Surprise! Habs players greet fans in Bell Centre lobby

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There was lots of excitement at the Bell Centre Thursday well before the Canadiens intra-squad game was scheduled to get underway. Fans who braved the cold waiting outside for the doors to open at 5 p.m. got a huge surprise when they saw Canadiens players in the lobby, waiting to greet them. Fans snapped pictures and moved along a line shaking hands with Carey Price, Josh Gorges, Tomas Plekanec and other players. Canadiens principal owner Geoff Molson was there as were a few famous Habs faces from the past like Guy Lafleur and Yvan Cournoyer who posed for pictures with fans.

Thurday’s free intra-squad game is one of several initiatives by the Canadiens to make amends to fans for the NHL lockout.

Players hit the ice at 7 p.m. for a 10-minute warm-up before the two-period scrimmage, which has drawn thousands of people to the Bell Centre. The game is part of the Canadiens six-day training camp. They open their season on Saturday at the Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

247 Comments

  1. twilighthours says:

    Please don’t use that word that way

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Mike”Sweet Hands” Blunden pots Two?Atta Boy Mike!

  3. H.Upmann says:

    I can see VAN or TOR signing Gomez… and maybe a trade with TO for PK, two first rounders and a 2nd.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Anyone can clarify the ‘waiver’ status of St.Denis and Blunden? I heard a snippet before the scrimmage but cant find definitive information on the web. I hope we do not lose Blunden. This would be the second time MB has rolled the dice on him.

    • christophor says:

      it would be a terrible, terrible loss….

      • habstrinifan says:

        Iam not sure if you are being terribly terribly sarcastic.

        • commandant says:

          They were on AHL only deals during the lockout.

          The moment the lockout ended, their AHL only deal was terminated and they went back to their 2 way NHL/AHL contract.

          Due to their age, they must clear waivers to be assigned to the Bulldogs.

          Aaron Palushaj will face the same situation the moment he is healthy.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • savethepuck says:

      Not overly clear on this but I think they had to be put on waivers because they were on AHL contracts, not NHL, so they could play for the Dogs during the lockout. Waivers was a necessity that had nothing to do with giving up on either of them.

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

      • habstrinifan says:

        I meant they were put on waivers on Thursday. Many other teams did the same with other players on Thursday. Teams have until Friday to claim these players I think.

        • savethepuck says:

          You are right but I don’t think the organization had a choice but to put them on waivers. With the free agent signings we had this summer these players could not be put on NHL contracts, the organization signed them to AHL contracts during the lockout to keep them, but I think they knew there was a risk to lose them. I haven’t studied the CBA, but I think there are only so many prospects of their age that an organization can protect. The waivers, re-entry waivers part of the business is something I don’t claim to understand or agree with, I actually strongly disagree with it because I think there are players that end up stuck in the minors because when teams need call-ups due to injuries, they don’t call up players of this age because they are worried some team will claim them. Instead they call up a young prospect who may not be ready though is of a certain age with less than 160 NHL games played so they don’t have to risk losing them.

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

          • habstrinifan says:

            Thanks for the detailed explanation. I agree with the points on the unfairness of the waiver system to some players.

  5. theox_8 says:

    Some people just need to relax and quit judging on this inter squad mini game, and need not forget that kadri had 3 goals in the first period in the leafs squad game. I for one am not going to take these games to seriously.

    • savethepuck says:

      What you are saying is that, in the words of Carey Price, “chill out, we are not going to win the Stanley Cup in the first game of the preseason”. And this is even an intersquad game.

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

  6. AceMagnum says:

    Bring back Pierre Dagenais!!

  7. cashbagg says:

    What kind of a gesture is this?

    Free admission to a meaningless scrimmage, void of hitting, intensity, blah blah blah blah…

    How bout making the first 5 home games half price admission, and the rest of the season 10% off.

    Problem is we are suckers. Habs brass knows we are like moths to a flame. We’ll pack the bell center even if they double ticket prices.

    boo

    • 123456 says:

      blah blah blah is right

      if i lived near montreal i would have taken my kid

      if you ran your firm would you lower prices and revenue jus tot make people happy – this is a business

    • SlovakHab says:

      They already lost lots of money this season. They can’t afford to lose much more.

    • savethepuck says:

      Did anyone see the Leafs are offering free admission to their home opener Monday the 21st? I think they are offering some sort of credit to their season ticket holders, and all other tickets for that game are being given away between now and then by promotions. As my brother said “their tickets should be free anyway”, but seriously if true, it is a good gesture. Say it earlier today on the TSN experts twitter feeds, so have to believe it’s legitimate.

