The torch is passed, in the boardroom

• Pat Hickey on the succession

François Gagnon’s take and Arpon Basu’s

Bert Raymond saw it coming

• Hickey on the “other” Kovy

Demers’ hernia operation a success

Why not Canada? series begins

• Eric Duhatschek on Bob Probert

• An Elliote Friedman piece on Probert

Probert’s Top 5 (not goals)

• List of players who filed for salary arbitration


  1. SLONCOLD says:

    in regards to being better, where does this experience thing really come in? I’m not sure i follow you on this point because the core of our team has a boat load of experience (prior to their arrival to the team).

    i still think the habs have way too may ifs, maybes and shoulds surronding the team. i really hope they do better but not sold on the idea of them doing better. The biggest addition to the team will be PK on defense.

  2. Mike from Ktown says:

    1 – I think if we could see how Mr. Gillet had defined Boivin’s role with the team, he probably did a great job.  He put some good people in good places, sometimes things just don’t work out in this game.

    2- I think both have the skill set needed to be top 6 guys.  I think it is a question of heart in both cases.  Hopefully AK is better with SK gone.  Contract year as well for AK, I foresee him potting 30 – 40 which then makes him dangerous to resign.  Pouliot will beef up a bit this summer, probably will pot 25 – 30 next year (very optimistic prediction here) 

    3 – did not read the article 

    4 – enforcers are not needed any more.  The bottom 6 needs to have some sand paper though.  Enforcers rarely hit the stars for the most part, the skilled middle weights is where it is at now.  

    5 – Better, they have a year under their belt being together.  Goal tending comes in as a slight question mark.  Carey sill had ok numbers last year in what was seen as a terrible terrible season for him.  

  3. Kamal Panesar says:

    Nice questions!  You should have your own blog!

    1. Boivin deserves BOTH credit for his off-ice successes and blame for the on-ice product/failures.  Whether he is hands on or not, he is still in charge and ultimately responsible for the results of his subordinates.

    2. Both are questionable but for me, the bigger question mark is Pouliot.  let’s see what he can do when he is in shape and motivated.

    3. BGL, in again opening his mouth, has demonstrated exactly why the Habs got rid of him.  But I digress.  The Gainey-Carbo years are unchanged by anything he says and still look as tenuous as they did before he spoke.  So close, but so what?

    4. No.  Not one like Laraque.  We need a Dan Carcillo or Aaron Asham-type who can actually play too.

    5. If the team remains unchanged from it’s current form, they are no better than last  year unless AK and Pouliot can figure out how to score on a regular basis.

    Follow Kamal on, Facebook and Twitter

  4. mike g says:

    All I’m trying to say is he’s being greedy in 2 ways: dictating which team he wants and how much he wants.

    If he’s asking for 3-5 mill, I’d understand. Then I’d say, alot of teams can afford him, so he’s evaluating all options and he’s gonna choose the best one for him and his family. But when you’re asking for 9-10 miill, for 10 years?!

    I don’t know. This whole saga sounds to me like he’s a big baby.

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

  5. Don Carnage says:

    So let me see if I got this right , he has no right to choose where he wants to play and he can sign a contract and demand a trade after ? Somehow I do not see how this would make him respectable, pull a Dan Heatly on them yeah that is what respectable players do, sign huge deals and demand a trade?

    Why is it that players cannot choose where they want to play? after a certain number of years all players have the right to choose where they would like to be .

  6. pic1983 says:

    That deal would be near impossible to move.  Very few GM’s will see the justification in paying kovalchuk $10 million per season when crosby and malkin make significantly less.

    I respect Kovalchuk more because its not about the money, he wants to go to a contender.  Do i think hes stupid for turning down $100 million? Maybe.  But once you have $60 million, you’re rolling anyways. 

    If anything, I dont know what the kings offered him, but if he would decline anything over $8million per season and a term over 7 years from the kings, than hes really an idiot.  With kovalchuk, the kings would be a top tier team for years to come considering all the high-end, young talent the kings already have.

    I think Jersey is the worst fit for Kovalchuk.  They play defensive, they lost all of their half decent puck moving defensemen, and they have a franchise goalie whos better days are behind him with nothing in the Pipeline.  Its also another terrible hockey market.  Why he would take less money to play in jersey rather than atlanta or Long Island, I have no idea.

