The Cup is ours!

You’ll want to remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news:
The Canadiens have signed Aaron Palushaj to a one-year contract.
In other Habs news, P.K. Subban – who is unsigned – went on Twitter to say he bought his brother Malcolm, a Boston draft choice, $170 Guess jeans.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the signing of forward Aaron Palushaj to a one-year, two-way contract (2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Palushaj, 22, completed his third season in professional hockey in 2011-12, his second in the Canadiens organization. In 38 games, the right winger tallied five points (1 goal, 4 assists). He recorded 37 shots on goal, and served 8 penalty minutes, while averaging 7:33 seconds of ice time per game. Palushaj scored his first NHL goal on March 17 against the New York Islanders.

Palushaj finished third on the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring list in 2011-12 with 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 35 games. He scored seven powerplay goals, collected 115 shots on goal and served 35 penalty minutes.

The Livonia, Michigan native Palushaj was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in return for forward Matt D’Agostini on March 3, 2010.


  1. Habby_Haberton says:

    Is that you Mr. Gauthier?

  2. frontenac1 says:

    Rimshot!! Good one Strummer!

  3. ed lopaz says:

    so Girgensons gives up Vermont to sign with Buffalo.

    if he doesn’t make the NHL roster right out of this camp, he will in 2013.

    that is essentially the message he received from the Sabres, after they saw what he could do at their development camp

    He was a great pick; total package.

    And, gents, our man is considerably better!!

    So you do the math.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, but their man didn’t miss an all-important development year. Galchenyuk, needs a year in the OHL to become a dominant player at both ends of the ice (which I think he will do).

      He will be with Montreal in 2013 simply because it won’t make sense to leave him in the OHL for another season and he can’t go to the AHL. So he’s going to have a lot of development work ahead of him this season.

      I also think he is going to get traded from Sarnia to one of the OHL powerhouses if Yakupov makes the Oilers this season as I expect him to. Won’t be surprised at all to see him end up with London, who could very well be gunning for another Memorial Cup berth to try and cement their candidacy to host the 2014 Memorial Cup.

      • ed lopaz says:

        agree on all fronts. that is the plan as it stands right now.

        But if Gally blows everyone away in camp, he will deserve his 9 games.

        At that point, his play should dictate whether he sticks or not.

        maybe he can stick as a left winger for next season?

        less pressure there, less defensive responsibilities, etc…

        it could happen. not likely. not the plan. but it “could” happen.

        • Chris says:

          My biggest fear is that your “non-plan” scenario will actually come true! 🙂

          I would really rather see Galchenyuk blow away the OHL for a season as a centre, work on his faceoffs and improve his defensive responsibility (he really hasn’t had to do that in Sarnia as they were a run-and-gun team in his rookie season). In a perfect world, he gets a shot to compete at the Memorial Cup and gets some practice being the go-to player on a team that goes deep in the playoffs.

          Thus far, he has not really had to learn how to fight through tight checking in the playoffs (Sarnia missed the playoffs his first season and crashed out in the first round last year).

          Tyler Seguin showed that you can still become a great centre despite taking a year on the wing, but I’m honestly not sure that Galchenyuk is as offensively gifted as Seguin. The advantages he might have are in the form of being a two-way player, and he’s not going to learn that on the wing.

      • boing007 says:

        Let’s hope that Dale Hunter doesn’t stunt Gally’s development.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    People, again, the fact that Raphaël Diaz signed a one-way contract signifies nothing of consequence for the organization. All it means is if they try to send him down to Hamilton he will receive his full wage, not a reduced AHL wage.

    So the Canadiens don’t have a problem because they have ‘too many defencemen with one-way contracts’. That is not a problem in terms of roster moves or cap hit.

    What they do have is a problem in that they will have nine defencemen, once P.K. is signed, who cannot be sent to Hamilton without first going through waivers. Early in the season, we’ll possibly be successful in sneaking a Yannick Weber or (more likely) Frédéric St-Denis through waivers, since all other teams will be wrestling with roster size issues as well, but as injuries accumulate this won’t be a slam dunk. We all remember that we were poached of Jeff Woywitka last fall when we tried to get cute.

    Here are two links that may be useful and should be bookmarked. The first one has lots and lots of info on the Canadiens, and you can find out which players are waiver exempt by clicking on ‘Waivers’ in the left-hand column.

    This next link gives a thorough explanation of waiver rules. I haven’t found anything better yet.

