This week’s HIO stories

Topics range from Hamilton, to the senior league, to charitable works, to retail.

HIO fans weigh in as Commissioner Bettman celebrates his 20th.

Signed Forum seat to be auctioned for Gazette Christmas Fund, by Stu Cowan

Pointe-Claire’s Matheson shines at Boston College, by Pat Hickey

LNAH, the former goon league, cleans up its act, by Pat Hickey

Habs prospect Tim Bozon could bring some Ooh, la la, by Pat Hickey

Carey Price’s 31 goalie masks will help 31 charities, by Dave Stubbs

Voice of the Hamilton Bulldogs gets wider audience, by Brenda Branswell

Habs’ Gorges ups the fashion ante to promote retail store, by Dave Stubbs

Markov’s shootout goal gives Habs fantasy win, by Pat Hickey


  1. punkster says:

    OK…now this Berkshire guy has gone way over the line now…waaaay over the line:

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  2. HabinBurlington says:

    Have to say I am very tired of reading the supposed “insiders” and their various tweets. This latest from Dreger is typical.
    DarrenDreger: NHL has delivered the message it is pretty much a take it or leave it, however, that doesn’t mean the league won’t trade on certain things.

    I am not trying to pick on Darren, but many of these guys/gals are trying to sound like they have details but then hedge them completely. I recognize they are trying to be relevant, but they all must have sore posteriors from riding the fence as long as they have about what they think is happening or going to happen.

    • Cal says:

      There are no “insiders”, especially for these negotiations. There are only reporters sitting in hotel lobbies/rooms waiting for news like the rest of us.
      Sure, they may have have a few more details here and there during this lockout, but that’s about it.

    • DorvalTony says:

      It’s all filler and beating a dead horse. (He was also the guy who said “Francois Bouillon” three times on air then refused to admit/correct his mistakes. Symptomatic. A below average ‘journo.’)

      Union fat cat$ like Eric Cole just don’t get it.

  3. commandant says:

    I talked about it on the radio show, but the junior team losing an exhibition game to a college team is nothing to be surprised by.

    The College guys may not be good prospects, but they are mostly former CHL players and are now older, bigger, stronger, faster than they were in the CHL.

    Look at how well overagers with no NHL futures due in the CHL at age 20. Now add 2-3 more years of experience and putting on muscle to that and you see this team full of 23 year old nobody prospects can hang with a team of 18 and 19 year old best junior players in the country.

    Every year Canada has trouble in these CIS exhibition games, but no one notices cause we are all focused on the NHL.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

    • ed lopaz says:

      for every 1 “prospect” that makes it to the NHL , there are several other CHL players that could have made it had things bounced their way.

      some very good CHL players get stuck in bad fits on their CHL team and can not “force” a trade, for example. scorers can’t crack the top six, don’t get power play time. Or d-men play for a coach that doesn’t promote offensive, risk taking decisions. Or offensive d-men that can’t crack the top power play will see their numbers fall like a stone.

      players get stuck with rosters that are loaded for a Memorial Cup run and as 17 year olds heading to the draft they don’t get their ice. Or other teams that are “rebuilding” and choose to play a ton of youth ahead of a player that might be older, and a late bloomer.

      I believe there are many excellent players in Canadian College and in the NCAA. Some of these players could be (or could have been) very valuable to NHL teams.

      It is so tough to make it all the way to the NHL if you are not a 17 or 18 year old “legend in the making”, that many excellent players choose a different career path. They would rather not live the ECHL or AHL lifestyle, and I can’t blame them.

      I agree with your basic point Commandant. The College players are older, bigger, stronger, and some are even faster then the best junior players. After all, virtually all Canadian university players have “graduated” from 3 or 4 year CHL careers.

      • Mr. Biter says:

        You both make excellent points but why are there very few Cdn University players in the NHL and so many who go the NCAA Hockey Route as they also are about 22 when they graduate?

        Mr. Biter
        No Guts No Glory

        • ed lopaz says:

          The NHL is dominated by the Entry Draft – 210 players selected.

          If you are not drafted in the 1st 4 rounds in your 18th year, it becomes extremely unlikely that you will every play in the NHL.

