turn 35 by the end of January so that may be a true test for MB. It may also be the canary in the coal mine in terms of your original discussion.

    Re other teams – It’s all over in Vancouver and San Jose. St Louis is a real threat if the goalies hold up. Otherwise, it’s just Chicago and LA out west. In the East it’s still the usual suspects. I can’t really think of anything that Montreal could have realistically done this summer to move up into the top eight.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’ve read hockey debates on this site for years and finally decided to join the group 3 years ago. This is the kind of dialogue which drew me into this site. CHeers to you Steve and Ed for once again providing excellent analysis and debate in such a gentlemanly way. Clap clap clap.

      Edit: Please add UCe to that list.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I look at it this way. There were not and are not many high quality UFA’s for Bergevin to sign. He is taking a long term approach.

      There are still a number of RFA’s that need to be signed, some of which are going to arbitration. There are also a few teams that will need to shed payroll before the season begins. I think it is more that Bergevin did not want to settle for something less now, if something better is available towards the end of the off season and he is in a holding pattern while these teams are sorting out their issues.

      Bergevin does not need to rush , he has shown to be patient with an eye to the future. We would all be upset if he signed an O’Byrne if an opportunity opened up later to get a better player that fits long term. I am still waiting to see if Bergevin does make a deal for Clifford.

      Habfan17

    • JF says:

      Steve – I pretty much agree with your assessment, except that I actually like the Brière signing. He’s a more complete player than Michael Ryder and much more of a leader. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll help us a lot, especially in the playoffs (if we make them, which is by no means certain). I guess I’d prefer last year’s Erik Cole, but certainly not this year’s; and it did seem as though Cole wanted out.

      But I agree that it’s going to be a couple more years before Bergevin will be in a position to add any impact players through trades or free agency. At the moment we simply don’t have the depth. Look at what Ottawa gave up to get Bobby Ryan – and they have no certainty of keeping him for longer than two years. Any trade that would improve the Habs significantly now would entail too much of a sacrifice in terms of core players and promising prospects.

      This is why I’m not really dissatisfied with what Bergevin has done this summer. Like a few others, I think that his most important move was luring Stephane Waite away from Chicago. Most hockey pundits think Price has all the tools to become an elite goaltender; if Waite can help him realize this potential, we’ll be a lot further ahead. For the rest, Parros adds a bit of an intimidation factor and will make Prust’s job easier. But I expect the Habs to be a bubble team this year and likely miss the playoffs. I’ll be OK with that if Bergevin can unload Gionta and perhaps Markov at the deadline.

      As for the Leafs – yes, they made some bold moves, but there is no guarantee those moves will produce the desired results. Jonathan Bernier has very little experience; who knows whether he’ll become a top goaltender or, if he does, how long it will take him. Who knows whether Clarkson will have the impact he did in NJ? At any rate, I think they over-paid for him, and the term is at least a couple of years too long. And their defence is still not very good.

      • Ed says:

        “But I expect the Habs to be a bubble team this year and likely miss the playoffs. I’ll be OK with that if Bergevin can unload Gionta and perhaps Markov at the deadline”

        man. that’s depressing. and you write that so calmly., like it’s not even shocking.

        • JF says:

          I won’t find it depressing if what Bergevin gets at the deadline for Gionta and Markov will help make us better a couple of years down the road. What I did find depressing was watching Gainey and Gauthier squander draft picks and prospects for a team that was good enough to barely make the playoffs and maybe steal a round, year after year, knowing every year that we weren’t really contenders. In the early years of Gainey’s tenure, he turned us from a terrible team into a bubble team, but we never really improved beyond that. I think that the way Bergevin is implementing his long-term strategy – hanging onto our picks and prospects, improving our scouting staff, hiring some player development people, getting a better goaltender coach – will improve the team substantially over the next two or three years. The question then will be whether he can make those key moves – whether they be trades or free-agent signings – to push us over the top. But we’re not there yet.

        • wjc says:

          Negative nellies…….this sight is so predictable. I wouldn’t want players on the team with that attitude.