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

  8. habstrinifan says:

    As a gesture to the fans;
    As the opening act to a salivating fan;
    As a morsel of excitement to whet my appetite for a 48 entre season;
    AS an indication of the determination by the the (players and management) to escape from the safe platitudinous pod-life of the last two years;
    As excitement:
    As a trigger to re-ignite my passion for the game .. for this team;

    This failed… failed…. failed….. failed!!!!!!!!

    and made the remarks in the following link provided by Ian seem so very wise a path.

    The NHL and I Are Taking a Break

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mobileweb/sulemaan-ahmed/nhl-lockout_b_2496601.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&ir=Canada%20British%20Columbia&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008

  9. 123456 says:

    can someone post up who made some nice plays – just some general stuff – any goals – good saves?

  10. habs12 says:

    Impressions on Tinordi?

  11. HardHabits says:

    18,000 people for a free scrimmage. If the Habs made such an offer a year or two ago the place would have been filled to the rafters. I am hard pressed to think the NHL is going to recover quickly from the lock-out.

    Few people are talking about it but the Conference Board of Canada report but in their findings they have determined that the current NHL model is doomed to financial failure. Soon. Very soon. Bettman will be turfed and Phoenix will no longer be an NHL city. Dominoes.

    That is why I cannot be psyched about hockey’s return. It is the perfect time to continue the rebuild. So people. When the Habs miss the play-offs again and finish in the bottom 10, don’t freak out.

    The Habs new slogan: Ride the Tank™ to victory.

    • 123456 says:

      first paragraph – eh
      second – is phoemix moving a bad thing?
      you cant rebuild w/o hockey being played

    • Phil C says:

      We’ll save you a seat on the playoff bandwagon just in case. ;-)

    • savethepuck says:

      Makes me feel sorry for the families with small kids in line since 7 AM. They could of got in no matter what time they stood or sat in line, I hope they at least got the best seats in the house. I question the NHL having problems though, my expectations is that with the CAP set for next year anyway, this year may see some drop in attendance in certain markets, but the Bell will continue to be sold out along with the ACC and many other rinks. If less people were on-line buying Habs tickets Sunday, it only means scalpers are going to have a bumper year at the Bell as the season progresses. As a fan, attendance this year means nothing to me based on attendance because the next year CAP is set. I fully expect that next season will be business as usual and the CAP will be well above this years 70.2 for the 14-15 season. The losses the owners and players will incur over this season and the next will be made up over time multiplied.
      BTW, let them play at least a handful of games before we are promoting the tank again so soon. I understand your reasoning, but the Habs are not a small market team, they can spend to the CAP unlike the small market teams, I believe our present management will protect our current assets without having to subject their fanbase to a crap product.
      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • HardHabits says:

        I agree that those fans who camped out suffered needlessly, unless they got seats close to the ice, then I guess it could be considered worth it. It was not that cold this morning but as the day grew the mercury dropped, so still an arduous experience for the kids. On the news they said 17,000 attended. That is less than those camped out anticipated. In Montreal there will always be fans who go but I suspect the scalpers will be selling at a loss too this season’s 24 home games. If the Habs are out of the play-offs by the 12th home game this campaign, the last 12 could games could see empty seats. That itself should be a good barometer for the league.

        The league is not out of the woods. Apart from the admitted hockey junkies people are pissed and are looking at pay-back. I mention Bettman and Phoenix because they represent a direction the league is taking that is hurting the NHL’s image. The game isn’t gaining traction in Phoenix. Atlanta already had to be moved. Canadian fans’ compassionate side will accept a certain ebb and flow to compensate for teams when they are in financial straights but our conservative side is not in the mood to prop up a perpetual money pit sink hole. For all the good Bettman did for the owners in terms of revenues there is much antipathy towards the man and as the face of the league he becomes a target for people’s disdain. I believe Canadians are being hustled. Shut out from championships and from the decision making process, yet we finance the whole debacle. Canadians are experiencing taxation without representation.

        This season is a sprint. The teams that get out of the gates fastest have the best chance of making the play-offs. One bad losing streak can put the breaks to a bubble team’s chances. That there is the OTL point makes things even worse. Teams will look like they are still close when they are actually out of it already. If the Habs get a few injuries early they are toast, but if they win 7 of their first 10 games people might be planning the parade. Such is the birth of tragedy in the spirit of hockey.