    • twilighthours says:

      It might mean that Diaz is in the team’s plans, which is my biggest concern. I see little real value with Diaz, who is much closer to his ceiling than weber. I would easily choose weber over him, as i have detailed in several posts.

      I’ll add, though, that it is interesting to see people argue eller’s progression by comparing his production to plex at various ages. No one ever does the same for weber.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I think both are young defencemen with upside, and assets we have that we shouldn’t lose by letting them walk. Signing Mr. Diaz was a no-brainer.

        I do think that while Raphaël Diaz was more useful and headsy last season, eventually the younger Yannick Weber (‘le jeune Vébaire’ as some posters hilariously pointed out RDS likes to refer to him as) will be the more useful player, with a bigger shot and a stockier build. He will be useful to a team as a powerplay point-man, and teamed with a defensively solid big partner, will play on a team’s top four.

      • Chris says:

        I’ve given up. I’ve compared Weber and Subban frequently. I think Weber can still be a good defenceman in the NHL under the right circumstances, but he’s not seemingly getting the chance here in Montreal.

        I don’t think he is anywhere close to Subban in potential or even current play, but I do think he is a solid contributor if surrounded with the right players.

      • K-hab25 says:

        I agree 110% Twilight. Weber was just as good as PK ( #’s wise, not talent) was as a junior and in the AHL, but being played out of position, or not playing at all, has stumped his progression.

        • ed lopaz says:

          totally agree about how Weber’s pro development was “stumped”.

          I have always thought he would develop into a valuable asset, but his

          confidence was completely shot to hell under the last coach and

          management team. It didn’t help that he had a tendency to scoff an

          extra cookie when Gauthier was turned the other way. That got him

          in serious trouble with the suits.

        • commandant says:

          Yes, Weber’s numbers in the OHL were great, but numbers aren’t everything.

          Just look at Corey Locke, best numbers in the CHL, but that didn’t make him an NHL.

          There were always questions about Weber’s game translating, that weren’t present for PK.

          Go Habs Go!
          NHL Free Agency and Trade Analysis now.
          Team By Team Prospect Reports coming soon

      • Cal says:

        Both are too small playing D in the NHL. I’d have demoted Diaz last season and traded Weber for a 4th round pick. With these 2 in the lineup, the Habs simply cannot compete. Too small, too soft and with no edge, these two players simply should not be in the NHL.

        • Insomnius says:

          I’m with Cal on this – neither Diaz nor Weber is – in my opinion – going to be a defenseman on a Stanley Cup winning team. Weber in particular has trouble keeping the puck in at the point – I screamed at the screen so many times last season due to Weber’s inability to maintain possession in the offensive zone. One timer be damned – he’s gotta be able to keep the puck in the zone! Diaz has slightly more upside than Weber but both of them cower when hit instead of sticking out their shoulders. As such they are getting run over in the defensive zone and playing scared – which prompts them to get rid of the puck too quickly. This in turn puts forwards in no position to attack as they are too busy trying to retrieve a puck hastily abandoned by a scared small Dman who panics when physically challenged. I think Diaz’s allstar nod was undeserved and ultimately served his agent better than anyone else.

          • remi_10069 says:

            I can’t believe that people are still debating this. Weber and Diaz are not NHL caliber d men, they will never be. Too small, not enough grit and certainly not enough skill to overcome those issues. Time to send them to play in Europe where they belong.


    • Chris says:

      People put far too much stock on one-way vs two-way contracts. They mean absolutely nothing when it comes to waiver rules.

      St-Denis is absolutely assured of going to the AHL. He simply is not an NHL calibre player, but a journeyman AHL defenceman that can pinch in when a team gets devastated by injuries. I would be rather surprised if he is on anybody’s radar.

      There is no problem. The Habs have a 23-man roster, and right now it looks like they will carry:

      Pacioretty, Desharnais, Cole, Bourque, Plekanec, Gionta, Eller, Moen, Armstrong, Prust, White, Nokelainen, Markov, Subban, Gorges, Emelin, Bouillon, Weber, Diaz, Price, Budaj

      That is 21 players. The last two spots will be Gomez (provided he isn’t disposed of somehow) and one of Geoffrion, Leblanc (least likely) or Palushaj.