          Loser attitude. Negative, negative, negative. Stick your collective heads in a toilet, and flush, and ask ‘WHY’…????

          wjc

  57. Un Canadien errant says:

    I agree that the fiddling with the roster left me perplexed this summer. I thought the cap room would be spent on short-term solutions to areas of need in our roster. So maybe buy up one or two free agents at forward for a year or two, guys like David Steckel or Anthony Stewart who add to our roster and improve the mix at forward. Same thing on defence, get a big righty as a plug for a one or two-year deal, a Ryan O’Byrne or Jeff Schultz. Understand that these guys are not world-class, but they fit a role, and because they bring what we sorely lack their contribution would be more important than their mere talent would indicate, it would be magnified.

    For example, a light-hitting shortstop like Rodney Scott isn’t an All-Star, and won’t put any team in the World Series by himself, but if you’ve got a big hole at shortstop, your defence is abysmal, and you need a little speed on the basepaths ahead of the meat of your order, then Rodney Scott is the perfect solution. If you throw in the salary-cap consideration, then the fact that he can be had for cheap makes him even more attractive. Rodney Scott on this specific roster is worth more on a relative scale than an absolute scale.

    Another way to think of it is salt. You can’t eat salt for dinner, you need ingredients like protein and vegetables and maybe a starch, but if you have those and no salt, you totally notice its absence. Once you have that stir-fry going but don’t have salt, you don’t really have as much as you could potentially, a pinch of salt is what you need to bring everything together and make it pop.

    So after the elimination by the Sens, I thought the road map was relatively straightforward. Dispose of Tomas Kaberle and Yannick Weber, get some stopgaps who will upgrade the size and toughness quotient on D while we wait another year or two for the kids to be ready. At forward, let Armdog and Jeff Halpern and Michael Ryder go, get a bit more toughness to help out Brandon Prust and Ryan White, and get a big forward to play in the Top 9, even if he’s got bricks for hands. Just having a crasher and banger, a Mathieu Darche amped up 20% or more, would improve the flexibility of our roster, and again be a place saver until the Collbergs and Hudons and Leblancs are ready. We don’t need to spend all of Michael Ryder’s cap space this year, we can sit on it and hold it as strategery for the trade deadline or next summer’s UFA crop.

    In fact, what we did was the first part of the plan, clean out the bottom of the roster a bit, but didn’t upgrade the defence, even with Alexei Emelin’s problematic absence staring us in the face. At forward, we got George Parros, which I’m on board with, but squandered the Michael Ryder cushion on Daniel Brière’s deal. Which is a step back, that cushion was obtained by sacrificing Erik Cole. If I had a choice, I’d rather have Erik Cole back for the next two seasons rather than Mr. Brière.

    The thing is, these fixes that I was envisioning were not pie-in-the-sky stuff, I wasn’t trying to get Bobby Ryan with a mix of Travis Moen, Patrick Holland and a bunch of late-round picks. I wasn’t, like the Leafs, shopping for a big #1 centre, which we all recognize are routinely available on the trade market. My plan wasn’t overly optimistic, just a way to ice a respectable roster next season, but refraining from taking out a Clarcksonian or Cloweian mortgage.

    So far then, I’m not overjoyed with the immediate solutions provided by Marc Bergevin. Maybe he’s biding his time, and will bottom-feed in August when players start to get desperate, and will accept a job on a one-year deal. Maybe he’s decided that next season is a development year, that Jarred Tinordi is ready for a regular shift, and the Beaulieus and Pateryns and other Bulldogs will plug the injury holes as they occur. Same thing at forward, he’ll rely on Messrs. Dumont, Blunden, Leblanc, Bournival, et al. when the Canadiens infirmary welcomes patients. Maybe he’s looking for another injection of youth, similar to that Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk brought last season. Maybe he’s not too concerned with playoff positioning this season, a repeat of last season’s flirtation with the Conference championship unimportant in his eyes.

    Overall, I’m very satisfied with the work that Mr. Bergevin has done so far. The long-term approach he’s taken is impressive. I’m very happy with the increased focus on scouting, how he’s built up that department. I’m also happy with the player development side he’s created, something that was sorely missing in the Gainey administration. I’m satisfied that he hoards draft picks and is replenishing our farm system. So I’m not going to squawk too much about this summer, and give him lots of slack to keep doing what he does and hope for the best.