        I still think the Habs are looking at 2014-15 as the year where they get back to the play-offs with some vigour and vim. However Therrien got a crappier Habs team to over-achieve in the past so next season they could conceivably squeak in. This season for it to happen all the stars would need to align in perfect order. One deviation could derail the bandwagon at a moments notice.

        However, I see the Habs as having the foundation to build a very strong team for 2014-15 and beyond. As a Habs fan that encourages me.

        Seeing Bettman gone and Phoenix moved, along with some real changes made to the inept and incompetent officiating and zero tolerance for head shots as seen in the IIHF would encourage me as a hockey fan.

        • savethepuck says:

          Seeing that it’s almost 2 AM in the Maritimes where I am from, and I have had a few drinks, I would rather digest your reply in the morning and touch base with you in the morning and reply when I see you back on line tomorrow. I appreciate your answer, sometimes I feel like a schizophrenic on here when I make a comment that is ignored, but too much work right now to answer this one.

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

      • suttontom says:

        Well said, Sir.

  12. jols101 says:

    Conflicting reports on Galchenyuk from people that actually went to the game. I find it really hard when watching a live stream on a small laptop to make an informed opinion but from what I saw he looked real good. I hope people don’t expect him to light it up like he did in Sarnia. It will take at least 20-25 games for him to fully adjust to the speed and intensity of the NHL game. He will still be better then many of the Habs current forwards while he adjusts but he won’t dominate for a while. For his first NHL intra-squad game he looked good.

  13. PeterD says:

    PK, PK, PK, PK, PK,

  14. Castor says:

    I forgot how much I hated reading comments here. Whining about a scrimmage game that the Habs were nice enough to allow people to see. No one was going full tilt. Take it down a notch boys and girls.

  15. light_n_tasty says:

    OK, OK.

    This is not related to anything but,

    So happy Gomez is gone.

    Man, he sucked. Like really sucked.

    A “good guy” in the dressing room? I dunno.

    Terrible where it matters.

  16. naweed235 says:

    SO I just got back from the game and for what it’s worth, here are my observations:
    -I was excited to see Galchenyuk live but, he was invisible… nothing bad, but nothing good either.
    – Gallagher had a great night, and judging by the limited amount of games i’ve seen from him in the last 3 years, I believe he is our best prospect in a forward’s position. As it stands, even better than Galchenyuk
    -Blunden was flying.
    -the Bourque – Moen – Prust line did well. Specially Bourque.
    – Price got injured but it wasn’t anything too serious.
    Finally, I was expecting to see much more people there than I did…

  17. RiverviewCanadien says:

    First post in months. No point…no hockey to talk about…it’s back now.

    Glad to see the crowd into it for the team. Like Therrien, I also had goosebumps when “The Cube” stepped up to shoot. Me thinks he will be a big part of this team.

    Players like that are hard working, wear your heart on your sleeves, valuable players…who can play hockey as well. Plekanec, Pacioretty, Gionta, Gorges, Boullion, Cole just to name a few. Therrien is going to like coaching this team and the players will like playing for Therrien. ‘No Excuses’ is a great philosophy. Yeah, you could say it’s all smoke and mirrors, but if you can’t see the passion this man has, knowing this is the greatest second chance he could have imagined, I must be watching someone else. I’m stoked for hockey, maybe I am too giddy. Could be the beer though…Crap I hope I don’t get Scan-a-Scroll’d, or whatever it’s being called these days.

    The PK situation, I will leave up to Marc. The club is in good hands, I would sign on the dotted line for whatever has been decided at this point. This negotiation started last off season and is still unresolved. You really think Marc is going to try and jeopardize the club in his first season at the realm, with a potential star defenseman?

    Oh, and if Price really injured something, this would not have went to like 1000 shooters. It was supposed to be only 5 per side. If Carey says he is good to go, he is good to go. I trust the kid.

    He’s proven he can be trusted.

    GO HABS GO!

  18. myron.selby says:

    @Loonie – Tom you really need to be more careful when you get involved in these debates to at least re-read your own stuff before posting again. In this case you totally contradict your original post in your later one. I’ve seen you do this any number of times but this one is so egregious I thought I’d point it out.

    In the earlier thread where you and I were debating you wrote:

    “I think so. I sincerely think that Bergevin has presumptions about Subban.

    My theory is that he wants team philosophy and doesn’t think Subban’s a team guy. So how do you fix it? You create context by going through a lengthy negotiation. You trade him, keeping with the context of the selfish behaviour and then rebuild.”

    Then in your response to HabFanSince72 you wrote:

    “It was a suggestion that IF BERGEVIN WANTED TO TRADE SUBBAN THIS WOULD BE THE BEST WAY TO GO ABOUT IT.