      Weber is a good fit in that he showed last season that he could adapt to being a forward/defence swingman that gives the team flexibility. Like Streit, he’s got to learn to adapt to that role but I think that might very well be his future should he be staying in Montreal.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Chris, I agree with your assessment of Frédéric St-Denis. I’m not one of the posters who last season would condemn both Yannick Weber and Raphaël Diaz as too small and not physical enough, but in the same breath would clamour for Mr. St-Denis because he’d been sound during his callup. I do think he has a lower ceiling than all of the waiver eligible players, save maybe Mr. Diaz.

        The thing about Steady Freddie though is that he produces, he’s not a guy who’s all potential and all future, like Andrei Kostitsyn or Benoit Pouliot. He’s actually liked by his coaches in the AHL and is described as the best defenceman on last year’s team. He might be one of those guys who’s perennially under-valued but eventually prevails.

        As such, it wouldn’t do to lose him on the waiver wire, stupidly, through inattention, like Jeff Woywitka last season, who should have been kept in Montréal while Mr. Diaz, who was waiver-exempt, was sent down. Mr. St-Denis is an asset, let’s not squander it.

        So when I worry about Frédéric St-Denis, it’s not about losing a generational talent, but more about being astute about managing our roster and our assets. If we’re going to risk losing assets, let’s flip some of them for future picks or prospects that won’t be exposed on the waiver wire.

        • Chris says:

          I would agree except that I just don’t think that St-Denis has any value. He is a good AHL defenceman and will probably play his career in the AHL.

          But the only value he carries is for teams looking to add a veteran leader to their own AHL team to help develop their young prospects. Claiming a player off of waivers to send him to the AHL is REALLY frowned on in the NHL. There is sort of an unwritten gentlemen’s agreement that the AHL guys are somewhat off-limits until they are free agents.

          Montreal was frowned at for claiming Steve Begin a few years back from Calgary, who thought they were claiming him solely to bolster their own AHL team in the playoffs. Montreal insisted they would play him and they did.

          Montreal IS going to lose some guys for nothing. It happened in 2002-2005 when they were defence heavy in the system, and we’re looking to be headed in the same direction with so many good young defence prospects right now. St-Denis is probably the least attractive of Montreal’s defencement if you are a rival GM. I’m sure they will be watching Bergevin with some interest as he tries to juggle the development of Subban, Emelin, Diaz, Weber, Beaulieu, Tinordi, Nash, Ellis and Bennett over the next 2-3 seasons.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Agreed. So let’s keep the ugly duckling Freddie and deal the more valuable Swiss defenders or Tomas Kaberle for picks, whittle down the defencemen a little bit, and use him and Brendon Nash as callups who are immune to waivers to different degrees.

  5. SmartDog says:

    Diaz signed for two years isn’t worth it’s own thread but Paloosh is?

    Or is it just a case of early-Friday-gone-fishing-Boone-itis?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • kbhab4ever says:

      I think it’s the Fri/Fishing thing .They tried replacing grit with speed & skill with Paloosh,last Yr. didn’t work.Hopefully the kids get extened playing time in AHL. Habs do not need 3 small D

  6. Say Ash says:

    Whoa, Wikipedia says Shane Doan was traded four times in the past ten minutes!

  7. naweed235 says:

    I for one will not be surprised if Subban is traded. Yes he is probably the best all around player on this team and he is young and theoretically any team would love to have him. But based on MB’s philosophy of team first mentality Subban might be a black sheep on this team (No pawn intended). I think based on all the interviews from team mates and coaches regarding subban in the last year or so, it is clear that he is not the most liked player in the locker room…
    Just a thought.

    • ed lopaz says:

      ” based on all the interviews from team mates and coaches regarding subban in the last year or so, it is clear that he is not the most liked player in the locker room…”

      you could not be more wrong.

    • piper says:

      I’d be shocked if they traded a talent like that.

    • Mattyleg says:

      –blank stare–

      (and it’s ‘pun’ not ‘pawn’. That’s the thing in chess.)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • neumann103 says:

      I just think that any of the potential trades involving Subban that make sense are too ridiculous to contemplate. They would involve similar huge but pointless risk on the other side. Any player coming back would have to be an “enrage the fans” on the other side deal.

      I mean what are you going to trade Subban for? Taylor Hall straight up? No win for either GM.

      “Et le but!”

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I was floating the idea last season of packaging him with Andrei Kostitsyn to start the discussions with Nashville on Shea Weber. Both sides would have received significant return for a major piece they had which for some reason they might have wanted to swap.

    • habstrinifan says:

      At least you did not begin your post with your usual disclaimer that “I Like P.K”. I dont recall any post of yours in which you did not advocate the trading of Subban, always justifying it with knowledge, deduced or otherwise, that Subban is a ‘problem’.