    ———————————————————————–
    In the very long view, it is important that kids growing up in Québec love the Canadiens and recognize themselves in the team, and a bit of the team in themselves. This generates more lifelong fans who will support the team, and more players who dream of making it to the NHL and wearing the bleu-blanc-rouge. In the salary-cap world we live in, this is an important strategic edge we have on the St-Louis Blues and the Florida Panthers. If Geoff Molson understands anything, it needs to be that there must be a strong, visceral, emotional connection between the fans and leurs Glorieux.

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • JohninTruro says:

      UCE I agree on the defensive side and maybe the reasoning this did not happen is because Bergevin feels like he wants to be able to give Tinordi, Pateryn, Beaulieu, etc the chance in small samples to work on their game in the bigs for that experience. I don’t have the answer but just a thought…

    • myron.selby says:

      Regarding Briere replacing Cole, I don’t agree at all. I have no idea whether Briere will work out or not. But regardless of how he performs, Cole had to go. He was the best free agent signing the Habs made in the first year of his contract.

      He was absolutely worthless last year. I don’t know if the various rumors about problems between Cole and Subban have any substance or if the problem was the new CBA that he didn’t like. All I know is that he went from being by far their best forward in 11-12 to being possibly their worst in 12-13.

      He wouldn’t hit, he didn’t drive the net, he didn’t backcheck. He made zero effort in any aspect of the game as far as I could see. Based on his complete lack of production in Dallas after the trade, it sure seems like whatever his issues were, they didn’t go away with a change of scenery.

      I wish him all the best, he was spectacular that first season. And it’s possible that he will turn it around this season, but I don’t expect it. He didn’t look like he had an injury, he looked disinterested. Remember how much fun it looked like he was having that first season? I didn’t see any sign of that last year.

      To me this was the perfect sequence of events – we got one incredible season, then lost the ugly 3 years follow up.

      • JF says:

        Completely agree about Cole. For whatever reason, he did not want to play last year.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        If that’s the case, then I’m happy with the trade. Sitting here and now though, I worry that Erik didn’t train very hard last summer and fall, as despondent as he was with the looming lockout. Maybe he didn’t ingest the funny vitamins that he normally does, to give his liver a break. The dropoff in performance was shocking, how slow and underwhelming he was, that I took a Bill Simmons stand and suspected PED’s were somehow involved. Or not involved, as pertains to his poor season last year.

        Anyway, last winter I loved the trade, since I was wary of the last two years of the contract as he aged, and thought we could use the cap room wisely. But we spent it on another smaller forward, one who’s older than Erik. In that case, if I could choose, I’d take my chances on Erik Cole over Daniel Brière, and hope that with an offseason that is more routine, he’ll show up to camp in better physical and psychological shape. Maybe he doesn’t score 30 again, but a big winger who can give you 20-25 would be a much better fit than Mr. Brière.

        The rumoured rift between he and P.K. is a huge factor, but not one that can’t be overcome. He wasn’t the only one who had issues with P.K. Maybe the new coaching team and the better leadership and discipline would have resolved most of these issues. But I’m with you on that angle, if it comes down to it, I choose P.K. over Erik, as great a season he had two years ago.

        • myron.selby says:

          I don’t think Cole will score 20-25 again. I don’t think his problem was training or physical. He just seemed like he didn’t want it anymore. And if he continued to play the way he did this year (which based on what he did in Dallas seems highly probable) he would be a detriment.

          I think one of the reasons MB got rid of him was that he was bringing the team down. A guy who was your most gung ho player can quickly become a terrible liability when he loses his desire.

          At this point, I’d much rather they give the ice to LeBlanc or one of their other young guns than put up with the attitude that Cole was bringing to the rink.

          As to Briere, I’m taking a wait and see on this one. I have no issues with the whole snubbing thing when he went to Philadelphia. My guess is that either the Flyers offered more money and term or alternately his spouse wanted nothing to do with living in Montreal.

