The team takes shape

Pat Hickey on the Pouliot signing

Pouliot deserves another chance – François Gagnon

• Pouliot is working out, looking to put on 12 pounds – Pierre Durocher

Cap issues hinge on Price – Arpon Basu

Cleaning up the Canadiens room

Top UFA forwards – Scott Burnside

Savard in play

Rumour roundup

And a video display of Pouliot Passion



  1. HabFanSince72 says:


    You ignorant buffoon.


  2. mike g says:

    All I’m trying to say is if he’s such a good character guy, why aren’t they keeping him around to mentor and help Hall, Eberle, etc….?

    I’m not saying I’d complain if we signed Moreau, I was just having some fun with it. But let’s not freak out over this guy. He’s a Steve Begin, a little taller and a tad more offense in him..

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  3. HabFanSince72 says:

    How soon they forget. Kovalev gave Hab fans a lot of good times.


  4. andrewberkshire says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Dallas can’t afford him anymore.

  5. KenD29 says:

    Please, no more players from “Russia with love” unless it’s Ovi!  Seen enough here over the last few years. Markov is the only one who is a player on a regular basis.

    Habs need someone with grit, heart and desire. Someone who will be there game in game out, not afraid to give and take a hit. Armstong might be worth the look given the salary. Remember, not much left to spend at this moment unless as you mentioned, they shed some of the salaries (Hamrlik). to bad Spacek still has 2 more years, he could move on too!


    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  6. johnny_habs_4ever says:

    He’s a great character guy (with size) playing with terrible players. EDM wants to change direction and anoint their fugly looking 1st overall pick as captain ASAP.

    BTW, your example makes no sense. Obviously you’ve never learned the cliche, buy low and sell high. 

    Everything can be bought at the right price. 900k per annum sounds about right for this kid.

  7. Paulin98C says:

    No risk? paying a guy Moore’s dollars to play 30-40 games? possibly less … yea no risk.

  8. SeriousFan09 says:

    If he’ll sign cheap, why not I say. Don’t think he’d come here but he’d be e good guy to add to the room for a year, he’s got a lot of experience he could lend to the younger players.


    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  9. Mark C says:

    Maybe so, but he still played every game and had the 4th highest ATOI average among forwards during the playoffs on the Flames.

  10. mike g says:

    You should never pounce on guys who just got baught out by the crappiest team in the league.

    It’s like Microsoft hiring someone who just got fired from pushing carts at Wal-Mart….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  11. kempie says:

    The same thought crossed my mind. As much as I hate bringing in these old vets on the downside of their careers, it would be just for a year, he’s a big centre with decent hands, good leadership, can mentor guys like Eller and he’s no stranger to the Gainey administration. If we can get him for roughly the same $ as Moore’s asking for, I say do it for a year.

  12. mike g says:

    The state of the world depends on this result…

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  13. johnny_habs_4ever says:

    Kevin Allen of USAToday reports:

    Moreau, Nilsson and O’Sullivan bought out by the Edmonton Oilers

    I like Ethan Moreau (6’2, 220lbs) as a 3rd line left winger. Goatier, call his agent up and low-ball him right now!

  14. mike g says:

    Welcome to Glen Sather’s office of the New York Rangers…

    How may we help you?

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  15. kempie says:

    My 2¢ on the UFAs in case PG is looking here for my opinion:

    My first choice is a crazy one: Dominic Moore. He knows the system, he fits and he’s no fun to play against. Not because he’s a punisher but he’s an opportunist. He often doesn’t seem to draw the coverage he should get. Plus, he should be relatively cheap. I’ve heard that his agent is prone to ask for too much but he only made $1.1 last year. I’d offer him a slight raise but if he wants $2M, no deal. If not Moore, then Armstrong, if he’s going to spend a little more. Frolov is pricey and streaky but worth a look if we have the $$$ by offloading Hamr. Lombardi is maybe a fit as well depending what PG thinks of our strength at centre. I’d like to take a look at Afinogenov. He’s very fast, has great hands and will come cheap. Hot & cold for sure but so is Frolov at 4x the $. When he was with Buffalo, he used to give me fits. Lastly, I think Lee Stempniak may be worth a tire kick. When he was with the Leafs he looked pretty good every night but that was on a pretty thin roster. At $3.5, I’d have to say pass but if he’ll come any cheaper, could be worth a call. I guess this all comes down to our budget but I can’t see us starting the year with 7 D. Even if 79 can’t go to start, it’s not worth $3.5 – $5.5 to keep another dman just in case. I think it comes down to Pouliot & AK. My gut tells me it’s likely that only one of them will get it done this year and I don’t know which one. If we had one of the guys on my list, JM would have a lot more flexibility to put together a strong top 6 on any given night.