          The fact that the draft is 99% players turning 18 dictates who becomes a “prospect” and who doesn’t.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I wonder also if part of the reason is the top players have to choose between Junior and U.S. College at a fairly young age. Those that would perhaps be good enough for Junior but want the University tend to go the U.S. instead of Canada as the scholarships are much more beneficial.

          Essentially the cream of the crop are going to either Junior or U.S. College as opposed to CIS. I don’t mean this as a slam on the young men as CIS, but rather speaking to the perceived talent level of the players at the critical 18 year old age which Ed addresses.

        • commandant says:

          The thing is Canadian College hockey players are often older than 22, because they often go to college after the CHL, and if they play out their full eligibility will be 23-24.

          Also they may not be top NHL prospects, but they are also better than 18 year old kids.

          The theory is the same where a journeyman like Alex Giroux is bigger and stronger and dominates the AHL, but not talented enough fo the NHL.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  4. Mattyleg says:

    A little suggestion to the HI/O article compilers:
    You should probably use the terms ‘says’ and ‘replies’ to distinguish conversations from solitary posts.

    Otherwise it comes across as just disjointed and full of non-sequiturs.

    …because that would inaccurately represent this site. Hmmm…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. Hi folks! It’s been awhile since I popped in here and was hoping to do so once our beloved game was back on track. I would have been nice to tell you my news under happier circumstances.

    You might have read at my old EOTP pages some time ago that I had been working on a Canadiens related book for the past few years, well this past summer, an American publishing company asked me to write a different one for them, called Tales From The Montreal Canadiens Locker Room (Skyhorse). It has been available now since November 15 and recently Dennis Kane and I hooked up to chat about it. The book is not as generic as the title suggests, and you can read all about it here:

    If anyone is curious about picking up a copy, it is available through the Chapters / Coles chain, though I am not fully aware of which other stores in the province will be carrying it in the near future. Should anyone wish further info, I can be contacted at:

    611 (all one word)
    at hotmaildotcom

    Too bad we didn’t have our annual Fan Summit this time around!

    Thanks for your interest.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    Monahan and Pouliot are surprise cuts from Team Canada.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Did yesterdays cut guarantee Hudon’s spot on the team?


      • HabinBurlington says:

        THere is still more cuts to come, but most of the healthy scratches from yesterdays game were considered shoe-ins to make team, Hudon was included in that group. It does look good, but I am sure if we consider him a lock, we will jinx him. So lets keep our fingers crossed.

  7. Riga Fraction says:

    If it’s such a hardship to own an NHL team, why don’t the owners sell their teams to people that know how to set budgets and abide by them without needing a lockout every few years to force themselves to stick to those budgets?

    The reality is, as much as people want to blame Goodenow, Saskin, Kelly, Fehr and each of the thousands of players that have been locked out in the past two decades… there is one constant and that’s Bettman. He refuses to negotiate, his stances of this is the demand take it or leave it has cost us a half season, a full season and what looks to be another full season. he’s not a puppet to the owners, they’re under gag orders with heavy fines, and he only needs 8 votes out of 30 to push anything through that he wants to push through. Until he’s removed (via firing, surgery or chemotherapy… whatever) there will never be labour peace in this league. Every few years he makes up a BS story (last time it was we need a cap to make the game more affordable for the fans… then they got the cap (and a rollback) and doubled their ticket prices) and puts his best efforts forward toward breaking the union. That’s all it is, and all it ever is with this guy. He’s not trying to make a deal or do anything else of the sort, he’s trying to break the union, which is why when things got close last week, he panicked and shut it all down, pulled everything off the table, stuck his fingers in his ears and started yelling no no no no no.

    • wjc says:

      Riga, I so disagree with you. Could we be more opposite in our ideas.

      This is not about setting budgets. This is about having a strong NHL. Money people should be breaking down the doors to get in to own a team, not wondering if owning a team is really worth it.

      A strong NHL is good for the players. The players do very, very well financially and all they have to do is play. The NHL (owners) should be stronger then the players, a strong NHL is what every fan should want.