          I’m hoping he comes in and plays his tail off and that his best before date hasn’t come around yet. He has (had?) real skills. If they haven’t deteriorated too far I think he can be a very useful 2 year addition.

  58. HabinBurlington says:

    I haven’t weighed in on the book club as I don’t read much anymore, but one book I read which I really cherished was “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom.

    I had a personal connection to the book as i lost my father to ALS about 5 years prior to the book coming out.

  59. commandant says:

    Good luck to Colby Armstrong who signed in Sweden.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  60. SmartDog says:

    Speaking of books… name one book (or book series) that you read that you would most love to have the experience again of reading it for the first time.

    I can think of a bunch, but the one that first comes to mind is a sci-fi classic I read when I was in my 20’s.

    It’s: Nine Prince in Amber

    What a cool, funky, mind-bending series of books that was.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  61. 24 Cups says:

    Blake Wheeler – five years at 5.6M a season.

  62. 24 Cups says:

    Three threads in 15 days. I know it’s a slow two weeks but come on.

    • Ed says:

      so here’s my question for you, Steve.

      it seems on the previous page many chimed in that they think Bergevin did a fine job this off season, did the best that he could, didn’t panic or trade away our future, and is building to win the Cup 3, 4, 5 years from now.

      do you agree?

      I will disagree respectfully.

      I look at 4 or 5 solid Cup contenders in the East and 4 or 5 solid Cup contenders in the West.

      I compare what we have against what they have. Everyone gets to spend the same amount of money.

      I did not think we were so far behind these teams when the season ended, but we absolutely needed a big d-man and another big forward (not Briere at all), and then we would be climbing right into that mix.

      I would be making aggressive moves to get my team into that top 8-10 group AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, because if you look at San Jose, and Vancouver, and now St Louis and there are others, these teams have built Cup contenders and fallen short year after year.

      So there is no guarantee, none, that we will build to the 3-5 year Cup contender and then whoosh!! the Cup will be ours.

      First, you need to get into the game if you want to win. And we are still 3-5 years from even being in the game, and this is considered sound management??

      For example.

      Do you like the way the Leafs went out and became aggressive, trying to build off their playoff run, and trying to make themselves perennial contenders today, or do you prefer Bergevin’s approach??

      I would have said we were a better team, more talented than the Leafs when the season ended.

      I would argue now that after this summer’s acquisitions the Leafs have gained a lot of ground on us and most everyone in hockey will admit to that fact. Some would say that the Leafs have now passed us.

      That doesn’t seem to bother people much. 3-5 years from now we will wave our magic wand and we will become contenders if this prospect works out and that prospect comes through and so on.

      News flash for people: every team has prospects like we do. Pittsburgh just traded away one of their great defensive prospects, Morrow, and they still have 4 first round defencemen waiting to become NHL ready.

      Every team has prospects and every team is trying to “build a contender”. The objective is to “become a contender” as quickly as possible and then “stay a contender” for as long as possible.

      Waiting another 3-5 years just to become a contender is what the Islanders and the Panthers are telling their fans.

      .

      • twilighthours says:

        I don’t love the briere deal for the reasons you can guess at. Also not sold on the mccaron pick. And I’d rather we hurry this process along, too.

        But also, there’s not a lot he can do yet. A proper rebuild takes time. More than 1 year and 2 off seasons.

        • Ed says:

          what does St Louis have that we don’t have? Why can they contend, and Vancouver, and San Jose, but we are now “rebuilding” like the Panthers and the Islanders.

          Do you consider us to be at the level of the Panthers and Islanders?

          • twilighthours says:

            These are difficult questions. I think most people would argue that the window for sj and van is closing. And St. Louis’ window is opening up.

            I would consider us above nyi and fla.

            As to why we are rebuilding? Gainey went all in and got burned, tried the rebuild on the fly, and that didn’t work either. After the mess of gauthier, there was no choice. It’s amazing how far a team can fall in three years.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Ed-

        There are many words to describe the Leafs’ playoffs last year but “run” isn’t one of them.

        Unless you mean running off a cliff or into a ditch.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Ed – See above.