  16. ed lopaz says:

    my daughter played U12, I totally agree with your post – had a good laugh. :-)

  17. twocents says:

    Maybe it wasn’t listed because arbitration rights don’t kick in until a qualifying offer is put forward. Since it wasn’t, no such rights were accorded.

  18. johnny boy says:

    how about trying to sign Modano as a third line center?  would probably be better than Moore and cost around the same. maybe 1.5 mil.  assuming he’s still got a little juice in the tank, he could be a really good fit and could fill in on the top two lines in case of injury.  on a 1 year deal, there’d be no risk, and he’d bring a ton of leadership and experience.

  19. crabvader says:

    They’re talking about 12lbs of muscle.

  20. Chorske says:

    I’d add Richards to the “probably won’t be available” list.

  21. johnny_habs_4ever says:

    Tony Marinaro?

  22. mike g says:

    Very happy with…… Laich, Backes, Bieksa

    Ok with…… Cole, Handzus, Jovanovski

    Very mad with…. McCabe, Gagne, Bergeron

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  23. Storm Man says:

    Tony has this job hands down.

  24. dh says:

    Sometime goals scored isn’t the only excitement.  If you think so, maybe you don’t like soccer and shouldn’t pay attention to it.

    To me, 0-0 is usally better to watch than 10 – 0.  But that probably comes from coaching U14.

  25. ed lopaz says:

    I like Backes. As much as i supported Halak for helping us become the team that we were last season, I would have accepted a trade Halak for Backes. Backes is EXACTLY THE TYPE OF PLAYER THE HABS NEED!!!!

  26. JIMVINNY says:

    Aside from Backes, there are very few guys on that list I would like to see in a Habs jersey.

  27. HardHabits says:

    Thanks man. I am applying!!! I have my HardHabits CV ready. Hmmmm. Maybe I should use the David one and not mention HH during the interview.

  28. ed lopaz says:

    late in Tanguay’s last season, and in his last playoffs in Calgary, Keenan had Alex in the “dog house”.



  29. SLONCOLD says:

    i’ve always like B.Laich. He’s a great 3rd line guy with some size and good work ethic.

  30. HardHabits says:

    Ahem!! What am I, chopped liver?

  31. JIMVINNY says:

    I don’t believe he was arbitration eligible.  Otherwise, everything you said was correct.

  32. johnny_habs_4ever says:

    You need one helluva Halakian resume to land this dream job:

    Maybe one day the team will need an official CH troll.  


  33. HardHabits says:

    Welcome aboard. Good post!!!

  34. Mark C says:

    What benchings? He only missed games due to injuries. link: 

    Stop making stuff up. BTW, he averaged 17:40 and 18:47 in ice time per game with the Flames. That is a lot of ice time to give a player who doesn’t have high skill or qualities, wouldn’t you say?

    Also, Mike Keenan has despised many a good player in his day.

  35. TripleX says:

    My Uncle has season tickets to the Flames.  He told me often that Mike had put Tanguay’s ass on the bench again.  Maybe it was just in the playoffs or during games.


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  36. TomNickle says:

    Please go do some research on the cap before you try to shove something so blatantly incorrect in my face Tony.

    There is a cap floor which teams must spend to in order to be compliant with the collective bargaining agreement.

    The cap floor this season is $43 million.  Meaning that they must have a payroll where they have $43 million spent in cap money.


  37. likehoy says:

    good point on kostitsyn…he seems to be slower than he was when he broke into the NHL.

    I think the weight is more what the Canadiens is asking of him more than what he wants.

  38. TomNickle says:

    Okay.  We’re going to have anywhere from $18 to $20 million in cap space for next off-season and keep in mind that we’ll have to sign Subban in the 2012-2013 off-season to an extension.  The following is a list of potential free agents, do some shopping people.  