      CBA’s have a time limit a shelf life, for a reason. They can then be renegotiated to straighten out things that are not considered right.
      If the players or the owners think there should be a correction that is the mechanism to righten the ship.

      In this instance the owners were dissatisfied with the agreement and the players were happy with it (with good reason). Instead of getting to negoitating a year before, the players (Fehr) dragged it out. Thus an unnecessary lockout to get things right. The players could have used the “strike” weapon at a later date to force compromise. Thus better now then later approach taken by the owners.

      You have not been paying attention negotiations have been taking place. Bettman has negotiated as well as Daley. The owners got involved as well and the doves came away with there eyes opened. Trying to break the union, utter nonsense. The union could have ended this impasse but refused thinking they are hard done by.

      Now the gag order, keeps owners from saying foolish things and making people angry. Some of the players twittering drunken nonsense that they cannot deny once they sober up should make you realize that keeping quiet is the best way to go.

      8 owners making decision is a way of streamlining the process. You cannot hunt down 30 owners every time you need to make a decision. Same with players, a handful of players negotiating and making decisions rather then trying to find 750 player all over the world. Spin it, twist it, and spin it some more. You can make anything sound different then it is.

      A strong NHL with good revenue’s for ALL teams is good for the players and the fans.


      • commandant says:

        There is so much wrong with this I don’t know where to start.

        The 8 person limit is not quarum, its an 8 member veto. Start by looking up what that means, and you’ll have your answer as to where you went so horribly off the tracks here.

        2nd a vote is required to be held of the 750 in order for a CBA to be ratified.

        There’s more but you’ll make another non-sensical rant 5 minutes from now, so I’ll just wait for that one.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  8. habstrinifan says:

    Frontenac1 is right. Hruby’s article (previous thread) gives a very good list of examples of public funds(grants/subsidies/land allowance/tax breaks/favourable loans/bailouts) involved in sports operation.

    Those who use (and there are some on this site) Joe the Plumber as their mouthpiece on government spending should read this article again… and again. Or am I being too political?

    OK..Then I wont be. So Chris I am gonna pick a hockey fight with you. I stand by my opinion that if I were given, today, a choice between LL and Hudon as prospects for my team, I will pick Hudon.

    I trust that Commandant will recall, long before the draft, that I asked him re Hudon and proposed that he would be a great draft choice for the Canadiens…. so I am not late on this bandwagon.

    Way to go Hudon!

    • frontenac1 says:

      Yes, I found it interesting how Owners in the US can,for tax purposes
      Expense and Depreciate the players, just like cattle. No mention of Stud Fees however.

  9. Habfan10912 says:

    Scotty Gomez appears to be rounding into NHL shape. He is pointless in two consecutive games. That is assuming he played and didn’t have another bout of, ahem, food poisoning.


  10. Xsteve50 says:

    It seems to me last week all the discussion was about decertifying the union. This week not a word mentioned. Is it just me or are the tactics just posturing? I am tired and fed up of seeing little or no movement in this lockout. The only question is, do you want to play hockey or not? For the past 16 years I have paid my good hard earned $ so my son could play the game he loves. These owners and players have the privilege of being paid to play, (yes, the key word is PLAY) a game. The other 99.9% of us PAY to do the same thing. If they cannot agree on how to split up $3.3B they are all idiots. We as fans should give THEM a drop dead date, either sign before year end 2012 or loose us forever. I for one will be doing more skiing this year and less NHL watching. There got that off my chest…..

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Xsteve – I appreciate your heartfelt sentiments. Although I think I’m as angry and upset as you I wish I shared your resolve. I think I am one of those fans who can be blamed for this. You see I am an addict. I love the game. I could never make such a commitment as the one you are suggesting no matter how much I’d love to.
      What I can do is (if there is a shortened season) is keep my commitment to NOT make any NHL related purchases. This includes the NHL Centre Ice TV package which allowed me to watch all of the Hab’s games. I’ll have plenty of hockey available on free TV and I’ll listen to the games on my smartphone. I might even figure out how to do this live streaming thing I hear about on my computer. But no purchases for me during the shortened season.
      Your son is lucky to have a Dad like you willing to support HIS love of the game. It is passed down from generation to generation, huh? CHeers.