  7. Rugger says:

    I was going to answer, but you already gave my answers so “Ditto”

  8. avatar_58 says:

    I made him 11 in NHL10 and it’s weird……

  9. DD says:

    I have been going to the Bluesfest since it’s inception. I am a die hard blues fan. I buy the Empire Grill pass which costs over $500.00 (When you think about it, it’s only a little over $40.00 a day, so really is a good deal) I know a lot of people complain about the varied acts that the ‘fest now employs, but I personally have no problem with this. They fill the main stage area with non traditional blues acts, which puts money in their coffers to bring in some of the finest musicians of our time.

    You mentioned Buddy Guy (great show BTW) but in my time of going to the ‘Fest, I have seen, Ray Charles, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Hubert Sumiln, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Pinetop Perkins, Allan Toissaint, The Allman Brothers, Ike Turner, Dr. John, Luther Allison, Allison Kruss and Union Station, Wison Picket, Joe Cocker, Steve Miller, David Lindley, Jackson Browne, The Neville Brothers and that’s just off the top of my head. 

    I usually try to avoid the main stage if possible because it is so chaotic. If I could give you one piece of advice, the real gems are on the back stages, where you see people you have never heard of, who blow you away. I remember taking my 16 year old son to a show in one of the back stages on a very hot Saturday afternoon. We went there to get out of the sun. There was a group called the Kruger brothers, a bluegrass band from Europe, believe it or not. The banjo picker was simple amazing. Probably one of the best musicians I have ever seen in my life. My son, a teenager who likes rock n roll but also listens to rap, was blown away. It was great lesson for him about the virtues of all styles of live music. He now goes every year.

    It is an intense two weeks, I’m dead tired by the end of it, but I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

  10. Former Jets Fan says:

    The Blues have the requisite cap space to match an offer sheet, so that tactic would do nothing more than create an enemy.  Halak will sign first.  Despite his loony agent, Jaro seems like a pretty amenable fellow.

  11. avatar_58 says:

    NJ isn’t a bad team at all. They are one of the few making the playoffs each year, where’s the issue? He simply wanted to see if he could hit paydirt with another team, while still staying competitive. For all we know the kings only offered like 7mil….and why take that over NJ? As for the Isles maybe he never even considered that team, it doesn’t matter what they think. I mean if *I* were a player I wouldn’t take 10 mil from Toronto, does that make me evil? I’d use it to leverage my other deals though…why not?

  12. joeybarrie says:

    Ney York Islanders have had more top ten draft picks than anyone in the league. 20 in the last 10 years I think. Where are they? NOWHERE. They are still paying Yashin 5 million in cap space… Yeah they got a young team, but i don’t think they are going anywhere. I would not choose them at all, at any price (in his place).

    Its not always about the money. You have to be happy on the team you are playing. Also you have to make sure you don’t lower your value. Not many teams are going to take Kovy II at 10 million a season. So you need to make the right deal the first time.

    IF YOU WANT TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. I will agree that he is lucky to be the only BIG UFA around right now. And he will command more because of it, supply vs demand (see Scott Gomez Contract).

    If he is being picky and its not based on money then he gained respect in my eyes. Either way I don’t know if he is worth it, but then again there are a ton of players out there who arent worth their contract (see the Maple Leafs)…

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

  13. Bob Barker says:

    1. Marketing success

    2. Both are questionable. I’d like to think both will have career years though. With his brother gone, AK46 won’t be hungover as often. 

    3. Who cares what VGL thinks. Carbo wasn’t ready to be a head coach in the NHL though. 

    4. No. 

    5. Better. Some of the young kids will be ready to step up. Subban will likely be a Calder nominee. Price will put up some good numbers this year. Hopefully our top six will be healthier than last year. 

  14. G-Man says:

    kk- misunderstood your gist.


  15. G-Man says:

    1. marketing success only.  2. AK- Pou still has anothe year to get it together- I think he wants to play with Gom and Gio, so the summer effort to improve will be there.  3. Not really- he was in that Ranger game after all the bs and did NOTHING.

    4. Neil types are always welcome  5. Worse.

  16. mike g says:

    1- Deserves a ton of credit. He turned the Habs into an extreamly profitable company again. The Habs fever is back in MTL after it was gone for a little while. The way they marketed the franchise was great, along with the ceremonies.

    2- Currently, both. But in the end, I think if Benny puts his head to it he can be a solid 2nd line winger. AK is just a dead horse in my books.

    3- Not sure what to think about him. Wasn’t in the room so can’t comment, but BGL seems to crave the spotlight.

    4- No, Ryan White and Moen/O’Byrne is enough.

    5- Better. Experience gained last year will help this group a ton. You can’t teach experience, you have to live it.

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

  17. puck face says:

    too hot , can you make it like two questions ? but first bring me an ice tea.