      As a hockey fan and as a fan of the Mtl Canadiens, can you say that when all the stories and impressions re Subban are netted out, you as an avowed Hockey person and a fan of the Canadiens, can be absolutely confident of the wisdom of trading Subban now.

      If so you must be privy to information most are not.

    • ZepFan2 says:


      “The frustrating part is I wanted to play with P.K., that’s why I signed (last summer) for another year. But Jacques wanted to switch it up.”

      “The problem was with P.K. is that everyone wanted to fix him. P.K. is P.K. You don’t fix him.”

      “I thought he was awesome, I’d talk to him a lot. In the Buffalo airport, as I was leaving for Detroit after the trade, he called me and talked to me for five minutes. He’s a really good kid. He just needs to play the game. That’s all it is.” – Hal Gill

      I agree with Ed. You couldn’t be more wrong.

      “Them summer days, those summer days” – Sly Stone

      Hot fun in the Summertime

  8. frontenac1 says:

    Kaberle”s stick is just too damn small! He looks ridiculous out there with that mini stick.

    • ProHabs says:

      Terrien spit all over kaberle on Antichambre last year calling him softer than spegetti (or was it spegettini). Terrien won’t like the way this guy plays at all. He is as good as gone. Kaberle for any defenceman with a french name (except MAB) seems very likely.

      • Bill says:

        Marc Bergevin is not planning to rebuild the team around what Michel Therrien wants or likes. Therrien doesn’t have “interim” attached to his coaching title, but he might as well. He wasn’t Bergevin’s ideal choice, I am surmising, but simply the least-bad option available.

        Therrien will have to live with the players Bergevin, Dudley, and Timmins, et al, provide him, because the long-term vision of this team will be Bergevin’s, not Therrien’s.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Strummer says:

      Mrs. Kaberle gave birth this past season- she obviousy feels Tomas is just fine in the stick department
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  9. shiram says:

    Would you pay 7.5 millions over 4 years for Doan? People on here were throwing around 5 millions per on a 3 year deal but the bar seems much higher

    John Gambadoro ‏@Gambo620

    NHL source just confirmed to me that an Eastern Conference team has offered Coyotes Captain Shane Doan a 4-year deal worth more than 30 mill

  10. Chris says:

    As others have pointed out, Kaberle is a potentially attractive trade target for the Detroit Red Wings.

    The Red Wings are sitting $17 M below the salary cap with most of their players already locked up. Their defence corps right now is Nicklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey, yet to be signed as an RFA.

    After losing both Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart this summer, the Red Wings would be a good destination for Kaberle. They’ve long preferred to run with veteran defenceman, and their management group has shown a penchant for taking on players that many thought were washed up (Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary) or “over-rated” (Ian White). In many respects, I could see Kaberle fitting into the Red Wings like Larry Murphy did late in his career. In a strong team system, Kaberle can still be a useful player.

    Montreal would not ask much in return for Kaberle, probably content to get out from under his contract. A third or fourth round pick could even do it, to be honest, and that would suit Detroit fine as they are becoming increasingly reluctant to give up their first or second round picks as they prepare for the inevitable rebuild that is staring them in the face.

    With Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Kronwall, Franzen and Filppula, the Red Wings still have a resonably strong core and probably aren’t willing to throw in the towel quite yet.

    • piper says:

      Lets hope you’re right Chris. Then I wouldn’t mind keeping Diaz around.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I’d take Ian White off their hands.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

      • piper says:

        id take future considerations for Kaberle.

      • Chris says:

        I would too…but I don’t think Detroit is looking to deal anybody. They need to add at least one body to make up for the losses of Lidstrom and Stuart.

        Smith fills one of those holes, but he’s 21 years old and Detroit is usually very patient at working their younger players into the lineup.

      • Max_a_million says:

        I would take a lovely cheese and fruit platter.

        Even though I could see circumstances where Kaberle could be a useful player.

      • Mattyleg says:

        Ask Calgary how effective Ian White was.
        People here are complaining about Diaz?
        Just wait if White comes to town.

        (shakes hand in ‘ay-ya-yai!’ gesture)

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      Would Kaberle for Jurco or Tatar be completely out of the question? What if we added a mid-round pick?

      • piper says:

        I would just ask for a low tier prospect and hope they bite.

      • Chris says:

        Yes, that would be completely out of the question.