    Wingers – M.Ryder, M.Sturm, E.Cole, J.Jokinen, J.Williams, C.Kobasew, S.Gagne, D.Backes, M.St.Louis, A.Semin.

    Defensemen – T.Daley, B.McCabe, C.Phillips, E.Jovanovski, E.Brewer, T.Kaberle, K.Bieksa, C.Erhoff.

    Centremen – P.Bergeron, T.Connolly, B.Richards, M.Handzus, M.Koivu, J.Thornton, B.Laich.


    I didn’t include Z.Chara and shouldn’t have included M.Koivu and J.Thornton because it’s highly unlikely they’ll remain unsigned.

    I think the rest of them are likely to hit the market.

  39. Storm Man says:

    And who would you trade for him? and no you cant trade 91

  40. SLONCOLD says:

    12lbs, not 11, or 13 but 12lbs lol….weight doesn’t equal strength. please habs just have him work on indurance and not try to turn him into some big power forward…..

  41. ed lopaz says:

    my mistake – I thought the Habs had hired him for Hamilton.

  42. Chris says:

    Benched so often that he missed 4 games over two seasons and averaged the 3rd most ice time amongst Flames forwards in both seasons.

  43. TomNickle says:

    And what did it look like Plekanec was going to become following his 39 point season?

    What did it look like Halak was going to become as a 9th round pick who’d been nothing but a career backup and good only in spot duty?

    Surprises are nice, but you can’t rely on potential and what ifs in that same cap world you speak of.

    The team needed a guy who they knew would compete and could anchor a skilled line.  They weren’t sure if Plekanec could do it.

    If they’d gone into last season with Pleks as the #1 centre and no capable #2 we would’ve missed the playoffs.

    I don’t know if that’s what you want, but we overpaid(dollars only) for a player that made our team better now and in the future.

    I’d rather have Cammalleri, Gionta and Spacek than Etem, Schwarz and Fowler.

    The reason I say that is that now we have Leblanc, Kristo and Tinordi.

    We aren’t short on prospects, we have good ones.  They take time to develop and it’s nice to stay competitive in between the time they’re drafted to the time they’re ready.


  44. ed lopaz says:

    I agree with your central point – adding weight for the sake of adding weight, ie. AK46, does not always work out.

    But AK46 is loafing – he just does not MOVE HIS FEET.

    Sometimes I wish hockey was played on grass like soccer.

    In soccer, when a guy stops running, everyone can see it.

    In hockey, guys like AK 46 stop moving their feet, but the GLIDE still hides their lack of effort.

    I think Pouliot will benefit from extra muscle – but AK 46 needs a few sessions with Sydney Freedman (from MASH).

  45. Chris says:

    If you mean Claude Julien, the Habs actually didn’t groom him in the minors.  He was a member of the Edmonton Oilers orgnanization when the Habs hired him to take over in Montreal.  He just happened to be the coach in Hamilton that year because Edmonton and Montreal were sharing the farm team for a couple of seasons.

  46. Chris says:

    A couple of articles listed that, but he was not listed as eligible for salary arbitration on most of the sites that are pretty reliable about that stuff. 

    It is entirely possible, however, that I’ve just lost my mind.  :)

  47. TripleX says:

    The fact Tanguay was benched so often in Calgary makes me believe they did not agree with you on his OTHER qualities.

    Mike Keenan despised the guy and made it no secret.  Bob should have asked Mike his opinion of Tanguay.  Maybe he did and Keenan lied….LOL



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  48. TomNickle says:

    Brad Richards is being shopped because he’s in a contract year.

    The Dallas Stars are on the brink of being sold.  They can’t trade Richards without taking salary back Tony.

    They have $42 million committed to the cap and need to be at $43 million for the duration of the season.

  49. ed lopaz says:

    all I can tell you is what I heard from the family.

    1) the “rumours” that he didn’t want to play hurt were BS. he knew the truth, and Gainey knew it.

    2) Tanguay wanted to play here

    3) Habs decided not to keep him, and to go in a different direction

    so much so, that we played 1/2 the season “missing” a top 6 forward.

    Gainey gets ideas in his head, and he acts upon them. HE IS NOT GOD; he is just Bob Gainey.