  18. SLONCOLD says:

    1. Bovin did an alright business job beacuse his team made money.

    2. AK. he has shown he can score in the NHL( hasn’t been doing it well lately though)

    3. would you want to listen to VGL?

    4. NO, fighting is stupid and over rated….( lots of fighters play in the playoffs right? ya not really)

    5. i’ll say worse for now. Halak was heavily involved in the team’s success. Pouliot, AK and Price have a lot to prove this year; if those players step up the team will be better.

  19. sprague cleghorn says:

    Four guys wore 23 after Gainey.  Jeff Brubaker (and 5 others) wore 18 after Savard. Seven guys (including Darcy Tucker!!!) wore #12 after Cournoyer, and he wore it after the great Dickie Moore.
    Nine (9!) guys wore 5 after the Boomer.  Fourteen guys wore 27 after
    Frank Mahovlich. Sixteen players wore #29 after Dryden.  Seventeen guys
    wore Butch Bouchard’s #3 (including the immortal Kent Carlson and
    Robert Dirk).   Koivu wore 11 after Lambert, Walter, and Muller, Houle,
    Larose, Tardiff, Turner, and Floyd “Busher” Curry.  Not to mention
    Gerry MacNeil.  Let’s get over it.


    I promise never to bold another comment. And, btw, I really liked Saku.

  20. Anonymous says:

    1 Question:

    What do you think?

  21. Les-Habitants says:

    Not Halak’s, Price’s.

    I was just amazed at how different those two seasons were for him, despite similar stats. 

  22. jbroderi says:

    maybe we can get him for 2.5 mill a year!!  I know what you’re saying, but again, we don’t know what or who is involved in his decision making process.  We turn players into pieces of meat in our minds and forget that they have families and other motives for moving to certain places besides hockey.  That being said, if he is holding out for 100 million from one of his top choices, then he is being a bit delusional!!


    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  23. nickster13 says:

    1. they are both team efforts im sure, but the bad stuff puts a serious taint on everything else

    2. AK is more questionable, since it seems like he doesn’t care, pouliot seems to care, so im more confident he can get it together

    3. I think they both blew it personally

    4. not in 2010, its archaeic

    5. Worse assuming players stay status quo, if some players have better years, then maybe better

  24. avatar_58 says:

    Seems to me he chose NJ before the deadline. Then, when the deadline hit, he looked to see what other offers he could take. Sure, he could take ‘a little bit’ more and play on a non-contender, or he could take less and stick with NJ where things are already begun for him. The kings DESPERATELY wanted him, but he said unless you can reach the sky I’d prefer to stay put.

    What’s wrong with that? Imagine Plek being offered 6 mil to leave MTL. He then says “Ok, make it 7.5 and we have a deal”. They say they can’t do that. So he says “fine then” and stays with MTL. That’s basically what’s happened. Why would he lose anyone’s respect?

  25. SmartDog says:

    He’s taking his chances like everyone.  He may regret leaving Atlanta… or he may be happy with the deal from the Devlis. The point is it’s his kick of the cat, and he can do it his way.  

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop.

  26. mike g says:

    He’s gained respect why?

    Because he turned down 100 mill from NYI and ATL, but is still going around to teams he likes and saying, “give me 100 mill”?

    He’s still apparently chasing that same insane deal, but wants it from competitive teams. Problem is, the competitive teams are currently paying other good players, hence why they are competitive. And that’s also why they can’t throw the bank at him like the crap teams who pay nobody big money.

    Why do you think LA said, “Ciao Kova-chooch.”. Because he said, I want “x millions” for 10 years. And that x millions was over 8 mill. They couldn’t do it, so he’s pissed and probably crying on some yacht, cuz now he’s gonna have to return to NJ.

    So much for a guy who loves the spotlight and wanted to be a famous personality in his teams city. Good luck in NJ Ilya, if that’s where you sign. I hope all the 4,587 people at the games in NJ have your jersey.

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

  27. SmartDog says:

    I agree.  You can’t blame a guy for playing his advantages.  These guys are competitors, their agents are competitive, the teams are competitive.  Would you fault him for scoring too many goals?  Shooting the puck to hard?


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop.

  28. SmartDog says:


    1. Does Boivin deserve more credit for his success at marketing the team and pulling the Habs out of their darkest funk, or blame for missteps in hiring and scouting or a failure to produce a serious contender?

    2. Who is more questionable as a top 6 winger: AK or Pouliot?  Both? Neither?

    3. Do you believe VGL’s comments about Carbo not istening, having to go to Gainey for things, the divided locker room, etc.? If so, do they change how you see the Gainey-Carbo year(s).