        Detroit is not giving up any NHL-calibre prospects…they know the rebuild is on the way. Tatar and Nyquist are their top two forward prospects and are pencilled in to replace Holmstrom and Bertuzzi over the next couple of years. Jurco will be given a couple of years in junior and then a year or two in the AHL to develop, but they have high hopes for him.

        If Kaberle is dealt, it would be for a low draft pick or a middling prospect. It would purely be a fire-sale, and I think the Habs management would be happy to move him along for nothing if NHL rules permitted that.

      • JF says:

        The Wings would never give up either Jurco or Tatar, both very talented, for Kaberle.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’ve been thinking that Tomas Kaberle might be attractive to the Wings since they struck out on Ryan Suter. They would have to make the leap of faith that they are getting the Tomas Kaberle of five years ago, as opposed to the ineffectual and uncommitted disaster of the last couple of years. Maybe they get intel from the Czech Republic and investigate whether the summer training program with Tomas Plekanec is paying dividends, especially compared to his admitted botched efforts after last summer’s Stanley Cup partying.

      Trading Tomas Kaberle would be a case of addition by subtraction, in that the quartet he forms with Raphaël Diaz, Yannick Weber and Frédéric St-Denis all bring a lot of the same skillset, and do not bring a lot of toughness and defensive ability. Since all four are eligible for waivers, and we will have nine defencemen under contract who we can’t sneak down to Hamilton once P.K. is signed, we need to start flipping one or more of these four guys for future assets instead of just losing them for nothing.

      His contract is looking more palatable after this off-season, two more years at 4.5M is not quite Widemanesque. It is now off-loadable, and we benefit by ridding ourselves of that cap hit.

      Everyone writes off Yannick Weber and Raphaël Diaz as nothing more than trade fodder, but they’re both young defencemen with skills who have room to improve, I’d rather invest the icetime in those two than Mr. Kaberle, who’s more valuable as a missing piece on a contender. Let’s cash in on any value he may have. We’ll probably get lucky sneaking down Frédéric St-Denis to Hamilton earlier in the season, he doesn’t have the pedigree and size that Jeff Woywitka has and caused him to be snapped up last fall.

      • Chris says:

        I don’t see St-Denis in the same light as Kaberle, Weber and Diaz. St-Denis is almost completely ineffectual offensively, while the other three are limited on the defensive side of the puck.

        To be honest, I don’t see St-Denis being a legitimate waiver target for anybody. He is a journeyman AHL defenceman who managed to sneak in 17 games at age 25 for one of the worst teams in the league.

        Weber and Diaz would both be snapped up very quickly. But Weber could also be used on the fourth line again to keep him around for PP point-duty.

        I do think a trade is coming, otherwise the Bouillon signing didn’t make a lot of sense.

  11. shiram says:

    So that leaves Subban and Geoffrion to re-sign.
    It does create a logjam on D, with Subban included, that’s 8 Dmen on one way deals.
    That said I really liked what Diaz brought, and it seems like a fair deal to me.

  12. frontenac1 says:

    Diaz signed for two years. But can he Yodel?

  13. HabsWinn-ipeg says:

    Do we have to keep Cole and Pacioretty together? Why not spread the power forwards around?


    (or flip Plekanec and Desharnais)

    • neumann103 says:

      I have been saying for months, keep Pacioretty and Desharnais together because they really do have something sympatico but for the love of god, move Cole around and spread the love.

      I would at least like to try something resembling your lines

      “Et le but!”

      • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

        And maybe Bourque learns something from playing with Cole.

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          While I’m optimistic that René Bourque will improve his play this season, we should accept that since he didn’t “learn something” from playing with Jarome Iginla, he will never be the player we and the Flames dreamed he can be. Let’s temper our expectations and think of him as a 25 goal scorer, who can chip in on the his defensive side of the equation, as he did last season when he killed penalties, and provides a physical presence if merely due to his size, and occasionally by delivering a hit or dropping the gloves. He’ll never be a rah-rah Mike Keane type, an inspirational Erik Cole or Jarome Iginla type who dominates games, or a quietly efficient player who exudes leadership like a Brian Skrudland or Josh Gorges. He’s an introverted, streaky player who can be moody, but who’s never been seen as a dressing room distraction, he’ll mold in to whatever atmosphere is concocted by Michel Therrien and Brian Gionta.

          • HabsWinn-ipeg says:

            I’d be happy with Bourque as a 25-30 goal scorer at his salary, along with the other things you’ve mentioned.

    • piper says:

      that would be a very small top line though?

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