  63. twilighthours says:

    Smart dog, I liked your post about Bergevin on the previous page. Replace his name with gainey’s and it still rings pretty true.

    Interesting, eh?

    • SmartDog says:

      Ya think?
      – Building from within?
      – Keeping our draft picks?
      – Making good trades?

      You see Gainey as doing those things?

      ————————————-
      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • twilighthours says:

        Building from within and keeping picks is the same thing.

        Gainey ad some great deals too. We just remember the ribs and Gomez deals.

        • SmartDog says:

          > Building from within and keeping picks is the same thing.
          No, not the same thing.
          …Keeping picks is keeping picks and not trading them away (which Gainey did several times) and getting some value for players you don’t want (so you can keep your own picks, you pick up others) which Gainey was lousy at.
          …Building from within is not trying to change the team with a wholesale gathering of FAs (which Gainey did).

          ————————————-
          Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  64. Trollhunter says:

    What do you guys think of this potential lineup for Sochi

    Tavares Crosby Nash (Nash could use his size to create space for the other two)
    Giroux Stamkos St Louis
    Couture toews Richards
    Lucic Bergeron Simmonds
    13th forward: Jumbo Joe? Perry or Getzlaf?

    Some size. Some grit. Energy guys. Guys for the PP and some for the Pk. Good face off centermen and guys who can find the back of the net.

    Now on D Canada has a boat load of right handed shots

    Weber Doughty
    Letang Subban
    Keith Seabrooke/Pietrangelo.

    I’m not gonna touch goalies lol
    Thoughts?

  65. SmartDog says:

    Hey UCE

    I loved “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. Couldn’t get through “A Widow for One Year” zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Ever read Koontz’s “Life Expectancy”? It has an “Own Meany” feel. I think it’s just as good or better. I’ve given it to 4 or 5 friends and all loved it.

    Also, ever read SandMan Slim? That’s a fun read.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • twilighthours says:

      I find j Irving one of those guys that people say they like so they can seem smart (not saying you would do something like that, smart dog, he he).

      Owen meany was a slog for me.

      • SmartDog says:

        No, I wouldn’t do that. And yeah, I think Irving had his heyday when he was all the rage. But I’ve tried to read 3 or 4 of his others and been bored to FREAKIN TEARS. (Owen Meany though is easily a top 20 book on my summer reading list. )

        I don’t think most books I like are by intellectual darlings. The two others I mentioned (both awesome reads):
        – Sandman Slim (Kahdry)- guy escapes from hell and is looking for revenge
        – Life Expectancy (Koontz) – I like Koontz but this book has more than spooky villains and golden retrievers. It’s got a layer of humour most of his books don’t have.

        ————————————-
        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        twi, not sure where how you got that impression. The Garp to Owen Meany period especially, is so accessible, so readable and enjoyable. Sure it’s literature, but not highbrow or anything, it’s not like he uses complicated devices. It’s very plot driven, page-turning stuff.

        Maybe try “The Cider House Rules”, it’s about a young boy coming of age in an orphanage, training to become a doctor, and then leaving to ‘find himself’. Great coming of age story, very readable, tackles some big issues, but very enjoyable. The movie did an okay job of portraying the story, but the book is orders of magnitude better.

        If Garp didn’t do it for you, or Owen Meany, maybe this one will work for you. Owen Meany was enjoyable, in that it’s familiar John Irving stuff to me, the New England setting and the big house and all that, but there was that surreal element that maybe threw some people off. None of that in “The Cider House Rules”. Either that or trusty Garp.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m headed out to enjoy my day, will stop at the Library and pick up Dean Koontz’s book, I checked online and it’s available. That way, I don’t have to copy and paste your suggestion to my huge, huge reading list. Thanks SmartDog. Good boy! Good boy! Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy!

      Thanks HIO.

  66. Dunboyne Mike says:

    (OH YES!! FIRST TWO PAGES IN A ROW! HE SHOOTS HE SCORES!!!)

    @Sportfan.

    Ha! That’s great! You don’t post like a spring chicken! What a great mix there is here.

    Cheers bud.