    Not a theory, not an accusation.”

    When you say you sincerely believe something and it is your own theory and then turn around and deny that it is either a theory or an accusation you’re orphaning your previous position completely.

  19. commandant says:

    Injured and still looked better in shootout than last year.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  20. L Elle says:

    I read a few comments and had to stop. I was at the scrimmage. It was just a friendly game. A fun night for fans. I was lucky enough to be sitting right behind the goal, and maybe had a different perspective.

    Galchy is everything Gomez is not. He finds the puck, passes it to someone who is on their way to the net, and then he flies to the net just waiting to score. This kid, if all goes as planned, will truly be a great player.

    The crowd was electric, cheering everything and everyone. I think I participated in 25 waves. There was a small group of PK fans chanting, who were drowned out by boos. They weren’t booing PK, just those fans that were trying to rain on the parade.

    Price is so amazingly good. He didn’t even have to move to make the saves. He seemed hurt after a MaxP deke, but the shootout went on and on. Nobody can score. Is it so surprising then that they lost so many shootout games?

    He let MaxP score on him on purpose to end it, and then Markov scored on Budaj. Price put his head back and shook it. Prust did a good job covering up and also entertaining the crowd.

    Cole is still a beast. DD and MaxP still have the chemistry. Cube is still a truck. Kudos to Prust and Gorges for blocking shots in a meaningless game.

    Our defense is only OK, but split in two, they were mostly invisible.

    But take all this with a grain of salt, as none of them were really bringing their A game, except those that want to make the team.

    The free hot dog tasted very good. ;)

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Sweet, a firsthand report!

      Yeah, those of us watching the online feed saw Price struggling after the MaxPac save.

      Prust’s shootout “winner” must have been hilarious in person.

      • L Elle says:

        Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since I was a kid watching a game at the Forum. And, I would not be able to sit this close to the ice any other time without getting a second mortgage. : )

        Prust is a great teammate. Yeah, Price tried to skate it out, but he looked like he just wanted it to end. Hope it’s not serious.

  21. Harditya says:

    How do we know Mr. Boone is in game shape? WE WANT BOONE. WE WANT BOONE.

  22. Timo says:

    Just watched highlights on RDS.ca

    17000 people chanting “We want PK!!!”

  23. HardHabits says:

    Habs make the play-offs again in 2014-15. Relax people. The Tank™ ride is less painful if you loosen up a bit.

  24. Say Ash says:

    How was the gelling tonight?

  25. Stormin says:

    Nice to be back boys, not sure if i am all in on this season, certainly will not buy any NHL merchandise, but I am sure I will be watching.

    MY 2 Cents on the PK affair :

    As the NHL and the PA had a long drawn out affair, in my opinion with the owners having a January date in mind from the get go, as goes this Habs Meehan battle, the same negotiating tactics will apply.

    MB just spent quite a bit of Molson’s money to buyout Gomez, so i would think he will negotiate hard with Meehan, and it may turn out to be a who blinks first battle, depending on how well the team performs in the first 5 game segment and so on during the season dictating the tone of the negotiation between Meehan Pk and the Habs. Even if MB can save 250k or better still 500k in a long term deal this works out to saving Molson some big time cheese, especially with another buyout looming next year.

    So far not much negotiating in the media, all mostly rumors and hearsay, but i would think if PK and Meehan are asking for a Karlsson or Doughty type contract we may have to look at trading options. I would love to see him take a bridge contract but i do not believe he will do the team the same favor Price did, Carey signed his bridge almost as a thank you for trading Halak and the pressure he probably felt. Hopefully PK will take a contract similar to Pacioretty’s though if he gets greedier, i say it may be time to trade him, 6 years 27-28M seems quite fair.

    .

    • savethepuck says:

      I remember hearing Price actually wanted a 1 yr bridge contract and not 2 yrs because he was confident in his abilities and thought he would cash in after that. He had something to prove after the 09-10 season. I think PK, or most likely his agent, thinks he has already proven himself.

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

  26. Timo says:

    I swear to god this team is made out of glass. Can they make it through the day without someone tweaking, pulling or breaking something?

  27. JayK-47 says:

    For everyone who’s complaining; Do you know it’s actually HARDER to scrimmage and pull your punches to protect your teammates then to just go through people?

    • Steven says:

      Exactly. I, for one, though the offensive game was working quite well compared to last year. It’s more fluid vs the one shot and defend thing we got used to

  28. Propwash says:

    A scrimmage game is in no way grounds for passing judgement on how the team is going to do this year.

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