    • wjc says:

      Xsteve, where you are wrong is saying they cannot agree. They both agree how to divide up the 3.3 billion. The only snag is they don’t agree with each other. Do you see how this complicates something so simple.

      Example, I have a rare coin I just have to sell, my wife says sell it please. I want $10.000.00 for it. I am told this is a fair price.

      I have a buyer who desperately wants the coin for the final piece to his collection and it is the only one in the world. He offers me $5,000.00 for it. He is told this is an fair price.

      He won’t budge, I won’t budge….he say’s $7,500.00 I say sounds good….he says “we have a deal then”, I say “thats good you moved up to $7,500.00, but I still want $10,000.00 but you are getting there.

      You are pissed off and storm out, and I with a cool confident smug look say “why won’t you negotiate, we are getting closer. Once you get to $10,000.00 we will have a deal, we have closed the gap.


      • Trisomy 21 says:

        “They both agree how to divide up the 3.3 billion. The only snag is they don’t agree with each other.”

        Come on WJC do you honestly think he meant that the owners aren’t in agreement with eachother and the NHLPA is not in agreement with themselves?

        • wjc says:

          No, I will say it again. Owners have an idea how to divide the 3.3 billion dollars.

          The players have an idea how to divide up the 3.3 billion dollars.

          The process is simple, except that they don’t agree with each other.

          So who is right “A” or “B”….”A” thinks he is right and “B” thinks he is right……they both disagree.

          Average fan says just agree, but they think they are both right.

          So the average fan says “compromise” and both sides agree the other should “compromise”.

          Negotiations simple, but oh so complicated.


  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Anyone here know if there is any criteria Canadian players require to play for Spengler Cup team? Wondering if by chance some of the current locked out NHL’ers could be playing in this tourney. Would be neat to see some of them go there, of course I say this with pure selfish motives as I want to watch hockey over the Christmas break.

    • Cal says:

      Canada sends a team that is made up of Canadians that play in Europe. I wonder if Thornton will play?

    • JF says:

      There was a piece about it on TSN a few days ago. Any Canadian playing in Europe is eligible, but the tournament faces the same problem as the World Juniors; if the lockout ends, players can be recalled at a moment’s notice. But it’s looking more and more as though both tournaments will be OK. I’m looking forward to both more than usual this year because of the dearth of NHL hockey. The really bleak period will come when these tournaments are over. The prospect of getting through the months of January through April with only the occasional Bulldog or junior game is unthinkable.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hopefully we could see DD and Plex on the team.

        • JF says:

          That would be good. The Spengler Cup team is usually not very strong and also faces the disadvantage that the guys haven’t played together during the season but have been assembled at the last minute. Davos is usually strong, and could be stronger this year with Joe Thornton.

  12. Cal says:

    As per request, here’s a song from a one hit wonder band called Ace.

  13. Cal says:

    A rundown of the latest meeting.
    11AM- NHL to mediators. “Tell them it’s the same deal as last week.”
    6PM- PA to mediators. “Tell them no just like last week.”

    Mediators to NHL and PA: “Stop wasting our effing time. Call us when you come to your senses.”

  14. Riga Fraction says:

    Canada jrs get smoked by Alberta University hockey players 4-1. Subban allows 3 goals on 7 shots. Ok so it’s going to be a bit of a slow start.

    • Riga Fraction says:

      Hmm 2 exhibition games, 8 goals allowed by the 4 goalies and Subban has allowed 5 of those 8 goals. He’s likely going to get one of the three spots due to past history, but going by camp alone he’d have been cut. We’ll have to see if Patterson (who has had the best camp) played himself onto the team.

  15. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …2 very good stories by Hickey …booyahh !

    …one more reprehensible Midnight Fantasy …that at least was made a sub-link …booyahh. !!!

    …now Ya’re cookin ‘ Stu πŸ™‚

  16. commandant says:

    Aaron Palushaj has a shoulder injury, out 4-6 weeks.

    The Bulldogs offence just got worse.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports

  17. Bill J says:

    First! Booyah!

    Oh and the poll?

    It apparently was not even a complete proposal, why would they vote on that?

    Go Habs Go!

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