  67. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I don’t know how serious he was, but HF72 suggested Fucale and a pick for Malcolm Subban.

    I love it! But is it actually a good idea? Would Boston even consider it?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Please post your answer on THE NEW PAGE which I just started>>>>>

    • Ed says:

      Fucale will be an NHL goalie. I think he will be every bit as good as Subban.

      I would have grabbed Jordan Subban. That guy, although undersized today, is training with PK twice a day workouts and he has talent out the wazoo,

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      I would think that the Habs should first of all see what they have on their hands.

      The guy was barely just drafted. I don’t know why the Habs would trade the #1 ranked goaltender in the 2013 draft + a pick for the #1 (or 2 since there was also Vasileyski) ranked goaltender in the 2012 draft – to Boston no less.

    • The_Truth says:

      Why would Boston do this, unless the pick was a 1st? It doesn’t improve their team or prospect pool.

  68. Maritime Ron says:

    @ Hobie Hansen
    Hi hobie

    You mentioned Greg Pateryn (from the Grabovski trade) that seldom do we hear about in hockey talk.

    He just turned 23 and is 6’2″- 214 and had a brief 3 game cup of coffee with our Habs last year playing an average of 9:36 per game.

    Correct me if I am wrong, yet he did not look lost.
    With Hamilton (pathetic) last year, he had 7 goals and 12 points in 39 games trying to recover from a fractured elbow very early in the season.

    He is a big man, yet doesn’t appear to be very physical.
    Can that change, and is he either a dark horse or trade package possibility?

    As for dealing Markov/Gionta at the trade deadline, many factors come into play.
    First off, are we in the hunt for the playoffs, then how much did they contribute towards us being in the hunt?
    Can they make us a ‘true’ Cup contender?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Great post, Hobie H. I agree with your perspective and thank the maker that MB is putting in foundations and building on them.

      And good additions, Mr Maritime-Marcos!

      • Maritime Ron says:

        Hi Ireland Mike

        Imelda behaved herself in Manhattan…except for those 2 Chinatown hours mentioned, yet I have major concerns for next week when we will frequent a lessor US metropolis that has ALL the discount outlets.

        This is one of the most crazy places I have ever seen in my life:
        http://www.simon.com/mall/opry-mills/stores

        50% off – take another 10% off because you are… – take another 5% off because it’s (fill in the blank) day
        Need a store credit card? We’ll give you another 5% off and you’ll be approved in 30 seconds….

  69. SmartDog says:

    People below talking about Bergevin. I’ve criticized a few moves.

    But I would grade him a high B+ so far (close to A-).

    POSITIVES:
    – His firm policy stance on holding/gathering draft picks and building from within. This is a smart call – especially given a good draft record and some nice looking prospects.
    – His free agent signing of Prust and now Parros to finally add the toughness that we all knew we needed 5 years ago.
    – His NOT resigning guys that had their chance and didn’t make the most of it.
    – His overall communication and clarity about goals and direction and the evidence of calm and thoughtful decision-making.
    – Drafting for size and skill (where possible both together).
    – A couple of good trades (Cole being the smart one), and getting ownership to do the right thing with buy-outs.
    – Keeping two young rookies on the team when they really seemed to deserve to be there. Some doubted this but it certainly worked out well. And it’s part of an improving culture of work producing rewards.

    NEGATIVES:
    – Signing Moen and DD to long contracts that stand a good chance of being regrettable. Moen for just not being the player he was (last year) and DD for being a player we don’t really have a place for with two up-coming young strong centers.
    – Briere, though for only 2 years, this is a small negative. No pun intended.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  70. Dunboyne Mike says:

    @UCE
    You have more than mastered English. You bend it to your will and write like a writer. Ever since my first astonished suspicion that it wasn’t your first language I’ve been restraining myself from asking about how you learned. Glad someone else finally brought it up, and thanks for telling!

    Where would we be without the off-season?

  71. Hobie Hansen says:

    The silver lining with Bergevin’s lack of activity this summer is that we didn’t trade away draft picks, prospects or sign a decent player to a long term contract at a superstar’s salary.