    (like firing a perfectly good coach who they had groomed in the minors, only to replace him with Carbonneau, only to say that Carbo was “his best GM decision in 5 years”, and then 2 months later firing Carbo??)

    I have been critical of Gainey in the past, and I will be critical of Gauthier going forward.

    That’s why they pay me the big bucks. :-))


  50. Storm Man says:

    How would we get Richards now?

  51. Chris says:

    That is a great article about Pouliot…it was posted when he was traded to Montreal, but a story like that is always worth another look.

    I’m not always convinced by this obsession in NHL circles with “bulking up” to compete.  If anything, I think one of the problems with Andrei Kostitsyn is that he plays too heavy…he is playing significantly heavier in the NHL (214 pounds) than his playing weight in the Russian league (189 pounds) when all the talk was about his explosiveness and speed.  We’ve seen flashes of the skills and dangling ability in Kostitsyn, but he just lacks that separation gear that he perhaps once had.

    Adding 12 pounds of muscle is great if you are fighting in the corners or in front of the net.  But some of these guys’ games are based on speed and agility, and in those cases it is not always clear to me that the extra weight is necessarily a benefit, even if it is muscle.

  52. Rugger says:

    Wow, what a tragedy.  Thanks for posting this.

  53. twocents says:

    Chris, I believe the Durocher article mentions he did have arbitration rights this year.

    In that light the contract is a sign of goodwill between the two parties.

    “Il faut comprendre que si le Canadien lui avait soumis une offre dite
    qualificative, Pouliot aurait été admissible à l’arbitrage salarial. Les
    deux parties ont préféré s’entendre au cours de la journée de lundi.”

    … unless my french comprehension is outta whack…


  54. Omit says:

    Nice post. Absolutely no sarcasm intended.

  55. Storm Man says:

    That would be a good return. I just look at who are UFA’S in 2011 and I see Mikko Koivu and Patrice Bergeron and yes I know he has said he hates the Habs but he would get over it.

  56. Mark C says:

    You realize that going into the corner is not the be all and end all of hockey right? There are main facets to the game of hockey, only a rare few players are above average in all elements of the game. Most players like Tanguay and Gomez are weak in some areas, and have to compensate by being above average in others. Tanguay is a great passer and puck handler with good vision, who can skate. Tanguay and Gomez use their skills to more than make up for their lack of physical play. I never remember seeing Tom the Bomb backing down from anything, yet is he better than Tanguay or Gomez; could a team win full of Kostopoulos’? Creating a NHL team is all about creating the best, most effective mix of players and abilities.   


  57. TripleX says:

    Yes we are.


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  58. Storm Man says:

    Chris it is safe to say I think your a smart guy. Your dancing around what you have said in your post, I lived and worked in England for 5 years most of my Fathers side of the family is born and live in England. Im independent in my thinking on the topic we are talking about. It maybe be sentiments and contacts for you, but with me it is what I have seen with my own eyes been to lots of soccer matches live and to top that off a few family members play soccer and make a nice living at it in England. I dont know what part of Canada you live in but I would say it is not a main city or what you do for a living… I think in one post you said your a doctor? So maybe dont always conclude you know everything by what you read or friends tell you. Try and find the answers for yourself. I hope you have a good rest of your day and im sure we will have more to say on other topics. Chris one thing I have to say about you is you dont act like a child when you try and make your point. :)   

  59. TripleX says:

    We gave up cap space and the room to acquire players who might actually be worth that kind of salary.  I just don’t believe building a team from UFA’s is either sensical or logical.

    I prefer the way it is being done in Edmonton and Tampa Bay.  The Cap requires a new way of thinking when it comes to building a contender.  The window is SO SMALL now.  Look at the Pens and now the Hawks.  Even after winning a Cup keeping the core group intact is almost impossible with the Cap.  Sadly the era of dynasties is over because it is just not possible to hold onto players and every year will see major changes in the roster of all teams.

    Think PG did not want to hold onto Halak?  Of course he did but the Cap did not allow him to and the GOMEZ contract made it impossible to keep Pleks and Halak.



    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  60. Chris says:

    I believe he will also have arbitration eligibility next season as a RFA as well.  Although I also thought he should have had it this summer based on his professional (AHL and NHL) experience, but that didn’t seem to be the case.  As a player signed when he was 19, he should have required 4 years of professional experience (10 games in either the NHL or AHL) to be eligible for salary arbitration, and he has completed 4 seasons now.