    4. Do we need an enforcer-type player? 

    5. Assuming no major surprises in the conclusion of team signings, is the tean better than last year? Worse? The same?

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  29. punkster says:

    Oh nooooo! The dreaded “my-best-drummer-in-the-world-is-better-than-yours” discussion. To each his own. My preference is Elvin Jones, Tony Williams or Jack DeJonette. Check them out some time for a little diversity. And listen to them over the years (60s, 70s, 80, 90s and recent). Awesome development.


  30. mike g says:


    He is putting money first! But he’s trying to put money first in one of his first choice teams!

    He’s telling teams like LA that he wants 10 mill for 10 years, so too bad fix up your cap or I’m going somewhere else. If you can’t read between the lines and understand that he still wants the money, well then I dunno.

    He’s said publicly that he wants equal money for the whole duration of his deal. That means no front loaded money, 10 mill for 10 years. Plain and simple.

    I’m not attacking him as a human being, I’m questionning his intelligence. He thinks we all believe he wants to win a Cup, and play on a winning team. That BS is the 2nd part of his wish, 1st part being he wants to still get paid. He’s telling all the teams he’s willing to go to, ” I wanna play for you guys cuz you can win, but I want my 10 mill.”

    That to me is greed at it’s ultimate level. And his contract will f-up the cap of whichever team he goes to, for the length of his contract.

    I hope he keeps on holding out, and nobody signs him. Dumb Russian (not attacking the Country, just him). Came from a f’kin dirt poor family and was blessed with exceptional talent, now he thinks he can dictate everything including the state of the world.

    Go home ya piece of garbage.

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

  31. WarHero says:

    Well, you could always look for your own clips on Youtube


    Never judge another man’s decision poor until you actually have proof of it failing!

  32. avatar_58 says:

    Seriously? If anything he’s gained respect from me.

  33. likehoy says:

    well i never said i hated it…nor did i say i liked it…i just feel it’s something that needs to be reiterated so people get used to it…and cause i think it’s funny. it’s happening! suck it up.

    scotty gomez #11. 

  34. nickster13 says:

    Oh damn kovalchuk with Kopitar, that would be art

  35. mike g says:

    What pisses me off about this guy, is he seemes to be dictating everything…

    He’s identified a couple of teams, and telling them I wanna come play for you. Now find a way to pay me 10 mill per year for 10 years, or forget it I’m going to the next guy. That’s insane, say what you want about how good he is, but that’s just pure insanity.

    If he’s not smart enough to realize how badly that will f-up a teams cap for a decade, then he’s a real donkey ball sucker. This whole argument about him wanting to go to a winning team is BS. Him taking up 10 mill on the cap will not allow any team to ever compete. 10 Mill per year in the end equals to another one-man show team, just like in ATL.

    I really liked him the past few years, now he’s in the same book as Komisarek.

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

  36. jbroderi says:

    why would you lose respect for a person who doesn’t put money first?  Do you know any of the story at all?  Maybe he and his wife are discussing different options that are best for the both of them and their family.  It isn’t Kovy’s fault that the NY Post got cold feet and jumped the gun on the signing.  We only know him as a hockey player, not a person, husband, or father so cut him some slack.  It’ll all come out in the wash.

    I can’t believe you come down on him for NOT putting money first.


    Oh, and by the way, Tropic Thunder and Ben Stiller suck big time!!!



  37. G-Man says:

    Look, the last #11 was a greater man than a player. We all have respect for him as a great human being. If his only accomplishment as a Hab is coming back from a horrible disease, then his sweater won’t be retired. Get used to it.

  38. mike g says:

    Yes I do…

    He’s a guy who works his butt off, and got paid accordingly due to market value and a generous GM who identified him as a good value player. Scott looked at the numbers, saw that NY wasn’t a terrible team, and he signed. He would have been an idiot to turn that down.

    I applaud him for taking that offer.

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

  39. likehoy says:

    what’s tough for kovalchuk is that there are 30 teams that want him…but only 5 can afford him and only one of those are contenders.

    if he was a UFA last year, or the year before that…he would have many more options.

  40. Mattyleg says:

    Oh please, get over it.

    I’m going to write Ryan Walter next to EVERY #11 I write forever, even on cheques.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  41. Mattyleg says:

    I agree that those ‘top five’ were nothing special, but I liked the fact that Probert was one of the last true tough-guy hockey players who existed before the onslaught of the non-playing “heavyweights” of the late 90s onwards. I’m glad those guys are gone, but Probert was pretty special.

    Lionization, no. Respect, yes.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

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