    Bergevin looks at his roster in Montreal and Hamilton and sees that he’s got a few very good players in their early to mid twenties in Subban, Pacioretty and Price. You can even put Eller in that group. He’s got two young stars in the making in Gallagher and Galchenyuk.

    He’s got three very young and promising defencemen in Tinordi, Beaulieu and Pateryn. He’s also got some young forwards down in Hamilton like Thomas, who I think could turn out to be very good, Leblanc who will be healthy, Bournival and a few others.

    He also drafted McCarron who has the potential to really help this team in three years or so.

    I think Bergevin will deal potentials UFAs, Markov and Gionta, at the deadline. He’s to smart not too. I don’t think it would be pushing it to expect and 1st rounder for each of those guys. A first unit PP defenceman and 25-30 goal scoring forward.

    At the draft next year he’ll again have a bunch of early round picks and draft a bunch more good prospects.

    I don’t think Bergevin and the Habs will make the move to big time contenders for another three to five years. I’m not saying there won’t be some great hockey before then but we have to be patient.

    When Pacioretty and Price are pushing 30 years old, Gallagher and Galchenyuk have three or four seasons under the belt. Subban, Tinordi and Beaulieu are the top three defenceman. McCarron has played a season and all the other prospects we’ve got enter the picture, that’s when we’ll be a very good team.

    • Mark C says:

      Bingo. Personally I think the window for being a serious contender may open earlier than you do, but this is exactly how I feel MB views the situation.

      There just wasn’t any players or moves available to MB that would have made a dramatic impact going forward. Sure, getting someone like Bobby Ryan would have been great, but once the return is factored in the overall impact is greatly reduced.

    • HardHabits says:

      This is an HH™ approved post. Oh the irony!!! :-)

    • Ed says:

      Charles Hudon will make the Habs after 2 seasons in Hamilton.

      Write it down, and hold me to it.

      He will develop into a solid 50+ points per season NHL player.

    • piper says:

      Hobie, I hope your right about Markov and Gionta. That would be the smart thing to do even if they and the Habs are having a good season. Their value will be that much higher.

    • The_Truth says:

      HH, A lot of maybes, hopefullys and probablys in your post. A lot can happen and it’s all wishful thinking at this point and best case scenarios. All I can say, is what we know of next season, I am not very impressed in comparison to last.

      A fun team, a decent team, but nothing special. Fighting it out for the last few playoff spots it looks like to me, and if they make it, a favorite to be knocked out in the 1st round again.

  72. Thurston says:

    Colby Armstrong is headed for Sweden:

    Colby Armstrong ‏@armdog 8m
    Hello Sweden and the people of Vaxjo. Can’t wait to bring family over and jump right in. So exciting #newchapter @vaxjolakers #beauts

    Colby Armstrong ‏@armdog 4m
    Honestly gotta say it’s been a great ride over here. What a life. Thanks to all the fans in all the cities I’ve played in here.

    Colby Armstrong ‏@armdog 5m
    Honestly gotta say it’s been a great ride over here. What a life. Thanks to all the fans in all the cities I’ve played in here.

    Colby Armstrong ‏@armdog 3m
    I grew up like any kid dreaming to play in the NHL I got to do it and also MTL was my favourite team growing up and I got to wear the CH

    Colby Armstrong ‏@armdog 2m
    Honestly tho this has been a great journey so far my family and I are so thankful and now making this move to Sweden is so amazing.

    • secretdragonfly says:

      I wish him nothing but the best – when he was signed by the Habs, he seemed genuinely thrilled and honoured to be part of the team.

      • Maritime Ron says:

        I’m with you dragon.
        While he didn’t live up to on ice expectations, there is some other stuff in the room that is also sometimes important.

        There appeared to be some ‘toxicity’ after the 11/12 disaster season, and a guy like that can sometimes go a long way to helping things move along and being part of a better room – getting guys together – parking egos, and lightening things up a little.
        All great winning teams always talk about ‘chemistry’ and how they go to sports war together – how they care about each other…and if Colby had any part in moving the Habs there, then mission accomplished

    • Sportfan says:

      Hope he has a great time in Sweden!

      Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!
      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/


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