    I did see another site that claimed it was 5 seasons, and that seems to fit the case of Jaroslav Halak and Maxim Lapierre, so maybe I’m just off by a year.

  61. ed lopaz says:

    it was VERY ENCOURAGING news to read that he will be bulking up this summer.

    I agree.

    He has great upside.

    He’s got good hands, he skates well for a taller player, he has an excellent shot and a quick release.

    All the tools to succeed at this level.

    And when you add 12 lbs of muscle, your confidence increases as well – you become mentally stronger as well as physically stronger.




  62. TomNickle says:

    I just don’t see an alternative.

    If Brad Richards could’ve been had, yeah, I’d be pissed off.

    There didn’t appear to be any other options out there by way of trade.

    What did we really give up in that trade?

    One player who did more drinking than practicing, another player who doesn’t want to leave College and a player who doesn’t want to be in North America.

    I’d say we did ok on that deal, it certainly isn’t like it’s haunting us.  

    Lots of money in the kitty next season, LOTS OF IT.

  63. ed lopaz says:

    We both agree that we WANT him to succeed – the Habs could use his production.

    I think he needs to learn how to handle pressure – it seems like this is one of the pre-requisites for being an NHL player.

    That’s one of the reasons why they get paid so much more money than most if us.

    The more “pressure” a job requires, the higher the pay.

    If he doesn’t learn to “cope” with the pressure, he will NOT succeed at this job, and he will have a very short career.


  64. PeterStone says:

    I think 3X and I are on the same page .. in case we arent, I personally would’ve preferred building through the draft.

  65. PeterStone says:

    Ed, I am with you on part of what you said … we went through all the trouble and expense to acquire him, then let him leave after 1 season for nada.  I am going to guess the rumors were true, he didnt want to play, cause he was still hurt after he was nailed by Arthyhukin (sp ?) but, he did have very good numbers playing with us …

  66. TomNickle says:

    The return would have to be phenomenal for me to get behind a Markov trade.

    I’m talking two first round picks.  A blue chip forward and a prospect the caliber of Gormley, Pieterangelo.

  67. TripleX says:

    I prefer not to rehash that.  I have stated many times what I think Montreal should have done last July.

    I did say on July1, 2009 that the Gomez deal would come back to haunt Bob and this franchise for years to come.


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  68. TripleX says:

    He could not handle the pressure of being a Top Five pick in Minnesota with the expectations that brings.  Pouliot excelled in Montreal at first because there were low expectations for him, once he started scoring the pressure to maintain was huge and he faltered.

    Not everyone can handle pressure and a smart management understands every player on the roster.  I hope Pouliot has a great year because we desperately need it, but I highly doubt it will happen now.


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  69. TomNickle says:

    Poll Ranger fans?  It’s not like they know more than Glen Sather.  Nevermind, I can’t believe I said that.

    Still.  What is your suggestion for what the Habs could’ve done instead of acquiring Gomez?

  70. Storm Man says:

    Sounds good, The only thing I think the Habs should look at and I know you wont like it is maybe put Markov on the table and see what returns you can get for him. Im not saying do it for sure but it is always good to see before giving a player an extension and see where he stands with other GM’S.

  71. TripleX says:

    All Montreal management had to do is ask ANY Flames fan about marshmellow soft Tanguay.  He was universally despised for his unwillingness to go into corners to get the puck, avoiding any contact and having the pain threshold of a five year old girl.

    I sometimes wonder if Montreal bothers doing due diligence before signing players.  Same with Gomez.  All they had to do was poll Ranger fans about that contract.


    “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”

  72. habsfansince91 says:


  73. Max_a_million says:

    We were pretty happy with him for most of the season, it was the playoffs mainly that led to head scratching. 

    It is much more intense in the playoffs, and that can be hard to adjust to.

    It’s my one complaint with JM, that he doesn’t let guys like this grow in tough situations.

  74. ed lopaz says:

    I was excited. I actually know some of AT’s relatives who live here in Montreal.

    But the deal still has to be considered a bad one.

    GM’s are judged by BOTH, by their actions, and by the results of their actions.

    The results were not good.


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